Over The Fence with Greg Brown

Come-N-Go on Freeport Gets a Makeover
The Come-n-Go is back! It even has that new convenience store smell. The convenience store on the corner of Meer and Freeport had fallen on hard times the past several years. The outside of the store looked almost abandoned. Dry weeds and litter encircled the parking lot. The unsightly gas pumps have been Out Of Order for years. The flickering, intermittently working, fluorescent lights gave the front of the building a creepy horror movie vibe. The Come-n-Go was a neighborhood eyesore.
A convenience store that wasn’t very convenient.

New owner Pat Mulhall standing proud in front of the new and improved Come-n-Go Market in Land Park. / Photo by Greg Brown
New owner Pat Mulhall standing proud in front of the new and improved Come-n-Go Market in Land Park. / Photo by Greg Brown

Inside the store was much worse. Expired everything! Don’t even bother picking out some ketchup. The Icee machine was Out Of Order. The list of bad things goes on and on. The only thing safe to buy there were the Tic Tacs.
The former owner, Daniel Sun, got in trouble with the law a few times last year for selling alcohol to minors. He was arrested and charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and selling alcoholic beverages to a minor according to a story last October in The Sacramento Bee.
The Feds suspended his license for good. He wasn’t selling gas or alcohol at the Come-n-Go.
That’s when he came and went.
Pat Mulhall is the new owner and he’s come to the rescue. He’s really spruced up the place. They’ve installed a clean crisp new sign out front. The previous sign was yellowy and worn. It also had the 24 hours sign cut to say 21 hours.
It definitely brought janky to Freeport Boulevard in Land Park. And we don’t want janky in Land Park.
The one thing I noticed above all else is the big windows. Lots of natural light filtering into the store. Most liquor or convenient stores have all the cheap advertising covering up the windows. Tacky.
No pricing on the front of the building windows, nothing above the rail. It’s a very clean look. “We don’t want it to look like an average convenience store, we also want to be more of a neighborhood market,” Pat said.
The interior of the store has been cleaned up too. Where it used to have red disintegrating Formica above the register is now wood interior with neon beer signs of craft and import beers. Sorry Budweiser and Coors.
“I want to tell people more about our imports and craft beers,” Pat said.
They installed granite countertops, marble back-splashes, and brand new flooring. It’s really an impressive transformation. Convenience store crashers…On HGTV!
Pat’s already heard positive things from the neighbors. They’re “very happy to have the store back,” Pat said. A place they can walk to and buy milk, bread, or Doritos.
They’re going to have coffee and donut specials every morning. Pat said they’re going to offer Yum Yum donuts along with Boyd’s coffee.
The new Come-n-Go will also be a good place to grab local craft beer bombers, like Knee Deep Brewing, Drake’s Brewery, and Sacramento favorites, The Rubicon and Track 7.
And a convenience store staple…they will have a roller grill for hot dogs! Along with corn dogs, taquitos, egg rolls and food items like that.
They’ll also offer some healthy options like sandwiches and high end fruit drinks.
Bigger brighter and less dreary liquor store feel. “Everything we’ve done with this building is energy efficient,” Pat said.
Come-n-Go was like that dilapidated house on your street everybody hates. Now it’s the shiny new convenience store the neighborhood can enjoy.
Ford’s Real Hamburgers gets renovated
Another building that was a bit dilapidated and in desperate need of TLC is the old Ford’s Real Hamburgers building on Sutterville behind the former Blockbuster video store.
One of the men working on restoring the building said, “It used to look like a jailhouse café.” He was right. With the spiked metal fence to the scabbed on plastic yellowy awnings, this place was another black eye for the neighborhood.
Somebody had literally screwed sliding glass doors side by side and made a wall out of it.
All that spiked fencing and sliding glass door walls were not up to code. The tiny 3-foot by 5-foot bathroom was not ADA compliant. It actually wasn’t suitable for anybody to use. The building had been just sitting there vacant waiting for somebody to give it some renovation love.
Adair Construction was hired to bring the building back to life. They did a masterful job. Once they tore away all the unsightly scabbed-on additions you could tell there was a cool retro-looking building
I spoke with the contractor, Ryan Adair, of Adair Construction, on the final day of the restoration and he said, “Nobody would design and build this today, but look at it, it’s fantastic!”
It’s also nice to see a see a cool little building NOT torn down.
The original 1970s rock veneer and inverted roof-line give the building character. Adair said, “The original rock veneer? We decided to keep it. Why pull that away? It looks good.”
On the day the building restoration project was complete, a woman drove by, glanced over, and did a double take, like, “Oh wow, what a cool little building!”
There’s also plenty of space for outdoor dining. Lots of curb appeal to the space, too.
While I was at the site, Ryan Adair was busy pulling the last bit of stray Bermuda grass from the property when he said, “There’s a huge benefit to re-using an existing structure. It pulls a little bit of the past into the future.”
Now that the building restoration is complete what will be going into that spot? Another burger place? Ice cream shop? Barbecue joint? Whatever it becomes, I hope it’s not another Goodwill Express.
Summer of Service At Cal Middle School
There was a bake sale outside Cal Middle School, courtesy of the kids from Summer of Service, a summer school program at Cal Middle School. They were doing a project to serve the neighborhood of Land Park.
The bake sale was to fund an idea from 8th graders at the school.
The 8th graders have been having difficulties at physical education due to the dog waste scattered all over the field. It’s an ongoing problem for the children. Soccer and dog poop do not mix!
So they’re raising money to build a doggie cleanup station at the school hoping it will be utilized by nearby dog owners who don’t feel the need to clean up after their pooch.
They had some homemade cookies, cupcakes, apple turnovers, and all sorts of goodies at the one day bake sale. They actually raised more than $200 in a few hours. Sounds like a summer of success.
New Ride Named
And the new ride at Funderland has been named. Drum roll, please….They’re calling it the Squirrelly Whirl! Catchy. I like it. The ride is now open.
Got an item for Over The Fence? Greg@valcomnews.com

Over The Fence with Greg Brown

Forrest works on the shed, as a pony looks on. / Photos by Greg Brown
Forrest works on the shed, as a pony looks on. / Photos by Greg Brown

There are always interesting things happening in William Land Park. If you look around, you’ll observe people doing stuff. I noticed a couple of guys with hammers and saws doing stuff over by the pony rides. They were building a brand new storage shed at the Land Park Ranch.
The pony lady was thrilled! The ponies even seemed to notice.
Who are those guys? Those guys are Forrest Neff and John Salido who are part of the Land Park Volunteer Corp. The LPVC! You’ll actually see their good deeds all over William Land Park. Just look for the LPVC signature. It’s carved all over the park. “We like to put our signature on things,” Forest said.
The idea for the new pony shed got started when Forrest was taking one of his many walks through the park. “I walk the park a lot and I noticed their cashier stand was a total wreck. I thought I’d fix it up and build them a new one.” Then, Forrest noticed the dilapidated storage shed in the pony ride area.
The old storage shed was dilapidated, small and housed lots of black widows.
“I got a hold of the park guy and I told him if you buy the materials for the shack we’ll build it.” The park guy agreed and the city of Sacramento “ponied up the dough” for the shed rebuild.
All they had to do was push the little shack down because it was totally rotted out. His partner on the project, John Salcido, piped up, “The thing was held together with spider webs and rusty nails.”
Forrest and John pose for the paparazzi in front of the new Land Park Ranch shed.
Forrest and John pose for the paparazzi in front of the new Land Park Ranch shed.

The shed looks really nice and sturdy. It’s dugout green and has a sloped roof with a gutter in the back for when it rains. The new Land Park Ranch pony shed even has a skylight.
I told Forrest it looked really nice.
“You like it huh? Well, we do things right,” he said. Forrest is no nonsense.
The volunteers worked diligently on the new storage shed, although the pony lady told me they “like to take a long lunch” over at Mulligan’s Café at William Land Park Golf Course.
Forrest sheepishly told me, “John said I gotta have a plan to see what you’re building. I told him, John I don’t have a plan.” Then he went home and drew a picture of a two-seater outhouse.
It’s a darn nice outhouse.
Forrest is an electrical contractor by trade. He didn’t need to Google “How to build a shed.” He just “learned by watching” over all these years. He told me, “anybody could do it.”
I’d like to have one of those storage sheds in my backyard. I got some bikes and lawn equipment taking up a lot of space in my garage.
The pony rides need reliable storage. They have to have somewhere to store the horsefly spray, Hooflex, and of course the tasty horse cookies.
The LPVC has done quite a few things Forrest and the crew are proud of. They put barbecue pits all over the park. They installed stone benches over by Swanson’s Pond, as well as the pergola over by the WPA Rock Garden. Just look for their autograph!
Over the saws and drills Forrest and John were listening to the soothing sounds of classical music. “It soothes our souls as we work,” Forrest said. The ponies didn’t seem to mind.
Chalk Talk In Land Park
Lets talk chalk. Chalktalk 916 is a new phenomenon sweeping Wentworth Avenue in Land Park. It even has its own hashtag. #Chalktalk916
What is Chalktalk?
Chalktalk is a daily message billboard for the neighborhood. Local talk with chalk. It covers pop culture, sports, inspirational messages, goofy sayings, holidays, music lyrics, topical stuff, the works!
The chalkboard greets you in front of the home of Rory Tira. She’s in charge of the chalkboard. The board sits on a chair next to a tomato plant, a white picket fence and a brick walkway that leads to the front door of the home. There’s even a cowbell to clang! This time of year there are American flags surrounding the chalkboard. It’s a free speech Americana thing.
Rory likes to keep the messages short and simple. Rory said, “The best messages are short and tight.”
Some messages give sage advice, “Never leave your wingman.” Another stated, “Time Cools All Jets.” Others are somber, “Oh Charleston, Oh America.” Quite a few are celebratory. “CKM Ladies all the way!”
On the day I dropped by Chalktalk it was all about USA Women’s soccer. “USA 4pm vs DEU #BELIEVE”
Chalktalk doesn’t delve into the “controversy of the week.” Chalktalk did, however, celebrate the recent Supreme Court decision over gay marriage. And why not? The deciding vote and majority decision was written by C.K. McClatchy grad Justice Anthony Kennedy. Chalktalk read,
“SCOTUS
Justice Kennedy
McClatchy ‘54
Go Lions”
The idea for Chalktalk was born at Track 7 Brewery, where a lot of good ideas spring to life. Last spring, Rory and a couple friends of hers came up with the idea. It’s been gaining momentum ever since.
And people are noticing.
Chalktalk has become a celebrity of sorts. Local residents are slowly driving by to read what the daily message is. Others have had their picture taken with the chalkboard.
Chalktalk recently celebrated its one year birthday. There have been three incarnations of the chalkboard. A friend of Rory’s actually made her a new big yellow board as a gift.
Another gift the chalkboard received was on Christmas Eve. A box of new chalk. I guess Santa likes Chalktalk.
Rory told me Chalktalk has three types of followers. Drive-by readers, walkers, and online followers as well. Rory said, “We have fans from London to Israel.” Chalktalk is International!
One woman told Rory that she “used to drive a different way to school and one day she went down Wentworth.” Now she always drives down Wentworth past the chalkboard to see what the message will be.
Chalktalk has stalkers!
And with good reason. Chalktalk has a feel-good vibe to it. Fun, lyrical quotes regularly pop up on the chalkboard. Beach Boys, Journey, and Bruce Springsteen are just some of the musical artists whose songs are quoted on the board.
Rory told me most of the ideas for Chalktalk pop into her head while driving around town. She jots the ideas down while driving. People also send her suggestions. She even takes requests!
Rory Tira of Land Park poses in front of the chalkboard with a daily message. It's Chalktalk on Wentworth.  / Photos by Greg Brown
Rory Tira of Land Park poses in front of the chalkboard with a daily message. It's Chalktalk on Wentworth. / Photos by Greg Brown

So next time you’re driving down Wentworth, slow down, look around and maybe you’ll stumble upon ChalkTalk916 in Land Park. It’s also on Instagram #Chalktalk916.
It’s the chalk talk of the town.
Got an item for Over The Fence? Greg@valcomnews.com

Over The Fence

Over the Fence columnist, Greg Brown, is also a chef at the little league snack shack. Nice hat.
Over the Fence columnist, Greg Brown, is also a chef at the little league snack shack. Nice hat.

The Culinerdy Cruzer food truck was on location at the fundraiser for Georgia Kukowski, a mother of two who is undergoing cancer treatment not covered by her insurance. / Photos by Greg Brown
The Culinerdy Cruzer food truck was on location at the fundraiser for Georgia Kukowski, a mother of two who is undergoing cancer treatment not covered by her insurance. / Photos by Greg Brown

Manning The Grill At Dooley Field


Life as a Little League Dad. The Land Park Pacific Little League is winding down and my son’s t-ball team needed volunteers for the snack shack at Dooley Field.
It ain’t no dinky shack. It’s more like a small restaurant. With help from other parental volunteers on the Royals, I pitched in to help. I don’t have a lot of food service experience, although I did work at Round Table Pizza in my youth. I made pizzas and worked the salad bar.
Luckily there is no kale, salad, or sneeze guard at the Dooley Field Snack Shack. It’s all about the hotdogs and hamburgers.
Since I’m the backyard barbecue grill-master at home, I volunteered to start off grilling on the Dooley Field gas grill. It’s a behemoth.
I even donned an apron to catch the juicy splatters of the meat. It would have been cool to wear one of those big white chef hats the carvers at Sam’s wear. That would make me look more official.
The best part of grilling hot dogs and hamburgers at Dooley Field is the picturesque view of the ballpark. While the hotdogs got plump and the hamburgers sizzled, I watched the Cubs take on the Phillies. There was a crack of the bat and I looked up to see the Cubs center fielder make a one-handed grab deep in center field. He got an appreciative cheer from the crowd in the bleachers. Nice catch!
Besides hotdogs, hamburgers and candy galore, the snack shack also offers deep fried tater tots and French fries. One of the parents was in charge of the fryer that was cooking up the tots and fries. The Krunch Bars and Big League Chew bubble gum were also big sellers.

Surprisingly, one of the most popular food items was Taco In A Bag.

We rang up quite a few orders for Taco In A Bag. Not sure where the idea for taco in a bag came from but, it’s got Little League Dad written all over it.
They’re really quite simple to prepare. You open up the Doritos chip or Fritos bag. Then you pour chili, cheese, lettuce and salsa on top and that’s what they call Taco In A Bag, an easy on-the-go snack for the kids. Or for Dad!
I’m waiting for the Taco In A Bag food truck!
Once the two ballgames were over the Little Leaguers came running to the snack shack. That’s when the action really heated up. Tater tots, hotdogs, hamburgers, and yes, the Taco In A Bag were flying out the snack bar window.
Once the deluge of hungry little leaguers was over, it was time for the cleanup crew.
Love For Georgia Fundraiser
It was a special night of giving at New Helvetia Brewing Company. Friends, family, and the local community showed up in force for a fundraiser for Georgia Kukowski, a woman they love.
Pedro Tiago Ferrer was spinning cool tunes, the Culinerdy Cruzer was serving up the grub, and there was face painting for the kids. Not to mention a slew of awesome raffle prizes.
Parents were sipping a pint and socializing with each other while children weaved and snaked their way through the crowd.
The night was celebratory, but had a serious purpose – to raise a pint and some funds for Georgia.
Georgia has been fighting stage 4 breast Cancer for 2 and a half years. She recently found out the cancer has spread to her liver.
Shannon Tarter, a close friend and organizer of the fundraiser, said “Georgia is a very caring woman. She has a lot of courage.” She added, “She feels great, she looks great. Which is not reflective of her battle.”
The Love For Georgia fundraiser started on Mother’s Day. Georgia has two school age children that attend Alice Birney Elementary and she hopes to begin treatment once the school year is over.
Nicole Oehmke, a friend of Georgia’s, said, “When my children needed extra nurturing, she’s been there. She is who I can’t be for my kids. She loves them as they are. She loves them for who they are.”
In 10 days, they’ve already raised an astounding $60,000 for Georgia. And they’re not done yet. All of the funds will go for Georgia’s medical fund covering, and there’s a lot of it. The immunotherapy treatment she would like to undergo next is not covered by her insurance.
On Georgia’s Youcaring website she says,
“Cancer college is teaching me that some people are ashamed of their cancer. Some people try to hide it or isolate themselves. That is not me. I am not ashamed. I don’t know why I have cancer, but I don’t think it was something I did…or didn’t do. It just is. And I will find my way through this. And so many of you are right by my side. My army of love and light. Thank you. Thank you. And one more time THANK YOU!”
If you want to donate, or learn more about Georgia and her fight:
http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/love-for-georgia-kukowski-help-give-this-mother-more-time-/351320

Land Park Farmer’s Market Makes A Move
The Land Park Farmers Market is moving from William Land Park to Sacramento City College. It will now be located at the corner of Sutterville Road and 21st in the Sac City parking lot
I spoke with Emily Lipson over the phone and she told me, “We’ll be more visible and also we’ll be able to add more vendors and beef up the market for the summer months. It’s an easier and better location for us.”
Summertime means more farmers and a bigger market for the Land Park neighborhood every Sunday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Got an item? Greg@valcomnews.com

Over The Fence What’s next for the former Vic’s IGA?

Old Good Eats
Old Good Eats

What’s the latest scoop on the former Vic’s IGA Supermarket in South Land Park?
The store was shut down in March and rumors are running rampant all over social media about what will take its place. If you believe everything you read on social media a Trader Joe’s is moving in.
There’s an online petition being circulated.
A lot of residents in the neighborhood seems to want a Trader Joe’s. They are frothing at the mouth for one to open up in their neighborhood.
Slim chance that’s going to happen. Besides, the shopping center parking lot is too vast. Trader Joe’s specializes in annoying little parking lots that make shoppers irate.
Another person on a Land Park Facebook group talked about a VIVA Supermarket taking over the site. They provided a link where people could send messages to corporate headquarters begging them to locate in the South Land Park Hills Shopping Center. Viva has a local grocery store on Northgate Boulevard.
Another rumor on social media was a Dollar Tree was moving in. A guy said he heard it from somebody at the Jazzercise studio.
So you know it’s legit.
That false rumor got a lot of people worked up and angry. Folks just don’t like Dollar Tree. Let’s hope DD’s Discounts doesn’t try to weasel their way in. There’s new fencing around Vic’s Supermarket. That does not mean anything is imminent. It just means there is a fence around the building to keep it from being vandalized.
I spoke with John Chang, whose family owns the shopping center property on the right side of the South Hills Center, and he told me,
“We’re just proceeding with what is legally required to allow us to do what is next.”
Vic’s IGA filed for bankruptcy. There is a long, arduous process involved. Nothing is imminent.
I also spoke with Theodore Chang who is part of the property management company and he said, “The property has not been rented out. We have not made that decision yet, although we do have people who are interested.”
Theodore added, “We have several brokers we are working with and we’re trying to find the perfect fit for us as well as for our neighborhood”
When I asked him what are you looking to put in there? He told me, “We are keeping all of our options open. It could be anything from an athletic club to a grocery store.”
Theodore added, “We don’t have anything set in stone.”
I also asked about the aesthetic of the building and if they had plans for any demolishing of the mid-century modern designed building. “We’re not looking at anything like that. We’re just looking at getting a tenant in there. We aren’t going to make any major changes to the building itself.”
Good news for all you Sookie Lee fans.
So, when you see hunches and predictions on social media, don’t take them too seriously. The owners are working towards getting a suitable tenant in the former Vic’s IGA building. Let’s all hope it’s something that lifts up the South Land Park Hills Shopping Center.

WHAT ABOUT GOOD EATS?

Good Eats, the popular little barbecue joint that was housed inside Vic’s IGA, was planning to move into the former Brick Oven Pizza building. It sounded like a perfect match. Bring on the red checkered tablecloths!
I asked Good Eats owner Eric McFadden about the move over the phone recently and he told me, “It’s not gonna happen right now. I got a lot of my business when Vic’s was open and that store isn’t open anymore. Right now I’m playing it by ear.”
He added, “Because it ain’t cheap to run a business.”
Right now Eric and his Good Eats are over at Goeman’s Lounge on Franklin Boulevard. So if you miss the comfort food at Good Eats head on over to Goeman’s for some comfort.
“This is gonna work for now. I’m not going anywhere right now.”
McFadden plans on unleashing the “Big Mama Grill” next month over at Goeman’s. His hours are Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Over The Fence

What’s next for the former Vic’s IGA?

Collected Works on Freeport Boulevard is closing. / Photos by Greg Brown
Collected Works on Freeport Boulevard is closing. / Photos by Greg Brown

What’s the latest scoop on the former Vic’s IGA Supermarket in South Land Park?
The store was shut down in March and rumors are running rampant all over social media about what will take its place. If you believe everything you read on social media a Trader Joe’s is moving in.
There’s an online petition being circulated.
A lot of residents in the neighborhood seems to want a Trader Joe’s. They are frothing at the mouth for one to open up in their neighborhood.
Slim chance that’s going to happen. Besides, the shopping center parking lot is too vast. Trader Joe’s specializes in annoying little parking lots that make shoppers irate.
Another person on a Land Park Facebook group talked about a VIVA Supermarket taking over the site. They provided a link where people could send messages to corporate headquarters begging them to locate in the South Land Park Hills Shopping Center. Viva has a local grocery store on Northgate Boulevard.
Another rumor on social media was a Dollar Tree was moving in. A guy said he heard it from somebody at the Jazzercise studio.
So you know it’s legit.
That false rumor got a lot of people worked up and angry. Folks just don’t like Dollar Tree. Let’s hope DD’s Discounts doesn’t try to weasel their way in. There’s new fencing around Vic’s Supermarket. That does not mean anything is imminent. It just means there is a fence around the building to keep it from being vandalized.
I spoke with John Chang, whose family owns the shopping center property on the right side of the South Hills Center, and he told me,
“We’re just proceeding with what is legally required to allow us to do what is next.”
Vic’s IGA filed for bankruptcy. There is a long, arduous process involved. Nothing is imminent.
I also spoke with Theodore Chang who is part of the property management company and he said, “The property has not been rented out. We have not made that decision yet, although we do have people who are interested.”
Theodore added, “We have several brokers we are working with and we’re trying to find the perfect fit for us as well as for our neighborhood”
When I asked him what are you looking to put in there? He told me, “We are keeping all of our options open. It could be anything from an athletic club to a grocery store.”
Theodore added, “We don’t have anything set in stone.”
I also asked about the aesthetic of the building and if they had plans for any demolishing of the mid-century modern designed building. “We’re not looking at anything like that. We’re just looking at getting a tenant in there. We aren’t going to make any major changes to the building itself.”
Good news for all you Sookie Lee fans.
So, when you see hunches and predictions on social media, don’t take them too seriously. The owners are working towards getting a suitable tenant in the former Vic’s IGA building. Let’s all hope it’s something that lifts up the South Land Park Hills Shopping Center.

WHAT ABOUT GOOD EATS?
Good Eats, the popular little barbecue joint that was housed inside Vic’s IGA, was planning to move into the former Brick Oven Pizza building. It sounded like a perfect match. Bring on the red checkered tablecloths!
I asked Good Eats owner Eric McFadden about the move over the phone recently and he told me, “It’s not gonna happen right now. I got a lot of my business when Vic’s was open and that store isn’t open anymore. Right now I’m playing it by ear.”
He added, “Because it ain’t cheap to run a business.”
Right now Eric and his Good Eats are over at Goeman’s Lounge on Franklin Boulevard. So if you miss the comfort food at Good Eats head on over to Goeman’s for some comfort.
“This is gonna work for now. I’m not going anywhere right now.”
McFadden plans on unleashing the “Big Mama Grill” next month over at Goeman’s. His hours are Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
New Little Library Pops Up In Hollywood Park
Little Libraries are popping up all over Sacramento. The cool thing is they’re open 24 hours a day and you won’t get charged a late fee for an overdue book.
The latest little library is on Helen Way in Hollywood Park. It was installed by Margaret Buggy, who’s an English teacher at Christian Brothers High School. She had heard of the Little Library movement through a cousin in Central Pennsylvania. Margaret was also inspired by the little library on Sherwood Way.

Community engagement through books…what a novel idea.
A charming, quirky, little library made of wood. It’s a small house of books with a little glass door that sits atop a wooden stump.
It looks like a birdhouse with books inside of it.
Maybe in a Utopian Neighborhood World folks could gather and discuss literature in person.
The concept for the Little Library is simple: You take a book, you leave a book. The part that makes it more fascinating is you get to see the reading habits of your neighbors.
There was a wide array of good books to choose from including “The Memorium” by Vaclav Havel, “Tell No One” by Harlan Coben, even some children’s books like “There’s a Tarantula In My Homework.” There were also a few book by Mary Higgins Clark.
Another one of the books in the Little Library was “The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part-Time Indian.” The book by Sherman Alexie made the list of most challenged books of 2014 by the American Library Association.
There are quite a few subversives in Hollywood Park. Let’s hope they add some more banned books to the Little Library on Helen.
The key to making the Little Library a success is to leave a book you recommend or find interesting, maybe even a childhood favorite.
And where did Margaret get all the books for the library? Margaret said, “over the past five months, I’ve been collecting books from family, friends, co-workers – anyplace I could get my hands on them!  I am an avid reader and so are my boys, Eli (11) and John (9).  We’re always going through books in the house.  Years ago, I gave up saving all of them, so my boys and I liked the idea of being able to pass books on through the little library.”
If you want to build your own Little Library for your neighborhood get more info at http://littlefreelibrary.org/
Farewell To Collected Works
Collected Works on Freeport Boulevard is retiring. The store has been a fixture in Land Park for 27 years. They must have been doing something right.
Collected Works has always been THEE shop to buy special gifts and collectables for mom, grandma, or the wife. I dropped in to see how the retirement sale was going and it was a madhouse. Items were flying off the shelves with rapid speed right before Mother’s Day. Everything was 25 percent off.
Store owner Bobbi Gould thought she was going to be open through the middle of June, but since folks have been rabidly bargain shopping the store’s almost empty.
Good luck in retirement and thanks for being there when I needed a last minute gift for mom.
Send items of interest to Greg@valcomnews.com

Over The Fence with Greg Brown

Rail To Trail in South Land Park

Brian Ebbert, Sharon Louie, and her daughter hanging out on the Del Rio Trail to discuss the Rail to Trail
Brian Ebbert, Sharon Louie, and her daughter hanging out on the Del Rio Trail to discuss the Rail to Trail

The Del Rio Trail in South Land Park sounds like something John Wayne would have rode a Stagecoach through in one of those old movie Westerns. “Alright, pilgrim. I’ll meet you on the Del Rio trail.”
The natural trail has primarily been used by locals as a 4-mile public walking trail. One spot along the trail is nicknamed the “Secret Glorious Place” by a local Waldorf pre-school teacher.
The sights and sounds of birds and bees are everywhere. California poppies and wildflowers blooming throughout the trail. There’s also a strong scent of springtime in Sacramento along the trail.
There’s a “No Trespassing” sign that everybody ignores and some janky gates that don’t keep anybody out. The trail is lined with backyard fences along the way.
The Del Rio Trail is owned by Regional Transit. They bought it back in the 80s as surplus property thinking one day they’d run the Blue Line through there. These days they have no use for it.
It’s now up for sale. I saw the new For Sale sign staked on the corner of San Mateo and Riverside.
The State Parks and Recreation Commission was proposing an excursion train full of tourists chugging through the four mile stretch of the Del Rio Trail on its way to Pocket Road from Old Sacramento. There would be a stop in between at the Sacramento Zoo. Once the neighborhood learned about it they mobilized and expressed vocal opposition to the train traffic traveling through their quiet neighborhood.
It worked.
State Parks backed down and agreed to remove the four-mile neighborhood section from its general plan and a revised plan was adopted last May. The State Parks and Recreation Commission approved the train stations at the Sacramento Zoo and at Pocket Road.
This raises a question as to how will the trains travel from Old Sacramento to Pocket Road without using the South Land Park tracks?
Could there be a round two battle brewing over the tourist trains?
Hopefully, not. Although, there are still concerns from local residents.
A group of neighbors have joined together with the leadership of the South Land Park Neighborhood Association and the City Of Sacramento. They call themselves the South Land Park Trail and Greenbelt Committee. The committee includes residents from South Land Park Hills, South Land Park Terrace, and local high school students. They are creating a neighborhood action plan for the four miles of abandoned tracks that run from Sutterville Road, behind Sprouts, and extends to Pocket Road near Freeport Boulevard. It would be a multi-use trail. Pedestrians, bicyclists and dog walkers would co-exist in harmony along the urban trail.
In the wider sections of the trail they’d like to create community gardens where a school group or neighborhood could plant organic gardens. Some parts of the Del Rio Trail can get gritty. Wider sections towards the South are brownfields with some trash from Freeport and illegal camping. The goal is to improve and protect the neighborhood.
Give the trail some TLC.
I met with Brian Ebbert and Sharon Louie on the Del Rio Trail one sunny afternoon to learn more about the rail to trail idea. Brian and Sharon are both members of the South Land Park Trail and Greenbelt Committee, also known as the “rail to trail” team.
“The rail to trail proposal is more than just a local amenity, it’s also to prevent the trains from coming through our neighborhood,” Brian told me. They want to be pre-emptive and pro-active.
“There’s a pot of money out there for bike trails,” Brian said.
The project is being considered for future grant funds that have a goal of improving bicycle and pedestrian mobility. The next step for the Rail to Trail team is to reach out to the community and engage with residents.
If you want to be a part of the rail to trail team or have comments or suggestions, contact Committee Chairperson Sharon Louie at SharonL6251@gmail.com

Movie Making At Awesome Video

Awesome Video, the iconic Land Park video store on the corner that has outlasted them all, recently became a movie set for some aspiring student filmmakers from San Francisco State University.
For several days a cast and crew took over Awesome Video and shot a short film entitled “I Hate The Color Red.” It’s a story about a brother and sister who inherit their parents’ video store. They try to keep the video store alive, and in part, their parents alive, too.
The title idea, “I Hate The Color Red”, comes from the fact that the video store is in the red. Another reason for the title is Redbox, as well as the red envelopes Netflix uses to deliver their movies.
The film’s producer Laura Chenault quipped, “Redbox is the bane of the video store owner’s existence.”
The director of the short film, Jazmin Jamias, told me it was hard to find a video store big enough to film in.
When she first stepped foot in Awesome Video she was impressed with the size, the look, and all the cool posters on the wall. She thought the store had a nostalgic sense to it.
Jazmin was also excited about finding an old school video store jewel like Awesome Video. “When I saw the ‘Criterion Collection’ I knew this was my video store.”
The owner of Awesome Video, Maithu Bui, agreed to the filming because she has a passion for movies. “This is just like a love affair, that’s why I am here. The store is for the neighborhood and this is a neighborhood picture. I hope neighbors see us that way.”
Where did the idea of the short film come from? Jazmin was thinking about the things she liked to do when she was younger. “When I was in high school I was going to the video store almost every day,” he said.
Jazmin mentioned she had a Blockbuster Video and a Hollywood Video in her hometown of Vallejo. Going to the video store, sifting through the movie titles and talking to other movie lovers is “Something I miss doing,” Jazmine said.
When Netflix came out and Redbox followed, the local video stores started disappearing. Hollywood Video, Blockbuster…gone. Now it’s all about streaming movies on demand from the convenience of your couch.
Awesome Video has outlasted them all!
“The movie is really about human connection, Jazmin said. That was one of the biggest things I wanted to convey”. She added, “Sometimes technology takes that away.”
Producer Laura Chenault, told me “I devour movies and film and I love Awesome Video, I wish we had one in my neighborhood, I really do.”
Once the film is completed I’ll let readers know when and where they can see it. I even make a cameo in the film with my five year old son, Freddy. Perhaps a special exclusive red carpet showing at Awesome Video. Wouldn’t that be, awesome?
Got an item for Over The Fence?

Greg@valcomnews.com

Over the Fence

BAN THE ICE CREAM MAN?

Freddy happily enjoys his Batman popsicle from the Ice Cream Man. / Photo by Greg Brown

Freddy happily enjoys his Batman popsicle from the Ice Cream Man. / Photo by Greg Brown

The Ice Cream Man brings back memories of childhood, like running after the ice cream truck and waving a quarter I shook from my piggy bank on a hot summer day.

The Ice Cream Man was trucking through our neighborhood the other day. I could hear the familiar ice cream truck jingle.

I yelled to my 5-year-old-son, “Ice Cream Man!”

My wife and I looked at each other and thought, “Why not? It’s good times.”

So we all went out front and waited for the ice cream man to stop at our house. My 5-year-old-son got a Batman ice cream on a stick. He was very excited about picking out an ice cream treat from a passing vehicle. Now every time he hears the Ice Cream Man he thinks it’s carte blanche to “get more ice cream.” We now have weekly limits on fudgsicle bar consumption.

Whenever I think “Ice Cream Man” I think Van Halen. “Oh my my, I’m your ice cream man,stop me when I’m passin’ by. They say all my flavors are guaranteed to satisfy.”

Ah yes, more childhood memories.

Unfortunately, Over The Fence has learned that a Hollywood Park resident has officially complained to the city of Sacramento about the ice cream truck weaving through the neighborhood and selling frozen treats.

A woman is actually trying to campaign against the ice cream truck, and believes that it turns the neighborhood into “ghetto city.” Her biggest complaint is that the ice cream truck music is “too loud.”

I assume she’s never been to a Van Halen concert.

Now granted, ice cream trucks aren’t what they used to be. But what is these days? Most of the ice cream trucks driving through the neighborhood are beat up old vans. But, c’mon. Trying to shut down a childhood tradition seems NIMBY 3.0.

It’s a war against Eskimo Pies!

Perhaps a gated community would be a better location for folks who hate ice cream trucks and the loud tinny music they bring. Over The Fence will keep you posted on the ice cream truck controversy.

Steve Stewart serves up another taco plate on Taco Tuesday. / Photo by Greg Brown

Steve Stewart serves up another taco plate on Taco Tuesday. / Photo by Greg Brown

LOCO FOR TACO TUESDAYS

It’s Taco Tuesdays at Leonardo da Vinci School during the Land Park Pacific Little League games. Every Tuesday afternoon, League Umpire and Chief Steve Stewart, and his partner and cook, Steve Ysias, offer street-style chicken or beef tacos with beans, rice and chips, too.

Steve Ysias told me he’s the cook and Steve Stewart is the mouth. “Works out perfect,” he said.

It’s only five bucks a plate. That’s a cheap meal. Part of the proceeds go to LPPLL.

I had a one of the chicken tacos…delicious! Steve told me he marinades the meat for days. The smell of Mexican street tacos wafted through the crowd of parents watching their kiddos play ball at the LDV baseball field. It seemed to entice them into ordering the taco plate because Steve got cleaned out. No more beans and rice. He had a post game taco rush.

Kenny Romeo was scraping the plate with his fork when I asked him, “How’s the food?” He said, “I think the empty plate speaks for itself.”

Steve and his crew will be back every Tuesday at LdV in Hollywood Park for more Taco Tuesdays. Drop on by and dinner’s done.

CURTIS PARK VILLAGE RUMOR PATROL

Now it’s time for some rumor patrol about the Curtis Park Village project. I was told by a Curtis Park activist that developer Paul Petrovich was interested in buying the two properties across from the development on Sutterville Road. One building houses the Sacramento Art Glass and the other is American River Finishing.

Some residents were theorizing that Petrovich wants to use it as a spot for a gas station across the street from the CPV if his gas station permit is denied.

On Nextdoor, Neelie Joyce, who owns Sacramento Art Glass said, “Petrovich is trying to buy the property my business is on at 2500 Sutterville Road. He’s attempting to bypass the CPV problem and tear down our business to place the gas station there, across the street from the current development. I know there have been talks; the property is not necessarily available for sale (at this moment – ask again next week) – but we’re pretty scared!! If the property owners decide to sell, there’s not much anyone can do!!”

I tried to contact the owner of the two buildings, Paulette Erfert, but she never returned my phone calls.

I reached out to Petrovich via e-mail about this rumor and he wrote, “I looked at Paulette’s property a while ago and it didn’t make sense due to the enormous amount of infrastructure to develop it.”

So there you have it. Rumor squashed.

Got an item for Over The Fence? Greg@valcomnews.com

OVER THE FENCE Irish Eyes Were Smilin’ At Brownie’s Lounge

PHOTO BY Greg Brown
PHOTO BY Greg Brown

They really know how to throw a St. Patrick’s Day party at Brownie’s Lounge. Bagpipers playing traditional Irish tunes, patrons decked out in green were tipping back pints, and over 800 pounds of corned beef were cooked and ready to be served to the hungry St. Patrick’s Day revelers.
Clair Brownie, the colorful longtime owner of Brownie’s Lounge, was all decked out in a St. Patrick’s Day outfit…kilt and all. I asked Brownie, “Are you Irish?” He said, “well, hell yeah I am.”
Tim Taormina came to Brownie’s with his wife because Marie Calendars on Freeport sold out of corned beef. “That’s why we’re here,” he said. He just had to have corned beef on St. Patrick’s Day! There was some question whether or not Tim would actually get to fulfill his mission of corned beef on St. Patrick’s Day. At first Brownie’s told him they were sold out. Tim said, “I’m Italian/Sicilian, I forcefully demanded I get the last two dinners.” It worked because they relented and Mr. Taormina got his corned beef and cabbage dinner.
Tony Soprano would have been proud.
The City Of Sacramento pipe band, led by music director Liz Tubbs, was playing Garyowen while weaving through the packed house with the other bagpipers at Brownie’s Lounge.
Garyowen is known to have been used by Irish regiments as a drinking song, which is really what most folks were doing:
“Instead of spa we drink brown ale
And pay the reckoning on the nail
For debt no man should go to jail
From Garyowen to glory”
Liz and her husband Bill were wearing “his and her” kilts while Brownie’s grand-daughter, Jessica Bach, was following behind with the big tip jar full of cash.
Jessica told me, “I grew up here at Brownie’s Lounge. I actually see more of my family on St. Patrick’s Day than I do at Christmas.”
Just then the bagpipers started another traditional Irish tune, “Wearin’ Of The Green,” and Jessica was on her way to get more tips from the crowd inside the bar.
The bagpipes weren’t the only music at Brownie’s Lounge on St. Patrick’s Day.
As soon as the bagpipers left, Doug Meredith and his one man band started up on the tiny Brownie’s Lounge stage. Doug strummed the guitar and played a wide variety of music from country, R&B, rock, and of course some good ole’ traditional Irish tunes. The bar was definitely heating up with a packed house and the corned beef cooking. Doug Meredith was feeling the heat as he sang “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” with a trickle of sweat pouring down from his brow. The backdrop was a giant cardboard cut-out of Clair Brownie in a kilt surrounded by flashing green lights. The evening had a surreal feel to it.
The crowd loved it: Corned beef, cabbage, kilts and a little bit of kitsch at Brownie’s Lounge.

Shopping Cart Retrieval Service

Sometimes I drive down the road and notice an abandoned shopping cart. What happens to it once somebody removes it from the store?
Who you gonna call? David Fisher’s Cart Retrieval Service, of course.
I actually stumbled upon David while he was returning abandoned shopping carts to Vic’s IGA from parts unknown.
It all started back in the 90s when David worked for a grocery store in north Sacramento. He picked up the carts for the store. One day he was running some errands out in North Highlands and he saw a recycling center that had numerous abandoned shopping carts. He stopped by to see if any of them belonged to the store he worked at.
There were quite a few that belonged to the 98 Cent Store. Then a light went off in his head.
David decided to talk to Gary Cino, the owner of the 98 Cent Clearance Centers, and asked if he was interested in having him pick them up and return them to the stores.
Cino agreed and offered a dollar a cart.
April 1 of 1998 David got his business license and made it legal. He’s been returning shopping carts to their original owners ever since.
David, who is a South Land Park resident, usually gets between 50 to 100 carts a day. He also covers the Woodland and Davis area, too.
“I just put ‘em in there and strap ‘em down,” he said.
He’s also helping out the community. He gets calls and texts about shopping carts abandoned on the side of the road, down an embankment, or abandoned in an apartment complex. Several neighborhood associations have put his contact information in their newsletters.

I asked David if he feels bad about taking a shopping cart from a homeless person. He said, “I used to, but you have to remember they’re in possession of stolen property.”
And the shopping carts aren’t cheap. According to David, the smaller ones that Rite-Aid or Walgreens have are about $80 each. The carts Winco, Food Co and Raley’s use can run as high as $200-$250 a piece.
That’s why stores want to hire somebody like David to go pick them up. Dollars and cents. “If a store loses 20 carts a month, that could be $5,000 a month they’ve lost in revenue,” David said.
At the Wal-Mart in Woodland, David told me he “picks up at least 40 carts a week. These carts run about $150, so if I didn’t bring these back and Wal-Mart had to replace them they’re looking at $6,000 a week to replace shopping carts.”
David told me Wal-Mart has the most shopping cart theft of any other store in Sacramento.
So if you see a lonely shopping cart on the side of the road give David Fisher a call or text. He’ll be glad to pick it up and return it to its rightful store owner. Call 916-812-3885 for David’s cart retrieval service.
The spots the abandoned shopping carts end up are recycling centers, apartment complexes, and certain neighborhoods. “You learn the hot spots”.
He also gets calls from the City of Sacramento, Sac PD, ‘They all have my phone number.
He’s the go-to-guy for abandoned shopping carts.
I find carts for Raley’s Bel-air, Winco, all those stores.
He rarely gets into confrontations with the people who are stealing the shopping carts. Although, one time a guy was throwing stuff at David because he didn’t want to give up the cart. The guy tried to sick his dog on him. “I played it smart, I had some of my lunch left so I took part of my hamburger and gave it to his dog. The dog and I became friends.”

Over the Fence:

Vic’s goes belly up

Shown here is the front of the Vic's market. Still hanging on the front of the store was an “Under New Management” sign. The sign has been up for over a year and just this week the store filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Neighbors are asking, what next? Some have started petitions to bring Trader Joe's to fill the spot.  / Photo by Monica Stark, editor@valcomnews.com

Shown here is the front of the Vic's market. Still hanging on the front of the store was an “Under New Management” sign. The sign has been up for over a year and just this week the store filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Neighbors are asking, what next? Some have started petitions to bring Trader Joe's to fill the spot. / Photo by Monica Stark, editor@valcomnews.com

VIC’S IGA GOES BELLY UP

Vic’s IGA, the supermarket with the zig zag roofline that anchors the South Hills Shopping Center, has filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy and closed its doors.

Vic’s Market, which was originally a Jumbo Market designed by architect Sooky Lee back in 1968, has seen better days.

When I went by the tattered old market, the parking lot was empty, the trash cans were overfilled with garbage, and the two trees in the big blue pots were dead.

The big red and worn Vic’s sign had some damage that was being held together with duct tape. The “Under New Management” banner was still up, too. It was a sad scene.

Potential shoppers were trickling by asking, “Is Vic’s closed?”

Folks stopping by told me things like, “I knew something was up when the shelves were nearly empty.”

Another patron said, “the store used to be fully stocked. You go in there now, and you don’t know what you’re gonna get.”

Meat shouldn’t be green and lettuce shouldn’t be brown.

Sometimes that is what customers would get. A lot of the items were past the “best if sold by” date.

Vic’s ICK.

Vendors were stopping by the shuttered market, too. Donald Miller, who boasted he had 51 years in the grocery business, said, “I saw it coming. Bottom line. They didn’t know how to run a grocery store.”

Miller, who works for Acosta Sales and Marketing added, “If the right person comes along, they could make a go of this store.”

Shoppers were trickling into the vast parking lot and peeking in the door that had the “Hometown Pride” sticker on it when they found out about the store closure.

One patron asked, “Is it closed for good?”

Another person added, “I’m not surprised.”

Vic’s customers thought something was up and would ask the owner, who’s first name is Kumar, “What’s going on?” Kumar would tell people they were “remodeling and waiting for new equipment to come in.”

Bob Montenegro was peeking in the store window when he said, “I’ve been coming here for years, all the old employees are gone.” He added, “the last couple of months I stopped coming here because they had no bread or milk”.

The closing of the Vic’s also effects the two businesses that were sub leasing space from the owner; Beijing Wok and Good Eats Southern BBQ. An employee at the Beijing Wok was busy packing up bags of rice, peas and carrots and didn’t want to talk about the store closing. They were in a hurry moving their products out before the creditors came.

Eric McFadden, the owner of Good Eats Southern Bar-B-B-Q said, “On Monday, the doors were locked and foamed; I couldn’t get into my own business.”

Eric said, “I knew something was going on.” The owner had told him and everybody else they were planning a remodel of the store and that was the reason for the half-empty shelves.

While I spoke to Eric, his business partner Dawn Sirstad was running out to rent a U-Haul truck. They were in a hurry to move out all their restaurant equipment before the doors were locked and foamed again.

McFadden was annoyed at the situation but was already making calls to move Good Eats BBQ to a nearby location.

Good Eats BBQ, which gets rave reviews on Yelp for their old fashioned comfort food, may move into the empty Brick Oven Pizza building located on the right side of the shopping center.

His goal is to open very soon and have “The Big Mama Grill,” BBQ-ing ribs outside the joint. He is currently in negotiations with the property management company which also manages Vic’s and the entire right side of the shopping center.

Good Eats would give some life to that side of the shopping center which recently lost Erawan Thai Restaurant. Erawan moved over to Freeport Boulevard.

Vic’s Market closing leaves a big hole in the historic South Hills shopping center. Hopefully, a higher quality market can move in while keeping the original architecture of the building intact.

Camellia Waldorf plans move to CP Huntington campus

Camellia Waldorf School, a private Waldorf elementary on Freeport Boulevard, is currently looking to move on over to the closed down CP Huntington public school campus in the Brentwood neighborhood.

Camellia Waldorf has been at the current site on Freeport Boulevard for 25 years. They started out by renting one room from the storefront and that was their kindergarten. They have grown over the years to include a toddler program through eighth grade.

According to school administrator Ardyth Sokolor, “It was never intended to be a long term site, but it has worked nicely. At this point, it’s just not large enough.”

They are very interested in moving to the former CP Huntington campus and are working with the Sacramento City Unified School District to get it finalized. “(It’s) just a matter of process,” Sokolor said.

They are very interested in increasing their enrollment, but the space they are currently in is just not big enough.

The classrooms are small and they need more space for things like a woodworking studio, art space, and a strings room for an instrumental music program.

“We do more space sharing than we really would like,” Sokolar said.

“Our teachers want larger classrooms because one of the things that is unique about a Waldorf education is the children aren’t just sitting at their desks doing worksheets. They integrate a lot of movement and games and outdoor space and it would be wonderful to have more room.”

The grounds at the current site are all about the outdoors and nature. The children help to take care of the animals and they also have chores. The development of a strong will and work ethic is very important to a Waldorf education.

They use different types of play structures which means they’ll have to transform the CP Huntington school grounds from a mainstream public school to a Waldorf private school.

That’s where the permits and red tape come into play.

Camellia Waldorf has made efforts to inform parents of their proposed site relocation. They’ve had quite a few parent education offerings to let the parents know why they are interested in moving and why they think CP Hunnington works well for them.

They have also reached out to the Brentwood Neighborhood by canvassing the neighborhood and have had members of the Brentwood Neighborhood Association tour the campus and learn what a Waldorf education is all about.

“We also like the idea of being in a neighborhood instead of a shopping center. Community is an important part of who we are and what our parents are looking for and what we instill in our children. It’s very attractive to us to be in more of a community setting like that,” Sokolor said.

What will happen to the building and area Camellia Waldorf will be vacating?

Over the Fence has learned there have been some preliminary discussions to house a Safe Ground type facility on the 4.6-acre Sacramento City nursery once Camellia Waldorf relocates to the CP Huntington site. Stay tuned.

Got a local neighborhood news story? Email Greg@valcomnews.com

Run With a Recruiter

Like to jog through the neighborhood? Interested in law enforcement? The Sacramento Police Department hosts “Run with a Recruiter” every Friday morning at the Public Safety Center on Freeport Boulevard.

Just meet at the front doors at 6 a.m. and be ready to run.

Run with a Recruiter is a great way to burn some carbs with Sac PD and learn about what it takes to be a police officer. You’ll also get to run along with others who have an interest in law enforcement.

And, no, they’re not running to Marie’s Donuts and back.

They run all throughout the neighborhood and try to switch it up every week, whether it’s jogging the tree-lined winding hills of South Land Park or through the foggy mist of William Land Park. Different scenery makes it more interesting. Sometimes they run near the Sacramento Zoo and do some stretching exercises at the halfway point; then head west.

Run with a Recruiter is no pressure. It’s not a race or mad dash to the finish line. It is a group activity with group exercises, which is what they do at the Sacramento Police Academy. “We try and foster that kind of community sense of exercise,” Officer Nevik told me.

Officer Nevik also said, “It’s not only meant to evaluate fitness, it’s about getting out, getting to know people, and having the opportunity to talk with other officers and other applicants in the process.”

I wonder if they’ve ever been running through Land Park and they come across a crime in progress? Some guy is hauling a big screen TV through a shattered window just when the cops and recruits come jogging up the street.

I guess I’ll have to ask them if that’s happened on the next…Run With A Recruiter. Every Friday at 6 a.m.

Dash To Marie’s For Some Donuts

Shown here is are two runners from the Fifth Annual Donut Dash, in support of Child Life Program at Sutter Children’s Center, was held on Saturday, March 9, 2013. This year’s run will be held on Saturday, March 7. The four-mile race starts and ends in William Land Park with Marie’s Donuts as a turnaround spot. / File photo by Stephen Crowley

Shown here is are two runners from the Fifth Annual Donut Dash, in support of Child Life Program at Sutter Children’s Center, was held on Saturday, March 9, 2013. This year’s run will be held on Saturday, March 7. The four-mile race starts and ends in William Land Park with Marie’s Donuts as a turnaround spot. / File photo by Stephen Crowley

If you like chocolate sprinkles with your run, you may want to participate in the upcoming Donut Dash March 7 in William Land Park. Run, jog, or walk two miles, chomp on some Marie’s Donuts and dash back to the finish line at William Land Park.

The Donut Dash is gluttony for a good cause.

The proceeds go to The Child Life Program at Sutter’s Children Center, which is more than a good cause. The program helps purchase iPads, video game systems, and arts and craft projects for the sick kids. Hospitals aren’t exactly an amusement park. The games and gadgets help pass the time in a fun way while children recover from their illness at the hospital.

The Donut Dash brings the local community together and has been growing every year since 2009. Last year’s Donut Dash raised $60,000 for the Child Life Program. That’s a lot of donut holes.

I asked event organizer Zack Wandell: Why Marie’s Donuts? I mean, they ARE a Land Park institution and they have delicious donuts.

Zack said, “Oh yeah. Best in town.” And Zack knows donuts.

He actually grew up in the Greenhaven-Pocket area and was always a Marie’s Donuts fan. He told me about Greenhaven Donuts and how he and his friends used to go over there after their paper routes and get the glazed; once he became a teen and was able to drive, “it was Marie’s Donuts,” he said.

Donut Dash Factoid: 260 dozen donuts and 500-600 dozen donut holes will be consumed at the Donut Dash.

For registration info go to www.donutdash.org. You can also find them on Facebook.

CPV Safeway gas station proposal still simmering

Things seem to be heating up with the Curtis Park Village development. Aren’t they always?

The latest is a mass email being circulated by Paul Petrovich to local residents about the Safeway supermarket and gas station proposal. In the email he states, “My effort to bring Safeway and its $25 per hour jobs to Curtis Park Village is in trouble.”

The hourly wage is a bit overstated. According to Glassdoor.com, the average salary for a Safeway checker is $11.27. A food clerk makes $14.27 and a head clerk can average up to $18.34 – a good hourly wage, but it’s no $25 an hour.

Looks like Petrovich is using union labor jobs as a PR tool to get the Safeway gas station approved. Will it sway public opinion? Petrovich Development hopes so.

The personal email from Paul ends with “Should I continue to fight for Safeway or give up and let a lower-wage operator take their place? This is the last issue. I don’t want to make the wrong decision.”

Some recipients weren’t too happy with the email correspondence from Paul. “How did he get my email?” one Hollywood Park resident complained. Sounds like Paul has a master list of emails he’s sending out to the outskirts of the community.

Another recipient, Dustin Dyer, wrote a scathing response to Paul: “As an attorney I do respect the tactic of misdirection in your argument to attempt to characterize the main purpose your development as an opportunity to benefit the community rather than the opportunity to maximize profits.”

The Safeway gas station is Petrovich’s last stand. Safeway and Petrovich say if they don’t get the fueling station along with the Supermarket, they can’t compete. They noted they especially can’t compete with the new Raley’s flagship market that will be taking over the old abandoned Capital Nursery spot. Steve Berndt specifically mentioned “the Raley’s fuel center” at the SCNA meeting last month. Recently, I was told there would no Raley’s gas station although there were blueprints as far back as a couple years ago. The Raley’s Development team had been scheduled to appear twice at the Land Park Neighborhood Association, but they canceled both times saying they were not ready to present to the board.

Poker-face.

I think Raley’s is waiting to see how the Safeway gas station pans out before revealing their blueprints for the new Land Park Raley’s.

The Petrovich email also suggests what will happen if Safeway and the gas station do not become part of the Curtis Park Village Development. They might have to put up with a Food Source, Winco, or the fear of all fears…a Wal-Mart.

It’s either A or B. I would think Petrovich would want his signature development to be something the entire Sacramento region would be proud of.

greg@valcomnews.com