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Out & About

By Jessica Laskey
May 2022

Shop 916

Gift card promotion supports Downtown businesses
The city of Sacramento is offering a new limited-time promotion for Shop 916: Buy an electronic gift card and get a free bonus gift card.

The Shop 916 gift card, launched by the city last December, can be used at any participating business within the city and helps support local storefront retailers negatively impacted by the pandemic.

A combined value of more than $110,000 from gift and bonus cards was spent in the city of Sacramento during the previous two-month promotional program. Nearly 100 small businesses are signed up to participate in the program, with new retailers joining daily.

“The card is very user-friendly, especially on the retailer side, which is amazing,” says Valerie Sanchez, co-owner with husband Abe of Article Consignment. “The people I’ve seen use it are also first-time customers, so it’s given us exposure to new clientele we may not have reached otherwise.”

Under the current promotion, buy a $25 gift card and get a $10 bonus gift card for free; buy a $50 gift card and get a $25 bonus gift card for free; buy a $100 gift card and get a $50 bonus gift card for free.

This offer is available until June 30. Regular consumer-purchased gift cards do not expire, but bonus gift cards must be used by July 17. To purchase gift cards, visit


Get your cameras out. Friends of East Sacramento is sponsoring the 10th annual McKinley Rose Garden photography contest, open to amateur and professional photographers.

“We are looking for some general overall shots of the garden showing the variety of beds, as well as close-up portraits of individual roses and the other plants in the garden,” says Lisa Schmidt, co-founder of Friends of East Sacramento.
The garden, a popular wedding spot located at the corner of H and 33rd streets, is maintained by volunteers and managed by Friends of East Sacramento.

Photos must be taken during the month of May. Email high-resolution photo entries (limit of three per person) to by June 1. Winners will be featured in Inside Sacramento and displayed in the lobby of the Clunie Community Center.


Let’s swap cars for handlebars during Bike Month! It’s not about riding the furthest—it’s about riding to help make the world a cleaner, healthier place to live.

Throughout May, riders across the Sacramento region are forming teams of friends, family and co-workers to have fun and win prizes. Our region provides many great opportunities to ride, including the American River Parkway stretching from Discovery Park to Folsom.

For more information, including how to register your team, visit


The Sacramento Choral Society & Orchestra is celebrating its return to in-person performances after a two-and-a-half-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

SCSO’s 26th season kicks off with a performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s “Requiem” on Saturday, May 14, at 8 p.m. at the SAFE Credit Union Performing Arts Center with soloists Jennifer Forni, Linda Baird, Robert Breault and Timothy Jones.
The concert will also include guest chorus Schola Cantorum of Sacred Heart Church, as well as a tribute to celebrated restaurateur Biba Caggiano and the singing of the Ukraine national anthem.

“We have missed the excitement and real joy that our audience experiences when they are seated in the theater, and the lights are dimmed and the music unfolds beautifully for them,” says Music Director Dr. Donald Kendrick. “This concert will be unlike anything we have experienced in the last 26 years and we are all ready for a sonic feast.”
For tickets and more information, visit


Sacramento First Church of the Nazarene at 28th and S streets celebrates its 100th year this month.

The church first met in the Pythian Castle at 9th and I streets in 1922. It then purchased two lots at its current location and built a wooden tabernacle under the original name Gospel Tabernacle Church of the Nazarene.

In April 1945, the board voted to re-incorporate the church and change the name to First Church of the Nazarene. Over the years, the church expanded its footprint, purchasing the neighboring Frank Fuller property in 1964, where it constructed an 8,000-square-foot sanctuary.

The church offers many programs and services, as well as a large clothes closet in the basement. Last year, more than 7,000 articles of clothing were given to more than 1,400 individuals.

When longtime pastor Les Shelton, who spent 28 years at the helm of First Church, resigned in 2018 due to health issues, his associate pastor, Rev. Marcia Hull, took over as interim senior pastor. Hull was officially brought on as First Church’s 16th pastor—and its only female lead pastor—in 2019.

“It is an honor to serve this rich historical neighborhood of Midtown Sacramento with its diversity and charm,” Hull says. “We have a church of loving people who seek after the things of God and reach out to people in need of spiritual nourishment.”

The church office is open Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call (916) 452-6171 or visit


Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento has received $4.5 million—the largest single donation in the organization’s 36-year history. The gift is part of $436 million donated by philanthropist Mackenzie Scott to Habitat for Humanity International and an additional 83 local Habitat-affiliate organizations across the country.

“Ms. Scott’s donation, made during a local and national housing crisis that is exacerbated by historic racial inequities, represents a huge vote of confidence in Habitat Sacramento—not only in our mission but in our leadership, efficiency, proven financial accountability and impact,” says Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento President/CEO Leah Miller.

Since 1985, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento has built or repaired more than 300 homes for low-income families, seniors and veterans in the region. In recent years, Sacramento has become one of the least affordable places to live in the country thanks to skyrocketing rents and high home prices.

Last year, the local Sacramento Habitat for Humanity received 7,000 pre-applications for only 12 available Habitat homes. With a variety of new developments and projects coming down the pipeline, the gift could not have come at a better time.

“Her gift highlights the urgency and critical need to devote significant resources to increasing the development of affordable homeownership and equitable revitalization of underserved communities in Sacramento and across the country,” Miller says. “We look forward to utilizing this gift to build capacity and accelerate our rate of construction.”

For more information, including ways to give or volunteer, visit


The city of Sacramento is the first jurisdiction in California to earn a Prohousing Designation, which is based on how a jurisdiction scores on competitive housing, community development and infrastructure programs.

To be eligible for a Prohousing Designation, a jurisdiction must receive a minimum score of 30 on its application—Sacramento earned 64. The score is based on the city’s pro-housing efforts, such as waiving fees for affordable housing construction, allowing housing by right in commercial corridors, speeding approvals for accessory dwelling units, and reducing or eliminating parking requirements for new housing, among many other policies.

“I’m proud to see Sacramento recognized for being a state leader when it comes to eliminating the barriers to building the affordable, transit-friendly housing we so desperately need in our city and all over the state,” Mayor Darrell Steinberg says. “This designation signals to the development community that we stand ready to work with you and find creative ways to house more people.”


A new Participatory Budgeting Pilot Program launched this spring for city of Sacramento residents to propose spending ideas and vote on proposals. The program is funded through Measure U.

Idea Collection is April to May 2022, when any Sacramento resident can submit an idea for funding consideration. Proposal development is May to July 2022, when volunteer proposal delegates review ideas for feasibility with city staff and develop the highest priority ideas into fully fledged proposals.

The vote will be in August, when final proposals are placed on a ballot. Winning projects will be implemented beginning September 2022. More information is available at


One of Sacramento’s best-kept venue secrets, The Auditorium at CLARA, is now offering Open House Tours to explore the space.

The Auditorium, a multi-use performing arts and rental facility in Midtown, features hardwood floors, high ceilings and large windows. The space comfortably accommodates an audience of 120 with social distancing.

“We hold space for a variety of gatherings, from meetings, classes and workshops to performances,” says Amanda Prince-Lubawy, CLARA rentals and events coordinator. “Open House Tours are a low-pressure way to explore the space and learn more. See this beautiful, historic building, learn more about how the auditorium supports the local creative community, and take the measurements and photos you need to imagine your event here.”

Tours take place the second Saturday of each month from 9–11 a.m. and the third Thursday from 4–6 p.m. The Auditorium entrance is at 1425 24th St. For more information, visit


Rancho San Miguel Market—a 100-percent employee-owned company—is now open in Oak Park.

Two years ago, the City Council approved a $1.1 million loan for the renovation of the space to support underserved communities and improve food access. The space previously housed a Food Source grocery store, which closed in March 2020.

The new 51,000-square-foot grocery store offers a full-service bakery, meat and seafood departments, freshly made Hispanic grab & go items, salsa and ceviche bars, and more.

“Communities of color in South Sacramento have watched grocery stores disappear from their neighborhoods, creating food deserts,” Councilmember Eric Guerra says. “I am thrilled for the opening of Rancho San Miguel Market, which will bring fresh, nutritious and affordable foods back into the community, along with local employment opportunities.”

PAQ, Inc., which operates 22 Rancho San Miguel Markets across the Central Valley and Central Coast, created 93 jobs for the new store. Seven of the positions were advancement opportunities from within the company and 86 employees were hired locally through partnerships with the Sacramento Employment and Training Agency and local community-based providers.


The Carmichael Parks Foundation has received a $21,000 SMUD Shine Grant to replace the 21 original wood-frame, single-pane windows in the Veteran’s Memorial Building, which was built in 1951.

Additional improvements include landscaping funded by the Rotary Club of Carmichael, replacing outdated heating and air infrastructure, and giving the North Room a facelift.

The hall is used for veterans groups, senior exercise classes and preschool programs, and can be rented for community events, such as weddings and birthdays. For more information, visit


If you’re looking for a good time this spring, the Carmichael Recreation and Park District offers a variety of adult sports.

Activities include adult volleyball and basketball leagues at La Sierra Community Center, coed softball on Friday nights at Carmichael Park, drop-in pickleball on Tuesday and Thursday mornings in the Johnson Gym at La Sierra Community Center, and more.

Registration is open for all spring leagues. Register online at or through the La Sierra Community Center Recreation Office at 5325 Engle Road.


The California State Railroad Museum and its foundation announces a new season of popular weekend excursion train rides on the Sacramento Southern Railroad.

Guests can ride in open-air gondolas or enclosed coach cars behind an authentic, historic locomotive for a 6-mile, 50-minute roundtrip excursion along the Sacramento River. Train rides operate on weekends at 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Masks are required on all excursion train rides.

Weekend excursion trains depart every 90 minutes from the Central Pacific Railroad Freight Depot on Front Street between J and K streets. Tickets are $15 for adults, $8 for youth ages 6–17 and free for children 5 and younger. First-class tickets are $25 for adults, $18 for youth and free for children. All California State Railroad Museum Foundation members receive free regular/coach train rides based on availability.

After your train ride, check out the museum’s new permanent exhibit, “Crossing Lines: Women of the American Railroad,” the result of a graduate student internship and master’s thesis of Sacramento State student Nicole Allison. The exhibit was written, designed and curated entirely by women to discuss the lives and roles of women associated with the railroad industry.

For train tickets and more information, visit


Five projects were recently chosen to receive a total of $16 million in new Clean California grants administered by Caltrans.

The projects include alley cleanup and beautification in North Sacramento’s Dixieanne neighborhood; art installations and new public spaces along Florin Road; funding for public art along the planned Del Rio Trail; improvements to Robert T. Matsui Park and the planned Hanami Line cherry blossom park along the Sacramento River; and new sidewalks, shade trees and other amenities at Ethel Phillips Elementary School.

“In partnership with community partners, local artists and our Meadowview residents, we have the opportunity to make a difference and uplift our community,” says Councilmember Mai Vang, who represents Meadowview, which is receiving $1.22 million to clean up Florin Road and create new public spaces showcasing the culture and diversity of the community.

“This investment—in one of Sacramento’s most under-invested areas—will make a huge impact on the nonprofits, minority-owned small businesses and residents that make Florin Road an incredibly vibrant and diverse community.”


The Sacramento Metro Chamber Foundation’s Leadership Sacramento 2021 (LS21) class recently completed their community betterment project, the renovation of the Mack Road Valley Hi Community Center grounds.

Last summer, LS21 chose ReIMAGINE Mack Road Foundation as their class project beneficiary. In partnership with project sponsors and donors, LS21 raised approximately $100,000 to renovate and enhance the community center grounds, which serve as a safe haven for at-risk youth and families living in the underserved neighborhoods of Mack Road, Valley Hi and Center Parkway in South Sacramento.

“Despite the ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic, the Class of 2021 forged ahead in their civic responsibility to identify a need and execute on a solution,” says Andrea Ollanik, executive director of the Metro Chamber Foundation.

“Beautifully aligning with the mission of Leadership Sacramento, the renovation of the outdoor area of the Mack Road Valley Hi Community Center reflects the intersection of vision and action.”


Two local siblings, Kayleen and Colsen Nguyen, have won a $350 first prize at the high school level in the annual One Earth Young Filmmakers Contest. Kayleen is a junior at John F. Kennedy High School and Colsen is an eighth-grader at Sutter Middle School.

The Young Filmmakers Contest asks people from third grade through age 25 to create a three- to eight-minute environmental film that inspires change or action. Prizes are awarded at the elementary school, middle school, high school, college and post-grad levels, with additional prizes for animation and creativity. The contest is part of the One Earth Film Festival, the Midwest’s premier environmental film event.

Using stop-motion paper cutouts, the Nguyens created the six-minute dystopian film “The Apocalypse,” where people live in bunkers because of extreme flooding, wildfires, hurricanes and tornadoes. Bucolic scenes before “The Apocalypse” are shown over Kayleen’s narration, then Colsen lists facts and figures about present-day weather extremes.

The news is grim but the film ends on a note of hope—Kayleen concludes that we can make a difference by building awareness and electing leaders who will make changes to save the planet.

Each contest winner received a matching grant to donate to a nonprofit that supports the theme of their film. The Nguyen siblings donated their $350 match to The Sierra Club.


The spring-summer cycle for water usage has begun. Here are the current guidelines for city and county water customers.
City customers with even-numbered addresses can water on Wednesday and Sunday. Customers with odd-numbered addresses can water on Tuesday and Saturday. Watering is allowed before 10 a.m. and after 7 p.m. Watering is not allowed 48 hours after one-eighths inch of rain.

When there are two or more days of temperatures at or above 100 degrees, city residents are exempt from watering schedule restrictions.

For the county, addresses ending in even numbers can water Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Addresses ending in odd numbers can water on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Irrigation times are between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.

Wasting water is not allowed, including water running off properties onto sidewalks or down gutters. Checking soil moisture with a moisture meter before turning on sprinklers saves 80 gallons of water per day.

For more information, visit and


The Artists’ Collaborative Gallery in Old Sacramento will hold a drawing at the end of each month for a piece of art created by one of the gallery’s 30-plus member artists.

Visitors can enter once a day, so increase your chances by visiting 129 K St. often. At the end of the month, a winner will be chosen and notified by email and/or phone.

For more than 40 years, the Artists’ Collaborative Gallery has unified artists and given them a space to connect, as well as display and sell their artwork, including paintings, photographs, pen and ink drawings, jewelry, ceramics, fabric art, sculpture, woodwork and more. For more information, visit


The Food Literacy Center’s new building at Leataata Floyd Elementary School is going solar.

Construction teams recently completed prep work for solar panels on the roof, which will allow the center to be a zero net energy building (which means that the total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis will be roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created onsite).

Staff members have already moved into the new center and are getting the building ready for this summer’s expanded programs, including new gardening classes where students get to experience where food comes from and how it grows—all while having fun in the garden. For more information, visit


Earlier this year, the Sacramento Disabilities Advisory Commission launched the Tim Haley Recognition Award, named after former Commissioner Tim Haley, who passed away in 2020.

“The Sacramento Disabilities Advisory Commission is honored to present the Tim Haley Recognition Award to our Sacramento neighbors who go above and beyond to support our local disabled community,” says Commissioner Will Cannady. “Tim was a shining example of a community member who supported the needs of Sacramento’s disabled residents.”

Award recipients have included Marc Laver, Cid Van Koersel, Vanessa Bieker, Russell Rawlings, Phillip Sinclair, Joe Xavier and Meena Kalyanasundaran.

Formed in 2002, the commission provides advice and recommendations to the city on strategies and policies designed to ensure and enhance compliance with federal and state disability laws. Nine commissioners serve on the advisory board, each appointed by the mayor with approval by the City Council.


Last month, high school students from Community Collaborative Charter School worked with artist Shane Grammer to create a stunning mural in the east parking lot of OBO’ Italian Table & Bar and Kru Contemporary Japanese Cuisine in East Sacramento. The artwork was part of Soroptimist International’s Dream It, Be It Mural Education Project.

Through a partnership with Soroptimist International of Metropolitan Sacramento and the Hope Through Art Foundation, students learned “the art of being an artist” by working hands-on for four days. The mural’s public dedication in April recognized the contribution and talents of the students.


After receiving a feasibility study for a new regional zoo, the Elk Grove City Council extended the term of the exclusive negotiation agreement for 60 days to work with the Sacramento Zoological Society on a memorandum of understanding that would guide the next level of work.

Next steps include issuing a request for proposals to several top zoological park design firms; drafting and formalizing an official MOU between parties; and moving toward the creation of a phase-one master plan for the new zoo.

“Building a new regional zoo is a rare and time-intensive process that we welcome,” says Sacramento Zoo Executive Director Jason Jacobs. “The new zoo will be a series of experiences that benefit our animals and zoo visitors. Our goal is to create a zoo that educates and inspires over a million guests a year to make a difference for wildlife.”

For updates and more information, visit


Mirasol Village, a mixed-income housing development that began accepting families this month, has received funding for an Early Childhood Development Center.

The 427-unit housing development is bounded by Richards Boulevard, 12th Street and Dos Rios Street in Sacramento’s River District.

In addition to the Early Childhood Development Center, the village includes community rooms, a fitness center, business center, swimming pool, playground, spacious garden, barbecue areas and secured bicycle parking.

Transit-friendly features include a light rail station next door, on-site EV charging stations, access to the Car Share Program and close proximity to a bike lane connected to the American River trail. For more information, visit


The Bradshaw Animal Shelter’s mobile pet wellness clinic is back in action as part of the Bradshaw Animal Assistance Team’s veterinary outreach.

The program offers free basic veterinary services to low-income and unsheltered pet owners in Sacramento County. Prior to the pandemic, the volunteer-run program provided critical care to more than 9,200 pets in our community between 2016 and 2019.

The mobile clinic’s free services include vaccinations, microchipping, deworming, engraved ID tags and collars, flea prevention and treatment of some minor medical conditions. For more information, visit the shelter’s Facebook page @BradshawAnimalShelter.


American River College student Brianna Huynh is one of 20 college students who has been named to the prestigious Phi Theta Kappa All-USA Academic Team. She was also named a Phi Theta Kappa 2022 New Century Transfer Pathway Scholar based on the score she earned in the All-USA Academic Team competition.

Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students at associate degree colleges. Nominations to the All-USA Academic Team were evaluated on academic achievement, leadership, service and significant endeavors. Huynh received the highest score in California out of more than 2,200 nominees.

At ARC, Huynh is Associated Student Body director of finance, Phi Theta Kappa president, Women in STEM Club treasurer, Pacific Islander Southeast Asian Club president, Student Senate for California Community Colleges STEM Caucus vice chair, Design Hub intern, Beacon tutor, MESA student and a member of the track team.


Ghost Ink Company, a tattoo studio owned by queer Latinx couple David Ramses and Gerardo Cabral, is now open on Freeport Boulevard—thanks in large part to the Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s #JuntosSacramento, a grassroots program that provides resources tailored to the needs of small businesses.

Ramses, an experienced tattoo artist and Honduras native, is committed to creating a safe, welcoming and comfortable tattoo experience. Cabral is a passionate community connector, art enthusiast and creative entrepreneur. After participating in #JuntosSacramento, the couple gained the knowledge and confidence to launch their business.

“Although the work is far from over, the SACHCC applauds the investments made to support Hispanic small businesses owners, especially those in the creative economy,” says Cathy Rodriguez Aguirre, SACHCC president/CEO. “We are encouraged by our Sacramento City Council and Sacramento Board of Supervisors’ strategic approach to ensure equity is at the forefront of the recovery from the pandemic.”


After 10 years of service, Sacramento Region Community Foundation CEO Linda Beech Cutler will step down at the end of the year.

During her tenure, Cutler worked closely with the Board of Directors and senior leadership on the development of two multi-year strategic plans and led 10 Big Days of Giving, which raised millions of dollars for hundreds of area nonprofits. She elevated the foundation’s total assets to $200 million and brought the foundation’s annual grantmaking from fundholders and foundation-based grants to an all-time high of nearly $20 million annually.

“Linda’s leadership has been transformative,” says board Chair Kate Stille. “She has faced challenges head-on and identified and acted on opportunities that have resulted in the foundation’s ability to make an even greater impact.”


The Sacramento Children’s Chorus is looking for boys and girls entering second through 12th grade to audition for its upcoming season.

SCC will hold informational meetups Tuesday, May 24, from 4:30–6:30 p.m. To schedule a time, email For more information on SCC, visit


Sacramento Public Library’s Outdoor Family Storytime program returns to neighborhood parks this spring through May 28.
The 30-minute program is designed for children 6 years or younger and their caregivers to build on early learning foundations that develop pre-reading skills and a joy of reading that lasts a lifetime.

Families with young children and their older siblings are invited to join for songs, rhymes and stories at select community parks and library greenspaces. For dates and locations, visit


The Midtown Association has chosen three new Street Food Sacramento grant recipients to continue celebrating and amplifying Sacramento’s diverse street food culture while reducing entry barriers to historically underrepresented populations.

The 2022 awardees are Fernando Ponce of Chido’s Restaurant & Bar, which offers traditional seafood dishes from Southern Mexico; the Mak Family (Hong, Minh, Yen and Ashlee) of Mak & Grille, which features authentic Iu Mien cuisine with a fusion of Chinese, Vietnamese and American foods; and Geronimo Escobar of Steady Smokin’ BBQ, which cooks up classic barbeque cuisine, as well as dishes with a Mexican influence.

In addition to coveted booth space at the Midtown Farmers Market for one year, the grant package includes booth infrastructure, marketing, insurance support and startup funds to purchase products. Participants also have access to technical assistance, a mentor and workshops through the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce’s MetroBusiness Center.

“The entire region wins when diverse new food offerings are introduced into our collective culinary culture,” says Emily Baime Michaels, executive director of the Midtown Association. “We look forward to watching our three new winners bring their food products to market and the delicious new offerings that await.”

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

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