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Amazing Grace

Oct 31, 2008 05:00PM ● By Super Admin

If there is no place like home, why do so many of us take ours for granted? No answers seem sufficient in light of homelessness, a condition that has and continues to affect thousands of foothill residents.Thankfully, there are non-profit organizations such as United Outreach of El Dorado County (UOEDC), a non-profit corporation that has operated Grace Place, a homeless shelter for county residents, which officially closed this past April. With the help of a $1.47 million grant from the state, however, UOEDC is planning on opening a new and improved facility this winter, provided that it meets various conditions. This monetary endowment is the result of tireless effort and lobbying by the UOEDC and Grace Place, the latter of which, when it opened its doors three years ago, served three homeless persons per night. Upon closing, it served 65 individuals nightly, on average, though capacity called for a maximum of 45. Because there is a definite and growing need for homeless shelters in the area, UOEDC will size the new facility to accommodate 75 people. It is difficult to think about homelessness, especially during the uncertainty of our times, when so many people are losing their homes and facing true challenges. It is especially tough during the holidays when those who celebrate, do so when so many less fortunate families cannot afford a meal or a safe place to live. It is exactly the spirit of giving, however, that propels UOEDC’s continued advocacy on behalf of the area’s growing homeless population.“As in every community, there are many who understand the need to provide help to homeless people and assist them to transition into a supportive life,” says Art Edwards, president of UOEDC and former Grace Place volunteer. “We are proud of the number of clients who have moved out of Grace Place and into jobs, college and transitional housing. We [recently] heard that one [person] just received a $5,000 grant to attend a local college.”Small victories with large societal consequences are the hallmark of non-profit organizations like UOEDC, which, with the help of organizers and volunteers, forge ahead in a largely thankless effort on behalf of the temporarily downtrodden or seriously despairing. Now, the County and about two dozen other agencies and resources have committed their efforts to have a “programmatic approach” to the shelter, not just a place to house people; the new shelter will offer a “full service resource program.” Naturally, this fight is fraught with obstacles including monetary challenges, and oftentimes, negative perceptions. But still, Edwards and all those affiliated with UOEDC, as well as the former Grace Place, admirably persevere.Because no county or government agency financially supports UOEDC, it relies on gifts and donations from individuals, corporations, churches and generous organizations to operate. “If we had a continual and dependable source of operating funds, we could concentrate on programs to help the homeless,” says Edwards, who adds that future plans of the UOEDC include providing health services, counseling and training to homeless individuals to help them successfully transition back into a job and a place of their own.To learn more about UOEDC or to make a donation, visit uoedc.org. For volunteer opportunities, call Linda Gates at 530-644-5695.

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Life Coaching

Oct 31, 2008 05:00PM ● By Super Admin

Today’s stop-for-nothing lifestyle has birthed a cadre of assistance for those who require it, which, if we’re really honest with ourselves, is most of us in some capacity.  And yet, despite society’s helpful workforce, many of us are overly stressed, too thinly spread, and generally unhealthy. Enter the “Life Coach.” WHAT IS LIFE COACHING?“As a life coach I help my clients get their lives back on track, empower them to learn more about themselves and to fully understand and appreciate their true potential,” says Professional Certified Life Coach David Rude, who, through his Folsom practice, helps residents realize, then manage, unfulfilled aspects of their lives. He does so by assisting these individuals to “rediscover their dreams and goals” by first identifying obstacles and challenges that prevent these aims from being reached. According to Life Coach and Retreat Leader, Cindie Wilding of Roseville, “A life coach can help individuals who need structure and accountability in order to make challenging changes.”Life coaching may easily be, and often is, confused with traditional therapy. And while there is some overlap, there are fundamental differences, according to Rude, who explains that psychological therapy tends to focus on feelings and experiences related to past events. Wilding goes on to say that, “a coach does not look back, but rather works with the client to take action, moving forward towards their goals.”HOW IT WORKSThrough attentive, one-on-one discussion and goal setting, life coaches help clients define clear, achievable objectives. The process is most successful when client ambitions are based upon his or her core needs and values.  Wilding explains, “[Life] coaching is not something that happens to you, but something you make happen. If you are ready to make some changes, you are ready for a coach.” Rude says, “accelerated personal and professional growth is the hallmark of being coached.” WHO BENEFITS?Because we all possess the ability to overwhelm ourselves, life coaching benefits all who fruitlessly spin their wheels, whether it is a single working mother, a high-profile corporate executive, or a member of the chronically over-taxed set. “I work with students, housewives, corporate administrators, teachers, lawyers, business leaders and so on,” Rude says, “anyone interested in enhancing their professional and/or personal life and willing to make a commitment to growth.” Wilding helps her clients look at the roadblocks to their personal goals, and focuses on solutions for removing them.Rude also raises a crucial point in this whole exercise – personal accountability.  But, if you lack motivation at times, Wilding recommends having a coach at your side, cheering you on, because it really does make all the difference.For more about Life Coaching, be sure to pick up this month's copy of FoothillStyle. Click on the "Get Your Copy" link on the bottom of this page for some of our newsstand locations. Or, to order a copy of this issue, please email Gloria Schroeder at [email protected], or call her at 916-988-9888 x116.

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Gold Rush

Oct 31, 2008 05:00PM ● By Super Admin

There are many places of historical significance to be found in El Dorado County, and most, if not all are from the Gold Rush Era. Of course, with all the various and interesting sites and museums scattered across El Dorado County, making a day trip out of it can seem at first overwhelming. Fortunately, this month’s In History will take a look at four places of interest within the local historical scene to help those folks who are planning a day trip.The first stop of the day is the El Dorado County Historical Museum. The Museum is located near the entrance to the El Dorado County fairgrounds in Placerville and is a fascinating place. Containing many relics from the county’s past, the History Museum is a great place to start. It also serves as an excellent place to learn of other historical locations to visit after the tour. Inside, baskets and other various tools and trinkets created by the indigenous people of the area can be seen in the first exhibit, while a Studebaker wheelbarrow and other items from the Gold Rush era can be seen next. Outside rests various pieces of steam-driven machinery that made the Gold Rush possible. For folks craving to learn more about mining, the next stop will certainly satisfy.The Gold Bug Park and Mine is a large 61.5-acre area that can offer a full day experience for the visiting family. On the flip side, visitors who are just stopping by have a range of activities to pick from. For those who like some exercise with their education, there are roughly two miles of hiking trails, as well as an outdoor picnic area to rest and enjoy lunch. One of the more notable attractions, aside from the mines themselves, is a scale recreation of a stamp mill that was used to extract gold ore from quartz rock. The stamp mill is as fascinating as it is noisy. The park contains two mines: Gold Bug Mine and Priest Mine. Both offer visitors a learning experience on the realm of the Gold Rush miner. The next stop will take us out of Placerville and into the heart of where the Gold Rush began.The James Marshall Monument is a must-see for anyone who desires to do a “Gold Rush” themed outing. The monument stands atop a hill overlooking the Marshall Gold Discovery State Park. While it is possible to drive up to the monument at the top of the hill, walking up, in this writer’s opinion, is a better means of getting there. Once at the top, you’ll have a great view of the surrounding area and river canyon. The monument was erected above Marshall’s burial site, and if you look up closely at the monument, you’ll see that Marshall is pointing outwards. Appropriately, he is pointing to the site where he first discovered gold and sparked the California Gold Rush. Though the day is winding down, there’s one last stop to make, and what a destination!After spending a day full of learning and visiting interesting historical places, sitting down and watching a good old-fashioned melodrama is possibly the best way to end such a day. Enter the Olde Coloma Theatre. Featuring local talent with plays that contain dashing heroes (hurrah!), mustache-twirling villains (boo!), and large amounts of laughs and fun, the Olde Coloma Theatre is a great place to take a family. Young kids will especially enjoy the atmosphere that the Theatre provides. Though not definitive, this list of places to visit should prove worthy and valuable to those who want to get out and experience historical El Dorado County, but aren’t sure where to start.

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RSVP Chior

Oct 31, 2008 05:00PM ● By Super Admin

Music has always brought people together. Depending on the tune and tempo, it has the ability to relax or stimulate. It has been used from the beginning of time to encourage and motivate. It can ease a broken heart or make someone laugh or cry. Artistic Director Julie Adams wants to use music to inspire people in the Sacramento area to help support charities of all kinds. In 2000, Adams envisioned a musical group that would help feed people emotionally, spiritually, and if at all possible, physically. “I wanted to bring people together for the good of our community,” says Adams. “It is important to showcase what we all have in common…not our differences.”For nearly a decade, she and the non-profit Reconciliation Singers Voices for Peace (RSVP) have been doing just that. RSVP has successfully brought together music, people in need and those that can help. “We use our singing voices,” Adams says, “to help those who do not have a voice in our society.” Homeless, hungry, illiterate and many more have benefited from RSVP’s passion for helping others.RSVP is made up of 16 extremely dedicated professional musicians. They come together every Monday night to rehearse from Labor Day to Memorial Day. “We are a diva-free zone,” says Adams, “we all like each other and work together for a common purpose.” Along with the weekly rehearsals, each member has the intense homework of memorizing each song. Although not all members are lucky enough to have music as their career, they are all university-trained singers. A mailman, physicist, company president, high tech professionals and others, work very hard to bring the music alive. “There is such goodwill within the group and in what we do,” Adams explains, “it rubs off on to the audience.”First, RSVP identifies a charity in need, (past recipients include Adopt an Elder, Mustard Seed School, and Rebuilding Together) then Adams creates a musical program that will complement the charity or its cause. During the free concert, a representative from the charity makes a presentation on their mission or cause and concert-goers can donate if they wish. The charity receives 100 percent of the proceeds of the concert.Since RSVP operates on a “shoestring budget,” they rely on many benefactors to bring their message to the community. They do not advertise and depend on word-of-mouth to help expand their ever increasing mailing list. RSVP aims to provide an uplifting musical experience now, while building a strong base of ongoing and future philanthropy. “We are real people doing extraordinary things,” says Adams. “We want to continue to help our community by building bridges between people.” The next RSVP concert is scheduled for January 2009, and will benefit WEAVE.For more information on future concerts and RSVP, visit rsvpchoir.org or call 916-624-9419.

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Homecoming

Oct 31, 2008 05:00PM ● By Super Admin

From our nation’s earliest beginnings, war has been a part of American life. So too has “homecoming” - the return of our veterans from the battlefield. Where war shapes the face of the nation, our veterans provide its heart and soul, both literally and figuratively. But with each new theatre, and each long-awaited homecoming, we still find ourselves wrestling with the same issues of care and reintegration of veterans into civilian life. While a large majority of our veterans return safely to us and successfully rejoin civilian life, there is a persistent and troubling number of veterans who don’t. Our veterans return from war forever changed by their experiences, and families are often the first to witness this change. Excited anticipation gives way to confusion and frustration with the realization that the person who shipped out isn’t the same as the veteran now returning home. And while there are a growing number of organizations that offer direct, immediate counseling for veterans, there are surprisingly few offering long-term or ongoing support to families of veterans.John Henry Parker, a Sacramento local and former US Marine, found this out the hard way. In late 2003, Parker’s son, Sergeant Danny Facto was serving his second tour with the Army’s 10th Mountain Division in Afghanistan. Positioned in one of the most dangerous battlegrounds in the Afghan-Iraq war, the 10th Mountain had been the focus of recent media attention, appearing on Peter Jennings’ “World News Tonight." Shortly thereafter, Danny called home to his father. “He said he was having some serious reservations about coming home. He didn’t really understand how he was going to make the stretch back to being a parent and a husband after what he’d been going through. It was just, kind of an alarming phone call to get out of the blue,” recalled Parker.Parker, resolved to do everything he could to seek out counseling for Danny, and guidance for he and his family on how to deal with this new set of events unfolding. The results of John’s search, or lack thereof, were disturbing. “Kind of naively, I thought especially with the homecoming problems we had with Vietnam, that we as a society would have some kind of organization or support group for parents and family members to help with this traumatic transition, says Parker. He goes on to say, “I was in the Marine Corps, raised by a father who was a combat veteran…so I was hoping there was something out there, but I just didn’t find anything.”In his search for answers, Parker began meeting other families struggling with the same issues. He began talking to people in the mental health field, within the VA, and in the media, and out of those conversations an idea was born. Parker decided to form his own non-profit organization, called Veterans and Families, dedicated to assisting veterans and their loved ones through the difficult period known as “homecoming.” Throughout 2004­­­­ and 2005, Veterans and Families ran a series of focus groups, with a core group of attendees, mainly spouses, some veterans, as well as Vietnam veterans. It was here Parker gained valuable insight into the relationships between veterans and their family members, particularly spouses. Parker recalls, “You know, when it came right down to it, they were really angry and upset because they’d been good military spouses, they’d done everything they were asked to do and yet after all this is said and done [the veterans] are coming home saying ‘I love you but I can’t live with you, I need my space.’”Eventually hampered by the fact that no list of returning military and family members was available on an ongoing basis, the support groups gave way to a formidable Web presence, which remains and continues to grow today. The Veterans and Families Web  site, veteransandfamilies.org, is an extensive Web portal linking to numerous civilian non-profit, government and media Web sites. Available for download is the crowning achievement of Veterans and Families: The Homecoming Preparedness Guide.This 15-page guide provides crucial insight into the veteran’s mindset, allowing family members to learn how their veteran has changed, and help families move into a new and more realistic understanding of their loved one. It also offers veterans valuable insight into the feelings that his or her family may be going through, and is an invaluable resource for both veterans and their loved ones, at any stage of homecoming.“Our biggest piece of advice that we offer families for every single person outside of the veteran is: manage your expectations,” says Parker. “Manage your expectations around what’s important to the veteran coming home. And start by asking the very easy question of ‘How do you want to spend your first hours/days/weeks/months at home?’” Asking this question is often a good reality check for family members. If expectations go unmanaged and these kinds of questions aren’t asked, resentment begins to breed and can quickly accelerate into a negative spiral. One of the most striking aspects of the Homecoming Preparedness Guide is its simplicity. It outlines scenarios such as if a veteran is noticeably edgy in a restaurant, changing the seating arrangement can help them to feel more comfortable. John elaborates, “I’ve got several spouses who call me and say, ‘You know what, everything in that guide happened. We went to a restaurant and I asked for a corner table so he could actually sit in the corner and watch everything that’s going on in the room, and not only did he appreciate it, he actually opened up and started talking to me, which hadn’t been happening.’”The breakthroughs that come from the right kind of actions are much more long lasting and more deeply felt by the veteran than words. Through the Web site, Veterans and Families remains constantly connected to the “homecoming” process at all stages. “We’re getting people that are saying, 'My husband’s coming home, I’m scared to death…his emails, his voicemails, his messages, he’s changed.’” For veterans who reach “critical mass,” Parker says Vet Centers are the single best resource, of which there are 232 nationwide. Though significantly overstretched, the Vet Centers are equipped to deal specifically with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).One important tool the Vet centers use in treatment programs is getting veterans from similar conflicts into the same room together. To Parker, that method is key; “Nobody really understands a combat veteran better than another combat veteran.” Parker’s son Danny showed him this when he interacted with other veterans during Veterans and Families focus groups. “[With other veterans] he’s not my son Danny, he’s back in the role of a sergeant and a squad leader even though he’s out of the military now. He talks to these guys directly and gets right to the point, ‘You’re telling me you’re okay. How much sleep are you getting? How much are you drinking?’ Veterans have a way of communicating with each other that is a real brotherhood and sisterhood.” Parker is pragmatic and prefers that the military adopt what he calls a “mandatory decompression process.” Parker says, “If it’s important that we have an all-volunteer military in the future, we better release people back into society in a way that helps them manage and cope with what they will encounter. Veterans are reluctant to seek counseling [and] this is a real problem. Instead, Parker believes that there is value in self-help, something that is especially valuable for veterans. “When I got out of the military, an officer really changed my life and shifted my focus,” recalls Parker. “He said, ‘you’re going to get out of the military in a couple of weeks, and what’s interesting is the world is exactly the same. You’ve changed.’” On the officer’s advice Parker visited the nearest bookstore and embraced self-help names like Napoleon Hill, David Schwartz and Maxwell Maltz. Whatever civilians may think of the “personal development” phenomenon, when you’re someone who is truly looking for help, books like these can set you on the right mental path.  In his experience with Veterans and Families, the biggest lesson that Parker has learned is that veterans and their families are ultimately, and understandably, very private about “homecoming” and its aftermath. “After all the things we thought we wanted to do, the Homecoming Preparedness Guide was most relevant. If the legacy of Veterans and Families is that those in need can access the Homecoming Preparedness Guide from the privacy of their own homes, and start to understand how to make the journey back to normalcy, then that alone is a legacy that Parker can be proud of. In 2007, through Veterans and Families, Parker helped launch the Warrior Transition Project, which partners with an organization called Brain State Conditioning, using neurofeedback treatment to find an alternative form of treating the symptoms of PTSD. The Veterans and Families Web site provides a number of first-hand testimonials from veterans attesting to the success of the treatments. Parker’s ongoing drive to explore new opportunities and to find hope where there seems to be none, is embodied in the Veterans and Families organization, and shows veterans that just as they fought for us, there are people here who are willing to fight for them. As is with any non-profit organization, funding is the key to Veterans and Families’ ongoing success. With the help of Bobbi Parks, CEO of the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce and proud mother of an Iraq Marine Combat Veteran, Veterans and Families is currently evaluating the unmet needs of homecoming veterans and their family members to continually align their focus with current and future needs. Parker says, “[Parks] will hopefully be assuming more of a leadership role in the future with the organization. She is an incredible person, spokesperson and leader.”  And what of John’s son Danny? He’s been out of the military now for a few years and adjusting into civilian and college life while pursuing a Masters in Clinical Social Work, which will allow him to counsel other veterans. Life still is not without its ups and downs, and John, Danny and the family still take it day by day. “We talk about the future but we seem to talk more about how he’s doing right now.”To download the Homecoming Preparedness Guide, make donations, or for more information about veterans’ issues, check out veteransandfamilies.org. For more information about getting involved, be sure to pick up this month's copy of Style-Roseville Granite Bay Rocklin. Click on the "Get Your Copy" link on the bottom of this page for some of our newsstand locations. Or, to order a copy of this issue, please email Gloria Schroeder at [email protected], or call her at 916-988-9888 x116.

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Carver's Steaks & Chops

Oct 31, 2008 05:00PM ● By Super Admin

Chef Neil Berg’s voracious appetite for information led him to a career satisfying customer appetites. His roommate worked in a restaurant that was hiring cooks, and even though Neil had not cooked before, he applied and was given a chance. He quickly learned by doing, and by reading lots of publications. In only two years he was running the kitchen.After 20 years in the kitchen, he loves the freedom to create original recipes and has written about a quarter of the Carvers’ menu. “There is great satisfaction in seeing something on the menu that you created,” says Berg.Carvers restaurant cuts all of their steaks (with the exception of porterhouse). Berg says, “It keeps our cost down and we have hands-on control over the quality of our meat. Carvers has specialized in prime rib for 30 years. We cook it for 18 hours and it’s so tender and flavorful that you really don’t need a knife.” Chef Berg’s philosophy is that nobody in his kitchen works for him, they work with him. He won’t ask them to do anything he wouldn’t do. Carvers Steakhouse holds the title of Best Restaurant in Roseville since 1996.For more about Chef Neil Berg including his recipe for Seared Ahi Tuna Appetizer with Ginger Cilantro Aioli, be sure to pick up this month's copy of Style-Roseville Granite Bay Rocklin edition. Click on the "Get Your Copy" link on the bottom of this page for some of our newsstand locations. Or, to order a copy of this issue, please email Gloria Schroeder at [email protected], or call her at 916-988-9888 x116.

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