Out & About

By Jessica Laskey
July 2023

Bloom Where Planted

County honors volunteers who share their wisdom

Sacramento County honored 18 citizens with its 5 Over 50 Award, recognizing volunteers over the age of 50. The county’s Adult and Aging Commission presented the awards at a Board of Supervisors meeting.

“When you get to retirement age, what’s the purpose in life? To sit around the house all day? No,” award recipient and Kiwanis Club member John Seigal says. “Choose to volunteer, do what you want to do and bloom where you’re planted. Find out about all of the new things happening. Share your wisdom now that you are older.”

Other award recipients are Howard Hatch, Marilyn Lewis, Ed Stone, Daniel Aderholt, Mark Baker, Mark Harrington, Dr. Ali Tucker Lichtenstein, Jayasri Mechineni, Nancy Woo, Sharon Ruffner, Carol Stirnaman, Maggie Roehm, Jeanmarie Willbee, Corecia Davis, Wayne Harmer, David Ishikawa and Teresa Kahl.

Organizations benefiting from the awardees’ volunteerism are Elk Grove Food Bank, California State Railroad Museum, Sacramento History Museum, Neighborhood Watch, Rebuilding Together Sacramento and Happy Tails Pet Sanctuary, among others.


The City Council approved more than $500,000 for the Justice for Neighbors Emergency Home Repair Program.

The program provides grants to help income-eligible households with home repairs, with assistance from Habitat for Humanity. Eligible households may qualify for up to $15,000.

“Substandard and dangerous housing presents a serious and present threat to the health and safety of our residents and community in the city of Sacramento,” says Code and Housing Enforcement Chief Peter Lemos. “This program can help provide the resources to make the needed repairs and keep people in their homes.”

For information, visit cityofsacramento.org/cityattorney/justice-for-neighbors.


Sacramento State alumnus J. Luke Wood has been named the university’s new president. He takes over July 16 upon the retirement of Robert S. Nelsen.

Wood will be Sac State’s ninth president since its founding in 1947. He formerly served as vice president for student affairs and campus diversity at San Diego State University and earned his bachelor’s and first master’s degrees from Sac State. He earned a master’s of education and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from Arizona State.


The public is invited to learn about a new project to enhance crucial fish habitat in the Lower American River during a virtual information session Wednesday, July 12, at 6 p.m.

The Ancil Hoffman area at the Upper River Bend of the American River is important to the survival of native fall-run Chinook salmon and steelhead trout. A 2021 habitat enhancement near the Effie Yeaw Nature Center produced a noticeable surge in redds (underwater “nests” created by female salmon to lay their eggs).

The 2023 project takes place between August and October, and will see the construction of nearly 5 acres of spawning habitat and 6 acres of rearing habitat. After construction, more than 3 acres of enhanced riparian landscape will be created by planting or seeding the project area with willows, native flowers and grasses.

To register for the information session, visit waterforum.org/habitat2023.


A critically endangered Sumatran orangutan has been born at the Sacramento Zoo—the first orangutan born locally since 1981.

Indah, the zoo’s 19-year-old Sumatran orangutan, gave birth to a healthy male May 1. With only 79 Sumatran orangutans in human care in the United States and populations of wild orangutans rapidly declining, every birth is a monumental success for the species.

The infant and mother will remain behind the scenes until they’re ready to make their public debut. For information, visit saczoo.org.


The California State Railroad Museum launched a new two-year exhibit, “Painting A Legacy: The Search for Anna Judah.”

The exhibit showcases four paintings Anna Judah made during her time accompanying husband Theodore D. Judah as he surveyed for the Transcontinental Railroad, plus enlargements of her flower pressings, and photographs and images from Anna’s life.

The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults, $6 for youth (ages 6 to 17) and free for children 5 and younger. For information, visit californiarailroad.museum.


Six local museums are Blue Star Museums offering free admission to active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve, through Labor Day, Sept. 4.

Blue Star Museums is a partnership between National Endowment for the Arts and Blue Star Families, in collaboration with the Department of Defense and museums across America.

Participating are Aerospace Museum of California, California Automobile Museum, California Museum, Crocker Art Museum, Fairytale Town and Sacramento History Museum.

Qualified members must show an ID card for complimentary entrance. For information, visit arts.gov/initiatives/blue-star-museums and sacmuseums.org.


Crocker Art Museum is chockablock with fun activities this summer.

Check out ArtMix every second Thursday from 6–9 p.m. The family-friendly evenings include live performances, music, artmaking, drinks, art and more.

Jazz Night at the Crocker is every fourth Thursday at 7 p.m. through August in the E. Kendall Davis Courtyard. The night explores the concept of reproductions in music inspired by the exhibition “Estampas de La Raza: Contemporary Prints from the Romo Collection and Royal Chicano Air Force.”

For information, visit crockerart.org.


Talented young musicians from Sac Prep Music Academy perform at Midtown Farmers Market every Saturday this summer. Repertoire includes Beatles music, jazz standards and other favorites.

“These students have worked really hard at perfecting their music and we think people are going to be blown away by these talented young performers,” says Ben McClara, founder and artistic director of SPMA and The Beatles Guitar Project.

Sac Prep Music Academy is community-based music education program. For information, visit sacprepmusic.com.


If you’re interested in taking more trips by bike or scooter in Sacramento, the city’s transportation planning staff is offering Urban Bicycling and Scooting 101, a monthly virtual class full of tips to improve your rides.

Learn about bicycling and scooting laws, riding on the street, traveling through intersections, avoiding crashes and how to enjoy the ride.

All classes are held over Zoom. Register online at cityofsacramento.org and search for “Urban-Bicycling-Class.” For information, email walkbike@cityofsacramento.org.


The city of Sacramento wants comments via an online workshop on the draft blueprint for how and where the city will grow over the next 20 years. “Sacramento 2040” plan also offers a framework to guide Sacramento’s efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

“We hope the community will take this opportunity to review and comment on these plans, as their input is important for Sacramento’s future,” Senior Planner Remi Mendoza says.

The self-guided workshop is open through August. Check it out at sac2040gpu.org.


Unseen Heroes has launched a new incubator initiative, CLTRE Club, in partnership with Capital Area Development Authority to provide affordable retail space, training and support to up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

The first cohort of diverse local vendors includes Pony (vintage fashion and accessories), Love School (personal growth and healing), Pila Kava (health and wellness beverages), The Savage Hand (handmade fiber arts), Black Coffee Roastery (artisanal coffee) and LINGERS Candles (all-natural candles).

Limited space is still available in the first cohort. For information, visit cltre.org.


Arden Park 7-year-old Frankie Porrino travels to Washington, D.C., this month with a delegation of her peers as part of the JDRF 2023 Children’s Congress.

Porrino and more than 160 other young people from across the country will meet with members of Congress to advocate for their support of type 1 diabetes research and insulin affordability. Children’s Congress members attend a senate hearing to share personal testimonies that highlight the challenges of living with T1D.

An avid swimmer, snow skier, piano player and animal lover, Porrino was diagnosed with T1D at age 5 and she’s made it her mission to advocate for others who also deal with the disease. For information, visit cc.jdrf.org.


Southside Park and the city’s Department of Youth, Parks and Community Enrichment team up to offer inclusive playdates for kids of all abilities at Universal Universe, Southside Park’s fully accessible playground.

Play dates are July 15, Aug. 19, Sept. 23 and Oct. 21. from 10 a.m. to noon. Southside Park is at 2115 6th St. Register at cityofsacramento.org/parksandrec.


Carmichael Water District and Sacramento Suburban Water District are exploring the potential to combine the two neighbor water utilities to reduce costs, improve water-supply reliability and enhance customer service.

CWD and SSWD boards commissioned a study by an independent consulting firm to provide a look at potential benefits and disadvantages of combining forces. Discussions and additional technical analysis are ongoing.

The public is invited to provide input at upcoming public workshops. For information, visit carmichaelwd.org and sswd.org.


If you missed Sensory Friendly Dance’s world premiere of “Tanabata: The Story of Orihime and Hikoboshi” at the B Street Theatre last month, don’t fret. A film will be available on the Sensory Dance website July 7.

Based on a centuries-old Japanese tale, the inclusive and engaging ballet was designed for all audiences, including the neurodiverse community. The dance was choreographed by Sacramento Ballet dancer Kaori Higashiyama in collaboration with local artist Emi Mizuno.

“Tanabata” tells the story of two star-crossed lovers who, after a series of misfortunes, are forbidden to meet except once a year on the seventh day of the seventh month. In Japan, this story is celebrated with Tanabata, the Star Festival, where people gather to wish for clear skies, star gaze and write their personal wishes on colorful paper to hang on bamboo wishing trees.

To view the film, visit sensoryfriendlydance.org.


Ready to splish-splash the summer away? The city’s Department of Youth, Parks and Community Enrichment has 16 facilities open across the area.

Neighborhood pools cost $2 per child and $4 per adult, and are open with varying hours and days through mid-August. Swim Safe Scholarships are available to provide free aquatics programs to youth and families demonstrating financial need. For information, visit cityofsacramento.org/aquatics.

The city offers various aquatics programs such as swim lessons, swim team, aquacise, recreational and lap swimming. The Summer Reading partnership with the Sacramento Public Library offers youth free swim passes and swim lessons by reading books through their local library. For information, visit saclibrary.org/event/special-events/summer-reading.


The Sacramento Fine Arts Center seeks submissions for a community art cookbook it will self-publish thanks to a Sacramento County Transient Occupancy Tax grant.

The cookbook will include recipes and artwork celebrating Sacramento’s rich culture. Artwork can feature food, dishes, meals, table settings, still-lifes, kitchens, restaurants, farms and more.

Recipes may fit into multiple categories, including appetizers, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Unique, one-of-a-kind recipes are encouraged.

Submission is free and open to all residents of the greater Sacramento area. Deadline to submit is July 22. To submit and for information, visit sacfinearts.org/cookbook.

Jessica Laskey can be reached at jessrlaskey@gmail.com. Submissions are due six weeks prior to the publication month. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @insidesacramento.

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