Tag Archives: west sacramento news

How one woman opts out of holiday madness: Daryl’s column sheds some light

NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 29, 2014 —

With another lengthy holiday season finally behind us, I am reminded of a friend who doesn’t think too highly of the Christmas holidays and is always thrilled when they are completely over. And she gets especially upset by the fact that they seem to start earlier each year.

BY DARYL FISHER, News-Ledger Features Editor

BY DARYL FISHER, News-Ledger Features Editor

“It wasn’t even Halloween yet,” she told me the other day, “and all the same useless garbage they sell every year during the holidays was already popping up in all the stores, not to mention all the items that were marked `sale’ when in reality they weren’t truly on sale at all. The whole holiday season has become much too commercialized and I simply refuse to participate in Christmas anymore.”

“What do you mean?” I asked with interest.

“Well,” she explained, “a few years back I just decided that enough was enough. I was sick of slaving away making Christmas cookies and spending countless hours in crowded shopping malls picking out gifts that just got returned anyway. Plus it was really starting to cause problems for me and my husband.”

“Christmas?” I asked, wondering how my favorite holiday could possibly be detrimental to a marriage.

“You see,” she continued, “most men just don’t realize how much time and effort goes into making the Christmas season the merry old time it’s supposed to be. They don’t have to do all the shopping, the cooking, the stupid Christmas cards, the thank you notes, nothing. In fact, once the football season is underway, I can’t get my husband to do much of anything. You’re not like that, are you?”

“Of course not,” I lied.

“For instance,” she said, “just before Halloween, I took the grandkids over to the local pumpkin patch and I had to chase after them all by myself because my husband’s favorite football team was losing by 150 points and he still couldn’t get off the couch because he was sure they were going to make a miraculous comeback. Anyway, we always seem to have lots of fights during the holiday season and when we started throwing Christmas ornaments at each other a few years ago, I knew I had to do something.”

“So what did you do?” I asked with interest.

“Well,” she said matter-of-factly, “now that the kids are all grown and on their own, my husband and I simply don’t do Christmas anymore.”

“You’re kidding?”

“Nope. No more lighted reindeer in the yard, no outrageously expensive Christmas tree to take up half the living room, and best of all, no having over a bunch of relatives and cooking a big dinner for people I can’t stand for more than a few hours at a time. We don’t even exchange gifts.”

“Really?” I asked in awe. “You completely ignore Christmas?”

“That’s right, except for going to church, of course. You ought to try it. It’s heaven.”

“But I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone totally ignoring Christmas.”

“Believe me, more people are doing it every year. We even leave town. In fact, next Christmas we are going on a cruise. Have you ever been on one?”

“No, I haven’t,” I admitted.

“Well,” she said with excitement in her eyes, “you just float around on a huge boat with all the comforts of home and then every now and then it pulls into a port and you get to spend the whole day going in and out of all these cute little shops. It must be wonderful!”

“Well,” I said, knowing that my friend is extremely weight-conscious , “I don’t think you want to be taking one of those Alaskan cruises.”

“Why do you say that?” she asked with interest. “It’s actually right up there on top of our list.”

“Well, a friend of mine went on one and said that they served her five meals a day, including lots of fancy desserts, and that she gained ten pounds and came home fat as a cow.”

“Ten pounds?” said my friend with horror. “You can’t be serious?”

Quickly realizing I had said the wrong thing, I decided to try and change the subject, but for some reason, the following words came tumbling uncontrollably out of my mouth:

“You know, I just read somewhere that there’s this new scientific study which shows that women – particularly those of European descent like you – are actually designed not only to store fat, but to resist losing it. In fact, it turns out that women have an enhanced ability to accumulate fat and are supposed to maintain at least a two-to-one fat-ratio to men. You see, these scientists were dissecting these female gorillas, and underneath all that furry skin, particularly around the thighs, they found this really impressive layer of fat. So they asked themselves why that should be and they came up with this new theory – that women just aren’t supposed to have thin thighs, narrow hips and flat stomachs. Apparently women were given a body shape by evolution designed to store fat for lactation and hard times. Now, unlike rabbits, who average only four percent body fat because a slow rabbit is a dead rabbit, women are…..

“Stop it!” she suddenly shouted.

“But all I’m saying is that it’s just not fair for society to hold women to a low-fat standard of beauty and that you ought to be able to eat anything you want on your holiday cruises.”

Although she didn’t say so, I got the distinct impression that had a Christmas ornament been available, she would have thrown it at me.

Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Veterans Day volunteers from West Sac

LEFT TO RIGHT: Volunteers Walt James, Tom Engle, Roberta Firoved, Don Huynh of River City Interact Club, Carol Thomas, and Jack Chan of River City Interact Club. (Photo by Don Schatzel, Centennial Rotary Club)

 

 

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 22, 2014 —

Volunteers place live wreaths on the graves of military veterans at the Sacramento Valley National Veterans Cemetery in Dixon.  Others remove the wreaths for recycling after the holiday.

This year, on Jan. 11, it was members of the Centennial Rotary Club of West Sacramento who performed cleanup duty, along with several students from the River City High School Interact Club.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Free flu shot clinic on Wednesday

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER —

The Yolo County Health Department has put another free flu vaccine clinic on the schedule in West Sacramento, in order to help you stave off the “H1N1” virus.

So far, says county spokesperson Beth Gabor, five Yolo County residents have been sent to the intensive care unit after coming down with the flu.

Vaccine is available for those age six and up. Those age 2-49 may receive it through “flu mist” instead of a needle.

The free clinic is scheduled for 4-8 p.m. on Wed., Feb. 5, at West Sacramento City Hall, 1110 West Capitol Avenue.

 

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Southport rail-to-trail opens Friday

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER —

West Sacramento officials plan to officially open the Clarksburg Branch Line Trail in a ceremony Friday morning at 10:00 a.m., just east of the Target store (2005 Town Center Plaza).

The city has converted a 1.25-mile segment of the former Yolo Short Line Railroad into a paved multi-use trail ranging from River City High School northward to South River Road. Funding assistance came from the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG).

The trail is accessible to cyclists and pedestrians for commuting, shopping and recreation, reports city spokesman Art Schroeder.

Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Conviction in 2006 murder/robbery at West Sacramento nightclub

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE — JAN 27, 2014

The office of Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced that earlier today, a local jury convicted a man after a “cold case” investigation for a 2006 murder and robbery.

Juan Antonio Gonzales, a 29-year old from Sacramento, was found guilty of first degree murder, with the “special circumstance” of killing during a robbery. He robbed and shot Alfonso Prado, a janitor at Ortega’s West bar, on June 18, 2006.

According to the D.A.’s office, Prado was cleaning the bar at 4205 West Capitol Avenue in West Sacramento when “unknown intruders” robbed him and shot him in the chest, killing him.

“Three days later, the Sacramento Police Department recovered a handgun and entered identifying information into the National Ballistics Network,” said the D.A.’s office. “Two years later, a ‘cold hit’ established that the gun, which was last in the possession of an associate of defendant Gonzalez, was the weapon used to kill Mr. Prado. A year later, the Department of Justice Criminalistics Laboratory received a ‘cold hit’ identification establishing that a small amount of blood found at the scene matched DNA from defendant Gonzales.”

Eight years after the murder, a trial concluded with the “guilty” verdict. Gonzales faces life in state prison without the possibility of parole, and will be sentenced March 3 by Judge Stephen L. Mock.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

West Sac tries again for riverfront hotel

NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 22, 2014 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

West Sacramento officials will try, with at least their third serious effort, to bring a Marriott Hotel to the city riverfront. They envision a project complete with conference center and other amenities.

Last Wednesday, the city council approved an “exclusive negotiation agreement” with Portman Holdings, an Atlanta-based developer whose projects include a Marriott at Union Square in San Francisco and a project in Shanghai, for a possible development deal.

The new hotel is still slated for a three-acre spot near Raley Field, on land now under negotiation. The design has been pared down a bit, from 343 rooms during the last attempt to 300 “keys” in the current iteration, and with reduced conference space.

City officials believe that market forces may well support a hotel, but that public participation is needed if it is to include a conference center and ballroom. So the West Sacramento Finance Authority, a city-related entity, plans to invest up to $28 million to build and own the conference center in of the project.

Portman Holdings, LLC, was chosen from among applicants responding to city outreach to a “short list” of possible hotel developers. Portman Holdings and the city have given themselves 120 days to try to hammer out a project deal. They anticipate Portman will also hammer out a deal to acquire the property from Bridge District Riverfront LLC.

“The direct benefit to the City is the generation of increased property, transient occupancy and sales taxes that in the long term will fund municipal services and construction of public infrastructure,” said a city staff report on the new agreement.

Only one member of the public spoke at Wednesday’s meeting on the project. Jeff Lyon of the north-area Washington Neighborhood Association asked the developer to pressure the city to clean up the homeless camps along the riverfront.

“Why does the mayor welcome the homeless to illegally camp along the river?,” Lyon asked from the podium. “We want to send a message loud and clear, far and wide, that our mayor is not enforcing the law.”

He said the riverfront was “infested” with illegal homeless campers.

The four council members in attendance, though, focused on expressing support for the development deal.

Councilman Mark Johannessen noted that projects are percolating on both the Sacramento and West Sacramento sides of the river.

“Hopefully, the arena is going to be starting on the other side of the river,” he said. “We have, hopefully, a streetcar that will be coming in a year after that. So the timing couldn’t be better.”

His colleague Bill Kristoff added:

“It is not just that stand-alone hotel – it’s the other things that happen because of the hotel.”

“It’s really prime real estate,” observed council member Oscar Villegas. “It’s one of the best corners in the region.”

MAYOR CHRISTOPHER CABALDON:  'no ribbon cutting yet' on elusive new hotel (News-Ledger file photo)

MAYOR CHRISTOPHER CABALDON: ‘no ribbon cutting yet’ on elusive new hotel (News-Ledger file photo)

And Mayor Christopher Cabaldon added that the new hotel project could serve local residents, providing a place to dine and hold weddings. Noting that the city has tried before to make the project happen, he added:

“There is no ribbon cutting yet. . . but this represents a very strong opportunity to make the hotel a reality.”

All four council members voted in favor of the 120-day period for exclusive negotiations with Portman Holdings; Council Member Chris Ledesma was absent.

In other business, the council voted 4-0 to support a bill by State Senator Alex Padilla to phase out single-use plastic bags such as those offered by supermarkets. The bags are believed to be a problem for sewage systems and waterways. Padilla was on hand for the vote.

The council will hold a special strategic planning session, with a facilitator, on Monday and Tuesday at city hall. Monday’s meeting begins at 9:30 a.m., and Tuesday’s at 9 a.m. The meetings are public.

 

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Another biting dog sought after incident on Jefferson Blvd onramp

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE — JAN 27, 2014 —

The Yolo County Animal Services Division is asking the public for help in locating a dog involved in a biting incident on the I-80 onramp at Jefferson Boulevard yesterday (Sunday, Jan. 26).

A woman was bit by the ‘pit bull’ type dog as she “attempted to contain the dog from traffic,” reports the County of Yolo’s Animal Services Division. The woman suffered a bite on her left ear.

The dog was described as “large with a stocky build, brown in color, with white markings.” It was last seen at the onramp.

If authorities can locate the dog and verify rabies vaccination, the victim can avoid undergoing rabies exposure treatment.

Anyone with information is asked to call (530) 668-5287 or email animal.bite@yolocounty.org.

Authorities announced earlier this month they were looking for a brown or ‘brindle’ boxer-type dog after a Jan. 10 bite at the dog park on Stone Blvd.  That incident was reported by the News-Ledger here.

Copyright News-Ledger 2014