News-Ledger Wednesday, August 24, 2016 Page 1
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Serving the West Sacramento Region Since 1964
52nd Year No. 52
Local Scene See what’s going on. Calendar on page 9
Comics & Puzzles
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
YoloArts call for artists YoloArts invites artists to participate in the 9th Art Farm Exhibition & Art Farm Gala. The exhibition will run from Oct. 6 to Nov. 29 at Gallery 625 in Woodland. All artwork submitted must be original and inspired by the farms and farmlands, open spaces, food, agriculture, and agricultural heritage of Yolo County. Artists must be 18 years or older and residents of northern California. The exhibition will be juried by Emma Acker, Assistant Curator of American Art at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Four awards will be given ranging from $250 to $1,000. The application and exhibition details are available at CallForEntry.org; use keyword: Art Farm 2016. All artwork and completed applications must be hand delivered to the YoloArts office at 120 W. Main St., Suite B in Woodland by 5 p.m. Tuesday, September 13, along with a $10 entry fee. The annual event raises funds and awareness for YoloArts and its Art & Agriculture program, including non-profit partners, The Yolo Land Trust and Yolo Farm to Fork Foundation. The Art Farm Exhibition Opening Reception on Oct. 7 will include an opportunity for artists and art patrons to preview the juried exhibition and non-juried Art Harvest artwork. All artwork will be available for purchase at the Art Farm Gala on Nov. 4, an event featuring locally grown food, wines and beer, live music, and an art auction and harvest. For more information, email Art & Ag project coordinator Janice Purnell, special firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 530-309-6464.
State of California announce $30 million for streetcar from downtown Sacramento to West Sacramento By Monica Stark email@example.com The Sacramento streetcar project got the green light after Tuesday’s announcement from the California State Transportation Agency that the project will be receiving $30 million from a pot of statewide cap and trade grants. With stops at the State Capitol, Old Sacramento, Raley Field, the future Entertainment and Sports Complex, Federal Courthouse and midtown, the streetcar route will pass in front of hundreds of restaurants, the region’s largest office buildings, the future railyard development, thousands of residences, the sports and entertainment facilities and many of area’s most visited destinations. Sacramento’s streetcar project got more funding than any other awarded project in the state, mentioned West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon at the Aug. 17 city council meeting. “And there are only about a dozen projects awarded in the state for anything, so this is a major step forward. It fully completes what we need for financing the capital streetcar construction, so there’s no more uncertainty, no more ‘is the streetcar going to happen or not?’ We now know for sure.” At the meeting, Cabaldon said construction on the project can go forward. “We’ll start signing all the contracts and agreements with the feds and others. We now have slightly more money than we need for the base project, so it will allow us to look at some of the augmentations we’ve been contemplating, including the lightrail relocation on K Street and also two other ones we proposed which were connecting See Streetcar, page 7
Mary Kobashigawa’s juried piece, “Shadow Tree.”
Yolo County Planning Commissioners Vote to Protect Farmland
Farmland protection was strengthened earlier this month when the Yolo County Planning Commission voted to deny a use permit for a proposed large event center and large bed-and-breakfast inn north of Winters. During a four-hour hearing on Aug. 11 at the county administration building in Woodland, the planning commission voted 3-1 to deny the major use permit for the proposed Field & Pond commercial development in rural western Yolo County. The commission found the proposed site on County Road 29 not to be a suitable location for a large event center and B&B because of negative impacts on agricultural operations in the area, as well as traffic safety issues on the narrow, unlit and uneven dead-end road. The Farmland Protection Alliance, a coalition of farmers, ranchers and concerned citizens, spoke in opposition to the project, noting that Field & Pond was attempting to develop a commercial hospitality business currently in violation of county code in a way that would severely interfere with nearby farming and ranching operations. Opponents included the California State Department of Conservation, the California Farm Bureau Federation, the Yolo County Farm Bureau, tomato canneries, agricultural trucking companies, seed companies, agricultural equip-
ment dealers, crop-dusting and other crop-protection companies and livestock haulers. The Farmland Protection Alliance praised the commissioners’ action, noting that the decision upheld the tenets of the California Farmland Conservation Act of 1965. This state law, commonly called the Williamson Act, was passed 51 years ago to preserve agricultural and open-space lands by discouraging “premature and unnecessary conversion to urban uses.” Zoning regulations are designed to prevent land-use problems, opponents said, and non-agricultural uses in the county’s rural areas need to be compatible with agriculture. “A compatible use must be incidental to the commercial production of agricultural commodities, not the other way around as is the case with this project,” said John Gamper, California Farm Bureau Federation director of taxation and land use. “The primary use of this project is essentially an outdoor party venue that will be operated from approximately noon to midnight during the busiest times of the year for nearby agricultural operations. The attempts by the applicants to pursue some agricultural uses on the small usable area are incidental to the event center and therefore illegal.” Opponents voiced concern that approving the Field & Pond project would set a dangerous precedent by
undoing years of work by previous Yolo County and statewide leaders to preserve local farmland and promote agricultural productivity. The project also has statewide implications; non-farm uses such as event centers interfere with nearby agricultural activities and can also drive up land prices, limiting future opportunities for farmers and ranchers to afford farmland to produce food. They noted that the specific site-unlike other rural event centers in the county--has only one substandard access road with one way in and one way out, creating traffic hazards and health and safety risks in case of fire. Woodland-based Tuleyome and other environmental advocates were concerned about adverse impacts to wildlife in the area from the event center, including endangered species such as the tricolored blackbird. Supporters of farmland preservation encouraged county planners to promote agritourism opportunities in appropriate locations that complement the county’s agricultural areas without interfering with the ability of farmers and ranchers to continue to produce food. They noted that farmers and ranchers provide jobs, contribute tax revenue, provide wildlife habitat and other environmental benefits, and create open space that all citizens can enjoy.