Faces and Places: Zoo Zoom 2015

Faces and Places: Zoo Zoom 2015/ Photos by Monica Stark
Faces and Places: Zoo Zoom 2015/ Photos by Monica Stark

Animals of all sorts ran wild at this year’s Zoo Zoom on Sunday, April 19. Donned in lion, monkey and giraffe costumes, many runners got into the spirit of the event, which raised money for animal care and enrichment at the Sacramento Zoo. After all, feeding animals and keeping them occupied can be a difficult and expensive task. In order to keep their minds and skills sharp, a variety of enrichments need to be made daily. More than 450 animals call the Sacramento Zoo home. Besides boasting funds for the zoo, the race also had some fast times. For the 5-kilometer race, Jedidiah Soliz of Carmichael ran a time of 16:05.4. (That’s a 5:11 minute per mile pace!) In the same race, Natalee Harper was the fastest female, clocking in at 19:02.2, or a 6:08 minute per mile pace. For the 10-kilometer race, Camron Shahmirzadi of Folsom ran a time of 15:44.6, which is a 5:05 minute per mile pace. In the same race, first place female Heather Tiska of Sacramento ran a time of 19:05.3 (a 6:09 minute per mile pace). Good job, runners!


Sacramento City College dedicated new Student Services Building

Sacramento City College student services building
Sacramento City College student services building

A multimillion dollar state-of-the-art Student Services Building, paid for by local property taxes, was dedicated at Sacramento City College’s main campus on Friday, May 8 at 3835 Freeport Blvd.
The Student Services Building will house various departments aimed at assisting current and future Sacramento City College students navigate the college process. This includes the Admissions & Records department and the Assessment Center. The Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS) department has also moved into the new building. During the summer, the college’s Photography and Journalism departments will move into classrooms and offices on the second floor.
“With this building, our students will be able to access many of the departments and services they need in close proximity to each other. They won’t have to travel all over campus to find what they need,” Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery, President of Sacramento City College, said.
The $11.5 million, 16,000 square-foot facility is one of the final projects to be paid for through proceeds from Measure M, the $465 million construction bond overwhelmingly passed by voters in 2010 throughout the Los Rios Community College District. Construction began in mid-2013.

Sacramento Children’s Home under renovation

Sacramento Childrens Home
Sacramento Childrens Home

The iconic main building of the Sacramento Children’s Home, located at 2750 Sutterville Road across from Curtis Park in Sacramento, is currently under renovation. In preparation for their 150th anniversary in 2017, the Sacramento Children’s Home is completing a long-anticipated construction project to improve accessibility and administrative efficiency while bringing the building back to its historical roots.

Plans for renovation include dramatically improving accessibility and efficiency. A wheel-chair accessible ramp will be added to the main entrance. The bathrooms will be expanded and updated to meet ADA standards. The main conference room, which is currently located upstairs, will be brought downstairs, again making it more accessible as the building does not have an elevator. The commissary, which stores all of the necessities for the children, will be moved out of the main building to one closer to the Residential Program, and several offices will be rearranged to improve overall efficiency. These updates are long overdue, and will allow the administration to work more effectively and provide better care for the children and families receiving services from the Sacramento Children’s Home.

The main building of the Sacramento Children’s Home is designated a city landmark. In addition to the above improvements, the renovation project will restore the integrity of the building’s original design. Ceilings at one time lowered to accommodate a heating and air conditioning system will be raised back up to their original height, and new light fixtures reminiscent of 1920s architecture will replace the current fluorescent lighting.

Descor Builders has been contracted for the renovation, which should be completed within the year. The Sacramento Children’s Home will remain open with no impact to current services. Roy Alexander, Chief Executive Officer, stated, “Our newly renovated building will stand a symbol of our long-standing history in the community, while at the same time positioning us to continue forging ahead, innovating new and better ways to care for Sacramento’s most vulnerable children and families. We are excited to approach a major milestone for our organization, and we look forward to the next 150 years.”

For more information about the Sacramento Children’s Home, visit www.kidshome.org. Watch for project updates on Facebook, www.facebook.com/sacchildrenshome.

The Sacramento Children’s Home provides comprehensive residential and community-based programs to address the issues of children and families at risk of or affected by child abuse and neglect. From educating parents of infants and toddlers to teaching independent living skills to young adults, the Sacramento Children’s Home is able to help the widest range of clients and address the widest range of needs of any child and family service organization in the Sacramento area. At nearly 150 years old, the Sacramento Children’s Home has been serving families longer than any other nonprofit organization in Sacramento County and makes a significant difference in the lives of approximately 5,500 children and 4,200 families every year. Through prevention, early intervention and intensive trauma care, the Sacramento Children’s Home is opening doors to the future by maximizing the potential of children and families.

LiLu handbag auction to be held at ACC in the Pocket

Members of LiLu are girls and boys from Sacramento high schools who meet throughout the year to create and sew one-of-a-kind handbags to sell at their annual fundraiser for the Wind Youth Service Center. The Wind Youth Service Center provides outreach, social services, and emergency shelter for homeless youth, ages 12-22. These services range from giving teens a place to wash and dry their clothes to teaching them day-to-day skills. So far, LiLu has raised more than $55,000 for the Wind Center! The teen-run non-profit was founded in 2000 by high schoolers, Libby (“Li”) Abbott and Lucy (“Lu”) Plumb-Reyes. – Source: Sacramento City Unified School District
This year’s auction will be held on Saturday, May 2 from 1 to 3 p.m. at ACC Senior Services Center, 7334 Park City Dr. and the Pocket area folks involved are getting jazzed. One of the organizers, Pocket resident Angela Wood, said the deejay has been lined up, bag tags completed by Genevieve Didion eighth graders, the pre-set sale table filled, and more than 30 handcrafted bags waiting to be walked down the runway!

The following local high schoolers wrote about why they have gotten involved making these handbags and about the sewing skills they’ve developed.

Name: Alexis Louie (Current LiLu President)

How many bags have you made?

This fiscal year, LiLu members have designed and sewed over 50 bags. I have been a member of LiLu for three years. Over the past three years, I have created approximately 10 bags.

Describe what they look like:

From calico to chambray, tapestry to tweed, and all in between, LiLu members plan, design, cut, stitch, and embellish one- of-a-kind bags. I like piecing together fabric that would not necessary go together at first glance. The creative aspect is what I enjoy the best.

Why are you participating in this event?

As I mentioned before, I enjoy designing and executing my design. Over the past year, my goal as President has been to keep our non-profit active and strong. I like teaching new members how to sew…the look on their faces when they finish their first bag is priceless!!!

Have you ever sewn before?

I, personally, have sewn since I was in middle school; however, more than half of all LiLu members have had no sewing experience. They are creative people who are drawn to the idea of “kids helping kids.”

Name: Ebonee O’Bryant

How many bags have you made?

I’ve made two bags.

Describe what they look like:

My first one was really simple the outer lining was blue with flowers on it. And my second one had another floral pattern but with a stripe down the front that makes the pattern pop.

Why are you participating in this event?

I’ve been friends with the president since freshman year and she’s been telling me about her club and how it helps teenagers like me but who are less fortunate. I think it’s a good way for me to give back while also doing something I like.

Have you ever sewn before?

I had no idea how to sew before this. I hadn’t really planned on ever learning how to sew but now I have a useful skill that will help in the future.

Name: Michelle Veu

How many bags have you made?

4 bags

Describe what they look like:

A majority of my bags follow a more earthy/nature approach with some kind of unique element to really tie it all together.

Why are you participating in this event?

I’d really like to be a part of the event that is setting forth all of our hard work and see how it all goes. Fingers crossed we do well!

Have you ever sewn before?

Before joining Lilu I only had experience sewing on buttons, if that.

Blake Kaiser-Lack

How many bags have you made?

3 and a half

Describe what they look like:

I made a flap bag with a brown exterior and blue inner lining using some sort of material square as my flap. My favorite I made was this mustache bag. I used this sort of fluffy black material I had at home as the mustache and sewed it onto a white strip on the top of the bag and the rest is black.

Why are you participating in this event?

I participate in Lilu because I believe it not only builds my own skills as a sewer, but also allows me to give back to the community in a fun, club-based way. Lilu really allows me to embrace my creative side and in a way, helps me break gender stereotypes on traditional skills men and women can have. Yes, I’m a guy, and I believe I am an awesome sewer.

Have you ever sewn before?

I started sewing summer last year and now I know how to use multiple sewing machines and have even improved my hand sewing. I even resewed my broken backpack this year by hand.

Name: Brianna Davis

Amount of bags:

Currently 4

Describe what they look like:

One has a teacup and saucer on the front, floral bag with polka dot straps, another has elephants all over it with two sewn on flowers w/buttons and polka dot straps, the third is floral with lots of pink and tan tones and polka dot straps and a sewn on bow made from lace trimming, and the fourth is polka dot and solid color on both sides with lace covering where the materials meet with plain dark pink straps

Why are you participating in this event?

I really enjoy making these bags and seeing how they turn out. The auction is so fun to participate in, modeling the bags off and letting people see them. I love that the proceeds from our auctions benefit Wind Youth Services and the homeless teens they help.

Have you ever sewn before?

Before participating in Lilu, I did not know how to sew with a machine or by hand, but its surprisingly easy once you get used to it.

If you go:


LiLu handbag auction


Saturday, May 2 from 1 to 3 p.m.


ACC Senior Services Center, 7334 Park City Dr.

Ticket price:

$10 adults, $5 students
Websites: http://windyouth.org/”http://windyouth.org


Levee Protection: Sacramento and American Rivers

In a New York Times article (1979) Michiko KaKutani interviewed writer Joan Didion, a fifth-generation Sacramentan who wrote extensively about our Sacramento rivers. KaKutani said, “…Sacramento is a valley town where the summers are hot and plagued by drought, and where the winters are cold and menaced by flood. It is a landscape of extremes.”

Although they bask in the beauty and recreational fun of the rivers, Sacramentans who live near the Sacramento and American Rivers go on alert when the floodplain subject comes up. Even though California is in historic drought time, the river levees must be kept safe with constant repair. Levee wall seepage has happened in some areas for decades and record storms have haunted Sacramento.
California State, SAFCA, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have released draft plans for $1.46 billion in Sacramento levee work. Costs are typically shared by the Federal Government and California State. SAFCA is holding community meetings in April to seek comments from residents about the proposed river levee projects. Deadline for the comment period ends May 4, 2015.

SAFCA is a Joint Powers Agency, formed in October 1989, in the aftermath of the February 1986 flooding. Levee vulnerability was exposed during this time when several levees nearly collapsed under the strain of the storm.

In 2013, speaking before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Richard M. Johnson, Executive Director of the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency (SAFCA) said, “The Sacramento region is one of the most at-risk areas in the country from the standpoint of potentially devastating flooding.”

Johnson says the goal of the proposed levee improvements is to actively move forward so the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will not start the remaping process.

According to the SAFCA website, “Sacramento Area Flood History,” in the 1840’s, John Sutter who settled Sacramento considered the proximity of two mighty Rivers, the American and the Sacramento, a significant benefit to the fledgling settlement. Yet since, record storms have devastated the Sacramento area.

On December 9, 1861, the American River Levee failed east of 30th street, flooding what is now known as River Park. The water then overran the City’s levee built to protect it. To relieve the rising water levels, the levee at R & 5th Streets was cut to drain the “lake” but houses were swept away in the current of the cut in the levee.

Sacramento streets were raised in response to the floods of 1861-62. Streets east of the Sacramento River to about 12th Street were raised as much as 14 feet. In 1862, newly elected Governor Leland Stanford had to travel in a rowboat to his inauguration at the Capitol.

The First Comprehensive Flood Control Plan was written in response to the 1878 flood. The plan subsequently came to include a system of levees, weirs, and bypass channels to protect existing population centers.

Folsom Dam was authorized in 1944 by the Flood Control Act . It gave the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers power to build a dam on the lower American River. The Dam was completed in 1956.

Just after the ground was broken on Folsom Dam in 1951, the American River watershed began to experience massive storms. In 1956, a record storm filled Folsom Dam in a week, and the Dam saved Sacramento from flooding.

Another record storm in 1964 caused engineers to re-evaluate storm frequency. They concluded that Folsom Dam was designed to handle a 120-year storm.

The February storm of 1986 dumped 10 inches of rain on Sacramento in 11 days. After two days of releases from Folsom Dam, it was downgraded to a 60-year storm performance.

Pete Ghelfi, Director of Engineering for SAFCA in an interview with KSTV Channel 32 said, “1986 was a benchmark year. It was really the worst storm on record, the largest storm we’ve had in the 150-year history of Sacramento.”

Greenhaven homeowner Bob Aldrich says, “We lived in Campus Commons by the American River during the 1986 flood. I was a reporter for KHYL/KAHI Radio and would go up to the levee and then report from my home office. After moving furniture upstairs, we, with our cats, voluntarily evacuated Campus Commons by the one route out and stayed in the south area with family. We moved to Greenhaven near the Sacramento River in 2003.”

Improvements to the American River levees in 2005, included deep under-seepage cutoff walls and erosion protection. This provided Folsom Dam 100-year protection for much of the American River floodplain, except the Pocket and Meadowview communities. More than 55,000 properties with 100-year flood protection were eligible to receive lower cost for Preferred-Risk flood insurance policies.

Improvements in 2007 to the Sacramento River levees and the South Sacramento Streams levees expanded protection for the Meadowview and Pocket communities. More than 26,000 properties became eligible to receive the lower cost flood insurance.

Greenhaven/Pocket homeowner Muriel Farrell says, “It’s hard to pay flood insurance on my home and on a rental I have, but I know it’s necessary. During flood threats, I’d lie in bed at night and worry about what I would do if I had to leave in an emergency.”

The proposed river levee projects will reduce risk of flooding to approximately 120,000 residential homes. This will allow FEMA to re-certify the levees. In addition to federal standards, the California Legislature approved legislation requiring all California to meet the 200-year level of flood protection.

Upon approval of the draft of the Environmental Impact Report (DEIR), construction would start no earlier than 2016 in the North Sacramento Streams area (Natomas) and no earlier than 2017 along the Sacramento River East Levee (Pocket/Greenhaven). These improvements will also enlarge the Sacramento Bypass that was built a century ago to divert floodwaters away from Sacramento.

Pocket homeowner Kathi Windheim says, “The levee seepage is worrisome, and the 200-year flood protection certification is important.”

Currently officials say the levees are safe, but just do not meet newer safety standards.

For more information on levee projects, a list of community meetings, and to make comments on the DEIR , contact:
SAFCA website http://www.safca.org
SAFCA Project Ombudsman Jay Davis) jdavis@gualco.com
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Project Manager Dan.P.Tibbitts@usace.army.mil

Leigh Stephens is a CSUS retired professor of journalism and the author of the book, Covering the Community.

Danny Collins

The MPAA has rated this R

From Bleeker Street Media comes “Danny Collins”, a fictional story about a successful singer, in the vein of Neil Diamond, played by Al Pacino. In a short period prologue, we see that the young singer Danny Collins is interviewed for a “Rolling Stone”-type newspaper, where he reveals that he is inspired by John Lennon.
Flash forward to the present, where his manager, played by Christopher Plummer, brings him a life changing gift: a letter that had been written to Collins in 1971 from John Lennon that he never received in that era. It becomes a life changing catalyst for Collins for the contents of the letter from Lennon offer encouragement and advice to remain himself, even to call him on his private telephone for a visit.
This affects Collins deeply, and he looks to make a change in his life by heading to New Jersey where he holes up in an small hotel managed by Annette Bening, who is fantastic on screen.
Mr. Collins has an estranged son played by Bobby Cannavale who lives near the hotel. His wife, played by Jennifer Garner, is the mother of a little girl and has one more on the way. Danny tries hard to right past wrongs.
The cast alone is fantastic and there are some very fine performances from them. The dialogue is very well written and the idea of the movie is itself intriguing. This is terrific work from a first time director, Dan Fogelman, and is the best movie released this year to the present.

Celebrity stylist returns to East Sacramento with more passion for style than ever

Photos courtesy  Shown here is Jacqueline Gage, a stylist who grew up in her mother's East Sacramento salon, Vicky G's. Jacqueline has gone on to style celebrities like Taylor Swift and Tracy Morgan, but she moved back to Sacramento recently, having decided to bring her expertise back home.
Photos courtesy Shown here is Jacqueline Gage, a stylist who grew up in her mother's East Sacramento salon, Vicky G's. Jacqueline has gone on to style celebrities like Taylor Swift and Tracy Morgan, but she moved back to Sacramento recently, having decided to bring her expertise back home.

East Sacramento grown Jacqueline Gage has style and Hollywood has taken notice. Gage has styled Taylor Swift for the singer’s first Grammy’s and dressed comic Tracy Morgan for a Rolling Stones photo shoot. And after all that success away from her hometown, Sacramento, Jacqueline has returned, bringing her shopping business with her.
Called Style by Gage, the business caters to anyone who needs help with their wardrobe, or wants to enhance their overall image. “These include working men and women, housewives, or anyone who just wants to up their style game!” Jacqueline told the East Sacramento News.
After graduating in theater arts from Northridge State, Jacqueline then honed her passion for fashion in one of the most competitive arena’s, the entertainment industry, working for Neiman Marcus and continued assisting various celebrity stylists.
Right before she graduated, she started assisting top celebrity stylists and had a great opportunity seeing the ins and outs of the celebrity styling business. “I remember the first week I started working for them I was driving up sunset to Penelope Cruz’s house; it was surreal. The first month I worked for the stylists, we dressed Penelope Cruz, Jessica Biel, Rebecca Romijn and Kyra Sedgwick, to say it was star studded was not an exaggeration.”
Speaking about her deep love for fashion and how it relates to the amazing background she’s built for herself, she is so humble and brings her clients a genuine sense of wanting to help others. Take for instance this response to what have been the most exciting, most challenging and most fun she’s had 10 years in the business, Jacqueline said, “I had so many wonderful experiences working as a fashion stylist, but realized what I loved most was the ability to make men and women feel better through enhancing their image. I wanted to bring my business to a market that was less saturated and I thought there was no better place than my hometown of Sacramento! It is a place that is dear to me and it is a place that has seen a lot of progression and will continue to grow. I hope to be a part of that growth, with my personal shopping business Style By Gage, using my skill set to help everyday people. When you look better, you feel better. And when you feel better, you do better and I just love that chain of events!”
Jacqueline grew up in her mother’s hair salon in East Sacramento, Vicky G’s, and was constantly surrounded by women beautifying themselves. “I think these things leave everlasting impressions on you, and I have gone throughout my life always wanting to enhance things and make them aesthetically pleasing. Plus, I love people and interacting so I think the two things merge and that’s where fashion styling came into play.”
Jacqueline said she knew she had a knack for fashion at a young age when she would instruct her mother and grandmother on what to wear and they would actually listen. “I have always been very opinionated, especially when it comes to fashion.”
During this time, Jacqueline practiced styling skills in multiple ways. Dressing everyday women at Neimans who had a love for high end goods and who had the same concerns of many women to look slim and flattering with the desire to enhance their overall image, Jacqueline got very good at addressing women’s concerns and developing tips and tricks to make them look and feel their best.
Over time, she acquired more of her own styling jobs and became a freelance stylist working in various capacities, ranging from editorial, advertising, commercials, music videos, fashion shows, and television.
Jacqueline spoke about the nerve-racking experience styling Taylor Swift for the superstar’s first Grammy’s. “She wore a purple beaded dress which I wasn’t thrilled about but it was her pick. When I was driving to the Grammy’s her manager calls and asks if I could give her a manicure and pedicure as well. This was really weird since fashion stylist just do wardrobe, but I figured they were new to the whole entertainment game and maybe just thought I was a one-stop shop. The one thing I knew at that point was to just say yes and fake it till you make it because I wanted them to be happy and do a good job. So immediately when I got there before any wardrobe could be done, they sat me down in the chair and had me start on Taylor’s mani/pedi. I was literally dying and so nervous. I can barely paint my own nails let alone a famous singer’s. I figured I grew up in a hair salon and had seen this done a time or two, mind over matter. Then she shows me the polish choice for her toes. I about died. It was PURPLE. She couldn’t have picked a harder color. I just remember my leg shaking as she put her leg on mine. Somehow I got through it and then her nail polish for the mani was clear, so I was literally in the clear. At the end of it, she told me I did a better job than her usual girl. I just had a good, inside chuckle.”
As a stylist the budget for providing the wardrobe on jobs can be slim if not non-existent, but Jacqueline has been able to use the industry standard practice “buy and return” even in the most trying situations. Speaking about one instance in which this practice was used for dressing celebrity comic Tracy Morgan for a Rolling Stone magazine photo shoot. “Well, as usual, a bunch of clothes were loaned, but we found out he liked fancy sneakers. So since I couldn’t get those loaned and it was the day of the shoot, I had to go the Barneys and put a $1,000 pair of YSL silver sneakers on my card, which frightened me. When you deal with celebrities, they want what they want so you sometimes just bring a bunch of clothes. But, they ultimately decide what they will wear. All the shoes were laid out, and just as my luck would have it Tracy picks the only ones that were not loaned – the silver YSL sneakers. I about died because I knew there would be a chance that I wasn’t going to be able to return them if he scuffed the bottoms and I certainly couldn’t afford to pay $1,000 for them. So I taped the bottoms, which is another styling trick and I said a prayer. In the end, it all worked out. Tracy loved his outfit; the photographer was happy; and I was able to return the shoes as good as new without a scuff on them.”
While she learned the tricks of the trade in one of the most competitive arenas, the entertainment industry and had many wonderful experiences working as a fashion stylist, what Jacqueline realized what she loved most was the ability to make men and women feel better through enhancing their image. She wanted to bring her business to a market that was less saturated and she thought there was no better place than her hometown of Sacramento. “It is a place that is dear to me and it is a place that has seen a lot of progression and will continue to grow,” she said. “I hope to be a part of that growth with my personal shopping business Style By Gage, using my skill set to help everyday people. When you look better you feel better and when you feel better you do better and I just love that chain of events.”


East Sacramento area nonprofits gear up for the May 5 BIG Day of Giving

For 24 hours on May 5, Sacramento will again come together for a BIG Day of Giving. According to the Big DOG website, the goal is to raise $5 million from 25,000 donors for over 500 nonprofits in a 24-hour giving challenge as part of the national campaign called GiveLocalAmerica. To participate, local donors can go to www.bigdayofgiving.org to give and support the nonprofits. In 2014, our region’s BIG Day of Giving raised more than $3 million from more than 12,000 donors for 400 nonprofits and ranked No. 2 in the nation. Let’s make it No. 1 this year.

On www.bigdayofgiving is a powerful online community tool called Giving Edge and it can help you find nonprofit organizations, learn about the impact they are making, and make a donation. Each nonprofit in the database is a partner of GiveLocalNow, a movement to increase local giving.

What follows below is a listing of East Sacramento area nonprofits that are participating in the Big Day of Giving. The listing also includes links to the organizations’ Giving Edge profiles.

The mission of the

Food Literacy Center,

located at 2973 3rd Ave., is to inspire kids to eat their vegetables. The nonprofit teaches low-income elementary children cooking and nutrition to improve our health, community and environment. http://givingedge.guidestar.org/nonprofit.aspx?orgId=1141224#


Gender Health Center,

located at 2020 29th St. Suite 201, provides education, advocacy, mental health and other health services to underserved and marginalized populations as an act of social justice with a specialization in gender and sexual identities. Locally, the GHC will have a special event on May 5 from 6-9 p.m. at Hoppy Brewing Company (6300 Folsom Blvd.) http://www.tinyurl.com/GHCBIGDOG

Mercy Education,

6007 Folsom Blvd No. 200, is a unique education ministry of the Sisters of Mercy that exists to build healthy communities by providing affordable educational support, counseling and other services necessary to empower individuals to reach their full potential. http://givingedge.guidestar.org/nonprofit.aspx?orgId=1141230

River City Theatre Company,

PO BOX 19126, is a non-profit young people’s theatre intended to instill a lifelong appreciation of the arts particularly in musical theater. http://givingedge.guidestar.org/nonprofit.aspx?orgId=1130954

Rise Up Belize!

initiates, supports and promotes educational activities that benefit female teens in Sacramento, California, and the children and adults of Belize, Central America. http://givingedge.guidestar.org/nonprofit.aspx?orgId=1136817

Access Sacramento

is located inside the Coloma Community Center at 4623 T St., Suite A. Access Sacramento gives “voice to the people, places, and community cultural and arts events not seen on other forms of public and commercial media that make Sacramento County such a wonderful place to live.” http://givingedge.guidestar.org/nonprofit.aspx?orgId=1130632

The mission of

Harm Reduction Services,

2800 Stockton Blvd., is to utilize a genuine and nonjudgmental approach to promote health and hope without limits for all people through harm reduction. The specific focus is on the highest risk, hardest to reach populations across Sacramento County and surrounding areas. http://givingedge.guidestar.org/nonprofit.aspx?orgId=1131250

NeighborWorks Sacramento,

2411 Alhambra Blvd., was created in 1987 to revitalize the city and county of Sacramento. NeighborWorks is a HUD certified Housing Counseling Agency. http://givingedge.guidestar.org/nonprofit.aspx?orgId=1135951

Kiwanis Family House,

2875 50th St., is dedicated to providing temporary housing and support to families of seriously ill or injured children and adults being treated at UC Davis Medical Center and Shriners Hospitals in Sacramento. http://givingedge.guidestar.org/nonprofit.aspx?orgId=1135994

The mission of

Shriners Hospitals for Children-Northern California,

2425 Stockton Blvd., is to provide the highest quality care to children with neuromusculoskeletal conditions, burn injuries and certain other special health care needs within a compassionate, family centered and collaborative care environment. http://givingedge.guidestar.org/nonprofit.aspx?orgId=1144095

The mission of

Next Move,

2925 34th St., is to provide assistance to families with children and individuals toward self reliance. http://givingedge.guidestar.org/nonprofit.aspx?orgId=1141305

City Year Sacramento

, located at 1414 K St., Suite 100, is an education-focused nonprofit organization that partners with public schools to provide targeted interventions for students at risk of dropping out. Every year, City Year unites 17 to 24 year olds from diverse backgrounds for a year of full-time service. http://givingedge.guidestar.org/nonprofit.aspx?orgId=1140935

Teach for America,

located at 3400 3rd Ave., works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children growing up in poverty. http://givingedge.guidestar.org/nonprofit.aspx?orgId=1141248

Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services,

3333 Third Ave., assists those in need by alleviating their immediate pain and problems and moving them toward self sufficiency and financial independence. http://givingedge.guidestar.org/nonprofit.aspx?orgId=1131885

Ronald McDonald House Charities Of Northern California,

2555 49th St., is dedicated to supporting programs that improve the lives of children and their families by supporting the Sacramento Ronald McDonald House and Camp Ronald McDonald at Eagle Lake.  The House provides temporary housing for seriously ill children and their families receiving treatment at one of five area hospitals. http://givingedge.guidestar.org/nonprofit.aspx?orgId=1132124

The goal of

St. Hope Public Schools,

2315 34th St., is to graduate self-motivated, industrious, and critically thinking leaders who are passionate about life-long learning and committed to serving others. http://givingedge.guidestar.org/nonprofit.aspx?orgId=1136275

Reading Partners,

P.O. Box 5946, is a national education nonprofit dedicated to improving students’ reading skills. Volunteers work in Title I elementary schools to support students from low-income communities who are reading 6 months to 2.5 years below grade-level. They recruit and train community volunteers to work one-on-one. http://givingedge.guidestar.org/nonprofit.aspx?orgId=1141127

Wellspring Women’s Center

, 3414 4th Ave., in the Oak Park community nurtures the innate goodness and personal self esteem of women and their children. The drop-in center provides respite and services based on “hospitality with dignity and love.” http://givingedge.guidestar.org/nonprofit.aspx?orgId=1135446

Connections for Youth

creates opportunities for foster youth to explore the wilderness, the arts, cultural events, and to create lasting positive relationships between adults and peers. http://givingedge.guidestar.org>

New documentary highlights historic Sacramento film footage

History Film Photo
History Film Photo

Matías Bombal, who has been entertaining readers of this paper with his movie reviews under the heading of “Matías Bombal’s Hollywood” since last July, is presently enjoying the success of his major contributions to a local, historical film documentary project.
The documentary is a combination of the blending of news and other film footage from various eras of Sacramento’s history and modern day recordings of locals speaking about different aspects of the city’s history.
During an interview with this publication last week, Bombal, 47, recalled being asked to become involved with the project – an hour and 39-minute documentary, called “The Sacramento Picture!,” which was completed on March 20, after about seven months of work.
“I was approached by the Center for Sacramento History, in the persons of Dylan McDonald and Rebecca Crowther, who were familiar with my movie review work and knew that I had an interest in Sacramento history for many years, being involved in bringing old theaters back to life and knowing about movies,” said Bombal, whose theater experiences include working as an usher at the Tower Theatre and managing the Crest Theatre. “They have, at the Center for Sacramento History, one of the largest regional film collections in the nation. There’s over 9 million feet of movie film. I mean, it’s hard for me to even wrap my brain around 9 million feet of movie film. To put that into prospective, if you watched 24 hours a day, every day of the week without stopping for eating or anything, it would take you at least 11 years before you could really see a good portion of it.
“So, that film for the last several years has just sat there on shelves and (was) only accessible to the (center’s) film archivist, Mahlon Picht.
“The purpose, of course, is the city wants to use this footage to license to people doing productions or documentaries, because there’s a lot of great news footage there.”
The largest portion of that news footage collection, Bombal notes, was filmed by the legendary local television news photographer Harry Sweet (1920-2014), who had maintained a vast collection of news footage that would later be donated to local archives.
“(Sweet’s donated collection includes) all of the daily news films for each day of the week from 1957 to 1979, when (KCRA) Channel 3 stopped shooting movie film for news stories,” Bombal said. “It’s just a remarkable collection of the life of this community and the state to a certain degree.”
Bombal also commented that the center’s film collection includes films dating back to 1910.
And in speaking about the center’s local films, in general, Bombal said, “It’s a fascinating look at the movie images of our past. So, it brings a fabulous prospective of how our city looked and moved. And it somehow brings to life the past a little bit more than a still photograph might, and with rich detail.”
In further explaining the center’s interest in contacting him to work on the project, Bombal mentioned that McDonald and Crowther had attended his presentation of a free, public showing of a color film called, “Life in Sacramento 1950,” at the Central Library on May 26, 2014.
McDonald and Crowther approached Bombal at that event and expressed their interest in having him assist the center in making the public aware of the center’s film resources.
Since that time, the California Audiovisual Preservation Project began to provide grant funding for film collections throughout the state for the purpose of digitizing films to make them available through the Internet.
Bombal said that about 150 of the center’s film reels have been digitized. But that is a very small number of the center’s reels, considering that Bombal estimates that the center has about 1 million film reels in its collection.
It was at the point when the center had 50 of those reels digitized when Bombal was contacted by the center.
In recalling that moment, Bombal said, “They said, ‘Matías, we have 50 reels that are now digitized. Can you come look through all of this film and put together a speaker series lecture for us where you select what you think is the most germane and interesting films of what we have digitized?’ I said I would do that, and I had a meeting with them, and they said, ‘Well, we want to involve local experts. We want to get William Burg and various local historians to comment in addition to you on this footage. We want to have a stage show and there will be some PowerPoint projection, we’ll run the film and then we’ll have a discussion.”
And in reflecting upon one of his thoughts on that approach, Bombal said, “It occurred to me that the trouble that people have at these historical events is you will get some expert that will talk about some bit of minutia and go on and on (with that topic) forever, while half the audience falls asleep.”
Bombal made the suggestion of simply making a documentary using portions of the digitized films and brief comments by spokespersons selected to be recorded for such a documentary. Those comments could thus be used by the project’s producers at appropriate points in the documentary.
“(That approach) economizes the time, and then you can get more footage and more talk in and control it to the point where if something starts to get boring or dull, we can make it tighter and a more valuable experience for the audience,” Bombal said. “And having the theatrical sense, because I’ve shown movies my whole life, I have an idea of what people’s tolerance level is. To talk about the inside of buttons on coats for 45 minutes, you’ll lose some people.”
An agreement was made for a documentary to be made, and Bombal spent three months reviewing the digitized film.
In regard to his approach to creating the documentary, Bombal had to develop a concept as to its direction. And one of the decisions in that concept, Bombal said, was “to avoid politics completely.”
However, Bombal said that he eventually included brief political footage in the documentary.
“I start with Ronald Reagan and end with Cesar Chavez, so that I can please both the liberally minded and the conservatively minded at the same time,” Bombal said.
Bombal further shared details about the approach to the documentary, saying, “I wanted to take the most interesting pieces of film from 1910 to 1970 of what’s been digitized and tell the story of our city and people. So, it was important for me to be centric to the downtown. So, I didn’t do stories about Roseville or West Sacramento or south Sacramento. Primarily, it was the city core over that period of time.”
Bombal expressed much appreciation for Chad E. Williams, who was the editor of “The Sacramento Picture!”
“We worked hand-in-hand for six (to) seven months to make this movie,” said Bombal, who also provides voice-over narration for the documentary.
HYPERLINK “https://www.facebook.com/william.burg” \n _blankIn addition to Burg, other locals appearing as spokespersons in the documentary include Picht, Stan Atkinson, Alan O’Connor, Kevin Wildie, Marcia Eymann, Mark Pollock,  HYPERLINK “https://www.facebook.com/GretchenSteinberg” \n _blankGretchen Steinberg,  HYPERLINK “https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000691465024″ \n _blankAnnette Kassis and Ginger Rutland.
Thus far, the first two showings of the documentary have sold out.
The premier showing was held at the Crocker Art Museum on March 25, and the second showing will be presented tonight, April 9 at the Center for Sacramento History.
Tickets are available for the third and last scheduled showing of the film in the upstairs theater at the Tower Theatre at 2508 Land Park Drive on Wednesday, April 29 at 7 p.m. An additional three-minute introduction featuring historic footage of the Tower Theatre will be added to the evening’s program.
For ticket information for the April 29 showing, visit the website, HYPERLINK “http://www.mabhollywood.com/” \n _blankwww.mabhollywood.com.


Building bridges between Sutter’s hometown and Sacramento, specifically the Turn Verein

Kandern, Germany resident Peter Völker returned to Sacramento in February for the fifth time over the course of 15 months. Peter is on a mission to make Sacramento a sister-city to John Sutter’s hometown.
Völker lives on the street in Kandern which carries Sutter’s name and the town has a small museum where visitors can find documents of the life of Sutter and visit the house where he was born. And at Sutter’s Fort, there is a plaque that mentions Sutter’s birthplace as Kandern. So to Völker, making Kandern and Sacramento a sister-city relationship seems like a viable option and he is determined to make it happen. “We know many Americans who are very keen to find out about their roots, which often lie in Germany,” he said.
During his most recent visit, Peter said a taxi driver was curious about his travels and after learning about the visit, the driver said: “You need to go to the Turn Verein (in East Sacramento),” recalled Peter. With that bit of advice from the taxi driver, Peter was on his way.
After visiting folks at the Turn Verein, Peter said he’s been encouraged to bring Kandern singers to perform at the center’s main hall next year.
Founded in 1854, the historic club is, according to the Turn Verein website “where locals with German ancestry—and those with an interest in German culture—congregate to socialize, study German language, celebrate, exercise, and carry on revered German customs. This includes Sacramento’s first, best, and biggest annual Oktoberfest celebration.”
Speaking about bringing his efforts of bringing a 30-member choir from Kandern to the Sacramento Turn Verein, Peter said: “My idea is to bring a group; we have three choirs in Kandern. From these three, we take 30 who are willing to come to Sacramento for a concert. We are now looking for guest families.”
Besides stopping in at the Turn Verein, while in Sacramento, Peter visited the German class at C.K. McClathcy and a sixth-grade class at David Lubin Elementary School.
At David Lubin, Peter presented a show-and-tell about Kandern, highlighting its distinctive Swiss architecture. “I showed them a ruin, a Baroque castle and they asked if they could buy it. One girl said, ‘I would like to live there in Kandern.’ We are countryside; they liked (the show-and-tell).”
At Pam Rice’s German class, Peter said there was a German foreign exchange student who happened to be presenting to the class about her hometown, Auxburg. Peter showed the class a Kandern travel video. “She was showing how they live. We were two (guests) from Germany that day,” he said.
Despite the prestige and the signage at city hall that designates Sacramento’s sister cities, the connections Peter has made between Kandern and Sacramento, in his opinion, are much more important than what you pin on the wall. “Without life, (a sister-city designation) is not so useful. I want to bring together the citizens and the students, schools. This is the idea. It grows slowly but constantly. I will be gone one day and I hope that it continues. You need many shoulders, many people to support you in such a partnership,” he said.
As connections are still alive between Kandern and Sacramento, former Kandern mayor Bernhard Winterhalter is expected to visit Sacramento next year, Peter said, adding that the new mayor, Dr. Christian Renkert, said if Sacramentans visit Kandern, there will be a special welcoming reception in their city hall.
An uncanny thing happened during Peter’s last visit here. After stopping in at Union Vacations in East Sacramento, Turn Verein’s treasurer Jim Roger asked Peter if he mentioned Kandern during his conversations with the travel agent. Apparently the granddaughter Robin Little of Union Vacations had her first job at Kandern’s American school, Black Forest Academy. Peter was beside himself. “It’s unbelievable how there are so many relations. It’s already working.”