Tag Archives: project

River City students climb a roof and aim for the sun

    A solar voltaic panel is passed to the roof of an Alabama Avenue home, as students in the high school’s enginnering and science academy learn how to install a sun-powered system. (Photo by Al Zagofsky/News-Ledger) NEWS-LEDGER -- NOV 26, 2014 --

A solar voltaic panel is passed to the roof of an Alabama Avenue home, as students in the high school’s engineering and science academy learn how to install a sun-powered system. (Photo by Al Zagofsky/News-Ledger)
NEWS-LEDGER — NOV 26, 2014 —

NEWS-LEDGER — NOV 26, 2014 —

By Al Zagofsky
News-Ledger Correspondent

For Fay and Russell Landry, one sunny day leads to another, for on Tuesday, November 18 they received a free photovoltaic solar energy system that not only will nearly eliminate their electrical costs while contributing to a greener planet, but offered the opportunity to River City High School students to be part of their solar system installation.

The solar system installation and teaching program was coordinated by Hillary Tellesen – volunteer training coordinator at GRID Alternatives, “GRID Alternatives and the Yolo Office of Education have developed a partnership to have the River City High School students come out and learn about solar installation,” she explained. “We are funded through the California Solar Initiative and through corporate donations.”

The nonprofit works with lower income homeowners, in sunny areas, and with roofs less than 12 years old to install solar systems.

GRID Alternatives  has been working with Deborah Bruns, the science coordinator at the Yolo County Office of Education. “My role in the county office is to connect teachers with resources that help them and their students,”  she explained. “One focus right now is to give students real world experiences that might get them excited about college and careers in a variety of fields, but particularly in the sustainable energy field.”

Solar voltaic panel is placed onto an array rack by, left to right: Estefano Arellano, a senior at River City High School; Nidhi Solanki - a volunteer from  UC Davis; and Mike Scharma - the solar installation supervisor with GRID Alternatives.  (Photo by Al Zagofsky for the News-Ledger)

Solar voltaic panel is placed onto an array rack by, left to right: Estefano Arellano, a senior at River City High School; Nidhi Solanki – a volunteer from UC Davis; and Mike Scharma – the solar installation supervisor with GRID Alternatives.
(Photo by Al Zagofsky for the News-Ledger)

“I am excited about this program because I think that students often don’t know how they’re learning in class applies to the real world, and how it might apply to them as citizens, as consumers, and as workers,” Bruns continued. “I think becoming familiar with the solar energy industry is an exciting opportunity.”

“There are jobs available now and in the future, and they may as citizen consumers may one day have solar panels on their own house. The city of West Sacramento has really made it possible by putting money towards education for kids.”

Mike Scharma – the solar installation supervisor with GRID Alternatives, directed the installation and the instruction of the students. “We are installing a 2.04 kW solar array using eight 255-watt panels which is designed to supply close to 100 percent of the family’s usage,” he said. According to Scharma, the system would have cost upwards of $10,000, and would be eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit.

Scharma and his construction assistant, Anton Muller, instructed the students in the cutting and bending of electrical conduit, the splicing of mounting rails, and the installation of solar panels.

“This program is awesome because the kids not only learn what’s in the classroom but they also get hands-on experience on real-life applications on what they learned in the classroom,” noted Sedikeh Yusufi, Engineering and Science Academy teacher at River City High School.

Estefano Arellano, a senior at River City High School climbed unto the roof to complete the installation. “This is a good project that the school Incorporated because it gives students a hands-on experience at something they may want to do in the future,” he said.

Dan Beveridge – outreach coordinator with GRID Alternatives  works with families to qualify them for the program. “I’ve been walking the streets of West Sacramento, almost all of it at this point,” he said, “trying to find clients. We are still looking to get 40 more clients this year.” Interested homeowners may call Dan at 530-680-3852.

Homeowners Fay and Russell Landry, shown above on their porch, said that both the installation by the students and the solar system were “awesome” and “exciting.”  (Photo by Al Zagofsky)

Homeowners Fay and Russell Landry, shown above on their porch, said that both the installation by the students and the solar system were “awesome” and “exciting.”
(Photo by Al Zagofsky)

Homeowners Fay and Russell Landry said that both the installation by the students and the solar system were “awesome” and “exciting.” In June 2014, they purchased their Alabama Ave. home in West Sacramento.

“I think it is very important to have collaboration between businesses, nonprofits, city agencies, and schools because students can actually be a force for change and help out on projects like this while they are learning,” added Deborah Bruns. “So it’s a win-win for the school and for the community. But it does take all of us working together and collaborating to make it happen.”

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

West Sac & Yolo County try pilot project: housing homeless in motel

NEWS-LEDGER — OCT 29, 2014 —

The City of West Sacramento and County of Yolo are about to kick off a $100,000 project to house at least 71 homeless people in a “housing first” pilot project.

The “Bridge to Housing Pilot Project” includes a community cleanup of the city’s north levee area (a longtime dwelling spot for local homeless) on Saturday, Nov. 8. The subjects of the project will move into their new housing on Nov. 12, reports Beth Gabor, spokesperson for the County of Yolo.

The motel chosen to be the new housing site has not been determined, she told the News-Ledger.

Gabor said in a press statement that “the riverbank in West Sacramento has long attracted people experiencing homelessness, especially along what is referred to as the North Levee (publicly and privately owned parcels north of the Broderick Boat Ramp).”

“The North Levee area currently has an established community of approximately 71 people experiencing homelessness, 47 dogs and 22 cats,” she added. “Members of this homeless community have lived there, without trash service or running water, for an average of 4.5 years, with some members homeless there for ten years or more.”

Police and city workers periodically try to clear the area, she said, but the homeless have always returned.

After a community collaboration, city and county officials have decided to try a new approach: putting a roof over the heads of the homeless and then trying to provide them with needed services. This approach is often called a “housing first” model, in contrast to other models that only allow a homeless person into a housing project after the person first meets other conditions such as treating a drug habit.

This “limited population” project includes the following elements, reports Gabor:
Initial Outreach

— North Levee Clean Up Day (November 8) – Requested by the homeless residents as a way to give back to the community for its assistance with donations and the assistance of United Christian Centers, Waste Management, Ethan Conrad and Home Depot, to name a few

— Moving Day (Target: November 12) – Participating members (71 residents already identified) will move to a temporary housing location. There will be opportunities for a pet clinic, public health assessment, laundry, transportation and a move into a temporary housing site

— Pets will be allowed to go with their owners to temporary housing but some may have to pare down; pet owners are aware of this

— Yolo County Animal Services will be providing a cleaning station, immunizations and medication, as well as solutions for pets that may need to be surrendered

— Triage, Assessment and Application – During the 60 to 120 day stay in housing, 71 already identified members will participate in applying for benefits for which they may be eligible, including job training and assistance, chemical dependency, disabled benefits, counseling and other services.  In addition, they will apply for available permanent housing programs for which they may be eligible

— Ongoing Services – Includes mental health, substance abuse, medical services and case management

— Placement in Permanent Housing – Includes ongoing and, in some cases, intensive case management to help them succeed in their new housing.

Partners in the project include the following, added Gabor:

County of Yolo, including County Administrator’s Office, Employment & Social Services, Environmental Health, Health Services, Probation and Animal Services;
City of West Sacramento, including the Police Department and City Manager’s Office; Legal Services of Northern California

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

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?

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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