Saturday, November 10, 2018

Voting, Football, Smoke & Racing

Most of the mail-in and drop-off ballots in Elk Grove have been counted now by the Sacramento County Elections department and Steve Ly will get four more years as Mayor. He outdistanced city councilman Darren Suen by 3,705 votes. Tracie Stafford was a distant third.

Though the city is beginning to see some economic growth with the promise of new development in Old Town, the looming construction of the casino near Grantline and Highway 99 and the I-5 corridor on the west side of Elk Grove, Ly's initial term as mayor has been generally without much fanfare. The widely-promised city sports complex at Grantline and Waterman still hasn't turned any dirt and there are many empty retail locations. The long-planned city aquatics project, for some reason, has been delayed to sometime next year.
Scenes such as this are becoming very common in northern
California. The Camp Fire in Butte County is now the
most costly fire in California history with more
than 6,700 structures burned.

Maybe it's the fact the City has several new housing developments and there are enough plans for business growth that  has given voters enough confidence in Ly to give him the mayoral seat for another four years. Let's hope those who did go to the polls didn't vote for him because of the airplane-pulled banner that flew over Elk Grove the past month.

A big concern has to be the realism that very few of our citizens are voting. The latest numbers show 28, 312 Elk Grovians marked a ballot for mayor. In fact, county-wide just 33% of eligible voters did so, according the California Secretary of State's office.

My dad used to say, "If you don't vote, you don't have the right to complain."

Monterey Trail hosts Oak Ridge Friday

The football season is over for Elk Grove and Sheldon following second round playoff losses on Nov. 9. Sheldon once again had issues with beating St. Mary's, dropping a 30-29 decision in Stockton while the Thundering Herd were thumped, 49-7, at Central Catholic.

In a sport where depth is necessary, the fairly thin squads at Elk Grove and Sheldon are really no match for the private schools. Only Folsom, which everyone knows opens its doors to any decent football player that lives in Northern California and Nevada, remains alive - with the exception of Monterey Trail, a school that highlights this season some of its best football players they've ever had.

Coach T.J. Ewing annually has had one of the area's toughest squads, but this year he's mixed in some homegrown talent to run to that school's first-ever 11-0 record. On Friday, the rolled right by Pitman, 63-7. Next up is another of those big foothill schools, Oak Ridge. The Mustangs have to go into that game as a favorite, which will likely set up a showdown the following week against top-seeded Folsom.

If any area team has a chance to give the Bulldogs a competitive game, it is Monterey Trail. But, first things first - beat Oak Ridge this Friday.

Smoke makes for orange sunrise

The fire that consumed all of the quaint town of Paradise has its remnants drifting south with smoke filling the skies over Elk Grove Saturday. If you didn't smell it you saw the orange twinge to the sun. What is very concerning is the reports, at the time of this writing, that the blaze is headed south to Oroville, a town that a couple years ago almost drifted away if it weren't for the last minute warnings of the Army Corp of Engineers when Lake Oroville began to flow over its dam. 

Fires in the area the past few years has made Oroville a spot for evacuees. Now, those fine folks may be headed south or west to escape this huge blaze.

The Camp Fire, as it is now called by Cal Fire, has destroyed more than 6,700 structures, most of them homes, and has the ominous moniker as the state's most destructive fire in history.

Larson to start eighth Sunday

Elk Grove NASCAR driver Kyle Larson will start eighth in Sunday's Can-Am 500 at newly-remodeled ISM Raceway in Phoenix. It's the next-to-the-last Monster Energy Cup event of 2018 in a year where Larson has yet to win.

After a four-win 2017 on NASCAR's premiere circuit this season Larson's #42 Chevrolet team has seen weeks of inconsistency and some tough breaks. He's finished second six times this season and has been in the top ten in 20 races. That's put him 12th in the points standings for the season.

One issue that Larson has encountered this year - and few are talking about it - is that Chevrolet has  provided his and the Chip Ganassi Racing team a different car model for 2018, a Camaro ZL1, and the results of all the Chevys have been poor. Only Chase Elliot (sixth in points overall) and Larson have had any measure of success. Elliot with two wins this season is the only Chevrolet to find the winners' circle. 

Naturally, this is a discussion being held behind closed doors between GM and the NASCAR race teams.

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