NAG candidate forum focuses on non-arena issues

With the arena deal off the table, the focus of the most recent District 4 candidate forum shifted to a variety of non-arena issues, including curbing urban sprawl and how to handle homelessness in the central city. Five of the seven candidates vying for Rob Fong’s District 4 City Council seat met at the Ethel Hart Senior Center in Midtown for Monday’s forum hosted by the Neighborhood Advisory Group. This was the third opportunity that candidates Phyllis Newton, Steve Hansen, Terry Schanz, Joe Yee and David Turturici have participated in since joining the race for the council seat. At the previous forums, discussion topics typically centered on the proposed entertainment and sports complex for the downtown railyards. This time, forum attendees had other financial questions for the candidates – such as what they plan to do with the $50,000 discretionary fund allotted to each council district. “I would start by getting Southside Pool open for the summer,” Hansen said. “We need to spend that money on critical access to core neighborhood services. Do fountains in the parks work? Is the community center open for community meetings? We need that money to go to things that really matter.” Questions from some of the more than 70 people in attendance Monday were directed to individual candidates instead of the panel as a whole, and Moderator Dannetta Garcia […]

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NAG discusses parking and police hotline at March meeting

Midtown residents asked Sacramento city staff for a solution to the lack of parking spaces available to renters and owners at Monday’s Neighborhood Advisory Group (NAG) meeting. They complained that business patrons are using their residential spaces. “As someone who lives down here and can’t park, I have concerns about residential parking,” said Karen Jacques, a member of the Midtown neighborhood association. “We’ve got to have some way (the potential solution) really keeps the business customers out of residential parking.” Greg Sandlund, associate planner for the Community Development Department told NAG members that his department is actively working toward a plan that will balance the needs of residential parking with commercial parking. According to Sergeant Mark Chapman of the Sacramento Police Department the Safeway on Alhambra and the Safeway on 19th Street seem to be hotspots for criminal activity. Both stores have the highest calls for service in the area, he said. Sergeant Chapman also said cameras are set up in the parking lots, and the stores are taking a zero-tolerance stance for shoplifters, panhandlers, drunks, and any other criminal activity. Sergeant Chapman reiterated that if residents witness any crimes or activity they suspect to be dangerous they should report it by calling the police hotline. “Believe it or not, (people not calling in activity) is very frequent,” Sergeant Chapman said. He commented that the […]

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NAG meeting tackles big issues

Area 1 Neighborhood Advisory Group members cautiously welcomed the new leader of the Midtown Business Association Monday evening at their monthly meeting and took the opportunity to express their frustrations with the organization. About 40 residents, business leaders and presenters attended the meeting – a high turnout, according to Bill Burgua, attendee. Elizabeth Studebaker, the new executive director of the Midtown Business Association, said her first focus is on trash removal, and that aggressive changes will be made. She also addressed concerns about the growing number of bars and restaurants in Midtown. “There’s a very strong perception that the neighborhood has been taken over by the hospitality industry,” said Burgua. “You are up against a really dim view from the people in the neighborhood.” Studebaker said she’ll work hard to repair the relationship between residents and the MBA, but she asked for time and assistance from the community. She also announced the search for a maintenance manager to oversee the removal of trash, graffiti and the overall appearance of the business district. In regard to the proliferation of liquor providers in the area, Studebaker said she’s in search of a healthy balance of businesses, with a focus on small businesses. “MBA can’t decide who opens a business here, but we can be a communication tool,” Studebaker said. David Brent, interim director of the city’s Department […]

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Residents worry about local developments at September NAG meeting

Neighborhood Advisory Group members expressed concern about the growing number of social services centers – and the type of people they attract – within the Alkali Flat, Mansion Flats and Boulevard Park neighborhoods at the NAG meeting Monday night. A new Goodwill drop center is planned for the corner of 16th and G streets and none of the speakers at the meeting were in favor of the new development. Members said that these drop centers are often neglected and become a hub for vagrants. Martha Domjanovic, a Midtown resident and representative for the Washington Park Neighborhood Association, shared her concerns at the meeting with the lack of knowledge she had of the proposed Goodwill drop center. She said it wasn’t until after the plans were finalized that the Neighborhood Advisory Group was notified of the development. Domjanovic said she helped form a monitor group that will ensure the neighborhood isn’t negatively affected. The details of how this group will monitor the new drop center are still being determined. “Our goal is to have a more hands-on approach to 16th Street and make sure the new drop center doesn’t become a garbage heap like many of the others that are around town,” Domjanovic said. “We just can’t tolerate something like that in these neighborhoods.” “Goodwill is only interested in themselves,” said Midtown resident Robert Winger. He […]

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NAG continues

Neighborhood Advisory Group (NAG) isn’t going anywhere, just moving to a new location. The Hart Senior Center, where NAG has been meeting regularly, began charging an hourly fee of $50 to rent rooms after 5 p.m. which caused some NAG members to wonder if this would be their last meeting altogether. “NAG is not a city group, they enjoy their independence. They do, however, like the city to work with them,” said Derrick Lim, manager of the city’s Neighborhood Services Department and special events. “The items and agenda is all decided by NAG, they take their own positions.” Monday’s meeting was held at the Hart Senior Center, 915 27th St., and the Aug. 15 meeting will be held there, too, but after August the meeting will be moved elsewhere. About 40 people from the community attended the meeting, including three City Council members and Sacramento Interim City Manager Bill Edgar. “NAG is too important for anything to be ending anytime soon,” said Gerald Celestine, meeting facilitator. Edgar outlined the city’s grave budget situation in light of the economy’s negative effect on the jobs in the area. NAG members invite him to attend meetings regularly. “We’ve gone through some very difficult budget hearings in the last several months,” Edgar said. “When you are on a budget of this size, there are simply things that just cannot […]

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Will Monday’s Neighborhood Advisory Group Meeting Be Its’ Last?

After operating for nearly two decades, what may be the last meeting of the Neighborhood Advisory Group (NAG) will take place this Monday.   NAG started out as a meeting of concerned central city residents meeting in private homes.   Eventually a partnership with the city was formed through Neighborhood Services/Code Enforcement under Max Fernandes.   Neighborhood Services has continued to work with NAG publishing and distributing the NAG agenda that was created each month by the independent and volunteer NAG agenda committee.  Neighborhood Services also serves as a conduit between the agenda committed for city entities that wanted to present at NAG and city endities that the agenda committe requested presentations from. Highlights of this NAG agenda include a presentation by interim city manager Bill Edgar.   Edgar will speak about the impact of the city budget cuts.  It is sugnificant that Mr. Edgar will be presenting at this NAG.  He had a major influence on forming the partnership between the NAG and the city when he was city manager, including the creation of Neighborhood Services.   The agenda committee also asked the police to speak during the police activity report about the increasing sales of alcohol in Area 1 in cojunction with reductions in police resources and how Area 1 residents will keep abrest of police issues if NAG ceases to exist.   […]

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Monday’s NAG to Take Another Look at Second Saturday and NIghtlife Issues

The Neighborhood Advisory Group (NAG) will meet this Monday 3/21/2011.  This month’s meeting will focus on Second Saturday and Midtown Nightlife issues.  There are changes being made to Second Saturday as was reported by Suzanne Hurt on SacPress.  This is partially in response to the shooting death and injuries that occurred in the early morning hours of September 12, 2011.   This presentation is a followup to a meeting on September 25,2010 Second Saturday and Midtown Nightlife issue meetings tend to have a very high turnout.  If you want to sit up close, come early. The Agenda Area 1 Neighborhood Advisory Group (NAG) March 2011 Agenda In Partnership with the City of Sacramento Neighborhood Services Division Monday, March 21, 2011 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Hart Senior Center, 915 27th Street Tonight’s Facilitator: Gerald Celestine, caRsa and Friends of Fremont Park 6:30 Welcome and Introductions 6:35 Announcements 6:40 Issue Updates: Mercy Hospital; Midtown Nightlife Issues/Responsible Hospitality Institute; R Street; Sutter Hospital/Trinity Cathedral; High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lanes; Preservation Roundtable; Department of Utilities Funds; The Docks Project; K Street; Special Events; NAG Action Request Form 6:45 SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS: SECOND SATURDAY and MIDTOWN NIGHTLIFE ISSUES UPDATE MIDTOWN NIGHTLIFE ISSUES A. Public Safety 1. Youth & Gang Workshops 2. Neighborhood Watch 3. CERT 4. Lavender Angels B. Parking C. Entertainment Permits D. Communication E. Next Steps/Follow Up The City of Sacramento’s […]

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Last Neighbohood Advisory Group Meeting of 2010

Area 1 Neighborhood Advisory Group (NAG) November 2010 Agenda In Partnership with the City of Sacramento Neighborhood Services Division Monday, November 15, 2010, 6:15 to 8:30 p.m., Hart Senior Center, 915 27th Street Tonight’s facilitator: Gerald Celestine, Capitol Area R Street Association (caRsa) and Friends of Fremont Park 6:15 Complimentary pizza and soft drinks courtesy of Sacramento Deal Ticket 6:30 Welcome and Introductions 6:35 Area 1 Police Department Activity Report             Lt. Mike Bray, Police Department 6:45 East End Gateway Site 4  Tom Kigar, Development Director, Capitol Area Development Authority (CADA)  Learn about the three development proposals for the site at the south east corner of 16th and P Streets and have your questions answered.    Provide CADA with your input regarding what you would like to see developed on the site and which proposal you prefer. 7:15 Announcements 7:25 Issue Updates: Mercy Hospital; Midtown Nightlife Issues/Responsible Hospitality Institute; R Street; Sutter Hospital/Trinity Cathedral; High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lanes; Preservation Roundtable; Department of Utilities Funds; The Docks Project; K Street; NAG Action Request Form 7:35 Area 1 Updates             Neighborhood Services Division, Department of Parks and Recreation             *NOTICE: Please participate in our “Share the Warmth” drive! 7:40 City of Sacramento Organization             Group Discussion    Learn the latest information […]

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September Neighbohood Advisory Group Agenda…Timely Issues as Usual

The agenda for September’s meeting of the Area 1 Neighborhood Advisory Group (NAG) follows. Lt. Mike Bray hopes to have some updates from the police department on the Second Saturday shootings. Food banks have become a survival resource in todays economic climate. Many city park swiming pools have closed or are slated for closing.  Some Area 1 neighborhoods have managed to keep their pools open. We will hear what their stragities were to achieve this.  Measure B is a controversial ballot measure that could have longterm consequences on how the city utilities department operates and the delivery of services to city residents. Each month’s NAG agenda is put together by residents of the City of Sacramento Area1.  If you wish to contribute to this process see the information at the bottom of the agenda announcement.   Area 1 Neighborhood Advisory Group (NAG) September 2010 Agenda In Partnership with the City of Sacramento Neighborhood Services Division Monday, September 20, 2010, 6:15 to 8:30 p.m., Hart Senior Center, 915 27th Street Tonight’s facilitator: Gerald Celestine, Capitol Area R Street Association (caRsa) and Friends of Fremont Park 6:15 Complimentary pizza and soft drinks courtesy of Sacramento Deal Ticket 6:30 Welcome and Introductions 6:35 Area 1 Police Department Activity Report Lt. Mike Bray, Police Department 6:45 Announcements 6:55 Issue Updates: Mercy Hospital; Midtown Nightlife Issues/Responsible Hospitality Institute; R Street; […]

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Residents fear trees will be neglected

 Some Midtown residents are concerned that Sacramento’s urban forest will get the ax from budget cuts. Midtown resident Karen Jacques raised the issue at Monday night’s Area 1 Neighborhood Advisory Group meeting by filing a request for a response from the city of Sacramento on the possible laying off of Sacramento’s experienced tree maintenance staff. Jacques said she has heard that maintenance staff is at risk of being laid off, and she said she fears the loss that will represent to the upkeep of the numerous trees in the city. “This issue is at least grid-wide, and it may be Central City-wide,” Jacques said. “What I’m asking of urban forest staff is that they look at their budget priorities.” “We have to take a look at all of our services to close the budget gap,” said Linda Tucker, spokeswoman for the Sacramento Department of Transportation. “One of the areas…is going to be Urban Forestry.” Tucker said she could not go into specific positions facing cuts, but said there will still be people with arborist-level experience on staff. Layoff notices were mailed Wednesday, and they are scheduled to take effect Aug. 6. Tucker could not elaborate on which positions would be cut. The level of service, she added, will decline. “What people will lose will be the ability for the city to…plant new trees other than […]

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