Nonprofit given Northern California license for “wheelchair user’s vehicle”

The manufacturer of the first vehicle designed for wheelchair users recently awarded the Northern California license to Destinations Mobility, the new division of local nonprofit Paratransit, Inc. The MV-1 from Detroit-based Vehicle Production Group LLC is the first specially designed van built with wheelchair users’ feedback rather than converted from already-built vans. “We are really proud to be part of this new venture,” said Richard Rosebush, Destinations Mobility division manager. Destinations Mobility was given the license because of the local nonprofit’s national presence, its long history in the industry and the staff’s experience in disability issues. Destinations Mobility Division Manager Richard Rosebush comes from Detroit with 25 years in disability vehicle sales. Destinations Mobility is the first nonprofit VPG has worked with. “We targeted them specifically,” said Ed Kendzierski, VPG Regional Sales Manager. “Destinations Mobility and its parent company, Paratransit, have the caring and sensitivity essential to our industry. “It’s not just about buying a car, it’s a process. Because it’s not just transportation, it’s really independence.” Because the MV-1 meets ADA guidelines, the vehicles have more head room and larger doors and ramps than converted vans. Once inside, passengers in wheelchairs have enough room to scoot around and sit next to the driver, among other things. A green version also can run on compressed natural gas, which is better for the environment. Available since […]

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Sacramento Commercial Real Estate Broker Takes Note of SB 1186 Related to Frivolous ADA Lawsuits

What an honor it was to be invited to participate in a Legislative Summit sponsored by the California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce at the California State Capitol in Sacramento. It’s 3rd annual event, held on June 20, 2012, was effectively a pro-business lobby day where five small groups, each with four business leaders, descended upon the offices of more than 50 California State Senators and members of the State Assembly. The purpose of these meetings was to offer support in terms of pro-business legislation that is currently being circulated in the State Capitol of Sacramento. As a Sacramento commercial real estate broker, one bill of particular interest to me was SB 1186, involving frivolous lawsuits pertaining to non-ADA compliant commercial real estate properties and buildings. Many commercial real estate owners and small business owners throughout Sacramento and California are no doubt familiar with stories, or even personal experiences, involving written demands for either timely compliance with ADA requirements or a cash settlement to make the complaint simply go away. Don’t get me wrong. ADA compliance is an important necessity that provides the ability for disabled persons to access commercial real estate buildings and multifamily apartments throughout Sacramento and our great State of California. However, there should be an appropriate balance that doesn’t harm small businesses or property owners to the extent of having to […]

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Kidz Art for Kids Clothes

Most of us think of art as something done on canvas. On Friday, April 20 Monica Gibson Constancio, in her own way, used children’s wear as her canvass to debut a beautiful line full of artistic creations with vibrant colors. “Kidz Art for Kids Clothes” was held at Creative Vera Studio located at 1200 S Street. FUSE Apparel and Possibility Publishing & Entertainment (T2PS) presented the event attended by guests of all ages creating a fun family atmosphere. Most of the children appeared to be less than 10 years old and had energy to burn. Several art stations were set up at the studio and children worked on their own to create their masterpieces. Artist Raphael Delgado helped children with their work and offered tips and techniques that helped children create an art piece. Delgado’s work and efforts in the Sacramento community are well documented and during the event an observer could easily see the dedication he has for children and their artistic growth as he patiently and enthusiastically worked with them. Constancio’s designs were inspired by art children created and posted to the event site on Facebook. The collaboration project was the end result of an internship Constancio completed. The 10-week internship followed the complete process from its conception, planning, creation and implementation of the design line. Several other outfits besides the ones modeled […]

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Ask the County Law Librarian – Dogs in Public Places

Q. I have been seeing an increasing number of people who take their dogs everywhere: cafes, restaurants, flights, bookstores, libraries. At first I thought only service dogs were allowed in these types of situations, but most of the dogs have nothing that identifies them as service animals, and some of them look too small to be of any help to the owners! Is this legal in California? -Mason A. As with many other legal questions, the answer to this question is “it depends.” The laws and regulations regarding dogs in public places vary based on many factors, including federal and state laws and regulations, local ordinances, the businesses’ policies, and the dogs (and owners!) themselves. If the dog is indeed a service or assistance animal, then the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and California Civil Code Section 54.2 guarantees disabled owners and their dogs access to public places such as restaurants, stores, movie theaters, and libraries. Contrary to popular belief, service dogs are not required to wear any identifying equipment or tags, nor are their owners required to carry documentation of their status. In the same vein, owners or employees of public places are prohibited from inquiring about the owner’s disability or the dog’s training. If the dog’s purpose is not obvious, they are allowed to ask a) if the animal is required because of […]

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Protesters shut down L Street

About 20 protesters – many of whom were in wheelchairs – were arrested Wednesday afternoon after blocking L Street in front of the Capitol to protest cuts to in-home care services in the state budget. “Those services provide the means for people to live independently and stay out of nursing homes,” said Peni Hall, who came from Berkeley to participate in the protest but who left the street before officers started making arrests. About 40 police and CHP officers arrived at the protest, said Sgt. Norm Leong, spokesman for the Sacramento Police Department. “We were notified of an improvised protest in the middle of L Street,” Leong said, adding that he believed the group had a permit to protest at the Capitol. Leong said officers asked the protestors to move, and when they didn’t, they were arrested. At press time, the 20 protesters were being processed, which Leong said would result in their being cited and released or jailed. The fact that many were in wheelchairs hindered the process, he said. Leong did not know exactly how long the protest went on, but he said it had been at least a couple of hours. Officers reopened L Street at 4:15 p.m. Hall, who sat in her motorized wheelchair with a sign reading, “Cuts Kill,” said the services currently on the chopping block include in-home care […]

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I can has cheezburger? Squeeze Inn holds grand reopening

Loosen your belts. Sacramento’s most famous burger place, The Squeeze Inn, held its grand reopening celebration Thursday morning. The celebration featured guest appearances by Mayor Kevin Johnson, City Councilman Kevin McCarty and County Supervisor Don Nottoli as well as music, speeches, a raffle and a burger-eating contest. Several hundred people shuffled into The Squeeze Inn throughout the lunch hour for special prices on the burger known for its famous "cheese skirt," which extends an inch beyond the bun. The burger is constructed by cooking a one-third-pound beef patty and putting "a giant handful of cheese" on top of, and around, the burger, said Squeeze Inn employee Keith Lenhart. Then an ice cube is placed on the grill while the cheesy patties are topped with a lid, creating a steam chamber for the cheese to melt quickly. "We go through about 200 to 300 pounds of cheese per day," said employee Charles Rogers. "And about 270 pounds of potatoes," added Lenhart. Lenhart, who said he has been eating at the Squeeze Inn for 15 years, only recently started working there a few months ago. Now, he and Rogers are in the process of opening a new Squeeze Inn on the corner of Sunrise Avenue and Douglas Boulevard in Roseville next month. With locations in Sacramento, Galt and Napa, a Roseville location would be the fourth for […]

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School moving from old Marshall School to Thomas Jefferson Elementary

It was confirmed last week California Montessori Project’s Capitol Campus will move from the Marshall School to Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in the College Glen neighborhood. Since August, CMP leased the Marshall School building from the Sacramento City Unified School District, which also oversees its charter. Next Thursday and Friday, the school will be closed for the move and will resume at the new campus on Nov. 16. SCUSD superintendent Jonathan Raymond met with CMP board members, students and parents Tuesday night at the campus’ new location. After stating reasons for the move, he answered questions from parents. "The old Marshall School, although a very beautiful facility and by all appearances structurally sound, does not comply with two very important requirements," Raymond said. "No. 1, the Field Act, (which) simply relates to the ability of a building to withstand a seismic event; the other important component is this building does not meet state building codes – it is not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act." He stated that charter schools are required by Prop 39, which passed in 2005, to comply with either one of these codes, and the Marshall School does not. Raymond also took responsibility for the error, and said he looks forward to helping CMP move to the Jefferson campus, which is Field Act and ADA compliant. "We’re going to do […]

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