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By Chris Neklason
Published Jul 01, 2024

Um, how much for the fire extinguisher? Um, how much for the fire extinguisher? Image credit: Mike Mozart/Flickr   Creative Commons 2.0

Staying Safe and Sane

Back when I was a young kid growing up in sixties era Redwood City, the Fourth of July was a big deal because I loved fireworks. 

As the day approached, I'd gaze at the colorful newspaper ads and brochures, and consider which of the different assortment packs my brothers and I would wheedle and plead our father into buying.

The fireworks sold from stands in parking lots back then all came from the Red Devil fireworks company. 

A favorite was the Piccolo Pete, a thin cardboard tube with a portruding fuse and a little plastic stand that was placed upright on the ground. I'd light the fuse and then run back a few yards and a bright vertical geyser of sparks would erupt with a loud piercing whistling noise.

Another favorite was pinwheels, round cardboard discs with a little rocket on the outer edge. Our father would nail one to a telephone pole and light the fuse and the wheel would spin furiously, propelled by the sparks from the blazing rocket in a flaming circle.

Like many industries, the fireworks business has consolidated and Red Devil was acquired by TNT Fireworks in 1989.  TNT has come a long way since it began in 1920 when Clyde Anderson started selling fireworks from his newsstand in Florence, Alabama.  

My perspective on fireworks, though,  has been altered over the years by being a land owner and a pet owner.  

The booms, bangs and whisling shrieks are distressing to many pets, and the houses and acres ignited by celebratory revelers keep fire departments across the state busy for days and days.

This Fourth of July marks the 248th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and we at California Local wish you (and your pets!) a safe and sane holiday. 


An App For That

This issue of The Newsletter continues our focus on fire season as the Flash/Bolt and Basin fires burning in Fresno County have thus far consumed a combined 22,000 acres. The fires grew very rapidly, and evacuation orders have been issued for several affected areas.  Folks didn't get a lot of notice to get up and go.

The need to know "what is happening near me right now" has become more pressing as fires increase in frequency and intensity.

Our featured story is about how a resident of northern California turned their experience from the awful summer fires of 2020 into One Good Thing.


Volunteers Keeping Watch Over California

Where there's smoke, there's fire. Watch Duty has all the details in one place.
The Watch Duty team monitors a variety of real-time information resources and compiles all the information in one place.


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Sacramento County's Homepage

Direct your browser to https://sacramento.californialocal.com/ to catch up on the latest news in California and Sacramento County. Bookmark the link and visit often, there's a lot happening in your community!


Fire Season is Mosquito Season is West Nile Season

More than an itch-inducing nuisance, the mosquito is the world's deadliest animal.

Mosquito season is already underway after a wet winter and spring, and testing has confirmed West Nile virus present in Sacramento, Yolo and San Joaquin Counties.

Learn more about West Nile and the efforts to control mosquito populations in the articles below.


West Nile Virus Survivor Offers a Warning and a Plea

In the years since she recovered from a severe illness brought on by West Nile Virus, Marie Heilman has helped spread the word about the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito & Vector Control District's "Fight the Bite" campaign.
Marie Heilman of Winters, who is happy to be alive, wants people to guard against mosquitoes and the deadly virus they carry.

Taking a Bite Out of the Mosquito Population

Mosquitos kill about 725,000 people every year, worldwide.
The pesky mosquito can be deadly as well as annoying. Here’s how local governments in California have been waging war on mosquitoes for more than a century.

Recipe of the Week

Our friends at Sacramento Digs Gardening publish a recipe from their gardens every Sunday, which we feature here so you can start your week with some yum.

See more recipes in their Taste Summer! cookbook.


Pop apricots on the grill for this flavorful summer salad

Grilled apricots are the star of this early summer salad.
New! Grilled apricot and feta salad with balsamic vinaigrette


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Get to Know a Group

Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services logo Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services

Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services is dedicating to assisting those in need by alleviating their immediate problems and moving them toward self-sufficiency and financial independence.

→ Learn more

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From Our Media Allies

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Folsom Times logo Folsom Hometown Parade Draws Huge Spirited Patriotic Crowd

The Historic Folsom Hometown Parade, once again captivated the community with its patriotic spirit and local charm in grand fashion on Saturday.

Folsom Times logo Four New Officers Sworn in on Folsom Police Force

The City of Folsom has welcomed four new faces to the Folsom Police Department this week as it continues to strengthen its force to serve the city’s growing needs.

Folsom Telegraph logo Folsom City Council Adopts $247 Million Budget

In their June 25 meeting, the Folsom City Council approved the 2024-2025 budget of $247 million with a 3-1 vote.

Folsom Telegraph logo Grazing Goats Playing Pivotal Role as Peak Fire Season Approaches

The arrival of the grazing goats to the city of Folsom is always a happy event for many citizens who love to watch them gobble grass, snuggle and even hop onto tree branches; but they are also literally eating away …

Sacramento News and Review logo Theater of Dreams: Sacramento’s Only Microcinema Is a Movie Buff’s ‘Dreamland’

Two entrepreneurs opened Dreamland Cinema in Sacramento in June of 2022, during a time when theaters across the country were struggling — and still are — to lure viewers away from their streaming services and back to the movies after …

Folsom Times logo $25 Million Grant for Grantline Road Improvements Awarded to Sac County

A $25 million grant for road improvements is headed to the Sacramento area in an announcement by U.S. Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg.

Folsom Times logo Volunteers Needed to Comfort Shelter Pets July 4th

Sacramento County’s Bradshaw Animal Shelter is asking the public to help keep shelter pets calm during 4th of July fireworks.

Rancho Cordova Grapevine Independent logo Gold Rush Park Opens in Rancho Cordova

Located in the Rio Del Oro development area, the 5.1-acre park pays tribute to the California Gold Rush, the historical event that brought Rancho Cordova into being.

Folsom Times logo Folsom Council Greenlights 2024-25 Fiscal Year Budget

Additional police, fire, parks staffing funded as well as plans for Castle Park and other needs

Rancho Cordova Grapevine Independent logo 300-Plus Volunteers Make Spring Service Day Successful

The day started with lively music and high-energy performances as more than 300 volunteers gathered at Rancho Cordova City Hall for the inaugural Spring Service Day on Saturday, May 18.

Natomas Messenger logo County Supports Housing for Veterans and Homeless

On June 11, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors approved the transfer of 2.2 acres of land and $3 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to the City of Rancho Cordova for the development of Mather Veterans Village Phase …

Folsom Times logo City of Folsom Building Fees to Increase July 1

The City of Folsom Community Development Department will implement several fee increases and restructuring measures set to take effect over the coming months, impacting a variety of construction projects within the city.

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Recent Local News

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• California Adds Reparations Funds to Budget

California advanced reparations efforts with an initial $12 million in funding included in the 2024-2025 state budget.

(07/01/2024) → CapPublicRadio

• A Guide to Protecting Yourself from Mosquitos (and West Nile Virus)

It's mosquito season, and West Nile virus has been detected in Yolo, Sacramento and San Joaquin Counties. CapRadio presents a guide to staying safe.

(06/28/2024) → CapPublicRadio

• Civil Grand Jury Faults County Supervisor Raises

The Sacramento County Civil Grand Jury released a report finding math errors and a lack of transparency in the process of Sacramento County Supervisors granting themselves raises.

(06/28/2024) → The Sacramento Bee

• Update on Citrus Heights Road Upgrades

An update on road repairs, restriping and resurfacing and safety improvements in Citrus Heights.

(06/27/2024) → Citrus Heights Sentinel

• Funding Secured for Bike Trail Extension

$564,864 in funds was secured by the Sacramento County Department of Transportation for a feasibility study for extending the Northern Bike Trail.

(06/27/2024) → Rio Linda Messenger

• North Highlands Apartments Approved

The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors approved the 172-unit three-story New Green Apartments project development to be built on a 6.1-acre site at Watt Avenue and Larchmont Drive.

(06/27/2024) → Rio Linda Messenger

• Profile of Mobile Shower Program

A profile of the Showers by Touchstone mobile shower program and its founder, Mark Lytal.

(06/27/2024) → CapPublicRadio

• Yolo Mosquitos Test Positive for West Nile

On June 26, the Yolo County Mosquito Vector Control District reported mosquitos sampled from Dunnigan tested positive for the West Nile virus.

(06/27/2024) → The Sacramento Bee

• Sacramento Area Free Food Locations

The Sacramento Observer list of free food locations in Sacramento County.

(06/26/2024) → The Sacramento Observer

• Citrus Heights Mayor Moving to Kentucky

Bret Daniels, longtime resident and current Citrus Heights Mayor, announced his plans to move to Kentucky seeking to leave behind overbearing government for an environment more supportive of parents rights.

(06/25/2024) → Citrus Heights Sentinel
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Recent Statewide News

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• Does a Proposed $10 Billion Bond Favor Richer California School Districts?

Small and low-income school officials say the bond measure deal is unfair. The money is allocated through matching grants, so wealthier districts that can raise more local funds will get more money from the state.

(07/01/2024) → CalMatters

• SCOTUS Rules Cities Can Ban Homeless Camps

The Supreme Court 6-3 ruling in the City of Grants Pass v. Johnson case found that the fining and arresting of homeless people does not violate Eighth Amendment rights.

(06/28/2024) → The Sacramento Bee

• Supreme Court Gives Cities in California and Beyond More Power to Crack Down on Homeless Camps

The ruling by the conservative court majority means cities no longer are prohibited from punishing homeless people for camping if they have nowhere else to go.

(06/28/2024) → CalMatters

• ‘Total System Breakdown’: California Firefighters With PTSD Face a Workers’ Comp Nightmare

Even when suicidal, California firefighters struggle to find medical help and navigate the workers’ comp morass to pay for it.

(06/25/2024) → CalMatters

• Drinking Water of Almost a Million Californians Failed to Meet State Requirements

Almost 400 suppliers, two-thirds in communities of color, don’t meet safety and reliability standards. Fixing them would cost billions.

(06/25/2024) → CalMatters

• California’s Debate Over Coastal Zone Reforms Has Created a False Choice Between Homes and Protections

A push to bolster housing production in California's coastal communities in recent years has led to heated battles over potential state reforms. Below, a veteran elected official believes the debate has created a false choice between housing and protections. The opposing view: A former attorney for the Coastal Commission says the state Coastal Act has failed to deliver on what it envisioned.

(06/25/2024) → CalMatters
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Government Announcements

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Image of United States seal. United States   (06/30/2024)

Michael Foods Inc. Recalls Fair Meadow Foundations Liquid Egg Products Due to Misbranding and Undeclared Allergens

WASHINGTON, June 30, 2024 - M.G. Waldbaum dba Michael Foods Inc., a Gaylord, Minn. establishment, is recalling approximately 4,620 pounds of liquid egg products due to misbranding and undeclared allergens...
Image of State of California seal. State of California   (06/30/2024)

Lori Wilson CA Assembly 11:
Assemblymembers Wilson and Garcia Announce Agreement on $10 Billion Climate Resilience Bond for 2024 Ballot

Assemblymembers Wilson and Garcia Announce Agreement on $10 Billion Climate Resilience Bond for 2024 Ballot guerraje Sun, 06/30/2024 - 08:56 Title Communications Director Email Edgar.Guerra@asm.ca.gov Phone 916-319-2011 Sunday, June 30, 2024 Assemblymembers Wilson and Garcia Announce Agreement on $10 Billion Climate Resilience Bond for 2024 Ballot (SACRAMENTO, CA) Today, Assemblymembers Lori Wilson (D-Suisun City) and Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) announced an …
Image of City of Elk Grove seal. City of Elk Grove   (06/29/2024)

Elk Grove to Open Cooling Center on Monday

In anticipation of daily temperatures topping the century mark starting early next week, the City of Elk Grove and Cosumnes Community Services District will open a cooling center beginning on Monday, July 1 and operating daily from Noon to 8 p.m. through Friday, July 5 at the Wackford Community Complex at 9014 Bruceville Road. Operating dates may be extended if …
Image of City of Sacramento seal. City of Sacramento   (06/28/2024)

City activates cooling centers July 1-7

With the National Weather Service forecasting an excessive heat watch for the coming days, the City of Sacramento will activate the Outreach and Engagement Center and the Sam & Bonnie Pannell Community Center as cooling centers where residents can find relief from the heat. The OEC (3615 Auburn Blvd.) will operate from 10 a.m. Monday [...] The post City activates …
Image of State of California seal. State of California   (06/28/2024)

Lori Wilson CA Assembly 11:
Assemblywoman Lori D. Wilson's statement on the passage of ACA 8 from both the Senate and Assembly Floors

Assemblywoman Lori D. Wilson's statement on the passage of ACA 8 from both the Senate and Assembly Floors guerraje Fri, 06/28/2024 - 12:33 Title Communications Director Email Edgar.Guerra@asm.ca.gov Phone 916-319-2011 Thursday, June 27, 2024 SACRAMENTO, CA Assemblywoman Lori D. Wilson released the following statement on ACA 8's passage in both Senate and Assembly Floors. Today marks a historic milestone in …
Image of City of Elk Grove seal. City of Elk Grove   (06/27/2024)

Traffic Advisory: Elk Grove Salutes the Red, White & Blue

The City of Elk Grove will implement temporary traffic controls across southeast Elk Grove on Thursday, July 4th, for the 28th annual Elk Grove Salutes the Red, White & Blue event scheduled from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at Elk Grove Park. Traffic Closures & Detours: A traffic plan has been created, and road closures and detours will be in …
Image of City of Elk Grove seal. City of Elk Grove   (06/27/2024)

Traffic Advisory: Run 4 Independence

Laguna Sunrise Rotary Club will host the Run 4 Independence on and around District56 on Thursday, July 4. To accommodate the event, road closures and detours will be set up between the hours of 6:45 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Motorists are encouraged to plan accordingly. Street Closures and Detours: Civic Center Drive will be closed from Big Horn Blvd. to …
Image of City of Elk Grove seal. City of Elk Grove   (06/27/2024)

Elk Grove City Council Adopts Balanced Budget

The Elk Grove City Council unanimously adopted a balanced $374 million budget for the 2024-25 fiscal year which takes effect on July 1. The FY 2024-25 budget includes an operating budget for day-to-day city programs and services. The Citys General Fund Budget is $92.4 million for FY 2024-25, which is about $3.4 million (4%) more than last fiscal year. The …
Image of City of Sacramento seal. City of Sacramento   (06/26/2024)

Data Report: How the City responded to homelessness June 17-23

The City of Sacramento has released its weekly progress report for the Citys Incident Management Team responding to homelessness. From June 17-23, the City of Sacramento received 772 calls to 311 customer service related to unsheltered individuals. Through the work of the IMT, 465 calls were closed, meaning that either the issue was remedied, compliance was achieved, [...] The post …
Image of City of Sacramento seal. City of Sacramento   (06/26/2024)

City Council votes to continue motel program that shelters more than 500 parents and children

The Sacramento City Council Tuesday voted to continue providing emergency shelter to unhoused families in motels leased by the City. As of mid-June, the motel program funded by state and federal dollars was sheltering 572 adults and children, mostly in properties fully leased by the City for that purpose. The Council Tuesday approved [...] The post City Council votes to …