Compassion Through Action

Story and Photos by Jacqueline F  |  2017-07-18

William Magana, a recent graduate of Union Gospel Mission’s Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Program, now works onsite as the kitchen intern.

Union Gospel Mission at 55

Sacramento, CA (MPG) – For William Magana, it began with cutting. Up and down the Southern California native’s body, he says, are more than 200 scars from self-mutilation that began when he was only 11, just after his mother, struggling to overcome a heroin addiction, was sent to prison outside Sacramento.  

Until he was nearly 30, Magana lived between the two sides of the revolving door of foster homes, juvenile hall, mental wards, drug and alcohol addiction, arrests, prison, recovery and relapse.

“I supposed I was acting out because I wanted my mother, I wanted to be with her,” says Magana, now 33. “So I started with cutting and then later it was drugs and drinking and all the things that go with that.”

In 1997 Magana was given his first hit of methamphetamine and, for the next 17 years or so would work various jobs just to get enough money for more drugs. Stealing and robbing from his own employers, in one case $8,000 from the till at a local convenience store, for which he would be convicted of a felony embezzlement charge, became routine survival tactics.

“I worked to drug and drugged to live,” said Magana. “It was just an ongoing battle.”

Eventually, he overdosed on his psych medication and wound up back inside one more mental institution near downtown Sacramento.  But upon his release form that hospital, Magana says, something different happened, and it would set him on a course for change.

“I got out with nowhere to go and a couple of homeless guys said ‘Go over to Sacramento’s Union Gospel Mission. They can help you there,’” Magana recalls.  “So I went. And I thank God every day for this place.”

In 2015 Magana enrolled in the Union Gospel’s nine month drug and alcohol rehabilitation program for men, began studying the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Bible, a requirement all who wish to receive services at Union, and started to turn his life around. But, as is often the case with addiction and mental health issues, Magana began cutting again and within a few months left and got back into old patterns of self-destruction.  But the seed had been planted and he returned in March of 2016.

“You can do that here if you are willing,” says Magana.  “They saw me come back and they took me in again.”

Now, 16 months clean and sober, Magana is a graduate of Union’s rehabilitation program and is working as the Mission’s kitchen intern, assisting with the preparation of the meals given out to the roughly 120 men and women who walk through doors each day.
 
At 55, Union Gospel is on the precipice of growth and much-needed restoration. The restrooms inside the men’s rehabilitation center and living quarters at its Bannon Street facility have, through the donations of supporters, been given a makeover, complete with new floors, private stalls and granite countertops.  Granite countertops and new floors, says Director Pastor Time Lane, may seem like small things, but to the men who are enrolled in the Mission’s rehabilitation program, and the guests the facility serves, they represent little reminders of self-worth.

“What we want to do with the renovations is provide a space that gives our residents a sense of pride and value,” said Lane, who has served in his current capacity at Union Gospel since 2005.

Union Gospel can currently house up to about 60 men in its temporary shelter, but those stays are only good for roughly seven nights, after which they must leave for a minimum of three nights before cycling back in again. This is to allow others to rotate in.  They must carry a current TB card, proof of a recent, negative Tuberculosis test and inoculation and attend bible study sessions.

Meals are served twice daily inside the main dining hall.  In 2016, more than 100,000 men, women and children received a hot meal at Union

Although the area’s homeless population is rising, the numbers served at the mission remain relatively consistent, but that is because availability is limited to current capacity only. Union Gospel’s Bible-based, modified 12-step drug and alcohol rehabilitation program can serve up to 24 men at a time.  Its goal is to steer participants toward a life of recovery, as well as a life centered on the gospel.

“They don’t have to convert, but they have to give us a chance to offer them information about the teachings of the Bible and how, if they want to, they can change for the better, change for good,” says Lane.

Union Gospel Mission offers free showers and access to clean clothes for men who come in from the street during specified hours during the week. In addition, weekly food boxes are donated at a rate of roughly 2,000 a year. The Mission also hands out some 12,000 hygiene kits with shampoo, deodorant, toothbrushes and other essentials that are hard to come by for many of the area’s homeless, as well as job-preparation training, mailroom services, locker rentals, access to a medical clinic, free haircuts, toys for children at Christmas, and other services as the need arises.

The main dining hall is transformed into a warming center in winter and, especially with the region’s latest heatwave, serves as a cooling center during the day time. Every August, Union also puts on a massive birthday party open to anyone on the streets, working or living onsite, as way to provide them with recognition of a day that, for many, often goes unnoticed.

“When you’re on the streets, homeless, or estranged from family members, your birthday can come and go without anyone acknowledging that,” says Eileen Trussell, Union Gospel’s office manager. “So we get balloons and have a giant cake and just offer one big birthday party for anyone who wants to come. It’s an important thing to have someone acknowledge your birthday.”

For all its able to provide the area’s homeless and needy population, Union Gospel’s resources for women are limited, although statistics suggest women, including those with with children in particular, represent a growing sector of the homeless population across the region and nationwide.

The Bannon Street facility does provide one critical service: It’s women’s drop in clothes closet, where blouses, dresses, skirts, jackets, shoes, purses and even accessories, are available, free to any one in need. There is also a small inventory of clothing and shoes for children.

Lane, who was raised by a single mother, said the clothes closet fills a significant gap for many women and those with children, but added that there is a vital need to do much more, as more women are not just in need of clothing but also a place to sleep.

“We served just over 1,500 women and children through the clothing closet in 2016,” said Lane. “But clothing is not enough. We are seeing more and more women on the streets with no place to go. Right now we don’t have the facilities to house women who need a place to sleep, but we are moving in that direction.”

Earlier this year, Union Gospel purchased a 9,600 square-foot building on B Street in the River District with the intention of establishing a women’s rehabilitation program with beds for overnight stays.  Permits are being pulled for the new enterprise, but unfortunately, says Lane, the process is moving very slowly, as officials have been reticent to allow for the opening of one more homeless services center in an area of town largely considered to be saturated with homeless services already.

“We are in the permitting process now, but it’s moving very slowly,” said Lane.  “Unfortunately the city has some concerns, and we understand why.  With the confluence of two rivers, you have all the homelessness you need. But the need is strong. We are seeing many more women out there than we used to see. I know one woman who literally grew up on the streets. Her mother was homeless. I don’t know where she is today, but her daughter is out there. She’s had three babies out there on the streets. The state takes them away each time and she goes right back out again.”

 But for every heartbreak story there is the potential for thousands of stories of success: More than 21,000 men received services through Union Gospel in 2016 and, of that number, 12 successfully enrolled in and graduated from the mission’s nine-month rehabilitation program and started new lives in recovery and service, Magana among them. 

He has re-established a relationship with two of this three children and is looking forward to once again having a place of his own where they can be a family again.  As a condition of his parole, Magana promised to back the employer he stole from in exchange for a reduced sentence on his record. With the help of the $200 a month he earns working in the kitchen, he’s managed to whittle that $8,000 down to $3,000.   

“This time, I’ve gone deeper into God,” said Magana. “I worked hard to learn as much as I could and today I have no desire to drink, use drugs or cut myself. God has taken those impulses away from me.”

While the journey has included a few bumps and detours, Magana is on a new path, one of recovery fueled, he says, by the power of prayer and the commitment to one day giving back what has so freely been given to him.  Twice. 

“I never knew how much happiness I could get out of helping others,” Magana said.  “It’s filled a piece of me I think was missing.”

WAYS TO HELP:
Trough Summer:
Union Gospel Back to School Drive
Items needed: binders, paper, note pads, pencils and pens, markers
Some of the items needed year-round: Clothing and shoes for men and women, children’s clothing and shoes, toys, backpacks, travel sized hygiene products for men and women, laptop computers, vehicles. Visit: http://www.ugmsac.com/items-needed


Samantha Siders Receives Emerging Leader Award

By Scott Gilroy, SAHU  |  2017-07-27

Samantha Siders, Emerging Leader. Photo courtesy NAHU

Sacramento, CA (MPG) -  Samantha Siders recently received the Emerging Leader Award at the National Association of Health Underwriters’ (NAHU) 87th Annual Convention and Exhibition in Orlando, FL.

Samantha was recognized for this award that honors NAHU members with less than five years in the industry who have made significant contributions in connection with association volunteer service at the local, state and national level. Her commitment of time, talent and finances to the advancement of the association and health insurance shows an impressive understanding of health insurance for one so new to the industry.

“The leadership of NAHU members has a far-reaching impact on providing for the healthcare needs of individuals, families and business in their communities. We are grateful for Samantha’s leadership and recognize her for those efforts with this well-deserved award,” said NAHU CEO Janet Trautwein.

Samantha has served on the Sacramento Association of Health Underwriters (SAHU) Board for 4 years, currently leading the Vanguard Council. She is the Regional Sales Manager for Choice Administrators, where she has worked for the past 4 ½ years. Samantha lives in Shingle Springs with her husband, Casey, and 2 ½ year old daughter Kendyl. The Sider family will be welcoming a baby boy in January.

“Samantha Siders exemplifies the dedication that provides the best opportunities for our members through their leadership and dedication,” said Helen Ornellas, president of Sacramento Association of Health Underwriters. “This year, she organized networking events, volunteered with our local charities and hosted seminars to further our members’ educational efforts. These projects and many others have set a standard of excellence in the health insurance industry that we are proud to represent.”

The National Association of Health Underwriters represents 100,000 professional health insurance agents and brokers who provide insurance for millions of Americans. For more information, please call Scott Gilroy at 818.298.9780 or email scott.gilroy@kclife.com.


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Sac Life Center Receives $5K Donation from SSVMSA

By Kristin Thébaud  |  2017-07-27

Nick Maloof of Sacramento Life Center accepts a check for $5,000 from the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society Alliance for baby baskets for low-income new moms. Photo courtesy Thébaud Communications

Grant of $5,000 helps provide essentials when babies are born

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society Alliance has awarded a $5,000 grant to the Sacramento Life Center to fill 100 baby baskets for low-income new moms in the Sacramento area. Baskets are filled with needed items including formula, diapers, newborn clothes, pacifiers and more, and are given to every Sacramento Life Center patient after her baby is born. 

“Low-income mothers face many hurdles after giving birth, often worrying that they won’t be able to afford basic items like diapers or formula,” said Marie Leatherby, executive director, Sacramento Life Center. “We are so grateful to the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society Alliance for this grant that will support women, teens, and their partners, with the vital supplies they need—while also boosting their confidence.”

Monetary donations and new items for baby baskets are accepted year-round. For more information, visit www.saclife.org

The Sacramento Life Center’s mission is to offer compassion, support, resources and free medical care to women and couples facing an unplanned or unsupported pregnancy. The Sacramento Life Center’s licensed Sac Valley Pregnancy Clinic includes a primary clinic and two Mobile Medical Clinics that provide all services for free, including pregnancy testing, STI testing, ultrasounds, advocacy for men and women, education and resource referrals. The nonprofit also offers a school-based teen education program, a 24-hour hotline and a program for women seeking support after having an abortion. For more information about the Sacramento Life Center’s Sac Valley Pregnancy Clinic, visit www.svpclinic.com. For more information about the Sacramento Life Center or to make a donation, visit www.saclife.org

The Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society Alliance is a nonprofit dedicated to improving the quality of health in the community through education, funding and volunteer support. The group has contributed to the well-being of the community for more than 80 years, granting more than half a million dollars to community organizations throughout the Sacramento region. The alliance also contributes thousands of dollars annually to support medical school and nursing scholarships. Alliance membership is composed of physicians, medical students, staff, spouses and domestic partners. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.ssvmsa.org

Source: Kristin Thébaud Communications


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Quick Quack Celebrates Grand Opening with Free Car Washes

By Desiree Bertolani  |  2017-07-26

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - Quick Quack Car Wash, a growing chain of regional car washes, is giving away free car washes for ten days to celebrate opening the doors on a new exterior-only, express car wash serving the Sacramento area. The free car wash days begin on July 26th and run through August 4th and are only available at the new location.

The newly constructed car wash is located at 1120 Exposition Boulevard near Costco off Exposition Boulevard.  QuickQuack Car Wash is open every day from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The new location is the 13th Quick Quack Car Wash in the Greater Sacramento area and the 35th car wash operated byQuick Quack with additional locations in the Palm Springs/Coachella Valley area of Southern California, Utah, Texas, and Colorado. Additional Sacramento area locations in Folsom, Citrus Heights, Rocklin, and Elk Grove will begin construction this year.

“We are proud to continue a wonderful tradition of community involvement as we grow to cover all of Sacramento,” said Ed Hitchcock, Regional Operations Leader for Quick Quack Car Wash. “We know we can wash cars fast and keep them clean, but we also believe we can make a real difference to our teams, customers and communities.”

Quick Quack Car Wash frequently sponsors local events and athletic programs, including facilitating and contributing  to community groups’ fundraising efforts. Quick Quack is regularly named the favorite or best car wash in the areas where it operates and has been recognized for sustainable business practices and water conservation.

Aside from a big yellow duck named Quackals, Quick Quack Car Wash is best known for its free vacuums and unlimited, “wash-all-you-want” car wash memberships starting at only $18.99 per month.

Quick Quack Car Wash has 35 locations in Utah, California, Texas, and Colorado.

The Quick Quack Car Wash concept grew from a desire to get cars clean using the best technology and to do it extremely fast. Fully automated and computerized, the high-quality and environmentally-friendly car washing system uses neoprene foam, soft cloth and filtered, recycled water. The customer stays in their vehicle while being automatically guided through the car wash where the vehicle is soaked, soaped, washed, polished, rinsed with spot-free water, and dried, all in a matter of minutes. More information is available online atwww.DontDriveDirty.com.

Promotional article from Quick Quack Car Wash


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Honoring 100 Years of Service

Bill Bird, Executive Director  |  2017-07-24

Receiving the award from L-R: Mark Nelson, Chair, California State Fair Board of Directors; Tim Neuharth, Sacramento County Farm Bureau; Ken Oneto, Sacramento County Farm Bureau; Cornelius Gallagher, member, California State Fair Board of Directors (he’s behind the big golden bear); Rina V. DiMare, member, California State Fair Board of Directors; Rick K. Pickering, Chief Executive Officer, California State Fair; Jim Vietheer, Sacramento County Farm Bureau. Photo courtesy SCFB

Sacramento County Farm Bureau Organization Honored for Service to Local Communities

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento County Farm Bureau is celebrating 100-years of service to local communities after receiving special recognition at the 2017 California Agricultural Heritage Club Ceremony held at the California State Fairgrounds in Sacramento. Membership in the Agricultural Heritage Club is a prestigious award, which is only given to farms, ranches, organizations and agribusinesses that have maintained a fiscal responsibility in the state for at least one full century. The California State Fair is the sanctioned body that holds these records and facilitates the recognition process.

"Only a handful of county farm bureaus have been honored with this kind of designation and Sacramento County is now a part of that exclusive club," said Sacramento County Farm Bureau Executive Director Bill Bird. "It's a special recognition of what several generations of farming families have built in Sacramento County. Farm Bureau members do more than just grow the food that all families rely upon, they also work to educate others about the important work that the agricultural community does.

The award was accepted by three lifetime Sacramento County Farm Bureau members, who also operate ranches and farms in the local community. They include Ken Oneto, who grows cherries, walnuts, grapes, tomatoes and wheat on KLM Ranches in Elk Grove, Tim Neuharth, who grows certified organic pears and cherries on Steamboat Acres in the Delta and Jim Vietheer, who raises angus seed stock and cattle on the Have Angus Ranch in Wilton.

The Sacramento County Farm Bureau works to protect and promote agricultural interests throughout Sacramento County and to find solutions to the problems of the farm, the farm home, and the rural community. The membership-driven organization strives to protect and improve the ability of farmers and ranchers engaged in production agriculture to provide a reliable supply of food and fiber through responsible stewardship of California's resources.

Sacramento County is the 25th largest agriculture producing county in California with total agricultural production approaching $500 million. The top five county crops include wine grapes, poultry, grain corn, milk and Bartlett pears.

Sacramento County farmers put food on your fork.  Our agricultural operations and products are as diverse as the lands we carefully manage.  We are proud to provide healthy, fresh food for your family and ours.  We invite you to join our efforts to protect Sacramento County's agriculture, rural character, and our ability to produce local, high-quality food for your table.

Source:SCFB


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Sacramento, CA (MPG) - The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced July 20th, 2017, a large increase in the number of reported Valley Fever cases in California with illness onset in 2016.

From January through December 2016, 5,372 new cases of Valley Fever were reported to CDPH corresponding to an incidence rate of 13.7 cases per 100,000 people. This is very similar to the most recent peak in 2011 (5,213 cases), which was the highest number of cases since individual cases were made reportable in 1995. 

“People who live in or travel to areas where Valley Fever is common should take steps to avoid breathing in dusty air,” said CDPH Director and State Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith. “If they develop flu-like symptoms, such as cough, fever, or difficulty breathing, lasting two weeks or more, they should ask their doctor about Valley Fever.”

Many counties in the Central Valley and Central Coast regions, where Valley Fever is most common, reported an increase in cases in 2016 compared with 2015. The largest number of cases and highest incidence rate in 2016 were in Kern County where more than 2,200 cases, or more than 250 cases per 100,000 people, were reported.

Valley Fever, also known as coccidioidomycosis, or cocci, is caused by the spore of a fungus that grows in certain types of soil. In California, Valley Fever is most commonly reported in the Southern Central Valley and Central Coast.  People get infected by breathing in spores present in dust that gets into the air when it is windy or when soil is disturbed, such as through digging in dirt during construction. The incidence of Valley Fever depends on a variety of environmental factors and types of human activity in areas where the fungus is present. Valley Fever symptoms can be similar to other illnesses and it is not always recognized: changes in testing, diagnosis and reporting patterns can also impact reported disease levels. It is unknown why there has been such a large increase in reported Valley Fever cases in California in 2016.

While anyone can get Valley Fever, those most at-risk for severe disease include people 60 years or older, African-Americans, Filipinos, pregnant women, and people with diabetes or conditions that weaken their immune system. People who live, work, or travel in Valley Fever areas are also at a higher risk of getting infected, especially if they work outdoors or participate in activities where soil is disturbed.

A person can reduce the risk of illness by avoiding breathing in dirt or dust in areas where Valley Fever is common. In these areas, when it is windy outside and the air is dusty, stay inside and keep windows and doors closed. While driving, keep car windows closed and use recirculating air conditioning, if available. If you must be outdoors, consider wearing a properly fitted mask (such as an N95 respirator mask which is widely available in retail stores), and refrain from disturbing the soil whenever possible. Employers should train their workers about Valley Fever symptoms and take steps to limit workers’ exposure to dust.

Most infected people will not show signs of illness. Those who do become ill with Valley Fever may have flu-like symptoms that can last for two weeks or more. While most people recover fully, some may develop more severe complications of Valley Fever which may include pneumonia, or infection of the brain, joints, bone, skin or other organs. If you think you have Valley Fever, you should contact your physician.

For additional information on Valley Fever, please visit the CDPH website.

Source: www.cdph.ca.gov


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Hearing In CHP Officer’s Death Set

Jacqueline Fox  |  2017-07-20

CHP Officer Lucas Chellew. Courtesy CHP

Sacramento, CA (MPG) - A July 13 preliminary hearing for the man accused of causing the death of CHP Officer Lucas Chellew February 22 in South Sacramento, has been rescheduled in order to give CHP investigators more time to complete their investigation of the accident.

Defense attorney Alice Michele requested an extension for the hearing for her client, Alberto Quiroz, 26 at the time of arrest, who faces one misdemeanor and three felony counts of vehicle theft, possession of a stolen vehicle and resisting arrest.

Motorcycle patrolman Chellew was pursuing Quiroz, also on a motorcycle, on Fruitridge Road, when he was suddenly cut off by a passing car, lost control of his motorcycle and hit a pole. He was taken to UC Davis Medical Center where he later died from his injuries. Quiroz was arrested shortly after the pursuit.

Deputy District Attorney Aaron Miller confirmed that the hearing, which was stalled for several months for settlement conferences before being calendared, was delayed so that CHP officials conducting a detailed investigation into the crash that killed Chellew could have more time to prepare.

“They need more time to put together their report before we can move forward,” Miller said, adding that the original charges have not changed in the case against Quiroz, but declining to say that they could.

The CHP report is expected to play a critical role in the case against Quiroz.  Should it reveal willful recklessness on the defendant’s part, charges against him could change to include at least one count of vehicular manslaughter.

Chellew’s widow was present in the courtroom for the hearing.  She sat flanked by CHP patrolmen, presumably colleagues of her late husband, as Judge Kevin J. McCormick asked Quiroz, clad in an orange jumpsuit inside a detaining cell, if he agreed to waive his right to have his case heard sooner. He did.


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BBB Sacramento Region Names New CEO

Danielle Spang, BBB Marketing & Communication Manager  |  2017-07-19

Lynn Conner, new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BBB serving Northeast California. Photo courtesy of BBB.

West Sacramento, CA (MPG) - Better Business Bureau (BBB) Board Chair Archie Milligan announced on July 19th,  that Lynn Conner accepted the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BBB serving Northeast California. Conner also served as the interim CEO after former CEO, Gary Almond, chose to step down in late March.

“We are very fortunate to have someone with Lynn’s impressive resume leading the BBB. Even more important for us, though, is Lynn’s character and her commitment to our mission and values, demonstrated during her many years of service on our Board,” said Milligan. “I personally appreciate the most recent example of Lynn’s commitment – her positive response to my request to serve as our interim CEO, and I certainly appreciate the extraordinary efforts of the staff to convince her to take on the position permanently,” he added.

“I’m honored and excited to be taking on the challenge as CEO of BBB serving Northeast California. Marketplace trust is as vital as ever, and I look forward to continuing to develop and promote programs that advocate trust and bring attention to those who have chosen to become BBB Accredited Businesses,” said Conner.

Conner served on the BBB Board of Directors for six years, and was the chair of that board in 2015 and 2016, helping guide the organization during a period of significant financial growth. For the last two years she was also given the distinct honor of serving on the national board of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB), and is currently a member of the Finance Committee.

Conner brings thirty-five years of managerial and business related experience to this endeavor. Her background is both varied and extensive. She worked for Parasec, a $15 million public records research company, for 30 years, 22 years as President until she was succeeded by Matt Marzucco in 2009.

In addition, while working with Parasec, Lynn assisted a partner CPA firm for nine years, Flemmer Associates, as their Business Development Manager.

In 2010, Conner and her husband started their own company, Hialeah Terrace, a six-bed residential care facility for the elderly. She is the Licensee and Administrator for that company.

Conner believes in the value of the BBB mission and has demonstrated her support by maintaining both companies, Parasac and Hieleah Terrace, as BBB Accredited Businesses.

Having served for more than 12 years on the board of the Sacramento Employment and Training Agency (SETA), Lynn’s skills led to her election as Chair of the Board. In that role she continues to demonstrate her commitment to SETA’s mission to develop a viable, vibrant workforce in Sacramento and the surrounding areas.

Lynn holds her Certification as a Residential Care Facility Administrator.


Lynn earned a Bachelor of Science in Botany from UC Davis, as well as a Master’s of Business Administration from California State University, Sacramento.

Source: BBB Media


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District Attorney's Office Updates Public on Arrests

Sacramento, CA (MPG) - “On June 26, 2016, members of the Traditional Worker’s Party (TWP) held a rally on the west steps of the state capitol after securing legal permits from the California Highway Patrol. The rally began at 11:00 A.M.  Numerous counter-protesters also arrived at the capitol to block the rally, none of whom were lawfully permitted to conduct their demonstration. In the hours that followed, violent clashes occurred between the two groups resulting in a number of assaults and several stabbings.

The California Highway Patrol Protective Services Division investigated the incident.  After several months of reviewing video footage, interviewing witnesses, and attempting to identify participants, the investigators submitted arrest warrant requests to the District Attorney for review.  In all, arrest warrants for 101 individuals were submitted for consideration.  Many of the charges submitted did not meet the District Attorney’s filing guidelines including: 85 counts of Unlawful Assembly, 55 counts of Conspiracy to Unlawfully Assemble and 32 counts related to the possession of illegal signs and banners.  In several other cases, there was clear evidence of felonious conduct but the identity of the perpetrators could not be established. Unfortunately, included in this category were all of the stabbings and the attack on a local television reporter. After reviewing all of the evidence submitted, the District Attorney’s Office sought and received arrest warrants for individuals whose conduct represented the most egregious offenses that can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

We cannot disclose the names of all of the individuals for whom warrants have been issued until after arrests have been made. We can confirm at this time that William Planer and Porfirio Paz have been arrested on charges of Assault with a Deadly Weapon or by Means of force Likely to Inflict Great Bodily Injury and Participating in a Riot. Planer was arrested in Colorado and is pending extradition to California. Paz was arrested in Southern California and is scheduled to be arraigned on July 24, 2017 in Department 63 at 8:30 AM.” - Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Grippi

District Attorney's UPDATE (July 19, 2017):

Yvonne Felarca was arrested last night in Southern California on charges of Assault by Means of Force Likely to Inflict Great Bodily Injury, Participating in a Riot, and inciting a riot.  We have no further information as to Felarca’s court date at this time.

Michael Williams was arrested today in Yolo County on charges of Assault with a Deadly Weapon and Participating in a Riot. Williams is set for arraignment on July 21, 2017 at 1:30 in Department 63 of the Sacramento Superior Court.

There are no further outstanding warrants related to this incident.


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Crumbling Seat of Govt Looks Towards a Facelift

Debra Gravert, Office of Ken Cooley  |  2017-07-19

Ken Cooley at the Annex Hearing. Photo courtesy Office of Ken Cooley

Sacramento, CA (MPG) - Chairman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) of the Joint Committee on Rules convened the second of several hearings to examine the condition of the State Capitol Building Annex and the Legislature's options for dealing with California’s aging seat of government on July17th, 2017.

“The functionality of our State Capitol Annex is key to our ability to govern,” said Chairman Cooley. “Today’s hearing made clear that the current status of our building does not match our basic needs as a co-equal branch of government.  Our partners in the Executive branch stand ready to help move us forward to build a ‘People’s House’ we can all be proud of for the next century.”

Testimony at the committee began with strong statements of commitment from Marybel Batjer, Secretary, Government Operations Agency and Daniel C. Kim, Director, Department of General Services (DGS) for the Legislature’s endeavor.  Jason Kenney, Chief, Project Management and Development Branch, DGS then gave a presentation regarding the current conditions and status of the building and what next steps can be taken.

Mr. Kenney remarked on the fact that the Capitol’s East Annex was finished in 1952 and was designed for a part-time Legislature and before modern technology.  Today, the Annex’s wear and tear has significantly increased beyond its original intended usage.  There have not been any significant renovations to the major systems in need of repair.  Many “band-aids” have been used, but most upgrades cannot be done while the building is occupied.  According to Mr. Kenney, this project offers the Legislature an incredible opportunity to make significant upgrades to security, technology, and the free movement of people.  He also spoke about the planning process to identify space for lawmakers and staff during construction and potential Capitol Park impacts. 

Diane Boyer-Vine, Legislative Counsel, next spoke on the law and legal precedent for Capitol projects.  She remarked that the Legislature is the law-making branch and that this is reflected in the law governing the Capitol, with the exception of the first floor that houses the Governor and Lieutenant Governor and is overseen by DGS.  She also described the funding that was set up by SB 836 of 2016, which also outlines legislative control over the building and its zoning.

One of Chairman Cooley’s primary considerations has been to engage security partners from the beginning so that safety components are integrated into the initial design as opposed to attempting to fit these needs as an afterthought into an already re-constructed building.  To conclude the Joint Rules hearing, a presentation on public building design considerations by Senate Chief Sergeant-at-Arms Debbie Manning, Assembly Chief Sergeant-at-Arms Bryon Gustafson, and California Highway Patrol Chief Chris Main reinforced the need to make security discussions a priority.  Many security considerations in the Capitol have been a reaction to incidents at the Capitol or elsewhere and are outside of the basic architectural design.  A more in-depth look at the particular security needs will be delivered to the Joint Committee on Rules during a closed meeting on August 22, 2017.

The Assembly maintains a website for the Architectural Program for California’s Capitol at http://annex.assembly.ca.gov/.  The full video of the hearing is posted on the website.

Source: Office of Ken Cooley


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