Building Our Future

Misplaced Danger

Recent hand wringing about the American River Parkway being destroyed by illegal camping reminds me of the old Yogi Berra line: “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”

If you listen to the critiques, including those from such stalwart advocates as the American River Parkway Foundation, you’d think the popular trail is a dangerous place best avoided at all costs.

“The parkway is in crisis,” Dustin Luton, president of the foundation’s board, wrote city and county officials this year.

Tear It Down

A few months ago, I saw a flurry of nostalgic photos on social media from longtime friends and former colleagues working or posing in room 1190 of the state Capitol.

That’s the place in the old Capitol annex where reporters gathered for jousting sessions with governors and other elected officials. Because I spent considerable time there when I covered politics for The Bee and later as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s speechwriter, the photos and social media posts caught my eye.

But I have to confess, I feel no warm sense of nostalgia about the place and agree with political columnist Dan Walters, who wrote: “No one who works in and around the Capitol will be sorry to see the annex disappear. It is not only plug ugly 1950s brutalist architecture at its worst, but dysfunctional to the max.”

Voters Weigh In

Voters Weigh In Homeless proposal moves to ballot By Gary Delsohn May 2022 If you’re searching for hope in California’s homeless crisis, look no farther than recent comments by Gov. Gavin Newsom about his proposal to create mental health courts in every...

From The Wreckage

What a difference a pandemic makes. In spring 2019, a buoyant Mayor Darrell Steinberg, doing his best Daniel Burnham imitation to “make no little plans,” unveiled his big vision for Old Sacramento and Downtown.

Sacramento would leverage more than $40 million in hotel taxes left from the Convention Center and Community Center Theatre renovation and jazz up the waterfront. New attractions would include an outdoor concert venue, rooftop bars and a barge docked so people could swim safely near the Tower Bridge in our namesake river.

The central city had arrived. Downtown would finally get its must-see family attraction. Construction cranes were everywhere. The future looked bright. Steinberg would have a legacy other than heartache over the growing homeless and housing crises.

Mild Wild West

For the first time in several years, some business owners in Old Sacramento—battered by COVID-19, civil unrest and crime—feel hopeful.

The historic district has long suffered an image problem. It had attractions and history, but never the critical mass and appeal to become a must-see attraction.

Excitement was high before the pandemic. An inviting embarcadero was installed. More family-friendly events were planned. The future looked bright in April 2019, after the City Council agreed to invest $47 million to upgrade the Old Sac waterfront, with money leveraged to lure private investment.

Power Up

Just when scientific literacy seems more needed than ever, there’s good news in a tidy space along the riverfront near Old Sacramento.

Adults will love the recently opened SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity, MOSAC for short, at 400 Jibboom St. But this place is really about kids and teaching them that science matters—it’s formidable and we ignore or scorn it at our peril.

Here’s the most important fact if you are a kid: The museum aims to show youngsters that science is cool because, well, it is.

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