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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.”

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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