Category Archives: News
West Sacramento Waterfront Stories
By Thomas Farley
West Sacramento’s waterfront has stories behind every tule, wharf, and wetland. Here’s a few partial sketches about three different properties. Together, these accounts and anecdotes form a larger tale far from finished.
Seaway is a mostly rectangular shaped land directly south of the port. Some 200 acres, it stretches from the port’s border on the west to the Palmadessi Bridge on the east. Despite its name, this is actually lakefront property. How’s that?
When you look at the port’s turning basin, its widest part, you are looking at Lake Washington. This old and isolated lake of the Central Valley is now a Frankenstein lake, its depths and contours dredged and altered to make room for the port. To boggle your mind even further, you’ve probably driven over Lake Washington without even knowing it.
As you travel across the Seaway acreage on Southport Parkway, you pass over the vestigial remains of the lake. See the photo. Ever notice those “Wildlife Crossing” signs on parkway? This area is part of Lake Washington, a finger that extends almost to the Pheasant Club at the intersection of Lake Washington and Jefferson boulevards. A true wetland when flooded, all parts make for good birding and wandering.
The Stone Lock District was named for William G. Stone, “The Father of the Port.” It extends from the Palmadessi Bridge on the west to the Sacramento River on the east. Its distinctive features are the Barge Canal, the navigation lock, and its accompanying control tower. A civil engineering rarity in California, the lock is one of only three others in our state. Why is there a lock at all?
Sacramento River water can be 20 feet higher than the port. The lock’s gates keep the river from flooding the property and from depositing silt. Boats traveling between the river and the port used the lock to lift or lower craft to the proper level. Decreasing boat traffic and high operating costs doomed the lock and it was decommissioned in 2000.
The Mike McGowan Bridge is a new addition to the district. Its roadway connects two parts of South River Road at a “T” intersection. Soon, Village Parkway will join that intersection. Note the dashed line in the photograph. This extension of Village Parkway through the Honda Hills will provide an alternative to Jefferson Boulevard and a corridor to Raley Field and The Bridge District.
A few years ago, the Cordish Companies proposed ambitious plans for the Stone Lock District but negotiations fell through. The architectural renderings are still online and show a tree-lined waterfront community bustling with pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Shops and recreation were depicted, with the Sacramento River and the canal providing a cool and scenic background. It’s the kind of marina village that the city still hopes for, and the kind of community most people would also like in another waterfront area, The Pioneer Bluffs.
The Pioneer Bluffs starts at the Barge Canal and runs north to Highway 50 where the Bridge District begins. South River Road bisects the area. Jefferson Boulevard marks the bluff’s west boundary but redevelopment will probably come first on its eastern side along the Sacramento River. Removing the CEMEX concrete silos was a vital step in repurposing this riverfront. What’s next? Perhaps a decade long process of relocating the tank farms, filling stations, and maintenance yards that line South River Road.
The stories of West Sacramento and its waterfront are still being written. In time, they should make quite a book.
Confirmed Zika case in Yolo County
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed on Wednesday that a Yolo County resident has tested positive for Zika virus. This individual recently traveled out of the country and had a mild case of Zika.
Zika virus is a relatively new disease for the Western hemisphere. It first appeared in Brazil in May of 2015. It has since spread to 20 countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean, including Mexico. Zika is spread through mosquito bites, not casual person-to-person contact. According to the CDC, the most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain and red, itchy eyes. Symptoms are usually mild and last several days to a week. Many people who have Zika will not experience symptoms. There is currently no vaccine or treatment for Zika.
Pregnant women, however, are believed to be most at risk for complications from the Zika virus because serious birth defects have been reported in infants born to women infected with the virus. The CDC is planning studies to learn more about the connection between Zika and children born with these birth defects. In the meantime, the CDC has issued travel guidance for women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant. To stay up-to-date on the CDC’s latest travel notices, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/travel.
“Yolo County residents traveling to Central or South America or the Caribbean, where Zika is present, should take precautions against mosquitoes,” said Yolo County Health Officer Ron Chapman, MD, MPH. “If you are pregnant, consider postponing your trip. All travelers to areas where Zika is present should go to their doctor if they experience any of the symptoms associated with Zika within three to seven days after they return. Pregnant women who have recently traveled to an area with Zika should talk to a healthcare provider about their travel even if they don’t feel sick.”
Ways to avoid mosquito bites include:
Using an insect repellant containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus;
Wearing long-sleeved shirts and trousers;
Using air conditioning or window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside; and
Reducing the number of mosquitoes inside and outside your home by emptying standing water from containers such as flowerpots or buckets. Mosquitoes can breed in as little amount of water as a bottle cap.
On the web: www.cdc.gov/zika and www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/discond/Pages/Zika.aspx
Congratulations to River City High School student Emily Xu
Emily Xu, River City High School student of Ms. Schroeder, received a Full Academic Scholarship to represent the State of California at the Congress of Future Medical Leaders, June 25-27 in Boston. That’s a $1,000 scholarship! Emily will witness surgeries and hear from the top medical experts in the country. Ms. Schroeder has had 15 students accepted in the past three years, but Emily is the first to receive a full scholarship. Congratulations to the both of you!
Hollywood comes to West Sacramento as the annual Father Daughter Dinner Dance turns 21
By Julia McMichaelFathers and daughters of all ages are invited to a “Hollywood Ball,” either Friday, Feb. 19 or Saturday, Feb. 20, 6:30 to 9 p.m. This semi-formal “night to remember” comes with a dinner buffet, a DJ and dancing in the beautiful Galleria of the West Sacramento Civic Center, 1110 West Capitol Ave. “Prom”-style photos will be available for an additional fee. Space is limited! There will be no assigned seating. Registration: fathers $45, daughter(s) $25 each, daughter(s) age 3 and younger are free. Registration is now open. First come, first served. For more information, call the Parks & Recreation Dept., (916) 617-5320.
This event is a tradition in West Sacramento since 1995. Event coordinator, Lucy Ramos says “a major goal of the Parks and Recreation Department is to strengthen families. This event furthers that mission. We see grandfathers, uncles and men of all ages step up to escort girls and women of all ages to a fun night. We have ages from three to 70, a wide range. All are welcome.”
The Center for Fathers and Families advocate spending time with children. “Kids spell love T-I-M-E. Dr. Ken Canfield of the National Center for Fathering says, “Such time and attention helps prevent girls from seeking romantic attention from men.” “The Importance of Fathers” booklet says that “Fathers are a child’s guide to the outside world.”
A Great Night for Divorced or Separated Dads
Linda Nielsen, the author of Between Fathers & Daughters: Enriching and Rebuilding Your Adult Relationship says, “In a divorced family, there are many ways a father-daughter bond may suffer. Based on her research, Dr. Linda Nielsen found that only 10 to 15 percent of fathers get to enjoy the benefits of shared parenting after divorce. What a girl needs is a loving, predictable father figure — whether married to her mother, single, or divorced.” A night out one to one can provide meaningful attention for a girl.
In his recent book “Always Dad”, Paul Mandelstein, advises divorced dads to find ways to play a crucial role in their daughter’s life. He suggests that the father-daughter connection, even several years after a family dissolves, is heavily influenced by consistency in contact and the quality of the relationship.
According to psychologist Kevin Leman, fathers are the key to their daughter’s future. “That evidence shows that a father’s relationship with his daughter is one of the key determinants in a woman’s ability to enjoy a successful life and marriage.”
For21 years, this dinner dance has been a tradition in West Sacramento. Maybe it’s time to make it a tradition in your family.
What fathers and daughters say:
“I took my daughter to the father-daughter dance and I cried like a little baby. She’s 11 years old, so seeing her get dressed up and pretty made me cry.” Kevin Hart
“My Daddy was my hero. He was always there for me when I needed him. He listened to me and taught me so many things. But most of all he was fun.” Bindi Irwin
“We love it!” Joshua Stark
“I went a few years ago with my dad, and my husband took our daughter. Now my husband takes her and I don’t attend.” Becky Olson
“I want my hubby to take our little girl. I think she is at the right age to appreciate it! I want him to start teacher her how a gentleman should act and for her to learn how a little lady should too. This will be a magical memory!” Natalie Ramirez-Loftin
“My husband and daughter have gone to the dance for the last 7 years an plan on going again in February. They love it!!! I have pictures from each year!” Michelle Turner-Mayer
The Father/Daughter Bond:
1. A father teaches his daughter that it is not necessary to choose between being strong and delicate. She can be both at the same time.
2. He is the first man she looks up to and he totally brings out the best in her.
3. Dads make their daughters take risks to build self-confidence.
4. He gives her the confidence to do things on her own and become independent. For example, he pushes her to learn to ride a bicycle and drive the car.
5. When it comes to careers, a father is the first person every daughter goes to for proper guidance and advice. They never stop their daughters from aiming high, but also give them a taste of reality by sharing their experiences.
6. Sports, extracurricular activities, hobby classes — they encourage their daughters for anything and everything. They know this will only make their daughters grow as an individual.
7. Fathers have a cool way to expose the outer world to their daughters: Family vacations, outings and adventure camps.This is their way of letting their daughters know how big the world is.
8. Daughters observe their fathers strength to take up responsibilities and their soft side that cares about the family.