Category Archives: News
Free sailboat rides day on Lake Washington
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.
Straight Out of Broderick
By Michele Townsend
Can you imagine living in the town that you grew up in, and as an adult, seeing your former schoolmates being a large part of the local homeless community? As a long time local, you know that many of them are in the situation that they are in due to a death in the family, or a house fire, or some other tragedy that changed lives so drastically that your friends are now in this brutal and challenging way of living. You see other members of the community look down on your friends, and judge them. You see your friends struggle with virtually every aspect of life. Simple needs, such as using the restroom, become an ordeal because other people seem to be afraid. Anita Drake grew up in Broderick, and that is exactly where she finds herself. She has former schoolmates, and long time friends, that are in just these situations. The difference between her, and many of us, is that she decided to do something about it. Anita doesn’t run a shelter, or have large amounts of funding coming in to help her, but that hasn’t stopped her. For the last six months she, along with her friends and family, gather up everything that they can during the month so that on the last Sunday of the month she can hold a “Homeless feed”, which is now called Straight Out of Broderick. Anita leads her friends and family as they set up behind Walgreen’s on West Capitol Ave., and they hold a BBQ for our local homeless.
Anita has intentionally done this on Sunday’s, so that there are no conflicts with most of the surrounding businesses in that area. Her team hands out food, clothes, shoes and toiletries. Last month they even prepared a complete Easter dinner. Anita said “I have made a lot of new friends since I have been doing this. We get together, help each other out however we can. We eat together, have good company and pray together”. She also said that on Easter a homeless gentleman came up to her and said “I’ve been waiting for you all day.” When she asked him why he told her that he wanted to give her his last five dollars to help out. She told him “Sir, I don’t want your last five dollars. I am trying to help YOU. When is the last time that you had mashed potatoes and gravy? When is the last time that you had ice cream, or pie? Keep your money sir, and enjoy your meal.” She then gave him a pair of socks. It was then that the gentleman sat down with such appreciation, that they both got teary eyed.
Anita was recently contacted by the City of West Sacramento, and told that she could no longer hold her feed at that location, but that she could move it to 500 Jefferson Blvd. She can use the parking lot of the welfare office. It sounds like things are coming together. However Anita is concerned that those people with carts, as well as those people that have difficulties walking, will have problems getting to the new location. In addition, she is unsure of how she will notify them. This month, her meal will not be on the last Sunday of the month however. The meal in April will be held on Sunday, April 24th, at 12 noon.
If you would like to make a donation to Anita, and her cause you may call her at 798-5603. You can also follow her on Straight Out of Broderick, on Facebook. She accepts donations of food, money, clothes, shoes, socks, towels, and toiletries. Five pairs of socks from the dollar store go a long way! If you have any questions, or would like to help out, give Anita a call. You have the power to put a big smile on somebody’s face.
March Drought Spotlight Honoree – Diane in Southport
By the city of West Sacramento
While running through the neighborhoods of West Sacramento, Diane loved how much color and variety she saw in other people’s front yards. These landscapes seemed like inviting places to relax. Her lawn, however, was just a place to walk by. On a winter day in the second year of the drought, she and her spouse decided to replace their grass and dead tree with a real sitting area, full of colorful plants that would provide variety all year round. Not only is their new front yard beautiful, it requires very little water. In fact, their water usage has been cut by more than half.
Diane used Next Door to inform the city about her drought tolerant yard. If you would like to nominate your yard, or someone else’s, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 617-5025. You can also use Next Door to make a nomination, as well as stay informed about neighborhood events. Visit nextdoor.com to get started.
To learn how you can make the change with your landscape, visit these sites:
Save Our Water – Landscaping 101
Be Water Smart – Top Ways to Save
EcoLandscape California – Design Plans for The New California Landscape
Beyond the Drought – Smart Irrigation Scheduler
West Sacramento Prepares for Storms, Possible Flooding
A flood watch has been issued for Yolo County and surrounding communities in anticipation of heavy rains over the next several days. The National Weather Service says excessive rainfall on already saturated soils and swollen rivers will likely result in some minor flooding through Sunday.
The City of West Sacramento and the Yolo County Office of Emergency Services are working together to monitor the situation and provide helpful information to the public.
Residents are urged to take caution around rising rivers and streams. Motorists are advised to avoid flooded streets and to be on the lookout for debris on the roads resulting from strong winds and runoff.
The West Sacramento Fire Department’s Office of Emergency Services will be providing continuous monitoring of the weather and river levels; and general situation status.
Public Works has increased staff levels to handle any storm related issues, including downed trees and detours around flooded streets.
Sandbags are being made available for residents and businesses. See sandbag location map.
The West Sacramento Police Department has conducted patrols along the river to inform the public of potential river levels rising.
The Reclamation Districts are monitoring levee conditions, and during periods of heavy rain checking the function of the internal drainage system 24 hours a day.
What can you do?
Register with Yolo Alert to receive messages about important public safety information.
Keep your cell phones charged.
Have a flashlight and batteries in case the power goes out.
Have an emergency kit at home and in your car.
For information regarding current river levels, please visit the California Data Exchange Center.
National Weather Service Forecast
National Weather Service YouTube Channel
City of West Sacramento Website
Yolo County Office of Emergency Services
West Sac Flood Protect
West Sac schools celebrated Read Across America Day
By George Kazanis
Special to the Ledger
On March 2, schools throughout the Washington Unified School District participated in the National Education Association’s (NEA) Read Across America Day—a year-round literacy project that encourages readers, both young and old, to experience the joys of reading while celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday. It is estimated that more than 45 million readers nationwide participated in reading events this year. The goal is to remind parents of the crucial role they play in their children’s education because it’s a fact: Children who read frequently are better readers and better students.
Right here in West Sacramento, thousands of children were getting into the reading excitement, too. District Superintendent, Linda C. Luna, joined third graders from Stonegate Elementary and first graders from Bridgeway Island Elementary for classroom read-ins featuring a Seuss classic, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”
Community members and other special guests visited classrooms throughout Washington Unified to show their support and encourage our youngest learners that reading is a fun activity that helps increase their vocabulary and improves their reading fluency and comprehension.
Floodplain experiment points to water policy solutions to support both salmon recovery and agriculture
UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, the California Department of Water Resources and non-profit organization California Trout have launched an expanded experiment to better understand how the Sacramento River system can support healthy salmon populations.
For the first time this year, the agricultural floodplain habitat experiment will compare food web productivity and fish growth in three different kinds of river habitat. For the course of the experiment, a group of juvenile Chinook salmon will be held in underwater pens on flooded rice fields, as in years past; a second group will be held in pens floating in an agricultural canal; and a third group will be held in floating pens nearby in the Sacramento River. The experiment began on February 19 and the fish will be released after approximately four weeks.
Born in the gravels of mountain streams, Central Valley salmon migrate to the ocean where they grow for 1-3 years before returning to rivers to spawn. Juvenile fish that are larger and healthier when they enter the ocean have better odds of returning as adults.
“Floodplain habitats are essentially a bug buffet for small fish,” said Jacob Katz, PhD, Central California Director for California Trout. “Our previous results have shown that the food-rich floodplains appear to act as an important pit stop for juvenile fish, where they can fuel up on their downstream journey to the sea.”
Unfortunately for hungry salmon, more than 95 percent of natural floodplain wetlands have been eliminated by the development of the Central Valley for farms and houses. In previous years, this experiment has shown that off-season agricultural fields can provide critical floodplain habitat for endangered fish.
“Fish have little opportunity to reap the benefits of floodplains because they are nearly all cut off from river channels,” said Louise Conrad, PhD, of the California Department of Water Resources. “The Yolo Bypass is one of the last remaining active floodplain areas in the Central Valley. Enhancing the opportunity for salmon to access and use its floodplain areas could make a huge difference for salmon while also helping to recharge groundwater and improve flood safety.”
For four consecutive winters, experiments conducted on rice fields at the Knaggs Ranch property on the Yolo Bypass documented the fastest growth of juvenile Chinook salmon ever recorded in the Central Valley. These results suggest that through better planning and engineering, farm fields that produce agricultural crops in summer could also produce food and habitat for fish and wildlife during winter when crops are not grown.
“At this point, we feel confident that giving native fish access to the food-rich environment of the floodplain will play a critical role in recovering imperiled salmon,” said Carson Jeffres, field and lab director of the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences. “Now we are interested in how food made on the floodplain can benefit the entire river and Delta.”
The experiment suggests that floodplains on farmland can also be thought of as “surrogate wetlands” that can be managed to mimic the Sacramento River system’s natural annual flooding cycle, which native fish species evolved to depend upon. Agricultural run-off water is used to flood the fields for the duration of the experiment. This recycled water fuels the floodplain food web before being flushed back into the Delta ecosystem through agricultural canals, adding to the food supply for all fish living in the system. No new water is used to conduct the experiment.
This natural process of slowing down and spreading out shallow water across the floodplain creates the conditions that lead to an abundant food web. Sunlight falling on water makes algae, algae feeds bugs, and bugs feed native fish and birds. In contrast, very little food to support aquatic life is produced when rivers are narrowly confined between levees.
“California’s water supply for both people and fish will be more secure when our water policy works with natural processes, instead of against them,” noted Dr. Katz. “This work leverages ecology as technology and points us toward efficient and cost effective real-world water solutions that support both fish and farms.”
Members of the media are invited to visit the experiment site at Knaggs Ranch on the Yolo Bypass near Sacramento between now and approximately March 15th, when the fish will be released to continue their journey to the ocean. The site is also open for tours on Wednesday afternoons throughout the course of the experiment. To make arrangements for a media tour, contact Nina Erlich-Williams at email@example.com or by phone 510-336-9566 or 415-577-1153.
Yolo County Men Convicted of Burglary Spree
On Feb. 23, 26-year-old Winters man Louis Scott Campos and 28-year-old Woodland man Love Davis III plead no contest to six residential burglaries, which are strikes, and two additional felonies, vehicle theft and burglary of a trailer. The defendants also admitted enhancements alleging that at three residences the victims were inside their homes during the burglaries, according to a press release from District Attorney Jeff Reisig’s office.
The burglaries were all committed between Dec. 23, 2014, and Jan. 17, 2015, in the cities of Winters, Woodland and in rural Yolo County. The spree began after the first victim, Campos’ neighbor, asked him to watch their house while they were on vacation. They broke into many homes, garages and out buildings stealing a variety of possessions including vehicles, ATVs, trailers, electronics, and other valuables, according to the release.
These crimes were particularly brazen and heinous as the thieves broke into homes in broad daylight and, on three occasions, the residents were home at the time of the break in. The spree came to an end when the Yolo County Sheriff deputes apprehended Campos and Davis shortly after their attempt to get away by driving through muddy farmland on stolen ATVs.
District Attorney Jeff Reisig emphasized the importance of prison sentences in these cases. “Residential burglaries are among some of the most serious and offensive crimes our office prosecutes. Yolo County residents deserve to feel safe in their homes and residential burglaries deprive them of that right.” The prosecuting attorney, Deputy District Attorney Jennifer McHugh commended the diligent investigation completed by the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department. “The Deputies went above and beyond in piecing together this crime spree which allowed us to obtain justice for the victims.”
On March 21, 2016, Judge Steven Mock will sentence the defendants to eight years and eight months in State Prison. At that hearing the victims will have an opportunity to address the court and the defendants about the impact the crimes have had on their lives.
Source: District Attorney Jeff Reisig’s office