Author Archives: Editor

Kiwanis offer free summer camp for kids

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER —

The Kiwanis Club in West Sacramento wants to send 50 local children, age 9-11, to summer camp from July 7-13 – free of charge. For an application, call Mauda at (916) 372-2489 or Ken at 372-0549.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Police K9 competition open to public

A police dog goes after West Sacramento police officer Nick Barreiro, who is wearing  protective clothing. (News-Ledger 2011 file photo by Eric Harding, www.ebharding.com)

A police dog goes after West Sacramento police officer Nick Barreiro, who is wearing protective clothing. (News-Ledger 2011 file photo by Eric Harding, www.ebharding.com)

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE — JUNE 14, 2013

You and your family are invited to watch the “LAWDOGS Police K9 Competition’ Saturday (June 15) at River City High School from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Police dog teams from several agencies will compete in categories of search, agility, obedience and protection. The “protection” competition starts after 12:00 p.m. and the SWAT/K9 demo will be about 11:30 a.m.  There will be other information and activities on site.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Johannessen to run for state assembly

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE — JUNE 13, 2013 —

West Sacramento City Councilman Mark Johannessen made it official today: he will run next year for the California Assembly seat now held by fell0w Democrat Roger Dickinson. Dickinson plans to run for the State Senate seat now held by Darrell Steinberg, who will step down due to term limits.

“I am proud of what has been accomplished since my election to the West Sacramento City Council in 2006. By bringing together businesses and the community, we have created a culture of governmental efficiency that is widely respected throughout the region. Together, we have promoted economic growth, improved local schools, reduced crime, and focused on senior health and transportation issues,” said Johannessen in an emailed statement.

MARK JOHANNESSEN (News-Ledger file photo)

MARK JOHANNESSEN (News-Ledger file photo)

“Even though my campaign for Assembly is just beginning,” he added, “I have already received the support of state and local leaders including (state board of education member)Betty Yee, (Yolo) County Supervisors Mike McGowan, Jim Provenza, and Don Saylor, West Sacramento City Councilmember Bill Kristoff, as well as business leaders like Mark Friedman and Jeff Savage and the support of many labor organizations and neighborhood leaders. ”

Johannessen’s current city council term ends in 2014.

He is the son of former state senator K. Maurice Johannessen.

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Make your garden friendly to honey bees, as well as native bee species

The male ‘carpenter bee’ -- a native bee. Click to enlarge.  (Courtesy of ALLAN JONES)

The male ‘carpenter bee’ — a native bee also known as the “teddy bear bee.” Click to enlarge. (Courtesy of ALLAN JONES)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JUNE 5, 2013 —

By Mary K. Hanson
Tuleyome Association

Most likely you recognize the European honey bees when you see them, but did you know that California also boasts over 1600 species of native bees?  There are actually over 300 species just in Yolo County alone, and like honey bees, these guys lend a significant hand in pollinating local crops.

Recognizing many of the native bee species may be a little difficult for those of us without an entomology background, but there are some real standouts like the Blue Orchard Bees, the Metallic Sweat Bees, and the Valley Carpenter Bees which at about 1-inch in length are the largest bees in California.  The female Carpenter Bees are shiny black, but the stingless males are fat, fuzzy and golden blond with large green compound eyes.  They are often referred to as “Teddy Bear Bees.”

At the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven in Davis, CA, I was lucky enough to speak with Dr. Robbin Thorp about bee conservation and how we can all help to preserve the species that are native to our region… and I also got up close to some of the Teddy Bear Bees. Some bee species are dwindling in numbers due to loss of habitat, disease and malnutrition.  In northern California, for example, four species of bumblebees are already on the endangered list and one, the Franklin’s Bumblebee, may now be extinct.  The good news is that it’s not too late to help our native bees.  You can even create native-bee-friendly zones right in your own backyard.

Unlike honey bees that live together in massive colonies, native bees are generally solitary and unobtrusive guests.  They live in small burrows in the ground or in narrow tunnels in wood.  In your garden, you can encourage native bees to nest by providing them with patches of sunny, untilled, well-drained soil to burrow into.  Or you can set up “bee condos” for them by drilling tunnels into chunks of wood, and setting those up in your garden.

After mating, the female bee will enter her underground hideout or the bee condo you’ve created, and will lay her eggs on little balls of doughy pollen.  She’ll then seal up the brood chamber with mud, pieces of leaves or resin so the babies are safe and well fed while they’re developing.

[adrotate group=”9″]   Most native bees don’t live for more than a season, and they spend a lot of time in their burrows while they’re maturing, so you may only see them on the wing for a month or two.  The best time to see the Teddy Bear Bees, for example, is between May and June in the late afternoon.   Keep in mind that while the female bees have stingers, they usually only use them if they get trapped somewhere (like inside your clothing).

Dr. Thorp reminds us that native bees are “vegans” who need sugar from nectar and protein from pollen to survive, so planting a garden with that in mind will help to sustain the bees in your area.  Almond trees, apple trees, acacia, germander and salvia plants produce a lot of flowers the bees really go for.  They also like thyme, rosemary and most forms of daisy-like flowers.  If you’re planting rose bushes, keep in mind that there isn’t enough pollen in the fancy multi-petal hybrid roses to feed the bees; they need roses with the simple five-petal blossoms on them that have lots of anthers.  Plant for blooms throughout the year and you’ll always have a supply of food for the bees. All of this will help ensure pollination of your flowers and fruit trees, and will turn your backyard into a friendly place for the bees to be!

 

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Copyright News-Ledger 2013