Thursday, May 31, 2007

Rumor Mill - Sieferman for City Council

Rumor has it that Frank Sieferman will throw his hat in the ring to run for Woodland City Council. That would put an interesting twist on what will surely be a heavily contested race for Mayor.

That would be crazy if the old Mayor becomes a Supervisor and the old Supervisor becomes the Mayor.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

WJUSD Open - Enrollment Policy

I was reading in the Daily Democrat the other day about the problems one parent was having with transferring her kid to a “good” school within the WJUSD. I also went down the same exact path she is taking and also got salt poured into my wounds along the way. Being able to transfer your child out of an under performing school is the best thing a parent can do. When a parent opts for that, the road blocks can be painful.

My son started out in Beamer Elementary School because we lived in that district. It does not take too long to figure out that Beamer is a very under performing school. Their test scores were among the lowest in the district and the school was doing a Spanish Immersion system. Well, learning Spanish is not a bad idea in Woodland but I wanted my son to learn proper English first and to be in the best school that Woodland had to offer.

We applied for a transfer with our first request being Plainfield and our second request being Zamora and our third being Whitehead. We finally got the transfer to Whitehead elementary. It is funny how the best schools are on the West side of town. That was all good until we heard the bad news.

1. We cannot use the bus since we opted to transfer. Even though other kids (neighbors) who were transferred out because of over-crowding can ride a ¾ empty bus to the same school. We are talking from Palm and Kentucky to Cross and Cottonwood.
2. You are not permanently at that school until you have been there for two years.
3. Your siblings are not automatically placed at the same school until your child is a permanent student. You must open enroll them as well.

So the next year to my amazement, Whitehead was too full and my son got bumped out and over to Plainfield. This scenario can go on and on for some students which is unacceptable. So my younger son was now coming into school and could not get placed at school with his brother and neither could take the bus because Beamer School was not performing well. Eventually my son got permanent status at Plainfield and my other son was able to join in at the same school.

Here is my problem. Why do parents that want the best education for their children get punished? It is not their fault that a certain school is doing terrible. They should hire a Limo and drive the kids to better schools until the district can figure out how to fix certain problems.

Not being able to ride a bus because you opted out sounds like a punishment and a way to discourage parents from doing so. I could understand if there were no buses going that way, but if there are some and there is room, let them use it. Siblings should get highest priority in transfers. Having children at different schools is borderline ridiculous.

Trisha Speakman, I applaud you for transferring your child to a better school and for speaking up at School Board meetings. This is an important topic and I hope the School Board and the new Superintendent work hard on finding a solution.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Boss Hog

Now here is a wild boar I would never want to come across while hiking in the woods.

This has to be the craziest thing I have ever seen. Here is the story on Yahoo.

Inmates Escape From Yolo County Jail

Well that was a long night. Helicopters flying low overhead with the loud speakers on warning the springlake community of a prison break. They repeated over the loudspeaker for hours. "Stay inside, lock your doors, the sheriff department is searching the area with dogs, lock your animals inside. If you see anything suspicious call 911. They are looking for 2 men wearing white overalls."
That got repeated like 40 times. The place was flooded with police and search dogs. It was certainly like a scene out of the movies. Here is the story on news 10.

I am tired now. Should be a long day at the office.

Update: On my way to work this morning the place was still saturated with Police. They were specifically targeting one section on the very north east corner of Springlake. It is where KB homes has their office and models at Farmers Central and CR 102. I would think if they cannot find 3 guys running around in white clothes in a few hours then one of two things had to of happened.

1. They know someone in the Springlake subdivision and they are hiding out in their house.
2. They had someone meet them and pick them up right when they escaped.

Unless they are brighter than most criminals and found a good hiding spot. There are many out there.

I should have listened to my son last night. We were looking out all of our windows at the action last night and he told me he saw the bad guys in the model home walking around upstairs. I see the cleaning people in there every night so I just said it was probably not them. Well, this morning I told an officer what my son had seen, and he said he was right. They found blood inside of the model home because the escapee cut himself pretty bad on the razor wire.

They are now searching each model home.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

New Skate Boarding Deterrent Implemented On Main Street

I hope no one had any plans to use the sidewalk this weekend. If they had used something clear it might have worked better. By the way, how does one get a permit for such a prime location??

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

DWR To Hold Public Workshop in Woodland on Emergency Levee Repairs

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) is conducting a public meeting in Woodland Wednesday evening to outline emergency repairs scheduled for levee sites in the region.

In a continuing effort to prevent massive flooding, damage to property, and loss of life, DWR will be conducting emergency repairs on levee sites along Cache Creek.

DWR is conducting this meeting to provide up-to-date information and solicit community feedback pertaining to the levee repair sites listed below:

Cache Creek 3.9 L
Cache Creek 4.2 L

DWR staff will be on hand to answer any questions, provide detailed information, and disseminate educational materials. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 23, 2007, at the Woodland Community & Senior Center, 2001 East St., Woodland, CA.

Borrow or Lend?

I have known about this web site for some time now and always thought it looked pretty cool. I have never tried it yet, but it does peak my interest. At you can borrow money or you can lend money. It is kind of like Ebay but for borrowing money. You get assigned a credit rating and then lenders, average Joe's, get to bid on who they want to lend money to. The idea is that you only lend a little bit to a bunch of different people in order to keep your default rate low. If one person defaults, it will not hurt you at all. Check it out.

Sex Offenders Use Child Love Symbols

This is scary.

Apparently Sexual Predators are identifying their preference for children using symbols. The good news is that police now know and are following leads and making arrests. The Internet has created a haven for Sex Offenders and predators looking for unsuspecting children.

You can see the complete story and see what the symbols look like here. You can check Megan's Law and find out if a sex offender lives near you.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Latino Community Council "Aguila Unity Awards"

The Latino Community Council held unity dinner/celebration on Friday night honoring citizens who have enhanced unity and diversity. The night was filled with ethnic food and dancing from different groups. Numerous public officials were present to thank the community members for their service.

The "Aguila Unity Award" is based on the Order of the Aztec Eagle (Orden del Aguila Azteca) award. It was created in Mexico by decree on December 29, 1943, the award is given by the office of the foreign minister by direction of the president. It is the highest honor presented to non-Mexican citizens who have promoted humanity and understanding.

The Aguila (eagle) inhabited mainly the Old World with only two species (Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle) found in North America north of Mexico. Legend is that the Aztec people, then a nomadic tribe were to find and build a city where they would spot an eagle and a serpent atop a pear cactus. After two hundred years of wandering, they found the sign where they built their new capital, Tenochtitlan, which later became known as Mexico City. The Aguila symbolizes immortality, courage, farsightedness and strength.
The Latino Community Council is proud to recognize those individuals and organizations that have contributed to our community by enhancing and promoting diversity and inclusion through their volunteerism or profession.

A group of colorful dancers filled the room and displayed their cultural festivities.
The men also got their chance to shine.

Lois Wolk speaking to the crowd as she receives her award from Irma Rodriguez.

Rev. John Boll receives his Aguila Unity Award, presented by Sylvina Frausto.

John Singh Gill receives his Aguila Unity Award, presented by Angela Jacobsen.

Ray Gutierrez receives his Aguila from Olga Nevarez.

Donald Ishikawa speaks after receiving his Aguila Unity Award.

Bill Petty talks about his role in the community after receiving his Aguila.

Khalid Saeed receives his award.

Paula Lorenzo-Tackett receives her Aguila from Sheriff Ed Prieto.

A Special Presentation was made to Rick Gonzales, Sr (posthumous: March 12, 1919 - September 12, 2004) His family was present to accept the award on his behalf.

Two organizations also received the Aguila Unity Award:

American Muslim Voice and Dia De Los Ninos Committee.

A few other photos from the event:

Above: Skip Davies, John Singh Gill, Jeff Reisig, Ed Prieto, Mike Singh Gill, Dr. Bill Marble

What a great event for our community and for the recipients of this award. Congratulations to all of you and keep up the good work.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Bobby Harris Responds To Arrests

Bobby Harris responds in an open letter to Lois Wolk for guidance on his return and asks questions of what to expect from local authorities.

You can read his letter here.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Oakland Becomes Refuge For Immigrants

The Oakland City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to pass a resolution that would prevent the Oakland Police and city employees from helping federal agents enforce deportation orders and other immigration laws.

Wow, that is a pretty bold move. How can a city vote to change state law?

Health Benifits Uncertain For Former Sac County Employees

The Sacramento County Supervisors are looking at possibly cutting subsidies for their former employee Health Care costs. This seems to be a reoccurring theme in the private sector as well as the public. Relying on a government agency for you health care or your retirement is a hefty gamble. Prepare your own savings to make sure you can survive without assistance.

Here is the story on News 10.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Woodland City Identifier: ??

The post regarding the Gateway Project took a turn in the comments towards a City Identifier. Jim Smith talked about a tomato festival that was stopped, the chili cook off which moved to the fairgrounds and the Farmers market which tried to come downtown but was unsuccessful.

I can remember another one was Cruise Night. That unfortunately turned into a rough crowd with too many problems. I did however like the concept. Have a huge event once or twice a year, close down Main street and get a ton of people walking around. I like the idea of shutting Main Street permanently but always get shot down. I would settle for a few Saturdays a year with a big attraction. But what should it be???

Turning those people into some sort of returning customers would mean we need a large anchor downtown and have a little night life as Jim wrote about. The Stag does not meet my definition of night life but I am sure it does to others. We need the right mix of stores and restaurants downtown that are opened up until 11 p.m. A nightclub would be great, but I heard trying to get permits for something like that is not easy?

As we get new condos and retail space on Main street I think we will finally begin to see new life breathed into downtown. Then the stores we want will follow and weed out the undesirable stores. Economics will eventually take over, but that is the long way around Main Street.

We also need to look at our sign ordinance. I personally do not like it at all. The signs are all boring with no personality showing through. No artistic thought or design is allowed. Block letters with certain colors. I just do not get that, but the signage problem will have to be in a different post.

Labels For The Blog

I have added a list of labels on the right side of the blog right under the local links. These labels will identify topics discussed in different postings for you to easily find. I will try to put labels on each post that will identify the issues being discussed.

Thank you for the suggestions and keep the discussion rolling. This is good stuff.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

City Manager Pool Narrowed Down To 5

The City council has narrowed down the candidates for City Manager to five. The five remaining have been asked to come back for further interviews on Tuesday. After that they will invite the top two - three back for interviews with the department heads. At this time the names are confidential. This will be a huge decision for the future of Woodland. I hope they pick a good one.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Gateway Vs Downtown Vs The Mall

Gateway is set to open up before Christmas this year and will add some much needed places to shop in Woodland. Will this effect the downtown merchants or the mall in any way? Whether negative or positive? I have thought about this subject for a while and I see it as a wash.

When people leave out of town to do bulk shopping they tend to also spend money at other places as well. When my wife goes to Costco in Sacramento she will stop at the Arden Fair mall for Sears and the Picture people. Then she stops to buy all of the kids some food and fills up with gas. She will spend an extra $150 just on getting there and back.

So I think this will actually help other businesses in town. Whether it effects the downtown specifically or not, I do not know yet. I guess we will have to wait and see. I do not think Costco and Target will steal too much business from downtown.

The Mall is another story. As of right now it is dead. It is just in a bad location. The anchor stores are to small to offer any real selection for the consumers. The new owner is trying hard to attract shoppers and retailers. But who would really gamble on putting a store out there when they can be next to Costco and a Super Target.

Give me your thoughts.

Link to the Downtown Specific Plan

Don Ho

The Daily Democrat had a story in today's paper about the services for Don Ho. One of the best stories I had heard about this guy came from a fellow blogger Sanchovilla. This story is hilarious and a must read. Here it is.

Don Ho is the man!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Comment Of The Week

This was a great comment and point regarding the Truck Driver: I think the point is: Practice What You Preach!!!

JerMaurer said...
So San Francisco's Mayor Gavin Newsome's spokesman made a remarkable statement, "We should look into the policy that would give a driver with a checkered past like this the ability to drive such a hazardous vehicle." This coming from the office of an ALCOHOLIC ADULTERER, who runs the City. Is he qualified? Newsome, a boy who wants to redefine marriage, an institution he doesn't respect, as evidenced by his sleeping with his friend's wife.Who is qualified to drive a truck? write a blog? run a city? parent? breathe?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Orlando Cepeda Arrested

This a sad story in many ways. Former Giant's Player Orlando Cepeda was arrested on suspicion of drug possession yesterday in Fairfield. Cepeda currently resides in Fairfield and has been active in this community as well.

He was my baseball coach in Little League right here in Woodland. I had great memories of playing catch with him and getting pointers. He could throw the best knuckle ball I have ever seen. Just knowing that he took the time to help and coach us kids here in Woodland was very nice. He had quite a personality and was very easy to be around. He was a big guy that looked like a "Giant" to us little kids.

It is sad to see how drugs can take over.

Update: Thanks to Gary Traynham for finding this photo. I called him and asked if he remembered Cepeda coming to town. Sure enough he did and he covered the story. He gave me this old photo. I am going to try and nail down a date and then I will pull the original story. It should be great.

Do you recognize any of these kids? I see a few. Mark Solomon, Me, Javier Torres, Brent Baily, Robbie Champion. I can not put a name on the rest... Any help out there.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Woodland Truck Driver Faces Questions

We have all heard by now that Woodland resident and truck driver James Mosqueda, 51, was responsible for the Bay area crash that pummeled an overpass when his gas truck overturned. Lawmakers are angry and blaming the system that allowed Mosqueda to obtain a commercial drivers license with multiple felonies in his past. You can see his charges here. Sorry, I did not get time to check the Yolo records.

These charges were over 10 years ago, he has served his time, get over it. How long do you want to punish this guy for. He should get an award, one of the few to turn his life around and get himself a job. He is the model prisoner returning to society in a model way. He had no alcohol or drugs in his system, it was an accident. Give this guy a break, he has nothing to hide, he has been up front about his past.

Actually several good things came out of this.

1. Rosie now knows that fuel can bring down structures built with metal.
2. 100's of jobs were created to repair this bridge with federal aide.
3. No one got hurt.