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Still Suffering

Sacramento is still recovering from COVID-19. As of September, the pandemic killed 3,399 people in Sacramento County, with 1,830 COVID deaths in the city. Those numbers are tragic, and they especially impact older folks with pre-existing conditions. But just about every problem faced by our communities, schools and businesses resulted from broad lockdown policies authorities ordered despite the societal and economic damage closures would inflict. It was myopic, short-term, “let’s do something” thinking that will negatively impact a generation.

Many experts advocated for isolating medically vulnerable people, rather than the entire society. Their voices were slandered and censored by lockdown architects, led by Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to the president. He recently stated lockdowns had not gone far enough.

House of Memories

It was hard not to feel nostalgic looking at photos of a demolition team tearing down old Arco Arena. Like many Sacramento residents, I spent a lot of time there and have a head and heart full of memories.

Many are wonderful, like the games my family and I attended when Chris Weber, Mike Bibby, Vlade Divac and the rest of the talented roster made a heartbreakingly close run at the NBA Western Division championship in 2002.

Captiol Comfort

Just steps from the Capitol, Prelude Kitchen & Bar serves a splendid lunch and dinner to more than politicians and lobbyists. “Like any Downtown restaurant, it’s a mix of tourists and locals,” says executive chef Tom Patterson. Given the diversity of culinary influences and focus on seasonal ingredients, Prelude appeals to just about anyone.

Prelude’s location is coveted real estate. Two previous eateries, Chops Steak Seafood & Bar and The Diplomat Steakhouse, both put in time at the spot. Now, Prelude looks to eclipse those previous tenants, creating a farm-focused yet innovative menu that might garner Michelin attention. At least, that’s what some involved with the project proclaimed when Prelude opened last December.

For now, the focus is on quality cooking with local bounty. “We use the freshest seasonal and highest quality ingredients we can find,” Patterson tells me. “(We take) advantage of the local bounty of products that the Sacramento area provides.”

Good Eats For All

There’s a myth about fine food and the farm-to-fork philosophy. It suggests the fresh and local approach is elitist, reserved for residents who earn enough money to be picky about food.

The myth goes that poor people are resigned to shop at cheap grocery stores, where they depend on processed, obesity-producing industrial food.

In Sacramento, hub of the farm-to-fork movement and part of the fertile valley that produces much of America’s food, we can prove this myth false. We can fight for food equity on behalf of everyone.

Center Of Everything

What’s the most important thing Anne DeStefano wants people to know about Sacramento Fine Arts Center in Carmichael?

“That we exist!” says DeStefano, a fiber artist and jewelry maker who joined the center 10 years ago. “I don’t know if people realize that the center is there and that we have significant gallery space. Each month, we have a different show on exhibit. It’s quite a range of variety.”

Sacramento Fine Arts Center was founded in 1986 by several local, independent art clubs that came together to share their love of art and pool resources for shows and classes. The center now boasts roughly 300 members from different disciplines—painters, sculptors, fiber artists and more. They share responsibilities, run the giftshop and teach classes.

Fully Emersed

For Miguel Perez, being bilingual is like having a superpower.

“I like to remind my students that it’s a gift being able to read, write and speak in two languages,” says Perez, a fifth-grade teacher at the Language Academy of Sacramento, a public charter school near Stockton Boulevard and Broadway that offers bilingual education in English and Spanish.

Secrets No More

Secrets No More

Four decades ago, when property owners along the Sacramento River levee realized they could build fences to keep the public away, they had two big weapons.

First was political influence. They had friends at City Hall. Those friends wouldn’t squawk about fences and gates that blocked public access to Sacramento’s greatest natural resource.

And they had secrecy. They could quietly seek permits from the state flood board to build fences and gates across the levee. There were no town halls or public hearings where residents could object to fence permits.


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