Raley’s Closing Many In-House Pharmacies

November 5 is the deadline to close about 30% of Raley’s in-store pharmacies. The grocery chain, based in West Sacramento, said the closures are permanent, and will begin on October 26. The store added that about 100 employees will be affected by this move, providing transfers to other Raley’s locations and transition support when needed.

“This was a proactive decision so we can avoid bleeding and long-term challenges to those stores,” said Chelsea Minor, a spokeswoman for the company. “We remain committed to operating at those 69 locations.”

Minor said the pharmacies were facing pressure from “industry consolidation, low reimbursements and high operating costs.” In addition, high drug prices and low Medicare and Medi-Cal reimbursements and private health insurers made it extremely hard to stay competitive and turn a profit.

People with prescriptions in the Raley’s pharmacies affected by the closures will have them transferred to Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy and Rite Aid nearby. Out of the 27 pharmacies scheduled to close, about 15 will be either next door to, or across the street from, one of those stores.

Sacramento’s Best Farmers Markets

October 12, 2019 was National Farmers’ Day across the U.S. It was a day to honor all farmers and pay tribute to great agriculturalists of the past.

Farming contributed $132.8 billion to the U.S. economy in the previous year, according to Business Insider, and according to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) one American farm feeds 166 people annually. So farming is definitely something worth celebrating.

Fresh produce and great prices at Farmers’ Markets

Sacramento boasts some of the greatest Farmers Markets including: Sunday Farmers’ Market, Midtown Farmers Market, Davis Farmers Market, Farmers’ Market Thursday, and Oak Park Farmers Market.

Besides the fun of a Farmers Market, filled with glorious colors and friendly people, there are many additional benefits to buying from farmers. You will get the freshest seasonal ingredients; produce purchased from a farmer is always fresher and usually organic. When buying directly from Sacramento local farmers, you are contributing to the local community and economy. Your money goes directly to people living in Sacramento and ensures that local businesses continue to thrive. Shopping locally also means that the environmental costs of the products you consume is greatly reduced. The produce doesn’t have to travel to get to you and you aren’t paying too much in gas to get there. The best products to buy from farmers are: eggs, milk, honey, jams, fruit, vegetables, cheese, flowers, grains, and organic soaps.

Sacramento Getting an Architectural Boost

There is a currently a race happening in town.  A search is underway for the team to design a new structure at the Old Sacramento Waterfront. This 28 acre development was established in 1839 by John Sutter and today features a thriving business and entertainment district, the Pony Express terminus, establishment of the Transcontinental Railroad and more.

Today, the search is on for a piece of architecture that will excite tourists and make locals proud.  According to semi-retired architect Moshe Victor Keinig, this is only going to beautify an area that is already incredibly attractive.

“From an architectural point of view,” Keinig began, “there is hardly anything that can compare.  I’ve loved this area for years and find such a sense of Zen whenever I have the opportunity to visit.  I very much look forward to seeing what Noel Shamble of T. Y. Lin International comes up with for this.”

Nine concepts were initially chosen from the firm and that was reduced to three finalists.  Shamble gave details of both his Thru and Spring designs using the100+ year old I Street Bridge as a backdrop.

The Weird and the Wacky of Sacramento

Over 7,000 new residents moved to Sacramento last year alone, making it the fastest growing Californian city. These newcomers are likely enjoying cheaper rents and warmer temperatures alongside all the funky, good old-fashioned weird stuff Sacramento has to offer.

As the city’s director of tourism, Nick Leonti, says “Sacramento is about 80% weird stuff.” So whether you are on your way in or out of Sacramento, you should definitely check these out:

Home of the Martini– just a few miles out of Sacramento, you’ll hit Martinez, the birthplace of the classic cocktail, the Martini. Cheers.

Jelly Belly Factory– located at 1 Jelly Belly Lane, this place is wall-to-wall jellybeans of the most delicious kind. Once you have donned your paper hat, you can walk along the factory floors to watch the magic happen and hear the fascinating history of the Jelly Belly craze.

Jelly Belly jelly beans

Osaka-Ya has been making manju and mochi since 1963; they are one of the three remaining manju shops in Northern California. But it is also a snowcone heaven. The storefront is a tiny shop tucked away near the freeway on 10th Street. From a small window next to the shop’s entrance, they sell snow cones that run from “extra small” (about as big as your face) to “extra large” (major brainfreeze potential).

Leonti explains that the city’s “history” of weird, stems from the gold rush, when scrappy adventurers from all over the world arrived in droves. Today, that quirk remains alive and well.

More Bargains Coming to Sacramento Via Grocery Outlet

The Grocery Outlet, a food-store chain headquartered in Emeryville near Oakland, is opening one more branch in the Sacramento vicinity.

Grocery Outlet on 185th in w:Hillsboro, Oregon. Photo courtesy M.O. Stevens

Well-known for its rock-bottom prices, Grocery Outlet is making its new home in North Highlands on Elkhorn Boulevard, inside the Watt Towne Center.

Although Kyle Noble, the senior manager of regional marketing and communications said that indeed, Grocery Outlet signed a lease for the store, no additional information was forthcoming.

The chain already has several stores in the greater Sacramento area, and others are also just in the planning stages. Stores already in the area include:

• Citrus Heights
• Folsom
• Orangevale
• Rocklin
• Sacramento (3431-Watt Avenue)
• Sacramento Pocket
• South Natomas
• South Sacramento
• West Sacramento
• Rancho Cordova
• Rosemont

New stores in the planning stages include in Sun Hills of Lincoln and close to Cal State University Sacramento.

Local Environmental Beauty

There are so many beautiful places to enjoy in Sacramento. It is perhaps therefore not surprising that tourism has seen such a boost in recent years.  When you look at all the natural beauty in the area and all the things to do – especially in the summer – and add that to the fact that the region is not nearly as crowded as other popular tourist destinations, Sacramento deserves its boost in revenue.

Indeed, according to Principal Planner with the City of Sacramento, Desmond Parrington, the Golden 1 Center has been a huge draw, last year attracting around an additional 1.6 million visitors.

But what about the nature?  What about the environment?  There are so many beautiful overlooked areas in Sacramento not getting the attention they deserve.

“It’s really weird,” said Mozes Victor Konig, a Tel Aviv, Israel based photographer. “On my last visit to California I actually got sidetracked by the Sacramento River NWR due to its accessibility, beauty and relaxation.  I can’t understand why more people aren’t taking advantage of it.”

This sentiment was echoed by local resident Michelle Washington.  “I’ve lived here my whole life,” the great-grandmother of 5 said.  “I dated my husband on these banks; brought my kids here, grandkids and now my great grandchildren.  There’s simply nothing more precious in its natural beauty.”

Washington says that her personal favorite are the migrant songbirds and mammals that appear “no matter what season you are there. It’s like they are your friends, accompanying you through dark and light.”

For Konig it was the open space:

“Can you imagine?  Over 5,000 open acres!  Go fishing, hunting, picnicking and more.  And the American River Bike Trail is just a dream.  I am not such a big cyclist but when I was there I couldn’t resist.  Spanning 32 miles from Old Sacramento’s Discovery Park and Folsom Lake, you then meet the Sacramento Northern Bikeway north of Del Paso Boulevard. It’s fantastic.”

Next time you take a vacation to California and you just want to get away from the over-commercialization of the region, stop and smell the coffee. The shaded trail, fitted with restrooms and fountains also offers swimming areas and parks as you stroll through Sacramento at its best.

The News is Good from Sacramento

Columbus Brewery, Sacramento, Corner of K and 16th Streets

We love living and working in Sacramento, so its nice to know our good feelings are confirmed by independent surveys examining what makes living in a city special.

To begin with, Sacramento ranked 44th out of 182 cities in the USA for best cities to raise a family. Personal finance website WalletHub evaluate America’s large cities for several factors such as family fun, affordability and childcare, and Sacramento scored high. Check out how we did compared to other cities on their website.

Our town is still growing. The Arizona-based home-builder Taylor Morrison purchased about 29.4 acres worth of lots in the Fiddyment area just west of Roseville. The three parcels of land along the future North Hayden Parkway cost Taylor Morrison $6.96 million.

Sacramento has benefited, and continues to benefit, from the incubator for start-ups centered at UC Davis. Expect to see more and more medical technology and pharmaceutical companies contributing to the growing economy in the area. During the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2019, 14 startups were launched by this innovative program.

We would be remiss not to include at least one word about beer. Folsom’s iconic Red Bus Brewing Company is getting ready to open a similar space on Sutter Street. We can hardly wait.

Contour Airlines Bringing Non-Stop Flight Between Sacramento and Palm Springs

Sonny Bono Concourse at the Palm Springs International Airport. Photo courtesy Wikipedia.

Smyrna, Tennessee-based Contour Airlines is inaugurating a new seasonal route between Palm Springs and Sacramento International Airports. The service begins on September 16 and continues through May 14, 2020.

“We are thrilled to add another fabulous getaway destination, with Contour Airlines,” said Cindy Nichol, Sacramento County Department of Airports director. “This new route is a great opportunity for us to restore service to an important intra-California market that has gone unserved since May 2014.”

The connection to Palm Springs will leave every day at 10:45am. The 90-minute flight gets passengers to the dessert city by 12:15pm. The return flight from leaves Palm Springs at 1:00pm and arrives at 2:30pm.

Thirty passengers will fly on the roomy Embraer E-135 jet. Contour is offering a special introductory price of $99 for the trip.

Contour’s first route from Sacramento was a direct flight to Santa Barbara, which began earlier in 2019. With the addition of the non-stop to Palm Springs, Sacramento now has 41 nonstop destinations from its international airport. Just last week Spirit Airlines began a route between Sacramento and Las Vegas. As July 2019 arrives Sacramento’s international airport offers 175 nonstop flights every day on 14 carriers. In 2018 the airport saw 12 million travelers pass through its doors, a 10% growth over the year before.

New Midtown Building About to Open Mini Rental Units

Now is your chance to grab an apartment in a great location, and to join in the latest trend to downsize living space. Located a J street and 19th, the 11-story building will have ordinary sized units as well as “micro-units.” Appropriately the building is called 19J.

The 175 micro-units are a mere 300-square-feet but include everything you need to live comfortably in the middle of Sacramento’s action-filled downtown at a reasonable rent.

Sonya Sorich of the Sacramento Business Journal says the apartments come furnished. Kitchens will include a two-burner stove, a mini-fridge and a microwave. There is no full-size oven. Living space includes a bed built into the wall which pulls out when needed, and doubles as a small sofa.

Remarkably, considering the area the units are in, the rent for the tiny apartments will also be tiny: under $1,000.

Target’s Drive-up Offers To-Your-Car Delivery to Mobile App Users

Photo courtesy
Mike Kalasnik

Sacramentan’s lives are about to get even more convenient. Target announced that it is enlarging its parking lot pick-up service. When the upgrade is done, over 1100 stores nationwide, including more than a dozen Target stores in the Sacramento area.

Target is calling the new service “Drive-up.” It is a free service that lets shoppers pick up their purchases made from their mobile phone app without having to enter the store. Mobile app shoppers just pull up into designated spots, and within “two minutes” the item/items is/are delivered straight to your car.

Not everything is available for Drive-up service, however. Groceries, flowers, and alcohol will still require the buyer to enter the store for purchase.

The following stores in the Sacramento area offer Drive up service now:
• Arden
• Citrus Heights
• Elk Grove
• Folsom
• Rancho Cordova
• Auburn
• Lincoln
• Roseville (1925 Douglas Blvd.)
• Roseville North (10451 Fairway Drive)
• Rocklin
• Davis
• West Sacramento
• Woodland
• El Dorado Hills
• Fairfield
• Lodi
• Stockton (4707 Pacific Ave.)
• Stockton North (10424 Trinity Parkway)
• Vacaville
• Yuba City