Steve Martarano was a reporter at the Sacramento Union for 10 years during the 1980s and worked as a sportswriter, on the daytime crime beat, and reviewing concerts. He retired after working in government public affairs for almost 30 years for several state and federal agencies, most recently for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Bay-Delta office. Steve has lived in Sacramento’s Curtis Park neighborhood with wife Sharon for more than 30 years. Read more at www.stevemartarano.com. On Twitter @MartArchives.
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Hometown High School Sweethearts Bring Cajun Cooking to Benicia
Lines often form for their homemade cooking
The story of The Workshop, the popular 600-square foot Cajun-Creole walk-up restaurant in Benicia, starts with a teen romance between Danny Glassmaker and Naomi Buskirk more than 30 years ago.
Bok Kai Temple in Marysville Preserves Centuries of Culture
The temple is one of the oldest Taoist places of worship in the country
The temple and museum is usually a quiet respite for visitors, open by appointment only. But during one weekend, the serenity is replaced by bursts of firecrackers and thousands of visitors attending the Bok Kai Festival weekend, honoring Bok Eye.
Sacramento on the National Stage
NCAA March Madness returns to Golden 1 Center after 2020 COVID cancellation
Eight schools and their fans landed in Sacramento to play in the NCAA tournament’s first and second round games, bringing in an estimated $10 million in economic impact.
Off the Beaten Track: A Retreat in the Forest
Sugar Pine Lodge much more than just a B&B to isolated Placer County communities
Inspired by its proprietor Brynn Wooden — known to all as Miss B — and Woody, her husband of 40 years, the lodge is a beacon in the tight-knit Gold Rush communities of Colfax, Iowa Hill and Foresthill.
The Venue Makes Its Debut
Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s $100 million entertainment showcase opens with blockbuster President’s Day Weekend
The 4,500-seat facility held a ribbon cutting celebration on Feb.
14 and then opened three days later with a sold-out, three-day
President’s Day weekend run of the Eagles, Bruno Mars and
It’s All About the Mead
New Penn Valley establishment fills a niche
Nevada County Mead Company is one of the few places in the Capital Region that produces and serves mead, which the ancient Greeks called “nectar of the gods.”
Museum Tells Unusual Stories of Almost Two Centuries in Benicia
Historic building used to house camels during the 1850s
The Benicia Historical Museum houses tens of thousands of artifacts related to multiple wars and the Gold Rush era, providing a place for visitors to learn something new and appreciate the story of California.
Grass Valley’s Foothill Mercantile Changes With the Seasons
Store has more than 23,000 toys and gifts on display
The store has delighted visitors through several generations while also featuring a wide selection of greeting cards, puzzles, candy, gifts and houseware items. Having an internet presence has helped them return to pre-pandemic sales numbers.
A Knockout Night
After hiatus, pro boxing returns to Cache Creek Casino
The Oct. 29 Showdown at Cache Creek brought prominent boxers and
promoters to the Yolo County casino, which undertook a $200
million expansion during the pandemic.
Olive and Wine Tasting Go Hand-in-Hand at Calivirgin in Lodi
New facility helps longtime olive oil business expand into wine
Lodi-based, family-owned Calivirgin has reshaped its
business. Part of California’s rich olive oil landscape for
almost two decades, its new facility allows the owners to
showcase award-winning products, introduce a new wine
line and host tastings.
An Unforgettable Saturday for Sacramento Sports Fans
Three highly anticipated sports events take place in one night in the capital
The night of Oct. 22 — with three college and professional sporting events starting around the same time — was expected to be a memorable night for Sacramento sports fans.
As the chilly night unfolded, those expectations were undoubtedly
Rosebud’s Cafe in Jackson Is All About Family and a Welcoming Atmosphere
Owners give back and help the community
Rosebud’s is known for authenticity and acceptance as much
as for good food, and is a leader on several local issues
involving homelessness and LGBTQ rights.
Tahoe City’s Green Envy and Tahoe Tree Company Help Keep Tahoe Landscaped
Serving the Lake Tahoe region for almost 20 years, John Crus’ clients inhabit some of the most beautiful properties in California
Crus’ nursery and landscaping construction company help
shape the region’s image and produce plants that
withstand the rough high-elevation climate of the area.
Elliott's Natural Foods reaches 70-year milestone
Created in 1952, Elliott’s Natural Foods was the first in its area to offer many of its health food products. Since their approach to whole and organic food was considered a rarity in the early 1950s, they made dispensing wellness knowledge and advice a part of their business plan, which they carry through to today.
Republic FC Falls in Open Cup, but Builds Momentum
Sacramento’s soccer team gains revenue and attention after a history-making Open Cup run
The team’s improbable run in the U.S. Open Cup against better-funded teams is evidence of the team’s ascending trajectory. Will it help their chances of gaining a place in Major League Soccer?
A Final Farewell to ARCO Arena
A look back on the beloved Sacramento arena as it crumbles into history
Reflecting on the many chapters of the building best known as
ARCO Arena, its farewell event and what’s next for the Natomas
A Cooperative Spirit
Remembering 1972 and 50 years for Davis and Sacramento food co-ops
Both the Davis and Sacramento food co-ops have expanded
exponentially since their inception in the early 1970s, when they
primarily served ”the hippie population.” Fifty years
later, has the spirit of 1972 held up?
Panning for Gold Has Changed, but Pioneer Mining Supplies in Auburn Remains Timeless
Three generations teach gold mining
Frank Sullivan’s mining legacy is as rich as Auburn’s, and is
reflected in his timeless shop, Pioneer Mining Supplies.
Going to Extremes
Endurance athletes push their bodies to the limit — and pump money into the regional economy
Extreme athletes see what they can accomplish, however improbable
— like the 100.2-mile ultramarathon Western States — and use
their hobbies to contribute to regional economies.
Back to the Blues
Johnny “Guitar” Knox memorial finally gets its third encore at Sacramento’s Torch Club
Sacramento’s jazz community gathered at Torch Club recently to play their annual memorial jam to honor Johnny “Guitar” Knox. The fundraiser raised money for the Sacramento Blues Society Hall of Fame.
Penny Candy Store in Live Oak Dispenses Sweet Dose of Nostalgia
Store faces major changes after COVID-19 death of co-owner
Following tragic circumstances, Penny Candy has reopened,
continuing its decades-long status as a treasured destination in
Live Oak. Now, it’s up for sale.
Comstock’s Talks: The Return of Arts and Music Festivals
PODCAST: Capital Region music festivals attract tens of thousands of fans from nearby areas and from all around the country, shaping its identity and boosting the local economy.
The Return of Arts and Music Festivals
Big events boost local economies and shape our identity
Capital Region music festivals attract tens of thousands of fans
from nearby areas and from all around the country.
Rise of the Robot Umpire
Experimental automated strike zone now on tap at River Cats games
An electronic system that relays information almost instantaneously is helping umpires make their calls.
Colorful Bar in Historic Locke Stays the Course After an Ownership Change
Al the Wop’s has been serving bikers, locals and tourists for 75 years
The Delta bar’s five new owners kept the biker bar’s decor, unique traditions, steakhouse-style food menu and controversial name.
Freewheeler Helps Keep Bike-Friendly Davis Pedaling for Almost 50 Years
Three generations of one family run the bike shop
A family of avid cyclists operates a long-running bike business in bike-friendly Davis.
Capital Region Record Shops Still Spinning the Vinyl
Vinyl enthusiasts in and around Sacramento have a wide variety of shops to choose from
Get excited for Record Store Day on April 23 with this photo essay of some of the region’s most beloved, idiosyncratic shops.
Keeping alive the timeless rhythms of roller skating
Roller skating is trendy on a national and local scale for its nostalgic and therapeutic appeal. Capital Region rinks are capitalizing on the pastime’s increasing popularity.
Women leaders are an integral part of El Dorado County Sheriff’s volunteer Search and Rescue Unit
The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Unit provides a wide range of emergency rescue services to those who are lost, stranded or injured.
Mare Island Art Studios a Top Bay Area Destination for Art Lovers
Creativity blooms at former naval shipyard
An eclectic studio situated on a Vallejo peninsula, Mare Island Art Studio provides public and private gallery space for 19 diverse artists.
Virgil’s Bait Shop in Suisun City Offers Fresh Bait, Cold Beer
Popular fisherman's hangout has been around nearly 80 years
Memorabilia, beer and longstanding friendships have made the shop a beloved stop for regulars.
Back to Their Roots
Amador County’s Upcountry Farms finds success through trial and error
A young Amador County couple is making their mark with a small-but-mighty vegetable farm in Ione. Starting with little experience, they’ve grown into one of the region’s most popular small farms.
Neighborhood Favorite: Taiwan Best Mart
A homemade sausage business grows into a popular restaurant
“It all started with the sausage,” says Christine Chang, the
second-generation owner of Taiwan Best Mart.
Sports, Arts and Entertainment Reemerge in the Capital Region
The regional business of entertainment, arts and sports is reemerging with new structures and outlooks in place.
How Cornish Pasties Got to California
Grass Valley’s Cornish pasties are a remnant of the town’s mining history
Cornish pasties are an edible trace of the gold rush, connecting
Grass Valley to a global history of migration and