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  #141  
Old Posted Jun 11, 2007, 4:25 PM
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Originally Posted by goldcntry View Post
Any word on zip code maps?
I got a new map in the mail from the USPS a few weeks back as I'm in the new 95811.

Basically, 95814 will now consist of the core downtown area. Though I threw away the mailer, the new 95814 is roughly a square centered on the bridge/river on the west, and 17th street or so on the east. It is probably 15 blocks wide north to south. Everything outside that new rectangle will become 95811. Hope that made sense.

Found a map!
http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/306059
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  #142  
Old Posted Jun 11, 2007, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by neuhickman79 View Post
Effective July 1st Sacramento's 95814 zip code will be split into two zip codes...obviously 95814...and 95811.
lame. more crap to remember for ups
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  #143  
Old Posted Jun 18, 2007, 9:07 PM
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I stole this post from the SFBA Area Forum. I thought is was an interesting. Do you think something like this could work here in Sacramento?

Newsom fond of New York court
San Francisco mayor wants to model Midtown Community Court to address quality-of-life issues, starting in Tenderloin district

Heather Knight, Chronicle Staff Writer

Sunday, April 29, 2007
Midtown Community Court Judge Richard M. Weinberg poses i...

(04-29) 04:00 PDT New York - -- He jokingly refers to himself as Manhattan's King of Prostitution. Might as well be the King of Illegal Street Vending, Public Urination, Graffiti, Disorderly Conduct, Subway Fare-beating and Aggressive Panhandling, too.

These are the cases New York Supreme Court Judge Richard Weinberg presides over every weekday at the Midtown Community Court.

At the court -- established in 1993 and credited with helping to transform nearby Times Square from a pit of despair to a neon-bathed tourist playground -- it's the little things that matter.

Weinberg believes New York is the best city in the country -- and nobody better use its streets as a toilet, leap over its subway gates or hawk fake designer handbags to its residents.

"He wants them to know that it's his city not just as a judge, but as a person," said Terry Brostowin, a defense lawyer at the court. "He'll say, 'If you're going to ply your trade, ply it somewhere else. Not in my city.' "

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is known for having the same adoration for his city and believes the Midtown Community Court's first-of-its-kind focus on quality-of-life misdemeanors and infractions could work for San Francisco, too. In late summer or early fall, he plans to open a similar courthouse in the notoriously blighted Tenderloin.

Opponents already are lining up to fight what they call the Poverty Court. They say it will criminalize poor people simply for being poor -- and sleeping on the city's sidewalks, camping in parks and urinating in public.

But Newsom is determined.

"We're fighting against the status quo, and they're fighting for the status quo," he said of his opponents. "I'm not interested in fighting for failure."

A social laboratory

The Midtown Community Court sits on 54th Street, just blocks from the stretch of Broadway where David Letterman tapes the "Late Show" and Oprah Winfrey's production of "The Color Purple" plays to sell-out crowds.

The courthouse runs like a riveting drama itself, and Weinberg -- a large, wisecracking man with a shock of salt-and-pepper hair, an easy laugh and a mischievous twinkle in his eye -- is its star.

Weinberg's court hears about 17,000 cases a year. After passing through metal detectors, defendants -- who must be at least 16 years old -- wait their turn on long, wooden benches. Beforehand, a defense attorney, most often provided by the Legal Aid Society, whisks them upstairs to discuss the evidence and their options.

The judge, defense attorneys, prosecutors and a group of social workers and counselors who work in the courtroom all have access to the defendant's criminal history.

The database also shows whether the defendant struggles with alcohol or drugs, is homeless, unemployed or has some other condition that might contribute to criminal behavior.

To continue, the defendants must plead guilty. If they decline, their case moves to the traditional downtown court. If they do plead guilty, they're most often assigned community service to repay the neighborhood for their offenses -- and social services to address underlying problems. Fines are never part of the sentence, but jail time can be.

In 2005, 72 percent of defendants were sentenced to perform community service or receive assistance -- or both. Eighty-five percent followed through, considered a high figure in criminal justice circles. Eight percent went to jail. Often, the sentences come with a special Weinberg lecture.

A woman arrested for prostitution is sent to health education class. Weinberg tells her the charge will be erased if she stays out of trouble for six months. If she's arrested again, the misdemeanor follows her for life.

"You can't be a doctor, you can't be a lawyer, you can't be a teacher, you can't be a real estate agent," he says. "For a young person, that's a real break -- to get that benefit."

Weinberg says he believes in second chances, but not third, fourth and fifth ones. "I'm a law-and-order judge," he said. "I'm not a bleeding-heart liberal. I don't believe in giving away the store."

After cases are heard, defendants sentenced to community service or social services head upstairs, where they might be assigned to sweep the streets wearing bright blue vests with the Midtown name on the back or stuff envelopes for nonprofit groups.

It is there that defendants are connected to some type of class or counseling -- which, by the way, can be accessed by anybody at Midtown Community Court, even if they weren't arrested for a crime.

The entire process -- from the time of arrest to leaving the courthouse -- often happens within one or two days.

"This place is a social laboratory," Weinberg says. "You get immediate results, and you see the outcome right in front of your face."

No concrete plan

It's unclear how closely Newsom's planned court will mirror the Midtown Community Court. The mayor, who toured the Manhattan court this spring, is still planning and will host a representative from the Manhattan court this week to explain the idea to members of the city's criminal justice system.

He has picked the new court's jurisdiction: 80 square blocks bounded by Van Ness Avenue and Sutter, Second, Harrison and 12th streets. About 80,000 people live in the area. He is eyeing the old Hibernia Bank building on Jones and McAllister, but doubts the city can afford it.

The San Francisco Superior Court must sign off on the plan, which it hasn't. Superior Court Judge Harold Kahn said there's nothing to agree to yet because there's no concrete plan. "We are always ready, willing and able to listen to good ideas about improving criminal justice," he said.

Currently, people cited for quality-of-life infractions in San Francisco are told to show up at the traffic court in 45 days. The citations almost always are thrown out. People charged with misdemeanor offenses are directed to the Hall of Justice, which is clogged with such cases. Newsom calls the system "an abject failure."

In the late 1990s, the District Attorney's Office set up the city's own brand of community courts to deal with quality-of-life crimes. There are now a dozen around the city, including in the Tenderloin and South of Market. But they differ in important ways from New York City's version -- and they have been withering on the vine.

A major difference is they are not run through the Superior Court, and there is no judge. Perhaps as a result, the District Attorney's Office directs almost no cases to the community courts. District Attorney Kamala Harris didn't respond to repeated requests for an interview for this story.

Last month, dozens of panel members of San Francisco's community courts sent a letter to Harris asking for more cases to be sent their way. They haven't received a response, they say.

Jeoflin Roh, a panelist for the South of Market community court, said he doesn't understand why Newsom wants to open a new community court rather than strengthen existing ones. "It sounds like the mayor is trying to move in on community courts and maybe even kill them," he said.

"This is a completely different model," Newsom countered. "This is much more enriched, much more comprehensive and will have more of an impact."

Jeff Adachi , San Francisco's elected public defender, whose office represents defendants who can't afford private lawyers, said he has concerns about protecting the constitutional rights of people arrested and brought before a New York-style community court.

"There comes a point," he said, "where efficiency runs afoul of due process."

The New York experience

The building on 54th Street in New York that houses the Midtown Community Court also holds three off-Broadway theaters. Fittingly for a court that deals with public urination, one of the theaters premiered the Tony-award winning musical "Urinetown."

The three police precincts encompassed by the court cover 350 square blocks that stretch from 14th Street north to 59th Street and the Hudson River east to Lexington Avenue. About 200,000 people live there in neighborhoods that include Times Square, Chelsea and Hell's Kitchen.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the area accounted for 43 percent of Manhattan's misdemeanor arrests -- a figure that's dropped to about 30 percent since the court's inception.

In Times Square, prostitutes and hustlers roamed the streets, vandalism was rampant, and drug sales were widespread. "Squeegee men" ripped off drivers by dumping dirty water on their car windows and charging them to clean it up. Litter, graffiti and the stench of urine were everywhere.

Adam Gopnik wrote in The New Yorker, "Hell wafted up through the manhole covers."

Businesses suffered, and theaters began shutting down due to poor ticket sales. Those theaters that did survive often converted to adult movie houses.

"The theater district -- like the Statue of Liberty and Wall Street -- is a symbol of this city," Weinberg said. "Our great fear was if you lost the theater district, you'd lose the city. People wouldn't live here, they wouldn't work here, they wouldn't raise their children here."

In response, former Mayor David Dinkins added thousands of police officers to the streets, and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani focused on community policing in which officers pursue perpetrators of less-serious crimes as a way to curb more serious ones.

But as the misdemeanor arrests began piling up, the taxed court system relied on a triage approach. Those who were arrested sometimes received a summons to appear in court 30 days later, during which they could continue perpetrating their crimes. Or, they were sent to jail and soon released with sentences of time served.

The New York State Unified Court System, the city of New York and the Fund for the City of New York, a private nonprofit group, collaborated to open the Midtown Community Court in response.

It costs the city and state $1.7 million, a figure supplemented with private donations from companies including Ford and Merck.

Now, 30 cities around the United States have replicated the court -- including liberal enclaves such as Austin, Texas, and conservative ones, such as Lynchburg, Va.

Greg Berman, director of the Center for Court Innovation, a nonprofit think tank that works closely with the court, said such programs are popular because they provide politically middle-of-the-road, pragmatic solutions.

"There's a third path," he said. "It says that all crimes should have consequences. ... It's a two-fisted approach: the punishment and the help."

Political opposition builds

Consensus is a long way off in San Francisco.

Newsom said it's frustrating and embarrassing that so much squalor exists so close to the steps of City Hall -- and that people openly flout the laws with no fear of punishment.

"Where's the compassion in allowing someone to slip through the system 50 times and then become a statistic?" he asked.

But homeless advocates see it differently. The Coalition on Homelessness, Supervisor Chris Daly, the city's poet laureate Jack Hirschman, and some sex workers marched through downtown recently to protest the court. "Mayor Newsom, change your mind! Homelessness is not a crime!" about 40 of them chanted. "We want solutions, not prosecutions!"

Daly, whose supervisorial district includes the Tenderloin, spoke at a rally preceding the march and vowed the mayor's court won't move forward.

While the Newsom administration contends it needs only the approval of Superior Court, Daly noted it will need money to operate -- and budget appropriations require the approval of the Board of Supervisors.

"The last time I checked, I was the chair of the budget committee," he said. "In other words, this proposal is dead on arrival."

Daly dismissed the court idea as an election-year ploy to appear tough on homelessness. He isn't pleased he learned about the court through the media, either. "This year, I'm going to teach him the meaning of respect," Daly said.

Opponents of the court have philosophical problems with it, too. They say police should be pursuing the perpetrators of homicides, assaults and robberies -- not arresting people for quality-of-life crimes. Creating more shelter beds and public-housing slots would make a bigger difference, they add.

Juan Prada, director of the Coalition on Homelessness, moved from Manhattan in 2002. He said Times Square is now a veritable Disneyland, filled with chain stores and corporate interests -- and lacking all the poor people who were squeezed out by Giuliani's crackdown.

"It's troublesome and disturbing that a city like San Francisco would choose a hard-core Republican as a model for how to deal with social problems," Prada said.

'Come a long way'

Back in New York, John Wimberly, 63, is homeless and spends each night at a shelter. He spends each day at the Midtown Community Court's job-training program.

It teaches people telephone etiquette, how to create a resume, interviewing skills, how to cope with office politics and how to operate a variety of computer programs. After four weeks, the program aims to get its participants a job. Wimberly hopes to work as a homeless advocate.

"I've come a long way," he said. "You should have seen me when I came here."

He sits up proudly in his seat, points to his attire and says, "Look!" He's wearing a lavender business shirt and a blue tie. A row of pens peeks out of his chest pocket. The court collects business attire from nearby law firms and financial institutions and gives the clothing to class participants.

Wimberly said he recently served 13 months in prison for a "nontheft, nonviolent crime." He's learned to use the phrase in job interviews and leave it at that. In prison, he lost his apartment because he wasn't paying rent, but did work to get his associate's degree in business administration.

He saw a flyer at the homeless shelter about the Midtown Community Court and its job-training program and came to the court on his own to check it out.

"I have a new concept about myself -- I can see a lot clearer now," he said. "My age has no bearing on me getting a job, my incarceration shouldn't have a bearing on me getting a job, and my homelessness shouldn't have a bearing on me getting a job. It's my enthusiasm."

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...9/NUISANCE.TMP
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  #144  
Old Posted Jun 18, 2007, 10:18 PM
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If the approach really is two-fisted--both stepped-up enforcement by police and support services/housing solutions--then it might be interesting to see how it turns out. The traditional method in San Francisco, preferred by Willie Brown, was simply to push homeless people from one neighborhood to another without providing services that might be of use to help them actually get off the streets.

Sacramento does have a program underway, the dramatically-titled "Ten-Year Plan To End Chronic Homelessneess," which aims to provide both housing and case management services to around 1000 chronic homeless individuals within the next decade.

The folks targeted are the ones who have been on the street the longest, with the most serious problems: those homeless a year or more, with serious mental illness and/or substance abuse problems. These are also the ones that tend to consume the lion's share of police resources, emergency room services, shelter beds, and other services. The idea is that once you get someone off the street, and provide them with support rather than just dumping them somewhere, they can begin addressing other issues in their life.

Using the "housing first" model used in other cities (including New York, Portland and others) to remove the worst-off from the streets (by offering them housing and support) allows the majority of the homeless population, who tend to be on the street for a shorter time and use fewer services, to better utilize available resources to get off the street. Think of it like unclogging a clogged drain: take care of the worst part of the system first, and the rest works that much more smoothly.

Jailing people for criminal offenses is just fine in my book--I'm a law and order guy in that respect. But a jail is a lousy substitute for homeless shelters, or permanent housing for homeless individuals--it's a hell of a lot more expensive, and unlike housing/case management, doesn't do anything to solve the problem.
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  #145  
Old Posted Jun 18, 2007, 11:51 PM
travis bickle travis bickle is offline
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Originally Posted by urban_encounter View Post
The problem is "everyone" in Sacramento doesn't do "their part" and Sacramento has traditionally had to rely on people like Spanos, (who also has ties to Sacramento).. Philanthropy isn't something that happens on a big scale in Sacramento. Realizing that, I believe that some people (inlcuding myself) are just thinking how that money may have helped estabilshed a sizeable endowment for the arts, or helped to build a perfroming arts center..

Call it day dreaming.......

This is wonderful and gernous gift for UOP.

But (in Sacramento's case) it represents a missed opportunity to give back to the community were they made most of their money....

These things tend to feed on each another. Once someone starts the ball rolling, contributions usually start flowing at increased rates. I certainly think we've seen giving greatly increase in the Sacramento area even in just last 10 years. So what’s UOP's gain today will be the entire regions gain tomorrow. It's just another sign of the Sacramento area's growing maturity.
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  #146  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2007, 6:26 AM
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Originally Posted by travis bickle View Post
These things tend to feed on each another. Once someone starts the ball rolling, contributions usually start flowing at increased rates. I certainly think we've seen giving greatly increase in the Sacramento area even in just last 10 years. So what’s UOP's gain today will be the entire regions gain tomorrow. It's just another sign of the Sacramento area's growing maturity.
As a McGeorge student I would like to add that some of that donation will probably flow to the law school...which Im very happy about. So in a way its already helping Sac and not just Stockton.
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  #147  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2007, 6:00 PM
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Projects not rising - but city still is
By Marcos Bretón - Bee Columnist
Published 12:00 am PDT Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Story appeared in METRO section, Page B1


Is Sacramento "The City that Can't?"

A city that can't shed its "Cowtown" image? One that can't build anything beyond the functional office space or single-family homes that appear like specks on the horizon -- a depressed city skyline when viewed from the Yolo Causeway or from a more sophisticated world at large?

That is certainly a widely held -- and unfair -- view of Sacramento. That it can't rise beyond its limited view of itself. That it has plenty of big-city problems but not enough big-city amenities. We already have the random homicides, the traffic, the bad air. Your sleepy old town is gone. So why can't we build 53-story skyscrapers at Third Street and Capitol Mall? Where is that downtown arena to house the Kings and big-name concerts?

Taken together, those are two colossal civic setbacks in less than a year, a losing streak that could give Sacramento a complex. The City That Can't? Is that us?

Certainly, in the two boldest, most controversial projects considered in Sacramento, the city was linked with Mr. Wrong and the Wrong Brothers -- developer John Saca and Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof. Saca, bless his heart, had never built a skyscraper before and then suddenly he was going to erect one of the biggest residential projects in the West?

It sounds nutty, but Saca's vision of monstrous buildings tapped into a vein of civic longing for a grander cityscape, tempting us to suspend disbelief. Tell me you didn't drive by the big hole at Capitol Mall and dream of something big? I did.

"He really hit on what people wanted," said Tony Giannoni, himself one of downtown's premier developers. "This particular project was an attempt to break out of that inferiority complex."

But wait a minute? Was this really Sacramento's failure? It was a private project, ruled by market forces, increased construction costs, a depressed housing market, all conspiring at once. All the city could do was mass behind Saca, which it did to the tune of $11 million and a project approved on a fast track. That's hardly a city failure.

And last year, the city -- and the county -- picked up a stick of dynamite called a sales tax increase, lit it and told the Maloofs they would carry it for them. They would wage an election campaign to try to pass the tax increase to erect that arena. All at no construction cost to the Maloofs. Yet they walked away before the campaign even started, dooming a $500 million arena project at the polls.

Strip away all the words and study the actions behind these two failed projects -- analyze who showed a commitment to Sacramento and who simply mouthed the words -- and a clear picture emerges. Saca appears like a man who desperately wanted to build something big in Sacramento but couldn't. The Maloofs appear like men who could have built something big in Sacramento but wouldn't.

Is that a failure of Sacramento? No.

Meantime, if you look around town, you'll see a city of burgeoning restaurants, theaters, condo towers, wine bars, lofts, museums in the offing, energy being created and distributed.

"There is a deliberate plan that is in the works here," said John Dangberg, assistant city manager. "It's part of the evolution of the city."

And what now? Something else will go in Saca's big hole and he gets a mulligan for trying. But as for getting a new arena? Here's a prediction:

This city can -- and it will -- but not with the Maloofs.
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  #148  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2007, 6:14 PM
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Parody

I think everyone might get a laugh out of this. http://www.theonion.com/content/news...orhood_rallies
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  #149  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2007, 6:39 PM
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Amusing...although I found this one equivalent in wackiness potential:

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/51852
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  #150  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2007, 6:59 PM
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Originally Posted by wburg View Post
Amusing...although I found this one equivalent in wackiness potential:

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/51852
even funnier! kind of a jab at some of the users of this site!
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  #151  
Old Posted Jul 5, 2007, 5:31 AM
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I had some guests in from San Diego tonight. Went to dinner, then walked over to the river to watch the fireworks over the Tower Bridge. Except there were none this year. There was easily 1,000 people sitting in lawn chairs on the west side, in boats, or standing on the bridge or docks. I didn't know they weren't doing them this year, and apparently neither did anyone else. How many years in a row have they done the show there, only to secretly stop this year? Did anyone here hear about this ahead of time? Anyway, it was hot and we had walked quite a ways and in the end, I had some pretty dissapointed out of town guests with a pretty poor impression of Sacramento. Not too good...
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  #152  
Old Posted Jul 5, 2007, 7:26 AM
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No fireworks?!? That's ridiculous!
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  #153  
Old Posted Jul 5, 2007, 7:30 AM
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That's too bad, Brandon.

I had a similar thing with visitors over Memorial Day weekend. I wanted to take them on the River Otter, that little 24 seat boat that shuttles between the Garden Highway restaurants and Old Sac.

I did the Otter once before with company and it was a big hit. I enjoyed it too, seeing things like the levees and I-5, Discovery Park and the Tower Bridge from a river perspective. The boatride took about an hour and only cost six bucks.

We picked Virgin Sturgeon to eat because the Otter stops at their dock. But the boat never came! I didn't know the company had been sold and the new owner was having problems and River Otter didn't start up this summer.

A couple weeks later the Bee wrote that the River Otter was going to try and start up in July. I haven't heard if they did but their old website is still up.

http://www.riverotter.com/

Anyone, sorry no fireworks for your visitors. Hope the food and company were good at least.
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  #154  
Old Posted Jul 5, 2007, 9:12 AM
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well, i was there tonight. i guess they weren't having fireworks this year because they performed such an intense firework show last night for the river cats game, they thought doing it again was rather ridiculous. that's what i was told.
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  #155  
Old Posted Jul 5, 2007, 3:30 PM
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Old Sacramento fireworks have been a disappointment in years past too.
Last year I was down there to enjoy the show and the show it lasted
maybe 10 minutes, what a disappointment, but not as disappointing
as what you encountered Brandon. I think it was three years before that a
Rivercats game played the same night and went into extra innings causing
the fireworks show to be delayed till the game ended at 11pm, a lot of
people were pissed that night.

IMO, Davis has the best fireworks show in the area. I find myself there every
few years and I’m always impressed.
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  #156  
Old Posted Jul 5, 2007, 4:05 PM
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Wasn't the big July 4 fireworks show at Cal Expo?
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  #157  
Old Posted Jul 5, 2007, 7:21 PM
slaiguy slaiguy is offline
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I saw the fireworks at CalExpo...ehh...it was alright. I kept on reading how it was going to be the biggest on in the Sac Area that has ever been done. I didn't seem any bigger than last year. Also, ya, why wasn't there any at tower bridge. Me and my gf thought it would be fun to go there an see them but when I tired finding info about it, there was nothing. I saw the ones from the Rivercats game last night. Watched it from the fountain in front of the Capitol. Kinda cool to see it looking down capitol mall.
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  #158  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2007, 3:49 AM
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Anybody have an info on the free WiFi thats supposed to be up and running in September? Does anyone have a strong opinion about this either way?
Im excited...but Im also assuming it will work.
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  #159  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2007, 6:31 PM
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I got my newest issue the other day… damn it’s hot!!!

Well done SactownRob, each issue takes city pride to a new level
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  #160  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2007, 6:39 PM
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Is there any way I can get that picture of Natalie Gulbis without all the writing in the center?? It's really distracting.
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