2010 Year in Review

November 2010 — Recreation district blazing trail

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Nov. 2 — Thousands of orange and black-clad San Francisco Giants fans hugged and high-fived (Nov. 1) as the club won its first World Series championship since moving west more than a half-century ago. At Foothills Bowl in Auburn, league bowlers watched the clinching Game 5 victory on TV in between turns at the lanes. “The whole bowling alley was going crazy,” said Randy Lozano of Cool. “Everybody was yelling and screaming and jumping up and down.” Nov. 3 — Auburn City Council members Mike Holmes, Bridget Powers and Kevin Hanley retained their seats, and incumbents Scott Holbrook and Curtis Smith were re-elected to the Auburn Recreation District board Nov. 2. In statewide elections, voters returned Jerry Brown to the governor’s chair over Meg Whitman. The much-discussed Proposition 19 marijuana legalization initiative went down to defeat and Placer County Office of Education’s Measure L failed to pass. Nov. 4 — The Auburn Recreation and Parks District celebrated the opening of a new pathway Nov. 3. The .7 mile asphalted path runs the perimeter of Recreation Park, connecting various amenities. The path was completed in October with a $230,000 budget, officials said. Nov. 4 — Democrat Ken Cooley will face Republican Ted Gaines in a run-off for the state Senate seat held by the late Dave Cox on Jan. 4. With strong Election Day support from Placer County voters, Gaines topped two other GOP candidates to move into the special election against Cooley, who is currently the mayor of Rancho Cordova. Nov. 7 — The dispute over a Wal-Mart/Costco development in North Auburn has now reached the courts. The 18.6-acre site near Luther Road and Highway 49 was approved for development Sept 28 by the Board of Supervisors, but the Alliance for the Protection of the Auburn Community, APACE, filed a court action last week to fight the plan. Nov. 8 — Salmon are returning to the Auburn Ravine. Jack Sanchez, president of the Auburn-based Save Auburn Ravine Salmon and Steelhead, reported that two witnesses saw three large salmon at the Lincoln Gauging Station a week ago. Nov. 10 — Pacific Gas & Electric measures are now in place along Auburn’s deadly Wise Canal. The 3-mile section of the canal has been fenced on the public side from Rock Creek Reservoir to the Wise Forebay near Mount Vernon Road. Installation of the 6-foot fence followed the discovery of the bodies of five men in the canal over a 16-month period ending last May. Nov. 11 — Mike Lyon, ex-CEO of one of the leading real estate businesses in Sacramento and the foothills has been arrested on allegations he secretly filed his sexual encounters with prostitutes. Lyon was arrested at this Carmichael home Nov.10, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Lt. Craig Hill said. Nov. 11 — They have long since finished fighting the arson and weapons threats at the Galleria Mall, but for untold days to come, emergency responders — particularly Roseville police — will fight accusations they mishandled the crisis that gutted 20 stores and caused more than $55 million in damages. Nov. 16 — The Foresthill Bridge was the scene of another suicide over the weekend. By the Journal’s count, an estimated 58 people have now fallen to their deaths from the 730-foot high span above the north fork of the American River near Auburn. But some potential help is on the way, with bids now in on a rehabilitation project for the 36-year-old bridge that includes raising guardrails from 4 feet to 6.5 feet high. Nov. 17 — Forever linked to a lobbyist and former staff member now found guilty of corruption, retired Rep. John Doolittle, R-Roseville, said (Nov. 16) that Kevin Ring’s conviction on five felony counts is a surprise and a disappointment. “Kevin Ring is a person of high integrity who has been hounded by the government for 6 1/2 years,” Doolittle said. “He was only doing what lobbyists do — advancing the interests of his clients. I couldn’t imagine the jury finding Kevin guilty because I don’t feel Kevin was guilty.” Nov. 17 — The storied Valencia Club has a new lease on life, thanks to new owners who are intent on retaining its timeless appeal. Freshly painted and cleaned to a sparkle, the bar and new café are slated to reopen today, 5 ½ months after the Penryn landmark’s doors were shuttered. Nov. 19 — The 17th annual Mountain Mandarin Festival kicks off today and continues through Nov. 21 at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn. The festival features live entertainment, recipe contest, hundreds of vendors, wine tasting, 5K run, Miss Mandarin Pageant, kids activities and more than a dozen growers selling 5 and 10 pound bags of mandarins. Nov. 21 — A fire destroyed Giovanni’s restaurant, one of Colfax’s landmarks Nov. 18. The blaze, which started on the back side of the smoking deck area, leaves 22 people without a job. Giovanni’s was the oldest restaurant in Placer County. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Nov. 23 — Four Auburn-area residents are facing charges of numerous residential and car burglaries, including cars parked at local trailheads. The ring includes four women and their male leader. The suspects are from Auburn and Colfax and have been connected to 10 burglaries so far. Nov. 28 — It’s official. The lights will not be going on this year, if ever, at what has been Auburn’s most spectacular Christmas display for more than two decades. Citing thefts of stolen lights and a baby Jesus taken from a manger scene, Calabretta said previously he was leery of continuing the popular display, which features tens of thousands of lights. He confirmed Nov. 26 that the display is canceled this year. None of the stolen items have been returned and no arrests made. Nov. 28 — Perfect conditions at Sierra resorts welcomed throngs of skiers this weekend during the traditional start of the season. Skiers are benefitting from a huge storm last weekend that laid the snowy foundation for excellent conditions this weekend and potentially for weekends to come. Nov. 30 — If less celebrated jumping frogs of Placer County could talk, they just might be croaking that reports of their demise are greatly exaggerated. The Placer Land Trust in Auburn has teamed with Tuscaloosa, Alabama’s Westervelt Ecological Services to preserve 52 acre in mountain country near Michigan Bluff to provide a safe haven for the rare and threatened red-legged frog, celebrated in Mark Twain’s “The Celebrated Jumping Frogs of Calaveras County.”