Momentum is building on two fronts for strategies to reverse the growth of Carmichael’s homeless population and its negative impact on the community.
“We’ve reached a tipping point,” Greg Alderman, senior pastor of Christ Community Church, said in an interview. “Ideally, family would be there to help people get off the street, but what happens when that’s no longer the case? There are as many as 150 people on the street saying, ‘I live here.’ There has to be a plan to transition people off the street who want to make that move.”
Alderman is participating in a broad collaborative effort to move homeless individuals into supervised transitional housing and services to help them to become self-supporting. It’s called Carmichael HART (Housing Assistance Resource Team), a joint venture involving area churches, nonprofits and businesses. Similar HART groups already are operating in Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova and Citrus Heights. Elk Grove HART has two transitional houses.
On another front, business leaders are engaged in the county’s approval process through a Carmichael committee affiliated with the Chamber of Commerce to develop a “Property Business and Improvement District (PBID).” The target area is mainly along the Fair Oaks Boulevard corridor from El Camino Avenue to Manzanita and Cypress.
If successful, a nonprofit corporation to be formed early next year would act on behalf of Carmichael business and other non-residential property owners who would tax themselves to hire private security and finance economic development. Other PBID arrangements have been highly successful elsewhere, including Fulton Avenue, Watt Avenue north of Auburn Boulevard and Mack Road with strong law enforcement support.
“The condition of Carmichael has deteriorated significantly in the past few years,” said Gary Hursh, an attorney who chairs the Carmichael project’s steering committee. “In my opinion, without action, it will get so bad that expensive and possibly drastic measures will have to be taken.”
Hursh and Alderman agree that any fix to Carmichael’s homeless problem must have complementary strategies to motivate people from settling into a transient lifestyle and instead consider housing with resources – if that were available.
“Until we start giving them a picture of what transitioning from the street can look like, nobody’s going to believe it’s possible,” Alderman said. “Homeless people rely on word of mouth and regularly check in with each other. If we had stories of people transitioning off the streets, word would travel fast.”
Proponents cite national studies showing that the bill for housing a homeless person costs only one-fourth to one-third as much as leaving the person on the street.
“Keeping the homeless out of emergency rooms, detox centers, psychiatric hospitals, jails and other institutions would diminish our costs greatly,” reports Sacramento Self Help Housing, a Carmichael HART supporter and nonprofit that allocates federal money to shelter people, provide life skills improvement and referrals to community-based help.
Kathilynn Carpenter of Citrus Heights HART estimated at a recent Carmichael HART organizing meeting that having people on the street costs $50,000 a year on average, compared with $12,000 to place them in transitional housing with services. The savings comes in part from reducing spending on policing, property damage and theft, emergency room visits, and jail, court and legal fees.
Scott Young, director of ATLAS of Carmichael, says the cost equation is important because a lot of people don’t know that housing saves money.
“A lot of people might object, asking, ‘We’re going to pay to house people and not make them pay for it?’ But the point is, we’re already spending more money on leaving them out than we would spend if we brought them in. That’s a powerful argument.”
ATLAS (“Attaining Truth, Love and Self-Control”) donates clothing to homeless people from its nonprofit Fair Oaks Boulevard thrift store. It also provides mentoring for people need. Elsewhere, many Carmichael churches are offering winter sanctuaries, food closets, free meals, clothing, showers and limited financial help.
Sacramento Steps Forward, the lead agency working to end homelessness in the Sacramento region, promotes a “housing first” approach to quickly move homeless individuals into independent and permanent housing, then make available additional support and services as needed. “People are better able to move forward in their lives and address additional factors leading to homelessness if they first have access to a stable living situation,” the nonprofit advocates in its mission statement.
The Citrus Heights Police Department has been awarded a $145,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) for a year-long program of special enforcements and public awareness efforts to prevent traffic related deaths and injuries. Citrus Heights Police Department will use the funding as part of the city’s ongoing commitment to keep our roadways safe and improve the quality of life through both enforcement and education.
“I am proud of our continued partnership with the Office of Traffic Safety. It is because of our combined efforts we have seen success combating impaired driving in the City of Citrus Heights,” said Lieutenant Jason Russo. “CHPD is looking forward to seeing even greater success in reducing collisions through the use of innovative strategies into 2017.”
After falling to a ten year low in 2010, the number of persons killed has climbed nearly 17% across the state with 3,176 killed in 2015 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Particularly alarming is the six-year rise in pedestrian and bicycle fatalities, along with the growing dangers of distracting technologies, and the emergence of drug-impaired driving as a major problem. This grant funding will provide opportunities to combat these and other devastating problems such as drunk driving, speeding and crashes at intersections.
“Years of research tell us that enforcement and education work best jointly to combat unsafe driving,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. “This grant brings both tactics together, with the Office of Traffic Safety and the Citrus Heights Police Department working in concert to help keep the streets and highways safe across Citrus Heights and the state.”
Activities that the grant will fund include:
Funding for this program is from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Diane Ebbitt, an active member of the Citrus Heights community recently learned that the “fight the bite” campaign is very real as it battles to educate the public about a very real adversary, West Nile Virus.
In August Ebbitt, 58, the Police Activity League (PAL) Coordinator, began her saga with West Nile Virus as she spent four days in the hospital near death after contracting West Nile Virus from a mosquito bite, possibly at her four-acre home in Orangevale.
She and her husband, Ray Riehle have animals on their land, including the wild geese which they like to feed. For several days before she became ill they had been outside just before dusk with the geese. They had a small pool of water for them but did keep it clean. Ebbitt, being used to the mosquitoes around her, had never covered up with a repellant
Ebbitt remembers getting 4 smaller bites and 1 larger one, but cannot pin down when she might have suffered the guilty bite. She knew the mosquitos were around, but she would just go inside when she began getting bit. She said it is the tiniest, basic household mosquito. “There is just no way to know”
When Ebbitt did begin to feel ill, it was just the flu-like symptoms. But as time went by she got a headache, was becoming disoriented and was losing her cognitive functioning. If she had not gotten to the doctor when she was told she could have got into a coma and been permanently paralyzed. She did suffer some paralysis in her right leg but is using a walker and going to physical and water therapy.
By the time Ebbitt had arrived at the appointment she made on August 25, she was experiencing more of the symptoms. In the process she had also contracted bacterial and viral meningitis with caused pain in her whole body. Medication cannot be given for viral meningitis, but she could get antibiotics to help with the inflammation in her spine from the bacterial meningitis.
Since then Ebbitt has learned that 80 percent of people bitten by a West Nile carrying mosquito show no symptoms of the disease and the other 20 percent only experience mild flu-like symptoms. She also learned since she became ill that she is one of the one percent of patients who contract the type of virus that goes to the brain. She had developed Encephalitis which causes a serious inflammation of the brain and can lead to paralysis.
“It really knocked me down” she said. Upon arriving home from the hospital she slept for two weeks to four weeks. Riehle’s parents came to help her as she was basically helpless and in a lot of pain. She moved down to the first floor to avoid using the stairs.
However, because she works out, is in good shape and healthy and got to the hospital on time Ebbitt’s doctor is hopeful for full recovery, which could take up to one year. She is doing the physical and water therapy and will follow up with her doctor in December to see if lesions on spine have healed.
Ebbitt was told there is a man who lives off of Wachtel, where Ebbitt lives who has also contracted the virus.
According to Luz Maria Robles with the Mosquito and Vector Control District, to date this year there are 18 confirmed human cases of West Nile Virus in Sacramento County, compared to only 4 in 2015.
Ebbitt’s message to everyone to spare them from her ordeal: “When you’re outside and there are mosquitoes around, wear repellant”! She is speaking to groups to spread the word: “Fight the Bite”. She can be contacted at 916-727-4820.
Senator Ted Gaines issued the following statement on the closure of the Verizon customer service center in Rancho Cordova and the 1,000 jobs lost as a result of that closure:
“Who can be surprised by this? California is doing everything it can to drive businesses out of the state. Sky-high workers’ compensation costs, painful energy costs driven by unchecked environmentalism, and now a minimum wage shooting up by 50-percent in the next few years, it’s little wonder that Verizon is packing up.
“A study this year showed 9,000 California businesses had relocated or expanded out of state recently. Sacramento recently lost Campbell’s, Waste Connections, and now Verizon. Those are more than statistics and stories; each one is a tragedy for families who are paying the price for California’s anti-business policies.
“Just today, Silicon Valley legend Hewlett Packard announced that it would be laying off 4,000 employees. How legislators can push for the expensive and useless high speed rail or keep pushing for ever higher taxes while workers are being pink-slipped by the thousands is amazing to me and needs to stop. Lower taxes and smarter regulations would show businesses that California is not a place to leave, but a place to grow and invest. I’d rather see that than Verizon’s tail lights.”
Senator Ted Gaines represents the 1st Senate District, which includes all or parts of Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra and Siskiyou counties.
On September 22, 2016, at approximately 7:00 AM, the Citrus Heights Police Department SWAT Team served a Search Warrant at a residence located on the 8300 block of Olivine Avenue, in Citrus Heights.
This investigation leading up to this search revealed the resident was in possession of drugs, and selling drugs from the residence. Upon the service of the Search Warrant, Officers located evidence of the drug possession, sales, as well as stolen property linked to stolen vehicles, and vehicle burglaries from the Sacramento and Roseville area.
Detectives were able to identify victims of these related burglaries and thefts and eventually return some items to the victims. Some of the property recovered included personal belongings, suspected identity theft items, and a stolen trailer.
Detectives are continuing their investigation and will be seeking to arrest others who may be involved in criminal activity related to these crimes.
The suspect, a 61-year-old white male from Citrus Heights, was arrested and transported to the Sacramento County Jail for multiple felony charges.
The Citrus Heights Police Department is extremely grateful for the partnership and cooperation from our community which aids in the identification of suspicious activity and other related criminal conduct including dangerous subjects. We encourage neighbors to use social media apps such as Nextdoor.com and follow us on Twitter to stay informed and involved in their community.
The community of Citrus Heights has zero tolerance for this type of criminal activity and knows the Citrus Heights Police Department will strictly enforce these laws. Additionally, if you see something, say something. Reporting dangerous acts or suspicious circumstances can and will save lives.
On October 13, 2016, at 6 p.m., a 58-year-old female driver from Carmichael was driving a red Honda CRZ southbound on Garfield Ave in the left turn lane for Kiva Dr. She had a 61-year male passenger seated in the front right seat. A 20-year-old male from North Highlands, was driving a green 2003 Lexus SC430, northbound on Garfield Ave south of Kiva Dr. at a high rate of speed approaching the Honda’s location. The driver of the Honda turned left directly in front of the Lexus. The front of the Lexus collided with the right side of the Honda and pushed the Honda in a northeasterly direction where it eventually crashed into a house on the northeast corner.
After the collision, all three parties were transported to local hospitals and the CHP responded to the scene to conduct an investigation. The driver and passenger of the Honda died at the hospital. The driver of the Lexus received minor injuries and was eventually released from the hospital. Alcohol and/or drugs were not a factor in this collision. Criminal charges are being looked into for the driver of the Lexus.
Experts say that planting in the fall gives your plants a great opportunity to set down some roots, get well established, and helps you conserve water.
Plants require less water in the fall because the days are cooler and soil stays wet longer than it does during the warmer days of spring and summer.
And there’s no better way to get started on rethinking your yard than by visiting Antelope Gardens for plant ideas and irrigation systems to install.
The two-acre Antelope Gardens contains hundreds of species, of plants—both California native and low-water non-native plants—including Aleppo Pine, Autumn Sage, Blue Grama grass, Butterfly Bush and California White Sage.
The garden is located at 7800 Antelope North Road and is open until the end of October, Monday- Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm and the second Saturday of each month from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Learn more about Antelope Gardens at www.sswd.org.
What is River-Friendly Landscaping?
River-Friendly Landscaping is a way to have a beautiful yard that also benefits the Sacramento region. It’s an integrated approach to landscape design that focuses on conserving and protecting natural resources, and encompasses seven basic principles:
You can find out more about River-Friendly Landscaping by visiting www.ecolandscape.org.
An ever-changing inventory of more than 100,000 “gently used” books, videos, and audio books will be offered for prices from fifty cents to $2 at the Saturday November 5 sale at the warehouse of the Friends of the Sacramento Public Library.
Sale hours on Saturday, November 5th, will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a preview and sale on Friday November 4 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. for Friends members only.
(You can join at the door for $20).
The warehouse is at the rear of the Friends’ store at Suite E, 8250 Belvedere Avenue, just south of 14th Ave. between Power Inn Rd. and Florin-Perkins Rd.
Plenty of parking is available, but visitors should be careful not to park between the “No Parking” signs on the south side of Belvedere.
Income from the sale helps pay for programs, equipment, and materials local libraries need but can’t afford.
With more books constantly needed, the Friends will be glad to have yours, too. See a staff member on how to donate.
The book store is open weekly on Thursdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. as well as during the sale. Items there are priced from $1 up. For more information, call (916) 731-8493 or go to www.saclibfriends.org/book-den/.
Sacramento plastic surgeon, Dr. Debra J. Johnson of The Plastic Surgery Center has begun her tenure as President of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Dr. Johnson is only the second female physician to be chosen president of ASPS, which was founded in 1931.
Among her duties, Johnson will serve as leader of the 12-member physician executive committee, which sets policy for ASPS, and will also be the chief spokesperson dealing with media and regulatory agencies. Her position will require extensive travel, representing ASPS within the United States and at various international plastic surgical meetings.
“It is an honor to serve as president of the largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons in the world. Plastic surgery is known for its creativity and innovation: from surgery on children for birth defects, to face and hand transplants, to fine cosmetic surgery. ASPS is a trusted resource regarding patient education and surgical safety and we strive to keep our members up-to-date on the latest procedures” said Dr. Johnson.
Dr. Johnson became involved as a member of ASPS in 1991, and soon volunteered to serve on committees within the organization. Her strong volunteerism and performance were rewarded as she served as committee chair, and then member of the Board of Directors. She was elected Vice president 4 years ago, and served as president- elect this year. Johnson will take over the reins from David Song MD, professor and chief of plastic surgery at the University of Chicago.
Dr. Johnson joined The Plastic Surgery Center in 1989 as the first female plastic surgeon in Sacramento. She received both her M.D. degree and her plastic surgery training at Stanford University. She took additional training at Clinica Planas in Barcelona, and the Institut Francais de la Main in Paris. www.sacplasticsurgery.com.
ASPS has over 8000 members, represents 95% of all board- certified plastic surgeons in the United States and is committed to patient safety and education.
The State Water Resources Control Board recently announced that urban Californians’ monthly water conservation declined to 17.7 percent in August, down from 27 percent savings in August 2015, raising concerns that some water suppliers are abandoning their focus on conservation as California heads into a possible sixth drought year.
Californians continue to conserve water in significant amounts even in the absence of state-mandated conservation targets. The cumulative average savings from June 2015 through August 2016 was 23.3 percent, compared with the same months in 2013. Since June 2015, two million acre-feet of water has been saved — enough water to supply 10 million people, more than one-quarter the state’s 38 million population, for a year.
Water conservation has dropped steeply among some local water suppliers. These declines highlight the need for continued education and dialogue with customers on the importance of conserving and using water as efficiently as possible. As the State Water Board continues to monitor conservation levels, a return to state-mandated conservation may be necessary beginning next year.
“The statewide August conservation results raise questions, and we are examining the data to understand why some areas slipped more than others,” said State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus. “Are we seeing relaxation of conservation messaging and programs, or are we seeing abandonment of programs? One may be appropriate, the other is not. It’s a mixed picture. Many communities who certified that they didn’t ‘need’ to conserve are still conserving up a storm, while others have slipped more than seems prudent.”
Conservation levels have remained significant for many communities that had certified that they did not need top down mandates to keep conserving.
While some local water suppliers may have relaxed water use restrictions from those that were in place last summer, most agencies have kept up locally mandated restrictions and targets, which is appropriate and which the state strongly encourages. Regardless of a supplier’s individual conservation requirement, the statewide prohibitions on specific wasteful practices such as fountains without recirculating pumps, or irrigation of turf in street medians, remain in place.
“Percentages alone tell only part of the story, because a 15 percent reduction by someone using under 100 gallons per person a day can be more challenging than a 30 percent reduction by someone using 250 or 300 gallons a day,” Marcus said. “That’s true of agencies and it is true for individuals. In particular, we urge suppliers where conservation levels have dropped steeply to reach out to high use customers to find ways to conserve, and to join their community’s conservation efforts. The legislature’s passage and Governor’s signing of SB 814 will help water suppliers send monetary signals to their highest users about the need to keep conserving while the drought continues. Most important, it sends a signal that all Californians are in this together and that fairness includes those who use the most doing their part along with the rest of us.”
SB 814 (Hill) requires urban water suppliers to establish financial penalties for excess water use during droughts. Suppliers can either create excess-use ordinances with defined penalty amounts, or they can adopt rate structures that charge their highest users more during drought emergencies.