Tag Archives: food

Coyotes: best admired from a distance

NEWS-LEDGER — JUNE 25, 2014 —

By Mary K. Hanson
Tuleyome Association

You hear their yip-yip-yowling in the early evening and you know immediately what they are: Western coyotes, natives of California who make up one of the three types of wild candids found in North America. Their name comes from the Aztec word coyotl, and their yodeling howls can travel up to three miles.

COYOTE PUP. Click to enlarge. (courtesy Roger Jones,  Tuleyome Association)

COYOTE PUP. Click to enlarge.
(courtesy of Roger Jones,
Tuleyome organization)

Larger than foxes but smaller than wolves, coyotes have carved out a niche for themselves in the ecosystem.  Weighing in at anywhere from 20 to 50 pounds, these smart and highly adaptive predators have keen senses of smell and vision, and can run at bursts up to 40 miles per hour.  These attributes suit them well when they’re on the hunt for rabbits and rodents (which comprise 80% of their diet) as well as frogs, young deer, and even fish.  In fact, coyotes are very good swimmers.  Coyotes will also eat fruit, insects, snakes and carrion.

In our region, the coyotes generally mate in February.  By April or May, the pups arrive (in litters anywhere from 3 to 12) and the mating pair forms a solid family group, feeding and protecting their pups.  Coyotes always set up a “den” site in which to birth and rear their pups, and these dens can be anything from a small cave or rock outcropping, to a hollowed out tree, dense bush, a burrow in the ground… or an abandoned outbuilding.   Pups can start hunting with their parents when they’re about 10 weeks old and remain with them for about 8 months… Although the pups are darling, they’re not play things… and their parents will be fiercely protective of them, so if you come across one, do not approach it.  Photograph it from a distance.

Coyotes mate for life, and live in a social pack structure similar to wolves.  There is typically a mated “alpha” pair (the top dogs) at the head of the pack, and then various generations of offspring and extended family members below them.  Their territories are vaguely circular in shape and usually revolve around wherever their central den is.  Coyotes can be aggressively territorial, especially in the late spring and early summer – which we’re in right now — when their pups are born, and will protect their dens, packs and hunting grounds from trespassers when they have to.  This natural territorial behavior can become something of a problem when humans deliberately (or inadvertently) invite the coyotes into residential areas.

Normally, coyotes are instinctively wary of humans and will avoid contact with them, but when you supply the coyotes with food and shelter these incredibly adaptable animals will quickly lose their fear of you and commandeer your neighborhood for themselves and their offspring.  And you may be feeding the coyotes without even realizing it.  Whenever you leave food outside for your pets or leave bags of garbage in your yard, you are supplying the coyotes (and other animals like opossums, rats and raccoons) with a sure and steady food source.  This can cause a cascade of unwanted issues.  The coyotes may come to view your pets as “interlopers” in their territory and attack them, or view your un-spayed or unneutered dogs as potential mates.  (Yes, coyotes can mate with domesticated dogs.)  They may also hijack your garbage cans as their personal buffets, and your outbuildings as their dens.

In less populated areas where there is more livestock, coyotes can also be an issue. Since leg traps, poisons and other older methods of eradication are now illegal throughout most of California, when coyotes cause problems for farmers and ranchers, they call in professional wildlife damage management specialists who are employed by federal, state, or county agencies to assist them in developing appropriate management strategies for specific situations.  Never try to trap, relocate or kill a coyote by yourself.  Let the professional handle things.

Remember that coyotes are wild animals, not potential pets for you to try to “befriend” or “tame.”  They are handsome, adaptable, intelligent creatures with a lot of fascinating habits — but the best way to view them is from afar.

  Tuleyome Tales is a monthly publication of Tuleyome, conservation organization with offices in Napa and WoodlandMary K. Hanson is an amateur naturalist and photographer who is the author of “The Chubby Woman’s Walkabout” blog.  For more information about Tuleyome, go to www.tuleyome.org.

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June in West Sac: one food plant breaks ground, another expands

FROM LEFT: Mayor Christopher Cabaldon; TOMRA C.E.O. Stefan Ranstrand of Norway; Dr. Volker Rehrmann of Germany, head of TOMRA Sorting; Ashley Hunter, TOMRA Senior V.P. in Belgium and Sacramento (courtesy of TOMRA Sorting Solutions)
FROM LEFT: Mayor Christopher Cabaldon; TOMRA C.E.O. Stefan Ranstrand of Norway; Dr. Volker Rehrmann of Germany, head of TOMRA Sorting; Ashley Hunter, TOMRA Senior V.P. in Belgium and Sacramento
(courtesy of TOMRA Sorting Solutions)

NEWS-LEDGER — JUNE 25, 2014 —

Two days after city officials helped break ground for the 28,000 Shinmei U.S.A. rice bun plant in the Southport Business Park, they helped celebrate a new plant for TOMRA Sorting on Wednesday (June 18) in northern West Sacramento.

The new 60,000-square foot TOMRA Sorting plant at 875 Embarcadero Drive (near Reed Avenue) replaces the company’s former 42,000-square foot building on Seaport Boulevard. The plant includes the “latest technology for sorting nuts, such as almonds, walnuts and pistachios,” reports a spokesperson.

The facility handles fresh and processed foods, and a laboratory to test for aflatoxins.

West Sacramento officials are pursuing a future as a food industry hub; Mayor Christopher Cabaldon has called for the city to become the “Silicon Valley of food.”

Over 50 people work at the West Sacramento plant, the international company reports.

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Two new factories for West Sac

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JUNE 18, 2014 —

West Sacramento hosts a pair of “new factory” events just over 48 hours apart this week. They’re each within what local officials call the city’s mission as a “food hub.”

Monday morning, Shinmei U.S.A. corporation broke ground on its first production facility in the U.S. – a 28,000 square foot plant to manufacture gluten-free rice buns from local product.

The plant is located in Southport Business Park at 3015 Ramco Street, near Southport Parkway.

Shinmei plans to make rice bun products certified for organic, kosher and halal labels. Its representatives say that it will house up to 150 employees when it finishes its four planned stages of growth.

West Sacramento’s proximity to the rice industry and the quality of its municipal water were both important to Shinmei’s choice of the city for the new factory.

____________________

This afternoon (June 18), city officials and media will join a tour at the new TOMRA sorting plant, 875 Embarcadero Drive in West Sacramento. The company’s Norwegian CEO, Stefan Ranstrand, and other officials will be on hand for a ribbon-cutting.

The company “serves growers, packers and processers for the fresh and processed food industries, locally and globally,” reports spokesperson Kathleen Chance.

The new West Sacramento plant is 18,0000 square feet larger than TOMRA’s previous facility, and will contain R&D labs and a test and demonstration center.

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Food Bank now collecting at West Sacramento library branch

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER —

The Yolo County Library system is helping to collect food for the Yolo Food Bank throughout the summer. This year’s goal is to collect 2,000 pounds. You may drop off non-perishable foods at the Arthur F. Turner Branch Library, 1212 Merkley Avenue in West Sacramento, as well as other branches in the county and the library administration center, 226 Buckeye Street in Woodland.

Visit www.yolocountylibrary.org.

Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Not working or underemployed due to the drought? Help available

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JUNE 4, 2014 —

Yolo Food Bank has launched a program to help those in the county left unemployed or underemployed because of the state-wide drought. Many agricultural jobs, for example, have suffered during this year’s water shortage.

Through the “Drought Food Assistance Program,” the food bank will distribute prepacked food boxes during the month of June.  The program may continue after June, provided state funding is still available

The Yolo Food Bank promises a nutritionally balanced box of food -- enough to feed a family of four for five days (courtesy of Yolo Food Bank)

The Yolo Food Bank promises a nutritionally balanced box of food — enough to feed a family of four for five days (courtesy of Yolo Food Bank)

To qualify for drought food assistance participants must certify that they live in Yolo County and have either less work or no work because of the drought.  Participants affected by the drought will receive a 25-pound box of nutritionally balanced, non-perishable food, designed to provide food for a household of four people for five days.  The box will include such foods as apple sauce, canned vegetables, tomato sauce, vegetable and chicken noodle soup, peanut butter, dried pinto beans, rice, spaghetti, and oatmeal.

“We are glad to have the resources to help local families affected by California’s severe drought,” said Kevin Sanchez, Executive Director of Yolo Food Bank, an a press release.

To reach all areas of Yolo County, Yolo Food Bank will be working with six partner agencies to distribute meals at twelve sites.
West Sacramentans and Clarksburg residents may contact their local partner, Yolo County Children’s Alliance, at (530) 757-5558 or www.yolokids.org.

In addition to the 11 distributions facilitated by the Food Bank’s six partner agencies.  Yolo Food Bank will pass out drought food on Friday mornings from its warehouse in Woodland (1244 Fortna Avenue, Woodland CA 95776).  This distribution will occur from 7-8 a.m.

Contact Yolo Food Bank at (530) 668-0690 or visit  www.yolofoodbank.org.

 

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

 

A tasty trip down Memory Lane in old-time West Sacramento

NEWS-LEDGER — FEB 5, 2014 —

Last week a longtime West Sacramento resident and family friend, Sharon Cuff, stopped by the News-Ledger office to give me a book she thought I would enjoy reading.  The book was entitled “Lost Restaurants of Sacramento” and was penned by Sacramento natives Maryellen and Keith Burns. It almost lovingly tells about all the many Sacramento restaurants from the past 150 years or so which have been visited by countless patrons, many of whom left with lasting memories of their favorite eateries and the yummy food that was served there. I especially liked some of the colorful photos in the book, which showed everything from one of the first rough kitchens at Sutter’s Fort that served about 30 men, to the soda fountains and ice cream parlors of the 1950s, to the fancy and popular downtown Sacramento restaurants of today. It was also fun to be reminded that a good meal once cost only twenty-five cents and to see old pictures of places I recalled from my youth, like Stan’s Drive-In and Sam’s Hof Brau.

BY DARYL FISHER, News-Ledger Features Editor

BY DARYL FISHER, News-Ledger Features Editor

I first met Sharon many years ago when she and her husband, Jim, lived right behind my West Sacramento home.  One of their daughters, Janel, became very good friends with my daughter, Carrie, and when they were in grade school I would often find them out at the chain link fence which separated our two properties playing dolls or just talking endlessly about all the things that are important to young girls. And even though we are no longer neighbors, the Cuff’s Christmas card is usually the first one that arrives in the mail each holiday season.

“So, what is it that you really like about this book?” I asked Sharon.

“Well, it takes a person down memory lane and after I read it, I found myself thinking about the Page from the Past that is often in the News-Ledger, and I thought you might want to put something in the paper about all the restaurants that have come and gone in West Sacramento over the years. In fact, I even decided to write down all the ones I could remember and see if you recalled some of them, too.”

“I’m afraid my family didn’t do a lot of eating out,” I told Sharon, “although my dad liked to take us to the old Goose Club once a month or so because their prices were really reasonable, and of course going to the Pheasant Club was always considered a real big treat, too.”

Anyway, as I started looking over Sharon’s lengthy list of West Sacramento eateries and take-outs (past and present), I found myself recalling wonderful places like the old Country Maid drive-through where my mother would send me on my bicycle to get milk and bread, my reward being that I could buy myself one of the biggest ice cream sandwiches imaginable, especially compared to the ones you get in grocery stores nowadays that look like little chocolate pancakes with something that isn’t even real ice cream stuck between them. In fact, those old Country Maid ice cream sandwiches were so huge I couldn’t even get the whole thing in my mouth to take a bite out of it and had to always start at the edges first.

Other places Sharon had listed also quickly rang a bell, like Smorgy Bob’s, A & W Root Beer, Sambo’s, Kelly Jr.’s, Zeps,  and of course Whitey’s Jolly Kone, where I am still addicted to the same secret family recipe for their deluxe tacos that I fell in love with many decades ago. But the name of the long gone restaurant that really took me down memory lane was the El Rancho Hotel, since that is where you dressed up real fancy and went out to eat on West Sacramento rites of passage nights like the Junior and Senior Proms. And I can still remember the horror on my twin sister’s face when her date, who was used to eating much bigger portions of food at home, started scraping everyone’s leftovers from their plates onto his because he was still hungry, not to mention a very worried friend who thought that they had really screwed up his order because they were already serving him his dessert by bringing him a little cup of strawberry sorbet first, having of course never heard of the word “palatizer” before, much less seen one.

Some of the other restaurants that appear on Sharon’s list of fun West Sacramento places to eat (past and present) include Vince’s, King’s, Emma’s Taco House, Freddy’s Gourmet, Carol’s, Eppie’s, and Don’s Chuck Wagon, just to name a few. She even listed some of the wonderful old West Sacramento businesses that are no more, like Willie’s Market, Gorman’s Stationary, Hollywood Hardware, Homer’s Florist, Miller’s TV, and the old Last Chance gas station.

Anyway, since Sharon was kind enough to take me for a fun little stroll down memory lane, I think I will offer you the same opportunity, and if you would like to share some of your fond memories from eating out in our wonderful little town over the years, you can do so by going to our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/TheNewsLedger. Just look for our post inviting comments. You can also write to me at daryl@news-ledger.com with any funny/tasty recollections you may have that I could use in a future follow-up column.

It’s been my experience that in addition to delicious food, it’s the interaction of great local restaurant owners, employees and patrons that make for a wonderful dining experience, and West Sacramento has always had more than its fair share of all three!

 

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

 

Food bank gives away food on Tuesday

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 15, 2014 —

The Yolo Food Bank will distribute free food items to eligible West Sacramento and Clarksburg residents on Tuesday, January 21. Visit the county building at 500 Jefferson Blvd. from 9-10 a.m.; Trinity Presbyterian Church at 1500 Park Blvd., between 10:30-11:15 a.m.; Yolo Housing Authority at 685 Lighthouse Drive, between 11 a.m. and noon; or the Clarksburg Firehouse, noon to 1 p.m.

Please bring a bag, and visit only one of the sites. For information, call (530) 668-0690.

Copyright News-Ledger 2014