Jeff Sessions Addresses Illegal Immigration; Protests Take Place

By Rich Peters, MPG Editor  |  2018-03-07

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions addressed immigration and California sanctuary laws downtown Sacramento on Wednesday morning, speaking at the annual meeting of the California Peace Officers Association held at the Kimpton Sawyer Hotel. 

Sessions informed those in attendance that the Justice Department sued the state of California because state laws are preventing federal immigration agents from doing their jobs and putting their lives at risk, but the state’s leaders believe otherwise and continue to deny any wrongdoing.

Last month, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff warned residents of a federal immigration agent raid, allowing more than 800 criminals to avoid arrest. This drew harsh criticism from both Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the White House.

“So here’s my message for Mayor Schaaf: How dare you. How dare you needlessly endanger the lives of our law enforcement officers to promote a radical open borders agenda,” Sessions said on Wednesday. He also questioned Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom for “bragging about the obstruction of law enforcement,” calling it an “embarrassment for the great state of California.”

Governor Jerry Brown thumbed out a tweet stating, “Jeff, these political stunts may be the norm in Washington, but they don’t work here. SAD!!!”

Dozens of protestors blocked traffic outside of the Kimpton Sawyer Hotel and the Golden 1 Center, holding signs and chanting in opposition of Sessions and the White House.

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Local Women Receive Grants from Loomis Soroptimist Club

By Soroptimist of Loomis Basin  |  2018-03-05

Teachers will use SI Loomis Grants for special classroom projects (L-R back row): Cynthia Buhler (wearing striped poncho), Tracey Curry, Katie Branzuela, Kelsie Dales, Hailey Crosta, Kathleen Bales, Carrie Marovich; (L-R front row): Jennifer Wood, Patty Sleizer, Claudia Diele, Susan Czapkay, Debra Brayfindley, Christy Aday. Photo courtesy Karen Fraser-Middleton

LOOMIS, CA (MPG) -The Soroptimist International of Loomis Basin (SILB) recognized women and girls who are making a difference in the community through education and community service on February 28. The club provided nearly $10,000 in scholarships, teacher grants and support for the Senior L.I.F.E center.

Carol Braun, co-founder of the Cowpoke Fall Gathering in Loomis and Cowpoke Foundation was honored with the Ruby Award for Women Helping Women. The Soroptimist International award recognizes those who improve the lives of other women or girls through their professional or personal activities. Under Carol’s leadership, the Cowpoke Foundation preserves and promotes American cowboy heritage through poetry, music and storytelling; sponsors an educational program at local schools; and donates funds to organizations that benefit our community. For over 23 years, Carol has volunteered her time, given back to the community and been an inspiration to others.

Soroptimist International (SI) clubs have given the Live Your Dream Award and over $30 million to tens of thousands of women who have overcome poverty, divorce, domestic violence and other life challenges through education. The SI Loomis Basin club selected Ellen Robinson to receive this year’s $3000 award. Robinson has demonstrated great courage and determination to overcome many obstacles and pursue higher education to provide a better future for her family. She is currently enrolled at Sierra College pursuing an AS degree in Natural Sciences with plans to become a dental hygienist.

The Loomis Soroptimist Community Service Award recognized Katherine Hanson who has assumed several leadership roles in the Del Oro High School Women’s Athletic Club. She has been a powerful role model for younger girls, produced the club’s video that promotes women’s strength and unity, and organized the College Awareness for Rape Education program. Hansen indicated that she is excited to be contributing to girls’ success by getting them to believe in themselves.

SILB helped establish the Senior L.I.F.E. Center of Loomis in 1978 and has continued to support this program that provides social and educational activities as well as nutritious lunches for seniors. Acsa and Fred Hitchen accepted the grant from SILB to continue to provide beneficial programs at the center.

The Loomis Soroptimist Teacher Grants are a signature program of the club developed to help instructors fund projects that will have lasting impact on students.

Tracey Curry, Ophir Elementary School first grade teacher, will use her grant for a hands-on educational system that fosters creativity and teaches problem solving skills through playing math, English and coding games.

Patty Sleizer and Jennifer Wood, both Kindergarten teachers at H. Clark Powers, received grants to purchase community helper dramatic play costumes and masks to learn social studies and language arts through play-based inquiry, role playing and storytelling.

Claudia Diele and Susan Czapkay, both 3rd grade teachers at H. Clark Powers, will purchase flexible seating to make it easier to instruct small groups of students.

Bria Johnson, H. Clark Powers first grade teacher, envisions using a multi-colored carpet with individual squares to make it easier to arrange students to sit in a specific order, enable student partners to work together and help students who struggle with staying within their own space.

Hailey Crosta, Transitional Kindergarten teacher at H. Clark Powers, will use the funds to supplement science materials, teaching the children about nutrition, magnets, seasons, weather, plants and the five senses using hands-on manipulatives.

Kelsie Dales, Placer Elementary, Transitional Kindergarten teacher, intends to use her grant to purchase headphones that can be used with iPads for daily math and language arts activities.

Christy Aday, Newcastle Elementary Charter, will use the grant to replace music stands that are over 30 years old for the band program that serves Kindergarten through 8th grade students.

Debra Brayfindley, Newcastle Elementary Resource Teacher, plans to use the funding to purchase a literacy intervention tool that will help struggling students learn to read.

Kathleen Bales, Newcastle Elementary Charter School 4th grade teacher, will use the grant to introduce robotics to fourth through six grade students by teaching them to program with Arduino and Scratch.

Carrie Marovich, Loomis Grammar School 8th grade teacher, will purchase headphones so students can listen to language arts reading selections on their Chromebooks, increasing comprehension and reading enjoyment.

Cynthia Buhler, 4th Grade teacher, Penryn Elementary School, will use her award to select flexible seating such as bean bags, standing tables and low tables with cushions that will give students more choice in what kind of learning space works best for them.

Katie Branzuela, K-8 music teacher for both Franklin and Loomis Basin Charter School, is seeking a grant for headphones for middle school students to create a mash up of songs that represent who they are in music appreciation. Additionally, band students can use them to record and submit play tests.

About Soroptimist International Loomis Basin

Soroptimist (soroptimist.org) is an international volunteer service organization for business and professional women who work to improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world. Soroptimist International of Loomis Basin is a 501(c)(3) organization.

To learn more about the club, join SI Loomis Basin for weekly club meetings at the Train Depot at Taylor Rd. and Horseshoe Bar Rd. in Loomis. Visitors are welcome to attend club meetings on the first and third Wednesday at 5:30 PM. Learn more at www.soroptimistloomis.com and find Soroptimist Loomis Basin on Facebook. Also plan to attend the Soroptimist Tostada Bingo on April 21; tickets available at the Loomis Chamber of Commerce.

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Craig Newton Will Share Local Expert Fishing Advice

By Rooster Tails Fishing Club  |  2018-03-02

Craig Newton with a large catch. Photo courtesy Rooster Tails

PLACER COUNTY, CA (MPG) - The Rooster Tails Fishing Club monthly breakfast will be held at the Auburn Elks Lodge at 195 Pine Street in Auburn on March 16th.  This free event is open to club members, spouses, and non-member guests.  Doors to the Lodge open at 7:00 a.m. to share fresh brewed coffee.  A fantastic $15 wide-selection buffet breakfast is served at 8:00 am followed at 9:00 am with guest speaker, Craig Newton, expert fisherman and owner of Will Fish Tackle in Auburn. Breakfast attendees are encouraged to arrive early for free coffee and to ‘talk-fishing’ with Fishing Club members

Craig is an accomplished civil engineer and expert fisherman with a life-long reservoir of fishing knowledge with advice on multiple fish species.  Craig has wide field of experience including expertise in ocean fishing for rock fish, springer river salmon, to his favorite… drift boat fishing for steelhead.  He has pursued fishing from Oregon to Baja.  What is unique about his presentation is that not only will he explain the latest effective techniques for pursuing this season’s abundant trout fishing opportunities, but also the newest tackle on the market and how to use it. 

Spring trout fishing is already in full swing despite the weather, with many northern California waters releasing winter-fed pen-raised trout.  This trout season will be exceptional offering many chances to land a wall-hanger fish.  Trout anglers that plan on participating in the various spring derbies and tournaments are encouraged to attend this special presentation.  What breakfast attendees will discover is that not alone is guest speaker Craig Newton an expert angler, he is a ‘fishing-everything local resource, since he owns his own tackle store.  Craig and his wife Kim purchased the only Auburn dedicated fishing store, Will Fish Tackle, in April of 2017.  Unlike big-box or chain retail tackle stores, Will Fish offers one-on-one advice and often first-hand experience on catching specific fish species.  In addition, Craig also is in regular contact with several and can recommend fishing guides. 

The 30 year old, 200+ members Rooster Tails Fishing Club of Northern California, Inc. is a non-profit organization that meets the third Friday of each month to educate, entertain, and enhance fishing experience.  Unlike many bass and fly fishing clubs that concentrate on very specific types of fishing, the Rooster Tails Fishing Club provides a balanced mix of fishing techniques presented by fishing experts targeting a variety of fish species on multiple types of waters. For more information contact Jim, Club Chairman, 530-887-0479, or visit the club’s web site at www.roostertailsfishingclub.org.

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A Final Tribute Honoring a Special Lady During Women’s History Month

By Sheila LaPolla  |  2018-03-02

Lt. Balmer holds a plaque recognizing her as the oldest living female member of the American Legion at 108 years old. Photo courtesy of Brenda Sheriff

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Women’s History Month celebrates the vital role of women in American history.  The vibrancy and legacy of women past and present unifies and nourishes our collective whole as we march onward towards fundamental human equality.

Lieutenant Lynn Balmer, born September 12, 1907, on the family homestead in Plumas, California, saw history unfold before her eyes and created a bit of history herself. On her 108th birthday, she was recognized by American Legion Post 709, Rancho Cordova, California, as the oldest living female member of the American Legion.

However, now this special lady has been called to Post Everlasting.  Lynn Balmer died peacefully at her home at Country Village in Chico, California, on December 9, 2017, at the vintage age of 110.  

She was a lifetime member of American Legion Post 709, Rancho Cordova, California, where her nephew, Sgt. Ken Hicks, U.S. Air force veteran, was Historian. He is currently an active member of Post 709. 

She was also a lifetime member of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 637, Citrus Heights, California.

After WWII started, Lynn Balmer joined the military, “to free a man for active duty.”  She served in the U.S. Coast Guard and achieved the rank of Lieutenant (junior grade) LTJG.  Lt. Balmer secured a top secret clearance and worked in Military Intelligence. Using her keen mathematical abilities, she read and interpreted weather maps and charts and used Morse code to help ships navigate through dangerous waters and adverse weather conditions between the United States and England.

Prior to her military service, Lt. Balmer was an elementary school teacher, teaching her first class in 1927.  She later taught mathematics to high school students.  In 1943, her passion for teaching and love for her students, (having no children, she treated each and every child as her own) gave way to her patriotism and love of country when she enlisted in the U. S. Coast Guard.

Yes, Lt. Balmer entered two noble professions and gave of her immense talents whole heartedly.

Between the years of 1946 and 1967 she attended the University of Washington part time, taught mathematics to junior high school students, volunteered at a children’s orthopedic hospital, and was a professional skater to boot.  She retired and moved to Chico, California in the late 1990s with her husband, Charles.

Lynn Balmer’s passion for life lives on.  She told stories about living through World War 1, living through the nationwide flu epidemic in 1918 by wearing bags of asafetida around her neck to school, living through the Great Depression, and when there were shortages of grain and sugar, feeling very lucky that her father had bees so their family of nine children had honey.

Her nephew, Sgt. Hicks, and her extended family and friends continue to carry on Lt. Balmer’s storytelling to the delight of young and old alike.

The Women’s Suffrage movement was going strong in her childhood and when Lynn was 18 years old, she recalled that her mother got to vote for the first time in her life during the 1920 election.  When Lynn became of legal age, she, too, proudly exercised her right to vote and encouraged all women, young and old, to exercise their hard-earned right to vote.

Lt. Balmer died at 110 years old leaving a personal legacy of a life well lived.  She did not let life pass her by.  Her deep love of country and patriotism ignited her commitment to help protect our democracy and way of life. That love still flourishes in the lives she touched personally and by the sheer power of her being. 

She had richness of character, strength, gentleness, and a pioneer spirit exemplifying qualities of our American Legion veterans.

During Women’s History Month, it is only fitting we pay special tribute to Lt. Balmer and reflect upon and celebrate the lives of famous women pioneers and leaders in our history, as well as celebrate the unsung women heroes of our daily lives.    

ARTICLE written by:  Sheila LaPolla Historian, American Legion Auxiliary Unit 383, Fair Oaks, California and Historian, American Legion Riders Chapter 383, Fair Oaks, California

Membership #301190393

(916) 715-3046

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NorCal Auto Racing to Hold Hall of Fame Fundraiser Dinner

By Roy Wilhite, NCAR  |  2018-03-01

Rick Scribner poses with his #15. Photo courtesy NCAR

Gary Gerould to MC "Dinner with the Champions”  event with Racing’s Stars

​Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - Rick Scribner, NCAR’s Vice-president, has been involved in Auto Racing for most of his life.  He even met his wife, Janet, in turn #4 at West Capital Raceway. 

Rick has raced Sprint Cars, Super Modified and Cup Cars on asphalt and dirt.  He has a passion for auto racing (like most race car owners and drivers).  His son Chris currently races the family owned #5 Late Model.

Rick is on the founding Board of Directors of Northern California Auto Racing, Inc., (NCAR).  Rick and his company Scribner Plastics, Inc. is a strong supporter of NCAR's drive to acquire a "Hall of Fame and Museum" for Northern California Auto racing’s large following of enthusiasts.

Like most racing individual's, Rick is looking forward to the NCAR'S "Dinner with Champions" with Gary Gerould

as Master of Ceremonies interviewing Super Stars Rico Abreu and Jack Hewitt on March 18th at the Dante Club  in Sacramento.

The Dante Club is located at 2330 Fair Oaks Blvd, Sacramento, California 95825.

To purchase tickets online go to www.ncar825.com.

You can also purchase your tickets by mail. Make  your check payable to NCAR and send it to 9456 Greenback Lane, Orangevale, California 95662.  For more information call 1-916-709-8400.

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Spring Fling, Bloom Boom Flower Power Planting at Wildlife Care Association of Sacramento

By Rick Reed  |  2018-03-01

Visit www.wildlifecareassociation.com to learn more or donate.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Wildlife Care Association of Sacramento is engaging ‘flower power’ to brighten the non-profit’s rehabilitation facility at McClellan Park. The state’s second largest volunteer wildlife rehab group is transforming the old USAF Radar dome it now calls home with the bright faces of sunflowers!

Volunteers are needed to help plant a sunflower garden as part of the WCA’s regular Spruce UP Saturday on March 17. With assistance from Woodland’s Tom Heaton, creator of fabulous hybrid seeds, his company Sunflower Selections will provide seed for the newest creation in White Sunflower hybrids and Yellow varieties to provide seeds for wildlife. Led by Sacramento’s own garden star, Plant Lady Marlene Simon will create a sunflower line garden in a day.

Spruce UP Saturday is the third Saturday of each month when volunteers join forces to build, repair and maintain the two and a half acre Wildlife Care Association site at 5211 Patrol Road, McClellan Park.  The Bloom Boom flower power event will take place 12noon to 4pm on Saturday March 17 and volunteers can sign up at volunteer@wildlifecareassociation.com.

Saving thousands of birds and small animals each year since 1975, the volunteer non-profit wildlife rehabilitation group depends on community support and care. 98% of wildlife given a second chance to live comes from caring hearts and willing hands of volunteers from across the region. These heroes of nature safeguard the environmental balance in returning birds and small animals to the Sacramento region to balance our quality of life. Injured, orphan and creatures displaced by human activity are brought to the facility each year to heal, grow and be released back to the wild. Visit www.wildlifecareassociation.com to learn more or donate.

Call 916-965-WILD for assistance if you find injured, orphaned or displaced wildlife.

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Today Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R - Rocklin) and Assemblyman Bill Quirk (D - Hayward) introduced AB 2374, the Free Speech on Campus Act of 2018. The bill requires California community colleges and state universities to create and disseminate statements that affirm the importance of free expression, and to provide opportunities for teaching the history and value of the First Amendment.

The legislation was developed in consultation with Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law. The bill was also informed by conversations with Howard Gillman, Chancellor of UC Irvine. His and Dean Chemerinsky’s recently published book, Free Speech on Campus, argues that universities must provide supportive learning environments that also guarantee robust protections for freedom of expression.

“The Free Speech on Campus Act recognizes that an understanding of fundamental principles of free expression cannot be taken for granted,” Dean Chemerinsky said. “Through educational programming, universities can help foster an appreciation for the history and value of free speech, and why it is essential to democratic government and academic freedom.”

The introduction of the Free Speech on Campus Act follows last year’s unanimous passage of legislation by Assemblyman Kiley and Quirk endorsing two free speech statements: the Statement on Academic Freedom by the Chancellor of UC Irvine and the Chicago Statement on Free Expression.

“The Act builds on my and Assemblyman Quirk’s ongoing efforts to protect and promote campus free speech,” Assemblyman Kiley said.  “We are now calling on California universities to create free speech statements of their own, and to ensure that students understand the vital importance of free speech to academic inquiry and debate.”

“Freedom of speech is essential to freedom of thought; it is essential to democratic government; and it is the indispensable element of every other freedom we enjoy,” Chancellor Gillman said. “It is vital that today’s students understand and appreciate the importance of having a safe and inclusive learning environment where any idea can be expressed, evaluated, contested and engaged.”

Assemblyman Kevin Kiley represents the 6th Assembly District, which includes parts of El Dorado, Placer, and Sacramento counties. Assemblyman Quirk represents the 20th Assembly District, which includes parts of Alameda County.

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