People

Joe Thompson “Crisp”-ly Delivers Meals to Frontline Workers and the Infirm

Joe Thompson “Crisp”-ly Delivers Meals to Frontline Workers and the Infirm

Financed in part by generous customers of his Crisp Catering business and currently shuttered Gold Rush Grille restaurant, Joe Thompson has been delivering meals to local hospital workers, First Responders and other front-line workers during the coronavirus pandemic. He also takes meals to people who are very ill or immobile or both—and says when he’s allowed to reopen his restaurant, “We’ll still get those meals to these people. I’m not going to abandon them when our governor says it’s business-as-usual again.”

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Dr. Carl Shin Takes Pains to Relieve Yours

Dr. Carl Shin Takes Pains to Relieve Yours

“I almost don’t care what causes your pain,” Dr. Carl Shin is telling and kind of surprising me—until he completes the thought. “My job is to help you recover from it. So let’s do that instead of dwelling on what caused it to happen.”

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Longtime Conservatory Owner Offers the Sound of Music—Remotely

Longtime Conservatory Owner Offers the Sound of Music—Remotely

Add Tanya Végváry to the list of entrepreneurs whose business might actually have improved because of the pandemic shutdown.

Végváry is a piano teacher and the founding owner of the Sacramento Piano Conservatory/School of Music, a handsome building that sits incongruously in the middle of one of the capital region’s unmistakable industrial zones. In its immaculate classrooms, approximately 200 students, ranging in age from post-toddler to post-career, take piano lessons and learn to play a number of other musical instruments from Végváry and nine other instructors.

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Driven to Celebrate a Birthday

Driven to Celebrate a Birthday

I first asked Kim Elizabeth Hyland to go steady with me on August 9, 1966. We had walked to a little park near her family home on a warm afternoon. Kim was barefoot and wore a lightweight shift. I had on my standard Southern California Summer Guy outfit: a JC Penney TownCraft T-shirt®; Madras-patterned shorts which had fashionably bled their way through several washings and now looked as though someone had sprayed an abstract painting on my thighs; and a pair of suitably roughed-up Converse tennis shoes, giving me the unintended look of a suburban dad in his teens on his way to buy some weekend-gardening tools at Sears.

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How Accurate Are Those Hair Salon and Restaurant Thermometers?

How Accurate Are Those Hair Salon and Restaurant Thermometers?

Somewhere between my home and my haircutter, I evidently contracted hypothermia.

How else to explain why, when my longtime stylist and friend Sherry Ngai, owner of Shapes for Hair, took my temperature at her salon and it was 94.5 degrees? (This was before beginning the process of trimming my hair, of course—something Ngai does every six or seven weeks, involving the deployment of shampoo, ointments and garden tools.)

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Miriam Revesz: New Filmmaker Debuts with a Five-Minute Masterwork

Miriam Revesz: New Filmmaker Debuts with a Five-Minute Masterwork

It’s tempting to write about my encountering two fawns the other afternoon when I go to chat with Miriam Revesz, who just completed her first film, “Voices from the Invisible.”

Fawn Number One stands in the middle of the long driveway that leads to the Revesz family home, a pebble’s skim from the American River (if you have a very good arm). The deer seems as curious about me as I am about it. But it quickly tires of me and scampers off to more pressing matters.

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Kim Tucker Runs a Foundry Without a Hardhat

Kim Tucker Runs a Foundry Without a Hardhat

Kim Tucker loves nonprofit organizations, and works long hours as executive director of The Impact Foundry to help them develop their service capacity, messaging and fundraising—while, at the same time, thinking “There are just too many of them, with overlapping missions, donors and even members.” Her own mission is to fix that.

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Girl Scouts Increases Its World Domination Online

Girl Scouts Increases Its World Domination Online

There’s S’more to Girl Scouts than campfires and cookies. But what’s surprising is that even in our extended period of home confinement, both of those activities (camping out and cookie sales) continue—along with many more that are experiencing a new surge of participation.

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Nostalgia Turns to Laughter on a Wedding Anniversary

Nostalgia Turns to Laughter on a Wedding Anniversary

Forty-two years ago today, at about 10:15 a.m. on 8/7/78, Jane and I were married on the beach in front of the Capitola Venetian, one of the oldest condo developments in California.

The service was performed by a nonsectarian minister from nearby UC Santa Cruz whom Jane had found in the local phone book. The witnesses, in addition to some curious seagulls, were the woman he’d been living with for several years but wasn’t married to, and a 13-year-old girl, who looked like both of them and spent the entire ceremony looking down as she sifted sand through her bare toes.

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Monique McDaniel Is Making Up for Lost Time

Monique McDaniel Is Making Up for Lost Time

“I don’t know what I am,” says Monique McDaniel. She’s referring to her ethnicity, not her ethics—and most certainly, not her work ethic. Because at 24 years old, as she preps to jump into the master’s program in Claremont College’s cultural studies department, this young woman, who spent most of her childhood “bouncing around from foster home to foster home,” has put herself on a six-year journey to earn her master’s degree, doctorate degree and then “become a professor so I can help other young people find themselves.”

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Do We Really Need 24/7 “Breaking News”?

I’ve decided that 24/7 newscasts on cable TV aren’t much different from the following assessment of Major League Baseball: “There are only 18 minutes of total action in an average baseball game,” according to a Snapple bottle cap, a usually reliable source.

The comment could have gone on to say that those 18 minutes of action get crammed into more than three hours—but how much verbiage can one squeeze into the average bottle cap, which has a diameter of only 1.17 inches? (And in case you’re wondering, the cap’s info came from PolitiFact, an actually reliable source.)

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Maeley Tom’s Book Explains Who She Is

Maeley Tom’s Book Explains Who She Is

First, it’s very easy for me to tell you my opinion of Maeley Tom’s new book, “I’m Not Who You Think I Am—An Asian-American Woman’s Journey,” because it’s right there in the book’s opening pages of rave reviews.

After reading and making a few suggestions on the manuscript months before the book was published, I called it “a clear-eyed but touching memoir, a guide book on how the inner workings of government in the country’s most progressive state grind along” and “an awesome, very human achievement.”

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One Space or Two? The Meaningless Debate Continues

As you know, for decades “RDA” has meant Recommended Dietary Allowance, to indicate roughly how much fruit, grain, protein, minerals and, possibly, S’mores, should be part of most people’s daily consumption. Now, thanks to a lawyer in Tampa (a place that, thank God, they keep in Florida), RDA has a new meaning for me: Ridiculous Damn Arguments.

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Christo’s Passing and a Memorable Trip Over the Grapevine

Christo’s Passing and a Memorable Trip Over the Grapevine

I was sorry to hear of the passing of the artist Christo three weeks ago, and it took until now for me to realize the role one of his California works played in my life.

As you know, Christo Vladimirov Javacheff—whom you could characterize as an environmental artist, a sculptor, a Dadaist and a supremely effective, charming conman, yet not be wrong on any count—created and executed truly monumental projects…

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Bak to the Future at Elica Health Centers

Tatyana Bak, who emigrated from what was then called the Soviet Union more than 40 years ago, wants it clearly understood that despite the vagaries of the current economy, her health center business is in expansion mode.

Later this year, Elica Health Centers will have 10 clinics and four mobile-clinic vans. It also will complete construction of a new, 20,000-square-foot building in the North Highlands-Antelope area of Sacramento County.

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Close the US Post Office? Undeliverable!

Close the US Post Office? Undeliverable!

Close the US Post Office? Undeliverable! No one’s going to close our beloved, infuriating, Constitution-protected organizationBy Ed Goldman hate to start this with a mixed metaphor—I prefer shaken, with just a hint of dry vermouth—but the...

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The Invention of Limitless Phone Calls, and Other Modern Miracles

Since I wrote (and not lovingly) about aging the other day, I’m hoping you’ll still indulge me today in a senior moment.

No, I’m not going to begin a story, forget all the details midway through then ask why Johnny Carson wasn’t on again last night (this guy sure takes a lot of days off, doesn’t he?). Nor am I going to mention finding my reading glasses in the cat’s litter box—or ask someone to provide me with “the phone number of 911.”

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For Some of Us, Memorial Day is a Day of Atonement

Memorial Day has always been a day of atonement for me since only six numbers prevented my being called up to serve in the U.S. Army in 1969.

It was during the height of the Vietnam War and the reboot of the Selective Service System’s draft lottery for the first time since 1942. Men born from January 1, 1944 through December 31, 1950, were eligible. I was born on November 15, 1950. If I’d been able to hang around in utero for another 17 days, I’d have been home free.

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Today we hear from Michigan and Southern California

Today we hear from Michigan and Southern California

The May 4 edition of The Goldman State featured reactions to the pandemic lockdown from our (gratifyingly) far-flung readership—from off the coast of Washington, from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, from San Diego and from the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region of Italy.

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