SCOREKEEPER: Sacramento has good airport food but ugly people? Whatever, at least we're not the president.

By John Flynn and Raheem F. Hosseini

Tasty terminals
Out of all medium-sized airports in North America, Sacramento International boasts the finest food and beverages, according to the “prestigious annual competition” hosted by Airports Council International. Remodeled in 2016, the airport concessions boast only-in-Sacramento eateries like Paesanos, the Squeeze Inn and Esquire Grill, alongside other farm-to-fork-oriented restaurants. Travelers may not think we’re cute, but at least we can cook.
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Poolside drought
Sacramento’s public pools need more people to keep an eye on them, so much so that city officials made the hyperbolic declaration that “Summer is cancelled” if they didn’t get more lifeguard applicants. They soon backed off their threat to terminate the season. But to any decent swimmers 16 or older, they’re offering scholarship applications for training as well as up to $12 per hour to mostly bask in the sun and yell at running children—almost enough to make Scorekeeper rethink his career choices.
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Cream of the teens
In just seven weeks, the Sacramento Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society raised more than $269,000. On April 27, Alexis Areias of St. Francis High School and Ryan Fitzgerald of Jesuit High School won Student of the Year honors for being the first student team in Sacramento to raise more than $100,000, and one of only six nationwide. Shouts to teens, who, when they aren’t being the worst, can sometimes be the best.
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Uhhh, thanks?
On April 27, while wearing Chance the Rapper’s signature “3” hat, Mayor Darrell Steinberg presented the Grammy award-winner with the key to Sacramento in recognition of his $1 million donation to Chicago’s public school system. The honor whiffs of slight desperation to make a cool celeb appreciate Sacramento, but it was for a good cause and much less forced than whenever Vivek “hangs loose” courtside with Drake.
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Hardly working
As he completed 100 days in office with no significant accomplishments, President Donald Trump told Reuters on April 29 that his new job is “more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.” Currently the president is pushing for a wildly unpopular health care bill as well as a tax cut outlined in a detail-free one-pager that aims to aid corporations and the wealthy. The Patriotic Millionaires, a group of “200 high-net-worth Americans” against income inequality, called the plan “patently absurd”—which doubles as a pretty solid summation of 2017.
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Janky panky
Travel + Leisure readers voted Sacramento the second-ugliest American city behind Baltimore last month. The internet reacted beautifully: “At least our faces aren’t gentrified,” homeless youth advocate and standup comedian Shahera Hyatt posted on Facebook. “If Sacramentans would stop getting alt-right haircuts from downtown rockabilly barbershops we’d be a lot lower on the national ugly poll,” tweeted SN&R contributor and journalism professor Dave Kempa. Listicles—especially from an Instagram-filtered “one-stop resource for sophisticated travelers”—should never be accepted as holy writ. That said, we think Sacramento and Baltimore would make beautiful babies together. You down, Charm City?
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Science defiance
In the face of the Trump administration’s open hostility toward the truth, people in 600 cities on six continents, including roughly 15,000 in Sacramento, took to the streets on April 22 to participate in the March for Science. Yes, demanding that facts dictate our perception of reality is a controversial belief these days. As our nation slides ever deeper into a horrific dystupidia, at least there’s ample opportunities for Saturday afternoon strolls.
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Beat it
On April 10, a church employee confronted a transient man who was reportedly masturbating near the church’s bathroom, according to a Sacramento police log. The man responded by allegedly challenging the employee to a fight, but then walked off into Southside Park, where police found and booked him for public intoxication. Please tell us this isn’t who Travel + Leisure readers had in mind.
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Cut the smoke
On April 1, a voter-approved $2 tax on tobacco products went into effect. Tobacco companies promptly responded by offering coupons with the intent of off-setting the tax and keeping their customers hooked. Continuing this legislative chess match, Sacramento Assemblyman Kevin McCarty introduced legislation last week intended to ban cigarette coupons, as they negate the higher prices that studies show dissuade smoking among young people and those of lower socioeconomic status. With tobacco prices increasing, dispensaries might want to start a “Smoke Weed. It’s Cheaper” campaign.
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Prudent students
Last year, Innovate for Impact matched professional engineers with concerned students to improve the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary for rescued and disabled animals. On April 24, Folsom High School students helped install eight new improvements, including a woven bunk bed made out of fire hoses for cougars and a puzzle box to keep highly intelligent macaques from getting bored. Unconfirmed sources say the bears lobbied for a passage to and from the honey bee exhibit, but were denied.
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