Five Sacramento area museums will participate in Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and museums across America to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day (May 29) through Labor Day (September 4), 2017. The five local museums participating in Blue Star Museums include the following:  California Automobile Museum, California Museum, Crocker Art Museum, Fairytale Town and the Sacramento History Museum.

This year, more than 2,000 (and counting) museums in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa are taking part in the initiative. The participating museums represent the fine arts, science, history, Native centers, children’s museums and more. The free admission program is available to any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID card, or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card, which includes active duty military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard), National Guard and Reserve members and up to five immediate family members.

Before planning a visit, please contact the individual museums for hours of operation and note some are normally closed on Mondays and in observance of holidays such as Memorial Day and Labor Day. For more information or a complete list of participating Blue Star museums, please visit www.arts.gov/national/blue-star-museums. For more information about SAM or upcoming activities offered by local museums, “like” them on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SacMuseums, follow them on Twitter at @SacMuseums or visit the user-friendly website at www.SacMuseums.org.

Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America. The program runs from Memorial Day, May 30, 2016 through Labor Day, September 5, 2016. For more information, visit www.SacMuseums.org


CRUSH LIFE: Inspiration From the Field

Story and Photos by Ethan Van Horn (Age 13)  |  2017-05-25

Our Wounded Warriors can still take a big swing at life.

I have been playing America’s game ever since I was 3 years old. I love the smell of a stadium hot dog, fresh cut grass, and the sound of a ball when it hits the bat. Baseball is my sport. I enjoy it on and off the field, and I can truly say it is the most beautiful sport around. I’ve been blessed with the speed to run from home to first base in under 4.5 seconds; that’s 90 feet! While I feel lucky to have such talent, I must admit I rarely consider what it would be like not to have these abilities.

I recently had the opportunity to spend a day with the Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team who is made up of some incredibly brave people…true heroes! Not just because they served in the United States military, but because they are amazing, inspiring, and all around brave souls. These men and women were wounded in combat; some lost their arms, some lost their legs… but they never lost their will to succeed!

My dad has been active duty for over ten years now, and I have watched him deploy twice and come back home safely. I never once thought about my dad losing an arm or a leg. I admit feeling like he is indestructible, sort of assuming he would be okay. But the truth is, when a soldier goes to war they are risking their life: there is no guarantee they will be safe.

These warriors went to war just like my dad but they were injured, injured bad. I honestly didn’t know what I was getting into meeting this team. I had never met anyone who lost an arm or leg, and I was a little nervous at first. I kept thinking to myself “What if I offend them with my questions?” I sure didn’t want to do that.

But as I watched these men and women play ball, I realized we share a love of the game. Their bases may not be 90 feet apart, but who cares?! These athletes are doing exactly what I do when I lace up my cleats and hit the field: they are playing the best game around: baseball!

I sat down with two of the players, Cody and Josh, to ask them some questions about their past, and I as in awe by their stories. These athletes were just doing their job, the job they were trained to do, and then the unthinkable happened. They could have given up, but instead they found the courage and the drive to keep on going. They found a new cause to fight for, and refused to let anything get in their way.

Whether they believe it or not they are still heroes, every time they take the field or saddle up to the plate. These athletes get out on that ball field and run, dive for balls, scale the wall for that winning catch, and play their hearts out over and over again. I am sure they must be in pain from time to time, must occasionally stumble on their new legs, but they never give up. By refusing to drop their glove to the ground and quit a game, they send a powerful message about never giving up in life.

I will leave you with something one of the players, Nick, told me, something that will stick with me for the rest of my life. Nick is amazing, his story is so inspiring—this hero has been through more than most of us will ever go through in our lifetime, and he still carries a smile on his face and lives life to the fullest. I asked all the players to sign my jersey, and along with his signature Nick added something special: his personal motto.

I hope it will inspire you as it does me, “Crush Life!”

First printed in MILITARY KIDS' LIFE magazine. Reprinted by permission.


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West Sacramento Cyclocross Grand Prix Designated As Official International Bike Race

Source: City of West Sacramento  |  2017-05-25

Local Race Attracts Major Sponsors

The West Sacramento Cyclocross Grand Prix (WSCXGP) will hold its fourth annual race on West Sacramento’s River Walk Park on September 30 and October 1, 2017. The homegrown race has risen to one of the top cyclocross races and has been honored with two official designations: the newest U.S. international bike race with a Union Cycliste Internationale designation and as a USA Cycling Pro Cyclocross race.

WSCXGP is one of 22 sanctioned bike races in the U.S. and provides an equal prize package for women and men and the largest women’s cash prize in the state. WSCXGP is a City of West Sacramento event that is co-hosted by the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates (SABA) and the West Sacramento-based grassroots group Northern California Cyclocross Association (NORCALCX).

 “We’re thrilled to host this growing international event that brings a festival atmosphere with bands, a local brewery, and food trucks together with exciting cyclocross races,” said West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon. “This event brings a spotlight to City while also providing two days of fun for the community and allowing racers to tear it up—literally—in one of the region’s most beautiful parks.”

Cyclocross is a bike race is held on mixed terrain with racers riding laps on a two-mile compact course. CX is a very accessible form of bike racing; amateurs ride the same course as professionals, and all races pass by the crowd of observers several times. USA Cycling states that Cyclocross is one of the largest growing sectors of bike racing, especially among women. WSCXGP is open to riders of all skill levels and age divisions, and registration will open soon at http://www.norcalcx.org/.

Emily Kachorek, co-owner of Squid Bikes and one of the WSCXGP organizers, is a professional racer who finished 13th at CX Nationals last year and is a former Team USA road racer. She stated, “We started this race four years ago to provide more opportunities for professional cyclocross racers in Northern California to compete at the highest level. Its success shows the growing popularity of the sport and its accessibility to non-professionals. The equal pay out for women is unusual for the sport and attracts some of the top women competitors from around world to West Sacramento.”

WSCXGP also attracted its first presenting sponsor, Toyota Mirai. Toyota will use the two-day event to highlight its Mirai fuel cell vehicle and its commitment to zero-emission transportation and sports. “We’re excited to have Toyota Mirai featured at the race,” said Chris White, communications director at the West Sacramento-based California Fuel Cell Partnership. “It gives us an opportunity to show how hydrogen and fuel cells are an important element in our community.”

Other sponsors include Capital West Realty, Bike Dog Brewing Company, Wicked West Pizza, Edible Pedal Bike Shop, and Bryan Miller Design. Atom Composites, Clif Bar, iHeart Radio, Jon Clay GR, Voler, and Squid Bikes are providing significant support.

Local resident and WSCXGP organizer Matthew Hargrove said, “This event highlights how awesome West Sacramento is. At every turn, we’re involving local companies and organizations, and their embrace of this crazy event just proves that West Sacramento is a great place to live and play!”

What: West Sacramento Cyclocross Grand Prix presented by Toyota

When: September 30 and October 1, 2017

Where: River Walk Park, West Sacramento

More information: http://www.norcalcx.org/.


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Woodland to Close Two Elementary Schools to Limit Spread of Norovirus

Source: Yolo County  |  2017-05-25

Yolo County’s Health Officer, in partnership with the Woodland Joint Unified School District (WJUSD), has decided to take advantage of the upcoming long weekend and close Dingle and Tafoya elementary schools on Friday, May 26, to limit further transmission of the Norovirus in these two schools, which have experienced particularly high rates of the illness.

“While we have enhanced our cleaning efforts and worked to limit student interactions on campus, we need to take an even more aggressive approach at these two schools to end the outbreak,” said Tom Pritchard, WJUSD interim superintendent. “Having students and staff away from school for four days will greatly reduce transmission of the virus and allow for additional deep cleaning at both sites.”

While the Yolo County Health Officer and communicable disease team are working closely with school administrators throughout Yolo County to control the spread of the Norovirus, the number of reported ill throughout the county continues to rise. Current reported numbers of affected students and school staff since May 1 is 3,374.

Yolo County Health Officer Ron Chapman, MD, MPH continues to urge the following actions be taken to prevent further spread of the infection:

  • Stay home if there is any sign of illness such as stomach pain, fever, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea.
  • Individuals who have the above symptoms are considered to have Norovirus. They do not require lab or medical confirmation.
  • Stay home for an additional 48 hours after symptoms are gone. Even though you feel better, you still carry the virus and can infect other people.
  • Wash your hands frequently throughout the day with soap and water.
  • Clean contaminated surfaces regularly with appropriate disinfectant, such as bleach.
  • Do not prepare food and drink for others if you are sick.
  • Questions related to symptoms and treatment should be directed to your primary care provider or clinic.
  • If your child is sick, notify the school and tell them your child’s symptoms.
  • If you or a family member are sick with Norovirus and cannot drink liquids, please seek medical care.

The spread of Norovirus can be prevented by practicing proper hand hygiene. Important strategies include washing hands with soap and water, especially after using the toilet and changing diapers, and always before eating and preparing or handling food.

Symptoms of Norovirus include fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain. Symptoms last for 1-3 days. However, after symptoms go away, people are still highly infectious, especially the first 48 hours. There is no treatment for Norovirus. The most important steps to prevent the spread of Norovirus is to stay home if you are sick, and for another 48 hours after symptoms go away, and to regularly wash hands.

For more information about Norovirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control website: www.cdc.gov/Norovirus/.


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Read Off Your Fines with the Yolo County Library

Source: Yolo County  |  2017-05-24

Beginning May 26, join the Yolo County Library for the Read Off Your Fines campaign. The campaign targets children and young adult library card holders, ages 17 and under, who owe overdue fines on their library card. All eight branches of the Yolo County Library will participate in this campaign.

This year the Read Off Your Fines campaign will be held from May 26 to August 19, 2017, in conjunction with the Summer Reading Program. Participants will be able to deduct $1.00 from their fines for every 15 minutes spent reading a book of their choice in the library and also use those minutes toward earning incentives in the Summer Reading Program.

The Read Off Your Fines campaign encourages youth who have been blocked from checking out library materials to once again take advantage of the many resources and materials available at the library. This program encourages youth to take responsibility for their fines by reading their favorite books, or trying out new ones, in exchange for forgiving overdue fines.

“The Read Off Your Fines program is an opportunity to encourage young people to return to the library,” said Library Administrator Chris Crist. “We hope youth of all ages take advantage of this campaign to lower their overdue fines.”

For more information about the Yolo County Library or the Read Off Your Fines campaign, contact your local Yolo County Library branch, visit: www.yolocountylibrary.org or connect with the Yolo County Library on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/yolocountylibrary.org.


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Vettes & Vets: The American Muscle Car Show

Source: T-Rock Communications  |  2017-05-24

The Vettes & Vets and American Muscle Car Show is being held Monday, May 29, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the California Automobile Museum, 2200 Front Street, Sacramento. 
-- Photo courtesy of the California Automobile Museum

Hit the road to the California Automobile Museum on Memorial Day for the 8th Annual Vettes & Vets and American Muscle Car Show sponsored by Performance Chevrolet. The popular annual event celebrates America’s love for the automobile while honoring our country’s brave veterans and active duty military. All car owners and enthusiasts are encouraged to enter their vehicles – especially Corvettes, American “muscle cars” and military vehicles – in the show that takes place in a parking lot behind the Museum. At noon, the amazing cars on display will be judged in a variety of categories including a best-in-division award for each generation of Corvette.

In addition to the eye-catching automobiles, attendees will be treated to a DJ spinning some classic summer tunes, military color guard and national anthem along with a barbecue lunch available for purchase.

Car show guests are encouraged to visit the California Automobile Museum that has a world-class and ever-changing collection of vintage and classic vehicles on display. Plus, this is a great opportunity to catch the last weekend of the special “To the Rescue: Fire Trucks and People that Saved Our Cities” exhibit. Lastly, military veterans and active duty military (and their families) will receive FREE museum admission all day on Memorial Day in recognition of their service.

The car show is FREE for spectators. To register a vehicle, pre-registration cost is $30 (includes free admission to the museum for driver and one guest). Museum admission is $10 for Adults, $9 for Vintage (ages 65+), $5 Youth (ages 6-18), FREE for children 5 and under. On 5/29, Veterans and Active Duty Military and their families get in FREE.

The Vettes & Vets and American Muscle Car Show is being held Monday, May 29, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. *Gates open at 8 a.m. for show vehicles at the California Automobile Museum, 2200 Front Street, Sacramento.

For More information: 916-442-6802 or www.calautomuseum.org


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Sacramento nonprofit Society for the Blind is one of 13 groups across the nation – and one of only three in California – that are competing in the United States Association of Blind Athletes’ and Anthem Blue Cross Foundation’s fifth annual National Fitness Challenge. Society for the Blind and its competitors will provide more than 300 blind and visually impaired youth and adults with an opportunity to increase their physical fitness levels and live healthier, more active lives. Other California participants are Junior Blind in Los Angeles and Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired in the Bay Area.

“We are pleased to again partner with USABA to help break down barriers, and leverage technology to help those with vision impairments enjoy the physical and emotional benefits of exercise,” said Brian Ternan, president of Anthem Blue Cross. “Together, we want to ensure that those with visual impairments are not denied the opportunity to lead an active life and have the opportunity to avoid the health risks that come from a sedentary lifestyle.”

Research has consistently shown that individuals who participate in regular physical activity to improve their health have higher energy levels, a lower risk of health-related diseases, improved psychological health, and lower rates of depression and anxiety. Because of the many barriers and misconceptions about their abilities, approximately 70 percent of the nearly 56,000 children and youth who are blind and visually impaired in the United States do not participate in even a limited physical education curriculum.

When the National Fitness Challenge kicked off in Sacramento this spring, participants who signed up with Society for the Blind had a number of physically challenging activities to look forward to. In efforts to increase participants’ levels and step counts, staff at Society for the Blind will be working with dance instructors, personal trainers, judo instructors and more. In addition to raising their overall physical activity, participants will also become more aware of opportunities in their community.

“Society for the Blind is honored and excited to again be a part of the National Fitness Challenge,” said Shari Roeseler, executive director. “This partnership with USABA and Anthem raises awareness and, more importantly, participation of people with vision loss in health and fitness activities. We look forward to friendly challenges among our fellow participating agencies as we increase the physical fitness and overall health and wellness of our participants.”

For more than 60 years, Society for the Blind has created innovative ways to empower individuals living with low vision or blindness to discover, develop and achieve their full potential. Society for the Blind has grown from a dedicated group of volunteers that included the Lions Clubs of America to a nationally recognized agency and the only comprehensive rehabilitative teaching center that provides services for a 27-county region of northern California. The nonprofit provides low-vision eye care, life and job skills training, mentorship, and access to tools to maintain independence for 6,000 youth, adults and seniors experiencing vision loss each year. For more information or to make a donation: www.SocietyfortheBlind.org.

Since its founding in 1976, USABA, a community-based organization of the United States Olympic Committee, has reached more than 100,000 blind individuals. The organization has emerged as more than just a world-class trainer of blind athletes, it has become a champion of the abilities of Americans who are legally blind with a mission to enhance the lives of blind and visually impaired people by providing the opportunity for participation in sports and physical activity. For more information: www.usaba.org, www.twitter.com/USABA or on Facebook as United States Association of Blind Athletes.

In addition to grant funding, Anthem Blue Cross Foundation will provide volunteers at events across the state during the nine-month program. Local employees will have the opportunity to meet participants and help them achieve their health and wellness goals.

Through charitable grant making, the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Association promotes Anthem Blue Cross’s inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that the company serves. The foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s year-round Associate Giving program and its parent foundation provides a 50 percent match of associates’ pledges.

®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross names and symbol are registered marks of the Blue Cross Association. Anthem Blue Cross is the trade name of Blue Cross of California. Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Association. For more information: www.twitter.com/AskAnthem,  www.twitter.com/AnthemBC_News or www.facebook.com/AskAnthem.


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Hit a Home Run For Patients This May!

Source: BloodSource  |  2017-05-17

BloodSource Lifesaving Blood Drive at the Southport Town Center Plaza

WHAT: Due to the ongoing need to maintain a constant blood supply, BloodSource will host a community Blood Drive on Tuesday, May 30, 2017 at the Southport Town Center Plaza, near Nugget Market, 2525 Jefferson Blvd., West Sacramento.

All BloodSource blood donors can Hit a Home Run for Patients this May. Donors will receive a promo code for this one-of-a-kind, limited edition T-shirt for only 200 MyBloodSource Rewards. It's a special way to thank donors for helping patients in need and showcases a fan's hope for the home team. Click here for more information on this promotion.

Steven Lee was a senior in high school when diagnosed with leukemia. “Ironman” has fought his way through intense chemotherapy, radiation treatments and two marrow transplants. Generous blood donors helped Steven survive and he now looks forward to a healthy future.

WHEN: Tuesday, May 30, 2017, 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

WHERE: West Sacramento Community BLOOD DRIVE

Bloodmobile located near Nugget Market, 2525 Jefferson Blvd. WALK-IN’S NEEDED

CALL: For donor eligibility questions ore additional information contact BloodSource at 1-866-822-5663

About Blood Donation
Donating blood is safe, easy and takes about an hour. Donors must weigh at least 110 pounds, 16 & 17 year olds can donate with a signed BloodSource parental consent form, and be in general good health. There is no upper age limit for blood donations Donors must bring a photo ID and should drink plenty of fluids before donating. Potential marrow donors can register for Be The Match national marrow registry through BloodSource. Find more information or to schedule an appointment call 866.822.5663 or visit www.bloodsource.org.

About BloodSource:
Established in 1948 as a not-for-profit community blood bank, BloodSource provides lifesaving services to millions of people in 26 counties throughout Northern and Central California.

MyBloodSource:
BloodSource donors can now access a personal blood donor page at bloodsource.org/mybloodsource to redeem Rewards available at each blood donation, review mini-physical results and other resources. Log on today!


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Join Yolo County Library at the River Cats Game on May 26

Source: Yolo County  |  2017-05-17

Join Yolo County Library staff at Raley Field on Friday, May 26 as we kick-off our annual Summer Reading Program. Watch the Sacramento River Cats battle the Memphis Redbirds and support the Library by purchasing special Assembly section seats for the game. Tickets may be purchased online by going to www.yolocountylibrary.org. Simply click on the scrolling “Summer Fun” banner, click on Find Tickets, and use the Promo Code: YOLO17. Yolo County Library receives a portion of the proceeds from the ticket sales as well as proceeds from the game night’s 50/50 raffle.

Funds raised will support Yolo County Library’s summer reading programs. “Children who don’t read during the summer can lose up to two months of learning by the time they return to school in the fall,” said Yolo County Library Administrator Chris Crist. “Library summer reading programs help prevent summer learning loss by building a bridge so children score higher on reading and math when they return to school.”

Game attendees can sign up for the Summer Reading Program, receive special incentives at the Library’s outreach table, check out books from the Library Book Bike, sit in the special “Yolo County Library” section, and cheer for beloved Esparto Regional Library Branch Supervisor Malinda Baker as she throws the first pitch!

Fans can still support the Library even if they are unable to attend the May 26 game. Tickets purchased for the fundraiser may be exchanged at the River Cats box office for any Sunday-Thursday game in the 2017 season.

Gates open at 5:00 P.M. and the first pitch will be thrown at 7:05 P.M. Carpools of four or more persons may receive a free parking voucher: http://bit.ly/CarpoolPass. Additional River Cats promotions that evening include Irish/Scottish Heritage Night and Orange Friday, featuring live music, post-game fireworks, giveaways, and orange Sactown jerseys.

Yolo County Library’s annual Summer Reading Program runs from May 26 through August 19. Each of the eight library branches will celebrate this year’s theme, Reading by Design, by hosting programs that include reading incentives for children, teens, and adults. The Summer Reading Program is free and sponsored by the various Friends of the Library groups and local donors.

For more information, visit your local Yolo County Library branch or the Yolo County Library website at: www.yolocountylibrary.org. You can also connect with the Yolo County Library on Facebook at www.facebook.com/yolocountylibrary.org.


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Bill Giving Tax Relief to Homeowners and Renters Passes First Hurdle

Source: Office of Assemblyman Matthew Harper  |  2017-05-17

On May 16th, Assemblyman Matthew Harper (R-Huntington Beach) and Assemblyman Phillip Chen (R- Diamond Bar) announced the passage of their “American Dream” bill which increases the existing homeowners’ exemption on their property tax from $7,000 to $25,000, giving relief to homeowners, renters and those aspiring to own a home.

“Homeowners and renters in California are paying some of the highest overall taxes in the nation,” Assemblyman Harper said. “It’s about time that the size of the homeowner’s property tax exemption kept up with the increases in cost of living. Also, I want to thank Orange County Assessor Claude Parrish for working with me to bring this bill forward.”

“High property taxes are making it impossible for too many Californians, who spent their lifetime living and working here, to stay”, said Assemblyman Phillip Chen. This bill would provide immediate relief for millions of homeowners with an emphasis on helping those whose taxes far exceed their ability to pay.”

The homeowner’s exemption hasn’t been increased in 40 years. Meanwhile, the cost of a median priced house has increased from $21,000 to over $450,000, and represents a home that only 30 percent of Californians can afford to purchase. California has a housing crisis and providing tax relief for homeowners and renters will unquestionably lead to enhanced economic stability,” said David Wolfe, Legislative Director with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

The “American Dream” bill will also adjust the renter’s credit by a corresponding amount.


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