City to Celebrate 20th Birthday with Bash

By Shelly Lembke  |  2017-01-13
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Photograph of the water feature at City of Citrus Heights’ beautiful City Hall Building at 6360 Fountain Square Drive in Citrus Heights. --Photo courtesy of City of Citrus Heights

Citrus Heights is kicking off its 20th anniversary birthday with major celebrations. January begins the events that will feature ongoing happenings throughout most of the calendar year.

“Happy 20th Anniversary, Citrus Heights!” commented Citrus Heights City Manager, and former Citrus Heights Police Chief Christopher W. Boyd. “It has truly been an honor to have served this city as chief of police for the last eleven years and now, as Citrus Heights celebrates twenty years of incorporation, as city manager.

Boyd referenced the long history of Citrus Heights, which may not be well known to many people. The city celebrations seek to rectify that and have included an extensive amount of historical documentation online. Interested readers can access the facts at www.citrusheights.net/528/History-of-Citrus-Heights.

The road to cityhood was paved with the best of intentions and plenty of roadblocks, ultimately ending up before the U.S. Supreme Court. After battling naysayers, Sacramento County for twelve years, and a host of other hurdles, the city at last incorporated on January 1, 1997.

The Kick-Off Celebration on January 12 at the City Council meeting officially begins the festivities. Scheduled events fill the months leading up to a June 3rd “epic,” free, family event, the 20th Anniversary Block Party. The Block Party will be held at Van Maren Park & Stock Rancho Road, featuring live music on two stages, a Kids Zone, Beer Garden, Community Corner, Car Show, foods, vendors and more. For information on attending or participating, check www.citrusheightsblockparty.net.

Monthly Top 20 Lists are one of the ongoing highlights of the year, geared to focus on some of the many aspects of city life. January’s first list is City Awards & Accomplishments. Lists for February (Things You Love About Citrus Heights), June (Natural Scenic Spots to Enjoy) and October (Best Photos) will be based on social media submissions. “We encourage the community,” said the city, “to submit their photo or idea digitally using #chturns20. Tweet submissions @CityofCHeights for ‘Things You Love About Citrus Heights’ this month.” For all other questions contact Citrus Heights at 916 725 2448 or www.citrusheights.net.


Best of Fair Oaks Event to Announce Winners

MPG Staff  |  2017-01-13

The Best of Fair Oaks event will announce the local winners in many business categories chosen by the voting by Fair Oaks residents.

To be eligible to win a category for the Best of Fair Oaks businesses must be located in Fair Oaks. All votes were cast through the web site at www.BestofFairOaks.com.

This year’s event will be held on Thursday, January 19th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at North Ridge Country Club, 7600 Madison Avenue in Fair Oaks. To purchase tickets to the event, contact the Fair Oaks Chamber of Commerce at 916-967-2903.

The event is open to the public provided a ticket is purchased. You do not need to be a Chamber member to attend. If you are a local business owner and want to see how much fun the chamber events are before you join, plan to attend this event! The Best of Fair Oaks is an annual fundraising event sponsored by the Fair Oaks Chamber of Commerce.

Voting was completed on December 31st and tabulated by MPG staff.


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City Open for Comprehensive Transit Plan Bids

By Shelly Lembke  |  2017-01-13

Citrus Heights is ready to revisit its Comprehensive Transit Plan and will now be taking bids from interested companies. According to the city’s Transit Plan, qualified firms can register with the city online or through the General Services Department.

Per the city of Citrus Heights, “This project is federally funded and is subject to the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Policy.” At this juncture, the city is searching for professional consulting services to “develop a Comprehensive Transit Plan and recommendations for the City.”

The General Services Department selection process begins with Requests for Proposals (RFP) and then evaluates the proposals and creates consultant teams to determine which companies to interview.

Part of the city’s requirements is ongoing collaboration with city staff and “significant outreach with Citrus Heights residents and community stakeholders” via surveys, open houses, focus groups and personal as well as group interviews.

According to the city, “Engagement shall be designed to obtain feedback on current services, and assess demand, preferences and community priorities for public transportations services.” The chosen consultant must, according to Citrus Heights, “ensure all public outreach events are publicly noticed to promote maximum attendance.” This will include website, media releases, public notices and surveys and more. Media and translation for Spanish-speaking residents is also required.

The ability work well with other local transit entities is also a stated necessity. According to the City’s current documentation, “The Project includes ongoing and regular coordination with RT (Regional Transit) as one of the Project partners. In addition, the Consultant shall coordinate as appropriate with other local agencies… potentially impacting Citrus Heights transit users, including Roseville Transit, Placer County Transit Authority, Folsom Transit services and the City of Rancho Cordova’s Transit Division.”

The selected consulting firm must show Scope of Work, Project Management, Personnel and Staffing, Qualifications, Experience and References, Federal/State Funded Project Experience and Quality and Responsiveness of the Proposal. Interested parties can contact the city at GSD-Mailbox@citrusheights.net or 916 727 4770. Proposals are due by 2 pm January 20, 2017.


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Major League Lacrosse All-Star Game Coming to Bonney Field in 2017

Source: Cal Expo  |  2017-01-13

Along with the All-Star Game, MLL has more exciting activities planned for Friday, July 7 and Saturday, July 8. Before the All-Star Game there will be a FanFest at Bonney Field where fans can meet MLL players, enjoy live music and interactive exhibits.

The world's best lacrosse players are coming to Sacramento, CA. Major League Lacrosse has chosen Bonney Field at Cal Expo as the site for the 16th All-Star Game in 2017. The MLL All-Star Game will take place on Saturday, July 8 at 6 p.m. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com.

Along with the All-Star Game, MLL has more exciting activities planned for Friday, July 7 and Saturday, July 8. Before the All-Star Game there will be a FanFest at Bonney Field where fans can meet MLL players, enjoy live music and interactive exhibits. The All-Star Shootout Tournament presented by ADVNC Lacrosse and the All-Star Skills Competition will take place at Cherry Island Sports Complex in Rio Linda, CA. More information about those events can be found at www.advnclacrosse.com.

MLL chose to host the 2017 All-Star Game in northern California because it is the epicenter of lacrosse in the state of California and arguably, the Pacific Coast. According to US Lacrosse, there are more youth lacrosse players registered with US Lacrosse in the Northern California region than in greater Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego combined. Also, the region played host to the San Francisco Dragons, an MLL franchise that played from 2006-08.

This top-caliber event is just the latest addition to hit the pitch of Bonney Field, which is also home to the Sacramento Republic FC and PRO Rugby Sacramento. For more information about the MLL All-Star Game excitement see news.majorleaguelacrosse.com.

Cal Expo is home to the California State Fair and plays host to hundreds of other signature events each year. The Cal Expo property is home to Bonney Field, a premier sports and entertainment venue with seating of 11,000.


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Convoy Shows Giving Spirit

By Elise Spleiss  |  2017-01-12

Nine year old Julian looks on with delight as Sgt.Wes Herman of the CHPD points out features on his police cruiser during the annual police Holiday Toy Drop-off on December 20. 
--Photo by Elise Spleiss

A police convoy of over a dozen Citrus Heights Police Department marked and unmarked vehicles, lights flashing and sirens wailing, made their way through the streets of Citrus Heights to five very special neighborhoods on the afternoon of December 20, 2016.

Residents living along parts of Centurion Circle, Terrell Drive, Stanford Avenue, and Villa Oak Drive were understandably uneasy at first, but then pleasantly surprised as the occupants of the vehicles emerged bearing gifts and much more for one special family at each address.

Nearly two dozen police officers, along with police volunteers, Mayor Jeff Slowey and other city council members, Boy Scouts of troop 635, and of course, Santa Claus executed one “flash gift and toy drop” in each of the four neighborhoods.

The four families chosen to receive the special delivery of toys, food, clothes and other necessities were selected from community referrals to the city’s Holiday Referral Program overseen by the police department. Each family had experienced unusual hardship in 2016 placing them in extreme financial or other difficult situation. Items for these and 30 other needy families helped this year by the program, were donated by the police department, non-profit service organizations, churches, schools, private businesses and individuals.

At the first stop, Elizabeth, whose son was celebrating his 5th birthday, was overwhelmed when Santa, accompanied by half a dozen officers ascended to their second-floor apartment bearing a shiny green bike, toys, games, food and many other items for the family. The officers were then joined by more police personnel and their own children of all ages in singing “Happy Birthday” to her son. Elizabeth, who has no family and no parents to help her thanked everybody and vowed to “pay it forward”

At another address, nine-year-old Julian was also greeted by Santa who handed him a bright red present. Julian’s mother passed away after Halloween following heart surgery. Julian said, “I loved my mom, and I’m very thankful for everyone that came he said.” His father, Tony Bernardino, said, “Julian is doing very well with everything considering the situation.” But the highlight of Julian’s day was when Sgt. Wes Herman let him sit in and inspect the interior of his police cruiser and turn on the lights and siren.

Finally, no Citrus Heights Holiday Toy Drop-off would be complete without a stop on Sayonara Drive. Previously the ‘sore spot’ of Citrus Heights, Sayonara is now a much safer place for families to live. As the caravan pulled up to the Sayonara Community Center it took only seconds for dozens of children to appear and descend upon and eagerly surround the officers and volunteers handing out the rest of the over 300 stuffed animals donated this year.

This was Police Chief Ron Lawrence’s first Holiday Toy Drop-off. At the end of the day he spoke of how impressed he is with all the hard work of his officers. He commented that “today we make magic and create special moments these kids will remember the rest of their lives… It’s a gift for us as much as it is for them.”


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Citrus Heights Police Arrest Robbery Suspects

Source: Citrus Heights Police Department  |  2017-01-12

On Monday night, at approximately 8:00PM, Citrus Heights Police responded to a report of a Robbery occurring near the area of Fesler Ct. involving a pizza delivery driver.

The pizza delivery driver reported at least two subjects; one armed with a gun, pointed the gun at him and took pizza and a cellular phone. While officers were investigating this crime, a separate robbery occurred near the area of Greenback and Mariposa. The victim told dispatch the subjects pointed a gun and took money. The descriptions of the subjects in this robbery and the weapon used were similar to the previous robbery.

Citrus Heights Police located the suspect’s vehicle shortly after the robbery and attempted to stop the car. Several of the occupants of the suspect vehicle fled the area on foot and two were arrested at the scene. Citrus Heights Police Officers located evidence from the previous robbery inside the suspect’s vehicle.

Investigators are currently working on these two cases and gathering evidence and surveillance footage to bring these subjects to justice. The identities of the arrestees and other possible suspects are being withheld at this time. All suspects involved appear to be juveniles. Anyone having information or other evidence related to these crimes should contact the Citrus Heights Police Department.


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Local Sailor Participates in Pacific Partnership

Source: Navy Office of Community Outreach  |  2017-01-12

Naval Air Crewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class Thomas Williams (shown above), from Sacramento, California, assigned to the Blackjacks of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 21 U.S. 
--Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Trevor Kohl-rus/Released

Naval Air Crewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class Thomas Williams, from Sacramento, California, assigned to the Blackjacks of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 21, prepares to jump into the water during a rehearsal for a Pacific Partnership 2016 search and rescue drill.

During the drill, aviation rescue swimmers hoisted simulated casualties from the water into an MH-60S helicopter for medical evacuation to hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19). The Pacific Partnership search and rescue field training exercise spanned across three locations in Padang and included a water rescue, a field hospital for patient triage and transport, and a mass casualty at a local soccer field.

The day's events were facilitated by Tentara Nasional Indonesia, local first responders and the Pacific Partnership humanitarian assistance and disaster relief team. This is the fifth time Pacific Partnership has visited Indonesia. Partner nations are working side-by-side with local organizations during disaster response training, civil engineering projects, Women, Peace, and Security seminars, medical subject matter expert exchanges and a live field training exercise aimed at improving the capacity of local government, civilian agencies and partner militaries to collectively respond in crisis.


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Girl Scout Cookies: 100 years, 9 Cookies, 5 Skills, One Purpose!

Source: Girl Scouts Heart of Central California  |  2017-01-12

The five skills that participating in Girl Scouts build in future Girl Leaders are; goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics. 
--Photo courtesy of Girls Scouts of America

Building Girl Leaders One Package at a Time

This year marks the 100th year since Girl Scouts first started selling cookies. The cookie sale teaches valuable life skills and the proceeds, which all stay local, support their adventures and community service projects all year long!

Girl Scouts nationwide are celebrating this 100th cookie-versary with a brand new S’mores Cookie and you’re among the first in the country to try it! The cookies are available to order starting January 13. Look for Girl Scouts with order forms! For the third year running, the cost of Girl Scout Cookies is $5 per package.

The cookies arrive in Sacramento on February 18 at the Girl Scout Cookie MegaDrop at Raley Field. They are expecting to distribute more than 100,000 cases of cookies to Girl Scout troops throughout Northern and Central California. Cookies will be available through booth sales starting February 24.

The five skills that participating in Girl Scouts build in future Girl Leaders are; goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.

Girl Scouts is the world’s most successful organization dedicated to creating girl leaders, with 3.2 million active members and more than 59 million alumnae. Since its founding in 1912, women have explored new fields of knowledge, learned valuable skills and developed strong core values through Girl Scouting. The Girl Scout organization has shaped the lives of the majority of female senior executives and business owners, two-thirds of women in Congress, and virtually every female astronaut.

The national organization is Girl Scouts of the USA; the local council is Girl Scouts Heart of Central California (GSHCC). GSHCC is devoted to building Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers and Leaders (G.I.R.L.s) in Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Mariposa, Merced, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tuolumne, Yolo and Yuba counties.


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Four Families Displaced by Fire in Multiple Units of Four-plex

Source: Michelle Eidam, Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District  |  2017-01-12

Metro Fire crews were dispatched to the 9000 block of Folsom Boulevard for multiple callers reporting a house fire.

Just after 7:00 am on January 7th, Metro Fire crews were dispatched to the 9000 block of Folsom Boulevard for multiple callers reporting a house fire. First arriving crews found heavy fire coming from a four-plex and immediately initiated fire attack. While firefighting operations were occurring in the unit of origin, additional firefighters initiated fire attack in a second involved unit and began searching for trapped residents.

A common attic throughout the four-plex allowed the fire to spread quickly. With a coordinated fire attack, the thirty-five firefighters on scene extinguished the fire, containing it to the attic and two units. Two units sustained major fire damage. The other two had fire damage in the attic, but only smoke damage inside; firefighters were able to salvage all of the personal belongings from these units. Residents from all four units were displaced; Red Cross was requested to assist the ten adults and four children with temporary housing. The cause of the fire is undetermined. Damage is estimated at $250,000; no injuries to civilians or firefighters were reported.


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Tax Filing Season Begins January 23

Source: Internal Revenue Service  |  2017-01-12

The Internal Revenue Service has announced that the nation’s tax season will begin Monday, Jan. 23, 2017 and reminded taxpayers claiming certain tax credits to expect a longer wait for refunds.

The IRS will begin accepting electronic tax returns that day, with more than 153 million individual tax returns expected to be filed in 2017. The IRS again expects more than four out of five tax returns will be prepared electronically using tax return preparation software.

Many software companies and tax professionals will be accepting tax returns before Jan. 23 and then will submit the returns when IRS systems open. The IRS will begin processing paper tax returns at the same time. There is no advantage to filing tax returns on paper in early January instead of waiting for the IRS to begin accepting e-filed returns.

The IRS reminds taxpayers that a new law requires the IRS to hold refunds claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until Feb. 15. In addition, the IRS wants taxpayers to be aware it will take several days for these refunds to be released and processed through financial institutions. Factoring in weekends and the President’s Day holiday, the IRS cautions that many affected taxpayers may not have actual access to their refunds until the week of Feb. 27.

“For this tax season, it’s more important than ever for taxpayers to plan ahead,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said. “People should make sure they have their year-end tax statements in hand, and we encourage people to file as they normally would, including those claiming the credits affected by the refund delay. Even with these significant changes, IRS employees and the entire tax community will be working hard to make this a smooth filing season for taxpayers.”

The IRS also reminds taxpayers that they should keep copies of their prior-year tax returns for at least three years. Taxpayers who are changing tax software products this filing season will need their adjusted gross income from their 2015 tax return in order to file electronically. The Electronic Filing Pin is no longer an option. Taxpayers can visit IRS.Gov/GetReady for more tips on preparing to file their 2016 tax return.

The filing deadline to submit 2016 tax returns is Tuesday, April 18, 2017, rather than the traditional April 15 date. In 2017, April 15 falls on a Saturday, and this would usually move the filing deadline to the following Monday – April 17. However, Emancipation Day – a legal holiday in the District of Columbia – will be observed on that Monday, which pushes the nation’s filing deadline to Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Under the tax law, legal holidays in the District of Columbia affect the filing deadline across the nation.


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