The Rise of Urban Farms

The Rise of Urban Farms

Volunteer Day at Lake Washington Farm By Bia Riaz The City of West Sacramento, an urban center situated in the midst of Yolo County’s rich rural farm traditions and home to More »

West Sacramentan to be featured artist at Blue Wing Art Gallery

West Sacramentan to be featured artist at Blue Wing Art Gallery

You spend your life trying to perfect your technique, But you only make an impact when you find your own language. That’s when you start communicating your art… John Nichols will be More »

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

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

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 More »


Cops ticketing in seat belt crackdown

NEWS-LEDGER — MAY 25, 2012 —

The West Sacramento Police Department announced last week it will participate in the statewide “Click it or Ticket” campaign this summer to target seat belt scofflaws.

The department promises to “help save more lives by strongly enforcing seat belt laws around the clock,” in the campaign that runs May 21 through June 3.

A ticket for a first-time seat belt violation costs $142.

Fifty-one percent of the people killed in auto crashes nationwide in 2010 were not wearing seat belts at the time they were killed, said the department.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

WUSD explores November school bond

NEWS-LEDGER — MAY 23, 2012  —

The Washington Unified School District’s board of trustees will meet at 6 p.m. on Thursday at city hall, 1110 West Capitol Ave.

Among the many agenda items will be a presentation on the steps needed to place a general obligation school bond on the November ballot.

The presentation will be given by Jonathan Edwards of Government Financial Strategies, the district’s financial advisor.

Details of any bond measure are still yet to be worked out.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Bring that fiddle or banjo


Bluegrass and country musicians looking to jam are invited to jam sessions held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the fourth Saturday of each month at the West Sacramento Community Center, 1075 West Capitol Avenue. $2 at the door.

Call 617-4620 or visit for information.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Dogs invited to ‘Bark for Life’

A pit bull takes a break. This “rescue dog” came with Dr. JT Vida and Keri Johnson, who sponsored the event’s contests. (Photo courtesy of Kathy Higgins Photography)


By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

It was a sunny, yet blustery, day on May 5 as about 70 dogs and their owners converged on Dave Vierra’s pumpkin patch in Southport for West Sacramento’s inaugural “Bark for Life” event.

This is the second year that West Sacramento is participating in a “Relay for Life” fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, but the first time for the dog-centric “Bark for Life” event.

“We had about 68 people who registered ahead of time, and another five or so in person, and we had over 70 dogs,” said organizer Julie Huber. “My husband, Rory Huber, designed a commemorative T-shirt and we gave that out and an event program. The mayor (Christopher Cabaldon) came out and did a welcome speech.”

  Then came the dog walk, on a track around the farm property.

“Next year, if we do it again at Dave’s, we’re going to have both a short route and a longer route. The bigger dogs want something more than a short route!” said Huber.

The registration fee was $10, and a lot of participants also collected pledges for the “Relay for Life” cancer-fighting fund drive. The event is more poignant this year, said Huber, because the founder of Relay for Life, Dr. Gordy Klatt, has himself just been diagnosed with stomach cancer.

“We raised over $6,000,” reported Huber.

The event featured vendors, a police dog demonstration by Officer Roger Kinney and “Zar,” a visit from firefighters, and contests such as “”smallest dog” and “best costume.”

On June 23-24, the local “Relay for Life” chapter follows up with a 24-hour walk-a-thon for teams of humans. The event was held its first year locally in 2011, at River City High, but it will move to the track at Our Lady of Grace School this year.

Mayor Christopher Cabaldon (center) accompanies dog walkers around Dave’s Pumpkin Patch on May 5, in a fundraiser against cancer (Photo courtesy of Kathy Higgins Photography)

“For the Relay, you commit to raising $100,” said Huber, who is a captain for one team. “If you have a team of 15 people, they expect your team to raise $1,500.”

Teams keep someone walking the track at all times for 24 hours straight.

“The theory behind ‘Relay’ is that cancer never sleeps, so we don’t sleep for 24 hours.”

Last year’s local “Relay for Life” event raised around $60,000. Other local events are held elsewhere around the country.

Sponsors of this month’s “Bark for Life” event included host Dave Vierra as well as Wag Hotels.

Youngsters & their friends take a break next to a visiting fire truck at 'Bark for Life' in Southport (courtesy of Kathy Higgins Photography)

  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 (offer open to new subscribers in West Sacramento ZIP codes 95691 & 95605).

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Play date for kids at Raley Field


The Sacramento River Cats will host a “Mommy & Me Day” at Raley Field from tomorrow (Wednesday, May 23), from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The free event is open to kids ages six and under, with their parents. Activities include running the bases, playing catch, and playing in a bounce house and on an obstacle course. There will be free snacks for hte first 1,500 children, and also free parking.

Registration starts at 9 a.m., but parents are encouraged to pre-register by visiting

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Epic road trip: my parents recall a youthful drive across Route 66 in a ’36 coupe

DARYL FISHER, News-Ledger columnist

NEWS-LEDGER — MAY 16, 2012 —

As all of you know, another Mother’s Day has just come and gone, and like everyone else, I spent some time visiting with my mother this past weekend, and my daughter also had her over to her house for one of my mother’s favorite meals, a yummy steak sandwich from West Sacramento’s popular Club Pheasant.

My mother is 91 years old now, has more energy than I do, and lives in her own little apartment in Sacramento, which she has called home since the passing of my father seven years ago. Until then, West Sacramento had been their home for most of their 63 years of marriage, having moved here shortly after the end of World War II. With the help of the G.I. Bill, they bought a little tract home on Michigan Boulevard and my father went to work for the Southern Pacific Railroad, where he toiled away for the next 39 years. Anyway, while my mother and I were chatting the other night, it dawned on me that when children reflect back on the lives of their parents, the time frame that comes into play usually begins with their own birth, and more or less covers their years of growing up in their parents’ house. In other words, we really do think of our parents “as parents”, and often forget that they were young once, too, with hopes and dreams and a whole life still in front of them long before they ever got around to getting married and raising a family.

  In my case, I know most of the basic stuff about my mother’s youth, that she grew up in a little town in Southern Missouri and that she and her family lived through the most difficult days/years of the Great Depression; that she met my father in grade school and that he was in her life for almost as long as she can remember; that as a young girl she worked in a beauty shop to earn extra money and was always very responsible; and that she adored her father, who passed away much too young from a burst appendix before I ever got to meet him. But other than that, my mother’s life before I became a part of it isn’t all that well-known to me, and I thought I would start doing a little something about that this Mother’s Day.

“So, Mom,” I asked her last weekend, “how did you and Dad get all the way out to California from Missouri after you were married?”

“We drove in a car, silly,” she answered matter-of-factly.

“I know that, Mom,” I said, “but why don’t you tell me all about it?”

“Why?” she asked suspiciously. “And will what I tell you end up in that newspaper column of yours?”

“Maybe,” I admitted.

“Well,” she said with a smile, “it actually is a pretty funny story.”

“How so?”

“Well, you have to remember that your dad and I were just a couple of young green kids back then and we didn’t have a clue about what traveling halfway across the country might be like. Plus I had just had my appendix out and the doctor wasn’t too happy about me bouncing around in a car all the way to California. But your dad had found work out there so we jumped into an old 1936 Chevy coupe and off we went. And you have to remember that this all happened back in the winter of 1941 and since they didn’t have fancy weather forecasts back then, we ended up driving through snow and on icy roads most of the way.”

  “So, did you stay in nice hotels and use the trip as kind of a honeymoon?”
“Are you kidding? We had less than $75 to make it all the way to California – more like $50 if I remember right – and most of that was going to have to be spent on gas, so we stayed in the cheapest places we could find. And for food we had brought some of my mother’s fried chicken with us, along with a pound of bacon, a loaf of bread, and a dozen eggs. And I went and dropped the darn eggs and busted all of them the first night we were unloading the car. So we had nothing but toast and some bacon for breakfast all the way to California. And how we made it through those high mountain passes in all that bad weather I’ll never know. Plus when the windshield wipers stopped working I about froze to death hanging my head out of the window to tell your dad what was ahead of us.”

When I started laughing, my mother said, “Well, if you think that is funny, you should have seen what happened to us when we finally got through the mountains and all that bad weather and out into the desert just before we got to California.”

“So what happened then?” I asked with interest.

“Well, the radiator sprung a leak and started spewing out smoke and water and of course we didn’t have any money to stop and have the darn thing repaired. But it got so bad we finally had to find a gas station and ask for help. After this really nice man looked at it and showed us the problem, we told him we didn’t really have any money for him to fix it, and he said he knew of a little trick that would probably get us all the way to Sacramento before the radiator completely blew up.”

“A little trick?”

“Yeah, and what he did was go get a big old bar of lye soap and then he started shaving it all into the radiator until he had the whole thing filled up with soap shavings and water.”

“You’re kidding?”

“Nope, and sure enough, once we started rolling along again, I guess that soap somehow filled in the hole in the radiator and just like he said, we made it all the way to Sacramento.”

“That is a funny story,” I said.

“But that’s not the funny part!”

“There’s more?” I asked my mother, returning her smile.

“The funny part,” she explained with the kind of warm, happy expression on her face that only comes from recalling a cherished memory, “was that all the way from at least Bakersfield to Sacramento our car kept blowing bubbles out from underneath the hood and everyone who passed us – coming or going – ended up waving and laughing at us. We looked like we were on the Lawrence Welk show with all those bubbles coming out of our car.”

“Now that is a funny story!” I said.

“Oh, what a trip that was,” said my mother, obviously wishing she was 21 years old again, had her whole life with my father still ahead of her, and that they could jump back in their 1936 Chevy coupe, motor out onto old Route 66, and travel every one of those long ago miles all over again.

  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 (offer open to new subscribers in West Sacramento ZIP codes 95691 & 95605).

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Need help or a referral? Call 2-1-1 in Yolo


Dialing 211 in Yolo County will get you “211 Yolo,” with 24-hour, free, confidential, multilingual advice on how to connect with any of over 900 community services available to county residents.

If you need help and don’t know where to turn, call 211.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012