Tag Archives: west sacramento news

Group rates for solar in Yolo County

MATT REXROAD Yolo County Supervisor, whose Third District includes southern Woodland and the northern edge of West Sacramento (County of Yolo photo)

Yolo County Supervisor, whose Third District includes southern Woodland and the northern edge of West Sacramento (County of Yolo photo)


By Matt Rexroad
Yolo County Supervisor

Energy independence means different things to different people and no energy source will better help residents hedge against rising electricity costs and move from dirty sources of energy more than solar. It is a domestic, reliable, renewable and abundant solution.

On this Independence Day, consider this: enough solar energy hits the U.S. each hour to power our nation for a year.

In 2008 local governments and other organizations including school districts and universities joined the Yolo County Climate Change Compact. These jurisdictions, including Yolo County and the cities of Davis, Winters, Woodland and West Sacramento pledged to take steps to offer programs that engaged citizens in reducing climate change through energy conservation and renewable energy solutions like solar.

If you’ve been thinking about putting solar on your roof, or fixing those leaky windows and ducts, but were put off by the cost, throughout the month of July the Yolo Climate Compact is providing homeowners with an opportunity to learn if these solutions are right for their home through a limited time program called Energy Benefits Yolo.

Energy Benefits Yolo is a new group discount program for energy efficiency upgrades and solar installations led by the Yolo Climate Compact and the non-profit ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability USA. By pooling buying power of the community, the program offers residents the ability to add solar energy to their homes at prices that are 20% lower than the average cost of solar in Yolo County.

The program also helps homeowners by taking the guesswork out of selecting a reputable vendor, as it uses certified contractors that went through a vetting and approval process. According to Tom Stallard, a member of the Woodland city council “I used the program to install solar on my house and have been impressed with the results and want others to know about this opportunity.”

The Yolo Climate Compact’s motivation for the program is to encourage residents to at least consider energy efficiency upgrades and solar energy for their home. “Solar energy is a great way to stabilize your energy costs for the next 25 years,” reports Yolo Energy Watch Program Manager John-Mott Smith.

Summer necessities in Yolo County like air conditioning and pool pumps can add significant cost to electric bills. Installing new insulation and harnessing solar power is a great way for families throughout our community to become energy independent and live comfortably year round without spending a fortune. The onsite solar assessment is free (electricity and solar hot water), and the onsite energy efficiency assessment is discounted to $99 for most homes (normally $500).

As the Chair of the Yolo Climate Compact, I am proud to champion this program along with the Mayors of Davis, Winters, Woodland and West Sacramento. To date over 220 residents have participated in Energy Benefits Yolo. Join your neighbors and get signed up to receive a no-obligation assessment by July 31.

Visit: http://www.mygroupenergy.com/yolo/.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Caution issued for city dog park


The City of West Sacramento on Friday issued a warning about a possible canine parvovirus threat at the dog park on Stone Boulevard.

A local dog was reported to have developed the contagious disease. The dog had frequented the Sam Combs Dog Park, 205 Stone Blvd.

“Following the advice of veterinarians, city staff completed steps to minimize the further spread of the virus,” said statement on the City website. “Unvaccinated animals should avoid using Sam Combs Park at the present time. Consult your vet for more information. Canine Parvovirus is not known to infect humans.”

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Water polo team heads to Junior Olympics

West Sacramento Water Polo Club, 2013

West Sacramento Water Polo Club, 2013


The West Sac Water Polo Clubhas qualified for the 2013 Junior Olympics.

It’s a first for Ryan “Coach Moe” Mosley and the West Sac Water Polo Club.  After a grueling two days of exceptional water polo last month, the winning 18-and-under boys’ team locked in their ticket to Orange County to compete against teams from all across the United States.

In another club “first,” its 16-and-under boys team this year will have a chance to experience the increased levels of competition found at the Central Valley Junior Olympics Qualifier.

The two teams played a total of 12 games, spread over two days at three separate Olympic-quality high school aquatic facilities in the city of Clovis. The games were intense and exhausting, including the nail-biting overtime shoot-outs.

The 18-and under squad included  RCHS students Austin “Junior” Stewart, Christopher Irish, Hunter Hartman, Jeret Tiller, Lucas Talbott, Adam Rodgers, and goalie Stetson Tate.

The younger squad featured RCHS students as well as members of the West Sacramento Dolphins swim team, including Bret Bachmeier, Johnathan Keilman, Julian Wright, Brennen Whipple, Quinn Riedel, Ryan Dela Rosa, Tyler “Eggnog” Packham, and goalie Cameron Guiliano-Puzi.
The team is raising money for the trip to Orange County for the 2013 Junior Olympics, July 26-30.

The team trains at the Rec Center pool in Southport.

For information, visit www.westsacwaterpolo.com.

  Heather Wright and the West Sacramento Water Polo Club provided the information and photo for this report.

  Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Low adoption fees for ‘Kitty Palooza’


The animal services section of the Yolo County Sheriff’s office is holding “Kitty Palooza” through July.

Special low adoption fees include $15 for a cat six months or younger or two for $25; or $5 for an older at. Dogs will be adoptable at $50, with pit bulls and their mixes at $25. These reduced fees include spaying & neutering surgery, vaccinations, microchipping and morel. The shelter is located at 140 Tony Diaz Drive, Woodland. Visitors are invited to help the shelter by bringing a bag of non-clumping kitty litter when visiting. For more information, go to www.yolocountysheriff.com, animal services division.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Starting a business in West Sac?


The Sacramento chapter of SCORE invites you to a class on how to start a new business. The class sessions will be held at the West Sacramento library branch, 1212 Merkley Avenue, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on four Tuesdays beginning July 9. Registration required, phone the library at 375-6465.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Yolo: ‘compliance check’ for sex offenders


Law enforcement agents throughout the county conducted a compliance sweep of over 110 registered sex offenders — arresting ten of them for  violations such as possession of pornography, possessing children’s clothing,  or failing to register at a current address.   Investigators seized 22 computers and other “smart” devices used by the registered offenders, taking them for further study of their contents.

Overall, 86 percent of the offenders were found in compliance with their requirements.

Fifteen agencies participated — including the Yolo County District Attorney’s office, California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation, and the Sacramento Valley High Tech Task Force, along with the FBI.

“The fact that nearly nine out of ten of our sex offenders were in compliance shows that collectively we have been successful on a daily basis of supervising sex offenders in the county,” said D.A. Jeff Reisig in a press release. “But each year during ‘Operation Vigilance,’ we catch a number of these offenders through face to face contacts and because of the efforts of  our highly trained computer forensic experts.”

At least five of those arrested in the sweep were West Sacramento residents.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Beer garden eyes site on South River Road: partial reincarnation of ‘Brew It Up!’


By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

One of the first things into the re-purposed “Pioneer Bluffs” area of West Sacramento may be a brewery and beer garden from a principal at the former “Brew It Up!” restaurant in downtown Sacramento. Mike Costello, the former president, general manager and CEO at that establishment, said last week his current group is  “very close” to signing a lease on South River Road.

MICHAEL COSTELLO: at center of plan for beer garden on South River Road (file photo, courtesy of Jennifer Schumacher/River City High School faculty)

MICHAEL COSTELLO: at center of plan for beer garden on South River Road
(file photo, courtesy of Jennifer Schumacher/River City High School faculty)

Costello aims to create a “regional draw,” saying “we’re really excited about being able to fill in the gap for casual, family-friendly dining.”

He declined to specify the exact site under negotiations, but acknowledged it is on South River Road, south of the Pioneer Bridge freeway overpass, and not directly on the water.

“It’s huge – more than 20,000 square feet,” he added, saying the site will likely be home to other tenants including, possibly, a farmers’ market and a coffee roaster. Those tenants, too, could come in quickly.

“Our goal is to be brewing in four months, and have the pub fully outfitted in six months,” said Costello. “It’s on the Pioneer Bluffs, so its name will have something to do with Pioneer Bluffs.”

Those bluffs are most notable where the deep water ship canal currently severs South River Road. But the City of West Sacramento is now proceeding on a long-planned new bridge to connect South River Road across this canal, linking the city’s eastern riverfront from Southport to the freeway and Bridge District. The new brewery and commercial center could be the first major tenant in as the “Pioneer Bluffs” begin an expected transition from older industrial uses to a more urban, riverfront style.

What is on tap, so to speak, at the new establishment?

“There will be a beer garden and outdoor event space,” said Costello. “There will be a personal brewery (where customers can make their own beer). That’s one of the things that sets this brewery. . . . apart from every other craft brewer in Northern California. It creates a fun relationship with customers.”

“Brew It Up!” went out of business in 2011 after about eight years in Sacramento and about seven previous years in Davis. Costello said there were some lessons learned, and there will be adjustments to the business plan.

“The big, glaring mistake we made. . . was to walk in on day one with two much debt,” he said. “We also had a lease structure that started out all right, but over the years increased as most leases do.”

The economy also took a toll, and the menu probably overreached.

“Conceptually, one of some of the things we realized we probably should have changed was to tighten the menu, tighten the focus,” he said.

“This will be a much tighter-focused menu. . . really creative and tasty hot sandwiches, and a good set of entrée salads, and a great set of appetizers that will go well with beer. We’ll tighten up the wine menu and the liquor menu. The focus will be on the beer side.”

“There will be about 30-36 taps, with maybe 20 or two dozen of our own (beers) and a great selection of guest taps.”

“Our target is to produce about 1,200 barrels a year in the first year,” said Costello. That’s 37,200 gallons, at 31 gallons per barrel. The new brewery will focus on on-site sales at first, because that’s where the higher profit margins are.

Special events and outdoor events will be stressed – and some of those could even begin within the next few months, said Costello.

“Of course we’re going to do Brew Fest, also Oktoberfest,” he commented. “One of the other ideas we have is to do a huge pumpkin carving festival. And we could start doing some food trucks and festivals on the site as soon as we get the lease, just to draw attention.”

About a dozen investors are involved, reports Costello, adding that his role will be that of an employee.

At “Brew It Up!,” said Castillo, “I was president, C.E.O., general manager and all that. Basically, this time around, I’ll be general manager. I’ll have a front house manager, a kitchen manager. I’ll be involved in the brewing, but there will be a team of brewers.”

The year 2013 seems to be a big one for beer brewing in West Sacramento. Sacramento’s Rubicon Brewing is opening a production facility near Ikea, and a couple of “nano-breweries” called Jackrabbit and Bike Dog plan to open up near Industrial Boulevard and the port.

Costello believes this growth is partly because of brewery-friendly zoning laws in West Sacramento. It may be easier to navigate the red tape here than it is across the river, he said.

The brewery appears to be landing in this city after a regional site search.

“Over the last year and a half, we’ve been looking at dozens of sites downtown (Sacramento), eastern Sacramento and in West Sacramento,” he reported.

“As I talk to other businesses. . . there is definitely a sense of West Sacramento being more attuned to start-ups in the beverage industries,” said Costello. “The zoning changes they made here really make it simple for a star-up brewery, or even an existing brewery, to do business.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if there are two or three more on our heels that decide to land over here, which is going to make this city alone a real destination for beer tourists.”


  Do you like what you see here?

  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 2013