Mar 052014
 

NEWS-LEDGER — FEB 26, 2014 –

Guest opinions & letters to the editor from this week’s edition of West Sac’s local paper:

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My ‘blind date’ with Zane Grey

I know he’s no longer alive – it was a ‘virtual’ blind date, put together by the West Sacramento library staff. Their Valentine’s Day season “Blind Date with a Book” program provided several books in plain brown wrappers, along with just minimal information about the book – historic western, science fiction, or mystery.

It’s only after you check out the book and remove the wrapper that you discover the name of the book and the author. In my case, the book was “Forlorn River,” by Zane Grey, published in 1928. Zane Grey’s books were favorites of my dad and my brother, but I had never read one before.

Like most blind dates, this one started out awkwardly, because we didn’t know each other at all. The language was old-fashioned. Some words have quite prominent and different meanings today. For example: “’Ahuh!’ ejaculated Ben. . ..”

But as I read on, the setting and the characters began to grow on me. I cared what happened to Ben and Ina and California Red (not a wine!) and I stayed up late more than one night to find out what happened next.

I think that’s the point of the program – to get readers out of their comfort zones. Zane Grey died in 1939, so the book itself wasn’t new. But it was new to me. It got me out of my reading rut, and helped me appreciate another author and another genre. Maybe I’ll read some Louis Lamour next.

Visit the library and go on a blind date with a book!

  From Susan Martimo, West Sacramento and member of the Yolo County Library Advisory Board.

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  Why We Love West Sac

It takes a village to catch a dog

On Thursday, our new dog “Pooch” slipped out.  She’s a very timid, recent street dweller, fast and very hard to catch.  Up Alameda Avenue and to Park Boulevard she went, criss-crossing Park Blvd. stopping traffic in both directions several times.  Rudy and I, and our friend who was visiting, tried to coax her, or at least herd her, on the Trinity church grounds.  We were joined by a couple of good Samaritans — to no avail.

Off she went down Westacre, where, once again she stopped traffic for varying period.  Here we were joined by more kind helpers, including our next door neighbor, a veteran in the Poochie wars.  A nice lady, caught in the traffic blockage, parked her car and brought out some of her freshly made hamburger to try to entice the dog – but no joy.

A dapper-suit clad gentleman parked his car and joined  up, patiently following Pooch around the corner onto Meadow.  A nice couple parked their bicycles and began helping.  On the curve, a young woman came out of her house with dog treats, a passing woman on a bicycle asked after the situation, returning with a corn dog from her neighbor.  We all tried and tried to corral Pooch, but nothing worked.  The young woman came back out with her daughter and some salami, but no luck (though corn dog and salami were devoured by “Pooch” at a safe distance).

There we were, my husband and I, our friend, our neighbor, the suited lawyer, the bicycle couple (the man often on his knees in the street!) the young woman, her two year old, and a scared dog. School bus and working pick up with trailer  (source of the corn dog) stopped and waiting.  Finally we were joined by a yound man who lived there, who asked if pooch liked other dogs.  He went and brought out his pit mix on a leash, and when Pooch approached for a nose to nose greeting, he scooped her up!   Victory!!!

We got home to worried neighbors because we’d gone off in a hurry, not shutting the garage, and we weren’t home to answer their knocks.  They had called the police, in case there had been trouble, so we thanked them, waited, reassured the police and went on in with our dog, feeling so very well taken care of by our community.

At no time during the various traffic stoppages was there so much as a honk, or impatient word from a driver or passenger.  We experienced assistance above and beyond the call of duty from friends, neighbors and many strangers, nothing but concern for the dog and for us.     This is our West Sac at it’s best and sweetest and we are deeply grateful to all. We know who some of you are, but to mention some by name and not others seems wrong, including the many folks in cars who were also patient and kind. Just know, each and every one, that we appreciate you a lot!

RUDY & SUNNY DEKONING
West Sacramento

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Make polio extinct

Protecting adults and children from flu, whooping cough and measles through vaccination dominates the news as unvaccinated children in California prove to be at increased risk of contracting these preventable diseases.

Thankfully in our state and across this country, the one-time childhood crippler, polio, has been eradicated, thanks to vaccination. Not so in Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. There, for want of a 60-cent oral vaccine and, in undernourished children, needed boosters, polio remains endemic.

Eradicating the scourge of polio worldwide is the mission of Rotary International in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. For every dollar raised by local Rotary chapters such as Rotary Club of West Sacramento, the Gates Foundation contributes two dollars. To date, Rotary International has helped immunize more than two billion children against polio in 122 countries, but we won’t be satisfied until all children everywhere are safe from this preventable disease.

In just the first few months of 2014, Rotary Club of West Sacramento has contributed $530 to Rotary International’s ‘Polio Plus’ world mission. Won’t you join us?  Just make out your tax-deductible check to “Polio Plus – RI Foundation.”

Rotary Club of West Sacramento will forward your contribution to Rotary International.

Please mail your donation to:

West Sacramento Rotary – Polio Plus
P.O. Box 1114
West Sacramento, CA. 95691

For more information about Polio Plus, please visit www.rotary.org/en/endpolio. Questions about the Gates Foundation match? Please e-mail info@gatesfoundation.org.

On behalf of the children your generosity will protect from polio, thank you.

BARRY KALAR
MARK ENGSTROM
Board Members
Rotary Club of West Sacramento

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Thanks to the tribe

Foster Care Recruitment and Retention efforts in Yolo County has been given a tremendous boost with a much appreciated $50,000 grant from Yocha Dehe Wintun Community Foundation.  With this funding, Woodland Community College’s Foster & Kinship Care Education (WCC FKCE) program, now offers new, higher levels of support for foster children 6 to 20 years old.

This funding allows WCC FKCE to complement its efforts for older youth that it has provided for its youngest children, those up to 5 years old, from an on-going generous seven-year First 5 Yolo Integrated Family Support Initiative grant.  It is wonderful being able to serve all of the County’s children touched by foster care and the local families who open their homes and hearts to them.

Support such as this can be life changing to a child.  When foster teens were asked what such generosity means to them, several shared, “You are helping me want more for myself and my future” or,  “I now feel that I am worth someone’s time and effort.”

With the benevolence of Yocha Dehe Wintun Community and First 5 Yolo funding, a positive and very definite trend is observed – local children are being placed much more often into local foster homes –each grant’s basic goal.  Recruitment seeks to bring awareness to the need for families willing to help raise a hurt and vulnerable child.  Retention efforts serve to support caregivers as they strive to rebuild and stabilize lives.   Current statistics exemplify how these goals are clearly being met:

·             We have decreased our foster family agency placements by 40 percent since January 2010 and doubled our relative and non-relative extended family member placements since January 2012.

·              The total number of youth placed in group homes has decreased by almost 300 percent from 51 in October 2009 to 18 in October 2013.

·             Twenty-five percent more children are now placed in our local Licensed foster homes.
Information Source: Yolo County Child Welfare Services 2.2014.

Yocha Dehe Wintun Community Foundation and First 5 Yolo, thank you so much for your continuing interest in improving the lives of foster children in Yolo County.

For more information on becoming a Yolo County licensed foster parent or how you can help a foster child, please contact Cherie Schroeder at (530) 574-1964 or visit our web page at http://www.yolofostercare.com/.

CHERIE SCHROEDER
Director, Foster & Kinship Care Education
Woodland Community College
(Serving Yolo County)

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Steve Marschke

Steve Marschke