Vietnam Veterans Officially Welcomed Home

By Elise Spleiss  |  2018-04-13

L-R: Gregory A. Miyata, Army Specialist 4, served as a medic in Vietnam 1970-1971 and Raymond M. Chow, E-3, U.S. Navy, 2 tours from 1968, on U.S.S. Sacramento munitions transport ship in Vietnam. Photo by Gigi Rayford

March 29 is Official Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Day

CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - On March 29 Stones Gambling Hall, partnering with American Legion (AL) Post 637, sponsored a breakfast in honor of Vietnam War Veterans and the one-year anniversary of the signing into law of the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act.  

Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania sponsored the bill during the 115th Congress.  It was signed into law by President Donald Trump, on March 28, 2017 to honor all Vietnam War veterans. March 29 is now officially among those days on which the American flag should be displayed.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Mayor Steve Miller thanked Stone’s and AL Post 637 for partnering to put the event together.  He said, “You left the warmth of family to serve a country you love.  You braved the line of fire and cast yourself into harm’s way to preserve the liberties we all hold dear. This is a story many of you here today know, and sadly it a story of many who never returned.”

Former mayor of Citrus Heights and now a Sacramento County Supervisor, Sue Frost, gave a short history of the Vietnam War / conflict.  She said, “The U.S. became involved in the Vietnam War because policy makers in the U.S. believed that if Vietnam fell to the Communist government that communism would spread throughout the rest of South East Asia.” 

She noted, “This day is set aside as a day for Americans to honor the courage and sacrifice of those who served in the Vietnam War, long deserved, and we all celebrate you today.”

Frost announced that the Sacramento Board of Supervisors recently voted unanimously to establish a Veterans Advisory Commission to keep the board of supervisors advised on issues related to veterans. This was the result of feedback from veterans she has met in the field who feel they do not have a voice in the county.

Kermit Schayltz, a partner at Stones, spoke about a five-day trip to Vietnam from which he had just returned.  He and some friends revisited some of the locations where he had served as an 18-year old in the 25th Army Infantry during two tours of service from 1968 to 1970.  While there he was introduced to two former Viet Cong, now in their 80’s. Schayltz said in a phone interview that he believed it was a healing process for both of them.

It is common belief by many that this bill is long overdue, especially in light of the negative and often hateful reception which many veterans returning home to the United States received following their tours of duty.

Therefore, in appreciation of Trump’s actions as the first president to recognize Vietnam veterans in this way, AL Commander Paul Reyes read a letter he wrote to Trump showing the post’s appreciation. Vietnam veterans attending the event signed the letter to be mailed by Reyes to the White House.

Reporter’s note: *While the term war is used, there was no official declaration of war.  Fighting began November 1, 1955; the U.S. entered the conflict / war 53 years ago on March 8, 1965 when the first American combat troops waded ashore at China Beach north of Da Nang.  The conflict / war ended April 30, 1975 when Saigon fell to the Communists.

Sac Choral Society

A Clean Sweep for Creeks

Story and photos by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2018-04-20

Sacramento County youth organizations rallied to clean up waterways during Creek Week. Girl Scout Troops 333 (Antelope) and 890 (Foothill Farms) celebrated a job well done during festivities at Carmichael park.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - A party celebrating Creek Week caused a big splash – and vital lessons in water conservation – last weekend at Carmichael Park.

Many sponsoring agencies sent an unfiltered message: everyone must do their bit to save and protect water. Early that morning, 2,000 volunteers from youth and neighborhood groups formed an army to scour 85 locations.  Creeks from the Delta to Folsom and from Elk Grove to Antelope benefited from the clean-up.

Four work areas within the Rancho Cordova community yielded 1,420 pounds of trash. City biologists also conducted a nature walk along the recently-restored banks of Cordova Creek.  The tour celebrated revitalization of a formerly barren channel; Cordova Creek Naturalization Project replaced decades-old concrete creek lining with tons of river rock. Achieved in partnership between city, Sacramento County and the non-profit Water Forum, the three-mile effort has recreated 10 acres of vegetated habitat.

Now 28 years old, Sacramento County’s Creek Week program aims to refresh dozens of waterways by removing garbage and invasive plants. The annual volunteer work force is swelled by the Sacramento Regional Conservation Corps, whose members recycle dumped rubber tires.

Beyond tires, mattresses and shopping carts, the 2018 junk-hunt gleaned many tons of smaller stuff alien to healthy arteries.  Sacramento Area Creeks Council President Alta Tura noted that high waters from recent rains washed much trash downstream into river flows.  “At the same time, more garbage entered our creeks and was trapped by vegetation,” she said. “Cigarette butts, plastic straws and fast food packaging are more damaging to wildlife than big stuff. Animals ingest plastic and can end up starving to death. Waterfowl can become entangled in discarded fishing lines. There’s no place in our waterways for plastic in any form, yet thousands of plastic items were among the tons of junk we bagged. The volunteers did a stellar job.”

At Carmichael Park, rewards for the weary army included clean tee shirts and hot dogs dished up by Carmichael Chamber of Commerce and Mission Oaks Park District volunteers.  “The party celebrates everyone’s hard work,” said Tura.  “It also teaches people about nature; how to save water and be better stewards of our environment.”

Learn more about the annual creek cleanup at www.creekweek.net

To report illegally dumped tires to the Sacramento Regional Conservation Corps, call (916) 792-0429.

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2018-19 Watershed Stewardship and Education Grant

Sac County News  |  2018-04-19

Photo courtesy Sac County News

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - ​The Sacramento County Stormwater Quality Program is accepting applications for the 2018-19 Watershed Stewardship and Education Grant.  Each year,​ the Stormwater Quality Program offers schools, non-profit, and community organizations up to $2,500 for projects to help students understand the importance of keeping local creeks and rivers clean and healthy.

This is the 13th year the County is offering grants to help raise awareness about the need for protecting creeks and rivers.  By collaborating with schools over the years, the County has seen positive results from students who participate in the program and show a better understanding of stormwater pollution.  Expanding this program to non-profits and community groups offers another avenue to increase education.
Thirty-five schools have participated in the program.  Will Rogers Middle School is one of the original participants and has taken part in the program every year since it launched in 2005. 

Over the years, grant winners have completed 85 projects like creek clean ups; hands on education about Sacramento’s watershed, creeks, or rivers; eco-friendly gardens; water quality experiments to assess the health of a creek/river; and school-wide campaigns to increase awareness about stormwater pollution.  Each year, grant winners submit a report to the County on their projects shows many of the students in the program gaining a better understanding of stormwater pollution and the environment.
Eligible projects must in some way protect or enhance local creeks, rivers, or watersheds.  Projects will generally fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • Educational Projects - Projects that inform or instruct about the aquatic ecosystem, watersheds, or stormwater pollution prevention
  • School/Club Projects - Projects that can be organized by teachers, classrooms, or clubs
  • Community Outreach Projects - Projects that involve and inspire the community
  • Monitoring Project - Projects that measure water quality, species, or habitat
  • Restoration Projects - Projects that restore or enhance riparian habitats, wetlands, creeks, or rivers

Eligible projects must be implemented within the Stormwater Utility boundaries of Sacramento County or directly affect the residents of these areas.  The application for the 2018-19 Watershed Stewardship and Education Grant is available on the Stormwater Quality Program webpage.


The application deadline is July 1, and the grants are awarded in August.

For more information, contact Jeanette Huddleston at 916-​874‐4711 or huddlestonj@saccounty.net.

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Qualifying Veterans and Japanese American Citizens May Receive Belated High School Diplomas

By Operation Recognition  |  2018-04-18

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) wants to honor the many contributions of those whose education was interrupted due to wartime circumstances. Current and former Sacramento County residents who left high school to serve in the U.S. military during World War II, the Korean War or the Vietnam War, and received an honorable discharge, may contact SCOE to receive their high school diplomas. SCOE also presents diplomas to Japanese American citizens forced to leave high school due to WW II internment. Individuals may request diplomas on behalf of themselves or qualifying family members, including persons now deceased. Those who earned a G.E.D., or graduated from high school while in an internment camp, are still eligible for diplomas. To be considered for the spring 2017 awards ceremony, submit applications by April 26, 2017. Applications are available from the Sacramento County Office of Education by calling (916) 228-2416 or visiting scoe.net/or.

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Trump, Brown Tangle Over California State Border Control

By Rich Peters, MPG Editor  |  2018-04-18

Governor Jerry Brown

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - California Governor Jerry Brown spoke at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, defending his sanctuary cities and claiming that the country’s immigration debate has become “an inflammatory football that very low-life politicians like to exploit.” He continued, “And I think it’s shocking, it’s despicable and it’s harmful to California, mostly to the people.”

Brown let it be known that he has no plans of changing his stance on the state’s immigration and sanctuary cities.

“We’re not backing off,” Brown said. “And I believe we have the legal horsepower to block the immediate legal moves by the Trump administration.”

The 80-year-old Brown, who is in the final months of his second term as California governor, proclaimed, “I’m not riding off into the sunset. You can be sure that you’ll hear from me.”

Just before Brown spoke on Tuesday, President Donald Trump tweeted, “Looks like Jerry Brown and California are not looking for safety and security along their very porous Border. He cannot come to terms for the National Guard to patrol and protect the Border. The high crime rate will only get higher. Much wanted Wall in San Diego already started!”

Trump took to Twitter once again on Wednesday morning, saying that many parts of sanctuary cities throughout California want out of Jerry Brown’s control.

“There is a Revolution going on in California,” Trump tweeted. “Soooo many Sanctuary areas want OUT of this ridiculous, crime infested & breeding concept. Jerry Brown is trying to back out of the National Guard at the Border, but the people of the State are not happy. Want Security & Safety NOW!”

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Coach Guy Anderson Honored by the ABCA

By Rich Peters, MPG Editor  |  2018-04-13

Recipients of the 2018 ABCA Dave Keilitz Ethics in Coaching Award: Longtime Stanford Cardinal head coach Mark Marquess (left) and Guy Anderson (right) with award committee chair Tom O’Connell. Photo courtesy American Baseball Coaches Association

Discusses Storied Career and the Current State of Baseball

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - “I’ve been accused of being old school; which I am,” professed legendary baseball coach Guy Anderson.

I sat down with the winner of 927 high school ballgames for a cup of coffee in Gold River on what was a perfect day for baseball. I showed up early, but Anderson was already there, sitting outside. Meeting with him for the first time, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had only heard stories.

Despite the crowded patio, I knew exactly who Anderson was. You can always tell with baseball guys. We quickly jumped into conversation, as if we’d picked right back up from our last one. The spry, 85-year-old had freshly returned from a Spring Break tournament in Anaheim. Now the assistant coach for Capital Christian High School, Anderson led the Cordova Lancers program for 45 years, winning 17 league titles, five section titles and coaching 24 players who would eventually be drafted by Major League organizations.

Earlier this year he received the American Baseball Coaches Association Dave Keilitz Ethics in Coaching Award. He attended the awards ceremony at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis to accept the award last January. Anderson told me what an honor the award was and how much it meant to him, but also how fortunate he is to have been able to coach such great players throughout the years.

“I compare coaching a little bit to being a jockey,” he explained. “You don’t win on a donkey; you’ve got to have a stallion to win the big ones. I’ve had some pretty good guys that could play the game very well.”

For a man who has dedicated much of his life to coaching and teaching others, he has enjoyed the fact that this award is not just about him, but a recognition of who he is and what he so proudly stands for. “This award was outstanding for me, I’ve been fortunate to be put in a few Hall of Fames. Like I said, you’ve got to have the stallions - it’s important to have the players - but this one here was more, to me, about who I am.”

I asked the self-proclaimed “old school” coach how the game has evolved over the many decades of ballgames that he has taken part of. “If you start at the Major League level, it’s the money. The money is a big difference now and it’s an entertainment rather than a sport.”

Anderson then addressed the collegiate level, summarizing a recent game that he and his Capital Christian team attended when they were in Southern California for their tournament. “The college level is still good baseball and I’ll give you an example. The leadoff batter gets a base hit and the next guy lays down a sacrifice bunt. Early in the game, go get that first run.”

What Anderson stressed throughout our conversation about today’s game was that sacrifice bunting, or any sort of personal sacrifice at all, is a dying art – especially at the pro level. In last year’s 2017 MLB season, a record 6,105 home runs were hit, topping the 5,963 belted in 2000 at the height of the Steroid Era. Strikeouts set a record for the 10th straight season at 40,104 and sacrifice bunts fell to their lowest level since the year 1900 at 925. To put that last number into perspective, there were only eight teams in 1900 and they played anywhere between 140 and 146 games compared to the 30 teams and 162 game schedule in today’s game.

But individual numbers can mean a lot more than team wins and the kind of contributions that won’t show up in the box score to today’s young players. The pressures to perform at a high level have trickled down to a lower age group, making the game a more individualistic sport. Whereas only seniors used to worry about playing at the college level, now underclassmen are receiving recruitment letters and are forced to think about the future rather than living in the moment.

“Play now, play the best you can and good things will happen,” said Anderson. “Don’t worry about next year or you may not get there.” From early recruitment to travel ball to personal coaches and trainers, there are new politics in the game of baseball.

But Anderson also understands that when you’re in the game as long as he has been, things are bound to take on a different shape over time. That’s part of life. “We lost one thing in basketball a few years ago, and we’re losing it in baseball now, and that’s the same color shoes,” Anderson joked. “You go back to the military. You’re a team when you all look alike. And that’s why I’ve always liked the Yankees; they never put the name on the back.”

Coach Guy Anderson is the very embodiment of America’s pastime - a true throwback in every sense of the word; rich in history and accolades, but willing to accept the evolution of the game, whether he fully agrees with it or not. And that’s what great coaches do. They lay down a stern foundation of the history and fundamentals of the game, and the rest, the improvisation, is up to you. And when it comes right down to it, Anderson and the game of baseball may have evolved, but they’ll never truly change.

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CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Beginning with 2018-19 school year, students enrolled in The San Juan Unified School District will begin studying history and social sciences through a new lens, one that will push them to engage more deeply, think and write more critically and leave high school with a deeper understanding of state and local civics processes.

Also, a new law requires the inclusion of the study of historical contributions by individuals who have heretofore been omitted from the curriculum: members of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community, as well as those living with disabilities.

The changes, says Nicole Kukral, program specialist with The District’s Division of Teaching and Learning, stem from the 2012 adoption of Common Core standards, as well as mandates under The FAIR Act, established with the 2012 passage of SB 48.  Parents and members of the community will have a chance to preview the pending curriculum changes at an information night at the district’s offices on Tuesday, April 17 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the San Juan Unified board room at 3738 Walnut Ave., Carmichael.

So what’s changing exactly?  According to Kukral, new standards and texts (secondary materials) will require students to go beyond rote memorization of events, dates and facts.  They will need also to demonstrate an ability to analyze events critically, draw their own conclusions and express their views verbally and in writing.

Students also will be spending more time studying “primary” materials, such as copies of historical documents, journals, letters and maps created by historical and cultural figures of import.  For example, the study of Colonialism and Christianity in California has historically involved a somewhat one-dimensional lesson on the Franciscan Priest, Junipero Serra and perhaps an assignment to build a replica of one of the 21 California missions, with scant focus on the plight of the indigenous people who were converted in the process.

Under the new standards, students may study journals, not just by Father Serra himself, but also the writings, art work, letters and other documentation produced by the Mission Indians themselves to gain a broader understanding.

“Instead of being told what to think, students will be grappling with bigger questions, attempting to understand history and the social sciences through a multi-perspective lens,” said Kukral.  “The idea is that we are really shifting into understanding that history is more than just a collection of facts.”

The FAIR Act, says Kukral, widens the study of individuals who have helped shape historical change or events. Kukral said some of the changes may ruffle feathers, but she wants to reiterate that the new curriculum will focus on individuals’ contributions to society, not their personal lives.

“We know some of the changes, especially those following the law, will give some pause,” said Kukral.  “But The FAIR Act requires the study of the contributions from certain people and that we have students talk about their struggles for civil rights.  Where it applies, we will call out the fact that there are people in history who are or were lesbian and or gay.  But by no means do we intend to study the personal lives of these individuals.”

In May parents will have a chance to see the new text books, Kukral said.  Full implementation of the new materials and frameworks will take place during the 2019-2020 school year.

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Center for Freedom and Flight to host event honoring the Legendary Tuskegee Airmen

By the Center for Freedom and Flight  |  2018-04-12

About the Center for Freedom and Flight:  Our mission is to honor America’s aviation heroes and technology of the past, present, and future. By providing impactful experiences through compelling exhibits, we provide a unique environment to cultivate interest and education to further the aviation industry.

A First of Its Kind Event on the West Coast

VACAVILLE, CA (MPG) - Heritage, The Legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen is a first of its kind event in Northern California on Saturday and Sunday, June 2nd-3rd, 2018. The inaugural weekend long event will be held at the world-famous Nut Tree Airport in Vacaville, CA at the Center for Freedom and Flight. The purpose of this event is to honor the members and their families of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, educate today’s youth, and inspire future leaders in aviation.

Hosted by The Tuskegee Airmen Heritage Chapters of Greater Sacramento and Lee Archer Jr. (Travis AFB), Center for Freedom and Flight, Unsung Heroes: A Living History Project and EAA Chapter 1230 Nut Tree Airport.

Event highlights include Tuskegee Airmen and Heritage families in attendance, mobile Tuskegee Airmen museum, fly in with historically significant aircraft.

A fun-filled dinner and dance will be hosted on Saturday, June 2, 2018. The dinner dance will include a VIP cocktail hour, dinner, a hosted bar and music provided by the Harley White Jr. Orchestra. A free Community Open House will be held on Sunday, June 3, 2018 from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

For more information, sponsorship opportunities, and to purchase tickets, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/heritage-swing-under-the-wings-tickets-44894283009?aff=erelpanelorg

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Eagle Scout and Tenderfoot Scout to be honored with the Hornaday Award and Award for Heroism

ORANGEVALE, CA (MPG) - On Tuesday, April 17, Boy Scout Troop 107 of the Golden Empire Council will be conducting a Court of Honor which will include presentation of two National Scouting awards by the BSA.

Eagle Scout Gabriel Cline will be honored for work in the field of environmental conservation with the presentation of the William T. Hornaday award.  Named after the former director of New York Zoological Society and founder of our National Zoo, The Hornaday award recognizes scouts (youth) and scouters (adults) for excellence in resource conservation and stewardship.  On average, only 14 Hornaday awards are presented nationally each year.

Tenderfoot Scout Joseph Hudeck will also be honored by the BSA with the National Heroism award. Joseph (Joey) Hudeck, as a Cub scout at eight years old, took action to save a woman from drowning on Combie lake, near Lake of the Pines, CA by kayaking to the woman in distress and pulling her to shore.

The court of honor will be held in the large fellowship hall of First Baptist Church, Fair Oaks, 4401 San Juan Ave, beginning at 7pm. The national award recognition will be at the beginning of the program.

For additional information please contact David Hyde, Troop 107 Charter Organization Representative, at Hydeout5@comcast.net.

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SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today responded to the federal government’s request for additional California National Guard personnel with the following letter. The accompanying agreement, submitted this afternoon for review and approval by the federal government, can be found here.

April 11, 2018

Dear Secretary Nielsen and Secretary Mattis:

Pursuant to your request, the California National Guard will accept federal funding to add approximately 400 Guard members statewide to supplement the staffing of its ongoing program to combat transnational crime. This program is currently staffed by 250 personnel statewide, including 55 at the California border.

Your funding for new staffing will allow the Guard to do what it does best: support operations targeting transnational criminal gangs, human traffickers and illegal firearm and drug smugglers along the border, the coast and throughout the state. Combating these criminal threats are priorities for all Americans – Republicans and Democrats. That’s why the state and the Guard have long supported this important work and agreed to similar targeted assistance in 2006 under President Bush and in 2010 under President Obama.

But let’s be crystal clear on the scope of this mission. This will not be a mission to build a new wall. It will not be a mission to round up women and children or detain people escaping violence and seeking a better life. And the California National Guard will not be enforcing federal immigration laws.

Here are the facts: there is no massive wave of migrants pouring into California. Overall immigrant apprehensions on the border last year were as low as they’ve been in nearly 50 years (and 85 percent of the apprehensions occurred outside of California).

I agree with the Catholic Bishops who have said that local, state and federal officials should “work collaboratively and prudently in the implementation of this deployment, ensuring that the presence of the National Guard is measured and not disruptive to community life.”

I look forward to working with you on this important effort.

Sincerely,

Edmund G. Brown Jr.

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