Tag Archives: ca

Party at Raley Field on Sunday: free hot dogs, bounce houses & kid stuff

FROM THE WEST SACRAMENTO NEWS-LEDGER —

Raley Field will host a party at the seasonal opening of its baseball ticket box on Sunday, March 9. There will be free food (including hot dogs and samples from Round Table Pizza), a live band, bounce house, balloon artists and more. You may earn the opportunity to take five swings on the field with your $20 donation to the River Cats Foundation. River Cats Merchandise and clubhouse facilities will be on display.

The party lasts from noon to 3.

 

 

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There’s nothing like pee-wee baseball

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — MARCH 5, 2014 —

  Note: For the past few weeks I’ve been going over to a little hidden-away baseball diamond at Southport Elementary School to watch two of my grandsons practice with their teammates for their upcoming West Sacramento Little League season. Their team, called the Raptors, is being coached by my son-in-law and oldest son, which should turn out to be a hoot in itself, and watching them work really hard to get the Raptors all squared away for Opening Day suddenly reminded of the following column, which was penned almost 20 years ago:

BY DARYL FISHER, News-Ledger Features Editor

BY DARYL FISHER, News-Ledger Features Editor

The coming of spring in the Sacramento Valley means different things to different people. To the sun worshiper, it means that endless months of depressing rain and white skin are almost over; to allergy-sufferers, it means it’s time to start sneezing and blowing your nose again; to the lover of gardening, it’s time to prepare the soil for all that glorious plant growth that is just around the corner; and to the local parent of young boys, it’s time to try and find a way out of being their Little League baseball manager or coach.

This year, however, my youngest son, Kyle, has talked me into signing up to manage his pee-wee baseball team (the Reds) in the West Sacramento Little League. His argument was simple and effective. Since I had managed his older brother’s pee-wee teams, I owed him.

“If you’re the manager, Dad,” he said with deep conviction, “I’ll get to be the pitcher!”

“But it doesn’t exactly work that way, Kyle,” I tried to explain. “Plus in pee-wees, there is no pitcher. Everyone hits off of a tee.”

“Right,” said my son, obviously starting to question just what kind of manager I was going to be if I didn’t even know that you need a pitcher to play baseball.

“Kyle,” I said, “to tell you the truth, I’m a little burned out on Little League baseball coaching. Maybe you could wait another year? You’re only six, you know.”

“But Dad,” he said with his most pathetic voice, “that’s what you said last year.” Then he looked up at me with those big brown eyes of his and a facial expression that left no doubt he was thinking those awful words which all parents fear: “You love my brothers (or sisters) more than me!”

So, once again, it was time to break out the fluff balls and undersized mitts and prepare my ears for that awful aluminum “clink” of the bat. Thankfully, by the time I had called all twelve of the Reds and told them about their first practice, I was beginning to feel some of the old fun and excitement which pee-wee baseball brings out in almost everyone who participates. And with all the phone calls completed, I sat back for a few minutes and tried to remember some of the things required of a successful pee-wee manager.

First, you have to be really good at tying double-knots. Pee-wees are, for the most part, six and seven year olds, and almost all of them will show up for every practice (and the majority of their games) with at least one shoe untied.

Second, you have to be great at finding things. Pee-wees lose their hats, their bats, their gloves, their snack-bar money, and even their parents from time to time.

Third, you have to be able to anticipate potty breaks. This can usually be done by noticing how the players on my team are standing. If they are squirming, holding their legs tightly together, and making funny faces, you need to get them over to the bathroom ASAP!

Fourth, you have to be accomplished at being able to talk some sweet, unsuspecting soul into being the team mother. She is the person who has to, among many other things, organize the team float for the Opening Day parade, get other busy mothers to work in the snack bar, and collect all the money from the candy sale. This person always ends up being a saint in my eyes.

Fifth, you have to be able to quickly establish a set of often-repeated rules, the most important being that only one pee-wee at a time (the hitter) can have a bat in his or her hands. There is simply nothing quite as frightening as watching five or six eager young pee-wees with baseball bats in their hands warming up for batting practice in the same area at the same time.

Sixth, you have to be able to cheerfully accept the fact that the attention span for a perfectly normal pee-wee is approximately 30 seconds, and  on warm, sunny afternoons with interesting-looking puffy white clouds floating above them, even that number drops dramatically.

Seventh, you have to have energetic adult base coaches with loud and distinctive voices. Pee-wees love to get on base and race around the diamond, but they’re not always sure just when to take off or what direction to go. A good base coach can get them pretty skilled at running to first base instead of third when they hit the ball, but only a great one can organize things from that point on.

And finally, and maybe most important of all, you have to be able to make all the team’s parents and grandparents truly believe that pee-wee baseball isn’t the big show, and that it’s not about winning and losing, but rather riding around in a homemade float on Opening Day, free after-the-game popcorn and snow cones from the snack bar, pizza parties with teammates, good sportsmanship, and learning to love the game.

“Dad,” said my six-year old son as he wound himself up in front of me in his new Reds baseball jersey and released his best imaginary fastball, “you know what?”

“What, Kyle?”

“The Reds are going to kick butt!”

 

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

 

Do you want to be on the city council?

Former West Sacramento city councilman has accepted a governor's appointment to the Yolo County Board of Supervisors -- creating a vacancy on West Sac's city council (News-Ledger photo)

Former West Sacramento city councilman Oscar Villegas has accepted a governor’s appointment to the Yolo County Board of Supervisors — creating a vacancy on West Sac’s city council (News-Ledger photo)

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE — MARCH 7, 2014 —

  Because former West Sacramento city councilman Oscar Villegas has been appointed to the county board of supervisors, the city council is seeking applicants from residents interested in filling the vacant seat on the council. The term for the vacant seat expires in November, 2016.

Applications from interested people are to be personally delivered to the city clerk’s office at 1110 West Capitol Avenue (no mail or faxes). Deadline is 5 p.m. on March 20.

  The requirements, according to city spokesman Art Schroeder:

  Applicants for the City Council must be at least 18 years of age, live in West Sacramento, and be registered voters in West Sacramento at the time of the application. Interested candidates for the position can find the application form on the City’s website, www.cityofwestsacramento.org (see the “News You Can Use” heading), request the form from the City Clerk’s Office, 1110 West Capitol Ave., 3rd floor, or phone (916) 617-4500.

 Finalists will be notified no later than March 27 (Mayor Christopher Cabaldon and Mayor Pro Tem Mark Johannessen will review applications and select the finalists).

  Finalists will be interviewed by the City Council at the Council’s regularly- scheduled meeting, April 2 at 7 p.m.

  “The application process will be open and transparent,” said Schroeder in a press statement. “In the interest of fairness, applicants are discouraged from contacting or meeting privately with individual members of the City Council. The Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem will decline all requests to meet about the position until the Council appoints the replacement member.”

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

 

Home invasion robbery in Southport

NEWS-LEDGER — MARCH 5, 2014 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

Three men with handguns are sought by police after they entered a house on Sherman Island Road on February 25, assaulting a pair of men inside and making off with about $1,420 worth of electronics.

According to a police report, the crime was reported at 10:18 p.m. from the Southport house.

Three suspects, each carrying a handgun, “physically assaulted the two victims inside, and stole several items. All suspects brandished handguns at both victims, and physically assaulted both victims with their handguns.”

Lieutenant Tod Sockman of the West Sacramento Police Department elaborated for the News-Ledger:

“Three (suspects) wearing jackets and gloves broke into an attached garage, and then the house, while the occupant and his roommate were home,” said Sockman. “They were looking for marijuana — they kept repeating over and over, ‘Where’s the weed? Where’s the weed?’”

Apparently, they were at the wrong house.

“There was no weed,” said Sockman.

The victims were a pair of men age 50 and 52, according to the report. One suffered a black eye and reports he may have been hit on the back of the head with a handgun.

Taken in the robbery were a $600 iPhone, a $250 car stereo and a $550 laptop computer.

There were no detailed descriptions of the suspects, and no escape car was seen.

 

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Kids: read books & get a free burger

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER —

Kids age 4-12 will get an achievement award good for a free burger at In ‘n Out for every five books they read, courtesy of a reading program March 1 through April 12 at the local library. Visit the facility at 1212 Merkley Avenue to participate.

Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Guest opinions from last week’s News-Ledger: dog-finding teamwork, blind date with a book & more

NEWS-LEDGER — FEB 26, 2014 —

Guest opinions & letters to the editor from this week’s edition of West Sac’s local paper:

__________

My ‘blind date’ with Zane Grey

I know he’s no longer alive – it was a ‘virtual’ blind date, put together by the West Sacramento library staff. Their Valentine’s Day season “Blind Date with a Book” program provided several books in plain brown wrappers, along with just minimal information about the book – historic western, science fiction, or mystery.

It’s only after you check out the book and remove the wrapper that you discover the name of the book and the author. In my case, the book was “Forlorn River,” by Zane Grey, published in 1928. Zane Grey’s books were favorites of my dad and my brother, but I had never read one before.

Like most blind dates, this one started out awkwardly, because we didn’t know each other at all. The language was old-fashioned. Some words have quite prominent and different meanings today. For example: “’Ahuh!’ ejaculated Ben. . ..”

But as I read on, the setting and the characters began to grow on me. I cared what happened to Ben and Ina and California Red (not a wine!) and I stayed up late more than one night to find out what happened next.

I think that’s the point of the program – to get readers out of their comfort zones. Zane Grey died in 1939, so the book itself wasn’t new. But it was new to me. It got me out of my reading rut, and helped me appreciate another author and another genre. Maybe I’ll read some Louis Lamour next.

Visit the library and go on a blind date with a book!

  From Susan Martimo, West Sacramento and member of the Yolo County Library Advisory Board.

__________

  Why We Love West Sac

It takes a village to catch a dog

On Thursday, our new dog “Pooch” slipped out.  She’s a very timid, recent street dweller, fast and very hard to catch.  Up Alameda Avenue and to Park Boulevard she went, criss-crossing Park Blvd. stopping traffic in both directions several times.  Rudy and I, and our friend who was visiting, tried to coax her, or at least herd her, on the Trinity church grounds.  We were joined by a couple of good Samaritans — to no avail.

Off she went down Westacre, where, once again she stopped traffic for varying period.  Here we were joined by more kind helpers, including our next door neighbor, a veteran in the Poochie wars.  A nice lady, caught in the traffic blockage, parked her car and brought out some of her freshly made hamburger to try to entice the dog – but no joy.

A dapper-suit clad gentleman parked his car and joined  up, patiently following Pooch around the corner onto Meadow.  A nice couple parked their bicycles and began helping.  On the curve, a young woman came out of her house with dog treats, a passing woman on a bicycle asked after the situation, returning with a corn dog from her neighbor.  We all tried and tried to corral Pooch, but nothing worked.  The young woman came back out with her daughter and some salami, but no luck (though corn dog and salami were devoured by “Pooch” at a safe distance).

There we were, my husband and I, our friend, our neighbor, the suited lawyer, the bicycle couple (the man often on his knees in the street!) the young woman, her two year old, and a scared dog. School bus and working pick up with trailer  (source of the corn dog) stopped and waiting.  Finally we were joined by a yound man who lived there, who asked if pooch liked other dogs.  He went and brought out his pit mix on a leash, and when Pooch approached for a nose to nose greeting, he scooped her up!   Victory!!!

We got home to worried neighbors because we’d gone off in a hurry, not shutting the garage, and we weren’t home to answer their knocks.  They had called the police, in case there had been trouble, so we thanked them, waited, reassured the police and went on in with our dog, feeling so very well taken care of by our community.

At no time during the various traffic stoppages was there so much as a honk, or impatient word from a driver or passenger.  We experienced assistance above and beyond the call of duty from friends, neighbors and many strangers, nothing but concern for the dog and for us.     This is our West Sac at it’s best and sweetest and we are deeply grateful to all. We know who some of you are, but to mention some by name and not others seems wrong, including the many folks in cars who were also patient and kind. Just know, each and every one, that we appreciate you a lot!

RUDY & SUNNY DEKONING
West Sacramento

__________

Make polio extinct

Protecting adults and children from flu, whooping cough and measles through vaccination dominates the news as unvaccinated children in California prove to be at increased risk of contracting these preventable diseases.

Thankfully in our state and across this country, the one-time childhood crippler, polio, has been eradicated, thanks to vaccination. Not so in Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. There, for want of a 60-cent oral vaccine and, in undernourished children, needed boosters, polio remains endemic.

Eradicating the scourge of polio worldwide is the mission of Rotary International in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. For every dollar raised by local Rotary chapters such as Rotary Club of West Sacramento, the Gates Foundation contributes two dollars. To date, Rotary International has helped immunize more than two billion children against polio in 122 countries, but we won’t be satisfied until all children everywhere are safe from this preventable disease.

In just the first few months of 2014, Rotary Club of West Sacramento has contributed $530 to Rotary International’s ‘Polio Plus’ world mission. Won’t you join us?  Just make out your tax-deductible check to “Polio Plus – RI Foundation.”

Rotary Club of West Sacramento will forward your contribution to Rotary International.

Please mail your donation to:

West Sacramento Rotary – Polio Plus
P.O. Box 1114
West Sacramento, CA. 95691

For more information about Polio Plus, please visit www.rotary.org/en/endpolio. Questions about the Gates Foundation match? Please e-mail info@gatesfoundation.org.

On behalf of the children your generosity will protect from polio, thank you.

BARRY KALAR
MARK ENGSTROM
Board Members
Rotary Club of West Sacramento

__________

Thanks to the tribe

Foster Care Recruitment and Retention efforts in Yolo County has been given a tremendous boost with a much appreciated $50,000 grant from Yocha Dehe Wintun Community Foundation.  With this funding, Woodland Community College’s Foster & Kinship Care Education (WCC FKCE) program, now offers new, higher levels of support for foster children 6 to 20 years old.

This funding allows WCC FKCE to complement its efforts for older youth that it has provided for its youngest children, those up to 5 years old, from an on-going generous seven-year First 5 Yolo Integrated Family Support Initiative grant.  It is wonderful being able to serve all of the County’s children touched by foster care and the local families who open their homes and hearts to them.

Support such as this can be life changing to a child.  When foster teens were asked what such generosity means to them, several shared, “You are helping me want more for myself and my future” or,  “I now feel that I am worth someone’s time and effort.”

With the benevolence of Yocha Dehe Wintun Community and First 5 Yolo funding, a positive and very definite trend is observed – local children are being placed much more often into local foster homes –each grant’s basic goal.  Recruitment seeks to bring awareness to the need for families willing to help raise a hurt and vulnerable child.  Retention efforts serve to support caregivers as they strive to rebuild and stabilize lives.   Current statistics exemplify how these goals are clearly being met:

·             We have decreased our foster family agency placements by 40 percent since January 2010 and doubled our relative and non-relative extended family member placements since January 2012.

·              The total number of youth placed in group homes has decreased by almost 300 percent from 51 in October 2009 to 18 in October 2013.

·             Twenty-five percent more children are now placed in our local Licensed foster homes.
Information Source: Yolo County Child Welfare Services 2.2014.

Yocha Dehe Wintun Community Foundation and First 5 Yolo, thank you so much for your continuing interest in improving the lives of foster children in Yolo County.

For more information on becoming a Yolo County licensed foster parent or how you can help a foster child, please contact Cherie Schroeder at (530) 574-1964 or visit our web page at http://www.yolofostercare.com/.

CHERIE SCHROEDER
Director, Foster & Kinship Care Education
Woodland Community College
(Serving Yolo County)

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

New park honors local athlete, judge: Jerome Barry played pro baseball in the early days

The new park boasts an organic-looking climbing structure, seen in the foreground above. The light-blue ground surface is soft rubber. To the left, beyond a fence, are rail cars on a local rail spur. Beyond the play surface is the control room for the water tank (background). Notice the three “portholes” looking into the mechanics of the pumps inside the control room. (News-Ledger photo)

The new park boasts an organic-looking climbing structure, seen in the foreground above.
The light-blue ground surface is soft rubber. To the left, beyond a fence, are rail cars on a local rail spur.
Beyond the play surface is the control room for the water tank (background). Notice the three “portholes” looking into the mechanics of the pumps inside the control room.
(News-Ledger photo)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — FEB 26, 2014 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

On Friday, the City of West Sacramento will host a double grand opening, celebrating both a neighborhood park and a water tank station in the Bridge District. The twin public facilities are located at 809 Ballpark Drive, alongside the Ironworks subdivision and close to Raley Field.

“It’s a ‘neighborhood’ park,” said recreation superintendent Andre Pichly. “It has some play structures, swing sets and a very interactive climbing structure that’s geared toward kids about age 8 to 14. The structure has a lot of ropes, aluminum and climbing ladders – it’s probably the most unique climbing structure in our park system.”

The climbing  is located over a forgiving surface made of recycled rubber.

Nearby is a smaller climbing structure for the little ones, and a couple of little “spinning cups” that kids can sit in and twirl. There’s also a lattice-covered picnic area.

The park is right next to the control building for the city water tank. The wing-roofed control building has a couple of water pumps inside. The building and the water tank are both secured from public access, but the outside wall of the pump building has an unusual amenity:

“It has a couple of portholes in it, so kids – or anyone – can look in and see the mechanics of the thing,” reported Pichly.

The new park is known as the Jerome D. Barry Park.

The new park boasts an organic-looking climbing structure, seen in the foreground above. The light-blue ground surface is soft rubber. To the left, beyond a fence, are rail cars on a local rail spur. Beyond the play surface is the control room for the water tank (background). Notice the three “portholes” looking into the mechanics of the pumps inside the control room. (News-Ledger photo)

The new park boasts an organic-looking climbing structure, seen in the foreground above.
The light-blue ground surface is soft rubber. To the left, beyond a fence, are rail cars on a local rail spur.
Beyond the play surface is the control room for the water tank (background). Notice the three “portholes” looking into the mechanics of the pumps inside the control room.
(News-Ledger photo)

Barry was an accomplished local  baseball player who pitched for professional and semi-pro teams. He was also a rower with the Riverside Boat Club. Son of a pair of Irish immigrants, he grew up in the city’s old northern Washington township and served as a local justice of the peace from 1913-1925.

The 3.2 million gallon water tank was finished about a year ago. Tanks like this one serve as a “pitcher of water” for the city, reported the City’s Drew Gidlof last year.

“As water is taken in at the river, and treated and prepared for consumers, it is disseminated to various strategic points in the city,” he told the News-Ledger in 2013. “As the residents turn on their faucets, the water comes from their designated facility.”

The new tank is meant to help meet peak demand in the Bridge District and the Washington area near the ‘ziggurat’ building.

The park takes up about 1.5 acres, and the water facility a couple more acres, according to city sources. The water tank facility was budgeted at about $5.25 million, with funds chipped in by the state, the former local redevelopment agency, and local property owners. The park was budgeted at about $545,000, funded by developer impact fees in West Sacramento.

The public is welcome to the grand opening ceremony Friday at 10 a.m. (Feb. 28).

 

  Do you like what you see here?

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  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 2014