Big Sing California

By Sacramento Choral Society & Orchestra  |  2018-07-12

You can register online for the Big Sing via the SCSO’s website sacramentochoral.com.

Making Statewide History

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - SCSO Conductor Donald Kendrick to serve as the Sacramento region conductor for a mammoth statewide singing event, Big Sing California. This thrilling event is due to set a record statewide on July 21 in California for drawing together one of the largest, free group singing performances in our history.

American superstar composer Eric Whitacre will help lead this exhilarating event which will be simulcast out of Disney Hall in Los Angeles to five California hubs: Sacramento, San Francisco, Fresno, Riverside and San Diego.

The singers in the five California hubs will join the performance experience by viewing the concert on large screens and singing from the audience.

“Singing is just a healthy thing to do individually,” says Kendrick, “but group singing is very uplifting in that it really draws the community together and creates such a strong feeling of well- being, of belonging. We are reaching out to tons of area choirs and individual singers to share this experience with us. We would love to fill the large Sacramento Community Center Theater with 2,400 people for our Big Sing event on July 21.”

“Singers participating in the Sacramento region will have an option of attending an optional free open rehearsal on Thursday, July 19 from 7 – 9:30 PM at the Sacramento Community Center Theater,” says Kendrick. The doors will open at 6 PM for this rehearsal. Free Big Sing music books will be provided at this rehearsal and at the July 21st performance for all attendees. Singers also have the option of ordering their music book in advance for a modest fee of $3.00.

People can register online for the Big Sing via the SCSO’s website sacramentochoral.com. They can also order their music in advance there and also enjoy some outstanding tutorials on the music itself. This amazing statewide concert will be live-streamed on the Big Sing California website.

Big Sing California is open to the general public. “We want people who love singing to join us and sing as much of the music as they can. We hope that this event will inspire people to make singing, and the joy it brings, a regular part of their lives,” says SCSO Conductor Donald Kendrick. “The program is open to all ages ranging from young students to seniors.”

The songs selected for the participants range from straightforward sing-alongs such as Lean On MeThis Land Is Your Land, and Hey Jude, to choral works by Eric Whitacre and Morten Lauridsen. The program also features an exclusive arrangement of Pentatonix’s Sing by Grammy Award-winning arranger Ben Bram created especially for Big Sing California. 

 “We know that singing releases endorphins, causes a sense of joy and euphoria and creates a bonding with our Community members, says Kendrick. “To be able do this on the scale of Big Sing California in Sacramento is nothing short of thrilling.”

TICKET INFORMATION:
Participants who want to attend Big Sing California should register individually through the website. People can register at the last moment and even score their free ticket vouchers and music books the day of the concert beginning at 1 PM on Saturday, July 21st at the Sacramento Community Center Box Office.

Ticket vouchers to all locations will be distributed via email 10 days prior to the event. Music books will also be distributed for free at the venues on the day of the concert and at the Thursday, July 19th rehearsal at 7 PM at the Community Center Theater.

“Come and be part of California history in Sacramento by joining us at Big Sing California, on July 21st in downtown Sacramento” says Kendrick. “We promise to make it a memorable experience as we work together to make Sacramento a world-class city.”


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Capital Airshow to Feature the World-Famous USAF Thunderbirds

Capital Airshow Release  |  2018-07-12

The California Capital Airshow is set to feature the world-famous USAF Thunderbirds on September 21, 22 and 23.

Help Us Celebrate a Century of Aviation Adventure as Mather Airport Turns 100!

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - We look forward to welcoming some of the best military and civilian pilots in the world this September 21, 22 and 23, but as we prepare for the 13th annual California Capital Airshow we are also looking back at 100 years of aviation history at Mather Airport. The next chapter of Mather’s magnificent history leads us through the Cold War and ends with the unfortunate closure of Mather Air Force Base…

Historical Overview III – The Cold War – 1946-1993

Following the 1945 Allied victory of World War II, demobilization and a return to a peacetime military were the orders of the day. However, enjoying the peace was short-lived as the United States and the free world were confronted with an aggressive new adversary—the Soviet Union and the threat of global communism that was rapidly devouring Eastern Europe in the aftermath of World War II. A U.S.-directed strategy of ‘containment’ and a buildup of strategic forces capable of deterring an aggressive communist menace drove the expansion of dispersed bomber assets and new basing which put Mather Air Force Base (Mather AFB) back into the spotlight.

Once Again a Vital Training Base

In 1946, Mather was transferred to the U.S. Air Force (USAF) Air Training Command and once again became a vital training base producing pilots, navigators and observers to crew a growing air arm of the nation’s military might.  With the 1964 closing of James Connally Air Force Base in Texas, all navigator training for the Department of Defense was consolidated at Mather AFB. In 1976, Interservice Undergraduate Navigator Training was established bringing Navy, Marine and Coast Guard students to Mather AFB along with other students from numerous foreign countries, including the first women navigators. By the time Mather closed in 1993, over 32,000 USAF navigators, 3,100 USN naval flight officers, 280 Marine navigators and 3,500 navigators from 88 Allied nations had completed training at Mather AFB. This diverse mix of services and international families contributed significantly to the growth of what would become the City of Rancho Cordova, an All American City with a rich cultural background.

B-52 & KC-135 Arrive

The aircrews that were trained at Mather formed the backbone of strategic forces that stood watch over America and her Allies ensuring the legacy of Freedom, hard won during World War II would endure. The 4134th Strategic Wing was assigned to Mather AFB bringing B-52 and KC-135 aircraft to the base along with the mission of nuclear deterrence. This wing became the 320th Bombardment Wing and was further augmented by the 940th Air Refueling Group (AFRES) later bringing additional KC-135 aircraft to the base.

Closure Leads to Civilian Development

The efforts of maintaining peace through strong military capability resulted in a victory at the end of the Cold War. With this victory, downsizing of the American military became inevitable and Mather AFB became one of the bases identified for closure. Units were inactivated, the navigator-training mission was transferred to Randolph AFB in Texas and the base was officially closed in September 1993, opening the door for a community effort to develop Mather into an economic hub of commerce that would continue to benefit the Sacramento region. The Sacramento County Department of Airports and the City Rancho Cordova have been invaluable partners ensuring this important development continues.

Don’t miss the California Capital Airshow’s tribute to Mather Airport’s fascinating century of history this September as it brings this era back to life with the aircraft, artifacts and unsung heroes that have passed through Mather’s gates.

Ticket prices are going UP Tuesday, July 31st, at 11:59PM Pacific Time. Please remember a single General Admission Ticket gives you ONE ADULT admission, plus up to 4 Youth (age 15 and Under) Admissions for FREE. That’s a $70+ Value for the whole family!

Source: Capital Airhsow


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Sactown to Welcome America’s Navy During Navy Week

By Kayla Turnbow, Navy Office of Community Outreach  |  2018-07-12

Sacramento native, Rear Adm. Scott Jones.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - California’s capital is scheduled to host members of the U.S. Navy during Sacramento Navy Week, July 16-22, coinciding with the California State Fair.

Sacramento Navy Week will bring sailors from different units across the United States to conduct focused outreach events with members of the community. The Navy week will bring sailors from USS Constitution, Navy Band Northwest, USS La Jolla, U.S. Navy Ceremonial Drill Team, Explosive Ordnance Group One, U.S. Naval Academy and Navy Operational Support Center Sacramento.

Rear Admiral Scott Jones, Deputy Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic, and Sacramento native, will be the Navy week’s flag host who will participate in various ceremonies and meet with local business, civic and educations leaders during the week.

"I am quite excited to take part in Navy Week in Sacramento,” said Jones. “As a native of Sacramento, it will be a unique privilege to represent my military service, the U.S. Navy, in the same town where I was born and raised.”

Historically, Navy Week events draw thousands of attendees to participate and create a dialogue between sailors and local residents. The events are designed to raise awareness about the Navy the nation needs in areas that do not have a large naval presence.

“The excitement is building now as we near this awesome Navy outreach event,” said Gary Ross, lead planner for the Navy Week.  “It’s going to be great to see Sailors engage the citizens of Sacramento and tell America’s Navy story.”

A variety of Navy band ensembles will perform during the week, including performances at the California State Fair, Powerhouse Science Center and the Veterans Home of California Yountville.

“Navy Band Northwest contributes to Navy Week Sacramento through multiple community outreach and public relations performances with several of our top-notch groups such as our Jazz Combo, High-Energy Funk Band and versatile brass groups,” said Musician 1st Class Garrett Stephan. “Throughout the week, band members will perform for thousands in the greater Sacramento area at baseball games, soccer matches, farmers markets, and more.”

Multiple assets will participate in a Navy STEM Day at the Powerhouse Science Center on Tuesday, July 17 where attendees can interact with sailors with hands-on activities throughout the day.

Sailors from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 49, the Scorpions, will land a MH-60R helicopter at the California State Fair on Thursday for Military Appreciation Day. Attendees will be able to tour the helicopter as well as interact with sailors from multiple commands. Navy Band Northwest will play several concerts throughout the day at the fair.

Navy Operational Support Command Sacramento sailors will volunteer for local organizations throughout the week including the Sacramento Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, and the Greater Sacramento Boys & Girls Club.

The week will wrap up with displays at the California Aerospace Museum on Friday, July 20. Sailors will also volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House on Friday, cooking dinner for the families, offering engaging static displays, and a musical performance from Navy Band Northwest.

Sacramento Navy Week is the seventh of 14 Navy weeks in 2018 that focus a variety of assets, equipment and personnel on a single city for a week-long series of engagements designed to bring America’s Navy closer to the people it protects.

For more information and a full schedule of events, visit http://outreach.navy.mil/Navy-Weeks/Sacramento.

Join the conversation at www.facebook.com/navyoutreach and www.twitter.com/navyoutreach.

#NavyWeek


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AUBURN, CA (MPG) - A new system of public transit may be coming to Olympic Valley and Alpine Meadows to serve visitors and residents alike, with the Placer County Board of Supervisors today providing preliminary approval for the effort.

The approval moves forward a petition from lodging operators and ski resorts to form a tourist-based improvement district in Olympic Valley and Alpine Meadows. If approved it would add a 1 percent assessment on gross lodging revenue within the new district and a 1 percent assessment on Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows single-day lift tickets to implement a micro mass transit system.

The system would be privately operated and offer an on-demand shuttle service within and between Olympic Valley and Alpine Meadows, transporting riders to requested destinations not served by existing transit routes while offering connections to the regional TART transit system. 

Two short-term pilot programs operated between the busy Christmas and New Year holiday and during the World Cup Ski Races that occurred in 2017 proved successful. 

“Data shows that despite the county’s increased investment into the TART Systems Plan, the North Lake Tahoe region still lags mountain resort competitors in transit frequency, hours of operation and passengers served,” said Jennifer Merchant, Placer County’s deputy county executive officer for Lake Tahoe.

State law requires that prior to today’s board consideration of the resolution of intent to form the proposed district, petitions from properties representing more than 50 percent of the revenue to be collected by the proposed assessment be submitted to the county. Affirmative petitions in support of the micro mass transit system were submitted on behalf of Squaw Valley Lodge, Squaw Valley Inn, Red Wolf Lodge, Christy Inn Lodge, Village Inn Owners Association, Squaw Tahoe Resort, Squaw Valley Ski Holdings and others, totaling 62.5 percent of the total revenue expected to be collected. 

“A well-thought-out mass transit system can significantly reduce impacts to the environment and stress to highways and roads, and it can help improve our local economy,” said District 5 Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery. “There are many upsides for our residents, visitors, business owners and environment.” 

Merchant noted the total annual TBID proposed transit service budget is estimated at $715,000, which includes annual revenue generated by a proposed 1 percent assessment on overnight accommodation rental revenue for stays of less than 30 days from participating lodges in Olympic Valley and a contribution from Squaw Valley Ski Holdings.

Required next steps for approval include: notice of a public hearing set for July 11; a public meeting in North Lake Tahoe scheduled for July 24; a public hearing and adoption of a resolution of formation on Aug. 28. If approved, the district could begin assessment collections on Oct. 1.


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AUBURN, CA (MPG) - Foresthill voters will decide their level of fire and emergency medical service in a special mail ballot election Sept. 18. The Placer County Board of Supervisors today unanimously approved a resolution that will put a measure on a special election ballot for an increase in parcel tax rates for the area.

Should voters approve the increase to the special assessment, fire district officials report that they would be able to maintain current staffing levels, prevent significant cutbacks and provide the appropriate level of fire protection and emergency medical response services for the Foresthill community. 

The assessment increase would be $240.37 per year per parcel in the district.

The measure will require a two-thirds majority vote for approval.

The Placer County Elections Office will distribute ballots to voters within the district starting Aug. 20.

The Foresthill Fire Protection District board of directors has determined that the cost to maintain adequate levels of service is beyond the reach of the district, and requested the assessment increase to better serve their residents.

“This special election continues our commitment to empower local communities to better serve their residents,” said District 5 Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery.

In May, the board unanimously approved the Placer County Elections Office to waive fees for a ballot measure in the independent Foresthill Fire Protection District to increase parcel tax rates, after a previous measure failed to secure a needed supermajority for approval. 

The board’s decision was part of series of actions that calls for an evaluation of the system of fire service throughout the county, with the aim to develop sustainable service in the future.

Fire service in Placer County is provided by many different agencies. State law does not require counties to provide fire service, and communities have historically organized and funded their own local fire districts, largely through parcel taxes.


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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The video game industry is rarely labeled as “original,” and this year’s Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) illustrated exactly why. Video games’ largest publishers showcased Metro: Exodus, Dying Light 2, Days Gone, The Last of Us Part 2, Rage 2, Gears 5 and Fallout 76. Their common thread? Every one of these flagship, multi-million dollar titles is a post-apocalyptic action game, usually with some sort of zombie or zombie-like enemy. 2018’s store shelves will be utterly saturated with games in the vein of Mad Max and 28 Days Later, and yet despite the saturation, every one of them will likely sell exceptionally well.

Video games have an utter obsession with the post-apocalypse going back decades, to an extent not reflected in any other popular media. The two seem to be a match made in heaven; a primary allure of video games is the ability to escape one's own life and do anything they desire. When a developer is tasked with contextualizing utter freedom in terms of a logically coherent, immersive game world, where better to turn than an anarchic wasteland? Without the binding ties of society and rule of law, the player can believably do whatever they want without the logical necessity of some in-game police coming down on their heads. Even linear, cinematic experiences with little real player freedom benefit from the narrative shortcuts a post-apocalypse allows. Why are we killing thousands and thousands of zombies/people? Easy, this world is kill or be killed in a battle for survival, so further moral justification for Mass violence seems, from the writer's perspective, otherwise unnecessary.

Such justification feeds into why the trend is stronger now than it's ever been. Developers leveraged the computing power of the new generation of consoles not to create photorealism, but to create massive, living worlds in which players can roam free. Open worlds became “stylish” as franchises that were once linear began to expand with huge environments to explore. And as video games began to lean more and more into their most unique artistic asset, the ability to create a sense of player freedom, the need for justifications for such complete freedom spiked upwards. As a result, we have E3 2018, where game after game resorts to the post-apocalypse as its narrative shortcut.

This is hardly a criticism; because video games aren't primarily a narrative medium, narrative shortcuts are easily excused if they accommodate exciting gameplay and interesting worlds, both of which post-apocalypse games often excel at. And even then, video games have occasionally used post-apocalyptic settings not as writing crutches but as tools to explore the complex moral questions of survival and freedom; 2013’s The Last of Us did exactly that, and is widely considered the best-written game ever made (though its incredible-looking sequel may be looking to snatch that title from its predecessor). There's a reason why, despite the saturation, the industry is showing few signs of fatigue. The post-apocalypse both literally and figuratively, remains extensively unexplored, and video games are uniquely positioned to trek into the lawless wilderness.


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Korea and World War III - Almost

By Jerald Drobesh, US AIR FORCE  |  2018-07-05

McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Recently there has been high tension and talks of a possible confrontation and even a nuclear war with North Korea.  But this is not the first time we have been in this position with them. 

In the early 1970s, as a Captain in the US Air Force, I was assigned to Kunsan Air Force Base on the west coast of South Korea. This was an old US Air Force Base from the Korean War days, in the 1950s. At that time, I was the Air Force Chief of Aircraft Maintenance at the base, and part of my job was to prepare our assigned F-4 Fighter/Bombers for emergency launch with nuclear weapons, if the situation required it.

The F-4 twin jet Fighter/ Bomber was, at the time, was one of the fastest and best aircraft ever built.  My job required that I have a Top Secret Security Clearance, because I was required to brief the Wing Commander on the status of all our assigned aircraft, and sit in on all Top Secret briefings about the status of the North Korean armed forces and their preparations for War.  I remember well, as if it was yesterday. It was one of the most important briefings I had ever attended.  It was the early 1970s, and by the time the briefing was over, I knew that we could be at war at any minute.  

The North Korean forces, according to the briefing, were moving their fighters, bombers, tanks, military equipment, and soldiers up close to the border between North and South Korea. This would put them just minutes flying time from our aircraft at Kunsan AFB. This had never happened before and I remember thinking, at the time, that our base may not exist after the next few days, or sooner. 

That night I walked down to the flight line where our F-4 Fighter/Bombers were stationed and ready for war. My job was to check with the airmen assigned to repair and prepare the aircraft, and to have them all ready for launch if the orders were given by Headquarters. We were an inch away from World War III and I could feel it in the air. 

That night, I talked to my maintenance airmen assigned to the aircraft. They didn’t know, at the time, how close we were to war and I couldn’t tell them.  There wasn’t a need at that time for them to know, but they were ready. All the F-4 aircraft that were flyable were loaded with bombs and ready for immediate takeoff to their assigned targets.  I remember thinking that night on the flightline that this could be it.   

I enjoyed my job and all the assigned men were great to work with.  Being that I once flew jets myself in the Air Force, I knew how the pilots must have felt - that they may never see their families again - if we went to war.  This was the real world and possibly the end of our beautiful planet as we knew it.  I had a difficult time sleeping that night.  It’s hard to tell someone who hasn’t been stationed on the front lines with nuclear weapons involved what it feels like.  But that’s what we were trained for - and we all knew what was at stake.  

Fortunately, we all survived or I wouldn’t be writing this article.  For some reason the North Koreans began to remove their jets, tanks, equipment, and troops back from the border, and I never heard why.  At that time, Chinese and Russian troops were supporting the North Korean communist troops and maybe their leaders realized that once a nuclear war started in Korea that it could speed to their countries and it wouldn’t stop until everything was gone.    

We may never know what happened, but events in today’s news are a reminder to me of that time when I was there, and I saw how close we came. I believe that cooler heads in China, Russia, and North Korea prevailed.  They knew we had a very large number of nuclear weapons and would use them if threatened, but China and Russia had them as well.  

I believe the fact that we did have nuclear weapons and advanced aircraft to deliver them was possibly the reason why we didn’t go to war.  What’s interesting to me is that at that time, and even now, the world didn’t know how close we came to World War III, but I was there!        

May GOD continue to bless this beautiful planet and let’s do everything we can to keep it special and alive!                         

Former Captain Jerald Drobesh US AIR FORCE stationed at Mather Air Force Base in the 1970s before retirement. Now living in Rancho Cordova, CA.


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