Last Friday night, I watched my grandson Angelo play in a youth basketball game. It was a blast. Angelo at 4 feet, 10 inches tall was one of the big kids on the court.
The boys played on the main basketball court at San Juan High School—a regulation court with 10-foot baskets. They looked pretty small on the big court, but their enthusiasm and endurance amazed me. When Angelo took a rebound, he drove the ball quickly up court, before passing the ball to an open shooter. Later in the second half, he took a long shot which rolled around the rim and dropped in. That shot gave his team a 2-point lead, which they never relinquished. The final score was 33 to 31.
Watching the boys play brought back memories of my own youth basketball experience in the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) basketball league. I joined the Saint Mary’s CYO right after graduating from Saint Mary’s School in 1960. Father John Puliz, the pastor of the church, started the club that same year. He felt the teenagers, who attended the church, needed a wholesome outlet for their youthful energy. The activities sponsored by the CYO included dances, trips, and team basketball. I signed up right away for basketball.
We had our first fall practice at Kit Carson Junior High School in East Sacramento. Bob Hocking served as the coach of our team. Coach Hocking had played basketball at Sacramento State College. He had lot of knowledge to share with our inexperienced, young team, which included my friends Dan Petrocchi and Dick Mckechnie. We learned how to play a three, two-zone defense and how to run a 1-3-1 offense. We had already knew the basics of basketball (dribbling, passing and shooting), but did not know how to play as a five-man team. Coach Hocking had his work cut out for him, but over time he molded us into a pretty good team.
In October we started our 10-game season. It was so exciting. Coach Hocking assigned me to the point guard position. My responsibilities included dribbling the ball up court and initiating plays. I had a pretty good set shot, and the coach encouraged me to take it when I had the opening. I remember scoring in double figures during a few of our games. That made me feel like my hero Bob Cousey of the Boston Celtics. Other times I passed the ball to big Dick Mckechnie in the key or to Dan Petrocchi on the wing. Dan had a good jump shot and often scored on those opportunities.
Our team played against teams from Sacred Heart, St. Francis, Immaculate Conception, All Hollows, and Saint Patrick’s churches. All the teams were very competitive, and the games were close—no blow-outs here. In the end, we took second place. Immaculate Conception, with their 6-foot, 8-inch center, won the league.
I have never forgotten my CYO youth basketball experience. In fact, I often see coach Hocking at meetings of the Dante Club of Sacramento. He always says, “How are you doing kiddo? Keep writing those columns.” I am glad the old coach enjoys reading my stories. I certainly have never forgotten all he taught me, another inspirational Janey Way Memory.
Last Friday night, I watched my grandson Angelo play in a youth basketball game. It was a blast. Angelo at 4 feet, 10 inches tall was one of the big kids on the court.
The Spyglass received such a well-written account of an Arden couple’s trip to Dubai for a bicycle race–they’re both avid cyclists and world travelers–that we decided to hand over a good bit of space to Gary Noe and wife Betty for your reading pleasure:
Gary Noe and Betty Jordan–We went to Dubai for the first bicycle Tour of Dubai. The emirate is always looking to promote itself and after about three years’ negotiating with an Italian promotional company, RCS, it was agreed that in February, 2014, the Tour of Dubai would go off with the motto “The Greatest Race in the Greatest Place”. No doubt that right now Dubai is trying to be at least one of the greatest places. An initial try at hosting a bicycle race would be difficult to start out as the greatest, but it was darn good.
So after a lot of research, we decided to attend. Despite the high cost of flying these days, plus the astronomical prices in Dubai for lodging, a suitable budget evolved. The entire trip actually cost us per person about $2800 for a non-stop flight, SFO to Dubai & return, a one-bedroom apartment in a good central location, and a rental car, a Ford Figo–sort of like a Fiesta.
We flew Emirates Airlines, and were pleased with the service. We left Saturday morning for San Francisco, and got to Dubai around 8 PM Sunday night. The time difference was 12 hours, so we didn’t have to reset our watches. But the jet lag was huge!
In the 2 days before the race started–Wednesday-Saturday were the race days–we did the sights. That included the new-ish Dubai Mall, with the ice skating rink, the aquarium with 39,000 fish, including all kinds of rays and sharks, and thousands of tuna; the tallest building in the world, the Burj Kahlifa; the souks, or markets–the gold souk, spice souk, fish and produce souk. And the Dubai Creek area, where sat the original old town.
Further away on the outskirts was the Formula 1 race course. We did visit there, and nearby was a go-kart track. That part of Dubai was called Motor City. There was also the Internet City, Media City, Education City, and of course The Palm. The “cities” are just areas of concentration of commercial companies. The Palm, a story by itself, one can learn about by using the Internet and watching the videos about its creation. We rode around the main roads, but the fronds where most of the lots and houses sit, are private. We heard stories that there were 17,000 lots created and they all sold in 3 days. Dubai is building another, larger one, and other islands in the sea, but they are attached to the mainland, and not by bridge, but on a road made in the water. You will mostly likely enjoy watching the story of the building of the Palm Jumeira. The new Palm is called Jebel Ali, and is even bigger.
Except for the old city, all of Dubai has been built in the last 30 years, so everything looks new and modern. The architecture of the literally hundreds of high-rise buildings is varied, modern and spectacular. I had a hard time not staring at them all day.
An area we liked was the Dubai Marina–check it out on Google. It was similar to European trendy cafe-residential-restaurant areas. Lots of Lamborghini, Ferrari and Bentley drivers all the time, pleasure cruising.
The people are very friendly and helpful. There are not many natives, called Emirati, and about 95% of the population are ex-pats. The common language, surprisingly, is English. So when you ask for something chances are you will be talking to a native English speaker or someone totally fluent in English. We didn’t meet one person who could not speak English.
Besides the new Dubai mall, there are many other very large malls. Dubai is trying to build a multi-faceted city with a focus on a special tourist-oriented area. With this in mind, for example, they built, of all things, a ski slope inside the older Mall of the Emirates.
The food is from all over the world. You should watch Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations – Dubai” for a good look at cuisine in that country.
We went about 25 miles into the desert and rented quad runners in the sand dunes. Many people take their own privately vehicles out, obviously 4-wheel-drive cars, and we noted many of them were Lexus’ and a lot of Nissan Patrol’s.
We did meet some natives. We asked what they thought of the development of the huge area that was so recently desert. The responses were mostly favorable, that they understood the oil and gas that has brought so much wealth would run out sooner rather than later and that to develop a more vibrant economy was a necessity. The oil and gas wealth wasn’t developed until the 1970’s. The locals all appreciated the ruling family, that the Sheik (Zay’ed, pronounced ZED, as close is we can guess) is doing an incredible job of overseeing the growth.
It was a truly spectacular area in our eyes.
With the nonstop flights, there was little more expenditure of money and time than travel to Europe. The expenses were reasonable, however, for both flight and lodging. Although we did search long & hard for something under $400/night, that amount was nothing compared to the four thousand which some travelers do pay. We had a one-bedroom apartment in the World Trade Center area, well-equipped for $2200 for three of us. Betty and I had the bedroom and we got a roll-in bed for our traveling companion. The apartment had three A/C units to deal with the summer heat, older but well-maintained and functioning. We didn’t use the kitchen because we wanted to eat out, naturally. Very exotic cuisine was available everywhere, and can be really inexpensive if you go where the locals eat, but ridiculously expensive in the tourist restaurants. Very few restaurants serve alcohol and there are very few clubs, but relative to other mid-east countries, Dubai is noticeably secular. Women don’t have to wear the usual Mid east garb, but many do, and many men also wear the Arab kaftans and headgear. I’d sum up by saying, if you’ve been everywhere, but not Dubai, you should go. A week in this pleasant country is just about right.
Here in Arden-Arcade, specifically in Lyon Village, we have had a brazen smash-and-grab a while back at Beyond Napa Wine Merchants. What the thieves took wasn’t wine, but a two-thousand-plus dollar custom-made racing bicycle made in Germany. What they didn’t get was another expensive cycle which the owner, Rod Farley, had just removed from a window display for a cycling trip.
Trying to make the best of a bad bargain, Rod decided to advertise a “Smash-and-Grab” sale of twenty percent off. We hope that helped pay for the damage.
And right next door to Napa Wine, this update from our friends Evelyn and Dawn at Mona Mia Gifts: The American Heart Association’s 2014 Heart Ball was held on March 22nd at The Sheraton Hotel, everything going smoothly.
The primary focus of the Heart and Stroke Ball is to raise awareness of and research funds for heart disease and congenital heart defects in children. The ladies, decked out in formal wear with the men in black tie, reported that all previous fundraising totals for the event were broken.
Cleary’s Candy has opened in Loehmann’s Plaza next to Jack’s Restaurant, and Papa Murphy’s Pizza at the old Coldstone location on Fair Oaks Boulevard is now dishing out the delicious custom-made pies to take home and bake.
A 1.8 acre parcel of land next to the Sunrise Senior Living facility just south of Lyon Plaza on Munroe has been bulldozed flat and is ready for development. The site at 361 Monroe will welcome the construction of twenty-six units of town homes with a small set-aside for low-income units. It remains to be seen exactly when construction will start, but we’ll have more information for readers as it filters in.
After I completed my military training at Fort Lewis, Washington in September of 1969, the army assigned me to duty in West Germany. Soon, I was on a charter plane headed for Europe.
There, I received orders to report to the 510th Ordinance Company in Gunzburg, West Germany. Gunzburg lies in the state of Bavaria in the southern part of Germany, but even there the weather was beginning to turn cold in mid-October. Soon, the snow began to fall and we were pretty much confined to our base during the long, cold winter.
By April though, the sun came out and melted the snow. Then, my new friend Jack and I decided to get out and explore the countryside. We started in the town of Gunzburg. It is a picturesque, old village dating back to Roman times.
We wandered through the cobblestone streets checking out the old cathedral, the theater, the stores, and the restaurants. Eventually, we stumbled upon a neat little tavern called the Lowenbrau Steube. There, we wandered up to the bar and ordered a beer. The 40-something looking bartender poured us each a one-pint glass of good, German beer.
We began talking with the man. His name was Walter. He co-owned the tavern/restaurant with his wife Liz. He poured the drinks and Liz cooked. Soon, Liz came out from the kitchen and introduced herself. She spoke good English, asking us our names and where we came from. Jack was from New Jersey, and I from California. She had lots questions. She asked me about San Francisco and Hollywood. She asked Jack about New York City.
Liz introduced us to her two daughters, Monica, a pretty Fraulein in her mid-20s and Petra, 13, who was still in school. She and Walter had met just after the war. He had fought in the German army and spent time in a British Prisoner of War (POW) Camp. After the war, the British released the captive German soldiers and sent them home. Walter was lucky, as Gunzburg came out of the war relatively unscathed. The farmers there went about their business as they had before the war, indeed, as they had for a thousand years. Walt and Liz met, got married, bought the tavern, and the rest was history.
We would spend many nights at the Lowenbrau Steube during our tours of duty in Germany, drinking good German beer and eating Liz’s fantastic food. We soon met other friendly people. George, the middle aged tippler who drove a fast car and wore traditional Bavarian clothing: a green blazer with a crest emblazoned on the pocket and a felt hat unique to that region. We also met Horst, an office manager at Gunzburg City Hall. Horst and his wife Rosvitha had us over the Christmas Eve dinner that year. We watched the 1970 world cup of soccer there and spent many holiday’s there including Fasching (German Mardi Gras) and New Year’s Eve.
Liz treated us like the sons she never had. She prepared special meals for us that weren’t on the menu.
That chance encounter resulted in lasting friendship with Walter and Liz. Sadly, I never saw them again after leaving Germany in 1971. They are probably long since departed from this world. But, I will never forget the experiences I had in their little tavern: another unforgettable Janey Way memory.
Is your bike road ready? My bike has been sitting in the garage collecting cobwebs all winter long. I’m dusting it off and taking it over to the Neighborhood Bike Tune-up Clinic in Hollywood Park.
The Bike Tune-up Clinic takes place on Saturday, April 19, from 10 a.m. to noon, at 2208 Murieta Way inside some lady’s garage. That lady is Glenda Marsh and she’s opening up her garage to help people get ready for spring and summer bike riding. Get advice on good routes about town, safety equipment, and how not to get mowed down on Freeport!
Perhaps you haven’t hopped on your bike for awhile. Maybe you have a creaking saddle or squealing brakes. Some dudes from the Bicycle Business will be at Glenda’s garage to let you know what you need done. Free advice!
Minor bike adjustments will be done on site for free. You’ll get a list of what you might need done on your own, or at a local bike shop. We have quite a few great bike shops nearby. Bicycle Business, College Cyclery and Vintage Bicycle Supply are all in the area.
I know I have to get my rear end off the La-Z-Boy recliner and onto my Electra Cruiser.
If you need more info about the bike tune-up, email email@example.com
Vintage Bicycle Supply is now on Broadway. Look for the small neon sign in the window just past 17th Street on Broadway. The shop was originally housed in a warehouse space in Hollywood Park, but owner Mike Shaneyfelt wanted a store front. “We were looking for a place with windows and a showroom and all that stuff.”
He actually wanted to stay in Hollywood Park, but couldn’t convince building owners on a location on Freeport Boulevard for needed renovations. He still does restoration work out of the warehouse in the HP.
Shaneyfelt found the perfect storefront at 1710 Broadway – a nice, small space that used to be a Mail Boxes Etc. He recently installed a sign that lights up cool neon at night.
He’s selling vintage bikes, vintage parts, new parts, fix gear. They do restorations; they’ll service your vintage bike, anything you want or need. They also buy sell and trade. Drop in if you’re looking for an old Schwinn.
“We customize stuff here, we try to set the bike up to what somebody wants. If they don’t like that color, we’ll paint it.”
He also doesn’t charge exorbitant prices to tune up a bike, just about $40 for a bike with gears.
Vintage Bicycle Supply also puts on events and swaps.
Mike and his friend Ted put together an annual custom bike show and swap meet called “Sacramento Cyclefest” in Fremont Park. This year it will be on Sunday, May 18. “Everybody comes out to the park and it’s a lot of fun – real kid-friendly,” Mike told me. They have jumpers and all that stuff. Food trucks, too.
I guess new owners had taken over Futami Japanese Restaurant a few years ago and it was all downhill from there. Some folks on Yelp! even cautioned, “Stay away from the sashimi.”
Futami’s is now closed.
The restaurant (5609 Freeport Blvd.) has been empty since last year, but will have new life under a new name and new owner.
They’re calling it Fatty Cow Hot Pot. I’ve had a Hot Pocket but never a hot pot. For those who don’t know, hot pot is stew or soup simmering in the middle of the table with a variety of thinly sliced meat, seafood, leaf vegetables, wontons and egg dumplings. Fatty Cow is “looking to serve the younger and more hip crowd,” according to the owners. The interior of the building will be getting a big facelift, too.
Perhaps you’ve seen the irreverent sign driving down Freeport Boulevard. The logo is an animated cow licking his lips with a big ole soup spoon soaking in a hot pot. The owners had a logo design contest on the website, 99Design.com. They asked for a logo that is catchy and “represents our business name.” Also, they didn’t want anything “too high-class looking.”
“I do not want to scare customer away making them think that they can’t afford to eat here.”
I hope the restaurant is as good as the new logo.
My old neighbor, Per Ostland, used to marvel at the way walking in the park next to our homes was like being a cast member in some great play. He could tick off the characters: the old guy who walks backwards, the woman who performs elaborate arm exercises as she goes, the crowd of old ladies shouting at each other in Chinese, various people and their interesting dogs, the young woman who talks on her cell phone the whole time.
I never thought much about Per’s observation at the time, because, back then, I wouldn’t be caught dead walking around the park. Then, last year, my doctor told me that I just might be caught dead if I didn’t start walking around the park sometime soon. And so, I succumbed to this medical threat, staked out a route along the greenbelt that runs throughout my neighborhood, and began incorporating a half-hour-long, 1.5-mile walk into my daily routine. A few years back, I moved away from the park I used to share with Per, but I’ve recently realized that we host a production of the same play in this neck of the woods, with a different cast that is interesting in their own right, and Per’s observation came echoing back to me. He was right. The park is its own little world, and I’ve noticed that, if you pay attention to it, you can easily find enough interesting things going on to take your mind off of the monotony of putting one foot in front of the other for what would otherwise seem like an eternity.
The first thing I did when I embarked on this new program was to download an app to chronicle my efforts—I decided on “Runkeeper”, which was heartily recommended by a couple of friends who have made a similar conversion to exercising for exercising’s sake. I also recruited a companion to accompany me on my voyages—the family dog, a Jack Russell Terrier by the name of Trixie, who basically pulled me through the course our first couple of times out.
I noticed after those initial walks that you do tend to see the same faces out there on the greenbelt who all stick to a consistent time of day for their daily jaunt. Start your walk an hour or two later, and you get an entirely different set of characters who consistently appear at that time. One particular timeframe suits my schedule best, and I’ve enjoyed the crew that works the park at that specific time of day.
The one guy I see most consistently is a guy I affectionately refer to as the “Fit Jogger”, who, with his Labrador retriever, not only passes me and leaves me in a Roadrunner-esque poof of dust, he delivers a friendly “good morning”, impressively not out of breath in the least. I look into the camera with my best Wile E. Coyote look of resignation as he zips up the trail ahead of me, and the Warner Bros. theme music plays him out.
An older gentleman with a utility belt of water bottles seems to have sussed out Trixie’s m.o. immediately. “Good morning!” he says, then, looking at Trixie, “Tough guy, huh?” Trixie approaches every walk like this is going to be the day she finally bags one of those elusive gophers or, better yet, a crow. As fast as she is, she doesn’t have a prayer of catching either, but I do admire her optimism. The sad truth of the matter is that, if she were ever challenged by any other living creature, great or small, she would immediately dive into that universal position of dog subservience, flat on her back with her legs up.
Every five minutes, a woman from the Runkeeper app pipes up on my smartphone to tell me how far I’ve gone and what my minutes-per-mile pace is. At first, I tried to improve my time with each new outing, but then I realized that such a thing would one day have me breaking the sound barrier. Eventually, I came to appreciate all the sights and sounds that I encountered out there to the point that I don’t necessarily want to hurry through them. Like this one coming up right here, for example…
She is an older gal, in green tights, jogging with the most feminine stride imaginable. It’s like she’s running on a cloud. She’s considerably older than me, but she’s beautiful. This is probably what my wife will be like when she’s that age. And she doesn’t just say, “good morning” as we approach each other, the way most of the others do. She gives a kind of combination wave and finger point with a turn of the wrist. There’s a warm smile, too, and, wait… was that a wink? I call her “Betty”, as in “Hello, Betty…!” from the old Dentyne chewing gum commercial.
There is a woodpecker that lives out here somewhere. I can’t pinpoint the exact spot (too much loud rock and roll in my past), but that sound, like the sound of a rattlesnake rattling, is unmistakable. Sometimes it sounds like I’m directly beneath it, and then it suddenly sounds like it’s off a little further in the distance. When you’re walking, it’s like there’s nothing else to do but walk, so your mind tends to wander. With me, I catch myself slipping off into my thoughts and memories. The sound of the woodpecker brings up one of my favorite stories that my grandpa used to tell me.
When he was maybe 12 or 13 years old, living in Vacaville, he was home one day, sick in bed with the flu, trying to rest. He had finally managed to fall asleep, but, first thing in the morning, the jackhammer sound of a woodpecker against the house stirs young Grandpa from his slumber. He turns over, trying to maintain his semiconscious state, hoping that the woodpecker will fly away. No use. A few minutes later, the woodpecker is at it again. Angry at the interruption, grandpa gets out of bed, slides his window open, and spots the woodpecker working on the wood trim around his sister Annie’s window at the end of the house. With that, grandpa retrieves his .22 rifle from his closet, leans his entire torso out of the window and picks the bird off with one shot.
Next comes my favorite part of the story that I always made my grandpa repeat several times when he told it: After shooting the bird, Grandpa puts on his pants, goes downstairs and retrieves the dead bird for his mother, Grandma Juanita, who promptly plucks it and makes Grandpa some nice woodpecker soup for breakfast that morning.
Better pick it up again. The Runkeeper lady has just chimed in to tell me that my average pace per mile is now 18 minutes and 23 seconds. I remember a day when it was a matter of miles per minute rather than minutes per mile. Now look at me… Like grandpa used to say, “You can’t beat Father Time.” Man, I miss my grandpa.
I just realized that this must be my old friend Carl Packard’s house. He always used to talk at work about living next to a park, and that HAS to be his Alfa Romeo out front. There aren’t too many cars like that in Sacramento. His wife tends a beautiful flower garden in the strip of Earth that runs between their house and the walking path. I always look for Carl when I walk past. Haven’t seen him in ages, and it would be nice to catch up.
Before I know it, I’m on the last leg of my journey, I see many more members of the cast of characters, the woman who walks her immense dog and pushes her kid in a stroller at the same time; the lady with the white fluffy dog (never on a leash), and who always stops me so that she can offer Trixie a dog biscuit from her ziplock (which is the only thing, other than lettuce, that I’ve ever seen Trixie refuse to eat); the husband and wife walking team who wear matching sweatsuits. Everyone says some form of “Hello” or “Good Morning” as they pass.
When I return home, I hit “STOP ACTIVITY” on my smartphone. The Runkeeper lady then offers me my final numbers, along with an aerial view of the neighborhood with my route that day traced onto it. I swipe through the walks I’ve done to this point, all neatly filed on my phone. Technically, they’re all workouts, but if I were to consider them as such, I’d lose interest almost immediately. Luckily, they’ve become something much more to me. Visits, maybe. A promenade of visits with friends whom I don’t really know. Whatever they are, they seem to make time pass quite quickly for me, my only hope for a consistent exercise program. Further, they seem like something that only a resident of the Greenhaven/Pocket community can enjoy.
“The Pocket Watch” appears in every issue of the Pocket News. Jeff Dominguez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
When I completed my military training in September of 1969, the U. S. Army assigned me to do a tour of duty in West Germany. Then, after returning to Janey Way for a brief vacation, I flew on a military charter plane to Frankfurt, Germany and ultimately bused to the small Bavarian town of Gunzburg where I served in the 510th Ordinance Company.
When I arrived there in mid-October, I noticed the weather was noticeably cooler and wetter than California. By mid-November, snow had covered the ground. It would stay there until mid-April. The harshness of the weather really limited what we could do. I wanted to venture out into the country side to see what was there, but we mostly just walked into town to shop and enjoy the restaurants and taverns. Soon, Christmas passed, and ultimately spring arrived, bringing with it warmer, sunnier weather.
By April, the snow finally melted and we began to hike the Germany countryside.
One Saturday afternoon, my friend Jack and I hiked toward Gunzburg, crossing the Danube River, and then turning right toward the southern part of the town. As we walked along the levee on the edge of town, we sighted a park. We noticed quite a few people there and headed over to see what was going on. The park featured an out-of-service swimming pool on one side and a sports field on the other.
We saw a soccer game in progress on the sports field, so we walked over and blended into the crowd. I remembered playing soccer in high school physical education class, but we did not play the way these people played. We stumbled, crashed into each other, missed passes and, well you get the picture, we weren’t very good. These German players looked masterful. They ran down the field like gazelles, dribbling the ball with grace, then kicked long, arching passes into the middle of the field, where a waiting player, leaped and struck the ball with his head toward the open net.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was awesome. I instantly developed a whole new appreciation for the game of soccer or as the German’s called it: football. I swore that I would take up the sport when I returned home, and I did.
When I returned home in 1971, I began to look for soccer team to play on. I had no skills, but what the heck, I could learn. I eventually got my opportunity.
A friend of mine, Bill Sontag, played for a team made up of people who coached in the newly formed Sacramento youth soccer program. He knew I played football in high school, so he asked me to play goal keeper on his team. I accepted his offer and began a fifteen year saga playing adult recreational soccer.
I ultimately worked my way out of the net and onto the field to play the positions of right fullback and left winger. Soccer became a way of life for me, occupying 35 Sundays throughout the year and it all goes back to that Saturday afternoon in Gunzburg when I first discovered the sport.
At age 67, my sporting days have long since passed me by, but my thoughts of playing adult competitive soccer with my friend Bill still linger, another unforgettable Janey Way memory.
Better late than never, right? And the kick in the dungarees is, it’s right next to Track 7!
It’s now just a one-woman show at Eddy’s Deluxe. One woman, one barber chair, same retro barbershop theme. “If no one shows up, it’s just me,” owner Rea MacSems said. She now takes appointments. While I was there, a few guys wandered in accidentally looking for Track 7 Brewery. One guy even had a growler in his hand searching for a refill. She’s gonna get a lot of accidental business. Spillover you know? It’s ingenious!
The warehouse location on Pacific Avenue is where Rea has her Cock Grease hair pomade empire. She’s also been slapping together some cool live music shows a couple times a month.
Get a haircut, get a Panic IPA. Rea told me, “The shows have been pretty sweet, too.” They just rolled up the metal doors to see what would happen and folks just came filtering in.
“The shows have been low-key and fun. Very people friendly,” Cruz Ordonezy, who was getting his hair coiffed and cut by Rea, said. They actually met over at Track 7 when Rea told him about her new barbershop location next door.
Back in February, they had the Booze Bombs all the way from Germany, as well as, the Twilight Drifters. Coming up on March 23, they’ll have another free show with The Hucklebucks performing some New Orleans Blues.
They were having a real hootenanny at the Cock Pit when I dropped by recently. A fun little record party at the Pit. Cactus Pete, a soft-spoken gentleman, came by to spin ‘78 and ‘45 vinyl records for a few hours. He’s a big collector of Old Country, Boogie Woogie stuff from the 30s, 40s, and hot jazz.
Then he put the needle down on Struttin’ With Some Barbeque. “It’s an old classic”. Pete said.
He followed that up with a song called “Trucker Boogie” from Arthur “Guitar” Smith. Cactus Pete added, “When you’re middle name is Guitar, it means you must be awfully good on guitar”.
People were dancing along to Cactus Pete’s hot jazz tunes and putting some cash in his tip jar. There were quite a few couples dancing to the Lindy Hopper’s Delight, too!
A lot of the folks were taking advantage of the Track 7 brewery next door and the food truck parked outside, too. The sliders from the Krush Burger food truck were being devoured while people listened to Cactus Pete’s Record Roundup.
Eddy’s Deluxe is a marvelous addition to the new vibe over at City Farms. Perhaps, it will spur even more coolness to the neighborhood.
And more retro-ness….SacMod, based in South Land Park and all about retro-ness, will be hosting a “Double Feature Drive-in Event” at the West Wind Sacramento 6 Drive-in. SacMod has teamed up with Director and Producer April Wright. She has a documentary called “Going Attractions-The Definitive Story of the American Drive-In Movie”. She will be at the SacMod event to answer questions and give a presentation about the documentary. Almost everybody has fond memories of going to the drive-in movies, especially Baby Boomers who grew up watching them on the big screen under the stars. My wife, son, and I recently went to the Sacramento 6 Drive-in together to see “Turbo and Planes”. It was a great family experience!
The numbers of drive-in movies is sadly dwindling as developers swoop in and tear them down for a more lucrative commercial development. But that’s not always the case. A lot of drive-in movies are simply just abandoned graveyards due to a cultural shift. According to the press kit, “A cultural movement is emerging among drive-in enthusiasts and families who want to return to simpler times and values. This film reflects the feelings of people who believe this American icon is worth saving for future generations.”
The SacMod Drive-in event is a double feature. The classic Oscar-nominated film, “American Graffiti”, will be the second movie featured at the Sacramento 6 Drive-in – a perfect double-feature. Cruising in 1962 Modesto. Maybe drive-in movies will make a spectacular comeback and the Sacramento 6 Drive-ins will be here for many more years. The SacMod Event is on March 29 at the West Wind Sacramento 6 Drive-In, with ticket sales starting at 6 p.m. See you there Daddy-O!
Have any local neighborhood newsy news? Shoot me an e-mail at Greg@valcomnews.com
In September of 1969, I completed my military training at Fort Lewis, Washington, and then the U. S. Army issued me orders to serve in West Germany. In early October, I boarded a charter plane headed for Frankfurt, Germany. After three days in Frankfurt, I received orders to serve at the 510th Ordinance Battalion in the small German town of Gunzburg.
If the truth be told, I arrived in Gunzburg ill-prepared for the German climate. It didn’t help that my army duffel bag, filled with most of my clothing, disappeared en-route. It eventually arrived, months later, but initially, I had minimal gear.
When I arrived on base, my new friend who called himself “Huck”, said, “We need to get you some warm clothes to wear.” So, next morning, we walked the half mile into town and did some shopping. That day, I bought a fur-lined coat, a good pair of boots and a warm hat. Now, I almost looked like a German.
That day, I also ate my first German meal: Wiener schnitzel. Wow! It tasted great. I knew that I was going to like this place.
The town, too, was fantastic. Gunzburg dated back to the Roman Empire. In fact, the Romans built the cobblestone street that went through the center of town. That day, I walked on a 2,000-year-old road.
I quickly settled into the routine of army life. I basically had a Monday through Friday job at our ordinance site, with Saturdays, Sundays and holidays off. It was great.
By mid-November, the first snow fell and it covered the ground until, April. You got used to it, though. I soon began to enjoy it.
Thanksgiving came and went and Christmas approached. I started to feel a little homesick then. However, my first Christmas away from home turned out wonderfully.
Mom sent me a care package in mid-December full of treats. We went out and bought a small tannenbaum (Christmas tree) for our room. We decorated it with ornaments purchased at a store in town. In town, they decorated the streets with red ribbons, greenery and ornaments. I bought small presents, and mailed them home.
Christmas day, I attended services at the beautiful Gothic cathedral in town. That evening, the officers hosted Christmas dinner for the men in the dining hall. They came, in full military dress attire, accompanied by their wives. After a fine turkey dinner with all the trimmings, they distributed small presents to all of us. Christmas away from home wasn’t so bad after all.
I have never forgotten that first Christmas in Germany.
A few months ago a woman was scoping out the former Ford’s Hamburger stand on Sutterville Boulevard. I immediately pulled the car over to ask her “What’s up?” In a thick European accent she told me Asian cuisine would be moving in. That is all the information she had. It was an Over The Fence item. I recently received some inside information about who will be taking over the former popular hamburger joint. Shoki’s Ramen House, known for their soups, noodles and broth, will be taking over the little building on Sutterville Road. People go nuts for their noodles! Very exciting for the Land Park neighborhood.
However, It’s not going to be a ramen house specifically. I heard a rumor that they were going to serve breakfast. I spoke briefly with Shoki manager Saho Yueyana over the phone and she was very tight lipped about the plans. I asked if the new venture would be breakfast and lunch and she told me, “that’s still up in the air but definitely breakfast“. She told me a couple times it was a “corporate secret” and they’re only sharing the information with a few people at this moment. So look for a Japanese breakfast joint opening up sometime in the Spring. Just don’t tell anybody, it will be our little secret.
How would you like to be awarded $500 and help clean-up the neighborhood, too? That’s what the City Of Sacramento awards citizens for information regarding illegal dumping. There would have to be an arrest and conviction for you to pick up the cash reward. If you witness illegal dumping in progress, jot down the license plate number as well as the make and model of the vehicle. Contact the Sacramento Police non-emergency number at (916) 264-5471.
I noticed some illegal dumping on Freeport Blvd in the parking lot of what used to be the Land Park Academy. It was hard not to notice. There were four discarded mattresses in the parking lot as well as large piles of garbage strewn all over the property. Plenty of hazardous materials all over the lot, too. Roundup, motor oil, old rusty cans of paint, spray paint and insecticide. Which made the rotted garbage not seem so bad.
What was most alarming was out of the corner of my eye I noticed a person wrapped in a filthy blanket on a discarded old mattress. Just another discarded member of society. My anger about the garbage soon turned to sorrow. He was somebody’s child at one time. Perhaps the homeless person was responsible for all the garbage all over. Maybe they were sniffing the spray paint cans. I have no idea. The garbage and rubbage can be cleaned up, but what about the human being with the mental health issues? I called the 311 operator and she took down the information. They told me they’d have to call out the fire department to take care of the hazardous material. Not sure what what will become of the homeless person. I guess they’ll be shooed off to another part of town. It seems to me we should be doing something to get people like this off the streets and into shelters or housing. Welcome to the world of the homeless and their effects on neighborhoods.
I spoke briefly to Joan Burke, director of advocacy at Loaves & Fishes, and she told me “the police are generally wonderful and act more like social workers than police officers”. Occasionally the police will transport the person to Loaves & Fishes where they try and help. Joan told me there’s also a winter sanctuary shelter program at night that has room for between 100-120 people. The pick-up point is at Loaves & Fishes and the Capital Christian Center transports people to different churches each night.
Volunteers of America used to have an outreach program that would take vans out with trained volunteers to see if they could help that person. Due to social service cutbacks that program is no longer available.
Perhaps the $500 cash reward for reporting illegal dumping should go to Loaves & Fishes or a church that advocates for the homeless and mentally ill.
The Annual St. Baldrick’s Day is coming in March . It’s a great cause that raises money for childhood cancer research. They take great care of the funds raised by volunteers and supporters to direct every possible dollar to carefully selected research grants. They don’t throw the money away on needless red tape. The signature head-shaving event will be held at several local businesses in the Land Park area. Giovanni’s Pizza and Florez Mexican Restaurant in the South Land Park shopping center will be hosting events as well as New Helvetia Brewery on Broadway.
Giovanni’s Pizza will host their annual head shaving event on Sunday March 23rd at 1:00 pm. It’s a cause close to the owners hearts since their son, Lucas Luigi, is a cancer survivor. He was diagnosed at the age of 5 with Stage IV neuroblastoma cancer – a cancer of the nervous system. The original tumor was attached to his adrenal gland and wrapped around many of his vital organs. by the time they found it, the cancer had spread to several other locations in his body, and his bone marrow was 90% cancer cells. He is 12 years cancer free! This year as his senior class project at CKM, Lucas will be organizing the entire event. It will be a family affair because his mother Jean Luigi, her husband, as well as Lucas will be getting their heads shaved for this year’s St. Baldrick’s Event at Giovanni’s. Lucas and his brother Jake have been shaving their heads for the past 12 years in an effort to raise awareness of childhood cancer and to support the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.
Florez Bar & Grill will be hosting their first St. Baldrick’s event all day long on March 15th. Also, New Helvetia Brewery will have their event on that same day, March 15th. Owner David Gull has put together a team and will be getting his head shaved to raise money for St. Baldrick’s. For more info check out stbaldricks.org
GONG XI FA CAI!
A happy Chinese New Year to all of my constituents who celebrate!
There are 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac, and this year is the Year of the Horse. Individuals who are born in the Year of the Horse are often said to be giving and energetic, and fond of travel and following their goals.
They’re back! 2014 Food Truck Expo
Mark your calendars, our monthly Food Truck Events return to Garcia Bend Park in March! Join us for some delicious freshly prepared food from Sacramento’s top-rated food trucks. Bring your wallet, lawn chair, and your appetite.
Please note that we have changed the Food Truck Expo to the third Friday of the month to accommodate your busy schedule. All food truck events begin at 5 p.m. We look forward to seeing you on March 21! Look for our completed 2014 event calendar in the oncoming weeks.
Old Sacramento State Historic Park—Excursion Train Plans
As many of you already may be aware, the California State Parks Commission has issued a proposal to expand the programming of the Historic Sacramento Train Museum and State Park to include the operation of two excursion lines. The plans include two separate train lines: Train Line 1, which would run one way from Old Town Sacramento to the Zoo, and; train line 2, which would originate from Pocket/Meadowview, and run through Hood.
As the current plan stands, the train will run through a small section of in the south part of District 7. Neighboring communities of Land Park and South Land Park would be heavily impacted by having the train line running adjacent to their property using the existing tracks and right-of way, under the control of the State Parks Department and Sacramento Regional Transit.
Though the expansion plan is still very tentative, the Commission held a meeting on Jan. 24 to decide whether to vote on moving forward with the proposal. At the conclusion of that meeting, the State Parks Commission decided to postpone their vote to a date yet to be determined, presumably so further outreach could be conducted. My staff attended this meeting and continues to track this issue.
VITA and TCE Tax Program Schedule, January-April 2014
Individuals who wish to do their own taxes without assistance may utilize the Special Portal for the City of Sacramento. This site allows taxpayers to complete federal and up to two state returns for free, electronically file and have their refund directly deposited in their account. This service is provided through the City of Sacramento City-wide Volunteer Program in partnership with MyFreeTaxes, United Way Worldwide and Goodwill. Income is limited to a maximum of $58,000 for 2013 in order to file for free.
Those with incomes of $52,000 or less for 2013 qualify for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA). VITA volunteers will help prepare federal and state taxes. It is possible to also qualify for additional credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Care Credit and more, which could increase the refund amount.
City Expands Household Junk Pickup Program to Two Appointments Per Year
The City’s Household Junk Pickup program (formally the Appointment Based Neighborhood Cleanup Program) is taking appointments for the 2014 season. This year, all residential customers can make two appointments – per year – for the free pickup of acceptable bulky items including yard waste.
Household Junk Pickup occurs from February through October. The same equipment and personnel used for Leaf Season operate the Household Junk Pickup program.
“We hope that the additional appointment will be helpful to customers as well as useful in discouraging illegal dumping,” says Steve Harriman, Integrated Waste General Manager for the Recycling and Solid Waste Division.
To request an appointment, customers can:
• Call 311
• Make an online request at www.sac311.org
• Use the Sac 311 App for iPhone or Android
The City will collect up to five cubic yards of material (4’x4’x9’) per appointment—approximately the amount that will fit into the bed of a pickup truck. Extra charges may apply if load is in excess of five cubic yards. Piles put out more than 24 hours before an appointment or put out without an appointment will be considered illegal dumping and fines may be issued.
Accepted items include yard waste, one appliance, television sets, computers, e-waste, furniture, mattresses, carpet, toys, and four unmounted tires. A full list of acceptable items and guidelines for the Household Junk Pickup Program can be found at www.sacrecycle.org.
Welcome Police Captain Dave Peletta
For the past two years, District 7 residents had the privilege to be in the care of Police Captain Neil Schneider. As is general practice with the Police Department, Captains switch roles every few years. The new year brings a new Captain, Dave Peletta. I had the privilege of working with Captain Peletta while I served in the Police Department, and I can assure you that we are in good hands. Please continue reading to learn more about our new captain:
“I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Dave Peletta, and I am the new area captain for the South Command, which encompasses police Districts 4 and 5. As you may have heard, Captain Schneider and I have recently switched assignments and he now oversees our Investigations Division. Captain Schneider, along with his staff, did an amazing job, which made my transition much easier.
Though I am new as a captain to the South Command, I began my career with the Police Department in 1988 and I have worked as an officer, a sergeant, and a lieutenant in the south area. I am also a native of Sacramento, having attended John Cabrillo Elementary School, Sam Brannan Middle School and John F. Kennedy High School.
The South Command staff has also seen some changes; Lieutenant Jason Morgado is now assigned as the Executive Lieutenant. The Watch Commanders for the station and their respective beat responsibilities are as follows:
Lieutenant Justin Risley/day watch (5B/5C)
Lieutenant Mark Greenlee/mid watch (4A/4C)
Lieutenant Steve Oliveira/late watch (4B/5A)
For reference, our website at http://www.sacpd.org/crime/beats/ helps further define these beats.
I also would like to mention that Lieutenant Greenlee has taken a great leadership training opportunity and will be absent until this upcoming April. In his absence, Lieutenant Morgado will be assuming his position as watch commander and take his area responsibilities.
Earlier in the year we went through a shift change. Simply, sergeants and officers have the opportunity to move (or stay) in an area and the opportunity to possibly change which days to take off. I mention this because you may start seeing different faces in your communities. With that in mind, our core principles of protecting the community, partnerships, professionalism, prevention/intervention and ownership will remain our priority.
As you may have heard before, the Police Department’s goal is simple: make Sacramento the Safest Big City in California. However, there are two realities behind this statement: One, it will not happen overnight; and two, the Police Department cannot do it without your help and involvement!
To help the public become more involved, the Police Department began utilizing Nextdoor.com in June of 2013. The Department realized that it is a great forum for us to communicate with our neighborhoods. Please encourage your neighbors, coworkers, and families to become part of it. We do not monitor your neighborhood pages, but this avenue creates a great way for me and my staff to communicate with you in real time. Please feel free to send me a message via Nextdoor.com with any questions or concerns in your neighborhood.”
I-5 Interchange Project Charges Forward
Progress is continuing on one of the largest public works projects in City history, the new I-5 Interchange and Cosumnes River Boulevard Extension. Linking Interstate I-5 and Route 99 east together, this project will relieve traffic congestion and decrease travel time. In addition to improving transportation, the project will spur economic development through construction of a regional park, a retail center, and 5,000 new housing units. Once a mere concept, the project has made remarkable progress in the last six months.
The new interchange is expected to be completed by fall of 2014, with the completion of the entire road extension to follow.
Neighborhood Association Meetings
Charter Pointe Neighborhood Association meets as needed
Deerfield/Mesa Grande Neighborhood Association meets the third Thursday of the month, at 7 p.m., located at Union House Elementary School, 7850 Deer Creek Dr.
Lake Greenhaven Homeowners Association will have its annual general meeting in April, location changes
Marina Oaks Homeowners Association meets quarterly on the second Saturday of the month, 11 a.m., location changes.
Park Place South Homeowners Association meets Second Tuesday of the month, 7 p.m., rotation of board members’ homes
Park Rivers Oaks Estates Homeowners Association meets the last Tuesday of the month, time varies, meet in Clubhouse.
Reith Park Neighborhood Association meets the first Monday of the month at 6:30p.m., John Reith Elementary School, 8401 Valley Lark Dr.
Riverlake Community Association meets the third Wednesday of the month, 6 p.m., 799 Lake Front Dr.
Riverwind Place Owners Association meets the first Thursday of the month, 6:30 p.m., Robbie Waters Pocket-Greenhaven Library, 7335 Gloria Dr.
Sacramento Roundtree Homeowners Association meets the third Tuesday of the month, time varies, 601 Roundtree Court.
South Pocket Homeowners Association meets quarterly on the second Thursday of the month at 7 p.m., Bergamo Preparatory School, 82 Pocket Rd.
Valley Hi Neighborhood Association meets the second Thursday of the month, 6:30 p.m., Hope United Methodist Church, 6161 Valley Hi Dr.
*Confirm with each organization. Meeting information can be found on the Neighborhood Services website.