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Food Bank now collecting at West Sacramento library branch

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER —

The Yolo County Library system is helping to collect food for the Yolo Food Bank throughout the summer. This year’s goal is to collect 2,000 pounds. You may drop off non-perishable foods at the Arthur F. Turner Branch Library, 1212 Merkley Avenue in West Sacramento, as well as other branches in the county and the library administration center, 226 Buckeye Street in Woodland.

Visit www.yolocountylibrary.org.

Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Letters to the editor: change the ‘Redskins’ name; fund early childhood education

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER NEWSPAPER —

June 18, 2014

NORMA ALCALA: representing West Sacramento's River City Democratic Club (News-Ledger file photo)

NORMA ALCALA: representing West Sacramento’s River City Democratic Club (News-Ledger file photo)

Change the ‘Redskins’!

During the NBA Finals, viewers saw a message sponsored in part by the Yocha Dehe Wintun tribe of Yolo County.  The commercial highlights a racial slur that has persisted as the name of a team mascot for over seventy years:  “Redskins.”  For many years, Native Americans, including the National Congress of American Indians,  have asked the Washington  Redskins to change the name of their mascot.  The name “Redskins” has its historical origins in a deplorable history of genocide against Native Americans, including massacres at “Wounded Knee,” “Eagle Lake,” and “the Trail of Tears.”  To many Native Americans, “Redskins” is an offensive racial slur in the same manner that the “n” word is offensive to African Americans or the “w” word is offensive to Latinos.

Recently on YouTube, I listened with great admiration to courageous statements from Yocha Dehe Wintun tribal leaders Marshal McKay and James Kinter calling for an end to seventy years of racial slurs by the Washington Redskins. It is appalling that in the wake of the Clippers scandal such racial slurs are not universally condemned.

I see many similarities in the actions of Washington team owner Daniel Snyder and Donald Sterling of the Los Angeles Clippers.  I am particularly disturbed that Daniel Snyder defends rather that apologizes for the slurs.  Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder should put an end to a seventy year old racial slur that has persisted far too long and change the team mascot.

NFL owners should grant Tribal chairman Marshal McKay and Tribal Secretary James Kinter an opportunity to speak to them and make their case for changing the name.  If the NBA can force Donald Sterling to sell the Clippers over a racial slur, surely the NFL can require a team owner to cease marketing a racial slur.  The NBA permitted Kevin Johnson to address them concerning retention of the Kings.  How much more important is it for the NFL to allow tribal leaders to speak to them concerning the eradication of a vestige of racism?

NORMA ALCALA
President River City Democratic Club
West Sacramento

____________________

June 11, 2014

This is a summary of a letter sent by First 5 Yolo to members of the California State Legislature:

 

Don Saylor, Yolo County Supervisor and chair of the Yolo County Children's Alliance (courtesy photo)

Don Saylor, Yolo County Supervisor and chair of the Yolo County Children’s Alliance (courtesy photo)

Fund the children

After years of program cuts to child care and preschool programs, including the elimination of over $1 billion in funding and 110,000 child care slots in California, this year brings an exciting opportunity for reinvestment in early education.  The Legislative Women’s Caucus and the Senate and Assembly budget committees recently adopted budget priorities for funding child care and early education.

First 5 Yolo thanks the legislature for making children and families a priority again in California and urges moving forward with a timely budget to the Governor that includes 1) increasing payments to private child care providers serving low-income children, 2) increasing child care subsidy slots, preschool w/wrap around care and part-day preschool slots, 3) increasing funding for on-going and one-time only quality improvement activities such as professional development for child care providers, 4) eliminating state preschool family fees and, 5) adjusting existing programs to provide and strengthen early learning and care opportunities for all low-income children

A 2010 study by Nobel Laureate economist James Heckman demonstrated that every dollar invested in high quality early education generates seven dollars in returns.

Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke stated “Economically speaking, early childhood programs are a good investment, with inflation-adjusted annual rates of return on the funds dedicated to these programs estimated to reach 10 percent or higher,” and noted by Ross Thompson, distinguished Professor of Psychology at UCD in a recent article “The two distressing realities of the achievement gap are that when children enter school, the gap is already there,” he continued. “The other reality is that school experience doesn’t narrow the achievement gap, it widens it. So to close the achievement gap, to begin narrowing those differences in language ability, mathematical skill, other cognitive abilities, you’ve got to look earlier.”

Child care and early education are critical issues for families in Yolo County, but the cost is frequently too high for First 5 Yolo to make a significant impact.  Therefore, we urge your support to appropriate newly available funds in California to assist in bridging the achievement gap and providing equity in education for the youngest of California children.

DON SAYLOR, Chair
First 5 Yolo
DONITA STROMGREN, Vice-Chair
First 5 Yolo

  Editor’s note: “First 5 Yolo” is funded through the state by tobacco taxes. The organization supports programs such as early childhood education (hence, “first five years”) that benefit young children.

  Do you like what you see here?

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

News nuggets: West Sac tower wins award, two local teachers are in trouble

 FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JUNE 18, 2014

News briefs from West Sacramento and the region:

Following an unsuccessful primary election in the State Assembly race, West Sacramento city councilman Mark Johannessen has thrown his support to formal rival Steve Cohn, a fellow Democrat and a member of the city council in Sacramento.

Cohn and Kevin McCarty (also a Democrat and a Sacramento city council member) will face off for the District 7 runoff in November.

Cohn was scheduled to be at the West Sacramento Farmers Market last Thursday, greeting local voters alongside Johannessen, West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, city councilmen Bill Kristoff and Chris Ledesma, Yolo County Supervisor Oscar Villegas (from West Sacramento) and former supervisor Mike McGowan of West Sacramento, according to Cohn’s office.

______________________________

CalSTRS building under construction in 2008 (News-Ledger photo)

CalSTRS building under construction in 2008
(News-Ledger photo)

The West Sacramento waterfront tower of the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) has won a “TOBY Award” from The Building Owners and Managers Association in the Pacific Southwest region. The region includes California, Nevada, Hawaii and greater Phoenix.

The 2009 building is certified by the U.S. Green Building Council as “LEED Platinum,” reaching the highest level of sustainable construction. The 13-story tower houses the member services center and administration for the retirement system, reports CalSTRS.

______________________________

A pair of teachers are in legal trouble in separate incidents.

Media reports say Wesley Cuong Trang was arrested after a Saturday night driving incident in Sacramento in which his car allegedly hit several bicyclists. The incident on L Street happened after Trang apparently had a confrontation with cyclists while he was changing a flat tire, which Trang believed had been slashed.

Trang is a teacher at the Yolo Education Center (a public alternative high school) in West Sacramento.

The event occurred during midtown Sacramento’s “Second Saturday” event, which draws many cyclists.
Meanwhile, other media reports say a special education teacher at the Delta Elementary Charter School in Clarksburg faces charges for allegedly stealing students’ prescription medications from a locked cabinet on campus, say various media reports.

The teacher is Sheri Laverne Haselhuhn of West Sacramento.

  Do you like what you see here?

  You can support local journalism, support this website, and see all the News-Ledger’s articles every week! Subscribe to the News-Ledger 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).

Workshop tonight on I Street Bridge replacement project

The historic I Street Bridge serves train traffic on the lower level and autos and pedestrians above. It's at the end of its lifespan, and is slated to be replaced by a new bridge slightly to the north, connecting West Sacramento's "Washington" area to the Sacramento Railyards region. (News-Ledger photo)

The historic I Street Bridge serves train traffic on the lower level and autos and pedestrians above. It’s at the end of its lifespan, and is slated to be replaced by a new bridge slightly to the north, connecting West Sacramento’s “Washington” area to the Sacramento Railyards region. (News-Ledger photo)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER —

You may have read about a plan to replace the old I Street Bridge.

The cities of Sacramento and West Sacramento invite you to an informational open house about the project from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 19, at the Stanford Gallery, 111 I Street in Sacramento. A brief presentation will begin at 5:45 p.m.

The plan is to build a new bridge slightly upstream of the old one.

 

  Do you like what you see here?

  You can support local journalism, support this website, and see all the News-Ledger’s articles every week! Subscribe to the News-Ledger 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 2014

‘Fix 50’ work to end early: lanes reopen by tomorrow morning

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE – JUNE 18, 2014 –

  The Fix50 freeway rehabilitation project is ahead of schedule, reports CalTrans.  Closed lanes will reopen during the night tonight.

The following comes from Dennis Keaton of Caltrans:

  Westbound Phase 2, which began June 6 to resurface the outside lanes of Highway 50 between 24th and 18th Streets in Sacramento, will finish six days early.   

  “After almost two months of major-traffic interfering work, motorists will be able to enjoy the open highway and newly repaved deck, which can now serve us for many years to come” said Caltrans District 3 Director, Jody Jones, in a press statement. “We are grateful for the support and cooperation by our community partners and the public for their help to reduce traffic congestion and make this Fix50 project such a big success.”

  Wednesday evening, June 18, crews will begin the process of moving traffic back to its normal configurations, reopening all lanes and ramps. The change-over will begin at approximately 9 PM Wednesday, and will take all night. The finishing steps include sealing and restriping the newly completed inside lanes and moving K-rail barriers. There will also be short traffic breaks after midnight to take down the existing overhead sign structure. The full transition will finish by 8 AM Thursday morning and will signal the completion of all major traffic-interfering work on the project.

   Non-traffic interfering night and weekend work will continue throughout the year. This work includes occasional lane closures for permanent striping, continued seismic retrofitting of the columns underneath the viaduct, and lighting and fencing installation in the parking lots beneath the project area. Final completion is expected in December 2014.

Copyright News-Ledger 2014

 

Job fair today in Woodland: 30 employers, 10 apprentice programs

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE — JUNE 16, 2014 —

From Beth Gabor, County of Yolo

The Yolo County Department of Employment & Social Services is teaming up with Congressman John Garamendi and the Workforce Development Collaborative to connect job seekers with employers through a job fair which will be held Monday, June 16, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Yolo County One Stop Career Center located at 25 North Cottonwood Street in Woodland.

There will be more than 30 local businesses and ten apprenticeship programs represented at the job fair. Computers will be available for employment seekers to fill out applications and turn in resumes to prospective employers on the spot.  Employment specialists will also be available to help craft resumes and conduct free resume reviews, providing constructive feedback to increase the applicant’s likelihood of success.  More than 500 job seekers are expected to attend the event.

Local businesses and apprenticeship program representatives from the following organizations will be represented at the job fair:

 Local businesses represented:

 City of Woodland

IKEA

Masco Construction

Tiger Lines

Goodwill Industries

Home Depot

PG&E

Yolo County Office of Education

Gymboree

and many more…

 Apprenticeship programs represented:

 Ironworkers 118

Sacramento Job Corps

Northern CA Construction Training

Laborer’s International Union of North America

Carpenters Local 46

Drywall Lathers 9109

Operating Engineer Local No. 3

Operating Engineers Joint Apprenticeship Committee

Northern CA Valley Sheet Metal Industry

Carpenters Training Committee for Northern CA

 A component of this event is aimed specifically at youth.  The Youth College Link Success Camp partners high school-aged youth with UC Davis students and will include workshops addressing scholarship opportunities and financial aid preparation.  The Youth College Link Success Camp will begin at 8:30 a.m. and participants are encouraged to attend the job fair following to have their resumes reviewed and to speak with local business and apprenticeship program representatives.

 For more information on the job fair and local employment resources, visit: http://www.yolocounty.org/health-human-services/employment-social-services.

Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Post-election results, & comments from the local candidates

NEWS-LEDGER — JUNE 11, 2014 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

The ballots are in, and there are no significant changes in local results since the News-Ledger posted early vote counts on its website on election night, June 3.

Oscar Villegas successfully fended off a challenge from fellow Democrat Norma Alcala and will keep his seat on the Yolo County Board of Supervisors.

West Sacramento City Councilman Mark Johannessen did not make the runoff in the race for the District 7 seat in the California Assembly.

The election did not feature any West Sacramento city council or school board races.

Some key local results:

Villegas defeated Alcala 61.5 percent to 38.5 percent in the local supervisor’s race. Villegas earned 2,670 votes and Alcala had 1,668. Turnout in the district is listed as 23.1 percent.

OSCAR VILLEGAS: Just earned a full term as Yolo County supervisor following a recent interim appointment by Governor Jerry Brown (News-Ledger photo)

OSCAR VILLEGAS:
Just earned a full term as Yolo County supervisor following a recent interim appointment by Governor Jerry Brown
(News-Ledger photo)

Villegas told the News-Ledger he took the win as an affirmation by the voters.

“I think they want to see the work I’ve been doing carried on at the county level,” he commented. “They know I understand the needs of the community. They understand that I recognize the need for social services, health services, mental health systems, and the criminal justice system.”

Villegas works part-time for the state board of state and community corrections. He was challenged in the race by Norma Alcala, a local business owner.

Alcala provided an emailed statement after the election in which she thanked supporters for their help.

NORMA ALCALA: Argued that Clarksburg and West Sac deserved a ‘full time’ supervisor, and county board needed a woman’s voice (News-Ledger photo)

NORMA ALCALA:
Argued that Clarksburg and West Sac deserved a ‘full time’ supervisor, and county board needed a woman’s voice
(News-Ledger photo)

“Running for supervisor provided me with a tremendous opportunity to meet so many wonderful people in the district,” she also said, in part. “I wish Mr. Villegas the best, and I ask him to know that many fine people have placed their trust in him.”

Alcala carried precincts four and five in West Sacramento – much of the area just north of  the barge canal – but Villegas carried the rest of the city’s votes. The supervisor’s district does not include a slice of northwestern West Sacramento, and does include Clarksburg.

In District 2, including Winters and part of Davis, Don Saylor ran unopposed. Matt Rexroad ran unopposed in District 3 (Woodland).

JUDGE OF THE YOLO COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT, DEPT. 3:
Janene Beronio defeated three competitors, earning 12,380 votes (or 53.5%). Beronio is currently a commissioner for the court. Second place in the race was John P. Brennan, with 17.1 percent of the vote, followed by Larenda Delaini of West Sacramento with 15.1 percent and Fredrick Cohen with 14.3 percent.

YOLO COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS
Jesse Ortiz edged out Sam Neustadt 51.6 percent to 48.4 percent (11,548 votes to 10,833). Ortiz carried the votes in every West Sacramento precinct.

COUNTY CLERK/RECORDER/ASSESSOR
Incumbent clerk/recorder Freddie Oakley, who oversees the elections department as part of her duties, defeated challenger David Schwenger 67.1 percent to 32.9 percent (15,381 to 7,540).

OTHER YOLO COUNTY RACES:
District Attorney Jeff Reisig, Public Guardian/Administrator Cass Sylvia and Sheriff Ed Prieto all ran unopposed.

MARK JOHANNESSEN (News-Ledger file photo)

MARK JOHANNESSEN (News-Ledger file photo)

CALIFORNIA ASSEMBLY, DISTRICT 7:
West Sacramento’s Mark Johannessen (currently on the local city council) came in fourth among a field of five. Democrats Kevin McCarty and Steve Cohn finished on top and will proceed to a November 4 runoff. They’re both members of the Sacramento  City Council.

McCarty placed first with 34.7 percent of the vote (13,187 votes), followed by Cohn at 28.7 percent, Republican Ralph Merletti at 15.2 percent, Democrat Johannessen at 12.4 percent (4,733 votes) and Republican Oliver Ponce with 8.9 percent.

Johannessen told the News-Ledger that campaigning for Assembly was an “interesting” experience.

“I was able to reach out to a lot of areas in the (Assembly) district that were very similar to West Sacramento,” he commented.

But he said it was tough to make headway in a campaign with low voter turnout and “no burning issues,” and he waged an uphill battle for name recognition against the winners — fellow Democratic city councilmen over in Sacramento.

“In West Sacramento, we’re viewed very well as a community,” he said. “But the council doesn’t really have personalities (perceived) very separate from the council. We kind of act as a unit. In Sacramento, you have council districts.  People tend to know the name.”

“People tended to vote the names they knew, even if they didn’t know about the person.”

Johannessen’s seat on the local council comes up for election again this November — and he intends to run for another term, he told the News-Ledger.

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, DISTRICT 6
Democrat Doris Matsui, the incumbent, came in ahead of Republican challenger Joseph McCray, Sr., with 73.2% of the votes (43,312 votes) in this primary. McCray earned 15,876 votes for 26.8 percent. Both will move on to the general election in November.

GOVERNOR’S RACE
Democratic Governor  Edmond G. “Jerry” Brown earned 54.3 percent of the vote in the open primary, and will face second-place finisher Republican Neel Kashkari (19.4 percent) in the November primary. If Brown is reelected, he will be the first California governor to earn four terms.

For detailed results in state contests, go to http://vote.sos.ca.gov.  For a breakdown on Yolo County races, visit www.yoloelections.org.

 

  Do you like what you see here?

  You can support local journalism, support this website, and see all the News-Ledger’s articles every week! Subscribe to the News-Ledger 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 2014