Sacramento’s revolving door policy, bankrupt cities, electric car chargers: Wake-Up Call

Welcome to another edition of the "Wake-Up Call," a rundown of items that we’re working on, found interesting, or otherwise thought you might want to know about today. As is always the case here at Sac Press, suggestions are welcome. THINGS WE’RE WORKING ON SACRAMENTO’s REVOLVING DOOR: A recent Sacramento County grand jury report found that two former Sacramento city managers negotiating on behalf of a trash disposal company made some city employees feel intimidated, leading to a contract that a Sacramento Bee editorial said showed “gross incompetence and shocking indifference to the issues of ratepayer costs or basic fairness in public contracting.” City Councilwoman Angelique Ashby told us she wants the city to implement a policy that would prevent the scenario from repeating by more strictly regulating what has been termed the “revolving door,” or the practice of private companies hiring former government officials to gain favorable terms from lawmakers. “When you work for the state and you retire, you can come back as a retired annuitant, but one thing you cannot do is come back as a consultant on subject matter from which you had direct involvement,” Ashby said. Brandon Darnell will have more later today. WHAT WE’RE READING GOING BELLY-UP: The list of cities going under in the state is getting longer: Phll Willon of the L.A. Times reports that the city […]

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Reduce waste this holiday season

More residential waste is created during the holiday season than any other time of the year, so the cities and counties in the Sacramento area are encouraging residents to recycle as much as possible. Americans throw away 25% more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year’s holiday period, the California Department of Resources Recovery and Recycling (CalRecycle) reports. This extra waste amounts to 25 million tons of garbage, or about 1 million extra tons, per week nationwide. With this in mind, local governments are urging residents to reduce, reuse, and recycle during this holiday season. "The amount of garbage sent to the landfill increases dramatically during the holiday season," said Doug Eubanks of Sacramento County’s Department of Waste Management and Recycling. "We can change the traditional holiday habit of tearing open presents and throwing away wrapping paper and cardboard. We can recover these materials if residents use their curbside recycling program. Recycling holiday paper is a better alternative than burning it or throwing it into the trash.” In addition, the number of empty bottles and cans soars during the holidays. About 100 million plastic water bottles will end up in the trash statewide during the holiday season. If recycled, those water bottles could be used to make 48,000 sweaters, or 220,000 square feet of carpeting, according to CalRecycle. “Tons of empty beverage containers are also […]

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Consider Proper Flag Disposal

It may sound cliche, but I love America. Not for what she is, or the thing she’s done, but for what she represents: the idea that we are born free, that every citizen is free to pursue their own path to happiness, and that in this land one is free to speak their mind, whether or not that opinion is popular. America is more than the earth between its borders. It is hope. Hope that shines like a beacon into the darkest corners of this world, calling to those who want more for their destiny than their homelands can give them. The best and the most determined to succeed from all over the planet come here to learn, to raise their children, and to hope for a better future. When the brave are called to defend these ideas on battlefields foreign and domestic, they represent themselves with our standard: the flag. This symbol is synonymous with liberty, equality and the promise of a brighter future. Where it flies, free speech is encouraged. When it is present, tyrants flee or die. On the moon and even of the edge of the solar system on our deepest space probes, the Stars and Stripes are boldly represented. This is why today I am asking that you take a moment and consider proper flag disposal. According to U.S. Flag […]

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Sacramento cleans riverfront

Sacramento rolled up its sleeves and filled trash bags Saturday for the 16th annual Great American River Clean Up led by the American River Parkway Foundation. More than 2,000 people volunteered their time to clear 11,361 pounds of trash and 7,002 pounds of recyclables from 22 waterfront sites. About 47 miles of waterfront were cleaned, including high-traffic sites such as River Bend Park and Discovery Park. The cleanup coincided with California Coastal Cleanup Day, an annual statewide effort led by the California Coastal Commission that has about 80,000 volunteers annually. Sacramento’s participation has nearly doubled since last year. At William B. Pond Park in Carmichael, about 180 volunteers wandered around the riverside looking for trash to fill their bags. Site captain Natasha Deegan said the cleanup is a family event and brings together people who are personally invested in local environmental efforts. By the riverside, people threw sticks for their dogs and volunteers searched for trash. “This one of the most beautiful stretches of the river,” volunteer Sylvia Stork said. Stork and her husband were trying to find a spot with lots of trash so they could contribute to the community effort. People are more aware of environmental issues than they used to be, Stork said. “People leave stuff behind, but mostly now I think it’s not a conscious decision,” she said. “It’s not as […]

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Residential Composting Can Solve Some Big Waste Problems

The Problem with Food Waste       Lift the lid to your garbage can, ugh! It stinks. The scraps from Monday’s dinner are the culprit. By the end of the week, when it is time to take the can out to the curb, the stench can be difficult to bear.       Once that trash gets picked up, the smell is no longer your problem; it is gone, far, far away to stink somewhere else. That stinky food waste goes with the rest of your trash to a smelly transfer station and then a stinkier landfill. Statewide, food waste accounts for more than 15 percent of what is sent to landfill, according to the California Integrated Waste Management Board’s (CIWMB) 2008 Waste Characterization Study.       Sacramento residents sent 73,000 tons of food waste to the landfills last year, Jessica Hess from the Department of Utilities said in an email.       That is quite a lot of stinky stuff!       That stink is dangerous.       That stink is methane.       Methane is a highly flammable greenhouse gas that is produced during the anaerobic decomposition of organic matter. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it is 20 times more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon-dioxide. Methane has been implicated as the cause for the April 5th explosion of the Upper Big Branch Mine in West […]

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Illegal Signs Removed, Guerrilla style.

Sometimes when things happen gradually it’s easier for us not to take notice. Take for example the new Target Store under construction at 65th and Broadway: A large chain-link security fence surrounds the perimeter of the work site, and a few enterprising folks have decided said fence would make for a good billboard.  One after another signs were erected, tied to this fence.  At first I hardly noticed.  Illegal signs are all over the Sacramento Region, promising everything from Weight Loss Patches to Lower Mortgages to Baseball Signups, etc.   Why should my neighborhood  be any different?  I guess it’s just harder for me to let things go. Everyday I have a 10 mile each-way commute, through Interstate 50 to Downtown, Downtown 1-5 to Business 80, 80 to Norwood.  I get a good scope with my eyes the state of local litter, weeds, and road disintegration.  I can drive by the same piece of trash on the road for months, and I have to look at it each time. I know budgets are at all time lows. I understand simply maintaining our  infrastructure leaves little funds for roadside clean-up.  Still, it makes me feel helpless to watch as the city I’ve lived in my whole life disintegrates more and more everyday.  It has been a slow process, one which you may not have noticed, but […]

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TFO: Totally Friggin Owesome

We at the Sacramento Press have already spent several hundred words poking and prodding you readers to imbibe in the blood-soaked, cleavage-filled, heavy-metal hilarity that is the Trash Film Orgy. Now, we have escalated to drastic measures and must insist that you attend the last TFO screening of the season Saturday at the Crest Theatre — at the stroke of midnight. If you have ever yelled at your television, scoffed at overacting, jeered at cornball love scenes, marveled at excessive violence and explosions or shrieked with laughter at super low-budget special effects, the TFO is for you. For the last nine summers, TFO has shared its impressive collection of exploitation, grindhouse and horror films with punky, belligerent, 18+ audiences exclusively at the Crest. TFO selects its films not simply for being ‘bad,’ but for their overlooked potential for cult status. TFO member Amy Slockbower said she thinks ‘bad,’ is a misnomer anyway. "I don’t think any of these movies are sub-par by any means," Slockbower said. "They’re great in their own way, and not ‘so bad it’s good,’ like a lot of people say. These movies are under-appreciated and misunderstood." TFO films can be monster movies, zombie films, survival horrors, imported action films, or ‘butts in seats’ classics like "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Movie production companies actually give their OK to these screenings and provide […]

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“Buffy” at the Trash Film Orgy

The ninth annual TRASH FILM ORGY series is halfway done, with three weeks remaining in this year’s blood-soaked rock & roll monster extravaganza! If you haven’t had a chance to visit this year’s TFO, you already missed FLASH GORDON, SATAN’S CHEERLEADERS and CHOPPING MALL…but it’s not over yet! This week’s offering is the original theatrical version of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER! If you haven’t been to the Trash Film Orgy before, it is more than just a movie–it is a whole experience! The "Trash Action Sideshow" features fun activities in the lobby, the "Retro-Trash Lounge" features entertaining artifacts from RETROCRUSH.COM, and pre-show and intermission on-stage performances and contests make TFO an amazing, unique and often profoundly weird entertainment value! The TFO is a hotbed of local musical, comedic and dramatic talent. Several TFO alumni have moved on to careers in television, stand-up comedy, modeling and late-night horror hosting. Its organizers are working on their second feature-length film, PLANET OF THE VAMPIRE WOMEN, and its current performers include members of two local comedy troupes, "ICUP" and "I Can’t Believe It’s Not Comedy!" Come see the best of Sacramento’s late-night cinema entertainment at the TRASH FILM ORGY! SEE the 1992 film that started the Buffy phenomenon! With Kristy Swanson, Donald Sutherland, Rutger Hauer, Luke Perry, Paul Reubens and Hilary Swank. And don’t miss the incredible VAMPIRE PROM! TRASH FILM ORGY-the World’s Most Amazing Midnight Movie Show returns for its 9th incredible season! Bringing you the best in 35mm Exploitation and Cult Cinema, TFO promises […]

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Helping the environment

Who would ever think of local scuba divers as Environmentalists? Well we surprised everyone by removing 60 lbs of trash, debris and metal this Father’s day weekend.  There was a nice turnout.  Everyone was surprised by the "clean" look of Lake Tahoe.  When they went under the surface they were surprised to find beer tabs (from the ’70′s), old cans, sunglasses, a sailboat mast, car parts, tables, chairs, etc. I first suggested Hurricane Bay after diving there last year and observing the ammount of trash in such a popular fishing site.  With all of the moorings and boat usage it is not a wonder how much debris is there. After our work, we all enjoyed a bbq and played in the water.  I would like to thank SACSCUBA, Andy’s Scuba World and Fish Eye Scuba for helping out by sending divers.  Keeping our environment clean and making an effort to recycle as much as we can I believe really helps out.  As an avid boater and diver, I would like to remind everyone to have fun on the lakes this summer.  Please also take the time to haul out and separate all of your trash. I look forward to seeing more people taking an interest in keeping our trash out of the lakes, streams and oceans this summer as we all enjoy our water.  Remember a […]

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