Category Archives: Bike Trail

Sacramento County supervisors back sales tax increase to fund regional parks

Sacramento County officials on Tuesday agreed to support a sales tax increase to fund the regional park system.

The Board of Supervisors unanimously agreed to seek state legislation to allow a November 2012 election for a 0.1 percent sales tax increase.

If approved by two-thirds of county voters, the tax would raise $17 million annually to support the county’s 32 regional parks, including the popular American River Parkway.

Such a tax would add 1 cent to a $10 purchase.

The move came after a four-hour hearing, at which park advocates warned that the state legislative session offers only a small window this summer to move the proposed bill.

There was also general agreement about the desire for a fix before another disastrous county budget cycle next year.

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Eppie’s Great Race looking for volunteers

Eppie’s Great Race, billed as “the world’s oldest ‘no swim’ triathlon,” is desperately seeking volunteers to work at the event this weekend.

Volunteers will receive T-shirts, lunch and free parking, said race spokeswoman Anita Fitzhugh. Hundreds of people are needed for a variety of tasks from setup on Friday to watercraft takeout on Saturday, she said.

The 38th annual event, in which participants run 5.82 miles, cycle 12.5 miles and paddle canoes or kayaks for 6.35 miles along the American River Parkway, will benefit Sacramento County Therapeutic Recreation Services, which offers recreational activities and other opportunities for disabled people.

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Sewer pipe used as bridge on Carmichael trail to be blocked

A popular nature trail along Arcade Creek in Carmichael is about to become a little more difficult to access.

For decades, nature lovers and hikers on the Jo Smith Nature Trail have crossed over a sewer pipe that spans Arcade Creek near American River College.

Students who live nearby also use the crossing to get to the college.

“I just want to see it left open,” neighbor and avid hiker Siobhan Hutton said. “It’s beautiful, many people enjoy it, many people use it to go to school, I would just like to see it left open. I haven’t seen it harm anybody.”

When the pipe was installed in the 1960’s, railings were attached for safety reasons. The railings have been gone for years.

The Sacramento Area Sewer District owns the pipe and has decided the crossing is dangerous and will fence it off next month.

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Run through River Park set for Fourth

The free Fourth of July five-mile run will again be held this year in Sacramento’s River Park neighborhood.

Sponsored by the Buffalo Chips running club, the five-miler through the leafy environs of one of Sacramento’s quieter neighborhoods begins at 8 a.m. Runners must sign a waiver, but that’s the only requirement.

The run begins near Glen Hall Park, located along the American River Sandburg and Carlson drives.

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Groups sue Army Corps of Engineers over levee tree-removal policy

A controversial federal policy that could require millions of trees to be cut down on Central Valley levees is the target of a lawsuit.

Three environmental groups filed suit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Monday in federal court in Sacramento.

The Army Corps sets national standards for levee safety. In 2007 it unveiled a revised maintenance policy that forbids trees or shrubs on levees. Instead, only short grass is allowed on levees and within 15 feet on either side.

The policy raises significant concerns in California, where levee vegetation composes much of the remaining 5 percent of the Central Valley’s historic riparian forest. As such, it is crucial shade and habitat for migrating endangered fish, as well as nesting habitat for many endangered birds.

“This would be the most massive intentional infliction of environmental damage on our rivers that we’ve seen in modern times,” said Bob Wright, senior counsel at Friends of the River in Sacramento. “It’s mind-boggling.”

Other plaintiffs are Defenders of Wildlife and the Center for Biological Diversity.

The plaintiffs allege the Army Corps policy violates the Endangered Species Act, because the agency did not consult with federal wildlife agencies; and the National Environmental Policy Act, because it didn’t prepare an environmental study. Army Corps spokesman Pete Pierce declined to comment on the lawsuit.

The policy has not yet been carried out in the Central Valley. State and local agencies struck a deal with the Army Corps to delay it until next year while they work out a compromise.

The Corps also created a process for local agencies to obtain exemptions so trees can remain. However, this may require costly levee redesigns.

The potential removal of thousands of trees in the Sacramento area alarms many residents who value their shade and scenery, particularly along the American River Parkway.

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Dad provides the legwork, and son’s his partner in fun

Don Webb, 59, left, takes a break with his son Dustin, 30, during a ride on the American River bike trail earlier this month. In nearly 20 years of cycling together, father and son have traveled an estimated 70,000 miles. Photo By HECTOR AMEZCUA

There’s nothing to it, really. They get on their specially made bike, with their helmets, sunglasses and matching jerseys, and then they go, riding together mile after mile, the faster and farther the better.

Dad, who is 59, pedals smoothly and efficiently while going 20 mph or more. His 30-year-old son sits in front on a custom-made seat, as if on a throne, smiling as the wind washes over his face.

When he hears his father grunt and groan going up an especially steep hill, he bursts out laughing. When the bike goes fast – they have topped 60 mph going down hills – the happiness races with it.

In 1992, Don Webb gave up competitive distance running and began looking for a new activity that he could do with his son Dustin, who was born with cerebral palsy, has never walked and taps out messages on a specialized computer to “talk” to his family. In the nearly 20 years since, father and son have traveled an estimated 70,000 miles.

It’s a different world once the bike gets moving. All of the challenges of everyday life – with eating and getting dressed and figuring out how to express oneself the easiest and best way – are behind them. Ahead is the simplest way of looking at life. You point. You pedal. You breathe. You move. And you just keep going.

On Father’s Day, when so many people are celebrating or taking stock, this father and son possibly hold the secret to happiness: Those challenges and heartbreaks and shortcomings everyone else sees are actually opportunities.

No one in the Webb family has ever dwelled on Dustin’s physical disabilities or used them as an excuse. Don Webb’s two able-bodied daughters, both older than Dustin, have watched their father and their brother take to the bike with a special passion and devotion, embracing the simple joy of a ride.

“It is absolutely a metaphor for life,” said oldest daughter Megan Fera, referring to the frequent bike rides. “My dad exhibits so much on his bike that he exhibits in his attitude about life. He just doesn’t quit. He’s really a hard worker. He doesn’t take time to feel sorry for himself about the challenges that come up.”

Don and Anne Webb, who have been married 37 years, moved to Sacramento with Dustin two years ago. Don credits his wife with being the primary advocate for their only son, from the time he was born, through the school years and now, well into adulthood.

When Dustin’s not on the bike with his father, he listens to audio books. He’s a jazz aficionado and major sports fan – following professional bike racing and rooting for the San Francisco Giants and Duke University basketball team.

His sisters, both married with children, also live in Sacramento. Don Webb owns a thriving project management company, Cordell Corp., which oversees the development of large sports, entertainment and cultural facilities. Among the company’s successes is Raley Field in West Sacramento. He figures he rides 7,000 miles annually, about half it with Dustin.

Since their arrival in town, father and son have become a familiar presence on the American River bike trail and on roadways throughout the region. To see them for the first time is to be moved in ways powerful and immediate, with the 75-pound Dustin strapped in a harness and often beaming as his dad powers the bike forward.

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