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(Premium) News Briefs: homelessness, microtransit, obituary, Frost

Sue Frost, Supervisor, Citrus Heights
Supervisor Sue Frost speaks at a standing-room-only community meeting at Citrus Heights City Hall on Jan. 18, 2018. // Image Credit, Sue Frost

Latest local news briefs include a report from Supervisor Sue Frost’s community meeting at city hall, a celebration and reception held in memory of a local veteran and chaplain, more news about RT’s plan to bring a “microtransit” model to Citrus Heights, the Citrus Heights Chamber celebrating 60 years at an awards dinner, as well as details about a power outage on Friday and a fatal crash on Saturday morning.

Celebration of life held for Chaplain Jerry Smith
Jerry C. Smith, a regular figure in the annual Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies at Sylvan Cemetery, passed away last month after a battle with cancer. A reception and celebration in his honor was held on Jan. 13 at Reichert’s Funeral & Cremation Services in Citrus Heights.

According to an obituary published on last week, Smith had several children and grandchildren and served as chaplain for the Citrus Heights chapter of the American Legion. After graduating C.K. McClatchy High School, he served in the Navy from 1964-67, followed by his earning of a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Sacramento in 1973. He then became an instructor in the Sacramento City Unified School District, where he later retired. Smith was also a member of the Sacramento Story Tellers Guild, participated in the “No Soldier Left Behind” program, and was granted Aaronic Priesthood in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. (See obituary)

SacBee covers plan for RT’s ‘microtransit’ service in Citrus Heights
Sacramento Regional Transit’s plan to launch an Uber-style on-demand service in Citrus Heights next month was covered in a story in the Sacramento Bee last week, headlined “Sacramento’s transit future: Order a bus to your door.” As previously reported on The Sentinel last month, RT’s Deputy General Manager Mark Lonergan said the program will focus on the existing City Ride service in Citrus Heights and will allow riders to download an app or make a phone call to book a ride the same day, rather than the current system which requires booking a day in advance.

Transit agencies have long-struggled with offering efficient services in suburban areas, but RT is hopeful its partnership with TransLoc to provide on-demand service will help improve service and efficiency where fixed-routes have struggled. “It’s a great opportunity to really try something at a very minimal cost that has a huge, huge potential to be a real game-changer in communities where, you know, traditional fixed-route frankly hasn’t cut the muster,” Lonergan said.

Supervisor Frost talks homelessness, roads at community meeting
Sacramento County Supervisor Sue Frost held her first community meeting of 2018 on Thursday night at a standing-room-only event held in the Citrus Heights City Hall community room. About 100 people attended the hour-long meeting, asking the supervisor questions about a wide range of topics, including roads, homelessness, the “bullet train,” abandoned RV’s, California’s status as as “sanctuary state,” and other issues — some of which Frost said were outside of her purview as a county official.

Frost, who lives in Citrus Heights and previously served on the city council, said a survey she conducted of her constituents in Citrus Heights found that 76% oppose the recent gas tax increase, SB 1, and said she believes the tax could be overturned by voters. She said the county is expected to receive $9-11 million the first year from the new gas tax, which will then rise to $28-36 million per year. The supervisor also said her survey found 66% of her constituents in Citrus Heights “feel that homelessness is a problem and we should spend the same amount or more on homelessness.” She said at the county level she is looking into bringing a jobs program for homeless, based off of a model in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the city has partnered with a nonprofit to pick up panhandlers and pay them for doing various day jobs beautifying the city. Frost’s next community meeting in Citrus Heights is scheduled for March 15 at 6 p.m.

Citrus Heights chamber celebrates 60 years with awards dinner, packed house
News brief content submitted by Michael Bullington– The 2018 Citrus Heights Chamber of Commerce, celebrating its 60th anniversary with a packed house at the community center, began its annual Board Installation Dinner on Friday night with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails provided by Randy Peters Catering, and Courtney Dempsey of Good Day Sacramento serving as master of ceremonies. Johnnise Downs of Republic Services, outgoing chamber chair, gave opening remarks and recognized several elected officials in the audience, which included Senator Jim Nielsen and Sacramento County Supervisor Sue Frost.

Nineteen members of the Chamber’s board of directors were sworn in by Citrus Heights Mayor Steve Miller, and Amanda Blackwood of Stone’s Gambling Hall was announced as the new board chair. Among awards presented, Chief Ron Lawrence presented the award for Policeman of the Year to Jeff Schouten, a founding member of the police department in 2006, who was assigned as liaison to the Sunrise Mall in 2014.

More Briefly:

  • Power outage: Nearly 200 residents in Citrus Heights were affected by a power outage near Greenback Lane and Mariposa Avenue around 5 p.m. Friday. A SMUD spokeswoman said the outage was restored by 5:45 p.m., but said the cause was still being looking into, as of Friday evening.
  • Chamber dinner: The Citrus Heights Chamber of Commerce held its 60th installation and awards dinner at the community center on Fountain Square Drive, Friday evening.
  • Fatal crash: A 49-year-old Citrus Heights man died after his vehicle crashed into a tree on Isleton Road in the Delta around 4 a.m. Saturday, The Sacramento Bee reported. His name has not been released and the use of drugs and/or alcohol is under investigation according to the California Highway Patrol. (See story)
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