Sac County Airport Firefighters “Brave the Shave”

Sacramento County Special Release  |  2019-01-04

Sacramento County Airport Firefighters “Brave the Shave” in honor of  Captain Anderson. Photo courtesy Sacramento County.

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - Sacramento County Airport Firefighters shaved their heads as part of the second annual “Brave the Shave” in honor of Captain Tim Anderson, a Sacramento County Airport Firefighter who lost his life to cancer in 2017. Brave the Shave was started one year ago by Tim’s son Mason, when his mother Lacey was diagnosed with breast cancer just 6 months after his dad, Captain Tim Anderson died.

After hearing the news of his mom's diagnosis, Mason at 10 years old wanted to have a shaving party in an effort to turn a difficult situation into something positive. Mason challenged local area firefighters to shave their heads with him as a way to honor his dad and support his mother. In 2017, 112 firefighters in 4 states and 2 countries shaved their heads in support of the Anderson family. â€‹

Mason’s mom Lacey is now cancer free and this year Mason would like to open Brave the Shave up to all firefighters and their families affected by cancer in an effort to make December Firefighter Cancer Awareness month. Firefighters and anyone else wanting to offer their support were asked to shave their heads in the month of December and post the pictures or videos to Mason's Facebook page Brave the Shave with Mason Anderson or his Instagram Brave the Shave Mason Anderson. This year's goal is 150 shaved heads. Mason is only 57 shaved heads away from meeting that goal!


Source: Sacramento County Media

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Sac Suburban Water District and Reclamation Sign 27-Year Contract

MPG Staff  |  2018-12-26

SSWD Board President Craig Locke signs a Long-Term Warren Act contract with Reclamation, securing wet-year water supplies for SSWD for the next 27 years. Standing behind (from left): Board members Kevin Thomas, Robert Wichert, David Jones and Kathleen McPherson, and SSWD General Manager Dan York. Photo courtesy 3fold Communications

Agreement is Providing Access to Wet Year Water Supplies

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Sacramento Suburban Water District (SSWD) has signed an agreement with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation that helps secure surface water supplies for the District during wet years for the next 27 years, the District has announced.

The achievement, nearly two decades and countless staff hours in the making, is a critical part of the Sacramento region’s ability to manage and replenish the groundwater basin by using more surface water supplies when plentiful. The agreement is also key to fulfilling the historic Water Forum Agreement, signed by SSWD and other local water providers, which seeks to protect and nurture the Lower American River.

“The contract is a huge achievement for the District and our customers—a secure, long-term water source during average or wet years that will allow our groundwater basin to recharge—but the benefits extend far beyond that,” said SSWD General Manager Dan York. “The contract is important to SSWD’s ability to use more groundwater during a drought so that surface water is available in Folsom and the American River to support fish and wildlife when they need it most.”

The Long-Term Warren Act Contract signed by SSWD and Reclamation allows the District to use up to 29,000 acre feet of water purchased annually from Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) as long as sufficient supplies are available, which are defined as an estimated unimpaired inflow at Folsom Reservoir of greater than 1.6 million acre feet.

The contract is critical to the District’s ability to access the purchased supply because the water must flow from PCWA’s Middle Fork Project through Folsom Reservoir, which is owned and operated by Reclamation. Reclamation prepared and certified an Environmental Assessment to consider potential impacts from the contract under the National Environmental Policy Act.

“A sincere congratulations to the District and staff who have worked so long to see this contract come to fruition,” said SSWD Board President Craig Locke. “This contract represents the culmination of many years of work and investment by both SSWD’s predecessor—the Northridge Water District—and PCWA to create a means for delivering water to stabilize and sustain a healthy groundwater supply for our customers and the future.”

The District first started discussions about securing a Warren Act Contract in 1998 and began official negotiations with Reclamation in 2004. Over the years, the District secured one- or five-year Warren Act contracts with Reclamation to access the purchased water, allowing SSWD to bank approximately 210,000 acre feet of water in the groundwater basin. Doing so has been key to the North American Basin’s recovery over the past 20 years from historic lows to levels that are now stable and sustainable.

For more information about Sacramento Suburban Water District, please visit

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Foley Wins Honorary Mayor Bid

Story and picture by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2018-12-26

Retaining her role as Honorary Mayor, Kelli Foley (center) was congratulated by rivals Jamila Buada (left) and Kristen Garl.

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Ballots are counted. After months of feverish fundraising, realtor Kelli Foley was recently declared Carmichael Honorary Mayor for 2019. Her new term begins in January.

Real estate broker and owner of the Trillium agency in Carmichael, Foley ran against Arthur Murray studio owner Jamila Buada and Sacramento Express Employment Professionals manager Kristen Garl. Together, the three campaigns realized almost $13,000. Part of proceeds will support non-profits.

Though the coveted mayoral sash carries neither salary nor political power, a year of ribbon-cutting and baby-kissing is guaranteed. Home town promotion is part of the gig and happily, winner Foley was Carmichael-raised and educated. “This town means more to me than a place to hang my hat,” she explains. “I’m passionate about everything Carmichael has to offer – its people, its parks; its unique sense of place.”

The incumbent declared her second victory no less thrilling than the first. “I’ve learned from two campaigns not to take anything for granted,” she said. “Until they announced my name at the Chamber luncheon, I didn’t know I’d won. After months of hard work, it was a huge relief.

“I decided to keep my non-profit local this year.  I loved being able to help the Chamber and the Carmichael Park Foundation at the same time. The Foundation has a great mission in promoting park programs and beautification.”

Jamila Buada will donate part of her campaign funds to the Alzheimer’s Association. Kristen Garl’s chosen non-profit is Playmakers, an organization that supports disadvantaged San Juan School District students. Foley’s campaign cash was gleaned from a series of raffles and fundraisers and her ongoing drive to recruit new Chamber members and sponsors. “As 2019 mayor, I’ll wear my sash at all kinds of community events,” Mayor Foley predicted. “I’m looking forward to another busy and exciting year.”

Learn about the Carmichael Chamber of Commerce at

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CARMICHAEL, CA  (MPG) - This year, 500 employees at KFC® restaurants across the country received over $1.1 million in college tuition assistance from the KFC Foundation thanks to KFC Franchisees and the KFC Corporation. Through a competitive selection process, Carmichael resident Rachel Coursey was chosen as a winner via the REACH Educational Grant Program® and will receive $2,500 for the 2018-19 academic year.

The REACH Program helps KFC U.S. restaurant employees pursue their educational dreams at four-year and two-year colleges, including trade/vocational and graduate schools.

Rachel has been working for KFC since 2014 and is currently attending American River College in Sacramento.

 “It takes a special, dedicated, and hard-working person to balance work responsibilities and school commitments”, remarked James Jackson, CEO of Harman Management. “We’re so proud to have Rachel represent our system of restaurants as a REACH Grant recipient.”

The program takes inspiration from Colonel Harland Sanders and his passion for helping people be their best selves through education. The KFC Family has a long and rich history of philanthropy,” said Krista Snider, Managing Director of the KFC Foundation. “We’re proud to be able to honor the Colonel’s legacy and help this inspiring, hard-working group of students.”

The KFC Foundation, an independent 501c3 non-profit organization, is committed to providing accessible support and development opportunities to KFC U.S. restaurant employees. Since 2006, the Foundation has awarded $18 million to more than 6,400 students and KFC restaurant employees, assisting them in going to college, earning a GED, managing personal finances, and getting through hardship/crisis situations.  The KFC Foundation’s charitable programs are made possible through the generosity of KFC’s many franchisees and KFC Corporation.

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St. Michael's Blesses Clans

Story and photos by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2018-12-22

Daughters of Scotia members (in white) joined dancers from the Kyla Groeschel School of Highland Dance during celebrations at St Michael’s Episcopalian Church, Carmichael.

CARMICAHEL, CA (MPG) - St Michael's Episcopal Church was decked with heather and thistles for a recent pageant that celebrated the regalia of Scottish clans. As kilts swung and bagpipes skirled, ancient tartans (plaids) were proudly presented.

Reverends Rod Davis, John McIntyre and Jason Bense blessed kilts, blankets, shawls -- even neck-ties -- with the sign of the cross. The Sacramento Lodge of Daughters of Scotia hosted the event as a fundraiser for the River City Food Bank.

“Kirkin’” (blessing) services for tartans originated during WW II, when Scottish-Americans staged pageants to support British war efforts. The festivals are still popular among American Celtic organizations.

Participants from as far away as Stockton brought tartans to be blessed at the Carmichael event. Representatives of the US Armed Forces and Sacramento Metro Firefighters and 25 families presented tartans for sanctification. A congregation of 200 joined in hymns and prayers. “It’s been years since we’ve had a kIrkin’ in Sacramento,” said Daughters of Scotia member Kathy Hanson. “There’s a great hungering in the Scottish community to celebrate our heritage in this way.”

A feast of shortbreads, scones and oat biscuits answered another hunger and vanished like mists o’er Loch Lomond. Rounding off the evening, kilted ladies performed Highland flings. A banner bearing the Selkirk Grace (attributed to Scottish bard Robbie Burns) presided over the festivity:

Some hae meat and canna eat,

And some wad eat that want it,

But we hae meat and we can eat,

Sae let the Lord be Thankit!”

(Roughly translated):

Some have meat and cannot eat

And some are hungry but have no food

But we have meat and we can eat. And so, let’s thank the Lord.

Membership of the Daughters of Scotia Order is available to women of Scottish ancestry and to those who have married into Scottish families. For information, visit:

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Sacramento Area Cadets Become CHP Officers

Story by Trina L. Drotar  |  2018-12-22

Photos by Trina L. Drotar and courtesy CHP

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) – When they woke on the morning of Friday, November 16, the 46 men and women who arrived for final inspection spent their last morning as California Highway Patrol cadets. The class of 43 men and 3 women received their stars in a ceremony filled with pomp, circumstance, and a lot of fun.

Poor air quality had cancelled the cadets’ run to the state capitol earlier in the week, and the final inspection had to be moved from the quad into the dining hall, and the emergency vehicle operator course (EVOC) demonstration was also cancelled, but none of those things dampened the spirit and the joy shared by cadets and their family and friends upon finishing a grueling six months at the state’s only CHP Academy.

Among the graduates was Margarito Meza, the first graduate in the Law Enforcement Candidate Scholars (LECS) program at Sacramento State which began in 2017 to prepare college students from all disciplines for careers as sworn law enforcement officers at the local and state level. Program director Shelby Moffatt and a large group of LECS students were on hand to support Meza. Four are currently in the CHP Academy and are expected to graduate in 2019.

Early arrivals toured the Academy’s museum and learned the history of the CHP and its role in popular culture. Timelines, motorcycles, including a rare 1941 model, and communications equipment spanning several decades are on display in the museum which is open to visitors Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:45 p.m. and is free of charge.

Not free were the hours of intense physical and mental training that cadets endured during their six months away from family and friends. Cadets live on the West Sacramento campus for the duration of their training and education which includes a host of courses from basic Spanish to marksmanship to how to perform field sobriety tests. They must pass the EVOC driver training, attain certification in arrest techniques, and keep on top of their physical training. During the ceremony, a short film created by the graduating class provided family and friends a glimpse of life during the past six months at the Academy.

Prior to the ceremony in which cadets received their badges, they underwent their final inspection. Photos were snapped and hugs were given to cadets for a few minutes before the inspection began. Commissioner Warren Stanley, Deputy Commissioner Scott Silsbee, Assistant Commissioners Amanda Ray and Nick Norton, and Captain James Mann greeted each cadet, moving through the ranks, shaking hands, and providing encouraging words to each.

In that group was Erik Rodriguez of West Sacramento whose family was joined by several of his military buddies who had flown in from Texas for his special day. The 34-year old veteran was honored with a plaque for being the class’s most inspirational cadet, and he was recognized for his work as one of the company commanders. He will report to the San Francisco Bay Area for his first assignment as an officer.

Graduates are required to report to their first assignments within ten days and are sent where the greatest need is so many were sent to the southern part of the state. Cadets select up to three possible choices and are never first stationed in Sacramento.

Perhaps the brightest smiles to be found were from Cortez Sanders of Sacramento, his parents, and his extended family. His proud father, Bennett, was also recognized during the ceremony as he is a CHP employee. Sanders’ mother, Adrienne, said that she is very proud of her son and all the work he put into becoming an officer. It was his father who held the honor of pinning the badge on his son, one of the traditions that did occur outside as is custom.

Cortez will report to Redwood City for his first assignment and will be joined there by fellow Sacramentan David Waggoner who was honored as outstanding athlete. Also headed to Redwood City are Trevor Gossett of Sacramento and David Tran of Elk Grove.

                For additional information, visit: For additional information about the LECS program, visit:

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Lonnie Cook Survived the USS Arizona Bombing

Story by Trina L. Drotar  |  2018-12-22

Photos by Trina L. Drotar and courtesy Lonnie Cook

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) – Lonnie Cook and his wife of 68 years, Marietta, have lived in Aegis of Carmichael since July after moving from Oklahoma. Cook is witty, a natural storyteller, just a tad bit feisty, and he recently celebrated his 98th birthday. He’s a celebrity without a star on the Hollywood or Sacramento Walks of Fame. He has no viral videos on YouTube or Facebook. He is, however, one of only 335 men who survived the attack on the USS Arizona on December 7, 1941, and as of 2017, was one only five still living. And he knows exactly where he was when the bombs hit.

He entered the U.S. Navy when he was 19 years old. Only two years into his six year term, after having showered and changed into clothes to go ashore in, the bombs hit the battleship.

 “It’s good I didn’t take too long,” he said, “or I would have been blown up.”

Cook was part of the 3rd division in charge of the gun turret. The ship, he said, sunk 15 to 18 feet before the orders to abandon were given. The next morning, he was one of several men who volunteered to go on the destroyers.

The couple was married two years after Cook finished his service. He attended college in Salinas and learned to weld. He spent 30 years as a welder.

 “I helped build the two largest boilers west of the Mississippi River for Babcock and Wilcox and Kellogg, and I put a 20” gas line right through Brooklyn, NY in ’57,” he said.

The couple traveled the country for work, and he has many stories. He worked 75 straight graveyard shifts once, but could not spend all the money he had earned. He needed the sleep.

 “We bought a house, paid $59 thousand for it. I don’t remember what we put down. Three years later, I put $37 thousand cash in a paper sack, my 45 in my belt, and we went to Salinas Bank to pay the house off.” This would be unimaginable today as would be the hunting he did on his way to and from high school each day.

Cook, who is not a large man, was captain of his high school football team three out of four years, and he smiles a bit when he says that he crowned three football queens. He is not a football follower and admits that he had considered basketball a sissy game, but he has since learned that it is not. Cook always chose hunting season over basketball.

He joined the service, he said, because he had no work and no money.

 “I had to do something,” he said.

His mom sent him to business school, but that did not work out because the city, with its street cars and police sirens, was too loud for the young man who grew up in the country.

 “I couldn’t sleep, so I told her I’m not going back, so I joined the service.”           

Two years later, he was on the USS Arizona expecting to go ashore on leave when the bombs dropped.

 “Our shower was up just forward of where it blew up,” he said. “I’d just come back down to my locker.” His work station was Turret 3 as part of the gun crew and he was at the bottom when the bombs dropped.

“I started up through the turret and I was half way up on the shell deck when it exploded and it turned the lights out and almost knocked me off the ladder, but I went on up into the gun room and we stayed there until we could go up on deck and take people off.”

Most of the people on deck were crippled and burned beyond recognition he recalled and since the day’s uniform was t-shirts and white shorts, the men had no protection.

Cook ended up on the USS Patterson DD-392 for temporary duty. He saw Lt. O’Hare shoot down six planes and become the first navy ace. He was in the Coral Sea battle when the Lexington was sunk, and went to Midway.

 “When that was over I went to Alaska and took a tanker back to Pearl. I got transferred and went to electro hydraulic gunnery school in D.C. for three months,” he said. “We got a call to go New York City to pick up the Battleship Iowa, which was a new battleship, and escorted it with President Roosevelt to Africa.” The men spent time down the coast of Africa while President Roosevelt was engaged in meetings.

 “I spent four days there, then came back to pick the battleship up, took it back to New York, and went down through the canal in time for January 1st.”

He served in the Marshall Islands, Taipan, and made three landings in the Philippines before being transferred to Charleston, South Carolina to work on the hull of the USS 583 and picked up a convoy to the Azores.

“When that was all over, went through the canal and in February ’45 we hit Iwo Jima, landed troops, and when that was over, April 1st we hit Okinawa. We stayed there until that over June 23rd. We come back to San Francisco and that ended my wartime,” he added.

Cook never returned to the military service and was not eligible for the draft. The last two ships he served on accumulated a total of 31 battle stars.

He returned to Oklahoma where he met his bride. Although she would follow him for most of his post-military career, he first followed her to California because she was going to care for a pregnant friend. The couple married in June of 1950 in a private wedding, spent 30 years in Salinas, 29 in Oklahoma, and returned to California once again because his bride wanted to.

 “I didn’t want to, of course,” he said about leaving Oklahoma. “I decided she deserved what she wanted, so I gave up everything I had- guns, fishing tackle, everything I had - and we come to California.

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