Tag Archives: west sacramento news

Cheap books, movies & music: winter sale from Friends of Library

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER —

The West Sacramento Friends of the Library invite you to browse their collection of books, CDs and movies for sale on the weekend of Jan. 24-25 at the Arthur F. Turner Branch Library, 1212 Merkley Avenue.

Saturday’s hours will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays will be 10-3. Hardbacks will go for $1, paperbacks for 50 cents, children’s books for 10-25 cents, with special priced books, CDs and movies as well. On Sunday, items will go for $3 per bagful. For information or to volunteer, call 375-6465, ext. 4, or email wsfol99@yahoo.com.

Proceeds benefit programs at the library.

Copyright News-Ledger 2015

California counties, cities settle with Safeway over handling of hazardous wastes

NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 14, 2015 —

Safeway Inc. has agreed to pay $9.87 million in “civil penalties, costs and supplemental environmental projects” after a group of California officials alleged its stores have been mishandling hazardous and pharmaceutical wastes.

The office of Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig was among the 42 district attorneys and two city attorneys who joined the legal action against Safeway. The Pleasanton-based company settled the case after working “cooperatively” with investigators. The court judgment was approved this month in Alameda County Superior Court.

“The investigation into Safeway’s practices began after discovery of improper shipments of hazardous and pharmaceutical waste to Safeway’s distribution centers form their stores,” said Reisig’s office in a press statement.

“The investigation revealed that Safeway was also routinely and systematically sending hazardous and pharmaceutical wastes to local area landfills not equipped to receive such waste. Upon being notified by prosecutors of the widespread issues, Safeway worked cooperatively to remedy the issue, enhance its environmental program and train its employees to properly handle such waste.”

The settlement resolved allegations involving over 500 Safeway stores and distribution centers, including its brands of Vons, Pavilions and Pak ‘n Save. Safeway operates several stores in Yolo County, including a Safeway at 1298 West Capitol Avenue in West Sacramento.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The News-Ledger contacted the D.A.’s office to find out how much of the settlement is earmarked for Yolo County. We received a response after this article was published in our print edition.

A spokesman informed the News-Ledger that $375,000 of the settlement will go to Yolo County District Attorney’s office in the form of civil penalties, and the D.A.’s office will also receive about $89,000 in cost recovery.

The Yolo County Environmental Health Department will receive about $35,250 of the Safeway settlement in civil penalties and will recover costs in the amount of $5,400.

Copyright News-Ledger 2015

A short road trip to storied, Chinese-founded town in the Delta

Photo by Al Zagofsky

Photo by Al Zagofsky

NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 14, 2015

By Al Zagofsky
Correspondent

Just 30 miles south of West Sacramento is the last remaining rural Chinatown, an outpost remaining largely intact since its founding in 1915, and struggling to survive in its centennial year.

This unique historic property, described by the Locke Foundation as, “The only town in the United States built exclusively by Chinese Americans for the Chinese Americans,” and “inhabited almost exclusively by Chinese until recent years,” now faces a deteriorating infrastructure that has become repopulated by a 90 percent  non-Chinese citizenry.

A PLACE FOR GAMES OF CHANCE: Locke grew to a population of between 500 and 600 people with a main street full of businesses, some of which, like gambling and brothels, drew people from miles around. (Photo by Al Zagofsky)

A PLACE FOR GAMES OF CHANCE: Locke grew to a population of between 500 and 600 people with a main street full of businesses, some of which, like gambling and brothels, drew people from miles around.
(Photo by Al Zagofsky)

In 1971, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and in 1990, the Locke Historic District of Walnut Grove was designated a National Historic Landmark. The  Boarding House at the entry to Locke is owned by the California Department of State Parks and has been turned into a museum.

Passage of the Swamp and Overflow Land Act in 1850 conveyed ownership of all swamp and overflow land, including Delta marshes, from the federal government to the state of California. Proceeds from the sale of swampland by the state were to go toward reclaiming the swamplands.

Contractors were hired to build levees along the Sacramento River to prevent flooding and allow the marshland to be trained for agriculture.

“In 1860, a contractor recruited  a few thousand Chinese men from the San Francisco area to build the Sacramento Delta levees,” according to Clarence Chu, a volunteer at the State Parks Boarding House Museum. “This became the Central Valley farmland.”

“For 20 years, it was all done by hand, by pushing wheelbarrows and hauling dirt.” The workers lived in tents as the levees progressed along the Sacramento River. Around 1880, mechanization replaced manual labor—the Chinese workers were no longer needed.

The Chinese school building is now a museum and open to the public free of charge. Currently two giant bronze busts commemorating Sun Yat-sen and Confucius sit before its entrance. (Photo by Al Zagofsky)

The Chinese school building is now a museum and open to the public free of charge. Currently two giant bronze busts commemorating Confucius and Sun Yat-sen sit before its entrance.
(Photo by Al Zagofsky)

Some of these workers remained behind, with many settling in Walnut Grove. Over the next generation, the children became merchants and professionals. But under the laws at the time, they were forbidden to own property.

After a fire destroyed the Chinese section of Walnut Grove in 1915, several Chinese merchants approached George Locke and negotiated an extended lease on 10 acres of his property. This became the town of Lockeport, later shortened to Locke. The land remained in private ownership until 2001, when it was purchased by the County of Sacramento.

The first thing that visitors to Locke notice is the State Parks’ Boarding House Museum. It was built in 1909 to board workers of the Southern Pacific Railroad and it thus predated the establishment of Locke. The boarding house was later purchased by the Kuramoto family, a Japanese family from Walnut Grove. They operated the boarding house from 1920 to 1942—when they were interned during World War II. They did not resume operation of the boarding house after the war.

“When the Kuramoto boarding house opened in 1915,  it attracted Chinese migrant farmworkers,” explained Clarence Chu. “There was a difference in the economic status between the new immigrants from China and the ones that had been here for at least a few years, some of whom owned restaurants; some of whom owned grocery stores.”

Locke grew to a population of between 500 and 600 people with a main street full of businesses, some of which, like gambling and brothels, drew people from miles around.

After the Depression and World War II, many of the children and grandchildren of the founders of Locke left the area. For the last half-century, many of the buildings have been in a state of disrepair.

But Locke’s charm has been rediscovered, and once again the buildings are being reclaimed as restaurants, museums and shops.

It’s definitely worth a trip to discover a unique example of both national history and the spirit of a town that’s working to preserve that history.

Teachers and parents can access a National Parks lesson on Locke at: http://www.nps.gov/nr/twhp/wwwlps/lessons/Locke/locke.htm.

Driving directions:
Set a GPS to: 13916 Main St., Walnut Grove, CA 95690. From Sacramento, take I-5 South for about 20 minutes, and exit at Twin Cities Road. Follow Twin Cities Rd. and River Rd. to Key St. in Walnut Grove, about eight minutes, and look for sign for the Locke Historic District.Go one block past the boarding house and there is a parking lot on the left.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2015

Partners sell chunk of West Sacramento power retail center

NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 14, 2015

The Buzz Oates Group of Companies (BOGC) announced last month that it had sold the Riverpoint Marketplace in West Sacramento for an undisclosed amount of money to Excel Trust of San Diego.

According to the press statement, BOGC acquired the property in 1999. It was developed by BOGC and West Sacramento’s Ramco Enterprises (local developer Frank Ramos).

The current 900,000 square foot shopping center is anchored by IKEA, a Walmart Supercenter and Home Depot. It’s the fourth-largest retail center in the Sacramento region, following the Roseville Galleria, Arden Fair Mall and Sunrise Regional Mall.

Excel Trust bought 12 buildings totaling 134,000 square feet of the development – property not owned by the anchor tenants like IKEA. The sale includes buildings leased by Ross Dress for Less, America’s Tire, Petco, Sketchers, IHOP, Sleep Train, La-Z-Boy and a number of other retailers.

Before IKEA bought their own site and built their store in 2005-2006, three decades of development efforts included attempts to build an auto mall, office park, discount mall, furniture mall and an Indian casino.

Kevin Ramos, chief investment officer of BOGC, said in a press statement that development following IKEA’s opening was tough.

“We are very proud of our entire organization’s execution of a complicated project during a very challenging economic environment in 2008-2011,” said Ramos. “Our partnership took a significant risk, during a difficult economic period to say the least, and successfully delivered a project that will benefit our community for many years.”

Ramos said the project delivered $20 million in development fees, $1.25 million per year in property tax increment and over $2 million in annual sales tax revenue to the City of West Sacramento.

BOGC and Ramco have retained two retail pads at the site along I-80 and the 105,000 square foot Riverpoint Corporate Center building, which they report is 92 percent leased.

CORE Commercial in Sacramento represented the seller in the transaction.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2015

Opinion: being a foster parent is not as hard as you may think

NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 7, 2015

By Cherie Schroeder
Yolo County Foster Kinship Care Program

Local families are needed for local foster children, newborns through transitional age youth.

AUTHOR CHERIE SCHROEDER  (News-Ledger file photo/2009)

AUTHOR CHERIE SCHROEDER
(News-Ledger file photo/2009)

Winter can be harsh on children and families. During the month of November and into early December there was a definite up-swing in the number of children Yolo County DESS brought into protective custody, at no fault of their own, who needed a safe and loving place to call home.

Foster children are the children of our communities.  When a local home is not found, these vulnerable kids are often placed miles away from their family of origin, taking them away from services, supports, friends, school, and all that is known to them.

You may ask yourself, “How can I help?”

Becoming a foster home is not as hard or scary as one may think. At the core of quality foster parenting, are traits that include being present and available, flexible, kind and stable.  As one local foster mother shared,

“Children in foster care arrive to us from places where joy and safety are scarce. At every turn, I find opportunities to hold a hand, share a smile and to bring out laughter. Delight is found and given from sand between toes, reading a funny book, or giving a goofy smile.  My husband and I give lots love and kisses to the precious little person entrusted to our care.  These are simple gifts that mean so much to our foster toddler and serve to help put the pieces of her life back together.”

The research is clear; a caring committed adult can make a tremendous difference in a child’s life. Will you consider opening your home and heart to a child in need?  A free and informal “Introduction to Foster Care” workshop is being offered Tuesday evening, January 20th from 6:30 to 9:30 pm at the Child Welfare Office in West Sacramento.  We will be in Community Room 1A located at 500 Jefferson Blvd., off Triangle Court, across from the Police Station. Reservations aren’t needed; you are welcome to just stop by.

To learn more about Yolo County Foster Care check out our website at www.yolofostercare.com.  Questions are welcomed by Recruitment and Retention Specialist, Cherie Schroeder by calling her at (530) 574-1964.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2015

Feds & state again fund West Sacramento DUI checkpoint program

NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 7, 2015

West Sacramento’s police department announced last month that it will receive renewed funding for DUI checkpoints and other traffic enforcement.

The department has been awarded a $ 91,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) for a year-long program of special enforcements and public awareness efforts to prevent traffic related deaths and injuries, it reported.   West Sacramento Police Department will use the funding as part of the city’s ongoing commitment to keep our roadways safe and improve the quality of life through both enforcement and education.

“After falling dramatically between 2006 and 2010, the number of persons killed and injured in traffic collisions saw slight increases in 2011 and 2012,” said the W.S.P.D. statement. “Particularly worrisome are recent increases in pedestrian and motorcycle fatalities and the dangers of distracting technologies. This grant funding will provide opportunities to combat these and other devastating problems such as drunk and drugged driving and speeding.”

“California’s roadways are still among the safest in the nation,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft in a press statement.  “But to meet future mobility, safety, and sustainability objectives, we must create safer roadways for all users.  The West Sacramento Police Department will be using these and other resources to reach the vision we all share – Toward zero deaths, every 1 counts.”

Activities that the grant will fund include:
•    DUI checkpoints
•    DUI saturation patrols
•    Motorcycle safety enforcement
•    Distracted driving enforcement
•    Seat belt and child safety seat enforcement
•    Speed, red light, and stop sign enforcement
•    Warrant service operations targeting multiple DUI offenders
•    Compilation of DUI “Hot Sheets,” identifying worst-of-the-worst DUI offenders
•    Specialized DUI and drugged driving training such as Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST), Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE), and Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE)

Funding for this program is from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Copyright News-Ledger 2015

News-Ledger ‘letters to the editor’

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 7, 2015

Liking the new bridge
As a Southport resident I have already enjoyed driving on the new Mike McGowan Bridge near my home. Not only does it shave a few minutes off driving, the bridge is a good start for diverting heavy traffic from Jefferson Boulevard.

Mike McGowan is deserving of the bridge’s name (see Mike McGowan: the man whose name is on that new bridge”, News-Ledger, December 3, 2014) for playing an important role in making West Sacramento a good place to live.

Thanks to Jay Davidson, senior civil engineer at the City of West Sacramento for addressing my initial concerns, such as cars using the bridge as a “pass through” and to the city council for promptly going forward with the project.

Keep up the good work, City of West Sacramento!

DAVID PAUL
West Sacramento

__________

Buses & carts
(Editor’s note: Author Bill Lowell speaks below about the need for a new shopping cart design that can fit aboard public buses — something like an airline carry-on  bag with wheels and a handle).

For bus-riding shoppers and retailers, a major tool is often missing: we need a tall, medium-size suitcase-shaped shopping cart which would fit between forward-facing bus seats. The right shape is particularly important for YoloBus riders, since recent insurance rules prohibit use of the front flip seats and over 90% of shopping carts, when filled, do not fit between forward-facing seats. This lack of right size/right shape personal shopping cart availability not only discourages shopping in Yolo County, but appears to be a major reason so many retailers’ commercial shopping carts are “borrowed” without being returned.

While the homeless take many such carts, retailers would greatly reduce such costs and attract more preferred customers by offering the public such a suitcase-shaped shopping cart.

WILLIAM A. LOWELL
West Sacramento

__________

Adopt a dog, cat
   (Editor’s note: although we weren’t able to publish this letter before the holidays, we thought it is still a timely topic)
The Yolo County Sheriff’s Office, Animal Services Section would like to thank our community for their on-going support for shelter animals throughout the year. Nearly 3,600 at risk animals (lost, homeless or unwanted) entered our doors in Yolo County last calendar year.  Your generosity created life-saving outcomes for more that 90 percent of them! During this season of giving and sharing we hope you will continue to help us provide for homeless shelter animals now and in the future.

Part of this effort is ‘Homes for the Holidays!’ Old policies in the industry state pets should not be adopted as gifts. This belief, however, is counter to research by the ASPCA which indicates dogs and cats obtained as gifts are actually more likely to stay within those homes, whether the pet is a surprise or not!  Help us support that theory!
If you or someone you know are considering providing a home for a shelter pet there are 11 medium to small dogs and 11 adult cats and 6 kittens which would love to be in a new home for the holidays!  Recommendations for success when adopting pets as gifts are to consider the recipient’s interest in adopting, their lifestyle, make sure parents of young children are ready to be a caregivers and their schedule will help assure an easy transition into the new home.    If you or your friends are not ready for the commitment of adopting you are encouraged to volunteer; help with fostering, shelter care, laundry, and socialization and office tasks.  Last year 429 cats and dogs were helped by our foster program; some underage and many that needed a temporary home prior to finding their forever fit.  Check out our Facebook page and if you love it, like it!

Animal Services, located at 140-C Tony Diaz Drive, Woodland is accepting donations of liquid laundry detergent; used to wash animal bedding, dry or canned pet food, especially cat food for Mouse’s Pantry, new or gently used towels or wash cloths and lap size acrylic blankets.  Toys are also welcome; for cats they must be washable and toys for dogs should be hard nylabone or Kong type; nothing with fabric stuffing as they are not safe for shelter dogs.  Tax-deductable monetary donations are always welcome; it can be a general donation or designated for such things as helping with spay and neuter or surgical needs for injured homeless strays.

Contact the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office, Animal Services Section at (530) 668-5287.

VICKY FLETCHER
MICHAEL NEVIS
Animal Services Section
Yolo Co. Sheriff’s Dept.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2015