Tag Archives: local

9/11: Paying their respects

West Sacramento’s Cheng Saetern takes a photo of son Derrick Saelee; watching are family members Sharon Saechao and (partially hidden) Abigail Saelee (News-Ledger photo)


By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

The flags returned on Friday, thousands of them, fluttering in just about the same Southport location they have occupied on each anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

There’s one flag for each victim of that day – in the World Trade Center, at the Pentagon, and in a doomed United flight crashed into a field. And while the annual memorial is the brainchild of former West Sacramento resident John Vinson, the number of volunteers has grown.

West Sacramentans new and old have come to expect and look for the flag tribute at South River Road and Jefferson Boulevard in Southport every year about this time.

LEFT: Christina Vinson and Kevin Langford talk to a visitor to the 9/11 memorial at the Southport site (News-Ledger photo)

Monday afternoon, Vinson’s daughter Christina was sitting under a shade with Kevin Langford, staffing the display. Behind them, towards Jefferson Boulevard, was a firefighter’s uniform mounted on a chair, symbolizing the first responders who lost their lives responding to the World Trade Center disaster.

Christina Vinson said that the role of overseeing the flag memorial is a shared one.

“It’s lit up at night,” she said. “My two older brothers watch at night.”

Others sit in shifts, with a guestbook in front of them. Nearby was a shade tree and table manned by former West Sacramento City Clerk Helen Kanowsky, a volunteer looking for recruits to the fire department’s Community Emergency Response Team squad.

A few families began to arrive and stroll into the flag display.

One was the family of Cheng Saetern and Sharon Saechao.

“This is the first year we’ve lived in West Sacramento,” said Saetern.

“We wanted to remember all the people who died,” added Saechao.

The flags at this year's memorial were grouped, disaster by disaster. This field memorialized the victims of United Flight 93, whose crew and passengers died after their plane was hijacked and some passengers attempted to retake the craft. (News-Ledger photo)

  Yes, you can support local journalism, support this website, and see all the News-Ledger’s articles every week! Subscribe to the News-Ledge newspaper. It’s only $20 per year within West Sacramento – once a week, delivered to your mailbox.

  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

Riverbank gets spruced up

The new marquee is part of the renovation at Riverbank Elementary in the city’s north (courtesy photo/AugustineIdeas)


Riverbank Elementary was opened more than 50 years ago as a high school, later becoming Golden State Middle School and then an elementary campus.

During the 2011-2012 school year the 12-acre campus was home to third through eighth graders but after a 10-week, $8-million overhaul the campus reopened on August 22, greeting students’ kindergarten through eighth grade.

While minor work started in May while school was still in session, the majority of the work began in June when school was out, giving HMH Builders just 10 weeks to complete this transformation, intended to improve the environment and accommodate more kids.

According to a spokesperson for the builder:

  Starting on the outside, the parking lot was redesigned with safety in mind, providing much needed space to drop students off, and separating the entrances for kindergarten through fifth grade from those for sixth through eighth grade. The walkway leading to the entrance was also redesigned and made ADA compliant with new landscaping and decorative fencing. The school even received a new marquee, complete with an LED sign that can be used for posting announcements. Other improvements to the outside of the campus including adding a new section of asphalt for recess and PE activities, which doubles as a way to improve the fire departments access to the campus.

On the interior, each of the 42 classrooms on the campus received a technology makeover. All are now equipped with smart boards that allow a teacher to project his or her computer screen or other video directly onto a whiteboard and then write over it or to show educational videos. A new fiber optic network and fire alarm system was installed across the campus along with a new intercom system to improve campus-wide communication, security and fire safety. Many rooms have new windows to let in more natural light, fresh paint, cabinets, tack boards and carpeting.

Additionally, some rooms were also completely remodeled such as what was once a dark building with no windows transforming into the campus’ kindergarten wing complete with three classrooms, smart boards, windows, and a separate play area with shade structure. A building that housed outdated gym equipment has been turned into five new classrooms for second graders. Two old locker rooms that were being used as storage areas are now places for learning. The girls’ locker room is now a fitness studio with climbing wall and will also be used for indoor sports and yoga. The boys’ locker room was gutted and renovated into two wet science labs.

Riverbank Elementary School classroom, renovated (courtesy of AugustineIdeas for HMH Builders)

“We are impressed and relieved by the ability of the HMH Team to complete this major renovation to Riverbank, both on time and on budget,” said Dr. Dayton Gilleland, Ed.D., Washington Unified School District’s Superintendent, in a press release from AugustineIdeas, for HMH Builders.. “The efficiency of this project, coupled with the hard work of teachers and district staff, has resulted in a beautiful school setting that stands ready to meet our students and families on the first day of school.”

In the coming months the campus will continue to see limited construction including a completely remodeled commercial kitchen to prepare school meals. During this construction, meals for students will be made at other district facilities and brought to the school for students.

“We were delighted to be chosen to work on this project with the Washington Unified School District,” said Tim Spence, project executive with HMH Builders, in a press release. “We worked closely with the Washington Unified School District and Stafford King Wiese Architects on every aspect of the project, finding ways to save money. The improvements that were made to Riverbank over the last 10 weeks will improve the learning environment for students, teachers, and staff for many years to come.”

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Suspicious characters in Southport


At least two Southport residents reported to police last week that there were suspicious people going door-to-door, claiming to have something to do with the home security business. One report came from St. John Road. Here’s the other, from tomorrow’s “Police Log” in the News-Ledger:

“An Eagle Street resident said a woman wearing a tennis visor, a black shirt and a yellow or orange safety jacket with a ‘City of Sacramento’ emblem was going door to door. She was “vague with her info and who she worked for, stating she needed to check (the resident’s) home security, (and) was unable to provide any business information or card.”

www.WestSac.com — Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Check out town of Winters:


The West Sacramento Historical Society is offering a field trip to the historic town of Winters in western Yolo County on Sept. 22. To prepare, there will be two orientation sessions: 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 18 at River Bend Manor, 664 Cummins Way, and 6 p.m. on Sept. 20 at the same location. For information, contact Lana, 372-5117.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Multicultural fair will come back

The Yolo County Library’s booth at Saturday’s fair (photo by PETER FOLKS)


(with additional photos)

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

At least two hundred people dropped in to visit the newest version of the West Sacramento Multicultural Fair at Bryte Park on Saturday.

The event was sponsored for the first time this year by the Bryte & Broderick Community Action Network (BBCAN). The city’s annual “Neighbors Fair” is on hiatus, and a multicultural fair was started last year by a local literacy group. This year, BBCAN stepped into the breach to organize the fair.

At the fair: grownups above are Charles Sano; David Joyce (campaign manager to Oleg Maskaev; Maskaeve -- the retired boxing champ running for West Saramento City Council; and Mickey Fausett (courtesy of Mickey Fausett)

Saturday’s festivities were meant to include a parade – also an on-again, off-again event in recent years – but that didn’t work out.

“The bottom line is, we didn’t get enough participation in it this year,” said Jim Brewer of BBCAN.

But Saturday’s fair went well, said Brewer, and both the parade and fair will be back in 2013.

“It will happen next year,” said Brewer. “We’re committed to it. It will probably again be in the north. Basically, the point of the fair this year was to support the activity at Bryte Park and the master-planning of it.”

The vendors appear to be committed to coming back, too, said Brewer.

Alicia Cruz (board member of BBCAN) with Teresa Blackmer. When the planned parade was canceled, Blackmer went from being the parade's grand marshal to the fair's "Grand Poobah." (photo by Peter Folks)


AZTEC DANCE group that performed at the Multicultural Fair (photo by Peter Folks)

The Yolo County Childrens Alliance was one of the groups to have a booth at the fair. Dalila Martinez is staffing the table and the Ramirez family is visiting (photo by Peter Folks)

"Dinger" -- mascot of the Sacramento River Cats -- with friends (photo by Mickey Fausett)

  Yes, you can support local journalism, support this website, and see all the News-Ledger’s articles every week! Subscribe to the News-Ledge newspaper. It’s only $20 per year within West Sacramento – once a week, delivered to your mailbox.

  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

Tuesday: meet the new boss

MARTIN TUTTLE, new city manager of West Sacramento (CalTrans photo)


You’re invited to meet Martin Tuttle, new city manager of West Sacramento, at an event scheduled for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 11, in the community room of River Bend Manor, 664 Cummins Way.

The event is sponsored by the Bryte and Broderick Community Action Network (www.bryteandbroderick.org). Also on the agenda is discussion of the availability of healthy food in the northern neighborhoods of Bryte and Broderick, with a guest from the Yolo County Health Department to discuss an analysis.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

‘Burger Battle’ cookoff at Raley Field


Raley Field will host the “Sacramento Burger Battle,” pitting local chefs against each other to find the region’s best burger and support the Chron’s and Colitis Foundation of America.

“The Eatery” of West Sacramento’s Southport area is on the list of competing restaurants.

The event is scheduled for Sept. 18.

Visit http://sacburgerbattle.com.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012