Tag Archives: west sacramento news

Shooter in killing on West Capitol Avenue is denied parole

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 7, 2015

A man convicted in a shooting death in West Sacramento back in 2000 was denied parole last month.

The Yolo County District Attorney’s office reported that a panel of the state board of parole hearings denied parole for David Cree, 34.

Cree (then 20) and companion Jessie Lampkin were driving on West Capitol Avenue on Oct. 8, 2000, after a night of drinking, said the D.A.’s office. They drove past Jimmy Lee Richardson and Gregory Rowan, and Cree believed Richardson might have previously assaulted him.

Cree pulled the car over and asked “Where are the girls?”

Then he fired a sawed-off shotgun at the pair. Richardson died, and Rowan was seriously injured.

Cree was convicted of second-degree murder and other charges, and was sentenced to 15 years to life in state prison. Lampkin was also convicted of murder. His conviction was overturned although he later served time for manslaughter.

The parole board believed Cree’s release posed an “unreasonable risk” to the public. He’s eligible for another hearing in 2017, although he may request earlier hearing date.

Copyright News-Ledger 2015

Local ‘Knights’ chapter earns honor

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER –JAN 7, 2014 —

A West Sacramento fraternal group reports it won an honor for the 2013-2014 service year.

The Knights of Columbus Council #9469 were named  a “Star Council” chapter.

“The award recognizes overall excellence in areas of membership recruitment and retention, promotion of the fraternal insurance program, and sponsorship of service-oriented activities,” said the organization.

Knights of Columbus is a Catholic lay organization with 1.8 million members spread over 15,000 councils internationally.

Grand Night Glen Mochel, head of the local council, called the award “quite an honor for us.”

Copyright News-Ledger 2015

Hats: for ladies and domed reptiles —

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER –JAN 7, 2015 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

December 20 turned out to be “the best birthday ever!” reports Cindy Breninger of Southport.

That day, a sketch of her little tortoise in a handmade decorative “hat” was part of a front-page article in the Wall Street Journal. The article explored people who put holiday focus on their pets.

Shortly afterward, “Neil” the tortoise also made appearances on Fox 40 and Good Day Sacramento.

CINDY BRENINGER bought several copies of the Wall Street Journal from the Southport Starbucks after her business received a front-page mention on Dec. 20. A sketch of her tortoise, ‘Neil,’ appeared at the bottom of the page. (Photo by her son, Brandon Potts)

CINDY BRENINGER bought several copies of the Wall Street Journal from the Southport Starbucks after her business received a front-page mention on Dec. 20. A sketch of her tortoise, ‘Neil,’ appeared at the bottom of the page.
(Photo by her son, Brandon Potts)

Neil is a little guy, not even six inches in diameter.

“He’s kind of a smaller one,” said Breninger. “He’s around six years old, but you never really know with tortoises. We got him August 10, 2012. He’s named after Neil Armstrong (first man on the moon), who was my son’s hero.”

Breninger is a legal secretary at her day job, but a side-business helped give rise to Neil’s holiday hat.

Six-inch wide Neil the tortoise got his 15 minutes of fame last month, with TV and newspaper appearances. Here is he modeling a pair of New Year’s hats. (Courtesy of Cindy Breninger)

Six-inch wide Neil the tortoise got his 15 minutes of fame last month, with TV and newspaper appearances.
Here is he modeling a pair of New Year’s hats.
(Courtesy of Cindy Breninger)

“I have an ‘Etsy’ business,” said Breninger. “I make ‘fascinators,’ those mini top hats that ladies wear. Princess Kate wears a lot of ‘fascinators.’ So I put one on Neil.”

“Etsy” is a website that plays host to crafters who sell hand-made goods. Breninger sells her people hats and now her tortoise hats there at her online shop called “Deerwood Creek Gifts.” The shop name comes from Breninger’s childhood home on Deerwood Street in West Sacramento, which had a “sort of” creek behind it.

“One lady bought two hats for her tortoises – matching Santa hats!” said Breninger.

Has the local and national attention gone to Neil’s head at all?

“Maybe a little bit,” allowed Breninger.

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West Sac council okays new community — minus the gate

‘The Promenade’ is located in the Southport Business Park,  near Cooper Island Road and Bridgeway Island (From City of West Sacramento staff report)

‘The Promenade’ is located in the Southport Business Park, near Cooper Island Road and Bridgeway Island (From City of West Sacramento staff report)

NEWS-LEDGER — DEC 31, 2014 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

— A couple of larger issues — the desirability of gated communities and the density of local development — emerge during discussion of project  —

The West Sacramento city council has approved a 222-home subdivision in Southport. The project – which abuts Southport Parkway, the Bridgeway Island Subdivision and Savannah Parkway – was designed as a gated community, and approved last month in a 4-2 vote at the city planning commission.
Usually, that would be the last word for approval. But in this case, Mayor Christopher Cabaldon appealed that decision, calling it up to the city council for review. The council took it up on Dec. 17.
Gary Mandarich of Mandarich Developments told the council that his company was “expert” at projects like this one with high-density detached homes. The Southport project, called Promenade, is designed to put the 222 units onto 18.3 acres, with a homeowners association and a gym, pool and event room.
Mandarich used as an example his development of gated properties in other cities, which helped him reach a “higher profile” of buyer.
[adrotate banner=”37″]  “We went to the city and said ‘Look, when you are buttoned up against an arterial road, like Southport Parkway, you need gates. The consumers don’t want to go onto (their) roads and feel invaded by people with easy access. You put gates on it, it’s a beautiful project. . . The nature of our business is to build nice, boutique projects.”
(Comments cited in this article come from the city’s video feed of the council meeting.)
Mayor Cabaldon asked him if the project would be viable without gates. After a pause, Mandarich answered:
“We can have a project that is viable without gates. We don’t think it will be successful, but it could be viable.”

MAYOR CHRISTOPHER CABALDON is against having gated communities in West Sacramento  (News-Ledger file photo)

MAYOR CHRISTOPHER CABALDON is against having gated communities in West Sacramento
(News-Ledger file photo)

Cabaldon explained that gated communities are not in his vision of West Sacramento – although the city has one higher-end gated subdivision called The Rivers as well as a gated apartment complex and a gated cluster of homes on Bastone Court. Cabaldon said the city leaders essentially held their nose when approving the gate at the Rivers (which is open during the day to preserve public access to the river) back in 1996, when the project was known as Lighthouse. Said Cabaldon:
“There was widespread universal opposition in the community to the concept that a community which is full of neighborhoods which had been divided from one another repeatedly by the railroad tracks, by the freeway, and by the ship channel would voluntarily start to carve itself up, and this was offensive to the residents of West Sacramento.”
The council approved that gated community largely because it had inherited a development deal partly negotiated in advance by county officials, he recalled.
Mandarich, the Promenade developer, said that gating a community helped his target homeowners (such as single women raising children, and retirees) to feel safer.
Cabaldon said that whether gates improve safety is, at best, unclear in the research.
“These studies show that gated communities result in lower amounts of community participation, lower levels of community cohesion, a higher psychological sense of segregation – none of the things we are trying to accomplish,” said the mayor. “Personally, as I was in 1996, I am very opposed to the idea that we would approve gates.”
The city doesn’t currently have a formal policy about gated communities in the city.
Other opinions on the council varied as the five-member body deliberated about Promenade.

COUNCIL MEMBER BILL KRISTOFF prefers high-density single home project to a possible apartment complex (News-Ledger file photo)

COUNCIL MEMBER BILL KRISTOFF prefers high-density single home project to a possible apartment complex (News-Ledger file photo)

Council member Bill Kristoff liked the fact that the single-family project would take place instead of an apartment complex, which was what the zoning seemed to call for.
“I like the fact that it’s not an apartment complex,” he said. “I don’t have a problem if it is gated.”
Kristoff did worry about the smaller setbacks (the close distances between the homes and their neighbors) that was being proposed to accommodate the high-density housing.
Council member Beverly Sandeen worried that gating the project would be “about segregating and not having the open world that we love and cherish in West Sac.”
“I have been and will continue to be opposed to gating,” she said.
Council member Mark Johannessen called the design “a decent project for the city,” adding that he is “not really dead set against gating.”
Colleague Chris Ledesma said that you can have a high density project along a busy road – like the projects at Metro Place or Ironworks in West Sacramento – and it can work without a gate.
“What worries me about gated communities is the sense of segregation they do tend to breed, that somehow they are separate from the rest of the community and somehow they’re entitled,” said Ledesma.
Ledesma joined Johanessen and Cabaldon in worrying also about the precedent set by allowing this project to take a piece of land zoned for apartments and substitute a project with lower densities. They worried about “having to make it up later,” changing the zoning in other city properties in order to meet home-building commitments to the region and to the state, and in order to put enough people in the city’s “villages” to support community shopping and retail opportunities.
Kristoff seemed more defensive of low-density construction as a rule:
“One of the things I think we need to also remember is that if everything is high density, it is a slum, and it becomes one very quickly,” said Kristoff. “We have seen it built time and time again in other major cities. There needs to be that balance of higher density and lower density.”
Cabaldon rebutted that the reason you can ride a horse to the Target store in West Sacramento is because the high density developments that supported Target were built near the horse-owning properties.
The policy question about density was tabled for another day.
When Ledesma made a motion to support Promenade – but without a gate – the motion passed with a majority vote.   (Editor’s update: the final vote included a ‘no’ from Bill Kristoff and ‘ayes’ from the other four members of the council.)

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014