Residents are invited to the 2017 Recreation Center open house

Residents are invited to the 2017 Recreation Center open house

By Jan Dalske for the News Ledger Have you been to the City of West Sacramento’s Recreation Center? Now is the time to visit. Come with your family or bring a friend. More »

West Sacramento Receives Awards for Barn Project and Economic Development

West Sacramento Receives Awards for Barn Project and Economic Development

The city of West Sacramento received the Greater Sacramento Area Economic Council’s ( GSAC) inaugural “Paving the Way” award recognizing a public agency for “Exceptional Economic Development Results” at the GSAC annual More »

Santa to arrive on fire truck: Here’s St. Nick’s schedule

Santa to arrive on fire truck: Here’s St. Nick’s schedule

The West Sacramento Fire Department, in conjunction with the West Sacramento Firefighters’ Association, is preparing for the annual “Santa Run” through West Sacramento. With the help of many off-duty firefighter “elves,” Santa More »

 

Sac Gold plays at RCHS Saturday

In 2012 action, the Gold's Abrahm Prado (left) rushes the net, but the goaltender is able to grab the ball preventing a goal for the Gold.  Manolo Pina (white jersey in background) looks on.  (News-Ledger photo by Eric Harding)

In 2012 action, the Gold’s Abrahm Prado (left) rushes the net, but the goaltender is able to grab the ball preventing a goal for the Gold. Manolo Pina (white jersey in background) looks on. (News-Ledger photo by Eric Harding)

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE — MARCH 14, 2013 —

With a 3-0 victory over CD Aguiluchos on Sunday, the minor league “Sacramento Gold” soccer team earned direct entry to the “U.S. Open Cup” tournament in the National Premier Soccer League.  They will host Real San Jose this Saturday at 7 p.m. in West Sacramento.

The playoff game will be held at River City High School in West Sacramento. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for youth. Youth 15 years old and younger who are wearing a jersey get in free.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

What are those gizmos? Are you on camera at local traffic intersections?

ABOVE: Optical detection camera to sense approaching vehicles (white) and optical sensor to pick up the white strobe lights of a police car or fire truck (black). Photo taken on Jefferson Blvd.

ABOVE: Optical detection camera to sense approaching vehicles (white) and optical sensor to pick up the white strobe lights of a police car or fire truck (black). Photo taken on Jefferson Blvd.

NEWS-LEDGER — MARCH 6, 2013 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

Have you ever seen those gizmos mounted on West Sacramento traffic poles, and wondered if they’re cameras? And, if so, who’s watching you?

There are at least three types of pole-mounted sensors around town at different street intersections. And Peter Hanson, an engineering assistant with the City of West Sacramento’s Public Works Department, reminds us that none of them is a “red light” camera. The city doesn’t currently have a “red light camera” program to catch red light runners.

So what, exactly, are these devices?

At the corner of Jefferson Boulevard and Stone Boulevard, near the railroad tracks, you may see a thing that looks like a hanging bulb. It’s one of several security cameras operated out of the Port of West Sacramento, which is serviced by the railroad.

“These cameras have a dual purpose,” reported Hanson. “’A,’, to observe the intersection (for security), and ‘B,’ to observe the traffic at the intersection.”

Aside from monitoring security, the camera’s view can be used by city staff to see how traffic light timing changes are affecting the flow of traffic, for example.

ABOVE: The all-seeing eye of a port ecurity camera near the railroad tracks and Jefferson Boulevard, north of Stone Boulevard (photos by Thomas Farley and the News-Ledger)

ABOVE: The all-seeing eye of a port ecurity camera near the railroad tracks and Jefferson Boulevard, north of Stone Boulevard (photos by Thomas Farley and the News-Ledger)

Another type of “camera” seen at some traffic-light controlled intersections is a long, white cylindrical device. Those are directly linked to the traffic light controls.

“Those are video detection systems,” explained Hanson. “It knows if a car is coming or not. It actually sees cars, and changes the light for them. It ‘sees’ through algorithms, and it looks at the differences in contrast” in its field of view.

Then there are the more numerous little black items mounted on many a local traffic light pole.

“That’s a detector for emergency vehicles,” said Hanson. “If you look at an emergency vehicles, you will see a light bar on the roof, and in the center, there is a white strobe light. In our city, the fire and police vehicles each have one.”

Those strobes on top of fire trucks and police cars can, when turned on, put out a pattern of white flashes – which is picked up by the traffic pole sensor, and earns a “green light” for that Code 3 emergency vehicle.

Ambulances serving the town can’t do this trick, said Hanson.

There’s at least one other smart gizmo on the street – or under it, to be precise.  An “induction loop” can be buried in the pavement to sense the magnetic presence of a car that has pulled up to a red light, signaling the traffic lights that they need to change.

[adrotate group=”7″]   But none of these gadgets does what a “red light camera” would do, said Hanson. If you find yourself entering an intersection illegally after a light has turned red, the “sensor” that gives you a ticket needs to be an actual police officer.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Wednesday: college info night

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER —

Freshmen, sophomores and juniors at River City High School are invited to attend College Information night on Wed., March 13, from 6-7 p.m. at the school career center. Parents welcome. There will be information on community colleges and four-year colleges and universities as well as trade schools.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Practice for college entrance tests

[adrotate group=”9″] FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER —

Students can practice for the SAT/ACT tests and get an analysis of their strengths and weaknesses. The event will be held at the library, 1212 Merkley Avenue, from noon to 4 p.m. on Sat., April 6, with results available at a session from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 18. Stop by the library, call it at 375-6465, or visit www.kaptest.com/college.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013