Elk Grove Sports

Download The Elk Grove News App [Android only] or at Google's Play Store - Search Elk Grove News

Download The Elk Grove News App [Android only] or at Google's Play Store - Search Elk Grove News

EGN Archives

EGN Search


Follow Elk Grove News by Email

Elk Grove DUI Checkpoint on Friday Night

Written By EGN on Thursday, May 21, 2015 | 20:35

May 21, 2015 |

Leading up to the three day Memorial Day weekend, the Elk Grove Police Department has announced that drunk driving checkpoint will be conducted. 

The DUI and drivers license check will be held at an undisclosed location within the City of Elk Grove this Friday, May 22 from 7 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. Saturday. The checkpoint will focus on removing impaired drivers, as well as unlicensed drivers from the roadways. 

Educational materials covering the dangers of driving under the influence will also be handed out to motorists. The public is encouraged to call the Elk Grove Police Department at (916) 714-5111 (emergency line) or 911 if they observe a suspected impaired driver.

Funding for the sobriety checkpoint is provided through a Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) Grant that was made available by the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. For additional information, please contact Sergeant Dan Schnepple at (916) 478-8116.
20:35 | 0 comments | Read More

FPPC Says Hands Tied, Unable To Compel Detrick To Repay $93,500 in Illegally Used Campaign Funds

May 21, 2015 |

Following a closed session at their regular monthly meeting this morning, the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) determined they have no recourse to compel Elk Grove City Council Member Steve Detrick to repay his campaign committee.

The matter stemmed from a stipulation agreement signed by Detrick last October after the FPPC determined that he had illegally used $93,500 of his campaign committee funds for personal use. At the time of the agreement, Detrick attested in the signed statement that he had personally reimbursed the $93,500 to the campaign committee.

Because of his claim, the number of counts Detrick faced was reduced to one and, the FPPC suggested a $3,500 fine rather than the $5,000 maximum fine that could have been imposed. At today's meeting, FPPC Chair Jodi Remke read from a prepared statement that laid out the chronology of the matter. 

"Mr. Detrick had represented that he personally reimbursed his campaign committee for the improperly spent fund," she said. "Although the act does not require reimbursement, this fact was offered by Mr. Detrick in mitigation."

Remke went on to say that several months later the FPPC learned "that the representation by Mr. Detrick was false. He had not refunded the money."

As a result of the misrepresentation, Remke said the FPPC's legal staff thoroughly examined the matter and after consulting the California's Attorney General's office, it was determined that there is no recourse requiring Detrick to repay the $93,500. 

"The commission is putting internal pro-active systems in place to make sure this situation does not happen again," she concluded.  

See video below - discussion starts at approximately 1 hour 21 minute mark.

15:00 | 13 comments | Read More

350 Plants, Children Found in Elk Grove Pot House

Shirley Hui Xian
May 21, 2015 |

Two suspects were arrested yesterday afternoon after police discovered another Elk Grove pot house. 

According to Elk Grove Police reports, officers served search warrants on two residences on the 10300 block of Stathos Drive. Officer discovered over 350 marijuana plants, half a pound of processed marijuana and indicia of sales.

Arrested were 38-year old Peter Tac Peng and 38-year old Shirley Hui Xian. Both suspects are being held at the county jail on $500,000 bail on felony child endangerment, marijuana production and possession for sale of marijuana charges.  

Two children ages 5 and 9 were also discovered living in one of the residences and were taken into protective custody.

Peter Tac Peng.

13:00 | 0 comments | Read More

Chew's Reviews - The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared.

By Gary Chew | May 21, 2015 |

Travails in the life of Allan Karlsson are akin to those of Forrest Gump. Allan is the person to whom the film refers in the excruciatingly long title given The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared. (I'm nearly winded just typing it.) Jonas Jonasson thought it up for his originating novel.

As Gump, Allan doesn't exactly have an IQ in the clouds. His is somewhere around his waistline.  And he's from Sweden not Alabama. But Allan does have extraordinary things come to pass in his earlier life that take turns flashing among more contemporary events following his furtive departure from an old folks home in Markoping, Sweden --- and on his birthday.

As a young man, Allan (played by Robert Gustafsson) undergoes castration in the film's first act. His doctor, who appears to have similar qualities of Josef Mengele, feels that Allan, despite his fair complexion and since Allan is clearly a generously endowed male, might have African American lineage. It's best that Allan avoid any procreation, so believes the surgeon. (Don't worry, Swedish director Felix Herngren handles, uh rather ... allows only that utmost humor for these scenes of Allan's partial “transformation” are brought squarely on the head of the warped physician. (I dare you not to laugh.)

Then there's the period in Allan's life when he comes to America and makes it possible for Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer to solve the problem of how to ignite plutonium in order to detonate the world's first atom bomb. (Oh, I think I forgot to tell you, Allan loves blowing things up. That began back home in Sweden when he was about nine.)

While in America working as a steeple jack high up in downtown Manhattan and then later to the Manhattan Project, Allan is having a drink with Harry S. Truman when Truman is notified that President Roosevelt has succumbed. More early scrapes for Allan come in near misses with the Soviets and Nazis of World War II infamy. All of it is just marvelous revisionist history designed for the sake of laughter.

The complex modern day thread that runs through 100 Year Old Man casts Allan and two other quite befuddled men in trying to escape from a blood thirsty gang of villains. Seems Allan has accidentally gained ownership of one of the bad guy's suitcase chock full of millions in currency. Humorous times play well in this line of the story too, but lose some steam going forward. Other characters are added to that mix, and the cant of the comedy edges toward a bit too much of a rather funny thing.

My suggestion to make 100 Year Old Guy better would be to shorten it and leaving some of the backup characters on the cutting room floor. I predict that the first half or so of this movie will be an absolute riot for you … the tailing out of it, not so much.  Such a wise and silly film Herngren has made … with many moments that might make you think about how it would be “spending a weekend at Bernie's.” Yes, a few characters are dispatched; happily, only heavies.

Stretches of English are laid on the soundtrack ... with more English subtitles to let you know what's being said in the principal tongue spoken: Swedish.

For those who watch MSNBC's afternoon program Hardball, you'll be amazed at how much Allan, during his young man days in the film, is the spitting image of Chris Matthews.
Copyright © 2015 by Gary Chew. All rights reserved.
00:45 | 0 comments | Read More

Elk Grove Police Seek Help Locating At-Risk Person

Written By EGN on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 | 13:15

UPDATED - Ms. Wendler has been located and reunited with her family.

May 20, 2015 |

From Elk Grove Police 

The Elk Grove Police Department is asking for the community’s help in locating an at risk missing person, 68-year-old Judith Wendler.  Ms. Wendler suffers from a bipolar disorder, early onset dementia, and is not in possession of her medication 
Judith Wendler. 

Judith Wendler was last seen today around 9:00 a.m. at her residence located in the 8900 block of Gafton Court.  Judith is described as a Caucasian female, 5'6", 200 lbs., with long brown hair and brown eyes.  She was last seen wearing a dark blue or black shirt, gray leggings and white tennis shoes.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Judith Wendler is asked to contact the Elk Grove Police Department Dispatch Center at (916) 691-5246. 
13:15 | 0 comments | Read More

Elk Grove Settles Outlet Collection Lawsuit

May 20, 2015 |

The City of Elk Grove formally announced that it has reached a settlement agreement with M & H Realty Partners, and Elk Grove Town Center L.P. – a subsidiary of The Howard Hughes Corporation. 

In a press release issued this morning, the City said "The agreement will allow for economic development to flourish near the area known as the Southeast Policy Area (SEPA). Located adjacent to SEPA, these developments will complement the City’s first City-initiated master plan since incorporation in July 2000 and the last large-scale development within the urbanized portion of the city limits."

No details of the agreement were released. 

The settlement stems from a lawsuit filed by M&H last November after the City allowed HHC out of the development agreement saying they had breached the agreement. M&H, who was still bound by the development agreement for the special planning area contended that by voiding HHC's portion, they were put at a competitive disadvantage in term of recruiting tenants.

With the settlement, city leaders hope after almost seven years, construction on the unfinished mall can resume. Construction of the facility, which was called The Elk Grove Promenade, came to an abrupt halt in July, 2008 and has been something of an albatross around the city's neck as it sought to diversify its economy. 

Yesterday the City of Elk Grove erroneous posted the settlement information on the Elk Grove Laguna Forum web chat site but took it down.  

11:17 | 1 comments | Read More

Ooops! City of Elk Grove Posts, Removes Lawsuit Settlement Information on Chat Room Site

Written By EGN on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 | 18:00

May 19, 2015 |

According to information accidentally posted by The City of Elk Grove on the Elk Grove-Laguna Forum chat room site, it was revealed earlier today that the City has reached a settlement agreement on the Outlet Collection at Elk Grove lawsuit.

The City reportedly erroneously posted the settlement information on the chat site because of glitch in its RSS feed. As of this posting, the City's posting has been removed. 

The lawsuit was filed by M&H Realty, (now known and Merlone Geier Partners) against the City and Howard Hughes Company (HHC) after the City allowed HHC out of the development agreement for the special planning area that includes the Outlet Collection. 

The lawsuit has effectively froze any potential activity at the beleaguered site that saw construction of the shopping center formerly known as the Elk Grove Promenade come to an abrupt halt in July, 2008 in the weeks leading up the credit collapse and the Great Recession. The shopping center's original developer, subsequently filed what became the largest developer Chapter 11 bankruptcy in American business history.

Details of the settlement reportedly will be available to the public tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. through a press release.      

18:00 | 8 comments | Read More

Cooper, Calif. Assembly Black Caucus Invite Applicants For 'Leaders For Tomorrow Program'

May 19, 2015 |

California Assembly Member Jim Cooper (D - Elk Grove) and other members of the California Legislative Black Caucus are seeking applicants for the African-American Leaders for Tomorrow Program.

The African-American Leaders for Tomorrow Program (AALT) is a four-day long residential summer program that is held on the campus of California State University Dominguez Hills. Sixty students will be hand-selected to receive leadership training and attend workshops on topics such as college experience, career development and financial literacy. 

Students will reside on the CSUDH campus. Housing, meals, program materials, and transportation during the conference will be provided at no cost to participants.

The deadline to apply is Friday, June 5, 2015. More information is available here or by contacting Tempestt Edward at Tempestt.Edward@asm.ca.gov or (916) 319-2009.   

13:40 | 0 comments | Read More

Hawaii-Based Restaurant With Regional Ties Eyes Elk Grove For Expansion

Written By EGN on Monday, May 18, 2015 | 18:10

May 18, 2015 |

An up-and-coming Hawaii-based restaurant chain that is looking to expand its presence on the mainland, is eyeing Elk Grove as a possible landing spot.

Coconut's Fish Cafe announced late last week that it is looking at the Sacramento region, and Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova and Sacramento specifically, as a possible expansion markets for their island-theme restaurant. The company classifies itself as a premium brand in the growing and popular fast-casual dining category populated by establishments like Chipotle, Five Guys and Panera Bread. 

Founded in Maui by Sacramento native Michael Phillips, the chain currently has four restaurants, and with the expansion into the Sacramento region, will mark the company's foray into California franchising.  In addition to Maui, the company operates franchised stores in Dallas, Plano, Texas and a licensed one in Scottsdale, Ariz. 

The menu includes Hawaiian themed dishes such as fish tacos, grilled-mahi mahi sandwiches and coconut shrimp. In a nod to local tastes, each of the four stores have slightly different menu offerings. 

Prior to founding Coconuts, Phillips, who is also the company's CEO, owned and operated the Sacramento Valley 49ers Pizza chain - which got its name from their first location on State Highway 49 - and a cellular phone store. After selling the businesses, the Luther Burbank High School alum moved to Hawaii and opened his first Coconut's Fish Cafe in 2009. 

As they enter the market, Phillips expects to open up its first corporate store in the next eight to 12 months and hopes to have up to five stores in the next five years. The location of the first corporate store has not been determined. 

“We are determined to maintain Coconut’s culture and values as the brand expands into new markets in California and across the country,” Phillips said. “Despite the interest over the years, we’ve been patient to start franchising, and now that we’ve begun, there is tremendous buzz with restaurant investors."

More information about Coconut's is available at their website

18:10 | 0 comments | Read More

Elk Grove Police Make Several Weekend DUI Arrests

May 18, 2015 |

Elk Grove Police arrested six suspects on DUI charges for the 72-hour period ending at midnight last night. 

Among the notable incidents was the arrest early Saturday morning of 27-year old Manuel Valdes of Elk Grove. Valdes was contacted by officers after the car he was allegedly driving hit a fixed object near Sheldon Road and Wilton Oaks Court. 

During the course of their investigation officers determined that Valdes was driving the same car that was earlier involved in a collision with a vehicle that resulted in an injury to the other driver. After being medically cleared, Valdes was arrested and booked into the county jail. 

Also arrested was 35-year old Johnny Negrion of Sacramento, who as a known probationer, was stopped Friday night near Big Horn Boulevard and New Country Drive. Upon contact, Negrion allegedly displayed objective signs of impairment and failed a filed sobriety test.

Negrion was also arrested for possession of narcotics and booked into the county jail. 

11:25 | 0 comments | Read More

Calvine Road to Be Closed For Track Repairs; Two e-Tran Routes Affected

Written By EGN on Saturday, May 16, 2015 | 00:30

May 16, 2015 | 

Starting Monday, May 18 at 7 a.m., until 5p.m. on Wednesday, May 20, Calvine Road from Power Inn Road to Elk Grove Florin Road will be closed to through traffic. This closure has been requested by Union Pacific Railroad for urgent repairs needed for sections of railroad tracks. 

Information about the closure and detours is as follows:
  • The closure will affect all westbound and eastbound through traffic on Calvine Road -- between Power Inn Road & Elk Grove Florin Road -- including vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles. 
  • The full closure of Calvine Road will only occur at the Union Pacific Railroad crossing between Barrymore Drive/Sheldon North Drive to Vintage Park Drive. Access for all property owners and residents will be maintained at all times.
Increased Travel Time & Detours:  Through traffic is advised to avoid this area during the closure period as there will be significant impacts to all roadway users.  Roadway users are advised to use alternative routes until project work is completed (see detour map on back).   Detour signs and electronic message boards will be in place to alert motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists about the temporary road closure.  

Construction Activities:  Project work includes Union Pacific Railroad making urgent repairs to sections of railroad tracks.  County maintenance crews will also repair adjacent sections of pavement on Calvine Road on the east and west sides of the railroad tracks.  

Closure Period:  Sacramento County and the City of Elk Grove understand the challenges and inconvenience that commuters, residents, businesses, bicyclists and pedestrians will experience during the closure period and ask for the public’s patience and cooperation as we work to complete this project. 

e-Tran Bus Routes: Commuter Route 57 and Local Route 162 will be re-routed during this time.  Regular service will resume in conjunction with Calvine Road re-opening.  EXPECT DELAYS

Click to enlarge

00:30 | 0 comments | Read More

Elk Grove Approves Region Builders Permit Simplicity Proposal

Written By EGN on Friday, May 15, 2015 | 13:50

May 15, 2015 |

At Wednesday night's regular meeting, the Elk Grove City Council unanimously approved a permit simplicity program conceived by the Sacramento-based Region Builders advocacy group. 

The program will speed-up the issuance of building permits for a variety of tenant improvement projects. In the case of smaller projects, permits can be issued on a same-day basis for professionals who have been pre-qualified for inclusion in the program. 
Region Builders Executive Director Joshua Woods
discusses permit simplicity at the Elk Grove City Council

During his presentation to the council, city code enforcement officer Shane Diller said the program will include the normal follow-up building inspections and that if program participants are repeatedly found to be in non-compliance, their expedited permit issuance privileges will be suspended. The program start on July 1 with a one-year period. 

During council deliberations Vice Mayor Pat Hume noted the program will be beneficial for small businesses that operate on narrow margins, and are not use to the intricacies of the permitting process.

"It remains to be seen how much this program will be utilized, but the message we send is by adopting it, has already paid dividends," Hume said.

The program, which is also in the process of being adopted by Rancho Cordova, was brought forward by Region Builders and is based on a similar program in Phoenix. Elk Grove is believed to be the first city in California to adopt this and Region Builders hopes other cities will follow suit.

"By formally adopting permit simplicity, the Elk Grove City Council has sealed the deal on having the most expedient permitting process in the State of California," Region Builders Executive Director Joshua Woods said. "Word of this move will spread fast in the real estate industry and reap great rewards for the City."


May 15, 2015 |
13:50 | 2 comments | Read More

Probation Check by Elk Grove Police Unveils Small Pot Grow Operation

May 15, 2015 |

An Elk Grove man was taken into custody early Thursday evening for violating terms of his probation.

According to Elk Grove Police, a probation search of the residence of 24-year old Oscar Alexander Barrientos on the 9200 block of the Lakepoint Drive in the Laguna West neighborhood unveiled a relatively small marijuana growing operation. Officers discovered 12 plants and indicia of sales during their search.

Barrientos was taken into custody and is currently being held at the county jail on a $540,000 bail. Barrientos is charged with violation of his probation, possession of marijuana for sale, and illegal production of marijuana.       

11:10 | 1 comments | Read More

UPDATED - Elk Grove Mayor To Make Appointment For Admin. Assistant

Written By EGN on Thursday, May 14, 2015 | 21:10

May 14, 2015 |

At their regular meeting last night, the Elk Grove City Council decided by a 4-1 vote to budget a full-time administrative assistant for Mayor Gary Davis. What was not discussed last night was the manner in which the assistant will be hired.

Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis
will be able to appoint his 
administrative assistant. 
In response to an email inquiry sent earlier today, the City of Elk Grove Human Resources Manager Jacqui Langenberg said Davis will be able to appoint his assistant is he so chooses. 

"This will be treated the same as our current practice with Council Assistants. They will be appointed by the Mayor,"  said. "If the Mayor would like our assistance in recruiting we will of course go through our typical recruiting practice."

Langenberg said the salary range for the position is $39,771 - $53,297. Additionally, the city council approved an increase in the weekly hours for their assistants from 12 to 19-hours per week. Vice Mayor Pat Hume and Council Member Steve Detrick do not have assistants and indicated they have no plans on hiring one.   

Davis did not respond to an email inquiry if he will directly make an appointment or open the position to applicants seeking the appointment.    

May 15, 4:00 p.m. The following information was provided by Langenberg: 

A new employee is typically brought in at step 1 of the range. A new employee bringing additional experience to the position may warrant placement above step 1.  Human Resources typically determines the step in which the employee qualifies to be placed in.   
21:10 | 32 comments | Read More

Chew's Reviews - Mad Max: Fury Road

By Gary Chew | May 14, 2015 |

Opens Friday 

What you get are various and vicious warring tribes of hundreds of humans equipped with diabolically high power vehicles and military hardware. All the killing happens in a desert wasteland that seems to be a place almost no one would want to exist. No, this isn't a news report from the contemporary Middle East.

Mad Max: Fury Road is in a dystopian future, forty-five years hence. It's the fourth film in that heavy metal series of the Australian director, George Miller. He invented Max … and possibly Mel Gibson.

With sufficient disbelief uploaded a safe distance from your essence, the ride on which Miller takes you -- I swear -- never slows down, and only occasionally gives brief pause. I felt I ought to be out of breath as the house lights went up in the theater despite the fact I'd been sitting quietly in one dark, comfortable spot for two hours. In all this creative fury, Miller never shifts his picture out of 5th.

Max – who began as sort of a Outback highway cop when Gibson did him -- is played by Tom Hardy. He's only the second Max to come along. Hardy does Max as if he's been suffering from PTSD since the last chapter. That seems to ring more authentically for the British born actor who has “going places” written all over him. Here's some of Hardy's resumé: Child 44; The Drop; Locke; Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy and the popular Inception.

Oscar winner Charlize Theron – in a fetching buzz cut a la George Zimmerman -- is cast as a woman with the right name for that which she's tasked herself: Furiosa. She's crossing Out Backish-looking terrain in a very big rig that secreted on it are younger females who had been kidnapped earlier by a really, really bad guy called King Immortan Joe. Of course, Joe and his barbaric tribe, the War Boys, are in more than just heated pursuit. Joe is “sort of put out” that the girls – called the Five Wives – are no longer under his control. Their fertility is the only path left for Joe to re-generate the human race; any newborns will be reprogrammed to act and think in an “appropriate” fascist-like manner the blood thirsty leader expects for all. Yes, no Mr. Nice Guy. And wait till you see his mask. Darth Vader, you best slink to the back of this bus.

After a shaky start between them, Furiosa realizes that Max and his knowledge of the desert are the tickets to get her charges to safety and sanity. Nearly every character in the movie is literally out of his or her freaking mind. One of the “best” is a crazy dude (dressed all in red) who rides the front bumper of a speeding War Boys vehicle while banging away on a gigantic red guitar. The twangy instrument intermittently spouts flames from its neck. Now, that's not only really operatic Heavy Metal, but an added kick for all rock guitarists who show up to see this on-fire, high-octane film.
Miller has the editing, lighting and CGI reigning supreme throughout. The big screen is kept busy.

Violence seldom dazzles me, but that's what I was … dazzled, just feeling the force and persistent energy of Mad Max: Fury Road. Surely, fans of the vintage Crosby/Hope road movies should steer clear since there's only one aspect of the movie that actually might conjure up a laugh: several of the junky-looking autos used in the wall-to-wall chase scenes are creative re-dos from old, familiar models. I saw an old Buick, an even older Chevy and of the higher priced makes, I'm sure I saw a Cadillac, a Mercedes-Benz and really creepy looking Rolls-Royce. Sorry though, no BMW; nor were there any creative contortions foisted on the motor bikes that scurry about with riders looking for even more trouble.

Copyright © 2015 by Gary Chew.  All rights reserved.

14:00 | 0 comments | Read More

Elk Grove Mayor to Get Admin. Assistant; Detrick Tells Ly 'That's a Load of Crap'

May 13, 2015 |

Detrick to Ly -'That's a load of crap'

Taking its cue from Tuesday night's heated exchange at the Sacramento City Council regarding staffing for Mayor Kevin Johnson, tonight's deliberations on the same topic also drew a testy exchange between two members of the Elk Grove City Council.

Although the council decided by a 4-1 vote for increased staffing, it was accomplished only after a contentious exchange between Council Members Steve Detrick and Steve Ly. 

At stake was whether or not to increase staffing for each of the four council members and Mayor Gary Davis. Currently the mayor and the council members are allotted a 12-hour per week assistant to aid in administrative matters.

Following a report from City Manager Laura Gill regarding various staffing options, the council heard from one member of the public who questioned the need for additional staffing. Elk Grove resident Ed Owen reminded the council members the responsibilities of a council member were well known before taking office and questioned the need for the additional staffing expense.

"You don't need to have someone go arrange to have lunch or go to a banquet," Owen said. "I think you are asking a lot from the taxpayers."

Speaking first during council deliberations was Davis, who offered a lengthy rationalization for his need of a full-time assistant. Davis said he Googled other similar sized cities and found several full-time job descriptions.

"It is part of the evolution of many, many cities across the country," he said. "I don't think it is a stretch."

Davis noted that people assume because Elk Grove is a growing city and that the mayor is directly elected, it is a full-time position. He went on to say if he had a full-time assistant, that person could aid in such activities as "drafting talking points" and being part of the city's economic development team. 

Davis said the assistant could "enable the mayor to be really proactive on initiatives. Focused employer cold calling. Someone that is saying 'Alright, we're going to coordinate 10 employers we are going to knock on the doors of.' I would love to have the staff support to do something like that."

"That is an interesting perspective, I have to admit," Detrick said immediately after Davis' presentation. "The mayor's role is very little different from the rest of the council members."

Detrick went on to say with the exception of the one term he served as mayor, during his six years on the council he was able to complete all his duties without the services of an assistant. He added the most constituent service requests or inquiries he receives are ably handled by city staff and that he monitors them to ensure fulfillment. 

"This has worked extremely well," he said. "And I think that Laura [Gill] likes it that way."  

After hearing Davis' pitch Council Member Darren Suen said he could appreciate why the mayor's needs are different than the rest of the council. 

"I do know that there is a different, higher perception of the need for response when you are the mayor," Suen said. "And you know, that's just the way it is."

Ly offered a rambling, non-linear justification on how additional staffing would make him a better council member. The first-term council member said that after his day job, most nights he is meeting with constituents.

"I am advocating for more support of council members," he said. 

He went on to suggest that council members need additional staffing to ensure that emails are answered, phone calls returned and that all letters receive a response. By having someone assisting in that, Ly said, will make council members better leaders.  

"For me, that is what I have come to know," he concluded.

Following Ly's comments, Davis was confused by his protege's comments asking for clarification.

"Councilman Ly, can I get a sense where you are on the specifics of what we have been talking about here," Davis said.  

Ly went on to say that if other council members are not using the assistant hours allotted to them, he suggested they be pooled for use by others. He also said he would be willing to support a full-time assistant for the four council members and one for the mayor.

Detrick responded immediately asking Ly "How long you been on the council?" 

Ly responded he has been a council member since last year and that he has been a public servant for much longer.

"I've been a public servant for 41-years," Detrick said. 

"To your point sir," Ly responded.

"I've been on this council for six years, and I've given the highest level service without an assistant," Detrick said. "To say that you need an assistant to do your job well, I don't buy that."

Detrick added, "If you don't have an intern you can't do a good job? I'll tell you right now that's a load of crap." 

Ly pushed back and said that having an intern with more hours would make him more effective. 

After Detrick's and Ly confrontation, Vice Mayor Pat Hume chimed in saying he agreed with the point that Detrick was making. 

"I don't want to get down in the weeds on this," Hume said to Ly. "But your assertion was that if they [constituents] want or expect a responsive council member, that council member has to have an assistant, I disagree with that premise." 

After further discussion, the consensus was that the mayor would be allocated an administrative assistant rather than an executive assistant that he hoped for, and each city council member could increase the hours of their assistant to 19-hours per week. Detrick was the sole dissenting vote.

"We can move on now," Davis said. "I want to say, these are good sessions to have and I appreciate that we were able to have it."


00:15 | 16 comments | Read More

Bera Votes Against House Abortion Bill; Issue Exposes Rifts Among Republicans

Written By EGN on Wednesday, May 13, 2015 | 21:15

May 13, 2015 |

In the on-going culture wars, another abortion battle was fought today in the U.S. Congress. Today's battle was on the so-called Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

The bill, which would ban most abortions after 20-weeks of pregnancy, passed along mostly party lines by 242 to 184 vote. Among those voting against the measure was Congressman Dr. Ami Bera (D - Elk Grove).

If enacted, among other things, the law would require women who become pregnant by reason of incest or rape receive counseling at least 48-hours before the abortion is performed. Additionally, the law would make it easier to sue abortion providers who are non-compliant and expose physicians to possible criminal penalties.

Although the bill easily passed the House, it is largely symbolic as President Obama is unlikely to sign it into law. Nonetheless, the vote has exposed rifts within Republican Party.

An earlier version of the legislation was withdrawn after female members of the Republican House caucus expressed concern about the language. At least one Roman Catholic group, Catholics For Choice, has also came out against the legislation.

"This cruel bill, which is based on arbitrary gestational limits and junk science, would put women's health and rights at risk, particularly poor and marginalized women," Jon O'Brien, president of Catholics for Choice said. "It's dangerous and outright wrong for policymakers to play politics with women's lives and health."

Similar bills modeled by Nation Right to Life have been enacted by 11 states. This bill was a legislative priority for the National Right to Life for the 114th Congress.

In his descending vote, Bera noted the law would interfere with the doctor-patient relation. He also noted that according to Planned Parenthood 99-percent of the procedures occur before the 20-week mark and later abortions are usually a medical necessity for the mother.

“When I became a doctor, I took an oath to provide my patients with the best options available to them and to explain the risks and benefits of these choices,” Bera said. " This bill is just another extreme attempt of politicians trying to insert themselves into the exam room where they don’t belong.”

Below is a video of Bera's floor speech.

21:15 | 1 comments | Read More

Even In Elk Grove Politics, Optics Matter

Written By EGN on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 | 15:20

By Dan Gougherty | May 12, 2015 |

Earlier this year the Elk Grove City Council voted against an always controversial proposition brought forward by Council Member Steve Detrick. His proposal, which was defeated by a 3-2 vote, would have given Elk Grove City Council Members a 10-percent pay raise. 

At tomorrow night's meeting, the City Council will consider perhaps their second trickiest vote so far this year - whether or not to create their own political machine on taxpayers backs. In this case, it comes in the form of full-time assistants for the part-time politicians.

The proposal, which was brought forward after Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis and his protege, Council Member Steve Ly, said at the March special retreat meeting they needed more than a 12-hours-a-week intern they are currently provided. Interestingly, at that same meeting veteran Council Member Pat Hume said when he had an intern, it was a struggle to find enough work for the 12-hour schedule. 

Nevertheless, the Council will consider several options to increase taxpayer-paid staffing. One of the alternatives they will explore is hiring a full-time assistant for the mayor and each council member on top of their 12-hour a week intern.

For those who closely follow these matters, Davis and Ly have already said they support having a paid personal assistant, or in the case of the Mayor, a Chief of Staff. Hume has indicated he would not support each council member having an assistant, and for a variety of factors, Detrick is not likely to support Davis' and Ly's proposition.

If this scenario plays out something like this, that means the deciding vote could fall on Council Member Darren Suen. You could say Suen will be the Council's Anthony Kennedy, at least on this vote.

So how will Suen vote? Will he side with the Liberals Davis and Ly, or will he go along with the Conservative faction of Detrick and Hume?

For Suen, a vote with the Liberals is done with substantial political risk. 

As an appointee, Suen does not have the results of a recent election like Ly does to gauge his popularity with voters. Will voters react favorably to this quarter-of-a-million-dollar potential spending increase in non-essential city staffing, if say, for example e-Tran commuter routes are cut, for positions that one of his colleague has said is unnecessary? 

Furthermore, if Suen votes for this increased staffing for what can be argued is a political patronage job, how will it look combined with the fact he was part of Detrick's losing coalition to give themselves a 10-percent pay raise?  

Combined, they can be a pretty good one-two combination. We can see it now - Suen votes for a personal pay increase and personal assistant while cutting constituents bus commuter services! the mailers will scream.

So as the city council deliberates whether or not to hire themselves personal assistants or a chief of staff, and how to best address e-Tran deficits, we hope Council Member Suen remembers  - optics matter.  


15:20 | 20 comments | Read More

Galt Goes To Stage 3 Water Alert, Will Hire Enforcement Officers

May 12, 2015 |

The City of Galt announced that they will go to a Stage 3 water alert effective Monday, May 18.

In a letter posted on social media, the city said as a result of the State Water Resources Board 32-percent mandated reductions for Galt ratepayers, several reductions will be mandated. Among them, no washing of hardscapes will be permitted and potable water will not be allowed on construction sites to control dust.

Additionally, residential users will be restricted to watering two days per-week depending on their address. There will be no residential watering allowed on Mondays, Thursdays and Friday.

To ensure compliance, the announcement said the city will hire two seasonal employees to help with conservation education and enforcement. The letter did not specify what penalties would be imposed for non-compliance.

"We recognize that water restrictions impose an inconvenience on customers," Public Works Director Steven Winkler said. "But we trust they recognize the seriousness of the situation as enter a fourth year of statewide drought and the importance of conserving our groundwater."    


11:25 | 0 comments | Read More

Elk Grove Police Arrest DUI Suspect Who Caused Injury to Passenger

May 12, 2015 |

A Rancho Cordova man was arrested early Monday morning after he caused injury to his passenger after he was allegedly drunk driving.  

According to Elk Grove Police, 21-year old Andre Blaine Morton of Rancho Cordova was operating a motor vehicle that reportedly struck a fixed object near Peets Street and Vaux Avenue. Upon contact, Morton allegedly displayed objective signs of impairment and performed poorly on a field sobriety tests.

A passenger in Morton's vehicle was injured and taken to an area hospital for medical treatment. After being medically cleared, Morton was arrested and booked into the county jail where he remains in custody on a $50,000 bail for felony charges of impaired driving causing injury and a misdemeanor charge of driving with a suspended license.   
09:56 | 0 comments | Read More

Elk Grove Poised to Adopt One-Day Permit Simplicity Plan

Written By EGN on Monday, May 11, 2015 | 15:30

May 11, 2015 |

At their Wednesday night meeting, the Elk Grove City Council is poised to adopt a one day permitting process.

The idea, which is being advocated by the Region Builders developers advocacy group, will the time in which permits are issued for commercial tenant improvement projects. According to the city staff report, permits can be issued within one to three days, versus a current average of about 15-days.

To facilitate the streamlined process, professionals would be pre-qualified by the city to participate in the program. Under the program, the city would still issue permits, and buildings would still be required to comply with all applicable codes. 

The program was introduced in the Sacramento region by Region Builders and is being modeled after a successful program in Phoenix. If adopted, Elk Grove will be the first city in California to adopt the expedited process. 

"We're excited to see the City of Elk Grove take the extra step of getting the City Council to formally approve the Permit Simplicity program," Region Builders Executive Director Joshua Woods said. "This action demonstrates a top to bottom commitment from the City to be the fastest jurisdiction in California for businesses to locate and expand."

The program is expected to start on July 1. Wednesday night's city council meeting starts at 6 p.m.  

15:30 | 7 comments | Read More

Elk Grove Police Arrest Three Burglary Suspects Following Traffic Stop

Matthew Meyers.
May 11, 2015 |

A Friday morning traffic stop led to the arrests of three people suspected of burglarizing an Elk Grove retailer.
Richard McCormack. 

According to Elk Grove Police reports, a car being driven by Richard McCormack of Elverta was stopped near Elk Grove-Florin Road and Lismore Drive for a vehicle code violation. A records check of one of the two passengers in car, 28-year old Matthew Myers, revealed he had three active felony warrants for his arrest. McCormack, and another passenger in the car, 22-year old Emily Stanley of Elverta, were also found to be on probation.

The trio was detained and a search of the vehicle led to the discovery of burglary tools and property stolen from the nearby Sports Shop on Union Parkway. Myers was also found to be in possession of cash stolen from the business. 

The three suspects were arrested and taken into custody. McCormack and Meyers remain in custody ineligible for bail while Stanley has been released.  

12:40 | 0 comments | Read More