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Judicial Beauty

Over the years, I spent lots of time in two buildings that have generated countless colorful stories—the state Capitol and county courthouse.

Both spawned captivating tales of intrigue and chicanery, but it was no contest when it came to which was the more inspiring structure. The original neoclassical Capitol is 149 years old and one of the most graceful statehouses in the nation.

The Gordon D. Schaber courthouse, named after the late, longtime dean of Sacramento’s McGeorge School of Law, is as far from graceful as you can get.

Neighborhood Legend

Inside remembers the life of Jim Hastings (1928 – 2023).

Drink Up

From an acidic kick to the warm taste of pears and apples, each sip of cider reveals the history and bounty of local agriculture.

Hemly Cider offers organic, unfiltered, flash-pasteurized nourishment in every can. No concentrates or additives. Sarah Hemly, founder and president, adds fresh juices of cherry, kiwi, Meyer lemon and mandarin orange after pasteurization. When she finishes, flavors of each fruit step forward.

Pear trees take up to eight years to produce. Hemly uses fruit from Courtland pear and apple trees dating from 1860. The land was bought by a relative of Sarah’s husband Michael Hemly for $600 in 1850. The cider company began in 2015. The family has farmed and nurtured this delta land for six generations.

All In The Family

Odds are you’ve driven by Adamo’s Kitchen without knowing it. The tiny Italian restaurant at P and 21st streets in Midtown doesn’t stick out, and that’s how owners Chiara and John Adamo want it. Theirs is a neighborhood joint with just enough seats for those in the know.

Opened in the summer of 2014—“I only remember because we doodled our names and date in the soft concrete when we were renovating” Chiara tells me—Adamo’s was not a restaurant that aimed for a big splash.

Yet, through nine years of hard work and considerable skill, the Adamo family curated passionate patrons who come from near and far for handmade pastas, all-day sauces, and the Mama and Nona recipes that fill the menu.

John and Chiara Adamo, father and daughter, never owned or ran a restaurant before, but it was something they always wanted to do. When brother and son Polo returned in 2016 from cooking at Gary Danko, one of San Francisco’s most prestigious restaurants, the family operation was complete.

Just One Look

Piggie’s pink tongue dangles permanently out the left side of his mouth. His ears, mangled from a home crop job, are frequently infected. Arthritic joints struggle to maintain his 50-pound rotund body. His breathing is labored.

When Andrea Haverland and her partner Marc Morgan chose Piggie as their foster, the bulldog’s nails were curling into his paw pads. “But the biggest, most shocking thing was his nose,” Haverland says. A compromised immune system left his nose raw and scabby, in regular need of topical medication.

Haverland and Morgan, who live in Midtown, had already successfully fostered three dogs for the city’s Front Street Animal Shelter. When the pandemic hit and shelters moved out as many animals as possible, “We thought it was great time to grab another foster,” she says. “It was a no-brainer when I saw his photo.”

100 Years of Solicitude

It might seem hard to imagine working until you’re age 87, but when you meet Mary Ellen Fort, who celebrated her 100th birthday in December, it’s easier to picture.

Though Fort loved her job at American River College, what she enjoyed most was that the work allowed her to help people. After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology and counseling at Sacramento State, Fort taught psychology at ARC.

Then she went into counseling and eventually helped develop the Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement and Minority Engineering Program, which became a national standard for helping minority students get into science, math and tech studies.

Book Of Memories

Book Of Memories

Celebrating 100 years, the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in East Sacramento has published a compendium of its history, family stories, memories, parochial groupings and historical photographs.

“Celebrating 100 Years: Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation” is not to be taken lightly. The book is a ton of tome, weighing 7 pounds. The two-year project “was done with love and devotion,” says church docent Pauline Cazanis.

“Getting the history of our Greek community written down is something special,” says Terry Kastanis, Keeper of the Papers for the Church of the Annunciation. He sees the book as important because it is not only a “history of the church and its community, but a history of Sacramento.”


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