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 »
By Jan Dalske for the News Ledger Bill Kristoff will officially retire on November 16th when he attends his last city council meeting. His friends, family and colleagues came together recently at More »
Artwork for Joey Lopes Park
By Thomas Farley
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.
The Sail Inn is Back in Port
By Thomas Farley
The Sail Inn on Jefferson Boulevard is being reopened and rechristened as the Sail Inn Grotto & Bar. Launch date is late February. All aboard.
The old Sail Inn, its full name The Sail Inn Food and Spirits, has been closed since August, 2013. That’s when Joan Washburn lost her lease to run the place, which she had been doing since 1986.
The Sail Inn was a family owned property of the Kristoffs, best known for Bill Kristoff, the longest-serving member of the West Sacramento City Council. The new restaurant and bar retains a Kristoff family member, Ellie Marie, but now includes Archie Morse as the chief owner. The new management team also has equity in the business.
A West Sacramento landmark, The Sail, as it was simply known to most folks, was a working-class bar that served good food and made people feel welcome. A port of call for many on a long Friday night, the bar appealed beyond its State Streets location to the greater Sacramento area. Although the exterior may have been rough, the bathrooms small and scary, the Harleys parked outside intimidating, few places exuded a greater charm for after work, after a River Cats’ game, or after the kids were left with the sitter. The new managers understand this.
The Sail’s operating team are Garrett Van Vleck, Jason Boggs and Alex Origoni. They are behind the wildly successful and nationally recognized Shady Lady Saloon across the river. Van Vleck used to go to the Sail Inn. “I went there several times. In renovating the place, I think we kept a lot of the old roadhouse feel and the basic nautical theme, but we cleaned it up considerably and brought everything up to code. I hope the people in West Sac will appreciate the transformation and enjoy the nod to what it used to be.” He says there will be a varied cocktail menu and surf food to complement the sea-faring theme.
So when does the party start? “I think we should be open near the end of February. We are still debating the exact night time hours. We’ll probably stay open until midnight on the weekdays and 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Possibly open at 11 a.m. for lunch and keep serving food until about 10 p.m. at night. We may have some live music and DJs occasionally but no juke box or karaoke. There also won’t be a pool table but we are still discussing the possibility of some bar games.”
The Sail Inn’s transformation may change its looks but not its destination to good times. Instead of a tramp steamer, perhaps West Sacramento will have a boutique cruise ship with a good living attitude. And a Mai Tai. All aboard.
Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice of California, Named Guest Speaker for the 2016 Yolo County Women’s History Month Luncheon
The Yolo County Women’s History Month Committee has announced Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice of California, as its guest speaker for the 29th annual Women’s History Month luncheon scheduled for Thursday, March 10, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Woodland Community & Senior Center, 2001 East Street, Woodland.
Chief Justice Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye is the 28th Chief Justice of the State of California. She was sworn into office on Jan. 3, 2011 and is the first Asian-Filipina American and the second woman to serve as the state’s chief justice. Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye was nominated to office in July 2010, unanimously confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments in August 2010, and overwhelmingly approved by voters in the November 2010 general election. At the time she was nominated as Chief Justice, she had served more than 20 years on California trial and appellate courts, including six years on the Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, in Sacramento. As Chief Justice she also chairs the Judicial Council of California, the administrative policymaking body of state courts, and the Commission on Judicial Appointments.
A Sacramento native, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye attended C. K. McClatchy High School and Sacramento City College before graduating with honors from the University of California, Davis, later receiving her JD from the UC Davis, Martin Luther King, Jr., School of Law.
She worked as a deputy district attorney for the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, and then served on the senior staff of Governor Deukmejian, first as deputy legal affairs secretary and later as a deputy legislative secretary. Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye is a former board member of several nonprofit organizations and has been active in numerous professional community organizations, including membership in the California Judges Association, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and the Sacramento Asian Bar Association, and received the Filipina of the Year Award. She is married to Mark Sakauye, a retired police lieutenant and they have two daughters.
The theme for the 2016 luncheon is “Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government” and honors women who have shaped America’s history and its future through their public service and government leadership.
The luncheon will be catered by Anderson Family Catering & BBQ of Winters and the cost for the luncheon is $25. For reservations, make checks payable to WHM, and mail to WHM, P.O. Box 711, Woodland, CA 95776. Payment by credit card may be made online at www.ycwhm.org. Reservations and payment must be received by Friday, March 4, 2016, and reservations will not be sold at the door.
For general information about the luncheon, please contact Katherine Mawdsley at
530-758-5093 or Louisa R. Vessell at 916-451-2113 / firstname.lastname@example.org / 916-799-9932; or visit www.ycwhm.org.
The Yolo County Women’s History Month Committee is a California non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. Please refer to website for sponsorship opportunities. Proceeds from the event will benefit the public libraries in Yolo County for the purchase of women’s history materials.
Shores of Hope partnered with Raley’s Food for Families to provide food to West Sac families
On Saturday, Jan. 16, Shores of Hope served families in need and distributed more than 300 bags of groceries thanks to a partnership with the Raley’s Food for Families program. The line opened at 9 a.m. and took place at Shores of Hope, 110 6th St. This distribution program named, Shores of Hope’s Groceries for Families, started in December where 300 bags of groceries were distributed within the first hour to West Sacramento families who visited the center located in the neighborhood of historic Broderick.
“I found out about this at the social services office” explained one of the recipients waiting in line at the December distribution. “I’m very thankful for this help.”
Such sentiments were echoed by many of the recipients coming from all over West Sacramento and expressed in English, Spanish and Russian.
Food For Families is a non-profit program that has raised more than $22 million and donated more than 12 million pounds of groceries to food banks in our communities since the program began as a holiday food drive in 1986. Shores of Hope shares the view of Raley’s Food for Families whose aim is to end hunger locally by providing fresh and healthy food to those who need it the most and getting real food to real families.
“I think Raley’s Food for Families chose Shores of Hope because of our connection with this community,” shares Shores of Hope Sergei Shkurkin. “The amount of families we serve in West Sacramento is perfect for the distribution of grocery bags full of food provided by Food for Families’ partners, such as Best Foods and Ben & Jerry’s, and the many donations given by local individuals who believe in the mission.”
Shores of Hope has been rebuilding the lives of those in need throughout the Sacramento Region since it began in 1920 as the United Christian Center and as the former Broderick Christian Center since 1952. The name change to Shores of Hope in October 2015 marks the growth of the center from a formal religious ministry to an organization that continues to offer service and hope to those mired in social crisis.
Planting Seeds for the Future: River City High School Farm Program Students Harness the Power of Food
By Bia Riaz
Five years ago, a very important seed was planted at River City High School’s after school Greenhouse and Gardens Club. Under guidance of teachers like Ellen Hoffman (retired), and Jennifer McAllister (AP Biology), students learned and shared the values of nurturing and caring for plant life. This love of gardening bloomed into the Farm to Fork Program and Pathway.
The energy and excitement exhibited by the students prompted the school to ask Ms. McAllister to write a course outline and develop a curriculum for the Farm to Fork Program. The first Farm to Fork class started in the spring 2015 term.
Initially, students were placed in the class and had to become familiar with the concept, as it related to their day-to-day lives. McAllister also reached out to parents about the program. Once the students understood the impact of growing and eating seasonal and healthy ingredients, they were motivated to continue the pathway and signed up for additional classes. The pathway for the program offers students the opportunity to learn and understand agriculture and the properties of soil, fertilizers, carbon, nitrogen, water, and the concept of seasonal crops.
As part of the program, the Farm to Fork students participate in planting and caring for the RCHS urban garden located on the school grounds. The most recent crops in the garden include; garlic, onions, beets, radishes, carrots, collards, broccoli, and many more. In the class, students learn how to plant, harvest, wash and pack the produce from the garden. All the produce is then provided to the school cafeteria. The cafeteria at RCHS focuses on developing lunches using the produce in conjunction with other locally sourced ingredients.
According to McAllister, the program has generated a lot of lively discussion in the classroom. The students have developed an understanding of how their food is grown, where it comes from, and the economic issues related to cost and production. “They raised the issue of equality and access to healthy food. They find it frustrating that healthy food is expensive, but they also understand the triple bottom line. You have to have a quality environment, you have to care for the people and animals, but you still need to make a profit. They understand that quality food costs more” Observed McAllister.
Last year the class had the opportunity to visit the Bryte Garden Caffe (Culinary Arts and Food Education) site and learned how to incorporate fresh produce, like pumpkins, into a scratch made pie. They also attended the Farm-to-Fork Festival and the First Harvest Festival. McAllister mentioned that the students were excited to share information and learn more about the Farm to Fork movement in the region. Several students have already volunteered to return to the festival next year.
Although it started as a small class, the interest in the program has grown and more students are requesting enrollment in the classes. Currently, there are 37 students in the Farm to Fork class. On February 9th, the students will be visiting the Fiery Ginger Farm, behind Yolo High School, to experience a working local urban farm. As a teacher at RCHS for 20 years, McAllister expressed how much she enjoyed working with the students. “It is inspiring to see young people get excited about learning. They understand and care about eating healthy. They also understand that they ‘vote’ every time they choose to eat healthy. They let the corporations know, they choose healthy!”
For more on the RCHS Farm to Fork Program, visit their website http://rivercity.wusd.k12.ca.us/farmtoforks
A historic firehouse reborn
By Thomas Farley
The old Washington District firehouse at 317 Third St. is being reborn as a bar and restaurant. The once neglected landmark sits at the foot of the I Street Bridge, its renewal just part of the revitalizing Bridge District. The News-Ledger reached out to Bay Miry with D&S Development who answered several questions about the pioneering urban project.
What attracted you to this venture?
Our team has a passion for the rehab of historic buildings. We have always had our eye on the Washington Firehouse building and the historic Washington/Broderick area in general. The building has great charm and character both on the interior and exterior and we are working with full force to bring it to life. A number of events are all coming together to help align the starts for that specific area to become the next “hot” urban hub including: the improved economy, the influx of housing, the addition of tenants like “Edible Pedal” in our historic strip center across the street, and planned infrastructure improvements in the near future including replacement of the I Street Bridge so that it leads directly into the railyard redevelopment.
Have you changed the original design which called for a live/work space on the second floor?
Yes. The upstairs area will instead include a second bar area and second expansive outdoor patio and we envision it will be used as a private dining space for special events and catering. One thing we heard loud and clear from the community and city staff is the need for both a neighborhood friendly restaurant as well as a special events space in that area.
Has the West Sacramento Historical Society been consulted?
Yes, we have indeed engaged them to share our plans and get feedback on our intentions and specifically on how we envision bringing the building back to life and magnifying its existing charms. We are working to incorporate the historical society’s historic fire truck, the “Old Mary”, into the space planning. We also are working with the society on obtaining photos and history that we can showcase in the space as a way to pay homage to the history of both the surrounding area and the building itself.
Estimated time of completion?
We hope to both complete construction and have an operator in place and open for business by the end of the year, if not sooner. Construction continues to move along smoothly. There was the addition of a new building on the rear of the historic building and we are working through all structural rehab and rough work right now.
Any inquiries from potential users?
About a half dozen legitimate inquiries but we are being pretty picky about who we ultimately select for the building; we want to make sure we have an experienced operator in there that is providing the community with quality food and service.
Anything else a West Sacramento resident should know?
The rehab of historic buildings is important to our team. These “gems” should be showcased and brought back to life whenever possible. What makes this project even more exciting at least for us is the positive impact it will have on the surrounding community and that it happens to be occurring at the same time as other key factors that together will bring exciting urban activity and energy to that immediate area. A lot of folks have expressed their excitement that something is being done with this building and that they appreciate the fact that there are real things for them to look forward to as far as that area is concerned in the immediate future.
Butane honey oil lab found on Kinsington Street
By Monica Stark
At about 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 13, an officer detained eight suspects located in a residence of a butane honey oil lab on Kinsington Street. The lab consisted of a glass extraction vessel, numerous cans of butane, pounds of marijuana shake, stems, buds, two pumps, methamphetamine and methamphetamine pipes. After investigation, it was determined that five of the eight contacted could not be tied directly to the butane honey oil lab or any criminal behavior.
In one of the bedrooms, the officer located marijuana shake stem and buds, extraction vessel and pumps, methamphetamine and two glass meth pipes. The individual who resides in that bedroom was arrested for charges related to those violations. In another bedroom, the officer located Xanax in an unmarked Rx bottle, methamphetamine, a meth pipe, butane, marijuana shake stem and buds, and a digital scale. Two individuals who reside in that bedroom were arrested for charges related to those violations.
In the third bedroom, a marijuana shake stem and bud and a minor amount of finished butane honey oil was found.
It was later found that three suspects were hiding inside the attic. After numerous announcements, the West Sacramento Police Department was preparing to deploy the K-9 when two of the suspects made their presence known. They were taken into custody at that time. Everyone but the third suspect was arrested for manufacturing the butane honey oil.
Based on the officer’s training and experience, the extraction vessel, combined with butane, pumps and a quantity of marijuana is consistent with manufacturing of butane honey oil, a dangerous combination.