Archive for the ‘General’ Category

NBNA Has A New Website!

June 14, 2012

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:

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.


It’s a New Year for the Neighborhood!

January 3, 2012


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.

Happy Halloween!

October 30, 2011

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

Memorial Day, 2011

May 30, 2011

“To remember.”

Welcome to the Neighborhood (again)

February 25, 2011

Dear Readers,

Hello once again from the Newton Booth Neighborhood.  It’s been a long journey back, but I hope this time I can write more consistently, and make this blog into something that will last.  Thank you for checking in.

Maybe I should start here with a little background information.  Since I haven’t introduced myself in these posts for a while, my name is Dairl Helmer, I’m 41 years old – and as the first sentence to this post suggests, I live in the Newton Booth Neighborhood of Sacramento, California.  I moved to Sacramento in 2000, and have lived in the neighborhood since 2003.

When the Newton Booth Neighborhoods Association Board (of which I am a member) first asked me to create a blog for the neighborhood back in mid-2009, I was hesitant.  I like to write, but my particular interest is in the printed word, not the ephemeral posts of a blog.  But for a time, I gave it my best shot, covering various neighborhood events and trying to learn more about the neighborhood we live in.

Unfortunately, in the summer of last year, my posts for this blog dropped off, and then ceased for a while.  The reason was stress in my personal life from the closure of the law firm for which I worked, the loss of my job of eight and a half years, and a period of unemployment that followed.  (Thankfully, in December I found a job once again, and as of now it seems to be going well.)

By the way, I apologize once again, that it has taken me such a long time to make a new post to the blog.  As I’ve discovered, posting to a blog consistently is a little bit like going to the gym consistently:  If you stop for even a few weeks – no matter what the reason – it can be very hard to get back into the habit again.  Not impossible, but very hard.

But I’ll tell you why it’s important to me to start this blog up again:  Connecting to a neighborhood is a way for people to engage with their community; and engaging with community is the first step toward creating a better community.

Like the first time the NBNA Board asked me to create a blog, once again this time I hesitated.  Isn’t the internet one more device for keeping people in their houses, eyes glued to a screen, I wondered?  Shouldn’t people be out walking, meeting their neighbors, going to local restaurants and coffeehouses, instead of sitting at home in front of a computer?  And wouldn’t I perhaps be contributing to the problem, even in a small way, by starting up the blog again?

Those points are well-taken.  Yes, we all should get out and enjoy what our neighborhood and community have to offer, and by all means we should get together with people face-to-face, in order to satisfy the need for human contact and community.  But I don’t think my writing a blog about the neighborhood is adding to the problem, unless we all stay in front of our computers all day and do nothing else.  Like many people, from time to time I like to surf the internet, go on social networking sites, read news, watch videos, enjoy humor, and occasionally (though in my case infrequently) read a blog.  This has not prevented me from going out for walks, going to events, and actively engaging with my neighborhood.  It’s just a matter of keeping a balance.

In short, what I would like to accomplish with this blog is to contribute, in some small way, to the fostering and growth of community in the Newton Booth, Poverty Ridge and Alhambra Triangle neighborhoods.  If reading this blog encourages you to get out and enjoy more of what this neighborhood and the community of Sacramento have to offer, I will be very pleased.

Please don’t hesitate to leave comments, ideas, suggestions, or constructive criticism on these posts.  This blog is for all of us, the neighbors of Newton Booth, Poverty Ridge and Alhambra Triangle; and if there is any way the blog can serve you better, I’d like to know.

Thanks again for checking in.  I’ll be posting again soon (I promise!), so please come back again.  Welcome to the neighborhood.

Welcome Back to the Neighborhood Blog

September 28, 2010


To briefly update my previous post:  As of September 24, the Blogger’s day job came to an end.  Frankly, I’m relieved the drama at work is over.  I don’t usually post a lot of personal information on this blog; but I wanted you all to know why the past couple of months or so have had so few postings.  It’s been an emotionally and physically draining few months; but that’s all over with now.

Again, my apologies for the long delay.  Now that I have more time, I hope to be able to post information about our neighborhoods on a more regular basis.

Now that that’s out of the way…I want to go back and re-introduce all of us to the neighborhoods that are covered by the Newton Booth Neighborhoods Association:  Poverty Ridge, Newton Booth, and Alhambra Triangle, which are all located in the central part of Sacramento, California.

Here is the entire area of the three neighborhoods (outlined in purple):

The area covered by the Newton Booth Neighborhoods Association.

The area is bounded by: 19th Street to the west; R Street to the north; W Street and Highway 50 to the south; and 34th Street to the east.  (Actually, technically the area extends to 37th Street; but beyond 34th Street there are mostly industrial facilities, and beyond Stockton Boulevard not much besides on- and off-ramps to the freeway.)

Here’s a closer look at Poverty Ridge:

Along 19th and 20th Streets there are a variety of buildings including light commercial, some light industrial, a restaurant, a government building, and a church; the area is bisected by the light rail and Union Pacific railroad tracks.  Beyond 20th Street there are more residential homes, with a few other businesses; and from 21st to 24th Streets, the area is mostly residential, with some quite elegant Victorian and other fine houses.  Poverty Ridge also contains the Ella K. McClatchy Library, on 22nd Street between U and V Streets.

From 24th to 29th Streets, between R and W Streets, is the Newton Booth neighborhood:

The Newton Booth neighborhood has some light industrial and light commercial uses along R Street near the light rail tracks; but south of that, the neighborhood is mainly residential.  On the block between 26th and 27th Streets, between V and W Streets, is a building (built in the 1920s) that formerly housed the Newton Booth School, which gives the neighborhood its name.  The area around 29th and S Streets is starting to see new life, as Temple coffeehouse and Revolution Wines have recently moved into the neighborhood; and other small businesses dot the area along 29th Street south of S Street.

Finally, beyond 29th Street and the freeway is the Alhambra Triangle neighborhood:

(By the way, I must point out one slight inaccuracy I did not have time to correct here:  Highway 50 actually curves northward at a somewhat sharper angle than shown here; thus Alhambra Boulevard meets W Street slightly south of the overpass over the freeway.  My apologies.)

The Alhambra Triangle has a variety of residential, government, and commercial uses in its boundaries.  One of the businesses in the area is the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op, a member-owned cooperative grocery store located at Alhambra and S Street, which offers classes and other special events (some of which I hope to be announcing here, as they may be of interest to residents of the neighborhood).

That’s enough for now.  I’ll be posting more soon, including news about a very exciting neighborhood event coming up in October–so please check back again soon!  Thanks.

The Blogger Is Back from Taking a Break

September 8, 2010

Dear friends & neighbors,

If any of you have tried to follow the Newton Booth Neighborhood Blog this summer, you’ve likely noticed that not much has been posted lately.  In fact, until now I haven’t posted anything since July 12.  So you’re probably wondering what’s going on.

What happened is that an unfortunate reality came up in the Blogger’s life this summer.  I found out that this fall, I may be without a job.

Basically, the law firm where I work announced to us in late June that it was going out of business by Labor Day weekend.  Shortly after that, I had a couple of possible prospects for follow-up jobs; but when those fell through, I went through some stressful days, trying to accept what had happened, and to think about what to do next.

Unfortunately, my writing of this blog fell by the wayside for a while.  For that, I apologize; but as we all know, taking care of personal business has to come first.

However, it’s time for me to start this blog up again.  Although times are hard and funds are limited, I am feeling much better now, and writing a blog about my neighborhood is a healthy outlet for my creativity.  Hopefully, too, the blog will also continue to be of interest to all of you!

I don’t have any upcoming events, stories, or items of interest to report at the moment – but I’m working on finding some to share.  Please check back again here soon.  And in the meantime, enjoy the little foretaste of fall weather we’ve been having…

Welcome to the Neighborhood Blog

July 19, 2009

Dear Neighbors,

Welcome to the Newton Booth Neighborhood Blog!   My name is Dairl Helmer, and I’m going to be the “host” of this little online gathering.  🙂

The Newton Booth Neighborhood Blog is being created under the leadership of the Newton Booth Neighborhoods Association, a group intended to be a voice for the residents of the Newton Booth, Poverty Ridge, and Alhambra Triangle neighborhoods, here in Sacramento, California.  You can find out more about the Newton Booth Neighborhoods Association at:

On this blog, I’m hoping to share some of the events in our neighborhood, and some of the issues people in the neighborhood care about.  I may be the host, but this blog is for you.  Please post if you have ideas or comments to share!

I’ll be posting more items soon, so please check back in to this site.  Thanks for reading, and in the meantime, enjoy this beautiful neighborhood we call home!