United Way Offers Virtual Free Tax Help with Get Your Refund Website

By Kristin Thébaud, Thébaud Communications  |  2020-07-09

United Way’s Free Tax Prep program volunteers prepare to assist a local family with filing their taxes for free last year. Photo courtesy: Thébaud Communications

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) – With the tax deadline extended to July 15, households throughout the Sacramento region are still eligible for free virtual help preparing taxes and claiming credits this year, saving an average of $200 in preparer fees and earning up to $6,500 in credits. United Way California Capital Region’s Free Tax Prep program is partnering with GetYourRefund.org to provide virtual assistance. More households are eligible to participate through the partnership – those earning $66,000 or less in 2019. Qualified households can upload documents online and a United Way IRS-certified volunteer will call them to help claim the maximum tax credits for which they are eligible before submission, including the federal and state Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC and CalEITC). To get started: GetYourRefund.org/?s=UWCCR.

“More than a third of households in the Sacramento region were a paycheck away from homelessness before the pandemic hit – that number is going to rise in the coming months,” said Stephanie Bray, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “United Way’s Free Tax Prep program not only saves them preparer fees, it puts money back in their pockets through tax credits that many people don’t even know they are eligible for. For some families, receiving $6,500 in tax credits can mean the difference between paying rent and living on the streets.”

Age qualification for CalEITC expanded last year to include ages 18-24 and working adults ages 65 and up, giving more taxpayers the opportunity to earn credits, including those who are self-employed. Many CalEITC-eligible households are not legally required to file taxes due to low income; however if they file, they can claim state and federal credits.

This tax year, California introduced the new Young Child Tax Credit. To qualify for the credit, taxpayers must be able to claim a child under age 6 on their 2019 tax return and have earned less than $30,000 for the year. The Young Child Tax Credit can increase the state refund by an additional $1,000.

More than $11 million in refunds were claimed across the Sacramento region in 2019 through United Way’s program, up more than $1 million from the previous year. More than 9,000 local households received free help from nearly 500 volunteers in 2019, saving a total of $1.8 million in tax preparation fees. Last year, $18.6 million was received in Sacramento County from CalEITC refunds. With new increases to CalEITC and the Young Child Tax Credit, Franchise Tax Board estimates that Sacramento County could receive up to $40 million this coming tax season.

For nearly 100 years, United Way California Capital Region has brought local people together to make community change happen. Today, the nonprofit is bringing people together across Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, Placer and Yolo counties for its Square One Project, a 20-year promise to significantly increase the number of students in our region who graduate from high school ready for success in college and beyond. United Way believes ending poverty starts in school and is working to ensure kids meet important milestones and their families receive support and resources. To learn more and make a donation, visit YourLocalUnitedWay.org.

Railroad Museum Calls Out for Railroad Stories

By Traci Rockefeller Cusack, T-Rock Communications  |  2020-07-09

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) – The California State Railroad Museum & Foundation are proud to launch an interactive community building initiative titled “Our Lives Are Made of Railroad Stories” that includes a new 20-page brochure and a call-out for railroad stories and connections. Produced in partnership with Sactown magazine, the new brochure uses compelling stories to highlight how the dedicated museum staff, volunteers, community and valued partners work collaboratively to connect in ways that extend beyond the walls of the world-class museum.

The new brochure is available as a special pull-out section in the July/August issue of the bi-monthly publication that is available now at all major grocery stores and bookstores in the Sacramento area. Once the museum reopens, the complimentary brochure will also be available at the museum in a total of 10 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Hindi, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish, while supplies last.

In addition to having the brochure available online in an expanded format, the museum is also calling out for railroad-related stories and connections that can be submitted via a newly launched web portal at www.californiarailroad.museum/my-story/. Many of the community stories will be displayed on the website, on social media and in the museum as part of a special exhibit that will be launched at a later date.

For more information about the California State Railroad Museum or Foundation, please visit www.californiarailroad.museum.

 

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Verdi Requiem–A Concert Dedicated To Biba Caggiano

By Erica Castillo, Digital Marketing Public Relations  |  2020-03-05

Image of the well-known local Italian American restaurateur, the late Biba Caggiano. Photo: SCSO

A work of staggering beauty and enormous drama from start to finish.” – Johannes Brahms

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra (SCSO) with Music Director Donald Kendrick, and a roster of world-class soloists, are proud to present Giuseppe Verdi’s powerful Requiem in concert on March 21, at 8:00 PM in the recently-renovated Sacramento Memorial Auditorium. The performance will serve as a special tribute honoring the late Biba Caggiano. 

Italian American Biba Caggiano, a popular chef, author, and television figure, was the driving passion for the well-known Italian restaurant Biba in Sacramento, established in 1986. The Bologna-born chef graciously contributed to the cuisine life of many known figures, such as former SF mayor Willie Brown, as his personal chef for a time, and Patrick Mulvaney of Sacramento restaurant Mulvaney’s B&L. The Sacramento Bee quoted Mulvaney on Biba’s contribution: “The love that Biba and her crew put into food and hospitality have set a standard to which we should all aspire,” “Her influence on the cooking of Sacramento is deep and wide. Generations of cooks have looked up to her and she will continue to inspire us.”

Giuseppe Verdi, one of the greatest Italian composers of the 19th Century, was primarily known as a composer of opera.  To commemorate this special tribute to Biba, the City of Sacramento will present a Mayoral Proclamation to her family members at the concert. Following the performance, the SCSO Team will honor Biba’s family member at a reception in Sacramento Memorial Hall. This invigorating performance of the Verdi Requiem will feature a large chorus of 206 singers, along with soloists from the Metropolitan Opera and a robust professional symphony orchestra, all conducted by Donald Kendrick. Featured Soloists include: Othalie Graham (Soprano), Linda Baird (Mezzo Soprano), Robert Breault (Tenor), and Malcom Mackenzie (Dramatic Baritone).

Tickets to this unforgettable performance and tribute are still available online at sacramentochoral.com or at the Memorial Auditorium Box office, call 916-808-5181.

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Ed Asner Makes Appearance at Cal Cap Film Office

By Ricky Borba, California Capital Film Office  |  2020-03-05

From left to right: Ricky Borba, Co-Founder of California Capital Film Office; Mark S. Allen, host of "Morning Blend" on ABC10; Ed Asner, American actor and former president of the Screen Actors Guild; and Charles Lago, Co-Founder of California Capital Film Office. Photo by Rick Sloan

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - On Sunday, February 23rd, the California Capital Film Office in Rancho Cordova hosted its first public event, which was a book signing and autograph session with none other than Ed Asner! Mark S. Allen, the host of "Morning Blend" on ABC10, was the co-host, and scores of people sat and listened in as Mark and Ed discussed Ed's upbringing, his career and what's next for the ninety-year-old show business icon. When the question and answer portion ended, fans lined up to snap photos with Ed and get their books and memorabilia signed. It was a wonderful way to kick off the Film Office's presence here in the Sacramento region.

In the coming months, there are more celebrity book signing events coming to the film office, including Doug Hutchison, Tom Sizemore and others.

Check out www.calcapstudios.com for more info!

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento Walking Sticks Club will be celebrating the ratio between the circumference of a circle to its diameter—approximately 3.14—on Pi Day, Saturday, March 14, 2020. We invite everyone to join in on our event, walking and eating “pie” with us before and/or after the walk.

The start/finish of our event will be Marie Callender’s Restaurant & Bakery, 5622 Freeport Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95822.                                                               

Registration for the walk will be from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon, finishing by 3:14 pm

Everyone will have their choice of walking either a 5k (3.14 miles) or a 10k (3.14 x 2) route that is rated a 1A. The routes are wheelchair and stroller friendly; the family dog will love the outing, but they cannot come into Marie Callender’s. Children are encouraged to come and walk on foot, use their scooters or skates and if they’re 12 and under—they can eat FREE at the last remaining Marie Callender’s in town.

Families are encouraged to come and walk. We walk for the fun and fitness of the event and to see new places along the way and hopefully meet some new friends as well. The walk takes people into little known areas of Sacramento—the Little Pocket neighborhood, Belle Cooledge and Bahnfleth Parks as well as walking by the Sacramento Executive Airport and the Sacramento Public Safety Center.  Everyone can walk for FREE or pay $3.14 for volkswalk credit. (The normal fee for volkswalk credit is $3.00 per walk—the extra 14¢ will be donated to a local food closet.

For more Pi information visit http://www.piday.org/

Or http://mathforum.org/dr.math/faq/faq.pi.html.

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WEST SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) – The Sacramento River Cats have announced the renewal and expansion of their partnership with FanCompass, a premier digital destination for fan engagement. There will be a host of new ways for fans to interact with the River Cats through rivercats.com, social media, the MiLB First Pitch app, and throughout Sutter Health Park on game days. The platform will also be the latest component of the River Cats’ sustainability circle, with paperless forms and waivers that will cut down on waste at the ballpark.

The FanCompass platform will be integrated with rivercats.com, the First Pitch app, and River Cats social media channels, offering a seamless way for fans to participate in contests, River Cats baseball trivia, voting for players of the homestand or favorite food items, and even trying to predict things like the time the game will end or the total number of pitches thrown. Pushing the frontiers of engagement, FanCompass will further enable the River Cats to use the feedback from the digital platform to improve the overall experience of enjoying River Cats baseball.

“We are thrilled serve as an innovation lab for FanCompass and work alongside them to offer our fans even more ways to connect with the River Cats, both from inside and outside the ballpark,” said River Cats General Manager Chip Maxson. “Their interactive platform will help us further execute on making Sutter Health Park a destination for affordable, family fun, while also helping with green initiatives by digitizing many necessary forms and waivers.”

“It has been a pleasure to work with the River Cats, using our technology to continuously push innovation around the way the fanbase interacts with the team,” said FanCompass CEO Jamie Pardi. “A leader in Minor League Baseball, the River Cats have been a perfect partner, sharing our vision of enhancing fan engagement and the overall fan experience.”

FanCompass is a Northern-California based company, currently working with teams across 12 sports leagues globally, and offering unique and interactive campaigns, geared toward fans of every major sport around the world.

The River Cats kick off 2020 by taking on the San Francisco Giants in an Exhibition Game on Sunday, March 22 at Sutter Health Park in West Sacramento. The club’s PCL and Triple-A championship-defense will officially begin on Thursday, April 9 in Reno, with Opening Night at Sutter Health Park coming on Tuesday, April 14 against the Tacoma Rainiers. Information about season ticket memberships and packages is available now at rivercats.com. Single-game tickets for the 2020 season will go on sale beginning Sunday, March 1 at the annual Preseason Party at Sutter Health Park.

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Effie Yeaw Appoints New CEO

Photo and story by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2020-02-12

Kent Anderson (center) has begun work as the Effie Yeaw Nature Center’s Chief Executive. His staff includes Heather Gabel (left), Rachael Cowan, Kimberly Rider and volunteer Bev Lewis. Winged ambassador is Swainson’s hawk Orion.

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - The Effie Yeaw Nature Center has begun a new year with a new executive officer. Kent Anderson (39) will lead staff and volunteers at the beloved Ancil Hoffman Park facility.

Anderson comes to Carmichael from a similar job on the Putah Creek Council – an organization with stewardship of more than 70 miles of waterways in several Northern California counties. The Roseville-raised executive earned his Natural Resource Management degree at Chico State University.

“My association with Effie Yeaw began as a child,” he recalls. “I came here for a program on bugs. I remember how the presenter really got the audience participating.  At end of the talk, the lights came on. We suddenly saw hundreds of nocturnal insects that had been attracted to the screen. The naturalist identified the bugs and carefully passed some of them around. For a kid, being able to touch and feel the creatures was the big takeaway. This is typical of how we like to educate at Effie Yeaw. It’s all about the people who’ve come to learn. We’d rather be guides on the side than sages on stage.” The naturalist likens Effie Yeaw’s 17 staff and 235 volunteers to a big family. “People here make you feel welcome,” he says. “It’s obvious they love the work they do. They’re amazing as individuals and as a team.”

More than 100-thousand visitors per year attend Nature Center programs and explore trails that traverse its preserve. Though the non-profit lost public funding nine years ago, operations continue thanks to community support, under the American River Natural History Association’s administration.

The new executive looks forward to 2020 fundraisers: two Bird and Breakfast programs are scheduled for March 28 and April 4; the annual spring gala and art auction will raise paddles on June 13; the fall NatureFest open day (October 11) will enable much animal and human interaction.

Upcoming center improvements include the construction of a new education area and outdoor aviaries. “It’s an exciting time for people to reengage with Effie Yeaw,” considers Anderson.  “And it’s an exciting time for me to join the team.”

Lean more about the Effie Yeaw nature Center at www.sacnaturecenter.net.

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Capitol Pops Concert Band will wrap up its 23rd season with a free, open to the public holiday concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, at the Rusch Park Gym, 7801 Auburn Blvd., in Citrus Heights.

Under the baton of Director Judith Steinle, the CPCB will once again play traditional favorites, seasonal musical hits and carols in its "Holiday Celebration" program.

This performance, sponsored by the Sunrise Recreation and Park District and the City of Citrus Heights, is family friendly and a great way to usher in the holiday season. The two-hour concert includes a 20-minute intermission.

Various prizes will be on display for donation ticket drawings. The public also will have the opportunity to purchase a variety of colorful poinsettias after the concert concludes.  Longtime CPCB supporter Eisley Nursery of Auburn has donated a large poinsettia plant as a grand prize in support of the band's student scholarship fund.

Started in 1997, the CPCB has performed a diverse portfolio of high-quality, well-prepared music heard by thousands of concert-goers throughout Northern California.  Based in Citrus Heights, the self-supporting, nonprofit community band of about 50 musicians represents a wide cross-section of the Sacramento area. For more information on the Capitol Pops, visit www.capitolpops.org or its Facebook page.

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Annual Operation Gobble Distributes Thanksgiving Turkeys

By Rachael Serrao, Randle Communications  |  2019-11-29

Rancho Cordova City Council, Rotary Club of Rancho Cordova, Grocery Outlet Rancho Cordova and Kiwanis Club of Rancho Cordova members are taking the turkeys to the streets. Photo courtesy Golden State Water

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) – Golden State Water Company (Golden State Water) was pleased to partner with the Rancho Cordova City Council, Rotary Club of Rancho Cordova, Grocery Outlet Rancho Cordova and Kiwanis Club of Rancho Cordova to distribute turkeys this holiday season to local nonprofit organizations that serve families and individuals with limited resources through its annual Operation Gobble outreach program

Operation Gobble is a philanthropic partnership between Golden State Water, the California Water Association and local and state elected officials. This year, Golden State Water employees distributed more than 8,000 turkeys to local community-based organizations, churches, food banks, senior centers and other nonprofits in the communities it serves.

“Holiday memories are built around a warm meal with loved ones,” said Paul Schubert, Northern District General Manager for Golden State Water. “Golden State Water appreciates the opportunity to partner with local elected leaders and community organizations to deliver Thanksgiving turkeys to those in our community who need them most.”

Operation Gobble has been a Golden State Water tradition since 1990. Over the last 29 years, Golden State Water has donated more than 240,500 turkeys through the program.

“Operation Gobble is an important holiday tradition for all of our employees,” said Ronald Moore, Golden State Water’s Operation Gobble project leader. “We take great pride in serving more than 80 communities in California, and that service extends far beyond the water we deliver to homes. It’s also about giving back.”

To learn more about Golden State Water’s community partnerships and philanthropic activities, customers are encouraged to visit gswater.com, or follow @GoldenStateH2O on Twitter and Facebook.

Golden State Water Company (Golden State Water) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of American States Water Company (NYSE:AWR).   Golden State Water provides water service to more than 1 million people in over 80 communities throughout California, and distributes electricity to approximately 24,000 customers in the City of Big Bear Lake and surrounding areas in San Bernardino County, California, through its Bear Valley Electric Service division. American States Water Company also owns a contracted services subsidiary, American States Utility Services, Inc. (ASUS).  ASUS provides operations, maintenance and construction management services for water and wastewater systems located on military bases throughout the country under 50-year privatization contracts with the U.S. government.

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It’s “Adopt a Grandparent” Time for the Holidays

By Natalie Miller  |  2019-11-29

Ladies of the Shine Unit and Fire Unit gear up to bring Holiday cheer to our local “grandparents.” Photo courtesy of Hayley Coury

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - It’s time for our annual “Adopt a Grandparent” Fundraiser. Local Mary Kay Sales Directors and Beauty Consultants use their businesses as a way to give back to seniors with a program we started calling “Adopt a Grandparent”. It breaks my heart that each holiday season, many residents of long term care homes are "forgotten". Nearly 3 million go without visits or gifts. This is where we come in! We put together small gifts to deliver to the residents of care centers that we have chosen to sponsor. Last year our unit sponsored residents at Park Place, Mission Carmichael Health Care Center, and Almond Avenue Residence Club. Such a small gesture can bring so much joy.

A big thank you goes to our previous sponsors. Because of you, over the last few years, we have been able to gift between 500-800 residents in Sacramento County. This year we would like to gift 500 residents, but we can’t do it without you! It’s $17 to sponsor 2 seniors. Each resident sponsored will receive a pair of fuzzy socks or mittens, a hand or foot cream and a hand written card on your behalf!

Thank you all so much in advance. If you decide to donate, please call or text Natalie Miller at 916-621-0833 or email www.millernatalie29@yahoo.com

 

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