On Sunday, September 16, the City of Sacramento held the inaugural “916 Day” at McClatchy Park. This is an event planned to be held annually, every 16th of September to bring together Sacramento citizens for a celebration of the city.
On Wednesday, September 12th, Scott Gottlieb, the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, stated that youth vaping has become an “epidemic”. He said that his administration is planning on stopping e-cigarette manufacturers sales if they cannot prove that they’re putting the proper rules in place to keep their products out of the hands of children and teenagers. Youth vaping has become a “popular” thing to do in the past few years, with 1-in-10 high school students saying that they’ve vaped nicotine in the last year and 1-in-20 reporting that they vaped marijuana.
“It really started because everyone else was doing it,” said Adam DeLeon, a Sacramento teenager who formerly used devices such as “Juul’s” to vape nicotine. “I knew there was nicotine in it but didn’t think it would do any harm, I thought I could control it. Eventually, I got my own Juul and would use it every day, I found myself needing it a lot. I’m eighteen, I didn’t want to be addicted to something this early in my life, so I ended up throwing everything away.”
Peer pressure seems to be one of the biggest factors in youth vaping as almost 40 percent of students claimed that is why they began. Another 31 percent claimed they began because of the range of flavors available and 17.1 percent claimed that they thought that e-cigarettes were less harmful than regular cigarettes. This is part of the reason why the FDA is ordering e-cigarette manufacturers such as Juul, Blu, Logic, MarkTen XL, and Vuse to give them “robust” plans to keep their products away from children and teenagers.
Gottlieb himself has said there’s no doubt that youth vaping is a problem in America. “Teenagers are becoming regular users, and the proportion of regular users is increasing,” says Gottlieb, who is a physician. “We’re going to have to take action. No one can look at the data and say there’s no problem.” Many believe that it is good to see that the FDA is finally cracking down on the problem but we will still have to see what occurs in the near future.
According to newly released data, there has been a huge decrease in the number of youth incarcerated across California over the past decade. Programs that target at-risk youth and their families are working, despite the predictions made by some political figures a decade ago. The California Prison system has been able to decrease the amount of youth that come into the system by easing laws and procedures when it comes to youth and making the quality of their life outside of jail or school a priority, rather than only reprimanding youth for crimes.
According to Chief Probation Officer Adolfo Gonzales of the San Diego County, just 311 youth are being held inside the county’s prisons and camps, the same camps which held 1,008 youth in 2010. This plummet has not only taken place in the San Diego, but in counties all across California.
In 2002, 4,212 youth were incarcerated in Los Angeles; this year, Los Angeles holds 1,250 incarcerated youth. In Sacramento County, those numbers went from 590 youth in 2006 to just 215 youth today.
A study done by MIT scholar Joseph Doyle back in 2015 focused on the effects of youth incarceration. The study found that juvenile incarceration decreases the probability of youth completing high school and increased the probability of youth entering the prison system as adults.
Sacramento County, along with many other counties in California, are changing their focus when it comes to handling at-risk youth because they are finding positive change in the work that they have been doing now within the past decade.
“When I came here over a decade ago, it was the height of overcrowding in the California Prison System. You didn’t have enough staff, there was very little rehabilitative programming. I was committed to not repeating those mistakes,” says Sacramento County Chief Probation Officer Lee Seale.
Sacramento County’s Juvenile Hall was just recognized nationally by receiving the 2018 Performance-Based Standards Barbara Allen-Hagen Award. The award was created to honor Barbara Allen-Hagen, an advocate for improving juvenile hall facilities. This is Sacramento’s third time winning this award in the past seven years, according to SacCounty News.
The Sacramento Juvenile Hall also partnered with the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Sacramento in June of 2014. Last August, the Sacramento Youth Detention Facility was recognized as one of the top ten national finalists in a Boys & Girls Clubs of America contest.
“The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Sacramento juvenile hall program focuses on supporting the kids that truly need us the most by providing hope, opportunity, and programs designed to ensure our members are empowered to make good choices and stay on a positive path towards a productive future,” said CEO Kimberly Key of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Sacramento.
After Prop 21 was passed in 2001, a proposition that aimed to bring more youth offenders into the adult criminal justice system and increase penalties for youth, more funding was put into crime prevention.
“It is collaborative efforts with our officers, community-based organizations, the courts, counselors, and educators that are having a major impact in the “rehabilitation” of minors that have crossed into the justice system,” says Coleen Kincheloe, Assistant Chief Deputy of the Sacramento Probation Department.
According to a recent poll commissioned by Power California, 72% of California youth aged 18 to 24 say they “definitely will” vote in November but only 16% of that same age group voted in the June primaries. This causes many to wonder what is causing this disconnect with youth and voting.
Many young people have their own opinions on voting, and it’s not that they aren’t politically aware, it’s just that many have lost faith in the system or simply don’t know what steps to take to be registered to vote.
“If Hillary and Trump were running again, no I wouldn’t vote, politics are just messed up on both sides,” says 16-year-old William Oosterman of Sacramento.
Youth voter turnout is also an issue that needs to be confronted. In the Power California Polls, around 70% of the youth who voted in the June primary said they were contacted by email or text reminding them to vote. But just reminding young people to vote isn’t always enough.
Young voters need to connect to the candidates and issues they are voting for. Increasingly, more and more youth are supporting groups like Black Lives Matter and are the majority of attendees at protests and boycotts. When a candidate speaks out about an issue that matters to them, an increased number of younger voters show up to the polls.
“Yes I would vote!” says Mason Johnson, a young potential voter in California. “People’s opinions can potentially change the future of the country.”
It is the future of the country that young people are worried about and have set out to change. Some, like Johnson, have not lost hope and continue to fight for a country they can be proud of. Others no longer believe voting has a purpose. Voter education and contact, such as reminders, are just some steps that need to be taken to increase voter turnout among youth.
On September 22nd, La Familia hosted an event that provided several services for the surrounding community while celebrating 45 years of helping the residents of Sacramento.
The acclaimed AccessLocal.TV youth journalism training program from Access Sacramento, now in its eighth year, continues to showcase how young people can make a difference in their community.
Writer Arthur Kunert recently had a short opinion piece he wrote about Climate Change printed by the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper. The short write-up was included in a composite of short responses from youth writers across the state.
Panthers Brace for Wolverines’ Invasion on the Hometown Sports Game of the Week
by Will James
Access Sacramento‘s Hometown Sports Game-of-the-Week is shifting gears this week and taking its coverage to the “Big House”, and next level of competition; to Hughes Stadium, and California Community College Football.
The game may be seen in Sacramento County on Comcast Cable channel 17, Consolidated Communications channel 17, and AT&T U-Verse channel 14. The game will also be streamed live from AccessSacramento.org
It’s an interesting, if not provocative match-up of two teams with identical 2-2 records. Both clubs dropped their first two games of the season, then rebounded to notch back-to-back wins and even their records at 2-2 entering Big-8 play.
After seeing his team sputter in its first two games, totaling just 30 points, Sierra College Head Coach, Ben Noonan, has seen his offense explode in its two recent wins, averaging 43 ppg.
In just three games, Freshman QB, Joe Curry, has passed for 663 yards with 70% accuracy, and tossed 10 TD passes. Ryan Graham and James Budgett lead the ground game, combining for 404 yds. and 8 TD. Freshman WR, Hassani Zackery, is Curry’s favorite target, hauling in 24 receptions and 5 TD.
Leading tacklers Amir Murray and Steve Brown are the key run-stoppers, Luz Hernandez sparks the pass rush with 3 sacks, and ball-hawking William Brocchini has registered 3 interceptions.
After a slow start to open the season with two losses, SCC Head Coach, Dannie Walker, has seen his team roll up 76 points in its two victories. Quarterback Jaden Machado is hot, having thrown three TD passes last week in the Panthers’ rout of Shasta. Reuben Lee is the top receiver, and the rushing attack is sparked by Tyrone Roper, Cameren Nelson, and Trey Bussey.
DB, Eurijah Potts and LB Aarmon Euwing are the Panthers’ leading tacklers. Defensive Linemen Alex Rowe and Alema Taamu have teamed for 5.5 sacks, and Potts and Cameren Davis have combined to steal 4 interceptions.
On paper the teams have very similar results and stats over their first four games. The importance of all remaining games has elevated to the vital stage now that conference games are underway. We’ll see which squad is ready to rock, as the curtain is raised in the Big House for the Big-8 opener.
The Sheldon Huskies held on at home Friday topping the Elk Grove Thundering Herd 21-14 in Delta League action.
Access Sacramento’s Hometown Sports Game of the Week Announcer Will James and Jim Dimino call the highlights.
The full game TV replay can be seen Saturday Sept. 22 at 11 a.m., Sunday Sept. 23 at 3 a.m., Tuesday Sept. 25 at 7 p.m., Wed. Sept. 26 at 11 a.m. and Thurs. Sept. 27 at 3 a.m. Watch on Comcast and Consolidated Communications cable channel 17, AT&T U-Verse Channel 14 and streaming from AccessSacramento.org. The game is also available as Video on Demand from the NFHSnetwork.com
Game of the Week switches to community college football at 6 p.m. on Sat. Sept. 29 with the Sierra College Wolverines invading Hughes Stadium vs. the Sacramento City College Panthers.
Gather Oak Park was held on Thursday, September 13th. Many people in the community gathered together to eat food and have fun. I interviewed vendors and participants at Gather.
The neighborhood of Oak Park is known as a low-income area. Now, it is known as a place where up and coming events are happening and the locals are getting pushed out.