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 »


Half-off ‘amnesty’ for old traffic tickets

NEWS-LEDGER — Jan 11, 2012 —

If you have a traffic ticket debt that was due by Jan. 1, 2009, but which you still owe, you may qualify for a 50%-off “traffic amnesty” program now in effect.

  According to the Judicial Council of California, you have to meet all the following conditions:

— You either failed to appear in court or failed to pay in full.

— The last date you made a payment was on or before January 1, 2009.

— You don’t owe restitution to a victim on any case in the county where the traffic case was filed.

— You who have no outstanding misdemeanor or felony warrants in the county where the ticket was issued.

— Other eligibility requirements may vary from county to county.

The California Legislature mandated (Assembly Bill 1358) that all 58 counties implement a one-time amnesty period that allows a lump sum payment of 50 percent of the outstanding balance on certain violations to fully satisfy that court ordered obligation.

Only traffic tickets that were due to be paid before January 1, 2009, are eligible. Parking tickets, driving under the influence (DUI), and reckless driving cases are NOT eligible.

The program ends on June 30.

You can find contact information and other information at the Yolo Superior Court website.

According to the judicial council, the amnesty program would provide relief to individuals who have found themselves in violation of a court-ordered obligation because they are financially unable to pay traffic bail or fines.

It would also bring in revenue at a time when revenue is scarce by encouraging payment of old fines that have remained unpaid, and would allow courts and counties to resolve older delinquent cases and focus limited resources on collecting on more recent cases.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Pepper spray update: no charges against UC Davis protesters

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE — 11:57 A.M., JAN 20, 2012

Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig has just announced that there is “insufficient information contained within the police reports submitted by the UC Davis Police Department to justify the filing of criminal charges against those individuals arrested during the November 18, 2011, confrontation with UC Davis Police during the “Occupy UC Davis” protest.”

The District Attorney will not be filing charges against the protesters.

The District Attorney’s investigation of the use of pepper spray by police during the incident is still underway.

The D.A.’s office and Sheriff’s Department had asked California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris to take over the investigation of the use of pepper spray by police at the campus, but Harris declined, saying there were no conflicts of interest or other factors to warrant her office taking over the investigation from the county.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Parole denied in 1983 killing


District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced last month that convicted murderer Kevin Bruce was denied parole for a period of three years at California State Prison-Solano in Vacaville, California.

According to the D.A.:

Bruce is serving 15 years to life for second degree murder for the 1983 fatal strangulation of 67 year old Marion Cantor in a West Sacramento motel room.  Cantor was lured to a motel in West Sacramento by a female known to both him and Bruce. When Cantor arrived, he was assaulted and robbed. During the attack, Bruce and Keith Chandler used the cord from an electric clock to strangle Cantor to death.  Bruce has been in state prison for about 28 years.

After deliberating for about ten minutes, Commissioner Mike Prizmich returned with the panel’s decision.  In denying the request by Bruce to be paroled, he noted that Bruce had not done enough to help himself get prepared for a release from prison.

Yolo County Deputy District Attorney Garrett Hamilton attended the hearing on behalf the County of Yolo.  Said Hamilton in a press release:

“It is clear that Mr. Bruce is not ready to be out of prison, since he continues to deny any responsibility for the killing and has no meaningful plans for what he would do if he were to be released. Even Mr. Bruce acknowledged that his plans upon release are lacking.”

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

RCHS: help ‘pack the house’ Friday

Jasmine Madronio for the Raider JV team, in play against Liberty Ranch, Jasmine scored 20 points. (Photo by De’Onna Jack)


Dipika Dutt in action for the River City freshmen against Liberty Ranch (Photo by De’Onna Jack)


On Jan. 11, River City High School girls basketball faced the Liberty Ranch Hawks.

The RCHS freshman team fell to the Hawks by a score of 31-28, while the JV and Varsity teams were both victorious.

The Raider Junior varsity beat the Hawks 51-29, and the RCHS varsity won 62-29. The Raiders’ varsity record improved to 18-1 overall and they remain at the top of their conference.

The Raiders host El Dorado High on Friday night at RCHS. Each team is 4-0 in league play, and the River City athletic department has called on the West Sacramento community to help fill the gym with fans to cheer on the Raiders at the match. Varsity game time is 7:30 p.m., and there will be a special ticket price of $2.

RCHS sophomore Tori Torres in action for the varsity team, Tori had 9 points in the game against Liberty Ranch. Teammate Jordan Ligons also had 9 points, and Katie King scored 20 during the evening (Photos by De’Onna Jack)

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012


Teens caught in Southport after chase


By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

Seven juveniles believed to have jumped out of a stolen car in Southport were taken into custody Sunday night after an intense search that included a helicopter and K-9 dog teams.

Things started at 11:43 p.m. when a call came in from the Ramada Inn on Halyard Drive in West Sacramento, reported Sergeant Nathan Steele of the West Sacramento Police Department.

“They had a concert at Ramada Inn with over 500 attending,” said Steele. “A fight broke out. Our officers responded to assist security (personnel). One of our officers arrived, and saw a vehicle leave at a high speed. He got behind it, and ran the plates, and it came back stolen.”

  Police chased the Ford Explorer to Southport, where it crashed and lost a wheel near Southport Parkway, Otis Avenue and Turlock Street.

“The occupants fled. Numerous outside agencies assisted, including Sacramento P.D., the CHP, and our agency.”

Police dog teams from both Sacramento and West Sacramento came to the scene, as did a Sacramento police helicopter, said Steele.

Three suspects – a 17-year old girl and two 15-year old boys – turned themselves in fairly quickly. Others “were in fields and backyards,” said Steele.

After being warned, police turned loose police dogs to find the other fleeing teens, and took custody of four more – all aged between 15-17, with addresses in Sacramento and Elk Grove. At least two of the hiding suspects were apparently bit by police dogs sent in to get them, said Steele.

“It is believed they are all in custody,” said Steele. “They were taken into custody for possession of stolen property (the car) and resisting arrest.”

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Sewage district sues over upgrades


The sewage district that serves much of the region – including West Sacramento – has filed a lawsuit in Sacramento’s superior court asking for relief from new regulations that it says would force ratepayers to foot the bill for $2 billion in sewage plant improvements.

The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board has required the district to better filter and disinfect its discharges and remove more ammonia from waste in order to protect water quality in the Delta and Bay.

The Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District (SRCSD) appealed the order, but without success.
The district argues that the new measures aren’t necessary or are “not scientifically justified” by the benefits they would produce to the Delta ecosystem.

It has also said that ratepayers will see huge increases in their sewage bills if the order isn’t overturned. Connection fees for new development will also go up if the district has to upgrade its facilities, said SRCSD.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

EDITORIAL: ‘bits & pieces’


It’s been a good run for the West Sacramento Redevelopment Agency. This town heavily used the state-authorized agency to, sometimes quite literally, lay the groundwork for a lot of new projects.

After the city incorporated in 1987, local leaders strongly pursued growth – partly because that’s what local developers wanted, and partly to bring new shopping opportunities, clean up a troubled downtown and increase the city’s prestige.

Local use of the redevelopment agency wasn’t perfect. It’ll always be difficult to understand why some Southport farmland was declared “blighted” and included in the redevelopment agency, while one older Southport neighborhood that badly needed new infrastructure was left out of the redevelopment area’s boundaries.

But on the whole, the agency did a lot of good. It was crucial for tackling big projects that would have been too slow and too hard to finance if left just to the private sector. The agency helped clean up downtown, attract some prestige projects (the ziggurat, Raley Field) to the waterfront, and helped promote decent affordable housing. It also helped build a second access to Southport, making new homes and shopping possible there.

The West Sacramento agency hasn’t been guilty of the worst abuses of some California redevelopment agencies – such as taking land from underneath poor people to build shopping centers and arenas, as a sloppy editorial in the Wall Street Journal recently claimed these agencies “typically” do.

The state’s budget crisis has led to the proposed abolishment of local redevelopment agencies. This will leave West Sacramento without a favorite tool.

  Then again, West Sacramento needs a redevelopment agency less now than it did 20 years ago.


  The new school board president is Teresa Blackmer. She takes over from Dave Westin, who steps down proud of presiding over two years of strong growth in local student test scores.
Westin endorsed Blackmer’s election to the board and the two have voted similarly on major issues (as has most of the board recently, most of the time). So the switch shouldn’t mark a big change in course for WUSD.


  A string of local robberies in West Sacramento convenience markets and liquor stores has certainly caused eyebrows to raise – and it seems local police are taking the matter seriously.

  The robberies aren’t the only string of crimes, though. A stroll through  police department documents in recent weeks shows some other possible patterns. These observations aren’t very scientific, but here you go with a few:

  Over the past couple of months, there seem to have been a handful of “strong arm” robberies in which a guy on a bicycle has ridden up to a female pedestrian and stripped away her purse or bags. In at least one case, the attacker was successfully resisted.

  The most recent victim the News-Ledger is aware of was an elderly woman, robbed near a church on Sacramento Avenue on Friday.  In at least one case, the attacker was successfully resisted. The robberies seem to have occurred in the downtown area, near Sacramento Avenue, Jefferson, West Capitol and Merkley. It’s unclear whether different suspects have been involved in some of these incidents.

  The News-Ledger hasn’t yet seen a report of anyone seriously hurt during these robberies. Let’s hope it stays that way.

  Vacant, bank-owned homes have sometimes been hit by thieves looking for appliances. But a new trend seems to be the theft of heating and air conditioning units from the backyards of these homes. Several such thefts have been reported recently in Southport – on San Salvador Street and Sumatra Street, for example. The units are valued around $5-10,000 each.

  There seems to be a lot of BB-gun damage in the city’s north area. Somebody, or some people, are putting holes in car windows and apartment windows. There are also reports of teens with pellet guns and BB guns getting into trouble in other parts of town.

  Car burglaries are always a problem – newer subdivisions in Southport always seem to get more than their share of these. The News-Ledger heard two reports this week of petty theft from cars and garages in the area near the “state streets” around Park Boulevard and Meadow Road as well.

  Simple precautions – parking in a well-lit, easy-to-see spot, clearing your car of valuables, and keeping both the car and garage locked – wouldn’t hurt.


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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..

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012