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Winters Salmon Festival

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Friday Update on September 23 2016

All,

A couple items and some events:

  • City Council covered a lot of ground at the Tuesday meeting. Chromium 6 comlpliance will move forward with the test drill of Water Well #9 along Putah Creek. They also authorized funding for a Parking Study for Downtown.
  • Planning Commission on Tuesday will cover two key items. The Downtown Hotel has a façade modification which will redo a portion of the Railroad Avenue frontage to meet the requirements of the restaurant tenant considering locating into the hotel. The second big item is consideration of a Nuisance Ordinance for the City. Click HERE for a link to the entire agenda packet.
  • Saturday is the Festival de La Commnidad and Carnitas Festival. Things kick off after 1:00 and Carnitas will be ready around 4. Lot’s of music, food and fun for the entire family.
  • City Staff met this week with the US Fish and Wildlife Service regarding our Elderberry Mitigation Area along Putah Creek. Overall, a pretty good meeting!
  • Tonight is Fourth Friday. Come enjoy what will be a cool evening and delicious food.
  • Winters High will be playing Capitol Christian at Hughes Field on Saturday. Go Warriors.

Have a nice weekend.

John


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09/27/16 Planning Commission Meeting

09/27/16 Planning Commission Meeting (Agenda / Packet)


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09/20/16 City Council Meeting

09/20/16 City Council Meeting (PDF): Agenda / Packet


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Friday Update on Thursday September 15 2016

All,

Short yet informative (my Friday is absolutely crazy so I am sending this a little early)!

  • The Bureau of Reclamation has selected FX10 International, Inc, owned by Winters residents John and Linda Frazier as the concessionaires for Markley Cove. The contract is for a 30 year period and will bring stability and upgrades to our end of the lake. John and Linda along with the Frazier Family have operated Markley Cove for the past 40 years! They are a really important Winters business and have been stalwart over the past 15 very difficult years at Lake Berryessa. The award of the contract to the Fraziers is really good news for our town and the future moving forward in our region! I personally cannot say enough about the Fraziers, they are a class act and kept their dignity during some pretty tough years dealing with the concession re-bid process. This is a good thing for Winters!
  • Carrie Green is the new Executive Director for the Winters Chamber of Commerce. She brings an impressive background and is well in tuned with Winters. I met with Carrie for a bit and I think she is going to do a wonderful job!!
  • City Council Meeting for Tuesday will feature Chromium 6 compliance strategy and authorization, hire of a Parking Study Consultant, funding for the Salmon Festival, Sound permits for WHS Homecoming and the Festival De La Communidad and an update on improvements and future plans for the play areas at City Park.
  • The Chromium 6 numbers are not encouraging. Right now, combined water and sewer will exceed $200 per month (not including consumption). The following is from our consultant regarding the views of State and Federal bureaucrats regarding excessive utility rates in small towns:

EPA’s stated view on potable water—that it is affordable if it costs less than 2.5% of small community Medium Household Income- MHI—influences the perceived affordability of combined water and wastewater bills. Specifically, it is commonly inferred that EPA would consider a combined annual water and wastewater bill of less than 4.5% of MHI to be affordable (2.5% for water, plus 2% for wastewater services and CSO controls).”

 “Winters is a small community per EPA definition, meaning current combined water and ww rates would be ‘affordable’ in Winters as long as they do not exceed about $220/month…easy to say sitting in D.C.”

 “In CA, under current funding program guidelines, there are no favorable terms based on water rate affordability until local water rates exceed 1.5% of community MHI.”

It is amazing that the view of these regulators is so callused that they cannot consider the impacts on seniors and low income persons and families. Imagine being a senior on a fixed income of $600 a month suddenly seeing your utility bills go from $78 per month to $220 (more than 30% of your income!). You still need to pay electricity, phone, tv and other living expenses. Not to mention food………. From the City Staff standpoint, it is simply mind boggling trying to work this issue.

  • The Winters Friends of the Library will have another great event this Saturday September 17 from 3-6 pm. Books and Brews will happen at Berryessa Brewing. Local authors will be there to talk about their books, sell some (with proceeds to WFOL). The lineup includes Steve Ackley, Kelly Hess, Jesse Loren, Beth McMillen, Lisa Nalbone, Lorraine Rominger, Tamsen Schultz and Spring Warren.
  • Putah Creek/Coastal Clean-up Day is this Saturday, September 17. Bring gloves, closed toe shoes and a water bottle for a day of cleaning up the creek. Meet at the Rotary Park Gazebo beginning at 8:45!

Finally, I went to Calle’s Carnival last Sunday at Creekside Park and it was awesome!! The friends and supporters of Leslie Pinkston made a very special fundraising event which did out community proud! There are many things which show the kindness of living in a small town, and this was truly special!

WHS Plays Dixon High School this Friday at Dr Sellers Field. JV kickoff is at 5:30 and Varsity at 7:30!

Have a nice weekend! Go Warriors!!

John


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Friday Update on September 9 2016

All,

One of the most traumatic events in Winters over the past number of years was the event surrounding the death of Leslie Pinkston.

 Leslie left her beautiful daughter Callie West. In an incredible display of community support,  a number of folks from Winters established “Callie’s Carnival”, an annual event to help provide a college fund and support to her as she grows. It is always a great day!!

 Callie’s Carnival will be this Sunday, at Creekside Park (just across the car bridge behind the old Creekside Bar 4513 Putah Creek Rd) from 12-5. The event should be a lot of fun with food from the Buckhorn (and others), carnival games, a petting zoo, photo booth and raffle prizes. The day is something  for the entire family.

 For more nfo, contact Calliescarnival@gmail.com

 A couple items this week:

·         The City Council Meeting had a number of business items which will start us moving forward on some key initiatives. Traffic Master Plan, Fee Studies, groundwater monitoring, pump efficiency testing and high tech crime! A real party!

·         Look for activity to begin REALLY ramping up at the PG&E Gas Operations Training Facility. The delivery and assembly of the crane to start raising the walls is imminent and the actual raising of the building will occur sometime around the end of the month and things will begin taking shape in a very real way. To keep track of the action at the project, click HERE and you can watch it from your desk top!

·         A notice will be in the paper for the Downtown Hotel before the Planning Commission on September 27. The changes for the hotel will include a revision to the frontage and Facade on Railroad Avenue.

·         Concrete was poured at Walnut Park this week and it is starting to take shape. Attached is a plan view of what it is going to look like. The irrigation is dug and the improvements will begin shaping the actual look of the park. This will be the City’s largest park. Walnut Park Plan PDF

 Lot’s of AYSO soccer this weekend with inter-play beginning with Davis, Colusa, Antelope and Rio Linda.

 Thanks and have a nice weekend.

 John


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Books & Brews – 09/17/16 – 3-6pm

Have you ever wondered whebooksre mystery writers get their ideas
or if a work of fiction mirrors the author’s real life? Find out while supporting
a great organization and partaking of some of the area’s tastiest beer!
Award winning, best-selling, and new local authors Steve Ackley, Kelly
Hess, Jesse Loren, Beth McMullen, Lisa Nalbone, Lorraine Rominger, Tamsen
Schultz, and Spring Warren join folks to chat over a brew and sell books with
proceeds supporting the Winters Friends of the Library.

Download PDF Here


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Calie’s Carnival – Sept. 11, 2016 – Fundraiser

caliescarnivalThe 3rd Annual Calie’s Carnival
September 11, 2016
12-5 pm
The Green River Venue
(Creekside Park) in Winters, CA
Fundraiser benefitting
The Calie West College Fund
Come down to 4513 Putah Creek Road and join us for a day of music by DJ Barnett, food provided by Buckhorn, Kona Ice Truck, carnival games and prizes by John Lopez, a petting zoo, dunk tank and photo booth! Plus vendors and a ton of great raffle prizes to win!
Contact us at caliescarnival@gmail.com


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Friday Update on Labor Day Weekend 2016

All,

A review of the upcoming City Council Agenda which has a lot of business items which are extremely important yet less glamorous: (If you want to read all the staff reports, click HERE to get the entire packet)

Consent Calendar:

  • Item B. Traffic Analysis– Staff is working on an update to the City’s Traffic Circulation Master Plan (General Plan item) and we are entering into a contract with Fehr & Peers who will provide a comprehensive update of traffic calculations, computer modeling and an update to the cumulative traffic calculations for City Streets. This project is important because another project in the works is an update of the City’s Major Projects Financing Program which establishes the major roadway improvements of which the traffic circulation is a critical element in establishing.
  • Item C: Groundwater Monitoring-The City’s Wastewater Treatment Plant has both holding ponds and we discharge our water through land based applications such as agricultural irrigation and spray fields. In order to maintain our discharge permit with State agencies, we are required to have a groundwater management plan with a variety of testing and reporting to demonstrate that we are not polluting the groundwater. This is a contract with an outside monitoring firm to do the testing and prepare the reports.
  • Item D. Grant Acceptance– The City has received two grants through the Yolo County Water Resources Agency. The first grant ($15,000) is for stormwater management to analyze potential problems in our system, implement education programs and update our overall plan. The second part of the grant ($16,127) is to assist in our ongoing work in addressing Chromium 6
  • Item E. Safe Routes to School Grant Acceptance-The City has received a grant ($10,367) to assist in helping enhance our “Safe Routes to Schools” Program. The money will be used to implement some traffic calming measures on Niemann Street which will include street striping (narrowing the roadway) and a solar powered radar sign and flashing beacon. Additionally, City and School Staff will be implementing the Active4Me program which will enable parents to be notified via a bar code scanner that their child has safely arrived on campus. The goal is to encourage more kids to ride bikes and walk to school. Both really good programs and collaboration with the WJUSD.
  • Item F: Gathering Shed Walnut Park is under construction and a key element is the installation of a shade structure at the park. This item is a contract with the manufacturer of the structure to also do the installation versus the general contractor. Having the manufacturer installation will save the City $7,000 which will go back into the project.
  • Item G: Service Fee RFP– The City is in the midst of evaluating our service fees and this is a request for proposal for qualified firms to bid to do the study and evaluation.
  • Item H. This item is a contract to do electrical repairs and replace a junction box at our East Street Pump Station inside and adjacent to our wet well which powers the water pumps.
  • Item I. Vision Zero– In September, Councilmembers Neu and Loren will be attending the League of California Cities Annual Conference. Councilmember Neu is the City’s delegate and will be asked to cast a vote on a resolution in support of Vision Zero, a program to have zero traffic fatalities. This item asks the City Council to authorize support for this program.
  • Item J. Well 6 Pump Testing– The City is in the midst of a comprehensive rehabilitation of Water Well 6 (E Baker/East Main). Because of a drop in groundwater depth from the drought, we are in need of efficiency tesing on the pump to maximize the overall effectiveness of the well. This is a contract to do that.

Discussion Items:

  • Planning Commission Appointment– The City Council has interviewed candidates and ranked three candidates for consideration to fill the spot vacated by Bill Biasi’ election to the Council.
  • Parking Consultant– The Downtown Parking Committee has made a recommendation on a consultant to help in formulating elements of a parking plan. The item will include a presentation from the Committee and consideration of both the consultant and funding the study.
  • Remodel/Conference Room for City Hall Annex. This item is to establish a new conference/community room next to the City Council Chamber. The plan includes carpeting, windows and furniture.
  • High Tech Agreement– Police Chief John Miller will be talking about an agreement with the District Attorney and the City for high tech crime investigation. As part of the agreement, the City will provide a reserve to assist the DA in their forensic crime program. Pretty cool stuff!!

Also on the agenda will be presentations from the Police Department on the Cadet and Reserve Programs.

Other stuff:

  • Last week’s Earthquake Festival was absolutely awesome from many points of view. People generally behaved and the load on the law enforcement was low. Both the Terry Sheets Band and the Time Bandits just rocked the place and the merchants and groups in the booths were just amazing. The Chamber did an absolutely incredible job in bringing a fun and high quality event, once again.
  • When you see Wade and Kathy Cowan (Team Cowan), Megan Curry, Donice Woody and Dan Maguire give them a huge thanks for putting on an incredible party. These folks (and the entire Chamber Team) work really hard and deliver way above expectations. The Chamber has a lot of momentum and these folks all play an important role in all the really cool stuff we have in our town.
  • Berryessa Brewing debuted “Earthshake Ale” at the Earthquake Festival. Chris and the entire Team at Berryessa are just tops in what they do and this beer is just delicious. Get some while it lasts!!
  • The Winters Senior Foundation is establishing itself as a new “super group” in town. Their raffle at Earthquake was probably the best I have seen. I know they are working hard to make a difference for the older set in our town and it shows.
  • The Winters Friends of the Library have another neighborhood library kiosk near the corner of Main and Grant (across from the Public Safety Facility). They have two Downtown and now the third. WFOL does so many wonderful things in town and this is just another example. Great work!
  • More Beaver Stuff……….. This week, I received more beaver paraphernalia. Realize I now have beaver traps, furs, stuffed beavers, beaver books, pictures of me with dead beavers and have more links to more websites which deal in beaver products than probably most in America. This week involved “edible beaver”, with someone dropping off a bag of “Canadian Beaver Balls”, which are round, egg shaped chocolate covered jujubes!  When I got the package, I could only think of one person to share them with and that was Winters Express Editor Debra DeAngelo.  I went to their office and we opened the bag of beaver balls and partook (Joe the Butcher also showed up). We all noted that beaver balls are pretty chewy and you could probably lose a filling if eaten too quickly. A very sincere thanks to whomever dropped them off!

Finally, when you see our Economic Development and Housing Manager Dan Maguire, give him a “big atta boy” for delivering great projects which will come to fruition in the next 12 months. Dan is the person leading our efforts on Walnut Park, Blue Mountain Terrace Senior Apartments and the Downtown Hotel. We are blessed with an incredible staff and Dan is a key player in making all this stuff happen!

Winters Warriors are in town tonight with the JV at 5:30 and Varsity at 7:30 at Dr Sellers Field.

Go Warriors and have a nice weekend!

John


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09/06/16 City Council Meeting Agenda and Packet

 


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Request for Proposals

Request for Proposals (RFP)
Full Cost Allocation Study
And
User Fee Study
City of Winters, CA
Finance Department
Due by September 30, 2016
(PDF – Click Here)


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Winters Salmon Festival

Saturday, November 5, 2016 • Rotary Park • Winters, CA

Enjoy: Local Food and Local Music

Field Trips: Free Shuttle to Lake Solano

Activities: Face and Fish Painting, Trout Derby, Fly Casting and More!

Learn: About our salmon and projects to restore Putah Creek spawning areas.

More Info…


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Friday Update on Thursday August 24 2016

All,

A week of ups and downs:

  • Earthquake Festival– So when I picked up my Winters Express this week and saw Chamber President Kathy Cowan on the front page (she must hold the record for the most cover photo’s) I knew it was time for something fun. The Earthquake Festival is this Friday starting at 5:00. Food, fun, music for all ages. Both Terry Sheets Band and the Time Bandits will be playing. This is an awesome party and a huge fundraiser for many groups. Have fun but also remember thaearthquakefestivalt it is the largest law enforcement presence on any single night in town. If you plan to drink, walk, designate a designated driver or set up someone to bail you out from Yolo County Jail.
  • As a warm up, Steady Eddies is having a fundraiser on Friday for the Relay for Life. Attached is a flyer (HERE/pdf) and a chance for you to get the caffeine in you to start the night. Acoustic music and a laid back way to begin the evening!
  • Downtown Hotel Update: The project has a major tenant for the downstairs who is requesting some changes and upgrades which will require Planning Commission approval along with structural/foundation changes to accommodate. Look for the project to be before the Planning Commission in September, then a month for a new plan check.
  • Roundabout Update: The Walnut Lane roundabout has the encroachment permits but we have run into an interesting snag. The funding comes from a pot of money which is geared toward reducing traffic congestion (ie traffic should move faster). The most recent traffic analysis shows that the traffic will move slower thus creating an interpretation that it will create “congestion”. The funding agency has approved a new funding source but the actual allocation cannot occur until November. Look for construction after the first of the year.
  • Time to get the pitchforks out and tie the rope…….. Chromium 6 will be the big item on the September 20 City Council Meeting. The full presentation on options and methods for addressing the new State mandate. The projected cost to deal with the new State regulations is somewhere between $24 and 40 Million. As they said in Greece, don’t kill the messenger!

This is an active weekend. Winters Warriors High School Football is home on Friday with JV’s starting at 5:30 and Varsity at 7:00. Winters AYSO Soccer begins the season on Saturday.

Have a nice weekend.

John


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Friday Update on Thursday August 18 2016

All,

 A couple items:

 ·         Winters Fire was deployed to the Clayton Fire in Lower Lake to battle the fire which destroyed almost 200 structures and caused absolute havoc through the Lake County Area. They were released today and are headed back.

·         Items on the upcoming City Council Meeting will include a presentation on the strategy for dealing with Chromium 6, the Walnut Park Picnic Structure, and a presentation from the Police Department regarding the Volunteer and Cadet Programs.

·         PG&E has released its most recent monthly report of key activities. I have attached the report for your information.  (pdf – click here)

·         This week on the PG&E Project, they began the pour of the exterior walls which will be tilted up in the coming weeks. From the City perspective, it has been rewarding working with the team they have assembled for the project.

·         The two largest issues which seem to be sweeping California are Housing and Transportation. As local governments are experiencing homelessness, shortages of available housing both for rental and for sale housing. Expect that these issues will come to the forefront on all levels of government in California in the coming year!!

·         Winters AYSO  Soccer needs some help this Sunday, beginning at 8:30 at Waggoner School. We need to spread dirt and do some leveling of soccer fields. We will have some tractors and drags, but need some bodies with shovels to help spread top soil to help fill holes and level the fields. Bring your shovel out and help for a bit.

 Finally, an editorial in one of the many literary sources I read struck an important thing I have learned in the City of Winters, and that is the importance of the local paper, the Winters Express.

 The most important thing I have learned is how important it is to support the Winters Express and the small town press!

 Over the years, the community has been blessed with a weekly publication which tells the story of our town. Whether it is what is happening at City Hall, schools or the many events, sports  and public interest stories, the Winters Express is the source which both writes and records the history of the community. In a technical age where we expect immediate access to stories and information, it is hard for them to compete, but what we really get is a much higher quality and more thoughtful and researched depiction of our town through their efforts than any blog or facebook comment could ever bring.

The City has been genuinely blessed with some excellent reporters who have covered City Hall and the City Council. They have been some of the most thoughtful and genuine people bringing a balanced and thorough approach to reporting. One of the highest values of small town newspapers is the quest to bring transparency and accountability to how the local government is making policy and spending the taxpayer dollars! The City Hall beat reporters in Winters have been second to none. I know that people read their stories and count on them to keep them in the loop. It’s done exceptionally well in our town.

 Debra DeAngelo as the Winters Express Editor is probably one of the most important factors in telling the story of Winters. She really gets it in telling the story of our town and will go down some day as one of the most important people in our history. Lots of people have an opinion regarding Debra’s opinions, but I will tell you that I have never questioned her ethics or professionalism when she has questioned decisions made by the City. She is absolutely doing her job in working to hold the City of Winters accountable, which is important. In a democratic society, it is the responsibility of the press to inform and bring things to light, and Debra does a very good job in doing so. I will tell you that I do not always agree with Debra, but she is fair and thorough and does her job.

 Charley Wallace and the entire Wallace Family could best be described and the stewards of the cornerstone institution which writes our history. When Newt and Ida arrived in 1948, they took over a newspaper which now binds our community together. Whether people appreciate it or not, the Wallace’s have committed their entire lives to telling the story of Winters and all who live here.  From birth to death, the families of our town have their stories told, accomplishments recorded and arrests made public, whether people like it or not! Our Downtown is considered one of the best examples of a small rural revitalization efforts which actually worked and I will tell you that Charley Wallace played one of the most pivotal roles in saving the town, at enormous personal sacrifice. Newt Wallace is the semi-retired oldest paperboy in America and I am proud to have his autographed picture from the front page of the phone book  amongst my most cherished Winters mementos. The town owes eternal gratitude to the Wallace Family for what they have done and do!

 The time capsule of Winters is updated on a weekly basis and thrown on the driveway of your home or business. In an information age the Winters Express cannot compete with promptness, but few can beat the quality of stories which enrich our lives, hold the City accountable and tell the story of our town in a meaningful way.

 When  you see Newt, Charley, Debra and the entire Winters Express team, let them know how important they are to our town. Most importantly, support what they do through your subscriptions and ads which pay the way to telling our story.

 Have a nice weekend and come out and help me spread some dirt on Sunday at Waggoner School- 8:30.

 John


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Friday Update on August 12 2016

All,

A really busy week, but here are some highlights:

  • After four years of effort, on Thursday, we finally received the encroachment permit for the construction of the Walnut Lane Roundabout from Caltrans!! Look for the construction documents going out to bid and hopefully a fall construction! We plan on etching a copy of the permit in granite to sit in front of City Hall as one of the most significant accomplishments of the City in our history!
  • Cal Fire Incident Management Team 6 has begun their demobilization and is moving out. They are wrapping up the “finances and documentation” for the fire at our public safety facility over the next week. When you see the folks from Cal Fire, honk, waive and show your appreciation for an organization which has really helped Winters over the past few years.
  • At the “transition meeting” on Wednesday, Ken Pimlott, the Director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Operations was here to talk with Team 6 and the cooperating agencies. Ken is the Fire Chief of the Fire Chief’s in California, so we had proverbial fire royalty in Winters talking about the incident.
  • The Yolo County Planning Commission dealt a huge blow to agri-tourism in Western Yolo County on Thursday when they denied the application for the Field & Pond event center on Road 29. Field & Pond has become an important resource and beneficiary to the Winters business community in recent years. The conditions which western Yolo County agri-tourism and event centers must follow is now unprecedented and probably infeasible. The ability to advance our “brand” is going to be exceedingly difficult when the urbanites are prevented from actually seeing or experiencing the grandeur of our area.
  • The Downtown Hotel Project is permitted but will see another short delay as they work through a couple configurations to meet the needs of some of the major restaurant and retail tenants. Look for an official groundbreaking in the coming weeks!
  • The issue of the Carter Ranch Detention Pond Trees is evolving a bit. Engineers are looking at some alternatives which will save the majority of the trees if not complete avoidance. Stay tuned!
  • Walnut Park is being graded and is fun to look at. If you have not see the newest and largest park in Winters, you should drive by and take a look. Dan Maguire is the Project Manager if you have any specific questions or inquiries.
  • No City Council Meeting next week and No Planning Commission for August.

For all you would be soccer referees, we will be having referee training at the Fire Station from 9-4 tomorrow.

Have a nice weekend,

John