May 24, 2022
Piatti's Lunch Meeting
Week #45 - President Patrick O’Neil
(In Memory of Howard Stagg)
President Patrick O’Neil, started the meeting at 12:00 utilizing the mega-gavel to ring the actual club bell and welcoming everyone to the Arden Arcade Rotary Club, the Best Damn Rotary Club in all of Arden Arcade.”  He asked Emily Ballus to lead the pledge.  In place of the usual invocation a special moment will be taken to honor the memory of Howard Stagg who passed away on Sunday, May 15th.  Steve Turner read an article written about Howard’s life by Howard.  It presented little known facts about Howard’s life and moved the emotions of Steve as well as the rest of the club members. The club then observed a moment of silence in honor of Howard.  Howard’s son, James, was in attendance, making the occasion even more memorable.  (A copy of the article was subsequently sent out to all the current and former club members.)
Introduction of Visiting Rotarians and Guests
The Prez introduced James Stagg, Howard Stagg’s son. 
Bell Ringers
Tim Cahill rang the bell in memory of Howard Stagg.  He hefted the mega hammer and rang out a true clear bell tone in Howard’s honor.
Lis Asperger rang the bell for her two wonderful weeks spent in Maui.
Matt Ross rang the bell twice in memory of Howard Stagg.  We all know that Howard liked fast planes, fast cars and the occasional snide remarks, he was also a backer of Polio Plus, a huge cause for him.  He always maxed out his donations to the cause. So, the funds will go to Polio Plus in his honor.
Bill Hambrick also rang the bell in memory of Howard Stagg.  He also designated the funds to go to Polio Plus.
Rob Olmstead also rang the bell in memory of Howard Stagg in honor of his being an alum of the same college as Rob, the University of Arizona.
Les Gudger inquired about the whereabouts of the normal-size gavel.  The Prez warned the club members not to reveal the actual location to Les under penalty of a fine.
Happy Bucks, Sad Bucks, What the H#!! Bucks
Les Gudger was $20 happy at the fact that he was able to visit his daughter, Courtney, whom he had not seen in two years.    Also, for the holidays, his fiancé is flying in his daughter from Texas.  It will be joyous.
Johnathan Barker was happy because his sister had a baby four days ago.   
Fireside Chats
Tim Cahill reminded the club that the last Fireside Chat is tomorrow, Wednesday, May 25, 2022 @ 6:00 pm at 3510 Winding Creek Rd.  All Rotarians, except the newsletter editor, are required to attend at least one of these chats.
Golf Tournament
John Gabriel announced that the golf tournament registration is now open.  It sold out last year and will sell out again this year.  You can Google “Rotary Charities Open,” or use this web address, to sign up to golf and/or be a sponsor.  Last year late commers were disappointed. Weekly reminder notices will be sent out. John is looking for additional help on the golf committee.
Michael Caplan requested that a list of the charities that benefit from the proceeds of the golf tournament.  It was suggested that the charities that benefitted last year be noted.  They are looking for a charity to partner with this year.  Mike Grace suggested that the Sacramento Parks Foundation’s emPOWERment Park might be a worthy recipient as hoped for funding from the State on the efforts of Assemblyman Cooley’s efforts did not materialize.
Day After Memorial Meeting
We will be having a meeting on the Tuesday after the Memorial Day Holiday, May 31. Phil Ward, an Airforce Special Operations Veteran, will be the guest speaker.
Secret Word – Richard Goore came up with the secret word, Watergate.  He was awarded one ticket for knowing the word. 
Rob Olmstead introduced the guest speaker, Ron Linthicum, prosecutor with the District Attorney’s office, back by popular demand. Ron deals specifically with the Arden Arcade area, with quality-of-life issues.  He deals with homelessness and transients and all of the issues associated with that.  He is the lynchpin in our efforts to deal with the issues here in Sacramento County.  Along with Ron is Sgt. Connor Milligan with the Problem Oriented Policing (POP) unit. 
Ron stated his appreciation for our organization as always generous and kind to him over the years.  He always looks forward to meeting with us and thanks for having him back.    Ron introduced Sacramento County Sergeant Connor Milligan with the Problem Oriented Policing (POP) unit.  Ron said he could literally not do his job without Connor. 
During one of the four meetings he held in the community this last week he started off with a joke to lighten the mood.  He told the story about the skeleton that walked into a bar and ordered a beer and a mop.  Connor was in attendance and he just walked away in disgust.  Ron had always thought Connor had his back, but not this time. 
The last couple of years have been very difficult for doing their job because of Covid.  There are lots of problems but today he wanted to focus on the solutions they are working on. 
He talked about the homeless camp at Fair Oaks and Howe.  The county started meeting to find a solution to that problem about a year ago. The camp had needles and defecation throughout the .93-acre site.  The local care home was terrorized.  People were so outraged with the situation.  If that property was owned by a private citizen, charges would have been filed against the owner.  The site is located within the city boundaries and is patrolled by City Police.  The county can patrol all around the site but not on it.  A letter was sent to the city and to their credit, they figured out a way to get it done.  They leased the property to a group of citizens; that evicted the campers and erected a fence. This took one year to get this accomplished. 
Another success story is the Balmoral Apartments.  Crime was running rampant at this apartment, over two-hundred calls for service.  His office met with the owner and put him on notice.  They contacted code enforcement.  It turned out the 75 of the 76 units inspected flunked inspections and were not habitable. The property owner was given many options to fix the entirety of the problem.  In the end, he chose to sell the property.   The property will now be a very nice apartment complex.  There is a local board and care home complex that was out of control and with the county’s efforts it too has been sold and is returning to an apartment complex. 
The Super 8 Motel is a major success.  The gang unit came to him and let Ron know that they were worried one of their officers were going to be killed because of the activities in the parking lot.  There was a staggering number of calls for service at that location.  The landowner informed the motel owner that if he got one more call about the motel, he was pulling their lease.  The motel hired 24-hour security.  Towed over 50 cars out of the parking lot.  They started enforcing the parking permits.  The problem is now solved.  This is a big success. 
Ron opened the floor for questions.
Tim Cahill asked about the city and the problem on Roseville Road.  He feels that because where it is, the city is ignoring the problem.  Tim wanted to know why the County is acting and the city isn’t.  Ron identified the basic difference being the city thinks homeless should be left alone and services should be provided to them and it will resolve itself.  They also are lawsuit averse.  Whenever they take measures against the homeless, they get sued.  Navigation of the homeless to services will not solve the problem.  Those that want help get it.  Those that don’t want to live by the rules would rather be on the street where they can have access to their drug dealers and do drugs.   Ron went on to say that Supervisor Rich Desmond proposed a solution to the problem created by the Boise ruling by opening up shelters in different locations to provide a place in compliance with the law to allow the police to cite the individuals but the public will not permit the homeless sites to be built in their areas.  NIMBY people won’t allow the shelters to be built.  You can’t ship the homeless off to a remote location as an alternative as there are legal decisions against that kind of a solution.   Additionally, the homeless do not want to live with rules that come with housing.
Individuals that think they are being kind allowing them to live in the conditions seen on Roseville Road have a false sense of compassion.  The conditions are horrific.
Another piece of this puzzle is Prop 47 and the unintended consequences of not prosecuting drug offenses.  Drug court was a very effective option for people that were facing jail time because of drug arrests.  Now those people that would have received drug court help are no longer taking that option and not getting help. Taking away the escalating penalties for repeat whop lifters has caused the pandemic of shoplifting in our community.  Prop 47 resulted in false compassion, allowing people to escape the help being offered.  Help that has saved many lives in the past.
Small businesses are closing due to Prop 47.  Rite Aid at 9th and K Street closed permanently due to shoplifting.   The big corporations can absorb it and pass on the cost to the customers. 
Conservatorship laws need to be changed to allow mandated care for those that are not capable of taking care of themselves.  It is so hard to do, in Ron’s career only one person was forced into conservatorship and only after burning down two buildings. 
Covid added to the problem when the courts went to zero bail to limit the number of people in jail in close contact.    That meant that criminals were not going to spend time in jail unless it was a serious crime.  The jails wouldn’t book the offenders.   Ron’s office is attempting to get the courts to reimplement the bail system. 
Rob Olmstead emphasized the fact that the stereotypic mom with two kids, down on her luck, homeless person does not exist.  Those people take advantage of the programs and shelter options.  The people on the street are drug and alcohol addicts. 
Matt Ross feels that it is only time before someone sues the county for allowing people to live in these horrific conditions, even though the country can’t force them to take advantage of the options available to them. 
Tim Cahill noted that the city of San Francisco was sued because the sidewalks were blocked by the homeless and the ADA laws were not protected.
Sgt. Connor Milligan noted that in his 20-year career he has had about two homeless that took him up on the services available.  The majority want to live on the streets to keep their drug connections. The mentally ill in the jail would change completely after being on their medications for a few days.  These individuals would eventually relapse and then reenter the system.  Without the hammer of jail-time the cycle can’t be broken. 
Small businesses are being destroyed by the problem of theft. Large businesses can absorb the loss. Lawsuits for false arrest make not arresting anyone advantageous.  Officers are not interested in issuing tickets to people that don’t show up to court.  The 602-trespass notice is one thing that is helping small businesses.
Les Gudger’s ticket was selected and he won a Piatti’s gift card.
President O’Neil thanked Ron and Connor for their presentation and then rang the real club bell, closing the meeting at 1:15.  
Respectfully (more or less) submitted by,
Mike Grace
Ron Linthicum
Guest Speaker
Sergeant Connor Milligan
Problem Oriented Policing 
James Stagg
Howard Stagg's Son
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