Category Archives: News

Mother of all raffles: West Sac groups raise $47,000 selling tix

ABOVE: Representatives from local groups show off the symbolic “checks” they earned by participating in this year’s “All Charities Raffle.” The celebration and dinner took place Saturday at ‘OLG.’ (Photo courtesy of Verna Sulpizio)


A whole bunch of West Sacramento charities participated in this year’s “All Charities Raffle,” organized by the West Sacramento Foundation.

[adrotate group=”9″]   Raffle prizes included use of vacation condos, shopping sprees and other prizes. Each participating group got to keep $9 of every $10 in ticket sales. The fundraiser culminated in a spaghetti dinner and prize drawing Saturday evening at Our Lady of Grace school in Southport.

Altogether, the groups raised $47,000, reports Barbara Moore of the West Sacramento Foundation.

You can find more information on the West Sacramento Foundation by clicking on

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

RCHS soccer ends with a win

RCHS team captain and senior Graviel Muniz (right) dribbles past a Liberty Ranch defender on his way to scoring a goal in his last game as a River City Raider.


By Jorden Wusstig
RCHS Journalism Class & Soccer Team Member

After a well fought season and a solid fourth-place league finish, the final game came and went for River City boys soccer.

October 25th was the last game for RCHS seniors Manuel Moreno, Graviel Muniz, Alejandro Castro, Carlos Santilian, and Javier Gomez.

Before the game, a ceremony for the seniors was held. During this ceremony they were escorted by their family members and each had a picture taken. Then the players joined the rest of the team to warm up.

[adrotate group=”7″]   Once the whistle blew to start the game, RCHS players pressured Liberty Ranch with determination to put on a show for the fans and let the seniors go out with a win. It was nonstop shooting on the Liberty Ranch keeper.

In the 32nd minute, Graviel Muniz had a fantastic volley that put the ball in the back of the net to put RCHS up 1-0. The half ended 1-0 and the players were pumped to slam in a couple more goals.

The second half began and Mario Zambrano had a clean strike on goal that rattled the post and fortunately landed in front of senior captain Manuel Moreno, who kept his composure to make it 2-0.

RCHS continuously possessed the ball and wore the Liberty Ranch team wore out as they tried to chase down the Raiders. In the 59th minute, Mario Zambrano with another clean strike. He had the odds on his side and slipped it right by the post to make the score 3-0.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Unofficial West Sac ballot results:


UPDATED Nov. 13.

With about 3,000 “provisional ballots” (representing about 25% of the vote in this race) still being sorted at the Yolo County Elections Office as of Nov. 13, the results are still early & unofficial. But here is how the local races in West Sacramento are shaping up. One change from the first reporting here: school board incumbent Dave Westin has dropped out of the top three, and challenger Alicia Cruz has stepped into one of the three winner’s spots in that race.

As of now, 100% of the precincts have reported,, but the results are still unofficial. Election officials have 28 days from the election day to finish counting, and are trying to finish sooner — perhaps by Thanksgiving.



Christopher Cabaldon (unopposed)          10,287 votes, or 100%


CITY COUNCIL (top two)

WILLIAM ‘BILL’ KRISTOFF (Inc.)            8,262 votes, or 45.7%

OSCAR E. VILLEGAS (Inc.)                          8,035 votes, or 44.5%

OLEG MASKAEV                                                         1,768 votes, or 14.0%



KATIE VILLEGAS                                                  6,619 votes, or 48.7%

ALICIA CRUZ                                                          4,915 votes, or 19.6%

MARY M. LELAND  (Inc.)                                  4,598 votes, or 18.3%

DAVE WESTIN  (Inc.)                                                 4,510 votes, or 18.0%

COBY PIZOTTI                                                              1,930 votes, or 7.7%

WALT R. BOWMAN                                                     1,496 votes, or 6.0%

ROY SIANEZ                                                                  1,469 votes, or 5.9%


MEASURE G, Revenue Uses Advisory Vote

YES: 10,269 votes, or 87.4%

NO:  1,483 votes, or 12.6%


West Sacramento voter turnout: 6,264 of 23,168 Registered Voters (27.0%)


Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Levee work finished for season, West Sac road will stay closed

NEWS-LEDGER — OCT 31, 2012 —


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District has concluded this year’s construction of a setback levee along South River Road in West Sacramento with plans to resume next spring.

[adrotate group=”10″]   The construction site will be shut down for the winter and South River Road from Marina Green Drive to Linden Road will continue to be limited to police, fire and levee patrols until the project is complete in fall 2013. Road closure signs will be updated this week to reflect the new completion date, and no-trespassing signs and detours for residents are clearly marked. The existing levee remains intact, so there is no additional increase in flood risk due to the construction delay of the new levee.

The project is a joint effort between the Corps and the Central Valley Flood Protection Board to strengthen levees al ong the Sacramento River and its tributaries, a part of the Corps’ Sacramento River Bank Protection Project. When finished, the new levee will be set back 250 feet from the old levee and will be 15 feet high, 2,200 feet long, and have up to a 75-foot-deep seepage cutoff wall in its center. Cutoff walls strengthen levees and help prevent water from leaking through or under them.

The project design is intended to widen the river channel to hold more water during a flood or storm, while preserving the wildlife habitat between the old levee and the river. When the project is completed, South River Road will run atop the new setback levee and reconnect to the existing levee at each end.

This is the second time the project will be carried over through the rainy season. In 2011, wet weather conditions and high water levels delayed levee construction until September, which was too far into the construction season to be finishe d before winter flood and environmental preservation deadlines. This year, the Corps and the contractor are still determining the acceptability of the seepage cutoff wall inside the new levee’s center, and won’t be able to complete the evaluation and remaining work before this year’s rainy season begins. Work should resume when the 2013 construction season begins in June.

“We understand residents were not expecting construction to continue but public safety is our principal concern,” said project manager Tom Karvonen in a press release. “The old levee is still in place and will remain until the construction of the new levee is deemed complete and accepted by the Corps.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District provides planning, engineering, project management, environmental restoration and construction services to military and civilian customers in parts of eight western states, including California.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Free shade trees to plant


The City of West Sacramento may give you two large, 15-gallon trees and stakes for planting at your home. 10 species to choose from. To qualify, you must attend one of the upcoming tree planting workshops scheduled for Nov. 7, Jan. 9 or March 6. Call 617-4620.

[adrotate group=”9″] Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Miss a candidate interview? Look here:


Still making up your mind about whom to vote for on the West Sacramento ballot on Tuesday?

Want to help a friend learn more about the folks running for city council or school board?

Here are links to the News-Ledger’s interviews with each of the candidates in these contested local races. Share this page with a friend, or click to visit an interview:

Candidates for West Sacramento City Council

Candidates for the school board of the Washington Unified School District

Copyright News-Ledger 2012



  EDITOR’S NOTE: The West Sacramento News-Ledger newspaper traditionally invites every candidate in a local election to sit down for a published interview. This year, we had the chance to do this with every candidate in the contested local elections (school board and city council; the mayor’s race is uncontested). Below is the last in this series of interviews — our chat with school board member Mary Leland, which was published on Wednesday, Oct. 31.

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

Mary Leland has had a rough year, with the loss of both a parent and a son. But after some soul-searching, she decided to run for a third term as a board member of the Washington Unified School District.

MARY LELAND: Hire the best, and give them encouragement, she says (News-Ledger photo)

“I have been through a lot of tragedies this year,” she told the News-Ledger. “But in the end, I’m not ready to step back and let go of all that motion forward. . . I want to show the community that I’m in it for the long haul.”

Leland, 62, is the chief fundraiser for Sacramento City College, with a master’s degree in education. She came to West Sacramento in 2001, and was encouraged to run for the school board by local business leaders, she reports.

How has WUSD changed since Leland took a seat on the school board?

“Broadly, I think we are providing a much safer environment in terms of the culture of the schools and having students interact with one another,” she said. “A lot of that comes from facilities updates. Changing the environment led to a different culture.”

She points to the remodel at Riverbank Elementary, in the less-affluent north of the city.

“Next to the new high school, one of my proudest moments was watching the Riverbank conversion,” Leland stated. “It really gives them the classrooms and technology they need. They have state-of-the-art technology that (even) our southern schools don’t have.”

The school board has helped bring a new level of professionalism to the district administration, she added.

“From my administrative viewpoint – as board members, we’re all managers – a lot of policies and processes have been put in place to get the work done in a different way. . . I think we’ve brought it to a much more academically professional level. I still think we have a way to go.”

Has the school board of 2012 been functional?

“I think we know how to work together,” she said of the four people now on the board. (The board is in flux: board president Teresa Blackmer is retiring, and board member David Westin, like Leleand, is up for election.)

[adrotate group=”7″]   The district has faced big budget cuts due to state-wide problems. What kind of shape is WUSD in?

“I’m going to say good, because we still have an A+ bond rating,” she answered. “We’re in the black. We’re very fearful of what will happen if Proposition 30 does not pass.”

She supports state proposition 30 – the governor’s measure which would use new taxes partly to help stabilize the state’s own fiscal situation.

How good are WUSD’s schools?

“We’ve gained 82 points in API (student test results) over eight years,” said Leland. “I don’t put that down to the year I was (board) president or so-and-so was president. Over eight years, we as the board, the staff, and certainly the students and school sites have improved by 82 points.”

Leland called this year’s one-point decline in API a “plateau.” To what did she credit recent gains?

“You hire the best teachers, the best principals, and the best administrators you can, and you encourage them to do their work,” she answered.

Where does school instruction go from here?

“We’re looking at innovative strategies in ‘instructional rounds’ and innovative curriculums in science and math,” she said.

“Instructional rounds” include teams of school staff from different campuses, visiting school sites to share techniques and information.

“The teams are made up of different levels of staff,” she said. “You’ll have a principal from one site joining a round at another site.”

Leland feels that charter schools should be considered on a case-by-case basis, and she praised one of them – the Early College Prep academy at the former Westmore Oaks site.

“They’ve had a hard time getting started, but I think they’re going to do great,” she said. “That charter school meets a need for so many students” as does the Sikh-operated charter school, said Leland.

“Overall, just having blanket charter schools because there’s a perception that public schools aren’t doing their jobs – I’d say no.”

If the district receives more funding, where should the money go?

“I think we’re all interested in the north area and really doing something special there. Career technology education speaks to a menu of options for kids – not every child will go to college, but it is our responsibility to prepare them for life.” And “we really need to focus on math,” she added.

Leland said she endorses WUSD challenger Katie Villegas, is impressed by challenger Alicia Cruz, and “can work with” fellow incumbent David Westin if they’re both elected.
Voters will go to the polls on Tuesday to select from among these and other candidates.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012