Two West Sacramento parks get upgrades

Two West Sacramento parks get upgrades

Playgrounds at Elkhorn and Bryte parks will soon benefit from significant upgrades. The City has been awarded a $40,000 Play Spaces Grant from the National Recreation and Park Association and The Walt More »

Broadway Bridge on the horizon but where will it land in West Sac?

Broadway Bridge on the horizon but where will it land in West Sac?

By Monica Stark Back in May, a big piece of local news was that Shell Oil Products was selling its West Sacramento refinery to the Port of West Sacramento. At a Broadway More »

Raley Field hosted USA Softball Women’s National Team

Raley Field hosted USA Softball Women’s National Team

Photos by Tony Chen The Sacramento River Cats and Raley Field welcomed the world’s best in softball, the USA Softball Women’s National Team, to Sacramento on Thursday, July 13 for an exhibition More »

 

GUEST OPINION: State needs to honor its debt to California’s counties

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — DEC 4, 2013 —

By Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada
(D-Davis)
and Yolo County Supervisor Matt Rexroad (Woodland)

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife owes 36 California counties collectively over $17 million in delinquent payment-in-lieu-of-taxes.  For Yolo County, the share is nearly $1.4 million.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN MARIKO YAMADA (courtesy photo)

ASSEMBLYWOMAN MARIKO YAMADA
(courtesy photo)

The payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILT) program was established in 1949 to offset the loss in county property tax revenues resulting from state acquisition of private property for wildlife management areas.  These payments were intended to help counties continue to provide vital services such as public safety, health care and roads construction and maintenance.  In Yolo County, the state has not made a payment to offset its acquisition of property acquired primarily for the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area since 2000, thus leaving Yolo County programs and services to suffer.

The state has also not made payments to the No Man’s Fire Protection District that sits east of Davis.  These payments would help support fire services.  Instead, the cost has been borne solely by private landowners in the district.  This is not the partnership that the County of Yolo expected.  The failure of the state to adhere to state law and meet its end of the bargain discourages the primary intent of land conservation.

YOLO SUPERVISOR MATT REXROAD (photo courtesy of Yolo County)

YOLO SUPERVISOR MATT REXROAD (photo courtesy of Yolo County)

Now, the State of California wants to own or control even more property in Yolo County to address the environmental issues associated with the Delta.  With over $17 million in delinquent monies currently owed to 36 counties, we are skeptical of the state’s future efforts in Yolo County.

Counties throughout California are doing everything they can to reduce expenses, tighten budgets and find funding for critical programs and services for their residents.  We believe the State of California should recognize its payment-in-lieu-of-taxes obligation, pay past due monies and resume ongoing annual payments as the first step in building a better state-local government relationship.

We all have to pay our bills – the state shouldn’t get an exception on the backs of the counties.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Horsemen bearing gifts:

West Sacramento Trail Riders Association riders line up in front of Station 45’s ladder truck in Southport during their 2011 toy drive (photo courtesy of W.S. Fire Department)

West Sacramento Trail Riders Association riders line up in front of Station 45’s ladder truck in Southport during their 2011 toy drive (photo courtesy of W.S. Fire Department)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — DEC 11, 2013 —

The West Sacramento Trail Riders Association – a local horse riding group – plans their annual “Trail Ride for Kids” beginning 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 15.

Above, club members are seen in a previous year’s “Toy Ride” (photo courtesy of West Sacramento Fire Department).

This Sunday, the horsemen and women will deliver toys to the “Toys for Tots” collection site at Fire Station 45. They’ll ride from the Tower Mart on Linden Road South to the fire station on Lake Washington Blvd. near Jefferson, and you’re welcome to come out along the Jefferson Boulevard route to wave hello. The route will take the riders past the Nugget Center to the fire station.

 

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Copyright News-Ledger 2013

 

City considers restraints on pot growing

NEWS-LEDGER– DEC 4, 2013 —

Local law already bans pot dispensaries and backyard medical marijuana groves —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

The City of West Sacramento is poised to again tighten the restrictions on anyone growing marijuana at home.

The city has already outlawed marijuana dispensaries, the cultivation of marijuana for dispensaries, and any kind of outdoor marijuana cultivation. Although a state initiative legalized marijuana for medical use in the state, it still remains illegal under federal law.

A staff report for this Thursday’s planning commission meeting suggests that the commission put further city restrictions on those growing the plant for their own use, including:

— Continuing to outlaw outdoor growth of the plants

— Limiting indoor growth to 120 square feet per property, with a required minimum amount of ventilation and maximum wattage of growing lights.

— Allowing cultivation only when the grower lives on the property

— No cultivation in nonresidential zones or within 600 feet of schools or child care centers.

The staff report said that, after tracking court cases involving the rights of users of medical marijuana, city planning staff believed such restrictions would pass legal muster.

A number of residents have complained about neighbors growing the drug, said the report. Some have complained about the odor of the plants, and others have worried that the plants are a magnet for thieves and crime.

Citing data collected since 2008, the report said:

“The total number of narcotics complaints shows a peak in 2010, decreasing slightly thereafter, and then a slight rise this year. However, the number of complaints that specifically identify marijuana has doubled every year to 2012, with 2013 slightly below. . . The calls for service and crimes (plant theft, residential burglaries) related to the cultivation of marijuana have doubled since 2010.”

The city planning commission will be asked to consider the new restrictions during its meeting 6 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 5)  at city hall, 1110 West Capitol Avenue.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Buy a little something for a needy senior

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER —

Buy a gift for a home-bound or lonely senior: The West Sacramento Rotary Club will be on hand at Raley’s supermarket from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the weekend of Dec. 14-15, and invites you to donate a gift to fill a senior’s request. Most of the requests are for items like socks, magazines and food. Rotary members will team up with River City High School’s Interact Club to cheerfully delivery your gift to the senior citizen who asked for it.

The supermarket is located at 1601 West Capitol Avenue (a block west of Jefferson Boulevard).

Copyright News-Ledger 2013