Sacramento Area Cadets Become CHP Officers

Story by Trina L. Drotar  |  2018-12-22

Photos by Trina L. Drotar and courtesy CHP

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) – When they woke on the morning of Friday, November 16, the 46 men and women who arrived for final inspection spent their last morning as California Highway Patrol cadets. The class of 43 men and 3 women received their stars in a ceremony filled with pomp, circumstance, and a lot of fun.

Poor air quality had cancelled the cadets’ run to the state capitol earlier in the week, and the final inspection had to be moved from the quad into the dining hall, and the emergency vehicle operator course (EVOC) demonstration was also cancelled, but none of those things dampened the spirit and the joy shared by cadets and their family and friends upon finishing a grueling six months at the state’s only CHP Academy.

Among the graduates was Margarito Meza, the first graduate in the Law Enforcement Candidate Scholars (LECS) program at Sacramento State which began in 2017 to prepare college students from all disciplines for careers as sworn law enforcement officers at the local and state level. Program director Shelby Moffatt and a large group of LECS students were on hand to support Meza. Four are currently in the CHP Academy and are expected to graduate in 2019.

Early arrivals toured the Academy’s museum and learned the history of the CHP and its role in popular culture. Timelines, motorcycles, including a rare 1941 model, and communications equipment spanning several decades are on display in the museum which is open to visitors Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:45 p.m. and is free of charge.

Not free were the hours of intense physical and mental training that cadets endured during their six months away from family and friends. Cadets live on the West Sacramento campus for the duration of their training and education which includes a host of courses from basic Spanish to marksmanship to how to perform field sobriety tests. They must pass the EVOC driver training, attain certification in arrest techniques, and keep on top of their physical training. During the ceremony, a short film created by the graduating class provided family and friends a glimpse of life during the past six months at the Academy.

Prior to the ceremony in which cadets received their badges, they underwent their final inspection. Photos were snapped and hugs were given to cadets for a few minutes before the inspection began. Commissioner Warren Stanley, Deputy Commissioner Scott Silsbee, Assistant Commissioners Amanda Ray and Nick Norton, and Captain James Mann greeted each cadet, moving through the ranks, shaking hands, and providing encouraging words to each.

In that group was Erik Rodriguez of West Sacramento whose family was joined by several of his military buddies who had flown in from Texas for his special day. The 34-year old veteran was honored with a plaque for being the class’s most inspirational cadet, and he was recognized for his work as one of the company commanders. He will report to the San Francisco Bay Area for his first assignment as an officer.

Graduates are required to report to their first assignments within ten days and are sent where the greatest need is so many were sent to the southern part of the state. Cadets select up to three possible choices and are never first stationed in Sacramento.

Perhaps the brightest smiles to be found were from Cortez Sanders of Sacramento, his parents, and his extended family. His proud father, Bennett, was also recognized during the ceremony as he is a CHP employee. Sanders’ mother, Adrienne, said that she is very proud of her son and all the work he put into becoming an officer. It was his father who held the honor of pinning the badge on his son, one of the traditions that did occur outside as is custom.

Cortez will report to Redwood City for his first assignment and will be joined there by fellow Sacramentan David Waggoner who was honored as outstanding athlete. Also headed to Redwood City are Trevor Gossett of Sacramento and David Tran of Elk Grove.

                For additional information, visit: https://www.chp.ca.gov/chp-careers/officer/life-in-the-academy. For additional information about the LECS program, visit: https://www.csus.edu/hhs/lecs/.

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Religious Freedom Conference

By Gary Zavoral  |  2018-12-22

From left, Associate Justice George Nicholson of the Third District Court of Appeals; Dr. John Mark Reynolds, a Houston Christian college administrator and popular Evangelical speaker; Elder Paul Watkins of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Dr. John Jackson, president of William Jessup University in Rocklin.

Area Christians Counseled to Be Civil When Debating Religious Freedom

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - About 600 Christians who gathered Friday, Nov. 16, to learn how to help preserve religious freedom in America were told to boldly declare their beliefs, but to debate civilly.

“And why must we do it civilly? Because the alternative is civil war,” said Dr. John Mark Reynolds, a Houston Christian college administrator and popular Evangelical speaker. “Not a shooting war, but a civil war of the soul, where we tear apart people … because we cannot compromise, because we cannot speak civilly, because we cannot just agree to disagree, but to boldly disagree.”

Reynolds, an expert on culture, society and philosophy, was the featured speaker in the first of three conferences bringing people of different faiths together to learn how to work side by side to preserve religious freedom. The series is presented by the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento, Rocklin’s William Jessup University and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This first conference was held at The Church of Jesus Christ’s Chapel on Temple Hill in Rancho Cordova.

To show how far the United States has come in its intolerance of religious views, Reynolds quoted former U.S. Pres. Teddy Roosevelt, who said at a national convention at the turn of the 20th century, “We stand at Armageddon and we battle for the Lord.”

“Can you imagine what the Washington Post would do to the presidential candidate who would dare to say that today?” Reynolds asked.

Reynolds drew from history – especially the Bolshevik revolution in Russia – to show the result of what happens to a culture and even entire nations when a society blocks religious rights.

“A culture will die when religious freedom dies,” he said, “because religious freedom is the first freedom.”

He told about his great-great-grandfather leaving his family and farm to volunteer to fight for “Mr. Lincoln and liberty” in the Civil War.

“When I am told that religious people should be quiet about their religious beliefs, I point out that my great-great-grandfather did not leave to fight for a secular state. But instead he marched to a song that said, ‘In the beauty of the lilies, Christ was born across the sea, with a glory in His figure that transfigures you and me, as He died to make men holy, let us’ – in the version I was taught – ‘die to make men free,  His truth is marching on.’ … His motivation was purely religious.”

Asked how we can effectively engage in a discussion about religious freedom among our neighbors in California, where there are so many voices wanting to squelch these freedoms and often are uncivil in their tone, he told of the four-fold lesson he learned from his mother, who loved to debate:

  1. If you lose your temper, you lose. He said to follow the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you, no matter how unpleasant others may be.
  2. Some people aren’t going to like you, even if you’re nice. “You can’t be so nice that you won’t have enemies.” After all, he said, “They killed Jesus, and you can’t get nicer than Jesus. I’m not trying to be flippant, but if you state your views clearly and you’re totally nice, there are still people who won’t like you.”
  3. Love your enemies. “Our Savior believed that you had to love your enemies, which means that Christians must be capable of making enemies. And some people are so nice that they’re incapable of making enemies. That’s not called being nice, that’s called being spineless.”
  4. Sometimes shut up. “When somebody is really suffering or hurting on an issue,” he said, “they come to you and say, for example, ‘Look, this sexual identity is central to my life and you disagree with me,’ just sit and listen. You’re probably not going to change anyone’s mind.” Reynolds said when he has had such disagreements, even with some in his own family, he tells them, “Here’s what I think, and I’ll tell you when I change my mind. … Because there’s more to life than this and we’ve clearly expressed our views, and we should just move on.” The relationship with family and friends is more important than the issue, he reminded the audience.

In closing, Reynolds told how Daniel of the Old Testament endured 70 years in Babylon, thanks in part to three or four miracles, but mostly because he was smart and cagey, having learned how to live among the Babylonians without having to compromise his core values and beliefs.

Emphasizing the need for civility in our conversations and debates, Reynolds said, “Some of us are so obnoxious that we need the miracle ratio to be daily, not one every 20 years. But if you’re getting yourself thrown into a lion’s den every day, you’re doomed.”

The next conference in this “Preserving Religious Freedom” series is planned for March 2019. For more on the series, including videos from local leaders on the importance of religious freedom, go to http://jessup.edu/religious-freedoms-with-a-civil-voice/.

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Sutter’s Fort to Present “Hands on History

By Traci Rockefeller Cusack   |  2018-11-25

"A Simple Emigrant Christmas" event at Sutter

"A Simple Emigrant Christmas" on December 8

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - California State Parks, Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park (SHP) and Friends of Sutter’s Fort are proud to present an interactive, fun and festive “Hands on History: A Simple Emigrant Christmas” event on Saturday, December 8, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.   

Fort visitors will be delighted to have the opportunity to step back in time to the 1850s to enjoy festive holiday traditions from early in California’s early history when people from around the world passed through the Fort gates, each with their own customs and traditions for the holiday season. Friends and families are encouraged to visit the Fort to experience a variety of early holiday traditions and cultural activities similar to what early emigrants enjoyed. Complete with docents in period attire, entertaining vignettes will be set up that showcase a few of the diverse holiday scenes that will include food, music, decorations and other holiday traditions. As a special treat for kids of all ages, Father Christmas will be on-hand to hear holiday wishes.

Fort visitors can also participate in a number of hands-on activities such as dipping and creating their own holiday candles, crafting their own “keepsake” holiday ornaments – that include snowflakes, cornhusk angels and bird nests – plus making holiday cards with nib (or “dip”) pens and colored ink, grinding raw wheat into “Christmas flour,” singing Christmas carols with Fort musicians and more.  And, of course, popular demonstrations of black powder weaponry in action will take place including the crowd-favorite firing of the Fort’s cannon. Additionally, Friends of Sutter's Fort Trade Store will be open, providing complimentary samples of gold nugget chocolates and offering a special holiday sale. 

Admission costs for this special “Hands on History: A Simple Emigrant Christmas” event at the Fort are as follows: $7 per adult (18 and older), $3 per youth (ages 6 to 17) and free for children 5 and under.  For more information, please call 916-445-4422 or visit www.suttersfort.org

Source: T-Rock Communications

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Annual Wildlife Photo Contest Takes Flight

By Rick Reed  |  2018-11-18

 2015 Fall Photo Contest Winner from Sac County. Photo courtesy Rick Reed.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - One picture. That’s all it takes to be a winner. Take your mobile or camera outside and give us your best shot of a bird or birds in your backyard, local park or other wild location! It’s easy.

Submit your picture on the Wildlife Care Association Facebook page as a message with photo attachment. Contest is open through December 31, 2018. Entries can be made in two categories- Under 12 years old you can enter FREE! Those over 12 are asked to include a minimum $5.00 donation to WCA on the Facebook donate link for each entry. (Under 18 years old? Ask your parents to help!)

Each photo may be entered once, but individuals may submit more than one. Enter often and donate to help the WCA heroes of nature save thousands of injured, orphaned and displaced wildlife every year. The non-profit wildlife rehabilitation volunteers depend on the community for their support giving wildlife a second chance to live.

The WCA Photo Contest winner will be awarded a special prize including a guided tour of the Dome at McClellan Park, their photo featured in the newsletter, posted at the rescue facility and on Facebook/Instagram as a hero of nature!

Submissions should include your email, the location photo was taken, and your best guess what type of bird this might be.  Enter @wildlifecareassociation on Facebook.

One picture will be chosen from submissions to determine a winner. WCA staff reserves the right to select a winner from content and other factors including artistic merit. All photos submitted become the property of WCA for its use in outreach, education and fundraising.

Snap some shots, submit them and let’s see if they fly! For more information call 916-965-WILD

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SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - With the election just weeks away, the Yes on Prop 6 Gas Tax Repeal Campaign has released government documents and records showing numerous examples of “epic levels” of waste, fraud and abuse of gas tax funds and other taxpayer resources at Caltrans and local transportation agencies throughout California.

The records and documents were obtained through the California Public Records Act (CPRA) process and cover only materials received back from the CA Dept. of Transportation (Caltrans), local transportation agencies in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County, the Bay Area, and Sacramento. Other local government agencies also receive and spend gas tax funds - raising the question of how many more examples of waste of gas tax funds exist.

“These examples of outrageous waste of the gas tax and other taxpayer resources provide the best reason to vote YES on Prop 6 the Gas Tax Repeal Initiative,” said Carl DeMaio, chairman of the campaign. “Our existing gas tax funds are being wasted and we demand that these revelations of outrageous expenditures be immediately reformed before we give these people any more of our taxpayer dollars,” noted DeMaio.

“These outrageous examples of waste of our gas tax funds is proof that voters cannot trust California government agencies with even a penny more of their money until efficiency and accountability reforms can clean up these excessive expenditures,” said Carl DeMaio, Chairman of Yes on Prop 6 Gas Tax Repeal Campaign. “Voters can send a strong message by voting YES on Prop 6 to repeal the costly and unfair gas and car tax hikes,” DeMaio concluded.

Facts about this massive hike:

–Voting Yes on Prop 6 will repeal the car and gas tax, and ensures that any future car and gas taxes must be approved by the voters
–On Nov 1, 2017, Californians became subject to an additional tax of 12.5 cents more per gallon (20 cents more for diesel)
–Estimates suggest it will cost an average family of four $779 or more per family, per year
–The tax also hits business owners who rely on transporting goods, raising the cost of everything from apples to bread, and everything in between
–Vehicle license fees (car tax) will increase as much as $175 a year - striking the wallets of hard-working families across the state
–The tax revenue goes into the state’s General Fund, meaning there’s zero guarantee the money will be used to actually fund the transportation “fixes”  they claim will happen
–Nearly 1 million signatures were collected to qualify the measure on the November ballot; just over 550,000 were required

For more information go to GasTaxRepeal.org

 

 

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Job demand and hiring trends for the 4th Quarter

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Sacramento employers have slowed hiring with shortages of skills and applicants. However, they continue to seek expansion of workforces in the final Quarter of 2018. Down from sixty-six percent (66%) hiring in the previous three months, Pacific Staffing discovered in direct contacts with top regional employer’s fifty-seven percent (57%) will hire in October, November and December. Twenty percent (20%) of all companies report a lack of applicants as a major challenge.

While top regional employers, contacted by phone between August 23rd and September 21, will cut overall marketplace demand, those seeking workers are still motivated by expansion or growth needs in the workforce. Forty-one percent (41%) will hire for growth in the next three months with replacements within existing workforces accounting for thirty-two percent (32%) of employer demand in the Quarter ahead. Six percent (6%) of Sacramento companies also report some increased hiring for seasonal needs thru the next three months. Only one company polled reports plans to reduce workers with layoffs in Fourth Quarter (Q4) due to market slowdowns.

Seasonal shopping is going to be a gamble as Sacramento retailers polled were split 50/50 on hiring or not in October, November and December. Twenty percent of employers surveyed say simply finding applicants is a major challenge in meeting demands in the Sacramento market. Retention is another challenge. Signing bonuses and incentives like additional vacation or Flex time are being offered in the efforts to keep current skilled, experienced workers at the job and attract talent from outside the area.

One trend in employment and management appears to have lost some of the luster enjoyed in the past decade. When asked in the current booming economy with shortages of skills and applicants if ‘outsourcing’ work overseas is IN or OUT, fifty-eight percent (58%) of all Sacramento companies reported no interest in using it. While some regional employers have ‘outsourced’ and others have not, some are unable to and some forbidden to, outsourcing issues cited included ‘challenges’ in cost, management and additional paperwork in compliance with government rules.

Twenty-four (24%) of Sacramento companies report finding some specific success in utilizing out of market and international resources for printing, design, office or management functions and customer service needs. Skills in top demand for Q4 include drivers, sales, tech, warehouse, shipping and manufacturing. Employers also cite needs for specialized skills including escrow/mortgage, accounting/finance and construction trade workers.

For more information, employment blogs and market surveys go to www.pacificstaffing.com.

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Californians Who Missed Traditional Deadline another Opportunity to Register to Vote                 

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG)  - There is a new option for Californians who missed the October 22 deadline to register or update their voter registration for the November 6, 2018, General Election. A new option known as conditional voter registration allows eligible citizens to register and vote on the same day, today through Election Day. 

“There is a new opportunity for California citizens who missed the voter registration deadline — conditional voter registration,” Secretary of State Alex Padilla said. “If you missed the regular voter registration deadline you may not be able to vote at your local polling place or by mail, but you still have an opportunity to cast a ballot. Between now and Election Day, you can go to your county election office or a designated satellite location to complete the conditional voter registration process by filing out a voter registration card and a ballot. Once county elections officials complete the regular voter registration verification process, your ballot will be processed and your vote will be counted. This is yet another step we are taking to expand voting rights in California.” 

“If you are unsure of your voter registration status, you can quickly check it at voterstatus.sos.ca.gov,” Padilla added. 

Voters in Madera, Napa, Nevada, Sacramento, and San Mateo counties can access conditional voter registration at any Vote Center in their county. These counties are adopting the Voter’s Choice Act. To learn more about the Voter’s Choice Act, visit: http://voterschoice.sos.ca.gov

Source: California Secretary of State 

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