City Council Affirms New Member and Votes to Annex into SacRT
CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - The Citrus Heights City Council meeting on December 13 began with the certification of the November 6 election results. Outgoing councilmember Al Fox was recognized by the Council for his dedicated service, and he was presented with a proclamation acknowledging his passion for civic engagement. Mayor Steve Miller and Vice Mayor Jeannie Bruins were both re-elected to the City Council and recited the oath of office. Newly elected council member Porsche Middleton took the oath of office and then took her seat on the Council, saying she was “honored and humbled to serve.” Miller nominated Bruins to take over as mayor for the new term and she was unanimously approved by the Council. Mayor Bruins then nominated council member Jeff Slowey for vice mayor, and he was also unanimously approved.
Citrus Heights Chief of Police Ronald Lawrence introduced a new K-9 officer, a two-year-old black lab named Farley. Partnered with Officer Dave Moranz, Farley is a drug-detention dog who has been on the job for just a few weeks. In that short time, he has already alerted on numerous drug shipments, leading to multiple arrests.
The Council unanimously voted to establish an ordinance for the preservation of street trees and landmark trees, which was a necessary step in order for the city to submit an application for the honorary designation of Tree City, USA. To qualify, a city must have a street tree ordinance, have a dedicated tree department, expend money on tree care and preservation, and celebrate Arbor Day. The city held their first Arbor Day celebration this year and has plans for a much bigger celebration in 2019.
City staff explained that homeless shelters in the county are currently at about 90% capacity, and this problem becomes more critical during the winter months. A state program, Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP), would provide additional funding to expand existing shelters and create some new shelters throughout the county. To qualify for HEAP funding, the city must declare shelter crisis, which states that a significant number of persons in the city do not have the ability to obtain shelter and that the situation is a threat to their health and safety. Approximately 8% of the county’s homeless population lives in Citrus Heights. Sacramento County, the City of Sacramento, and the City of Elk Grove have all already declared shelter crisis, and Rancho Cordova is also expected to declare. All the participating jurisdictions will have input on how the funds are spent, and regional collaboration will ensure that the homeless population is better served throughout the county. The motion was unanimously approved by the Council.
Citrus Heights has been contracting with SacRT for transit service since 2001. Based on a transit management study, the city recently created a comprehensive transit plan evaluating the various transportation options: continue contracting service with SacRT, create a stand-alone transit system within the city, or annex into SacRT. The plan identified annexation as the preferred option, stating that it is the most cost-effective solution and has the most long-term benefits. The city negotiated with SacRT to ensure Citrus Heights will receive service that is equal to or better than that received under contract and to increase the city’s voting shares on the SacRT board.
Mike Barnbaum, community ambassador for SacRT, spoke in support of annexation, stating that annexing all the areas in the region “will create a unified regional transit system” and “will ensure the competitiveness of Sacramento County and the region.”
Vice Mayor Slowey acknowledged that Elk Grove set up a stand-alone transit system but will probably be annexing into SacRT soon as well. “Doing it on our own, we would need transfer agreements with other areas. And it’s more expensive to run it ourselves. Joining a larger organization, we’ll get access to better service…What’s best for the region is best for Citrus Heights.”
Council member Daniels agreed that is beneficial to pursue regional solutions—“if it works.” He voiced concern about giving up local control and the difficulty of detaching from SacRT if the city isn’t happy with the service it receives. Folsom is annexing into SacRT, and Daniels recommended waiting “to see how Folsom is treated.” Daniels thinks the future of transportation might be microtransit, and he suggested using the dedicated local transportation funds to subsidize Lyft or Uber rides for residents instead of buying into a regional bus system. He said, “I won’t support it. It’s not the right time.”
Mayor Bruins agreed that “transportation is evolving. And we need a seat at the table so we can help design the future.” She called for a vote and the motion passed 4 to 1.
THE MOST FAMILY-FRIENDLY, ACTION-PACKED MOTOR SPORT IN THE WORLD RACES BACK INTO SACRAMENTO
SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Unexpected, unscripted and unforgettable! Monster Jam®, the most action-packed motorsports experience for families in the world today, returns to Sacramento with a new level of high-flying, four-wheel excitement! Be prepared for another high-octane weekend of Monster Jam Triple Threat Series events featuring six different competitions of speed, racing and freestyle stunts at the Golden 1 Center from January 18–20, 2019.
Featuring eight of the most intense athletes of Monster Jam, Central Valley fans will witness a fierce battle for the championship with each Triple Threat Series competitor contending in customized high-powered vehicles: Monster Jam Speedsters, Monster Jam ATVs and of course, the iconic Monster Jam trucks in six events sure to leave fans on the edge of their seats.
Monster Jam drivers are trained, world-class male and female athletes who have mastered not only the physical strength and mental stamina needed to compete, but the vital dexterity to control 12,000-pound machines capable of doing backflips, vertical two-wheel skills and racing at speeds up to 70 miles per hour to produce jaw-dropping, live motor sports action seen around the world. Now across all Monster Jam events, fans in every city will have the chance to vote for the winner in the two-wheel and freestyle competitions by real-time, in-stadium fan voting on their smartphones.
Fans also have the unparalleled opportunity to get up close and personal to their favorite Monster Jam trucks and drivers at the Monster Jam® Pit Party pre-show experience for photos & autographs.
Tickets are affordably priced for the whole family with seats starting at just $20 each. Pit Passes available to purchase for $15 each.
Tickets and Pit Passes will be available for purchase online at Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 or visit the Golden 1 Center Box Office. Ticket prices are subject to change, venue/ticketing fees may apply.
For all the latest news, announcements and updates, be sure to watch the Monster Jam 2019 Season Kickoff Show live streaming on www.MonsterJam.com.
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The elected SMUD Board of Directors approved a $1.71 billion budget. The 2019 budget provides funding for all capital and operations and maintenance (O&M) programs needed to meet the Board’s Strategic Directions in the year ahead and in future years.
The 2019 budget is $25 million less than the 2018 budget, which is primarily due to lower planned capital expenditures, though SMUD anticipates an exciting and transformational year as the electric company continues laying the foundation for the future. Next year’s budget includes funding for many industry-leading initiatives and a variety of programs and investments that support the development of SMUD’s load-serving capacity, grid modernizations and compliance with regulatory requirements. Support for outreach and communications to educate customers about SMUD’s move to time-of-day pricing is also included.
Some major capital projects for next year include the rebuilding of three major substations that serve large numbers of residential and commercial customers, hydro generation facilities work and the designing and building of a new energy control facility. Completion of the SMUD Headquarters remodeling project, and new and ongoing technology projects are included as well.
Other major projects include removing and replacing more than 50 circuit miles of cable; automation of a couple of dozen high-voltage switches; upgrades and expansion of the downtown Sacramento electrical distribution network; expansion of the grid into new communities in Folsom and Rancho Cordova; and improvements at a bulk substation that serves the Arden area.
SMUD continues to be in a strong financial position. In 2017, Fitch and S&P upgraded SMUD’s credit ratings to AA, from an already impressive AA-, while Moody’s continues to rate SMUD Aa3. To maintain these credit ratings, which continue to be the highest in three decades, SMUD has a strategic financial target to maintain strong operating cash flow. Forecasted 2019 operating cash flow cover is 1.76 times operating cash flow, which exceeds the SMUD Board’s minimum target of cash flow cover of 1.5 times operating cash flow and supports a higher level of proposed capital spending. The higher credit rating produces a lower cost of borrowing.
SMUD customers continue to pay significantly less for electricity than most Californians, and as of September 1, 2018, more than 30 percent less than customers who are supplied by neighboring PG&E.
As the nation’s sixth-largest, community-owned electric service provider, SMUD has been providing low-cost, reliable electricity for more than 70 years to Sacramento County (and small adjoining portions of Placer and Yolo Counties). SMUD is a recognized industry leader and award winner for its innovative energy efficiency programs, renewable power technologies, and for its sustainable solutions for a healthier environment. SMUD’s power mix is about 50 percent non-carbon emitting. For more information, visit smud.org.
Source: SMUD Media
SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The 35th Annual Optimist High School Girls’ Volleyball All Star games were held on December 8, 2018 at El Camino High School. The Small Schools match was won by the North Team. The scores were 25 (South) – 23 (North), 25 (North) – 21 (South), 30 (North) - 28 (South), and 25 (North) – 17 (South). All of these sets were so exciting that they brought the fans to their feet and yelling for more.
The Outstanding Player for the North was Amy Hiatt from Placer High School and for the South Team was Jillian Petnicki from Vacaville Christian High School. The Large Schools match was swept by the South Team 25 – 21, 25 – 18, and 25 – 16, and as like the Small Schools match, the fans were super excited.
The Outstanding Player for the South Team was Sam Chavez from St. Francis High School and for the North Team was Kaylie Honberger from Whitney High School.
During the intermission, Mike Yates from Ponderosa High School was inducted into the Optimist Hall of Fame for his tremendous dedication and commitment to encourage and train our youth to take their volleyball to the next level.
Mike has been the Girls’ Volleyball Coach at Ponderosa High School for the past 5 seasons. Within that time, he has won three (3) league championships, two (2) SacJoaquin Section championships, and Ponderosa’s first State appearance in the past 30 years….to include having an undefeated season last year. Prior to his coaching at Ponderosa, he coached at Union Mine High School for five (5) years. In his last season, he won Union Mine’s very first Section championship and subsequently went on to win the State championship.
Club Volleyball has also played an important part in Coach Yates’ activities. Within his involvement in the Precision Volleyball Club, he has been the driving influence for the boys and girls to take their volleyball game to the next level to include beach volleyball. Last year, he created the first ever high school volleyball sand league and continues to be the leading force in its development.
His involvement in volleyball would have never taken place was it not for being burned out from playing baseball. He started playing volleyball, loved the sport, and his achievements took off from there. He played volleyball at Ponderosa High School and subsequently had a successful collegiate career at California State University-Sacramento. Thereafter, he transferred these indoor volleyball skills to beach volleyball which has made him one of the best known beach players in the Sacramento area.
City of Citrus Heights Special Release
CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - On December 3, 2018, the City received a certified letter from the law firm of Shenkman & Hughes, alleging the City’s method of electing councilmembers through an at large or city-wide, versus a by-district, election violated the California Voting Rights Act (“CVRA”). In all previous elections, members of the City Council have been elected at large by the voters of the City.
Regardless of whether the City agrees with the allegations outlined by Shenkman & Hughes, there is no city or public agency that has successfully defended an at large method of election, when challenged under the CVRA. The City Council is aware of the exorbitant cost that multiple cities and other public entities have faced in defending and/or settling CVRA litigation, and the impact that the expenditure of such costs could have on the City’s ability to provide essential services to the City’s residents and businesses.
As a result, at the City Council meeting scheduled for January 10, 2019, the Council will be considering whether to adopt a resolution declaring the Council’s intent to transition to district based elections. If the transition is made, councilmembers will be required to live in the district they represent and will be elected only by the voters of that district.
Should the City initiate the transition, a series of public workshops will be held to obtain public feedback in the districting process. Once the City has reached a formal agreement with the plaintiff’s attorney as to the districting timeline, workshop details will be released on www.citrusheights.net.
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Society for the Blind, a Sacramento-based nonprofit serving blind and low vision people in Northern California, has received a grant from Anthem Blue Cross and CareMore Foundations to create opportunities for individuals to participate in the National Fitness Challenge, an initiative founded by the United States Association of Blind Athletes and the parent Foundation of Anthem Blue Cross and CareMore. Society for the Blind is one of 17 organizations across the nation that is participating in the National Fitness Challenge and is using grant funding to offer adaptive yoga classes, walking groups, running clinics and other sports and fitness activities that can help people who are blind or low-vision to maximize healthy lifestyles. These activities will be offered over the course of eight months to help hundreds of youth and adults to increase physical fitness levels and live healthier lives.
“The goal of the National Fitness Challenge is to help people with visual disabilities to live more active lifestyles,” said Shari Roeseler, executive director, Society for the Blind. “The program launched during Blindness Awareness Month in October, and through May 31, 2019, will highlight what people with visual disabilities can do, rather than what they cannot do. We are lucky to live in an age where a person with vision loss can achieve most anything they set their mind to doing, and we are grateful to Anthem Blue Cross Foundation and CareMore Foundation for helping us to empower this year’s participants.”
This year’s challenge integrates technology and social media to inspire participants to set goals, create team environments and encourage leadership. Each participant has been provided with a Fitbit Flex 2 wearable – a universal way to measure activities, calories burned and number of steps taken. Participants also have the opportunity to utilize Fitbit Coach, which is a personalized training app that provides adaptive video workouts and audio coaching. Foundation grant funding is being used to provide Fitbits, fitness and nutritional instruction, performance prizes as well as technical and financial support for all participants.
“Research has consistently shown that individuals who participate in regular physical activity to improve their health have higher energy levels, lower risk of health-related diseases, improved psychological health, and lower rates of depression and anxiety,” said Ricardo Young, CareMore Health Medical Director. “We are proud to support members of the Society for the Blind through our collaboration with the National Fitness Challenge, and to create access to activities supporting healthier individuals and stronger communities.”
More than half of those who are blind or low vision in the United States do not participate in even a limited physical fitness routine, mostly due to barriers to accessible fitness or misconceptions about their abilities. Individuals of all abilities should have equal opportunities to engage in activities that improve health outcomes, so the National Fitness Challenge aims to increase access to fitness and health for blind and low vision people.
“Anthem Blue Cross Foundation is committed to removing barriers and increasing access to critical programs and services that help individuals and communities to lead healthier lives,” said Dr. Barsam Kasravi, Interim Anthem Blue Cross Medicaid Plan President. “We are proud of our Foundation’s ongoing support of people with visual disabilities and are confident that this support will go a long way in helping Californians to improve their overall wellness while enjoying the physical and emotional benefits of exercise and group sports.”
Since 2011, the parent Foundation of Anthem Blue Cross and CareMore has provided $1.3 million in grant funding to U.S. Association of Blind Athletes for the National Fitness Challenge initiative and has impacted thousands of Americans with visual disabilities by partnering with 40 different agencies across the country. To learn more about the National Fitness Challenge, visit www.usaba.org/NationalFitnessChallenge.
For more than 60 years, Society for the Blind has created innovative ways to empower individuals living with low vision or blindness to discover, develop and achieve their full potential. Society for the Blind has grown from a dedicated group of volunteers to a nationally recognized agency and the only comprehensive rehabilitative teaching center that provides services for a 27-county region of northern California. The nonprofit provides low-vision eye care, life and job skills training, mentorship, and access to tools to maintain independence for more than 5,000 youth, adults and seniors experiencing vision loss each year. For more information: SocietyfortheBlind.org.
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Calling out the cheer, “Two, four, six, eight, who do we appreciate? City Year! City Year” staff members from SAFE Credit Union marched into the Oak Park, California, offices of City Year on a recent rainy morning to surprise the nonprofit with a $20,000 grant.
City Year Executive Director Jeff Owen and Development Manager Maggie Lawrence were on hand to accept the donation. “This is going to go a long way in our work to help students who really need some support, and our amazing AmeriCorps members who are working 10 hours a day for peanuts,” Owen said.
City Year sends near-peer mentors to under-served schools in Sacramento to help students succeed. City Year representatives cheer students as they arrive to school each day to honor them for their hard work and to pump them up for the day. During class time, AmeriCorps members use positive coaching to help students overcome challenges that may lead them to dropping out of school. They also assist with tutoring students in math and English to stay on track to graduate with their peers.
“City Year shines in its mission,” said SAFE Credit Union Community and Advocacy Engagement Manager Amanda Merz. “City Year’s dedication to helping at-risk students over hurdles and standing by them to ensure their success really spoke to us here at SAFE. By staying in school, these students will have a better foundation to build a more financially secure and personally satisfying life. We are proud to be able to assist City Year with its efforts to help our community’s students.”
SAFE Credit Union is a leading financial institution in Northern California with more than $2.8 billion in assets and more than 229,000 members. SAFE is a not-for-profit, community-chartered credit union with membership open to businesses and individuals living or working in Sacramento, Placer, Yolo, El Dorado, Sutter, Butte, Nevada, Solano, San Joaquin, Contra Costa, Yuba, Amador, and Alameda counties. Insured by the NCUA. www.safecu.org
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Republicans of River City and American River Republican Women joined with California Federation of Republican Women in raising items and funds to help families of deadly wildfires in Northern and Southern California.
Carl Burton, President of RRC, said, “We collected enough toys for the of fire victim’s children to fill up my jeep, and we made delivery of them last Saturday, December 15, to Oroville Municipal Auditorium.”
Bonnie Williams, President of American River Republican Women, said, “Our neighbors are in trouble they need our help, so we are going help.”
Because of the Butte County, Camp Fire surpassed all other fires in California becoming the most destructive fire in our history, burning over 125,000 acres and obliterating over 6,453 homes. It was also the deadliest fire with 88 dying in the fire, mostly older Americas.
It’s not too late to help join us in supporting our neighbors dealing with their losses. This Christmas season, we are suggesting gift card donations.” Give gift cards from Gas Stations, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Lowes; groceries from Albertsons, Ralphs, Safeway, Save-Mart, Stater Bros., Trader Joes, and Vons; clothes from J C Penney, Kohls, Macy's, and Target.
For Northern California victims, please send gift cards to: Republicans of River City, P.O. Box 1776, Carmichael, CA 95609
Burton said, first as Americans and as Republicans, we believe “No one may forsake their neighbors when they are in trouble. Everybody is under obligation to help and support their neighbors as they would themselves like to be helped.” Martin Luther 1483-1546
Source: Republicans of River City
Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and their team are excited to return to California! They plan to film episodes of the hit series AMERICAN PICKERS throughout the region in March 2019!
AMERICAN PICKERS is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique “picking” on History. The hit show follows Mike and Frank, two of the most skilled pickers in the business, as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques. They are always excited to find sizeable, unique collections and learn the interesting stories behind them.
As they hit the back roads from coast to coast, Mike and Frank are on a mission to recycle and rescue forgotten relics. Along the way, the Pickers want to meet characters with remarkable and exceptional items. The pair hopes to give historically significant objects a new lease on life, while learning a thing or two about America’s past along the way.
Mike and Frank have seen a lot of rusty gold over the years and are always looking to discover something they’ve never seen before. They are ready to find extraordinary items and hear fascinating tales about them.
AMERICAN PICKERS is looking for leads and would love to explore your hidden treasure. If you or someone you know has a large, private collection or accumulation of antiques that the Pickers can spend the better part of the day looking through, send us your name, phone number, location and description of the collection with photos to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 855-OLD-RUST.
SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - Sacramento County Airport Firefighters shaved their heads as part of the second annual “Brave the Shave” in honor of Captain Tim Anderson, a Sacramento County Airport Firefighter who lost his life to cancer in 2017. Brave the Shave was started one year ago by Tim’s son Mason, when his mother Lacey was diagnosed with breast cancer just 6 months after his dad, Captain Tim Anderson died.
After hearing the news of his mom's diagnosis, Mason at 10 years old wanted to have a shaving party in an effort to turn a difficult situation into something positive. Mason challenged local area firefighters to shave their heads with him as a way to honor his dad and support his mother. In 2017, 112 firefighters in 4 states and 2 countries shaved their heads in support of the Anderson family. â€‹
Mason’s mom Lacey is now cancer free and this year Mason would like to open Brave the Shave up to all firefighters and their families affected by cancer in an effort to make December Firefighter Cancer Awareness month. Firefighters and anyone else wanting to offer their support were asked to shave their heads in the month of December and post the pictures or videos to Mason's Facebook page Brave the Shave with Mason Anderson or his Instagram Brave the Shave Mason Anderson. This year's goal is 150 shaved heads. Mason is only 57 shaved heads away from meeting that goal!
Source: Sacramento County Media