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Last Updated: 01/31/2009 04:00PM • Subscribe via RSSATOM

Read some articles from back issues of the print edition and supplemental content.

Paying for College

They got the grades. They got the acceptance letter. You’re getting the bill. Sound familiar? If you’re the parent of a high school student, and college tuition bills are causing anxiety, don’t fret. There are many avenues available for financial aid, regardless of your yearly income, plus savings plans for students and parents.First Things First: The FAFSA“One of the biggest myths about a college education is that students can’t afford one,” says Brett Tujague, Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) Coordinator at Roseville’s Woodcreek High School. He advises all his college-bound students to apply for financial aid, regardless of their family income.Financial aid is broken down into two main categories: grants/scholarships (money you don’t have to pay back), and loans (money you do have to pay back). The gateway to all financial aid is through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students will not receive any aid, not even student loans, without filling out the FAFSA. Both parents and students need to sign up for a PIN to electronically sign the FAFSA, which is quick and easy to do at pin.ed.gov. Families should only fill out the FAFSA at fafsa.ed.gov, where the application is free. Many scam sites charge a fee to fill out the application, so don’t be fooled. The FAFSA filing period is between January 1 and March 2 each year. Once a student’s FAFSA is processed, the family will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) that states the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) number on it. This number is the amount of money a family is expected to contribute to their student’s education. A family’s EFC does not change based on the school’s price tag. In some situations, a private college or university may end up being less expensive than a public one.Scholarships/GrantsJill Lasko, Career Guidance Specialist at Oak Ridge High School in El Dorado Hills recommends starting the scholarship process as early as possible. “Obtain letters of recommendation from individuals who know [the student] well,” she says. “Prepare a resume, an educational/career goal statement, and request official transcripts from the high school’s registrar.” Because scholarships that require an essay often get fewer applicants, students should consider taking the time to write these essays to increase their chances of garnering free money for their education. Make it a goal to apply to one scholarship per week. To find scholarships, visit your high school’s counseling office, or sign up for a free online search service. A good one? fastweb.com. Grants are awarded through federal and state programs....For more information on College Funding tips and ideas, be sure to pick up this month's copy of Style – Folsom, El Dorado Hills edition. Check out the Distribution tab on this Web site for some of our newsstand locations. Or, to order a copy of this issue, please email  info@sierrastyle.com, or call 916-988-9888.

Local Area Tidbits

If you are looking for a unique way to show a little love this February, volunteer with the City of Folsom! With opportunities galore, check out a complete listing at folsom.ca.us and click on Volunteer in Folsom...Don’t throw out your old aluminum cans, plastic bottles, and glass bottles; instead take them to the Folsom Zoo, where all money raised goes toward helping support the zoo. Items can be dropped off during normal zoo hours...Sierra Moms collected hundreds of toys for Gifts from the Heart this holiday season,  delivering toys to nearly 150 children...Have you heard that Folsom has a HazMat Service offering weekly and monthly pickups of hazardous materials? Learn more at folsomhazmat.com...On February 25, meet the newly elected El Dorado County Supervisors at the El Dorado Hills Library.  District 2 supervisor Ray Nutting and District 1 supervisor John Knight will be speaking at the Chamber Community Connections. Please RSVP at 916-933-1335...Congratulations to the Hotel Sierra Rancho Cordova who recently celebrated their grand re-opening after a $4 million makeover, including updates to the suites, fitness center, pool and patio areas – to see visit hotel-sierra.com...Did you know that flushing unused or expired medication down the sink or toilet can pollute the environment? Instead, arrange for a Free Monthly Pick-up of all non-controlled substances from the City of Folsom. To schedule a pick- up, call 916-355-8397. For controlled substances, call the police department at 916-355-7230...Brisbane Chiropractic has moved! Dr. Roger S. Brisbane and his staff can now be found at 510 Plaza Drive, Suite 160, Folsom...If you or someone you know is struggling with SAT anxiety, This month the Folsom Public Library will offer a workshop presented by Kaplan Testing. Students will learn test-taking strategies as well as get a chance to take a practice test. For more information visit kaptest.com/College...The Parkway Community in Folsom was recognized by the National Arbor Day Foundation for their environmental efforts to protect and save trees, and will receive the 2008 Building With Trees “Award of Excellence” at the National Green Building Conference in May. Congrats!...Folsom Lake College continues to be among the fastest growing community colleges in the United States according to Community College Week, jumping from the 10th spot last year to number seven this year! Visit flc.losrios.edu...And if you have wellness on your resolution list this year, you must visit the new GNC (General Nutrition Center) in El Dorado Hills at Town Center, you can find them in Suite 110, or call 916-939-0120...Don’t forget to watch Hollywood’s best as they don their finest for the 81st Annual Academy Awards on February 22, hosted by Hugh Jackman. And, be sure to check back next month for our annual Food & Drink feature issue!Send your news to: info@sierrastyle.com.

Thai Paradise

Folsom’s Thai Paradise is a bright and inviting restaurant with a marvelous staff. Once you are seated, you instantly feel like an honored guest – your every dining wish is catered to. Paul Sainoi, manager of Thai Paradise gave Style some insight into the philosophy behind the wonderful food that they serve. Sainoi manages Thai Paradise and his sister Jarunee Fleming is the chef. Cooking runs in their family – Fleming has even cooked for Thai royalty. Royalty, perhaps, but when you go to Thai Paradise, you are visiting family – a family that is passionate about food and honoring their guests, which is exactly the feeling you get while dining with Fleming and her staff. The chefs at Thai Paradise have worked at some of the best Thai restaurants in the area, and they bring their skills and knowledge to the tiny gem of paradise.  “Our philosophy? We want to bring you the best and freshest food at affordable prices,” says Sainoi. And that is exactly what they do.Sainoi points out that their menu is small by comparison to many Thai restaurants. This is because every item is special and Fleming will not send out a dish that is not a source of pride for the restaurant.For more about Chef Jarunee Fleming and Paul Sainoi, including their recipe for Thai Yellow Curry Chicken, be sure to pick up this month's copy of Style-Folsom El Dorado Hills 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  info@sierrastyle.com, or call 916-988-9888.

Local Literary Achievers

This month we’ve diverged from our regular then & now recommendations, and instead feature here 10 local authors (all residents of the region) and their recent published works.Life’s Little How to Book by Jaleh DonaldsonSchoolteacher Donaldson addresses some of life’s most important issues with straightforward advice, covering a range of topics from a broken relationship to rekindling the passion in marriage to getting out of debt.Second Bloomby Michelle Gamble-Risley and Anne Marie SmithThese local ladies highlight 10 simple steps to Reinvent, Rejuvenate, and Realize a New Life. This read is a tool designed for women who are experiencing what the authors call the “Big Blank” causing them to go on autopilot. Patagonian Adventureby Jack L. ParkerThis follow-up to Parker’s Tibetan Adventure tells a story of death-defying adventure as a father and son travel to the region of Patagonia, Argentina. A must-read for the entire family.Nature Noir: A Park Ranger’s Patrol in the Sierraby Jordan Fisher Smith Murder, irony and natural history – Nature Noir has all three. Smith poignantly writes about his experiences patrolling the canyons of the American River.Hassle-Free Computer Supportby Jeff Johnson & Thor SeversonA small business’s guide to finding a professional, competent, honest, considerate, on-time, fairly-priced and dependable computer consultant.Due Process Denied: Why The Fourteenth Amendment Never Became Part Of The Constitutionby George Pierce RitterFor the politicos, this read explains why the proposal and ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment were anything but constitutional. Not on Your Life!by Karen AndersonKaren Anderson, founder of Do-Able Steps creates simple solutions for women to conquer their fears and achieve long time goals and everyday challenges.Leadership=RC3by John Ikeda“This book is for the rare individual who continuously strives to lead in a way that makes the world a better place to live – a true leader.”48 Dog Friendly Trailsby Debbi PrestonFor dog lovers, experienced and novice hikers and nature lovers, this new hiking guide is organized month-by-month, and offers a plethora of possibilities including off-leash venues, and even suggestions for restaurants, historical sites, wineries and shopping near the hikes.Classic Afghan Cookbook by Mousa M. AmiriWritten by local restaurant (Bamiyan) owner, this book explores the exotic cuisine of Afghanistan with interesting and enjoyable recipes for the whole family.

Michelle Hardy

A former firefighter and paramedic, Michelle Hardy has made a life out of helping people in their time of need. After an injury forced her to retire, she started two assisted living facilities, Apple Ridge and Ivy Ridge, where she strives to make a home away from home for the elderly. “At my facilities, people can have an apartment, their own furniture, cable - a more independent lifestyle – so they don’t have to give everything up,” she explains. “Families are happier because they don’t have to feel guilty about leaving Mom and Dad in a home.” In addition, each week Hardy takes her beloved Pit Bull mix, Brownie, to assisted living facilities throughout the Sacramento area, cheering up residents wherever she goes. Hardy adopted Brownie after she had been abused and abandoned by her former owners; Hardy put Brownie through a rigorous one-year course to become a certified therapy dog. Although Pit Bulls have a reputation for being aggressive, Hardy insists that Brownie is far from the stereotype. “She is the sweetest dog you know,” she says. “If you’re sitting there in a wheelchair, she’ll put her head on your lap.”The recent economic crisis has deeply affected both of Hardy’s facilities, but she insists that it isn’t necessary to spend a lot of money to make people happy. “If you don’t have money, donate time,” she urges. “Make one person smile, knowing that it might be their last.” For more information on volunteering, contact Hardy at rcfewizard@aol.com.For more on Michelle Hardy 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  info@sierrastyle.com, or call 916-988-9888.

Carol Rhodes-Wittich

If you want to work with someone who cares about your artwork, Carole Rhodes-Wittich is the woman to see. Artists seek Rhodes-Wittich to create new ways do display their artwork. She takes the time to figure out what artists want to accomplish and comes up with ideas to print their work on silk. She runs a digital silk printing business from her location in Fair Oaks.Owner of Cje’s Art & Fiber Printing, Rhodes-Wittich will share what she can do for artists with the Folsom Arts Association at their meeting this month. She specializes in printing on silk, but can print on just about anything, including glass and tile. Artists can use their work on pillows, scarves, T-shirts, canvas and other material. Her work is an art form all in itself. She uses creativity and her expertise to produce quality art piece replicas in which canvas is not the only medium.“In this day and age I spend a lot of time trying to help artists understand how to use their [own] art so they can make it more viable in the marketplace,” Rhodes-Wittich says. “She supports artists and completes projects as quickly as she can,” says Lori Anderson, the vice president of the Folsom Arts Association. Anderson has been taking photos of her paintings to Rhodes-Wittich for three years to have them turned into greeting cards or giccles (pictures of a painting that are printed on canvas). “She enjoys what she’s doing so much,” Anderson says, “she really gets into it and she likes to figure things out and get creative.”Rhodes-Wittich started her business seven years ago without any training, but with plenty of experience from her previous work with glass and textiles. She took classes to improve her skills in those areas at American River College, the Mendocino Art Center and the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. “I’ve always been a textiles person,” Rhodes-Wittich says. “I just like the feel of the fabric.” She bought printing machinery and learned everything from a few technicians who knew how to operate it. Several years later, after much practice, she has become comfortable with the printing process, though she calls technicians in when something goes wrong. Silk can become damaged at any point in the printing process. After the paper-backed silk is printed, Rhodes-Wittich takes the paper off. Then she places the silk into a commercial steamer, runs it through the laundry and irons it wet. The process is not easy, but the silk turns out beautiful when done right.“Silk is pretty sturdy,” she says, “and a lot of people think it’s very delicate; it just looks delicate.”Rhodes-Wittich has printed fellow artist Susan Cawthon’s watercolor paintings on silk so that Cawthon can make pillows and other pieces from them. Cawthon started taking her work to Rhodes-Wittich about a year after she began painting and says that Rhodes-Wittich often spends hours helping her figure out what she should do with her artwork. Rhodes-Wittich is so involved in the creative process of the pieces she prints that the final work of art is a result of committed collaboration.

Simple Heroes

Anyone who has witnessed a homeless child receive a warm winter coat, or an elderly woman be helped up the stairs by an individual far more agile, knows that simple acts of kindness are indeed heroic. Uncomplicated but generous acts of heroism prove that each of us have transformative special powers. Because seemingly insignificant action can have a life-long impact, there is the Simple Heroes Initiative, which encourages community residents to support underserved foster youth by providing them with basic needs they have been denied. In order to connect these individuals with resources, the Initiative was established in 2008 in conjunction with Generation Fate, a nonprofit also dedicated to assisting local foster youth. After meeting with countless social workers, foster parents and foster children, Generation Fate’s Founder and Director Nick Cunningham continually heard the same story. “I was told that there were little things foster children missed out on like high school prom, extracurricular activities or driver's education courses because of a lack of resources,” he explains. “I knew there were resources in the community, but there was just no conduit to put two and two together.”Until, that is, the Simple Heroes Initiative, which predominately serves Placer County youth, but continues to branch out and assists children throughout the greater Sacramento region and Yolo County. In 2007, the year Generation Fate was founded, the organization was openly exploratory and unsure of how to effectively reach the targeted demographic. “This mentality does not make it easy to get funding from larger foundations and organizations,” admits Cunningham, who adds that because Generation Fate’s mission, at that point, lacked focus, the organization did not receive crucial monetary funding to support the Initiative or its beneficiaries, forcing the team to identify alternative ways to operate and help others on a shoestring budget. Consequently, individual donations were responsible for 80 percent of overall revenue.“During the process our eyes were opened to the vast amounts of people in our community that were ready and willing to help these children,” Cunningham says. “And with the network of volunteers and supporters that slowly built up, we have been able to connect with and help hundreds of foster youth.” Assistance comes in different ways, which might be a new pair contact lenses or a computer, to art supplies or admission to an exhibit.“Some foster youth do not experience much of a life outside of the system, and allowing them to play baseball, go to prom or attend a class field trip gives them something positive to attach to; it brings a little balance into their often chaotic lives,” Cunningham explains.  Among the ambitions of Generation Fate, Inc., and its organizers and supporters, is to secure long-term monetary funding and to create models of the organization that can be scaled and duplicated in other communities.To learn more about Generation Fate, Inc., and the Simple Heroes Initiative, upcoming fund-raisers, and how you can help, please visit the organization online at generationfate.org and/or simpleheroes.com, email nick@generationfate.org, or call 916-987-2889.

I Promise To...

The beginning of January is the traditional time we pledge to lead healthier, happier, more fulfilling lives in the year ahead. Making New Year’s resolutions helps formalize our personal goals of behavioral change, and hopefully provides the motivation we need to stay on track past February. But resolutions aren’t just for grownups. Annual goal setting also can be helpful for kids and adolescents who face increasing responsibilities at home, in school and in their community. To help celebrate the New Year, we asked a few local kids to share their poignant, funny and inspiring resolutions for 2009. Alexander's Resolution“In 2009, I resolve to work harder in everything that I do. I also want to work on the sports that I play the most because I have not scored a touchdown yet…not even one in the whole season. And I will also work on playing quiet games with my sister and letting my mom and dad sleep. And I will try to eat healthier food and work on not playing so many video games. I will also work on having the best table manners at all times and [at] all dinners. Most of all, I will definitely try to be a lot better in responsibility and taking care of my things, like my Swiss army knife.”— Alexander, Age 8 3rd Grade, Oak Meadow ElementaryEl Dorado Hills...If your child hasn’t made any New Year’s resolutions yet, it’s not too late. Helping children set goals can be a fun and enlightening experience for the whole family. You may be surprised to hear what they have prioritized for 2009!For more local kids' New Year's resolutions be sure to pick up this month's copy of Style-Folsom El Dorado Hills edition. Check out the Distribution tab on this Web site for some of our newsstand locations. Or, to order a copy of this issue, please email Gloria Schroeder at gloria@sierrastyle.com, or call her at 916-988-9888 x116.

I Promise To...

The beginning of January is the traditional time we pledge to lead healthier, happier, more fulfilling lives in the year ahead. Making New Year’s resolutions helps formalize our personal goals of behavioral change, and hopefully provides the motivation we need to stay on track past February. But resolutions aren’t just for grownups. Annual goal setting also can be helpful for kids and adolescents who face increasing responsibilities at home, in school and in their community. To help celebrate the New Year, we asked a few local kids to share their poignant, funny and inspiring resolutions for 2009. ...Alexis’ resolutions1. To be a thinker2. To be caring3. To be knowledgeable4. To be a better person5. To Do my chores6. To help my brothers7. To call my grandparents more8. To love on my parents9. To eat more healthy10. To help our community11. To give joy to the world— Alexis, Age 7, 2nd Grade Loomis Basin Charter School If your child hasn’t made any New Year’s resolutions yet, it’s not too late. Helping children set goals can be a fun and enlightening experience for the whole family. You may be surprised to hear what they have prioritized for 2009! For more local kids' New Year resolutions, be sure to pick up this month's copy of Style-Roseville Granite Bay Rocklin edition. Check out the Distribution tab on this Web site for some of our newsstand locations. Or, to order a copy of this issue, please email Gloria Schroeder at gloria@sierrastyle.com, or call her at 916-988-9888 x116

Achieving Health Happiness

Mike was told he would never walk again after a near-fatal head-on collision with a semi. Dennis was 200 pounds overweight, had undergone three surgeries and was taking 13 prescription medications per day. Sandra simply wanted to get in better shape in order to prevent the diabetes and heart disease her family is prone to.There are as many different reasons to make changes to diet and exercise habits as there are people. No matter your age or size, chances are, there is something about yourself you would like to improve. Thinking beyond the “you” of today, physical fitness is important for the “you” of the future. Being Proactive is Key for Better Health Better physical fitness can prevent accidents as well, or at least minimize the damage they cause. Steven Harrity, Physical Therapist, Owner and President of Cameron Park Physical Therapy, works with people in his wellness center who want to lose weight or otherwise improve their health. Harrity notes that with the rising levels of obesity in the country, there is also an increase in the number of people who are proactively improving their health before accidents or diseases affect them.“The better physical condition you’re in, the less chance you have of falls or other accidents,” says Harrity. He points out that increased muscle and ligament strength and improved balance all contribute to this, and protects your bones if you do have an accident. Harrity’s practice also works with many seniors for the same reason. As we age, changes to our inner ears and eyes cause changes to our balance, increasing the risk of falls. “We work with all [body] systems to help them be more stable. When they fall, they lose confidence and become more sedentary and homebound, which makes them more likely to fall [again].” With increased physical fitness, this vicious cycle can be broken. Roseville Health and Wellness is equally committed to helping clients achieve their best possible fitness level. “Our goal is to make Roseville the healthiest community in America. We provide a unique combination of medical, rehabilitation, and fitness services allowing each individual to achieve total body wellness,” states Jeff DeRaps, President RHWC, Inc.An Alarming TrendAccording to the American Medical Association, obesity is the number two preventable cause of death in the United States, after smoking and before alcohol abuse. Causes of obesity include poor dietary choices, an increasingly inactive lifestyle, genetics and socioeconomic strata. Of course, the management of one’s diet is fundamental to healthy weight. As important as dietary choices, if not more so, is maintaining a healthy amount of physical exercise. Jobs in the United States are increasingly sedentary as much of our physical labor is transitioned off shore and even the normal labor of office work is reduced through increased automation. These are minor changes, but they add up to a tendency toward being inactive and, ultimately, to weight gain.Vowing to lose weight or to achieve better muscle tone is easy. We all do it with the best of intentions, making New Year’s resolutions every year to lose “X” amount of weight or to take up jogging. The hard part, it turns out, is actually doing anything about it. Style recently had the opportunity to speak with a few admirable people who not only made the vow to achieve better health, but who had the discipline to take the necessary steps. Some made the choice to achieve better health, but in one case the choice was made for him. Here are their stories.Sandra MirandaSandra works with the Department of Corrections. She has been with them for 18 years, 13 of them as a Corrections Officer. She knows her family history and she saw that genetically, she is prone not only to being overweight, but to Type 2 diabetes and all of the related health problems that come with that disease. She knew she did not want to risk her health any further and acknowledged that she was already heading down that path with the choices she was making regarding her diet and exercise. What was Sandra’s response to this? She took a very logical and proven path to better health. She started by going to Weight Watcher’s meetings. They offered her a framework for her weight-loss project with a proven system, and they provided her a great support group of like-minded individuals seeking similar goals to her own. Then, to step up her weight loss and improve her strength and flexibility, she went to Snap Fitness in El Dorado Hills to get some guidance for her physical regimen. There she met Sonya, her personal trainer, and got the motivation she needed to go to the gym on a regular basis and to continue working toward her goal. Also at Snap Fitness, Sandra attended a course on eating good foods – what you should and should not eat to achieve better health. “You need to avoid the processed foods,” Sandra shared. “Processed foods are terrible for you.” Sandra is on her way. Her initial goal was to drop 50 pounds and to achieve overall better fitness. So far, she has lost 20 pounds and is well on her way to her goal! Sandra says, “The hardest part is finding the motivation to get into the gym! But, once you are there, you know what to do!"...Anyone who truly wants to make a change can find a way to do it, and we here at Style wish you all the luck and success in the world.

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