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 »

 

Yolo Farm to Fork:

Gala to raise awareness for local edible garden learning projects

The first day of spring, March 21, will see a celebration of Yolo County’s agricultural bounty at Park Winters in a Gala to benefit the programs of Yolo Farm to Fork. Foods from the farms, ranches and vineyards of Yolo County will be featured in the Gala dinner that begins with a wine and appetizers from 5:30 p.m., continuing with a gourmet dinner at 6:30 p.m. The elegant event is an opportunity to enjoy a gourmet dinner using fresh local and hyper-local food in an amazing setting, the simple country luxury of Park Winters.
The Gala will raise awareness and support for the 37 edible garden-learning projects supported by Yolo Farm to Fork throughout Yolo County through its three locally-based programs: Davis Farm to School, Kid Dig It!, and the West Sacramento School Garden Network. “Edible gardens are extremely cost-effective, hands-on learning environments where students experience the real world of biology, physics, math and literacy and link them to their classroom learning,” according to Suzanne Falzone, a career educator and current president of Yolo Farm to Fork, “not to mention the links to better nutrition, recycling, sustainable growing practices, and the life-long satisfaction that comes from eating food fresh from one’s own garden.”
Yolo Farm to Fork, a private nonprofit organization, supports garden-centered and farm-based education for students. The organization is dedicated to bringing locally grown farm-fresh food to school meals and to reducing waste through recycling and composting. Its programs provide the real-life resources for kids to improve nutrition habits, fight obesity and integrate garden learning with classroom instruction while sustaining edible gardens.
The Inn at Park Winters is the ideal venue for this elegant event, for its luxurious country setting and its commitment to growing and serving only fresh local foods. Built in 1865, the Victorian farmhouse has been lovingly restored and landscaped to emphasize its roots in Yolo County’s rich agricultural heritage. An organic farm on its land provides the freshest produce for its gourmet kitchen, and Chef Scott Ostrander is planning a Gala menu of the best Yolo County has to offer.
Only 100 tickets will be available for the Gala. Tickets at $125 per person include all food and beverages, and will be available online through Brown Paper Tickets (www.brownpapertickets.com). A portion of the cost of each ticket will be a tax-deductible donation to Yolo Farm to Fork. More information about the event and the programs it supports is available on the Yolo Farm to Fork website (www.yolofarmtofork.org) or on the Davis Farm to School website (www.davisfarmtoschool.org)

West Sacramento Waterfront Stories

By Thomas Farley
thomasguyfarley@gmail.com

West Sacramento’s waterfront has stories behind every tule, wharf, and wetland. Here’s a few partial sketches about three different properties. Together, these accounts and anecdotes form a larger tale far from finished.

Seaway is a mostly rectangular shaped land directly south of the port. Some 200 acres, it stretches from the port’s border on the west to the Palmadessi Bridge on the east. Despite its name, this is actually lakefront property. How’s that?

When you look at the port’s turning basin, its widest part, you are looking at Lake Washington. This old and isolated lake of the Central Valley is now a Frankenstein lake, its depths and contours dredged and altered to make room for the port. To boggle your mind even further, you’ve probably driven over Lake Washington without even knowing it.

As you travel across the Seaway acreage on Southport Parkway, you pass over the vestigial remains of the lake. See the photo. Ever notice those “Wildlife Crossing” signs on parkway? This area is part of Lake Washington, a finger that extends almost to the Pheasant Club at the intersection of Lake Washington and Jefferson boulevards. A true wetland when flooded, all parts make for good birding and wandering.

The Stone Lock District was named for William G. Stone, “The Father of the Port.” It extends from the Palmadessi Bridge on the west to the Sacramento River on the east. Its distinctive features are the Barge Canal, the navigation lock, and its accompanying control tower. A civil engineering rarity in California, the lock is one of only three others in our state. Why is there a lock at all?

Sacramento River water can be 20 feet higher than the port. The lock’s gates keep the river from flooding the property and from depositing silt. Boats traveling between the river and the port used the lock to lift or lower craft to the proper level. Decreasing boat traffic and high operating costs doomed the lock and it was decommissioned in 2000.

The Mike McGowan Bridge is a new addition to the district. Its roadway connects two parts of South River Road at a “T” intersection. Soon, Village Parkway will join that intersection. Note the dashed line in the photograph. This extension of Village Parkway through the Honda Hills will provide an alternative to Jefferson Boulevard and a corridor to Raley Field and The Bridge District.

A few years ago, the Cordish Companies proposed ambitious plans for the Stone Lock District but negotiations fell through. The architectural renderings are still online and show a tree-lined waterfront community bustling with pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Shops and recreation were depicted, with the Sacramento River and the canal providing a cool and scenic background. It’s the kind of marina village that the city still hopes for, and the kind of community most people would also like in another waterfront area, The Pioneer Bluffs.

The Pioneer Bluffs starts at the Barge Canal and runs north to Highway 50 where the Bridge District begins. South River Road bisects the area. Jefferson Boulevard marks the bluff’s west boundary but redevelopment will probably come first on its eastern side along the Sacramento River. Removing the CEMEX concrete silos was a vital step in repurposing this riverfront. What’s next? Perhaps a decade long process of relocating the tank farms, filling stations, and maintenance yards that line South River Road.

The stories of West Sacramento and its waterfront are still being written. In time, they should make quite a book.

Confirmed Zika case in Yolo County

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed on Wednesday that a Yolo County resident has tested positive for Zika virus. This individual recently traveled out of the country and had a mild case of Zika.

Zika virus is a relatively new disease for the Western hemisphere. It first appeared in Brazil in May of 2015. It has since spread to 20 countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean, including Mexico. Zika is spread through mosquito bites, not casual person-to-person contact. According to the CDC, the most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain and red, itchy eyes. Symptoms are usually mild and last several days to a week. Many people who have Zika will not experience symptoms. There is currently no vaccine or treatment for Zika.

Pregnant women, however, are believed to be most at risk for complications from the Zika virus because serious birth defects have been reported in infants born to women infected with the virus. The CDC is planning studies to learn more about the connection between Zika and children born with these birth defects. In the meantime, the CDC has issued travel guidance for women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant. To stay up-to-date on the CDC’s latest travel notices, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/travel.

“Yolo County residents traveling to Central or South America or the Caribbean, where Zika is present, should take precautions against mosquitoes,” said Yolo County Health Officer Ron Chapman, MD, MPH. “If you are pregnant, consider postponing your trip. All travelers to areas where Zika is present should go to their doctor if they experience any of the symptoms associated with Zika within three to seven days after they return. Pregnant women who have recently traveled to an area with Zika should talk to a healthcare provider about their travel even if they don’t feel sick.”

Ways to avoid mosquito bites include:
Using an insect repellant containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus;
Wearing long-sleeved shirts and trousers;
Using air conditioning or window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside; and
Reducing the number of mosquitoes inside and outside your home by emptying standing water from containers such as flowerpots or buckets. Mosquitoes can breed in as little amount of water as a bottle cap.

On the web: www.cdc.gov/zika and www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/discond/Pages/Zika.aspx

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 off for St. Mary’s where she’s given a full ride scholarship to continue improving her game.
“She definitely will be missed when she’s gone. She helped the program take a turn,” head coach Kamal Singh said. “Since I’ve been here, she’s the first D1 scholar (the team has had).”
A member of the varsity team since she was a freshman, Jaylen has gotten the team to win more and more. “This is my 11th year at River City and the last five years started turning around once Jaylen and her crew came, her and four other girls, they definitely had a huge impact on the program.”
A very humble player with undeceiving speed, it’s as though Jaylen possesses an extra gear, Singh says. ”She can turn on that gear whenever she wants to … Over the years she scored some great goals. She’s won some games with her athletic ability for us. She’s a team player. She loves being a part of this team.”
One such game Jaylen describes as a highlight for her time thus far at River City was against Woodland High School last year when in the last three minutes she scored two goals, making the score 3-0. “They’re our biggest rivals,” she says.
In conditioning now for River City, Jaylen hopes to lead the team further than ever in the playoffs and she hopes to make the All City List. “I made it last year; to make it again would be good,” she said.
Having played club soccer for Sacramento United, which practices at Granite Park in Sacramento, since she was 8 years old, Jaylen has traveled all around California. “I played the majority of my games with them. I found a lot of coaches help me,” she said.
Excited to attend St. Mary’s and study kinesiology and eventually practice physical therapy, she said she likes the smaller feel of the college. “I went on my official visit in October and met all players coming in and with the ones that are there and we got to bond a little.”
At the sport since she was just 3 years old (4 years old on a team), Jaylen said her parents have been her primary inspiration. “They inspire me to do my best. When I was younger, they always wanted me to practice playing soccer.”

Congratulations to River City High School student Emily Xu

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Emily Xu, River City High School student of Ms. Schroeder, received a Full Academic Scholarship to represent the State of California at the Congress of Future Medical Leaders, June 25-27 in Boston. That’s a $1,000 scholarship! Emily will witness surgeries and hear from the top medical experts in the country. Ms. Schroeder has had 15 students accepted in the past three years, but Emily is the first to receive a full scholarship. Congratulations to the both of you!

Hollywood comes to West Sacramento as the annual Father Daughter Dinner Dance turns 21

By Julia McMichael

Courtesy of the City of West Sacramento Parks and Recreation

Courtesy of the City of West Sacramento Parks and Recreation

Fathers and daughters of all ages are invited to a “Hollywood Ball,” either Friday, Feb. 19 or Saturday, Feb. 20, 6:30 to 9 p.m. This semi-formal “night to remember” comes with a dinner buffet, a DJ and dancing in the beautiful Galleria of the West Sacramento Civic Center, 1110 West Capitol Ave. “Prom”-style photos will be available for an additional fee. Space is limited! There will be no assigned seating. Registration: fathers $45, daughter(s) $25 each, daughter(s) age 3 and younger are free. Registration is now open. First come, first served. For more information, call the Parks & Recreation Dept., (916) 617-5320.
This event is a tradition in West Sacramento since 1995. Event coordinator, Lucy Ramos says “a major goal of the Parks and Recreation Department is to strengthen families. This event furthers that mission. We see grandfathers, uncles and men of all ages step up to escort girls and women of all ages to a fun night. We have ages from three to 70, a wide range. All are welcome.”
The Center for Fathers and Families advocate spending time with children. “Kids spell love T-I-M-E. Dr. Ken Canfield of the National Center for Fathering says, “Such time and attention helps prevent girls from seeking romantic attention from men.” “The Importance of Fathers” booklet says that “Fathers are a child’s guide to the outside world.”
A Great Night for Divorced or Separated Dads
Linda Nielsen, the author of Between Fathers & Daughters: Enriching and Rebuilding Your Adult Relationship says, “In a divorced family, there are many ways a father-daughter bond may suffer. Based on her research, Dr. Linda Nielsen found that only 10 to 15 percent of fathers get to enjoy the benefits of shared parenting after divorce. What a girl needs is a loving, predictable father figure — whether married to her mother, single, or divorced.” A night out one to one can provide meaningful attention for a girl.
In his recent book “Always Dad”, Paul Mandelstein, advises divorced dads to find ways to play a crucial role in their daughter’s life. He suggests that the father-daughter connection, even several years after a family dissolves, is heavily influenced by consistency in contact and the quality of the relationship.
According to psychologist Kevin Leman, fathers are the key to their daughter’s future. “That evidence shows that a father’s relationship with his daughter is one of the key determinants in a woman’s ability to enjoy a successful life and marriage.”
For21 years, this dinner dance has been a tradition in West Sacramento. Maybe it’s time to make it a tradition in your family.

What fathers and daughters say:
“I took my daughter to the father-daughter dance and I cried like a little baby. She’s 11 years old, so seeing her get dressed up and pretty made me cry.” Kevin Hart
“My Daddy was my hero. He was always there for me when I needed him. He listened to me and taught me so many things. But most of all he was fun.” Bindi Irwin
“We love it!” Joshua Stark
“I went a few years ago with my dad, and my husband took our daughter. Now my husband takes her and I don’t attend.” Becky Olson
“I want my hubby to take our little girl. I think she is at the right age to appreciate it! I want him to start teacher her how a gentleman should act and for her to learn how a little lady should too. This will be a magical memory!” Natalie Ramirez-Loftin
“My husband and daughter have gone to the dance for the last 7 years an plan on going again in February. They love it!!! I have pictures from each year!” Michelle Turner-Mayer

The Father/Daughter Bond:

1. A father teaches his daughter that it is not necessary to choose between being strong and delicate. She can be both at the same time.
2. He is the first man she looks up to and he totally brings out the best in her.
3. Dads make their daughters take risks to build self-confidence.
4. He gives her the confidence to do things on her own and become independent. For example, he pushes her to learn to ride a bicycle and drive the car.
5. When it comes to careers, a father is the first person every daughter goes to for proper guidance and advice. They never stop their daughters from aiming high, but also give them a taste of reality by sharing their experiences.
6. Sports, extracurricular activities, hobby classes — they encourage their daughters for anything and everything. They know this will only make their daughters grow as an individual.
7. Fathers have a cool way to expose the outer world to their daughters: Family vacations, outings and adventure camps.This is their way of letting their daughters know how big the world is.
8. Daughters observe their fathers strength to take up responsibilities and their soft side that cares about the family.

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 Clapper of Denver, Colorado. He beat out over 75 submissions. There were no artist submissions from West Sacramento. Commissioners from the City of West Sacramento’s Arts, Culture & Historic Preservation Commission weighed in on the decision as well as the Yolo Arts Council, City staff, an outside artist, and a landscape architect. The artwork will cost $70,000, less than two percent of the budget to build the new park off of West Capitol.

Joey Lopes was a hometown boxer who fought in the late 1940s and throughout the 1950s. At many times he competed at the Memorial Auditorium across the river. In his early career he was selected for the 1948 U.S. Olympics boxing team. He went on to fight three times for the World Lightweight crown. A community leader in retirement, Lopes did work for the West Sacramento Sanitary District, the West Sacramento Optimist Club and the West Sacramento Babe Ruth Baseball League. It was only natural that a park be named after him, and just as naturally a fitting tribute to him in art would be constructed.

As solid as the boxer and community steward himself, the stone and steel artwork will show Lopes at the height of his powers, in profile, reaching out to deliver a punch. The metal’s rusty finish connects with his blue-collar roots, the son of a grocer, fighting his way toward the top of his sport. Where did the ideas and inspiration come from to produce such a design?

Michael Clapper says he drew on materials supplied to him by the Yolo Arts Council and the West Sacramento Historical Society. But as with all of his projects, he did his own independent research as well, even taking to watching old Joey Lopes fights now on YouTube. Along the way, Clapper said he could identify with Lopes rise from a working-class neighborhood, as he did from north-east industrial Ohio, the first in his family to graduate from college.

A collaborative effort, Clapper’s team includes an engineer, a graphics company, a water-jet shop that cuts steel, and even an electrician to provide the installation’s night-lighting. As this article goes to print, the artwork’s stone is being brought from Kansas to Clapper’s studio. Preparations are underway to meet a tight deadline, with late May the hoped for completion date. Clapper wants West Sacramento to know that he is proud and pleased to be selected as the champion for Lopes’ tribute and hopes that it will embody the boxer and civic leader’s spirit: fighting for community.