Longstanding Clean and Sober Program Helps Many

Story and Photos by Margaret Snider  |  2017-01-13
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Owner and founder Don Troutman, left, with Rik, a resident at Clean and Sober Transitional Living. Begun in 1989, based in Fair Oaks, the now 14 homes and 120-plus residents of Clean and Sober Transitional Living represent the oldest and largest transitional living community in Northern California.

Thirty years ago, in a letter to a girlfriend, Don Troutman, owner and founder of Clean and Sober Transitional Living, wrote, “My brother was taken from us, not from a natural illness, was not shot with a gun, but was shot with a needle and the needle killed him! Alcohol and drugs! My already sworn enemy has killed my brother.” That was the catalyst that resulted in CSTL with its nontraditional approach to recovery from alcoholism and drug use.

Troutman had been a recovering alcoholic for over a year when his brother died. Two years later he started CSTL with the purpose of providing a place where recovering addicts could be among those who can understand what they are going through. His first house included Troutman and three other recovering alcoholics who agreed to be sober and abide by the rules. Since 1989, it has evolved to a community consisting of six Phase 1 homes for 73 residents and eight Phase 2 homes for 48 residents, for a total of 14 houses. It has always been private pay, never receiving any sort of government subsidy.

When they come to CSTL, residents have usually completed 30 to 60 days of detox and treatment. “Everything you learn in treatment episode is like a block of ice,” Troutman said. “You take a block of ice and you set it into the sun and it is going to melt away.” Therefore the need for a clean and sober living place. “If you took that block of ice and you put it in a freezer or a refrigerator, it’s not sitting in the sun and it lasts a lot longer. It takes a while for a person to buy into and adopt a new life style. It’s a process, it’s not an event.”

The CSTL community is a way of life for Troutman, and what he has learned through the process has resulted in benefit to 6,000 people to date, with a nearly 50% success rate.

When challenges appear, alcoholics and users tend to drink or use as the solution to their difficulties. It is not the solution, Troutman said, it is the problem. The solution is the recovery process. “In Don’s community, people have developed the skills so that relapse rates are very low,” said Susan King, CSTL Outreach. “It is private pay and they are taxpaying members of the community. They work, they go to school. Some of them live here a long time.”

People who come to the community might have looked weak and timid before, said Troutman, but, “When they come in here, they turn out to be role models and house managers. It’s incredible what people can discover about themselves while they’re here.”

The group is almost like a tribe, Troutman said. “We’re self-contained, we have our own government, we have our own congress, we have our own court, we have our own senior peers which are like our police force, more or less,” Troutman said. “And really we get very little outside interference from many problems.”

Resident Shelby, 23, turned to alcohol when she was 16 and had problems at home. “When I turned 20 I got into meth and heroin,” Shelby said. After her husband died from an overdose, she knew she must think seriously about recovery. Now a resident at Clean and Sober Living and clean for six months, Shelby has a regular job but is taking it slowly. “Once I come back here it’s a relief, it’s like my safe zone. Everyone’s still here, and the relationships that you build are so amazing . . . There’s just a connection here. It’s really hard to explain, but we just understand each other here. It’s like a different kind of family.”

Another resident, Rik, 58, has lived his life in and out of treatment programs. He has been clean for over a year and is a Phase 2 resident. He is now kitchen manager, and cooks dinner for at least 60 people for two dinners and three breakfasts a week.

Residents learn to be leaders and participators in life rather than just sitting on the sidelines. “Our future is as great as we would like it to be,” Troutman said. “Whatever you think you might want to be, supersize it, go further, because there’s nothing to stop you from getting there.”

Shelby has great hope for the future. “As long as I stay clean and sober, I see myself going back to school,” Shelby said. “I want to actually be a drug and alcohol counselor . . . But for right now I just have to look out for myself and get myself ready and continue what I’m doing, so in the future I know what’s in store for me.”

Rik is happy where he is. “My family supports me,” Rik said. “I’m kind of doing what I want to do. I really am. I’ve lived a pretty good life. I have four great kids, none have any addictions, which I’m very blessed about.”

Troutman’s old letter ended with the statement, “As if this disease is not cunning enough, the addict will not heed the advice and the concerns of those who are close. But Satan’s curse has a loophole, and that is that the addict will listen to a complete stranger.”

For more information go to www.clean-and-sober-living.com, or call 916-961-2691. “They never call us or the treatment program and come to a dead end,” Troutman said.

Sac Choral Society

Best of Fair Oaks Event to Announce Winners

MPG Staff  |  2017-01-13

The Best of Fair Oaks event will announce the local winners in many business categories chosen by the voting by Fair Oaks residents.

To be eligible to win a category for the Best of Fair Oaks businesses must be located in Fair Oaks. All votes were cast through the web site at www.BestofFairOaks.com.

This year’s event will be held on Thursday, January 19th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at North Ridge Country Club, 7600 Madison Avenue in Fair Oaks. To purchase tickets to the event, contact the Fair Oaks Chamber of Commerce at 916-967-2903.

The event is open to the public provided a ticket is purchased. You do not need to be a Chamber member to attend. If you are a local business owner and want to see how much fun the chamber events are before you join, plan to attend this event! The Best of Fair Oaks is an annual fundraising event sponsored by the Fair Oaks Chamber of Commerce.

Voting was completed on December 31st and tabulated by MPG staff.


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City Open for Comprehensive Transit Plan Bids

By Shelly Lembke  |  2017-01-13

Citrus Heights is ready to revisit its Comprehensive Transit Plan and will now be taking bids from interested companies. According to the city’s Transit Plan, qualified firms can register with the city online or through the General Services Department.

Per the city of Citrus Heights, “This project is federally funded and is subject to the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Policy.” At this juncture, the city is searching for professional consulting services to “develop a Comprehensive Transit Plan and recommendations for the City.”

The General Services Department selection process begins with Requests for Proposals (RFP) and then evaluates the proposals and creates consultant teams to determine which companies to interview.

Part of the city’s requirements is ongoing collaboration with city staff and “significant outreach with Citrus Heights residents and community stakeholders” via surveys, open houses, focus groups and personal as well as group interviews.

According to the city, “Engagement shall be designed to obtain feedback on current services, and assess demand, preferences and community priorities for public transportations services.” The chosen consultant must, according to Citrus Heights, “ensure all public outreach events are publicly noticed to promote maximum attendance.” This will include website, media releases, public notices and surveys and more. Media and translation for Spanish-speaking residents is also required.

The ability work well with other local transit entities is also a stated necessity. According to the City’s current documentation, “The Project includes ongoing and regular coordination with RT (Regional Transit) as one of the Project partners. In addition, the Consultant shall coordinate as appropriate with other local agencies… potentially impacting Citrus Heights transit users, including Roseville Transit, Placer County Transit Authority, Folsom Transit services and the City of Rancho Cordova’s Transit Division.”

The selected consulting firm must show Scope of Work, Project Management, Personnel and Staffing, Qualifications, Experience and References, Federal/State Funded Project Experience and Quality and Responsiveness of the Proposal. Interested parties can contact the city at GSD-Mailbox@citrusheights.net or 916 727 4770. Proposals are due by 2 pm January 20, 2017.


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Major League Lacrosse All-Star Game Coming to Bonney Field in 2017

Source: Cal Expo  |  2017-01-13

Along with the All-Star Game, MLL has more exciting activities planned for Friday, July 7 and Saturday, July 8. Before the All-Star Game there will be a FanFest at Bonney Field where fans can meet MLL players, enjoy live music and interactive exhibits.

The world's best lacrosse players are coming to Sacramento, CA. Major League Lacrosse has chosen Bonney Field at Cal Expo as the site for the 16th All-Star Game in 2017. The MLL All-Star Game will take place on Saturday, July 8 at 6 p.m. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com.

Along with the All-Star Game, MLL has more exciting activities planned for Friday, July 7 and Saturday, July 8. Before the All-Star Game there will be a FanFest at Bonney Field where fans can meet MLL players, enjoy live music and interactive exhibits. The All-Star Shootout Tournament presented by ADVNC Lacrosse and the All-Star Skills Competition will take place at Cherry Island Sports Complex in Rio Linda, CA. More information about those events can be found at www.advnclacrosse.com.

MLL chose to host the 2017 All-Star Game in northern California because it is the epicenter of lacrosse in the state of California and arguably, the Pacific Coast. According to US Lacrosse, there are more youth lacrosse players registered with US Lacrosse in the Northern California region than in greater Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego combined. Also, the region played host to the San Francisco Dragons, an MLL franchise that played from 2006-08.

This top-caliber event is just the latest addition to hit the pitch of Bonney Field, which is also home to the Sacramento Republic FC and PRO Rugby Sacramento. For more information about the MLL All-Star Game excitement see news.majorleaguelacrosse.com.

Cal Expo is home to the California State Fair and plays host to hundreds of other signature events each year. The Cal Expo property is home to Bonney Field, a premier sports and entertainment venue with seating of 11,000.


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Convoy Shows Giving Spirit

By Elise Spleiss  |  2017-01-12

Nine year old Julian looks on with delight as Sgt.Wes Herman of the CHPD points out features on his police cruiser during the annual police Holiday Toy Drop-off on December 20. 
--Photo by Elise Spleiss

A police convoy of over a dozen Citrus Heights Police Department marked and unmarked vehicles, lights flashing and sirens wailing, made their way through the streets of Citrus Heights to five very special neighborhoods on the afternoon of December 20, 2016.

Residents living along parts of Centurion Circle, Terrell Drive, Stanford Avenue, and Villa Oak Drive were understandably uneasy at first, but then pleasantly surprised as the occupants of the vehicles emerged bearing gifts and much more for one special family at each address.

Nearly two dozen police officers, along with police volunteers, Mayor Jeff Slowey and other city council members, Boy Scouts of troop 635, and of course, Santa Claus executed one “flash gift and toy drop” in each of the four neighborhoods.

The four families chosen to receive the special delivery of toys, food, clothes and other necessities were selected from community referrals to the city’s Holiday Referral Program overseen by the police department. Each family had experienced unusual hardship in 2016 placing them in extreme financial or other difficult situation. Items for these and 30 other needy families helped this year by the program, were donated by the police department, non-profit service organizations, churches, schools, private businesses and individuals.

At the first stop, Elizabeth, whose son was celebrating his 5th birthday, was overwhelmed when Santa, accompanied by half a dozen officers ascended to their second-floor apartment bearing a shiny green bike, toys, games, food and many other items for the family. The officers were then joined by more police personnel and their own children of all ages in singing “Happy Birthday” to her son. Elizabeth, who has no family and no parents to help her thanked everybody and vowed to “pay it forward”

At another address, nine-year-old Julian was also greeted by Santa who handed him a bright red present. Julian’s mother passed away after Halloween following heart surgery. Julian said, “I loved my mom, and I’m very thankful for everyone that came he said.” His father, Tony Bernardino, said, “Julian is doing very well with everything considering the situation.” But the highlight of Julian’s day was when Sgt. Wes Herman let him sit in and inspect the interior of his police cruiser and turn on the lights and siren.

Finally, no Citrus Heights Holiday Toy Drop-off would be complete without a stop on Sayonara Drive. Previously the ‘sore spot’ of Citrus Heights, Sayonara is now a much safer place for families to live. As the caravan pulled up to the Sayonara Community Center it took only seconds for dozens of children to appear and descend upon and eagerly surround the officers and volunteers handing out the rest of the over 300 stuffed animals donated this year.

This was Police Chief Ron Lawrence’s first Holiday Toy Drop-off. At the end of the day he spoke of how impressed he is with all the hard work of his officers. He commented that “today we make magic and create special moments these kids will remember the rest of their lives… It’s a gift for us as much as it is for them.”


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Local Sailor Participates in Pacific Partnership

Source: Navy Office of Community Outreach  |  2017-01-12

Naval Air Crewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class Thomas Williams (shown above), from Sacramento, California, assigned to the Blackjacks of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 21 U.S. 
--Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Trevor Kohl-rus/Released

Naval Air Crewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class Thomas Williams, from Sacramento, California, assigned to the Blackjacks of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 21, prepares to jump into the water during a rehearsal for a Pacific Partnership 2016 search and rescue drill.

During the drill, aviation rescue swimmers hoisted simulated casualties from the water into an MH-60S helicopter for medical evacuation to hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19). The Pacific Partnership search and rescue field training exercise spanned across three locations in Padang and included a water rescue, a field hospital for patient triage and transport, and a mass casualty at a local soccer field.

The day's events were facilitated by Tentara Nasional Indonesia, local first responders and the Pacific Partnership humanitarian assistance and disaster relief team. This is the fifth time Pacific Partnership has visited Indonesia. Partner nations are working side-by-side with local organizations during disaster response training, civil engineering projects, Women, Peace, and Security seminars, medical subject matter expert exchanges and a live field training exercise aimed at improving the capacity of local government, civilian agencies and partner militaries to collectively respond in crisis.


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Girl Scout Cookies: 100 years, 9 Cookies, 5 Skills, One Purpose!

Source: Girl Scouts Heart of Central California  |  2017-01-12

The five skills that participating in Girl Scouts build in future Girl Leaders are; goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics. 
--Photo courtesy of Girls Scouts of America

Building Girl Leaders One Package at a Time

This year marks the 100th year since Girl Scouts first started selling cookies. The cookie sale teaches valuable life skills and the proceeds, which all stay local, support their adventures and community service projects all year long!

Girl Scouts nationwide are celebrating this 100th cookie-versary with a brand new S’mores Cookie and you’re among the first in the country to try it! The cookies are available to order starting January 13. Look for Girl Scouts with order forms! For the third year running, the cost of Girl Scout Cookies is $5 per package.

The cookies arrive in Sacramento on February 18 at the Girl Scout Cookie MegaDrop at Raley Field. They are expecting to distribute more than 100,000 cases of cookies to Girl Scout troops throughout Northern and Central California. Cookies will be available through booth sales starting February 24.

The five skills that participating in Girl Scouts build in future Girl Leaders are; goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.

Girl Scouts is the world’s most successful organization dedicated to creating girl leaders, with 3.2 million active members and more than 59 million alumnae. Since its founding in 1912, women have explored new fields of knowledge, learned valuable skills and developed strong core values through Girl Scouting. The Girl Scout organization has shaped the lives of the majority of female senior executives and business owners, two-thirds of women in Congress, and virtually every female astronaut.

The national organization is Girl Scouts of the USA; the local council is Girl Scouts Heart of Central California (GSHCC). GSHCC is devoted to building Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers and Leaders (G.I.R.L.s) in Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Mariposa, Merced, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tuolumne, Yolo and Yuba counties.


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Four Families Displaced by Fire in Multiple Units of Four-plex

Source: Michelle Eidam, Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District  |  2017-01-12

Metro Fire crews were dispatched to the 9000 block of Folsom Boulevard for multiple callers reporting a house fire.

Just after 7:00 am on January 7th, Metro Fire crews were dispatched to the 9000 block of Folsom Boulevard for multiple callers reporting a house fire. First arriving crews found heavy fire coming from a four-plex and immediately initiated fire attack. While firefighting operations were occurring in the unit of origin, additional firefighters initiated fire attack in a second involved unit and began searching for trapped residents.

A common attic throughout the four-plex allowed the fire to spread quickly. With a coordinated fire attack, the thirty-five firefighters on scene extinguished the fire, containing it to the attic and two units. Two units sustained major fire damage. The other two had fire damage in the attic, but only smoke damage inside; firefighters were able to salvage all of the personal belongings from these units. Residents from all four units were displaced; Red Cross was requested to assist the ten adults and four children with temporary housing. The cause of the fire is undetermined. Damage is estimated at $250,000; no injuries to civilians or firefighters were reported.


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Tax Filing Season Begins January 23

Source: Internal Revenue Service  |  2017-01-12

The Internal Revenue Service has announced that the nation’s tax season will begin Monday, Jan. 23, 2017 and reminded taxpayers claiming certain tax credits to expect a longer wait for refunds.

The IRS will begin accepting electronic tax returns that day, with more than 153 million individual tax returns expected to be filed in 2017. The IRS again expects more than four out of five tax returns will be prepared electronically using tax return preparation software.

Many software companies and tax professionals will be accepting tax returns before Jan. 23 and then will submit the returns when IRS systems open. The IRS will begin processing paper tax returns at the same time. There is no advantage to filing tax returns on paper in early January instead of waiting for the IRS to begin accepting e-filed returns.

The IRS reminds taxpayers that a new law requires the IRS to hold refunds claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until Feb. 15. In addition, the IRS wants taxpayers to be aware it will take several days for these refunds to be released and processed through financial institutions. Factoring in weekends and the President’s Day holiday, the IRS cautions that many affected taxpayers may not have actual access to their refunds until the week of Feb. 27.

“For this tax season, it’s more important than ever for taxpayers to plan ahead,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said. “People should make sure they have their year-end tax statements in hand, and we encourage people to file as they normally would, including those claiming the credits affected by the refund delay. Even with these significant changes, IRS employees and the entire tax community will be working hard to make this a smooth filing season for taxpayers.”

The IRS also reminds taxpayers that they should keep copies of their prior-year tax returns for at least three years. Taxpayers who are changing tax software products this filing season will need their adjusted gross income from their 2015 tax return in order to file electronically. The Electronic Filing Pin is no longer an option. Taxpayers can visit IRS.Gov/GetReady for more tips on preparing to file their 2016 tax return.

The filing deadline to submit 2016 tax returns is Tuesday, April 18, 2017, rather than the traditional April 15 date. In 2017, April 15 falls on a Saturday, and this would usually move the filing deadline to the following Monday – April 17. However, Emancipation Day – a legal holiday in the District of Columbia – will be observed on that Monday, which pushes the nation’s filing deadline to Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Under the tax law, legal holidays in the District of Columbia affect the filing deadline across the nation.


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DMV Reminds Motorists of Many New 2017 Laws

Source: Department of Motor Vehicles  |  2017-01-06

Just one of the new 2017 DMV laws will be (SB 838, Vehicle Registration Fee):  This law increases the vehicle registration fee on every vehicle or trailer coach from $43 to $53 beginning April 1, 2017.

With the New Year just around the corner, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) wants to inform the public of several new laws or changes to existing law that, unless otherwise noted, take effect on January 1, 2017. The following are summaries of some transportation-related laws taking effect.

  • Use of Electronic Wireless Devices (AB 1785, Quirk):  Driving a motor vehicle while holding and operating a handheld wireless telephone or a wireless electronic communications device will be prohibited, unless the device is mounted on a vehicle’s windshield or is mounted/affixed to a vehicle’s dashboard or center console in a manner that does not hinder the driver’s view of the road. The driver’s hand may only be used to activate or deactivate a feature or function on the device with the motion of a single swipe or tap of the driver’s finger, but not while holding it. The law does not apply to manufacturer-installed systems that are embedded in a vehicle.
  • Child Safety Seats (AB 53, Garcia):  This law requires a parent, legal guardian, or the driver of a motor vehicle to properly secure a child who is younger than 2 years of age in an appropriate rear-facing child passenger restraint system, unless the child weighs 40 or more pounds or is 40 or more inches in height (3 feet, 3 inches).
  • Motorcycle Lane Splitting (AB 51, Quirk):  This law defines “lane splitting” as driving a two-wheeled motorcycle between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane. The law authorizes the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to develop educational guidelines relating to lane splitting in a manner that would ensure the safety of motorcyclists, drivers, and passengers. In developing these guidelines, the law requires the CHP to consult with specified agencies and organizations that have an interest in road safety and motorcyclist behavior.
  • Vehicle Registration Fee (SB 838, Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review):  This law increases the vehicle registration fee on every vehicle or trailer coach from $43 to $53 beginning April 1, 2017.
  • Environmental License Plate (SB 839, Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review):  This law increases the fee for the issuance of Environmental License Plates from $43 to $53, starting July 1, 2017. This law also increases the fee for the renewal, retention, transfer, or duplication of Environmental License Plates (personalized) from $38 to $43, starting January 1, 2017.
  • Accident Reporting (SB 491, Committee on Transportation and Housing):  This law increases the minimum financial threshold for property damage that is required to be reported to the DMV from $750 to $1,000 when a driver is involved in a motor vehicle collision.
  • Vehicle Safety Recalls (AB 287, Gordon):  This law enacts the Consumer Automotive Recall Safety (CARS) Act, and requires the DMV to include a general advisory regarding vehicle recalls and needed repairs on each vehicle registration renewal notice. This law prohibits a dealer or a rental car company from renting or loaning a vehicle with a manufacturer’s recall no later than 48 hours after receiving the notice—until the vehicle has been repaired. This law gives a limited exception for a licensed dealer or a rental car company with a fleet of 34 or fewer loaner or rental vehicles. The law authorizes the DMV to suspend or revoke a vehicle dealer’s license if they violate the CARS Act.
  • Year of Manufacture License Plates (SB 1429, Nielsen):  This law expands the Year of Manufacture (YOM) license plate program to include vehicles and license plates manufactured through 1980. This law benefits owners of vintage motor vehicles who obtain license plates from the year corresponding to the vehicle’s model-year, and wish to use those vintage plates in lieu of regular license plates. Such plates are commonly found from different sources, including relatives, garage sales, estate sales, etc. The program will include the blue and yellow license plates issued for use on California motor vehicles from 1970 until 1980.
  • Background Checks of Drivers of Transportation Network Companies (AB 1289, Cooper): A transportation network company (TNC) will be required to perform a comprehensive background check of all their drivers. This law also specifies penalties for a TNC that violates or fails to comply with this requirement. A TNC will be prohibited from contracting with, employing, or retaining a driver if they are registered on the U.S. Department of Justice National Sex Offender public website, has been convicted of specified felonies, or within the previous seven years, has been convicted of a misdemeanor assault or battery, domestic violence, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Any TNC in violation of the specified requirements is subject to a penalty of not less than $1,000 or more than $5,000 for each offense.
  • Installing Counterfeit or Nonfunctional Air Bags (AB 2387, Mullin):  This law prohibits knowingly and intentionally manufacturing, importing, installing, reinstalling, distributing, or selling any device intended to replace an air bag system in any motor vehicle if the device is a counterfeit or nonfunctional air bag system, or does not meet federal safety requirements. The law also prohibits selling, installing, or reinstalling any device that would cause a vehicle’s diagnostic system to fail to warn when the vehicle is equipped with a counterfeit, nonfunctional, or a case in which no air bag was installed. This violation is a misdemeanor punishable by a $5,000 fine and/or up to a one year in county jail.

Never miss the latest news from the CA DMV. Sign up now for DMV News Alerts! It’s an easy way to receive up-to-date information from the California Department of Motor Vehicles. This new tool also offers customization to obtain specific DMV related topics, such as AB 60, autonomous vehicles, and office openings and closures.

Click here to get started:  www.emailalert.dmv.ca.gov/DMVEmail_Alert/

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