A bill to help Tuolumne County with the emergency removal of dead trees cleared the Senate unanimously on Wednesday.
“This bill will save lives,” said Sen. Tom Berryhill, R-Twain Harte, the bill’s author. “I look forward to working with members of the Assembly and the governor on this important issue.”
If made into law, SB-265 would increase the amount of state aid to Tuolumne County from 75 percent of emergency removal costs to 90 percent.
There are more than 102 million dead trees in California, many of which are in Tuolumne and the surrounding counties. Other counties are watching SB-265 and considering taking the actions necessary to qualify.
Drought, bark beetle, and other stresses have led to massive tree die-offs in California’s forests. The tree mortality crisis worsens wildfire risk across whole regions of the state and presents life safety risks from falling trees in many forested communities. On October 30th, 2015 Governor Brown declared a state of emergency due to the tree mortality crisis.
Senator Berryhill represents Rancho Cordova and the counties of Amador, Calaveras, Inyo, Mariposa, Mono, Stanislaus, Tuolumne and parts of Fresno, Madera, Sacramento and Tulare.
Captain Shawn Condit began his fire service career with American River Fire Department on August 4, 1990. In 2000, American River Fire District and Sacramento County Fire Protection District merged to become the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District, also known as Metro Fire. Shawn is the Truck Captain at Fire Station 109 where he oversees a truck crew of three firefighters. Station 109 is located in the Carmichael community and is unique in that this is where the Hazardous Materials unit is housed. Captain Condit coordinates the Hazardous Materials program for our department.
Throughout his career, Captain Condit has demonstrated leadership on multiple levels. Aside from being an excellent company officer, he has been a leader in the Hazardous Materials Program. His tenure in the program provides the stability needed while offering training opportunities for his crew. Captain Condit and his crew willingly take on new employees and are often called upon by the training cadre to work with academies and probationary employees. When these new individuals spend time with his crew, they are provided with a positive experience and given information that will hopefully move them down the road through the process. In addition to all his regular responsibilities at the station, Captain Condit must maintain his Hazardous Materials certification, putting added responsibility upon himself.
In addition to his hard work at Metro Fire, Captain Condit serves as a Metro Director with the Sacramento Area Firefighters Local 522 union. This is an elected position by his peers. Shawn has held a position within the Union for over 10 years. He is an acknowledged leader within the union, and over the last 10 years he has moved up the ranks, starting out as a shift representative and eventually moving into the elected position he currently holds. He continues to do an outstanding job of representing the union members of our organization.
As Metro Director, Captain Condit represents the membership in many different ways. During our last contract negotiation, Captain Condit demonstrated calm, consistent leadership during the negotiation and confirmation process, acting as the facilitator for these meetings. He allowed for spirited but respectful debate. During these meetings, he is often involved in matters that are sensitive in nature and does not violate confidence. It is this trustworthiness that makes him an excellent Union officer and, by extension, Company Officer.
As a Union leader he takes a positive role in a needed position. Often times, employees are referred to him by management. His ability to listen fully to their problems and then calmly and positively advise them on a course of action tends to benefit both the department and the member. He acts in the best traditions of Union leadership and through this process, the matter is often resolved at the lowest level.
To be a leader, particularly as a firefighter, your work ethic must be self-evident. Since an outstanding work ethic is common at Metro Fire it is difficult to point out where one employee’s efforts are better than another, however in the case of Captain Condit he stands out each and every day. Many excellent company officers come to work and do their assignments and perform admirably, but taking a leadership position in the Union and Haz Mat program shows that Captain Shawn Condit is willing to give of himself to this department and its members. He is well respected within the Department, the Union and his crew.
Fire Chief Todd Harms was honored to name Captain Shawn Condit as Metro Fire’s 2016 Suppression Employee of the Year.
Metro Fire recently opened the application period for Fire Camp, a day camp that takes place from July 11-14, 2017. Fire Camp provides local children a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience today’s fire service, first hand. The program is designed to instill self-confidence, teamwork, teach life safety skills and provide a basic understanding of the firefighting profession, in a fun and exciting atmosphere.
Campers are grouped in “strike teams” of eight campers, and each strike team is mentored by two Metro Firefighters. Campers learn valuable life safety skills, while discovering what it means to be a firefighter.
To attend Fire Camp, applicants must be 11, 12 or 13 years of age, with preference given to those living within Metro Fire’s boundaries. Applications are processed in the order in which they are received, so apply early for a better chance of securing a spot. Deadline to apply is June 5, 2017.
For applications and more information, visit our website: www.metrofire.ca.gov.
In his continued efforts to fight against the illegal fire tax, Senator Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado) announced on March 2nd Senate Bill 9, a measure to repeal the tax.
‘This fire tax is illegal and unfair – plain and simple,” said Senator Gaines. “Many rural property owners already pay local fire agencies for protection so it is clearly double-taxation and it is being dumped on the backs of rural Californians when parts of my district still have a more than 10-percent unemployment rate and families are struggling to make ends meet.”
Senate Bill 9 would reverse the annual $152.33 “fee” for fire prevention services charged to rural property owners located in “State Responsibility Areas” (SRA) designated by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), even though their property taxes already contribute to the service contracts that counties have with CAL FIRE.
The fire tax is imposed on more than 800,000 properties in the state that are within the boundaries of SRA. According to census and CAL FIRE data, Senator Gaines’ largely rural district includes roughly 20-percent or approximately 160,000 of the properties whose owners are subject to the fee.
Senator Gaines contends that the fire tax attempts to sidestep Proposition 26, the initiative passed in 2010 that prevents the Legislature from disguising taxes as “fees” and circumventing constitutional requirements for passing higher taxes. He has been a leading critic of the tax and has introduced numerous pieces of legislation in previous years that attempted to provide relief for rural Californians. Senator Gaines also strongly supports the lawsuit filed against the state by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association challenging the fee on constitutional grounds.
“I have fought this illegal tax at every turn and I encourage everyone who is stuck paying this phony fee to get in the arena and fight it too,” said Senator Gaines. “The answer to fire protection in California is not illegal taxes, but budgets that invest in core government services that protect every citizen in the state – rural, urban and suburban.”
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 February 7, 2017, at 9:55 p.m. the CHP received a call of a wrong way driver going westbound in the eastbound lane of I-80 at Watt Ave. The driver was a female driving a dark Ford Mustang. CHP officers immediately began responding to the wrong way driver in an attempt to prevent a head on collision from happening. Shortly thereafter the Ford sideswiped a Chevrolet Impala near Raley Blvd. and continued going the wrong way on I-80.
As the Ford approached Northgate Blvd in the #1 lane it struck head on with a white Dodge Challenger driven by a male. The collision killed both drivers upon impact. A toxicology report is being taken by the Sacramento County Coroner to determine if alcohol and/or drugs were a factor in this collision.
The eastbound lanes of I-80 were closed for a little over 2 hours due to extraction and investigation and all traffic was diverted off to Northgate Blvd.
Any additional information about this news release should be directed to Officer Chad Hertzell who will be available at the CHP North Sacramento Area business phone number: (916) 348-2317, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Nearly 20% of American adolescents ages 12-20 reported alcohol consumption in 2015, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The Rancho Cordova Police Department (RCPD) and the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) are working to reduce that number in our community.
RCPD will work with ABC until the end of August in a coordinated effort to help reduce underage drinking and reduce youth access to alcohol through education and enforcement. RCPD and ABC will conduct several operations in the City of Rancho Cordova and its neighboring areas in Sacramento County that focus on businesses and individuals that provide alcohol to adolescents under the age of 21.
“I look forward to working with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to reduce underage drinking and its repercussions in our community,” said Rancho Cordova Police Chief Chris Pittman.
The operations, conducted by RCPD Problem Oriented Policing (P.O.P.) officers and ABC agents, consist of “shoulder taps” using minor decoys, or situations when adolescents stand outside of liquor stores or markets and ask adults to buy alcohol for them, as well as inspections of local businesses that hold ABC licenses. This project is part of ABC’s Minor Decoy/Shoulder Tap Grant Project, funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
For questions about this program, contact program coordinator Sergeant Claudio Sotelo at 916-875-5710 or at email@example.com.
An officer involved shooting and the arrest of a known drug dealer were two of the Rancho Cordova Police Department’s (RCPD) major incidents this week. According to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office Spokesman Sergeant Tony Turnbull, a wanted suspect pulled a gun on officers at a storage facility in Rancho Cordova in the 2600 block of Sunrise Avenue. The 29-year-old male suspect had outstanding felony warrants and law enforcement had been searching for him for several days and acted on a tip about the suspect’s whereabouts.
When officers from the Sheriff’s Department Major Crimes Bureau and Special Enforcement Detail located the man, he was inside a vehicle, with a gun in his hand. According to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, “As detectives went to make contact with the suspect, he exited the passenger side of the car with a handgun in his hand. The suspect began to raise the handgun. Fearing for his safety, one of the detectives discharged his firearm at the suspect. The suspect was struck by gunfire and fled on foot into a portal door leading into the storage building. The suspect was subsequently taken into custody and the handgun was secured. Deputies immediately began life saving measures.”
The Sacramento Metro Fire Department arrived on scene and the suspect was transported to a local hospital where he remained until Tuesday evening. According to new Rancho Cordova Police Department Chief Christopher Pittman, the suspect was released and transported to the Sacramento County Jail late Tuesday.
The injured suspect had outstanding felony warrants for his arrest. One warrant was for burglary, grand theft, receiving stolen property and possession of a firearm by a felon and the second was for a violation of mandatory supervision. No one else was injured. An investigation is underway. The officer involved is a fourteen-year veteran and per policy and procedure, is on paid administrative leave pending the investigation.
Also on January 13, the RCPD Crime Suppression Unit (CSU) made use of another tip on the location of a suspect known to be a drug dealer on probation. A probation search found the man in possession of a large quantity of methamphetamine. The suspect was subsequently arrested and booked on new charges.