The town’s favorite sports bookies didn’t wear mouse ears. They chewed toothpicks and smoked cigars. They hung out at the Bar of Music on 11th Street and Georgian’s on J Street. When those joints disappeared, they moved to Joe Marty’s on Broadway and Simon’s on 16th Street.
What would our legendary gamblers—a hall of fame led by Jackie King and Sid Tenner—think about Mickey Mouse muscling in on the action?
At some point the city will hold meetings in Pocket and tell residents what’s going on with the Sacramento River Parkway and levee bike trail. I’ve heard city authorities talk about these meetings, but only in a tentative way. Nobody knows when they will happen.
But I have a good idea how they will unfold. Something like this:
City Council member Rick Jennings will acknowledge the promise made in 1975 to build the levee parkway. He will offer excuses for the half-century delay and explain the need to respect concerns of people who bought homes along the levee.
On Railroad Drive, a security guard blocks a public street with his patrol car. He moves when people ask nicely. Unless they want to build an illegal homeless camp.
At police headquarters, cops hear the words “use of force policy” and get confused. The policy changes often, a politicized moving target. Cops grow frustrated.
In Washington, business executives and city officials meet with local members of Congress and remind them about matters of community importance. One City Council member, Katie Valenzuela, skips the trip. She goes to Cuba and celebrates May Day with comrades.
There are two good reasons why Rick Jennings has no opponent in this month’s City Council primary election. First, nobody thought they could gather endorsements, raise money, knock on doors and convince voters to throw him out. Second, he’s done a decent job for eight years.
Since winning the seat for Pocket, Greenhaven, Valley Hi and Delta Shores in 2014, Jennings cleaned up parks, filled empty storefronts and prevented homeless blight. He made progress on the Sacramento River Parkway, though you need a microscope to measure advancement on a treasure promised in 1975.
City Council members come and go, but one tradition never changes: pretending City Council jobs are hard.
When Kevin Johnson was mayor, I worked as his special assistant. The job was fun, filled with interesting people and problems. Being a staff member is not the same as elected. But I can’t call it hard.
Working for Kevin was difficult, but nothing like bartending or nursing or driving a delivery van. It was challenging because Kevin always wanted to know where I was and what I was doing, even when he didn’t need me, which was most of the time.