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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

Judge Not

Since 1975, when the city announced plans for the Sacramento River Parkway and bike trail, various people said they would sue to stop it. For 48 years, there were no lawsuits. There was also no parkway.

As the levee parkway and bike path finally head toward completion in the next two years, it’s fair to wonder whether litigation can slow or derail a project that’s already a half-century behind schedule.

Anyone can threaten to sue. As a young reporter at The Bee, I thought I had a scoop when a soccer team owner told me he was going to sue the government for messing with his players’ visas.

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The Good Book

Trouble began when Frank Miller, 66, dropped dead from a heart attack while listening to a horse race.

Miller didn’t die at home. He collapsed on the second floor of a bar and cafe called the Equipoise Club at 415 K St., in a room filled with chalkboards, teletype machines, telephones, betting slips, loud speakers and dozens of people. A bookie joint.

Eleven days later, 15 Sacramento police officers rushed into Equipoise, climbed the stairs, blew their whistles and interrupted about 150 racing fans. Eight people were arrested, including the club’s owner, Frank Nisetich, known to family, friends and prosecutors as “Bookie Butch.”

“We’ve got the dope this time,” Police Chief William Hallanan said. “We’ve got them dead to rights with plenty of evidence.”

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Hostile Takeover

Here’s my entry for the most ridiculous local political takeover of 2022.

Several months ago, a group of homeowners along the Sacramento River levee seized control of the Pocket Greenhaven Community Association. They figured by co-opting the association, they could influence, delay or even prevent the city from finishing the river parkway and bike trail.

They were wrong. The takeover merely squandered the association’s good work and reputation.

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Football Fantasy

Sacramento will never have an NFL team. It won’t have a stake in a major college bowl game. January playoffs and bowl games present a cruel reminder of these facts.

A city without an NFL or major college team isn’t necessarily deprived. Local football fans can find joy watching Sacramento State score touchdowns against Northern Colorado and Montana. Several high schools have excellent programs.

And there’s always the 49ers. Santa Clara is a miserable drive. The worst Levi’s Stadium seat is ridiculously expensive. But there’s no threat of the 49ers moving too far.

In the late 1980s, the Raiders discussed moving from Los Angeles to Sacramento. It was a leverage strategy by Al Davis. He ignored a $50 million down payment from the City Council and returned to Oakland. He played us.

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Crisis Management

I don’t want to shock anyone, but the new year brings the chance that City Hall will stumble into a way to control and even reduce homelessness. This revelation follows the embrace of a tool other cities have deployed for years.
It’s called a Homeless Management Information System, or HMIS. The idea is obvious: coordinate services, outcomes and data involving homeless people. That’s about it.

There’s nothing new about coordinating housing and mental health services for people who live on the streets or in shelters. Integrated management systems have been around for years. Semi-annual homeless counts are one example of coordination.

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