Passing the Bottle on Exceptions to ‘Single Sales’ Ban

Reading a recent article in the February 27th edition of the Sacramento News and Review (“Singles barred: How Sacramento banned craft beer”) raised some questions which weren’t addressed by the writer. My curiosity again got the better of me, and so I embarked on a quest to get my questions answered. I started my quest to get my questions answered by going directly to the source of the quotes and information for the article used by the SN&R writer, Sacramento Police Department Public Information Officer (PIO) Doug Morse. I started off my interview with a simple question (or so I thought): Since current city code doesn’t allow for the sale of less than six packs of beer by stores, on what basis has the SPD allowed certain stores to sell craft beers in two packs or “doubles”? Officer Morse’s response, after looking at a copy of the original SN&R story, was, “These quotes are taken out of context. The Police Department does not have final say in the issuing of these permits or the so-called waivers. We only make recommendations to ABC who has the final say.” The PIO then walked me through a hypothetical alcohol licensing scenario for a new licensee. It was all very straight forward and ended with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) making the final decision on the […]

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Organizing North Sacramento Youth Soccer Club and the Advancement of Agendas

The initial meeting of a group to form a North Sacramento Youth Soccer Club occurred Wednesday, March 12, at the Harmon Johnson Elementary School. It was attended by about a dozen parents and their children who were deeply interested in the creation of the Club. With assistance offered by Natomas United Youth Soccer League Vice President, John Flores, and Referee Coordinator, Antonio Ortiz, the initial planning for the creation of the North Sacramento Youth Soccer Club began. Event organizer, Terry Press-Dawson, a Twin Rivers Unified employee at Harmon Johnson Elementary, summed up the purpose of organizing the Club, “The creation of the Club based at Harmon Johnson will allow youth currently involved in soccer or wanting to become involved, the opportunity to do so in the area where they live. They and their parents won’t have to drive relatively long distances to be able to play competitive soccer. It will serve as an expansion of the limited opportunities available at Harmon Johnson.” Daniel Savala, assistant to Council Member Allen Warren, was present as both an area parent and surrogate for the Council Member. Mr. Warren himself made a brief appearance at the initial meeting to confirm his $5,000 seed money donation and to promote both this endeavor and his other “youth initiatives”. He also signaled that his office would work with the group to attract […]

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Long-Standing Same-Sex Tradition comes to an End

Here in California for 13 years same-sex couples throughout California gathered at their local City or County Clerk’s office on Valentine’s Day to stand in line and one-by-one request (or demand) a marriage license…and get turned down. This year in light of the Supreme Court Decision in striking down Prop 8, for the first time ever, same-sex couples can go to the clerk’s office on Valentine’s Day and happily be issued a marriage license. This Friday, organizers of past V-Day protests will be gathering once again at the Sacramento County Clerk/Recorder Office from 12:30 to 1:30pm at 600 8th Street in downtown Sacramento, this time to “celebrate love, romance and marriage”. They have named this celebration as the, “1st Annual Freedom to Marry Day for Same-Sex Couples”. Event hosts Marriage Equality USA and same sex couples who after several false starts finally did away with their “2nd class citizen” status by becoming legally married shortly after the Supreme Court Decision and the lifting of the stay June 28, 2013, are sponsoring the gathering. They want to celebrate a Valentine’s Day that “finally includes same-sex couples and to thank the clerks who year after year, reluctantly had to turn down their requests”. Organizers, including MEUSA leaders, Nicola Simmersbach and Diana Luiz and well as Davis couple Shelly Bailes and Ellen Pontac are inviting the community to […]

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Opinion: An Oak Park Renaissance?

When I heard the words “Oak Park” after moving to Sacramento, the first thing that came to my mind being from Southeastern Wisconsin was the affluent village and suburb located just outside of Chicago which is the hometown of comedians Bob Newhart and Betty White as well as Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonalds and Sam Giancana, the mafia boss who allegedly shared a mistress with JFK. But here is Sacramento, I learned, it is a neighborhood on the south side of the city informally bounded by Broadway to the North, Stockton Blvd. to the East, CA-99 to the West and Fruitridge to the South where the current mayor, Kevin Johnson, grew up and still calls home. Oak Park is an area whose history stretches back to the early 1900s when it was a culturally thriving and economically vibrant destination (actually Sacramento’s first suburb which was annexed into the city in 1911), due in part to its strong sense of community and its ties with and proximity to the Historic site of the California State Fair grounds. It was a strong working class area until the 1960s when freeway expansion both isolated the area from the downtown area and led to the migration of many of its residents to more distance suburbs. The 1980s and 90s saw a further deterioration of the area as it […]

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Agenda item 12, should you be concerned?

Tuesday’s City Council got interesting right around item twelve. The City Budget was up for discussion and many constituents were not happy how Measure U funds were dispersed when it came to public safety, “restoration of essential services” and police staffing. We ask you… when/if you voted on Measure U, what did you think you were voting for and in the end do you feel you got what you voted for? Henry Harry talks about Measure U FROM THE AGENDA: 12. Fiscal Year (FY) 2013/14 Midyear Budget Report (Continued from 02/04/2014) Report # 2014-00004 Estimated Time: 45 minutes Location: Citywide Recommendation: Pass a Resolution 1) amending the Fiscal Year (FY) 2013/14 Approved Budget as necessary to implement the City’s financial plan for the remainder of the year; and 2) authorizing the City Manager to implement the approved budget adjustments. Contact: Leyne Milstein, Director of Finance, (916) 808-8491; Dawn Holm, Budget Manager, (916) 808-5574, Department of Finance Here’s are some items we put together to give more of a visual and documented impact of reduced law enforcement: We will have updates and more video from Tuesday’s Measure U and Fiscal Year Budget Hearing later in the week. Be sure to check back. [View the story "Sacramento Police Staffing Impact, Sacramento, CA" on Storify]

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Westboro Baptist Church No Show was a Win for Love

Over one-hundred followers of the organization “Love is Love Movement” formed a line on the sidewalk in front of Granite Bay High School. Framing as a “counter-presence” by local organizers began last Thursday evening. The only problem was there was no one to counter. For several weeks the hate group, Westboro Baptist Church, indicated on their Twitter page they would protest the opening night of Granite Bay High School Drama Department’s production of “The Laramie Project”. There was no indication on the bigoted organization’s web site though that it was a for sure thing and indeed they were a no-show. Granite Bay High School (GBHS) students reported that there was one guy who stood on the opposite side of the street earlier in the day as school was letting out with signs that said “God Hates Fags” and “Man’s Job: Obey God”. An activist who has followed the family, who has a long history of picketing soldiers funerals, gay pride festivals and productions such as “The Laramie Project” across the US, said he did not think the lone picketer was from Westboro, rather he believes he is a “local Westboro supporter who has been seen at other local lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) events”. Later at opening night, several news trucks and LGBTQ activists and supporters began to amass in front of the […]

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Opinion: SN&R: Raising Important Issues and Manipulating Readers

One of the greatest disappointments which exists in the local Sacramento media is not that the mainstream television and newspapers often missing important stories or shying away from controversial stories but that the alternative media sources in the city, specifically the Sacramento News and Review(SN&R), which do report on them finds it necessary not to fully explore the issues they write about, omitting relevant facts, and often also manipulating language to draw the sympathy of the reader. Both practices make a critical reading of the paper over the past few months a great disappointment. The pattern of writing/editing choices makes it intentional “journalistic malpractice” and does a disservice to those it seeks to support. A review of two specific stories published in the past few weeks serve as examples of this “malpractice”. The first story is from the December 5th edition of the paper entitled “Desperately Seeking Justice” concerns a Sacramento sex worker[prostitute] who was assaulted by her client and one of his friends(the story’s tag line was: When a Sacramento sex worker is assaulted, the system often treats her like a criminal instead of a victim). The story starts off clearly suggesting that the woman featured in the story was clearly a prostitute and was headed to an appointment to ply that trade. There is no dispute that this fact does not condone what […]

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Opinion: Sacramento would be better with a ‘strong mayor’

About eleven months from now, voters in Sacramento will face many important decisions as they enter the voting booth. Prominent among these will be their choice about whether to change the current City Charter to overhaul city government by passing the Sacramento Checks and Balances Act of 2014. The referendum asks the citizens of Sacramento if they want to go from the current ‘weak mayor-council’ system which has been in place here for nearly a century to a strong mayor-council system which is prevalent in most large urban areas. The question on the ballot will read as follows: “Shall the City of Sacramento Charter be revised to: change to a mayor-council government; make the mayor chief executive officer who appoints/removes the city manager, proposes the budget, and has ordinance and budget veto powers; create an independent redistricting commission; require a Code of Ethics Ordinance and Sunshine Ordinance; establish an Office of Independent Budget Analyst; and make other government process changes; with most changes subject to voter re-approval by 11/03/2020?” Much has been made in the local press about how this is a disguised power grab by the current mayor, Kevin Johnson, and that it is a minor issue when more pressing matters exist for the city. Arguably, both are true; however, as someone who grew up under a strong mayor-council form of government, this writer […]

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The man who makes the Sac RT run

Michael Wiley has been General Manager and CEO of the Sacramento Regional Transit District(RT) for nearly six years now. He was appointed to the position by the RT’s Board of Directors in February 2008 after serving as Interim General Manager and CEO since the prior October. He began his career at RT as a service planner in 1978 and has been employed with the agency for nearly 36 years. Wiley has served as a member of RT’s Executive Management Team for the past 28 years and held the position of Deputy General Manager for two years prior to his appointment as Interim and then Permanent General Manager and CEO. Mr. Wiley recently spoke with the Sacramento Press in a phone interview after finishing up his annual “Ride with the General Manager” event. He has spent parts of every weekday in October since becoming General Manager riding the various bus and train routes of the RT, talking with riders and employees to find out what is working with the system and what could use improvement. In addition to this annual scheduled event, Wiley also takes time throughout the year to use the system he is in charge of so that he can better understand and coordinate efforts to provide the Sacramento area with ever-improving public transportation. Jeffery Cassity SACRAMENTO PRESS: Having recently completed this year’s Ride […]

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New film: Ender’s Game – two (similar) opinions

Ender’s Game Directed by Gavin Hood Two opinions from Malcolm Maclachlan and Tony Sheppard. MM: I think this is about as good of a movie as we could probably expect. I liked it, didn’t love it, but thought it was solid and entertaining. Some of the main criticisms of the movie so far—that it’s humorless and overly serious—basically mean it was faithful the book. My main problem with it was that it compressed the book’s timeline to an absurd and unnecessary extreme–more on that later. TS: I had a similar reaction. The story first appeared in short form, and I don’t even recall whether I read it before or after publication as a actual book – but I remember being a nerdy kid, loving the story and eagerly awaiting sequels. It’s also worth noting that once published as a novel, “Ender’s Game” won the two most prestigious awards for science fiction writing. MM: It was also interesting to see a book from 1985 come out as a film a full 28 years later. It appeared during one jittery time—the late Cold War Reagan years—and reemerged in another. It generated new fans on an ongoing basis since—including now being read in some high schools. Advances in computer graphics technology certainly made it much easier to film. TS: That passage of time is interesting for other reasons: […]

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