Thursday, December 31, 2009

First Friday event: Concept Birth Gallery presents prison art

From the Concept Birth Studio:

The Concept Birth Studio & Gallery is starting the new year right with an art show featuring prison art. So, if you're not too hung-over, come and join us to see another side of art, try to drink some pruno, and enjoy a hip-hop performance by From Parts Unknown.

The January artist show and First Friday reception takes place at 525 Main Street in Historic Downtown Woodland.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Imagine this: Sacramento mayor asks for arena proposals and gets seven

Just over the river, in a town called Sacramento, it appears public input on development/redevelopment projects is valued. In contrast, also called Woodland, it is interesting that 2.5 council members want to sole source a downtown entertainment redevelopment project to one developer.

From "Sacramento arena proposals unveiled" at

Downtown railyard owner Thomas Enterprises heads a list of seven development teams that have submitted proposals to build a new sports and entertainment arena in Sacramento.

The railyard proposals are among seven submitted last week by an array of development interests, in response to Mayor Kevin Johnson's call for public plans on where and how to build a new sports and entertainment facility in Sacramento.

Read the entire article at

From "Details Emerge On Arena Proposals" at

"I was blown away when we ended up getting seven new proposals," [Mayor Kevin] Johnson said. "I have not seen them yet, but I think each of those seven members need to be commended, or development teams who submitted, because it takes a lot of time and energy to put a proposal together, especially in 45 days or less."

Read the entire article at

Blue Moon still on schedule for a special Yolo County New Year's Eve

From "Blue Moon to Occur New Year's Eve" by Joe Rao at

New Year's Eve brings us the second of two full moons for North Americans this month. Some almanacs and calendars assert that when two full moons occur within a calendar month, that the second full moon is called the "blue moon."

The term has a very interesting history, riddled with misconceptions and errors. More on that lower down. First, what will (and won't) happen:

The full moon that night will likely look no different than any other full moon (other than the fact that a partial eclipse will occur across most of Europe, Africa, and Asia).

Read the rest at

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Acorn Poll: Most important issues for Woodland in 2010

Yes.. the Acorn Poll has returned. Instead of throwing a straw up into the wind to see where it blows, let's toss an acorn up to see where it plops. This is an interactive poll that may be left untallied, but hopefully will guide The Woodland Journal to post the most interesting topics about our community. Here's the Acorn Poll question:


To get the acorn tumbling, here are some suggestions in no particular order:

• Downtown Woodland (multiplex, courthouse, Downtown Specific Plan)
• Sign ordinance interpretations and Art in Public Places ordinance
• School district policies (the continued Blue Shield Building saga)
• Manifest destiny of the ULL (annex/rezone for Gateway II)
• Water issues (flood zone, Sacramento River supply)
• City control of Fairgrounds property if vacated
• Medical marijuana "non ordinance"
• City government restructure
• City Council election
• The economy
• Gangs

Don't see what you had in mind? Please comment on what you think will be this year's most important issues facing us Woodlanders.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Dinner with Dustin tix sold out, Red Sox second baseman considers switch to shortstop

According to a Clark Field Restoration Committee member: "Tickets for the Dinner with Dustin event are sold out. Response was tremendous. Thanks for everyone's support."

Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia will be the guest speaker in Woodland at a special fund-raising dinner for Clark Field on Saturday, January 30. All proceeds from the event will be used for the renovation of Clark Field.

The event is presented by the Clark Field Restoration Committee, which has already made several improvements to Clark Field. A new scoreboard and new outfield fencing have been installed in addition to a new grass infield surface and sprinkler system.

Pedroia: I want to play short for Sox
2008 MVP willing to make position switch from second

The Red Sox have a hole at shortstop, and they have casually discussed filling it internally -- with second baseman Dustin Pedroia. reported on [December 1] that the team has asked Pedroia, a Gold Glove Award winner at second base, if he could play shortstop for the team if needed next season.

Read the entire article by Ian Browne and Alden Gonzalez at

Resident wonders why Woodland doesn't have a New Year event

Letter to the Woodland Record editor:

Isn't there something that Woodland can do to help its residents gather somewhere in the community to celebrate the entrance of the New Year in an alcohol free, family environment? It seems that we could coordinate with local businesses, the Yolo County Fair Mall and grounds, or something, to develop an event that we can show Woodland residents that we can have good wholesome fun on an occasion that affects everyone.

Maybe we can have a falling tractor instead of a ball. Whatever, lets just see what we can do. Many of us are left in our homes when we would like to celebrate with many others without all the booze. This year, we will stay home because I can't find anything going on in this town worth going to.

What can we do?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Another armed assault: Zamora resident stabbed during attempted robbery

From City of Woodland, Police:

Early this morning, on December 26 at approximately 2 am, a man walked into the Woodland Memorial Hospital emergency room with an apparent stab wound in his abdomen. Coincidentally, a Woodland police officer was already in the ER on another case when the victim came in and the officer spoke with the victim about what had occurred.

The victim, 19 year-old Michael Parks, of Zamora, said that he was jumped while walking southbound on West Street, just south of Main. He reported that two black male adults, and one hispanic male adult, all in their early 20s, grabbed him around the neck and checked his pockets, presumably for valuables.


Holiday tamale making brings Jimenez family together

From the Sacramento Bee:

Picture a 50-year-old wood-frame home on a windblown street not far from a rice mill on the outskirts of Woodland. At the door, the aroma of simmering spiced pork pulls you into a cozy family room – and the warm embrace of five generations of the Jimenez family working together.

Read the entire article at

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tan Orthodontics doubles gift in time for Christmas

Winners named in “Smile Make Over” campaign

WHAT STARTED as a way to give back to the community with a “Smile Make Over” for one meritorious person, Alan Tan, DMD, soon realized that two beautiful young ladies were equally deserving.

The selection of just one winner of the contest sponsored by Tan Orthodontics of Woodland proved to be a very difficult one, so Dr. Tan expanded the campaign to include the top two candidates. Unbeknownst to the eventual recipients, testimonials about them were delivered to Dr. Tan from friends or family.

The recipients of the “Smile Make Overs” are Jessica Rice and Alex Acosta.


Jessica Rice of West Sacramento with Dr. Tan. Courtesy photo.

Don's Diner employee robbed at the Corners, known gang area

From City of Woodland, Police:

On December 23 at approximately 8:27 pm, Woodland police officers were dispatched to the 600 block of Cottonwood Street for a reported robbery that had just occurred. The information given was that the victim, a 36 year-old Woodland resident [and employee of Don's Diner], had been injured by the suspects.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Coming soon

Jury convicts Winters man of killing his wife

From the Sacramento Bee:

Yolo County jurors on Tuesday convicted a Winters man of killing his wife, though her body has never been found.

Felipe Cruz Hernandez, 39, was found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Leticia Barrales Ramos, 28, who disappeared April 12.

Read the entire article at

From Yolo County - District Attorney:

The Yolo County District Attorney’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Winters Police Department will be holding a press conference on 12/23/09 at 9:30 am to discuss the Jury findings of 2nd Degree Murder in the Felipe Cruz Hernandez trial from the City of Winters. The victim in this case was Hernandez’s wife Leticia Barrales Ramos. The press conference will take place in the Yolo County District Attorney’s office at 301 Second Street in Woodland.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"We hope your visit with Umpqua was a pheasant one."

Mr. Pheasant was seen crossing Main and Cleveland yesterday at about 5 pm - no doubt trying to make a deposit before the Umpqua Bank closed for the day. The bird was spotted traveling from the River City Bank corner and then jay-walking toward Umpqua, where attempts to use the drive-through window service were fruitless. He then went around to the front of the building only to discover he could not open the plate-glass door. As shown above, the bird scurried around toward the east side of the bank, eventually hiding in the bushes in frustration of not completing his business.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Downtown multiplex process scrutinized: Ties to Pimentel campaign

From the Woodland Record:

Earlier this week (December 15), Woodland City Council, acting as the Redevelopment Agency, deliberated about RDA priorities that include the location of a downtown theater multiplex as part of the RDA's Five Year Implementation Plan.

City staff recommended to council that the multiplex development project should include sole source negotiations with one developer. This contradicted the Implementation Plan Advisory Committee – a group consisting of City Council/RDA appointees – who recommended that a Request For Proposal process be followed so that a multiplex could possibly include the historic State Theatre. Including historic theaters has been done in such communities as Alameda, Fortuna, Willits, Angels Camp, Orinda, Sacramento, Santa Cruz and San Rafael.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Historic Porter Building to become college campus

From the Woodland Record:

The historic Porter Building in downtown Woodland will soon be filled with bright-eyed and enthusiastic Cambridge Junior College students.

The deal was sealed on Wednesday, when Mike Darnell of Coldwell Banker Commercial in Yuba City contacted the Woodland Record. "Good news. Cambridge Junior College will be moving into the Porter Building," stated Darnell. Dan Flores is the owner of the college.

The Porter Building, added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1978 (#78000828) is located at 501 Main Street in Woodland - appropriately at the corner of Main and College.


See the Cambridge Junior College Web site.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dustin to speak at Clark Field fund-raising dinner

From the Clark Field Restoration Committee:

Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia will be the guest speaker in Woodland at a special fund-raising dinner for Clark Field on Saturday, January 30, 2010. All proceeds from the event will be used for the renovation of Clark Field.

The event is presented by the Clark Field Restoration Committee, which has already made several improvements to Clark Field. A new scoreboard and new outfield fencing have been installed in addition to a new grass infield surface and sprinkler system.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Another pedestrian robbery reported in the gang zone

From the City of Woodland - Police:

On December 15 at approximately 9:45 am, 47 year-old Woodland resident Miguel Morales came in to the Woodland Police Department and reported that he had been robbed at gunpoint on December 14 at 1:15 pm near the intersection of East Oak Avenue and East Street.

Morales said he was approached by three suspects. One of the suspects displayed a black semi-automatic handgun and demanded his wallet. Morales gave the suspect his wallet containing identification and an undisclosed amount of cash. All three suspects fled eastbound on East Oak Avenue.


Dote and Pimentel want to sole-source multiplex to Petrovich

From the Woodland Record:

Alliances came to light during the Woodland City Council meeting last night as priorities of the Redevelopment Agency were discussed – specifically, how a downtown multiplex will be built. Ultimately, staff's recommendation to approve the RDA's Five Year Implementation Plan was unanimously passed after a make-do public hearing and a caveat that priorities and goals will be further discussed. The vote did not commit the agency to pursue any particular project, but it did set the stage for future interpretations of how historic architectural assets will be valued.

On the side of the Implementation Plan Advisory Committee – a group consisting of City Council/RDA appointees - were Bill Marble and Jeff Monroe who definitely want a multiplex project to be be open through an RFP process without the alternative of staff initiating sole source negotiations with a developer. Both would like to see the State Theatre included in plans to develop a multiplex.

On the side of city staff, who did not embrace the advisory committee's recommendation, were Martie Dote and Art Pimentel. They definitely want a multiplex project to be sole sourced to the Petrovich Development Company who would build it on the Hoblit auto dealer site on Main and Third Streets. They want an RFP only as a "fall back."


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Winters girl, 10, testifies she didn't hear anything the night her mom disappeared

From the Sacramento Bee:

A 10 year-old Winters girl, who prosecutors say was sleeping in the next room when Felipe Cruz Hernandez killed her mother, took the witness stand Tuesday at her father's murder trial in Yolo Superior Court.

Read the rest at

Trojan Horse to be wheeled into council chambers tonight

From the Woodland Record:

On December 3, the City of Woodland Planning Commission entertained the city staff's Redevelopment Agency (RDA) Five Year Implementation Plan that is intended to prioritize strategies to spend redevelopment funds. That evening the commission took no action on the information-only presentation, aside from questioning possible changes to the parking plans of the downtown City Lofts project. What went virtually unnoticed in the staff report and plan was an embedded green light for the city's favored developer, Paul Petrovich, to be the "sole source" beneficiary of building a cinema multiplex.

So tonight (December 15) – almost a fortnight after the commission could not decipher the report and plan written by Redevelopment Manager Cynthia Shallit – the Trojan Horse will be wheeled into city council chambers for their review... or perhaps, revue. Indeed, council should know that staff's song and dance (as of this morning) does not accurately reflect the recommendations of the Implementation Plan Advisory Committee – a group consisting of City Council/RDA appointees who understand the merits of including the historic State Theatre as part of the "Special Attention" RDA projects listed in the plan.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Woodlander Dufour and Sacramentan arrested for Taco Bell robbery

Read about it at

I guess God didn't like "holiday" parade

Christmas/Holiday/Downtown parade cancelled

From Woodland Chamber of Commerce:

Due to rain and a thunderstorm in the Woodland area during the hours of the parade we were forced to cancel the parade for the safety of the participants and the spectators.

Due to rain along with a thunderstorm forecasted during the hours of the 2009 Woodland Holiday Parade, we made a difficult decision to cancel the parade for the safety of both the participants and spectators.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

City senses happy ending to Beamer "rocket" erection

Shaft to rise, then comes the pedesphere tank

Public Works Director Grey Meyer: “It’s really quite the show.”

From the City of Woodland - Press Release:

It may look like a rocket is under construction at the former National Guard Armory site on Beamer Street, but it’s really the start of what will become a new 400,000 gallon water tank for the City of Woodland. Substantial steel erection is planned for December 14 to 22, and will resume on January 5. Once completed, the new “pedesphere” tank will provide improved access to water for firefighters and better water pressure for the City.

Read more at the Woodland Record.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Esparto High presents: Holiday fundraiser and Christmas play

The Esparto High School Floral Shop is offering the following arrangements as part of a fundraiser:

Candle Centerpiece – Arrangement will include a candle, red and white flowers, ribbon, other seasonal décor and greenery. $20.00

Candy Cane Basket _ Arrangement will include red and white flowers, candy canes, a bow and seasonal greenery. $20.00

Please place orders by Friday December 11. Available for pickup Thursday, Dec. 17, or Friday, Dec 18. in the Ag. Department. Please email orders to Amber Charter at Checks can be made to EHS FFA

And according to the Web site event calendar, the Christmas play runs Thursday night, Dec. 10, through Saturday, Dec. 12. All performances start at 6 pm. For more information call Esparto High School at (530) 787-3405 or email

SacBee article "disses" city, county in promotion of new Chicano gallery

From the article "Marcos Breton: Ex-UCD artist's new Woodland studio offers safety valve for at-risk youths:"

It's just a space in Woodland – a warehouse converted into an artist's studio in a neighborhood that could be described as a barrio.

Government housing sits across the street. Gang members are close by. Ignorance, poverty and idle time – the kindling for violence – are stacked in unhealthy abundance.

How can an artist's studio change this equation? Woodland is where a farmworker was shot and killed in daylight by sheriff's deputies last summer. In death, authorities deemed the farmworker, Luis Gutierrez, a gang member. His shooting was ruled justified by the Yolo County district attorney and the state attorney general.

Read the entire article at

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge and Elkhorn Vietnam Memorial

From the Woodland Record:

YOLO COUNTY residents drive over it anytime they are on Interstate 5 on their way to Sacramento, and most are likely unaware of its name.

When approaching the bridge along I-5 in either direction, there is a small sign that identifies the Sacramento River. Below that is another unsubstantial sign that reads “Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge.”

In 1969 the newly built Elkhorn Bridge that connects Yolo and Sacramento Counties via Interstate 5 was renamed the “Vietnam Servicemen Memorial Bridge” by a California State Senate Resolution. This was done to honor the more than 600 men from Yolo, Sacramento, Yuba, Placer and El Dorado Counties that made the ultimate sacrifice for their country while fighting in South Vietnam.


Photo: The Elkhorn Bridge that crosses the Sacramento River was renamed twice – to “Vietnam Servicemen Memorial Bridge,” and then to “Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge.” There are only two small road signs that let motorists know the bridge’s name.

Pioneer Ave. Taco Bell robbed, gunman flees on I-5

From City of Woodland, Police:

On December 9 at approximately 12:50 am, officers were dispatched to 411 Pioneer Avenue, Taco Bell, for an armed robbery. Officers arrived and the suspect had already left approximately seven minutes prior. The victim stated a lone suspect wearing dark clothing with a black mask and black gloves walked through the front door up to the counter pointing a black handgun at her. The suspect demanded money and the victim in turn gave him some money. The suspect left with the money in a Taco Bell plastic bag and got into a silver sedan with all four windows tinted. The suspect then drove away and got on Interstate 5 southbound leaving the area.


Cold is relative

From AP: Heavy snowfall, wind pounding Midwest, New England

A fierce winter storm was leaving dangerous ice, heavy snow and vicious winds in its wake as it slogged eastward Wednesday, snarling traffic and closing hundreds of schools from the Upper Midwest through New England.

Read more at Yahoo! News.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Word of the day: Perl

From A high-level programming language, started by Larry Wall in 1987 and developed as an open source project (Practical Extraction and Report Language).

From Esparto native remembers Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Perl Harbor

Friday, December 04, 2009

Missing Woodland man's remains found

CBS 13 reports:

A set of remains found in Indiana earlier this year have been identified as a man reported missing from Woodland back 2006.An Indiana coroner identified the remains found behind a Fort Wayne appliance store as those of 47-year-old Raul Jaime Lara. Lara was reported missing from Woodland by his sister in September 2006.

Read the full story here!

See the California Department of Justice missing persons page here.

See the Fort Wayne article here.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Let's play "Guess the Developer"

From the KCRA News report "EPA: 'Super Fund' Sign's Not Legit:"

Developer Posted Sign In Curtis Park Rail Yard Site

A sign that says "toxic super fund" was posted earlier this week [posted Nov. 25] at the south end of the Curtis Park Rail Yard site. However, the California Environmental Protection Agency said that notice is incorrect.

Curtis Park resident Camilla Sahlberg said she sees the sign as a way for the developer to pressure the city into approving his plans for development.

See the video at

Planning Commission: Beware of Shallit's Trojan Horse

From the Woodland Record:

Tonight the City of Woodland Planning Commission will be presented city staff's Redevelopment Agency Five Year Implementation Plan that is intended to prioritize strategies to spend redevelopment funds.

Unless the commission can read between the lines of the draft report to City Council written by Redevelopment Manager Cynthia Shallit, citizens of Woodland will be surprised by a big Trojan Horse when the city pursues a downtown theater. The Trojan Horse will likely be made of chrome bumpers to match the taste of the beneficiary of "sole source negotiations," developer Paul Petrovich. Petrovich adorned his Gateway Shopping Center with a shiny, chrome horse statue.


Read the complete staff report.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

City Council adopts moot ordinance

From the Woodland Record:

In an exercise of redundancy Tuesday evening, Woodland City Council parlayed their urgency moratorium of medical marijuana dispensaries into a mere stamp of approval on existing state and federal laws. In a unanimous decision (including one vote in absentia) council adopted an ordinance aimed at avoiding litigation pertaining to marijuana and prohibiting its sale without any specific mention of marijuana, cannabis, dispensary, collective or cooperative.

The new ordinance, which is actually amendments to chapters 13 and 25 of the municipal code, was a back-door (or end-around) proposal concocted by staff (with the help of a contracted attorney) and recommended by the Planning Commission on November 5.

The new policy boils down to a directive for land use planners to not allow illegal businesses - a moot point considering state and federal laws are already in place for that. And since there is no specific mention of medical marijuana dispensaries in the new code, the urgency ordinance is still set to expire on October 6, 2010.


Read about the "Prohibition of Businesses and Uses Prohibited by State and Federal Law."

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

State Theatre restoration plan: Not a foreign film script

From the Woodland Record:

It's been done before.

The Alameda Theatre in Alameda. The Fortuna Theatre in Fortuna. The Noyo Theatre in Willits. The Angels Theatre in Angels Camp. The Orinda Theatre in Orinda. The Crest Theatre in Sacramento. The Del Mar Theatre in Santa Cruz. The Rafael Theatre in San Rafael.

These historical theaters were recognized as unique assets to their cities, worthy of renovation as part of municipal redevelopment planning for cinema complexes. Ironically, our own diamond-in-the-rough, the 1937 Streamline Moderne State Theatre, has silently and patiently waited through a period of hush-hush city courtships with developers who want to build generic cineplexes at other downtown locations.


State Theatre, 1937: This historic photo by Paul W. Hollingshead (courtesy of Bill Hollingshead) shows the grand marquis and facade of Woodland’s biggest movie house. The movie showing at the time was “Woman Chases Man,” starring Miriam Hopkins, Joel McCrea and Charles Winninger. The two stores on either side of the theater entrance were offered for rent by Wraith & Farish. “They were L.E. Wraith and Frank Farish, both prominent businessmen in my growing-up years,” said Bill Hollingshead, son of Paul. The theater opened to much fanfare on June 26, 1937. It was developed by George Mann and Morgan Walsh of San Francisco and designed by S. Charles Lee and William David. The auditorium seated 999 spectators.

Harris blasts city's back-door ordinance, promises litigation in defense of Prop. 215

Item 13 on tonight's City Council meeting

From the Woodland Record – Letter to the Editor:

City Council Members:

I want to share with you my perceptions, etc., on this topic as well as results of some recent and relevant research into profoundly interesting background affairs, including a recent and quite significant string of state appellate court opinions.

Please include this correspondence/memoranda within the official record of the public hearing on this topic.

I notice that in (apparent) response to my criticisms regarding the glaring absence of proper public notice about this proposed ordinance - at the planning commission stage - specific discussion of the relevance of it to Proposition 215 is now being included (at least) within its official staff report.

Read more at the