United Way’s Day of Caring comes to Arden and Carmichael

United Way volunteers help build a community garden for Health Education Council's project at Grant High School. United Way is gathering volunteers for its Day of Caring on Sept. 13 to complete 26 volunteer projects across the region, including three in the Arden-Carmichael area.

United Way volunteers help build a community garden for Health Education Council's project at Grant High School. United Way is gathering volunteers for its Day of Caring on Sept. 13 to complete 26 volunteer projects across the region, including three in the Arden-Carmichael area.

As many as 70 volunteers will descend on Arden and Carmichael on Sept. 13 as part of United Way California Capital Region’s Day of Caring. The volunteer extravaganza sponsored by Nationwide will include 350 volunteers and 26 projects across the region to celebrate United Way’s 90th anniversary, kick off the fall fundraising campaign and help United Way reach its goal of completing 90 volunteer projects in 2013.

Local residents can spend one day caring for the Arden-Carmichael community by signing up for one of three Day of Caring projects taking place in the area. Atkinson Youth Services, which helps foster children, needs help painting bedrooms and moving furniture in one of its group homes in Carmichael.

WEAVE, which helps people who have experienced domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking, needs help sorting items at its thrift store on Arden Way after a weeklong clothing and household goods donation drive.

Those interested in supporting people with developmental disabilities can help the Developmental Disabilities Service Organization by painting the inside of the gym and exterior walls at its St. Marks Way campus.

Nationwide, which is based in the Arden area and is sponsoring Day of Caring, will be sending 100 volunteers across the region, including the project at Developmental Disabilities Service Organization.

“Day of Caring is a great opportunity for our employees to make a powerful, tangible difference for our community in just one day,” said Ramon Jones, Nationwide regional vice president. “We hope the rest of the community will join us to make real change happen.”

United Way’s Day of Caring will start at 8 a.m. with a breakfast and rally at Cal Expo. Volunteer projects will begin at 10 a.m. To sign up, visit www.yourlocalunitedway.org/dayofcaring.

“We’re excited to watch companies, volunteers and nonprofits come together for an amazing day transforming our community through volunteer projects,” said Victoria Kosha, interim United Way president and CEO. “We can’t think of a better way to celebrate 90 years of service in this community than to keep doing what we do best – joining hands with people across the region to make sure everyone has the building blocks for a good life.”

For 90 years, United Way California Capital Region has actively worked to address the community’s most pressing issues, now focusing on innovative solutions related to high school graduation rates, household financial stability and obesity. United Way’s team of nonprofits, businesses, donors and volunteers are working together to provide positive, measurable results on these issues through United Way projects: STAR Readers, $en$e-Ability and Fit Kids. Community members can give, volunteer and advocate in support of the causes they care most about, benefiting United Way and hundreds of nonprofits in Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties. United Way is an independent, local affiliate of United Way Worldwide. For more information, visit www.yourlocalunitedway.org.

Hilarious confrontations take the Chautauqua stage with ‘Squabbles’

(L) Monique McKisson, Walt Thompson, Julie Bock, Rodger Hoopman. Photo by Warren Harrison

(L) Monique McKisson, Walt Thompson, Julie Bock, Rodger Hoopman. Photo by Warren Harrison

Chautauqua Playhouse opened its 37th season with their production of “Squabbles”, a comedy by Marshall Karp. The show will run on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm and Sundays at 2 p.m. through Sept. 22. The performances will be held at the Chautauqua Playhouse, 5325 Engle Road in the La Sierra Community Center in Carmichael.  Admission is $19 general and $17 students, seniors, children and SARTA members.

Jerry Sloan is a successful writer of advertising jingles married to an equally successful lawyer. Living with the happy couple is the not so happy Abe Dreyfus, Jerry’s curmudgeon of a father in law. Abe is a funny guy to the audience, not to Jerry. The situation is exacerbated when Jerry’s mother Mildred loses her house in a fire and needs a place to stay. Abe and Mildred can’t stand each other. This play is one hilarious confrontation after another until the heartwarming finale in which the oldsters discover that, really, each is not so bad.

The production is directed and designed by Rodger Hoopman with lighting design by Don Myers.  The cast includes Rodger Hoopman, Julie Bock, Walt Thompson, Monique McKisson, Erin Dimond, and Vincent Keene.

Information and tickets are available through the Chautauqua Playhouse website: www.cplayhouse.org or call the box office at (916) 489-7529, during business hours. Chautauqua Playhouse is located at 5325 Engle Rd., Carmichael.

CRPD administrator to retire May 31

Jack Harrison will retire as the administrator of the Carmichael Recreation and Park District on May 31. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Jack Harrison will retire as the administrator of the Carmichael Recreation and Park District on May 31. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Carmichael Recreation and Park District Administrator Jack Harrison will be retiring – again – on the last day of this month.
Harrison, 70, who retired from the state in 2000, continued to work for another 13 years, during which time he became the district’s administrator.
But for Harrison, he intends his upcoming retirement to be his last, as he leaves his leadership post content with a job well done and much anticipation for his future.
While sitting in his office last week, Harrison discussed details about his life, with his focus being his many years of employment.
Harrison, who was born and raised in Los Angeles by his parents, Jack, Sr. and Dorothy, was one of four children.
In 1961, the year after he graduated from Norwalk High School in Los Angeles County, Harrison obtained part-time employment with the Southeast Recreation and Park District in the Norwalk area.
Four years later, he graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a bachelor’s degree in parks and recreation management.
And shortly after leaving that university, Harrison began working full time at the same Southern California park district.
He left that job in 1969 to become the director of parks and recreation for the Orange County city of Tustin, which then had a population of about 40,000.
In commenting about that position, Harrison said, “To become a director of a department at only 25 years of age was pretty special for me. Most directors have quite a bit more experience. So, I was very delighted to become a director at that young age. And that community was in need of building some parks, because they had grown rapidly and they didn’t have as many parks as they should have for the size of population. So, we were successful in working with the community to get a park bond act passed by the voters for, as I recall, about $2 million, which was used to buy land and build four new parks. Three of the four (parks) were developed during the four years that I was (a director in Tustin).”
Following his time in Tustin, Harrison began performing private consulting work in park planning with a major firm in Southern California.
And a year later, in 1974, he moved to the Sacramento area to assist in park planning in Northern California for the same firm.
Harrison received a master’s degree in public administration at Golden Gate University in San Francisco in 1976.
During the same year, he was hired by the California Department of Parks and Recreation.
In describing that position, Harrison said, “My job there was to manage the park acquisition, planning and development program, in other words to buy properties for new state parks, be responsible for planning what’s going to happen with those sites and then to see the construction through.”
In 1982, Harrison returned to the consulting field to perform park planning, design and consulting work. But this time, he worked for himself, as he established his own firm.
About a year later, he became the executive director of the California Parks and Recreation Society, which is the professional membership organization for people who work in public parks and recreation in California.
With the society, Harrison performed such duties as promoting parks and recreation at the state Capitol, working to provide training for members and conducting an annual conference.
Harrison said that he was once again working for the California Department of Parks and Recreation in 1987.
“I got appointed by Gov. (George) Deukmejian as chief deputy director of California State Parks,” Harrison said. “I was very excited about doing that (position), because I had worked for the department five years before. I (had) specifically only worked in the area of land acquisition and park development, and this position was to be responsible for all the field operations for the 285 state parks in California. So, it was a much bigger responsibility. It was a statewide responsibility, the rangers, the public safety program, the historians, the archaeologists, all the various specialties. I was responsible for everything that happened in the state parks.”
Five years after taking that position, Harrison became the director of the state Department of Social Services.
And as previously mentioned, Harrison retired from his employment with the state in 2000.
Despite his retirement, Harrison returned to performing consulting work, which then mostly consisted of serving as interim director in various agencies that were seeking a permanent, long-term director.
During that time, Harrison worked as an interim director for Marin County and the cities of Lodi and Merced.
An interim director position was made available in Carmichael in February 2006, and Harrison filled that vacancy.
The Carmichael district hired Harrison as its full-time administrator about nine months later, at which time he discontinued his consulting work.
In reminiscing about his time as the district’s administrator, Harrison said, “I’ve lived in the community since 1974, so I’ve been a part of this community. And to work in the community in which I’ve lived for a long time has been special. I have a lot of friends and I enjoy the staff that I work with here at the district and the board. They’re all very dedicated and we’re all on the same page. We’ve accomplished some good things in the community. So, it’s been very rewarding. I’ve enjoyed being part of progress and seeing good things happen in the community. It’s sad to walk away from that, but I’m still involved in the community. I’m currently vice president of the Kiwanis Club (of Carmichael). I’m a volunteer for Mercy Hospice and I have a lot of outdoor interests I’d like to pursue like tennis, biking (and) fishing. I also have a lot of projects that I’d like to do at home, and most importantly, I have two granddaughters in the area who I look forward to spending more time with. I also want to volunteer more in the community.”
He added that he may also play golf on a regular basis with a group of retired park professionals, and assist the district with some projects, if he is presented with such opportunities.
Harrison, who is also a member of the Carmichael-Old Foothill Farms community Planning Advisory Council, referred to some of the district’s greatest accomplishments under his direction.
One of these accomplishments was the development of Jan Park at 4310 Jan Avenue, O’Donnell Heritage Park at 6618 Rappahannock Way and Patriots Park at 6827 Palm Ave.
Other accomplishments included the establishment of a new master plan for the district, the acquisition of a grant to demolish the Carmichael Park pool and the placement of the reader board along Fair Oaks Boulevard at Carmichael Park.
Harrison, who will celebrate his 50th wedding anniversary next June with his wife, Nancy, emphasized that he is very appreciative of the support that District 3 Supervisor Susan Peters has provided to the district during his term.
“(Peters) has been actively involved to support us in every turn on everything that we’ve tried to do here that’s positive,” Harrison said. “So, Supervisor Peters deserves credit for a lot of progress that the park district has made during the seven years that I’ve been here.”
Although he said that he will miss serving as the district’s administrator, Harrison added that he felt that after dedicating so many years to that position, it was time for him to take a different direction in his life and allow someone else to replace him at the district office.
“It’s time to let someone else take the reigns,” Harrison said.


Chautauqua Playhouse presents Jerry Herman’s ‘Showtune’

 Pictured is the cast of “Showtune.” From the left: Dian Hoel, Dan Barrett, Chris Cay Stewart, Warren Harrison, Leah Sharer, Brady Tait. / Photo courtesy

Pictured is the cast of “Showtune.” From the left: Dian Hoel, Dan Barrett, Chris Cay Stewart, Warren Harrison, Leah Sharer, Brady Tait. / Photo courtesy

Chautauqua Playhouse, in association with Sutter Street Theatre in Folsom, is now showing “Showtune” , a musical revue conceived by Paul Gilger and featuring the songs of Broadway composer Jerry Herman  at the Playhouse.  The show will run on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through June 16. The performances will be held at the Chautauqua Playhouse, 5325 Engle Rd. in the La Sierra Community Center in Carmichael.  Admission is $21 general and $19 students, seniors, children and SARTA members.

After the initial six week run at Chautauqua Playhouse, the show will move to the Sutter Street Theatre in Folsom for an additional four week run.

Visit the wonderful, musical world of Jerry Herman, composer of the scores of Hello, Dolly!, Mame, Mack and Mabel, La Cage aux Folles, and many other popular shows.  This fast paced revue takes you on a tuneful journey featuring forty of Herman’s greatest songs.  Sure to bring an enjoyable end to the season.

The production is directed and staged by Warren Harrison, with additional choregraphy by Connie Mockenhaupt.  Lighting design is by Don Myers.  The cast includes Dian Hoel, Chris Cay Stewart, Leah Sharer, Brady Tait, Dan Barrett and Warren Harrison.

Information and tickets are available through the Chautauqua Playhouse website: www.cplayhouse.org or call the box office at 489-7529, during business hours.

Mid-Century Modern enthusiast discusses Land Park home tour highlights

Photos by Sutter Buttes/John DiDomenico Photography These photographs were taken at the June 26, 2010 Mid Century Modern Tour in South Land Park. This year’s tour will be held Saturday, May 18. See sacmcmhometour.blogspot.com for more information.

Architectural design is a subject I don’t know a whole lot about. I ain’t gonna lie. But I know cool Mid-Century Modern when I see it. “Hey, look at that cool building!” I always just called it “retro” or “old school”.

I decided to get schooled on everything Mid-Century Modern by local MCM enthusiast Gretchen Steinberg. She is the President of SacMod (SacramentoModern) and researcher/blogger at Eichlerific. She is a resident of South Land Park Hills, and of course, resides in a beautiful Eichler home with her husband and two children.

She’s gearing up for another Mid-Century Modern Home Tour on Saturday, May 18. The tour will highlight more than 30 spectacular mid-century modern residential and commercial structures in South Land Park and Land Park neighborhoods of Sacramento. There will also be a vintage transportation show, historic displays and exhibits, and lots of goodies!

Photos by Sutter Buttes/John DiDomenico Photography

Here’s my MCM Q & A.

Greg Brown: How did you become interested in Mid-century Modern architecture and all things Modern?

Gretchen Steinberg: I was raised by my grandparents in SoCal near Palm Springs. We went there every weekend to hang at their second home. I would say MCM was imprinted in me big time from my childhood. But I didn’t realize it until I got older.

GB: How would you describe Mid-Century Modern?

GS: Mid-Century Modern in architecture has:
- clean lines with an emphasis on the horizontal/vertical
- a blend of natural and manmade materials
- large windows to allow maximum light and promote “indoor/outdoor living” (hangin’ on the patio, Daddy-O)
- open floor plans
- low-pitched, wide-angled or flat rooflines
and usually depicts the era between 1945 (post WWII) and 1970, give or take. It has roots dating back to 19th century design movements and Japanese design — but that’s a long history lesson.

GB: What’s the difference between architecture and design?

GS: Architecture is a type of design that focuses on structures that shelter people where they live, work and play. Design is a wider category that includes a wide array of items that are made to enhance our daily living — such as consumer products, graphics, fashion, machines, etc.

Photos by Sutter Buttes/John DiDomenico Photography

GB: I notice the slew of Eichler homes along South Land Park Drive and the surrounding areas. How many Eichler homes were built and why were they mostly all built in South Land Park?

GS: Eichler Homes wound up building roughly 60 homes in Sacramento. All Eichler Homes in our town are in South Land Park.

GB: I also notice the same type of homes in Carmichael. Would you call these homes Eichler inspired?

GS: Those are likely Streng Bros. Homes, designed by Carter Sparks. We have one on our tour. They built roughly 3800 homes in the Sacramento, Placer, and Yolo counties.

GB: Three of your most decadent points of interest on the Mid-Century Modern Tour are Marie’s Donuts, Mahoroba Japanese Bakery, and the Pancake Circus. Will there be free samples?

GS: We are providing the feast for your eyes – but don’t let that stop you from indulging your inner sugar monster!

GB: A lot of Mid-Century modern homes do not have a garage, they have a carport. Where the heck do you store all your stuff? A hoarder would panic in a Mid-Century Modern home!

GS: The carport was designed so that the post-WWII consumers could show off their gigantic finned cars! A well-designed MCM home has plenty of interior storage. Our home originally had a carport but the previous owner closed it in. Nowadays, garages are treated more like closets. Some people can’t even fit their cars in them.

GB: Why is preservation important? New is always better, right?

Photos by Sutter Buttes/John DiDomenico Photography

GS: Preservation is important because our very cultural identity and sense of place is inherently rooted in our historic landmarks. Take those away and you have a generic McCity. No one wants that.

GB: How important is color in Mid-century modern design?

GS: Very important! Hard to extrapolate from the old black and white photos — but if you look at old Kodachrome slides you will see that that era was quite colorful.

GB: Mid-Century Modern design is finding its way back into pop culture. Do you think the show Mad Men has helped popularize Mid Century Modern? You watch that show? And if so, do you find yourself looking at the furniture more than Don Draper?
GS: Definitely — but I think MCM was already starting to regain popularity before Mad Men. They just tapped into it. MCM has always been the darling of Hollywood. You can’t watch television or movies without seeing MCM in the background. Speaking of which, no time for me to watch TV — too busy with my family and volunteer work!

GB: I’m a “Generation Xer and mid-century modern is the look of my childhood. I think that is why I like some of its features. Which elements of Mid-Century Modern most appeal to you?

Photos by Sutter Buttes/John DiDomenico Photography

GS: I totally agree. I was born December ‘63 – the last month of the Boomer generation. I tend to gravitate toward the early 60s designs. I have a weakness for commercial buildings and neon signs of that era.

GB: Mid Century modern is being celebrated at the California Museum. It’s MCM Mania! Don’t you have some artifacts at the museum?

GS: I did some volunteer background research into Ray Eames’ childhood years in Sacramento and contributed some books that are displayed in the exhibit.

GB: You have some surprises at this year’s Mid-Century Modern Home show don’t you? Can you spill the beans for us here?

GS: We will have extra goodies and swag. Plus a surprise remodeled room at SacMod HQ. Here’s a hint: it abides, Dude.

GB: Preserving and protecting modern architecture is important, but I also think it would be cool to preserve the original concepts! I say bring back Woody’s Smorgasburger and The Zombie Hut to Freeport Boulevard. Whaddya think?

GS: I have been hoping someone would bring these classics back! In our guidebook we have devoted a two-page retrospective to Zombie Hut.

GB: A few of your favorite things:
Favorite Sacramento neon sign?

GS: Jugglin’ Joe in front of Gunther’s Ice Cream. I used to live in Curtis Park and would take the long way home just to see him throwing scoops at night.

GB: Favorite architect?
GS: That’s like asking who your favorite kid is.

GB: Favorite designer?
GS: See above.

GB: Favorite Mid-Century Modern home on the tour?
GS: See above.
GB: Favorite Point Of Interest on the MCM tour?
GS: I’d have to say the neon signs are my favorite points-of-interest. Our historic signs are really taken for granted. But we sure notice when they are gone.

GB: Okay, last question. Brady Bunch House. Mid-Century Modern or not?

GS: Oh sure — split level modern ranch. There’s a wacky one in SLP Hills. Absolutely enormous! Mr. Brady was an architect you know. Note that we will have four open buildings besides the homes and 22 additional drive-by points of interest. Ultimately what I’m hoping for is that people will know more about the stuff they pass by daily — and have an increased appreciation for and fondness of all that is around us. I’m proud to be from Sacramento. Everyone who lives here should be.

If you go:

What: MCM Home Tour
Where: Through out Land Park, starting at Sacramento Executive Airport, 6151 Freeport Blvd.
When: Saturday, May 18. The vintage transportation show is 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., registration and exhibits open from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Homes and other tour locations open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tickets: Get your MCM Home Tour tickets at www.sacmod.brownpapertickets.com til May 15th. $30 general admission $20 for SacMod members. SacMod is also on Facebook

East Sac’s Knott’s Pharmacy has relocated to Carmichael

Knott’s Pharmacy, an East Sac presence on J Street for more than 75 years, has moved its operations to Coyle Avenue in Carmichael as of Jan. 15. But worry not, faithful Knott’s customers, owner Steve Dokimos stresses that it’s business as usual, even from the new surroundings.

Dokimos delivers around 20 prescriptions himself every night free of charge to long-standing customers in East Sac in an effort to show customers that they can still have their orders filled by Dokimos and company.

The pharmacy moved away from its most recent home at 4819 J St. because of a failed attempt to buy the leased property from its owner. Dokimos, who became the owner on Feb. 2, 2002, held a 10-year lease that expired in 2012. After trying unsuccessfully to buy the property, (the owner apparently had no intention of selling) Dokimos settled on paying month-by-month rent for the next year.

After briefly considering moving into the plot next door on J Street, Dokimos decided that his best move would be to shift the pharmacy to Coyle Avenue while he tries to find another plot in East Sac.

“I’m looking for places on H Street, J Street or Folsom Blvd.,” Dokimos said. “I’m working with a leasing agent to look for places.”

Somewhere near the intersection of 51st and L at the old Lucky’s lot would be ideal for Dokimos, as he grew up visiting his grandmother at the intersection when he was just a boy.

Despite moving his base of operations, Dokimos said that many long-time customers have stayed with him.

“I get a lot of visitors from East Sac,” he said. “I probably get more business catering to East Sac than I do around here.”

Despite moving into a former pharmacy space in the St. George Medical Building on Coyle Ave., Dokimos wants East Sac customers, who may be unaware of the pharmacy’s moving, to know that they can still do business with him.

“I want to get the word out that we moved – not closed. We are still open for business.”

As far as getting back in the J Street area, Dokimos said that he would like to get a lease agreement signed within the next three months and hopefully be open for business within another three months.

“We will be back,” he said. “We are dedicated to our clients and we try our hardest for them.”

For more information, Knott’s Pharmacy can be reached at 455-3068.

Jesuit Soccer #1 in Nation

Jesuit soccer was ranked the number one team in the nation this past fall by MaxPreps. Shown here is the MaxPreps Tour of Champions presented by the National Guard. / Courtesy photo

Jesuit soccer was ranked the number one team in the nation this past fall by MaxPreps. Shown here is the MaxPreps Tour of Champions presented by the National Guard. / Courtesy photo

Year in and year out the varsity soccer team at Carmichael’s Jesuit High School is top notch. Some are absolutely dominant, others are just really good. The 2012 version fell into the former category. The Marauders finished the season a ridiculous 27-1-1 and were named the top high school boys soccer team in the nation by MaxPreps, which is essentially the go-to place for everything high school sports.

For securing the nation’s top rank, Jesuit was host to the Army National Guard and MaxPreps founder Andy Beal at Jesuit’s spring sports rally on March 1.

“(The presentation) was pretty cool,” said Jesuit Athletic Director Chris Fahey. “It was the first time that a school in our region was awarded by MaxPreps.”

Along with the recognition of being number one, Jesuit was presented with a banner that will soon adorn the gymnasium as well as a trophy in the shape of a minuteman. More than 14,000 high schools put boys’ and girls’ teams on soccer fields across the country, but only 20 teams (10 boys and 10 girls) will be honored by MaxPreps as part of its Soccer Tour of Champions.

While the 2012 team from Jesuit had all the skill needed to dominate, everyone associated with the team spoke to how tight the guys were as a team.

“They were truly a team. They had a few (college) scholarship players, but the entire team was selfless. They were willing to sacrifice,” said Fahey.

After an early-season 2-0 loss (ironically to Jesuit High School of Portland, OR), the team had a meeting where the players came together and vowed to play better from then on. It must have worked, seeing as how the Marauders won 20 straight games following the meeting.

Jesuit Head Coach Paul Rose was excited about the presentation at the school. First and foremost he saw it as recognition of the effort put in by his players.

“You can have all the talent in the world, but if you don’t work hard you won’t get it done in the end,” Rose said. “It didn’t matter who on our team scored; it just mattered that we scored and the other team didn’t,” he laughed.

Scoring while not allowing the opposing team to score was something that Jesuit did exceptionally well in 2012. The team allowed just eight balls to cross the line in 29 contests. Jesuit held its opponent scoreless in 23 of those games.

Jesuit was the top-ranked team in MaxPreps’ 2011 soccer standings as well, but it was not one of the six schools recognized during the Tour of Champions. In its second year of inclusion on the tour, soccer has gone from six teams recognized in 2011 to 20 in 2012. The MaxPreps website reads that the teams included on the tour “aren’t just good… or great. They are relentless, tenacious and unstoppable.”

With 82 wins, three losses and five ties over the last three seasons, this may be just the first of many visits to Carmichael for MaxPreps and the Army National Guard.

“It brought a smile to everyone’s face when we won (the award),” Rose said. “We’re glad we could bring it back to our area.”

Former East Sacramento resident Louis F. Breuner played essential roles in East Lawn’s establishment, Breuner’s store

Louis Frederick Breuner once resided in this 45th Street, Fabulous Forties home. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Louis Frederick Breuner once resided in this 45th Street, Fabulous Forties home. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Editor’s Note: This is part seven in a series about the rich history of and associated with East Sacramento’s award-winning East Lawn Memorial Park.

In the history of Sacramento, one of the most recognized surnames is Breuner. And had it not been for one member of that family, East Lawn Memorial Park might not exist today.
That member of the family was Louis Frederick “Lou” Breuner (1869-1947).
In 1904, Lou, who was born in Sacramento on Aug. 15, 1869, purchased 42 acres of the old Newton Booth place, which was previously known as the Twin Oaks Farm.
It was on this property that Lou, with the assistance of other local men, including Fred W. Kiesel and Chauncey H. Dunn, established East Lawn Cemetery, as East Lawn Memorial Park was then known. East Lawn Cemetery was dedicated on April 23, 1905.
Lou also had his home built on a portion of the same property in about 1911.
The Breuner family was best known for its involvement with the John Breuner Co.
John Breuner (1828-1890), who was Lou’s father, was born in Baden, which at that time was part of the German Confederation, which consisted of 39 German states in Central Europe.
John had arrived in California in the early 1850s with dreams of getting rich in gold. But he would instead begin acquiring his greatest wealth making furniture and tools for miners.
In 1856, John opened the first cabinet store in California in a single-story building near the corner of 6th and K streets.
Originally operating his Sacramento business as a one-man workshop where furniture was sold and repaired, John, who resided in a house behind the store, eventually expanded the operation to a much greater level as the business grew along with the city.
Early abstracts of titles of 6th and K streets properties show John’s ownership of a 20-foot parcel alongside the store in 1861, followed by the April 1866 purchase of the property where the store was located. Next, John purchased the corner of 6th and K streets in July 1868.
Despite setbacks from floods, fires and other obstacles, the store continued its development.
And during the progressing early years of this store, the business grew to a staff of two employees.
In 1869, arrangements were made for Breuner’s to manufacture desks and chairs for the Senate and Assembly chambers at the then-under construction state Capitol.
During its history, the company also sold furniture for other notable Sacramento places, including the Governor’s Mansion at 16th and H streets.
In 1884, the company expanded to a larger building at the 6th and K streets site.
With his health declining, John retired from his business while Lou and his older brother, John, Jr., were still in their youth. The two brothers then carried on the business, which by 1890 had a staff of a dozen employees.
Eventually, four generations of Breuner family members would head the operations of their furniture and home furnishing company.
An extensive enlargement of the 6th and K streets store occurred in 1900 with the construction of a three-story building that was built alongside the old Breuner’s building.
The old and new buildings were joined together as one structure and covered with red sandstone – the same material used about a decade earlier in the construction of the nearby post office building at the northeast corner of 7th and K streets.

Former East Sacramento resident Louis Frederick “Lou” Breuner served as president of the John Breuner Co. from 1890 to 1940. Photo courtesy of East Lawn Memorial Park

Former East Sacramento resident Louis Frederick “Lou” Breuner served as president of the John Breuner Co. from 1890 to 1940. Photo courtesy of East Lawn Memorial Park

The company, which opened a store in Oakland in 1906 to accommodate those who had lost their homes in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, later grew to include 12 stores in Northern California and Nevada.
Several years after the opening of the red sandstone Breuner’s building, the L Street portion of the store was converted into a warehouse.
Furthermore an addition to the building along the same side of the building was constructed in 1922, and six years later, the main portion of the building was enlarged, remodeled and given a Spanish architecture-style appearance.
The building later experienced other changes during its history, including the devoting of the entire structure to merchandise.
Breuner’s, which became the oldest and largest furniture firm in Northern California, operated at 6th and K streets until Sept. 20, 1972, following a five-week, “Once in a Lifetime” store closing sale, in which prices were drastically reduced.
Lou, who served as the company’s president from 1890 to 1940, greatly contributed to the success of Breuner’s.
Much of the business’s growth and expansion occurred under Lou’s guidance.
In addition to his contributions to the company, Lou was the first westerner to serve as president of the National Retail Furniture Association, and he was the founder, chief organizer and three-term president of the Retail Furniture Association of California. He served two terms in the first of these named organizations.

Lou was also a charter member of the Sacramento Rotary Club and the Del Paso Country Club, a past president of the Sunset Parlor of the Native Sons of the Golden West and a member of the Sutter Club, the Woodmen of the World and the Union League and Olympia Clubs of San Francisco.
In 1900, Lou became the youngest man called to the presidency of the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce. He was also a founder and advisor of the Sacramento Junior Chamber of Commerce.
Furthermore, Lou belonged to various fraternal organizations, including the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Lodge No. 6, the Washington Lodge of the Free and Accepted Masons, the Ben Ali Temple of the Shrine and local Scottish Rite bodies.
His leadership abilities also served him well as grand commander of the Knights Templar of the state of California and commander of the Sacramento Commandery of Knights Templar.

Lou and his wife, Clara F. Louisa Schmidt (1873-1928), who Lou married in Cincinnati, Ohio on June 14, 1893, moved into their new East Sacramento home at 1128 45th St. in about 1923. The house is located two houses to the north of the former home of Alden Anderson, who was featured in the last article of this series.
The couple’s sons, Louis John Breuner (1894-1974), Clarence Henry Breuner (1896-1960), Richard Weston Breuner (1899-1986), Wallace Emerson Breuner (1902-1975) and Robert Alvin Breuner (1909-1969), all held leading roles with the Breuner’s firm.
Following a nearly decade-long illness, Lou passed away at the age of 77 on Monday, May 12, 1947 while he was residing in Carmichael.
Private funeral services in his honor were held in the East Lawn chapel two days later and his remains were entombed inside the East Lawn mausoleum.

Carmichael Park pool: 1955-2013

This proposed aquatic center was presented to the district in 2007. Photo by Lance Armstrong

This proposed aquatic center was presented to the district in 2007. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Editor’s Note: This is part one of a series regarding the old Carmichael Park pool, which was recently demolished.

Carmichael Park’s public swimming pool, which provided recreation and relief from the summer heat for thousands upon thousands of people for nearly a half-century, is now nothing more than a memory.
As of last week, the only dominant sign that the pool was ever present at the site was a large hole in the ground.
The demolition of the pool and its accompanying building was far from a surprising event, when considering that the pool had not been used for nearly nine years.
In explaining the closure of the pool, Carmichael Recreation and Park District Administrator Jack Harrison said, “The pool was no longer meeting codes – state codes, county codes. It didn’t meet requirements for disabilities. The liner had been replaced and (the pool) was leaking again. So, structurally, it was failing and couldn’t be maintained. The cost to maintain it (was high). It had limped along. They had done repairs and tried to keep it open for a few years, actually. It just got to the point where it couldn’t be repaired any longer.”
Tracy Kerth, the district’s recreation services manager and the supervisor of the pool for its last 17 years, recalled the final closure of the pool.
“It was sad when we had to close it,” Kerth said. “It closed for the regular season (in 2004) and then we went to the board that fall and announced that we wouldn’t be opened the next year. There was just no way (to continue operating the pool). We did some research on it. The infrastructure was shot. A lot of people said, ‘Are you sure you can’t remodel?’ Everything was wrong with it. We didn’t meet any of the requirements for ADA. It would have been cheaper to build an entire new building. The vessel itself was failing. The pipes were leaking. There was just no way that we could resurrect it.”
Kerth added that even after the closure of the pool, a final study was performed to determine if the pool could be saved.

A large hole in the ground is all that remains of the old Carmichael Park swimming pool. Photo by Lance Armstrong

A large hole in the ground is all that remains of the old Carmichael Park swimming pool. Photo by Lance Armstrong

“The (study) came back that (upgrading the pool and its building to current standards) wasn’t feasible,” Kerth said.
In further pondering the decline of the pool, Kerth recalled that a renovation of the pool was completed in the 1980s. And she noted that the project was a failure in one particular aspect.
“They didn’t do (upgrades to) the infrastructure, and that was a mistake,” Kerth said.
In 2007, Aquatic Design Group of Carlsbad, Calif. performed an analysis of the pool site and then provided their recommendations for an aquatic center that would replace the then-52-year-old pool and its building, which included dressing rooms, a staff room, a first aid room, a pump room, an equipment room and the old snack bar. The original snack bar was later used as a day camp room when a new snack bar opened in a different area in order to save on costs.
The firm’s report was paid for by the Kiwanis Club of Carmichael.
Harrison said that after the report was completed, the district surveyed the community regarding its support of several park projects, including the construction of an aquatics center.
“(The tax assessment) was going to be $48 a year for single family homes and a lesser amount for apartments and commercial and that kind of stuff,” Harrison said. “The results came back that 62 percent of the people said, ‘Yeah, we value our parks.’ The pool – the aquatics center idea – (received) 44 percent. So, it was clear that the community supported the parks’ redevelopment maintenance more than building an aquatics center. So, that kind of killed the idea of going forward with an idea of some kind of a ballot.”
In response to the inquiry of whether any efforts are presently being made toward having an aquatics center constructed at the park, Harrison said, “Currently the (Carmichael Recreation and Park District) Foundation is talking to people about major donations, with the idea being that ‘Is it possible to raise $5 million of private money?’ So, we’ll see. The results of that are expected to be in by the end of April.”
Certainly many people in the community would welcome a new aquatics center, and with a review of the old pool’s history, one can visualize such a center’s potential for both the community and the district.
The pool was one of the earlier features of the park, which was established in 1949.
In July 1953, the Business and Professional Women’s Club acquired sufficient signatures from Carmichael area citizens to indicate the community’s strong desire for a public swimming pool.
It was also during the same month that the Carmichael Park’s board of directors voiced their approval for such a project at Carmichael Park.
A fundraising program was then initiated for the pool, which would be built at a cost of $38,000.
The pool was eventually paid for through funding from door-to-door solicitations ($12,500), an embossed bronze memorial plaque ($10,500), the park board’s budget ($10,000) and special events ($5,000).
Individual donors for the plaque, which would be mounted on an ornate fieldstone near the pool, paid a minimum of $500 each.
The committee in charge of the swimming pool fundraising project consisted of Elmer C. Juergenson (general chairman), Laural C. Ruff (vice chairman), Helen Moody (secretary), Frank J. Hahn (treasurer), Connie Ryan, Walter Lage, Ida Ball, Wim C. Schoof, Gene Lynch and Edna Clark.
Commencement on the construction of the 50-foot by 100-foot blue granite pool, which represented $30,000 of the project, began during the summer of 1954.
The park’s swimming pool, which was once accompanied by a wading pool, was opened in time for the following year’s swim season.

How the arts enrich Arden/Carmichael area schools

When is the last time you heard math students singing a popular song as a class during a fraction lesson? Or building an ancient city out of clay during history class? These are just a few ways teachers in San Juan Unified are changing the way their students learn.

The San Juan Unified School District is proud to have preserved the arts throughout its schools. In a quest to continue to find new and effective ways of teaching, Visual and Performing Arts coordinator Craig Faniani has spearheaded an effort called Arts Integration, and it’s already seen a lot of interest from principals, staff, teachers and students alike.

Teachers are using music, sculpting, drawing, drama, technology, movement and a variety of other types of art to engage students and create a different and effective learning environment. Arts Integration is much more than the typical ‘art project.’