Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival Celebrates Heritage and Culture Celebrate National APA Heritage Month at the historic Guild Theater in Oak Park

Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival
Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival

The signature event of the Sacramento Asian Pacific Cultural Village, the Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival (SAPFF) serves alongside a continuum of events and programming in support of traditional and contemporary Asian and Pacific Islander artistic expression within the Sacramento Region.

The event will span two days and include five screenings, 27 films, and more than 15 hours of Asian Pacific film, talent, stories, cultural performances, and more.

Highlights include:
-Sacramento hometown premiere of “Kung Phooey!”, hilarious 2003 martial arts spoof by Darryl Fong
-“Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles”, epic animated sci-fi film
-“Sriracha”, story of everyone’s favorite new Asian cuisine staple
-“Hidden Legacy: Japanese Traditional Performing Arts in the World War II Internment Camps”, with traditional Japanese music performances Sacramento biwa (Japanese lute) master Molly Kimura and Bay Area mother and son koto duo Shirley Muramoto-Wong and Brian Mitsuhiro Wong
-“Changing Season: On The Masumoto Family Farm”, story of Central Valley family farmers and their journey to keep the family legacy thriving in challenging times

SAPFF’s mission is to celebrate and explore our diverse experiences and advance the roles of Asian and Pacific Islanders in film and new media. Emcees include: Kathy Park (KCRA 3 News Anchor/Reporter) and Stephen Chun (Event Announcer) share the stage to bring you the 2015 Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival!

If you go:

2015 Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival


Friday, May 29, 4:30-9:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 30, 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. (Animation, food, documentaries, open submissions)


The Guild Theater, 2828 35th St.


Purchase single tickets for any of the five screenings in the categories of comedy, animation, food, documentaries and open submissions.
A full festival pass includes access to the entire 2-day event – 27 films, Q/A sessions, and stellar cultural performances).

Single Screenings:

General – Advanced $12 ($15 after May 22)
Students/Seniors are $10.

Full Festival Pass:

General – Advanced $50 ($60 after 5/22)
Students/Seniors $40

Current IDs for Student and Senior discount will be requested at the door. Online sales for single screening tickets ends 30 minutes prior to the screening.

All ticket purchases to the 2015 SAPFF include free admission to “SAPFF Pre-Launch at Pre-Flite!”, Wednesday, May 27 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Pre-Flite Lounge, and the “SAPFF Official After Party”, Saturday, May 30 from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Chaise Lounge! Pre-Launch and after party are strictly 21 and older. Specialty cocktails available. Mention SAPFF at the door.


Day 1: Comedy

Friday, May 29, from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.
At 6:20 p.m., there will be a special presentation: Kung Phooey!, followed by question and answer period with director Darryl Fong. Comedy screening schedule includes: My Hot Mom Gandhi, Love Arcadia, Kung Phooey! and Miss India America.

Day 2: Animation

Saturday, May 30 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., there will be a special presentation, featuring Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles, followed by a question and answer with director Tommy Yune. Animation screening schedule includes: Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles, Today’s Headline, Fishing at Lethe, The Skinny Tree, Painter, Currency Affairs and Entrance Exam.

Day 3: Food

Saturday, May 30 from 1 to 3:45 p.m. There will be a special presentation of Sriracha. The food screening schedule includes: Sriracha, Sweet Corn, Cambodian Doughnut Dreams, Off The Menu: Asian America, Vishal and The Flip.

(Also Day 3): Documentaries

On Saturday, May 30, from 4 to 6:45 p.m., there will be a special presentation: Hidden Legacy: Japanese Traditional Performing Arts in the World War II Internment Camps, with traditional Japanese music performances by Bay Area mother and son koto duo Shirley Muramoto-Wong and Brian Mitsuhiro Wong, and local biwa master Molly Kimura. The screening schedule for documentaries includes: Hidden Legacy: Japanese Traditional Performing Arts in the World War II Internment Camps, Phetmixay Means Fighter, Giap’s Last Day at The Ironing Board Factory, Changing Season: On The Masumoto Family Farm.

(Also on Day 3) Open Submissions

On Saturday, May 30 from 7 to 9:30 p.m., there will be showings of The Other Side, South Paw, Jasmine, Wedlocked, I Dreamt of You and Live, Breathe, Hula.

Gunther’s Ice Cream to celebrate 75th anniversary May 16

Gunther’s Ice Cream parlor at 2801 Franklin Blvd. is shown in this 1949 photograph. Photo courtesy of Rick and Marlena Klopp
Gunther’s Ice Cream parlor at 2801 Franklin Blvd. is shown in this 1949 photograph. Photo courtesy of Rick and Marlena Klopp

Gunther’s Ice Cream, one of the city’s iconic, old-time businesses, will host a celebration of its 75th anniversary with a variety of attractions this Saturday, May 16.

Food, giveaways, speeches, other amusements

The event, which will be held from noon to 4 p.m. at Gunther’s at 2801 Franklin Blvd., will include meals of a grilled hot dog, drink, chips and dessert for $5. And a complimentary raffle ticket will be given to each person who purchases a each meal.
Raffle ticketholders will have opportunities to win one of four bicycles (two adult and two kids’ bikes) donated by Mike’s Bikes at 1411 I St., as well as various $25 gift cards throughout the day.
Scheduled to speak at the event are Mayor Kevin Johnson, and former Gunther’s employees, Supervisor Phil Serna and Darin Gale, Yuba City’s city director of development services.
Other special features of the day will include an appearance by Dinger, the Sacramento River Cats’ mascot, music with a disc jockey, face painters, balloon art, temporary tattoos, bubbles, a magician and a photo booth that will include an image of “Jugglin’ Joe,” the ice cream scoop juggling character who is featured on the large, locally famous neon sign above Gunther’s front door.
In commenting about the photo booth and the event, in general, Marlena Klopp, co-owner of Gunther’s, said, “(The booth is) going to show the picture of ‘Jugglin’ Joe’ and the neon sign, and when you stand in front of it, it will look like you’re standing in front of the store. All the activities are complimentary. We are selling the hot dogs. We want to make it inexpensive for the customers, and just (have) a day to come out and have a good time.”
During the event, the street will be closed on the north side of Gunther’s, and a large tent will extend on 3rd Avenue from Franklin Boulevard to 30th Street.
And as for the shop itself, business will be conducted as usual during the hours of this special gathering.
As a tribute to the past, the business’s employees will be dressed in Gunther’s attire that will be reminiscent of the business’s early years. The male employees will be wearing black pants, white shirts and black bow ties, while the female employees will be wearing dresses with black aprons.

Gunther’s history

In addition to celebrating its 75th anniversary this weekend, Gunther’s also has the notoriety of being the city’s oldest continuously operating ice cream parlor.
According to information provided by the business’s owners, Gunther’s was opened in April 1940, and its original proprietors were German immigrant William H. “Pop” Gunther and his Kentucky-born wife, Iva Gunther.
Gunther’s originally operated in a 12-foot by 40-foot business space at 3003 Franklin Blvd., at 5th Avenue, and in December 1949, the business was relocated to its current site.
In a meeting with this publication last week, Marlena and her husband, Rick, discussed a variety of details about Gunther’s history and operations.
Marlena, who graduated from Bishop Manogue High School in 1977 and was married to Rick three years later, commented about the earliest years of Gunther’s, saying, “They had some great glory days there (at the original Gunther’s location). Back in 1940 when the Gunthers opened (their ice cream parlor), it was a booming business for them. It was before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. But there was a time when they were down there (at that location) that the butter fat and the sugar ration was going on. There were days when they couldn’t even open that store (for) more than 10 days out of the month, because they couldn’t get the product. They still had the customers. People would just come in there and bombard them, kind of like they’re doing here (today). And so, when the rationing was lifted, they just started to boom again. And that’s when they decided to open a bigger store. This (present store location) was an empty lot and Mr. Gunther set his sights on this site.”
The business was later run under different proprietorships at various times.
After being asked how he became involved with Gunther’s, Rick said, “I got started in the ice cream business at Shasta Ice Cream. (At that time), they had a little shop over here (on 21st Street, near) Freeport Boulevard by the railroad tracks. I started working there in 1963 when I was 16. I was living in Hollywood Park at 5640 Helen Way. I graduated from McClatchy (High School) in 1965. (William H. Gunther’s son, Dick) Gunther died (at the age of 42 on March 15, 1967), and the guy who owned Shasta Ice Cream was an older gentleman (the aforementioned Wert Irwin). He was probably in his late 80s, so he wanted to close the place down. He told me to (seek employment at Gunther’s), because (Dick) Gunther died and they needed a manager. So, I came here (to Gunther’s) and started working here in 1969.
Rick eventually became a minority owner of Gunther’s, and then during the summer of 1974, he purchased the business outright.
And after purchasing the business, he acquired his first delivery truck. That truck, which has since been restored, will be present at Saturday’s event.
Marlena described Gunther’s as a much different place than it was when her husband acquired it.
“When (the Gunthers) moved down here (to its present location), they did very well until the freeway went in and divided the town,” Marlena said. “So, when Rick bought it, it was not a thriving business at all. But it has been built up since then.”
Although Gunther’s is presently a single location business, during part of its history, it had three other locations – 5001 Freeport Blvd., 1186 35th Ave. and 2870 Fulton Ave.
Gunther’s story would not be complete without references to some of its many edible offerings.
Included on the parlor’s menu are ice cream cones, sundaes, milkshakes, smoothies, fruit freezes (regular or with ice cream), Hawaiian shaved ice, ice cream cakes and pies and a wide variety of dipped chocolate items.
In addition to its sugary treats, Gunther’s also serves a variety of sandwiches, and hot dogs and chili dogs.
Certainly, beyond its popular food, Gunther’s has a longtime positive reputation with many people in and outside of Sacramento, Marlene explained.
“The biggest thing is the loyalty of the people of Sacramento, and the people who have been in Sacramento and have come back,” Marlena said. “There are unbelievable stories. They’ll be going some place up north and going down south to go to Disneyland, and they will have to make this their stop. And we hear those stories all the time. Even if they’re not in Sacramento, they will always make their way back around (to Gunther’s).”
And in speaking about the future of Gunther’s Ice Cream, Marlena said, “We’re hoping we can take it past 100 (years), and I believe that there are people here that can take it there.”

Jeff Harris continues the Pops in the Park tradition

Pops In Park
Pops In Park
Photo courtesy of Mumbo Gumbo Shown here from left to right are members of Mumbo Gumbo: Reggy Marks, Jon Wood, Steve Stizzo, Chris Webster, Rick Lotter, Tracy Walton, Mike Palmer.
Photo courtesy of Mumbo Gumbo Shown here from left to right are members of Mumbo Gumbo: Reggy Marks, Jon Wood, Steve Stizzo, Chris Webster, Rick Lotter, Tracy Walton, Mike Palmer.

Picture courtesy John Skinner band Shown from left to right are members of the John Skinner Band: Matt McFarlane, Shelly Denny, Tom Hannickel, Susan Skinner, John Skinner, Roger Gosline, Bob Allen.
Picture courtesy John Skinner band Shown from left to right are members of the John Skinner Band: Matt McFarlane, Shelly Denny, Tom Hannickel, Susan Skinner, John Skinner, Roger Gosline, Bob Allen.

Here’s a sneak peak at the talent coming to East Sacramento at the annual Pops in the Park music series. This free concert series happens every Saturday in June at different parks in District 3. Come on out for great music, wonderful food, and tasty beer and wine which all support local neighborhood programs. So, please join council member Jeff Harris as he continues the tradition of Pops in the Park. For more information, call 808-7003.
New to the district 3 office, Jennifer West, Harris’ executive assistant, said that organizing this year’s Pops in the Park has been relatively easy. “Jeff’s the best guy to work for. And everything was extremely organized (from Sue Brown and Steve Cohn’s tenure). We didn’t have to reinvent the wheel and (she) has been accessible to me. We’re not changing too much. It’s just business as usual. It’s going to be great summer.” Additionally to Pops in the Park, Harris’ office is continuing the Screen on the Green with two showings of “Big Hero Six” — one in South Natomas on Friday, Aug. 28 and one at Glenn Hall Park on Saturday, Aug. 29.

The schedule is as follows:
-Tom Rigney & Flambeau will be at East Portal Park (1120 Rodeo Way) on Saturday, June 6 from 6 to 8 p.m.
-The John Skinner Band-will be at Bertha Henschel Park (160 45th St.) on Saturday, June 13 from 6 to 8 p.m.
-Mumbo Gumbo will be at McKinley Park (601 Alhambra Blvd.) on Saturday, June 20 from 6 to 8 p.m.
-The Count will be at Glenn Hall Park (5415 Sandburg Dr.) on Saturday, June 27 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Now about the bands:

Tom Rigney and Flambeau

Tom Rigney, the fiery, electrifying violinist/composer, joins forces with some of the finest musicians on the San Francisco roots music scene to form Tom Rigney and Flambeau, a band that will tear the roof off of any place that has one and raise the spirits of everyone around. Rigney, now in his second decade at the helm of Flambeau, has in recent years become one of the premier blues and roots music violinists in the world. Flambeau showcases his passionate, virtuoso fiddling, his commanding stage presence, his range, depth, and originality as a composer, and of course, those notorious red boots! His bandmates are veterans of the great bands of Charles Brown, Queen Ida, Clifton Chenier, and many others, and together they generate enough heat and energy to ignite a dance floor or lift an audience to its feet.

Mumbo Gumbo

For over 25 years, Mumbo Gumbo had been one of N. California’s top groups. releasing nine original-music CDs and collecting numerous “Sammie” and “Best of Sacramento” awards. The 7-piece band tours the Western United States, bringing their “genre-bending Americana” music to their many fans. Their big musical stew contains elements of soul, zydeco, folk, blues, rock, Cajun, Caribbean, and country all mixed into their uniquely festive roots-music sound.


The Count is a classic rock band from Sacramento with Jim Caselli on drums, Mike Caselli on keyboards, Bruce Leino on bass guitar and vocals, Sean McAuliffe on guitar and keyboards, Ed Nelson on vocals, George Stratton on guitar and vocals. The Count is a tribute to music. Playing a unique blend of Rock and R&B with the occasional twist thrown in for good measure, The Count strives to take their audience on a journey where every note played counts.

The John Skinner Band

John Skinner’s musicians have entertained in Northern California for several decades. The combo offers hit songs from the 1950s; professional horn players allow smooth transitions from swing to rock. New-Zealand-born Susan Skinner is our featured singer with other band members also chiming in on vocals. Rick Baker is the lead trumpet player and leader. The Skinner ensemble has delighted park audiences all over Northern California; enlivened thousands of galas, shows and weddings. Many Sacramentans remember summer Fridays at Town & Country Village. In the 1980s, Skinner’s 14-piece group played there for seven years. This band has also backed many stars. These include Johnny Mathis, Anne Murray, Smokey Robinson, Don Rickles, Bobby Rydell, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Paul Anka and Donna Summer.
John Skinner provides a true variety band. The combo plays swing and retro tunes, jumping to Motown classics, ballads and rock. Getting people dancing is our aim and our reward.
Three popular Skinner CDs are available. Two recordings each contain 74 minutes of music from the combo. The big band CD has 60 minutes of danceable tunes. Susan offers her own CD of eight original songs, recorded with John Skinner musicians.

Inaugural Mega Family Expo drew hundreds to the Elks Lodge, No. 6

The area’s youngest fashionistas strutted their stuff at the largest family event of the year held at the Elks Lodge, No. 6 on Saturday, April 12. There were more than 100 local, regional, and national companies that provide products and services for all families. There were free events, demonstrations, exhibitors, a kids’ zone, a teen zone, a family fashion show, a talent showcase, face painting, a balloon twister, an art center, bounce house, a loom center, vendors, food, entertainment and more. It was the inaugural event and next year’s date is set for Saturday, April 11, 2015.

Tickets now on sale for the 40th Sacred Heart Holiday Home Tour

One of Northern California’s most loved holiday home tours returns this December with five elegantly decorated homes in East Sacramento’s historic Fabulous Forties neighborhood.

For 40 years, this popular tour has grown to include nearly 5,000 patrons from throughout northern and central California. The homes showcase elaborate renovation while preserving historic detail, custom interior design and creative holiday decor that is sure to ignite the spirit of the season. Homes on the tour this year range in style from a stately Tudor to a beautifully remodeled plantation home that was at one time a duplex.

The home tour begins on 38th Street between M and Stockton Streets and winds its way through East Sacramento, ending on 47th Street. You may start at either end for an enjoyable, self-guided walking tour, which takes approximately two hours to complete.

When you complete the home tour, don’t miss the boutique and cafe located at Sacred Heart Parish School. Delicious food, lovely gifts and holiday decorations are available for purchase.

You may use your ticket for a one-time admittance to each house any time during the home tour weekend. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 the day of the event. Children over the age of one must have a ticket. Advance tickets can be purchased online or at a number of fine local retailers until Dec. 5. The Holiday Home Tour is a fundraiser that benefits Sacred Heart Parish School, and is organized by the parents of Sacred Heart School. On home tour days, tickets can be purchased at Sacred Heart School, 856 39th St. Cash or checks are accepted. They may also be purchased on the tour at the house located on 45th Street.

Tickets are available at the following retailers and at the Sacred Heart School office 456-1576:

Collected Works, 4524 Freeport Blvd., 737-8188
Pottery World, 4419 Granite Dr, Rocklin, 624-8080
Hoshall’s Salon & Spa , 6608 Folsom-Auburn Blvd. No. 4 , 987-1995
Haus Home Decor and Specialty Gift, 5601 H St., 448-4100
East Sacramento Hardware, 4800 Folsom Blvd., 457-7558, accepts credit cards
Calico Corner, 5255 Sunrise Blvd., Fair Oaks, 962-0281
Beyond the Garden Gate, 1015 Olive Drive, Davis, 530-756-6698
Talini’s Garden Center & Nursery, 5601 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, 451-8150
Emigh Hardware, 3555 El Camino Ave., 482-1900
Emigh Casual Living, 3535 El Camino Ave., 486-9500
Pink House, 1462 33rd St., 737-7465
Pottery World, 1006 White Rock Rd, El Dorado Hills, 358-8788
Summer Porch, 3254 J St., 444-2900

For general questions, please email us at

If you go:
What: 40th Sacred Heart Holiday Home Tour
When: Friday, Dec. 6 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 8 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Homes through out the Fabulous Forties neighborhood
Cost: Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 the day of the event. Buy online at or at local shops. (See list above.)

Pocket Martial Arts School Featured August 10 at Sacramento Banana Festival

Students and faculty of iYa Taekwondo will perform an on-stage demonstration of martial arts skills Saturday, August 10, at the 4th Annual Sacramento Banana Festival. The performance will take place from 4:30- 5:00 pm. at the festival’s Teen Zone Stage. Some 8,000 visitors are expected to attend the Sacramento Banana Festival August 10 and 11 at William Land Park, 3800 W. Land Park Drive.

The Sacramento Banana Festival is a multicultural event celebrating cultures in Asia, Africa and the Americas that use the banana as a source of food, art and culture. Entertainers will perform on three age-appropriate stages during the two-day, drug and alcohol-free festival, which also will feature a youth talent show, youth art exhibits, banana-themed cooking competitions, and educational activities and displays focused on culture, health, wellness and the environment. Festival hours are10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, August 10; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, August 11. General admission tickets are $5 and may be purchased online at or at the gate. Exhibitor spaces and event sponsorships are available—visit for more information.

iYa Taekwondo focuses on teaching taekwondo as more than just kicks and punches but as a way of life. It teaches taekwondo as the balance of the body, mind and spirit and blends it with life skills every child and adult needs. The school teaches form, Olympic Sparring, and self-defense techniques, along with character development and practical safety skills. iYa Taekwondo is located at 7385 Greenhaven Drive, Suite 1, in Sacramento. For information, call 916-382-9058 or e-mail

Proceeds from the Banana Festival support the National Academic Youth Corps, a non-profit organization that does business as the Sojourner Truth Museum. In addition, 11 other non-profit, community-based organizations are invited to exhibit and fundraise at the festival for a nominal cost to the organizations. “The Sojourner Truth Museum launched the Banana Festival in 2010 to raise funds for programs to help area youth through the arts and celebrate the diverse cultural heritages of the Greater Sacramento region,” said festival organizer Shonna McDaniels. “The festival has grown larger each year with a positive, healthy message that brings families together from all different parts of the city. Our fourth annual festival will be bigger and more exciting than ever.”

The Banana Festival is produced by the Sojourner Truth Museum, which provides year-round arts, educational, and health and wellness programming serving more than 15,000 at-risk youth from all communities in the Greater Sacramento area. With the assistance of volunteer artists, the organization offers a summer art camp; workshops on mural arts and a mobile mural program; an after-school needlecrafts and mentoring program for adolescent girls; volunteer opportunities for senior citizens to encourage community involvement; a monthly Family Art Day; dance and movement classes; and HIV/AIDS awareness, drug and alcohol awareness, and gang prevention programs for youth.
Proceeds from ticket sales and exhibitor fees for the 2013 Banana Festival will also support a newly launched endeavor for the Sojourner Truth Museum. The museum recently received authorization from the Sacramento City Unified School District to move to a district-owned facility at 2118 Meadowview Road, a location it will share with an existing charter school.
For more information about the Banana Festival, visit

California State Fair begins 17-day run July 12

Boy with Beef Cow

Boy with Beef Cow

For many decades, the California State Fair has been known as a well attended event that offers something for everyone. And this year’s edition of the fair is no different.
The buzz regarding the fair, which begins tomorrow, Friday, July 12, and continues until Sunday, July 28, was already in full swing last week when this publication visited with various residents and visitors of the community.
Arden area resident Michelle Jackson said that she is looking forward to the fair’s free concert series.

Roy and Deidra Bagley and their 12-year-old son, Jarek, are among the many families who have made coming to the State Fair an annual tradition. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Roy and Deidra Bagley and their 12-year-old son, Jarek, are among the many families who have made coming to the State Fair an annual tradition. Photo by Lance Armstrong

“I like seeing the concerts,” Jackson said. “In the past, I’ve seen Ciara, Nicki Minaj and some other (artists at the fair). The Four Tops (on July 15) and Kool and the Gang (on July 25) at this year’s fair will be awesome.”
Other artists that will be performing at the fair include Night Ranger (July 12), Weird Al Yankovic (July 14), the Journey tribute band, Evolution (July 19), Grand Funk Railroad (July 20), EnVogue (July 22), Air Supply (July 24) and the Queen tribute band, Queen Nation (July 26).
Jackson added that she also likes going to the fair with two particular groups of people.
“I like going with the (special needs) kids, and I do it for my job,” Jackson said. “I take care of the (special needs children) and the elderly. I usually go with them and have a special day with that. We take the whole group and we get as many volunteers as we can get and let (people in these groups) do the fishing, let them see the animals, let them do whatever they can do at the fair.”
Tahoe Park resident Carol Doring also mentioned music, as well as animal exhibits and food, among her favorite fair attractions.
“I like (those things), and the overall ambience of the fair,” Doring said. “I like the feeling of being with all the people, the happiness that’s there. You don’t see any fights or rowdiness during the day. I’ve been (to the fair) every year for about the last 16, 17 years. And there’s been some improvements, so for the most part it’s better.”
And in commenting about the fair’s food, Carol said that she is a big fan of the funnel cakes.
While observing a schedule of events for the fair, Carmichael resident Doug Drewes pointed to a photograph of the fair’s newest ride, Vertigo, and said, “What’s that (ride)? I just like rides and (having) fun with the kids. I bring my children.”
While en route to go shopping in the Arden area, Yuba City residents Roy and Deidra Bagley and their 12-year-old son, Jarek, noted that they were looking forward to attending the fair on July 16.
“We know we’re going to see the Third Day concert on the 16th,” said Deidra with an enthusiastic tone to her voice.
“One of my favorite things is the Ferris wheel,” Jarek said. “I also like the animals.”
And in response to her son’s comment, Deidra added, “The 16th is kids’ day and all rides are a buck.”
Continuing, Diedra said, “We wouldn’t mind seeing (country and pop singer) LeAnn Rimes (on June 23), but we’ll see.”
Despite his young age, Jarek is much braver than many adults when it comes to eating unusual fair food.
“I like the Rocky Mountain oysters, rattlesnake (meat), buffalo burgers,” Jarek said.
But even Jarek has his limits to such adventures, as during one visit to the fair, he refused to eat chitlins.
“Sometimes I get scared,” Jarek said.

Elk Grove residents Jim and Shiela Tonel give thumbs up to the California State Fair. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Elk Grove residents Jim and Shiela Tonel give thumbs up to the California State Fair. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Roy said that attending the fair has becoming a tradition for his family.
“We’ve come to the fair pretty much every year for the last 10 years,” he said. “I just enjoy being with the family and hanging out. I also like going through the shops and seeing the cool, new gadgets and stuff like that that are for sale there.”
Reina Ortiz, who resides in the city’s Foothill Farms area, also makes coming to the fair a family activity.
“I have three kids, so they love the rides and the food is one of the best (fair offerings),” Ortiz said. “Funnel cakes, those are our favorites. And those (brick of) fries, you know the huge ones? Those are good. We buy one for the three kids and myself and my husband. That’s enough calories for everybody, so not just me. I like to see the magicians. That’s my favorite.”
And like many fairgoers, Ortiz is interested in many of this year’s live music performers.
While pointing to different areas of a listing of the fair’s concerts, Ortiz said, “I’ll probably see this one, this one and this one. I like that (kind of) music. It’s like music that you can understand that has a good message. Nowadays, musicians, they just sing about anything, stupid things, ridiculous things. They’re always (using) obscene language. That’s not good for kids. All bands, they used to sing about love, about situations in your life. That’s what I like, and that’s why I like those kinds of groups.”
Elk Grove resident Jim Tonel, who will be attending this year’s fair with his family, said that he is drawn to the demolition derby (July 19 and 20) and the Sacramento Mile flat track motorcycle racing event (July 27).
Jim, who performed at last year’s fair with a local Filipino association, said that he also enjoys the fair’s rides and food, and noted that he is especially a fan of the corn dogs and barbecued turkey legs.
This year’s fair will include a variety of other attractions, including live horse racing (July 12, 13, 14, 17 and 21), the Brewers’ Festival (July 20), Friday and Saturday night fireworks shows, the Hall of Heroes interactive exhibit, and The Farm, an award-winning demonstration farm.
Fair hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays and 10 a.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
Admission to the fair is $10/general, $8/seniors, 62 and older, $6/children 5 to 12, and free/ages 4 and younger.
For additional details about the 2013 State Fair, visit the Web site

Janey Way Memories #99: Rocking and Rolling at the Teen Fair

In 1964, the managers of the old State Fair on Stockton Boulevard came up with a novel idea.  They decided to stage a fair within the Fair, just for teenagers, called the Teen Fair.  In the American entrepreneurial spirit, they even tacked on an extra fee for entering the Teen Fair. The exhibit was set up on a grass field right next to the carnival.  It became an instant success.
The Teen Fair featured booths with teen clothing, instruments, and even amplifiers and speakers for electric guitars as well as the usual fair food and beverages.  But, the main attraction was the music. Virtually all the local rock and roll bands played at one of the two stages the fair offered, bands with names like: the Fugitives, the Contenders, the New Breed, the Sveltes (an all-girl band) and the Intruders.
My friend Dan Blakolb played bass guitar for the Intruders and his involvement with the band makes for quite a story. In the spring of 1964, Dan sang in the Hiram Johnson High School choir. Remember when kids did those kinds of things? Anyway, one day at practice, the boy next to him asked if he would like to sing in a band. The band needed another singer.  Dan said yes, but then said, “I don’t play an instrument.” The boy said: “That’s OK. Come to my house on Thursday, I can show you how to play electric bass.”  The rest is history. Six weeks later, Dan played his first gig with the Intruders.  He would play with the same band on and off for the next 30 years.  His conversation in choir practice led to a career in music.
The Intruders appeared at the Teen Fair in the summers of 1964 and 1965 playing instrumental songs like Wipeout and Walk, Don’t Run, and singing vocals like the great Louie, Louie.  The Teen Fair venue opened at 10 a.m. daily and ran until 10 p.m.  Bands played virtually non-stop on two stages all day long.  Kids came from all over California to take in the Teen Fair.  I recall walking from Janey Way to the State Fair with Jim Ducray to see the Intruders play at the Teen Fair.  It had everything we wanted: good food, good music and girls.  We had a ball.
Sadly, like all good things, the Teen Fair gradually faded away. After 1966, the State Fair dropped the venue.
The Intruders (then called the Psy-kicks) kept playing though, and my friend Dan continued to play with them well into the 1990s.  He recalls touring the entire country playing various venues.
These days, Dan is semi-retired, playing about 40 dates a year with a group called the Jay Rolerz Band—at events such as high school reunions, weddings.  But, he has not forgotten his experience at old State Fair.  Now, the Teen Fair is just another rocking and rolling Janey Way memory.

McClatchy HS Seniors Look to Promote Literacy with Bound Together Libraries

(From left) Allison Yamamoto, Second Vice President for SCUSD Board of Education Darrel Woo, and JasMin Khoe at the grand opening of the Bound Together Library in the Pocket. Photo courtesy Kathi Windheim.

McClatchy High School seniors Allison Yamamoto and JasMin Khoe needed to come up with an idea for their senior project. As they both had a far-reaching love books and libraries, they decided to do a project to promote literacy.

Yamamoto is a member of the Teen Advisory Board (TAB) for Robbie Waters Pocket-Greenhaven Library, while Khoe was on the TAB of the Belle Cooledge Library and for the past year has sat on the Board of Directors for the Friends of Sacramento Public Library.

At first, they set their senior project as a book drive at McClatchy. Yamamoto says they conducted the drive by placing donation boxes in classrooms at the school and by working with academic groups that focused on community service. Through this effort, they were able to collect more than 600 books.

“My goal was around 500 (books) … I was really happy when I found out there was over 600 — it was a great surprise,” Khoe says.

Books for Rwanda
With the books collected, Yamamoto and Khoe decided to send 270 of the books to an orphanage in Rwanda through an organization called Streets Ahead Children’s Center Association (SACCA).

Khoe was introduced to SACCA when she traveled there last summer to help build a school. “I met a lot of kids in Rwanda and so I was really inspired to do something for them,” she explains. “I wanted to send them some materials over, and then I thought books — just to promote literacy would be really great.”

Khoe says SACCA works to take kids — ranging from infants to teens — off the streets in Rwanda to giving them food, clothing, and shelter, and helping them with education. “I was really inspired by that organization and what they do, so that’s where we sent the books,” she adds.

(From left) Jonathan Louie, Allison Yamamoto, and JasMin Khoe install the first Bound Together Library. Photo courtesy Kathi Windheim

(From left) Jonathan Louie, Allison Yamamoto, and JasMin Khoe install the first Bound Together Library. Photo courtesy Kathi Windheim

Bound Together
Now with still books to use from their book drive, Yamamoto says they began to look for an opportunity to help promote literacy in their own community. Then they heard about a recent movement where community members build small libraries, which look like oversized birdhouses, and set them up in a public area such as outside a home or in a park. The library is stocked with books, which anyone can take. Once you read it, you can return it. Or if you want to keep it, community members are urged to replace it with another book.

Yamamoto says they decided to built similar libraries on their own they could stock with the remainder of the books they had collected and called them Bound Together libraries. “JasMin and I are really close friends and the whole purpose of the project is to bring the community together, so we call them Bound Together libraries,” she explains.

The only problem was the girls now needed help in actually building the libraries. For that, they turned to Khoe family friend and East Sacramento resident Greg Stults, who in addition to being a past teacher at Crocker Riverside Elementary has experience in construction and woodworking.

Stults says he met with Yamamoto and Khoe to design the two libraries they would be building. Then after purchasing necessary hardware and using scrap wood and tools he had, he guided the girls in constructing their libraries. He says it took them about 10 hours to build both libraries.

“I wanted them to do as much of it as possible,” he says. “I wanted them to learn how to use the table saw, bandsaw, nailgun — I would demonstrate and make sure they were safe. They did the majority of the work themselves, so they learned a lot about measuring and how to use the tools.”

Yamamoto says she learned a lot from Stults when it came to how to use the different tools. “I learned a lot about the whole mechanics and how much thought you really have to put into constructing something,” she adds. “It was just really fascinating.”

“First Two of Many”
On May 2, Yamamoto and Khoe, along with community members, held the grand opening of their first Bound Together Library on Arabella Way in the Pocket area. The second library is expected to be placed in Curtis Park by the end of May.

Yamamoto hopes that more students and community members will take up the charge to build Bound Together libraries and place them in other areas of Sacramento. She says there are other students at McClatchy, as well as students at John F. Kennedy High School already talking about building their own libraries. “Hopefully this is just the first two of many,” she adds.

According to Kathi Windheim, president of the Pocket-Greenhaven Friends of the Library, the Friends has set aside $500 to reimburse students and have more built, and Eagle Scout Jonathan Louie plans to build one.

To help community members learn more about Bound Together libraries, Yamamoto and Khoe will be offering a workshop on Wednesday, June 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Robbie Waters Pocket-Greenhaven Library. “We’ll be there presenting what it is, how they can use it and how they can build their own,” she explains.

Pocket-Greenhaven library held 2nd annual spring after-hours celebration

On Saturday, April 27, the Robbie Waters Pocket-Greenhaven Library celebrated spring with its second annual spring after-hours celebration. The event was open only to the Friends of the Library. The event featured books, food, wine, art, music and fun.

The following are bios of the local artists and authors who showed their works at the celebration.

Mary Highstreet is a Californian fine artist. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and later attended to college at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.  She graduated in 2009 with a BFA in Art & Design.  Following her graduation, she spent eight months in Los Angeles studying concept design for film under visual development artists and animators currently working in the film industry. Mary has worked in a variety of media and is currently working in oils, acrylics, and digital painting. Her subject matter delves into the deciphering of the human mind, literature, dreams, spirituality, and capturing the sublime.  Her style is primarily illustrative and impressionistic.  Visit

Twenty-three years old, Michael Panush has distinguished himself as a promising young writer. He has published numerous short stories in a variety of e-zines including:  AuroraWolf, Demon Minds, Fantastic Horror, Dark Fire Fiction, Aphelion, Horrorbound, Fantasy Gazetteer, Demonic Tome, Tiny Globule, and Defenestration. He published his first novel, Clark Reeper Tales, for his high school senior project. A graduate of UC Santa Cruz, Michael currently serves as a City Year Corps Member at Rosa Parks Middle School. His books with Curiosity Quills include The Stein and Candle Detective Agency, Volume 1: American Nightmares, Volume 2: Cold Wars, and Volume 3: Red Reunion, all featuring a pair of occult detectives in the 1950s, Dinosaur Jazz– where The Great Gatsby meets Jurassic Park — a story about a Lost World battling against the forces of modernization; and El Mosaico, Volume 1: Scarred Souls and Volume 2: The Road to Hellfire, a Western about a bounty hunter whose body was assembled from the remains of dead Civil War soldiers and brought to life by mad science. Dinosaur Dust and El Mosaico, Volume 3: Hellfire are expected to be released soon. Read excerpts from his work at and follow him on twitter at

Eighteen-year-old Sierra Brown is a senior at CK McClatchy High School in the Humanities and International Studies Program. She has won numerous awards over the years for her photography, writing, and art. She enjoys traveling and has visited every state in the U.S. (except Hawaii) and has also traveled extensively throughout Europe and the British Isles. Last summer Sierra spent a month in Rwanda, Africa, as part of a cultural and community service program with other McClatchy High School students.Many of photographs were taken during her travels. Sierra will attend UC Berkeley this fall and plans to study integrated biology.

Carol Ng has played the piano since she was 4 years old and has taught piano for more than 28 years.  Her second instrument is the harp, which she has played for more than 19 years and has taught it for eight years. She has been employed as a clinical certified music practitioner at Mercy General Hospital since 2008 where she has brought therapeutic harp music to the patient’s bedside.  Carol is the resident harpist for the Lutheran Church of the Master and an active member of the choir and bell choir.  Carol received her music teaching diploma from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in Hong Kong.  She composes and arranges music for both the harp and piano.  She is a freelance harpist and pianist for weddings and special events.  She has played before large audiences in Hong Kong and intimate settings in Sacramento. During her tenure as a piano and harp instructor, she has intimate musical one on one interaction with her students and has modified her teaching to accommodate their interest and learning abilities.  She has been an active member of the California Associate of Professional Music Teacher Association (CAPMT-MTNA), the Sacramento Capitol Valley Harp Circle, Harper’s Hall and was Vice President of the Association from 2004-2006. She can be reached at 391-2560.

In addition to her work in public relations and communications in Sacramento, Annette Kassis is a historian specializing in the Western United States, particularly the Greater Sacramento region and Northern California. She recently received the Sacramento County Historical Society’s Award of Excellence in Publications for her book, Weinstock’s: Sacramento’s Finest Department Store (The History Press, 2012), an examination of the history, people and innovations of the Sacramento landmark department store that began at 4th and K Streets in 1874. Kassis serves on the Board of Directors for the Sacramento History Foundation, and her background includes nearly 20 years as co-owner of Sacramento-based advertising and public relations firm K&H Marketing, LLC. Kassis studied journalism and history at Louisiana State University-Shreveport, and continued with graduate studies in United States history at California State University-Sacramento and the University of California-Santa Barbara. She and her husband Rich Kassis live in the Sacramento area.