Out and About in Arden

By Jessica Laskey
May 2019

Two Rivers Trail

Community weighs in on proposed path near River Park.

The Two Rivers Trail Phase II project is designed to provide a 2.4 milelong multiuse path between Sutter’s Landing Park and H Street, near Sacramento State. The city released an environmental document on the project—which will rim the River Park neighborhood—in October 2018. Numerous comments were received.

Concerns have been raised about the section of the proposed trail where levee alterations are needed. At issue is the policy of the American River Flood Control District that recreational trails be kept off the levee crown, except where not feasible.

The city is requesting that the trail go on top of the levee for a segment of about 1,500 feet where a washout occurred in 1986. This segment is located just southeast of Business 80. The city found there is no land in that area to feasibly build a trail at the bottom of the levee.

A public meeting on the Two Rivers Trail was held March 29 at the American River Flood Control District where the ARFCD board approved that staff negotiate a permit with the city for the trail on the top of the levee.

The Two Rivers Trail also will be addressed at the River Park Neighborhood Association general membership meeting on Saturday, May 11, at 11 a.m. at Caleb Greenwood School.


If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably driven past the empty retail space in the shopping center at the corner of Arden and Watt dozens of times and wondered when it would finally be occupied.
Well, the wait is over. California Family Fitness recently opened its beautiful new 41,000-square-foot fitness location—its 20th club in the region—to great excitement.

“We’ve been in the Sacramento market since 1991,” says Randy Karr, president of California Family Fitness. “We’d always had a desire to better serve the Arden-Arcade area—we had members traveling from all over to our Arden-Carmichael gym—so when this location became available, it helped us bridge the gap.”

Karr says that research shows people are willing to travel only between 3 and 5 miles to get to a fitness location, so this new gym couldn’t have come at a better time for Arden-Arcade residents. As with its other family-focused locations, this club will feature workout and group fitness areas, a rock-climbing wall, kids’ area and childcare, sauna and steam room, and a nearly 10,000-square-foot outdoor pool area to be completed by June.

California Family Fitness is located at 3350 Arden Way.


Thirteen-year-old Arden Middle School student Logan Swain recently realized a personal goal when he emerged victorious at the 36th annual California Central Valley Spelling Bee.

“I wasn’t expecting to win,” the eighth-grader admits. “I just wanted to see if I could beat my own record.” (He’d previously only made it to the fourth round.)

The win qualified Swain to compete this month at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., which he’s been busy preparing for since March.

“This is the opportunity of a lifetime, so I’m not going to cut it short,” Swain says. “I review words with my parents until I can spell all of the words consistently. There’s not much you can do after that.”

The California Central Valley Spelling Bee was Swain’s fifth competition to date and will also be his last. Competitors are only eligible up until high school, but Swain isn’t too disappointed. He plans to do his best in Washington and then return to his other scholastic passions, like Science Olympiad.

“I’ve always liked to spell as a side hobby and it turned out to be something I’m good at,” Swain says with a giggle. “I unexpectedly took it far.”


Congratulations are in order for Sacramento Country Day School. The private K-12 school just earned the 2018 College Board AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award, which recognizes schools that have high female representation in advanced placement computer science principles courses.

Country Day is one of only 490 secondary schools out of more than 18,000 worldwide that offer AP courses—and the only co-ed high school in the region—to accomplish this feat.

“We’ve come a long way in a very short period of time,” says Shelley Hinson, Country Day’s director of technology, who joined the school in August. “This award is proof that we’re succeeding in our goals to create a more personalized student-learning experience.”

Hinson says that a big part of getting girls interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) is fairly simple: invite them to participate. Hinson credits Country Day’s willingness to invest in a schoolwide STEM program and the student body itself for its growing success.

“It’s been amazing to see all of these girls jump in, which speaks to the type of families and community we have,” says Hinson, who’s implementing a three-year plan to offer even more computer classes and build a new middle school computer lab. “We start them in elementary school and then keep them going in classes throughout middle and high school to make the field more accessible to women and girls.”

Hinson says the tech workforce is in desperate need of female representation, which means that a female computer science student can “pretty much write her own ticket” to college.

“The demand is only going to increase,” Hinson says, “so the more women we can get on this train, the better. The jobs are waiting.”


We all need to leave behind more than just memories—we need to leave behind detailed plans. To help in that effort, East Lawn is offering three complimentary informational presentations this month.

The 25-minute sessions will be held Thursday, May 9, at 11:30 a.m. at East Lawn Memorial Park & East Sacramento Mortuary, 4300 Folsom Blvd.; Wednesday, May 15, at 11:30 a.m. at East Lawn Elk Grove Memorial Park, 9189 East Stockton Blvd.; and Wednesday, May 15, at 11:30 a.m. at Sierra Hills Memorial Park & East Lawn Mortuary, 5757 Greenback Lane.

Reservations are required and seating is limited. To RSVP for May 9, call (916) 269-9290; for May 15, call (916) 269-9291. A complimentary meal will be served. For more information, visit eastlawn.com.


Do you have a half-finished novel sitting in a drawer or on your desktop? The California Writers Club of Sacramento has you covered on Saturday, May 18.

“Finding Your Path in the Publishing World,” an afternoon writers’ retreat with editorial and publishing consultant Heather Lazare, will take participants through the basics of finding an editor, knowing when to submit to an agent, writing a query letter and more.

Registration is $65 for Writers Club members and $109 for nonmembers. Bring a query letter and/or the first couple pages of your novel and start making that dream a reality.

The retreat will be held 1:30–5 p.m. at Cattlemens restaurant at 12409 Folsom Blvd. in Rancho Cordova. For more information, visit cwcsacramentowriters.org.


Spring has sprung and no one’s happier than the birds and the bees. But do you know what to do if you find injured wildlife? The Wildlife Care Association has a few key pointers.

Stop! If you see an animal with blood or an obvious injury, or if it’s not moving, it likely needs help.
Listen! Is the animal calling, crying or making noise? If it’s noisy, running away or trying to hide, it may not need rescue. Some birds naturally fall from nests uninjured. Many bird species continue to care for and protect their young, even on the ground.

Look! Take up to two hours to evaluate the wildlife before taking any action. In most cases, a grounded bird without obvious injury will find its own way. If it’s possible to return a fledgling to the nest, do so—the mantra that you can’t touch baby birds is a myth!

Questions? Call the Wildlife Care Association at (916) 965-WILD (9453). For more information, visit wildlifecareassociation.com.


Join local designers, artists, photographers, writers and creative businessowners May 11–17 to explore the intersection of design and the unique aspects of our region.

This weeklong series of workshops, lectures, design tours and networking events—run entirely by volunteers—will bring together Sacramento’s legions of creative types to discuss, teach, learn and mentor.

Visit designweeksac.com for a calendar of events and more information.


Cookbook author and Sacramento Bee food writer Elaine Corn will present “From Bagel to Bao” at the Confucius Institute’s new lecture series Saturday, May 4, from 2–3 p.m. at the International Center in Davis.

Corn will present her observations of Chinese cuisine from the viewpoint of a Jewish food editor who married a Cantonese chef.

“It’s about my life in Chinese food,” Corn says, beginning with her father in Kunming, China, during World War II and ending with marrying “a Chinese chef who revealed the techniques, secrets and spiritual compass of the cuisine.” Corn will discuss the Jewish-Chinese food connection, including family outings in New York with her kosher grandmother.

“As to the contentious topic of chop suey, get ready for a firm opinion about its origin,” Corn says.

For more information, visit confucius.ucdavis.edu/events/bageltobao.


Join the Assistance League Sierra Foothills for its 10th annual Gardens of the Hills Tour on May 4–5. In addition to visiting a diverse selection of unique and beautiful gardens, guests will taste local wines, shop for artisan wares and sip tea at the Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter Garden Tea Party.

The Assistance League Sierra Foothills is a nonprofit organization helping children, families and seniors in need in El Dorado County.

For more information or to purchase tickets to the tour, visit www.assistanceleague.org/sierra-foothills.


Sacramento Waldorf High School seniors Juliette Taylor and Noah Oppenheimer have earned top honors in several national award categories.

Taylor is a National Merit Finalist and winner of the National Hispanic Recognition Program. Oppenheimer is a Commended National Merit winner and recipient of the Academic All-American Award by the National Speech and Debate Association.

“We are proud of our students on so many levels,” says Dean Smith, Sacramento Waldorf High School administrator. “Not only do we offer the whole-child focus of a Waldorf education, we guide students in developing the well-roundedness that is so important to success in life and happiness in general.”

Jessica Laskey can be reached at jessrlaskey@gmail.com. Submissions are due six weeks prior to the publication month.

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