Cook-off and Vintage Car Show Raises Funds

Story by Elise Spleiss  |  2016-10-21

Winners of the six unique car show trophies at the GFWC Citrus Heights Women's Club Chili Cook-off and Vintage Car Show on October 8 in Lowe's parking lot. --Photo by Tony Battaglia

Works to Brighten Christmas for Children Surviving Domestic Violence

Classic cars, tantalizing chili and plenty of outdoor shopping once again proved to be the perfect formula for fun for hundreds of attendees at the Citrus Height’s General Federation of Women’s Club’s (GFWC) annual Chili-Cook off and Vintage Car Show on October 8.

The event took place on at the Lowe’s parking lot, a venue popular for classic car shows. Attendees tasted and voted on 15 diverse chili recipes, and inspected 52 vintage cars compliments of the Nor Cal Cruisers Car Club. Funds raised from the rental fee for 45 vendor tables along with the $10 chili tasting fee will provide many children in Citrus Heights who are victims of domestic violence a happy holiday season this year. Proceeds from the event will be used for Christmas toys and other gifts, food, parties and other activities taking place at A Community for Peace (ACFP) and other organizations working with women and children.

Disc Jockey and local entertainer Mike Ely evoked memories of those raised with the “oldies but goodies” music of the 50’s and 60’s.

At the end of the day the difficult job of tasting and choosing only 3 winners from 15 chili entries came down to: third place, Glorian Martinelli, whose chili boasted fresh herbs, four kinds of hand ground chilies, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and a secret meat process. Martinelli claimed the lime added as the finishing touch made her chili “a party in your mouth”. Second place was awarded for the Hawaiian -Portuguese turkey sausage chili. First place was earned by Kristy Hernandez with a Chorizo with black bean chili.

Nor Cal Cruiser members, who work with city and community organizations to raise funds for their cause, voted on and awarded their 40 gold and red trophies to their winners. O’Reilly’s Auto Parts donated the trophies. Nor Cal’s Michael Sparman and Wally Schnierle also created five unique trophies from used car parts featuring a myriad of belts, gears, and other internal workings of a vehicle. Following the presentation of all the other awards, Nor Cal’s coveted “Best of Show” was awarded to Darla Buechner for her 1967 purple Camaro, which had just been lovingly restored in 4 weeks by Buechner’s husband, Matt. Daughter Mandy Buechner accepted the trophy on her behalf as she could not be present.

Citrus Heights Women’s Club members sponsored their own humorous categories including the Fred Flintstone award which went to the authentic replica of the Ghost Buster hearse, furnished by Michael Lee of the Ghost Buster Club of Sacramento. They also awarded the Bugs Bunny, Our Gang, Ladies Choice, Betty and Veronica, and People’s Choice award, the favorite of all attendees.

Trophy sponsors included Buechner Consulting Service, Hernandez Law, Bella Mane Salon Studio and Denise Jacks, Citrus Heights Curves.

A dozen volunteers from Citrus Heights Bayside Church also worked hard from set up, to helping wherever needed, to tear down. Children’s activities and generous raffle prizes rounded out the festivities. Participants and attendees alike left the event satisfied and knowing they had helped contribute to a worthy cause.

CHPD Awarded Grant for Traffic Safety

Source: Anthony Boehle, Citrus Heights Police Department  |  2016-10-21

The Citrus Heights Police Department has been awarded a $145,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) for a year-long program of special enforcements and public awareness efforts to prevent traffic related deaths and injuries. Citrus Heights Police Department will use the funding as part of the city’s ongoing commitment to keep our roadways safe and improve the quality of life through both enforcement and education.

“I am proud of our continued partnership with the Office of Traffic Safety. It is because of our combined efforts we have seen success combating impaired driving in the City of Citrus Heights,” said Lieutenant Jason Russo. “CHPD is looking forward to seeing even greater success in reducing collisions through the use of innovative strategies into 2017.”

After falling to a ten year low in 2010, the number of persons killed has climbed nearly 17% across the state with 3,176 killed in 2015 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Particularly alarming is the six-year rise in pedestrian and bicycle fatalities, along with the growing dangers of distracting technologies, and the emergence of drug-impaired driving as a major problem. This grant funding will provide opportunities to combat these and other devastating problems such as drunk driving, speeding and crashes at intersections.

“Years of research tell us that enforcement and education work best jointly to combat unsafe driving,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. “This grant brings both tactics together, with the Office of Traffic Safety and the Citrus Heights Police Department working in concert to help keep the streets and highways safe across Citrus Heights and the state.”

Activities that the grant will fund include:

  • Educational presentations
  • DUI checkpoints
  • DUI saturation patrols
  • Motorcycle safety enforcement
  • Distracted driving enforcement
  • Seat belt and child safety seat enforcement
  • Speed, red light, and stop sign enforcement
  • Compilation of DUI “Hot Sheets,” identifying worst-of-the-worst DUI offenders
  • Specialized DUI and drugged driving training such as Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST), Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE), and Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE)

Funding for this program is from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Get Notifications if Disaster Strikes

Source: Jason Russo, Citrus Heights Police Department  |  2016-10-20

Register for the Regional Mass Notification System and be a Part of a Regional Test on October 26

As part of Flood Preparedness Week, residents are urged to prepare for a natural or human-caused disaster - events that often occur with little to no warning. Register with the mass notification system at any one of the following three URL’s:, or now so public safety officials can call, text or email you in the event of a disaster.

Consider the state’s historic drought causing elevated wildfire danger, or winter storms and the many levees surrounding our urban core. Both wildfires and flooding can occur rapidly, sometimes forcing evacuations, shelter in place orders and/or road closures. The regional mass notification system is a critical link for residents to immediately learn of any required actions, such as evacuating their homes during an imminent fire.

Sign up for alerts at either, or - it’s easy and your information is protected. Officials will only text during an emergency or public safety event, or if public help is needed to find a missing child or adult.

On Oct. 26, 2016, there will be a tri-county test of the emergency notification system. Anyone registered with the system in any of the three counties will receive a notification via cell, landline, or email to test the system. This is the first regional test of the system and will include the unincorporated areas, 11 participating cities, and Tribal partners throughout all three counties.

The distinctive feature of the mass notification system is the ability to register more than one contact method including cell phones, alternate numbers, text, email and even landlines. You choose the best notification method or chose them all. You can also register multiple locations, such as your work address, your parent’s address or your children’s school, in order to get alerts about the places that mean the most to you.

Do your part to prepare for emergencies by registering for the mass notification system. Register your phone numbers and e-mail addresses to be a part of the regional test occurring October 26.

For more information or to register alternate phone numbers or e-mail addresses, visit, or

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West Nile Virus Hits Home in Citrus Heights

By Elise Spleiss  |  2016-10-20

Laurie Moses (left) and Diane Ebbitt at 2015 Rotary Crab Feed. 
--Photo by Elise Spleiss

Diane Ebbitt, an active member of the Citrus Heights community recently learned that the “fight the bite” campaign is very real as it battles to educate the public about a very real adversary, West Nile Virus.

In August Ebbitt, 58, the Police Activity League (PAL) Coordinator, began her saga with West Nile Virus as she spent four days in the hospital near death after contracting West Nile Virus from a mosquito bite, possibly at her four-acre home in Orangevale.

She and her husband, Ray Riehle have animals on their land, including the wild geese which they like to feed. For several days before she became ill they had been outside just before dusk with the geese. They had a small pool of water for them but did keep it clean. Ebbitt, being used to the mosquitoes around her, had never covered up with a repellant

Ebbitt remembers getting 4 smaller bites and 1 larger one, but cannot pin down when she might have suffered the guilty bite. She knew the mosquitos were around, but she would just go inside when she began getting bit. She said it is the tiniest, basic household mosquito. “There is just no way to know”

When Ebbitt did begin to feel ill, it was just the flu-like symptoms. But as time went by she got a headache, was becoming disoriented and was losing her cognitive functioning. If she had not gotten to the doctor when she was told she could have got into a coma and been permanently paralyzed. She did suffer some paralysis in her right leg but is using a walker and going to physical and water therapy.

By the time Ebbitt had arrived at the appointment she made on August 25, she was experiencing more of the symptoms. In the process she had also contracted bacterial and viral meningitis with caused pain in her whole body. Medication cannot be given for viral meningitis, but she could get antibiotics to help with the inflammation in her spine from the bacterial meningitis.

Since then Ebbitt has learned that 80 percent of people bitten by a West Nile carrying mosquito show no symptoms of the disease and the other 20 percent only experience mild flu-like symptoms. She also learned since she became ill that she is one of the one percent of patients who contract the type of virus that goes to the brain. She had developed Encephalitis which causes a serious inflammation of the brain and can lead to paralysis.

“It really knocked me down” she said. Upon arriving home from the hospital she slept for two weeks to four weeks. Riehle’s parents came to help her as she was basically helpless and in a lot of pain. She moved down to the first floor to avoid using the stairs.

However, because she works out, is in good shape and healthy and got to the hospital on time Ebbitt’s doctor is hopeful for full recovery, which could take up to one year. She is doing the physical and water therapy and will follow up with her doctor in December to see if lesions on spine have healed.

Ebbitt was told there is a man who lives off of Wachtel, where Ebbitt lives who has also contracted the virus.

According to Luz Maria Robles with the Mosquito and Vector Control District, to date this year there are 18 confirmed human cases of West Nile Virus in Sacramento County, compared to only 4 in 2015.

Ebbitt’s message to everyone to spare them from her ordeal: “When you’re outside and there are mosquitoes around, wear repellant”! She is speaking to groups to spread the word: “Fight the Bite”. She can be contacted at 916-727-4820.

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Senator Gaines Rips California’s Business Climate On Verizon Closure

Source: Office of Senator Gaines  |  2016-10-20

Senator Ted Gaines issued the following statement on the closure of the Verizon customer service center in Rancho Cordova and the 1,000 jobs lost as a result of that closure:

“Who can be surprised by this? California is doing everything it can to drive businesses out of the state. Sky-high workers’ compensation costs, painful energy costs driven by unchecked environmentalism, and now a minimum wage shooting up by 50-percent in the next few years, it’s little wonder that Verizon is packing up.

“A study this year showed 9,000 California businesses had relocated or expanded out of state recently. Sacramento recently lost Campbell’s, Waste Connections, and now Verizon. Those are more than statistics and stories; each one is a tragedy for families who are paying the price for California’s anti-business policies.

“Just today, Silicon Valley legend Hewlett Packard announced that it would be laying off 4,000 employees. How legislators can push for the expensive and useless high speed rail or keep pushing for ever higher taxes while workers are being pink-slipped by the thousands is amazing to me and needs to stop. Lower taxes and smarter regulations would show businesses that California is not a place to leave, but a place to grow and invest. I’d rather see that than Verizon’s tail lights.”

Senator Ted Gaines represents the 1st Senate District, which includes all or parts of Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra and Siskiyou counties.

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Jullianna Pingul, October 2016 Student of the Month

By Kristan A. Schnepp, Principal, Sylvan Middle School  |  2016-10-20

Pictured are: (L-R) Citrus Heights Chamber Education Committee Member Robin Stuhr, Assemblyman Ken Cooley, Congressman Ami Bera, Student of the Month Jullianna Pingul of Sylvan Middle School, representing Senator Jim Nielsen

The Citrus Heights Chamber’s Education Committee honored Jullianna Pingul, 8th grade student at Sylvan Middle School in Citrus Heights, as the October 2016 Student of the Month. The award was presented at the Chamber’s October 11, 2016, luncheon held at the North Ridge Country Club in Fair Oaks.

Jullianna is Sylvan’s Student Body President. She is in all honors classes and our high school level math class. She has straight As and is an outstanding student. She is in Sylvan’s Ambassador Program and is a true leader on campus, and she volunteers at the Folsom Zoo each year. Her favorite subject is math and it comes very easy to her. She wants to be an architect or a doctor. She loves Sylvan’s STEAM focus because it helps prepare her for college. After high school Jullianna wants to attend Stanford or UC Berkley.  She is Bilingual and is fluent in Tagalog.

When Jullianna is not in school she loves to spend time with her family outdoors. She likes to camp, hike and go to the lake. She is helping Sylvan start a Track Team and is part of our Running Club. Her teachers say she is responsible and collaborative. Her friends say she is a good friend with a great sense of humor.  Sylvan is very lucky to have Jullianna leading our student body.

Lunches for the student and guests are sponsored by local businesses. Many thanks to our Student of the Month lunch sponsor Sunrise Marketplace, courtesy of Kathilynn Carpenter, and to Paul Buchanan of B-West Marketing Group for providing a special memory t-shirt for the Student of the Month.

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Suspect Arrested for Drug Possession, Drug Sales, and Possession of Stolen Property

Source: Jason Russo, Citrus Heights Police Department  |  2016-10-20

On September 22, 2016, at approximately 7:00 AM, the Citrus Heights Police Department SWAT Team served a Search Warrant at a residence located on the 8300 block of Olivine Avenue, in Citrus Heights.

This investigation leading up to this search revealed the resident was in possession of drugs, and selling drugs from the residence. Upon the service of the Search Warrant, Officers located evidence of the drug possession, sales, as well as stolen property linked to stolen vehicles, and vehicle burglaries from the Sacramento and Roseville area.

Detectives were able to identify victims of these related burglaries and thefts and eventually return some items to the victims. Some of the property recovered included personal belongings, suspected identity theft items, and a stolen trailer.

Detectives are continuing their investigation and will be seeking to arrest others who may be involved in criminal activity related to these crimes.

The suspect, a 61-year-old white male from Citrus Heights, was arrested and transported to the Sacramento County Jail for multiple felony charges.

The Citrus Heights Police Department is extremely grateful for the partnership and cooperation from our community which aids in the identification of suspicious activity and other related criminal conduct including dangerous subjects. We encourage neighbors to use social media apps such as and follow us on Twitter to stay informed and involved in their community.

The community of Citrus Heights has zero tolerance for this type of criminal activity and knows the Citrus Heights Police Department will strictly enforce these laws. Additionally, if you see something, say something. Reporting dangerous acts or suspicious circumstances can and will save lives.

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Participate in the City’s 20 Year Anniversary!

Source: Devon Rodriguez, City of Citrus Heights  |  2016-10-20

In January 2017, the City of Citrus Heights is celebrating 20 years of cityhood! As one way to celebrate all year long, the City is assembling Top 20 Lists, created by YOU, the community. The lists will highlight different aspects of our community, including:

20 City Awards and Accomplishments

20 Neighborhood Projects

20 Community Leaders (no elected officials, they will be highlighted separately)

20 Oldest Businesses

20 Best Events

20 Longest Residents of Citrus Heights

20 Facts about Citrus Heights

20 City Landmarks

20 Service Organizations

When are submissions being accepted?

Submissions will be accepted through October 28th. All submissions will be entered into a raffle to win a prize!

Where can I make a submission?

Submissions may be submitted three ways:

  1. By emailing;
  2. Completing an online survey at; or
  3. Via paper submissions that can be picked-up and dropped off at City Hall, the Community Center or the Police Department.

Where will the final lists be displayed?

Lists will be announced each month in 2017 on the City’s website at, via the 20 Year Anniversary Notify Me, at the City Council meetings and in the Citrus Heights Messenger. All lists will be featured in alphabetical order.

Three additional lists will be generated during the year through social media submissions. With these submissions we are encouraging the community to submit their photo or idea digitally. These three special lists are: 20 Things We Love About Citrus Heights, 20 Natural, Scenic Spots to Enjoy, and 20 Best Photos. Stay tuned for more information on this submission process by signing up for the City’s Notify Me at (select “Citrus Heights 20th Anniversary”) and following the City on Twitter @CAny questions, please contact Devon Rodriguez, Development Specialist, at

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#Rethink Your Yard This Fall With a Visit to Antelope Gardens

Source: Original Communications  |  2016-10-20

Experts say that planting in the fall gives your plants a great opportunity to set down some roots, get well established, and helps you conserve water.

Plants require less water in the fall because the days are cooler and soil stays wet longer than it does during the warmer days of spring and summer.

And there’s no better way to get started on rethinking your yard than by visiting Antelope Gardens for plant ideas and irrigation systems to install.

The two-acre Antelope Gardens contains hundreds of species, of plants—both California native and low-water non-native plants—including Aleppo Pine, Autumn Sage, Blue Grama grass, Butterfly Bush and California White Sage.

The garden is located at 7800 Antelope North Road and is open until the end of October, Monday- Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm and the second Saturday of each month from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.  Learn more about Antelope Gardens at

What is River-Friendly Landscaping?

River-Friendly Landscaping is a way to have a beautiful yard that also benefits the Sacramento region. It’s an integrated approach to landscape design that focuses on conserving and protecting natural resources, and encompasses seven basic principles:

  • Landscaping Locally: Using plants that are native to Sacramento and therefore require less water, fertilizers and pesticides.
  • Landscape for Less to Landfill: Using grass clippings and plant debris as mulch, and reusing building materials for landscape features.
  • Nurturing the Soil: Adding compost and mulch to have a healthier soil for your plants in which to grow.
  • Conserving Water: Designing a landscape that features native and low-water use plants and minimizes the amount of turf grass.
  • Creating A Wildlife Habitat: Using native plants to provide food for birds and beneficial insect species.
  • Reducing Energy Use: Planting trees to shade your home and air conditioner reducing the amount of energy needed to cool it.
  • Protecting Air & Water Quality: Reducing the use of fertilizer and pesticides, and keeping them out of the air and waterways.

You can find out more about River-Friendly Landscaping by visiting

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100,000 “Gently Used” Books Available

Submitted by Friends of Sacramento Public Library  |  2016-10-20

An ever-changing inventory of more than 100,000 “gently used” books, videos, and audio books will be offered for prices from fifty cents to $2 at the Saturday November 5 sale at the warehouse of the Friends of the Sacramento Public Library.

Sale hours on Saturday, November 5th, will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a preview and sale on Friday November 4 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. for Friends members only.

(You can join at the door for $20).

The warehouse is at the rear of the Friends’ store at Suite E, 8250 Belvedere Avenue, just south of 14th Ave. between Power Inn Rd. and Florin-Perkins Rd.

Plenty of parking is available, but visitors should be careful not to park between the “No Parking” signs on the south side of Belvedere.

Income from the sale helps pay for programs, equipment, and materials local libraries need but can’t afford.

With more books constantly needed, the Friends will be glad to have yours, too. See a staff member on how to donate.

The book store is open weekly on Thursdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. as well as during the sale. Items there are priced from $1 up. For more information, call (916) 731-8493 or go to

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