Archive for November, 2010

November 3rd 2010

Posted under Rich Reeser's Outdoor Column





 Have you ever been with a group of friends when the topic of snipe hunting comes up.  Well growing up and being the gamers that we were, when we found a culprit, I mean a hunter among us that had never snipe hunted we put them on the trail of snipe. Usually they were armed with a burlap sack, flash light, and a can of rocks  or a whistle. And this was usually done after midnight and the hunter/culprit having to walk home from somewhere just outside of town. Well to this day I have never seen a single one of these hunters come home with any game.

  For those of you that weren’t aware of it, there is a game bird called a snipe. These small fast and very erratic flying birds it can be quite difficult to shoot limit. Pictured is Shane Nichols, 21, of Dixon is seen with Mel Topance, 80, of Walnut Creek after a snipe hunt last weekend in rural Dixon. They limited (8 each) on these good tasting, migratory birds that frequent flooded pastures this time of the year. (Photo by Ted Hickman)



The San Joaquin and central delta always turn on first when it comes to stripers and it is going strong right now. The Franks Tract area has been producing a lot of fish on top water baits like the lunker punker and other walking stick baits. Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, also reported outstanding action for striped bass in the central Delta with the top water lures of the IMA Big Stik or the Persuader PopN’Walker. Pringle has been targeting the moving water over the flats; and with the cooling water temperatures, there is evidence that the shad are moving closer to the banks. The shoreline has been lined with egrets waiting to capitalize on the abundant shad chased up the stripers. 

The west delta continues to produce some good counts of mostly schoolies but with some bigger fish in the mix. Hap’s Bait in Rio Vista reports a few stripers in the 5-pound range have been landed from the pier at the Moose Lodge.  A 52-inch sturgeon was weighed in from Cache Slough on ghost shrimp.. Trolling has been producing some fish on the Old Sacramento River near the Isleton Bridge with deep-diving lures on a spreader with a lead head in the 5 to 10 pound range. I haven’t been able to get on the water myself  in sometime but hope to soon. Then I will know first hand what is going on. With the water temperatures dropping and the rains we are starting to get the action such heat up real soon.

Popular Dungeness Crab Sport Fishery to Open Statewide

          The much anticipated annual Dungeness crab sport fishery opens
statewide on Nov. 6, according to the California Department of Fish and
Game (DFG). Every November in northern and central California, the
season opener triggers recreational crab fishing enthusiasts to set out
in pursuit of these tasty crustaceans. Some set hoop nets and crab traps from boats and piers while others fish crab loop traps on the end of a fishing rod. Still others will dive in the cold waters to take the crabs by hand.
          The daily bag limit is 10 Dungeness crabs per person, except when fishing from a commercial passenger fishing vessel (or “party boat”)
south of Mendocino County, in which case the limit is six. Dungeness
crab may not be taken within San Francisco or San Pablo bays, which are
important crab nursery areas. A legal-sized crab must be five and
three-quarter inches measured by the shortest distance through the body
from edge of shell to edge of shell directly in front of and excluding
the points (lateral spines). Crabs taken from party boats must measure
six inches minimum distance.

To estimate the recreational harvest of Dungeness crab, DFG conducted a
coast-wide sampling effort for the first time last year. Biologists
surveyed crabbers and collected catch and effort data. The data showed
that more than 350,000 Dungeness crabs were taken by sport crabbers,
with most of the catch coming in November and December.

“Crab abundance is cyclical and if the size of last year’s
commercial catch is a good indicator, it would appear the population may
be moving into an upswing in the cycle,” said DFG Senior Marine
Biologist Pete Kalvass, who oversees the Invertebrate Management
Project. “This could be good news for recreational crabbers as it
might mean a satisfying season is ahead.”

In California, the Dungeness crab range is from the California-Oregon
border southward to Santa Barbara, although they are uncommon south of
Point Conception. Dungeness crabs prefer sandy or sand-mud bottom, but
may be found in almost any sea floor habitat. They range from the
intertidal zone to a depth of at least 750 ft., but are not abundant
beyond 300 ft.

For more information regarding recreational Dungeness crab fishing
regulations and other crab species, please visit the DFG Marine Region
website at

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November 3rd 2010
Dixon Wins Big Time

Posted under That's Life Columns




The voters of Dixon receive my accolades for making all the right choices when it came to local issues and sifting through candidates’ rhetoric and lies. I will not sit here and try to tell you that I know how you made up your minds or did your research. Wherever you got your information, it seems that your wisdom prevailed.

We kept the best, Dane Besneatte, of those on the dais running for office. We added a newcomer to the political arena in Thom Bogue who garnered more votes than any other candidate by a lot. Well, Thom, welcome to the fray. I hope you are ready to address the issues and confront the problems without taking a 2 year hiatus ala Gil Vega’s infamous “apprenticeship”. No one expects you to have all the answers, however we would just like a lot more input than we got from the one you are replacing.

My editor gave me his predictions for the election. I disagreed and was much more specific. I figured somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 would vote, but 4,000 was my estimate of 50% of the electorate. Turned out to be pretty much on target. While he felt Phil McCaffrey would get little of the vote, I guessed he would get 1,000. That was also pretty much on target.

I then calculated that Kay “Fluffy” Cayler would get around 1.500 votes. I was very close on that one. Thom I estimated would get 2,300 votes and Dane Besneatte would lead at 2,700 votes. I was accurate on Thom but off by a thousand on Dane. Three out of four is a pretty decent batting average. And oh, by the way, congratulations to the new World Series Champions, the San Francisco Giants. I only wish my mother and brother could have enjoyed seeing “their” team win it all.

Kay has now run three times and been defeated each time. As she is a nice person, I will try to get through to her one last time. What the people are trying to tell you is that they want a representative who represents them, not the city staff. They want a leader who has ideas and can express them. They didn’t appreciate the obvious blind rubber stamp third vote you gave time after time just to be part of the anti-Mike team. I don’t play games and the people of Dixon don’t like it when you do.

This should be somewhat of a wake up call to Rick Fuller. Rick got over 3,300 votes during the last election. This is more than any other councilman had ever received. Now that people have had a chance to watch Rick’s performance, my guess would be that many are disappointed with him for much the same reason they were with Kay.

While it is true that Rick has strayed from the herd mentality of Jack and Kay on a couple of occasions, the big impact issues bring him right back into the fold. At least Rick can coherently express himself on the topics even if his logic is questionable. We will see if he can grow with the reaffirmed member of the council and the new addition. If not, he might find himself in similar circumstances to Kay at the next election.

So what does this election mean or what hopes should it raise?

While many of my opponents fear that “Mike wants to run the town with his team”, they are wrong on one point. I have no “team”. It is not important to repeat the cliches about there being no “I” in team only “me”. There is no team except those of us who play for the citizens of Dixon. We are not as interested in “winning” as we are in making sure that the citizens are the winners.

Do I want to run Dixon? Am I the new “king” given Courville’s self proclaimed titles of “I am the boss of Dixon” or the Queen? I am not out to “run” anything. I am more interested in creating opportunities for us all, to increase what all of us enjoy about Dixon, and to direct staff to get us to that point. I want to enable Thom and Dane to come up with good, thoughtful solutions to any problem brought before us. You can include Rick in that too. I will take ideas from any source including the mayor if he makes sense.

A cautionary note to those who have been running the city and not doing a very good job of it. I hope you know how to count to three. There is a change of power here. Now the onus is on us to perform. You, those of you who have squandered your opportunities to be other than the “do nothing council”, can now sit back and see how it is done. I assure you that we, at least three of us, will be getting things done.

First and foremost on the list will be coming to a consensus on appropriate wage and benefit packages for our staff. I can not speak for the rest of the council, but after hearing the talk during the debates, I believe the walk will be toward balanced budgets without layoffs or furloughs.

Next will be a push to reduce fees and taxes of all sorts. I would imagine that we will see a number of items recently approved by the Three Stooges back in front of the new council for a second look.

Once the budget is balanced, we need to go beyond that to use reserves to tackle some of the problems others have refused to address. The Pardi Market site will be developed with the input of all. The south area flooding problem which Kay said doesn’t exist, will be taken care of sooner rather than later.

Finally, traffic impact fees from new development are going to have to be increased so that the rest of us don’t have to pay for overpass improvements needed because of new development impacts. I am not condoning the failed idea to stick it all on commercial development. Residential development, currently suffering in this weak economy, will shoulder a much larger part of this as they know they have been “skating” on their obligation to the community in this regard.

There are many more issues which will be brought up and acted upon. Business will be encouraged rather than discouraged from entering Dixon. We will do what the State can’t seem to get done.

We will lead by example …

* * * * *

Another one Dixon got right, as well as the Travis school district, was the defeat of sending more money into the bottomless pit known as our school district. By similar votes, both Travis’ parcel tax and Dixon’s $32 million bad joke of a bond measure were sent to crushing defeats. Benecia’s parcel tax received 62% yes votes but needed 66% to pass. You have to ask yourselves why?

Maybe it’s because the bubbling babble coming from the mouths of those either doing the failing method of teaching or those financially dependent on the system is no longer being accepted as fact. The truth of the matter is it has never been “about the kids”. It has been about those who rely on the kids for a job, a job they do none too well.

The liberals won again at the State level. If you think that they will straighten out the financial mess they created, you are as deluded as those who continue to vote for them. Again I say, they created the problem so let them deal with it. Let them take over the district. When they continue to get the same results given their inability or intransigence in adjusting the curriculum, it will become apparent to all where the problem lies.

The larger point we all should take away from this is that the public is now refusing to dump more money down the black hole of socialist education. Don’t come back with a parcel tax, because you couldn’t even get 50% for a bond that supposedly wasn’t going to raise tax rates or taxes. A parcel tax would do both.

As for your library bond, don’t even think about it. We don’t need a new $20 million facility with very little parking to house computers for the kids to play on. Understanding that the library district in all their infinite elitist wisdom, (you know Greg Atkins knows so much more than the rest of us who rarely enter the doors of his establishment), bought residential property at inflated values, destroyed one architecturally significant home, and now plans to lift the historic Carnegie building and move it instead of leaving it where it has “historically” been with a brand new basement and solid foundation, you as well as I might have to vigorously question their judgement. Spending other people’s money does that to their accountability.

It will be interesting where Halberg and company go next. I suggest they begin by examining salaries and get serious about making some real cuts to what is causing the problem …

* * * * *

Congratulations to Fred Kogler in Rio Vista. He is a new councilman and one of the founding members of the Rio Vista chapter of the Solano County Taxpayers Association. The fiscal inanity in that city is well beyond Dixon’s. Being the odd man out on a 4 to 1 council will be tough. At least the citizens’ voice will be heard for a change. Sanity is a tough concept for some.

Demonstrating that there is no sanity in Sonoma County, nor need for diversity, Cotati voters left that clear message for my friend and ally, George Barich who was defeated 2 to 1. Conservatives need not apply in this county as I confirmed by checking through their other races. It was pretty much 70% to 30% in every single race with Demos winning over Republicans. Actually given this, George did better than most which is I am sure little consolation to Mr. Barich.

I would be willing to bet that within the next year of Jerry Brown’s administration, the State economy will collapse. As Cotati is typical of liberal governments who think their sustenance comes from an outstretched hand looking for government grants rather than tax generating productive industry, their demise will quickly follow the Atlas Shrugged scenario beginning to unfold before your eyes.

I promise not to laugh too hard …

* * * * *

Finally, I would like to give kudos to Paul Fuchslin of SID for removing himself for consideration of the unneeded assistant manager’s job by pulling his application. Unfortunately the waste of resources within this organization is not limited to created stepping stone jobs for its favored employees.

Now that there is more stability on the council and before we ramp up for the coming school board race, more time can be focused on the lie which is SID. I have an answer given by SID’s attorneys which does not come close to holding water. The contentions held within it to justify the assessment many of us pay need to be proven and not just taken at face value.

If the management of this company or their legal staff think their statements are taken as gospel when I have contrary historical facts about Monticello Dam’s financial obligations, they are wrong. It might work on the easily duped such as county counsel Dennis Bunting, but I know the right questions to ask. They won’t be able to answer them.

But then that’s what comes from playing games …

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