NorCal Rapist Arrested

Rich Peters, MPG Editor  |  2018-09-21

Suspected NorCal rapist Roy Charles Waller, 58, was arrested in Berkeley this week.

Answer in DNA

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - It was an eerie, familiar feeling as Sacramento District Attorney stood alongside state law enforcement agents and in front of media members, announcing the arrest of yet another notorious California serial rapist.

58-year-old Roy Charles Waller of Benicia was linked through DNA to the heinous NorCal Rapist crimes committed on at least 12 victims that date back beginning 27 years ago and took place across six counties.

“The answer has always been in the DNA,” said Schubert, coincidentally in the midst of National Forensic Science Week. She explained the partnership of tireless science and police work that led to a breakthrough over the past 10 days, eventually leading to the arrest.

“Today we can bring some closure to the victim in Contra Costa County who was attacked on Halloween in 1996,” said Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton.

Waller was arrested in Berkeley near the U.C. Berkeley campus. He has been a U.C. Berkeley employee for the past 25 years. The Sacramento Police Department and the Berkeley Police Department made the arrest.

The suspect has been charged with 12 counts of force-able sexual assault, plus enhancements. There are also allegations that he used a gun. He’s been awarded no bail and his arraignment is set for Monday in Sacramento.


Sac Feral Resources Community Cats Workshops

Story and photos by Trina L. Drotar  |  2018-09-21

A workshop being offered on September 30 at Carmichael Library will teach community members how to improve the situation for both feral cats and humans who share the same neighborhood. Photo courtesy Sac Feral Resources

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - You’ve seen the cats scurry into the brush when you walk by, or the kitten who shows up on your doorstep every so often looking for something to eat. Some people consider these feral cats nuisances; some consider them cute; and others, like Sac Feral Resources, understand the need for the neighborhood to work together to manage feral cat colonies. A workshop being offered on September 30 at Carmichael Library will teach community members how to improve the situation for both feral cats and humans who share the same neighborhood.

The workshop, part of the Community Cats Project, will be divided into two parts. The morning session will focus on feral and community cats. This session may be taken alone, but it is a prerequisite for the afternoon that will discuss and teach Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). The workshops are free and open to the public.

“I want to improve the situation for the cats and for the neighbors,” said Linda Morgan of Sac Feral Resources, a non-profit all-volunteer organization. “Ultimately, the objective is to stop more kittens from being born into a situation where they are not welcomed, wanted, or cared for,” she said, “and to humanely care for cats already in the neighborhood.” The hope, she added, is that people, even those currently caring for feral cats, will “take something away that will improve the lives of the cats and the neighborhood.”

How do these cats get into the neighborhood? Some are left behind after the humans move. Others are set outside after a death in the family. Still others are put out instead of taken to one of the shelters because the people fear the cats will be euthanized. There are many reasons. Sac Feral Resources’ intention isn’t to focus on the reasons. It is to teach people how to control the cat population.

“There’s a method to colony management,” she said.  

“I don’t think people realize how much of a problem this is. Throughout the county there are between one and two hundred thousand feral cats. There is no inventory.”

By learning how to monitor and manage the colony within a neighborhood, she added, the population can stabilize and eventually will decrease because cats are trapped, spayed, neutered, and returned. They are unable to reproduce. There is also what Morgan calls a feeding protocol, which is not simply leaving a bowl of food outside for the neighborhood cat.

The organization encourages people to register colonies, to learn what needs to be done within an apartment complex or neighborhood. Some residents, she said, have been faced with eviction if they continue to feed the cats. Socializing feral kittens helps make them adoptable.

“The in-depth workshops cover the background of what these cats are, the philosophies of people in the neighborhood, and why it is a neighborhood problem,” said Morgan. “Cats are left behind. People are dumping cats where they see cats being fed. Cats are out there because of human action or inaction.”

What can attendees expect? Morgan will bring in traps and demonstrate their use. She’ll show videos, and teach how to talk to others as a colony manager. She’ll teach how to trap the “untrappable” cats. She’ll also explain how to feed cats. “There’s a protocol behind it that will make you more successful,” she said. “With TNR, responsible feeding, and colony management, the cat population will stabilize and ultimately be reduced through attrition. Neighborhood cat issues can be resolved when residents are empowered to work together in this shared objective.”
For additional information, visit: www.sacferals.com. If you’re going: Saturday, September 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.at the Carmichael Library, 5605 Marconi Avenue, Carmichael, CA.


...Read More!  
  |  

Officer Involved Shooting in Rancho Cordova

By Sergeant Shaun Hampton, Sheriff’s Spokesman  |  2018-09-21

Deputy Mark Stasyuk

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - At 1:44 p.m. on September 17, 2018, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Communications Center received a 911 call regarding a disturbance at a local business, located at the 10000 block of Folsom Boulevard.  Two Rancho Cordova Police Department Officers, which is a contract city with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, responded to the scene.  The initial call for service gave no indication that the suspect was armed or dangerous.  Upon the officers arriving, they were fired upon by the suspect and were able to return fire.

The suspect fled from the initial scene on foot and was again engaged by other responding deputies at a secondary scene.  The suspect was taken into custody and transported to a local hospital, where he is currently in stable condition.

During this encounter, two officers were shot by the suspect.

One officer, Julie Robertson (28), a three and a half year veteran, was shot in the arm and is in stable condition.

The other officer, Mark Stasyuk (27), was shot by the suspect.  He was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital.

An uninvolved citizen was shot, presumably by the suspect.  That citizen appears to be in stable condition at this time. 

Deputy Mark Stasyuk was a four and a half year veteran of the Sheriff’s Department and was assigned to the Rancho Cordova Police Department as a patrol officer.  Deputy Stasyuk leaves behind a wife, mother, father, and sister.  He was preceded in death by his older brother.

The investigation into the incident will be conducted by the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau and Professional Standards Division, which is standard practice for any officer-involved shooting that occurs in the Sheriff’s Department’s jurisdiction.  An independent review of the officer-involved shooting will be conducted by the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office.  In accordance with the Sheriff’s Department policies and procedures, the deputies involved in the shooting will be placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation.

Deputy Mark Stasyuk Memorial Fund

A memorial fund has been set up to help Deputy Mark Stasyuk’s family.  Donations can be made by visiting the CAHP Credit Union website or by mailing checks to:

Deputy Mark Stasyuk Memorial Fund

CAHP Credit Union

2843 Manlove Road

P.O. Box 276507

Sacramento, CA. 95827-6507

Online at: www.cahpcu.org/OfficerMarkStasyukMemorialFund


...Read More!  
  |  

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Behavioral health issues will plague one in four Americans in their lifetime, and half of us will care for someone living with a mental health issue during our lives. If you are not experiencing a behavioral health challenge right now, someone you know certainly is. These issues can strike someone once during their lifetime, or they may be something a person deals with every moment of every day.

In my role with Mental Health America of California, I work closely with youth and in the workplace mental health space. I see that the state of California, and the nation as a whole, is facing significant issues when it comes to behavioral health. Children are dying from substance use disorder and overdoses; they are dying from suicide. Neighbors are disabled because of behavioral health challenges.

MHAC has been working for 60 years to ensure that everyone in California who needs mental health services and support has access to appropriate help before they reach a point of crisis. But we cannot do this alone. That’s why we have joined forces with a first-of-its-kind coalition called Behavioral Health Action. The coalition brings together more than 50 diverse organizations that touch behavioral health in some way. This includes law enforcement, health care providers and hospitals, education, business, government and labor. Our goal is to elevate the issue of behavior health and raise awareness among the public and elected officials about what we can do to make a change.

Today, many elected officials are concerned about reducing costs of health care in the state of California. Others are concerned about closing achievement gaps. One way to solve these problems is to address behavioral health challenges and treatment. While we as the Behavioral Health Action coalition can create innovative solutions, it is up to the legislators to implement policies and bring change at a statewide level.

This issue runs deep. It is going to take steadfast effort from our whole village to make a dent in behavioral health outcomes and to improve the lives of people living with these challenges. If we do not include many partners with many perspectives, we’ll never make a difference.

I lost two siblings to suicide. I grew up in a family and in a community where substance use and mental health issues were prevalent, but no one ever talked about it. No one discussed treatment. Because of this, behavioral health has always been my top priority, and I hope others will give it the importance it deserves – from our neighbors and friends to our local and state representatives. We all need to take responsibility, and we all need to unite our voices, if we want to make progress on this issue.

If you are not mentally well, how can you achieve anything else? If we don’t highlight and elevate behavioral health, reduce its stigma and identify appropriate services and support that our communities need, we’re going to have many more problems before anything gets better.

I am a candidate this year for the San Juan Unified School Board. I can assure you that behavioral health will be my chief concern as I run for elected office, and I urge all other elected officials and candidates to make it a priority as well when they are on the campaign trail.

Zima Creason is President and CEO of Mental Health America of California


...Read More!  
  |  

Circus Vargas - The Big One is Back!

Circus Vargas Release  |  2018-09-21

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Big One is Back! Circus Vargas Delivers the Ultimate Entertainment Extravaganza for 2018! Debuting their latest, new and amazing animal-free production in Citrus Heights, the much-anticipated tour begins September 20th and runs through October 14th with stops in Roseville and Folsom!

Always fun for the entire family, Circus Vargas’ incredible new production highlights an amazing cast of world renowned performers! Death- Defying Acrobats, Daredevils, Flying Trapeze Artists, Jugglers, Contortionists, Comedians, Clowns, Motorcycles and much, much, more!

Get ready to unleash your imagination and discover a world of pure circus magic and wonderment under the Big Top, where memories are made and cherished for a lifetime!

Join us for a swashbuckling circus spectacular, with this year’s theme “Dreaming of Pirates!” A fantastic voyage of nonstop action and adventure guaranteed to thrill and enchant children of all ages! Prepare to witness the impossible and experience the unforgettable!

Circus Vargas’ Dreaming of Pirates… A true circus treasure!

Arrive 45 minutes early for an entertaining, interactive pre-show celebration, where kids can create their own magic under the big top, learning circus skills such as juggling, balancing and more! Meet and mingle with the entire cast after each performance. Capture the fun by posing for pics or selfies with your favorite cast members, all part of an unforgettable Circus Vargas experience!
 

Ticket Information: General admission tickets start at $15 for children and $25 for adults.
For Circus Vargas performance dates, times and to purchase tickets, visit  www.circusvargas.com, call 877-GOTFUN-1 (877-468-3861) or visit the box office at each location.

Follow Circus Vargas on Facebook and Twitter for updates, discounts and behind the scenes video.


...Read More!  
  |  

Cake4Kids Bakes in Sacramento

Story and photos by Trina L. Drotar  |  2018-09-20

In 2010, Cake4Kids was born. Only thirteen cakes were baked and delivered that year. Fast forward eight years when more than 10,000 cakes have been baked and delivered by volunteers as far south as San Diego. Above, Alyssa Van Hofwegen (left) and Mary Barnes show of a delicious example of one of the cakes.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - A baker’s dozen is thirteen as the cake enthusiasts who attended Cake4Kids’ orientation at Arcade library on Saturday, August 18 know. This second orientation in the Sacramento region for the Sunnyvale-based nonprofit drew bakers of all backgrounds and ages hailing from Carmichael, Arden Arcade, Rancho Cordova, Elk Grove, Rancho Murieta and beyond to learn more about Cake4Kids.

Mary Barnes, Cake4Kids’ Sacramento ambassador, led the hour long program. Barnes is a Sacramento native who first discovered the group when she lived in San Francisco. When she returned to Sacramento to pursue her legal career she wanted to bring the program with her and spoke about why she chose the eastern part of Sacramento.

“We thought about logistics,” she said, “An area where there were a good number of residential areas to pull volunteers from.”

This area, she explained, is close to freeways, homes, several nonprofits serving the demographic that Cake4Kids supports – homeless, recent immigrants, those in foster care, and victims of human trafficking – and it doesn’t cost money for parking so that left downtown and midtown out of the running.

“It is supported by Carmichael, east Sacramento, Sac State students, and ARC students. We thought it was a good location to start because of all of those factors.”

In addition to being the nonprofit’s Sacramento ambassador and tackling the job of finding volunteers, contacting agencies, and filling requests, Barnes, like other volunteers, works full time. She is also a volunteer baker and delivered the first cake in Sacramento to Opening Doors, an organization that serves individuals and families escaping human trafficking and refugees new to the area. She baked a vegan banana cake for a boy and decorated the cake with a racecar theme, complete with toy cars atop a protective layer of marzipan, and topped with vegan chocolate frosting.

“We have several requests for vegan cakes from this organization.  We’re challenging our bakers right away,” said Barnes, adding that all requests had been claimed and filled since the first orientation in July with twenty attendees.

In 2010, Cake4Kids was born. Only thirteen cakes were baked and delivered that year. Fast forward eight years when more than 10,000 cakes have been baked and delivered by volunteers as far south as San Diego. The nonprofit also serves Fresno, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, and five other California counties. Each cake is prepared from scratch especially for the child, decorated, packaged in a cake box, and delivered to the requesting agency. Although volunteers never meet the children, they often receive thanks from the children or, in some cases, from the parents or caregivers.

Before volunteer bakers can claim cakes, they must attend a mandatory orientation where they’ll learn about the organization, the demographic served, logistics, and resources. One of the volunteer benefits is that each baker may take cake decorating classes and be reimbursed for up to $100.00 each year. The ability to be a fabulous decorator is not a requirement, although some cakes are quite lavish. Each cake, she added, must have the child’s name.

During the orientation, Barnes said that 60,000 children are in foster care and only 5% between 15 and 18 years of age are adopted in California. Nearly 30 percent of children are homeless in the United States, and Barnes referenced the thousands of U.S. based human trafficking cases annually. These are some of the at-risk children Cake4Kids serves.

Julie Eades, the organization’s executive director, attended the inaugural orientation in July and said in a telephone interview that, “When you’re on or near the poverty line, a cake might not be the thing you choose to spend your money on. We talk about the fact that these children get moved from home to home and sometimes they don’t get any birthday celebrations. Not because nobody cares. It’s just one thing extra that people caring for them have to think about.”

Cake4Kids serves children and young adults up to the age of 24 and Eades said that some children as old as twenty have never had a cake before the one baked and delivered by a volunteer. She also said that the older children are extremely appreciative of the cake made just for them. Everyone should feel special one day a year.

Men, women, and children 16 years and older interested in baking cakes and bringing joy to a child should sign up to be a volunteer on the organization’s website. Sacramento orientations will be held through December at Arcade and Arden-Dimick libraries. The goal is to have 100 volunteers on board. On October 20 and December 22, orientations will be held at Arcade library on Marconi from 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. On November 10, Arden-Dimick will host from 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. The September orientation date and location has not been set. For additional information, visit www.cake4kids.org. 


...Read More!  
  |  

Capital Airshow Fun

By MPG Staff  |  2018-09-20

Established in 2004, the California Capital Airshow plans and operates the exciting, family-friendly annual event designed to honor the Sacramento region’s rich aviation heritage and veterans while using the power and magic of flight to inspire young people. Visit www.californiacapitalairshow.com for tickets and more information.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The California Capital Airshow is just around the corner as excitement and anticipation continue to build. Mather Airport will play host to the world famous airshow on the weekend of September 21-23 with thousands on hand to witness one spectacular show after another.

Among the must see shows on display will be: the Beale Air Force Base U-2 Dragon Lady & T-38 Talons, who have been keeping a watchful eye on the world from their base not too far north of Mather Airport are America’s aerial super sleuths from the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, Beale Air Force Base.

The B-17 Flying Fortress and P-51 Mustangs will make for a tough decision as many will say it was the B-17 Flying Fortress that brought Nazi Germany to its knees, while others say it was the P-51 Mustang that allowed it to get to and from its target. See both and decide for yourself!

USAF F-25 Lighting II Heritage Flight Team will showcase America’s 5th generation air dominance fighter and attack aircraft while demonstrating its awesome capabilities then form up for a historic flight with its namesake, the iconic WWII P-38 Lightning.

The Shockwave Jet Truck custom built race truck is equipped with three huge jet engines producing 21,000 lbs. of thrust which easily propel the vehicle to speeds over 350 mph.

Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Hornet Demo will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of NORAD. This jet will amaze American audiences with an extremely aggressive demo flown by our friendly allies to the north.

The California Air National Guard F-15 Eagle is still undefeated in air-to-air combat with more than 100 aerial combat victories, the 9G pulling, 58,000 lbs. of thrust pushing, Mach 2.5 capable world-favorite fighter will bring the noise and speed.

USAF Thunderbirds Air Demonstration Squadron: America’s Ambassadors in Blue perform all around the world, displaying the pride, precision and professionalism of American Airmen while flying the F-16 Fighting Falcon, knows as the Viper!

Weekend Bundle General Admission Tickets – 3 Days of Airshow Fun
The Weekend Ticket Bundle offers one adult general admission, plus four youth tickets to the magical night show and concert on Friday, September 21, but also one adult general admission, plus four youth tickets to the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds-headlined airshows on Saturday, September 22 and Sunday, September 23.

Saturday and Sunday performances will take place from approximately 11:30AM-4:00PM.

Established in 2004, the California Capital Airshow 501(c)3 plans and operates the exciting, family-friendly annual event designed to honor the Sacramento region’s rich aviation heritage and veterans while using the power and magic of flight to inspire young people. CCA gives back to the community through scholarships, charitable group donations and exciting educational youth programming throughout the year.

Visit www.californiacapitalairshow.com for tickets and more information.

Source: California Capital Airshow


...Read More!  
  |  

Anything is Possible

Story by Michael Cella  |  2018-09-20

Sacramento’s chapter of Ainsley’s Angels is in its third year, founded and directed by Russ Howell. Photo courtesy Ainsley’s Angels

Ainsley’s Angels Inspires Hope

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Ainsley’s Angels is a national nonprofit organization aimed at servicing the special needs community through their race series, consisting of athlete riders and runners who participate in races across 30 states and over 60 cities.

The inspiration for all this is Ainsley, the daughter of Marine Corps Major Kim and Lori Rossiter. Before turning four, Ainsley was diagnosed with Infantile Neuroaxonal Dystrophy (INAD), an extremely rare terminal illness that slowly causes global paralysis. Most children diagnosed with INAD pass on before reaching ten years of age, as there is no cure or treatment to help slow down this very progressive and terminal disease. Ainsley passed away in 2016 at the age of 13, but not before she completed over 100 races, including nearly 20 half-marathons.

Sacramento’s chapter of Ainsley’s Angels is in its third year, founded and directed by Russ Howell – the organization uses the title “ambassador” rather than chapter president. Howell identifies as a lifelong endurance athlete. He undertook his first 100 mile bike ride at 12, ran track in high school, and stayed in shape in his adult life through a stint in the Army where he was a member of a COLT team deployed to Kosovo. In 2010, Howell and his wife had a son born with serious medical complications and he stopped participating in endurance activities. When his son passed away shortly before his second birthday, Howell got back into running as form of escape and therapy. Running helped him keep centered and deal with grief.

A year later, Howell’s second child was born. As a baby shower gift, his family pitched in and got him a very nice running stroller. From then on, Howell, now an accountant, put in twenty to thirty miles a week with his son. Time passed, and eventually his son grew too big to fit in strollers, but Howell was eager to keep up with his running. One day, Howell came across an article on Ainsley's Angels in Running World, and sent an email to the president of the organization. Sacramento has a vibrant running vibe, with many races in the area, he told her. It would be a great area for the organization to expand and a perfect way for him to take his running to the next level and give something back.

Howell started the new Sacramento chapter from ground zero and began fundraising, recruiting members, reaching out to race directors, and getting the Ainsley’s Angels name out to local hospitals and care centers. Thanks to Howell’s connections within the racing community and the people he met while caring for his first son’s health complications, the group was immediately accepted and progress quickly snowballed. Today there are close to 200 members, ranging from as young as five years old to two adult riders who are in their thirties. The group has also raised enough money to purchase eleven racing chairs for its riders to keep and use with their families.

“Ainsley’s Angels taught me that you don't need to run, or even walk, to be an athlete,” says adult rider Emily Crosgrove. “What's more important is having the will to get out there.”

The organization provides a 100% free service to the disabled community, which is no easy feat – racing chairs can coast nearly $5,000.  There are three levels of chairs which vary depending on the age, size, and disability of the rider. Every chair has three wheels and a fixed front wheel, which provides stability and keeps the chairs from going off course.

“The smiles, the celebration, the joy, that’s what it’s all about,” says Howell. “To see that level of excitement for people that would never be able to experience a race, showing up to the something like the California International marathon (one of Ainsley’s partners) surrounded by 10,000 amazing athletes. It takes them out of their world.”

Sacramento’s Angels are set to run their first ultra-marathon in November, the 200-mile Napa RAGNAR relay that runs from SF up the coast and back down to finish in Napa. Six athletes and two riders will participate.

“There's no better feeling than the wind in my hair as I glide through a sea of fast moving bodies, encouraging stagers to never give up,” Crosgrove added. “If myself and my team could be out there on the road, then anything is possible.”


...Read More!  
  |  

Cake4Kids Bakes in Sacramento

Story and photos by Trina L. Drotar  |  2018-08-31

Alyssa Van Hofwegen (L) and Mary Barnes show off a delicious example of one of the cakes.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - A baker’s dozen is thirteen as the cake enthusiasts who attended Cake4Kids’ orientation at Arcade library on Saturday, August 18 know. This second orientation in the Sacramento region for the Sunnyvale-based nonprofit drew bakers of all backgrounds and ages hailing from Carmichael, Arden Arcade, Rancho Cordova, Elk Grove, Rancho Murieta and beyond to learn more about Cake4Kids.

Mary Barnes, Cake4Kids’ Sacramento ambassador, led the hour long program. Barnes is a Sacramento native who first discovered the group when she lived in San Francisco. When she returned to Sacramento to pursue her legal career she wanted to bring the program with her and spoke about why she chose the eastern part of Sacramento.

“We thought about logistics,” she said, “An area where there were a good number of residential areas to pull volunteers from.”

This area, she explained, is close to freeways, homes, several nonprofits serving the demographic that Cake4Kids supports – homeless, recent immigrants, those in foster care, and victims of human trafficking – and it doesn’t cost money for parking so that left downtown and midtown out of the running.

“It is supported by Carmichael, east Sacramento, Sac State students, and ARC students. We thought it was a good location to start because of all of those factors.”

In addition to being the nonprofit’s Sacramento ambassador and tackling the job of finding volunteers, contacting agencies, and filling requests, Barnes, like other volunteers, works full time. She is also a volunteer baker and delivered the first cake in Sacramento to Opening Doors, an organization that serves individuals and families escaping human trafficking and refugees new to the area. She baked a vegan banana cake for a boy and decorated the cake with a racecar theme, complete with toy cars atop a protective layer of marzipan, and topped with vegan chocolate frosting.

“We have several requests for vegan cakes from this organization.  We’re challenging our bakers right away,” said Barnes, adding that all requests had been claimed and filled since the first orientation in July with twenty attendees.

In 2010, Cake4Kids was born. Only thirteen cakes were baked and delivered that year. Fast forward eight years when more than 10,000 cakes have been baked and delivered by volunteers as far south as San Diego. The nonprofit also serves Fresno, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, and five other California counties. Each cake is prepared from scratch especially for the child, decorated, packaged in a cake box, and delivered to the requesting agency. Although volunteers never meet the children, they often receive thanks from the children or, in some cases, from the parents or caregivers.

Before volunteer bakers can claim cakes, they must attend a mandatory orientation where they’ll learn about the organization, the demographic served, logistics, and resources. One of the volunteer benefits is that each baker may take cake decorating classes and be reimbursed for up to $100.00 each year. The ability to be a fabulous decorator is not a requirement, although some cakes are quite lavish. Each cake, she added, must have the child’s name.

During the orientation, Barnes said that 60,000 children are in foster care and only 5% between 15 and 18 years of age are adopted in California. Nearly 30 percent of children are homeless in the United States, and Barnes referenced the thousands of U.S. based human trafficking cases annually. These are some of the at-risk children Cake4Kids serves.

Julie Eades, the organization’s executive director, attended the inaugural orientation in July and said in a telephone interview that, “When you’re on or near the poverty line, a cake might not be the thing you choose to spend your money on. We talk about the fact that these children get moved from home to home and sometimes they don’t get any birthday celebrations. Not because nobody cares. It’s just one thing extra that people caring for them have to think about.”

Cake4Kids serves children and young adults up to the age of 24 and Eades said that some children as old as twenty have never had a cake before the one baked and delivered by a volunteer. She also said that the older children are extremely appreciative of the cake made just for them. Everyone should feel special one day a year.

Men, women, and children 16 years and older interested in baking cakes and bringing joy to a child should sign up to be a volunteer on the organization’s website. Sacramento orientations will be held through December at Arcade and Arden-Dimick libraries. The goal is to have 100 volunteers on board. On October 20 and December 22, orientations will be held at Arcade library on Marconi from 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. On November 10, Arden-Dimick will host from 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. The September orientation date and location has not been set. For additional information, visit www.cake4kids.org.


...Read More!  
  |  

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Gov. Jerry Brown was recently ordered by the state’s 3rd Appellate District Court to repay more than $331 million in funds the state illegally diverted from a national fund intended to help homeowners struggling with foreclosures from the housing crisis. Instead of complying with the court order, Democrats are pushing through a bill to legitimize the theft of funds.

The Assembly already passed Assembly Bill 1829, which makes the statutory changes related to the National Mortgage justifying this theft.  AB 1829 was passed on a party line in the Senate Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review, 12 – 5, with all Republicans on the committee voting no.

Bill Analysis reports:

In 2012, the federal government and 49 states sued, and eventually settled with, the five largest mortgage servicers in the country related to their actions leading up to and during the 2008 financial crisis. The resulting National Mortgage Settlement (NMS) resulted in comprehensive new mortgage servicing standards, provided more than $20 billion in financial relief for homeowners damaged by the mortgage crisis, and provided about $2.5 billion directly to states for a variety of uses, including “to compensate the states for costs resulting from the alleged unlawful conduct of the [bank defendants].” California’s share of this $2.5 billion was roughly $410 million. Under the terms of the settlement, each state’s Attorney General would designate the uses of the funds. The California Attorney General’s Office designated allowable uses of the received funds.

“California received approximately $410 million of the $2.5 billion paid to the states by the big five mortgage servicers – Ally (formerly GMAC), Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo – under a National Mortgage Settlement (NMS) with the federal government, the ruling states,” Legal NewsLine reported.

Under then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris, the National Mortgage Special Deposit Fund was established in 2012 to directly help homeowners who suffered and were impacted by the housing crisis.

However, the money was “unlawfully diverted” to the general fund, affirming a lower court’s ruling in a case taken against the state by the National Asian American Coalition, COR Community Development Corp. and the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. Upon receiving the funds Governor Brown’s administration raided $331 million dollars from it and spent it backfilling budget deficits in various agencies.

Legal NewsLine explains:

The money was to be placed in each state’s NMS Deposit Fund and the attorneys general were charged with setting the parameters of how it could be spent, with the states ordered to comply. Then-Attorney General Kamala Harris drew up a set of instructions on how the money could be used.

But the legislature then passed an act setting up the special deposit fund, which included a provision that allowed 90 percent of the money to be diverted to the general fund, regardless of Harris’ instructions. A total of $331 million was sent to the state’s main fund.

Harris instructed that the money be spent, among other elements, on the administration and monitoring of the compliance elements of the agreement, supporting relief programs, ongoing investigations and enforcement, borrower relief, funds for legal aid and grants.

 

In 2014 a coalition of minority counseling groups sued Gov. Jerry Brown and his Department of Finance, accusing them of illegally diverting the NMSDF relief funds. In June 2015 a Sacramento County Superior Court Judge ruled that the funds were indeed “unlawfully transferred and must be returned.” And the 3rd Appellate District Court upheld the lower court’s decision. However, the Legislature is ignoring the Appellate Court ruling.

Apparently, those Senate Democrats who voted to pass the bill were apparently okay with taking money that was specifically intended for homeowners damaged in the housing crisis. Senate Democrats just turned their back on all the damaged California homeowners who lost so much during the housing crisis.

California continues to suffer from a housing crisis because of a lack of affordability. AB 1829 is not simply a clarification of legislative intent; it is a shameless theft by this administration of money intended for the California homeowners whom the funds were intended to help.

Specifically, the settlement funds would have directly helped many California homeowners, including low-income families and people of color. Ironically, Democrats stood side-by-side with “Occupy” groups, proclaiming their outrage over the actions of “Big Banks” and ”Wall Street” which hurt homeowners in California. The Legislature is also thumbing its nose at the judicial system. Over the years there have been many sneaky, back-room and duplicitous actions perpetrated on the people of California by the governor and Democrat-controlled Legislature. But stealing money intended to help people damaged by what Democrats called “predatory lenders” and “Wall Street” in order to bail out the gross abuses by the Governor’s and Legislature’s wasteful and spending is probably among the lowest actions.

Now, when the illegal diversion of funds have been called out by the courts and this Legislature has a chance to make things right, Democrats not only can’t acknowledge the wrongness of their diversion, they’re actually seeking to legitimize it.

In a unanimous opinion authored by Judge Andrea Lynn Hoch, the appeals court largely affirmed but remanded the case to a trial court with an order to issue a writ of mandate “directing the immediate re-transfer from the general fund to the NMS Deposit Fund the sum of $331,044,084,” Legal NewsLine said.

After this “reclassification” of intent, the State will probably appeal to the California Supreme Court.


...Read More!  
  |