NASCAR Comes to Town

By Steven Blakesley, Blakesley Sports Media  |  2019-10-10

Image of NASCAR K&N Pro Series circle track stock cars to run in the Sacramento Region. Courtesy Blakesley Sports Media

ROSEVILLE, CA (MPG) - One of the largest motorsports events in Northern California returns for the 21st appearance of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, West in Roseville, when the NAPA Auto Parts/ENEOS 150 roars into the All American Speedway on October 12th. Exciting, door-pounding NASCAR short track racing comes to the one-third mile with the only national televised racing event in Placer County.

$3 from every ticket sold will support the California Peace Officers Memorial Foundation. The hottest ticket of the year also supports the Placer Breast Cancer Foundation with over $100,000 raised in event history.

Joining the NAPA Auto Parts/ENEOS 150 will be the championship finales for the NASCAR-sanctioned Late Models, Modifieds, Super Stocks, and F4s, plus racing for Jr. Late Models, Mini Cups vs. Bandoleros, and Legends of the Pacific. All told, eight main events and over 350 laps of competition are scheduled for over $100,000 in cash and prizes.

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series, West is the highest developmental level of NASCAR on the West Coast and has been competing since 1954. Some of NASCAR’s top drivers, including Cup Series champions Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano, started their racing careers in the K&N Series. Elk Grove’s Kyle Larson and Grass Valley’s Matt DiBenedetto are among the Northern California-based racers who were propelled up the ladder thanks in large part to the series.

A strong batch of NASCAR hopefuls will be competing, and it includes a pair of 18 year-olds. Championship points leader Derek Kraus of Stratford, Wisconsin and third in points Hailie Deegan of Temecula, California have taken the stock car world by storm. Kraus has nine career victories, while Deegan – the only female driver to win in the K&N Series – has three wins.

Second in the championship is 17 year-old Jagger Jones out of Scottsdale, Arizona. Jones is the grandson of the legendary Indianapolis 500 champion Parnelli Jones and is the leading rookie of the season. Southern California’s Trevor Huddleston and Washington’s Brittney Zamora round out the top-five in the championship.

Roseville’s NAPA Auto Parts/ENEOS 150 will mark the 12th round in the 14-race championship for 2019. Also in action will be the first NASCAR championships in Roseville in several years as part of the NASCAR Home Tracks program. Cameron Park’s Jason Romero has clinched the Late Model title, while battles continue in the other divisions. Points leaders include Loomis’ Nick Lyons in the Modifieds, Carmichael’s Andrew Peeler in the Super Stocks, and Roseville’s Ray Molina in F4s.

Mini Cups vs. Bandoleros are in a dead heat between Fort Bragg’s Trey Daniels and Loomis’ Kenna Mitchell.  Smartsville’s Brody Armtrout leads the Jr. Late Model competition. The Legends of the Pacific touring series makes their second stop of the season after Nick Halen scored the win in August.

Tickets are on sale in advance by visiting or visiting the track ticket office at 900 Riverside Blvd in Roseville. The office is open from 9 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday.

General Admission tickets are $35 for adults, $25 for kids ages 6-12, and $30 for Military, First Responders, and Seniors ages 65 and older.  Kids five and under are free.  A VIP experience is available which includes a free gift, BBQ dinner, VIP pit tour, driver meet and greet, and much more.  VIP tickets are $60 for adults and $50 for kids ages 6-12.  Gates open at 4pm with the first of the local NASCAR main events starting immediately afterwards.

Additional details are available by calling the track info line at (916) 786-2025. All American Speedway is located at 800 All America City Blvd in Roseville. 

Plant-Based Movement Takes to the High Seas

By David Dickstein  |  2019-10-15

Docked in Skagway, Alaska, is Seven Seas Mariner, one of the Regent Seven Seas Cruises ships that sails out of California. Photo by David Dickstein

Are Falafel Power Bowls the New Surf & Turf for Cruisers?

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - As further proof that the migration to plant-based products is not a fad, but a bona fide trend, more and more cruise lines are keeping pace with current consumer habits by welcoming aboard the gastronomic movement to their fleets.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises is the next to expand its cuisine with plant-based dishes. Later this fall, the luxury-class line is giving passengers more than 200 new and delicious reasons to feel less guilty about bypassing the fitness center and jogging track while on vacation. This meat-eater certainly will use that excuse thanks to an exclusive advance tasting of some of the plant-based dishes awaiting their debut.

Making notable and nutritious changes to its fare from bow to stern, Regent’s menu makeover appears to be on par with efforts of its direct luxury-class competitor, Oceania Cruises, and more aggressive than earlier plant-based pushes made by more modest cruise lines including Disney, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity.

Soon on Regent ships, including the Seven Seas Mariner and Navigator that sail out of the Port of Los Angeles, it will be out with a separate vegan menu and in with scores of gourmet plant-based dishes integrated into the daily menus of the main dining room and beyond. The new items, which include falafel power bowls and the already mainstreamed-on-land Impossible cheeseburger, will be identified by a small leaf icon. The designation will be an add-on to bills of fare that already have a symbol for lacto-ovo vegetarian foods, meaning they may contain milk and eggs. Based on Regent’s project timeline, the plant-based dishes will be rolled out fleet-wide by World Vegan Day on Nov. 1.

Captaining the culinary creations is Regent Food and Beverage Vice President Bernhard Klotz, who noted that plant-based cuisine appeals to a broad audience of luxury travelers. “This is an emerging, modern specialty cuisine that allows our guests to enjoy more flavorful foods that are in harmony with their current tastes,” he said.

The project team also includes world-renowned chef and author Christophe Berg, a 15-year vegan who recently served in a similar consulting capacity for Oceania, which rolled out 200 plant-based dishes across its entire fleet in August. The new options have been described by Bob Binder, Oceania president and CEO, as “flavorful, colorful, bold and creative.”

Executing a similar vegetarian-rooted vision will be the galley crews of Regent’s four-vessel fleet – five when the Seven Seas Splendor arrives in February. The effected chefs and cooks will be trained a few days before each ship becomes a floating ambassador of the growing plant-based movement.

While similarities exist between plant-based and vegan diets, both of which are generally based on personal health, animal welfare and environmental concerns, the main difference between the two is followers of the former are free to eat dairy, as well as poultry, red meat, fish and animal bi-products. Vegans, vehemently, aren’t.

Excited to climb aboard the plant-based train – check that, ship – is Dino Schwager, a nine-year executive chef with Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

“Plant-based is a movement, like a political movement,” said Schwager during a recent seven-day Alaskan cruise aboard the Seven Seas Mariner. “This is a new cuisine, a completely new niche.”

Exclusive, Almost-to-Spec Tasting

Although the fleet’s galleys were still months away from being fully stocked for the new recipes, the affable German chef personally made this travel writer a three-course meal as close to being “leaf-worthy” as possible. Joining us for the exclusive, almost-to-spec chef’s tasting menu was a third avid non-vegetarian at the table, Vladimir Cavic, the ship’s food and beverage director. Leave it to the journalist to be gauche by asking that we enjoy the trio of dishes out of turn.

First up was the gorgeously plated “Warm White and Green Asparagus,” currently served every 14th day in the Mariner’s exquisite Compass Rose and the line’s other main dining rooms. Accompanied by portabella and oyster mushrooms, Parisienne potatoes and sherry vinegar dressing, the dish appears plant-based. Looks, however, are deceiving. During the making of this dish, butter was used when boiling the asparagus, sautéing the fungi and soaking the spuds. The new menu calls for the butter to be replaced with a plant-based margarine. The main dish already tastes fresh and light, especially with a dressing too delicate to dare overpower the perfectly prepared produce. Exchanging butter for plant-based margarine, “a simple change,” according to Chef, will not only appeal to contemporary palates and lifestyles, but also “celebrate the vegetables.”

“The plant-based margarine we’re getting contains less water than the conventional kind and, thus, brings out more of the vegetables’ natural flavors,” he said.

Purposely using as little butter as possible to replicate how the dish will taste come fall, the kitchen staff proved that the non-plant-based fat isn’t required for this plate to appeal to us avid omnivores. Light, yet satisfying – on par with similar fare from Regent, which means well above average among all cruise categories. When prepared to spec, diners unaccustomed to go vegetarian with their main entrees may get an extra boost from knowing how much healthier each delicious bite is.

Next came the “Assorted Greens & Shaved Fennel,” a lovely salad course option that blends California and Hawaiian cuisines with orange segments and roasted macadamia nut dressing.

“What on the plate isn’t plant-based?” Schwager was asked. Chef replied with a devilish smile, “Nothing! This can be served exactly as-is.” Cheater.

Making up for his attempt at sandbagging, the third course, the “Caramelized Apple Tart,” is a dish that will require longer preparation by the dedicated dessert crew.

“The apple stays the same, caramelized in the oven with the vinegar,” Schwager said as it was love at first bite for this fan of sweet, savory, sour and acidic. “The goat cheese will be replaced by a plant-based cheese, made with cashew. Like switching out butter with plant-based margarine, that’s a simple step. It’s the changes to the puff pastry that’s not easy.”

Plant-based pastry dough, at least on Regent Seven Seas ships, will be put in the freezer to set, then rolled thinly before cutting.

“This has to be done fast,” Chef said. “The dough is so sensitive, if you make it and don’t roll it, it doesn’t work. And you have to roll it between two baking sheets.”

The rules of baking science for a ship’s plant-based puff pastry are much more complex than that, but what most cruisers want to know is how it tastes. Based on the best the executive chef and his galley’s dessert station could do in advance of receiving proper training and plant-based ingredients, we can safely state that passengers are in for a real – and healthier – treat.

Net-net, Regent Seven Seas Cruises adding so many plant-based dishes to its regular menus is a big win for passengers on diets eliminating or limiting animals and animal bi-products. The corporate move also will appeal to meat eaters considering healthier choices from a luxury cruise line known for serving top-notch cuisine.

Interesting to note, Regent estimates that a typical passenger eats about 30 percent more during the first two or three days of a cruise, then goes back on a normal level while simultaneously seeking healthier options. By the middle of a 15-day cruise, heck, even a Texas rancher might pass on a standing order of black angus breakfast sirloin steak with crispy bacon in favor of chia cashew yogurt with carrot-hazelnut granola.

If You Go ….

Regent Seven Seas Cruises –, 844-473-4368

Oceania Cruises –, 855-301-5504

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CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Living Smart Foundation will be celebrating family, food and fun at the Carmichael Park Farmers Market on Sunday, October 13, 2019 as they host their Annual Falling Leaf Festival. “This annual event features over 100 vendors alongside the weekly farmers market that will include free games, entertainment and healthy foods all in one location,” said Marie Hall, Executive Director of Living Smart Foundation.

The festivities will start at 9 am and continue to 2 pm. Live music will be provided by the New Crowns Band made up of young local musicians performing toe tapping alternative sounds.

There will be a great pumpkin patch where youth and families can “pick a pumpkin and paint it” onsite. The pumpkins are grown and harvested locally from Perry’s Garden Highway Farms. Local crafters and artisan vendors will sell seasonal and locally handmade goods.

This event will also feature a free Chef Demonstration with Chili Smith, a local Carmichael business and weekly vendor as they prepare and share their famous chili recipe made with fresh ingredients from the farmers market and their special “beans”.

A doggy costume contest and parade will commence at 12:30 pm. Patrons can dress up their pooches in their favorite Halloween costume and report to the Doggies Costume area to register. The dogs will parade around the market to compete to win prizes for best costume. 

If baking is your talent, locals can also compete in the “pumpkin dessert contest” for a chance to win prizes for best dessert. There is no cost to enter. Desserts must be made with pumpkin as one of the ingredients. Competitors should bring their desserts to the Dessert table by no later than 11:30 am and winners will be announced at 1:30 pm.

Patrons can support Living Smart’s fundraising efforts by buying raffle tickets for a chance to win items at a silent auction.

The event will take place at the Carmichael Park located at 5750 Grant Avenue, Carmichael. No cost to enter! Happy Harvest.


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Denny’s is Now Burnt Toast

By Paul Scholl  |  2019-10-10

The former Denny

Carmichael, CA (MPG) - After several days of destructive training, The Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District (Metro Fire or the District) burned the former Denny’s restaurant in a very rare nighttime live fire training drill last Wednesday night, which lasted until Thursday morning in Carmichael.

The drill attracted a large crowd of about 1500 people in the surrounding areas on Fair Oaks Blvd. and Manzanita, most wanting to see a huge blaze and fire show. With the training taking place over many hours, the crowd dissipated somewhat by midnight. Many came to see firefighter heroes in training action.

Sacramento Metro Fire had widely announced the live fire activities commencing at approximately 10 pm., during which the building would be burned completely down. 

Beginning at 6 pm, Metro Fire crews made final preparations on the building for the evening’s burn. This included forcible entry with power tools, cutting ventilation holes, and other structural preparations to ensure the safety of the event.

During all live fire trainings, Metro Fire ensures all permits have been acquired by the property owner through the Sacramento County Building Department and Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District to ensure not only the safety of firefighters but that of the nearby community. This ensures the building is free of asbestos and other hazards which could be harmful to the health and safety of those nearby.

All times above are approximate pending implementation of fire and building safety measures, atmospheric and conditions for smoke dispersal, and ensuring all community members are at a safe distance.

Source: Sac Metro Fire Captain Chris Vestal

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Shall We Dance, Carmichael?

By Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2019-10-10

The John Skinner Band co-sponsors a free community dance on October 20. Photograph courtesy John Skinner Band. Photo courtesy John Skinner Band

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - The third annual “Get on Your Feet Carmichael” free community dance will kick off at the La Sierra Center on Sunday, October 20.

Around 300 dancers enjoyed the knees-up last year.

The event will include most age groups, with swing, rock, Latin and line-dance tempos. The Carmichael-based John Skinner Band sponsors and provides live music. Downbeat is 2 pm. Additional sponsors are Carmichael Recreation and Park District, Supervisor Susan Peters, Carmichael Kiwanis Club, Carmichael Chamber of Commerce, the Milagro Centre, Tim’s Music Store and Carmichael Chevron. The La Sierra center is located at 5325 Engle Road.

Learn about the event at

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Don’t Forget To Mark Your Calendars For Whole Lotta Brews

Folsom Cordova Community Partnership  |  2019-10-10

FOLSOM, CA (MPG) - Whole Lotta Brews is the premier beer tasting event in Folsom. Whole Lotta Brews guests will enjoy an evening of unlimited craft beer, cider, mead, and spirit tastings from around the region along with gourmet food samplings from local restaurants, caterers and food vendors. This year’s entertainment will be provided by Citrus Height’s own Funk Shui Band and DJ Shyy!

This amazing event takes place on Saturday, October 19, 2019 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Folsom Sports Complex located at 66 Clarksville Road in Folsom CA. Tickets are available at

General Admission tickets are $40 online and $50 at the door.

V.I.P. tickets are $60 online and $75 at the door. The VIP ticket includes 1-hour early entrance into the event (5pm) and a unique light up tasting glass. Please note that online ticket sales will stop on October 17th. However, tickets will be sold at the door!

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Del Campo Student To Award-Winning Breast Cancer Researcher

San Juan Unified School District  |  2019-10-10

Dr. H. Michael Shepard received the 2019 Lasker Award for the development of Herceptin. Courtesy SJUSD

FAIR OAKS, CA (MPG) - Last month, Dr. H. Michael Shepard received the 2019 Lasker Award. He and his team were recognized for their groundbreaking development of the drug Herceptin, a drug credited for saving more than 500,000 women battling aggressive breast cancer.   

Shepard was a teenager when his family moved to Sacramento in the late 1960s. He enrolled at Del Campo High School as a sophomore and credits team sports for helping him integrate into his new school. 

“Through the physical education programs and the sports programs, I made some very good friends,” said Shepard. “Some of whom I’m still in touch with.” 

Biology was his favorite subject, but he admits that he wasn’t very focused as a high school student. 

“The teachers, apparently thought they should spend some time with me and I did much better than I would have otherwise,” said Shepard. 

Check out Dr. H. Michael Shepard’s #mysjstory.

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FAIR OAKS, CA (MPG) - On Tuesday, November 12th The Orangevale Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the Fair Oaks Chamber of Commerce will be hosting an educational community event geared towards the aging community and those who care for them.

I was recently challenged with something I have preached about for years—taking care of a parent. My dad passed away last October and with a large family, caring for my mom has not been an issue. Truly, it’s been two of my sisters who have done the majority of the work. But, even they need a break once in a while so I made plans to visit my mom and stay the night so I could take her to a doctor’s appointment the next day. I planned on taking my laptop then realized I hadn’t taken either my phone or laptop charger. Then the next day she tells me to “bring a book” because her appointment would run 2-3 hours. I really hadn’t planned well. And that is only the slightest of inconveniences. The truth is, I do have others to help, and I have a lot of resources too. And I want to share these resources with you.

I have worked closely with many experts in the Senior Care Industry and would like to bring them to you at the “Aging Well Symposium and Resource Fair” where they will provide exceptionally important information for you as you prepare for life’s journey. Their incredible knowledge will help you make decisions before a crisis hits. If you’ve already experienced that crisis, they can still help. You’ll hear from experts in Safety, Senior Care Resources, and Advocates. We’ll also have a panel during our event with additional information and you’ll also have access to various agencies that serve the aging community at the Resource Fair.

We invite you to join us for this event, Tuesday, November 12th from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. To register for this free event please visit and search “Aging Well Symposium”. Space is limited. Refreshments and a light lunch will be served.

For additional information on the event please contact Luz Johnson at, or at 916-241-3046.

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