Archive for July, 2008

How soon can Houston take him?

Athletes say offensive things all the time. But this kinda takes the cake:

It began when Yao was speaking to the Houston Chronicle in Nanjing, China, where his Team China is in the FIBA Diamond Ball Tournament, which leads up to the start of Olympic play Aug. 10 against Team USA. Yao expressed concerns over team chemistry with Artest and repeatedly referenced the infamous Detroit brawl in 2004 of which Artest was a huge part.

“Hopefully, he’s not fighting anymore and going after a guy in the stands,” Yao said.

Reached by phone a few hours later, Artest – who had spoken with Rockets shooting guard Tracy McGrady but not Yao since the news of the agreed-upon trade broke – said Yao is merely the latest person to believe “all the propaganda.”

“I understand what Yao said, but I’m still ghetto,” said Artest, who will earn $7.4 million next season and be a free agent next summer. “That’s not going to change. I’m never going to change my culture. Yao has played with a lot of black players, but I don’t think he’s ever played with a black player that really represents his culture as much as I represent my culture. Once Yao Ming gets to know me, he’ll understand what I’m about.

“If you go back to the brawl, that’s a culture issue right there. Somebody was disrespecting me, so he’s got to understand where I’m coming from. People that know me know that Ron Artest never changed.”

Really? I mean, really? So, being a violent thug, that’s a cultural thing we’re supposed to ascribe to, what, all African Americans? All urban residents?  Seriously, Ron, exactly which demographic would you have us believe owns a cultural right to be a jerk? And I’m guessing whichever group you specifically mean will probably have a fairly massive problem with your characterization.

Godspeed, Artest, I hope you’re Texas’s trouble now.

Free thinkers, also drinkers.

Sacramento area skeptics, critical-thinkers and like-minded fellow travelers have something to look forward to on Friday, Aug. 1st: The first meeting of the Sacramento Drinking Skeptically event.

Sponsored by American River Skeptics, the event starts at 6:60 PM at Sacramento Brewing Co. (2713 El Paseo Ln.) According to the events organizer the focus of the first meeting will be meeting everyone, discussing future events, and how everyone came to the skeptic movement. I’m sure we’ll manage to fit a drink or two in there as well.

I’ll be there, anyone else?

I May Need To Stop Shopping At Raley’s

Sacramento staple and Best Market Ever Corti Bros. is being forced out of its East Sacramento home so that the space can house “Good Eats, a gourmet bistro-market planned by a partnership that includes Michael Teel, former chief executive of West Sacramento-based Raley’s Stores.”  Okay, so maybe it isn’t Raley’s fault, but I won’t shop at this new place. 

All that local grocery history, scrubbed out – the retro signage, the old-school feel, the miraculous, all-knowing wine department and deli counter employees GONE.

So where will they go? What will we do in the meantime?  Sometimes, I really hate change.

Introducing The Hub


If Metblogs is a city, hub.metblogs is the playground. We kept hearing from people that one of their favorite parts of Metblogs was meeting and interacting with readers and writers from other parts of the world, as well as getting requests for more ways that readers could be involved besides just posting comments. We thought about this for a while and decided that with a network like this, a giant community area where folks from all over the world could hang out, post photos and videos, talk with each other, form groups, play games, send messages, and do about a million other things was probably a pretty fun idea. The Hub is that.

If you have any tech ideas or suggestions join this group and speak up. See you on hub.metblogs!

Midtown Cocktail Week?!

There’s really not much else to say, is there? Enjoy. (Responsibly.)

Look out! Everything old is new again.

So, a long while back, grid traffic was streamlined. The city implemented one-way streets to ease traffic into and out of town.  It was safer, faster, more efficient.

But, times change.

We received a post card in the mail the other day telling us that following the City Council’s 2007 approval of “the Central City Two Way Converstion Project” traffic on N Street between 28th and 21st will soon be converted from one-way (eastbound) to two-ways (east and west).  There will still be bike lanes and parking in each direction.

Poor 21st Street – it already sucks in the morning and now more will be forced on at N Street. And I’m guessing the currently sleepy 22nd and 23rd Streets will awaken with drivers avoiding N and 21st. 

The postcard says the plan’s purpose is to increase neighborhood liveability, reduce traffic speed and volume, and improve local access.  Though N can be quite a fast street at peak travel times, it’s relatively quiet outside of morning and afternoon commute hours. I guess I’m a bit ambivalent on this. But I would be ragingly against it if it led to “traffic calming” being inserted onto my area of the grid like what’s in Boulevard Park.

Other upcoming conversions seem to include: two-way traffic on 9th and 10th Street (really? the whole length?) and converting 3d Street between I and J Streets.

Scandal at the Library!

According to this article from the Bee, there’s quite a tempest brewing about library director Anne Marie Gold. A sixth month grand jury investigation found

  • “Low morale and a high rate of turnover among employees, especially key management personnel.
  • “Lax oversight that led to felony charges being issued against two library officials accused in an overbilling scheme involving maintenance work at library branches.
  • “A ‘major problem with uncollected fines’ totaling $2.5 million. Since the report’s release in May, the library has concluded it gave incorrect information to the grand jury and that that actual total of unpaid fines and value of unreturned materials is $4.6 million”

In addition the grand jury recommended that Gold be fired. The library board is meeting today to determine how to respond. They’ve also already spent $300,000 on their own”performance  audit”.

As a devoted reader and regular patron of the library, I’m not at all happy about all of this. Not only at the apparent waste that’s been taking place, but also at the extra money that’s being proposed to investigate it further.

Regardless, I suggest you visit your local library soon.

Great neighborhood association link

Among the comments related to our 20th-most walkable city post, commenter wburg included a handy link to a really, really long list of Sacramento neighborhood associations. It’s so handy, in fact, that it seemed worth giving a public hat-tip to wburg and giving y’all the link right up-front:

I’ll admit I’m torn over neighborhood associations in general: nightmares of NIMBY-ism run rampant balanced against local residents coming together to beautify a park, etc.  Anyone with comments on the relative strengths or weaknesses of a particular association is invited to comment.  Are these local orgs effective? Off-putting?  Did you even know you had one in your area?

A Taste of Jordan

No, this is not some late-night Cinemax B-movie take-off of The Great Gatsby.

While zipping along K Street the other day, I noticed a slight but almost cataclysmic change: the True Love Coffeehouse had moved! The sign was still there, but there was another sign on that old white building: Sanad’s Mediterranean Deli. I was, of course, intrigued, since I’ve had to visit the wilds of the Crest Café in order to get my Med on. I added it to my agenda.

Last week, I got the chance to visit. I rolled by 2315 K Street on a Tuesday, exactly one week after they had opened. The inside is clean and spare, although the owner claims that they will be hosting some Second Saturday events and that there will be more artwork on the walls. There is a little bowl of kalamata olives and pickles for appetizers, which was a new one for me. The deli case is full of side orders for you to drool over while you wait for your main plate to be prepared, so watch out.

I struck up a conversation with the chef, who turned out to be the owner, Sanad, a recent arrival from Jordan. The recipes are his, and he prepares most of the food himself. The opening weekend had coincided with Second Saturday in July: “We served 222 people. And we ran out of food on Sunday!”

After eating there, I am not surprised…


I’ll Take 20, But I Won’t Give Them 19

Sacramento comes in at #20 on a newly released list of America’s most walkable cities, according to website  Perhaps unsuprisingly, San Francisco comes in at #1 with New York running a close second.  Boston, Chicago, and Philly round out the top 5.  Fresno is, shockingly, #19.  Sure, why not.

The site also breaks down Sactown by neighborhood, with Downtown and Midtown coming in . . . second and third?  After an area called “Richmond Grove.”  Okay, I’ll bite.  I’ve only been here for about 7 years, off and on. On the map, it seems to be an area saddling 15th/16th, South of Q.  It’s only a point ahead of the tied-for-second Downtown and Midtown, but I wouldn’t think that most Sacramentans would peg that particular portion of the grid as their go-to walking destination. Computer algorithms are tricky things, y’all.

Any Fresno transplants available to comment on the relative walking strengths of the city that, by all reports, we’d be if you took away our Capital City status?

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