Cabrillo Club building’s 100th anniversary to be celebrated Oct. 4

Editor’s Note: This is part one of a two-part series about the Cabrillo Civic Club #5 building, which was originally home to a public school for children in the then-rural Riverside-Pocket area.

The community is invited to attend a special event this Sunday, Oct. 4, when the 100th anniversary of the Cabrillo Civic Club #5 building will be celebrated.
Built as a one-room, Spanish mission-style structure, the old Cabrillo Club building, at 4605 Karbet Way in the Riverside area, opened as the Sutter School in 1915.
Reflective of the cultures of the area at that time, the students of that public school were mostly of Portuguese and Japanese descent.
Portuguese from the Azores Islands were the first of these people to begin residing in the Riverside-Pocket area, as they arrived in the area in the 1850s.
Among the attendance boundaries of the school were Sutterville Road to the north, and the portion of today’s Riverside Boulevard, south of the bar that is presently known as The Trap.
Additionally, the school boundaries included the areas of what became known as Reichmuth Park and South Land Park Hills, as well as the Sacramento River levee.

Sutter School was located in this Riverside area Spanish mission-style structure, which has been home to Cabrillo Civic Club #5 since 1954. / Photo by Lance Armstrong
Sutter School was located in this Riverside area Spanish mission-style structure, which has been home to Cabrillo Civic Club #5 since 1954. / Photo by Lance Armstrong

When Sutter School opened its doors a century ago, the school building was not yet completed, thus resulting in some of the school’s students attending classes in sheds that were located a short distance behind the school on property owned by the Mason family, whose residence was immediately south of the school.
Those sheds were later used as chicken coops by Japanese farmers who farmed that land.
Pocket resident Dolores (Silva) Greenslate, 90, who attended Sutter School from 1929 to 1934, was the daughter of Mary “Mamie” (Machado) Silva, who was one of the school’s first two graduates in 1915. The other graduate was John “Griff” Mason.
Additionally, Greenslate’s late brother, Marvin Silva, attended the same school from 1928 to 1934.
In commenting about the sheds behind the school, Greenslate said, “We teased my mother all the time. ‘Oh, ma, you went to school in the chicken coops.’ And she would laugh about that.”
Mamie, who was raised on property that is now part of Reichmuth Park, attended school in the area’s Lisbon School District before becoming a student at Sutter School.
The Lisbon School District consisted of the Upper Lisbon School and the Lower Lisbon School.
The present day Cabrillo Club building has a much different appearance than it did when Sutter School was established.
Originally, the schoolhouse was comprised of only the present mid-section of the building. Two additional wings were added to the building in the 1920s.
Sutter School continued to operate until 1952, at which time the building became abandoned.
In 1954, the building became home to the Cabrillo Club, which is a local Portuguese-American organization.
After being asked to share her personal reaction to the old schoolhouse/clubhouse turning 100 years old, Greenslate said, “It doesn’t seem right, but it doesn’t seem right that I’m as old as I am. I don’t feel like it. And it doesn’t seem like it was almost 100 years ago (that the school opened). It seems unbelievable, as far as I’m concerned. I think we all think that, (those) who are older and went to school (at Sutter School). But unbelievable as it is, I’m glad I was there when I was there.”
As previously mentioned, the upcoming centennial celebration of the old Sutter School/present day Cabrillo Club building will be held this Sunday, Oct. 4.
The event, which will begin at 1 p.m., will include an open house, refreshments, speeches featuring past and present details pertaining to the building and historical displays with photographs, a listing of former Sutter School teachers and other information.
Although the general public is invited to the gathering, a flier for the event is directed toward people with connections to the historic grammar school/clubhouse.
A portion of that flier reads: “If you or someone you know has a history with the hall and would like to stop by, please come.”
For additional information regarding this upcoming 100th anniversary event at the Cabrillo Club building, call 916-421-3312.

Camellia Waldorf on Freeport is moving to the Pocket

Editor’s Note: About an hour before going to press for this issue of the Land Park News, the following letter was sent to the newsroom via email. It is being reprinted in its entirety.

Dear Camellia Families and Friends,

This past March, during the Camelliapalooza Fund A Need, I stood before you and asked for your support in Building Our Future. That vision included strengthening our Middle School Math and Science program, and thanks to your generosity we have now added a Math Specialist and Algebra offering to our community. That vision also included increasing our savings so that Camellia Waldorf School could one day purchase property, and plan for the next 25 years and beyond.
In early June, we received an opportunity to make this dream of property ownership a reality. We were invited to tour the vacated Merryhill School campus at 7450 Pocket Road and to begin to imagine the potential of moving Camellia Waldorf School to this new location. This location on Pocket Road is approximately 10 minutes from our current site and allows for easy access from the freeway.
This location provides our community with two significant advantages. Having our school nestled in a safe residential neighborhood is truly ideal. This location of almost three acres allows access to the levee and the Sacramento River, and is only a few blocks from Garcia Bend Park. In addition, this location places us within a few miles and directly in between Bergamo, a highly regarded private Montessori school, and Brookfield, a highly regarded private college preparatory school. This location, in a safe neighborhood that already supports educational excellence and educational choice, will bring new children and families into our community.
Needless to say, it has been a busy summer for the Board of Trustees, Administrative Staff, and Faculty. After countless meetings and hours spent reviewing our finances, Camellia Waldorf School is creating history by purchasing property at 7450 Pocket Road and will begin the new school year in September at this location.

As many of you know, we have spent the past two years building a relationship with the Sacramento City Unified School District and exploring the possibility of moving our school to the C.P. Huntington campus. While this arrangement would provide many benefits, it would not present the opportunity for ownership.

Although this decision is being made quickly, many substantial hours have been spent in preparation for this moment. When Camellia Waldorf School started at the current Freeport Boulevard location, there was never the intent to remain for this many years. We are currently on a month-to-month lease and face many challenges with increasing rent, the lack of a safe and dedicated parking lot, and the surrounding transient population. In addition, this spring we were notified by the city of Sacramento that our property line is in violation and will need to be adjusted within the year. This adjustment will significantly reduce the available play areas for our lower grade, kindergarten, and preschool play areas.

It has long been the dream of our leadership to own a permanent home for Camellia Waldorf School. The entire faculty, staff, and board of trustees recognize the value of this opportunity and are in full support of this move. Plans are already underway concerning moving preparations, repairs, and upgrades at our new location. Jennifer Mason and I are already working on the necessary transfer of our California preschool license with expected ease and success.

We look forward to hosting an open house on Saturday, Aug. 22 from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. and inviting our Camellia families and friends to tour our new location! More information will follow soon. We also look forward to your involvement in making this move a successful community effort. Although the timeline is short, we are a community with many talents and with your help, we will make great things happen quickly!

We are currently in need of volunteers to provide packing supplies, assist with packing of classroom materials, begin preparing our outdoor structures for transport, and to assist with repairs and landscaping work at the new site. If you are able to help with any of these tasks, please contact Ardyth Sokoler at about your resources and availability. We are in the process of creating a Sign-Up Genius and will send the link early next week.

As always, we welcome your questions and comments. We recognize that unexpected change can be disruptive, and look forward to working together to make this transition as smooth as possible for our children. Thank you for your commitment to Camellia Waldorf School and for your support. We look forward to Building Our Future together!


Ardyth Sokoler, Administrator
Betsey Monnot, Board President
Jenny Stewart, Early Childhood
Amanda Mutrux, Elementary School
Jacky Cox, Middle School

Water policy protest hits Little Pocket: Dozens demonstrate “2nd California Water Summit” outside the Westin Hotel

Shown here is a collection of photos from Monday morning outside the Westin Hotel. Demonstrators were protesting the "2nd California Water Summit," a water policy meeting that costs about $1,500 to attend for the entire program. Demonstrators feel left out of important water policy discussions. / Photos by Monica Stark
Shown here is a collection of photos from Monday morning outside the Westin Hotel. Demonstrators were protesting the "2nd California Water Summit," a water policy meeting that costs about $1,500 to attend for the entire program. Demonstrators feel left out of important water policy discussions. / Photos by Monica Stark

Demonstrators from as far north as Lake Shasta and from as far south as the Los Angeles area converged on the sidewalk on Riverside Boulevard in front of the Westin Hotel on Monday and Tuesday mornings. Their cause: Water is a human right and it should not be controlled by those with money and power. Meanwhile, inside the hotel was the “2nd California Water Summit” in which government officials and private investors converged to talk about water policy. But the cost to get in was $1,495 for the four-day summit and many of the demonstrators, who were from various Native American tribes, have been feeling left out of discussions such as these for too long.
“Fight, fight for your rights. Fight, fight for water rights,” they chanted in the Little Pocket neighborhood, as inside the hotel investors and governmental officials discussed how $7.5 billion can be distributed through the state due to the passage of the Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Act of 2014. The Act, which signals “investments in water” and the “long-term sustainable supply and delivery of that water are critical to California’s future,” was a benchmark of success deemed by the Edmund Gerald “Jerry” Brown Jr. administration.
The supporting organization for the conference, West Coast Infrastructure Exchange, “was created by Governors and Treasurers of the West Coast states (California, Oregon, and Washington) and the Premier of British Columbia to promote the type of new thinking necessary to solve out infrastructure crisis. Its board consists of senior representatives of the Governors and Treasurers of the member states and the Executive Director of Partnerships British Columbia.”
According to the event website, funding from the $7.5 billion statewide water bond will “create a multitude of new project opportunities and redefine the way California state and local governments use and invest in solutions to address the water crisis; and fund these new water infrastructure projects … Only stakeholders intimately aware of the latest insights, lessons learned, and how to maximize project fundability from successfully (public and privately) funded water projects will succeed in this climate.”
Those very words of exclusivity and ownership surrounding every living thing’s basic need – water – was the very thrust of the protestors’ spirit.
Spokesperson Caleen Sisk, chief and spiritual leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, resides near Lake Shasta and discussed the purpose of the protest as follows:
“We feel that it’s unfair to hold the water meetings and exclude most of the interested parties that invest in people. Especially the tribes, they have not talked about California tribal water rights. They are talking about senior water rights and rights before 1914 and they have excluded the talks about the native California people’s water rights and to hold it here, at the Westin, is out of the way, excluded. It costs $1,500 to get in there to attend the meetings and they had a limited number of people in there who could register, so it’s not an open registration even if you had $1,500. There was a cutoff date you had to know about and they’re going to be discussing the $7.5 billion water programs for Prop. 1, which includes Shasta Dam raise, the tunnels. Most people want to restore the Delta, the fisheries, Golden Gate salmon, and the tribes should have a place on that agenda. Tribes or environmentalists should be heard about digging up the Delta.”
At the protest, members from the Winnemem Wintu, Pomo, Wailaki tribes were present as well as Hawaiians who stood in solidarity with those concerned about the delivery of water. Living near Lake Shasta, a source of water for the Sacramento River, Caleen said she’s particularly concerned about how water is distributed because of the salmon. “The salmon have to live in the Delta and if they are planning on diverting all the water from the Delta, which the tunnels can do, then the salmon can die.
Lake Shasta is very low and hasn’t recovered and it is still being drained. It was at 33 percent (of its capacity) earlier and it will probably be a lot less. The river is full, the Sacramento River. That water comes from the north to fill that river and that water is going down south through the aqueducts to agribusiness farms.
“Our biggest message is that the California people, the good-hearted people, have to start paying attention to what’s going on. They have to start relying on information that is outside the government and so far we’ve been trained to believe the government will take care of us and deliver the water the way they need to. I think people need to wake up and see this is not a fight between salmon and water. This is not a fight between L.A. and Northern California because the projection of the water that’s going to be there is for five new communities in the desert, for two new fracking mines and the rest of it will be brokered.
“I think that (the general public) could wake up and they need to wake up, but I don’t know if they will. We’re just a little minion tribe. We’re not considered scientists, but generations of our people have been here and we know what the weather is. We live the weather. We don’t live in an artificial community. We know when the grass turns brown. We know when the flowers come up. We know that the flower is supposed to be there and what the flower means in relation to the salmon that is coming up river. Most people don’t know what water tastes like anymore.”
Another one of the protestors, Dan Bacher, has been writing about water issues for many years for such websites as Daily Kos, Alternet, the California Progress Report, and for such print publications such as the Sacramento News and Review. He is also the editor of the Fish Sniffer magazine. He’s currently working on a critical book about Governor Brown and his environmental policies, which is expected to be released within the next year. “It’s going to be about his environmental policies. It will show a picture of the oil spill, and right under it there will be a bunch of dead fish and a dried up lake.”
As an environmentalist, a writer and a lover of fishing, Dan visits many lakes, which he says are currently full. “Rancho Seco lake is full. Lake Valley reservoir; Fuller Lake was brim full last Friday (June 26). I went to Union Reservoir on the Stanislaus River. It was the highest I’ve ever seen it. Rollins Lake on the Bear River is full. Water agencies that planned ahead – that practiced conservation – they were able to bump release the minimum stream flows to keep the fish going during the drought. The ones that squandered their water, sent it south in 2013, 2014, and again this year. I did an investigation and found they were filling Southern California reservoirs with the water they stole from Folsom even though they knew we were in the worst-ever drought.
“The media talks like these are separate projects. The tunnels are not a separate project. The tunnels project is designed in conjunction with the Shasta Dam bridge. One facilitates the other. “They’re trying to build twin tunnels and send (water) to the agricultural folks in Southern California. They need storage, so they are going to raise the Shasta dam. Our argument is that it doesn’t make a lot of sense because if you don’t have any water, you don’t have any water to store. You can build the tunnels, but it isn’t going to create the water. But Brown is committed to this anyway. I think he’s betting on having wetter winters ahead and also hoping the people are stupid and don’t wake up and don’t realize you can’t create something out of nothing.”

Shop all things fabulous to support the Sacramento Children’s Home at beautiful Arden area benefit

Photo by Rob Orani / Last year’s Haute Stuff event, benefitting the Sacramento Children's Home.
Photo by Rob Orani / Last year’s Haute Stuff event, benefitting the Sacramento Children's Home.

Sacramento fashionistas won’t want to miss Haute Stuff, presented by Sactown Magazine. At this premiere spring event for the Sacramento Children’s Home, guests will shop a unique marketplace lined with fashion, home and lifestyle temptations. Local vintner and culinary partners will offer a selection of specialty wines and delicious delicacies. The highlight of the afternoon will be an entertaining fashion show designed by Personal Stylist, Karri Grant, featuring the Sacramento Ballet and Front Street Animal Shelter.
Haute Stuff will be held on Sunday, May 17 from noon to 4 p.m. at Jardin Rue Estate. Tickets can be purchased at, and are $95 each or $320 for a package of four. Located along the Garden Highway, Jardin Rue Estate features beautiful gardens and breathtaking views of the Sacramento River. Free shuttling will be available all day from the nearby NP3 and Westlake Charter School parking lots.

Haute Stuff brings community members, sponsors, and supporters together to celebrate spring while helping to sustain programs that prevent child abuse and neglect and build strong families. All proceeds, including 20 percent of all marketplace sales, benefit the Sacramento Children’s Home. A variety of sponsorship opportunities are available.

Karri Grant, Personal Stylist and Image and Wardrobe Consultant, is coordinating the fashion show. She is putting together an entertaining show that showcases local boutiques with their spring and summer designs. Guests will see grown-up florals, jewel tones, comfortable fabrics, classic black/white and nautical designs, as well as graphic prints, soft hues, suit separates for men, and playful patterns and bright colors for kids. For our furry friends – adorable cuffs, colors and bows.

Models will include many familiar faces from the greater Sacramento scene. They are all “real” people (not professional models), including women, men and children. Both the Sacramento Ballet and Front Street Animal Shelter will add special surprises to the Haute Stuff Fashion Show.

Describing how the idea for this kind of benefit came about, Laurel Sunderman, marketing and communications manager for the Sacramento Children’s Home, told the Arden-Carmichael News that “many women proudly support the Sacramento Children’s Home, and we wanted to create a signature fundraising event tailored primarily for them. With a broad selection of marketplace offerings – from fashion and accessories to home and garden – Haute Stuff appeals to women of all ages, economic levels and stylistic tastes.”

The event gives women the opportunity to mingle, shop and celebrate their support of the Sacramento Children’s Home in a unique setting. Attendees cannot get the same experience from any mall. “Ultimately, Haute Stuff brings together our community partners and our some of our most dedicated supporters for a fabulous time that promises opportunities for networking, while at the same time building awareness of the Sacramento Children’s Home and raising funds to sustain programs that are helping to stop child abuse and neglect in Sacramento,” Laurel said.

The Sacramento Children’s Home provides comprehensive residential and community-based programs to address the issues of children and families throughout Sacramento who are 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 Sacramento County. At nearly 150 years old, the Sacramento Children’s Home is the oldest, and one of the most highly regarded charities in the area and makes a significant difference in the lives of approximately 5,500 children and 4,200 families every year. Through prevention, intervention, and trauna-informed care, the Sacramento Children’s Home is opening doors to the future by maximizing the potential of children and families.

Jardin Rue Estate is the private estate of long-time Sacramento Children’s Home supporters, Butch and Eileen Schuering, who have generously offered to host the event the last two years. Jardin Rue Estate is situated on the Garden Highway along the Sacramento River. Guests will be enchanted by the extensive grounds featuring beautiful gardens and river views.

This year marks the third annual Haute Stuff. The event has raised nearly $75,000 for the Sacramento Children’s Home since 2013. “Many of our partners and sponsors look forward to returning to the event each year, and we are expecting this year to be our best yet!” Laurel said.

In addition to the fashion show and marketplace, there will be some fabulous raffle prizes. Themed packages will offer something for everyone – from a “sporty” package including horse riding lessons and Sac Republic tickets to a “Pamper Yourself” package featuring a spa day at Arden Hills, and so much more. The event will highlight event partners and previewing raffle items on the Haute Stuff Facebook page between now and May 17.

For event information and to purchase tickets:” 
Follow Haute Stuff on Facebook:

Loving Mother Nature by keeping her clean: A neighbor’s drive to clean up Garcia Bend

Gus Sand is shown cleaning up a camp near Chicory Bend beach. Photo by Monica Stark

Gus Sand is shown cleaning up a camp near Chicory Bend beach. Photo by Monica Stark

The healing powers of the Sacramento River rejuvenate Gus Sand who enjoys swimming at Garcia Bend with his dog, Bandit.

The two of them have undergone surgeries over the last few years – Gus got a hip transplant after falling from the scaffolding of the fourth story of a Clarksburg building he was remodeling, and his dog Bandit has needed prosthetic knees.

“It’s a therapy you just can’t pay for,” Gus said. “I’m amazed there aren’t more people down there. I am a river person. I love the current and the water. It seems to heal me.”

Gus grew up in Tahoe Park and spent many summers swimming in the American and Sacramento rivers. He was a member of a water ski club in the “old days.” And as he takes in the beauty of nature today, his appreciation of the Sacramento River cannot be overstated.

In three days after the Fourth of July, Gus, his brother and sister-in-law picked up 100 pounds of trash off the beach of Garcia Bend. More recently, he saw a woman about his age and who, like him, was at the river picking up trash. When they met, they hit it off and began working together to clean the beach.

After the Fourth of July clean-up, Gus approached the beach at Garcia Bend only to find a beautiful surprise, “I love Sac” carved in the sand with a heart around it and the date, July, 20, 2014.

Upon seeing the goodness of the garbage picker-uppers, the director of Kovar’s approached Gus and explained the community service requirement for those striving to become martial art black belts. So, a group of Kovar’s kids came to the river to help Gus out. “There was a piece of a boat we found and so my Kovar’s people – there were eight of them – we really scoured the beach good and they had found (the boat) and I had seen it before way up in the bushes. They found it and drug it, so I went yesterday and I cut it in half and drug it up.”

And, in his humorously entertaining way, Gus gave himself a nickname for the kids to refer to him as, Basuro Burro (garbage donkey), which he expressed in a loud and quick tone, as if he was to follow that up with a karate move.

“The legendary Pocket samurai is all things,” Gus said matter-of-fact about his nickname, as he toured Chicory Bend, looking for trash there. “There’s not much garbage here. I’m a little disappointed,” he said on a pleasant July afternoon.

For Gus who enjoys swimming in the river, having a cleaner beach is not only more inviting for himself, it’s an opportunity to give back to Mother Nature and to others who come to enjoy the peaceful river.

“It’s very humbling,” Gus said. “When a nice family shows up, it’s clean. It’s totally a different beach when it’s clean and I swim in the river. I can’t swim in the garbage. The water itself flows clean. It is a great water source. It’s a beautiful place to be.”

Describing his routine in an interview with the Pocket News, Gus said he keeps the bags right at 50 pounds. “Not more than that. Then, I drag it up to the top of the levee. I leave it there. When I have three, four, five (bags), then I get my bicycle. I ride the bike down only 100 yards to the gate where you enter the park. One of these bags fills the garbage cans.”

To protect his hands from small shards of glass, Gus brought a rake to clean the glass out of bushes and shrubs, as his drive to clean the beach not only has been an aesthetic issue, but a safety one as well. “I focus on glass. I really worry about glass. Hopefully, when we find glass, it saves a trip to the emergency room for a kid.”

Besides paper and plastic trash, fish hooks and “lots of diapers” have had their unsightly share of would-be pristine real estate. But for Gus, the one with the happy-go-lucky attitude, making a game out of diaper and fish hook collections, has helped make the clean-ups enjoyable for not only himself but for those he’s had help him. “As gross as it is, it’s that rewarding. Whoever it is who picks up glass or fish hooks, gets a prize.”

A rolling stone at heart, Gus said he’s “been traveling all the time- – you know all my life. I’m here now,” but, he said he’s looking to buy property in the Feather Falls area near Marysville. That means he’s hoping you, dear reader, can help keep Garcia Bend clean. Ideally, Gus hopes just one person is out there who can stop by the beach daily for routine maintenance.

As he told the kids at Kovar’s and folks he meets when he’s out there cleaning up the beach: “The river is a really special place. It’s been here 1,000 years. It’s a very special part of our existence. It doesn’t come into focus until garbage is cleaned up. You can hear the birds, the wind ruffling through the trees. I say it’s in your pocket and it is a jewel and you might as well take care of it.”

Artistic flow at the river’s edge

On a warm and Delta breezy evening, psychedelic colors illuminated the Sacramento River with their warmth and coolness, spinning out of control from the careful hands of two friends – Ryan and Nate.

Finding comfort in nature, they practice swinging these tethered weights, also known as poi, until the flow of the rhythmical patterns solidify into Celtic-shaped knots.

“It kind of just flows. You make a big circle, then a small circle, and a small circle, small circle, big circle. It’s like a pattern. So if you go at the right pace, it never really stops at any point. It’s Zen-like and a little bit mindless,” Ryan said.

Mindless, perhaps, but their minds are transfixed. The hardest part, Ryan said, is just letting go and allowing the tear-drop shaped, silicone vessels expose the programmable LED lights that changed from solid pinks and blues to rainbow and strobe.

While speaking about his progression into the art form known as flow, Ryan said: “I felt the more I let go and just let it happen, it feels more natural and it flows. I guess that’s why they call it flow because it flows out of you versus trying to manipulate it yourself.”

On another evening, Ryan was there spinning poi as his best friend hula hooped to the sound of waves crashing from the speed boats cruising up and down river.

With effortless control, the hula hoop traveled up and down her body, dancing around her arms, neck, chest and waist, as time seemed to stand still, and as the music of the night, reverberated through portable speakers connected an iPod.

Always interested in fire dancing, Ryan said he found poi through some sleuthing around on the internet. “I saw fire dancers doing it and I thought, ‘wow, that’s really cool. But how do you get to that point? You can’t just practice with fire.’ So I found a tutorial online that taught me how to make sock poi.”

Starting with old knee-high socks, Ryan filled them with rice to make a ball and twirled them around for about a week and a half, but that’s all it took. “I was just hooked; I couldn’t put it down. I thought this is something I could get into, so I just started to do some research.” About five or six months ago, Ryan found the website,, where he said he bought his poi. “I had them for a good month and I was on the fence about it, but then I just fell in love with it, and I really haven’t stopped since.”

Bike or Walk to Church Sunday

Pocket Area Churches Together held its Second Annual Bike or Walk to Church event Sunday, May 25. Everyone was encouraged to ride their bike or walk to church for exercise and to do their part as good stewards of the environment and also a time to meet and have fellowship between church members in the Pocket-Greenhaven area, according to P.A.C.T. chairperson Rich Fowler. Following Sunday worship services, a progressive lunch was served beginning at Riverside Wesleyan Church for appetizers. The more than 100 attendees then moved to Greenhaven Lutheran Church for a variety of salads; then they were off to Faith Presbyterian Church for the main course of barbecue cheeseburgers. The day culminated with a visit to St. Anthony Parish for dessert where they enjoyed ice cream on a mid-90-degree afternoon.
P.A.C.T. was created by pastors from the various Pocket-Greenhaven churches to bring people of faith together to do various community projects like picking up litter along the Sacramento River and Garcia Bend Park, collect used furniture and distribute to those in need through a non-profit- Love, Inc. (Love in the Name of Christ) and collectively gather food for the South Sacramento Interfaith Partnership (S.S.I.P.) food bank, among other projects.
Planning is already underway for Bike or Walk to Church Sunday 2015, again on Memorial Day weekend.

Faces and Places: Just a little fun in the sun

While the drought has certainly been detrimental to our environment, the warm weather has encouraged many leisurely activities, including the simple act of eating a Popsicle outside Grocery Outlet, which Liz Zink and Christina Trimingham seem to enjoy. The beautiful weather also has been bringing out large crowds to William Land Park and the Sacramento River the last few weekends.

A little bit of country in the midst of a little bit of controversy

This bit of natural beauty surrounds the old railroad tracks, owned by Regional Transit, between Sutterville Road and Fruitridge Road/Seamas Avenue. Many people enjoy walking in the serenity of this greenbelt, which has been saved from the once-proposed notion that trains would run from Old Sacramento to Hood. State Parks had to ditch the section shown here because they don't own the land, RT does. RT has no current plans to sell it either. Photo by Monica Stark

This bit of natural beauty surrounds the old railroad tracks, owned by Regional Transit, between Sutterville Road and Fruitridge Road/Seamas Avenue. Many people enjoy walking in the serenity of this greenbelt, which has been saved from the once-proposed notion that trains would run from Old Sacramento to Hood. State Parks had to ditch the section shown here because they don't own the land, RT does. RT has no current plans to sell it either. Photo by Monica Stark

Habitat to local fauna Regional Transit’s tracks between Sutterville and Pocket roads are overgrown with lush greenery and natural beauty. It’s just a little bit of country in our backyard. The South Land Park refuge attracts neighbors who enjoy taking walks with friends and family, and, of course, the family dog. With signs like – “You forgot to pick up your dog’s poop? Oh, my gosh, really?” – or landscaping with plants like golden poppies, and cacti, the greenbelt is a beacon of neighborly do-goodery – one that has been saved, at least for the time being, from having trains run on the tracks again.

At an Old Sacramento State Historic Park General Plan meeting, which was held Tuesday, April 15, inside the Stanford Gallery, 111 I St., representatives from the department clarified an important piece of information. The part of the proposal to use the RT tracks has been cut from the plan, which will be voted on by the California State Park and Recreation Commission on Friday, May 2 at 10 a.m. at the State Natural Resources Building auditorium, 1416 9th St. What remains in the plan now is the potential use of the rail line right-of-way from Old Sacramento to the Sacramento Zoo and from Pocket/Meadowview roads to the town of Hood, with views along the way of Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge.

In an interview with this publication hours before the April 15 community meeting, project manager Steve Musillami said the plan will include improvements to the railroad museum, depots, as well as the rail yards and “some property state parks owns around the Sacramento River. It’s a visionary plan for next 20-plus years, but all proposals are based on funding issues. As far as between The Zoo and Pocket Road – we don’t own (the railway). That’s up to Regional Transit. It could be reintroduced as another rail line again. It could be paved a trail line. It could be a rail trail.”

According to RT spokesperson Elaine Masui, RT acquired said property in the 1980s from Southern Pacific and there have been no recent discussions about selling the land, though RT is open to the idea because of ongoing maintenance costs. “It was purchased at the time because RT didn’t know where the lines were going to go, but we expanded the lines (south to Meadowview) running on Union Pacific tracks.”

Councilmember Steve Hansen told Valley Community Newspapers removing the RT right-of-way from the Old Sacramento State Historic Park General Plan “seems to be an appropriate response to neighborhood concerns.” Hansen said the project still needs to be studied in detail, which would happen when, and if, the General Plan is adopted. “We are following the process closely and will continue to do so,” he said.

Hansen said that since this issue was initially brought to his attention, he has advocated for better outreach to the community and appropriate opportunity for public input.

But, during the interview before the meeting, Musillami expressed some frustration about the public’s confusion regarding the proposed plan.

“A lot of people are commenting on things without reading the plan, without gathering information from State Parks. We’ve had three public workshops, three commission meetings. We sent out mailings to about 2,000 people in the area. Unfortunately, people are still confused. We have tried to do the best we can. We have met with neighborhood organizations, including The Land Park Community Association in 2010. At the time, we did not meet with South Land Park organization. We thought they were all working together, but we found out they were not. (The April 15) meeting (was to give) the public another opportunity to voice concerns,” Musillami said.

However, prior to the meeting, neighbors were rightfully concerned about that land they feel so strongly about, especially since the State Parks website still as of Friday, April 18 hadn’t been updated to inform them that wasn’t part of the plan anymore.

So, while the meeting’s purpose was to inform the public about the scope of the entire general plan for the Old Sacramento State Historic Park, the South Land Park community has been focused on the section of the rail line owned by RT.

During the public comment period, which followed Musillami’s presentation, Julie Morengo, a resident of South Land Park Terrace, said she was appreciative of the promise by State Parks to remove the RT property from the language written in the General Plan proposal, however, she expressed her dissatisfaction of the process of how neighbors were notified, as well as the environmental impact it could have in the neighborhood, including the uses of pesticides, asphalt, and other potentially hazardous materials. “I was disturbed by the secretive and exclusive nature (of the process. Don’t confuse history with the current condition. You could achieve the same things with other options,” Morengo said.

Terry Oehler, a homeowner in Park Village, an upscale 2000s subdivision located south of 35 Avenue near the tracks, described the nature of his neighborhood in juxtaposition to the images shown during Musillami’s presentation. “This is a beautiful, pristine neighborhood. Your pictures don’t show houses. The track is 46 feet from my master bedroom. This proposal is not a situation of a compelling government need; it’s just for leisure. When we bought our homes, we did not think they’d pave over the tracks and have trains on them.”

Neighbor Adele Ose agreed, adding that the lien benefits tourists and not any of the neighbors. “Many ecosystems have developed into an urban woodland enjoyed by many. Additional rail crossings would further impact local intersections, and there’s no demonstrated financial benefit.”

Summing up how many South Land Park neighbors felt about the idea of trains running on those tracks again, Janet Gaithre said: “My father is a veteran and deserves peace and quiet. He is 89 years old and deserves to have peace in his old days. This is different from when trains ran on the levees and (conductors) threw candy; no more trains behind our homes, please.”

Upon discussing the speed of the excursion trains that are part of the proposal, Musillami told the Land Park News, “If you go up on the levee in Old Sacramento, the trains run so slow. These aren’t big freights. They’ve only got four or five cars and they’ll be historically designed. They’re only going to go 15 miles an hour. This would be better than having a light rail go through here because they have to run at the posted speed limit. Because it’s a historic train line, the intent is to link a real significant time in history. It was called a Walnut Grove Branch line and we’d like to link the line with Railroad Museum, which is the most popular (railroad museum) in the country. A lot of people come to Sacramento to come to the Railroad Museum. The Polar Express gets sold out in hours and the ones in the spring, summer, and fall are very popular also. They fill up very quickly.”

During the interview and at the meeting itself, Musillami explained the importance this plan has for the furthering of the State Parks’ mission to reenact the history of the Gold Rush era. “The Gold Rush era and interpretation is very important to this plan as well, but, all elements and proposals are based on funding. The grassy area in Old Town – we have a proposal to reconstruct 1849 buildings in that area. New structures will be historic replications of what was there at the time. It was a city block and there were different buildings (over the course of the) different eras. In 1849, the city was 8 feet lower than it was today. There were buildings at one level and higher levels in 1860s and 1870s, which varies with the era. But there were stables, and a hotel. As funding comes available, we’ll do more detailed studies.”

Portuguese family reunion draws 100-plus people

Mary Nevis (1878-1959), lower center, with a present in her hand, is shown in this 1957 photograph at the age of 80 with more than 80 members of her family. Mary was the wife of Manuel Nevis, Sr. Photo courtesy of PHCS

Mary Nevis (1878-1959), lower center, with a present in her hand, is shown in this 1957 photograph at the age of 80 with more than 80 members of her family. Mary was the wife of Manuel Nevis, Sr. Photo courtesy of PHCS

Members of the Correa family of Clarksburg recently hosted a large reunion that drew more than 100 farming ancestors of the Pocket.
Among the attendees of the event were Nevis, Dutra and Silva family members, who traveled from various parts of the country, including the East Coast and Hawaii.
The gathering was held on Saturday, Sept. 28 at the home of Bill and Louisa (Dutra) Correa.
Louisa grew up in the Pocket area’s well-known Dutra House and was the daughter of Lorrene Helen (Nevis) Dutra, who was one of the 15 children of Manuel and Mary Nevis.
Beverly Espinosa, who is Louisa’s cousin, explained how the reunion was arranged.
“We talked about it about a year ago at (The Old) Spaghetti Factory (at 1910 J St.) when we had a small (family) reunion (with about 40 people),” Beverly said. “Louisa decided that we would have (a large family reunion) at her house, and so we all got together about three months ago and tried to find relatives. We sent fliers, we sent out e-mails to let them know we decided on this reunion. A lot of it was (announced by) word (of) mouth.”
Eventually through much planning and preparation, the large reunion in Clarksburg finally occurred.
Certainly, part of the motivation to arrange a larger reunion was based on the advanced ages of some of the family’s senior members.
Planning for the reunion also provided motivation toward gathering additional family history and old photographs.
In the process of planning for the reunion, a group photograph from the family’s last large reunion in 1957 was reviewed.
About 25 of the more than 80 people who are pictured in that old photograph attended the recent reunion.
Using many historic family photographs, Beverly’s daughter, Mary Anne, created various posters to represent the reunion’s families. The posters were hung up to be viewed during the event.
Mary Anne, who helped organize the large reunion with Louisa and her cousins, said that the reunion presented opportunities to meet some of her cousins for the first time.
And Mary Anne added that she was pleased by the number of people who were in attendance at the event.
“The turnout was more than we expected,” Mary Anne said. “We had thought that we might reach 100. So, we were well over 100. I think I counted about 110 people. This is fantastic. It turned out much better than we anticipated, and we’re hoping to get more (family) stories. There was an interview questionnaire that went out to everyone as they signed in, so I’m hoping that they’ll turn that back in and we’ll get other stories.”
During the gathering, three of the most senior attendees of the event shared their memories with The Pocket News.
Two of these people were Irene Williams and Dolores Tippett, whose parents were Daniel and Mary (Nevis) Rose. Mary was one of the aforementioned 15 children of Manuel and Mary Nevis.
Irene Williams, right, and Dolores Tippett were among the more senior attendees of the reunion. Their parents were Daniel and Mary (Nevis) Rose. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Irene Williams, right, and Dolores Tippett were among the more senior attendees of the reunion. Their parents were Daniel and Mary (Nevis) Rose. Photo by Lance Armstrong

The Nevis family’s history in the Pocket dates back to 1868, when Manuel’s parents, Joseph and Mary Silva (later Nevis), moved to the area.
During their interviews with this paper, Irene and Doris spoke about various events in their lives.
Irene, who was the most senior family member at the event, was born on Jan. 29, 1922 and married George Williams on Dec. 28, 1940.
In recalling her youth, Irene said that she was once crowned the Riverside Portuguese Holy Ghost Festa queen.
“We had a big chamarrita – a big dance,” Irene said. “So, we danced all night and talked all day. And then we danced on Saturday. On Sunday, we went to church and showed my outfit. I had a long, white dress, so they wanted to see the queen’s dress.”
After being asked how she felt to have been honored as the queen, “Irene said, ‘Oh, I thought I was smart.”
Irene added, “My uncle (Frank Rose) was one of the big shots of the town and he chose me to be the queen. So, that’s how I got to be elected to be queen.”
And when asked if she was the prettiest gal in town, Irene responded, “Sure, why not?”
Dolores, 82, recalled that both her father and mother worked until her father became ill.
“They both worked and then my dad got sick and didn’t work anymore, so my mother was the bread winner,” Dolores said. “When I turned 17, after I graduated from Sacramento High School, I went to work with my mother. We worked at Sutter Laundry (at 1714 28th St.). We worked at another laundry. And then I got a job at Capital National Bank at 7th and J (streets), and then it was Crocker-Anglo (National Bank) and then Wells Fargo bought it. After that, I quit working (for) eight years and I had two children, one deceased.”
Dolores added that her work experience began much earlier than she had previously mentioned.
“As soon as I walked, I think I was out in the field picking almonds,” she said.
In further speaking about her father, Dolores said, “Every day of the week, he went to the Colonial (Theater at 3522 Stockton Blvd.). He would go every day and see the same movies, two and three or four times, and he would sit there all the time. I lived on 10th Avenue, 14th Avenue, 16th Avenue and Stockton Boulevard. We moved. We never stayed in one spot.”
And after being asked to speak about her own entertainment activities around that time, Dolores said, “I used to go catch the bus with the Red Cross and go to the different Air Force bases and dance. I did that for about eight years and then I got married (to Kenwood Tippett, who was the nephew of Carmichael Fire Chief Dan Donovan) and I lived in Carmichael. I’ve been there (for) 55 years.”
In describing a more local story about herself and Irene, Dolores said, “We didn’t know how to swim, so (her uncle Clarence Nevis) threw us in the Sacramento River (near today’s Garcia Bend Park), and to this day, she doesn’t swim and I don’t swim. It scared us. I was crying and crying and my uncle said, ‘What are you crying for?’ And I said, ‘You threw me in the river.’ He said, ‘I wanted you to swim.’ And I said, ‘That’s no way to teach anybody to swim.’ I was about 6.”
Edward Mauricio, who turned 91 on Oct. 2, was also among the more senior family members at the reunion.
A sign directs guests to the Nevis family reunion. Photo by Lance Armstrong

A sign directs guests to the Nevis family reunion. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Edward’s father was Manuel Mauricio and his mother was Carrie (Nevis) Mauricio, who was a daughter of Manuel and Mary Nevis.
During his interview for this article, Edward said, “I (grew up about a half-mile from the Pocket) in the (Riverside) area right next to the river, until I was 5 years old,” Edward said. “My father passed and then my mother got rid of the ranch and we lived in the house across the street. The ranch was 33 acres, and was (on Riverside Road), about a mile south of William Land Park. (The ranch) had wheat, some grapes, alfalfa, some orchards, peaches. That’s all I can remember.”
Edward said that following his father’s death, his uncle, Manuel Cabral, operated the ranch for about one or two years.
A Japanese man named Shig Masuhara, and his family, operated the ranch up until World War II and then returned to run the ranch again, since the Machado family had ranched the property for them during their internment.
Edward said that during the summers of his high school years, he worked on a hay press to earn money, and that his first car was a 1926 Model T.
“I had promised the gentleman that I bought (the car) from that I would take good care of it,” recalled Edward, who had a sister named Isabel Matranga. “I said, Yes, I will.’ And the first thing I did was take the fenders off, cut the top off and then we would go out there on 24th Street and Fruitridge (Road) and race around the open field there.”
Although no plans for another reunion have been set, there are nonetheless family members who would like to see more reunions for their family in the future.
One such family member is 19-year-old Eric Espinosa, who said, “As someone else was saying, when older generations of the cousins were growing up, they all knew each other, because they were neighbors who lived next to each other. So, like my generation, and my siblings and such, we don’t like really know all of our cousins, and even like our extended cousins. So, it’s really nice to get to come together and meet all of these people that we’re actually related to. And so then, the reason I want to see this continue is because it’s only going to get bigger.”