Author Archives: Editor

Let’s Talk Bike Path

By Michele Townsend

West Sacramento’s Bicycle, Pedestrian and Trails Master Plan is a huge project that the city of West Sacramento has begun.

Its purpose is to increase safety and connectivity for the bicycle and pedestrian travel throughout town. The project is citywide and will include the development of bike paths, bike routes and 10.3 miles of bike lanes will be added throughout town.

However, currently, the part of this project that has begun to take shape is the construction of the Sycamore Trail. Several pieces of land are being developed to create this trail. It begins from at the end of Rice Avenue behind Westfield Elementary, travels to Michigan, from Michigan to West Capitol, through Sycamore Park, from Evergreen to the north side of Westmore Oaks Elementary parking lot, around the front of the school and then from the south end of the school to the corner of Stone and Park.

These access easements were previously fenced off and not patrolled. They were unsafe and unsightly. These easements are now being developed to create a bike path that will allow bicycle and pedestrian traffic a safer and easier way across that section of our city.

With safety and concern for the residents a priority, the city is looking into such things as the installation of two-stage lighting. These lights will have low light output with motion sensors that will brighten the light as you get closer. This type of lighting will increase safety, save energy, and will be less invasive to the residents.

Though we already have a few West Sac bicycle police officers, the Eyes on the Street concept will be the primary system of security. The Eye on the Street concept simply means that when something is in public and can always be seen, there are more eyes on it – which in itself brings down the crime risk. This is NOT to say that the city expects the adjoining residents to keep watch over the bike path. They don’t! But the simple truth is that the more often it is used, the safer it is likely to be.

The city of West Sacramento is also working closely with Washington Unified School District to promote the Safe Routes to School program. This path will allow for safer bike passages to Westfield and Westmore Oaks elementary schools. In addition to the health benefits, the more people who can transition to biking and walking to school, the more it will relieve the stress and congestion of drop off and pick up times at the elementary schools. It’s also a great way for a family bike ride!

With the BPT Master Plan getting under way, the City of West Sacramento held an Open House on May 17 and 18 at City Hall where they updated the Master Plan, talked about premier projects that are moving forward, and listened to concerns that community members have. It was very informal and welcoming. As you walked in, there were several large maps on display with the existing plan, both upcoming and completed. There was also a blank map set up, and markers, for the community members to mark on the map their areas of concern. Along with it was a large tablet for those people to explain what their concern or desire was with the correlating section of map. Everybody walked around and spoke like friends.

Chris Dougherty, the project manager (or, Bike Path Master) was there to answer any questions, listen to ideas, and problems that were brought to him regarding all aspects of this project. Also attending the meeting was Jason McCoy, who explained plans and answered any questions regarding bridges. In addition, Katie Yancey was there for anything that has, does, or will involve the railroads. All three were very knowledgable and extremely forthcoming. They were also very receptive to comments from the public. A popular topic was bike racks. Maureen Price, from the Iron Works area said “I ride for pleasure but I also ride for errands, but my problem is bike racks!” Chris explained that the city is aware and working on that, but that there are conflicts between some property owners, and the businesses that lease that property. Who pays for the bike racks? Who Maintains them? Who is liable? etc. Chris listened to ideas and suggestions as he added to his growing list of areas of interest or concern. Chris told me “I think that the Open House was a success. A lot of information was exchanged, in both directions, and it was really good!” There are no current plans for any additional meeting of this sort, but the city is still very interested in the townspeople’s opinions and encourages you to go to their website, or you can email Chris at ChrisD@cityofwestsacramento.org

Municipal Election will take place in West Sacramento in November 


By Jan Dalske for the News Ledger

In the City of West Sacramento (CWS) a municipal election is held on the first Tuesday in November in even-numbered years. This year a municipal election will take place and, two of the current members of the City Council terms as well as the Mayor’s term will expire.
Christopher Cabaldon became the first mayor that was directly elected by the West Sacramento voters in November 2004. He was re-elected in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014. Voters first elected Mr. Cabaldon to the City Council in 1996. Prior to his election by the voters he had been elected to four single year terms as mayor by the West Sacramento City Council (WSCC). His current term expires in November 2016. There are no term limits in West Sacramento.
Bill Kristoff is the only original member of the WSCC that is still serving. He was first elected by the voters in 1987.This was the year that West Sacramento became incorporated as a city. He has been re-elected every year since his first term.
Beverly “Babs” Sandeen was appointed to the City Council in 2014 when Oscar Villegas left the WSCC to become a Yolo County Supervisor for the 1st District. Ms Sandeen had previously served on the West Sacramento City’s Planning Commission since 2004.
The CWS is what is known as a General Law City. It was founded in 1987. The CWS is governed by a five member city council. The City Council members are elected at large for a four year term. The Mayor is elected for a two year term. Each December, the Council meets and chooses one of its members as Mayor Pro tem.
The candidate filing period for Mayor and two City Council seats is from July 18- August 12.  Interested persons will be invited to apply in person at the City Clerk’s office (City Manager’s Office 1110 W. Capitol Avenue) during normal business hours, 8-5.  Appointments are recommended but not required.  Additionally, qualified candidates must be a registered voter of West Sacramento and at least 18 years of age.  For more information contact the City Clerk’s staff at 617-4500.
The City Clerk serves as the election officer and is responsible for issuance and acceptance of nomination papers, city measures and the publication of necessary legal notices. In addition, all campaign disclosure statements and statements of economic interest filings required by the Fair Political Practices Commission are centralized in the City Clerk’s Office. Source: City of West Sacramento

Centennial Rotary Club joins with West Sacramento Trail Riders to improve literacy

By Jan Dalske
News Ledger, West Sacramento
IMG_2241-wThis was the third year that the Centennial Rotary Club, the local chapter of Rotary International co-sponsored a program to improve literacy among the second graders in West Sacramento schools. The CRC teamed with the West Sacramento Trail Riders Association.

The plan was to launch a two-pronged, equestrian attack. Don Schatzel of CRC explained the concept: “Thanks to support from the Southport PTO (parent-teacher organization) and the WSTRA, we bought a book with horses in them for every second grader at Westmore Oaks Elementary, Sac Valley Charter School, Stonegate Elementary and Westfield Village Elementary.

The News-Ledger followed up with the actual horses that the students had read about. The students came to Westmore Oaks (the “old” River City High campus on Clarendon Street) for a special assembly last week. The horse trailers were parked on the school’s football track. Emcee Roberta Firoved, a member of CRC, introduced the riders and horses when they each came closer to the excited children who had gathered near the field.

She told the assembly about the horses’ breeds and explained where the horses came were from and what they were trained to do.

She explained some details about the horses, such as why their eyes are on the sides of their heads. Because their eyes are located there, they are able to see nearly 360 degrees at one time and watch for predators. Horses can gallop at around 27 miles per hour. Domestic horses have a life span of around 25 years. A male horse is called a stallion. A female horse is referred to as a mare. A young male horse is called a colt, and a young female horse is a filly. Ponies are small horses. There were no ponies at this event.

Roberta pointed out the variety of breast collars which help keep the saddle from sliding back on the horses. Jim, a schoolteacher who recites Cowboy Poetry was riding a 20 year old Quarter Horse whose color was buckskin. Sam, short for Samuel, is a 14-year-old Spotted Appaloosa who came from an Idaho Indian Tribe. He pulls a wagon and makes funny sounds when he eats.

Robin was riding Batman, a trail quarter horse. Anne Tatum was riding Phil bareback. He was bred to have a short tail and was trained in the Amish country to pull a wagon or cart. He pulls carts in Old Sacramento.

Morrie, which means “more storms coming” is nine years old, and is taller and thinner than a standard build horse. He is a Cal Expo horse and jogged on the race track as what is called a pacer or trotter. His leg was injured and his home is in West Sacramento now.

Rod Beckwith with Charlie loves trails and just hanging. Some horses came from the Bureau of Land Management and were previously wild. The second graders were told they could pet the horses but that there would be no riding that day. After the talk, kids were invited to line up on one side of a fence while the horses came by within touching distance along the other side: “Read it, see it, touch it.”

Black Stone

By Jack Chandler

Somewhere around the year 2,000 B. C. (or possibly 500 A. D.; there are conflicting reports as to the timeline), the Patwin (Pat-ween) Indians were the first inhabitants of the area we now know as West Sacramento. The Patwin were connected by language with the Nomlaki and Wintu people, to the North. The Patwins lived between what is now Suisun, Vacaville, and Putah Creek.
The Patwins were a peaceful lot, operating as hunter-gatherers. This was in contrast to the more nomadic and temperamental warrior tribes in Southern California and the Plains states. Apparently, the abundance of flora and fauna in the territory put the Patwin at ease. They had a banquet of ducks, geese, deer, elk, salmon, sturgeon, mussels, pine nuts, blackberries, wild grapes, and other menu items at their disposal. Acorns were fashioned into a mush which was baked in below-ground pit ovens and re-appeared as bread.
Small groups of Patwin men would venture out, looking for deer. One man would wear a deer head, in order to get closer to a deer without alarming it.
This raises questions. Was the wearing of deer’s head an honor, or the result of someone in the group drawing a short straw ? The head had to have been cumbersome, no doubt. And, wouldn’t the deer notice that the “deer” walked upright on two legs and had several accomplices waiting expectantly behind the nearby trees ? Perhaps not.
Patwin life was dictated by three things: the Seasons, the Weather, and the Creator. Each day was a brand new beginning and significant. Each day brought new messages.
It was on such a morning, a little over four thousand years ago
(or 1, 516 years ago), that Dark Hawk, the headman of his village, assembled his tribelet around a campfire at sunrise. It was mid-July. He stood in a noble pose, his back ram-rod straight, and squinted at the sun burning through the oak tree leaves, and thought to himself, “Gonna be HOT today…”
On cooler days, he would be wearing a cape made from rabbit skins and a headdress sprouting raven or woodpecker feathers.
As the group chose their positions around the fire, and dug into their fresh chunks of acorn bread, Dark Hawk recalled something that his own father and previous tribelet headman had told him:
“I know it gets hot out here, but…remember to hydrate.”
He sat down and motioned to Singing Bird, his squaw, to bring a gourd of water.
One by one, Dark Hawk went around the circle and asked each one directly,
“What did you dream of last night ?”
This was a customary way of orchestrating the day’s events. Dark Hawk would methodically take into account, on some level, the details of each dream and plan accordingly. For each day was singularly important. Nothing was to be taken for granted.
Great Elk, who was considered a seer of sorts since a number of his dreams had predicted the weather and crop factors, was always first to speak.
“Dark Hawk, my brothers and sisters. I dreamed of a man stepping on the moon. He stepped out of a silver house, and wore the skins of a bear. But, they were white skins.”
Murmurs rose from the circle. There was much nodding of heads and stroking of chins.
“I had another dream. I saw a man walking on a road. He was looking at a thin, black stone in his hand. Looking hard. He was very serious. He tapped the stone with his finger, and spoke as he held it up to his ear.”
There was a snicker from one of the young boys in the group. A sharp glance from Dark Hawk silenced him.
“He continued to look hard at the stone, as he was walking across a second road. But, he didn’t notice a large silver, noisy wagon that ran over him.”
A barely-subdued gasp broke from the circle. This sounded like something closer to the bone, more immediate than a fantastic image of a man on the moon. Dark Hawk and the tribelet pondered this dream of the thin, black stone and the silver wagon. What could it mean ? It sounded like heavy stuff, and could not be taken lightly.
After all, each day was singularly important, and nothing was taken for granted.

Largest long-term care union nationwide opened headquarters in West Sac

Dozens of elected officials joined hundreds of caregivers for the elderly and disabled who are members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 2015 as they celebrated the opening of their new West Sacramento headquarters on Wednesday, May 11. SEIU Local 2015 is the largest union of long term care workers in the nation with representational responsibility for over 325,000 long term care workers – nursing home and home care workers – throughout California, 20,000 in Sacramento County alone.
The Sacramento office, located at 681 W. Capitol Ave, Suite 100, will serve as the home base for efforts to advocate for improvements to California’s long term care services, economic justice for all Californians in low-wage jobs, among other policy priority issues impacting care workers. With a dozen worker leaders and organizers, the new headquarters also gives the nation’s largest union of long-term care workers a significant footprint in the Sacramento region as represented workers begin contract bargaining with local counties in the coming months.
Some current legislative priorities for Local 2015 include:
-Caregivers Count Bill (AB 2079): Bill which would increase direct care staffing levels at skilled nursing facilities to improve the quality of care for seniors, the infirm, and the disabled.
-Secure Choice Board Retirement Bill (SB 1234): Bill which would require employers to afford California workers a retirement benefit.
-Under the “Dignity Can’t Wait” slogan, Local 2015 will continue to work closely with SEIU State -Council to ensure the 7 percent restoration of hours cut to the In-Home Supportive Services program.

Causeway Celebration Centennial to be held on Saturday, May 14

By Dean Haakenson of “Be Brave Bold Robot”

Image licensed to Zazzle Inc. All unauthorized use is prohibited. 752253d2-a0e8-42b2-a2d8-a94b688c426e

Image licensed to Zazzle Inc. All unauthorized use is prohibited. 752253d2-a0e8-42b2-a2d8-a94b688c426e

In 1916, the Sacramento region had a party to celebrate the then recently completed, long and luxurious Yolo Causeway Bridge. Even at just two lanes wide, it was cause for celebration that a pathway now existed to allow unimpeded automobile (and, I’d imagine, the occasional horse) transportation over the Yolo Bypass floodplain. I will refrain from admonishing any perpetuated car culture less worthy of celebration, but use this sentence to encourage eschewing of the car for fun walks and productive bicycle commuting whenever possible. The causeway, widened over the years and rebuilt to what we use today in 1962, is taken for granted, but the poster they made for the event remains striking: A pleasing deep blue field behind a fantastical illustration of a floating woman and old timey cars on the causeway, blending outward into some flowery filigree. I recently discovered it and it brought me to inspiration: I’d endeavor to stage an event on the centennial of the dates reflected on the 1916 poster, “May 11-14”. May 14, 2016 is a Saturday – perfect. Permission granted to have the show at the old wood infested, historical-feeling Fox and Goose Public House – Mastery. Permission granted by the California State Library to use the poster image – DISCO. Well… BORING PRE-SWING 1916 MUSIC… not quite the same ring as “DISCO”, I suppose… Where was I?

Yes, History. Historical date, Historical poster, Historical building… Historical Fundraiser? YES! DO YOU KNOW that the Sacramento County Historical Society gets most all of their operational funds from viewers like you and me? Historical Society grants are few and far between, so they rely on funds raised, and make and sell those fun paperback history books with sepia photos on the covers, written by people like William Burg. Bill Burg to his friends, he’s written several of those historical society commissioned history books, and some more in depth books of his own, about Sacramento, and the number of commuter trains and the population density that have both shrunken since.
Bill Burg will M.C. this show on May 14 and the funds will go to the Sacramento County Historical Society. Bill is very informative and entertaining when he holds forth historical lecture the likes of which he will in between bands on May 14.

We’ll start the night with an old timey (Historical?) three piece string band, “Jimbo, Johnnie and Junior”. The Stummies next will delight with poppy rock crispness. My band Be Brave Bold Robot will storytell you some folk rock genius? (question mark inserted to simulate humility). The Dirty Feet will reunite to hold forth (good phrase, no?) “Prog-rock” with a very original flavor. And 50-Watt Heavy, renowned local “straight rock”, “rough n’ ready” Rock Band that everybody loves. Lyrically Historical, Historically Informative, Communally Edifying. Please come out.

If you go:
What: Causeway Celebration Centennial
Why: To celebrate history and to raise funds for the Sacramento County Historical Society
Where: Fox and Goose (1001 R St., Sacramento)
When: Saturday, May 14 at 8 p.m.
Cost is $10

Free sailboat rides day on Lake Washington

Sailing-1web

By Steve Liddick

Sailing requires wind, doesn’t it? But 40-knot gusts were a little too much for those who turned out for the Lake Washington Sailing Club’s annual “Free Sailboat Rides Day. Still, a respectable crowd gathered to look at boats owned by the club and those stored at the site by members—and in the hope of diminished winds to allow them to get out on the water. A few brave souls did get to take a spin around the lake in one of the larger, heavier boats.

The LWSC has been in operation since 1933 and holds the event to attract the general public and encourage new memberships. “It’s an opportunity for the public to enjoy sailing,” club Commodore Tom Heavey said. “Members don’t even have to own a boat.”

Indeed, the club just bought eight Sunfish sailboats which they rent to members for just five dollars a day. Several Laser sailboats have also been purchased and are expected to also eventually be put into rental service.

Before the novice sailors get to take their first solo run, they have to go through a training period. “It’s an extensive course,” Heavey said. “They have to learn sailing, rigging, and how to safely utilize the equipment.” Part of the training includes purposely flipping the boat over in the water and righting it again. Scary to think about, but not difficult to do.
The club also encourages young people to get into sailing and sponsors high school students from Davis, Rio Americano and Jesuit. “The students train together and then they compete against each other,” Heavey said.

Not all club activities involved sailing and the general public is invited to most of them: A monthly Sunday barbecue and the annual Delta Ditch Run, a regatta in early August that that takes about six hours to get from Rio Vista to the club’s Lake Washington location. There is a fee to participate and the racers enjoy a barbecue at the end of the trip.

In November there is the annual “Turkey Shoot.” No, turkeys are not shot, it is a sailing race. Winners get . . . you guessed it . . . turkeys.

A booth was set up at the event to explain the club’s functions and attractions and to hand out membership applications. Organizers say they typically get about a dozen new members at the annual gathering.

The annual membership fee is $140 (pro-rated on a monthly basis), plus a $50 initiation fee and a $25 key deposit. West Sacramento residents get a discount. A single parking sticker is included.

Membership also requires 12 hours of volunteer work, which could include building and boat maintenance, running a membership booth, working a barbecue event, and many other activities.

For more information and directions, check the Lake Washington Sailing Club’s website at www.LWSailing.org.