Tag Archives: west sacramento local news

Christmas tree lighting canceled


The West Sacramento Chamber of Commerce has just announced that it will cancel the annual tree-lighting ceremony scheduled for tonight in front of city hall.

The decision was made “in the interest of public safety,” said a message from the chamber as this week’s rain and wind storm continues. There was no immediate word on whether there would be an attempt to reschedule.

The ceremony annually includes a throw of the light switch for the tall tree now standing decorated and ready at 1110 West Capitol Avenue, a visit from Santa, and music and hot chocolate.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

PG&E driver killed in Southport crash


A PG&E employee was killed in a traffic accident early this morning in West Sacramento.

Sgt. Nathan Steele of the West Sacramento Police Department said police responded to the collision at about 1:52 a.m. at Lake Washington Boulevard and Southport Parkway in West Sacramento.

“Officers arrived on scene and located a solo vehicle into a traffic control pole,” said Steele in a press statement.  “The sole male occupant of the vehicle was an on duty PG&E worker who was sadly pronounced deceased at the scene.”

Steele asked residents to avoid the area while police finish up their on-site investigation.

The victim’s identity has not yet been released.

(UPDATE, 11:33 a.m. on Nov. 30: The intersection is now open to traffic again. Said Sgt. Steele:

“There is a temporary light control for traffic traveling eastbound/southbound on Lake Washington Boulevard.  Please pay close attention as you drive through this intersection.”

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012


West Sac may ban growing of medical marijuana in backyards


By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

West Sacramento officials are considering a 45-day “urgency ordinance” banning the cultivation of marijuana in outdoor yards. The move comes while various courts are sorting out some of the issues about marijuana growing and the drug’s use in California.

State voters approved a proposition allowing the use of medical marijuana. Federal law still prohibits it.

Currently, city police “are not going after (growers) as long as they comply with the state,” said Charline Hamilton, West Sacramento Community Development Director.

That means that those with evidence of medical need may grow enough of the plant for personal consumption (enough for one or two people), and they can grow it outdoors. Marijuana dispensaries – including places growing enough marijuana for three or more people – are still prohibited in the city.

  But outdoor growing has led to new crime (such as people burglarizing the yards and homes of growers) as well as to complaints by neighbors about the “skunky” smell of the plant.

“The complaints we’ve received are mostly nuisance-related,” said Hamilton. “When it’s cultivated outdoors during certain times of the year, the smell can be strong.”

The proposed 45-day moratorium would ban outdoor growing, but still permit indoor cultivation.

A staff report for the city council gave some statistics on complaints since California softened its stance on marijuana growing and medical use.

The report said that “calls for service and crimes (plant theft, residential burglaries) related to cultivation of marijuana have doubled since last year.”

In 2012, there were 25 “cultivation related calls for service” and five “cultivation crime-related” calls – and possibly other calls made to the Yolo Narcotic Enforcement Team.

Local growers have not yet mobilized to speak up for the right to grow outdoors, said Hamilton.

The matter returns to the city council on Dec. 5.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012

New use for old fast food site? West Sac ponders ‘incubator’ for restaurants


By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

West Sacramento leaders are working on a project that would turn an old fast food restaurant somewhere in town into an “incubator” for restaurant startups.

Christopher Cabaldon, Mayor of West Sacramento (News-Ledger file photo)

“Our idea was to convert an old fast-food joint into a demonstration of how healthy, locally grown food could be produced and sold,” Mayor Christopher Cabaldon told the News-Ledger. “We can provide opportunities for aspiring restaurateurs who want to produce healthy food, but do it without quitting their jobs and taking out a huge loan. Here’s the hardest part – if you want to start a restaurant – and we certainly need more restaurants in West Sacramento – unless you’re a chain, it’s very difficult.”

You can’t even start out cooking commercially from your home kitchen, he added. You’d need a commercial, government-approved facility. And it’s expensive to take on that kind of overhead for a risky new restaurant.

“Most consumers expect you to be there most nights a week, so you’re really talking about quitting your job and taking an enormous leap.”

So West Sacramento envisions a “Farm to Fast Food” facility that would support several new ventures at a time. The yet-unchosen site would also be a place for local farmers to sell their produce to the public.

“The (restaurants) would have different themes and different operators throughout the week,” said Cabaldon.

The city’s goal is to encourage “reasonably healthy” fast food alternatives in West Sacramento.

“Fast food exists and it thrives because it meets the needs of a lot of households, who don’t necessarily have time to cook a family meal.”

The goal would be for these new restaurants to try to be successful at the shared “incubator” facility before taking the next step, graduating and moving on to become self-supporting somewhere else.

As a mini-farmers market, he said, the new facility would also support small-scale, urban farming such as that being done by Dan Gannon and his Humble Roots farm in West Sacramento.

“The Eatery (restaurant) builds its menu partly on what’s available from Humble Roots, and Humble Roots knows it has that market.”

The city government just entered their “Farm to Fast Food” proposal into a contest sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies of New York (that city’s mayor is Michael Bloomberg). The competition offered a $5 million prize and four $1 million prizes to cities with innovative ideas for tackling national issues.

West Sacramento recently learned it wasn’t among the winners in that contest.

“No cities our size were among the winners,” said Cabaldon. But he still believes in the project.

“There are abandoned or failing fast-food drive-throughs on commercial strips all over the country. This idea was generated by a creative visioning session from a lot of local stakeholders, including farmers and restaurateurs.”

These stakeholders are scheduled to meet again within the next couple of months, and keep working on trying to make “Farm to Fast Food” a reality in West Sacramento, said the mayor.

  Do you like what you see here?

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  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

River Cats get a new manager


From the Sacramento River Cats minor league baseball team:

Seven-year Major League veteran Steve Scarsone will be the fifth manager in River Cats history, the Oakland Athletics announced today. Rick Rodriguez—who was the A’s bullpen coach for the last two seasons after spending 10 seasons in Sacramento—will return as pitching coach in 2013, while Greg Sparks will return for his second season as the club’s hitting coach.

The River Cats are a Triple-A minor league baseball team playing at Raley Field in West Sacramento.

Steve Scarsone takes over as skipper of the River Cats in West Sacramento (courtesy photo)

Scarsone has managed teams in  Single-A Kane County in 2009, Single-A Advanced Stockton in 2010, and Double-A Midland for the past two seasons. He previously managed Single-A South Bend (2001) and Single-A Advanced Lancaster (2002) in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization.

“The Oakland Athletics are pleased to promote Steve to Sacramento after exhibiting outstanding leadership and development skills at the minor league level,” said Keith Lieppman, director of player development for the A’s, in a press release.  “He not only has shown good leadership qualities as a manager but also is a proven teacher and instructor. We believe he will carry on in the fine tradition of the outstanding young managers that have led the River Cats throughout their history.”

In college, Scarsone played at Santa Ana Junior College before being drafted in the second round (32nd overall) of the 1986 January amateur draft by Philadelphia. He made his Major League debut May 15, 1992, and went on to enjoy a seven-year big league career with the Phillies, Orioles, Giants, Cardinals and Royals. During those seven seasons, he combined to hit .239 with 20 home runs, 86 RBIs, and 103 runs scored in 350 career games.

Scarsone also played parts of 11 seasons in the minors, including three seasons in the Pacific Coast League. He enjoyed one of his best seasons in 1998 for the Vancouver Canadians—the franchise that moved to Sacramento following the 1999 season—when he led the team in hits (110), home runs (20) and RBIs (55).

 Rodriguez—the longest tenured pitching coach in River Cats history—returns to Sacramento for the first time since 2010. Rodriguez played four seasons in the major leagues, including two with Oakland and one with San Francisco. He finished his career with eight saves in 31 career appearances. In 11 minor league seasons, he tallied a 52-41 record with a 3.89 ERA spanning 946.2 innings pitched.

The Athletics also announced that Brad LaRosa will return for his sixth season as the River Cats head athletic trainer, and Jared Elliott will join the staff as the strength and conditioning coach after spending the 2012 season with the Midland RockHounds, Oakland’s Double-A affiliate.

Scott Emerson—the River Cats pitching coach since 2011—has been named the A’s minor league roving pitching instructor

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

‘POLICE LOG’: West Sac’s crime roundup


By News-Ledger Editor Steve Marschke

  News items below are collected from police dispatchers’ notes and arrest reports. The information in them has often not been verified beyond the initial reports. To see West Sac’s ‘Police Log’ every week, take a look at the special offer at the bottom of this page.

Nov. 12, 4:02 a.m.
A caller from Fernwood Street told dispatchers a man was trying to steal a locked bike, but took off running when the caller interrupted by pounding on a wall. The would-be thief left behind a small bag containing bolt cutters.

Nov. 12, 4:41 a.m.
A Riverpoint Court retail store said three men stole three bags of clothing and fled in a Dodge Magnum.

Nov. 12, 12:47 p.m.
A caller from a supermarket on the 1600-block of West Capitol said a man outside “had loud music on and blew a foghorn in the (caller’s) face” before driving off. Other people provided a tentative ID for the suspect.

Nov. 12, 1:13 p.m.
A witness said there was a man walking along the street near Haverhill Street and Norfolk Avenue, trying out a remote garage door opener in front of each home he passed.

Nov. 12, 5:01 p.m.
A resident of Hobson reported there was a “kid” starting a fire in a field near the home. The kid was seen “adding branches and fuel to the fire.”

Nov. 12, 5:26 p.m.
A caller said there was a woman holding “what appeared to be a grenade” at a business complex on the 1700-block of West Capitol.

Nov. 13, 1:13 a.m.
A caller from a motel on the 900-block of West Capitol said a woman had just removed a window screen and climbed into one of the motel rooms.

Nov. 13, 1:57 a.m.
A fire was reported in a dumpster near a motel on Harbor Blvd.

Nov. 13, 5:45 a.m.
A man called from the 1700-block of West Capitol, saying he was “robbed at gunpoint a couple minutes ago” in front of a nearby motel. The man was screaming, and said he had Tourette’s Syndrome.

Nov. 13, 7:50 a.m.
A suicide threat came in from Southport.

Nov. 13, 7:57 a.m.
A citizen said a car just went through a fence on the 4500-block of Jefferson in Southport. The drive was still on scene and apparently wasn’t hurt.

Nov. 13, 8:34 a.m.
A witness said that an older man was now in the parking lot of Southport’s Town Center Plaza in a Toyota 4-Runner. The man just came out of the supermarket, where he was “walking around intoxicated, stumbling, and (he) smells.”

Nov. 13, 8:37 a.m.
A resident of Tortola Road said somebody stole packages from the front porch. The packages contained vitamins and gloves, worth about $200.

Nov. 13, 9:32 a.m.
A man reported a neighbor “drew a small revolver on him” during an argument on F Street.

Nov. 13, 11:12 a.m.
The rear license plate was stolen from a Subaru parked on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Nov. 13, 12:29 p.m.
A witness reported seeing an “elderly man” arrive on foot near Highland Drive and Lake Washington Boulevard – and then begin cutting wires and pipes from a power box.

Nov. 13, 1:08 p.m.
Riverbend Elementary requested a school police officer to remove a school from campus.

Nov. 13, 4:01 p.m.
On 5th Street: “Someone threw a shovel at another subject.”

Nov. 13, 4:13 p.m.
A fast-food restaurant on Westacre Road reported that an “extremely” drunk woman in a gold Chevy Tahoe just went through the drive-through window. The woman then drove away eastbound on West Capitol – with three or four kids in her car.

Nov. 13, 5:19 p.m.
A three-vehicle accident was reported near Jefferson & Webster. A Toyota Corolla, utility truck and Chevy Suburban were involved, but there were apparently no injuries.

Nov. 13, 5:27 p.m.
A 1998 Dodge pickup was discovered to have been stolen from a business complex on the 3200-block of West Capitol, sometime Sunday or Monday.

Nov. 13, 5:28 p.m.
A woman told a dispatcher that around Oct. 23, the clerk at a gas station on West Capitol “retained” her credit card. The card has since been used for several purchases in West Sacramento and Sacramento.

Nov. 13, 5:45 p.m.
A man said he had called police several times regarding a neighbor near Cold Springs Road and Roaring Creek Street who stores several vehicles on the street. The caller “has called many times and is not happy with the PD response.”

Nov. 13, 6:51 p.m.
The library on Merkley Avenue reported that a very intoxicated man about 65 years old just left, “saying something about going to the bus stop.” The man was “barely able to stand up.”

Nov. 13, 7:58 p.m.
A law enforcement agency asked local police units to stay clear of Harbor and West Capitol, possibly due to an undercover operation.

Nov. 13, 11:45 p.m.
A supermarket reported it had told a 56-year old West Capitol Avenue woman “approximately ten times that she is not allowed in” the store, but they just detained her for shoplifting.

Nov. 14, 1:40 a.m.
Two women were detained for shoplifting at a Riverpoint Court store.

Nov. 14, 1:23 a.m.
A citizen said there was a subject wearing black clothes and a dark beanie, with a shopping cart on Gooseberry Circle. The subject pushed the cart to a white van and drove away. The individual was suspicious due to recent burglaries in the area.

Nov. 14, 7:17 a.m.
A Honda Accord was repossessed from a Southport home.

Nov. 14, 7:57 a.m.
A domestic violence report came in from a north-area home.

Nov. 14, 8:42 a.m.
A motel manager on the 1800-block of West Capitol said someone burglarized a tenant. “An unknown suspect took his luggage from the room while he was sleeping.”

Nov. 14, 11:12 a.m.
The registration stickers were stolen from a car parked on Elder Drive.

Nov. 14, 12:17 a.m.
A hit-and-run was reported near 2900 West Capitol. The caller said a white truck just scratched his/her mother’s car and another vehicle. The suspect vehicle and second victim had left the scene.

Nov. 14, 12:30 a.m.
A man was reported “wandering around” a school and church on Todhunter Avenue, and was “last seen around the convent area.”

Nov. 14, 1:33 p.m.
A woman said she had previously reported her bike stolen. Now, the bike and a rider were in front of a store on the 3000-block of West Capitol.

Nov. 14, 3:05 p.m.
A woman reported an incident that occurred a couple hours earlier in a store parking lot:
She had been backing out of a parking place when she heard a man yelling. She stopped her car, and the man claimed that she had “hit his wheelchair-bound wife.” The wife wasn’t hurt and wheelchair didn’t appear to be damaged. The “victim” didn’t want police summoned, she just demanded $50.

Nov. 14, 5:14 p.m.
A man reported that sometime in the last ten minutes, somebody stole an outboard motor out of the back of his pickup truck while it was parked on Harbor Blvd.

Nov. 14, 5:20 p.m.
A Riverpoint Court store said there was a drunk man “sitting by the front door in the food center in row five.” The man was “very belligerent and violent.”

Nov. 14, 11:54 p.m.
A man said his Solano Street neighbors were involved in drug activity. The man said he had installed an alarm with a sensor beam that went across the neighbor’s driveway, an d”it has gone off four times already due to all the in-and-out foot traffic.”

Nov. 14, 3:38 p.m.
A mobile home resident on Sacramento Avenue reported he was cutting some bushes next to his home when he found a Taser and holster. He turned them in to police.

Nov. 14, 10:02 p.m.
A police officer stopped a vehicle at 5th and E streets. The 19-year old Lighthouse Drive woman driving the car had no license, and had outstanding warrants for charges including theft.

Nov. 14, 10:28 a.m.
An officer contacted a 39-year old homeless woman who had a store’s shopping cart at a bus stop at West Capitol and Pecan. In the cart were empty cans and trash, as well as a half-full 32-ounce bottle of beer and the woman’s wallet and ID. There were several warrants for her arrest, and she was jailed.

Nov. 14, 7:36 p.m.
A 41-year old homeless woman was arrested after she was found sleeping in a vacant trailer that didn’t belong to her on the 3200-block of West Capitol. There were also arrest warrants for charges including burglary and a drug offense.

Nov. 18, 12:03 a.m.
An officer saw a 22-year old Touchstone Place woman sitting in the driver’s seat of a stranded car on the road near Harbor and Evergreen. She showed symptoms of intoxication, and was arrested for DUI.

  Do you like what you see here?

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  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

Wine & treats to benefit local charities


A number of local charities will benefit from your attendance at the “Hope Stocking Event,” planned by the West Sacramento Foundation for 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 29, at the Club Pheasant.

Santa and honorary “elves” will join you for hors d’oeuvres and wine. $30. Give a tax-deductible gift and receive a commemorative “Hope Stocking” ornament. For information, tickets, or sponsorship opportunities, call Maria Simas, (916) 616-6512.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012