The Delta breeze needs you

Like a lot of people in Sacramento, my very favorite thing about this place in summertime is the Delta breeze. I arrived last July—the hottest month in the history of this hot city. At an Airbnb in Arden Arcade, I spent every evening in the backyard under a glorious fig tree as that soft, warm wind ruffled the leaves, carrying bird-songs and blowing the 100-plus-degree air away.

My relationship with Sacramento last summer was a fresh romance: I loved just about everything about this city, and the thing I loved the most was the Delta breeze. There are many other things that I have fallen in love with­—the wild American River a 20-minute walk from my Midtown apartment; the farmers markets, restaurants, bars, Kings and Rivercats. Best of all, the smart, engaging people who’ve chosen to make this awesome little city their home.

This issue of the SN&R happens to celebrate a little bit of everything that makes me so happy to be here.

There is really only one thing that I don’t like about Sacramento. I only just learned that our city, according to a recent study, is the fifth most air-polluted city in the United States. I hate to say this, but the Delta breeze I love so much is a little bit poisoned.

I grew up in New Jersey, just a few miles from New York City. The Hackensack River, which ran through my town, was pretty polluted in those days, and it was along its banks that I learned to love nature. It’s imperfection didn’t stop me from appreciating its beauty any more than this new knowledge will prevent me from appreciating the loveliness of the Delta breeze.

It was the condition of the Hacky, and of Los Gatos Creek and Lompico Creek in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and of the Clark Fork River in Montana, that eventually led me to journalism. I decided that I needed to let people know about threats to our natural home. And so, if you didn’t know, we have a very serious air pollution problem here and we need to do something about it. More on that later.

I hope and pray that in the coming summer, as you feel the breeze of the Delta lift your eyes off your phone and into the trees and clouds, you feel nothing but peace. Let’s make this summer good. Let’s make summers to come even better.