Archive for April, 2008

More than two, but who?

I complained earlier about a choice between Fargo and Johnson for mayor not really being a choice. Who else is there running for mayor? Enquiring minds started googling. Fifteen seconds later, thanks to modern technology, I found an answer.

There are eight candidates in all as of today for mayor. Only two have posted statements online. Which two? Well, Heather and Kevin.

My burning question for Richard Jones, Leonard Padilla, Muriel Strand, Shawn Eldredge, Adam Daniel, and Robert Drumgoole is: where are your statements? If you are running for mayor, can you please let us know why you think you can do the job?

I do confess, I recognize at least two of the names in the list (NOT Heather, and not Kevin). I can’t say that it’s a good thing—both have negative publicity—any PR mavens out there to help wannabe mayors in their campaigns?

Meanwhile, if you are brazen enough to waste the taxpayers’ money in filing for a mayoral run, finish the job and let us know who you are. If you are running just to exercise your rights as a citizen, let us know that too. Then I can exercise my right not to vote for you.

Number One, but it’s not good

Don’t get me wrong, Sacramento is a lovely city—especially when you look at it from a foliage perspective. We have nice trails nearby, an attractive riverfront. But we’re also number one, as reported this week by Forbes.com as the leading city in their article, “Worst Cities for Homeowner Debt” …and that’s not local, statewide or even regional. We are nationally at the top of the list.

What does this mean? Forbes is saying right now is not a good time to have such a high percentage of debt alongside the downturn in home values. They show an 18.5% percent drop in home prices (not enough, some say, to correct the inflated prices in the region). This drop in prices with a (possible) overextension of credit results in foreclosures. Yes, we’ve already been hit by a wave of foreclosures. If you don’t know someone who has been affected by the poor market and the (gasp) recession, then you don’t get out much.

I know of at least three families who have been hit by foreclosure. If you read the Bee, many who comment on the news site would say that it was because of poor budgeting on the part of the homeowner. I am not so sure I agree.

In the meantime, I suspect we’ll be seeing another wave or two of bad news before things get better. Hang in there, Sactown.

Progress? Really?

Fargo

I’ve been seeing these yellow Fargo for Mayor signs all over the neighborhood around my office. Today on my lunch I saw this cluster (and there’s even more outside the frame on the left!) and was moved to post

At present, I don’t have a dog in this race, but I have to admit that these signs bug the hell out of me. They’re ugly for one, but… “Progress!” Is that really an advisable slogan for someone aiming at a third term in office? My vote for that would be a No.

Run? Fun? For some people, sure.

Take the scenic route with this local fun run through Old Sac and along our two great rivers. Proceeds support sustainable living projects in the area – so don’t litter or you’ll kinda defeat the purpose. Entry costs $25 if you’re an early bird, or $30 day-of, less for the kids.  There are 5k, 10k, and kid-length runs available. Check it out and see you there! I’ll probably opt for the 5k distance and actually focus on recording a time I won’t feel lame sharing with my friends (rather than just aiming to complete the distance, as I do with the long runs. Correction: as I DID with the long runs).

They even allow strollers and dogs – a rarity in the race world. So grab Sparky and the bambino!

Cemetery Bound

Spitfire

One of my favorite places to spend time and take photos is the City Cemetery on Broadway by Riverside. It’s absolutely gorgeous this time of year, and there’s always something unexpected to see there. The photo above was taken there, and there’s a few more after the bump.

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Weather outside: delightful

Time for a picnic! Tomorrow is picnic day at UC Davis; parade starts downtown at 9 AM.

As you may remember, last year’s weather tanked, with rain spoiling the day…this year? Looking good for an early tan. Just remember to dose up on your Claritin/ Benadryl though. The pollen count is high. Although I suppose if you’re imbibing, it won’t matter to you anyway.

Picnic lovers, enjoy!

Book-tastic

Beers

I did a quick search of the blog, and I can’t believe no one has mentioned Beers Books before. They’re at 915 S Street, right between 9th & 10th. This puts them across the street from tasty Chinese food at Gam Lei Sig and right by several bars. This was all a big part of me moving into the neighborhood, let me tell you.

In particular I’d like to talk about their “sidewalk sale”. One of the things I love about warmer months is biking past Beers on my way home from work and looking through new $1 hardcovers and 50 cent paperbacks. Just this week I picked up hardcovers, in decent shape, of The Confusion and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norell for $1 each.

If you’re in the neighborhood, I recommend checking the place out.

Badly spoken or unfairly covered

So there was an investigation in 1996 into child molestation accusations against current mayoral contender Kevin Johnson.  That sucks. No candidate can like that sort of thing. But reading this Bee article about Johnson’s appearance at a press conference this morning where he fielded questions about the incident, the report, and other accusations from his past, I’m struck with his overwhelmingly ineloquent diction:

 “My goal is to make sure first and foremost that I represent this city in a way that is very positive and favorable,” Johnson said. “Unfortunately, accusations have been made that have been dropped and no charges have been ever assessed toward me. And it’s unfortunate that the timing of these things are being brought forward on a regular basis.”

Asked if he had paid a settlement to the 16-year-old who made the allegation against him, as an alternative paper in Phoenix suggested was being considered at the time, Johnson cited privacy concerns. He did not specify whose privacy.

“I think the important thing, and I’ve always said this all along, is you have to protect the rights of individuals,” Johnson said. “And privacy rights are at first and foremost of what I have to do on a regular basis in this community.” 

Okay. Huh? What? Seriously. He had to know he’d get questions about this – he’s had ample time to prepare his soundbites accordingly.  I know we’re a relatively small city – but still.  So is it that Johnson can’t elegantly speak himself out of a paper bag, or is the Bee just being a bit unfair in selecting quotations that make him look confused?

New kid in town

72/365

Hey everybody, I’m Sasha. cd invited me to join as an author here based on some photos I’ve posted to the Flickr pool. Being more of a photographer than a writer, expect to see plenty of images from me. I’m a history geek, as well as a cocktail and bar nerd, so it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see posts relating to those as well. My day job is in the construction business, which may also provide fodder for a post now and then.

Anyhow, hello there and please enjoy the photo while I work up my real first post.

Bad photo. Good tuna.

Ambrosia Cafe

Yesterday, in a rush to find something not fast, not expensive, and hopefully at least passingly healthy, I ducked into Ambrosia Cafe, right across from the Capitol at 11th and K Streets.  If you work downtown, this isn’t the place to go if you DON’T want to see people you know during lunch.  If the weather’s nice, though, it’s a great see-and-be-seen sort of place that doesn’t require a lot of time or money.

Ambrosia isn’t new and there’s long been a cafe there, by several names. Yet I find I forget about it frequently. Each time I have lunch there, though, I can’t figure out why it doesn’t stay on my mind longer.  They provide a casual walk-up-and-order atmosphere, a truly tempting looking deli case stocked with salads and sweets, and a varied, interesting sandwich menu (something I especially appreciate).  My two favorites are the BLT (it’s all about the quality of the B) and a well-flavored tuna salad.  Technically, the menu offers a tuna melt, but I’ve never been a fan of frying something already good by virtue of all the mayo.  I have no idea what the calorie count is, but it doesn’t taste heavy, so we’ll just leave it at that.

 If I ever make it out of the house early enough, I’m going to try their Creme Brulee French Toast because . . . hell, do  you need it explained. Creme Brulee. Breakfast. Sold!  The description implies it could give Cafe Bernardo’s Amaretto French Toast a run for its money, but we’ll see.

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