Appeals Case Impacts Illegal Camping Ordinance
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - A federal court decision has ruled that illegal camping ordinances are unconstitutional and that local governments cannot cite or arrest anyone sleeping on public property.
On September 4, 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on the case Robert Martin v. City of Boise, stating that enforcing anti-camping ordinances when adequate shelter beds are unavailable is unconstitutional.
Because of that ruling, the Sacramento County Department of Parks stopped enforcing the City of Sacramento’s anti-camping ordinance and the County ordinance prohibiting camping without a permit.
Since January 2018, Sacramento County rangers have issued 1,834 citations for unlawful camping under the County ordinance, and 224 citations for unlawful camping under the City of Sacramento ordinance.
The County is currently evaluating enforcement options under existing laws and regulations and will provide information to the Board on next steps.
Sacramento County Rangers will continue to enforce ordinances including but not limited to campfires, littering, dogs off leash, possession of a shopping cart and environmental degradation.
“As soon as I found out about the ruling, I suggested our board meet to discuss its implications, especially for my constituents who rightfully demand a clean and safe Parkway,” said First District Supervisor Phil Serna, who represents the lower reach of the American River Parkway.
“I have many questions, including why County Counsel advised that park rangers not enforce the illegal camping ordinance without notifying or coordinating with board members,” he continued.
Source: SacCounty News
Local Nonprofits Help Young Authors’ Dreams Come True
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - How many children do you know who have written illustrated, and published their own book? In Citrus Heights, 125 students, 1st through 5th grade, at the Mariposa Avenue Elementary School have added “author” to their resume, which will follow them through high school and beyond.
This unique program called “Creativity Gone Wild” is taught by members of the Mariposa Literary Academy in Citrus Heights and is designed to inspire students to stretch their minds and use their imaginations in new ways.
The program was the brainchild of Karen Szakacs, a kindergarten teacher at Mariposa in 2014, and Marsha Robinson, a local author of children’s books. Together with Cherelyn Martello, the three women launched the first academy in 2014.
The spark that ignited the idea for the student authored books came when a kindergarten boy at Mariposa heard Robinson read her book “Rescuing Humphrey” to the class and afterwards raised his hand. He asked her to write another book about Humphrey. She answered by suggesting he write it. He replied, “I don’t know how,” and the Mariposa Literary Academy was born.
Since January, 2014 the Academy has taught 11 after-school academies (two per year) with 125 young authors to-date proudly producing their own hard cover fiction books at the end of the 16-session academy. A maximum of 12 students are chosen by their teacher to participate in each academy.
The entire book is the work of the student author. They come up with their own fictional story, with a beginning, middle and conclusion, along with illustrations. They begin with a normal life experience such as a camping trip in the woods with their family. They are told to enhance it using their imagination, such as being transported to another planet by space aliens. The results have truly been mind-boggling.
To help teach the authors how to illustrate their own books, Peter Blueberry, alias Lance Pyle - a children's book author and illustrator, volunteers his time explaining the art of illustration and helping students with their own work.
Shutterfly, an American internet-based publishing service, prints the books for about $15 each. Each student receives a hardcover book for themselves, a hardcover book to sign for the school library and the Academy receives a paper copy of each student’s book. They have become the most popular books checked out by students.
While instruction and the printed books are free to participants, actual cost per pupil averages $50. In addition to the cost of publishing, funds are used for items such as paper and art supplies, snacks, and photography.
Financially, the Literary Academy, Creativity Gone Wild, is managing to stay solvent with the help of two philanthropic organizations and other donations.
Through word of mouth the Rotary Club of Citrus Heights and Soroptimist International of Citrus Heights immediately stepped up and have continued to provide the largest portion of the over $6,000 needed to fund the program for the last five years. The Optimist Club of Citrus Heights and Mariposa Parent Faculty Organization have also provided funds.
Robinson stated in an email, “I would like to show my thanks to the organizations that have supported this program, to the volunteers that help us run the program, and to the school itself for allowing us to use their campus.”
She would also like to invite other schools to look at the “possibilities that an academy like this can provide students” in their schools. The Mariposa Literary Academy would love to share their experiences with local elementary school teachers.
DC Wonder Woman Run Series Brings Out the Hero in Everyone
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Sacramento was overrun by superheroes on Saturday, September 22 when the DC Wonder Woman Run Series hosted its inaugural event with a 5K and 10K run through Capitol Mall. Sacramento was the first city in the United States to participate in this race.
The event was produced by SON Events in conjunction with Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment. Sarah Ratzlaff, director of marketing for SON Events, said, “The race has a strong overall theme of women’s empowerment. Wonder Woman embodies strength, bravery, and power. The goal of the event is to show that there’s a Wonder Woman in all of us. That’s why we’re using the hashtag #IAmWonderWoman.”
The festival area was decorated with giant balloons and lined with an array of fluttering Wonder Woman flags. Area streets were blocked off by police cars, flashing their red and blue lights. Approximately 1,300 people participated in the 5K and 10K runs. The first-place finishers were Sandra Khounvichai with a time of 20:26 in the 5K and Stephen Harms with a time of 48:43 in the 10K.
The DC Wonder Woman Run Series is designed to empower the Superhero in everyone, so runners and walkers of all ability levels were encouraged to participate, regardless of their athletic abilities. Many participants had never run or walked in a 5K before this event. After completing the course, each participant was given a Wonder Woman medal. The festivities continued after the race, with a celebration featuring food trucks, a beer tent, face painting, official Wonder Woman merchandise, and a main stage with live musical entertainment.
Race participant Christie Pierce said he was persuaded to join the race just the evening before: “I decided to tag along. I said, ‘Sure, I’ll wear a skirt, I’ll do it.’ But more importantly, I decided to do it because I support strong, independent women.”
Theresa Ivaldi, Karli Cisneros, and Christina Mundy entered the race together. They thought it would be more fun to run together in a group of friends. This was Ivaldi’s first run, and she thought the Wonder Woman run was a fun way to start. Cisneros said, “I love running and love spending time with my friends, so I figured why not combine the two.” Mundy said, “What better way to run a 5K with friends and family than a Wonder Woman run that represents women’s power?” Mundy’s kids, Isabella (10) and Jackson (8), and their friend Sophie Carr (10), all love Wonder Woman. They enjoyed the race and especially loved getting a shiny medal to commemorate their accomplishment of crossing the finish line.
The DC Wonder Woman Run Series will be hosted in Oakland, San Jose, San Diego, and Los Angeles this fall. The Los Angeles run, as the flagship run, will be the largest in the series with 7,000 – 8,000 participants expected. If you would like to participate in one of the upcoming runs, or for more information on the DC Wonder Woman Run Series, please visit the website at www.dcwonderwomanrun.com.
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Sacramento’s California Emergency Response Team’s (CERT’s) graduation drill took place on Saturday, September 1 from 2 p.m. – 10 p.m. at the Northern California Regional Public Safety Academy in McClellan Park. The community participated and explored their inner actors as volunteer victims with broken arms or legs or other injuries for the day’s free event.
The drills tested the program’s graduates on practical skills including sizing up a building to determine if it is safe to enter; search and rescue; transport; and triage and treatment. They assessed situations simulating burning buildings and locating victims in dense smoke and at night. Graduates radioed transport crews, practiced victim transport before another group assessed injuries, bandaged, and prepared victims for transport to a medical facility said Robert Ross, Chief, Operations, Sacramento CERT, CERT 22.
“Watching, you don’t get to see as much,” he said, adding that the role of victim teaches more to the community who wants to understand what happens during an emergency such as a fire.
Ross explained that most people see only the end result.
“It’s a good way to see them in action and experience it without being in a collapsed building,” he said.
The Basic CERT course, Level 3, is sanctioned by FEMA and was developed by Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) after the Mexico City and Kobe earthquakes. The course, Ross explained, is for everyday citizens with no previous training or particular skills who want to learn how to prepare for a disaster and is offered at no charge.
“Civilians will be on their own for the first 72 hours,” said Ross, and will learn about disaster psychology and how to prepare bags with the necessities to assist in their immediate neighborhoods. Ross said that people don’t often think about bringing items like pet toys when they need to evacuate. Trained civilians can put out small fires and even triage in their neighborhoods if the need arises, but they need to practice, and that’s where the graduation drill comes in.
Graduates learn about fire behavior, which has been especially bad in California this summer, identification of hazardous materials, including those being transported, and terrorism. Upon graduation, CERT trained civilians can assist locally and can transfer their CERT training to other cities or states if they move. Since the Sacramento region is prone to flooding, this would also be covered in local training.
This level is required in order to continue with advanced courses to be certified as a Disaster Service Worker or a First Responder. Additionally, graduates may pursue training to join one of the special teams – Urban Search & Rescue, Animal Response, or Radio Communications.
“During a disaster cell phones won’t work, satellite phones are few and far between,” said Ross. “Ham operators during Hurricane Katrina passed messages. We can talk to Japan if we need to,” he said.
One legally blind team member who used a motorized wheelchair ran the ham radio and was one of the best in Sacramento.
“There are no limitations on who can participate. There are many ways to be involved, with a job for everyone.”
For additional information, visit www.sfdcert.org. Look for them at many local public events. The next academy will be held in spring of 2019.
RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - The memorial service for Deputy Mark Stasyuk is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 29, 2018, at Bayside Church Adventure Campus in Roseville, located at 6401 Stanford Ranch Road in Roseville. A multi-agency fly-over will take place at the conclusion of the memorial service. All other law enforcement honors will be performed at a private graveside service.
Stasyuk was shot and killed in the line of duty on September 17 after responding to a call in Rancho Cordova. He leaves behind a wife, mother, father and sister.
Source: Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department and Rancho Cordova Police Department
Calling Kids, Canines and the Young-at-Heart…
SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Plans are afoot for the Midtown Association to present the crowd-favorite Midtown Halloween Festival & Pooch Parade on Saturday, October 27, 2018, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Marshall Park (915 27th Street). Sponsored by the Sutter District – with restaurants that include BarWest, Biba, Blue Cue, Centro Cocina Mexicana, Harlow’s, INK Eats & Drinks, Paragary’s Midtown & Red Rabbit Kitchen & Bar – the canine-friendly event is highlighted by the much-anticipated “pooch parade” scheduled to take place at 2:30 p.m. that day. Four-legged friends will strut by on stage while competing in an entertaining costume contest that will include playful prizes for the winning pooches.
The playful Midtown Mascot will be on-site as will the ever-popular mobile off-leash “Pop-Up Dog Park” to encourage canine-friendly communication for pooches 30 pounds or less (due to the structural limits of the fencing). Plus, a variety of free family-friendly activities will be available that include the following: face painting by Fancy Figments; a deluxe rainbow castle jump house with a basketball hoop; hands-on arts and crafts; and entertaining live music from The Hoots that is sponsored by Republic Services. Also, photo-friendly pet backdrops will be available along with a fun pop-up portrait board.
Early that day, special and spirited activities will be available at the Midtown Farmers Market that takes place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on 20th at J Street and extends beyond K Street. Costumes are encouraged and children of all ages are invited to join the fun. Then, many business near J, K and 24th Streets will participate in “Midtown Trick-or-Treat” by providing goodies for children in costume from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day.
“All year long, we’re excited to offer an inspired variety of creative and fun events in Midtown that are both family and pet friendly,” said Emily Baime Michaels, Executive Director of the Midtown Association. “And we’re especially thrilled to showcase our four-legged friends for this Halloween Festival & Pooch Parade that is so incredibly popular with the Midtown community.”
The Halloween Festival & Pooch Parade, Pop-Up Dog Park and the Midtown Farmers Market are presented and supported by the Midtown Association, which is committed to ensuring Midtown remains a thriving center for culture, creativity and vibrancy. Midtown is both walkable and bike-friendly with parking available in nearby garages located at 1801 L Street or the East End Garage on 17th Street between L & Capitol plus various lots throughout Midtown. For more information about Midtown Sacramento, how to get around, special events and the Midtown Association, please visit www.exploremidtown.org or follow on social media – Facebook at www.facebook.com/exploremidtown/ and @ExploreMidtown on Instagram and Twitter.
The mission of the Midtown Association (MA) is to create a center for culture, creativity and vibrancy in Sacramento’s urban core. For more information about MA, please, call 916-442-1500 or visit www.exploremidtown.org
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Utility poles covered with signs and notices for political candidates, lost animals, yard sales and events present serious hazards for utility workers. This is a particular problem during election season.
Nails, staples, tacks, and screws used to post signs can cause serious injury to lineworkers who climb the wooden utility power poles every day. These items are especially hazardous when the poles are climbed during bad weather to restore power during storms and at night.
When the signs fall off or are removed, the fasteners often remain in the pole, causing lineworkers to get cut or injured. Nails and staples can obstruct climbing gear, which can cause workers to slip or fall as they climb. Even the tiniest puncture in lineworkers’ rubber gloves can expose them to severe shock from power lines.
When advertising for a political candidate, lost pet, garage sale or other event, please do not post signs on utility poles.