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Elk Grove Fireworks; Traffic Advisories, Free Bus Service to Elk Grove Regional Park

Written By EGN on Saturday, July 4, 2015 | 00:30


July 4, 2015 |

The City of Elk Grove will celebrate Independence Day with the 19th annual Salute to the Red, White and Blue festivities today at the Elk Grove Regional Park.

Festivities begin at 4 p.m. with the opening of vendor exhibits followed by the “Let Freedom Ride” Bike and Stroller Parade at 5:30 p.m. and entertainment from the Sacramento Single Squares, beach rock music by Safety Orange, and a glow show by Obsidian Butterfly beginning at 6 p.m.  

Opening ceremonies featuring the presentation of the colors and performance of the national anthem by the winner of the City’s 2nd annual O Say Can You Sing national anthem contest.Fireworks will light up Elk Grove’s southeast skies beginning at 9:30 p.m. from the Kloss Softball Complex.

Guests are encouraged to bring their bicycle, wagon or stroller to participate in the parade as well as a blanket and picnic dinner.  Food vendors will have food available for purchase on site.

Admission is free, and parking is $10 per vehicle. Gates open at 7 a.m.  Alcohol, personal fireworks and pets, excluding service animals, are strictly prohibited.  The Park’s dog park and disc golf course amenities will be closed for this event.

E-Tran will run special transit service to the park on July 4 beginning at 4 p.m. The Red and Blue line will provide free service to the park every 15 minutes, compliments of the City. These routes will run continuously until 8:30 p.m. and will resume service at the conclusion of the event.  Service will conclude at 10:30 pm.  For ADA certified passengers, both routes may deviate or travel off route up to ¾ mile to pick up and drop off passengers.  Reservations must be made at least 1 day prior to travel by calling 916.683.8726.  Event transit routes and information will be available on www.e-tran.org.

Vehicle traffic will not be allowed to enter Elk Grove Regional Park after 8:30 p.m. due to the fireworks show. 

The following street closures will be in effect from 5 to 11:30 p.m. on July 4:

  • East Stockton Boulevard at Valley Oak Lane will be closed to all southbound traffic except for emergency vehicles or transit buses.
  • East Stockton Boulevard at Elk Grove Florin Road will be closed to all northbound traffic except for emergency vehicles or transit buses.
The following street closures will be in effect from 9 to 11:30 p.m. on July 4:

  • Elk Grove Boulevard exit from northbound Highway 99 will be closed temporarily after the fireworks show.
  • Southbound East Stockton Boulevard at Elk Grove Boulevard will be closed to all traffic except for emergency vehicles or transit buses.
  • Southbound Elk Grove Florin Road at Elk Grove Boulevard will be closed to all traffic except for emergency vehicles or transit buses.
The following detours will be in effect from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. on July 4:

  • Residential traffic to the east of Elk Grove Regional Park will only be able to exit the area by making a right turn onto northbound Elk Grove-Florin Road towards Bond Road.
  • All southbound traffic on Elk Grove-Florin Road will be diverted westbound onto Valley Oak Lane.
  • All northbound traffic on Elk Grove Florin Road will continue northbound past Elk Grove Boulevard and continue towards Bond Road.  
  • Traffic leaving from the eastside of Elk Grove Regional Park will only be able to turn right onto southbound Elk Grove-Florin Road. Traffic will then be directed to southbound E. Stockton Boulevard then to either Highway 99 or Grant Line Road.
  • Traffic leaving from the west side of Elk Grove Regional Park and westbound on Valley Oak Lane will only be able to turn right onto northbound E. Stockton Boulevard which will lead to Elk Grove Boulevard or the new Highway 99 onramp.
  • Traffic leaving on Valley Oak Lane (east or west) will be allowed access to northbound Elk Grove-Florin Road, northbound E. Stockton Boulevard or northbound Emerald Oak.
  • Traffic exiting from the area of Hampton Oaks Drive, Union Park Way or Elkmont Drive will be directed onto southbound E. Stockton Boulevard towards Grant Line Road.  
For more information, visit www.elkgrovecity.org

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Declaration of Independence


July 4, 2015 |

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only. 
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. 
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: 
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands. 
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

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Elk Grove Gun Shop Targeted by Protesters After Flying Confederate Flag

Written By EGN on Friday, July 3, 2015 | 13:45

July 3, 2015 |

Even though an Elk Grove gun shop decided to move a Confederate flag to the interior of their business, a planned protest took place this morning in Elk Grove.

The protest, which was organized by a group of local activist affiliated with Black Lives Matter (BLM), was staged at Wild Bill's Gun Shop on Grant Line Road  and Stockton Boulevard after that business decided to fly the Confederate flag in the immediate aftermath of a shooting at a Black church in Charleston, SC that left nine people dead.

Organizing the protest was Tanya Faison who led about three dozen people in various chants decrying, among other things, the public display of Confederate flag at the Elk Grove business. Faison noted that following the public outcry, and after speaking to a minister of a Black church, the gun shop owners decided to move the flag to the inside of the business.
BLM protester Me (left) engage in a pointed by civil debate
with Mike (right) on the Confederate flag and freedom of speech.

"We are not accepting this in our city, in our county," Faison said. "Sacramento doesn't do this, California doesn't do this. It has nothing to do with our state."

Also appearing as a counter protest in support of the business were two middle-age men in white shirts and American flag-style ties who were advocating for free speech. One person from the BLM protest who identified himself as Me engaged one of the counter protesters who identified himself as Mike in a pointed, but civil debate on each side's position. 

The other member of the counter-protest was Elk Grove resident Mike Lopes who said he came to show support for the business and their free speech rights. 

"I am tired of seeing the American constitution being trampled," he said. "We support their right to display the flag."

Wild Bill's Gun Shop spokesperson Jacob Shockley said the demonstration was ridiculous, but acknowledged their right to protest. 

"It's their right. They can stay out there as long they remain peaceful and don't block our entrance," Shockley said.

Shockley said the Confederate flag was brought in because they knew the protest was going to happen and to keep things calm. As for future display of the flag, Shockley said they will continue displaying it inside the business, but have not decided if it will move back outdoors.  

This protest drew participants from a wide area including Bay Area resident Maurice X who noted the difference between the American flag and what he called the rebel flag in the context of the Civil War. He said the display of the Confederate flag could be considered treasonous and the gun shop owners were trying to bait the community. 

"They want to try to identify with the rebel flag when they don't know anything about it," X said."The rebel flag was in the direct opposition to the American flag."  



    

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Chew's Reviews - Amy


July 3, 2015 |

Opens today

I would never want Tony Bennett to stop singing, but the legendary crooner surely could do a Dr. Phil television show as great as he sings “I Left My Heart In San Francisco." Why? Well, here's an ad lib Tony drops in the new documentary by Asif Kapadia titled AMY.

“Life teaches you how to live … if you can live long enough to live it.” Tragically, Tony said that after Amy Winehouse had succumbed to all the wealth, fame, booze and drugs that shattered her short life.

How many famous names are on an “Amy Winehouse” list(?) … Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, Billie Holiday, Chet Baker, Bill Evans, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin … sadly the list goes on and on and on.

Don't let me turn you away from AMY. It's way worth more than the price of your ticket. The woman was a true music star with a striking face that Cleopatra would have surely coveted. You'll see Amy's zest for life, songwriting and music that diminish dozens of other well-known and pretty well-known entertainers.

Amy Winehouse might be the most photographed and filmed person to have so far walked the planet. Her father even brings cameramen to an island retreat to which Amy has retreated ... shaking off fans and paparazzi alike. The actual footage I saw of Mr. Winehouse reminded me some of Brian Wilson's manager (played by Paul Giamatti) in the current Beach Boys biopic, LOVE AND MERCY.

Besides Amy's legacy of recordings, there appears to be film, video and still pictures of this tragic figure that would, if laid end to end, run longer than GONE WITH THE WIN and WAR AND PEACE sans intermissions. Several actual moments in her life have been caught on moving picture film to show her wading through a huge herd of paparazzi. The flashes from all the cameras nearly create a continuous blinding light as she and her entourage make their way through the ironical dark side of fame.

Kapadia is an adroit documentarian. Not only has he put the visuals together in an inventive display, but shows commitment to solidly communicating with his audience by often posting English language subtitles of the wild sound conversation of Amy and those around her as well as the lyrics of her songs when you see her singing them … or as a graphic overlay with other actions to drive home the words she has written. The “drive” of her words sometimes “screams” what's going on in her life and how her emotions are trying to cope --- if at all.

Amy's recording session with Bennett is one to file away and look at every once in a while. For me, it's sort of like … suddenly hearing Billie Holiday start to sing on my radio.

Oh, I've been listening to Amy Winehouse sing some of her songs as I write this, by the way. Most of them are in a minor key.

I wouldn't suggest you see AMY and LOVE AND MERCY in one fell swoop like my friend who went with me to see the Winehouse documentary. But you really should take in this picture about a late, great woman who's name will always mean “Beloved.”

Copyright © 2015 by Gary Chew. All rights reserved.


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'Black Lives Matter' Plan Friday Protest at Elk Grove Gun Shop Flying Confederate Flag

Written By EGN on Thursday, July 2, 2015 | 16:55


July 2, 2015 |

A local contingent of the national "Black Lives Matter" movement will be protesting Friday morning at an Elk Grove gun shop that decided to fly the Confederate Flag in the aftermath of the South Carolina killings.

The protest will take place at Wild Bill's Old West Trading Company on East Stockton Boulevard and Grant Line Road in Elk Grove. The BLM is protesting the establishment's decision to fly the Confederate Flag in a show of support following many retail and government entities decision to either discontinue sales or removal of the flag. Nationally, the removal of the flag has occurred following the killing of nine people in a Black church in Charleston, SC.

In media reports shop owner Jacob Shockley said the decision to fly the flag was a free speech matter and not meant as a racist statement.

"We don't want to be a puppet of the government," Shockley told News 10. "The government can't tell us what to do."

In a press release organizers said "BLM activists and supporters from Sacramento and surrounding areas have said 'there is no room in this area to allow the flying of that southern racist flag.'" 

According to organizers, about 50 people are expected to show up for the protest. More information on the protest is available on Facebook.   

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Elk Grove to Host Saturday Morning Meeting to Discuss Proposed Sports Complex



July 2, 2015 |


The City of Elk Grove will conduct a morning workshop on a proposed multi-sport complex next week at city hall.

The workshop will discuss possible uses for the 100-acre Grant Line Road parcel the city purchased last fall. Phase one improvements could include up to 12 multi-sport tournament fields.  

City staff will provide a brief presentation and refined concept plans to assist with the discussion. The meeting will be held at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 11 in the city council chambers at City Hall. 

For more information about the workshop, please contact Jonathan Mitchell, Senior Engineer, at (916) 478-2234 or jmitchell@elkgrovecity.org. 



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Woman Robbed During Possible Staged Accident in Elk Grove



July 2, 2015 |

A 40-year old woman was robbed after what appears to be a staged car accident yesterday morning in Elk Grove.

According to Elk Grove Police, the victim was operating her vehicle on the 8600 block of Power Inn Road when she was rear-ended by a dark colored two door sedan. When the victim exited her vehicle, a passenger in the sedan that rear-ended her car reached into her car and grabbed her purse.

The victim grabbed onto her purse only to have it ripped out of her hands by the suspect. The suspect fled on foot and the car involved in the accident drove away. 

The suspect was described as possibly being a Hispanic male approximately 5`8" inches tall. The victim was not injured during the robbery.  
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Elk Grove Armed Robbery Victim Uncooperative With Police

Written By EGN on Wednesday, July 1, 2015 | 20:29


July 1, 2015

An Elk Grove man who fought an armed robber inside his apartment became uncooperative with police investigating the matter early Tuesday morning.

According to Elk Grove Police, the 26-year old victim was in his dwelling at the Waterman Square Apartments on Waterman and Bond roads when an adult male brandishing a handgun entered through an unlocked door. Once inside the apartment, the victim fought with the suspect causing the suspect to flee empty handed.

The victim, who suffered visible injuries during the struggle, became uncooperative with police during the investigation. The suspect was described as a Black male adult wearing a red hooded shirt or sweatshirt.  




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Elk Grove Police Seek Armed Bank Robbery Suspect

Written By EGN on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 | 18:10


June 30, 2015 |

Elk Grove Police are seeking a suspect in connection with an armed bank robbery this afternoon.

At approximately 3:45 p.m., the suspect (pictured above and below) entered the Schools Financial Credit Union on Laguna Boulevard and approached a teller.  The suspect demanded money then brandished a handgun at the teller.  

The employee complied with the demands, and after being given an undisclosed amount of currency, the suspect exited the bank and was last seen walking away from the location in a southbound direction.  

The suspect is described as an African-American male, approximately forty years of age, five feet seven inches tall (5’7”) with a thin build. The suspect was wearing a gray caddy cap, black framed glasses, a gray shirt and khaki pants.

Anyone with information regarding this robbery is asked to call the Elk Grove Police Department Detective Bureau at (916) 478-8060 or Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP (4357).  Callers to Crime Alert can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00.  Tips can also be sent via SMS text message by entering CRIMES (274637) on a cell phone, followed by Tip732 (agency identification number) and the message.


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Unknown Shoplifter Threatens Store Employee in Elk Grove Shoplifting Incident

June 30, 2015 |

A retail employee was threatened following an alleged shoplifting incident yesterday afternoon in Elk Grove.

According to Elk Grove Police, an unknown was observed shoplifting at the Walgreens drugstore on the 7200 block of Laguna Boulevard. After the male suspect left the store without paying, he was approached by a store employee.

When the employee asked the suspect to return the merchandise, the suspect threatened the employee who withdrew. The suspect fled the location in maroon colored vehicle.

The suspect was described as a Black male adult, in his 20's, 6'1", 150 lbs., wearing a white shirt and blue jeans. The employee was not injured during the theft. 


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Elk Grove's Diversity Not Reflected in City's Work Force, Police Department

Written By EGN on Monday, June 29, 2015 | 15:15



June 25, 2015 |

Does the City of Elk Grove and its police department have a staff of employees that matches the city's well known and celebrated diversity?

This is a question that was examined as a follow-up to a story analyzing the historical makeup of the Elk Grove City Council compared to the population of the city's racial composition. Gender representation of the city council was also examined.

In a new analysis of the employees of the City of Elk Grove and its police department found that current staffing does not reflect the current composition of the population. According to data from the U.S. Census, as of 2013 Elk Grove's population is as follow:
  • White - 46.1-percent
  • Blacks African American - 11.2-percent
  • Latino - 18.0-percent
  • Asian 26.2-percent
  • Two or more races - 7.9-percent
  • Hawaiian Pacific Islander - 1.2-percent
  • Native American 0.6-percent
The city's payroll has an over representation of White employees, is almost even for Hispanics and under-represented for Black and Asian Pacific Islanders. The city currently has 80-full time permanent employees, 53 of whom are female. The report does not show A.D.A. statistics.

According to information in 2013 filings with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Elk Grove's non-law enforcement employment is 68.25-percent or 55 White; Black, five employees 6.25-percent; Hispanic,  14 employees 17.25-percent; and Asian-Island Pacific, six employees, 7.5 percent.

In terms of salaries, 38 of the city's 80 employees earn over $70,000 annually - the highest reporting category listed on the form. Of that group,  34 were White, three Hispanic, one Asian Pacific Islander and 21 were females.

Of the city's five Black employees, none were employed in the highest pay category; two were employed in the $33,000-42,900 category; one in the $43,000-54,900 category; and two in the $55,000-$69,900 category. The city has three Black female and two male employees.

Elk Grove City Manager Laura Gill did not respond to an email request seeking comment on the city's current composition of employees and efforts if any, it is employing to diversity the workforce. The figures posted above do not include any employee working for the city through contractors.

Similarly, of the Elk Grove Police Department's 199 full-time employees, the report showed an over-representation of White employees; a close Hispanic representation; and an under-representation of Asian Pacific Islanders and Blacks. As of the 2013 report, there were 69 females employees.

Of the 199 employees, 148 or 74-percent were white, 10 or 5-percent were Black, 26 or 13-percent were Hispanic; and 15 or 8-percent were Asian Pacific Islander.

Police Chief Robert Lehner acknowledged like many departments across the country, Elk Grove is challenged to diversify its workforce to better reflect its population. One of the biggest challenges Lehner says is simply attracting applicants to a career in law enforcement.

"For various reasons that we’re trying to improve, many minorities do not view a police career as something that would be interesting to them," Lehner said. "That’s much more of an impediment to diverse hiring than any other factor, including background qualifications."


Lehner added that anecdotally, he observed those minorities who apply tend to have better background checks and are less of an issue than for white applicants.   

Concurring with Lehner's assessment of the career attractiveness problem was Dr. Tod Burke, PhD., Associate Dean & Professor of Criminal Justice College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences, Radford University. 

"You want to get a police department as representative of the community as possible," he said. "However that is not always possible." 

Like Lehner, Burke said recruitment of minority candidates is a challenge faced by police departments nationally.

"Certain populations are not interested in a career in law enforcement," he said. "So our job, really, is to make it attractive and to show the benefits to work in a diverse community."    

Along those lines, Lehner said Elk Grove is seeking diversity on a number of fronts including participating in job fairs and various outreach programs to area youth promoting law enforcement as a career. Another challenged facing all departments is there are more positions available than there are qualified candidates, and there is intense competition for those candidates.

"The job market right now for a police officer is that, if you’re qualified, you’ll be hired and that applicant pool is not balanced," Lehner said. "For these reasons, the demographics of those hired in our profession presently pretty much matches the qualified applicant pool."

Desirable as having a diverse police force is, notwithstanding that, Burke noted law enforcement can still have positive relations with the community. He cited community policing, which Elk Grove uses, as the type of program that can help foster strong community relations. 

"It is all about training, it's about the policies, it's about the transparency," Burke added.  





     

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It's Blackberry Season in Elk Grove

Written By EGN on Sunday, June 28, 2015 | 12:00


June 28, 2015 |

It is almost the Fourth of July, and that means one more thing for Elk Grove - blackberries abound!

If you are so inclined, now is the time to find your favorite blackberry bramble and start picking. In just a little more than an hour this morning, two of us visited our favorite bramble and picked five-pounds of the juicy treats.

Brambles are located throughout the city, but for our non-rural residents, they abound along the greenbelts and trails throughout the city. The brambles have lots of thorns, so wear pants and long sleeves when picking and be prepared to get a few thorns in your fingertips as your pick.

The reward is worth a few pin-pricks to your pinkies.

Once you have them, there are endless possibilities on how to enjoy them. They are great eating as is, or you can add them as a sweet topping to yogurt, pancakes or waffles. The possibilities are endless.

Aside from toppings on yogurt, our favorite is blackberry pie. Here are links to a filling recipe, and more importantly, the very good vodka crust recipe.

To paraphrase Ron Popeil, don't delay, act now - supplies are limited!






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Ranking the Elk Grove City Council Members


June 28, 2015 |

As we approach the halfway point of 2015 and the 15th anniversary of Elk Grove's incorporation, now is a good time to rank the five members of our city council. This rankings will start with the best and work down. We invite you to post your rankings.

1. Pat Hume 

Vice Mayor Pat Hume has been in the city government from the beginning having served as an original planning commission until his 2006 election to the city council. This length of service gives Hume an unmatched institutional knowledge of the city. While there are a number of issues facing the city such as the sphere of influence application that seeks to greatly expand the city that we disagree with him on, Hume has generally never tried to hide what his agenda as a council member has been.

2. Darren Suen

As one of two new city council members taking oath just over six months ago, Suen has displayed a great depth of knowledge on planning issues, His background working for area real estate developers has served him well. Suen can grow into very good council member, but he ought to stand firm for his true beliefs, whatever they might be, and consult community members or staff for more historical information so he can understand issues facing the city.    

3. Gary Davis 

By virtue of being on the council since 2006 when he and Hume were swept into office, Mayor Davis has the second deepest well of knowledge on the dais. As our city's first directly elected mayor, Davis has erroneously focused his energies on projects that are risky to taxpayers, made promises that are increasingly becoming unattainable, while turning a deaf ear to mundane, but equally important issues such as addressing road maintenance. On the positive side, in the last six months the Mayor has not hatched any new plans and seems to be backing away from his bluster on things like attracting a Major League Soccer club.

4. Steve Ly

The good news for Steve Ly is that if we had ranked him early on during his short tenure, he would have been in the cellar. The new council member seems unprepared during council deliberations based on his irrelevant or softball questions. Ly needs to bone-up on his agenda packet, come to council meetings fully prepared and realize he no is longer on the campaign trail. Ly now has to get his hands dirty in the nuts-and-bolts of mindful governance. 

5. Steve Detrick

If you had asked the legion of supporters who walked precincts, made phone calls, and got-out-the-vote for the second term council member during his 2008 campaign, that Council Member Detrick would have become a disappointment, few would have believed it. Detrick has disappointed that legion on several fronts. In the last six months alone his silence on the flap with the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) and his recent advocacy to have one of his sons awarded The Key to the City, have not helped. The good news for Detrick is short of some unforeseen legal crisis, he will probably continue to receive the money he needs from real estate developers to fund his activities.   

What are your thoughts?     


07:30 | 15 comments | Read More

Elk Grove to Celebrate Independence Day With Annual Firework Show

Written By EGN on Saturday, June 27, 2015 | 06:15


June 27, 2015 |

The City of Elk Grove will celebrate Independence Day with the 19th annual Salute to the Red, White and Blue festivities on July 4 at the Elk Grove Regional Park.

Festivities begin at 4 p.m. with the opening of vendor exhibits followed by the “Let Freedom Ride” Bike and Stroller Parade at 5:30 p.m. and entertainment from the Sacramento Single Squares, beach rock music by Safety Orange, and a glow show by Obsidian Butterfly beginning at 6 p.m.  

Opening ceremonies featuring the presentation of the colors and performance of the national anthem by the winner of the City’s 2nd annual O Say Can You Sing national anthem contest.Fireworks will light up Elk Grove’s southeast skies beginning at 9:30 pm from the Kloss Softball Complex.

Guests are encouraged to bring their bicycle, wagon or stroller to participate in the parade as well as a blanket and picnic dinner.  Food vendors will have food available for purchase on site.

Admission is free, and parking is $10 per vehicle. Gates open at 7 am.  Alcohol, personal fireworks and pets, excluding service animals, are strictly prohibited.  The Park’s dog park and disc golf course amenities will be closed for this event.

E-Tran will run special transit service to the park on July 4 beginning at 4:00 pm. The Red and Blue line will provide free service to the park every 15 minutes, compliments of the City. These routes will run continuously until 8:30 pm and will resume service at the conclusion of the event.  Service will conclude at 10:30 pm.  For ADA certified passengers, both routes may deviate or travel off route up to ¾ mile to pick up and drop off passengers.  Reservations must be made at least 1 day prior to travel by calling 916.683.8726.  Event transit routes and information will be available on www.e-tran.org.

Vehicle traffic will not be allowed to enter Elk Grove Regional Park after 8:30 pm due to the fireworks show. 

The following street closures will be in effect from 5 to 11:30 p.m. on July 4:

  • East Stockton Boulevard at Valley Oak Lane will be closed to all southbound traffic except for emergency vehicles or transit buses.
  • East Stockton Boulevard at Elk Grove Florin Road will be closed to all northbound traffic except for emergency vehicles or transit buses.
The following street closures will be in effect from 9:00 pm to 11:30 pm on July 4:

  • Elk Grove Boulevard exit from northbound Highway 99 will be closed temporarily after the fireworks show.
  • Southbound East Stockton Boulevard at Elk Grove Boulevard will be closed to all traffic except for emergency vehicles or transit buses.
  • Southbound Elk Grove Florin Road at Elk Grove Boulevard will be closed to all traffic except for emergency vehicles or transit buses.
The following detours will be in effect from 8:30 pm to 11 p.m. on July 4:

  • Residential traffic to the east of Elk Grove Regional Park will only be able to exit the area by making a right turn onto northbound Elk Grove-Florin Road towards Bond Road.
  • All southbound traffic on Elk Grove-Florin Road will be diverted westbound onto Valley Oak Lane.
  • All northbound traffic on Elk Grove Florin Road will continue northbound past Elk Grove Boulevard and continue towards Bond Road.  
  • Traffic leaving from the eastside of Elk Grove Regional Park will only be able to turn right onto southbound Elk Grove-Florin Road. Traffic will then be directed to southbound E. Stockton Boulevard then to either Highway 99 or Grant Line Road.
  • Traffic leaving from the west side of Elk Grove Regional Park and westbound on Valley Oak Lane will only be able to turn right onto northbound E. Stockton Boulevard which will lead to Elk Grove Boulevard or the new Highway 99 onramp.
  • Traffic leaving on Valley Oak Lane (east or west) will be allowed access to northbound Elk Grove-Florin Road, northbound E. Stockton Boulevard or northbound Emerald Oak.
  • Traffic exiting from the area of Hampton Oaks Drive, Union Park Way or Elkmont Drive will be directed onto southbound E. Stockton Boulevard towards Grant Line Road.  
For more information, visit www.elkgrovecity.org, follow the City of Elk Grove on Facebook or Twitter, or call the City of Elk Grove at 478.3632



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Elk Grove Police Arrest Man on Suspicion of Domestic Violence, Kidnapping

Written By EGN on Friday, June 26, 2015 | 11:30

June 25, 2015 |

A man arrested on suspicion of domestic violence charges is also facing felony kidnapping charges.

According to Elk Grove Police, 19-year old Revlon LaShay Scoggins Jr. of Sacramento was involved in an argument with his victim that escalated into a physical confrontation. During the course of the confrontation, Scoggins allegedly grabbed his vicitm by the wrist and forced the victim to walk with him.

Scoggins was arrested and booked into the county jail where he is facing two misdemeanor charges of domestic violence, one misdemeanor narcotic charge, and a felony kidnapping charge. He is being held on $110,000 bail.   

The victim was issued an emergency protective order. 
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Elk Grove Rates as Best in Sacramento Region For Young Couples


June 26, 2015 |

UPDATED 2:55 p.m.

Elk Grove is the best city in the Sacramento region for young couples according to a ranking released today.

The rankings, which was compiled by real estate brokerage website Movoto, placed Elk Grove at the top of 11 cities in the region for young couple. Elk Grove outpaced other notable regional cities such as Roseville, Rocklin and Folsom.

In their ranking, Movoto noted Elk Grove's low crime rates, high graduation rate and number of young couples already calling the city home. The ranking also noted Elk Grove ranked high by PlayScore.org because of favorable weather and amenities like parks.

Rounding out the top five regional cities were Roseville, Rocklin, Folsom and Galt. Granite Bay was ranked 10th. The ranking method can be viewed here.


"Being ranked the best suburb in the region for young couples illustrates and amplifies all that is enjoyable about our quality of life in Elk Grove," Mayor Gary Davis said in response to the top ranking. "Good public schools, nice trails and parks, ample shopping and restaurants, and numerous active civic organizations make our civic fabric strong."

The quote from Mayor Davis was added at 2: 55 p.m.

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Chew's Reviews - Me and Earl and The Dying Girl


June 26, 2015 |

Opens today

David Letterman finished off decades of late night television last month with these words just for his wife and son in the audience, “I love you both and nothing else really matters, does it?” Letterman's closing shot, after saying “Well, that's all I got,” made me think of another short burst of truth coming in a quote from Albert Camus, “I know of only one duty, and that is to love.”

Now you know what Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is about, but the message is more complicated in its telling. The movie recently rattled the rafters at Sundance. It was written and directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon of Laredo, Texas, USA.

I'm cautious of movies that have at their core a character who is terminally ill. It seems that to play on sympathy is a lazy way to involve an audience. That's not the case with Gomez-Rejon. He works hard at making you laugh your butt off while watching, then pushes it to you that sometimes, human beings really can be absolutely full of grace if they but bite the “bullet” and, by golly, just go on and do it.

Gomez/Rejon has placed the “bullet” in Greg's mouth. Greg is played by a 24-year-old actor out of Portland, OR. His name is Thomas Mann, and not to be confused with a guy who used to write stuff in Germany and winning a Nobel Prize in 1929 before he had to flee Deutschland.

Greg's mom (played Connie Britton) is the “person with the bullet.” She tells Greg that one of his high school classmates has leukemia. Mom thinks Greg should give the girl some attention even though Greg says he only sort of knows her. You know how moms can be: “Greg, you will do it anyway.” Greg's eccentric father, who always seems to be unshaven, draped in a bathrobe and eating something from the fridge, concurs with his wife and also leans on Greg a little. At this point I have to add that Nick Offerman plays the dad. Gomez-Rejon couldn't have picked a better dude for the part. You've seen Offerman, among other things, in Parks and Recreation andWe're The Millers. You've heard him doing the voice of Bob's father in Bob's Burgers. (But don't tell yo Mama that you watch theBurgers series.)

Rachael (Brit actor, Olivia Cooke of Bates Motel) is unreceptive to Greg's “drop-by” at her house. Rachael's a smart young woman and knows what's up. Greg knows that she's knows that he knows. It's pretty awkward. And despite Rachael's circumstance, it's pretty funny for us; Gomez/Rejon knows how to sugar coat his message with mirth, ironically sweeping away the icky goo that sometimes stymies such stories we're more often expected to swallow.

Although the script is somewhat predictable, it stands so much taller than most movies with the same theme. Surprises are strewn into the “been-there-done-that” and comedic material.

To a great extent, Earl (RJ Cyler) generates lots of chuckles with his pithy street talk. I especially liked it when Earl --- as a young boy in flashback --- barks at a kitty on the porch with, “... you punk ass cat!” It's in the trailer too. There's no sex; and very refreshing it is for a young guy and a young gal hung up --- only --- on being two human beings who, first of all, are simply friends. PG-13.

Copyright © 2015 by Gary Chew. All rights reserved.

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Free Basic Backyard Composting Class Offered This Saturday Morning

Written By EGN on Thursday, June 25, 2015 | 21:00



June 25, 2015 |

The City of Elk Grove and the Cosumnes Community Services District will be offering a free composting class this Saturday morning.

Saturday, June 27, 2015 
10 a.m. to 12 p.m. 
Elk Grove Community Garden 
10025 Hampton Oak Drive, Elk Grove, CA

When you attend the free class you will receive a free bag of compost and a free starter compost bin. RSVP is required. Call Republic Services at (916) 438-5037 to reserve your spot today. Deadline to RSVP: June 26, 2015.


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Vaccine Bill Passes Assembly; Cooper Offers Floor Speech Decrying Fear Mongering Opponents


June 25, 2015 |

One of the most contentious bills of this legislative session has been Senate Bill 277 that would eliminate most personal belief exemptions for school children vaccinations. Today the California Assembly passed the bill ,co-authored by Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), by a 46 to 30 vote.

Prior to the vote, Assembly Member Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) made a floor speech in support of the legislation. In his speech, Cooper decried critics who he said vaccinations cause autism in Black children. 

"There is no scientific evidence that to suggest that Black children are at a high risk for autism due to vaccines," Cooper said. "African-American children actually have one of the highest immunization rates. The opposition efforts to make this a racial issue by spreading misinformation and fear is wrong and shameful."

Copper also called threats made against Senators and Assembly Members "shameful."

The bill will now go back to the Senate for reconciliation before it moves on to Gov. Jerry Brown who is expected to sign it into law. If enacted, California would be the third state that would permit only medical-exemptions for school children vaccinations.   

 
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