Copyright © 2011 Vallejo Lamplighter. All rights reserved.

    Inexpensive Home Protection Ideas
    Posted by webmaster on 03/30/2012

    I wanted to share some inexpensive ideas with my fellow Vallejo neighbors. With the reduction of police officers on
    patrol in our city
    it’s very important that we all stay diligent in keeping our neighbors and homes protected from potential criminals.

    Here are some very simple and inexpensive ways in to keep your peace of mind while you are away.
    When putting out your trash, be careful what you expose. For example, let’s say you just bought a new television.
    In throwing out the
    box, cut it down to pieces and put them in trash bags.

    Shredding personal identification information is also important, since identity theft is getting worse nowadays.

    You should use good common sense when it comes to keeping your home secure.

    Never leave your doors unlocked even if you're home. Always instill good home security habits in your children as
    well.

    Install motion lights at both the front and back of your home so people will be aware that someone is always home.
    Censor lights are
    a must for those that have alleyways behind their homes. Have your neighbors place them also.


    Update to Cash For Keys and Other Disasters
    By Ann Smith
    Posted by webmaster on 03/30/2012


    Well, after two years of problems I can finally say that my block is “free at last” of squatters. The problem property
    sold at auction and a real estate group that is buying up foreclosed properties in Vallejo at a rapid rate bought the
    house.

    With the help of a bank REO Agent I was able to contact the new owner of the property.  The next day a
    representative knocked on my door. I will call him Sam. He wanted to know about the “tenants” in the property. I
    told Sam all about
    his tenants by referring to the log I have kept on the property for two years. Sam was a nice man. However I let
    Sam
    know that I intended to pursue Civil Nuisance Abatement ASAP if he did not remedy the problem at the property
    within
    a reasonable amount of time.


    Lamplighter Meets with City Staff to Discuss Options on Vacant Property,
    Foreclosure and Squatter Problems
    Posted by webmaster on 03/30/2012

    On Friday morning, March 23rd, members of the Lamplighter steering committee met with Assistant City
    Manager Craig Whittom, Assistant City Attorney Claudia Quintana, Lieutenant Lee Horton of the Vallejo
    Police Department, and Nimat Shakoor-Grantham, head of Code Enforcement, to discuss options for
    dealing with squatters in vacant and foreclosed properties.

    Lamplighter noted that its chief concerns were:

    1. A means for identifying property ownership quickly and efficiently, with a lease registration program
       to help city staff, police and neighbors determine who has a legitimate right to reside at a given address.

    2. A municipal statute requiring lenders to record change of ownership documents promptly or be fined
       (to prevent them from holding them until they flip the property at auction or via some other transaction).

    3. A municipal statute that makes it clear who is responsible for property maintenance in the interim period   
       between when foreclosure begins—and homeowners often desert the property—and when the foreclosing
       lender assumes title.


    How to tell if you have squatters living near by?
    By Ann Smith
    Posted by webmaster on 03/30/2012

    Here are some clues that your neighborhood may have been invaded by squatters.

    There is a foreclosed property in your neighborhood. The old neighbors have moved out and the house is
    empty.

    Slowly there are changes to the property. The lawn looks overgrown. There are weeds, and trash around
    the house.
    The property’s appearance continues to deteriorate. The doors or windows may be open or damaged. You see
    strange vehicles on your street, often in the late evening hours.  

    You notice that some things are missing from the property, maybe light fixtures, maybe some lawn ornaments.
    Small changes are occurring to the property on a daily basis.

    Then one night you go to bed as usual and wake up the next morning to find all the windows in the property
    have been covered with sheets, blankets, or cardboard.  There are vehicles parked at the property. You may
    not see anyone for a few days because all the activity seems to take place at night — and some of that activity will
    be people unloading a truck in the darkness. (Rarely is there any electricity at the property right away — that will
    come later when they either lie to PG&E to get service back on or jerry-rig the power by stealing it from the power
    lines nearby.).


    Community Restoration CORE Team
    By John Allen
    Posted by webmaster on 03/30/2012

    In the years before and during the City Of Vallejo’s bankruptcy, a group of concerned citizens came together
    under Fighting Back Partnership to provide guidance and direction for a grant by the United States Department
    of Justice.

    The effectiveness of this Steering Committee was the primary reason that even without our local police
    department ability to provide support, we succeeded in many of the strategies required by this grant.

    When this grant ended in October of 2011, we did not want to lose the momentum that we had going for us in
    addressing many of the ongoing problems of our city. Thus was born the Community Restoration CORE Team.

    Our vision for this group is this:

    By utilizing the Quad Captain system, the group receives and acts as a clearinghouse for reported problems
    affecting residential neighborhoods throughout the city of Vallejo.


    PROSTITUTES: HOW TO GET THEM
    OUT AND RECLAIM YOUR
    NEIGHBORHOOD
    by BJ Conrad
    Posted by webmaster on 03/30/2012

    Editor’s Note: The issue of prostitution in
    Vallejo seemed to recede in the public
    discussion late last year as election
    season heated up and the city erected
    cameras in strategic locations to track both
    criminal activity and johns
    appearing at prostitution hotspots to solicit
    women for sex.

    However, Mayor Davis has not reconvened
    the Prostitution Task Force since before the
    election, and in the intervening months
    prostitutes have begun to reappear,
    sometimes in new locales, sometimes in the
    same old places.

    In particular, they’ve been seen:

  • On Georgia Street at various locations
    between the freeway and the
    waterfront.
  • The parking lot of the Mi Pueblo Food
    Center on Solano Avenue, taking
    advantage of the hotels near the
    freeway onramp.
  • St. Vincent’s Hill, especially on Ohio
    Street between Branciforte and Marin.
  • In Southtown near the corner of
    Sonoma Boulevard and Magazine
    Street—unacceptably near Patterson
    Elementary School and the Norman C.
    King Center.

    Vallejo’s citizens will once again have to rise
    up and demand the city’s attention to this
    problem. As the following piece
    makes clear, prostitution waxes and wanes
    as a policy concern for the city and the
    police, but it remains a constant
    problem for the people living and working in
    this city.

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March 30, 2012 - Our Fourth Edition is here!












    Fighting Back Partnership – An Update

    Neighborhood Initiatives
    Posted by webmaster on 07/15/2012


    “Vallejo Fighting Back Partnership is a non-profit collaboration that partners with business, government
    and residents to improve neighborhoods, strengthen families, and support youth development creating
    a safe, healthy, and thriving community.”

    Fighting Back Partnership’s Neighborhood Revitalization program is a comprehensive community project,
    which improves the quality of life for residents in deteriorating high-crime neighborhoods. Through a strategic
    alliance among community non-profits, neighborhood groups, the business community, and personnel
    from various city agencies (i.e. police, fire, and code enforcement), a community coalition defined as the
    Core Team meets regularly to focus on community needs such as Block Watch Training and Support,
    Community Organizing activities, and technical assistance with resident incident reports.

    Currently there are thirty-two neighborhoods which have been addressed and improved since 1997,
    primarily through current funding from the Syar Foundation and Community Development Block Grant
    (CDBG) monies.

    Who we serve: Our work is currently focused in the South Vallejo Neighborhood Preservation Area, and
    we are continuing to provide technical support to the many neighborhoods throughout Vallejo that have
    established their own neighborhood block watches.

    Vallejo has many pockets of deterioration spread across the city that could benefit from revitalization.
    An identified revitalization area can range from one to six blocks and even to areas as large as the 43
    blocks of the Millerville Revitalization Area. Areas are defined and prioritized based on a variety of factors
    that include:


           I.   Is there a high level of crime and violence as measured by the number of police calls for service?
      Crimes including drug trafficking, public drinking, prostitution, assaults, and disorderly conduct are
      of concern to residents and serve to depress neighborhoods.

                 II.  Is there a significant level of physical deterioration present in the area? Problems such as the
      number of abandoned cars, the presence of broken-down and/or abandoned housing; the level
      of upkeep of yards and other exterior space, and the presence of waste and debris.

                III.  Does the area have a block watch or other form of neighborhood association? Or are there
      concerned individuals in the area wishing to address neighborhood problems?

                IV.  Is there an alcohol outlet nearby contributing to neighborhood problems? Bars, liquor stores,
      and convenience stores can dramatically contribute to neighborhood problems.

                V.  What is the ratio of owner occupied vs. rental property in the area? Generally speaking, the
     higher the level of rentals in an area the more resources  required to revitalize the neighborhood.

                 VI. Is the size of the troubled area amenable to revitalization with the resources that   are  currently
      available?



    The Neighborhood Revitalization program remains strong and the program model, which involves
    engaging the community to bring about positive change to neighborhoods, is a proven success.
    Community organization, mobilization, and engagement have been the Neighborhood Revitalization
    program’s responsibility, with Fighting Back Partnership and the Core Team providing crucial support.
    With the many community and City Department collaborations, Fighting Back Partnership has mobilized
    the necessary resources to affect successful change in target neighborhoods.

    Fighting Back Partnership is committed to continuing to provide revitalization support to the many
    neighborhoods and community groups of the city of Vallejo. The preservation of the neighborhoods
    and the residents’ quality of life is a significant part of our agency’s mission goal statement.

    In addition, each August Fighting Back Partnership coordinates National Night Out activities with City
    of Vallejo Departments that include the Vallejo Police Department and Code Enforcement. Code
    Enforcement generously provides free Dumpsters to neighborhood groups willing to plan a National
    Night Out event for their neighborhood. This event is always held the first Tuesday evening in August.
    By participating in this event, you and your neighbors send out a loud and clear message that the police
    department is supported and that in THIS neighborhood, crime will not be tolerated.

    Please contact John Allen, Neighborhood Program Director at Fighting Back Partnership, if your
    neighborhood meets any of the criteria 1-6 above and would benefit from the following services:

  •    Block Watch training and support
  •    Community mobilization efforts and training
  •    Assistance with a problem properties in your neighborhood
  •    Hosting a National Night Out Event



    John Allen, Program Director
    Fighting Back Partnership
    jallen@fight-back.org

    (707) 649-5461 ~ Office
    (704) 704-3031 ~ Cell

    505 SANTA CLARA STREET
    THIRD FLOOR, VALLEJO, CA 94590
    (707) 648-5230 / FAX (707) 648-5230