There may be a Christmas controversy brewing on the streets of Fair Oaks Village.
Sacramento County has launched a $534,000 street and sidewalk upgrade project in the old town. With the holidays looming, the pressure is on to get it done fast, and the cost may be about to rise.
County officials say the contractor is required to finish by mid-December.
Supervisor Susan Peters explains: The village may be quaint, but it's got quite the social calendar. The work had to wait for the village Chicken Festival to finish in mid-September, but Peters and merchants don't want the street dug up during the village's busy Christmas shopping season.
Crews also must shut work down and clean up for the village Santa Parade and street festival Dec. 1, and the California International Marathon the next day.
Marc Ariza of Ariza Construction said that doesn't leave enough time. He sees project completion in mid-January.
The two sides are standing firm for now.
Then there is the slurry seal issue. Usually, a thin layer of black slurry is spread on the street at the end of the project, like icing on the cake, hiding imperfections and giving a fresh look.
The county, however, ordered the slurry put on at the beginning of the project to allow for lane restriping right away. Since then, the Fair Oaks water district has been digging trenches on one of the blocks where slurry seal was applied, leaving some people scratching their heads.
Residents also questioned why some blocks got slurry and others didn't. So, county officials say they probably will budget another $27,000 for more slurry on more blocks the first week of November. They say they don't know how that affects their desired finish date.
X-ray body scanners out
The federal Transportation Security Administration is replacing its controversial X-ray passenger body scanners at many airports. Sacramento is not one of them, however, because it already has the reportedly safer "millimeter wave" scanners. Those look like big round phone booths.
The disputed X-ray machines, where passengers stand between panels, had caused concern among fliers who didn't trust TSA's assurances that the amount of radiation the machines emit is minor. TSA officials have said they are doing the swap because the X-ray machines are too slow.
Bridges of Sac County
Last week, we asked readers to nominate what they think are the most beautiful bridges in the region, and ugliest, too. We got some great nominations and some stellar photos. This region is bridge-rich, with some surprising hidden and not-so-hidden gems.
We plan to put together a photo gallery in the next few weeks. We'll let you know when and where to see the photos.