Category Archives: News

Church yard sale to help girl’s family


Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church will hold a “Super Fun Parking Lot Sale” on Sat, Aug. 11, from 8 a.m. to noon. Funds raised will help defray medical costs for the family of 7-year old Virginia Mochel, who is fighting leukemia. Small donations may also be delivered from 6:30-7:30 a.m. on the same day. Any donated teddy bears will be collected to give to needy kids at Christmas, and unsold items will go to the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store. To make a larger donation to Virginia’s family or for more information, call 219-9941.

The sale will be held at 911 Park Boulevard, near Jefferson.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

School board seats are in play

SANDRA VARGAS: Board member submits resignation effective August 31 (News-Ledger file photo)


Vargas, elected in 2006, tenders her resignation but gives no official reason

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

West Sacramento’s school board is in flux, with three of the five seats up for election in November and a fourth board member announcing her resignation.

Board member Sandra Vargas last Wednesday submitted a letter of resignation from her board seat effective Aug. 31. Her letter to Yolo Superintendent of Schools Jorge Ayala did not give a reason for leaving her seat just shy of two years into a four-year term, but did stress her pride in “all the amazing success stories and accomplishments that we have achieved in our wonderful school district” thanks to collaboration among the board, staff and community.

Vargas has not responded to recent requests for comment from the News-Ledger. Two weeks ago, the newspaper left her the first of several messages asking for comment on reports that she might need to resign her seat because she had moved.

District bylaws require board members to reside in the district’s West Sacramento boundaries.

The resignation will apparently come too late for Vargas’s seat to be placed on the upcoming November ballot with the other three scheduled seats.

The board will apparently have the option of appointing a successor to fill Vargas’s term.

The school board is scheduled to discuss such options at this Thursday’s (Aug. 9) board meeting.

Board president Teresa Blackmer has also not responded to requests for comment from the News-Ledger.

[adrotate group=”7″] On the November ballot are the seats belonging to Blackmer, David Westin and Mary Leland.

Westin told the News-Ledger he would run for another four-year term:

“I feel the district’s in excellent shape,” said Westin. “I’ve led a management overhaul of the way the district does business, especially on the academic side. “Under my two years as board president, we are the top performing school district in the state of California.”

Westin was referring to a measurement of the district’s gains in student test scores.

“Since I’m a parent with a child in the school district, my goal is to continue to keep the district on a positive path.”

On Friday, Leland said she was still evaluating whether to run for another four years. She followed up with an emailed statement that said talked about her time on the board so far:

“I ran with the goal in mind towards, first, transforming the academic achievement of all of our students, and second, implementing a district-wide facilities plan for all schools in West Sacramento,” she said in part. “Our students, teachers, staff, administrators and the board governance team have worked hard to achieve both goals and I’m very proud to be a part of it all. I look forward to continuing to serve our students and our community.”

[adrotate group=”9″]   Blackmer hasn’t publicly announced her own decision on another term.

Two challengers have filed candidacy papers to run for the three regularly-elected seats:

Coby Pizzotti, who identifies himself as a “consultant/legislative advocate,” and Alicia Cruz, who identifies herself as a “parent/community volunteer.”

The deadline for other challengers to complete their paperwork is Friday, although the deadline will be extended if any of the challengers fails to file for re-election.

  EDITOR’S NOTE: Since going to press with this article, we learned that West Sacramento’s Katie Villegas has filed papers to run for school board as well. She is executive director of the Yolo County Children’s Alliance, and wife of city council member Oscar Villegas.

  Yes, you can support local journalism, support this website, and see all the News-Ledger’s articles every week! Subscribe to the News-Ledge newspaper. It’s only $20 per year within West Sacramento – once a week, delivered to your mailbox.

  You can even try it for free for two months if you live in West Sacramento. Just send your name and mailing address to (offer open to new subscribers in West Sacramento ZIP codes 95691 & 95605).

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Villegas joins WUSD school board race


In today’s News-Ledger newspaper, we mentioned that Alicia Cruz (“parent/community volunteer”) and Coby Pizzotti (“consultant/legislative advocate”) have filed candidacy papers for the school board election.

Fresh news this morning is that Katie Villegas has just done the same. She is executive director of the Yolo County Children’s Alliance and wife of city councilman Oscar Villegas.

[adrotate group=”9″] Deadline to file for city council, mayoral or school board races in West Sacramento is this Friday, although the deadline will be extended a few days for challengers if any incumbent on the ballot fails to re-file.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

‘Police Log’ from West Sac’s newspaper


News items below are collected from police dispatchers’ notes and arrest reports. The information in them has often not been verified beyond the initial reports.

July 26, 12:57 a.m.
A woman called 911 from a payphone at a Harbor Boulevard mini-market, threatening suicide. A year  earlier, the same woman was recorded as performing a “hoax” suicide attempt using pills.

July 26, 9:09 a.m.
A business on Merkley Avenue said a homeless woman had vandalized the property. They “have her on video tearing up plants and tearing up a mailbox.”

[adrotate group=”7″] July 26, 12:56 p.m.
A woman said three men were sitting on her fence, “staring at (her) surveillance camera and shooting a handgun at her camera.” The incident occurred on Torino Street.

July 26, 1:06 p.m.
A Harbor Boulevard business reported that someone had hacked into a computer and obtained payroll information.

July 26, 6:56 p.m.
A Southport parent had questions for police regarding “parenting two teenage boys that misbehave and don’t follow house rules.” The parent was wondering if juvenile hall should be involved.

July 27, 12:30 a.m.
A man and woman were seen trying to pry open the window of a motel room on the 1800-block of West Capitol. They damaged its screen. When confronted, they said they were “trying to find a place to sleep,” and left on foot.

July 27, 6 a.m.
Several firearms were reported missing after a residential burglary on Maple Street.

July 27, 9 a.m.
A shipping company said it paid a claim for a damaged shipment, and was now left with about 20 boxes each of 1,000 ammunition primers that it could not safely store. It turned the primers over to police for destruction.

July 27, 10:53 a.m.
A suspect stole a woman’s purse from a landramat on the 900-block of Sacramento Avenue and fled in a red Jeep.

July 27, 12:36 p.m.
A woman in the north of the city said she had been in a fight with her husband, and he threw a broom at her. She was not hurt.

July 27, 3:27 p.m.
Two men “ran out of the garden center with merchandise,” and fled a Riverpoint Court store parking lot in a black Lexus.

July 27, 4:16 p.m.
Near Jefferson Blvd. and US 50, a male panhandler around 50 years old was reported to be “aggressively panhandling at the corner, yelling profanities at people who didn’t contribute.”

July 27, 5:30 p.m.
A restaurant on the 1300-block of Harbor Blvd. said it had an ongoing problem with employees of a nearby shipping company who held BBQ gatherings in the restaurant’s parking lot in the mornings around 4 a.m.

July 27, 5:41 p.m.
A woman called from near Industrial Blvd. and Enterprise Blvd. to report a “road rage” incident. A woman with a female passenger and a child in the back seat had been following her for 30 minutes on the freeway.

July 27, 7:11 p.m.
A very intoxicated woman called 911 complaining that “illegal immigrants (at a Fremont Blvd. home) are causing a problem.” She yelled at the people, and was “unable to describe the problem, just kept screaming at the immigrants” before disconnecting.

July 27, 9:56 p.m.
A witness said there were foot-tall flames coming from a park along Fontana Street — possibly at a grill — and it smelled like rubber and “teens (were) seen running from the area.”

July 27, 10:24 p.m.
Two separate fires were spotted at Summerfield Park on Linden Road.

July 28, 12:01 a.m.
A man “called in irate about a dog at this location barking nonstop,” a dispatcher noted regarding a Headslane Road incident. He was not willing to be visited by an officer but “advised he is going to the location to make contact with the resident to tell him to shut the dog up.”

[adrotate group=”7″] July 28, 12:49 a.m.
Several different witnesses complained about fireworks at a Fremont Blvd. home.

July 28, 1:05 a.m.
A woman said she just returned to her Elder Drive home, where she saw a man walk by with a handgun in his pants pocket.

July 28, 4:34 a.m.
A man in the north area reported he was now in a verbal argument with his daughter and her boyfriend, who stole his cell phone.

July 28, 5 a.m.
There was an “unknown person starting fires” at Patwin Park in Southport.

July 28, 9:02 a.m.
A witness reported there were two trucks parked on River Walk Park near 2nd Street, distributing food to the homeless. The witness wanted police to let them know they could not park up there.

July 28, 9:17 a.m.
A resident of Monte Vista Court reported that the house was egged during the night. The suspects “also used fruit.”

July 28, 11:08 a.m.
A 73-year old woman on Washington Avenue said a thief had entered her backyard and stolen some garden hoses. The thief also made off with several of her garden’s tomatoes.

July 28, 11:36 a.m.
The GPS system was stolen form a semi truck at a Harbor Blvd. business about 15 minutes earlier. The incident was caught on video.

July 28, 12:25 p.m.
A citizen reported that a man around 50 years old who was possibly drunk was now laying under a tree near Allan Avenue and Perez Court. Earlier, the man had been “winding around in the area, crying and walking in the street.”

July 28, 12:39 p.m.
A woman reported spotting her own stolen vehicle in a parking lot on the 1300-block of West Capitol. It was stolen the prior night by a male acquaintance. He had changed its license plates. She “chased the suspect down the highway, but lost him,” and believed he might be staying at a local motel.

July 28, 12:52 p.m.
A caller reported ongoing problems with a female panhandler in front of a Lake Road sandwich shop. The woman was holding a sign asking for food. The store wanted her “moved along.”

July 28, 12:56 p.m.
A woman said she had been harassed by a man at a Harbor Blvd. location. The man touched her back and “said inappropriate things to her.”

July 28, 3:08 p.m.
A man was seen “stealing parts of bicycles” near the Merkley Avenue library branch.

July 28, 3:59 p.m.
According to a witness, four men got out of a Pontiac near Lake Washington Blvd. and Stonegate Drive. They then urinated, and got back in the car and left.

July 28, 4:36 p.m.
A citizen reported that there was a man “in the street on West Capitol, lifting up his shirt and motioning like he had a gun.” The citizen thought the man was trying to get cars to stop.

July 28, 5:05 p.m.
A Riverpoint Court store had a shoplifter in custody, but were unable to reach the suspect’s parents.

[adrotate group=”9″] July 28, 5:33 p.m.
An officer stopped a 28-year old man driving a Honda Accord near Evergreen and Harbor. The man appeared drunk, and was given a field sobriety test. When asked to touch his nose with his finger, the man “held his finger smashed to his nose until told to drop his hand. He also couldn’t stand on one leg for more than three seconds. He admitted drinking “five beers 1/2 hour ago” and said “I’m drunk because my girl and I are having problems.” The driver was arrested for DUI.

July 28, 5:22 p.m.
A coffee house reported there was a homeless man living under a sign’s pylons at a Lake Road parking lot, and near him was a “zebra print women’s wallet. . . that the (caller) didn’t think was his.”

July 28, 5:51 p.m.
A Limewood Road resident said a man had just come to the door claiming to be with a phone company and saying he needed to come in and check the Internet service. The resident called the phone company — which said it had no one dispatched to that address. The man left the scene.

July 28, 6:28 p.m.
At Jefferson Blvd. and North Linden Road: An “unknown subject threw a cup of ice” at the caller, who did not need medical aid.

July 28, 6:30 p.m.
From Aleutian Island Road: A man just came to the door claiming to be from a security alarm company, saying he needed to come in. When asked for ID, the man “handed (the resident) a photocopied piece of paper that didn’t seem legitimate. The man was last seen heading toward Maui Street in a white minivan.

July 28, 7:43 p.m.
A citizen complained about a family panhandling in the Southport Town Center between a coffee shop and bank. There were a man and woman with a two-year old child, “getting aggressive and stopping vehicles.”

July 28, 8:43 p.m.
A restaurant on Sacramento Avenue reported a woman just drove off from the restaurant drunk, and carrying one of the establishment’s margarita glasses.

July 28, 9:07 p.m.
A vehicle went into a tree on the 1300-block of Linden Road. Unknown injuries.

July 28, 10:53 p.m.
A very drunk man was reported at a West Capitol Avenue burger restaurant, first laying down in the drive-through lane and later sitting on a curb.

July 29, 12:47 a.m.
A citizen pumping gas at a Riverpoint Circle station said a man drove up in a yellow GMC and “appeared to be having problems walking.” The citizen helped the man put $20 worth of gas in the GMC and saw him drive off. “The RP wants PD to BOL for possible DUI.”

(Editor’s note: RP is “reporting party.” The rest, you can figure out.)

July 29, 10:06 a.m.
A bike locked to the rail of a business complex on the 2400-block of West Capitol was stolen.

July 29, 1:50 p.m.
A Glide Avenue resident reported being harassed by several people the night before. Returning to the home more recently, the home was found burglarized. Gone were two flat screen TVs, a Sony PlayStation, stereo equipment and about $120. The resident could ID the suspects, one of whom was called “Chubby.”

July 29, 5:44 p.m.
Two women just left a store on the 3000-block of West Capitol Avenue “with purses full of merchandise.” The pair fled in a newer black sports car.

July 29, 7:21 p.m.
Two subjects were seen on the bike trail near the 4300-block of Gregory Avenue, “shooting guns at unknown items.”

  Yes, you can support local journalism, support this website, and see all the News-Ledger’s articles every week! Subscribe to the News-Ledge newspaper. It’s only $20 per year within West Sacramento – once a week, delivered to your mailbox.

  You can even try it for free for two months if you live in West Sacramento. Just send your name and mailing address to (offer open to new subscribers in West Sacramento ZIP codes 95691 & 95605).

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Kids: read to a nice dog


The West Sacramento library branch is promoting reading by inviting kids of all ages to read to a therapy dog for 15 minutes on the second and fourth Friday of each month, 3:30-5 p.m. at 1212 Merkley Avenue.

First come, first to read.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Lunch with new city manager

Martin Tuttle, new city manager of West Sacramento


Martin Tuttle, West Sacramento’s new city manager, will be guest speaker at the chamber of commerce “Break for Lunch” gathering from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 9 at Club Pheasant. Deadline to register is Aug. 8.

Call 371-7042 or visit the calendar section at

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Firefighter saves a child, gets an honor

IAN GILMOUR (second from right) was recognized by the West Sacramento City Council last month. With him above are Councilmen Chris Ledesma and Mark Johannessen, Fire Chief Al Terrell, and council members Bill Kristoff and Oscar Villegas (courtesy photo)


Ian Gilmour, a firefighter/emergency medical technician with the West Sacramento Fire Department, was chosen by the national Veterans of Foreign Wars organization as “firefighter of the year” for 2012.

Nominees were in the hundreds, reports Gary Reason, commander of Post 8762 in West Sacramento. They were graded partly on their reputation among their colleagues.

Gilmour is credited with saving the life of a child last year. Firefighters “arrived on the scene finding a lifeless child next to the swimming pool,” said the local fire department, and Gilmour took the youth to an ambulance.

[adrotate group=”7″]  They administered CPR and got a pulse, with Gilmour continuing resuscitation efforts in the ambulance.

The child recovered — and eventually had a chance to visit Station 45 in Southhport and the crew that saved his life.

Gilmour received a $500 prize from the VFW as part of his award — which he donated to the Wounded Warrior Project and the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation.

  Yes, you can support local journalism, support this website, and see all the News-Ledger’s articles every week! Subscribe to the News-Ledge newspaper. It’s only $20 per year within West Sacramento – once a week, delivered to your mailbox.

  You can even try it for free for two months if you live in West Sacramento. Just send your name and mailing address to (offer open to new subscribers in West Sacramento ZIP codes 95691 & 95605).

Copyright News-Ledger 2012