Out & About
By Jessica Laskey
Take The Challenge!
Fighting climate change with diet change
Bring your appetite to the 12th annual Vegan Chef Challenge taking place throughout October at more than 50 area restaurants.
The Vegan Chef Challenge is a monthlong event showcasing plant-based menu items created by local chefs to help Sacramentans fight climate change with diet change. As veganism becomes more mainstream, restaurants are adding options to accommodate their growing number of patrons who don’t eat food derived from animals.
Participating restaurants include The Golden Bear, Mayahuel, Veg Cafe, Thai Basil, The Porch, Capitol Garage, OneSpeed Pizza, Andy Nguyen’s, Revolution Winery & Kitchen, River City Brewing, Kupros and more.
The public is encouraged to vote for their favorite dishes and winners will be announced in early November. Many restaurants keep the most popular dishes in regular rotation after the challenge.
The Vegan Chef Challenge is presented by Vegan Outreach, an international animal advocacy organization, and Only Sunshine Sanctuary, a local nonprofit farm animal sanctuary. For more information, visit sacveganchefchallenge.com or onlysunshinesanctuary.com.
TUNNEL 2 TOWERS
Registration is open for the second annual Tunnel to Towers 5K Run & Walk on Saturday, Nov. 5, beginning at 9 a.m. at William Land Park.
The Sacramento 5K Run & Walk is one of more than 70 events held across the country in support of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, established in memory of fallen 9/11 FDNY firefighter Stephen Siller to pay off the mortgages of families with young children of law enforcement officers and firefighters who have been killed in the line of duty.
The family event is open to all, including friendly dogs. The run/walk will honor and celebrate Sacramento first responders, as well as military service members. To register, visit t2trun.org and click the Sacramento event.
Celebrate this year’s harvest with the return of the Village Feast on Sunday, Oct. 16, from noon to 3 p.m. in Midtown and Davis.
This communal meal is modeled after France’s traditional “grand aioli,” where participants sit at long community tables and pass around bottles of wine and platters of food, including bowls of aioli, the garlicky mayonnaise that is the centerpiece of every grand aioli in French villages.
This year’s feast will be held at two locations: Mulvaney’s B&L in Midtown and Great Bear Vineyards in Davis.
Participants bring their own tableware—plate, utensils and napkin—in keeping with the French tradition. The event raises funds for Davis Farm to School, which provides farm-based education to schoolchildren, and the Sacramento chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, which supplies scholarships to women in the food and hospitality industries.
Tickets are $165 and can be purchased at eventbrite.com/e/the-village-feast-2022-tickets-388884192087.
In addition, an online silent auction features food- and travel-related items. To participate in the auction, visit auctria.com/blog/auctria-mobile-app.
Crocker/Riverside Elementary School’s parent teacher organization recently unveiled the results of a multi-year project to transform the school’s unused front lawn into a climate-friendly community space.
Nearly 23,000 bricks were installed to form a permeable courtyard complete with 14 benches topped by metal art plaques etched with inspirational quotes and life lessons. The PTO worked with Sacramento City Unified School District, SMUD, Sacramento Tree Foundation, Teichert, South Land Park Construction, Capital Metal Works and Northern California Construction Training.
“We are thrilled to welcome our students back to campus with this new courtyard, where families can safely gather and connect,” Crocker/Riverside Principal Ygnacio Zarate says. “Our students have suffered during the pandemic, so I am proud to be part of this project that shows them just how much our community cares about them.”
Bricks imprinted with names are available for $150 each. Benches can be purchased for $5,000. For information on the brick campaign, visit crockerriverside.org.
REFLECT ON AGING
River Park resident Marilyn Reynolds is releasing her latest book, a collection of 28 essays titled “Over 80: Reflections on Aging.” In the book, Reynolds explores how to survive a sudden health crisis, create your own form of spirituality, share a dog and think about the past without becoming mired in it.
Reynolds, a retired teacher, first started writing books that would appeal to her students at a continuation high school. She’s now written loads of volumes, including two memoirs and an 11-book series about adolescent life. She also works with 916 Ink, a Sacramento literacy program for underserved youth.
“Over 80” is available at area bookstores and at newwindpublishing.com. Don’t miss the launch event Saturday, Oct. 29, at 4 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Sacramento on Sierra Boulevard. To RSVP, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cerealism, a new cereal-themed dessert café, has opened in Old Sacramento.
Owner Laterica Reddix hopes to bring back the nostalgia of Saturday mornings with a variety of breakfast cereals that can be eaten traditionally in a bowl, blended into ice cream or made into a cereal-infused milkshake.
Cerealism also features a variety of cereal-themed desserts like Cinnamon Toast Crunch S’mores and Cereal Sushi (made with bananas, crepes and cereal toppings).
Each room in the café, including a party room and a Super Mario-inspired video game room, has been painted by local muralists Jaya King, Uli Smith and Nicole Keith to create what Reddix calls “an immersive, Instagram-able experience.”
Hate to leave your pooch at home when you go out and about? Midtown has tons of pet-friendly places to bring your four-footed friends.
More than 30 Midtown restaurants and eateries— including Café Bernardo, Federalist Public House, INK Eats & Drinks, LowBrau, Paesanos, The Waterboy and Zocalo—welcome pets on their patios and outdoor spaces. Pets are also welcome at the Midtown Farmers Market every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Treat your favorite family member with a chew toy, accessory or “pup cake” at Leash & Collar on Q Street, and at the dog bakery and art gallery Paws & the Palette on 24th Street.
Of course, there’s always Truitt Bark Park at 18th and Q streets for a bit of socializing. And don’t miss the annual Midtown Halloween Festival & Pooch Parade on Saturday, Oct. 29, from noon to 3 p.m. at James Marshall Park featuring an always-adorable costume contest.
FIND YOUR DISTRICT
If the redistricting kerfuffle has left you confused, check out the city’s new “Find Your District” tool at cityofsacramento.org/mayor-council/find-your-district.
Last December, the Sacramento Independent Redistricting Commission adopted a new City Council district boundary map based on the 2020 census. The changes created quite a hubbub, so in April the council directed the preparation of an amendment to the City Charter to clarify new redistricting maps. The amendment will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot.
On the website, enter your address to see your current district/councilmember and when that may change. The city will update the tool in December to reflect new councilmembers as they’re sworn in.
“We hope this tool will help the public to quickly and efficiently access information about their districts and council representatives,” says Maria MacGunigal, the city’s chief information officer.
Sacramento County residents are needed to serve on the county’s nearly 100 advisory boards and commissions covering a wide range of topics from youth to mental health.
This is a chance to use any specialized knowledge or interest you may have to help get things done where you live.
Vacancies and application information are posted at sccob.saccounty.gov/pages/boardsandcommissions.aspx.
The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors has appointed 13 members to the newly created Climate Emergency Mobilization Task Force.
The taskforce is comprised of citizens who have expertise in air quality, agriculture, manmade structures, economics, energy and transit/transportation.
“After a thorough interview process, we have picked 13 of the best candidates in the region to provide input, guidance, oversight and assistance to my office, and to serve as an advisory body to the county,” says Sustainability Manager John Lundgren.
The technical experts on the taskforce are Justin Hwang, Austin Miller, Mackenzie Wieser, Roslyn Roberts, Kevin Head and Ghazan Khan. Environmental justice members are Timothy Irvine, Rolando Villareal, Saheb Gulati, Supriya Patel, Ajay Singh and Kathleen Stricklin. The youth member is Benjamin Jacobs. For information, visit green.saccounty.net.
The Sacramento City Council has approved $500,000 for implementation of a business-assistance and support-services program for local minority-owned micro and small businesses. The program will be run by the California Black Chamber of Commerce with funds from the American Rescue Plan.
“The program will connect our local minority-owned businesses with access to capital and business mentors to help them recover from the impacts of the pandemic and prepare for future growth opportunities,” explains Mikel Davila from the city’s Office of Innovation and Economic Development.
To deliver these services, the California Black Chamber of Commerce will partner with local workforce training, community outreach and business support organizations Green Tech, Neighborhood Innovation and Black Small Business Association. For information, visit calbcc.org.
CHILD CARE FUNDS
The City Council has approved $1.5 million in funding to expand child care services in Sacramento after the pandemic permanently shuttered 272 child care provider facilities, leading to a 13-percent drop in the child care workforce.
“These child care programs will help add slots for families and increase capacity to support Sacramentans getting back to work,” says Janine Cooper, the city’s child care project manager.
The city will work with Child Action, Inc., Los Rios Community College District and California Capital Women’s Business Center to expand child care services through provider stipends, education and job placement. The program was modeled after the Sacramento Employment and Training Agency’s Head Start apprenticeship program.
FREE RT RIDES
Students! Parents! Don’t miss free rides on the Sacramento Regional Transit network through RydeFreeRT.
The program offers students in transitional kindergarten through 12th grade who live in or go to school within SacRT’s service area (which includes the cities of Sacramento, Elk Grove, Folsom, Citrus Heights, Rancho Cordova and parts of Sacramento County) free rides on buses, light rail and on-demand shuttle services (SmaRT Ride).
A 2019 survey found that in three Sacramento City Unified schools, approximately one in four students reported missing at least one day of school during a six-week period because of transportation issues.
RydeFreeRT is available all day, every day, all year during regular service hours. New cards for the current 2022-23 school year are distributed by schools and are valid through June 30, 2023. For information, visit rydefreert.com.
The Sacramento Police Department is inviting the public to hand in unwanted firearms and receive compensation—a $50 gift card for each firearm they turn in. The Gun Buyback event will be held Saturday, Oct. 22, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Public Safety Center at 5770 Freeport Blvd.
More than 130 firearms were turned in at the May 21 Gas for Guns event, including at least one assault weapon, numerous components for privately manufactured firearms (ghost guns) and other illegally configured weapons.
No identification is required to participate. Firearms must be fully functional to receive a gift card. No ammunition is allowed at the event.
The city of Sacramento’s Office of Arts and Culture has been selected to receive $4.75 million—the highest award possible for a single organization—from the California Arts Council to implement the state’s new California Creative Corps program in Sacramento, Yolo, El Dorado, Alpine and Solano counties.
The program’s goal is to increase public awareness related to water and energy conservation, climate mitigation, emergency preparedness, and relief and recovery through art.
“The creative community is uniquely positioned to help people understand and engage with some of the most urgent and complex issues of our time,” says Megan Van Voorhis, the city’s creative economy manager.
The Office of Arts and Culture will work with regional partners to distribute grants to artist collectives, nonprofit social service/civic organizations, arts nonprofits, local government and tribal governments for creative campaigns. Information on how to apply will be available at arts.cityofsacramento.org.
The city’s traffic safety Vision Zero plan is helping nine local schools and their surrounding neighborhoods become more pedestrian friendly with new curb ramps, high-visibility crosswalks, and additional bike lanes and buffers through $2.2 million in federal funds.
The nine schools—Aspire Capitol Heights Academy, Father Keith B. Kenny Elementary School, Natomas High School, Oak Ridge Elementary, Hope Public School 7, Smythe Academy of Arts and Sciences, The Met Sacramento High School, West Campus High School and William Land Elementary—are among 20 that were highlighted in the Vision Zero School Safety Plan as historically disadvantaged or in an area with a high number of severe injuries and fatalities from traffic crashes.
Since Vision Zero was adopted in 2017, the city has invested more than $20 million in safety upgrades—including reduced speed limits on 225 streets—through local funding and competitive grants.
CROCKER ART ARK
After a two-year pandemic hiatus, the Crocker Art Museum’s beloved Art Ark has returned.
Since its launch in 1980, the 50-foot mobile art center has brought hands-on art experiences to more than 200,000 public school students throughout the region to supplement arts education in the classroom.
This fall, the Art Ark will be repurposed as part of Block by Block, the Crocker’s community-based arts initiative. Over the next several months, the Art Ark will take up residence at four community hubs around Sacramento to showcase “Sacramento Narratives,” a hyper-local exploration of the city’s rich and diverse cultural landscape through art activities, conversations and workshops.
Art Ark’s upcoming residencies include Leataata Floyd Elementary School, Sept. 20 to Oct. 5; Crocker Art Museum, Oct. 6–10; and Maple Neighborhood Center, Oct. 10 to Nov. 22. For information, visit crockerart.org.
Jessica Laskey can be reached at email@example.com. Submissions are due six weeks prior to the publication month. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @insidesacramento.