SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The number of American workers who bear through commute times of 90 minutes or more each way grew by 32% from 2005 to 2017. This is more than triple the 9% growth rate for workers with commutes shorter than 90 minutes. In a new report, we present county-level data on these “super commuters” that sheds new light on this fast-growing population.

Recent increases in super commuting are often attributed to middle-class workers in superstar cities being priced out to far-flung exurbs. However, county-level data shows that super commuting is also common among low-income workers who rely on public transit, as well as blue-collar workers in certain pockets of rural America.

Some key takeaways:

4.3% of workers who live in El Dorado County are super commuters, the highest rate in the Sacramento metro. Yolo County has the metro's lowest super commuter share at 2.7%. Nationally, 2.9% of workers are super commuters.

Among workers in the Sacramento metro who rely on public transit, 14.8% are super commuters, compared to 3.7% of those who commute by car.

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Apple Z Will Rock Gibbons Park

By Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2019-09-04

Apple Z musicians Jake Cooley (left) Scott Rodell, Steve Walter and Steven Leonard will play at Gibbons Park, Carmichael on September 22. Photo by Susan Maxwell Skinner

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Mission Oaks Park District will deliver just desserts with a slice of the rock group Apple Z on September 22. The event is the final concert of the park district’s summer season. Winners of several Sacramento Area Music awards, the quartet will play pop and rock hits for listening and dancing. Downbeat is 5 pm at Gibbons Park. Anyone may attend; picnics are encouraged. Food trucks will be on site. The concert will be staged behind the Mission Oaks Community Center at 4701 Gibbons Drive. For more information, visit

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County Supervisor Susan Peters Announces Upcoming Retirement

Story and photos by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2019-09-04

Susan Peters last week announced her final term as County Supervisor at the Carmichael Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Chamber President Jim Alves was among well-wishers.

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - County Supervisor Susan Peters last week told the Carmichael Chamber of Commerce she will not seek re-election next year. After 16 years of service to Sacramento County’s District 3, months of rumors preceded her announcement. At least six hopefuls have thrown hats in the ring for her seat.

Peters has more than 14 months yet to serve. She’ll sit long hours on the Board; attend town halls; give speeches and cut her quota of ribbons. Future ground-breakings include the beginning of Phase 3 of Fair Oaks corridor improvements in Carmichael this fall.

Bowing away was carefully considered. “Sixteen years is enough for anyone,” she considers. “In this job, you should exit on a high note to avoid burning out – so residents still get the attention they deserve. I also want to leave District 3 in good hands. I brought several people onto commissions and watched to see who seemed capable and interested in doing the job.” Former CHP officer Rich Desmond emerged as her pick. “When I first met Rich 18 months ago,” says Peters, “I thought he might be the guy. He’s proven it through his work on the Carmichael Community Planning Advisory Council. His background in law enforcement also is a plus. Public safety is a priority for residents.”

Achievements will shine among her retiring memories. “We’ve built four new parks for Carmichael,” she considers. “A foundation’s been formed to raise money for district parks. Effie Yeaw Nature Center has developed into a public/private partnership that’s brought many enhancements. We’ve instituted quarterly town halls to help residents learn about issues that affect them. Fair Oaks Boulevard is looking beautiful. The new Carmichael Property and Business Improvement District (PBID) will improve the business area. When I first came into office, Carmichael people said: bring us more restaurants. Well, the Milagro Centre has answered that.”

Glittering memories will include igniting Christmas tree lights – with a loyal succession of schnauzer dogs as company for the 20-year widow. Peters opened the Swanston Community Center; she saw the stunning transformation of McClellan Air Force Base and the opening of Sacramento International Airport’s Terminal B. To the relief of countless motorists, Hazel Avenue (Fair Oaks) improvements were completed.

The Supervisor spoke at a glorious homecoming for Carmichael heroes who saved a French train from terrorism. She broke ground for trails and buildings and learned to graciously decline ceremonial tools as gifts (“You end up with a garage full of shovels, otherwise,”). On a never-to-be-repeated impulse, she volunteered for a police canine demonstration. Despite protective padding, the attack numbed her arm for days. Fair Oaks Cemetery and Patriots Park ceremonies for those who died in service touched her heart. “When a parent cries on your shoulder for a lost son or daughter, you never forget it,” she says.

For every problem tackled, plenty more will challenge her remaining term. “I’ll continue to work on measures to address homelessness,” she promises. It’s a problem all over California... a never-ending challenge that the next Supervisor will also have to wrestle with. The interesting thing about being a Supervisor is that something different comes up every day.

“You can’t fix every problem. But you do your best.”

Supervisor Peters will hold public meetings at Mission Oaks Community Center on October 10 and at Swanston Community Center on October 17. Both presentations will start at 6 pm and offer roadwork updates.

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Park Music Season Nears Swan Song

Story and photo by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2019-08-29

Famed Americana band Mumbo Gumbo drew huge crowds to Carmichael Park last weekend. Leader Tracy Walton (center with guitar) graduated from Mira Loma High. This weekend will feature the Dave Russell Band on Saturday and the Kiwanis Swing Band on Sunday.

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Co-leader of nationally-known zydeco band Mumbo Gumbo, Tracy Walton trod familiar turf in Carmichael Park Saturday night. The singer grew up in Carmichael and graduated from Mira Loma High School. More than 40 years later, she and the seven-piece group delighted a 2500-strong crowd during the penultimate weekend of Carmichael Park’s summer concert season.

Walton, who learned music from her pianist father Bill, first encountered Mumbo bandmates at a California State Fair performance. “They called themselves Spydell in those days,” she recalls. “I saw Chris Webster on stage and asked if I could sing with her. I’ve been singing and writing songs with Chris ever since.” Mumbo Gumbo morphed from Spydell’s seven musician friends. Their “genre-blending” stew of Creole and blues blazed trails. “We all came from different experiences,” explains Walton.  “That’s how we created such a crazy mix-up of rhythms and styles. We didn’t copy anyone; Mumbo Gumbo just created itself. We were soon enjoying an enormous wave of popularity.”

Over 30 years, the Sacramento musicians have recorded nine albums of original music (mainly penned by Walton and Webster). Sacramento Area Music Awards (SAMMIES) paper their walls; they perform 40 or more gigs per year. Familiarity can breed romance: Walton’s husband is Ric Lotter, the group’s co-founder and long-serving drummer. The couple’s 19-year-old year daughter Emma is a classical violinist and the Walton/Lotter family now inhabits East Sacramento’s Curtis Park.

“I love to come back to Carmichael,” says Walton. “It’s like old-home week for our bass player Mickey Palmer and me. We knew each other at Mira Loma. It’s wonderful that our old high school friends come out to see us.”

Carmichael Park’s 43rd season ends this weekend. The Dave Russell Band will offer country music on Saturday (August 31); the Kiwanis Swing Band plays on Sunday (September 1). Downbeat for both shows is 6:30 pm.

Admission is free. For more information, visit                                                              

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Labor Day weekend is one of the busiest on the highways, which makes impaired driving even more dangerous. To help keep the roadways safe, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is joining forces with five other Western states with the slogan “No safe place for impaired drivers” to crack down on drunk and drugged driving for the coming holiday weekend.

In partnership with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, the state patrols of Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington will work as a Western States Traffic Safety Coalition to place special emphasis on the enforcement of drug-impaired driving.  The states will jointly stress that driving under the influence (DUI) means drugs as well as alcohol in their educational efforts.

“Whatever causes impairment makes you an unsafe driver,” CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley said.  “High visibility enforcement in these six states will help create a general deterrence and promote safer driving.”

In California, roads will be patrolled by all available CHP officers for the Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP), from 6:01 p.m. Friday, August 30, to 11:59 p.m. Monday, September 2.  During the 2018 Labor Day weekend MEP, 36 people were killed on California roads and 1,084 were arrested for DUI. 

Since the legalization of recreational cannabis, the CHP has increased training efforts to detect impaired drivers.  All CHP officers and sergeants have received additional impaired driving enforcement training.  California also has the highest number of drug recognition expert (DRE) trained personnel in the nation.  For the Labor Day MEP, DREs will be on duty throughout the state.

Many people think of Labor Day as the last weekend of summer and plan special trips.  The CHP reminds all drivers:  Do not drive if you are going to drink or use any other impairing substance.  Always wear your seat belt.  Avoid distractions behind the wheel.  Be patient, especially when it comes to road congestion or construction. 

The mission of the CHP is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security.




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BBQ and Boogie Night Supports Alzheimer’s

By Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2019-08-29

Fan club. Carmichael heart throb singer Todd Morgan (center) mingles with guests at the Barbecue, Beer and Boogie event at Oakmont of Carmichael. Photo by Susan Maxwell Skinner

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Ribs and rock were on the menu for the Barbecue, Beer and Boogie event last week. Held at Oakmont of Carmichael, the fundraiser supports the nation-wide Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s event.

More than 150 guests sipped beer and margaritas, nibbled from lavish barbecued buffets and were serenaded by Todd Morgan and the Emblems. Carmichael’s B. B. B. tradition was begun 13 years ago by former honorary Mayor Virginia Stone, whose mother died from Alzheimer’s. Stone’s fundraiser was taken over by the Oakmont facility in 2015. Over the years, the social has raised almost $100,000 in the cause of medical research and to assist those suffering from the disease. Sacramento’s annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be held at Raley Field on September 28. The walk will be echoed by in 600 cities all over the nation.

Carmichael Barbecue Beer and Boogie sponsors included: Oakmont of Carmichael; Bristol Hospice and Dr. Lou Nishimura.

For more information on Walk to End Alzheimer’s, visit www.

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SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - Sacramento County Health Services received approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on their submission for the Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System Waiver. This accomplishment is a massive overhaul that will expand treatment of substance use disorders for Sacramento County residents. The waiver is effective June 28, 2019, through June 30, 2021. 

The Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System Waiver is part of a statewide initiative that offers counties the opportunity to expand access to high-quality care and increase alcohol and drug treatment services. Before the waiver, Medi-Cal patients suffering from substance use/abuse had a small selection of addiction treatment services and did not have an organized system to help them find quality care. 

Under the approved waiver, Sacramento County Alcohol and Drug Services can provide a broader range of services, while also having additional resources to coordinate and manage those services, monitor the quality of care and provide more affordable rates. Services will be offered to Sacramento County Medi-Cal beneficiaries, both adults and youth. 

“The approval of this waiver is huge for Sacramento County, with the new services, we can treat more patients than ever before,” said Sacramento County Alcohol and Drug Services Division Manager, Lori Miller. “Implementation will give the County greater administrative oversight to support patients. The County will also have the ability to improve care, be more efficient with our resources, implement evidence-based practices in substance abuse treatment, and coordinate with other systems of care to help residents get treatment.”

“Sacramento County is excited to expand local networks of high-quality providers, as well as improve substance use disorder services and coordination with other hospitals, health and behavioral health systems,” said Behavioral Health Director, Ryan Quist. “The waiver will create alignment with new cross-system initiatives with law enforcement, criminal justice and child welfare.”

“There is so much stigma towards those struggling with addiction, this waiver strives to treat substance use disorder like any other medical illness, and not blame patients for their medical condition,” said Miller. “Sacramento County Alcohol and Drug Services is very excited about the changes to come – it is a huge opportunity to touch, change and save lives.”

Sacramento County provides many alcohol and drug treatment services that range from outpatient treatment, medication-assisted treatment, residential treatment, detoxification and perinatal services. If you or someone you know suffers from substance abuse or addiction, please call for an assessment, 916-874-9754, or reference the Alcohol and Drug Services Resource list for information on treatment services within the County.

To learn more about the Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System, visit the California Department of Health Care Services websiteemail or contact Sacramento County Alcohol and Drug Services at 916-875-2050. 

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