Gold Rush Days not worth it without the dirt?

“Because of the drought” is becoming the new
“because of the budget.”

Today came the news that Gold Rush Days are being cancelled due to the drought. Specifically because of the 3000 gallons of water used daily to dampen the dust from the dirt spread on the road during the event, normally held Labor Day weekend by Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau.

So you can drive your car down the freeway and park next to a mall and when you’re done you can eat at Joe’s Crab Shack, but it’s out of the question to just do away with the dusty roads? This is the major draw? If that was my decision I might have gambled that Gold Rush Days without the dusty streets is better than no event at all.

Maybe it would have felt too much like just any old day in Old Sac? What do folks who usually attend Gold Rush Days think? Would paved roads not suit the occasion?

Update: No so fast, Visitors Bureau.

City aquatics schedule announced; YMCA to operate Tahoe Pool

The City of Sacramento was able to make an early announcement today about the start of summer aquatics season and it looks like the good news trend continues. The “YMCA of Superior California” will operate Tahoe Pool, as it did last summer, but Glenn Hall and Southside will once more be run by the city. Most pools will be open at least 6 days, with only Cabrillo Pool, near Florin & Freeport, scheduled to be closed.

I guess the last round of sales tax increases is finally starting to pay off? Though I can’t seem to find much in the way of news dating back to those increases to see if they went for city services like Parks & Rec.

I was a Glenn Hall River Rat as a kid but these days I am all about Tahoe Pool and the YMCA folks that ran it last year. Anyone else planning to use the city pools this drought-stricken summer?

Sac Public Library nominated for national award

Colonial Heights Library

Sacramento Public Library was announced today as one of 30 finalists for a National Medal for Museum and Library Service presented by Institute of Museum and Library Services. The awards are given to “outstanding institutions that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities.”

SPL is one of only 3 California organizations nominated this year, on a list that includes some top museums and libraries. The Discovery Science Center, a Santa Ana science museum, was one of 10 institutions honored with a medal last year in a White House Ceremony.

Kudos to the folks at SPL who make these programs happen!

Pumpkin patch time!

Pumpkin Chunkin $5/3 shots
My photo from the 2005 post

As far as seasonal ledes go on Sac Rag, they don’t get more boilerplate than “We here at The Sac Rag love us a pumpkin patch.” So it’s that time of year to do the thing. Pumpkins, corn mazes, apple pie, the works.

I have reviewed local favorites Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm and Bastiao Farms/Goblin Gardens as well as The Pumpkin Farm out in Citrus Heights and (sort of) Dave’s Pumpkin Patch (in 2005!)

Surprisingly, I have never been to Cool Patch Pumpkins out in Dixon, which boasts a corn maze “Labeled as ‘The Coolest Maze on the Planet'” (not sure by whom) though I hear great things about it.

Any other crowd favorites out there? Any new ones cropped up in the last few years? Anyone still out there, actually?

New McKinley Park playground opening today

The new structure

Rebuild McKinley, the group created to build a new playground to replace the one destroyed in a fire last year, is having a grand opening event today to celebrate the creation of the new structure. The new structure is amazing, with major elements sharing an East Sacramento theme (continuing some of the designs in the previous structure). It also appears to be surrounded by a fence, which to me is a tremendous upgrade as the place is huge. Lots of local organizations worked on this project, and to get it done so quickly is a real accomplishment.

Continue reading “New McKinley Park playground opening today”

More honors for Sac Library system

The "Read & Feed" garden at Colonial Heights Library
The “Read & Feed” garden at Colonial Heights Library

This time it’s Colonial Heights branch in the spotlight, being named by the Urban Libraries Council as one of the Top 10 Innovators of 2013. Specifically, the branch was recognized for “Sustainability” for its “Read & Feed Garden”:

The library and garden are located in an underprivileged South Sacramento neighborhood where one quarter of the population is at the poverty level and seven out of ten neighborhood children are eligible for free or reduced-cost lunches. The area is referred to as a “food desert” because of the lack of access to fresh produce.

I have been to some events in the library, and enjoyed some fresh fruit harvested there. It’s a really special thing.

Continue reading “More honors for Sac Library system”

YMCA-City pools rubbing folks the wrong way?

We enjoyed spending a lot of time at our beloved Tahoe Pool over the weekend, and are reaping the benefits of daily hours already. Our season pass will pay for itself in 2 weeks. Many thanks to the Sacramento YMCA for saving these pools!

But I am seeing a lot of grumbling about the slight changes at the pool on our NextDoor portal and it’s rubbing me the wrong way. Granted, there have been a few changes to the rules and this might take some getting used to. Yes, technically the rates have doubled (from $1 to $2). Sure, it’s a bummer to have to actually acquire swimwear in order to swim. I know, it’s such a hassle to have someone else restrict your kid’s horseplay so they don’t FALL AND GET A CONCUSSION OR DROWN AND DIE.

Some people just love to complain (here I am basically complaining about people’s love of complaining) and will rebel against any change made by “authorities,” even new safety rules at the local pool. I have been at Tahoe Pool almost every hour it has been open so far and I can attest that the enforcement there is completely in sync with safety and comfort, and the lifeguards are doing an excellent and even-handed job. I don’t know how much those kids earn but for what they have to deal with it’s probably not enough.

Anyone else seeing positive changes at Glenn Hall, Southside and Tahoe Pools?

Conservation group puts Sacramento in top 10 for park systems

Calm Afternoon

In the Sac Bee’s story on the rebuilding of the McKinley Park playground, I noticed a neat bit of info: the Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit group for land conservation, has once again named Sacramento in the top 10 cities in the US for park systems. Our fair city tied with San Francisco (!) and Boston for third overall, below Minneapolis and New York City.

The ranking took into account things like the median park size, park land as a percentage of city land area, and parks per 10,000 residents (Sacramento has 4, twice as many as New York City).

Continue reading “Conservation group puts Sacramento in top 10 for park systems”

YMCA will operate 3 city pools this summer

Tahoe Pool, ready for action
Tahoe Pool, ready for action

YMCA of Sacramento had recently announced it would operate Glenn Hall, Southside and Tahoe Pools this summer. But the even better news is that these pools will hav open swim hours seven days a week.

In addition to open swim hours 1-5pm Sunday through Friday and noon to 6pm Saturday, the pools will be open for lap swim, lessons, water exercise and swim team (at Glenn Hall). The public swim fee of $4/adults and $2/children is steeper than previous years but still a great deal. There will also be a $150 family unlimited pass.

This is excellent news. I am definitely looking forward to some serious chillaxing at Tahoe Pool this summer. Long hours on Saturday is awesome!

Exploratorium officially out of Palace of Fine Arts

IMG_0563With a Facebook photo yesterday, the Exploratorium announced it is officially closed at the Palace of Fine Arts, which had been its home since 1969. KTVU has video of the closing ceremonies. The new location at Pier 15 will open April 17.

I’m pretty excited for the new location, though I have been visiting the PFA since I was a kid and will definitely miss it.