Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley and Santa Clarita have all tried to keep crime down while dealing with significant population growth. From 2000 to 2004, the three cities have each seen jumps of more than 6 percent. “The more people you have, the more possibility you have for higher crime,” city of Santa Clarita spokeswoman Gail Ortiz said. “In 2004, we had five murders. For a city of 170,000, that’s really good. We’d rather have none, but it’s still very low. We’re talking very small amounts of crime in a medium-size, growing city.” Ortiz questioned Morgan Quitno’s methodology, which only used six types of crime and weighted them evenly. Santa Clarita’s serious crimes – which include violent crimes and property crimes like auto theft and burglary – have dropped from 39 per 1,000 people in 1994 to 21 per 1,000 people in 2004, she said. “The best measure of how safe a community is isn’t these statistics,” Thousand Oaks City Manager Scott Mitnick said. “You look at the big picture – the property values, school test scores and health of the economy. We know we’re fortunate to succeed by all counts.” To view the complete list, go online to www.morganquitno.com. The company charges $1.99 for an immediate 28-page download. Josh Kleinbaum, (818) 713-3669 firstname.lastname@example.org 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Glendale and Santa Clarita remain among the safest cities in the nation, despite a suburban population boom that pushed two of them down in the rankings. Thousand Oaks held steady at No. 7 in 2004 for cities with a population of more than 75,000, according to rankings released this week by Morgan Quitno, a publishing company that crunches FBI statistics. Simi Valley dropped from No. 17 to No. 22, and Santa Clarita fell 26 spots to No. 36 – behind No. 26 Glendale, the top-ranked city with a population more than 200,000. “People have come to expect that Thousand Oaks remains one of the safest cities in the nation,” Thousand Oaks Mayor Claudia Bill-de la Pea said. “As we continue to grow, we are going to attract a few more problems, but overall, Thousand Oaks can be very proud of maintaining its title as one of the safest cities in the nation.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals Morgan Quitno ranked 369 cities with a population greater than 75,000 based on FBI crime statistics from 2004. The company used six crime categories, all weighted evenly – murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and motor-vehicle theft. Newton, Mass., Clarkstown, N.Y., and Amherst, N.Y, were ranked the safest cities in America. Burbank checked in at No. 75, Palmdale at No. 223, Lancaster at No. 261 and Los Angeles at No. 290. Glendale led cities with a population of more than 200,000, despite the Glendale Police Department’s claim that it is understaffed. The city hired 25 officers in the past two years, pushing the total to 270, and the City Council has pledged to hire 75 more over the coming decade. Glendale is the ninth-ranked city with a population over 100,000, down from No. 7 last year. “Certainly, as far as a large city with a population in excess of 200,000, that is excellent, something we can be very proud of,” Glendale Assistant Police Chief Ron DePompa said. “When you look at the 100,000 population benchmark, which is what we typically use, it is a little disconcerting that we have over time lost some ground there.”
HALIFAX – Nova Scotia needs more foster parents — with a particular emphasis on African Nova Scotians — even after the recruitment of 80 new foster parents, officials told a legislature committee on Tuesday.There are currently 684 children in foster care, with 663 total homes, but the numbers fluctuate, said Nancy MacLellan, associate deputy minister of the Department of Community Services.“Our social workers could get a call tomorrow and we could have a family of four that needs care, so in an ideal world we’d have approved foster families that are waiting for children,” said MacLellan.She told the committee that an additional $1.6 million in supports announced last July have helped, and resulted in about $900 more per foster family per child. The changes included increasing the per diem rate per child, and raising the babysitting rate and the amount families receive for recreation.“Which are pretty material increases, and still … we want to do more,” MacLellan said.She said work is also being done to reduce approval-process red tape, and on recruitment efforts in African Nova Scotian communities as part of boosting the numbers of available foster parents.“These measures contributed to an increase of more than 80 foster parents in the last year and we still are always looking for more foster parents,” MacLellan said.Leonard Doiron, the province’s executive director of Child, Youth and Family Supports, told the committee there is an increased emphasis for social workers to delve into foster children’s backgrounds in order to address cultural needs.He said greater efforts are being made to gather information which is often noted in the files of social workers, although there is no formal tracking process in place.They have also increased outreach efforts, he said.“Our teams are working very hard to work with community groups to give them voice and choice and to inform us about what their needs are.”Later, Doiron said the numbers provided to the committee included about two-thirds of children under the province’s care, noting that foster care isn’t appropriate for all children.He said although recruitment numbers are on an upward trend, the needs remain for foster parents who can provide more specialized levels of care and for homes better suited to a child’s cultural background.The biggest challenge, Doiron said, is the need to adapt the foster program to meet the needs of diverse modern families, where most often both parents work outside the home.“The needs of the children are different, the prospective foster parents, their needs are different, he said. “All of these things have to be re-thought and transformed.”NDP committee member Susan Leblanc believes the government funding hike for foster families has helped, but she said a bigger help would be more resources at the “front end” for families who are in crisis.“So that perhaps we don’t need as many foster families because children can stay in their homes and families can stay together with the proper supports,” said Leblanc.Progressive Conservative Barbara Adams also applauded the changes, but called for more training resources for potential foster parents.“The more we can do to help the foster parents succeed and have an enjoyable experience the better,” Adams said.The total cost of foster care in 2017-18 was $15.7 million, including for per diem payments, competency payments and the maintenance of children in care.
By Sean Yoes, AFRO Baltimore Editor, email@example.comI spent some time over the weekend with one of my favorite people in the activist community, Nneka Nnamdi, founder of Fight Blight Bmore. Nnamdi is brilliant and tough as nails; she has invested her considerable prowess into the pervasive and soul killing issue of blight in our city, which overwhelmingly imperils Baltimore’s Black communities disproportionately.It’s no secret I’m a West Baltimore centric kind of guy; I believe Mondawmin is the heart of WB and Penn-North is the soul. Perhaps, it is ironic those two venerable Black communities were the flash points of the Uprising of April 2015. When you consider the storied histories of both (the righteous and the wretched), they are hallowed grounds. But, the heart and soul of West Baltimore, and East Baltimore are being methodically and thoroughly ripped out by blight. We can somewhat measure the impact of violence, murder and mayhem on our communities, although we can never know the full impact on our psyches and spirits. But, plausible metrics on the impact of blight on Baltimore have been elusive. That is something Nnamdi wants to change.“A blighted Baltimore is a bleeding Baltimore,” writes Nnamdi in her “Blight Blog” on Facebook. “Living with blight can be as traumatic as being shot with a bullet. When people hear blight they often think about the disease that affects potatoes and has caused famine. But, in this context blight refers to the condition of real property as vacant, abandoned, dilapidated, misused or underutilized properties,” she writes.Sean Yoes (Courtesy Photo)To state the obvious, Baltimore blight is ubiquitous like summer humidity. Take the harrowing West Baltimore gauntlet of Fulton Ave., for example. Drive up Fulton from the passenger seat perspective, and attempt to take in the structural and spiritual pathology of those neighborhoods. I do it all the time and every time it literally takes my breath away.“The conditions of properties that would cause for a property (or neighborhood) to be called a blighted, slum, tenement and shanty are not new in America,” writes Nnamdi. “Even in Baltimore there has been a long history of slum clearance. The demolitions department as we know it today started with demolition laws put in place in the late 1800s…Due to resident flight from American cities like Baltimore fueled in part by racism, beginning in the 1960s, to surrounding counties, neighborhoods lost population as well as businesses, community institutions and places of employment,” she writes highlighting a slice of blights sordid history in Baltimore. “These factors in concert with the post-industrial economic downturn of the 1970s and the epidemic abuse of illicit drugs in the 1980s, resulted in numerous abandoned, improperly used, unkempt and/or underutilized properties commonly referred to as blight,” she added.And of course, the negative economic impact of blight on already impoverished communities is devastating, making escape from that poverty an implausible prospect for most.“People living in neighborhoods with blight are not only losing access to home equity, community history and public sector improvements, the are also being exposed to community based trauma resulting in long term stress from fear of unsafe property implosion, toxic exposure, and crime,” Nnamdi writes.“It is estimated that…more than 30 million housing units in the United States have significant physical or health hazards, such as dilapidated structures, poor heating, damaged plumbing, gas leaks, or lead. Using these numbers, the economic impact of blight just in terms of lost home equity is in the billions of dollars,” she writes.In blighted communities hope is scarce and solutions maybe even more so. But, Nnamdi and her allies continue the work.“Any solution applied going forward should be devised with the intent of breaking the cycle of blight that has plagued communities of color and/or poor people,” she writes. “Solutions ought to be developed in a manner that are inclusive, equitable, non-speculative or predatory. These principles are most often present in solutions that are developed organically and close to the problem.”Sean Yoes is the AFRO’s Baltimore editor and author of “Baltimore After Freddie Gray: Real Stories From One of America’s Great Imperiled Cities.”
Seeking to expand its footprint in the strategic Indian Ocean, India on Wednesday agreed to help Seychelles in mapping its hydrology reserves under four agreements signed during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who launched a coastal surveillance radar project to boost security cooperation with the island nation.The Prime Minister also announced that India will give a second Dronier aircraft to Seychelles and provide free of cost visas for three months for its citizens and making it available to them on arrival. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIAfter one-to-one and delegation-level talks with Seyechelles President James Alix Michel, Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Seychelles in 34 years, also said they underlined the importance of comprehensive cooperation in the Indian Ocean region.”We expressed support for a more active and productive Indian Ocean Rim Association,” Modi, who arrived here on Tuesday on the first leg of his three-nation tour, told reporters.He also launched the Coastal Surveillance Radar Project, describing it as another symbol of the cooperation between the two countries. Also Read – Health remains key challenge in India’s development: KovindAmid increasing Chinese focus on the Indian Ocean, India is aiming to pitch in with all help to island nations like Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka.China has been making inroads into these island nations with infrastructure projects that has raised India’s eyebrows.The first CSR would be based in Mahe Island, capital of Seychelles.”This is part of the capability enhancement project for Seychelles in which India is helping,” official sources said, adding that it will help keep a watch on the coastline and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and combat piracy. Modi and Michel witnessed the signing of four agreements: cooperation in hydrographyic survey, renewable energy, infrastructure development and jointly develop navigation charts and electronic navigational charts for sale to other countries.”Our agreement today on hydrographic survey adds a new dimension to our maritime cooperation. I thank Seychelles for their confidence in India,” Modi said.”Our security partnership is strong. It has enabled us to fulfil our shared responsibility to advance maritime security in the region,” he said.”It is a privilege to be a partner of Seychelles in the development of its security capabilities,” Modi said, adding India’s help will enable Seychelles to secure its beautiful islands and the vast expanse of waters around them.”Seychelles will also continue to make an enormous contribution to the safety and security of the Indian Ocean Region,” he said.Modi said he held “very productive” talks with Michel and described Seychelles as “a vital partner in our Indian Ocean neighbourhood”.”Short it may be, but this visit has been very productive. It is no surprise that Seychelles is my first destination in the Indian Ocean Region,” Modi said.”We also hope that Seychelles will soon be a full partner in the maritime security cooperation between India, Maldives and Sri Lanka,” he said.Modi said he was deeply touched by the extraordinary hospitality and warmth he received in the country.”Our relationship is unique and special. It is founded on deep sense of mutual trust and confidence. It is marked by a spirit of respect and equality; and enormous goodwill and warmth,” he said.Modi and Michel also agreed to establish a Joint Working Group to expand cooperation on the Blue Economy to harness new possibilities of the ocean in a sustainable and balanced manner.”Seychelles is a leader in advancing the concept of Blue Economy. We also believe that the Ocean Economy is indispensable to meeting our future challenges,” Modi said.”This cooperation will increase our understanding of marine ecology and resources,” he said.”This is a major step in advancing our scientific and economic cooperation,” the Prime Minister said.”We stressed our support for expansion in our modest trade and investment relations.”Modi expressed hope that Seychelles would be able to quickly utilise the committed USD 75 million in grants and credit provided by India in accordance with its priorities.He thanked President Michel for his country’s consistent support to India in international forums, including its bid for a permanent membership of the UN Security Council.He invited President Michel to visit India at an early date.Calling India a leader, Michel said and his country looks up to India. He said he looks forward to visit India.Michel said his country valued strategic partnership with India.Modi said the two countries have strong convergence of views on climate change.”We are two nations that are vulnerable to its impact. And, we are deeply committed to combating it,” he said.”We stressed our shared commitment to strong national action. We also called for a strong and ambitious global effort, especially from the developed world, on climate change,” the Prime Minister said.Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval were part of the Indian delegation during Modi’s talks with President Michel at the State House in Victoria that lasted one hour.Michel had received Modi at the airport late last night.Seychelles has a population of 90,000 people and 10 per cent of them are of Indian-origin.