Second Annual Banana Festival

William Land Park hosted this year’s banana festival. Thousands attended the event that promoted health and community awareness. The festival celebrated everything having to do with bananas and it was a great family event. Cultures that traditionally use bananas were also celebrated. These included Central and Eastern Africa, the Caribbean, Central and South America, the Pacific Islands and other countries. Vendors sold delicious international food specializing in banana recipes. Two stages were set up to accommodate all the acts performing on August 13 and 14. One of the stages was the children’s corner and a large play area with carnival rides and games was available for children. Superhero Banana Splitacular also roamed the grounds and acted on many distress calls, mostly by emcees asking for his help. Banana Splitacular entertained and posed for photos with small children. Several activities were organized to entertain kids and for the most part, they entertained themselves with hula hoops, paper mache activities, limbo and dance, as well as banana and ice cream eating contests. When I arrived at the banana festival, I made my way over to the food court and looked for some banana treats. Banana chips and lumpias are my favorite and I found them to be quite delicious. I sat down and watched Samoria Lamuse imitate the "Creole Goddess," Josephine Baker. Lamuse made crowd participation part […]

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Celebrate Oak Park

Families were able to enjoy the company of neighbors, family and friends as they gathered to celebrate the 5th annual “Celebrate Oak Park” event. McClatchy Park, located at 35th Street and 5th Avenue, hosted the event and there was much to do for all members of the family. The theme of this year’s festivity was "Celebrating Diversity". It featured music, food, games, a kid zone and resource tables from agencies and organizations that serve the Oak Park community. Building Empowerment Skills Today (BEST) had a table set up to give information about their program. BEST is a neighborhood beautification organization that teaches 12 to 18 year olds about home maintenance and life skills. BEST offers a 3 week beautification program during the summer. Young people who work in the program are Oak Park residents who work side by side with contractors handling home improvement projects. Josephine Watts is the program coordinator and was on hand with some graduates from the program. Contact Watts at oakparkbest@gmail.com for more information. Local vendors and artists were also on hand to promote their merchandise and services. Shirley Sanders had a table set up and displayed gourd crafts, jewelry and worked on a painting. Informational materials were also displayed for the Juneteenth Festival and the Banana Splitacular..  Heritage Peak Charter School was on hand to promote their school. A representative […]

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Extra funds for R Street improvement project

The R Street improvements currently under construction from 10th to 13th streets are getting a few more amenities, as construction left extra funds in an approximately $1 million $1.5 million federal grant allocated to the project. The City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to approve 13 more pedestrian benches, 13 banners affixed to streetlights and a decorative arch that spans R Street at 10th Street and a pedestrian arch over the sidewalk on 12th Street and R Street, to be constructed by Teichert Construction, the main contractor for the project. “This will be the icing on the cake to R street and will make the area more pedestrian-friendly,” Sacramento Department of Transportation spokeswoman Linda Tucker said. The R Street improvement project  will add uniformity to the area that currently lacks consistent curbs, and it will also add parking spaces and street lights as well as restore the area’s mixed-use industrial, business and residential buildings. Adding the new benches, banners and archways was an extension of federal funds already dedicated to the project. “We got the go-ahead from Caltrans to make use of federal funds already budgeted for the project,” Tucker said. According to Department of Transportation Project Manager Zuhair Amawi, a lot of thought went into the improvements. “The selection of the concepts and design of the items in the change order was the result of […]

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Track relocation to be rebid

The Sacramento City Council on Tuesday approved a $290,000 redesign of the downtown railroad track relocation. Work on the $68 million railroad track relocation project was delayed after bids came in $12 million over budget in May and developer Thomas Enterprises defaulted in June on more than $187 million in private loans, used to buy the 244-acre historic railyards in 2006. The project, which includes construction of the Fifth and Sixth street bridges, makes up the first phase of the new regional transportation center to be built adjacent to the Sacramento Valley Station downtown. The council approved funding to redesign the track relocation portion of the project, budgeted at $45 million, without discussion as part of its consent calendar Tuesday night. Standard construction systems, specialty items and amenities such as LED tunnel lighting have been eliminated from the design to save money, said city Department of Transportation spokeswoman Linda Tucker. Work had been expected to start in May. Contracts for bridge construction were awarded separately from the rest of the project after bids came back too high. The city expects to seek new bids for track relocation construction this fall, she said. Thomas is overseeing the Fifth Street bridge construction, while the city oversees the Sixth Street bridge construction and track relocation. Crews began work on the new Fifth and Sixth street bridges — including […]

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Public Invited to Hang at the Crocker

Members of the public now have a rare opportunity to contribute to a community work of art that will be on display in the expanded Crocker Art Museum which opens October 10, 2010. The Hang at the Crocker community art project is one of the many ways the New Crocker will offer residents and friends of the Museum a way to participate and come together as a diverse and creative community. The Crocker has commissioned Rachel Clarke to create a new media animated collage composed of four-by-six-inch, two-dimensional creations submitted by community members. Submissions can be a work of art, a photo of loved ones, a collage or other creation. The mosaic will be choreographed to music composed by Stephen Blumberg, projected on a wall in the Museum’s new Teel Family Pavilion and will become part of the Crocker’s collection. Open to current and new Museum members, Hang at the Crocker is a way to demonstrate support for the New Crocker and hang a personal creation in the Museum. Existing members receive one free submission as a membership benefit and those who wish to join the Crocker can participate in Hang at the Crocker immediately. Membership rates start at $45. As the Museum is temporarily closed for renovation, new memberships will be extended through October 2011. An annual membership to the Crocker includes free general […]

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Curtis Park Village Project Proposal to Planning Commission Hearing

 The fate of the controversial Curtis Park Village development project will be reviewed by the Planning Commission Thursday. The project has been billed by developer Paul Petrovich as a way to blend nearby housing styles into a new community, but neighbors disagree, arguing that it’s a design stuck in the past. “We hope everyone in this city is watching as the 72-acre parcel between Land Park, Sacramento City College and Curtis Park goes to the Planning Commission for review,” said Rosanna Herber, president of the Sierra Curtis Neighborhood Association (SCNA). “Designed the right way, the development could meet the growing need for housing and retail space near the heart of the city and usher in an era of urban core development that is environmentally friendly.” In 2004, the Sacramento-based Petrovich proposed a plan to develop the site adjacent to the Union Pacific Railyards to become the Curtis Park Village, composed of 500 residences and approximately 250,000 square feet of commercial space for a grocery store, drugstore, restaurants and athletic club. Despite promises to knit the housing styles of the Curtis Park Village into those of its historic namesake, Petrovich has come up against lots of ardent and emotional opposition from members of the SCNA. "At best, the current plan is a suburban strip mall that squanders an opportunity for smart infill development. At worst, the […]

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Grind Hard ENT. – Showing the world Sacramento is serious about Music

As most of us know, Sacramento is a City that continues to expand and display its talents through many avenues. Whether it may be through local artwork, musical artists, or the film industry, many Sacramentoian’s, are continuing to bring the spot light to the Capital City. With this topic in mind, I wanted to share a recent story from a local music production company from our very own City of Sacramento. Grind Hard Entertainment (G.H.E.) is a company that was created by Jose “Flowmatic” Jimenez, after the disconnected feeling he experienced while being a part of a music company that did not allow him to voice his ideas and took control of his desired projects. This is commonly seen in the music industry. He also felt that those who were responsible for producing, and providing the creative talent of post production where not given the proper recognition. This unfortunate reality helped motivate the beginning of Grind Hard Entertainment which has been independently owned and operated since its establishment in 2004. G.H.E. and its production team has completed, and contributed work with several local and nationwide hip-hop artists, such as: The Game, Jim Jones, Brotha Lynch Hung, Keak Da Sneak, The Federation, Skee 64, T-Nutty, Krytykal, and Doey Rock just to name a few. This exposure has created a buzz in the Hip-Hop world of music […]

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The Docks, Part I: The Plan

 Have you ever been to the part of the Sacramento River sandwiched between Capital City Freeway and Old Sac? This particular area, dubbed "The Docks," is certainly not the most attractive place to hold a riverside picnic.  It is desolate and barren where dirt grows like grass and old generating plants and reservoirs go to die. However, that will change as the city readies itself once again for the Docks Area Project.  On September 30, Gov. Schwarzenegger signed AB 2026, a bill allowing the Department of Parks and Recreation to transfer surplus properties through sale or exchange. This means that the city can now acquire the last three parcels of land it needs to begin Phase I of the project. Once this transfer is made, the city can continue with the Sacramento Docks Area Draft Specific Plan, adopted in January 2008.   The plan outlines the project’s goal of creating an urban neighborhood and a publicly accessible riverfront while promoting green and environmentally friendly policies. The city wants to do this by turning the Docks area between the river and Front Street, Capital Mall and I-80, into a mixed-use neighborhood, allowing for the construction of residences, retail and office space, public parks, and a riverside promenade accessible to the surrounding communities.  The most exciting aspect of the Docks project is the riverside promenade, which will extend along the levee […]

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