Woodland Tomato Festival comes downtown on Aug. 13

Woodland Tomato Festival comes downtown on Aug. 13

Once again it’s the time of year when fresh tomatoes are center stage, sparking a new energy throughout Yolo County. Monster machines bounce through dusty fields heaping 25-ton capacity trailers with another More »

The Barn celebrates with first major event with Off the Grid

The Barn celebrates with first major event with Off the Grid

The Barn kicked off its weekly Friday night Off the Grid food truck and music event with large crowds on Friday, Aug. 5. Located at 985 Riverfront Street, the Barn is a More »

Quilts for Community Service

Quilts for Community Service

The Delta Piecemakers Quilt Guild has donated handmade quilts to the West Sacramento Police and Fire Departments to be given out to those in need of comfort during police or fire calls. More »

 

Lady Raiders are conference co-champs

RIGHT River City junior Marrissa Tyler drives to the basket for the varsity squad. Marrssa scored eight points in the win against Vista del Lago (Photo by DE’ONNA JACK)

NEWS-LEDGER — FEB 22, 2012 —

  (UPDATE: The RCHS basketball team won its first playoff game on Tuesday, Feb. 21, and is moving on to round two).

On Friday, the River City High School girls basketball teams played their last game of the regular season at home.

The RCHS freshman lost to Sacramento High; while the JV and varsity teams faced — and beat — Vista del Lago.

RCHS freshman Vanessa Mendoza in action for the JV team. Vanessa scored 8 points in the win against Vista del Lago (Photo by DE’ONNA JACK)

With the win, the Raider varsity tied El Dorado and became co-champions of the Sierra Valley Conference. River City Varsity finished the regular season 11-1 in conference and 25-2 overall. The team earned a playoff spot, with the first playoff game scheduled for last night at home against Rocklin (results were too late to report in this edition).

RCHS athletic director Char Ghio reports it is the school’s first ever playoff game in girls basketball.

The final scores for Friday’s games were as follows: Raider Freshmen:  27-12 (L) ; JV: 54-28 (W); Varsity: 55-23 (W).

Varsity high scorers for the Raiders were Katie King with 13 points, Amarita Singh with 8, and Marrissa Tyler with 8.

(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, delivered to your mailbox.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012

School board items include discussion of whether to re-approve charter school

This sign may soon mark the ‘home of the Raiders’ if plans proceed to construct it in front of River City High School in Southport (schematic is from Thursday’s staff report to the Washington Unified School District board of trustees)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — FEB 22, 2012 —

The local school board will meet Thursday at 6 p.m. at city hall to discuss a variety of issues, including the “roller coaster ride” in the district’s budget resulting from a troubled state budget. The Washington Unified School District is planning another round of reductions.

Also on the agenda will be:

— Consideration of whether to extend the charter of the West Sacramento Early College Prep  charter school. A state association of charter schools has suggested that the local academy be shut down for underperformance.

Board President Teresa Blackmer told the News-Ledger earlier this month she had not made her own mind up on whether to vote to renew the school’s charter.

— Results of the district’s public opinion poll. WUSD had hired a consultant to talk to West Sacramento voters and find out how receptive the public might be to a November school bond or parcel tax measure, aimed at helping to “complete” River City High School and possibly advance some other district-wide projects.

— Review of a proposed “marquee” sign for River City High School, marking the campus at the entrance from Jefferson boulevard to Raider Lane. The district is also working on design of a second sign within the parking lot shared by RCHS administration and the neighboring city recreation center, steering visitors to each facility.

EDITOR’S NOTE: an earlier version of this article misstated the last name of board president Teresa Blackmer, transposing it with that of fellow board member David Westin. The News-Ledger regrets the error.

  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, delivered to your mailbox.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Japanese plant breaks ground in Southport

Nippon Shokken Chairman Kazuhiko Ozawa (left) accepts a gift from Mayor Christopher Cabaldon. (News-Ledger photo)

 

NEWS-LEDGER — FEB 15, 2012 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

A groundbreaking in Southport on Thursday, Feb. 9, took on a notably Japanese flair.

Company officials from Nippon Shokken – a firm that produces Japanese seasonings and food products – joined local officials in a ceremony to celebrate the start of construction of a new, 70,000-square foot factory at 2970 Ramco Street in the Southport Business Park.

Local dignitaries gathered in a tent at the spot. The festivities included an exchange of gifts between Mayor Christopher Cabaldon and company chairman Kazuhiko Ozawa, amid bows and smiles. Ozawa presented the mayor with several gifts, including a set of porcelain figures, and Cabaldon responded with presentation of a painting of the iconic Tower Bridge.

Nippon Shokken reps joined local officials including Mayor Cabaldon and Yolo County Supervisor Mike McGowan (center and center-right, respectively) in shoveling sand to launch the construction project. (News-Ledger photo)

The mayor’s remarks – translated into Japanese for guests – included a compliment to the company and its products.

“I had the opportunity to be in Japan in December, and had the chance not only to try many of the Nippon Shokken products,” said Cabaldon, “but also to speak with local leaders and those in the country. I was not surprised to learn in Japan the deep honor and respect the leaders of Nippon Shokken hold with the people in Japan.”

One of three gifts presented to the Mayor of West Sacramento by Nippon Shokken Chairman Kazuhiko Ozawa. The gifts may later go on display at city hall, said a City of West Sacramento official. (News-Ledger photo)

Cabaldon also put in an endorsement for the flavor of the company’s products.

Through a translator, Chairman Ozawa said that one of the reasons his company chose the Southport site was a “bounty of quality water, which is essential for production of seasonings, and to have the utmost land of well-built infrastructure.”

[adrotate group=”9″]   The new factory will help the company expand its U.S. presence. It expects to open in March, 2013, with a hundred employees and a production capacity of 2,400 tons per year – expanding to 300 workers by 2015.

“One of my favorite actions of Nippon Shokken was to identify two of our West Sacramento high school students who speak Japanese fluently,” said Cabaldon. The company then hired these two –  and plan to train them in Japan to return and serve in management positions at the new West Sacramento plant.

Artist’s rendering of future Nippon Shokken plant in West Sacramento

  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, delivered to your mailbox.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012

 

Fathers of newborns: get some skills

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER —

Fathers can learn hands-on skills for helping to raise newborns – including the “ever-popular diaper toss,” promises First 5 Yolo.

Three “Daddy’s Tool Bag,” workshops are planned, including one from 5:30-7 p.m. on Feb. 22 at West Sacramento’s library, 1212 Merkley Avenue.

The free workshops are led by a dad, Ted Hendricks, and will also cover skills such as swaddling the newborn, helping during breastfeeding, and comforting a baby. Free, and participants get a T-shirt and DVD (in English & Spanish). Call (530) 669-2475 to sign up or learn about workshops elsewhere in the region.

Food bank distributes free food today

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER —

The Food Bank of Yolo County will distribute free food in West Sacramento and Clarksburg on Feb. 21.

The schedule will be:

Starting at 9-10 a.m. at the county building, 500 Jefferson Blvd.; 10:30-11:15 a.m. at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 1500 Park Blvd.; 11-noon at Yolo Housing Authority, 685 Lighthouse Dr.; and noon to 1 p.m. at the Clarksburg Firehouse. Please bring a bag, and attend only one site.

For info, call (530) 668-0690.

Hero’s memory revived by school project

Joe at the stick of his helicopter, with his door gunner behind him

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — FEB 15, 2012 —

BY DARYL FISHER

Amid all the wonders out there on the Internet is a website specifically dedicated to remembering the 58,178 American soldiers who lost their lives in the Vietnam War. It is called the Virtual Wall, and on it are countless remembrances, poems, photos, videos and letters honoring those who never made it back home from that long ago war. And from time to time, usually on Memorial Day or Veterans Day, I have left a remembrance or two on the Virtual Wall in memory of some of the fine young men I served with overseas back in the late 1960s, which brings me to my little story.

DARYL FISHER, the author

MADDY HINES: Texas student doing an English project focused on the Vietnam War -- and in particular, on helicopter pilot Joe Vad, who didn't make it home

The other day, while checking my email messages on my computer at work, I noticed that one of them had the name Joe Vad in the subject line.  Henry (Joe) Vad was a very fine helicopter pilot who lost his life back in November of 1969 while providing combat air support for the Aero Rifle Platoon I served in, so I was of course very eager to open up the email and find out who had sent it. And as I began to read, I also began to feel pretty good about this new generation of Americans.

“Hi Mr. Fisher. My name is Maddy Hines and I am a junior at Westlake High School is Austin, Texas. My English III AP class is learning about the Vietnam War. We were each given the name of an American soldier who passed away in the war to create a memorial about. I am honored to have been given the name of your friend, Henry Joseph Vad. I will be creating a video memorial of his life and would love to get some information from you about him. If you have any pictures, stories, or general information about Mr. Vad that you would be willing to share with me, I would greatly appreciate it. For more information about this project, please feel free to contact my teacher, Rebecka Stucky, and if you would like to see some of the memorials her classes have created in the past, you can go to http://www4.eanesisd.net/~Vietnam/. And thank you so much for your help. Maddy Hines.”

PILOT JOE VAD, strolling near the aifield (background) and soldiers' "hooches"

Many years ago, I had written a column about Joe Vad, so I sent off the following paragraph from it to Maddy:

“Joe was from the tough streets of New York City and he had spent quite a bit of time in the Marines before deciding he wanted to be an officer and go to flight school and learn how to fly a helicopter. He liked being in the military, and since he had once been an enlisted man, he was really nice to those who flew with him. He was a very sweet guy with a great sense of humor and he got along well with everyone on the base. As a Chief Warrant Officer with D Troop, 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry, of the 1st Infantry Division, his job was to fly air reconnaissance and combat air support for the Aero Rifle Platoon I served with on the ground below him. He was a truly amazing pilot who could make his OH-6A scout helicopter do the most remarkable things. He was easy to smile, fearless to a fault, seemingly invincible, and on the day he and his doorgunner, SP5 James Downing, were shot out of the sky by enemy fire and killed, the whole troop had a very difficult time believing, and dealing, with it. He left behind a loving wife and an infant daughter, Lisa, who over the years has contacted numerous members of our troop in an effort to learn more about the father she never knew.”

It turns out that Maddy was already in contact with Lisa, who was providing her with lots of photos and information about her father. I also sent her the email address of Terry Houck, a member of my squad who knew Joe much better than I did, knowing that he would also be able to get Maddy in contact with some of the helicopter pilots Joe flew with before his death.

The next time I heard from Maddy she wrote, “I am so honored to be making a memorial for Joe Vad. My teacher has been giving her students this assignment for years, but I didn’t know hardly anything about the Vietnam War before this project. I knew that it happened in the late sixties and that there was a Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, DC, but that was about it. My parents really enjoy watching me do all my research for this project. They think it is important for me to realize what really happened in the Vietnam War and they are happy that I am coming in contact with people from all over the United States who knew Joe Vad. My friends and classmates are all doing this project, too, and they love it. Everyone is really getting into it and think it’s very interesting. I have learned so much about American culture and the history of that time and it has explained a lot about veterans that I didn’t understand before. I have also learned that war is a very serious thing, and that it should not be taken lightly, and how awful and traumatic it can be for so many people. It has also allowed me to get to know a person in a different way than normal and feel very connected to him. I am so excited to be doing this project!”

[adrotate group=”9″]   Someone once said that if we are remembered by just one other person, then we never really die. And Maddy’s video memorial to Joe means that many more people will get to know about a good, brave and decent man, who once lived and loved, “felt dawn and saw sunset glow.” And for having done that, Maddy, those of us who served with Joe Vad will always be in your debt.

  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, delivered to your mailboxl.

  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

‘Heart of the City’: West Sacramento’s vibrant youth sports scene

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — FEB 15, 2012 —

Wow! Youth basketball season!

The Washington Unified School District girls basketball program wound down with great playoffs and a championship series.

BY DON SCHATZEL for the News-Ledger

The playoffs began at Riverbank School that used to be Golden State Middle School that used to be James Marshall High School (small history lesson. . .) I mention this because the schools gym is high school-dimension,  complete with Rotary- sponsored scoreboard.

The four teams that qualified for the playoffs were regular season winner Stonegate Elementary and prospective championship opponent Bridgeway Island, whose only loss was to Stonegate. Upstart Elkhorn and always-in-the-playoffs Southport joined the post-season party!

What was expected was not to be.

Elkhorn pulled off the upset of the season in the first round, beating Bridgeway Island 30-21. Elkhorn became West Sac’s own version of a Cinderella team. Joanna Lira led Elkhorn with 8 points and Elkhorn held Bridgeway’s powerful offense to just 8 first-half points. Michaela Faaifo had 8 points and Melissa Bustamante had 4 for Bridgeway.

This was Elkhorn’s first trip to the championship game.

Stonegate and Southport squared off to determine Elkhorn’s championship opponent. Stonegate ran off to an 8-point halftime lead, 19-11, then pulled away for a 36-14 victory and a chance to play Elkhorn for the local title. Gabby Mistler had 8 points and Niki Singh  7 points for powerhouse Stonegate. Anniyah Furlow 4 points for Southport.

The consolation and championship games were played at Westmore Oaks Elementary School, formerly River City High School, and its gym, too, has high school dimensions.

In the Southport vs. Bridgeway Island match for third place,

[adrotate group=”10″] Bridgeway rebounded from its disappointing opening round loss with a 26-11 win. Jordan Criswell had 9 points and Michaels Faaifo  7 points. Mikaela Drewry led the Southport scoring.

The long-awaited championship between Elkhorn and Stonegate was a tough physical game, with Stonegate winning 32-9 for their first championship. Elkhorn battled the entire game, but Stonegate brought a  deep a bench and kept the pressure on the entire game.

The unstoppable Alina Castillo scored 17 points and Nikki Singh had 8, both for Stonegate. Joanna Lira earned 5 for Elkhorn. Congratulations to all four teams for making the playoffs and playing great basketball.

Our Lady of Grace School is  in mid-basketball season. The J.V. team, made up of 5th and 6th graders, beat St. Elizabeths of Elk Grove 14-2 to stay in first place. Krystal Robles,  Lauren Bykowski and Julianna Calles had great games for the OLG win.

QUICK QUESTION!!
What youth sports league started in 1974 has 25,000 teams worldwide, 360,000 participants,ages 4-18, four world series tournaments, and is an international program not just in the U.S?

GIVE UP? It’s little league girls’ softball – not boys baseball!
West Sacramento Girls Softball Little League is registering players. As are the West Sacramento Dolphins, West Sacramento Little League and Washington Little League, with separate registration for summer programs. They have web sites so they are easy to find!

  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, delivered to your mailboxl.

  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