Tag Archives: News

It’s only kindness that matters

NEWS-LEDGER — MARCH 28, 2012 —


A few nights ago I was watching one of those cable network news shows and the panel was discussing some of the televised political ads that are currently being aired in many of the states which are holding 2012 presidential primaries. The talking heads on the panel weren’t all that interesting, but the actual verbiage and images being used in the ads were. In fact, it was actually pretty disturbing to watch politicians who desperately want to be the President of the United States call each other every name imaginable, and do so in ways that stretch the truth so badly that it is actually nothing less than lying.


After the show was over, I found myself reflecting on why our current political discourse has gotten so nasty and unkind. But since our politicians only reflect the voters they long to impress, the answer must be with us as individuals, and not just with those we choose to lead us. And the more I tried to get my head around such a sad reality, the more I found myself thinking back to Jack Vincent, an elderly little man who used to live right across the street from the house I grew up in on Michigan Boulevard here in West Sacramento.

Jack was a man of great energy for someone his age, or at least it seemed like it because when he walked, he always did so at what was warp speed for him. And the one thing which really set his walk apart was that he was very bow-legged, and the combination of that and the speed he tried to get up to when he was on foot made him very noticeable when he was shuffling from place to place. But as interesting as Jack’s way of walking was, the thing which really made him unique – and so memorable to me – was how he always went about interacting with his fellow man. I doubt that Jack’s special way of talking to other people was a conscious or calculated thing on his part, but rather just an extension of who he was as a person, and it went something like this:

  Whenever Jack would see someone, be they a few feet away from him or way across the street, he would find a way (with a big smile on his face) to pass along a compliment, or just say something nice that, thinking back on it after it had happened to you, would make your day. And it didn’t matter if you were young or old, short or tall, skinny or fat, black or white, rich or poor, in fancy clothes or in hand-me-downs, because Jack could always somehow come up with a compliment that seemed to be genuine, more or less accurate, and right from his heart. He seemed determined to always be nice and thoughtful and kind to everyone who crossed his path.

In my particular case (remembering that I was in my early teens at the time), Jack would say such things as, “Now Daryl, that’s a great haircut you just got! It makes you look really handsome! Boy, are the girls going to be after you now!” Or, “I wish I could throw a ball up against my garage door the way you do yours! What an arm! I bet someday the New York Yankees are going to be after you!” Or, “I think it’s great that you always help your dad with the yardwork! Hard-working young boys like you make me feel good about the future of this great country of ours!”

So when Jack was done with me I usually felt like I could take on the world and that it was only a matter of time before I would be driving the girls crazy and playing shortstop for the New York Yankees! And as time went by, I began to notice that Jack’s ability to always be thoughtful and never mean-spirited had the very same effect on others as it did on me. And many was the time I would overhear Jack making someone else’s day, and then see them stroll away from him smiling and with a little more spring in their step, all because a little old man who walked funny chose to take a minute or two out of his day to say something kind and nice to a fellow human being.

So, at a relatively early age I learned that if we really want to, we can actually choose to make those around us feel good about themselves, or we can just as easily choose to do the opposite. We can consciously decide to bring out the very best in others, or we can constantly harp on all their week points. We can send people on their way to face another tough day with a smile on their face, or we can weigh them down with ugly words and make them feel heavy.

  One of my favorite sayings (although I no longer remember who wrote it and have probably rearranged the words a bit over the years) is: “If there is any kindness I can do, let me do it now, for I shall not pass this way again.” For whatever reason, Jack Vincent had decided to live his life that way, and maybe if more of us dedicated ourselves to the same goal, we could actually have ourselves a relatively civil society again, and our politicians and their political consultants wouldn’t dare fill our airways with all those hateful words, half-truths and lies.

  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

Chamber party: beer, sauerkraut, music


The West Sacramento Chamber of Commerce invites you to celebrate spring with a “Bavarian May Fest” from 5-9 p.m. on Friday, May 11, at the farmers market site, 1271 West Capitol Avenue. Beer, brats, sauerkraut, live music, dancing and contests. $25 in advance or $30 at the door.

Call Meaghan at the chamber, 371-7042, or visit www.WestSacramentoChamber.com.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Raiders beat Galt Warriors

Senior Jason Wullenwaber on the mound for the River City varsity (photo by De'Onna Jack)

Sophomore Lathon Andrews on the mound for River City High School junior varsity (photo by De'Onna Jack)


On March 26, the River City High School baseball team faced the Galt Warriors.

On the mound starting for River City junior varsity was sophomore Lathon Andrews. His team beat Galt 10-5.

   Jason Wullenwaber pitched a complete game for the RCHS varsity and got the win over Galt, 4-2.

The Raiders’ game against Union Mine scheduled for Wednesday March 28,was cancelled due to poor field conditions from the rain. They were scheduled to be home again April 2-4 as they host the RC Tournament.

(Facebook members can find up-to-the-minute info on RCHS sports at contributor De’Onna Jack’s Facebook page. Click here.)

  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

Kids: ‘read off’ your book fines


Yolo library card holders age 5-18 who have overdue book fines are invited to “read off your fines” between April 6-14. The library will give $1 credit against these fines for each 15 minutes spent reading a book of their choice at the library. Available hours vary; visit www.yolocountylibrary.org.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Body from river is identified


The harbormaster of a small marina near Clarksburg found a body in the Sacramento River on March 26.

  Robert LaBrash, Chief Deputy Coroner of Yolo County, told the News-Ledger Tuesday that the body has been identified as that of Kaeo Alexander, age 36, of Sacramento. He said that the body appears to have been in the water for two or three weeks, and has no obvious signs of trauma. The cause of death is still being investigated.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Oakland A’s win in West Sac


More than 10,000 fans showed up at Raley Field in questionable weather on March 31, to watch the Sacramento River Cats host the Oakland A’s major league baseball team.

The minor leaguers fell by a score of 9-0, as the A’s Tommy Milone pitched six perfect innings.

The Oakland Athletics loaded the bases in the first inning, scoring three when River Cats fielder misplayed a fly ball. They scored three more on a home run by Coco Crisp later.

The exhibition game was stopped due to rain after seven innings. The River Cats are the AAA minor league affiliate of the Oakland team.

On Monday, the River Cats hosted the Stockton Ports, winning 8-6 in a game featuring a grand slam by Grant Green.

They open their regular season tomorrow in Las Vegas, and will play their first home game in West Sacramento against Reno on April 13.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Southport: cell phone ‘water tower’?

Planned Southport cell phone tower was approved by a narrow margin by the West Sacramento Planning Commission, with a condition that the developer offer some design choices. Above, a computer rendering shows the proposed “water tower” version of the communications facility (all graphics here are from a City of West Sacramento staff report)


An 80-foot cell phone tower near Tower Mart in Southport may be approved by the planning commission Thursday night. The tower could be in the shape of a faux water tower instead of a faux tree.

  The Vista Towers facility proposes to serve Verizon, AT&T, MetroPCS and Clearwire (wireless Internet) at 3200 Jefferson Blvd., on the west side of the street south of Linden Road. The tower would go 156 feet from a nearby residential property line and some homes.

The city planning commission approved the project in December by a 4-3 vote, requiring the proponents to return to the commission with some design alternatives to the original “monopole pine” design for the tower.

City staff believes the 80-foot “pine” would look better than the older-generation tree-style cell tower already on Linden Road, but that it would not blend well with surrounding shorter trees and structures.

They recommend the water tower design because it would conceal the antennas and “has the best chance (of the proposed designs) of becoming an icon in the community.”

A “windmill” design was also offered.

The commission will discuss the tower as part of its meeting April 5 at 6 p.m. at city hall, 1110 West Capitol Avenue.


Another simulated view of the proposed 'water tower' option near Southport homes


Simulated view of the cell phone tower as a 'tree' (it's the tall one, center-left). This option is not preferred by city staff.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012