RCHS senior Jaylen Crim signs letter of intent to play soccer at St. Mary’s

RCHS senior Jaylen Crim signs letter of intent to play soccer at St. Mary’s

By Monica Stark editor@news-ledger.com Out of a somewhat reserved River City High School senior, Jaylen Crim, come extreme talent and force on the soccer field. This week the varsity soccer forward signs More »

Artwork for Joey Lopes Park

Artwork for Joey Lopes Park

By Thomas Farley thomasfarley@yahoo.com The art installation for Joey Lopes Park will be a knock-out. The City Council voted on Wednesday, Jan. 13 to accept a design from nationally known artist Michael More »

The Sail Inn is Back in Port

The Sail Inn is Back in Port

By Thomas Farley thomasfarley@yahoo.com The Sail Inn on Jefferson Boulevard is being reopened and rechristened as the Sail Inn Grotto & Bar. Launch date is late February. All aboard. The old Sail More »

 

One soldier’s cure for pneumonia

BY DARYL FISHER — NEWS-LEDGER, FEB 1, 2012 —

  EDITOR’S NOTE: Daryl’s column, ‘My Back Pages,’ appears weekly in the print edition of the News-Ledger. We hope you will consider subscribing to see it regularly.

DARYL FISHER

There appears to be a really nasty winter flu bug going around and most of my family and friends seem to have caught it. It starts off with a fever and cough, and although the fever goes away after a few days, the coughing seems to last forever. As I write this, I’m starting my second week of hacking all over everyone, and my youngest son recently informed me that I need to go see a doctor.

“You know,” my son warned me, “people are getting pneumonia from this thing.”

“Did I ever tell you my pneumonia story?” I asked my son.

“No.”

“Do you want to hear it?”

“No.”

“Well,” I continued anyway, “it was early February in 1969, and it was supposedly one of the coldest winters ever recorded up in the Pacific Northwest, and there I was, in Fort Lewis, Washington, trying to live through my first day of Army basic training. A decrepit old military bus had unceremoniously dropped me and about 40 other inductees off in the middle of the frozen night and some crazed sergeant wearing a Smokey the Bear hat pulled all the way down over his eyebrows seemed determined to keep screaming at us until dawn. A wet, blowing snow kept falling and my California attire – short-sleeved shirt, cords, tennis shoes and a windbreaker — simply wasn’t keeping any of my important body parts warm. The chill factor had to be way below zero and having spent my whole life in West Sacramento, I had simply never experienced being that cold and miserable before. I mean, my hands and feet felt like they were frozen, and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get my teeth to stop chattering.”

    “And so you caught pneumonia?” asked my son, obviously hoping to move my story along.

“No, that came about five weeks later,” I explained. “For the first month or so, everyone was actually just trying not to catch spinal meningitis.”

“Spinal meningitis?” asked my son, his face showing his first apparent interest in my little story.

“Yeah, we had an outbreak of it in our barracks just weeks after I arrived – up on the second floor where about 50 guys lived — and three guys caught it, and one of them died from it. It’s really nasty stuff and is very contagious, so all of us on the first floor were sure hoping it didn’t make its way down to us. And one of the things they did to keep the meningitis from spreading was to keep all the barracks windows wide open, day and night, no matter how bitterly cold the weather was outside.”

“So, that’s how you caught pneumonia?” asked my son, still hoping to cut to the chase.

“I guess that could have been part of it,” I said, “but they always had us running around outside in that awful weather, doing endless physical fitness drills and marching from one place to another, not to mention the long hikes and overnight camp-outs in drafty pup tents. Anyway, one way or another, I ended up sick as a dog and tried for as long as I could not to go on sick call, because the platoon sergeant hated it when any of the recruits he was responsible for tried to use illness as an excuse to get out of their training.”

“And when you finally went on sick call, they told you that you had pneumonia?”

“No, I didn’t learn about that until after they had admitted me to the base hospital with a 104 degree temperature and this really mean nurse kept throwing me into cold showers. I finally told her, `Hey, if you don’t stop doing that, I’m going to catch pneumonia’, to which she replied, `You already have pneumonia!’ And she was the same nurse who came by a couple of days later, took my temperature, and matter-of-factly said, `You know, if you don’t break that fever by tomorrow, you’re going to die’.”

“Really?” asked my son with disbelief. “She actually said that?”

“Yeah, she wasn’t much into the bedside manner thing. Anyway, back then the only thing the Army seemed to do about pneumonia was cold showers and forcing you to drink lots and lots of this god-awful punch drink – and I’m talking gallons of it every hour. I don’t remember them giving me any medicine, and the only time I saw a doctor was every morning for a few minutes when he would come to the pneumonia ward and quickly check out the chest x-rays we all had to take at the crack of dawn every day. They were placed in big vanilla envelops at the foot of our beds and every time the doctor would check out my chest x-ray, he would just shake his head kind of hopelessly and move on to the next one. But the worst part was that I had been told before I got to the hospital that if I ended up missing a full week of basic training, they would recycle me, and I was sure that would kill me if the pneumonia didn’t.”

“Recycle you? What does that mean?”

“Well,” I explained, “if you missed too much training from being sick, then they would simply recycle you back with the next batch of new recruits and you would have to start all over again with them, which meant re-doing all the hardest parts of basic training, not to mention losing all the friends you had managed to make, and as far as I was concerned, I was simply not going to let that happen, no matter how sick I was!”

“So what did you do?”

“Well, on my fourth morning there, I overhead the doctor telling the guy next to me who was always bragging about how fast he was getting better that his x-rays were looking great and that if it continued he would probably release him back to his unit the next day. So the next morning, after everyone had taken their x-rays but before the doctor came to look at them, I waited until the coast was clear and then I exchanged my no-doubt still bad x-ray with the new one from the guy who was getting better.”

“You’re kidding? You switched x-rays?”

“That’s right. I had noticed that the doctor never really looked at the names on the x-rays or anything. He just held them up in the light for two seconds and moved on. And when the doctor looked at the new x-ray in my envelope, he seemed a little surprised, but he quickly told me that I would be getting out of the hospital right after lunch. So back to my unit I went as fast as I could, and thankfully it was a Sunday, so I took it easy all that afternoon and night and since most of the training the next week was classroom stuff, I was able to start feeling better by the middle of that week. And best of all, I didn’t get recycled.”

“But what happened to the poor guy who ended up with your x-ray?”

“I don’t have a clue,” I admitted. “He definitely looked shocked, though, when the doctor held up my real x-ray and told him he had taken a turn for the worse, but in the military, they just call guys like that `collateral damage’.”

  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 FreeTrial@news-ledger.com (offer open to new subscribers in West Sacramento ZIP codes 95691 & 95605).

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Raider wrestling season nears end

The Raiders’ Aaron Ringor with “the pin and the win” (Photo by De’ONNA JACK)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER —

On Wednesday, Jan. 25, River City High School Wrestling team held their first home wrestling match vs Union Mine.  River City Lost the match 38-36.Their final home match of the season was scheduled for yesterday against El Dorado, when the team was to celebrate “senior night.”

River City's Bobby Baffico with the pin and win (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 FreeTrial@news-ledger.com (offer open to new subscribers in West Sacramento ZIP codes 95691 & 95605).

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Fun activities on Saturday for kids

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER —

The West Sacramento Friends of the Library plan an “Everybody has a Heritage” event beginning at 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 4 at the library, 1212 Merkley Avenue. Organizers plan a fun event with music and dancing from different cultures, centering around reading and literature. School-age children and their parents are invited.

Man critically injured by car

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — FEB 1, 2011 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

An accident in the early hours of Sunday morning left a man hospitalized.

At about 1:48 a.m. on Sunday, police responded to the report of a vehicle-versus-pedestrian accident at Sacramento Avenue and Jefferson Boulevard, with the pedestrian still down.

“A 22- or 23-year old male pedestrian was struck by a vehicle,” reported Sergeant Nathan Steele of the West Sacramento Police Department. “The driver of the vehicle had no objective signs of intoxication. The victim was transported in critical condition to the local medical center. The driver was not arrested.”

  Further details, such as the identity of the victim and whether he had been trying to cross the street when struck by the woman in the vehicle, were not immediately available at press time.

Steele said police are trying to determine how the accident occurred.

He added that in the wake of a number of car-versus-pedestrian accidents, local police are planning a “pedestrian safety camp” in the near future.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Two West Sac firefighters honored

Andy Moore & Ian Gilmour of the West Sacramento Fire Department

NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 25, 2012 —

A local veterans post presented awards to a pair of West Sacramento firefighters on Jan. 11, after the pair were selected for the honors by a vote among their coworkers.

Engineer Andy Moore was named “Firefighter of the Year” and firefighter Ian Gilmour was “EMT of the Year,” in the awards presented by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 8762.

Moore manages records for the department, and has put in a lot of time learning and implementing a new system to help schedule personnel more efficiently, at the same time maintaining his duties as a fire engineer.

Gilmour maintains the West Sacramento Fire Department’s medical equipment and supplies. But on June 26, he was part of a crew that arrived at the scene of a swimming pool accident: they found an apparently lifeless child who had possibly drowned. Gilmour helped get the child to an ambulance, a crew started CPR, and they got a pulse back as Gilmour continued to resuscitate the youngster en route to the hospital. The youth was released from the hospital 10 days later, and visited Station 45 on Lake Washington Boulevard to meet Gilmour and the crew.

  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 FreeTrial@news-ledger.com (offer open to new subscribers in West Sacramento ZIP codes 95691 & 95605).

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

‘Habitat’ volunteers tackle first of several West Sac home repair projects

Marty Swingle and Derek Haynes at at work, fixing the roof at a West Sacramento home. Swingle is president of the Habitat-Yolo board and Haynes is a board member (photo courtesy of Diana Walker-Smith)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 25, 2012 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

Work on one West Sacramento home was postponed because of the resident’s medical issues.

But volunteers from the Yolo chapter of Habitat for Humanity found some other good work to do in West Sacramento this month: they converged on the home of a pair of West Sacramento brothers who needed a little help with their north-area home.

“We tore down and replaced their porch, and we also did some roof repair,” reports Diana Walker-Smith, executive director for Habitat Yolo. “All the work is done. We just have to paint it. We’ll be out there again definitely on Thursday.”

Tracy Harris (the Habitat chapter board's vice president) and Roger Aston (treasurer) with construction manager Robert Mitchell (on the ladder). Photo courtesy of Diana Walker-Smith.

Walker-Smith estimated that over 30 people came to help out with the work over several days, including volunteers from a well-known store chain.

“We had people from Home Depot coming from as far south as Stockton and as far north as Yuba City,” she said.

“They’re all volunteers. Home Depot has a very pro-community philosophy. Home Depot also donated some shrubs – we had to cut down two large junipers on either side of the porch to fix the roof.”

The culprit at the home of Boris Shipunoff, 72, and Benjamin Shipunoff, a 57-year old disabled veteran, was some pesky dry rot that left the porch and part of the roof in dangerous shape. The new “A Brush with Kindness” program from Habitat was meant to give them a hand.

  Habitat for Humanity is best known for its work building new homes for people who can’t afford to buy a house the traditional way. The new “A Brush With Kindness” program is a different kind of effort, helping low-income people afford to repair the exterior of their home. The Yolo chapter’s effort is now focused on helping a handful of homeowners in West Sacramento’s Bryte and Broderick neighborhoods, on the north side.

“We have five homes lined up so far,” said Walker-Smith.

The renovation program is similar to the home-building program, she added.

“The way we’re able to do it is we get underwriters. We find people who donate supplies or funds. All our work is no-profit, at our cost. It costs much less because we use volunteers working with a professional construction manager. We give (the homeowner) a zero-percent loan to pay for the home, we build it and sell it at a zero-percent mortgage. We then take the payments from them and recycle the money into new homes.”

Anyone interested in helping Habitat, or applying for help, can reach the group at (530) 668-4301 or by email at hfhed@dcn.org. The group’s website is at http://www.habitatyolo.org/.

  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 FreeTrial@news-ledger.com (offer open to new subscribers in West Sacramento ZIP codes 95691 & 95605).

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

‘Cash for College’ help getting aid

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER —

It can be hard to navigate the paperwork to get financial aid for college.

Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada is hosting a number of “Cash for College” workshops to help college-bound students connect with financial aid.

The workshops will include help applying for Cal Grants and filling out the FAFSA.

In West Sacramento, a workshop for students and their families is planned for 6-8 p.m. on Wed., Feb. 8, at River City High School. Bring driver’s license or I.D., social security number, 2011 W-2 forms or pay check stubs, 2011 bank statements, 2010 tax info (or 2011 tax info if available), and a list of colleges in which the student is interested. If not a U.S. citizen, bring alien registration card if available. Before attending, make sure to obtain a FAFSA PIN: visit www.pin.ed.gov. For information, call (707) 455-8025, visit http://www.assembly.ca.gov/yamada, or to see additional workshops, www.calgrants.org/workshops.