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From local farms to local schools

NEWS-LEDGER — MAY 30, 2012 —

By John Young, Yolo Co. Agricultural Commissioner and Sealer of Weights & Measures

Farm-to-School programs combine public health and agricultural marketing objectives with the potential to change the way young people eat, think about food and improve their health through development of life-long healthy eating habits.

Farm-to-School Yolo is a three-year program that will link YoloCounty agriculture with the National School Lunch Program,which is offered in YoloCounty to 38,000 students of whom, 65% are eligible for free and reduced meals, five days a week.

  Farm-to-School Yolo is working with school districts in YoloCounty to increase the amount of fresh, local produce offered in breakfast, lunch and after-school snacks in all five school districts and in the Yolo County Office of Education’s Head Start Preschool Program. Farm-to-School Yolo will not only increase the use of fresh, local produce, it will also teach students and staff where food comes from, who grew it and how it should be prepared for peak flavor and nutritional value.

Regrettably, Yolo County has an obesity rate of 26.1% in its Kindergarten-12th grade student population. Intervention is necessary starting with the meals that our most vulnerable young people are eating in our schools. Farm-to-School Yolo recognizes the role of agriculture as part of the solution to this public health issue.  Once fully implemented, Farm-to-School Yolo, working with local farmers, will provide the tools for school food service programs to serve increasingly healthy meals made from scratch, thus avoiding many of the hidden ingredients which contribute to obesity epidemic.

“Farm-to-School Yolo is a piece of the puzzle in building a local food economy, turning the tide of childhood obesity and reconnecting our residents to the land and the people who produce our food,” said Yolo County Board of Supervisors Chair Jim Provenza.

Farm-to-School Yolo is not a start-up.  It isan objective specifically called out in the Yolo County 2030 General Plan, adopted in November of 2009.  It also builds on the successful three-year Yolo Agricultural Marketing Initiative, completed in 2009 by local food, food policy and marketing experts Georgeanne Brennan and Ann Evans.

Recently, Farm-to-School Yoloconcluded a two-year development phase incorporating in its implementation plan the successes of the Davis and Winters Farm-to-School programs. A 60-member, multi-stakeholder Advisory Task Force, chaired by Delaine Eastin, former California Superintendent of Public Instruction, is now in place to facilitate program implementation.

“In Yolo County, we want to take the successful Farm-to-School program in Davis and expand it on a countywide scale,” said Chair Provenza. “We seek to be the model for California, connecting our food service directors to our farmers, bringing fresh, local produce to the plates of our YoloCounty children.”

  Ultimately, the program will deliver school food service professional development; grower/farmer assessment, training and development; menu and recipe templates; a feasibility study of a food hub through the Yolo County Food Bank; and private sector marketing and distribution linkages.

Farm-to-School programs  will contribute to the health of our children, farms, the environment, the economy and our communities.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Jordan Ligons achieves her goal

JORDAN LIGONS (second from left) with her parents and Coach Jamie King (right) Photo by SAM URREA

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — MAY 30, 2012 —

By Sam Urrea
River City High School Journalism Program

JORDAN HAD COVERED THIS TYPE OF EVENT BEFORE, AS A STUDENT REPORTER. BUT THIS TIME, SHE WAS THE ONE IN THE NEWS.

River City High School senior Jordan Ligons held a celebratory gathering earlier this month to sign her letter of intent to attend and play basketball for Point Loma University in San Diego. Joining her for the signing were some of her teachers, teammates and parents.

Jordan, 18, drew interest from numerous college and universities after being a key player on the RCHS girls basketball team for the past four years, as well as being a high-achieving student.

  As a four-year starter at the point guard position, she helped win 71 varsity games, and three out of her four years, her team qualified for the CIF Playoffs. She also obtained accolades such as All League Selections for her sophomore and junior years, when she was named most valuable player.

On the academic side, Jordan’s accumulative G.P.A is 3.86. She has been editor in chief of the school newspaper for three years and won numerous speech competitions.

After rejecting the likes of San Francisco State, UC Merced and Menlo College, Jordan could not hide her excitement after finally making a decision and choosing Point Loma as her next destination in life.

“I am so relieved!,” said Jordan at her “letter of intent” signing ceremony. “I have been waiting for this moment for such a long time. All the hard work I have put in has finally paid off. I am happy that all the important people of my life are here with me to celebrate.”

  Such congratulatory festivities are not new to Jordan. Last year, a similar event took place for then-River City Baseball star Kasey Chapan, an occasion which she covered as a reporter for her hournalism class. Now, it was her turn to be the center of attention, which was something she cherished with intensity.

“Last year I covered the same type of event for Kasey Chapan, who had just committed himself to Sacramento State, so this year for me to be the one being recognized is simply great!” said Jordan.

Teachers, parents and friends alike were not at all surprised by Jordan achievements. Girls’ basketball coach Jamie King was a proud man after seeing his star player live up to expectations.

Said King: “Ever since day one, she has been a winner. She is a natural leader and loves to take control of things. For someone playing point guard, you need just that. I am not at all surprised by what she has accomplished.”

Her father, Jerold Ligons, who was also an assistant coach on the team, reckoned she has matured into a formidable young woman. “Each year she grew as a human being and athlete. Her hard work paid off with this scholarship.”

Now that her immediate future is finally resolved, doing well in college is crucial for Jordan. Her scholarship will cover over half of her financial costs for the first year, but every year after that it must be earned based and her academic and athletic performance.

Her teammate, Amarita Singh, says the pressure will not affect Jordan, however.  “She works hard for everything she gets. She’s a self-motivated person. I am sure she will do great in college.”

With only a few months left before her departure, Jordan expects to continue her remarkable performances on and off the court.

  The author is a student journalist at River City High School.

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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

W.S. Sea Scouts get 125-foot flagship

Crewed by local Sea Scouts, the 'Morris' docks in Isleton on her way to her new West Sacramento home on Monday (photo by Keith Pronske)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — MAY 30, 2012 —

The new training vessel for the West Sacramento Sea Scouts is the 125-foot, former Coast Guard cutter ‘Morris.’

  The Morris was built in 1927 as a “rum-chaser” to catch offshore liquor smugglers during prohibition, said Nate Eckler, skipper of the youth maritime program.

The News-Ledger last reported on the Sea Scouts and their previous flagship here.

  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

Biting dog may have been found

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE — JUNE 1, 2012 —

 

A few minutes ago, Vicky Fletcher of the animal services division (Yolo Sheriff’s Department) gave us an update on the dogs being sought after one of them bit a teen in Southport on May 24 near Shasta Way. The 15-year old victim approached the two small white dogs, thinking they looked “lost,” and one of them bit the youth.

 

The biting dog needs to be found and cleared of rabies or the victim will have to undergo rabies exposure treatment.

 

“We may have found the two white dogs with one involved in the recent bite,” said Fletcher in an email shortly after 4 p.m. today.   “The dogs are coming in from West Sacramento (with) of our officers.  A citizen found them wandering around the River City High School and took them home, and her parent remembered seeing the story in the paper and called us.  Since one of the dogs is wearing the blue collar we are pretty sure they are the right dogs.  However, we will be having the victim come in to ID the animals.”

 

You can see the story from Wednesday’s News-Ledger by clicking here.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Man shot, seriously injured

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE — JUNE 1, 2012 —

West Sacramento police are looking for help from the public in solving a shooting that occurred late last night on the 1100-block of Hobson Avenue.

  Police responded to a report of a shooting at about 11:40 p.m., said Sergeant Nathan Steele of the West Sacramento Police Department. They found a 25-year old man with “numerous” gunshot wounds. He was taken to an area hospital and is reported to be in serious condition.

The suspect vehicle is a white sedan last seen going westbound on Hobson.

Anyone with possible information on the incident is asked to call Detective Michelle Tate, (916) 617-4958, or police dispatch at 375-6474.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Search for dog after teen bitten in Southport

NEWS-LEDGER — MAY 30, 2012 —

The Yolo County Sheriff’s Office, Animal Services Section is asking the public’s help in attempting to locate a biting dog involved in an incident in West Sacramento.

The incident occurred on Thursday at about 4:00 p.m., reports Vicky Fletcher of the Animal Services division. A 15-year old was walking on on a path parallel to Shasta Way, between Trinity Way and Colusa Road. The teen saw  “two small white dogs that looked lost and tired.”

  The youth approached what appeared to be the older of the two dogs, and was bitten. The dogs ran off, but animal services officers haven’t been able to find or identify them.

The biting dog was described as small, approximately 7 to 12 pounds, with white medium long hair with a dirty muzzle, wearing a blue collar with a dog-bone shaped tag attached to the collar.  The other dog was about the same size, also  white, with curlier hair.

If the biting dog can’t be located and cleared of having rabies, the victim will have to receive post-exposure rabies treatment.

The Yolo County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services Section also said that California law states anyone having knowledge of the location or ownership a biting dog and conceals that information is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Anyone having any information may contact the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office, Animal Services Section 24 hours a day at (530) 668-5287, or by email at animal.bite@yolocounty.org.

  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

New West Sac contest: make a video

NEWS-LEDGER — MAY 30, 2012

From Art Schroeder
City of West Sacramento

In celebration of its 25th year, the City of West Sacramento presents a new video-only contest open to residents and businesses. The City is asking for short videos about your favorite stories or memories of West Sacramento during the past 25 years, or you may want to look ahead to the next 25 years. Enter the “West Sacramento Video Contest: Celebrating 25 Years of Living, Working, and Playing in West Sacramento.” The grand prize is an iPad 2, with contest winners also receiving $300 gift cards from participating West Sacramento retail businesses.

  What’s your memory or story about West Sacramento? The subject can be about either living, working or playing in the city. Perhaps you’d like to think ahead to West Sacramento’s next 25 years. The contest has categories for either idea.

Amateur “videographers” can record up to 3-minute length videos about a memorable time or experience, on the subject of “living, working, or playing in West Sacramento.” Or contestants can record video messages about what they see ahead about “living, working or playing” during West Sacramento’s next 25 years. You have the option of appearing in the video or just adding your voice only. If you’d like, add music to the background, like a music video. Or maybe you wish to interview someone, like a family member, about their West Sacramento memories. It’s OK, the possibilities are endless.

Contest participants may enter more than once, but each winner can only win one time in the contest. Exception: the grand prize iPad 2 winner will be selected from the contest’s winning entries. The contest entry deadline is July 6, 2012. The contest is open to amateur-level participants of all ages.

EDITOR’S NOTE: You may remember the city’s popular annual photo contest, which awarded prizes for winners in different categories for photographs taken around town. While that contest has disappeared recently during the economic downturn, city spokesperson Art Schroeder has told the News-Ledger that it may come back this fall in the form of a special contest to help honor the 25th year of the City of  West Sacramento.

  There is no fee to enter the West Sacramento Video Contest.

For more information about entries, go to www.cityofwestsacramento.org/videocontest or call (916) 617-4535.

  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