Category Archives: Politics

West Sacramento gets funding for bike/pedestrian freeway overcrossing

Sycamore Trail Overcrossing Conceptual drawing-looking to the west.

Sycamore Trail Overcrossing Conceptual drawing-looking to the west.

The City of West Sacramento has been awarded funding to construct the Sycamore Trail Pedestrian Overcrossing which will connect the City’s north and south neighborhoods. The California Natural Resource Agency awarded the City approximately $5.1 million dollars to construct a bicycle and pedestrian route over Highway 50 connecting Joey Lopes Park to Westmore Oaks Elementary School. The Sycamore Trail Overcrossing is currently in the design phase, which is expected to be completed by fall 2018. Construction is anticipated to be completed by spring of 2020. Total Project cost is approximately $ 6.3 Million.

“For a century, our city has been divided north and south by state and federal transportation infrastructure, so this is a particularly welcome step by the California Natural Resources Agency,” said West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon. “This critical trail overpass reconnects neighborhoods and links people with schools, parks, amenities, and each other as part of West Sacramento’s expanding pedestrian and bike network.”

The City has recently completed several projects to increase bike travel in West Sacramento including the Clarksburg Branch Line Trail and the Linden Loop Road Diet. The Sycamore Trail Overcrossing project further implements the vision of the City’s Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Trails Master Plan which aims to provide safe and convenient mobility options for residents.

Earlier this year, West Sacramento installed bike share stations in eight locations as part of the Tower Bridge Bike Share program. 50 bikes are currently available for use. Electric rental bikes are being added at these locations in the spring of 2018.


Thousands of children in California’s Foster Care System require temporary out-of-home care

By Jan Dalske

There are estimated to be over 65,000 children in our state, and over 3,000 in the Sacramento area, who require temporary out-of-home care due to parental neglect, abuse, or exploitation. The largest percentages are African American and Latino children. Some may stay in foster care for just weeks, but, many of them will remain there for years. The children are of all ages and have a variety of needs, most importantly they need a stable home. They can no longer remain with their birth parents.
Foster parents provide a supportive and stable family for children who cannot live with their birth parents until family problems are resolved. In most cases, foster parents work with social services staff to reunite the child with birth parents. Foster parents often provide care to many different children. You must be certified to become a foster parent. Adults from the age of 18 to retirement age are welcome, as long as their health, energy, and desire are appropriate.
A license is required to operate a foster home. The process requires a licensing worker to visit your home and meet with you and other family members. Minimum personal, safety and space requirements are required by law. Foster parents work with social services staff to determine the type of child best suited for their home. There may be health issues. Some families may have preference for a boy, and some prefer girls. Foster parents receive a monthly payment to feed, clothe, and meet the material needs of the children placed in their care. Medical and dental coverage is provided through the Medi-Cal program. Foster parents who work outside the home must make appropriate child care arrangements.
The preferred placement of children who require out-of-home care is with relatives. If securing a home with relatives is not a possibility, foster parents and other caretakers can provide a supportive and stable environment for children who cannot live with their birth parents until family problems are resolved. In most cases, the foster parents and care providers work with social services staff to reunite the child with birth parents. Foster parents often provide care to many different children.
Children who require out-of-home care generally come under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. The juvenile dependency process involves a series of hearings and case reviews which may result in foster care placement, including placement with relatives. County placing agencies have indicated a particular need for foster homes that will provide homes for adolescents, for homes that have enough room to permit siblings to stay together, and for homes that may be used on an emergency shelter basis.
In some cases, children may require more intensive structured care. These children may be placed in licensed community care facilities that may have from six beds to more, or, in a much larger institution. These group homes offer individualized treatment. To become a group home provider, contact your local county welfare office.
In addition to children placed in foster family homes and group homes, foster family agencies provide another placement resource. Agencies are licensed to provide certified family homes for children who require more services than are provided in foster family homes, yet these homes are less structured than group homes.
Paradise Oaks Youth Services (POYS), a local Foster Family agency has been providing foster care services since 1993. They continue to certify foster families who are committed to providing safe and caring homes for foster children. All prospective foster parents interested in becoming certified with POYS must go through a screening and certification process. They will receive training, and be supported and monitored to ensure compliance with accreditation and Community Care Licensing standards.
If you are interested in learning more about their program, they can be reached at 916-550-2841.

West Sac heroes earn their capes: Senator Dr. Richard Pan’s “Unsung Heroes” celebrated with awards at the State Capitol

By Michele Townsend

20170926_110440Twelve recipients (two of them from West Sacramento!) were awarded their hero capes and senatorial certificates in a small gathering on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at the State Capitol.
Senator Dr Richard Pan, with the assistance of Senator Kevin McCarty, called up each person that has received the Unsung Hero Award for each of the last 12 months. Pan explained why he chose each person and some of the wonderful things that they do for their communities. The heroes then stepped up for photos, handshakes, a beautiful gold embossed certificate… and their red, satin, hero cape…. complete with the “Unsung Hero” logo on it!
Pan explained that “it all started in 2015 when those four college students stopped a terrorist from shooting up a train in France. We got to talking about them being heroes, and how many people in our own community that, on an on-going basis, that really do so much to help our community and bring us closer together.” He wanted to highlight their stories and inspire other people to follow in their footsteps. He said, “The Unsung Hero Program is to shine the spotlight on those wonderful people that do so many great things for their neighborhoods and communities… often without any recognition.” He went on to say, “Through your work, your hobby, your passion… you are making a profound impact. These are the people, along with the people supporting these people, that make Sacramento such an amazing place!”
McCarty reiterated this train of thought when he said, “It is true that we often recognize heroes on the sports fields, heroes in life, and box office…and they do call us honorable…but ordinary people doing extraordinary things… throughout history… those are the ones who have made the biggest difference!”
Among the 12 recipients are two shining West Sacramento residents. Jose (Joe or Jojo) Ramirez, a local youth umpire and referee who is known through sports by several generations throughout the Sacramento area. He is encouraging to kids, and keeping the games fun!
Additionally, Leah Nelson, now 11 years old, was chosen as an Unsung Hero for starting “BecuzIcare” bracelets. These bracelets are handed out for a simple reason: to brighten someone’s day. She simply hands one to someone who looks like they could use some cheering up, and asks that when you see someone who might needs a boost of happiness to please pass it on to them, and ask them to do the same.
Leah told the News-Ledger, “I feel excited that I’m making a difference and that I’m impacting the community.” Leah also has a GoFundMe account on Facebook at HYPERLINK “″ if you would like to help her continue to spread kindness.
The remaining Unsung Heroes recognized included: Kay Temple Kirk –Program Manager for Gender Health Center, Chariss Fong – Teacher at Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services, Carol McNerney – volunteer at Hart Senior Center, Ron Marshall – Volunteer for Sacramento Veteran’s Resources, Shonna McDaniels – Founder of Sojourner Truth Multicultural Art Museum, Dino Alleger – Children’s Bike Programs including safety, repair and events, Teresa Kahl – volunteer docent, ambassador and horticulture assistant for the Sacramento Zoo, Yannina Casillas – advocate with Council on American-Islamic Relations, Jesse Archer – Youth Program Coordinator at the Sacramento LGBT Community Center, and Dr. Vernon Walton – retired pediatrician.
Ramirez summed it up nicely when he said, in part, “I was honored to be among so many great recipients… especially Leah because she is such a young great community legend!”
Congratulations heroes!!
Thank you for being the change that you wish to see in the world.

West Sacramento’s first mayor to discuss city’s formation at public library event

The history of the birth of the official incorporated city of West Sacramento will be recalled and revealed by its first mayor, Mike McGowan, at a special community event on Sunday, Sept. 17. It is scheduled from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Community Room of the Turner Library at 1212 Merkley Ave. in West Sacramento and is open to the public, free of charge.
Referring to West Sacramento’s early days as a new city, McGowan remembers himself and other newly-elected officials, who wondered, once they had a brand new city, “What they were going to do with it?” He will discuss the responsibility for developing it, and promises to “tell where all the bodies are buried.”
In addition to the talk, the afternoon begins with music from a small combo, featuring McGowan on percussion, and Cindy Tuttle on vocals, as part of the group. Tuttle was the first female mayor of West Sacramento. Refreshments will be served during the program.
The event is the fourth in a special speakers’ series, sponsored by the Friends of Yolo County Archives. The series celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Yolo County Archives, which operates an office and preservation facility in Woodland. The office houses historic records, photos, newspaper accounts, and other archival memorabilia of all kinds. It is open to the public by appointment on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Thursdays from noon to 4 p.m. the archives facility is located at 226 Buckeye St. in Woodland. The office can be reached by phone at 530-666-8010 and by email at
Yolo County Archives maintains a website at An additional website for the Friends organization is: or