Artwork for Joey Lopes Park

Artwork for Joey Lopes Park

By Thomas Farley thomasfarley@yahoo.com The art installation for Joey Lopes Park will be a knock-out. The City Council voted on Wednesday, Jan. 13 to accept a design from nationally known artist Michael More »

The Sail Inn is Back in Port

The Sail Inn is Back in Port

By Thomas Farley thomasfarley@yahoo.com The Sail Inn on Jefferson Boulevard is being reopened and rechristened as the Sail Inn Grotto & Bar. Launch date is late February. All aboard. The old Sail More »

Shores of Hope partnered with Raley’s Food for Families to provide food to West Sac families

Shores of Hope partnered with Raley’s Food for Families to provide food to West Sac families

On Saturday, Jan. 16, Shores of Hope served families in need and distributed more than 300 bags of groceries thanks to a partnership with the Raley’s Food for Families program. The line More »

 

The wilderness nearby: Cache Creek

Dean Fulks wades into a pool under the Trout Creek waterfall in the Cache Creek Wilderness (courtesy photo)

By Andrew Fulks

It’s summer, 2012.

The slap, slap, slap of Cache Creek drums on the bottom of my boat as I paddle down the North Fork.  Bobbing, weaving, head down.  Branches have grown since last summer.  The North Fork is the first couple miles of the Wilderness run and the vegetation makes for more difficult obstacles than further down on the main stem of the creek.  Flows are high this year, despite the drought.  It’s an artifact of human water management.

With less water in Clear Lake this year after a meager Winter, Indian Valley reservoir is releasing more to make up the difference for the thirsty farms in Yolo County.  I have to thank the farms for this experience.  If people hadn’t changed the water regime, this creek would be mostly dry in the summer.  Makes me reflect on what it means for things to be truly ‘wild’.  But, that thought is cut short by my scanning an Arundo on the shoreline.

A quick turn, paddle in deep, pulling off on the left bank.  Arundo: also known as Giant Reed, False Bamboo, cutter of hands and eroder of streambanks.  Another human artifact.  Planted as an ornamental and for erosion control, escaped to the ‘wild’, and invades ecosystems.  Our hubris about ‘fixing’ nature has broken it.  Ironically, I’m here doing the same thing.  Tuleyome’s been battling this weed within the Cache Creek wilderness for the last 7 years, and have the infestation down to less than a handful of plants.  This one escaped my detection until now.  A quick herbicide spray, and we’re back on the river.  Where there used to be almost 100 of these giant weeds here in the wilderness, we’ve reduced to a handful.  Soon there will be none.  The system is broken, though, and hidden upstream sources will continue to fertilize our shores with little plants.  We’re in this for the long haul.

The native willows and cottonwoods sway in the slight breeze.  Rushes and sedges line the banks, forming a ribbon of green contrasting the bright yellow of my kayak.  There’s a rumble up ahead, warning of a rapid.  I’ve run this so many times in the last dozen years, my reaction is automatic.  Back paddle, pick my line, hit it straight, dig hard, and avoid the tree branch.  A Great Blue Heron unfolds his wings and heads downstream.  He’ll be our travelling companion for the rest of the trip, always staying ahead of the interlopers.  Turtles on streamside rocks give us a sideways glance.  Some are stacked on each other.  King of the mountain gets the sunlight.  Some slip into the water as we get closer.  They’ll emerge downstream on the next rock that is to their liking.

We pull off at Trout Creek.  Even though it’s summer, there’s a steady flow coming out of the side canyon.  We know the spring-fed creek will be flowing late into the summer.

We also know what’s up the canyon.  Scrambling up the rocks and ducking under the willows, we pick our way toward the sound of falling water.  I’ve been here before, and many times.  A large stream of water shoots off a rock ledge, falling vertically into a perfectly round pool.  Behind the pool is a grotto.  Water droplets drip from rocks onto ferns.  This oasis is largely unknown, save for a few boaters that follow the bear path up the canyon.  No roads, no trails.  Wild.

  Back on the water, the breeze picks up.  We’re floating downstream, but getting pushed backwards.  Time for the arms to start working again.  The drumming of the water gets an accompaniment with the swoosh of paddle strokes.  The rhythm is broken by the crunch of branches.  Mother bear and her cub run up the hillside, their bronze fur rippling with each stride.  The exhilaration of seeing such a creature is replaced by the analytical mind.  Bear, check.  Turtles, River otter, Bald eagle, Osprey, Green heron, Blue heron, garter snake, deer…all, check.

Later, as we drag the boats up to the car, I reflect on the human infrastructure that was required to allow me to enjoy this wilderness.   Cars, gas, rubbers, plastics, and a sinuous serpentine asphalt ribbon.  It’s paradoxical, and uniquely human.  The artificial gets me closer to the natural.  It’s a paradox, but also a balance.  Preserving wild areas provides that balance.

  Andrew Fulks is the president of Tuleyome, a regional conservation nonprofit, and is presently the Putah Creek Riparian Reserve Manager for UC Davis, managing 6 miles of stream and several hundred acres. His interest is in open space preservation and public access.

  Yes, 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 2012

‘Corn Festival’? ‘Hemp Festival’? Your ideas for an annual West Sac celebration

FROM THE WEST SACRAMENTO NEWS-LEDGER — AUG 15, 2012 —

  EDITOR’S NOTE: The News-Ledger recently got to wondering whether West Sacramento ought to take another stab at coming up with its own annual festival to celebrate. So we posted the following question on our Facebook web page, and received the suggestions below:

“All right: so Woodland has a tomato festival (coming up on Aug 11). Isleton has a crawdad festival. Sacramento has a jazz festival. What should West Sac celebrate with a festival?”

  Billy Mistler: a Whitey’s Special festival.

  Gloria Pedroza-Madrid: Nice, Billy! But I will work with you, how about Whitey’s Peach milkshake festival!!!

  Sarah Wilson: Rice. Port of Sacramento.

  Cynthia ‘Cindi’ Islas: Corn festival.

  Denice Seals: How ‘bout a weekly Farmers Market! (Editor’s note: Denice heads up the local chamber of commerce, which happens to sponsor a Thursday-night farmers market!)

  Joshua Williams: Beer Cheese and Wine Festival!

  Katie Adams: beer festival!!

  Eve Westvik: A tamale festival.

Mary Brookins: Rice!

  Nathan Mccully: a drug and alcohol recovery festival and watermelon.

Dillon Stenholm: Hemp fest.

Pj Hargrove Bonfield: Something to highlight the Port.

  Debby Fricano: Corn festival!

  Julia McMichael: The Jazz Society is West Sacramento. Duh.

  David Prescott: West Sacramento Free Adult Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Festival.

  Yes, 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 2012

Train takes out power line

From the West Sacramento News-Ledger — AUG 15, 2012 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

Power went out for around an hour to over 2,000 PG&E customers in West Sacramento on Thursday.

The cause? Train versus power line.

  According to West Sacramento police records, a citizen reported the outage at about 3 p.m. after a train hit a “low hanging” power line on the 2700-block of Rice Avenue, causing sparks and leaving the line “frayed.”

Brandi Ehlers, a spokesperson for PG&E, said she did know how the train came to hit the power line.

“I haven’t heard yet whether the lines were low-hung or whether a piece of equipment fell down and was hit, or whether the train was higher than usual,” Ehlers told the News-Ledger.

“We initially lost power to 2,739 customers. It looks like they were all restored by 4:21 p.m. We did have to replace the cable.”

The utility company received reports of power outages from the “state street” area near Park Boulevard (Pennsylvania Avenue, Virginia Avenue, etc.) as well as from Rice Avenue and Evergreen Avenue.

ONLINE UPDATE, AUG 15 2012: After this News-Ledger went to press, PG&E spokeswoman called back with further information on why the train hit the power line. She said:

“The main guy wire anchor had rusted through. This caused the pole to lean more, causing the wire to sag down. It was also hot out, and there was a heavy electrical use on the line, due to the hot weather [i.e., customers were using their air conditioners heavily]. This made it even hotter. Our power lines tend to sag lower when they’re hot. We have built-in clearance for that, but with the pole leaning, it wasn’t enough.”

The cable and other faulty equipment has been replaced, added Ehlers.

  Yes, 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 2012

RCHS football: changes for 2012

FROM THE WEST SACRAMENTO NEWS-LEDGER — AUG 15, 2012 —

By Larry Langford, RCHS Football
Media Liaison

River City High School starts the 2012 football season with a new head coach, a new staff and a new system on Friday, Aug. 24.

The team plays Christian Brothers High School at Raider Stadium on the RCHS campus. Veteran high school and collegiate coach Steve DaPrato takes the helm for a River City program that has impressed onlookers at both the Sac State Full-Contact Camp in June and at the team’s annual intersquad scrimmage held last Saturday.

STEVE DAPRATO: new head coach for Raiders in 2012 (News-Ledger file photo)

DaPrato, a West Sacramento native, has instituted a “college” system, and has expanded the coaching staff. His objective is to succeed immediately. the new Raider offense will be “multiple,” with the ability to throw long, throw short and run from a variety of sets and formations.

Said DaPrato:

“It is a system that allows everyone to shine. We can do it all. Whatever the defense gives us will be exploited and we hope to do it in an explosive and entertaining way.”

DaPrato may have the tools to do just that.

Senior Tucker McAmoil returns at quarterback, with sophomore Elijiah Thomas, running backs Jamal Williams and David Vincent also impressing the staff, as well as multi-position player Evan Cunningham.

The receiving core includes big-play wide-out Malik Dumetz and tight ends Vincent Chelini and Kevin Burkes. The offensive line will be anchored by Max Harrison, Justin Newman, Jacob Stout and Eric Beall.

The Raiders will take a similar approach on defense. They will present multiple formations, combined with zone, man and combination pass coverages in an attempt to confuse opposing offenses. They will rarely be in the same defensive formation on consecutive downs, and will bring considerable pressure with an expanded blitz and stunt package. Defensive coordinator Chris Baker summed it up this way:

  “We are not a read-and-react defense,” said Baker. “We bring it, and we bring it from a variety of formations. The expectation is ‘three and outs’ and forced turnovers.”

Seniors Andrew Dutra and Anthony Perea will anchor the linebacking core. Tackle Maurice Rodriguez and end Junior Chean are the core of a deep defensive line. Safety Artis Jackson is the leader of the secondary.

The Raiders are headed to Roseville High School this Saturday at 10 a.m. for a full-contact “jamboree” scrimmage. The public is invited.

  Yes, 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 2012

Yolo’s free-admission fair opens tonight

FROM THE WEST SACRAMENTO NEWS-LEDGER — AUG 15, 2012 —

The Yolo County Fair in Woodland opened its free-admission gates for some events as early as Sunday. But the fair opens officially today, with indoor exhibits open to visitors at 6 p.m.

You can get unlimited rides from 6 p.m. to midnight tonight on the “Midway of Fun” for a special price of $25, and there will be goat races, judging of baking entries, music and other events on tap as well. “Lifeshine” will play rock and roll on the east stage at 6 p.m., and Eddie Loebs & Blue Steel play on the West Stage at 8:30 p.m.

West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon will emcee the “Yolo County Fair Idol” talent contest scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday on the west stage.

The popular auto destruction derby starts crashing inside the arena at 7 p.m. on Friday.

There will also be livestock exhibits, crafts and other things to either do or see.

Doors close for the 2012 edition of the Yolo County Fair at midnight on Sunday.

For the full schedule of events, visit http://www.yolocountyfair.com.

The fairgrounds are located at 1250 E. Gum Avenue in Woodland. Parking is $5/day. Admission is free, but some events such as carnival rides require paid tickets.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

‘Mountain Lions’ move to Raley Field

FROM THE WEST SACRAMENTO NEWS-LEDGER — AUG 8, 2012 —

West Sacramento will get another “minor league” sports team:

  The Mountain Lions of the United Football League announced Friday they will begin playing their home games at Raley Field, current home of the River Cats baseball team.

The field will be reconfigured for American football when the Mountain Lions play in West Sacramento on Sept. 28, Oct. 10, Nov. 2 and Nov. 7.

The team previously played at Sacramento State.

In other news for Raley Field, the ballpark announced yesterday that it will host a soccer game from Mexico’s First Division League on Sept. 8.

Club Atletico Monarcas Morelia will face the San Luis FC in an 8 p.m. game, with tickets going on sale Thursday at Raley Field at at ticketmaster.com. It will be an exhibition match sanctioned by U.S. Soccer.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Blood drive today at city hall

FROM THE WEST SACRAMENTO NEWS-LEDGER —

You’re invited to drop off a little of the red stuff during a City of West Sacramento blood drive on Wednesday, Aug. 15, at city hall.

A Sacramento BloodSource mobile coach will be in the parking lot at 1110 West Capitol Avenue from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for appointments (call Kryss Rankin, 617-4500). Walk-ins taken when space is available.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012