Tag Archives: yolo

News from around Yolo County

From the West Sacramento News-Ledger — AUG 22, 2012 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

— This year’s “Yolo County Teacher of the Year” is Jerry Delsol, a high school teacher from the Woodland Joint Unified School district. Colleagues called him “inspiring.”
The award is given by the Yolo County Superintendent of Schools from among nominations from each district in the county. The winner is submitted to a competition to be chosen as one of California’s five “teachers of the year.”

— County offices in Woodland will get a large ceramic mural “celebrating farming and food” at their entrance.

Artist Susan Shelton of Davis won the selection process for the project at the entrance of the Erwin Meier Administration Building at 625 Court Street.

“I will create a mural that will bring beauty, color, insight and innovation in exploring the theme of agriculture and art in our county,” Shelton said in her application. “I will bear in mind that this building. . . houses government offices and meetings, and welcomes elected officials, county residents and voters, and I will create a work of art that holds to the dignity due to it, and its citizens.”

She will invite community members to paint tiles for the project, which is sponsored by YoloArts.

 — Debra Wellbrock is the new principal of the Yolo County Alternative Education Program, overseeing education at juvenile hall, the Einstein Education Center and the Midtown Program. She was formerly in charge of continuation education and other programs at Chino Valley Unified School District.

— Marlon Yarber, the former Yolo County Assistant Chief Probation Officer, was named Interim Chief Probation Officer last month.
Before joining Yolo County last year, he was deputy director of the Corrections Planning and Programs Division at the Corrections Standards Authority.
— The “pre-trial unit” at the Yolo County Probation Department was assessed and lauded by an outside expert earlier this year.

Dr. Marie VanNostrand of the National Institute of Corrections and Bureau of Justice reported “this unit is in the top three of all pre-trial service units I have ever assessed.”

The Pre-Trial Unit began in 2009 with grant funding, and supervises an average of 100 suspects who have been released from jail pending their trials, according to county spokesperson Beth Gabor.

“Of the 441 closed cases under the watchful eye of the Pre-Trial Unit in 2011, only 5.4 percent (of the subjects) were returned to custody due to committing a new offense,” said Gabor in a press release, and “93 percent of clients appeared in court for hearings through the sentencing phase.”

Grant funding is scheduled to end next month, and Yolo County officials were seeking to keep the pre-trial unit.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

West Sac property values drop 3%


  The following article includes a link for you to use to look up your property tax information or ask for your tax value to be reassessed.

Yolo County Assessor Joel Butler has released the 2012-13 Yolo County Tax Roll, which shows a slight decline in the roll value from last year.

The numbers of properties that have been reduced below their Proposition 13-factored base year value have grown from over 18,000 to greater than 20,000.

  County staff has reviewed 27,500 parcels for possible declines in value, said Butler’s office. The reduction in this year’s roll was partially offset by new construction, change of ownership in properties with older base year values, agricultural properties and properties at the Proposition 13 value receiving the 2% inflation factor. The result is a net decrease to the Yolo County tax roll of less than 1% to a value of $19,658,240,750.

The city of Davis showed a modest increase at 2.09%. The cities of West Sacramento and Woodland continued to reflect the declining real estate market at (3.09%) and (1.29%) respectively.

“Employees in the Assessor’s office have done a tremendous job in reviewing home values, as well as other property types, to help avoid the need for filing appeals,” said Yolo County Assessor Joel Butler in a press release.

Values are now available on the Yolo County Assessor’s website: http://www.yolocounty.org/index.aspx?page=1603. A parcel number or street address is necessary to view one’s value online. Those without computer access or with questions can call the Yolo County Assessor’s office at (530) 666-8135.

Those wishing to file an appeal of their assessment can do so online: http://www.yolocounty.org/index.aspx?page=1520 or via an application available in the Clerk of the Board’s office, located at 625 Court Street, Room 204 in Woodland. For more information, visit the website or call (530) 666-8195.

Note: Due to budgetary constraints, the Yolo County Assessor’s office is closed some Fridays through the remainder of 2012. Visit: http://www.yolocounty.org/Index.aspx?page=1740 for information of office closures.

  Yes, 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 2012

Food giveaway today in West Sac

From the West Sacramento NEWS-LEDGER —

The Yolo County Food Bank will distribute food to eligible West Sacramento and Clarksburg residents on Tuesday, Aug. 21.

  Locations include the County building at 500 Jefferson Blvd. from 9-10 a.m.; Trinity Presbyterian Church at 1500 Park Blvd., from 10:30-11:15 a.m.; Yolo Housing Authority at 685 Lighthouse Drive from 11-noon; and the Clarksburg Firehouse from noon to 1 p.m.

Please bring a bag, and attend only one site. For information, call (530) 668-0690.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

The wilderness nearby: Cache Creek

Dean Fulks wades into a pool under the Trout Creek waterfall in the Cache Creek Wilderness (courtesy photo)

By Andrew Fulks

It’s summer, 2012.

The slap, slap, slap of Cache Creek drums on the bottom of my boat as I paddle down the North Fork.  Bobbing, weaving, head down.  Branches have grown since last summer.  The North Fork is the first couple miles of the Wilderness run and the vegetation makes for more difficult obstacles than further down on the main stem of the creek.  Flows are high this year, despite the drought.  It’s an artifact of human water management.

With less water in Clear Lake this year after a meager Winter, Indian Valley reservoir is releasing more to make up the difference for the thirsty farms in Yolo County.  I have to thank the farms for this experience.  If people hadn’t changed the water regime, this creek would be mostly dry in the summer.  Makes me reflect on what it means for things to be truly ‘wild’.  But, that thought is cut short by my scanning an Arundo on the shoreline.

A quick turn, paddle in deep, pulling off on the left bank.  Arundo: also known as Giant Reed, False Bamboo, cutter of hands and eroder of streambanks.  Another human artifact.  Planted as an ornamental and for erosion control, escaped to the ‘wild’, and invades ecosystems.  Our hubris about ‘fixing’ nature has broken it.  Ironically, I’m here doing the same thing.  Tuleyome’s been battling this weed within the Cache Creek wilderness for the last 7 years, and have the infestation down to less than a handful of plants.  This one escaped my detection until now.  A quick herbicide spray, and we’re back on the river.  Where there used to be almost 100 of these giant weeds here in the wilderness, we’ve reduced to a handful.  Soon there will be none.  The system is broken, though, and hidden upstream sources will continue to fertilize our shores with little plants.  We’re in this for the long haul.

The native willows and cottonwoods sway in the slight breeze.  Rushes and sedges line the banks, forming a ribbon of green contrasting the bright yellow of my kayak.  There’s a rumble up ahead, warning of a rapid.  I’ve run this so many times in the last dozen years, my reaction is automatic.  Back paddle, pick my line, hit it straight, dig hard, and avoid the tree branch.  A Great Blue Heron unfolds his wings and heads downstream.  He’ll be our travelling companion for the rest of the trip, always staying ahead of the interlopers.  Turtles on streamside rocks give us a sideways glance.  Some are stacked on each other.  King of the mountain gets the sunlight.  Some slip into the water as we get closer.  They’ll emerge downstream on the next rock that is to their liking.

We pull off at Trout Creek.  Even though it’s summer, there’s a steady flow coming out of the side canyon.  We know the spring-fed creek will be flowing late into the summer.

We also know what’s up the canyon.  Scrambling up the rocks and ducking under the willows, we pick our way toward the sound of falling water.  I’ve been here before, and many times.  A large stream of water shoots off a rock ledge, falling vertically into a perfectly round pool.  Behind the pool is a grotto.  Water droplets drip from rocks onto ferns.  This oasis is largely unknown, save for a few boaters that follow the bear path up the canyon.  No roads, no trails.  Wild.

  Back on the water, the breeze picks up.  We’re floating downstream, but getting pushed backwards.  Time for the arms to start working again.  The drumming of the water gets an accompaniment with the swoosh of paddle strokes.  The rhythm is broken by the crunch of branches.  Mother bear and her cub run up the hillside, their bronze fur rippling with each stride.  The exhilaration of seeing such a creature is replaced by the analytical mind.  Bear, check.  Turtles, River otter, Bald eagle, Osprey, Green heron, Blue heron, garter snake, deer…all, check.

Later, as we drag the boats up to the car, I reflect on the human infrastructure that was required to allow me to enjoy this wilderness.   Cars, gas, rubbers, plastics, and a sinuous serpentine asphalt ribbon.  It’s paradoxical, and uniquely human.  The artificial gets me closer to the natural.  It’s a paradox, but also a balance.  Preserving wild areas provides that balance.

  Andrew Fulks is the president of Tuleyome, a regional conservation nonprofit, and is presently the Putah Creek Riparian Reserve Manager for UC Davis, managing 6 miles of stream and several hundred acres. His interest is in open space preservation and public access.

  Yes, 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 2012

Spare the air: free bus on Tuesday


With tomorrow’s temperature expected to reach about 112 degrees, contributing to bad air quality, a regional “Spare the Air” day has been declared. Among other things, this means some local bus service will be offered free. Here’s the full text of a press release from YoloBus in Yolo County:

“Tuesday, August 14, 2012 has been designated by the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District as a “Spare the Air” day.   Rides on YOLOBUS and Unitrans fixed route services will be provided at no charge to riders because of this “Spare the Air Day” designation. Also, riders of YOLOBUS paratransit services will not be charged a fare on those days.

“This summer, when the Air Quality Index (AQI) is expected to exceed “127” for ozone levels, the Air District sends out an announcement at least the day before.

“Additionally, because the temperature forecast is significant for Tuesday, both YOLOBUS and Unitrans are advising passengers to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and  staying indoors as long as possible (until their buses arrive), particularly in the afternoon.

 “How can a rider find out if their bus is on time without being out there in the heat of the day?  YOLOBUS riders can get real time information on where their bus is simply by going to the Yolobus.com web site and clicking on “automatic vehicle location system”, or going to http://avl.yctd.org/.

“This free-ride incentive program on YOLOBUS is funded by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments and the Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District.  Likewise, Unitrans, which serves the City of Davis, surrounding area, and U.C. Davis campus, will offer free rides on Spare the Air days as well.  This free-ride offer does not apply to Sacramento Regional Transit buses or light rail and free transfers to that system will not be issued.

“Five-day forecasts for ozone are available at  www.sparetheair.com and Spare the Air days are determined a day in advance which helps people plan to use alternative transportation, including bus, carpooling, walking and bicycling. Residents can also receive personal notification through Air Alert, a free service available by signing up at www.myairalert.net.  On declared “Spare the Air” days anyone can ride YOLOBUS for free.

“Bus schedules are available by contacting YOLOBUS at 530-666-2877 or www.yolobus.com, as well as UNITRANS at 530-752-2877 or www.Unitrans.com.”

From the West Sacramento News-Ledger 2012

Kids: read to a nice dog


The West Sacramento library branch is promoting reading by inviting kids of all ages to read to a therapy dog for 15 minutes on the second and fourth Friday of each month, 3:30-5 p.m. at 1212 Merkley Avenue.

First come, first to read.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

West Yolo hills seek ‘conservation area’ status


The office of Senator Barbara Boxer announced last month that she had introduced legislation to create a 319,000-acre “Berryessa Snow Mountain Conservation Area” from a region that spans the counties of Yolo, Lake, Mendocino and Napa.

“The Berryessa Snow Mountain region is one of California’s treasures,” she was quoted, “and this bill will help ensure that it is protected for future generations to enjoy.”

The new designation would put all the land into one management plan to better protect it, said Boxer’s office.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012