More than 350 tickets sold for annual CKM Hall of Fame dinner

More than 350 have already signed up for the 4th annual C.K. McClatchy Sports Hall of Fame dinner to be held Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Asian Sports Foundation facility just off Laguna Boulevard. Twenty-nine athletes, two coaches, and two teams will be inducted as part of this year’s class. For information, go to:

Heading this year’s class is Harvey Tahara, the winningest basketball coach in Lion history, with both boys and girls section title teams. His daughter Cristin, a four-year starter and all-city basketball guard, will also be honored.

Tahara coached men’s and women’s basketball at McClatchy for 28 years with 18 section playoff teams and section titles in 1993 (boys) and 2007 (girls). He would win more games than any coach in McClatchy history. He also coached golf for 23 years.

Also being honored is Bob Sandoval, who took over the football program in the early 1980s and had multiple championships and the best won/lost record as a McClatchy football coach.

Other athletes include baseballers Larry Kelley, Val Lewis, and Randy Brown and nationally renowned high jump champion Joe Radan. Kelly would lead the city in scoring as a B basketball player and was all-city in baseball.

Lewis was an all-city second baseman on a championship team his senior year and led the city in hitting with a .413 average. He coached youth baseball for 20 years and founded the Sacramento Men’s Senior Baseball League.

Brown was a left-handed pitcher but could play all nine positions as he could also throw right-handed. He would play five years as a professional. Radan was the first person in Sacramento to high jump seven feet and broke records at Sac City and Sacramento State. He would jump for the U.S. national team with a best jump of 7′3 3/4.

Section two-mile champion Henry Sanchez and multi-sport stars Mark Honeycutt, Kevin Chappell, Chuck Polite, and Mickey Johnson Lebeck are other old timers being inducted this year.

Honeycutt, all-city in football and city batting champion in baseball, would go on to coach high school baseball for 25 years in El Dorado County. Polite was all-metro, all-city, and participated in the state track meet his senior year. He changed his first name to Idress, meaning “well learned.”

Johnson-Lebeck played on three championship baseball teams. He would play NAIA baseball in college and led the nation with 52 stolen bases. He also led the team in batting average, most home runs, and most runs driven in. He is a very successful Folsom businessman.

Sanchez would go into the service after high school and return to work in Sacramento. Chappell, all-metro in football and basketball just retired as warden of San Quentin Prison in the Bay Area.

Players from the 1980s include Lynn Strobner (basketball, volleyball), Craig Blackman (football), Harry Hendrix (basketball), Marc Sprenger (wrestling), Leonard Nelson (football, basketball), and Mel “Bull” Ah Yun (football, golf). Other outstanding Lion football linemen chosen were Craig Blackman and Eric Harper.

Strobner, one of the first scholarship athletes at Sacramento State, has been a fire fighter, stand-up comedian, and owns a small business. She credits McClatchy teacher Pat Honstein for being a mentor and lifelong friend.
Blackman, a first-team all-metro played Ivy League football at Columbia University and captain his senior year. Hendrix, star center for the league champion Lions in 1986, would go on to play at San Diego State and later earn a master’s degree. He is the Chief of Pharmacy Health Benefits for the California Department of Health Care.

Nelson, an optimist all star in football, intercepted 22 passes his senior year. He would play at ARC and Sacramento State and 10 more years of professional football in the CFL and Arena Football League.

Au Yun was all-city in football and would go on to Chico where he would play. He has a BA in sociology and a BS in restaurant management and an MBA (IT emphasis).

This year’s class emphasizes players and teams from 1990-95. Three sport stars Pedro Lewis, Malcolm Seabrons-Floyd, Raj Wallace, and Xavier Salazar starred on early ’90s championship teams.

Lewis, one of the best athletes to ever attend McClatchy, was all-city in football and basketball while leading the Lions to Metro League championships his senior year. He would later star as a running back at Sacramento State.

Seabrons-Floyd, an outstanding basketball and football player for championship Lion teams, lettered four years at Fresno State as a wide receiver. He was a star on teams that went to three bowl games in four years. He is presently a teacher and coach at CKM.

Wallace was an outstanding guard in basketball, an all-metro star in soccer and a top baseball player. Harper was an all-city lineman as a junior and senior and played at Nevada Reno. He recently earned a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania and lives in Dallas.

Salazar won the SA Pepper award as outstanding male athlete in 1994. He was an outstanding quarterback and an All American junior college player at Sacramento City College. He played at Tulane on a 12-0 team that won the Liberty Bowl.

Jennifer Kerns (soccer, tennis), Robin Jury Dobbel (all-city softball), and Tanisha Kemp (all-Metro in basketball and softball) along with Tahara make up female inductees from the ’90s.

Kerns played four years of tennis and soccer for the Lions and was all-Metro in soccer two years and Metro singles champion in tennis her senior year. She was the star on the CKM tennis team chosen this year as one of our honored teams. At Stanford, she played rugby and was an All-American her senior year.

Cristin Tahara was a two-sport star, volleyball and basketball, all-metro, all-city, and optimist all-star. She played three years of basketball at San Francisco State. She is presently the assistant principal at Sutter Middle School.

Robin Jury-Dobbel pitched every game from 1991-94 (92 games) and led the Lions to the TOC in 1994. She played four years at Sac State, mostly at second base committing only 13 errors in 1,120 innings. She graduated in criminal justice with honors and worked in the Governor’s office from 1999-2003.
Tanisha Kemp was one of the best female athletes to attend CKM. In basketball she held five team records while playing for a section qualifying senior team. In softball, she was an Optimist all-star. She played four years of softball at Morgan State and was a four-time all MEAC and a two-time All-American. She has been a teacher since 2001.

Outstanding basketball stars being inducted include Andre Speech, Marlon Johnson, and Brian Hamilton. All three went on to have very successful college careers.

Speech was twice MVP for the Lion basketball team and all-Metro, all-city, and all-state. He presently works for Nike, coaches high school basketball, and also an AAU team. He credits coach Tahara with teaching him the basics of basketball.

Marlon Johnson was one of the great CKM basketball players. He helped lead the Lions to section championship in 1993 and was the “Sacramento player of the year.” Coach Tahara said, “Marlon was the most exciting and gifted player I ever coached.” He would go on play at Bakersfield State and win a Division 2 national championship.

Brian Hamilton, according to coach Tahara, was one of the best point guards ever to play at McClatchy. He scored the most points in one season (691), had the third most assists in a season (424), and the second most steals in a season (317). He led the Lions to a section championship his senior year. He is presently an outstanding coach at Natomas High School.

Teams honored will be the 1993 section champion basketball team and the 1990 girls tennis team. More about them in the next edition of the Land Park News.

Valley Broadcast Legends, Talents of California History

Valley Broadcast Legends (VBL) is a social club for those who have or had careers in radio and television. Members laugh at the “Legends” part saying it’s tongue and cheek. The club was founded at the West Sacramento Pheasant Club in 2001, and began as a sibling of the Bay Area Broadcast Legends. It now has near one hundred members.

Vic Biondi
Vic Biondi

Jim Drennan is the club president who retired in 1994 after 33 years in journalism in Madera, Reno, and Sacramento where he worked at KXTV and KCRA. The Legends meet every other month at the Pheasant Club for a program related to broadcasting.

Following are profiles of four noted and multi-talented Legends who have decades of broadcast work in California.

Vic Biondi is a familiar, telegenic face in the Sacramento market. He has more than 40 years of broadcast experience in television news reporting, news writing, and public affairs. Starting in 1982, he worked as the Executive Director of the California Broadcasters Association for 13 years.

Vic says he started at KTVU in Oakland as a production assistant. His news career included KCRA in Sacramento and KNBC Burbank as chief of the company’s news bureau in the State Capitol. He covered state government and politics for 11 years.

In 1997-98, Biondi was hired as Media Coordinator for the trials of the notorious Unibomber in Sacramento and in Laramie, Wyoming. He managed local and state government relations, the budget, and the media centers. He also handled television pool production and court credentialing for local and network TV and print news organizations covering the trial.

He says, “Working on the Unabomber trial was a totally different experience for me. As a representative of print and broadcast media to the Federal Court, I had to keep the media and the Court happy.”

Adding to his impressive resume, Biondi was chosen to be the Coordinating Producer of the California Gubernatorial broadcast debates in 1998, 2002, and 2003, when he managed and oversaw all phases of the media coverage and video production.

Segueing into the writing and publishing field, Vic works with his wife Shirley Biagi who is a retired professor of Journalism and Communications from CSUS. Shirley’s mass media university textbook, Media Impact (Cengage Learning/Wadsworth Publishers) has become the key book nationwide for communications students.

Dana Michaels became a radio personality in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Anchorage, and Lake Tahoe from 1975-1995, also working in the industry as a news director and program director. In Sacramento she lit the radio airways on Country 105 FM, which became KNCI, KROY, and Cool KHYL. College studies in broadcast, music, drama and film production prepared Dana for freelance voice work and TV production work.

Dana says, “I wanted a singing and acting career and spent five years in Hollywood fighting the beauty bias…I guess I have a radio face. I gave up to become a newscaster and disc jockey. Being a jock was more fun than being a newscaster…my favorite format was ‘60’s rock & roll oldies.”

Michaels is now a Marketing Specialist for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. She says her transition to state work was easy because of her past experience in public relations. When moving from radio, Dana says her challenge was leaving the freedom of radio talk to having to accept some of the absurd rules of the state bureaucracy.

Vic Biondi, Dana Michaels, and Steve Swatt
Vic Biondi, Dana Michaels, and Steve Swatt

A renassaisance woman, she is a rhythm guitarist for the Scottish Fiddlers who do shows for the Scottish Games where she was part of the marketing team for a number of years. She also belongs to several Sacramento musical groups.

A musical buddy says, “Dana is an accomplished guitarist, has a beautiful alto voice, and knows every song in the world!”

If the above careers were not enough, Dana has completed her first novel which is in draft form. She says it’s about a 54-year-old American woman and a 42-year-old English actor who thinks she’s his age and pursues her despite their different worlds and the 5,000 miles apart.

Steve Swatt spent 23 years at KCRA where as a political reporter he covered major ballot propositions, presidential and gubernatorial campaigns in California during the administrations of Governors Reagan, Brown, Deukmejian, and Wilson. He covered more than 5,000 stories and for years was the only television reporter at the Capitol.

“There has been significant change at the California Capitol since I started in the 1970s when older legislators viewed television with suspicion.” Swatt says, “We couldn’t film the Senate floor debates if one of the 40 members objected. We put up a big stink and the legislature finally changed its policy.”

He says two major changes occurred in the Legislature:
In 1980, Democrats Leo McCarthy and Howard Berman fought a bitter year-long race for Assembly Speaker. The result was a divisive scramble among Democrats to raise big money. Steve says this started the political fundraising arms race that continues today.

Then term limits became the law in 1990, which diffused political power because of short-term leaders, although it has resulted in a spike in minority and women legislators.

Swatt left television to become Managing Partner of Nelson Communications Group, one of the state’s premier public relations firms, which has now merged with Porter Novelli International.

He is the author of the awarding-winning novel, Fair, Balanced and Dead, a newsroom political mystery. Demonstrating his commitment to public service, he donated book proceeds to nonprofits in Northern California including journalism scholarships, housing for the homeless, and women’s centers.

Dana Michaels
Dana Michaels

Steve is also the lead author of the book, Game Changers, written with wife Susie Swatt, Jeff Raimundo, and Rebecca LaVally. Game Changers examines twelve elections that shaped California. It is a political history viewed through the prism of a dozen watershed elections. The book received the California Historical Society Book Award in 2014 and is scheduled for release this fall.

Swatt now hosts public affairs programs for Comcast Newsmakers and Time Warner Cable’s Sacramento Report , interviewing state and local elected leaders.

Working at KCRA with Steve, good friend Vic Biondi laughingly says, “I always thought of Steve as my Jimmy Olsen.”

The “Valley Broadcast Legends Newsletter” editor is Joyce Krieg who has years of experience in radio and writing. She worked for flower-power Earth Radio 102 in the early 1970s and then joined KFBK “NewsTalk” as reporter and promotions manager. Joyce worked at KFBK from 1978 to 1993.

She says, “I always tell people that my greatest claim to both fame and shame while on the management team was to discover Rush Limbaugh.”

Since retiring from radio, she has written three award- winning and successful mystery novels, Slip Cue, Riding Gain, and Murder Off Mike . She won an “Agatha” nomination for Murder Off Mike. St. Martin’s Minotaur is her publisher.

Joyce is currently working on a young adult paranormal trilogy and
a new series of mystery/thrillers dealing with the secret history of Silicon Valley.

She says, “I’ve always loved mysteries since discovering Nancy Drew as a child.”

Leigh Stephens is a retired CSUS Professor of Journalism and Communications and the author of more than 500 articles and several books.


Jim Drennan, President Valley Broadcast Legends (VBL) newsletter, 8/31/15.
VBL newsletter, 2/15.
VBL website, 3/26, 15.
Vic Biondi, bio, career resume, 9/8/15.
“Behind the lights: the debate’s other side,” by Jennifer Coleman, the State Hornet, 9/30/98.
California Broadcast Association (Northern & Southern),websites, 9/1/15.
E-mail interview, Shirley Biagi, retired CSUS Communications Professor & author, Media Impact.
KCRA/NBC History, website, 9/14/15.
Dana Michaels, bio, resume, 8/25/15.
“Dana Michaels, Marketing Specialist,” CA State Dept. of Fish and Wildlife website, 8/30/15.
“Where are they now?” Dana Michaels, LA Radio People, by Don Barrett,
Steve Swatt, bio, website, 9/1/15.
“Ed Goldman: Steve Swatt’s New Life,” Sacramento Business Journal, 5/12.
“Manuscript Examining California Twelve Elections…,” California Historical Society, 10/14/14.
“Meet the Media, Steve Swatt, LCI Blog, 9/17/12.
“Steve Swatt reveals the truth behind political reporting,” Trafford Publishing website, 7/21/15.
“Steve Swatt, Professor & Broadcaster,” by Amanda Fulkerson, State Hornet, 7/21/15.
“Steve Swatt, “The Lowdown on Upcoming State and National Elections,” Stockton Womens Network, 6/2/10.
Joyce Krieg, bio & resume, 7/21/15.
“Putting the Fun Back in Radio,” Joyce Krieg’s Talk Radio Mysteries, website, 7/21/15.
“Sacramento Radio History, KFBK in the 1980s & 90s,” by Ålex Cosper, website, 9/1/15.

Attended the Valley Broadcast Legends meeting at the Pheasant Club, West Sacramento, 8/13/15:
Jim Drennan, former KXTV & KCRÅ, news and assignments editor, & Legends President.
Shirley Biagi, retired CSUS Communications Professor & author, Media Impact.
Vic Biondi, former KCRA/NBC journalist, political commentator, & media consultant.
Dana Michaels, former radio personality KNCI, KROY & KHYL, Marketing Specialist, Ca Dept. of Fish & Wildlife.
Steve Swatt, former
KCRA journalist, political analyst, & book author.
Joyce Krieg, former radio KFBK reporter, news director, Legends Newsletter Editor (interviewed by e-mail), & mystery novelist.

Blind golf has been hitting strong for 30 years at William Land Park

You don’t have to be a professional golfer to enjoy playing nine holes at William Land Park Golf Course. In fact, you don’t even have to be able to see. That’s right! The Sacramento Society for the Blind, in conjunction with the current management of the golf course, The First Tee of Greater Sacramento, sponsors an opportunity for vision impaired individuals to play golf once a week at WLPGC.

Bob Ricci, Michael, Michael Parks, Gary Baker
Bob Ricci, Michael, Michael Parks, Gary Baker

For the past 30 years, an organized group known as the “Swing Club for the Blind” has put blind people with an enthusiasm for golf together with local, sighted volunteers so they can be assisted in their enjoyment of the game.
Paired with a volunteer who drives the golf cart and helps coach each vision impaired player with every shot, this group meets weekly on Monday mornings for a two-month period in the fall and spring.
The golf professional, who is also the First Tee Manager of WLPGC, provides an hour long lesson to the Swing Club members each Monday before the group goes out on the course. Putting, chipping, pitching and driving are all included in the weekly lessons. The Swing Club includes about a dozen blind players, both men and women, young and old, learning and playing golf in spite of their obvious handicap. Some are blind from birth, others have played golf for years but due to injuries, accidents, or disease have lost some ability to see, yet don’t want to give up the game. Over the years of playing together this club has developed a genuine camaraderie between players and volunteers whose combined sense of humor and relentless kidding of one another frequently makes playing nine holes extra special fun for all involved.
Brian, the golf pro
Brian, the golf pro

For example, when on the putting green the flag pin is left in the hole and one of the volunteers taps the pin (usually with another golf club) to make a clanking noise so the blind player who is putting can get a sense of the right direction in which to hit the ball. One player in particular is so good at this technique that he often putts his ball within two or three inches of the hole, if not into it. When asked how he does it, he replies, “It’s easy. Just close your eyes.”
I’ve been a volunteer with the Swing Club since retiring from work six years ago and continue to find each outing with these vision impaired folks to be always rewarding and enjoyable. This is a worthy endeavor and as such deserves some recognition. Recent improvements to the WLPGC Club House have included the installation of a new plaza for tables and seating. The perimeter of this plaza is lined with decorative red paver style bricks inscribed with the names of clubs, families and individuals. As a special tribute to the Swing Club for the Blind, I’m happy to report that one more brick will soon be installed in the new plaza to commemorate the many years of enjoyment this group has had playing blind golf.

Live entertainment is not to be missed at this year’s Chinese food festival

From pot stickers, curry chicken, baked goods, chow mein, and fried rice to the main focus — barbecue chicken with a Hoisin-based Chinese marinade — much of the food every year for the last 32 years has been made hot on the spot for the Chinese Community Church Food Festival, which will be held this year on Saturday, Oct. 17. Serving up about 300 pounds of noodles and 200 pounds of rice each year, the food is certainly not to be missed.
But the fun doesn’t stop with a good meal. Folks are encouraged to bring their food inside and enjoy live entertainment, which includes include Asian Community Center’s (ACC) Pocket Pickers, Elk Grove Xaris Church’s Worship Team, Elk Grove’s 2015 Teen Idol Champions Sam Fuch and Nikki Perez as well as CCC’s own ukulele and hula fellowships, The College Fund Street Band (featured in Sacramento Magazine, the Sac Bee, Sac SNR and ABC 10 News; Google them!) and CCC’s Worship Team.
For the past five years, Ted Fong has lead CCC’s Ukulele Fellowship which has attracted happy and positive people from throughout Sacramento. He explained that most of the performers at the food festival are lifelong artists and usually have performances weekly or biweekly at other venues. “On the average gig, there are about 20-30 ukulele players and 8-15 hula dancers. We do about 2 dozen gigs a year,” Ted said.

Photos by Monica Stark The community enjoyed delicious Chinese barbecue chicken, pot stickers, live entertainment and fun and games at last year's Fall Fellowship and Food Festival, which was held at the Chinese Community Church. Here's to this year's event, which will be held on Saturday, Oct. 17 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Photos by Monica Stark The community enjoyed delicious Chinese barbecue chicken, pot stickers, live entertainment and fun and games at last year's Fall Fellowship and Food Festival, which was held at the Chinese Community Church. Here's to this year's event, which will be held on Saturday, Oct. 17 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Ted’s mother, Ruby Fong, is from Honolulu and instilled a love of music in all her eight kids (Ted being the youngest). “She played piano, guitar, and ukulele. I play other instruments including piano, cello, guitar, and bass, but ukulele is by far the most ’social’ of instruments that I play. Ukulele is easily to learn, fun to play, and a great conversation topic for all occasions.” Ted has been a volunteer ukulele teacher at Chinese Community Church for five years, and his wife, Marielle, leads the Hula fellowship with their Kumu, Shirley Stassi.
Summing up the Chinese Community Church’s upcoming daylong event, Ted said, “The entertainment at our festival is a big draw and, combined with the good food and our hospitality, provides a memorable experience for attendees. It brings our community close together.”

CCC Fall Festival Entertainment lineup 2015 is as follows:
11 to 11:45 a.m.: CCC Worship Team
Noon to 12:45 p.m.: ACC Pocket Pickers
1 to 1:45 p.m.: Xaris Church Worship Team
2 to 2:45 p.m.: 2015 Teen Idol Champions: Sam Fuch and Nikki Perez
3 to 3:45 p.m.: CCC Ukulele and Hula Fellowship
4 to 4:45 p.m.: ACC The Dancing Souls (Line dancing)
5 to 5:45 p.m.: The College Fund Street Band
6 to 6:30 p.m.: CCC Worship Team

Chinese Food Festival
WHEN: Oct. 17, 11 a.m.–7 p.m.
WHERE: Chinese Community Church, 5600 Gilgunn Way
COST: Free admittance, food cost

Boy Scouts and Elks co-sponsored scholarship fundraising event

Photo courtesy
On Saturday, Sept. 26, Boy Scout Troop 259 and the Elks Lodge #6 sponsored a shredding event. This joint effort was a fundraiser, with proceeds benefiting the Elks Scholarship Fund and Troop 259 scouting activities.

Boy Scouts, Elks, scholarship fundraising event, Boy Scout Troop 259, Elks Lodge #6
Boy Scouts, Elks, scholarship fundraising event, Boy Scout Troop 259, Elks Lodge #6

For a suggested donation of $3 per bag or $5 per bankers box, people were able to drop off their confidential papers for safe, secure shredding and disposal. A big thank-you to Pacific Records Management for the assistance! Look for another shredding event next spring.”

Sutter Memorial Hospital held liquidation sale

On Friday, Sept. 18, there was a pre-sale that only was available to Sutter employees for that weekend’s open-to-the-public Sutter Memorial sale. Many employees were sad about seeing the hospital the way it was with all the clutter stacked and folks carrying off flat screens, coolers, mirrors, clocks, kids toys. The new location is absolutely state-of-the-art, but the memories people had at the old hospital will soon be just that before the wrecking ball takes to the walls and homes start being built.
Luisana Ramirez, a patient service coordinator for Sutter Medical Foundation and husband Jose Ramirez, an ACU tech for the surgery department took a little bit of hospital history home with them that Friday morning. Amongst the items they picked up for $50 included a cooler, cabinet, and a little garbage can. “Stuff was reasonably priced,” Jose said, but unfortunately for them they didn’t get what they came for – two picnic benches. “They don’t want to sell them,” Jose said. “We’ve been waiting for those for a month. I’m not sure what they are doing with them. They said talk to corporate. So, we’ll try. I already miss this place. We used to have our yearly Sutter barbecues on those benches. It’s sad seeing it this way. A lot of memories. A lot of memories.”

A Sutter employee picked up a few items at the liquidation sale at the now-closed Sutter Memorial Hospital. / Photo by Monica Stark
A Sutter employee picked up a few items at the liquidation sale at the now-closed Sutter Memorial Hospital. / Photo by Monica Stark

Jose said the move has been bittersweet. “We have state of the art equipment now, but I was here eight, almost nine years. At least we have a cabinet that will remind us (of Sutter Memorial Hospital). ” Amongst some of his memories working at Sutter Memorial include delivering a baby right outside the maternity ward doors. “I used to be an ER tech. Everything is overgrown now. We had our first baby, Ariana, a year ago. She just turned 1 on Sept. 16.”

The Ramirezes used to live two blocks away from Sutter Memorial, but have moved to Citrus Heights a few months ago because of daycare. “But moved (to East Sacramento originally) to be close to the hospital … I used to ride my bike here. It definitely influenced us moving here. But we’re no longer here (at Sutter Memorial), so it’s definitely okay to move.”
Jodean Lake, works over at Sutter Capital Outpatient Services. She picked up a desk, plant and an easel, the last item which she plans on giving to her niece who is an artist. “I think she will get a kick out of it.”
Speaking about her feelings about the sale, she said, “it’s sort of sad. From ’73 to ’87 I was here (at Sutter Memorial). It looks like it’s an abandoned hospital now. I used to work in the OR. There were lots of nice people.”

To get ready for the sale, workers separated items into different areas and rooms holding everything from toys and mini-fridges to folding beds and file cabinets. Wall clocks went for $2, while computer monitors were priced at $10-$50. The sale was “cash and carry.”

Shown here is one of the children's rooms that had toys, furniture, movies and books for sale at the  liquidation sale at the now-closed Sutter Memorial Hospital. / Photo by Monica Stark
Shown here is one of the children's rooms that had toys, furniture, movies and books for sale at the liquidation sale at the now-closed Sutter Memorial Hospital. / Photo by Monica Stark

The public sale took place on the former hospital’s first floor, and the public did not have access to other parts of the hospital. One Emergency Department patient bay was staged with toys and other items from the pediatric floors. The main dining room was full of computer monitors. The kitchen not only had the commercial kitchen equipment up for sale, but also kitchen refrigerators, mini-fridges, microwave ovens and ice makers. Several office rooms were filled with the likes of computer chairs, garbage cans, artwork and patient end tables.

The sale was conducted by the world’s largest medical auction house, Centurion Service Group, which has held hospital sales like this one throughout the nation.

Sutter Memorial Hospital, which opened in 1937, was known as “Sacramento’s baby hospital,” where nearly 350,000 babies were born. It also was home to the acclaimed Sutter Children’s Center and the Sutter Heart & Vascular Institute, where the first Central Valley open-heart surgeries and heart transplants were performed. Sutter Memorial Hospital closed on Aug. 8, when all services moved to the expanded Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento midtown campus that includes the renovated Sutter General Hospital, now called the Ose Adams Medical Pavilion, and the new, 10-story Anderson Lucchetti Women’s and Children’s Center. Much of the furniture, kitchen, office equipment and other items were not taken to the expanded campus and were being offered to the public during this sale.

Photos by Monica Stark
Photos by Monica Stark

Matias Bombal’s Hollywood

Pawn Sacrifice
The MPAA has rated this PG-13

Bleeker Street Media offers “Pawn Sacrifice” in which one of the most colorful real-life figures in the history of the game of chess, Bobby Fischer, is portrayed in biographical form. He is played by Tobey Maguire in a role like no other in his career. Much in this picture takes place primarily during the Cold War. However, the movie story begins in Brooklyn of the 1950s where the young Fischer lives with his mother, a communist sympathizer who instills in the young boy a paranoia of being constantly watched.

Liev Schreiber and Tobey Maguire in "Pawn Sacrifice" -Photo: Takashi Seida -Bleeker Street Media
Liev Schreiber and Tobey Maguire in "Pawn Sacrifice" -Photo: Takashi Seida -Bleeker Street Media

As he grows up we see that he has serious psychological difficulties, but through the game of chess, he finds a focus, or perhaps an escape that channels his brilliant mind to the thin line between greatness and madness. As he rises through the ranks of chess players, he is becoming noticed. Paul Marshall, an attorney, sees a great possibility in him and wishes to act as his agent as the cold war develops.

Marshall is played by Michael Stuhlbarg, and he is the ringmaster of those that surround the erratic chess king. Stuhlbarg, who I first noticed in “Boardwalk Empire”, has proven again and again both in features and television work that he is one of this decade’s great actors. I savor any performance from him, and look forward to many more. I do hope that his peers will consider an Oscar nomination for him in the category of best supporting actor for this performance.

As the story moves incrementally forward, like chess moves, Marshall enlists the help of a priest, a seemingly unorthodox one, in wrangling the erratic moods of Fischer. The priest is also master at the chess game. Actor Peter Sarsgaard is Father Bill Lombardy. With reservations, Father Bill accepts, and the race to dominate the Russians at chess begin. Although Fischer will match and master several games and players as he ascends in the playing field, there is one man on which he fixates who would become a central obsession of his life, the Russian world champion grand-master, Boris Spassky.

In the movie, Spassky is played by Liev Schreiber, in what may only be called a fantastic performance. As a series of games between the two for the world title progress, with Fischer becoming increasingly erratic, Spassky has an insight that leads him to understand Fischer more than most; Fischer is afraid of winning. Schreiber actually speaks Russian in the movie, which he mastered beautifully.

I was greatly impressed with this picture on so many levels. The periods of the eras in the story are faithfully recreated. The performance of Tobey Maguire is simply the best work he has ever done before the camera in his entire career. In fact, all of the performances are exquisite, and handled with a very human understanding and sensitivity by director Edward Zwick.

Bradford Young’s cinematography is perfect for subject and place, using the wide screen anamorphic CinemaScope aspect ratio. The actual photography was on 35mm motion picture film negative supplied by Eastman Kodak, and was then transferred to a 2K digital intermediate for post production, editing and eventual release to theaters in digital format. I was moved by this story illustrating the thin line between genius and madness, and find it one of the year’s great movies. Make your move, see this picture.

The Intern
The MPAA has rated this PG-13

Warner Bros. brings us “The Intern”, the latest from director Nancy Meyers, who has made memorable movies since 1980’s “Private Benjamin” with Goldie Hawn. Now, one of the most iconic of actors of the modern era, Robert DeNiro, returns to comedy in a movie that you will really enjoy.

Anne Hathaway is Jules Austin, founder of an e-business start-up that is growing and successful. Her headquarters are in a re-purposed building that used to print telephone directories, which has the feel of many famous real-life offices of places like Facebook and Google. An assistant reminds her that she had OK’d the hiring of senior interns, which she had forgotten. The assistant reminds her that it would be inspirational to have an experienced executive work with collegiate new hires that have beer pong skills outside of tech experience.

DeNiro and Hathaway. Charming comedy. Photo:Francois Duhamel- © 2015 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC.
DeNiro and Hathaway. Charming comedy. Photo:Francois Duhamel- © 2015 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC.

That idea of the beer pong skill set compared to a lifetime of work experience is what is at the heart of this movie, along with fine examples of humanity at both ends of the spectrum separated by years of life. DeNiro’s character, Ben Whittaker, a man of integrity, correct manners and chivalry, certainly impresses the millennials that have only seen that behavior in what are to them, old movies.

The brilliance of this study of effective communication and age opposites working together told through the guise of humor makes this one of the year’s most enjoyable and charming comedies. It offers a biting satire on modern tech while affirming the value of experience. Rene Russo may be seen in a delightful return to the screen. You’ll delight in her time on screen, but I won’t tell you how she fits in, you’ll have to go and see the picture to find out. The slow realization by Jules of the kind of man Ben is, and how that’s totally missing in today’s workforce is a joy that unravels gradually as the movie progresses.

This movie has the feel that movies used to have, but rarely do today. In one scene, they even show a clip from “Singing in the Rain” playing on a hotel room television. Not only is it shown in the correct aspect ratio, it brings a tear to DeNiro’s eye as Gene Kelly sings Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed’s “You Were Meant for Me” to Debbie Reynolds. Director Meyers spent much time working with DeNiro on details of his costume and the actor himself chose a hairstyle in the movie which to me is very similar to Cary Grant’s look in movies of the 1950s.

I encourage you to not miss the most charming comedy for all ages that you may see this year. So much is profoundly right about this movie. You’ll respond to its truth reflected in your own life no matter what your age may be.

Hotel Transylvania 2
The MPAA has rated this PG

Columbia Pictures offers a sequel to the first movie with this title that came out in 2012 and returns to the screen the animated characters introduced in the first movie. Adam Sandler, who also wrote the screenplay with Robert Smigel, returns to voice work along with known actors voicing parts created in that last movie; Steve Buscemi, Fran Drescher and others.

After establishing a hotel in his castle in the last picture, Dracula (Sandler) and his creepy pals try to bring out the monster side of his half-human, half monster grandson in order that his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) will have no cause to leave the castle/hotel. However, she wants to see the human side of her family and how they live in a suburbia in the USA, so off she goes with her husband while her dad, Dracula, babysits. Sort of like leaving a cat in the hen house. Many humorous episodes ensue over the movie’s 88 minutes. Although this is really a movie for kids, it does not hold up that well for adults.

The entire feature is a series of one liners updated from Borsht Belt routines to keep them for being stale, and the movie is rather dull. That is until one of the most beloved voices in comedy brightens up the movie as Vlad, Dracula’s dad. Mel Brooks is that voice, and his well recognized sound and delivery keep this from being a total waste of time.

One scene made me almost fall out of my chair with laughter. The castle cronies are out with their charge with hopes to frighten him into being able to turn into a bat. As they tool along in their Hearse-like car, they are using a GPS for directions. The ghoulish voice giving the driving directions is no less than a voice actor doing an impersonation of Peter Lorre. Hands down, it is the best part of the movie.

This is a perfect example of what is beginning to happen more and more these days; ideas well suited for television or home markets appearing on the big screen. This is the kind of movie where the big screen is not an advantage, and you wonder: Why am I not seeing this on TV instead? Not a real stinkeroo, but close.

Door to Door

Like Diogenes who went with his lamp in the daylight looking for an honest man, I’ve been looking for a businessperson who supports a livable wage (around $15 per hour) in Sacramento. They were able to do this in Los Angeles and San Francisco, so why not here? We can build a new arena with luxury parking, cram new housing into a toxic basin (McKinley Village)—all this to become, purportedly, a “world class city.” So how about instituting a world class livable wage for the servers and clerks and caretakers who won’t be able to buy McVillage houses and can’t even afford arena tickets?

The Mayor’s Task Force recommends $12.50 per hour and The Bee says this is “a better fit for Sacramento.” The cost of living is considerably less here than in San Francisco or Los Angeles.

Pat Lynch
Pat Lynch

A poll taken on Next Door showed a nearly 50/50 split on this issue, with business owners and business advocates taking the expected position against the increase. So I was looking for an anomaly—a businessperson who actually liked raising the minimum wage for employees.

Found one. She lives right here in East Sac, and is opening a nursery called The Plant Foundry. Her name is Angela Pratt. She got her degree in horticulture from UCD, and she empathizes with workers. “To me, having happy, productive employees who feel appreciated and adequately compensated is more important than squeezing every penny I can out of the business and putting it in my own pocket,” she says. Since she’s a start-up (opening day should be sometime in September), she hasn’t yet calculated what she’ll be able to pay to stay in business. But her start-up team earns the L.A./S.F. living wage. “It’s something I’m trying with my current employees and we’ll see how it goes. There’s only one way to find out if this is sustainable: putting our efforts into running the business more efficiently. By using an iPad POS system for inventory tracking, we can look for other ways to cut costs that don’t involve reducing wages or hours.”

Pratt says her empathy for low-paid workers comes from having been one. “I’ve worked for employers who were very reluctant to give raises, nickel-and-dimed us when we did ask, and yet we were expected to smile and provide exemplary customer service. I’ve also worked for employers who gave regular reviews and increases, reminded us to take breaks, and even provided health benefits and other perks.” Working conditions matter to her. “I feel employees should be given opportunities for growth, and bosses should pitch in …wherever needed. It’s not fair to expect an employee of any age to endure hours of extreme heat or cold, not being allowed to sit down, rules against listening to music, etc., when a manager or owner has those comforts.”

The image of bosses lolling (my term) while workers hustle and sweat sparked a litany of bleak personal recollections. Here’s one: I furiously stapled papers to meet a last minute deadline while a man strolled by, paused, pointed at the floor, and said to me, “These papers need to be picked up.” That was the day I said, “Pick them up, then,” and spent a big slice of the afternoon with a Human Resources person who said I didn’t need to use words like servitude to describe my job, a job many would be thankful to have. And I shouldn’t, she said, have answered snippily to a supervisor, even if he was a dud whom nobody liked. This all happened when I was young and valiant, but I have never forgotten him standing there, puffed with his smug, small authority. He made the days miserable.

“Work should be enjoyable,” Pratt says. And rewarded. She adds, “too many good employees become disenchanted and unproductive when they realize they’re not valued enough to be paid what I call a ‘dignified wage’.” So here’s an owner/manager who believes in good pay and says of her present employees, “We’re a team. I’d be lost without them.” If you’re a newbie who gets hired to water plants, she won’t pay you $15 per hour. But she’ll be fair, and you’ll go to work in a nice place. If you’re a single adult with rent to pay, or a single parent, you’ll have an employer who gets it. You’ll appreciate the check that accompanies the good vibe at The Plant Foundry.

A lot of tired, partially examined notions can be trotted out to justify skimpy wages, the fall of free enterprise foremost among them. But Angela Pratt focuses on a bigger, truer picture. I’ve queried several people, and she’s the first one who’s talked about the dignity of livable pay in a collegial workplace. She clearly intends to create a working climate that is the antithesis of some of her past experiences; the employee has become a sensitized employer.

I think she’s right, and if you’ll forgive a salute from the old days, right on.

Pat Lynch can be reached at Pat Lynch is a Sacramento writer with astute social consciousness and a reporter’s sharp eye. She tunes us in: to language with its revelations and betrayals, to subtexts, to nuance, to irony. Her characters engage us emotionally; her stories peel away the layers with humor and great humanity. Purchase her book, “All That Glisters And Other Stories”, at or call 916-457-2725 for a 20 percent discount.

From your councilmember

For many organizations, the onset of Fall brings about the planning process for the upcoming year. Shorter days and cooler nights bring about a focus on what is needed for the upcoming year. For me, this happens each and every year at the non-profit that I am the CEO. Taking stock of the plans for next year is important to the success of any organization and the City of Sacramento is no different.

For me, the focus of my efforts in the Pocket/Greenhaven area of District 7 will be on community engagement. What is important to us residents and how do we take on that issue as a community. What are the issues that you think we need to address? How do we as neighbors work together to make a wonderful community even better?

To that end, I need your help. On October 1, 2015, I will be opening an electronic survey to have you, my neighbors, help me to identify and rank the issues that we need to address. What are the issues that are important to you and your neighbors? Are traffic issues particularly worrisome for your neighborhood? Do we need additional enforcement, stop signs or speed lumps?

How are our parks? Are the amenities in the park serving the needs of the community? Do we need to update them? How is the maintenance? Can we work with other organizations like the school district to better serve our community?

The focus of this first survey would be to identify the issues and rank them in importance. Then, we would work with you our community to address the identified issues, then inform the community through meetings and communications. Most importantly, the community meetings would be focused on soliciting input directly from you on how we can address these community’s concerns.

Of note, the school district, the library authority and Regional Transit have all committed to be a part of this discussion. The focus of this effort is about serving our community. The organizations that provide services to you are ready to work with you to make a great community even better.

I know that we have some challenges. The flood control projects and traffic concerns directly impact us. Focusing on attracting additional services like sit down restaurants and other retail businesses should be high on our list. Completing the Sacramento River Parkway is particularly important to me and to a number of you as well.

I want to come back to asking you for help. There are two things I need: First, I need your help in filling out the survey. You will be able to find the survey on my website beginning October 1st at I want your thoughtful feedback to identify and prioritize the issues that we need to work on together.

Second, I ask that you remember that we are all neighbors. We live side by side in this wonderful community. We see each other in the parks, library and grocery stores. We sit next to each other in church or at a restaurant. Quite simply, we are in this together. To that end, I am hopeful that as we travel down this path together, we will remember that collectively we can achieve more. I look forward to traveling this path with you.

Sacramento Suburban Water District announces “drought champs”

Sacramento Suburban Water District customers helped lead the state in reducing water use this summer cutting consumption by over 40 percent in July. Overall, the state reduced water use by 31 percent compared to July 2013.

Photo courtesy Arden-Carmichael area resident Mary Rea decreased her water use by a whopping 75 percent (more than 20,000 gallons) in June and July compared to the same time-frame in 2013. She is a Sacramento Suburban Water District "drought champ."
Photo courtesy Arden-Carmichael area resident Mary Rea decreased her water use by a whopping 75 percent (more than 20,000 gallons) in June and July compared to the same time-frame in 2013. She is a Sacramento Suburban Water District "drought champ."

Arden-Carmichael area resident Mary Rea decreased her water use by a whopping 75 percent (more than 20,000 gallons) in June and July compared to the same timeframe in 2013. She achieved this by deciding to stop watering her lawn, and focused on keeping her bushes and trees alive with limited deep watering. Inside her home, Miss Rea conserved water by washing only full loads in her clothes washer and capturing shower and faucet water in a bucket as it heats up.

“I recognized the fact that we’ve gone without rain for a long time in Sacramento and can’t take our water for granted,” Miss Rea said about her efforts to conserve.

Local businesses also stepped up their conservation efforts. One of the highlights was the Teichert Foundation, the grant-giving arm of the long-standing Teichert construction company. The foundation reduced their water use by 61 percent in June (compared to June 2013). They prioritized their outdoor water needs and allowed portions of their grass to go golden while bringing in arborists and other professionals to help guide them in saving the most important parts of their landscape, such as their trees.

“We have been heartened by the overwhelming way our customers responded to the governor’s call to conserve during this historic drought,” said Greg Bundensen, Water Conservation Supervisor for the Sacramento Suburban Water District. “We’re encouraging everyone to keep up their great work through the end of summer and into the fall.”

SSWD has a full suite of rebate programs available for its customers, including Cash for Grass, which offers up to $1,000 in funding for replacing lawns with a low-water landscape, Irrigation Efficiency Upgrades which provides up to $300 in rebates for replacing old inefficient sprinklers with new more efficient models, and programs for pool covers, weather-based irrigation controllers, and rain sensors.

Rebates are also available for indoor water-efficiency upgrades, including recirculating hot water pumps ($150 rebate), clothes washers ($75 for an approved Tier III high efficiency clothes washers) and for low-flow toilets via the Department of Water Resources.

SSWD has low-flow showerheads and buckets for collecting water available upon request at the SSWD office.

SSWD recommends its customers remember to:

1) Check their sprinklers for leaks or misdirected heads at least once a month.
2) Use plenty of mulch around their trees and shrubs to limit evaporation.
3) Follow the two days a week watering guidelines and to water their landscape early in the morning.
4) Limit their showers to five minutes or less.
5) Run their dishwasher and clothes washer only when full.
6) Set up a free Water-Wise House Call to find out more ways to conserve

More water saving tips and information on the rebate programs are available online at or by calling 972-7171.