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RCHS band wins some medals

River City High School band members Michael Cano, Irina Onisko and Caleb Ball Photo courtesy of Diana DaPrato

River City High School band members Michael Cano, Irina Onisko and Caleb Ball
Photo courtesy of Diana DaPrato

NEWS-LEDGER — OCT 22, 2014 —

From Heather Wright

On Oct. 11, the River City High School Band joined twenty-two other schools from locations as far away as Chowchilla, Concord, and Merced to compete in the Franklin High School Invitational Band Review in Elk Grove. Young musicians and their teachers, parents, and supporters took over the area, which included blocked off streets for the marching band competition, football fields for the field shows, and school theaters for the jazz competitions.

It was River City’s first time participating in the Invitational and their hard work paid off. The River City Regiment won first place in the Marching Band Category – Division B, the Big Band won third place in the Jazz Category – Division B, and Irina Onisko (RCHS drum major) won fourth place in Military Baton..

There are a few upcoming opportunities to see the RCHS band in action:

•    RCHS vs River Valley Football Game – Friday, October 31, 5:00pm – Adults $6,     Seniors & Students $4, ASB Sticker Free
For current RCHS Music news & events, follow the River City Music Department on Facebook or visit www.rivercityregiment.com.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Free movie at Raley Field and other Halloween events in West Sac

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — OCT 22, 2014 —

  Looking for something to do for Halloween? Here’s a roundup of some of the stuff going on around West Sacramento for the holiday:

halloween (2)‘Hocus Pocus’ at the ballpark
Raley Field will host a free film and trick-or-treat event on Saturday, Oct. 25. From 5-6:30 p.m. there will be trick-or-treating around the warning track area of the stadium, and children are encouraged to show up in costume (there will be a costume contest). There will also be a photo corner, pumpkin patch and bobbing for apples.
At 6:30 p.m., the Halloween film “Hocus Pocus” (starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy, rated PG) will be shown on the stadium’s videoboard. Seating will be on the lower seating bowl or on the field (you’re strongly encouraged to bring a blanket for sitting on the field; no chairs permitted).
The event and parking are both free; refreshments will be for sale. You’re asked to bring a canned food item for the Sacramento Food Bank.

‘Safe Trick-or-Treat’
The West Sacramento Recreation Center will host a “Safe Trick or Treat” event from 4-6 p.m. on Sat., Oct 25, at 2801 Jefferson Blvd. There will be games and activities for kids up to age 14. Costumes encouraged. Please bring a canned food item to donate; one for each child.

Monster Mash
The “garage surf rock” band ‘The Lava Pups’ returns to Capitol Bowl on Oct. 26 for Halloween fun. Halloween costume contests for adults and kids, plus other contests. You’re invited to the event from 1-4 p.m. at 900 West Capitol Avenue. All ages, free admission.

Fall Fun Fest
Your family is invited to the Fall Fun Fest from 4-7 p.m. on Sunday, Oct 26, at Bridgeway Lakes Park, 3650 Southport Parkway. There will be trick-or-treating, face painting, a bounce house, music, food, a craft fair and games. Profits will go toward building a multi-age play structure at the park. Volunteers needed (it’s an opportunity for high school students to achieve their volunteer requirement). Visit http://bridgewayplay.com, email wsboathouse@gmail.com or call 216-0180.

Ghost hunters
Learn about ghosts and the paranormal on the eve of Halloween. 6 p.m. on Oct. 30 at the library, 1212 Merkley Ave.

Family Halloween
The West Sacramento Moose Lodge invites you to its family Halloween party at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 31, at 3240 Jefferson Blvd. Live music and treats for the kids. Adults: $5. Costumes encouraged, refreshments for sale. Information: 371-9684 or www.Lodge1762.moosepages.org.

Halloween at Ikea
Ikea in West Sacramento will host a free ‘trick or treat’ party for kids on Friday, Oct. 31. Open for kids age 3-12. The store is located at 700 Ikea Court. Call 888-888-4532.

Costume Contest
The Arthur F. Turner Branch Library, 1212 Merkley Avenue, will sponsor a costume contest during the week of Oct. 27. Post a picture of yourself in your costume to the library costume page (facebook.com/yolocountylibrary.org) or visit the library to have your picture taken.

‘Trunk or Treat’

Exclusive Realty & Mortgage and a number of other businesses are sponsoring a Halloween event for the kids, with special guest characters such as Cinderella, Malecifent, Darth Vader and others. Visit the Princess Palace, Wicked Witches Cave and more.  The event lasts 6-9 p.m. on Oct. 30 at 1102 Jefferson Blvd.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Norma Alcala hopes to become ‘most accessible’ school board member

NEWS-LEDGER — OCT 15, 2014 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

  Editor’s note: during every local election, the News-Ledger newspaper endeavors to present to you an interview with each of the people running for office in West Sacramento. In this edition of our print newspaper, we carried an interview with city council candidate Jeff Lyon, as well as this talk with a school board candidate. Enjoy.

NORMA ALCALA News-Ledger photo

NORMA ALCALA
News-Ledger photo

Norma Alcala hopes to get elected to a West Sacramento school board that she feels is already doing a great job.

“I’m proud of everyone on the school board,” she told the News-Ledger last week. “We have an excellent school board.”

If she’s voted in, Alcala said she would concentrate on sharing ideas with both the schools and the community.

“I want to be the most accessible school board member,” she commented. “I give everyone my cell phone number, 916-821-9639. People have to feel – parents, especially – that somebody is reaching out.”

That meshes with her view on the fundamentals of a school board member’s job duties.

“I think accessibility is the most important thing – the willingness to listen to what people have to say, to learn from what people have to say, to invite people into the conversation and find out what their concerns are and what great ideas they might have,” she said. “As a board member, I plan on visiting every one of the schools at least once a month and making myself available to hear what the parents have to say, the teachers have to say and the kids have to say.”

Alcala, 53, is married. She and her husband own (but don’t themselves run) a business that distributes “interlock” systems which can be installed on cars to prevent the ignition from working if the driver fails a breathalyzer test for alcohol.  The couple lives in The Rivers, a north-city subdivision.

Alcala doesn’t currently have any children or grandchildren in Washington Unified School District schools. But her kids went to school locally and have earned college degrees. Alcala holds an Associates of Arts degree in Sacramento before having to leave college and help support her family.

Alcala is the president of the local Democratic club and is active in the Chicano-Latino caucus of the state Democrats. Earlier this year, Alcala unsuccessfully challenged local Yolo County Supervisor Oscar Villegas for his seat.

Her community involvement also involves volunteer duties with Holy Cross Church..

“I’ve always been involved in the schools since my children were young, and I’ve always been on the board of the PTA for my children’s schools,” she explained. “I continued that with my grandchildren.”

Last year, when a grandchild was attending Westmore Oaks Elementary School, Alcala helped out there, wielding a broom and mop to refurbish a school room.

“I went in there and swept windows, I cleaned window boxes that hadn’t been used. It became a beautiful functional room that everybody could use. I helped my daughter with a (school) carnival, with movie nights they had, with a library affair, and with every (school) function.”

Alcala supports Measure V – the school bond on November’s ballot. She believes local student test scores are headed up, and local teachers are dealing well with the new “Common Core” curriculum mandates. She also believes Washington Unified is responsibly managing its money.

“My understanding is it’s probably the best fiscally maintained district in Yolo County,” said Alcala. “It’s been very carefully managed. . . the majority of the monies are going to the children.”

The local teachers union has endorsed Alcala along with incumbent board member Sarah Kirby-Gonzalez (who is a teacher working in a different district).

“I’ve been endorsed by the teachers as well as Sarah, because they know of our strong commitment to education,” said Alcala. “She’s a teacher, but I’ve always been involved in the schools at a lot of levels.” (Her teachers’ endorsement comes from the local teachers’ union.)

Alcala doesn’t wish to change the district’s priorities, but she does allow that she would like to see more programs in the arts and “perhaps more labs” to prepare local kids for jobs of the future. And she would like to find more grant money and more private partners – perhaps, as an acquaintance in another school district reports, to provide local children with refurbished computers they can take home.

Alcala also said West Sacramento – despite the honors it has received for promoting “universal preschool” – doesn’t really have universal preschool. Not every family is choosing it.

“We have wonderful (preschool) programs here, but we don’t have universal preschool,” she explained. “Universal preschool would mean that every child of that age would have it. We have to do that outreach. The (educational) foundation is so important.”

Alcala finds herself on the November 4 ballot facing off with Kirby-Gonzalez and Joshua Alves.

Voters will be asked to pick two of them for the board of trustees on Washington Unified School District.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Flood Preparedness Week kicks off in West Sacramento

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE — OCT 20, 2014 —

Officials from the State Department of Water Resources, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City of West Sacramento will come together to kick off “California Flood Preparedness Week” at a West Sacramento school on Tuesday.

The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Oct. 21 at Westmore Oaks Elementary School.

After a news conference, there will be a chance for students, parents, teachers and business owners to talk to experts about flood protection, flood insurance and related issues. There will be representatives from FEMA, the National Weather Service, California Office of Emergency Services and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The event will also kick off a student poster contest that promotes flood protection.

 Copyright News-Ledger 2014