Two more groups with ties to organized labor have endorsed Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s November ballot measure seeking to increase the powers of his office.

The city of Sacramento has reached a deal to buy a vacant building at 730 I St. for $5.4 million and then immediately sell the property to Bay Area-based retailer Sports Basement for the same price, officials announced Thursday. The City Council is expected to approve the deal on Tuesday.

The hugging tree has lost its arm.

At least one of the three people Mayor Kevin Johnson dared to take the Ice Bucket Challenge has declined. Sort of.

Add Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson to the list of people who have had buckets of ice water dumped over their heads.

Sacramento City Councilman Steve Hansen, not even two years into his first term at City Hall, is about to take on a popular mayor and many of the city’s most powerful interest groups in a closely watched political battle over how the city will be governed.

The old Craftsman bungalow at 3015 H St. is directly across the street from McKinley Montessori, a quaint little nursery school and kindergarten. It’s also about 200 feet from McKinley Park and not even two blocks from Sutter Middle School.

Another business group and another building trades union have endorsed the “strong mayor” measure appearing on the November ballot in the city of Sacramento.

Michelle Rhee, the prominent and controversial education figure who is the wife of Mayor Kevin Johnson, announced on Wednesday that she is stepping down from her post as chief executive of StudentsFirst, the national advocacy organization she founded in 2010.

As they prepare to finance more than half the construction costs of a new downtown arena for the Kings, Sacramento city leaders said this week it’s unlikely they can provide public money for a soccer stadium to house a potential Major League Soccer expansion team.

Ryan Lillis' City Beat column Monday about city envy has people talking about what makes Sacramento great. We asked readers to share their comments on Facebook. Here's what they said.

A national mayoral task force formed by Mayor Kevin Johnson met Monday in New York for the first time to discuss the issue of income inequality in cities.

The Sacramento City Council on Tuesday night will consider extending the contract of City Manager John Shirey through June 2015.

My trip up to Portland had me wondering: When do we get to the point when Sacramento stops envying other cities? Will we ever reach that point?

The campaign over Mayor Kevin Johnson’s strong-mayor measure appearing on the November ballot is already heating up though the election is months away.

The Sacramento Bee's Ryan Lillis, just back from Portland -- where he covered talks involving the Sacramento Kings, the city and Sacramento Republic FC -- hosted a live chat Friday to talk about Sacramento's soccer future.

Sacramento’s minor-league soccer team debuted just this spring and plays its games in a temporary stadium at the state fairgrounds. But an emerging partnership with the Sacramento Kings has suddenly turned the startup squad into a serious contender to join Major League Soccer, the highest echelon of pro soccer in the United States and Canada.

Sacramento’s campaign to join the ranks of Major League Soccer appears to be gaining momentum.

Sacramento has 128 neighborhoods. Maybe there's room for more in a city that is always evolving.

Old Sacramento business owners aren’t the only people upset with the cancellation of the annual Gold Rush Days festival.

It’s more than three months until the November election. But clearly, the looming political campaign over whether Sacramento should transform its style of governance is on the minds of some groups.

The battles in Sacramento aren’t always about arenas or condo towers. Sometimes, they’re over something as simple as a house in an alley.

Bay Area retailer Sports Basement has revived its interest in opening a downtown Sacramento store just as city officials are attempting to buy a building the company eyed as recently as last year.

David Williams is a grown man now. But when he was just a kid, he’d run up and down 24th Street in Meadowview with his friends all the time, unafraid of what the street could do to him.

Hercules Johnson has watched the same cycle over and over again for the 26 years he’s lived in North Sacramento.

The family-owned shop with the recognizable sign on 16th Street was going to have to close after state officials found contaminated soil and groundwater at the site. But a group of lawyers and environmental consultants helped Helen and Tom Kang, the couple who has owned the store for 20 years, negotiate a lease in a new shop across the street.

Mayor Kevin Johnson on Tuesday appointed a committee of Sacramento City Council members to explore what changes would need to be made to the city government should voters pass a “strong mayor” ballot measure in November.

For weeks, people had slowly begun noticing colorful birdhouses that an anonymous artist hung on utility poles around Sacramento. I wrote about this act of guerrilla artwork last month and the birdhouse inside the package was an apparent thank-you note from our rogue artist.

Police officers and sergeants in the city of Sacramento will begin paying into their pensions after an arbitrator’s ruling last month, officials said Thursday. Those officers were the only city employees who did not pay anything into their retirement accounts.

Basketball hall of famer Michael Jordan will be the featured guest at Sunday’s annual banquet for St. Hope, the nonprofit organization founded by Mayor Kevin Johnson.

Some people play golf on the weekends or go wine tasting. I have a buddy who fixes up old Studebakers. Carrie Holler? Her hobby is taking care of a gang of feral cats that lives in some bushes near the Sacramento River.

State officials and the city of Sacramento finalized an agreement Friday that will allow developers to take control of the 700 block of K Street, finally paving the way for the start of a pivotal redevelopment project in the blighted area.

Kevin Johnson, the Sacramento mayor who likes to do things big, looked right at home running the show here this weekend.

There’s a guerrilla artist in our midst. And this person seems to have a thing for birds.

The city of Sacramento will spend $750,000 on attorney fees defending itself against a lawsuit charging that city officials offered backroom “secret subsidies” to the Kings as part of the $477 million arena deal approved last month, officials said Thursday.

Nonprofit executive director Rick Jennings has won a seat on the Sacramento City Council, defeating former Fire Chief Julius Cherry in a closely watched race in the Pocket, Greenhaven and Valley Hi neighborhoods.

A group of affordable housing advocates, environmentalists and homeless organizations is considering a lawsuit challenging the environmental impact report approved last month by the Sacramento City Council for a new downtown sports arena.

In bidding farewell to Pannell, the City Council voted Tuesday to place her name on a crown jewel of her district – what will now be called the Samuel and Bonnie Pannell Community Center on Meadowview Road. Pannell’s husband, Sam, occupied the council seat from 1992 until his death.

If Sacramento is truly serious about that effort, soccer - among the most popular sports for the under-40 crowd - is going to play a big role.

Nonprofit executive director Rick Jennings is on the verge of winning a closely-watched Sacramento City Council race in the district representing the Pocket, Greenhaven and Valley Hi neighborhoods.

As the Sacramento City Council battled budget deficits totaling more than $200 million over the past seven years, hearings on the spending plans regularly attracted overflow crowds to City Hall. This year, the council faced a rare budget surplus. And about a dozen people showed up when the plan was approved Tuesday evening.

Sacramento City Council candidate Ellen Cochrane congratulated her competitors in a blog post over the weekend. She thanked her supporters. And she said she was thinking about which candidate to support in the November run-off election.

Ellen Cochrane apparently thinks 77 votes is an insurmountable gap. Cochrane, a teacher and one of seven candidates for the City Council race in east Sacramento and South Natomas, posted a concession message on her website over the weekend. She currently stands in third place in a race in which the top two finishers will move on to the November runoff election.

The residents of Curtis Park are a vociferous bunch, prone to packing City Council meetings and threatening lawsuits. They have a lovely neighborhood, and you’d better not mess with it.

Less than a year after the Sacramento City Council eased restrictions on new big box superstores in the city, Wal-Mart announced on Friday that it intends to construct a Supercenter as the anchor tenant of a massive development in south Sacramento.

Sacramento Councilman Jay Schenirer, representing neighborhoods across the city’s south side, won a second term Tuesday night, while nonprofit executive director Rick Jennings is on the verge of grabbing the council seat representing the Pocket, Greenhaven and Valley Hi neighborhoods.

Council members Steve Hansen and Darrell Fong led their colleagues last week in finally repealing Resolution 1943-207, which supported the internment of Japanese people by the U.S. government.

A citizens group that has sought a public vote on Sacramento’s arena plans for two years announced Sunday that it has abandoned its latest campaign to force a referendum vote on the City Council’s approval of an arena financing deal.

In a bizarre scene, three men said they were paid Friday to stand on a busy downtown Sacramento street corner to hold signs and hand out fliers calling Councilman Jay Schenirer a racist.

Another cultural amenity in Sacramento that has been in the planning stages for years is on the verge of taking a big step toward completion.

About City Beat

Ryan Lillis has covered the city of Sacramento, its 108 neighborhoods and its politicians since 2008. Prior to that, he covered crime at The Bee. A native of upstate New York, Lillis has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact reporter Ryan Lillis at rlillis@sacbee.com

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Note: The City Beat blog switched blog platforms in September 2013. All posts after the switch are found here. Older posts are available using the list below.

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