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Most years, the Amgen Tour of California has bypassed West Sacramento. But back in 2007, riders sped through town as part of their Sacramento-area stage. Here, they round the corner from Sacramento Avenue to Jefferson Boulevard on their way to the Tower Bridge (News-Ledger photo)

Most years, the Amgen Tour of California has bypassed West Sacramento. But back in 2007, riders sped through town as part of their Sacramento-area stage. Here, they round the corner from Sacramento Avenue to Jefferson Boulevard on their way to the Tower Bridge (News-Ledger photo)

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE — FEB 19, 2015 —

Cyclists in this year’s edition of the Amgen Tour of California bicycle race will pass through West Sacramento twice on Sunday, May 10, after the race kicks off its first stage at the state capitol. There should be plenty of local spectator opportunities both in the morning as the racers get their start and in the afternoon as they approach the finish.

Stage 1 of the 724.1-mile race will both start and end at the capitol building. It starts at 11 a.m.

“After an initial crossing of the Sacramento River via the iconic Tower Bridge, the race will pass quickly through West Sacramento to River Road,” organizers reported today. “From here, the race will follow the winding Sacramento River through the small towns of Clarksburg, Courtland and Walnut Grove. The stage’s fourth bridge crossing will take the race back over the river into Isleton.”

Later, the athletes will re-cross the river into Rio Vista and travel through Solano County, Davis, Woodland, and back to West Sacramento and across the Tower Bridge. The stage is measured at 127 miles.

Stage two carries the riders from Nevada City to Lodi, and following stages will take place all over the state.

The race finishes with Stage 8, ending at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on May 17.

The News-Ledger will bring more details of the exact local race route as the race approaches.

For more information, visit www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2015

Fireworks for fundraising: workshop coming up in West Sac on Feb. 26

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER —

Is your West Sacramento nonprofit or church interested in operating a fireworks booth during the 4th of July season to raise money? Attend an informational session about the permit and sales process at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 26, in the city council chambers, 1110 West Capitol Avenue. The permit lottery will be open to applications during the month of March. More info: Kryss Rankin, City Clerk, 617-4500.

Copyright News-Ledger 2015

Catch, neuter & release: volunteers work with feral cats in Southport

A just-fixed feral cat makes a tentative move back to freedom after being released back into its Southport field by local volunteers. The idea was Patricia Kenney’s (she’s above at right), and she was assisted by local cat supporters such as Heather, above left. (News-Ledger photo)

A just-fixed feral cat makes a tentative move back to freedom after being released back into its Southport field by local volunteers. The idea was Patricia Kenney’s (she’s above at right), and she was assisted by local cat supporters such as Heather, above left. (News-Ledger photo)

NEWS-LEDGER — FEB 11, 2015 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

A small group of West Sacramento kindred spirits gathered behind Southport’s Tower Mart on Sunday, February 1, to turn loose about 15 feral cats that they had trapped and then spayed and neutered.

The effort sprung from an experience by Patti Kenney, a local pet sitter, one night just over a month earlier right at the edge of the same parking lot.

“It was December,” recalled Kenney. “It was dark and on was on my way to Bridgeway to do an overnight pet-sit. I went into the deli , and when I came out, there were all these pairs of eyes staring at me from the dark. I counted 12 of them.”

Kenney walked to the edge of the market’s parking lot, where it adjoins a vacant field. She found signs that others had been leaving food for a colony of feral cats.

PATTI KENNEY (News-Ledger photo)

PATTI KENNEY
(News-Ledger photo)

“There’s regular folks that come by,” said Kenney. “When I saw that, I said to them, ‘These cats need to be trapped to stop them multiplying.’”

Some of the folks who were feeding the animals volunteered to help. The group borrowed raccoon-style traps from the SPCA in Sacramento.

“We started with eight traps,” reported volunteer “Margaret” (who asked that her last name not be used). “You can borrow two traps per person.”

Over the month of January, the group set out the baited cages and hauled in most of the animals.  The cats weren’t immediately spayed and neutered, for fear that they would just end up getting re-trapped. Instead, Kenney temporarily collected them.

“They stayed in my spare bedroom,” she said. “All of them were in my spare bedroom.”

She thinks they were unable to trap only about two of the cats.

Members of the cat posse contributed cash to pay the fees to have the animals spayed or neutered and also treated for fleas by the SPCA.

“We had donations of $340 or something like that,” reported Kenney. “I’m pretty sure I spent it all.”

On the afternoon of Feb. 1, this handful of cat-fanciers showed up for the big day. The cats – probably anxious and nervous – were hunkered down in pet cages in the back of a vehicle.

The volunteers carried the cages over to the edge of the parking lot, where the cats would be able to make a run for it into “their” field. Many of the animals were reluctant to leave their cages, and had to be gently coaxed or even “poured” from their cages. But sooner or later, each one finally headed out for the green grass of the Southport field.

They were still feral – escaped or abandoned from local homes, perhaps – but at least they wouldn’t be reproducing and contributing to a growing colony.

The News-Ledger asked Kenney whether she had plans to head up the same kind of effort at any of the other cat colonies in West Sacramento – there have been reports of a lot of cats near shopping centers at Enterprise Boulevard and Lake Washington Boulevard, for example.

“No,” said Kenney. “This was a one time thing for me.”

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Copyright News-Ledger 2015

MoneyGram can be used to pay support

NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 28, 2015 —

From Beth Gabor
County of Yolo

Starting this month, parents will be able to pay their child support in cash at thousands of MoneyGram locations throughout California.

Previously, parents paying child support in cash could only do so by visiting a county or regional local child support agency that accepts in-office payments.  In Yolo County, the Child Support Services office is located at 100 West Court Street in Woodland.  Those who stand to benefit the most by paying through MoneyGram are the self-employed, those working seasonal jobs and those who don’t engage in traditional banking.

“We are pleased that we have been able to make the process easier for parents to pay their child support,” said Yolo County Department of Child Support Services Director Natalie Dillon in a press release. “This partnership with MoneyGram will benefit the parents who owe child support, and will translate into more payments for their children.”

There are approximately 30 MoneyGram locations in Yolo County, over 6,200 throughout California and 39,000 nationwide that provide bill payment services.  Payments can be made at 18 retail chains including CVS, Wal-Mart, Albertsons, Lucky, Raley’s/Bel Air, Food Maxx, 7-Eleven and others.

To make a payment through MoneyGram, parents will need their personal Participant Identification Number (PAR ID) and the group “Receive Code 14630.”  MoneyGram charges child support customers a $1.99 convenience fee.  For many, that is less than the cost of the gas needed to drive to a child support office.  Payments can take up to three days to post, so parents are advised to plan accordingly.

Child support payments may also be made online, by phone and by mail.  In-person payments are still available at the local child support office in Woodland.  Fees are not charged for using these payment options.

For information about payment options or to make a payment online, visit: www.childsup.ca.gov/PaymentOptions or call 866-901-3212.

Copyright News-Ledger 2015

West Sac’s college branch celebrates five years, lays plans to expand

Local college branch: five years old & hoping to grow  (News-Ledger photo)

Local college branch: five years old & hoping to grow (News-Ledger photo)

NEWS-LEDGER — FEB 4, 2015 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

With public speakers, cookies and a martial arts performance, West Sacramento’s branch of Sacramento City College celebrated five years on West Capitol Avenue last Thursday afternoon.

The branch’s success, and the partnerships that helped bring that success, were themes of the day.

Mayor Christopher Cabaldon noted that the college took a gamble on building the new center when demand for community college classes in West Sacramento was unproven. Previously, the college had only offered a limited number of classes in this city in borrowed classrooms. And the branch also took a gamble by choosing a site on troubled West Capitol Avenue – on a stretch that’s now partially redeveloped near city hall.

Cabaldon said the college’s leadership decided, “We’re going to open a new center – we’re going to double-down, triple down.”

And from the city’s point of view:

“We anchored our entire downtown, which didn’t exist, to this facility.”

Now the 1000-block of West Capitol includes the college, city hall, a transit center, community center and nearby library.

Mary Leland, an administrator at the college as well as a West Sacramento school board member, noted the “extraordinary partnerships” involved in the city’s college, school system and city programs.

The college’s local presence started in 1999 with three classrooms and a computer lab on Halyard Drive.

In 2010, it moved into its new three-story building at 1115 West Capitol Avenue, with 11 classrooms, a computer lab, and expanded course offerings. It combined with the college’s Downtown Center and serves about 2,600 students, according to its dean, Art Pimental.

ART PIMENTAL Dean of the West Sacramento branch of Sac City College (News-Ledger photo)

ART PIMENTAL
Dean of the West Sacramento branch of Sac City College
(News-Ledger photo)

“Roughly about 30 percent of our student body have West Sacramento addresses,” Pimental later told the News-Ledger. He also outlined the center’s expansion plans:

“Basically, the plans are to have two additional facilities here at the site,” said Pimental. “Two additional phases. At final buildout, the site will be approximately 80,000 square feet. The current facility is 25,000 square feet.

A 2008 state bond measure may help pay for Phase II.

“The district has approximately $5 million towards Phase II from Measure M,” Pimental explained. “Phase II will cost approximately $12 million.”

So building it will depend partly on help from state bond funds as well as continued enrollment growth. Best case scenario is that construction starts in 2017.

The new facility would be built next to the current structure, on a grassy area to the west close to Carol’s restaurant.  As for Phase III: there is no timeline yet, but construction would occur on the northern, parking-lot side of the current facility.

The next phase would allow the branch to serve more students, build a “wet lab,” and offer new courses that “reflect the needs of the community,” said Pimental.

A planned streetcar line coming to the site from across the Tower Bridge can only help with the branch’s success, he added.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2015

 

Have you always wanted to learn about animal tracks?

Chris Stephens (at right) with young trackers at Conaway Ranch in Yolo County. (courtesy photo)

Chris Stephens (at right) with young trackers at Conaway Ranch in Yolo County. (courtesy photo)

NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 28, 2015 —

From Tuleyome

Take a closer look at the nature surrounding you and discover countless stories of the wildlife nearby. Learn where otters slide into the water, where beavers have taken down trees and what critter’s paw prints you may be walking in at Home Place Adventures’ animal tracking workshop. Meet us on Thursday, February 12th, 2015 from 4:00pm-5:30pm at Conaway Ranch, 45332 County Road 25, Woodland, CA.

Join survival expert Chris Stephens as he shares his tracking skills and hilarious stories while walking along the riparian preserve. This is an excellent place to find tracks and scat of a variety of different animals due to the farm’s wildlife friendly farming and proximity to water.

This event is for all ages, families welcome. RSVP required; email JPower@tuleyome.org for more information.

The lack of clawmarks tells us this is a feline  pawprint. (courtesy photo)

The lack of clawmarks tells us this is a feline
pawprint. (courtesy photo)

Tuleyome’s Home Place Adventure program believes everyone deserves access to the outdoors. Tuleyome is a conservation non-profit based in Woodland, CA committed to protecting the wild and agricultural heritage of our region. While this event is free and open to the public, there is a $5 suggested donation. For more information, event details, and directions please visit our website at www.tuleyome.org and check out other upcoming outdoor events.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2015

‘Police Log’: the News-Ledger’s weekly crime call & arrest roundup

NEWS-LEDGER — FEB 4, 2015 —

  News items below are collected from police dispatchers’ notes and arrest reports. The information in them has often not been verified beyond the initial reports.

  To see the News-Ledger’s ‘Police Log’ every week, be sure to subscribe to the weekly newspaper. See the special offer at bottom.

Jan. 24
A police officer responded to a market on the 2600-block of West Capitol, where a homeless man reported he “was digging through the trash” when he “located a key that he thought looked important.”
“(He) did not want the key to fall into the wrong hands, so he called WSPD. The key has a tag to it that shows a business name, address and phone number.”
The officer accepted the key to be booked as found property.

Jan. 25, 2:37 a.m.
An officer contacted a 27-year old Lake Road man “loitering” at Kegle and Sacramento Avenue. The man was confirmed as a wanted “parolee at large,” or PAL, and also found in possession of methamphetamine and a drug smoking pipe. He went to jail.

Jan. 25, 5:44 p.m.
“Shots fired at unoccupied residence Rivermont Street, no suspects.”

Jan. 26
A pair of Southport residents reported separately that they had been victims of ID theft. One lived on Hornby Island Street and the other on Independence Avenue.

Jan 26, 6 a.m.
An auto service center on Merkley Avenue reported being hit with graffiti.

Jan. 26, 7:50 a.m.
A diesel particulate filter was stolen from a vehicle parked on Long Island Street. The damage was estimated at $2,000.

Jan. 26, 5:51 p.m.
Police responded to a “battery” report involving the use of pepper spray on the 800-block of West Capitol. Those involved provided “conflicting statements,” and there was no immediate arrest.

Jan. 27, 7:30 a.m.
Someone slashed tires on a man’s car parked on Canvasback Way.

Jan. 27, 9 a.m.
Somebody took 20 feet of steel cable and metal plates from the Broderick Boat Ramp on 4th Street. The loss was estimated at $1,600.

Jan. 27 11:06 a.m.
A 23-year old homeless man was contacted after littering in front of a police officer.
The man said he was not on probation, although a records check showed otherwise – he was on probation out of Tehama County. The man was also found to be in possession of “shaved keys” (often used in thefts) and a knife. He was arrested.

Jan. 27, 7:07 p.m.
Police responded to the report of a shoplifter who tried to take $10.85 worth of batteries and candy from a Riverpoint Court store. They issued the thief a notice to appear in court.

Jan. 28
On Holland Drive:
A woman was “cleaning her deceased brother’s residence and could not find (his) wallet, keys and savings bonds. Landlord also made inconsistent comment which raised concern.”

Jan. 28
Somebody stole an auxiliary fuel tank from a company vehicle parked on Industrial Boulevard. The loss was valued at $150.

Jan. 28, 12:13 a.m.
An officer conducted a traffic stop on a 19-year old man driving at Jefferson and Park Boulevards. The officer spotted “metal knuckles in plain sight” and cited and released him for that infraction.

Jan. 28, 1:45 a.m.
Police responded to a domestic violence incident in Southport. The woman said her intoxicated husband was angry that she wouldn’t give him back a phone, and he jumped on her in bed and pushed over a dresser to intimidate her. After being arrested and read his Miranda rights, the man declined comment.

Jan. 28, 8 a.m.
Someone stole copper wiring from 14 light posts in an apartment complex on the 2400-block of West Capitol, causing about $1,000 in damage.

Jan. 28, 1:30 p.m.
During one of several West Sacramento parole/probation checks, police at a Kinsington Street home found two shotgun shells in the 46-year old subject’s bedroom. He was arrested.

Jan 28, 5:45 p.m.
Police took a report regarding a 29-year old smoke shop clerk who sold tobacco products to a minor.

Jan. 28, 4:24 a.m.
An officer contacted a homeless woman “on the sidewalk yelling for help” at 4th and F streets. She was apparently the victim of an assault by her boyfriend in Sacramento. She was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Jan. 28, 3 p.m.
A Mulvaney Place woman said an unknown man who knew her name called her and said “she was going to find her dead body in a ditch.”

Jan. 29, 12:45 a.m.
An officer responded to Gadwall Court to talk to a man who said he had been robbed during an incident on Evergreen Avenue.
The man said he had been driving eastbound when “a white and blue RV pulled out in front of him and blocked his path while another vehicle pulled behind him.”
Then, the RV driver got out, as did the victim. The other driver pulled a handgun and hit him in the head with it. The victim fell to the street unconscious. Meanwhile, two or three other men got out of the vehicles and assaulted him, taking two rings and a wallet with $600 to $800 in it.
The RV was later located near 7th and G Street, and the driver was arrested. He was identified as a 53-year old Elverta man.

Jan. 29, 6 a.m.
A man reported his $499 bike stolen at his Dorothy Adamo Lane apartment complex.

Jan. 29, 11:30 a.m.
At Southport’s Town Center Plaza, a woman reported a female acquaintance had phoned her at work and “made threats to assault” her. It was an “ongoing problem.”

Jan. 29, 3:30 p.m.
A woman reported her 12-year old grandson’s $700 bike was stolen at a Riverpoint Court store.

Jan. 29, 4 p.m.
A police officer spotted a known 41-year old transient, who was on probation, in a Ford truck on Maple Street. A search showed he was in possession of a $60,000 bone saw reported stolen from a Sacramento hospital.
The man also had a stolen all terrain vehicle (“ATV” in the back of the truck, and had cannabis in the form of “honey oil” and a “marijuana shake” in a backpack.
The officer contacted a Sacramento deputy, who reported that a security video showed the suspect stealing the saw from the hospital after receiving treatment in their emergency room.
The man “admitted he knew the medical equipment was stolen, and he was returning it.”
Same with the ATV.
The man went to jail anyway.

Jan. 29, 7:30 p.m.
Reported by a Huckleberry Circle woman:
“Unknown person took the victim’s shoes from her front porch.” The loss was valued at $50.

Jan. 29, 9:45 p.m.
At a drug store on West Capitol:
“The two suspects entered the store and grabbed vodka. An employee at the front door told them they would not leave with the bottle. The employee was pushed out of the way and another employee was hit in the face. The suspects left with the booze.”

Jan. 30, 1:43 a.m.
An officer stopped a Honda for a vehicle code violation near Jefferson Boulevard and the Tower Bridge Gateway. The driver, a man from Vacaville, appeared intoxicated. He was arrested and showed a blood alcohol level of 0.16% (twice the legal limit).
During his interview, the told the officer he last had a drink at 1:30 a.m. and he believed it to be 10 a.m. now.

  Do you like what you see here?

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  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 2015