Sac County Airport Firefighters “Brave the Shave”

 Sacramento County Special Release  |  2019-02-06

Sacramento County Airport Firefighters “Brave the Shave” in honor of  Captain Anderson. Photo courtesy Sacramento County.

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - Sacramento County Airport Firefighters shaved their heads as part of the second annual “Brave the Shave” in honor of Captain Tim Anderson, a Sacramento County Airport Firefighter who lost his life to cancer in 2017. Brave the Shave was started one year ago by Tim’s son Mason, when his mother Lacey was diagnosed with breast cancer just 6 months after his dad, Captain Tim Anderson died.

After hearing the news of his mom's diagnosis, Mason at 10 years old wanted to have a shaving party in an effort to turn a difficult situation into something positive. Mason challenged local area firefighters to shave their heads with him as a way to honor his dad and support his mother. In 2017, 112 firefighters in 4 states and 2 countries shaved their heads in support of the Anderson family. ​

Mason’s mom Lacey is now cancer free and this year Mason would like to open Brave the Shave up to all firefighters and their families affected by cancer in an effort to make December Firefighter Cancer Awareness month. Firefighters and anyone else wanting to offer their support were asked to shave their heads in the month of December and post the pictures or videos to Mason's Facebook page Brave the Shave with Mason Anderson or his Instagram Brave the Shave Mason Anderson. This year's goal is 150 shaved heads. Mason is only 57 shaved heads away from meeting that goal!

Source: Sacramento County Media

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The Latest Job demand and hiring trends

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Employers are downshifting in the hiring race as 2019 begins. One regional company is reducing workforce by more than fifty percent (50%) as tariff related contract losses impact Sacramento area employment. In direct contacts with regional employers between November 19th and December 17th, Pacific Staffing discovered fifty-six percent (56%) of companies are hiring in the First Quarter of 2019.

Hiring has pulled back from this same time one year ago when sixty-five percent (65%) planned to hire in January, February and March. While the pace of hiring among top Sacramento regional employers has fallen throughout 2018 companies report finding applicants and specific skilled workers remain a top challenge in the new year.

While not a single company surveyed planned first quarter layoffs in 2018, in the first three months of 2019 seven percent (7%) are reducing workforces. Staff reductions are attributed to seasonal change and slower demand for products and services. Forty-four percent (44%) of hiring in the first quarter is for attrition, or replacements, among existing workforces while employers seek just forty-two percent (42%) for growth.

By talking to top regional firms each quarter since 1992, Pacific Staffing has learned there are always hiring challenges for employers, regardless of economic direction. In this first quarter of the new year seventeen percent (17%) of employers also report a continuing challenge with finding enough applicants, despite the slowdown. Others also citing increased minimum wage and hiring specific skilled trades as workplace concerns.

Sales, customer service, accounting/finance, technical, warehouse and shipping experience is in high demand through March. Drivers for route and delivery remain scarce.

The most active sector is Service companies with Manufacturers second, followed by Construction and Retail through January, February and March of 2019.

Sacramento Regional Top Companies Polled by Industry were Service (54%), Manufacturers (25%), Construction (19%) and Retail (2%)

For more information, employment blogs & market surveys go to

Source: Pacific Staffing

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SMUD Awards Nearly $60,000 in Powering Futures Scholarships

SMUD Special Release  |  2019-02-06

Recipients of SMUD’s 2018/2019 Powering Futures scholarships pose with SMUD’s Board of Directors and Executives after being recognized for their hard work and achievements at the Dec. 20 Board meeting. Photo courtesy SMUD

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - SMUD’s Board of Directors recently recognized the 21 college students who have been awarded Powering Futures scholarships for the 2018/19 academic year. All students received scholarships between $1,500 and $5,000, and the opportunity to work at SMUD as a paid intern.

The awards were based on academic merit and financial need, and preference was given to students who have declared a major relevant to SMUD.

Most of the students who receive a scholarship also accept paid summer internships in a variety of SMUD departments, including Grid Operations, Customer Operations, Geographical Information Systems, Warehouse and Fleet Operations among others. The internships provide students with excellent opportunities to learn practical skills and help launch themselves into future careers.

“The Powering Futures scholarship program helps us strengthen our talent pipeline and meet our future workforce needs,” said SMUDHuman Resources, Diversity & Inclusion Director Laurie Rodriguez. “We’re proud to support such an exceptional group of Sacramento students this year, and we look forward to seeing them back in the summer for their internships. They’ll have a great chance to learn about working in the energy industry and gain real-world experience that will help them in all of their future endeavors.”

The 2019/20 scholarship application period began on January 7 and will close on February 24.  For those interested in applying, please visit,

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Senator Gaines Sworn in as Board of Equalization Member

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG)  - Senator Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado) was sworn in as an elected Member of the California State Board of Equalization (BOE) during a ceremony held at the Stanley Mosk Library and Courts Building in Downtown Sacramento. The oath of office was administered by Governor Gavin Newsom.

“I am excited to continue serving Californians as a taxpayer advocate,” said Senator Gaines. “My new role as a BOE Member comes with different challenges and opportunities, but my number one priority is to ensure hardworking Californians are allowed fair tax policies that create jobs and grow our economy.”

Senator Gaines will represent more than nine million California residents living in the 1st Equalization District, which spans inland California from San Bernardino County to the Oregon border. The five-member BOE is a publicly elected tax board responsible for administering Property Tax, Alcoholic Beverage Tax, and Tax on Insurers programs.

“Californians should be treated with respect and fairness when it comes to tax administration. They are tired of being over-taxed, and over-regulated. I pledge to fight on their behalf,” said Senator Gaines.

Prior to being elected to the BOE, Senator Gaines served 12 years in the State Legislature as a tireless advocate for California’s taxpayers, ratepayers, businesses and families. He fought to protect citizen privacy and led major efforts to bring thousands of new jobs to the state, as well as support critical legislation to strengthen and expand California’s infrastructure.

In addition to his life in public service, Senator Gaines is a successful small business owner, having owned Gaines Insurance for more than 30 years. He has been married to his wife Beth since 1986 and together they reside in El Dorado County and are blessed with six children and two grandchildren.

As a constitutional officer, Senator Gaines is currently the highest-ranking elected Republican state official in California.

Source: Office of Ted Gaines

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Water is Local Rotarian’s Gift for Native Village

By Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2019-02-06

Clean, free drinking water is now a reality for many Ugandans.  Carmichael Rotarian and water engineer Richard Olebe led a campaign to provide the precious commodity for his native village. Photo by Susan Maxwell Skinner

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Carmichael resident Richard Olebe’s baby brother died after drinking contaminated water in his Ugandan village 67 years ago.

Today, thanks to efforts by Olebe, plus Ugandan and Sacramento Rotarians, more than 10,000 Ugandans will rejoice in safe water. Spearheading the mission, Olebe (73) is well-versed in his homeland’s needs. “My sisters spent hours every day collecting dirty water,” he recalls. “As a result, they couldn’t go to school. It’s not just a Ugandan problem; 300 million Africans don’t have access to safe drinking water today.”

The Kenya and Stanford-trained engineer worked for the California Department of Water Resources for 22 years. He joined Carmichael Rotary Club two years ago. “In 2016, Rotarians from Tororo (Uganda) approached me suggesting a project to improve life for thousands of people,” he explains. “They proposed replacing dirty water supplies for my former village of Iyolwa, in south-east Uganda.”

A plan -- to drill five wells; to dig pipelines and to build tanks for communities and schools – was approved. Fundraising for the $200,000 project began last year. Rotarians in Tororo and Carmichael came up with nearly $60,000. This sum was matched by club members in Sacramento, Uganda and Tanzania. Rotary Foundations Global Matching Funds supplied the balance.  “Iyolwa people began drinking water from our wells at the beginning of December,” reports Olebe.

“These are poor, poor, people. I’m proud we could do this for them. The villagers now have safe, free water for the first time in their lives. Babies won’t die like my brother did. Girls will go to school instead of trudging miles with jerry cans on their heads. Lack of finances prevented this from happening for many lifetimes.”

“The villagers dug the pipelines,” he says. “We’ve given them spare equipment in case of breakages. They’ll also share the cost of employing someone to maintain wells and pipelines.” Now retired, Olebe self-funded several trips to his homeland as the project progressed.  “I’ve seen people’s faces,” he says. “They’re happy and grateful for what we’ve given them. And I’m grateful Carmichael and Tororo could come together like this. Helping a village is one step toward saving the world.”

Learn about Carmichael Rotary at

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Carmichael Confronts Homelessness

From Carmichael HART  |  2019-02-06

Carmichael HART’s (Homeless Assistance Resource Team) Winter Sanctuary provides safe overnight shelter to dozens of people coming in from the cold. Photo courtesy Carmichael HART

Providing Shelter, Counseling, Housing

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - For the second year, hundreds of volunteers from churches, nonprofit organizations, and local businesses are doing something about Carmichael’s homeless people.

Carmichael HART’s (Homeless Assistance Resource Team) Winter Sanctuary provides safe overnight shelter to dozens of people coming in from the cold for nine weeks -- Dec. 30 through March 2.

Guests of HART’s 2nd Winter Sanctuary can get a hot dinner, clean clothes and sometimes showers. They’re given a cot and sleeping bag for the night and are transported back with a breakfast bag to an intake center by 6 a.m. the next morning. Many homeless people are repeat visitors.

“It’s more than a hot meal and a cot,” Carmichael HART President Scott Young said at the charity’s January meeting. “We offer housing leads, help with acquiring IDs, and assist with transportation to help people get to that point where housing is possible for them. Our long-term goal is to get as many people as we can off the streets and into housing. To do that, establishing trust with Winter Sanctuary guests is crucial.”

Barbara Farley, a sanctuary organizer, said hundreds of volunteers are getting to know homeless people on a first-name basis at the local churches that are hosting. 14 people transitioned to housing during and immediately following last year’s Winter Sanctuary. This season, one person already has moved into permanent housing.

Sacramento County’s Department of Public Health trained more than a dozen sanctuary leaders in hygiene measures, which have been implemented. Doctors and nurses from Dignity Health’s Mercy-San Juan Hospital volunteer on Thursday nights to treat wounds, provide non-prescription drugs, and make health referrals.

Financial and other support is coming churches, individuals, and community organizations such as the Carmichael Improvement District (CID), a nonprofit corporation of businesses along the Fair Oaks corridor. The district spends about half of its $310,000 in annual assessments on security measures. It also pays for beautification projects, arranges litter cleanup, graffiti removal, and waste abatement. Gary Hursh, a Carmichael attorney, the district’s past president and current chairman of its Security Committee, says HART and its Winter Sanctuary are good investments.

He said the program last winter took dozens of homeless people off the streets and away from store doorways and other sleeping spots on business property.
“Shuffling people around is not a solution,” he said in an interview. “The next step, in my opinion, is for CID to partner with nonprofits that find and provide housing for the homeless. HART is providing a solution.”

Deputy Kevin Hee of the Sheriff’s Department Homeless Outreach Team (HOT), told HART meeting attendees: “We all agree that we can’t jail and arrest everybody out there. We’re looking at getting services to the homeless. There’s an exponential explosion of homelessness in California. Every community is affected.”

Besides churches, sheriff’s deputies and business leaders, other HART partners are Sacramento Self Help Housing, ATLAS of Carmichael with its thrift store, the local Chamber of Commerce, the San Juan Unified School District, and Sacramento County.

County Supervisor Susan Peters offered this assessment: “Carmichael HART has a proven track record of success, and its Winter Sanctuary program reflects the dedication of the community’s faith-based organizations to help those in need who find themselves homeless.”

Paul Keefer, a trustee of the Sacramento County Board of Education who is working on a               HART plan to help homeless students, stated “As a volunteer for the Carmichael HART Winter Sanctuary I was impressed by the training and guidance that our team received from Sacramento County.”

“Wonderful people are coming with a willingness to help, saying, ‘We want to be part of this,” Farley said at the HART meeting. She reported that 78 different guests participated in last year’s Winter Sanctuary, whereas more than 30 different homeless people have come in the first three weeks of the program this year. Young said volunteers are winning the trust of their guests and are seeing dramatic changes in attitudes and a willingness to accept assistance.  

“We should all have the same goal,” he said. “Whatever our reasons for getting people off the streets, our goal should be the same -- getting people housed. Ultimately, we all want our communities to thrive. As long as we have people camped on our sidewalks, next to our businesses and on our back lots – it remains a distant goal. The only way we’ll see effective change is to get people housed. It’s all about getting people housed.” 

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United Way to Hold Trivia Night Fundraiser

By Kristin Thébaud  |  2019-02-06

Teams of young professionals works together to solve a round of trivia over beers and dinner at United Way’s Young Leaders Society’s Brews & Brains fundraiser. Photo courtesy Thébaud Communications

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Sacramento-area young professionals can show off their knowledge of early 2000s trivia while raising funds to help local kindergarteners save for college at United Way’s Young Leaders Society’s annual Brews & Brains trivia night on Feb. 8 from 5:30-8 p.m. at the Sacramento Masonic Temple, 1123 J Street. Guests, who must be age 21 or older, will enjoy beer, food and chances to win prizes. Guests who register as a team of six by Jan. 28 will receive the early bird rate of $135, which includes a Brews & Brains pint glass, and food and drink tickets for each team member. Individuals and couples can register for $25 each to be placed on a team and receive food and a drink ticket. To learn more:

“Whether you want to show off your useless knowledge, enjoy beer, help kids or all of the above, this is the event for you,” said Creston Whiting-Casey, chair of United Way’s Young Leaders Society. “The energy in the room is always a lot of fun as we tackle questions ranging from pop culture to politics – all to help kids in our region get excited early about going to college.”

Research shows that children with even modestly funded college savings accounts are three times more likely to attend college – and four times more likely to complete college – than those without a college savings account. Parents and guardians who attend two free financial education and empowerment courses earn a $200 college savings account for their kindergartener. Parents, relatives and friends may make additional contributions to help grow the student’s account. The program recognizes that early intervention and continued parental involvement dramatically increase the probability that children will achieve higher education.

“We want to create the expectation very early in every child’s life that higher education is both a desirable and achievable goal,” said Stephanie Bray, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “It’s fantastic to see young professionals coming together to make sure all kids have the same access to education beyond high school.”

For nearly 100 years, United Way California Capital Region has brought local people together to make community change happen. Today, the nonprofit is bringing people together across Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, Placer and Yolo counties for its Square One Project, a 20-year promise to significantly increase the number of students in our region who graduate from high school ready for success in college and beyond. United Way believes ending generational poverty starts in school and is working to ensure kids meet important milestones and their families receive support and resources. To learn more and make a donation:

Source: Thébaud Communications

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