Santa to arrive on fire truck: Here’s St. Nick’s schedule

Santa to arrive on fire truck: Here’s St. Nick’s schedule

The West Sacramento Fire Department, in conjunction with the West Sacramento Firefighters’ Association, is preparing for the annual “Santa Run” through West Sacramento. With the help of many off-duty firefighter “elves,” Santa More »

Toys For Tots collection efforts now underway

Toys For Tots collection efforts now underway

Since 1948, The Marine Corps League, Toys for Tots Foundation has been around for the distribution of toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign More »

Council Member Bill Kristoff Retires After Thirty Years of Service

Council Member Bill Kristoff Retires After Thirty Years of Service

By Jan Dalske for the News Ledger Bill Kristoff will officially retire on November 16th when he attends his last city council meeting. His friends, family and colleagues came together recently at More »


City Partners With West Capitol Ave. Businesses To Curb Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol Beverage Control Sgt. Kathryn Sandberg, A & B Liquors owner Jim Nessar, and West Sacramento Police Officer Rinaldo Monterrosa discuss the T.E.A.M. program at the entrance to Nessar’s store. / Photos courtesy of City of West Sacramento

Alcohol Beverage Control Sgt. Kathryn Sandberg, A & B Liquors owner Jim Nessar, and West Sacramento Police Officer Rinaldo Monterrosa discuss the T.E.A.M. program at the entrance to Nessar’s store. / Photos courtesy of City of West Sacramento

The City of West Sacramento has launched a campaign encouraging local businesses to refuse alcohol sales to inebriated customers. The program, T.E.A.M. (Together Everyone Achieves More), is a partnership between West Sacramento Police, the West Sacramento Chamber of Commerce, and businesses with liquor-sales licenses. Its purpose is to promote cooperation and teamwork between businesses and law enforcement in reducing issues traced to careless alcohol sales and consumption.

Fifteen businesses have signed up to join the T.E.A.M. program and have received official decals to post at their entrances.

“We’re thrilled that so many businesses have joined police in this effort,” said City Manager Martin Tuttle. “Working together, the City and store owners can promote a clean and safe shopping environment built upon responsible alcohol sales.”

Through the program, West Sacramento Police visits store owners to discuss alcohol sales to apparently intoxicated people. The T.E.A.M. targets liquor stores, mini marts, grocery stores and gas stations along West Capitol Avenue frequented by a transient population.

Aside from public intoxication incidents, the issue generates additional community problems, including trespassing, littering, loitering, public nuisance and criminal assaults.

To alleviate these issues, the West Sacramento Police Department has already:

Increased police presence in the form of routine foot and vehicle patrols of properties;
Maintained regular contact and relationship-building with property owners and management;
Reviewed responsible alcohol sales with owners and managers.
In addition, the City is addressing such topics as lighting, clear and visible signage, and trash and graffiti at the store properties.

The City adds that businesses engaged in selling alcohol assume a major responsibility in preserving public safety. Selling alcohol to minors and apparently intoxicated persons can result in serious liability including criminal citation, lawsuits, liquor license suspension or revocation, and jail time.

During a six month trial run of the T.E.A.M. program with several liquor stores participating, the City recorded a 92 percent decline in alcohol intoxication within the area.

Source: City of West Sacramento online publication, CityiLights

Margaret McDowell Manor – Graceful Aging

By Julia McMichael

For 16 years, Margaret McDowell Manor on Merkley Avenue has been a refuge for aging residents in West Sacramento. Susan Tarleton opened the facility and still serves as the community administrator. Sue could be a model for graceful aging. She has a positive outlook on life and is unfailingly cheerful. That is only one aspect of Sue’s character. She is hard- working at the Manor and volunteers in the community.

 On the left is Susan Tarleton who opened the facility and still serves as the Community  Administrator of the Margaret McDowell Manor. She is shown with one of the board members. / Photo courtesy of Susan Tarleton

On the left is Susan Tarleton who opened the facility and still serves as the Community
Administrator of the Margaret McDowell Manor. She is shown with one of the board members. / Photo courtesy of Susan Tarleton

Sue is also a great conversationalist and book lover. Her background and education are in social work. She worked with teenagers for Yolo County until she decided to specialize in an older population.  Sue believes that everyone deserves a “safe and clean place to live.” She feels there are not enough resources for elderly low income housing, medical care and care facilities. “Many elderly cannot qualify for assisted living and there aren’t many alternatives. I am fortunate to be providing housing which is so needed,” she says. Sue feels privileged to get to know the residents and their vibrant life stories. “They are all so different: where their lives have led them, where they come from and what they have overcome. Many have worked hard all their lives. When I walk around, I realize that every apartment tells a life story.”

Margaret McDowell Manor is owned by Christian Church Homes of Northern California but is non denominational in its operation. It was built in cooperation with Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the City of West Sacramento. It has an eight-member Board of Directors. The Manor was named by the City of West Sacramento in honor of one of the founding citizens who was a teacher and developed Broderick and Washington. 

At this stage, there is a long waiting list (two years) for apartments. Sue is ‘”heart broken'” about the number of phone calls she receives from the public. It has always been fully rented. There are both one- and two-bedroom units. Rent is based on 30 percent of a renter’s monthly income. Residents must be 62 years or older. The Manor has 86 units. Seventy-two units are federally subsidized. The remainder feature reasonable rents. The 100 residents are a miniature United Nations. They hail from all parts of the globe. Sue speaks very highly of, her residents. “They pay rent on time. I feel lucky we have some residents who have lived here all sixteen years.”

Initially, Sue was challenged by learning about facility management, but training was provided. The amount of paperwork and the HUD audits she receives is still daunting, but she gives credit to her ‘”great staff.'”

The Manor is as pristine today as when it opened. It is clean and beautifully landscaped, although the drought has presented Sue and her staff with challenges.  There is an inner courtyard for barbecues in a peaceful outdoor setting. There is a laundry room and beauty shop on site. There is also a community garden which yields an abundance of summer vegetables. There is a large community meeting room and a private dining room for family and party functions. The residents have many visitors who are greeted at the front desk by a resident volunteer.

The residents have a monthly “lunch bunch” pot luck. There is also a resident of the month honor. Best of all for the residents is the independent living which is featured:  a resident can socialize and make friends as they choose. Bonnie Rascon is the part time social worker who provides access to services for the residents. On Thursdays, a bus takes the residents to bingo at the community center. Every May for Older American’s Month, the West Sacramento Police Department hosts a barbecue for the residents. Chair yoga is held on Tuesday at 4:45 and is open to the public.

After sixteen years, Margaret McDowell is still a welcoming place and a credit to the West Sacramento greater community.

The Sweet Kid at the Wicked ‘Wich

by Bia Riaz

Photo by Angie Pena Brian Bush (left) and Chef Matt Cannedy.

Photo by Angie Pena
Brian Bush (left) and Chef Matt Cannedy.

As I walk into the West Sacramento Community Center, I know exactly where to go. Follow the swirling aromas of bold Italian roast coffee and fresh baked goods. The Wicked ‘Wich Cafe illuminates the once empty corner of the West Sacramento Community Center. Operated by West Sacramento’s very own, Broderick Roadhouse, this charming cafe has become a welcome spot for hungry visitors. 

West Sacramento natives may remember the Wicked ‘Wich food truck, one of the original food trucks of our city, serving up scratch-made sandwiches and street food inspired by the Broderick Roadhouse menu. The concept and energy of the food truck found a new brick and mortar home at the cafe. The Wicked ‘Wich cafe opened in March of 2015. 

Chef Matt Cannedy and Brian Bush from Broderick, have crafted a sweet and savory menu to bring this cafe to life; which includes panini pressed sandwiches, healthy salads, hearty soups and an assortment of baked goods. Each week they offer new featured items and a vegetarian soup of the day. Everything is hand crafted and prepared on-site with fresh ingredients. This week, the new panini sandwich addition is oven roasted turkey, caramelized onions, jack cheese, sage aioli and a house-made cranberry sauce with mixed greens and tomato.

Photos by Matt Chong

Photos by Matt Chong

“We really feel like we are part of the community, and we love that the City of West Sacramento has really supported us. They even put up a poster of us on the bus stop!”  – Chef Matt.

Within a year, the Wicked ‘Wich has become a local favorite with the students of neighboring, Sacramento City College – West Sacramento Center. Chef Matt sees the cafe as an uplifting place where people gather, have meetings, plan events, and enjoy good quality local food. He envisions it as a place that is new and evolving to serve the needs of the community and hopes to grow into a place that can cater and host events. Chef Matt and Brian see the City of West Sacramento as the perfect location for an urban cafe connecting with all members of the community, including everyone from the seniors and youth that visit the center, to the Arthur F. Turner library patrons, and the students next door.

People love Chef Matt’s coffee creations, especially the latest favorite, a mocha latte with salted caramel. I was lucky enough to try this concoction; rich creamy chocolate caramel with just a hint of salt. It’s the perfect alternative to a regular hot chocolate. You might ask, what is the name of this delicious drink? Chef Matt calls it the “Sweet Kid,” named after the students that visit the Wicked ‘Wich.

The Wicked ‘Wich is located at 1075 W. Capitol inside the West Sacramento Community Center. Open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information and weekly specials are featured on their Facebook Page:

Flood Agency Visits Southport Elementary

By Michael Dunham

On Monday October 19 the West Sac Flood Protect the City Agency held a presentation at Southport Elementary school regarding flood preparedness.

West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, Darren Suen of the California Department of Water Resources, and Rachael Orellana from the US Army Corps of Engineering all attended the presentation to stress the importance of preparing for a major flood in the city.

Public outreach firm Crocker & Crocker has worked with the West Sac Flood protect the city agency for several years helping them organize their events to reach out to communities to warn them about the dangers of flooding in a city surrounded by levees.

Crocker & Crocker representative Justina Janas said, “We’re hoping that students and the community understand that although West Sac is protected by levees they are still surrounded by water. And even though we’re in a drought even a small rain event can back up storm drains and cause localized flooding.”

The motto of the program is to Plan, Pack, and Protect which refers to the act of communities planning for floods, packing an emergency kit, and protecting yourself with flood insurance.

Janas continued saying, “West Sacramento residents need to remember that the city is basically an island surrounded by 52 miles of levee. If there ever was a large flood, residents may need to evacuate and their home and belongings may be damaged.”

An important part of the program is to educate homeowners on the importance of flood insurance. Many people may not know that homeowners’ insurance policies don’t cover flooding and flood insurance policies take 30 days to become active.

Southport Elementary third grade student Drake Nielsen who attended the event said the most important message he learned to be prepared for a flood was, “To have a plan.”

RCHS welcomes new honorary cheerleaders

By AnnaMaria Corona
RCHS Journalism Student

Two River City High School students from Nancy Abplanalp’s special needs class were invited to cheer with the junior varsity cheerleading squad last Friday night during the Raider’s home game against Yuba City.

Students Alina Corona and Mia Corralejo had the opportunity to help excite the crowd and encourage the football team in what turned out to be very close and tense game that came down to the last play.

Besides being close to all the action on the field, Corralejo said that what she liked most about cheerleading was the new friendships she has been able to make with the other members of the squad.

The two new honorary cheerleaders participated in the routines with the assistance of senior cheerleader Samantha McCormack.

McCormack is Abplanalp’s teacher assistant in her class. It was McCormack’s idea to have the two girls come out and cheer and she took the lead in organizing the details of this event. McCormack also designed and ordered custom t-shirts online for the two girls to wear during the game.

“It was really fun. Seeing Mia and Alina having fun and being so excited, they took the stress away,” says McCormack.

Mia and Alina have been invited to join the cheerleading squad for the remainder of the football and basketball seasons at all home games. They will cheer next Friday the 23rd at River City’s senior night during junior varsity’s last home game of the season against Woodland.

When asked her reaction to seeing her daughter cheer for the first time, Alina’s mom, Melissa Corona said, “It makes me so proud of our community’s high school students and cheerleaders to see how welcoming and supportive they have been. It was such an emotional experience to see the girls do something I never thought they could.”

West Sacramento Foundation All Charities Dinner drew great results for local organizations

By Monica Stark

The West Sacramento Foundation hit another all-time high at this year’s annual raffle and spaghetti dinner, bringing in $70,981 to 35 West Sacramento charities. The ceremonial dinner, held on Saturday, Oct. 17 inside the gymnasium at Our Lady of Grace School on Linden Road, brought smiles and good cheer to those receiving checks and those handing them out.

The Knights of Columbus, a fraternal organization of more than 1.8 million members, showed on Saturday its dedication to its four areas of service as local members dished out plates of delicious spaghetti and salad to the hundreds of hungry community members who awaited the start of the presentation of checks.

What started off with the golf tournament in the late 1980s, netting about $30,000, this year’s West Sacramento Foundation total marks a big accomplishment. The following nonprofit organizations sold more than $5,000 worth of raffle tickets: Veterans of Foreign Wars, River City High School Music Boosters, Southport Elementary PTA, River City Rowing and Our Lady of Grace School.

Richard Stamos, commander at Bryte VFW post 949, said his nonprofit the VFW Riders Association, will be putting the money earned at this year’s raffle ($4,680) toward helping veterans, including helping with hospital bills and memorials. “One guy (a veteran) got kicked out of his house. The West Sacramento Police Department said it was inhabitable. So, we fixed it up… That was about two years ago. This is one fundraiser we do yearly.”

“It is major for us because the economy is bad and it’s hard to raise funds. We’ve been cooking breakfasts, but it’s not been easy. But, we still manage to do it. We’re mostly Vietnam vets. When got home (from war), we didn’t have anything. We told ourselves we won’t have that happen to future vets,” Stamos said.

Drawing a raffle ticket representing Bridgeway Play was the youngest child of Washington Unified School District trustee Sarah Kirby-Gonzalez, Chloe Gonzalez.

What follows is the name of the nonprofit and the total net amount it received because of this year’s raffle: Belfry: $270; Bridgeway Island PTO: $3,159; Bridgeway Play: $2,700; Foster Youth Incorporated: $1,395; Friends of the Main Drain Parkway: $1,350; Holy Cross Knights of Columbus: $1,260; Holy Cross College Preparatory: $2,862; Keystone Christian Missionary Church: $900; Leukemia and Lymphoma Society: $450; Lighthouse Charter School: $3,618; Lighthouse Covenant Church (Youth): $954; Our Lady of Grace Parish Women’s Council: $1,512; Our Lady of Grace School: $8,487; River City Boosters: $945; River City Music Boosters: $5,670; River City Interact Club: $315; River City Rowing: $6,840; Rotary Club of West Sacramento: $270; Rotary Club of West Sacramento Centennial: $1,845; Sacramento West Kiwanis: $945; Soroptomist International of West Sacramento: $549; Southport Elementary PTO, Inc.: $6,669; St. Vincent de Paul – Our Lady of Grace Parish: $1,062; Stonegate: Parent Teacher Association: $2,106; Trinity Presbyterian Church: $405; Up 4 West Sacramento: $1,179; VFW Riders Association: $4,680; West Sacramento Attack: $2,268; West Sacramento Dolphin Swim Team: $900; West Sacramento Christmas Basket Project: $270; West Sacramento Early College Prep Charter School: $1,854; West Sacramento Historical Society: $630; West Sacramento Trail Riders Association: $450; Yolo County Children’s Alliance: $702; West Sacramento Foundation: $1,510.

Meet West Sacramento ultra-marathoner Karen Bonnett

By Monica Stark

“There is only one other person who has completed the Grand Slam and Kona in the same year — This is the Kona Slam. I want to be the second person, and I fully intend to give it my all when the next opportunity arrives,” Karen said.

Ultra-marathoner Karen Bonnett of West Sacramento has a lofty goal- to be the second person ever (the first female ever) to complete the Grand Kona Slam of running. The typical Grand Slam of running is to run the following four 100-mile trail races in one summer: Old Dominion, Western States, Leadville and Wasatch. Each is considered progressively more difficult, and each offers its own tricks and treats, according to Runners World Magazine. But the Grand Kona Slam includes the aforementioned events with Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon World Championships added in for good measure. Only one other person, Paul Terranova of Texas, completed that informal event in 2012.

“There is only one other person who has completed the Grand Slam and Kona in the same year — This is the Kona Slam. I want to be the second person, and I fully intend to give it my all when the next opportunity arrives,” Karen said.

Karen was on pace to complete her goal this year before an injury during Wasatch took hold this year.

Karen completed the first three races in the Grand Slam Series and at mile 10 of Wasatch, she fell into a hole and fractured her Distal Fibula. “I did not know it at the time as we thought it was a bad sprain and I could work it out. Three miles later, I was picked up by some people riding their ATV on the road and they insisted I walk no further. I had a pretty bad hobble. So of 400 miles, I did 313, ugh.”

“When I fell at Wasatch I went down hard and in a lot of pain. A very loud scream accompanied this as well. I was running this with my friend Ernie Floyd. When he heard me scream, he ran down the hill to help rescue me. Many runners helped assist me, gave me tape to wrap my ankle, gave me Ibuprofen, and biofreeze.

“Ernie and his son helped me get back on my feet and work it out. Again, we thought it was a bad sprain. Ernie stayed with me for about two miles as we got to the top of the climb. It took us over two hours to do those two miles.

“I begged him to go on as this would be his 10th Wasatch finish and that is what he was striving to attain. He finally left me and I kept on as I was hobbling down the mountain for three miles to the aid station. A mile into my lonely painful journey, three ATV came up and stopped to see if I was ok. This was the moment reality was hitting me and I fell into tears. They persisted with kindness to take me down the mountain, so I got a ride down. My dream was crushed, my year ended with a slam as I came to realize my ankle was not good.

“My husband was to pace me at night but since I did not finish he was able to pace Ernie. I took Nattu to Brighton Lodge where we waited for Ernie to arrive. When he did he was ready to quit, but with food and force on our part Nattu and Ernie departed. Ernie did finish his 10th Wasatch and received a ring for this 1,000 (mile) accomplishment.

“Ernie’s parents always come to his races and this year was more special as they are dealing with health issues. Ernie felt this may be his father’s last attempt to showing up at Wasatch for his son. At the award ceremony they present ‘ The Spirit of Wasatch award’. This goes to a runner who has gone out of their way to do something out of the ordinary on the 100 mile event.

“This was given to Ernie for his heroism of helping me. This was double-awesome for his dad to be a part of this and see his son get this award. Oh BTW Ernie is about 58 and his parents are in their 80s.”

Karen’s background in running began before she even started lacing up. Coming from many years of cycling and accomplishing many 200-mile bike rides, she has competed in 1,200-kilometer (745-mile) events, including the Gold Rush 1,200K out of Davis, Paris-Brest-Paris and Boston-Montreal-Boston. She then decided she should at least try running, so she ran her first marathon, the California International Marathon, in 2000 for the millennium, and her second was the CIM three years later which she qualified for the elite Boston Marathon. She dabbled with running off and on over the years until about 2007, and in 2008, she upped the miles, running her first 50 miler, the American River 50. She was so excited the next day, she signed up for the Tahoe Rim Trail 50 miler. At this event a friend of her talked her into her first 100-mile run, the Rio Del Lago in 2008.

The longest distance Karen has run was at Across the Years race and in 48 hours she ran 148 miles; she was the first lady in that event in 2011 in Arizona. She plans to go back this year and see how close she can get to 200 miles in two days. Across The Years is a fixed-time event featuring several race options, from as many as six days to one. The object is to travel as far as possible in the time allotted.

Last year, she was training hard for the Tahoe Ironman and she was not able to start due to the fire. She really wanted to try and get a slot for the Kona World Championships. So last year, she registered for Tahoe and Boulder Ironman races in 2015.

One of the biggest inspirations of Karen’s over the course of her running years has been her husband Nattu Natraj who is also a long distance runner. The two were married on June 22 just prior to their honeymoon – the Western States 100-miler (which starts in Squaw Valley and ends in Auburn.)

“On the first Saturday of December (of 2014) the lottery for the Western States is held at the high school in Auburn. We attended and I was the first person picked out of the audience at the high school. This is why I decided on the wedding date and place,” she said.

To Karen, running has become a passion as it keeps her healthy (except for the hurt ankle) and she has a deep passion for fitness and health. “I love feeling strong and healthy and I love helping or inspiriting others to do the same. My passion in life is fitness and inspiring others to do the same. I hope to be doing this forever in my life.”