BIBA Awards Honors Those Who Make Community Great

By MPG Staff  |  2018-03-22

Robert Sanger and his team from the Folsom Cordova Community Partnership took home Nonprofit of the Year. Photo by Rick Sloan

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - The Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce held its Best In Business Awards (BIBA) last week, honoring those who have dedicated their time to growing their business and making the community a better place. The River City Christian Church hosted the event that saw no empty seats and West Coast Events and Hi Coffee catered for those in attendance.

Over 150 business and community leaders joined with the board and team from the Rancho Cordova Chamber in celebrating prosperity throughout Rancho Cordova.

Board Chair, Denise Brandt (National University) shared, "The Chamber is proud to have this opportunity to honor businesses and individuals for their significant role in driving business and economic prosperity."

Diann Rogers, President & CEO of the Chamber, stated, "We are responsible for providing quality programs and services to our business community. The outstanding Directors on our board are all business and community leaders dedicated to that purpose. We are excited to welcome five new directors for 2018: 
.    Sally Howard, Folsom Lake College
.    Mike Luca, CBRE Industrial Properties
.    Greg Robinson, Bank of the West
.    Chuck Shaw, Fite Development
.    Price Walker, Elliott Homes

And want to acknowledge the hard work and support from two outgoing directors:
.    Tony Cincotta, Republic Services (2015-2018)
.    Terrence McNamara, A. Teichert & Son, Inc. (2009-2017)”

The stage was then set for each award’s presenter and the winners were honored with great applause as they made their way to the stage and posed for photos taken by Rick Sloan.

Full list of winners:

Micro Business of the Year – Douglas A. Brewer, State Farm Insurance Agency

Small Business of the Year – Spainhower Chiropractic

Midsize Business of the Year – B&J Body Shop & Towing

Large Business of the Year – Marriott Sacramento, Rancho Cordova

Nonprofit of the Year – Folsom Cordova Community Partnership

Rising Star – Hi Coffee

Ambassador of the Year – Kimberly Austin

Chairman’s Award – Facilities Team, City of Rancho Cordova

For more information visit

Rancho Cordova's History

Sacramento Regional Transit District Moves Art

By Wendy Williams  |  2018-03-22

Each unique in style, color and design, the artists’ designs were transferred to vinyl and then applied using a standard fabrication and installation method to attach to the train. Art by Ruby Chacon. Photo by Rick Sloan

Local Artists Design Light Rail Wraps for “Rolling Art” Exhibition

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - In partnership with the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission (SMAC), the Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) unveiled four light rail trains that have been wrapped with art designed by four local artists: Ruby Chacón, Linda Nunes, Kerri Warner and Donine Wellman at the 7th & Richards/Township 9 light rail station in the River District.

“I want to thank the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission for being a great partner in our endeavor to bring creative energy and joy to our community,” said Henry Li, SacRT General Manager/CEO. “We are continually looking for ways to improve our riders’ experience, contribute to the beautification of Sacramento, and operate in a fiscally prudent manner. Art-wrapped trains accomplish each of these objectives.”

Chacón’s art creates spaces of belonging and builds community through art. Nunes’ artwork is a surreal and condensed landscape environment created with impenetrable vegetation, sunny colors, and subtle texture. Warner wanted her art to be colorful, whimsical and relatable to the people of Sacramento. Wellman chose bright and cheery colors with a countdown as the train arrives in a whimsical city.

The artists were selected from a juried registry based on their individual bodies of work that would suit the scale of light rail trains. Their colorful masterpieces will be traveling throughout the Sacramento region at various speeds – while also reflecting joyful expressions of our diverse Sacramento communities.

“These four artists represent such range in terms of their content, subject, style and design. Each artist came up with a unique message, completely different from the other, which is what I love about this exhibition,” said Patrick Kennedy, Chair of the SacRT Board of Directors and Vice Chair of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors. “Art does many things – it inspires, it creates conversation and it brings joy. SacRT is proud that our trains can bring a positive visual impact and message in each community.”

Each unique in style, color and design, the artists’ designs were transferred to vinyl and then applied using a standard fabrication and installation method to attach to the train. Wrapping is an efficient and cost-effective way to improve the exterior of older light rail trains. Funding for the project was provided through existing SacRT resources.

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Rancho Cordova Resident Dazzles in Disney on Ice Performances

By Russell Hartley, City of Rancho Corodova  |  2018-03-22

Rancho Cordovan Justine Lopez has traveled all over since joining the Disney on Ice tour and is preparing for shows in Asia, Australia and New Zealand soon.

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - "There isn't anything like it. For me, home is where it had all started," says ice skater Justine Lopez after performing in a series of Disney on Ice shows held in Sacramento in mid-February.  

Growing up in Rancho Cordova and also a current resident, Justine had the opportunity to perform close to home over the recent holidays at the Golden 1 Center, which she described as being an honor. The theme of the Disney on Ice shows was "Follow Your Heart," which led Justine back to where her journey began. 

"With the theme of the show, it's as if I 'followed my heart' back home to my roots," she says. "There's always just a special feeling performing close to home."

Justine's memories of growing up in Rancho Cordova include going to the rink and practicing early in the morning, then commuting to school, then going to the dance studio, then heading back to the rink, and once again heading to the dance studio before returning home. Basically, Justine has kept busy for quite some time, working to perfect her skills as much as possible. But as busy as she is, Justine still takes the time to appreciate her surroundings.

On growing up in Rancho Cordova, Justine says, "It wasn't the busy part that was so fond, but rather the landscapes that I would take in."

Since joining the Disney on Ice tour, Justine has traveled all over, but has noticed the changes in Rancho Cordova every time she returns.

"Whenever I get to go home during a break from tour, I take notice of the establishments that have grown in businesses around the area. Other than that, the same feeling I get when I'm home is always there. Nostalgic," says Lopez. 

And what's next for Justine Lopez? She is currently finishing the West Coast portion of her tour and making her way to Florida for rehearsals to prepare for the Asia/Australia/New Zealand shows. With all the time and hard work Justine puts in to becoming the best skater she can be, she still finds the time to work on earning a Bachelor's degree in Business after receiving her Associate's degree this past year. From there, the sky is the limit for Rancho Cordova's shining star.

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Rancho Cordova Police Chief Chris Pittman Speaks at Luncheon

By Rich Peters, MPG Editor  |  2018-03-22

Rancho Cordova Police Chief Chris Pittman

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Rancho Cordova hosted its monthly luncheon last week, this time bringing up Police Chief Chris Pittman to the stage. Pittman discussed the current state of crime around the city, what they have been doing to lower those rates and what can be expected from them in the future.

Pittman, his officers and the City of Rancho Cordova have been working together to construct a system that is both transparent and efficient for the community. Most recently, RCPD has been using a blend of proven police tactics combined with the newest technology to help continue to lower crime rate around the city.

One tactic being used is the community crime map. This shows exactly when and where crimes are happening and allows officers to visually see “hot spots” and patrol those areas accordingly. You can access the community crime map by visiting

Chief Pittman’s message to the community:

The Rancho Cordova Police Department's goal is to create a safe and vibrant community by developing and maintaining stakeholder partnerships and community involvement. 

Providing Police Service is more than reactionary policing; it is civic engagement coupled with proactive innovation that spurs development and growth.   

I invite you to become a partner in making your neighborhood and business thrive.

Get involved by:

  • Participating in a neighborhood watch group or neighborhood improvement committee
  • Volunteering at a neighborhood school or youth organization
  • Staying informed and getting involved in community issues that matter to you
  • Being an observant, caring and considerate neighbor
  • Volunteering with the Police Department
  • Becoming active in other service organizations

The men and women of the Rancho Cordova Police Department look forward to meeting our upcoming challenges and providing the community with unmatched excellence in law enforcement services.

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Cordova Blanks Florin 10-0

By Rich Peters, MPG Editor  |  2018-03-21

Cordova sophomore Dylan Murphy pitched six dominant innings, allowing just three hits while striking out six. Photo by Rick Sloan

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - The Cordova Lancers (3-3) hosted the Florin Panthers (1-5) last week, jumping out to an early lead and never looking back.

The Lancers scored three runs in the first inning and followed that with runs in every inning except for the fourth, shutting out the Panthers 10-0 in six innings.

Manix Benjamin, Nick Ravareau, Gavin Sullivan and Jeremy Buck all had multiple hit games for Cordova, who finished with 10 total. They also stole seven bases on the day.

For the Panthers, their offense was shut down by Lancers sophomore pitcher Dylan Murphy. Murphy gave up just three hits over six innings pitched, striking out six along the way.

The Lancers have now won three of their last four games, scoring a combined 40 runs in those three victories. They sit in third place of the Sierra Valley Conference standings behind El Dorado (5-1) and Liberty Ranch (2-2), but league play has just gotten under way this week and those standings are likely to change quickly with a full slate of games lined up.

Cordova will be busy this week as they will play five games in six days before the start of the 48th Annual Cordova Easter Tournament next week. The Lancers host the Franklin Yellowjackets this Saturday, March 24 with an 11am scheduled first pitch.

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Simple Energy and SMUD are expanding SMUD Energy Store to include home services.

Since last year, visitors to the store have been able to shop for energy-related and smart-home products. Now customers can also choose from a variety of home services categories, each featuring project ideas, available SMUD rebates and financing options, a contractor matching tool and educational resources. The contractor matching tool, powered by HomeAdvisor, helps homeowners connect with the right service professionals to complete home projects.

“This addition to SMUD Energy Store will make it easier for our customers to complete energy-saving home improvement projects,” said Nicole Howard, SMUD’s chief customer officer. “It brings together our product catalog, rebates, financing and HomeAdvisor’s network of pre-screened service providers, and we think our customers will love it.”

SMUD Energy Store’s home services offering helps customers in a variety of ways. Customers who know what they’re looking for—such as a contractor to do a furnace tune-up—will quickly be matched with available pre-screened contractors. Customers looking for inspiration can browse services such as Heating & Cooling, Appliance Upgrades and Water Heaters & Plumbing and find step-by-step instructions, locate a class or workshop and get equipment operating tips.

Simple Energy CEO Yoav Lurie said: “Our utility-branded marketplace has been proven to drive the most customer transactions, and this product launch is a significant step forward for our platform. We’re excited to help SMUD deliver a delightful customer experience for home services and be their customers’ trusted advisor for all of their energy-related needs.”

By providing project inspiration, a network of pre-screened local contractors, cost guides, how-to information and access to available rebates and financing, SMUD Energy Store gives our customers what they need to successfully complete their home improvement projects. Over time, SMUD Energy Store will continue to expand the services and products it offers.

As the nation’s sixth-largest community-owned electric service provider, SMUD has been providing low-cost, reliable electricity for more than 70 years to Sacramento County and small adjoining portions of Placer and Yolo Counties. SMUD is a recognized industry leader and award winner for its innovative energy efficiency programs, renewable power technologies, and for its sustainable solutions for a healthier environment. SMUD’s power mix is about 50 percent non-carbon emitting. For more information, visit

Simple Energy is the leading provider of utility-branded marketplaces for large investor-owned, municipal, and cooperative utilities including Exelon, Southern Company, Xcel Energy, National Grid, and SMUD. Simple Energy’s software as a service (“SaaS”) instant rebate, customer engagement, digital marketing, and ecommerce solutions engage customers, drive energy savings, facilitate the sale of energy-saving products and services, and serve as the platform for the utility of the future. Learn more at

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United Way Women to Collect Towels, Toiletries and Luggage for Local Foster Youth

By Kate Towson  |  2018-03-21

Volunteers are needed on April 17 from 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at United Way’s office to package the donations and write notes of encouragement to each of the foster youth. Photo courtesy United Way

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Local residents can donate new towels, toiletries and luggage for local foster youth through United Way’s Women United Spring Drive happening now through April 17. Items will be donated through Sacramento County’s Foster Youth Emancipation Basket program to more than 260 local foster youth preparing to leave the system and live on their own for the first time. Donations can be purchased from the Amazon wishlist at or can be dropped off at United Way’s office at 10389 Old Placerville Road in Sacramento.

Volunteers are needed on April 17 from 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at United Way’s office to package the donations and write notes of encouragement to each of the foster youth.

“The goal of the Spring Drive is to support foster youth as they prepare to leave the system,” said Jessica Gauna-Miller of United Way’s Women United. “Foster youth in our community often lack the basic household necessities you need when living on your own for the first time, such as towels, luggage and toiletries. When you participate in the Spring Drive, you’re setting foster youth up for success.”

United Way’s Women United action group in the California Capital Region is a powerful force of 350 local women and supporters making sure local foster youth are prepared for success in college or career when they leave foster care. This focus is part of the Square One Project, the local United Way’s 20-year promise to significantly increase the number of students who graduate from high school ready for success in college and beyond. Through nine decades of work and research across Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, Placer and Yolo counties, the local United Way believes ending poverty starts in school and is working to ensure kids meet important milestones to prepare for success in college or career.

Formerly known as Women in Philanthropy, the local Women United group is now part of the global Women United network of more than 70,000 women leaders taking action in their communities. For more information or to make a donation, visit

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Aerojet Rocketdyne Ships Starliner Re-entry Thrusters

By Aerojet Rocketdyne  |  2018-03-21

Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner conducts a docking approach to the International Space Station Photo courtesy Boeing

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Aerojet Rocketdyne recently completed delivery of all of the crew module engines for Boeing’s Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 Starliner spacecraft. Boeing will integrate the engines into the Starliner crew module at its Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The Starliner crew module is designed to transport up to seven passengers or a mix of crew and cargo for missions to low-Earth orbit destinations. Developed in partnership with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, the Starliner will carry up to four astronauts to and from the International Space Station for NASA missions. Each capsule is designed to be used up to 10 times and features 12 Aerojet Rocketdyne MR-104J engines to properly orient the spacecraft during atmospheric re-entry.

“Astronaut safety is paramount at Aerojet Rocketdyne, which is why we are providing a reliable propulsion system for the Starliner crew module to ensure a safe re-entry for all of Starliner’s passengers,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake.

Each MR-104J engine produces more than 100 pounds of thrust and draws on a legacy dating back to NASA’s Voyager probes, which have traveled farther in space than any other human-made objects. Key to the reusability of CST-100 Starliner crew module engines is a patent-pending design approach that strengthens the engine to withstand extreme operating temperatures without significantly increasing its weight. The total weight of the delivered flight engines met the Boeing requirement with more than a 12 percent margin.

In addition to the crew module engines, Aerojet Rocketdyne is providing launch abort engines, service module reaction control thrusters, and service module orbital maneuvering and attitude control engines for the Starliner program.

Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), is an innovative company delivering solutions that create value for its customers in the aerospace and defense markets. The company is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader that provides propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical systems and armaments areas, in support of domestic and international markets. Additional information about Aerojet Rocketdyne can be obtained by visiting our websites at and

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Recycling It Right Reduces Contamination

Sacramento County News Release  |  2018-03-21

Sacramento County Department of Waste Management & Recycling (DWMR) encourages everyone to recycle it right!

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - With all that goes in your recycling cart, do you know what it means to recycle it right? For starters, it means not placing garden hoses in your green waste cart or household batteries in your mixed recycling or garbage cart. Even though recycling has been around for a long time, it can still be very confusing about what goes where. What you do really does matter – a lot! Because, if you are not disposing of your items correctly, chances are, neither are your neighbors and that can add up to a big contamination problem. Sacramento County Department of Waste Management & Recycling (DWMR) encourages everyone to recycle it right!

Let’s sort out recycling!

DWMR provides curbside garbage, recycling and green waste service to about 154,000 customers in the unincorporated area. With that many customers, recycling can easily go wrong. When you load up your recycling cart with clean metals, glass beverage and food containers, and paper, and then you throw in just one unacceptable item such as Styrofoam, a light bulb, or even garbage – especially if it is a greasy pizza box or other food-soiled material – you have just contaminated all your recyclables. When those contaminated recyclables are added to our trucks, it contaminates your neighbor’s recycling, so by the time our truck finishes the route, the entire load will be a mess. 

Why is contaminated recycling such a big deal?

When a truckload of recycling has too much contamination, recycling processors either have to slow down the sort line to effectively recover the recyclables, which substantially increases the cost to recycle, or they have to reject the entire load and it’s sent to the landfill. This hurts our program and the environment, which ends up wasting the value of the material and filling up landfill space.

Sacramento County and Sacramento-area municipalities are reminding all customers about the problems of contaminated recycling – for more information, read the insert: Recycle It Right

What’s in and what’s out?

Now that we know the importance of recycling it right, there are many resources available to help you remember what to put in and what to leave out of your curbside carts! Review acceptable and unacceptable curbside recycling materials. For helpful information to learn how to recycle or properly dispose of specific items, go to the A to Z Materials Guide, or check out the lineup of Recycling Brochures. There are also a host of short recycling videos on the County’s YouTube Utilities & Residential Services Playlist

Customer outreach – more on recycling it right!

We all have busy lives and are bombarded with information every day. DWMR is currently developing a customer outreach campaign to remind residents about the importance of recycling it right and could include a door hanger “packet” with information on acceptable and unacceptable items for the garbage, green waste, and recycling carts. Additionally, DWMR is researching other measures to reduce contamination in curbside recycling carts before they end up in collection trucks. It is our goal that this outreach will help remind customers what, and what not to put in each cart. By working together, we can reduce contamination and protect our environment.

For waste management and recycling questions:

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Project Linus Seeks Blanketeers for Local Children in Need

By Elise Spleiss  |  2018-03-20

An elementary soccer team with blankets from Sacramento Chapter Linus Project Photo courtesy of Claire Gliddon

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) – On Christmas Eve morning, 1995, Karen Loucks came across the compelling photo of a bald three-year-old girl named Laura Williams in a long pink dress, holding her special “blankie.”   

Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning photo-journalist Eddie Adams, the article in Parade Magazine told of Laura’s battle with leukemia and how her blanket has helped her get through more than two years of grueling chemotherapy.

After reading that article, Karen Loucks, who was 23 at the time, and had just learned to crochet, decided she could crochet blankets to help children like Laura; thus started Project Linus.

To date, Loucks, her friends and hundreds of volunteers have presented thousands of homemade blankets to Denver's Rocky Mountain Children's Cancer Center and many other venues locally and worldwide.  

‘Linus’ was chosen for the logo, as the image of Charles Schulz’s beloved Peanuts character with his trusted security blanket tells the mission of the project perfectly.

Since 1995, 400 chapters nationwide have delivered close to 7,000,000 blankets to children in need of all ages.

In a recent phone interview with Loucks, she said, “For me, it’s thrilling to be a part of this… I don’t like to do something unless I can make a difference. I don’t get on the hamster wheel just to see it turn…. Here I can see results every day. We can’t stop the disasters but can have a positive effect and help where we can… It’s kids helping kids, they use their own hands to help others.”

The Sacramento Chapter, with Claire Gliddon at the helm since 1997, is working tirelessly to get their own blankets out to children in need in Sacramento and Placer counties. Local “blanketeers” made and delivered 12,437 blankets to needy children in 2017.

Today Gliddon is seeking more volunteers of all ages and organizations that need that “hug” for children.  Donations of material and yarn to make even more blankets are needed. Seniors and others who love to knit, crochet, quilt or sew can join in the fun and camaraderie of creating something that will make a huge difference in the life of a child or teenager. These ‘homemade hugs’ can be as simple or complex as the creator choses.

There are no meetings, no quotas.  The only requisite is that blankets be new, handmade and washable. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, whether you can make one blanket a year or 100, all are welcome. Blankets can be made at home, with friends, at a community facility such as the Fair Oaks Library, or at one of the many chapter gatherings that take place all over Sacramento and Placer County. Yarn and fabric is available if needed.

“Blanketeers” include seniors, members of faith communities, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H Clubs and both junior high and high school students needing community service hours.  Yarn is even provided to the Chowchilla Women’s Prison and men at Folsom State Prison to make blankets for the chapter. 

Blankets are donated to over 100 local organizations all year. These include hospitals, low-income elementary schools, food closets, shelters, police departments, child abuse prevention programs, the Sheriff’s Department, Ronald McDonald House, My Mother’s Voice, My Sister’s House and Wellspring Women’s Center, to name a few.  Blankets are also donated to children of veterans.  Every blanket gets a tag sewn on that says, “Made with Love for Project Linus.”

The children know the difference from a manufactured blanket and are “touched that a stranger would take the time to make something for them.” One child stated, “This is the only thing in the hospital that’s mine.”

Following the Columbine school shooting in 1999, blanket donations expanded to victims of other disasters. Besides mostly staying local, children affected by 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, fires in California, and school shootings are just some of the recipients of blankets from Gliddon’s blanketeers.

Gliddon and her volunteers have been invited to exhibit their blankets at the California State Fair since 2015.

A special plea is going out to all collectors for new or almost new Beanie Babies. The project starts at the beginning of each December when they choose a handful of low income schools and present every kindergartener with a warm blanket.  A very special touch is the addition of a Beanie Baby in a little pouch with each blanket.  In 2017, 790 blankets were delivered to these schools just before Winter break.

Those who join receive an information packet with a list of gatherings, drop-off sites and suggested sizes.  For more info, contact Claire Gliddon at (916) 965-8955, e-mail or visit their website and Facebook page at Project Linus-Sacramento-Chapter.

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