Category Archives: Opinion

Flu season: worse than average

NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 23, 2013 —

From Beth Gabor
Public Information Officer
County of Yolo

This year’s influenza season is worse than an average year, and especially bad for seniors.  Seasonal influenza is now widespread in California.  Most influenza being seen this year is covered by the vaccine, and when needed, is sensitive to anti-viral treatment.  The Yolo County Health Department reminds the community that in addition to getting a flu shot every year (especially important for the young and old), everyone should also follow these simple steps to avoid the flu:

•    Wash hands often with soap and water
•    Regularly clean commonly-touched surfaces, i.e. countertops, doorknobs, telephones etc.
•    Don’t share cups, straws or anything that goes in the mouth
•    Avoid touching your eyes and nose
•    Cover nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze, and promptly discard used facial tissues
•    If sick, stay home

[adrotate group=”9″] Other important factors that help prevent getting sick:
•    Get enough rest and stay physically fit to help the body fight off disease
•    Don’t smoke and reduce exposure to secondhand smoke

Flu vaccine is still available and worth receiving this late in the season.  The flu vaccine can be obtained through local healthcare providers, pharmacies and the Yolo County Health Department’s regularly scheduled immunization clinic held every Tuesday, 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at 137 N. Cottonwood Street in Woodland.

“We appear to be halfway through an early flu season with rates of influenza-related illness increasing in California,” said Constance Caldwell, MD, Interim Yolo County Health Officer, in a press release.  “Protect yourself, your family and your community by getting a flu shot, washing hands often and staying home when you are ill.  These three steps go a long way in reducing the incidence, and in some cases, deaths related to flu.”

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Editorial: perfect place for a bite

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 23, 2013 —

NEWS-LEDGER EDITORIAL

Follow us around Northern California for a minute:

First, think of the Ferry Building in San Francisco. The former transit center has been overhauled, and it has become a hub for both locals and tourists who are in search of something good to eat. There are high-end produce stands, seafood selections, chocolates, bread, meats, sweets and specialty items, as well as  restaurants. There’s also a great weekly farmers market, with seasonal offerings from tangerines to freshly-shucked oysters.

The common theme at the Ferry Building is the world class agriculture and fishing grounds of Northern California. In other words, locally-grown food.

Now, step inside the Oxbow Public Market in Napa.

In a way, this is a spinoff of the Ferry Building. Here, near the Napa River are more gourmet treats, including fish, espresso, greens, cupcakes, fine cheeses and specialty restaurants.

Next, consider what the mayors of West Sacramento and Sacramento are up to.

West Sacramento’s Mayor Christopher Cabaldon wants to make this city a “hub” for the food business. Sacramento’s Kevin Johnson wants to make his town a “Farm to Fork Capital,” bringing locally-grown food to local tables.

[adrotate group=”7″]   Keeping all this in mind, take a look at what’s going on in West Sacramento’s Bridge District. This mixed-use, urban development between the freeway and Tower Bridge will boast a presence that celebrates the river and the Sacramento skyline. Parts of it will have an outdoor atmosphere not so different from the San Francisco Embarcadero.

It’s the perfect place for another mini-Ferry Building and the best farmers market in the Central Valley, don’t you think?

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Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Things I won’t miss about the Kings

BY DARYL FISHER, News-Ledger Features Editor

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 16, 2013 —

As I write this, the less-than-beloved Maloof family have apparently sold the Sacramento Kings to a group of wealthy Seattle, Washington investors headed by some hedge fund guy named Chris Hansen. The selling price appears to be about $525 million, which should go a long way in helping the Maloofs pay off about $200 million in debts they have racked up over the years while owning the Kings, not to mention the $6 or $7 million they say they are going to lose on this year’s operation of the team. Other possible buyers are also trying to match or top that offer, but one way or another, it looks like the Kings will finally be leaving Sacramento in the not too distant future.

Looking back on the history of the Kings, it seems like they were always having serious money problems and demanding that the taxpayers of the City of Sacramento foot most of the bill. I remember Jim Thomas (the guy who owned the Kings before he sold them to the Maloof brothers) at one point wanting a $60 million loan from the city and their help in passing a $145 million bond measure so he could build himself a new arena, and if the city didn’t fork over, he was going to move the team. And the Maloofs, of course, have been threatening to move the Kings out of Sacramento and to greener (as in dollars) pastures for ages.

To tell you the truth, as exciting as the Kings once were back in the days of Vlade Divac, Chris Webber, Peja Stojakovic, and “White Chocolate” himself, Jason Williams, I’m not really all that sad to see them go. The Maloofs (or any new owners willing to keep the Kings in town) would only continue to demand more millions from the already cash-strapped City of Sacramento to make possible that seemingly universal demand of all professional basketball teams – a shiny new arena with all the bells and whistles paid for by someone other than themselves.

There was a time when I considered myself to be a pretty loyal Sacramento Kings fan, even though decent seats cost $50 or more and that was just the tip of the iceberg. It also cost a small fortune for parking, bad food at the concession stands, and a few souvenirs for the kids. In fact, by the time my family and I had finished watching a Kings’ game and were stuck in all that traffic trying to get back to West Sacramento, I had easily spent over $250, which is not exactly a cheap family night out on the town.

Anyway, although I somehow managed to live through the days of Billy Owens and Olden Polynice and God only knows how many other not-ready-for-prime-time Kings players, the straw that actually broke my back had to do with a little argument I had with my wife at the last Kings game I ever attended, and it went a little something like this:

“Are you hungry?” asked my wife, noting that it was close to 7 pm and neither one of us had eaten very much for dinner before we left for the game.

“Not really,” I said, “but I am a little thirsty. And since we are in these fancy seats tonight (a friend had generously let us use his season tickets) instead of up in the nose bleed section like usual, I think I’ll ask that waitress to get us something to drink the next time she strolls by.”

“Good idea,” said my wife, digging through her purse and handing me $5. “Get me a bottle of water, okay?”

“Are you kidding?” I asked. “A bottle of water can’t possibly cost $5.”

“I bet it does.” And sure enough (including a little tip for the waitress), it did.

So, a little after halftime, long after my wife and I had finished our $5 bottles of water, we found ourselves thirsty again.

“I’ll go and get us Cokes or something,” I said, “although God only knows how much that will cost.”

“But I just want water,” insisted my wife.

“No way am I paying another $10 for two small bottles of water!”

“Would you stop being so cheap, Daryl. You didn’t even have to pay for the seats tonight.”

“I don’t care, it’s the principle of the thing. Here, give me your empty water bottle and I’ll go fill it up at a water fountain.”

“There are no water fountains in here, Daryl. They want you to buy beer and cokes and bottled water when you get thirsty. They wouldn’t make any money if everyone was hanging out at drinking fountains.”

[adrotate group=”9″]  “Okay,” I said, determined not to be ripped off any more than necessary by the Maloofs, “then I’ll just take our empty bottles, find a men’s lavatory, and fill them up with water from one of the sinks.”

“What?” demanded my wife, her face suddenly full of horror.

“Now I know for sure they’ve got bathrooms with sinks to wash your hands in this place, even if they don’t have water fountains. I’ll even let the faucet run for a good long time so the water is nice and cold.”

“Daryl, there is no way in the world I’m going to drink Arco Arena men’s restroom water!”

“But why not? I’m going to be getting it out of a sink, not a toilet.”

With that, my wife was up and out of her seat and on her way to purchase her own ridiculously over-priced container of non-bathroom water.

“Okay, okay,” I shouted after her, “then how about this? You can fill up the empty bottles with water from a sink in the women’s bathroom?”

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Others’ views on school board issue

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 16, 2013 —

  On the News-Ledger’s “Facebook” internet page this week, we invited comments to last week’s newspaper editorial.

  The editorial (we’ve provided a link below) contrasted the way Washington Unified School District and Sacramento City Unified School District each handled the appointment of a new school board member to fill a vacancy, and suggested WUSD commit itself to more transparency.

  We received the following feedback on Facebook:

  Jenni Zimmerman Yarwood: The constant badgering and belittling of the WUSD board by both the News-Ledger and the mayor is very disheartening and troublesome.

How about being mature, responsible adults and not lowering yourself to elementary schoolyard bullying? How about coming together in a positive way with a workable solution without the constant mudslinging and backstabbing?

Sadly, this kind of behavior is very typical of the media and our government these days and it’s got to stop. We will never come together as a community, a state or a country if this kind of behavior continues. It is this kind of behavior that is literally tearing our country and our communities apart.

_______________

  Ardeene Brueske Westvik: Thank you for pointing out that the Sacramento School District managed to appoint a new temporary member without the cost of an additional election. I agree that transparency is always important in any public institution.

[adrotate group=”4″]   However, I would suggest it is also important when the public is asked to elect a school board. It is shocking to hear about some of the money that is very likely going to be spent to elect members some political figures wish to be placed on the Board. One really wonders what their motives are. Do they actually have some magic answer to make major improvements in the district or is their motive something less apparent?

Having been a district teacher, administrator and school board member, I know there is not a financial reason, nor can school boards make many of the decisions that are now made by Federal and State categorical fund requirements. So if some group is willing to spent as much as $10,000 for a school board position, we need to know where that money comes from.

As our most-read local newspaper, I sincerely request that you make the public very aware of the source of all funding for all candidates running for a seat on the school board. Lets have transparency in all aspects of our public offices.

_______________

  Irene Perrigo Eklund: Even more important, why don’t you let the public know where the mayor and our supervisor got the money they spent on their independent expenditure committee and who is putting their name on them.

I read the article in the Bee about the Sacramento appointment and it was pretty much the same process as WUSD used. The mayor has already made the statement that if his candidate would have been appointed, this costly election would not be taking place.

So let’s just be honest about why this special election is taking place. It’s all about politics, power and greed. They surely do not care that the $130,000 price tag [for the special election] will come right from our kids’ classrooms. It is very obvious those involved do not care. Very sad indeed.

_______________

  You can find the original News-Ledger editorial here.

  You may comment on this or other local issues by sending a ‘letter to the editor’ to us by email (call 916-371-8030 for email address).

  Or, by mail to:
  News-Ledger, P.O. Box 463, West Sacramento, CA 95691.
  Either way, please include your real name (for publication) and your address and phone number (not for publication).

Copyright News-Ledger 2013