Wild highway crash injures 4

Four members of a Rio Linda family were injured Saturday when their SUV did a barrel roll across a ditch and into oncoming traffic, closing Highway 70 for more than a half-hour, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Thong Duc Nguyen, 27, of Rio Linda was northbound on Highway 70 just south of the McGowan Parkway exit at about 4:50 p.m. when his Toyota Highlander veered to the left at an unknown rate of speed.

Witnesses said the vehicle rolled across the 6-foot-deep ditch dividing the northbound and southbound lanes and came to rest in the southbound lane. No other cars were involved in the accident, said CHP Officer J.D. Moser.

The preliminary investigation found that Nguyen likely fell asleep on the drive to Olivehurst to pick up his wife’s car from a mechanic, said Moser.

“Luckily, everyone was restrained, including the children in child restraint seats,” he said.

The children were both in the back seat, and Nguyen’s wife was in the passenger’s seat next to him.

After the wreck, Moser said he was able to talk to Nguyen and find out some of the details about his wild ride across into oncoming traffic.

All four were taken to Rideout Emergency Center, where they were treated for mild to moderate injuries.

The occupants had to be extricated from the vehicle because of the major damage, Moser said.

Highway 70 was reopened around 5:25 p.m.

“Our primary concern was patient care, and then we shifted to making sure there weren’t second, third or fourth collisions and finally moved to open the road as quickly as possible,” Moser said.

Any one who may have witnessed the accident is encouraged to call Moser at (530) 674-5141, ext. 338.

“We have a good idea of what happened, but witnesses are encouraged to come forward with any additional information,” Moser said.

Read more: http://www.appeal-democrat.com/news/moser-55849-highway-nguyen.html#ixzz1sMORELuw

Get past the phone menu runaround

If you want sales, press 1. If you want customer service, press 2. If you want to speak to a live human being, good luck.

Gabe Davidson was tired of wading through a sea of phone menu options when he was dealing with banks, so he spent hours searching the Internet for shortcuts and testing them. Now he’s putting that work on the Internet for people to find for free.

“I was calling this bank, which I won’t name, but I was on hold forever,” he said. “I thought it would be great to have a list of extensions and numbers so I wasn’t sitting here waiting.”

The 33-year-old Yuba City real estate agent has compiled more than 400 phone numbers of companies and government organizations on his site, www.1800shortcuts.net. While the majority of the numbers are 1-800 numbers, some aren’t toll-free.

The site can help save time as well as money.

Most companies have some kind of back door in their automated phone systems to immediately get in contact with a live person. Most of these have been scattered on the Internet or hidden in obscurity, waiting for someone to pry through the system to find them. A lot of the shortcuts that Davidson found came by process of elimination.

“You get a feel for it after awhile,” he said.

Most phone systems use the star key to repeat the machine’s messages, the pound key leads to customer service, and hitting zero multiple times can lead to a live operator, Davidson said. From there, he scoured the Internet and began testing ideas for hundreds of phone numbers.

“There was a lot of research and a lot of dialing,” he said.

The Web site itself is much simpler than the process of culling the information. Instead of overloading it with ads and graphics and layers, Davidson has every phone number on one page. It’s just text, a simple Google ad and a small logo at the top.

“It was fun for me to deal with the steps of getting it all together and putting together the site,” he said. “The hardest part was just coming up with the initial idea.”

Davidson has some technology experience, though he didn’t study it specifically. He’s worked for Century 21 for the past four years and before that he was involved in computer sales.

The site is far from complete and Davidson is trying to add more companies and phone numbers to his list.

If people have tips for how to get around more phone systems or want to report a mistake, he said the best option is to e-mail him at thissiteisforsale@yahoo.com

“It’s a simple concept and I want it to be a useful tool for people to use,” Davidson said. “And before anyone asks: no, the site is not for sale.”

Read more: http://www.appeal-democrat.com/news/phone-55041-davidson-numbers.html#ixzz1sMNWO6jj`

Women raising funds for children in Y-S

Women in Philanthropy will hold its annual luncheon Thursday to raise funds for children’s causes in Yuba-Sutter.

The group will combine the proceeds from this luncheon with the dues it collects from its members to help Hands of Hope and Iles Golf Academy for Children, spokeswomen Clarine Musfelt said.

“This is about women coming together and helping children,” she said.

The luncheon is also a chance for people to get to know more about the group and to join. The yearly dues cost $350, but it all goes to the charities. The luncheon is an extra boost for the group.

“There’s really no overhead, so the luncheon proceeds are going straight to them,” Musfelt said.

Hands of Hope will get $300 of the members’ dues with the other $50 going to Iles Golf Academy.

Hands of Hope is a charity which helps children in the Yuba-Sutter area and their families who are homeless. In Yuba-Sutter K-12 schools, 578 children are considered homeless, Musfelt said. The charity helps provide a way for them to wash themselves and get clean clothes.

Iles Golf Academy lets children of any background learn about golf from a club pro for a week. The $50 covers the expenses for one child to learn for a week.

The luncheon will be in the flower building at the Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds at 11:30 a.m. The cost is $35 per person or $300 for a sponsor table for six.

Read more: http://www.appeal-democrat.com/news/children-54808-luncheon-golf.html#ixzz1sMKzhfpt

Woodleaf seeks funds for move

The Woodleaf Outdoor School has kicked off its fundraising drive to get the school moved to a new location before its lease expires in 20 months.

Woodleaf, an outdoor education program for youngsters, is in the middle of its search for a new home after the Younglife organization decided to expand its Christian youth camp program and declined to renew the outdoor school’s lease. Now the school is in negotiations for several locations and is looking for donors to make the move possible.

“We’re starting to get our ducks lined up in a row,” said George Stratman, Woodleaf’s outdoor education director.

The school, which has been at its Yuba foothills location for 38 years, got the news in April that the Colorado-based Christian organization wouldn’t renew its lease. It must move by May 2009.

Stratman has worked at Woodleaf for four years and another 18 years in general outdoor-education positions elsewhere.

His daughter, who is in the fifth grade, will be one of the last students to attend the outdoor school at its current location next year.

However, since she’s the director’s daughter, this won’t be her first trip to Woodleaf.

“She’s definitely a huge Woodleaf fan,” Stratman said.

May 2009 won’t be the end of Woodleaf, program officials have stressed. Stratman is quick to point out that just because the school is moving, doesn’t mean it’s dead or even wounded.

“Our program is alive and well,” he said. “We have a long, rich history behind us and we hope to have a long, rich future ahead of us.”

Donations can be sent to the Woodleaf Foundation, c/o Woodleaf Outdoor School, 970 Klamath Lane, Yuba City, CA 95993. For large donations, contact Gennis Zeller at (530) 822-2950.

Read more: http://www.appeal-democrat.com/news/woodleaf-54751-school-outdoor.html#ixzz1sMMHPbXZ

This Linda Lion is full of pride

Commitment isn’t a problem for Howard Lansdon. He worked for Pacific Gas & Electric for 34 years, he’s been married for 71 years, and he has served with the Linda Lions Club for 53 years.

Lansdon, 89, is the last surviving charter member of the Linda Lions Club, which was founded in 1954. He was surprised at a recent Lions meeting with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

“I was really surprised. Not expecting that at all,” he said.

Lansdon was in the Navy in the 1940s and started working for PG&E at the end of the decade. A few years later, his work pushed him into what was the beginning of the Linda Lions Club.

“PG&E wanted people in the service clubs back then,” Lansdon said.

He didn’t join against his will. Lansdon had always enjoyed helping others, so the idea of joining a group dedicated to that cause was second nature for him.

“I’ve always enjoyed doing things for people,” he said. “When you go, it’s like you’re among friends.”

When Lansdon retired from PG&E in 1982, his commitment to the Lions and helping others didn’t stop. He went around the state with a group of fellow members and visited every Lions chapter to see how they worked. Part of his secret in pulling off this feat was to take advantage of the fact that different clubs meet at different times of the day.

“We’d schedule it right and make it in threes,” he said. “Get one in the morning, one for lunch and another in the evening.”

Now he helps by putting his metalworking skills to good use, whether it’s punching holes in saw blades for a local hardware shop or making trophies out of old gas meters for PG&E.

“I’ve never wanted money out of it; I just wanted to help out,” Lansdon said.

In August, Lansdon and his wife, Dorothy, celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary. He credits the love they’ve shared and the fact they’ve put aside little jealousies that break couples apart, such as money and straying from their spouse.

“It’s no secret really. We just love each other and haven’t let the little things get in the way,” Lansdon said.

The state Senate sent the Lansdons a proclamation celebrating their 70th anniversary last year.

The couple has three children and eight grandchildren. Lansdon said he had great- grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren, but wasn’t sure how many.

“I can’t count that far,” he said, laughing.

Lansdon hasn’t been able to make it to as many Lions meetings as he used to. Not only is he starting to feel his age, but he also is taking care of his wife who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

As much as he loves the Lions, Lansdon has to help his dear wife first.

Read more: http://www.appeal-democrat.com/news/commitment-54752-problem-gas.html#ixzz1sMLZhUqR