Rainy day dos & don’ts

not Sacramento, but doesn't that look like that one building?Hunker down for a rainy week, Sacramento. If you have little kids in your family you’re probably looking for fun, inexpensive activities out of the rain, and if you’re like me you’re finding your choices very limited. It doesn’t seem like those should be too many limitations, but I always find that you have to be pretty creative to find sheltered fun for the little ones. I have a few picks and pans, and I’d love to hear from y’all as well.

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Stating the obvious

Obvious Point #1

It’s been too long since we’ve had a new post, so here goes the obvious assertion that it’s a great idea to have a moratorium on new construction starts in the Natomas basin.

If you don’t believe me, take a trip to New Orleans (as Sac-Eats and I just did) and talk to some of the locals about some building decisions their officials made over the past couple of hundred years.

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Storm Watch ’08

Do we believe the weather prognosticators that these incoming storms will be of Biblical proportions?

I, for one, am not taking chances.

I’m about to go top off my gas tank so I won’t have to stand outside at a gas station at any point in the next few days. I’m also about to go take down the Christmas lights now so they’re not knocked off by Mother Nature and so they’re not up for several more days (I realize some will say we’re OK ’til Epiphany for leaving them up.)

What are your storm plans?

Tom says snow

Snow!If you’re a weather geek, you gotta bookmark the Web site of Tom Loffman, an honest-to-heavens meteorologist — as opposed to the Ken or Barbie pointing to a blue screen that’s the pretty much the rule these days. Loffman, of course, spent years on the air in this market, first at the mighty KCRA and then at … KOVR? Am I remembering right? And he’s fondly remembered in some circles for his too-true comment on how TV stations were more interested in having their weather types kiss dolphins than work the weather beat.

Good on you, Tom. Good on you.

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Who’ll start the rain?

Tower BridgeLast year at about this time, the rivers were challenging the strength of our levees and across the community you could feel that “Honey, did we pay the flood insurance?” vibe. The American River, normally invisible from the levee top in Glenn Hall park, was suddenly right there, mere steps away, and on theHighway 80 route into downtown Sacramento appeared to be an island at the edge of the vast inland sea that was the Yolo Bypass.

This year? Bupkus.

You could ride a mountain bike across parts of the Yolo Bypass basin today, the Sacramento is content to sit in its channel and the American remains its normal lurking presence off-stage at Glenn Hall park. Up in the Sierra, the reservoirs are nowhere near capacity, with the experts suggesting the rest of the water season will be “either above average or below average.”

Gee, thanks.

With Chicken Ranch Slough meandering right behind my house, I’m perhaps more aware of flood risk than anyone outside River Park or the Pocket. After all, in the floods of the ’80s and ’90s, it was the creeks and sloughs that caused much of the problems, backing up like toilets when they couldn’t dump their run-off into the rampaging rivers. Needless to say, I sent off my flood insurance check to State Farm, although after Katrina I don’t have a lot of faith that insurance will help much after the 100-year flood we all know is coming So like  many Sacramentans, I watch the rivers, pray for the levees, am ready to run and hope for the best.

And in the dry years, I wish for just a little more of the wet stuff, aware that too little for too long is almost as big a problem as too much for a few days. But seems the wet stuff — or even a little of the white stuff — is on the way.