Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Woodland Healthcare offers flu clinics in October

From Woodland Healthcare:

Woodland Healthcare is offering adult and pediatric flu clinics beginning in late October. The cost is $25 (fee paid at time of service if not covered by insurance). It is recommended that those receiving a flu shot wear a short sleeved shirt.

The following people are considered high risk and should contact their physician to receive a flu shot as soon as possible: all children aged six months to 18 years old; adults over the age of 65; people aged two to 64 years old with underlying chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, chronic lung disease, hepatitis, HIV/Aids or are undergoing active chemotherapy; all women who will be pregnant during flu season; out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of children less than six months old.

The Adult Flu Shot Clinics will be held at the following locations and times.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

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Studio Artists Gallery: Two artist show opens on First Friday

From the Studio Artists Gallery:

The Studio Artists Gallery's First Friday downtown event in Woodland is featuring two artists this month, Suzanne Gerttula and Dede deGraffenried.

"Other Worlds" is the name of the show, with the opening reception scheduled for this Friday, October 3, from 6 to 9 pm. Refreshments will be served. The show will run through October 31.

Studio Artists Gallery is located at 1021 Lincoln Avenue, Woodland. Gallery hours are from 12 to 5:30 pm, Tuesday through Saturday. For more information please call (530) 662-7485.

Read more at the Woodland Record - What's Happening.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Woodland mascot?

This seems like a typical find in Woodland. This cow is a little mixed up though. Can you tell why? Can anyone guess where this guy is located?

Ok, I have seen it all now. Here is a picture of a Danish Red cow with horns.

However, I have yet to find a bull with milkers...

Dustin set for Wild Card round, tops in three batting categories

Dustin Pedroia of Woodland has completed his second season with the play-off bound Boston Red Sox. The 2007 AL Rookie of the Year and his World Champion team will play the Los Angeles Angels at 7 pm on Wednesday, October 1 in Anaheim. The Sox placed second in the American League Eastern Division behind the Tampa Bay Rays. The Wild Card game can be seen on TBS.

Dustin finished what could be an MVP season, leading in runs (118), doubles (54), and hits (213, tied with Ichiro Suzuki of Seattle). He was a close second in batting with a .326 average (behind Joe Mauer of Minnesota) and fourth in total bases (322).

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cultural Connection festival, car show and concert at the fairgrounds

From the Woodland Record - What's Happening:

Lo-Lystics Car Club and GC Entertainment presents the second annual Cultural Connection festival, car show and concert today (Sunday, September 28) at the Yolo County Fairgrounds, 11 am to 6 pm.

There is food, live music, three stages of entertainment, a custom car/truck/bike show, an hydraulic hop contest, two Margarita and beer gardens, vendors, sweepstakes, cash prizes and give-aways.

Performers include Scweez, Chingo Bling, Angelina and New Ridaz, Big Gemini and Bubb C.

Tickets are on sale at the gate for $20.

Click here for the Cultural Connection Web site.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Vicente KOs Salcido in six rounds

From Boxing Scene - Jake Donovan (thanks to a tip from rexroad.com):

Just when they had him written off, Vicente Escobedo punched is way toward contention, rallying from behind to knock out previously unbeaten Dominic Salcido in their Telefutura televised main event.

Read more at Boxing Scene.

Souza Cole: "All this over half a million dollars, when we're building a $24 million school?"

Excerpts from the Daily Democrat:

Plans to build the new elementary hit a rough patch Thursday night, as school board trustees debated hiring a new architect firm for the project.

"You guys threw away a half a million dollars with the same company and you're going to do it again, when we could've found somebody else," [trustee Warren] Berg said.

"I'm going to be honest, I would've most definitely gone looking for another architectural firm," Trustee Frank Glover said. "Now you're saying by the way that money is gone and now you want me to approve an architectural firm I wasn't that enthused to work with."

"All this over half a million dollars, when we're building a $24 million school?" [trustee Carol] Souza Cole said.

Read more at the Daily Democrat.

Two meetings set for downtown plaza; legionnaires informed

Excerpts from the Woodland Record:

The "Downtown Plaza/Main Street Plaza/Bush Street Plaza" project is back on all fours. During their October 7 meeting, the Woodland City Council will decide on hiring the HLA Group for $80,000 to design the area bounded by Main, First, Bush and College. The project - more aptly described as a plaza concept slated for the Dog Gone Alley area - will also be the focus of a special informational meeting in the council chambers on Monday, September 29.

The project was on the September 2 council agenda but was pulled after a member of the American Legion Post 77 complained that the group was not informed of any plan to redevelop the block. Since then, City Manager Mark Deven and councilmen Skip Davies and Jeff Monroe met with the legion. According to Deven, the meeting went "very well."

Apparently, city representatives had previously discussed the project with a member of the legion, but for unknown reasons the plans were not communicated with others in the group.

The community can learn more about the project in a special meeting at 6 pm on Monday, September 29. Mayor Skip Davies and Mark Deven will be on hand to answer questions in the council chambers at 300 First Street. If you cannot attend, but would like to pass along questions or comments for the meeting, email hwdba@woodland.net.

Click here to download the staff report.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ceramics workshops for kids

From the Studio Artists Gallery:

Ceramics Workshops for Kids!
Saturdays from 10 am to noon

October 18 – Halloween theme clay project
November 15 – Thanksgiving theme
December 13 – Winter holiday theme

Read more at the Woodland Record – What's Happening.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Let's name a school!

Woodland Joint Unified school district needs a name for a new elementary school to be opened in the Spring Lake Area in August 2010.

A naming committee will meeting for the first time on September 29 and will make a recommendation to the board of trustees in January 2009.

To recommend a name for the new school, send suggestions by November 3 to:

New Elementary School Naming Committee
Woodland Joint Unified School District
630 Cottonwood Street
Woodland, 95695.

Maybe we can start a list here.

Woosley uses opportunity to change paths; example for other inmates

From the Yolo County Sheriff's Department:

This morning Yolo County Sheriff’s Department Undersheriff Tom Lopez presented a certificate to the 89th inmate GED recipient, Aaron Woosley.

Woosley, age 19, is married and the father of a baby girl. He began working on his GED while he was in Juvenile Hall. He continued his education while incarcerated at the adult jail facility.

Photo provided by Yolo County: Aaron Woosley shows certificate between Literacy Coordinator Charlotte Beal and Undersheriff Tom Lopez.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Will Lance ride through Woodland in February?

Excerpts from the Woodland Record:

Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong will return to competitive cycling in February as part of the 2009 Amgen Tour of California. Armstrong will ride for Team Astana according to today's announcement on News10. He is returning to cycling for the purpose of raising worldwide awareness for cancer.

According to Michael Roth, Vice President of Communications for AEG [owners of the tour], the routes between the host cities are still a work in progress. "Other than to confirm the start and end cities, we have not committed to any of the routes," Roth stated in an email to the Woodland Record.

In response to some lobbying for a route to come through Downtown Woodland, Roth said, "I have let our route designers know of your interest and history."

When asked if it would make a difference if our community showed support through emails, he said, "Actually no. At this point, it will be determined by the geography of the region and how it plays into the route between cities."

Read more at the Woodland Record.

With autumn comes weekly street pile collection; starts Oct. 15

From the Woodland Record - What's Happening:

Now that it's officially autumn, the City of Trees will begin its annual transformation of deciduous trees. That means on October 15 the Waste Management "Leaf Drop Season" will commence. On that date Woodland citizens can again build their weekly piles of leaves and prunings for street collection. Although the weekly pick up reduces the need for toter-stuffing, gardeners still need to put out their green waste carts of lawn clippings according to their regular schedule.

The "Leaf Drop Season" ends on January 15, which means a return to monthly street collection of green waste that does not fit into the containers.

Toter etiquette: Carts should be placed in the gutter, next to the curb, collection - not on the sidewalks.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hammer Club site features Wolves game photos

Click here to see this season's photos of the Woodland Wolves football team taken by Brent Martin. The Hammer Club Web site, host of the 2008 game photos, is the official site of the WHS Football Boosters. A "Hot Link" to their home page is provided at the right of this blog.

Woodland Junior Wolves homecoming to celebrate 35 years of youth football

From the Woodland Jr Wolves Board of Directors:

The Woodland Junior Wolves, founded in 1994, is looking for any Woodland 49er cheer or football alumni to assist with our festivities at our first annual Sacramento Youth Football (SYF) homecoming. The game against Highlands will take place on Saturday, October 4, at the Lee Middle School field. The Junior Pee Wee's start at 10 am. The Midgets start at 4 pm.

For more information, or to donate to our community celebration, please contact Staci at citymouses@sbcglobal.net or Carolyn at cn_cabrera@sbcglobal.net. We are looking forward to hearing from you in support of an activity that has touched our youth for so many years.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Responses to Grand Jury: The tour

Excerpts from the Woodland Record:

The final report by the 2007/2008 Yolo County Grand Jury found the Woodland Joint Unified School District violated the Brown Act in its decision making process concerning the purchase and lease of an administrative office building – the Blue Shield building. The two district responses to the report deny any Brown Act violations.

Page 10 of the Grand Jury report includes this alleged violation: "The August 9, 2007, closed session meeting included a tour of the Blue Shield building (under the Brown Act, tours are not considered acceptable uses of closed session meetings)."

Ironically, the agenda for that meeting stated "In compliance with Brown Act regulations, this agenda was legally posted no later than August 3, 2007 at 630 Cottonwood Street." Item C of the agenda included a "Conference with Real Property Negotiator, Mr. Scott Sheldon, Pursuant to Govt. Code 54956.8, Regarding Price and/or Terms of Payment: Former Blue Shield Building (for Potential Central Office Relocation)."

The minutes of the meeting indicate that board president Carol Souza Cole called the meeting to order in open session at 5 pm in front of the former Blue Shield Building at 435 Sixth Street in Woodland. The board then recessed at 5:03 and "reconvened in closed session for a tour of the former Blue Shield Building."

The agenda does not include a tour. The minutes do not include Sheldon, the property negotiator.

There are seven findings and six recommendations in the Grand Jury report that relate to the Brown Act issue. Both respondents (the board and the former superintendent) disagree with each finding and state that each recommendation is vague. Each respondent failed to address the Grand Jury's comment about the August 9 closed session tour.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Woodland Tree Foundation spruces up downtown

From the Woodland Record:

The Woodland Tree Foundation, led by David Wilkinson and Ken Trott, along with community organizations and individual volunteers planted 40 trees in Downtown Woodland on Saturday.

Participants included members of the Sacramento Tree Foundation, Boy Scout Troops 68 and 464, and LDS Missionaries.

"In all we had about 45 to 50 participants," said volunteer Cal De Knikker.

A tree planting demonstration took place before trees were planted on First Street (north of Court), Walnut, Third, and Fourth Street (on both sides of Main).

Augering was provided by Christian James Landscaping, prep work by the City of Woodland Tree Department, and concrete cutting by Harrison's Concrete Cutting.

Photos taken by Cal De Knikker:

1) Staff from the City of Woodland prepare a site for planting.

2) David Wilkinson explains proper tree planting techniques.

3) Volunteers plant new trees in downtown Woodland.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Responses to Grand Jury: Purged emails examined

Excerpts from the Woodland Record:

Now that there are two district responses to the 2007/2008 Grand Jury Final Report, questions still remain about emails relevant to the Blue Shield building lease/purchase negotiations. The scathing report criticized the decision-making process to locate the Woodland Joint Unified School District's administrative offices. This article focuses on the issue of relevant emails.

From page 9 of the Grand Jury report: "The Grand Jury’s investigation was delayed and made more difficult by the District’s destruction of relevant email files during the time of the investigation."

This statement implies that the district destroyed relevant emails during the investigation which started sometime around January 24, 2008, and ended on May 1, 2008.

Both the board and Cottingim responded by: 1) Admitting to a 100 day purging policy, and 2) Stating that the Grand Jury failed to note the timing of its requests and the district's explanations. Despite the second claim, neither the board nor Cottingim provided explanations in their responses. Explanations would be in order since the purging policy relates to deleted emails only. Emails would not have been purged if they weren't already deleted.

With their responses, or lack thereof, both the board and Cottingim suggest that all relevant emails to the Blue Shield purchase were deleted, then purged, between October 2006 and the time of the investigation.

Read much more at the Woodland Record.

Click here to view the 2007/2008 Grand Jury Final Report.

Click here to download Cottingim's response.

Click here to download the four trustees' response.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Thirty day road closure on Road 98

From Yolo County:

A 3.5 mile section of Yolo County Road (CR) 98, between CR 25A and CR 29, will be closed to public traffic from Wednesday, September 24 at 7:00 a.m. through Tuesday, November 4, due to construction activity. The road closure is necessary to construct left turn lanes on CR 98 at the intersection of CR 27.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Berg on school board response: "Half of the responses are lies. The other half doesn’t make sense."

From the Woodland Record:

“Apples and oranges,” said Warren Berg, “They’re using false assumptions again in their responses to the recommendations.”

That was one of the many statements made by Berg, one of the three Woodland Joint Unified School District trustees who voted against a response to the 2007/2008 Grand Jury Final Report. The report included the results of an investigation into the decision-making process concerning the purchase and lease of the Blue Shield building for district office. The response was prepared by Miller, Brown, Dannis Attorneys of San Francisco.

Berg said the attorneys have cost the district more than $80,000 for both responses – for the board response and for the response supposedly authored by former superintendent Jacki Cottingim. He also suggested that the board “should have done it ourselves.”

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Click here to download the four trustees' response.

Note: Warren Berg's statements do not represent the official position of the board of trustees.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

State takes step toward building Yolo County prison

From the Sacramento Bee - Yolo County news:

A state board on Thursday gave conditional approval to building a re-entry prison near the town of Madison in Yolo County and giving the county $30 million for expanding its overcrowded jail.

However, the 14-1 vote by the state Corrections Standards Authority board was only a step toward the prison. The state will now investigate the site to see if it is suitable for a prison.

Read more of the SacBee report by Hudson Sangree.

I have been enlightened by Princess Stephanie

As soon as I posted the words "By the way, the Planning Commission meets tonight - I have no idea what they will talk about" in the smirky little story below, Stephanie waved her magic wand and bestowed upon me this email:

Subject: You ask...

...you shall receive.

Attached is the agenda for tonight’s planning commission meeting.

Have a good day. : )

Click here for the attachment Princess Stephanie sent.

Stephanie is the person who got the ball rolling on the recent Good Day Sacramento taping in Dead Cat Alley. She works in the City of Woodland Engineering Division. She should be Employee of the Month!

Now... about the Planning Commission:

On tonight's agenda is the "Fairfield Inn Design Review." The applicant (Bryan P. Bonino/Woodland Lodging, LLC) is requesting a Conditional Use Permit to allow the construction of a 63,275 square foot, 105-room hotel, Fairfield Inn & Suites, on a 2.46± acre parcel along Freeway Drive.

The proposed hotel will include a porte-cochere entryway, welcome center, three conference rooms and a coffee shop. This project qualifies for a Categorical Exemption from the provisions of CEQA as a Class 32–Infill Development.

The meeting starts at 7 pm in the Council Chambers.

Stephanie will arrive by carriage.

All better. Updated council photo includes Martie.

On July 18, The Woodland Journal posted a story called "Martie looks weird in this photo." That was 18 days after Martie Dote had been sworn in as the newest member of Woodland City Council. The referenced photo is the same as what's currently on the City Council page on the City's Web site. It's now 80 days since Martie took office.

Never fear! In searching through the City's Web site today I found a photo of Martie on the Planning Commission page. You can see what happened next.

The City is welcome to the updated photo.

By the way, the Planning Commission meets tonight. I have no idea what they will talk about.

Mayor gets bodyguards and drivers

The Sacramento Bee has an article in the paper today that talks about the Sacramento Mayor and her bodyguards.

That must be nice. I can see it now: Ed Prieto and Jeff Monroe driving Skip Davies around in his old truck with no A/C and Matt Rexroad hanging out the back with an M-4. Maybe even a motorcade with a couple motorcycles in front and back while they travel from hot spot to hot spot.

Wow, that is kind of crazy, but they did try to defend their position of assigning the Mayor protection by mentioning the recent murder of Fairfield Councilman Matt Garcia.

Here is what City Manager Ray Kerridge had to say in the Bee:

Kerridge defended the practice Wednesday, citing the recent slaying of Fairfield City Councilman Matt Garcia as evidence that elected officials should have security.
"As far as I'm concerned it's the threat that is at issue here, and that hasn't changed," Kerridge said.

I have a feeling we will never see that happen in Woodland.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Four trustees disagree with findings, admit to email purging and Brown Act violation

From the Woodland Record:

The Woodland Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees' response to the 2007/2008 Yolo County Grand Jury Final Report is now public. The board's response - which met opposition from three of its seven members - is the second filed as a result of the Grand Jury findings against the district. Former superintendent Jacki Cottingim filed a response last month.

The Grand Jury report included the results of an investigation into the decision-making process concerning the purchase and lease of the Blue Shield building for district offices. In their response, the four trustees - Carol Souza Cole, Rosario Ruiz-Dark, Bill Beerman and Elaine Lytle - generally disagree with the Grand Jury findings and claim recommendations in the report are vague.

The four trustees avoided a Grand Jury statement about deleted emails during the time of the investigation but admitted to a district policy of purging emails. Their response referred only to emails older than 100 days. They also unwittingly admitted to violating the Brown Act.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Click here to download the four trustees' response.

Letter opposes general plan: 'Rex-Roading,' death threats listed

The following is a letter sent to the Yolo County Supervisors:

I could not attend the board meeting today, as I had to work. This e-mail is my comments to inform Yolo County, Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission; that we are opposed to an additional 69 acres of agricultural land making it 160 acres on the former Spreckels site being changed from A-1 agricultural to Heavy Industrial (not light industrial like warehouses; but refineries, outside uses, cranes, the nasty stuff in West Sacramento…) in the General Plan Update.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Kathyanna Ranch gets nod from supervisors for reentry facility

From the Woodland Record:

Kathyanna Ranch (an LLC of Sacramento) did get its way. And if everything is copacetic with the State of California, Yolo County will be showcasing a reentry facility on Interstate 505 at Highway 16. The 15 acre site is just to the east of Madison. The purchase price will be determined by the fair market value.

The nod came by way of a 3 to 1 vote, with Mariko Yamada (District 4) abstaining. 5th District Supervisor Duane Chamberlain voted against recommending the location to the state. The Kathyanna Ranch is in Chamberlain's district – where the most ardent opposition arose.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Glover on school board response: "It is a complete joke. Spin and dishonesty."

From the Woodland Record:

As expected, the Woodland Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees voted with the same formula used since the Blue Shield scandal began. Last night, in a special meeting called to approve a response to the scathing 2007/2008 Grand Jury Final Report, a response was approved 4 to 3.

Trustees Rogelio Villagrana, Warren Berg and Frank Glover voted against the response because of the language, the answers and the legal consultation. Glover was the most vocal about casting a dissenting vote saying, "It is a complete joke. Spin and dishonesty."

The Grand Jury report included the results of an investigation into the decision-making process concerning the purchase and lease of an office building for the Woodland Joint Unified School District. The board's response will be the second filed as a result of the findings against the district. Former superintendent Jacki Cottingim filed her response on August 25.

Those trustees voting in favor of the response were Carol Souza Cole, Rosario Ruiz-Dark, Bill Beerman and Elaine Lytle. The response will be released to the public after its submitted to the Clerk of the Court - that should be done within the week.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Council to adopt statement in support of Prop 6

Among the agenda items for Tuesday's Woodland City Council meeting is this:

19. Consider Adoption of a Statement of Support for Proposition 6, Safe Neighborhoods Act (5 minutes)

I think it should go something like this:

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

See this Woodland Journal post if you don't get it. (A couple of links no longer work)

See the Prop 6 Web site here.

Reentry myths perpetuate

This from Politiclast.com: "My letter to Mr. Rexroad is simply this… keep it out of my backyard. Stick it in Davis and let them macrame hemp sandals for them when they exit."

Are people not listening on this issue? The Democrat editor has no clue. You should see the morons emailing Matt Rexroad about this (click here or here). McLovin (Politiclast) is also misinformed, despite claiming a reluctance to comment "until I felt I had enough information."

The prisoners will be released into the communities from where they came. Period.

Traffic Safety Commission to discuss bikeway tonight

From the Woodland Record:

The City of Woodland Traffic Safety Commission will discuss the Woodland-Davis Bikeway feasibility study during its regular meeting tonight (September 15). The meeting starts at 6:30 pm.

The jointly funded study for an alternative transportation corridor between Woodland and Davis will cost the city no more than $60,000. On July 15, the city council approved funding for the study. City Manager Mark Deven will report on an agreement between the agencies that is needed to complete the study.

According to a source at the city, the commission will be guided by the staff report from the July 15 city council meeting.

County offers contractor and builder training

From the Yolo County Public Information Office:

The Yolo County Planning and Public Works Department Building Inspection Division is offering three training opportunities this fall for contractors, homeowners, building inspectors, plans examiners, building officials and design professionals. Programs offered include: Electrical Training on September 23; Green Building 101 Training on October 7; and Fire Resistance Gypsum Systems Training on October 21. All courses will be held at the Planning and Public Works Department at 292 West Beamer Street in Woodland. Registration forms may be obtained from the Yolo County Planning and Public Works Department at 292 W. Beamer Street, in Woodland, or downloaded here. One may also register by calling (530) 666-8775.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

40 new trees for the City of Trees

From the Woodland Tree Foundation:

The Woodland Tree Foundation, in cooperation with the Woodland Tree Department, is sponsoring a massive downtown tree planting this Saturday, September 20, starting at 8:30 am. We will meet at the Woodland Public Library parking lot at First and North streets.

This will be a fun opportunity to help plant 40 shade trees to keep Woodland green and beautiful and to reduce greenhouse gases. Please bring a shovel and gloves if you can, but extra shovels will be provided.

For more information call David Wilkinson, Woodland Tree Foundation President, at 662-9202.

We hope to see you there and bring a friend.

Trees planted to date: 1363

Sunday, September 14, 2008

WJUSD uses Web site to announce Monday special meeting

From wjusd.org:


A Special Board Meeting will be held September 15, 2008 at 5:30 PM.

Click here for more. [see below]

5:30 P.M.

1. Pledge of Allegiance



1. Conference With Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation: Subdivision (b) Of Government 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

1. Announcement of any action taken in Closed Session (if applicable)

1. Approve Board Response to the Yolo County Grand Jury Report Issued June 30, 2008


Supervisors and commissioners to look at general plan

Excerpts from the Yolo County Office Public Information Office:

On September 16, a joint meeting of the Yolo County Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission will be held to receive a presentation on the Draft General Plan. The General Plan is the basic document used by local government in land use planning. It provides the comprehensive long-term plan for the physical development of the county, and is often referred to as “the constitution” of the county. All cities and counties are required, under state law, to have one.

The last update was in 1983, based on the county’s original General Plan from 1958. In May 2003, the Board of Supervisors gave direction to begin the current General Plan update process. This is only the third time in the county’s history that the General Plan has been comprehensively updated. While the fundamental land use goals of promoting agriculture and directing urban growth to the cities have not changed, circumstances facing the county have changed.

The four primary proposed land use changes that account for these increases include:

• Dunnigan community expansion (21,000 residents, 7,500 units, and 430 job-producing acres)

• Madison community expansion (3,655 residents, 1,305 units, and 116 job-producing acres)

• New commercial and industrial development in Elkhorn (320 job-producing acres)

• Conversion to industrial at Spreckels site (69 job-producing acres)

Read more at the Woodland Record.

For a related Woodland Journal article, click here.

Dustin collects 200th hit, leads AL in four categories

From the Woodland Record - Sports:

First of all, here's some Red Sox - Yankee rivalry trivia:

Q: Who was the first Yankee to hit a home run against the Red Sox in Yankee Stadium?
A: Find the answer here. Hint: Look at 1923.

Q: Who was the last Red Sox to hit a home run against the Yankees in Yankee Stadium.
A: Discover the answer here and here. Hint: Check the box scores in the last two Red Sox games at Yankee Stadium.

In yesterdays second game of the Red Sox - Blue Jays twin bill, Dustin Pedroia of Woodland collected this 200th hit of the season. That puts him atop the list of leaders, including perpetual hits leader Ichiro Suzuki. To date, Dustin is leading the American League in three other categories: Batting average (.329); runs (113); and doubles (50). He is also third on total bases with 305 and third in fielding percentage at .991.

Wrote Ian Browne of MLB.com: "He has become the Red Sox's hit machine, not to mention a top candidate for the American League Most Valuable Player Award. It has been quite a season for Dustin Pedroia, who just continues to rake."

Browne also noted Dustin's 200th hit and 50th double. He reported that only two other Red Sox players were able to achieve both those milestones in the same season. Tris Speaker did it in 1912 and Wade Boggs did it 1989. Both are in the Hall of Fame.

By the way, Boston lost to Toronto in the first game of the double-header 8 to 1. Dustin's team came from behind to win the second game 7 to 5. Dustin was 3 for 5 in the night cap.

Note: Thanks to Mike Spitek, president of the local Men's Senior Baseball League, for providing the trivia question.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

DNA confirms identity of '06 Sac River accident victim

From the Yolo County Sheriff's Public Information Office:

The body of Kathryn Buckley, found in the Sacramento River last April, has been officially identified by DNA. There is a 1 in 3.1 quintillion chances that another person has the same genetic profile.

On April 28th a salvage diver searching for vehicles in the Sacramento River, north of 39038 South River Road in Clarksburg, located a blue Hyundai Tiburon. The vehicle was removed from the water and it was later determined to belong to Kathryn Buckley, of Sacramento, a 51 year old woman who was reported missing in May 2006. The remains of a single, unrestrained occupant were located inside the locked vehicle, along with various items bearing the missing woman’s name.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

An alternative view of the WHS lockdown

From the Woodland Record:

The rumor-fueled lockdown situation appears to be routine.

Photo by Cal De Knikker.

Rumors lead to lockdown: Woodland school makes TV again

From the Woodland Record:

Once again, a Sacramento television station was fast to respond to happenings at a local school. Three weeks ago, TV crews swooped down on Pioneer High School to report vandalism. Yesterday, News10 made it across town to Woodland High School where rumors about a gun on campus and possible fights caused a lockdown. Last June, the media was attracted to WHS for not allowing a cancer patient to graduate.

The lockdown turned into an early dismissal for the students. According to the News10 report, students were released one or two classes at a time to a growing throng of waiting parents. The rumor mill was fueled as students text-messaged home and parents soon began to arrive on campus.

Some of the rumors may have grown from Wednesday's shooting at Campbell Park and a subsequent fight on Thursday at Cacheville High School in Yolo. Ironically, nearby Inderkum High School in Natomas had to respond to a shooting threat earlier this week. Early reports indicate that no weapon was found at WHS.

To view the News10 report, click here.

Photo by Cal De Knikker.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Worst of Yolo County 2008

It's ba-a-a-a-ck!

That's right... the Daily Democrat is now printing their ballots for their annual "Best of Woodland Advertisers" campaign, a.k.a. "Best of Yolo County 2008." That means I will once again satirize their self-indulgence with the "Worst of Yolo County."

Last year's harpoon caused quite a stir... so let's see if the trolls, a.k.a. faceless clones, can come out once again and tell me how I'm tearing down the community. Here are a couple of the unclaimed comments from that post:

"I am throughly disgusted with the antics you have displayed on this blog."

"...this blog has become decidedly negative and currently offers little constructive information."

"God, you're an a-hole."

I humbly accepted my award for "Worst Blog" despite having paid no advertising fee to myself.

This year the Daily Democrat is splitting some categories so that Davis advertisers don't feel left out. I guess that means winners in the "Davis" or "Woodland" divisions can no longer be named "Best of Yolo County" - or will they be called "Best of Yolo County - Woodland/Davis Division?" What about categories for WesSac, Winters or Esparto? Who will win best casino?

Below are a few of my favorite categories from last year, but this year feel free to come up with your own. Best of all, you can vote online by simply publishing a comment - you don't have to deliver it or mail it to the local paper.

Worst newspaper___
Worst blog___

Worst tax___
Worst tax proposal___
Worst public records access___
Worst public building____
Worst road or intersection___
Worst school district___
Worst expense for a consultant___
Worst search for a smell___

Worst taco truck___
Worst "food" at the fair___

Worst artificial rock-trimmed stucco building with fake-tower design___

Worst auto plaza___
Worst shopping center or mall___

Worst public meetings___
Worst prison___
Worst needle exchange program___
Worst golf course___
Worst campaign headquarters___
Worst editorials___
Worst high school graduation___
Worst courtroom___
Worst response to the Grand Jury___
Worst snack cart___

Conservancy and trust complete purchase of Knaggs Ranch

From Ziegler Associates of Sacramento:

The Sacramento Valley Conservancy (SVC), in collaboration with Yolo Land Trust, today announced that it successfully completed its purchase of the 1,682 acre Elkhorn Basin (aka Knaggs) Ranch in Yolo County, located along the Sacramento River 10 minutes northeast of Woodland, just north of I-5, and twenty minutes from downtown Sacramento.

The project offers an innovative model for regional collaboration. Funding partners include the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency (SAFCA), the Department of Water Resources, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Resources Legacy Fund, and the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB-pending approval). Yolo County also established a partnership with SAFCA on issues of mutual interest.

The acquisition of the Elkhorn Basin Ranch permanently preserves land in the Elkhorn Basin for agricultural, wildlife habitat and open space use. The project boosts local farmland preservation - as the ranch will remain in productive agriculture including both orchards and row crops; provides riparian forest habitat; retains local water resources; and enhances regional flood protection.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

For a related Woodland Journal article, click here.

About the Sacramento Valley Conservancy.

About the Yolo Land Trust.

Local supe in Downunder spot?

Check out this TV commercial from Australia.

Remind you of anyone?

(Yes. It's an actual ad broadcast in the Land Downunder. Guess who sent it.)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

City of Woodland offers affordable housing

From the City of Woodland Web site:

Eligible income limits have been raised, a four person family making up to $85,200 may qualify.

City of Woodland’s Inclusionary Housing Program Mandatory Orientation:

September 25th at 6PM City Council Chambers
300 First Street, 2nd Floor, Woodland.

Please call (530) 661-5837 to register for the orientation.

Safe and affordable government financing is available. Units vary in square footage, number of bedrooms, location, and housing type. Homes are located within Woodland city limits, including Spring Lake.

Democrat and opinions don't mix

"Our" Opinion from the Daily Democrat:

"President Bush said he didn't care how terrorism architect Osama bin Laden was brought to justice." That was back in 2001 when the U.S. reeled in shock and horror after 19 men hijacked four airliners and turned them into guided missiles. The jets slammed into New York's World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon and the Pennsylvania countryside, killing nearly 3,000 people in the deadliest attack in history on U.S. soil."

Terence Hunt's opinion:

"President Bush said he didn't care how terrorism architect Osama bin Laden was brought to justice... That was back in 2001 when the U.S. reeled in shock and horror after 19 men hijacked four airliners and turned them into guided missiles. The jets slammed into New York's World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon and the Pennsylvania countryside, killing nearly 3,000 people in the deadliest attack in history on U.S. soil."

Read both articles to see more "shared" opinions. Better yet, google any part of the passage (like "U.S. reeled in shock and horror after 19 men hijacked") and you will see all the newspapers around the country that printed all or parts of Hunt's piece.

The Democrat did state, "The Associated Press contributed to this editorial."


DA responds to Grand Jury recommendation

From the Woodland Record:

Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig has reponded to the Grand Jury report which found the Woodland Joint Unified School District had several Brown Act violations in 2007-08.

The Yolo County Grand Jury Final Report of the investigation of “Decision-Making Processes and Brown Act Compliance of Woodland Joint Unified School District” recommended that extensive district action be taken to strengthen its ability to comply with the Act.

Reisig concluded, “After careful consideration of all the issues, it is my decision that the recommendation requires further analysis.”

Apparently, that analysis will be done on a case-by-case basis. The district attorney’s written response was to the Grand Jury recommendation that he “should consider commencement of an action pursuant to Govt C 54960 to compel the District to comply with public meeting laws.”

The explanation provided by Reisig suggests that the district will take the actions required to comply with the recommendations made by the Grand Jury – that any action on his part will be unnecessary. He wrote, “The need for future action [by the DA] would be obviated should those actions [by the district] be implemented.”

Access the DA’s response here.

Debates - Worth it or not?

I spend a lot of time debating ideas and topics, that is what this blog is partly about. The more I see discussions and debates, the more I think they are almost a waste of time. Most people already have their mind made up and just like to argue. Can you blame them? Change your mind and you could be labeled a flip flopper...

Is it bad to flip flop? It seems if it comes out of a healthy debate and discussion, changing a persons mind is not bad. After all that is the whole purpose. I see it time and time again at council and supervisors meetings. People get up to the podium and waste their breath. They are not going to change a single mind.

I see it here on the blog, people go round and round for what? I guess to hear themselves type, because you really are not going to change anyone.

But here we are, back at the blog debating everything. I guess I like to hear myself type, or just like to argue. As a matter of fact I am debating myself about this topic. But I better leave it alone, I don't want to flip flop.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Household hazardous waste days this Friday and Saturday

From the Woodland Record - What's Happening:

This month’s Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) drop-off days at the Yolo County Central Landfill are scheduled for September 12 and 13 from 9 am to 2 pm.

HHW will be accepted from Yolo County residents only. Agricultural and infectious medical waste will not be accepted. Business hazardous waste from small quantity generators is accepted for a fee by appointment only. Call (866) 714-8470 to schedule an appointment. Senior or disabled residents who cannot drive may schedule a free pick-up by calling (866) 714-8470 no later than September 10.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Democrat editorial misses mark on reentry issue

From the Daily Democrat editorial "Supervisors should say no to California's 're-entry' funds:"

"We need to redirect funding toward counseling and jobs training, not more beds or more prison guards."

"The state will provide the $30 million to construct a place to help relieve that over crowding, but the county has to find a location. Not surprisingly, no one wants to be near what is, in effect, still a "jail."

From the rexroad.com post "Why bother to have an editorial board meeting?"

"The exact things that the editorial stresses as the desired objectives are exactly what is provided by a re-entry facility - counseling and job training."

Observation from the Woodland Journal:

Clearly by what's written in the paragraph above, the editor of the Democrat thinks the $30 million is for the reentry facility. It's for the Monroe Detention Facility. The state will decide on the location of the reentry facility and build it.

Supervisors fail to discuss issues about Madison site for reentry facility

A letter to the editor of the Woodland Record:

I didn’t see it coming, and I should have, given the Board of Supervisors voted BEFORE public comment to pursue getting the re-entry facility so they could get $30 million from the State. So we already knew they did not care about our points of view on that. But we hoped and we spoke.

After hours of public comment against the sites, the Board of Supervisors (with the exception of 5th District Supervisor Duane Chamberlain) decided they would not choose a site that day, proceeding to ask questions of the two acquisitions officials. Then, right at the end, Helen Thompson said they can remove the airport site (no reasons given). Matt Rexroad then moved to eliminate the Esparto site along with the Airport site (no reasons given). Citizens were clearly against all three choices.

There it was, done, without ever taking a vote to build on the rural Madison site. Clearly, they had already made up their minds without any regard for citizen discourse. Given that, I suppose it was not surprising they failed to discuss issues raised by citizens, such as:

• Not going forward with the desire for State money
• Representation of residents
• Consideration of other sites
• Traffic congestion
• Flooding
• Preservation of rural life
• Lack of any benefit to rural areas (employees and prisoners come from cities)
• Long terms costs
• Dismissal of 5th District Supervisor during most of the discussion
• Dumping urban problems onto rural communities
• Lack of infrastructure
• Environmental impacts
• Lack of job training, counseling, and employment opportunities at rural sites
• State directive to place facility in urban location

When Helen Thompson asked if other sites would be considered, Mike McGowan quickly took over the discussion with no mention of that possibility. Thompson failed to pursue it. Where indeed is representation or engagement with issues raised by citizens?

By the way, did the developer who owns the Madison property really offer to give the County the property for the re-entry facility if they would dispense with the Brown Act on his other nearby property so he could build a housing development?

A prison facility at the Gateway to Capay Valley is a poor choice. Let’s hold a County-wide vote.

Anne Pym McDonald

Annual Interfaith Community Iftar Dinner

The Muslim Mosque Association invites you to an Iftar dinner on Saturday 9-20-2008. For all the details, click here to view it on the Woodland Record.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

WJUSD trustees meet tonight about Grand Jury report

Tuesday, September 9, 2008
6:00 pm
Special Board Meeting
630 Cottonwood Street

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)

F. Board action
1-S Approve an agreement to waive potential conflicts between the district and legal counsel and/or between the district and the former superintendent

G. Adjournment

# # #

Today the Yolo County Board of Supervisors received the first of the expected responses from the school district. The response was from the former superintendent Jacki Cottingim. Click here to download the 22 page document.

# # #

From the WJUSD board agenda of August 28, 2008:

2. Why Are Minutes Not Kept In Closed Session? – to be discussed at Special Board Retreat/Study Session – to be scheduled (requested by Trustee Berg on March 13, 2008)

Result: Still no action on the issue brought up by Warren Berg in March.

Remember this? Maybe not.


Things to do today: Approve reentry sites, social service spending

From the Woodland Record:

In today's regular meeting, the Yolo County Board of Supervisors will decide if a list of three proposed sites for a reentry prison facility can be passed on to the state. Regardless of the location, the facility will be built and operated solely by the state. Approval of the siting agreement between the state and the county will allow Yolo to continue to seek $30 million for the existing Monroe Detention Facility as authorized by AB 900.

Also on the slate are several social service items including funding for the Wayfarer Center drug program ($132,000), providing $30,000 for criminal defense services for Marco Topete who is accused of murdering Deputy Tony Diaz, and approving a $1.2 million retirement contract for county workers.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Esparto ranch options 15 to 25 acres for Reentry Facility

From the Woodland Record:

If the John Deterding Co. (a Carmichael company) has it's way, Yolo County will be building the proposed Reentry Facility in Esparto. The option agreement, dated September 4, lists a purchase price of $3 per square foot subject to an appraisal. There are 43,560 square feet in one acre. The county could purchase 15 to 25 acres out the 70 acre option site, so the price could be between $1,960,200 and $3,267,000.

See the option agreement here.

Word of the day: Aneurysm

an·eu·rysm – noun Pathology. a permanent cardiac or arterial dilatation usually caused by weakening of the vessel wall.

For an example, see the Daily Democrat - hopefully the misspelled word will still be viewable by the time you access the link.

Madison ranch options 15 acres for Reentry Facility

From the Woodland Record:

If Kathyanna Ranch (an LLC of Sacramento) has its way, Yolo County will be showcasing the proposed Reentry Facility right on Interstate 505 at Highway 16 near Madison. The option agreement, drafted on an unknown date this month, does not list a purchase price. That will be determined by the fair market value within ten days of both parties exercising the option. The site is about 15 acres.

See the option agreement here.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Rexroad makes four points about reentry facility, links to three blogs

County supervisor Matt Rexroad makes four points on his blog about the proposed reentry facility. There is also a post that lists three local blogs that also address the issue (Surf Putah, Davis Vanguard and Yolo Cowboy).

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Re entry facility buzz

Not to be outdone by a guy named Mclovin over at Politiclast, we decided to have our way with this above photo. This re-entry facility has raised more attention than anything I can remember in the recent past. Townhall meetings are getting ugly, people are angry and others are just jumping in for the fun of it. Besides, who would really want a prison facility located next to them? Why try to change the status quo on recidivism rates in our County. Anywhere but here, right? Who wants those dirt bag families visiting their town and having inmates walking around the neighborhoods prowling on children?

Well, I would take it right here in Woodland. I already live next to the jail, who releases ten inmates a day out there. The prison will only release 1 a day max and they will get driven to their living facility by their parole officer. They will not be prowling the streets. I happen to be one of those scumbag families who has a family member in prison. I already come to your towns and eat and buy gas, so no change there.

Some legitimate concerns are the infrastructure and water issues. If those can be panned out, then it should work....

I would have to guess with everything I have heard, it will be located in Madison on 16 and 505.

What are you doing? Get down to the Stroll!

Today the 20th Stroll Through History takes place in the Historic Downtown of Woodland. The Stroll through History, Inc. is a non-profit public benefit corporation formed to enhance the awareness and appreciation of the unique agricultural, architectural, and social history and resources of the City of Woodland.

Annual Strollers will notice new events this year, including a display of paintings and photographs of historic architecture at the Porter Building, a four-mile bicycle tour through the historic district and a farmer's market and children's pet parade in Freeman Park.

To check out today's events, click here.

Capay resident says scrap reentry facility or locate in Davis

A letter to the editor of the Woodland Record:

Regarding the re-entry facility proposed by the Yolo County Board of Supervisors, it is important to remember that it would provide the Board with $30 million of tax payers’ money. The bottom line is that if no one wants the facility in their “back yard”, then the Supervisors, as representatives of the people, have the obligation to scrap the project.

Having said that, there may be compelling reason to locate the facility in Davis, or as nearby as possible.

Read more here at the Woodland Record.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Skip Lee at Blue Wing Gallery for First Friday

From the Woodland Record - What's Happening:

Blue Wing Art Gallery presents "Let's Face It," a show featuring the work of Skip Lee. An artist's reception is scheduled as part of the First Friday event in Historic Downtown Woodland from 6 to 9 pm on Friday, September 5.

Lee is most known for his vibrant abstract paintings. For this exhibit, however, he broadened his horizons by combining recognizable images of faces rendered with the delicate line of a pencil surrounded by saturated swathes of acrylic paint. This effect is highly original and an intellectual leap from his previous works.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Mike Carson at Studio Artist Galley for First Friday

From the Woodland Record - What's Happening:

The featured artist for the month of September at the Studio Artists Gallery is forged steel artist Mike Carson. The gallery is having a reception Friday, September 5 as part of the First Friday event Historic Downtown Woodland. Carson will also be demonstrating during the Stroll Through History on Saturday, September 6.

Studio Artists Gallery is located at 1021 Lincoln Avenue in Woodland. Gallery hours are from 12 to 5:30 pm, Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, please call (530) 662-7485.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Natomas school district says it overpaid for land

Some interesting parallels to WJUSD as reported in the SacBee:

It has been 20 months since the Natomas Unified School District purchased 41 acres of farmland just north of Sacramento for $13.4 million, a record price for the area.

Just more than a year ago, Superintendent Steve Farrar admitted he had concerns about the purchase and launched an internal investigation.

Now, in response to that investigation, Natomas school officials say they believe they paid too much for the land and have hired a malpractice attorney to discuss remedies with the deal's participants. Those participants include the district's own legal counsel in the deal and the seller, a partnership headed by developer Angelo K. Tsakopoulos.

Read more from Terri Hardy at the SacBee.

Links for Woodlanders in touch

I've replaced a couple of stagnant blogs from the "Links for Woodlanders in touch" with a couple more:

Yolo Sun
Interesting insight if you have some time. Maintained by Woodland resident Bobby Harris.

Yolo Progressive
"A blog for the best of America..." from the Democratic viewpoint. Maintained by Woodland resident Glenn Haffner.

Here are other links to blogs... you have to go down the list a bit. I should probably move the whole group of blogs up a ways. In many ways, they are more relevant than many of the links.

Matt Rexroad
Capital Elector
The People's Vanguard of Davis
Hello Happy Pitbulls
The Roughstock Journal

If you would like to add a blog to the list, please email dino@woodlandjournal.com. Only active blogs will be added.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Plaza consultant item pulled from tonight's council meeting

From the Woodland Record:

City Manager Mark Deven has informed the Historic Woodland Downtown Business Association that Item J has been removed from tonight's city council meeting. The item was to consider hiring the HLA Group for a possible downtown plaza project located in the central area of the block bounded by Main, First, Bush and College.

The postponement of the decision to hire the design group will allow nearby property owners a chance to learn about the project.

The staff report on the proposed project states: "Successful redevelopment of this area will require a collaborative approach beginning with the site planning and, if the project is feasible, culminating with the completion of construction. Therefore, all of the area property owners and Downtown stakeholders will need to be brought into the process."

The final design of the plaza has yet to be determined, although initial conceptual ideas have some neighbors concerned. If hired, the HLA Group will involve all parties whose properties will be affected. Primary property owner Jeff Morgan, who owns two properties on the block, said in a May meeting that he wants a plan that works for everyone. He is willing to reallocate some assets to improve the area for the block, for the neighborhood and for the downtown.

The initial plaza concept will be contained in the Dog Gone Alley area of the block and will not affect through traffic on Bush Street.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Council considers consultant for Dog Gone Alley plaza

Excerpts from the Woodland Record:

What was initially dubbed as the "Downtown Plaza" and/or "Main Street Plaza" is now also called the "Bush Street Plaza." In any case, the Woodland City Council will decide on hiring the HLA Group for $80,000 to design the area. The project - more aptly described as a plaza concept slated for the Dog Gone Alley area bounded by Main, First, Bush and College - is on the Tuesday night agenda.

The public first got wind of the project through a Woodland Journal article posted on May 5, four days before RFQ was due for potential planners and designers.

Apparently, some communication has slipped through the cracks. According to the Daily Democrat, a representative from the American Legion Post 77 said that he first learned of the project only days ago. Commander Dave Isbell told the paper that someone from the city came by Friday to tell him about Tuesday's council meeting. Isbell also noted that the Legion has been at the Bush Street location since 1919.

Initial plans include relocating the building - possibly to a site across the street - but until all parties can meet with the city and the designers, the final design of the plaza is undetermined.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Download the staff report.

Note: The photo in today's Democrat is misleading. The redevelopment site is within the block where Dog Gone Alley is located, north of Bush Street.

A couple of political observations not specific to Woodland

I rarely post things that are not specific to Woodland, or Yolo County, but I thought I'd throw this out for discussion.

At the Republican Convention there are Iraq War protesters. That makes sense to me, since the overwhelming majority of the House who voted for the war were Republicans. Click here to see the role call on that vote.

Those senators voting to go to war were nearly even between Republicans and Democrats. Click here to see the Senate roll call. Vice presidential candidate Joe Biden voted for the war. So did presidential candidate John McCain.

Vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and presidential candidate Barack Obama were not involved in the decision to go to war.

At the Democratic Convention, the party line was "On the Road to Change." McCain has been in Washington for 25 years (since 1983) in contrast to Obama who's been there only three years (since 2005). On the other hand, Biden has been in Washington for 35 years (since 1973) and Palin has never served in D.C., but has two years of experience as a governor.

I know these are not new, or earth-shattering observations, but the vice president selections have certainly put a twist in the arguments featuring change (Democrats) and inexperience (Republicans).

Here's how it stacks up:

Two years running a small state (683,478 people) vs. three years sharing representation of a large state (12,852,548 people) - if one wants change, it would seem one would overlook inexperience. Practically speaking, one would probably feel more comfortable with someone having a bit of experience. Obama also served in the Illinois Senate from '97 to '04.

35 years vs. 25 years - if one wants experience, Biden (Senate only) and McCain (House and Senate) both have long political histories, but they certainly can't promise change, or reform. Both are card-carrying members of "Washington-As-Usual" club and haven't demonstrated they can affect essential change in D.C. Universal health care tops the list as far as I'm concerned.

It certainly will be an interesting race. I wish there was a third major party.

Let the GOP Pageant begin!

Click here for the Republican Party of Yolo County Web site. The home page features a truncated article about John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate. The anything-but-plain Palin is the GOP's response to the Democratic mantra of change in Washington, D.C.

Click here for a related article that appeared Saturday in the Sacramento Bee.

The Republican National Convention begins today in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It runs from September 1st to the 4th.

The Republican (McCain/Palin) Campaign Headquarters also opens today in Woodland at 526 Main Street. It will be open through Wednesday, November 5, 2008.

Propaganda from the district

In an obvious press release sent to the Daily Democrat, two local school district employees pat themselves on the back for fixing "crumbling" furniture. Please note that the quoted school teacher is the Woodland Education Association president (the local teachers union). She supported the district's purchase of the Blue Shield building but questioned the purchase of new furniture for it.

Check it out here.

WJUSD responds to Grand Jury final report

From the Woodland Record:

The Woodland Joint Unified School district has responded to the 2007/2008 Yolo County Grand Jury Final Report. As posted at The Woodland Journal on July 1, the report included the results of an investigation into the decision-making process concerning the purchase and lease of an office building for the Woodland Joint Unified School District.

Here are some excerpts from the district response, authored by former superintendent Jacki Cottingim:

A grand jury is not authorized to roam at will or to replace the discretion of the elected officials of a school district. Here, even if one takes the grand jury report at face value, the grand jury has not found any relevant, material or on-going misconduct or public offenses. Instead, the grand jury chose to substitute its own opinion as to how the Woodland Joint Unified School District ("District") should spend its money.

Despite the publication date of June 30~ 2008, most of the criticism related to the Brown Act relates to a 2007 purchase agreement that was terminated on March 10, 2008.

To the extent the grand jury further concludes that any meetings arising out of agendas that listed "only" the name and/or parcel number of the Blue Shield Building, were improper, this again is erroneous. Where the property has been identified with enough detail to let the public know what property is being discussed, the purpose of the Brown Act has been effectuated.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Click here to download the 22 page response.

Dustin breaks runs-scored record with 4 for 4, then goes 4 for 4 as clean-up

From the Woodland Record - Sports:

Dustin Pedroia of Woodland has become a "must play" second baseman for fantasy leagues across the nation. More importantly, his hitting - described as "white hot" - is keeping his Boston Red Sox in the hunt for another division title.

On Friday Dustin went 4 for 4 and scored three runs in a blow-out against the visiting Chicago White Sox. His three runs brought his season total to 104 to pass Bobby Doerr's club record set in 1950 for the most runs scored by a second baseman in a season. Read this article from redsox.com for more details and Dustin's comments.

On Saturday against the White Sox, Dustin batted 4 for 4 again, this time as the clean-up hitter. The last Red Sox player to collect four hits in back-to-back games was Hall of Famer Wade Boggs. He did it on June 8 and 10 of the 1989 season. Dustin also scored two more runs in that game as the Red Sox won big again, 8 to 2. Read this article from redsox.com for manager Terry Francona's roster strategy and more comments by Dustin.

In last night's series finale, Dustin batted clean-up again and collected another hit and a walk. However, the week-end magic of the Red Sox ended as the White Sox won 4 to 2. Dustin came up in the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs, down two runs with two men on - a chance to win the game with one swing. He hit a slider by Bobby Jenks at the end of his bat that resulted in fly out to end the game.

Dustin leads the American league in three categories: Batting (.326), runs (106) and hits (183). He is third in doubles with 42. No wonder he is hearing chants of "MVP" in Fenway Park. Wouldn't that be something?