Metro Fire Rolls Out in Pink for Breast Cancer

Story by Jacqueline Fox  |  2017-10-13

For the last two years, Metro Fire has won the contest for most money raised for Movember’s “First Responder Challenge,” which involves fire departments and others across the region. Photo courtesy Sac Metro Fire

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District (Metro Fire) kicked off Breast Cancer Awareness month with the debut of one of its Pierce manufactured fire trucks decked out in a pink wrap, ribbon and a touch of blue Oct 5, part of its two-month campaign to raise funds and awareness for breast and other forms of cancer.

The big pink truck made its debut at Metro Fire headquarters in Mather as part of the centerpiece of the campaign “All Cancers All People.” Metro Fire has partnered with the Albie Aware Breast Cancer Foundation to promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, and the Movember Foundation to put the focus on men’s health and cancer awareness in November.  

“The centerpiece of its multi-month campaign was the transformation of one of our Pierce Manufactured fire trucks from fire engine red to “October Pink” and just a touch of blue ombre,” says Christopher Vestal, Metro Fire captain/paramedic and public information officer.”

Albie Aware Breast Cancer Foundation Executive Director Cindy Love, alongside cancer survivors from Metro Fire and others who have been impacted by cancer attended the roll out for the campaign. Albie Aware, founded in 2007, offers assistance for life-saving diagnostic testing, patient advocacy, prevention education and compassionate support to individuals battling breast cancer.  

The Movember Foundation was founded in 2003 in Melbourne, Australia to essentially fund research and programs dealing with education and treatment for prostate cancer.  In 2007, Movember launched in the United States with a partnership with the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Today, the foundation works to conduct outreach and fund research for men’s cancer and various other health-related causes, including suicide prevention, with a global reach and roughly 5 million participants.               

Metro Fire’s pink truck, which has been named “All Cancers All People,” got its makeover courtesy of Sacramento-based Vehicle Wraps Inc., with a little help from Sacramento Area Firefighters Local 522 and the Sacramento Metro Firefighters Association, Vestal said.  In addition to the debut of the pink and pale blue truck, Vestal said Metro Fire was teaming up with the Sacramento Kings to conduct “surprise visits” to patients across the region and deliver free tickets to the Kings’ Oct. 9 game against the Portland Trailblazers, during which Albie Aware breast cancer survivors will be participating in the half-time ceremony.

This is the fourth year Metro Fire has been involved in promoting cancer awareness in the county. The way Metro Fire sees it, the outreach goes hand-in-hand with its normal duties.

“We view this as something that extends our mission to providing services to our community throughout the region, not just emergency situations, but also preventative outreach,” Vestal said. “We have a duty to let people know about how early detection helps save lives and about the services available to those who are diagnoses with cancer.”

For the last two years, Metro Fire has won the contest for most money raised for Movember’s “First Responder Challenge,” which involves fire departments and others across the region.  Metro Fire collected $32,000 in donations for 2016 and $28,000 in 2015.

“Metro Fire will be working hard again to win Movember’s “First Responder Challenge” for the third year in a row after setting a record in 2017 record of $32,000,” Vestal said.

Wanna join in the fun?  You can engage, socially that is, with Metro Fire by sharing your cancer related story or message of support using the hashtag #AllCancersAllPeople on the department’s social media pages on Facebook (Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District), Instagram (@metro_fire_sacramento), and Twitter (@metrofirepio).

For more information: visit

Mesa Verde Mavericks win the Citrus Heights Bowl, 33-12

By Scott Nygard  |  2017-10-17

Mesa Verde Wins! Photo courtesy Scott Nygard

Citrus Heights, CA (MPG) - Alex Turcotte, president of the Citrus Heights Rotary Club, presented the Citrus Heights Bowl trophy to Mesa Verde High School coaches and team after their win over San Juan High School in the annual Citrus Heights Bowl game played on October 13. 

Mesa Verde jumped to an early lead which San Juan was unable to overcome in the second half.  This marks the 14th year of the Rotary sponsored bowl game between the two Citrus Heights high schools, which has seen Mesa Verde winning most of them.

The Citrus Heights Rotary Club has helped sponsor programs at both schools, as well as providing scholarships to needy students who wish to attend local community colleges.  Both schools encourage community support for the game and hope Citrus Heights residents put September 14 on their calendar for next year's game.

...

City Eyeing Former Sylvan School Site

By Jacqueline Fox  |  2017-10-17

“We have had several parties express interest in the property,” said Reid. “But at this time we are still not there yet.” Photo courtesy CCH

Citrus Heights, CA (MPG) - The future for the roughly 13-acre parcel of open land left vacant with the February 2017 demolition of the former Sylvan Elementary School remains uncertain, but that isn’t because no one is interested in it.

In fact, the city of Citrus Heights is hoping to purchase the parcel for what would presumably be a development project of some type, although city officials are not saying what they would like to see happen there, only that they hope to own it and are in discussions with the San Juan Unified School District (SJUSD) to buy it.

Mayor Jeff Slowey recently announced during a meeting of the Auburn Boulevard Business Association, which is spearheading Auburn Boulevard revitalization efforts, that the city is vigorously working with the district as it makes a decision on what to do, if anything, with the site.

“There is nothing new from our end to say,” said Mayor Slowey.  “We would like to control what happens there and will continue to work with the San Juan Unified School District to that end, following their process to declare this site ‘excess property.’

Ownership of the parcel, located at 7085 Auburn Boulevard at the intersection with Old Auburn Road, would provide roughly 60,000 square feet of building space to a new owner.  Adding the parcel to its real estate portfolio would give the city a gem of an opportunity for crowning the ongoing redevelopment work that began under Phase I of the city’s Auburn Complete Streets Revitalization Project completed in 2014.  

As part of a sweeping plan to revitalize Auburn Boulevard from Sylvan corners to Interstate 80, Phase 1 involved moving utility cables underground, shoring up frontage easements, planting of some 230 new trees, 10,000 feet of new bike lanes and sidewalks for the stretch of the boulevard from Sylvan Corners to Rusch Park.  Phase II would continue the same improvements up to the I-80, but that portion remains unfunded and the city must first begin right-of-way purchases from building owners before work can begin, expected to commence in early 2018.

According district officials, the land is now considered surplus property, deemed so in spring by an ad hoc 3280 Surplus Property committee.  The committee held three public meetings between April and May and deemed the property as an excess parcel, making it available for sale. It was demolished in February.

In the meantime, the coveted site is being eyed by many entities, the city included, according to Keith Reid, communications specialist for the SJUSD.

“We have had several parties express interest in the property,” said Reid. “But at this time we are still not there yet.”

The former elementary school was deemed to be unsafe and in violation of ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) code, said Reid.  The new Sylvan Elementary school sits on the former site of Citrus Heights Elementary School, which was folded into Carriage Elementary.

Under strict guidelines for school property, the district is unable to simply install a “for sale” sign and offer it to the highest bidder. Instead, a special committee had to be formed to, first, officially deem the property as “surplus” or “excess property.”  The next step is to decide who to sell it too, which may not come for some time.

“The property at Sylvan was deemed unacceptable and we demolished it,” said Reid.  “As for next steps, there are a few and we can potentially sell it to the city or someone else, but there are other hoops to jump through now and they have to do that before a buyer can take the property.  The city is extremely interested, but we are not at a point where we are ready to sell and we will be having discussions about selling, but it’s not going to be any time real soon.”

...

Skyler Denning Chosen Student of the Month

By Brent Fanchar  |  2017-10-17

Pictured are: (L-R)  Vance Jarrard of Sacramento County Supervisor Sue Frost

Citrus Heights, CA (MPG) - The Citrus Heights Chamber’s Education Committee honored Skyler Denning a fifth grader at  Arlington Heights K-5 School, as the October 2017 Student of the Month. The award was presented at the Chamber’s October 10, 2017, luncheon held at the North Ridge Country Club in Fair Oaks.

Skyler Denning, 5th grade student at Arlington Heights Elementary. Skyler’s teacher, Mr. Fanchar, said that she is on task at all times and shows that being at school on time and ready to learn is a key to success.  What really stands out about Skyler is her willingness to take on any challenge, large or small.  Not only does she rise to the occasion, she works hard whether it is the mundane, hard everyday lesson, or an in-depth STEAM project.  Skyler is a well-rounded student who is also helpful in the classroom and compassionate towards her friends.

Skyler actively participates at school as part of the student team that makes daily announcements to the teachers and students and as a cheerleader.

Lunches for the student and guests are sponsored by local businesses. Many thanks to our Student of the Month lunch sponsor Sunrise Mall, courtesy of Christi Woodards. And, thanks also goes to Stones Gambling Hall, courtesy of Amanda Blackwood, for providing a gift certificate to Sammy’s Restaurant for the Student of the Month.

Submitted by Brent Fanchar, 5th Grade Teacher and Rosa Umbach, Education Chair. 

...

Nearly 4,000 Volunteers Celebrate Five Years of Caring

By Kristin Thébaud  |  2017-10-13

Volunteers celebrate as United Way collects school supplies for its Stuff the Bus campaign, one of dozens of projects that took place during United Way’s 2017 Day of Caring in September. Photo courtesy United Way.

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) -  Since United Way California Capital Region held its inaugural 2013 Day of Caring, 3,692 volunteers have spent one day caring for their community over the last five years. Volunteers donated 18,054 hours of service, valued at $366,572, for 182 projects with nonprofits, parks and schools across the region, including on United Way’s 2017 Day of Caring that took place Sept. 22-23. 

“In just five years, Day of Caring has become the single largest volunteer day in our region,” said Stephanie Bray, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “Thousands of volunteers have dug their hands in to help hardworking nonprofits, parks and schools that do so much for our community every day.”

Hundreds of volunteers donated time for United Way’s 2017 Day of Caring at dozens of volunteer projects, including building garden beds at schools, painting nonprofit program facilities and cleaning up parks. The event began with a kickoff breakfast and rally at Cal Expo that included an appearance by Mayor Darrell Steinberg. As part of this year’s Day of Caring, United Way held its inaugural Stuff the Bus campaign, which raised more than $11,000 in school supplies for Robla School District in Sacramento. 

Nationwide has been the presenting sponsor for Day of Caring since it began in 2013. Project sponsors for 2017 included Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, ESM Prep, KPMG, Law Offices of Deon R. Stein, Nelson Staffing, SAFE Credit Union, SMUD, Social Interest Solutions, Sutter Health, Syzmanowski Orthodontics, and Zurich. Media partners included Entercom Radio’s ESPN Radio 1320 AM, 98 Rock, Eagle 96.9 FM and 106.5 The End. 

Day of Caring is part of United Way California Capital Region’s Square One Project, a 20-year promise to significantly increase the number of local students who graduate from high school ready for success in college and beyond. Through nine decades of work and research across Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, Placer and Yolo counties, United Way believes ending poverty starts in school and is working to ensure kids meet important milestones for success in college or career. To donate or volunteer:

...

TAKE FLIGHT Opens at Aerospace Museum

By Traci Rockefeller Cusack   |  2017-10-13

The Aerospace Museum is open to the public Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Photo courtesy of Aeropsace Museum.

To Debut Interactive Exhibit in October

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - The Aerospace Museum of California is proud to present an interactive new exhibit titled TAKE FLIGHT that will be available for guests to explore and enjoy from October 17, 2017 through January 9, 2018. With a variety of dynamic elements and multiple activity stations, guests of all ages will begin to understand the fundamentals needed to achieve flight. The new TAKE FLIGHT exhibit will occupy approximately 2,000-square feet of space on the ground floor inside the impressive Museum.

The new exhibit will help Museum guests learn about the evolution and history of flight before they begin their own exciting journey of discovery with a series of building activities that help them create different forms of flying machines. The exhibit is designed to help visitors explore and understand how the physical characteristics of lift, thrust, drag, rotation and gravity are important to achieve flight. Guests of all ages will especially enjoy the activity stations such as Make it Fly--Planes, Make It Fly--Rockets and Make It Fly—Copters. Museum guests will have a chance to test out and fine-tune their designs with the help of elements such as the Wing Zinger, Rocket Launcher and Wind Tube. 

Museum Guests Can Enjoy Special “Rocket Talk” Presentations by a NASA Solar System Ambassador on October 21 Only

As an added element on Saturday, October 21 only, Museum guests will have the opportunity to see a special “Rocket Talk” presentation by NASA Solar System Ambassador Jayce Pearson as he discusses the fascinating world of rocketry. Ambassador Pearson will lead three presentations at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on that one day only that will each include a lively discussion of the history of rocketry, how rocketry works, and what is happening in rocketry now. Between presentations, Ambassador Pearson will be available to answer questions about rocketry, space exploration and the solar system.

The TAKE FLIGHT exhibit and special activities are included with Museum admission: $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and teachers (with ID), $8 for children and youth (ages 6-17), and is free for children ages 5 and younger along with active duty military (with ID) and Museum members. The Aerospace Museum is open to the public Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and school or special groups of 20 or more are encouraged to book tours in advance with the reduced admission pricing of $7 per person. 

As a companion experience to the TAKE FLIGHT exhibit, the Museum is also home to a popular and fun Flight Zone flight simulator that is a state-of-the-art STEM learning laboratory featuring 10 digital flight stations (note there is an added fee for the Flight Zone flight simulator: $5 for a 20-minute session, available for purchase in the gift shop). Flight Zone is open to the public Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information about the TAKE FLIGHT exhibit, the “Rocket Talk” presentations on October 21, the Flight Zone flight simulator or the Aerospace Museum of California in general, please call 916-643-3192 or visit

Located in a spacious facility at McClellan Business Park in Sacramento, the Aerospace Museum of California is one of aviation’s greatest showcases that captures the allure of flight. With a wide range of impressive military and civilian aircraft on display – from biplanes to Russian MIGs -- and an extensive engine collection, the Museum also offers a state-of-the-art STEM learning laboratory or “Flight Zone” with 10 interactive digital flight stations. The Museum is committed to providing a world-class experience along with the opportunity to learn about and celebrate aviation’s past, present and future. For more, visit

For more information about the TAKE FLIGHT exhibit, the “Rocket Talk” presentations on October 21, the Flight Zone flight simulator or the Aerospace Museum of California in general, please call 916-643-3192 or visit


Source: T-Rock Communications

...

Marching Band Adds Dinosaur to Its Formation

By Helen Brewer  |  2017-10-10

Kathy Cook watches her husband, Bill Cook, use a brazing torch to connect the musical dinosaur’s teeth.  After seeing a dinosaur made out of tubas on Facebook, Bill Cook decided to make a dinosaur to compliment the band’s 2017 fanfare showpiece – the theme song from the “Jurassic Park” movie.  Brassie, though, is made of 45 unusable trumpets, baritones, trombones, a clarinet, a flute, and a tuba. Photo courtesy CHMB

Made of 45 “extinct” musical instruments

Citrus Heights, CA (MPG) - Brassie the Brassaurus, a 7+-foot tall by 18-foot long dinosaur, will made his musical debut when the Citrus Heights Community Marching Band (CHCMB) performed the theme song from the “Jurassic Park” movie at the Bella Vista Community Show held at Bella Vista High School  in Fair Oaks in September.

“Similar to the extinct Tyrannosaurus in shape, Brassie is made of 45 ‘extinct’ musical instruments,” said Kathy Cook, the band’s Program Director and co-founder.   “We sometimes purchase or get donations of used musical instruments and some of them turn out to be broken and beyond repair.  Those are what we used for Brassie.”

The musical instrument dinosaur was designed and built by Bill Cook, CHCMB’s other Program Director.  Cook, now retired, was the construction superintendent for developer Robert Powell for 27 years.  “We saw a picture of a dinosaur made out of tuba parts on Facebook and because we are using the Jurassic theme as our 2017 fanfare showpiece, I decided we should build one . . . only we used old trumpets, baritones, trombones, one clarinet, and one flute as well as an 1880’s tuba for Brassie,” he said.  “Brassie turned out to be so large and heavy that we had to purchase a special trailer to transport him.”

Cook didn’t use a plan or blueprint.  “I just started laying out old instruments and used my construction experience and knowledge to put everything together,” he said.  He made Brassie in a week with some part-time assistance from Kody Tickner, CHCMB Music Director.

In addition to his Bella Vista High School debut, Brassie will be showcased at CHCMB’s fall and winter field shows, including the Oakmont Competition at Oakmont High School in Roseville on October 14th and at the Folsom Fall Festival at Folsom High School on November 4th.  In between, he will be on display at band events and at the Citrus Heights City Hall. 

Brassie isn’t the first thing that Bill Cook has created with “extinct” musical instruments.  Always popular as raffle prizes at CHCMB’s fundraisers are lamps, clocks, paper towel holders, flower pots, and a waterfall made with musical instruments. 

CHCMB is made up of 70 members, ranging in age from 6 years to 87 years.  In addition to 60 musicians, there are 9 flag carriers, and a drum major. Plus another 20 volunteers help behind the scenes with organization and at performances. 

The band was organized in 2005 when the City of Citrus Heights parade committee wanted a marching band to perform in the annual Red, White, and Blue Parade.

 “Having no success at attracting one, we decided to create our own marching band,” said Kathy Cook.  “With the help and support of City staff and Sunrise Recreation & Park District, we recruited 25 experienced adult musicians and an 8-year old baton twirler to march in the parade that year.” 

 “Now we don’t just do marching appearances, we also participate in concerts,” said Kathy Cook.  The band practices once a week in the San Juan High School cafeteria from November to May and in the Sunrise Mall parking lot from June to November. 

“The band was named one of the top 20 accomplishments at the City of Citrus Heights 20th anniversary celebration two months ago and was the recipient of the 2013 Heroes and Human Services Award that was presented to us by former County Supervisor Roberta MacGlashan,” said Kathy Cook.  “We’re good-will ambassadors, both in our City and in other communities, marching or performing at more than 20 events a year.”

Staying true to its mission statement – “Keep music alive for all ages!” – the band welcomes beginning as well as experienced musicians and provides musical instruments and limited instruction when needed.  “But potential band members should be able to read music,” she cautioned.

A non-profit organization, the band raises funds with its annual Spaghetti Feed in March and Howl-O-Ween event in October, at two major yard sales, and from community donations.  Major CHCMB sponsors are the City of Citrus Heights, Sunrise Recreation and Park District, Walmart, Citrus Heights Auburn Boulevard Store, Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, and business and community members.

For more information about Brassie, CHCMB membership and appearances, and fund-raisers, contact Kathy Cook at (916) 725-0198 or at

...

Getting a Revival Right

By Jacqueline Fox  |  2017-10-04

“We want to see this area have its own identity and we would like to see it become a walkable destination, but in order to make that happen we need to address the issues that are turning customers off,” said Richard Hale, owner of Walt’s Auto Service and founder of the Auburn Boulevard Business Association. Photo by Jacqueline Fox

Auburn Blvd. Business Group Crafts Vision for Revival

Citrus Heights, CA (MPG) - Trail a finger down the list of businesses dominating the stretch of Auburn Boulevard from roughly the entrance to Rush Park to Interstate 80 and you’ll find it dominated by a somewhat incongruous offering of service-related outfits, many long-standing vibrant business, while others, suffering from aging signage, dingy parking lots, blight and empty storefronts within feet of their entryways.

Auto repair shops, a veterinarian hospital, tire stores, a printing business, a smattering of gas stations, a few hamburger stands, one new restaurant and a couple of long-standing cafes, as well as several industrial firms, one in business on the boulevard for more than 80 years—all vying for customers in an area struggling for identity as age and a lack of visual cohesiveness, fueled by the growing number of retail vacancies, blight, graffiti and a swelling homeless population collectively work to drive potential customers away.

“We want to see this area have its own identity and we would like to see it become a walkable destination, but in order to make that happen we need to address the issues that are turning customers off,” said Richard Hale, owner of Walt’s Auto Service and founder of the Auburn Boulevard Business Association (ABBA), a group of roughly two dozen local business owners from the area, formed in 2016 to represent the businesses in the corridor from Sylvan Corners to Interstate 80.

Armed with a grant of $25,000 from the city, ABBA’s goal, says Hale, is to work alongside officials as they begin to craft their plan for completing the second phase of the Auburn Complete Streets Revitalization Project, which would continue with the improvements completed in Phase I in 2014.  Phase I covered the stretch of the boulevard running from Rusch Park to Sylvan Corners. Phase II, which remains unfunded at this point, will address the boulevard from roughly Grand Oaks Boulevard to Whyte Avenue.

ABBA would like to see all of Auburn Boulevard obtain a “destination” status and attract new, relevant businesses to the area, such as a big box retailer or two, new restaurants and customer-friendly experiences, anything that would help define and revitalize interest by the community in the area, which will include improvements but also a plan for addressing the growth of homelessness in the area.

With nonprofit status, a board of directors and funding in place, ABBA members rolled up their sleeves and convened for a two-part brainstorming workshop at city hall in September to begin crafting the bones of a final report city officials will use as they prepare to begin Phase II.  Roughly 20 ABBA members, guided by city-funded facilitator, broke out into workshops focused on the four core issues of concern identified at previous ABBA meetings, concerns they view as having a direct impact on their bottom lines: blight and safety, homelessness, a lack of cohesiveness and brand for the area, and the widespread number of vacant storefronts.

“This is the beginning of the future of ABBA,” said Hale.  “We are going to have a say in how we shape what happens next on Auburn Boulevard and we are very glad you’re all here.”

City Manager Chris Boyd, who attended the first of the two-part workshops told the group the city was committed to a plan for revitalization that reflected the desires of the business owners and the community at large.  But he reminded them the plan will take funding and time, likely two to three years.

“I think we have some of the greatest opportunities on the boulevard,” Boyd said. “Our objective is to finish the second phase and we need federal grants in order to make that happen by 2019. We are at a point now where we need to be very focused. The city can’t just do this as a local government. We need the businesses involved.”

Sketching out a vision for the corridor, ABBA members said they want to see their portion of the boulevard, part of the original Transcontinental Highway stretching from Reno to Atlantic City, not only attract customers and new businesses, but also deliver a renewed sense of community pride.  Asked to consider the boulevard and not just their own business, ABBA were asked to comprise a list of desired of aesthetic, as well as cultural changes.  What they came up with was a long list of things ranging from new boulevard signage reflecting the corridor’s historic relevance, a retro-inspired architectural theme with cohesive paint, fencing, signage and graphics for all the businesses in the area, a marketing and branding campaign for the boulevard to attract new business, community-focused events, such as a weekly farmer’s market, street closures for family festivals, and a neighbor-to-neighbor approach to building up interest in the area as a local destination, not just a mainline for the highway.

“We want to see more restaurants and big retailers that people want to shop at come in because they will entice more businesses to come in,” said Linda Finn who manages Aba Daba Rentals’ Citrus Heights location, which benefited from some upgrades under Phase I. She is currently planting flowers in front of the business, which is dominated by cement mixers and heavy equipment, guarded by a wrap-around, wrought iron fence.

“I’m planting flowers in the planter in the front, I’ve been getting out and talking to other business owners in the area, and, so far, being a representative on ABBA has really been inspiring.  We all want to see the area get better.”

Over and over again the group came up with adjectives to describe a revitalized Auburn Boulevard, adjectives such as “inviting,” “appealing,” and “secure.”  They say they want it to be both industrial-friendly, but modern, contemporary and convenient.  And, above all, it needs to be safe.

Realizing that vision will require a delicate balancing act between the city, business owners and local law enforcement as, many agree, the growing homeless population is at the root of many of the areas of concern.  Vacant buildings are prime real estate for homeless encampments and transient behavior, which in turn, leads to blight, crime, drug and alcohol related problems and are a significant deterrent to companies scouting new locations.

“A lot of the concerns we all have are tied to the homeless population,” said Hale. “But we are working on how to address it and we have a plan to work with the city and law enforcement to figure out first, why they are here, and then how we take care of it.”     

While the city’s Activate Auburn grant program offers funding to small businesses to refurbish storefronts, signage and make other aesthetic improvements, the homelessness issue and related problems seemingly continue to work against those efforts in some instances. 

Martin Garcia, co-founder of Crepes & Burgers, which opened on the corridor in February, said although he received a grant to refurbish the building and that business was slowly building, he and his staff frequently deal with transients and a frequent presence of police activity involving the homeless, both of which are impacting operations and customer loyalty.  

“The city offered to help me bring my business here,” said Garcia, whose previous restaurant, Crepe Escape in East Sacramento burned down in 2015.  “This building was a complete disaster but the city told us they were working on a plan to make this area nice.  But often at night we have a lot of homeless people congregating around the area and a lot of times there are a lot of police and sirens coming around to deal with it.  We have to close at 9 p.m. now because after 10 p.m., we see the homeless out there walking around and screaming and customers won’t stop to come in.

Police officers assigned to the city’s Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design program (CPTED) are working nonstop with business owners on ways to deter the homeless from sleeping in their doorways, congregating at night and vandalizing their shops, encouraging them to install better lighting, surveillance systems and fencing, and cautioning them to ensure there is no access to public Wi-Fi or outlets for charging phones.

The City’s Homeless Assistance Resource Team (HART), comprised of representatives from local non-profits, churches, the San Juan Unified School District, and Sunrise MarketPlace has received support to coordinate efforts with a city appointed Homeless Outreach Navigator, one individual, who acts as a case manager, connecting homeless individuals with city and county resources. 

Despite the challenges, there is momentum.  Roseville resident Ben Aibuedefe announced plans earlier this year to bring in a Checkers Burgers on the vacant corner lot at Auburn and Grand Oaks boulevards. Maita Mazda set up shop in a new 40,000-square foot facility in May and is upgrading another Mazda dealership at 2410 Auburn Blvd. 

And, while perhaps representing one of the starkest examples of vacancy related concerns, there is a move afoot to bring in a Movie Studio Grill to share space alongside Big Lots, which is tentatively slated to take up a portion of the long-shuttered 90,000-square-foot Kmart building.

The city also is said to be courting the San Juan Unified School District to potentially purchase the surplus chunk of land that housed the former Sylvan Middle School for a future development project.  Although he declined to specify details, Mayor Jeff Slowey told ABBA members at the first of the two meetings that the city was vigorously pursuing the parcel for “great things.”

ABBA’s vision for revitalization is now on paper and part of a working “action plan,” a first big step toward a formalized report to be crafted by the consultants and delivered to the city and ABBA members at the group’s next meeting November 14.

“We’ll be taking everything we have worked on here in the two sessions and drafting a very thorough and detailed report that reflects the vision for the future of Auburn Boulevard as the business owners have laid it out,” said the firm’s founder, Lucy Eidam Crocker who facilitated the workshops. “We are working with them every step of the way to make sure they are heard and represented.”

For more information about ABBA, please visit

For more information about the city’s CPTED program, please visit

...

Bullies Beware

By Jacqueline Fox  |  2017-10-04

“Bullying is becoming an epidemic in our country, no question about it,” said Family Tae Kwon Do founder, Professor Dominic Cirincione. Photo by Jacqueline Fox

Family Tae Kwon Do Plus Plans Anti-Bullying Workshop

Citrus Heights, CA (MPG) - Family Tae Kwon Do Plus is gearing up for its bi-annual Citrus Heights Hyper Bully Defense workshop, part of a world-wide movement against bullying in schools and elsewhere by participating martial arts instructors, taking place simultaneously across the nation throughout October in recognition of “Anti-Bullying Month.”

Family Tae Kwon Do will host a free, two-hour, age-specific defense workshop for kids, teens and their family members, exploring the nature of bullying, ways to recognize it and how to put an end to it. The workshop will be held on Saturday, Oct. 14 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  More than 100 participants are expected.

The anti-bullying and educational event, held twice annually in spring and fall, will teach participants how to defend themselves against bullying, especially bullying in schools, which, according to Hyper Bully Defense, a world-wide network of martial arts professionals and schools working in tandem to spread the word that bullying is a life-threatening, serious and growing epidemic.

“Bullying is becoming an epidemic in our country, no question about it,” said Family Tae Kwon Do founder, Professor Dominic Cirincione.  He said Hyper Bully Defense statistics on bullying show that roughly 100,000 kids miss school every day in the country because they have been bullied or are in fear of being bullied by someone once they get there.  “It’s real. And some cases are even leading to suicides. We have to take this very seriously.”

In fact, Hyper Bully Defense has some rather startling statistics to consider.  For instance, roughly 34 percent of children in America report being bullied on a regular basis. Also, every seven minutes a child is bullied by another student somewhere in the country, equating to roughly nine kids an hour.  Finally, close to 85 percent of bullying incidents happen in secret with no intervention and a vast number of victims do not tell anyone out of fear of reprisal by the bully and or shame.  

“Bullying is a serious and we are going to teach kids and their parents how to do their part to make it stop,” said Cirincione.

The workshops will offer participants physical and mental tools for quickly assessing their surroundings, recognizing a potential bullying scenario and, perhaps most importantly, for carrying themselves with confidence in order to disarm a bully.  Representatives from the Citrus Heights Police Department also will be there to provide educational information about bullying, as well as gun violence and drugs in schools.

 “Nationally the campaign will involve some 800 schools across the country and roughly 12,000 kids,” said Cirincione. “Our workshop will involve reaching out to all Citrus Heights schools and roughly 3,500 students.”

The event is free, open to all, and there will be pizza.  If you can’t make the event but want to learn more, go to Citrus Heights Hyper Bully Defense online, sign up and link to the download for a free, 32-page handbook called “The Parent’s Guide to Bullying.”

Citrus Heights Hyper Bully Defense Workshop
Where: Family Tae Kwon Do Plus
7831 Sunrise Blvd.
When: Saturday, Oct. 14 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
(916) 725-3200

...

Citrus Heights, CA (MPG) - While the city has yet to receive an official application from the company, officials and some local business owners say there is serious interest by Dallas-based Studio Movie Grill to occupy a portion of the 90,000 square-foot Kmart building on Auburn Boulevard.

Devon Rodriguez, development specialist with the city said there is nothing yet to share publically about Studio Movie Grill, but confirmed they have come forward as an interested tenant that would share the site with Big Lots, said to still be interested in taking up a portion of the site. 

In late July, Rodriguez confirmed that Rebounderz trampoline fun center had pulled out of talks with the city to share the space with Big Lots.  Rebounderz was set to take up approximately 55,000 square-feet on the site, with plans to bring in a 24-hour, extreme fun center and a goal to open alongside Big Lots sometime in 2018.

With those plans off the table, Big Lots remains the only confirmed tenant to be in negotiations with the city.

Studio Movie Grill is considered an innovator in the in-theater dining movie concept, with roughly 24 locations across nine states, including California.  Studio Movie Grill offers movie-goers an in-theater dining experience with classic cocktails, beer, wine, burgers, chicken fingers, pasta dishes, salads and of course popcorn.

Rodriguez also said previously that the property owners are unable confirm whether Big Lots was still a contender as a future tenant, but there have been no announcements about its departure, yet.  Previous attempts to reach the company were unsuccessful and as vacancy rates seemingly rise at steady pace on the boulevard, there are concerns about that space taking so long to lease.

The site is viewed as a huge eyesore to many business owners on Auburn Boulevard and in the center itself, many of whom have jointly formed the Auburn Boulevard Business Association (ABBA), and are currently collaborating with the city to craft a vision for revitalizing the boulevard, which will, no doubt, carry heavy weight with city officials as they also move toward the completion of Phase II of the Auburn Boulevard Complete Streets Revitalization Project.  

Phase II includes the stretch of the boulevard from Rush Park to the Roseville Boulevard and is not currently funded, according to city officials, and is not set to begin until 2019. 

...Read More!