Tag Archives: west sacramento news

Make your garden friendly to honey bees, as well as native bee species

The male ‘carpenter bee’ -- a native bee. Click to enlarge.  (Courtesy of ALLAN JONES)

The male ‘carpenter bee’ — a native bee also known as the “teddy bear bee.” Click to enlarge. (Courtesy of ALLAN JONES)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JUNE 5, 2013 —

By Mary K. Hanson
Tuleyome Association

Most likely you recognize the European honey bees when you see them, but did you know that California also boasts over 1600 species of native bees?  There are actually over 300 species just in Yolo County alone, and like honey bees, these guys lend a significant hand in pollinating local crops.

Recognizing many of the native bee species may be a little difficult for those of us without an entomology background, but there are some real standouts like the Blue Orchard Bees, the Metallic Sweat Bees, and the Valley Carpenter Bees which at about 1-inch in length are the largest bees in California.  The female Carpenter Bees are shiny black, but the stingless males are fat, fuzzy and golden blond with large green compound eyes.  They are often referred to as “Teddy Bear Bees.”

At the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven in Davis, CA, I was lucky enough to speak with Dr. Robbin Thorp about bee conservation and how we can all help to preserve the species that are native to our region… and I also got up close to some of the Teddy Bear Bees. Some bee species are dwindling in numbers due to loss of habitat, disease and malnutrition.  In northern California, for example, four species of bumblebees are already on the endangered list and one, the Franklin’s Bumblebee, may now be extinct.  The good news is that it’s not too late to help our native bees.  You can even create native-bee-friendly zones right in your own backyard.

Unlike honey bees that live together in massive colonies, native bees are generally solitary and unobtrusive guests.  They live in small burrows in the ground or in narrow tunnels in wood.  In your garden, you can encourage native bees to nest by providing them with patches of sunny, untilled, well-drained soil to burrow into.  Or you can set up “bee condos” for them by drilling tunnels into chunks of wood, and setting those up in your garden.

After mating, the female bee will enter her underground hideout or the bee condo you’ve created, and will lay her eggs on little balls of doughy pollen.  She’ll then seal up the brood chamber with mud, pieces of leaves or resin so the babies are safe and well fed while they’re developing.

  Most native bees don’t live for more than a season, and they spend a lot of time in their burrows while they’re maturing, so you may only see them on the wing for a month or two.  The best time to see the Teddy Bear Bees, for example, is between May and June in the late afternoon.   Keep in mind that while the female bees have stingers, they usually only use them if they get trapped somewhere (like inside your clothing).

Dr. Thorp reminds us that native bees are “vegans” who need sugar from nectar and protein from pollen to survive, so planting a garden with that in mind will help to sustain the bees in your area.  Almond trees, apple trees, acacia, germander and salvia plants produce a lot of flowers the bees really go for.  They also like thyme, rosemary and most forms of daisy-like flowers.  If you’re planting rose bushes, keep in mind that there isn’t enough pollen in the fancy multi-petal hybrid roses to feed the bees; they need roses with the simple five-petal blossoms on them that have lots of anthers.  Plant for blooms throughout the year and you’ll always have a supply of food for the bees. All of this will help ensure pollination of your flowers and fruit trees, and will turn your backyard into a friendly place for the bees to be!

 

  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

 

Raley Field: new citizens take oath

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER NEWSPAPER —

You can watch hundreds of people from over 50 countries take the oath of American citizenship at a ceremony at 9 a.m. on June 12 at Raley Field.

The Raley Field baseball stadium is located at 300 Ballpark Drive, West Sacramento.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

My commencement advice? Go forth, grads — but first, lose those saggy pants

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JUNE 5, 2013 —

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always wanted to give one of those high school graduation commencement speeches. You know, where you put on a cap and gown and stand up in front of a whole graduating class and tell them what you think they need to know about life and how they should go about having a good one. But the last time I did any public speaking my daughter told me my nose twitched the whole time from being nervous, so I probably wouldn’t make much of a commencement speaker. Anyway, it’s still fun to think about what I would like to tell a gymnasium full of graduating high school seniors who weren’t allowed to leave until I was through, and I think it would go something like this:

Let me begin my remarks this evening with some long ago words from Socrates: “Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners and contempt for authority. They show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents and chatter before company. They gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.”

Socrates’ buddy, Plato, went ever further, writing “What is happening to our young people? They disrespect their elders and disobey their parents. They ignore the law. They riot in the streets inflamed with wild notions. Their morals are decaying. What is to become of them?”

And some guy named Hesiod, who lived about four centuries before Socrates and Plato were even born, threw up his hands in disgust and said, “I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on the frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words.”

So, it would seem that for as long as there has been recorded history, old people (even wise ones) have been convinced that young people were going to screw up the world as they knew it. Yet, for better or worse, the human race is still here, so young people must be doing something right.

Okay, this is the place in my speech when I am supposed to tell you to live up to your potential, follow your bliss, and make a difference in the world. But since I assume all of you will be trying to do those things, I will skip all of that and just pass along the following specific advice:

Be kind, especially to yourself. Life is a tough go and it’s really true that in the end, only kindness matters.

Be generous, with both your time and your money. You were really blessed to be born in such a free and wealthy country and you need to give back whenever possible.

Don’t suffer fools gladly, even if they are related to you. The fools of this world are full of negative energy and eager to weigh you down and make you heavy. You need to get them out of your life as soon as possible.

For all of you guys out there who have spent much of the past four years strolling through hallways and referring to the girls you passed as bitches, whores, and worse, you might want to start knocking that off, since those young girls that you so easily disrespect are soon going to be your wives and the mothers of your children. Not to mention that you might have daughters yourself someday.

  For those of you who habitually use cuss words as adjectives, know that your future employers are going to demand that you have a much better grasp of the English language. Oh, and the last I looked, there is no good-paying job on earth (unless you are really good at rapping) that will allow you to show up at the office with your pants falling off your butt.

Remember that before anything really magical can happen in your life, you have to imagine it first.

Try not to spend too much time watching the news, especially Fox News. We don’t need more Dittoheads in this world.

Make time to go down roads that go nowhere, or at least go walkabout on some of the ones that have been less traveled.

To all of you who aren’t too interested in politics, you need to be. If you don’t vote, know that those who always do are old and set in their ways and often could care less about the things that are going to shape your lives, like climate change, the cost of entitlement programs, and the global economy. Plus our elected politicians always seem to love to start new wars, and you are going to be the ones who are sent off to distant places to fight and die in them, assuming of course your generation is brave enough to insist that we stop having an all-volunteer army to do our dirty work for us.

Never stop being curious. It may kill cats, but it’s what keeps human beings truly alive and well.

For those of you who are in love with credit cards, you need to know that compound interest can be your best friend, or your very worst enemy.

Remember that life is never fair or just and that it belongs to those who are willing to risk.

And most important of all, put your computer games, iPhones, and other electronic gadgets down every now and then and look into the faces of others!

_________________

  Daryl can be reached at:
daryl@news-ledger.com

  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

 

MADD honors prosecutor, local cop

Jonathan Raven, a Yolo County Prosecutor honored by 'Mothers Against Drunk Driving.' (courtesy of Yolo County District Attorney's office)

Jonathan Raven, a Yolo County Prosecutor honored by ‘Mothers Against Drunk Driving.’ (courtesy of Yolo County District Attorney’s office)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JUNE 5, 2013 —

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has given its “Prosecutor of the Year” award in California to Jonathan Raven, Chief Deputy District Attorney in Yolo County. The award “is presented to one prosecutor who has made a significant impact in one or multiple cases and worked closely with MADD,” reports the office of District Attorney Jeff Reisig.

Judy Utter, a senior victim services specialist for MADD, said she saw Raven make a difference in a local case in which a family lost their daughter in a DUI accident.

“The judge was ready to let the defendant out of custody when Jonathan stood up and cited a new constitutional amendment giving victims the right to speak out at bail hearings,” said Utter, quoted by the D.A.’s office. “Jonathan spoke with me and the mom outside and the mom made a passionate statement to the judge in open court. The judge did not let the defendant out of custody.”

At the same recent award ceremony, several regional police officers were honored by MADD for fighting impaired driving. They included West Sacramento officer Matt Boudinot.

 

  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

 

Free local orchestra concert Sunday

West Sacramento Community Orchestra (News-Ledger file photo)

West Sacramento Community Orchestra (News-Ledger file photo)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER NEWSPAPER —

The West Sacramento Community Orchestra invites you to a free concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 9, at the civic center galleria (1110 West Capitol). On the program are Buck’s “Festival Overture,” Fillmore’s “Lassus Trombone,” Custer’s “Star Trek Through The Years” and a tribute to Elvis by Ricketts, among other selections.

The orchestra will also play at 7:30 p.m. on June 11 at Centennial Methodist Church at 5401 Freeport Blvd., Sacramento. For information, call 991-5262.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

West Sacramento school board plans special, strategic meeting

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE — JUNE 7, 2013 —

West Sacramento’s public school district announced yesterday they will hold a special strategic session on Saturday. The meeting will cover “governance team building” as well as “goals, objectives, policies and priorities” for the school board and district.

The special session begins at 9 a.m. on June 8 in Room 75 at the Washington Unified School District office, 930 Westacre Road. It is a public meeting.

A facilitator from the California School Boards Association will assist the discussion.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Farmers market kicks of at 4:30 p.m.

Sorting through fresh cherries, West Sacramento Farmers Market on West Capitol Ave.(News-Ledger file photo, 2011)

Sorting through fresh cherries, West Sacramento Farmers Market on West Capitol Ave.(News-Ledger file photo, 2011)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JUNE 5, 2013 00

Today (Thursday, June 6) is opening day for the 2013 edition of the West Sacramento Farmers Market.

The market will be held Thursdays, 4:30 p.m. to dusk, on part of the street in front of city hall — 1100 West Capitol Avenue.

Opening night includes a sit-down dinner cooked up by Chef Jess Milbourn of The Eatery and City Councilman Chris Ledesma.  A portion of the proceeds goes to charity (this week, it goes to the Elderly Nutrition Program of Yolo County). The special dinner event continues the first Thursday of each month at the market.

Seating for the dinner is 100. As of Monday, reports a chamber spokesperson, some tickets were still available.

Look for tickets to the “Dig In!” dinner at www.westsacramentochamber.com/events or call 371-7042. Tickets are $40.

Special to the first night of this year’s market is the installation of a piece of large community artwork at the site. Artists Paula Wenzl Bellacera of West Sacramento and Taylor Gutermute of Sacramento have organized the project — the first part of a two-year Yolo County “Mandala” effort. Residents from age two to 90 have chipped in to create 254 individual pieces of art from local agricultural materials. The two professionals have been preparing the weavings, mosaics and paintings to come together into a ground-level work that honors the Yolo County’s agricultural heritage. The piece will be dedicated at 4:30 p.m., and will remain up near city hall “semi-permanently.”

 

  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