The Shasta County Connection—4-10-19

With Supervisor Baugh on a trip in Israel, I served as a voting board member at the recent LAFCO Board meeting at the Anderson City Hall.  It was an interesting meeting and there were several members from the public that were from cemetery districts in District 3.  As I stated at the meeting, so many of the special districts in District 3 are small and struggle financially.  These special districts, such as our cemetery districts, fire districts, etc., are operated by people who are dedicated to their respective communities and give so much of their time. We are fortunate to have them working on our behalf.

The Shasta Land Trust held their annual fund-raiser known as the “Wildway’s Kickoff” at the ever popular Ross Ranch owned by the McConnell Foundation.  We have been blessed with so much rain the grass was a beautiful carpet of green this year.  A record crowd attended and the BBQ meal of chicken and short ribs was a hit with everyone there.  The setting was perfect for the square dancing activities that were the highlight of the evening.  There was an incredible band and square dance caller from the Arcata area. I was so pleased such a large number of families with young children were there, enjoying the open space and the evening’s activities.  It is important that youngsters learn to appreciate being outdoors and enjoy the beauty and wonder that nature has to offer.  The Land Trust has encumbered approximately 24,000 acres in conservation easements on ranches and open space throughout the county.  These properties will remain as working landscapes into perpetuity and will never be developed.

There was a meeting held at the Redding Veteran’s Hall in Redding to bring together many stakeholders to discuss the potential center under discussion that will be available for the homeless population in Shasta County.  There are over 25 public and private partners throughout the County working collaboratively on the problem that plagues so many cities across our country.  Interesting statistics were included during the meeting that I thought I would share.  Costs associated with those who are unsheltered include an increase of arrests by 46% in the time frame between 2014-2016, an increase by 38% of costs for clean up in the city, incidents of fires rose 36% and there was a rise by 50% for admittance to emergency rooms.  Shasta County has the opportunity to receive funding from the State of California to assist with the establishment of a shelter.  When that shelter is in place, the City of Redding will be able to activate their “no sleep, lie, rest” city ordinance.  The center would operate under a set of guidelines prohibiting weapons, drug/alcohol possession and sales.  Accountability is an important part of the plan.  The idea is to create a centralized network of support services and temporarily shelter people while they are assessed and directed to the appropriate service opportunities they might need.  Another component is offering assistance to those who wish to find transportation back to their hometowns.  Supervisor Joe Chimenti and I have been appointed by our board to serve as liaisons to the effort and I am committed to working on this very worthwhile project.

I have to close this column with a thank you to CHP Officer Stu Wagner for apprehending a potentially dangerous driver on Highway 299E recently.  I called 911 when I observed a vehicle driving in the incorrect lane.  Very terrifying and I appreciated that Officer Wagner responded and was able to ensure that no accident occurred.  This is a reminder to always remain alert and vigilant when driving back and forth to Redding.  Take care and wishing everyone a wonderful week.

If you have any questions, please contact me at mrickert@co.shasta.ca.us.

Mary Rickert — Shasta County, District 3 Supervisor