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P U B L I C A T I O N S . C O M

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POSTAL CUSTOMER

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POCKET GREENHAVEN SOUTH POCKET LITTLE POCKET

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THE ISLANDS AT RIVERLAKE Many, many upgrades in the single story 3 bedroom 2 bath home. Taro Àoor plan home includes a private profressionally landscaped yard. Hunter Douglas blinds, stainless steel appliances, corian counter, entertainment center, backyard barbeque, and so much more! Amazing! $386,000 MONA GERGEN 247-9555

BRIDGEVIEW AT RIVERLAKE Spacious home features 3 large bedrooms, 3 full baths, a downstairs of¿ce and a large upstairs media room. Downstairs of¿ce could be 4th bedroom. Ready for summer pool, outdoor ¿replace and pleasant outdoor patio space. Also includes an enormous 3-car garage suitable for an RV or boat $739,000 JUSTIN DAVIS 798-3126

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GREENBELT CLOSE Conveniently located Greenhaven 3 bedroom 2 bath home within easy walking distance of the greenbelt. 1908 sf with spacious living room and dining room and large family room with wet bar just off the kitchen, also a breakfast nook. Built-in pool, covered patio and 2-car attached garage. $359,000 KELLIE SWAYNE 206-1458

SOUTH LAND PARK TERRACE Laugh, play, live! Great family home, 3 bedrooms 1½ baths, with deep yard and windows looking out to your own personal paradise. Light and bright. Super spacious living room and family room. Close to transportation, Land Park, midtown restaurants & culture. Enjoy! $399,500 SHEILA VAN NOY 505-5395

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HOLLYWOOD PARK GEM Curb appeal galore for this 3 bedroom home on a great sized lot. Features include original hardwood Àoors, a fantastic kitchen with stone counters, and a dreamy backyard oasis! Newer roof, AC, and mature landscaping. Summer-ready to relax on the patio next to the sparkling pool and waterfall! $330,000 JAMIE RICH 612-4000

ON THE RIVER Sweet Greenhaven 3 bedroom 2 bath home backs to the Sacramento River! 1785 sf with “great room” style, family room and dining area, nicely appointed kitchen with stone counters and breakfast nook. Family room ¿replace, lovely backyard with pool and covered patio. 2-car attached garage. $449,000 MONA GERGEN 247-9555

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QUALITY BUILT HOME Lee Basford built 4 bedroom 3 bath home with two master bedrooms and a remote bedroom. Newer carpet, some new interior and exterior paint and new lighting. Great Àoor plan with separate living/ family rooms. Built-in pool on a wonderful street with many long term neighbors. $419,000 MONA GERGEN 247-9555

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EXCEPTIONAL GREENHAVEN Grangers Dairy area ranch style home, wonderfully updated! 4 bedrooms 3 full baths with master suite and a remote bedroom. Covered patio, pool and spa, ready for summer! Two ¿replaces, dual pane windows, spacious kitchen, family room and formal dining area. 3-car garage. $520,000 MONA GERGEN 247-9555

GORGEOUS IN THE RIVERS Prestigious West Sacramento community, 5 bedroom 3½ bath home is an entertainer’s dream with lots of space, beautiful Àoors, high ceilings and a beautiful contemporary kitchen. It’s conveniently located close to downtown Sacramento and Raley Field. $579,000 ALEXIS JONES 715-0237


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COVER ARTIST Micah Crandall Bear Micah Crandall Bear shows regularly and his reputation has brought him consistent commissions and support from both personal and public collectors. He can be found in his sun-lit, urban studio where he paints almost every day on his current series, Develop. Bear is represented by the EF Gallery in Midtown and a show of his work will run the month of June.

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Commentary reflects the views of the writers and does not necessarily reflect those of Inside Publications. Inside Publications is delivered for free to more than 65,000 households in Sacramento. Printing and distribution costs are paid entirely by advertising revenue. We spotlight selected advertisers, but all other stories are determined solely by our editorial staff and are not influenced by advertising. No portion may be reproduced mechanically or electronically without written permission of the publisher. All ad designs & editorial—©

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Sweet Music THE TIME IS RIGHT FOR A REVIVED SACRAMENTO PHILHARMONIC & OPERA

we enjoyed went bankrupt in the mid-’90s. Like us, many people were deeply disappointed. When Sacramento Philharmonic was born the next year, it was composed almost entirely of the same orchestra members, but it kept a significantly shorter schedule. Still, the new group stumbled, not because of its musical talent, but because of organizational issues. During its first two years, it was plagued by problems with management and artistic leadership. But over a short time, it developed a reputation as a leading orchestra in the Central Valley, and we enjoyed almost every concert we attended over almost two decades.

BY CECILY HASTINGS

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PUBLISHER’S DESK

his month marks the return of Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera. The groups joined forces a few years ago but canceled their 2014-15 season when funds dried up. They gave their last concert in April 2014. Now, it looks like our community has a real treat coming up in the next year. With the downtown renaissance underway, the timing for a newly strengthened, reinvented Sacramento orchestra seems perfect. In the past decade, the orchestra gave a handful of one-night performances at the Community Center Theater during the traditional October-to-April season. That’s pretty sad considering even Modesto and Fresno have symphonies that regularly perform more than 40 times a year. I’ll spare the “world-class city” talk, but it seems to me that a thriving orchestra is an important ingredient in a wellcultured capital city. In fact, last fall Sacramento was the only American city of its size to not have an active symphony. I am grateful to have grown up with culturally oriented parents who took us to all the family concerts that my hometown of Detroit had to offer.

Sac Philharmonic & Opera is staging a series of 27 music “Art Invasions” all over the city this month.

Members of Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera at an Art Invasion performance

My first live musical memory was of a dramatic performance of Sergei Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf.” It’s a delightful children’s story spoken by a narrator while accompanied by an orchestra. I can still remember the gilded art-deco theater and my adolescent sense of wonder. Those experiences and my parents’ encouragement led me to learn to play the flute and perform in my high

school orchestra. I sold the flute to help pay my college tuition after I figured my talents lay elsewhere. (I held first chair for only one day!) My orchestral appreciation waned in the ’80s but came back when I moved to Sacramento with my husband and found we shared an interest in live orchestral performance. The once-thriving Sacramento Symphony Orchestra

Our business was new in 1996, but we sponsored advertising for the orchestra almost every year. We traded ads for tickets and invited employees, friends and family to attend what for many was their first live orchestral performance. The orchestra’s current revival is led by a new executive director, Alice Sauro, who brings 29 years of career success as a musician and a manager of performing arts organizations. She was with the Detroit Symphony PUBLISHER page 9

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Return to Sender? UNANSWERED EMAILS HAVE POCKET RESIDENTS WONDERING WHAT’S UP

BY R.E. GRASWICH

F

POCKET BEAT

or some of us, answering work-related emails is a pleasure, vastly more efficient than leaving a voice message or, heaven knows, engaging in a phone conversation with a frustrated person you have never met. Emailed responses can be courteous, decisive and impersonal— no need to start a pen-pal relationship or wade into a circular argument. A simple “Thanks for the note. Appreciate your comments” takes 10 seconds, acknowledges the sender and often closes the discussion.

Kim’s attitude hadn’t changed a bit in the nearly three years since I left city hall. She was terrific. And best of all, emails are traceable—proof that, yes, we exchanged notes and everything was handled on a courteous, professional level.

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Which is why I was surprised when I began to get notes from Inside Pocket readers complaining that they had emailed City Councilmember Rick Jennings and received nothing back—not even an acknowledgment that the emails had been received and sent to trash. This suggested bad form by our newly elected councilmember, a guy who needed all the love he could get after he created a major controversy for himself before taking office. The unanswered emails were all about the same issue: public access to the Sacramento River Parkway levee, parts of which have been barricaded by a few residents who use outdated, deceptive and even illegal methods

to guard their exclusive access to the waterway. Jennings waded into this issue before he was sworn into office. He fell for discredited claims by several homeowners that they needed levee gates and fences to protect themselves from drunken teenagers. (In fact, the residents themselves were the only people cited or arrested by police for assault.) The controversy generated tons of interest. Pocket residents were fired up: Unsung neighborhood heroes had spent years trying to pry open the river gates for the rest of us, without much success. So why wasn’t Jennings answering emails? For the answer, I turned (of course) to email. I wrote Jennings and his

chief of staff, Dennis Rogers, and asked if they had a policy against responding to certain emails, or if their failure to respond simply reflected incompetence. Yes, it was a loaded question. At first, neither Jennings nor Rogers responded. But soon enough, I began a pleasant correspondence with Kim Blackwell, who carries the title “executive assistant” in Jennings’ office. I’ve known Blackwell for many years. We worked a few doors down from each other at city hall when I was special assistant to Mayor Kevin Johnson and she was handling constituent matters for Councilmember Bonnie Pannell. POCKET BEAT page 10


PUBLISHER FROM page 5 Orchestra (coincidentally the first live orchestra I ever heard) before she moved to the Bay Area last year. Sauro is bringing together a team of experts from her previous positions in an attempt to build a successful orchestra with an enduring future. Sac Philharmonic & Opera is staging a series of 27 "Art Invasions” performances all over the city this month. The goal is to reach people who have never experienced a formal orchestral performance. But that’s just a warm-up. Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera will kick off its 2015-16 season on Saturday, June 27, with an openingnight celebration featuring Mahler’s monumental Symphony No. 2, aptly titled “Resurrection.” Many people consider it one of the greatest musical masterpieces of the past two centuries. The seven-concert season will end May 7, 2016, with Beethoven’s immortal Symphony No. 9. Here’s an added incentive to attend: Ticket pricing has been rolled back to 2003 levels—an average savings of 50 percent over previous pricing. It’s all part of the organization’s patron-friendly pricing philosophy. Subscription packages start at $125 for seven concerts and are on sale now at sacphilopera.org

NEW PERFORMING ARTS CENTER LOCATIONS IDENTIFIED A civic task force evaluating options for a new performing arts center has been working hard to find workable solutions to replace the Community Center Theater. The group’s preferred design is a 2,200seat theater that has the flexibility to go smaller for ballet, opera and orchestral performances, along with a small rehearsal hall. Four possible locations have been identified: the east side of 16th Street between J and K streets, the east side of 16th Street between I and J streets, Lot X near Crocker Art Museum and the railyards north of the downtown. The next three to six months will be much more challenging for the task force as its members attempt to figure

out where to find the $200 million needed to construct the center. (This estimate doesn’t include land costs or operation expenses.) Private money could come from the sale of naming rights, corporate sponsorships and foundation grants, plus large private donations and a grass-roots campaign seeking smaller donations. City, state and federal funding also needs to be explored, along with the possibility of a new sales tax (an idea that was floated and then shelved a few years ago) and the possible leveraging of city real estate assets. Members of the task force agree that building a new center is preferable to spending up to $50 million to upgrade the 2,400-seat Community Center Theater, which at 41 years is well past its prime.

MORE ON FAUX TURF My column last month on artificial turf elicited some interesting responses. A few readers misunderstood my point and thought I was encouraging the “plasticization” of our natural world. That was certainly my not intent. I appreciate natural materials a great deal and tend to prefer them. But man-made materials are everywhere, from our clothing, furniture and carpeting to children’s playthings. The new McKinley Park playground has a significant amount of man-made materials incorporated into its design for durability and safety. After reading the column, a city councilmember commented that once plastic turf becomes commonplace, the demand for plastic plants and trees won’t be far behind. But turf is different. It has shallow roots that need frequent and ample watering. Shrubs and trees differ can grow deep roots that keep them alive in periods of drought. A landscape designer wrote and wondered if faux turf is water permeable. It is. The base material is perforated to allow water to seep through. She said she could see how permeable turf could be incorporated into the palette of materials for drought-tolerant landscape design. Another reader sent me information

from another city that doesn’t outlaw faux turf but still discourages it. Yet another reader loved the idea of faux turf as a way to preserve the precious water that keeps our deeprooted trees healthy. They provide shade that helps keep ambient temperatures down, which means less need for energy-hogging air conditioning. A number of other readers reported that they have already installed faux turf in their front yards and that no one—not even their next-door neighbors—has noticed. They all said they love it and reported no regrets whatsoever. Another reader calculated he could recoup the cost of installing a faux lawn within about two years when he considered his annual lawn service costs. Another reader suggested we need to reconsider our traditional Englishbased landscape design ideas in light of the drought and focus much less on expanses of turf and more on design that uses a variety of drought-tolerant materials, plants and trees. I totally agree. But we have neighborhoods

FREE SAC PHILHARMONIC & OPERA ‘INVASIONS ’: Central Library: Wednesday, June 3, at noon Belle Cooledge Library: Thursday, June 4, at 3 p.m. North Natomas Library: Tuesday, June 9, at 6 p.m. Clunie Community Center: Tuesday, June 16, at 6:30 p.m. with tens of thousands of traditional thirsty landscapes to convert. It will take time and funds to accomplish. And while the current drought may be long and painful, history shows drought is always followed by much longer periods of abundant rain in California. I was heartened when several city officials indicated they are not enforcing the current ban on faux turf and said that the law could be changed soon. Faux grass may not be a perfect solution. But in landscape design, there are always trade-offs. Cecily Hastings can be reached at publisher@insidepublications.com n

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Kim’s attitude hadn’t changed a bit in the nearly three years since I left city hall. She was terrific. She covered for her boss. (Jennings was out of town and unable to respond immediately, she wrote.) And there was this: “I will make certain to bring it to his attention ASAP and will ask that he get back to you.” That was classic Kim, demonstrating how things should be handled: efficiently, politely, no nonsense. I thanked her and said I still expected Jennings to explain why so many constituent emails—at least eight had been called to my attention—were going unanswered. A couple of days later, Jennings wrote back. (He stopped talking to me a few months ago, once the levee fence issue heated up, and lately we’ve communicated via text and email.) His note was lengthy, 217 words, or just 55 fewer than history’s undisputed champion in the economical use of language, the Gettysburg Address. And Jennings didn’t have a lot to say—basically, that his policy was to respond to emails in 24 hours, or 48 hours if questions were complex. He said he liked to use social media to spread information. Near the end, he wrote, “The overwhelming number of my constituents have been extremely satisfied. Can I do better? Of course, and I will.” Of the 217 words in Jennings’ email, those were the ones that mattered: “Can I do better? Of course ... ”

For six months, I’ve been trying to figure out why Jennings got off to such a bad start, why he let himself get hustled by homeowners along the levee, why he wasn’t more forceful in his approach to revoking levee fence permits and tearing down barricades. After all, he’s been consistent in support for river parkway access.

Pocket residents were fired up: Unsung neighborhood heroes had spent years trying to pry open the river gates for the rest of us, without much success. The problem, as the 217-word email illustrates, is that Jennings tends to take the long way around before admitting an error. He wants to be loved. He analyzes things to death. He’s stubborn. And he’s worried about the next mistake. But he’ll get better. And here’s how we can help. Send more emails to rjennings@ cityofsacramento.org. Say we’re together in the fight for public access. And tell him it’s OK to be a little less than perfect. R.E. Graswich can be reached at reg@graswich.com n

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New Cop on the Block LOCAL RESIDENT OVERSEES PATROL OPERATIONS FOR THE NEIGHBORHOOD

BY SHANE SINGH POCKET LIFE

O

ur neighborhood has a new police lieutenant overseeing patrol operations in Greenhaven and the Pocket: Lt. Pamela Seyffert. Seyffert is an inspiration for young people hoping to work for the Sacramento police department. She decided to become a law enforcement officer when she was an 18-year-old student at Sacramento State. A group of her friends were going to take the police department’s written exam and encouraged her to come along. She did. Seyffert passed the written exam and moved on to the physical agility tests. Before she knew it, she was a serious prospect, undergoing a background check. In 1989, she was hired as a community service officer. Seyffert attended the police academy in 1989 and became an officer at 21. The year was 1990. “I guess it’s fair to say I had nothing better to do the day that first test was given,” she says. “I kind of fell into police work.” After becoming a lieutenant, she started on patrol as a graveyard watch commander. She moved to the forensics and neighborhood crimes division, then to the major crimes division, which investigates homicides, sex assaults, child abuse

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and gangs. She returned to patrol last November, working as a swing-shift watch commander for an area that includes Pocket-Greenhaven. Seyffert likes the Pocket for many reasons. She has lived in several areas of the city, including downtown, East Sac, Curtis Park and the Pocket, which she now calls home. “They all have their own unique vibe,” she says. “The Pocket is quiet but is also close enough to downtown that I can enjoy all it has to offer. I like my neighbors and the sense of security that the Pocket has to offer, and I love the diversity.” After years of budget cutbacks, the police department is hiring again. Seyffert has some advice for potential applicants. “For any young person who wants a career in law enforcement, realize that your job interview is starting right now,” she says. “With the strict background process, it’s important to have a strong moral compass and to avoid situations that would sully your character.” She says you don’t have to major in criminal justice to become a law enforcement officer. “We are diverse people with different interests. The academy and field training will teach you all you need to know to be a police officer. So if you are interested in something like science or math or business, it’s OK to pursue those interests in college,” Seyffert says. In addition, a broad educational background provides candidates something to fall back on in case they decide law enforcement is not for them. “Law enforcement is a great career,” she says. “It is challenging, interesting, fun and sometimes heartbreaking, but I have always considered it a privilege that I get

Sacramento Police Department Lt. Pamela Seyffert is the new police lieutenant overseeing patrol operations in Greenhaven and the Pocket

to show up and touch someone’s life during one of their worst moments. If you want to be a police officer, it cannot be for money or personal recognition; you won’t last long. You really have to have a passion to go out and make a difference in your community one contact and one call at a time.” For more information on how to become a Sacramento police officer, go to cityofsacramento.org/police or call 808-0880.

FOND FAREWELL Chad Sweitzer, an outstanding principal at John F. Kennedy High School for the past five years, was recently promoted to area superintendent for Sacramento City Unified School District. Sweitzer is a product of Kennedy, from which he graduated in 1990. His fondest memories, he says, were

of “the campus climate and school spirit. It always seemed like there was music in the quad and kids playing Frisbee or Hacky Sack at lunch. All of the sports games were full of students cheering on our teams.” According to Sweitzer, his teen years at Kennedy prepared him for a career in education. “While at Kennedy, I spent a lot of time with coaches and physical education teachers,” he says, noting that the father of one of his best friends was a coach and PE teacher. “He had a great impact on my life, leading me to a career in education. All of my classes at Kennedy prepared me academically to be successful in college.” He began working for Sacramento City Unified School District in 2001 as a counselor and athletic director at Luther Burbank High School. Sweitzer moved to Kennedy as a vice principal, then to Sutter Middle




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applicants for the principal position at Kennedy. We congratulate Sweitzer on his new position, knowing he will forever bleed “Green and Gold” in support of his JFK Cougars.

SUMMER READING KICK-OFF Robbie Waters Pocket-Greenhaven Library (“The Robbie”) will hold its annual Summer Reading kick-off party on Saturday, June 6, at 11 a.m. The party will feature a presentation by the Ohana Dance Group. The group uses traditional hula to expose people to Hawaiian culture and music. For more information, go to saclibrary.org

POP-UP PHILHARMONIC Chad Sweitzer, principal at John F. Kennedy High School for the past five years, was recently promoted to area superintendent for Sacramento City Unified School District

School, where he served as principal. Finally, he returned to Kennedy in the top job in 2010. Success has accompanied each stop. Says parent Jean Seaton, “We have really appreciated the extra effort and dedication to students that Principal Chad has provided to our two children. We will miss him.” Sweitzer is known for his ability to connect with students and the Pocket-Greenhaven community. “I’m most proud of changing our school climate back to that of what my memories of school were and increasing our enrollment each year with our neighborhood students,” he says. “Many students were leaving each year to go to other schools in the district and private schools. We

made a commitment as a staff to have great relationships with students, focus on our teaching and academics, and provide a safe climate for our students.” Sweitzer says he will greatly miss the Kennedy community of students, staff and parents. “I’ve spent many countless hours here at Kennedy trying to make positive changes and ensuring our students are prepared for life. I have many great relationships with the community and will miss that,” he says. “Rest assured,” he adds, “you will be in good hands when I’m gone!” According to area school board trustee Darrel Woo, a community committee will be appointed to vet all

“The Robbie” recently hosted Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera, which performed at the library as part of its Art Invasion program. These orchestral pop-ups continue at other local libraries for the next several weeks. For the schedule, go to sacphilopera.org

POCKET HOT RODS The first-ever Pocket Hot Rods and Classics meet-and-greet for car enthusiasts will take place Sunday, June 7, from noon to 4 p.m. at 6355 Riverside Blvd. in Prudential Dunnigan Real Estate’s parking lot. Fred Wood is organizing the event. “I know that there are a number of cars around in garages that no one sees,” he says. “My friends and I are just trying to get them out in the open and to meet other car enthusiasts

in our neighborhood. I’ve loved cars since my high school days and have worked on them most of my life.” Wood’s garage holds a 1932 Ford Roadster and a 1937 Ford coupe. He encourages residents to bring their classic cars and hot rods and say hello to fellow enthusiasts. Wood will serve soft drinks and water. There is no need to RSVP, but you can contact Wood at (310) 650-3991 or nightwind250@hotmail.com

BASKETBALL CAMP John F. Kennedy High School will host its annual Little Cougar Basketball Camp for boys and girls in grades three through eight July 20 to 24. The camp runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Proceeds support Kennedy’s boys and girls basketball teams. For more information, email coach Robert Fong at Robert-Fong@scusd.edu

SUMMER HOT SPOT FOR TEENS Starting June 12, City Councilmember Rick Jennings and the parks department will sponsor a free Friday-night event for teens called D7 Hot Spot at School of Engineering & Sciences. Hot Spot offers a safe place for young men and women ages 13 to 19 to socialize and participate in organized activities such as basketball. Snacks will be served. The school is at 7345 Gloria Drive. For more information, call 808-6789. Shane Singh can be reached at shane@shanesingh.com n

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Who Controls the Budget? A FLOOD OF NEW CITY SPENDING AS FISCAL CLIFF LOOMS

BY CRAIG POWELL INSIDE CITY HALL

B

y all accounts, John Shirey likes his job as Sacramento’s city manager and wants to keep it. With his contract expiring this month, his continued tenure as city manager depends on doing what Kevin Johnson and his five closest council allies want him to do with the city budget for next year. And they want 20 new programs, projects and initiatives and loads of new city spending, all outlined in the mayor’s and council’s memorandum of budget priorities, notwithstanding a looming fiscal cliff that the city manager projects will drive the city’s general fund into red ink starting in the following fiscal year, followed by annual deficits that will reach $44 million two years thereafter. And the $44 million projected deficit assumes no further hikes in city labor costs after current labor contracts expire, and no recession in the next five years: both very questionable assumptions. Shirey’s budget message states unequivocally that “expenditures continue to outpace revenue growth in future fiscal years” and that “current expenditure commitments

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are unsustainable.” To protect his job, Shirey is giving the mayor and his allies almost all of the new spending they want in the new budget. But he’s making it crystal clear that the council’s lack of fiscal discipline is leading the city into “unsustainable” (meaning dangerous) financial waters. Welcome to what city hall insiders are now calling “strong mayor through the back door,” an acknowledgement that the mayor has successfully wrested control of the all-important city budget from our supposedly “strong” city manager, despite the drubbing the strongmayor initiative received from city voters last November.

Welcome to what city hall insiders are now calling “strong mayor through the back door.” How did Johnson engineer such a de facto coup? First, he used his council majority to rewrite council rules to create a powerful new budget and audit committee, chaired by the mayor himself, to provide highly detailed early directions—not suggestions—to the city manager on what new spending and programs he wanted to see included in the city manager’s budget, upending the normal budget dance initiated by the manager. A city manager ignores a clear council directive at his professional peril. So Shirey swallowed his misgivings and gave

the mayor and his allies what they wanted: $21.4 million of the $23 million they “directed” be spent.

But Johnson appears more interested in asserting control over the budget than collaborating with the city manager. The problem is that a council majority issuing a budget directive to the city manager is focusing only on what politicians do best: spending taxpayer money. They give little to no thought to whether the city has the financial means to make good on their lengthy spending wish list. By directing a city manager to increase spending and launch 20 new programs, they put the city manager—who has the responsibility to present a balanced budget—into an almost impossible box. He has three choices: He can issue a budget that includes the spending the council wants even if it puts the city in fiscal peril; he can refuse to follow the council’s direction on spending and likely find himself out of a job; or he can resign rather than take an action that he knows would be perilous for the city he manages. None of these choices is good for a city. Smart mayors and city councils avoid “my way or the highway” budget directives to their city managers by developing a collaborative relationship with them

that includes regular feedback on possible new spending, particularly feedback on fiscal limits and realities. But Johnson appears more interested in asserting control over the budget than collaborating with the city manager. He seems to want to kick off a slew of new programs, initiatives and spending rather than acknowledging the coming fiscal cliff and preparing for a soft landing when the city goes over it in 2019.

BUDGET RECAP The city’s annual budget is close to breaking through the $1 billion level, with a total budget next year of $940 million, $403.8 million of which is for the general fund, up $20.6 million or 5 percent from last year. (The general fund pays for police, fire, parks and other general government operations.) The $536 million remainder of the budget mostly relates to city utility services. (Note: The city is considering a ballot measure next year to raise the storm drainage rate, as you might have guessed if you received one of the city surveys that included classic pushpolling questions designed to soften voters up to approve a rate hike.) What programs are receiving new funding this year? In the police department, $1 million will be spent to create a new pipeline of candidates to increase minority hiring in the police department. A like amount will be spent on police sensitivity training. A pilot program to install body cameras on police officers will be launched. In the fire department, two new fire stations will be built at a


One strategy being used by the city manager to minimize the financial impact of new spending is to funnel most new spending into one-time expenditures, avoiding the need for layoffs when such funding is not repeated in subsequent years.

Why Do You Live in

The Pocket?

But the segregation of Measure U tax proceeds into a separate account ignores a fundamental and immutable attribute of money: It is fungible.

e er

me: ared with h s e v a h s lient my c s n a so

“Love the location; easy to get to Downtown and other areas.”

few of t

The city’s handling of proceeds of the Measure U one-half-percent “temporary” sales tax hike is bringing out the city’s worst budgetary practices. The first level of deception is the sales job proponents of the tax did in convincing the voting public that the tax hike—now bringing in $41 million per year—would “only be used to restore services” and “wouldn’t be used to increase employee compensation.” To dress up this fiction, the city council created a Measure U citizens oversight committee designed to ensure that the proceeds from Measure U are spent only as promised in the campaign that won passage of the measure. And that committee has dutifully reported that the funds were spent as promised.

h

THE MEASURE U SHELL GAME

He r e ar ea

total cost of $10 million to replace two obsolete stations. A cool $2.1 million will be spent to create a new central city strategic plan, part of the mayor’s very ambitious initiative to build 10,000 new housing units in downtown over the next 10 years. If just the plan will cost taxpayers $2.1 million, one can only shudder at the likely cost to taxpayers of inducing (i.e., subsidizing) the construction of 10,000 new homes. Speaking of which, how pressing a public need is it to add 10,000 new homes downtown? Perhaps authors of the plan would be wise to study how Midtown has flowered as a residential area in the past 30 years without costly public subsidies or heavy intrusion by planners. City parks are getting seven more park maintenance workers, on top of the 22 park worker positions restored in recent years, bringing the positions restored that had been lost in the recession up from 25 percent to 33 percent—still a much lower restoration level than police and fire (which lost no positions at all in the recession). The best news for parks is that the city manager is proposing $2 million be used to fund basic repairs like replacing unreliable and leaky sprinkler systems, broken sidewalks and playground equipment, broken and missing drinking fountains and park tables, essentially attending to long-neglected maintenance items in city parks. But here’s the catch: The budget proposes that repairs be made only to parks located in certain “priority neighborhoods,” a designation not yet defined, but intended to be poorer neighborhoods. City government will explicitly discriminate against certain neighborhoods and favor others in the delivery of a basic city service, based essentially on political pull at city hall. Expect a firestorm of opposition to this gem of an idea, which would pit neighborhoods against one other in an ongoing fight for the delivery of a basic city service. The homeless housing initiative will receive $1.1 million, the animal shelter will get six new employees, and $650,000 of street lighting will be added downtown near the new arena.

5

“Inviting bike trails and easy walking.” “Very little trafÀc and no crowds.” “Great parks and easy, quick access to the river.”

“The schools are highly rated and our boy love them.”

“The Pocket still has exceptional values” “You cannot Ànd friendlier and nicer people anywhere. We truly are a community.”

“The nice thing is, these are some of the same reasons I moved to The Pocket years ago.” — Carol Crestelo

Looking to Buy or Sell, just give us a call! Scott Mercer

Realtor/Broker Associate

916-216-0571 But the segregation of Measure U tax proceeds into a separate account ignores a fundamental and immutable attribute of money: It is fungible. The city has used its Measure U account to hire new city staff and its general fund to hand out major pay raises to city staff. It doesn’t matter if you put one source of money into one of your front pockets and another source into CITY HALL page 16

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Carol Crestelo Realtor

916-203-8998 CA BRE #01380554

CITY HALL page 14

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CITY HALL FROM page 15 your other front pocket. When you spend it, it’s all coming out of your pockets. So to say that new hires are being paid out of one account while pay hikes are being paid out of another is a creative accounting fiction. Measure U was a general tax hike that generally increased city revenues. In the past year, the city has approved multiyear pay hikes that will increase city police salaries by 10.5 percent and firefighter salaries by 12 percent, plus the added pension costs such pay hikes will trigger down the road. Those pay hikes wouldn’t have been possible without the new revenues from Measure U, taking pressure off the general fund to restore positions lost in the recession. The second budget fiction of Measure U concerns the council’s attitude about its “temporary” nature. It may have been sold as a temporary tax, and voters may have bought the idea that it was a temporary tax, but cynical councilmembers were already talking about their plans to make the tax

hike permanent within two months of its passage in 2012. While the tax technically expires on March 1, 2019, you can take it to the bank that the city council will put an extension of the tax on the ballot before its expiration date. You can see the strategy in the council’s resistance to proposals from the city manager to taper down Measure U spending as the expiration date nears. Under the original rules adopted by the council when Measure U was approved, the city manager was formally charged with the responsibility for coming up with ways to continue funding positions after U expired. The latest revision of those rules, recently adopted, dropped even the pretense of requiring the city manager to identify alternative sources for Measure U-funded positions. The city manager, whose job requires him to be fiscally responsible, is now proposing that the council put a year’s worth of Measure U tax revenues (about $41 million) in reserve to ease the transition. But

he’s getting pushback from members of the budget and audit committee who take the position that the city should spend every last dime of revenues from Measure U since their plan is to seek voter approval of an extension of the tax.

NEW MAYORAL STAFF While the mayor wants to control the city budget, he apparently doesn’t want the public to know the full extent of his ballooning mayoral staff. Here’s the story: In the proposed city budget, the mayor, who currently has seven full-time staffers, is slated to see his staff increase to nine. (City councilmembers, who have 2.5 employees each, aren’t slated to see any increase in staff, although they can use their $400,000 annual office budget, set to rise to $425,000 next year, to hire more staff.) But it turns out that the city manager’s office budget is slated to see an increase in three staffers who would “liaise” with the mayor’s office (city cost: $457,000, or about $152,000

for each staffer). In fact, the three new hires will be mayoral staffers in all respects except that their pay and benefits will be booked through the city manager’s office budget. So how much has the mayor’s budget grown in recent years? It rose from $550,000 in 2013 to $940,000 this year and $1.1621 million next year, plus the $457,000 cost of the three mayoral staffers being parked on the city manager’s office budget, bringing the total mayoral budget for next year to $1.61 million—almost 300 percent increase in his budget in just three years. The $657,000 cost of the five new hires to the mayor’s staff next year would be enough money to restore 13 park maintenance worker positions, which would bring the percentage of park worker positions lost in the recession that have since been restored up to nearly 50 percent . Craig Powell is a local attorney, businessman, community activist and president of Eye on Sacramento, a civic watchdog and policy group. He can be reached at craig@ eyeonsacramento.org or 718-3030. n

Another reason to have the right living trust: Your son-in-law, Kyle… • • • • •

His idea of commitment is a two-year gym membership. He brags about once having three girlfriends in two states. He often travels alone to Las Vegas “for business.” He may be over 30, but he still parties like he’s 21. He’s sure your daughter is ridiculously lucky to have him in her life.

Could some of your daughter’s inheritance end up with him? Visit wyattlegal.com and call me for a free consultation. Protect your family from the “Kyle” in your life.

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Great Taste ANNUAL FOOD AND DRINK EVENT RETURNS FOR 14TH YEAR

partnership with Unger Construction, promises much more square footage—15,000, to be exact—and plenty of parking, as well as other retail spaces that have yet to be determined. Though not much has been decided about the retail space, which is said to have been sold by the nonprofit Community Resource Project, Inc. for $2.6 million, all parties involved are excited about the future, which will see the existing building reimagined rather than demolished. The 1.9-acre property is ideally situated with a direct line to downtown via 10th Street and into West Sacramento with a bridge that’s currently in the works at the end of Broadway.

BY JESSICA LASKEY LIFE IN THE CITY

C

elebrate summertime with Land Park’s favorite annual gourmet get-together, A Taste of Land Park, on Sunday, June 7, from 4 to 7 p.m. on 12th Avenue. This rockin’ block party hosted by Land Park Community Association will feature food and drinks from several local restaurants, breweries and wineries; live music by the all-Land-Park rock ’n’ roll band LP Drive (headed by 13th Avenue resident Jack Morris); the infamous Wall of Wine; an Artist’s Corner; and plenty of hobnobbing with your neighbors. Although the alcohol at the festivities means that only adults ages 21 and over are allowed, the little ones can have even more fun at Planet Gymnastics, which will provide childcare for kids ages 5 to 12 during the event. If you’ve attended in years past, make sure you go to the right street: This year’s new venue is on 12th Avenue, with entrance on 17th Street. (As event marketing manager Sydney Young explains, “It was time to give the generous residents on 14th Street a break!”) But all of the fun and festivities that you remember will be just as jumpin’ this time around—the event is now in its 14th year!

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IT’S SHOWTIME!

Celebrate summertime with Land Park’s favorite annual gourmet get-together, A Taste of Land Park, on Sunday, June 7, from 4 to 7 p.m.

To purchase tickets, visit landpark. org or stop in at Vic’s Ice Cream (3199 Riverside Blvd.) or Espresso Metro (2104 11th Ave.).

SOMETHING’S COOKING Good news for foodie fans of the Selland Family Restaurants’

renowned eatery The Kitchen: Sacramento’s favorite high-end restaurant will relocate to Broadway by the end of 2016, according to an article published April 24 in Sacramento Business Journal. The restaurant is currently located on a lot on Hurley Way that has limited parking. The new space at 915 Broadway, being redeveloped in

For Curtis Park music lovers, the start of summer means one very important thing: the return of Music in the Park, the free summer concert series held the last Sunday of the month at the north end of Curtis Park. The series kicks off this year on Sunday, June 28. Thanks to the efforts of event host Sierra Curtis Neighborhood Association, you can bring the whole family to watch the setting sun from the comfort of a blanket spread out on the grass, tuck into a picnic dinner and listen to guest musical acts. For more information, visit sierra2. org.

CALLING OUT THE CORPS We all appreciate the beauty of Land Park, but during this extreme drought, it needs your help more than LIFE IN THE CITY page 20


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LIFE IN THE CITY FROM page 18 ever. Join the Land Park Volunteer Corps on Saturday, June 6, at 8 a.m. for its monthly park cleanup. Volunteers will help with the usual clearing of weeds, overgrown bushes and tree suckers. But even more important this time of year is the mulching of every tree in the park to keep them from dying due to lack of moisture. Many of the park’s redwoods are in dire condition, so it’s up to the Corps to keep them healthy. If you’ve noticed dozens of new barbecues cropping up, that’s thanks to the Corps’ dedicated Action Team headed by Forrest Neff. Neff and his team members work to improve facilities, repair and paint park tables and benches and make other critical repairs that are no longer performed by the city. So tuck into the free breakfast provided by Espresso Metro and get to work weeding, mulching and raking to keep the park thriving for current residents and future generations alike. For more information, contact lead coordinator Craig Powell at 718-3030 or ckpinsacto@aol.com. Donations are always welcome and can be sent to: Land Park Volunteer Corps, 3053 Freeport Blvd. #231, Sacramento, CA 95818. The Corps meets at Base Camp behind Fairytale Town (3901 Land Park Drive).

ONE-STOP SUMMER SHOP If you’re looking for a place where kids can run free, take in some theater, carouse at a campout and indulge in ice cream, look no further than Fairytale Town, which hosts a variety of activities this month to entertain tykes of all ages. Does your little one love storytelling? Then purchase a $1 ticket ($2 for nonmembers) to The Puppet Company’s performance of “Anansi, The Spider” on Saturday June 6, and Sunday, June 7, at 12:30, 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. The visiting puppet company will use hand and rod puppets with authentic African music, colorful costuming and classical African design to tell the tale of the tiny spider Anansi, who goes on a quest to win the golden box of stories from the sky god Nyami to bring to the children of Earth. The show is perfect for all ages.

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The King of Feasts will take place on Saturday, June 20

Looking for something the whole family can enjoy together? Sign up for the Family Campout from 5:30 p.m. Friday, June 19, through 7 a.m. Saturday, June 20. This exciting overnight adventure includes a theater performance, arts and crafts activities, a scavenger hunt, bedtime stories and a sing-along, as well as a light continental breakfast the following morning. Prices range from $25 to $30 per person and include all activities. (Member discounts are available.) Now that the summer heat has returned, cool off and kick back at A Midsummer Night’s Dream & Crystal Ice Cream Fantasy on Saturday, June 27, from 5 to 9 p.m. Celebrate William Shakespeare’s popular fairy-filled play while enjoying all-you-can-eat Crystal ice cream at multiple ice cream tasting stations, live entertainment by Celtic rock band Tempest, handson activities, no-host food and bar, a marketplace and more. Costumes are encouraged, and the evening will be emceed by Mix 96’s Dan & Michelle. For tickets and more information, call 808-7462 or visit fairytaletown.org. Still looking for a way to keep the kids entertained during these long summer days? Fairytale Town’s FunCamps are in full swing this month, each designed for a specific age group and featuring a unique theme, including visual and theater arts, literature, puppetry, animals, gardening and more.

For children ages 4 to 6, check out Farmer Brown’s Junior Farmers June 15 to 19 from 9 a.m. to noon, which introduces campers to the daily regimens that keep Fairytale Town’s friendly flock of farm animals fit and healthy. Or there’s RockSchool June 22 to 26 from 9 a.m. to noon, where campers can channel their inner rock star and have some hands-on experience with several instruments, including guitar, bass, drums and keyboard. For kids ages 7 through 9, check out Adventure Play June 15 to 19 from 1 to 4 p.m., where children learn about the natural world through science-based experiments and discovery play. For more theatrical tykes, try Curtains Up! June 22 to 26 from 1 to 4 p.m., where campers will learn all aspects of theater, from acting and scriptwriting to costume design and prop construction. For more information about all Fairytale Town goings-on, call 808-7462 or visit fairytaletown.org. Fairytale Town is at 3901 Land Park Drive.

MERCY ME! Congratulations are in order for the six inspirational high school seniors who received scholarships from Mercy General Hospital Guild for their exceptional volunteerism— over 800 hours!—as part of the Junior Volunteers program.

All six Junior Volunteers received scholarships of $1,500 each during an awards dinner on April 16 to further their studies in the medical field. Scholarship recipients are Katherine Diamond from St. Francis High School; Ashley Dong from West Campus High School; Louise Jensen and Christopher John from Davis Senior High School; Sophie Parsh from John F. Kennedy High School; and Matthew Sy from Franklin High School. Congratulations to these dedicated young men and women—here’s hoping we’ll see you one day in the doctor’s office on the other side of the stethoscope!

WILD SUMMER NIGHTS Get ready to party hearty at the Sacramento Zoo this month—between bingo, live music and a gourmet luau, it’s bound to get wild! Practice your “Bingo!” shout prior to the zoo’s Bingo Night on Thursday, June 4, from 5 to 8:30 pm at Florin Road Bingo. Your ticket to this fun fundraiser includes dinner, nonalcoholic drinks and eight rounds of bingo with the chance to win cash prizes. You can also enjoy the no-host bar, enter the raffle for fabulous prizes and meet some of the zoo’s Animal Ambassadors. Seating is

LIFE IN THE CITY page 23


It’s your turn for some TLC. Join us for Care Begins with Me, Sacramento’s premier annual health and lifestyle event focusing on inspiration and connection. Thursday, October 1, 2015, from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel. Attend care talks with Dignity Health doctors, and hear from our featured keynote speaker Melanie Shankle. We’ll also have a lifestyle, fashion, and beauty galleria, along with gourmet food and drinks. Register today at CareBeginsWithMe.org. And don’t forget to bring friends—because of course you care about them, too.

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For the Birds THIS GROUP TAKES IN LOST FLEDGLINGS AND VULNERABLE WILDLIFE

BY TERRY KAUFMAN LOCAL HEROES

S

ometimes, volunteering is for the birds—literally. As spring segues into summer, dozens of volunteers are wielding eyedroppers, tweezers and loving hearts to feed hundreds of baby, teen and young adult birds at the Wildlife Care Association’s facility at McClellan Business Park. They also wash towels, prepare kibble and watch their charges move from utter dependency to release into the wild. It’s a sight: Shelves are lined with bins housing sparrows, starlings, finches, magpies and other birds whose existence is entirely dependent on the volunteers’ efforts. From newborns brought in while still in their shells to adolescents sporting feathers and starting to flex their wings, the place is filled to the rafters with birds. Some are adults being treated for injury or illness, but most are youngsters being readied to fly the coop. The overseer of this cacophony of tweets, chirps and cackles is Brianna Abeyta, who started volunteering with WCA six years ago and is now its operations manager. Abeyta first became aware of the association when

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Brianna Abeyta, who is in charge of operations at the Wildlife Care Association at McClellan, feeds a couple of young European starlings

she was 11 years old and Newton, a baby sparrow, fell out of her family’s palm tree and “discovered gravity.” The bird formed an attachment with her family (a biological phenomenon known as imprinting), and the family of birds imprinted itself on her heart.

Today, she’s responsible for just about everything: volunteer training, care management, facilities upkeep. It’s a never-ending task. Hatchlings are fed every half hour. As they grow, the feeding intervals lengthen to 45 minutes, then an hour, then two hours. Before release, the birds spend

from two weeks to a month in the aviary, where they learn to spread their wings and fly. “We take extra precautions to keep them from imprinting on us, so we don’t talk to them,” Abeyta says. “We don’t want them to become tame.” In addition to birds, WCA takes in small mammals for assessment and treatment. They are sent to private homes for care and rehabilitation by specially trained and licensed caregivers. That the 40-year-old association is still here is nothing short of a miracle. Supported entirely by donations, the nonprofit almost closed its doors in 2014 when it found itself with insufficient funds. Formerly run out of a repurposed house off of Auburn Boulevard, the organization had moved in 2008 to McClellan. The larger space allowed it to substantially increase the number of animals it took in, and it went from spring/ summer to year-round operations. But then, says WCA president Theresa Bielawski, “the economy crashed in 2008 when we moved. People lost their jobs; donations went down. We had a bigger property that we were running year-round, with more animals, but a lot of our older volunteers had passed away. A UC Davis program that sent us interns went away. Everything got worse.” With expanded obligations and a shortage of money and volunteers, things came to a head last year. “It was the peak of the season, and we had $6,000—not enough to pay for our utilities,” recalls Abeyta. “We were asking ourselves what to do with 1,000 animals.” The story was picked up by local media, and the crisis was just barely averted. “The community


LIFE IN THE CITY FROM page 20 limited, so if you’re 18 years or older and ready to clean up the bingo board, call 808-8376 to reserve your tickets now. Florin Road Bingo is at 2350 Florin Road. Now that summer has officially sprung, so has the zoo’s popular Twilight Thursdays series, starting June 18. Every Thursday through July 30, the zoo will be open late (until 8 p.m.) for visitors to enjoy an evening stroll around the enclosures as well as lots of local bands performing live on the Reptile House Lawn stage. New this year, the Jazz with Giraffes Beer and Wine Garden will feature live jazz, local craft beers and wine near the giraffe exhibit. Themed dinner specials will be available for purchase in the Kampala Cafe, so make sure you bring your appetite along to this awesome evening of entertainment. Visit the zoo’s Twilight Thursdays web page to find out more about each Thursday’s theme. You may have visited the king of the jungle plenty of times at the zoo’s African Lion exhibit (which welcomed

three new cubs in October), but for the King of Feasts, there’s only one night to get down at the zoo’s immensely popular Food & Wine Luau: Saturday, June 20, from 6 to 9 p.m. This year’s gourmet food and wine tasting event will feature live entertainment, Polynesian dancers, a silent auction, food from dozens of the finest Sacramento-area restaurants and bakeries, and premium California wines, craft beers and spirits. Earlybird tickets purchased before June 18 are only $50 each ($45 for zoo members), so don’t wait to get your paws on them. For more information on all events and to purchase King of Feasts tickets, call 808-5888 or visit saczoo. org. The Sacramento Zoo is at 3930 West Land Park Drive.

TRES BELLE Belle Cooledge Library is full of exciting activities this month—from quilting to computers, block-building to books—so make sure you stop by and get in on the fun. LIFE IN THE CITY page 25

A young bushtit getting cared for at the Wildlife Care Association

responded so wonderfully to the news stories,” she says. “They saved us.” This year, the concerns are threefold. There is a pressing need for volunteers to keep the birds fed, a task that takes place 10 to 14 hours every day. The minimum commitment for volunteers is five hours a week—a single shift. But often there aren’t enough volunteers, so Abeyta and her staff fill the gaps. Another concern is the lower number of birds this year, a side effect of the drought. “We had 100 more in our care last year,” says Abeyta, “and they were coming in severely dehydrated. Either there are fewer babies this year or they’re dying in the nest. On really hot days, we’re flooded with animals, so we expect a huge spike in the numbers.” Finally, Bielawski is committed to turning WCA’s finances around. “I’ve been doing most of the fundraising, but we’re working on a bigger plan,” she says. “We need to bring in corporate sponsorships and approach

cities and counties to contribute.” As the only year-round care center in the area, WCA cares for wildlife from Sacramento, Yolo and Placer counties, handling more than 2,000 birds and mammals every year. “We’ve been running in the red,” says Bielawski, “but just 3 percent of donations goes to administration. Almost every dollar goes to our operations.” Paper towel drives by local schools have helped immensely, as have donations of cat and dog kibble and food items. “Hard-boiled eggs, watermelon and worms are favorites of the birds,” says Abeyta. “It’s never tiring,” she says. “It’s more than fulfilling, beyond enjoyable, to see them return to the wild. Even when I work a 12-hour day, there’s never a dull moment.” For more information about the Wildlife Care Association, go to wildlifecareassociation.com Terry Kaufman can be reached at terry@1greatstory.com n

A Canada goose enjoys some loving care at the McClellan facility

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Fully in Stride FLEET FEET’S OWNERS ‘STILL LOVE IT’ AFTER YEARS OF SUCCESS AND GROWTH

BY JESSICA LASKEY SHOPTALK

W

hen Jan Sweeney says that she and her husband, Pat, are determined to “bring our town to its feet,” she’s being literal. She and Pat are the owners of Fleet Feet Sports and Fleet Feet Boutique on J Street, the sideby-side specialty running and fitness stores that are the go-to Sacramento spots for breaking a sweat in style. “We are a starting point for those looking to be healthy and wanting to live active lives,” Sweeney says. “As our manifesto states, ‘We are not a shoe store. We are a starting point to bring our town to its feet. We move people for life. And health. And strength.’” Fleet Feet Sports was founded in Sacramento in 1976 and has since become a national franchise company, boasting more than 160 stores that are each locally owned and operated. The Sweeneys bought the original Sacramento store about 20 years ago and added the boutique next door 11 years in. “It all started back in 1993 when Pat called me at work to say, ‘I know what we’re going to do with the rest of our lives,’ ” Sweeney recalls. “Honestly, I wondered if he’d been drinking but he had, in fact, just visited Fleet Feet Adams Morgan in Washington, D.C. About a year later, we sold our house, put our yellow lab in our SUV and drove across the country to start working at Fleet Feet

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Jan and Pat Sweeney are the owners of Fleet Feet Sports and Fleet Feet Boutique on J Street, the side-by-side specialty running and fitness stores

Sacramento and have never looked back.” That gung-ho, pick-up-and-go attitude is one the couple has shared since they met many years ago while working for People Express Airlines, where Sweeney says they “developed our entrepreneurial spirit and our love of business.” The two were living in Fairfax, Va.—Jan worked for the State Department as a database installer and trainer at overseas embassies, and Pat was a project manager for an environmental

consulting company—when the Fleet Feet opportunity came up in California. They’ve now lived in Land Park for 18 years with their son Conor (a C.K. McClatchy graduate and current freshman at Arizona State), and couldn’t imagine a better outcome for their adventurous joint venture. “From the beginning, Pat and I have run our business together,” Sweeney says. “He oversees the front of the house and I oversee the back. We talk about work constantly

because we still love it, even after 20 years.” They love it so much, in fact, that owning one store wasn’t enough, so they decided to add the Fleet Feet Boutique to their roster. “Our boutique was created to offer women urban-casual, comfortable fashions for work, every day or travel,” Sweeney says. “We show women they can be comfortable but still fashionable. Many of our sports store customers mentioned that the only place to get some of their favorite casual brands was at REI. Pat and I agreed that we could create a store that could support this demand, but our sports store didn’t have enough floor space. So in 2008, we rented the space right next door to Fleet Feet Sports and launched it that spring.” The addition proved popular, and the Sweeneys now oversee a staff of 40 employees, three of whom have gone on to own their own Fleet Feet Sports locations; a training groups division that trained more than 2,500 people to walk or run distances from 5K to marathons and triathlons last year; fitness events in which nearly 20,000 people participated last year; and their newest endeavor that launched in February, the Ton of Fun weight-loss challenge. “It’s a 12-week community program to help people who are trying to lose weight,” Sweeney explains. “So far, in the first 10 weeks, they have collectively lost over 700 pounds!” This kind of resounding success is thanks in large part to the Sweeneys’ dedicated management staff, including their general manager, Dusty Robinson, who’s been with the company for 12 years.


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The Sweeneys bought the original Sacramento store about 20 years ago and added the boutique next door 11 years in. But most of all, it’s the customer connection that has kept Fleet Feet going strong for more than a decade. “We got a letter just a few days ago from a customer who worked for the Kings organization who was forced to retire due to a stroke,� Sweeney says. “He not only overcame the issues from his stroke, he began running again after consulting Pat and Dusty on proper form and footwear and he just wrote us saying that he qualified for the Boston Marathon in December. He’s in the 65-69 agegroup, by the way. Letters like that are what drive us and our employees.� Sounds like the Sweeneys are staying true to their motto of getting Sacramento moving—one pair of fleet feet at a time. In need of some new shoes or fashionably functional fitness gear? Visit Fleet Feet Sports (2311 J St.) and Fleet Feet Boutique (2315 J St.). For more information, call 442-3338 or go to fleetfeetsacramento.com n

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LIFE IN THE CITY FROM page 23 On Friday, June 5, and Saturday, June 20, at 10 a.m., bring your latest needlework project and join the River City Bee, an open sewing time for quilters, sewers and embroiderers to work on their current pieces in a unique social environment. The library will provide irons, ironing boards and extension cords; you bring your supplies and a smile. The River City Bee is organized in collaboration with River City Quilters Guild. Confused by computers? On Wednesday, June 10, at 10 a.m., get some one-on-one technology instruction at Meet the Computer, an information session for anyone who’s never used a computer before. This class will teach you all you need to know to use the machine, the mouse and the keyboard in this fun and relaxed course. To register, call the library’s main number at 2642920 or stop by in person to sign up. (Registration is required.) Need something to do with the kids or grandkids? Introduce them to Magical Mary—a comedian and magician in one—on Friday, June 19, at 3 p.m. As part of the library’s Summer Reading Challenge, Magical Mary will do tricks and tickle your funny bone with her wild stage antics. Calling Lego lovers of all ages! On Saturday, June 20, at 1 p.m., the library will host the Briktastic Lego Party, a monthly block party designed to let kids unlock their inner engineers and make a creative mess with an amazing selection of Legos, Duplos and Megablocks. This month will focus on building things that move—Hot Wheels tracks included! See Spot. See Spot read. You read that right: on Tuesday, June 23, at

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4 p.m., the library’s Read-To-A-Dog event will get the fur flying. Reading to a trained therapy dog (accompanied by an adult volunteer) is a proven method for boosting a child’s reading skills, not to mention a great way to spend an afternoon. Children may bring their own books to read or they may borrow from the library’s collection. For more information on events at the library, call 264-2920 or visit saclibrary.org. Belle Cooledge Library is at 5600 South Land Park Drive.

CONTEST FOR DROUGHT-TOLERANT LANDSCAPE Kit Carson International Baccalaureate Candidate School’s Design and Technology Class is holding a design contest to find the best drought-tolerant front yards in Sacramento. The contest, called Beauty Without Water, will honor pioneering Sacramento residents who have responded to the drought with landscaping creativity and

ingenuity. “By replacing grass yards with landscapes that showcase drought-resistant plants, scenic bark/ rocks, and other inspired features, these residents have found a way to beat the drought without sacrificing beauty,� said Jed Larsen, who teaches the class. To enter the competition, send up to four photos of your front yard, plus a short written description, to JedLarsen@scusd.edu. The deadline for submission is Sept. 1. The winners will be featured in an upcoming issue of Inside Publications. The contest is open to Sacramento residents in Inside Publication’s readership areas, which include East Sacramento, Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown, the Pocket, Greenhaven, Arden and Carmichael. Kit Carson is in East Sacramento. For more information, go to kitcarson.scusd.edu Jessica Laskey can be reached at jessrlaskey@gmail.com n

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No Pain, No Disdain UNIVERSAL MEDICAL IMAGING TRIES HARD TO PUT PATIENT COMFORT IN THE PICTURE

BY JESSICA LASKEY SHOPTALK

I

f you’re someone who doesn’t like small spaces—I myself get sweaty just thinking about taking the elevator—then the idea of having an MRI (a “magnetic resonance imaging” scan that uses magnets, radio waves and computer technology to produce images of the internal structures of your body) might be too much to bear. But the nice and knowledgeable folks at University Medical Imaging) on University Avenue, have made it their business to make sure patients, no matter how skittish, can successfully complete an exam. “People generally don’t look forward to medical procedures,” admits Tiffany Redden, who oversees business development at UMI. “MRI and X-ray exams aren’t painful, but some patients can still be apprehensive about their exams. Throughout the process, we treat our patients with respect and patience, taking the time to make sure they’re comfortable. We even bake cookies for them!” Snacks aside, what sets UMI apart as a stellar imaging facility is its dedicated and experienced staff. Robert Smith has been an MRI technologist at UMI since 2008, but his scanning schooling started all the way back in 1990, when he earned his associate degree in radiological technology at Merced Community College. The Minneapolis native had just ended his service as an enlisted member of the Air Force two years prior and was looking for a new career when medicine came calling.

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Robert Smith of University Medical Imaging prepares to scan a patient

“I knew people who were X-ray techs and they all had positive things to say about the career field,” Smith says. “After completing my schooling, I was immediately offered a position at Sutter Memorial Medical Center in Modesto, where I worked, including my one-year internship, for just under 17 years.” Smith’s expertise has taken him from that first job as an X-ray tech at the fast-paced trauma center in Modesto to the field of computerized tomography, also known as CT. He worked for more than 10 years with CT imaging before moving to MRI technology in 2006, when he

moved to Sacramento to be closer to his then-girlfriend, now wife. With certifications from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists in both MRI and CT under his belt, he was an ideal candidate for joining the staff at UMI, which he did seven years ago this August. “It’s a very nice place to work,” Smith says. “We have very good people working here that know their jobs very well, and that creates an atmosphere that’s great for the patients and employees.” In addition to the collegial work environment, what drew Smith to

UMI was top-of-the-line imaging machinery: the 3.0 Tesla highdefinition MRI scanner (“3T” to those in the know), one of only a few in operation in the Sacramento area due to its high cost of purchase and maintenance. “Our scanner is the strongest magnet strength for clinical use,” Redden explains. “The extra strength and speed translates into clearer images and provides more detailed information for physicians to determine appropriate treatment. Other machines of this caliber are located in hospital systems intended for research or specialty department use.” UMI relies on this incredible piece of technology to provide pictures of everything from internal organs to muscles, connective tissue and the central nervous system that are twice as clear and detailed as X-rays or CT scans, giving radiologists and physicians a non-invasive way of quickly and accurately diagnosing a patient’s situation. That speed and accuracy translates into less time you have to spend lying prone inside a metal tube, which is good news for any avoiders of small spaces. “The faster scan times are really helpful for those patients that are in pain, claustrophobic or have a difficult time remaining still for a period of time,” Smith confirms. “It’s just better and faster with a 3T.” Even for elevator haters like me. Need help seeing the big picture? Contact University Medical Imaging at 922-6747 or umimri.com University Medical Imaging is at 500 University Ave., Suite 117. n


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Entrepreneur for a New Era WHEN THE CALL CAME FOR DREAMERS, SHE ANSWERED

a tough business and lacked job security, so she became a freelancer. Business was OK but not enough. “I had to do something different,” Manzano says. “So I expanded my market area south to San Jose and north to Sacramento.” Sacramento turned out to be a good market for a freelance photographer. She worked for various local magazines and publications but was always looking for other creative opportunities, so she thought about making fun and creative clothes for her family.

BY SCOT CROCKER INSIDE DOWNTOWN

A

na Manzano had a dream, or maybe that dream was thrust upon her by fate and circumstance. She’s an entrepreneur in every sense of the word. In 2014, she won a contest called Calling All Dreamers, sponsored by Downtown Sacramento Partnership. This gave her seed money and support to open Ana Apple, a children’s apparel company, in Old Sacramento. Open since April, Ana Apple is a store selling apparel for infants and youth, along with an expansive space called The Greenhouse, which hosts classes and activities to inspire creativity in children and young adults. Entrepreneurial dreams in Old Sacramento are not new. Within a block of Manzano’s store are the banks of the Sacramento River, which became ground zero for the greatest entrepreneurial movement in the known universe: the Gold Rush. You can say it was about getting rich, but it was more that. The Gold Rush was about pursuing dreams. It attracted people from all over the world, all walks of life, all nationalities, all colors, creeds and religions. They worked alone. They worked together.

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Two years ago, after careful planning to ensure she had enough savings and support, she went full time into Ana Apple.

Ana Manzano opened Ana Apple along with an expansive space called The Greenhouse, which hosts classes and activities to inspire creativity in children and young adults, in Old Sacramento

The 49ers made their way into the gold fields in pursuit of wealth, not unlike today’s entrepreneurs. Some got rich. Some made a living. And some changed course but remained entrepreneurs in other lines of work, becoming ranchers, farmers, shopkeepers, bankers, lawyers,

restaurant owners, mill operators and store owners. Like Sacramento, Ana Apple was founded on a dream. Manzano grew up in Maui, went to college in Washington, D.C., and found her way to San Francisco to work as a professional staff photographer in her 20s. It was

“I was an auntie, and aunties sew clothes, right? So I set up a table in the living room and got to work making some unique items for my two nieces,” Manzano explains. “It was fun. Word got around, and I started making more and more and figuring out if I could make this a business.” Manzano went from a living room card table to a separate bedroom. Then it was time to get more serious. She got a job as a bartender to pay the bills, moved into the basement of an

DOWNTOWN page 31


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Urban Farmer HE GROWS BOTH FOOD AND COMMUNITY IN SOUTH OAK PARK

BY GWEN SCHOEN FARM TO FORK

Y

ou can preach farm-tofork all you want, but the bottom line is this: Unless people have access to all those good, healthful foods and know how to prepare them, it’s nothing but talk. And that takes us to Chanowk Yisrael’s mission in life: “Transforming the ’hood for good.” The ’hood Yisrael talks about is his South Oak Park neighborhood, certainly not an area that pops into your mind as urban farmland. But that’s where you’ll find Yisrael Family Urban Farm. It’s a half-acre of space behind a small house that sits well off the road, hidden behind an orchard of citrus trees. It’s not pretty, but it does fulfill Yisrael’s yearning to provide a place where family, friends and neighbors can gather to learn how to grow, prepare and preserve fruit and vegetables. It is his version of farmto-fork. The farm started out as a family garden about seven years ago. “I had a lucrative career in the computer tech industry as a systems engineer. By all intents and purposes, I had made it,” said Yisrael. “I had money, a nice car, nice clothes,

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Judith and Chanowk Yisrael

everything I needed. But I was driving 30 miles one way every day, dropping my kids off at school and then driving to work. All the while, I kept thinking about my parents who both had

serious health issues. I really believe that those health problems were caused by, or at least aggravated by, diet. I wanted to figure out a way to

keep my family healthy, which to me meant a plant-based, organic diet. “I have a big family (nine children ranging in age from 9 to 24). My food bill was just as big as my mortgage,” he said. “Then, with all the things going on with the economy in 2008, I realized I just couldn’t keep things going the way they were. I took a look at this big backyard and decided to plant some vegetables. I thought I could just put in a few plants and they would grow. Everything died. Then I signed up for a class with John Jeavons, author of ‘How To Grow More Vegetables.’ I learned so much from that class that it really changed the way I think. That’s when the whole idea of urban agriculture began to really make sense to me. I learned that I could take a small piece of land and grow enough food to feed a lot of people.” Yisrael is a deep thinker, a philosopher of sorts. I’m thinking fried okra. He’s thinking about the impact urbanization makes on topsoil. I’m thinking caprese salad. He’s thinking organic insect control and natural soil supplements. “We need to be good stewards of the earth,” he said as he stooped to pull some weeds crowding his summer squash. “To do that, we just need to stop trying to manage the earth and allow it to produce all that we need.” Most important, he believes that one of the greatest rewards in life is to gather friends and family around the table to share a meal of fresh, wholesome food. “Food has always been a very social thing, especially for AfricanAmericans,” said Yisrael. “After we started the farm, when we got


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together with friends they would ask how to grow or create something. I realized that there was a lot of interest, but they just didn’t know how to begin. So I invited them into the garden. Soon, along with Judith (his wife), we began teaching people how to grow and produce good food. Now we have community days at the farm. We invite neighborhood kids and adults in to help with the work. We show them how to plant and how to water. We let them taste from the gardens. Judith teaches them how to cook vegetarian meals and make jam and pickles. “Now, for me, it’s not just about tomatoes,” he said. “That’s just one aspect. It’s about the community engagement that comes along with urban agriculture. For me, that is true farm-to-fork.” For more information about Yisrael Family Urban Farm, go to yisraelfamilyfarm.net Gwen Schoen can be reached at gwen.schoen@aol.com n

DOWNTOWN FROM page 26 old art studio and started expanding her line. She was selling through the Internet and other retailers and setting up tables at street fairs here and in the Bay Area. Two years ago, after careful planning to ensure she had enough savings and support, she went full time into Ana Apple. “I thought I had it all down and then, bam, a $2,000 car repair bill that I wasn’t counting on,” says Manzano. “There went my credit cards.” As an entrepreneur, she took a leap of faith and kept on going. She operates best under pressure and loves the competition. But her competition is internal, not with other stores. “I’m not competing against others,” she says. “I’m competing against myself. I challenge myself. I’m driven. I know I can do it, and I’m looking at what else is possible.” In 2013, a friend suggested she enter the new Calling All Dreamers contest. She started filling out the application, which required a detailed business model, financial plan and

more. She then stopped. She wasn’t ready. “We had 10 finalists that first year,” says Valerie MamoneWerder, senior manager of business development at Downtown Partnership. “They were very good business models, so we awarded two of them. And it’s amazing that eight out of the 10 finalists opened businesses anyway, even without winning the competition.” When the second year rolled around, Manzano was ready. Competition was fierce. After submitting a detailed application, hopefuls go before a group of business experts who scrutinize their plan before a second round of critiques from the final selection group. Winners, such as Manzano in 2014, receive a business support package valued at more than $100,000 from Downtown Partnership and sponsors. Prizes include a $10,000 cash prize from the Downtown Foundation, free legal, accounting and marketing services, printing services, advertising from Inside Publications and more. Winners also get up to a year’s free rent in a downtown property owned by AKT Development. Manzano wanted to be in an Old Sacramento space not owned by AKT, so the developer gave her $10,000 for rent instead. “The process really allowed me to focus on the business model and how I would take an Internet business into a brick-and-mortar location,” Manzano explains. “Even if I didn’t win, the process of building and presenting the business plan would have been worth it.” Upon learning she won, Manzano was shocked. “I couldn’t believe it,” she says. “From that moment last year when I heard I won until opening our location a month ago, I’ve had so much support from the community, family and friends. It’s been very exciting.” Manzano’s store on K Street between Front and Second streets is your typical Old Sac storefront: woodplank walkway in front, hardwood floors, high ceilings and long windows. Inside, she wanted a general store feel complete with produce carts and

apple crates to showcase her apparel and select items from other California makers. From the main store area, you enter a whole new room called The Greenhouse, a unique feature that differentiates Manzano’s apparel shop from others. The Greenhouse is a space and studio for kids where they “cultivate creative curiosity.” Manzano named the studio The Greenhouse because it fits the brand imagery of nature and a place where creativity grows. The studio offers classes along with special events such as movie and craft nights for kids and handmade happy hour for adults. The space can be rented for birthday parties and baby showers. Manzano is giving 10 percent of tuition from classes to local childrenrelated nonprofit groups. Giving back, collaborating and expanding creativity are all part of her grand plan. For most entrepreneurs, dreams never end. Manzano still has one big one on her list. “If I could have anything, I want to be on ‘The Ellen Show,’” she laughs. “I know there are Oprah people out there, but I can relate to Ellen and what she’s all about. I want to be on ‘Ellen.’” In the meantime, you can find her in Old Sac making clothes, selling apparel and inspiring creativity in children and adults. She will become a role model for upcoming young entrepreneurs following their dreams … maybe even help the next round of finalists and the ultimate winner in the next Calling All Dreamers competition. As leaders try to define Sacramento, isn’t our brand right before our eyes? Sacramento is a lot of things, but on top of it all, one thing is for sure: Dreamers Come Here. Ana Manzano did. Thousands of others have, and they followed in the footsteps of those dreamers from around the world in 1849 who joined greatest entrepreneurial movement ever and helped put Sacramento on the map. Scot Crocker can be reached at scot@crockercrocker.com n

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Reviving Downtown THE 700 BLOCK PROJECT COULD LEAD THE WAY

BY JORDAN VENEMA BUILDING OUR FUTURE

W

e’re halfway through 2015, and Sacramentans already are riding a first wave of infill development that could reinvent and reinvigorate the downtown grid. Structures like Warehouse Artist Lofts (WAL) and 16 Powerhouse represent the latest trend in mixed-use development, with buildings that integrate residential and retail spaces. Bay Miry of D&S Development believes these projects are just a part of the larger “development renaissance” occurring throughout downtown Sacramento.

As such, 700 Block is local space built for local business by local developers. If true, WAL and Powerhouse are just the beginning, and the downtown sports arena is definitely not the end. And if Sacramento is witnessing its own renaissance, then, like the more famous Italian counterpart, this localized movement could have cultural, social and economic impact both within and beyond the city’s limits. CFY Development and D&S Development, the local developers behind WAL and Powerhouse respectively, are working together on the 700 Block project, a

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70,000-square-foot development on the 700 block of K Street. Construction began earlier this year; developers expect it to be completed at the same time as the Kings’ new arena, just a block to the west. Consisting of 137 apartments and 15 retail spaces, 700 Block is “an eclectic, mixed-use, mixed-income infill development,” according to Miry, “and encompasses so much of what we want and need in our city.” The 700 Block project will host local businesses from the owners of Shady Lady Saloon, Kru, Insight Coffee Roasters and The Red Rabbit Kitchen & Bar. As such, 700 Block is local space built for local business by local developers. Both CFY and D&S are family-operated businesses with roots

Renderings of the 700 Block project

in Sacramento. CFY vice president Ali Youssefi was born and raised in Sacramento, and he both works and lives downtown. “I love this city,” says Youssefi. “I’m trying to do all that I can to help this city grow in a positive direction.”

Like Youssefi, Miry grew up in Sacramento, and he echoes those sentiments. Both men see development as an opportunity to invest in their home. Says Miry, “I’d FUTURE page 34


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FUTURE FROM page 32 like to see even more sustainable mixed-use development in the years to come—projects that focus on the implementation of ‘green’ technologies as well as quality.”

Since mixed-use, mixed-income development has the potential to provide more inclusive space, 700 Block could also potentially promote the diversity for which this city is known. For now, these Sacramento developers are focusing on the six-story structure rising above the 700 block of K Street. The apartments, which range from studios to penthouses, will offer views of downtown and the Capitol, says Miry. While in larger cities, on-site laundry facilities could be called a luxury, the 700 Block will offer diverse amenities. The project will include “a must-see community room” on the upper level of the historic W.T. Grant building, says Miry, along with a fitness room, public artwork, underground parking and residential storage closets. And to top the list: private rooftop access for both residents and restaurant patrons. “Our goal,” says Miry, “is to have the most exciting retail block in the city.” Youssefi’s projection might be even more ambitious: He hopes that “10 years from now, 700 Block will be the starting point for the Sacramento Kings’ championship parade.” Championship parade or no, Sacramentans can celebrate that 700 Block will provide affordable, belowmarket housing. The developers are setting aside 60 percent of the

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project’s 137 apartments as affordable units. “‘Affordable’ means that the units will be leased at below-market-rate rents to tenants who qualify on an income basis,” explains Youssefi. “For example, we’ll have studios starting at around $550 a month [and] onebedroom units starting around $600 a month. The only difference between the [market-rate and affordable] units will be the rent.” Furthermore, 700 Block will maintain these affordable units for the next 55 years. So even if Sacramento’s renaissance translates to higher market rates in the future, there will be, for a time anyway, livable space downtown for the workforce of Sacramento—and not just its wealthiest. Since mixed-use, mixed-income development has the potential to provide more inclusive space, 700 Block could also potentially promote the diversity for which this city is known.

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“The only difference between the [marketrate and affordable] units will be the rent.” Mixed-use and mixed-income spaces certainly offer a more realistic cross-section of a city—more, anyway, than self-insulating suburbs or downtown “urban blight.” And because Miry and Youssefi themselves are representative of Sacramento’s cross-section, perhaps 700 Block will truly reflect the needs of this city by incorporating the needs of all its citizens. That’s the hope anyway, and in time, Sacramento will judge. Jordan Venema can be reached at jordan.venema@gmail.com n

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Light and Bright A STYLISH REDECORATION FOR A POCKET HOME BY JULIE FOSTER HOME INSIGHT

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hen inspiration knocks, open the door and welcome it in. That’s the attitude adopted by Mark Mason and his partner of eight years, Michael Davis. Their Pocket home’s dramatic transformation began when they installed a hand-forged fire screen in the living room in 2013. Davis set the evolution in motion with a single comment.

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“Eclectic is always good. Your home should be personalized by you and not look like a model.”

“He said, ‘Oh my God, it looks kind of medieval,’” Mason says. “Then we had to change everything.” The process took a year to complete. About 90 percent of their furnishings went to several consignment shops; the rest was repurposed. Then they set out to find remarkable new pieces, including a hand-forged candlestick chandelier, a dining table with two benches and two high-back chairs trimmed with


studs, a diamond-pattern tuck-androll sofa and chair, shields, swords, an iron-gate bed and an old-world wine cabinet. Mason, who bought the 1985 duplex in 2002, had already completed substantial renovations before he and Davis began redecorating. His first project was laying brick in the backyard, which at the time contained only one lonely rosebush. He contemplated three different patterns before settling upon herringbone. It took him about a year to dig up the yard, then lay down sand and finally brick. Today, the backyard contains a gurgling fountain, a birch tree, numerous flowering plants and a cozy seating area, all surrounded by a lighted fence. “At night, the whole perimeter of the yard is lit up,” says Mason. Next, he installed a new roof. He painted the interior using two complementary paint colors in each room, with the lighter color on top and the darker shade below. This creates the illusion of higher ceilings and adds character to each room.

Mason, a former pastry chef and now co-owner of Michael Mason Salon in Midtown, noted that the kitchen originally had a dated country look. There were Formica counters, dark brown cabinets and three layers of linoleum that had to be removed. “It just felt old and dark,” he says. “I wanted to lighten and brighten up the space.” Because the house doesn’t have a plethora of windows, Mason chose a color palette of soft yellows, birch and khaki for the kitchen. A series of can lights illuminates the entire space. Mason installed birch laminate flooring and birch cabinets topped with counters made of green granite with cranberry veining for a clean, stylish look. Both bathrooms received facelifts. Mason replaced everything except the original flooring, which was in good shape and neutral enough to harmonize with the new paint, plumbing fixtures and granite-topped cabinets. HOME page 38

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HOME FROM page 37 The guest bedroom was repainted and now serves overnighters, mainly Mason’s children and four grandchildren, with a comfy bed, cozy chair and small, stylish workspace. A charming collection of family photos dot one wall. “I generally don’t like pictures on the walls, but I had to dedicate a wall to my family,” he says. Both men, self-professed homebodies, appreciate their neighborhood for its access to downtown, proximity to the river and great walking and bike paths. Their lush front yard contains a second fountain that provides a buffer from traffic noise. Davis, who works at the Franchise Tax Board and enjoys gardening, landscaped the front yard with plantings of wall flowers, red hot poker plants, fragrant star jasmine, day lilies and agapanthus. The drought, he says, has cut into the couple’s plant purchases this year. “We have avoided buying plants that need daily watering,” he says.

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“We love our yard and wish it would rain.” Mason and Davis offer these remodeling tips for those considering taking the plunge: Mason favors picking a point in time and working off that era. Chose a color palette that makes you feel good. Begin with items that won’t be replaced quickly, such as carpet, flooring and window treatments. “Then throw your own ideas in it,” he says. “Eclectic is always good,” he says. “Your home should be personalized by you and not look like a model.” Davis feels it is important to go slow when picking out items for your home. “Don’t feel like you have to do everything overnight,” he says. “We looked and looked around for things we wanted.” If you know of a home you think should be featured in Inside Publications, contact Julie Foster at foster.julie91@yahoo.com n


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All Together Now FOR ROWERS, BEING IN A BOAT IS THE ULTIMATE TEAM SPORT

BY R.E. GRASWICH SPORTS AUTHORITY

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o win a rowing race when the boats are slender and sleek varsity eights and the wind has tormented the water into miniature whitecaps and the adrenaline is pumping, the first and most important thing to remember is that the word “go” is three syllables. Not “go,” but “g-uh-oo,” as if the sounds are squeezed out in slow motion. When the starter says, “All crews ready. Attention. Go,” the boat should be moving on the “g,” leaping forward under short, explosive pulls from the eight rowers, who will soon enough stretch their arms and legs and elongate the boat’s human engine room to create more power, more efficiency, before hurtling into the sprint to the finish. And that’s about all there is to winning a rowing race—that, plus another thousand physical and mechanical manifestations that must be processed, aligned and perfected amid the anxiety, sweat and sunscreen of eight unique rowers and a coxswain’s rhythmic urgings.

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Tricia Blocher coaches the junior women and also serves as the club’s one employee

I learn these tricks while spending a few hours at the Port of West Sacramento, cruising on the water near two big merchant ships with a few dozen high school girls who make up their gender’s youthful component of River City Rowing Club.

Technically, the young women are called “juniors,” but there is nothing junior or immature about their approach to rowing, which is the only sport on earth that has the breathtaking capacity to strain and strengthen every relevant muscle in

the human body while the human stays seated. “They work hard,” says Tricia Blocher, who coaches the junior women and serves as the club’s one employee. “Practice is six days a week, two hours a day. In winter, we row in the dark.” Blocher brings an impressive pedigree to her work. She rowed for Ohio State University, one of the nation’s best teams. When she arrived at River City Rowing Club seven years ago, she professionalized and elevated training regimens and expectations for her competitive rowers. She understands the grace and impossibility of competitive rowing, from classic varsity eights to the single scull. “There comes a point where you get as good as you can be, and it’s never perfect,” she says. “There will always be something to improve. But we’re going to do our best.” River City Rowing Club occupies a curious place in the Sacramento sports landscape. It provides an inspiring backdrop for fitness— imagine an oar catching glass-smooth water as the day’s first light reveals a Sacramento morning—and appeals to people whose ages span 8 to 70-something. The club has boats and opportunities for rowers of all levels. And while rowing is not exactly a high school sport, the club’s most competitive teens can parlay their River City Rowing success into scholarships at elite universities. Rowers come from across Sacramento, from Arden Arcade to Davis. I meet Mikhayla Armstrong and Mychiah Teach on the dock


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Call today! 916-706-0169 HomeCareAssistanceSacramento.com 5363 H Street, Suite A, Sacramento, CA moments before they step into their varsity eight boat. They tell me they are seniors at Davis High School, soon headed east to study and row, Armstrong to Williams College, beneath the Berkshire Mountains in Williamstown, Mass., Teach to Boston University, both elite, highly select schools. “I had a knee injury and couldn’t play basketball but needed a sport to play,” Armstrong says. “Even though I started late in the season, I felt welcomed from the first day.” Says Teach, “The team aspect really appealed to me. I didn’t know anything about rowing—I didn’t even know crew was a sport on the water. But it was a natural fit from the beginning. And the opportunity to row competitively at Boston University would not have happened without the club.” Despite its strawberries-andcream image and legacy ties to elite schools, rowing is not an elitist sport. It requires working-class values, teamwork and unity. The close quarters of a boat allow for zero

squabbles. The club seems to have a positive impact on family members whose feet stay planted on land. “Whenever a parent complains about having to drive their kids to practice, I say, ‘OK, so you’re complaining about a sport that’s safe and fun and teaches teamwork and discipline and gives your kid an incredible workout,’” says Vanessa Jacobs, a mom who drives her kid to rowing. “What else do you have to complain about?” Boats are expensive (a new varsity eight boat can cost $45,000), but RCRC memberships are cheaper than competitive soccer, less than $2,000 per season, including all training, coaching and travel. And there’s the priceless value of knowing how to stay upright in a rudderless boat propelled by your own steam. Teach a kid to row and she glides for a lifetime. R.E. Graswich can be reached at reg@graswich.com n

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Running for Alzheimer’s WHAT THE FAB 40S 5K MEANS TO ME

BY HOWARD POSNER VOLUNTEER PROFILE

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very July, East Lawn Memorial Park stages a 5k run/walk through the streets of East Sacramento to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Association of Northern California and Northern Nevada. Since its inception in 2008, this event has had a special significance for me. As a longtime runner, I am always on the lookout for local races, and as I advance through the age categories, I have found that the competition has thinned to the point that I can actually win a medal every now and then. As an East Sac resident, I find this race particularly attractive since I can sleep in and still easily walk or bike to the start line before the action begins. And what can be more picturesque than jogging or strolling through our beautiful East Sacramento neighborhood on a sunny summer morning? But most importantly from my point of view is the cause that the Fab 40s 5K seeks to promote: dementia support, care and research. Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, killing more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. It strikes one in nine people over the age of 65, and it takes a terrible toll on those with the disease and their loved ones. It is a long, cruel journey from diagnosis to death, and there is no effective means of treatment, prevention or cure. I know this scourge all too well. My mother was diagnosed in 1971 with what was then termed presenile dementia and would now be called younger-onset Alzheimer’s. In

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Howard Pozner helps raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Association participating in the race

retrospect, it was clear she had been exhibiting symptoms for several years before her formal diagnosis. She died in 1980 at the age of 63 but had really been lost to my family from her early 50s. East Lawn has recognized the impact of Alzheimer’s on our

community, first by organizing the 5K run/walk and later by establishing an Alzheimer’s Memorial Wall on its grounds where the names of departed loved ones, including my mother, Estelle Posner, are enshrined. Last year, I was honored when East Lawn asked me to serve on

the steering committee for the Fab 40s 5k Run/Walk. The committee is encouraging our neighbors to come out and walk or run with us on Saturday, July 25. The event has something for everyone. It’s dog friendly, stroller friendly, has kids’ races, and is a timed city of Sacramento 5k championship race. We are also asking local businesses to consider sponsoring a booth or otherwise supporting the event. Proceeds from the 5k will go to the Sacramento office of Alzheimer’s Association to help support Alzheimer’s research as well as care and support services for those coping with Alzheimer’s and their families. Local services include education programs, an annual conference, support groups, care consultations, online resources and a phone hotline that is answered by Alzheimer’s Association staffers 24/7. As the number of families impacted by Alzheimer’s and other dementias has increased, so has the need for services in our area. It is the rare family that has not been, or will not be, scarred by this terrible disease. Participating with our neighbors on July 25 is a small but meaningful way to fight back. To learn more about this important event, please go to fab40s5k.org or call 492-8966. If you or a loved one has been impacted by Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, I encourage you to reach out to Alzheimer’s Association for information and support at alz.org or (800) 272-3900. Howard Posner is a former SMUD board member who lives in East Sacramento. n


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A new twist on Sacramento’s longest-running summer jazz series. On 3rd Thursdays, enjoy great music curated and hosted by Vivian Lee, regional jazz matriarch and aficionado. Jazz Night makes the Crocker the cool place to be this summer. MEDIA SPONSORS

Sacramento Jazz Orchestra THURSDAY, JUNE 18, 6:30 PM CAFE STAGE: Virginia Ayers-Dawson

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Wonder of Wonders SOON-TO-OPEN FOLSOM TOY MUSEUM WINDS UP FOR A FAIRYTALE FUNDRAISER

By Jessica Laskey RIVER CITY PREVIEWS

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ver wish you could frolic in a fairytale? On Saturday, June 20, from 2 to 6 p.m., your dreams will come true at The Garden of Wonder and Delight, a fundraiser for the soon-to-beopened Museum of Wonder and Delight in Folsom, held at the beautiful private McMichael estate. The lush, 2-acre garden will play host to whimsical characters and magical fairies as well as live music, light appetizers and drinks to raise the final funds for the nearly completed museum, located at the lower end of historic Sutter Street in Folsom. It will house Dolph Gotelli’s internationally renowned collection of 19th and 20th century toys, folk art, games and much more. “The event promises to be an adventure of fun, fantasy and surprises at every turn,” Gotelli says. “Much like the museum!” For tickets (adults and their inner children only, please), call 985-2707, go to folsomhistorymuseum.org or purchase in person at Green Acres locations in Folsom (205 Serpa Way), Roseville (901 Galleria Blvd.) and Sacramento (8501 Jackson Road).

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Ever wish you could frolic in a fairytale? On Saturday, June 20, from 2 to 6 p.m., your dreams will come true at The Garden of Wonder and Delight, a fundraiser for the soon-to-be-opened Museum of Wonder and Delight in Folsom.

FREE TO BE YOU AND ME The Sacramento Pride Festival is back and better than ever in its 31-year history from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 6, at Capitol Mall. Expect exciting entertainment, hundreds of displays and plenty of food and fun to be had, all to benefit the nonprofit Sacramento LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) Community Center.

First, the headliner: Belinda Carlisle, former lead singer for the chart-topping, all-girl punk bank The GoGo’s, will serenade Sacramento Pride audiences as she has at Pride festivals all over the country. “My LGBT fans have long been among my favorite audiences—giving, fun and free—and they always energize and inspire me,” Carlisle says. “As someone with many LGBT individuals in my life, both personally and professionally, performing at

Pride events has always been very important to me. I’ve heard so much about Sacramento’s exciting Pride Festival and cannot wait to be there to make my voice heard for LGBT equality and to show my Sacramento fans a great time.” The Main Stage lineup also will include two stars, Jujubee and Kennedy Davenport, from Logo TV’s hit reality show competition “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” as well as hiphop artist Cazwell and Sacramento


singer-songwriter Andrew Castro, who recently released his new EP album “Inside/Out.” The festival will also feature booths from hundreds of local businesses and nonprofit organizations, a dance pavilion, a pet pavilion (where you can adopt a furry friend), a Kids Zone, an Art Zone featuring the work of local artists, food trucks and plenty of drinks to keep the party going all day long. To get the day going, don’t miss the Sacramento Pride Parade, starting at 11 a.m. at Third and N streets. It will feature floats, cheerleaders, bands and performers, as well as contingents from among churches, veterans, law enforcement groups and nonprofit organizations. Sacramento Pride is the largest source of funding for the Sacramento LGBT Community Center’s programs and services, which are open to everyone and specifically aimed to serve marginalized populations within the LGBT community. The center’s many programs promote health and wellness, economic empowerment and education by providing peer support, services for at-risk youths, a free weekly legal clinic, HIV/AIDS prevention and support services, transgender support and numerous discussion groups and other activities for LGBT adults. Tickets for Sacramento Pride are $10 (the parade is free) and children ages 5 and younger get in free. For more information, go to sacramentopride.org

GOING ONCE … GOING TWICE … Summer is for all intents and purposes here, and with it comes three exciting exhibitions at the Crocker Art Museum, as well as the region’s favorite art auction on June 6. Keep your bidding paddle primed when the Crocker Art Auction gets going from 5:30 to 11 p.m. on June 6. This year’s event will feature work by more than 100 of the region’s renowned artists, all on the bidding block for you to take home and add to your collection. The evening will start with cocktails, head into a delectable

gourmet dinner and end with a lively live auction. For tickets, call 8087843. If you’d prefer to ogle the art rather than buy it, check out the Crocker’s three new exhibitions, starting on June 7 with the opening of “David Ligare: California Classicist,” which will stay on display through Sept. 20. Nearly 80 pieces of Ligare’s photorealistic pieces will be on exhibit in this extensive retrospective that includes still-life, landscape, architectural and figurative paintings alike. Later in the month, take in the stunning porcelain work of Chinese artist Shimo in “Flowers of Fire and Earth: Shimo’s Blue-and-White Porcelains,” on display June 21 through Sept. 6. The beautifully translucent pieces, nearly 40 in all, show Shimo’s delicacy and intricacy working with a medium that aims to “combine ancient traditions with a contemporary spirit” and “to melt the national aesthetics of Eastern and Western art in one furnace,” according to the artist himself. From June 28 through Oct. 11, feast your eyes on the work of San Francisco native Armin Hansen in the exhibition “Armin Hansen: The Artful Voyage,” organized by the Pasadena Museum of California Art in collaboration with the staff of the Crocker. Hansen, who was born in 1886, sought to capture the raw power and vitality of the Pacific Ocean and those who sailed it, which resulted in lush still lifes, spirited rodeo scenes, loosely rendered landscapes and depictions of his signature subjects, fisher-folk and the sea. The exhibition features 100 works including oils on canvas, watercolors and etchings. For more information on all things Crocker-related, call 808-1182 or go to crockerartmuseum.org The Crocker Art Museum is at 216 O St.

FOLLOW THIS THREAD If your doctor tells you that you need more fiber in your diet, you’ll get just what the doctor ordered at the Sacramento Fine Arts Center’s “Focus on Fiber” annual Fiber Arts

Don't miss the Sacramento Fine Arts Center’s “Focus on Fiber” annual Fiber Arts Open Show, on display June 2-20 in Carmichael

Open Show, on display June 2-20 in Carmichael. “Focus on Fiber” will feature exceptional uses for this common material, including basketry, beading, crochet, dyeing fabric, felting, hooking, knitting, knotting, lace making, painting or printing on fabric, quilting, spinning, sewing, stitching, tapestry, costuming and more. Exhibit judge Kristine Buchanan has vetted each piece to make sure that no crafts, kits or production work will be shown, so you can be sure that you’ll be getting the best of the best on your new “highfiber” diet. Interested in seeing fiber artists in action? Don’t miss the demonstration by the Spinners Group from the Sacramento Weavers and Spinners Guild from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 2. You can also meet the “Focus on Fiber” artists and cheer them on as they’re given awards for their work at the Second Saturday reception from

5:30-8:30 p.m. on June 13. For more information, go to sacfinearts.org The Sacramento Fine Arts Center is at 5330B Gibbons Drive in Carmichael.

FITNESS FOR FUN Trying to figure out a way to keep those little hands, and feet, busy once school is out for the summer? Fleet Feet Sports’ “Little Feet” Summer Camps on June 15-19 and June 22-26 in William Land Park might be the perfect way to keep your tot engaged while also getting a little exercise. The noncompetitive environment of “Little Feet” is geared toward all fitness levels and will teach kids entering first through sixth grades (no exceptions) the importance of teamwork and sportsmanship through activities such as minihurdles, water relays, silly versions of tag, obstacle courses and the “Little PREVIEWS page 46

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PREVIEWS FROM page 45 Feet” Olympics at the end of each session. The groups are small (only six to seven children per group) with one “Big Foot” team leader each. Classes run from 9 a.m. to noon every day and include a camp shirt, a daily healthful snack and plenty of water to keep kids cool and hydrated. Session I will run June 15-19, Session II will run June 22-26. Registration is done through the city of Sacramento at cityofsacramento. org Select “After School Programs and Day Camps” or search by bar code #150573 (Session I) or #150574 (Session II). “Fleet Feet Sports: Little Feet Summer Camp” will appear as one of your choices. Select the date you would like to participate and complete the registration process. For more information, go to fleetfeetsacramento.com or email training@fleetfeetsacramento.com William Land Park is at 3800 South Land Park Drive.

MUSIC TO YOUR EARS The Carmichael Park Community Band Festival is a one-stop shop for all band music aficionados, and it’s taking place Saturday and Sunday, June 6 and 7, at the Carmichael Park Amphitheater. Mark your calendar and don’t miss out on one of the

largest community band festivals in California for the past 20 years. Fifteen concert bands will take the stage during the twoday extravaganza, including the Sacramento Symphonic Winds, the Capitol Pops Concert Band, the Amador County Concert Band, the Auburn Concert Band, and many more. The event is presented by the Sacramento Valley Symphonic Band Association and is free to all comers. Bring the family, a picnic, some sunscreen and settle on the grass for a rousing good time. There will be music from noon to 7 p.m. on June 6 and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on June 7. For more information, go to svsba.net or sacwinds.org Carmichael Park is at 5750 Grant Ave.

PLAYING ’POSSUM If you’ve ever found a critter lurking around your backyard or rummaging through your garbage cans, chances are your first thought is not how you can help your new furry friend, but rather how fast you can get the broom. But as more and more opossums— those beady-eyed, prehensile-tailed marsupials—find their way into urban environments, the more danger these harmless creatures encounter. Best known for “playing dead” to trick potential predators, opossums can’t outrun a car or an angry dog, so many of them get injured and are left

to die. The Wildlife Care Association (WCA), a nonprofit resource center providing care, recovery and release of small animals and birds in the Sacramento region, is out to change the opossum’s bad rap and make sure concerned citizens know what to do if they encounter an injured critter. Classes on how to care for injured opossums—on the way to dropping them off at the WCA, where they can be properly rehabilitated—as well as on how to qualify to become a WCA rehabilitation volunteer will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 14, at the WCA facility at McClellan Park. Pre-register by emailing wcarehabilitation@yahoo.com or call 965-WILD (965-9453) for more information. The WCA is at 5211 Patrol Road at McClellan Park.

MAIS OUI! For those of us who aren’t lucky enough to call France home, there’s no reason you can’t keep up with the fabulous French film world from the comfort of home. The 14th Sacramento French Film Festival will kick off with an opening reception at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 19, in the lobby of the Crest Theatre. The first film will start at 8:30 p.m. Film screenings of the most buzzworthy French films, all with English subtitles, will take place all day on Saturdays and Sundays, June 20-21 and 27-28. Evening screenings will take place on Fridays, June 19 and 26. For a complete lineup, including dates of receptions, breakfasts, film festival parties, special guests and post-screening discussions, go to sacramentofrenchfilmfestival.org For more information, call 4763356. The Crest Theatre is at 1013 K St.

MISTY WATERCOLOR MEMORIES

The Carmichael Park Community Band Festival is a one-stop shop for all band music aficionados on June 6 and 7. Photo courtesy of Susan Maxwell Skinner.

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To see Sacramento through the eyes of renowned local painter David Lobenberg would be a rare treat, and one visitors will get to experience when they take in his most recent exhibition, “Focal Points:

Sacramento,” at the Union Hall Gallery on K Street starting on June 13. “My watercolor paintings reflect some of my most cherished Sacramento memories,” Lobenberg says. “To name a few: taking our daughter to play at Fairytale Town, enjoying a flick and dinner with my wife at Tower, and walking the magnificent grounds of the state Capitol.” Hobnob with Lobenberg himself at the Second Saturday reception from 6-9 p.m. on June 13. The Union Hall Gallery is at 2126 K Street. To see more of Lobenberg’s watercolor works, go to lobenbergart.com

ROCK PAPER SCISSORS What do you get when you give 20 of Northern California’s best artists a theme based on everyone’s favorite, though often frustrating, childhood game Rock Paper Scissors? You get the awesome new Archival Gallery show “Ro Sham Bo,” on display June 6 through July 2. Featured artists include recognizable regional names such as Al Farrow, William Maul, Corey Okada, Estaban Villa, William Ishmael, Maria Winkler, Richard Feese, Mariellen Layne and more as they wrestle in various media with the decision-making game that defined our childhoods. Meet the artists in person at the Second Saturday reception from 6 to 9 p.m. on June 13. For more information, call 923-6204 or go to archivalgallery.com Archival Gallery is at 3223 Folsom Blvd.

GET A START IN THE ARTS Is your teen a theater aficionado, whether onstage or off? Rio Valley Charter School (RVCS)’s Sacramento Arts Guild is now accepting applications for students interested in Performing Arts in Service, a new arts, media and entertainment educational career path offered at


its Sacramento Arts Guild satellite campus. RVCS is an independent K-12 charter school serving students in both San Joaquin and Sacramento counties and is fully accredited through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. During the 2014-15 school year, RVCS piloted a small arts-focused satellite program here in Sacramento called the Arts Guild, which drew students from Natomas to Elk Grove. Due to the program’s success, RVCS has added the Performing Arts in Service learning track to better serve those students interested in a career in the theater. University of California-approved class offerings will combine subjects such as Social Action Theatre, Vocal Performance, Dance, Stage Combat I & II, Video & Film Production and Geometry & Stagecraft with intensive school daytime training opportunities on the stages of the R25 Arts Complex and Access Sacramento’s production studios. Students will work with credentialed teachers and local experts in this four-year program that leads to a new certificate designed with input from film and theater experts. The mission of the program seeks to broaden the interests and skills of student artists beyond that of fame into the real-world applications of the arts in civic action, social entrepreneurship and community betterment. Interested? Attend an information night at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 23, at the R25 Arts complex at 2509 R St. For more information, go to riovalleyartsguild.org or call (844) 368-4934.

READY FOR THEIR CLOSE-UPS See the world through the lenses of three talented local photographers at the “Three Photographers—Three Views” show, now on view through June 26 at the Ella K. McClatchy Library in midtown. The show features three Sacramento-area photographers who each approach photography

at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Maryland under the instruction of legendary flutist Maria Piccinini. Audrey Shepherd, 18, of Sacramento will be pursuing a double major in bassoon performance and applied mathematics at the University of Michigan. Lindsay Marty, 18, of Granite Bay received a full scholarship to USC, where she’ll pursue oboe performance and premedical studies. These are just a few of this year’s successful graduates, with many others set to attend schools such as Boston University, Cornell, the Royal Conservatory of Scotland, UC Davis, Cal Poly, Cal State Northridge and more. We think Dardis put it best: “When I first joined the Sacramento Youth Symphony, I was insecure about my playing, but the friendship and support I received during my three years there, especially Maestro Michael Neumann’s wise teachings and encouragement, were instrumental to my success.” Thanks to the SYS, these students will go on to big, bright futures— and that’s music to our ears. For more information on the SYS, go to sacramentoyouthsymphony.org

CALLING ALL ARTISTS David Lobenberg's exhibit “Focal Points: Sacramento” will be on display at the Union Hall Gallery on K Street starting on June 13

with their own artistic bent. Roberta Bailey scans arrangements of real flowers into her Mac, then reworks the images in Photoshop. James Canning shoots natural objects, then digitally manipulates them into intricate, symmetrical images to create an entirely new composition. Gail Parris creates images focusing on Delta birdlife that emulate Japanese woodprints, Inuit stone prints and even Audubon bird prints, which she achieves by altering the light and applying hand coloring. Feast your eyes at the Ella K. McClatchy Library, 2112 22nd St. For more information, call 264-2700 or go to saclibrary.org

THIS IS OUR YOUTH You’re probably familiar with the tremendous talents of the Sacramento Youth Symphony (SYS), the nearly 60-year-old nonprofit organization that boasts a membership of more than 400 talented young musicians ages 6-21 from all over the region. But have you ever wondered what happens to those capable pupils-cumperformers after they’ve aged out of the group? Good news: Many of them go on to pursue college degrees, in music and other disciplines, all over the world. Some of the students graduating this year include Drew Dardis, 17, of Fair Oaks, who will be continuing his studies in flute performance

If you’re an artist of any kind— sculptor, photographer, painter, et cetera—don’t miss the opportunity to submit your artwork by June 30 to the Sacramento Fine Arts Center’s annual open show, “Magnum Opus XXVI.” This year’s national juried art exhibit will be judged by Linda Gelfman and will offer various accolades for competing artists, including the $1,000 Best of Show Award. Interested artists can download the prospectus and instructions at sacfinearts.org All entries are due by midnight on June 30. The show will run Aug. 4-29 at the Sacramento Fine Arts Center, 5330B Gibbons Drive in Carmichael. n

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Dearly Beloved WHEN PERFORMING WEDDINGS, COMPLICATIONS ABOUND

feigning forgetfulness. During

Two incidents inspired that requirement. The couple in the first

my mother would ask him if he’d

wedding I performed gave me a

memorized his part, he’d say, “Hmm.

rubber check. I would’ve let it slide,

she told her pastor dad, who had little

Does this sound right? ‘Dearly

but my bank charged me a bounced-

choice about doing the ceremony.

beloved, we’re gathered here to

check fee. In the second instance, the

Instead, Becky had both sets of

mourn the loss of our dear brother in

groom stopped our march into the

parents stand and publicly pledge

holy matrimony.’”

sanctuary because he’d forgotten to

their support of the marriage.

pay me.

T

Weddings can get complicated. That’s

SPIRIT MATTERS

why I have a few rules that I employ whenever I perform a wedding. Most wedding complications could

most ministers: wedding

be avoided if all couples followed

season. In fact, most

my first rule: No alcohol before the

than a wedding. No, it’s not because we’d rather see someone die than get married.

wedding. I don’t have the rule because I’m Baptist, but because I once did a home wedding where the best

Yes, marriage ceremonies can be Supreme Court debated some of those

However, my dad had a point.

BY NORRIS BURKES

“I’m not somebody’s property,”

complicated. And recently, when the

playful slap on the arm at that point.

ministers would rather do a funeral

she was to be given away.

the drive to the ceremony, when

My mother usually gave him a

his is the season feared by

that we were striking the part where

Most wedding complications could be avoided if all couples followed my first rule: No alcohol before the wedding.

complications, I saw a way to deescalate the argument a bit. We would do well to consider the model used in many countries where weddings are accomplished by the state. If couples want a religious ceremony, they can celebrate that in a separate rite according to their own traditions. I believe that solution offers the

It’s because funerals are simpler. The

man had to prop up the inebriated

only true separation of church and

biggest requirement for preaching

groom. Another couple brought a

state, as well as the true intention of

a good funeral sermon is empathy,

keg in a truck to the church parking

something that well suits the

lot. “Don’t worry, that’s for after the

ministerial personality type.

ceremony,” they said, with air quotes

My father was a pastor who demonstrated his resistance toward performing weddings by humorously

around “after.” Next rule: Prepare my honorarium before the wedding.

“Wait,” he cried. Then he extended a $100 bill toward the end of my nose and said, “Here ya go, Bud!” Third rule: Keep the vow changes to a minimum. Last-minute edits complicate things. I remember one bride-to-be

The whole gang is waiting for you.

who asked to change the vows to “till love do us part.” I referred the wedding to another clergy friend. Five months later, when her groom left on a Navy cruise, she ran off with a land lover. I did let one bride change the traditional vow wording a bit: my wife, Becky. She didn’t want to

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promise to obey me, and while she was at it, she told both our parents

Jesus’ admonition to “Give Caesar what is his, and give God what is his.” (Mark 12:17). If we can make this separation, I think we’ll find ourselves as pleasantly surprised as the crowd was that first heard this wisdom is Jesus’ teaching. For according to remainder of the verse, “Their mouths hung open, speechless.” Norris Burkes is a chaplain, syndicated columnist, national speaker and author of the book “Hero’s Highway,” about his experiences as a hospital chaplain in Iraq. He can be reached at ask@ TheChaplain.net n


LQWHULRUV

THEATRE GUIDE DINNERS WITH AUGIE

NO EXIT by Jean-Paul Sartre

A Charity Fund Raiser for Front Street Animal Shelter, East Sac Give Back and Team Will June 3, 4 and 5th @ Antiquite Maison Privee, 2114 P St June 7th 2 & 7 pm @ Jean Runyon Little Theater, 1515 J St DinnersWithAugie.com 916 730-2192 After suffering a devastating heart attack, Arthur Valentine is forced to confront his own mortality. In a series of conversations with his doctor, he begins to experience visions he cannot explain that take him on a journey deep into the metaphysical world. Half-dreaming, half-awake, he makes an extraordinary discovery about the unshakable bonds between past and present. Dinners With Augie benefits 3 charities: Front Street Animal Shelter, East Sac Give Back and Team Will. Tickets are $20…..support local theater as well as 3 wonderful charities.

June 26 – July 25 Big Idea Theatre 1616 Del Paso Blvd. Sac 960-3036 BigIdeaTheatre.com Ushered in by an amused, lidless valet, three people take up residence in a windowless Second Empire drawing room. As they await their impending agony, they question each other about the individual reasons that brought them together, and soon discover that ultimate punishment….is having company. Jean-Paul Sartre’s existentialist nightmare takes on new (after) life in this unique multimedia production, which audaciously visualizes the inescapable external elements that define – and condemn – our identities.

SAC SOLO SERIES June 12 – July 5 Presented by California Stage at Wilkerson Theatre 1721 25th St. Sac 451-5822 CalStage.org California Stage’s SacSoloSeries will present two world premiere one-man plays by beloved local actors Richard Winters and Robert Lautz. Winters’ Sleeping in the Middle of the Bed gives the author’s kaleidoscopic account of internet age divorce and dating, while The Third Date comically explores Lautz’ victory over cancer.

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN (performed with a live orchestra) Thru June 21 24th Street Theatre 2791 24th St. Sac 207-1226 RunawayStage.com Catch Me If You Can is the high-flying, splashy new musical that was nominated for 4 Tony Awards including Best Musical. The teenager, Frank W. Abagnale Jr., runs away from home in search of a glamorous life, with nothing more than his boyish charm, a big imagination and millions of dollars in forged checks, Frank successfully poses as a pilot, a doctor and a lawyer - living the high life and winning the girl of his dreams. But when Frank’s lies catch the attention of FBI agent Carl Hanratty, Carl pursues Frank across the country. Both Frank and Carl forge an unlikely friendship and discover a way to ultimately work together.

MY FAIR LADY June 9 – June 14 Wells Fargo Pavilion 1419 H St. Sac 557-1999 CaliforniaMusicTheatre.com When aristocratic professor Henry Higgins takes in Cockney pupil Eliza Doolittle on a bet, he gets far more than he wagered. This show will feature “I Could Have Danced All Night” “On the Street Where You Live” and “The Rain in Spain.”

JUNE SPECIAL COMPLIMENTARY 1-HOUR DESIGN CONSULTATION

BIG RIVER June 23 – June 28 Wells Fargo Pavilion 1419 H St. Sac 557-1999 CaliforniaMusicTheatre.com Mark Twain’s masterwork The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is brought to toe-tapping musical life by “King of the Road” Roger Miller. Huck and Jim take to the mighty Mississippi on a journey of adventure, hope and self-discovery. First time at Music Circus in 20 years. With “Muddy Water,” “Waitin’ for the Light to Shine.”

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Second Chance AFTER A CAREER IN PUBLIC SERVICE, SHE FOUND HER VOICE AS A SINGER

mute onstage, and Swayze put music aside for years. “It wasn’t until I came to California that I dared to sing again,” Swayze says. “I happened to be out one night with friends, having a particularly good time at a dinner house in Fresno, listening to a band. Suddenly I said, ‘I know these songs’ and walked up to the bandleader and said, ‘Do you know “The Masquerade Is Over”?’ He said, ‘What key?’ I looked at him like he had two heads, we did the proverbial ‘Hum a few bars,’ and I ended up working with that bandleader, Dick Scudder, for the next three years.”

BY JESSICA LASKEY ARTIST SPOTLIGHT

T

he song “The Seasons of My Time” perfectly describes the way Carolyne Swayze sees her life. It should: She wrote it. Swayze is a singer, songwriter, composer and novelist, though she didn’t start out that way. She spent 30 years in public service, first as a member of the Marine Corps, then as an investigator for the San Francisco District Attorney’s office (she carried a gun and a badge) and finally in the Department of Child Services. For the DCS job, she commuted 200 miles a day to and from her home in Campus Commons. “It was a ‘lifestone,’” Swayze says with an easy laugh. “Milestones mark your progress in life. Lifestones are burdens you have to deal with. Finally, one day I hit a wall emotionally. I said, ‘No more commute.’ I was loaned to the state here in Sacramento for six months and then I said, ‘I think I’m ready to retire.’” Retirement allowed Swayze to return to her first love: music. As a child growing up in Chicago, Swayze was surrounded by music, between her maternal grandmother (“a devout Mennonite who played piano and sang only of gospel praises”) and another grandmother figure who sang opera and jazz. But her family was far from encouraging. Her grandfather, the first African-American bishop in the Mennonite Church, told a young Swayze that she should “learn how to type or become a teacher” instead of sing. When Swayze finally got her

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She spent 30 years in public service, first as a member of the Marine Corps, then as an investigator for the San Francisco District Attorney’s office (she carried a gun and a badge) and finally in the Department of Child Services. Carolyne Swayze is a local vocalist, composer, songwriter and novelist

mother to drive her to an audition for Ted Mack’s “Original Amateur Hour” (the “American Idol” of its day), the

pressure was more than she could handle. An embarrassing bout of stage fright left the 14-year-old all but

Swayze credits Scudder with giving her the formal singing training she’d always longed for: how to breathe, ARTIST page 54


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Cold Treats and Sweets A ROUNDUP OF NEIGHBORHOOD DESSERTS FOR SUMMER

EAST SACRAMENTO

BY GREG SABIN RESTAURANT INSIDER

Burr’s Fountain: An East Sacramento institution, Burr’s offers all the old-fashioned charm you’re looking for when thinking about a family ice cream parlor. Using ice cream from Vic’s, Burr’s creates inventive shakes, splits and malts. 4920 Folsom Blvd.; 452-5516

W

ith the mercury working its way up the thermometer, it seems like a good time to remind you of how many sweet and cold treats are available. Cool off, or just satisfy your sweet tooth with any one (or more than one) of these local favorites.

MIDTOWN Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates: Proprietor Ginger Elizabeth Hahn has an international reputation for her exquisite chocolates and desserts. Lesser known, however, is her annual dive into frozen treats. Every May, the tiny Midtown storefront expands its menu to include handmade “microbatch” ice creams and frozen delicacies. Imagine a frozen hot chocolate parfait, or a Parisian macaron ice cream sandwich, or a sour cream and strawberry ice cream sundae with roasted rhubarb butter. I know, sounds terrible, right? Best you stay away and leave more for me. 1801 L St.; 706-1738; gingerelizabeth.com

ARDEN ARCADE/ CARMICHAEL The Parlor Ice Cream Puffs: One of the most creative ice cream shops in town, The Parlor offers custom flavors from Gunther’s Ice Cream with a variety of novel presentations. Think about Thai ice tea ice cream served on a giant French macaron, or “choco taco” ice cream stuffed into a glazed doughnut and topped with powdered sugar. The flavors are cleverly addictive and the serving options indulgent. 2620 Fair Oaks Blvd.; 977-3997; theparloricecream.com The Hagen’s Original Orange Freeze: For old-time Carmichael residents, Hagen’s holds the keys to the door of history. Merlino’s original orange freeze has been a part of Sacramento summers for generations. Hagen’s picks up where Merlino’s left off almost a decade ago, claiming to serve the original Merlino’s recipe. You’ll find standard snack-shack burgers and provisions, but you’re really going there for the brain-paininducing orange freeze, icy-cold and tasting of history. 2520 Walnut Ave.; 489-7842

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Cleary’s Ice Cream & Candy Bar offers lots of cool treats for a warm summer day

Cleary’s Ice Cream & Candy Bar: A treat for youngsters, Cleary’s, open for only a year, hits the sweet spot with a soft-serve ice cream bar and a ridiculous bounty of newfangled and old-timey candy. You’ll find better ice cream at many other places, but the visual stimulation of all that

brightly colored candy will widen the eyes of the munchkins in your family. 2545 Fair Oaks Blvd.; 900-8251; clearysisters.com

Devine Gelateria & Cafe: Gelato is just Italian ice cream, right? Well, one taste of Devine’s gelato and you’ll rethink that position. With gelatos and sorbettos made fresh daily, Devine serves up some of the most delectable and creative frozen flavors in the region. Go bold and opt for the bananas foster gelato, or the fig/apricot/fromage. Or go traditional and try the best affogato (espresso poured over a scoop of vanilla gelato) you’re bound to have this side of the Mediterranean.


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Cleary’s Ice Cream & Candy Bar features a large selection of sweet treats

Vic’s has been dishing out quality scoops since 1941. The small counter and handful of booths have served CURTIS PARK/LAND PARK generations of Sacramentans. Vic’s Gunther’s Ice Cream: One of ice cream, in a panoply of flavors, is the two granddaddies of Sacramento available by the scoop, the dish or the ice cream, Gunther’s has held down quart. Service is quick and friendly, the same corner spot on Franklin but don’t expect the line to be short. Boulevard and 3rd Avenue since On a weekday after school, or on any 1949. Its iconic neon sign, its huge weekend day, you’re bound to wait corner of windows and its absolutely in a bit of a line to get that creamy spot-on flavors make it a destination goodness. Vic’s also makes a fine for midcentury-modern aficionados sandwich. Try the wiener sandwich as well as ice cream seekers of all or the turkey salad for a classic treat. ages. Beyond ice cream, Gunther’s One last note: If you’re eating at a also stands out for its best-in-class downtown restaurant and ice cream eggnog (available as a beverage or ice is on the menu, it’s probably from cream during the holidays), its frozen Gunther’s or Vic’s. specialties like mud pie on a stick, and 3199 Riverside Blvd.; 448-0892; its proximity to one of the best beer vicsicecream;com bars (Pangaea) in the region. 2801 Franklin Blvd.; 457-6646; Greg Sabin can be reached at gunthersicecream.com gregsabin@hotmail.com n Vic’s Ice Cream: The other granddad of Sacramento ice cream, 1221 19th St.; 446-0600; devinegelateria.com

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ARTIST FROM page 50

5th Annual Fundraiser Benefiting Triumph Cancer Foundation

JUNE 20TH 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Join us at Helwig Winery for a special evening. Enjoy great food, wine & music while supporting a local nonprofit dedicated to helping cancer survivors!

Gourmet Picnic Dinner Magpie Caterers

Concert in Amphitheater Caravanserai The Santana Tribute Band

Premiere Sponsors

Wells Fargo . Blue Shield of California . Ten2Eleven Carrington College . Alli Construction . Socotra Capital Kaiser Permanente . Sage Architecture . Inside Publications PCG Technology Consulting . UC Davis Health System Sactown Magazine . Helwig Winery . Hanson McClain

Buy Tickets Online at triumphfound.org Tickets must be purchased in advance. Sales close June 18th

how to stand, how to phrase, how to speak to the audience. She began singing on the hotel and country club circuit while working full time. “Having a regular job was a blessing and a curse,” Swayze says. “It gave me a career, but I think I may have gone further into music if I hadn’t had a day job. I’m only now understanding the strugglingmusician thing, but I have no regrets. I feel very fortunate to have experienced both.” After making it through her second divorce (another lifestone), Swayze found herself retired in Sacramento and wondering what to do next. At the encouragement of friends, she started composing, recording and releasing singles of her own music as well as covers of old favorites. “As I started to get older, I realized that if you’re going to stay in this business, you have to make your own mark,” Swayze says. “There are lots of wonderful songs out there, but you can’t sing cover songs better than

the people who made them. At best, it’s an imitation because it’s someone else’s song. I discovered that I had some things to say. I think that’s why it took all these years to literally find my own voice. It has to do with life experience.” Swayze released a CD in 2010 but found that the Internet provided an even broader audience for her work. “People are listening to music differently,” Swayze says. “You can download a track to your phone in minutes. That kind of technology was never available to independent artists before. The Internet has changed the music industry. You can make yourself accessible to everyone.” She is happy with her new lease on life. “I’m very comfortable at this stage of my life,” she says. “I’m not trying to be the next Beyoncé. There’s a small niche for what I do and I’m happy to do that. To share great music with great musicians and great friends, that’s what it’s all about.” For more information, go to carolyneswayze.com n

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Art Preview GALLERY ART SHOWS IN JUNE

Artistic Edge will feature works by Bill Lorenz, Pat Orner and Shannon Raney. Shown: “Wilbur” by Shannon Raney. 1880 Fulton Ave.; artisticedgeframing.com

A Still Life Show will be featured through July 31at Patris Studio and Art Gallery. Shown left: “Teapot” by Patris 3460 2nd Ave.

The Archival Gallery presents an exhibit through July 2 based on “Ro Sham Bo” featuring interpretations of “Rock Paper Sizzors” by more than 20 top artists. Shown is a work by Maria Winkler. 3223 Folsom Blvd. archivalgallery.com

Red Dot Gallery presents works by 21 artists invited to participate in the theme-oriented exhibition titled Self: Beyond the Face. Shown: “Ornament” by Margarita Chaplinska. The show runs through June 27. 2231 J St.; reddotgallery.com

Helen Jones Gallery presents original seascape and landscape paintings by Robert Wee. “Morning Breaker” by Wee is shown. 588 La Sierra Dr.; helenjonesgallery.com

Atelier 20 features artist Randy Honerlah and his series of impressionist landscape paintings. Shown: “Free Fallin” by Honerlah. Atelier 20, 915 20th St.

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