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Second Chance

A statewide signature-gathering effort is underway for a ballot measure to roll back provisions of California’s Proposition 47, which turned drug possession, drug trafficking and theft into misdemeanors.

If adopted by California voters next November, “The Homelessness, Drug Addiction, and Theft Reduction Act,” or “Fix Prop. 47,” would give prosecutors discretion to charge drug addicts with a “treatment-mandated felony” after two drug convictions.

These are modest, necessary reforms to address drug trafficking, addiction and theft plaguing California.

Silent Treatment

Add John Hodgson and Bob Chase to the long list of prominent Sacramentans frustrated with city government’s response to homelessness.

Unlike some critics who hate to see encampments but offer no solutions, these two friends, both in their 70s, pursue creative ways to make a difference.

For the past three years, Hodgson, a land-use attorney and developer, and Chase, an architect with a history of public service, worked with colleagues from the Urban Land Institute and American Association of Architects Central Valley to promote their plans for transitional housing throughout the city.

Taking Action

If your organization needs public support, you need Edith Thacher.

The Natomas resident has decades of experience bringing people together. She’s been in the Peace Corps, a community development specialist working on women’s issues in Sudan, Niger, Mauritania and Singapore, and a project consultant for public agencies.

Now, Thacher is a citizen lobbyist for the Sacramento-Roseville chapter of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, which she co-leads with Lisa Howard.

Steamed Or Fried?

When I heard the Chinese restaurant where I grew up was closing, I was inconsolable.

The Mandarin survived 40 years in Arden-Arcade. It was our family’s go-to restaurant, as much of a culinary tradition as Nana’s Sunday gravy or Auntie Nina’s potato salad.

Never again would I savor the General Tsao’s chicken, the snap and pop of sizzling rice soup or the doughy goodness of Mandarin’s pot stickers.

The good news is, due to an outpouring of support, The Mandarin stayed open. But the initial thought of its loss gave me the freedom to explore other Chinese standouts.

Allergy Free

Creamy, luscious mint chocolate chip ice cream. Fluffy, tangy strawberry muffins. Mouthwatering brownies and English muffins. As people become aware of food allergies, these treats have been cut from many diets.

Thankfully, Pushkin’s Bakery offers an alternative.

Years before moving to town, I longed for baked goods but was unable to find much. When I discovered items I could eat, they were dense, lacking in flavor and expensive.

Poet For All

When I caught up with Andru Defeye, the city’s youngest poet laureate, he was prepping for Sacramento Poetry Day, held last October.

“I want the entire city of Sacramento to know it’s Poetry Day,” Defeye said. “From kids in schools to the contest to the gala—however we can blow this up.”

Poetry Day was created in 1986 by the late Mayor Anne Rudin. But it hadn’t been celebrated at scale in years. After being named poet laureate in 2020, Defeye (pronounced “defy”) resurrected the event in 2022 with an Academy of American Poets Fellowship.

Paper Trail

Paper Trail

My friend Jim Geary and I race to see who gets danced around more by the Central Valley Flood Protection Board. Jim has the lead, but I’m catching up.

For the past year, Jim and I separately asked the flood board for documents about levees and fences.

We want to know why flood board executive officer Chris Lief covertly authorized five temporary private fences to block public access on the Sacramento River levee in Pocket.

The authorizations appear to violate state law. California regulations require public hearings and votes by flood board members for any levee fence.


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