<strong>The Outdoors Next Door:</strong> Exploring The Yolo Bypass

The Outdoors Next Door: Exploring The Yolo Bypass

By Thomas Farley If you want to get outdoors but don’t have much time, the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area is a perfect place to go. It is essentially the entire area visible More »

West Sacramento’s port is on a path of profitability

West Sacramento’s port is on a path of profitability

By Thomas Farley Has the Port of West Sacramento’s ship come in? Or is it still at sea? The landmark facility alongside Industrial Boulevard has struggled for years to keep afloat financially, More »

New West Sac water restrictions allow for watering just once a week

New West Sac water restrictions allow for watering just once a week

The West Sacramento City Council has given City Manager Martin Tuttle authority to declare a stage 3 Water Shortage Contingency Plan in order to reach the mandatory 28% water use reduction required More »


RCHS students get a taste of the real world: mock job interviews

A River City student (left) faces an intimidating interview panel in a classroom full of spectators. Across from her are Michelle Vandeheetkamp, owner of Wicked West Pizza & BBQ; Bill Panos the city’s public works director; Michael Costello of “Brew It Up” restaurant fame; and Mayor Christopher Cabaldon (photo courtesy of Krysty Gaponov, River City High School student)

NEWS-LEDGER FEB 29, 2012 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

Students at River City High School had a chance to practice their job interview skills last Wednesday, with help from Mayor Christopher Cabaldon and other guest interviewers.

The “guest grillers” visited two government civics classes of teacher Ronica Carlisle, interviewing about ten kids while others observed. Then, there was a debriefing to learn how to do better when they go out into the real world.

“The students in the class voted to do it and invited us to come,” said Cabaldon. “Given that the rates of teenage unemployment and youth unemployment have never been higher, and that so many high school students graduate with no work experience and into a tough employment market, this is important.”

  The kids “did great,” he added.

“It was a wide array of students – some with work experience, a couple of real go-getters, and a couple who were really shy. Afterward, we talked about things to do and things to avoid – not necessarily to sell yourself, but to present yourself and your skills in the best possible light.”

Teacher Ronica Carlisle said one of the goals is to help kids learn to handle such open-ended questions as
”Tell me about yourself,” “What do you do outside of school?” or “Do you have any questions for us?”, all of which can leave a young person stumped during an interview.

“(Cabaldon) talked about youth unemployment,” she said. “(The interviewers all gave real practical advice such as how to shake someone’s hand, look them in the eye, repeat (the interviewer’s) name.”

A number of the 70-or-so kids involved in the project said they learned some things.

RCHS journalism student Sam Urrea quoted interviewee Ryan Colen as saying he gained confidence from his practice interview:

“I was a little nervous at first, knowing these guys were important people, but as the interview progressed, I felt more and more confident about my answers to their weird questions.”

“I feel like I should have answered some questions better,” said fellow student Angelica Estrada, “but this will only help me for future interviews.”

She, too, was quoted by Urrea.

Teacher Carlisle says she hopes to bring the mock interviews back next year.

On the same day of the mock interviewers, Congressman Mike Thompson visited the RCHS campus to talk about youth employment and to tour the school’s new solar panel array.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Arrested for vandalizing state capitol:

NEWS-LEDGER — FEB 29, 2012 —

A West Sacramento man went to jail Sunday night after allegedly vandalizing California’s state capitol building, the treasurer’s office and Sacramento city hall.

  According to the San Jose Mercury News, the suspect is 21-year old Michael Dopkins, who allegedly threw rocks and concrete at several sides of the Capitol building, damaging doors and windows. He then moved on to the treasurer’s building and city hall, causing more damage.

A CHP spokesperson said Dopkins told police he was trying to get attention because “he had a lot of solutions the government needed to know about.”

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Cheap books! Sale this weekend at library

The West Sacramento Friends of the Library have scheduled a book sale for this weekend (March 3-4) at the library, 1212 Merkley Avenue.

Saturday hours are 9 a.m. to 4, and Sunday’s are 10-3. $1 for hardbacks, 50 cents for paperbacks, children’s books 10-25 cents, and there will also be VHS movies and videocassette books. On Sunday, items are $2/bag.

For information or to volunteer, call 375-6465 ext. 4, or email wsfol99@yahoo.com. Sale proceeds benefit library programs.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Southport brush fire burns bee hives

West Sacramento firefighters douse a brush fire among several dozen commercial beehives near South River Road


NEWS-LEDGER — FEB 29, 2012 —

West Sacramento firefighters last Wednesday responded to a brush fire on the 30000 block of South River Road in Southport.

They found  a half acre of vegetation burning — along with about 50 beekeepers’ bee hives.

Most of the hives were empty, but some had active colonies of honeybees, reports the department.

Using a water tender and 700 feet of hose, firefighters quenched the flames.

“The cause of the fire is under investigation,” reports the fire department.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Help RCHS baseball go to Raley Field


The River City High baseball team is selling River Cats game ticket vouchers to earn a chance to play one of their own games at Raley Field this year.

Vouchers are $17.50 and can be exchanged for tickets to “Gold Rush” section seats at the field’s “will call” section for any available River Cats game. Contact baseball team parents or coach Jeff Cox, jcox@wusd.k12.ca.us or 916 752-6320.

The RCHS game scheduled for Raley Field will be held on April 21, with junior varsity playing Linden High School at 4 p.m. and varsity at 7 p.m. Admission to that game is free.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

West Sac man believed responsible for murder-suicide in Sacramento


Two men are dead after a shooting just before a scheduled model airplane club meeting at Sacramento Municipal Utility District headquarters on Feb. 21. The shooter in the apparent murder-suicide is believed to have been 73-year old Robert Gully of West Sacramento.

  According to various media reports, the victim was Gully’s former friend, 62-year old Jerome Votaw of Sacramento, who had been in a relationship with Gully’s estranged, 49-year old wife.

Gully and Votaw, both active in the club, argued in the parking lot on that Tuesday evening, before Gully pulled a gun and killed Votaw. The woman saw the shooting and fled toward the building, and Gully fired at her, missing but hitting SMUD’s glass doors.

Gully then went into the lobby, but the president of the Sacramento Area Modelers club calmed him down and talked him into walking back out. Gully shot himself as police were arriving.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Foster care, & a bowl of soup

Cherie Schroeder, Humberto Izquierdo & his daughter Julieta, Sammie Corbacho with Soup’s On Host Supervisor Don Saylor, Adriana Perez, Dave Storms and his family, Mary Beth Gustafson holding daughter Olivia. Photo courtesy of Laurie Friedman

 NEWS-LEDGER — FEB 22, 2012 —

From the Woodland Community College Foster & Kinship Care Education Program

It was a recipe for success.  Begin with a great cause, mix in dozens of volunteers, over 60 delicious homemade soups and a silent auction. Next, open the doors to the public for about four hours and voila! Serve up a fabulous event to assist Yolo County’s most vulnerable children.

What started eight years ago, in Yolo County Supervisor Don Saylor’s home with three pots of soup, burst the Davis Community Church’s capacity on January 26th as the 8th Annual Soup’s On benefit was held in support of local foster care.

  Over 350 guests enjoyed homemade soup, live music by Neon Lite and guitarist David Hafter, and a bountiful silent auction, organized by Woodland Community College President Dr. Angela Fairchilds.  A wonderful time was had and best of all – when the adding machines quieted, the tally for the evening was well over $22,000.  These funds will be used to give local foster children the opportunity to shop for new clothes and essential items when first brought into care, plus the chance to earn high school or college credits at the Woodland Community College with curriculum to “Open Doors to Success”.

“The message of this evening is that foster parents look like you and me”, said Cherie Schroeder, Woodland Community College Foster and Kinship Care Education program director and the county’s coordinator for foster care recruitment and retention.

Foster-to-adopted youth Jessica Shockey expressed her gratitude and joy saying “I love foster-care,” and proud mother, Lynne Shockey, standing by Jessica’s side, concurred and spoke about the joy of fostering and watching the miracle of positive change.

Supervisor Saylor thanked the community for their incredible support saying “These are our kids.  Together, we can transform their lives for the better.”

The organizers of the Soup’s On benefit want to thank all the individuals who volunteered their time, businesses for generous contributions, and those who gave so whole-heartedly in these tough fiscal times.   A special thank you goes out to Supervisor Saylor for his inspiration and to his amazing support team lead by Deputy Diane Parro and Assistant Deputy Emily Henderson.

For information about becoming a foster or foster-to-adopt parent in Yolo County, please go to www.yolofostercare.com or give Cherie Schroeder a call at (530) 574-1964.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012