CHP Offers Free “Start Smart Classes”

Source: California Highway Patrol Media  |  2016-06-14

The leading cause of death for Americans 15-20 years old is motor vehicle collisions. In an effort inform and to reduce motor vehicle collisions in California, California Highway Patrol (CHP) North Sacramento area will offer a free Start Smart class. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), mile for mile, teenagers are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as all other drivers.

Recent collisions involving teenagers in our area demonstrate the importance of these types of classes. The classes are used to promote traffic safety to both parents and teens. We encourage both parent/caregivers and teens to attend the class.

The CHP's Start Smart program is a driver safety education class which targets new and future licensed teenage drivers between the age of 15 -19 and their parents/guardians.

The Start Smart class will cover collision avoidance techniques, driver responsibility, collision trends, distracted driving laws, alcohol related driving laws and the provisional license process. The program also offers an opportunity for new drivers and parents/guardians to ask CHP Officers clarifying questions. The class incorporates videos and classroom discussion.

North Sacramento CHP will be offering this free class on Tuesday, June 28, 2016, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The class will be held at the Sacramento Water and Sewer Treatment Plant at 5026 Don Julio Blvd, in the conference room. This building is located on the northeast corner of Elkhorn Blvd. and Don Julio Blvd.

Persons interested in signing up for the class will need to register for the class by emailing Officer Berry at jeberry@chp.ca.gov or by calling (916) 348-2300. Officer Berry will need the first and last name of every teen attending so that a certificate of completion can be handed to the teen at the end of the class. It is highly encouraged that at least one parent/guardian attend the class with their teen driver. Funding for CHP’s Start Smart programs is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through NHTSA.

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Fire Camp Lets Kids Be Firefighters (For a Week)

Source: Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District  |  2016-05-26

Each day of camp, kids are given a chance to see and learn the varied disciplines of today’s fire service. 
--Photo courtesy of Sacramento Metro Fire Dept.

Metro Fire recently opened the application period for Fire Camp, a day camp that takes place from July 12-15, 2016.  Fire Camp provides local children a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience today’s fire service, first hand.  The program is designed to instill self-confidence, teamwork, teach life safety skills and provide a basic understanding of the firefighting profession, in a fun and exciting atmosphere.

Campers are grouped in “strike teams” of eight campers, and each strike team is mentored by two Metro Firefighters. Campers learn valuable life safety skills, while discovering what it means to be a firefighter.

To attend Fire Camp, applicants must be 11, 12 or 13 years of age, with preference given to those living within Metro Fire’s boundaries.  Applications are processed in the order in which they are received, so apply early for a better chance of securing a spot. Deadline to apply is June 6, 2016.

For applications and more information, visit our website: www.metrofire.ca.gov.

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Sac Metro Begins Search for New Chief

Source: Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District  |  2016-05-26

Sacramento Metro Fire Chief Mark Wells

Due to the December retirement of Fire Chief Mark Wells, the Board of Directors for the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District is seeking a dynamic and visionary leader in the fire service to serve as the next Fire Chief.

Metro Fire is the largest fire agency in the Sacramento region and the 7th largest in California, serving roughly 728,000 people living and working in a 417 square mile area. Metro Fire provides all-hazard emergency services to the communities it serves and assists with emergencies outside our jurisdiction through mutual-aid agreements and deployments on local, state, and federal emergencies around the country.

Last year, Metro Fire's thirty-six fire engines, six fire trucks, and 22 medics responded to more than 93,000 calls for service. As an all-hazard fire district, in addition to Emergency Medical Response and Structure/Wildland Fire Suppression, Metro Firefighters specialize in Hazardous Materials Response (HAZMAT), Aircraft Firefighting, Technical Rescue, Aviation and Dozer Operations, Urban Search & Rescue (US&R), Swift Water Rescue, Tactical EMS (TEMS), Incident Management Teams, and Joint Terrorism Task Force/Homeland Security.

The ideal Fire Chief candidate will have a passion for public safety and be energized by Metro Fire’s fast pace and the diversity of service demands. A proven track record of leading through good, as well as challenging times, in a manner that adheres to the District’s core values of Integrity, Professionalism, Teamwork, and Service before Self will be expected.

Extensive information regarding Metro Fire, including the District’s Budget, can be found at www.metrofire.ca.gov.The closing date for this recruitment is midnight Monday, May 30, 2016. To be considered for this opportunity, follow the instructions on the “Apply Now” feature at www.tbcrecruiting.com.

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Armed and Dangerous Bank Robber Tied to Several Northern California Bank Robberies

Source: Gina Swankie, Federal Bureau of Investigation  |  2016-05-12

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) seeks the public’s help to identify an armed and dangerous individual who has robbed several Northern California banks. The subject is described as a young, white male who is in his 20’s or 30’s and stands approximately six feet tall with a slender build.

Individuals with information about this man may call their local FBI office or 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-885-5984).  Tips may also be submitted online at tips.fbi.gov. If the subject is spotted in the community, the public is urged to call 911 and not approach the individual.

During each of the robberies, the man brandished a black handgun and demanded money from tellers. After receiving an undisclosed amount of money and putting it in a backpack or bag, the suspect left the locations. He has worn a variety of dark colored clothing but has frequently worn stocking caps. Photos of the suspect are available on the FBI’s Wanted Bank Robber website: https://bankrobbers.fbi.gov/robbers-container/2014-11-14.3622866658.

Thus far, the subject has been linked to eight robberies in small Northern California communities.  Most recently, the suspect robbed two banks on Monday, May 9, 2016: Umpqua Bank located at 641 Main Street in Weaverville and Tri Counties Bank located at 9411 Midway in Durham. The unidentified man is also linked to five additional robberies:

  • October 29, 2013, and January 10, 2014
    Umpqua Bank located at 3271 Browns Valley Road in Napa.

  • February 21, 2014
    Westamerica Bank located at 13751 Arnold Drive in Glen Ellen

  • July 28, 2014
    American River Bank located at 16395 Buckhorn Ridge in Pioneer

  • October 27, 2014
    Bank of Rio Vista located at 14211 River Road in Walnut Grove

  • July 13, 2015
    located at 6230 Highway 9 in Felton.

In addition to the FBI, each of the bank robberies are investigated by local police departments serving the communities affected by the robberies.  These agencies include the Napa Police Department, Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, Amador County Sheriff’s Office, Plumas County Sheriff’s Department, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, and Trinity County Sheriff’s Department.

Wanted fugitives, bank robberies, and other cases in need additional information from the public are posted for viewing on the FBI Sacramento Division’s Most Wanted page.

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Nationwide Need for Volunteer Firefighters Grows: Are You Up to the Challenge?

Brandpoint  |  2016-04-14

(BPT) - Did you know that 87 percent of America's 30,000 fire departments are either fully or partially staffed by volunteers? The peace of mind that these firefighters provide their communities is irreplaceable, however, the number of volunteers is declining rapidly. This shortage is threatening the effectiveness of fire departments nationwide, ultimately putting many communities at risk.

Volunteer firefighters act as the first line of defense in an emergency, provide medical services and protect more than 50 percent of Americans, particularly in rural communities. These men and women dedicate significant training hours to ensure they are prepared, often at their own expense.

"Firefighters respond to more than 31 million emergency calls each year - three times the number of emergency responses in 1980," said Volunteer Fire Chief Timothy S. Wall, chair of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Volunteer and Combination Officers Section. "To protect people and property in our communities is an enormous responsibility, but our fire departments are facing many challenges, especially with recruitment and retention of volunteers.”

The decline is the result of fewer people stepping up to volunteer, and the average age of volunteers is increasing every year.

Want to help? Considering supporting your local fire department in the following ways:

Become a volunteer firefighter

As the need for volunteer firefighters grows, the leading manufacturer of residential fire safety products, Kidde, has teamed up with several fire safety organizations to launch the Step Up and Stand Out campaign. This nationwide campaign aims to raise awareness that local fire departments need volunteers in order to keep communities safe and recruit new volunteers.

Recognize a volunteer in your community

Nominate a volunteer firefighter to help your local department earn national recognition and valuable prizes. The Step Up and Stand Out campaign includes a contest hosted on Firehouse.com/vf, which invites the public to submit a brief video nominating a current volunteer firefighter or support volunteer to receive recognition for their community service. Submissions will be accepted until May 21, and online public voting will begin in June. Five finalists will be announced in August and a final public vote will then determine the grand prize winner, who will be revealed at Firehouse Expo in October. The five finalists will receive Kidde smoke alarm donations, industry memberships, NFPA Fire Prevention Week Kits and more. The grand prize winner will also receive a $1,000 department training grant.

Be proactive about fire safety in your home

Help protect your family and your community’s firefighters by ensuring your home has working smoke alarms. NFPA reports that a working smoke alarm cuts the chances of dying in a fire in half. Ten-year sealed battery smoke alarms, like Kidde Worry-Free alarms, use one battery for the life of the alarm to provide 24/7 fire safety protection and eliminate the hassles of low battery chirps.

On average, families have less than three minutes from the time the first smoke alarm sounds to escape a fire, so it’s important to get everyone out efficiently. One of the best ways to be prepared is to create a home escape plan with your family. Practice regularly - both day and night - and know two ways out of each room. Always remember three rules: get out, stay out and then call for help.

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Amador Four Fires Announces Chef Lineup

Source: Jenny Kendrick  |  2016-03-03

Chef Matthew Broucaret

Amador Four Fires Culinary Event Ignites Senses May 7

Amador Four Fires celebrates Amador County’s intertwining roots of wine and food with a lineup of outstanding chefs. Marrying open-fire cuisine with the culinary influences from the region’s Gold Rush heritage, dishes are crafted to perfectly complement the more than 200 featured wines from 37 wineries at the May 7 event.

After delighting attendees last year with herb-infused grilled lamb, chef Mark Berkner returns to the Rhone zone preparing the elegant, fresh fare that has made his critically acclaimed Restaurant Taste in Plymouth noted in publications from the Sacramento Bee to the New York Times. Rated by ZAGAT as one of the top restaurants in the nation, and invited to cook at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City, Berkner promises Provence-inspired dishes at this year’s event.

Representing "Heritage California," Matthew Broucaret, executive chef of the Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort, is a new addition to the culinary line-up. Chef Broucaret has studied under world-class chefs Thomas Keller, Laurant Manrique, and Dan Silverman, and has cooked at the renowned Bouchon and The French Laundry in Napa Valley. Currently overseeing five restaurants with diverse menus, Broucaret combines his haute cuisine influences with the farm-to-fork ethos of Amador County.

“Creating fresh, chef-inspired dishes is what we’re all about,” Broucaret said.

Swiss-born Chef Darius Somary, also of Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort, brings a multi-cultural perspective to fine cuisine. A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts, he studied under renowned chefs Paul Bertolli and Paul Canales, working at the highly acclaimed Oliveto and then starting the successful Sugarloaf catering. Somary’s style pairs traditional European flavors with nouveau California for an exciting new flavor twist. Working with Chef Broucaret, the duo will serve up cuisine inspired by “Heritage California.”

Chef Beth Sogaard, proprietor of Beth Sogaard Catering and the Amador Vintage Market, has cooked around the grapevine, studying at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley before settling in Amador wine country. Using influences from Asia, East India, and Europe, Beth offers her patrons unique and enticing flavor pairings. At the festival’s Iberia zone, Sogaard will again prepare her signature sizzling paellas embellished with shrimp and chorizo.

“Food is our passion here at Beth Sogaard Catering,” Sogaard said. “We aim to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.”

Award-winning chef Carolyn Kumpe, owner and chef of Vendage & Co. Catering, returns to the “Heritage California” zone with a twist. Embracing the Gold Rush’s Chinese population, Kumpe will offer fire-roasted, Asian-inspired dishes. A long-time member of the Slow Food Society and a recent inductee of Les Dame’s d’Escoffier, Sacramento Chapter, Kumpe has cooked at such iconic restaurants as Zuni Café and the Slow Club in San Francisco.

Vowing to top last year’s whole roasted succulent hog, Hotel Sutter Executive chef Adam Masters is a locally recognized restaurateur who will be creating delicious eats to pair with wines in the Italy zone. He took part in the top-ranked “Best Fine Dining” team at the St. George Hotel and has won multiple first place finishes in the Great Sutter Creek Chili Cook-Off and the Chowda Chomp in Volcano. At Hotel Sutter, Masters focuses on local, sustainable products creating Hotel Sutter’s signature farmhouse-influenced dishes.

Demo cards with recipes of the dishes the chefs serve will be provided as a takeaway for those who want to bring home a little Amador Four Fires cuisine into their own kitchens.

The festival takes place at the historic Amador County Fairgrounds on May 7 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tickets are all inclusive (with souvenir glass) and cost $75 in advance and $85 at the door. VIP tickets are $125 in advance and $155 at the door. Designated Driver tickets available. All tickets available for purchase at www.amadorfourfires.com. For more information, call 209-418-5707. The Amador County Fairgrounds are located at 18621 Sherwood St., Plymouth, Calif. Proceeds from Amador Four Fires benefit the nonprofit Amador County Fair Foundation and their “farm to future” mandate to revitalize the county’s beloved fairgrounds as a year-round event venue.

The Amador Four Fires Festival was created by the founders of the Barbera Festival, an annual sell-out event that takes place June 11 at Terra d’Oro celebrating the versatile and approachable Italian barbera varietal. The second annual Amador Four Fires festival celebrates four distinctive wine regions with an immersive array of activities, demonstrations and seminars, designed to ignite all senses in a celebration of flavor and life. Proceeds from the Amador Four Fires festival go to the Amador County Fair Foundation and its Farm to Future Initiative. For more information, go to www.amadourfourfires.com, “Like” Amador Four Fire’s Facebook page or follow @AmadorFourFires and the #A4F hashtag on Twitter.

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Fifth Round of Fire Fee Bills Begins Mailing

Source: Micah Grant, Office of BOE Member George Runner  |  2016-03-01

George Runner

Fire Prevention Fee bills for fiscal year 2015-16 began mailing today to more than 700,000 rural Californians, many of whom are receiving a bill for the fifth time.

"Californians who live in rural areas already pay taxes to fund essential fire services," said Runner. "It's a shame this unfair and illegal tax continues to extract dollars from hardworking people. The Legislature and Governor should repeal it."

Approximately 10,000 bills will be sent each day in alphabetical order by county. The mailing schedule is alphabetical by county, starting today with Alameda County and concluding with Yuba County on June 13.

To protect their eligibility for a refund should the class action suit against the fee succeed property owners should protest by filing a Petition for Redetermination within 30 days of the billing date.

Information on how to appeal is available at http://www.calfirefee.com/appeal.

George Runner represents more than nine million Californians as an elected member of the State Board of Equalization. For more information, visit www.boe.ca.gov/Runner.

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