Sacramento Police and Sheriff's 17th Annual Remembrance Ceremony

Story and photos by Trina L. Drotar  |  2019-05-16

WOODLAKE, SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - On Friday, May 2, officers from several agencies, including Sacramento Police Department and Sacramento Sheriff’s Department, descended upon the quiet Woodlake neighborhood for the 17th Annual Remembrance Ceremony, and to commemorate a new memorial plaque for Officer Mark Stasyuk who lost his life in the line of duty on September 17, 2018.

The ceremony included a procession of law enforcement officers from Sacramento Police Department and Sacramento Sheriff’s Department led by the Sacramento Firefighters Pipes and Drums.

Officer Paul Brown, President of the Sacramento Police Sheriff’s Memorial Foundation welcomed officers, fallen officer families, dignitaries, fellow officers from outside agencies, and the general public.

“Today, let us remember our Sacramento fallen,” said the 20 year Sacramento Police Department veteran.

Pastor Anthony Sadler of Shiloh Baptist Church gave the invocation prior to guest speakers.


“It is in times like these that we realize how fragile we are and how quickly our loved ones can be taken away from us.” Each officer, he added, to be remembered had paid the ultimate price, as did the fallen officer’s family, in order to protect the citizens.

“Today we are saddened, and also honored, to add yet one more hero to the rank.” He then called for prayers for Deputy Mark Stasyuk and his family.


“We honor Deputy Stasyuk for his extraordinary bravery in the face of imminent danger,” he stated.


Throughout the invocation, the bells of Sacramento Regional Transit’s light sounded gently. The memorial, a living monument, is situated across the street from Woodlake Park and behind the light rail station on Arden Way. Land was donated by North Sacramento Land Company, wrote Rotary Club of North Sacramento President, Stephen Lemmon. His organization, along with Woodlake Improvement Club worked with the land company.


“Since we had a great working relationship with the Sacramento Police Department, the idea was hatched for a memorial,” Lemmon wrote, adding that Rotary Club member Dennis Tsuboi submitted the design and the club contributed $10,000.


In 1992, “a foundation was formed including both unions for Sac PD and Sac Sheriff, reps for the Chief and the Sheriff, the Rotary Club, Woodlake and the Council Member,” wrote Lemmon.


A list of major funders, board of directors, and past board members is etched in granite beside the dedication stone that reads, “For all those who served & sacrificed wearing the badge, we are eternally grateful.”


Sacramento Police Department Chief Daniel Hahn spoke first.


“Welcome to these sacred grounds,” he said. “We will never forget the sacrifice that you have made for our entire community.”


Chief Hahn spoke several minutes about current challenges for law enforcement, community, and how these men and women “know what it takes to protect our community, to protect our values and our way of life.”


“We pray that this will be the last year that we add a name to this very important memorial,” said Hahn.
Sheriff Scott R. Jones spoke next, thanking Supervisor Susan Peters, general public, and fellow officers.


“I love coming to this place. I come from time to time. It seems like things are a little quieter, things are a bit more contemplative. It seems like I’m able to be a little bit more reflective. I love the fact that the community takes care of this place. It is truly hollow ground,” he said, adding that he also hates that there needs to be a place like this and that another name needs to be added this year.


Mark Stasyuk’s name joined twenty other Sheriff’s department officers, District Attorney Investigator Grant Wilson, Galt Police Department Officer Kevin Tonn, and sixteen Sacramento Police Department officers.


“His life made a difference,” said District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert.


Chief Todd Sockman, Galt Police Department, spoke about the family of law enforcement and the family that includes the community.


“As a family, we can get through this,” he said.


Following the guest speakers, the name of each of the 39 fallen officers was called, with a moment of silence, and the placement of a yellow rose on each memorial plaque by members of each respective agency. Each officer was honored with a white-gloved salute by a member of his agency.


Sheriff Jones said of 4 ½ year veteran Mark Stasyuk, that he “exemplified what it meant to be a law enforcement officer.”

   
Yellow roses were presented to members of the Stasyuk family who carried the flowers and placed them on his memorial.


Following a moment of silence, the rider-less horse was led in and through the memorial, a bugler played “Taps,” followed by a 21-gun salute, and a flyover of helicopters in the missing flyer formation.


“If one member suffers, all suffer together,” said Sacramento Police Officer William J. Conner in the benediction. “We are all part of something greater than ourselves.”


For additional information, visit: http://www.sacmemorial.org/.

 

Hard Rock at Fire Mountain Reaches Milestone

Story and photos by Shaunna Boyd  |  2019-02-22

The workers who constructed the building from the ground up wait to see the final beam set atop the structure.

Exterior Structure Complete for Anticipated Hotel and Casino

Wheatland, CA (MPG) - The exterior of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain (located at 3317 Forty Mile Road in Wheatland) is now complete. On February 13, the final steel beam was set atop the structure during a topping-off ceremony celebrating the construction efforts and the hard work and commitment of everyone involved. The project is the result of a historic partnership between the owners of Hard Rock International and two Native American Tribes—the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the Estom YumekaMaidu Tribe of the Enterprise Rancheria.

Despite a downpour of heavy rain, the event tent was crowded with people and surrounded by the workers who had constructed the building from the ground up. The day began with a performance by an all-female group of native drummers. Tribal Elder Ren Reynolds opened the ceremony with a prayer to the Great Spirit and the ceremonial lighting of sage to bless the speakers.

Mark Birtha, president of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain, said, “Topping off is a major milestone, for us it denotes placing the last structural piece of steel…Today symbolizes the hope that this building will be everlasting…It is meant to celebrate the beginning of a new life, a new destination.” The property will be a destination hotel casino resort, offering gaming along with a variety of amenities and entertainment options.

Jon Lucas, chief operating officer of Hard Rock International, said, “This special day is just another milestone along the journey that’s going to get us to this world-class destination resort. We’re going to be the best in this market, and it will set us apart from the competition…It’s about delivering authentic experiences that rock… It’s the culture that we create with the brand, the personalities of the people who deliver the service like nobody else.”

Lucas explained that the experiences and the non-gaming amenities will set them apart from the competition. “We’re really excited today to reach this milestone and move on to the next phases so we can deliver a great, great product for this community that everyone will be proud of. Most importantly, it will employ over a thousand people, and that will help the economy here both indirectly and directly.”

Enterprise Rancheria Tribal Chairperson Glenda Nelson detailed the challenges the tribe has faced on their journey, such as obtaining and maintaining federal recognition and losing 40 acres of their ancestral land during construction of the Oroville Dam: “Many of you know how long the road to this day has been…We have worked diligently over the past 17 years to re-establish a land base within our aboriginal area to conduct  meaningful economic development for our citizens and for our community. Along the way, we never lost hope, we never lost our vision of who we were and where we were going. And we never lost faith that eventually truth, fairness, and justice would prevail. Today’s milestone affirms that hope, vision, and faith.”

Nelson expressed her gratitude to be working with Hard Rock International and the Seminole Tribe of Florida: “It is such a blessing to our tribe to be able to partner with another tribe that shares our same values and vision for the future of all Native Americans, and…partnering with Hard Rock is a real game changer, for our community and for tribal gaming in California.”

The project has already created more than 2,000 construction jobs in the Sacramento area. Scheduled to open later this year, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain will employ more than 1,000 people and will offer the latest in live music and entertainment, hospitality, world-class gaming, and exceptional cuisine.

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Placer County Launching Effort to Reinvent Old Tahoe City Firehouse

Source: Scott Sandow, County of Placer  |  2017-06-07

Placer County has restarted efforts to find a new use for the firehouse vacated by the North Tahoe Fire Protection District in 2011.

The firehouse, along with the adjoining Tahoe Community Center structure, is on the lakeside of Lake Blvd. near Commons Beach. Placer County initially started a public process for the site in 2011, but elected to wait for other planning efforts that would affect the potential uses for the structure.

“Our goal is to find the best use for the site that will facilitate improvement to Tahoe City’s community, environment and economy,” said Jennifer Merchant, Placer County’s deputy county executive officer for Lake Tahoe. “We’re really excited to work with stakeholders and the community to find the right fit.”

Placer County began working with stakeholders in April to solicit opinions and expert input on what could be the best use of the site, whether that means re-using the existing buildings, taking them down for a park or plaza, or some combination thereof.

The community is being asked to identify re-use options that are innovative, feasible from a cost and time perspective, and include a strategy for long-term financial self-sustainability.

The community will have a number of opportunities to participate in the planning process, learn more about potential options and voice their input:

Community Workshops:

  • June 5, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the old firehouse.
  • July 1, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the old firehouse.

North Tahoe Regional Advisory Council:

  • July 13, 6 p.m. at the Tahoe City Public Utility District building conference room.

Staff will present the workshop findings to the Placer County Board of Supervisors at their Tahoe board meeting scheduled for July 25 (Tahoe location TBD).

To find out more, to offer input on potential uses of the site, or to get involved, contact Suzy Vose at svose@placer.ca.gov or 530-886-4962.

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Senator Gaines Introduces Fire Tax Repeal

From the Office of Ted Gaines  |  2017-03-09

Senator Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado)

In his continued efforts to fight against the illegal fire tax, Senator Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado) announced on March 2nd  Senate Bill 9, a measure to repeal the tax.

‘This fire tax is illegal and unfair – plain and simple,” said Senator Gaines. “Many rural property owners already pay local fire agencies for protection so it is clearly double-taxation and it is being dumped on the backs of rural Californians when parts of my district still have a more than 10-percent unemployment rate and families are struggling to make ends meet.”

Senate Bill 9 would reverse the annual $152.33 “fee” for fire prevention services charged to rural property owners located in “State Responsibility Areas” (SRA) designated by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), even though their property taxes already contribute to the service contracts that counties have with CAL FIRE.

The fire tax is imposed on more than 800,000 properties in the state that are within the boundaries of SRA. According to census and CAL FIRE data, Senator Gaines’ largely rural district includes roughly 20-percent or approximately 160,000 of the properties whose owners are subject to the fee.

Senator Gaines contends that the fire tax attempts to sidestep Proposition 26, the initiative passed in 2010 that prevents the Legislature from disguising taxes as “fees” and circumventing constitutional requirements for passing higher taxes. He has been a leading critic of the tax and has introduced numerous pieces of legislation in previous years that attempted to provide relief for rural Californians. Senator Gaines also strongly supports the lawsuit filed against the state by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association challenging the fee on constitutional grounds.

“I have fought this illegal tax at every turn and I encourage everyone who is stuck paying this phony fee to get in the arena and fight it too,” said Senator Gaines. “The answer to fire protection in California is not illegal taxes, but budgets that invest in core government services that protect every citizen in the state – rural, urban and suburban.”

Senator Ted Gaines represents the 1st Senate District, which includes all or parts of Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra and Siskiyou counties.

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Blue Lives Matter

Commentary by Senator Ted Gaines  |  2016-12-08

Senator Ted Gaines

A handful of California families will find it hard to celebrate the holidays this year because they lost their fathers and brothers to senseless violence.

On October 19, Sheriff’s Deputy Jack Hopkins of Modoc County responded to a disturbance call and was shot and killed in the line of duty. He was only 31. On October 6, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Owen was shot dead responding to a burglary. The two deaths are a somber reminder that for our peace officers, their lives are on the line every time they are on patrol.

Each of these losses, hundreds of miles apart in our vast state, was a tragedy. But the same month, something far more sinister played out here, showing that America and our law enforcement have entered a new, more dangerous and shameful era that threatens the foundation of the lawful and civil society we enjoy.

Two Palm Springs police officers, Lesley Zerebny, 27, and Jose “Gil” Vega, 63, we murdered in a planned attack committed by John Hernandez Felix. These deaths did not occur during the commission of another crime, they were the crime. Felix set a trap for the officers and ambushed them, shooting them down in cold blood. It was not a one-off event.

In late November, a San Antonio policeman was ambush murdered as well. And, devastatingly, this summer’s hateful and violent anti-police protests culminated in the sickening assassination of five innocent police officers in Dallas. I only wish that the list was complete, but it’s not.

Driven by the media’s hysterical coverage of any shooting death that fits their political narrative of minority oppression at the hands of police, we’re trending into and upside down world where the protectors are viewed as predators. That’s wrong. It’s the open, politically inspired murder of police that is the real “hate crime” epidemic.

In this overheated environment, it’s little surprise that year-over-year law enforcement firearm-related deaths are up 67-percent in 2016.

This growing hostility towards the police is terrible for the men and women who serve to keep us safe, and it’s changing the way they police, with distressing effect.

The “Ferguson Effect” describes a retreat from effective, proactive policing that has been one driver of a multi-decade crime decline that is in danger of reversing. It’s a term rooted in the Ferguson Police shooting of strong-arm robber Michael Brown, where the infamous and false “hands up, don’t shoot!” became the big lie slogan of rioters, activists, and a complicit, left-wing media and political cabal.

Police around the country, fearful of becoming a media story, or tired of the jeering, snarling mobs that now surround and confront them in the course of their duties, have predictably began interacting more cautiously and less frequently with the public, to dire effect.

In Chicago, for example, police stops were down 90-percent in the first part of 2016, compared to 2015. Shootings in that city have skyrocketed. Heather MacDonald, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, blames the crime spike in Chicago (and other cities – it’s not a Chicago-specific phenomenon) on the abandonment of “broken windows” policing that sees police actively intervening in small, low-level public enforcement crimes. This retreat leads to disorder and emboldens criminals to commit more serious crimes. It’s a troubling shift in nationwide policing.

To make it worse, California is undertaking an unprecedented de-incarceration effort that is putting tens of thousands of criminals back out on the streets before their sentences are complete and making it more difficult to put offenders behind bars.

“Realignment,” 2014’s Proposition 47, and this year’s Proposition 57, all send a strong message to California criminals that the state is not interested in punishing them for their crimes.

It seems simple to understand that if you introduce more criminals into society, the result will be more crime.  True to form, California violent crime jumped 11-percent in the first six months of 2015, compared to 2014. Expect crime to spike even higher.

This is the worst possible time for the police to step back because they fear attacks, shaming or other fallout from simply doing their jobs to preserve law and order and keep us safe. The environment that has inflamed and emboldened sick criminals to murder public safety officers must change. It’s a dangerous job where officers make life-and-death decision in a fraction of a second, and they deserve wide latitude from the public and our deepest thanks.

Are there abuses of police power and individual officers who use bad judgment? Of course. And it’s incumbent on us to hold those bad actors accountable. But it’s foolish to attribute sins of the individuals to the whole profession.

FBI Director James Comey said in October that the “narrative that policing is biased and unfair…threatens the future of policing.” Director Comey should not have stopped there. A media-fueled degradation of respect for law enforcement threatens much more than the future of policing, it threatens the safe, civil society that we take too much for granted.

Honor our police.

Senator Ted Gaines represents the 1st Senate District, which includes all or parts of Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra and Siskiyou counties.

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FBI Opens New Sacramento Field Office Building

Source: Gina Swankie, Federal Bureau of Investigation  |  2016-10-11

Construction in Roseville Features Enhanced Security, Safety

Today, the Sacramento Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) hosted an opening ceremony and ribbon cutting to officially debut the field office’s new headquarters facility in Roseville, a city in eastern Placer County, Calif. The new building features enhanced security, upgraded technology, and ample workspace to accommodate FBI personnel and its law enforcement partners.

Special Agent in Charge Monica M. Miller welcomed FBI Director James B. Comey and more than 300 attendees representing law enforcement, elected officials, and community partners to the new field office headquarters.

“Our new Sacramento Field Office headquarters facility supports enhanced collaboration within our organization and with our law enforcement partners,” said Special Agent in Charge Monica M. Miller. “We are now well prepared for inevitable growth and to host community education programs such as our FBI Teen Academy and FBI Citizens Academy.”

In addition to addresses by Director Comey and Special Agent in Charge Miller, the ceremony featured the Placer County Sheriff’s Department honor guard; Sacramento Metropolitan Fire Department Pipe and Drum Corps; Carrie Hennessey, a Grammy-nominated vocalist who sang the national anthem; Norman Dong, Public Buildings Commissioner, General Services Administration; William L. Cunningham-Corso, President, Cunningham Development Company, Inc.; Donald Wetzel, Senior Development Manager, Walsh Group; Carol Garcia, Mayor, City of Roseville; and Congressman Tom McClintock, U.S. Congressional Representative, Fourth District of California.

“GSA and FBI were dedicated to the effective delivery of this project and through strong inter-agency partnerships, the project is a great success,” said Norman Dong, Public Buildings Service Commissioner. “This building was designed with state of the art secure protection features and energy efficient specs that will lead the way for future FBI buildings.”

The FBI’s Sacramento Field Office has served the 34-county Eastern District of California since 1967, when the federal judicial districts were reorganized.  Currently, the Sacramento Field Office has seven resident agency locations to serve the region—Redding, Chico, Fairfield, Tahoe, Stockton, Fresno, and Bakersfield—in addition to its central headquarters.

New public telephone numbers and the address for Sacramento Field Office headquarters have been posted on its website, www.fbi.gov/sacramento. The public may also submit information via tips.fbi.gov and, for cyber-related crimes, www.ic3.gov.

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Get Notifications if Disaster Strikes

Source: Sacramento County  |  2016-09-29

With fire season upon us and winter months approaching, there is no better time to prepare for a disaster - events that often occur with little to no warning – by registering with the mass notification system at any one of the following three URL’s: Sacramento-Alert.org, Yolo-Alert.org or Placer-Alert.org.

Register now before a disaster hits, so public safety officials can call, text or email you in the event of a disaster.

Consider the state’s historic drought causing elevated wildfire danger, or winter storms and the many levees surrounding our urban core. Both events can occur rapidly, sometimes forcing evacuations, shelter in place orders and road closures. The regional mass notification system is a critical link for you to immediately learn of required actions.

Sign up for alerts at either Sacramento-Alert.org, Yolo-Alert.org or Placer-Alert.org - it’s easy and your information is protected. Officials will only text during an emergency or public safety event, or if public help is needed to find a missing child or adult.

The unique feature of the system is the ability to handle more than one contact method for residents including cell phones, alternate numbers, text, email and even landlines. You choose the best notification method or chose them all. You can also register multiple locations, such as your work address, your parent’s address or your children’s school, in order to get alerts about the places that mean the most to you.

For more information or to register alternate phone numbers or e-mail addresses, visit www.sacramento-alert.org, www.yolo-alert.org or www.placer-alert.org.

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