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Who wants to be on the city council? Applications come in to fill vacant seat

NEWS-LEDGER — MARCH 26, 2014 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

Were you expecting very many people to apply to fill that vacancy on the West Sacramento City Council?

If you were, you were right. City officials received applications from 25 citizens hoping to serve out the remaining term of the empty seat, through November of 2016. The vacancy was created when former councilman Oscar Villegas accepted an appointment by Governor Jerry Brown to the Yolo County Board of Supervisors.

The vacant supervisor’s seat, in turn, was made empty when Brown appointed Supervisor Mike McGowan to a special post in the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

The city council has opted to fill its vacancy by appointment, at its public meeting on April 2. First, Mayor Christopher Cabaldon and Mayor Pro Tem Mark Johannessen will pre-screen the 25 applications to choose finalists.

Here are the applicants, their neighborhoods and their self-described occupations:

— Raquel Andrade, a resident of Turlock Street and a public relations professional and homemaker;

— Bernadette Austin of Hearst Street, a project manager for an infill development company (she’s now on the city’s parks and community services commission);

— Antoine J. Bastien van der Meer of Westlake Drive, an attorney;

— Margaret “Peggy” Ann Bell of Maryland Avenue, a personnel specialist with the C.H.P.;

— Wayne Boissicat of Anchor Lane, a mechanical engineer;

— James Caughman of Delaware Avenue, an information technology developer and database engineer;

— Corey Cummings of Rolling Green Drive, a retired state correctional administrator;

— Nate Eckler of Pender Island Road, director of technology at a high-tech firm;

— Kyle Glankler of Quail Road, who is in construction management;

— Martha Guerrero of Barberry Place, a social worker (her resume indicates she is now a legislative representative for Los Angeles County, and she’s a past city planning commissioner)

— Dean Haakenson of Julian Drive, an analyst/paralegal for the state;

— Nancy Heth-Tran of Graphite Lane, an associate energy specialist with the state energy commission;

— Preston Jackson of Tahoe Street, an educator;

— Shanon Kern of Hume Street, who has managed projects at Air Force bases and is training to be a commercial pilot;

— Jeff Lyon of 4th Street, a state government employee;

— Karl Machschefes of Meadowlark Circle, a teacher (and former school board member);

— Danny L. Moore of Headslane Road, a self-employed attorney;

— Ryan Mosley of Deerwood Street, a software project manager and “scrum master”;

— Jonathan Peacock of Solomon Island Road, a high school teacher;

— Cody Potter of Laurel Lane, a labor representative and union organizer;

— Beverly Sandeen of Lewiston Road, a higher education administrator (and current member of the city planning commission)

— Maude Schmitt of West Capitol Avenue, president of a nonprofit and in eBay sales;

— Alberto Torrico of Turlock Street, an attorney;

— Mark Wilder of Alturas Court, retired from the Army and national chair of the Veterans Party of America;

— Robbie White of Coyote Road, a Microsoft certified systems engineer.

Mayor Cabaldon will join Johannessen and fellow council members Chris Ledesma and Bill Kristoff in interviewing the finalists at the April 2 meeting. If no candidate can get a majority vote from the four council members, the council may have to call for a special election to fill the vacant seat.

 

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‘POLICE LOG’: West Sac crime happenings

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — MARCH 26, 2014 —

News items below are collected from police dispatchers’ notes and arrest reports. The information in them has often not been verified beyond the initial reports.

  Want to see this roundup every week? See the bottom of the article for a special offer.

March 14
A Fillmore Place woman reported someone tried to steal the catalytic converter from her vehicle.

March 18, 10:02 a.m.
Police responded to a complaint about a homeless camp at F and 6th Streets. An officer reports that a 50-year old woman there “saw me, concealed herself behind a tree and began to dump property from her person. Located on the ground was a hard eyeglass case containing a suspected methamphetamine pipe.”
The woman was arrested.

March 18, 5:30 p.m.
Police responded to an argument between parents and their 28-year old son in a north-city home. The son was “throwing and breaking property.”
When the parents got in the car to get away, the son tried to deflate their car tires. The father, a cancer patient, tried to stop him, and was pushed and scratched. The son threatened to kill the pair during the altercation. He left, but later returned.
Police detained him and, when he did not obey commands, they pepper-sprayed him and took him into custody.

March 18, 8:15 p.m.
A woman reported a home burglary on Jasmine Avenue. Taken were some spare change and a gym bag, for a $57 loss.

March 18, 9:32 p.m.
A West Capitol resident reported being in a bathroom, when a 21-year old man (possibly an acquaintance) entered — and racked the slide on a gun he was carrying. Police responded, and determined the gun was a “replica.”
The man wielding it had “bloodshot watery eyes, slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet.” He was arrested for being too drunk to care for himself.

March 19, 11:55 a.m.
A Topaz Road man reported having rented a Toyota Prius from a West Sacramento agency. Then, the man’s son found an iPad under the passenger seat. The man reported it to police at the suggestion of the rental company.

March 19, 9:30 p.m.
A citizen found a wallet containing ID and $2.37, near Pheasant Hollow (Higgins Road at Jefferson Boulevard). The citizen turned in the wallet to police.

March 20, 7:30 a.m.
A $727 bike was stolen from a rack on Sacramento Avenue.

March 20, 2 p.m.
River City High School reported that a bike had been chained, unlocked, to a pole at the school since Feb. 14. Police booked it as found property.

March 21, 6 a.m.
A woman reported a catalytic converter stolen from her vehicle, causing loss and damage of about $4,000. (Information about the location of this theft was whited out of the police department’s press book, inappropriately, by police staff. See the note at the bottom regarding recent catalytic converter thefts in Southport).

March 21, 7 a.m.
An officer responded to the report of a suspicious vehicle at Southport’s Town Center Plaza.
The officer found a Camaro, with a 27-year old Marysville man “slumped over his steering wheel.”
“His clothes and shoes were on the ground outside the car,” reported the officer. “the hood was up and the engine components were tossed about.”  The man, apparently so drunk he “could barely stand up,” was arrested for public drunkenness.

March 21, 7 a.m.
A man reported the theft of a catalytic converter from his Toyota 4Runner during the night on Union Square Road. Damage was about $1,000.

March 21, 7:30 a.m.
A woman reported a catalytic converter stolen from her vehicle, for a $1,000 loss. The location was deleted from records by police staff.

March 21, 8 a.m.
A woman reported the theft of a catalytic converter from her vehicle, for a $2,000 loss. The location of the crime was withheld by police staff.

March 21, 8 a.m.
A man reported the theft of $600 worth of stereo equipment and other items from his van parked on Cummins Way.

March 21, 3:27 p.m.
A woman tried to shoplift $509 worth of merchandise from a Riverpoint Court store. She fled without the items when confronted by a loss prevention specialist.

March 21, 3:27 p.m.
This report comes from the 1100-block of West Capitol, where a 32-year old woman objected to the methods of a 36-year old homeless panhandler:
“Suspect aggressively solicited money from the victim. Victim placed suspect under citizen’s arrest. Suspect was arrested and later booked at Yolo County Jail.”

March 21, 6:20 p.m.
A 49-year old man was found sleeping in front of a supermarket on the 1200-block of West Capitol. He was arrested after being found to be a wanted “parolee at large.”

March 21, 11:46 p.m.
From a park on the 1700-block of Lake Washington Boulevard:
“Unknown suspects cut the chains to the swings at Whitey’s Park. Police collected the swings to be held for safekeeping and reported the vandalism and safekeeping to (the) parks department.”

March 22, 7:14 a.m.
An officer found an envelope containing a nickel near the prisoner’s bench in the police department’s booking facility. It was booked as found property.

March 22, 7:30 a.m.
A Soule Street auto repair shop reported the burglary of $300 in cash.

March 22, 8:03 a.m.
Police contacted a woman at a homeless camp on the 3000-block of West Capitol. A 47-year old woman was found to have three warrants, and she was arrested.

March 22, 8:18 a.m.
Police contacted a 46-year old Todhunter Avenue man on the 1000-block of Sacramento Avenue because he matched the description of a burglary suspect.
The man had an outstanding warrant and was in possession of a shopping cart from a Reed Avenue-area home supply store. He went to jail.

March 23, 1:41 a.m.
An officer pulled a car over on Jefferson Blvd. near F Street because the license plates weren’t lighted. There was a 20-year old man from Danbury Court at the wheel. He failed a field sobriety test. The man admitted having consumed some spaghetti, as well as “4-5 shots of Bombay” in recent hours. He was arrested for DUI.

March 23, 7:30 a.m.
Police responded to a report that there were suspicious people inside the Merkley Avenue post office, possibly breaking into P.O. boxes. A 53-year old homeless man was contacted and arrested for possession of methamphetamine.

March 23, 10:30 p.m.
A West Capitol Avenue mobile home was found burglarized. The man who lived there said the $2,200 loss included about $2,000 in prescription medicines, as well as a blood pressure machine and a TV.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We are in contact with police officials regarding the problem of inappropriate removal of information from documents in the department’s press book.
Although incident locations were deleted from reports concerning several thefts of catalytic converters in Southport, we have found mention of some of these, in addition to those named above in the log (Fillmore Place and Union Square Road).
These other locations include Monterey Court, Peppertree Road, Princeton Road and Coffeeberry Road.
It’s our understanding that thieves of catalytic converters like to go to work at night, on cars with good ground clearance (like SUVs and some pickups, especially Toyotas). And they like to work where they won’t be seen.
So you may wish to park those “target” cars in the garage if you can, or outside somewhere you can keep an eye on the side of the car that has the exhaust system.
Damage from these thefts ranges from the hundreds to the low thousands of dollars. It’s especially expensive if the thieves saw through the exhaust pipes to grab the catalytic converter. If you’re luckier, they’ll just unbolt the converter.

The devices are often stolen for the value of rare metals inside.

 

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

 

West Sac & state want 20% water conservation; city still catching up on meters

NEWS-LEDGER — MARCH 19, 2014 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

It’s a drought year, and both state and local officials want Californians to find ways to use 20 percent less water. But many West Sacramentans have no way to measure that: this city is among those communities, mostly in the Central Valley, that don’t yet have a meter on every water connection.

It’s not possible for at least 40 percent of local customers to know how much water they’re using. Sacramento has a similar problem.

A water meter connection (cover has been removed). The meters can be read with a radio receiver. You may click to enlarge and get a better look. (courtesy of City of West Sacramento)

A water meter connection (cover has been removed). The meters can be read with a radio receiver. You may click to enlarge and get a better look. (courtesy of City of West Sacramento)

“We have 14,590 accounts,” West Sacramento public works director Denix Anbiah told the News-Ledger. “8,500 are metered. All the businesses are metered, but on the residential side, we are doing it one piece at a time.”

Right now, that means the Westmore Oaks area is getting a water meter retrofit, street by street. That neighborhood is bounded by Park Boulevard, Deerwood Street, Clarendon Street, Norfolk Avenue and Webster Street. About 600 new meters are going in, raising the city to the mark of being 60 percent metered.

Target for completing every neighborhood is 2018 – as required by the state – said Anbiah.

Some cities – like Los Angeles, Oakland and San Jose – have had water meters in place for a half century or more.

Once a house is metered in West Sacramento, homeowners have the option of being charged for their water either on a flat rate or on a “tiered” basis, where low water-users can pay less and heavy users will pay more. The flat rate is still the “default” for residential customers of the city water system.

DENIX ANBIAH, West Sacramento Public Works Director, reports that the city is “on pace”  to be completely metered by the 2018 state deadline  (courtesy photo)

DENIX ANBIAH, West Sacramento Public Works Director, reports that the city is “on pace” to be completely metered by the 2018 state deadline (courtesy photo)

“All of the commercial users are metered,” Anbiah said. “Residential has an option. If the meter is installed, they can call us and request metered billing. But once they do, they can’t go back.”

(Residents can request billing at the metered rate by calling the city finance department, 916-617-4575.)

Anbiah said that any new construction in West Sacramento is built with water meters. But a lot of older areas still need the retrofit. The process of installing a meter at a home’s water line can be relatively simple if the water connection is in front, near a sidewalk, he said.

Who uses the most water in California?

Often, it’s the drier inland areas who have the most demand for landscape irrigation. Demand is also higher in communities with water-using businesses. Demand is usually heavier inland than it is along California’ coast.

The San Jose Mercury news last month published an online database of water use, per capita, throughout California. The data comes from the state Department of Water Resources. It can be found at www.mercurynews.com/drought/ci_25090363.

The database shows West Sacramento residents consuming 305 gallons of water per day per person, compared to 279 gallons in Sacramento, 289 in Woodland, 202 in Davis and 172 in Vacaville. That database, though, includes business consumption. So it tilts the scale higher in places with, for example, food processing plants.

Anbiah, the city’s public works director for about the past six months, said there is a penalty if West Sacramento doesn’t finish metering by the state deadline.

“If we don’t meet the 2018 deadline to install all the water meters, it may have an impact on the City’s ability to negotiate a new water contract, which will also have an impact on the water rates,” he said.

A map of West Sacramento showing metered and unmetered residential areas.  You may click to enlarge and get a closer look. (Courtesy of City of West Sacramento)

A map of West Sacramento showing metered and unmetered residential areas. You may click to enlarge and get a closer look. (Courtesy of City of West Sacramento)

 

The governor and local jurisdictions are also pushing the “conserve water” message very hard in 2014, due to the continuing drought.

The City of Sacramento this month approved a “cash for grass” program, giving rebates to homeowners who take out their thirsty green lawns and replace them with drought-tolerant landscaping. Sacramento has set aside $100,000 to offer rebates that might reach 50 cents per square foot of lawn, up to 1,000 square feet per applicant, reports the Bee.

The News-Ledger asked the West Sacramento Public Works Director if this city was looking at anything similar.

“We don’t have that right now,” answered Anbiah. “If it were to come, it would have to come from the city council.”

Comments on this article?

You can send a brief ‘letter to the editor’ by email to steve@news-ledger.com.

 

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

 

Three from West Sac join Air Force

Airman Roderick Vongsa

Airman Roderick Vongsa

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — MARCH 12, 2014 —

Air Force Airman Roderick K. Vongsa graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.

The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.

Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

Vongsa is the son of Stacey Vongsa and Danny Keomany of West Sacramento.

He is a 2013 graduate of River City High School, West Sacramento.

 

Airman Roderick Vongsa

Airman Roderick Vongsa

Air Force Reserve Airman Davonea T. Walls graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.

Walls is the daughter of Natashia Jefferson of West Sacramento.

She is a 2011 graduate of River City High School.

 
Air Force Airman Esaul Perez-Aguila graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.

Perez-Aguila is the son of Esther and Uvaldo Perez of West Sacramento.

He is a 2013 graduate of River City High School.

Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Don’t be too quick to click: several Internet-related scams are making local rounds

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — MARCH 12, 2014 —

The office of Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig wants the public to be aware of a couple of scams currently making the rounds.

In one ripoff, consumers receive a computer-generated phone call telling them they have won $100 off of their AT&T phone bill. The phone call instructs them to log onto the website www.iliveatt.com, which looks legitimate but is only a “convincing fake,” reports Dave Edwards of the D.A.’s office.

The site tries to steal personal information to use for fraud.

Also reported locally is an email message that purports to be a “foreclosure notice.”

The email sounds official, and tells you that you are being foreclosed and evicted from your home. You are asked to respond immediately by clicking on a link.

The message “is designed to scare you into responding quickly, while you are upset and not thinking clearly,” reports Derek Soriano of the D.A.’s office. “Cybercriminals are trying to get you to open attachments which may contain computer viruses, or provide them with a credit card number. You can be sure this is a scam designed to steal your money and possibly your identity. If you receive an unexpected or unsolicited email like this and you are not sure if it is legitimate, you should contact your bank and/or realtor to ask them about it before you respond.”

Edwards offered these tips:

— Beware if a message offers something that seems too good to be true.

— Watch out if the message threatens negative action, such as canceling your account, if you fail to act immediately.

— Be suspicious if a message asks you to click on a link to update or submit your information.

— Don’t respond to or open attachments, or click on links, in unsolicited emails.

  EDITOR’S NOTE: At the News-Ledger office, we have seen the “foreclosure notice” email scam mentioned above by the D.A.’s office. We have also received a fake “Notice to Appear in Court,” claiming to notify the recipient that he or she is due in court, and attempting to get the recipient to click on a link for more details. Clicking on the link would no doubt lead to trouble.

 

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

 

RCHS tennis team starts off strong

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — MARCH 19, 2014 —

From River City
High School

After dropping the season opener to visiting Cosumnes Oaks 6 to 3, the River City High School tennis team reeled off four straight wins last week.  A 9 to 1 win over Amador started the streak as boys singles players Alan Tern and Joseph Johnston led the way with 6-0,6-0 and 6-0,6-2 wins, respectively.  The mixed doubles pair of Phillip Dinh and Jessie Olsen also impressed with their 10-1 win.

A 7 to 2 road victory over Liberty Ranch came next as the Raiders dominated the doubles matches.  Matthew Tagupa and Muradan Chhay teamed for a 6-0,6-0 win at #1 boys doubles and Alex Vigil paired with Dinh to take #2 boys 6-0,6-1.  In girls doubles, Lily He and Beatrice Bui came back from a second set loss to win at #1 6-2,3-6,(10-3) and Jessica Ngo and Jasmine Benafghoul cruised to a 6-2,6-1 win at #2.  Akshay Prabhakar and Olsen won easily in mixed, 6-1,6-0.

The Bear River Bruins left West Sacramento after losing to the Raiders 7 to 2.  Lily He played her best tennis of the young season in a 6-0,6-0 win at #1 girls singles, Julia Quenga took the #2 match 6-0,6-4, and RC swept all five doubles matches again.

The week ended with an 8 to 1 win over visiting Lindhurst as Tern, He, and Quenga took care of their opponents in singles and the girls doubles pairs of Nicole Melido and Bui (6-1,6-2 at #1) and Carlie Blevins and Benafghoul (6-1,6-0 at #2) breezed past the Blazer duos.

River City’s next home match is Thursday, March 20th at 4pm against El Dorado.

Copyright News-Ledger 2014

West Sac man dies in Yolo County jail

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE – March 20, 2014 –

A West Sacramento man died in jail custody yesterday, apparently of suicide.

Captain Larry Cecchetini of the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department said 33-year old inmate Nitesh Raj Singh had been in custody at the Woodland facility since March 6 on domestic violence charges. Singh was found in distress at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

“Singh was housed in a single cell at the time of the incident,” reported Cecchetini. “The inmate was observed by correctional staff only 25 minutes earlier and he appeared well and was not displaying any signs of distress.”

Later, he said, “a correctional officer was conducting routine cell checks when he found an inmate apparently trying to commit suicide. The officer called for assistance and entered the cell, where he observed the inmate with a sheet wrapped around his neck and the other end tied to a light fixture in the cell. Correctional and medical staff at the jail immediately began CPR and called for fire department and ambulance to respond. The inmate was transported to Woodland Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead later in the afternoon.”

The sheriff’s department and its coroner’s office are investigating.

Singh’s next of kin were notified of the death last night, said Cecchetini.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014