Could Sac have a hate crime problem?

[Cross-posted from]

Two elderly Sikhs shot in suburban Sacramento

Shocking news has come out of Elk Grove, California (a suburb of Sacramento), where two elderly Sikh men were shot on the street while out on an afternoon walk:

Surinder Singh's widow, Amarjit Kaur, second from left, is comforted by friends and family Saturday at her Elk Grove home. (
Surinder Singh's widow, Amarjit Kaur, second from left, is comforted by friends and family Saturday at her Elk Grove home. (

Police said Saturday that they don’t know why someone gunned down two men – frail from heart attacks and advancing years – as they slowly ambled through a quiet Elk Grove neighborhood during their daily afternoon walk.

Surinder Singh, 67, died Friday afternoon on the sidewalk along East Stockton Boulevard near Geneva Pointe Drive. Gurmej Atwal, his 78-year-old friend, was shot twice in the chest. His family said he was in critical but stable condition.

The police have not identified suspects nor a motive, but have not ruled out that this was a hate crime.

Continue reading “Could Sac have a hate crime problem?”

Yowza at IHOP

Via, “a group of angry mourners, apparently offended when a news crew tried to get too close to an impromptu memorial service, beat up two employees of a Sacramento television station Sunday.”

One news crew films another news crew getting attacked. It was only missing the eye witness video of the news crew filming the news crew getting attacked.

People are still going with the UGG boots, eh?

Crash tax craziness

Fiat Punto
This guy’s not even from ‘Merica. Cha-ching!!!
Creative Commons License photo credit: Niccolò Caranti

I still can’t believe that 5 humans, not to mention 5 city council members, think an out-of-towner “crash tax” is a good idea. Apparently in California, unless something is specifically illegal, you can find some group of idiots who’ll think it makes sense. And if you need a group of idiots, who better than a roomful of California politicians?

With the chorus of boos around the region about the “crash tax,” including a threatened tit-for-tat response from Yolo County, I am thinking its days are numbered.

In looking around at other instances of “crash tax” in the news I found out that another municipality undergoing such an experiment is none other than New York, New York. However, in the case of the Big Apple it is merely a charge on at-fault drivers for FDNY response to a car crash. Compared to the City Council’s laugher of charging our neighbors this almost makes sense.

Continue reading “Crash tax craziness”

In these tough economic times, be thankful for tough economic times

The Sac Bee reports on a rare benefit in this down economy:

While Sacramento commuters spend on average 24 hours a year stuck in traffic, that’s better than in most urban areas, and it’s a smoother commute than drivers here have had since 1993, a new report shows…

Commute-period congestion peaked in Sacramento in 2005 and 2006 at 35 congested hours per year on average, then tailed off as the recession hit, according to a report published today by the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University.

With the economy tanking, we were able to get rid of a lot of the trafficularsclerosis clogging up our arteries:

Furloughs, layoffs, lack of construction, and fewer delivery trucks on the road are key contributors to more free-flowing commutes, local officials said.

I don’t know about you, but I blame Obama.

RT to add electronic message signs

Creative Commons License photo credit: freya.gefn

Regional Transit announced via their “Next Stop News” brochure that they have begun installing electronic billboards at “key light rail stations.”

Initially, scheduled train arrival times will be displayed on the signs, as well as service disruption information and other RT news. Real-time train arrival times will be displayed starting in spring 2011 using GPS to track the movements of RT vehicles.

This is a pretty nice addition to the light rail commute. If the trains could only serve more people it would make up for the thrice annual cuts to bus service. Continue reading “RT to add electronic message signs”

Hands off

Hudson Sangree’s Bee story today about a shooting downtown in which a jazz musician shot a troublemaker includes this fantastic detail about some of the troublemaking that led to the shooting:

As they exited the building, the men touched one of several human-sized cat figurines belonging to a jazz band that was playing on the patio just outside the restaurant.

No Comment

You may have noticed that we at the ‘Rag have been conspicuously silent on the biggest local news story of the last week, the shooting and murder that took place in Midtown this last weekend. You may or may not know that we here writers don’t work in concert, don’t get together and discuss these things much. We’re all pretty much independent in what we choose to write about about. Which is to say, I don’t speak for all at the ‘Rag when I say that I haven’t been able to write anything about last weekend’s shooting because I honestly don’t know what to say.

One thing I do know is that this type of killing is horrible and crushing to loved ones and friends of those involved. My heart goes out to all those affected. I don’t, however, agree with those who think that discussing this as a civic issue is somehow callous given the gravity of the taking of a human life. This is a civic issue that we need to discuss. Continue reading “No Comment”

CoolDMZ family witnessed Zoo lockdown!

You heard about the high speed chase that ended inside the Sacramento Zoo, as a trio of car thieves drove through the back gate of the zoo. Mrs Cool and the young’uns were on the scene! They were headed toward the giraffes, when suddenly it became clear something was wrong. Then they were herded into the gift shop by very helpful and quick-acting zoo employees, and spent several tense minutes inside on lockdown, waiting for it all to play out.

No photos — even if she had been able to snap them she says she probably would have refrained, as the kids were not exactly loving this. They didn’t see the perps, but they did see police storming the place. Plenty of folks in the gift shop were crowding near the windows (the dudes were not armed, but what if they had been?) snapping photos. That would have made a great photo — folks grabbing shots for the Facebook page while their kids cried in strollers.

My kids pointed out that “it had a happy ending,” and the oldest declared it “the coolest thing that has ever happened.”