Gem of a Library: Ella K. McClatchy

20160413_174824I only just discovered Sacramento’s hidden gem in the Ella K. McClatchy Library. The Sacramento Public library system hosted a booth at the Midtown Farmers Market and handed out the cards with a list of libraries and their hours. (This is important since the hours have been crazy for some time.)

In the Delta there are some lovely libraries. The Clarksburg library in Yolo County is my favorite. The Walnut Grove library is also fine community resource. I have yet to visit the Isleton library at the Elementary School.

When I heard about the Ella K. McClatchy library at 2112-22nd Street on Poverty Hill, I was intrigued and made plans to visit.


The children’s section is very inviting. Family Storytime is every Tuesday from 10-10:30.

I cycled over on a Wednesday and discovered a jewel of a library in an circa 1900 home. I picked up a calendar and discovered a knitting circle and a Jane Austen Reading Group. Both are held in an upstairs bedroom converted to a parlour. The calendar also lists a Tolkein Book Club, Lego Mania! (for children), and Shakespeare Sonnet Reading.

You might wonder what relevance a library has in today’s high tech world. It is a meeting place, a source of free books, dvds and books on tape, and a place to use the computer. The best communities have well-resourced libraries. The Ella K. McClatchy library is worth seeking out.


Knowing library hours are critical: http://www.saclibraryorg for a complete listing.


Discover the Delta Identity

Resolution: Discover the Delta in 2014.

Visit their website for a calendar of events, a Delta t-shirt and more.

Visit their website for a calendar of events, a Delta t-shirt and more.

Most residents of the Delta have been happy to be left alone for so long. With 5 county boundaries divvying up the region, “the Delta” is not the focus of any county’s economic development.  California’s tourism promotion is divided between the Bay Area and the Central Valley (even “Gold Country” by State Parks).  This strategy may not be the best for the future as the State is knocking on the door with the Bay Delta proposal.

Change may not be welcome, though it is inevitable. Two of the agencies that make up the Delta alphabet soup are collaborating with residents to develop a “Delta Brand”: the Delta Protection Commission and the Delta Conservancy.  There are already some marketing efforts in various parts of the region–with a “farm trail” in Sacramento County and parts of Contra Costa County, and a hub of wineries in Clarksburg in Yolo County.  These efforts may benefit from something coordinated region-wide.

You can read more about it in the article in the Stockton Record.

Boutique Wineries at the Old Sugar Mill

Once upon a time tons of sugar beets were grown in the Clarksburg area and processed in the Old Sugar Mill.  First sugar cane and then high fructose corn syrup made sugar beets less desirable and farmers switched to other crops, including wine grapes.  Now Clarksburg has its own wine appalachia and a growing list of wineries.

The largest local winery is Bogle Vineyards.  (for information on tasting:  There are a growing number of smaller or boutique wineries, which means different things to different people and generally implies smaller production, yet passionate commitment to the craft.

The Old Sugar Mill (for information on tasting hours: is the home of 8 local wineries.  The facility is also available for fundraising events and weddings.  I was surprised, though, to discover that there are no eateries.

Located only 30 minutes from downtown Sacramento, and 15 minutes from Elk Grove or West Sacramento, it makes a fun, relaxed outing.  Your party can taste a wide range of wines in this one location. You can read more about each winery before you go:

Delta Conservancy Unveils Strategic Plan

Sacramento County Supervisor Jimmie Yee, a Delta Conservancy Board member, thanked the 20 or so members of the public for attending a workshop on the draft strategic plan at the Clarksburg Community Church hall.

The Delta Conservancy was formed as part of the 2009 Legislative package called the Delta Reform Act.  The Delta Conservancy’s purpose is to promote balanced ecosystem restoration and economic development in the Delta.  They recently released the draft strategic plan and invited public comment.  The strategic plan is found on the website:  Comments are due by April 20, 2012.

Campbell Ingram, executive officer for the Delta Conservancy, encouraged members of the public to read the goals and strategies carefully.  He urged that feedback on these is welcome anytime.

The Delta Conservancy is a state agency within the State’s Natural Resources Agency.  It has a small budget now, but hopes through a combination of entrepreneurial fundraising and a future water bond to have more money for grant programs and projects.

Husick’s Country Store and Deli

Husick’s Hardware and Country Store is the only place to eat in town.  It serves lunch Tuesday-Sunday and enjoys a 90% favorable rating on Urbanspoon (

It goes by several names:  Husick’s Country Store, Husick’s Hardware and Deli.  They are all located at 36510 Riverview Drive in Clarksburg.  Located between the Bogle Winery and the Old Sugar Mill it is a great place to stop for a gourmet sandwich or salad  at a reasonable price.  There is indoor and outdoor seating.

I gave it a whirl on a rainy day so I was happy to sit in the comfortably warm indoor dining area.  The Mason pannini was delicious:  turkey, provolone, rosemary bacon, peppericini, and mustard/mayo.  I rounded out my meal with chips and a soda for just over $10.  It was satisfying–more so with the side of pasta salad that is part of a sandwich order.

Husick’s would also be a great place to grab a cup of coffee.  They serve Old Soul beans.  I liked the seating area with comfy chairs and a year’s worth of Horse&Rider magazines.  There are local food goods and a few garden items for sale as well.

Clarksburg has a long way to go before it rivals St. Helena or Calistoga; however, it also does not have the hassle of crowds.  And there is something about the  Sacramento River and the surrounding sloughs that force you to slow down and take a deep breath.


Lunch at Club Pheasant

Met up with some business colleagues for lunch at Club Pheasant in West Sacramento.  It was my first time to this restaurant and it had pleasant associations:  it is much like the family-owned Italian restaurants in Sonoma County that my family frequented when I was growing up.  The atmosphere is comfortable and family friendly without sticky tables or floors.  I have to admit that I did not pay attention to the prices because it was a business lunch.  (Urban Spoon gave it $$$ for dinner; more like $$ for lunch).

There were lots of locals enjoying lunch and a large retirement party in the private room in back.  The restaurant is spacious and could accommodate a big family or a crowd of wine tasters on their way to/from Clarksburg.

lunch crowd

In true Italian style we shared a large order of lima beans and onions.  My colleagues had minestrone soup and garlic bread.  I had the half garlic steak sandwich and the side of ravioli.  It was all delicious.

The Club Pheasant is a landmark in West Sacramento operating as a bar and restaurant since 1935.  I would not be surprised if the ravioli recipe is still Luisa Palamidessi’s.  You can ask Patti Palamidessi (third generation) or one of the other family members when you dine there.  She welcomed us and made sure we were happy with our meal.

Yolo County Supervisor Mike McGowan and Patti

If you are on your way from Sacramento to Clarksburg for a little wine tasting, why not stop at the Club Pheasant and put a good foundation of pasta in your tummy?  You will be very satisfied and able to taste that much more wine.

2525 Jefferson Blvd.  West Sacramento, CA 95691

(916) 371-9530; lunch Tues-Saturday and dinner Tues-Sunday


<a href=””><img alt=”Club Pheasant on Urbanspoon” src=”; style=”border:none;width:130px;height:36px” /></a>