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News10's Contributor of the Month: Mark Mazzaferro

News10's Contributor of the Month: Mark Mazzaferro

The self-proclaimed nut of Vacaville has a big job. Vacaville’s Public Information Officer Mark Mazzaferro manages the city’s website, Twitter account, Facebook page, creates YouTube videos, sends out press releases, manages the government TV station, overlooks Vacaville’s emergency radio and a lot more.

Mazzaferro has been with the city of Vacaville for five years, but has worked as a PIO for 12.

Sacramento mystery author kills at Borders Books

Sacramento mystery author kills at Borders Books

I’m stalking my friend, Cindy Sample, because while she’s just sent her second mystery novel off to the publisher, she continues to tirelessly promote her current novel, Dying for a Date.

I recently read Dying for a Date, a humorous mystery set in Placerville and El Dorado Hills, and was taken aback when one of the characters (albeit brief) was named Margie Andrews. Can you believe it? I’m in her book!

By the way, don’t call me Margie; I hate that. I will pull the car over to the side of the road and beat you senseless with my jumper cables if you ever call me Margie.

But I’m forgiving Cindy because she didn’t know any better. Plus, she didn’t know me, literally, when she wrote Dying for a Date.

Sacramento's Gem: The American River Bike Trail

Sacramento's Gem:  The American River Bike Trail

Just when you think you are disappointed with what Sacramento has to offer, think again.. The American River Bike Trail has everything to give us a life worth treasuring. From biking to hiking,  boating to wildlife viewing, family picnic to solitary meditation, you have it all.

ARBT is aptly described in one of Bob Dylan's poems, that goes:

"There's beauty in the silver, singin' river,
There's beauty in the rainbow in the sky,
But no one and nothing else can touch the beauty"


Making Waves

Making Waves

In the face of squalls, the Vista del Lago High girls swim team continues to push forward, carving out a legacy in the water at one of the area’s newest schools.

The Eagles are not funded by the Folsom-Cordova Unified School District, have a pool they can’t compete in for half the season and field no other aquatics program on campus which diminishes their numbers. But, bolstered by a fourth-place finish at last month’s Sac-Joaquin Section Swimming Championships, Vista del Lago’s girls have earned the reputation in the swimming community as a program on the rise.

“It’s really neat to (watch) – they’re setting the tone,” said Eagles coach Joel Garceau, who also heads the swim teams at Folsom High. “They’re setting the traditions.”

The three schools that finished ahead of Vista del Lago – St. Francis, Davis and Rio Americano, respectively – boast a combined 26 section swim titles, so, truly, there is no shame in fourth place.

Head Games

Head Games

Standing at the end of the runway, pole resting on shoulder, a pole vaulter’s emotions before charging toward the pit are a combustible concoction of anxiety, excitement and fear.

Granite Bay High’s Katie Zingheim knows.

Zingheim, who placed third in the CIF state meet for the second straight year with a vault of 12 feet, four inches on June 4, went through a spell just over a year ago in which she couldn’t bring herself to vault.

In a sport where the margin of victory can be as slight as a quarter of an inch, the difference between success and failure often times is the five inches between a competitor’s ears. After all,  plenty can go wrong sprinting down a runway carrying a carbon fiber pole, jamming it into the ground and using the flex of the pole to convert horizontal momentum into vertical energy to vault over a bar one story in the air.

Rather than vaulting with her feet pointed at the sky, they were planted firmly on the ground.

Striding toward Success

Striding toward Success

Ty’anna Oates is fast.

So fast in fact that by the ripe old age of 7, she had already gained a reputation as a legendary “tag” player at the local playground in her Elk Grove neighborhood.

When she was “it,” it was over.

“One of my neighbors saw her playing at the park,” said Ty’anna’s mother, Lanisha Staley. “She said none of the kids can catch her, you should put her in a track program.”

Lanisha took the observation seriously, signing up Ty’anna and her older brother Leonard King with the MP Striders Youth Track and Field Club.

The neighbor’s observations proved correct. But while Ty’anna began piling up the wins (she recently won the Sub-bantam 200 and 100 meter races at the May 18 3M Track Club Invitational), it was off the track that Lanisha noticed the real transformation taking place.

A Passion for Problems

A Passion for Problems

Liam Vance is an elite athlete who is driven more by the joy of a great problem than by the thrill of competition.

He is not motivated by medals and accolades, but takes great pride in the numerous accomplishments he has achieved as one of the top young boulderers in the United States.

When he was seven years old, Vance discovered bouldering almost by accident. “His sitter took him to Rocknasium (an indoor climbing facility in Davis),” his mother, Karen Hewett said. “And that’s where it started. He came home and he was so excited he could barely stop talking about it.”

Unlike traditional climbing or sport climbing, bouldering is a dynamic, more gymnastic form of climbing that requires explosive, powerful movements and focuses on individual moves or short sequences of moves. Boulder routes are commonly referred to as “problems” because the nature of the climb is often short and emphasizes problem solving, which is what drew Vance to the sport.