SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — More than 25,000 people flooded Capitol Mall Monday night for a free concert and conversation about justice reform.
Grammy-winning host and rapper Common now hopes to take the moment inside Capitol walls, as he pushes lawmakers to make a difference.
“If you wanna see a better world, better conditions for your family, then you gotta step out there and do something,” Common said.
Earlier this year, Common kicked off his “Hope and Redemption” Tour, playing four concerts in four prisons. Now, he’s urging California legislators in Sacramento to make some real changes to reduce the number of incarcerated adolescents.
“One of the most important things in my life has been to help people who are being overlooked and help people who are being treated unjustly,” Common said.
Raphael Calix spent 33 years behind bars for robbery and kidnapping but says he’s not the same 26-year-old he was back then.
“There is such a thing as recycling human beings who were criminals and giving him an opportunity to reenter society,” he told CBS13.
Legislation on the table aims to stop juveniles from receiving life sentences and require them to have legal counsel before talking to police.
“We’re wasting money, we’re ruining lives, and there’s better ways to deal with any of the problems that we have right now,” said CNN political commentator and event speaker Van Jones.
But after a slew of different speakers, Pastor Sam Casey broke down the overall message in just one sentence.
“Get out and hold your legislators accountable to the things that matter to us and to this community,” Casey said.
Common also has plans to stop at Folsom State Prison on Tuesday and perform for the inmates.
VACAVILLE (CBS13) – A Solano County homeless shelter is asking for an emergency taxpayer bailout to stay in business.
“It takes quite a few families and children out of their cars and off at the street,” said Jolyn McMillian, the shelter’s executive director.
For 27 years, Opportunity House has provided homeless men, women, and children in Vacaville a safe place to sleep.
“I’m not sure where I would go,” said Tamara Parsons who has lived with her two children at the shelter since March. “If we lost this place my kids would not have a home to go to every night.”
But now financial problems could force the shelter to close.
The City of Vacaville has already invested more than $1.5 million to purchase and fix up the property
Shelter officials are asking for another $125,000 in taxpayer money to keep doors open.
“It is at risk. As I say, the community has really bailed us out in the last few, now we are asking the city to step up,” said John Thompson, the president of the board of directors.
The shelter said it’s done what it can to cut costs.
“Their hours have been drastically cut,” McMillian said for staff that employ the thrift store and the shelter.
It blames the current deficit on lack of sales at the thrift store it operates, along with reduced grants and donations.
“Everything that sold at the thrift store come straight back into the house,” she said.
The clean and sober facility says it’s not eligible for government funding either.
“We had to say no to the HUD funding, which requires a housing first model that would not allow us to test for drugs or alcohol,” McMillian said.
Although the facility has a 60-person capacity, managers can only afford to operate a third of the beds, and the shelter has a waiting list.
“Every single day we are turning away women and children from the shelter because we cannot fund a fully staffed operation here at this point,” she said.
Now they fear a lack of funding could force them to close their doors permanently and leave all those beds empty.
City council will approve the emergency loan at its meeting Tuesday night, and the loan will be forgiven if the shelter stays open another 55 years.
NATOMAS (CBS13) — Chilling surveillance video shows a takeover robbery inside a Natomas convenience store.
The high-definition color video captures three masked men threatening a clerk at gunpoint.
“Who here?” one suspect shouts. “Who here, who here?”
The apparent robbery leader points the weapon at the clerk, then shouts demands.
“Tie him up, tie him up, tie him up! Hurry up, tie him up!”
With one hand aimed at the clerk, the gunman pulls out giant bags from his pants with the other, as the clerk is tied up and forced to the floor.
“You lock the door? Bro, you lock the door?”
The clerk, who has a wife and daughter, followed the gunman’s demands and was not hurt. He did not want his face on camera when he spoke to us about the terrifying hold-up.
“I thought, I mean, they gonna tie me and take me with them, you know somehow,” the clerk said. “Or they were gonna try and kill me or something.”
In his near-decade on this job, the clerk says this was the store’s only hold up. Loyal customers at this Natomas convenience store, Tobacco Plus are stunned by what the video shows.
“Very, very graphic,” one customer said.
“I would really hope they’re not from the community because that’s awful,” another customer said. “I don’t know who these people are, I don’t know what they’re going through, but man, it’s scary.”
The suspects were in and out of the store in just two minutes.
Part of that time, out of frame, loading up cash and store merchandise in the big bags they brought in.
Video also shows the getaway, ending a frightening encounter for a convenience store clerk and beginning the search for the violent masked men.
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Hundreds of millions of Americans donned protective glasses and craned their necks to the sky to watch the first solar eclipse to sweep the nation from coast to coast in nearly 100 years.
The path of totality ran from Oregon to South Carolina, but anyone in the lower 48 was able to enjoy a partial eclipse.
The cosmic spectacle brought out thousands across the Sacramento region. Some were prepared with eclipse sunglasses, while others turned to utensils.
“I went to the NASA website, and it suggested a colander or a cheese grater, so here we are!” said another eclipse viewer.
Each one walked away witnessing a once in a lifetime phenomenon. From the State Capitol to Davis and back down to Stockton, the partial eclipse views were crystal clear, but they weren’t even the best seats in the house. Millions flocked to other states across the U.S., along the path of totality.
Day turned to night as the Moon first blotted out the sun, and threw some serious shade on baseball fans in Salem, Oregon.
“Oh, it was amazingly beautiful. I had no idea you could take your glasses off and see these hazes and glows and diamonds. It was spiritual.”
The sun’s outermost layer- the corona- was exposed and later came a diamond ring effect. It was a sight so breathtaking, it brought some to tears.
“It was so moving, I don’t know tears just started streaming. It was really amazing. It was probably one of the coolest things I’ve seen.”
That sentiment was shared by many.
Eclipse-watcher Shelly Smith said, “I’m so emotional. This is a once in a lifetime experience.”
An experience that brought strangers of all walks of life together- across the country to celebrate the moon’s day in the sun.
The next total solar eclipse in the U.S. will be in 2024. The next coast-to-coast one will be in 2045.
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Comedian, actor and filmmaker, Jerry Lewis left behind decades worth of precious moments and laughs through his work on the big screen and in television, but it was his devotion to the Muscular Dystrophy Association that may provide his most appreciated legacy.
Lewis’ Labor Day telethons helped raised more than $2 billion, over four decades, and some of those funds went to assist children from around our community.
Alexander Vargas, 12, was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy almost six years ago. He’s made it his mission to help people better understand the disease.
“I personally, want to be treated like any other person; I do not want to be seen as a machine,” he said.
As a goodwill ambassador for MDA, Vargas speaks to companies helping raise money for research that he hopes will soon lead to a cure from the life-threatening disease that continues to take away people’s physical strength, independence and life.
“I’m absolutely sure there are kids who feel the same way – like, asking for help is defeat, they do not conquer their disease, their disease conquered them,” said Vargas.
Comic film legend and the MDA’s national chairman, Lewis lead the fight against muscular dystrophy – and motivated countless young people like Vargas to continue his legacy.
Although the organization has lost one of its biggest supporters, families say the important work happening in communities across the country will continue.
“His legacy still lives on and that is what we are trying to do and trying to educate and informed people about, you know muscular dystrophy, there are over 43 different types, ALS being one of them and a lot of people aren’t familiar,” said Heather Bertuccelli, executive director of MDA Northern California.
No one really knows for sure why Lewis became a big supporter of MDA, but through his involvement, the organization has been able to find life-saving medicine including four new drugs passed by the Federal Drug Administration just in the last eight months with more trials underway. MD life expectancy has doubled, just in the past five years. Research built on the shoulders of a comedian committed to finding a cure.
“It’s a tremendous loss, my sympathy goes out to his family, and I know there are thousands of families just like mine that are mourning his loss,” said Jennifer Vargas, who has helped fundraise for the organization for about six years.
Lewis was 91 years old. He died of heart failure Sunday in Las Vegas.
ALAMEDA (CBS SF) — Flyers containing a hateful message and an image with a swastika were found Sunday in Alameda, police said Monday.
A small group of people who live in the area gathered in front of the Islamic Center Monday night to say they won’t stand for hate anywhere in Alameda.
Alameda resident Lindsey Crawford said, “We want to stand up and say there is no home for hate in Alameda.”
Lindsey Crawford’s husband Neil found two of the flyers on the street in front of their home Sunday morning, just a few doors down from the Islamic Center of Alameda. On it was a Muslim woman wearing a hijab next to a swastika and the words “help me kill you, stupid.”
Neil Crawford said, “Shocking and surprising. I mean there was a swastika on it right, which is a very obvious symbol.”
The flyer has sent shock waves through this community, just days after the windows of a synagogue were smashed by vandals with rocks.
Authorities are still investigating whether that was a hate crime.
This is not the first time the Islamic Center has been targeted. A year and a half ago, Imam Musa Balde told us someone broke the windows of a prayer room.
Balde said then, “We did tell the police to investigate it as a hate crime.”
Balde was not yet ready to talk about the latest incident on Monday night, but his neighbors were willing to stand up and speak out against hate.
“It doesn’t belong on our street, in this community, on this planet,” said Alamed resident Neil Crawford.
The flyers were about 3 inches by 5 inches and contained an illustration with a swastika and a hateful message, police said.
Police received a call from a resident who said he found a flyer at about 9 a.m. on the sidewalk across from his home in the 1400 block of Sherman Street.
The resident did not report the flyer until he found another one at about 3:45 p.m. on the sidewalk near his home.
Police said the resident did not believe the message was intended for him.
An officer who went to investigate found a third flyer on the sidewalk.
An investigation is under way.
TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.
TURLOCK (CBS13) — Hate and anger that filled the streets in Charlottesville are having an impact on people 2,700 miles away on the Stanislaus State University campus.
On Monday, roughly 20 students holding signs denouncing white supremacy disrupted a welcome address by Stanislaus State President Ellen Junn.
“Hate speech and separatist speech can’t hide behind free speech anymore,” said Jared Brown, a student, and protester.
He and the others were calling for the school to establish a zero-tolerance policy for white supremacy. They also wanted the expulsion of one of their peers, Nathan Damigo.
Damigo, who was arrested for punching a woman during a Berkley clash of protesters in April, is the founder of a white supremacist group and co-organizer of the Charlottesville rally.
“I don’t want his ideology expressed in congruence with this campus,” said Brown.
Stanislaus State spokeswoman Rosalee Rush was not upset with the demonstration, calling it an exercise of the students’ freedom of speech.
“It was important for her [Ellen Junn] to hear the students, and it was important for her to give the students a voice,” said Rush.
Rush says the school’s president is working on a campaign to encourage free speech and ways to combat hateful rhetoric.
“She’s going to commission us to work with the students, work with the campus community, and the larger community to come up with messaging that counteracts that (hate).
Allowing all voices despite the tone, Rush says they’ll use the words as an educational opportunity.
“Academia is here to raise voices and have productive dialogue,” said Rush.
The school did not confirm Damigo’s status with the university, citing privacy concerns. However, Rush did say if there is ever an immediate danger to someone on the campus, the president will take “swift and immediate action.”