Sacramento County, CA (MPG) - Sacramento County is pleased to announce that funding for two proposed permanent supportive housing developments for persons experiencing homelessness has been awarded by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). The No Place Like Home (NPLH) program funding, totaling nearly $13 million in new money for Sacramento, will provide permanent housing for individuals and families experiencing homelessness and who are living with a serious mental illness.  

Sacramento County’s successful applications in the State’s first competitive funding round were the result of a collaborative effort with the development sponsors, the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency, and the cities where the developments are located. 

The two new housing facilities, Sunrise Pointe and Capitol Park Hotel, will result in 180 new housing units for persons experiencing homelessness, 87 of which will be dedicated for persons that also have a serious mental health illness and need services (designated NPLH units). Sacramento County Division of Behavioral Health Services has committed to providing mental health treatment services to the designated NPLH units for a minimum of 20 years. “This is a priority for Sacramento County Behavioral Health Services. Investing in permanent, stable housing is critical for our consumers’ recovery,” said Ryan Quist, Ph.D., Sacramento County Behavioral Health Director. 

Sunrise Pointe is a new construction project located at 7424 Sunrise Boulevard in Citrus Heights and consists of 47 one- two- and three-bedroom units. Of these, 22 will be designated NPLH units. All units will serve families and individuals experiencing homelessness.  The site will be developed and operated by Jamboree Housing and  Hope Cooperative (aka TLCS, Inc.)  respectively. 

“We are grateful for No Place Like Home funding to support this important project in the Citrus Heights community,” said Erin Johansen, Hope Cooperative executive director. “Sunrise Pointe is a collaboration between Hope Cooperative and Jamboree Housing that will provide 47-units of much-needed permanent, stable housing for individuals and families in need. Hope Cooperative will provide on-site Residential Service Coordinators who will work closely with residents in accessing a variety of resources including job training, budgeting and other needed services, as well as an on-site property manager. This project will help people live successfully in the community and is an essential step in ending the cycle of homelessness in the Sacramento region.”

“Jamboree has a long, rich history of effectively utilizing new state resources in order to create more affordable and supportive housing,” said Laura Archuleta, President and CEO of Jamboree Housing Corporation. “We are thrilled to have successfully partnered with Sacramento County and Hope Cooperative in securing more than $3 million from the new No Place Like Home program for the development of Sunrise Pointe. This funding will be instrumental in addressing the region’s affordable and supportive housing needs, and will positively transform and strengthen the Citrus Heights community for years to come.”

Capitol Park Hotel is a rehabilitation project located at 1125 9th Street in downtown Sacramento. This development will be an acquisition and rehabilitation of a historic building and will include 134 units for households experiencing homelessness. Of these, 65 will be designated NPLH units. The site will be developed and operated by Mercy Housing California (MHC). 

“We are thrilled with the huge step the proposed permeant supportive housing at Capitol Park Hotel has taken this week with the award from HCD,” said Stephen Daues, Regional Director of Mercy Housing California. “We have a lot of work remaining, but this provides the momentum needed to secure the remaining funding.” 

MHC is also the lead developer on another emerging project in Sacramento County, the remodeling and repurposing of the Courtyard Inn off Watt Avenue in North Highlands. They are transforming the once problem property into 92 new affordable housing units, including 14 workforce housing units and 78 permanent supportive housing units for special needs individuals and families. Of these, 15 units will be dedicated to people living with a serious mental illness and the Division of Behavioral Health Services has committed to providing mental health treatment services for a minimum of 20 years. The complete transformation of this highly visible site at the gateway to North Highlands will have an immediate and lasting improvement in the quality of life in the community.

“The Courtyard Inn transformation is well underway and only delayed by one month after enduring the heavy spring rains and the many surprises that come with striping the building down to the studs.” Daues says, “The rebuilding stage is now underway and handing over keys to the new apartment homes for 92 formerly homeless households is well within sight.” 

For more information about what the County is doing to address homelessness, visit the “Responding to Homelessness” website. ​

Source: Sacramento County Media

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Watch for West Nile Virus Mosquito Bites

By Corey Egel, CDPH  |  2019-07-02

Californians Urged to Protect Against Mosquito Bites

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) urges all Californians to protect themselves from mosquito bites during West Nile virus (WNV) season, which extends from summer through early fall.

“West Nile virus activity in the state is increasing, so it is important to take every possible precaution to protect against mosquito bites,” said State Public Health Officer and CDPH Director Dr. Karen Smith.

West Nile virus spreads to humans and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. Late-spring rains have contributed to standing water, which serves as a breeding source for mosquitoes that can spread WNV. Hot temperatures also contribute to increasing numbers of breeding mosquitoes and an increased risk of virus transmission to humans.

Currently, WNV activity is within expected levels and is similar to activity at this time last year. The risk of disease due to WNV increases as the summer progresses, and declines in early fall as the weather cools. In 2018, there were 217 reported WNV cases in California, including 11 deaths. Since WNV was first introduced into California in 2003, there have been more than 6,000 human WNV cases and 303 WNV-related deaths across the state.

West Nile virus is influenced by many factors, including climate, the number and types of birds and mosquitoes in an area, and the level of WNV immunity in birds. For most people, the risk of developing serious illness is low. However, some individuals – less than one percent – can develop serious neurologic illnesses such as encephalitis or meningitis. People 50 years of age and older, and individuals with diabetes or hypertension, have a higher chance of getting sick and are more likely to develop complications from WNV infection.

CDPH recommends that people protect against mosquito bites and WNV by practicing the “Three Ds”:

DEET – Apply U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 according to label instructions. EPA-registered repellents are recommended for use because they have been tested for safety and efficacy in preventing mosquito bites. Insect repellents should not be used on children under two months of age. For more information, visit CDPH’s insect repellent toolkit.

DAWN AND DUSK – Mosquitoes that transmit WNV usually bite in the early morning and evening, so it is important to wear proper clothing and repellent if outside during these times. Make sure that your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.

DRAIN – Mosquitoes lay their eggs on standing water. Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property by emptying flower pots, old car tires, buckets, and other containers. If you know of a swimming pool that is not being properly maintained, please contact your local mosquito and vector control agency.

California’s West Nile virus website includes the latest information on WNV activity in the state. Californians are encouraged to report dead birds on the website or by calling toll-free 1-877-WNV-BIRD (968-2473).

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SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced the proponents of a new initiative were cleared to begin collecting petition signatures today.

The Attorney General prepares the legal title and summary that is required to appear on initiative petitions. When the official language is complete, the Attorney General forwards it to the proponents and to the Secretary of State, and the initiative may be circulated for signatures. The Secretary of State then provides calendar deadlines to the proponents and to county elections officials. The Attorney General’s official title and summary for the measure is as follows:

EXPANDS LOCAL GOVERNMENTS’ AUTHORITY TO ENACT RENT CONTROL ON RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Amends state law to allow local governments to establish rent control on residential properties over 15 years old. Allows rent increases on rent-controlled properties of up to 15 percent over three years from previous tenant’s rent above any increase allowed by local ordinance. Exempts individuals who own no more than two homes from new rent-control policies. In accordance with California law, provides that rent-control policies may not violate landlords’ right to a fair financial return on their property. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Potential reduction in state and local revenues of tens of millions of dollars per year in the long term. Depending on actions by local communities, revenue losses could be less or more. (19-0001.)

The Secretary of State’s tracking number for this measure is 1862 and the Attorney General's tracking number is 19-0001.

The proponents of the measure, Michael Weinstein, Cynthia Davis, Jesse Brooks, Rene Christian Moya, & Susan Hunter, must collect signatures of 623,212 registered voters (five percent of the total votes cast for Governor in the November 2018 general election) in order to qualify it for the ballot. The proponents have 180 days to circulate petitions for the measure, meaning the signatures must be submitted to county elections officials no later than December 23, 2019. The proponents can be reached c/o Fredric D. Woocher, Esq. and Beverly Grossman Palmer, Esq., of Strumwasser & Woocher LLP, at and respectively. The address for Strumwasser & Woocher LLP is 10940 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 2000, Los Angeles, CA 90024.


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Shriners Ranked as a Top 10 Provider of Pediatric Orthopedics

By Catherine Curran, Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California  |  2019-07-02

Frontal view of the Sacramento Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California. Courtesy of Shriners

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - For the eighth year in a row, Shriners Hospitals for Children - Northern California is ranked as one of the nation's elite providers of pediatric orthopedic care by U.S. News & World Report.

In its annual Best Children's Hospitals rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranks the Northern California Shriners Hospital as number eight in pediatric orthopedics in conjunction with the UC Davis Children's Hospital. The Northern California Shriners Hospital also achieved the ranking of 20th in Urology in conjunction with UC Davis.

Rankings are based on a combination of clinical data and reputation with pediatric specialists. According the U.S. News & World Report web site, U.S. News generates hospital rankings by evaluating data on nearly 5,000 hospitals in 16 adult medical specialties, 9 adult medical procedures or conditions and 10 pediatric specialties. To be nationally ranked in a specialty, a hospital must excel in caring for the sickest, most medically complex patients.

“We are extremely proud to be recognized as one of the top 10 providers of pediatric orthopedic care in the entire United States. The ranking is a reflection of the reputation of our exceptional team of specialists and the quality of care they provide children with complex medical needs,” says Margaret Bryan, administrator and CEO at the Northern California Shriners Hospital.

“As a regional pediatric medical center, our hospital stands ready to serve families throughout Northern California who want the very best for their children,” she adds.

Among the thousands of children treated by the orthopedic team each year are children with scoliosis, limb deficiencies, sports injuries, hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder malformations, brachial plexus birth palsy, spinal cord injury, spina bifida, and cerebral palsy. The hospital also is engaged in clinical trials and scientific research to advance orthopedic care.

U.S. News introduced the Best Children’s Hospitals rankings in 2007 to help families of sick children find the best medical care available. The rankings open the door to an array of detailed information about each hospital’s performance. The full rankings and methodology are available

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Leading Hornet Sports to the Top

By Patrick Larenas  |  2019-07-02

California State University, Sacramento coaches: Bunky Harkleroad, Head Coach of Women’s Basketball; Mark Orr, Athletics Director; Reggie Christiansen, Baseball Coach. Photo by Patrick Larenas

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - The Carmichael Chamber of Commerce hosted Mark Orr, the new Athletics Director at California State University, Sacramento, for its luncheon on June 25. Prior to Mark’s arrival, Hornet Sports had been outsourcing its community outreach task, but now he has taken on the effort for the Department.

“It all starts with great coaches,” said Orr speaking about the state of the region’s sports panorama. “Ambitious, great, young people at their peak of performance are coming from all our local schools and playing sports at Sac State at a 60 percent rate,” he said making a case for a local ethos of sports vitality.

Like all great coaches, he exudes that positive ethos having had an energetic athletic career during his more youthful years. Born and raised in Sacramento, Orr studied and played football at Christian Brothers High School, even winning “the Holy Bowl against Jesuit High School,” he chuckled. After that he entered the College Football circuit playing at Cal Berkeley, where he graduated with a Bachelor in Social Welfare and a Master’s degree in Education.

With all the economic and social problems in young people’s lives, “I really believe college sports can make a difference,” he said. Sac State students enrolled in sports programs have an 86 percent rate of graduation, “that’s better than the student body, and our Women’s Basketball has the highest GPA in the nation,” he said.

Prior to accepting the offer at Sacramento State, Orr was the Director of Athletics and Recreational Sports in the East Bay’s Saint Mary’s College. During his time at the college, Orr was the Senior Associate Director of Athletics for Finance which added significantly to the institution’s infrastructure and Saint Mary’s success in sports in the last decade.

With Sac State’s well developed infrastructure, Orr’s task is now to bring the relevance of the university’s sports to the community. For those who can’t attend, “KOVR will televise all our Football games, and Radio 1320AM will air our games,” he said. “You’re going to see good sports; our baseball, for instance, is Number 1 beating UCLA,” he added with confidence.

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Jim Marta Retiring After 38 Years at Cordova Golf Course

By James Darnell  |  2019-07-02

Jim Marta, Professional Golf Player at Cordova Golf Course. Courtesy Jim Marta

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - If you've ever played a round at Cordova Golf Course, you've probably come in contact with Jim Marta.

Marta, 72, has been a mainstay within the pro shop of the golf course for the past 38 years. If he wasn't stocking or selling merchandise, he was likely giving golf lessons or keeping a watchful eye on the driving range and golf carts for customers. But after this Sunday, June 30, those duties will belong to someone else for the first time since 1981 as Marta will be retiring.

Marta moved to Rancho Cordova in 1981 from San Jose to work at the golf course, with the intent on raising his family in the area and working in the profession he loved. He didn't expect to stick around as long as he has, but is surely glad he was given that opportunity.

“I've been able to raise a family here, and it's been a nice place to live,” Marta said. “Most golf pros last about 10-11 years at a golf course and then they move on. I was given offers to go to other golf courses for work, but I decided that I just really felt comfortable at Cordova. The Parks and Rec District treated me very well and with a lot of respect, so I was really happy to stay.”

After working in one place during the past four decades, it is safe to say Marta has developed friendships and relationships with many of the people who have stepped foot on that golf course. When asked about what he will miss the most in retirement, his answer was quick, simple, and to the point.

“The people,” he said. “Our customers were very down to earth, and a joy to be around.”

Marta surely has hundreds of memories that will remain with him after he leaves, but stated one of his fondest memories will be something that occurred earlier this week. On Monday, Marta and his four grandchildren took to the course and rode carts around the premises together, with a fun time had by all.

“I told my wife that was the most fun I've had on the golf course in a long time,” he said.

Although Marta is stepping away from the day-to-day duties as a golf professional, it doesn't mean that he won't continue to enjoy the game he loves while in retirement. He stated that he will be giving occasional golf lessons at WildHawk Golf Club in Sacramento.

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SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - The members of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors and plaintiffs in the class action litigation suit Mays vs. County of Sacramento, represented by Prison Law Office (PLO) and Disability Rights California (DRC), have reached an agreement on a consent decree regarding jail conditions.

Multiple counties throughout the state, including Santa Clara, Fresno and Riverside, have been targeted with similar lawsuits and challenges. Sacramento County has been working collaboratively for several years with Plaintiffs’ counsel to reach agreement on a plan to bring the jail up to current Constitutional standards.

By agreeing to settle the lawsuit, the County avoids significant litigation costs and the risk of potentially more challenging mandates being imposed by the court.

The consent decree addresses conditions of confinement at both the main jail and Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center and imposes new obligations on the County with regard to inmate medical care, mental health care, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance and out-of-cell time, among other issues.

“I’m pleased this consent decree achieves common ground between the parties,” said District 2 Sacramento County Supervisor and Board Chair Patrick Kennedy. “The County will provide improvements for inmates in custody that build upon the enhancements the County has already implemented in recent years.”

The actions agreed to by the County are driven by a number of factors. The County’s main jail was built before the passage of the ADA and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HPAA). Additionally, there have been a number of federal court decisions that have set new standards and imposed new requirements on county jails.

In addition, due in part to Correctional Realignment, in which large numbers of inmates were transferred from State prisons to county jails, the County jails’ population has also changed significantly. The populations shifted from a younger, relatively healthy, shorter-term inmate population to an older, more criminally sophisticated, longer-term population with more complex physical health conditions, behavioral health conditions, including higher rates of mental health and substance use disorders, and other health and behavior issues.

Like most counties in California and across the nation, Sacramento County has seen a long-term trend of an increase in the number and proportion of jail inmates with serious mental health issues. The jail psychiatric services caseload has doubled from 2004 to 2018.

Key points of the consent decree include:                                                                    

Segregation/Restrictive Housing – Inmates will be pre-screened for mental health concerns and housing, health care and management needs will be adjusted for those inmates; most inmates will receive more out-of-cell time.

Americans with Disability Act (ADA) Compliance – Policies, procedures, training and accommodations will be put in place to ensure compliance with ADA requirements.

Suicide Prevention – For inmates at risk of suicide, the County will ensure appropriate intake screening, staff training, suitable housing/environment and inmate observation.

Disciplinary Measures for Inmates with Mental Health or Intellectual Disabilities – the County will make overall changes in staff training and use of force policies, as well as consult with mental health providers when considering discipline for inmates with cognitive disabilities or mental health issues.

Mental Health Care – For inmates with mental illness, the County will ensure appropriate housing and settings for group and individual treatment, sufficient staffing to meet and maintain improved standards of care and staff training.

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