PLACER COUNTY, CA (MPG) - Nearly one year ago, 55  International (SI) clubs across northern California and Nevada were challenged by the Sierra Nevada region Governor Vicki Watson to support the “Dress a Girl Around the World” project ( Debi Schneider,  club president, took up the challenge and pledged that the local club would make 300 dresses.

As a result of overwhelming support from club members, theirs friends and family, other community organizations and many businesses, the club has made 470 dresses, reported Schneider. “Many of these girls are receiving a brand new dress for the very first time in their lives,” said Schneider. “The gift of a dress tells the girl that she is important. Additionally, she is less likely to be victimized because the label in the dress shows that she is being watched over by someone who cares.” The dresses are hand carried by people to orphanages and girls in need across the United States and throughout the world. The organization that sponsors Dress a Girl Around the World, Hope 4 Women International, has delivered one million dresses to 81 countries.

Vicki Watson, Governor, SI Sierra Nevada Region, reported at the region’s 42nd Annual Conference held in April that 43 out of 55  clubs participated and together sewed 4003 dress plus gave over $1818 in donations. “Our collaboration with Hope4Women on their Dress A Girl Around the World was a perfect fit,” said Watson. “It provided us with a mission-based project with multiple ways to participate. The big, no huge, unforeseen bonus was the ‘community involvement’ in our efforts. Clubs had other groups sewing, cutting and donating to  for this project.”

The dresses are made of pretty cotton prints and each dress is individualized with contrasting trim and pockets. “The dresses are so cute that everyone enjoys making them,” said Schneider. “Once the fabric is cut out, it only takes an hour or two to make. It is a very satisfying project to work on, at many levels.” The  club also made cloth dolls to insert in one pocket and enclosed a pair of underpants in the other pocket.

To make the dresses, the  club held sew-a-thons at private homes and sewing meetups at Hacker Lab powered by Sierra College in Rocklin. Those, who didn’t know how to sew, learned sewing skills and helped with cutting and ironing, explained Schneider. “People shared the dresses that they made on Facebook, and pretty soon dresses were being made in other parts of the country by sisters and friends,” said Schneider. “Some women sewed more than 10 dresses each. Other women sewed when it was quiet in their office. Several men helped as well. A ninety year old seamstress did beautiful scalloping of every hem on the dresses she made. We gave volunteers ‘kits’ of pre-cut fabric, buttons and trim. Several seamstresses used the ‘kit’ as a pattern and made more dresses from their own store of material.”

The community support was gratifying according to Schneider. “Every inch of fabric was donated,” said Schneider. “Businesses and organizations shared kits with their members and two  churches hand-delivered dresses. We are grateful for the support of The  Senior L.I.F.E. Center, The  Quilt Guild, Hacker Lab powered by Sierra College, Kids Can Sew, Secret Ravine Winery, Barstool Outlet, Sacramento Weavers and Spinners, Nor Cal Retrobirds, Dog and Whistle Goose Control and First Methodist Church of  for helping to make the dresses.”

According to Schneider, 220 of the dresses made through the   club have already been distributed to Costa Rica and Mexico by local church members. “Everyone’s enthusiasm for this project has been incredible,” said Schneider. “People responded so positively to the opportunity to make a difference in young girls’ lives by sharing their talents. There was a wonderful feeling of community to be working on this worthwhile project together.”

Visitors are welcome to learn more about the Sorpotimist International club in  at meetings held on the first and third  of the month at the Train Deport at   ( is an international volunteer service organization for business, professional and retired women who work to improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world.  International of  Basin (www.soroptimistloomis.comis a 501(c)(3) organization.

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SOLEDAD, CA (MPG) -  Less than 24 hours after being reported missing, authorities apprehended two California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) inmates who escaped from the minimum-support facility at Salinas Valley State Prison (SVSP) on Sunday, May 6.

At approximately 2:45 a.m. this morning, CDCR Special Service Unit and Fugitive Apprehension Team officers, operating on information developed during the investigation, located Richard P. Almanza, 23, and Jonathan J. Damiano, 35, at a hotel in the Del Paso Heights area in Sacramento. They were quickly taken into custody without incident, and are being transported back to SVSP.

Almanza and Damiano were reported missing at approximately 8:55 a.m. on Sunday morning. Notification was immediately made to local law enforcement agencies to assist in the search.

Almanza was received by CDCR in July 2016, from Santa Barbara and is serving a four year, 8 month sentence for burglary in the first degree and manufacturing/possession of a blackjack as a second striker. Damiano was received by CDCR in August 2017 from Sacramento and is serving a three year sentence for burglary in the second degree. Both may face charges in this incident.

SVSP opened in May 1996 on approximately 300 acres in Monterey County. The institution provides long-term housing for approximately 3,500 minimum- and maximum-custody male inmates.

Since 1977, 99 percent of all offenders who have left an adult institution, camp or community-based program without permission have been apprehended.

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RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) announced that his AB 2596 successfully passed the Assembly Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy Committee. 

AB 2596 requires the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development to lead the preparation of the California Economic Strategic Plan, outlining economic goals for the state, identifying impediments to those goals, and evaluating the effectiveness of the state’s current economic development programs.

Although California is the sixth largest economy in the world and home to several billion-dollar industries, the state also faces critical economic development challenges. The state’s economic prosperity is concentrated in a few key metropolitan areas, creating inequities in the state’s growth. California has consistently been identified as a challenging place to do business due to regulation, cost, complexity, and high barriers to entry, and the state’s lack of statewide economic development strategy has continually impeded its ability to set and work towards clear priorities. 

“It is important that California utilize data and analytics to best examine our future competitiveness,” said Assemblyman Cooley. “I am authoring AB 2596 because I think it’s the best path forward to releasing the energies of small and large companies to grow the state’s economic future.”

Economic development leaders throughout California support the bill. It is sponsored by the Bay Area Council, Valley Vision, and the Greater Sacramento Economic Council.

Barry Broome of the Greater Sacramento Economic Council said, “AB 2596 is essential for California’s economic prosperity and future as we look to build an inclusive economy. The State of California is a leader in industries of the future, but we lack a comprehensive economic development strategy, especially for places such as the Sacramento region, Stockton, and the Central Valley.  States with integrated economic development efforts on regional economies and industry clusters have greater success.”

AB 2596 received unanimous, bi-partisan support in committee.  It now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Assemblyman Ken Cooley represents the 8th Assembly District which includes the communities of Arden-Arcade, Carmichael, Citrus Heights, Rancho Cordova, Rancho Murieta, Rosemont, Wilton and other portions of unincorporated Sacramento County.   For more information, please visit

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Sacramento Taxpayers Association Releases 2018 Golden Fleece Award Recipients

By Katy Grimes, Investigative Journalist  |  2018-05-04

Katy Grimes

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento Taxpayers Association held its Fourth Annual GOLDEN FLEECE AWARDS, bestowed upon public officials, governmental agencies and organizations for their "wasteful, ridiculous, or ironic use of taxpayers' money," at the STA Annual Dinner April 18, 2018.

“The Sacramento Taxpayer Association is a non-partisan, non-profit, member-supported organization, working to hold government accountable, make it reliable, responsive and efficient – at all levels,” said STA President Katy Grimes. “What could be more non-partisan than taxes?”
“The late U.S. Senator William Proxmire, a Democrat, used to famously issue monthly Golden Fleece awards to public officials he believed were squandering public money,” Grimes said. “It is in his memory that we do the same. I only wish we also could do it monthly,” Grimes added.

The Winner of the 2018 Golden Fleece Award:

.      Ballot Initiative to Impose Strict Rent Control in the City of Sacramento – Democratic Socialists of Sacramento, Sacramento Housing Alliance, Tenants Together and Other Travelers.  A coalition of hard Left groups are seeking to qualify for the November general election ballot a measure that would amend the City of Sacramento’s charter to impose the most draconian rent control of any in the State of California.  Coupled with a statewide initiative effort to repeal the Costa-Hawkins law which limits rent control to older units, the proposed rent control initiative in Sacramento, if approved by voters, is certain to snuff out new construction of rental properties, reduce the rental housing stock and worsen our existing housing crisis.

1st Runner up.:    Darrell Steinberg’s “Project Prosper – Mayor Steinberg and the City of Sacramento.  The Mayor held a series of three public meetings earlier this year, dubbed “Project Prosper,” to ostensibly obtain public input on how Sacramento could “invest” more in Sacramento neighborhoods.  In fact, the effort was a thinly veiled PR effort to try to persuade Sacramento voters to not just permanently extend the expiring one-half percent Measure U “temporary” sales tax approved by voters six year ago, but to double the Measure U tax to a full one percent.

3-Way Tie for 2nd runner up: 

“Winter Triage Center”- City of Sacramento.  With minimal notice to the impacted residents of Woodlake and North Sacramento, the City, with zero prior experience in running a homeless shelter, opened a “Winter Triage Center” on Railroad Dr.  It has no bathrooms, no showers, no heat, no kitchen, no trash facilities, and no facilities for pets or personal belongings.  It’s operating at a cost of $425,000 per month, over $2,000/mo. per resident.  The City promised the North Sacramento community that the shelter would be open for just 3 months. A few months later, it decided to keep it open indefinitely - at a huge increase in monthly rent.

“Housing First” Policies - Federal, State and Local Government.  Under misguided “Housing First” policies, no facilities that house the homeless can insist that its residents commit to sobriety, treatment or make any other effort to improve their own lives.  All government-funded homeless facilities are now “wet,” allowing drunk and drugged homeless to obtain free housing without precondition.  Privately run homeless programs which do require a commitment to change - such as the St. John’s Center of Real Change that cares for women and children - have been defunded by federal and Sacramento County governments, putting their programs in peril.

Twin Rivers Public Housing Project - Sacramento Housing & Redevelopment Agency (SHRA).  SHRA is tearing down an existing public housing project on Richards Blvd. and building a replacement high density project with double the number of units.  It’s intended to be a “mixed income” project, with 50% homeless/public/subsidized housing and 50% market-rate housing.  The apartment units will cost an astronomical $636,000 per apartment.

Honorable Mention:  City of Sacramento for its Failure to Address Public Defecation in  Sacramento –   Enough said.

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Landlocked Salmon Seminar with James Netzel Tightlines Guide Service

By Rooster Tails Fishing Club  |  2018-05-04

Pro Fishing Guide and Salmon Catching Expert, James Netzel.

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 May 18th.  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, James Netzel, Tightlines Guide Service, who will give a seminar on catching landlocked salmon.  James is well recognized by the fishing community as being the go-to guide for the latest techniques, tackle, and rigging to bring home limits of salmon.  James will have hands-on tackle displayed as well as his guide boat for breakfast attendees to see how his downriggers and sonar set-up.  Reservations are not required, but breakfast attendees are encouraged to arrive early for best parking and seminar seating.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) released in 2016 their allotment of 634,430 Kokanee into 13 regional lakes and reservoirs.  Rooster Tail breakfast attendees can expect excellent fishing opportunities in these waters in 2018, when these fish reach a catchable size.  Popular local Kokanee waters include Stampede Reservoir Boca Reservoir, Bullards Bar Reservoir, Don Pedro, Pardee Lake, Union Valley Reservoir, Lake Berryessa, New Melones, and Lake Tahoe. 

In the past, the California Fish and Wild Commission needed to adopt the April season recommended by the Pacific Fish Management Commission (PFMC).  This is the second lowest return ever. In 2009, when the fishing industry was shut down, the return was 40,873.  California Department of Fish and Wildlife Environmental Scientist Kandice Morgenstern said fishing seasons are being curtailed in an effort to increase spawner escapement to the Sacramento and Klamath river basins in 2018.   

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

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Official Big Day of Giving Tally: $7.4 Million Raised for Local Non-Profits

By Sacramento Region Community Foundation  |  2018-05-04

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - During yesterday’s Big Day of Giving, nonprofits in the Sacramento region raised nearly $7.4 million from over 39,500 donations, exceeding the $7.2 million raised last year and bringing the total generated since the inception of this annual giving day to more than $30 million.

“Yesterday, our community once again demonstrated its generosity and commitment to supporting the organizations that make such a difference to us all,” said Linda Beech Cutler, chief executive of the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, which has organized the day-long giving challenge since its beginning in 2013. “We are immensely grateful for the good work these nonprofits do every day and for the donors who gave during this year’s Big Day of Giving.”

In all, nonprofits in the capital area generated $7,365,780* on May 3, and each of the 587 participating nonprofits received donations. The amount each nonprofit raised is available to view on the leaderboard at

Along with helping nonprofits raise much-needed funds, the Foundation offers a robust training program to help build the capacity of participating nonprofits in areas such as donor engagement, board development, collaboration, marketing outreach, and storytelling prior to Big Day of Giving. This year, a record 700 nonprofit staff and board members participated. 

“Its impact is greater than a single day,” said Angie Dixon, Executive Director of The First Tee of Greater Sacramento, which raised $85,541 on May 3. “Each year, Big Day of Giving strengthens our engagement with the community: we take advantage of its myriad opportunities to grow our visibility, collaborate with our nonprofit peers, and elevate our partnership with our Board of Directors, all of which helps bring new supporters to our mission.” 

In addition to the thousands of donors who gave during the annual giving day, nonprofit organizations held more than 70 events throughout the region to promote their missions and generate donations, many of which were the result of collaborations between multiple participating organizations and local businesses. Creating alliances like these among nonprofits is a key goal of the Foundation’s initiative to strengthen the nonprofit sector: Expanding Philanthropy and the Social Economy.

Big Day of Giving was made possible by the Foundation, in collaboration with the generosity of its community partners. To learn more about Big Day of Giving, please visit, and follow it on Facebook and Twitter. The Foundation will announce the date for next year’s Big Day of Giving on those channels in the near future. 

* Final numbers are subject to verification due to credit card reconciliation and match allocations.

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Public Benefits, Eligible Funding Determined for 11 Projects Under Consideration

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The California Water Commission on Thursday determined the public benefits and eligible funding amounts for 11 proposed water storage projects, taking another step toward awarding close to $2.7 billion in funding to help expand the state’s water storage capacity

The decisions capped a three-day meeting in Sacramento in which the Commission heard staff recommendations as well as comments from funding applicants and the public. Eight of the 11 projects will move forward to the next phase of project scoring, while three were deemed ineligible.

“We appreciate the dialogue with applicants and the public this week, and the Commission shares their desire to fund as many eligible projects as possible,” Commission Chair Armando Quintero said. “While our decisions mean some projects will not be eligible for their full ask due to the requirements of Proposition 1, at the end of this process we will be kickstarting a variety of projects that add significant water storage for California’s future.”

Proposition 1, approved by voters in 2014, funds the public benefit aspects of water storage projects: specifically, ecosystem improvement, water quality improvement, flood control, recreation and emergency response. Applications for Proposition 1 funding must detail these public benefits, along with a measurable benefit for the Delta, to receive funding. 

The Commission made decisions on each project’s public benefit value to calculate that project’s public benefit ratio, which is one of four component scores that will be used to determine eligibility for Proposition 1 funding. The ratio is the value of the public benefits divided by the applicant’s funding request.

The value of the public benefits also determines the maximum eligible funding each project can receive from the program due to limits set in Proposition 1. The combined maximum eligible funding for proposed projects now totals $2.819 billion, which is greater than the available Proposition 1 funding. The Commission voted to allow applicants to confirm or adjust their funding request by 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 9. Adjusting the funding request can change the public benefit ratio.

On May 25, staff will release recommendations for the remaining component scores: relative environmental value, resiliency and implementation risk. The Commission will make final decisions on those scores at itsJune 27-29 meeting. Preliminary award decisions will be made at the Commission’s July meeting.

The diverse range of projects under consideration include expanding existing reservoirs, boosting groundwater storage and building new surface water storage facilities.

Proposition 1 dedicated $2.7 billion for the water storage program. As noted at the beginning of the application process, 2 percent of that amount is set aside for bond financing and 2.5 percent is set aside for state administrative costs over the life of the program, so the total funding available is $2.582 billion.

A summary of the Commission’s determinations is below. Additional detail is available here.

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