Department Emphasizes Teamwork
CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - September 27, 2018 was a landmark day for the Citrus Heights Police Department (CHDP). Police Chief Ron Lawrence had the honor of administering the oath of office to former commander Gina Anderson, making her the first assistant police chief in the 12-year history of the department. In his words, “This is a new era for the CHPD, a historical moment.”
Two more firsts in the history of the CHPD were created by newly promoted commanders, Jason Russo and Alex Turcotte. “They hold the distinction of being the only members in the history of the CHPD to ascend through the ranks (police officer, sergeant, lieutenant), to the executive level of commander,” said Lawrence.
The city council chambers were filled with blue uniforms, supportive officers from surrounding police jurisdictions, family members and other well-wishers from the community honored to be part of this event.
Anderson has been acting in her new position since July 8, 2018. The two commanders’ positions were left vacant by the retirement of Commander Daman Christensen on July 6 and Anderson’s promotion.
Anderson, Russo, Turcotte and Christensen were each hired in 2006 by then police chief Christopher Boyd (now city manager) as part of the new Citrus Heights Police Department. Each has contributed to the building of an award-winning police department.
All three newly promoted staff members come with years of education, experience and important contributions to the positions they have held since their careers began.
In an interview, Russo said he will be running the Investigative Services Division which also encompasses youth and family services and the new Mesa Verde High School Pathway public safety program. He will work towards enhancing the department and the community, helping to solve crimes, and working to make the community a safer place to live. He also remains as president of the Police Activities League.
Turcotte will be head of Patrol Services. He said, “As my predecessors before me, the focus is to drive down crime, calm traffic and improve the quality of life in Citrus Heights.” He is working with two new lieutenants, Kris Frey and Chad Morris. They will be surveying staff to see how make improvements and provide even better service to the community.
In an address to the city council, Anderson spoke on behalf of her fellow honorees, acknowledging the support needed by family members who are the cornerstone of those in the business of public safety. The importance of teamwork was the common theme. She thanked Assistant City Manager Rhonda Rivera and Community Services Director Rhonda Sherman for their skill and professionalism and vowed to continue their partnership in working with city council and the city manager.
In 2019 Chief Lawrence will become president of the California Police Chiefs Association. His new position will free up Anderson’s time to lead public safety dialogue within communities throughout the state.
Anderson recognized the great personal sacrifices city founders and community leaders went through to incorporate and to bring a police department to Citrus Heights. She vowed to employ the executive team and community partnerships to keep the memory of this sacrifice alive in the department.
Finally, she emphasized the importance of developing programs focusing on the youth in community to deter crime now and in the future.
Also present at the event to support the new executive team was Tom Chaplin who began his career in Citrus Heights as a lieutenant in 2006. He was the first lieutenant to promote to a commander in 2010. In 2013 Chaplin left Citrus Heights to be chief of police for Walnut Creek. This is just one of dozens of testaments to the quality of officers developed at the CHDP. Officers move on, taking the experience and leadership learned here to other law enforcements agencies.
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - After a full day of teaching school, instructors came from as far away as El Dorado Hills to attend the Aerospace Museum of California’s first Teacher Night on September 27. From preschool to high school, teachers inside and outside of the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields came together to learn what the museum has to offer their students and discover new ways to integrate STEM learning in the classroom. Refreshments and a sneak peek at the museum’s new exhibit, “Our Solar System: an interactive journey,” including a teacher’s exhibit guide, were part of the evening’s curriculum.
The museum is located on McClellan Air Force base where it began in 1986 as McClellan Aviation Museum. Director Tom Jones, who has held the position since March, says that the museum is committed to STEM education for students of all ages and to becoming the best on the West Coast. As a Smithsonian Air and Space Museum affiliate, exhibits like the 2018 “Art of the Airport Tower” and 2017 “DaVinci Inventions” can be brought to Sacramento.
On the main floor, nestled between airplanes, an SR71 jet propulsion engine, and a history of space exploration, were activities for children of all ages, and the teachers took full advantage by seeing how parachutes function or engineering with marbles. Others learned why the moon turns blue and viewed photos of nebulae on one of the many monitors that will accompany the exhibit. Each visitor was treated to a docent led tour of the museum and its grounds.
Upstairs, at the far end, tucked in a hallway, teachers made their way to the Flyers Flight Zone to experience simulated flying on one of the six high-end gaming machines. Museum volunteers, led by Flyers Flight Zone Director Warren Searls, educated the educators and allowed each some hands-on flight time.
“There is a huge shortage of pilots worldwide,” Searls said, adding that the Flight Zone is a way to interest fifth through twelfth grade students in flight and perhaps becoming pilots. In 2017, 10,000 students visited the Flight Zone, and many from Title 1 schools received scholarships for the flight simulations. He wants teachers to encourage students to remain in school and consider taking those STEM classes.
Miss Naomi Endsley, from Orangevale’s Almondale Academy, was one of the first teachers to try the simulator.
“I didn’t crash,” she said, a sentiment echoed by other teachers who took turns at flying to New Zealand, Switzerland, and San Francisco.
Endlsey teaches second and third grades and said that she definitely picked up new ideas for her students. Like many others that evening, she had never been to the museum. She said that she’ll bring her students and let them have the chance to see a piece of history and what technology really is. She engaged in conversation with Karen Jones, the museum’s development director and Tom Jones, museum director, about what technology holds in store for the future.
Twin Rivers Unified School District teachers agreed that they would definitely bring their students, one of several school districts the museum currently facilitates STEM, history, and art learning opportunities with. San Juan Unified School District, UC Davis, Sacramento State University, American River College, University of the Pacific, and charter schools are others.
Director Jones said that the museum has a formal mentorship program with the UC Davis Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Sacramento State undergraduate history students are conducting research on the museum’s airplanes and will create videos that may be accessed with QR codes to enhance the static exhibits. At least one Sacramento State graduate student is working on his master’s thesis by building an upcoming exhibit about Bob Hoover who, among other things, was a revolutionary in aerobatic flying. Sacramento City College owns the Fed Ex jet parked in the outside exhibition area and uses it as its classroom.
Even the youngest students can benefit from STEM learning as Kimberly Dillon, preschool teacher at Discovery Learning Center in Fair Oaks, said. She has brought her students to the museum for several trips and said that they really enjoy climbing the planes. Her guest that evening was her son, Anthony.
“Very cool for kids,” was the phrase most often heard from teachers.
For additional information, visit www.aerospaceca.org. If you go: 3200 Freedom Park Drive, McClellan, CA.
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - A federal court decision has ruled that illegal camping ordinances are unconstitutional and that local governments cannot cite or arrest anyone sleeping on public property.
On September 4, 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on the case Robert Martin v. City of Boise, stating that enforcing anti-camping ordinances when adequate shelter beds are unavailable is unconstitutional.
Because of that ruling, the Sacramento County Department of Parks stopped enforcing the City of Sacramento’s anti-camping ordinance and the County ordinance prohibiting camping without a permit.
Since January 2018, Sacramento County rangers have issued 1,834 citations for unlawful camping under the County ordinance, and 224 citations for unlawful camping under the City of Sacramento ordinance.
The County is currently evaluating enforcement options under existing laws and regulations and will provide information to the Board on next steps.
Sacramento County Rangers will continue to enforce ordinances including but not limited to campfires, littering, dogs off leash, possession of a shopping cart and environmental degradation.
“As soon as I found out about the ruling, I suggested our board meet to discuss its implications, especially for my constituents who rightfully demand a clean and safe Parkway,” said First District Supervisor Phil Serna, who represents the lower reach of the American River Parkway.
“I have many questions, including why County Counsel advised that park rangers not enforce the illegal camping ordinance without notifying or coordinating with board members,” he continued.
Source: SacCounty News
CHCMB to Host Howl ‘o Ween Parade and Harvest Festival
CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - Every October the Citrus Heights Community Marching Band (CHCMB) hosts a parade and Harvest Festival to celebrate Halloween in a unique way. Several thousand people attend the Howl ‘o Ween fundraising event each year.
The 7th annual Howl ‘o Ween will be held on Saturday, October 20 in Citrus Heights. The festivities will kick off with a parade starting at 9 a.m. The parade will follow Auburn Blvd. from Twin Oaks Ave. to Rusch Park, which is located at 7801 Auburn Blvd. Kathy Cook, Program Director of the CHCMB said, “There will be about 50 entries with more than 500 participants in the parade…So far, parade entries include eerie and fun floats, kids and adults with their pets in costumes, Keystone Cops, U.S. veterans, marching bands, and pageant queens in a special Mary Purvis memorial convoy. The Citrus Heights Rotary Club is building a special haunted house float for Citrus Heights Council Members Jeff Slowey and Bret Daniels.”
The Freedom Motorcycle Hearse Service, a 1949 Gibson tractor, and several antique cars will also be featured in the Howl ‘o Ween parade. A very special guest will be in attendance as the parade’s Grand Marshal: Santa Claus will follow the procession in a golf cart sled.
After the parade arrives at Rusch Park, the Harvest Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; admission to the festival is free for all. Enjoy an array of entertainment, including live music and demonstrations, youth groups, clowns, and dancers.
Musical entertainment will include performances by Sacramento Capitolaires Barbershop Chorus, the Capital City Band, DJ Dave and the CHCMB Dancers, and the Citrus Heights Community Marching Band. Citrus Heights Kaia Fit, Sons of Golden State, Star War Characters, and Family Taekwondo Plus will provide demonstrations.
The festival will also feature craft and business exhibits, including Atlas Disposal, which is participating for the fourth time this year. Robin Stuhr, Atlas Disposal Controller, said “We get to promote our business while celebrating with a very special band, big and small kids, doggies, and music.”
The event is, of course, pet friendly and will feature several dog and pet business booths. Even if you don’t already have pets of your own, the event offers the opportunity to become a loving pet owner with an Adoption Area sponsored by the Sacramento SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).
Bring the kids to see all the dogs in costumes, and be sure to check out the Kids Zone with games, prizes, and a bounce house for the little ones. Don’t miss the car show sponsored by the Nor Cal Cruisers Car Club and the Citrus Heights Police Department. At lunch you can visit the CHCMB food booth, which will be serving hot dogs and chili dogs. And Santa will be getting an early start on the holiday season by holding court from a special holiday chair and chatting with the kids in attendance.
For more information about the Howl ‘o Ween parade and Harvest Festival, contact Cook at (916) 725-0198 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local Nonprofits Help Young Authors’ Dreams Come True
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - How many children do you know who have written illustrated, and published their own book? In Citrus Heights, 125 students, 1st through 5th grade, at the Mariposa Avenue Elementary School have added “author” to their resume, which will follow them through high school and beyond.
This unique program called “Creativity Gone Wild” is taught by members of the Mariposa Literary Academy in Citrus Heights and is designed to inspire students to stretch their minds and use their imaginations in new ways.
The program was the brainchild of Karen Szakacs, a kindergarten teacher at Mariposa in 2014, and Marsha Robinson, a local author of children’s books. Together with Cherelyn Martello, the three women launched the first academy in 2014.
The spark that ignited the idea for the student authored books came when a kindergarten boy at Mariposa heard Robinson read her book “Rescuing Humphrey” to the class and afterwards raised his hand. He asked her to write another book about Humphrey. She answered by suggesting he write it. He replied, “I don’t know how,” and the Mariposa Literary Academy was born.
Since January, 2014 the Academy has taught 11 after-school academies (two per year) with 125 young authors to-date proudly producing their own hard cover fiction books at the end of the 16-session academy. A maximum of 12 students are chosen by their teacher to participate in each academy.
The entire book is the work of the student author. They come up with their own fictional story, with a beginning, middle and conclusion, along with illustrations. They begin with a normal life experience such as a camping trip in the woods with their family. They are told to enhance it using their imagination, such as being transported to another planet by space aliens. The results have truly been mind-boggling.
To help teach the authors how to illustrate their own books, Peter Blueberry, alias Lance Pyle - a children's book author and illustrator, volunteers his time explaining the art of illustration and helping students with their own work.
Shutterfly, an American internet-based publishing service, prints the books for about $15 each. Each student receives a hardcover book for themselves, a hardcover book to sign for the school library and the Academy receives a paper copy of each student’s book. They have become the most popular books checked out by students.
While instruction and the printed books are free to participants, actual cost per pupil averages $50. In addition to the cost of publishing, funds are used for items such as paper and art supplies, snacks, and photography.
Financially, the Literary Academy, Creativity Gone Wild, is managing to stay solvent with the help of two philanthropic organizations and other donations.
Through word of mouth the Rotary Club of Citrus Heights and Soroptimist International of Citrus Heights immediately stepped up and have continued to provide the largest portion of the over $6,000 needed to fund the program for the last five years. The Optimist Club of Citrus Heights and Mariposa Parent Faculty Organization have also provided funds.
Robinson stated in an email, “I would like to show my thanks to the organizations that have supported this program, to the volunteers that help us run the program, and to the school itself for allowing us to use their campus.”
She would also like to invite other schools to look at the “possibilities that an academy like this can provide students” in their schools. The Mariposa Literary Academy would love to share their experiences with local elementary school teachers.
CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - After an inspiring promotion ceremony swearing in three new members of the executive police staff, Mayor Steve Miller called the September 27 Citrus Heights City Council meeting back to order to discuss the rest of the evening’s agenda.
Mesa Verde High School Principal Colin Bross delivered an impassioned presentation describing the school’s efforts to increase enrollment and address the negative perceptions of the school that are inhibiting its growth. Principal Bross explained that some people in the community have misconceptions about the school, mistakenly believing that the school is unsafe and doesn’t offer enough academic options.
Although the school is experiencing decreased enrollment, they have been actively working to increase the attendance rate of the enrolled students and have seen a positive improvement. Principal Bross described the school’s three-year business academy program, the strong athletic programs, the highly qualified teaching staff, and their partnership with Citrus Heights Police Department. They are working to increase academic rigor and to achieve equitable access to advanced placement courses. They have increased the number of advanced placement courses in addition to increasing the number of students of color and of low socio-economic status who are enrolled in AP courses.
The developer of Stock Ranch wants to build an 8,700 square-foot commercial building that will front Auburn Blvd. In a compromise between the city and the applicant, the design plan has been revised to allow that 50% of the frontage will be transparent (window, glass doors) and active with outdoor seating areas.
Council Member Jeff Slowey said, “It is good to see this project is moving forward after many years.” He acknowledged that the area has a lot of open land and hopes the developments will be an asset to the city. Mayor Miller stated that he is impressed with the landscaping plans. No public comments were made, and the council unanimously adopted the resolution.
The council then heard public testimony regarding the allocation of the annual Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds that are used to develop urban communities by providing decent housing and expanding economic opportunities. For 2019, the estimated CDBG entitlement award is $600,000; of that total, $110,000 will be used to meet public service requests. Representatives from the following public service groups spoke to the council about their requests for funds: Campus Life Connection, which offers after school programs; Meal on Wheels, a senior nutrition program; Crossroads Diversified Services, which offers youth employment readiness programs; Sunrise Christian Food Ministry, an emergency food program; Sacramento Self-Help Housing, which offers housing counseling and a renter’s helpline; Terra Nova Counseling, a juvenile diversion and education program; and WEAVE’s violence reduction team.
Council members stated that they are happy to be able to provide funding for 2019 since all the organizations are so worthy and do so much good for area residents. The council moved to continue the final action on the draft plan to the November 8, 2018 meeting.
The council then approved an amendment to the general plan and zoning code concerning commercial subdivisions. The amendment, Policy 9.5, would discourage the creation of any new parcels within existing commercial centers, if such creation might hinder the viability and/or future redevelopment of the center. The policy requires any proposed commercial subdivision to depict their long-term development plans. The amendment is supported by Sunrise MarketPlace and other business groups in the city.
A proposed update to small lot ordinance guidelines was unanimously approved. Some lots in the city are too small to develop into apartment complexes, so a “new use category” is being proposed. The intent of the proposal is to increase housing options in the city and enable the development of difficult parcels.
The update to the small lot ordinance would allow for single-family homes that share guest parking and landscaping in the front common areas but have small individual yard spaces in the back. The proposal includes important design details such as standards for landscaping, the use of decorative paving, and architectural design. In order to upkeep the shared landscaping, an HOA would be required for each small lot community. Vice Mayor Jeannie Bruins said, “If it’s done right, it could be very charming, like cottages with a friendly neighborhood feel.”
The meeting closed with Council Member Bret Daniels requesting an item be added the future agenda: he spoke with great emotion about the recent killing of Mark Stasyuk, a Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputy who was shot in the line of duty while on a routine call in Rancho Cordova. Deputy Stasyuk was an alumnus of San Juan High School in Citrus Heights, so Council Member Daniels requested that the city work together with the school and with other neighborhood groups to ensure that a fitting memorial is created to honor Deputy Stasyuk for his service.
Hosts Tip-A-Cop Fundraiser for Special Olympics
CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - On Wednesday, September 19, Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar of Citrus Heights opened its doors to members of local law enforcement for a Tip-A-Cop fundraiser. Members of the Citrus Heights Police Department served as ‘celebrity waiters’ at Applebee’s for the fundraising event, with 100% of their tips donated directly to the Special Olympics, an organization providing year-round sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities or closely related developmental disabilities. The event raised over $1,600 for Special Olympics of Northern California.
Tip-A-Cop is an annual fundraising event organized by The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, where law enforcement officers volunteer their time to raise funds for Special Olympics, the world’s largest sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities. Apple American Group, who own and operate the Applebee’s of Citrus Heights, pledges to assist and support those institutions that enhance the quality of life in the communities it serves.
DC Wonder Woman Run Series Brings Out the Hero in Everyone
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Sacramento was overrun by superheroes on Saturday, September 22 when the DC Wonder Woman Run Series hosted its inaugural event with a 5K and 10K run through Capitol Mall. Sacramento was the first city in the United States to participate in this race.
The event was produced by SON Events in conjunction with Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment. Sarah Ratzlaff, director of marketing for SON Events, said, “The race has a strong overall theme of women’s empowerment. Wonder Woman embodies strength, bravery, and power. The goal of the event is to show that there’s a Wonder Woman in all of us. That’s why we’re using the hashtag #IAmWonderWoman.”
The festival area was decorated with giant balloons and lined with an array of fluttering Wonder Woman flags. Area streets were blocked off by police cars, flashing their red and blue lights. Approximately 1,300 people participated in the 5K and 10K runs. The first-place finishers were Sandra Khounvichai with a time of 20:26 in the 5K and Stephen Harms with a time of 48:43 in the 10K.
The DC Wonder Woman Run Series is designed to empower the Superhero in everyone, so runners and walkers of all ability levels were encouraged to participate, regardless of their athletic abilities. Many participants had never run or walked in a 5K before this event. After completing the course, each participant was given a Wonder Woman medal. The festivities continued after the race, with a celebration featuring food trucks, a beer tent, face painting, official Wonder Woman merchandise, and a main stage with live musical entertainment.
Race participant Christie Pierce said he was persuaded to join the race just the evening before: “I decided to tag along. I said, ‘Sure, I’ll wear a skirt, I’ll do it.’ But more importantly, I decided to do it because I support strong, independent women.”
Theresa Ivaldi, Karli Cisneros, and Christina Mundy entered the race together. They thought it would be more fun to run together in a group of friends. This was Ivaldi’s first run, and she thought the Wonder Woman run was a fun way to start. Cisneros said, “I love running and love spending time with my friends, so I figured why not combine the two.” Mundy said, “What better way to run a 5K with friends and family than a Wonder Woman run that represents women’s power?” Mundy’s kids, Isabella (10) and Jackson (8), and their friend Sophie Carr (10), all love Wonder Woman. They enjoyed the race and especially loved getting a shiny medal to commemorate their accomplishment of crossing the finish line.
The DC Wonder Woman Run Series will be hosted in Oakland, San Jose, San Diego, and Los Angeles this fall. The Los Angeles run, as the flagship run, will be the largest in the series with 7,000 – 8,000 participants expected. If you would like to participate in one of the upcoming runs, or for more information on the DC Wonder Woman Run Series, please visit the website at www.dcwonderwomanrun.com.
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Sacramento’s California Emergency Response Team’s (CERT’s) graduation drill took place on Saturday, September 1 from 2 p.m. – 10 p.m. at the Northern California Regional Public Safety Academy in McClellan Park. The community participated and explored their inner actors as volunteer victims with broken arms or legs or other injuries for the day’s free event.
The drills tested the program’s graduates on practical skills including sizing up a building to determine if it is safe to enter; search and rescue; transport; and triage and treatment. They assessed situations simulating burning buildings and locating victims in dense smoke and at night. Graduates radioed transport crews, practiced victim transport before another group assessed injuries, bandaged, and prepared victims for transport to a medical facility said Robert Ross, Chief, Operations, Sacramento CERT, CERT 22.
“Watching, you don’t get to see as much,” he said, adding that the role of victim teaches more to the community who wants to understand what happens during an emergency such as a fire.
Ross explained that most people see only the end result.
“It’s a good way to see them in action and experience it without being in a collapsed building,” he said.
The Basic CERT course, Level 3, is sanctioned by FEMA and was developed by Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) after the Mexico City and Kobe earthquakes. The course, Ross explained, is for everyday citizens with no previous training or particular skills who want to learn how to prepare for a disaster and is offered at no charge.
“Civilians will be on their own for the first 72 hours,” said Ross, and will learn about disaster psychology and how to prepare bags with the necessities to assist in their immediate neighborhoods. Ross said that people don’t often think about bringing items like pet toys when they need to evacuate. Trained civilians can put out small fires and even triage in their neighborhoods if the need arises, but they need to practice, and that’s where the graduation drill comes in.
Graduates learn about fire behavior, which has been especially bad in California this summer, identification of hazardous materials, including those being transported, and terrorism. Upon graduation, CERT trained civilians can assist locally and can transfer their CERT training to other cities or states if they move. Since the Sacramento region is prone to flooding, this would also be covered in local training.
This level is required in order to continue with advanced courses to be certified as a Disaster Service Worker or a First Responder. Additionally, graduates may pursue training to join one of the special teams – Urban Search & Rescue, Animal Response, or Radio Communications.
“During a disaster cell phones won’t work, satellite phones are few and far between,” said Ross. “Ham operators during Hurricane Katrina passed messages. We can talk to Japan if we need to,” he said.
One legally blind team member who used a motorized wheelchair ran the ham radio and was one of the best in Sacramento.
“There are no limitations on who can participate. There are many ways to be involved, with a job for everyone.”
For additional information, visit www.sfdcert.org. Look for them at many local public events. The next academy will be held in spring of 2019.
RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - The memorial service for Deputy Mark Stasyuk is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 29, 2018, at Bayside Church Adventure Campus in Roseville, located at 6401 Stanford Ranch Road in Roseville. A multi-agency fly-over will take place at the conclusion of the memorial service. All other law enforcement honors will be performed at a private graveside service.
Stasyuk was shot and killed in the line of duty on September 17 after responding to a call in Rancho Cordova. He leaves behind a wife, mother, father and sister.
Source: Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department and Rancho Cordova Police Department