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‘Only Kindness Matters’

I recently joined the Community Advisory Board of the local Del Oro division of The Salvation Army. My financial donations started with my father, who gave my sisters and me dollars to stuff into Red Kettle campaigns at Christmas.
My parents loved how the mission helped communities in inner city Detroit, where we grew up. I’ve made donations for more than 60 years.

Recognized throughout the world for its humanitarian work, thrift shops and donation kettles, The Salvation Army is an evangelical Christian church. It has one agenda: to meet the human need in the name of God without discrimination. Because they work on the frontlines where people are in need or suffering, Army workers refer to themselves as soldiers.

Daring Greatly

It’s a refrain I hear a lot these days, especially when I’m cycling along the American River or through the center of our troubled city.

“Steinberg ran on a promise to fix the homeless problem and it’s only gotten worse. He’s wasted time, money and energy, and there’s more garbage and encampments everywhere. What a failure.”

Now Mayor Darrell Steinberg has put forward his latest plan to attack our chronic homelessness problem—his “Housing Right and Obligation Act.” It’s generating even more heat.

No Obligation

Now we know how Darrell Steinberg’s political story ends. The mayor doesn’t fade away to cheers from sports fans thankful for the soccer stadium he coaxed into existence. There is no stadium. He doesn’t salute a revitalized embarcadero along the Sacramento River. There is no new waterfront.

But there are 11,000 homeless people.

After years of parliamentary gamesmanship, passionate speeches, tax hikes and wasted opportunities, Steinberg will be remembered for one thing—how he took Sacramento and turned it into the capital of homelessness.

Blissfully Memorable

Maydoon Persian Cuisine serves classic foods of Persia from a hip, accessible Midtown location. Open for nearly two years, the restaurant features Iranian favorites such as flame-grilled kabob and pita, rice and flavorful stews, and bright dips and sauces.
I’m a stranger to this culinary tradition. From the recipes to the dining culture, my knowledge of Persian food is scant. So I enlisted the help of an expert, my friend and fellow Sacramento Comedy Spot board member Dr. Sara Aghamohammadi.

Playing For Keeps

If you are interested in music and making new friends, James Broderick has a perfect opportunity.

Broderick is volunteer coordinator for the Sacramento chapter of Guitars for Vets, a national nonprofit that provides free guitar instruction to struggling veterans.

“The vets we serve have been referred to us by counselors and therapists at the VA and lessons are held at VA facilities,” Broderick says. “Few of the vets we teach have any musical experience. For the most part, we’re talking raw beginners.

“Our goal for 2022 is to expand our volunteer corps dramatically and unleash an army of guitar players upon the world.”

A Good Egg

What would our city look like if gardens replaced vacant lots? If composted soil took over lawns? And if backyard hens produced our eggs? Oak Park resident Alex Hoang, along with some neighbors and community partners, is finding out.

Hoang is founder of Oak Park Eggery and Tanama Garden. “It was a trash lot, a dumpsite, for decades,” Hoang says about two parcels of land near 12th Avenue and Stockton Boulevard. With the help of community members, the lots are being used to make compost and grow food for the neighborhood.

Let’s Get Moving

Let’s Get Moving

Some people get frustrated when local government tells them something obvious. Not me. I find it satisfying, even comforting, to see a municipal report that validates precisely what I’ve been saying all along.

The Pocket Greenhaven Transportation Plan is one such document. The plan is a big deal, sponsored by the city to establish priorities and expenditures in traffic safety and connectivity for decades to come. The work started before the pandemic. Now it’s nearing the finish line.

Bureaucratic delays, combined with a reluctance to bring large groups together in town halls under COVID-19, slowed the project. Opportunities for public discourse were limited. But final opinions are now being solicited, leaving local City Councilmember Rick Jennings with a clear picture of community traffic priorities.


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