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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Korea and World War III - Almost

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

McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Advanced Home Health and Hospice Announces Excelin Home Health Partnership

By Advanced Home Health and Hospice  |  2018-07-05

Angela Sehr

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Advanced Home Health and Hospice (“Advanced”) is excited to announce that it is joining with Excelin Home Health (“Excelin”), and its family of affiliated Texas home health agencies. By joining forces with Excelin, Advanced is expanding its footprint from Sacramento, San Diego and North Bay California to Houston and South-Central Texas.

The company will continue its patient-centric, outcome-focused approach to providing quality home health care. The company will continue to provide skilled nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, medical social work, home health aides, and hospice services in the comfort of patients’ homes. Building on its strong reputation in home infusion, wound care, cardiovascular care, and home rehabilitation programs, the company will continue to expand its clinical capabilities and strive to remain the home health and hospice provider of choice. As a best-in-class post-acute care provider, the company is focused on leveraging technology and innovative approaches in its relentless pursuit of delivering exceptional patient care and outcomes.

Angela Sehr, RN and founder of Advanced, will remain a key shareholder and will continue as a leader within the organization, providing inspiration, innovation, strategic leadership, and guidance for the agencies.

“I am very pleased to partner with Excelin, Corinthian Capital, and Palomar Capital Management. They share our values and vision.  They have shown a genuine focus on and appreciation for the importance of quality patient care. They have also demonstrated a deep understanding of the rewards and challenges of caring for patients in their homes. I believe they will be outstanding, value-added partners. I cannot be happier than to be partnering with them going forward,” said Angela Sehr.  The closing is subject to regulatory approval.

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PLACER COUNTY, CA (MPG) - A Placer County Jury found Phillip Ingram, 64, of Auburn guilty today of two counts of Second Degree Murder in relation to the death of Jared Gaches and Trevor Keller, both 15, from Auburn.  Ingram was accused of being impaired by the sleep aid Ambien in the afternoon of April 3, 2016.  The evidence presented at trial showed that Ingram, while driving on Dry Creek Road in Auburn, struck a vehicle and continued driving onto Highway 49 and eventually veered off the road hitting and killing the two teenage boys.  There was also evidence presented of Ingram’s prior conviction for driving under the influence in April of 2000.  This, along with other evidence, demonstrated Ingram’s knowledge of and disregard for the danger of driving while impaired which justified the Second Degree Murder charges and conviction.

The jury disregarded Ingram’s claim that he accidently took the Ambien thinking it was his blood pressure medication, he claimed he was in a parasomnia state and had no recollection of what had occurred. Deputy District Attorney Robert Lopez argued that Ingram’s claims at trial were nothing more than an attempt to create a defense to avoid responsibility for the murder of the two teenage boys.  Lopez appreciated the jury’s verdicts and their ability see through the defendant’s attempt to excuse his behavior.  Lopez added that while many people realize the dangers of drinking alcohol and driving, they too often forget that driving on prescription medication, like the Ambien in this case, can have the same tragic results.  Mr. Ingram’s failure to respect this fact cost two families, and our community, two loved and wonderful children.

The Defendant is being held without bail pending sentencing.  He is scheduled to be sentenced by the Honorable Charles Wachob on August 24, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. in Department 42 of the Placer County Superior Court.  The defendant is facing 15 years to life for each murder count.

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PLACER COUNTY, CA (MPG) - Auburn Knights of Columbus Council # 6149 are sponsoring a Cancer Benefit Bus Trip to Feather Falls Casino in Orville July 21, 2018 .

All proceeds will go to assist the Letcher Family with their medical expenses . Son John Paul had a mass in his chest and Cancer Cells in his Bone Marrow, which have completely disappeared after 3.5 years of Chemotherapy and Radiation treatment . His brother Samuel 19 months at the time had a Tumor removed from his brain, he is improving .

Coffee, Tea, Juice, Water, and refreshments will be served going and returning .

For a donation of $ 40.00, you will receive $ 12.00 & $ 3.00 food credit at the Casino, you will also receive 6 Raffle tickets for great prizes on the bus, more tickets will be available for purchase on the bus .

For non Gamblers or those who can not make the trip, we will also accept Donations of any amount .

To reserve your seat or more info please contact Manuel F. Ferreira at : 530-885-9226 or 530-210-7554

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