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 »

“State of the City” Address: Continued growth, innovative partnerships making West Sac “magical”

“State of the City” Address: Continued growth, innovative partnerships making West Sac “magical”

In his annual keynote address to a dinner crowd of 270 inside City Hall on May 5, Mayor Christopher Cabaldon both touted several current achievements and announced some new initiatives and projects, More »

Remembering  Steve Marschke

Remembering Steve Marschke

Steve Marschke, the longtime publisher and editor of this paper, has died. I have never liked that word, since it sounds so harsh and final, and when I edit the obituaries here More »


‘Dolphins’ seek new & returning swimmers

Registration is coming up for the West Sacramento Dolphins, a youth swim team. Returning Dolphins may now register at

New swimmers can register online beginning Feb. 12. In-person registration will be held 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 12 and 19 at Round Table Pizza in the Southport Town Center (new swimmers: bring copies of birth certificates). For information, email


Solar array turned on at RCHS campus

Teresa Blackmer, president of the Washington Unified School District’s board of trustees, flips the switch at a new solar array at the district’s high school campus on Dec. 13. Looking on are fellow board member Dave Westin (left, with his daughter) and Superintendent Dayton Gilleland.


The array was built with the help of $8 million in federal bonds, administered by the state and used to finance several energy-efficiency projects in the district. The district expects the solar array to provide most of the school’s electrical needs — with money saved on utility bills essentially going instead to pay off bondholders in 16 years.

The ground-mounted array (all photos courtesy of Heather McGowan, Sounding Board Marketing & Communications, and WUSD)


Rows of panels on a southern field at the River City campus

FOR MORE INFORMATION on how the solar array came to be at the River City High School campus, see an earlier News-Ledger article, available here.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012




  Subscribers to the News-Ledger see the ‘Police Log’ every week! See the special offer at bottom to try a subscription.

  Information for this ‘Police Log’ has come directly from original police reports and documents It’s just a sampling of the reports, calls for service and arrests made by the West Sacramento Police Department during the past week. The information includes citizen complaints and other statements that have not substantiated or verified by an investigation or a courtroom.

Jan. 12, 1:19 p.m.
A supermarket on West Capitol reported that two men “took off with a shopping cart full of items.”

Jan. 12, 1:26 a.m.
A hitchhiker came to the police lobby to ask “where a safe place to stay in West Sac would be.” The traveler was not a transient, but was “just passing through.”

Jan. 12, 2:01 p.m.
A woman on Park Boulevard reported that somebody removed the turn signals from her Volvo.

Jan. 12, 5:59 p.m.
A man on Portsmouth Avenue said that, sometime in the past 90 minutes, his home had been burglarized. Someone had kicked in the door and made off with his .32 caliber pistol, his wife’s jewelry, and possibly other things.

Jan. 12, 7:06 p.m.
A witness said that a group of four teens was throwing things at cars passing by near A Street and Lighthouse Drive.

Jan. 12, 7:09 p.m.
A man said he had bought some car seats from a resident of Maryland Drive, who promised he could return them if they didn’t fit. The man was now trying to return them, but the seller was refusing a refund. A dispatcher advised him to contact a lawyer, but the man asked for police contact.

Jan. 12, 9:01 p.m.
A caller alleged that a motel on the 4700-block of West Capitol was “mistreating” its guests. The motel’s misbehavior included withholding toilet paper from lodgers.

Jan. 13, 7:45 a.m.
A jogger reported having been hit by a vehicle and injured near Redondo Road and Stonegate Drive. The driver provided his/her name and phone number, but the jogger requested a police report.

Jan. 13, 8:31 a.m.
Somebody cut a fence and cut the copper wiring out of “various equipment” at a Duluth Street property.

Jan. 13, 8:47 a.m.
A male subject was stabbed in the collarbone area during some kind of incident on the 700-block of Westacre. The victim was waiting for police.

Jan. 13, 4:13 p.m.
A supermarket on West Capitol said there was a man, apparently on drugs, in the store. The man was “twitching and talking to himself” while trying to use his store club card to get cash from an ATM machine. So far, the plan hadn’t worked, but the man was now “getting physical and agitated” with the machine in an effort to increase his odds of success.

Jan. 13, 6:16 p.m.
A witness said a man and woman had driven a truck up to a vacant home on Pheasant Hollow, and set up a ladder to reach a second-story window. It was unknown if the pair were inside the home at the moment.

Jan. 13, 8:35 p.m.
A caller said there was a group of about 25 juveniles partying on the levee near Marshall Road, and possibly there was under-age drinking going on.

Jan. 13, 12:25 p.m.
A 3rd Street resident reported someone had stolen a “brown, older wheelbarrow” worth $35.

Jan. 14, 12:45 a.m.
A Shore Street business reported it had just fired and employee and had him escorted from the business for being under the influence. The man was now walking away, dressed all in black and wearing a backpack.

Jan. 14, 1:52 a.m.
A caller from a business complex on Northport Drive to contact a tow company for him. He had locked his keys in his Ford Explorer, which was still running and had a dog in it.

Jan. 14, 7:40 a.m.
A caller reported just having been “sliced” by a woman with a hunting knife during a fight.

Jan. 14, 9:13 a.m.
A business at the 900-block of Sacramento Avenue said that there were four male transients harassing customers at the scene.

Jan. 14, 10:52 a.m.
A witness said that a woman had been yelling at a juvenile and trying to hit the juvenile at a bus stop near West Capitol and Merkley avenues. The woman was now walking away towards a supermarket.

Jan. 14, 11:04 a.m.
An Alabama Avenue resident said that, sometime in December or January, the home had been robbed of cash, jewelry and more, probably by a house sitter or his friend.

Jan. 14, 11:11 a.m.
A woman reported that her car had been followed by a woman in a black Rodeo who believed she was having an affair with the Rodeo driver’s husband. The pair were, in fact, friends only. The Rodeo had stopped following her, and the caller was now waiting to speak to an officer.

Jan. 14, 3:20 p.m.
A vehicle-versus-bike accident was reported at Andrew Street and Casselman Drive. A juvenile on bike had run into the back of a Chevy Silverado.

Jan. 14, 2:22 a.m.
An officer pulled over a car with a license plate light out, and the plate “obstructed” by a ball hitch. The 39-year old driver from Redwood Avenue consented to a search. The officer found a clear bag containing what turned out to be about half a gram of methamphetamine in the driver’s side door pocket. The man was arrested.

Jan. 14, 11:15 a.m.
A refrigerator and stove worth about $1,100 were reported stolen from a 19th Street house.

Jan. 14, 5 p.m.
Thieves took about $14,000 worth of communication cable from a Drever Street property.

Jan. 15, 2:06 a.m.
A woman called from a motel on the 800-block of West Capitol called police, complaining that her roommates were trying to prevent her from driving drunk by refusing to give her keys back.

Jan. 15, 8:14 a.m.
A burger place on the 1700-block of West Capitol reported that a “transient keeps walking through the drive-through and is refusing to leave.”

Jan. 15, 10:46 a.m.
A vehicle was found “keyed” (its paint scraped with a sharp object) in a parking lot on Ikea Court.

Jan. 15, 11:07 a.m.
A citizen reported that there was an abandoned car parked in front of a fire hydrant on KOVR Drive, with its driver’s-side window broken out. A records check of the Honda showed it hadn’t been reported stolen.

Jan. 15, 11:09 a.m.
Police received a suicide threat from the north city.

Jan. 15, 1:06 p.m.
The rear license plate was reported stolen from a 2000 Accord on the 2400-block of West Capitol.

Jan. 15, 1:59 p.m.
The water treatment plant on North Harbor Boulevard reported that there were transients sleeping on the property, under the freeway. Police were asked to move them along.

Jan. 15, 4:35 p.m.
A caller from Milano Drive said somebody left a vehicle parked, blocking three driveways.

Jan. 15, 5:25 p.m.,
A witness reported seeing three males with a pit bull dog, spraypainting the bathrooms on River Walk Park.

Jan. 15, 6:53 p.m.
The owner of a recently foreclosed house on Reuter Drive said there were apparently some people living inside it. There was a Honda with no plates parked in front.

Jan. 15, 7:18 p.m.
A resident of Alder Way asked for extra patrols due to “ongoing problems with teenagers roaming the area and tires being slashed.”

Jan. 15, 10:01 p.m.
A Walker Road resident said a neighbor had “backed his vehicle up into the (caller’s) house, and damaged it.” The neighbor had promised to “take care of” the matter, but the caller wanted to file a police report.

Jan. 15, 12:44 a.m.
At a gas station on the 800-block of Harbor, a citizen found two license plates, miscellaneous documents, a key, and a membership card that had all been reported stolen from Sacramento the day before. The items were turned in to police.

Jan. 16, 7:39 a.m.
A man reported that his 1996 Infinity had been stolen from him in the business district.

Jan. 16, 8:58 a.m.
A caller from the 3100-block of Jefferson said a man had just taken a shovel from the front yard, and was walking away with it southbound.

Jan. 16, 10:35 a.m.
A citizen said there were “approximately ten transient camps along the river between the Rivers development and the boat ramp.”

Jan. 16, 12:44 p.m.
The owner of a house on Silverwood reported being advised by a real estate agent that somebody had stolen copper materials from the home.

Jan. 16, 2:04 p.m.
A woman from Southport asked for police contact. Her 15-year old girl and 14-year old boy had been fighting, and she believed the girl had cut the boy with a knife. No medical aid was needed.

Jan. 16, 2:26 p.m.
A supermarket on the 1200-block of West Capitol said there was a man in the store who “keeps eating and drinking items and refusing to pay for them, “ and is also refusing to leave. The man was now “walking around in the checkstand area.”

  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

Southport McDonalds to open


McDonald’s will open its new  in Southport soon, and plans a grand opening celebration for Sat., Feb. 4.  The restaurant is located in the Lowe’s center at 2244 Lake Washington Boulevard

“We are thrilled to be opening a brand new McDonald’s restaurant in the West Sacramento area and hope everyone will come to enjoy the new look and feel of this restaurant,” said Charles Specht, the local owner of the McDonald’s restaurant, in a press release.  “This new restaurant reflects McDonald’s commitment to the community and to the environment, and I am thrilled to be able to showcase this beautiful restaurant to our customers.”

The restaurant promises LED lighting to save on electricity usage, and three energy-saving HVAC units. The restaurant recycles all of their cardboard products and oil, said a press statement.

The grand opening on February 4 will start at 11 a.m. and end at 2 p.m.  As part of the festivities, West Sacramento Chamber of Commerce CEO  Denise Seals will join city council members and Yolo County Supervisor Mike McGowan  in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11:30 am.  Ronald McDonald will also be there to interact with kids.

There will be giveaway prizes including flat screen TVs, iPods and Kindles.  A face painter will be on hand for children, and radio station 107.9 “The End FM” will also participate  from 11 am to 1 pm. Entertainment will also be provided by the River City High School Band, and members of the RCHS Football team and cheerleading squad.

The McDonalds follows close on the heels of a Taco Bell restaurant in the same shopping complex. Both have drive-through lanes.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Bustamante turns himself in, denies charges


By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

Arturo Bustamante, a teacher and football coach on the River City High School campus, turned himself in to the West Sacramento Police Department Friday for arrest, in the company of his attorney. He was booked into jail.

ARTURO BUSTAMANTE: RCHS teacher/coach denies allegations made by several female students

Bustamante, 42, has been charged with a number of misdemeanor and felony charges related to molestation and lewd conduct with minors.

He had been on paid leave from his RCHS duties after a female student alleged in October that Bustamante had “inappropriately touched” her earlier this year.

According to the Yolo County District Attorney’s office, Bustamante now stands accused of  several felony and misdemeanor counts of “lewd and lascivious acts” and “child molestation” involving four students, age about 15-16, during 2010-2011.

“His range of sentence if convicted is probation with up to one year in county jail to 4 years 4 months in prison,” said Jonathan Raven, Chief Deputy District Attorney, in an emailed statement.

Raven declined to discuss the allegations in detail.

The Washington Unified School District reports that Bustamante is now on “compulsory leave of absence pending the outcome of the matter.”

Bustamante voluntarily turned himself after a warrant was issued for his arrest.

FIDEL MARTINEZ, attorney for Bustamante

His attorney, West Sacramento’s Fidel Martinez, told the News-Ledger yesterday he had not yet seen the charged filed against his client.

“He, of course, denies all the charges absolutely,” said Martinez. “I have many emails and letters of support from West Sacramento residents on behalf of Mr. Bustamante. He’s been a teacher for 15 years.”

Martinez said bail has been set at $150,000. Bustamante was still in jail on Tuesday, with arraignment scheduled for that afternoon. Martinez said he would seek to have Bustamante allowed to be released on his own recognizance while awaiting trial.

It’s not the first time Bustamante has faced an accusation of inappropriate conduct. In April, 2010, police received a complaint from a teenage woman who was a guest at his house, accusing him of setting up a video camera in the home for inappropriate purposes.

About that incident, Martinez responded to the News-Ledger:

“The police officers confiscated his computer and his videotapes, and they found absolutely nothing incriminating.”

No charges were filed in that incident.

  Arturo Bustamante (“Art,” or “Coach Busta”) is a graduate of River City High. He has been a social studies teacher at the school as well as second-year head coach for football, until he was placed on leave after the allegation was made in October.

  TO COMMENT on this article, please visit the same article at our sister website, Please remain respectful of the rights of all parties involved.

  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

Safely get rid of ‘hazardous’ stuff


The Yolo County Planning & Public Works, Division of Integrated Waste Management holds weekly collection of household hazardous waste (HHW) at the Yolo County Central Landfill (44090 County Road 28H).  The HHW facility is open every Friday and Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The landfill also accepts hazardous waste from businesses in Yolo County that have products which are corrosive, reactive, toxic or ignitable.  Businesses in the areas of construction, printing, equipment or vehicle maintenance, furniture refinishing and farms/ranches that create hazardous waste are encouraged to utilize this program.  Business hazardous waste is accepted by appointment only and there is a fee for disposal.  For more information about this program or to schedule an appointment, call (866) 714-8470.

   Materials that will be accepted from the public and businesses include: batteries; fluorescent bulbs or tubes; used motor oil and filters; cleaning supplies; lighter fluid; antifreeze; aerosols; garden pesticides and herbicides; latex or oil based paints; solvents; poisons; electrical switches/relays; pilot light sensors; mercury thermostats and containerized syringes.

Yolo County also provides a reuse program which is open to the public during the same hours as the HHW collection program.  The reuse program makes household cleaning supplies, lawn, garden and automotive products, and household paint available to residents at no charge. Often, products are dropped off at the HHW facility simply because they are no longer needed.  These products have original labels and are nearly full.

HHW events are sponsored by the Yolo County Department of Planning & Public Works, Division of Integrated Waste Management.  For more information on proper disposal of HHW, call (530) 666-8856 or visit:

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Raider girls beat El Dorado, take record to 19-1

The Raider girls basketball team met league rival El Dorado last night at the RCHS gym. Entering the game, both were undefeated in league play.
The Raiders earned a 41-32 victory, going to 5-0 in league play and taking their record to 19-1 overall. More in Wednesday’s News-Ledger.