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R.E. Graswich

Writer and Editorial Team

About This Author

R.E. Graswich is a journalist, author and media expert. His book “Vagrant Kings” is the definitive history of the Sacramento Kings basketball team. He was Special Assistant to Mayor Kevin Johnson, managed the Sacramento Voices program for the Maynard Institute of Journalism Education and worked for the Sacramento Bee, CBS 13 and KFBK.

Articles by this author

Going, Going…

Soon after she was elected to City Council in 2020, Katie Valenzuela told me something remarkable. She said she would follow her instincts and didn’t care if voters tossed her out after one term.

Now she might not make it that far.

In September, the group “For a Better Sacramento” plans to submit petitions forcing Valenzuela into a recall election next March.

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Junk Removal

The Army Corps of Engineers doesn’t mess around when it’s time to rip out junk built by people who live near the Sacramento River levee.

“Encroachments that must be removed in order to complete construction will not be replaced by the project,” the Army Corps says in a progress report on the Big Fix, the massive levee repair project.

The bulletin explains if residents along the levee want to restore their garbage, which includes fences and gates, staircases, garden furniture, lawns, trees and flower beds, they must obtain permits.

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Kid Gloves

There was nothing lovely about the old brick building at 3520 Fifth Ave. The roof leaked. The second-floor gym reeked of sweat and leather. But for years, the place was a magic castle.

Young people climbed the stairs and left the streets behind. They pounded the heavy bag, skipped rope, shadow boxed and learned to properly throw and take punches.

The Oak Park building was home to the Police Athletic League boxing program, the city’s premier recreational safe ground for underserved young people, ages 7 to 17. As Mayor Darrell Steinberg and the City Council ponder why today’s teens become tomorrow’s gangsters, the answer is found among the ghosts of 3520 Fifth Ave.

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Not Again

Never underestimate the arrogance of politicians, even at the local level. They know better than you and me. And they won’t take no for an answer.

This summer, the City Council considered a November ballot initiative to steal about $10 million annually from cannabis taxes. The money would flow to private organizations. In theory, they will spend it on kids. Or so they say.

If this sounds familiar, it should. Voters rejected two similar schemes, Measure Y in 2016 and Measure G in 2020.

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Minor Delights

Being a sports fan in Sacramento isn’t completely awful.

True, the Kings have exploited the community’s one-horse status for decades. The basketball team sells far more tickets, suites and sponsorships than failure warrants.

A season or two of home games with 10,000 empty seats would embarrass the Kings, if that’s possible, and provide visual and financial motivation to fix the mess.

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