Cathie Anderson: Looking for updates at local businesses

Published: Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1B
Last Modified: Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013 - 7:44 am

As 2013 opens, I'm updating news on stories I told last year. This is the last of three columns using the economical dot-dot-dot format made famous by the late San Francisco newspaper columnist Herb Caen, but look for other updates as the year unfolds. …

After checking in with Jennifer Kirk, owner of Rocklin's Posh Puppy, I wondered whether First Dog Bo should be enlisted to help solve the nation's economic woes. Kirk reported that Posh Puppy's 2012 sales of designer dog clothes and other items grew by 67 percent. Most of that growth came online, not from the retail store that Kirk opened last May at 6040 Stanford Ranch Road, Suite 200.

Kirk is developing an app for iPhone and iPad that will debut in 2013. Posh Puppy continues to enjoy national media attention. "We were featured with our logo and shopping bags in the Disney movie Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3," Kirk told me. " … We were also featured on the Katie Couric show just recently." …

If Kirk's news doesn't sell you on nominating Bo to chair the Federal Reserve, then talk with Dr. Ken Schenck. He opened an expansive Mueller Pet Medical Center in south Sacramento in March, complete with indoor/outdoor play areas and luxury suites where dogs have their own TVs and pet owners can monitor them via the Internet. The veterinary and emergency side of his business experienced moderate growth in 2012, Schenck said, but revenue from pet lodging almost doubled. …

Facing revenue shortfalls, the Sacramento City Unified School District moved to eliminate adult education classes that didn't have fees or funding to sustain them. That included classes in English as a second language at the Fremont School for Adults in midtown Sacramento.

Students rallied, raising in the neighborhood of $3,500 to keep the ESL classes at Fremont.

"It was enough to offer a citizenship class. Unfortunately it was not enough to keep Fremont School for Adults open," Susan Gilmore, the district's director of adult education, told me. "Fortunately we were able to keep four full-time ESL teachers employed and are offering all levels of ESL classes at the Charles A. Jones Career and Education Center on Lemon Hill Avenue. We are also able to offer a citizenship class at the same location."

A committee that includes students, alumni and community residents recommends how to spend any donations to adult ed. …

The Crocker Art Museum's 40 Roses – a gift of 40 works painted by eminent California impressionist Guy Rose – grabbed the spotlight last year. But Ted and Melza Barr, the C.K. McClatchy High School graduates whose generosity played a role in the Rose gift, recently donated a painting that is something of a missing link in the Crocker's collection. "Untitled (Cows in Pasture)," acquired at auction for about $205,000, is described as the most important work by early California painter Selden Gile. It influenced people such as Richard Diebenkorn, Wayne Thiebaud and other contemporary artists, explained the museum's Scott A. Shields. The untitled work, Shields said, is more about paint than it is about cows.

(Gile, by the way, once worked as a gun-toting paymaster for a Rocklin rancher and as a salesman in Oakland for Lincoln's Gladding, McBean.) …

When I last spoke to Tyler Wichmann, he had just released his summer line of limited-edition streetwear under the Timeless Thrills label. It featured the Tower Bridge. He has since produced a fall and holiday collection.

"Our sales are getting better online, and we're getting more first-day sales when the collection actually drops," he said. His spring 2013 line, now in production, will sell at Getta Clue in Downtown Plaza and at timelessthrills.com.

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