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Running of The Elk Traffic, Detour Advisory - This Sunday

Written By EGN on Saturday, March 28, 2015 | 00:30

March 27, 2015 |

On Sunday the Fourth Annual Running of the Elk will take place on the streets of Elk Grove. To facilitate the event, numerous streets will be closed and detours will be established. 

This year’s course start and finish line is on Longleaf Drive, situated midway between Laguna and Elk Grove Boulevards. In order to accommodate set-up for the event, Longleaf Drive will be closed beginning Saturday afternoon.  

On Sunday, road closures and alternative routes around the race have been set up between the hours of 7:30 and 11:30 a.m.  Motorists are encouraged to plan accordingly.
Street Closures and Detours for Sunday, March 29:

·         Laguna Springs Drive will be closed to through traffic from 0730- 1100 hours.
·         Elk Grove Blvd between Big Horn and Auto Center will be closed from 0730-0900.
·         The entire Auto Center area will be closed from 0730-0900.
·         W. Stockton between the Auto Mall and Lent Ranch Parkway will be closed from 0730-                  0900.
·         Emerald Vista between Gem Crest and E Stockton will be closed from 0730-1030.  Local residents will be allowed access via escort and it is recommended plans be made in advance due to anticipated delays.
·         Lujan between Emerald Vista and Terra Linda will be closed from 0730-1030.
o   Local residents will be allowed access via escort and it is recommended plans be made in advance due to anticipated delays.
·         Halverson between Terra Linda and Elk Grove Florin will be closed from 0730-1030.
o   Local residents will be allowed access via escort and it is recommended plans be made in advance due to anticipated delays.
·         Elk Grove Florin Road between Bond Road and Elk Grove Blvd Road will be closed from               0730-1030.
o   Local residents will be allowed access via escort and it is recommended plans be made in advance due to anticipated delays.
·         One westbound lane of Elk Grove Blvd will be blocked with the speed limit reduced to 25 mph between Elk Grove Florin Road and the creek trail before Emerald Oak.
o   Residents will be allowed access via Williamson which will be controlled so expect delays.

For additional information about the event and course maps, please visit http://www.runningoftheelkhalf.com.

00:30 | 0 comments | Read More

Elk Grove City Council, Mayor Comment on Relationship With Cosumnes Community Services District

Written By EGN on Friday, March 27, 2015 | 10:25

March 27, 2015 | VIDEO Included

At their Wednesday night meeting, members of the Elk Grove City Council discussed how to pursue its relationship with the Cosumnes Community Services District.

The comments came in the wake off a suggestion that Elk Grove explore a merger of services with the CCSD. The conversation starts with Elk Grove City Manager Laura Gill asking for clarification of how it should list this goal as part of their list of two year imperatives.

To clarify what his thoughts on the matter are, Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis submitted the following comments highlighted in blue  in references to comments he made around the 2:30 mark of the video posted here.

From Mayor Davis:

In the past few years the partnership between the City and CCSD has been solid. So much so that we have partnered on many endeavors - including a shared landscape services contract. Rather than the City and CCSD having separate contracts, we came together and did one. The net result has saved Elk Grove taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. Recently, the CCSD has rejected structuring a similar contract for copying services. Even more recently they rejected the City's offer to utilize City Council Chambers to, instead, spend money to build one at the Wackford. Obviously the CCSD has no obligation to partner with the City on these items. However, by not pursuing this partnership, taxpayer dollars are being wasted. This concerns me and I look forward to discussing with CCSD leadership. 

10:25 | 3 comments | Read More

Elk Grove Teen Arrested on Suspicion of Possessing Stolen Assault Rifles, Shotgun

March 27, 2015 |

A 16-year old Elk Grove male was arrested yesterday afternoon on various weapons charges.

According to Elk Grove Police, the mother of the suspect found two assault rifles, one shotgun and ammunition in her son's closet. 

The mother contacted police who determined that the weapons had been taken from a vehicle on Wednesday. The juvenile is being held at juvenile hall and is charged with grand theft, receiving stolen property, possession of assault weapons and illegal possession of ammunition.

08:45 | 0 comments | Read More

Elk Grove City Council Reverses Planning Commission, Approves 99 Cent Only Store

Written By EGN on Thursday, March 26, 2015 | 08:45

March 26, 2015 |

The Elk Grove City Council reversed the decision of its Planning Commission and unanimously approved a rezone that will pave the way for construction of a free standing 99 Cent Only store on the city's north side.

The 3.48-acre parcel, which is on the corner of Brown and Elk Grove-Florin roads was zoned as office. When the Elk Grove Planning Commission heard the matter they rejected by a 4-0 vote the City of Commerce-based retailer's request to rezone the parcel to retail citing the availability of existing space in the city and security concerns.
Site map of the 99 Cent Only Store approved by the
Elk Grove City Council. 

During their presentation, 99 Cent representative Will Judy acknowledged they were poorly prepared for the Planning Commission and attempted to address some of the concerns conveyed at the February 5 meeting. 

"Unfortunately we did not properly introduce ourselves to the planning commission at a previous hearing," Judy said.

Addressing the planning commissions concern about the availability of existing retail space in the city, 99 Cent's real estate Representative Rick Martinez of CBRE said there is no space suitable to their needs currently available in Elk Grove. Martinez went on to say that CBRE has calculated the retail vacancy rates in Elk Grove to be 5.8 percent. 

During their deliberations, the council discussed several aspects of the proposal including the wages paid by company, how many employees will be employed, security concerns, and numerous design elements. 

Elk Grove City Council Member Steve Ly indicated his support for the plan noting they will bring new jobs, albeit at minimum wage, and construction activity. Ly also expressed sympathy for 99 Cents' experience with the Planning Commission. 

"Quite frankly, they [99 Cent] feel they have been blindsided," Ly said. "That's the part I'm a little uncomfortable about." 

In his comments, Vice Mayor Pat Hume defended the Planning Commission and corrected Ly noting that  99 Cents' denial was not a case of being blindsided.  

"I appreciate councilman Ly's comments, I don't think they were blindsided, they did not do their due-diligence on the front because they didn't realize they had a contentious situation," Hume said. "Anytime you ask for an entitlement change, you should know there are two ways that could go."

In their discussion leading up to the approval, the council directed the Planning Director Darren Wilson and Police Chief Robert Lehner to work with the applicant to improve a number of design elements that will improve its aesthetic quality and enhance security.  

08:45 | 6 comments | Read More

Bera Calls Congressional Votes on Republican Budget a 'One Sided, Political Exercise'

Written By EGN on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 | 18:45

March 25, 2015 |

Today, the U. S House of Representatives voted on several votes on budget matters, that ultimately passed along party line.

In a statement he issued this afternoon, Congressman Dr. Ami Bera (D - Elk Grove) noted the importance of passing a budget that addresses concerns from both party's Speciifcially he said it is in his assessment the budget needs to national debt and wasteful spencing while ensuring the solvency of Social Security and Medicare.

"Unfortunately, none of the proposals we voted on today accomplished that goal, but were instead one-sided, political exercises that I could not support" Bera said. 

Bera. a second term Congressman representing California's Seventh Congressional District, which includes all of Elk Grove, said he he was hopeful that the budget could be passed.

"I remain optimistic that we can come together to solve this country's pressing challenges and will continue to fight for the pragmatic, responsible solutions that Sacramento County families deserve,” he said.   

18:45 | 0 comments | Read More

The Word From e-Tran's Route 58

By Dan Gougherty | March 25, 2015 |

Call it lucky timing.

Today was the first time I have been able to use e-Tran commuter Route 58 following the City of Elk Grove's first workshop on Thursday, March 12 regarding proposed route changes. There were plenty of words spoken about the proposed changes by commuters on today's afternoon 58, and none were favorable toward the proposed changes.
e-Tran Route 58 riders signing petition voice opposition to the
City of Elk Grove eliminating commuter routes. 

As the first rider to board 58 on 7th and G in Sacramento, I was in position to see every rider enter the bus. On the second stop, a regular rider had a petition in hand seeking signatures from fellow riders. 

The petitioner asked all who boarded to sign, and as the bus filled, the petition was passed around and eagerly signed. According to the woman spearheading the signature gathering, she received  the petition from a co-worker who rides Route 59, who in turn got it from a Route 60 rider.

The gatherer said she was getting signatures, today and would turn them over to the organizer for presentation at tomorrow's workshop. 

While I am not a daily rider on 58, I can say most every time I have used the service, most riders are plugged into the personal electronic devices, and for the most part, keep to themselves.  

Not so today.

There was almost non-stop chatter among the riders from the time boarding to disembarkation time. As one might expect, the chatter ran the gamut, but suffice it to say none of it was in favor of abandoning the commuter routes for Light Rail. 

Tomorrow night the City will hold the second of its two planned workshop and ElkGroveNews.net will provide live streaming video of the proceedings. It will be interesting to see how many more signatures are presented and how many people show up to participate and undoubtedly voice their opinion.   

17:55 | 0 comments | Read More

EGN to 'LiveStream' Broadcast Tomorrow's e-Tran Workshop

March 12, 2015 |

The City of Elk Grove will hold its second public workshop tomorrow night to discuss possible changes to the city's e-Tran bus services. If adopted, the changes would effect several express peak hour routes running between Elk Grove and  Downtown Sacramento. (Details on the proposed changes can be viewed here.)

Thursday night's workshop starts at 6 p.m. and will be held in the City Council chamber at the Elk Grove City Hall. As a service, Elk Grove News will provide a live streaming broadcast of the proceedings via LiveStream.

To view the live broadcast, viewers will need to register at LiveStream. Below are instructions.
  • Visit the LiveStream site or download the free app from the Google or Apple store's
  • Register as a user for free using either an email address or Facebook
  • Livestream will ask you a few basic questions
  • Once you have completed the registration, use the search field at the top of the page and do a search of "Elk Grove News"
  • The search will show "events" and "accounts." Select the event, which is scheduled as Elk Grove e-Tran Public Workshop or accounts
The broadcast will start around 6 p.m. For those who wish to watch the event at a later time, it will be posted on this site. 

12:40 | 1 comments | Read More

Elk Grove Police Make Drug Bust, Suspect Facing Charges Used For Meth Dealers

March 25, 2015 |

Two  people were arrested by Elk Grove Police yesterday morning, and one is facing felony charges, HC 11378, which is commonly used in association with possession and distribution of methamphetamine.  
Casie Jamie Jones.

According to Elk Grove Police, 31-year old Casie Jamie Jones of Elk Grove was operating a car near Carbide Court and Wilbur Way that was stopped in relation to an ongoing narcotics investigation. A search of the vehicle led to the discovery of a controlled substance and indicia of sales

A passenger in the car, 40-year old Anthony Q. Adley of Sacramento was allegedly found to be in possession of  stolen property. A search of Jones' residence led to the discovery of additional narcotics and indicia of sales.

Both suspects were arrested and taken to the county jail where they both remain in custody. Jones is not eligible for bail and Jones is being held  on PC 3454(C), the so-called flash incarnation statute. 

While being processed at the jail, Jones was also found to be in possession of additional narcotics and faces additional charges of bringing narcotics into the jail.  

11:00 | 1 comments | Read More

99 Cent Only Store to Plead Case to Elk Grove City Council

Written By EGN on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 | 14:30

March 24, 2015 |

Although they were turned back by the Elk Grove Planning Commission, the 99 Cent Only store chain will appeal their case to the Elk Grove City Council tomorrow night.

The City of Commerce-based discount retailer will seek to reverse the Planning Commission's decision denying their request to rezone a 3.48 parcel on Elk Grove-Florin Road and Brown Road from office to light commercial. At their February 5 meeting, Planning Commissioners denied the request citing the availability of retail space in the city and security concerns.

Should the City Council reverse the decision, the retailer plans on constructing a free-standing 20,800 sq. ft. structure. If approved, it will be the chain's first store in Elk Grove and 10th in the Sacramento region.

Tomorrow's meeting starts at 6 p.m. 

14:30 | 1 comments | Read More

Craig to Leave City of Elk Grove For Vacaville Chamber CEO Position

Written By EGN on Monday, March 23, 2015 | 20:20

March 23, 2015 |

The Reporter in Vacaville reports that Rebecca Craig has resigned her position with the City of Elk Grove.

According to the story published this evening, Craig is resigning her position as the city's Assistant City Manager to become the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Vacaville Chamber of Commerce. Craig has been with the city for eight years first serving as finance director before assuming her current position in 2010.

According to the report, Craig will take the reigns of the chamber on April 13. Craig's resignation is the second departure from the ranks of the city's executive team in the last three months. 

In late December, Christine Brainerd resigned her position as the city's Public Information Officer to take a similar position with the City of Folsom. Additionally, last year Elk Grove Police Chief Robert Lehner was a finalist for the City of Seattle's Chief of Police but lost out to another candidate.    

20:20 | 23 comments | Read More

Bureau of Reclamation Will Cut American River Flows to 500 cfs

By Dan Bacher | March 23, 2015 |

(Sacramento) This year was the worst ever for steelhead returns to the Nimbus Fish Hatchery on the American River – and things aren’t getting any better with a planned drop in flows on the river to 500 cubic feet per second (cfs.). That means low, warm flows for steelhead and king salmon through the spring and summer unless we receive some late March or April storms to fill the reservoirs in the watershed.

The Bureau of Reclamation will ramp down flows on the American below Nimbus Dam from 800 cfs on March 24 to 500 cfs on March 26. Randi Field of the Bureau said the reason for the reduction in flows is “storage conservation.”

Wilbert Louis Moore, Deputy Public Affairs Officer of the Bureau of Reclamation, today released the following statement, in response to a request by Felix Smith, retired US Fish and Wildlife Service biologist and Save the American River Association board member, and myself for more information about the rationale behind the Bureau's cut in releases:

"On Thursday, March 19, The Bureau of Reclamation held its monthly American River Group meeting. This group includes stakeholder members from federal, state and local government and environmental agencies who discuss information on the operations of the American River. The group provides updates from the various stakeholder perspectives and offer operational alternatives for flows and temperature management in the river.

This month's talk covered flow changes, temperature management and shutter management. Reclamation considers the information provided and uses it to make informed decisions on which options to implement. Due to the persistent drought conditions, conservation of water is a must.

This flow reduction is also being complemented with real-time temperature management to protect fish habitat. Should conditions improve, Reclamation will make the appropriate adjustments to provide as much water as possible while at the same time working to manage for all other important requirements related to water use, including human health and Safety and Delta Salinity requirements."

The fish hatchery staff has trapped only 143 adult steelhead, including 93 females and 45 males, to date, according to Gary Novak, hatchery manager. That compares to a total of 546 adult steelhead, including 527 adults and 19 half pounders, last season.

The hatchery has taken a total of 186,488 eggs so far. With some additional eggs that they received from Coleman Fish Hatchery, they plan to release 144,000 steelhead yearlings next February on the American.

Novak plans to keep the fish ladder open until the end of March, hoping that some additional fish come into the facility.

The poor steelhead returns this year are believed to be the result of the poor management of Folsom Reservoir by the Bureau of Reclamation during the drought. By January 2014, the Bureau emptied Folsom Reservoir on the American River to only 17 percent of capacity, the lowest level in history. The federal water agency shipped the water to corporate agribusiness on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, Southern California water agencies and oil companies conducting fracking and steam injection operations, in spite of 2013 being a record drought year.

The result was low, warm conditions in the American, inevitably leading to poor survival of adult and juvenile steelhead as the cold water pool in Folsom was drawn down.

For more information on the temperature and water flow requirements for steelhead and salmon on the American River and be viewed at the FishSniffer

18:00 | 0 comments | Read More

Suspected Credit Card Thieves Apprehended at Elk Grove Retailer

March 23, 2015 |

Elk Grove Police arrested two suspects Sunday afternoon after they allegedly tried to purchase goods with a stolen credit card at an area retailer.

According to police reports, 38-year old Michael Henderson and 32-Alvina Leon, both of Stockton, went to the Toys R Us store on Bond Road to pick-up a purchase they made online with a stolen credit card. Upon entry, they were greeted by Elk Grove Police officers who immediately detained them. 

The owner of the credit card was contacted and indicated that he did not know the suspects, nor did he give them permission to use his card. A records check revealed that Leon had two active warrants out for her arrest.

Both suspects were arrested and booked into the county jail. While at the jail, Henderson was found to be in possession of a controlled substance and was charged with bringing a controlled substance into a jail facility. 

Leon is being held on a total of $60,000 bail from Stockton and Elk Grove Police. Henderson is facing five felony charges and is being held on $565,000 bail. 

13:50 | 1 comments | Read More

Woman Has Purse Snatched Late Friday Night in Elk Grove

March 23, 2015 |

A 69-year old woman was victimized late Friday night in Elk Grove by a purse snatcher.

According to Elk Grove Police, the victim was getting into her car on the 7200 block of Laguna Boulevard when she was approached by an unknown suspect. The suspect forcibly grabbed the victim's purse and fled on foot.

The victim was not injured during the robbery. The suspect was described as a Hispanic male, 17-18 years of age, 5'5", with a dark baseball cap, shoulder length straight dark colored hair, mustache and a red hoodie. 

Responding officers were unable to locate the suspect.

11:40 | 1 comments | Read More

Opinion - A Bit More Than Three Minutes

By Lynn Wheat | March 22, 2015 |

As a regular attendee of city meetings and recognizing the three minute limit to address council and with no opportunity to offer a rebuttal to council's response to my comments I submit to the council these thoughts. 

For years, I have opposed our city’s piecemeal planning, but to no avail. Through the years, it has been suggested to me to give up, do something else, or move away. The online commentators, many of whom hide behind aliases, name call, verbally attack and offer no solutions to the concerns I raise.  
Some of the solutions that I have offered such as updating the general plan or bringing Light Rail to Elk Grove have been regularly brushed aside by the council as too costly. These “costly” solutions may have produced something of benefit for all residents. Conversely, our council's costly schemes have produced binders of feasibility studies collecting dust on shelves inside City Hall.  

Many of us in Elk Grove are tired of the city council spending of our tax dollars with nothing to show but binders, dead malls, and overriding consideration traffic congestion. The most recent binder will be the one on the proposed Soccer Stadium.

I suggested that a campaign finance reform policy be adopted by the city council as a mechanism to open the doors to those who would be interested in serving but do not have the deep pockets of financial backing.  

I spoke about revising the economic business incentives, so they are objective with consistent guidelines as the current policy and guidelines are flexible and subject to favoritism. 

Is it too much to ask for leadership with vision focused on the needs of community-building and designing our city to be the most desirable and best Elk Grove can be?  We as a city have so much that has not been recognized by our leadership, and I want leadership that once described a "gem of Maderia" to produce the gem. 

Instead, the city leaders have sold out the residents on the belief that home developers and land grabbers have the city's best interest at heart. Whether it is approving general plan amendments, reducing park size or other moves to lower our standards,  we have repeatedly heard our council members give the tired, and frankly lazy, reasoning "this is the best we could do."


An example of the "best we can do" mentality are the apartments on Civic Center Drive.  I have heard two residents refer to the complex as "Russia" due to the bland architecture. Residents in Maderia deserve a diamond not cubic zirconia with the assessments they pay.

Our leaders have sold out the residents citywide who have invested in the community with the purchase of their home.  Many of the same residents fought to keep their homes and to remain in the community when the housing market crashed.   

One such resident bravely spoke out about his family's personal situation at a council meeting. I spoke to him following the council meeting, and he realized that the decision regarding the project in question was pre-determined before the meeting. Nonetheless, he wanted the city leaders to know what effect their decision will have on his family and neighborhood. He wanted them to attach a face, a family, a neighborhood to their decision. I just wonder if the city council’s decision would have been the same had it been in a city leader's backyard?  He is just one of the many thousands of residents who ought to be represented, instead of the few they are beholden to.   

This past week I had conversations with two Elk Grove residents who knew of my involvement in civic affairs who commented to me "we do not need more homes built in Elk Grove." The other said "the Soccer Stadium is a crazy idea; bad location and will not draw the population that Sacramento will," 

My response to both was the "city council stopped listening and hearing me years ago, and you need to go to a meeting. You need to speak up."  The first, a retiree, wants to move away.  The second is a young father who said “I would, but after I leave this job in the afternoon I have a second job I work from 5:30-9:30 p.m."

It is these voices who are not backed by campaign donations, lobbyist special dinners that need representation. 

None of the current city council members have received a majority of the votes, and four different council members have appeared on the ballot unopposed during the last two election cycles. I do not blame the city council for the low turnout, but in the interest of participatory democracy, each councilmember should be reaching out to those otherwise silent residents. 

The city council has been wrong when they tell me I do not represent others.  I have, and I do. I have represented the two above and others. How can I say this with confidence? I have met them in the community. 

I am still looking for the leadership that will represent our residents well, and I will continue to be the loudest voice of opposition when they do not act as leaders. I will be the biggest tree hugger!  I will be the person who will continue to test their patience. 

Besides my single vote, I have three minutes of democracy.  Three minutes at the podium. Three minutes when I am not apathetic to the needs of all in our community. Three minutes when I will just not go away.

Over the years my daughter has encouraged my involvement in city council meetings and hearings saying that mine is worth the effort. I am not a "no growther" as some assume.  I am about better, sustainable, liveable and well-planned growth. A healthy community that can meet the needs of all who choose to call our city home.  

Two council members have continually said ‘build the homes and the jobs will come,’ albeit minimum wage ones.  Am I stunned by their comment?  Of course not, as they speak for the building industry.  

History has a way of repeating itself. As Elk Grove leaders have put officials in place which support their SOI and expansion outward, we residents will most certainly experience the fallout of the Ponzi scheme to fill the city coffers.  History has a way of repeating itself.  In the future, we will continue to hear about our city’s jobs to housing imbalance.

Visionary leadership - my hope, my dream, and my prayer.

01:00 | 6 comments | Read More

Whose Voice Is This? Enter Contest to Win

Written By EGN on Sunday, March 22, 2015 | 12:00

March 22, 2014

In our post on Elk Grove's abundance of semen trees, we offered a $5 gift certificate to Grace Coffee Roasters to the first person who correctly identified the location of the tree.

Even though there were eight entries, the correct location of the tree was not identified. This week we will once again offer a $5 Grace Coffee Roasters gift certificate.

This week we will play a game of Whose Voice Is This? Listen to the audio below, and if you want to enter, sent your answer to news@elkgrovenews.net with "Voice" in the subject line.

The submission deadline for this contest is next Sunday, March 29, 2015 at 12 p.m. In the case of multiple correct answer, a random drawing will be held to determine the winner. No cash value. 

Music File Hosting - Download Audio - Whose Voice is This?

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Elk Grove Planning Commission Approves Moore's Billboard Design; We Coulda Been a Contender!

March 22, 2015 |

On Thursday night, Elk Grove's very own fast food and gas station impresario secured what he has long characterized as the key component to land and ensure the success of a McDonald's franchise. That key component is a tall billboard on Highway 99.

The Elk Grove Planning Commission approved a redesigned 70-foot tall billboard for Gil Moore, the developer of the so-called Sheldon Centre on the northeast corner of E. Stockton Boulevard and Sheldon Road. The planning commission instructed Moore to redesign his billboard at their February 19 meeting.
Gil Moore is all smiles as the final piece of his 
Sheldon Centre fast food joint was approved by
the Elk Grove Planning Commission. 

Although the sign was redesigned to higher standards at the planning commission's insistence, the placement of the billboard on Highway 99 was never in doubt as Moore spearheaded the effort to loosen the city's relatively restrictive highway billboard ordinance established in 2006. Under the old ordinance because Moore's Sheldon Centre development was not directly adjacent to the freeway, he sought the changes to help land a planned McDonald's, who insisted they would not locate there without a billboard along Highway 99.

To goose his billboard ambitions, Moore became a generous contributor to Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis, Vice Mayor Pat Hume, Council Member Steve Detrick, and former council member and current California Assembly Member Jim Cooper. 

Although Moore's project and billboard, which included a rezone of his 5-acre parcel, has been approved, two dilapidated, board-up structures still stand on the Sheldon Road project site. Interestingly, Moore told the Elk Grove Citizen in an August 2012 story that "I’m ready to start construction today and I’m ready to start building,"

In that same story, Detrick countered widespread criticism of contributions he received from Moore, which among others, included one single 2011 payment of $10,000. As reported by Elk Grove Citizen reporter Bryan Gold, Detrick said no contribution he ever received influenced a decision.

As reported in that story, Detrick said at an Elk Grove City Council meeting "The reason why people donated money is because they believe in your vision, they believe you should have a seat at the table to listen to their plight."  

With the changes in Elk Grove's billboard ordinance, that were made largely because Moore's contributions and his efforts to land a McDonald's, the new regulations have spurred the coming erection of at least four 70-feet or taller billboards along Highway 99. Currently, there are no plans for Elk Grove business center districts along Interstate 5, but they will undoubtedly come. 

In one final irony, while McDonald's is in no immediate threat of vanishing, their financial stock, and worldwide popularity has diminished in the last couple years. Aside from the negative health effects directly attributed to their fat-laden food in what is now an international obesity epidemic, consumers are leaving the Golden Arches in droves. 

In the final analysis, Moore got his McDonald's, The Hamburglar and other developers got massive billboards, our city council member were fed some nutritious mother's milk from the tits of contributors, and the city will get some precious tax dollars from all those tourists flocking here for their getaways weekends to finance the long and never ending list of hair-brained schemes conjured up by their bosses. As for the citizens, well they now get to live in yet another faceless, undistinguished, milquetoast city clinging to Highway 99 with over-sized and tacky billboards through California's Central Valley in search of the almighty sales tax revenue.

To paraphrase Terry Malloy, "You don't understand. We coulda had class. We coulda been a contender. We coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what we are, let's face it."

00:00 | 3 comments | Read More

An Aerial View - The Elk Grove Promenade, Outlet Collection at Elk Grove

Written By EGN on Saturday, March 21, 2015 | 14:30

March 21, 2015 |

Much has been written and said about the place everyone loves to hate -  the half-built shopping center in Elk Grove, the place formerly known as the Elk Grove Promenade and now the so-called Outlet Collections at Elk Grove.

Construction on the shopping center abruptly came to a stop seven years ago this July. Even though Howard Hughes Co. has changed the mall's focus, barring some surprise announcement by Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis at next Friday's State of the City Address, there seems to be no progress in resurrecting construction, much less getting some tenants at the site. 

Nonetheless, the Outlet Collection has proven to be useful for at least one thing - a proving ground of sorts for drone pilots.

14:30 | 0 comments | Read More

Fourth Annual Sacramento Food Film Festival Kicks-off

March 21, 2015 |

The Fourth Annual Sacramento Food Film Festival kicked-off Thursday night with a special viewing of award winning short documentaries.

Held at the Goldfield Trading Post in Midtown Sacramento, the event was the kick-off of the 10 festival that celebrates film, Sacramento's emergence as the farm to fork capitol and food literacy. 

Participants at the Thursday event viewed four food-related shorts including The Perfect Solution, Stand Up, How Does it Grow, and Soil Born Farm - Pacific Elementary School. In between each film, the audience enjoyed aappetizer bites donated from Sacramento-based chefs Michael Thiemann of Mother and Empress Tavern, Jay Veregge of Ten22, Aimal Formoli of Formoli’s Bistro, Brian Mizner of Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Co., and James Beard Foundation Award-winning Chef Hank Shaw.

The film festival acts as one of the main fundraising events for Sacramento's Food Literacy program. The Food Literacy's mission is to help individuals improve their knowledge, attitude, and behavior towards real food. 

The festival was founded by noted Sacramento food writer Katherine Enfield, who subsequently turned it over to the Food Literacy program as it grew. Addressing the audience on Thursday night, Enfield said she and the Food Literacy program share common goals.  

"We both have the same ideas, we want to educate about food," Enfield said. "It's in good hands."

The festival runs through Sunday, March 29. A complete list of scheduled events can be viewed here.  

10:30 | 0 comments | Read More

Elk Grove to Explore Permit Simplicity Proposal

Written By EGN on Friday, March 20, 2015 | 13:00

March 20, 2015 |

While California is considered a trendsetter in many different ways, if one proposal under consideration is adopted by Sacramento area governments, they will have taken their lead from Arizona.

The proposal, the so-called permit simplicity is being advocated by Region Builders and one of the two local governments taking a serious look at adopting it is Elk Grove. The plan is being modeled after one adopted in Phoenix that essentially provides one day permitting.

According to Region Builders Executive Director Joshua Woods, depending on the jurisdiction and the scope of the project, getting a permit can take six to eight weeks. According to Woods, Region Builder's members say Elk Grove is efficient and permits for small tenant improvement plans are usually approved in less than 30 days.

In the simplified process, designated state licensed professionals such as architects and engineers will review plans for tenant improvement projects, submit and be granted same-day building permits.

One of the key distinctions for the local proposal compared to Phoenix's process is that if Elk Grove adopts the proposal,  it  would only apply to tenant improvement projects. In Phoenix the simplified process can be used for entire projects.

"In Phoenix they do it from the ground up; we are not asking for that here," he said.

Woods also stressed that the entire public process going through the planning commission and city council would remain unchanged.

"Nothing in the public process is changed, period," he said. "The difference is on the building side, when you bring in the plans you are essentially certifying, 'Yes this meets the code.'"

During the course of construction, the project will be subject to random audits, continue to be inspected, and if there is a problem, they will be addressed immediately. Woods says the key to the program is that each jurisdiction will set standards and that the professionals who submitted the plans are putting their licenses and reputation on the line.

To be eligible for the program, participants will have to go through a city training course, pass a test, and meet to-be-determined requirements. Woods noted under the current proposal, privileges are revocable if participants are found to be non-compliant.

"There is a huge carrot, and there is a huge stick," Woods said.

In addition to Elk Grove, Sacramento is looking at the proposal and Woods said Region Builders seeks to have it adopted by other Sacramento area jurisdictions. To the best of his knowledge, Woods said that permit simplicity is not being used any place else in California and as such, if the region adopts it, it would be a huge competitive advantage over other parts of the state. 

At the last Elk Grove City Council meeting, Vice Mayor Pat Hume and Councilmember Steve Detrick volunteered for a subcommittee to explore the possibility of adopting the permit simplicity process. Both councilmembers also attended a March 10 seminar held by Region Builders that featured Phoenix City Councilmember Sal DiCiccio and Planning and Development Director Alan Stephenson, who touted the program's success.

"Part of the reason for going to Elk Grove is they are a jurisdiction that has done a lot of improvements to their process," Woods said. "We think that this is a program where if we can get Elk Grove and these other cities to establish it, the entire region will follow suit." 

13:00 | 7 comments | Read More

Elk Grove Woman Allegedly Hits Bicyclist, Flees Scene

March 20, 2015 |

An Elk Grove woman was arrested last night following a hit and run incident with bicyclist. 

According to Elk Grove Police, 25-year old Athena Francine Lyda was operating a motor vehicle that struck and injured a bicyclist on the 5600 block of Whitelock Parkway. After hitting the victim, Lyda did not stop and fled the area.

A witness was able to provide a licence plate number and officers responded to the address and found Lyda seated in the car. The suspect was arrested for California Vehicle Code 20001(B)(1) and could face up to one year imprisonment if convicted. The suspect has been released on bail.

The victim was taken to an area hospital for treatment.  

10:15 | 1 comments | Read More

Elk Grove Weekend Road Detour Advisory

March 20, 2015 |

The City of Elk Grove will implement a detour as part of the Grant Line Road widening project this weekend. Eastbound and westbound traffic will be diverted from Grant Line Road to New Waterman Road and Old Waterman Road beginning Friday, March 20 at 7 p.m. through 5 a.m. on Monday, March 23.

One lane of eastbound traffic will be shifted onto the new Grant Line Road over the railroad tracks on Monday morning. One lane of westbound traffic will be shifted later this summer. All four lanes will be open to traffic by November, 2015.


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Bera, Meadows Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Aid Vets

Written By EGN on Thursday, March 19, 2015 | 14:30

March 19, 2015 |

Congressmen Ami Bera, M.D. (D-Elk Grove) and Republican Mark Meadows (NC-11) recently introduced The Doctors Helping Heroes Act, bipartisan legislation first introduced last year that will help deal with the serious shortage of doctors the Veterans Affairs system is facing and help decrease wait times at VA hospitals. 

The bill would allow foreign doctors trained in the U.S. to practice at VA hospitals and in under-served areas where they are sorely needed.

“As a doctor who’s worked in the VA system, I’ve seen first-hand how much our veterans and their families have sacrificed for our country,” Bera said. “They deserve the best care possible and I’m proud to have worked with Congressman Meadows on this common sense bill to make sure doctors are available to care for our vets. This is just one step we should take to make sure our heroes get the health care they need and deserve.”

Experts agree that one of the primary factors contributing to long wait times at VA facilities is the lack of enough physicians to care for aging veterans from the Vietnam War and younger ones who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Under current law, most international physicians who are trained in the U.S. on J-1 visas must return to their home country for two years after their residency ends before they can apply for a new visa or a green card. Under the Conrad 30 program, these doctors can stay in the country without returning home if they agree to practice in an under-served area for three years.

The “30” refers to the number of doctors allowed per state to participate in the program. Bera and Meadows’ legislation would increase the number of visas allowed per state for doctors to practice at VA hospitals and under-served areas where doctors are sorely needed.

14:30 | 1 comments | Read More

Elk Grove Police Bust Suspected Drug Dealer

March 19, 2015 |

A Wednesday morning traffic stop by Elk Grove Police led to the arrest of person suspected of possessing and selling narcotics.
Jennifer Rose Valadez. 
According to police reports, 40-year old Jennifer Rose Valadez of Hood was operating a car that was stopped on the 9900 block of Firethorn Way for a vehicle code violation. Upon contact, Valadez was allegedly found to be in possession of an unspecified controlled substance.

A search of the suspect's car led to the discovery of additional narcotics and  indicia of sales. Valadez was arrested and booked into the county jail. 

She remains in custody on $75,000 bail charged with HS 11351 which generally includes sale of controlled substances such as cocaine, heroin, opiates, codeine and vicodin and will be arraigned tomorrow.  

08:35 | 1 comments | Read More