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How West Sacramentans celebrated the Fourth of July

By Michele Townsend

To 8-year-old (“About to turn 9!”), Ella Godina, the Fourth of July is about “Staying up all night, with lots of fun and fireworks!” To 15-year-old Laura Garcia, “Independence Day is a day to spend with family, having fun. And it’s a day that the whole neighborhood watches fireworks together… when everyone is outside having fun.” The fact is, these girls are absolutely right! We all know that 241 years ago, on July 4, 1776, the Thirteen Colonies claimed their independence from England by signing the Declaration of Independence which led to the formation of the United States. But, did you know that at that same time, the way in which we celebrate Independence Day was also declared!? John Adams envisioned how the celebration should take place. He stated about July 4th celebrations “It will be celebrated… With pomp (ceremony and splendid display) and parade…bonfires and illuminations (fireworks) from one end of the continent to the other.” This was declared before the Declaration was even signed!

The first Independence Day was actually held on July 8, 1776 at the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence in Independence Square, Philadelphia. There was music being played by bands, and the ringing of bells. This is where the term “let freedom ring” came from. One year later, on July Fourth (and forever to be on July Fourth) 1777, Independence Day was celebrated by “Adjourning Congress and celebrating with bonfires, bells and fireworks” This day was forever to be known as the day of celebrating freedom. The freedom of being our own country, and the freedoms that brought us.

We the People, now a Nation, were free to speak how we saw fit. We were free to worship whatever religion we chose. And because we had the freedom to speak, religion has always been controversial. Everyone has their own view of right and wrong. Not only in religion, but in everything! We have terms like “In God We Trust” on our money, and “One Nation under God” in our Pledge of Allegiance. But because of the freedoms that we are celebrating, it doesn’t say… or restrict… us to which God. It could be my God, it could be yours. But, in this country, we are free to choose. Perhaps the Forefathers had the insight when they wrote about the Freedom of Religion, that the U.S. would welcome the blessing and guidance of all Gods. Regardless, we became an independent country that is based on the importance of freedom, That freedom still stands true today. Pat Bobo, age 32, said, “It’s about Patriotism, but I’m not really proud of our government right now, so I pretty much just party and shoot off fireworks. It’s not much deeper than that.” Again, love or hate what people say, but the freedom of speech is a wonderful thing!

To some people however, the Fourth of July celebration means much more! It may still include fireworks, patriotic music, red white and blue clothes, barbecue, beer and apple pie… but it is a day for many to pay special tribute and send extra prayers to the men and women of the military. A thank you for our for those who guard and protect those very freedoms against anyone or anything that threatens them… a day to sit back and realize how good we’ve got it, and why that is. Stacy Evans, who is “rockin 46” said very enthusiastically “It’s about Independence, Freedom and red, white and blue all the way!” Yet Donna Reber, age 71, says that to her “4th of July means that a bunch of people are going out to spend a bunch of money on getting drunk and fireworks and make her dogs go crazy while she sits there trying to calm them down.”

Let’s all just be happy that in this country, because of those people, on that day, in 1776…. We were able to celebrate life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Girls softball team eligible to play at the California State Games, looking for donations

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Congratulations to the West Sacramento Girls Softball (WSGS) 10U-All Star Team in attaining a berth to play at the California State Games on July 13 -16, 2017, in San Diego. The WSGS 10U-All Star team played hard on June 24-25, at the USA Softball Association Championship tournament, to win their way to the Championship game. The team is asking for help from the community and businesses for donations and sponsors to provide our girls the opportunity to play in San Diego. If you would like to donate or sponsor the WSGS 10U All Star Team, or need additional information, please contact Rebecca Valencia via email rebec_v@yahoo.com or phone 916-718-5831. The team would appreciate any and all help it can get.

AB 1250 Would Significantly Erode Ability to Provide Services for Most Vulnerable

The County of Yolo sent a letter to the California State Legislature signaling its strong opposition to Assembly Bill 1250 (Jones-Sawyer). At its core, AB 1250 seeks to stop counties from contracting with community-based organizations (CBOs), nonprofits, local businesses and other private providers of quality services on which counties and their residents rely. Counties contract with organizations and businesses that have the expertise, capacity or the ability to deliver services more efficiently.

AB 1250 has passed the Assembly and will be heard in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee on July 5, 2017.

“We routinely contract for health and mental health care, social services and emergency medical services,” said Yolo County Administrator Patrick Blacklock. “The constraints contained within AB 1250 will jeopardize our ability to provide these vital services to our county’s most vulnerable residents.

Proponents of the bill claim it will not limit contracting with non-government groups, but the clear intent of AB 1250 is to prohibit these private contracts. The bill imposes significant new restrictions and layers of bureaucracy designed to stop counties from contracting for local services. For instance, the bill requires CBOs, nonprofits and local businesses to disclose personal information about its employees and officers, including salary and other private information. This not only raises significant privacy concerns, but it will chill private sector’s willingness to enter into contracts with counties to provide services. It also requires contractors to disclose extensive information on a monthly basis. These auditing and review requirements could create unnecessary gaps and delays in service delivery that can pose detrimental outcomes for the people benefiting from these programs.

By restricting counties’ abilities to provide services in the most cost-effective manner, AB 1250 will also increase costs for taxpayers and reduce funding available for other local services. For many fundamental programs, it will not be a matter of who will provide the service but if they can even be offered at all.

“The role of local government is to determine the most effective way to deliver critical services in our communities,” said Yolo County Board of Supervisors Chair Duane Chamberlain. “We do not need another mandate that dictates how we govern our county or that impedes our ability to deliver high-quality and cost-effective services to local residents.”

Get ready for the Fourth! Here’s where to get your fireworks

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The West Sacramento City Council adopted Ordinance 11-2 which regulates the possession, sale, and use of fireworks within city limits. The State of California approved Safe and Sane Fireworks are permitted to be sold and used within the City of West Sacramento as outlined in the West Sacramento Fireworks Ordinance. The City Council also adopted Resolution 11-5 which grants eight Fireworks Sales Permits to organizations meeting specific guidelines outlined in the West Sacramento Fireworks Ordinance.

The permits are awarded by lottery, and the winners are, as follows:

Joe 238 Foundation: 940 Sacramento Ave.
First Baptist Church of West Sacramento: 1300 Jefferson Blvd.
Youth for Christ/Collings Teen Center: 1298 West Capitol Ave.
Moose Lodge #1762 (Royal Order of the Moose)/Women of the Moose: 2250 Lake Washington Blvd.
Apostolic Faith Tabernacle Church/United Apostolic: 755 Riverpoint Court
Lighthouse Covenant Church/Mercy Coalition: 1601 West Capitol Ave.
West Sacramento Little League/West Sacramento Jr Raiders Youth Football and Cheer: 2455 Jefferson Blvd.
River City Music Boosters/West Sacramento Rotary Club: 2000 Town Center Plaza

To report illegal fireworks, call 372-3375 or download the “Nail ‘Em” smartphone application at <ca-fireworks.presskit247.com/content/content-article.asp?ArticleID=8396>

PSA from West Sacramento Moose Family Center: The men and women of the West Sacramento Moose Family Center invite you their fireworks stand at the Lowe’s Home Improvement Center parking lot at 2250 Lake Washington Blvd. There are seven brand new items (including the $2.99 TNT Poker Chip), 18 products cost less than $5 and ask about the six ‘Buy 1 Get 1 FREE’ specials. The family of Moose is the proud sponsor of MooseHeart (“The City of Children”) and of MooseHaven (The City of Contentment” for seniors; just ask and they’ll explain. They will be serving free cold water and juice for customers and their children; and providing valuable information, like where to get your coffee for free in West Sacramento. 

Use of State of California Approved Safe and Sane Fireworks
State of California Approved Safe and Sane Fireworks can be utilized within the City of West Sacramento starting at noon today through July 6 at noon.

Public Displays of Fireworks

Public displays of fireworks require a permit issued by the West Sacramento Fire Department. Permits are issued pursuant to state law and the West Sacramento Fireworks Ordinance. A permit application is available at https://www.cityofwestsacramento.org/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=6629.