Highly adaptable and irresistibly adorable, raccoons abound in Sacramento. Mischievous, clever and cute, yes. But raccoons can quickly become nuisances when they take up room and board in your neighborhood.
Ask neighbors about raccoons and stories come tumbling out. Mike and Gail Johnson on 38th Street tell of raccoons using the cat door to access their home and finding their way to a jar of kibble in the kitchen. One unforgettable day, a raccoon followed by two kits charged Gail when she found herself between their exit and the food source. No more cat door.
People in Pocket are becoming shy. I don’t know the reason for this, but I know it’s happening because part of my job is to ask people to pose for photographs. About half say no.
It wasn’t always this way. When I started writing for Inside eight years ago, my success rate with asking people to pose was close to 90 percent. I would interview someone for a story and explain that our photographer would call for a quick photo session. People were generally agreeable. The published photos were always flattering.
The sights on lower X Street did it for me. Coming off the freeway, I saw wrecked cars and busted campers and people standing around, a pitiful procession pinned against the gutter like a forlorn carnival that took a wrong turn. Somebody stuck two orange traffic cones partway into the street, warning motorists to steer clear.
Lower X Street, home to warehouses and body shops, never delivered a welcoming hug to visitors who enter the city from river’s edge. Now it arrives with a punch in the face.
There aren’t many coffee table books that combine original artwork, architecture, history and humor, but James Patrick Lane’s new book, “Painting the Grand Homes of California’s Central Valley,” fits the description.
“This is not your standard coffee table book,” the Arden-Arcade artist says of the project he began in 2019. “It’s actually quite rare to find a book like this with paintings instead of photos. Plus, I’ve included painting tips like, here’s how I made the light in the windows. If you’re an artist, you should get a lot from this book.”
The homelessness crisis continues to grow. My office receives more calls, emails and online posts about this issue than any other.
The growing population of people living unsheltered on our streets, parks and open spaces brings human suffering to our doorsteps and represents a failure of government to provide safe and sanitary shelter and meaningful treatment programs for addiction and mental illness.