American Pickers to Film in California

Source: American Pickers on History Channel   |  2016-01-29
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This hit show follows two of the most skilled pickers in the business, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, as they embark on an epic road trip across the U.S. in search of America’s most valuable antiques from motorcycles, classic cars, and bicycles to one-of-a-kind vintage memorabilia. Photo courtesy American Pickers on History Channel

California is excited to welcome Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz and Antique Archeology to the area. The team will film episodes of their hit series American Pickers throughout California. Filming is scheduled for early March.

American Pickers is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique “picking” on History. This hit show follows two of the most skilled pickers in the business, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, as they embark on an epic road trip across the U.S. in search of America’s most valuable antiques from motorcycles, classic cars, and bicycles to one-of-a-kind vintage memorabilia. Mike and Frank are on a mission to recycle America, restore forgotten relics to their former glory, and learn a thing or two about American history along the way.

American Pickers is looking for leads and would love to explore what you may have. They are on the hunt for interesting characters with interesting and unique items.  Some of what they look for: vintage bicycles, toys, unusual radios, movie memorabilia, advertising, military items, folk art, vintage musical equipment, vintage automotive items, early firefighting equipment, vintage clothing, pre-50’s western gear.

American Pickers is produced by Cineflix Productions for History. New episodes air Wednesdays at 9pm E.T. on History.

If you have a large collection or want to refer someone to Mike and Frank, email: your name, number, address and description of the collection and photos to: americanpickers@cineflix.com (855) OLD-RUST.

Abriter Foster Family

Eleven Placer County Wineries Awarded in World's Largest Competition of American Wines

Source: Chad Riley, Merlot Marketing  |  2016-02-04

Vintners from Placer County are raising a glass to celebrate their success at the 2016 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. This year, 11 wineries brought home a total of 45 awards from the world’s largest competition of American wines, including two Best of Class awards for Loomis-based Le Casque and one Double Gold for Auburn’s Viña Castellano. Overall, Placer County wines secured nine gold, 24 silver and 12 bronze medals at the competition.

“We founded Le Casque with a singular goal: to produce small lots of wine from the absolute best vineyard sources in Placer County and the surrounding Sierra Foothills area,” said Kevin Stevenson, Owner of Le Casque. “This year’s competition was intense, and we are proud to have produced a collection of top-tier wines that stand out to the nation’s most discerning wine experts.”

TWEET THIS: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition awards 45 @PlacerGROWN wines with top honors. http://bit.ly/1FBoaZ5

Participation in this year’s competition yielded significant returns for Le Casque, with its 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2014 Sergent Port each awarded Best in Class while two other vintages garnered silver medals. Viña Castellano, whose Tempranillo earned Best of Class in last year’s competition, gained a Double Gold award for its 2012 Mourvedre this year, along with four silver medals.

Having received a record breaking 7,000 entries from more than 1,500 wineries, judges in this year’s competition faced a challenging decision in each category. The panel included 80 wine experts within the media, trade, hospitality and education industries.

The full list of 2016 San Francisco Chronicle wine competition winners from Placer County includes:

  • Le Casque: Two Best of Class and two Silver medals
  • Viña Castellano: One Double Gold and four Silver medals
  • Wise Villa Winery: Four Silver, five Gold and three Bronze medals
  • Mt. Vernon Winery: Five Silver and 2 Bronze medals
  • Popie: Three Silver and one Bronze medal
  • Secret Ravine: Two Bronze and one Silver medal
  • Lone Buffalo Vineyards: Two Bronze and one Silver medal
  • Fawnridge Winery: One Silver, one Gold and one Bronze medal
  • Dono dal Cielo: Two Silver medals
  • Pescatore Vineyard and Winery: One Bronze medal
  • Bear River Winery: One Silver medal

Placer County Wine Trail is home to 20 Placer County wineries that expand throughout the foothills and are easily accessible from I-80 and Highway 49. For a complete list of participating wineries, venue details and directions, please visit PlacerWine.com.


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Placer Community Foundation Honors Donors for Giving Back in 2015

Source: Andy Wright  |  2016-02-04

Mary Sparks, Justice Keith Sparks, PCF Emeritus Board Member, and Gigi Sims.

Annual Donor Dinner Brings Together Philanthropic People From Throughout the Region

Nearly 200 donors were honored by Placer Community Foundation (PCF) at the Blue Goose Fruit Shed in Loomis this past week. Guests learned about the many ways their generosity has made a positive impact. Last year PCF’s donors made over $680,000 in grants. These grants supported a variety of causes locally, nationally and abroad, including the visual and performing arts; at-risk youth and seniors in our county; prevention and intervention programs for those struggling with mental health issues; and assistance to families in need.

Pamela Constantino, Board Chair for Placer Community Foundation, spoke at the event about how over 120 local nonprofits took advantage of the Foundation’s Nonprofit Initiative in 2015. PCF’s Nonprofit Initiative program helps organizations deliver higher quality, more sustainable, more valuable community services with the goal for local nonprofit organizations to thrive and grow.

Sierra College student, Shane Griffin, spoke about the scholarship he received from the John G. and Lillian M. Walsh Family Scholarship Fund at PCF and the impact it will have on his career. The scholarship fund supports a pilot program aimed at local workforce development.

Attendees also heard from Barbara Tellman, a PCF donor, who spoke about why she and her husband, Bill, chose to work with the Foundation for their giving; “During the process of rethinking our will and about philanthropy we began to feel strongly that, instead of just sending donations to many far-flung organizations, we wanted to make our bequests work to address more local needs. Placer Community Foundation seemed like the perfect fit for our philanthropic interests as they added our donations to their Community Needs Fund grants in concert with other donated funds for the benefit of our community.”

Attendees were treated to a performance by Take Note Troupe, a local award-winning theatre youth group specializing in Shakespeare and improv. They pleased the crowd with two musical numbers from their fall production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

Finally, donors enjoyed a delicious, locally-prepared meal by Chef Laura Kenny of Real Food Catering. The event was sponsored by Jack and Denise Briner, Carpe Vino, Pamela and Alex Constantino, Monk’s Cellar, Recology, SAFE Credit Union, and Justice Keith and Mary Sparks.

About Placer Community Foundation
Placer Community Foundation (PCF) grows local giving to strengthen our community by connecting donors who care with causes that matter. Known for sound financial management and knowledge of the nonprofit sector, the Community Foundation continually monitors the region to better understand the nature of local needs, so that it can invest in areas such as arts and culture, education, health and human services, and the environment. The Community Foundation provides regular trainings and technical assistance for the many local nonprofits that are experiencing growing public demand for programs and services. To learn more about establishing charitable funds, visit placercf.org, contact Veronica Blake at vblake@placercf.org, or call 530-885-4920.


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Johnson Ranch Racquet Club Hosts NorCal Junior Singles Championships

Source: Placer Valley Tourism  |  2016-02-04

Top Youth Tennis Players Competing Feb. 13-15 in Roseville

President’s Day weekend will be in full swing at the Johnson Ranch Racquet Club in Roseville as the United States Tennis Association (USTA) NorCal Junior Singles Championships will be taking place over the three day holiday from Feb. 13-15. Placer Valley Tourism is excited to be teaming up with Johnson Ranch Racquet Club again to bring one of the biggest and most competitive junior tennis tournaments in Northern California to Placer Valley.

More than 250 boys and girls in age divisions 12, 14, 16 and 18 will be competing in singles tennis matches at this championship. Players from all over Northern California including the Bay Area, the Central Valley and Northern Nevada will be traveling to Roseville for this event.

“Since this a USTA sanctioned tournament many of the top players from the state will be here competing; the competition will be top-notch at a great facility,” commented Chris Bacharach, Tennis Director for Johnson Ranch Racquet Club.

The first serve will be swung at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13 and games will continue throughout the long weekend well into the evening each day of the tournament. The final matches deciding the NorCal Champion in each age division will take place on Monday, Feb. 15.

There will be an on-site cafe and barbecue available for purchase during the tournament so come on down next weekend to the courts and see some amazing tennis matches. Johnson Ranch Racquet Club is located at 2600 Eureka Rd. in Roseville.

Placer Valley Tourism [PVT] is made up of the 23 hotels in Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln, California.  PVT recruits and supports hundreds of annual events with grants, marketing, volunteers, and other services as needed.  To learn more about how PVT can help bring your event here, visit www.playplacer.com or call (916) 773-5400.


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I Am Not Lost

By Justin Gourley  |  2016-02-02

All For You Home Care wrapped the jackets and scarves around the tree trunks and lined the pockets with gloves, mittens, and hats — leaving them for anyone in need. Photo courtesy All For You Home Care

If you were recently in downtown Sacramento at Cesar Chavez Park, you may have witnessed a peculiar sight: trees adorned with jackets, hats, scarves, and mittens. This was not some silly prank, but rather a heartfelt donation.

All For You Home Care, an in-home caregiving service, arranged a unique way to help the homeless stay warm through these cold winter months. They wrapped the jackets and scarves around the tree trunks and lined the pockets with gloves, mittens, and hats — leaving them for anyone in need. And with a clever card pinned in place, reading in bold letters, “I am not lost...If you are stuck out in the cold, please take me to keep warm,” making sure these donations would land in the right hands.

“Every day I drive down Howe Avenue, past Arden, and I see so many homeless. It breaks my heart,” Danielle Gourley, director of All For You Home Care, said. “I saw the idea online and instantly knew this was something we had to do.”

And so the staff at All For You Home Care embarked on a mission to gather as many donations as they could. With generous charities from Bristol Hospice, McIlwain Mobility, Neil Orchard Senior Activities Center, and the caregivers of All For You Home Care, the staff was able to collect nearly one hundred and fifty articles of clothing. Even the seniors at Neil Orchard donated by hand-knitting scarves.

The sheer number of people affected by this small gesture was overwhelming. Before the volunteers could take a breath, people in need flocked to them, giving thanks and asking for assistance in finding the right size jacket or hat. Smiles were infectious as men wrapped their necks in scarves and women exuded joy as they found that perfect coat.

And so even if Christmas has passed, we can still be reminded how good it feels to give a gift straight from the heart. A special thanks goes out to Jane Anderson, Dana Zimbitska, and Selma McIlwain for volunteering their time to help set up this event.


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With winter storms slowly boosting water supply, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) today increased its water delivery estimate for most recipients from 10 percent of requests for the calendar year, as announced in December, to 15 percent.

“Our modest increase underscores the fact that we still have a critical water shortage after four-plus years of drought that we don’t know when will end,” said DWR Director Mark Cowin. “One look at our low reservoirs tells us that we need a lot more wet weather before summer.”

Although there is no exact formula for ending the drought and conditions vary region by region, a rough guidepost is that approximately 150 percent of average winter precipitation — rain and snow — would significantly ease statewide conditions, with the major exception of groundwater depletion.

The State Water Project (SWP) delivery estimate (allocation) may be increased further if storms continue to build rainfall and snowpack totals. The 29 public agencies that receive SWP water (State Water Project Contractors) requested 4,172,786 acre-feet of water for 2016. With today’s allocation increase, they will receive 631,115 acre-feet.

Collectively, the SWP Contractors serve approximately 25 million Californians and just under a million acres of irrigated farmland.

It is important to note that nearly all areas served by the SWP also have other sources of water, among them streams, groundwater, and local reservoirs.

Key reservoirs are beginning to rise from early winter storms, but remain low.

Lake Oroville in Butte County, the State Water Project’s principal reservoir, was recorded recently as holding 1,366,061 acre-feet, 39 percent of its 3.5 million acre-foot capacity and — 60 percent of its historical average for the date. Shasta Lake north of Redding, California’s and the federal Central Valley Project’s (CVP) largest reservoir, was holding 2,138,566 acre-feet, 47 percent of its 4.5 million acre-foot capacity and 71 percent of its historical average. San Luis Reservoir, a critical south-of-Delta pool for both the SWP and CVP, reflects the same trend of lower reservoir storage this year. San Luis was holding 641,729 acre-feet, 31 percent of its 2 million acre-foot capacity and 41 percent of normal for the date. Folsom Lake, a CVP reservoir near Sacramento, is holding 398,523 acre-feet of its 977,000 acre-foot capacity, 79 percent of average for the date.

Though still critically low, many reservoir levels have dramatically risen from recent storm runoff. Groundwater aquifers recharge more slowly, with many in the Central Valley sinking toward record levels.

Last year’s (2015) 20 percent allocation was the second lowest since 1991, when agricultural customers of the SWP got a zero allocation and municipal customers received 30 percent of requests. In 2014, SWP deliveries were five percent of requested amounts for all customers.

The last 100 percent allocation — difficult to achieve even in wet years largely because of Delta pumping restrictions to protect threatened and endangered fish species — was in 2006. SWP allocations in recent years:

2015 – 20 percent

2014 – 5 percent

2013 – 35 percent

2012 – 65 percent

2011 – 80 percent

2010 – 50 percent

2009 – 40 percent

2008 – 35 percent

2007 – 60 percent

2006 – 100 percent

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. declared a drought state of emergency on Jan. 17th, 2014 and followed up with statewide water conservation mandates. Since then, the state has been swept by drought-fueled forest fires, vast tracts of farmland have been fallowed and some communities have scrambled for drinking water.

Long-range weather forecasts are uncertain, and there is no way to know if this winter will deeply dent the state’s historic drought.

DWR’s California Data Exchange Center (CDEC) Web sites show current water conditions at the state’s reservoirs and weather stations.

Reservoirs: http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cdecapp/resapp/getResGraphsMain.action

Precipitation: http://cdec.water.ca.gov/snow_rain.html

Snow: http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cdecapp/snowapp/sweq.action

While the early winter rain and snowpack are promising, this may yet prove to be a fifth consecutive year of drought in California. To learn about all the actions the state has taken to manage our water system and cope with the impacts of the drought, visit Drought.CA.gov. Every Californian should take steps to conserve water; find out how at SaveOurWater.com.


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From Senator Jim Nielsen: “The State’s first priority must be saving money for the Rainy Day fund to ease the pain of budget cuts in an economic downturn. Programs that provide care to the most vulnerable Californians like Developmental Disability Services have not been adequately funded.

“To better serve people with developmental disabilities, I introduced Senate Bill 818, a bill similar to the one I introduced in Special Session last year. My commitment to make this funding permanent in the State's General Fund is unwavering.

“And I am so glad to hear that the Governor reaffirmed his commitment to build water storage. We must increase the state's above-ground water storage.

“Conservation alone won't get us out of this historic drought nor will it help get us through the next drought.

“Sites Reservoir is shoveled-ready to store up to 1.8 million acre feet of water.

“Planning for access to clean water is essential to the prosperity of future generations.”

Source: Office of Senator Jim Nielsen

 

From Senator Gaines: “In a state with the highest poverty rate in the nation, hundreds of billions in unfunded liabilities, and some of the highest gas taxes and worst roads, I hoped to hear more about the Governor's vision for solving those massive problems without crushing taxpayers.

“I’m happy that the state revenues are surging, but that should be viewed as an opportunity to pay down debt and fund one-time, high-priority projects. This month's stock market meltdown shows that our budget picture could change dramatically in just one year proving again that California needs to be a model of prudent, careful spending.

“I want the Governor to put some money back into working families' pockets. No tax increase extensions, and no new taxes on gas and health plans. Let’s—for once—grow the quality of life instead of growing bureaucracy.”

Source: Office of Senator Gaines

 

From Board of Equalization Vice Chair George Runner: “I share the governor’s optimism when it comes to California's future. Our state has a diverse economy, a strong commitment to education and more than enough revenue to fully fund roads, schools, and water storage without raising taxes.

“As the governor himself warns, we must continue to exercise fiscal prudence. The true test of his leadership will be whether he can hold the line on spending against the tax-and-spend liberal legislators of his own party.

“Instead of raising taxes, our focus should be on providing greater value for Californians by improving quality of life and by seeking solutions that make this state a more affordable place to live and work.”

Source: Office of George Runner

 

From Assemblymember Rocky Chávez: “Today, the Governor continued his theme of fiscal caution and hopeful planning for the future in his comments. While I applaud his recognition of this important principle, Governor Brown needs to focus on practical government solutions that cut back on waste and gets our State back to common sense governance,” said Chávez.

“We have a major hole in our Healthcare system, we have a backlog of billions of dollars in infrastructure repairs and we continue to face one of the worst droughts in California with no adequate water storage. The rubber band can only stretch so far until it snaps. We need to put practical solutions into place to take care of these issues while continuing to budget for our rainy day fund.”

“In his closing, the Governor discussed being courageous yet cautious. With the changing world markets, the uncertainty of how foreign affairs will affect our state and our volatile income tax dependency, Brown made one thing certain today, 2016 will not be 2015,” said Chávez.

Source: Office of Rocky Chávez


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Take a Sentimental Journey via Cabaret

Source: River City Chorale  |  2016-01-29

The River City Chorale, 60 voices strong, has been presenting the Cabaret for many years and it is by far its most popular concert. Photo courtesy River City Chorale

The River City Chorale presents its ever-popular Cabaret on Saturday and Sunday, March 5th and 6th, with two shows each day: 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. It’s conveniently located at the Serbian Church Hall, 7777 Sunset Ave (between Sunrise and San Juan), in Fair Oaks, Calif. 95628.

With the theme of Sentimental Journeys you will be transported back to the era of such songs as “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” “Meet Me in St. Louis,” “Route 66,” and “On the Sunny Side of the Street.”

Upon entering the hall you will be greeted by the sounds of a traditional jazz combo and escorted to your reserved place at decorated round tables seating up to eight persons. Hors d’oeuvres will be served at your table by the singers and you can partake of libations at an open bar. You’ll also have the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for one of four fun prizes, with winners to be announced at the end of the concert.

Then the show begins! In keeping with the tradition of the cabaret you will be entertained by small groups, soloists, a chamber choir as well as the whole ensemble who will be perched—cabaret style—on stools onstage. A combo led by Richard Morrissey, the director of the Chorale, with piano by the very talented Kathy Earl Midgley, will provide the accompaniment.

The River City Chorale, 60 voices strong, has been presenting the Cabaret for many years and it is by far its most popular concert. So get your tickets early by going online at www.RiverCityChorale.org or call (916) 331-3810.


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Are You Ready to Rugby?

Ray Schwartz  |  2016-01-20

Today, top high school rugby players have often grown to compete over six or eight seasons, and in some cases, played under the same coach, or program, the entire time. The quality at the top keeps growing finer each and every year. 
--Photo courtesy David Barpal Photography

Sacramento Valley Rugby Foundation Set to Host The 32nd Annual “Kick Off Tournament” at Cordova High, Jan. 30th And 31st

What started from humble beginnings—an opportunity to get pre-season playing time for lots of young high school rugby squads—has blossomed into the largest Youth and High School Rugby Tournament in the United States (and likely the entire Western Hemisphere!).

The Kick Off Tournament, affectionately referred to as the KOT, is still run today by some of the pioneers who first took this on in 1984, when seven high school clubs were featured. Jerry Ahlin, Ray Thompson, Pete Deterding, Bob Lutrell, Joe Cavallero, Zack Finney, and a posse of their finest friends, come together in a massive volunteer effort to pull off quite a show, each and every year. They do so for the love of the game, and for the kids who love to play!

Many of the finest players, coaches, and rugby clubs in America have been featured over the years, including Jesuit High, many times over National Champions. Other top local clubs to have begun their season at the KOT, and gone on to compete that Spring at the National Championships include Cougars (Del Campo), Islanders (Burbank), Vacaville, Christian Brothers, and most recently Dixon, Granite Bay, and Sierra Foothills.

By 2005, the event had grown to 30 clubs, playing on three fields at Granite Park. The popularity of youth and high school rugby was beginning to explode at that time, not simply locally, but across the Bay Area and indeed America. In fact, a recent report from the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (according to the Maryland-based organization’s U.S. Trends in Team Sports Report) reveals participation in tackle football fell 21 percent from 2008-2013, while rugby experienced the biggest gain of all youth and high schools sports, growing a whopping 81 percent during that time!

The KOT, a large, established structure on the game’s competitive calendar, was uniquely positioned to help foster this growth. 2006 saw the addition of Girls play, while 2007 saw the event expand to two days and include a free Middle School clinic. For the past three years, now at Cordova High, seven to nine fields have seen play all day, both Saturday and Sunday, featuring an average of 130 sides playing a staggering 205 30-minute matches!

Clubs have visited the KOT in the recent past, seeking some warm California sun, and the chance to compete with locals, the likes of the Jesuit Marauders…, clubs from across the Bay Area (Santa Rosa to Morgan Hill), but also from as far away as Oregon, Utah, Colorado, Washington, SoCal, and even several from Alberta, Canada.

Referees visit from even further, with several coming each year from Canada, but also Pittsburg, New York, Massachusetts, Idaho, Germany, and South Africa! In order for the KOT to grow, and to continue to provide quality matches, the word went out across USA Rugby, “Send us your refs!” Four brave souls answered the call in 2006, and more and more refs have come every year since.

As the KOT grew, however, the need to help produce and develop a local crop of refs came with the territory. So the KOT leveraged our wealth of sunshine and matches needing officials, to create a unique Referee Development Program. The KOT RDP features a free day of referee training Friday at Sac State, and two full days of valuable referee coaching throughout the event. Our own Raley’s College Greens donates all the food for the ref tent!

As richly rewarding as hosting young stars of the game can be (many ruggers who’ve played at past KOTs have gone on to play for, and even Captain, USA National teams), there’s no greater joy than watching U-8s and U-10s blossom into feisty U-12s and eventually become skillful, competitive middle schoolers!

It’s at these junior levels that the popularity of rugby has finally taken off. Today, top high school rugby players have often grown to compete over six or eight seasons, and in some cases, played under the same coach, or program, the entire time. The quality at the top keeps growing finer each and every year.

So why rugby?
To some rugby is a muscular ballet with mud and blood, while to others it just looks like a brawl. A violent contact sport with no padding? In this day and age of heightened concerns over sports concussions? But to those who take the time to peel back the veneer and take a closer look, they see adults mentoring children; coaches who carefully teach players to respect themselves, their opponents and the game itself.

With top notch coaching, confidence and skills grow over time. Fitness reigns supreme. The head and neck must never be a part of the rugby tackle. Speed and power, choreographed teamwork, brilliant ball handling and precision kicking are often on display. But look closer still and you'll notice there are no timeouts. The coach, who runs practice, has little to no input once the match has started. The coach elects a Captain, who is the only conduit to the Ref.  The Ref, in turn, tries to manage a fair contest between two sides through the Captains.

Rugby is certainly an interesting contradiction. Though the players seem to be trying to tear each other’s head off, they help each other up off the ground, and cheer each other (and meet to shake hands) after every match. And players will always refer to the referee as “sir.” While the ref is just trying to keep heads from being torn off, a good ref can bring a competitive match up to a boil, while never allowing it spill over. All players contribute, all get to handle the ball, and all shapes and sizes of players are welcome. Passion created from this game is measureable.

Why Sacramento Rugby?
Students of sports history know the oldest sport offered at Cal (UC Berkeley) is rugby, which started playing in the 1880s. Other local rivals, St. Mary’s, Santa Clara and Stanford, all share long, rich rugby traditions as well, with St. Mary’s having just won their first National Championship (in any sport), May 2014, at Stanford (featuring many local ruggers), and repeated in 2015!

As the First World War concluded, the Olympics embraced rugby, offering a Gold Medal (won by the USA) in both 1920 and ’24. Graduates of these Universities combined, with rugby players from San Francisco’s Olympic Club, to train, as they traveled by ship, and win these medals. Captaining the ’24 team was Colby “Babe” Slater from nearby Woodland. But after the Gold Medal match in Paris, where unruly French fans nearly rioted as USA beat France, rugby was dropped from the Olympic program.

The tradition of rugby, however, lingered across Northern California. Though college and then pro football took over, 1953 saw a small rebirth of rugby when the first Monterey Rugby Classic was held. Clubs and tournaments popped up everywhere throughout the 1960s (UC Davis and Sac State have both recently celebrated their 50th year of rugby). In 1982, a sturdy group of Sacramento sportsmen travelled to Europe on a rugby tour.  They went as players, only to return with a newfound desire to teach the game they grew to love. So a new high school rugby competition began in Sacramento, kicking off with our first ever KOT!

Most years, weather permitting, Sacramento offers a long winter/spring playing season, as local clubs draw upon a wealth of coaches, referees, and administrators to help develop young players and squads to enjoy the game, the same game played in Olympics of old. The size and depth of the local competition here remains unrivalled across American rugby’s landscape. It is no coincidence that as soon as Sacramento built a top notch soccer facility, USA Rugby scheduled an International match here.

As USA beat Canada in front of a sold out crowd, 8,000 made it out to Bonney Field, June, 2014, the blazing Sacramento sunshine proved a valuable advantage. When USA played the mighty New Zealand All Blacks at sold out Soldier Field in Chicago, November 1st, three Jesuit grads suited up for USA (Lou Stanfill, Eric Fry & Blaine Sculley) while another three players came from Bay Area high school programs.

A doubleheader then came back to Bonney Field last July (during the State Fair) as we witnessed USA beat Japan, and Fiji tie Samoa. And as PRO Rugby announced its inaugural season (this coming April-June), Sacramento was awarded its first of six teams!

An abbreviated brand of the game of rugby called “Sevens” has traditionally been played locally, though only in the summers. Sevens is now introduced to the Olympics, with the first Gold Medals, Men’s and Women’s, on offer in 2016 in Rio de Janiero. With USA Women presently ranked 5th, and the Men ranked 9th (and rising!) on the World Sevens circuit, we can certainly expect to see Americans, and hopefully some Sacramentans, competing in the Medal rounds in Rio!

So, to get your rugby knowledge and appreciation flowing, plan to attend the 32nd Annual KOT at Cordova High Jan. 30 and 31! Matches kick off early both days!

This year’s KOT features (in addition to the usual local clubs) a first ever Girl’s Middle School seven-a-side competition, and far more Girl’s play than ever. Gridley makes its first appearance, fielding 6 sides! Davis and Dixon has combined to form Solo (Solano-Yolo) Rugby, Los Gatos United is coming strong, Liberty (Washington) returns for their fourth KOT, bringing 3 sides.


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CSN Bay Area (@CSNAuthentic), the exclusive television home for Golden State Warriors games in Northern California, has partnered with the team and Save Our Water (@saveourwater), California’s official statewide conservation program, to produce a public service announcement featuring the “Splash Brothers”—reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry and All-Star guard Klay Thompson of the NBA Champion Warriors.

As California prepares for a fifth year of drought, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. recently issued an executive order that calls for additional actions to build on the state’s ongoing response to record dry conditions, including an extension of a mandatory statewide 25 percent water use reduction if drought conditions persist in January 2016. Even as California moves into what is likely to be a wet winter, Save Our Water is urging Californians move beyond short-term water saving solutions and make permanent changes to conserve.

“Splash Brothers” Stephen Curry & Klay Thompson PSA: http://www.csnbayarea.com/warriors/splash-brothers-psa-save-our-water.

“We know California is in a serious drought and our hope with this PSA is to help raise awareness to encourage more Californians to conserve water,” said Thompson. “As a community we all need to do our part to help the cause.”

Regarded as one of the best shooting backcourt duos in the NBA, Curry and Thompson got the nickname “Splash Brothers” for their ability to shoot the basketball and “splash” the net from long-range, particularly from beyond the three-point line. During the 2014-15 championship season, Curry broke his own NBA record for the most three-pointers in one season with 286, Thompson finished second in the league with 239, and the “Splash Brothers” became the league’s most prolific three-point duo with a record 525 threes.

“We appreciate the support of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and the NBA champion Warriors and thank them for their efforts to raise awareness of the Golden State’s unprecedented drought and to encourage Californians to conserve water,” said Ted Griggs, president and general manager of CSN Bay Area and CSN California.

“We are thrilled the Splash Brothers have joined the growing chorus of Californians spreading the word of the need to save water, even during a wet winter,” said Jennifer Persike, deputy executive director of External Affairs and Member Services of the Association of California Water Agencies. “Save Our Water thanks the Golden State Warriors and Comcast SportsNet for their contribution in raising awareness that in this drought regular conservation isn’t enough—we must take extraordinary measures to save water.”

Save Our Water’s website is available in both English and Spanish and is filled with tips, tools, and inspiration to help every Californian find new and creative ways to conserve. From tips on how to keep trees healthy during the drought to an interactive section allowing users to visually explore how they can save water both inside and outside the home, Save Our Water can help everyone easily conserve at home and at work, every day. Save Our Water connects with Californians on its Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

About Save Our Water: Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has directed the first-ever statewide mandatory water reductions in California, calling on all Californians to reduce their water use by 25 percent and prevent water waste. Save Our Water is a partnership between the Association of California Water Agencies and the California Department of Water Resources.

About CSN Bay Area: CSN Bay Area and CSN California, both part of NBC Sports Regional Networks, serve more than four million households in Northern California, Nevada, Southern Oregon and Hawaii. CSN Bay Area, the television home of MLB’s San Francisco Giants, NBA’s Golden State Warriors, and the official regional sports network of the San Francisco 49ers, also features a robust lineup of Emmy Award-winning news, analysis and original programming. CSN California offers live coverage of MLB’s Oakland Athletics, NBA’s Sacramento Kings, NHL’s San Jose Sharks, MLS’s San Jose Earthquakes and is the official regional sports network of the Oakland Raiders. Collectively, these networks deliver more than 600 live sporting events per year, over 1,500 live studio shows, including SportsNet Central, SportsTalk Live, Pregame Live, Postgame Live, Press Conference Live, as well as compelling digital content, up-to-the-minute scores, highlights and breaking news via www.CSNBayArea.com and www.CSNCalifornia.com. Follow both networks on Twitter via @CSNAuthentic.


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