Saturday, August 30, 2008

Davis - A world away

What does Davis and Woodland have in common? The same thing poor have and the rich want. "Nothing". I took a trip to Davis this morning and into the afternoon to get some books from Border's and then to grab some lunch from one of my wife's favorite places, Chipotle. The first thing I notice is there are thousands of people in downtown Davis on a Saturday afternoon. Every single shop is open with people going in and out. Young and old both sitting around reading books and working on their laptops. As I drove around looking for parking spot, which took about 5 minutes to find one nearby, I noticed how shady the entire downtown is. Everywhere you look you can see shady places to sit, water features to look at and tons of places to eat within 2 blocks.

You do not see people like this in Woodland. Along one stretch I saw a hand full of war protesters quietly standing together with their tie dye shirts and peace signs saying nothing but just being there. I witnessed one girl tired of waiting for the girls bathroom and helped herself into the men's. Even the bums are different. One sat nearby holding a crafty sign that said, "Hella Hungry." I laughed until I saw how many people got a kick out of it so they pulled out their wallets and gave him some cash. My wife said she was hella hungry too and thought she should go sit next to him with a sign that said, "me too!"

It is just a different culture and experience over there. It was ranked the second most educated city in the United States in 2006. The college obviously has a huge influence on daily life in Davis. It is no wonder our politics are on opposite sides of the world, yet we are only 15 minutes away.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Behind the scenes at Dead Cat Alley; another segment at 4

This morning Julissa Ortiz of Good Day Sacramento arrived in Dead Cat Alley after three weeks of preparation. It was amazing to see the community come together as the big day drew near. Shop owners were alerted, the city scrambled to clean the alley and individuals stepped up to be part of a fun, three-minute live segment that aired at 9:45 today. To be exact, the segment was 2 minutes, 54 seconds - every second counts in television. A different taped segment is scheduled to air at 4:00 during this afternoon's news at CBS13.

Most people do not realize the effort required just to get a few minutes of face time on the tube. This project started when Julissa contacted Stephanie Frank from the City of Woodland on August 6. Stephanie quickly emailed me Julissa's information and set the behind-the-scenes production in motion.

Julissa's intent was to capture the character and history of the alley and asked if I could gather some people and help spread the word. At the time, she planned to broadcast live snippets throughout the morning. She was very curious about a few things: The Dead Cat Alley Proclamation, Gary Dinnen's ceramic cats, Jack Din and the family history at Tai Lee Laundry, the upcoming Stroll Through History and, of course, how the alley was named.

After her initial plans began to gel about a week ago, I called on several people who did not hesitate to step up. They were:

Edna Bohon, owner of the Fat Cat Cafe
BJ Ford, an organizer for the Stroll Through History
Jackie Montgomery, also from the Stroll
Dotty Huber, whose family owned Electric Garage
Anita Long, owner of The House Dresser (they have the city tour booklet)
Matt Rexroad, Yolo County Supervisor and former Mayor of Woodland
Mark Deven, Woodland City Manager
Dave Flory, former Mayor of Woodland
Jack Din, who was born on the alley
Gary Dinnen, the artist who created the alley cats
Jeff Kean, Woodland Opera House Executive Director
Rich Westphal, Woodland Art Center volunteer

All these people deserve recognition for making themselves available to promote downtown Woodland. I wish they could have all been able to share the limelight with Julissa, if just a for a brief second.

On Tuesday (August 26), just three days ago, Julissa phoned to say Good Day Sacramento producers were mobilizing for extra coverage of the Nugget Rib Cook-off and the Old Sac Gold Rush Days. For us Woodlanders, that meant reduced coverage during the show. As of yesterday, the plan was for two live segments in the alley - so the final phone calls and emails were made. Participants were provided two potential time periods. Dave was prepared to talk about the proclamation, Mark was prepared to talk about current projects and the future of the downtown, Dotty was prepared to talk about the history of the Electric Garage (Woodland's first car dealer), Gary was prepared to talk about the cats, and BJ had plans to dress in costume and promote the Stroll Through Woodland.

As those final details were discussed, it turns out the the City of Woodland had already prepared for the shoot. Mark Deven and Stephanie Frank made sure the alley was swept and clean for the big day. Rich and I personally visited with most of the merchants on the alley. Most were very enthusiastic and also willing to participate.

Even with the best of plans, television flies by the seat of its pants. The report is that BJ and Anita - waiting for their opportunities to promote the tour books and the Stroll - were trumped by John McCain's announcement that he selected Sarah Palin as his presidential running mate.

In the end, out of all the people mentioned above who stepped up to the plate, only two had speaking parts during this morning's segment - Matt and Rich. Jack Din was interviewed on tape for this afternoon's news segment.

I hope the community recognizes all the individuals who, although they did not appear on TV, participated in one way or another to make a successful plug for the downtown. Woodland should know that there are many local folks who really care about our city.

Good Day Sacramento at Dead Cat Alley

Good Day Sacramento was in Woodland this morning checking out Dead Cat Alley. Check out their video right here.

They were having some fun with the name while checking out the history. You can see Dave Flory and Matt Rexroad in the video as well. No I did not see Matt with his Obama sign.

Re-entry facility may help local clergy...

Or maybe not. According to a news story today by channel 13, the California prison system is gearing up their guidelines for same sex marriages. The story indicated inmates would not be able to marry other prisoners, but would be able to marry others outside of the system. It would be doubtful many clergy members would perform such marriages so I guess the State would have someone on hand to perform such a ceremony.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Dirty diaper saves a baby...

This has to be one of the stranger stories I have heard in a while. Who would think a dirty diaper would break the fall of a baby and save his life? Well it did happen, you can read the news report here.

This story either makes me want to leave diapers on my baby for a long period of time, or maybe just keep them from playing near a 3rd story window.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dustin hits first grand slam in Red Sox rout over Yankees

From the Woodland Record - Sports:

Dustin Pedroia of Woodland hit his first major league grand slam tonight as his Boston Red Sox clobbered the New York Yankees, 11 to 3. The home run was his 15th of the year and 25th of his career. Dustin continues to carry a hot bat with an average of .317, fourth best in the American League. He is second in runs (101) and hits (173) and third in doubles (40).

To view Dustin's Grand Slam, click here.

East Woodland mosquitos exceed threshold; treatment Thursday morning

From the Woodland Record - What's Happening:

According to the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District Web site, they will be applying adulticiding treatments during the morning in east Woodland on Thursday, August 28. The scheduled activity, truck-mounted Ultra Low Volume (ULV) treatments, is required because the threshold for adult mosquitos has been exceeded.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Yolo supervisors to consider three sites for reentry facility, not Dunnigan

From the Yolo County Public Information Office:

At their September 9 meeting, the Yolo County Board of Supervisors will consider three potential sites for a secure community reentry facility. The potential sites include an industrial/commercial park east of the community of Madison (County Road 90 and State Route 16), a proposed industrial/commercial park southeast of the Esparto community (County Road 86a and State Route 16) and a site at the Yolo County Airport in the West Plainfield area (County Road 95).

Read more at the Woodland Record.

McMahan's Furniture calls it quits

According to the McMahan's Web site, they are closing down their 15 stores within the next few months.

Here is what their web page says:

McMahan's Furniture to Close Furniture Operations

McMahan’s Furniture announced today August 26, 2008 that it will close its furniture operations within the next few months. McMahan’s has implemented several strategies to react to the current business environment. However, as the economy has continued to slump, the market for home furnishings has continued to decline.

McMahan’s has experienced downturns before and always managed to rebound, however, this decline dating back to late 2006 has been considerably longer and deeper than anything they’ve previously experienced.

McMahan’s stated their appreciation for their loyal customers and dedicated employees over the past Eighty-nine years.

# # #

Another major Woodland retailer going down. Just last month, Mervyn's filed for bankruptcy protection to keep their lights on as well. That will be a small blow to our local economy.

Broderick murderer denied parole

From the Yolo County Public Information Office:

Convicted murderer Alfredo Morales was denied parole for the maximum time of four years on Tuesday, August 26 at Salinas Valley Prison in Soledad, California. In 1986, Morales shot and killed 21 year old Gregory Rodriguez in front of the 600 Club in the Broderick area of West Sacramento. Morales was on parole and had been released from prison only four months earlier.

According to Board of Parole Hearings Commissioner Hollis Gillingham, Morales surprised Gregory by shooting him in the head and then when Gregory crumpled to the sidewalk, Morales fired five more shots hitting him in the head, neck and chest area. A Yolo County jury convicted Morales of 1st degree murder and he was sentenced to 32 years to life in prison.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Good Day Sacramento at Dead Cat Alley on Friday

From the Woodland Record:

Julissa Ortiz from Good Day Sacramento, The CW31, is scheduled to report live from Dead Cat Alley this Friday (August 29) from 7 to 10 am.

Julissa is excited about learning and sharing the history of the alley and downtown Woodland. She attended St. Francis High School in Sacramento and was an intern for Good Day Sacramento. After graduating from the University of Southern California, Julissa landed her first on-air job at KYMA-TV (the NBC affiliate in El Centro). She enjoys dancing Ballet Folklorico.

Julissa once reported from Pig Turd Alley in Amador City and claims Amadorians were successful in gathering for the show. She wants us Woodlanders to spread the word about the Friday segment. The schedule includes various shots up and down the alley beginning at the Fat Cat Cafe at about 7 am. Jack Din, whose family operated Tai Lee Laundry, and Gary Dinnen, an artist who created public art for the alley, are expected to be on location for interviews.

Come out and meet Julissa!

Animal shelter reports new parvo cases, Sheriff urges shots

From the Yolo County Sheriff's Public Information Office:

The Yolo County Animal Shelter has received two young dogs, owned by different parties, and one stray puppy which tested positive for the parvovirus within the last week. The three dogs came from the Adams Street area of Winters.

Yolo County Sheriff’s Department, Animal Services Section requests that dog owners ensure that their pets have been vaccinated. You should avoid taking your pet to public parks or greenbelts until the series of three vaccinations have been administered, at usually five to six months of age.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

City's flags still honor nine firefighters

From the Woodland Record:

According to a source at the City of Woodland, the city's flags continue to fly at half mast for the nine firefighters who lost their lives in a helicopter crash earlier this month.

The firefighters were killed when a helicopter carrying them to help control a wildfire in the Trinity-Shasta National Forest crashed.

Four other people on board the Sikorsky S-61 helicopter suffered severe burns.

Also according to the source, the governor will send out a notification when to hoist them to full mast, perhaps up to 30 days from the incident.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Woodland in Wikipedia

You can take a look at Woodland and its listing in Wikipedia. If you feel the need, you can even edit the content. I thought about listing myself as something important, but decided to leave it alone. You can view it here.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Yolo adopts resolution to reduce waste, producers responsible

From the Yolo County Public Information Office:

Yolo County is proud to announce adoption of a Producer Responsibility resolution in partnership with the California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC). Producer Responsibility is a concept whereby product manufacturers are primarily responsible for the life cycle of their products. Beyond recycling, Producer Responsibility is an important environmental policy approach in which producers assume responsibility – financial and physical – for the proper management of their products throughout the product’s life span.

Read the rest at the Woodland Record.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Let the Comb Over Convention begin!

Click here for the Yolo United Web site (campaign site for the Yolo County Democratic Central Committee). No word yet on either Web site about Barack Obama's selection of Joe Biden as his running mate.

Here's a Sacbee article about the selection.

The Democratic National Convention runs August 25 to 28 in Denver.

The Yolo United Woodland headquarters are now open at 444 Main Street in the Hotel Woodland and The Yolo United Davis Headquarters are open at 1801 Hanover Street, Suite C (behind SaveMart).

CBS13: School district sensitive about tagging at PHS

Last weekend at Pioneer High School, taggers defaced the Class of 2009's Senior Sidewalk. Apparently, the vandals used tar during their spurt of juvenile delinquency.

According to a CBS13 report, WJUSD was evasive about the occurrence. (Click the small icon above the video screen.) Here's an alternative link to the report.

From the above CBS13 Web page: "I just called the superintendent. Nobody's given permission for you guys to be on campus," said Mark Roberts, school principal.

Click here for a related Daily Democrat article.

Friday, August 22, 2008

City update on Lincoln Avenue rehab

From the Woodland Record - What's Happening:

The City of Woodland reports that the construction contractor for Road Rehabilitation project 07-44 (Lincoln Avenue), Teichert Construction, is on schedule and slightly ahead of schedule in some areas.

Click here for the status reports by street sections.

Click here for the link to the city map of the project which is updated weekly.

Jill's final email from China

Woodlander JIll Camarena, a finalist in the Women's Shot Put event at the Olympics, has distributed an email that was published by the Daily Democrat. It starts like this:


Well competition is over and I couldn't be happier with how I finished up my year considering all I went through. Of course everyone wants to go to the finals and get a medal but my goal was first to make the final. I can't even describe the feeling of walking into that stadium for those prelims, and then the finals on Saturday were even more intense.

The night before I was super excited - not nervous, just excited to compete. I knew the competition was going to be very tough, but it ended up being stronger than ever. I went to bed around 8:30 p.m. with my alarms set for 5 a.m. Competition was at 9 a.m. so I had to be up at least four hours ahead of time to get my body ready for the competition.

Read the rest at the Daily Democrat.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

20th Stroll features three new walking tours – free

From the Woodland Record:

The 20th Stroll Through Woodland will feature three new walking tours on Saturday, September 6. The new free tours will be guided by David Wilkinson and Peggy Perazzo. Wilkinson wrote “Crafting a Valley Jewel: Architects and Builders of Woodland” published by the Yolo County Historical Society in 2003.

The free guided walking tours - categorized as Walking Tour Series - are small groups led by trained docents who are able to explain the stops on the tour and answer any questions. Tours last approximately 45 - 60 minutes. These tours complement the popular Open Homes Tours that are available this year for $25.

The new Stroll Through History tour descriptions can be read at the Woodland Record.

Narr trust fund established at First Northern Bank

Last week, Davis Police Officer Paul Narr tragically took his own life. He leaves behind two small children and a wife. The Davis Police Department has set up a trust fund for Peyton and Jack Narr. Peyton is five and Jack is about to turn three. College trust funds for Narr's children have been established at First Northern Bank. Donors may make contributions at any branch of the bank, which has offices in downtown Davis, Woodland, Winters and Dixon.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Special to Vanguard: Supervisor Rexroad responds to comments on re-entry facility

From the People's Vanguard of Davis:

On Friday, the Vanguard covered a proposed Re-entry facility that was approved by the County Board of Supervisors and funded by state money from Assembly Bill 900. Part of the discussion that emerged on Friday had to do with the location. Some of the comments suggested that Woodland would be a good location for the facility and suggested that if people such as Supervisor Matt Rexroad support such a facility, they ought to put it in Woodland.

Here is Supervisor Rexroad's response where he calls out Davis residents for supporting social programs but not being willing to house them in Davis... click to go to the response.

$100K Club of Yolo County posted at The People's Vanguard of Davis

Check out the Yolo County employees who make over $100,000. The Vanguard has also also separated the list to show the elected officials who made the 100K Club.

Click here to go to The Vanguard.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Groundwater ordinance forum to be held by Yolo Taxpayers

From the Woodland Record - What's Happening:

The Yolo County Taxpayers Association is holding a public forum to provide information about the Yolo County proposed groundwater management ordinance. Guest speakers are:

Robyn Truitt Drivon, County Counsel
Joseph C. Scalmanini, Hydrologist, Luhdorff and Scalmaninni Associates Robert L. Millsap, Jr., Attorney

You are encouraged to arrive early.

7 pm
Wednesday, August 20
Woodland Public Library, Leake Room

For more information contact Bill Long at (916) 599-4005 or

Lincoln school district to respond to grand jury report

Excerpts from the Sacramento Bee:

A Lincoln-based school district is set to respond Tuesday to grand jury findings that it made numerous errors and misjudgments in the design, funding and construction of new schools.

About 30 pages - excluding attachments - detailed how Western Placer went from "the euphoria of growth and the promise of new schools to the disillusionment of debt and portable classrooms."

The grand jury in its report criticized the district's reliance on risky certificate of participation loans, which have high interest rates and use schools as collateral. The grand jurors also said that former superintendent Roger Yohe lead the district down a "fiscally irresponsible path" and initiated and approved plans for high-end, state-of-the-art schools with no fiscal plan in place.

Read more at the Sacramento Bee.

Ice cream vendor attacked in Ralph Harris Park

From the Sacramento Bee:

An ice cream vendor was assaulted and robbed at gunpoint at a Woodland park Friday evening.

Mohammad Rashid, 38, of Woodland, was selling ice cream near Harris Park on Imperial Street when the alleged attack took place, states a Woodland police news release.

Rashid had stopped at the park to use the restroom when a man approached him from behind, struck him in the head with the butt of a handgun, pointed the gun at Rashid's head and demanded money, the release states.

Read more at the Sacramento Bee.

Trustees meet again tonight about anticipated litigation

In compliance with the Brown Act, the Woodland Joint Unified School District notified at least the Daily Democrat about a special board meeting that takes place tonight. The agenda was not posted at their Web site. Here's the agenda:

Monday, August 18, 2008
6:00 pm
Special Board Meeting

A. Call to order in open session - 6:00 pm

B. Approval of board agenda - action

C. Public comment for item(s) on Special Board Meeting agenda

D. Closed session
1. Conference with legal counsel - anticipated litigation:
Subdivision (b) of Gov't Code Section 54956.9* - one case:
• Significant exposure to litigation based on findings and recommendations in Yolo County Grand Jury Report issued June 30, 2008

E. Reconvene in open session
1. Announcement of any action taken in closed session (if applicable)

G. Adjournment

Sunday, August 17, 2008

City of Woodland's $100K Club, overtime pay revealed

From the Woodland Record:

At least 18 City of Woodland employees are expected to make over $100,000 in salary this year. In contrast, the City of Davis employed 61 people who made the $100K Club as revealed in a recent article posted at the The People’s Vanguard of Davis.

Last year, in fiscal year 2007/08, Woodland had only eight employees whose base salary was over $100K. There were five whose base salary was in the $90,000s. There were seven employees who made near, or above, $90K with overtime – two made it into the $100K Club with overtime.

Common to both cities is the relative earnings by those who accrue overtime. An examination of the public records provided by the city reveal that 30 Woodland employees made over $10,000 in overtime pay during 07-08. Of those 30, only one employee did not work in the police or fire departments. One Police Officer made $45,882 with a base salary of $66,407. Several other officers made an additional 50% of their base salaries through overtime pay.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Note, follow the link above to view the following:

City employees (listed by position only) who earned near or over $100,000 – including overtime – last year (07-08).

City employees (listed by position only) who are expected to earn over $100,000 – not including overtime – this year (08-09).

City employees (listed by position only) who earned over $10,000 in overtime last year (07-08).

City employees (listed by position only) who earned over $5,000 in overtime last year (07-08).

Last year’s earnings (07-08) of the 14 firefighter reserves (listed by position only).

There's still time to visit the Yolo County Fair

It's Sunday morning, but there's still time to visit the Yolo County Fair held in Woodland. Here Jordan De Knikker, a sophomore at Woodland High School, shows off the awards he won in the FFA Catfish Competition. Proud mom Christine De Knikker stands by his side.

The red ribbon represents Jordan's second place finish in Advanced Showmanship of his fish. He also showed rabbits, chickens and turkeys. Last year he raised the Reserve Grand Champion catfish as a novice. Brother Christian also showed animals at the fair - he received a second in Advanced Showmanship and third Overall in the Rabbit - Meat Division.

Woodland's two "original" Dutch brothers (according to proud father Cal) want to let everyone know there's still time to see the animals and to eat the best Tri-Tip sandwiches in the county made by Woodland FFA. For the past three years Christine has given up vacation time from work to volunteer at the booth.

The fair closes at 12 am tonight, buildings close at 10 pm.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Jill places twelfth in Olympic Shot Put, Kiwi Vili gets Gold

From the Woodland Record:

Jill Camarena of Woodland finished twelfth in the Olympic finals of the Women's Shot Put, her best put in the round was 18.24m. Valerie Vili of New Zealand earned the Gold Medal with a throw of 20.56. Natallia Mikhnevich of Belarus won the Silver (20.28m) and Nadzeya Ostapchuk, also of Belarus, won the Bronze (19.86m).

In an email before the finals, Jill said, "Thank you all so much for your support! I hope to make you all proud!"

To Jill: Mission accomplished. Woodland is proud of you.

To view all the results click here.

Friday, August 15, 2008


From the Woodland Record:

Jill Camarena of Woodland qualified for the Olympic finals of the Women's Shot Put with a season-best toss of 18.51m. To view all the results click here.

Pedroia is hot: Leads AL in batting, hits

From the Woodland Record - Sports:

Dustin Pedroia of Woodland has hit safely in 40 of his last 44 games and has reached base in 42 of those games while batting at a .400 clip (78 for 195).

The hot-hitting second baseman of the Boston Red Sox took the lead of the AL batting race after Thursday night's 3 for 5 performance. He has a .323 season batting average going into tonight's game against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Dustin leads the AL in hits with 162 (tops in ML, too) , is second in runs with 89, and is third in doubles with 39.

Dustin is also tied with New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes for the major league lead with 49 multi-hit games this season, matching Pedroia's total for the entire 2007 season (for which he won Rookie of the Year).

Rexroad and PETA?

The shorts look cool Matt, but what is up with the family hats?

Franco bucks state trend, strengthens district music program

From the Woodland Record:

On the day state schools chief Jack O'Connell released California STAR results – which focus on English, math and science - district superintendent Carmella Franco pushed through local music program improvements.

During last night's Woodland Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees meeting, a group of community music supporters were pleasantly surprised by the unanimous approval of a two-year plan to strengthen the program.

According to a Woodland Record correspondent, the move to bolster music offerings at Whitehead Elementary, Lee Middle and Woodland High was unexpected by those in the audience - and even those on the administrative staff. Franco's recommendation was distributed to trustees after an oral staff report suggested that there was no problem with program as it was presented in early summer. The superintendent's recommended changes seemed to be a surprise to at least three senior administrators.

To view the superintendent's recommendation, click here.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Jill throws in qualifying round tonight, Team USA leads medal count

From the Woodland Record:

Jill Camarena of Woodland is scheduled to compete in the qualifying round of Women’s Shot Put at 6:10 pm tonight (Friday), August 15. That’s our time in the Pacific Daylight Time zone.

At 6:20 am tomorrow (Saturday), August 16, for us – Jill will hopefully be competing for a medal in the final round. Jill's Team USA leads all countries in the medal count at 44 (as of Friday morning).

To view the Olympic track and field schedule, click here.


This guy had the crowd going wild. I even saw a 75 year old man fighting for clothing Elvis was discarding into the crowd. Crazy.

Yolo Idol: Behind the scenes

I had the pleasure of judging the Yolo Idol competition again. It was a great event and drew a large crowd. Before we were able to get started the fair staff had to make some repairs to the judges table. You have to admire this guy. This is totally something I would do. He made a hammer out of an electrical tool. Nice job!

Here is the judges table. As you can see in this picture, I was squeezed between Martie Dote and Patricia Valenzuela. Against all my political beliefs, I leaned to the left most of the competition?

I am only kidding, I had a great time with Martie and Patricia. As a matter of fact, I talked to Patricia about the possibility of her and Matt Rexroad doing a duet next year. I may need some suggestions for which song they will need to perform.

Speaking of Judges, we had Judge Rosenberg as the emcee. He did a great job and had plenty of one liners to keep the crowd happy.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Yolo Idol top three Karaoke performances

Third place:

Second place:

First place and new Yolo Idol champion, Brianne Wilson:

For the complete story and more clips, go to the Woodland Record.

Community College Trustee

The race is on for the Woodland Community College Trustee. Three people have joined the race, Xavier Tafoya, Rick Kirkwood and Cirenio Rodriguez.

Xavier Tafoya has jumped out quick with his web page: and has secured several good endorsements. He has received an endorsement by all of the current YCCD Trustees.

As we get information on the other candidates, we will post that as well.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Serena V. Mock oral arguments

Here is a good audio file to listen to. It is the oral arguments for the case Serena V. Mock in the 9th District Court of Appeals that took place on 8-11-08. Very interesting points made during these arguments. Take a listen and then let's hear your thoughts.

Listen to the audio here.

Blurb from UC Hastings School of Law:

Serena v. Mock, 07-15218

David Serena, the former executive director of the Yolo County Housing Authority, and members of his family appeal from the district court's summary judgment in their 42 U.S.C. §1983 action seeking declaratory and injunctive relief for the alleged under-representation of Hispanic individuals on the Yolo County Grand Jury. Plaintiffs alleged that Hispanic individuals do not receive equal notice of the opportunity to apply for grand jury service, to participate in the grand jury selection process, to serve on the grand jury, and to serve as foreperson on the grand jury.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Gina and McKinlaigh win Silver in Hong Kong

From the Woodland Record:

Gina and McKinlaigh are an unlikely pair, with the 14-year gelding McKinlaigh towering over his 5' 3'' rider at 17.3 hands.

Despite his stature, Gina finds him very rideable in every phase. "You go into the dressage ring and he acts like a dressage horse," she said on the Team USA Equestrian Web page. "But then he goes and blasts around the cross-country."

The American partnership proved worthy of an Olympic Silver Medal in Eventing today in Hong Kong. Only German Hinrich Romeike and his horse Marius were penalized less with 54.20 points. Gina and McKinlaigh finished at 56.10.

Gina Miles began riding at the age of seven in Davis at the Happy Horse Riding School. Owning her first pony three years later allowed Gina to ride more frequently, she then began competing in local schooling shows. A trip to the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles confirmed that Three Day Eventing was the direction she wanted to take. Gina graduated from Davis High School in 1991.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Ass. Supe follows in wake of Cottingim

From the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District:

July 30, 2008

Re: Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District Selects New Associate Superintendent of Educational Services

The Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District Governing Board announced the selection of Kathleen Bond as the Associate Superintendent of Educational Services. The decision to employ Ms. Bond was made at the July 30, 2008 special Board meeting. Ms. Bond will begin her duties as Associate Superintendent in August.

“We are excited to have Kathleen Bond join the FSUSD Team as we continue our focus on student achievement,” stated Dr. Jacki Cottingim, Superintendent of FSUSD. “Ms. Bond is one of the leading curriculum and instruction experts in the State of California. She brings a wealth of training and experience with her. Her support of teachers and principals as they meet the challenges of program improvement requirements is unparalleled. Ms. Bond will focus on the needs of all of our students, relentlessly pursuing the establishment and expansion of exemplary programs for GATE, regular, alternative and special education students. Being a resident of the Fairfield community has afforded her the unique opportunity to have already established familiarity with the needs of the District. This will allow her to engage immediately in the process of district-wide instructional improvement. We are so pleased to have added such a valuable professional to our team.”

Read more at the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District.

Recall committee announces signing locations

From the Woodland Record – What's Happening:

The committee organized to recall four Woodland Joint Unified School District trustees is announcing two petition locations for 9 am to 2:30 pm on Saturday, August 16:

Food 4 Less Market on Pioneer Avenue
Nugget Market on Main Street

Literature about the recall and the Grand Jury Final Report will be available. Other locations and dates for signing the recall petitions will be shared in the coming weeks. If you are interested in helping or need more information, please email

Woodlanders Bayard, Roddy and Razo model triathlon performances for peers

From the Woodland Record:

The California Kids Triathlon, billed as the United States’ largest kids triathlon, featured 652 young athletes who swam, biked and ran around the Charles Brooks Community Swim Center in Woodland yesterday (Sunday, August 10). Children ages 4 to 17 years-old participated, all logging impressive times.

The age groups included 15 to 17 (200 yard swim, 4 mile bike, 1.5 mile run), 13 to 14 years (150 yards, 4 miles, 1 mile), 11 to 12 (125 yards, 2 miles, 1 mile), 9 to 10 (75 yards, 2 miles, .5 mile), 7 to 8 (50 yards, 1 mile, .5 mile) and 6 & Under (25 yards, 1 mile. .25 mile).

Woodlanders James Bayard (8 years-old), Brianna Roddy (16) and Julia Razo (8) proved to be great role models for other triathletes in their groups.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Whether California faces rosy or gloomy times, we must always make public safety the number one priority.

Daily Democrat

The Daily Triplicate

Hollister Free Lance

Mountain Echo (Scroll down)

Anderson Valley Post

Thanks to a tip from a WJ reader who spotted a tip from a DD reader.

Yolo County baseball history returns to fair

From the Woodland Record:

“We will be returning to the same location at the 2008 Yolo County Fair,” said Larry Martinez of Woodland who is once again sharing his unique baseball collection.

Included in last year’s display was an 1871 map showing the location of Woodland’s first documented organized baseball game (Bynum’s Field) and other locations where games were played in the past. There were also old Babe Ruth league distance markers from Clark Field, lots of photos (including Dustin Pedroia and Tony Torcato), articles, memorabilia, and trophies (including the 13 year-old Babe Ruth and Roy Hobbs Word Series awards).

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Photo: The baseball historians – representing nearly 225 years of community service – at last year’s booth. Left to right are Jack Slaven, Gil Garcia, Bob Buchignani and Joe Felix.

Open letter to members of the 2007-08 Yolo County Grand Jury

Woodland Record: Letter to the Editor

I want to thank ALL members of the Grand Jury for a well-done and thorough review of the Woodland Joint Unified School District. Your review was thorough, in depth, and your findings well documented and accompanied by excellent recommendations.

There are those who seek to divert attention from the G.J. Report by floating senseless rumors. I was annoyed by suggestions that the Grand Jury was “biased” and/or “politically” influenced by external forces, “conflicts of Interest,” etc. Clearly such shallow comments come from folks who have no knowledge of the process governing the selection and “vetting” of Grand Jury members. Foolishly, they are challenging the integrity of our judicial system itself. I strongly urge people to read the Grand Jury Report for themselves and come to their own conclusions based on the wealth of factual information contained in the Report.

Read more at the Woodland Record

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tomato Festival is August 23

From the Woodland Record:

The Woodland Farmers Market has joined with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to pay tribute to Yolo County’s biggest crop, the tomato. The Woodland Tomato Festival will be held at 9 am to 9 pm on August 23 at Freeman Park.

This day is to celebrate the tomato since the Yolo County commodity has a value of $100 million. Master Gardeners from around the county will be hosting a tasting event and there will be a salsa competition between area restaurants.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Target Woodland - 1880s dodge balls, Target Pasadena - right back to work after quake

This is a little tale of two Targets.

On July 24 The Woodland Journal featured Have you checked out the new Target?

The story announced that the new Target located in the Gateway Shopping Center had opened for business and included a little treasure hunt - a challenge to find Woodland's largest collection of super-sized 1880s-style dodge balls. Here is the clue we promised (left) which, I guess, is also the answer.

The brand new store was built to conform to the design standards of the Woodland center which allegedly pulls together elements from 1880s architecture. The single-level store is an example of sprawling architecture common to many 1-5 corridor outdoor malls. In contrast, there are many two-story Target store built nowadays that conform to their corporate environmental policy.

On July 29 I happened to be walking to a Target on Colorado Boulevard in Old Town Pasadena. Just before noon, the 5.4 magnitude Chino Hills quake hit the area. At right is a photo taken by one of my travel mates. It shows Target employees half-way done with the clean up after the quake. The aisle floor was completely full of bottles and liquid just after the tremor.

So... the points of this second tale are these: 1) The Pasadena Target is a two-level store built in an old downtown with existing infrastructure, and 2) Private retailers in downtown Pasadena immediately went back to work after the quake. As my band of four tourists strolled through the downtown, guess who we saw still congregated in the streets an hour after the jolt? If you guessed government workers, you guessed right. Employees from different agencies, including City Hall, spent most of the afternoon texting and cell-phoning on the sidewalks.

Stay tuned for another Target story in the near future.

Jill's team sparked by three medals: Women's Individual Sabre Fencers sweep

What an experience Woodlander Jill Camarena must have had being part of the magnificent opening ceremonies for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. I looked for her when the U.S.A team paraded around the track in China's National Stadium, the Bird's Nest, but NBC focused on previous Olympians and NBA stars.

One day after the lighting of the Olympic torch, Jill's teammates Mariel Zagunis (Gold), Sada Jacobsen (Silver) and Becca Ward (Bronze) swept the Women's Individual Sabre Fencing competition. To keep tabs on the U.S.A. medal count, click here.

If Woodland Journal readers come across links to Jill's Olympic experience, please post your discoveries under comments.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Happy birthday, Beulah! You’re 88 on 8/8/8!

From the Woodland Record:

As numerologists around the globe today discuss folklore, mythology or esoteric symbolism, Woodland resident Beulah Geneva will be celebrating her 32,120th day of breathing on earth. Aside from any deviations due to Leap Years, what today really means is that Beulah will have 88 candles on her birthday cake.

Beulah was born August 8, 1920 in Mountain View, Missouri. She’s one of three daughters born to Hazel and Frank Kindell. Mr. and Mrs. Kindell also had three sons. This is how Beulah came to Woodland...

...continued at the Woodland Record.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Yolo Dems open Woodland headquarters

From the Woodland Record:

The new Democratic Party headquarters at 444 Main Street in Woodland will be set up for Wi-Fi. It is also registered for Skype (an online phone service) which will allow volunteers to bring their laptops and use them to make calls to voters.

The group will host a grand opening tomorrow - Friday, August 8 - a date chosen for its uniqueness, said Woodland chair Leslie Marcus to the California Aggie.

Click here for the full story.

Jill's News10 segment is now available

Olympian Jill Camarena of Woodland believes she will have to put the shot 63 to 64 feet to medal in Beijing. She revealed this in a News10 television report two days ago. You can view the segment at

Jill is scheduled to compete in the qualifying round of Women’s Shot Put at 9:10 am on Saturday, August 16. That’s local time for the 2008 Olympics held in Beijing, China. For Woodlanders, that’s Friday, August 15, at 6:10 pm.

Later that day - at 9:20 pm in Beijing or 6:20 am on Saturday, August 16, for us – Jill will hopefully be competing for a medal in the final round.

Her best mark this year was a put of 59 feet, 5.5 inches at the USA Olympic Trials in Euguen, Oregon.

This story was also posted at Woodland Record.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Woodland Healthcare explains Wednesday picketers

From the Woodland Record:

Lourdes Edralin, Marketing Communications Manager of Woodland Healthcare, responded earlier today (Wednesday) to a Woodland Record inquiry about picketers in front of Woodland Memorial Hospital.

Here is the response:

The Service Employes International Union - United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) is engaging in a one-day informational picket (not a strike) at about 35 CHW facilities in California.

At issue are SEIU-UHW’s current salary and benefit proposals, which translate into demands that would threaten our ability to continue our healing ministry. Catholic Healthcare West is prepared to continue to bargain in good faith with the SEIU-UHW team but needs to do so within a realistic and constructive framework.

Photo: Members of the SEIU-UHW picket in front of the hospital Wednesday. By Cody McCallum.

To read the full response at the Woodland Record, click here.

Missing: 11,253 needles lost by 150 users

From the Woodland Record:

During Tuesday’s board meeting, Yolo County Supervisors approved $100,000 in tobacco settlement funds to continue their syringe exchange program for the upcoming fiscal year. Mike McGowan, Helen Thomson and Mariko Yamada voted in favor of the program. Duane Chamberlain and Matt Rexroad voted against it.

Rexroad reported on his blog that, “We were told that 150 people use the program. That means that with 11,253 needles that are unaccounted for, the average user has 75 needles out there somewhere.”

Essentially the $100,000 program provides needles at a cost of about $667 per participant. That means each participant (injection drug user) used about 411 needles provided by the program, losing 18% of them.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Jill’s big day is August 16, Beijing time

From the Woodland Record:

Jill Camarena of Woodland is scheduled to compete in the qualifying round of Women’s Shot Put at 9:10 am on Saturday, August 16. That’s local time for the 2008 Olympics held in Beijing, China. For us on the North American continent, specifically in the Pacific time zone, that’s Friday, August 15, at 6:10 pm.

Later that day - at 9:20 pm in Beijing or 6:20 am on Saturday, August 16, for us – Jill will hopefully be competing for a medal in the final round. She had the sixth best outdoor mark this year among USA athletes at 59 feet, 5.5 inches. She placed third in the Olympic Trials with that put. According to Jill is ranked 27th in the world.

To view a SacBee article and some family photos of Jill, click here.

$100,000 Club revealed at The People's Vanguard of Davis

Check out the City of Davis employees who make over $100K. I got the tip from

Click here to go to The Vanguard.

Rest assured there will be similar lists requested for Yolo County and the City of Woodland.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Green waste pickup: Another search at in vain

Okay, we'll volunteer for this. If you need to know when your plant clippings will be picked up on your street, just check out the Links for Woodlanders in Touch on the right side of this blog.

City of Woodland - Green waste

Since the green waste schedule isn't exactly regular - as in the purple area gets street service on the second or third Tuesday of the month - I needed to check the city's Web site for the color-coded map. I could not find it after looking at all the pages where common sense led me. I found it through Google, however, tucked away in some obscure folder. After you click on the link above, you will see the URL that cannot be accessed through a menu. had nothing, either. Yes, I did look at the old WJ story about it... but the link we provided to the city Web site goes nowhere.

Music Boosters launch Web site, meet tonight

From the Woodland Record:

A local performing arts support group called the Woodland Music Boosters, Inc., announces an improved Web site and regular meetings.

The Boosters launched, a Web site coordinated by concerned students, parents and grandparents of the Woodland Joint Unified School District music program.

The Boosters are meeting every Monday at the Holy Rosary Pastoral Center to discuss the implementation of the proposed policies. Tonight’s meeting is scheduled for 6:30 pm, at 503 California Street. Carmella Franco, the interim superintendent of WJUSD, is expected to be in attendance.

County supervisors to meet: General Plan costs rise, Grand Jury response revealed, Wild Wings offers golf course for $1

From the Woodland Record:

The Yolo County Board of Supervisors will conduct a morning-only meeting on Tuesday, August 5. Click here for the agenda.

Among the items on the agenda are:

• Approve designation of Emergency Services manager as the authorized agent to apply for federal Homeland Security funds.
• Approve consultant services for casino expansion, to be fully reimbursed by tribal funds
• Approve an alternative contractor to provide road sealing services for $1.46 million
• Approve additional consultant fees for updating the General Plan, now over $1 million
• Approve response to Grand Jury recommendations for the Office of Emergency Services and the Yolo County Branch Libraries.
• Approve revisions to guiding principles of the county’s involvement of the Delta.
• Receive offer to buy Wild Wings Golf Course, as is, for one dollar.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Dinner at Paco's

It is no secret that I love eating at Paco's. I probably eat at this place at least 10 times a month on average. The food is great, ambiance is nice and the best thing is they are always consistent. You can go in there and expect good service and good food every time.

Thursday through Sunday during the evening they have a guy who plays the guitar and sings Spanish songs at your table. That is very cool, my kids love it. Below is a picture of him serenading my daughter. She loves this guy. She waves and yells hi to him at least 30 times during dinner.

If he comes by your table and entertains you, make sure you leave him a tip.

Here is a picture of my dinner. Two chicken enchiladas with beans and rice. It hits the spot every time.
For my restaurant review with my ratings and more pictures, please visit

Friday, August 01, 2008

Pad Thai Cuisine

I got talked into eating at the Pad Thai Cuisine located at 808 Main St. It has been ten years since I have had Thai food so I was not so sure about. But Rexroad and Chaudhry already had lunch planned, so I decided to crash the party. I decided to get the Health Inspection reports to share with them after we ate. Surprisingly, the reports really were not bad at all. The only thing they did was kept some tofu in an empty oil box. Well duh, how else can they make tofu edible?? Anyways, you can check out the health reports with the two links below.

As you can see in the photo below, it is not quite American idol, but it is some sort of idol inside the restaurant with a couple of guys showing their respect.

Apparently in this photo below, the idol is trying to get a hold of Xavier Tafoya. Notice the phone is upside-down. Similar to a picture we posted of Xavier last month.

To check out the actual restaurant review, go to

Downtown First Friday is more than an art walk

As reported in the Woodland Record last Saturday, many stores along Main Street and in the historic downtown area will remain open after 5 pm tonight. The new and improved event called Downtown First Fridays will feature art exhibitions, shopping, an open mic, massages, wine tasting and, of course, food.

Click here to access the Daily Democrat article from Wednesday.

Woodlanders spot Desperate Housewife in Dodger Stadium

A foursome of WHS alumni took a trip to Los Angeles earlier this week to take in a couple of Giants/Dodgers games. Before the Monday night game, Nicollette Sheridan threw out the ceremonial first pitch - a hard fastball right down the pipe. Consensus: St-e-e-e-rike!

As it turns out, the 44 year-old Sheridan - who was born in England - sat in the lower box seats just below the former Wolves on the first base side. In this photo, Nicollette - who plays Edie Britt on the television series Desperate Housewives - sizes up an adoring fan. Not seen in this photo is her big white purse that played an important role in this Dodger Stadium appearance. Let's see if you can guess what was in her purse. Hint: It is an item you can purchase at the new Woodland Costco.

While you work on that... did you know that Sheridan's stepfather was Telly Savalas?