Tag Archives: local

Free Christmas concert on Sunday


The West Sacramento Community Orchestra invites you to a pair of free Christmas-themed concerts, with music ranging from Wagner to “Christmas on Broadway” and “O Holy Night.” The first is at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16, at the civic center galleria, 1110 West Capitol Avenue.

The second free concert is at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 18 at Centennial United Methodist Church, 5401 Freeport Blvd. in Sacramento. For information, call 991-5262.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Gingerbread house workshop today


Youths in grades 6-12 are invited to an afternoon of gingerbread house design beginning at 4 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 14, at the local library, 1212 Merkley Ave. Free.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

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Man carjacked to West Sacramento


Woodland police are looking for leads after two suspects forced him to drive them into West Sacramento.

They got the call at about 2:20 a.m. on Nov. 27.

The victim, a Sacramento man, said he left work in Woodland at about 2 a.m. and was driving back to Sacramento on East Main Street. At County Road 102, “two men stopped him in the roadway and forced themselves into his vehicle,” said a police press release. “The victim said the two men were dressed in dark clothing, gloves, and dark ski masks. The victim believed one of the men was armed with an unknown type of gun, although he did not see one.”

[adrotate group=”9″]   The pair made the victim drive them into Sacramento and then West Sacramento, where they got out in an unknown neighborhood and left him, after taking a small amount of cash.

The man drove home and called police.

Anyone with information is asked to call Woodland Police at (530) 661-7800.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Police investigate possible threat to mayor

NEWS-LEDGER — DEC 12, 2012 —

West Sacramento police are looking into what may have been a threat to the safety of Mayor Christopher Cabaldon.

A post on another person’s Facebook social media site accused Cabaldon of selling the region’s groundwater, referred to him with gay slurs (Cabaldon is openly homosexual) and promised that the author and his father would confront the mayor at the next “town meeting.”

Cabaldon initially replied cavalierly, saying “When writing to me, please spell f___ correctly & (to be fair) only threaten me with one on one physical assault.”

[adrotate group=”9″]   Later, the mayor decided the issue needed to be taken more seriously, and he reported it to police.

A police department spokesperson told the News-Ledger the department was looking into the matter, including verifying the identity of the person who actually made the post and “working to see if a crime has occurred.”

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Christmas event raises at least $17K

From left to right: West Sacramento Foundation board members Maria Simas and Barbara Moore, George Carpenter of the Thomas P. Winn Foundation, and board members Kelly Rochester Garrett, Jennifer Engstrom. (News-Ledger photo)



By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

Last year’s “Hope Stocking Event” raised about $17,000 for local causes.

“This year, we expect the total to be even higher,” reports chairperson Maria Simas, vice president of the West Sacramento Foundation.

The Foundation hosted the event, which collected donations and sponsorships, and then hosted a $30-per plate food and wine event last Thursday evening at Club Pheasant restaurant in Southport. About 90 guests attended the soiree, amid holiday decorations and apparent good cheer in the restaurant banquet room.

Contributions included a substantial donation from the Thomas P. Winn Foundation, represented by George Carpenter. He, like some other contributors, was requesting privacy about the exact amount of the contribution, said Simas.

The money raised will go into the coffers of the West Sacramento Foundation, which in term plays a role in supporting other nonprofits with programs that serve the town.

“The money goes directly into the grants program,” Simas told the News-Ledger. “We give out several dozen grants each year.”

Some of last year’s recipients of grants from the West Sacramento Foundation include local youth sports programs, Food Bank operations, the teen center, the elderly nutrition program, health service providers and more.

[adrotate group=”7″]   How is fundraising for the Foundation doing as the city and nation climb out of a deep recession?

“I would say we are very fortunate to gather both business and personal support for our foundation, and to continue to serve the community,” said Simas. “We continue to be very appreciative of the support we receive.”

The Foundation’s other annual fundraisers include the All Charities Raffle and the 444 Golf Tournament.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Big old trees stand in the way of new development in West Sac

On Nov. 5, members of the West Sacramento Conservancy gathered for a photo next to some heritage oak trees on the site of an apartment project near the Tower Bridge. (That's the parking lot for the 'ziggurat' building in the background.) The next morning, these oaks were sawed down, and the group is not pleased that city permission was granted. Left to right are Joan Liffring, Lana Paulhamus, Joyce Miller and Jerry Wingfield of the Conservancy. Over a dozen large sycamores along the West Capitol portion of the same project will probably also have to give way for the project -- but an official request to remove them has not yet been received by the City. (News-Ledger photo)


Opinions in West Sac differ about when to preserve them and when to replace them —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

An apartment project near Raley Field has paid the City of West Sacramento about $200,000 for replacement trees after it quite legally removed five “heritage oaks” that stood in the way of development. But not everyone is happy that permission to remove the trees was given.

“We are concerned that these trees are being sacrificed for yet another big development,” Lana Paulhamus of the West Sacramento Conservancy told the News-Ledger shortly before the trees went down. “We were given very little notice that this is happening. It appears that the planning commission and city council all voted in favor of this new development even though it will be cutting these heritage trees.”

The “Tower Bridge Commons” project envisions over 300 apartments in three-story buildings, and some commercial space on property bordered by 3rd, 5th and G streets and the Tower Bridge Gateway. The land has been bought by developer Wolff Enterprises, LLC, out of Arizona.

It’s part of the city’s plans for redeveloping the riverfront district already home to Raley Field, the Ironworks subdivision, the state office ziggurat and the CalSTRS tower – and the emerging “Bridge District” development just south.

“Landmark” and “heritage” trees get some protection in West Sacramento by local ordinance. An oak gets “heritage” status if it measures 50 inches in circumference at a point four and a half feet above the ground, and other trees qualify if they are 75” in circumference. To legally remove such a tree, landowners need a permit.

Dena Kirtley is West Sacramento’s “urban forest manager,” and the request to remove these five oaks landed on her desk a couple weeks before the trees came down on Nov. 6. She did not dispute Paulhamus’s assertion that the permit process moved quickly.

“I was torn, because the arborist’s report didn’t indicate any health issues with the trees, or any rot, although sometimes you can’t see that from outside,” Kirtley told the News-Ledger. “But it was an opportunity to refresh the site with new trees at their expense.”
[adrotate group=”7″] “The arborist report (paid for by the developer) indicates the trees were previously ‘lion-tailed,’ which means somebody had topped them and trimmed the trees incorrectly. Other than that the health of the trees was good with the exception of (one of them). But on that site at the corner near CalSTRS, we recently had a catastrophic failure of two oak trees into the street. You probably remember that – it was right in front of CalSTRS. One lost a major limb and had to be removed. Out of that tree and the CalSTRS trees, we got no mitigation.”
No one had to pay to replace those trees, Kirtley meant. When such trees are removed through the permit process, there is mitigation money.

So how long might these five remaining oaks at Tower Bridge Common have lived?

“They had reached maturity a long time ago, and because the ones along the street had been trimmed incorrectly, maybe another 10 or 15 years,” she answered. “With oaks, it’s hard to know.”

If the trees were allowed to live, not only would they have caused trouble for the development plan, but if they fell over or had to be removed due to a hazard, no one would have had to pay to replace them.

Kirtley recommended the developer receive the city permit.

Based on the number of total “diameter inches” of oak trees being removed, the developer ended up paying $202,150 towards new trees in West Sacramento.

Meanwhile, a row of about 14 large sycamores appears to be in the way of a parking garage in the same development. These trees are along the southern end of the project, along a piece of West Capitol Avenue no longer used as a city street.

“All I know about the sycamores is that they are slated for removal if the project moves forward,” said Kirtley.

That, presumably, will require more city approval and more mitigation money.

Dan Nethercott, a project manager for Tower Bridge Commons, said the sycamores are not part of the project’s first phase.

They’re on a grade. If and when Phase II is built, there will be a parking garage at that slope that “appears to be subterranean” when viewed from inside the project, with a “brownstone” building on top of it, visually at eye level.

Nethercott said his company is “trying to do the right thing,” and he said there is an inherent tension between new plans and old trees.

“The city has a Bridge District plan,” he told the News-Ledger. “It’s a very positive thing for West Sacramento. As property is urbanized, the decision has to be made by the city where you have older trees that are near the end of their life. Do you replant for the future and maximize the use of the land, or do you allow the (old) trees to dictate their setting?”

“Some of these large trees are located in places incompatible with the best use of the property,” Nethercott added. “That’s why we have planning commissions and city councils to make the decisions.”

  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 2012

High school class looks at cityhood

NEWS-LEDGER, NOV 28, 2012: Members of a panel gathered at River City High School Nov. 14 to recall the effort of creating the City of West Sacramento, which culminated in a successful vote in 1986: Dan Ramos, businessman; Louisa Vessell, activist; Loren Fourness, president of the incorporation committee; Michael McGowan, the city’s first mayor; Bill Kristoff, also elected to the first city council; and Carol Richardson, assistant city manager. The panel talked about their perceptions of the struggle to incorporate and answered questions from history students. (photo by Charlotte Dorsey)

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012