Tag Archives: yolo

New park is part of health outreach for northern West Sacramento

Kids on the playground at the August 20 opening of Westfield Park. Click to enlarge. (Courtesy of Edwin Garcia/Kaiser)

Kids on the playground at the August 20 opening of Westfield Park. Click to enlarge. (Courtesy of Edwin Garcia/Kaiser)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — AUG 28, 2013 —

  Information in this report comes chiefly from Edwin Garcia, Media Relations Specialist for Kaiser Permanente.

On Tuesday of last week (August 20), local civic leaders and local families celebrated the opening of West Sacramento’s newest city park. Westfield Park — adjacent to Westfield Village Elementary School — resulted from a “grassroots effort led by parents, a unique partnership between a coalition of stakeholders – including the city of West Sacramento, and Washington Unified School District – and a $150,000 Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit grant awarded to Yolo County Children’s Alliance (YCCA),” reports Edwin Garcia, a Kaiser Permanente spokesman.

“This is an amazing day for all of us,” said Katie Villegas, executive director of the YCCA, in a press release from Kaiser. Villegas is a West Sacramento resident and local school board member. She leads the YCCA, a Davis-based organization that worked with parents, city officials, county representatives, school board members and local organizations to create the park.

Visitors at the park’s inauguration included Robert Azevedo, M.D., the physician-in-chief of Kaiser Permanente, Sacramento; West Sacramento City Councilman Oscar Villegas and other city officials; Washington Unified School District Superintendent Dayton Gilleland; school district board President Mary Leland; Westfield Village School Principal Ryan Gonzales; and Yolo County Supervisors Mike McGowan and Don Saylor.

Several of the speakers at Tuesday’s ceremony recalled how a group of neighborhood parents several years ago lobbied the city council, parks and recreation staff, and school district representatives, for a park in a neighborhood that never had one.

The neighborhood might be called an “underserved” community, with few local recreation assets.

Eventually, city and school district officials came up with a plan, reported Kaiser spokesman Garcia: the district would transfer to the city part of a grassy field at Westfield Village School, and the city would design and build a park. Funding, however, was a major obstacle.

In the meantime, YCCA, a non-profit, was working on projects to improve the health of children and adults in West Sacramento – and some of the parents involved in its programs were the same ones who, years earlier, had lobbied the city for a park.

The effort to create the park, and the neighborhood initiatives headed by YCCA – such as the desire to reduce childhood obesity, increasing nutrition awareness, and offering Zumba classes to parents – found to be in alignment with Kaiser Permanente’s Healthy Eating Active Living initiative.

The Kaiser Permanente grant in late 2011 added momentum to the effort to build the park.

Dr. Robert Azevedo Physician in Chief for Kaiser Permanente in the region, addresses the West Sacramento crowd (photo courtesy of Edwin Garcia/Kaiser Permanente)

Dr. Robert Azevedo
Physician in Chief for Kaiser Permanente in the region, addresses the West Sacramento crowd
(photo courtesy of Edwin Garcia/Kaiser Permanente)

“This really fits well with what Kaiser Permanente is about, in promoting good health and disease prevention,” said Dr. Azevedo. “We’re very pleased to be part of this program. It is wonderful to see these families out here being active and part of the community.”

As Dr. Azevedo spoke, several children were already climbing, jumping and running at the park’s new play structure.

“I am very happy because now we have a place to bring our children to play; we know how important it is for them to exercise,” said Lourdes Maya, a mother of a 9-year-old girl, and boys ages 7 and 5, who live within a 10 minute walk of the new park.

West Sacramento’s park master plan calls for a play structure for older kids, a covered barbecue area, a drinking fountain, a 6-foot-wide walking path, an exercise par course, and connections to a bike/pedestrian trail located at the western edge of the park.

The park is located on Poplar Avenue just across a newly built fence from Westfield Village School, between West Capitol and Sacramento avenues.

Councilman Oscar Villegas thanked the parents for their efforts. Some of them have since taken the role of promotoras – lay people who are trained to be neighborhood health advocates through YCCA and funded by the Kaiser Permanente grant. “I really want to thank the promotoras,” Councilman Villegas said. “Without their initiative and their stick-to-it-iveness this would not have happened. As you can see, many of them are enjoying the park right now, with their children.”

The Kaiser HEAL grant also has helped fund the implementation of “Playworks: Make Recess Count,” a school-based program that trains adult volunteers to lead out in physical activities during recess at Westfield Village.

 

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Native plants bring native pollinators: the right plants bring butterflies in Yolo

Anise Swallowtail Butterfly, photo courtesy of Mieko Watkins of Tuleyome. (Click to enlarge)

Anise Swallowtail Butterfly, photo courtesy of Mieko Watkins of Tuleyome. (Click to enlarge)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — AUG 28, 2013 —

By Nancy Bauer
Tuleyome Association

My native habitat gardening journey started almost 20 years ago, right after viewing a slide show presentation by two passionate butterfly gardeners. The magic of those butterfly gardens resurrected memories of a favorite childhood garden— a glorious tangle of fragrant flowers, hanging vines, and sweet purple grapes.  Growing wild next to the vegetable garden was a stand of milkweed that brought in Monarch butterflies in the late summer, and later fascinated me with fluffy seed heads that floated off in the wind.

Most everyone wants to see butterflies in the garden, but true pollinator habitat means planting for the butterfly caterpillars, too. The female butterfly lays her eggs on specific host plants and these are the only plants that caterpillar species can feed on.  They can be anything from trees and shrubs to grasses and other ground plants.  For some butterflies, like the Monarch, there is only one host plant—milkweed.  With Monarch populations in serious decline we need to plant milkweed, especially along the Monarch’s migratory route.  (In northern California, Monarchs migrate around September.)  There are various native milkweeds to choose from including narrowleaf milkweed and showy milkweed.

In the Sacramento area, the once common West Coast Lady and Anise Swallowtail butterflies are now much harder to find.  The West Coast Ladies and Painted Ladies use lupines and members of the mallow family, such as checkerbloom, desert or bush mallow, and cheeseweed for their host plants. The black and yellow Anise Swallowtail uses members of the carrot family (umbellifers).  Avoid non-native invasive wild fennel, and stick with lovage, angelica, bronze fennel, culinary fennels, parsley, or dill to attract this butterfly to your garden.  The Western Tiger Swallowtail is also frequent visitor and use willows as host plants.  Another common garden butterfly in our region, the Buckeye, uses snapdragons and their relatives as hosts.  If you find black caterpillars on your snapdragons, you may be hosting Buckeye butterflies.  Be sure to plant enough to share!

Where the orange-and-black Monarch butterfly comes from: this caterpillar. Photo courtesy of Mary Hanson, Tuleyome. (Click to enlarge)

Where the orange-and-black Monarch butterfly comes from: this caterpillar. Photo courtesy of Mary Hanson, Tuleyome. (Click to enlarge)

If you want to find out which butterflies hang out in your neighborhood, plant a butterfly bush and buy a good butterfly guide.  When you have identified the butterflies, plant their caterpillar food plants.  The huge aster-sunflower family provides us with many good butterfly nectar plants, and they offer a broad landing platform. Be sure to plant your nectar flowers in drifts of just one species, which is much more attractive to butterflies and other pollinators than if you plant many different nectar flowers, but only one of each kind. The key to creating habitat for butterflies and other pollinators is to grow a diversity of good nectar plants that bloom in different seasons.  Put your butterfly host plants near nectar plants but in the more “wild” parts of the garden where there is less activity and foot traffic.  Be an informal (and organic) gardener.  Be less eager to prune and clean up:  butterfly chrysalides could be hiding most anywhere in the garden

The first butterflies to arrive in my garden nectar on my native sages which bloom early in spring.  In late spring and summer, they have moved to the buddleias, verbenas, and scabiosa, and in the fall, they nectar on asters, Michelmas daisies and Mexican sunflowers (which is a favorite of Monarch butterflies).  This year, I was thrilled to see pipevine swallowtails and their caterpillars on the Dutchman’s pipe; and because I grow coffeeberry, creambush, willow and ceanothus, I frequently see Pale Swallowtails, Spring Azures, and Lorquin’s Admirals in my garden. Plant for butterflies.  They will come.

  Nancy Bauer is a wildlife habitat gardener in Sonoma County, and is the author of “The California Wildlife Habitat Garden” (UC Press, 2012, ISBN 0520267818).  Photos by Mieko Watkins and Mary K. Hanson; used with permission.  Tuleyome Tales is a monthly publication of Tuleyome, a conservation organization with offices in Woodland and Napa, California. For more information go online to www.tuleyome.org.

 

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Copyright News-Ledger 2013

 

More business news from West Sac

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — AUG 28, 2013 —

Festivities around the opening of the Japan-based Nippon Shokken food seasonings plant in Southport weren’t the only thing in West Sacramento business news this month.

According to various media reports:

—  Petco opened one of two new Sacramento-area stores on Aug. 19 near Ikea in West Sacramento. The pet-supply store operates from 11,500 square feet in the RiverPoint Marketplace, near Reed Avenue and I-80.  And:

—  A Norway-based French fry processing firm announced plans to build a 60,000-square foot facility on Embarcadero Drive in the Riverside Commerce Center of West Sacramento, also near I-80 and Reed Avenue.

TOMRA Sorting USA hopes to open in March, with a 12-year lease from Harsch Investment Properties. West Sacramento’s Brown Construction Inc. is the builder in this build-to-suit deal. TOMRA expects to expand from about 45 to 70 employees upon this expansion.

—  Yolo County’s landfill recently announced a program designed to save local farmers money – an estimated $45,000 annually for every thousand acres farmed, reports county spokeswoman Beth Gabor.

Instead of disposing of plastic ag waste by paying fees to drop it in the landfill, farmers have a new option. The county has partnered with Encore Farming Solutions to create a recycling program. Items such as irrigation drip tape, almond film plastic, mulch film plastic, greenhouse plastic and strawberry fumigation tarp can now be recycled into plastic bags, at no cost to the farmer.  The farms do have to roll or bale the material before it goes to Encore.

For more information, ag firms may call Yolo County Recycling Coordinator Pamela Hedrick at (530) 666-8856, or email her at phedrick@yolocounty.org.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Free ‘Harry Potter’ film fest starts Saturday at West Sacramento library

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER NEWSPAPER OF WEST SACRAMENTO —

You can watch every “Harry Potter” movie for free – and fortunately, you don’t have to do it all in one sitting. Viewings are planned at 2 p.m. on Saturdays, September 7, 14, 21 and 28, and Oct. 5, 12, 19 & 26, in the library at 1212 Merkley Avenue. Enter through Platform 9 ¾.

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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 2013

 

Skydiving accident at Yolo airport kills jumper from Lodi

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE — AUG 26, 2013 —

A skydiving accident near Davis on Saturday killed an experienced, 23-year old skydiver.

Mark Persons, a spokesman for the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department, said deputies responded at about 6 p.m. on August 24 to the Sky Dance facility at the Yolo County Airport.

“Upon arrival, deputies located the body of the deceased skydiver approximately one mile southeast of the Sky Dance drop zone,” reported Persons in a press statement. “His canopy and harness were also located, one mile northeast of the drop zone. At this point in the investigation, it is unknown how the victim became detached from his skydiving gear.”

On Monday afternoon, the Sheriff’s Department released the identity of the victim: Andrew Todd Cofer, of Lodi. (An earlier report that Cofer was from San Jose was based on an address on Cofer’s driver’s license). Witnesses said Cofer was an experienced skydiver with more than 600 jumps.

An autopsy performed Monday showed that Cofer died from “multiple blunt force trauma, with fractures,” Persons told the News-Ledger. The manner of death — how Cofer came to be completely separated from his harness and chute — is still under investigation.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Tomatoes again lead Yolo’s cash crops — but can you guess the next top 5?

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — AUG 14, 2013 —

From Beth Gabor
County of Yolo

Last week, the Yolo County Board of Supervisors received the 2012 Yolo County Agricultural Report – an annual report which summarizes the acreage, production and gross valuation of all agricultural commodities produced in Yolo County in 2012.  The total gross valuation for all agricultural commodities in 2012 was $645,766,504; an all-time high and an increase of 17.5% from 2011.

“These production figures reflect an overall higher price per unit for commodities and increases in acreage,” said Yolo County Agriculture Commissioner John Young, in a press release.  “Field labor, processing, transporting, marketing and other farm-related services significantly multiply the value agriculture has to our county.  When the multiplier effect of related industries is considered, agriculture contributes well over $1.5 billion to the economy of Yolo County.”

Processing tomatoes remain Yolo County’s lead  ing commodity with a gross value of $111,566,739, up from $106,792,881 in 2011. Although harvested acres were fewer than in 2011, the commodity increased in value due to a slightly increased price for the 2012 cropping season.

Wine grapes, rice, alfalfa hay and walnuts remain in the top five commodities according to gross value, with wine grapes moving to the number two position ahead of rice.  Almonds edged into sixth position in gross value ahead of organic production.  Nevertheless, the gross value of organic production increased by nearly 33% to just over $40,000,000 for 2012.  Field corn, sunflower seed and wheat round out the top ten commodities for 2012.

For more information on the acreage, production and gross valuation of agricultural commodities produced in Yolo County in 2012, visit: www.yolocounty.org > Departments > Agriculture and Weights & Measures) or contact the Yolo County Agriculture Department at (530) 666-8140.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Free food in West Sacramento, Clarksburg

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER —

The Food Bank of Yolo County will give away free food to eligible West Sacramento and Clarksburg residents on Tuesday, Aug. 20. Distribution times include 9-10 a.m. at the county building, 500 Jefferson Blvd.; 10:30-11:15 a.m. at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 1500 Park Blvd.; 11-noon at Yolo Housing Authority, 685 Lighthouse Dr.; and noon to 1 p.m. at the Clarksburg Firehouse. Please bring a bag and attend only one site.

For information, call (530) 668-0690.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013