Category Archives: News

West Sac woman helps women fighting cancer to look & feel better


By Anita Fizhugh
Fitzhugh Public Relations

Randy Smedley of West Sacramento meets a lot of women who are losing their hair and are embarrassed to leave home. They don’t look like themselves anymore. They don’t feel the same. These women are battling cancer, and the effects of chemotherapy and radiation are altering their appearance– and self-esteem.

RANDY SMEDLY (courtesy photo)

RANDY SMEDLY (courtesy photo)

Smedly is a volunteer for the American Cancer Society’s “Look Good Feel Better” program. “Look Good Feel Better” holds free workshops for women hoping to combat the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment.

“I am proud to assist in providing so many cancer patients with step-by-step makeovers that include make-up application, nail care techniques and advice on how to deal with hair loss by wearing wigs, scarves, hats and other hairpieces. I see the look of joy in these women’s eyes when they recognize the person they see in the mirror,” said Smedly.

Randy knows exactly how these cancer patients feel —because she was one of them.

“My journey with cancer began in December, 2008, when one phone call turned my world upside down. My physician told me that I had triple negative breast cancer – an aggressive cancer that does not respond to treatments such as hormonal therapy. I was told that the chances of triple negative breast cancer returning were greatest in the first three years. After that, the chances decreased dramatically,” she said.

Knowing that she would worry about every possible ache and pain in her breasts, Smedly elected to have a bilateral mastectomy. She met with a surgeon and an oncologist. It was during one of these appointments that she was handed a plastic binder with information on what to expect as a cancer patient. On the inside flap was a business card for the American Cancer Society including its 1-800-227-2345 number to call for help.

“One restless night, I called that number. A sympathetic young man answered the phone and listened to me… really listened. He ended up connecting me with the American Cancer Society’s ‘Reach for Recovery’ program that was able to identify a volunteer who had survived triple negative breast cancer. It was the beginning of what would become a life-long friendship,” Smedly shared.

At one of her chemotherapy appointments, she noticed a pamphlet for the “Look Good Feel Better” program. She decided to attend one of the workshops, was fitted with a wig and learned a few new make-up tricks. “My daughter told me I looked cute—and I felt that way,” remembers Randy. “It’s been five years since my diagnosis and my cancer is still in remission. I know I’m fortunate for my outcome and feel strongly that it’s my turn to help other cancer patients look and feel their best. And as a cancer survivor, I know there is no better feeling.”

Smedly joined around 20,000 area residents for the American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” rally on Sunday, Oct. 20, at the Capitol.


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Copyright News-Ledger 2013


New West Sac company will make rice buns


Today, West Sacramento officials announced the identity of the new Japanese company planning to build a factory and U.S. headquarters in the city’s Southport Business Park.

It is Shinmei Corporation, Ltd., reported city spokesman Art Schroeder:

“Shinmei will construct a 28,000 square foot facility with an opening scheduled for summer 2014. Shinmei produces high quality rice buns in a variety of flavors. With plans to implement locally-grown rice, the new Shinmei plant will enhance West Sacramento’s rising status as a global food hub.”



From the City of West Sacramento

  Sacramento-based Potter-Taylor & Company together with the MacLaughlin Company and global management consultants, Victus Partners, will construct the 28,000 square foot building on six acres in West Sacramento’s Southport Business Park.

  The new facility, which is expected to open its doors in June 2014, will produce Shinmei’s “Rice Bun”, a value-added rice product positioned as a gluten-free alternative burger bun. The product is firmly established and sold in many global markets, including Australia, China, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Indonesia. The  debut of the “Rice Bun” in the United States’ retail and food service markets parallels the rapidly-growing number of American consumers moving towards gluten-free diets. Shinmei is offering a healthy choice replacement for many gluten products. The “Rice Bun” is GMO-free, conveniently microwavable, and versatile—it can be made from brown or white rice, and organic or non-organic, with multiple flavors.

  The expansion into the U.S. market creates considerable value for the Sacramento region. Shinmei is investing over $10 million in the new facility, which will employ 100+ permanent jobs in Phase 1 and increase up to 500 positions in the near future. In addition, the “Rice Bun’s” primary raw material —rice—will be sourced locally from Sacramento-region farmers.

  “We will bring Japanese rice processing technology to California,” said Mitsuzo Fujio, President of Shinmei U.S.A. “Our goal is to build relationships with the agricultural sector by collaborating with local rice farmers, integrating our ‘Rice Bun’ product into the U.S. market, and streamlining our entire process from beginning to end. We hope that through our ‘Rice Bun’ product, American people can enjoy rice, Japan’s most treasured commodity, as a key part of their everyday meals.”

  “Food production is a major component in the global economy. West Sacramento has the location and transportation modes which provide businesses a foundation to succeed,” said West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon. “From West Sacramento, businesses are producing and shipping product around the world.”

  A collaborative effort helped promote Shinmei on the benefits of West Sacramento. Assisting the City of West Sacramento was the Sacramento Area Commerce and Trade Organization (SACTO) and Ridge Capital, Inc., a Northern California-based real estate investment and development firm, which manages the Southport Business Park.

  “We welcome Shinmei U.S.A. to the growing community of food-related companies in the Sacramento region, America’s farm-to-fork capital,” said SACTO Chair, Gary Bradus, shareholder with Weintraub Tobin. “We are honored that Shinmei has chosen West Sacramento in which to locate its new U.S. headquarters and production facility.”

  Shinmei, U.S.A. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan-based Shinmei Co., Ltd. For over one hundred years, Shinmei Japan has been one of the country’s largest rice millers and distributors. The company also runs a factory in Japan that produces and distributes cooked-rice products, and has an affiliate company, Genki Sushi, a popular chain of over 200 sushi restaurants in Japan and around the world. Shinmei hopes to bring its experience and rice industry knowledge to the U.S., sharing the virtues of rice and rice products with American consumers.



Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Safely dispose of unwanted meds


Do you have some old, leftover or otherwise unneeded prescription drugs?

Safely and responsibly dispose of them by bringing them to the West Sacramento Police Department tomorrow (Saturday, Oct. 26) between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Department employees will accept them from you in the WSPD community room.

Visit the event at 550 Jefferson Boulevard: north of Safeway and west on Triangle Court to enter the police parking lot.

The event is part of the national “Prescription Take-Back Day,” reports Lieutenant Tod Sockman of the WSPD.

Unwanted prescription drugs dropped off last year at the West Sacramento Police Department (courtesy photo)

Unwanted prescription drugs dropped off last year at the West Sacramento Police Department (courtesy photo)

“Last year, over 60 pounds of unwanted medications were collected at the West Sacramento Police Department,” Sockman said by email.

On a related note, the News-Ledger was recently told that West Sacramento’s Jefferson Pharmacy at 1029 Jefferson Boulevard offers a bin for members of the public to drop off their unwanted prescription medications for proper disposal. The website  asks people not to put old medications down the toilet or into the garbage. Instead, they counsel, take these meds to an approved collection site.

Before dropping the meds off at a bin like the one at Jefferson Pharmacy, consumers are encouraged to scratch off or black-out personal information on the labels, put pills in a clear zipper bag (keep liquids and creams in original containers), recycle the containers separately, and bring the bags of pills or the liquids or creams to the pharmacy bin.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013



Money questions? Free financial workshop Saturday in West Sacramento


Questions about your money?

Visit the free “Greater Sacramento Financial Planning Day” event, hosted at West Sacramento City Hall from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26. Consult with experts. Feel free to bring financial paperwork related to your questions as you talk to financial planners.

Free registration at, or by calling 1-877-861-7826. Register in advance.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013