Celebrations marked the unveiling of the city’s first historical monument commemorating Lincoln Highway. --Photo by Rick Sloan

Rancho Cordova’s historical Mills Station was the site Sunday afternoon of “The Great American Road Trip,” a celebration marking the unveiling of the city’s first historical monument commemorating the area’s vital role as a stop along the nation’s Lincoln Highway.

The festive atmosphere was attended by scores of Rancho Cordovan’s, live music, history buffs, historical groups, Boy Scout Troop 363, Folsom, El Dorado & Sacramento Historical Railroad Association, local government officials and dozens of vintage automobiles, vendors and exhibits.

Beginning in Roseville, a caravan of approximately 60 cars, trucks and vintage emergency vehicles proceeded along a predetermined route culminating at Mills Station. The building has been a vital part of the Rancho Cordova community for a century, serving at various times as a train station, general store, soda fountain, dance hall and all-round center for civic functions.

Rancho Cordova Mayor David Sanders set the tone in his remarks to the assembled crowds by taking attendees on a “time traveling” adventure. It was Sanders’ initial research that revealed Rancho’s Folsom Boulevard was initially known as part of the Lincoln Highway, so named in tribute to Abraham Lincoln. The original planners envisioned the Lincoln Highway as a network that would united the country from coast to coast just as President Lincoln had united the country in the sad wake of the Civil War.

Officially designated now as Rancho Cordova’s “Heritage Corridor,” the weekend celebration marked the unveiling of a new 4-sided monument memorializing the spot’s significance as a railway, Pony Express stop, community center and historic building. Kudos were given to current City Council member Linda Budge as having been instrumental in saving the building from certain devastation in recent decades. Thanks to Budge’s crusade, initial renovations stabilized the structure, which now, thanks to new funding obtained in large part by Supervisor Don Nottoli, will soon undergo further renovations to ready the venerable for building for new life for future generations.

Situated along Folsom Boulevard and Mather Field Road, Mills Station is one of very few historical buildings left in Rancho Cordova. Others include the Sheepherder Inn, the American River Grange, one farm house and the Pfingst Station along the railroad on Folsom Boulevard.

The opening of Highway 50 markedly improved travel time for drivers traveling east-west through the Sacramento area, but it also initiated a death knell for many businesses that depended upon vehicle traffic for their livelihood. Coupled with the closure of Mather Air Force Base, the fortunes of businesses, citizens and the community in general became victims of the downturn that continued for decades.

Thanks to champions such as Budge and Nottoli, the incorporation of Rancho Cordova as a city and the vastly unsung efforts of local citizens, businesses, community organizations and gritty determination, Rancho Cordova is at last beginning to emerge with a new identity that incorporates the heritage of the area, making Rancho Cordova a place that knows what it is today and what it can be tomorrow.

Recent improvements implemented by the city to beautify Folsom Boulevard in Rancho Cordova, along with ongoing shopping, new housing and shopping development have improved the corridor in recent years. The designation and celebration of the road as Rancho’s very own “Heritage Corridor,” championed by the City Council, Cordova Community Council, Rancho Cordova Historical Society and other groups continues to bolster the city’s image as a place to live, play, visit and do business in a vibrant city with small town appeal.

Flower Festival Promotes Unity and Education

By Shelly Lembke  |  2016-10-14

Bathukamma is a beautiful flower stack, arranged with different unique seasonal flowers most of them with medicinal value, in seven concentric layers in the shape of potter’s clay like a cone. 
--Photo courtesy of Sacramento Telangana Association

Saturday afternoon was the occasion for the Bathukamma Festival of Flowers Celebration at Bear Hollow Elementary in Rancho Cordova. Hosted by the Sacramento Telangana Association, the festival was open to the public. Families and individuals of all ages came out and opened the traditional Indian celebration to the community, featuring music, dancing, free food and warm welcomes for all who attended.

The festival honors and promotes a sense of community and has special significance to the state of Telangana in India. “The main theme of the festival is female empowerment, flowers and family. We hope this festival takes us through a journey of integrating multicultural (sic), arts, [and] environmental protection in our community,” said Anil Kondakrindi, one of the festival’s prime organizers and Vice President of the Sacramento Telangana Association.

Women have a pivotal role in the proceedings by collecting and arranging special flower arrangements which are, in part, in thanksgiving to nature for the gifts of beauty and ecological health the earth provides. According to Kondakrindi, “In Telugu language, Bathukamma means, ‘Mother Goddess Come Alive.”

“A festival celebrated by the women of the Telangana State, India, Bathukamma Festival represents cultural spirit of Telangana. Bathukamma is a beautiful flower stack, arranged with different unique seasonal flowers, most of them with medicinal value, in seven concentric layers in the shape of potter’s clay like a cone,” Kondakrindi explained.

Once the Bathukammas are placed together, women form a large, revolving circle around them, clapping and singing folk songs in the evening. “Women seek good health, prosperity and happiness for their families,” said Kondakrindi.

Rancho Cordova and surrounding areas have numerous immigrants from the state of Telangana. The festival itself is central to Telangana and the Sacramento Telangana Association wanted to share this very special event with Rancho Cordova because of the city’s unique ties to so many ethnic groups around the globe. The bright and beautiful floral arrangements echoed the bright and flowing traditional Indian garb worn by so many in attendance. This year’s festival welcomed approximately 2,000 people from Rancho Cordova and surrounding areas.

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Water Conservation Drops Below 18 Percent

Source: State Water Resources Board  |  2016-10-14

Many communities who certified that they didn’t need to conserve are still conserving up a storm, while others have slipped.

The State Water Resources Control Board recently announced that urban Californians’ monthly water conservation declined to 17.7 percent in August, down from 27 percent savings in August 2015, raising concerns that some water suppliers are abandoning their focus on conservation as California heads into a possible sixth drought year.

Californians continue to conserve water in significant amounts even in the absence of state-mandated conservation targets. The cumulative average savings from June 2015 through August 2016 was 23.3 percent, compared with the same months in 2013.  Since June 2015, two million acre-feet of water has been saved — enough water to supply 10 million people, more than one-quarter the state’s 38 million population, for a year.

Water conservation has dropped steeply among some local water suppliers. These declines highlight the need for continued education and dialogue with customers on the importance of conserving and using water as efficiently as possible. As the State Water Board continues to monitor conservation levels, a return to state-mandated conservation may be necessary beginning next year.

“The statewide August conservation results raise questions, and we are examining the data to understand why some areas slipped more than others,” said State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus. “Are we seeing relaxation of conservation messaging and programs, or are we seeing abandonment of programs?  One may be appropriate, the other is not.  It’s a mixed picture.  Many communities who certified that they didn’t ‘need’ to conserve are still conserving up a storm, while others have slipped more than seems prudent.”

Conservation levels have remained significant for many communities that had certified that they did not need top down mandates to keep conserving.

While some local water suppliers may have relaxed water use restrictions from those that were in place last summer, most agencies have kept up locally mandated restrictions and targets, which is appropriate and which the state strongly encourages.  Regardless of a supplier’s individual conservation requirement, the statewide prohibitions on specific wasteful practices such as fountains without recirculating pumps, or irrigation of turf in street medians, remain in place.

“Percentages alone tell only part of the story, because a 15 percent reduction by someone using under 100 gallons per person a day can be more challenging than a 30 percent reduction by someone using 250 or 300 gallons a day,” Marcus said.  “That’s true of agencies and it is true for individuals.  In particular, we urge suppliers where conservation levels have dropped steeply to reach out to high use customers to find ways to conserve, and to join their community’s conservation efforts.  The legislature’s passage and Governor’s signing of SB 814 will help water suppliers send monetary signals to their highest users about the need to keep conserving while the drought continues. Most important, it sends a signal that all Californians are in this together and that fairness includes those who use the most doing their part along with the rest of us.”

SB 814 (Hill) requires urban water suppliers to establish financial penalties for excess water use during droughts. Suppliers can either create excess-use ordinances with defined penalty amounts, or they can adopt rate structures that charge their highest users more during drought emergencies.

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Tada! Students Soon to Get Trained Dance and Theatre Teachers

Source: CA Alliance for Arts Education  |  2016-10-14

TADA! made it through both houses of the legislature, buoyed by the support of the California Teachers Association, California Federation of Teachers, California Dance Education Association and California Educational Theatre Association. This effort picked up many vocal allies along the way, including actress Annette Bening (shown above), who testified on behalf of the bill in the Senate Education Committee.

California students, living in the arts and entertainment capital of the country, will now be provided education by credentialed Theatre and Dance educators. The Theatre and Dance Act (TADA!), authored by Senator Ben Allen (D – Santa Monica) and supported by a coalition of advocates led by the California Alliance for Arts Education, was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown today.

“Up until now, dance teachers had to get a PE credential to teach dance in California,” says Jessy Kronenberg, Co-President of California Dance Education Association. “PE dance is beneficial for coordination and team-building, but dance as art fosters the 21st century skills of critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity.”

Twice before, legislative efforts to create these credentials were vetoed by the governor at that time.

“This is an issue that has burned in the hearts and minds of arts education advocates since 1970, when dance and theatre credentials were eliminated by the Ryan Act” says California Alliance for Arts Education Executive Director, Joe Landon. “Over a thousand advocates responded to our action alerts and sent messages of support to their elected officials in Sacramento”

But, TADA! made it through both houses of the legislature without a single negative vote, buoyed by the support of the California Teachers Association, California Federation of Teachers, California Dance Education Association and California Educational Theatre Association. This effort picked up many vocal allies along the way, including actress Annette Bening, who testified on behalf of the bill in the Senate Education Committee.

“I think it’s the right thing; it serves students, it dignifies our teachers, and it will uplift our community,” said Ms. Bening.

 “California is the arts and entertainment capital of the world, yet we are one of only two states in the country that does not authorize teaching credentials in theatre or dance,” Allen said.  “I am so pleased that we have finally elevated these two important disciplines to the stature they deserve,” he added.

“The next generation of theatre and dance teachers will be the proud bearers of theatre and dance credentials ensuring that California pre-K-12 students are instructed with sound pedagogy in a standards-based curriculum.,” said CETA President Carol Hovey.

At the same time, the Governor signed Assembly Bill 2862 (O’Donnell) into law enabling California to finally update its Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) content standards incorporate new practices and technologies to arts curriculum, instruction, and instructional materials

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Small Businesses Praise Senator Nielsen’s Voting Record

Source: Office of Senator Nielsen  |  2016-10-13

Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber)

Citing his experience and strong advocacy of small businesses, the National Federation of Independent Business/California (NFIB) awarded Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) a perfect score of 100 percent.

“California continues to be a difficult place to do business – from the burdensome regulations to the out-of-control lawsuits,” said Senator Nielsen. “Elected leaders must do all we can to hold the line and help small businesses thrive. I am humbled to have received such an honor from NFIB.”

“Senator Nielsen is a leader we turn to in our efforts to support small businesses. We applaud his dedication and passion in supporting small businesses and protecting them from additional taxes, mandates, and complex regulations,” added Tom Scott, NFIB/CA State Executive Director.

NFIB assessed lawmakers on 12 bills vital to the health of small business in California. Twenty-nine lawmakers out of 120 had impressive 100 percent scores; however, 62 legislators failed small business this year with scores ranging from 27 percent to just eight percent.

Lawmakers’ voting records are compiled and scored annually to provide Californians with a valuable tool to determine how state legislators acted on major mandates, regulations and tax legislation, and to hold elected officials accountable for anti-small business votes.

Established in 1946, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures.

NFIB has 350,000 dues-paying members nationally, with over 22,000 in California. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival, and as they are America's economic engine and biggest creator of jobs, the growth of the American economy.

Senator Nielsen represents the Fourth Senate District, which includes the counties of Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Tehama and Yuba.

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Cordova Blows Out Galt to Win Homecoming Game

By Mike Bush  |  2016-10-13

Defensive Lineman Fidel Romero (#70, above center) provided one of the many sacks by the Cordova defense during the Lancer Homecoming game against Galt last Friday. 
--Photo by Rick Sloan

In what was expected to be a close Sierra Valley Conference opener at Lancers Stadium turned out to be a blowout.

From kickoff until the final seconds ticked off the clock on the north end of the field, the Cordova High School football team dominated Galt that led to a 46-0 win on Oct. 7th. The game was also the Lancers’ homecoming game.

On offense, Cordova (1-0 in the SVC, 4-2 overall) racked up a combined 402 yards; 224 on the ground and 178 in the air. Leading the Lancers’ ground attack was running back Deante McCullough, who had nine carries for 109 yards.

“We thought that their defense matched up really favorable to our game plan,” said Cordova head coach Darrin Nill of the Warriors’ defense. “We ran the ball, we passed the ball. We were able to do pretty much whatever we wanted to do.”

The majority of the Lancers’ offensive attack took place in the first half in front of large homecoming crowd. Cordova led 39-0 at halftime.

Cordova quarterback Xavier Johnson completed 13-of-23 passes for 178 yards and four touchdowns. Two of those scores went into the hands of wide receiver Alvin Banks, who finished the game with four receptions for 54 yards.

The Lancers’ defense held Galt running back Zach Orman, who needed only 118 yards to become the school’s new all-time rushing leader. Cordova held him to only eight carries for 23 yards. He currently sits at 4,152 in his three-year varsity career. The current record is 4,247 yards.

“He’s a really good runner,” said Nill of Orman. “We focused a lot of attention on him. We had two weeks to prepare for him (Cordova had the bye two weeks ago before the start of conference play). Our defense knew where (Orman) was at all times.”

Cordova held Galt to a combined 50 yards; 29 on the ground and 21 in the air. The defense accounted toward one of the touchdowns. Lancer defensive back Tyreke Tate had two interceptions, including one that turned out to be an 82-yard return for one of the Lancers’ scores in the second quarter. His second pick was in the third quarter.

Another Cordova defensive back in Raymond Flite also had an interception in the game. The Lancers’ defense picked off the Warriors three times in the game.

Lancer defensive back Terrill Johnson led in tackles at nine. Cordova defensive end Clifford Bright had three tackles, and had what Nill called a “break out” game in creating havoc on an opponent’s offense.

“I thought he played an outstanding game,” said Nill of Bright. “The entire front seven really played good gap defense.”

Cordova defensive linemen Zariahn Zimmer and Joseph Salcedo had five quarterback sacks each, another plus in keeping the Warriors’ offense from gaining yards. Registering six tackles each for Cordova were linebacker Yusef Pugh, defensive end Kelechi Njoku and Tate. Lancer middle linebacker Kenny Haney had four tackles.

Tonight, Cordova continues SVC action but on the road. The Lancers travel into El Dorado County to play at Union Mine (0-1 in the SVC, 1-5), which lost to defending SVC champion Liberty Ranch, 56-14, in their conference opener in Galt last Friday.

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Lady Linksters Preparing for SVC Tournament

By Mike Bush  |  2016-10-13

Two seniors are leading this year’s Cordova High School girls golf team, which close out the regular season this week.

Angela Jones, who is the Lady Lancers’ overall points’ leader, and Machailee Lawrence, is the squads’ two leaders. Part of the team is Keary Lopez, a freshman who has cracked into the starting five.

Cordova linksters rounding out the roster is Gina Spikes, a senior, plus two sophomores in Claire Kell and Lasai Wagner.

Cordova has a record of 3-5 in Sierra Valley Conference action. Last week in conference action at Mather Golf Course, the Lancers lost to El Dorado. But two days later knocked off rival Rosemont for their third win in conference play. Scores of those matches were not available at press time.

On Wednesday, Cordova played Galt in an SVC match at Emerald Lakes Golf Course in Elk Grove. Yesterday, Thursday, the Lady Lancers wrapped up SVC action against Liberty Ranch, as that match was also played at Mather Golf Course.

Next Monday, the conference tournament will be held at the Teal Bend Golf Club in Sacramento. The tourney will have an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start time.

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Men’s Soccer Takes Over 1st Place; Women’s Soccer Falls to Sierra; Volleyball Sweeps Cosumnes River

Source: Ron Richardson, Folsom Lake College  |  2016-10-13

Goalkeeper Jackson LaCasse recorded his 4th shutout. 
--Photo by Rose Shoen

Men’s Soccer

The Falcons took over sole possession of first place in the Big 8 Conference with a 1-0 victory over Modesto JC on Friday afternoon at Falcon Stadium.  After a scoreless first half, Falcon freshman Santiago Peniche scored the only goal of the match in 49th minute of play. Falcon goalkeeper Jackson LaCasse was named “Man of the Match” for his outstanding efforts between the posts a he recorded his third consecutive shutout and fourth of the season. The Falcons improved their Big 8 record to 3-1 and are slightly ahead of Santa Rosa (2-0-1) for first place.  They will take on Clovis tomorrow (Tuesday) at 3:30 pm at Falcon Stadium in a non-conference match.

Women’s Soccer

The Falcons had hoped to make it a perfect week for FLC sports, but were derailed by a plucky Sierra College team that was intent on getting the upset. The Wolverines scored just 9 minutes into the game when a high lob bounced over the head of Falcon goalkeeper Aubrey Hall for the only goal of the match. With a 1-0 lead, the Wolverines packed the defensive end and successfully prevented the Falcons from evening the score.  The loss drops the Falcons to third place in the Big 8 at 4-2-1. They will look to rebound on Tuesday evening when they host Sacramento City (0-7 Big 8, 2-11 overall) at Falcon Stadium at 6:00 pm.

Women’s Volleyball

The Falcons won their second match of the week as they knocked off Cosumnes River in straight sets at Falcon Gym on Friday night, 25-10, 25-20, and 25-14.  Kylie Haverson (15) and Emma Flewell (11) combined for 26 of the Falcons’ 43 kills, while Isabel Mason provided the sets with her 39 assists. The Falcons remain in a tie for third place in the Big 8 at 4-2 and learned today they have earned the number 15 spot in the NorCal coaches’ rankings.  They will travel to Sacramento on Wednesday to take on American River College at 6:30 pm.

Upcoming Sports Schedule
(home matches in bold)

Tues Oct 11
Men’s Soccer vs Clovis at FLC, 3:30 pm

Women’s Soccer vs Sacramento City at FLC, 6:00 pm

Wed Oct 12
Women’s Volleyball at American River, 6:30 pm

Fri Oct 14
Women’s Soccer vs Cosumnes River at FLC, 3:30 pm

Men’s Soccer at College of the Sequoias (Visalia), 4:00 pm

Women’s Volleyball at Diablo Valley (Pleasant Hill) at 6:30 pm

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United Way: Square One Project Helping Kids Succeed In School

Source: Kristin Thébaud Communications  |  2016-10-13

United Way announced the launch of its Square One Project through a Facebook Live event at Main Avenue Elementary School in Sacramento.

Through a Facebook Live video this morning, United Way California Capital Region announced that all of its work for the next 20 years will focus on ending poverty by increasing the number of local kids who graduate from high school prepared for success in college and beyond. United Way’s Square One Project will bring together the organization’s work over the last decade as the project focuses on educational milestones for children and the resources they need to succeed in school, including early literacy support, access to nutritious food, stable homes, support systems and more.

“This is our most ambitious project in our 90-year-history,” said Stephanie Bray, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “If we want to see real change happen in our community, we have to break the cycle of poverty that’s passed down from one generation to another. There is one place in the community where we can do that best – and that’s school.”

Sacramento-area kids who graduate from college are 62 percent less likely to live in poverty than those who drop out of high school, according to United Way and the nonprofit Corporation for Enterprise Development. United Way’s Square One Project is bringing together community leaders, schools, government, nonprofits, volunteers and donors across five counties to make sure kids stay in school, stay on track, have high expectations for what they can achieve, and have strong support systems.

United Way is launching the Square One Project through a partnership with Robla School District in Sacramento. To make sure kids can come to school every day, United Way and Robla School District are providing case managers at schools through a grant to help the 500 homeless families in the district secure stable housing and other support. United Way’s Healthy Meals ensures kids have enough to eat in their after-school programs so they have fuel for their brains. United Way also is providing tutors to help kids meet reading and math milestones so they stay on track. United Way’s Young Leaders Society is helping families start saving for higher education by raising matching funds for college savings accounts so that kids have high expectations of continuing school.

“We’re excited to be one of the first school districts where the Square One Project has launched,” said Ruben Reyes, superintendent, Robla School District. “This is a district with a lot of need, but a lot of awesome kids who are going to do amazing things in our community, thanks to our work with United Way.”

Through the Square One Project, United Way also will work with school districts throughout Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties to fill gaps in resources so kids have the best chance at success.

“We know ending poverty starts in school, but it’s going to take whole communities to make this happen across our region,” Bray said. “I hope everyone will find their way to join us at Square One so kids can create a better life for themselves, their community and the next generation.”

To donate or volunteer for United Way’s Square One Project, visit www.squareoneproject.org.

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Flick or Treat Returns to Raley Field for 2016

Source: Sacramento River Cats  |  2016-10-13

Pre-movie trick-or-treating on October 15 will occur from 4:30 - 6:00 p.m. and will be offered on a first come, first serve basis before the movie screening begins.

Annual Community Halloween Event Features On-Field Movie Screening and Clothing and Food Drive

Flick Or Treat is back for its third year at Raley Field. The community trick-or-treat event, presented by California Family Fitness, will feature a special screening of Sony's Hotel Transylvania 2 on the ballpark videoboard on Saturday, October 15 at 6:00 p.m. Flick Or Treat is also a part of Dinger's Drive In, a three-part movie series on the field at Raley Field.

Pre-movie trick-or-treating on October 15 will occur from 4:30 - 6:00 p.m. and will be offered on a first come, first serve basis before the movie screening begins. Various local partners and organizations, including California Family Fitness, Blue Star Moms, Yolo County Library, and more will be in attendance, handing out treats and other goodies. Local media, including KCRA, The Sacramento Bee, K-LOVE, and 107.9 The End will also be participating. The Yolo Basin Foundation is bringing live Mexican Free Tailed bats. Additional pre-movie activities include a costume contest, corn hole, candy corn counting, Dinger coloring, and much more.

Also new this year at Flick Or Treat is Dinger's Goods Drive. Starting Saturday, October 15th Dinger will be collecting household goods, canned and dry goods, baby supplies, and new and gently used clothing to give back to those in need. Those who donate will receive a discount coupon to be used at the River Cats On Deck Shop at Raley Field. The drive begins at Flick Or Treat and will last through Friday, November 4.

Hotel Transylvania 2, Sony's ghoul-filled animated adventure - featuring the voice talents of Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, and Selena Gomez - was released in 2015. The family-friendly comedy about Dracula's "monsters-only" resort and his half-human, half-vampire grandson is rated PG.

To ensure the best viewing of the videoboard, families and movie lovers of all ages in attendance will be seated in the lower seating bowl or on the field under the stars. Guests are strongly encouraged to bring a blanket when sitting on the field (no chairs are permitted).

The screening is scheduled to start at 6:00 p.m. Trick-or-treating and family-friendly activities will begin when gates open at 4:30 p.m. Tickets for all children are $6 while adults are $8. Season Passes for Dinger's Drive In are still available for just $10. Tickets can be purchased online or by visiting the Round Table Ticket Office at Raley Field. This event is rain or shine.

The Sacramento River Cats are the Triple-A affiliate of the three-time World Champion San Francisco Giants. For more information about the River Cats, visit www.rivercats.com. For information on other events at Raley Field, visit www.raleyfield.com

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