Visit a national park for free on MLK Day – one of four no-fee days this year

Originally published by SacBee.com Jan. 12, 2018

Screenshot (89)In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday on Monday, Jan. 15, all national parks will waive entrance fees. This year is the first since 2007 that King’s birthday and the national holiday honoring the civil rights leader, who would have been 89, fall on the same day.

“National parks are America’s best idea, and there are more than 400 parks available to everyone, every day,” an announcement on the National Park Service website said. “The fee-free days provide a great opportunity to visit a new place or an old favorite, especially one of the national parks that normally charge an entrance fee.”

In addition to Monday’s free entrance day, the National Park Service will offer fee-free entry on April 21 (first day of National Park Week), Sept. 22 (National Public Lands Day) and Nov. 11 (Veteran’s Day).

A deadline for public comment on a National Park fee increase proposed by the Trump Administration that California leaders moved to block was originally set for Nov. 23, 2017, but was extended to Dec. 22. Though that comment period is now closed, no further details on whether the fees will increase have been released.

On Monday, President Trump named the birthplace of King a National Historic Park, signing the law on Air Force One in the presence of Alveda King, King’s niece, according to CNN.

If unable to make it to a National Park, two MLK Day marches will take place Monday in Sacramento.

For those looking to visit a park sooner, a year of free admission kicks off Saturday, Jan. 13 for more than 40 California state redwood parks to celebrate 100 years of saving the giant trees. Passes are limited and given on a first-come, first-serve basis. The free redwood park admission will take place on every second Saturday of 2018.

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Diet Coke says millennials thirsty for new experiences, introduces four new flavors

Originally published by SacBee.com Jan. 10, 2018

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Coca-Cola is introducing four new Diet Coke flavors in a new campaign to “re-energize and modernize Diet Coke for a new generation of drinkers.” The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company is introducing the first major change to its popular Diet Coke brand since its launch 35 years ago with the addition of four new flavors and a new look as well.

The flavors include Ginger Lime, Feisty Cherry, Zesty Blood Orange and Twisted Mango, the company announced Wednesday.

According to a press release, Coca-Cola gathered feedback and ideas for the new flavors from more than 10,000 people across the United States.

In addition to regular Diet Coke’s currently offered sizes and packages, the new flavors will be offered in a tall and slim 12-ounce can and in packs of eight. The new cans will be similar to the company’s Dasani Sparking product.

“Millennials are now thirstier than ever for adventures and new experiences, and we want to be right by their side,” Rafael Acevedo, Coca-Cola North America’s group director for Diet Coke, said in the release. “We know Diet Coke has all kinds of fans – from people who have loved its great taste since it launched in 1982 to millennial men and women who are always looking to try new things.”

Diet Coke’s new look and flavors will launch later this month.

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Here’s how to get free ice cream this weekend

Originally published by SacBee.com Jan. 10, 2018

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The Downtown Commons Häagen-Dazs shop will offer free ice cream scoops and a chance to win free ice cream for a year to its first 500 guests Saturday, Jan. 13, to celebrate recently opening in Golden 1 Center’s new dining area. @docosacramento Twitter screenshot

Sacramento ice cream lovers will be able to enjoy a scoop for free this weekend at the recently opened Downtown Commons Häagen-Dazs location.

The DoCo Twitter account tweeted Wednesday that in celebration of this new store, “the first 500 guests to stop by Saturday, Jan. 13 will receive a free scoop [and] the chance to win free ice cream for a year.”

The downtown Häagen-Dazs shop opened in November of last year as part of an expansion of entertainment and tourist-friendly offerings to help promote the Sacramento Kings and Golden 1 Center.

Echo & Rig Butcher/Steakhouse, Burger Lounge, Pressed Juicery and State Fare Kitchen & Bar are expected to open in the coming months, with more dining options to be announced soon, according to the Downtown Commons website.

Additionally, the downtown Cinemark movie theater recently reopened and features several upgrades, including a larger snack bar and electric recliners.

The DoCo Häagen-Dazs is located at 615 David J. Stern Walk, Suite 110, and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Other DoCo businesses include barbecue and spirits restaurant Sauced and Punch Bowl Social, a supermarket-size game center with bowling, shuffleboard, karaoke, skee-ball, cornhole, Trivial Pursuit, wall Scrabble, chess and billiards.

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A Starbucks is coming to Yosemite National Park, but thousands want to stop it

Originally published by SacBee.com Jan. 9, 2018

Screenshot (90)An online petition to stop a Starbucks from being added to Yosemite National Park is rapidly gaining steam, with thousands of people supporting efforts to stop the international coffee chain from entering the protected land.

The change.org petition has received over 12,000 signatures in nine days, according to an update on the petition page. The petition, which has a goal of 15,000 signatures, was close to its goal at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, with more than 14,200 people signing it.

The petition was posted by a self-proclaimed “concerned citizen” and has been signed by people from all over the state.

“Multinational corporations have no place in our National Parks,” the petition’s description reads. “The opening of a Starbucks in Yosemite Valley opens the door to further undue development. The Park will lose its essence, making it hardly distinguishable from a chaotic and bustling commercial city.”

The Starbucks is part of a renovation project and will be located in the park’s food court at the Yosemite Valley Lodge, according to the park’s concessionaire, Yosemite Hospitality, a division of Aramark. The food court will be renamed Basecamp Eatery and has targeted spring for its opening.

Lisa Cesaro, marketing manager of Yosemite Hospitality, told The Fresno Bee she was aware of the petition, but said the Starbucks is still being added to the park. At the time of her comment, the petition had 3,500 signatures.

Starbucks has approximately 3,000 locations in California. In total, the company currently operates more than 24,000 stores throughout 70 countries, according to its official website. Yosemite National Park is visited by millions of people every year from all over the world.

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How much money do you need to be richest person ever? Ask Jeff Bezos

Originally published by SacBee.com Jan. 9, 2018

Screenshot (88)Online retailer Amazon has another feather to put in its very large cap of successes now that its CEO, Jeff Bezos, has become the richest person of all-time.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Bezos is now richer than anyone in history at $106 billion. This puts him ahead of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who is currently valued at $93.3 billion and Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, at $87.3 billion.

Bezos earned the title of world’s richest person in July, but fell behind Gates shortly thereafter and reclaimed the top spot again in October, according to CNN Money.

Forbes’ billionaire tracker has the same top three, but lists Bezos as slightly less valuable at $104.8 billion.

Bloomberg reports that Gates would be well above Bezos if it weren’t for his various charity contributions. Bloomberg’s assessment shows Gates has donated 700 million shares of Microsoft, worth $61.8 billion in today’s money, and $2.9 billion in cash. Without those donations, Gates would be worth over $150 billion.

Most of Bezos’ fortune is in Amazon shares, which rose about 56 percent last year and around 7 percent this year to date.

Additionally, Bezos owns the Washington Post and private space travel company Blue Origin, which aims to take tourists on galactic journeys.

Sacramento jumped into the competition for the second North American Amazon headquarters in October. The facility would bring 50,000 jobs to the region.

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These California twins have different birth years. ‘I’ve never had this before,’ doctor says

Originally published by SacBee.com on Jan. 2, 2018

Screenshot (85)Twins born just minutes apart in Delano will spend a lifetime explaining why their birth years don’t match, as one was born in 2017 and the other in 2018 – the first baby believed to be born in Kern County in the new year.

Joaquin Ontiveros, Jr., was born at 11:58 p.m. on Dec. 31, according to a report from 23ABC. He weighed 5 pounds, 9 ounces and was 18 inches long. His twin sister, Aitana de Jesus Ontiveros, was born at 12:16 a.m. on Jan. 1. She was 16 1/2 inches long and weighed 4 pounds, 10 ounces.

The babies were born at Delano Regional Medical Center. The parents of the twins told 23ABC the babies arrived about a month earlier than expected.

In Sacramento, the first baby of 2018 came at 12:15 a.m. at Sutter Medical Center, according to Fox40. Ignacio Calderon Pulgar, who was born a week early, weighed 8 pounds, 7 ounces and was 21 inches long with a full head of hair.

So, how rare is it for twins to be born in separate years? According to a blog post on Freakonomics by Louise Firth Campbell and Amram Shapiro, co-authors of The Book of Odds, the chances of this occurring are about one in 59,000.

“I’ve been doing this for 35 years, and I’ve never had this before,” said Seyed Tamijidi, the doctor who delivered the twins, in a bakersfieldnow.com report.

This article also appeared in the New York Times ‘California Today’ list. 

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Too drunk to drive? New California law could give you a free ride

Originally published in the Dec. 25, 2017 print edition of the Sacramento Bee, on SacBee.com as part of Capitol Alert and on both The Modesto Bee and San Luis Obispo Tribune websites

Sac Bee Full Page Local Page 1It’s an all-too-familiar scene in Sacramento. A group of friends heads to midtown for a night of partying and drinking, but one friend has to miss out on the fun and stay sober to be the designated driver.

A new law that takes effect Jan. 1 may not only let everyone join in on the fun, but it’ll also mean more money for the bubbly.

Under Assembly Bill 711, alcohol manufacturers and licensed sellers can offer free or discounted rides to transport drinkers home safely through ride-sharing services, taxicabs or other ride providers.

Vouchers or codes can be given to alcohol sellers or directly to consumers, but cannot be offered as incentives to buy a company’s product. Current law restricts alcohol licensees from offering discounts of anything more than inconsequential value to consumers, though liquor and wine manufacturers have been temporarily allowed to pay for rides for people attending private, invitation-only events.

The measure, by Assemblyman Evan Low, D-Cupertino, would relax the rules to expand that program, allowing alcohol manufacturers to underwrite free or discounted rides in all cases.

Low noted that thousands attending Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara in 2016 didn’t have options to get home safely after drinking. Forty-four other states and the District of Columbia allow liquor manufacturers to pay for free or discounted rides, according to a legislative analysis of the bill.

The bill cleared the Legislature unanimously, and was supported by major beer manufacturers as well as ride-sharing company Lyft. Last year, Anheuser-Busch partnered with Lyft to offer rides home across 33 “safe ride” programs throughout the nation.

Katja Zastrow, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility for Anheuser-Busch, said since teaming up with the ride-sharing service, the program has provided more than 64,000 rides. “Drunk driving is 100 percent preventable and offering safe rides is one way that we can have a real impact on reducing (it),” she said.

The bill was opposed by Alcohol Justice, a San Rafael-based nonprofit that lobbies against policy thought to promote the “alcohol industry’s harmful practices,” according to the group’s website.

Carson Benowitz-Fredericks, the organization’s research manager, said AB 711 could encourage people to drink more. Alcohol Justice says overconsumption of alcohol costs California $35 billion a year and causes 10,500 deaths annually.

“The idea that drunk driving is the only harm from alcohol is a real misunderstanding of alcohol harm,” Benowitz-Fredericks said.

The main concern from both Benowitz-Fredericks and the Rev. James Butler, the executive director of the California Council on Alcohol Problems, is that though the bill says the rides should be provided in order to get drinkers safely home, there is no real way to prevent consumers from using the free rides to go to another drinking spot.

“If they get free transportation, maybe instead of two beers they have six,” Butler said. “And when people overconsume alcohol, they make bad decisions.”

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The lasting effects of suicide and how the numbers add up in Yolo County

Originally published in the Dec. 20, 2017 print edition of the West Sacramento News-Ledger

31

Dillon Weatherly and Felicia Greenwood Weatherly.

For the families of those who decide to take their own lives, suicide rates aren’t just a set of data, but a real reminder of the devastation and life changing effects self-inflicted deaths have on those left behind.

Yolo County resident and 21-year River City High School music teacher Felicia Weatherly’s son Dillon, who was 14 at the time, died by suicide last year during a camping trip when he was left by himself at the family’s campsite after he got into an argument with his parents.

Weatherly said she and her husband along with their other children went on a hike and when they returned, they could not find Dillon.

Weatherly discovered Dillon just inside the door of the family trailer. He had shot himself in the head with a hand gun the family kept for safety, she said.

“When I walked in, I couldn’t figure out what I was looking at,” Weatherly said. “It was such a shock. I couldn’t understand. And then I did. And I started screaming. I always assumed there would be at least a hint of warning.”

Weatherly and her husband adopted Dillon in 2011, but they had taken care of him from the age of two, she said. His biological mother, Weatherly’s step-sister, suffered from bi-polar disorder, so the family got Dillon regular psychological exams. But Weatherly said even Dillon’s psychologist was surprised because there were no signs he was suicidal.

The numbers

According to data from California Health and Human Services, the Weatherly’s story isn’t too uncommon as suicide rates in California have been on the rise over the past 16 years.

Suicide rates across Yolo County’s 17 zip codes between 1999 and 2015 totaled out to 297, with the highest being in Woodland at 95, followed by West Sacramento at 94 and Davis at 82.

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Between 1999 and 2005, suicide rates were fairly stagnant, even decreasing to a low of just nine before jumping back up to 21 in 2006. From there, rates have steadily bounced up and down throughout the years, with a slight spike over the last two years on record.

In 2015, there were 4,175 self-inflicted deaths in the state. That’s an increase of 1,128 suicides over 1999 which saw 3,047 deaths by suicide.

Though numbers have fluctuated slightly up and down over the years, the statewide suicide rate has steadily increased since 1999. Overall, in that time, more than 61,000 people in California have taken their own lives and that includes those who died in the state that did not have a home residency at the time of their deaths.

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The California Department of Public Health, which provides the data that is presented on the CHHS web portal, said that data collected from various sources like coroners, doctors, funeral directors and hospitals is considered to be quite accurate because the department uses a variety of checks and systems to cut down on any errors in its reporting.

Suicide prevention

When it comes to reasons why people commit suicide, Diane Sommers, the executive director for Suicide Prevention of Yolo County— which has operated for 51 years and runs the county’s suicide hotline, does outreach at local schools and provides other prevention resources—said it can be a real challenge to track why people take their own lives.

“Is there any real true fact? Probably not,” Sommers said. “But is there speculation? Yes. As we’re seeing kids today and younger people, suicide is now the second leading cause of death between 15 and 24-year-olds.”

Sommers said among men and women, men are also more likely to commit suicide, but that it’s becoming more common to see women do it as well.

“We’re seeing much more with people and the prevalence of, with this whole cell phone age, the usage of bullying,” she said. “Boys are more likely to attempt suicide than girls, but those things are changing.”

Another factor Sommers suggested could play into increases in suicide is seasonal change. Despite popular belief that gloomy winter weather and the craziness of the holiday season causes more people to take their own lives, more suicides actually occur in the spring, Sommers said.

Sommers, who has worked with Suicide Prevention for 30 years, stressed once again that this is based on anecdotal evidence more than actual research.

“During the winter, the days are shorter, it’s darker, we get those long periods of rain, many people are stressed out,” Sommers said. “So, when people are feeling stressed out, the person who might be feeling suicidal kind of fits in with everybody else because they see other people are feeling kind of crummy too.

“And then spring time comes; now you’ve got a bright sunny day. Our moods will start to lift, but the person who has been feeling very depressed – all of a sudden, they become even more isolated.”

Sommers said suicide prevention hotlines such as the one her organization runs demonstrate the importance of listening to others and providing support whenever possible.

“We see that there is a decline [in suicidal thoughts] in people after being able to talk to someone,” Sommers said. “And if you think about it, it’s kind of common sense that to have somebody to listen to us. I think we all feel a little better because then what happens for a person who is feeling very depressed, by calling someone, being able to have someone hear them, many times a person will feel, ‘finally someone understands.’ ”

Lasting legacy

To honor the life of her son, Weatherly now holds a yearly music benefit for Dillon. The family is trying to get a scholarship in his name endowed so that it can help future students pay for their continued education. To reach that goal, $2,000 is needed, she said.

Weatherly said she believes having an open conversation about suicide is something she’d like to see happen a lot more. She said she has been open about her experience because she says it’s the last gift she can give Dillon.

“I think that there’s such a huge stigma around suicide and mental illness that even us, we briefly had a moment where we thought maybe we’d just say it was an accident because of that kind of shame that goes along with suicide,” Weatherly said. “But then my husband said, ‘Felicia, you’re a teacher and you have an opportunity to help people with this.’ ”

Weatherly explained that because of the way Dillon died, the family was unable to donate his organs, so she felt helpless in terms of being able to see some good come out of her son’s death.

“We weren’t given that opportunity,” she said. “We wish we could have donated his heart or whatever, so this is really all that we have left to give. I think that talking about it – telling kids that everyone feels helpless sometimes – I really think because we’re afraid to talk about it that when they hit that point they think they’re the only ones who have ever felt this way.”

Anyone who is feeling suicidal or who knows someone who may be dealing with depression or suicidal thoughts is encouraged to contact Suicide Prevention of Yolo County at 1-888-233-0228 or visit http://www.suicidepreventionyolocounty.org.

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Yolo Idol karaoke contest, Hometown Heroes band battle and Gala Preview tasting event highlight 2017 Yolo County Fair

Originally published in the Aug. 9, 2017 print edition of the West Sacramento News-Ledger

UntitledThe California State Fair may be over for the year, but Yolo residents still have plenty of fun to look forward to when the County Fair returns to Woodland later this month.

Kicking off this year’s Fair is the 11th annual Yolo County Fair Gala Preview event, which according to a press release, “gives guests the opportunity to sample the county’s best beer, wine, produce, olive oil, ice cream, fruits, meats, honey and more.”

The event will take place on Aug. 16 from 6-8 p.m. and tickets run $20 per person. They can be purchased at the Yolo County Fair office, which is located at 1125 East St. in Woodland.

“Every year, we make a point to be at the Yolo County Fair Gala showing what we grow on our farm in Capay,” said Thaddeus Barsotti, owner and farmer, Capay Organic. “It’s a great opportunity to talk with farmers and food producers and see the big picture of all the great products and crops coming from Yolo County.”

Tickets can also be purchased online at http://www.yolocountyfair.net/events/2017/2017-yolo-county-fair-gala. Gala coordinator Samantha Novan says the event sells out quickly each year and advises those interested to purchase their tickets as early as possible.

“We believe that the Yolo County Fair is the last agriculturally-based fair in the state and highlights the rich diversity of crops grown in a county that truly works to keep the agricultural presence strong, vibrant, and economically sustainable,” Stephen F. Heringer, owner of Heringer Estates Vineyards & Winery and longtime gala participant said in the press release. “Come to the Gala and Fair and appreciate a peek into the past, a flavorful taste of the present and our dreams for the future.”

In addition, this year’s fair will also feature the return of Hometown Heroes: Battle of the Bands and Yolo Idol, according to County Fair Entertainment Director Marty DeAnda.

Hometown Heroes is a contest that debuted at the fair in 2015 where local bands compete for cash prizes and fair goers can enjoy the show. The show takes place this year on Aug. 17 and will feature four bands that have been handpicked by event organizers for the competition.

The bands are The Big Poppies from Winters, The Marshall House Project from Woodland, Big Sticky Mess from Davis, and Caliscope from Woodland.

Bands have 15 minutes to perform. The performances start at 8:30 p.m. and judges will choose a winner based on fan participation, originality, appearance and musicianship.

The winning band receives $250 and will be allowed to participate in a paid performance at the 2018 County Fair and will receive an opening spot at a Sacramento venue. The runner up will receive $150 and will also be paid to perform at next year’s fair.

Judges for Hometown Heroes include Sacramento promoter Jerry Perry of Alive & Kicking and Myki Angeline, CEO of Rants of a Sic Mik, Rantz & Raves, podcast creator and award-winning columnist.

Also included are Chris Macias, former Sacramento Bee pop critic. The MC for Hometown Heroes will be Ericka Davis, Yolo Idol Director and lead singer of the local band, Kiss N’ Tell, according to DeAnda.

“Competition is getting tougher and the quality of the bands have gone through the roof,” said DeAnda in a press release. “What I’m seeing now are enthusiastic crowds of people coming to the fair to see the bands, rather than just seeing the bands because they happen to be at the Fair.”

Yolo Idol will take place before the Hometown Heroes band battle and will feature Good Day Sacramento’s Cambi Brown. From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 17, participants of this karaoke event will be able to sing and play instruments in an attempt to make it to the top three.

Those three will then sing a second song for a chance to win the top prize of $250. Second and third place winners will receive $100 and $50, respectively, according to the press release for the event.

In addition to Brown, judges will include Woodland Mayor Angel Barajas, Larissa Bryski of American Idol fame and Woodland Democrat reporter Hans Peter.

To reserve your spot in the Yolo Idol contest, contact Davis at (530) 383-2199. West Sacramento’s Cindy Tuttle will perform the National Anthem before the evening’s events.

Both the musically-filled night of Aug. 17 and the Gala preview on the 16th are just a taste of what’s in store for Fair-goers this year. The Yolo County Fair, which according
to its official website started in 1893 and incorporated in 1935, runs from Aug. 17 through 20 from noon to midnight each day. Fair entry is free.

For more information on what all the fair will offer this year, please contact the Fair Office by phone at (530) 402-2222 or by email at yolocountyfairgala@gmail.com. You may also check out the Fair’s website at http://www.yolocountyfair.net for updates, program information, and much more or you can join the Facebook event page to receive updates.

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First dentist of West Sacramento passes away at age 96

Originally published in the June 21, 2017 print edition of the West Sacramento News-Ledger
The first dentist to ever practice in the West Sacramento region Dr. Oliver E. Quam died on Saturday, April 22, 2017 in Auburn. He was 96 years old.

Quam, who was born on Nov. 6, 1920, the youngest of 10 children, died of natural causes and old age, according to members of his family.

Quam, who friends and family called Ollie, short for Oliver, moved from his family farm in Minnesota to West Sacramento in the 1950s after serving in the Navy, according to his official obituary, published in the Auburn Journal on May 23, and information provided by the family.

Quam earned his degree in dental from the University of Minnesota and then travelled to San Francisco with several friends from the military where they took their medical license exams. He then established his dental practice in the heart of West Sacramento some 30 years before it officially became a city.

After a brief stint in the building across from the city library, the medical office moved to the Pioneer Building at 1035 Jefferson Blvd. where it remained for more than 30 years until Quam retired in the mid-80s and the building was sold.

Upon retirement, Quam dedicated his time to his true passion of farming. He owned 8.9 acres of farm land in Auburn, which he called “Tooth Achers,” a play on the word “acres.”

Quam is survived by his wife of 39 years Jeanne Quam, his children Nancy L. Quam-Wickham, Jean M. Nakano (Ron) and David M. Quam; his children by marriage John R. Boese, Charles R. Boese (Sue), Michael C. Boese (Diane), Pam M. Card (Joe) and Cara J. Wefers (Patrick); his grandchildren Laura Wong (EJ), Claire Quam-Wickham (Ben), Lindsey Nakano, Thomas Nakano and Rose Quam-Wickham; his grandchildren by marriage Ryan Boese (Shannon), Woody Boese (Kyrie), Nicolas Card (Jaci), Lisa Boese (Michael), Michael Boese, Grayson Boese, Dawson Boese, Jae Wefers; and his great-grandchildren by marriage Cova, Maverick, Vera, Oliver, Kane and Bristin. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews.

A celebration of life service was held on May 24 at the First Congressional Church of Auburn and featured a remembrance by the Navy Honor Guard among presentations, music and speeches from family and friends.

Three of the grandchildren Laura Wong, Lindsey Nakano and Tom Nakano prepared a list of fun facts and information about their grandfather and read it during the celebration.

“He had a positive attitude and was realistic and pragmatic when it came to problem solving,” the grandchildren said. “His optimism, the way he took his declining health in stride, is an inspiration that we admire and hope to follow.”

The family consensus is that everyone enjoyed Quam’s knack for growing the most delicious produce they’ve ever tasted. Another statement from the grandchildren reads:

“He generously shared his regular bounty of fresh-picked mandarins, peaches, tomatoes and countless other fruits and vegetables of his labor, the rewards of his hard work, and dedication to the care of his land. He definitely loved his land. More than that, he loved working his land.”

Quam’s son-in-law and local real estate broker Ron Nakano, who added that the farm land is now being maintained by Quam’s widow, agreed, saying that nowhere else can you find juicier produce.

He said that he would often ask Quam if he ever wanted to go back to dentistry and that Quam would tell him he loved dentistry but that he was truly happy on the farm.

“He had the sweetest fruit, ya know,” said Nakano. “Ya know, he just had the sweetest peaches, right? I mean, you bite into a sweet peach on a hot summer day, that’s just like something you’ll always remember for the rest of your life. It’s the kind of peaches and the plums and the fruit, it’s the kind that you have to bend over and let it just drip onto the ground.”

Nakano said a conversation with Quam shortly before he died convinced him that Quam was happy and had accepted that it was his time to go.

“He goes, ‘Ya know, Ron, I thank God for my life and I’m really happy. I lived a good life and I thank God for it.’ That’s what he said,” Nakano explained. “He lived 96 years and he’s happy, ya know. He was content with passing away.”

The family’s program for their celebration of life ends with a quote from Quam, saying “Old gardeners never die, they just spade away,” which they say is the perfect way to commemorate Quam’s passion and personality.

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