Memorial Day, 2011

May 30, 2011 by

“To remember.”


Co-op Hosts Evening with Urban Forest Visionaries

May 10, 2011 by


This Friday, May 13 from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m., the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op will be hosting an Evening With Visionaries at the Co-op Community Learning Center on 1914 Alhambra Blvd. 

Hear from two people who are working to help plant urban forests and build better communities: 

Andy Lipkis, President of TreePeople, an environmental non-profit organization dedicated to growing a sustainable future for Los Angeles (well, he’ll be there on DVD, anyway); and

Ray Tretheway, of the Sacramento Tree Foundation, a local group dedicated to empowering people to plant protect, and learn about trees, and aiming to plant 5 million trees in the Sacramento region.

The $15 admission includes a vegetarian, organic supper featuring local produce (at 6:00 p.m.).  A group discussion will follow the speakers at 8:00 p.m.

To pre-register, please visit, or call the Co-op Customer Service Desk at (916) 868-6399.  Proceeds of the event go to benefit One Farm at a Time and the Sacramento Tree Foundation.

Second Saturday Galleries In (or Near) the Neighborhood

April 8, 2011 by

Looking for places to see art close by the Newton Booth/Poverty Ridge neighborhood for this month’s Second Saturday Art Walk?  Here are a few ideas (and by the way, thanks to this week’s Sacramento News & Review d’Art section for some of the information below):

The Midtown Art, Meeting & Event Complex, located at 1925 U Street, is hosting a Second Saturday event called “Springtime Freshness Art, Music & Dance.”  Artist Minta Ricketts, an 86-year-old local resident, will be accompanied by music by Todd Morgan and harpist Luanne.  For more information, please call (916) 706-1269.

A Bitchin’ Space, located at 2114 19th Street, will be hosting a Second Saturday reception from 12 noon to 10 p.m. for “3: 3 Artists, 3 Mediums, 3 Days.”  The artwork includes three-dimensional work in clay, wood and steel by Elliott Rogers, Nathan Cordero and Gale Hart.  A reception will also be held on Sunday from 12 noon to 4 p.m. (one was also held today, Friday).  For more information, please call (916) 448-5090, or visit the above weblink for the gallery.

Not very far from the neighborhood, the Center for Contemporary Art, Sacramento, located at 1519 19th Street, will be hosting an opening reception for the exhibition “The Velocity of Ideas” by artist Gay Outlaw, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Saturday.  The artwork features three-dimensional sculptures with a mesmerizing array of holes and interesting shapes.  At 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, the gallery will be hosting a 30-minute video presentation of a conversation between Outlaw and the exhibition curator, Chris Daubert.  For more information, please call the gallery at (916) 498-9811, or go to the above weblink.

Next door, Axis Gallery (at 1517 19th Street) will be hosting a Second Saturday reception from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. for the exhibition “Cybernetic,” by artist Gene Oldfield “and friends.”  According to the gallery’s website,

“Oldfield’s show references Norbert Wiener’s Cybernetics: or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine (published in 1948 with a 2nd edition in 1961)….The ideas presented in the book spanned C.P. Snow’s two cultures of the literary and scientific circles (even with advanced mathematical sections!).  The Cybernetic show at Axis Gallery will present pieces that show some of these ideas in symbolic and physical form, with the hope of spanning the art and scientific cultures of today.”

Interestingly, the gallery’s website also says that the Second Saturday reception “will have some of the electric rides that Oldfield has been building.”  Is that what the above paragraph is talking about?  Guess you’ll have to go to the reception to find out!  🙂

Finally, also within a few blocks of the neighborhood is the always-funky Shiny Nickel Art Gallery at 1518 21st Street, featuring a variety of art, and if past experience is any guide, probably plenty of music as well.

The weather may be cool at night, but spring is finally here.  Enjoy Second Saturday…and remember, stay safe, celebrate creativity, and help keep our Art Walk the joyous celebration it was meant to be.

Cooking School Preview – Free Class April 4

March 31, 2011 by

In the past on this blog, you’ve probably seen announcements for upcoming cooking classes at the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op.  If you haven’t been to one, you may soon have a chance to take a *free* class to preview some of the upcoming cooking classes being offered at the Co-op this spring.

On Monday, April 4, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., the Co-op will be offering a “Cooking School Preview: Free Cooking Class.”  Like most of these classes, this one will be held at the Co-op Community Learning Center & Cooking School at 1914 Alhambra Blvd., just around the corner from the Co-op.  Although attendance at this class is free, pre-registration is required.  To pre-register, go to; or call (916) 868-6399, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; or stop by the Co-op at 1900 Alhambra Blvd.  (Due to limited parking space at the Co-op, participants are requested to please not park in the Co-op parking lot for the class.)

What kinds of classes are in the works this spring?  Here are a few in the current schedule (available for free at the Co-op) that caught my eye:

On Saturday, April 9 from 2:30 to 5:00 p.m., Jill Simmons introduces classic French cuisine dishes from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, in “Jill and Julia.” 

On Thursday, April 21 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Cris McKone picks up on the popularity of TV shows like “Cupcake Wars” and shows you how to make delicious cupcakes with “incredible” frostings, in “Cupcake Creations.” 

On Thursday, April 28 from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m., Shankari Easwaran teaches you how to make biryani, an Indian dish traditionally made for royalty, in “Biryani Galore.” 

And on Monday, May 2 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., local chef Kurt Spataro teaches you about the flavors, techniques and ingredients of regional Mexican cuisine in “Authentic Mexico with Kurt Spataro.”  Or, check out the “Tamale Workshop” led by Dioniso Esperas on Monday, April 25 from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m., and learn how to make three different types of tamales.

City Planning Commission to Discuss Proposed 24th and T Street Development

March 7, 2011 by

Months after the property on the northwest corner of 24th and T Streets (shown above) was cleared and a house on the lot taken down, the proposed development for the site will shortly be reaching the City Planning Commission.  On Thursday, March 10 at 5:30 p.m., the Planning Commission will be holding a hearing on the proposed 24th and T development in the New City Hall, 915 I Street (1st floor).

This proposed development has attracted a great deal of attention and debate within the neighborhood.  A group of neighbors has organized against the planned 6-unit condo building, arguing that (1) the large size of the building is out of proportion to the surrounding neighborhood; (2) the density of the development is too high, considering the large number of multi-unit apartment buildings already in the near vicinity; and (3) the design of the building is too “modern” in contrast to the immediate area, which has many historic older homes and bungalows.

Arguments and counter-arguments have been made over the past few months, and this is clearly an issue on which many neighbors have strong,  passionate feelings.  Thursday night’s meeting at the Planning Commission will therefore be of great importance to many people in our neighborhood.  For more information about attending the meeting, please call City Hall at (916) 264-5011.

McClatchy Library Offers Teen Program, Traveling Bee Show

March 7, 2011 by

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

The Ella K. McClatchy Library at 2112 22nd Street, continues its historic tradition as a library for young people, with a couple of upcoming programs for teenagers and for children aged 5-12.

On Saturday, March 12 at 2:00 p.m., the Library will be hosting a Teen Program: Manga-Rama.  Have fun creating a shoebox diorama from your favorite Japanese “manga” comic book.  Will it be Ichigo and Rukia from “Bleach,” or Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura from “Naruto,” or Hikaru and Sai from “Hikaru no Go”…or something else?  Shoebox dioramas are a simple, low-tech way to have fun bringing a story to life…and whether it’s a book or a “manga,” it’s all about experiencing the joy of reading.

On Wednesday, March 16 at 4:00 p.m., the Library is hosting kids ages 5 to 12 for “Uncle Jer’s Traveling Bee Show.”  Learn about the physical characteristics of bees; the science of pollination; and honey production and harvesting.  This should be a fascinating journey into the world of an insect we sometimes fear, but would have a hard time doing without.

Finally, on Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m., pre-school children are invited to the Library for Pre-School Storytime.  Join Miss Kati for fun stories, songs and crafts.

For more information, please call the Library at (916) 264-2700.

Natural Foods Co-op Serving Up Film Screening March 11

March 4, 2011 by

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

Once again, our neighborhood’s own Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op has an interesting film screening coming up next week.  On Friday, March 11 at 6:30 p.m., the Co-op presents the film “Bag It!“, which examines the cost of plastic bags to our health and environment. 

Where do plastic bags end up?  Are plastic bags really necessary?  What are they made of?  What happens to them when they are discarded?  Jeb Berrier explores the answers to these and other questions.  (Watch the trailer here.)

The film will be shown at the Co-op Community Learning Center & Cooking School at 1914 Alhambra Blvd., just around the corner from the Co-op.  The price is $10, which goes to benefit One Farm at a Time.  Pre-registration is required; to register, go to the Co-op website; call (916) 868-6399 weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm; or just drop by the Co-op.  Attendees are asked to please not park in the Co-op parking lot, due to space limitations (additional parking is available in the parking garage at S and 30th Streets).  See you there!

Welcome to the Neighborhood (again)

February 25, 2011 by

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.

Community Meeting to Discuss 24th & T Street Project

November 17, 2010 by

Dear Readers–The Blogger apologizes for the extremely short notice on this news.

An important community meeting will be held Thursday, November 18, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Eleanor McClatchy Center at 2131 Q Street (across from the Sacramento Bee).  The topic is a proposed residential development for a 0.19-acre property on the northwest corner of 24th and T Streets.

Want to learn more about the proposed development?  Have concerns about it?  Please come, learn more, and join the discussion.

Ella K. McClatchy Library Celebrates 70 Years of Reading This Saturday

November 10, 2010 by

The inside of our neighborhood's very own E.K. McClatchy Library.

Our neighborhood’s hidden gem, the Ella K. McClatchy Library (located at 2112 22nd Street), will be turning 70 years old this month.  This Saturday, November 13, the Friends of the Ella K. McClatchy Library will celebrate by hosting a Fall Open House at the Library, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The event will include the following:

* At 11:00 a.m., the Friends of the McClatchy Library will hold their annual board meeting.  If you’ve been interested in finding out how to help support the work of the Library and the restoration of the second floor, this might be of particular interest.

* From 1:00 to 2:30 p.m., there will be a Library tour and historical presentation by Professor John Terry.  Find out more about this beautiful historic building, formerly a house owned by the McClatchy family of local newspaper publishers.  The house, incidentally, is believed to have been built in 1910, and if so will be turning 100 years old this year.  The tour should offer a rare glimpse of the second floor, once part of the Library, closed down years ago, and which the Library hopes to restore and open again someday.

* From 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., people of all ages are invited to participate in making a “kindness” scroll book with Artworks.  (The Blogger is unsure what a “kindness” scroll book is; but making one does sound like fun!)

Refreshments will be served from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  For more information, please call the Library at (916) 264-2700; or simply stop by!