Getting it Right

Something Sacramento just can’t seem to do, as this story from MSN reports.

An excert.

“An RV fire in Sacramento on Wednesday afternoon is sparking renewed concerns over safety in a Sacramento business park.

“The vehicle was parked on Commerce Circle, right along Highway 160, and threatening nearby businesses.

“When the fire erupted, it was certainly a scary time for a lot of our employees,” said a manager at one of the nearby businesses, who asked not to be identified. “I was worried about the well-being of all of our employees and was having people prepare for an evacuation of the building just in case the winds started coming in this direction.”

“The explosive scene, right out his office window, interrupted a client meeting the man was having. That client called it to the business manager’s attention.

“He said, ‘Might want to turn around. There’s a fire behind you,'” he explained. “Boy, was that a surprise.”

“The fire adds to a long list of issues businesses from around Commerce Circle said they’ve dealt with in recent years.

KCRA 3 first reported on the nearly 200 RVs parked around the circle last September.

“At that time, businesses said the encampments created excessive amounts of garbage and allowed dogs to run loose among the RVs and tents.

“Businesses also said their employees even navigated past human waste and drug paraphernalia on their way to work.

In December 2021, code enforcement tagged and removed dozens of vehicles from the business park.

“It stayed that way for probably eight to nine months,” the business manager said. “Just recently, over the last couple months, it’s become a problem again.”

“KCRA 3 spoke with a man experiencing homelessness about the RVs and encampments along Commerce Circle he’s lived in for over two-and-a-half years.

“Most of us are just trying to survive,” said P.J. Darkwood about his living situation.

“Darkwood moved onto Commerce Circle around the start of the pandemic when jobs he used to get at local banquet halls dried up.

“Work just wasn’t there and savings ran out real quick,” Darkwood said.

“Commerce Circle felt safe to him.

“It’s a nice clean place and nobody bothers you,” he said.

“Darkwood said, however, that businesses that were once tolerant of the RV parking, started getting upset when more people started moving in.

“We had a lot of riffraff come in,” said Darkwood. “They started burglarizing places, stealing gas. That’s when they went from advocating for us to basically hating us overnight.”

“Businesses have repeatedly told KCRA 3 that they feel for homeless residents, but their main concern about the RVs returning comes down to employee safety.

“We hope that we’ll get some additional assistance to get this cleaned up to keep our employees safe,” said the business manager.”

‘It’s become a problem again’: Sacramento businesses nervous after RV fire, return of encampments (

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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