West Sacramento Deputy Fire Chief hopes to inspire more diverse fire crews as she takes over as Fire Chief in Woodland

West Sacramento Deputy Fire Chief hopes to inspire more diverse fire crews as she takes over as Fire Chief in Woodland

By Daniel Wilson Early in her career, West Sacramento Deputy Fire Chief Rebecca Ramirez, who will take over as the first female fire chief for the Woodland Fire Department on Feb. 27, More »

A Day in the Life of A Palestinian Immigrant

A Day in the Life of A Palestinian Immigrant

By Stacy Grow A stay-at-home mother of three children, West Sacramento resident Nasreen F.’s life is currently filled with caring for her children and home. Born and raised near Jerusalem in a More »

Our Lady of Grace Parish Honors Sister Michael Henry on her 80th Birthday

Our Lady of Grace Parish Honors Sister Michael Henry on her 80th Birthday

By Jan Dalske for the News Ledger Parishioners of Our Lady of Grace Parish in West Sacramento gathered in the church hall last month to celebrate Sister Michael Henry’s 80th Birthday. Sister More »

 

Parenthood: power of genes & ignorance

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JULY 3, 2013 —

I was talking to a friend the other day about how he wished he had been a better parent.

“What are you talking about?” I asked him in disbelief. “You are one of the best parents I know.”

BY DARYL FISHER, News-Ledger Features Editor

BY DARYL FISHER, News-Ledger Features Editor

“But my kids have had more than their fair share of problems as they have gotten older,” explained my friend, “and I just feel like I should have done a better job of preparing them for life. Sometimes it seems like their personalities have gotten them into all kinds of trouble that could have been easily avoided if they just weren’t who they are, if you know what I mean. And maybe if I had been a little more forceful when they were young about dealing with some of their less than attractive personality traits – you know, like stubbornness, or being too judgmental, or failing to see the humor in things – they wouldn’t have had to learn so many lessons the hard way.”

“You know,” I said, “I think most of us parents think we have a whole lot more to do with how our children turn out than we actually do, especially when it comes to their personalities.”

“What do you mean?”

“Think back to when your kids were really young,” I said. “Now if they were like mine, then they were already pretty much who they were going to be at a very early age. For instance, one of my kids never went to sleep at the proper time when he was a baby, and he still stays up half the night; another was very quiet and shy, and still is; another loved to eat and still drools over a really good meal, while one had to be almost force-fed when he was young and still plays around with his food instead of eating it. And when it comes to their personalities, it seems to me like they were all pretty much set in stone at a very early age. The ones that were better at sharing, or being sweet and loveable, or even at cleaning up their rooms, still are, while the ones who drove me nuts still do.”

“Why do you think that is?” asked my friend with interest.

“Well, I think parents really underestimate the power of the genes that are handed down to our kids, and I’m not just talking about the ones we give them. For instance, my oldest son reminds me much more of my father than he does of me, both in his personality and the way he looks. And my youngest son is a lot like my father-in-law, so I think the genes our kids get often skip generations, sometimes maybe even many generations, and I wouldn’t be all that surprised if some of my kids’ personality traits go all the way back to some guy named Fisher on the Mayflower.”

“But even if genes do play a major role in who our kids turn out to be, you must have had a few basic principles that you used as guideposts when you were raising your kids?”

“Oh sure, I had lots of those.”

“Like what for instance?”

“Well, if I remember right, parental ignorance was pretty high up on that list. Believe me, if I had known about all the stuff my kids were up to when they were young, I would have probably had a stroke. Mercifully, most of them were pretty good at keeping me in the dark, and like they say, ignorance really is bliss. Plus if the truth be known, my kids more or less raised me and made me into the grown up you see today, not the other way around.”

“So, you had a pretty much `hands off policy’ when it came to parenting?”

“Well, my kids probably wouldn’t say that, since they swear I was always on their case, but when they were young, I barely had the time to keep up with every aspect of my life, much less my children’s. Plus kids really need their own space, and parents are always forgetting that. So I really have come to believe that we adults need to sit back and take parenting a lot less seriously than we do. Now that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t create the most loving, safe and kid-friendly environment possible for our children, but at the same time, we can’t be putting all of our eggs into our kids’ baskets.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“I mean that we all only get one life to live and we need to be out there doing it, not living our lives through our children, or putting all of our self-worth into how they turn out. The reality is that in addition to enriching our lives, our children will break our hearts now and then, and we need to understand that’s just part of the agreement you’re signing onto when you decide to be a parent. Plus what most kids end up doing anyway is forgiving us for our parenting mistakes once they have kids of their own and realize just what a hard and often thankless job it is. So if I were you, I wouldn’t be spending too much time thinking you should have been a better parent. I mean, it’s already bad enough that all of us parents get to worry about our kids pretty much non-stop until the day we die!”

 

  Do you like what you see here?

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  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 2013

Go to River Cats game & support local foster children

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JULY 10, 2013

Attend the River Cats game on July 13 and support local Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) programs, which help represent children in foster care situations. For tickets, go to www.rivercats.com/fundraisers, selected CASA YOLO, and use the offer code: “Child.” Tickets are $10-22, and may be printed on your computer.

For more information on Yolo CASA, visit www.yolocasa.org.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

West Sac residence used for regional firefighters’ practice

QUICK SEARCH: A West Sacramento fire crew practices what do do when they arrive on scene and learn a victim is likely trapped in an upper floor of a burning house.    They used the ladder to break in a plywood “window,” then reset the ladder. Firefighters then “went in low, below the smoke,” explained W.S.F.D. Battalion Chief Rebecca Ramirez, and searched the room. In the photo above, you can see a little bit of the “victim” towards the right -- it’s a 175-pound practice dummy. News-Ledger photo

QUICK SEARCH: A West Sacramento fire crew practices what do do when they arrive on scene and learn a victim is likely trapped in an upper floor of a burning house.
They used the ladder to break in a plywood “window,” then reset the ladder. Firefighters then “went in low, below the smoke,” explained W.S.F.D. Battalion Chief Rebecca Ramirez, and searched the room. In the photo above, you can see a little bit of the “victim” towards the right — it’s a 175-pound practice dummy.
News-Ledger photo

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JULY 3, 2013 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

Although the fake smoke machine wasn’t on hand Friday morning, the goal was still to make it “as real as possible” for firefighters training at a borrowed multi-residential unit on B Street, said Rebecca Ramirez, a Battalion Chief for the West Sacramento Fire Department.

Retired firefighter and landlord Ric Dorris lent the building out for the session.

Visiting to hone their techniques and “get on the same page” were crews from Davis, UC Davis, Woodland and Yolo’s Yocha Dehe tribe, along with West Sac. They’re often often called upon to back each other up and work together.

“It’s about sharing knowledge and best practices, said Ramirez.

Not too many years ago, fire departments could be dismayed to arrive on scene in a neighboring jurisdiction and find that their hoses weren’t compatible with the locals’.  Or that they had different terminologies. A lot of those troubles have been solved. But not all.

“If someone says, I have a firefighter in trouble who entered the ‘alpha’ side, everybody needs to know what that is,” she explained.

A burning structure gets each side named, and “alpha” is often the front. Progressing around the building are its other walls — “beta,” “charlie” and so on.

At training sessions like this, firefighters also practice specific techniques — “the more ‘tools’ you have in your toolbox, the more likely you can solve a problem,” said Ramirez.

News-Ledger photo

News-Ledger photo

 

 FALLEN FIREFIGHTER: West Sacramento Fire Department’s James Staley, acting as instructor (above) , explains how to lift a firefighter who has fallen through the floor into the basement.

  “They get a ‘charged’ hose line in there and push it down through the floor,” explained Rebecca Ramirez, W.S.F.D. Battalion Chief. “They anchor one end. They attache a loop. The firefighter actually gets on it and straddles it, and climbs the end that is anchored.”

  While the firefighter is climbing, his colleagues are lifting the other end of the hose to help.

  You can see that part of the exercise — what’s going on below the hole in the floor — below.

(News-Ledger photo)

(News-Ledger photo)

ABOVE: Some of the firefighters on scene Friday to train at a vacant residential unit on B Street. Battalion Chief Rebecca Ramirez is at far left  (and she receives  a promotion to Division Chief this week). News-Ledger photo.

ABOVE: Some of the firefighters on scene Friday to train at a vacant residential unit on B Street. Battalion Chief Rebecca Ramirez is at far left (and she receives a promotion to Division Chief this week). News-Ledger photo.

  Do you like what you see here?

 

  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 2013

 

 

 

Group rates for solar in Yolo County

MATT REXROAD Yolo County Supervisor, whose Third District includes southern Woodland and the northern edge of West Sacramento (County of Yolo photo)

MATT REXROAD
Yolo County Supervisor, whose Third District includes southern Woodland and the northern edge of West Sacramento (County of Yolo photo)

JULY 3, 2013 — FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER —

By Matt Rexroad
Yolo County Supervisor

Energy independence means different things to different people and no energy source will better help residents hedge against rising electricity costs and move from dirty sources of energy more than solar. It is a domestic, reliable, renewable and abundant solution.

On this Independence Day, consider this: enough solar energy hits the U.S. each hour to power our nation for a year.

In 2008 local governments and other organizations including school districts and universities joined the Yolo County Climate Change Compact. These jurisdictions, including Yolo County and the cities of Davis, Winters, Woodland and West Sacramento pledged to take steps to offer programs that engaged citizens in reducing climate change through energy conservation and renewable energy solutions like solar.

If you’ve been thinking about putting solar on your roof, or fixing those leaky windows and ducts, but were put off by the cost, throughout the month of July the Yolo Climate Compact is providing homeowners with an opportunity to learn if these solutions are right for their home through a limited time program called Energy Benefits Yolo.

Energy Benefits Yolo is a new group discount program for energy efficiency upgrades and solar installations led by the Yolo Climate Compact and the non-profit ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability USA. By pooling buying power of the community, the program offers residents the ability to add solar energy to their homes at prices that are 20% lower than the average cost of solar in Yolo County.

The program also helps homeowners by taking the guesswork out of selecting a reputable vendor, as it uses certified contractors that went through a vetting and approval process. According to Tom Stallard, a member of the Woodland city council “I used the program to install solar on my house and have been impressed with the results and want others to know about this opportunity.”

The Yolo Climate Compact’s motivation for the program is to encourage residents to at least consider energy efficiency upgrades and solar energy for their home. “Solar energy is a great way to stabilize your energy costs for the next 25 years,” reports Yolo Energy Watch Program Manager John-Mott Smith.

Summer necessities in Yolo County like air conditioning and pool pumps can add significant cost to electric bills. Installing new insulation and harnessing solar power is a great way for families throughout our community to become energy independent and live comfortably year round without spending a fortune. The onsite solar assessment is free (electricity and solar hot water), and the onsite energy efficiency assessment is discounted to $99 for most homes (normally $500).

As the Chair of the Yolo Climate Compact, I am proud to champion this program along with the Mayors of Davis, Winters, Woodland and West Sacramento. To date over 220 residents have participated in Energy Benefits Yolo. Join your neighbors and get signed up to receive a no-obligation assessment by July 31.

Visit: http://www.mygroupenergy.com/yolo/.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013