Out And About August 2021

Find out what is happening in Sacramento this month!

By Jessica Laskey
November 2020

Wrap it Up

Public art brings beauty to Sacramento

New artistic wraps now adorn utility boxes at Winn Park in Midtown and in South Sacramento.

The Midtown Association tapped the talents of local digital visual artist and Sacramento native Brandon Gastinell to wrap two 6-foot utility boxes at Winn Park at 1616 28th St. to help beautify the area.

The city also unveiled a new public art installation in South Sacramento created by local artist Janine Mapurunga titled “Well Together: Portraits of Community.” The health-and-wellness-themed installation includes 15 utility box wraps and 20 banners along Bruceville Road between Consumes River Boulevard and Valley Hi Drive.

“The main factor determining our wellbeing is connection with others,” Mapurunga says. “The happiest and healthiest people in the world are those whose lives are tightly woven within their communities.

“My goal with this project was to document the ways in which different groups of people in District 8 are nurturing themselves and those around them.”

For more information and photos, go to sacramentocityexpress.com.


The Sacramento City Council recently adopted electric vehicle charging and building electrification ordinances to make Sacramento more energy efficient than ever.

The Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Ordinance requires higher levels of EV charging infrastructure in new construction starting in 2023 and establishes parking incentives for zero-emission carsharing and EV charging infrastructure.

The New Building Electrification Ordinance requires new buildings filing for permits to be all-electric as of Jan. 1, 2023 (one- to three-story buildings), or Jan. 1, 2026 (four stories or more).

Both ordinances are known as “reach codes,” which are local building energy codes that reach beyond the state minimum requirements for energy use in building design and construction. The ordinances seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution from burning fossil fuels in vehicles and inside buildings. For more information, visit cityofsacramento.org.


Approximately 170 eighth-grade students at Sutter Middle School completed a yearend project interviewing immigrants and children of immigrants, and gathering their stories into a book titled “Proud Americans: Student Version.”

The book, published last month, was inspired by “Proud Americans: Growing Up as Children of Immigrants,” a collection of 50 inspirational stories by Land Park author Judie Panneton.

Students interviewed family members, neighbors and others to learn their personal histories of immigrating to the United States, facing challenges and creating successful lives. The project was spearheaded by English and history teachers Jody Cooperman, Kailyn Bates and Marissa Noguchi.

“A hope is that these lessons will be helpful in their personal, school and professional lives as they find that people often have more in common than they expected, even if their families’ ancestral stories are different,” Cooperman says.

“It’s a timely topic considering increased hatred and violence against some minority groups, current immigration challenges and proposed changes to immigration policies.”


Natomas Unified School District is providing free food every Friday to those in need through Joey’s Food Locker at Natomas High School.

The food locker is staffed by volunteers from the district’s Adult Transitions Program, which helps young adults ages 18 to 22 overcome mental or physical challenges by teaching them skills for living independently and getting a job.

Joey’s Food Locker is dedicated to the memory of Joel “Joey” Michael Schwieger Jr., son of NUSD’s Adult Transitions Program teacher Joel Schwieger and his wife Darian. Joey was born with autism and died at the young age of 30, but his caring spirit lives on in the food locker.

Joey’s Food Locker “not only will help (students) with food, it will help them with education,” Schwieger Sr. says. “Instead of worrying about their next meal, they’ll be fed and ready for school.”

The food locker receives canned and dried foods from the Sacramento Food Bank. The public may also make donations at NUSD campuses and the district office. For more information, contact Schwieger at (530) 312-9799 or jschwieger@natomasunified.org.


Businesses and commercial properties in the unincorporated areas of Sacramento County and the city of Sacramento that subscribe to 2 cubic yards or more per week of garbage and recycling services are now required by state law to separate organic material from their garbage for recycling.

This process reduces the amount of organic waste going to landfills and creating methane gas—one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and global warming—as they break down.

Organic material includes food waste, food-soiled paper, green waste/landscaping trimmings and untreated wood (no paint, stain, etc.). For more information, visit wasterightsac.com.


Sacramento officials are urging the public to increase water conservation efforts this year as severe drought conditions continue to unfold, impacting the environment of the lower American River and potentially next year’s water supplies.

Immediate actions include reducing lawn watering times by two minutes, but remembering to protect trees. Lawns can handle less water and eventually recover, while trees can be lost forever.

Check soil moisture with a moisture meter before turning on sprinklers. Water plants early in the morning to reduce evaporation. Transition to a low-water garden by removing some or all lawn and adding drought-tolerant, water-efficient native plants and drip irrigation.

Contact your water provider about rebates to replace old irrigation equipment, fixtures and appliances with high-efficiency models.

For more water-saving tips and a map of watering guidelines, visit bewatersmart.info.


Davis Joint Unified School District recently launched a new Virtual Academy program for the 2021-22 school year through its Davis School for Independent Study.

This online K–12 remote learning program provides students with access to real-time instruction with a teacher and on-demand learning, as well as the opportunity to pair remote learning with in-person classes at DSIS and other DJUSD sites. Students also can choose to participate in off-line athletic programs and student clubs.

“Over the past two years, the traditional education model has experienced radical changes,” says Rob Kinder, Virtual Academy principal. “Though these changes were originally expected to be temporary, they have since been embraced and incorporated into standard learning options.”

In addition to families in DJUSD, the program is open to students from Sacramento, Yolo, Solano, Napa, Colusa, Sutter and Lake counties who can enroll upon receiving an inter-district transfer from their own school district. For more information, visit djusd.net.


Sacramento County Emergency Medical Services Director Dr. Hernando Garzon has been named 2020 EMS Medical Director of the Year by the California Emergency Medical Services Authority for his efforts and leadership during the COVID-19 response.

Garzon assisted the state by building models and predictive theories, which enabled local and statewide leaders to be better prepared to respond to the approaching “storm” of patients.

He also continued to lead one of the largest EMS systems in the state and guided the development of an emerging infectious disease policy that provided direction to the greater EMS community about a sensible approach to preventing transmission of the COVID-19 virus, mitigating the spread of the disease among the workforce and safe return-to-work guidelines.

“I most enjoy working on EMS systemwide and quality-improvement issues because I see that as the key to ensuring the highest quality prehospital care for all people in Sacramento County,” Garzon says.


Imani Clinic, a free health clinic in Oak Park, has opened a new endocrine/diabetes specialty clinic to address inadequacies in the health care system that disproportionately affect African Americans.

“Sixteen percent of Black individuals have diabetes, which is significantly higher than white counterparts,” says Rishi Sharma, a UC Davis undergraduate who joined Imani Clinic shortly after moving to the U.S. two years ago from Dubai.

“This statistic is even more pronounced for Black women.”

Sharma says Oak Park struggles with a disproportionately higher prevalence of chronic disorders like diabetes. The clinic is staffed with volunteer endocrinologists from UC Davis Health who offer a range of services to patients with diabetes, pre-diabetes and other endocrine disorders. They also have a team of trained lifestyle and health counselors who work with patients to help them manage their conditions. For more information, visit imaniclinic.org.


The City Council has approved $600,000 to continue its commitment to closing the digital divide for Sacramentans over the next three years as part of the Digital Equity Response Program. The program is operated by the city’s information technology department in partnership with United Way California Capital Region.

“We need to ensure our residents most in need are provided with training, technology and internet,” says Ignacio Estevez, the city’s IT manager. “With City Council’s leadership and the hard work of United Way, our community-based organizations and city staff, we will continue to provide these vital services to our community.”

The approved funding will add to more than $900,000 in CARES Act dollars spent to create a Sacramento Public Library Wi-Fi hotspot check-out program and to distribute 2,765 laptops and mobile Wi-Fi hotspots to low-income individuals impacted by COVID-19. For more information, visit sacramentocovidrelief.org/digital.


The Midtown Association and Sacramento Regional Transit District have completed a spectacular new LED art installation at SacRT’s light rail station on R Street between 29th and 30th streets.

The lighting-enhancement project is designed to attract and encourage ridership, while also creating a pedestrian gateway between Midtown and the Alhambra corridor. The light rail station is brightly lit up each night at dusk with custom-fabricated LED light panels created by local artist Chris Biddle from Light23 and installed by Choice Electrical Inc.

“This art/light installation will bring visual interest, beauty and safety to the 29th Street light rail station,” says Jeff Harris, District 3 councilmember and SacRT board member. “It will serve as a wayfinding welcome to Midtown and destinations eastward, making this a unique stop on the light rail system. Investment in beautifying public space enhances our urban experience.”


The Crocker Art Museum has announced Rachel Gotlieb, Ph.D., as its first Ruth Rippon curator of ceramics.
A leading ceramics specialist educated in Canada and England, Gotlieb will oversee acquisitions, exhibitions and scholarships, and help bring the Crocker’s international ceramics collection—one of the largest in the United States—to even greater prominence nationally and internationally.

Gotlieb’s role is a new position established through the generosity of Anne and Malcolm McHenry in honor of Ruth Rippon, the influential Sacramento State professor who helped shape the Northern California ceramics tradition.
“The ceramics collection at the Crocker precedes itself,” Gotlieb says. “I look forward to increasing access to its diverse and expansive collection.”


The Sacramento County Department of Airports will receive $48.6 million from the Airport Rescue Plan Act, part of efforts by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration to help airports recover from the pandemic.

Passenger traffic at Sacramento International Airport was down 95 percent in April 2020 and recovery is far from complete. The airport is projected to finish fiscal year 2020-21 down 49.8 percent versus FY 2018-19.

“This Airport Rescue Plan Act grant will help keep our workers employed and will facilitate the continued recovery of our airlines and tenants as more of our customers begin traveling again,” says Cindy Nichol, director of airports for Sacramento County.

The Sacramento County Department of Airports is responsible for planning, developing, operating and maintaining the county’s four airports: Sacramento International Airport, Executive Airport, Mather Airport and Franklin Field. For more information, visit sacramento.aero.


Grab your favorite drink and a paintbrush, and unleash your creativity with Sip & Paint mobile painting classes offered by local artist Liz Carroll of Paint the Town With Red!

“I love this community and am eager to share the opportunity for you to learn—from me—how to paint a beautiful painting of your choice,” Carroll says. “You don’t need any painting experience. If you can follow simple instructions, you can create your own masterpiece you will be proud of.”

Guests receive step-by-step instructions in an approximately two-hour class for $35, which includes a pre-sketched canvas, apron, easel, paints, brushes and bowls—and an adult beverage, of course!

Upcoming events will be held at the Torch Club, Old Ironsides, William Land Park Golf Course, Two Rivers Cider Company and Barrio Café. For more information, visit paintthetownwithred.com.


City Cruises Sacramento has restarted its popular sightseeing and cocktail cruises abroad the Capitol Hornblower on the Sacramento River.

Enjoy sweeping views of the Tower Bridge and Sacramento skyline on various themed cruises, including Historic Cruise, Sights & Sips, Alive After Five and Rock the Yacht, departing from Old Sacramento.

Reservations are recommended. Cruises depart from 1206 Front St. For more information, visit cityexperiences.com/sacramento/city-cruises.


Calling all young performers! The Elly Award-winning Fairytale Town Troupers is holding auditions for actors ages 5–18 for Fairytale Town’s popular performance series. Auditions are in preparation for the November showing of “The Princess of Camelot.”

No theatrical experience required. Parents and guardians are welcome to accompany minors. Audition appointments are required. To make an appointment, contact John Lee at mrlee@fairytaletown.org. For more information on Fairytale Town Troupers, visit fairytaletown.org.


Fourteen pools and water splash pads at 12 city parks run by the city’s Department of Youth, Parks & Community Enrichment are open through mid-August, so don a bathing suit and get out there.

For a list of locations and more information, visit cityofsacramento.org/parksandrec/recreation/aquatics on the “Recreational Swim Page.”


The city of Sacramento’s Hot Spot nights for local teens are back. Designed for Sacramento teens ages 13–17, Hot Spot nights are free events that allow young people to interact with their friends while staying close to home in a safe and supervised environment.

Hot Spot events run through September and include theme nights, food trucks, sports, movies, giveaways and more at seven community center sites. Pre-registration is required at cityofsacramento.org/ypcesignup, under “Activities,” then search for “Hot Spot.”


This summer, the Arden Little League Marlins became the third team in the league’s 60-year history to win the District 5 Tournament of Champions.

In a single elimination tournament, the Marlins played five games in 10 days against teams from Northridge, Rosemont, Carmichael, Rancho Cordova and College Glen. The team won in a 10–8 victory to clinch the championship. Go, Marlins! For more information, visit ardenlittleleague.com.


The Carmichael Recreation and Park District welcomes adult sports back to La Sierra Community Center. Registration is now open for volleyball leagues and the 5-on-5 Basketball League.

Coed softball at Carmichael Park is also continuing its summer season. Indoor pickleball and 3-on-3 Basketball League will resume when resources allow. For more information, visit carmichaelpark.com.


Twenty-five Girl Scouts recently received a Girl Scout Gold Award after completing 2,250 hours of service. Three Gold Award Girl Scouts—Haley Dosher, Anna Ermoian and Madison Hause—received special scholarships toward their college tuition.

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest achievement a Girl Scout can receive for girls in grades 9–12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership in developing sustainable solutions to local, national and global challenges.

Through her Hope project, Dosher addressed the care, safety and education of elementary schoolchildren in her community. Ermoian’s project helped homeless pet owners impacted by California’s severe housing shortage through a partnership with the UC Davis Mercer Clinic, a free veterinary clinic for homeless people. Hause’s project, Crash Course for High Schoolers on the Student Debt Crisis, educated her peers on how to make educated financial decisions in college.

“In a year filled with many unknowns and interruptions, this group of Girl Scout Gold Awardees continually inspired everyone around them with their perseverance, motivation and forward-thinking attitudes,” says Dr. Linda E. Farley, CEO of Girl Scouts Heart of Central California.

For more information, visit girlscoutshcc.org.

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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