AUBURN, CA (MPG) - The Placer County Board of Supervisors today approved the county’s final 2018-19 budget of $970.9 million, an increase of 12.1 percent from the previous year’s budget of $866.2 million. 

The board adopted a proposed budget of $939.6 million June 26 for the county’s fiscal year beginning July 1. The final budget reflects updated revenues and costs.

Property taxes, the county’s largest revenue source, continue to trend upwards as property values increase. Sales taxes, transient occupancy taxes and other revenue sources also continue to improve; however, growth from those revenues is expected to soften as financial experts contemplate the potential for an economic slowdown.

One-time budget adjustments for several critical areas were delayed until now to ensure a clear picture of final balances from the last fiscal year. Some of those items included in the final budget are:

$2.5 million in funding for the approved Placer County Sheriff’s Office's new coroner facility as part of the Criminal Justice Master Plan
$3.1 million to streamline the county’s personnel and financial systems as part of the Workday project
Nearly $1 million toward contingency reserves
$500,000 to fund open space acquisition in support of the Placer Legacy Program
$500,000 in funding for the county’s Elections Office warehouse.
This budget includes $7.3 million in road maintenance projects funded by revenues from Senate Bill 1. Additionally, the elimination of the In-Home Support Services maintenance effort by California lawmakers has continued to increase the county’s share of the program’s operational costs. 

“In the last 10 years, the county’s population has increased 19 percent, our revenues have increased 11 percent and our employee workforce has only increased 2 percent,” said District 4 Supervisor Kirk Uhler. “Clearly our county is trending in the right direction in terms of fiscal responsibility.”

Placer County’s operating budget can be seen anytime here.

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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.

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RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - As part of its commitment to the community, SMUD is hosting a free community resource fair to ensure the success of seniors in the community. Seniors and their families are invited to learn about caregiving resources; accident prevention; fraud prevention; legal assistance; health and wellness; financial assistance; and, home modifications. Register today for free breakfast and resources.

WHAT:  Community Resource Fair Celebrating Seniors

WHERE:                SMUD Customer Service Center: 6301 S Street, Sacramento

WHEN:         Saturday, September 29, 2018 from 8 a.m.—Noon

REGISTER:              SMUD.org/Learn or 916-732-6738

 

 

 

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NorCal Rapist Arrested

Rich Peters, MPG Editor  |  2018-09-21

Suspected NorCal rapist Roy Charles Waller, 58, was arrested in Berkeley this week.

Answer in DNA

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - It was an eerie, familiar feeling as Sacramento District Attorney stood alongside state law enforcement agents and in front of media members, announcing the arrest of yet another notorious California serial rapist.

58-year-old Roy Charles Waller of Benicia was linked through DNA to the heinous NorCal Rapist crimes committed on at least 12 victims that date back beginning 27 years ago and took place across six counties.

“The answer has always been in the DNA,” said Schubert, coincidentally in the midst of National Forensic Science Week. She explained the partnership of tireless science and police work that led to a breakthrough over the past 10 days, eventually leading to the arrest.

“Today we can bring some closure to the victim in Contra Costa County who was attacked on Halloween in 1996,” said Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton.

Waller was arrested in Berkeley near the U.C. Berkeley campus. He has been a U.C. Berkeley employee for the past 25 years. The Sacramento Police Department and the Berkeley Police Department made the arrest.

The suspect has been charged with 12 counts of force-able sexual assault, plus enhancements. There are also allegations that he used a gun. He’s been awarded no bail and his arraignment is set for Monday in Sacramento.

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Sac Feral Resources Community Cats Workshops

Story and photos by Trina L. Drotar  |  2018-09-21

A workshop being offered on September 30 at Carmichael Library will teach community members how to improve the situation for both feral cats and humans who share the same neighborhood. Photo courtesy Sac Feral Resources

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - You’ve seen the cats scurry into the brush when you walk by, or the kitten who shows up on your doorstep every so often looking for something to eat. Some people consider these feral cats nuisances; some consider them cute; and others, like Sac Feral Resources, understand the need for the neighborhood to work together to manage feral cat colonies. A workshop being offered on September 30 at Carmichael Library will teach community members how to improve the situation for both feral cats and humans who share the same neighborhood.

The workshop, part of the Community Cats Project, will be divided into two parts. The morning session will focus on feral and community cats. This session may be taken alone, but it is a prerequisite for the afternoon that will discuss and teach Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). The workshops are free and open to the public.

“I want to improve the situation for the cats and for the neighbors,” said Linda Morgan of Sac Feral Resources, a non-profit all-volunteer organization. “Ultimately, the objective is to stop more kittens from being born into a situation where they are not welcomed, wanted, or cared for,” she said, “and to humanely care for cats already in the neighborhood.” The hope, she added, is that people, even those currently caring for feral cats, will “take something away that will improve the lives of the cats and the neighborhood.”

How do these cats get into the neighborhood? Some are left behind after the humans move. Others are set outside after a death in the family. Still others are put out instead of taken to one of the shelters because the people fear the cats will be euthanized. There are many reasons. Sac Feral Resources’ intention isn’t to focus on the reasons. It is to teach people how to control the cat population.

“There’s a method to colony management,” she said.  

“I don’t think people realize how much of a problem this is. Throughout the county there are between one and two hundred thousand feral cats. There is no inventory.”

By learning how to monitor and manage the colony within a neighborhood, she added, the population can stabilize and eventually will decrease because cats are trapped, spayed, neutered, and returned. They are unable to reproduce. There is also what Morgan calls a feeding protocol, which is not simply leaving a bowl of food outside for the neighborhood cat.

The organization encourages people to register colonies, to learn what needs to be done within an apartment complex or neighborhood. Some residents, she said, have been faced with eviction if they continue to feed the cats. Socializing feral kittens helps make them adoptable.

“The in-depth workshops cover the background of what these cats are, the philosophies of people in the neighborhood, and why it is a neighborhood problem,” said Morgan. “Cats are left behind. People are dumping cats where they see cats being fed. Cats are out there because of human action or inaction.”

What can attendees expect? Morgan will bring in traps and demonstrate their use. She’ll show videos, and teach how to talk to others as a colony manager. She’ll teach how to trap the “untrappable” cats. She’ll also explain how to feed cats. “There’s a protocol behind it that will make you more successful,” she said. “With TNR, responsible feeding, and colony management, the cat population will stabilize and ultimately be reduced through attrition. Neighborhood cat issues can be resolved when residents are empowered to work together in this shared objective.”
For additional information, visit: www.sacferals.com. If you’re going: Sunday, September 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.at the Carmichael Library, 5605 Marconi Avenue, Carmichael, CA.

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Officer Involved Shooting in Rancho Cordova

By Sergeant Shaun Hampton, Sheriff’s Spokesman  |  2018-09-21

Deputy Mark Stasyuk

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - At 1:44 p.m. on September 17, 2018, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Communications Center received a 911 call regarding a disturbance at a local business, located at the 10000 block of Folsom Boulevard.  Two Rancho Cordova Police Department Officers, which is a contract city with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, responded to the scene.  The initial call for service gave no indication that the suspect was armed or dangerous.  Upon the officers arriving, they were fired upon by the suspect and were able to return fire.

The suspect fled from the initial scene on foot and was again engaged by other responding deputies at a secondary scene.  The suspect was taken into custody and transported to a local hospital, where he is currently in stable condition.

During this encounter, two officers were shot by the suspect.

One officer, Julie Robertson (28), a three and a half year veteran, was shot in the arm and is in stable condition.

The other officer, Mark Stasyuk (27), was shot by the suspect.  He was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital.

An uninvolved citizen was shot, presumably by the suspect.  That citizen appears to be in stable condition at this time. 

Deputy Mark Stasyuk was a four and a half year veteran of the Sheriff’s Department and was assigned to the Rancho Cordova Police Department as a patrol officer.  Deputy Stasyuk leaves behind a wife, mother, father, and sister.  He was preceded in death by his older brother.

The investigation into the incident will be conducted by the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau and Professional Standards Division, which is standard practice for any officer-involved shooting that occurs in the Sheriff’s Department’s jurisdiction.  An independent review of the officer-involved shooting will be conducted by the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office.  In accordance with the Sheriff’s Department policies and procedures, the deputies involved in the shooting will be placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation.

Deputy Mark Stasyuk Memorial Fund

A memorial fund has been set up to help Deputy Mark Stasyuk’s family.  Donations can be made by visiting the CAHP Credit Union website or by mailing checks to:

Deputy Mark Stasyuk Memorial Fund

CAHP Credit Union

2843 Manlove Road

P.O. Box 276507

Sacramento, CA. 95827-6507

Online at: www.cahpcu.org/OfficerMarkStasyukMemorialFund

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Behavioral health issues will plague one in four Americans in their lifetime, and half of us will care for someone living with a mental health issue during our lives. If you are not experiencing a behavioral health challenge right now, someone you know certainly is. These issues can strike someone once during their lifetime, or they may be something a person deals with every moment of every day.

In my role with Mental Health America of California, I work closely with youth and in the workplace mental health space. I see that the state of California, and the nation as a whole, is facing significant issues when it comes to behavioral health. Children are dying from substance use disorder and overdoses; they are dying from suicide. Neighbors are disabled because of behavioral health challenges.

MHAC has been working for 60 years to ensure that everyone in California who needs mental health services and support has access to appropriate help before they reach a point of crisis. But we cannot do this alone. That’s why we have joined forces with a first-of-its-kind coalition called Behavioral Health Action. The coalition brings together more than 50 diverse organizations that touch behavioral health in some way. This includes law enforcement, health care providers and hospitals, education, business, government and labor. Our goal is to elevate the issue of behavior health and raise awareness among the public and elected officials about what we can do to make a change.

Today, many elected officials are concerned about reducing costs of health care in the state of California. Others are concerned about closing achievement gaps. One way to solve these problems is to address behavioral health challenges and treatment. While we as the Behavioral Health Action coalition can create innovative solutions, it is up to the legislators to implement policies and bring change at a statewide level.

This issue runs deep. It is going to take steadfast effort from our whole village to make a dent in behavioral health outcomes and to improve the lives of people living with these challenges. If we do not include many partners with many perspectives, we’ll never make a difference.

I lost two siblings to suicide. I grew up in a family and in a community where substance use and mental health issues were prevalent, but no one ever talked about it. No one discussed treatment. Because of this, behavioral health has always been my top priority, and I hope others will give it the importance it deserves – from our neighbors and friends to our local and state representatives. We all need to take responsibility, and we all need to unite our voices, if we want to make progress on this issue.

If you are not mentally well, how can you achieve anything else? If we don’t highlight and elevate behavioral health, reduce its stigma and identify appropriate services and support that our communities need, we’re going to have many more problems before anything gets better.

I am a candidate this year for the San Juan Unified School Board. I can assure you that behavioral health will be my chief concern as I run for elected office, and I urge all other elected officials and candidates to make it a priority as well when they are on the campaign trail.

Zima Creason is President and CEO of Mental Health America of California

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