NBNA Has A New Website!

June 14, 2012 by

Dear Neighbors,

I’m happy to share with all of you some good news.  After much effort and more than a few struggles, the Newton Booth Neighborhoods Association earlier this year opened its new official website:  www.newtonbooth.org.

At the new website, you can find out about the latest upcoming events and special events; find the date and time of the next NBNA Board meeting; find restaurants, schools, grocery stores, and much more in the Poverty Ridge/Newton Booth/Alhambra Triangle neighborhoods; read short pieces (a few of them even written by this blogger!) about interesting places and things right here in your neighborhood; find helpful links and community resources; check out a map of the neighborhood; comment on neighborhood issues at the Forums page; browse our neighborhood photo library; and more.

This beautiful and multi-faceted new website would have been impossible without the technological wizardry of our new Board member, Linda Sabella, for which she deserves our undying thanks!  Former NBNA President Bill Robertson also contributed a considerable amount of time and energy to help create the look and design of the website; and other members of the NBNA board have also made important contributions, ideas and suggestions toward the success of the website.  It has become a collaborative effort…and a highly important one, in this day and age of computers connecting people.

With that, I also have some bittersweet news:  Since many of functions of this NBNA Blog are being transferred over to the new NBNA website, we will be effectively winding down the NBNA Blog for the time being.  While I may occasionally still put up items from time to time, from now on the new NBNA website will be the place-to-go for news, upcoming events, forums and comments, and connecting to neighborhood and community resources.

I started the NBNA Blog in the summer of 2009 with high hopes for a “fun” way to contribute stories and connect with neighbors.  Unfortunately, the pressure to continually update the blog myself, and to keep up with the many interesting events and issues in the neighborhood, became too much for one person to do.  I’m hopeful that, when I was at least able to actively keep it updated, this blog was able to help you see a little bit of your neighborhood in a new light, and was able to create just a tiny few of those fragile bonds of community, that sometimes seem so lacking these days – particularly due to the economic difficulties and political bickering of these times.

Having said that, we at the NBNA Board cordially invite you, the neighbors, to our new online home.  And please, as always, stay involved in the issues you care about, right here in our neighborhood – and stay connected to the people who share this little corner of Sacramento, that we call home.


Natural Foods Co-op To Be Moving?

January 9, 2012 by

Our neighborhood's own Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op at 1900 Alhambra Blvd.

The Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op will be seeking to move to a new location, according to General Manager Paul Cultrera in the Co-op’s latest quarterly newsletter.  “[A]fter months of exploring many sites” that would meet the Co-op’s criteria, Cultrera writes, “we have found one that will meet them all.”  The Co-op cannot disclose the location, he says, until the project’s developers (Ravel Rasmussen Properties and Separovich/Domich Real Estate) are able to begin discussions with the City of Sacramento Planning Department and the site’s neighbors; but he adds that this should happen “in the next few weeks,” and that the site will be revealed then.

The need for a new site for the Co-op has been clear to some observers.  In a Sacramento Bee article last Wednesday (Jan. 4) on the Co-op’s planned move, Bob Shallit writes that the Co-op, currently with about 12,000 members, “has been coping for years with inadequate parking and sales space for its growing operation.”  The Co-op’s attempt to address the problem by opening a second location in Elk Grove in 2005, failed 18 months later due to low sales.

In his message, Cultrera writes that (without being able to reveal the location), the new site will be within “two minute’s walking distance” from the current site; “more than double” the available parking spaces; increase the main floor area by more than 30 percent; and combine the store and all the Co-op’s offices, meeting spaces and classroom space into the same building, “while doubling the space available for those purposes.”  Cultrera adds that the increased size will mean the Co-op’s rent costs at the new site will be “significantly higher” than at the current location; but that “increased sales volume” from the new location would make the higher rent affordable.

Once the location is announced, Cultrera anticipates that the Co-op members will be asked to vote on the project by this April, with plenty of “informational meetings” prior to the vote to inform members of the “benefits and risks” of the project.  If the project is approved and all goes well, the Co-op’s new location would open by the middle of 2014.

For more information, please pick up a copy of the January-March 2012 “Co-op Reporter” at the Co-op; or visit the Co-op’s website.

It’s a New Year for the Neighborhood!

January 3, 2012 by


Happy New Year!  I hope you’ve all been enjoying the holiday season, and this strangely dry December.  I’ve really enjoyed looking at all the lights and decorations at people’s houses, on my walks through the neighborhood.

It’s a new year and a time for new beginnings.  And I don’t usually like to make pitches for things, but there is a group here that’s trying to make this neighborhood a better community, and to be a voice for all residents.  It’s the Newton Booth Neighborhoods Association.

Membership is just $12 a year.  Becoming part of the Association is a great way to be involved in issues that matter to all of us–the residents of the Poverty Ridge, Newton Booth, and Alhambra Triangle neighborhoods.  The Association organizes also fun events like last November’s “Newton’s Night Out”; and with more active members, we’ll be able to have more events to bring neighbors together.

Below is the membership application–just print it out, write a check for the low, low membership price of $12, and mail it in!

Also, if you’re a member of NBNA (or have decided to join), and if you’re interested in getting involved in the neighborhood and making things happen, consider applying for membership on the NBNA Board.  The Board is looking for new members who love the neighborhood and have a desire to work toward taking care of and improving the community. 

Below is the Board Membership Application; please print it, fill it out and send it in, if you’re interested.  Thank you!

And on behalf of the Neighborhood Association, I’d like to wish all of you a happy and prosperous 2012.

Newton Booth’s “Community” Sculpture Vandalized

December 1, 2011 by

Neighbors coming home from Thanksgiving who happened to go by the intersection of 26th and S Streets last weekend, were in for an unpleasant sight.  At some time before the morning of Saturday, November 26, the metal sculpture inside the 26th & S traffic circle, a piece called “Community,” had been vandalized–apparently by a driver who managed to drive over the entire traffic circle.

The sculpture, created by Sacramento artist Kristen Hoard, is a symbol of the Newton Booth neighborhood, and (as far as we know) is the only art piece in Sacramento made to decorate a traffic circle.  The circle, in the center of the intersection, creates a small “roundabout” and was intended as part of the city’s traffic calming program.

Originally, the sculpture had four metal human-like figures facing each other, mounted into the dirt in the circle on small concrete stands.  Whoever vandalized the art piece somehow managed to knock over two of the standing figures.  Judging by the direction the two fallen figures were laying, it can be inferred that whatever drove over the traffic circle was traveling south on 26th Street, going towards T Street:

The uprooted concrete stand for the metal figure on the south end of the traffic circle. The metal figure was pushed over so violently that it was driven into the ground.

Was this a case of drunk driving?  A speeding truck of enormous size with an oblivious driver?  No witnesses that we know of have come forward, and even the general time of day of the incident is not known.

What is known is that speeding drivers on our neighborhood streets have become an increasing problem.  26th Street is a direct line to the freeway and to Broadway; and perhaps some foolish driver with too much to drink, or distracted (maybe with a cell phone call or a text message?), barrelled down the street late Friday night or early Saturday morning, unconcerned about the neighborhood sculpture in front of him or her.  The problem of speeding, careless drivers passing through the neighborhood is not limited to this incident:  One of the new traffic-calming islands at 23rd and T Streets was reportedly hit by a driver in the past couple of weeks.

Also, it is a bit chilling to note that the human-like figures in the sculpture, run over by a careless driver, look not unlike actual people sprawled on the ground.  I mention this in order to remind everyone reading this, that an accident can happen to pedestrians anytime, day or night–so please be careful crossing the street, and watch out for bad drivers.  Don’t assume a driver will stop for you.  And drivers, please be aware of your surroundings at all times, drive at posted speeds, and brake for pedestrians and cyclists.

The good news is that this neighborhood has a lot of people who care about our community–and our “Community” art piece–and we will be working to fix what was done.  In the weeks to come, the Newton Booth Neighborhoods Association will be working with the City of Sacramento, and with Kristen Hoard, to figure out the next steps to restoring the sculpture.  Might a small, friendly neighborhood fund-raiser perhaps be in the works?  We’ll keep you posted.  In the meantime, please walk, cycle and drive safely…here in the neighborhood, and everywhere you go.

McClatchy Library Holding Open House This Saturday

November 17, 2011 by

Our neighborhood's own Ella K. McClatchy Library, at 2112 22nd Street (between U and V).

Like local libraries?  This Saturday, November 19 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., the Ella K. McClatchy Library (located at 2112 22nd Street) will be hosting its annual Fall Open House.  It’s a great chance to come by and check out a delightful community resource here in our neighborhood.

Starting at 11:00 a.m., the Friends of the McClatchy Library will be holding their annual board meeting at the Library.  If you already know and like what we’ve got and are interested in supporting the Library, this would be a good chance to meet the people who’ve been working to preserve it, find out what’s been going on lately, and get involved.

From 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., the Library is opening up its patio in back for a Patio Sale.  Check out fine books, non-fiction books, gift baskets and more.  From 2:00 to 4:00, learn how to make an Ella K. McClatchy Library magnet; or take a tour of the upstairs rooms (rarely seen by the general public).

Refreshments will also be available from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Come on out and enjoy meeting neighbors, shopping for a gift, and of course browsing for books!

Newton’s Night Out – Coming Up November 10

October 30, 2011 by

A special neighborhood event will be coming up on Thursday, November 10 from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.  Newton’s Night Out will be a chance for neighbors in the Poverty Ridge, Newton Booth and Alhambra Triangle neighborhoods to come out and enjoy wine, refreshments and friendly conversation at Revolution Wines, located at 2831 S Street (at the corner of 29th and S) in Midtown Sacramento.

In addition to being a chance for neighbors to meet and enjoy wine and refreshments, the Newton Booth Neighborhoods Association will also be presenting the new Growing Together Award to Mike McKeever, Chief Executive Officer of SACOG (Sacramento Area Council of Governments), for his work in mediating a dispute over a proposed development in our neighborhood earlier this year.  Come on out and enjoy a neighborhood night out!

Happy Halloween!

October 30, 2011 by

We at the Newton Booth Neighborhoods Association would like to wish all of you a happy and safe Halloween!

Putting the Brakes on Passive Bulldozing

October 19, 2011 by

As the NBNA continues to work cooperatively with those responsible developers doing important infill on legitimately vacant lots, other less responsible, absentee landlords who purchase historic houses and allow them to crumble to the ground in order to create new vacant lots for development represent an increasing problem in our area.

We recently supported an NBNA member’s ongoing efforts to get city action on one such absentee landlord, whose property at 1811 26th Street was vacant, hazardous and garbage-filled. The City’s efforts to enforce property code violations extended over two years and seemed mostly to have involved failed efforts to communicate with the property’s owner, who is ambiguously–and one might suggest contemptably–listed as “Joe Jones Properties.”

The clock was ticking, the fines were adding up, and the property was continuing to decay in what can only be described as “passive bulldozing.”

After taking some digital photos of the property, the NBNA went online and filed a complaint with Sacramento Code Enforcement in support of the NBNA member, including the photos which spoke volumes. For good measure we sent a duplicate email to Sacramento 911.  A few weeks later, we went and checked out the property again.  The house was still abandoned,  but the yard was cleared of garbage, and that felt good.

It’s no secret that these days the City of Sacramento has limited resources to address many of the problems it faces–and that includes code enforcement. Which is why it’s important to help the process by utilizing the City’s online infrastructure. Registering a concern about a delinquent property, illegal dumping, overgrown weeds or graffiti is easy thanks to Sacramento Code Enforcement’s online complaint forms. If you’ve got a digital camera, you can even attach a photo of what concerns you, like we did, and help the City do its job.

Passive bulldozing is still a problem.  But we can’t put the brakes on it if we don’t push the pedal.  The more people who participate in government, the more effectively government works.  It’s that simple.

Before & after. The garbage-filled backyard of an abandoned house gets cleaned up with a little help from the NBNA.

Here’s the City’s URL for filing code enforcement complaints:


Fourth of July Fun in the Neighborhood

July 18, 2011 by

Once again this year, the annual Fourth of July Block Party brought some red, white & blue fun to the heart of the Newton Booth/Poverty Ridge neighborhood.  So without further ado, let’s see the photos!

As in past years, local musicians performed their original music live…

…while others were throwin’ down some tasty food on the grill:



Kids were cycling, tots playing in wading pools, while old-time neighbors and newcomers were chatting and enjoying the evening.  And after dark, the sparklers came out…

…and of course the fireworks:

A fun time was had.  If you missed it, come on out next year!  As I said in an earlier post, what better way to celebrate America than to have some fun and get to know the people in your own community?

4th of July Block Party Returns to U Street

June 25, 2011 by


Come on out to the 4th of July block party!  Right here in the middle of the Newton Booth neighborhood, on U Street between 25th and 26th Streets, people from around the neighborhood will be gathering to grill tasty food, listen to music, visit with their neighbors…and after dark, set off some fireworks!

Grilling meat at the U Street 4th of July Block Party (2009)

The festivities start at 6:00 p.m., and of course it’s free.  Bring your own chairs, meat to grill, and drinks (no glass, sorry).  Bringing fireworks is optional.  (Remember, we’ll have children in attendance…and plus, it’s dry weather and fire season…so please keep the pyrotechnic activities safe and sane, okay? Thanks.) 

Neighbors enjoy some fun with sparklers (2009)

What better way to celebrate America than to get to know the neighbors right here in your own community…and, of course, have some fun at the same time?  Hope to see you there!