Summer Drama


by Lou Binninger

As the summer wanes away so does a row of once beautiful evergreen trees at the northeast corner of Brown Town. Planted a couple of decades ago as a visual barrier to an unsightly PG and E substation (Nadene Drive at Glenn Street) the trees flourished making a pleasant view for adjacent residents.

Then someone quit watering and tending the planting. Now, some are dead and others are dying. Was it P G and E, Cal Water Service or the City of Marysville? Residents have sought help with no response. Two monopolies and city government should be able to keep trees alive or cut them down, but nothing so far.

Sutter County is crafting their homeless program after the “Yuba County Model.” That approach amounts to the Tuff Shed complex otherwise known as 14 Forward, 14 Sideways or the Bendorf Zoo. There is also a homeless assimilation center. For government, there are no rules, permits or etiquette to follow when launching its own project.

No informational meetings or fancy mailings giving neighborhoods a chance to oppose the siting of the “zoo.” It was installed with no proper water, drainage or sewage facilities. A water feed was mooched from the Twin Cities Rescue Mission leaving them with the bill. Then, the mission was asked to provide their shower facilities for “Zoo” residents.

The county recently installed their own drinking water outlet and zoo residents now grab showers 12 blocks away at the service center for the homeless at 2nd and F Streets. Shed dwellers continue to dine at the mission across the fence next door.

Meanwhile, West Marysville has been transformed into a hovel for transients, “spun” bicyclists darting in between cars or against traffic and folks just sleeping around. Basically, there is one law for the law-abiding renters and homeowners, and then no law for the other folks.

After spending more than a half million dollars on “The Model” the once purged illegal camps are now being repopulated along the river. Marysville City Councilman Dale Whitmore wanted to transform the riverside areas into camp grounds with easy public access ala Yuba City’s park area under the 10th Street Bridge. But, there have been no improvements. Nature and the homeless abhor a vacuum. So, this is Homeless Camp Chapter 2.

Sutter County Supervisors, after ignoring their own citizen committee’s recommendation to site a homeless center at Church of Glad Tidings, chose instead to go with the Behavioral Health site (1965 Live Oak Blvd) surrounded by housing, senior care homes, near a school, and opposed by Behavioral Health leadership.

At a July Supervisors meeting, Attorney Steve Gimblin spun a yarn about the Church of Glad Tidings housing sex-offenders and asking for an immediate investigation. Without allowing any rebuttal to his story, the supervisors made a decision and then asked for public comment. No facts necessary when the mind is made up.

With two Supervisors under investigation for improper sex acts or sexual harassment these proceedings are deserving of a reality show.

The only areas Gimblin was not concerned for was protecting the Spotted Owl and wanting a ban on travel to Glad Tidings from terrorist countries. The attorney lives on the west side of Hwy 99 just north of Eager Road, but there is no record of his request to Sutter County Sheriff’s Department to stop sex-offenders from using the freeway in front of his residence.

Sheriff’s detectives did take Gimblin’s tale seriously and visited the church ready to purge the 35-acre campus of sex registrant housing. When advised that no such housing existed, the church worker was accused of “not being cooperative.” After dropping the “f-bomb” in frustration the deputies assured the worker that they, not parole or probation, are in charge of the county.

Further, the church was informed that no sex-registrant could attend Glad Tidings but they could attend any other church. All such people would be arrested said the detective. There was no time for sandwiches and coffee after the informative exchange.

And so the Homeless Show moves down the street to Behavioral Health. The real story is that the decision makers don’t really give a damn about the homeless, just the “wall of money” (the millions of state dollars) coming to local government. Next to farming the homeless gig can become one of our biggest industries.

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