Gourd Festival Comes Home

By Jacqueline Fox  |  2017-09-07

Colleen Ballard and Barbara Rippetoe show off some of the fine gourd art to be presented at the festival. Photo by MPG staff

Sacramento County, CA (MPG) - The Gourd is Back. The Northern California Gourd Art Competition and Gourd Exhibit is returning to Orangevale this September, roughly 14 years since it was moved from its original location in Folsom, due to construction of a new shopping center.

The gourd competition and festival, co-hosted by the Folsom and Amador Gourd Artists associations will make its return to Orangevale September 30 at the Orangevale Community Center, where organizers are hoping to keep the festival moving forward, as it has moved more than four times in the last decade.

“We are really thrilled to be able to have the festival back in Orangevale,” said newly installed chairman of the event, Barbara Rippetoe, an accomplished gourd artist and member of both the Folsom and Amador associations, which have a combined membership of 80 gourd artists.  “I really wanted to help move the festival back to Orangevale and after a lot of discussion and investigating, we finally found a new home and are very excited to be coming back.”

The original festival, known as the West Coast Gourd Festival, was launched at Zittel Farm in 1996 in Orangevale. It was held at the farm annually through 2003 with solid attendance and a strong following of some of the region’s most renowned gourd artists, Rippetoe said.  But in 2004, a shopping center was built adjacent to the original location at Zittel Farm, forcing a move to Greg Leiser Farms in Knights Landing, followed by another move to Folsom Park until 2009.  Complications with the Folsom Park location forced another move, this time to Davis Ranch Slough House, where the festival ran through 2015.  It did not run in 2016, said Rippetoe.

Now, with a permanent spot back in Orangevale, says Rippetoe, expectations are high for a large turn-out, both by local gourd artists and novice competitors alike, as well as locals who just want to witness firsthand how many different ways there are to create art from a gourd, typically the dried, hard shell of any one of the countless plants belonging to the cucuritaceae (pronounced kyoo-kur-bi-tey-shuh) family of squash or a pumpkin.

The festival kicks off on Friday, Sept. 29 with gourd art classes taught by several well-known gourd artists, including Toni Best, Joyce Campbell, Vickie Echols and Bettie Lake. Classes are open to all.  Then, from Sept. 30 to Oct. 1, gourd artists will compete in several design categories and divisions, including a novice category for student entries from the classes held prior to the launch of the competition.

Competition divisions will be available for youth, novice, intermediate, advanced and master level gourd art makers. Gourds will be scored using a point system and judging will consider originality, quality of craftsmanship, creativity and artistry, color and use of accessories, as well as overall decorative work.  These can range from pyrography (burning in designs and shapes) and carving gourds, to those embellished with a vast array of mediums, including paint, fiber art, jewelry, beads, feathers and more.

You don’t have to be a gourd artist to get in on the action. The event is free and, in addition to the competitions, classes and even a gourd hat parade, individual artists will be selling their wares, which may include everything from purses, dolls, jewelry, drums and other items, all made from gourds, of course. 

For more information, please visit: www.californiagourdsociety.com.

The Northern Gourd Art Competition and Gourd Exhibit
Sept. 30 to Oct. 1
Orangevale Community Center
6826 Hazel Ave.
Competition Entry Fee: $6.00 for members, $10.00 for all others
Deadline for entries: Friday, Sept. 29 

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Airshow Special for Kids

By MPG Staff  |  2017-09-07

California Army National Guard and California Air National Guard personnel gave inspirational talks about their careers before presenting students with free tickets to the California Capital Airshow. Photo courtesy City of Rancho Cordova

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) – The California Capital Airshow takes off this weekend! If ever there was a family fun event to see, this is it. With many changes being made to make it even more friendly for the entire family, this weekend-long show of amazing displays, acrobatics and learning opportunities makes it a perfect event to get the kids excited about the world of aeronautics.

The Airshow performances begin at noon each day, Saturday and Sunday, and run to 4:00 pm. Gates open at 9:00. Come early to get a great view.

The CCA has worked hard to make the airshow more family friendly every year. New for 2017, each Adult General Admission ticket includes 4 FREE Youth/Children (ages 15 and under) tickets. Also, children 5 years old and under are free for General Admission tickets only. If more children are attending than what is covered with purchased Adult General Tickets, you will need to purchase Youth/Child’s tickets. For all other ticket options (Mather Club (formerly Shaded Seating), Flight Line Club, Capital Club) a ticket is required for ages 2 and up. Please check https://californiacapitalairshow.com/buytickets/ for additional information and current ticket prices.

Seating is not included with General Admission tickets so please feel free to bring a blanket or lawn chair to sit on. Parking is $10. Only cash will be accepted for parking. The fee for each vehicle does not include exit and re-entry.

Small strollers and wagons are permitted. However, they will be subject to search. Due to security concerns, large coolers (exceeding 9 Quarts and/or 10in. x 12in. x 11in.) and large bags are not permitted on the show site. Small coolers (smaller than 9 Quarts / 10in. x 12in. x 11in.) are permitted. Baby food, pre-packaged/sealed snack food and whole fruit are allowed into the Airshow. Homemade items, such as sandwiches, are not permitted.

All personal handbags, totes, diaper bags, etc. are subject to search at the entry gates.

For the safety of attendees and the animals, pets are not allowed on show grounds. Certified service animals are permitted, this does not include companion animals.

Multiple ATMs are available throughout the Airshow.

And be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen!

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Support Our Sisters Delivers Bras to Women In Need

By Jacqueline Fox  |  2017-09-01

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - Lynne Shelton and Sheryl Smith are busy stuffing suit case after suit case with vacuum packed bundles of support bound for underserved women on farms in South Africa.

Mesh bags of bras, yes, that kind of support, adorned in pink polka dots, purple lace, black on black, white, leopard print, red satin, padded, non-padded, wired and soft framed, are strewn across the entryway and much of the dining room in Shelton’s Rancho Cordova home. Bras are pretty much everywhere.

By late August, Shelton and Smith, with the help of a few other volunteers, will board a plane on Emirates Airlines with roughly 1,000 donated bras bound for four different farms in Mokipane, roughly two hours from Johannesburg, where shopping can cost a woman roughly nine month’s wages, not mention prove an aggravating experience for many there who are well-endowed and know only the pains of wearing bras that are as much as two or three sizes too small for them, that is if they have ever even owned one.

“You would be surprised by the number of women working on these farms that either have never worn a bra, or are wearing bras that are too small for them,” says Shelton, founder of Support Our Sisters™ (SOS), which delivered 522 donated new and gently used bras to South African women in need in August of 2016.  “It’s something that we take for granted here, but getting a bra for the first time, to these women, is a huge deal.”

This year, the number of bras being packed into air tight packages and stuffed into roll on suitcases is nearly double the year prior, which is a good thing, because this year SOS will be serving roughly 400 women on four different farms, nearly double the number of women served in 2016.

“That’s how fast this is taking off,” says Shelton, a business attorney and owner of Shelton Law & Associates in Gold River.  She launched SOS in 2015 as an initiative of her foundation Raising a Nation (RAN), which she also founded in 2015 to provide support to the Institute For Ministry Development (IMD) South Africa chapter, with which she got involved through a member of her church, Lakeside, Folsom.

“I was asked by the IMD to go to Bad Se Loop to speak at a conference and I learned about what they were doing and I decided to start a foundation to support them,” Shelton said.

IMD International is headquartered in Denver and has chapters around the globe.  IMD, South Africa, under the direction of Koos Basson and his wife, Jenny, is amidst building ministries in the townships near Mokipane, which will offer educational classes, as well as vocational and goal setting workshops, weekend camps and other resources for youth ages fourth grade and up to 30.

“The goal is to help these people learn about how their government works, how to advance their skills and better their lives,” Shelton says. “You have to think about South Africa, or villages and farms outside of the major cities, as just coming out of a third-world scenario,” she adds. “It has only been just a little over a couple of decades since the end of Apartheid and they don’t have the kind of access to governmental information and education that we have.”

An older, South African woman and farmworker was introduced to Shelton on that trip and, when it was learned she’d been suffering from severe pain a little investigation proved the culprit to be the size of the woman’s bra.

“When she bent over she’d wince in this terrible pain,” says Shelton. “We learned that she’d been wearing a bra that was way too small for her. But that’s how it is there. If you can get the money for a bra, you’re lucky. These women often can’t even afford one, let alone get their hands on the size they need because the sizes available to them are limited.”

With Raising a Nation barely off the ground, Shelton decided to launch its first initiative, Support Our Sisters™, with a mission to bring donated bras to these women. And it turns out there is a lot of support out there for the cause.

“These women have little money and they are often living in the kind of bunkers you’d associate with plantations or farms of the south decades ago,” Shelton says. “Also, because a lot of these women are mothers who have had several children, they are very well-endowed. Our largest size was a 54 DDD. The smallest was 28DDD.”

SOS accepts new and gently used maternity and sports bras, as well as regular ladies bras. There is a high demand for sizes 32, 34 and 36 B or larger, Shelton said.

SOS had hoped to use a cargo liner for the 2017 shipment of bras, but that plan was derailed when the tanker hit a snag that would delay it for weeks. Shipping the bras via air is not cheap: Emirates charges $175 for each suitcase, but offers SOS a discounted price of $158 and donates the full cost of carrying five suitcases.

Sheryl Smith, a broker and owner of Smith Real Estate Services, Inc., also in Gold River, got involved through the same congregation. She serves as treasure for SOS. She says the growth of the initiative is supported by pure, grass roots energy.

“This is very close to my heart,” says Smith. “I’ve always been drawn to helping women in crisis of some kind, so I love what I’m doing. And by no means are we doing this alone. It’s a pure grass roots effort. I’m even calling up my clients and saying ‘Hey, I’m doing this. Would you like to be involved?’ And they are all in.’

Some are jumping in via the SOS Facebook page, coming on board to help with little or no connection to the group but the simple urge to help.  And, it’s not just women.

“We had a male donor find us on Facebook who asked us what we needed,” says Smith. “We said we needed money to ship the bras overseas on the plane. He asked how much. We told him and he just said ‘done.’”

Employees at Harrah’s Casino in Reno took up a collected and recently donated 100 bras to the cause and family and friends of SOS volunteers are making donations from as far away as Kansas.

SOS has also donated bras to local groups helping women in need, including 75 bras to WEAVE, a provider of crisis intervention services for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and sex trafficking in Sacramento County, and the Twin Lakes Food Bank.

For more information, call Sheryl Smith, (916) 472-0103, or visit www.raisinganations.org

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The Internal Revenue Service today issued a warning about possible fake charity scams emerging due to Hurricane Harvey and encouraged taxpayers to seek out recognized charitable groups for their donations.

While there has been an enormous wave of support across the country for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, people should be aware of criminals who look to take advantage of this generosity by impersonating charities to get money or private information from well-meaning taxpayers. Such fraudulent schemes may involve contact by telephone, social media, e-mail or in-person solicitations.

Criminals often send emails that steer recipients to bogus websites that appear to be affiliated with legitimate charitable causes. These sites frequently mimic the sites of, or use names similar to, legitimate charities, or claim to be affiliated with legitimate charities in order to persuade people to send money or provide personal financial information that can be used to steal identities or financial resources.

IRS.gov has the tools people need to quickly and easily check the status of charitable organizations.

The IRS cautions people wishing to make disaster-related charitable donations to avoid scam artists by following these tips: Be sure to donate to recognized charities; Be wary of charities with names that are similar to familiar or nationally known organizations. Some phony charities use names or websites that sound or look like those of respected, legitimate organizations. The IRS website at IRS.gov has a search feature, Exempt Organizations Select Check, through which people may find qualified charities; donations to these charities may be tax-deductible; Don’t give out personal financial information — such as Social Security numbers or credit card and bank account numbers and passwords — to anyone who solicits a contribution. Scam artists may use this information to steal a donor’s identity and money; Never give or send cash. For security and tax record purposes, contribute by check or credit card or another way that provides documentation of the donation.

Consult IRS Publication 526, Charitable Contributions, available on IRS.gov. This free booklet describes the tax rules that apply to making legitimate tax-deductible donations. Among other things, it also provides complete details on what records to keep.

Taxpayers suspecting fraud by email should visit IRS.gov and search for the keywords “Report Phishing.”

More information about tax scams and schemes may be found at IRS.gov using the keywords “scams and schemes.” Details on available relief can be found on the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.

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Senator Jim Nielsen Cites Commitment to Agriculture and Farming

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento County Farm Bureau (SCFB) has drawn both the admiration and praise of Northern California State Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber), who recent congratulated the organization for its 100-years of service to the Sacramento County community and its recent recognition from the California Agriculture Heritage Club. Nielsen, who represents that 4th State Senate District and serves as Chair of the Senate Republican Caucus, Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs and Vice Chair of the Senate Budget & Fiscal Review, praised the SCFB for its "commitment to agriculture and farming for the past 100-years."

"I appreciate your continued efforts to promote and defend the agricultural interests within the county; such support is invaluable," Senator Nielsen wrote in a letter to the SCFB. "Additionally, I applaud the efforts the efforts the organization and its board have taken to remain fiscally responsible for its duration. The accomplishments you have achieved over this past century surely give you a lot to be proud of."

Senator Nielsen also praised the SCFB for its "celebratory milestone" and its statewide recognition from the 2017 California Agricultural Heritage Club Ceremony held last month at the California State Fairgrounds in Sacramento.

"Senator Nielsen's recognition of the work and accomplishments of the SCFB is an important triumph for this organization," said SCFB Board President Virginia Hemly-Chhabra. "Senator Nielsen is no stranger to agriculture. He grew up on a small farm in the San Joaquin Valley and later worked as a ranch foreman and operated the family cattle, field and row-crop ranch. His recognition of SCFB efforts is greatly appreciated."

The SCFB was honored for 100-years of services last month at the 2017 California Agricultural Heritage Club Ceremony held at the California State Fairgrounds in Sacramento. Membership in the Agricultural Heritage Club is a prestigious award, which is only given to farms, ranches, organizations and agribusinesses that have maintained a fiscal responsibility in the state for at least one full century.

Sacramento County is the 25th largest agriculture producing county in California with total agricultural production approaching $500 million. The top five county crops include wine grapes, poultry, grain corn, milk and Bartlett pears.

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.  We invite you to join our efforts to protect Sacramento County's agriculture, rural character, and our ability to produce local, high-quality food for your table.

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Loud and Proud: Airshow Flys Sept. 9 and 10

By CCA  |  2017-08-30

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - Come out to Mather Airport, September 9th & 10th, and experience the full-tilt capabilities of this extraordinary aircraft. The use of maximum-afterburner will leave you spellbound as the skies above Sacramento come alive with freedom’s roar! Absolutely nothing beats watching this mesmerizing show onsite. Get the inside scoop on the Super Hornet below!

All the way from Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia, Strike Fighter Squadron 106 is proud to showcase the F/A-18 to audiences around the world. Airshows are the best place to see a Super Hornet in action. The Tactical Demonstration or “Tac Demo” team flies the F/A-18 as close to the “edge of the envelope” as safety and prudence allow. The routine highlights the Rhino’s maneuverability and slow-speed handling characteristics and is designed to showcase the mobility, versatility, and power of the F/A-18 for the citizens who look to the Navy for the defense of freedom. From the high “G” minimum radius turn to the slow speed “high-alpha” pass, the Demo flight puts the Rhino through its paces!

Each maneuver is meticulously rehearsed by Demo Team aircrew, first in the simulator, then in a series of qualification and practice flights. Demo aircrew are Fleet veterans, chosen for their abilities, knowledge, and experience. Throughout the show, adherence to procedure and the safety of observers are paramount. Although the maneuvers are dynamic, Demo team members adhere to guidelines established by VFA-106, the Navy, and the FAA to ensure their safety and that of the local community.

Larger and heavier than the Legacy Hornet, the F/A-18 Super Hornet represents the 21st Century’s first truly multi-role fighter. Using the lessons learned from the original Hornet, the “Rhino” brings advances in avionics, weapons capabilities, radar and sensors, and stealth technology. The Rhino not only carries combat artillery but also can provide valuable reconnaissance and air-to-air refueling support to the U.S. Fleet.

After entering service with the Fleet, the Rhino quickly found itself in combat in the skies over Afghanistan and Iraq. Its increased fuel and ordnance carriage make the Rhino an asset to American combat operations around the world. With the capability for future growth in weapons and on-board systems, the Rhino will remain a credible strike-fighter for years to come.

Designed and initially produced by McDonnell Douglas, the Super Hornet first flew in 1995. Full-rate production began in September 1997, after the merger of McDonnell Douglas and Boeing the previous month. The Super Hornet entered service with the United States Navy in 1999, replacing the Grumman F-14 Tomcat, which was retired in 2006; the Super Hornet serves alongside the original Hornet. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), which has operated the F/A-18A as its main fighter since 1984, ordered the F/A-18F in 2007 to replace its aging F-111C fleet. RAAF Super Hornets entered service in December 2010.

Source: CCA

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Sacramento, CA (MPG) - The CAHP Credit Union has established a memorial fund in honor of fallen Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Robert French.  One hundred percent of all donations received will go directly to Deputy French’s family.  The C.A.H.P Credit Union is covering all processing fees and administrative responsibilities.

On the afternoon of August 30, 2017, Deputy French was involved in a shooting that took place along Auburn Boulevard in Sacramento. Two CHP Officers were also shot but are in stable condition.

Deputy French was a 21-year veteran on the job who was currently a training officer. He was shot and died en route to the hospital. 

“It is always a sad day when we lose a brother,” said Brad Houle, C.A.H.P. Credit Union President. “Deputy French was a loyal public servant who dedicated many years to the field. Our hearts are broken for his family and the loved ones he leaves behind.”

Donations can be made on the CAHP Credit Union website (www.cahpcu.org) or directly mailed to:

Robert French Memorial Fund

CAHP Credit Union

2843 Manlove Road

P.O. Box 276507

Sacramento, CA 95827-6507


Source: CAHPCU


Governor Brown Issues Statement on Death of Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputy

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today (Aug. 30th) issued the following statement regarding the death of Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Robert French:

“Anne and I join all of Sacramento in grieving the loss of Deputy French, who died today while protecting our community. On behalf of all Californians, we extend our condolences to his family, friends and law enforcement brothers and sisters.”

Deputy French, 52, was fatally shot today while assisting with an investigation at a hotel in Sacramento. Two California Highway Patrol officers were also injured during the incident and are expected to survive.

Deputy French was a 21-year veteran of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department and served in a variety of assignments. He is survived by his girlfriend, adult children, grandchildren and sister. 

In honor of Deputy French, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.

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