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.

Sacramento City Hall has sent a message to the city’s cabbies: learn English and put on a nice set of clothes.

The Powerhouse Science Center, a proposed science and environmental museum on the banks of the Sacramento River, received a big financial boost Tuesday night from the Sacramento City Council.

No one elected to the Sacramento City Council for the first time this year will have any control over whether the city subsidizes a new downtown sports arena. That decision has already been made.

The big tree on T Street has always been there with Kristen Anderson. It was there in Anderson’s childhood, its majestic branches reaching into the sky down the street from her grandmother’s home. It is with her now as a young woman, down the street from her own home as she gets ready to start a family.

After 20 years at City Hall, Sacramento Councilman Steve Cohn is stepping down to run for state Assembly. His departure has touched off a frenzied race to represent a district that covers the affluent blocks of east Sacramento, the working-class areas of South Natomas and the transitioning industrial area north of downtown.

Everything around the Guy West Bridge is pleasing to look at. Everything but the bridge itself. The slim and shaky footbridge crossing the American River at Sacramento State needs some love. Paint is fading and chipping on the towers, and the handrails need to be fixed. The city says it’s planning to spend more than $3 million on a makeover this summer, and crews are already out there getting ready.

A deep-pocketed campaign committee that usually operates at the state level is taking aim at a Sacramento City Council candidate over his pension.

Sacramento City Councilman Jay Schenirer is running for re-election, citing his work to bring new services to the neighborhoods of District 5. His challenger, Ali Cooper, has attacked Schenirer for taking charitable donations from Wal-Mart to help fund that work.

Claire Waggoner and Shuka Rastegarpour don’t look like bums. And yet there they were this week, hanging out in downtown’s Cesar Chavez Plaza. They claimed to be taking a lunch break from their jobs at the Cal EPA building across the street, but that didn’t seem right.

A delegation of Sacramento city officials, trade representatives and college faculty head to China this week for what has become an annual trade mission to the metropolis of Chongqing.

The fence around the Merryhill School in midtown doesn’t look right. It’s a little ugly. Even worse, it blocks the view of the old Newton Booth School building, where the privately run Merryhill set up a campus – and the fence – last year. The school is a well-preserved landmark in a city where many historic buildings have been ruined.

City Manager John Shirey released a budget Monday that resembles the spending plan of a city on stable financial ground. Shirey is projecting a nearly $2 million surplus for the 2014-15 fiscal year that begins July 1, with another surplus predicted for the following year.

Mayor Kevin Johnson said NBA players don’t think that Donald Sterling is fit to be the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Imagine strolling on a trail along the Sacramento River, taking in the magic of a summer afternoon. An egret floats majestically above the water. The cottonwood trees bend softly in the breeze. A boat skips across the river. And there’s Darlene Jeffery, sitting in her living room, watching TV.

Sacramento Kings officials held a training and outreach session Wednesday morning with community and faith-based groups to begin recruiting workers from “high-need backgrounds and neighborhoods” for the construction of the new arena.

The Sacramento City Council provided mostly glowing reviews Tuesday night of the city’s plan to help finance a new downtown sports arena for the Kings.

The Grim Reaper has a message for you: The people who peddle vegan hot dogs and flaxseed inside the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-Op are destroying our city.

Daniel Kang’s parents, Helen and Tom, have built a life for their family by pressing and washing clothes at the midtown dry-cleaning shop with the retro sign. They are proud of Daniel and his Berkeley-educated brother. And they are proud when they think of all the men and women who head to their own important jobs every day, dressed in shirts and suits washed at Mercury Cleaners.

The city of Sacramento is considering another hefty investment in a downtown destination.

A plan to replace Sutter Memorial Hospital in east Sacramento with a development of up to 120 homes was met with glowing reviews Tuesday night by the Sacramento City Council, which unanimously approved the project after just 20 minutes of debate.

Ed Roehr and Janel Inouye skipped the trendy blocks of midtown and downtown last year when searching for a new home. The founders of the popular Magpie Cafe probably could have afforded those neighborhoods – or just about any other in the city.

Old Sacramento, where the city has fought back floods and fires for 160 years, is facing new challenges from all sides.

But will there be a pool for the mermaids?

Sacramento Councilwoman Bonnie Pannell told her colleagues on Tuesday that she will step down after 16 years in office.

A developer has submitted plans for an eight-story residential tower kitty-corner from Memorial Auditorium in downtown Sacramento.

Should the construction of an arena at Downtown Plaza unearth a burial ground of the Miwok Indian tribe, those relics will be preserved. Same goes for fossils or artifacts from an early city settlement. Should the Pre-Flite Lounge – which has the misfortune of sitting directly where the new arena is planned – also be spared?

Sacramento city officials say they’ve kept their word about how they would spend money raised by increasing the city’s sales tax.

Sacramento’s Planning and Design Commission is scheduled to vote on the planned downtown arena project at its April 10 meeting, the city announced today.

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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