A Meeting of the Minds- In Fresno

It’s not often that you have a memorable evening in Fresno. Honestly, other than the joys of great Mexican food and the thrill of finding your car unmolested after leaving it overnight in a public parking lot, Fresno lacks a reputation for singular events. However, this past week, I experienced one of the most surprisingly rewarding evenings of my life.

The unlikely place: the lobby bar at the downtown Fresno Radisson. I found myself sipping pints of Tamarack pale ale, the flagship brew of the Sequoia Brewing Company (aka, the other reason to go to Fresno), and engaging in lively conversation with my fellow lobby bar patrons. The gentleman next to me, a middle-aged African-American gent with a penchant for arguing politics while taking very few sides, seemed familiar. It took me three pints to finally figure it out, but my bar mate was none other than Federal Judge Morrison England. Yes, that Morrison England.

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Professor Hodson’s parting words

Rest In Peace, Professor

The SacBee reports today on the loss of Tim Hodson, a widely respected guru of the California Legislature and a professor at CSUS. Tim was an inspiration to many of his students, including me, and we are going to miss him a hell of a lot.

Shortly before his death from cancer, he wrote a poem which I will share with you after the jump.
Continue reading “Professor Hodson’s parting words”

American River Parkway Clean-up on November 5th

A makeshift homeless camp under State Route 160 near Del Paso Blvd.
A makeshift homeless camp under State Route 160 near Del Paso Blvd.

From the American River Parkway Foundation

The American River Parkway Foundation will stage another volunteer clean-up effort on November 5th to target the lower portion of the Parkway that has been impacted by homeless camps. We invite you to join us for this 1-day event: November 5th from 9am-12pm. Location: Northgate Blvd. at Hwy 160

The recent clean-up effort at William Pond Park received a great turn out. As someone that rides this stretch every day, I am so thankful that folks take time out of their schedule to show up and get their hands dirty. It is such a wonderful benefit of living in Sacramento.

Visit the American River Parkway Foundation on Facebook for more photos and videos of these events. You must be at least 14 years of age to register and be accompanied by an adult if between the ages of 14 and 17 (is that 15 and 16?).

60 Minutes airs story of local climber

If you didn’t see the story of Sacramento’s Alex Honnold on 60 Minutes last Sunday, please to spend 13 or so minutes watching it here. Alex is a free solo climber (he climbs tall, dangerous things, without a rope), and apparently does not have a fear of heights. I get the chills just watching the video.

Not much more to say here, other than “amazing.” Of course story commenter “Ray_St” would disagree.

Sorry but this guy isn’t “amazing.” Perhaps amazingly foolish and naive. It’s reminiscent of Timothy Treadwell, another guy lacking respect for Mother Nature, whose stunt-of-choice was to frolic with bears until he was finally consumed by one. RIP Alex.

I stand behind my theory that when people begin a statement with the word “Sorry,” they very rarely are.

Kickstarter in Sacramento

Check out the latest Kickstarter projects in Sacramento.

You know you want one

Kickstarter is a great way for artists and entrepreneurs to reach out through the Internet and find seed money for small projects. In return for your investment, you receive a variety of thank you gifts. Funding Kickstarter projects is fun and a little addictive, as I have been finding more and more projects that I believe would help our community, artists whom I already enjoy and stuff I simply find weird.

Already, numerous projects have been funded in Sacramento. Kevin Seconds is finally getting his own tour van. Trevor Morgan will be filming a documentary on our local homeless population. Keith Lowell Jensen will have a DVD of his latest comedy tour.

Here are a few of my favorite local projects currently seeking funding. From bacon jelly to gnome insurrections, maybe you will find a project you would like to help produce.
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Sac Press lays off two, including Barton

Yesterday David Watts Barton reported on Sacramento Press that he had been let go by the new media company, in a story RanSACkedmedia.com had reported the day before. Also let go was Director of Events and Marketing Denise Coleman, according to RanSACkedmedia.com.

Barton, who before his stint at Sac Press was a longtime Bee entertainment writer, was the guy who interviewed me in November of 2005 and I’d say that kind of put us on the map. (“Heckasac calls bullshit.” Ha, good times.) He has some interesting things to say in the piece, about the growing pains at the Press and its commitment to citizen journalism. I think it is reasonable to speculate that a cost cutting move like this could/would be done in pursuit of a major outside investment, as DWB suggests.

This citizen wishes both of these folks good luck in the future.

Speaking of moms lunging at principals

With our mobile lifestyle, we are often presented with information that changes meaning when taken out of context. For example, we have this story on news10.net about the mom who allegedly attacked her child’s principal at a Stockton elementary school.

Pami Gibbs, a student’s mother, hit the first-year principal in the face after her son was told he either had to change the shirt he was wearing or turn it inside out because it did not conform to the school’s uniform or dress code, according to authorities. The shirt may have had skull images or something similar on it…After the mother was pulled off of the principal, she allegedly lunged toward the principal again and then fled.

The mobile version of the story ends with this sentence…

Join local moms who are talking about dress codes and clothing on MomsLikeMe.

You do not get the linking (Nice plug, News10) so you think it’s part of the story. Or at least poorly placed. What, there wasn’t a thread already on MomsLikeMe about Moms wanting to attack their child’s principal?

I have this image in my head of someone pulling the mom off the principal and things starting to calm down and then the mom getting fired up again and taking off (“lunging”) after the principal. Oh, and what’s similar to skull images?

City of Sacramento launches eNewsletter

The City of Sacramento has launched an online newsletter “to update its citizens about services, accomplishments and plans.” The newsletter is called “City Express” and will be published quarterly.

From what I’ve read so far, it’s rather informative. I was especially interested to learn that the new bike route from Natomas to downtown will be opening in October.

When construction is finished on the bike and ped bridge over the drainage canal and over I-80, Natomas residents will have the first direct bicycle route to downtown. The bridges will link to the bike trail and eliminate about 3.2 miles of travel from north Natomas. The project starts at Peregrine Park, crossing over the canal and over the freeway to hook up with the trail adjacent to Gateway Oaks Drive.

From the project website I learned that in 1995, there were 38 miles of bike and pedestrian trails in Sacramento and that there are 80 today. Pretty cool.

Give it a read and let us know what you think.

Kickstart Colin Hanks’s Tower Records doc

Better days

Sacramento’s own Colin Hanks hopes to produce “All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records” and is asking for your help to do it.

From a cultural standpoint, Tower Records had a monumental impact on millions of people, worldwide. It was “the place” to escape for a few hours; a sanctuary, a haven. Tower Records was a place to meet your friends, your co-workers or a place to meet new friends who shared a common love of music, literature and all things cultural.

Yet, in 2004 the company filed for bankruptcy and by the end of 2006, Russ Solomon’s Tower Records had shut the doors to nearly every one of its worldwide outlets.

We are approaching this as a passion project, and as such are dedicated to making this film as cost effective as we can. In other words, we are trying to do this grassroots.