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The Long Way Home

Earlier this year, Land Park journalist Martin Kuz spent five weeks in Ukraine, both as a reporter covering Russia’s invasion of his late father’s homeland and as a son hoping to better understand the forces that shaped his father’s life. He returned to Sacramento—home to the largest concentration of Ukrainian immigrants in the United States—with a profound new understanding of his complex heritage forged by war and loss. In this essay, Kuz chronicles his journey at the intersection of global history and personal identity.

A Viral Sensation

When Dr. Richard Corsi floated an idea on Twitter for a highly effective, inexpensive, DIY air purifier to help lower the risk of Covid, his light-bulb moment went viral in the best possible way. Now many of America’s top scientists—and even the White House—are touting the invention, and people all over the planet are thinking inside the box.

Word Play

How do you put the fun in fundamental? One Sacramento youth literacy group, 916 Ink, believes the answer lies in turning the traditional rules of reading and writing upside down. That means prioritizing story over structure, publication over perfection, and joy over judgment. And realizing that every flame of creativity starts with a spark.

The Shops Around the Corner

Talk about a Hollywood ending. Over two decades since Meg Ryan’s sweet little children’s bookshop lost the battle to Tom Hanks’ big bad Fox Books, it looks like indie bookstores around the country (and around town) may have won the retail war. With April 30 marking Independent Bookstore Day this year, we’re spotlighting a dozen of our favorite local literary nooks in the Sacramento region. Trust us, this story is a real page-turner.

A Life of Crime (the Perfectly Legal Kind)

John Lescroart became an “overnight” success at 45, and the Davis author has since published 19 New York Times best-selling legal thrillers, with his 30th novel due out in late March. Meet the man with his ink-stained finger on the pulse of American crime stories.

Double Vision

With their new Sacramento-centric HGTV home design series, premiering March 12, Land Park’s Kele Dobrinski and Christina Valencia are helping couples find their aesthetic middle ground. And when they’re not swatch-buckling on a national television show, the husband-and-wife duo are helping redefine and reinvigorate both the private and public spaces where locals want to spend their time—from a jazzy new patio for an East Sacramento restaurant to a complete rebranding strategy for Broadway’s Tower District. Their story-driven work has led to the cornerstone of their design philosophy: making memories.

A Star Is Born

Nearly 15 years in the making, the SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity is ready to open a portal to both the past and the future on the banks of the Sacramento River, pairing a historic 1912 power station with Northern California’s most advanced planetarium. Its mission: Reinvigorate the waterfront, position our region as a tech and health sciences powerhouse, and ultimately inspire generations of kids from all walks of life to dig deeper, reach further, dream bigger and discover for themselves that the sky’s the limit.

The New Golden Age

By weekday, they’re construction workers, utility mechanics and registered nurses. But on weekends, they abandon their respective vocations and venture far up into the storied Sierra foothills and far back in time—circa 1849—dodging rattlesnakes, poison oak and the stink-eyed gazes of seasoned treasure hunters as they transform into passionate modern-day prospectors. And they’re not alone. The global pandemic drove gold prices to record highs this past year and left many with a lot more time on their hands—and knees—searching for the precious yellow metal that’s so deeply entwined with our region’s historical DNA. Yep, there’s still gold up in them thar hills, and the rush to find it is on (again).

Getting Back on Track

Five years ago, Sacramento Regional Transit was on the verge of derailing. Riders felt unsafe, staff morale was low, and the agency was flat broke. Then Henry Li stepped in. He cut costs, launched innovative programs targeting climate change, equity and customer service, and built a $30 million reserve—leading him to be named, effectively, America’s public transit CEO of the year in 2019. But when Covid hit, ridership plunged, a key funding mechanism was pulled from the ballot, and now the future of commuting is a looming question mark. Whether you ride public transit or not, his decisions will affect your commute, the air you breathe and, in many ways big and small, the future of Sacramento. Henry Li is now arriving.

Perfect Picnics

We’ve filled our wicker baskets with the best takeout en route to eight sonnet-worthy spots across the region for your alfresco dining pleasure. Whether you’re unpacking a gourmet BLT on toasted artisan bread while gazing upon a sweeping view of Gold Country or digging into a bucket of crispy fried chicken while smelling the roses at McKinley Park, we prove that life in the wake of a pandemic can be a picnic after all. (Just don’t forget the sunscreen.)

Nut Tree Forever

If you lived in Northern California any time from the ’50s to the ’90s, your memories likely contain vivid flickers of Vacaville’s Nut Tree—the roadside oasis that lured generations of kids and adults alike. Was it an amusement park so wondrous that even Walt Disney himself visited? Or was it California’s original farm-to-fork capital? Or a modern art and design mecca that was first to bring mid-century Eames furniture to the NorCal masses? It was all of that and more. It was also, as it happens, the creative vision of a group of Sacramento artists, designers, architects and, yes, candymakers. And now, in 2021, it’s turning 100. Let’s all jump on that miniature train—you know the one—and take a ride back in time for a Kodachrome encounter.

On Sale Now!

Sactown Nov Dec 2022 Cover Web

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