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 »


Japanese factory breaks ground in Southport


A Japanese food plant breaks ground in Southport on Thursday.

Nippon Shokken is the “top producer of Japanese blend seasonings in the world,” according to a City of West Sacramento press release. Construction is expected to finish next January.
The company makes seasonings, sauces and tempura mix.

The plant would be its first manufacturing facility in the U.S. The company has bought 10 acres at 2970 Ramco Street for the 70,000-square foot plant, which it plans to open next year.

The factory is expected to produce 2,400 tons of product annually to begin with, and up to 5,000 tons per year maximum. It has been projected to employ over 100 people in the $16 million plant, according to reports from announcements made a year ago, when the site was selected.

The Japanese firm also expects to move its U.S.A. headquarters from Torrance to West Sacramento.

Nippon Shokken Chairman Kazuhiko Ozawa is expected to attend a ground-breaking at 10 a.m. on Feb. 9,  joined by Mayor Christopher Cabaldon and Yolo County Supervisor Mike McGowan.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Growing Yolo County’s ag industry

NEWS-LEDGER — FEB 1, 2012 —


Telling you that agriculture is important in Solano and Yolo counties is not news to any of us.  But if we told you that agriculture is the engine behind a $2.5 billion sector of our economies, you might be interested.  When we add that agriculture is our region’s brightest promise to increase jobs and prosperity, we know that we now have your full attention.

That’s exactly what happened when a study on this subject came out last year.  It got the attention of farmers, processors, bankers, government and academia.  They all wanted to know how they could be a part of growing this broad, yet integrated sector known as the food chain industry cluster, which makes up 10 percent of our shared economy.  That interest resulted in a tremendous turnout for the Solano and Yolo Counties Joint Economic Summit in December.

  “The Food Chain Cluster: Integrating the Food Chain in Solano and Yolo Counties to Create Economic Opportunities and Jobs” report describes the food chain as the full spectrum of economic activity related to agriculture – from seed to the table – from before the crops get into the fields, to the goods and services used in farming, to the value-added processing that converts crops into consumer goods.

The report highlights some opportunities and challenges to adding more value to agriculture.  The opportunities range from increasing demand for high-value products that we grow, such as almonds and walnuts, to the fact that seven out of the top 10 seed producers in the world are located here. While having established food processing facilities is one of our strengths, the need for additional slaughtering facilities and other essential processors was identified as a weakness. Regulatory issues, costs of operations and the lack of a chilling capacity are some of the other challenges to overcome.

The purpose of the summit was to engage participants in building strategies that will preserve, promote and expand our agricultural industry and all of the value it brings to our communities. A key message we heard was the need for the urban public, the business community and economic development staffs to have a better understanding of the importance of bringing processing facilities to the region. This will bring growers much-needed contracts for their commodities – an economic incentive to keep agricultural production local.  New processing facilities will also generate a wave of other job-producing companies that will spur retail purchases, home sales and other positive drivers for our local economy.

The summit reinforced this region’s capacity to continue to grow our food chain cluster. One speaker suggested we could make our Agricultural Valley the next Silicon Valley. For this to be possible, we need to capitalize on our competitive advantages – highly productive lands, plentiful water, top-notch research at the UC Davis, an entrepreneurial spirit, and an unwavering passion to preserve and promote agriculture.

In addition, the summit underscored how agriculture – farming and ranching – has evolved to remain competitive. Agriculture is more mechanized and less people-intensive than it once was. The vast majority of the jobs along the agriculture food chain – 77 percent – are in processing, distribution and support services. On average, the future growth in these sectors represents jobs paying around $24 per hour. These jobs will more than likely be in our cities, but some – in the best interests of both agriculture and the cities – will be located in unincorporated areas. Both counties have already set aside areas for this type of growth.

Summit participants discussed obstacles, such as ready access to capital and competing regulatory interests of federal, state and local governments. Overcoming these obstacles will require a new kind of collaboration. Bankers and government need to rethink their roles to become even better partners in growing the food chain.

In the coming weeks and months, you will see more results from this joint economic effort.  Our respective Boards of Supervisors received presentations on Jan. 24 on the basic road map of the most promising actions we can take together. You have our commitment to finding the funds for a public-private partnership for an agriculture ombudsman program to serve Solano and Yolo counties.  We need an ombudsman to help agriculture-related entrepreneurs turn their ideas into reality and create better partnerships between our businesses and regulators.
In many ways, what we have in front of us is an old-fashioned barn-raising. Our challenge is how each of us can commit to adding more value to agriculture. This cannot be about what the “other guy” should be doing. In a barn-raising, everybody pitches in because that’s what communities do to meet the need. Our communities are in need right now and agriculture is at the heart of the solution.

Supervisor, County of Solano

Supervisor, County of Yolo

Supervisor, County of Solano

Supervisor, County of Yolo

Raider boys sweep Liberty Ranch

RCHS sophomore Maurice Cordova with the lay-up. Maurice had 9 points in the game. (Photo by DE’ONNA JACK)


On Friday, the River City High School boys’ basketball squads faced Liberty Ranch Hawks, and River City came away with a win in each division.

Final Scores: Freshmen: 65-56 (W), junior varsity: 56-52 (W), and varsity: 53-47 (W).

High scorers for the River City jayvees were Mike Briscoe with 15 points and Maurice Cordova and Zabi Jon each with 9 points.

RCHS varsity high scorers: Jose Chacon with 20 points and Nico Rocha had 16 points.

The boys basketball teams will be on the road this week and will be home again on February 15. That will be their last  home game of the season, when they will celebrate “senior night” for the graduating players.

The Raider varsity is currently 10-13 overall and 4-5 in league play.

The Raider frosh in action (photo by DE'ONNA JACK)

River City senior Nico Rocha with the jump shot. Count the basket – Nico had 16 points in the game. (Photo by DE’ONNA JACK)

(Facebook members can find up-to-the-minute info on RCHS sports at contributor De’Onna Jack’s Facebook page. Click here.)

  Support local journalism, and see all our articles every week! Subscribe to the News-Ledger.  It’s only $20 per year within West Sacramento – once a week, by mail..

  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

RCHS hands Vista Del Lago a league loss

RCHS sophomore Jalen Davis in j.v. play: Jalen was one of the high scorers against Vista del Lago with 12 points (photo by DE'ONNA JACK)

Sophomore Rene Sapiandante with the jump shot for River City JV team. Rene was one of the high scorers against Cosumnes Oaks with 13 points (photo by DE'ONNA JACK)


On Jan. 24, the River City High School boys basketball squad faced Vista del Lago.

River City’s freshman were routed by a final score of 74-32.  The Raider   JV won by a final of 57-46 (W) with Rene Sapiandante and Jalen Davis serving as the high scorers in the game for River City with 12 points each.

The River City varsity team won a 61-60 thriller against Fista Del Lago, taking their record to 8-12 overall and handing Vista del Lago its first loss in league play.  High scorers for RCHS varsity were Jose Chacon with 19 points, Malik Dumetz with 13, and Vincent Chelini with 12.

On Jan. 27, the team took on Cosumnes Oaks. The Raider freshman had the night off, while JV and Varsity played.

Both games were intense and exciting till the end – but Cosumnes Oaks took narrow victories in both the varsity and j.v. matches.

Final scores J.V.: 51-50 (L), and varsity: 52-49 (L). High scorers for the game RCHS JV: Rene Sapiandante with 13 and Mike Briscoe with 13. Varsity: Vince Chelini with 17, Mark Gidenko with 8  and Jose Chacon with 8.

Senior Mark Gidenko of the River City High School varsity team, in action against Cosumnes Oaks on Jan. 27. Mark had 8 points in the game. (Photo by DE’ONNA JACK)

(Facebook members can find up-to-the-minute info on RCHS sports at contributor De’Onna Jack’s Facebook page. Click here.)

Copyright News-Ledger 2012


Storm & outage tips from PG&E

NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 25, 2012

From PG&E

Be prepared for power outages year-round:

·    Have battery-operated flashlights and radios with fresh batteries ready. Listen for updates on storm conditions and power outages.

·    If you have a telephone system that requires electricity to work, such as a cordless phone or answering machine, plan to have a standard telephone handset, cellular telephone or pager ready as a backup.

·    Avoid using candles, which pose a fire risk. If you must use candles, keep them away from drapes, lampshades and small children. Do not leave candles unattended.

·    Freeze plastic containers filled with water to make blocks of ice that can be left in your refrigerator/freezer during an outage to prevent foods from spoiling. Blue Ice from your picnic cooler also works well in the freezer.

·    If you have a stand-by generator, make sure that it’s installed safely and inform PG&E to avoid risking damage to your property and endangering PG&E crews. Information on the safe installation of generators can be found on our website at

·    If your power goes out, unplug or turn off all electric appliances to avoid overloading circuits and creating fire hazards when power is restored. Simply leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.

·    Treat all downed power lines as if they are “live” or energized.  Keep yourself and others away from them and immediately call 911 then notify PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.

Before calling PG&E about an outage:

·    Check to see if other neighbors are affected. This will confirm if an outage has occurred in just your residence or in the broader neighborhood.

·    If only your residence is without power, check circuit breakers and/or fuse boxes to see if the problem is limited to the home electric system.

·    After performing the steps above, report your outage to: PG&E’s 24-Hour Emergency and Customer Service Line 1-800-743-5000.

EDITORIAL: Public wireless in West Sac never lived up to the hype

NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 25, 2012 —

Evidently, the Internet is not a fad.

Americans, like those in much of the rest of the world, are getting more and more entwined in the world wide web as the years go by. They use the web not only from desktop computers at home, but while on the road with their laptops, smartphones, tablet computers and other portable devices. They work, study, access music and photos, and communicate through the web.

But when you buy an Internet-compatible gizmo, it doesn’t just automatically come pre-loaded with the Internet inside: you have to have a connection to the web. A lot of people have Internet connections at home – it comes to their home by cable, phone line or satellite. But when on the road, a lot of people want – or need – a good Internet connection outside their homes. Often, they find it at coffee shops and such – usually, a wireless connection is available to paying customers, and requiring a password obtained from the proprietor. Your computer helps you connect to the invisible network streaming into the coffee shop, and you can surf the web all you want with no cables required.

  Some cities provide free wireless Internet connections in their downtown areas. It’s not expensive to provide connections in a limited area where a lot of people gather to work and play. Providing free access is meant to be friendly to businesspeople, shoppers and tourists who want to check their email or do something else on the Net, without a lot of hassle.

In 2005, Mayor Christopher Cabaldon of West Sacramento called for this city to join that crowd. He promised free wireless access in West Sacramento’s downtown business corridor, including a stretch of West Capitol Avenue.

The city installed some antennas at a cost of roughly $10,000 – a pretty small item in the city’s budget. Monthly charges to keep up the connection were negligible, beginning at about $60/month. But the free wireless never worked as well as it should, and except for a few lucky spots where connection was good, users found that connecting to the free service was tough or impossible.

So the question remains: is free wireless in key areas of West Sacramento worth doing right? Can it be used not only to make it easier to do business near city hall, but perhaps to serve shoppers, travelers, students and business people at other key parts of West Sacramento, like shopping centers?

The access promised by Mayor Cabaldon at his 2005 State of the City address never materialized. The city should plan to fix its public wireless access, or else admit the project was a failure and move on.

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Support local journalism, and see all our articles every week! Subscribe to the News-Ledger.  It’s only $20 per year within West Sacramento – once a week, by mail..

  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

How to retire an old U.S. flag


Tattered or worn American flags will be retired with “proper pomp and ceremony” on Feb. 25 at the West Plainfield Fire Station, 24901 C.R. 95 in Davis at 9 a.m.

Drop off your old flags at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8762, 905 Drever St., West Sacramento. The public is welcome to view the retirement ceremony on Feb. 25. For information, call Billy Wagster, Yolo Co. Veterans Services, (530) 406-4850.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012