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Readers’ views on roadwork:

  Two views on the roadwork in the Westmore Oaks neighborhood of West Sacramento (the News-Ledger’s article on the project can be seen here.)

‘Thanks for roadwork’ (from the ‘Letters to the Editor’ in the News-Ledger, Sept. 5)

We live in the Westmore Oaks area of West Sacramento. Many of our sidewalks and gutters are being replaced for the city to be brought into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (see News-Ledger Aug. 29). We so appreciate this large undertaking as many of the areas sidewalks and gutter crossings have become hazards for those relying upon wheelchairs or support walkers to negotiate while they are out-and-about.

  The raised portions of sidewalks caused by encroaching tree roots also have become a dangerous obstacle for those of us walking, jogging or taking our pets out for their much-needed exercise. Plus many of the gutters have low-lying portions where water accumulates leaving stagnant water, a natural breeding ground for mosquitoes.

We would like to personally thank and applaud Bill Panos, the head of the PWD of our city, as well as his entire staff, for this project’s scheduling and guidance. We also extend our appreciation to the contractors and workmen for this important undertaking. We found them to be professional, accommodating, and most courteous during the entire process.

West Sacramento

‘Bad timing’ (from the ‘Letters to the Editor’ in the News-Ledger, Sept. 12, 2012)

While our neighborhood roadways, sidewalks and curbs could definitely use a face lift, the city should have started the project on the streets closest to Westmore Oaks long before school started.

The first few weeks of school have been utter chaos with the mix of cars, kids walking to school, construction equipment, ditches in the roadways, cones everywhere and piles of asphalt just dumped in the road. The safety of the kids walking to school was compromised as they had to walk in the street to avoid all of the ditches and closed off sidewalks and it only put their lives in danger.

I saw several near misses with regards to cars almost hitting kids. In my opinion (and many WMO parents agree with me), it was irresponsible for the city to plan this construction with school in session. They could have easily started the project at the beginning of summer break and it would have been completed well enough in advance prior to the start of school.

It’s a shame that the City of West Sacramento put our children’s lives in danger because of their lack of proper planning.

West Sacramento

  If you comment on this topic, we may borrow your comment for publication in the News-Ledger.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Gold medal in transplant games

DAVID ANDERSON (center, with his bronze- and silver-medal winning competitors) is alive due to heart transplant, and took the gold medal in table tennis in USA Transplant Games


David Anderson of West Sacramento won a gold medal in men’s table tennis at the biannual “Transplant Games of America,” held this year in July in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Anderson’s life was saved by a transplanted heart that came from a 21-year old Monterey man killed in a car crash in 2007.

Two years later, Anderson and his wife met the young donor’s parents to thank them for their son’s gift of life. It was “one of the most emotionally charged experiences of their lives,” the reported in a joint written comment.

  The Transplant Games are meant to bring together organ recipients and families of deceased donors, raising awareness for organ donation and celebrating the lives that are helped.

Olympic-style events include swimming, track, basketball, volleyball, golf and basketball.

Anderson will compete in next year’s World Transplant Games in Durbin, South Africa.

  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

Recycle your old computers


Got some old computers & electronic appliances?

Old electronic devices may be recycled at an “e-waste” day at San Pedro Park (708 N. Hobson Ave.) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sat., Sept. 15. Bring your old TVs, computers, laptops, monitors, small appliances, etc.

Drop them off inside the park’s big gate and get a cold bottle of water. The event benefits the San Pedro Association. For information, email Dennis Freitas at dcfreitas@aol.com or call 421-5768.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Volunteers wanted for waterway cleanup


Yolo County’s Creek Cleanup Day will be held this Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. to noon, at various sites throughout Yolo County as part of the California Coastal Commission’s 28th annual California Coastal Cleanup Day, the largest volunteer trash cleanup in the world. One such site will be West Sacramento’s port and barge canal area.

This statewide event will take place at more than 800 locations around California.  Volunteers will remove debris that has accumulated on California’s beaches, creeks and inland shorelines.

Cleanup sites in Yolo County include the Cache Creek Nature Preserve, City of Davis ponds, Putah Creek sites near Winters, the Barge Canal in West Sacramento and Lake Washington and at the Clarksburg Boat Ramp.  The cleanup day is being organized and supported by Yolo County Planning & Public Works Division of Integrated Waste Management, Cache Creek Conservancy, City of Davis, Putah Creek Council, Putah Creek Trout, River City Rowing Club, Lake Washington Sailing Club, Delta Protection Commission and Yolo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District.

Those wanting to volunteer are encouraged to wear long pants, closed-toe shoes, gloves and sunscreen and should bring their own bucket or reusable bag for collecting trash.  Trash will ultimately be emptied into large trash receptacles.

To participate in the West Sacramento cleanup effort, email  psayerhandley@yahoo.com or call (916) 869-4510. To help in Clarksburg, call (916) 375-4886.

  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

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