The Fourth of July – we had a wonderful time in Elk Grove and we enjoyed all of the festivities. Many thanks to Supergrad Lynden King, our Fireworks King, for his amazing fireworks displays of the evening. Elk Grove’s  Fourth of July celebrations have been taking place for many years. Lance Armstrong mentioned the 1909 event in last week’s Citizen. Thanks, Lance! And for the past 23 years, since 1996, we have had the great celebrations in Elk Grove Regional Park. The Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce started our Salute to the Red, White and Blue festival.  

Happy Birthdays – it was 19 years ago on July 1 that our great city of Elk Grove became official – a new city in California! Little did we know how much we would grow in the years that followed.  But, we continue to grow as wonderful people come to live here. Next year we celebrate our 20th year, and it will be a wonderful birthday celebration! I am sure that Mayor Steve Ly as well as council members Pat Hume, Darren Suen, Steve Detrick, and Stephanie Nguyen are already making plans along with city staff.

It was 60 years ago that Elk Grove Unified School District began as seven elementary districts joined with the high school district. The unification of the Elk Grove school district took place under the supervision of Sacramento County Superintendent T. R. Smedberg, who had been the principal of Elk Grove High School in the 1940s. In order for a district to unify, the voters of the proposed area went to the polls and voted either yes or no.  Elk Grove’s vote was close, but the yes voters won.

The new district decision makers created a plan to have a seven-member Board of Education. The districts of Franklin, Florin, Pleasant Grove, and Sierra Enterprise would each have one member. Elk Grove, due to size, would have two members. And again, due to size, there would be one member to represent Dillard and Cosumnes River districts.  

These were the board members who started the district in 1959: James R. Guttridge and Dr. Wyland Cripe, Elk Grove; Alfred Schopf, Florin; Robert Walker, Sierra Enterprise; E. Henry Kloss, Franklin; Robert S. Mackey, Pleasant Grove; and Jake Schneider, Cosumnes River, and Dillard.

The new district was set to begin on July 1, 1959, and the Board hired Dr. George Kibby to serve as the first superintendent. Dr. William Schreck was later hired as the assistant superintendent. The Kibby-Schreck team, along with its important player Arlene Hein as secretary, established the foundation that resulted in the outstanding Elk Grove Unified School District of today.

Bounty on the Boulevard – Our third scholarship fundraising event will take place in June 2020, and it won’t be long before tickets will be available. Remember – the event totally sold out last year and the year before, so plan on getting your tickets when they become available!

This is from Marie Coleman, the chairperson: “It’s very hard to single our thank yous to individuals or groups. To everyone who helped produce the event we thank for hours and hours of time... thanks for being there for the foundation and our graduating seniors! My special thanks is for Nancy Lucia who co-chaired with me – she is an amazing lady and I admire and respect all of her talent and hard work.  Thank you, Nancy!”

This is from Nancy Lucia: “Thanks to our Bounty on the Boulevard guests for making college scholarships a priority for our graduating seniors as evidenced by their generous contributions at our event.”

These comments are from the board members of the Elk Grove Regional Scholarship Foundation and guests: Our team deserves a medal of honor for all the great work; It was the best; everyone loved it; Bounty was a fun event, a wonderful evening; I can only imagine how much hard work goes into such a successful dinner event; I enjoyed everyone at the tables and mingling around before dinner started; The auction was amazing and raised a lot of money; The wine and appetizers before dinner were great; It was nice to have places to sit in the shade; I thought the salmon was amazing – the best ever! But, all the food was fantastic! I can hardly wait ‘til next year!

Civic Summer – students from Elk Grove Unified high schools participated once again in a special summer session designed to help them learn more about governance in Elk Grove Unified School District and the city of Elk Grove. Louis Silveira and I presented to the group and gave them a history lesson about the district and the city. Carlos Garcia is the Florin High School teacher who organizes the program and he is assisted by Benny Rich. Caroline Cohen is the organizer for the city of Elk Grove.

Strauss Festival – it will be here before we know it at the end of July, the 25th through the 29th, Thursday through Sunday. The Strauss Festival with all its dancers and music has been a part of Elk Grove since 1987, and we look forward to it every year. Started by Iris Zimbelman, the festival is managed by a Board of Directors and there are many, many volunteers.


History Happened Here, Book 1 – River, Oaks, Gold

History Happened Here, Book 2 – Fields, Farms, Schools

We the People, a Story of Internment in America

All book proceeds go for student scholarships, and I thank the many purchasers who have made possible the 75 scholarships with each one $1,000  – make your check for books payable to Laguna Publishers and send to me at 9227 Lamprey Drive, Elk Grove, CA 95624.  Books are $20 apiece and California sales tax is included. Add $3 for shipping of one or two books; $5 for 3-6 books. Call me at (916) 685-0606 or email me at    And, you can always purchase books at meetings of the EGUSD Board of Education and the city of Elk Grove. Look for me in the entry area of both places.