State of the City is Solid

By Trina L. Drotar  |  2019-07-02

Ronda Rivera, Assistant City Manager, Citrus Heights Police Chief Ron Lawrence, and Citrus Heights Mayor Jeannie Bruins at the State of the City address. Photo by Patrick Larenas

CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - The City of Citrus Heights might have taken tips from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s 1841 essay, “Self-Reliance,” according to Mayor Jeannie Bruins’ State of the City address at the June Citrus Heights Chamber Luncheon. “The city,” she said, “believes in self-reliance and taking control of its destiny, and that control has led to many achievements since it freed itself from Sacramento County and established itself as a city in 1997.”

Mayor Bruins, elected in 2018, has served on the Citrus Heights City Council since 2002. This is her fourth term as the city’s mayor. As a 34 year resident of Citrus Heights, she is dedicated to seeing this city grow and become a force within the county. “Growth,” she said, “is occurring at a moderate rate. Jobs are up 5% and the city is building new types of homes” to accommodate citizens of all ages who want more than a house with a yard and want to engage with one another.

“We pay cash for everything,” she said, adding that the city saves money to fund projects, services, and events.

Fiscal responsibility has been important since the city was required to forego the benefit of property taxes for a period of 25 years. It has learned to “spend conservatively” and developed better fiscal habits than many governments, businesses, and individuals.

“We have addressed infrastructure as best we can,” without benefit of the estimated $6 million a year in property tax funding that will arrive in the 2022-2023 tax year.

Auburn Blvd. renovations, known as Auburn Boulevard Complete Streets Revitalization Project, are being completed in several phases. Road improvements and moving utilities underground from Sylvan Corners, the city’s center, to the northern city limits is funded as money becomes available. “The business community,” said Bruins, responded overwhelmingly to the improvements, forming new business partnerships, beautifying properties” that once lined what she said had been “dubbed the ugliest street in the region.”

The quality of business and of residential life is strong. The city’s three annual curbside pick-ups are followed by street sweeping, aiding in beautifying the city.

“Hats off to General Services,” she said.

“Crime is down 11% since 2018, the largest drop yet,” she said. The small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (sUAV) is a drone program used by Citrus Heights Police Department and is expanding. Lt. Chad Morris has helped the city fight crime and use technology to engage the community. “When we catch a bad guy,” she said, “a notice is sent to the 16,000 subscribers on NextDoor.”

She cited AB516, a bill authored by Assembly members David Chiu (17th District) and Miguel Santiago (53rd District) that seeks to amend the California Vehicle Code to curb any jurisdiction’s ability to tow vehicles, as dangerous, saying that law enforcement will lose the ability to remove vehicles parked for any amount of time.

“Read the bill, then let your opinion be known to your legislators,” she stated.

Bruins is excited about the city’s economic development which brought in 400 new businesses since June 2018 including Pizza Rev, a Big Lots, and a new entertainment center. A lot at Sylvan Corners is being acquired by the city. The property is centrally located and offers developers great possibilities.

Among new businesses opening in 2019 is the three story high Dignity Medical Center at Greenback Lane and Fountain Square Drive. The business met with community members and incorporated many suggestions into its plan. The 68,000 square foot center will offer services for allergy, rheumatology, ophthalmology, geriatrics, pediatrics, family medicine, and more. It is scheduled to open in fall.

Other topics Bruins covered included the change to district wide elections in 2020 and a public safety partnership with Mesa Verde School. The program has placed ten interns who work in the police department while taking classes.

“We’re very proud and very excited,” she said, hoping that many will continue the path of law enforcement.

“The homeless count is down to 163 from 200 in 2018. During April, when other cities count homeless individuals on a single day, Citrus Heights counts individuals daily. “The count does not,” she said, “include individuals who might be couch surfing.” Schools estimate approximately 800 students are homeless but not on the streets.

“Our model has been so successful we are taking it to other locations,” she said about the city’s navigator program and HART.

Sunrise Mall was another topic of concern that needs a master plan in order to keep it a mall for Citrus Heights and not a mall envisioned by owners in New York. Several businesses, including Macy’s, Sears, and JC Penney, own their buildings and property.

“We want something that will be sustainable,” she said.

 

Citrus Heights Grocery Outlet Supports Families in Need

Submitted by Sara Wheeler, Citrus Heights Grocery Outlet  |  2019-07-19

CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - On Saturday, July 20th, from 12-2 pm and throughout the entire month of July, Citrus Heights Grocery Outlet is holding its yearly Independence From Hunger Food Drive campaign. The 9th annual drive will ensure 100 percent of the money raised will stay in Citrus Heights to help feed those in need and combat food insecurity.

During the summer months, many children and families are at risk for food insecurity. Hot breakfast and lunch are not available while school is out and many struggle during these months. Citrus Heights Grocery Outlet is a family owned and operated business that strives to do its part to help and give back to the community.

Last year the Independence From Hunger Food Drive in Citrus Heights raised almost $6,000 in food and cash donations, and the goal this year is $8,000.

With over 300 stores across the nation, Grocery Outlet, as a whole, raised $1.7 million last year and provided much needed assistance to families in America.

If you wish to support the effort, Citrus Heights Grocery Outlet is located at 6059 Greenback Lane, Citrus Heights, CA 95621 or you can call 916-729-3600

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SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Anyone with ideas, suggestions, or concerns about the administration and oversight of California’s business taxes is invited to attend the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration’s (CDTFA) annual Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights meeting in Sacramento July 25, 2019.

Date: Thursday, July 25, 2019

Time: 9:00 a.m.

Location: California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, 450 N Street, 1st Floor, Room 122, Sacramento, California 95814

The meeting will be held to receive public input regarding business taxes including sales and use taxes, and special taxes and fees such as fuel taxes, tobacco taxes, and cannabis taxes. Those interested in attending are invited to contact the Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate Office by calling toll-free 1-888-324-2798, or by visiting us online.

Enacted in January 1989, the Harris-Katz California Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights ensures that the rights of California Taxpayers are protected during the assessment and collection of sales taxes. The Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights was expanded in 1993 to include special tax programs such as environmental fees, fuel taxes, and tobacco taxes.

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) administers California’s sales and use, fuel, tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis taxes, as well as a variety of other taxes and fees that fund specific state programs. CDTFA-administered programs account for over 25 percent of all state revenue. California’s essential services, such as public safety, transportation, health, libraries, schools, social services, and natural resource management programs, are directly supported by these taxes and fees.

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Two Sacramento area STEM learning institutions, the Aerospace Museum of California and Powerhouse Science Center are coming together to bring guests Apollopalooza, a family-friendly event that will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. This special event will take place at the Aerospace Museum of California on Saturday, July 20 from 10:00AM-4:00PM.                               

Highlights of Apollopalooza include the premiere of the Aerospace Museum of California’s new Moon Mission Virtual Reality Experience, exclusive Apollo artifact tours, a NASA Mad Science show, and several activities hosted by both the Museum and Powerhouse Science Center in the exhibit hall. A Smithsonian affiliate, the Aerospace Museum of California will also feature exclusive Smithsonian programming and NASA films in the Museum’s theater.

Michael Galane, Executive Director for the Powerhouse Science Center stated, “We’re excited to partner with the Aerospace Museum of California and SAFE Credit Union to bring this one-of-a-kind event to the Sacramento area. Tom Jones, Executive Director for the Aerospace Museum of California noted: “Northern California has a rich aerospace heritage and having these two STEM learning centers collaborate together to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing will make this a memorable event for the greater Sacramento community.”

Members of both Aerospace and Powerhouse are offered deeply discounted tickets to the event. Community partner SAFE Credit Union is also offering a special discount to their members. Tickets to the event are available for purchase online at aerospaceca.org/tickets.

Apollo 11 was launched from the Kennedy Space Center on July 16th, 1969 with a crew of three astronauts: Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, and Michael Collins. Four days later, on July 20th, Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon were broadcast worldwide on live television. Armstrong’s quote, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” as he stepped on the surface for the first time is remembered as one of the most iconic moments in NASA history. The crew landed in the Pacific Ocean on July 24th, 1969, fulfilling President John F. Kennedy’s national goal: to land a man on the moon and safely return him before 1970.

About the Aerospace Museum of California: Experience aviation history and aerospace potential in an interactive setting. With a 4-acre air park and rotating exhibits, families can engage with our STEM activities for all ages and let their imagination soar. Learn more at aerospaceca.org

 

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SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - The Regional Solid Waste Authority (SWA) will be holding a workshop on Tuesday, August 13, to seek input on code changes intended to increase generator waste compliance levels in accordance with mandates required by the State of California.  These mandates will affect all businesses that generate four or more cubic yards per week of all solid waste (including trash, recycling and organics).

The SWA needs business engagement and consensus on developing workable solutions to be successful in meeting these state mandates.  Both Sacramento County and the City of Sacramento are under intense compliance pressure from the California Department of Resources, Recycling, and Recovery (CalRecycle) to achieve greater compliance with existing commercial sector recycling regulations as a result of the Mandatory Commercial Recycling Act (AB 341) adopted by the California Legislature and implemented by CalRecycle.  It requires recycling by all businesses that generate four or more cubic yards of solid waste per week.  In addition, AB 1826 requires businesses generating 4 or more cubic yards of trash and recycling to recycle their organic waste.

Currently, SWA code allows businesses to decline recycling services from their trash service provider and seek those services elsewhere.  The proposed plan would require SWA franchisees to provide recycling and organics services to a business unless that business provides documentation their recycling services are provided by another recycler or by self-hauling.

The workshop on requiring businesses to subscribe to services for trash, recycling and organics will held at 1 pm in the County Board Chambers, 700 I Street, in downtown Sacramento.  If you have questions, please email SWAInfo@saccounty.net.

 

 

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Daddy Dave’s Diaper Drive at Leatherby’s Supports Life Center

By Kristin Thébaud, Kristin Thébaud Communications  |  2019-07-18

Natalie Corral receives a box of diapers from the Sacramento Life Center. Daddy Dave’s Diaper Drive will provide more diapers for low-income pregnant moms in Sacramento. Photo courtesy of Kristin Thébaud Communications

Donate Unopened Pack of Diapers and Get Free Scoop of Ice Cream 

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Local residents who bring an unopened pack of diapers to any Leatherby’s Family Creamery location on July 20 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. will receive a free scoop of ice cream as part of Daddy Dave’s Diaper Drive, benefiting the Sacramento Life Center. The drive, which takes place during National Ice Cream Month, will provide diapers for low-income moms in the Sacramento area and honor the life of the ice cream shop’s founder Dave Leatherby Sr. who passed away earlier this year and supported the Sacramento Life Center for decades.

“This is a really special drive, as it not only fills an important need, but honors my late father who was so beloved in this community and who had such a heart for helping low-income pregnant women and teens in the Sacramento area,” said Marie Leatherby, executive director, Sacramento Life Center. “We hope everyone comes out on July 20 to help women in need and enjoy a free scoop of Leatherby’s ice cream in honor of my dad.”

According to The Nation, a third of American families struggle to afford enough diapers. The 2018 article quoted a study that found families would leave a child in a diaper too long, risking diaper rash and urinary tract infections, and others would bleach a wet diaper, dry it and reuse it. The Sacramento Life Center’s diaper drive will ensure that every mother who walks into its main clinic can receive free, clean diapers for her children.

The Sacramento Life Center’s mission is to offer compassion, support, resources and free medical care to women and couples facing an unplanned or unsupported pregnancy. The Sacramento Life Center’s licensed Sac Valley Pregnancy Clinic includes a primary clinic and two Mobile Medical Clinics that provide all services for free, including pregnancy tests, STD tests, ultrasounds, peer counseling for men and women, education and resource referrals. The nonprofit also offers a school-based teen education program, a 24-hour hotline and a program for women experiencing reproductive grief. For more information about the Sacramento Life Center’s Sac Valley Pregnancy Clinic, visit www.svpclinic.com. For more information about the Sacramento Life Center or to make a donation, visit www.saclife.org.

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA (MPG) - Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is sending postcards to more than 240,000 customers encouraging them to update their mobile number, email and other key information so the company can contact them in advance should it become necessary to temporarily turn off power for safety this fire season.

These customers, who live throughout PG&E’s service area, have incomplete or no contact information on file.

It is important that all customer information is up to date so PG&E can share important wildfire safety alerts. In addition to notifying customers directly, PG&E also will provide outage updates and information through channels such as social media, local news, radio and the pge.com website.

“With the 2019 wildfire season now upon us, we all need to be better prepared to stay emergency-ready and to keep our families and friends safe,” said Laurie Giammona, PG&E’s senior vice president and chief customer officer. “We are asking our customers to be sure we have their latest contact information so we can do our best to reach them in advance of a potential Public Safety Power Shutoff event.”

The Public Safety Power Shutoff program is one of many additional precautionary safety measures in response to the 2017 and 2018 wildfires that the company is putting in place as part of its Community Wildfire Safety Program intended to reduce wildfire threats and strengthen communities for the future.

Extreme weather threats can change quickly. PG&E’s goal, dependent on weather and other factors, is to send customer alerts through automated calls, texts and emails at 48 hours, again at 24 hours, and again just prior to shutting off power.

Besides updating their contact information to prepare for Public Safety Power Shutoffs, PG&E encourages customers to do the following:
Have an emergency plan for wildfires and discuss it with your friends, family and neighbors; Update or create a go bag or 72-hour kit that can be used if you need to evacuate; and clear defensible space around your home or business.

PG&E thanks the over 390,000 customers who have taken action to ensure they will receive its wildfire safety alerts since June 1, 2018. For customers who have not yet confirmed or updated their contact information, PG&E strongly encourages everyone to do so by visiting www.pge.com/mywildfirealerts or by calling the PG&E contact center at 1-866-743-6589.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 23,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and www.pge.com/en/about/newsroom/index.page.

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Thanks to Democrats’ latest gas tax increase, Californians filling up their gas tanks are noticing some extra pain at the pump. With this 6 cent per gallon increase, our state is now home to highest gas taxes in the country.

You’d expect that with all that extra tax revenue, Californians would be driving on some of the best roads in America.

You’d be wrong.                                                                         

The American Society of Civil Engineers gave California roads a “D” on its most recent infrastructure report card, while Transportation for America called California’s roads the second-worst in the nation.

Weeks ago, Assembly Republicans called for a one-year delay in the tax increase.

Not a single Democrat supported the proposal. Instead they doubled down on a regressive tax that’s not delivering results.

This is an ongoing effort to deliver accurate and factual information about the activities of your local representatives in Sacramento, and how their votes either improve or negatively impact the lives of Californians. For more information, please contact Jim Stanley at (916) 319-2075 or Jim.Stanley@asm.ca.gov.

 

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SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District (Sac Metro Air District) has successfully obtained millions of dollars through the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Cap-and-Trade program for fiscal year 2018/2019, which will be used to meet the goals of AB617, the Community Air Protection Plan. This plan seeks to reduce emissions in low-income, disadvantaged communities, whose residents are disproportionally affected by air pollution.

The Sac Metro Air District pioneered mobile source incentive programs, which create innovative and creative approaches for deployment of lower-emitting vehicle and equipment technologies and are now duplicated throughout the United States. “With this latest round of funding, the District will use its expertise to build upon its successes identifying and tailoring programs that assist businesses, government agencies, nonprofits, schools and other entities with zero emission incentive projects,” said Sacramento County Supervisor and California Air Resources Board member Phil Serna who also serves on the District’s Board.

This money will supplement current funding that protects the health of regional residents by reducing air pollution emissions and greenhouse gases through incentive programs.

“With the help of our regional partners, and under the leadership of Supervisor Serna who represents us on the CARB Board, the District has been successful in advocating for Cap-and-Trade funds for the Sacramento region,” said District Board Chair and City of Sacramento Vice-Mayor Eric Guerra. “Projects that were implemented with Cap-and-Trade money such as electric school buses and Our Community CarShare reduce emissions, protect public health and expand the growing number of clean mobility options in the region, particularly for underserved communities.”

The over $14 million dollars that will be administered by the Sac Metro Air District will result in hundreds of projects, which will protect public health and improve regional air quality by reducing emissions in the Sacramento region. The District has also asked CARB to add flexibility to its existing program guidelines in an effort to expand funding opportunities to those that do not currently qualify.

“It is important to me that we put these funds to good use,” said District Board Vice-Chair and Sacramento County Supervisor Sue Frost. “By working with CARB to expand the guidelines, we can aid businesses in taking on the costly burden of upgrading equipment that is less harmful to our air quality.”

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SAN DIEGO AND LOS ANGELES, CA (MPG) - Leading experts in public health and vector pest control released an explosive report showing an explosion in the rodent population in California cities across the state and a spike in dangerous diseases such as Typhus. 

"California is being overrun by rodents – and without immediate emergency action by state and local government, we face significant economic costs and risk a public health crisis," said Carl DeMaio, chairman of Reform California.

Among the findings:

California is experiencing a massive spike in its rodent population that is both measured by available data sets and observed by field personnel;

The increase in California’s rodent population is not explained by environmental factors – but is directly related to the decision by some government officials to ban effective rodent control methods and a spike in the state’s homeless population;

Rodent infestations are fueling an increase in reported cases of dangerous diseases such as Typhus – current rate of increase in cases raises concern regarding possible public health epidemic.

The report also outlines 4 recommendations for remediation framed by the expert panel, including:

Declare a Public Health Emergency, Work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and require local governments conduct immediate assessments;

Require remediation plans be formulated and executed by local governments;

Launch a public education campaign for businesses and residents to mitigate risk factors;

Oppose and reject Assembly Bill 1788 – a misguided attempt to ban best practice pest control tools that will be needed to fight the rodent infestation

"Instead of acting to address this developing crisis, California state lawmakers are just days away from passing legislation (AB1788) to ban the best rodent control tools and methods available and would require use of less effective so-called green alternatives. It’s madness!” DeMaio concluded.

Formed in 2003 by former San Diego City Councilmember Carl DeMaio, Reform California is dedicated to holding state and local government accountable and fighting costly and unfair taxes, mandates, and fees because working families cannot afford a higher cost of living — and state and local politicians already have enough of our money. For more information, visit reformcalifornia.org

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