Features Splash Header

Profiles

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.

Field of Dreams

On the first day of spring, Ruhstaller Farm—our region’s only brewery designed in the spiritual mold of a soil-to-sip winery—officially opened, with a hop yard surrounding towering twin kilns inspired by 19th-century California pioneers and 20th-century Parisian postmodernism. The Farm, with its mission to produce beer defined by the Sacramento Valley’s rich agricultural heritage, is the fruition of a decade-long vision for J-E Paino—brewer, farmer, storyteller and a tenacious optimist who runs decidedly against the grain.

The Heart of a Giant

When it comes to baseball, Dusty Baker plays to win. He's also living proof that the most important stats aren't measured in hits and runs, but in heart and soul.

Once Upon a Time in Mezcalifornia

For centuries, mezcal—the ancient intoxicant steeped in Mexican tradition—has sprouted almost exclusively from the vast agave farms south of our border. But one Yolo County hobbyist farmer believes that climate change, of all things, has the potential to spur a California version of the storied spirit to take root right here. And despite extraordinary odds, he might just get his day in the sun.

SF Giants Assistant Coach Alyssa Nakken

On the evening of July 20, San Francisco Giants assistant coach Alyssa Nakken coolly jogged out to first base in an exhibition game against the Oakland A’s. There were no fans in the stands to cheer her, but the world was watching as she became the first woman to coach on the field in a Major League Baseball matchup. The historic moment was the second, in fact, for the former Sacramento State softball star, who was anointed as the first full-time female coach in the major leagues in January. Here, the Woodland native talks about breaking down barriers, coaching in the age of the coronavirus, and trading the turf for the surf in her off time.

On Sale Now!

The cover of Sactown's Best of the City issue

Stay in the know!

Get Sactown's top stories in your inbox by signing up for our weekly newsletter.

Bites Slug

Cuisine

Neighborhood