Tag Archives: yolo

Fake debt collection scams reported

From the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office

Several alert older adults in Yolo County recently contacted the Yolo County District Attorney’s Elder Protection Unit to report phone calls from people pretending to be from a collection agency. In one instance the caller claimed to be an attorney and that over $800 dollars was owed for magazine subscriptions. Crooks can disguise the numbers they are really calling from using computers.

The scammers are hoping that you may be intimidated into providing personal information like a Social Security or Credit Card number to take care of the outstanding bill.  They then can use this information to commit Identity Theft and purchase items with your card.

  The District Attorney’s Office suggests that you always be suspicious when a call comes out of the blue asking for any of your personal information.  If someone claims to be calling from a collection agency about an old unpaid bill ask that they send you written confirmation with a copy of the original invoice for you to review and check against your records.  If it turns out to be a legitimate debt follow up to resolve the matter.

One of the main reasons to be alert when you receive a call from a debt collector is that it may be an indication that your identity was already stolen.  Scammers sometimes purchase items using your stolen account information.

For more information, contact Dave Edwards at (530) 666-8416.

Growing Yolo County’s ag industry

NEWS-LEDGER — FEB 1, 2012 —


Telling you that agriculture is important in Solano and Yolo counties is not news to any of us.  But if we told you that agriculture is the engine behind a $2.5 billion sector of our economies, you might be interested.  When we add that agriculture is our region’s brightest promise to increase jobs and prosperity, we know that we now have your full attention.

That’s exactly what happened when a study on this subject came out last year.  It got the attention of farmers, processors, bankers, government and academia.  They all wanted to know how they could be a part of growing this broad, yet integrated sector known as the food chain industry cluster, which makes up 10 percent of our shared economy.  That interest resulted in a tremendous turnout for the Solano and Yolo Counties Joint Economic Summit in December.

  “The Food Chain Cluster: Integrating the Food Chain in Solano and Yolo Counties to Create Economic Opportunities and Jobs” report describes the food chain as the full spectrum of economic activity related to agriculture – from seed to the table – from before the crops get into the fields, to the goods and services used in farming, to the value-added processing that converts crops into consumer goods.

The report highlights some opportunities and challenges to adding more value to agriculture.  The opportunities range from increasing demand for high-value products that we grow, such as almonds and walnuts, to the fact that seven out of the top 10 seed producers in the world are located here. While having established food processing facilities is one of our strengths, the need for additional slaughtering facilities and other essential processors was identified as a weakness. Regulatory issues, costs of operations and the lack of a chilling capacity are some of the other challenges to overcome.

The purpose of the summit was to engage participants in building strategies that will preserve, promote and expand our agricultural industry and all of the value it brings to our communities. A key message we heard was the need for the urban public, the business community and economic development staffs to have a better understanding of the importance of bringing processing facilities to the region. This will bring growers much-needed contracts for their commodities – an economic incentive to keep agricultural production local.  New processing facilities will also generate a wave of other job-producing companies that will spur retail purchases, home sales and other positive drivers for our local economy.

The summit reinforced this region’s capacity to continue to grow our food chain cluster. One speaker suggested we could make our Agricultural Valley the next Silicon Valley. For this to be possible, we need to capitalize on our competitive advantages – highly productive lands, plentiful water, top-notch research at the UC Davis, an entrepreneurial spirit, and an unwavering passion to preserve and promote agriculture.

In addition, the summit underscored how agriculture – farming and ranching – has evolved to remain competitive. Agriculture is more mechanized and less people-intensive than it once was. The vast majority of the jobs along the agriculture food chain – 77 percent – are in processing, distribution and support services. On average, the future growth in these sectors represents jobs paying around $24 per hour. These jobs will more than likely be in our cities, but some – in the best interests of both agriculture and the cities – will be located in unincorporated areas. Both counties have already set aside areas for this type of growth.

Summit participants discussed obstacles, such as ready access to capital and competing regulatory interests of federal, state and local governments. Overcoming these obstacles will require a new kind of collaboration. Bankers and government need to rethink their roles to become even better partners in growing the food chain.

In the coming weeks and months, you will see more results from this joint economic effort.  Our respective Boards of Supervisors received presentations on Jan. 24 on the basic road map of the most promising actions we can take together. You have our commitment to finding the funds for a public-private partnership for an agriculture ombudsman program to serve Solano and Yolo counties.  We need an ombudsman to help agriculture-related entrepreneurs turn their ideas into reality and create better partnerships between our businesses and regulators.
In many ways, what we have in front of us is an old-fashioned barn-raising. Our challenge is how each of us can commit to adding more value to agriculture. This cannot be about what the “other guy” should be doing. In a barn-raising, everybody pitches in because that’s what communities do to meet the need. Our communities are in need right now and agriculture is at the heart of the solution.

Supervisor, County of Solano

Supervisor, County of Yolo

Supervisor, County of Solano

Supervisor, County of Yolo

‘Habitat’ volunteers tackle first of several West Sac home repair projects

Marty Swingle and Derek Haynes at at work, fixing the roof at a West Sacramento home. Swingle is president of the Habitat-Yolo board and Haynes is a board member (photo courtesy of Diana Walker-Smith)


By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

Work on one West Sacramento home was postponed because of the resident’s medical issues.

But volunteers from the Yolo chapter of Habitat for Humanity found some other good work to do in West Sacramento this month: they converged on the home of a pair of West Sacramento brothers who needed a little help with their north-area home.

“We tore down and replaced their porch, and we also did some roof repair,” reports Diana Walker-Smith, executive director for Habitat Yolo. “All the work is done. We just have to paint it. We’ll be out there again definitely on Thursday.”

Tracy Harris (the Habitat chapter board's vice president) and Roger Aston (treasurer) with construction manager Robert Mitchell (on the ladder). Photo courtesy of Diana Walker-Smith.

Walker-Smith estimated that over 30 people came to help out with the work over several days, including volunteers from a well-known store chain.

“We had people from Home Depot coming from as far south as Stockton and as far north as Yuba City,” she said.

“They’re all volunteers. Home Depot has a very pro-community philosophy. Home Depot also donated some shrubs – we had to cut down two large junipers on either side of the porch to fix the roof.”

The culprit at the home of Boris Shipunoff, 72, and Benjamin Shipunoff, a 57-year old disabled veteran, was some pesky dry rot that left the porch and part of the roof in dangerous shape. The new “A Brush with Kindness” program from Habitat was meant to give them a hand.

  Habitat for Humanity is best known for its work building new homes for people who can’t afford to buy a house the traditional way. The new “A Brush With Kindness” program is a different kind of effort, helping low-income people afford to repair the exterior of their home. The Yolo chapter’s effort is now focused on helping a handful of homeowners in West Sacramento’s Bryte and Broderick neighborhoods, on the north side.

“We have five homes lined up so far,” said Walker-Smith.

The renovation program is similar to the home-building program, she added.

“The way we’re able to do it is we get underwriters. We find people who donate supplies or funds. All our work is no-profit, at our cost. It costs much less because we use volunteers working with a professional construction manager. We give (the homeowner) a zero-percent loan to pay for the home, we build it and sell it at a zero-percent mortgage. We then take the payments from them and recycle the money into new homes.”

Anyone interested in helping Habitat, or applying for help, can reach the group at (530) 668-4301 or by email at hfhed@dcn.org. The group’s website is at http://www.habitatyolo.org/.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Safely get rid of ‘hazardous’ stuff


The Yolo County Planning & Public Works, Division of Integrated Waste Management holds weekly collection of household hazardous waste (HHW) at the Yolo County Central Landfill (44090 County Road 28H).  The HHW facility is open every Friday and Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The landfill also accepts hazardous waste from businesses in Yolo County that have products which are corrosive, reactive, toxic or ignitable.  Businesses in the areas of construction, printing, equipment or vehicle maintenance, furniture refinishing and farms/ranches that create hazardous waste are encouraged to utilize this program.  Business hazardous waste is accepted by appointment only and there is a fee for disposal.  For more information about this program or to schedule an appointment, call (866) 714-8470.

   Materials that will be accepted from the public and businesses include: batteries; fluorescent bulbs or tubes; used motor oil and filters; cleaning supplies; lighter fluid; antifreeze; aerosols; garden pesticides and herbicides; latex or oil based paints; solvents; poisons; electrical switches/relays; pilot light sensors; mercury thermostats and containerized syringes.

Yolo County also provides a reuse program which is open to the public during the same hours as the HHW collection program.  The reuse program makes household cleaning supplies, lawn, garden and automotive products, and household paint available to residents at no charge. Often, products are dropped off at the HHW facility simply because they are no longer needed.  These products have original labels and are nearly full.

HHW events are sponsored by the Yolo County Department of Planning & Public Works, Division of Integrated Waste Management.  For more information on proper disposal of HHW, call (530) 666-8856 or visit: www.yolocounty.org.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Half-off ‘amnesty’ for old traffic tickets

NEWS-LEDGER — Jan 11, 2012 —

If you have a traffic ticket debt that was due by Jan. 1, 2009, but which you still owe, you may qualify for a 50%-off “traffic amnesty” program now in effect.

  According to the Judicial Council of California, you have to meet all the following conditions:

— You either failed to appear in court or failed to pay in full.

— The last date you made a payment was on or before January 1, 2009.

— You don’t owe restitution to a victim on any case in the county where the traffic case was filed.

— You who have no outstanding misdemeanor or felony warrants in the county where the ticket was issued.

— Other eligibility requirements may vary from county to county.

The California Legislature mandated (Assembly Bill 1358) that all 58 counties implement a one-time amnesty period that allows a lump sum payment of 50 percent of the outstanding balance on certain violations to fully satisfy that court ordered obligation.

Only traffic tickets that were due to be paid before January 1, 2009, are eligible. Parking tickets, driving under the influence (DUI), and reckless driving cases are NOT eligible.

The program ends on June 30.

You can find contact information and other information at the Yolo Superior Court website.

According to the judicial council, the amnesty program would provide relief to individuals who have found themselves in violation of a court-ordered obligation because they are financially unable to pay traffic bail or fines.

It would also bring in revenue at a time when revenue is scarce by encouraging payment of old fines that have remained unpaid, and would allow courts and counties to resolve older delinquent cases and focus limited resources on collecting on more recent cases.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Pepper spray update: no charges against UC Davis protesters

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE — 11:57 A.M., JAN 20, 2012

Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig has just announced that there is “insufficient information contained within the police reports submitted by the UC Davis Police Department to justify the filing of criminal charges against those individuals arrested during the November 18, 2011, confrontation with UC Davis Police during the “Occupy UC Davis” protest.”

The District Attorney will not be filing charges against the protesters.

The District Attorney’s investigation of the use of pepper spray by police during the incident is still underway.

The D.A.’s office and Sheriff’s Department had asked California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris to take over the investigation of the use of pepper spray by police at the campus, but Harris declined, saying there were no conflicts of interest or other factors to warrant her office taking over the investigation from the county.

Copyright News-Ledger 2012

Food bank to distribute free food


The Food Bank of Yolo County will give away food to eligible West Sacramento and Clarksburg residents on Tuesday, Jan. 17.

The schedule will be: 9-10 a.m. at the county building, 500 Jefferson Blvd. in West Sacramento; 10:30-11:15 a.m. at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 1500 Park Blvd., West Sacramento; 11-noon at the Yolo Housing Authority, 685 Lighthouse Dr., West Sacramento; and noon-1 p.m. at the Clarksburg Firehouse in Clarksburg.

Please bring a bag and attend only one site.

For information, call (530) 668-0690.