Last week, I wrote about the problems with crime and safety because of the transient population. Every person I have talked with tells me how frustrated they are with the increased crime, vandalism, and illegal activities that are occurring in Ukiah.
As I said last week, giving handouts to transients does not help transients. Giving handouts allows transients to continue their destructive behaviors of buying alcohol and drugs.
If you really want to help, please donate to a local non-profit that serves the homeless within the Ukiah Community. Many non-profits struggle to keep their doors open; yet their services make such a positive difference in our community.
We hope to continue the discussion on transient issues and their negative impacts with the Ukiah City Council and the community in the upcoming weeks. If you have any suggestions or concerns, please feel free to call me at the department anytime, or leave a crime tip about transient activity on our website at www.ukiahpolice.com.
On a more positive note, two of Ukiah’s unique and wonderful events are coming up and they remind me how lucky we all are to live in Ukiah.
Ukiah High School Homecoming and Ukiah’s Country Pumpkinfest are right around the corner. Without the hard work of countless volunteers who are committed to making Ukiah a better place, neither of these events would occur.
Our high school homecoming is truly special. In fact, I think our Ukiah High does more to get everyone involved and participating in true school spirit than any other high school I have ever seen.
Monday through Friday, the high school conducts rallies, assemblies, skits, contests, a parade, a football game, and a dance. Teenagers dress in some of the most creative ways you can imagine. Rather than trying to keep gang colors out of our school, it seems for the week of homecoming that purple and gold become our school and our community’s most important colors. And, another positive aspect is that each class competes through their citizenship, sportsmanship, and team efforts for the school’s most prestigious award: the school spirit bell.
It is only because of the hard work of each high school administrator, teacher, staff member and student body representative that all of the high school students can enjoy such positive, community-building activities. Go, Wildcats!
For Friday’s Homecoming parade, here are a few safety points to consider.
The Ukiah High School homecoming parade starts at the high school at 3:30 on Friday, and travels to State Street, then south on State Street to the movie theater at Mill Street, and then back to the high school via Dora Street. During the parade, our officers help lead the parade and follow the parade. If you’re driving near the parade, please be careful not to become distracted. The parade includes horses, semi-trucks, and vintage cars carrying many potential homecoming kings and queens. If you want to take pictures, cheer on a particular class, or just wave, please don’t try to drive at the same time.
If you have a teenager participating in the parade, encourage them to yell their hearts out, with school pride, but please, no monkey business on the floats. We don’t want to see anyone fall off and get hurt.
Next comes Ukiah’s Country Pumpkinfest on Saturday and Sunday. A hometown parade is planned for Saturday morning. On both Saturday and Sunday, downtown will play host to many fun family-related activities, including live music, a Scout-o’-Rama, a downtown carnival, and many unique vendors.
Again, it is only because of the hard work of countless volunteers, non-profits, service clubs, and others that Ukiah can enjoy such a unique downtown event.
For Saturday’s Pumpkinfest parade, here are a few safety points to consider.
The Ukiah Pumpkinfest Parade starts at the intersection of Low Gap Road and State Street and travels south on State Street through the downtown to Seminary Avenue. From 10:00 a.m. Saturday morning until about noon, State Street will be completely closed from Low Gap Road to the movie theater at Mill Street.
People are always frustrated during parades, trying to get across town. If you need to get through town, it’s easiest to either use the freeway to get north and south, or travel on Dora Street. Either way, please plan a little extra time for the added congestion.
If you’re watching the Pumpkinfest parade, please help us with one thing: don’t let your kids run into the street to get candy. Each year, we always worry that while watching the parade, a small child will get too close to a float or vehicle. Driving in a parade and dealing with distractions is challenging; a driver may not expect a small child to be in the street.
If you’re in the parade, please don’t throw candy. The rules prohibit the throwing of candy to prevent small children from running into the street. If you’d like to give out candy, instead designate someone to walk alongside of your parade entry and hand the candy out.
I feel extremely lucky to be part of a community that has so many volunteers, non-profits, and service clubs committed to making Ukiah a better place. The high school’s homecoming events and our Pumpkinfest are just two examples of our community’s special nature.
Our police department’s number one goal is to make our community as safe as possible. If you have any suggestions or comments how we can improve, please feel free to call me at any time, complete our online survey or leave a crime tip on our website, www.ukiahpolice.com.