We took quite a collection of comments from Facebook friends and people interviewed on the streets and feel confident saying that no one is happy with the shape Ellis Lake (and the park around it) is in.
Trouble is, we think, that officials would love it if there were a single thing they could do to take care of the problem. There won’t be a single cure. What’s most apparent is that the lake is either a huge asset or a huge liability to our little city. And there’s no one single thing that will turn it into a full-fledged asset.
While some officials are focusing on some scheme to improve the lousy quality of the liquid in the lake, the most-oft repeated concern by citizens was safety ... fear of using the park because they’ve had bad experiences with transients or are scared off by their presence or the refuse they leave behind.
Patrolling for bad behavior, cleaning up the area, fixing the brackish water problem, finding the right number of waterfowl to allow, making the high-traffic area around the park a little calmer and safer ... and money. Money is, of course, the big key. They might get some grant money from one source or another to address water quality ... but there’s going to remain the need for security and maintenance on a much higher level than present.
Water wise? The “do it and ask later” strategy has run its course for Ellis Lake. We’re not going to be able to pump water out of the river to keep the system circulating like we used to. The taking of water from the river is well-regulated. We got away with it a long while. Then the pumps quit. Now, taking water from the river is no simple matter.
Casa de Esperanza house finally getting fixed, but we need continued support
We’re pleased that work is finally underway, some three years after a devastating fire, to put the Casa de Esperanza house back into livable condition. When the contractor is finally done and they’re finally back in their own quarters ... there will still be needs.
– They’re going to need community support for furnishings.
– They’re going to need to grow out of the old quarters in the next few years.
And the issue they’re dealing with – domestic violence and abuse – needs to constantly be at the top of our minds. Our elected leaders at the city and county levels list a number of priorities, when you ask them. Tops, lately, is homelessness. But seldom do you find elected leaders listing domestic violence as a top community issue. It exists. It’s pervasive. It’s an issue that deserves to be listed amongst top priorities... just getting the building fixed is not enough.
We decided a while back to check, once in a while, on the number of domestic violence charges – the types of violence that Casa de Esperanza would help with:
In the most recent two-week period there were 38 felony charges filed that we listed in our daily police blotter. Of those, 15, or 39 percent, were charges made over some form of domestic violence or abuse that Casa de Esperanza would deal with. They’d take in the victims, protect them, get them medical aid, arrange for counseling, help them with transitions ... What other organization in Yuba-Sutter would do all that?
We made them wait three years to get back into their building. Can we please not forget them once they’re settled? Because we’re dealing with the effects of domestic violence mostly through the work of Casa.
Candidates should expect questions about what they’ll do and support to deal with the high amount of domestic abuse and how to support Casa.