Inside Carmichael December 2019

By Susan Peters
December 2019

Let’s Light a Tree!
Join the fun at several park holiday events

The Arden Park Recreation and Park District will host its fifth annual “Holiday in the Park” tree-lighting ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 5, at Arden Park on La Sierra Drive. Santa will arrive on a fire truck promptly at 6 p.m. After the tree lighting, Santa will be available for photos and to discuss children’s wish lists. Cookies and hot chocolate will be provided, as well as live entertainment by local youth groups.

Carmichael Recreation and Park District will kick off the holiday season with a tree-lighting ceremony on Dec. 5 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Carmichael Park on Grant Avenue. This annual community celebration will be held in conjunction with the park district’s monthly food truck event. Plan to attend rain or shine. Santa will be there too.

The Fulton Avenue Association and Fulton-El Camino Recreation and Park District will hold a “Festival of Lights Parade & Tree Lighting” on Saturday, Dec. 7. The parade will begin at 5 p.m. at Howe Park and proceed south on Bell Street, east on Cottage Way, north on Fulton Avenue and end at the Department of Human Assistance at 2700 Fulton Ave. where the tree-lighting ceremony will occur.


Need help finding unique gifts this holiday season? Here are few suggestions that will help with your shopping and assist a good cause at the same time.

The Sacramento Sheriff K-9 Association has an online store featuring a number of specialty items, such as T-shirts and glass mugs. Proceeds benefit this nonprofit organization, which supports our four-legged canine deputies. For more information, visit

Show your support for the American River Parkway by purchasing a parkway T-shirt, wildlife book or yearlong unlimited Park Pass. This convenient annual parking/day-use pass is a great gift for joggers, bicyclists and other outdoor recreationists who frequent the parkway. Gifts are sold online at Park Passes are sold online and at the American River Parkway Foundation office in the William B. Pond Recreation Area.

The Effie Yeaw Nature Center offers a wide selection of unique and personal gifts for nature lovers through the center’s Discovery Shop. Items include books, cards, games, toys and jewelry. For more information, go to

Find unique handmade gifts by local artisans at the Gift Shop inside the Sacramento Fine Arts Center on Gibbons Drive in Carmichael. Jewelry, ceramics, scarves, greeting cards and prints are among the varied selection of beautiful work. The shop is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.


The Sacramento Sheriff’s Toy Project has been serving our community since 1984 providing gifts, as well as food boxes, to less fortunate families.

The program provides a character-building environment for Work Project participants who spend their court-ordered jail sentences making toys, building furniture, and refurbishing computers and donated bicycles.

Items are distributed to those in need, including schools for special needs and homeless children. Referrals for recipient families come through the sheriff’s service centers, deputies, detectives, probation officers, social service agencies, schools and local nonprofit organizations.

Work Project participants develop a sense of accomplishment and many request to volunteer at the workshop after their release. Donations are welcome. For more information, visit


Last month, the Board of Supervisors recognized several Heroes of Human Services as part of an annual awards ceremony arranged by the county’s Human Services Coordinating Council, which honors residents and organizations that have touched the lives of others through advocacy, dedication, service and support.

Honorees included Dorothy Cabodi, a 100-year-old Fair Oaks resident who has volunteered at the Orangevale Woman’s Club since 1959. In the last seven years, she has ensured the club helps the Sacramento Children’s Receiving Home. 

Another awardee was Marilyn Koenig who has been serving as the executive director for Friends of Survival for the last 36 years, and never once sought compensation from this nonprofit group that provides compassion to those who have lost a loved one to suicide. 

Carol Watts of Foothill Farms also was recognized for her community volunteerism for nearly half a century that has focused on raising awareness about crime and public safety in her neighborhood and local schools, as well as organizing the annual gathering of residents for National Night Out.


Becoming housed after living on the street results in much needed shelter, but also triggers the need to have everyday basic necessities, such as linens, pots and pans, dishes, utensils and small appliances.

Sacramento Self-Help Housing is sponsoring a collection drive for household items to provide to formerly homeless families and individuals who are now being housed. Donated items can be delivered to the Cal Expo Main Gate off Exposition Boulevard on Saturday, Dec. 14, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Each donation, big or small, will go directly to helping someone in our community. For more information, contact Derek at (916) 591-1059 or


A Labrador retriever mix pooch named Taz could be sniffing the box of fruit being sent to you this holiday season.

Taz is the newest agriculture-detection dog serving Sacramento County and has been working since mid-August with Mariah deNijs, a county agriculture and standards inspector. Together they are members of the Pest Detection and Exclusion program, which focuses on unmarked packages shipped directly to Sacramento County. 

Each Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, for four hours a day, the pair visit Fed Ex, UPS and U.S. Postal Service delivery centers. Taz uses his sensitive nose to seek out fruits most likely to harbor pests and diseases that are dangerous to area crops.

Once the dog identifies a package, and proper contacts have been made if necessary, Taz’s human partner opens it and inspects the contents. If they are properly certified and pest-free, she re-seals the box and sends it on its way for delivery. If she sees potential pests, the material is confiscated and quarantined until the pests can be identified by the California Department of Food and Agriculture lab.

The California Agricultural Detector Dog Team Program is funded under the Farm Bill by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and implemented by the California Department of Food and Agriculture. For more information, visit


Thousands of runners will race through our neighborhoods on Sunday, Dec. 8, for the annual California International Marathon. The 26-mile grueling trek begins at 7 a.m. in Folsom and ends at the State Capitol.

This event attracts world-class competition. Several thousand out-of-town visitors travel to the area to participate in or watch the marathon. This influx contributes to our local economy via lodging, restaurants, retail sales, etc. Everyone is welcome to come out and cheer on the runners. 

Residents south of Fair Oaks Boulevard, one of the main course roads, may be land-locked while the race is in progress, so plan your morning activities accordingly. For details on road and time closures, visit Click on “Participant Information,” then from the drop-down menu click on “Course Information.”


Traveling via plane or picking up family and friends arriving at Sacramento International Airport for the holidays?

Remember you can avoid circling around the terminals to pick up passengers by using the Free Waiting Area, also known as the Cell Phone Lot. Located near the Interstate 5 entrance/exit, this lot has convenient access to both terminals. Once arrivals are ready, they can call you on your cell phone and you can pick them up at curbside.

Get current information on flights arriving at and departing from Sacramento International Airport by going to

Susan Peters represents the Third District on the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors. She can be reached at Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @insidesacramento.

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