Placer Superior Court Seeks Comments

Source: Superior Court of the State of California  |  2017-03-21

Proposal to Implement Tiered Child Custody Mediation and Recent Changes to its Family Law Processes and Services

The Placer County Superior Court is seeking comment on a proposal to transition from a child custody recommending counseling mediation model to a tiered mediation model in all cases involving contested child custody and visitation matters.

The court is considering a move to a tiered mediation model consisting of three tiers. In Tier I, the parties would work with a mediator in an effort to come to an agreement in their case. That mediation would be confidential and not result in any recommendation or report to the court. For those who are unable to reach agreement, the court could order further services by referral to Tier II or Tier III. In Tier II, a court-connected professional would gather information and submit a report, without recommendations, to the court. Tier III serves as a traditional child custody recommending counseling service, in which a report, with recommendations, would be provided to the court. Cases would initially be referred to Tier I, and the judicial officer would have the discretion to refer cases to subsequent tiers or child custody evaluation as needed.

The proposed model is intended to provide parties with additional opportunities to resolve conflict and to promote the best interest of the child prior to court hearings. “By expanding our family court mediation services to include tiered mediation, we hope to help children and families by reducing conflict and adversarial court hearings whenever possible,” said Alan V. Pineschi, Presiding Judge of the Placer County Superior Court.

Further details of the proposed model are posted in the court’s Proposed Local Rules for July 1, 2017. These proposed rules, and information on how to submit comments to the court on the proposed rule changes, can be found at: http://www.placer.courts.ca.gov/local-rules.html.

The proposed transition to a tiered mediation model is the latest in a series of efforts by the court to improve services for court users in family law and civil cases.

In August of 2016, the court’s Legal Help Center staff began preparing orders after hearing in the courtroom for self-represented litigants attending family court hearings. This allows the parties to leave the courthouse with formal orders in hand. This expanded service intends to reduce ambiguity the parties may otherwise have related to orders made in their court hearing.

In September of 2016, at the Gibson Courthouse in Roseville, the court began offering advance appointments online for some services in the Family Law Division, Civil Division, and the Legal Help Center to reduce wait times for court users. One court user who scheduled an advance appointment for the family law filing window shared, “online appointments are awesome, and I love it.” To schedule an advance appointment online, please visit the Online Services page of the court’s website, under Online Appointments: http://www.placer.courts.ca.gov/online-services.html.

In January of 2017, the court implemented a revamped Family Centered Case Resolution program. Upon filing a petition for Dissolution, Legal Separation, Nullity, or Parentage, the court will schedule three (3) status conferences, six (6), twelve (12), and eighteen (18) months after filing. The staggered status conferences are intended to assist litigants toward a timely disposition. For more information, please visit the corresponding section on the Family Law & Support FAQ page of the court’s website: http://www.placer.courts.ca.gov/forms/family/FCCR Public FAQ.pdf.


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Annual Roseville Gem Show Rolls On for 2017

Contributed by James Hutchings, Roseville Rock Rollers Show Chair  |  2017-03-15

Featured, a budding “rockhound” under supervision as she delicately sorts through a tray of semi-precious stones during the Gem Hunt event during the Gem Show. 
--Photo courtesy of Roseville Rock Rollers.

Roseville Rock Rollers 55th Annual Gem, Jewelry, Fossil, and Mineral Show will take place at the Placer County Fairgrounds in Roseville March 25-26. Hosted by the Roseville Rock Rollers, also known as the Roseville Gem and Mineral Society, this year’s show features gemstones, jewelry, fossils and minerals and has something for the whole family.

The group was established in 1960 as a group of local “rockhounds,” according to show chair James Hutchings. That group, deeply interested in the science and art of the earths' natural beauty in rocks and minerals, first met in homes and then as their numbers grew, expanded to the use of a local school room.

This year’s show has dozens of exhibits for attendees, such as jewelry, metal, wire and glass beading arts, fossils, crystals and minerals, but that’s not all. So that attendees aren’t rushed, the show also provides a cafeteria. “A very fine hot lunch is available at our own kitchen in Johnson Hall,” states Hutchings. The group has put together a menu of very reasonably priced food and beverages will also be available at the show’s cafeteria, featuring burgers, philly steak cheesesteaks, chicken salad, baked potatoes pies, cakes and more.

In addition to exhibits, classes and demonstrations, show goers can pan for gold, purchase equipment, buy raffle tickets, have rocks, gems and mineral identified by experts or make purchases at a silent auction.

Wishing to share the art and science of the mineral world, in the tradition of gem and mineral shows around the world, the Roseville Rock Rollers established their own gem and mineral show around 1962. The society grew, the show grew, and the show and the Society moved to the Placer County Fairgrounds where it continues today.

“As the Roseville Gem and Mineral Society has expanded to just under 300 members, the show expanded to support the costs associated with its programs, such as the Rookie Rock Rollers, juniors program, the Annual Scholarship program to Geology Students at Sacramento State Geology Department, and our year round Lapidary shop on the fairgrounds,” said Hutchings. “The lapidary shop on the Fair Grounds is the heart and soul of our Society, where we teach lapidary arts, jewelry fabrication, conduct mineral identification and mini tail gate rock sales.”

Hutchings developed his love for “rockhounding” at an early age. “Personally, I as most young people, was fascinated with rocks minerals and crystals. My parents encouraged me with my first Golden Book of Rocks and Minerals, a book still in current print, and my first rock pick.”

At the age of 38, he became seriously interested in rockhounding and gold mining, attending a mineral identification course at Sierra College, next pursuing an in depth understanding the chemistry and physics that form “these miracles in the earth.” He has put that knowledge to good use today providing what he refers to as a “mini lab” during the show to test rocks, minerals, and gems to provide guest an idea of materials they have in their possession.

While the Rock Rollers must generate funds to keep their programs operating, the primary purpose of any Gem and Mineral Show is to promote the Art and Science of the mineral world, according to Hutchings.

Like many of the group members, an early exposure to rockhounding and lapidary arts often provides a genesis of interest that often blossoms later in life, Hutchings said. “We really work hard, to attract the parents who want to expose their children to the natural world and foster that spark.”

There are presentations and activities for youngsters on identifying and handling specimens of all kinds. Students and Scouts can reinforce their California Rock Cycle curriculum and merit badge information. Scouts can have their mineral finds evaluated for rock type or mineral and validated for their required collection.

Other interesting stops are featured at this year’s show. The Education Station is the place for the "learners,” said Hutchings, “and we are all learners. There [are] demonstrators showing you the actual arts of lapidary, faceting, wire wrapping, and other jewelry arts.” The Fossils for Fun booth encourages fossil hunters to view and purchase or bid on fossils from vendors. NorCal Bats brings a live bat to show how fascinating these mammals (often found in caves along with gems, stones and crystals) are. This year "Rocklin Bach to Rock" students will perform on stage to provide entertainment for the public.

Hutchings suggests visitors come early and plan on spending the day at the show. “We take over the entire fairgrounds with exhibits, demonstrators, and vendors.”

Not to be missed are real treasures the group will have on display. “Folks tend to walk by the display cases,” he says. “These simple, well lighted boxes contain the best of the best of personal collections of minerals in variety or by theme. The displays are, ‘literally’ miniature museums showcasing specimens in the possession of individuals who have spent a lifetime collecting the best of the best of their favorite species of rock or mineral,” said Hutchings.

“We are looking for the general public who are looking for gem stones, set and unset, handmade, and fine art jewelry, and mineral specimens from every corner of the world! We find the single most striking comment from folks who, by accident, end up at our show is, ‘I had no idea such things existed in the world!’”

For more information, tickets and coupons, visit the group’s website at www.rockrollers.com


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Key Affordable Housing Measure Clears Second Hurdle in Senate

By Mike Roth, California Housing Consortium  |  2017-03-15

On March 15th, the approval of SB 2 (Atkins) by the Senate Governance and Finance Committee signified an important step to beginning to address California’s devastating housing shortage. The Senate Transportation and Housing committee approved the measure last month.

“SB 2 is an important measure to begin to right the ship in California after years of failing to invest in affordable homes. This measure will provide thousands of new affordable rental homes in California while protecting general funds and boosting our economy,” said California Housing Consortium Executive Director Ray Pearl. “We are experiencing a massive housing shortage in California and it is time for a commitment to policies that can affect real change. California’s families, children, seniors, veterans and vulnerable residents deserve nothing less than access to safe and affordable homes.”

California has seen a 69 percent overall decline in state and federal investment in production and preservation of affordable housing since the Great Recession in 2008. A new California Department of Housing and Community Development statewide housing assessment finds that California families are facing a harder time finding a place to live than at any point in our history and homeownership rates in California are at their lowest since the 1940s.

SB 2 (Atkins) would enable thousands of affordable rental homes to be built through a $75 fee on real estate transaction documents, capped at $225 per transaction. Sales of homes and commercial properties would be exempted.

CHC is also calling on lawmakers to approve AB 71 (Chiu), which would end a costly vacation home tax subsidy to provide affordable apartments and homes while protecting the mortgage interest deduction crucial for families to afford their first home. These common-sense measures do not dip into the General Fund and would generate additional federal, local and private investment.


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Lifespan Lectures at Sierra College

Source: Sierra College  |  2017-03-14

Photo courtesy of Joe Medeiros

The Sierra College Natural History Museum Presents

“Lifespans: From Minutes to Millennia”

By Shawna Martinez, Joe Medeiros, and Jennie Skillen

The 2016-2017 lecture series of the Sierra College Natural History Museum continues Friday, March 17th with “Lifespans: From Minutes to Millennia”, a presentation by Sierra College professors Shawna Martinez, Joe Medeiros, and Jennie Skillen. Join us Friday evening at 7:30pm for an illustrated tour through time – the way nature sees it. The presentation will be in Sewell Hall (room 111) on the Sierra College-Rocklin Campus.

Lifetimes can be measured from minutes to millennia – at least the way most people think. But what is a lifetime?  While it is a straightforward concept for some organisms, for others it is far less clear how to measure the extent of a lifetime. How do processes such as cloning, fission, and long distance migration affect the way we define lifespans? Join Sierra College biologists in an illustrated tour through the lifespans of a variety of Earth’s organisms, from bacteria and butterflies to quaking aspens and creosote bushes.

This presentation is part of the Sierra College Natural History Museum’s 2016-2017 lecture series, and will be held on Friday, March 17 at 7:30 pm in Sewell Hall, room 111. Tickets are available at the door. Prices are General $5 / Students and Seniors $2 / Museum members free. All proceeds benefit the Sierra College Natural History Museum.

The Sierra College Rocklin Campus is located at 5100 Sierra College Blvd. in Rocklin. There is no charge for parking after 4pm on Friday. For more information, call the Sierra College Natural History Museum at 916-660-7926.

About Sierra College
Sierra College District is rising to meet the needs of our community. Sierra College serves 3200 square miles of Northern CA with campuses in Roseville, Rocklin, Grass Valley, and Truckee. With approximately 125 degree and certificate programs, Sierra College is ranked first in Northern California (Sacramento north) for transfers to four-year universities, offers career/technical training, and classes for upgrading job skills.  Sierra graduates can be found in businesses and industries throughout the region. More information at www.sierracollege.edu/.


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Placer County Launches Parks and Trails Master Plan Website Expressly for Public Input

Source: Robert Miller, County of Placer  |  2017-03-14

In an effort to encourage public input for its first-ever comprehensive parks and trails master plan, Placer County has launched a new project website. Now available at www.placerparksplan.com, the website provides a place to obtain project information, sign up for project notifications and submit comments. 



The Parks and Trails Master Plan will provide a 10-year vision for the development and operation of parks and trails in the county and is intended to reflect the recreational needs of individual communities. Because community engagement is critical to ensure the plan reflects community needs, the county is providing multiple opportunities for public input. A county-wide online survey will be released later this month, stakeholder and focus group meetings are occurring and a series of public workshops are scheduled for later in the year. The website provides another venue for interested community members to submit comments and review draft recommendations.

Input from all residents, including business owners, regional partners, seniors, students, families and youth, is important to guide the plan’s development and help the county plan for future parks and trails improvements. Throughout the 18-month project timeline, interested community members are invited to sign up for project notifications and to stay informed on the master plan’s progress. Signing up for notifications is also the best way to get quick access to the upcoming community survey.



The master plan is intended to update the county’s general plan recreational standards put in place in 1994. It will take into account new demographics and trends and offer flexibility to meet the needs of unique communities from the valley to the mountains. For instance, the plan could allow communities like Granite Bay and Loomis to meet a growing need to accommodate league sports as well as meet the needs of eastern Placer County like trails for summer and indoor recreation during the winter.



Through the plan the county will also work with neighboring agencies such as the town of Truckee, California State Parks, U.S. Forest Service and various cities and districts to develop a connected trail network throughout the region.



“This is a rare opportunity for our residents to get involved and influence how they play in Placer County for the next generation,” said Placer County Parks Administrator Andy Fisher. “We take our stewardship of resources seriously and are excited to get public input and go forward with confidence that we are investing in the highest recreational priorities that will create the best experiences and memories for our citizens and visitors. That can only happen if our communities make their voice heard.”

For more information about the plan and to sign up for project notifications, please visit www.placerparksplan.com.


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Snowpack’s Water Content Far Above Average

Source: California Department of Water Resources  |  2017-03-10

The Sierra Nevada snowpack continues to build during one of the wettest winters in California’s recorded history. The manual snow survey by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada found a snow water equivalent (SWE) of 43.4 inches. February’s Phillips survey found 28.0 inches of SWE, and January’s reading was 6.0 inches. The March 1 average at Phillips is 24.3 inches.

On average, the snowpack supplies about 30 percent of California’s water needs as it melts in the spring and early summer.  More telling than a survey at a single location are DWR’s electronic readings from 98 stations scattered throughout the Sierra Nevada. Statewide, the snowpack today holds 45.5 inches of SWE, or 185 percent of the March 1 average (24.6 inches).

Measurements indicate the water content of the northern Sierra snowpack is 39.2 inches, 159 percent of the multi-decade March 1 average. The central and southern Sierra readings are 49.0 inches (191 percent of average) and 46.4 inches (201 percent of average) respectively.

State Climatologist Michael Anderson said the winter season has been “historic,” especially in the central and southern Sierra where elevations are higher and where snowfall has been near the 1983 record amount.

The Phillips snow course, near the intersection of Highway 50 and Sierra-at-Tahoe Road, is one of hundreds surveyed manually throughout the winter. Manual measurements augment the electronic readings from about 100 sensors in the state’s mountains that provide a current snapshot of the water content in the snowpack.

Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program, conducted today’s survey at Phillips and said of his findings, “It’s not the record, the record being 56.4 (inches), but still a pretty phenomenal snowpack…. January and February came in with some really quite phenomenal atmospheric river storms, many of which were cold enough to really boost the snowpack.”

Gehrke said the central and southern regions in the Sierra Nevada are tracking close to 1983, which had the maximum recorded snowpack statewide.


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American Pickers to Film in California

Source: American Pickers  |  2017-03-09

Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz and Danielle Colby (center). These pickers travel the back roads of America looking to buy rusty gold. They’re looking for amazing things buried in people’s garages and barns. What most people see as junk, they see as dollar signs. They’ll buy “anything” they think they can make a buck on. Each item they pick has a history all its own. And the people they meet? Well, they’re a breed all their own. American Pickers make a living telling the history of America... one piece at a time. 
--Photo courtesy American Pickers

Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and their team are excited to return to CALIFORNIA! They plan to film episodes of the hit series AMERICAN PICKERS throughout the region in Spring 2017!

AMERICAN PICKERS is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique ‘picking’ on History. The hit show follows Mike and Frank, two of the most skilled pickers in the business, as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques. They are always excited to find sizeable, unique collections and learn the interesting stories behind them.

As they hit the back roads from coast to coast, Mike and Frank are on a mission to recycle and rescue forgotten relics. Along the way, the Pickers want to meet characters with remarkable and exceptional items.

The pair hopes to give historically significant objects a new lease on life, while learning a thing or two about America’s past along the way.

Mike and Frank have seen a lot of rusty gold over the years and are always looking to discover something they’ve never seen before. They are ready to find extraordinary items and hear fascinating tales about them.

AMERICAN PICKERS is looking for leads and would love to explore your hidden treasure. If you or someone you know has a large, private collection or accumulation of antiques that the Pickers can spend the better part of the day looking through, send us your name, phone number, location and description of the collection with photos to: americanpickers@cineflix.com or call 855-OLD-RUST.


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