Jessica Laskey


About This Author

Jessica Laskey is a freelance writer and professional actress who has lived and worked in Sacramento, San Francisco, Dallas, New York City and Paris. She is also the co-founder of Theater Galatea and Indomita Press.

Articles by this author

Task Masters

Replacing a light bulb doesn’t seem like a big deal. But to someone who lives alone and can’t climb a ladder, this simple household task can be impossible.

Enter Blue Collar Concierge. This innovative business founded by husband-and-wife team Ben and Molly Doolittle offers clients a weekly appointment with a handyman to do those small tasks often neglected by an elder or busy homeowner.

“Ben and I both had aging parents,” says Molly, a teacher who grew up in the Bay Area. “We’d go visit Ben’s mom in Petaluma and we’d be walking out the door when she’d say, ‘Can you just do these couple of things?’ She needed someone for her ‘honey-do list.’ We realized there was this niche of people living alone in homes that need tasks taken care of—not big handyman projects, but smaller things like fixing a gate latch.”

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Caring Spirit

Things have come full circle for Bill Martin.

In May, Martin was presented with the Salvation Army’s annual Spirit of Caring Award, given to the person who demonstrates exceptional dedication to the Army and its mission.

Martin was the 30th Spirit honoree. The first, in 1992, was Thayer Prentice, former president of Point West Bank, who got Martin involved with the Salvation Army.

“I started as a volunteer passing out turkeys at Christmas and doing different things on-call, but in 2002, they invited me onto the board—and I’m still on it,” Martin says.

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Made With Gusto

When Federico Garcia won this year’s “Calling All Dreamers,” the retail competition sponsored by the Downtown Sacramento Foundation, his victory validated a labor of love.

“When I first moved here in 2014, I couldn’t find Argentinian flavors anywhere and I was missing them,” says Garcia, a native of Mendoza, Argentina. “I started making empanadas like my grandmother taught me and sharing them with family and friends. I realized that maybe there was a niche here for this type of food.”

It didn’t take long for Garcia’s empanadas to gain fans. Despite working as an industrial engineer, Garcia spent his spare time selling his food at local farmers markets and catering events.

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Decades Of Service

When you enjoy the shade of hundreds of native oak trees in 13 parks maintained by the Carmichael Recreation and Park District, thank Jerry Eppler.

When you meander down the quarter-mile path to the Jensen Botanical Garden at Sutter-Jensen Community Park, thank Jerry Eppler.

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Citizen of The World

Robert Regis Dvorak is an artist’s artist. He paints, draws, writes and sings. He teaches. He works in watercolor, oil, acrylic, ink, etching, woodcuts and silk screen. He’s filled more than 300 sketchbooks, many during trips abroad. Even after decades as a professional artist, he has ideas that will keep him busy for years.

“When you’re an artist, you do what your heart leads you to do,” Dvorak says. “If I had any sense about me, I would have gone into music—the path was there. But I really didn’t want to. I enjoyed drawing.”

Dvorak hails from a musical family (yes, he’s related to Antonin Dvorak, the Czech composer), but knew from an early age he wanted to be a visual artist. His parents were concerned he wouldn’t make enough money. They convinced him to try architecture.

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