Category Archives: News

Starting or expanding a business?

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER —

Got questions about starting a business in West Sacramento? Finding financing, or other issues? Classes begin March 14 at the community center, 1075 West Capitol Avenue. Sign up by calling 617-4535 (English) or 492-2008 #213 (Spanish) or 492-2591 #220 (Russian).

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

13 arrests in gang crime sweep

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE — FEB 27, 2013 —

Lt. David Delaini of the West Sacramento Police Department talks about a sweep done in response to a local wave in car and home burglaries (News-Ledger photo)

Lt. David Delaini of the West Sacramento Police Department talks about a sweep done in response to a local wave in car and home burglaries (News-Ledger photo)

The West Sacramento Police Department just announced an operation this morning in which about a dozen warrants were served — all but one of them in West Sacramento — after an investigation into a string of vehicle and residential burglaries in town.

Lt. David Delaini of the West Sacramento Police Department said about $20,000 in illegal drugs — including methamphetamine and marijuana — were seized, along with cash, an assault rifle and other guns.

“Any time we take guns off the street and drugs off the street, that’s a victory for us,” Delaini told a press conference at about noon today. “You can see the weapons with lights (mounted) on them and you seem some stabbing weapons,” he said, referring to a table of seized items spread out for the press.

____________________

Following is a copy of a press release about this operation from the West Sacramento Police Department:

“The California Department of Justice, Yolo Narcotic Enforcement Team (YONET) and The West Sacramento Police Department conducted a collaborative investigation into a burglary ring, stemming from over 80 residential burglaries and 51 vehicle burglaries from December 2012 to present.   These burglaries extended throughout the city and outlying regions.  One state arrest warrant and 12 state search warrants were executed today in an attempt to recover stolen property.  The investigation has resulted in 13 arrests, three assault rifles, four handguns, (several of which were recovered stolen), an active honey oil lab, five pounds of marijuana,1/4 pound methamphetamine, ammunition, and body armor.  Additionally, three locations contained children who were removed by CPS due to their access and proximity to the firearms and drugs.  Everyone arrested will be booked into the Yolo County Jail and juvenile hall.

Guns seized in the West Sacramento-based operation -- some were stolen and at least one was an illegal assault weapon, according to WSPD. (News-Ledger photo)

Guns seized in the West Sacramento-based operation — some were stolen and at least one was an illegal assault weapon, according to WSPD. (News-Ledger photo)

“The operation in West Sacramento was named ‘Operation Red Bandits’ because the members of this burglary ring have been identified as active members of the Norteno criminal street gang.

“‘Operation Red Bandits’ targeted young, street level members who have been committing violent crimes including robberies, home burglaries, car jackings, brandishing firearms and shootings in and around the Sacramento region.  Many of the members identified have prior arrests for firearm related charges.  These gang members and associates have supported their gang life style through illegal sales of methamphetamine and marijuana, as well as stolen property.  These street level gang members have been identified and range in age from 16-20 years old.

“Those arrested face multiple felony charges related to possession of narcotics, narcotics sales and distribution, conspiracy, property crimes (burglaries, possession of stolen property), and violent crimes against persons (ie robberies, carjackings, brandishing and firearms).  Today’s operation will cripple these criminal street gangs and their criminal enterprise network.

Bags of marijuana, and seized cash (News-Ledger photo)

Bags of marijuana, and seized cash (News-Ledger photo)

“West Sacramento Police Department and YONET were assisted by CHP SWAT and High Risk Warrant Entry Team, Department of Justice Task Forces (Placer SIU, MAVMIT), Davis Police Department SWAT, FBI SAFE Streets Task Force, West Sacramento Police Department SWAT, Woodland Police Department SWAT, Yolo County Sheriff’s Department SWAT, Yolo County District Attorney’s Office and the Yolo County Gang Task Force.”

Wrist-mounted slashing weapon with three blades, seized in the raids (News-Ledger photo)

Wrist-mounted slashing weapon with three blades, seized in the raids (News-Ledger photo)

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Turney: communication is key

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER NEWSPAPER — Feb 20 & 27, 2013 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

NICHOLAS TURNEY: candidate in the special West Sacramento school board election on March 5 (News-Ledger photo)

NICHOLAS TURNEY: candidate in the special West Sacramento school board election on March 5 (News-Ledger photo)

“Better communication” is an important theme for Nicholas Turney, one of five candidates running in a special election March 5 to fill a vacant seat on West Sacramento’s school board.   So it gave Turney “renewed hope” when the current board recently announced that it would make better public communication a strategic priority for the district in 2013.

“They are looking at increasing their communication with the community,” Turney told the News-Ledger. “They want to work on community outreach and their social media usage, so that they can better communicate with West Sacramento – both with the people who have students in the district, and with the residents in general.”

“When I met with the superintendent a few weeks ago, I explained to him that this is something you cannot fall behind on,” added Turney. “We have moved into an era where everybody communicates through their computers or smartphones.”

For that reason, he argued, Washington Unified School District needs to let people register their kids for school online,  advertise campus events over the internet, and make technology more available in the classroom.

Turney also thinks that technology can help WUSD get its message out to West Sacramentans who don’t speak English.

“The way that translation software has come about, you can, with the click of a button, translate a web page from English to Russian, Spanish, Cantonese or whatever,” he said. “That’s another issue I brought up to the superintendent  and the district – we have a lot of people in West Sacramento for whom English is not their language. Having information accessible to them where they can push a button and read it in their own language is so much more helpful. It gets more parents involved.”

[adrotate group=”10″]  Turney said he has attended the past few local school board meetings, and believes the current board is “starting to come together.”

“They really made an effort to spend some time, work together, and come up with this document that has their (strategic) priorities on it,” he said.

Turney, 33, lives with his wife and two kids in the Rivers subdivision in West Sacramento’s north. He has a daughter in kindergarten, and a younger toddler “who is now taking up 95 percent of my time.” Turney is the current homemaker in his household.

The candidate grew up mostly in the East Bay, and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communications from Chico State University. He’s a former adjunct instructor of speech communications at Woodland Community College.

Turney’s interest in running for school board stemmed mostly from his experience when starting to enroll his daughter for kindergarten at Riverbank Elementary School in West Sacramento. After receiving “not the best first impression” of that school, he instead enrolled her in Davis.

“I had trouble getting information from (Washington Unified School District),” Turney recalled. “When I attended registration, and I was still a little uncertain about things. Then I attended the parents meeting the week before school started, and there was no discussion of curriculum.”

“There was a discussion of the social programs that are available to help the students in need,” he continued. “Granted, I am glad those programs are there, because there are a lot of students who need the help. At our neighborhood school (Riverbank), over 60 percent of the students need free or discounted meals. Over 50 percent are English language learners. They have a uniform closet for students who can’t afford to buy their own uniforms. All these things are great to have. . . but when I went to learn about the school, I wanted to learn about what the kids are going to learn at the school. I didn’t get that.”

His candidacy doesn’t have the backing of any local city officials or school board members, but Turney does have the endorsement of the Yolo County Republican chapter. That’s important, he said, because Republican values such as fiscal responsibility would be good for West Sacramento’s school board.

How good are the schools in Washington Unified School District?

“They’re improving,” answered Turney. “It’s a sign that things are potentially getting better. The test scores seem to fluctuate, going up and down, when you look at the data year by year. Overall, they’ve shown improvement over the past.”

The independent study high school just made the ‘800 Club’ (the group of campuses earning ‘800’ scores on the standardized student tests),” he added. “Big kudos to them, because these students are not in traditional schools, for a variety of reasons.”

But, added Turney, “I’ve never really been a fan of standardized testing. There’s no motivation for (students) to do well on the test – it doesn’t affect their grade, or whether they’re going to college. . . I think if they really wanted to judge how students are doing and how teachers are doing in the classroom, they need to look at it over time, and take a more qualitative approach, and talk to people.”

Charter schools can be a divisive issue: some people view them as legitimate alternatives to public schools, and others see them as competing with public campuses and taking resources from them.

“I’m more ‘case by case,’” said Turney. “Since charter schools tend to have more of an overall different theme – some focus heavily on the arts, some try to focus more on languages or whatever – it is going to be case-by-case. They still need to hold to the same standards.”

How does he characterize the fiscal situation of WUSD?

“It’s kind of hard to say, because there hasn’t been a lot of transparency in terms of the available numbers,” Turney answered. “From the comments that have been made by the district and the teachers’ association, it seems like they have been reserved when it comes to spending and cuts. But it’s hard to say what the actual numbers are.”

What does the “job description” of a school board member look like?

“Most importantly, they need to be able to be a communications liaison between the community and the district,” answered Turney. “They need to make sure that members of the community have their voices heard.”

“Additionally, I think a board member needs to function well as a team player,” he added. “If the board can’t work well together, the schools won’t benefit.”

  This concludes the News-Ledger’s interview series for the 2013 special election. You can find the News-Ledger’s interviews with the other four school board candidates (Francisco Castillo, Sarah Kirby-Gonzalez, Linh Nguyen and Katherine Gales) at this website.

  Basic election info:
  West Sacramento has a special all-mail election to fill one vacant seat on the school board of the Washington Unified School District. The election date is Tuesday, March 5. As an alternative to mailing your ballot, you may drop it off on the main floor of city hall, 1110 West Capitol Avenue, during business hours up to election day. For more information, call the elections department, 1-800-649-9943.

  Do you like what you see here?

  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 FreeTrial@news-ledger.com (offer open to new subscribers in West Sacramento ZIP codes 95691 & 95605).

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

 

Join the West Sac Singers

The West Sacramento Singers in a holiday concert inside the Southport Nugget market in December (News-Ledger photo)

The West Sacramento Singers in a holiday concert inside the Southport Nugget market in December (News-Ledger photo)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER —

Take your vocals out of the shower.

Anyone 18 & up is invited to join the West Sacramento Community Singers, in their third year of entertaining at local events. Especially needed are altos, baritones & tenors, but all are welcome. Rehearsals begin March 3. Go to http://www.meetup.com/West-Sacramento-Community-Singers/ or call 916-376-0756.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

WSPD officer arrested & booked

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE — FEB 25, 2013 —

The West Sacramento Police Department has announced the arrest of one of its officers on sexual assault and kidnapping charges.

SERGIO ALVAREZ, accused West Sacramento Police Officer (booking photo, Yolo County Jail)

SERGIO ALVAREZ, accused West Sacramento Police Officer (booking photo, Yolo County Jail)

The alleged crimes are believed to have occurred while Sergio Alvarez was performing duties on patrol. Trouble was discovered on September 24, 2012.

“Information regarding possible criminal conduct by Alvarez came to the attention of the West Sacramento Police Department as the result of a routine field contact by a uniformed patrol officer,” said Lieutenant Tod Sockman of the West Sacramento Police department in a press release. “Alvarez was immediately placed on administrative leave and a criminal investigation was initiated.”

Sacramento police were asked to help investigate.

“The investigation identified six female victims ranging in age from 20 to 47 years old,” Sockman continued. “All of the victims frequented the West Capitol area. Alvarez used his position as a police officer to stop and assault the victims.”

[adrotate group=”7″] Results of the investigation were forwarded to the Yolo County District Attorney’s office, and the Grand Jury issued an indictment. Alvarez “has been served with termination paperwork” and is now in custody in Yolo County Jail, reported Sockman.

Bail was set at $26.3 million, Sockman added at a later press conference.

A tip line for further information from the public has been created. If you believe you may have information, call (916) 617-4775.

(More information on this story will be in the News-Ledger’s Feb. 27 print edition.)

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Cruise aboard the Sea Scout cutter

Former U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Morris, now the flagship vessel of the West Sacramento-area Sea Scouts (courtesy of the Sea Scouts)

Former U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Morris, now the flagship vessel of the West Sacramento-area Sea Scouts (courtesy of the Sea Scouts)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER —

A pair of brunch cruises aboard the former Coast Guard Cutter Morris will serve as a fundraiser for the Delta Youth Maritime Association.

The brunch cruises will be held Feb. 24 & 25, and a dinner cruise is offered on the 23rd. Donation: $75 for brunch or $125 for dinner, tax-deductible. Email sssneptune@gmail.com or call 775-3732.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Car thief takes the bait

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — FEB 20, 2013 —

News-Ledger Staff

The bait this time was a Cadillac Escalade. A thief took the bait in West Sacramento last Tuesday, Feb. 12.

According to police reports and information from West Sacramento Police Department Lieutenant Tod Sockman, local police and the CHP left the specially-equipped Escalade alone at the corner of Westacre Road and Merkley Avenue for some time.

Then they waited to see what happened.

The “bait car’s” sensors tripped on the night of Feb. 12.

At 8:52 p.m., a signal from the car reported it was on the move. Police responded.

“Officers got directly behind the moving vehicle,” said a police report. Then, using a remote control, they “locked the doors and deactivated the engine. A felony vehicle stop was performed by marked police units.”

[adrotate group=”9″]  With officers at the ready, the Escalade’s unauthorized driver was then called out near West Capitol Avenue and Jefferson Boulevard. But the suspected thief made a break for it, “bailing on foot” until pursuing officers took him into custody just south of the vehicle stop.

Into jail for allegedly trying to steal the “bait” car went Jason Daniel Moore, a 29-year old resident of Hobson Avenue.

The News-Ledger asked Lt. Sockman if the “bait cars” were left unlocked or with the keys inside.  He said methods vary from case to case, but the keys weren’t left in this Escalade.

“In general, they have to work for it,” he added.

  Do you like what you see here?

  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 FreeTrial@news-ledger.com (offer open to new subscribers in West Sacramento ZIP codes 95691 & 95605).

Copyright News-Ledger 2013