No parking in Land Park

Students often go the extra mile to save a buck. According to Sacramento City College’s (SCC) “Great Reasons to Park in College Lots,” students parking in William Land Park do not have access to campus shuttles or emergency vehicle assistance like jump-starts and unlocks, and are more vulnerable to car and property theft because of low levels of campus patrols in the park. Fast-paced Freeport Boulevard drivers might run over students crossing the street, and you never know what’s looming in the dark.

But heck, it’s free.

Come the new year, students will be greeted with another “great reason” not to park in Land Park—two-hour parking limits from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday on 620 spaces in the 18th and 19th streets oval and the 14th Street panhandle.

Sacramento’s Department of Transportation reported to the city council that students’ heavy use of park parking “has contributed to the traffic congestion, noise, litter, and air quality issues experienced by both residents in the area and park visitors.”

Tom Rose, a longtime Land Park resident, said, “The park is beautiful on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There aren’t very many students. The park was not designed to be a big parking lot.”

In response to complaints, Councilman Rob Fong pushed for parking restrictions. They take effect January 1, 2007, coinciding with completion of SCC’s new 1,964-space parking garage.

Rosie Ochoa, an SCC student who parks in the park, said parking within two-hour limits would be “ridiculous. There’s no way you can come out of the middle of class [to move your car].” She thinks Land Park residents are being “selfish. Can’t these people step into someone’s shoes? They’ve forgotten what it’s like to struggle.”

“There are enough poor students in this place,” said Esther Ayodele, another student who uses free park parking, “so burdening them with paying for the parking here is like just telling the students to go home, forget about studies, because students have enough problems already with getting expensive textbooks, feeding, accommodations.”

—Donna Lee

Temporary reprieve

Low-level drug offenders undergoing treatment don’t have to worry about being sent to jail for relapsing—at least not yet.

A recent change to the treatment-instead-of-incarceration initiative, a.k.a. Proposition 36, allows brief incarceration for relapsing during drug treatment. The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) argues that Senate Bill 1137, which introduced the controversial change, goes against what the voters decided in 2000. The DPA and the California Society of Addiction Medicine filed suit immediately after Governor Schwarzenegger signed the bill on July 12.

The next day, an Alameda County judge entered a temporary restraining order to stop S.B. 1137 from taking effect. The judge said it had been demonstrated that serious harm would occur if offenders were jailed during treatment.

The restraining order will remain in effect until a hearing is held—probably in mid-August—regarding a motion for preliminary injunction, said Daniel Abrahamson, director of legal affairs for the DPA.

“We’re very hopeful that we will succeed,” he said.

—Meredith J. Cooper


We hate to pat ourselves on the back so publicly, but we’re gonna do it anyway. So, here goes: The efforts of SN&R staff were honored with four awards in the 2005 California Newspaper Publishers Association Better Newspapers Contest—the most prestigious statewide competition in the nation. In results announced July 15, first-place awards went to Interim Editor Melinda Welsh for her editorial about gang crackdowns in West Sacramento; Arts Editor Becca Costello for her cover story “Skateboarding is not a sport,” in the sports category; and Managing Art Director Don Button for covers on Bob Dylan and astronaut Steve Robinson. A story on the land rush in Natomas earned a second-place prize in environmental reporting for News Editor Cosmo Garvin. Garvin’s story on the gang injunction in West Sacramento was given honorable mention in the investigative-reporting category. Our sister newspaper in Chico—CN&R—was honored with three prizes.

—Nancy Brands Ward