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Workers Wanted

When the pandemic broke out, my big concern was our small business community. Obviously, global attention focused on people’s health and the rising COVID-19 death count. But I figured there was nothing much I could do about it, other than try to keep safe and my family safe.

I knew local small businesses were in for a rough time. Eager to help, our COO Daniel Nardinelli and I created the “Pledge 100% Local” campaign.

‘A’ For Effort

William S. White, a journalist who spent much of his career writing about Lyndon Johnson, called the late president and U.S. Senate leader an expert at “politics as the art of the possible.”

That was before partisan media and ideological zealots turned compromise into a dirty word. But the description came to mind recently as I read Sacramento’s “2021 Master Siting Plan to Address Homelessness.”

Sour Is The Sweetest

Baking sourdough bread is not just for professionals and pandemics. For many Sacramento home bakers, making sourdough is therapy, even a necessity.

It’s a cool October day. A fresh loaf of sourdough with golden crust cools in the kitchen as the aroma of warm baked bread and melting butter swirls in the air. As Alison Clevenger says, “Nothing beats fresh bread with some homemade jam on it and some salted butter.”

Tower’s A Power

Twenty years ago, I wrote, “Tower Café is the kind of place you take your out-of-town friends to show them Sacramento is cool.” Today the restaurant scene shines much brighter, with culinary gems in every neighborhood.

But there’s still something magical about dining at Tower Café, one of the city’s great outdoor spaces, sheltered by palm fronds and lit by neon from The Tower Theatre’s majestic marquee.

When Tower Café opened in 1990, the “world cuisine” concept was novel. Going to a single restaurant and choosing among curries, tacos and jerk chicken made one feel like Carmen San Diego with a fork and knife.

It Takes A Village

Trish Levin and Carol Voyles have nearly 600 grandchildren. No, they’re not all biological.

Most of the kids are students at Ethel Phillips Elementary School in the City Farms neighborhood south of Sutterville Road. But that doesn’t mean Levin and Voyles love them any less.

Senseless, Predictable Tragedy

Mary Kate Tibbitts lived a good life, one enriched by the love of family and friends.

She was the second oldest of five grown children of Douglas “Skip” and Mary Tibbitts. Kate lived in a beautifully manicured home on 11th Avenue in Land Park. A proud Sacramento State graduate and faithful member of Holy Spirit Church, Kate brought goodwill to those with whom she had contact.

She had a love for people and a magnetic personality.

Kate spent time as a volunteer with the Sacramento SPCA. Giving her time to lost or abandoned animals satisfied her desire to provide loving support to creatures in distress. She was the exact person you would want for a next-door neighbor.
All of this would change on Sept. 3. Life for the entire Tibbitts family was shattered in one violent, unforgivable and regretfully preventable episode. A man would forcibly enter her home, kill her dogs, sexually assault her, murder her and set fire to her home in an apparent attempt to destroy evidence of his criminality.

Going Nowhere

Going Nowhere

Abandoned cars don’t hide well. They are filthy from sitting in the wind and sun.

Windows are covered with dust. Tires slump as the air slowly drains away. Cobwebs grow in wheel wells. Anyone walking past can tell, yes, no doubt, there’s an abandoned car.

Pocket and Land Park have never been known for attracting large numbers of abandoned cars, but this historical trend is shifting. In recent months, abandoned cars have been found on Havenside Drive, Greenhaven Drive and 43rd Avenue. A resident named Duwayne Brooks, who enjoys daily neighborhood walks of about 1½ miles near his Pocket home, tells me he has found more than 30 abandoned cars in recent weeks.

Pocket Life October 2021

Pocket Life October 2021

One of the last undeveloped properties in Pocket is for sale. Asking price is $2.8 million. The four-acre parcel at 7150 Pocket Road includes a home built in 1881 and a horse barn. The parcel runs from Pocket Road (once Riverside Road) to the banks of the Sacramento River.

The land’s modern history begins with the Albert Mendes Rodgers family. Like many local pioneers, Rodgers arrived from the Azores. Born in 1849 on the island of Pico, he came to Sacramento around 1865. He married Rose Gear and raised a family on an 18-acre ranch near where Park Riviera Way intersects with Pocket Road.

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