Author Archives: Editor

Just a drill: helicopters, USCG cutter at the port today

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE — OCT 2, 2013 —

The City of West Sacramento announces a law enforcement drill this afternoon at the Port of West Sacramento:

“The United States Coast Guard, in conjunction with various Northern California law enforcement agencies, will be conducting on-the-water training exercises at the Port of West Sacramento, Wednesday, Oct. 2, noon until 6 p.m.

“The activities, occurring in the turning basin at the Port and along the upper reaches of the ship channel, will include a Coast Guard cutter, helicopters, and several police boats. To businesses and residences neighboring the Port, there’s no cause for alarm. The exercise is for training purposes only.”

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Still crazy for Cootabloodymundra

BY DARYL FISHER, News-Ledger Features Editor

BY DARYL FISHER, News-Ledger Features Editor

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — SEP 25, 2013 —

As much as I love the written word, it’s the spoken word that has always fascinated me. I think it began with a college fraternity brother of mine who had been raised in the American South and had the slowest of slow drawls that I had ever heard. When I asked him why he spoke that way he smiled and said, “Well, if you’ve ever been down South in the summer time during all that heat and humidity, you would know how much effort it takes to just put a simple sentence together, so most of us Southerners learned early on that it’s a whole lot easier to just take our time and speak very, very slowly.”

I have often wondered if we really know what we sound like to those around us? I once heard my voice on a telephone answering machine and couldn’t believe it was me. Interestingly enough, a recent study found that most of us actually prefer the sound of our own voice to the voices of others. But my favorite accent has always belonged to the Australians. I almost immediately fell in love with the way Aussies speak way back in 1969 when the U.S. Army let me take a whole week off from the Vietnam War and go to Sydney, Australia for my R&R. And what a lovely big modern city it was, right on the sea with pretty brick homes everywhere and very friendly people speaking English in what seemed to me the most wonderful way possible.

“I’m not exactly sure why it is,” said an Australian friend of mine, “but I think it’s true that most Americans generally quite like an Australian accent. But when I lived in Virginia for a few years I remember opening my mouth to speak and it was like biting into cake hot out of the oven and it falling into a thousand crumbs. It seemed messy and inelegant compared to the way you Americans speak English. To my ear, my voice sounded jarring, like shattering glass among the pebbly-smooth American accents. And those poor nice Virginians sure spent a lot of time saying `Pardon?’ when I spoke to them.”

As our conversation continued about some of the different ways Americans and Australians go about speaking English, I also learned that Aussies like to have fun with their language.

“We like to fiddle with our words,” explained my friend from Down Under. “You know, kind of Australianize them and make them our own, although sometimes I think we just like to juvenilize them and make them sound cute. And so we have mozzies instead of mosquitoes, and cozzies instead of swimming costumes, and brekky instead of breakfast, and bickies instead of cookies, just to name a few. And our language is also full of understatements and overstatements, twists and subtleties. For instance, if your best mate called you a `total bastard’, it’s actually a compliment, but if he called you `a bit of a bastard’, you should begin to run.”

“Really?” I asked, smiling.

“Plus the Australian sense of humor is also embedded in the colorful way we use our language,” continued my friend, “going all the way back to our convict heritage. And we have also been blessed with lots of beautiful Aboriginal words, although you have to live in Australia forever to properly pronounce some of our Aboriginal places like Woolgoolga, Woolloomooloo, Yackandandah, Upotipotpon, Manangaroo, Moolooloo, Wollongong, Koolyanobbing, and my personal favorite, Mamungkukumpurangkuntjunya, which, by the way, means `where the devil urinates’. And only in Australia would you find places with names like Boyland, Come By Chance, Banana and Orange, Doo Town, Foul Bay, Humpty Doo, Tom Ugly, Useless Loop, Rooty Hill, Nowhere Else, and Mt. Buggery.”

“What I remember best about Australia,” I said, “is that it only took about a 30-minute drive out of Sydney to be in a whole different place, with vast vistas and some of the most other-worldly scenery I had ever seen.”

“One of my favorite places in Australia – both enjoyable to the tongue and the eye – is Cootabloodymundra, which I think you would call a `one-horse town’. And we have lots of Woop Woop towns, which is actually pronounced different than it sounds, something like a bird call. All Woop Woop places are wonderfully remote and isolated and backwards, like I guess being `out in the sticks’ is in America. Actually, in Australia we can drive for many hours and hundreds of miles in a vast, paprika red and juiceless blood orange dustbowl under a massive blue dome of sky, and it all qualifies as Woop Woop. Anyway, I have always loved the way us Aussies have gone out of our way to have fun with our language and it continues to this day. I mean, where else in the world can you be happily driving along and come upon Curly Dick Road?”

 

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Copyright News-Ledger 2013

 

Wine & treats, for a good cause

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER —

The fourth annual “Wine & Art Faire” fundraiser held at the Old Sugar Mill in Clarksburg returns from 1-7 p.m. on Oct. 6. The event benefits the Lymphoma & Leukemia Society.

Over 50 authors, musicians, artists and craftspeople will gather at the site to show their creations. Wine tasting is provided by Delta-area wineries at the Old Sugar Mill, and there will be music by local groups. See the displays & taste the wares for $20 in advance or $25 at the door. The Old Sugar Mill is located at 35265 Willow Avenue, in Clarksburg. Visit www.Carvalho FamilyWinery.com or www.LLS.org/sac, email Marnie@CarvalhoFamilyWinery.com, or call 744-1625 or 275-8719.

 

  Do you like what you see here?

  You can support local journalism, support this website, and see all the News-Ledger’s articles every week! Subscribe to the News-Ledge newspaper. It’s only $20 per year within West Sacramento – once a week, delivered to your mailbox.

  You can even try it for free for two months if you live in West Sacramento. Just send your name and mailing address to FreeTrial@news-ledger.com (offer open to new subscribers in West Sacramento ZIP codes 95691 & 95605).

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

 

One last column Don Schatzel, chronicler of West Sac youth sports

BY DON SCHATZEL:  Don has been writing a periodic column on youth sports and activities in West Sacramento for the News-Ledger. He hangs up his pen this week.

BY DON SCHATZEL: Don has been writing a periodic column on youth sports and activities in West Sacramento for the News-Ledger. He hangs up his pen this week.

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — SEPT 25, 2013 —

Time flies!

We all know that intellectually. But when your time zips by, and you wake up one day and you are 60 (yes, 60) and the AARP info starts coming and you get a copy of the Senior Resource Services Guide from Assemblyman Roger Dickinson in the mail. . .

Now, Roger is a good guy. But what are you telling me, Roger?

I remember the first Super Bowl, and a time when the United States Men’s Soccer team struggled to make the World Cup Finals. Now they have qualified seven times in a row.

I used to be a member of the noon-meeting Rotary Club and am a proud past president of that chapter. Eighteen years ago, my older daughter Jordan would be asleep and I would put her in a kid carry-all and take her to the Rotary meetings to make sure I would not miss one.

That was 18 years ago, and now she is a college student. My younger daughter, Emily, and her friends  are now  freshmen at River City. Remember when they were 8-year old soccer and softball players?

My family and I  are simply no longer involved in youth sports as we once were. I no longer coach the Hooligans Soccer team.  Dale Calles does his usual great job in coaching them, and my family is just not around youth sports as much as we have been.

I have always thought there were great things happening  in our community and school district and a lot of them were pretty much a secret. There were stories that needed telling and I tried to do that in this periodic column in the News-Ledger.

I now enjoy listening to the folks in surrounding cities and communities who are losing the economic battle to West Sacramento, and they still bring up our gang issues and our schools in a critical way. Nice try, folks. No room to criticize anymore.

Oh, by the way, have you seen our riverfront development lately?  That really isn’t a Delta breeze that’s blowing — it is region’s power and influence shifting to West Sacramento!

But, not being around youth sports as much as before, it is nearly impossible for me to get any information and write about it. So I guess this is the end.

I want to thank Editor Steve Marschke for giving me the opportunity to write about youth sports in town. I am not a “writer” (obviously) but attempting to highlight the great people in  our community and their tremendous accomplishment is worth writing about.

These people can be very proud. I was very proud of them, even though (ironically) we occasionally found ourselves on opposite sides of the field. But no matter who won, I couldn’t lose.  If our youth sports team won, well we won. If our team lost to a West Sac team, and all went well, then, we eventually all became teammates at River City High School as the kids got older. It’s a win either way for my family.

I also very much appreciated those of you who would catch me at the store and tell me you have read the articles and enjoyed them. I found that very gratifying and hope these columns gave some helpful information that made living in West Sacramento a little more fun.

Thanks for everything and a special thanks for reading this last article.

Time for me to go take care of my horse!

Copyright News-Ledger 2013