Marcos Breton

They were trying to change their lives and communities by doing something truly brave: Leaving all they had known to go to college far from home. Frankly, their stories put to shame the conventional wisdom that young people today – the millennial generation – are spoiled, lazy and disaffected.

You might have missed it, but there was a sea change within the Sacramento City Unified School District last week.

You could say Tim Hudson owns the Arizona Diamondbacks, if two wins over them in two weeks at two different ballparks is any judge in early April.

The enduring tragedy of a fatal Antelope car crash claiming the lives of a young father and his daughter is that a humble family will never gain justice or remotely fair compensation for their loss.

My personal feelings for Ron Calderon, Leland Yee and Rod Wright do run deeper because of their races and ethnicities. They don’t have to be your feelings, but they are mine, because I remember how difficult it was to affect diversity at the ballot box.

How many times is a 400-foot single a symbol of a bad night at the office? It was Monday as they A’s dropped a historic season opener the Cleveland Indians 2-0 – a night of inspiration and futility distilled down to one star-crossed swing.

After years of slogging through massive state budget deficits, Darrell Steinberg, the leader of the state Senate, is seeing an impressive array of legislative victories undermined by controversy.

If you read this early Wednesday morning, I’ll be on an operating table while undergoing a medical procedure that could save my life – the same one that could save your life.

While a broader community shrugs its shoulders and moves on a few days after a spate of deadly shootings, a code of silence endures among people who saw what happened.

It’s a milestone for a city that was written off in the national press as it strained to prevent the most recognizable Sacramento business – the Kings – from moving to another city.

Anne Marie Schubert is poised to become the next Sacramento County district attorney and, as a consequence, the most high-profile gay person to ever win a countywide office.

In contrast to the reputation of disaffected techno-geeks who rarely look up from their handheld electronic devices, it seems millennials in Sacramento really do care about their community and being connected.

When you follow the money in this case, the details and parties involved open a window into the mercenary trade of land development in downtown Sacramento.

At his State of the City address last month, Mayor Kevin Johnson cited the construction of a new B Street Theater in midtown as one of several projects that will elevate Sacramento and break ground in 2014. There is just one problem: A new B Street Theater is far from a sure thing.

It was an important week in Sacramento.

The CDC estimates that six of every 10 colorectal cancer deaths could be prevented in men and women over 50 if they were screened routinely.

If there is one critical issue that’s been obscured in the months of public debate over building a downtown arena in Sacramento, it’s that our elected officials are empowered by a city charter to decide the financing of such projects.

On the eve of a judge’s ruling on whether a downtown arena should go to a public vote or not, it seems a good time to clear up some misunderstandings.

For a long time, Johnson has been giving a good imitation of a one-trick-pony. It’s been Kings and the arena – all day, every day. But now it’s time of City Hall to move on.

With any luck, we’re in the final days of an era where headlines trumpet the sexual orientation of major professional athletes. For now, the story of Michael Sam – the NFL prospect who announced he is gay – has dominated the news and raged across social media.

The lawsuit alleging fraud in the deal to build a downtown arena in Sacramento will never prove its case in court – but that doesn’t seem to be the objective.This is a smear campaign masquerading as a lawsuit.

I’ve known an Irish priest who kept the faith no matter what. I’ve sampled good wine with him at family dinners and watched him throw his head back and laugh as children asked if they could call him “Papa Murphy” – like the pizza chain.

There are no real alternatives to the downtown arena that the Kings’ owners plan to build. No one else has shown the willingness, backed up with the money, to transform a moribund section of the city.

A judge will likely decide the question of whether there should be a public vote on the approval of an arena or not – and the will of registered voters is a powerful force that no judge will dismiss lightly.

Sacramento Republic FC won’t play its first game until late March, but it’s already winning. The fledgling minor-league soccer outfit with dreams of growing into a Major League Soccer franchise took another step in that direction Thursday by joining forces with two MLS teams, the San Jose Earthquakes and Portland Timbers.

It’s not sexy to talk about a weak local economy as a vital regional issue. It’s much easier to scream about whether citizens should vote on a downtown arena for the Kings.

On Martin Luther King weekend, and every other day of the year, Jerry Manuel is living King’s credo of measuring others by the content of their character.

Did you hear about the “secret deal” between the city of Sacramento and the Kings?

All this sound and fury – over a downtown arena, the city playing hardball with landlords standing in the way of arena construction and out-of-town forces spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to put the arena to a public vote – and at the heart of it all remains one terrible basketball team.

It’s an honor to be a voter for the National Baseball Hall of Fame, even though half the population will call you an idiot no matter what is decided when the 2014 class is announced Wednesday.

For Larry Saltzman, 2013 could be distilled down to one word: blood.

To his superiors in the Sacramento Police Department, Kengie Yang is no more notable than any of the other 22 rookies who were sworn into service with great joy Thursday. They are all the first of a new wave of officers hired to replenish a police force decimated by budget cuts and layoffs over the last five years.

The people who say they want to save Sacramento a lot of money are only going to end up costing Sacramento a lot of money.

Marvin L. “Buzz” Oates was not only one of the richest people Sacramento has ever known, he was one of its most successful business leaders and civic benefactors.

A billboard advertisement depicting a Muslim woman in the embrace of a white American soldier was too hot for Times Square in New York, given its proximity to “Ground Zero.” Billboard owners refused to run it for fear of outrage.

Sacramento is on a sports winning streak that has nothing to do with the Kings.

The young man who shouted as President Obama spoke at a San Francisco rally last week was going to be a UC Davis student but couldn’t afford the tuition.

Just down the street from where Sacramento is planning a new arena and entertainment to house the Kings, developers Richard Rich and John Leonard hope to be at the forefront of a new era in downtown Sacramento. They say their building’s proximity to the new arena and surrounding development has had a big impact on their plans.

Three public events and others speak to a representative process that arena opponents refuse to acknowledge. Their fatal flaw is their allegation of fraud on the part of the city, though the process of remaking the Downtown Plaza will play out in public.

Those of us who are descendants of people from the barrios, the ghettos and the anonymous margins of 1963 America have more complicated feelings about the man and those times. They weren’t very innocent years for our ancestors fighting to gain a foothold in America when discrimination was open and overt.

Not to dismiss an important historical event, but the looming 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination is an overblown spectacle that I’ve come to loathe after being indoctrinated into the JFK lore for far too many years.

Sean Johnson will march in Sacramento’s Veterans Day Parade after reconciling military service with being gay.

Another day, another loaded gun carried by a disturbed young man, another person shot to death. Once again we’re confronted by an epidemic of gun violence denied by too many.

The new Kings owners have briefed city officials of their ideas of an arena as a public building that would be characteristic of how we inhabit space in Sacramento.

Before starting as the new superintendent of the Sacramento City Unified School District, Jonathan Raymond was told how he could escape unscathed from the no-win job he was taking on.

It’s interesting. Some who vow absolute allegiance to the Second Amendment don’t seem to appreciate the First Amendment when it’s used to ask questions in the wake of killings targeting little kids – or killings carried out by little kids.

The first thing you notice from her Facebook photo is that Maria Kang is hot. Dressed in a sports bra and short shorts, she looks like an underwear model, except that Kang was photographed with three little boys – two toddlers and an infant – flanking her toned midriff and athletic physique.

Mayor Johnson is Mr. Back Room now. To get what he wants, he pushes himself to the background while operators of his liking take the lead.

The death of NFL star Adrian Peterson’s 2-year-old son has attracted a flood of public attention. Some of that attention should be focused on the ongoing epidemic of child abuse.

"Moneyball" is always an exhilarating story until the final chapter when a happy ending never comes.

Marcos Breton, news columnist

Marcos Breton

Hello, my name is Marcos Breton and I'm the news columnist with The Sacramento Bee. What's a columnist supposed to do? I'm supposed to make you think, make you laugh, make you mad or make you see an issue in a different way. I'm supposed to connect the dots on issues, people and relationships that cause things to happen or prevent them from happening in our region. I also write a weekly baseball column during the baseball season. I am a voter in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Yes, I have voted for Barry Bonds - twice. I am a native of Northern California. I am the son of Mexican immigrants. I've been at The Bee for more than 20 years, and I love Sacramento.

Email: mbreton@sacbee.com
Phone: 916-321-1096
Twitter: @MarcosBreton
Facebook: facebook.com/marcosbretonmartinez

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