What are you thankful for? River’s Edge residents get into the spirit of the holidays

The following residents at River’s Edge Independent Living Community (601 Feature Dr.) discussed what they are thankful for. What are you thankful for?

“I moved into River’s Edge three weeks ago, so I am very thankful for this home. I’m very happy here.” – Barbara White

“I’m grateful for my family. That is the most important thing in life.” – Henry Tesluk

“I am thankful to be living here. I lost my husband last year, and this has been a very supportive environment for me.” – Jean Brown

Former Sacramento radio DJ Johnny Hyde recalls his storied career

Johnny Hyde had a lengthy radio career, which included working for Sacramento stations, KXOA, KROY and KCRA. Photo courtesy of Martin Ashley

Johnny Hyde had a lengthy radio career, which included working for Sacramento stations, KXOA, KROY and KCRA. Photo courtesy of Martin Ashley

For many longtime radio listeners in Sacramento, the name, Johnny Hyde, is quite familiar.
During his lengthy career, Johnny, who will turn 75 years old next week, spent time working for local radio stations, KXOA, KROY and KCRA.
Last week, Johnny shared many details about his life and career for readers of this publication.
Johnny initially spoke about growing up in St. Louis with his mother, Margaret, and his sister, Carole.
During his youth, Johnny became fascinated with radio.
In speaking about his memories of listening to radio at that time, Johnny said, “While I (was) living in St. Louis, I used to go to bed at night (with) a radio sitting on my chest. I would sort of act like a human antenna and bring in the music from not only St. Louis, but across the river in East St. Louis, (Illinois). And that’s where I would hear black music. That’s where you’re hearing the Lightnin’ Hopkins and you’re hearing Chuck Berry and some folks like that. That was a hot fudge sundae right there. I’m the human antenna, just listening to this stuff, just absolutely fascinated by it, and I knew that that was my life right there.”
Johnny recalled one of his favorite radio memories, saying, “One (St. Louis radio station) was KXOK. And in those days, they used to have a little audience section – seats for an audience – to go watch the disc jockey and the engineer, who played the records. And they would have guests on the radio program.
“I think the high point of my life at the time was when I met and saw Patti Page (1927-2013), whose big hit was (‘The Doggie in the Window,’ with the lyric line), ‘How much is that doggie in the window?’ That was about the greatest thing in the world to me. This was at KXOK in St. Louis. She was on the radio program.”
Another one of Johnny’s favorite radio memories was listening to KXOK disc jockey Ed Bonner (1923-1993), who Johnny referred to as “the Dick Clark of his time in St. Louis.”
Johnny, who also recalled listening to St. Louis radio stations, WEW and KXLW, was asked if he had dreamed of becoming a disc jockey.
He responded, “Oh, yeah. Actually, I really dreamed more of sort of being, I don’t know, the guy who put the show together. I guess you would call him a producer now, the director.”
When he was 14 years old, Johnny left his home in St. Louis to seek out his father, Eddie Hyde, who he had never met.
Johnny said that he discovered that his father was in poor health, in and out of a hospital, and was not overjoyed to see him.
“I met him,” Johnny recalled. “He had no place in his life for a 14 year old, and I just wanted some place really to belong. So, what I had done was I made a decision that I was leaving home. I left home, got on a Greyhound bus, ended up in Tucson, (Ariz.). ‘Hello, dad, I’m your son.’ ‘Oh, (expletive),’ on his part. So, I stayed with him for a while and he had to go back in the hospital. He was that sick.”
Although Johnny returned to St. Louis, he would not stay there long.
He was soon back in Tucson, where he began hanging out at radio stations and making acquaintances with some of the disc jockeys.
Johnny found a home in a room at a rest home, an arrangement that he noted worked out fine for him, as long as he “didn’t interrupt Lawrence Welk on Saturday nights.”
While in Tucson for the second time in his life, Johnny lied his way into a midnight to 6 a.m. disc jockey shift at KAIR, as he told the station that he had prior experience as a DJ.
That job did not last long for Johnny, mostly because he would deprive himself of sleep and sometimes fall asleep on the job.
“My problem was I was so fascinated by the guys that were working the day shift, I was up all day with them,” Johnny said.
Despite firing Johnny from his first radio job after about five months in that position, Ralph Anderson, the station’s manager, liked Johnny and set him up with his second radio job, at KVWM in Show Low, Ariz.
Johnny would later return to Tucson, where he began working mornings at KCNA.
His career in radio also included working as a DJ for KELP in El Paso, Texas, KRIZ in Phoenix, KWAC in Bakersfield, KYNO in Fresno and KJOY in Stockton.
Following the death of KJOY’s owner-manager Joe Gamble, Johnny began working in Sacramento.
In recalling that time of his life, Johnny said, “It was a strange situation that I ran across. I got a job up here (in Sacramento) at the old KXOA, and I was going to do nighttime at KXOA. But they had to get rid of a program director who didn’t know that he was about to leave and do another shift. And at the same time, KROY was absent a guy who was on vacation and they needed help. So, the two stations worked together. KXOA hired me, but I went to work for KROY, filling in for I think three or four weeks in the all-night shift there. And then when that was over, I went over to KXOA. We’re talking 1964.”
Johnny explained that he quickly became very creative during his night shift at KXOA.
“I would go in and I would listen to music and put together sort of like my music format and I would pretend that it would be their music format and I would integrate mine,” Johnny said. “Finally, the owner of the station or the manager said, ‘Why don’t you take an hour at night to feature your music? Call it Hyde’s Hits or something like that.’ I thought, ‘Oh, that’s stupid.’ But the more I got thinking about it, I had become fascinated with British music, and The Beatles were obviously just part of the floodgate. There was the Herman’s Hermits and there was The Searchers and The Rolling Stones, The Hollies and all those type [of musical artists] coming.”
Johnny’s decision to finally accept that offer, led to his very popular program, The Gear Hour, which featured the newest British hits.
The success of that program moved KXOA past its rival, KROY, in the ratings.
Johnny, who also created a fan club for followers of his show, said that the popularity of his show led to his hiring at KXOA in 1965.
After Johnny’s hiring at KROY, he would become that station’s program manager, and KROY would move forward as the city’s number one station.
Also contributing to KROY’s success in that era were disc jockeys such as Bob Sherwood, Chuck Roy, T. Michael Jordan, Gene Lane and Martin “Wonder Rabbit” Ashley.
The station also enjoyed success through various promotions, including its annual picnic at Gibson Ranch in Elverta and its Rock Island Line, which Johnny recalled transported fans of the station from Sacramento to Dixon and back.
Johnny noted that his radio career continued after he left KROY in the summer of 1970.
“After KROY, I had really become bored,” Johnny said. “My problem in the world of programming is I will build and if it’s successful then I will become bored with it. (That boredom occurred after the release of) about the second or third successful ratings book.”
To cure that boredom, Johnny accepted an offer from KCRA co-owner Jon S. Kelly to work at KCRA radio, while his brother, Bob, was on a sabbatical leave.
In speaking about his time working at KCRA radio, Johnny Hyde said, “I programmed there for two years. We took number one in the market. It was good, it was successful and they had me go over and do some stuff on the television side, which I never enjoyed, but I did it anyhow.”
With the return of Bob from his sabbatical leave, Johnny left his position at KCRA and filled his time with advertising and consultancy work for some radio stations, including KROY.
Today, Johnny is happily retired and residing with his longtime girlfriend, Maxine, his dog, A.J., and his cat, Pesek.
In pondering his radio career as a whole, Johnny Hyde said, “Well, I’m actually the luckiest person in the world. I mean, look at this way: A 14-year-old kid on a Greyhound bus going to Tucson and then being able to truly create something that had meaning and lasting power. It’s 2014 and (his career is still being talked) about. A lot of guys who went to work for (General Motors) never got to do that, unless they invented door handles.”


Arden Garden Market celebrated grand opening

The Arden Garden Market in Sacramento hosted its grand-opening festivities on Thursday, Oct. 2 with activities for children, produce and craft vendors, food trucks, live music from Stoney Inn Bar and Grill as well as painting demonstrations, a performance by the Grant Union High School drumline and an unveiling of a mural by Demetris Washington. The farmers’ market, at 1409 Del Paso Blvd., was developed by Dan Friedlander and is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, visit ardengardenmarket.com.

At the grand opening celebration, Councilmember Allen Warren addressed the crowd, excited about the market and describing its future goals. “This is a very important evening for us because what we are doing today is something that is sorely needed in this community. What you are doing today is supporting what we hope will be a regional farmers’ market that ultimately will be open seven days a week.
“And, as you can see, there are indoor facilities with a plan to have more vendors indoors, so during the winter time you can still get the kind of things that you’d like to see happen. So this will be the only place in the region like that, you guys. So you really have to come out and support it.”

Marlan Quaylar, on behalf of the California Endowment, said the organization is proud to support Arden Garden Market’s mural project and thanked everybody that came out to the event. Local to the area, Marlan said he attends a nearby church and grew up in the Northgate area. “So, to me, this event and the community that’s out here – it really hits close to me.” Marlan encouraged everyone to venture to the California Endowment’s booth where they had information about funding “schools and not prisons” and making sure that investments about youth and young people are made.

Upcoming at the marketplace, on Saturday, Nov. 15, Arden Garden Market presents Fast Cars, Slow Food from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., which will include: “live music, cool cars, food trucks and vintage vendors.” The following week, on Saturday, Nov. 22, the market will feature a home and garden theme and on Saturday, Nov. 29, “fashion” will be the theme of the market.


Faces and Places: Chinese Community Church fall fellowship and food festival

The community enjoyed delicious Chinese barbecue chicken, pot stickers, live entertainment and fun and games at the 31st annual Fall Fellowship and Food Festival held at the Chinese Community Church on Saturday, Oct. 18. Here’s to next year!


Carmichael florist discusses lengthy career and changes in the industry

Creativity and flowers are Ila Destfino’s lifelong passions. To the owner of Carmichael Flowers, running a local business and arranging flowers is the perfect combination. “It is so rewarding. (I’m) doing something positive and beautiful in this world every day. How great is that? And getting a call from an overwhelming happy customer thanking me for their beautiful flowers is icing on the cake.”
Opened since 1955, Ila is the third owner, after Mr. Brown and his wife started the business 59 years ago. Ila spoke with the Arden-Carmichael News about the background of the business and how she got involved.
“Together (the previous owners) built a great reputation and were the original and only florist in Carmichael for many years until an employee decided to start one and open it right next door to Carmichael Flowers. After I purchased Carmichael Flowers, Mr. Brown came into my shop and introduced himself and told me he was so pleased that I purchased the business and was thrilled that I had restored it to its grandeur with my passion for the business and expertise in flowers and design.
“We visited for hours and he had the most wonderful stories of the early days with the couple other premier Sacramento florists getting together for dinner parties, their kids growing up together and the good friends they all were. As he was walking out the door, he said to me if I needed another designer, he would love to help. His wife had passed away and he had plenty of time on his hands. I was honored he would work with me. It made me very proud to continue his legacy.”
Ila has moved the shop several times in an effort to find the perfect location for the business. Her recent expansion in Frontier Village is all of that appeal that she has been searching for – vintage, quaint and with all the charm and ambiance that makes for the perfect spot for Carmichael Flowers.
She she first opened her first flower shop 29 years ago, she learned a lot about the floral industry and the flower shop business. “I experienced so many things. I decided I needed to either move the shop to a bigger town or look for another to purchase. I purchased Carmichael Flowers many years ago and haven’t looked back, it exceeded my expectations.”
Raised in Tahoe, which Ila considers “the most beautiful place in the world with nature at its absolute best,” the talented florist moved to Sacramento after high school and has been in Sacramento ever since. “I had my fill of cold, snowy days. There are so many beautiful scenic places all around Sacramento” – a beautiful dogwood tree in bloom, lush Japanese maples turning orange in the fall, vintage daffodils blooming in Daffodil Hill, her koi fish in their pond, a Japanese garden, a bright full moon glowing on her beautiful patio. “Surrounding yourself with beauty transforms the day into something tranquil, amazing and peaceful.”
In her 29 years as a florist shop owner, Ila has undoubtedly seen many changes in the industry, including watching grocery stores dramatically impacting the business of the local florist. Included in Ila’s comments on the issue, she said: “It’s very hard to compete with million dollar grocery stores (with) high volume purchase power. It makes it very hard on us privately-owned florists who don’t have the deep pockets that the grocery stores do. Pre-made flower bouquets and arrangements in the grocery markets are rarely fresh daily.”
The second big change Ila has seen in the industry is a huge increase in wholesale flowers. “They have not only nearly doubled in price but reduced the quantity of flowers in each wholesale bunch we purchase. To say it is challenging is an understatement. To double my prices on each arrangement would destroy my business. I keep a tight rein on purchasing and search out purchasing directly from growers to keep my costs in check. I still get an occasional person walking into the shop and making the remarkable statement: ‘Is this all you have in flowers? The grocery store down the street has a lot more.’
“Or the best line yet: ‘I can get it cheaper at the Raley’s down the street.’ It is all I can do to keep a smiling face, as zero thought went into what they just said to a business owner who does not have the zillions that Raley’s has, let alone what those flowers in my cooler actually cost me to purchase. This is the perfect example of how the grocery store flowers have put such a negative vibe on the flower business.”
Ila said over the years even that has changed somewhat as for the first time flowers became a luxury with the economic downturn. However, she noted customers are slowing starting to buy flowers again. “There are still a lot of sweet, thoughtful friends and neighbors out there sending a ‘birthday’ arrangement to a friend or a ‘cheery get well’ to a neighbor or a ‘just because’ arrangement to brighten up someone’s day.”
Many floral arrangements come to mind as to those that have been most impressive. For a number of years now, Carmichael Flowers has been doing a rose for every year of the customer’s age. This year, the oldest turned 99 years old – that’s 99 roses in a large container. “It looks amazing and over the top. I just did one this week for a 70th birthday, 70 assorted colored roses in one container. They truly make a statement.”
On a more somber note, Ila arranged flowers for a 16-year-old girl who died after having minor surgery. “It was extremely shocking and heartbreaking. It was one of the largest funerals I have done. There were dozens and dozens of large arrangements. The family wanted to send her on her way with flowers everywhere in the church.” Additionally, Ila arranged many of the funeral flowers for the three young local boys who died several years ago in a horrific car accident, some of whom were her customers’ children. Notably, Carmichael Flowers has also arranged flowers for former Kings’ players, she said.
As strangely as it might sound that Ila enjoys making funeral flower arrangements, to her, it is an honor to make something so beautiful for the families in their time of grief. “Some say flowers are unnecessary at a funeral. I disagree. From personal experience, and that of my customers, they are a pure expression of love for the departed. They are a comforting symbol of beauty surrounding the person while they make their journey to the afterlife.”
On the happier side of flowers, Ila has arranged hundreds of flowers for weddings over her 29-year-career. I have done hundreds of wedding flowers over my 29 yrs designing flowers and each were impressive floral statements for the bride on her special day. From simple to extravagant bridal bouquets, I tailor them to fit any bride’s budget.”
With her favorite season on the way, Christmas, Ila looks forward to making floral arrangements for homes and businesses. “I love decorating for the holidays. I love all the evergreens; they last for weeks in arrangements and the aroma is amazing. I love the vibrant colors of Christmas. The traditional reds, the bling of the golds, the creative decorating, themes and vignettes. This Christmas, some of our themes are leopard, peppermint lane, vintage red glass ornaments, and many unique red ornaments.”
With so many tree designs and décor possibilities, to Ila, Christmas is the time of year to reflect on past times with love and fondness, forget the sorrow, focus on the future and move forward with life. And she knows know first hand how hard it can be, as she lost both her parents many years ago several days before Christmas. “I now celebrate the holiday, remembering all the wonderful times and memories we had together and go over board on my decorating. It has helped me with my grief and is comforting to me to do so. And I know my Mom is smiling.”
Her husband of 44 years is an asset to her business, occasionally delivering orders. He has become a master at wiring and wrapping the roses and helps her in every aspect of the business when needed. Ila’s sons are both passionate about their hobbies of restoring vintage autos and jeeps. One is an aerospace engineer and the other a master metals fabricator – the “farthest thign from flowers and the floral business,” Ila said. One of these days, she hopes for a daughter-in-law to hand the business down to. “If not I am sure there is someone out there who would be thrilled to buy the shop and carry on the legacy of Carmichael Flowers and taking it to its next level of amazing.”
Carmichael Flowers is located at 5901 Fair Oaks Blvd. For more information, call 483-8511.


What are you thankful for? Land Park preschoolers get into the spirit of the holidays

The following students in the Butterfly Class at the Land Park Infant Center and Preschool (5250 Riverside Blvd.) shared with the Land Park News what they are thankful for. What are you thankful for?

“For my Mommy because I love her.” – Isabella

“I love my Mom! I am thankful for her.” – Kai

“I am thankful for cousins in New York.” – Emma

“I am thankful Mom and Dad because they cook things for me.” – Charlie

“For my Mommy and my cats, Hunter Pence and Snow White.” – Peyton

“For my cat. I love him.” – Vincent

“For my soccer ball.” – Wyatt

“For my family and friends. Thankful is when you are happy to have something or someone.” – Wyatt

“For my family.” – Olive

“For my friends to be nice to me.” – Madelyn

“Thankful for my Mommy.” – Brooklyn

“I love trains. I’m thankful for that.” – Michael

“I am thankful for this dress because someone gave it to me.” – Karly

“I am thankful for my mommy when she gets me my own dinner.” –Allison

“I am thankful for caterpillars.” – Amelie

Found photo on 2nd Avenue and Riverside Boulevard

On Monday, Oct. 27 this photograph was found underneath a car parked on 2nd Avenue near Riverside Boulevard, near Valley Community Newspapers’ office. While rather rumpled, the photograph has the following description on the back, “Doug + his buddy Cheif (sic) Depoe; Aug 1993.”
Until someone claims the photograph, it will be held here in the office, 2709 Riverside Blvd.
After researching Chief Depoe, a rather interesting storyline unfolds. According to the City of Depoe Bay website, www.cityofdepoebay.org/pages/history.html, Chief William Hauser DePoe Sr., who was born on Dec. 14, 1929, to Robert Charles and Mary Houser DePoe “was the fourth of five children: Reggie, Chuck, Peter, then William, and Roberta. He was a World War II veteran, a National Indian Basketball All Star, and a professional musician who played with Lionel Hampton and Tommy Dorsey. He spent his last 15 years in Depoe Bay, where he appeared in regalia at community events and devoted much of his time to Native American cultural development.
“Chief W. H. DePoe Sr. died in 1997, and his son, Chief William ‘Chewescla’ DePoe, holds his now-hereditary title. He is the second oldest of five children: Charlotte, then William, Ronald, Ilene, and Peter. Chief Chewescla has participated in athletics all his life, and still actively participates in many events, including basketball tournaments, jogging, the tribe’s annual Run to the Rogue, and dancing at the annual Gathering of Nations Pow-wow in New Mexico. He also attends the annual Fleet of Flowers held in Depoe Bay on Memorial Day.”

OVER THE FENCE: Patio expansion at Land Park Golf Course

The outside of Mulligan's Café before the plaza expansion. Photo by Greg Brown

The outside of Mulligan's Café before the plaza expansion. Photo by Greg Brown

The Land Park Golf Course is planning to expand the clubhouse patio area outside Mulligan’s Café. They’re going to open things. They’ll add 10 additional tables with colorful sun-shade umbrellas. The added tables would be used by golfers as well as soccer parents and other park users. One park user, Hollywood Park resident Kerry Herd-Babich, was getting a hot cup of coffee at the café while her husband David practiced his short game on the putting green. She told me “Every morning we walk around the park, it’s wonderful.” Then they relax and hang out on the patio outside of Mulligan’s Café.
The $42,500 expansion is being done thanks to retiring County Supervisor Jimmie Yee. Jimmie has always been a huge supporter of The First Tee, their core values, and what they do for the kids.
Jimmie told me over the phone he likes to visit William Land to relax, sit around the clubhouse, and watch golfers enjoy the putting green. Jimmie is also an avid golfer and hopes to play once a week in retirement.
The golf course put a new cart barn near the putting green a few years ago and that got Jimmie thinking, “that’s nice to have the cart barn there but they need something between the two…there’s just nothing there.”
He told this to Tom Morton, the head of Morton Golf, which operates quite a few golf courses in the Sacramento area. That’s when they came up with the idea of expanding the plaza between the cart barn and Mulligan’s Café.
Jimmie had some leftover tobacco litigation funds from the County and was able to use the money to help fund the new plaza expansion. Jimmie also generously donated money from his campaign fund to the Land Park Volunteer Corps that does a lot of work to keep Land Park clean.
The Land Park Volunteer Corp gets to have lunch on Jimmie!
Jimmie told me, “I’m winding down. The only way to donate my remaining funds is to give it to charitable organizations.”
Jimmie added, “That’s the big story, in a little nutshell.”

The Elvis and AC/DC pinball machines were getting a good workout at Phono Select Records. Photo by Greg Brown

The Elvis and AC/DC pinball machines were getting a good workout at Phono Select Records. Photo by Greg Brown

Pinball At Phono Select
Phono Select Records in Hollywood Park recently had a fun pinball and toy event. The clacks and dings of the pinball machines wafted through the Phono Select building while music played in conjunction. Free pinball! The machines were some of the coolest, too. Metallica, AC/DC, Elvis and Medieval Madness were all lined up in a row for folks to “play the silver ball.”
Phono Select Records plans on more pinball parties as well as having pinball and other video games permanently at the shop. And this should make your day…The Dirty Harry pinball machine is coming soon!

Purple Fox Takes Over Trezhers
The Purple Fox is a new arts and crafts store on Riverside Boulevard in Land Park. It is taking over the old Trezhers Gift Shop location in the strip mall across from Vic’s Ice Cream.
The Purple Fox features arts and crafts from a variety of local artists. The store is part consignment, part retail, according to the new owner Linda Cobarruvies. Linda told me, “I’ve been wanting to open a shop for a long time and I thought, now’s the time.”
Linda, a former teacher, was eager to show me around her little shop. There was a smorgasbord of handcrafted decorative items, jewelry, and one-of-a-kind gifts. I mentioned I had a 5-year-old son and she went over to the display of handmade animal plushies, chose the light blue kitty and said, “Please give this to your boy to cuddle with.” He loved it when I brought it home and immediately squeezed and cuddled with the soft Bellzi Plush toy.
One of the products on display I noticed immediately were the Dammit Dolls. When you get frustrated or irritated instead of pounding the desk, you slam the doll against something and yell, “Dammit!” It’s the perfect thing to own when the in-laws visit for the holidays.
The Purple Fox will be a convenient place for teachers in the area to pick up craft supplies for the classroom. They also offer classes on crafts, card-making, knitting, quilting and more.
I asked Linda where she came up with the name Purple Fox and she told me, “Purple is my favorite color, and a fox is very crafty. I sent the idea to my friends and they all loved it!”
The Purple Fox is located at 3214 Riverside Blvd. They’re on the web at www.purplefoxgifts.com

New Porcelain Neon Sign at Freeport Bakery. Photo by Greg Brown

New Porcelain Neon Sign at Freeport Bakery. Photo by Greg Brown

Freeport Bakery gets neon signage
Next time you drive past Freeport Bakery in the evening take a look at the classic porcelain neon sign they just installed. It gives off a nice warmish glow. The sign with pink neon flowers is patterned after the decadent Freeport Bakery cakes.
Owner Marlene Goetzeler said, “I’ve been wanting to do an iconic sign for a while. I wanted our logo, but with some style, old school signs with a modern flair.”
Marlene talked to quite a few sign makers, even one from Austin, Texas, but couldn’t find the right fit.
Then she met Ben Kenealey of “Light In The Night Neon.” It was a perfect match. “From the minute we met, I knew he was the right person,” Marlene said.
“That was a fun sign to do,” Ben told me. “I started telling Marlene my ideas and she kept getting more and more excited, even to the point to where she was giddy about it. She was a great person to work with.”
They actually had to send the signs out of state for the porcelain work. No one really makes them much anymore because other materials are less expensive. Ben said, “The porcelain has an old nostalgic feel you’re not gonna get anywhere else. If you watch American Pickers and that kind of thing they’ll pull out these old porcelain signs they always rave about.”
Ben, who is one of the few glass benders left in the Sacramento area, bent the glass used for the signs at his shop on Keifer Boulevard. It was then assembled at Pacific West Signs and installed on the North and South ends of the Freeport Bakery building.
Marlene said, “Finally after all these years Freeport Bakery has some great signage!”
Got an item for Over The Fence? Greg@valcomnews.com

Faces and Places: Crocker-Riverside Elementary students get in the Halloween spirit

Crocker-Riverside Elementary students got in the Halloween spirit. Here is a collection of photographs taken after school on Friday, Oct. 31.


Running free: New dog park to open in South Pocket area

Shown here, local dignitaries celebrated the groundbreaking of the Lynn Robie Dog Park at the Bill Conlin Youth Sports Complex on Monday, Nov. 3. Photo by Monica Stark

Shown here, local dignitaries celebrated the groundbreaking of the Lynn Robie Dog Park at the Bill Conlin Youth Sports Complex on Monday, Nov. 3. Photo by Monica Stark

Pocket area dogs will soon have an area to run around carefree and mingle with other dogs of their same size.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Monday, Nov. 3 for the Lynn Robie Dog Park at the Bill Conlin Youth Sports Complex, 7895 Freeport Blvd.) during which time Councilmember Darrell Fong, former Councilmember Lynn Robie, Pocket Little League President Jeff Marang and dogs from the Front Street Animal Shelter celebrated the construction of the two-acre park at the Bill Conlin Youth Sports Complex, which is scheduled to open by the end of the year.
Tin-Wah Wong, City of Sacramento landscape architect who was instrumental in designing the project, said the entire area is about two acres, which includes a quarter-acre for the small dog park and one and three-quarter-acre area for the large dog park. Some of the park’s amenities will include a center turf area for dogs to run around in as well as dog equipment in both areas.
The entire dog park will be double-fenced secure for the benefit of being able to leash and unleash one’s dog safely in a contained area. In addition, there will be drinking fountains and benches. And as part of the park’s master plan, there will be an expansion of the existing parking lot with 75 more parking spaces added to the parking area.
While the Pocket Little League’s volunteers maintain its own fields, the City of Sacramento Parks and Recreation Department will be charged with maintaining the dog park.
Photo by Monica Stark

Photo by Monica Stark

Wong said the project went out to public bid and that contractor JM Slover of Placerville, which has completed many city of Sacramento parks in the past, will be completing the dog park. JM Slover, Wong said, had subcontractors on the job to do the grading and the compaction for the rest of the park, including working on some drainage that was installed.
Fong said the idea of the project began about three years ago. “We talked about what would be very popular, and Gina (Knepp, of the Front Street Shelter director) will acknowledge this – it’s about the animals.”
In attendance at the ribbon cutting, included the Robies, Lynn and Ron Robie and their son Todd and daughter Melissa with her dog Lola.
Speaking about how the dog park took on the former councilmember’s name, Fong, said: “Lynn Robie was a councilmember from 1979 to 1992. In fact, when she started in 1979, she started the police academy.
“She was there making it a better place. She represented the Pocket/Greenhaven neighborhood and did it well for 13 years. So we thought how could we have something named after her for what she has accomplished and we thought about the animal park because a lot of people think how well used they are.
“We thought a lot of people would see this and recognize her name so I think it’s very befitting that we chose her to have the park named after her.”
Speaking about her love of the sense of community that brought everyone to the dog park’s groundbreaking, Lynn said: “The one thing I learned on the city council is that it does not take a million people to make something happen. It could take just a handful – just a handful of people that are really dedicated, that see a need in the community.
“And the Pocket was built like that – each park, each everything. We dedicated to people who wanted something in their community and they made it happen and I am so proud to be a part of this group. To think people started it and it’s a reality, I am really flattered. This is my family.”