Holiday Ardent For Life 2017

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love Story




history 74. CHURCHES Elizabeth Pinkerton



42. BOOK REVIEWS Sacramento Public Library

30... 6. - Holiday 2017

80. A NANNOSECOND in Art and Music 80. DATEBOOK

contents finance





66. WEIGHT LOSS Sher Khan Karate

education 68. WHAT I’VE LEARNED CT Morris



78. THE BRITISH INVASION The School of Rock


8. - Holiday 2017


Contributor’s Corner Justin Azevedo

Justin has been a Youth Services Librarian for Sacramento Public Library since 2010, and is currently the Youth Materials Selector for the system.

Andrew Bornhoeft

Andrew has worked for the Elk Grove Police Department for 12 years. While assigned to the Community Resources Division, he was proud to develop the Paws on Patrol program. He is married to Julie Bornhoeft, and is the parent to Paws on Patrol dogs Bridger and Piper.

Tonya Gonzales

Tonya an inspiring nutrition educator, energetic fitness coach and passionate public speaker on a variety of relevant health and wellness topics!

Dr. Dayle A. Imperato

A Board Certified physician, she has served the Sacramento community for the past 20 years. Owner of Rejuvenation Medical Spa in Old Town, Elk Grove.

Jessica LoCicero

Owner of Jessica LoCicero Photography. She is a fun, fresh photographer specializing in weddings and portrait work. Her style has often been described as bright and fun.

Nan Mahon

Is an author and journalist. She is a member City of Elk Grove Committee for the Arts and received the Elk Grove 2011 Mayor’s Award for volunteerism in the Arts.

Cindy Della Monica

Cheesemonger and Owner of Cheese Central in Lodi, Ca.

Carole Morris

Instructional Specialist, Author and Adjunct Professor. The proud mom of two perfect children and grammie to three flawless grandchildren.

Kristyn Nelson

Public Affairs Manager of the City of Elk Grove, CA.

Barrie Olmstead

Adult Materials Selector at Sacramento Public Library.

Elizabeth Pinkerton

Teacher and Administrator for 40 years, she is now a historian and author.

Justin Pinnell

Justin is not just another pretty face in Real Estate. He enjoys long walks on the beach and high mountain sunsets.

Bruce Robinson

Owner and photographer at Bruce Robinson Photography.

Susie Franklin Roeser

Owner & full time employee of Gifts From The Heart Of Elk Grove. Daughter, Sister, Wife, Mom x2, Carpool Minivan driver, 4-H Leader and lover of all things creative.

Zina Sheya

Has been in Interior design for 18 years. Award winning and featured in multiple publications. She is the owner of Zina Sheya Designs.

Dianna Singh

Owner of Elk Grove Vitamins for the past four years.

Chris Tanaka

Owner/Senior Instructor of Sher Khan Karate. He is a 5th Degree Black Belt in American Kenpo Karate.

David Vallerga and Lindsey Peralta

Owners of Grade Power Learning in Elk Grove.

For full bios of our contributors, please visit

10. - Holiday 2017

subscribe and find us at www . ardentforlife . net

Community Corner... We love our contributors, and we're always on the lookout for another member to add to the Ardent team. If you are interested in contributing to Ardent for Life, please email us your information at


What is one of your favorite family traditions?


Marsha Braaten Choice Framing

Jodie Moreno

Community Events & Projects Coordinator for the City of Elk Grove

My most favorite memory of Christmas is the simplest one, popping popcorn and stringing it together (as a family) to hang on our tree every year. It's usually the most inexpensive and easiest things that mean the most. 12. - Holiday 2017

In our family, we opened our gifts on Christmas Eve, but there was a catch -- all of the supper dishes had to be washed, dried and put away before we could open our gifts. My sisters and I really worked as a team to get the dishes done quickly (and no fights). The photo above is of me, and my sisters, in front of the Christmas tree (wearing the matching dresses mom made for us). She usually made matching dresses for us at Christmas and Easter.

Carson Murphy

Tasting Room & Marketing Manager McConnell Estates Winery

As an 8-year-old, seeing presents under the tree with your name on it was pure torture. My mom wouldn't let us touch them, shake them, or smell them -- nothing! But we anxiously waited for Christmas Eve (after the family party) to open one, small gift before bed. We always had to sit on the step in the kitchen, all ready for bed, and open our one gift at the same time.

Katelyn Drummond McConnell Estates Winery General Manager

We spend the holidays with our families; eating delicious food, drinking good wine, watching sports and playing very competitive card games! The kids have added a whole new life to the holidays, and it is fun to see Christmas through their eyes. A tradition we have carried on with Laney and Spencer is—they get themed pajamas and a holiday book on Christmas Eve. The kids also get to make Santa cookies with Dad… and we can’t forget the carrots for the reindeer. Merry Christmas! – The Drummond’s   13

On the Cover

“What is Christmas?

It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace.” -Agnes M. Pharo-


creative director

executive editor

business manager

Sara Pinnell

Carole Morris

art & production

Justin Pinnell


View Ardent for Life online at WWW.ARDENTFORLIFE.NET

Copyright © 2017 Mrs. and Mr. Publishing Published by Mrs. and Mr. Publishing six times a year Want to know about great events, open houses, and more? Like us on Facebook at Ardent For Life is distributed in Elk Grove, Sacramento, Lodi, and every point in between. Have a great story idea, or know someone that we should feature? Email us with your comments & suggestions at Interested in increasing your business and partnering with Ardent For Life? Check out The information in this publication is for informational purposes only. Mrs. and Mr. Publishing Inc. (DBA Ardent for Life) assumes no liability or responsibility for any inaccurate or incomplete information, nor for any actions taken in reliance thereon. The information contained about each individual, event or organization is not necessarily the views of the magazine.

ARDENT f o r

l i f e

Checking In Winter, the frostiest season of the year. Even the sound of the word sounds cold, in fact, the name comes from an old Germanic word that means time of water. However, within this season we have Christmas, a day that—when shared with the warmth of the love of our family and friends—becomes a light on the coldest night. This chilly season, drape yourself in scarves and sweaters and curl up with a good read like Ardent for Life magazine. When you add a hot beverage, you will find a sense of well-being on the coldest day. Remember, winter doesn’t last all year—spring is waiting around the corner. “If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome." Anne Bradstreet executive editor

Carole Morris What did we learn after reading this issue? There is a wonderful article within called Peace on Earth Good Will to HUMANITY. Reminding us about acts of kindness, and to help encourage brotherly love. The City of Elk Grove has recently kicked off a campaign promoting peace, love, tolerance and respect for the diversity of people and cultures within Elk Grove. Continuing with this theme, is a wonderful article about Paws on Patrol. For many of us, our dogs are family members who take on many roles. But, did you know our dogs also have super powers – the power to help keep our community safer just by putting their nose where it belongs. Read the article and find out how you and your dog can become crime preventing and crime fighting heroes. Happy Reading!


Peace on Earth Good will to

Humanity By Susie Franklin Roeser

A festive parade of twinkling lights and cheerful carols wafting over the din of the Dickens Street Faire, these are just a few of the signs, “It’s Christmas Time In The City.” The City of Elk Grove, that is. The sights and sounds of the holidays have a way of bringing out the best in people. Whether a spontaneous donation to a Santa-hatted bell ringer, or dropping off an extra turkey at the food bank—acts of kindness just seem to come more naturally this time of year. To help encourage brotherly love, reminiscent of holiday cards and carols throughout the year, the City of Elk Grove has recently kicked off a campaign promoting peace, love, tolerance and respect for the diversity of people and cultures within Elk Grove. Given the variety of ages, interests, abilities, cultures, religions and backgrounds found in the Elk Grove Community, one might think Elk Grove’s population would find it difficult to see eye to eye on important matters. Surprisingly, with all of our differences, there is one priority that seems to rise above all others when interviewing those who have come to call Elk Grove their home. One thing nearly everyone can agree upon is the importance of FAMILY. In honor of Elk Grove’s commitment to making our city a place where families can flourish, we visited with several real life Elk Grove families to find out why Elk Grove is their “Home for the Holidays” as well as throughout the year.

“The diversity was incredible. The school district in Elk Grove is excellent, and we felt safe. The parks and recreation through CSD is just phenomenal. The housing is much more reasonably priced than the bay area, and Elk Grove is extremely accessible to the Bay Area, Sacramento, Tahoe and many other areas that we enjoy” -Darren Virassammy

“We moved to Elk Grove to be closer to our family, as well as for the great activities and programs for kids.”- Lisa Allingham

“Safety. I need to know that when I am not there, our neighbors are keeping an eye out for one another and my family is safe.” -Darren Suen

Why did you choose to raise your family in Elk Grove?

“Good schools, safe neighborhoods, close to family” - Darren Suen

“Originally, I moved to Elk Grove as a young adult with my parents. My mom’s work moved her to work at South Sacramento from Vallejo. Elk Grove was the closest community to her work which seemed like it was a family oriented community.” - Vanessa Ibarra

16. - Holiday 2017

What is the most important aspect of a neighborhood to you?

“The most important aspect of a neighborhood, to me; is having schools, parks and friends close by. Living in a community with others that you can trust and rely on.” -Lisa Allingham “Feeling safe in the neighborhood is very important to me.” - Jeff Ibarra

”Safety and a sense of community. Long gone are the childhood days of playing outside with neighbor kids until the street lights come on which signaled it was time to head back to your own home for dinner. I love a neighborhood where everyone is looking out for one another and there is a common goal of working together to make the neighborhood the best it possibly can be.” - Lisa Virassammy

How do you know when a community is thriving? “When you see people attending events in the community and year after year those events keep growing.”- Jeff Ibarra

“My idea of a thriving community is one in which the people have a strong desire and willingness to come together routinely to brainstorm ideas to consistently improve upon the community with hopes of promoting longevity and growth while maintaining safety, security and closeness. Each person has a sense of pride associated with being a part of their thriving community. Lisa Virassammy “I know a community is thriving when I see more business applications submitted - indicating confidence in spending habits, declining crime rates, increased attendance at community festivals, and outspoken support for one another when unfortunate events occur - indicating an empathetic and caring community.”- Darren Suen

“In my opinion, a community is working when the members of that community are kind, respectful, and helpful to each other—and you feel safe” - Lisa Allingham.


The Humanity Pledge

In an effort to help the citizens of Elk Grove create a thriving community, The City introduced the “Humanity campaign” to support the Council’s actions declaring Elk Grove as No Place for Hate. The campaign discourages hate while promoting peace, love, tolerance and respect for the diversity of people and cultures within Elk Grove. The campaign includes marketing materials, social media content, a Humanity pledge, an online discussion forum, and a web page… that includes links to resources that promote education and awareness on implicit bias.

Meet the


I realize that no one in Elk Grove is exactly like me and that’s an amazing thing. I respect my neighbors for the things we have in common and for our differences. I appreciate the contributions of both immigrants and native-born residents and the importance of preserving and protecting our diversity. I believe that no one should live in fear of intimidation or hate motivated violence. I resolve that we all need to get along to make our community the best it can be. I join the Elk Grove City Council in denouncing hate-based activity or conduct of any kind intended to harm someone due to their immutable characteristics. I stand with my city in declaring that Elk Grove is “No Place for Hate” and I pledge to promote peace, love, friendship, unity, acceptance, tolerance, and respect for humanity within my community.

As you enjoy all Elk Grove has to offer this holiday season, keep your ears open for a memorable holiday classic from way back in 1955. The final verse of this carol proclaims: ”Take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally. Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me.” Taking these inspirational holiday lyrics to heart would be a great New Year’s resolution -one you could feel good about all year—while helping our community to thrive!


Jeff, Vanessa, Justina- age 17, Joshua- age 15, Jeremy- age 13

The Ibarra’s favorite thing about Elk Grove?

“Elk Grove still has that small town feel to it even though it seems to be growing by leaps and bounds”.

How do the Ibarras participate in the Elk Grove Community?

“We are part of a church group. Our kids are in JR High and High School. My son who is in High School is a part of the HS band, so as a parent I’m part of the Band Boosters. When my kids were in Elementary School, they were asked to help serve in some of the community events. As a family, we also help serve dinner at a Women’s Shelter. My husband and daughter look forward to the Father/Daughter Dance every year.” “Grandma has spent many hours volunteering at the local elementary school.”

Meet the



Jon, Lisa and the triplets Ryan, Meghan, Dylan (on dad's lap)- age 10

The Allingham’s favorite thing about Elk Grove?

“All of the fun family parks. We love to spend an afternoon at Elk Grove Park or our neighborhood park. Most of the parks in Elk Grove have a great play structure for kids and a nice shady spot for parents to sit and relax while watching the kids play.”

How do the Allingham’s participate in the Elk Grove Community?

“We are involved in Creekside Christian Church, Elk Grove Youth Baseball, Elk Grove Youth Soccer, Girl Scouts and CYBL.”   17


"Ifsong,ElkwhatGrovewouldwasit be?a hit "

“Our Town” from the movie Cars. Even though Elk Grove is a large city, I still get the feeling of a small town when you walk through Old Town, or you watch the Holiday Light Parade.”- Lisa Allingham “We Are Family” Elk Grove feels like family.”- The Ibarra Family “Cherish The Day” by Sade...Why? Wherever anyone calls home, that is exactly what they should strive to do. For me, personally, Elk Grove has always been an anchor for me to “Cherish the Day”, because of the little things...the green belts, the proximity to basic needs and the ability to get fully away from cities and suburbia very easily.” - Darren Virassammy

“Happy” by Pharrell Williams because when I think of my life, at this moment, being part of this community and raising young children in these surroundings, I feel a sense of upbeat excitement and optimism for greater things to come. - Lisa Virassammy "We Are Family" We recognize the value

of family and we recognize ourselves as one big Elk Grove family.”-Darren Suen

Meet the



Darren, Denise, Lauren- age 17, Conner - age 15, Carson - age 9

The Suen’s favorite thing about Elk Grove?

“Festivals/activities that provide opportunities to connect with residents and fun for all (e.g., concerts in park, Brewfest, Strauss, Pumpkin, Western, etc.).”

How do the Suens participate in the Elk Grove Community?

“We support and participate in activities that benefit the Elk Grove Food Bank, Chicks in Crisis, WEAVE, Rotary of Elk Grove, Laguna-Sunrise Rotary, Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce, and the Elk Grove Teen Center, to name a few.”

Meet the



Darren, Lisa, Kira- age 5, Preston- age 2

The Virassammy’s favorite thing about Elk Grove?

“We love Elk Grove’s central location and diversity. Being a multiracial family, it was important for us to find a community where this was prevalent. Location wise we have easy access to the Bay Area, to the State Capitol/ larger city exposure as well as easy access to the mountains and snow. Each can be a day trip or a simple overnight family destination.”

How do the Virassammys participate in the Elk Grove Community?

“As a family, we have really enjoyed all the activities CSD (Parks & Recreation) has to offer. From the various sports we have been associated with thus far (soccer, karate, swimming) to the great local events they put on. As a business owner we have sought to keep our organization based in Elk Grove, even as we serve clients across the country, because we believe in Elk Grove and love the community. As of now, our whole team resides in Elk Grove. 18. - Holiday 2017

Holiday Inspirations By Zina Sheya Designs Shot on location at the West 12 Ranch

20. - Holiday 2017


Get the Look Tobacco Tray

These come in varied sizes, and can be found at local antique fairs and online retailers.

Fieldworkers used these trays during the harvest season on tobacco farms- they would clip the tobacco leaves, and lay them on these trays to carry and dry. These architecturally interesting trays create the perfect base for large doors, gates or walls. Start by incorporating the shape of your greens. I opted for a swag look for the one created below. Place the first layer of greens down, then weave in your second and third layer of greens—until you’re happy with the results. Then weave in colorful sprigs of reds, twigs, berries, pinecones or whatever you feel artistically. Secure the layers of greens with green floral wire to the tobacco tray…then hang on a wall or door. I usually hang this large tray on the dining wall, during the holidays.


have long been a traditional holiday decoration, holding a classic charm and simplicity that works with every home. The variation of the actual design of the wreath is limited only by your imagination. I personally love creating wreaths that are not too trendy; weaving together varying textures, shapes, and colors to provide interest. I prefer fresh wreaths over dried or faux. However, if I must use faux, I incorporate a few fresh sprigs of greenery to make it come to life. I also like to use different base pieces to create interest. While visiting an Antique faire this last week, I scooped up a large wood Hungarian breadboard and an oversized tobacco tray—to create a few looks that you can make yourself. I hope these how-to tips will inspire you to create a unique wreath or front door statement this holiday season. We would love to see your creativity, so let us see your creations by tagging both @ardentforlife and @zinasheyadesigns on your Instagram. I will be selecting my favorite, and sending out a little gift to the winner. Happy Holidays, from our design team.   21

Hungarian Breadboard


Grape Vine



Grape Vine Wreaths

I like using a grapevine wreath for its natural beauty, but because of its earthy tone I balance it by adding small whimsical greens. To keep the earthy feeling, I like to add small white berry twigs, and cotton springs. To enhance the look, add a set of large bells or hang (from the center of the wreath) an antique cow bell. Adorn with your favorite color ribbon.

Make Your Own Wreath Material Needed

Floral wire - Wire cutters - A wire wreath form - 2-4 assorted greens Ribbon (optional) - Twigs and sprigs for accents

The Hungarian Breadboard

I love the history, and shape, that antique wood bread board’s offer. I found this one at an antique faire and used it on a kitchen wall, along with other various shapes and sizes of breadboards as a wall collage. You see this in the French countryside homes, combining function with art. When the bread board is taken off the wall, it can be used as a base to create beautiful cheese trays. After using the tray, wash it and hang it back on the wall as art. I decided to use this large one as the base for my front door holiday swag. Lay large lighter fern (like evergreen pieces) down, then a second and third layer of smaller whimsical evergreens. I like using the branches of the Deodar Cedar, because of the whimsical dark green character it holds. Next, weave in your berries or colored foliage. Then, tie the ends together with green floral wire (or a rubber band) and secure to the handle of the breadboard. Grab your favorite ribbon, with a wired edge, and make a bow around the handle to camouflage the wire…then hang onto the door or wall. I often tie long chimes on the handle, or jingle bells.

Step 1: Cut all your fresh greens and sprigs to various lengths, layout for easy access. Pre-cut strips (medium and long) of your floral wire.


In recent years, antlers have become popular. I have incorporated them (in their natural color) into table centerpieces during the holidays. I have even seen them painted gold and silver. I think the antlers pair nicely with the traditional evergreen wreath. This wreath was created with a store purchased faux wreath. We weaved in a few fresh greens to add texture, added pinecones and antlers, then secured all with floral wire.


Boxwood is beautiful in its fresh state, as well as in its dry form. The boxwood has a little more traditional look, and those who are allergic (or do not like the traditional evergreens) can incorporate the boxwood wreath into their holiday décor easily. On this wreath, I wanted a little more texture. I started with a base of grape vine, then layered dry boxwood greens, and fresh green boxwood. Next, I added a red and green variegated foliage—for a little color. This would look unique if you weaved in some grape vine ribbon (this can be found on rolls at your local craft store, in the floral making department).

Step 1: Lay wire wreath form wide side down- start layering in the

first layer of greens, as you lay them flat, secure with floral wire. Continue this until the entire wreath form is covered. Repeat with weaving in second, and third layers of greens. Secure each layer as you go along. Last, layer in berry twigs and sprigs, pine cones, colored foliage, and bells—securing with floral wire.


Magnolia is the perfect base for a wreath or a table runner. For individuals who may be allergic or simply not a fan of evergreen for holiday creations, you can find Magnolia fresh in local floral shops, as well as dried. They come with just the leaves or with the large white flowers. Both options are beautiful, and ideal for the holidays. I opted for the dried… non-flowered base, because I wanted to add some fresh sprigs of green that were whimsical into the wreath along with a splash of red berries. Pictured on page 20. Wreath & Swag Tips- Think outside the box for incorporating a base. Anything will work—flat back basket, chicken wire cones, old window frames, shutters, vintage snow shows—really, the ideas are endless.

Tips: Always use at least two greens, with different textures and

color. When laying the greens together, make sure they all go in the same direction (so they lay flat). Otherwise, you will end up with a wild looking wreath. Layer in enough greens to cover the entire wreath form and create fullness. Weave in the various materials— rather than just layering them, you want it to look natural. Soak greens overnight in a bucket, prior to starting your project… to ensure longevity.   23

The Simple Fresh Green Christmas Table

There is something so elegant about the simple red Tartan plaid and greens. I wanted to help you create a simple table setting for your indoor, or Alfresco, Christmas table.

What you will need‌

Red Tartan plaid table cloth, Light green Spruce branches, Dark green Evergreen springs, Pomegranates, Berries, Floral wire, Wicker charger plates, Neutral napkins. Add low votive candles, wine glasses, friends, and food. Tip: To create the fresh green swag (as shown at our table) layer your greens, making sure to mix a few textures and colors. Secure with floral wire, to your desired length 24 . - Holiday 2017and fullness.


Cutting into a pomegranate

Step 1: Cut the crown of the pomegranate off Step 2: Cut six vertical slices around the pomegranate Step 3: Pry open the pomegranate. Make sure to work over a bowl of water, to catch the falling seeds.

Step 4: Remove the middle membrane knob. You are now ready to deseed. Work your way through each slice by prying away the peel from the seeds. When you are done your seeds should be on the bottom of the bowl and the white flesh should be floating on top. Scoop out the flesh and drain the water.   25


Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Toasted Almonds & Pomegranates Recipe by Zina Sheya Designs


Brussel sprouts (about 12) 2 tsp. Olive oil Diced pancetta 1/2 Red onion, sliced thin 2 tsp. Balsamic vinegar Slivered almonds (roasted) Pomegranate seeds


Cut Brussel sprouts in half, place in a cast iron pan, toss in diced pancetta, and ½ small red onion, sliced thin. Lightly coat with olive oil, then drizzle with 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar. Toss all together, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in a 400⠰ degree oven. Roast until medium to dark brown, and is desired tenderness. I like mine on the darker side, because it takes the bitterness out of the Brussel sprouts. Note: Onion will be caramelized and Brussel sprouts will be slightly caramelized. Stir once or twice while roastingApproximately 20-35 minutes. Remove from oven, place into a serving bowl. Top with slivered almonds, and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. 26. . -Holiday Holiday2017 2017 26


Sparkling Wines, Food & Dinner Conversation By Cindy Della Monica, Cheesemonger

and Owner, Cheese Central

Sparkling Wines In general, Cham-

pagne and other sparkling wines are aromatic, acidic wines that vary from light-bodied and crisp—to more fullbodied and lush. These characteristics are the result of the methode champenoise production process of treating the bottled wine to a dosage of additional yeast and sugar (for a second fermentation), then removing the frozen plug of lees from the bottle before corking and caging the top. The crispness of sparkling wines pairs well with creamy cheeses which have a high butterfat content—the delightful double crèmes, or triple crèmes, that have a soft, buttery and creamy consistency and flavor. Some examples include Explorateur, La Tur, Fromage d’Affinois and Domain du Vallage. The butterfat content can be as high as 75%, matching the lushness of the sparkling wine. 28. - Holiday 2017

Sparkling wines are often enjoyed in celebrations, relegated to being served with only appetizers and desserts. But versatility is its nature! There are many cuisines and dishes that pair beautifully with bubbles: creamed soups—to more exotic pairings like spicy Indian cuisine, tart and tangy flavors that match the equal measure of vibrancy in wine such as… with Nicoise salad. Salty marinated olives, oysters with mignonette, and meats that typically have a fruity accompaniment (pork chops and grilled peaches, or lamb with chutney) pair well, too.

“Sparkling” Food

Let’s bring these concepts to appetizers for our holiday enjoyment, then practice, practice, practice… throughout the year! Each of the following recipes have the right amount of acidity and/ or creaminess to be a perfect pair with sparkling wine. Please enjoy the following simple preparations to streamline your entertaining, but don’t forget to fix up a few just for you—while in front of the fireplace, or with a movie or good book.


You will be amazed at the transformation of fresh grapes when serving these warm, intense, honeyed morsels with cheese and bubbly!

½ lb. red or purple grapes, on stem in clusters ½ lb. green grapes 2 T olive oil Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper Fresh thyme sprigs Fresh rosemary sprigs Cheese suggestions: double or triple crème brie, and Coastal Mature Cheddar Preheat oven to 450*. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the washed grapes on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Nestle the thyme and rosemary among the grapes.

Roast until the grape skins are blistered and wrinkled, 1215 minutes. Transfer the grapes to the center of a large cheese board. Arrange the cheeses around the grapes and serve with baguette slices.



A delicious little silver dollar-sized pancake, fresh from the griddle and (topped with suggestions listed below). Just keep them coming… your guests will be delighted with this treat. Let them top the blini as they choose from a blini bar! 1/3 cup buckwheat or rye flour 2/3 cup all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon baking powder ¾ teaspoon kosher salt ¾ cup plus 2 Tbsp. milk 1 extra large egg 1 stick butter, clarified, divided

Serving suggestions: Caviar and sour cream (if the budget allows!) Thinly sliced smoked salmon (lox), dill fronds and sour cream or crème fraiche Sour cream, chopped hard-cooked egg, and minced chives Smoked Trout Mousse


These cranberries alone are addicting! When you pair them with Domain du Vallage— magical! ½ of a French baguette, sliced thinly PAM (cooking spray) 12 oz. fresh cranberries 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar (the thick, syrupy kind) ½ cup sugar 1 Tbsp. rosemary 4 oz. triple cream brie

Preheat oven to 425*. Place baguette slices on a baking sheet, and spray lightly with PAM. Turn slices over, and spray lightly with PAM. Bake until crisp, (about 7 minutes). Turn over, and bake 3 minutes more.

In a small bowl, stir together the cranberries, balsamic vinegar, sugar and rosemary. Spread them out on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silpat baking mat. Place cranberries in the oven and roast for 15 minutes. At this point, the cranberries should be popped open with juices running out.

If serving immediately, spread each crostini with a bit of brie, and top with a spoonful of the cranberries. Garnish with thyme sprig. If serving later, cool crostini and store in Ziploc bag. Cranberries can be chilled overnight. Assembly of the crostini can happen when ready to serve, (serve at room temperature).

Combine both flours, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and 1 Tbsp. of the clarified butter. Whisk into the flour mixture. Heat 1 Tbsp. of the clarified butter in a medium sauté pan and drop the batter into the hot skillet, 1 Tsp. at a time. Cook over medium-low heat until bubbles form on the top side of the blini, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook for 1 more minute, or until brown. Repeat with the remaining batter, cleaning hot pan with a dry paper towel between batches. Set aside. To serve, place blini on serving plate, and top with your choice of serving suggestions above.


½ lb. smoked trout, reserving some whole flakes for garnish 8 oz. cream cheese 1 oz. chopped capers 2 T horseradish Zest and juice of 1 fresh lemon A pinch of sea salt 1 pinch of cracked pepper 1 oz. chopped fresh chives Using a mixer, cream the cream cheese and smoked trout. Stir remaining ingredients into mixture by hand. Top with chives for garnish. Delicious served on top of fresh endive leaves!

Sparkling conversation, especially with guests you may know (or not know at all), depends on the gentle personal pleasantries unique to each guest such as “Where do originally come from?” asked of the guest with an accent, or “What was the best part of growing up a twin?” if their look-alike is also part of the party. We like some of the conversation starters noted below: If you could do it over, what would your career be? If you had a year off with pay, you would? Your absolute favorite food would be? When you get around to it, you will? A road-trip you'd love to take is? The strangest gift you've ever received is? If you could have any animal in the world for a pet, what would it be? As always, our staff at CHEESE CENTRAL is ready to help you with samples of our 100+ cheeses at the counter. All of the cheeses mentioned above are available through the year, along with charcuterie, olives, nuts, locally produced olive oils, crackers, jams, jellies, mustards and chutneys. Please come it in to see us! Happiest of Holidays to you and yours, from all of us at CHEESE CENTRAL!   29

community} HAPPENINGS

Winemaker’s Dinner McConnell Estates Winery

Family at the Farmtable was our very first Winemaker’s Dinner, here at Mc-

Connell Estates Winery. It was the start of an ongoing series that we will be hosting for people to learn more about wine, understand how it’s made, and spend an evening among the vines. One, long farm table was set for forty guests, including all three of the brothers who own the winery and ranch together. Jackson Catering designed a delectable menu to pair fabulously with each wine served and complemented the gorgeous, autumn evening. Dessert was served by Above & Beyond Cakes—always a treat! The night consisted of barrel tasting, passed hors d'oeuvres, a four-course meal, plenty of wine and good company. We look forward to welcoming more wine-lovers into the McConnell family at our next Winemaker’s Dinner. Mark your calendars for October of 2018!

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An Easier Way to Eat Clean this New Year By Emmie Satrazemis, Wellness Evangelist at Raley’s

As the New Year rolls around, many shoppers are looking for a fresh start when it comes to their diet. But figuring out where to begin and which options are right can often feel overwhelming. It seems everyone is an expert these days when it comes to healthy eating, and with so many new diet trends, confusing labeling and conflicting advice, how do you know who to trust? Raley’s believes our customers should not have to guess when finding options that benefit their health and wellbeing. That’s why we developed Raley’s Shelf Guide, a data driven tool that combines the latest customer trends and nutrition research to deliver custom shopping labels - without the influence of outside brands or products. Using simple and colorful icons, customers can quickly interpret whether a product meets their needs, without having to analyze multiple labels and package claims.

Striving to eat more foods made with simple ingredients is a great starting place when it comes to better health, and the desire from consumers for more of these choices continues to increase. But having simple or “clean” ingredients does not always mean a food is healthy – many indulgent options like cookies, ice cream and potato chips can be made with clean ingredients.

Raley’s Minimally Processed standard has the strictest ingredients requirement, excluding over 600 questionable ingredients and common GMOs. And Raley’s Minimally Processed icon is the only label standard for clean eating that puts restrictions on added sugar and sodium in every food category - the two most commonly added ingredients in our food shown to negatively affect our health when consumed in excess. Even though added sugar is linked to almost every chronic disease, food manufacturers are not required to label how much is in their products, making it difficult for shoppers to avoid high sugar options. Sugar ingredients are required to be listed in the ingredients label, but there are over 50 different names

for added-sugar and you still must guess how much is being used. Raley’s Minimally Processed icon has done the hard work for you, by considering how much added sugar is in packaged foods and labeling choices that meet our standards.

Minimally Processed is just one of eight attributes Raley’s Shelf Guide uses. For customers looking to avoid added sugar altogether, the No Added Sugar icon can help. And for those looking to get the most nutritious options in every category, the Nutrient Dense icon highlights foods that are calorie conscious and full of good nutrition. Raley’s Shelf Guide also highlights more foods that meet personal dietary needs like gluten-free, vegan and kosher, and brings more label transparency with clearly identified non-GMO and organic options. Icons are located directly at the shelf and online. And the online shopping experience enables customers to sort products based off selected attributes. For example, if a parent is looking for a pasta sauce that has No Added Sugar but is also Minimally Processed and Nutrient Dense they can filter their search based on all three attributes.

Traditional shelf tag programs don't consider added ingredients like sugar, artificial ingredients and preservatives and level of processing, and only look at the nutrition facts label or third-party certifications. With Raley’s Shelf Guide, we’re looking beyond just numbers and marketing buzz words to consider all the facts – thinking beyond the box – to set a new standard for clean ingredients and nutritious options our shoppers can trust.

Let our Shelf Guide help you have a happy and healthy new year!

For more information check out www.Raleys. com/Guide or to shop the icon collections, head to

Emmie Satrazemis, Dietitian Emmie is a board-certified sports nutritionist and registered dietitian. She has worked with professional and collegiate athletes, and previously served as a dietitian for the Navy SEALs. She also worked in public relations in Washington, DC, as a nutrition communications manager. Emmie currently serves as the Wellness Evangelist for Raley’s and Senior Manager of Strategic Communications where she leads team member communications and serves as a strategic thought partner on health and wellness initiatives, helping Raley’s to deliver on their purpose of changing the way the world eats, one plate at a time. She was involved in the development and execution of Raley’s Shelf Guide and serves as a nutrition resource to Raley’s team members and customers.   33


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food} food}


Walnut-Cranberry By Carole Morris


Potpie 1/2 teaspoon salt

¼ cup butter

1 teaspoon pepper

1 cup onion, chopped

3 cups cubed turkey breast (we used sun-dried tomato turkey breast)

¾ cup celery, chopped ¾ cup carrot, chopped ¾ cup peas 1 large garlic clove, minced ¼ teaspoon marjoram ¼ teaspoon thyme 1/3 cup flour

2 cups chicken broth 3/4 cup milk 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped


In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat butter. Add the onion, celery, and carrots. Sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and sauté for an additional minute, then stir in marjoram and thyme. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper. Add chicken broth and milk, cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Stir in peas, cranberries, walnuts and turkey, heat until bubbly. Pour mixture into greased baking dish and set aside.

Pastry for top crust INGREDIENTS

7 tablespoons cold water

2 cups flour

1/2 cup toasted walnuts, finely chopped

¾ teaspoon salt 2/3 cup shortening


1/2 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped

Heat oven to 450⁰ Stir together flour and salt in a bowl. With a pastry blender, mix in shortening until thoroughly blended. Sprinkle water and gently toss with a fork until all flour mixture is moistened. Divide dough in half, and form each half into a ball. Flatten one ball of dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll dough with a rolling pin, forming a circle approximately 10 inches around. Then, sprinkle with both the walnuts and cranberries; Roll out remaining pie crust (approximately 10 inches) and place on top of first piecrust. Roll into a 14-inch circle, sealing together piecrusts. Cut into desired shapes with a cookie cutter. Place pastry shapes on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Lower oven temperature to 350° F

Bake, turkey mixture (covered with aluminum foil) for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, and arrange Cranberry-Walnut Crusts over pie before serving.   35   35


Written by Carole Morris

Rescate coffee is Elk Grove’s only local coffee roaster, and they are committed to rescuing customers who are searching for great tasting artesian and gourmet coffee. They have a heartfelt mission statement… “Create a quality hand crafted beverage, food product, and experience—for every customer—every time." Whether it is early morning or late afternoon, Rescate will be there to serve you with a smile. Rescate Coffee owners, Anthony Casillas and Ladd Casillas opened up Rescate in January of 2016. They both have a strong work ethic, which they gleaned from working with their families. Anthony grew up in the restaurant industry working in his families’ restaurant in the Oak Park suburb of Sacramento, CA. One of Anthony's contributions was developing a cupcake line which he sold at the restaurant. Ladd, on the other hand, grew up in a farming community with his family in a small town in Oregon, where he helped his family with wheat, alfalfa, and Christmas tree farms, and other consumable products. At the age of eighteen, Ladd moved up north to Seattle and landed a job with a coffee company. This is where Ladd grew his passion and extensive knowledge for the art of coffee.

“We used to drive downtown on weekends to relax, drink coffee, and meet up with family and friends. We decided we wanted that here in Elk Grove.”

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Both owners are local residence of Elk Grove (along with their three children) Evan, Max and Abby. With their passion for coffee, their goal is to serve and offer the perfect hand crafted coffee beverage in a relaxed and warm environment. “I have lived in Elk Grove for 18 years, it’s time to bring the downtown feel to our city,” says Anthony with a smile. “We used to drive downtown on weekends to relax, drink coffee, and meet up with family and friends. We decided we wanted that here in Elk Grove.” Ladd recalled.

The moment you walk in, one can feel the coziness of the establishment. The environment has a rustic look with reused pallet boards, a long community table, and comfy cushion chairs by the fireplace. On one wall you will find a chalkboard menu that illustrates the Rescate Coffee Specialty lattes and mochas. Here you will find the famous Horchata Latte made the traditional way with rice milk, vanilla extract from Mexico, cinnamon, and cinnamon sticks (that marinate in the rice milk before Espresso is added). This year Rescate added a Coconut Carmel Macchiato and a Vietnamese Coffee to the menu. The Vietnamese coffee can be made the traditional way, or with the use of expresso. During the holiday, Rescate Coffee offers a variety of Holiday drinks to get you in the mood.



Because, Rescate means “Rescue” in Spanish, they are committed to contributing to the local community with cash donations to pet rescue organizations. Rescate Coffee wants to create an environment that is compassionate to their customer’s needs, and the needs of pets in the community. One cup at a time!

Presence in the community is a must, so Anthony and Ladd have partnered with several Elk Grove organizations such as Cosumnes CSD Parks and Recreation, Elk Groves Cars and Coffee, and with the local Elk Grove Police Department. You will find Rescate Coffee at many of the local events, offering hand craft beverages with their mobile cart.

At Rescate Coffee, they believe giving back to the community as much as possible. This is evident in their actions in supporting Elk Grove. A focus at Rescate Coffee is assisting the Disadvantaged Youth: Children with disabilities, social and economic challenges, or simply in need due to personal situations. They work with the Elk Grove School District and C.A.R.D. (Center for Autism and Related Disorders), to provide work experience in a positive controlled environment, as well as with other local organizations to help support their cause. They believe that every individual should have an opportunity to be a valuable member of society.

Because, Rescate means “Rescue” in Spanish, they are committed to contributing to the local community with cash donations to pet rescue organizations (as well as portions of sales of select retail items). Rescate Coffee wants to create an environment that is compassionate to their customer’s needs, and the needs of pets in the community. One cup at a time! This compassion is evident in their devotion to their four-legged rescue pets, who they consider family members. They have three rescues pets who have mutually impacted each other’s lives in a positive way. Their main focus is to help support local animal shelters… which focus on adoption over euthanasia. “Pets do not have a voice against mistreatment, abandonment, or homelessness” says Ladd. Volunteers for shelters, which act as the voice, are amazing people who work diligently to find homes for these at risk animals. Rescate feels honored to be in a position to help with costs associated with caring, and finding forever homes, for these amazing pets. Not only do Anthony and Ladd offer a great cup of coffee while providing a relaxing environment, but they now provide a safe space for anyone contemplating suicide. They both have been trained with the ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) program to be readily available for anyone that may need help. Bringing awareness to

Suicide Prevention, Breast Cancer Awareness, and LGBTQ+ Pride events are personal community awareness causes Anthony and Ladd have committed to be involved in.

Moreover, Rescate is proud to donate back to our community through sponsorship and active involvement in programs which support our community City Wide Community Programs: They believe Elk Grove is an amazing place to live, and our community programs are some of the best in the world.

I recommend a change in your environment! Stop in at Rescate coffee and stimulate your creativity by ordering one of their amazing hand crafted beverages. Break away from your routine and be inspired!   37   37


e g l u d In

the Urge to Splurge!

With the holidays just around the corner, it is likely you’ll have just one holiday cookie or cupcake too many. Next thing you know, instead of standing in long shopping lines or decorating your Christmas tree…you’re passed out on the couch in a sugary food coma. Here are a few yummy appetizers and treats you can feel good about eating!

By Tonya Gonzales, Holistic Nutritionist

Raw Almond-Veggie Pate

What you will need: bowl(s) for soaking nuts, food processor


1 cup raw almonds, soaked in water for 6-10 hours and drained 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds, soaked in water 4-6 hours and drained 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut in chunks 1/2 cup broccoli, coarsely chopped 1/2 red pepper, cut in chunks 1/2 ripe tomato, cut in chunks 1 large clove garlic, sliced 1/2 cup fresh cilantro 2 Tbsp. white or mild miso paste juice of 1 lemon Sea salt and pepper to taste


In the food processor, pulse the almonds, pumpkin seeds, and carrot until well ground. Add rest of ingredients and continue to process, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl occasionally, until you have a smooth paste. Add more lemon juice and/or miso paste—or water if necessary, to achieve desired texture, chill. Serve with crackers or loads of veggies. Store spread in refrigerator (for up to five days).

Sweet & Spicy Nuts

What you will need: medium sauce pan, baking sheet


2 1/2 cup mixed nuts – almonds, pecans, cashews, and macadamias taste best 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (you could use white sugar, but you know how I feel about that!) 1 teaspoon sea salt


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Preheat oven to 300⁰F. Heat oil over medium-low heat, add cumin and cayenne. Cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Pour oil over the nuts and toss well to coat. Add sugar and salt, toss to coat. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for about 20 minutes (until lightly browned). Check them at 10 minutes and give them a toss. Best at room temperature because they’re crispy, but some people like them warm. The pecans are particularly good because the spices get stuck in the little cracks. Best nut choices: Almonds, Brazil nuts, Cashews, Chestnuts, Hazelnuts (filberts), Macadamia nuts, Pecans, Pistachios, or Walnuts.

Flourless Zucchini Brownies INGREDIENTS

1 cup of almond butter 1 1/2 cup zucchini (the equivalent of about 3 zucchini). No need to peel; just shred them in a food processor. 1/3 cup of honey 1 egg 1 tsp of vanilla 1 tsp of baking soda 1 tsp of cinnamon 1/2 tsp of nutmeg 1 cup of dark chocolate chips*


Preheat oven to 350⁰ degrees. Combine all the ingredients, into a large bowl, and mix thoroughly.

Pour into an oiled 9×9 baking pan or mini muffin tin to make individual bites. Bake for 35-45 minutes for pan and 10-15 minutes for bites (or until a toothpick comes out clean). *I like the Enjoy Life brand of chocolate chips as they are nut, soy and dairy free.

Chocolate Chunk Salted Caramel No-Bake Cookies What you will need: Medium saucepan, parchment lined baking sheet


1½ cups coconut sugar ½ cup coconut oil

½ cup coconut milk, full-fat, canned 2 Teaspoons vanilla extract ¼ Teaspoon sea salt 2½ cups finely shredded coconut 1 cup big flake coconut 2/3 cup chocolate chunks or chocolate chips* (the darker the chocolate, the healthier the cookie)


In a large saucepan, combine the coconut sugar, coconut oil, and coconut milk. Bring the mixture to a boil, and boil for 2-3 minutes until the caramel thickens, stirring constantly (to keep the caramel from sticking). Remove the caramel from the heat, and add the vanilla, sea salt, and coconut. Stir to combine. Add the chocolate chunks/chips and combine, stirring as little as possible to keep the chunks/chips intact. Portion the cookie on a parchment lined baking sheet and let cool. This version of no-bakes takes a full 3-4 hours to fully set up, but you don't have to wait that long because they're really good warm and gooey.

*To keep this recipe 100% dairy free and vegan, be sure to use a chocolate that is dairy free. Enjoy Life is an awesome brand-no soy, nuts or dairy!

Tonya Gonzales has been involved in health and wellness for more than 15 years. She is a marathon runner, writes a health and wellness blog and is an award winning chef. She appeared regularly on television as the local food and wellness expert and authored a health column for Live Well Amarillo before recently moving back to Northern California from Texas. Need personal dietary support? Schedule a nutrition coaching session with her! Her mission, her passion, is to educate and empower people towards a lifetime of healthy habits which includes personal and group nutrition coaching, healthy cooking classes, therapeutic essential oils, yoga and fitness of any kind. Health, wellness and people are not just her lifestyle, they are her LIFE!!   39


The Powerful Imagination of

SGarber tephanie Written by Carole Morris

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Stephanie Garber, the international and New York Times bestselling author of the book “Caraval”, is a northern California girl! Is it any wonder that an author from here would have a powerful imagination? We know how distinct Northern California is, with the Sierra Mountain range to the east and the Pacific coast to the west. I’m sure the scenic attractions of Yosemite National Park, Lake Tahoe and Shasta Lake fueled her imagination and helped give her a foundation to create the captivating descriptions that encompass “Caraval”.



Stephanie, (as a child) was often compared to Anne Shirley—the fictional character from “Anne of Green Gables”. If you’ve read “Anne of Green Gables”, then you know the fictional character had a great imagination; and a thirst for beautiful names and places… and a stubborn streak. Obviously, these are great characteristics to have—if you’re an author. I am sure Stephanie’s tenacity helped push her to succeed and become who she is today, a published author whose book caused a frenzied bidding war for the rights to “Caraval” and its sequel, “Legendary”. Flatiron Books won those rights in a major deal, then within hours the film rights were bought by Twentieth Century Fox. The icing on the cake of her success? “Caraval” was chosen by Amazon as one of the best young adult books of 2017. To help pay her bills during college, grad school, and the breaks in between; Stephanie worked as a barista, a waitress, a bartender, a customer service representative, and a sales girl at Bath and Bodyworks. She also spent years working with youth; as a counselor at a space themed summer camp, and a volunteer at a school for deaf children in Mexico. Additionally, she took multiple groups of college students overseas to spend their winter vacations serving at youth hostels in Amsterdam. In fact, when she was writing “Caraval”, she didn't intentionally base it on anywhere real. However, once Stephanie was finished and looked at the world she created, she realized that pieces of it resembled Bruges and Amsterdam. Both cities are beautiful and magical--full of canals and buildings that look as if they've been stolen from storybooks.

When Stephanie isn’t writing, she teaches creative writing at a private college in Northern California, where she’s been known to turn assignments into games and take students on field trips that involve book signings. But out of everything that she’s done, writing young adult novels has been her favorite job.

If you are ready to escape, this holiday season, into the magic of Stephanie Garber's sweeping tale of two sisters who enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game—pick up a copy of “Caraval”. In fact, pick up two… and share the journey with a friend or loved one.   41

Reviews brought to you by the

art} BOOKS

Little Fires Everywhere

By: Celeste Ng Book Reviews by BARRIE OLMSTEAD Following her accomplished debut, Everything I Never Told You, Ng returns to Ohio and the stalwart, uptight community of Shaker Heights to explore the complex themes of class and race in the late ‘90s. Told from the point of view of various narrators, the novel opens with a house fire, involving “multiple points of origin.” The house belongs to the Richardson family, whose seemingly perfect world is shaken up when single mother Mia Warren, an itinerant artist, moves into a rental house owned by the family with her teenaged daughter Pearl. Mia’s past is cloaked in secrecy and she is stubborn in her refusal to conform, opting for cast-off clothing and salvaged furniture, with no desire for upward mobility. Mia and Pearl become enmeshed with the Richardsons; Pearl is befriended by three of the teenaged children and the outcast daughter, Izzy, takes a liking to Mia. Elena eventually hires Mia as a housekeeper and relations are further complicated when the two mothers square off on opposite sides of an adoption controversy involving a Chinese American baby. Ng skillfully weaves in Mia’s backstory, as well as the inner lives and affairs of the teenagers, rendering an ending that is as satisfying as it is thoughtprovoking, and ideal for discussion. Penguin Press, 2017

Sing, Unburied, Sing

By: Jesmyn Ward In her latest novel since the National Book Award-winning Salvage the Bones, Ward returns to post-Katrina rural Mississippi, exploring issues of systemic poverty and violence that seem to permeate the South, steeped in its very soil. Drawing on Faulkner and Toni Morrison, Ward conjures up a world that is evocative, heart-breaking and deeply affecting. The story is told by a trio of narrators: Jojo, a soulful boy of 13; Leonie, his drug-addicted and neglectful mother, who is haunted by the ghost of her long-dead brother, Given, who she can summon only when high; and Richie, another teenaged ghost who died violently after escaping from Parchman Farm decades ago. Jojo is raised by his grandparents, Pop and Mam. Pop tries to teach Jojo how to be a man in the world, while also recounting his own stint at Parchman and the story of Richie. Mam is a healer, using herbs and an alchemy of African American religious rituals to cure ailments. When Jojo’s white father, Michael, is released from Parchman, Leonie takes him and his 3 yearold sister Kayla on a road trip to retrieve him, which will be fraught with danger but also remarkable forbearance. The characters who inhabit this dirge-like novel will leave a lasting impression. Scribner, 2017

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art} BOOKS

Magic for Sale

By: Carrie Clickard Illustrations by: John Shelley Children's Book Reviews By JUSTIN AZEVEDO A creepy, ivy-laden shop sits on the corner of Hemlock and Blight, advertising potions, magic mirrors, cauldrons, and other marvelous bits and pieces. The most famous feature of the shop, however, is the ghost purportedly kept hidden inside. After being double-dared, an intrepid young ghost hunter named Georgie plumbs the mysteries of the shop, and discovers that the ghost isn’t so scary after all, but the shop’s owner is another story altogether. Despite mild overtures at being eerie or gross (which certain kids will definitely relish), the story ticks humorously along in bright limericks, switching to rhyming couplets that beg to be read aloud as Georgie and the ghost catalog the shop’s fantastical inventory together. Much of the book’s appeal is in the art, which offers multiple full-page spreads of cluttered shelves that invite poring over long after the story is read, all rendered in an intricate and pleasing mix of pen and watercolor. This funny, gently spooky tale is great for kids who crave flights of imagination. Recommended for ages 6-9. Holiday House, 2017

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One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance

By: Nikki Grimes

Award-winning author and poet Grimes brings her skill to bear on a collection of poetry for young readers that sits original work alongside classic poems from the heyday of the Harlem Renaissance. Bookended by short pieces that bemoan the state of the world and yearn for a source of hope and resilience, Grimes presents some of the very best selections of the Harlem Renaissance era juxtaposed with original work using the Golden Shovel format, in which the words of a particular line or stanza are placed at the end of each line in a new poem. The result is an engrossing collection that not only shines a light on an important piece of American artistic culture, but shows just how heartbreakingly relevant those poems still are. Presented in chapters that contain rough thematic connections, the poems range across topics of vital interest to young readers, including prejudice, self-esteem, bullying, individuality, family, and even unrequited love. After poring through each pairing of poetry, the readers may be inspired to try composing a Golden Shovel piece themselves. Recommended for ages 10 and up. Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2017

Visit WWW.SACLI BRARY.ORG For details, telephone the Sacramento Public Library at (916) 264-2920 or visit


Bontrager Helps Others Re-Gain

A Place to Call Home By Kristyn Nelson

In a society that lives paycheck to paycheck, some of us could be one major crisis away from losing the roof over our heads. As the number of homeless individuals and families continues to rise in the region, there are people like Elk Grove’s Housing and Public Services Manager, Sarah Bontrager, who are working behind the scenes to help. “We can do better,” says Sarah. Sarah grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania, a city less than half the size of Elk Grove. Her interest in urban housing issues began before she even graduated high school, influenced by a book she checked out at her local library entitled The New American Ghetto, by Camilo J. Vergara. The book described the transformation and decline of neighborhoods and cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. “I was always fascinated with why people lived where they lived and what connected them to these places,” said Sarah.

She left Scranton to earn her bachelor’s degree in Geography, with a minor in Sociology, from Penn State University in 2003. While at Penn State, Sarah joined other students in participating in what was called the Philadelphia Field Project, an interdisciplinary research initiative on urban poverty in the

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United States that used Philadelphia as a case study for field work. Based in a Quaker-owned house in West Philadelphia, she worked with an affordable housing company during the day and at night collaborated with thirteen other students studying urban issues.

“The concentrated poverty I saw in Philadelphia deeply affected me. I saw how many advantages I’d enjoyed in my life, and I realized that I needed to focus my career on expanding housing options for all incomes in communities.” While pursuing her master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from Ohio State University, Sarah worked for the Ohio Department of Development as a Program Assistant, where she focused on providing grant support to local jurisdictions administering housing programs. In San Francisco for a conference hosted by the American Planning Association, she met staff from an environmental planning

company contracted by several west coast cities for a variety of consulting services. The company was expanding their housing planning services and offered Sarah a job in California in 2005. Impressed by the Sacramento region’s diversity and commitment to housing issues, she took the job. Sarah consulted on housing issues and grant management for government agencies throughout California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, and even New York.

“It was a great opportunity to see how many different jurisdictions approached the same problems.”

Ultimately, Sarah grew tired of the frequent work travel and wanted more ability to see the on-the-ground impact of the policies she was designing. In 2010, the City of Elk Grove hired her as the City’s Program Housing Manager. Sarah’s skills and experience were a natural fit.


Sarah with City Manager Laura Gill at Meadow House Open House


“I don’t get to meet all of the people we

help, but I feel fortunate to be part of a great team of staff, non-profit organizations, and volunteers who are truly committed to serving those residents who are most in need.” “I was working in Elk Grove as a consultant, and I saw the new position as a chance to really focus on the challenges of one jurisdiction. The city’s size and staffing setup meant I had a hand in big picture policy, while at the same time I got to meet some of the people the city’s programs benefitted. It was great to tie housing policy with other services for seniors, youth, and low-income people.” Sarah’s background has provided depth and breadth to the city’s housing programs and public services. Her work with the Council and non-profit organizations has established policies, procedures, and a system of care for residents across a broad spectrum of needs. Sarah’s work includes managing the city’s community service grant program and connecting with more than two dozen area non-profit service organizations including serving on the board of the Senior Center of Elk Grove.

Sarah also manages the city’s Housing Element, a long-range plan that identifies and analyzes local housing needs to maintain, improve, and create housing for all economic segments of the population. In addition to establishing specific goals and strategies to guide the development of housing in Elk Grove, the Housing Element requires the city to ensure there is an adequate supply of land for the development of affordable housing. Elk Grove has helped fund the development of 1,700 affordable housing units since 2002, adding to the 500 units that were already established. Units like those in Avery Gardens, an apartment complex opened in 2016, next to the Nugget Market. These units are

available to those who make 50-60% of the city’s median income. For a family of four, that translates to roughly $40,000 a year. Qualified residents include students, single parents, service workers, teaching aides and home health care providers, among others. But the demand for affordable housing exceeds the supply in Elk Grove and there are lengthy waiting lists. An upswing in the housing market has sent rent prices for even a modest apartment to $900 to $1,200 or higher within the city. Sadly, many people are being priced out of the market and finding themselves homeless.

How Many Homeless are in Elk Grove?

“When I started with the city, addressing homelessness accounted for roughly 5% of my time, today it’s more like 30%.” It is part of a larger problem that Sarah joins counterparts within the region in addressing, through her work at the city and with the Sacramento Steps Forward Performance Review Committee.

Several agencies interact with the homeless in Elk Grove and because many individuals do not want to be recognized as homeless, nearly any estimate is likely to be an undercount. A “point-in-time” count, conducted last January by Sacramento Steps Forward, estimated 40 unsheltered homeless in Elk Grove. Officers in the Elk Grove Police Department’s Problem Oriented Policing, or POP unit, indicated they had interactions with roughly 65 homeless people between the months of September and October. Most were sleeping in tents and/or other temporary structures and showed signs of untreated mental health and/or substance abuse issues. The city’s contracted homeless services navigator reported working with 36

What does it mean to be homeless? Definitions vary by agency, but generally fall into three broad categories:

Literally homeless –

This includes people living in a place not meant for human habitation (such as a tent, car or abandoned building) in an emergency shelter or transitional housing.

Chronically homeless –

This includes literally homeless households in which the individual or head of household has a disabling condition and has either been homeless for longer than a year or has experienced homelessness four or more times in the last three years.

At risk of homelessness –

This definition covers the unstably housed, including those in imminent danger of losing their home through eviction, staying with friends and/or extended family members, or exiting an institution (such as jail or a mental health facility) without a permanent place to live.   47

How You Can Help



Elk Grove HART can use your time and talents or financial support to help those less fortunate. Sign up at

Recurring needs include:

Rooms for Rent (low cost) Free Temporary Housing Storage Space (low cost) Provide Transportation Mentor Individuals Teach & assist with Budgeting Aid in Attaining Employment Handyman or Cleaning Jobs Hair Cuts Shower and/or laundry facilities Bike Repair Car Repair Dental Services Counseling Services Veterinarian Services Monetary Donations for Living Assistance

households in the past two months. More than half were sleeping in vehicles, and around two-thirds had at least one source of income.

Most of the contacts made by the POP unit and the navigator are people who were Elk Grove residents prior to becoming homeless. Elk Grove’s homeless report staying in Elk Grove, as opposed to going to urban areas with greater availability of services, because they have connections to support (e.g. family and friends), and they feel safe in Elk Grove.

What is the City Doing about Homelessness?

Elk Grove began addressing homelessness in 2012, by developing a Homeless Solutions Committee under the direction of then Mayor Gary Davis. The committee coincided with the formation of Elk Grove HART, the Homeless Assistance Resource Team and led to the opening of Grace House, the city’s first transitional housing project. That project provides short-term housing and services for homeless individuals over 3-12 months. And HART launched its Winter Sanctuary program, in collaboration with local churches, to offer nightly overnight shelter to the homeless from December through March. In 2015, the city opened Meadow House, the first transitional housing project for families, in partnership with HART and Sacramento Self-Help Housing (SSHH). The seven bedroom house is home to three or four families plus a house monitor. The unique

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Meadow House open house in 2015

configuration of the house allows each family to have two bedrooms and a bathroom. To help residing families get out of homelessness and back on their feet, resources include case management, individual and family counseling, and life skills classes.

According to Elk Grove HART, “the trauma of being homeless impacts each person in the family differently, so it is important that each family member be supported. Meadow House is an opportunity for the children to break generational poverty; and see a different and better life for themselves and for the parents to stabilize, so they can provide a home where the children can flourish.” While transitional housing projects like these are showing signs of success, the city has identified a third model in their system of care for those who need more permanent support. In October, the city joined HART and SSHH in the acquisition of its first permanent shared housing project. Residents of the project rent their room for $400-$500 per month and share communal living spaces with other tenants. The project provides a more affordable option with no maximum length of stay for those who wish to stay in Elk Grove and who could not afford their own apartment. Elk Grove’s service delivery is even a model for similar areas in the Sacramento region

including Carmichael, Citrus Heights, Folsom and Rancho Cordova. And a new $5 million state grant will soon allow Elk Grove to expand its model to consider a broader range of services to navigate homeless individuals and families to permanent housing. A new navigation team will provide proactive outreach to homeless persons, introducing them to new “navigation hubs” or properties within the city that will offer private bedrooms and shared kitchen and restroom facilities—as well as case management and mental health services. It will also allow these hubs to customize strategies for the needs of the individual, including exit assistance programs. Could tiny houses become another solution? At their meeting in November, the City Council directed staff to explore the concept and viability of implementing a tiny house community within the city.

As the city moves forward to address homelessness using a combination of trusted solutions and exploring new strategies, Sarah will continue to be a trusted, passionate and caring resource at City Hall. “I don’t get to meet all of the people we help, but I feel fortunate to be part of a great team of staff, non-profit organizations, and volunteers who are truly committed to serving those residents who are most in need.”



Who are you?

Olivia & Jordan Photographed by Jessica LoCicero

Hi! My name is Olivia Pinasco, I am 25 years old and I’m a Registered Nurse. I grew up in a small town of Acampo on a farm. I have two older sisters, who I call my best friends. I love spending time with family and being surrounded by the people I love!

My name is Jordan Pinasco, I am 26 years old I’m a Firefighter with the City of Lodi, and I grew up in Galt. I love to spend my time outdoors. When I’m not at work, you'll most likely find me out on the water fishing. I also love spending time with my family and friends.

How did you meet?

Jordan and I met in my English class in high school in 2009, Jordan got transferred into my class just months before he graduated. He ended up sitting right across from me and he "magically" got my phone number!


Love is having

an attraction and emotional connection with someone who is more than your boyfriend or husband, but who is also your best friend.




I love that Jordan can

make me laugh no matter what. Whenever I am with him, he's always putting a smile on my face! The Proposal?

Jordan proposed at one of our favorite places! We love to go to Ice House and go hiking up the stream. It was February, so it was absolutely beautiful! The water was flowing and it was a beautiful day. When we got almost to the top, I turned around and Jordan was down on one knee and asking me to marry him.

What is love?

Olivia: Love is having an attraction and emotional connection with someone who is more than your boyfriend or husband, but who is also your best friend.

What is love?

Jordan: A feeling of affection towards someone and having a bond with each other.

What do you love most about him?

I love that Jordan can make me laugh no matter what. Whenever I am with him, he's always putting a smile on my face!

What do you love most about her?

I love how caring and loving she is. And I love that she is so easy going and understanding of my crazy schedule.

When did you know you were in love?

Olivia: It was the first night we hung out! We were at the Sacramento County Fair,

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that evening we went out to the horse track and Jordan was making me laugh; and I was having such a great time with him, he pulled me in and gave me a hug and I knew, I was in love.

When did you know you were in love?

Jordan: I knew I was in love with Liv the night we went to the horse races together at the Sacramento County Fair.

Fun facts

Jordan and I are best friends! We love going out fishing together and taking our dogs on hikes with us. We also love being outdoors and staying busy!

Honeymoon plans

We went to Hawaii for our honeymoon. We were both so excited, neither of us had been there before. We went on hikes, swam in the ocean, and let's not forget about all the food we ate! We can't wait to go back again!

Wedding details

Planning our wedding was a blast, and I could not have pictured it more perfect! The bridesmaids wore an ocean blue dress and the men wore grey suits. We had huge, beautiful center pieces! We had a sweet heart table that was surrounded by all of our family and friends. We got married on June 17, 2017; the best day ever!

About the Magical Day Photographer Jessica Locicero Videographer Robert Matsuura Venue McConnell Estates Winery Rentals Giuffra's Party Rentals Caterer Mike's Branding Iron BBQ Desserts/cake Laura Drummond/ Above and Beyond Cakes

Wedding Coordinator Katelyn Drummond DJ Rue Rodriguez Hair & Makeup Melissa Seifert Florist Elk Grove FFA Tux Rentals Lodi Tuxedo Bride's Dress Miosa Bride Bridesmaid's dress House of Fashion Rings DeVons Jewlers


PAWS ON PATROL By Andrew Bornhoeft

FOR MANY OF US, our dogs are family members who take on many roles – fur-kid, child entertainer, floor cleaner, and family companion. Our dogs also have super powers – the power to help keep our community safer just by putting their nose where it belongs. It’s true, you and your dog can become crime preventing and crime fighting heroes. 54. - Holiday 2017

Paws on Patrol is a program created by the Elk Grove Police Department as an extension of the Neighborhood Watch program. Paws on Patrol mobilizes the power of the thousands of dogs who walk the streets of Elk Grove every day. When armed with basic information, you and your pup can keep your neighborhood safer during your daily walks. When you notice something suspicious or out of the ordinary, call the Elk Grove Police Department and report it. The department can dispatch a nearby officer to investigate the concern and determine if a crime has been committed. By combining the power of the community with dedicated law enforcement, we can help our neighborhoods stay safe. And neighbors who are proactive about reporting concerns make life a lot more difficult for criminals. Paws on Patrol engages you to be the eyes, ears, and paws of Elk Grove’s crime prevention partnership. No one knows your neighborhood better than you. You know which neighbors may be on vacation, or how long a house down the street has been on the market. By being aware of your surroundings when making your daily rounds with your dog, you can notice when something just doesn’t seem right. It might be an open gate to a backyard or a broken piece of fence. You may notice that there are a lot of cars going

to and from the same house yet no one seems to actually live there. A quick call to the Elk Grove Police Department with the address and what you observe will dispatch an officer out to investigate. Paws on Patrol is intended to be a way to help human and canine citizens to partner with law enforcement. It’s not a vigilante group – in fact we ask that private citizens not investigate someone suspicious on their own. We never ask anyone to take actions that make you uncomfortable or unsafe. It’s not a binding commitment – you don’t need to walk on a set schedule or route. We just ask that you be aware and take action when appropriate. Paws on Patrol is built around four main strengths. When suspicious activity is reported and investigated, crime is reduced. The fact is…criminals don’t hang out in areas where they know they are being watched and reported. Situational awareness (aka paying attention to our surroundings) is good for all of us. It ensures that we are not putting ourselves in jeopardy, and allows us to notice when a problem may exist. When we pay attention to our neighborhood we are more invested. When we know the Elk Grove Police Department is there to keep us safe, it strengthens the relationship between the community and its officers.

Paws on Patrol works because it disrupts the crime triangle of Desire, Ability, and Opportunity. All three must be present for the crime to occur. We can’t control a criminal’s desire or ability, but we can disrupt their opportunity. By reducing or removing the opportunity, we can stop the crime from occurring. Through situational awareness, we reduce our own vulnerability and we increase awareness of Elk Grove Police Department where questionable activities may be occurring. With consistent reporting and investigation, criminals can be caught quickly, or stopped before a crime occurs. The Elk Grove Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit conducts Paws on Patrol trainings several times a year. Citizens are encouraged to participate in a training, but here are tips you can begin implementing with your four-legged partner today: Understand what is suspicious. People are not suspicious – actions are. A person you don’t know walking down the street is not suspicious. A person walking down the street looking in car windows and trying door handles is very suspicious. Other suspicious behaviors that warrant a call to the Elk Grove Police Department may include: a car following a mail, UPS or FedEx truck; an individual approaching gates or windows on a home; someone showing excessive interest in other people’s property; a person being confrontational when questioned or immediately fleeing; and someone hiding from view if they realize they are being watched. Do not be afraid to trust your instincts – if something does not seem right, report it. It is better to err on the side of caution and request immediate assistance. When you are out walking, be prepared to be aware. Walk with friends or a group, if possible. Always carry a cell phone and have the Elk Grove Police Department   55



dispatch numbers programmed into your phone. Carry a flashlight in the evenings and avoid dimly lit areas. Trust your instincts and request assistance if you believe you may be at risk, as well. Make your home undesirable for criminals, too. Lock your house even when leaving for just a few minutes. Leave a light or TV on, so you do not make it obvious no one is home.

Here are some numbers you should know if you need to contact Elk Grove Police Department:

Emergency: (916) 714-5111 or 911 (for crime in progress or someone is likely hurt) Non-emergency: (916) 714-5115

Andrew Bornhoeft and Bridger

Doreen Coberly and Fideo

Kristina Ramirez and Rambo

Kris Packwood and Piper

When you call, explain what you saw and where the activity took place. Allow the operator to ask questions to get the information they need. Remain calm during the call. Do not assume someone else already reported a situation. It’s okay to call even if you don’t know that a specific crime has occurred – reporting suspicious activity is essential to preventing crime. Help your neighborhood by being an extra set of eyes, ears, and paws in fighting crime. Send the message to criminals that in Elk Grove, they are barking up the wrong tree.

56. - Holiday 2017



How to Buy Your First

Investment Property Written by Justin Pinnell, M & M Real Estate

Maybe you've heard of Sam Zell. He's the chairman of Equity International, one of the world's largest investment firms. He's also well-known as the billionaire owner of the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune. Zell's huge portfolio is full of diversified investments now, but he made his first fortune in real estate. He bought one rental property while he was in college, and kept reinvesting his profits, buying more and more. He's worth an estimated $5 billion these days, but it all started with one investment property, a single-family home that he bought and rented to other college students. Not everyone can become the next Sam Zell, but just about anyone can start investing in real estate the same way: with one investment property. If you've given thought to taking the first step toward real estate investing, here are some helpful tips for buying your first investment property: 58. - Holiday 2017

Scout neighborhoodsnot just houses.

We've all heard horror stories about midnight emergency repairs, long periods of vacancy and more. Nothing is more difficult for a real estate investor than managing the wrong investment property. Investing wisely starts with selecting the right home… in the right area. You'll want to make sure: 1. The house is in good condition (or priced so you can make it so). 2. The neighborhood is safe and desirable. 3. The schools are good. 4. There are nearby amenities (parks, restaurants, stores, etc.). An inexpensive property you get a "deal" on— might not be a deal at all. Especially if the home requires considerable repairs, or is in an area where nobody wants to live. Make sure you get a home inspection, but also study the neighborhood.

Run the numbers

Home buying is often an emotional experience, but it can't be about emotion for real estate investors. After you've found a potential investment property, it's time to make it about numbers. Have a real estate agent give you a market comparison, to make sure the home is worth what the seller is asking. Look up historical price information in the area, to get some insight into how it might appreciate. Most importantly, get market rental rates, property taxes, and insurance costs so that you can calculate your monthly cash flow. This cash flow is what will determine your annual rate of return on your investment, no matter what the property might sell for down the road. It's imperative to know your cash flow number. You would not take a new job without knowing your salary, would you? So why would you invest without having an idea of what you'll get paid?

Real estate

investing is not as complicated as it sounds. Buying your first rental property is truly about the three things mentioned in this article…

Get your paperwork in order

If you're financing the property, having all your relevant documents (pay stubs, bank statements, tax returns, etc.) in order will help your lender and the title company close the purchase quickly. And the faster it closes, the sooner you can collect rent. A good real estate investor does not slow down deals because they are unprepared on the document side. Also, while waiting for the closing date, you must get rental application forms and leases ready. You can find these on the internet, but you might want to consult an attorney for help drawing up a contract that (within the law) puts as much responsibility on the tenant as possible. Real estate investing is not as complicated as it sounds. Buying your first rental property is truly about the three things mentioned in this article…the right house (in the right area); the numbers; and having your financial and legal documents ready to go. If you can manage that, you will begin the way every other real estate investor has: with that first investment property. If you have questions regarding investment properties or real estate in general contact Justin Pinnell BRE- 02045095, M&M Real Estate at (916) 812.0576   59

Healthy health}

Holiday Traveling

By Rajiv Misquitta, MD, Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center

For many, the holiday season means festive parties, happy reunions with family and lots of good cheer. For others, it can mean long trips away from home, sleeping less and eating way too much! Mix all those together and you may find yourself sick over the holidays. Let’s look at some of the main reasons people may get sick this time of year. There is a lot of rushing around. You are doing more and sleeping less. You may be surrounded by more cold and flu germs in places like malls, airports, restaurants, and hotels. You may not be eating properly, indulging in food that’s high in calories, fat, sugar and sodium. You may be drinking more alcohol. These things combined can push your body and mind and make you more vulnerable to illness. None of us wants to be sick at the holidays. Here are some simple steps you can take to help keep you healthy, especially as you travel:

Get a flu shot

A flu shot can protect you from the influenza virus. The vaccine is free for Kaiser Permanente members when given at a Kaiser Permanente medical office.

Wash your hands

Wherever you go, you will likely be surrounded by fellow travelers. All those doorknobs, handrails, elevator buttons and hotel remote controls have been touched by hundreds of hands before yours. So, the simplest and most effective way to stay well is to wash your hands often. Hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes can also help. Use a paper towel to avoid touching surfaces in public restrooms. Limit the surfaces you touch to reduce your exposure to germs.

Stay active

If you’re able, keep up your regular exercise routine. Explore your destination on foot. Bring a jump rope or exercise band for those times you can’t take a brisk walk. If you are 60. - Holiday 2017

None of us

wants to be sick at the holidays. Here are some simple steps you can take to help keep you healthy.

staying in a hotel find out if the pool is heated and swim some laps. Do stretches and light cardio in your room. Relax with some deep breathing or meditation.

Mind your diet

If you are flying, ask if a meal will be served on your flight and request the plant-based option. Lighter foods will keep your stomach calm. If you are worried about eating right while traveling or visiting family, keep a food journal to track what you’re eating. Research has shown that merely writing down what you eat can help prevent overindulgence. Try to eat healthy and nutritious foods, and avoid excessive alcohol drinking that will leave you tired.

Drink plenty of water

The air on airplanes can be very dry and lead to dehydration. Water can also keep you from overeating.

Get adequate sleep

Even if your routine is interrupted by guests or travel, maintain a regular sleep schedule as much as possible.

Stress less

Avoid stress by expecting delays and increased traffic. Plan and allow extra time.

Consider packing a small kit with some health essentials, including:

medications for diarrhea, motion sickness and pain, and bandages and ointment for wounds. It’s also a good idea to keep handy the telephone numbers for your doctor and information about any health condition you may have. That would be helpful to emergency personnel treating you (if needed). If you are a Kaiser Permanente member, check with the Release of Medical Information department and ask about getting a free lightweight, portable flash drive that stores a selected portion of your current medical record. You can also visit to download your records and find other key travel information. It’s a convenient way to take your information with you when you travel. And it can be accessed quickly, and easily, by someone providing your care. It is my hope that you will enjoy the holidays, and ring in the New Year in good health.

Rajiv Misquitta, MD, has been with Kaiser Permanente since 1999. He completed medical education at the State University of New York Health Science Center in Brooklyn, New York and moved to Sacramento in 1995. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and in addition to patient care, serves in administrative roles at Kaiser Permanente. Dr. Misquitta is a certified personal trainer and a yoga instructor. He is a certified plant-based chef and a Principal Investigator of a clinical trial on the effects of a healthy lifestyle on reversing chronic illness at Kaiser Permanente in South Sacramento. He is married and is the father of two sons.   61


Feeling Exhausted? Recharge with Adaptogens!

By Terry Lemerond, Sponsored by Dianna Singh, Owner of Elk Grove Vitamins

When you’re physically exhausted, stressed out, or mentally fatigued, you can’t always change your circumstances, but you can adapt to them. Instead of trying to overcome exhaustion with coffee or unhealthy, so-called “energy” drinks, there are clinically studied herbs that give you the energy and ability to stay focused, build mental and physical endurance, keep perspective, and adapt to busy schedules. Consider how you feel when driving a car for a long distance. When you get tired, you could reach for caffeine or an adaptogen. Both would keep you alert and help you focus. However, a cup of coffee eventually leaves you feeling depleted. Adaptogens have the unique ability to increase alertness and focus without causing energy depletion, addiction, or withdrawal symptoms. Unlike stimulants, adaptogens provide energy while also helping to protect the heart, liver, and brain. Every living organism has the ability to adapt to stressful and harmful environments in order to survive. By taking adaptogens, you are using what other organisms created for themselves to defend, adapt and survive during stressful situations. Ashwagandha and Rheidol are two “must-have” herbal adaptogens that can help you thrive during times of mental and physical stress. They can help you feel recharged and rejuvenated, and they are the subject of this Terry Talks Nutrition®.

Adaptogens: The Energy You Need to Face the Day

Adaptogens help us resist stress and give us energy to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances. Because of their revitalizing affects, they are able to significantly improve our mood, regardless of what our day holds. Early researchers referred to adaptogens as having a

62. - Holiday 2017

tonic effect – an “all over” ability to provide the kinds of rejuvenating, healing support that people need most. They bring the mind and body back toward a normal, even keel state by regulating the body’s reaction to stress. Ashwagandha and rhodiola are two of the most effective adaptogens available.


Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a frequently utilized botanical in Ayurvedic medicine, where it is known as a rasayana – a rejuvenator. This herb provides a wealth of potent natural compounds which boost your resistance to fatigue, stress, and other physical and psychological factors that can make you feel depleted. Clinical and scientific studies have found that ashwagandha decreases levels of cortisol (our “fight or flight” hormone), and significantly reduces feelings of fatigue and stress – by over 50 percent in one clinical trial.

Ashwagandha Stops Stress, Fatigue, Insomnia, and Depression

In a 60-day, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, volunteers were separated into ashwagandha and placebo groups. Each individual completed surveys relating to stress, depression, and fatigue. Cortisol levels were also noted, as were the physical symptoms of stress, like muscle tension and increased heart rate.

Throughout the test, researchers measured the differences between the ashwagandha group and the placebo group. By day 60, the differences were dramatic, and the ashwagandha group showed

that physical symptoms decreased by 76 percent, stress and insomnia decreased by 69 percent, social dysfunction decreased by 68 percent, and severe depression decreased by 79 percent. The control group, by contrast, was nowhere close. Their numbers were 4.9 percent, 11.6 percent, -3.9 percent, and -10.6 percent respectively. The extract of ashwagandha used in this study is a special type (KSM-66®), and one that I thoroughly recommend. This study is an excellent example of the range of ashwagandha’s benefits, because it shows how the herb is able to promote mental and physical health.


The second adaptogen I highly recommend is rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea), which is native to northern Europe and Asia. Serious research of this impressive herb began in the early 1960s in the former Soviet Union. Early studies found that Rheidol increased norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin neurotransmitter activity in the brain. This activity allows sections of the brain that emphasize analysis, planning, memory, and attention to work more effectively and calmly. When the brain is functioning optimally, you feel more relaxed and energized. Clinical research on rhodiola has also focused on stress-induced fatigue and mild to moderate depression. Six randomized, double-blind, placebocontrolled clinical trials in healthy subjects suggest beneficial effects of rhodiola on physical and mental performance related to fatigue.


-Terry’s Bottom Line-


Additionally, the results of two clinical studies conducted in patients with mild to moderate depression suggest possible antidepressant action for rhodiola in adults. In comparison to most conventional antidepressants, rheidol is well-tolerated, very safe, and has no adverse interactions with medications.

Rhodiola Improves Focus, Feelings of Well-Being, and Endurance

Rhodiola includes salidrosides and the compounds rosavin, rosin, and rosarian, which are responsible for the cognitive, stress-reducing, and energizing effects of the herb. A clinical study on rhodiola focused on fatigue associated with night duty for young physicians. The findings were promising and showed an improvement in the rhodiola group for total mental performance – important for anyone working over the evening hours, but especially critical, in this case, to the doctors and their patients. Other clinical research focused on participants’ ability to multitask and still accomplish goals. In one double-blind study of 60 college students, the rhodiola group saw improvements in mental fatigue, overall fitness and well-being, and final exam grades – a real world test with positive results if ever there was one. Rhodiola is also recommended for physical factors, including endurance, reaction time,

speed, strength, and attention. Studies of Olympic athletes showed marked improvements versus the placebo groups, especially for heart rate (104-106 percent of baseline, versus 129 percent in the placebo group) recovery time.

An Amazing Combination to Beat the Effects of Stress and Feel Energized

When taken separately, ashwagandha and rhodiola can drastically improve your daily energy levels and resistance to stress. When taken together, these two adaptogens work synergistically to help you face the most challenging circumstances. The unique abilities of clinically validated ashwagandha and rhodiola allow them to calm you in stressful situations and energize you when you need it most. Alone, they are powerful, but together, they are unbeatable.

Terry Lemerond has 45 years of experience

in the health food industry as an owner of several health food stores and dietary supplement manufacturing companies. He has researched and developed over 400 nutritional and botanical formulations that continue to be top selling products on the market today. Sign up for Terry’s free weekly newsletter or listen to his radio show at:

Chronic stress – mental or physical – harms you in many ways. It zaps your energy. It prematurely ages you. It weakens your immune system. It makes you feel fatigued and depleted. Adaptogens – herbs that boost your resistance to mental and physical stresses – boost your energy levels when you need it, and help normalize your body’s systems. They can help you adapt and thrive, no matter what your circumstances. Ashwagandha and rhodiola are two of the best adaptogens available. These amazing botanicals:

• Recharge mental and physical energy • Stop the damaging effects of chronic stress • Regulate cortisol levels • Boost physical endurance • Prevent insomnia • Shorten recovery time • Improve sexual performance


To thrive during times of mental and physical stress, I recommend taking Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) root extract, and Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) root extract 1-3 times daily.

When in doubt, always consult your physician or healthcare practitioner. This article is intended to provide you with information to maintain your health.


BIO-IDENTICAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY By Dayle A. Imperato, MD, Rejuvenation Wellness & Aesthetic Medicine

Do you ever wonder about bio-identical hormones? What is it all about? How does it work? Who needs it? Is it something you could benefit from? Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy, also known as BHRT, is exactly what it sounds like. Your declining hormones are replaced with hormones that are structurally identical to the hormones produced by your own body. Why is this important? Hormones have many different functions in the body. Estrogen, for example, has four hundred different functions in the body. From brain, cardiovascular, skin and metabolic functions. While progesterone improves sleep, is calming, neuroprotective, supports estrogens cardiovascular effects, lowers blood pressure, lowers cholesterol and much more. It may even be protective against breast cancer. So why bio-identical? Hormones that are not structurally identical to your own (for example, Premarin, which comes from horse urine) do not act the same on your body, may contain hormone structures that your body does not use, or metabolize, and has no receptors for these hormones. Consequently, you waste energy by giving incomplete messages to cells which then fail to produce a balanced hormonal response. Also your body cannot effectively metabolize these foreign hormones, which may have long term unknown, potentially, negative effects on your body. Oral estrogens are not bio-identical and have a number of deleterious effects on the body. A few of which are, high blood pressure, increased risk of liver cancer, increase inflammation, increased carbohydrate cravings weight gain, and more. 64. - Holiday 2017

health} The goal in BHRT is to turn back the hormonal clock back to 20 years younger than your chronological age. Metabolic (AKA Functional) medicine looks at the core body functions as the source of all disease and potential healing. We now have the science to individually customize your care, and we can look at the cause of the problems, instead of just treating symptoms. If you are basically healthy, we can look at how your body breaks down things to help you be healthier and stay healthy. All the patients in my practice have a totally different treatment regime, there are no protocols. It is a very personalized approach.

Is Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy right for you? Do you find yourself wondering……?

Why am I so tired? Why am I gaining weight? Why do I have mood swings? Why do I have a low sex drive? Why am I not able to sleep well? Why am I having memory lapses? Why do I have frequent urination and/or incontinence? Why do I have migraine headaches?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, bio-identical hormone therapy may be just what would benefit you. Your hormones are a symphony of interactions. All of your hormones are designed to work together and if one is altered, or deficient, it will affect the actions of all of the other hormones in your body. It is an interactive balance and as unique to an individual as a fingerprint. One size does not fit all. Treating even “mild” hormonal deficiencies can dramatically improve quality of life. Longevity medicine is aimed at the early detection, prevention, treatment, and reversal of age related decline. We are not prisoners of our genetic destiny. Chronic inflammation and stress are major players in the process of illnesses and the diseases of aging. Balanced hormone optimization and a balanced life style decreases chronic inflammation. Hormone optimization is the finishing touch of an anti-aging lifestyle of good nutrition, exercise, stress reduction, antioxidants and nutraceuticals (vitamins, minerals and enzymes, etc.). Start feeling better today!   65


Weight Loss

AND THE NEW YEAR By Chris Tanaka Sher Khan Karate

The holiday season is once again upon us. Most families are out and about, bustling with preparations for their big feast, or shopping for the perfect Christmas gifts. Before you know it, this holiday season has come and gone and a new year peaks around the corner. New Year’s Resolutions have become a popular amusement, albeit requirement, for the upcoming new year. These resolutions range in nature, however, the number one resolution every year is weight loss. It is also the number one failed resolution, each year, for many individuals. 66. - Holiday 2017

Before going any further, let me start by saying you cannot out run a bad diet. Proper nutrition, in conjunction with exercise, is essential to reaching and exceeding your weight loss goals. I like to stick to the 80/20 rule of nutrition and fitness. To get the best results possible, 80% of your effort should be focused on the nutrition aspect, whereas, 20% of your effort is focused on exercise. Physical exercise can be attained, and managed, in a variety of ways and methods. The most common avenue of exercise for individuals is joining a gym. Other popular activities might include: home exercise, yoga, Pilates, Zumba, cardio kick-boxing, and cross fit. For those that do attempt the gym path, it is incredibly easy to become complacent in your exercise routine and ultimately plateau as a response to not pushing yourself further. Although, you might start out the year with a consistent and energetic pace, it can easily begin to scatter without someone or something to keep you accountable. Another option, for many, is exercising at home. However, this might not be the most effective path to try. Often times, a home workout is skipped, overlooked, or pushed

aside by life’s many distractions. Children needing help, an endless to-do list, and a comfy couch can all sideline even the best intended individuals. A less conventional avenue of not only succeeding, but excelling in your health and fitness goals is enrolling in a Martial Arts program. Although Martial Arts isn’t the first option that comes to mind, enrolling in a Martial Arts or Self Defense class can be the best decision you make regarding not only your health and fitness, but your personal safety as well. Martial Arts and Self Defense classes offer many universal benefits that other fitness paths might not: Great for people of all ages Can be a family activity- Children’s programs focus on and improve selfdiscipline, respect, and fitness. Accountability from your Martial Arts Instructor and peers. Consistent motivation to improve, grow, and reach the next level.



I think the greatest motivation for trying a Martial Arts class to attain one’s health and fitness goals is developing a positive habit of staying active. Martial Arts instructors, and your peers, provide a support system of encouragement and accountability. Being in a place where you can learn, train, and build relationships with others who possess similar goals is key to success. If weight loss is your New Year’s Resolution for 2018, I encourage you to try a Martial Arts or Self Defense class. The individual and family benefits are numerous, and the security of personal safety is a substantial perk. You never know, you might discover a new passion for training in Martial Arts.

A Power-Up Snack


½ cup rolled oats 1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder (I use IsaLean Creamy French Vanilla by Isagenix) ½ cup peanut butter or almond butter ¼ cup honey ½ Tbsp. chia seeds Craisins Water


Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix all together adding water when needed. After mixing, form into balls. Power up with this healthy and easy snack.   67


68 68. . Holiday 2017 2017


What I’ve learned by

standing in front of people. By CT Morris - BS Elementary Ed., MS Ed.

Our response to fear is something that scientist say is hard wired into our bodies. You know the old fight or flight syndrome? That natural process designed to protect us from harm.

The bad news is our bodies go into the “run for your life mode” when we stand in front of more than five people. Our blood pressure increases (feels like a hot flash) and our digestive system shuts down— not good. Why? Because when our digestive system shuts down, we get the “dreaded butterflies” in our stomach… and what I call cotton-mouth. Trying to do a presentation when your tongue is sticking to the roof of your mouth is never a crowd pleaser. Speaking with a voice that is raspy, freaks people out because they think they’re about to watch someone suffocate. To top it all off—in fight or flight mode, our pupils dilate. Great! Now, we can’t read our notes. Ironically, scientist have proven that our long range visibility improves when in this mode. Yup, you guessed it… we can see every nuance of our audience’s facial expressions. Because many of us, as adults, have had the fight or flight syndrome when we’ve spoken—we don’t want our children to suffer when they give a presentation in class. What can we do as parents to empower our children?

There are steps that we can share with our children that are guaranteed to take away their anxiety. Relax – tell your child that other children in the class will also be giving a presentation. 75% of their anxiety will go away if they are prepared. 25% of their anxiety will go away after doing the following relaxation methods before their presentation. Take three to five deep breaths. Next, breathe in slowly, hold your breath for five seconds, and then breathe out slowly. Use positive self-talk, “I can do this.”

Be prepared Write the beginning of the presentation. What is your objective? What is the presentation going to be about? Write the main body, which should consist of four or five main points. State your main points and provide details, examples, or stories that illustrate the main point. Add interest to your presentation by using props, pictures, charts, PowerPoint, music, or video clips. Write the conclusion which summarizes and reviews the key points of your presentation. It should be strong, persuasive, and interesting. Practice your presentation until you feel comfortable with the information. Wear clothes that you feel good in, and smile!   69 69


Why am I learning this? By Lindsey Peralta and David Vallerga, owners of GradePower Learning, Elk grove

Have you ever heard a student ask the question, “Why am I learning this, I’ll never need to do this in my life?” Of course you have. Most people have wondered the same thing at some point in their academic career. So, why do we fill our classes up with nonsense. Why are students expected to learn dates in history, formulas, and complex rules that seemingly have no value? This question came up when a student was working on finding the surface area of a cone. He was having difficulties visualizing the cone rolled out and “seeing” what was being measured. He was clearly frustrated. The pencil was dropped to the table as he leaned back in his chair, shoulders slumped and looking down at the ground he asked, “Why am I learning this?” Looking back up he continued, “Am I ever going to use this in the real world?”

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The directness of the question was striking. It could only be satisfied by a direct answer. The fact is, no, he will probably never need to find out what the surface area of a cone is outside of a classroom. Frankly, much of what he is learning will not have a direct impact on what he will do in the real world. So, that begs an interesting question. Are teachers being mean, or is there more meaning in what we learn?

The student agreed there had to be more meaning, he just did not understand what it was. Looking back at the surface area problem helped the student to see he was given limited data to work with. From that limited information he was expected to determine an outcome. We talked about that as a skill. Would there ever be times in the real world where someone would have a few facts to work with, and a decision would need to be made with little information? Of course there will be those times. That is called problem solving.

Problem solving, or trouble shooting is a skill set needed for everyday life. The student was at a point in his academic career where what he was learning was an exercise in logic. We agreed this was less about finding the surface area of a cone and more about critical thinking. This realization led him to understand this was about training his mind to take limited information, and make connections to a greater meaning. Knowing this exercise is about training his mind to think critically, he now had much more motivation to work at finding the surface area of a cone. The problem now had a real-world application. He now understands the real skill he is learning and seemingly wants more. This example demonstrates a reason students need to focus on the “why” rather than the “what.” All too often students focus on what’s. It is common to hear students ask, “what is going to be on the test?” They do this because grades are greatly affected by tests, therefore,


most study time goes towards identifying and memorizing what is needed for the exam. The challenge is simple memorization does not generally lead to true understanding. True understanding comes from the why.

Would there ever be times in the real world where someone would have a few facts to work with, and a decision would need to be made with little

information? Of course there will be those times. That is called problem solving. When students simply concentrate on what’s, they focus on memorization. Memorization is needed for simple facts but is not helpful for understanding concepts. Learning why takes more time but leads to a deeper understanding of the material. When a student memorizes a

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fact, the test needs to that fact to be presented in nearly the same manner as it was memorized in. If a question is asked in a different format, the student who is relying on memorization may be unsure if their fact fits or not. Conversely, finding deeper meaning in the whys leads to a deeper understanding of the concept. This allows a student to answer test questions in any format, with confidence, because the information has real meaning. Focus on the whys, not the what’s.

Here are some ways students gain deeper meaning in material they are studying from.

· Make connections with other material. If dates are important in a history exam find out what else was happening in the world. If the topic is about early American history, Google what was happening in the world. History in the US did not happen in a vacuum. Seeing what was happening in other parts of the world at roughly the same time will put the entire experience into a broader perspective. It will make that time more alive and easier to understand. · Teach the information to someone else, even if it is just pretend. There is no better way to

learn than by teaching. One student gained confidence in their studies by teaching a family pet material they were having difficulties with. By going through the exercise of presenting the topic, to an audience in this case who would not talk back, the student was able to see gaps in their understanding. Filling those gaps allowed the student to internalize the information and make it a part of them. · Read answers out loud. When a student reads to themselves, in their own mind, it is too easy to add words and concepts that are not in fact there. Reading out loud forces a student to say what is on paper and to hear errors that could easily be passed over. What we hear in our mind makes absolute sense, but when it is voiced we hear the errors and are better able to fix them. Students will be more motivated if there is an answer to “why am I learning this?” Helping them see deeper meaning, and providing connections to how material they are learning is relevant (outside the classroom) will foster that motivation. Motivated students are more confident, and as that confidence grows they are able to see further connections on their own. This leads to an independent student who will be successful in their academic career.


The History of our

Churches Elk Grove

By Elizabeth Pinkerton Photos Courtesy of Elk Grove Historical Society

The people of Elk Grove, and our surrounding area, are very involved with their religious beliefs; and we have a wide variety of churches throughout our South Sacramento County region. Just in the city of Elk Grove, there are more than 50 churches, and they represent many religions. Families worship as part of their holiday celebrations and church bells ring out throughout the area. We know that our first people, the Miwoks, cared for their families and each other. They also looked after the animals, birds and all creatures of the Cosumnes River area. We know that Thomas and Elizabeth Rhoads, our first family of settlers, were Latter Day Saints who came here in search of religious freedom and safety. Thomas Rhoads was a friend of Brigham Young, and he left the Sloughhouse area (after Elizabeth died) to join Young in Salt Lake. During the Gold days, a cemetery was started at Michigan Bar which is where Ranch Murieta is now. Dona Teresa Noriega Hartnell was married to William Petty Hartnell who had the Mexican land grant, Rancho Cosumnes, mostly on the south side of the Cosumnes River. She wanted the Irish gold miners who died to be buried in a Catholic cemetery, so she created the Live Oak Cemetery for them. 74. - Holiday 2017

Over the years, a variety of religious and cultural groups created their own churches, and now there are hundreds of them, of all denominations in our city and our south Sacramento area.

Going back into history, here are our very first churches 1858 - Elk Grove United Methodist Church -

A preacher on horseback (called a circuit rider) came to the Elk Grove Methodist-Episcopal Church in the mid 1850s. There were 52 members of the church in 1880. The first Methodist Church in Elk Grove was on the south side of east Main Street. Today’s Methodist Church building was built in 1922, following a merger of the members with the families from Bruceville Methodist Episcopal church.

1866 - Elk Grove Presbyterian Church - The

first services were held as early as 1856 in the old Elk Grove schoolhouse on today’s Highway 99. The church building was built in 1876 at a cost of $2700, west of the railroad tracks, on the south side of Main Street. George Harvey Kerr was the Ruling Elder at the time, and it is likely that he donated the land. This is where today’s Methodist Church is.

1868 – Ebenezer Baptist Church - Families

that lived in the areas of today’s Sheldon and Calvine roads started the church and the San Joaquin Cemetery (off Highway 99) where many of the long

ago members are buried. They did not have a church but met in homes and in the old Jackson School.

1878 - Florin United Methodist Church - The

first services held in Florin were those conducted by E. A. Wible, a mining camp preacher in a saloon and dance hall on Florin Road. The actual beginning of the Florin United Methodist Church was in 1884. L. L. Goddard was inspired by the preacher to donate property he owned on both sides of the Central Pacific Railroad tracks. On the east side of the tracks the Florin schoolhouse was built, and on the west side of the tracks is where the Methodist Church was built. In 1898, the Casey family donated land next to the church for a parsonage. An elegant new building was constructed on Palmer House Drive and Florin Road in 1963.

1885 - Evangelical United Brethren Church

– A group of families, in the Point Pleasant area, organized the church and met in what was most likely the Point Pleasant School until 1920. A building was donated and moved to the center of the community. In 1941, the congregation built a new church and renamed it the Zion Evangelical Church of Point Pleasant. Three years later, a merger of the Evangelical and United Brethren denominations occurred, and in 1968, the church merged with Elk Grove’s United Methodist Church.

1896 - Florin Buddhist Church – There were ten immigrant residents of Florin who had come


from Japan, and they banded together to form the Florin Buddhist Church. These Issei (first generation Japanese) farmed in the Florin area, and they sent for their wives, children, friends and relatives. By 1912, there were 1,000 residents. In 1919, the members purchased 2.5 acres under the title of Florin Investment Company and registered the Florin Buddhist Church with Sacramento County. This church still stands on Florin Road and is one of the oldest buildings in Florin. In 1939, a social hall was built, called the Young Buddhists’ Hall. Shortly after, in 1942, all persons of Japanese ancestry were evacuated from the area and sent to internment camps. When World War II ended, and some people returned to Florin, the Buddhist social and religious activities were resumed.

1913 - Florin Japanese Methodist Church -

Dr. H. B. Johnson, Superintendent of the Methodist Missions, met with leaders of the Florin Japanese community in 1913, to assist with anti-Japanese discrimination. This was shortly after the passage of the Alien Land Law, a very harmful piece of legislation that prohibited the non-citizens from owning property. Dr. Johnson discussed the establishment of a Japanese Christian church where Sunday school and Japanese language could be taught. The members raised money to build the first Japanese Church in 1915. When families were evacuated in 1942, the church was boarded up and belongings of members were stored in the community hall. When families began to return from internment camps after 1946, the church was used as a hostel until they could get settled. In 1966, a new church was built on Franklin Boulevard, north of Florin Road.

1917 - St. Joseph’s Catholic Church - The first

Catholic services in Elk Grove were held in the home of the Daresay family from 1903 until 1917. This congregation began its Elk Grove existence as a mission church. It was served by other Catholic churches in the county including the Cathedral, in Sacramento, and parishes in Folsom, Jackson, and Galt. The old church, with the distinctive early California mission style architecture, at the corner of Grove and Gage Streets

was built in 1917. In 1962, St. Joseph’s became its own parish with the little church as its center. In 1972, the present building was constructed across from Elk Grove Park. 1917 - First Baptist Church - The church was started by the Lodi church for families that were primarily of German descent. The Franklin families organized the Zion Baptist Church in 1924 with 52 members. This is taken from a church bulletin: …these stalwart folks were severely tested during the Depression years. Some experienced heavy losses and all felt the burden of money scarcity. Jobs were few, wages were low, and farm produce prices even lower. A new migration in the late 1930s and 1940s brought more families into the community and the church. In 1948, a new church building was dedicated on Locust Street in Elk Grove. The parsonage was moved there, and the name of the church was changed to the First Baptist Church of Elk Grove. A new church was built on East Stockton Road, Highway 99, in 1994. 1920 - St. Peter’s Lutheran Church – German settlers who came to the Bruceville area in the 1920s started the church, and most of them had come here from the Dakotas. They first met in the homes of members and empty buildings, including the vacant Elk Grove Grammar School on Stockton Road. In 1923, the families built a church at the intersection of Elk Grove-Florin Road and Elk Grove Boulevard on land donated by member Henry Nusz. In 1956, the congregation voted to sell the church property to the Shell Oil Company. They built a new church about a block farther south on Elk Grove-Florin Road where the parsonage was located. They moved to their new church near Elk Grove Florin and Sheldon Roads, where the church is now. 1923 - First Congregationalist Church - The Church was originally called Hoffnugsfeld which meant Field of Hope. Services were conducted in German and were held in the home of Jacob and Fredrick Feickert. By 1923, the church members were


meeting in a building on Kent Street. The present church on Melrose Avenue was built in 1950. Those were the first churches – from the mid 1800s to the 1920s. We have had many new ones in the late 1900s and the 2000s. Today, on Main ‘Street, Elk Grove Boulevard, two churches stand out, the Methodist Church on the east and the Latter Day Saints on the west. For more information about the history of our churches, go to History Happened Here, Book 2, Fields, Farms, Schools, Chapter 18, Taking care of the People and our Spiritual Needs.


Book 1 – River, Oaks, Gold

Book 2 – Fields, Farms, Schools We the People, a Story of Internment in America

All book proceeds go for student scholarships. Make your check payable to Laguna Publishers and send to 9227 Lamprey Drove. Elk Grove CA 95624. Books are $20 apiece and California sales tax is included. Add $3 for shipping of one or two books; $5 for 3-6 books, and tell me who you want the books signed to. For more information call me at 916-685-0606 or email at

You can also get the books at my web page,   75


Carly Rhoades

A Rising Star Written by Nan Mahon

Star quality often shows itself early. At age two, Carly Rhoades was singing with the radio, and at age five, she had a karaoke machine. That was the year she got on stage at the Elk Grove Sports Club on karaoke night and sang with her mother, Nicki, and big sister JC. “We sang Martina McBride’s In My Mother’s Eyes,” remembers Carly. “I was thrilled and I just hogged the mike.”

This year, Carly is holding the stage on her own, wining second place in the 2017 Elk Grove Teen Idol Contest, First Place in the Western Idol in the Elk Grove Western Festival Contest, and first place in the Yolo County Idol Contest. Good Day Sacramento invited her to sing on the morning television show and gave her a full three minutes to belt out Hallelujah. The young singer gives credit to Nina Khul, of The Sounds of Nina Khul, for supporting her in the singing contest. “Carly is an amazing talent,” said Khul, who manages the Western Idol contest every year. “She watches, listens, and learns. She continues to be part of my open mic showcases.”

“I got my rock side from my

dad, and country from my mom,’ said Carly. ‘But, I am learning all genres, from opera to soul.” 76. - Holiday 2017

Carly’s star is rising, and people are listening to this 15-year-old soprano who can sing the Star-Spangled Banner flawlessly as well as a country ballad tune or a rock song.

From that first karaoke night, Carly knew singing was her destiny. Her parents bought her karaoke machines and she practiced, listening to the radio and the way professional singers used their voices. She asked her parents for lessons, but private lessons are expensive. “I pointed out that my brother, Jack had karate and my sister had dance,” said Carly.



Carly’s star is rising, and people are listening to this 15-year-old soprano who can sing the Star-Spangled Banner flawlessly as well as a country ballad tune or a rock song. But her parents wanted to be sure. “She wore out seven karaoke machines,’ said her dad, Jim Rhoades. ‘Then we bought her a professional one.” When Carly was 11, Jim felt she was committed and ready. He took her for lessons at Sing, Inc., in Elk Grove. Later, she moved on for lessons at New Songs Music Academy. Now, she studies with Leslie Sandefur, at Skip’s Music where she is coached in opera. It was Sandefur that recommended Carly to sing the National Anthem in the Memorial Day ceremony, in the Historic Elk Grove Cemetery.

“Her stunning acapella rendition captivated all in attendance,’ said David Lema, chairperson for the event. ‘We were so impressed that we invited her to sing at the Linda Mae Mahon Lema Foundation dinner, in September.” At the dinner, Carly joined professional singer Gary Mendoza to perform the classic As Time Goes By from the movie Casablanca.

“Carly has a beautiful voice,” said Mendoza. “She has no place to go but up in this business.” Carly, who also plays piano and guitar, is having some fun along the way.

“When I was 13, I met a guitar player at Skip’s. His name is Zack David and he was also 13. He had an 80s rock band and asked if I wanted to sing with them,” said Carly. “I’ve been with them for two years now.” The ZD Greenheadz Band has played the California stage at the California State Fair, for the past two years, and is on track for the main stage next summer. With Carly and Zack writing original lyrics and music, they will be producing a nine song CD in 2018.

“I got my rock side from my dad, and country from my mom,’ said Carly. ‘But, I am learning all genres, from opera to soul.”

Carly is a member of the choir at Elk Grove High School, where she is a sophomore. Her plans are to continue on to college, after graduation, to major in music.

All those lessons have paid off for the teenager. Her stage presence and professionalism is smooth and assured. She is often asked to sing the national anthem and performs the difficult song with ease. “There are a lot of places I can’t play because of my age,” said Carly. “So I audition for any contests and events that I can.” She admits that she is a country girl at heart. Carly loves to spend time with her grandparents who live on acreage and keep horses, chickens, and cows. But, most Monday nights will find her singing karaoke. Her biggest supporter is her dad, who believes in her talent and commitment. Once a music promoter, he is aware of the difficulties of a life in the music business. “The reason I accept her music future is because I believe you should never let anyone destroy your dreams,” he said. “I know she has the passion it takes.”


The British Invasion Photos by Bruce Robinson Photography

The School of Rock, Elk Grove—recently, had their first season show on October 28, 2017, at Harlow’s in Downtown Sacramento. The “British Invasion” show was a huge success and showcased all groups of students including the Rookies, Rock 101, and Performance groups. To a sold out house, the Rookies students opened the show by performing ‘Yellow Submarine’ by The Beatles. They also had five Rock 101 groups perform a few rock songs each, ranging from The Beach Boys to The White Stripes.

The finale was the performance students “The Outputs” who performed ten British Invasion songs from prominent bands such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, and more. Many of the students performing had no experience on their instrument in the two to three months leading up to this show. They truly showed great talent, energy, and excitement to learn.

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community} HAPPENINGS   79

community} HAPPENINGS

A NANNOSECOND in Art and Music Written by Nan Mahon

T h e Cit y of L ocke

California State Route 160 travels along the Sacramento River. Heading south, the two lane road twists just above the sparkling water where boaters rip through the waves, and fishermen wait patiently in small crafts for a tug on their line. On the other side of the road are grape vineyards, pear orchards, and row crops. The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is an escape from urban sprawl. Just before the small town of Walnut Grove, there is gravel turnoff down a small grade into the time-untouched community of Locke. This tiny one hundred-year-old settlement is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a National Historic Landmark District. It is the only remaining authentic Chinese village in the United States. Built in 1915 and named for its founder, George Locke, it was inhabited by Chinese immigrants who came to work the fields. Now, unchanged by progress, the weathered buildings lean against the years. Board sidewalks lead the visitor along Main Street and its memories. In its heyday, Locke was a brawly venue of speakeasies, opium dens, bordellos, entertainment, and gambling houses. Now it is quiet, but visitors find it enchanting. The sojourners here walk along the planks and stop at the tall metal Memorial to immigrants and laborers in Locke Memorial Park. They continue on to the Boarding House Museum run by California State Parks, Dai Loy Mu Gambling House Museum, Star Theater, and the small Chinese school. There are privately owned art galleries, shops, and a Chinese restaurant. But, possibly the most visited spot is Al’s Restaurant and Bar. For years this has been the stopping place for boaters and motorcycle riders who frequent the river during the summer months. Its narrow entry houses a long, mahogany bar. The ceiling is covered with dollar bills hurled up from the fists of drinkers. In the restaurant, long uneven tables and benches wait without apology for diners. California history lies in this small, preserved community of Locke. 80. . -Holiday Holiday2017 2017 80

Letters for Santa, Rescate coffee

We will be a designated spot for anyone who wants to drop off letters for Santa this year. We have a full-size mailbox that will be available from November 25th to December 20th (for letters to get to the North Pole).

Sacramento Ballet's “The Nutcracker” The Nutcracker runs December 9-23 at the Community Center Theater, 1301 L Street, Sacramento. The most beloved of all Sacramento traditions, Ron Cunningham’s delightful “The Nutcracker” is the crown jewel of holiday entertainment. Clara’s fearless battle with the Mouse King, the soaring Magic Balloon, the sparkling Snowflake Forest, the delicious Kingdom of the Sweets, and the radiant elegance of the Sugar Plum Fairy have been creating cherished family memories for three decades. For more information call (916) 808-5181 or email at

Farmers Market

Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon Laguna Gateway Shopping Center (At Big Horn Blvd. and Laguna Blvd.)

Old Town Elk Grove Farmers Market

Sundays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Old Town Plaza

A Winter Wonderland at Fairytale Town

Dec. 9th through Dec 17th. Presented by Fairytale Town at Fairytale Town, 3901 Land Park Drive, Sacramento. Step inside a giant snow globe! Visit with Santa in his workshop from 3 to 6 p.m. and experience a flurry of snow falling nightly at 7 p.m. Celebrate the holiday season in Whoville with festive décor, a dazzling display of lights, and Grinch-themed handson activities. Contact: (916) 808-7462 Members $3.50 Nonmembers $7 Children (age 0-1) Free

save the date Upcoming Classes at Gifts From the Heart of Elk Grove You & Me Recycled Ornament Class Thursday, Dec. 14th, 9-10a.m. - $15

Student Recycled Ornament Making Class Thursday, Dec. 14th, 5-6p.m. - $15 per child Glitter Ornament Class Tues. Dec. 19th, 1:30-2:30p.m. - $15 Ornament Keepsake Box Class Wed. Dec. 20th, 1:30-2:30p.m. - $15 Felted Penguin Class - Fun for Adults Too! Thur. Dec. 21st, 10-11a.m. (Age 10+) - $15 Polymer Clay Christmas Bakery for Dolls Thur. Dec. 21st, 3-4p.m. (Age 8+) - $15 Holiday Apron Class - Dec. 22nd, 1:30-2:30p.m. - $15 per apron


December 24, 2017 at 10:00a.m. – 1:30p.m. at the Sacramento Zoo. Bring the family to the Sacramento Zoo for the most comfortable Christmas tradition, and you don’t even have to change out of your pajamas! From 10 a.m. to 1:30p.m, zoo admission is free for the whole family. Wear your best PJs and spend your holidays with the animals at the Sacramento Zoo. For more information call 916-808-5888

Something Rotten! California Musical Theatre

January 2nd-6th at 1510 J Street, Suite 200, Sacramento. With 10 Tony® nominations including Best Musical, “Something Rotten!” is “Broadway’s big, fat hit!” (NY Post). Set in 1595, this hilarious smash tells the story of two brothers who set out to write the world’s very first musical! With its heart on its ruffled sleeve and sequins in its soul, it’s “The Producers + Spamalot + The Book of Mormon. Squared!” (New York Magazine). For more information call (916) 808-5181

Students must be signed-up, and pay for classes (a minimum of one week prior to class date). Classes with less than two participants may be canceled. For more information call Susie at (916) 714-0914

Stitch & Chat

December 15, Friday, 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. at Elk Grove Library Do you love to knit or crochet? Do you like sharing tips, tricks, and techniques? Need UFO (Unfinished Object) support? Then… this is the group for you.

Kids' Night Out Parents' Night Off

December 16, 2017, 5:30 p.m. -10:00 p.m. at Wackford Community & Aquatic Complex Drop off your kids (ages 5-12) for a fun night out filled with ageappropriate activities. Take this opportunity to finish holiday shopping, or enjoy a long overdue date night! Your kids will have a fun night out in a safe environment, while you enjoy a worry-free night off. Our staff will host holiday-themed activity stations including crafts and group games, along with dinner and a movie. Pre-teens will be able to hang out in The Grove Teen Center! Space is limited, so register early to guarantee your child's participation. Pre-registration is required. Registration Fee: $25/child

Kamp Klutz

Dec. 19th-23rd. at Gifts From the Heart of Elk Grove, 9685 Elk Grove Florin Rd. Elk Grove. The class is free with the purchase of book/kit. Happening For more information call Susie at (916) 714-0914 Tuesday, Dec. 19th - Star Wars Finger Print Art 11:30a.m.-12:30p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 20th - Twirled Paper 11:30a.m.-12:30p.m. Thursday, Dec. 21st - Stenciling 11:30a.m.-12:30p.m. Friday, Dec. 22nd - Window Clings 11:30a.m-12:30p.m. Saturday, Dec. 23rd - Clay Charms 11:30a.m.-12:30p.m.   81

community} HAPPENINGS Throwback to the 70s Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink

Jan. 11th from 6p.m. to 8p.m. at the Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink, 701 K St, Sacramento.70s night is here! Come dressed in your best 70s attire and listen to the best music of the decade, while skating the night away. 70s music videos will be projected for the full throwback experience!

Sacramento Speakers Series presents Captain Scott Kelly

as one of the greatest pioneers in history. A NASA Astronaut, he captivated the world and seized the imagination of millions during his record-breaking voyage—proving that the sky is not the limit when it comes to the potential of the human. Season Subscription Pricing: Platinum $450, Gold $390, Silver $300, Bronze $210. *Tickets are sold by series only. Tickets to individual events are not available. Contact: (916) 388-1100 Email:

Jan 17th, 2018 at 8:00 p.m. Presented by Sacramento Speakers Series at Community Center Theater. The Sacramento Speakers Series is a subscription based lecture series that showcases contemporary insights from some of today’s most influential figures in a candid and relaxed setting.

Lunch and Learn Presented by Crocker Art Museum

Captain Scott Kelly’s epic Year in Space solidified his status

For more information call (916) 808-1060 or visit their web site at www. for more Lunch and Learn dates.

Feb. 6th at 12:00 p.m. Join an in-depth examination of Betye Saar’s, “Woman with Two Parrots, 2010.” Before or after the 30-minute gallery conversation, take time to enjoy lunch at the Crocker Cafe by Supper Club. Free with admission. Admission: Adult $10, Senior (Age 65 and older) or College Student $8, Youth (Age 7-17) $5, Children (Age 6 and under) or Members Free

Would you like your event mentioned? Email submissions to us at info@mrsandmrpublishing

82. - Holiday 2017

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