CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - HOPE (Healthy Outcomes for Personal Enrichment) is a local nonprofit organization that offers affordable counseling services to the community. They rely on fees for services as well as community donations to keep costs low for their clients. HOPE is hosting their second annual Hops for HOPE fundraiser, which will be held at River City Brewing Company on October 4, 2018. The event is from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 per person and include appetizers and two drink tickets. River City Brewing Company (which is located in Milagro Center at 6241 Fair Oaks Boulevard in Carmichael) generously donates wine, beer, and staff for the event.

Community donations are especially important because HOPE’s mission is to offer affordable sessions to those in need. Darlene Davis, executive director of HOPE, explained that there is a group of people who do not qualify for Medi-Cal but also do not have access to affordable counseling through traditional insurance. The goal of HOPE is to serve this segment of the community by offering counseling on a sliding scale depending on what the client is able to pay. Typically, $40 per session is the lowest rate, but HOPE does occasionally offer sessions for $20 to those in the greatest need.  

The experienced licensed therapists of HOPE not only work with clients to improve their well-being, but they also work in a supervisory capacity to train new therapists. To become a licensed therapist, it requires a master’s degree and 3,000 hours of supervised therapy sessions. It is an extremely intensive process, and HOPE is proud to support the next generation of therapists who will serve the community.

One of the reasons HOPE is able to offer such affordable rates is because graduate students who are working toward becoming licensed therapists volunteer as trainees. As part of the training process, HOPE offers clients an eight-week counseling program known as the One-Way Mirror. During this program, trainees conduct counseling sessions in a room with a one-way mirror that allows supervising therapists and other trainees to watch the session in real time. The trainee wears an ear-piece so the supervising therapist can offer immediate feedback and suggestions. Davis explained that it is like having eight therapists at once. The cost is only $25 per session, and clients sign up for this program knowing that they are getting the help they need while also giving the trainee valuable hands-on experience.

The supervising therapists at HOPE work hard to train people with integrity who are eager to serve the community. Davis takes great pride in the work they do and in their dedicated trainees and associates. Davis said, “We all work in our communities, and it’s so important to us that we’re building healthier communities by building healthier families.”

To better serve all those in need, HOPE offers many specialized forms of therapy such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which helps people understand and address harmful thoughts and actions; Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), which offers strategies to accept, destigmatize, and live with mental illness; Active Parenting of Teens (APT), which teaches parents how to talk to their teens and to watch for signs of high-risk behavior; and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), which addresses how the brain accesses and reacts to traumatic memories.

Donations to HOPE help pay for standard operating costs as well as to purchase needed equipment for specialized therapeutic techniques. Davis first began operating HOPE as a nonprofit in 2008. She said, “I just wanted to give back to the community and give back to the profession, and it’s grown into what it is today.”

HOPE has offices in mid-town Sacramento, Roseville, and Folsom. For more information, visit their website at www.hope-counselingcenter.org.

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Second Annual Best of Arden Awards

Story by Trina L. Drotar; Photo by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2018-09-28

(L-R) front row: Deborah Murphy; Linda Aleman; Shaun Dillon; Jonathan Glatz; Jessica Fielding; Danielle Lawrence; Ashton Benge. (L-R) back row: Matthew Ceccato; Chris Brieno; Eric Benning; Baby Eleanor; Upen J Patel, DDS; Austin Schlocker.

ARDEN-ARCADE, CA (MPG) - The Greater Arden Chamber of Commerce’s Best of Arden awards kicked off at 6 p.m. with classic rock, soda, water, and what seemed to be a never-ending stream of pizza boxes. The room was abuzz with voices, laughter, and networking.

A handful of awards were presented with certificates from the offices of Congressman Ami Bera, Assemblyman Ken Cooley, and Senator Richard Pan. Some recipients had their hands more than full with the awards and certificates. Four business and two nonprofit categories received nominations from the community between July 1 and August 31. Two new categories for 2018 rewarded employees who received nominations from co-workers and management. Arden Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Shaun Dillon hosted the event.

Locally owned and operated Express Employment Professionals received the Best Business (Large) award and was recognized a second time when Linda Aleman, staffing assistant for office services, received a Best Employee award.

Another twice-recognized business was Benning Design Construction which received the Best Business (Medium) award and the firm’s estimator, Ashton Benge, was given the Best Employee award. “A great team player who never comes to work in a bad mood,” said Dillon. Even baby Eleanor was excited about the Best Business award.

The Best Business (Small) recipient was Upen J. Patel, DDS. Dillon spoke about Patel’s giving back to the community and said that he is expanding his office. New York Life agent Austin Schlocker took home the Best Business (Independent) award.

Danielle Lawrence of Mutual Assistance Network accepted the award for Best Nonprofit (Community) which meets at the Arcade Community Center the third Tuesday each month and works to improve Arden Arcade and provide networking opportunities.

The Best Nonprofit (Youth) went to Sheriff’s Community Impact Program (SACSCIP). Jessica Fielding, the organization’s director, spoke about the boxing mentoring program and youth leadership programs and said that Arden Arcade “has the highest rates of drug and alcohol use in all of Sacramento County,” which is why the Coalition for a Safe & Healthy Arden Arcade (a program of SACSCIP) has initiatives and programs focusing on reducing youth alcohol and drug use.

Fielding also introduced the Responsible Alcohol Merchant Awards (RAMA) program.

“Students are actually trained in prevention. They go into stores and they actually interview the manager or somebody on site. They survey the store and they really encourage best practices to be implemented.” Best practices include not keeping the alcohol next to toys or the front door, she explained. “The biggest goal is to support healthy businesses.”

Each youth associated with the two year old program joined Fielding. Students, she said, check signage to make sure that the windows aren’t covered “so you can’t see what’s going on in the store.” They also check for on-site security and loitering. Most, but not all, students are from Arden Arcade high schools.

Josselyn Cardenas, a senior at Valley High School said, “I come all the way from Elk Grove every single week just to be part of this coalition.” Being part of the coalition, she said, was eye opening. “There are some stores that are implementing regulations, rules, and standards to reduce the youth access to alcohol.” She was sad that other stores didn’t seem to care. “It was a very good experience for me.”

Mya Worko, a recent graduate of Encina Preparatory High School and current student at Sacramento City College, presented a spoken word piece she created about her experience in the program.

A short video highlighted the program. “We want to reward a few of our stores,” said Fielding. “We do have some amazing stores. Specifically 7-Eleven that has been so proactive and has always welcomed our students.”

Representatives from 7-Eleven stores on Howe Avenue, Arden Way, Fulton Avenue, and Marconi Avenue received awards. Fielding congratulated the stores on “doing a great job to protect the Arden Arcade community.” Each store received a plaque to display in the store. Rite Aid on Watt Avenue will have its award delivered. Each student was also awarded a certificate.

 “Our goal is to build positive relationships with the merchant owners.”  For additional information, visit: https://greaterarden.com.

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Midtown Association Presents Halloween Festival & Pooch Parade

By T-Rock Communications  |  2018-09-27

Calling Kids, Canines and the Young-at-Heart…

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Plans are afoot for the Midtown Association to present the crowd-favorite Midtown Halloween Festival & Pooch Parade on Saturday, October 27, 2018, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Marshall Park (915 27th Street). Sponsored by the Sutter District – with restaurants that include BarWest, Biba, Blue Cue, Centro Cocina Mexicana, Harlow’s, INK Eats & Drinks, Paragary’s Midtown & Red Rabbit Kitchen & Bar – the canine-friendly event is highlighted by the much-anticipated “pooch parade” scheduled to take place at 2:30 p.m. that day. Four-legged friends will strut by on stage while competing in an entertaining costume contest that will include playful prizes for the winning pooches. 

The playful Midtown Mascot will be on-site as will the ever-popular mobile off-leash “Pop-Up Dog Park” to encourage canine-friendly communication for pooches 30 pounds or less (due to the structural limits of the fencing).  Plus, a variety of free family-friendly activities will be available that include the following: face painting by Fancy Figments;  a deluxe rainbow castle jump house with a basketball hoop; hands-on arts and crafts; and entertaining live music from The Hoots that is sponsored by Republic Services.  Also, photo-friendly pet backdrops will be available along with a fun pop-up portrait board. 

Early that day, special and spirited activities will be available at the Midtown Farmers Market that takes place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on 20th at J Street and extends beyond K Street. Costumes are encouraged and children of all ages are invited to join the fun.  Then, many business near J, K and 24th Streets will participate in “Midtown Trick-or-Treat” by providing goodies for children in costume from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day.

“All year long, we’re excited to offer an inspired variety of creative and fun events in Midtown that are both family and pet friendly,” said Emily Baime Michaels, Executive Director of the Midtown Association. “And we’re especially thrilled to showcase our four-legged friends for this Halloween Festival & Pooch Parade that is so incredibly popular with the Midtown community.”

The Halloween Festival & Pooch Parade, Pop-Up Dog Park and the Midtown Farmers Market are presented and supported by the Midtown Association, which is committed to ensuring Midtown remains a thriving center for culture, creativity and vibrancy. Midtown is both walkable and bike-friendly with parking available in nearby garages located at 1801 L Street or the East End Garage on 17th Street between L & Capitol plus various lots throughout Midtown. For more information about Midtown Sacramento, how to get around, special events and the Midtown Association, please visit www.exploremidtown.org or follow on social media – Facebook at www.facebook.com/exploremidtown/ and @ExploreMidtown on Instagram and Twitter. 

Midtown Association

The mission of the Midtown Association (MA) is to create a center for culture, creativity and vibrancy in Sacramento’s urban core. For more information about MA, please, call 916-442-1500 or visit www.exploremidtown.org

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Utility poles covered with signs and notices for political candidates, lost animals, yard sales and events present serious hazards for utility workers. This is a particular problem during election season.

Nails, staples, tacks, and screws used to post signs can cause serious injury to lineworkers who climb the wooden utility power poles every day. These items are especially hazardous when the poles are climbed during bad weather to restore power during storms and at night.

When the signs fall off or are removed, the fasteners often remain in the pole, causing lineworkers to get cut or injured. Nails and staples can obstruct climbing gear, which can cause workers to slip or fall as they climb. Even the tiniest puncture in lineworkers’ rubber gloves can expose them to severe shock from power lines.

When advertising for a political candidate, lost pet, garage sale or other event, please do not post signs on utility poles.

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RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - As part of its commitment to the community, SMUD is hosting a free community resource fair to ensure the success of seniors in the community. Seniors and their families are invited to learn about caregiving resources; accident prevention; fraud prevention; legal assistance; health and wellness; financial assistance; and, home modifications. Register today for free breakfast and resources.

WHAT:  Community Resource Fair Celebrating Seniors

WHERE:                SMUD Customer Service Center: 6301 S Street, Sacramento

WHEN:         Saturday, September 29, 2018 from 8 a.m.—Noon

REGISTER:              SMUD.org/Learn or 916-732-6738

 

 

 

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NorCal Rapist Arrested

Rich Peters, MPG Editor  |  2018-09-21

Suspected NorCal rapist Roy Charles Waller, 58, was arrested in Berkeley this week.

Answer in DNA

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - It was an eerie, familiar feeling as Sacramento District Attorney stood alongside state law enforcement agents and in front of media members, announcing the arrest of yet another notorious California serial rapist.

58-year-old Roy Charles Waller of Benicia was linked through DNA to the heinous NorCal Rapist crimes committed on at least 12 victims that date back beginning 27 years ago and took place across six counties.

“The answer has always been in the DNA,” said Schubert, coincidentally in the midst of National Forensic Science Week. She explained the partnership of tireless science and police work that led to a breakthrough over the past 10 days, eventually leading to the arrest.

“Today we can bring some closure to the victim in Contra Costa County who was attacked on Halloween in 1996,” said Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton.

Waller was arrested in Berkeley near the U.C. Berkeley campus. He has been a U.C. Berkeley employee for the past 25 years. The Sacramento Police Department and the Berkeley Police Department made the arrest.

The suspect has been charged with 12 counts of force-able sexual assault, plus enhancements. There are also allegations that he used a gun. He’s been awarded no bail and his arraignment is set for Monday in Sacramento.

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Sac Feral Resources Community Cats Workshops

Story and photos by Trina L. Drotar  |  2018-09-21

A workshop being offered on September 30 at Carmichael Library will teach community members how to improve the situation for both feral cats and humans who share the same neighborhood. Photo courtesy Sac Feral Resources

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - You’ve seen the cats scurry into the brush when you walk by, or the kitten who shows up on your doorstep every so often looking for something to eat. Some people consider these feral cats nuisances; some consider them cute; and others, like Sac Feral Resources, understand the need for the neighborhood to work together to manage feral cat colonies. A workshop being offered on September 30 at Carmichael Library will teach community members how to improve the situation for both feral cats and humans who share the same neighborhood.

The workshop, part of the Community Cats Project, will be divided into two parts. The morning session will focus on feral and community cats. This session may be taken alone, but it is a prerequisite for the afternoon that will discuss and teach Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). The workshops are free and open to the public.

“I want to improve the situation for the cats and for the neighbors,” said Linda Morgan of Sac Feral Resources, a non-profit all-volunteer organization. “Ultimately, the objective is to stop more kittens from being born into a situation where they are not welcomed, wanted, or cared for,” she said, “and to humanely care for cats already in the neighborhood.” The hope, she added, is that people, even those currently caring for feral cats, will “take something away that will improve the lives of the cats and the neighborhood.”

How do these cats get into the neighborhood? Some are left behind after the humans move. Others are set outside after a death in the family. Still others are put out instead of taken to one of the shelters because the people fear the cats will be euthanized. There are many reasons. Sac Feral Resources’ intention isn’t to focus on the reasons. It is to teach people how to control the cat population.

“There’s a method to colony management,” she said.  

“I don’t think people realize how much of a problem this is. Throughout the county there are between one and two hundred thousand feral cats. There is no inventory.”

By learning how to monitor and manage the colony within a neighborhood, she added, the population can stabilize and eventually will decrease because cats are trapped, spayed, neutered, and returned. They are unable to reproduce. There is also what Morgan calls a feeding protocol, which is not simply leaving a bowl of food outside for the neighborhood cat.

The organization encourages people to register colonies, to learn what needs to be done within an apartment complex or neighborhood. Some residents, she said, have been faced with eviction if they continue to feed the cats. Socializing feral kittens helps make them adoptable.

“The in-depth workshops cover the background of what these cats are, the philosophies of people in the neighborhood, and why it is a neighborhood problem,” said Morgan. “Cats are left behind. People are dumping cats where they see cats being fed. Cats are out there because of human action or inaction.”

What can attendees expect? Morgan will bring in traps and demonstrate their use. She’ll show videos, and teach how to talk to others as a colony manager. She’ll teach how to trap the “untrappable” cats. She’ll also explain how to feed cats. “There’s a protocol behind it that will make you more successful,” she said. “With TNR, responsible feeding, and colony management, the cat population will stabilize and ultimately be reduced through attrition. Neighborhood cat issues can be resolved when residents are empowered to work together in this shared objective.”
For additional information, visit: www.sacferals.com. If you’re going: Sunday, September 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.at the Carmichael Library, 5605 Marconi Avenue, Carmichael, CA.

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