Tag Archives: city
Things I won’t miss about the Kings
FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 16, 2013 —
As I write this, the less-than-beloved Maloof family have apparently sold the Sacramento Kings to a group of wealthy Seattle, Washington investors headed by some hedge fund guy named Chris Hansen. The selling price appears to be about $525 million, which should go a long way in helping the Maloofs pay off about $200 million in debts they have racked up over the years while owning the Kings, not to mention the $6 or $7 million they say they are going to lose on this year’s operation of the team. Other possible buyers are also trying to match or top that offer, but one way or another, it looks like the Kings will finally be leaving Sacramento in the not too distant future.
Looking back on the history of the Kings, it seems like they were always having serious money problems and demanding that the taxpayers of the City of Sacramento foot most of the bill. I remember Jim Thomas (the guy who owned the Kings before he sold them to the Maloof brothers) at one point wanting a $60 million loan from the city and their help in passing a $145 million bond measure so he could build himself a new arena, and if the city didn’t fork over, he was going to move the team. And the Maloofs, of course, have been threatening to move the Kings out of Sacramento and to greener (as in dollars) pastures for ages.
To tell you the truth, as exciting as the Kings once were back in the days of Vlade Divac, Chris Webber, Peja Stojakovic, and “White Chocolate” himself, Jason Williams, I’m not really all that sad to see them go. The Maloofs (or any new owners willing to keep the Kings in town) would only continue to demand more millions from the already cash-strapped City of Sacramento to make possible that seemingly universal demand of all professional basketball teams – a shiny new arena with all the bells and whistles paid for by someone other than themselves.
There was a time when I considered myself to be a pretty loyal Sacramento Kings fan, even though decent seats cost $50 or more and that was just the tip of the iceberg. It also cost a small fortune for parking, bad food at the concession stands, and a few souvenirs for the kids. In fact, by the time my family and I had finished watching a Kings’ game and were stuck in all that traffic trying to get back to West Sacramento, I had easily spent over $250, which is not exactly a cheap family night out on the town.
Anyway, although I somehow managed to live through the days of Billy Owens and Olden Polynice and God only knows how many other not-ready-for-prime-time Kings players, the straw that actually broke my back had to do with a little argument I had with my wife at the last Kings game I ever attended, and it went a little something like this:
“Are you hungry?” asked my wife, noting that it was close to 7 pm and neither one of us had eaten very much for dinner before we left for the game.
“Not really,” I said, “but I am a little thirsty. And since we are in these fancy seats tonight (a friend had generously let us use his season tickets) instead of up in the nose bleed section like usual, I think I’ll ask that waitress to get us something to drink the next time she strolls by.”
“Good idea,” said my wife, digging through her purse and handing me $5. “Get me a bottle of water, okay?”
“Are you kidding?” I asked. “A bottle of water can’t possibly cost $5.”
“I bet it does.” And sure enough (including a little tip for the waitress), it did.
So, a little after halftime, long after my wife and I had finished our $5 bottles of water, we found ourselves thirsty again.
“I’ll go and get us Cokes or something,” I said, “although God only knows how much that will cost.”
“But I just want water,” insisted my wife.
“No way am I paying another $10 for two small bottles of water!”
“Would you stop being so cheap, Daryl. You didn’t even have to pay for the seats tonight.”
“I don’t care, it’s the principle of the thing. Here, give me your empty water bottle and I’ll go fill it up at a water fountain.”
“There are no water fountains in here, Daryl. They want you to buy beer and cokes and bottled water when you get thirsty. They wouldn’t make any money if everyone was hanging out at drinking fountains.”
“What?” demanded my wife, her face suddenly full of horror.
“Now I know for sure they’ve got bathrooms with sinks to wash your hands in this place, even if they don’t have water fountains. I’ll even let the faucet run for a good long time so the water is nice and cold.”
“Daryl, there is no way in the world I’m going to drink Arco Arena men’s restroom water!”
“But why not? I’m going to be getting it out of a sink, not a toilet.”
With that, my wife was up and out of her seat and on her way to purchase her own ridiculously over-priced container of non-bathroom water.
“Okay, okay,” I shouted after her, “then how about this? You can fill up the empty bottles with water from a sink in the women’s bathroom?”
Copyright News-Ledger 2013
Free admission to Sacto museums
FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER —
Thirty Sacramento-area museums will offer free or half-priced admission all day on Saturday, February 2, during the 15th Annual Sacramento Museum Day.
Twenty-eight of the 30 museums will offer free admission and two destinations located in residential areas – the Sacramento Zoo and Fairytale Town – will offer half-priced admission to offset their parking control and security costs. With assistance provided by the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau, this popular community event is presented by the Sacramento Association of Museums (SAM) and supported by Umpqua Bank and Chipotle Mexican Grill.
Sacramento Museum Day event hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (with the last guests admitted at 4 p.m.). Coordinators suggest that guests plan to visit no more than two or three different museums on this day in order to allow adequate time to enjoy the experience and to travel between individual sites.
“We are thrilled to celebrate 15 years of this incredibly popular community event,” said Sacramento Association of Museums Chair Roxanne Yonn in a press release. “With each passing year, more and more community members are introduced to the amazing array of arts, culture and museum offerings available in the Sacramento region. We are especially pleased that Chipotle Mexican Grill has joined Umpqua Bank as a title sponsor this year as the support of generous corporate sponsors help to make Sacramento Museum Day such an overwhelming success.”
Admission to the two half-priced museums are as follows: Sacramento Zoo is $5.75 for adults, $3.75 for children ages 2-11 and free for children under two; Fairytale Town is $2.50 for everyone and free for children ages one and under.
Due to the popularity of Sacramento Museum Day, some locations must limit the number of admissions for safety reasons. More detailed information about participating museums, limitations, suggested parking and public transit options is available at www.sacmuseums.org (click on “Events”), or by calling the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau at (916) 808-7777.
Participating museums are listed below. Aside from the zoo and Fairytale Town, they will be open for free on Feb. 2:
Aerospace Museum of California
California Automobile Museum
California Foundry History Museum
California State Military Museum
California State Capitol Museum
The California Museum
California State Railroad Museum
Center for Contemporary Art
Crocker Art Museum
Discovery Museum Science & Space Center
Don & June Salvatori California Pharmacy Museum
Folsom History Museum
Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park
Heidrick Ag History Center (Woodland)
Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park
Maidu Museum & Historic Site
Museum of Medical History
Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum
Old Sacramento State Historic Park
Roseville Utility Exploration Center
Sacramento Children’s Museum
Sacramento Historic City Cemetery
Sacramento History Museum
Sojourner Truth Multicultural Arts Museum
State Indian Museum
Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park
Wells Fargo History Museum (Capitol Mall)
Wells Fargo History Museum (Old Sacramento)
Copyright News-Ledger 2013
Water tank paired with park
NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 16, 2013 —
New water tank will be painted in colors echoing the nearby ‘Ironworks’ subdivision close to Raley Field.
By Steve Marschke
That “shrink-wrapped” globule off to the north of the Pioneer Bridge at US 50 is West Sacramento’s latest water storage tank. It’s soon to be finished and filled. Then it will be surrounded by a small neighborhood park.
Underneath the plastic wrap is a new, 3.2 million gallon water tank. The wrapping and scaffolding around the tank are there to protect air quality while the tank is prepped for use.
“They go through a procedure where they sandblast the material to prep it, then spray the next layer of paint, and then repeat, so the paint will adhere to the prior layer of paint,” reports project manager Drew Gidlof, constructions operation manager for the City of West Sacramento. “They put up a bunch of scaffolding and then sheets of plastic. Then they heated it so all the seams would adhere to each other and it would be pretty much airtight.”
West Sacramento pulls water from the Sacramento River and treats it at the Bryte Bend Water Treatment Plant, on the northern edge of the city.
“As water is taken in at the river, and treated and prepared for consumers, they disseminate it to various strategic points in the city,” he said. “As the residents turn on their faucets, the water comes from their designated (storage) facility.”
Having water ready to go helps meet the daily peaks of demand.
The new tank is designed to help with drinking water and fire protection around the “Bridge District” neighborhood (under development north of the freeway) and Washington area (near the ziggurat).Other storage tanks are located around town.
This particular tank is built a little taller and skinnier than most, in order to minimize its footprint in its little two-acre park site next to the Ironworks subdivision. Next to the new tank is a control building with several water pumps in it.
The facility will be painted in colors that echo Ironworks – including burgundy, gold and white – and the tank will be strategically backlit at night.
“The tank has also been strategically designed so that if and when the opportunity presents, we can quickly install a solar panel on top,” said Gidlof.
The surrounding park totals about two acres. “There’s going to be a series of play structures for children, picnic areas, and walkways,” said Gidlof. Thematic elements in the park will reflect the concept of “water” in their design.
The little park will be joined by other parks in the Bridge District as well.
How much does all this cost?
Katie Jacobson, a senior program manager for the city, said the water tank is budgeted around $5.25 million. About $2.8 million comes from state grant funds, $1.8 million from West Sacramento’s former redevelopment agency (property tax increment) and $700,000 from property owners served by the tank.
The project is located at 809 Ballpark Drive, and it was begun in September, 2011. The contractor is RSH, and the tank subcontractor is Paso Robles Tank. West Coast Industrial Coating is in charge of coating the inside of the water tank.
The park will cost about $545,000, paid for by development impact fees received by the City of West Sacramento.
The water tank is scheduled to be finished this month, and the park is planned to be complete by July.
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Copyright News-Ledger 2013
West Sac police chief to retire
NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE — JAN 24, 2013 —
The City of West Sacramento this morning announced the pending retirement of Police Chief Dan Drummond. Here’s the press release:
“West Sacramento Police Chief Dan Drummond, after 36 years in law enforcement, has announced his retirement effective July of this year. Chief Drummond, the City’s fourth Police Chief, has served the City since August 2004.
“Prior to coming to West Sacramento, Chief Drummond commanded major public safety operations in patrol and corrections for Sacramento County. He was instrumental in the development of contract services with the cities of Citrus Heights, Elk Grove and Rancho Cordova. He was designated as the first contract Chief of Police for Citrus Heights.
“‘In responding to the news of Chief Drummond’s retirement, Mayor Christopher Cabaldon stated, ‘West Sacramento is an even safer place thanks, in no small part, to Chief Drummond and the outstanding police force he has led. Since his appointment as Chief, property crime in the city has dropped 30 per cent and violent crime has plummeted by two-thirds.’
“Chief Drummond is a leader in the area of Community Oriented Policing. During his tenure he was responsible for many programs and activities that supported the Community Oriented Policing philosophy, which focuses on community engagement and partnerships. Problem Oriented Policing (P.O.P.), Community Response Teams, and Compliance Monitoring Teams were implemented under Chief Drummond. Other notable accomplishments include:
· Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.);
· Expansion of the Neighborhood Watch program;
· Citizen’s Community Academy;
· Volunteers in Policing;
· Education and enforcement activity on sales to minors of tobacco and alcohol products;
· Outcome-based performance measures;
· Student attendance outreach program.
“Chief Drummond was also active in several professional organizations including the Yolo County Community Corrections Partnership Executive Committee, Chair of the Collings West Sacramento Teen Center Advisory Board, Chair of the City Employee Giving Campaign and United Way Regional Board of Directors and a member of the California Police Chiefs Legislative Committee.
“Chief Drummond stated, ‘All that has been done in the Police Department is a credit to the strong and capable management team and all of the men and women in the department, sworn and non-sworn, who serve the city with dedication and professionalism. It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve with them.’
“City Manager Martin Tuttle said, ‘Chief Drummond has served the public with honor and distinction. He has numerous accomplishments. West Sacramento has benefited greatly from his leadership and service.'”
Copyright News-Ledger 2013
Got a little ‘Dinger’ in you?
FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 23, 2013 —
The Sacramento River Cats announced yesterday they are searching for enthusiastic seasonal “Cat Crew” members who “have a desire to entertain and create memories for River Cats fans,” with auditions set for Saturday, Jan. 26, at Raley Field.
Applicants should possess strong teamwork skills, have a “high energy” personality and meet other requirements, said the River Cats. Experience in dance or cheerleading is “preferred but not required.
To audition, go to Raley Field on Saturday, Jan. 26 between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.. All applicants must bring a resume, and will have 90 seconds to entertain the judges in an “American Idol-style” audition.
Copyright News-Ledger 2013
Youngsters raise funds for burn victims
Three West Sacramento youngsters — Jason (5), Sonja (8)and James Weldon (10), above — raise some money from family and friends every year around the holidays, reports the West Sacramento Fire Department.
This year, the youngsters chose to make their donation to the Firefighters Burn Institute. Firefighter Thomas Elliott (pictured with them) assisted them in making the donation. The kids got a tour of Station 41 on 15th Street. (courtesy photo)
Copyright News-Ledger 2013
Others’ views on school board issue
FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 16, 2013 —
On the News-Ledger’s “Facebook” internet page this week, we invited comments to last week’s newspaper editorial.
The editorial (we’ve provided a link below) contrasted the way Washington Unified School District and Sacramento City Unified School District each handled the appointment of a new school board member to fill a vacancy, and suggested WUSD commit itself to more transparency.
We received the following feedback on Facebook:
Jenni Zimmerman Yarwood: The constant badgering and belittling of the WUSD board by both the News-Ledger and the mayor is very disheartening and troublesome.
How about being mature, responsible adults and not lowering yourself to elementary schoolyard bullying? How about coming together in a positive way with a workable solution without the constant mudslinging and backstabbing?
Sadly, this kind of behavior is very typical of the media and our government these days and it’s got to stop. We will never come together as a community, a state or a country if this kind of behavior continues. It is this kind of behavior that is literally tearing our country and our communities apart.
Ardeene Brueske Westvik: Thank you for pointing out that the Sacramento School District managed to appoint a new temporary member without the cost of an additional election. I agree that transparency is always important in any public institution.
However, I would suggest it is also important when the public is asked to elect a school board. It is shocking to hear about some of the money that is very likely going to be spent to elect members some political figures wish to be placed on the Board. One really wonders what their motives are. Do they actually have some magic answer to make major improvements in the district or is their motive something less apparent?
Having been a district teacher, administrator and school board member, I know there is not a financial reason, nor can school boards make many of the decisions that are now made by Federal and State categorical fund requirements. So if some group is willing to spent as much as $10,000 for a school board position, we need to know where that money comes from.
As our most-read local newspaper, I sincerely request that you make the public very aware of the source of all funding for all candidates running for a seat on the school board. Lets have transparency in all aspects of our public offices.
Irene Perrigo Eklund: Even more important, why don’t you let the public know where the mayor and our supervisor got the money they spent on their independent expenditure committee and who is putting their name on them.
I read the article in the Bee about the Sacramento appointment and it was pretty much the same process as WUSD used. The mayor has already made the statement that if his candidate would have been appointed, this costly election would not be taking place.
So let’s just be honest about why this special election is taking place. It’s all about politics, power and greed. They surely do not care that the $130,000 price tag [for the special election] will come right from our kids’ classrooms. It is very obvious those involved do not care. Very sad indeed.
You can find the original News-Ledger editorial here.
You may comment on this or other local issues by sending a ‘letter to the editor’ to us by email (call 916-371-8030 for email address).
Or, by mail to:
News-Ledger, P.O. Box 463, West Sacramento, CA 95691.
Either way, please include your real name (for publication) and your address and phone number (not for publication).
Copyright News-Ledger 2013