Friday, October 31, 2008

Ten ways to be charitable in a challenging economy

From the Yolo Community Foundation:

Even during these tough economic times, many people will still want to make charitable contributions before the end of the year. But they may want some advice about how to do it in ways that acknowledge the challenges they – and the community – face.

Here are ten tips you can use on charitable giving:

Read more at the Woodland Record - Letters to the Editor.

Tafoya and some baseball history

Xavier Tafoya had an ad in last Sundays paper with a picture of his baseball team from 1952. We are not sure who the others are, so see if you can pick anyone out... Click on the picture for a larger pdf that you can actually see some faces.


HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

From the Woodland Record:

'Twas the eve before Hallows
By the Gatekeeper of Dead Cat Alley
© MMIV

'Twas the eve before Hallows, and all through the home
Not a monster was stirring, not even a gnome.
The jack-o-lanterns were set on the doorstep with care,
In hopes that trick-or-treaters soon would be there;

The children were dressed in their halloween threads,
While visions of Gummi Bears danced in their heads.
And mummy in her wrappings, and I in my cape,
Were fixing our costumes with wire and tape.

Read the rest in peace at the Woodland Record.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Almost broke electric pole

The Daily Democrat has a story online today with the headline, "Another power pole in Woodland knocked down by driver". You can view the story by clicking on the link. This story was fascinating in many ways. First, the main point of the story was that another electric pole had been knocked down. Second, this happened right in front of my office.


I quickly became scared of the potential electrical hazard so I decided to get off my lazy butt and walk out front to investigate. To my amazement, that pole was still standing there in perfect shape. There was some damage on the side, but it is the same old pole that has been there for the last 5 years. Here are a couple of pictures.




As you can see there is some damage there, but no pole hanging by the wires as reported.
After that discovery, I snooped around a little more. The Democrat reported the drivers name was Juan Peralta, and was a 32-year-old Woodland resident. Upon further investigation I found a Guatemala drivers license in the parking lot in the open. I discovered this drivers license belonged to a Juan Alberto Peralta Archila from Guatemala with a date of birth of 9/5/1975. I notified the police of my discovery and they quickly sent some officers out to collect their evidence.

Green Summit: Take action for our future!

From Tuleyome:

Sacramento / Yolo Regional State Of Our Environment Conference
Saturday, November 15, 2008

TAKING ACTION FOR OUR FUTURE!

Join your local environmental organizations on Saturday, November 15th, 2008 to discuss the state of our environment and how we can all attain a healthy natural world and sustainable lifestyle for the future.

Join us, participate, and help to identify the key goals and strategies that we need to achieve our objectives for the future.

This event starts at 9:00 am and ends at 5:00 pm and is held at the following address:

Woodland Community & Senior Center
2001 East Street
Woodland, CA 95776

Tickets are $15 per person
To order call 530-350-2599

Boy Scouts food drive begins Saturday, Nov. 1

From the Boy Scouts of America:

The Yolo District of the Boy Scouts of America will be delivering empty bags on Saturday, November 1, to collect food for the less fortunate among us. On Saturday, November 8, the Boy Scouts will be collecting those filled bags of food donated by the fine residents of Woodland. The food will be sorted and distributed to the various Food Banks in Woodland. This year especially the need is high. On behalf of the Boy Scouts, Thank You.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Grasslands Park transfer ceremony on Friday, Oct. 31

From Yolo County:

On October 31 at 9 am, Yolo County and the United States Air Force will host a ceremony at the Yolo County Regional Grasslands Park to celebrate the successful completion of an early transfer of the former Davis Global Communications Site property to Yolo County.

The Davis Global Communications Site is located approximately four miles southeast of the City of Davis and is part of the former McClellan Air Force Base in Sacramento. Approximately 55 acres of the Davis Site property require further environmental cleanup by the Air Force. Federal law allows the federal government to transfer real property before all environmental cleanup actions are complete with the approval of the Governor of the State of California. Governor Schwarzenegger approved this “early transfer” earlier this month, allowing the property transfer to take place.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Street closures planned for city's Lincoln Avenue Project

From the City of Woodland:

Effective Monday November 3, weather permitting, the city will close the intersections of Lincoln Avenue at First Street and Lincoln at Fourth Street for reconstruction. There will be no access through these intersection and the closures are expected to last for three days. At the same time, Grand Avenue will be closed from Lincoln to Memorial Lane and Fifth Street from Lincoln to mid-block towards Main Street. These street segments will also be inaccessible for three days due to reconstruction activities.

Detours have been established to assist drivers through these closures. Thank You for Driving Safely.

Trick-or-Treat Woodland Downtown on Friday

From Woodland.net:

TRICK-OR-TREAT WOODLAND DOWNTOWN
FRIDAY OCT 31, 3-5 PM

Bring the kids to Historic Woodland Downtown for trick-or-treating fun. Local merchants, non-profit organizations and community members will be offering children of the area a safe and fun halloween. Bring your kids, mingle with your neighbors and let the kids trick-or-treat around Woodland Downtown.

For more information, contact Anita at 661-9596 or email hwdba@woodland.net.

Other activities:

Free portraits for those in costume: At Photogenics, 415 First Street, noon to 5:30
Costume contest: At Heritage Plaza, 4:30
Haunted House: At the Elks Lodge, 5 to 10 pm ($3 for 12 and under, $5 for adults)

Entertainment, prizes at Farm-City Harvest Festival on Thursday

From the City of Woodland Web site - News Listing:

The Farm-City Harvest Festival, will feature major changes from the banquets in previous years. It will be held at the Heidrick Ag History Center, October 30, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Instead of a sit-down dinner, Cracchiolo’s will serve hors d’oeuvres.

“This format will allow more time for playing games at the booths and to sample the marvelous wines that will be available during the evening,” said Janet Carrere, this year’s Farm-City Harvest Fest chairperson and Woodland Chamber of Commerce Present-Elect. “There will be more opportunity to mingle and for informal networking. A multi-media presentation will also be continuously played that will feature the accomplishments of this year’s Agri-business Person of the Year award winner, Blake Harlan.”

A no-host bar will be available, and live entertainment will be provided throughout the evening. Booth contestants will have a chance to win the Grand Prize, a $500 gas card from Ramos Oil and Clark Pacific. The prizes donated by each booth exhibitor will be used for a silent auction. The winners of the games at the booths will be put into a special drawing to win another grand prize.

Tickets for the October 30 Farm-City Harvest Fest are $25. Contact the Woodland Chamber of Commerce to order tickets (530) 662-7327.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Equal protection claim against Grand Jury dismissed

Excerpts from an abbreviated court summary:

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT

DAVID SERENA; MANUEL ESCAMILLA; CARMEN ALVAREZ; ALEJANDRA HERNANDEZ, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
STEPHEN L. MOCK, Presiding Judge, Superior Court of Yolo County; ROBIN WEAVER, Yolo County Jury Commissioner; THOMAS WARRINER, Judge, Superior Court of Yolo County, Defendants-Appellees.

The Appellants appeal from the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Appellees on their equal protection claim. Appellants’ equal protection claim is not justiciable, we vacate the grant of summary judgment and remand with instructions to dismiss.

Appellants allege two forms of injury that raise distinct justiciability concerns. Appellants first claim that they themselves were deprived of the opportunity to apply for and serve on the Yolo County Grand Jury. At issue is whether Appellants lack standing to assert this claim as they have never actually applied to serve on the Grand Jury. Appellants contend that their failure to apply does not defeat standing because they did not receive equal notice of the opportunity to apply for Grand Jury service in the first place.

We agree with the district court that Appellants’ “statistical evidence that Hispanics have been underrepresented by an absolute disparity of 13.5% over the past three years is troubling, and that “[u]naddressed or ignored, this continuing disparity is likely to provide future evidence of systematic under representation of a constitutional dimension. Because Appellants have not presented any justiciable claims, however, we lack jurisdiction to address the merits of their claim.

VACATED and REMANDED with instructions to DISMISS. Each party shall bear its own costs.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Read the court summary in full.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Zebulon baseball won't be going to the Hall of Fame


Click here for the reason why.

Follow the links for more fun.

County unveils Read Around Yolo - RAY

From Yolo County:

On November 1, Yolo County Library will unveil “Read Around Yolo” (R.A.Y.), a new program designed to support existing book clubs as well as to encourage the formation of new book clubs, throughout Yolo County.

Thanks to generous start-up funding from the Friends of the Davis Public Library, and donations from the West Sacramento Friends of the Library and the Winters Friends of the Library, the Yolo County Library will be loaning R.A.Y. book club bags to any Yolo County Library cardholder for use with his or her book club. Each R.A.Y. book club bag will consist of ten paperback book copies of one title, as well as discussion leader materials. R.A.Y. book club bags can be reserved up to one year in advance and will be available from any of the seven Yolo County branch library locations for an extended loan period of sixty days.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Scottish Games enthusiasts will appreciate upcoming concerts

From the Woodland Record - What's Happening:

We're about at the half-way point on the Scottish Games cycle, so enthusiasts might want to get a taste of some music from the old country. Here are a couple of upcoming concerts in the area:

Golden Bough will play at The Palms, Winters Opera House, on November 1 at 8 pm. Advance tickets are available at Armadillo Music in Davis, 205 F Street. Click here for more ticket information.

Men of Worth will play a benefit concert for Casa Roble High School in Orangevale on November 12 at 7 pm. Tickets will be held at Will Call on advance purchases. Click here for ticket information.

Mesa del Sol water tank becomes landmark

From the Mesa del Sol community Web site:

The new water tower at Mesa del Sol, a unique landmark that reflects the city’s native landscaping, is nearly complete as crews have hoisted a two million- gallon water tank up on the tower.

The water tower has a 46-foot diameter base and was built using 1800 cubic yards of concrete. Built at a cost of $3.6 million, Mesa del Sol officials will dedicate the structure to the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority.

Read more at The Outlook.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Photogenics offers free Halloween portraits

From the Woodland Record - What's Happening:

Instead of the candy frenzy that usually accompanies the annual Historic Woodland Downtown Halloween event, Photogenics is offering free portraits for those in costume. Photography services are available from noon to 5:30 pm on Friday, October 31 at 415 First Street (at Dog Gone Alley next to Corner Drug).

Merchants and business owners on Main Street will also play host to trick-or-treaters during that time. Balloons will be used to identify participating businesses on Main Street from Elm Street at the State Theater to Sixth Street.

There will be a costume contest at 4:30 at Heritage Plaza next to the Opera House. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place in age groups 0-3, 4-7, 8-12 years old and family theme costumes. Winners and all the very close runners-up are invited to Photogenics.

There will also be a haunted house at the Elk's Club Lodge on Bush Street from 5 to 10 pm. Admission is $3 for 12 and under and $5 for adults.

Photogenics is a commercial studio offering fine portrait photography, including high school senior portraits. Check out Photogenics here. Be sure to look at all three links - there are plenty of outstanding photos taken by studio owner George Streng.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Another administrator leaves for greener pastures at FSUSD

From the Daily Democrat:

Morgan leaves WJUSD; Worked with district for more than 17 years

The Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District voted to hire Kelly Morgan as their new assistant superintendent of business services on Thursday night.

Both former Woodland school district Superintendent Jacki Cottingim and Associate Superintendent of Educational Services Kathleen Bond have been hired by Fairfield-Suisun school district this year.

Read more at the Daily Democrat.

Note: Debbie Roe has also followed suit to leave WJUSD for the Fairfield district.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Costgo gas down to 2.79 a gallon for Regular

Costco members can feel a little better about fueling up. This morning the company dropped their price for a gallon of Regular gasoline to $2.79 a gallon.

Thanks to a tip from a Woodland Journal faithful.

See Cheapest Gas at the Woodland Record.

City chooses costlier, non-1880s pedesphere tank: Savings to come from less repainting

From the Daily Democrat:

City council OKs water tank project; cost has nearly doubled, thanks to steel prices

The Woodland City Council authorized staff to seek construction bids on the pedesphere water tank project Tuesday night, despite an engineer's estimate indicating it will likely cost double the amount originally anticipated.

Over the past year, the estimated cost for building the 400,000-gallon elevated tank jumped to $3.5 million. The total estimated cost, including planning, design and surveys, is $4.8 million.

Read more at the Daily Democrat.

From The By Hell Chronicles:

Water tower issue buried on page A-4

On June 10, 2008, on this blog, were a series of questions and answers regarding this waste of water user's fees.

According to the story buried on page A-4 of the 10/19/08 Democrat (read the entire story here) matters are even worse than they were in June. Instead of 2.5 Million it has now blossomed into $4.83 Million.

Read more at the By Hell Chronicles.

From the City of Woodland staff report:

Approve Plans and Specification; Authorize Bid Advertisement; Authorize Funding and Designate City Manager to Award the Construction Contract for the Water Tank Replacement Project 07-49

After the City of Woodland received a study that identified seismic concerns regarding the existing 300,000 gallon tank on Beamer Street, the City selected Brown and Caldwell Consulting Engineers to prepare bid documents for replacing the tank.

The existing multi-column tank is 45 feet in diameter and 115 feet tall. The replacement tank will have a capacity of 400,000 gallons and be approximately 135 feet above natural ground level. The new tank will meet the current building code seismic requirements.

Read more of the staff report.

Next month at Gallery 625: Heart Gallery, First Friday reception on Nov. 7

From Yolo County:

In November, the California Department of Social Services, in partnership with Yolo County Department of Employment and Social Services’ Child Welfare Services Division, Woodland Community College Foster and Kinship Care Education, Lilliput Children’s Services and Sierra Adoption Services, is participating in the Yolo County Arts Council’s “Images of Hope” exhibition with a Heart Gallery display. Heart Gallery displays nationwide raise awareness about National Adoption Awareness Month, held in November, and the need for adoptive homes for foster children.

A reception for the “Images of Hope” exhibition be held on November 7 in Gallery 625 in the County Administration Building from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and will include light refreshments. Starting at 7:00 p.m. in the Atrium of the County Administration Building, Heart Gallery display speakers, which include Yolo County Supervisor Helen Thomson, Department of Employment and Social Services Director Pam Miller and one of the youth awaiting adoption, will share their thoughts and experiences. Representatives from organizations working in the field of adoptions and foster care will be on hand to answer questions.

Everyone is invited to attend this special event to show their support for foster children in our communities. If you have questions about adoption, please call the California Department of Social Services at (916) 574-1333.

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

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Nielsen hot potato destined for Tehama County registrar

From the Redding Record Searchlight:

Nielsen case referred for prosecution, attorney general's office passes on residency inquiry

By Kimberly Ross

A claim that Republican Assembly candidate Jim Nielsen doesn't live in the district in which he's running has apparently led the secretary of state's office to refer the case for prosecution.

Complainant Barry Clausen of Redding received a letter from the state office, dated Tuesday. The one-page notice says it has concluded its investigation against Nielsen and referred the case for prosecution to the state attorney general's office.

Read more at redding.com.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Acorn drop warns of harsh winter, in some parts that is

Excerpts from the Woodland Record:

As I spent hours raking and picking acorns out of the lawn last weekend, I had lots of time to ponder the abundant crop. Does this mean a cold winter? A warm one? A wet one? A dry one? These questions were the cause of many strategic breaks – I did not hesitate to stop my work to ask neighbors, passers-by and visitors.

The neighborhood consensus is that the 2008 harvest is way over the top. And we had all heard that lots of acorns meant something... but did this knowledge come from the Miwok, the Wintun, an old wives' tale or the Farmers' Almanac?

This is what I learned on the internet: An abundance of acorns (or acorns falling profusely off trees) means a harsh winter.

During my Web hunt, I discovered that Christopher Nyerges (editor of Wilderness Way magazine in Los Angeles) said that Native Americans used the acorn crop to predict hard or mild winters. He said that as long as he observed the phenomenon - about 25 years - the acorn crop has predicted the severity of each winter except one.

For 2008–2009, the Farmers’ Almanac is forecasting a numbing winter, with below-average temperatures for most of the country. However... the Far West and Southeast will see near-normal temperatures. That would seem to contradict The Acorn Theory, but maybe our part of the Great Central Valley is in for a harsh winter.

According to the Almanac, people wonder if they look to folklore or cues from nature when making weather predictions. They say, "While the Farmers’ Almanac appreciates and recognizes weather folklore as sometimes very accurate local indicators, we do not count acorns or look to caterpillars to make our predictions. Instead, we rely on a 192 year-old mathematical and astronomical formula that has served us and our readers very well for nearly 200 years."

Click here for the Farmer's Almanac Web site.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

CBS13 follows-up at Tazzina Bistro, downtown

From the Woodland Record - Business News:

Andrew Luria of CBS13 was in downtown Woodland today to follow-up on a previous report about Tazzina Bistro. On October 3 Andrea Menniti interviewed owner Rebecca Reichardt to announce last Saturday's grand opening of the restaurant's lounge expansion.

Both reports about Reichardt's success touched on the Main Street economy. Today's segment also included Anita Long of the Historic Woodland Downtown Business Association, bistro customer Gina O'Mara and a mention of the Capital Hotel building.

Click here to view today's report.

Click here to view the October 3 report, and here to see the article.

Another parking Xanadu on agenda tonight, staff says it will attract theater


Excerpts from the Woodland Record:

Six and a half months after Woodland's city council approved an in-lieu parking fee for an unplanned and undetermined parking structure, staff is now requesting $250,000 of staff time and redevelopment money to plan - but not necessarily to determine - such.

On tonight's agenda the council (acting as the city's redevelopment agency) will vote on adopting a resolution to allocate $125,000 to match grant funds, if awarded, for the "Downtown Garage Project." The proposed sources of funds for planning the garage are: EDA federal grant funds - $125,000, Redevelopment bond funds - $125,000 and In-kind staff costs - $125,000, for a total of $375,000.

In the grant application, the city boasts that the Downtown Garage Project will supply 668 parking spaces to serve a new multi-screen theater, growing downtown businesses, courthouse employees, and visitors to the downtown. Staff expects that the construction of the new parking facility will encourage local and outside businesses to invest in the downtown, as access to parking is a serious obstacle to development. Staff also claims there will be an increase of 390 new private sector jobs and an increase in sales and property tax.

The application concludes, "On the private side, acting as business advisors, the Petrovich Development Company and Wiseman Company are strong supporters of the project and see it as a way to bring new investment into vacant store fronts downtown as well as draw in new private investors. The City is working closely with local business leaders and investors to bring economic revitalization into the historic downtown."

In summary, city staff wants money to plan a Downtown Garage Project for an undetermined site to be located near a yet-to-be planned courthouse and theater complex. Not included in the staff report are expected contributions from the county, the state, or the Petrovich and Wiseman companies.

Click here to view the staff report.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Police Department to host open house on Oct. 25


From the City of Woodland Web site:

On Saturday October 25th, 2008 from 10:00 to 2:00 p.m. the Woodland Police Department will be hosting an open house to allow members of the public an opportunity to meet the members of our department, tour the police station and see some of the equipment we use to keep our community safe. Tours of the police facility and gang information presentations will be given every half hour begining at 10:30 a.m.

Representatives from the various divisions and specialty units will be on hand to answer your questions. These will include:

• Special Weapons and Tactics
• Crisis Negotiations Team
• Bike Patrol
• Traffic
• School Resources Officers
• Crime Analysis
• Investigations
• K-9
• Records
• And many more

Please join us for this informative and fun event.

Monday, October 20, 2008

LWV forum spotlights YCC board race

Excerpts from the Woodland Record:

The League of Women Voters forum held on Thursday has put the spotlight on the race for the Woodland Community College representative on the Yuba Community College Board of Trustees. Incumbent Xavier Tafoya would like to retain the lone available seat, but is challenged by Woodlanders Cirenio Rodriquez and Rick Kirkwood.

Staffing issues were brought up by the LWV panel, and at one point Rodriguez suggested the faculty at the Woodland campus is experiencing low morale. Tafoya then said nobody has ever come to the board about low morale and that WCC has among the highest paid faculty in the valley.

The financial state of the college was also discussed. Tafoya was quick to state that when he first joined the board eight years ago, the college had a $2 million deficit. He said the school now has a $6 million reserve and has been able to expand programs and add buildings. He also suggested that more funding can come from private industry and lobbying the state.

Kirkwood disagreed. He said the college should not look to the government for help. As a city manager for the City of Woodland he lobbied for state and federal funds but was met with discouragement. He would look toward the community for financial help.

The LWV forum is scheduled to be televised many times in the upcoming week on WAVETV. Click here for the schedule. More information on the candidates is limited. Tafoya has a Web site, but the others do not. Rodriquez filed a candidate's statement with the County Elections office, but the others did not.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Dustin ends year with homer, Sox come up short in finale

Dustin Pedroia of Woodland was the only Boston Red Sox player to generate a run in last night's 3 to 1 loss to the new AL champs Tampa Bay Rays. Dustin hit a home run in the first inning – remarkably it was his third in the ALCS.

Dustin said to MLB.com reporter Ian Browne, "We played as hard as we could. We just kind of ran out of magic. I'm proud of everybody. We played as hard as we could all year long. To get to this point, it's obviously a tough loss. They move on. We gave ourselves an opportunity. We gave ourselves a chance to win a game. We kept fighting. There's no quit in this team. They just ended up beating us." Click here to view the complete article.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Daily Democrat fiction features masturbator

Jim Smith, editor of the Daily Democrat, occasionally writes about conversations he has in his head. These conversations take place in a column called "Our Town" - a village where make-believe residents meet at random places to discuss worldly issues. I can recall a dialogue with a character named Hippity Hop who "had coffee" with the writer at Denny's.

The installation of Saturday, October 18, takes the cake. Click here to see the conversation Smith has with a "dazed" fellow by the name of "Billy Wanker." It takes place outside of Mervyn's. For those of you who might miss the connection, a wanker is a British or Australian term used to describe a male masturbator. Coincidentally, Smith's story ends with a reference to Playboy Bunnies.

Dustin takes .340 ALCS bat into pennant game

It comes down to one game tonight between the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays for the American League pennant. The Sox held on to a 4 to 2 victory over the Rays last night to make the series even at three games each.

Dustin Pedroia of Woodland will take his career ALCS average of .340 into the championship game scheduled for 5:07 pm at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. The game will be televised on TBS.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Dustin and Red Sox come back from 7 to 0 deficit, stay alive in ALCS

Excerpts from Bryan Hoch's article for MLB entitled "Ortiz keeps alive what Pedroia begins:"

So it was to be runners at the corners and two outs for [David] Ortiz, who first spit on a ball from the hard-throwing [Grant] Balfour. The right-hander kicked and fired a 97-mph fastball on the inside part of the plate and Ortiz lit into it, sending it several rows deep into a jubilant right-field crowd that finally had something worth cheering about.

"It gave us three runs, and that's big," [Woodlander Dustin] Pedroia said. "We were trying to chip away one at a time, and he gave us three. Once you get it 7-4, you see that seven and it's close."

"This is looking pretty bleak," said J.D. Drew, two innings away from drilling the game-winning hit. "But we knew if we got something rolling, let's see what happens. [Pedroia] gets that run driven in, and Papi [Ortiz] hit that huge home run and kind of woke things up a little bit. You could feel it in the ballpark."

Read more at redsox.com.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mervyn's to close the doors

Channel 13 News has reported that the retail chain will cease operations shortly. You can view the article here. Too bad they were not a bank, they may have been bailed out...

Farm Bureau sprouts figs, sues Yolo County over reentry facility

From the Yolo County Farm Bureau:

Saying it needed to act to encourage responsible land use and protect rural communities, family farmers filed suit today to block approval of a prison planned for a parcel of Yolo County farmland.

In its suit, the Yolo County Farm Bureau said county supervisors violated state and local laws when they voted last month to approve construction of the prison on a 15-acre block of land near the farm town of Madison. The county hopes to qualify for $30 million in jail-improvement money by allowing the state to build a “re-entry prison” for up to 500 inmates in the county.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

County general plan notice released, comments wanted

From Yolo County:

Pursuant to California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) guidelines, Yolo County is now soliciting comments on the scope and content of the environmental information to be included in the Program Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Yolo County Draft General Plan. A summary of the project description and probable environmental effects (Notice of Preparation [NOP]), and the Draft General Plan, are available for review at the Yolo County Planning & Public Works Department (address below), at all county library branches (visit www.yolocountylibrary.org for branch locations), and online (www.yolocountygeneralplan.org).

The NOP review and comment period began October 8 and ends November 20, 2008 at 4:00 p.m. In addition to the opportunity to submit written comments, oral comments may be provided at a scoping meeting to be held October 29 at 6:00 p.m. at Yolo County Planning & Public Works Department. Written comments concerning the scope and content of the EIR can be sent anytime during the NOP review period to the Yolo County Planning & Public Works Department, Attention: David Morrison, Assistant Director – Development Services, 292 W. Beamer Street, Woodland, CA 95695. Comments may also be e-mailed to: david.morrison@yolocounty.org.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Woodland Record - What's Happening

From the Woodland Record – What's Happening:

Household hazardous waste days Oct. 17 and 18

Next Yolo County tire amnesty on Wednesday, Oct. 22

Regional retail job fair in Woodland on Oct. 30

Yolo Reads! offers tutor orientation on Nov. 5

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Empty bowls

Over at www.rexroad.com he has a nonprofit banner on the top of his web page. It is a fund raiser for the Wayfarer Center and a good time to put things into perspective. It is this Thursday at 11:30 a.m. or 12:15 p.m. I will be there, I hope you make it as well.

Download Flyer here

So - Long John Silver's

Unconfirmed reports are that the Woodland Long John Silver's is closing their doors. Calls to the restaurant went unanswered to get an official closing date.

Well, I will not miss that place, I never really ate there. I guess Aktins diet followers may be upset. On another note, Valero on the corner of West and Court has apparently closed its doors as well.

The economy is weak, but I think things will turn around. The thing I make note of, is that during all of this economic mess with people getting laid off and businesses closing down. It seems the government keeps getting bigger. One day I guess half of the USA will be working for the government, the other half will be supported by it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Trustees vote to extend, rather than shorten terms, to save money

Excerpts from the Daily Democrat:

With the last election costing the Woodland Joint Unified School District $46,000 per seat, the school board voted to move district elections in order to save costs and extend its term by one year.

During the school board meeting Thursday night, the board voted to move the district's election year and add one year to each board members term.

"I think we need to comment to a certain degree to make sure that it doesn't show up on various blogs throughout the district that we're extenuating our terms vicariously," [trustee Frank] Glover said. "The difference is $300,000 and we're looking at a zero (cost-of-living adjustment) year.

Read more at the Daily Democrat.

Trustee, term expires:

Carol Souza Cole, 12/11
Bill Beerman, 12/09
Rosario Ruiz-Dark, 12/11
Warren Berg, 12/11
Frank Glover, 12/09
Elaine Lytle, 12/09
Rogelio Villagrana, 12/09

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Dustin's two homers not enough to douse Rays

Dustin Pedroia of Woodland reminded the nation last night that he is the American Rookie of the Year of 2007 and a Most Valuable Player candidate for 2008. He blasted two home runs in last night's Boston Red Sox loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Rays won the slugfest in the bottom of the 11th inning. Including Dustin's two, there was a total of seven hit in the game – setting a new ALCS record for home runs in a single game. Kevin Youkilis and Jason Bay of the Sox and Evan Longoria, BJ Upton and Cliff Floyd of the Rays each hit homers.

The Rays won 9 to 8 to tie the ALCS at one game apiece. The teams play next at Fenway Park on Monday at 1:37 PT. It will be televised by TBS.

Click here to check out the box score of the game.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

County seeks public input on alternate work schedule


From the Yolo County Public Information Office:

Earlier this year, the Yolo County Board of Supervisors gave direction to staff to begin exploring an alternate work schedule of four, ten-hour work days. With the cost of utilities and fuel, and the Board of Supervisors’ clearly articulated goal to reduce the county’s carbon footprint, staff has been reviewing the possibility of implementing an alternate operational schedule while maintaining and improving county services. As part of this review the county is seeking input from Yolo County residents regarding the concept of expanding the number of hours per day county offices are open, and closing county offices one day per week.

In an effort to seek input from county residents, a survey has been created at Survey Monkey to gather the communities’ thoughts about a change to the county’s operating hours. Those seeking additional information may also contact Yolo County Human Resources at (530) 666-8055.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Glover on school board response: "Facts matter"

Excerpts from the Woodland Record:

PART TWO OF TWO

Finding 25 of the Yolo County Grand Jury's Final Report stated: "The Board of Trustees based the cost alternatives to the purchase of the Blue Shield property upon faulty assumptions and without verification of actual or most likely costs, resulting in a seriously flawed decision making process."

The WJUSD Board of Trustees' response: "The respondent disagrees with this finding."

Frank Glover, one of the three board members who voted against the trustees' response, has another opinion based on documented exaggerations of alternative rent prices. First, we need to look at some dates.

The January 24 public presentation made by Bill Henderson, attorney for the district, and Scott Sheldon, real estate consultant for the district, listed nine options for district office location - most notably, Option 1A: Remain at Cottonwood location, which was erroneously reported as having a lease of up to $414,000 a year. This same information was presented during a November 20 closed session board meeting. The inaccurate figures were again repeated by Carol Souza Cole in a January 16 Key Communicators meeting.

The rent information reported by Souza Cole in that meeting is “patently absurd” according to Glover. Those numbers represent a total lack of understanding of the information or just plain ignorance of the situation,” he suggested.

“We were all given a copy of Cottonwood Investors’ proposal going forward at around $270,000,” said Glover. “No trustee should have any reason to state – in January – that the rent would be anywhere near $440,000.”

Was the health issue used as a reason to purchase the Blue Shield building? “Of course," said Glover. "It was even discussed in closed session. The fact that a PCE plume exists is not in question. Carol is correct in stating that it was a concern. All of this regarding the Cottonwood premises, however, does not excuse the decision to pay nearly $1 million more than the Blue Shield building was worth.”

To sum up his opinion of the Grand Jury response, Glover stated, “I’m not arguing for a position to state who is right or wrong, but facts matter. There was a portion of the response that was flat dishonest. I believe it was a missed opportunity.”

Read much more at the Woodland Record.

Click here to download the four trustees' response.

Click here to view a timeline of the Blue Shield building purchase.

Note: Frank Glover's statements do not represent the official position of the board of trustees. All conversations relating to this two-part article are hereby released.

Dustin and Red Sox begin quest for another pennant

Dustin Pedroia from Woodland and his World Champion Boston Red Sox are ready to play for their second consecutive American League Pennant. Their first game in the best-of-seven ALCS takes place at Tropicana Field tonight in St. Petersburg against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays won the AL East Division this year coming from a last place finish in 2007.

The Rays beat the Chicago White Sox 3 games to 1 in the first round of the play-offs. The Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Angels by the same margin to set the stage against the division champs. Dustin had a key double in the final win against the Angels who had the best record in the majors this year. Other than that, he was quiet at the plate (only managing a .200 On Base Percentage) but he had several fielding gems during the four-game series.

Game time for Game 1 is 5:37 PT tonight (Oct. 10). It can be seen on TBS.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

An open email sent to the school board trustees

From The By Hell Chronicles:

Dear Trustee,

In this evening's meeting you will be selecting one of three options regarding the Blue Shield Building.

I urge you to vote for Option 1.

Due to the instability of the financial markets and the Real Estate Market and general economic downturn, you have a unique opportuinty to abandon the purchase of the building.

While people are losing homes to foreclosure, jobs are being lost, retirement desimated, the perception of buying this building sends the wrong message to the taxpayers.

I know that you and three other members of the board have voted in a block, and as of this morning the public believes you will do so once again.

The volitility in the bond market puts into question the marketability of the Certificates of Participation as well as the interest factor.

The perception of your performace could change substantially with a vote for Option 1.

This is a golden opportunity to turn the Board around and you could be an integral part of this change.

Let's put an end to the turmoil surrounding this building, not just extend it far into the future

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Privately owned mural approved through obsure ordinance

Click here for a view of the mural plan.

Excerpts from the Woodland Record:

A little over a month ago, unbeknownst to most citizens, the city’s planning commission approved a privately owned and financed mural with a unanimous 6 to 0 vote.

First of all, let’s see why the planning commisson excercised their authority over such a thing as a mural. In Woodland, mural regulations fall under “Wall and Permanent Window Signs” and precede “Ground Signs” and “Projecting Signs” in our zoning ordinances. Chapter 25, Article 24, Signs, to be exact.

Secondly, let’s learn about the mural scheduled to be painted on an existing wall at 6 Court Street in the West Court Plaza Shopping Center. The subject site is the eastern-most wall of the center on the side of the Taqueria Guadalara. It is characterized by Jimmy Stillman, an associate planner, as a community mural that will serve to abate graffiti by creating images representative of the community and surrounding neighborhood. The owner of the property is Aba Investments. The artist is Maceo Montoya.

Maceo grew up in Elmira, a small town just down the road by Vacaville. He comes from a family of artists. His late brother was Andrés Montoya, whose poetry collection “The Iceworker Sings” won the American Book Award in 2000. His father Malaquias Montoya is a renowned artist, activist, and educator. Woodlanders know of Malaquias’ community-based murals at Freeman, Dingle and Beamer elementary schools and at Woodland High School.

Maceo presently lives in Woodland where he paints and writes. According to his Web site, his first novel is forthcoming from Bilingual Review Press at Arizona State University.

Certainly a precedent for style has already been set by his father – so a planning commission would be hard-pressed not to approve such art work – but in his own right Maceo has laid the groundwork for other private property owners to beautify our city with paintings, ceramic mosaics, sculptures or photography.

The question remains, then, why is our city planning commission approving any kind of art work? It’s because this city does not have an arts commission. The six-year-in-the-making Art in Public Places ordinance (that includes the formation of a commission) was scheduled for council discussion on October 21, but now has been postponed yet again. There must be something magical about art that empowers certain people in the city to shield it. They do so despite the fact that council has given staff many directives over those six years to get it done.

Maceo is a shining example of how art does gets done, regardless of obsure government codes.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

School board vote will lack fourth option

From the Woodland Record – Letters to the editor:

This Thursday, the [WJUSD] Board of Trustees will vote on three “options” regarding the move of the district offices. The problem is that there should be a fourth option, that of staying where they are. The options, as they are presented, are HEAVILY loaded to make Option 3 the only alternative.

After 20 years, the School District will have made payments of $12,050,450 and will still owe $7,290,000. The spin is in the estimated value of the building which is $12,015,000. Even assuming that this estimate is true, the district is still in the hole $7,235,450 at that point. The real estate market is in a state of turmoil right now and even estimating a value is foolish.

Read more from Bill Long at the Woodland Record.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Community Development Department asks for feedback


In an April 2 post, The Woodland Journal reported on the new Business Friendly policy unveiled by the Community Development Department during a city council meeting. Based initially on a council directive, the city has undertaken a coordinated effort to reevaluate the way development related services are provided.

Previous to the department's policy, City Manager Mark Deven outlined a city-wide strategy that is intended to move the city to an outcome oriented, customer driven, efficient and effective local government organization. That initiative was shared with Woodland Journal readers on December 23.

To that end, the Community Development Department is asking for feedback on projects via an online survey.

Customer service satisfaction survey page.

Click here to access the Customer Service Satisfaction Survey.

Council expected to hire HLA Group tonight for plaza design process


From the Woodland Record:

On the heels of an informational meeting about the proposed "Downtown Plaza/Main Street Plaza/Bush Street Plaza" project, tonight the Woodland City Council is expected to hire the HLA Group to start a self-described inclusive design process. Although the design process cannot begin until the group is hired, communication about the project has come under fire from the American Legion and other neighbors.

According to the Yolo Sun, about ten people – most of them members of the Historic Woodland Downtown Business Association who requested the meeting – were met by city staff and councilman Skip Davies at City Hall on September 29. Most questions about the design process seemed to have been answered by the city, but some disgruntled neighbors – whose businesses and/or properties are located on block – are still miffed about not being officially notified at all about the project.

The city is trying to strike while the iron is hot since a primary property owner in the area is enthusiastic and capable.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Selling to the highest bidder

While conducting a research project recently, I found this in Art Pimentel's garbage can. I think it may be worth something so I figured I would put it out there for the highest bid.















Art has already offered $5 to have it back. He claims it was a complete accident it wound up in his garbage. While typing this post, I received an email from Skip Davies claiming this tape must be a bootleg copy, but he did offer $7. This may be my best offer as Skip may be the only councilman with a VCR to play this thing.

Ohh, wait my phone is ringing.... It's Jeff Monroe.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Glover on school board response: "We had a chance to make it right with the public"

Excerpts from the Woodland Record:

PART ONE OF TWO

“I was always for buying a building – if possible,” said Frank Glover, one of three Woodland Joint Unified School District trustees who have consistently voted against the purchase, and subsequent lease-purchase, of the Blue Shield building. “Buying a new district office had to make sense today and down the road. This purchase, especially at that price and terms, has never made any sense to me.”

Glover continued, “Right now, we can’t afford to buy it. The money is not there in light of the upcoming budget crunch. We are looking at a zero COLA next year. I do not know what compelled those people [the four trustees] to rush into a lease of that building. Nobody seems to have an answer. We have to be honest about what we’re facing with the public.”

What the district is facing is continuing a lease-purchase they can’t afford and the prospect of building a new elementary school. Glover estimates the district will need about $20-22 million for the school. That contradicts a statement made by Souza Cole at the September 25 regular meeting. She said the new school will cost $24 million.

When asked if the grand jury findings about Brown Act violations were accurate, Glover said, “I believe they were. Our response absolutely ignores the specific dates in the grand jury report. There’s no question that the November 20 meeting was a violation. It’s spin and it’s pretty dishonest to take any other position, especially when you take dates out of context to seemingly make your point. I am very disappointed with the tenor and content of the response. We had a chance to make it right with the public and regain their trust and we failed the test.”

Read much more at the Woodland Record.

Click here to download the four trustees' response.

Note: Frank Glover's statements do not represent the official position of the board of trustees.

New photo coming soon, council meets tomorrow


On September 18, in response to my posting a "cut and paste" version of the City Council portrait, Martie Dote updated Woodland Journal readers about the outdated photo that seems to linger on their Web page: "Thanks for the effort. We've had our council portait taken and should have the real one up on the web site soon."

Soon means within a month perhaps. Click here to view the status of the council portrait. The guy in the middle left office in June.

Also from the council's Web page: "Council Agendas are posted in the glass case in front of City Hall at 300 First Street at least 72 hours prior to regular meetings." That's to let those new-fangled internet users out there know that it's too difficult to post agendas on their Web site – we have to get off our keisters and go down to City Hall to read them.

Just so you know, tomorrow night's meeting will include:

1) Purchasing a good 'ol John Deere tractor for the cemetery.

2) Approve design services agreement for Downtown Plaza/Main Street Plaza/Bush Street Plaza" project.

Click here to see a previous Woodland Journal post and commentary about the plaza. The legionnaires have been consoled, but perhaps not other occupants on the block bordered by Main, First, Bush and College.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Farm Bureau opposes reentry facility

Excerpts from the Woodland Record:

In his president's message, Tim Miramontes took a stance on the state reentry facility proposed for a rural location near Madison. The statement was part of his monthly newsletter address to members of the Yolo County Farm Bureau.

Miramontes said, "YCFB Board of Directors are absolutely opposed to any sort of reentry facility being located in any rural area of our county. Our supervisors are “supportive of agriculture” and “protecting our groundwater," but this facility will take up precious ag ground and consume hundreds of thousands of gallons more water per acre than farm land would use. Not counting more traffic on the already congested roads, which the county doesn’t have money to maintain."

Miramontes also stated that, "Rural residents have joined together to fight this." (Click here to view a Daily Democrat article about the community reaction.) He also urged the Farm Bureau membership to send letters of opposition to a number of representatives and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Click here to view the Yolo County Farm Bureau October 2008 newsletter. (Be patient, the link takes a few minutes to load.)

Borchard lone Wolf in Yolo County cross country winner's circle




From the Woodland Record - Sports:

The Sixth Annual Yolo County Championships presented by Woodland and Davis High Schools attracted nearly 800 cross country runners at the Muller Vineyard on Saturday.

The meet of over 30 Northern California high schools – including teams from Folsom, Galt, McClatchy, Atwater, Granite Bay, Jesuit, Oakmont, St. Francis, Vacaville and Dixon – also played host to Kamehameha High School from Hawaii.

There were a variety of races for junior and senior high school students, younger children and coaches and community members. Evie Borchard (Woodland High School) was the only winner from Woodland. Evie won the Two Mile Girls Frosh/Soph race with a time of 12:35.

Ryan Banwarth, another Woodland Wolf, placed second in the Two Mile Boys Freshmen race with a time of 10:55. Matt Murphy, also of WHS, placed second in the 2 Mile Boys Sophomore race at 10:44.

The WHS Girls Frosh/Soph team gained a fourth place with a score of 141. Team members were Borchard, Natalie Alvarez, Molly Bencomo, Kaylee Andres, Cassie McLaughlin, Janel Gertz and Jennifer Long.

Lee Middle School placed second in the 1.5 Mile Junior High Boys team results. Racers were Hayden Russell, Jimmy Landis, Matthew Clavelli, Matt Whittle, John Connolly, Talon Thompson and Liam Campbell. Also from Lee, Ornaria Perez and Mary Mast placed third and fourth in the 1.5 Mile Junior High Girls race.

Click here for the results provided by the Davis High School Cross Country team.

Photos by Cal De Knikker:

1) Woodland and Davis High Schools prepare for the meet at the Muller Vineyard.

2) Cross country racers sprint for the finish line.

3) The Kamehameha High School cross country team from Hawaii.

VP debate raises questions for local teachers

From the Woodland Record:

On Thursday during the Vice Presidential Debate, Sarah Palin (R) and Joe Biden (D) briefly mentioned their respective tickets' views on education. Considering the California Teachers Association consistently backs Democratic Party dogma, it will be interesting to see how local teachers respond to the views on the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).

Will local teachers support the Republican goal to change the act or will they support the Democratic goal of increasing funding for it?

Here are excerpts from the debate:

Palin – Education credit in American has been, in some sense - in some of our states - just accepted to be a little bit lax and we have got to increase the standards. No Child Left Behind was implemented. It's not doing the job, though. We need flexibility in No Child Left Behind. We need to put more of an emphasis on the profession of teaching.

Biden – The reason No Child Left Behind was left behind, the money was left behind, we didn't fund it.

Click here for the transcript of the New York Times Vice Presidential Debate.

National Education Association: "The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act established goals everyone supports: high standards and accountability for the learning of all children. But NCLB falls short of its goals for many reasons."

California Teachers Association: "As Congress prepares to reauthorize the ESEA in 2008, CTA wants to erase the punitive and onerous provisions of the act and rewrite the law to help our schools and improve student learning."

Saturday, October 04, 2008

2/POV show runs through October at Blue Wing Gallery

From the Blue Wing Gallery:

2/POV is a powerful show featuring two of Sacramento’s most loved artists, Charlotte Cooper and Maureen Gilli. With a style that compliments but does not compete with one another this duo dazzles us with this display of their combined talent.

The show runs through October.

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

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Tazzina Bistro overcomes "gloom and doom" outlook of Main Street

From the Tazzina Bistro Restaurant & Bar:

"Not all is gloom and doom in the restaurant industry," said chef and entrepreneur Rebecca J. Reichardt. She is fighting back against the economic slowdown and the recent bad rap of Main Street by expanding her business.

In an effort to capitalize on the extra building vacancies and slow construction industry, Reichardt is risking a sizable chunk to open a 600 square foot addition. The expansion will hold a bar and lounge to compliment the existing Tazzina Bistro Restaurant & Bar.

Read more about the Tazzina Bistro and their "Party Like It's 1899" celebration at the Woodland Record - Business Spotlight.

The new math taught at WJUSD

Excerpts from "Blue Shield deal given one more look" in today's Daily Democrat:

"The first option is to terminate the purchase/lease agreement for 435 Sixth St., commonly known as the Blue Shield building. If the board chose to terminate the lease, it will have to pay one year's rent, property taxes and cost-to-date tenant improvements."

"Along with the cost of terminating the agreement, the board would also pay $2.46 million for continuing to rent the Cottonwood facilities and $515,000 to rent the district's main street offices."

"'This is a very conservative estimate because I just used the lease amount for this year and carried it over 10 years, so it would probably increase,' [Kelly] Morgan said."

"In 10 years, the district would've spent close to $5.5 million."

[At least the author did not say "would of" again.]

Read more of the obvious attempt to justify staying at the Blue Shield building at the Daily Democrat.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Bumpy ride on Main Street

From the Sacramento Bee:

Tom Workman spends his days watching traffic on Main Street. The sidewalks are mostly empty, and the antique store where he works is hardly bustling these days. Folks are spooked, he says, by these volatile economic times.

In Woodland, where Main Street has struggled for years, the latest economic tremors – and debate over a $700 billion bailout package – is spawning talk of frustration and resignation.

Read more by Bobby Caina Calvan at sacbee.com.

WCC to celebrate accreditation

From Woodland Community College:

The Yuba Community College District Board of Trustees, Chancellor Nicki Harrington, and Woodland Community College President Angela Fairchilds cordially invite you to attend a celebration commemorating the accreditation of Woodland Community College as the 110th California Community College.

Tuesday, October 7th, 4 to 6 pm
Woodland Community College
Community Room, Building 800
2300 E. Gibson Road
Woodland, CA 95776

Hors d’oeuvres will be served. Tours of the campus will begin after the ceremony.

Knights Landing volunteers hold open house

The Knights Landing Volunteer Fire Department is having an open house Saturday, October 11, from 10 am to 3 pm. There will be kid activities, fire extinguisher demonstrations, and free fire prevention handouts and calendars. There will be hot dogs, chips and a drink available for $1. Hats and Tee Shirts will also be available for purchase.