Enjoying a local play or musical can be a great time out for all. The Fair Oaks Theatre Festival and American River College Theatre are offering a new and exciting season of musical theatre filled with laughter, nostalgia, and terrific music! Their ‘theatre-under-the-stars’ experience begins with the hilarious, family-friendly musical “Little Me” by Neil Simon. The show runs Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights beginning at 8:30pm. The first show opens on June 17 and runs through July 24.
Also in July, they have two youth productions available for true musical theatre fans: “Bye Bye Birdie”, which is performed by youths age 10-21. This show runs July 21-31. FOTF will also present Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella”, performed by children age 7-12, running July 7-16.
Opening July 2 and running every Saturday through July 23 is “Beauty and the Beast,” a silly and splendid non-musical version of the popular children’s story. This one-hour play provides young audience members with a special theatre experience followed by photo opportunities and autograph signing with all the play characters.
Next up will be a return of “The New Christy Minstrels,” the popular folk music group offering two fundraising concerts scheduled for July 30 and 31 at 7:30pm. This annual concert frequently sells out, so get your tickets early!
The season will conclude with a feast of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s delectable music in “A Grand Night for Singing.” Taste and imagination abound in this innovative musical, which celebrates the last three decades of the magical Rodgers & Hammerstein collaboration. The show runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, August 12 through September 18, at 8:00pm.
For more information, call (916) 966-3683 or visit www.FairOaksTheatreFestival.com.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, and Contra Costa Sheriff’s Department held a press conference to announce the launch of a reward and national campaign to help identify the East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer, a violent serial burglar, rapist, and murderer who terrorized multiple communities in California throughout the 1970s and 1980s.
The digital media campaign includes the launch of a webpage, www.fbi.gov/EastAreaRapist digital billboards throughout the country; social media outreach on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube; and audio broadcasts via podcasts and radio PSAs. The public can play an active role in helping law enforcement find the subject by sharing links to the website and official social media content.
Law enforcement asks the public to consider the following information when reviewing information about the case:
The subject, who may be 60-75 years old now, was described as a White male standing approximately five feet, ten inches tall, with blond or light brown hair and an athletic build. He may have had an interest or training in military or law enforcement techniques as he was familiar and proficient with firearms.
People who know the subject may not believe him capable of such crimes. He may not have exhibited violent tendencies or have a criminal history.
Detectives have DNA evidence from some of the crime scenes which can either positively link or exclude a suspect. This enables investigators to quickly exclude innocent parties and the public should not hesitate to provide information—even if it is the name or address of an individual who resided in the areas of the crimes—as many parties will be quickly excluded by a simple, non-invasive test.
Between 1976 and 1986, this single subject committed 12 homicides, approximately 45 rapes, and multiple residential burglaries in the state of California. All of the crimes have been linked by DNA and/or details of the crimes. His victims ranged in age from 13 to 41 and included women home alone, women at home with their children, and couples.
The subject was active in the greater Sacramento area from June 1976 to February 1978. Burglaries and rapes began occurring in the Sacramento area during the summer of 1976. During these crimes, the subject would ransack the homes of his victims and take small items such as coins, jewelry, and identification. These cases include the homes of families, couples, and single women; burglaries in a neighborhood tended to precede clusters of sexual assaults. On February 2, 1978, Rancho Cordova couple Sergeant Brian Maggiore and his wife, Katie, were on an evening walk with their dog, chased by the subject who overcame the couple, and shot at close range.
His activity continued primarily in the East Bay Area of Northern California in 1979 and, by October 1979, his activity escalated into rapes and homicides/attempted homicides along the California Coast with homicides in Goleta (October 10, 1979, December 3, 1979, and July 27, 1981), Ventura (March 16, 1980), Laguna Niguel (August 19, 1980), and Irvine (February 6, 1981 and May 5, 1986). During the commission of the homicides, the subject tied up both victims, raped the female victim, and then murdered the couple.
After July of 1981, no associated incidents are known to have been reported for five years. In 1986, an 18-year-old woman was raped and murdered in Irvine. No additional crimes have been connected to the subject after this incident.
A graphic illustrating the general location of these crimes is available on the FBI’s webpage.
Law enforcement is seeking any information that may help identify the subject, dubbed the “East Area Rapist” in Sacramento. He has also been called the “Original Night Stalker,” “Diamond Knot Killer,” and, more recently, the “Golden State Killer.” Individuals with information about the subject may call 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324). Additionally, information may be submitted to the FBI’s online tip line, tips.fbi.gov.
As guest speaker at the Rancho Cordova luncheon on June 17, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones spoke bluntly. “In my entire career I have never seen the criminal justice system or public safety challenged as much as it is right now,” Jones said. “It’s been a sequence of events and mindsets that transitioned us to where we are.”
Going back to realignment in the 2011 time-frame, Jones said, the Supreme Court insisted the State prison system must reduce the prison population by a certain number by a certain date. “There are really only two ways to reduce prison population,” Jones said. “You close the front door, or you open the back door.”
The State’s efforts to respond to the court’s ultimatum resulted in realignment and Proposition 47. Closing the front door left criminals on the street, their felonies changed to misdemeanors, and prisoners were sent to County jails instead of State prisons. Opening the back door resulted in more criminals receiving early release. Titled the safe neighborhoods and schools act, Proposition 47 had nothing to do with safe neighborhoods and schools, Jones said. “I believe Prop 47 was the worst piece of public safety legislation in my lifetime. We’re going to be feeling the effects of that for a long, long time.”
Jane Taff, club growth director for Toastmasters International, agreed with much of Jones’s talk. “We are not being told the whole truth about propositions that are placed on the ballot or the effects of (the Governor’s) executive orders,” Taff said.
Jones thought of running for Congress only after the 2014 murder of Sacramento Deputy Danny Oliver. The alleged perpetrator was in the country illegally, had been convicted in Arizona of selling drugs, and had been deported multiple times. Jones’s video plea for immigration reform to President Obama went viral on YouTube. “I realized that I could throw rocks from afar as much as I want,” Jones said, “but unless I get in the ring and actually get my knuckles bloody, then there’s nothing I could do for Sacramento for the things that I wanted to change.”
Rancho Cordova’s Chief of Police, Michael Goold, said that Jones would bring a unique viewpoint to Congress, “able to provide firsthand knowledge of the challenges we face on the local level and what we need to succeed in providing community based policing.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that three-percent of children in the U.S. suffer from amblyopia (lazy eye). If not corrected by the age of four, it is often irreversible. The organization’s survey further reports that only 25-percent of preschool children receive vision testing of any kind.
How do you check the vision of a small child who has not yet developed communication skills and has the attention span of a butterfly?
In 1975 Kiyo Sato had tried everything she could find to test the vision of children from three to five-years-old. “Nothing was working,” she said. “Nothing I could find on the market.” The standard eye test uses letters preschoolers have not yet learned and images they may not be able to identify.
So the public health nurse took matters into her own hands. She invented the Blackbird Vision Screening System. Kiyo’s method starts out by the telling an interesting story about blackbirds swooping back and forth, up and down. Then she incorporates the animated tale with a series of flash cards with the image of a blackbird in flight to determine whether a child has a vision deficiency.
The subject sits exactly 20-feet away from the tester. They wear cardboard glasses with flaps that allow them to see out of each eye separately. As the images shown get progressively smaller, the child indicates the direction the blackbird is flying: up, down, left or right. In that way the tester is able to determine whether the child needs corrective lenses.
Enthusiastic youthful bystanders often get into the procedure. “Up,” shouts one youngster.
“It’s Kaspar’s turn,” their teacher said. “You’ll get your chance.”
“The children have fun doing it,” Kiyo said. “Also, they are trying to get my attention.”
Indeed, Kiyo Sato has that special way of relating to young people. They like and trust her. “They know me as a friend and share personal things with me,” she said. “There is an openness that is so remarkable and I enjoy that.”
Of the 16 children tested at a recent session, two youngsters, or approximately 12-percent of the group, were found to suffer from amblyopia and would need medical attention to correct the lazy eye condition.
In the four decades since Kiyo’s original inspiration she has used her system to test thousands of children.
As successful as the program has been in weeding out vision problems among the young, it has not attracted the interest of institutions such as the World Health Organization, which uses old standard testing programs that are ineffective for children as young as those who have benefitted from the Blackbird system. A letter in response to a recommendation to the agency about Blackbird said, “We are well covered for vision screening.”
On this day, Kiyo Sato has set up at the historic Edward Kelley School on Bradshaw Boulevard in Rancho Cordova. The school was built in 1869 and has been in service ever since, although it is now a pre-school facility.
Ironically, the school is where Kiyo, herself, got her early education. She attended from 1930 to 1937. “It was the best education I got in my whole life,” she said, standing on the very stage where she received her eighth grade graduation diploma 79 years ago.
The years since have been a long, hard journey: Kiyo was incarcerated with all west coast Japanese-Americans during World War II, became a registered nurse, raised four adopted children on her own, invented the Blackbird System, wrote a book about her family’s imprisonment (Kiyo's Story: A Japanese-American Family's Quest for the American Dream), and continues, at the age of 92, as one of the oldest active nurses in the nation.
For more information about the Blackbird Vision Screening System, go to: http://www.blackbirdvision.com/how_it_works.htm
At 11:00 p.m. on June 18, 2016, a Sheriff’s deputy observed a vehicle driving erratically in the area of El Camino Avenue and Walnut Avenue in Carmichael. The deputy attempted to pull over the suspect vehicle when a pursuit ensued. The pursuit continued for approximately four to five minutes, with the suspect vehicle reaching speeds of up to 60 miles per hour in residential areas.
The suspect turned south on Horton Lane south of Sutter Avenue. The roadway turned into a dead end, where deputies exited their car and gave commands for the suspect to exit the vehicle. The suspect then put his car in reverse and began to accelerate. A deputy fearing for the safety of the officers behind the suspect’s vehicle discharged his firearm at the suspect. The suspect sustained gunshot wounds and was taken out of his vehicle. Deputies immediately began life saving measures. Sacramento Metro Fire responded and pronounced the suspect deceased at the scene.
The identity of the suspect in this case will be made available by the Sacramento County Coroner’s office, after notification has been made to his next of kin.
The investigation into the incident will be conducted by the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau and Professional Standards Division, which is standard practice for any officer-involved shooting that occurs in the Sheriff’s Department’s jurisdiction. The deputy involved in the shooting is a 12 year veteran of the Sheriff’s Department. In accordance with the Sheriff’s Department policies and procedures, the deputy involved in the shooting will be placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation. The deputy is currently assigned to the field services division.
Wednesday, June 15th, around 9:30 this morning, Metro Fire crews were dispatched for a kitchen fire on the 2100 block of Red Robin Lane in the Arden area. Strong winds blowing through windows quickly spread the kitchen fire to the rest of this small house, and fire crews arrived to find a home well-involved with fire.
Four fire engines, two trucks, two medics, and two battalion chiefs worked quickly to search for victims, extinguish the fire, and protect nearby homes. Their strategic fire attack successfully contained the fire to the house of origin, with minimal charring to the exterior of an adjacent home. Firefighters pulled two dogs and one bird out of the fire and attempted to resuscitate them, but they did not survive. The cause of the fire was determined to be unattended cooking, with total damage estimated at $50,000.
Our thoughts go out to the resident who lost her pets and much of her home today.
Cooking remains the number one cause of home fires, causing more injuries than any other type of fire. Knowing what to do can make all the difference. Never leave unattended food cooking on the stove, even for a short time. If you encounter a small grease fire, leave the pan where it is, turn off the heat, and put a lid on it. If you can’t get a lid on the pan, use a fire extinguisher or call 911. For more information, check out www.metrofire.ca.gov.
More than 500 local residents joined with 100 formerly homeless women to raise a recordbreaking $200,000 at Women’s Empowerment’s 15th Anniversary Gala in May. Funds raised will benefit the local nonprofit job training and empowerment program for women who are homeless and their children. The event, which also honored the group’s 1,322 graduates, included opportunities for community members to mingle with graduates who wore evening gowns donated by the community. Guests enjoyed a formal dinner, live and silent auctions, live music and stories from women who are no longer homeless.
“When we started this organization 15 years ago, we never could have dreamed that we would raise $200,000 at this beautiful event that doubles as a way to celebrate all of the amazing women in Sacramento who have broken the cycle of homelessness for their children,” said Lisa Culp, founding executive director, Women’s Empowerment. “The Sacramento community outdid themselves this year in showing their support for local women who are working so hard.”
Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, Women’s Empowerment was recently featured on NBC’s TODAY Show and CNN’s Impact Your World for offering the most comprehensive job-readiness program in the Sacramento area designed specifically for women who are homeless and their children. The 2014 Organization of the Year has graduated 1,322 homeless women and their 2,750 children. Last year, 93 percent of graduates found homes and 83 percent found jobs or enrolled in school or training. The program combines self-esteem courses, job training, health classes and support services to help homeless women across diverse ages, races and cultures. Women’s Empowerment is funded solely through private donations from the community. To donate online: www.womens-empowerment.org
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) seeks assistance from the public to identify an armed and dangerous individual who has robbed several Sacramento area banks. Thus far, the subject has been linked to four robberies in the Sacramento area:
The robbery subject is described as an adult male who may be in his 20’s or 30’s. He stands approximately six feet tall with a very slender build. The man has worn a variety of clothing and has concealed his hair or lack thereof by wearing a shoulder-length, red-brown wig or white straw fedora hat that had a band with three alternating stripes. He has also worn glasses with tinted lenses. Photos of this suspect are available on the FBI’s Wanted Bank Robber website: https://bankrobbers.fbi.gov/robbers-container/2016-06-17.8143564404.
During the four robberies, the man either brandished a black handgun or threatened a gun before and demanding money from tellers. After receiving money, the subject stowed the funds in a bag. During the April 25, 2016 and May 29, 2016, robberies, the individual used a tan fabric tote with a stiff, round handle. During the June robberies, the man used a royal blue fabric bag.
In addition to the FBI, the bank robberies are being investigated by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department and Sacramento Police Department.
Individuals with information about this man may call their local FBI office or 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-885-5984). Tips may also be submitted online at tips.fbi.gov. If the subject is spotted in the community, the public is urged to call 911 and not approach the individual. Wanted fugitives, bank robberies, and other cases in need additional information from the public are posted for viewing on the FBI Sacramento Division’s Most Wanted page.
Imagine a community where close friends and neighbors regularly share meals together; where children are free to roam and range where they will; where elders are safe and secure; where the pace of life is gentler; where an ideal balance between community and privacy reigns. Picture this place nestled under green canopies and copses, just a casual stroll from the American River, on a 4-acre plot of the Sacramento County village of Fair Oaks. If the people of the Fair Oaks Co-housing project have their way, this vision will become more than just a dream. By 2017, it will begin to be a reality.
Charles Durrett is a man with the vision, skill and experience that can bring this kind of community to architectural fruition. It was Durrett, along with his wife and partner, Kathryn McCamant, who coined the term co-housing, a type of intentional community which harmonizes the best aspects of both communal and private living. Durrett is the chief architect and grand inspiration behind 55 co-housing communities worldwide. Indeed, fewer than 25 years after Durrett and McCamant first conceived of the idea, co-housing communities have turned into a something like a social movement. Currently there are 161 established co-housing communities, completed or intended, globally. More than 30 of these are already up and running here in California.
The idea for co-housing first came to Durrett, who grew up in both Sacramento and Nevada Counties, on a trip he took to Denmark in 1980. He took a stroll through some rather dreadful conurbations that were very much like many of the Sacramento neighborhoods he had remembered: stale communities where there was nothing happening between the dead spaces of the housing and apartment complexes.
Suddenly, he stumbled upon a neighborhood where things were different. “People stopped and chatted, and had tea together” remarked Durrett. “People conversed with each other. I went from a bunch of buildings where nobody seemed to live, to a community where everybody lived. I stopped and I asked them what's going on here. They said they had grown up in a high-functioning neighborhood and that's how they wanted their kids to grow up. So, I thought, if I ever move back to Sacramento I want to live in a place like this.”
A co-housing project blends the best aspects of a village, a suburb, a commune, and a hometown, while ingeniously doing away with some of most undesirable traits of all of these. The key is to cluster private dwellings strategically around a shared space. Co-housing is made up of an aggregate of private homes grouped around common grounds where there are gardens, walkways, a meeting house or play areas for the children. Each of the associated single family homes resembles a normal house with the usual amenities, including a private kitchen and bathrooms. A co-housing community is not invasive and claustrophobic, like a typical commune; but it is not moribund and alienating, like a typical suburban housing tract. Indeed, co-housing incorporates the most desirable aspects of common living - like having neighbors who share resources like tools and appliances - while eliminating the more stifling aspects of a communal life. Co-housing makes it possible to preserve the integrity of a single family, while enjoying all of the blessings of a traditional community.
After his original inspiration, Durrett and McCamant went on to design dozens of co-housing communities, including their own group located in Nevada City, as well the co-housing on 1.25 urban acres in downtown Sacramento. Durrett said, “We initiated and designed that project on 5th and T Streets. If you go by there you will see a different life. When we planned that project, there were plenty of people who didn't want to live in Oak Park, so they started talking about a suburban neighborhood. Unfortunately, it took them a while to settle on a piece of property, but they finally did. And people came and went. They moved in 1992 and 1993.”
The Fair Oaks co-housing project has proven to be much more difficult for the initiating group to get off the ground, though not for lack of trying. What's bedeviled the project most has to do with the high cost of living in this rather upscale bend on the American River, as well as the byzantine permit process which the County requires all building ventures to navigate. “The property was a fortune,” said Durrett, “When it comes to development in Sacramento County it’s extremely challenging. I haven’t worked in a county anywhere — even in Australia, New Zealand, Denmark — that was as challenging as Sacramento County. They figure out how to make everything cost as expensive as it possibly can. The bureaucracies are so big, so encumbered, and pretty darn inefficient.”
Nevertheless, in spite of the financial and bureaucratic challenges, the Fair Oaks co-housing project was worth it — or, at least, it will be once they are able to get enough members to buy into the dream. According to Durrett, they have the opportunity to live up to their eco-village aspirations with serious gardening aspirations, for instance, in perfectly suited conditions. “What makes Fair Oaks co-housing the most different, as far as I’m concerned,” continued Durrett, “and the number one thing that’s special about it is that the parking is rather remote. So when you get into this neighborhood, it’s zero car-orientation. They don’t even have that at 5th and T because there's an alley that goes through their project. So, that by itself is extremely unique from anything in Sacramento.”
With co-housing, Durrett and McCamant offer a way forward through so many modern dilemmas, chief of which is the devastation and unsustainability of living in an automobile-centered culture while trying to provide for the happiness and comfort of the young and the elderly. “Where we live,” said Durrett, “we had a 97-year-old woman who lived right next to her car. Because of the site plan, there were some cars right next to the units. When she moved in, she moved in right next to her car. A few years later, mostly because her kids talked her into it, she moved to a house that was 700 feet from her car. I stopped and chatted with her one day on the sidewalk and I said, ‘Meg, Why did you move 700 feet from your car?’ and she said, ‘Chuck, my relationship to my neighbor is a lot more important to me and my well-being than my relationship to my auto.’”
Durrett pointed out the stark difference in lifestyle for the elderly when there is a stable, close-knit community to lend immediate support. “In Nevada County, we have these huge, ridiculous buses called Telecare that are designed just to move seniors around; mostly to the pharmacy and to the doctors. Last year we had 64,000 trips for 2,000 seniors. But we have 20 seniors in my co-housing and we’ve never had one Telecare, because, like last night, I gave an 82-year-old senior a ride to her Lion’s function. It was easy. It was fun. It was no skin off my back — and that’s what happens in a village-like setting — or a co-housing community — and it happens all day. We’ve never had a Telecare, or Meals on Wheels or Nurses on the Go.”
Durrett points out that Americans drove 5 billion miles last year just to get senior Meals on Wheels and Nurses on the Go. “So, we have to change, and the only sustainable solution is a more village-like setting. I’m dead surprised that the government is not running after this. I was in Spain a couple months ago and when I got off the plane my host said, ‘Chuck we had 12,934 people die in the last heatwave in just a couple of days.’ These were mostly seniors who were cast adrift. Now, all it takes to keep somebody alive is a damp towel and somebody who gives a damn. So, the issues are not so much can we connect with our car, it’s can we connect with our neighbor? And those seniors and disabled will be better served in that co-housing community in Fair Oaks than any other community in the whole of Sacramento County, except for the co-housing community downtown.”
As far as youth is concerned, co-housing is quite possibly the best thing that can happen to a childhood. All of the communities are integrally designed so that kids have ample space and opportunity to have the kind experience that most of us had back before life became so strangely intimidating that we never let our youth roam free anymore.
But the uniquely conceived safety of co-housing can bring back those carefree days. Durrett mentioned an 18-year-old young woman who had grown up in his co-housing village. He said, “She is writing a report right now that says she has never heard of one single kid who grew up in co-housing who used drugs.”
In reference to the essential meaning of life, British Author E. M. Forster pithily said, “Only connect.” When we consider the multiple social and environmental crises facing our nation and our world, we are often at a loss as to how to confront these challenges by restoring the vital connections that once linked us to that invisible web of communal concern, engaged compassion and mutual aid which is only dimly reflected in the digital shadow of the internet. The devastating problems of homelessness, drug abuse, suicide, emotional alienation will not go away until we figure out real, practical ways to structure our communities and the society emerging from them, in more insightful and sensitive ways.
Thoughtful and forward-thinking visionaries like Charles Durrett and Kathryn McCamant design proven architectural solutions which help preserve our need for privacy and individuality while, at the same time, laying down those lines of palpable connection and human communion which are so essential the meaning and purpose of our being here, on this little blue planet Earth. Co-housing can connect us through intricate harmonization of personal family identity with communal integrity, and in so doing it is one of the brighter paths to a better future.
Over $18,000 has been raised so far for the 13th annual Citrus Heights Relay for Life event. Members of 20 relay teams from businesses, non-profits and the City of Citrus Heights took turns running and walking laps around the McArthur Ballfield at San Juan High School Saturday, June 11 to raise money to help fight the growing scourge of cancer it all its forms.
The opening ceremony included greetings from Relay Co-founders Diane Ebbitt and Bill Van Duker who spoke of their meager beginnings in 2004 with only three committee members to the event in 2016. Vice Mayor Jeff Slowey told of his own successful battle with cancer as he has been cancer free for sixteen months. However, he shared that two other city council members are presently battling cancer reinforcing the number of people we all know who are touched by cancer, and the need to fund cancer education, research, advancements in care of patients and the eventual cure of the disease.
Over two hundred survivors, caregivers, family members and friends, along with organizations also raising funds and sharing information on different cancers participated in the day which began at 11 a.m. and ended at 11 p.m.
Highlights of the day and evening included the presentation of Survivor Medals by Sac Metro Fire District Paramedic Captain Robert Bruce to cancer survivors, in celebration of their having fought the hard fight and come back to their families and friends. Survivors also share with those newly diagnosed with others fighting cancer themselves. Caregivers of cancer patients, past and present were awarded sashes and recognized for what it takes to give of themselves in their care of all those they have cared for: those in remission, those still bravely battling their cancer and those who have lost their battle.
Pageant queens, princesses, and ambassadors with West Coast Pageants handed out the sashes to the caregivers and helped in may capacities where needed throughout the event. A generous brunch was catered by Sammy’s Restaurant.
A favorite booth was the Citrus Height’s dunking tank featuring Sgt. Jason Baldwin who was dunked many times by young and old alike. Each paid $1a ball to hit the orange target and dunk the Baldwin. Over $160 was collected which represents 160 attempts made to dunk him.
The high energy music of all genres by Mark von Thaden of Skool DJ, kept walkers and runners motivated for 12 hours as they circled the field including music for the Congo Line Lap, the Superhero Lap and 70’s Disco Lap. With darkness hundreds of luminaries surrounded field creating a somber but hopeful mood as illuminated white bags spelled out the words “Hope” and “Cure” high in the stands. Bags were purchased for $10 each in memory of those lost to cancer and to honor survivors.
Donations are still being collected by teams towards the final goal of $20,000. If you would like to donate, mail your donation to C at 1545 River Park Dr. Suite 100, Sacramento, CA 95815, or contact Tamika Stove with the American Cancer Society at firstname.lastname@example.org.