TAKE FLIGHT Opens at Aerospace Museum

By Traci Rockefeller Cusack   |  2017-10-13

The Aerospace Museum is open to the public Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Photo courtesy of Aeropsace Museum.

To Debut Interactive Exhibit in October
 

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - The Aerospace Museum of California is proud to present an interactive new exhibit titled TAKE FLIGHT that will be available for guests to explore and enjoy from October 17, 2017 through January 9, 2018. With a variety of dynamic elements and multiple activity stations, guests of all ages will begin to understand the fundamentals needed to achieve flight. The new TAKE FLIGHT exhibit will occupy approximately 2,000-square feet of space on the ground floor inside the impressive Museum.

The new exhibit will help Museum guests learn about the evolution and history of flight before they begin their own exciting journey of discovery with a series of building activities that help them create different forms of flying machines. The exhibit is designed to help visitors explore and understand how the physical characteristics of lift, thrust, drag, rotation and gravity are important to achieve flight. Guests of all ages will especially enjoy the activity stations such as Make it Fly--Planes, Make It Fly--Rockets and Make It Fly—Copters. Museum guests will have a chance to test out and fine-tune their designs with the help of elements such as the Wing Zinger, Rocket Launcher and Wind Tube. 

Museum Guests Can Enjoy Special “Rocket Talk” Presentations by a NASA Solar System Ambassador on October 21 Only

As an added element on Saturday, October 21 only, Museum guests will have the opportunity to see a special “Rocket Talk” presentation by NASA Solar System Ambassador Jayce Pearson as he discusses the fascinating world of rocketry. Ambassador Pearson will lead three presentations at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on that one day only that will each include a lively discussion of the history of rocketry, how rocketry works, and what is happening in rocketry now. Between presentations, Ambassador Pearson will be available to answer questions about rocketry, space exploration and the solar system.

The TAKE FLIGHT exhibit and special activities are included with Museum admission: $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and teachers (with ID), $8 for children and youth (ages 6-17), and is free for children ages 5 and younger along with active duty military (with ID) and Museum members. The Aerospace Museum is open to the public Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and school or special groups of 20 or more are encouraged to book tours in advance with the reduced admission pricing of $7 per person. 

As a companion experience to the TAKE FLIGHT exhibit, the Museum is also home to a popular and fun Flight Zone flight simulator that is a state-of-the-art STEM learning laboratory featuring 10 digital flight stations (note there is an added fee for the Flight Zone flight simulator: $5 for a 20-minute session, available for purchase in the gift shop). Flight Zone is open to the public Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information about the TAKE FLIGHT exhibit, the “Rocket Talk” presentations on October 21, the Flight Zone flight simulator or the Aerospace Museum of California in general, please call 916-643-3192 or visit www.aerospaceca.org.

Located in a spacious facility at McClellan Business Park in Sacramento, the Aerospace Museum of California is one of aviation’s greatest showcases that captures the allure of flight. With a wide range of impressive military and civilian aircraft on display – from biplanes to Russian MIGs -- and an extensive engine collection, the Museum also offers a state-of-the-art STEM learning laboratory or “Flight Zone” with 10 interactive digital flight stations. The Museum is committed to providing a world-class experience along with the opportunity to learn about and celebrate aviation’s past, present and future. For more, visit www.aerospaceca.org

For more information about the TAKE FLIGHT exhibit, the “Rocket Talk” presentations on October 21, the Flight Zone flight simulator or the Aerospace Museum of California in general, please call 916-643-3192 or visit www.aerospaceca.org.

 

Source: T-Rock Communications

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Metro Fire Rolls Out in Pink for Breast Cancer

Story by Jacqueline Fox  |  2017-10-13

For the last two years, Metro Fire has won the contest for most money raised for Movember’s “First Responder Challenge,” which involves fire departments and others across the region. Photo courtesy Sac Metro Fire

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District (Metro Fire) kicked off Breast Cancer Awareness month with the debut of one of its Pierce manufactured fire trucks decked out in a pink wrap, ribbon and a touch of blue Oct 5, part of its two-month campaign to raise funds and awareness for breast and other forms of cancer.

The big pink truck made its debut at Metro Fire headquarters in Mather as part of the centerpiece of the campaign “All Cancers All People.” Metro Fire has partnered with the Albie Aware Breast Cancer Foundation to promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, and the Movember Foundation to put the focus on men’s health and cancer awareness in November.  

“The centerpiece of its multi-month campaign was the transformation of one of our Pierce Manufactured fire trucks from fire engine red to “October Pink” and just a touch of blue ombre,” says Christopher Vestal, Metro Fire captain/paramedic and public information officer.”

Albie Aware Breast Cancer Foundation Executive Director Cindy Love, alongside cancer survivors from Metro Fire and others who have been impacted by cancer attended the roll out for the campaign. Albie Aware, founded in 2007, offers assistance for life-saving diagnostic testing, patient advocacy, prevention education and compassionate support to individuals battling breast cancer.  

The Movember Foundation was founded in 2003 in Melbourne, Australia to essentially fund research and programs dealing with education and treatment for prostate cancer.  In 2007, Movember launched in the United States with a partnership with the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Today, the foundation works to conduct outreach and fund research for men’s cancer and various other health-related causes, including suicide prevention, with a global reach and roughly 5 million participants.               

Metro Fire’s pink truck, which has been named “All Cancers All People,” got its makeover courtesy of Sacramento-based Vehicle Wraps Inc., with a little help from Sacramento Area Firefighters Local 522 and the Sacramento Metro Firefighters Association, Vestal said.  In addition to the debut of the pink and pale blue truck, Vestal said Metro Fire was teaming up with the Sacramento Kings to conduct “surprise visits” to patients across the region and deliver free tickets to the Kings’ Oct. 9 game against the Portland Trailblazers, during which Albie Aware breast cancer survivors will be participating in the half-time ceremony.

This is the fourth year Metro Fire has been involved in promoting cancer awareness in the county. The way Metro Fire sees it, the outreach goes hand-in-hand with its normal duties.

“We view this as something that extends our mission to providing services to our community throughout the region, not just emergency situations, but also preventative outreach,” Vestal said. “We have a duty to let people know about how early detection helps save lives and about the services available to those who are diagnoses with cancer.”

For the last two years, Metro Fire has won the contest for most money raised for Movember’s “First Responder Challenge,” which involves fire departments and others across the region.  Metro Fire collected $32,000 in donations for 2016 and $28,000 in 2015.

“Metro Fire will be working hard again to win Movember’s “First Responder Challenge” for the third year in a row after setting a record in 2017 record of $32,000,” Vestal said.

Wanna join in the fun?  You can engage, socially that is, with Metro Fire by sharing your cancer related story or message of support using the hashtag #AllCancersAllPeople on the department’s social media pages on Facebook (Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District), Instagram (@metro_fire_sacramento), and Twitter (@metrofirepio).

For more information: visit www.metrofire.ca.gov

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Sacramento County Growers Smash Crop Output Records

By Bill Bird, SCFB  |  2017-10-04

The high prices for wine grapes and other commodities in Sacramento County masked troubling news that yields in several commodity areas dropped significantly last year. Stock photo

2016 Crop and Livestock Report Tops $500 Million for the First Time

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - Led by a dramatic increase in the price for wine grapes, Sacramento County farmers and ranchers set a record for overall agricultural output last year. The 2016 Crop and Livestock Report released by the Sacramento County Agricultural Commissioner's Office revealed that the gross value of all agricultural production in Sacramento County reached a record high of more than $507 million. The figure represents a 7.9 percent increase over last year's numbers, despite a record fifth year of drought that hurt many agricultural operations.

"Wine grapes continue to rule as King in Sacramento County as they have for the past eight years and milk continues to hold onto the number two slot," said Sacramento County Agricultural Commissioner Juli Jensen during her presentation to the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors. "California is the third top producing state in pears, behind Washington and Oregon. Sacramento County is the top pear producing county in California."

The high prices for wine grapes and other commodities in Sacramento County masked troubling news that yields in several commodity areas dropped significantly last year. The numbers for field crops such as rice, wheat, silage corn, oats and irrigated pasture all suffered significant declines. Yields for other crops such as cherries and walnuts also dropped, as did cattle and calves and other livestock. The value of aquaculture also fell sharply in Sacramento County, led by a steep decline in the price for caviar.

Sacramento County Farm Bureau Executive Director Bill Bird admitted that while drought may be to blame for the lower output for some commodities, other factors may also be playing a role.

"Our farmers and ranchers are forced to pay the highest labor costs in this country," said Bird. "The high minimum wage coupled with very expensive workers compensation insurance, liability insurance and health care benefits costs our growers millions of dollars. These are costs that growers in other states are not forced to shoulder."

The 2016 Crop and Livestock report also revealed that nursery stock climbed back into the top five agricultural products produced in Sacramento County, which is attributed to a recovering housing market and efforts by homeowners to replace lawns with drought tolerant landscaping.

The dollar figures in the report do not reflect the cost of the production of these agricultural commodities. The figures also do not reflect grower costs such as processing, transportation and labor.

Sacramento County farmers put food on your fork.  Our agricultural operations and products are as diverse as the lands we carefully manage.  We are proud to provide healthy, fresh food for your family and ours.

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Washington, DC (MPG) - The Internal Revenue Service has an important reminder for taxpayers who filed for an extension and face an Oct. 16 filing deadline: The adjusted gross income (AGI) amount from their 2015 return may be needed to electronically file their 2016 tax return.

For those taxpayers who have a valid extension and are in or affected by a federally declared disaster area may be allowed more time to file. Currently, taxpayers impacted by Hurricanes HarveyIrma and Maria as well as people in parts of Michigan and West Virginia qualify for this relief. See the disaster relief page on IRS.gov for details.

As a reminder, taxpayers should keep a copy of their tax returns and supporting documents for a minimum of three years. Prior year tax returns are even more important as the IRS makes changes to protect taxpayers and authenticate their identity.

Extension filers should plan ahead if they are using a software product for the first time. They should have kept a copy of their 2015 tax return or if not, will need to order a tax transcript, a process that may take five to 10 calendar days. The AGI is clearly labeled on both the tax return and the transcript.

Taxpayers who prepare their own electronic tax returns are required to electronically sign and validate their return. Using an electronic filing PIN is no longer an option. To authenticate their identities, taxpayers will also need to enter either of two items: their prior-year AGI or their prior-year self-select PIN and their date of birth. If married filing jointly, both taxpayers must authenticate their identities with this information.

Generally, tax-preparation software automatically generates the prior-year AGI and/or self-select PIN for returning customers. However, taxpayers who are new to a software product must enter the prior-year AGI or prior-year self-select PIN themselves.

How to Find AGI; Plan Ahead if a Mailed Transcript Needed

The adjusted gross income is gross income minus certain adjustments. On 2015 tax returns, the AGI is found on line 37 of Form 1040; line 21 on Form 1040A and line 4 on Form 1040EZ. Taxpayers who e-filed and did not keep a copy of their original 2015 tax return may be able to return to their prior-year software provider or tax preparer to obtain a copy.

Those who lack access to their prior-year tax returns also may go to irs.gov/transcript and use Get Transcript Online or Get Transcript by Mail. A transcript is a summary of the tax return or tax account. There are various types of transcripts, but the Tax Return Transcript works best. Look for the “Adjusted Gross Income” amount on the transcript.

Taxpayers must pass Secure Access authentication in order to access Get Transcript Online and immediately access their transcripts. Those who cannot pass Secure Access authentication should use Get Transcript by Mail or call 800-908-9946, and a transcript will be delivered to their home address within five to 10 calendar days.

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Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - The Parkinson Association of Northern California (PANC) is holding its Annual Education and Information Conference at the Sacramento Convention Center on Saturday, October 21st from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

The event will provide information, education, and inspiration to people living with Parkinson’s disease (PD) along with their carepartners and family members and interested members of the community. Featuring regionally recognized expert clinicians and therapists in the field of movement disorders, the conference will highlight the future of the disease along with inspiration and tools to help attain the highest possible quality of life for people living with Parkinson’s disease.

Additional Information about the event and registration options can be found by visiting the PANC website at www.panctoday.org. The cost to attend the event which includes a full-day of presentations, exhibit fair, and lunch is $25 per registrant.

“Our annual conference is an upbeat event of community, learning and connection. We educate attendees about the latest in Parkinson’s disease research and therapies and connect individuals who share challenges and successes with PD. We’re excited to host this event for our Northern California constituents and look forward to an uplifting day,” says PANC president, Nancy Kretz.

Parkinson’s disease is diagnosed in more than 50,000 Americans each year. We are asking for the assistance of the media to help make this event a successful one and provide this information and event coverage to your audiences who may have PD, know someone with PD, or possibly be diagnosed in the future.

The Parkinson Association of Northern California has been dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for people living with Parkinson’s, their families, and carepartners since 1996. We facilitate over 30 regional Support Groups, host the Annual Conference, publish a quarterly newsletter (Parkinson Path), offer financial support for caregiver respite, support medical community collaboration across healthcare providers, and more. We live our motto, ”Until there is a cure…hope and healing every day.” For more information see www.panctoday.org

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A Respite Club for Caregivers

By Rebecca Graulich  |  2017-10-04

The Respite Club is packed with fun activities, music, dancing, games and exercise. Photo courtesy Respite Club

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - There’s a happening club in that caters to a select clientele: people with dementia.

The Respite Club is packed with fun activities, music, dancing, games and exercise. A mid-morning snack is provided as well as a full lunch. It is open approximately 10 days per month, five hours a day and is striving to increase its hours of operation.

“Our doors open at 9:30 a.m. and we are on the move until 2:30 p.m. when we end our day,” notes Activity Coordinator Terri Lyman. “We focus on mental, physical and social stimulation. It is a place where participants can fit in and be themselves, and usually they make friends quickly.”

While club goers enjoy themselves, family caregivers take advantage of the “respite” aspect of the program: time for themselves. Caring for a loved one with dementia can be overwhelming – emotionally, physically, mentally and financially. Caregivers need time to run errands, see friends or just be alone.

Bobby, a volunteer, observed, “The Club gives participants a sense of belonging and caregivers needed freedom.” He knows, his father attends the program.

“Our goal is to bring peace of mind and support to families touched by dementia,” says Program Coordinator Flora Maloney, who over the past 17 years has grown the program from three hours a month to 50. “When caregivers are rested, they are better able to face the challenges of caring for a person with a disease such as Alzheimer’s. When care recipients are happy and relaxed, it contributes to a better relationship between caregiver and care recipient.”

The Respite Club was recently recognized by the 100+ Women Who Care Sacramento chapter who selected them as the winner of a pitch competition among local nonprofits. The prize, approximately $10,000, will be put toward expanding the program.

This is good news for participants like Ann who noted, “The club is a great place to meet people and enjoy doing interesting things. We all enjoy the projects and the good meals.”

The Respite Club hosts an annual Caregiver Day event, which provides information on a variety of topics to help caregivers navigate the challenges of caring for a loved one. Several professionals, including a trust and estate attorney, a marriage and family counselor, a tax preparer/financial planner, a care manager and an end-of-life coach, as well as many others, donate their time and offer free 30-minute private consultations with caregivers. This year’s event also features panel discussions on home modifications to prolong living at home, and care for the caregiver, as well as a talk on caregiver resources.

Caregiver Day is Saturday, October 21, 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Cordova Neighborhood Church, 10600 Coloma Road in Rancho Cordova. There is no charge to attend. Consultations are restricted to family caregivers but everyone is welcome to attend the presentations and visit the tables of the various professionals. For more information or to register for private consultations, call (916) 635-5147.

The Respite Club not only benefits the participants and their caregivers but all who come in contact with it. Glenda, the Respite Club bookkeeper, shared, “I came to the Respite Club 15 years ago when my dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I am so grateful for the love, compassion and care we found here. I decided I definitely wanted to be part of such a wonderful program. What a blessing for the caregivers, care recipients, volunteers and staff.”

Rebecca Graulich is the Assistant Program Coordinator at The Respite Club and the chair of the Sacramento County Adult & Aging Commission. She can be reached (916) 635-5147 or rebeccag@respiteclub.org.

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SMUD exploring new ways to keep vehicles from hitting power poles

SMUD Media  |  2017-09-29

SMUD has installed some measures to mitigate damage to power poles and other electrical equipment by vehicles hitting them. The measures are part of a pilot program designed to increase visibility of and provide some protection to the power poles and to motorists. SMUD has seen an increase in “car-pole” accidents in recent years. The work is part of SMUD’s efforts to enhance public and worker safety and the SMUD grid’s reliability. The photo  shows a “Raptor” power pole barrier being installed in Wilton, CA. Photo courtesy SMUD

Sharp rise in incidents can jeopardize safety and power reliability

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - SMUD is evaluating several measures to reduce the number of incidents that involve vehicles crashing into the electric utility’s infrastructure, especially power poles. The five-year pilot program aims to increase public and worker safety, and reduce the number of associated power outages.

SMUD data shows an increasing trend of these incidents annually. In 2006 for example, there were 153 “car-pole” accidents. In 2016, there were 271. Increased traffic volume, distracted and unsafe driving, as well as other factors are to blame, but the end result is the same: increased potential for public and worker safety hazards and more power outages.

The pilot program will focus on power poles and electrical equipment that’s been crashed into multiple times over the years. Measures include removing and relocating power poles; redesigning them; installing higher-visibility reflective strips; and installing large, high-visibility protective barriers, known as “Raptor” technology, around the power poles.

The Raptor is big and yellow. It is easily installed at the base of the pole and is designed to absorb the impact of a vehicle crash, sparing the power pole and preventing a power outage for SMUD customers. The Raptor has been used by other utilities and SMUD wants to see if they are a possible solution to improve safety, while making power poles more visible to motorists and more resilient to being damaged if a vehicle collides with the pole.

The main goal of the pilot is enhancing public and worker safety. SMUD takes public safety very seriously Power reliability is also key. While car-pole accidents comprise about five percent of all types of SMUD outages annually, they account for about a quarter of the overall average duration of outages for SMUD’s customers. SMUD’s Board of Directors, elected by SMUD customers to set policy, has made reliability one of SMUD’s core values, so it’s a priority for SMUD staff to fulfill it.

In addition to compromised reliability and safety, power outages caused by car-pole accidents cause loss of revenue to SMUD and increased costs for labor and materials to repair and replace damaged electrical infrastructure. For example, a pole replacement can cost more than $11,000 for the pole, the five-man crew to replace it and other associated expenses for each incident. Beyond SMUD’s costs, pole replacements can take eight hours or more and cost the community’s businesses lost revenue from power outages and associated traffic jams due to lane closures to make the repairs.

SMUD is doing its part to increase public and worker safety and reduce the frequency and duration of outages due to these traffic accidents. SMUD also urges motorists to do their part by driving safely, obeying traffic laws and avoiding anything that may cause distractions. For more information about SMUD and its commitment to public and worker safety, visit SMUD.org.

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