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Assembly Member Cooper Receives Committee Assignments

Written By EGN on Thursday, March 5, 2015 | 17:00

March 5, 2015 |

California Assembly Member Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) learned today what his committee assignments will be for this legislative session. 

The first term Assembly Member was assigned by Speaker Toni Atkins to 10 committees. Those committees include the following:

  • Career Technical Education and Building a 21st Century Workforce 
  • Craft Brewing and Distilling
  • Cybersecurity
  • Foster Care
  • Local Emergency Preparedness
  • Mental and Behavioral Health and Proposition 63 Implementation 
  • Regional Approaches to Addressing the State’s Water Crisis
  • Urban Rivers and Streams 
  • Wine 
  • Youth and California’s Future

"Many involve issues important to my district and subjects I am passionate about such as education, public safety and helping small businesses thrive,” Cooper said. “I look forward to actively participating on the select committees and further exploring these important issues.”

In addition to these committees, last month Atkins assigned Cooper to chair a select committee on Community and Law Enforcement Relations and Responsibilities.

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Part II - Elk Grove City Council Discusses Long-term Vision, Short Term Goals at Special Meeting

March 5, 2015

See Part I of this story in the post immediately below this.

As part of the retreat, meeting facilitator Martha Lofgren also helped the group focus on what she called two-year imperatives. These are specific projects the city council and executive staff hope to accomplish in the next two years.

Although Lofgren identified several keys areas for the participants to focus on, the group also held a brainstorming session. During this session, topics included road maintenance concerns, infrastructure, public safety and consolidation of government entities.

Elk Grove Police Chief Robert Lehner expressed concerns about the effects of recent passing of Proposition 47 will have on crime rates win the city. Under 47, several crimes have been reclassified from felonies to misdemeanors. 

"It changes our focus," he said. "Our landscape has changed dramatically."  

With regards to government consolidation, Vice Mayor Pat Hume suggested the city look at taking over the parks and recreations functions currently provided by the Cosumnes Community Services District (CCSD). Hume noted the city is now developing parks and recreational facilities that are overlapping with the CCSD and suggested there had been talks in the past between the two entities that a merger of sort might take place.  

"Is now the time that the city should take over parks," Hume queried. "We are starting to overlap some of the services of the CSD."

Hume stressed that fire services from the CCSD would remain separate from any possible merger. 

In a light-hearted moment, Elk Grove Council Member Steve Detrick suggested given the CCSD's loss of their headquarters in the recent fire, now might be the time. Hume agreed and noted given the outlay of capital the CCSD might need to build a new facility, now might be time to discuss merging the CCSD parks and recreation services with the city.  

Below are the highlights in each of the two-year imperative topic discussed.

Community Development

Discussing the city's sphere of application to annex the city's recently purchased 99-acre parcel on Grant Line Road, Hume suggested the process be streamlined.

"I think we need to have a more comprehensive plan on how we pursue the SOI, " he said.

Within this topic, transportation was also discussed. A consensus was reached that the city should continue its pursuit of building-out Kammerer Road and seek funding sources.

"Transportation in general is an imperative for our city," Elk Grove Council Member Darren Suen said.

Although the discussion included the possible extension of Sacramento Regional Transit's Light Rail to Elk Grove, the participants agreed that it was not likely to happen in two years. Elk Grove City Manager Laura Gill said she thought Light Rail would go to Roseville and Sacramento International Airport before Elk Grove. 

"Kammerer Road is a deliverable," Hume noted. 

Economic Development 

One of the first topics discussed in this category was the city-owned empty parcel in Old Town Elk Grove. The parcel, which is directly adjacent to the Union Pacific Railroad track that bisects Old Town, has remained undeveloped since the city purchased it over two years ago.

"We need to figure out what we want to do with that parcel," Gill said. 

Gill went on to say that a public workshop meeting on how the city should develop the parcel will be held in the next month or so. 

Civic and Recreational Activities

The two items of interest over the next two years were the proposed aquatics center and Grant Line Road soccer stadium and fields.

Assistant City Manager Rebecca Craig said the aquatics center bid will go out soon and that it is expected to be awarded this summer. Even though Craig said an operator for the facility has not been identified, construction is expected to start this summer with a summer of 2016 opening. 

Gill also acknowledged on-going challenges regarding financing the proposed soccer stadium and field facility proposed for the Grant Line Road parcel. The original financing scenarios started at about $120 million but have been subsequently scaled-down.

"I've got to get the site development cost down," Gill said. "I've got to make this thing pencil-out."


During this discussion, Mayor Davis suggested that the responsibilities of his office and fellow city council might require a full-time staff person. Currently, the mayor and city council members are permitted a 12-hours-a week intern to assist them. 

Agreeing with Davis was Council Member Steve Ly, who noted his intern often works more than his 12-hours a week schedule. 

Hume disagreed saying "When I had an intern, it was a struggle for me to find enough work for her to do." Hume noted his intern frequently helped staff to complete her 12-hour schedule.

Ly also queried if each council member could be given a budget to conduct individual community meetings.

The last retreat-style meeting conducted by the council was in 2009. During their closing discussion, the council agreed that another meeting may be held two years from now to follow up on their imperatives progress and to look again at their long-term vision for the city.    

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Part I - Elk Grove City Council Discusses Long-term Vision, Short Term Goals at Special Meeting

March 5, 2015 |

Part I

At a special meeting held yesterday, the Elk Grove City Council and members of the city's executive staff discussed long-term planning and set some goals they hope to achieve in the next two years.

The so-called retreat meeting was held at the Falls Event Center on Elk Grove Boulevard and was facilitated by Martha Lofgren. Prior to her work partnership at a Sacramento law firm, Lofgren also served as Folsom's city attorney.

As outlined by Lofgren, the purpose of the meeting was to establish a long-term vision of the city and prioritize what she called two-year imperatives. The two-year imperatives are projects the city council hopes to achieve within two years.

As part of the process, the city council heard presentations from the city planning, police, and public works departments. After the presentations, council members discussed their individual visions for the city.

Mayor Gary Davis said the sports developments could help Elk Grove distinguish itself from other similar sized cities in the region. Davis, who has pushed the development of the proposed aquatics center and soccer stadium, acknowledged there has been little discussion about developing a performing arts center in the city.

As one of the two new members of the city council, Darren Suen repeated a theme he has already emphasized in a series of public meetings he recently conducted.  

"I want this to be a place where I can retire," he said.

Coming to the City Council from the Elk Grove Unified School District Board of Trustees, newly elected member Steve Ly stressed the importance of education as a foundation for the city's long-term health. Ly said having strong schools will help the city develop a good reputation and suggested the city work with the EGUSD on projects. 

Council Member Steve Detrick suggested the city should continue its focus on public safety and infrastructure maintenance. He noted public safety will ensure the city's neighborhood will continue to flourish  and that in turn will facilitate economic development.

Citing the city's motto of a proud heritage and bright future, Vice Mayor Pat Hume suggested the city tap into its agricultural roots as a means of economic development. He noted Elk Grove is unique compared to other chartered cities because it has preserved an agricultural component within city limits.    

"We have made a component of our strategy to preserve our agricultural area," he said. 

Hume went on to say this could be leveraged in the burgeoning farm-to-fork movement and be an important part of the city's economic development. Hume also said this would combine nicely with the city's emphasis on fitness, the three major medical facilities already here, and the pharmacy school. 

The Vice Mayor also said the city's recent marketing emphasis on transforming Elk Grove into a "destination city" should be refocused.

"I don't ever envision us as a place where someone burns vacation time," he said.



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Plans Being Made to Livestream Tomorrow's Special Elk Grove City Council Meeting

Written By EGN on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 | 21:30

March 3, 2015 |

The Elk Grove City Council will hold a special meeting tomorrow afternoon to discuss long range planning and the council members' vision for the city.

Because the meeting is being held away from the Elk Grove City Hall, there will be no video streaming of the proceedings. To help make the mid-afternoon meeting accessible to constituents, Elk Grove News is putting together a plan to provide a live video stream of the event.

Our plan is to stream the event over internet-based new.LiveStream.com. If all goes according to plan, the meeting will be streamed starting at 3 p.m.

We have only run a few basic tests and it seems to be fairly straight forward. Although you can attempt to register for free on the web site, it seems the quicker method is to download the free app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. Once you set up your account via an app, you can also sign-in on your computer.

To register and view:
  • Visit the LiveStream site or download the free app from Google or Apple  App Store
  • 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 New"
  • The search will show "events" and "accounts." You can either select the event, which is already scheduled, or accounts

Tomorrow's meeting starts at 3 p.m.  and we will go live a few minutes prior to its start. Depending on the strength of the wi-fi signal at the Falls Event Center, we hope to stream the meeting without interruption. If there are interruptions, LiveStream records and automatically posts for later viewing.

We'll keep our fingers crossed that we can stream this meeting with a minimum of glitches to our  loyal readers. If you need assistance with enrollment, please contact us at Dan@elkgrovenews.net or 916 - 753 - 9402.

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Chew's Reviews - Map to the Stars

By Gary Chew |  March 3 |

Streaming on demand ... and playing in some other markets, but not Sacramento

Humanity has been usurped from them by their egos, drugs and wealth-induced delusion. This is the substance of the principle characters in David Cronenberg latest film, “Maps To The Stars.” And in the common vernacular, all are certainly characters: Havana Segrand (Julianne Moore); Agatha Weiss (Mia Wiakowska); and Dr. Stafford Weiss (John Cusack), the father of Agatha and Benjie Weiss (Evan Bird). There's also Christina Weiss (Olivia Williams), married to Stafford and mother of Agatha and Benjie. Jerome Fontana (Robert Pattinson), a stretch limo driver, struggling actor and screenwriter who tools the upper crust neighborhoods of greater Los Angeles, is much less a “real” character, but he's working on it.

Havana has done the most work on being a real character. Ms. Segrand isn't quite as far into being a character as Norma Desmond was. But there's no Cecil B. DeMille around anymore for Havana to call for her close up in this script by Bruce Wagner (Nightmare On Elm Street:Dream Warrior and Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills). Havana is a famous movie star and daughter of a legendary film personality (now deceased) called Clarice Taggart.  Benjie is a young multi-millionaire movie sensation and only thirteen. He talks like he's thirty-five. His sister Agatha has just arrived in Los Angeles from Florida to look up her old family. The California branch of the Weiss's has been trying to forget Agatha for what see did before they put her in a mental hospital. Now, seemingly sweet and malleable, Agatha is of age and out on her own recognizance. She wears unusual garments to cover the scarring she suffered from burns that triggered the dissolution of the Weiss family. Placing Maps more closely to the wavelength of Cronenberg's Crash, incestuous wedlock also plays a part. Besides DeMille, where's Tennessee Williams now that we’re in need of him?

The discomfort that Cronenberg instills in Maps To The Stars is almost tantamount to that which he left me with after seeing his outrageous NC-17 piece of 1996 called Crash, starring James Spader, Holly Hunter and Deborah Kara Unger. But wait. Maps is rated R. But it's a “tough” R.

Someone is beaten to death in this film; a child is nearly strangled to death. An adult burns to death at the edge of a swimming pool. One of the lead characters is shown sitting on a commode suffering from constipation and flatulence while conversing with another leading player. Brief full frontal male nudity makes it into the film too, along with a two-female/one-male nude threesome that's not visually specific.

Recent Oscar winner Moore, one of my favorite film actors, has taken on many risky parts in her excellent career. Her turn as Havana is only slightly less brazen than her earlier appearance in Boogie Nights with Burt Reynolds and a then just-arrived Mark Wahlberg.

Like David Lynch's Mulholland Drive, Maps To The Stars --- now showing in U-S theaters in some markets --- occurs in the LA Basin, and is another stinging indictment of what many might imagine and probably hope Hollywood is.

Another disconcerting thing for me watching this on-demand movie streaming at my house was that I found Julianne Moore, although a woman now at 55 years of age, kept reminding me of a younger movie star with much the same skin tones and hair color. I surfed my brain during a few frames trying to bring up the name of the younger woman who Moore almost seemed to be in the movie, but grown older. Finally, the name and personality came to me: Lindsay Lohan. I remember Lindsay doing a double role when she starred with Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson in The Parent Trap. I took my six-year-old daughter to see it. We enjoyed it. Lindsay was eleven then.
Copyright © 2015 by Gary Chew. All rights reserved.

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Special Meeting of Elk Grove City Council Scheduled for This Wednesday Afternoon

Written By EGN on Monday, March 2, 2015 | 16:15

March 2, 2015 |

The Elk Grove City Council will hold a special off-site meeting this Wednesday.

The meeting, which will be held at the Falls Event Center located at 8280 Elk Grove Blvd., is a so-called retreat for the five city council members. Although it is called a retreat, the Brown Act requires the proceedings to be open to the public.

The agenda includes a council discussion of two-year goals and what the council members' collective visions and plans for the city. The public will be given an opportunity to comment at the conclusion of the session.

The meeting is scheduled to start at 3 p.m.

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Elk Grove Man Jailed on $240,000 Bail After Alleged Domestic Violence Incident

March 2, 2015 |

An Elk Grove man is being held on five felony charges after an alleged Sunday morning domestic violence incident.

According to Elk Grove Police, 42-year old Demetrius Coleman was involved in an argument with his victim that escalated into a physical altercation. During the course of the altercation, Coleman allegedly attempted to stab his victim with a BBQ fork and poured bleach on the victim's head and face that resulted in visible injuries. 

Prior to fleeing the scene, Coleman also reportedly took the victim's cell phone, car keys and cash. Responding officers located the suspect a short distance away.

Coleman was arrested and is being held at the county jail on a $240,000 bail. The suspect faces five felony charges including robbery, domestic violence, corporal injury to a spouse or co-inhabitant, assault with a deadly weapon and assault with a caustic chemical.  

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Victimized by Robbery, Community Rallies to Help Elk Grove Lions Club

Written By EGN on Saturday, February 28, 2015 | 15:10

February 28, 2015 |

Clouds that were heavily cast on a local service club in January turned into a silver lining last night in Elk Grove.

At a gathering held at The Falls Event Center in Elk Grove, over 200 people attended a fundraiser benefiting the Elk Grove Lions Club. In January, the local branch of the international service organization was victimized by a robbery that resulted in the loss of their mobile cooking equipment that was valued at more than $20,000.
Event organizer Teresa Rodriguez thanks the participants
for their generosity assisting the Elk Grove Lions Club.

A fixture at charitable events in Elk Grove, the Lions loss of the equipment was a devastating blow to the club and the community. In response, several individuals sprung to action to raise funds to help the club recover.

Spearheading the effort was Elk Grove-based event planner Teresa Rodriguez and Connie Conley of Elk Grove Community Connection. Between them, and an army of volunteers, last night's guests enjoyed a Mexican-themed dinner and participated in raffles with prizes donated from dozens of local businesses.

"Any time people come together with a shared intention, it's a powerful thing," Conley said. "Our community came together for a combined intention for the Lions Club and the beautiful ballroom at The Falls was filled with magic."

In addition to the dozens of raffle prizes, local businesses such as La Cocina Taqueria, Full Throttle Music, Above & Beyond Cakes and Sinful Treats donated food and entertainment for the event. Local businesses and service clubs making direct cash donations included the Mikuni Foundation and Elk Grove Nissan & Infiniti who each gave $1,000 and the Elk Grove Optimist contributed $250. The venue at The Falls Event Center was also donated.     

The event raised net proceeds of $7,200 - easily beating the goal of $5,000. The Elk Grove Lions intends to use the funds to replace the equipment lost during the robbery.

"We are extremely grateful for the outpouring of love and support for the Elk Grove Lions Club at the fiesta fundraiser," Rodriguez said. "This is indicative of the local charities in our community. We band together in times of need."

A few of the dozens of volunteers pitching-in to help the
Elk Grove Lions club.

Elk Grove City Council Members Steve Detrick (l) and 
Darren Suen accept a contribution on behalf of the Elk Grove Lions.


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Chew's Reviews - The Lazarus Effect

Written By EGN on Friday, February 27, 2015 | 15:30

By Gary Chew | February 26, 2015 |

Opens today. 

The Lazarus Effect begins not in Bethany but Berkeley. In fact, the entire movie occurs in Berkeley, most of it in an unassuming building on a university campus --- at a well-equipped laboratory. Five medical students are conducting cutting-edge experiments on dead canines.

Frank and Zoe (Mark Duplass and Olivia Wilde) are married. Both have doctoral degrees. Eva (Sarah Bolger) is an undergraduate who's come to the lab to video the progress the team is making. Clay and Niko (Evan Peters and Donald Glover) are doctoral students assisting Frank and Zoe. One more important character is Rocky (Cato), a deceased dog whose part in the film expands as the narrative progresses.

Aggressively, Frank moves his team toward bringing Rocky back to life. The dog has been put down in another venue due to blindness from cataracts. The title of the picture implies that Rocky must be “brought back.” And that the team does.

Rocky is vicious one moment, then slips into a confused state. These mood swings continue, helping to occasionally raise the hair on the back of your neck too. He's kept in a small kennel some of the time.

Frank tires to determine if Rocky's condition might be improved with further tests on another canine cadaver held in a refrigerated part of the lab. A terrible accident ensues during those trials which bringsZoe to her death (no spoiler, btw). As she throws an electrical switch that allows a heavy charge to surge into the animal's body, she is electrocuted. (Does any of this sound familiar?)

Frank is devastated. The other three are as well, but terribly confused about what to do. Frank knows what he must do. You know what he must do. And … he does it. Not only does he love Zoe, but feelshe's totally responsible for the tragedy.

Let's just say that Frank's effort to bring his lovely, smart wife back to life is successful --- but don't wish too much for what Frank wants. It is indeed, just let me say, a mixed blessing. How Zoe seems after being resurrected is much like how Rocky acts after he was “returned.”

Dreams are introduced into the narrative; dreams that only Zoe had when she was a little girl … and what's really weird is that Sarah, after experiencing walks down halls with flaming walls, seems to witness the very same. Sarah doesn't know that Zoe had these nightmares early in her life. How can that be? Well, it comes to such a point that one of the team is finally compelled to shout my favorite line in the movie, “This is too much weird shit!” Not much weirder than Mary Shelley could have imagined, it would seem.

Please don't get me wrong, The Lazarus Effect is effective ginning up laughs and sudden screeches in the crowd. It was an entertainment hoot for me. The director, David Gelb was also wise enough to make his film without an excess of running time. Actually, it seemed sort of short.

With a title that implies a connection to the Bible is probably a good one to go with, but another that might have worked well on a more existential plane, I submit, is Bad Day At A Berkeley Lab.

Copyright © 2015 by Gary Chew. All rights reserved.

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City of Elk Grove to Hold Workshop on Proposed Kammerer Road Project

February 27, 2015 |

The City of Elk Grove will hold a public meeting next Tuesday to provide information on the proposed Kammerer Road project.

The proposed project will widen and extend Kammerer Road from Highway 99 to Interstate 5. Kammerer Road is on the city's southern border and is part of the larger Southeast Connector project that seeks to build an expressway connecting I-5 in Elk Grove with Highway U.S. 50 in Folsom.

At Tuesday night's meeting participants will have the opportunity to review displays and hear a brief presentation with the project team. A court reporter will be present to record all the comments.

Earlier this week the city released the environmental impact report (EIR) for the project. The EIR is being prepared by the city, Caltrans and Sacramento County.

If members of the public cannot attend next week's meeting, comments can be submitted in a variety of ways including the following:

  • Email - Kammerer.Road@elkgrovecity.org
  • Web - www.egpublicworks.org/kammerer
  • Mail - City of Elk grove, Attention: Christopher Jordan planning manager, 8401 Laguna Palms Way, Elk Grove, CA 95758
  • Phone - 916-478-2222
  • Fax - 916-691-3175  

The 30 day comment period for the project closes at 5 p.m on March 24. Tuesday night's meeting is from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and will be held in the City Council Chamber at City Hall.

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Elk Grove City Council Hears Possible Commuter Route Changes; Tough Decisions Lie Ahead

Written By EGN on Thursday, February 26, 2015 | 11:00

February 26, 2015 |

The five members of the Elk Grove City Council dipped their toes into a matter last night that will require some tough decisions in the coming months. The matter involves a vital, yet often under-appreciated and un-glamorous service vital to many Elk Grove residents - bus and transit services.

At last night's meeting, the city council heard a presentation for the city's transit manager Jean Foletta outlining possible changes to several commuter routes. The changes are being explored because of the anticipated September, 2015 completion of Regional Transit's Blue Line Light Rail to Cosumnes River College.

The specific changes included the elimination of several commuter routes between Elk Grove and downtown Sacramento. In their place, these routes would terminate at the CRC and feed commuters to the Blue Line.

Foletta said feeding Elk Grove commuters to the Blue Line is important to demonstrate that demand exist for light rail services. One of the city's long-term plans is to extend either light rail or rapid bus transit to the city's so-called South East Policy Area.

Following the presentation, City Council Member Steve Detrick asked Foletta about costs and ridership. Foletta said there are about 1,000 unique riders purchasing monthly passes, and the annual costs of the commuter routes are about $4 million.

Doing some rough calculations aloud and questioning Foletta, Detrick confirmed that the monthly cost per rider for the commuter routes was about $340, but the city only charged $100 for a monthly pass.

"So we are subsidizing roughly $240 per month," he said.

"Transit is not making money," Foletta replied.

Council member Darren Suen noted if the commuter route changes happen, it will affect many residents. "This is going to affect people's life significantly," he said.

Mayor Gary Davis said if the routes were significantly altered it would be a major change for commuters. He went on to say he was concerned current riders may abandon mass transit.  

"It is going to fundamentally change peoples' commuting habits," Davis said. "And I have to think it is going to make it longer and more complicated."  

During public comment, Elk Grove resident Darren Keenan said if the commuter routes take riders to stations for transfers to the Blue Line, commute times could increase.

"It looks to me that it would take me 90 minutes to get to work," Keenan said. "If that's what happens, I'd be back in the car, straight up."

When the council deliberated following public comment, the same concerns about costs and convenience factors for riders were again expressed. Before any changes are made, the council promised extensive public outreach on the matter.

"I want it to be public outreach to get input," Vice Mayor Pat Hume noted. "Not public outreach to provide information." 

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'99 Cent Only' Elk Grove Appeal Pulled, Will Be Heard at Later Date

February 26, 2015 |


Value-conscious shoppers will have to wait a while longer to see if 99 Cent Only stores will open a store in Elk Grove. 

At last night's city council meeting, it was announced that the City of Commerce [Calif.]-based retailer asked for a continuance of their appeal to the Elk Grove City Council. The appeal was a result of the recent denial by the Elk Grove Planning Commissions of their application to rezone a 3.48-acre parcel on Elk Grove-Florin Road from office to retail use where the retailer is trying to build a stand-alone facility.

The planning commission denied their rezone request citing several concerns including security and the existing inventory of suitable retail space in the city. By right, any applicant who is denied by the planning commission can appeal to the city council.

The hearing is scheduled to take place at the city council's March 25, 2015 meeting. 

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Field Poll Reveals Most California Voters Oppose Brown's 'Big Government Projects'

Written By EGN on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 | 18:50

By Dan Bacher | February 25, 2015 |

A Field Poll released on February 24 revealed that Governor Jerry Brown continues to receive "strong approval" from California voters, but the same voters oppose his big government spending projects, including the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the twin tunnels.

The poll results find nearly 56-percent of the state's voters approving of Brown's performance in office, while 32-percent disapprove. 

However, then asked to consider three negative statements that have been made about the Governor, a 57-percent majority agrees with one of them – “favors too many big government projects that the state cannot afford right now.” 

Although not specifically mentioned in the survey, the "big government projects" they were referring to include the high speed rail project and the twin tunnels plan, the controversial "legacy" public works projects of the Brown administration.

This view is held by 76-percent of Republicans and 56-percent of the state's non-partisans, but a smaller percentage (45-percent) of the state's Democrats.

Restore the Delta (RTD), opponents of Governor Jerry Brown’s rush to build water export tunnels that would drain the Delta and doom sustainable farms, salmon and other Pacific fisheries, responded today to the Field Poll finding that the majority of California voters believe the Governor "favors too many big government projects the state cannot afford right now.”

The voters’ response is understood, including by the pollster, to include the Delta tunnels, according to RTD.

“Voters do not support the massive water export tunnels project," said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of RTD. "Governor Brown must rethink his water policies, and embrace a new, sustainable water solution. Governor Brown does have the vision and experience to recognize a dead end, and to abandon the doomed BDCP tunnels, which violate the Clean Water Act, degrade Delta families’ drinking water, and threaten salmon extinction.” 

“For $67 billion, Californians get no new water, lose our fisheries and spend generations paying to subsidize huge, unsustainable industrial agriculture on unsuitable, drainage impaired Westside San Joaquin Valley lands," stated Barrigan-Parrilla. "That money would be better spent on alternatives that will make more water available to all Californians: recycling, storm water capture, conservation, groundwater cleanup and recharge etc. It’s time for a new, sustainable solution that makes new water, creates long-term jobs, promotes regional water independence and preserves fisheries and sustainable farms.”  

She compared Governor Brown's massive tunnels with a sustainable water solution, as embodied in the Environmental Water Caucus Responsible Exports Plan

The tunnels would cost $67 billion, while a sustainable water solution would cost $20 billion

The tunnels would create no new water, while a sustainable water solution would create 5 to 10 million acre feet of water.

The tunnels would create 10,000 short-term construction jobs and destroy thousands of Delta farming and Pacific fisheries-related jobs, while a sustainable water solution would create thousands of long-term jobs installing water-saving devices and replacing the infrastructure.

The tunnels would mainly benefit huge mega-growers irrigating toxic, drainage impaired land on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, while a sustainable water solution would benefit ALL Californians. 

There is no doubt that Governor's Brown's approval ratings would slip well below 50 percent if the mainstream media and corporate "environmental" NGOs would stop greenwashing the Governor's environmental record and report the truth about Brown's war on fish, water and the environment. 

Not only has Brown rushed the Bay Delta Conservation Plan to build the peripheral tunnels, but he has overseen the expansion of fracking in California; has approved the creation of oil industry-friendly "marine protected areas" under the corrupt Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative; has presided over record water exports from the Delta in 2011; and has brought Delta smelt, longfin smelt, Central Valley steelhead and Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon closer to extinction.

The truth about Governor Brown's environmental record can be viewed here

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Sikh Community Leader's to Speak at Elk Grove-South County Democratic Club Monthly Meeting

February 25, 2015 |

A noted member of the local Sikh community will be the guest speaker at the March meeting of the Elk Grove - South County Democratic Club. 
Winty Singh.

Scheduled to make a presentation to the group is Winty Singh, who is a volunteer for the Sikh Coalition. Formerly a senior planning analyst for Sutter Health, Singh will discuss the area's Sikh population and with an emphasis on their culture and religion.

In addition to Mr. Singh, two other prominent members of the Sikh community, attorney Amar Shergill and educator Dr. Bindi Gewal, will join in on the discussion. The meeting is open to the public and will be held at 6:30 p.m., on Tuesday, March 10 at the Elk Grove Public Library.

For further information, please contact club President Dan Schmitt, President, at (916) 687-8744 or egscdems@gmail.​com.

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State Senators Pan, Allen to Deliver Vaccination Petition Supporting SB 277

Written By EGN on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 | 19:00

February 24, 2015 |

Following the recent outbreak of measles and the increased awareness of the importance of vaccinations, California State Senators Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) and Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) will deliver a petition to lawmakers urging the closure of the so-called vaccination loophole.

The 25,000 signatures on the petition urging stricter vaccination laws were gathered in response to the efforts of Karl Krawitt, father of a 7-year old cancer survivor. Krawitt, with the help of MoveOn.org, organized the signature-gathering effort. 

Because of a loophole, parents can claim personal beliefs exemption to children enrolled in public schools. Since the recent measles outbreak, Krawitt has expressed concern that his son Rhett, whose immune system is weakened by chemotherapy treatments, is unnecessarily being put at risk by unvaccinated children. 

Pan, a pediatrician, and Allen have also introduced Senate Bill 277 to repeal the personal belief exemption. SB 277 will require that only children that have been immunized for various diseases, including measles and Pertussis (whopping cough), be admitted to a public school in California. The bill will also require schools to notify parents of immunization rates at their child’s school.  Currently, 32 other states have similar laws.

“It is our duty and responsibility to protect all children who attend schools in California,” Pan said. “SB 277 was introduced because parents are speaking up and letting us know that current laws are not enough to protect their kids. As a pediatrician I have personally witnessed the suffering caused by diseases that are preventable, and I am very grateful to all those parents who are speaking up as a result of the recent measles outbreak.”

The petitions will be delivered tomorrow at Allen's office in the State Capitol, Room 2054, at noon.  


19:00 | 5 comments | Read More

'Fiesta' Fundraiser This Friday to Benefit the Elk Grove Lions Club

February 24, 2015 |

A fundraiser to help the local Lions Club replace valuable equipment that was stolen from the service club will be held this Friday in Elk Grove.

Last month about $20,000 of cooking equipment belonging to the Elk Grove Lions Club was stolen from their storage facility near the Elk Grove Senior center. The Elk Grove Lions used the food-preparation equipment at numerous community and fundraising events.

"As a Lion member myself, we were all devastated when the cooking equipment we rely on so much was stolen,” Teresa Rodriguez, a Lions club member and organizer of the event said. “But our club will rally back and we will be stronger than ever when we get back to work supporting the community.” 

The fundraiser will be held this Friday from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at The Falls Event Center located at 8280 Elk Grove Blvd. Tickets are $25 per person. advance tickets can be purchased by contacting Teresa Rodriguez at ttmrodriguez@gmail.com or 916.606.3905.

Sponsors for the fundraiser donating their special products include Raleys/Belair, Sinful Treats, Above and Beyond Cakes, Pepsi, Pins N Strikes, BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse, Full Throttle Music, Elk Grove Community Connection and the Falls Event Center. Dinner will be provided by La Cocina Taqueria and the event is being organized by Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis and Teresa Rodriguez.

The “fiesta” also includes music, dancing and a raffle whereby local businesses are generously donating prizes all to support the Lions Club. Local businesses are also supporting the Lions Club by buying tables of eight for their employees to attend the event.

“This charity event will not only be extraordinarily fun, but also meaningful,Davis said. "All while celebrating our wonderful community and supporting the Elk Grove Lions Club – just what makes Elk Grove such a great community.” 

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UPDATED - Suspect Arrested in Elk Grove Stabbing Homicide

Written By EGN on Monday, February 23, 2015 | 15:05

Anh Thai.

February 23, 2015 |

Elk Grove Police have detained a suspect following the stabbing murder of an Elk Grove woman earlier this afternoon..

According to police reports, the husband of the 77-year old victim has been detained by police. Another person who was detained with the suspect has been released. 

Crime scene investigator and detectives are on the scene on the 4600 block of Laguna West Way. No motive for the murder has been established at this time.


The suspect has been identified as 84-year old Anh Thai. The victim's name will be released by the Sacramento County Coroner's office pending identification.

According to police reports, officers responded to the residence after receiving a call that a stabbing had taken place. Upon their arrival, officer found a 77-year old female victim had sustained multiple stab wounds.

Emergency medical personnel arrived and determined the victim was deceased. Through investigative efforts, it was determined one of two men at the residence was the suspect.

15:05 | 0 comments | Read More

Man Robbed, Attacked at Elk Grove ATM

February 23, 2015 |

A man was robbed and injured late last night at an Elk Grove ATM. 

According to Elk Grove Police, the 24-year old male victim was using an ATM on the 5000 block of Laguna Boulevard when he was approached by two unknown suspects described as Hispanic male adults. One of the suspects, who was armed with a baseball bat, struck the victim several times resulting in visible injuries. 

The suspects took an undisclosed amount of cash from the victim and fled in a red sedan driven by an unknown third accomplice. 

11:10 | 2 comments | Read More

Major Changes to Elk Grove's Bus Service to be Considered

Written By EGN on Sunday, February 22, 2015 | 13:50

February 22, 2015 |

At Wednesday night's Elk Grove City Council meeting, possible major changes to the city's etran bus commuter routes will be discussed. 

The proposed route changes would affect the city's numerous commuter routes to downtown Sacramento. The route changes are being explored with the anticipated September, 2015 opening of Sacramento Regional Transit's so-called Blue Line light rail service to Cosumnes River College (CRC) in Sacramento.

The staff report on the item notes the city's general plan calls for integration with all forms of mass transit, including light rail and bus rapid transit.  With the extension of light rail closer to Elk Grove, the city is proposing changing the terminus of these route to light rail stations at CRC and Franklin Boulevard in Sacramento, rather than downtown Sacramento.

The city is exploring the possibility of feeding riders for routes 52, 53, 57, 58, 59 and 60 to the two Blue Line stations. All these morning inbound and afternoon outbound routes conclude and originate in downtown Sacramento respectively.

Another major change would be to route 156, which is the heaviest used local route. This route travels along Elk Grove Boulevard to Bruceville Road, and then on to CRC and the Meadowview Light Rail station with 30 minute frequencies during commute hours.  

The new route would eliminate the CRC stop and would terminate at the Meadowview Station. As a sweetener, frequency during commuter hours would be increased to every 15 minutes.   

Before any decision on route changes are made, the city will hold two public meetings during the 30-day comment period. Wednesday night's city council meeting starts at 6 p.m.  

13:50 | 9 comments | Read More