For 20 years the Sacramento mayor's State of the City speech has been a staid affair attended mainly by business leaders and local politicians.
Thursday night's version will be different. For the first time, Mayor Kevin Johnson has thrown the State of the City open to the public - for free. Paid for through corporate sponsorships, the 5:30 p.m. event at the Memorial Auditorium, 1515 J St., will include a performance of the national anthem by Sacramento singing sensation Jackie Greene, plus singing and dancing by other groups.
Johnson will doubtless talk about what's happened at the city in the past year and his plans for his second term, but one topic is likely to loom large: the future of the Kings. That's because Friday is the deadline by which Johnson has pledged to unveil a purchase proposal by investors who would keep the team in town.
Johnson is racing to counter an agreement by the Kings' owners - the Maloof family - to sell the team to a group of investors who intend to move them to Seattle next season. All that drama could make for an interesting evening Thursday. To register for free tickets, visit www.sacsotc.com.
- Mary Lynne Vellinga
Journalist Kristof speaks at UOP today
Nicholas D. Kristof, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the New York Times, is to speak today at the University of the Pacific's Faye Spanos Concert Hall. His free, 6:30 p.m. speech, "What Do Americans Need to Know About the World and How Do We Make Sure That They Do?" is part of the School of International Studies' Gerber Lecture Series. UOP is at 3601 Pacific Ave. in Stockton.
Behind the news: Kristof and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, won the Pulitzer Prize in journalism in 1990 for their coverage of China's Tiananmen Square democracy movement. His second Pulitzer came in 2006 for coverage of genocide in Darfur.
Time Tested Books hosts talk on bullying
Lisa Ford-Berry will appear from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Time Tested Books, 1114 21st St. in Sacramento, to discuss her new publication, "Be B.R.A.V.E. - Say Something; Do Something," which walks readers through the aftermath of losing a child to suicide as a result of bullying.
Behind the news: Ford-Berry founded the nonprofit group the Bullies Really Are Violating Everyone Society - B.R.A.V.E. - after her son Michael Joseph Berry, 17, shot himself at Mira Loma High School in 2008. His suicide notes indicated his schoolmates were bullying him for being a virgin.
Davis hosts Citigroup, Whole Foods execs
The University of California, Davis, Graduate School of Management launches its 2013 Dean's Distinguished Speakers Series this week. Today, former Citigroup chairman and CEO Sandy Weill will speak on the "The Financial Future of Our Country" from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts. Afterward, he will be joined onstage by Anne Simpson, director of corporate governance for Cal-PERS, for a discussion on pension plans' futures. On Wednesday, John Mackey, co-founder and co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, will speak from 7 to 8 p.m. at Freeborn Hall and then sign copies of his book, "Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business."
Sacramento camellias take center stage
Just days before Sacramento's annual camellia show, state Capitol Museum volunteers will distribute camellia corsages to Capitol visitors and staffers, legislators, and the Governor's Office starting 11 a.m. Thursday - to 1 p.m. or until the corsages run out. The corsages will be made from flowers cut from Capitol Park bushes and trees. The 89th annual Sacramento Camellia Show takes place 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Memorial Auditorium, 1515 J St. More than 200 camellia plants will be for sale at the show.
Sacramento's history focus of new book
Historian and author Cheryl Anne Strapp will read and sign copies of her new book, "Sacramento Chronicles: A Golden Past" at 7 p.m. Thursday at Time Tested Books, 1114 21st St. in Sacramento. Strapp chronicles Sacramento's development from its earliest Gold Rush days.
Kaplan workshop offers test strategies
A representative from Kaplan Test Prep will discuss test-taking strategies for college-bound students, followed by small-group workshops with tutors, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Arden-Dimick Library, 891 Watt Ave., Sacramento. The event is part of a series of Sacramento Public Library workshops to assist college-bound students.
Info: Call (916) 264-2920 or visit www.saclibrary.org
Sing as part of a group at Fusion arts center
Fusion International Arts Center, 501 Arden Way in Sacramento, will host another in its sing-along series of "Choir Bar" sessions from 7 to 10 p.m. Wednesday. The sessions are designed for people who like to sing, but not by themselves.
Louise Leakey to talk at community theater
The Sacramento Speakers Series' latest headliner, paleontologist Louise Leakey, will be at the Sacramento Community Center Theater, 1302 L St., at 8 p.m. Wednesday. She is the third generation of the Leakey family to trace the roots of humanity through archaeological digs in East Africa.
Mexican Consulate to hold two health fairs
The Mexican Consulate in Sacramento, 2093 Arena Boulevard, will hold its next health fairs on Tuesday and Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday's fair will offer HIV testing - with no needles and results in 20 minutes - and information on how to prevent HIV. On Thursday, dental screening and medical exams will be offered. No appointments are needed.
Info: Call (916) 329-3502