City, County and Neighborhood News
Have you ever eaten fresh corn or a tomato straight from the vine? They’re amazing. Pocket resident Jane Hing shares her produce with me as she tends her plot at Sojourner Truth Park Garden. “I grew up on a vegetable farm in Cleveland, Mississippi,” she says. “In Texas, I grew Chinese vegetables in my front yard and along the driveway.”
Like her fellow Pocket gardeners, Hing loves to play in the dirt. Gardening can be therapeutic. There’s satisfaction in growing your own food and sharing your bounty.
Community gardens come in all shapes and sizes. They provide a low-cost and nutritious way to help feed a community. They bring people together—longtime residents and newcomers.
Device Brewing Company was on a roll. Owners Ken and Melissa Anthony ran three taprooms in town. The Power Inn Road taproom near Tahoe Park and Midtown’s Ice Blocks were popular. The long-awaited Pocket site opened in 2020. More than 1,000 retail locations carried Device brews. Then the pandemic hit.
“Last year was rough, but we’re finally rising from the ashes,” Ken says.
The company survived for two reasons. First, the community stepped up by ordering take-out meals and beverages. Second, the Great Plates Delivered program kept the kitchen open and staff employed.
People in Pocket and Greenhaven who have worked from home the past 16 months might believe their neighborhood exists in a universe removed from City Hall. It’s understandable. But I can tell you it’s not true.
The city did not forget about Pocket during the pandemic. The city had bigger things to worry about. Federal and state bailouts saved the day, making it easy to forget how bad the future looked at City Hall last summer.
The Board of Supervisors recently approved a preliminary budget that addresses some compelling needs in the county. Among the highlights are a large investment in repairing local roadways, the creation of a Crisis Response System to make sure we have the right resources to help people experiencing a mental health emergency, and a new commitment to addressing our growing homelessness crisis.
I am proud of these efforts. But it’s just the beginning of our budget process for the next fiscal year. The board will need to approve a final budget in September after the state budget is approved. And we must decide how to handle a significant amount of relief funds from the federal government.
Here’s a warning for people who walk along the Sacramento River levee in Pocket. Several residents who live near the levee seem ready to resort to violence as they harass folks enjoying the waterfront parkway.
The threatening behavior has frustrated city authorities responsible for public safety on the levee.