Tag Archives: sacramento

RCHS kid nails the blues

Ammon Burdge with Alison Flory, art education coordinator for YoloArts

NEWS-LEDGER — JULY 4, 2012 —

  Ammon Burdge of River City High School won this year’s ‘Blues in the Schools’ contest, composing a song called “Sky’s Turning Gray  Skies Blue.” The senior is a member of the school’s jazz band, “The Syncopating Sea-Monkeys.”

  The winning song will be produced and recorded by professional musicians.

   Students from Woodland and West Sacramento competed in the songwriting contest, co-sponsored by YoloArts and the Sacramento Blues Society.

  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

Sac’s Rubicon Brewery to expand production with West Sac plant

Glynn Phillips, majority owner of Rubicon Brewing Company (right), enjoys a pint at his current Sacramento facility. (Photo courtesy of Lee Marketing/Rubicon Brewery)

NEWS-LEDGER — JUNE 6, 2012 —

West Sacto facility will help Rubicon produce more ‘Monkey Knife Fight Pale Ale’ & other popular brews

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

Sacramento’s Rubicon Brewing Company plans to expand its beer production by opening a West Sacramento plant late this year..

And the new brewery might – maybe, perhaps – open a tasting room, reports Glynn Phillips, majority owner of Rubicon. The new brewery will occupy about 16,000 square feet at 885 Stillwater Road in West Sacramento, near IKEA.

  “Our focus and most important market is the Sacramento area,” Phillips told the News-Ledger. “We feel like we’re unable to supply the Sacramento area with enough beer to truly do it justice. We want to make sure Rubicon truly takes its spot as Sacramento’s oldest and most-produced local beer.”

At the company’s sole brewery and pub near 20th and Capitol, “there are people every day making beer, and we’re making it for Sacramento first.”

Rubicon’s products can be found on tap and in bottles at a number of regional restaurants and stores – including Raley’s, Bel Air, Whole Food, Taylor’s Market and Beverages & More, Phillips said.

“When you say ‘Rubicon,’ you’re talking about a brewery that has 25 years of history in the region. We’re the oldest continuously operating brewery in the Sacramento area, and probably one of the top five or ten oldest breweries on the West Coast.”

Others in that club, said Phillips, are names like Sierra Nevada, Anchor, Triple Rock and Mendocino Brewing Company.

What’s Rubicon’s flagship beer?

“Our IPA (India Pale Ale) has been our flagship ale since the late ‘80s,” said Phillips. “Most recently, our pale ale – called ‘Monkey Knife Fight’ – has taken over the area by storm.”

Rubicon products, lined up at the company’s bar at 20th and Capitol in Sacramento. (Photo courtesy of LEE MARKETING/Rubicon Brewing Co.)

The brewpub in midtown Sacramento is now maxing out at about 2,400-2,500 barrels of beer per year, said Phillips (one “barrel” is 31 gallons). But the company feels it isn’t meeting demand from local stores and restaurants, let alone markets outside the region. Rubicon has sometimes used Sudwerk in Davis to “contract brew” some of its recipes to help meet local demand (“They help ease the pain,” said Phillips.).

The new plant will approximately triple Rubicon’s capacity:

“We’re aiming for 4-5,000 barrels (from West Sacramento) in 2013,” said Phillips.

Phillips, 47, got into beer as a restaurant manager for Great Basin Brewing Company in Sparks.
“That’s where I really found my love for craft beer,” he said.

He later worked as general manager at Marin Brewing Company, and has been owner of Rubicon for seven years. He reports that the craft brewing companies in the region are supportive of each other.

  “We feel like we’re all in this together,” said Phillips. “Our friends at the Auburn Alehouse, Sudwerk, River City Brewing, and American River Brewhouse – we all talk together. There’s a competitive streak, but we do ask ‘what grain is working for you right now?’ or we say, ‘hey, I tried your beer over at this place, and what I noticed was this –.’”

Rubicon’s Sacramento brewpub has a bar, indoor seating and a patio area, and a full menu.

The West Sac facility will, at least initially, focus just on stuff like mashing and fermenting. But there might be a time when it opens up for public tasting and for sales of six-packs and such.

Having a tasting room “really depends on the City of West Sacramento,” said Phillips. “It would be just a tasting room. There are some really nice laws that exempt me from some regulations if it’s just a tasting room. But it’s such a mountain-climb just to open a new brewery, we’ll just climb that mountain first.”

One local city councilman has lobbied him to create a West Sac brewpub – but that’s not on the horizon right now, said Phillips.

He said that he was “always” pretty set on expanding into West Sacramento, but that his company spent several years checking on water quality before taking the plunge.

“We got water samples over the last three years,” he said.

Rubicon’s brewmaster of 22 years, Scott Cramlet, told the News-Ledger that Rubicon presently uses Sacramento’s city water, adding a few minerals for some beer styles. West Sacramento’s water – also drawn from the Sacramento River– is pretty similar, said Cramlet.

The West Sac water samples passed muster, added Phillips.

The new plant is slated to start mixing grain, hops, water and yeast beginning in November, with a staff of about 40.

“We hope to open and hire shortly thereafter,” said Phillips. “We have focused on this for a very long time.”

  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

Manny Ramirez to join River Cats


  This news is just in from the River Cats organization:

Baseball icon Manny Ramirez is set to join the Sacramento River Cats roster for 10 games, with his Raley Field debut scheduled for Friday, May 25, the Oakland Athletics announced today.

MANNY RAMIREZ: Suspended from MLB, but clear to play some games with the River Cats including a home game on May 25

Ramirez is eligible to play 10 minor league games in advance of being activated from his current 50-game suspension. According to the Athletics, Ramirez will play all 10 minor league games with the River Cats, the A’s Triple-A affiliate.

His first game with the Cats is scheduled for Saturday, May 19, against the Albuquerque Isotopes at Isotopes Park in Albuquerque, N.M. Saturday’s first pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. PDT and can be heard locally on KSTE 650 AM or online at rivercats.com.

In conjunction with Ramirez’ appearance in Sacramento, the River Cats are offering a special deal for fans who purchase tickets for the Sunday, May 27 or Monday, May 28 home games at Raley Field. For each ticket purchased in the Senate, Governor’s Club or Raley’s Diamond Club sections, fans will be given one ticket in the same section to the June 20 (12:05 p.m.) or June 27 (7:05 p.m.) home games.

Fans can also purchase a limited-edition Manny Pack, which includes 20 or 40 River Cats ticket vouchers (good for any game this season). In addition to the game vouchers, both Manny Packs come with a Manny Ramirez River Cats t-shirt, while supplies last. For more information or to purchase a Manny Pack, fans can call the River Cats at (916) 376-HITS (4487).

  Ramirez is eligible to play in Major League games beginning Wednesday, May 30, when the A’s take on the Minnesota Twins at Target Field in Minneapolis. The former Indians, Red Sox, Dodgers, White Sox and Rays slugger currently sits 14th all-time with 555 home runs and 18th all-time with 1,831 RBIs. He has not appeared in a Major League game since April of 2011, when he appeared in five games with the Tampa Bay Rays.

  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

A welcome mat for cyclists tomorrow


May is “Bike Month” in the region.

Part of the celebration includes an “Energizer Station” to be set up for passing cyclists between 6:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 15, on West Capitol Avenue near the community center (south side of the street near 1075 West Capitol.

Pedal by for some free refreshments and other goodies.

You can log your miles for commuting, recreation or errands, and learn about other “Bike Month” events, at www.mayisbikemonth.com.

The “Energizer Station” will be hosted by the City of West Sacramento and Yolo Transportation Management. For information, call Greta Vohlers, (916) 617-4731.

  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

Where the Delta came from

SEABIRDS on a flooded Delta Island (courtesy of Tuleyome)


By Glen Holstein
Tuleyome Organization

Fifteen thousand years ago what became California had no Delta and was in a very different world in which much of North America and Europe were covered by vast continental ice sheets.  By then people occupied most of the eastern hemisphere but few, if any, had yet reached the Americas.

Then what is now central California’s coastline was 26 miles west of its present location.  The Farallons were then not islands but coastal headlands overlooking an open ocean dropping abruptly to great depths.  What is now the continental shelf was a vast dry land plain bisected by an ancestral Sacramento River swollen to great volume by melting glaciers then widespread in the Sierra Nevada.  It entered the Pacific south of the Farallons and flowed through the Coast Range 300 feet below present water level in deep canyons at what are now the Golden Gate and Carquinez Strait.

The climate then along the lower Sacramento was much like the present coast of southern Alaska and British Columbia, but the world was warming.  The great continental ice sheets began retreating, and their meltwater caused seas to rise everywhere.  By ten thousand years ago they neared the present shoreline and by eight thousand had entered the Golden Gate.

  People were definitely in what would become California by then and had established villages in a broad valley just inside the outermost Coast Range ridge.  Soon, however, rising seas following the ancestral Sacramento River’s channel inland completely flooded their valley and created what later arrivals would call San Francisco Bay.  Inexorably seas pushed farther inland flooding more valleys and creating new bays like San Pablo and Suisun until they finally stopped near the present Montezuma Hills five thousand years ago.

There freshwater flowing downstream from the Sierras and Cascades through the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers met seawater flowing inland through the Golden Gate.  They mixed some, but the freshwater mostly flowed outward some distance in a shallow lens above the heavier salt water, which also acted as a hydraulic dam to stop most river flow at the Montezuma Hills and cause freshwater to backup and flood a vast area in the lowest part of the Central Valley.

This flooding starting just five thousand years ago created California’s Delta.  Because sea level rise was gradual, the flooded area always remained very shallow beyond the deeper river channels and became covered by tall marsh plants called tules.  Seas still slowly rose, though, and freshwater in the flooded Delta area also did just slowly enough for each new tule generation to grow on the last’s flooded remains.

  Eventually the latest tule generation grew on many feet of ancestral organic remains which became the Delta’s famous peat soil.  A similar process in the same time period north of East Anglia created England’s famous Fenlands and provided the term fen for similar wetlands around the world.  Consequently the Delta is California’s largest fen and one of the largest in the world.

What happened to it next is another tale.

  Dr. Glen Holstein received his PhD in Botany from UC Davis and is a Senior Scientist with Zentner and Zentner, a local biological consulting company. Glen is Chapter Botanist for the Sacramento Valley Chapter of the California Native Plant Society , represents that Chapter at Habitat 2020 and was the California Prairie spokesman at its Wildflower Weekend in April , 2005 . He’s also on the Board of Tuleyome, a non-profit organization working to protect the wild and agricultural heritage of California’s Inner Coast Range and Western Sacramento Valley.

Visitor traffic at WESTSAC.COM, plus some tips on online advertising


The News-Ledger’s presence on the web is getting bigger all the time.

Six months ago, the News-Ledger launched WestSac.com and revitalized its sister website, News-Ledger.com.  Since that launch, visitor traffic has about doubled –and it continues to grow. We expect to double the traffic again in the next six to 12 months, aided partly by a new set of website improvements and upgrades.

So if you want to connect with West Sacramento online, there’s no better choice!

BY THE NUMBERS: Our web traffic from the last 30 days:
Monthly Visits:                              5,541
Monthly Unique Visitors:     4,302
Monthly Pageviews:                 11,573
Average Visit Duration:             1:27
(Data is from Google Analytics, an industry standard traffic analyzer, for the 30 days ending on May 9, 2012.)


If you’re thinking of advertising your business on the internet for the first time — either on our website or on someone else’s — you will have to learn a few new tricks.

But it’s not rocket science.  Here are some of the basics:

DO START by making sure, first of all, that you have your own website — even if yours is a very small business. People use the web to find a business more often than they use the yellow pages these days. Your business needs to be on the web when potential customers are looking for you. Fortunately, it’s fairly easy and very cheap to have a basic business website online (as little as around $10-$15 month if you do it yourself).

 READY TO BUY AN ONLINE AD? You can’t just scan your business card, pay somebody to put it on their website, and consider yourself to have successfully “advertised on the web.”

When you go shopping for those online ads, here are some things to consider:

  •   Find a website that your potential customers are visiting. If your ad is going to be seen mostly by people outside your customer base (wrong town, wrong gender, wrong age, etc.), then most of your money will be wasted.
  •   What CPM will you pay? The CPM, or cost-per-thousand “impressions,” tells you the rate you are paying for every 1,000 viewers exposed to your ad. Look beyond any flat rate you’re offered, and find out the CPM. Get a guaranteed number of impressions for your dollars.
  •   Ask for a Google Analytics report for the past few months. In the report, understand that a “unique visitor” counts how many different people (actually, computer IP addresses) visited that website over a period of time, and that’s an important number. “Visits” counts total visits, even by repeat customers. “Pageviews” counts the number of website pages viewed by all these visitors on all their visits. Make sure you “compare apples to apples” when navigating through terms like these.
  •   When you pay for an ad on someone’s website, where will they put it? Will it be right next to the website’s prime content — the stuff people go there to see? Or will it be somewhere way down the page? Will it be buried in a clutter of other ads? Get good page position!
  •   Your online ad should not just be a scanned business card. Plan your ad carefully. It should contain a strong special offer or a promise to satisfy the viewer’s curiosity about something. The appeal should be so strong that the viewer will take the time to  click on the ad. Aim for an offer that’s bold, simple and compelling — like something of value, free, to help you get a new customer in the door.
  • Customers will click on your ad to find out more about your business offer. When they click on your ad, they should be redirected — but not to your website’s home page! Where should they be taken? The answer to that question will cost you the price of a cup of coffee with us!

Call Steve Marschke at (916) 371-8030 or email steve@news-ledger.com for more information on advertising at WestSac.com and its sister site, News-Ledger.com.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Suspect dead in Sacramento


The suspect in yesterday’s carjackings that shut down I-80 at the Yolo Causeway is dead after a shooting involving Sacramento sheriff’s deputies at an apartment complex. Following is the entire set of press releases summarizing the incident from the West Sacramento Police Department:


“On 4-20-12 at approximately 0557 hours the West Sacramento Police Department responded to 407 Harbor Boulevard, West Sacramento (B&R Head and Block) for a report that employees at this location had been shot at when they arrived at work.  Initial reports stated there were possibly two suspects involved.  West Sacramento Police Officers responded to the scene and established a perimeter.

“At approximately 0640 hours the West Sacramento Police Department received a report of a carjacking in the area of Poplar and West Capitol Avenue.  Officers arrived in the area and located the vehicle a brown Ford Focus.  Officers attempted to stop the vehicle which fled from police at a high rate of speed.  The suspect then exited the vehicle on foot in the area of 2919 West Capitol Avenue.  Officers began chasing the suspect who carjacked a second vehicle at gunpoint.  Officers confronted the suspect ordering him to surrender and were fired upon by the suspect.  An officer returned fire and the suspect fled the scene in the stolen white Ford F-150 truck ramming a police vehicle.

   “The suspect then began traveling westbound on West Capitol Avenue at a high rate of speed fleeing from pursuing officers.  The suspect again fired on a West Sacramento Police Officer striking a patrol car and causing the officer to loss control of his vehicle.

“The suspect vehicle began traveling westbound on Interstate 80 losing control and striking the center divider on Interstate 80 east of Enterprise Avenue.  A perimeter was established at both the 407 Harbor Boulevard location and Interstate 80 on the causeway.  Vehicle traffic across the causeway was shut down to ensure public safety.  Numerous SWAT teams, K-9 teams, helicopters and other resources responded to assist with these scenes.

“While working both of these active crime scenes at approximately 1000 hrs. a report was received of another carjacking that occurred in the area of County Road 127 and River Road in Yolo County.  Yolo County Sheriff’s Department personnel and assisting agencies responded to this scene.  At this scene it was determined that a suspect driving a tractor (believed to have been stolen) approached a male victim and struck the victim over the head.

  “That victim’s vehicle a 2008 Ford F150 truck with a California license plate of 8N44911 was taken by the suspect.   This vehicle was later located abandoned in the area of Lerwick and Morse Ave. in Sacramento County.

“Through an on-going investigation potential suspect information and numerous potential suspect locations were obtained.  At approximately 1855 hours the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department SED personnel responded to investigate a potential lead of a suspect at 1968 Ethan Way, Sacramento, Ca.

“After a confrontation with Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department personnel the suspect was shot and pronounced deceased at the scene.  Identification of the suspect is pending by the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office.

“While this is an ongoing investigation it appears that the suspect is in fact the individual involved in the numerous carjackings and who twice fired upon West Sacramento Police Officers earlier in the day.  The investigation continues at this time.

“The West Sacramento Police Department would like to thank the more than 12 law enforcement agencies and numerous officers who assisted in this investigation.  We would also like to thank the community for its understanding of any inconvenience as we worked to safeguard the public.”

Copyright News-Ledger 2012