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Out And About

By Jessica Laskey
February 2023

Triple Ace Honor

WWII fighter pilot receives brigadier general promotion

The only living American triple ace pilot, Clarence E. “Bud” Anderson, was honorarily promoted from colonel to brigadier general in a historic ceremony at the Aerospace Museum of California.

Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., chief of staff of the Air Force, presided over the ceremony before 200 attendees. Brown called the 101-year-old Anderson a “wrecking ball” of a pilot.

“The impact you had on the history of our Air Force reminds me how fortunate we are to stand on the shoulders of gentlemen like you, and those other ladies and men who have served within our Air Force to make us great,” Brown said.

Anderson began his career at McClellan Air Force Base. During World War II, the fighter pilot flew 116 combat missions escorting bombers into German-occupied Europe. He earned his triple ace status after shooting down 16 enemy aircraft during two tours from 1944 to 1945.

Anderson flew several different P-51 Mustangs, all of which he named “Old Crow” after the cheapest bourbon whiskey available at the time. (It was also served at the ceremony!)

The California native retired from McClellan in 1972. Nearly 50 years later, a group petitioned the secretary of the Air Force for Anderson’s promotion.

Many artifacts, such as his World War II leather helmet, service uniform and other personal items are on display at the Aerospace Museum. For a $100 donation, honor Brig. Gen. “Bud” and help send an underserved child to Aviation Aces summer camp at the museum. For information, visit aerospaceca.org.

HOUSING SUPPORT

The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors has approved $3 million to help fund transitional housing and services through Women’s Empowerment for women and children experiencing homelessness.

The nonprofit will use the funds to lease 24 cottages to house families that have graduated from its employment-readiness program with jobs, but still can’t afford housing. This funding complements $50,000 that Women’s Empowerment recently received from Kelly Foundation to sublease other local housing at a discounted rate for program graduates.

“We are proud of this housing program that provides mothers the critical stepping stone they need to advance in their job, increase their financial stability and prepare to move into market-rate housing,” says Executive Director Lisa Culp.

Women’s Empowerment provides a two-month employment-readiness program, paid job training, childcare and support services to help women and their children break the generational cycle of homelessness.

Since its founding in 2001, the organization has graduated 1,790 women and their 3,849 children. For information, visit womens-empowerment.org.

THIEBAUD DONATION

The Wayne Thiebaud Foundation has donated the late artist’s iconic 1965 painting “Two Seated Figures” to the Crocker Art Museum in memory of the painting’s subjects: the artist’s wife, Betty Jean Thiebaud, and friend C.K. McClatchy.

The painting is considered the most important single art gift in the museum’s history.

“It is most fitting that two such important Sacramento personalities shall remain here on canvas and in spirit in the city that they called home,” says the Crocker’s Mort and Marcy Friedman Director and CEO Lial A. Jones. “And because it is by Sacramento’s best known and most beloved artist, it will be a pivotal work in the Crocker’s collection for generations.”

LITERARY LEADERS

The award-winning literary performance series Stories on Stage Sacramento is under new leadership. Yours truly and my husband, p joshua laskey, took the helm last month as co-directors of the venerable nonprofit to bring it into its 14th season—and beyond.

SOSS features writing from local, national and international authors read aloud by professional actors in a fun, fast-paced evening held every second Friday at 7 p.m. at the CLARA Auditorium on 24th Street.

The 2023 season kicks off Feb. 10 with the work of Northern California authors Jim Misner, Maureen O’Leary and RoseMary Covington read by actors Sam Misner and series favorite Megan Smith. For information, visit storiesonstagesacramento.org.

VIOLENCE PREVENTION

NorCal School of the Arts has received a $600,000 federal grant from the Department of Homeland Security’s Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention Program.

NorCal offers socio-emotional theater arts education in area schools that promotes learning, life skills and mental wellness. In-person instruction is provided to more than 7,000 students in 280 classrooms across Title 1 schools in Sacramento City, Folsom Cordova and Twin Rivers unified school districts.

“We know as students experience peer rejection and feel a lack of visibility in their school environment, they become more susceptible to negative influences,” says Executive Director Michele Hillen-Noufer. “In search of validation, students have an increased risk of radicalization, getting involved in gang-related activities, drug use and violence.”
NorCal offers “students a means of establishing healthy connections while learning effective communication, critical thinking and conflict resolution skills,” Hillen-Noufer says.

For information, visit norcalsota.org.

FIGHTING HUNGER

The city of Sacramento has awarded $1 million in new grants ranging from $5,000 to $200,000 to 17 organizations to ensure access to healthy food.

City Council member Mai Vang and Mayor Darrell Steinberg spearheaded the effort to address the highest needs. Fifteen of the 17 grants will go toward expanding existing food pantries or food distribution efforts.

Hmong Youth and Parents United are combining fresh produce distribution with an educational garden project. Health Education Council focuses on Afghan refugees, while Meals on Wheels helps seniors in congregate settings.

“People are really struggling, and being able to provide emergency food assistance to people in our community means they can be strategic about spending the limited resources they have so they can keep the heat on and keep the lights on,” says Julie Rhoten, executive director of Stanford Settlement, one of the awardees.

For information, visit cityofsacramento.org/economic-development.

NEW CITY COUNCIL

Three new City Council members have been sworn in to represent three redrawn districts encompassing North Natomas, Oak Park and South Natomas.

Lisa Kaplan, a 20-year member of Natomas Unified School Board, represents District 1. Karina Talamantes, Angelique Ashby’s former chief of staff, represents District 3. Caity Maple, a former lobbyist who now runs her own business, represents District 5. The council is now a female majority.

Residents in some “deferred” neighborhoods, including East Sacramento, River District, Valley Hi, Delta Shores and parts of South Sacramento, were moved into new districts, but will not vote for their new representative until 2024. Until then, they are represented by Mayor Darrell Steinberg.

Find your council representative at cityofsacramento.org/mayor-council/find-your-district.

MEASURE U WINNERS

The Measure U Committee has announced the winning projects for $1 million in funding, split equally between the north and south areas of Sacramento.

Eligible residents voted for projects between Oct. 12 and Nov. 11. The winning projects include youth programming, neighborhood cleanups, mobile farmers market, digital skills training, literacy support, career assistance, transportation and more.

The city will open applications soon for community-based organizations to apply to implement these projects. For information, visit cityofsacramento.org/pb.

HISTORIC SNOWPLOW

Back by popular demand, an impressive 251,000-pound rotary snowplow is on display at the California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento alongside the exhibit “Snowbound in the Sierra.”

The exhibit highlights the dramatic rescue—using rotary snowplows like the one on display—of 226 passengers and crew members who were trapped on a luxury streamliner locomotive during a massive 1952 snowstorm in the Sierra Nevada.

Museum admission is $12 for adults, $6 for ages 6–17 and free for children 5 and younger. For information, visit californiarailroad.museum.

CLARA FUNDS

E. Claire Raley Studios for the Performing Arts has received a $1 million grant to complete essential capital projects on its historic building at 2420 N St., formerly known as the Fremont School.

“This building has been providing Sacramento youth with educational opportunities for nearly 100 years and that comes with some pragmatic realities—expensive, long-term facilities challenges that need to be addressed,” says CLARA Executive Director Megan Wygant.

The funds directed by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty will seed a series of capital projects for the property, which has been occupied by local groups since it was repurposed as an arts and education center in 2016.

Immediate projects include building an additional studio classroom, replacing the roof and constructing a new grand entrance along O Street. The funds will also help the center complete an outdoor area and pay for permits and drawings for a second expansion phase. For information, visit claramidtown.org.

SACTOWN BITES

SacTown Bites Food Tour Adventures has been selected for a 2022 Travel & Hospitality Award out of more than 1,200 nominees.

This year’s award recipients were chosen based on reviews by multiple third-party sources. Winning businesses demonstrated uniqueness, quality of services and facilities, and exceptional levels of customer care across a number of categories.

SacTown Bites, run by local foodie Heather Fortes, offers tours and excursions focused on food and beverages that showcase the farm-to-fork region. For information, visit thawards.com and sactownbites.com.

HEALTH ADVISERS

The Sacramento County Public Health Advisory Board is looking for new members to help make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors about health-related issues impacting Sacramento County.

Applicants should have an interest in addressing how public health impacts day-to-day lives and the public health needs of minority groups, youth, disadvantaged communities and anyone else who needs representation.

PHAB members are appointed to a three-year term and can apply for a second term. For information or to apply, visit dhs.saccounty.gov and search for Public Health Advisory Board.

SANDHILL CRANES

There are some new feathered residents at Cosumnes River Preserve in Galt. Sandhill Cranes have traveled south to California for the winter and made the preserve their new home.

Roughly 3,000 Lesser and Greater Sandhill Cranes settle at Cosumnes River Preserve every winter. Prime viewing dates are between Oct. 15 and March 1. Dawn and dusk are the best times to observe the greatest numbers of cranes and the widest variety of intriguing behaviors.

Some etiquette when you’re out there: limit your movement, remain quiet and stay at least 400 yards away while watching feeding birds so the flock doesn’t think you’re a threat. For information, visit cosumnes.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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