West Sacramento is better known as “West Sac” to those who live in and around the city. West Sacramento is separated from Sacramento by the Sacramento River. It is its own city, not simply a part of Sacramento. In fact, it is not only its own city, but it is located in a completely seperate county from Sacramento, Yolo County. The city itself is often considered “up and coming”, but is one of the few cities nationwide that actually lives up to the claim. In 2000, the population of West Sacramento was 31,615. Just 10 years later, the population jumped to 48,744 in 2010. In 2014, West Sacramento was named the Most Livable City in America by the US Conference of Mayors.
The area where West Sacramento is now located was a part of Mexico in 1844 when John Schwartz settled in. John and his brother George established a fishery along the river and began to farm livestock. The soil, they found was very fertile.
John Schwartz sold 600 acres of his land to James McDowell in 1846. McDowell, his wife, and their three kids settled into the area that is now known as Broderick in West Sacramento. Unfortunately, the time that the family moved into the area was marked by the infamous Gold Rush. During this time there was an influx of violence and unfortunately, James McDowell was shot and killed.
Once John had passed on, Margaret did what any woman would have done at the loss of the main breadwinner in the household: she found a way to make ends meet. In 1849, Margaret had a surveyor mark off 160 acres of the land and divided it into 41 blocks. She marked these blocks off and sold them individually to buyers. She established as the “Town of Washington”.
Even in its first 10 years as a neighborhood, the Town of Washington went through a huge increase of business and population. The California Steam Navigation company set up shop in the Town of Washington because of how close it was to the river. Other businesses that settled into the neighborhood included restaurants, bars (then called saloons), and hotels. It was a town that well catered to travelers.
Eventually, the Town of Washington was renamed to be Broderick after US Senator David C. Broderick. Two other areas were included in the threesome of neighborhoods: Bryte and West Sacramento. They were collectively referred to as “East Yolo”.
In 1987, West Sacramento was officially declared to be a city.
Things to Do
If you’re traveling through West Sacramento, you won’t be at a loss for things to do. One of the top tourist attractions is Raley Field, home of the minor league baseball team, the Sacramento River Cats, the AAA affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. The ball park also serves as a concert venue and the home of a number of private and community events. Visitors can take a tour of Raley Field as well.
Another popular attraction is the Sierra Mac River where you can take a relaxing trip down the river, or even kick the adventure up a few notches and do some diving from rocks.
Adventure seekers can also camp overnight, and go rafting, kayaking, or boating with Whitewater Adventures.
If you have the family in tow, an inexpensive stop that the kids will enjoy is the Bounce Spot – which is an inflatable play area. You can find a number of deals online for ticket discounts.
In order for a city to continue a forward momentum of growth, there has to be a level of advancement. There’s something to be said for the fact that West Sacramento was voted as the top city to live in, but at the same time, to keep its title, there has to be continual development.
There are currently 6 projects that are under review by the planning division. They include development of 21 single family homes in the Bridge District, a hotel, and a recycling facility.
In addition to these proposed developments, 4 projects have recently been approved by the planning division. The city of West Sacramento will soon see “The Barn”, a venue for a number of outdoor events. As well as the development of Hart Monopine Telecommunications Facility, as well as two plans for subdivision.
All in all, West Sacramento surely lives up to its reputation as being a great city to live in. Not only does it have a number of predominant neighborhoods, but also a significant number of businesses and job opportunities which are both important to people who consider moving into the area. When it comes to a city being well established, West Sacramento is doing it right. They even take it a step further by continuing their plans for development. While no one can accurately predict the future, if West Sac keeps going in the direction that it is, there’s a very good chance that it could become one of the most economically sound cities California has seen.
Roughly 27% of Americans have a criminal record. They have been received for any number of reasons ranging from minor offenses to some of the worst crimes on the books, the United States has the most people incarcerated per percentage of population of any developed country. As the criminal justice system as a whole begins to reform and re-evaluate the current techniques used for crime and punishment, many states are worried about potential increases in crime.
California is no exception. Currently at its lowest crime rates since 1967, California has made great strides over half a century to reduce crime rates statewide. With the rate as low as 397 per 100,000 residents, California is not without its trouble spots. With unique problems developing in every county of this state, it is significantly more helpful to address crime issues on a county-by-county basis.
With this in mind, lets take a moment to examine the crime issues in Yolo County, California. With the county seat being the city of Woodland and a population of just over 200,000 people, this northern California county, known for producing 90% of all canned tomato sauce in the US, has its own unique problems when it comes to crime.
The Rise in Methamphetamines
Immediately to the west of the capital city of Sacramento, Yolo County has a unique mix of country and city living. With demographics more evenly distributed as well as wealth, Yolo is not at particular risk for certain crimes that normally take place when poverty is centered on a single location. However, just like cities and rural communities across the nation, there has been a noticeable rise in methamphetamine usage.
Thought to be brought on by an over prescription of pain medication by doctors across the United States, many people who are taken off their coverage and who cannot continue to afford pain killers legally or otherwise, end up turning to other cheaper drugs to get the same reaction. Meth has helped to fill this consumer need, resulting in an incredible rise or reported cases as well as overdoses. Commissioner Janene Beronio of Yolo County recently spoke about the prevalence of meth cases rising in the area. In addition, there is no particular age, ethnicity, or gender using the drug. Spread throughout the community, meth is a widespread and equal opportunity destroyer, ruining people’s lives, destroying their ability to function in society, and leading them on a one-way course into the criminal justice system.
Non-Drug Related Crimes
Understanding crime in Yolo County requires breaking it down based on property related crime and violent crime. As a whole, crime in general has been going up slightly over the past decade. This is because the number of property crimes has gradually been increasing. At the same time, the number of violent crimes has been getting lower and lower. To put it simply, while the chance of your car being stolen may increase, your chance of being physically or otherwise bodily harmed has continued to get smaller and smaller every year.
When looking at the date for the past decade, more then half of the crimes reported are theft related (30,997.) The next two most common crimes include burglary at 13,164 and auto theft at 7,633. Assault, arson, murder, rape, and robbery make up less then ¼ of total crimes in Yolo County. DUI offense have long troubled Yolo County. Yolo County DUI Attorney Michael Rehm believes ridesharing operations like Uber and Lyft will eventually cut down on these crimes as well.
Comparison to Surrounding Counties
Yolo has a slightly higher total crime and violent crime rate then other counties in the area. Beaten out only by Merced and Madera in violent crime, Yolo is considered safer then Imperial as well, which has a much higher property crime rate. El Dorado, Napa, Kings, Madera, Shasta, Butte, and Humboldt all have less total crime then Yolo County. While it may be high when compared to surrounding counties, Yolo County does significantly better when compared to cities and the counties surrounding them. Compared to areas around the Bay Area as well as Los Angeles, Yolo County has a much better crime rate then these counties when compared to the total population.
Current Trends and Future Predictions for Yolo County, California
As covered above, the rate of violent crimes in Yolo County are going down gradually with every year. There has been a steady drop beginning in 2004 and extending to what current data is available. At the same time, property crime has been increasing with every year, gradually inching up. The end result for total crime in Yolo County is that it is either not budging or slowly getting higher. Given that more and more people are flocking to the county just east of Sacramento, it is easy to see the increase of total crime reports as nothing more then an increase in the total population of the county. As the population begins to even out it will be interesting to see if the crime rate continues to gradually increase, stay the same, or reverse. Given trends across California, there is a chance that it will reverse.