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Elk Grove Police Will Increase Holiday Patrols in Shopping Centers

Written By EGN on Friday, November 27, 2015 | 00:30

November 27, 2015 |

Starting today through December 24, Elk Grove Police will increase the number of officers on patrol in local shopping centers. The increased presence will allow officers to focus on suspicious activity occurring in and around shopping centers, which historically have experienced a seasonal increase in criminal activity.

Officers will be patrolling local shopping areas throughout Elk Grove as part of a proactive approach designed to reduce crime, increase visibility and educate the community on how to be more careful, prepared and aware during the holiday shopping season. These patrols will be conducted by officers in marked patrol vehicles, unmarked vehicles and on foot.  

As a reminder, the Elk Grove Police Department would like to provide the following holiday safety tips:

• Keep packages and other valuables in the car trunk and out of sight.
• Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
• Carry a purse under your arm with the strap across your body.
• Put wallets in an inside pocket of your jacket or front pants pocket. 
• Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
• If shopping after dark, shop with a friend if possible.  
• Always park your car in a well-lit area.
• Always check the interior of your car before you unlock the door to get in.
• Lock your car doors and windows even if you are only gone for a few minutes.

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Happy Thanksgiving Elk Grove!

Written By EGN on Thursday, November 26, 2015 | 00:00

November 26, 2015 |

Thank you to all the regular readers, reader-editors and contributors to Elk Grove News.

Happy Thanksgiving!

More funny Thanksgiving cartoons below.

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Chew's Reviews - Trumbo

Written By EGN on Wednesday, November 25, 2015 | 21:30

By Gary Chew | November 25, 2015 |

Opens today

After working in commercial radio for about four years, I met a person who soon became my mentor on how to be get better at talking on a microphone. The man was well read. Among his many interests was Hollywood. Other than history, politics and every newspaper and magazine, it seems, he read gossipy and interesting books about film stars, producers, directors, film composers and the like. 

My mentor used to talk about Dalton Trumbo and the phenomenon in the late Forties and Fifties known as the Hollywood Ten or Blacklist. I hardly had a political bone in my body ... I thought.

Decades have past since I learned of Trumbo, his left wing politics and the more famous people around him who were either for Trumbo or against him. Even now, most of the names are well known: John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Ronald Reagan, Hedda Hopper, Edward G. Robinson, Louis B. Mayer, etc.

Yes it's been a long time, especially after reading of the tribulations of Dalton Trumbo (a biography by Bruce Cook*) to finally see a biopic about this Oscar winning screenwriter and novelist. And as luck would have it, Jay Roach, the director of Trumbo, got Bryan Cranston to play Trumbo. Cranston has to be one of today's hottest actors. His brilliant portrayal of “Walter White” in Breaking Bad has put Cranston at the top of the list of en vogue leading men. Cranston has come quite a way: earlier on, he was the father in the TV series, Malcom In The Middle. He's just wrapped on playing LBJ in All The Way for an upcoming HBO mini-series. Cranston recently won a Tony for that role on Broadway.

If you're not a progressive or what used to be known as a Liberal, Trumbo is probably not for you. Likely, only old school Liberals won't feel like throwing a rotten tomato or two at this movie, even though I'm sure the Rotten Tomatoes bunch will give it a high percentage mark.

Trumbo is one of those “The Best Movie Of The Year” type motion pictures. Helen Mirren is cast as Hopper, the ubiquitous Hollywood gossip columnist. (Think about that for a moment!) Whenever Mirren appears on the screen in Trumbo, it made me think of either Ann Coulter or Ayn Rand. 
Diane Lane plays Trumbo's wife Cleo. I remember Lane coming to my former stomping grounds in Tulsa, Oklahoma for the shooting of two of her early films from the mid Eighties, The Outsiders and Rumble Fish, both directed by Francis Ford Coppola.

Trumbo spent nearly a year in a federal prison for Contempt of Congress for not playing ball with the House Un-American Activities Committee with Senator Joseph McCarthy on hand. Trumbo had joined the Communist Party shortly after WWII. His timing was historically disastrous. Finally, he resorted to writing movie scripts under pseudonyms to earn a living for his wife and three children. But along the way under a phony name, he won an Oscar with his script for a genuinely excellent movie that starred Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck called Roman Holiday. Then with the gravitas of Kirk Douglas and Otto Preminger, Trumbo was able to get his name on later screenplays he adapted for more first rate films, including Spartacus and Exodus. The Hollywood Ten era was so compelling that Woody Allen even appeared in a movie on the topic. It was titled The Front. Woody wasn't the director; that was Martin Ritt.

An item in Cook's biography about Trumbo was not used the movie. In about 1970, he wrote and directed his own film that proved to be a more startling anti-war movie than Stanley Kubrick's classic Paths of Glory. Trumbo had a youthful Donald Sutherland playing a Jesus-like character in that one.  Today, Sutherland is the main villain in THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY II.

Even though John McNamara wrote the script, this real life story of Dalton Trumbo reads and plays much like one written by Dalton Trumbo.
*I recommend Cook's book, Dalton Trumbo, on which the screenplay is based.

Copyright © 2015 by Gary Chew. All rights 

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Elk Grove Holiday Parade This Saturday, Traffic Advisory Issued

November 25, 2015 |

The City of Elk Grove will kick-off the 2015 Holiday season this Saturday with its Holiday Lights Parade and Old Town Dickens Street Faire. 

The Dickens Street Faire is sponsored by the Old Town Foundation and will feature crafters, games, food, entertainment and an appearance by Santa Claus.  

To accommodate the event, road closures and alternative routes around the event have been set up between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.  Motorists are encouraged to plan accordingly.

Street Closures and Detours for Saturday, November 28:

·         Both directions of Elk Grove Blvd from 2nd Street to School Street will be closed from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Use Bond Road as an alternate route.
·         Both directions of Elk Grove Blvd from Elk Grove-Florin Road to Waterman Road will be closed from 6  to 10 p.m.  Use Bond Road as an alternate route.
·         Northbound Elk Grove Florin Road from Emerald Park Drive to Elk Grove Blvd. will be closed from 6 to 8 p.m.  Use East Stockton Blvd, or Waterman Road as an alternate route.

The Dickens Street Faire takes place from 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Streets will remain closed to clear out event vendors and prepare for the Holiday Lights Parade that begins at 6:00 p.m. A new parade route is being introduced this year (see map above).

Nearly 20,000 guests attended this Old Town celebration in 2014. For event details, visit www.oldtowneelkgrove.com
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Chew's Review - Legend; It's an Award-Winning Performance

Written By EGN on Tuesday, November 24, 2015 | 20:00

By Gary Chew | November 24, 2015 |

Following up on the 1990 film, The Krays, now comes Legend. Yes, the real life London crime bosses of the 1960s, Ronald and Reginald Kray were, or I should say ... are ... a legend. This newer picture is, undeniably, a superb vehicle for British actor Tom Hardy to display his remarkable talent playing the dual role of Ronnie and Reggie, the Kray twins. It's an award-winning performance.

Hardy has shown exceedingly well in earlier films such as: Mad Max: Fury Road; The Drop; Locke and Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy. His first feature film was Black Hawk Down (2001). Hardy also now has in the can another go as Mad Max. And the recent soundings from Daniel Craig suggest to me that Hardy would make a bloody good 007. But Craig is still amazing as Bond, but maybe had enough.

Something Legend has working for it are the opposing Kray characters who, besides looking just alike, are totally outrageous in their social interactions. Ronald is gay. Reggie is straight. Ronnie wears glasses, Reggie doesn't. Ronnie slurs though his London East End accent even more that Reggie does, although both are difficult to understand from one end of the movie to the other. I'm thinking I'll watch Legend again when it's available on DVD should the disc come with optional English subtitles for people who seldom hear their own tongue spoken in accents other than those common to the United States. I would only have less understood what Hardy was saying --- in either part --- if he'd spoken in German.

Another thing Legend has working for it is the oblique humor produced by either twin's idiosyncrasies. The best of those is Ronnie's totally open attitude toward a visiting Italian-American mobster known as Angelo Bruno. (Chaz Palmenteri plays him to the nines.) Ronald freely and up front admits to Angelo that the bespectacled Kray is homosexual. Angelo thinks it's a joke, but then becomes totally undone that Ronald is telling it true by simply saying, “I like boys.” (Laughs aplenty, people.)

What doesn't work for Brian Helgelund's movie is trying to sustain a two-hour plus picture with two leading characters no one can muster up any kind of sympathy. Drawing the ironies that are simply daily occurrences in the Kray brothers lives loses it luster by at least the halfway point of the film.
I hastily add: I'm a fan of Helgelund's. He had a hand in two of my favorite crime movies: The Usual Suspects and Mystic River. The narratives of both are compelling even though each is all about villains on the prowl and fighting among themselves. The stories told in those Helgelund's movies caused me not to be so much aware I felt little sympathy for their bad guy characters.

Reggie's ongoing and long suffering love relationship with Francis Shea (Emily Browning) is sadness on celluloid --- if celluloid is the right word today. Browning keep reminding me of a svelte Lulu, the Scottish singer who became popular in the Sixties and seen in To Sir With Love.

Pop music of that day shadows the narrative, giving a stronger foundation for the times of the Krays ---unfortunately, all of it prior the John, Paul, George and Ringo invasion upon the world's eardrum.
The leading actor is the reason to see Legend. And maybe how contemporary cinematography and other newfangled optics can trick you into believing that Tom Hardy can be standing right next to himself in two places at the same time.
Copyright © 2015 by Gary Chew. All rights reserved.

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With SMF in Site, Sacramento Regional Transit to Hold Workshops on Light Rail Extension

November 24, 2015 |

With an eye towards Sacramento International Airport, Sacramento Regional Transit (RT) will be holding a series of workshops regarding the extension of the so-called Green Line Light Rail.

With the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) forecasting a population growth in the area between downtown Sacramento, north and south Natomas, and the Sacramento International Airport is expected to increase by 36-percent (or 811,000 people) over the next 20 years. The region is showing significant signs of economic recovery, and job growth is leading to housing growth after the building moratorium in Natomas was recently lifted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

This projected development calls for an increase in transportation infrastructure for the area and RT is working to provide access through the Green Line to the Airport light rail extension project. This project will extend the existing Green Line light rail service from the 7th & Richards/Township 9 light rail station on Richards Boulevard to the Sacramento International Airport and provide vital connections to various locations throughout Sacramento, including the Natomas communities.

The project is entering the environmental phase and RT is scheduling meetings that offer an opportunity for the public to provide comments related to the potential environmental effects of the project. Input received will become part of the public record and will be considered during environmental studies.

Staffed information stations with maps and other project materials will be available at the community open house meetings listed below. A brief presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m.

North Natomas
Tuesday, December 1
6. to 8 p.m.
Natomas Park Elementary School
4700 Crest Drive, Sacramento

Downtown Sacramento
Wednesday, December 2
6. to 8 p.m.
Downtown Sacramento Public Library
828 I Street, Sacramento

South Natomas
Thursday, December 3
6. to 8 p.m.
South Natomas Community Center
2921 Truxel Road, Sacramento

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Elk Grove City Councilman Holding Fundraiser as FPPC Financing Irregularities Looms in 2016

November 24, 2015 |

With his reelection race less than a year away, Elk Grove City Council Member Steve Detrick is cranking up the money machine and is holding a major fundraising event next week even as clouds are on his reelection horizon. 

Dubbed the "8th Annual Fundraiser For Councilman Steve Detrick," the event is scheduled for next Tuesday, December 1. According to the press release for the event, the second-term council member representing the city's third district is seeking sponsorship's costing up to $10,000. 

According to his most recent financial disclosures filed with the Elk Grove City Clerk's office, Detrick currently has $10,025 cash on hand in his campaign account. Even though Detrick raised $7,600 in the first six months of this year and $54,010 during the final six months of 2014, much of that cash went to repay loans he and his wife made to the campaign. 

The nature of these loans, how they were handled by Detrick, and the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) have created controversies that could dog him as he seeks a third term in 2016. 

Detrick's biggest controversy involves payments of over $93,000 in legal fees he made from his campaign fund on behalf of his son Brian. The younger Detrick was pursuing a defamation lawsuit against a community activist and had hired the Sacramento-based law firm of Boutin Jones.

Even though Detrick asserted that Brian's defamation lawsuit was related to his political activities and thus could be paid by his campaign funds, the FPPC disagreed and ordered Detrick to personally repay his fund the entire amount. Stating that he had personally repaid the $93,000 to his campaign fund in an October 2014 stipulation agreement, the FPPC agreed to impose a lower fine of $3,500. 

Months later, through an examination of his financial disclosure statements it was discovered that Detrick had in fact not personally repaid his campaign fund the $93,000. Further muddying the picture was the FPPC's admission that said while Detrick had not repaid the fund as he said, there was no further action they could take to compel his repayment.

Prior to that, in June 2014, Detrick was fined $1,500 for using his campaign funds to purchase a $425 vacation package at an auction that he and his wife then used.
While Mike Leary was the "devil-you-know" council member in 
2008, Steve Detrick 
has assumed that same position in 2016 


real estate 

developers and other large political contributors. 

Although these controversies could hurt Detrick with voters, he can draw upon the man he defeated in 2008, former Elk Grove Council Member Mike Leary for inspiration. Like Detrick, Leary was seeking his third term while being saddled with negative political baggage.

In spite of his problems, Leary was able to continue funding his campaign thanks to real estate developers and business interests. Detrick was able to overcome this by lending his campaign over $90,000, which he ultimately repaid himself in large part from the contributors who once funded Leary. 

Sources have told EGN that in spite of Detrick's political problems, they are taking a "devil-you-know" stance and will continue to fund him. Short of a strong grassroots campaign, a candidate backed by another city council member, or someone who is willing to lend themselves up to $100,000, Detrick's fundraising machine should continue to roll and could be reelected. 

For his part, after losing to Detrick, Leary was convicted of misdemeanor real estate fraud against his former girlfriend.  

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Sacramento Defendant Found Guilty of Sexually Assaulting, Robbing Mother-in-law

Written By EGN on Monday, November 23, 2015 | 15:59

November 23, 2015 |

A 47-year old Sacramento man was convicted by a jury today on three counts of forcible sodomy, one count of forcible rape, false imprisonment, sexual battery, robbery, and vehicle theft. 

According to the Sacramento County District Attorney, 47-year old Kevin Andre Brown shared a house with his wife and 55-year old mother-in-law and victim. On January 11, 2013, Brown brutally physically assaulted his victim, strangled her until she lost consciousness, and used phone cords and duct tape to bind her hands and feet. 

Brown then took her ATM card and used her vehicle to go to her bank and withdraw money. When he returned to the house, he sexually assaulted the victim for a period of six to seven hours while intermittently smoking crack cocaine. 

He then fled in the victim’s car and was later taken into custody in Los Angeles. Brown faces a sentence of more than 100 years to life in prison. 

Sentencing is set for January 4, 2016, at 9 a.m. in Department 24 before Judge Shelleyanne Chang. 

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Three People Injured in Suspected Elk Grove Drunk Driving Incident

November 23, 2015 |

A Stockton woman is being held at the Sacramento County jail after a suspected drunk driving accident that resulted in injuries.

According to Elk Grove Police, 53-year old Rebecca Thompson was involved in a collision on Saturday night with another car near Elk Grove Boulevard and Highway 99. Upon contact by police officers, Thompson displayed objective signs of impairment.

Three people in the car Thompson collided were transported to an area hospital for treatment. After being medically cleared, Thompson was arrested and booked into the jail.

She is being held on $70,000 bail for drunk driving and drunk driving causing bodily injury. Thompson is scheduled for arraignment tomorrow afternoon. 
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Liquor Stealing Suspects Flash Handgun, Attack Store Employee During Elk Grove Shoplifting Incident

Elk Frove-Florin Bel Air
November 23, 2015 |

A suspected shoplifter flashed a handgun during a Saturday night shoplifting incident in Elk Grove.

According to Elk Grove Police, two women and one man, described as Hispanic adults in their 20's, were observed running out of the Bel Air store on Elk Grove-Florin and Calvine roads with a basket full of alcoholic beverages. An employee chased the two suspects into the parking lot where they attempted to get into a black Honda Civic. 

The employee was able to get the merchandise back as one of the female suspects struck the employee with the car door several times. The driver, an unidentified Hispanic male adult exited the vehicle and lifted up his shirt displaying what appeared to be a handgun. 

The employee backed away and the three suspects fled in the Honda. The store employee was not injured in the robbery. 

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Assembly Member Jim Cooper To Distribute Turkeys, Offer Health Screenings This Tuesday

Written By EGN on Sunday, November 22, 2015 | 07:40

Jim Cooper turkey giveaway

November 22, 2015 |

In a partnership with local organizations, Assembly Member Jim Cooper (D - Elk Grove) will be conducting a turkey distribution this Tuesday for families needing assistance this Thanksgiving holiday. 

"While our economy is improving and many people are back to work, thousands are still struggling to get by," Cooper said. "That's why this year I decided to host my 1st Annual Thanksgiving Healthy Family Turkey Giveaway."

In addition to the 1,500 turkeys available, free medical screenings and dental kids for in-need families will be available. Cooper and his staff will also be available for constituents. 

Sacramento Kings dancers and team mascot Slamson will be on hand to entertain, take photos, and help pass out turkeys. Turkeys and supplies will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.

"I am committed to helping under-served communities and this holiday season I encourage you to take the time to volunteer in your community to help those truly in need," Copper added. " Your generosity can make a difference in the lives of our friends and our neighbors."

When:  Tuesday, November 24, 2015, 8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. (while supplies last)
Where:  Luther Burbank High School, 3500 Florin Road, Sacramento

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Elk Grove's 2015 Thanksgiving Turkey Trot This Thursday; Traffic Advisory

Elk Grove Turkey Trot 2015
November 22, 2015 |

This Thursday Courage Worldwide will be holding its seventh annual Elk Grove Turkey Trot.

To facilitate the run, a new route has been established for this year's run starting at Longleaf Drive. To accommodate the event, there will be road closures and detours between 6 and 11 a.m. 

Street Closures and Detours for Thursday, November 26:

·         Both directions of Longleaf Drive will be closed from 6 and 11 a.m.  Use Laguna or Elk Grove             Boulevards as alternate routes.
·         Eastbound Bond Road at Highway 99 will be closed until from 8 to 8:30 a.m.
·         Both directions of East Stockton Boulevard between Bond Road and Emerald Vista Drive will              be closed from 8 to 9:15 a.m.
·         Emerald Vista Drive will be controlled for local traffic only from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.
·         All neighborhood traffic east of Highway 99 south of Bond Road and North of Elk Grove Blvd.             within the run route will be controlled for local traffic only from 8:30 10 a.m.
More than 2,000 runners participated in the Turkey Trot in 2014. Registration for the run is available online at www.courageworldwide.org through November 23. 

For more information, contact Courage Worldwide at run@courageworldwide.org or 916-517-1616.

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Is Mayor Gary Davis Committing 'Rancho Cordovacation' of Elk Grove

Written By EGN on Saturday, November 21, 2015 | 10:00

Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis

November 21, 2015 |

Let's start with this disclaimer - we in no way are trying to disrespect the good and hard-working residents of our sister city to the north and east of Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova.

Now that we have that out of the way, let's proceed.

For people who may not closely watch Elk Grove politics, our city's directly elected Mayor, Gary Davis, is a native of Rancho Cordova. Mayor Davis is proud of his roots for which we commend him.

Like most of us, he has used his Rancho Cordova upbringing as a basis for his life decisions and as an elected official. As readers of this news site may note, we often disagree with Mayor Davis.

There is, however, one area where we find common ground with Mayor Davis. That is on the piss-poor planning that has afflicted Rancho Cordova and how that same sort of planning has crept into Elk Grove.

While the Ranco Cordova leaders are trying to correct the numerous sins of Sacramento County planning and all the social ills it has caused, it is an on-going challenge. A cruise down Rancho Cordova's main circuit - Folsom Boulevard - reveals an ugly mishmash of strip centers populated with liquor stores, massage parlors, nail salons, fast food joints, smoke shops, prostitutes, and on the outer rings, topless bars.

On occasion, the mayor has spoken about this and has decried how this negatively affected the community of his youth. The Mayor has often said from the dais, he saw and felt the effects of the horrendous planning in Rancho Cordova at the hands of the County.

We agree with the Mayor. During the July 13, 2013, Elk Grove City Council meeting the mayor spoke and voted against the Walmart application to sell liquor at their Elk Grove Boulevard store. (Watch video below.)

Aside from the numerous, and we will add, hair-brained schemes the mayor has conjured up - think attracting David Beckham and his Major League Soccer franchise to Elk Grove or his desire to transform the city into a tourist destination - he will face another test soon regarding visual blight in Elk Grove.

As EGN reported, three of his fellow council members spoke wholeheartedly on Wednesday, November 18 for erecting electronic billboards throughout Elk Grove. Not surprisingly the trio of Vice Mayor Pat Hume and council members Steve Ly and Darren Suen indicated their support of more visual blight in Elk Grove.

Given that these three were all over this like stink on manure, the only thing left to see is who got to them financially. When financial disclosures are filed next year, we will see if it was Bruce Bishop, Sierra Outdoor/Outfront Media, Clear Channel Outdoor or some other electronic billboard operator pulling their strings.

And trust us, Council Member Ly doesn't have the institutional knowledge much less the ingenuity to suggest an electronic billboard workshop to City Manager Laura Gill without someone whispering in his ear and lining his pockets with cash.

The only thing missing from Ly's scene is his omnipresent personal photographer taking snapshots of the ascending pol. Hey, but who knows, he might be our Mayor or even Congressman some say - stranger things have happened.

That leaves Council Member Steve Detrick and The Mayor.

As we have seen with Detrick, there isn't a billboard developer he hasn't instantly become a friend of. Of course, that friendship has a price tag in the tens-of-thousands of dollars in campaign donations to slaughter some neighborhood of poor schleps who stand in his way, not to mention some fine wine and ski trips to the Sierra Nevada. Remember, that load of money doesn't influence his decisions though.

As for The Mayor, that is a bit of a mystery.

Will the Mayor remember all the blight created in the Rancho Cordova of his youth at the hands of piss-poor planning and fistfuls of dollars from developers? Or will he once again succumb to the allure of good cold-hard-cash from developers and once again sell the soul of Elk Grove?

We hope The Mayor uses his political - which isn't much anymore - display leadership for once, and kill this stupid idea lest when youth in our community, including his children, move away a few years from now to some other new edge city and bemoan the endless parade of liquor-shop-filled-strip-centers and a proliferation of gaudy electronic billboards populating their hometown. 

So what will it be Mr. Mayor - being courageous for a change and taking a stance for the future good of Elk Grove and try to nip this scheme in the bud or well you just be another tool in the "Rancho Cordovation" of Elk Grove?

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Audit Finds Elk Grove Police Activities League Ripe With 'Opportunity For Fraud'

Written By EGN on Friday, November 20, 2015 | 13:15

November 20, 2015 |

Ed. note: Aside from receiving grants from them, The Elk Grove Police Activities League is not affiliated with The Elk Grove Police Department or the City of Elk Grove.

A recent audit of the Elk Grove Police Activities League (EGPAL) found numerous deficiencies in accounting of public funds received and expended.

The audit, which was performed earlier this year, was ordered by Elk Grove Police Chief Robert Lehner. The results of the audit, which were obtained through a public records request, does not disclose the reason it was ordered.

The audit found deficiencies in three general categories, and within each category there were numerous findings. The three categories included internal accounting controls, interaction with government agencies, and books and records.

Some of the major findings taken directly from the audit report are listed below:  

Internal Accounting Controls:

  • There was inadequate segregation of duties over the collection and deposit of cash receipts, and the disbursement of cash and checks.
  • There was ineffective monitoring by the board of directors. Our reading of the minutes showed that there were long gaps between some meetings and little mention of financial difficulties even though the bank accounts were consistently overdrawn.
  • With respect to the maintenance of the general ledger: During the four year audit period, three different general ledger files were used to record the accounting transactions. The general ledger for 2010-2011 was maintained by former accountants and was not available to us. The electronic general ledger detail for the 2012-13 fiscal year was lost and unavailable for our review.

  • The opportunity for fraud (asset misappropriation) was prevalent and widespread during the audit period. The organization is now having great difficulty in meeting its current financial obligations.
Interaction with Government Agencies

  • Non-profit organizations should have infrequent and routine encounters with government agencies (generally accepted). During our audit we discovered that the organization has had frequent, non-routine encounters with numerous government agencies, including: Internal Revenue Service, Franchise Tax Board, California Secretary of State, California Attorney General, Sacramento County Grand Jury and the Labor Board.
  • Compliance with government laws and regulations was clearly not a priority for the organization.


  • The organization has lost most sources of funding and is on the brink of closing down.

Books and Records:

  • Books and records presented for the audit engagement were either unauditable (fiscal year 2010-11) or barely auditable (fiscal years 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14).
  • Sufficient care, skill and resources have not been provided for the care of the books and records of the organization for the periods under audit.


  • The organization has lost most sources of funding and is on the brink of closing down.

For the Elk Grove Police Activities League, 2015 has been a tumultuous year. The group, who for the last several years has had Cosumnes Community Services District Director Michelle Orrock as its board chairperson, lost major funding earlier this year when the City of Elk Grove decided against continued funding of the organization and is currently dissolving. (See video below)

Over the last several years, the EGPAL has been one of the largest beneficiaries of the City of Elk Grove's Community Block Grant money. Since 2009, they received $207,010 in community service grant money from the city. Additionally, they have received $63,368 from the Elk Grove Police Department’s Community Grant Budget since 2007.    

In 2012, the EGPAL also received a special one-time $10,000 grant to fund The Fittest of Elk Grove contest that was organized by Brian Detrick, son of Elk Grove City Council Member Steve Detrick. Since 2007, more than $280,378 in public funds was funneled through the organization.

The audit also noted that Kendra Lewis, a former employee of the organization, “has filed a claim under the Fair Labor Standards Act for unpaid earnings.”  

In addition to its funding problems, EGPAL and a former board director have been the subject of civil litigation by a former EGPAL volunteer football coach. Filed by Charles Washington, the lawsuit seeks damages after Washington learned that former EGPAL Director Manuel Saenz had conducted an illegal background check on him.

An Elk Grove Police internal affairs investigation confirmed that Washington was investigated by someone using the department’s access to Federal databases. The report did not say who conducted the inquiry.

Subsequent to that, Saenz’ employment as a police officer with the city ended. It is not known if he resigned or was terminated.

The audit, which was conducted by the accounting firm of Fritzsche and Associates of Sacramento, also noted “Poor accounting controls were exercised over the collection and deposit of cash receipts and the payment of cash disbursements prior to the initial entry of such contributions in the accounting records. We were unable to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence about the amounts recognized as support and revenue, or program expense by the Elk Grove Police Activities League, Inc. for the years ended June 30, 2014, 2013 and 2012. Consequently, we were unable to determine whether any adjustments to those amounts were necessary.”  

For a complete copy of the report, email editor @ ElkGroveNews. net with “Audit” in the subject line. 

13:15 | 4 comments | Read More

Elk Grove to Consider Installation of Electronic Billboards

November 20, 2015 |

As a follow-up to the recent loosening of its billboard ordinance, the City of Elk Grove will now consider allowing electronic billboards within the city.

The matter was brought up at the Wednesday night Elk Grove City Council meeting by Vice Mayor Pat Hume who asked that it be added to a future agenda. Pointing to the proximity of two electronic billboards installed just outside of Elk Grove City limits on Highway 99, Hume noted the revenue potential for the city and the possible needs of similar signs for the unfinished Outlet Collection at Elk Grove, formerly known as the Elk Grove Promenade.

Elk Grove electronic billboards
Electronic billboards like this one on Highway 99 for the
Elk Grove Auto Mall could soon become a more common site
if the Elk Grove City Council approves their placement. 
"I know that more than likely that when properties like the mall come forward, they will probably be interested in having one potentially," Hume said. "So I think it would be prudent to establish a policy ahead of time."

The two other council members in attendance at the meeting, Steve Ly and Darren Suen, agreed. Ly said that he too had that on his list of items he is pursuing.  

"I think you are reading my mind," Ly said. "I actually put in a request with our city manager for a possible workshop."

Suen agreed with his colleagues adding that the city could use the digital billboards as an alternate communication devise to residents.   

"I've been looking for ways to reach the community," Suen said. "Not everybody is on Facebook, not everybody is looking at our website." 

In May, the Rancho Cordova City Council approved by a 3-1 vote the placement of electronic billboards in their community along U.S. Highway 50. The 60-foot tall billboards will have 672-square feet surfaces and the city will receive annual royalty payments of $56,000 for the next 25-years. 

Often characterized as visual blight, Region Business Executive Director Joshua Woods said they can provide the city with a new revenue source, but noted the importance of design. 

"Electronic billboards have the potential to draw significant dollars to fund essential city services in Elk Grove. The trick is to balance the potential income opportunities with the need for quality design and spacing," Woods said. "Done right, these signs can be a visual enhancement that drives revenue; done wrong, these signs could make Elk Grove look like a b-movie version of Las Vegas without the slots."

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