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In Their Own Words - Cosumnes Community Services District Candidates

Written By EGN on Friday, October 31, 2014 | 15:00

October 31, 2014 |

With the November 4 general election just days away, the three Cosumnes Community Services District Board of Directors candidates were invited to make an audio recording stating their reasons why they should be elected. Two of the three candidates accepted the invitation. There are two open seats on the CCSD Board. 

Below are the recorded statements of Rod Brewer and Rich Lozano. The third candidate, Orlando Fuentes declined our invitation to participate.

EGN thanks each of the candidates for participating in this exercise so that Elk Grove voters can make an informed decision when they vote for our newest council member. 

The audios are posted in the order in which they were received. 

Rich Lozano

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Rod Brewer

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UPDATED Chew's Reviews - Birdman: The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance

By Gary Chew | October 31, 2014 |

Now Playing

Below is an audio version of this review.

Alejandro Iñárritu has made it possible for film goers to take a wild ride on either side of reality and unreality with his new film Birdman (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). What else could one expect from a motion picture with such a wise and clever title?

First off, you might think that Birdman is just another movie heading for another seemingly unending franchise about a superhuman guy who flies through the air doing good. Well, you've got it half right. The other part of it is that the guy or famous actor, Riggan Thomas (Michael Keaton), is so washed up and mentally screwed, he's seeking absolution for playing the vapid role of a flying-through-the-air kind of guy (The Birdman) in three successful movies by mounting a serious, real Broadway classic play titled What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Love? (A wise and clever title, too.)

We join the cast just before the play is to open and nothing is going right. A principal actor in the ensemble suffers a stage accident in rehearsal. There's little time left to replace him (The understudy won't do.) and Riggan has plenty – I say – plenty of personal problems that include his delusional ability for telekinesis. And oh, that loud, deep voice in his head that says all those dark, ugly things Riggan doesn't want to hear. And we – the audience – get to see and hear all of that while the other characters in the movie don't. It's just us and Michael Keaton on an Iñárritu-induced acid trip.

Like magic, the replacement for the important male part in the play makes an entrance that might be described “deus ex machina,” but near the beginning of the movie. Don't worry about the placement of the stroke, Edward Norton is the miraculous machine. He enters as Mike, a brilliant, ego-stuffed actor who knows every line – I say – every line of the play. Mike, like the real Mr. Norton himself, is a marvelous actor.

Sam (Emma Stone) is Riggan's disturbed but lucid daughter. She's just out of rehab and hangs out at the theater as “Aide de Daddy.” She sees through everything; father and daughter don't get along a lot of the time. Great scenes! Keaton and Stone are overwhelming as they're overwhelmed in the roles.

Did I say this movie has much interpersonal conflict like you'd see in an Edward Albee play?: It's not so much who's afraid of Riggan Thomas but what more can Riggan Thomas be afraid of?

A curious sidebar to the evolution of this Iñárritu work is that the late author who wrote the short story What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Love? came from his native state of Oregon to live in Paradise, California just before deciding to become a writer. His name is Ralph Carver. While in this neck of the Northern California woods, Carver also attended Chico State University.

Birdman is replete with fine actors … many of them playing stage actors. There's Naomi Watts, one of the thespians in the play, and Amy Ryan as Riggan's ex. A standout backup role is turned smartly by Zac Galifianakis playing Jake, who's sort of the manager/attorney for Riggan. It's great that Zac Man has jumped onto a really good script to ply his surging talent.

For me, two of the neater things about “Birdman,” if “neat” is the right word ... is how Iñárritu gives his film a “sense of the stage” by suggesting that all of it is one long take without dissolves or cuts, or going-to-black – much like how it seems to stage actors knowing that when the plays begins, it existentially doesn't stop for anyone until the final curtain.

Neat thing number two is the striking but brief appearances of Leslie Duncan. Her character is Tabitha. I could only describe her role as the honcho stage critic of a most leading newspaper in the City of New York. Wow, Riggan and Tabitha … do they have it out Edward Albee style in a bar just around the corner from the theater. Vitriol on the rocks!

I imagine it's therapeutic for screenwriters and directors to put critics in “their place” for vicious commentary about what the creators have wrought to be art. Birdman (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is a movie you have to see --- because it is art.

Copyright © 2014 by Gary Chew. All rights reserved

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Elk Grove Ex-Con With Two Outstanding Warrants Arrested, In Possession of Gun

October 31, 2014 |

An Elk Grove ex-convict was arrested last night after he was allegedly found to have outstanding warrants and in possession of guns and ammunition.

According to Elk Grove Police, officers responded to the 8400 block of Alameda Park Drive after a reported disturbance. Officers contacted 55-year old John Floyd Todd, who initially provided false information about his identity.

A records check revealed that Todd was a convicted felon and had two outstanding warrants for his arrest. The suspect was taken into custody and is being held at the county jail on $53,500 bail. 

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Happy Halloween Compliments of Orson Welles, WKBW and Kehoe's Fashions

Written By EGN on Thursday, October 30, 2014 | 19:45

October 31, 2013 |

Call it our annual obsession!

In what has become an annual celebration of Halloween, EGN is posting the 1938 broadcast of the Mercury Theater's "War of the Worlds" produced and directed by Orson Welles. This year marks the 76th anniversary of that seminal radio and mass media event.

The original Welles and Mercury group's performance of WOTW famously duped millions of people into believing that Earth was actually being invaded by Martians. WKBW in Buffalo did the same thing in 1971. To that end, we are posting that broadcast too.

While the 1938 broadcast is excellent, it is dated in some ways. The 1971 radio play is worth listening to if for no other reason to hear the booming DJ voices of the time, music from Cher, Santana, Rod Stewart and Three Dog Night and of course the constant commercials for Kehoe's Fashions (Seymour Kehoe - A Man's Man, the ads bare!) at University Plaza selling and touting their full stock of double knit polyester pants! We are not sure if the ads were real or the director was just being ironic in a future looking sort of way.

What was noteworthy of WKBW's broadcast was they had heavily promoted that it was a radio play in the days leading up to the broadcast and even during the program reminded listeners as it was airing it was a play. In spite of that, they inadvertently duped thousands of people and even the Canadian government.

It is worth noting how people will believe what they are told without questioning or curiosity. Something to keep in mind as we listen to governments on every level.

One final note, the NPR program RadioLab got in on the act this week too. In their first ever live program, the RadioLab dedicated their entire program to, you guessed it, War of the Worlds. This episode is really a fascinating and funny look at how we allow ourselves to be fooled - something to keep in mind next Tuesday!

Happy Halloween! DG  

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Audio: In Their Own Words - Elk Grove City Council District 4 Candidates

October 30, 2014 |

With the November 4 general election just days away, the four Elk Grove City Council candidates seeking Elk Grove City Council District 4 seat have accepted an invitation to make an audio recording stating their reasons why they should be elected.

Below are the recorded statements of Nancy Chaires, Steve Ly, Nayyar Sarfaraz and Daniel Jimenez. EGN thanks each of the candidates for participating in this exercise so that Elk Grove voters can make an informed decision when they vote for our newest council member. 

The audios are posted in the order in which they were received. 

Nancy Chaires

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Steve Ly

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Nayyar Sarfaraz

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Daniel Jimenez

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Large Crowd Reviews, Comments on Proposed Whitelock Parkway Interchange

October 30, 2014 |

In spite of a game seven World Series with local favorite, the San Francisco Giants, about 100 people attended an information session on the proposed Whitelock-Highway 99 interchange in Elk Grove last night.
Click to enlarge. 

Held in the Pavilion Building at the Elk Grove Regional Park, the session included a number of graphic illustrations and a presentation by Elk Grove city employees Rick Carter and Gary Grunwald. Since the proposal for the interchange surfaced, which is estimated to cost $42 million, it has raised concern that it could encroach on the Elk Grove Regional Park.

To view the presentation and some of the concerns voiced on the proposed project, watch the video posted below.  

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Pundit Reclassifies Bera-Ose Race From Toss-up

October 30, 2014 |

A well-regarded political analyst has changed his prediction for the hotly contested race between Democratic incumbent Dr. Ami Bera and challenger, Republican Doug Ose.

In his final prediction prior to Tuesday's election, Larry Sabato has changed the race for California's Seventh Congressional District from toss-up to leans Republican.

In his non-partisan Crystal Ball newsletter published by the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, Sabato writes, "Republicans are targeting a number of House seats in California, where turnout will probably be poor because there is no Senate race and Gov. Jerry Brown (D-CA) is saving his war chest as he coasts to an easy win. Outside GOP groups are spending all over the state, and they’ve dumped a boatload of money into the district of Rep. Ami Bera (D, CA-7). We think Republicans win at least one Democratic seat in the Golden State, and Bera’s seems the likeliest at this point."

Not surprisingly, Ose's campaign has seized on Sabato's prediction.

“My message of improving Sacramento's economy has attracted people from all across this district," Ose said in a press release issued this morning.   

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UPDATED Audio Interview - Ninth Assembly District Candidate Jim Cooper

Written By EGN on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 | 17:50

October 29, 2014 |

The following is an audio interview with Elk Grove Vice Mayor Jim Cooper. 

The Elk Grove Democrat is running against fellow Democrat and Sacramento City Council Member Darrell Fong for the California State Assembly Ninth District seat.

This interview was conducted on Wednesday, October 29. Fong did not respond to invitations to be interveiwed.

There was a technical glitch in an earlier version posted. It has been corrected as of 9:45 p.m., Wednesday, October 29. We apologize for the inconvenience. 

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Stone Lakes NWR to Celebrate 20th Anniversary This Sunday

October 29, 2014 |

This Sunday, Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge will mark its 20th anniversary.

Founded in 1994 as the 505th National Wildlife Refuge, Stone Lakes is an integral part of the Pacific Flyway that supports a rich mosaic of habitats including grasslands, seasonal wetlands, vernal pools and oak woodlands. Some of the birds that migrate through Stone Lakes come from as far away as the Artic tundra.

There will be a number of presentations and tours offered between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. The celebration is being sponsored by the Friends of Stone Lakes and is free to the public. The events will be held at the Blue Heron Trail near the refuge's headquarters on Hood-Franklin Road just west of I-5.  

More information about Stone Lakes is available here.   

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Suspected Elk Grove Shoplifter Resist Officers, Gets Arrested

October 29, 2014 |

An Elk Grove man suspected of shoplifting yesterday was arrested after he allegedly resisted police officers.

According to Elk Grove Police, 28-year old Montrell Gillion was observed shoplifting at the Bruceville Road Kohl's department store. After exiting the store without paying, Gillion was contacted by responding officers while he was seated in a vehicle and became uncooperative.

A brief struggle ensued but officers were able to subdue and handcuff Gillion. A search led to the discovery of the stolen merchandise and burglary tools. 

Gillion was arrested but has been released on bail. 

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Elk Grove to Hold Information Session on Proposed Whitelock Interchange

October 29, 2014 |

The City of Elk Grove will hold an information session tonight on the proposed Highway 99-Whitelock Parkway interchange. 

The information session will consist of several information stations highlighting aspects of the project. City representatives and the project consultant team will be available to discuss the proposed interchange. 

The session, which is from 6 to 8 p.m., will include a presentation by the project team at 6:15. The meeting will be held at Pavilion Building at the Elk Grove Regional Park.

More information about the project is available at  

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Lozano Mailers Sent for CCSD Race; Are Others Out There?

Written By EGN on Tuesday, October 28, 2014 | 18:55

October 28, 2014 |

As noted earlier today, to date only one mailer from any three of the candidates for two positions on the Cosumnes Community Service District Board of Directors had been received by EGN.

The thing to note is that the mailer from CCSD candidate was the only one received. As an email today from a regular EGN reader noted, other candidates for the CCSD have sent mailers.

In this case incumbent director Rich Lozano has sent a mailer for his reelection campaign. It also should be noted reader who received Lozano's piece as of today  did not receive the mailer from Orlando Fuentes' campaign.

Even though the CCSD may not have the visibility and finances of the Elk Grove City Council District 4 race, much less the hotly contested State Senate and Assembly races, these candidates are nonetheless employing a strategy to target particular voters. 

One last note: to date we have not received any stand-alone mailers for the third candidate in this race, incumbent Rod Brewer. Given the experience with the Fuentes and Lozano campaigns, we expect to hear from another reader who has received a Brewer mailer.   

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Ly Leads Fundraising, But Chaires Has Good Month

October 28, 2014 |

In the all-important fundraising race for the Elk Grove's District 4 City Council seat, Steve Ly leads the pack, but not by much.

According to campaign finance documents filed with the Elk Grove City Clerk's office, as of October 18, Ly reports raising $88,358.  

In second place for fundraising is Nancy Chaires, who reports having raised $86,582, of which $20,000 was a personal loan. Although Chaires lags Ly in non-loan fundraising, in the last few days Chaires has reported several large contributions which helped narrow the gap.

In a report filed yesterday, Chaires received $2,500 from Taylor Morrison. In her regular filing for the period between October 1 and 18, Chaires reported $5,000 from the United Food and Commercial Golden State Local 8 and $1,000 from the Democratic Party of Sacramento County. 

While most of the recent big union and real estate money is breaking towards Chaires, Ly received $300 from the California Apartment Association PAC and $1,600 from Region Builders PAC. Both Chaires and Ly received $750 from Angelo G. Tsakopoulos

Ly also reports having spent $1,479 for the plants his campaign distributed to mostly female voters earlier this month. 

The two other candidates in the race also filed reports for the same period. Daniel Jimenez received contributions of $390 while Nayyar Sarfaraz loaned his campaign $1,704.  

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Will Fuentes' Mailer Be Enough to Overcome Advantages of Incumbency?

October 28, 2014 |

Between the hotly contested races for the Elk Grove City Council, California State Senate, Assembly and the Seventh U.S. Congressional District, Elk Grove voters have other contests to consider when they mail in their ballots or go to the polls next Tuesday.

One of the races voters will be asked to consider is for two positions on the Cosumnes Community Services District Board of Directors. There are three people on the ballot - incumbents Rod Brewer and Rich Lozano along with a third candidate, challenger Orlando Fuentes. 

While Brewer and Lozano have the benefit of incumbency, as far as we can ascertain, neither to date has sent out a stand-alone mailer. In a non-controversial race with no burning issues, will Fuentes' mailer be enough to overcome the advantages of incumbency?   

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Clinton to Appear With Bera, Garamendi at Wednesday UC Davis Rally

Written By EGN on Monday, October 27, 2014 | 21:35

October 27, 2014 |

Highlighting the importance of the race for California's Seventh Congressional District, President Bill Clinton will be campaigning this Wednesday on behalf of Congressman Dr. Ami Bera.

Bera, a first term Democratic Congressman is facing former Congressman, Republican Doug Ose in what is considered a toss-up contest. The race, one the most expensive Congressional races nationally this election cycle, has drawn in millions of dollars of TV and print attack advertising. 

Clinton will appear with Bera and Congressman John Garamendi at a get-out-the-vote rally at ARC Pavilion on the UC Davis campus. The event is open to ticketed public with doors opening at 12:30 p.m.

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Non-partisan 'No Labels' group reportedly to help get-out-the-vote for Bera

October 27, 2014 |

According to a report published this afternoon, the non-partisan "No Labels" group will be sending volunteers to the Sacramento-Elk Grove area to help get-out-the-vote for Democratic incumbent Congressman, Dr. Ami Bera.

The first-term legislator is engaged in a tight race for California's Seventh Congressional District against former Congressman, Republican Doug Ose. Political analyst Stuart Rothenberg reports rates the race as a pure toss-up as of October 17. 

The story from Real Clear Politics, says they obtained an email from the Washington D.C.-based group that said they will be sending ground workers for the campaigns of Bera and Colorado Republican Congressman Cory Gardner, who is challenging incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Udall.

According to their website, No Labels was founded in 2010 with a mission to "call on our leaders to put the labels aside and focus on fixing America’s most pressing problems." Bera, who has joined a group of bi-partisan legislators in the so-called No Labels Problem Solvers, has earned No Labels Seal of Approval.  

As of this posting, the Bera campaign has not commented on the report and whether or not they will accept No Labels assistance.  

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Would-be Burglars Flee After Attempted Elk Grove Residential Robbery

October 27, 2014 |

Two armed robbers attempted to burglarize an Elk Grove residence early Saturday night.

According to Elk Grove Police, two unknown suspects, one armed with a handgun, entered a house on the 10200 block of Schoech Way in Elk Grove's East Franklin neighborhood. Once inside the residence, they confronted the home owner and fled.

The suspects were seen entering a gray four-door sedan that was occupied by two other unknown suspects. The first suspect was described as a black male adult, 18 to 20, 5`8" to 5`10", skinny build, wearing a light gray sweatshirt and jeans and the other suspect was a black male aged 10 to 20 years of age, 5'8", stocky build and wore a blue sweatshirt. 

The residents were not injured. 

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Audio, Videos - Doug Ose Endorsement Rally, News Conference

Written By EGN on Sunday, October 26, 2014 | 17:30

October, 26, 2014 |

At the front doors of the Rancho Cordova City Hall, Republican Congressional candidate Doug Ose held a news conference and endorsement rally this afternoon.

Along with the large placards listing his endorsements, Ose was joined by Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones and Rancho Cordova Mayor Dan Skoglund.

Another group who made their presence known at the rally was a small, but vocal, group of demonstrators who shouted a number of anti-Ose chants. During various speeches, the chants from the protesters drowned out the speakers appearing on behalf of Ose.

Though the protesters continued their chants when Ose began speaking, they stopped long enough so that his comments could be heard by supporters.

Below are videos of the protesters and Ose's speech, as well an audio of most of the speeches, though most were drowned-out by one particularly strong voice, given in support of Ose.     

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Elk Grove to Hold Meeting on Proposed Veterans Hall

Written By EGN on Saturday, October 25, 2014 | 09:00

October 25, 2014 |

A part of Elk Grove's long-awaited civic center is the inclusion of a Veterans Hall.

To gather input on the proposed project, a community meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 5. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers, located at 8400 Laguna Palms Way in Elk Grove. Local veterans organizations will join City officials in the exploratory meeting. 
The Veterans Hall's proposed location is on the south side of Elk Grove Boulevard and east of Big Horn Boulevard, and could break ground as early as 2015.  The facility is included in the city’s fiscal year 2014-15 budget and capital improvements plan.

For more information contact Assistant City Manager Becky Craig at 916-627-3423 or

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Late Money Flows into Elk Grove District 4 Race, Chaires Has Good Week

Written By EGN on Friday, October 24, 2014 | 17:00

October 24, 2014 |

Although it is nothing like the record setting 2006 Elk Grove City Council election, late money is flowing into the coffers of the two best-funded candidates in District 4 race for the Elk Grove City Council.

According to documents filed with the Elk Grove City Clerk's office, candidate Steve Ly and Nancy Chaires have received large contributions totaling $3,600 and $8,500. The candidates received these large contributions, which require next-day reporting, in a five day period starting October 16. 

Ly received $1,000 from Kong Pheng Xiong on October 15, $1,600 from Region Builders PAC on October 16 and $1,000 on October 20 from Munir Khan. 

Chaires received four contributions on October 16 that included $2,500 from the Committee For Home Ownership of the North State Building Industry Association, $2,000 from James Kouretas, $2,000 from Stephen Squaglia, $1,000 from DAL Deficiency Investments and $1,000 from Willdan Group on October 18.  

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Good Cop, Bad Cop Routine Used in Recent Pan Mailers

October 24, 2014 |

In the heated California Sixth Senatorial District race between Democratic Assembly Members Roger Dickinson and Dr. Richard Pan, the rhetoric in mailers, particularly from independent expenditure committees, is not surprisingly nasty.

A glossy four-page mailer sent this week on behalf of Pan essentially tries to hang Sacramento County's well-documented child protective service controversies on the neck of Dickinson. Because I.E.'s operate independently of the candidate, the candidate, with a wink and a nod, can say that he or she is not personally engaged in dirty politics.

However, what happens when a mailer is dropped that is actually paid by the candidate. What sort of messages will it try to convey?

This week Elk Grove voters received a mailer from Pan's campaign that played the good cop role. This particular mailer included the listing of endorsements from some locally elected officials including Elk Grove City Council Members Steve Detrick and Pat Hume and Cosumnes Community Services District board members Gil Albiani and Rod Brewer.

What is interesting about Pan's mailer, aside from one title misidentification, is that it has a seal with a golden bear and the words Proud Democrat prominently displayed. The mailer's message is contradictory in that it seems with the inclusion of the endorsements from two locally elected Republicans, they might have been trying to target independent and Republican voters in the two Democratic candidate race.


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