Tag Archives: california

West Sac factory hiring high school grads

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER —

The new Nippon Shokken food product plant in Southport is hiring high school grads for entry-level work on the production line. Starts at $10.20/hour. Fax resume to 375-6287 or email it to LisaKing@yolocounty.org, or drop it off at the Yolo County One-Stop Career Center, 500-A Jefferson Blvd., West Sacramento.
Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Lyon wants to make crime-fighting the number-one priority in West Sac

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — OCT 15, 2014 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

Jeff Lyon wants to make changes on the West Sacramento’s city council – perhaps more so than anybody else on the ballot.

Almost two years ago, Lyon and his wife bought an 1897 Victorian in the “Washington” neighborhood, a couple of blocks from the state Department of General Services offices (which are in the ziggurat building). He’s been working in those offices for some time. After moving in, Lyon started talking to his new neighbors in West Sacramento.

JEFF LYON: Running to change the city's top priority (News-Ledger photo)

JEFF LYON: Running to change the city’s top priority
(News-Ledger photo)

“It was a shock to my wife and me to hear that many of the neighbors had just got used to the fact that there are homeless transients and panhandlers and beggars walking the streets,” he told the News-Ledger. “Almost all of my neighbors had been the victim of a crime from a homeless person.”

And a nearby church was exacerbating the problem, he felt, by “feeding the homeless seven days a week and giving them clothes and camping supplies.”

“It was a daily parade of homeless people coming from the river. Since our house is right on their travel corridor, they’d come by twice a day, back and forth,” Lyon added. “Whenever you have them coming by, you have the resultant activity, which can include everything from public urination, to drinking in public, drugs in public, shouting each other, fighting – there were many fights in the church.”

Lyon said he encouraged the church’s landlord to sell, and encouraged the new landlord – developer Mark Friedman – to terminate the  church’s lease while the property awaited a new use. The church is gone now.

But the experiences led Lyon to become a spokesperson for the loosely-formed Washington Neighborhood Association, and he has been to the city council to lobby for a crackdown on illegal activities many times since moving in.

The group’s “action plan” for the homeless situation (you can see it at Lyon’s website, www.CleanUpWestSac.com) includes three piers, said Lyon. The first is “compassion” in attacking the homeless issue.

“If a homeless person wants food, shelter, substance abuse training, job training, mental health services, we’re going to get them to that service,” he explained. “Right now, Yolo County has services for each of those needs. . . We don’t need to replicate those services in West Sacramento.”

“Enforcement” is the second tenet of the plan. Lyon wants the local city and police to “make it clear we will not tolerate illegal camping in this city.”

And the third element?

“The third part of that plan is that we are going to elect representatives to the city council who support our cause, it’s as simple as that.”

Reducing the city’s crime rate is, in fact, Lyon’s number one priority. Currently, the city’s leaders have assigned “flood protection” to that number-one spot.

“I think that flood protection is a high priority, but not higher than public safety,” argues Lyon. Let’s say (flood protection) is second to public safety. . . Everything else is secondary because it does not do us any good to have new streetcars, new hotels or new development if 100 percent of the citizens do not feel safe 100 percent of the time.”

The council’s response to Lyon’s arguments has been silence, he said, and that’s part of why he gives the current council poor marks for its job performance.

“In general, the city council of West Sacramento is doing a lousy job, and I’ll tell you why,” he commented. “The main reason is I’ve publicly asked them in one of my speeches to meet with myself and my neighbors here in the Washington neighborhood to talk about our concerns about the homeless. We got no response. They completely rebuffed us.”

Nevertheless, he believes he can work with the incumbents if he’s elected to serve with them.

“I believe in the democratic process, which is majority rule,” he commented. “It’s my goal to win over each member of the city council to the way of the people’s thinking. When I get elected, they will see that my main priority is public safety. I’m going to reach out to get them aboard.”

Lyon supports the city’s development plans:

“Any development of the City of West Sacramento, whether it’s the Bridge District, Southport, the new hotels – they’re okay as long as public safety is the top priority and crime is reduced.”

He has a couple of other primary goals.

“One is to roll out the red carpet for businesses that create jobs,” Lyon said. “I built a restaurant in Texas 20 years ago and my permit only cost me $500. . . I couldn’t have opened my restaurant if I had to pay $50,000, $70,000 or $100,000 in fees like they do here in California or West Sacramento.”

In the 20 years since that restaurant opened, he reports, it has paid over $2 million in local sales tax, $180,000 in property taxes and “the best benefit is that my restaurant has employed 40 people for over 20 years.”

So Lyon would like to reduce business fees “as low as I can get them.”

He also hopes to “right-size” the city government, after doing a study of work flow at city hall.

“When I got to be chief of my section at (Department of General Services), it was the first time in history they reduced the size or downsized the staff,” he said. That happened after he studied the work flow and made a recommendation to reduce staff, by attrition.

If similar studies show there are too many people in one department or not enough at another in city hall, he said, changes could be made. Layoffs won’t be necessary.

“We don’t have to fire anybody,” said Lyon. “Through attrition, we just don’t have to backfill anybody.”

Lyon, 58, lives in his north-city home with his wife, Grace. They have five adult children in their blended family, all living outside the home.

Lyon lived in different areas while growing up, and earned bachelor’s of science degrees in both chemistry and chemical engineering. He has worked for oil companies as an engineer, in public affairs and in real estate management.

He worked for the state’s Department of General Services office (two blocks from his current home in West Sacramento) for about 13 years before retiring this year.

Other candidates seeking the two available seats on next month’s city council ballot are incumbents Mark Johannessen and Chris Ledesma as well as fellow challenger Nancy Heth-Tran.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Rowing regatta takes over Port

One of the Marin Rowing Association high school girls’ eights, as seen from the Daniel C. Palamidessi Bridge. (News-Ledger photo)

One of the Marin Rowing Association high school girls’ eights, as seen from the Daniel C. Palamidessi Bridge.
(News-Ledger photo)

NEWS-LEDGER OF WEST SACRAMENTO — OCT 15, 2014 —

Over the weekend, West Sacramento’s riverfront may have been taken over by ‘Sactoberfest’ revelers, celebrating German beer and associated pleasures.

But on Sunday, it was a few hundred rowers that provided a different invasion at the Port of West Sacramento. The occasion was the annual ‘Head of the Port’ regatta hosted by the local River City Rowing Club (RCRC).

Singles and multi-person crews churned down a three mile race course (taking around 20 minutes, give or take) sometimes facing into a brisk north breeze and choppy waters.

Highlights for the local club and for the UC Davis rowing teams included a victory for RCRC’s girls varsity eight over rival Marin Rowing Association and a win by the UCD men’s four over visitors including California Maritime Academy, Sonoma State, Sacramento State and Norcal Crew.

A River City Rowing Club crew (foreground) chases competitors toward the finish line in front of Stone Lock and Jefferson Boulevard, in last weekend's 'Head of the Port' competition in West Sacramento.  Click to enlarge. (News-Ledger photo)

A River City Rowing Club crew (foreground) chases competitors toward the finish line in front of Stone Lock and Jefferson Boulevard, in last weekend’s ‘Head of the Port’ competition in West Sacramento.  (News-Ledger photo)

Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Religious slur? Author is unknown —

(News-Ledger photo)

(News-Ledger photo)

NEWS-LEDGER — OCT 15, 2014 —

A number of these simple signs showed up sometime prior to October 3 around Golden Gate Drive and Bridgeway Island Park. The News-Ledger spotted around ten of them in the neighborhood.

The signs are an apparent reference to the local mayor’s race, in which Narinderpal Singh Hundal is challenging incumbent Christopher Cabaldon.

But Hundal is not, of course, a Muslim. He’s active in the local Sikh temple.  (And his name is not spelled the same as in these posted signs).

Whether the unsigned posters are meant to influence the mayor’s race one way or another, or just to engage in a religious provocation, is unclear. Police spokesman Lieutenant Tod Sockman told the News-Ledger the posters are not a matter for police investigation.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014