Classic Cars Cruise into Carmichael

Source: Carmichael Elks #2103  |  2017-04-26
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At the Carmichael Elks Car Show, classic collectors’ cars from 1919 through 1975 will be exhibited for your viewing pleasure. The show will also feature hot rods, pick-up trucks, muscle cars, customized rat rods, and cruisers. -- Photos by Paul Scholl, MPG

If you love the times when cars and men were made of steel, you’ll love the upcoming classic car show this weekend in Carmichael.

Over 100 awesome cars are expected to be on display. Classic collectors’ cars from 1919 through 1975 will be exhibited for your viewing pleasure. The Classic Car Show will also feature hot rods, pick-up trucks, muscle cars, customized rat rods, and cruisers.

The annual Carmichael Elks Classic Car Show will be held on Saturday, April 29th from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at 5631 Cypress Avenue. This event raises funds for the benefit of our Lodge in support of the many community services they perform. General admission to the event is free for the public.

There will also be many merchandise vendor booths with yard art, metals signs, purses, jewelry, etc. available for sale. Breakfast, lunch, and beverages will also be available for purchase.

This event will be fun for the whole family with kids’ activities and raffle prizes. Don’t miss the Ring Toss for Prizes and Bowling for Wine.

The silent auction will feature a variety of items, including a fabulous five-day, four-night ocean cruise (details available at the event). For $10, you can get eight tickets for the Fifty-Fifty Raffle. Half the total pot will go to the winner, and the other half will benefit the Elks Lodge.

All proceeds raised at this event will go to the Lodge Beautification Project, which will allow the Carmichael Elks to increase memberships and provide more capacity in order to hold charitable events for the benefit of the community. All cash donations are gratefully accepted. For more information, call the Elks Lodge at (916) 489-2103.

If you love the roar of big engines, talking car talk with the men and women who built them, or just hanging out with a lot of cool people over 50 with fun and slightly exaggerated stories, then get to the show early. See you there!


Gibson Ranch Management Decision Extended by Board of Supervisors

Story and Photo by Jacqueline Fox  |  2017-04-27

“I’m feeling very positive,” said Ose. “And I want to say that I appreciate the county’s consideration of my concerns and plans, and the mutual goal is to keep Gibson open.”

The County Board of Supervisors has extended until May 31 its private level contract with former congressman Doug Ose to manage Gibson Ranch, giving the board more time to consider Ose’s renewal proposal, redirect management of the park back to Sacramento Department of Regional Parks, or go another direction and solicit bids from other private contractors.

While the extension of his contract may not necessarily mean Ose will be granted a renewal to manage Gibson Ranch, it doesn’t rule out the option either. In fact, Ose said it was because discussions with the board of supervisors were going so well that he agreed to the extension. While enjoying a $22,000 profit in 2015, Ose has said he is currently losing $20,000 a month due to labor cost increases and, unless he can obtain a new contract that includes some of his ideas for revenue-generating programs, he’s ready to walk away.

“I agreed to extend my deadline of my contract and I never would have done that had I not seen our discussions as being positive, or had I not thought that we were going to come to an amicable or acceptable agreement,” Ose said.

Ose assumed management of the 325-acre nature reserve after steep financial losses by the county put the park on the brink of closure in 2011. Ose’s current, five-year contract was set to run out April 30, putting the future of Gibson Ranch, which he has said served 100,000 visitors in 2016, at risk of closure again.

While Ose has declined to discuss the details of any proposed new financial arrangement, his plan includes a contract for 20 years instead of five, as well as increasing the park’s entry fee from $5 to $8. In addition, he’s interested in installing as many as 50 full hook-up RV sites that could generate as much as $12,000 a month in revenue for the park, and wants to expand facility rentals to include big-ticket events, such as high school graduations.

Ose’s original agreement allowed him to rent the park for $1 a year plus half of his profits. In turn, the county agreed to pay Ose $500,000 over the current life of the contract for deferred maintenance. Ose has said that arrangement is no longer viable and that monthly expenses are now coming directly out of his pocket and he needs to “stop the bleeding.”

Matt Hedges, chief of staff for County Supervisor Sue Frost who recently toured Gibson in preparation for her discussions with the board on Ose’s contract, said she and Ose want the park to remain open, however the board needs to weigh all options on the table. Frost and fellow board members will spend the next few weeks, he said, reviewing a pending report from Regional Parks detailing a scenario for it to assume management of the park, as well as Ose’s proposal.

“In addition to the option of renewing a contract for Mr. Ose, county parks also will be offering its own plan to operate the park under a traditional model without a lot of extra amenities,” Hedges said.

Should management be turned back over to the parks department, it would require the hiring of additional staff, according to Hedges, who added that the department would also be faced with the challenge of how to manage the park’s equestrian boarding program launched under Ose’s tenure.

“That plan would include using county staff to manage the park, as well as the creation of three new and two seasonal positions,” said Hedges. “In addition, because the department has never run an equestrian boarding program, it needs to weigh that element as well.”

Parks Director Jeff Leatherman has declined repeated requests for comment.

Hedges said the third option to be deliberated by the board is to open up the process to other, private bids, which could be considered alongside Ose’s proposal. Although a few inquiries have come in, no serious proposals from other private contenders have been put forward, Hedges said, adding that fact alone puts Ose in a very positive position. Ose agreed.

“I’m feeling very positive,” said Ose. “And I want to say that I appreciate the county’s consideration of my concerns and plans, and the mutual goal is to keep Gibson open.”


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Celebration Church Battling Chronic Vandalism, Drug Use, Threats by Area Homeless

Story by Jacqueline Fox  |  2017-04-27

Celebration Church, one of many in the community suffering the longstanding consequences.
-- Photo by Paul Scholl

The pastor of Celebration Church in Carmichael says he, church staff, as well as staff at the preschool renting space on the church’s property are grappling with long-running acts of vandalism, drug use, threats of violence and at least one assault by local homeless individuals, prompting the small congregation to spend thousands on security measures and putting the church’s relationship with the school at risk.

Despite countless calls to the Sacramento County Sherriff’s department, and outreach to the office of County Supervisor Susan Peters for support, the issue remains a serious and ongoing one, according to the church’s Senior Pastor, Mike Fraga. Fraga said as recently as two weeks ago he found seven syringes, three of them still filled with liquid, a spoon, candles he said individuals were using to “burn their drugs down with,” as well as empty liquor bottles and trash on church property.

Fraga claims the church is doing everything any small congregation could do to address security issues for the church, as well as staff, parents and students at the Marconi Montessori School. The church relies on the school’s rental income for budgetary support. The school itself came to the church as a refugee two years ago following its closure due to arson at its former location.

Frustrated, Fraga has taken extreme and costly measures to address the concerns, beginning with the installation of two security cameras and a fence around the school over the last two years. When a homeless couple threw a cup of water in the face of the school’s director a few weeks ago, Fraga said he made the controversial decision to install a wrought iron fence around the entire perimeter of the church property. That project is underway.

“It’s just gotten so ugly,” Fraga said. “I think we are at about $30,000 now. That’s what we’ve spent on security so far. We don’t have a lot of money, but we have to do everything we can to protect the church, the school and the children.”

The preschool’s founder and director, Hiresha De Silva said most of the incidents seem to occur at night or on weekends between midnight and 6 a.m., often before daylight and when no police are around. No threats against children have been reported. Nonetheless, in winter, when it is still dark until almost 7 a.m. and teachers are arriving, issues of safety are heightened.

De Silva’s original school on Marconi Avenue was burned down weeks after opening in 2012 by an arsonist later convicted of that and other crimes. De Silva said she “lost everything in that fire,” adding that starting over again would be difficult and costly.

“I am very concerned, but I have worked very hard to build up our enrollment here,” De Silva said. “We started with nothing and now we have more than 60 families and children here.”

For congregants and church staff, exposure to the threats is most prominent, as the church faces the park where many homeless individuals tend to gather much of the time, Fraga said. But because he and his wife also live in a house roughly 200 yards from the church and directly across the street from the park, the issue couldn’t hit closer to home.

“I deal with this issue every day as a resident and a pastor,” said Fraga. “They know me and they know where I live.”

Vanessa McCarthy-Olmstead, deputy chief of staff for Supervisor Peters said she has only spoken with Pastor Fraga twice since October. She said she advised him to rely on the Sacramento County Sherriff’s homeless outreach program for support on the issues he’s confronting. Unfortunately, says Fraga, if law enforcement doesn’t witness the acts, the best they can do is issue tickets for trespassing, which carry few, immediate repercussions.

“I don’t usually make calls to the Sherriff’s office anymore because little changes,” said Fraga. “The day the school’s director was accosted, the deputy showed up but he never got out of the car.”

Calls to the Sacramento County Sherriff Department offices for comment were not returned.

Although located on North Avenue, Celebration Church is included in the Fair Oaks Boulevard Public and Business Improvement District (PBID) approved by voters in 2016. The PBID’s governing board, the Carmichael Improvement District (CID), is amidst initial contracting stages with a security company to address these types of concerns (See PBID Improvement District story on page 3 this issue). Fraga said although he did not vote in favor of the PBID, the church has paid its mandatory membership fees. He added it is unlikely Celebration will benefit from the PBID’s services, noting his experience has shown a patrolling security presence to address the issues he’s confronting has had little or no impact.

“When it takes 12 citations for trespassing before someone can be arrested, and police won’t look over the photos from surveillance, or even get out of the car, what good will a private security company do for us,” Fraga said.


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Improvement District Puts Security on Front Burner

Story by Jacqueline Fox  |  2017-04-27

Leadership of the Carmichael Improvement District (CID), established last month in order to manage budget and project issues for the 10-acre Fair Oaks Boulevard Public and Business Improvement District (PBID) corridor, have initiated steps to tackle perhaps the highest issue of concern by stakeholders: security.

According to CID President Gary Hursh, a property owner and attorney with a business located within the PBID corridor, he and fellow board members have begun the process for collection of what he called “requests for qualification” from security companies interested in managing a contract for protecting the roughly 250 CID members’ businesses from blight, vandalism and other criminal acts. This action marks the first formal step by the CID in establishing contracts and other agreements with outside agencies to provide much-needed improvements for Carmichael, including battling blight and crime on the roughly 437 commercial properties in the assessment area.

“We are focusing in on obtaining preliminary qualification applications from companies letting us know what it is they can offer, what their entire menu of services includes and what they would charge us for those services,” said Hursh. “Security is our top priority because as recently as yesterday there was a problem at Celebration Church right off Fair Oaks and it’s an ongoing one.”

Although Celebration Church sits on North Road, it is a member of the PBID, according to head pastor Mike Fraga, who reports a long history of problems concerning drug use, vagrancy and even violence against staff by local homeless individuals over the last two years (See Celebration Church story in this issue).

Reports of repeated vandalism at one auto repair shop adjacent to the church on Fair Oaks Boulevard have also been filed, and there are ongoing concerns up and down the PBID corridor about homeless encampments, drug use, graffiti, and urination and defecation in parking lots and entryways to local businesses.

“Security is a huge concern of our members and we really want to get a security contract in place as soon as possible,” Hursh said.

To assist them in their efforts to obtain qualification from security companies and follow workable guidelines, Hursh said he and fellow board members have been collecting and reviewing similar requests from other, established PBIDS in the county to examine how they have managed their own process for solicitation of security management contracts, what those contracts include or exclude, and what is working and what isn’t.

“We are studying what the parameters are, what a company could offer, and it even gets down to whether or not they would be armed,” Hursh said. “We want to know everything we need to know from the security companies themselves, but also from other (BIDS) about what kind of reports are being submitted and how those security company personnel are interacting with other law enforcement officials.”

The CID has a budget of $301,838 for the first year, which is being collected through assessments of the roughly 250 commercial property owners with assets in the corridor. More than half, or $156,956 is earmarked for Clean and Safe Enhancements, which include security.

The first of two installments by PBID members was due in full April 10. Once those payments are accounted for and processed by the county, Hursh said, they will be released to the CID board for expenditure.

“We won’t get our money until the end of the month so that’s why we are unable to do any actual business just yet,” Hursh explained. “But we are out in front on the security piece so that we are ready to go once the funds are in.”

The PBID for Fair Oaks Boulevard was approved by just under 70 percent of local property owners in the fall of 2016. The renewable, five-year agreement with the county may be expanded to include a wider tax base and coverage area over the next five years.

Other immediate steps involve a comprehensive outreach plan to business owners and property owners to ascertain what their individual concerns and needs are. The task won’t be quick or easy, as both property owners and their commercial tenants will each have their own input.

“This won’t move at rapid speed,” said Hursh. “Remember, there are two aspects involved, one for the property owners and one for the business owners, and often these are two separate entities. That said, property owners want their business owners and tenants to be successful, so we have to meet with both sides.”


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Help Celebrate the Grand Opening

Source: Sacramento Suburban Water District  |  2017-04-26

On Saturday, May 13 from 10 a.m. to noon, Sacramento Suburban Water District (SSWD) and Fulton-El Camino Recreation and Park District will host a grand opening celebration for the new Gardens at Howe Park.

The Gardens at Howe Park include four, state-of-the-art, low-water use demonstration gardens, created in partnership by SSWD and sustainable gardening group, EcoLandscape California.

The grand opening celebration will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony, guided tours, workshop demonstration on high-efficiency sprinklers, and free gift bags filled with gardening tools for the first 100 attendees.

“We’re excited to open our newest demonstrations gardens and highlight the variety of ways people can have beautiful landscapes that are river-friendly and low-water,” said Greg Bundesen, SSWD’s Water Conservation Supervisor.

The new gardens include:

  • Sensible Switchover: This garden is designed to represent the layout of most Sacramento-area residential front yards, but features low-water plants and low maintenance solutions perfect for our region’s climate.
  • Wilder Wonders: A wilder, less structured garden filled with color and texture. It’s designed to provide food and shelter for birds, butterflies and bees.
  • Water Works: A working rain garden that shows how plants can take in, filter and hold water in the soil. It’s designed to capture the rain and let it percolate into our groundwater instead of flowing unchecked and unfiltered into our rivers, the Delta and ultimately the Pacific Ocean.
  • Effortless Edibles: This attractive garden features low-water edibles and aromatics, and can provide lots of goodies for your table, and color for your house.

Each of the gardens features informational signage that identifies all of the landscape’s water-efficient features and plants used.

For more information about the grand opening celebration for the new Gardens at Howe Park, visit www.sswd.org.


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Capital Region Small Business Week Underway

By Shelly Lembke  |  2017-04-26

The 2017 Capital Region Small Business Week Celebration (CRSBWC) is well underway in its efforts to promote, enhance and encourage small business owners. Whether novice or seasoned professional, Small Business Week offers programs and advice on all aspects of small business.

A backbone of the American economy, National Small Business Week was begun in 1963, with a yearly presidential proclamation. According to statistics, at least half of Americans own or work for a small business and create two-thirds of new U.S. jobs annually.

A previous symposium, said June Livingston, was “one of several events,” part of the larger Capital Region Small Business Week. Livingston is the Division Supervisor and a registered environmental health specialist with the County of Sacramento. In her position, she supervises the Business Environmental Resource Center (BERC), of which the Sacramento Area Sustainable Business (SASB) Program is a part.

“Yearly, we help hundreds of people,” said Livingston. “It is all free and completely confidential. The program is for the whole week and really covers the SACOG (Sacramento Area Council of Governments) Region,” she said.

BERC offers compliance assistance in a non-regulatory environment to ease regulatory concerns, facilitates the regulatory permit processes and offers continuing pre- and post-regulatory inspection compliance assistance. It provides one-on-one consultation, regulatory and technical assistance, best management practice and business advocacy, ombudsman and sustainable business services.

The Small Business Symposium: Roadmap to Success will run from April 30 through May 6, 2017, throughout Capital Region Small Business Week. The Symposium is Tuesday, May 2, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at McClellan Conference Center, 5411 Luce Avenue, McClellan, CA.

For help, questions or more information, visit www.SacBerc.org, bercadmin@saccounty.net or call 916.874.2100


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Taxpayers Gouged at the Pump

Commentary by Senator Ted Gaines  |  2017-04-26

Here are a few facts that should give pause to anyone supporting California’s new gas tax: CalTrans is overstaffed by 3,500 people, wasting $500 million every year that could be going to roads; California diverts a billion dollars in “weight fees” into the general fund annually, which should also be paying for roads; Californians already pay some of the highest gas taxes in the country but have some of the worst roads, which points to an efficiency problem.

It’s plain to see that the fake funding crisis used to push the new taxes through the legislature was really a crisis of political priorities. The money is there – without the new taxes – to pay for modern, smooth roadways up and down the state.

Still, the legislature has a default position, and that’s to pickpocket taxpayers and businesses at every turn. Hence the new tax to backfill the waste and diversions that should be paying for roads right now.

Governor Brown, oblivious to the actual effect the bill will have on businesses and families, tried to deflect criticisms of the new tax’s cost by noting that it will set back the average family about $10 a month.

Are my rural constituents, who drive 45 minutes to get to the grocery store, supposed to be happy because of that average? Are my suburban commuters putting 80 miles a day on their cars supposed to be happy with that average? It will be meaningless to them, as they will pay hundreds of dollars more a year in gas taxes and registration fees to pay for roads that their tax dollars already could have and should have paid for.

Because of this government decision to raise gas taxes $.12 a gallon, diesel $.20, and add an additional registration fee of $25-$175 on each vehicle (and that is just a partial list of the new charges), everyone in the state can expect to pay more for everything they buy, from school clothes to groceries to laptops. Not because the items are better, but because California legislators are attaching a premium to everything with their relentless search for tax dollars.

These new taxes and fees aren’t one-time charges. They go on forever under the current bill, and will start increasing, indefinitely, starting in 2020.

I want a first-class infrastructure for our state and am willing to pay for it, but not twice. That’s what this cynical bill does to our citizens. It forces them to pay a second time for roads that their tax dollars already could have built. It’s backfilling an imaginary shortfall to cover up government failure.

A state that can afford to waste tens of billions of dollars on the colossally expensive and worthless High Speed Rail is not a state starving for money. To California’s majority party, though, every problem looks like a deficit and every solution looks like a tax. It’s killing the middle- and lower-classes in the state.

Our state has the 48th-worst tax climate already, but this gas tax proves, yet again, that legislators can’t leave unwell enough alone.

Senator Ted Gaines represents the 1st Senate District, which includes all or parts of Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra and Siskiyou counties.


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Baker Responds to the California State Auditor’s Report

Source: Office of Assemblywoman Baker  |  2017-04-26

CA State Auditor: UC President Hiding $175 Million in Funds While Raising Tuition and Salaries

Assembly Higher Education Committee Vice Chair Catharine Baker issued the following statement in response to the California State Auditor’s recent report detailing an undisclosed $175 million reserve fund maintained by the Office of the President of the University of California and other financial concerns:

“The UC Board of Regents just raised tuition on students and has nearly doubled in-state student tuition over the last 10 years, while spending hundreds of millions of dollars on projects and administrative salaries. Students and their families deserve confidence that their money is being spent wisely. The UC Office of the President acknowledges the need to address the Auditor’s findings. I look forward to working with my Assembly colleagues, students, and the UC to get to the bottom of this and do all we can to help UC get its financial house in order.”

Baker represents the 16th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Alamo, Danville, Dublin, Lafayette, Livermore, Moraga, Orinda, Pleasanton, San Ramon, and Walnut Creek.


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Let the Good Times Rock & Roll

By Shelly Lembke  |  2017-04-26

The Baby Boomer Festival will be held on Saturday, May 6 at the Placer County Fairgrounds. The event is billed by organizers as a “‘Rock-n-Roll Fair’ that focuses on the good memories, the nostalgia, the dreams and the needs of America’s ‘Baby Boomer’ generation.”

Baby Boomer Festival Expo and Music Show

The Placer County Fairgrounds in Roseville will come alive as the gathering place for scores of people during the Baby Boomer Festival on Saturday, May 6. The Festival and Expo will feature music, cars and plenty of culture from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

Billed by organizers as a “‘Rock-n-Roll Fair’ that focuses on the good memories, the nostalgia, the dreams and the needs of America’s ‘Baby Boomer’ generation,” the grounds will be packed with exhibits and demonstrations designed to inform and educate attendees.

The musical line up by world famous Elvis tribute artist Gene Lane and classic rock and rollers Road Test will keep toes tapping and fingers snapping. “Car songs, surfer songs, old time rock and roll, cruisin' songs and songs about those backseat girlfriends are included in the fun,” along with “lots of dancing and audience participation in poodle skirts, baggies, leather jackets and tight sweaters. It’s the music you grew up with,” say the organizers.

Between music sets, festival goers can meander through any or all of the nearly 70 booths with information and shopping for everything from financial services to artwork to healthful wellbeing or any number of goods and services tailored to the Boomer generation.

Not to be missed are dozens of classic cars also on display, including some of the iconic “woodies” (wood side paneled) cars. There will also be food, prizes and goodie giveaways. The event is family friendly and the organizers invite Baby Boomers to bring their children and even grandchildren to share in the experience “As you enter the expo,” according to the organizers, “you will be surrounded by dozens of exciting exhibits on a wide variety of subjects pertinent to your well-being and happiness. Many of the exhibitors have come from throughout the region to discuss their plans for your health, finance and home life. So please take the time to stop and talk with them. You might just find an ideal match for your needs!”

The Baby Boomer Festival will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, May 6 at the Placer County Fairgrounds, located at 800 All America City Blvd, Roseville, CA 95678. Admission and parking are free. For more information including vendor lists and musical line up, visit www.babyboomerfestival.com.


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Sacramento Area Museums Go Big for Big Day of Giving on May 4

Source: T-Rock Communications  |  2017-04-25

The dedicated and diverse Sacramento area museum community is gearing up for the 2017 Big Day of Giving scheduled for Thursday, May 4, 2017, in hopes local contributors will choose to support their endeavors during this special giving challenge. For the past few years, more than $16 million has been raised for local nonprofits from throughout the region, state, country and world.

The Sacramento area is rich with an amazing array of state-of-the-art museums and historic sites that offer visitors the chance to explore California’s fine art, history, science, and wildlife treasures all year long. For the 2017 Big Day of Giving, a dozen Sacramento Area Museum members are participating in this collaborative effort that is focused locally but extends globally, including:

Aerospace Museum of California
California Automobile Museum
California Museum
California State Railroad Museum
Crocker Art Museum
Fairytale Town
Powerhouse Science Center Discovery Campus
Sacramento Children’s Museum
Sacramento History Museum
Sacramento Zoo
Sojourner Truth African American Museum
Verge Center for the Arts

Some of the participating museums and destinations are offering special incentives and activities on the Big Day of Giving. For more information about the Big Day of Giving and finding ways to support your favorite museum(s), please visit www.bigdayofgiving.org. For more information about upcoming activities offered by Sacramento area museums, “like” them on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SacMuseums, follow them on Twitter @SacMuseums or visit www.SacMuseums.org.

About the Sacramento Area Museums (SAM)
Comprised of 30 greater Sacramento area museums working in partnership with Visit Sacramento, SAM’s mission is to raise awareness of local museums by giving the community the opportunity to discover California’s fine art, history, science and wildlife treasures. SAM achieves its mission through implementing cooperative promotions and developing strategic marketing alliances, by encouraging sharing of knowledge and resources among its partner institutions.  For more information, visit www.SacMuseums.org.


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