Category Archives: News

9/11 flag display stirs in the breeze

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — SEPT. 11, 2013 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

The popular annual flag display came back to West Sacramento on Saturday, Sept. 7. But the 9/11 memorial contains some flag stories within the flag story.

The flags’ size and their grouping all make a point, explained Nancy Vinson, wife of chief flag organizer John Vinson.

For instance, the large flags:

“There are 300 – one for about each 10 victims (of the September 11, 2001 attacks). They’re in 13 rows – one for each of the original colonies. And the small flags, there’s one for each person lost at each attack site.”

That adds up to over 3,000 flags overall.

One group of flags is dedicated to those killed when one hijacked plane hit the Pentagon during the terrorist attack.

“There are 125 flags, for those that worked in the Pentagon and died there,” said Vinson. “Inside, there are 59 – for those who were on the plane that hit the Pentagon.”

There’s a grouping for police from the New York Police Department and the city’s port authority (60 flags), and one for the firefighters killed that day (343, many of whom went into the doomed twin towers in New York).

Then there is the group of 40 slightly larger flags in one group at the display.

“This is Flight 93,” said Vinson. “These flags are a little bit bigger. The reason, John says, is because they were the first heroes. They were the first people to fight back (against their hijackers). They actually diverted their plane from its hijacked course, where it was probably going to hit the Capitol building or the White House or some other target on the East Coast.”

And there’s something new at the flag display this year: a group of four flags honoring those who lost their lives to the bombs at the Boston Marathon in April.

This banner carries a slogan featuring the Twin Towers in New York, and the signatures of scores of veterans and firefighters. Flanking it are John and Nancy Vinson. (News-Ledger photo)

This banner carries a slogan featuring the Twin Towers in New York, and the signatures of scores of veterans and firefighters. Flanking it are John and Nancy Vinson.
(News-Ledger photo)

The annual flag display also shows off a banner to which any passing service veteran or firefighter is invited to sign. Dozens have, including vets from Iraq and Afghanistan as well as at least one from World War II.

John Vinson, a Sacramento contractor, reports that the flag display went up with help from a group of volunteers – including some from the local fire department’s “CERT” (Community Emergency Response Team) program. It’s scheduled to come down Thursday morning, September 12 – leaving today as the last day for visitors to take a look.

Last year, John Vinson’s flag display drew over 2,000 visitors. For many, it’s become an annual event every year..

Last Wednesday – the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks – the site at Jefferson Boulevard and South River Road was scheduled to host a horn player from “Buglers Across America.” Early in the morning, at the exact moments of each of the hijacked airplanes’ impacts, the bugler was scheduled to ring out a rendition of “Taps.”

 

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River City High School’s bands need some donated musical instruments

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — 

The River City High School music program is firing up for another year, and band members would welcome any donated instruments.

If you have an unused musical instrument, consider donating it to the program. Contact Tony Marvelli, director of bands, at amarvelli@wusd.k12.ca.us or 375-7800 ext. 2210. Visit www.rivercityregiment.com or drop by the school at 1 Raider Lane.

Copyright News-Ledger-2013

Cyclist dies after Southport crash

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — SEPT 11, 2013 —

A bicyclist hit by a car in rural Southport on August 23 has died of his injuries.

The Sacramento County Coroner’s office has identified the victim as West Sacramento’s Kevin Cavanaugh.

According to Lieutenant Tod Sockman of the West Sacramento Police Department, the accident occurred at about 8:40 p.m. He added:

“The preliminary investigation indicates a bicyclist was riding southbound on Jefferson Boulevard.  Witnesses report the bicyclist rode into oncoming traffic and was struck by a single vehicle traveling northbound on Jefferson Boulevard.  The bicyclist sustained serious injuries and was transported by ambulance to the UC Davis Medical Center.”

Cavanaugh died four days later.

Police closed a stretch of Jefferson Boulevard when they responded to investigate.

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New park is part of health outreach for northern West Sacramento

Kids on the playground at the August 20 opening of Westfield Park. Click to enlarge. (Courtesy of Edwin Garcia/Kaiser)

Kids on the playground at the August 20 opening of Westfield Park. Click to enlarge. (Courtesy of Edwin Garcia/Kaiser)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — AUG 28, 2013 —

  Information in this report comes chiefly from Edwin Garcia, Media Relations Specialist for Kaiser Permanente.

On Tuesday of last week (August 20), local civic leaders and local families celebrated the opening of West Sacramento’s newest city park. Westfield Park — adjacent to Westfield Village Elementary School — resulted from a “grassroots effort led by parents, a unique partnership between a coalition of stakeholders – including the city of West Sacramento, and Washington Unified School District – and a $150,000 Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit grant awarded to Yolo County Children’s Alliance (YCCA),” reports Edwin Garcia, a Kaiser Permanente spokesman.

“This is an amazing day for all of us,” said Katie Villegas, executive director of the YCCA, in a press release from Kaiser. Villegas is a West Sacramento resident and local school board member. She leads the YCCA, a Davis-based organization that worked with parents, city officials, county representatives, school board members and local organizations to create the park.

Visitors at the park’s inauguration included Robert Azevedo, M.D., the physician-in-chief of Kaiser Permanente, Sacramento; West Sacramento City Councilman Oscar Villegas and other city officials; Washington Unified School District Superintendent Dayton Gilleland; school district board President Mary Leland; Westfield Village School Principal Ryan Gonzales; and Yolo County Supervisors Mike McGowan and Don Saylor.

Several of the speakers at Tuesday’s ceremony recalled how a group of neighborhood parents several years ago lobbied the city council, parks and recreation staff, and school district representatives, for a park in a neighborhood that never had one.

The neighborhood might be called an “underserved” community, with few local recreation assets.

Eventually, city and school district officials came up with a plan, reported Kaiser spokesman Garcia: the district would transfer to the city part of a grassy field at Westfield Village School, and the city would design and build a park. Funding, however, was a major obstacle.

In the meantime, YCCA, a non-profit, was working on projects to improve the health of children and adults in West Sacramento – and some of the parents involved in its programs were the same ones who, years earlier, had lobbied the city for a park.

The effort to create the park, and the neighborhood initiatives headed by YCCA – such as the desire to reduce childhood obesity, increasing nutrition awareness, and offering Zumba classes to parents – found to be in alignment with Kaiser Permanente’s Healthy Eating Active Living initiative.

The Kaiser Permanente grant in late 2011 added momentum to the effort to build the park.

Dr. Robert Azevedo Physician in Chief for Kaiser Permanente in the region, addresses the West Sacramento crowd (photo courtesy of Edwin Garcia/Kaiser Permanente)

Dr. Robert Azevedo
Physician in Chief for Kaiser Permanente in the region, addresses the West Sacramento crowd
(photo courtesy of Edwin Garcia/Kaiser Permanente)

“This really fits well with what Kaiser Permanente is about, in promoting good health and disease prevention,” said Dr. Azevedo. “We’re very pleased to be part of this program. It is wonderful to see these families out here being active and part of the community.”

As Dr. Azevedo spoke, several children were already climbing, jumping and running at the park’s new play structure.

“I am very happy because now we have a place to bring our children to play; we know how important it is for them to exercise,” said Lourdes Maya, a mother of a 9-year-old girl, and boys ages 7 and 5, who live within a 10 minute walk of the new park.

West Sacramento’s park master plan calls for a play structure for older kids, a covered barbecue area, a drinking fountain, a 6-foot-wide walking path, an exercise par course, and connections to a bike/pedestrian trail located at the western edge of the park.

The park is located on Poplar Avenue just across a newly built fence from Westfield Village School, between West Capitol and Sacramento avenues.

Councilman Oscar Villegas thanked the parents for their efforts. Some of them have since taken the role of promotoras – lay people who are trained to be neighborhood health advocates through YCCA and funded by the Kaiser Permanente grant. “I really want to thank the promotoras,” Councilman Villegas said. “Without their initiative and their stick-to-it-iveness this would not have happened. As you can see, many of them are enjoying the park right now, with their children.”

The Kaiser HEAL grant also has helped fund the implementation of “Playworks: Make Recess Count,” a school-based program that trains adult volunteers to lead out in physical activities during recess at Westfield Village.

 

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Copyright News-Ledger 2013