Tag Archives: fight

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

West Sac schools may receive grants for kids to create ‘edible gardens’

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 1, 2014 —

The Yolo Farm to Fork (YF2F) organization plans to award $10,000 in grants to Yolo County elementary schools that participate in its “Taste Our Garden” initiative.

To encourage kids to eat fresh produce, YF2F wants more schools to involve students in creating edible gardens. With sponsorship from Sutter Davis Hosplital, the program will award up to ten grants of $1,000.

More than 43 percent of children under 18 in Woodland and West Sacramento are obese, reports the group. The gardening effort is intended to help steer such youth into healthier eating habits.

The deadline for schools to apply for a grant is January 15. The YF2F website is located at http://bit.ly/JINYNa. Email info@yolofarmtofork.org.

 

  Do you like what you see here?

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

 

Wine & treats, for a good cause

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER —

The fourth annual “Wine & Art Faire” fundraiser held at the Old Sugar Mill in Clarksburg returns from 1-7 p.m. on Oct. 6. The event benefits the Lymphoma & Leukemia Society.

Over 50 authors, musicians, artists and craftspeople will gather at the site to show their creations. Wine tasting is provided by Delta-area wineries at the Old Sugar Mill, and there will be music by local groups. See the displays & taste the wares for $20 in advance or $25 at the door. The Old Sugar Mill is located at 35265 Willow Avenue, in Clarksburg. Visit www.Carvalho FamilyWinery.com or www.LLS.org/sac, email Marnie@CarvalhoFamilyWinery.com, or call 744-1625 or 275-8719.

 

  Do you like what you see here?

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  You can even try it for free for two months if you live in West Sacramento. Just send your name and mailing address to FreeTrial@news-ledger.com (offer open to new subscribers in West Sacramento ZIP codes 95691 & 95605).

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

 

West Sacramento neighbors host ‘National Night Out’ block parties

Police Chief Tom McDonald has a hot dog with other visitors to the Meadow Road “National Night Out” block party -- a rally to network against crime. (News-Ledger photo by PETER FOLKS)

Police Chief Tom McDonald has a hot dog with other visitors to the Meadow Road “National Night Out” block party — a rally to network against crime.
(News-Ledger photo by PETER FOLKS)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — AUG 14, 2013 —

By Daryl Fisher
Features Editor

Tuesday before last was National Night Out in West Sacramento with local organizers at 15 different sights participating in the annual event sponsored by the West Sacramento Police Department. National Night Out is a community police awareness-raising event held every year on the first Tuesday of August with the goal being to increase citizen awareness about the many different anti-crime efforts going on in each community. Block watchers encourage their neighbors to get out of their homes and spend an evening together on their own street interacting with each other so that they can better protect their neighborhood from crime.

One of the local organizers was longtime West Sacramento resident Robin Courtright, who along with her friend Debra Abraham encouraged all of their neighbors on Redding Road to participate. Robin had helped organize a similar evening five years ago and with so many new neighbors on her street, she decided it was time to do it again.

“We had more than 75 people turn out on our block,” said Robin, “and everyone had a really good time. We closed off our street so that all the kids could safely ride their bicycles and then we set up lots of games for the children to play, not to mention bingo for the adults. We also had a Slushie machine and a putting green and of course all kinds of wonderful things to eat. Plus McGruff the Crime Dog showed up along with eight firefighters on a very big fire engine.  Mayor Cabaldon also dropped by for a visit as did lots of very friendly police officers. Best of all, my neighbors really got to know each other better and I think that truly is the best way to prevent neighborhood crime. When everyone knows and cares about each other they look out for one another and that makes all of us feel safer.”

Mayor Christopher Cabaldon (center) with block party participants on Redding Road in Southport  (courtesy of Robin Courtright)

Mayor Christopher Cabaldon (center) with block party participants on Redding Road in Southport. Click to enlarge.
(courtesy of Robin Courtright)

In addition to Redding Road, the other West Sacramento streets that held National Night Out block parties on August 6th were 7th Street, Lighthouse Drive, Madrone Avenue, West Capitol Avenue, Evergreen Avenue, Meadow Road, 19th Street, Pennsylvania Avenue, Aster and Manchester Streets, Mandeville Way, Barona Court, Sumatra and Mandura Streets, Antigua Place, and Elsinore Court.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Fight child abuse: upcoming fashion show & fun run both offer you a chance

By Don Saylor, Chair of the Yolo County Children’s Alliance
and Member of the Yolo County Board of Supervisors, District 2

Child abuse is a national tragedy.  An estimated 3 million children are the victims of substantiated abuse or neglect each year in the United States.  In California during 2012, nearly 500,000 children were referred to Child Welfare Services for investigation of abuse and/or neglect.

Don Saylor, Yolo County Supervisor and chair of the Yolo County Children's Alliance (courtesy photo)

Don Saylor, Yolo County Supervisor and chair of the Yolo County Children’s Alliance (courtesy photo)

In our own county, during fiscal year 2011-12, the Department of Employment and Social Services, Child Welfare Services, received 1,398 reports of suspected child abuse and/or neglect.   Resulting investigations led to 251 children in child-welfare supervised placements.

During the same time period, approximately 95 children each month continued living with their families while the families received ongoing support services and supervision through the Yolo County Child Welfare Services Family Maintenance Program. In addition, 96 children each month received Family Reunification services aimed at returning them to their homes of origin.

On the good news front, in Yolo County we have numerous public agencies and community organizations, parents, relatives, community volunteers, public policymakers and professionals who are collaborating to eliminate child abuse through the Yolo Family Strengthening Network.

[adrotate group=”9″] The Yolo Family Strengthening Network offers parents the education, support, and skills they need to provide healthy, safe and nurturing homes for their children.  Resource materials can be downloaded from www.yolokids.org/community.  Our local program is based on the national Strengthening Families Program; an evidence-based family skills training program.  Mistreatment of children decreases as parents learn more effective parenting skills, and the program has been proven to significantly reduce problem behaviors, delinquency, and alcohol and drug abuse in children.  It also improves social competencies and school performance.

Another program aimed at strengthening families, The Yolo Family Meals Campaign, invites the community at large to post photos on the Yolo County Children’s Alliance web site of their family dinners, kid-friendly recipes and conversation topics that get your children talking at the table.

We hope hundreds of Yolo County residents will get involved in child abuse prevention.

Two ways that are fun include the Yolo County Children’s Alliance and Child Abuse Prevention Council’s 4th Annual Yolo County Celebrity Fashion Show on Friday, April 26th in West Sacramento and the annual Child Abuse Prevention Fun Run on April 28th in Davis. For tickets go to www.yolokids.org or call 530-757-5558.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Spaghetti feed for Mike Carr & family

Mike Carr: familly can use some help as he undergoes cancer treatment

FROM THE WEST SACRAMENTO NEWS-LEDGER —

A spaghetti feed fundraiser to benefit Mike Carr and his family is planned for Oct. 26 at VFW Hall 8762, 905 Drever St., beginning at 6 p.m. Carr is a longtime West Sacramentan and retired firefighter now fighting cancer. Tickets are $20 (advance only) and there will be a silent auction and raffle. For tickets, call 371-8839, 371-5822 or 483-8808.

For more on Mike and his story, see Daryl Fisher’s recent column here.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012

 

Fight cancer — and bring your dog

[adrotate group=”10″] FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER —

Join the “Bark for Life” event, with your dog, and walk to raise funds in the fight against cancer.

Affiliated with the American Cancer Society and its “Relay for Life” event, the “Bark for Life” walk will include vendors, food, raffle and dog events. It will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 5 at Dave’s Pumpkin Patch, 3010 Burrows Road in Southport, West Sacramento.

For info, visit www.RelayForLife.org or email Bark@CreationNonstop.com.