This Week: State of the City: The Kings (again)

02/10/2014 12:00 AM

02/09/2014 5:19 PM

The future of the Sacramento Kings is likely to top the agenda for the second year in a row at Mayor Kevin Johnson’s State of the City speech Wednesday.

It will be hard for the mayor to top last year’s drama. When Johnson took the stage at Memorial Auditorium in February 2013, the Kings were poised to move to Seattle, and the mayor had mounted a furious campaign to stop them. He used the event to unveil rich investors recruited to buy the team and prevent the move.

A year later, he can claim victory. While investor Ron Burkle, introduced that night, didn’t wind up buying the Kings, another group of investors did. And the NBA rejected the Seattle sale. Johnson has since spearheaded the city’s plan to spend $258 million subsidizing a new city-owned arena at Downtown Plaza.

That plan faces opposition from citizens groups that are fighting in court to put the issue of public subsidies on the ballot after the city clerk rejected their voter petitions over drafting deficiencies.

The State of the City address, scheduled to start at 6 p.m., is free and open to the public at Memorial Auditorium, 1515 J St. To reserve tickets, visit

– Mary Lynne Vellinga


Library celebrates Mosk building’s grand reopening

The California State Library is kicking off the official reopening of the Stanley Mosk Library and Courts Building, across from the Capitol to the west, with “A Night at the State Library” at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Principal Librarian Emeritus Gary Kurutz will present James Marshall’s handwritten map showing the site in Coloma where gold was discovered, and he will talk about the lone surviving copy of the first newspaper brought to California by the Pony Express in 1860. The event is free with an RSVP.

Behind the scenes: The program is part of a weeklong celebration of the State Library’s return to the 1928 building after a four-year renovation. Regarded as one of the finest examples of neo-classical architecture in California, the building now showcases murals and intricately painted coffered ceilings among other architectural details. The public is encouraged to drop in throughout the week as the library presents a daily program on its services and collections.

Info: Call (916) 651-6466, or

Free tax help available to Citrus Heights residents

Citrus Heights residents can get free help with their tax returns at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Crosswoods Community Center, 6742 Auburn Blvd. People who plan to attend the event – hosted by Assemblyman Ken Cooley, D-Rancho Cordova – should bring their W-2 forms and other tax-related documents.

Behind the News: The event is being staged with help of volunteers from the California Society of Certified Public Accountants. Local tax filers will have an opportunity to talk with licensed accountants, discuss their tax liabilities and determine which tax deductions and credits they quality for as they prepare their state and federal tax returns. “With the help of volunteer accountants, people in Citrus Heights will be able to talk one-on-one with these professionals and hopefully save a few thousand dollars on their taxes,” Cooley said.


AAA’s monthy gas price survey due Tuesday

Motorists throughout Northern California have seen gradually declining gasoline prices since the start of the year, although energy analysts expect that to change before spring arrives. On Tuesday, AAA will release its monthly survey of gas prices, breaking down average at-the-pump costs in jurisdictions statewide.

Info: Check for results.

Around Town

‘Hands on History’ event focuses on emigrant tales

In another of its “Hands on History” events, Sutter’s Fort is hosting a day of special presentations titled “By Land and By Sea” that explore the two ways emigrants originally came to California and the challenges posed by each route. The Saturday event, starting at 10 a.m. at 2701 L St., will feature demonstrations and hands-on activities. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for children 6-17 and free for kids 5 and under. Participants can learn about the daily lives of emigrants as they made their way to the Golden State. Cannon demonstrations are scheduled for 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Info: Call (916) 445-4422 or visit

Drexel’s Dr. Seth Welles discusses spread of HIV

Dr. Seth Welles, a faculty member with Drexel University’s School of Public Health, will discuss his study suggesting that new and different interventions are needed to halt the spread of HIV among men who have sex with men. The event, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at One Capitol Mall, Suite 260 in Sacramento, is free and open to the public with advance registration.

Info: To register, go to and enter Dr. Seth Welles in the search field.

Performance relays King’s life in words and music

As a guest of the Spiritual Life Center, Broadway performer Charles Holt is presenting a show Sunday, “Martin & Music,” that tells the story of Martin Luther King Jr. in words and music. General admission to Holt’s 2 p.m. presentation at Sacramento City College’s Performing Arts Center, 3835 Freeport Blvd., is $20. Holt also will appear as a guest speaker at the Spiritual Life Center’s 10 a.m. service.


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