Key Affordable Housing Measure Clears Second Hurdle in Senate

By Mike Roth, California Housing Consortium  |  2017-03-15

On March 15th, the approval of SB 2 (Atkins) by the Senate Governance and Finance Committee signified an important step to beginning to address California’s devastating housing shortage. The Senate Transportation and Housing committee approved the measure last month.

“SB 2 is an important measure to begin to right the ship in California after years of failing to invest in affordable homes. This measure will provide thousands of new affordable rental homes in California while protecting general funds and boosting our economy,” said California Housing Consortium Executive Director Ray Pearl. “We are experiencing a massive housing shortage in California and it is time for a commitment to policies that can affect real change. California’s families, children, seniors, veterans and vulnerable residents deserve nothing less than access to safe and affordable homes.”

California has seen a 69 percent overall decline in state and federal investment in production and preservation of affordable housing since the Great Recession in 2008. A new California Department of Housing and Community Development statewide housing assessment finds that California families are facing a harder time finding a place to live than at any point in our history and homeownership rates in California are at their lowest since the 1940s.

SB 2 (Atkins) would enable thousands of affordable rental homes to be built through a $75 fee on real estate transaction documents, capped at $225 per transaction. Sales of homes and commercial properties would be exempted.

CHC is also calling on lawmakers to approve AB 71 (Chiu), which would end a costly vacation home tax subsidy to provide affordable apartments and homes while protecting the mortgage interest deduction crucial for families to afford their first home. These common-sense measures do not dip into the General Fund and would generate additional federal, local and private investment.

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State Parks Name Chris Rockwell as Librarian

Source: T-Rock Communications  |  2017-03-15

Rockwell is only the third person to serve as Librarian for the CSRM Library & Archives since opening in 1981 at the same time as the California State Railroad Museum, North America’s most popular rail museum.

California State Parks has named Chris Rockwell as Librarian for the California State Railroad Museum (CSRM) Library & Archives that provides free public access to the Railroad Museum’s impressive and extensive documentary collections. The CSRM Library & Archives serves as a valuable community and industry resource that responds to approximately 5,000 requests per year from a wide range of individuals, including historians, genealogists, writers, students, film makers, members of the legal community as well as from the general public.

Chris is only the third person to serve as Librarian for the CSRM Library & Archives since opening in 1981 at the same time as the California State Railroad Museum, North America’s most popular rail museum. In his role as Librarian, Chris is responsible for collecting, cataloging and maintaining the Library’s published material including books, pamphlets and maps which enhance the Museum’s services and support its conservation and education programs. He also assists visitors in finding rail-related information and/or documentation guests are researching.

With a Master’s in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University, Chris joins the CSRM Library & Archives most recently from California State University, Sacramento (CSUS) where he worked as a staff archivist for 10 years. In that role, a few of his responsibilities included overseeing assistants and staff working on various archival related projects; providing research and reference to the campus community and public; arranging and describing collections; cataloging books and manuscripts; and providing valuable outreach to the community.

Chris invites and encourages interested community members to visit the CSRM Library & Archives to discover more about our fascinating railroad heritage. Located adjacent to the Railroad Museum on the second floor of the Big Four Building at 111 “I” Street in Old Sacramento State Historic Park, the CSRM Library & Archives is free and open to the public year-round on Tuesdays through Saturdays from 1 to 5 p.m. For more information about the CSRM Library & Archives or the Railroad Museum in general, please call 916-323-9280 or visit

Subscribe to California State Parks News via e-mail at or via RSS feed.

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Get With the Flow

By Sacramento Suburban Water District Staff  |  2017-03-15

WaterSense-labeled sink faucets and accessories use a maximum of 1.5 gallons of water per minute and do it without sacrificing performance.

Did you know that by replacing your old, inefficient faucets and aerators with WaterSense-labeled models you can conserve water and lower your energy bill? It’s a win every time you turn on the tap.

WaterSense is a partnership program created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to protect the future of our country’s water supply by providing consumers with an easy way to identify water-efficient products, new homes and services.

The WaterSense label is applied to those products, which have been independently certified to be at least 20 percent more efficient than average products, and to offer the same or better performance.

WaterSense-labeled sink faucets and accessories use a maximum of 1.5 gallons of water per minute and do it without sacrificing performance. And because they use less water, less heat is needed, reducing your energy bill.

Replacing older inefficient faucets and aerators can save the average family 700 gallons of water per year. If every home in the United States installed WaterSense-labeled models, we could save $1.2 billion in water and energy costs and 64 billion gallons of water annually!

The WaterSense label can also be found on:

  • New Homes
  • Showerheads
  • Urinals
  • Toilets Rebates are now available from SSWD!
  • Weather-Based Sprinkler Controllers Rebates are available.

Make a difference every time you turn on the faucet by installing WaterSense-labeled faucets and aerators. And remember to turn off the tap when brushing your teeth or shaving.

SSWD even has free WaterSense-labeled aerators available at the office! Pick one up today; twist it into place and start using water wisely.

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Welcome Back Wounded Warriors

Source: Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team  |  2017-03-10

Cody Rice sends one toward the fences. 
--Photo courtesy WWAST

Amputee Softball Team Returns to Raley Field

The Sacramento River Cats are honored to welcome back the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team (WWAST) to Raley Field this season.

This is the second time the WWAST will take the field here in West Sacramento after making their Raley Field debut in July of 2015. They’ll take on the Sacramento All-Stars, a team composed of local personalities and celebrities. In 2015, Sacramento icons such as former NFL player Adrian Ross and KCRA Sports Anchor Lisa Gonzales were a part of the squad.

The WWAST is made up of brave men and women, both veterans and active duty soldiers, from four of the five service branches, who have sustained injuries resulting in amputation. Through extensive rehabilitation, they have become competitive athletes again, playing against able-bodied teams in competitive, celebrity, and exhibition games across the country.

In addition to functioning as an outlet for veterans and active duty soldiers to compete athletically, the WWAST uses these cross-country games to raise funds for the WWAST Kids Camp, medical research, and rehabilitation equipment. Now in its fifth year, the WWAST Kids Camp seeks to empower young boys and girls with amputations. The camps are led by WWAST players who work as coaches and mentors, helping teach not just softball skills, but more importantly life skills as well.

The game is slated for Saturday, May 6. The WWAST will take on the Sacramento All-Stars at 3:30 p.m. in Game One of a Raley Field doubleheader. The River Cats will then host the division rival Reno Aces at 7:05 p.m. for Salute to Armed Forces.

Following the WWAST/Sacramento All-Stars game, the River Cats will host the Reno Aces in game one of a four-game set. First pitch for part two of the doubleheader is set for 7:05 p.m. with gates to open at 3:00 p.m.

Tickets for the doubleheader are available now and can be purchased by visiting or calling the River Cats ticket line at (916) 376-HITS (4487).

The mission of the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team (a 501(c)(3) charitable organization) is to raise awareness, educate and inspire the public about the strength and resiliency of our wounded warriors, showing how a positive attitude, commitment, dedication and perseverance allow them to overcome any obstacles. See a few videos about their mission here:

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

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Snowpack’s Water Content Far Above Average

Source: California Department of Water Resources  |  2017-03-10

The Sierra Nevada snowpack continues to build during one of the wettest winters in California’s recorded history. The manual snow survey by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada found a snow water equivalent (SWE) of 43.4 inches. February’s Phillips survey found 28.0 inches of SWE, and January’s reading was 6.0 inches. The March 1 average at Phillips is 24.3 inches.

On average, the snowpack supplies about 30 percent of California’s water needs as it melts in the spring and early summer.  More telling than a survey at a single location are DWR’s electronic readings from 98 stations scattered throughout the Sierra Nevada. Statewide, the snowpack today holds 45.5 inches of SWE, or 185 percent of the March 1 average (24.6 inches).

Measurements indicate the water content of the northern Sierra snowpack is 39.2 inches, 159 percent of the multi-decade March 1 average. The central and southern Sierra readings are 49.0 inches (191 percent of average) and 46.4 inches (201 percent of average) respectively.

State Climatologist Michael Anderson said the winter season has been “historic,” especially in the central and southern Sierra where elevations are higher and where snowfall has been near the 1983 record amount.

The Phillips snow course, near the intersection of Highway 50 and Sierra-at-Tahoe Road, is one of hundreds surveyed manually throughout the winter. Manual measurements augment the electronic readings from about 100 sensors in the state’s mountains that provide a current snapshot of the water content in the snowpack.

Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program, conducted today’s survey at Phillips and said of his findings, “It’s not the record, the record being 56.4 (inches), but still a pretty phenomenal snowpack…. January and February came in with some really quite phenomenal atmospheric river storms, many of which were cold enough to really boost the snowpack.”

Gehrke said the central and southern regions in the Sierra Nevada are tracking close to 1983, which had the maximum recorded snowpack statewide.

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Kiyo Sato Named Woman of the Year at Annual Celebration

Source: The Office of Ken Cooley  |  2017-03-10

“Kiyo has shown tremendous courage and perseverance through her entire life and I am truly honored to see her recognized at the State Capitol for all of her extraordinary achievements,” said Assemblyman Ken Cooley. 
--Photo courtesy Ken Cooley

Assemblyman Ken Cooley and the California Legislature Recognize Sato

Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) joined the California Legislative Women’s Caucus to recognize women from across the state in celebration of Women’s History Month. This year, Assemblyman Cooley honored Kiyo Sato of Sacramento.

“Like so many Japanese-Americans that were forced to leave their homes in a time of national panic and bigotry, Kiyo did not let it stop her from living an exceptionally full life. She joined the Air Force, became a nurse, raised her family and is now a highly-regarded author,” said Assemblyman Cooley. “Kiyo has shown tremendous courage and perseverance through her entire life and I am truly honored to see her recognized at the State Capitol for all of her extraordinary achievements.”

Kiyo Sato, the eldest child of a Japanese-American immigrant family, grew up before World War II with her eight brothers and sisters in Sacramento, California. Her parents established a thriving family farm on a few acres in the Mather Field area of Rancho Cordova. Home life in the Sato family was a pleasant mix of Japanese and American customs, as Kiyo describes at length in her memoir Dandelion through the Crack and in her more recent book Kiyo’s Story – A Japanese-American Family’s Quest for the American Dream. Kiyo was 19 years old and had just started college in Sacramento when President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 in February, 1942, which forcibly relocated Japanese-Americans from their homes. Kiyo and her family were forced to leave their farm with little more than the clothes on their backs and relocate to an internment camp at the Poston Indian Reservation in Arizona.

At the end of the war, Kiyo and her family were released from the prison camp and briefly worked in Colorado as seasonal laborers before they finally returned to their farm in Sacramento to rebuild their home and their lives. Kiyo’s parents were able to keep their farm, but many Japanese-Americans were not so fortunate and had to start completely from scratch.

Kiyo later joined the United States Air Force, completed college with a Master’s in Nursing and achieved the rank of Captain for the USAF Nurse Corps. She eventually returned home from her service, married, and started her own family in Sacramento. Her four children grew up helping with their grandparents’ farm – a vital part of every Sato family member’s experience.

Kiyo Sato is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Nisei Post 8985, in Sacramento. As a renowned published author, Kiyo was the winner of the 2008 William Saroyan Prize for nonfiction, and winner of the Northern California Publishers and Authors Gold Award for Best First Books, the Sacramento County Historical Society Publications Award, and the NCPA Mark Twain Award in 2012. Kiyo’s favorite saying is “Kodomo no tame ni” meaning “for the sake of the children.”

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Celebrate Tina Macuha as Person of the Year

Submitted by Carmichael Chamber of Commerce  |  2017-03-10

Tina Macuha, Person of the Year.

The Carmichael Chamber of Commerce is hosting their 8th Annual Person of the Year Awards Dinner on Friday, March 24 from 6:00 – 9:30 pm at Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa, 1220 Arden Hills Lane in Sacramento. This gala event will be honoring business and community members for the contribution they have made to the community.

This year the Chamber’s 2017 Person of the Year is Tina Macuha of Good Day Sacramento who lives in Carmichael. Also, being honored as Businessman of the Year is Dave Leatherby of Leatherby’s Family Creamery; Businesswoman of the Year is Angela Sehr of Advanced Home Health & Hospice; Young Professional of the Year is Layla Seiler of Aegis of Carmichael; Volunteer of the Year is Artie Van Winkle; Junior Hero of the Year is Cameron Dax, and Non-Profit of the Year is Sacramento Fine Arts Center. A portion of the proceeds from this event will benefit Sacramento Fine Arts Center to support the wonderful work they do in the arts arena.

The cost of the event is $75 per person and includes a no-host bar, dinner, a raffle and a live auction with auctioneer radio personality and former Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness.  No tickets will be sold at the door. Table sponsorships are also available. To get tickets, go to the Chamber’s website at and click on the event banner on the home page.

A big thank you to the sponsors of this year’s event – SMUD; Dignity Health - Mercy San Juan Medical Center; Advanced Home Health & Hospice; Rosewood Post-Acute Rehab; Post Modern Marketing; AM 1380 The Answer, and Assemblyman Ken Cooley.

Previous honorees include former Sheriff John McGinness; Supervisor Susan Peters; radio personality Kitty O’Neal; Sacramento Kings Color Analyst Jerry Reynolds; former District Attorney Jan Scully; baseball great Dusty Baker, and last year’s recipient, Kings General Manager Vlade Divac.

“This promises to be a great event that brings not only the community together, but also the county as well,” says Chamber Executive Director Linda Melody. We hope businesses and residents will come out and support this gala event.

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