Natomas 2010: The Year In Review

2010 started out on a low note in Natomas with Sac PD investigating the homicide of a party goer at a teen event held after hours at Studio 18.
Things started looking up just a week later when the North Natomas Library opened its doors to the public with great fanfare. It didn’t take long for the library to adjust its schedule and add weekend hours for patrons!  Later, the Authors of Our Own Destiny sculpture would bring out community artisans and critics.
Natomas residents saw some businesses – including several small eateries – fail over the year due to the economy. But the abrupt closure of warehouse giant Sam’s Club came as a shock to many, including the store’s employees.

Early in the year, several groups submitted proposals for a new arena in Sacramento. The complicated three-way land swap plan that would have moved the state fairgrounds to Natomas became the media darling early on, but failed to gain necessary support. All year, the Natomas Chamber of Commerce lobbied in support of a plan to keep the arena in Natomas. Natomas ESC Partners submitted an updated proposal on Dec. 30 which the chamber continues to promote.
The Natomas Unified School District money troubles continued in 2010 as the school board considered which elementary school – or schools – to close according to their budget plan. A series of public forums were held and a “short” list of schools recommended for closure made by an advisory group. But in the end, the district changed directions entirely and shut down Leroy F. Greene Middle School, amid rumors of rampant gang activity, citing poor test scores.

In a crime that shocked the Natomas community, beloved son and football coach Salvador Heredia-Arriaga was killed when he walks in on a home-invasion robbery. Several suspects were arrested in connection with the crime.

The neighborhood definitely got a boost of confidence when ground broke on the new North Natomas firestation and Kaiser closed escrow on property near Interstate 80. The opening of Black Bear Diner, Five Guys Burgers, and the promise of several other businesses were hints of promise for the Natomas region’s future.
The Natomas Unified School District hired Bobbie Plough to replace Steve Farrar who retired the previous year and said farewell – again – to Dr. General Davie who served as interim superintendent during the search process.

Money for much-needed levee work along the rivers was approved and Natomas homeowners given a temporary reprieve from flood insurance hikes. Controversy erupted, however, when it was determined city officials OKd permits for new homes in Natomas where building is prohibited and threatened federal funding.
The primary election is held and the results of a three-way race for the city council District One seat are not final for several weeks. Newcomer Angelique Ashby wins, avoids a runoff race and takes office in November.

Natomas saw two officer-related shootings in 2010. The first was in response to a domestic disturbance call and the second was in connection to an assault on a young person. The suspect died in the second incident.

A farmers’ market returned to Natomas and met great support. The market, held Saturday mornings at in the Inderkum parking lot is closed for the winter season, but promises to return in May.

Another sad note this year was the death of an 80-year-old woman who was hit by a car as she crossed North Park Drive at Banfield Drive – the third reported pedestrian versus vehicle accident at this location.

The year wrapped up with the Natomas school board race which saw both incumbents re-elected and the troubled school district’s ongoing financial struggles.



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