Tag Archives: southport

Catch, neuter & release: volunteers work with feral cats in Southport

A just-fixed feral cat makes a tentative move back to freedom after being released back into its Southport field by local volunteers. The idea was Patricia Kenney’s (she’s above at right), and she was assisted by local cat supporters such as Heather, above left. (News-Ledger photo)

A just-fixed feral cat makes a tentative move back to freedom after being released back into its Southport field by local volunteers. The idea was Patricia Kenney’s (she’s above at right), and she was assisted by local cat supporters such as Heather, above left. (News-Ledger photo)

NEWS-LEDGER — FEB 11, 2015 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

A small group of West Sacramento kindred spirits gathered behind Southport’s Tower Mart on Sunday, February 1, to turn loose about 15 feral cats that they had trapped and then spayed and neutered.

The effort sprung from an experience by Patti Kenney, a local pet sitter, one night just over a month earlier right at the edge of the same parking lot.

“It was December,” recalled Kenney. “It was dark and on was on my way to Bridgeway to do an overnight pet-sit. I went into the deli , and when I came out, there were all these pairs of eyes staring at me from the dark. I counted 12 of them.”

Kenney walked to the edge of the market’s parking lot, where it adjoins a vacant field. She found signs that others had been leaving food for a colony of feral cats.

PATTI KENNEY (News-Ledger photo)

PATTI KENNEY
(News-Ledger photo)

“There’s regular folks that come by,” said Kenney. “When I saw that, I said to them, ‘These cats need to be trapped to stop them multiplying.’”

Some of the folks who were feeding the animals volunteered to help. The group borrowed raccoon-style traps from the SPCA in Sacramento.

“We started with eight traps,” reported volunteer “Margaret” (who asked that her last name not be used). “You can borrow two traps per person.”

Over the month of January, the group set out the baited cages and hauled in most of the animals.  The cats weren’t immediately spayed and neutered, for fear that they would just end up getting re-trapped. Instead, Kenney temporarily collected them.

“They stayed in my spare bedroom,” she said. “All of them were in my spare bedroom.”

She thinks they were unable to trap only about two of the cats.

Members of the cat posse contributed cash to pay the fees to have the animals spayed or neutered and also treated for fleas by the SPCA.

“We had donations of $340 or something like that,” reported Kenney. “I’m pretty sure I spent it all.”

On the afternoon of Feb. 1, this handful of cat-fanciers showed up for the big day. The cats – probably anxious and nervous – were hunkered down in pet cages in the back of a vehicle.

The volunteers carried the cages over to the edge of the parking lot, where the cats would be able to make a run for it into “their” field. Many of the animals were reluctant to leave their cages, and had to be gently coaxed or even “poured” from their cages. But sooner or later, each one finally headed out for the green grass of the Southport field.

They were still feral – escaped or abandoned from local homes, perhaps – but at least they wouldn’t be reproducing and contributing to a growing colony.

The News-Ledger asked Kenney whether she had plans to head up the same kind of effort at any of the other cat colonies in West Sacramento – there have been reports of a lot of cats near shopping centers at Enterprise Boulevard and Lake Washington Boulevard, for example.

“No,” said Kenney. “This was a one time thing for me.”

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West Sac council okays new community — minus the gate

‘The Promenade’ is located in the Southport Business Park,  near Cooper Island Road and Bridgeway Island (From City of West Sacramento staff report)

‘The Promenade’ is located in the Southport Business Park, near Cooper Island Road and Bridgeway Island (From City of West Sacramento staff report)

NEWS-LEDGER — DEC 31, 2014 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

— A couple of larger issues — the desirability of gated communities and the density of local development — emerge during discussion of project  —

The West Sacramento city council has approved a 222-home subdivision in Southport. The project – which abuts Southport Parkway, the Bridgeway Island Subdivision and Savannah Parkway – was designed as a gated community, and approved last month in a 4-2 vote at the city planning commission.
Usually, that would be the last word for approval. But in this case, Mayor Christopher Cabaldon appealed that decision, calling it up to the city council for review. The council took it up on Dec. 17.
Gary Mandarich of Mandarich Developments told the council that his company was “expert” at projects like this one with high-density detached homes. The Southport project, called Promenade, is designed to put the 222 units onto 18.3 acres, with a homeowners association and a gym, pool and event room.
Mandarich used as an example his development of gated properties in other cities, which helped him reach a “higher profile” of buyer.
[adrotate banner=”37″]  “We went to the city and said ‘Look, when you are buttoned up against an arterial road, like Southport Parkway, you need gates. The consumers don’t want to go onto (their) roads and feel invaded by people with easy access. You put gates on it, it’s a beautiful project. . . The nature of our business is to build nice, boutique projects.”
(Comments cited in this article come from the city’s video feed of the council meeting.)
Mayor Cabaldon asked him if the project would be viable without gates. After a pause, Mandarich answered:
“We can have a project that is viable without gates. We don’t think it will be successful, but it could be viable.”

MAYOR CHRISTOPHER CABALDON is against having gated communities in West Sacramento  (News-Ledger file photo)

MAYOR CHRISTOPHER CABALDON is against having gated communities in West Sacramento
(News-Ledger file photo)

Cabaldon explained that gated communities are not in his vision of West Sacramento – although the city has one higher-end gated subdivision called The Rivers as well as a gated apartment complex and a gated cluster of homes on Bastone Court. Cabaldon said the city leaders essentially held their nose when approving the gate at the Rivers (which is open during the day to preserve public access to the river) back in 1996, when the project was known as Lighthouse. Said Cabaldon:
“There was widespread universal opposition in the community to the concept that a community which is full of neighborhoods which had been divided from one another repeatedly by the railroad tracks, by the freeway, and by the ship channel would voluntarily start to carve itself up, and this was offensive to the residents of West Sacramento.”
The council approved that gated community largely because it had inherited a development deal partly negotiated in advance by county officials, he recalled.
Mandarich, the Promenade developer, said that gating a community helped his target homeowners (such as single women raising children, and retirees) to feel safer.
Cabaldon said that whether gates improve safety is, at best, unclear in the research.
“These studies show that gated communities result in lower amounts of community participation, lower levels of community cohesion, a higher psychological sense of segregation – none of the things we are trying to accomplish,” said the mayor. “Personally, as I was in 1996, I am very opposed to the idea that we would approve gates.”
The city doesn’t currently have a formal policy about gated communities in the city.
Other opinions on the council varied as the five-member body deliberated about Promenade.

COUNCIL MEMBER BILL KRISTOFF prefers high-density single home project to a possible apartment complex (News-Ledger file photo)

COUNCIL MEMBER BILL KRISTOFF prefers high-density single home project to a possible apartment complex (News-Ledger file photo)

Council member Bill Kristoff liked the fact that the single-family project would take place instead of an apartment complex, which was what the zoning seemed to call for.
“I like the fact that it’s not an apartment complex,” he said. “I don’t have a problem if it is gated.”
Kristoff did worry about the smaller setbacks (the close distances between the homes and their neighbors) that was being proposed to accommodate the high-density housing.
Council member Beverly Sandeen worried that gating the project would be “about segregating and not having the open world that we love and cherish in West Sac.”
“I have been and will continue to be opposed to gating,” she said.
Council member Mark Johannessen called the design “a decent project for the city,” adding that he is “not really dead set against gating.”
Colleague Chris Ledesma said that you can have a high density project along a busy road – like the projects at Metro Place or Ironworks in West Sacramento – and it can work without a gate.
“What worries me about gated communities is the sense of segregation they do tend to breed, that somehow they are separate from the rest of the community and somehow they’re entitled,” said Ledesma.
Ledesma joined Johanessen and Cabaldon in worrying also about the precedent set by allowing this project to take a piece of land zoned for apartments and substitute a project with lower densities. They worried about “having to make it up later,” changing the zoning in other city properties in order to meet home-building commitments to the region and to the state, and in order to put enough people in the city’s “villages” to support community shopping and retail opportunities.
Kristoff seemed more defensive of low-density construction as a rule:
“One of the things I think we need to also remember is that if everything is high density, it is a slum, and it becomes one very quickly,” said Kristoff. “We have seen it built time and time again in other major cities. There needs to be that balance of higher density and lower density.”
Cabaldon rebutted that the reason you can ride a horse to the Target store in West Sacramento is because the high density developments that supported Target were built near the horse-owning properties.
The policy question about density was tabled for another day.
When Ledesma made a motion to support Promenade – but without a gate – the motion passed with a majority vote.   (Editor’s update: the final vote included a ‘no’ from Bill Kristoff and ‘ayes’ from the other four members of the council.)

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West Sac Art Guild preps for art show & sale today near Nugget

NEWS-LEDGER — DEC 17, 2014 —

Six members of the West Sacramento Art Guild took multiple awards at the Yolo County Fair over the summer, reports JoJo Gillies of the guild.

Among them:

Agnes Nilsen took a first-place award in cross-stitch, a third as “best overall” and a pair of second-place ribbons.

‘Polly at large,’ an acrylic painting of a macaw done by JoJo Gillies of the West Sacramento Art Guild, took a first-place award at the 2014 Yolo County Fair. The guild will have an art show and sale on Dec. 20 next to Round Table Pizza in Southport.

‘Polly at large,’ an acrylic painting of a macaw done by JoJo Gillies of the West Sacramento Art Guild, took a first-place award at the 2014 Yolo County Fair.
The guild will have an art show and sale on Dec. 20 next to Round Table Pizza in Southport.

Linda Bowron won for embroidery (with third in “best overall”) and took a second-place in embroidery.

Carol Hawkins took a first-place and two second-place awards in collage.

Vona Giese took place for a knitted baby set and second for a watercolor work featuring a fire truck.

Jerry Renno took first and “best of show” for a metal sculpture work, and a second-place in the same category.

JoJo Gillies took first place awards with a combined acrylic/collage painting and for an oil painting, as well as three “second place” awards in acrylic and two “third place” honors for acrylic painting.

Gillies and Renno also collaborated on three winners, after Renno fabricated art from steel plow discs and Gillies painting them. The results earned two first-place awards and a second-place, plus extra ribbons for first and third in “best of show.”

The art guild plans an art sale on Dec. 20 outside Round Table Pizza in the Southport Town Center. The public is invited.

For more information on the local art guild, call Agnes Nilsen at 374-1810. To inquire about purchasing metal sculptures, call 371-3165.

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New bridge to Southport set to open on December 5

The new bridge is sited off to the right in this modified City map. It will cross the barge canal from South River Road from the north. Eventually, it will connect with Village Parkway. Construction may start on that extension sometime after mid-summer of next year.

The new bridge is sited off to the right in this modified City map. It will cross the barge canal from South River Road from the north.
Eventually, it will connect with Village Parkway. Construction may start on that extension sometime after mid-summer of next year.

NEWS-LEDGER — NOV 12, 2014 —

West Sacramento officials have set the date for a ribbon-cutting of the new Mike McGowan Bridge:

December 5, at 10 a.m.

The bridge will add an alternative connection across the barge canal, particularly for Southport residents used to using the Stone Lock Bridge on Jefferson Boulevard.

Initially, the bridge will connect South River Road from near the freeway to the Marina Greens Drive area in Southport. A later project will build a direct connection to Village Parkway.

Construction crews working under contractor C.C. Myers, Inc., were at work on the surface of the Mike McGowan Bridge last Tuesday. (News-Ledger photo)
Construction crews working under contractor C.C. Myers, Inc., were at work on the surface of the Mike McGowan Bridge last Tuesday. (News-Ledger photo)

The bridge is 615 feet long and about 80 feet wide. It will have room for a 12-foot lane each direction, bike lanes, a median, and separated walkways (with room for another striped lane later. It will feature half-circle pedestrian overlooks and a gold steel hand-railing.

It’s named after former mayor Mike McGowan.

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