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 »


18 arrests in gang/drug operation


The office of Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced today the conclusion of an operation combating gangs and narcotics trafficking in the West Sacramento, Sacramento and Roseville areas.

[adrotate group=”7″]   Over 100 law enforcement officers participated through the Yolo County Narcotics Enforcement Team (YONET) — a coalition led by the state department of justice and which includes the West Sacramento Police Department and other Yolo-area agencies.

“The investigation resulted in 18 arrests, four guns, body armor, a stun gun, and drugs,” said a press release from Harris’s office. “Everyone arrested will be booked into Yolo County Jail.”

In West Sacramento, the operation was called “Operation Red Sash,” “because of the Northern Riders and Broderick Boys criminal street gang affiliation with the color red and Nortenos street gang,” the news release added. The operation “targeted mid-level to high-level members who were distributors of illegal narcotics.”

Arrests were made for felony charges related to narcotics trafficking, conspiracy to traffic, and participation in a street gang.

“Today’s operation will cripple these street gangs and their criminal enterprise network,” said Harris’s office.

No details were provided on the identification of those arrested.

The operation began in November, said the attorney general’s office.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Fun run Saturday to fight child abuse

[adrotate group=”7″]  FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER —

The Yolo County Children’s Alliance and Child Abuse Prevention Council hope you’ll join them at a Child Abuse Prevention Fun Run, on Sat., April 28, at Marguerite Montgomery Elementary School, 1441 Danbury St. in Davis.

There will be a 5k walk/run at 8 a.m. and a 1k kids’ fun run at 9:30 a.m. Registration is $25 for adults and $10 for kids. Proceeds benefit the YCCA’s “Baby Steps Child Abuse Prevention Campaign. For information or to register, go to or call (530) 757-5558.

Firefighter response times slow down


By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

Firefighter response times got slower in 2011 – apparently a product of fire department budget cuts.

AL TERRELL, West Sacramento Fire Chief (courtesy of W.S.F.D.)

The West Sacramento Fire Department reports its average response time for emergencies went from four minutes and 20 seconds in 2009 to four minutes and 13 seconds in 2010, followed by a 30-second increase in 2011 to four minutes, 43 seconds.

Local firefighters were not busier with emergencies in 2011 – they had fewer calls for fires, emergency medical services and other emergencies in 2011 than in 2010.

The department was, however, smaller in 2011.

“It boils down to what is an acceptable risk for the community,” Fire Chief Al Terrell told the News-Ledger. “Basically, due to the state of the economy, we’ve had to deploy a flexible employment staffing model. When we don’t have everyone at work, we’ve had to take an engine out of service. We’ve always had five engines and a truck in service, and now (some of the time) we have four engines and a truck.”

[adrotate group=”10″]   Terrell said that this happens when enough personnel aren’t available – due to vacations, extended training, or other reasons. Normally, Fire Station 45 on Lake Washington Boulevard in Southport has two fire companies. But when that’s not possible, it drops to one company – and the department finds itself spread thinner.

“About 80 percent of the time or more, we’re fully staffed,” said Terrell.

How dangerous is it to have response times slow to four minutes, 43 seconds?

“At this stage, I’m not really concerned – when it gets into the five-minute range, I’d be more concerned,” said Terrell. He explained a bit about why that is, and how a city decides to deploy fire stations:

“Medically speaking, if the brain goes without oxygen for six minutes, your brain is dead, even if your body is still alive,” said Terrell. “So in the fire industry, fire stations are strategically located to be able to arrive anywhere in their district in six minutes or under. We’ve strategically located our fire stations so we should arrive anywhere in our area within six minutes. Getting there in less than five minutes is doing really well.”

West Sacramento now has five stations, including the Lake Washington Boulevard station that usually holds two companies.

Has anyone died or been seriously injured because of the slower response time average?

“To my knowledge, that hasn’t happened,” said the chief. “If I had my way, I’d prefer to always have five engines and a truck – 30 seconds can make a difference.”

Terrell said that when he arrived to take over the department about four years ago, it had 71 personnel. Now, it has 66, a decrease that includes four uniformed firefighters.

“There are less people to fill in the gaps, so we have to flexibly staff,” said Terrell.

The cuts to the fire department are part of city-wide budget cuts approved by the city council in response to the recession and city budget troubles.  Police and fire services were among the last departments to feel the weight of the city’s cuts.

[adrotate group=”7″]   The West Sacramento Fire Department reports it responded to 253 fires in 2011, down from 281 in 2009. It also responded to 4,905 emergency medical calls and 128 hazardous materials calls in 2011, in addition to 367 false alarms. In general, the department responded to more emergencies in 2010 than in either 2009 or 2011.

To comment on this article, please visit the same article on our sister website,, by clicking here. Your comment may be published in the News-Ledger.

  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

‘HEART OF THE CITY’: West Sac’s youth

NEWS-LEDGER — APRIL 18, 2012 —


Congratulations to  Stonegate Elementary, the local 2012 boys scholastic basketball champions!

Stonegate was crowned the Washington Unified School District 2012 boys basketball champs after a 47-38 win over Westmore Oaks. As usual, the road wasn’t easy!

Stonegate had an overall record of 6-1. Starting players for Stonegate were Richard Horn, Franklin Stowers,  Kalvin Chavez, Daylen Carter and Adal Rasaphangthong. Alex Yang was the coach.

For Westmore Oaks, Nate Barrett had 15 points, Brian Saeteang 12 points, Savion Washington 10 rebounds and 3 points.

For Westmore Oaks, the road was tough just to get to the championship game. Against Southport, Westmore trailed for three quarters but pulled it out in the fourth quarter for a 33-31 win. Westmore standouts included. Nate Barrett 9 points Jesse Zalasky 15 rebounds. Coaches were Ron Ruaro and  Willow Daykin

Congratulations on another great season.

Something new has been added!

[adrotate group=”9″]   Well, not brand-new, but United States Youth Volleyball League is up and spiking, thanks to Tammy and Steve Bacon, the River City volleyball coaches.

They run a great program while recognizing that their girls and their league coaches have not had as much volleyball experience as they’ve had in other sports. Each girl gets her own volleyball and a T shirt uniform. Heck, even us coaches get a shirt!

They have a preseason coaches clinic, and once a week for an hour practice is another coached clinic, with each practice scripted as to what basic skills will be taught that day. Then, Tammy and Steve walk around and help the coaches and players learn the basics. After an hour of practice it is not unusual for the players to comment, “Wow that was fast – we’re done already?”

The league has four age groups and game days against Folsom and Elk Grove are on the way/  You can see the teams at River City High School on Saturday mornings, over by the tennis courts, spiking and  serving away.

[adrotate group=”10″]   Heck, when a challenger for the state championship , Union Mine High School, is in your high school’s league, why not start a youth program and catch up? Way to go Tammy and Steve!

Noting, quoting and emoting:

Congratulations to  District  6 Little League for submitting a proposal to O.C. Jones Company TLC program and receiving  a grant chosen from hundreds of proposals. The grant will help the City and West Sacramento Little League make improvements at Memorial Park, home of West Sacramento Little League.

Congrats to Centennial Rotary Club of West Sacramento and member Tony Schwall for coordinating and  sponsoring a Rotary Youth Exchange student from West Sacramento to Chile and hosting a student from Japan. Now, Uvaldo Perez of West Sacramento will be sponsored to go to Austria! Wow, Austria for a year! Cool.

Finally hats off to the  River City  Girls J.V. and  varsity soccer teams. We are all familiar with the extreme cold and rain this past month but these girls are out there in it, practicing every day and play.

  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

Free tours of training ship at port

The Golden Bear, training ship of the California Maritime Academy (from the ship's website)



Visitors will be welcome on the Golden Bear – the 500-foot teaching ship of the California Maritime Academy in Vallejo – when the ship visits the Port of West Sacramento on Sunday, April 29.

The vessel will arrive around 1:30 p.m., and free tours will be offered from 2-4 p.m.

Other agencies and community groups will be on hand, including the West Sacramento Fire Department Prevention Trailer, the local police, chamber of commerce, River City Rowing Club, Washington Outboard Club, and the local chapter of the Sea Scouts.

[adrotate group=”9″]   Children must be accompanied by an adult, and adults must have government photo identification (driver’s license/veteran ID, city badge, university card, etc.). A bus will take visitors from the port parking lot to the ship.

The port is located at 2895 Industrial Boulevard at Harbor Boulevard. For more information, call Amy Cameron at the port, 617-4733.

  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).

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Shooting, carjacking suspect ID’d


The Sacramento County Coroner’s office has released the identity of the suspect shot and killed after a crime spree that started in West Sacramento Friday morning and led to the closure of I-80 on the Yolo Causeway (see earlier posts on this site).

JIMMY LEE GRAVES: dead after crime spree that closed the Yolo Causeway

He was 38-year old Jimmy Lee Graves, of Sacramento.

Sergeant Nathan Steele of the West Sacramento Police Department described what happened to bring the pursuit to a conclusion, after what he described an “exhaustive investigation” involving many surrounding law enforcement agencies:

“While attempting to secure the scene in the 1900 block of Ethan Way a suspect fled from Sacramento County Deputies, barricaded himself and started a fire in the apartment,” reported Steele in a press release. “After a standoff in which the suspect was repeatedly ordered to surrender the suspect was shot by Sacramento County Deputies to allow for emergency personnel to extinguish the rapidly growing fire.”

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Suspect dead in Sacramento


The suspect in yesterday’s carjackings that shut down I-80 at the Yolo Causeway is dead after a shooting involving Sacramento sheriff’s deputies at an apartment complex. Following is the entire set of press releases summarizing the incident from the West Sacramento Police Department:


“On 4-20-12 at approximately 0557 hours the West Sacramento Police Department responded to 407 Harbor Boulevard, West Sacramento (B&R Head and Block) for a report that employees at this location had been shot at when they arrived at work.  Initial reports stated there were possibly two suspects involved.  West Sacramento Police Officers responded to the scene and established a perimeter.

“At approximately 0640 hours the West Sacramento Police Department received a report of a carjacking in the area of Poplar and West Capitol Avenue.  Officers arrived in the area and located the vehicle a brown Ford Focus.  Officers attempted to stop the vehicle which fled from police at a high rate of speed.  The suspect then exited the vehicle on foot in the area of 2919 West Capitol Avenue.  Officers began chasing the suspect who carjacked a second vehicle at gunpoint.  Officers confronted the suspect ordering him to surrender and were fired upon by the suspect.  An officer returned fire and the suspect fled the scene in the stolen white Ford F-150 truck ramming a police vehicle.

[adrotate group=”7”]   “The suspect then began traveling westbound on West Capitol Avenue at a high rate of speed fleeing from pursuing officers.  The suspect again fired on a West Sacramento Police Officer striking a patrol car and causing the officer to loss control of his vehicle.

“The suspect vehicle began traveling westbound on Interstate 80 losing control and striking the center divider on Interstate 80 east of Enterprise Avenue.  A perimeter was established at both the 407 Harbor Boulevard location and Interstate 80 on the causeway.  Vehicle traffic across the causeway was shut down to ensure public safety.  Numerous SWAT teams, K-9 teams, helicopters and other resources responded to assist with these scenes.

“While working both of these active crime scenes at approximately 1000 hrs. a report was received of another carjacking that occurred in the area of County Road 127 and River Road in Yolo County.  Yolo County Sheriff’s Department personnel and assisting agencies responded to this scene.  At this scene it was determined that a suspect driving a tractor (believed to have been stolen) approached a male victim and struck the victim over the head.

[adrotate group=”9”]   “That victim’s vehicle a 2008 Ford F150 truck with a California license plate of 8N44911 was taken by the suspect.   This vehicle was later located abandoned in the area of Lerwick and Morse Ave. in Sacramento County.

“Through an on-going investigation potential suspect information and numerous potential suspect locations were obtained.  At approximately 1855 hours the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department SED personnel responded to investigate a potential lead of a suspect at 1968 Ethan Way, Sacramento, Ca.

“After a confrontation with Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department personnel the suspect was shot and pronounced deceased at the scene.  Identification of the suspect is pending by the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office.

“While this is an ongoing investigation it appears that the suspect is in fact the individual involved in the numerous carjackings and who twice fired upon West Sacramento Police Officers earlier in the day.  The investigation continues at this time.

“The West Sacramento Police Department would like to thank the more than 12 law enforcement agencies and numerous officers who assisted in this investigation.  We would also like to thank the community for its understanding of any inconvenience as we worked to safeguard the public.”

Copyright News-Ledger 2012