Tag Archives: ca

Southport rail-to-trail opens Friday

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER —

West Sacramento officials plan to officially open the Clarksburg Branch Line Trail in a ceremony Friday morning at 10:00 a.m., just east of the Target store (2005 Town Center Plaza).

The city has converted a 1.25-mile segment of the former Yolo Short Line Railroad into a paved multi-use trail ranging from River City High School northward to South River Road. Funding assistance came from the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG).

The trail is accessible to cyclists and pedestrians for commuting, shopping and recreation, reports city spokesman Art Schroeder.

Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Conviction in 2006 murder/robbery at West Sacramento nightclub

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE — JAN 27, 2014

The office of Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced that earlier today, a local jury convicted a man after a “cold case” investigation for a 2006 murder and robbery.

Juan Antonio Gonzales, a 29-year old from Sacramento, was found guilty of first degree murder, with the “special circumstance” of killing during a robbery. He robbed and shot Alfonso Prado, a janitor at Ortega’s West bar, on June 18, 2006.

According to the D.A.’s office, Prado was cleaning the bar at 4205 West Capitol Avenue in West Sacramento when “unknown intruders” robbed him and shot him in the chest, killing him.

“Three days later, the Sacramento Police Department recovered a handgun and entered identifying information into the National Ballistics Network,” said the D.A.’s office. “Two years later, a ‘cold hit’ established that the gun, which was last in the possession of an associate of defendant Gonzalez, was the weapon used to kill Mr. Prado. A year later, the Department of Justice Criminalistics Laboratory received a ‘cold hit’ identification establishing that a small amount of blood found at the scene matched DNA from defendant Gonzales.”

Eight years after the murder, a trial concluded with the “guilty” verdict. Gonzales faces life in state prison without the possibility of parole, and will be sentenced March 3 by Judge Stephen L. Mock.

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West Sac tries again for riverfront hotel

NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 22, 2014 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

West Sacramento officials will try, with at least their third serious effort, to bring a Marriott Hotel to the city riverfront. They envision a project complete with conference center and other amenities.

Last Wednesday, the city council approved an “exclusive negotiation agreement” with Portman Holdings, an Atlanta-based developer whose projects include a Marriott at Union Square in San Francisco and a project in Shanghai, for a possible development deal.

The new hotel is still slated for a three-acre spot near Raley Field, on land now under negotiation. The design has been pared down a bit, from 343 rooms during the last attempt to 300 “keys” in the current iteration, and with reduced conference space.

City officials believe that market forces may well support a hotel, but that public participation is needed if it is to include a conference center and ballroom. So the West Sacramento Finance Authority, a city-related entity, plans to invest up to $28 million to build and own the conference center in of the project.

Portman Holdings, LLC, was chosen from among applicants responding to city outreach to a “short list” of possible hotel developers. Portman Holdings and the city have given themselves 120 days to try to hammer out a project deal. They anticipate Portman will also hammer out a deal to acquire the property from Bridge District Riverfront LLC.

“The direct benefit to the City is the generation of increased property, transient occupancy and sales taxes that in the long term will fund municipal services and construction of public infrastructure,” said a city staff report on the new agreement.

Only one member of the public spoke at Wednesday’s meeting on the project. Jeff Lyon of the north-area Washington Neighborhood Association asked the developer to pressure the city to clean up the homeless camps along the riverfront.

“Why does the mayor welcome the homeless to illegally camp along the river?,” Lyon asked from the podium. “We want to send a message loud and clear, far and wide, that our mayor is not enforcing the law.”

He said the riverfront was “infested” with illegal homeless campers.

The four council members in attendance, though, focused on expressing support for the development deal.

Councilman Mark Johannessen noted that projects are percolating on both the Sacramento and West Sacramento sides of the river.

“Hopefully, the arena is going to be starting on the other side of the river,” he said. “We have, hopefully, a streetcar that will be coming in a year after that. So the timing couldn’t be better.”

His colleague Bill Kristoff added:

“It is not just that stand-alone hotel – it’s the other things that happen because of the hotel.”

“It’s really prime real estate,” observed council member Oscar Villegas. “It’s one of the best corners in the region.”

MAYOR CHRISTOPHER CABALDON:  'no ribbon cutting yet' on elusive new hotel (News-Ledger file photo)

MAYOR CHRISTOPHER CABALDON: ‘no ribbon cutting yet’ on elusive new hotel (News-Ledger file photo)

And Mayor Christopher Cabaldon added that the new hotel project could serve local residents, providing a place to dine and hold weddings. Noting that the city has tried before to make the project happen, he added:

“There is no ribbon cutting yet. . . but this represents a very strong opportunity to make the hotel a reality.”

All four council members voted in favor of the 120-day period for exclusive negotiations with Portman Holdings; Council Member Chris Ledesma was absent.

In other business, the council voted 4-0 to support a bill by State Senator Alex Padilla to phase out single-use plastic bags such as those offered by supermarkets. The bags are believed to be a problem for sewage systems and waterways. Padilla was on hand for the vote.

The council will hold a special strategic planning session, with a facilitator, on Monday and Tuesday at city hall. Monday’s meeting begins at 9:30 a.m., and Tuesday’s at 9 a.m. The meetings are public.

 

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Another biting dog sought after incident on Jefferson Blvd onramp

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE — JAN 27, 2014 —

The Yolo County Animal Services Division is asking the public for help in locating a dog involved in a biting incident on the I-80 onramp at Jefferson Boulevard yesterday (Sunday, Jan. 26).

A woman was bit by the ‘pit bull’ type dog as she “attempted to contain the dog from traffic,” reports the County of Yolo’s Animal Services Division. The woman suffered a bite on her left ear.

The dog was described as “large with a stocky build, brown in color, with white markings.” It was last seen at the onramp.

If authorities can locate the dog and verify rabies vaccination, the victim can avoid undergoing rabies exposure treatment.

Anyone with information is asked to call (530) 668-5287 or email animal.bite@yolocounty.org.

Authorities announced earlier this month they were looking for a brown or ‘brindle’ boxer-type dog after a Jan. 10 bite at the dog park on Stone Blvd.  That incident was reported by the News-Ledger here.

Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Council votes to allow indoor cultivation of marijuana, within limits

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 22, 2014 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

The West Sacramento City Council voted 4-0 last week to allow cultivation of marijuana within city limits – but only in certain places, by certain people and in limited spaces.

Marijuana cultivation remains illegal under federal law.

The new city rules are meant to reconcile the state “Compassionate Use Act,” which allows people to use marijuana for medical purposes, with the rights of their neighbors. City staff say that outdoor marijuana cultivation attracts crime, for example, and generates an unwelcome odor from the plants.

In late 2012, the city placed a moratorium on outdoor cultivation of the plant.

Last week, the council approved new rules that continue to prohibit outdoor growth. The rules also require a city permit to grow marijuana. They restrict cultivation to people who live on their own residential property, allow it to be grown on up to 120 square feet of indoor space. Growing is prohibited within 600 feet of schools or child care centers.

The city planning commission recommended that distance be increased to 1,000 feet, but the city council did not adopt that recommendation. Staff said a 1,000-foot buffer “could essentially result in a de facto ban.”

Those wanting to grow marijuana will have to present medical documentation to get a permit.

One member of the public spoke out against the rules, saying, “In my opinion, (marijuana) is a forerunner to something much worse. I’m against seeing it even get started in our community.”

CITY COUNCILMAN OSCAR VILLEGAS said West Sacramento has carefully studied the issue before acting. (News-Ledger file photo)

CITY COUNCILMAN OSCAR VILLEGAS said West Sacramento has carefully studied the issue before acting. (News-Ledger file photo)

Councilman Oscar Villegas commented on the proposed rules:

“It’s not as if we’re acting like cowboys here. We’ve been very methodical and thoughtful.”

Mayor Christopher Cabaldon joined council members Oscar Villegas, Mark Johannessen and Bill Kristoff in supporting the new rules. A final reading of the ordinance is scheduled for the Feb. 5 city council meeting.

Marijuana dispensaries are still outlawed in the city.

 

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19-year old cited for driving into power pole in Southport car crash

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE – JAN 24, 2014

A car went into a Southport power pole yesterday afternoon, dropping a live wire to the road and temporarily shutting off traffic.

According to Lieutenant Tod Sockman of the West Sacramento Police Department, a 19-year old man hit the pole at the intersection of Marshall Road and Otis Avenue at about 4:45 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 23.

“The pole was broken in two, causing a live power line to lay across the roadway,” said Sockman in a press release. “The driver, a 19-year old male from West Sacramento, was not injured. . . Alcohol does not appear to be a factor. The driver was cited for excessive speed, leaving the roadway, no insurance, no registration and no driver’s license in possession.”

A portion of Otis Avenue between Marshall Road and Bridgeway Lakes Drive was expected to be closed for “several hours.”

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‘Sail Inn’ is gone, but new owner promises a future for former West Sac ‘dive bar’

  New owner Archie Morse (left) is presiding over a remodel at a locally-famous West Sac bar. The boat is gone from the establishment’s roof, but the maritime-themed pilings out front remain (News-Ledger photo)

New owner Archie Morse (left) is presiding over a remodel at a locally-famous West Sac bar. The boat is gone from the establishment’s roof, but the maritime-themed pilings out front remain (News-Ledger photo)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 15, 2014 —

By Thomas Farley
News-Ledger Correspondent

Last August, after operating Sail Inn Food & Spirits for 27 years, Joan Washburn lost her lease. The old-time bar at 1522 Jefferson Boulevard closed up shop.

Washburn had founded the West Sacramento landmark with little planning and little idea of what was to come.

In 1986, Washburn’s postmaster, Bill Kristoff, presented Joan with an opportunity to lease a Kristoff family property on Jefferson, she told the News-Ledger. (Kristoff is now the longest-serving member of the West Sacramento City Council.) The property on Jefferson had been a bar before.   Joan’s fiance encouraged her to take the plunge, reasoning that she had to diversify from just dealing in real estate.

As Joan puts it: “Shabam! I’m owner of a bar!”

Almost as surprising to her was the reception she first met.

“It was so busy initially when I first got there,” she recalls. “It was standing room only. We would cash $20,000 in paychecks on a slow Friday night. After I cashed those I would go to the bank, swap the checks out, and cash another $20,000.”

Less hectic was the steady weekday crowd, often coming in after work.

Many employees from nearby businesses wound up at The Sail Inn after their shifts ended. A steady stream came from workplaces like Tony’s Meat and Cheese, Tecon Pacific (now Clark Pacific), Weyerhaeuser, the Port, the Post Office, and the Rice Growers Association.

Joan said the customer base changed later as Southport developed.

“You now have the ‘bedroom community’ crowd versus the ‘after work’ crowd,” she recalled.

But business was always good in the early years and Joan was proud of the “Sail.” She wanted the establishment to be known first as a good place to eat, not just as a bar.

For many the Sail Inn was their place to go, their West Sacramento version of the fictional Boston “Cheers” bar.

Dan Cordes remembers:

“It was so comfortable for me that I could pass out after closing and sleep on top of the bar. Hanging out with Darren the bartender was great. Just the camaraderie of it all. A place to let go and just relax with friends.”

The Sail even made an impression on those who couldn’t go in. Paul Choate recalls passing by many times as a youth.

“I worked at Club Pheasant in 1977 and remember Jefferson Boulevard as a rural road: all but empty except for fields and Warehouses,” said Choate. “I was too young to stop at the Sail Inn then, but marveled at the boat on the roof!”

After the business closed, Washburn left to go scuba diving in Monterey. Joan spent ten days in the water, diving and relaxing. She says she is now ready to move on.

What’s next for her? Washburn owns the vacant property next to the Sail Inn, so a nursery might be possible if issues with the city and neighbors were worked out. But she is most interested in becoming a writer.

“Writing books,” she says. “That’s always what I thought I’d be doing in this phase of my life — writing books. Right now, though, I am still just trying to sit in a room with people and not say ‘What can I get you?’”

Paul Choate sums it up:  “It’s sad that fun places like the Sail Inn are dying out. The Sail Inn was home to generations of local flotsam and jetsam from West Sac. All were welcome, the food was plentiful and cheap, as was the alcohol and entertainment. The closing of this homespun icon marks a change for the new West Sacramento of urban developments and big box malls. Hopefully West Sacramento will make room for more local businesses with flavor and style like the Sail Inn had.”

Choate may yet get some of what he misses.

As the News-Ledger paid a visit on the old building along Jefferson last week, Archie Morse was on the site, getting it ready for a rebirth. Decades of grit had been scoured from the floor, and the kitchen was being readied for expansion and upgrades.

The Sail Inn is being readied for a new life – as a bar and an eatery with fish and other pub fare on the menu – by new owners.

A peek inside the bar, as renovations are underway at the ‘Sail Inn.’ Old fixtures are gone, and the kitchen will be expanded. (News-Ledger photo)

A peek inside the bar, as renovations are underway at the ‘Sail Inn.’ Old fixtures are gone, and the kitchen will be expanded. (News-Ledger photo)

Morse said he is the property owner and will be the primary owner of the new iteration of the “Sail Inn.” He’ll be working with the owners of Sacramento’s “Shady Lady,” who’ll be handling the day-to-day workings of the Sail Inn.

“A dive bar was what it was,” he said of the former Sail Inn. “What it’s going to be is a clean restaurant and bar. It’s going to be more in the vein of ‘Shady Lady.’ That has a 1920s Prohibition feel to it, and this will be more of a clean ‘fish house.’”

He hopes to open “within the next couple of months.”

  News-Ledger Editor Steve Marschke contributed to this report.

 

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014