Things to do in Sacramento and Beyond

The Bee's guide to events, activities, arts and entertainment

July 31, 2006
Time to re-set the TiVo

So Channel 13, our local CBS station, announced Monday that it soon will start airing its weeknd prime-time programs an hour earlier - meaning that "60 Minutes" will start at 6 p.m. starting Aug. 27.

Considering that the majority of "60 Minutes'" viewers (not to mention the show's correspondents) are in bed by 7 p.m., maybe Channel 13 president Bruno Cohen should have pushed for a 4 p.m. start

"That's the joke going around the station today," Cohen says.

But seriously - Cohen received permission from the network to move all of CBS' weekend prime-time programming up an hour here in Sactown. KOVR already airs its weeknight prime-time lineup between 7 and 10 p.m.

“So this brings us all in line and avoids viewer confusion,” Cohen says.

For several years now, Channel 13 has been the nation's only non-Mountain Time station to run prime-time programming beginning at 7 p.m. The standard prime-time hours are 8 to 11 p.m.

In the fall, CBS’ other prime-time programs airing Sundays will be “The Amazing Race” at 7 p.m., “Cold Case” at 8 p.m. and “Without a Trace” at 9 p.m. On Saturday nights, “48 Hours” will air at 9 p.m. instead of its usual 10 p.m.

After the (less) late-night news at 10 p.m. on weekends, Channel 13 also will add a locally produced, late-night sports wrap-up show, as yet unnamed, starting Sept. 9 to coincide with the start of the National Football League season. The show will air both Saturday and Sunday nights and be hosted by newly hired sportscasters Keith Norton and Arran Andersen.

July 31, 2006
Infused for inspiration

I was walking through midtown the other day and, as I marveled at the blistering heat, I decided to duck into the Infusion Cafe (17th and K streets) for an iced, caffeinated drink.

I hadn't been in there in a few months and cursed myself for letting so much time go by since my last visit - it's spacious and airy with ultra-cool, modern furniture and a lovely courtyard. And the people who work there? Super-nice. Case in point: On my way out, I ran into Megan, an Infusion barista who used to work at Cafe Melange in Curtis Park and then Luna's. Megan used to be a weekly part of my life when I was in grad school and spent every Sunday at Cafe Melange studying and writing. I'm done with grad school and now even have a tiny home office, but I still like to get out of the house for serious writing (theoretically there are fewer distractions).

Sadly, Cafe Melange has morphed into Crepeville and it's no longer a good place to spend hours writing.

Megan, rolling her bike outside, said "Hi" and told me I should make Infusion my new writing spot. And, looking around at the comfy, two-room coffeehouse, I agreed. With free WiFi and plenty of couches and tables, it's laptop-friendly and easy on the eye.

Finally, a much-needed jolt of inspiration - and caffeine. Because, of course, more importantly, their coffee is mighty tasty.

July 31, 2006
A calling higher than ratings

There's a fascinating story in the Hartford Courant about former KCRA reporter/anchor Steve Bunnell, who for the past three years has been the morning anchor at the CBS affiliate in Hartford, Conn.

Bunnell is leaving the news biz to be a Christian evangelical minister. His last day on the air is Aug. 17.

The daily grind of superficial local TV news (Bunnell's expression, not mine) didn't jibe with Bunnell's Christian faith. Here's what he told the Courant:

"I just don't share the vision of local news any more. I can't feed into its culture of fear any more...We have a friend who won't let her kids play on her front lawn because she thinks it's too dangerous. Why? She watches the news. I tell her violent crime is lower than when we were kids. Does she believe me? I don't know.

"It's like that shark summer when some station in Florida saw ratings spike with a shark story. Before you knew it, there were shark stories in every market. Truth was, the record of shark attacks that year was lower than normal. You'd never know it from TV."

Read the entire story here

July 28, 2006
"Chill" thrill

Sacramento residents will be pleased to know that we've been given top honors in a completely obscure, meaningless contest that will change absolutely no one's life. But hey, awards are fun. We've been voted a top "chill" city by Bailey's, the maker of the liqueur. What this means, I don't know, but the company based the whole thing on the amount of opportunities for people to hang out. Apparently our coffee shops and parks sealed the deal, and I'm pretty sure Concerts in the Park played some kind of role.

The irony of this award is, of course, that I can't imagine anything worse than drinking a Bailey's and coffee in the park when it's 107 degrees.

July 28, 2006
Meet the Hogans


VH1/Gary Bogdon
From left to right, Nick Hogan, Linda Hogan, Hulk Hogan, Brooke Hogan

Because we know you couldn't get enough of the VH-1 series "Hogan Knows Best," it's our duty to inform you of Hulk Hogan's appearance tonight at the Hard Rock Cafe (7th and K streets).

The flamboyant, iconic pro-westler is in town to help daughter Brooke Hogan promote her new CD, "Undiscovered."

OK, but here's the hitch. While the Hogans are promoting Brooke's new CD, no Hogans will actually be performing any songs from it tonight.


The official press release explanation is that the song also features another artist and "he will not be here" to perform. What, the Hulkster couldn't step up to the mike?

Wow, whatever.

Anyway, the Hogans' peeps want you to think of this as a "meet and greet" - there'll be DJs there and word is that even Hulk Hogan may do a bit of time behind the turntables.

Also - and this is the real reason you should go, my dear pop culture junkies - VH-1 will be on hand to film for a season three episode of "Hogan Knows Best."

The details: $20 at the door, 21-and-over only. Starts at 10 p.m. Call (916) 441-5591 for more info.

July 28, 2006
Greene alert

This just in: Sacramento blues/folk star Jackie Greene will be making his network television debut on Wednesday. Look for Greene on NBC's "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," where he'll be performing the song "So Hard to Find My Way" from his major label album, "American Myth."

Greene's manager, Dig Music founder Marty DeAnda, says the show was a last-minute deal. And even though the New York gig means a frantic rescheduling of flights to Greene's Thursday show in Boulder, Colo. - he'll be playing the Triple-A Radio Summit along with the likes of Los Lobos - DeAnda says there was never any question about going to the Big Apple.

"We were originally promised (a slot on "Conan") for the end of this year," DeAnda says. "But when this came up, we didn't want to pass it up and take the chance of missing out on the oppurtunity."

July 27, 2006
In a flash, she's gone

Things had been looking up for '80s rock station The Flash (92.1 FM) in recent weeks.

Its ratings, minscule, had nearly doubled in the spring Arbitron ratings. And it just put in place a new radio tower that increased its signal from 2,950 watts to 6,000.

But now, The Flash has suffered a big loss. Staci Anderson, who held the multiple titles of operations manager, program director and afternoon DJ, has quit after 2 1/2 years at the station. Her last day will be Friday.

The reason: Exhaustion.

“I haven’t had a vacation in a year and a half,” she says. “It took a lot out of me. I need to take a break before I start hating radio, which I love. It was becoming overwhelming.”

Anderson’s departure comes on the heels of the resignations of operations manager Caren Berry and popular afternoon drive-time DJ Keith Brooks. She will continue to host the “Super Lotto Plus” shows on TV.

“And I’m going to start my own voiceover business from home,” Anderson says. “I’m going to see how this goes. It’s time to have a life.”

July 27, 2006
Boutique bonanza

Sacramento Bee/Mark Morris
Felicia Strati owns the recently opened Felicia Strati Boutique in midtown. The store, also shown below, is surrounded by good eateries.

Felicia Strati's new boutique is in midtown (at 1901 Capitol Ave.), but the fashions she carries will transport the wearer straight to Europe - particularly such stylish destinations as Greece and Italy.

"I travel to these countries to put the collections together," Strati says. "And I'm encouraging customers to mix and match the pieces."

There are bright colors from Greece (orange and red, turqoise and green) and more muted shades (flax and taupe) from Italy. Her shoe collection is especially impressive - I couldn't resist slipping my dawgs in a pair of DoDiCi mules from Greece. Kitten heel, rhinestone jewel - and really, really comfortable. They'll look good with jeans and the ambitious strapless dress I'm wearing to an upcoming wedding.

Now that's smart shopping. (Felicia Strati Boutique is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.)

And, because it's Thursday and we know weekend shopping is on your mind, what about checking out the Wink boutique, right next door to Strati's and offering all things cute for the younger shopper? Can you say mother-daughter expedition?


July 26, 2006
Hip-hopping outta there

First, it was Mixxula leaving the popular "Davey D in the Morning" show on KBMB (The Bomb, 103.5 FM).

Now, it's EQ.

Man, Davey D must be getting something of an abandonment complex. All his sidekicks are taking off just as he is beating rival KSFM in the ratings. For the past week, Davey's been going it solo, but station manager Larry Lemanski says he'll have a new posse soon.

So, why did EQ go AWOL? Lemanski isn't divulging specifics.

"She walked in and gave her resignation," Lemanski says. "We've already begun a search and hope to have that spot filled real soon."

Meanwhile, Davey D isn't entirely lonesome in the studio. Two weeks ago, Lionel Richie stopped by with a piano player and gave an impromptu concert.
Says Lemanski: "The guy didn't want to leave - he was having such a good time."

July 26, 2006
A familiar voice back at KFBK

Nearly six years after breaking our hearts by leaving for the big time in LaLa Land, Amy Lewis is returning to KFBK (1530 AM) next Wednesday to replace the departed Chris Lane on the morning news.

Longtime KFBK listeners will remember the halcyon days when Dave Williams and Lewis hosted the station’s nascent morning-news show, propelling it to a ratings nirvana. Indeed, they were so successful that they lit out for greener (as in money) pastures - KABC in Los Angeles, one of the largest stations in the country - in November of 2000.

Their act lasted only a year, however, before they were replaced. That’s the way radio is - brutal and cutthroat.

Since then, Lewis had returned to these parts to raise a family. And now that her kids are older - and that Lane’s spot is open - she and station honchos figured it was the right time to come back.

“She has a larger-than-life presence on the air and was a huge part of that show’s success back then,” says Alan Eisenson, KFBK’s operations manager. “She’s deeply experienced in Sacramento. She knows the town, and the town knows her.”

Back in March, when Lewis filled in for a week on KFBK’s noon news, Eisenson says the listener response was “off the charts.”

So, yeah, it is possible to go home again.

July 26, 2006
Back to the work room

Well, it's back to the, uh, design board tonight for the 13 remaining contestants on "Project Runway" (at 10 on Bravo).

So, how will things go for last week's winner Kayne Gillaspie, who had to design a gown for Miss USA, Tara Conner, for Sunday night's Miss Universe soiree?

By all accounts, Conner made a decent accounting of herself at the pageant in Los Angeles. She made it to the top five, so the gown Kayne created (along with teammate Robert Best) must have looked good to the judges. And hey, among them was Season Two "Project Runway" finalist Santino Rice!

Still, Conner wound up fourth (essentially, last among the five), but likely it was because of her lame answers to two questions: Something about skydiving at Lake Tahoe and wearing her "heart on her sleeve."

Duh. Miss Universe judges still want to hear something about saving the world or loving your family.

No leak yet about what tonight's challenge is, but tell me I don't have to watch another beauty pageant to see the results.

July 25, 2006
Art and craft

RP OTHELLO EMILIA.jpg The art and craft of the repertory actor has long been seen at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. There, the excellent actors may have a leading role one night and a one-scene walk-on at the next day’s matinee. In either case, they are on top of their game.

There’s a similar strength at this year’s Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, where the level of performance continues to grow and one sees it in especially strong supporting work.

Two of the actors making outstanding character contributions are Carolyn Howarth, pictured above, and Barzin Akhavan, pictured at right, below. Both play supporting roles in the two shows playing in rep, “Othello” and “Twelth Night,” but the roles are vital.

Howarth has been a stalwart artist with the Foothill Theatre Company for 12 years and her versatility comes as no surprise. RP TWELFTH ANTONIO.jpg In “Othello,” she plays the essential role of Desdemona’s lady-in-waiting, Emilia, who also happens to be Iago’s wife. Then in “Twelfth Night,” she plays Maria, Olivia’s gentlewoman and the ... ehh ... romantic interest of Sir Toby Belch. In each play, Howarth’s character is integral to the plot and her supple characterizations elevates the production.

Similarly Akhavan, a Seattle-based actor making his third appearance at the LTSF, is entirely invested in both his weak-willed Roderigo in “Othello” and his more-vigorous Antonio in “Twelfth Night.” Akhavan gives the productions more overall depth as well - another plus.

Read my review of the show.

To see more images, check out The Bee's photo gallery.

July 25, 2006
Chopper, incoming!

LiveCopter_3_2.jpgThwop, thwop, thwop....

That sound you hear up in the Sacramento sky is the new LiveCopter 3, which the folks at KCRA have been teasing to for two weeks now, and finally unveiled today on the air (and on the station’s Web site).

Channel 3’s news division is known for many things - leading in the ratings for, oh, 50 years, for one - but it really self-identifies with its choppers, which it’s employed in one form or another since 1979. Who could ever forget (because, for one thing, they won’t let you) how LiveCopter 3 rescued that dog, Rodeo, from the rooftop during the '97 floods?

Anyway, we’re not very aeronautically inclined, but the shiny new blue-and-gold chopper does look darn impressive. It’s a Eurocopter AS350, touted by the Channel 3 suits as being faster, safer and able to, in the words of news director Dan Weiser, “provide better pictures and more in-depth reports.”

Pilots John Hamilton and Dann Shively were beaming as if it were Christmas Tuesday in a report that amounted to a video press release.

Hamilton pointed to the “three-bladed rotor system,” which gives a “smoother, better shot.” He said the “turbomeca (turbine) engine” boasts “almost 650 horsepowers,” eclipsing the 386 of the old junker the station once used. And a tail cam produces “neat shots while we’re en route and (will) let you see the side of the copter.”

Shively raved over the “gyro-stability camera,” as well as a control panel that looks like a “giant video game.” Plus, it’s quieter inside to enhance audio quality. And there’s a camera mounted in the back that will give folks at home a view of what Shively and Hamilton see as they maneuver around.

You can check out all the bells and whistles - and there are many, trust us - on the station’s Web site.

One thing the pilots didn't point out: The blades on the new copter rotate clockwise, opposite of the old copter.

Channel 3, of course, won't reveal the price tag. But these copters, fully loaded, can go for as much as $3.3 million.

Hmm, wonder how much Channel 13 spent on its traffic megamap?

July 25, 2006
Close encounters of the Cage kind

CAGE.jpg Bee Movie Critic Carla Meyer was chatting with Nicolas Cage on Monday, all Hollywood like. The actor, in San Francisco to promote his upcoming film, "World Trade Center," had other movies on his mind, as well.

This is what Meyer had to say:

"Nicolas Cage's attraction to rhinestones transcends his famous affection for Elvis Presley. The Oscar-winning actor plans to direct and star in a biopic of the late piano showman Liberace," Meyer says.

Cage explained it to her as such:

"(Liberace) was good at what he did, and he did expand classical music to a pop audience by integrating pop with classical, which was brave. But he also became incredibly self-indulgent, and I think that injured him, and that's the mythology I want to explore."

The mythology apparently extends to the singer's sexuality, Cage said. Though Liberace rose to fame at a time when gay entertainers had to stay closeted, he also paved the way for flamboyant performers, Cage said, who would add full disclosure to their fabulousness.

"When you think about (his) influence, which is pretty unsung now, I don't think there would be Elton (John), if Liberace hadn't done what he did," Cage said.

The Liberace project, still in its beginning stages, would return Cage to Las Vegas, location of his exuberant comedy "Honeymoon in Vegas" and the far-less sparkly "Leaving Las Vegas," Meyer notes.

As for more on Cage and "World Trade Center" - which opens in theaters on Aug. 9 - watch for upcoming stories by Meyer in upcoming issues of Ticket and Scene.

July 25, 2006
Whoa, Nelly

Pop singer Nelly Furtado, the "Promiscuous" one (hey, that's the song title), will be visiting the Sacramento studios of KBMB (103.5 FM) today from 4 to 6 p.m. for an interview with DJ Short-E and to take listener calls.

As if that's not star-studded enough, celeb pro wrestler Hulk Hogan and his singer-daughter, Brooke, will visit The Bomb's studio for a live chat on Friday at 4 p.m.

Be warned. The Hulkster has not mellowed with age.

July 24, 2006
Joncich is Cleveland-bound

PAUL.jpg We reported three weeks ago that deposed Channel 13 anchor Paul Joncich had agreed to terms to be a weekend anchor at a station in Middle America.

Well, now that Joncich has actually signed on the bottom line, we can tell you more specifically where. He is the new weekend anchor at WOIO in Cleveland, where he will be paired with another new hire, Danielle Serino, a former anchor at a Fox station in Chicago.

"We're adding two talented people to our news team," says WOIO news director Dan Salamone in a press release. "Both are accomplished and experienced journalists. They've done it in competitive news markets."

But, Paul - Cleveland? The "Mistake by the Lake"? The butt of countless jokes on late-night monologues?

"Have you ever been there?" Joncich asks. "There are really some nice areas."

We wish Paul luck and will ask him again how he likes Cleveland in the middle of a January snowstorm.

July 24, 2006
Beastie Boys vs. MCs Walt & Deirdre

Morning-show interviews with celebrities often come off as either shill sessions or utterly vacuous and devoid of meaning.

But on Channel 3 today, local TV news hosts Walt Gray and Deirdre Fitzpatrick conducted a hilarious tete-a-tete via satellite with the Beastie Boys, who were doing press to hawk their latest concert DVD.

The banter was flowing so fast and furious that the Boys didn't want it to end. At one point, Adam Yauch even started asking Gray and Fitzpatrick questions.

Yauch: Can you say Sactown or do you call it Sacto? Will people get mad at you if you say that?

Gray: You can call it Sactown. Just don't call it Frisco.

The Boys' Mike D: The Franciscans don't like Frisco.

The Boys' King Ad-Rock: The Franciscans are monks, right?

Fitzpatrick: But you boys aren't.

Eventually, Gray had to interrupt the banter to end the segment. Great stuff.

July 21, 2006
Get wasted

Because nothing says "projected high temperature of 100 million degrees" quite like standing out in the baking sun to watch car crashes, I give you the 2006 Crash-A-Rama.

Crash-A-Rama is pretty much exactly what it sounds like - cars, crashing. On purpose. It's one of the activities being offered as part of the Wasted Weekend III garage-rock fest, which takes place tonight and Saturday night at Old Ironsides (1901 10th St.).

This is what I remember from the one I attended a few years back: Scorching heat, sunburned feet, dust everywhere, rock 'n' roll, crunching metal and, uh, scorching heat.

This year's car-jumping event, which will take place on Saturday at the Placer County Fairgrounds in Roseville (800 All America City Blvd.), also will feature hot rod displays and rock 'n' roll from the likes of Sonic Love Affair, the Shruggs and Winelord.

Gates open at 10 a.m. and the carefully planned automotive melee revs up at 2 p.m. Admission is $10.

To read more on Wasted Weekend III events, go here.

July 21, 2006
Hip-hop radio prank

Our well-cultivated hip-hop sources tell us that the folks at KBMB (The Bomb, 103.5 FM) punk'd rivals at KSFM (102.5 FM) on Thursday, when the new ratings were released.

For the second straight survey, The Bomb pulled in higher ratings than KSFM in the 18- to- 34-year-old demographic - a coup, since KSFM had dominated for years.

So to celebrate (or rub it in), they made copies of the Arbitron ratings and put them on the windshield of every car in KSFM's parking lot.


-- Sam McManis

July 21, 2006
Weekend of beauty

Damboise_BLOG.jpg Beauty and fashion, collectively, have a big weekend in store with multiple events scheduled. Two days of beauty and two days of shopping? What more could a girl ask?

Our picks: Arianne Damboise (shown right), BeneFit cosmetics' celebrity makeup artist, will conduct brow know-how lessons from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and Saturday at the BeneFit counter at Macy's Downtown Plaza. Whether it's a tweeze you need or a full-on waxing, Damboise knows how to make the most of your eyebrows.

To book an appointment: (916) 444-3333, ext 2323. Spend $50 at the counter and the brow consultation and arch are free.

Over at the Pavilions shopping center, Julius clothing will present its Giorgio Armani Collezioni fall women's collection from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and Saturday. The season's trends include shawl-collar jackets, microfiber trench coats and the designer's hottest new category - jersey knit jackets.

Got questions? Armani rep Julie Pate will be on hand for fashion consultations. For more info: (916) 929-0500.

-- Leigh Grogan

July 20, 2006
Practically famous

Warren Buffett wasn't the only famous face to show up at R.C. Willey today. Kathy Ireland also made a special walk-on at the new home-furnishings store in Rocklin.

Only Ireland doesn't really see herself as one of those big-time famous people. Rather, the 43-year-old model/actress ("Melrose Place," "Suddenly Susan") is focused on her own Kathy Ireland Home line, which features everything from rugs and lighting to, uh, mattresses.

The fact that she is undeniably famous? Pretty unimportant, Ireland says during a mid-morning chat from her cell phone as she was whisked - celebrity-like - from the store back to the airport. Furthermore, her "star" status has little to do with her new vocation, she says.

"I was an OK model, but I certainly wasn’t 'super,' " she says. "I think celebrity endorsements are fine, but it wasn’t the path for me - and besides, it wasn't an option because no one was offering me jobs.

"If (building this) brand had been dependent on any celebrity (connection), we might have all been unemployed."

Hmmm ... not quite sure if we buy that - but, hey, who wants to argue with Kathy Ireland?

July 20, 2006
Hot August music nights

Mark Pickerel, formerly of the Screaming Trees

Seems like August is shaping up to be a stellar month for live music in the 916.

There's the Jason Lytle show (Aug. 6 at Harlow's), Frank Black (Aug. 31 - also at Harlow's), the Buck Owens Birthday Tribute show (Aug. 12 at Old Ironsides) and Matt Costa with the Watson Twins (Aug. 30 at the Library).

Now, we have word of another cool show for the hot days ahead - Mark Pickerel on Aug. 9 at Marilyn's.

Pickerel, of course, used to drum on all those early Screaming Trees releases - and the Pacific Northwester's done plenty since, including two solo albums under the Dark Fantastic moniker. And a new album, "Snake in the Radio," just came out on Bloodshot Records.

No word yet on how much tickets will set you back, but we'll keeping checking the Marilyn's Web site for details.

July 19, 2006
'The Barbie Guy'


Tonight, "Project Runway" enters week two of its competition, with 14 designers remaining. One of them is a guy after my own heart - Robert Best, who I call "The Barbie Guy." That's because, having worked at Mattel for years, Best has his own line of Barbie dolls.

I personally still have most of my Barbie-doll clothes from the 1960s, including a red velvet coat with white satin lining, so I'm definitely rooting for Best to make the finals.

His darling white dress with the red sash and built-in necklaces fashioned during last week's rip-up-the-apartment competition screamed "Barbie" to me, from the front and the back.

If you're a Barbie collector, Best's Milan Barbie, Monte Carlo Barbie and South Beach Barbie (shown below) will debut this month at A couple of the dolls also will be available at KB Toys and Target. Each is $34.95.

So, which of our intrepid designers can do something about Ken's look?

"Project Runway" airs at 10 tonight on Bravo (Channel 68). And, according to, the winner of this week's competition will dress Miss USA for the upcoming Miss Universe competition. Tiara and all!


-- Leigh Grogan

July 19, 2006
Say uncle

Is Sacramento a small town, or what?

This morning, Channel 31's "Good Day Sacramento" sent reporter Julissa Ortiz out to SMUD to report on energy-saving tips.

And which SMUD worker did Ortiz interview? Hector Ortiz.

Yup, it's her uncle.

-- Sam McManis

July 18, 2006
Pink is the new booyah

People, I have arrived: I am the subject - not the author - of a blog!

See, I wrote an article for The Bee on Monday about the delicious rumors surrounding Suri Holmes Cruise, the thus-far invisible progeny of Tom and Katie. I was reporting what all the celebrity bloggers were theorizing, and someone scanned the article, sent it in and now it's a post on my very, very favorite source of trashy gossip, Pink is the New Blog! Woot!

So, thanks Roberta, whoever you are. And now, of course, I'm blogging about someone who blogged about an article that I wrote about bloggers. It's, like, so meta.

Check it out at

-- Lisa Heyamoto

July 18, 2006
Where do ex-weathermen go?

Loyal reader Beverly Payne from Meadow Vista saw our Monday posting about the new meteorlogist hires at Channels 13 and 31, and she wondered whatever became of ex-“Good Day Sacramento” weatherman Tom Loffman.

Well, it turns out Tom is between weather gigs right now and working in real estate. He’s a licensed agent and his wife, Debbie, is a real estate broker. Check out their Web site at

Still yearn to get Tom’s forecasts? Go to for the 10-day forecast.

-- Sam McManis

July 18, 2006
End game

It’s the end of an era at The End (KDND, 107.9 FM).

Midday DJ Heather Lee is out, replaced on the 10 a.m.-to-3 p.m. shift by Alecia (one-name only), who comes to the station from Tampa, Fla.

Lee had a long tenure at The End. She was the first DJ hired in 1998, when the station switched from the classic rock “Arrow” to a Top 40 format. In addition to her DJ duties, Lee had a celebrity/entertainment blog, “Heather Lee’s Cyber Sleaze,” which has been expunged from The End’s Web site.

“I guess the politically correct thing to say is that Top 40 radio is continually evolving, and they probably just wanted to freshen things up,” Lee tells us.

Might her future be in TV? Lee's done some free-lance work for News10 and “Good Day Sacramento” and isn’t ruling the medium out.

As they say, stay tuned.

-- Sam McManis

July 18, 2006
Suds and the silver screen

I like movies. I also like beer. What I really like is when I can watch a movie while drinking beer - a feat of dexterity for which the mainstream movie houses sadly do not currently accommodate.

Luckily, Pyramid Alehouse does. The folks there have been running a series of movies at their K Street location since May, when folks began showing up at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays to get a flick with their suds; tonight, they'll be able to see "Mr. and Mrs. Smith." The deal runs through Aug. 1, when they'll be showing "Wedding Crashers."

Just try to ease up if you start seeing two of every star. Unless, of course, you're watching "New York Minute." But, really, who would be watching that?

-- Lisa Heyamoto

July 18, 2006
A little piece of home

FREEPORT.jpg Vacation season is well underway and, if you're traveling, say, farther than Redding, you might want to take a little piece of Sacramento (or Roseville or Folsom or Davis) with you.

We're talking a cute T-shirt or sweatshirt. And no, we're not suggesting anything silly, such as "I'm With Stupid, " but perhaps something from your favorite local restaurant or business. For example, Freeport Bakery tees (shown right, $15.95), especially the one that says "Voted Best in Sacramento," should elicit the question, "How good IS that bakery?"

River City Brewery also has cute T-shirts, as does Joe's Crab Shack, even though it's not indigenous to California.

And, for you cerebral types, anything from one of our finer institutions of higher learning speaks volumes about your intellect. Heck, borrow a gym tee from your high schooler's drawer!

Of course, there's always the professional sports teams to promote, including the Kings, Monarchs and River Cats.

I myself try to make a pilgrimmage to the South (Virginia) every summer. I returned last year with a T-shirt that reads: "Horsepasture (Va.) Vol. Fire Dept. Antique Tractor Pull."

Trust me, folks in Sacramento were just itching to know what the heck a "tractor pull" was. Let's just say my younger brother won first place and got his pic on the front page of the local paper.

-- Leigh Grogan

July 18, 2006
The heat is on ... TV news

OK, we get it. It’s hot.

I have no quibble that the three main local TV news outfits - channels 3, 10 and 13 - led the early evening news on Monday with the weather. That’s because there actually was some news to report (we set a record for power consumption and the Guv held a news conference at California Independent System Operator headquarters. The Bee made that its top story today.)

But - and you knew there was a “but” coming, didn’t you? - those local TV reporters mined every TV-news cliche in the book.

Following around an air-conditioning repairman?
Check. News10’s Karen Massie trekked to the El Dorado Hills for the scoop.

Visiting kids at the community swimming pool?
Check. KCRA’s Mike TeSelle tells us it was “fried-egg hot.” And he interviewed a man who asked: “Is the paint on the street going to melt?”

Trading wacky anchor/weatherperson banter, coupled with some stupid anchor tricks?
Check. KOVR’s Brandi Hitt actually sucked on a Popsicle at the anchor desk while weatherman Dave Bender opined, “We’re well into what I call ‘stupid hot’ weather.”

Well said, Dave.

-- Sam McManis

July 17, 2006
New on the news

New Channel 13 reporter Bridget Cannata

You know, folks, it just wouldn’t be a Monday if there weren’t some type of personnel news to report from Channel 13.

That new face you see on KOVR is Bridget Cannata. She’s a general-assignment reporter who also will be a back-up anchor on the 4, 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts. (How many anchors can they fit on that blue set, anyway?)

Cannata comes west from Kansas City, where she had reported for KSHB for the past two years. Sacramento is not alien to Cannata, though. She was born and reared in San Francisco.

And now, turning to the weather...

The station has hired Angelique Frame as a weekend meteorologist and reporter. Frame comes to us from WLWT in Cinicnnati, where her forecasts were called "Frame's Claims." She starts July 31.

And, Jeff James has reached an agreement to be the morning weather forecaster during the week for both channels 13 and 31. James comes from Tucson. "This will give Cody Stark an opportunity to have a little more fun on the anchor desk and in the field," news director Steve Charlier says.

-- Sam McManis

July 17, 2006
Happy anniversary!

Bobbi Brown's fall collection features beautiful chocolate browns.

It's a once-a-year event that's not to be missed - especially if your makeup drawer or cosmetics cabinet is looking a little sparse. OK, so it's loaded to the gills. But a girl can always use a new lipstick, can't she?

We're talking about Nordstrom's anniversary-sale event that runs through July 30. Talk about a good way to shake off the Monday blahs. It's also the best time to visit your favorite cosmetics counter - and even some you might not frequent - to check out new colors, new skin-care products and new scents.

The event runs simultaneously at both the Roseville Galleria and Arden Fair stores.

Claire Duhon, manager of the cosmetics department at the Roseville location, says there will be lots of gifts with purchase. We love that! But because it's such a busy time, don't be discouraged if you can't get a one-on-one consultation, she adds. Here's the solution:

"We have something called 'Return to Learn' that happens right after the anniversary, so you can book an appointment to come back and have that special attention," she says.

Here are some of the deals to look for:

Estee Lauder, Lancome, Christian Dior and Clarins all have gifts with purchase. And, Lancome will be launching new skin-care products as well. Other best bets include: M.A.C's Patternmaker Collection, Bobbi Brown's Chocolate Collection, Smashbox's Luxe Beauty Kit, Philosophy's Purity Made Simply one-step facial cleanser, H20 Plus Shower Gel and Body lotion, and Yves St. Laurent's Baby Doll Palette.

Bring a big shopping bag!

-- Leigh Grogan

July 14, 2006
Psychedelic Saturday on KXJZ

Yet another reason why we love public radio....

John Florek, host of “Blue Dog Jam” on KXJZ (88.9 FM), will be devoting almost his entire three-hour show on Saturday night to music by, and inspired by, Syd Barrett, the founder of Pink Floyd. (Barrett died this week in England at age 60.)

You certainly won’t find this on commercial rock radio.

But how can Florek fill a whole show (7-10 p.m.) if Barrett was kicked out of the band after only two albums?

“I’ve got some unreleased stuff he and Floyd did in the studio,” he says. “I have a little bit of concert material. He also put out four or five solo albums. And some other bands like Phish have covered Barrett songs. I’m trying to track down as many of those as I can.

“Plus, I’ll play some post-Barrett Pink Floyd as well. A lot of their work was dedicated to him anyway, like ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’ and ‘Wish You Were Here.’”

We know we'll be glued to the radio. And we'll be digging the black light and Lava Lamp out of the attic.

-- Sam McManis

July 14, 2006
Accordion love

Music Circus audiences have had a rare privilege. In the orchestra pit for the extended run of “Fiddler on the Roof” (read the review) has been accordionist Elaine Lord, who recently did same for the Broadway revival starring Alfred Molina.

Few scores call for the accordion these days and, when it is needed, what you mostly hear is a synthesized keyboard simulating the sound.

Lord - who grew up in Sacramento and went to Sacramento High - has been playing accordion since she was a young child; she remembers taking lessons at the legendary Fran and Delores Studio in Carmichael.

At Sac High, classmate Lee Lunetta introduced her to his father, master percussionist Stan, who eventually gave Lord percussion lessons. Stan Lunetta is, of course, the percussionist for the Music Circus.

Lord says her journey to becoming a musician was fueled by an overwhelming love of music. "It was never a question in my mind," she says. "I wanted to continue it at a professional level and earn a living.”

Her jobs have included national tours of “Singing In the Rain,” “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” summer stock, and even performances at the Kennedy Center.

“Broadway was really the only venue I hadn’t conquered,” she says, laughing. But then, she heard about the revival of “Fiddler On the Roof."

“The magnitude of the accordian part in the ‘Fiddler” score is incomparable," she says. "It’s very challenging and very, very fulfilling to play.”

Lord says playing in a Broadway orchestra was an unbelievable experience made even more sweet with the attendance of her mother, Dani Lord, on opening night.

“It was just a dream come true to get to Broadway playing the accordion.”

-- Marcus Crowder

July 14, 2006
Let there be light

Sacramento Bee/Florence Low
The to-die-for chandeliers at Bistro 33 would look just as good in anyone's living room.

OK, so I checked out Bistro 33 for the first time last weekend, and I gotta say, I likes. First of all, the decor was positively drool-worthy and I wanted to snatch up everything and put it in my living room. First to be loaded into the back of my sensible Camry would be the clutch of chandeliers suspended over the bar -jet-black plastic that had been molded into twisted horns and gathered at the base until they fanned out in a circle; they were simply gorgeous.

Unfortunately for me, my tendencies toward the mod are routinely thwarted by my not-so-mod-loving husband, and my living room will likely always be bereft of such a fabulous fixture, alas.

Speaking of Bistro 33, I just have to be super-obnoxious and mention one small quibble with the menu. The cuisine is inspired by the Pacific Northwest and has the requisite salmon and clam offerings to prove it. However. Hailing as I do from The PNW (which is what no one but myself calls the region, but I'm confident it will catch on), there happened to be a panini on the menu called the Pike's Market that requires attention.

Now, this seems a reasonable moniker for a pressed sandwich, given that it's one of Seattle's most popular landmarks. However. The home of the flying fish is actually called Pike Place Market - no possessive - and calling it otherwise just so happens to be the biggest pet peeve of die-hard Seattlites.

Now, I can't say that I've ever personally been spittin' mad over such a thing, but I used to work with a guy who made it his business to point out such inconsequential oversights and, oh my god, I just became him.

By the way, for more on my take on Bistro 33, check out my nightlife column in today's Friday Ticket.

-- Lisa Heyamoto

July 14, 2006
'The Sports Guy' is left out in the cold

Is it just me, or does it seem as if “Armstrong & Getty” - on KSTE (650 AM) and simulcast on WB 58 - have been on vacation for months?

Actually, it’s been only two weeks, but it’s always a crapshoot to hear who’s been tapped to be a replacement host for Jack and Joe.
It could be someone intriguing, such as KFBK (1530 AM) afternoon host Jay Alan, who had lively and contentious conversations with callers about the Kings arena negotiations.

Or it could be someone like Pat Walsh - the self-dubbed “Sports Guy” on KFBK - who, well, let’s just say he needs a little work. On Thursday, Walsh was riffing on a Blender magazine article that listed the “wussiest singers ever." As he was running down the list, Walsh stopped.

“Chris Martin? Who’s that?” he asked. “I don’t know this guy.”

Uh, Pat, Coldplay has sold millions and millions of CDs. Plus, Martin is Gwyneth Paltrow’s hubby and father to their provocatively named daughter, Apple, and just as interestingly named son, Moses.

By the way, it’s not just rock-music knowledge that seems to escape Walsh. He also admitted to never having heard of the million-selling country group Rascal Flatts.

-- Sam McManis

July 14, 2006
Pet sounds

Local noise-pop duo Pets plays tonight at Old Ironsides (read our interview with them here and listen to some songs here).

The band, of course, is no stranger to Old I - they've played the club numerous times and seen more than a few inspiring shows there.

Allison Jones and Derek Fieth recall one gig as being particularly super-cool - last summer's slightly infamous Brian Jonestown Massacre show. That sold-out show was crowded and charged with energy as club-goers crammed in to see the cult band (the group's legendary rival with the Dandy Warhols is chronicled in the 2004 documentary "Dig!"). But Jones and Fieth didn't mind the masses - their focus was on the music and how it was being made.

Jones, in particular, remembers being awed by the band's impressive equipment line-up.

"The guitarist had all these awesome pedals around him," she says. "We have to buy more pedals, for sure. It'd give us more raunchy feedback - more to play with."

More pedals equal more sound, Fieth adds. "It's just the two of us, so we can make so much more of that with more equipment," he says.

The show at Old Ironsides (1901 10th St.) starts at 9 p.m. and is 21-and-over only; tickets are $5 at the door. Also on the bill: Dana Gumbiner, Bright Light Fever and Social Studies.

July 13, 2006
Keep the Faith (and Tim)

Those of you bummed about missing out on tickets for the upcoming Tim McGraw/Faith Hill Soul 2 Soul II tour - buck up, country-lovin' campers.

Starting Friday at 10 a.m., LiveNation will release more seats - which means you'll have the chance to snag tickets for the Aug. 12 Arco Arena show.

The cost: $65-$85 per seat.

For more info, visit TicketMaster or call (916) 649-TIXS.

July 13, 2006
Movin' on down I-80

News10 afternoon traffic reporter Julie Durda – best known for her daily traffic Webcasts from 3:30 to 6 p.m. – will leave the station, effective Monday, July24, for a similiar position at KRON in San Francisco.

Durda will continue to cover traffic as well as become a VJ (video journalist - someone who shoots, reports and edits stories all on their own) in her new gig.

"I'm excited," Durda tells us. "It's been a great two years and everyone at (News10) has been very supportive. It'll be a learning situation (being a VJ), but I've done a lot of editing and writing for reports I've done for the morning news."

-- Sam McManis

July 13, 2006
Tony, Tony, Tony!

While the Tony Awards take place in New York and celebrate Broadway theater, there is more than a modicum (apparently significantly more) amount of interest in them here in Sacramento.

We at The Bee recently received a letter complaining of our lack of Tony coverage before and after the June 11 airing of the telecast. The letter writer, David Czarnecki, general manager of Garbeau’s Dinner Theatre, wondered what Tommy Tune must have thought when he opened the arts section and there was no story. For the record, Tommy Tune was performing in Grand Rapids, Mich., that day and I suspect what he mostly wondered was, “What am I doing in Grand Rapids?”

But Czarnecki may have a point, considering Sacramento television ratings for the Tony Awards broadcast on CBS affiliate Channel 13: The Sacramento-Stockon area was the eighth-highest viewing market in the nation for the program - significant considering we’re the 19th-ranked market in overall size. We had ratings of 7.8 and a 13 share. Our ratings were higher than Los Angeles (second-largest market), which had 6.1, and San Francisco (sixth-largest), which had 5.7. Both had shares of 10.

(As my television savvy colleague here at The Bee, Sam McManis, succinctly explains it: “Ratings chart the percentage of all homes with TVs; shares measure the number of TV sets turned on at a particular time.”)

I don’t completely understand it, either, but I think it means The Bee needs to send yours truly out to New York to cover theater a little more often.

-- Marcus Crowder

July 13, 2006
'Runway' ends for Stacey

Estrella_StacyBLOG.jpg "Project Runway" was a short-lived experience for San Francisco designer - and Folsom High grad - Stacey Estrella, as she became the first of the 15 contestants to get the proverbial "designer boot" on the show's Season 3 opener Wednesday night.

Estrella, 40, was among the group of designers who faced the wrath of the show's three celebrity judges - Michael Kors, Nina Garcia and guest judge Kate Spade - not to mention host, of course, Heidi Klum.

Before that, she joined the others in their first challenge of ripping apart their living quarters and creating an outfit, using everything from bedsheets to lampshades. Estrella whipped up a white outfit using the filmy shower curtain as a skirt, the curtain’s hooks as a belt, and some sheets for the top.

Unfortunately, when her model tried the ensemble on, the sheerness on the bottom half was daunting. To solve that problem, Estrella quickly crafted a special undergarment. But the judges didn't buy it. Kors, who seemed in an especially foul-fashioned mood, termed it "big-boy shorts" that looked like "Grandma's pantie." The judges also felt the dress was a little messy and ill-fitting on the top - even dubbing it "naughty."

Still, it seemed to us that one of Estrella's biggest challenges was that she couldn't work the sewing machine, which forced her to spend more time hand-sewing her garment.

Estrella - who in a story in Wednesday's Scene, told us that her style is "smart, sexy, sometimes even provocative" - left the show saying she still believes she has what it takes to go to the next level. So, good luck to her!

Meanwhile, we're left to wonder: Will the designers get their mattresses back, or will they have to continue to sleep on boxsprings?

-- Leigh Grogan

July 13, 2006
On the radio

Word came down on Wednesday that 115 of CBS Radio's 8,500 employees were being laid off.

We've confirmed that Sacramento's CBS Radio stations, which include country station KNCI, all-sports KHTK, hip-hop KSFM, light-rock KYMX (Mix 96) and pop station KZZO (The Zone), have lost two employees. Most significant is the firing of Michael Hernandez, station manager at KHTK and Mix 96.

Steve Cottingim, vice president of Sacramento's CBS Radio stations, declines to give reasons behind Hernandez's departure. But he says the position will not be filled.

"These are things that happen in this business or any business," Cottingim says. "We're pretty resilient here. We'll carry on."

Another big surprise: We hear that Ken Kohl, vice president of San Francisco's KCBS and another station, is being laid off. Kohl, of course, was the operations manager at Sacramento's KFBK (1530 AM) and KSTE (650 AM) until last fall, when he left to go to a larger market.

-- Sam McManis

July 13, 2006
Jett's set

In case you forgot (and what with this heat, we don't blame you), the Warped Tour hit town (OK, technically Marysville) today. And that means it's time to get some Joan Jett, who, incidentally, is on stage in a couple of hours.


During an interview with The Bee (listen to the podcast), Jett shares why it took her so long (more than 10 years, to be exact) to release a new studio album, "Sinner."

"We were on Warner Bros., they had an administration change and continued (having changes) for the next three years," Jett says. "We had a lot of trouble getting our record finished, so we decided to part ways - it was very friendly."

In the interim, Jett did put out a Japan-only release called "Fetish," and the title track from that record ended up on "Sinner." In fact, Jett says, many of "Sinner's" tunes are old-ish ones.

"We'd recorded upwards of 30 to 40 songs (for Warner Bros.) and then I went out on the road for a couple of years," she says. "About five years ago, I started taking out those old tapes and listened to what still felt valid to me - there were about seven songs that still sounded great and that became the core of 'Sinner.'"

What with the surefire inclusion of older songs such as "I Love Rock'n'Roll" and "Bad Reputation," sounds like this Warped outing is a total Greatest Hits for me.

July 12, 2006
Oui! Oui!

Our award for the most original local TV news report goes to News10's Jonathan Mumm, who did the voiceover for a story on the Sacramento French Film Festival (starting Friday at the Crest) on Wednesday evening's broadcast entirely in French.

With subtitles, naturally.

Sure, it's been done before, but Mumm's accent and hushed, come-hither vocal intonations brought to mind Maurice Chevalier.


After he tossed it back to anchors Dale Schornack and Cristina Mendonsa, everyone on the set applauded. Said Schornack: "I was going to say I think Jonathan missed his calling. But, in fact, I think he found it."

So, what's the deal? Is Mumm originally from Paris. Uh, would you believe Lynchburg, Va.?

Hey next, maybe we can get Mumm to interview French soccer star Zinedine Zidane and find out what he was thinking when he head-butted the Italian player in the World Cup final.

-- Sam McManis

July 12, 2006
Stella arrives in Sacramento

BLOG MET.JPG Her father, Paul, might be embroiled in marital discord, but his fashion-designer daughter, Stella McCartney, is coming to Sacramento.

OK, she's not going to actually BE here, but Julius clothing store in Pavilions will have an exclusive on her women's collection. The fall line debuts Thursday with a trunk show from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

"This is a great step forward for the fashion scene in Sacramento to have such a presence here," says Kathleen Veon, women's wear buyer for the store.

McCartney is no secret among celebrities. She dresses the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Hudson, Madonna, Cameron Diaz and Scarlett Johansson, shown at right with the designer in New York.

McCartney may be best known for sexy collections with a touch of romance. Look for her impeccably cut pantsuits, dreamy blouses and edgy zipper detail.

All you need is love? All you need is Stella!

-- Leigh Grogan

July 12, 2006
Get on the mike

All you word-slingers, take note: There's a new open mike in town - Mics and Moods, a brand-spankin' event featuring poetry.

Hosted by Khiry Malik - who previously had presided over similar events at Sweet Fingers and the Jamaica House - Mics and Moods takes place every Wednesday night (like, um, tonight) from 9 p.m. - 2 a.m. at the Capitol Garage (1500 K St.). Cost is $5.

Also featured: Spinnings via DJ Rock Bottom.

Only drawback? It's 21-and-over only. Then again, thinking back on some of the overwrought stuff I wrote back before I became of legal drinking age - well, maybe the age limit is a good thing.

Mics and Moods is co-presented by the folks at Malikspeaks Entertainment and Twelves Wax Entertainment.

July 11, 2006
Play ball!

This programming note just in: KTKZ (1380 AM) will broadcast Wednesday's Triple A All-Star Game live at 3:40 p.m.

Don't fret, non-sports fans: You can still hear the station's regularly scheduled news talkers on its FM simulcast at 105.5.

-- Sam McManis

July 11, 2006
Relocating Ross

Sacramento Bee/Paul Kitagaki Jr.
A firefighter battles a three-alarm blaze at the Ross Dress for Less store off of Douglas Boulevard in Roseville.

With the devastating fire this morning at Ross Dress for Less in Roseville Square shopping center (Harding and Douglas boulevards), we thought about the displaced shoppers who might be seeking alternative Ross locations - approximately within a 30-mile range of Sacramento.

(The Roseville fire, which reportedly started in the back of the store, destroyed the inventory there. There's not much hope when TV cameras show the roof collapsing. Thankfully, no one was reported hurt in the blaze.)

Jot down these alternative shopping destinations:

* North Roseville: 6744 Stanford Ranch Road
* Citrus Heights: 7350 Greenback Lane
* Carmichael: 4760 Manzanita Ave.
* Folsom: 2745 East Bidwell St.
* Rancho Cordova: 2810 Zinfandel Drive
* Natomas: North Natomas Marketplace, 3701 Truxel Road
* Sacramento: Country Club Plaza, 2400 Watt Ave.; and How 'Bout Arden, 1250 Howe Ave.
* Auburn: The Crossroads Shopping Center, 2590 Bell Road

-- Leigh Grogan

July 11, 2006
Now all they need is a cameo by Brando

Have you seen the cool new station promo for Channel 3, the one that looks like an outtake from “Apocalypse Now”? (The promo pops up when you first log on to

The spot opens with eerie synthesizer music reaching a crescendo and sounds of chopper blades mixed in. Then the silhouette of a helicopter rises over the setting sun, followed by the words (white on black): “IT’S COMING.”

“It” is KCRA’s new helicopter, which in the words of station president Elliott Troshinsky, will be “bigger, faster and better” than the current Live Copter 3 that the station uses for live news and weather reports.

The new helicopter should put to rest rumors that Channel’s 3 parent company, Hearst-Argyle, is cutting back on its Sacramento station's budget. Helicopters aren’t cheap. And neither is sending anchor John Alston to Las Vegas to cover the Sacramento arena talks, which Channel 3 did on Tuesday.

-- Sam McManis

July 10, 2006
Next on "Maury"... Wait, it's The News

Fans of Maury Povich’s sleazy talk show - and you know who you are - may have been mourning on Monday, but those of us who are news junkies were cheering.

That's because it was the debut of Channel 13’s hour-long 4 p.m. newscast. (It's the first time any station has dared to air news so early in the evening since Channel 3 tried it at 4:30 p.m. in the 1990s.) Station honchos have chosen not to promote the newscast heavily until September, when they'll have "Dr. Phil" as the lead-in.

The way we see it, any increase of news coverage is a good thing. And the debut broadcast - featuring anchors Tony Lopez and Brandi Hitt - had some glitches and curious story selections. But, hey, it sure beats Maury’s “Who’s your Daddy?” DNA-testing segments.

Some first impressions:
* There were twice as many national and world reports than local stories. Nothing wrong with that. But strangely, not once did the car bombing that killed 10 Shiites in Iraq come up.

* Instead, we got video clips from the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain - a TV news staple.

* Was this a time-filler or what? The news replayed a “Good Day Sacramento” report from a new Universal Studios ride that first aired at 8 a.m. on sister station Channel 31.

* Best story: How a rice company in Roseville is suing Iraq (the provisional government) for $5 million for not paying its bill.

* Strangest story: “Airport Foot Fungus!” How people get ringworm from taking off shoes at the security screening. Rafer Weigel could barely keep a straight face in his live stand-up report from Sac International.

* They are such teases: Every station does it, but the 4 p.m. news was chock-full of them. Sam Shane teased to the 5 o’clock news, and Hitt and Lopez took turns chatting it up with Vanessa Amezquita, who works on the station’s Web site, about what users were clicking on.

* Give us more of Amezquita, please. She had better camera presence than many of the “talent.”

* Speaking of talent, where is Kris Pickel, from Fresno, the anchor who the station had hired to work with Lopez. Word is, it’ll be August before Pickel debuts.

* Doh! Near the end of the newscast, Channel 13 went to a commercial. The screen went black for 10 seconds, but viewers could hear a voice - we think it was Lopez - say, “Ah, I’m roving,” before the last half of the spot was shown.

* One last quibble: There was a lot of background chatter audible throughout the newscast. Quite distracting.

Then again, not as distracting as “Maury.”

-- Sam McManis

July 10, 2006
Ultra ULTA

Ulta BLOG.jpg

ULTA is fast becoming one of this area's hottest beauty destinations. And, with a sixth store just open in Natomas, there's no excuse not to have plenty of shampoo and conditioner, grapefruit sugar body buffers and your pick of more than 400 fragrances.

Just don't test them all at once!

Plus, store openings are always big on deals and steals. You know - buy stuff, get stuff free.

The manager of the Natomas store, which opened June 19, says some of the specials will run through July 22. And, of course, there are always coupons and specials for club-card members.

The new store is at 3591 North Freeway Blvd., in the Promenade at Sacramento Gateway, which, by the way, is a terrific new shopping location. Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. It joins five other regional ULTA stores, including one other in Sacramento and stores in Elk Grove, Folsom, Roseville and Citrus Heights.

-- Leigh Grogan

July 10, 2006
Stephanie Nishikawa signs off

Another day, another departure at Channel 13, where the ratings are going up at the same rate that the staff is departing....

On the heels of last week’s firing of reporter Jason Howe and the resignation of weekend anchor Patti Lee comes word that longtime KOVR reporter Stephanie Nishikawa has resigned.

For those counting at home, that leaves only four reporters left at the station who were working there at this time last year, when Steve Charlier became vice president of news.

One, consumer reporter Kurtis Ming, has thrived. But the other three - reporters John Iander and Charlotte Fadipe and weatherman/reporter Dennis Shanahan - are on shaky ground, we hear.

As for Nishikawa, who had worked at Channel 13 for eight years, her departure had more to do with her personal life than any dissatisfaction with the station, she tells us. She has just signed a lease with the Town & Country shopping center in Sacramento to open a boutique called The Paper Garden, where she will sell her handmade cards, plus teach people how to make their own personalized invitations.

NISHIKAWA ALBUM.JPG “I’ll bring my son to work at the store and be able to spend more time with him,” Nishikawa says. “There were some long days working at the station. I’d come home at 8 o’clock and my son would go to bed at 9.”

Charlier says Nishikawa’s resignation “caught us a little off-guard.” When asked about the newsroom overhaul, he adds: “Obviously, we’ve gone through a lot this year, and we’re constantly improving the program. We’re asking all of our reporters to try to be unique and different in the quality of their reporting. Some have thrived and some haven’t.”

It was no secret in the Channel 13 newsroom that Nishikawa was not happy with the new regime after she returned from maternity leave last October. Her specialty had been general assignment and feature reporting, but she was placed on the crime beat.

“I like doing feel-good stories and the occasional feature story,” she says. “But now, it changed to all hard news, hard news, hard news. Maybe I don’t belong in the business, because I like doing rewarding stories. I don’t mind a murder story every once in a while, but every day was too much.”

Speaking of termination, here’s a list of the 14 on-air types who have either resigned or been fired from Channel 13 and sister station Channel 31 in the past year:

Paul Joncich, Jennifer Whitney, Marcy Valenzuela, Patti Lee, Eric Alvarez, Jon Baird, Rebecca Somach, Jennifer Krier, Kristine Hanson, Tom Loffman, Abbott Dutton, Jason Howe, Craig Prosser and Stephanie Nishikawa.

-- Sam McManis

July 7, 2006
Gold digging

Nevada City's riches just got a little bit, well, richer.

Golden Shoulders' frontman Adam Kline is opening a record store, bringing the tiny town's total up to, uh, one. The shop will specialize in vinyl as well as tapes, CDs, DVDs and "socially concious and locally made clothing."

The appropriately named After the Goldrush Records (it occupies the space formerly held by Love Shack Records) makes its debut Saturday, with a grand opening ceremony from 3-9 p.m.

There'll be live music throughout the day from artists such as Ian Najara, Elena Powell, Ryan Donnelly and, duh, Golden Shoulders.

After the Goldrush is located at 232 Commercial St. in Nevada City. For more info, call (530) 265-3090.

July 7, 2006
Fashionable Saturday

FL STRAW PURSE.jpg Second Saturday always presents opportunities for meet and greet - and lots of good eats. But don't head into this fun-filled afternoon/evening without putting shopping on the to-do list.

Visit any midtown boutique - and even some salons - and the browsing and the schmoozing with shop owners and other Second Saturday guests will happen immediately.

One of the newest boutiques in town - Accentuate Me (3200 Folsom Blvd.) - is getting on board with a trunk show from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., featuring Tutela By Christiane White handbags. The store, which specializes in accessories - including bags, jewelry, sunglasses and watches - is eager to be part of this local, once-a-month tradition.

Before heading out, you might stop at Coffee Garden (2904 Franklin Blvd.), where a sneak preview of a local music-video project, "Fall Out," will be shown. Visitors can meet the directors, cast and crew, too. This event is from 6 to 10 p.m.

-- Leigh Grogan

July 7, 2006
Too hot for TV


Flavor, the new lifestyle magazine from the folks who gave us Fork It and Elite, continues to be controversial for that racy cover shot of some of the Sacramento Monarchs wrapped in nothing but strategically arranged, albeit high-thread-count, sheets.

You may recall the story in The Bee's sports section on Sunday about the criticism that the provocative cover received from self-appointed arbiters of taste.

Well then, on Thursday night, during the Monarchs game televised on News10, the broadcasters were supposed to have shown the cover on the air and to talk about it. (Remember the first rule of PR: Any publicity is good publicity.)

But the magazine's publisher, Andrea Lepore, says News10 showed only the tamer photos from inside the magazine's debut issue. "Apparently they had a few calls - or one call - that objected to the cover," Lepore says. "(I) thought it was amusing."

-- Sam McManis

July 7, 2006
Coming out - and tuning in

In March, West Sacramento Mayor Chris Cabaldon announced at his city's annual State of the City dinner that he is gay.

Now, Cabaldon, 40, is going national with the news. He appears on an episode of the Logo cable network's series, "Coming Out Stories." (Logo is available locally via Comcast and DirectTV.)

On the episode titled, appropriately enough, "The Mayor," Cabaldon discusses his decision to come out publicly and his desire to create "positive change in community attitudes."

The episode airs several times this weekend, including showings at 1 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Check the Logo site for a complete list of air times.

July 7, 2006
Hello again

It's six degrees of Nicole Richie! First, her on-again, off-again boyfriend DJ AM was to visit The Park Ultra Lounge Thursday night. And now, her dad - a.k.a. Lionel Richie - is set to drop in on the folks at The Bomb (103.5 FM) next week.

Tune in Monday at 8:20 a.m. to hear the Grammy/Golden Globe/Oscar-winning artist do a live, in-studio interview on the "Davey D in the Morning" show. We hear that Richie also will be performing a live, mini-set; call in and request one of your faves - "Dancing on the Ceiling" maybe?

At this rate, Nicole oughta be arriving in Sac any day now....

July 6, 2006
Auction alert

In "The Devil Wears Prada," Meryl Streep carries a
handbag from designer Nancy Gonzalez, whose
accessories are part of a charity auction on eBay.

Attention, shoppers - Friday is the last day to bid on eBay for select designer items worn by the stars in "The Devil Wears Prada." As we first wrote in our Scene story last week, when the movie opened, there are accessories in the online auction, including fab handbags you won't see at any outlet, shoes (we think Anne Hathaway is a size 8; Streep a 10) and gorgeous clothing.

The auction is to benefit Dress for Success, a program that helps underprivileged women obtain suitable clothing to re-enter the workplace.

So far, American shoppers are givng of their hearts - and wallets. For example, at the time of this posting, the Nancy Gonzalez straw-and-crocodile handbag that is pictured is at a high bid of more than $2,000.

And even the Harry Potter prop book that Streep's cutthroat editor character demanded in the film is close to $400!

It's your chance to look like a movie star - for a good cause. Here's how to get shopping:

-- Leigh Grogan

July 6, 2006
Listen up, NPR geeks

One of our locally own will appear on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" (11.4 million listeners on an average night) on Monday to read a personal essay during a segment called "This I Believe."

Cynthia Santana Sommer, who lives in Folsom, beat out 14,000 other entrants for the chance to share some personal thoughts and beliefs.

Sommer, vice president of marketing for PRIDE Industries in Sacramento (the nation's largest employer of people with disabilities), joins an impressive list of past "This I Believe" contributors.

Oh, yeah, like who?

Try the likes of John McCain, Gloria Steinem, Bill Gates and Colin Powell.

"This I Believe" is a weekly series based on the landmark 1950s program created by Edward R. Murrow. Among the notables who delivered essays in the original: Albert Einstein, Helen Keller and Jackie Robinson.

NPR won't let us give you snippets of Sommer's essay, but it's tittled "Learning to Trust My Intuition," and lizards are featured prominently. Seriously.

"All Things Considered" airs locally between 4 and 6:30 p.m. on KXJZ (88.9 FM). We're not sure when during the broadcast Sommer's segment will air, though.

-- Sam McManis

July 6, 2006
Patti Lee update

More on Patti Lee leaving her job as weekend anchor at Channel 13....

Unlike the other anchors (Paul Joncich, Jennifer Whitney, Marcy Valenzuela), she wasn't forced out. At least, that's what Steve Charlier, vice president for news for channels 13 and 31, tells 21Q.

"Patti's resignation really took us by surprise," Charlier says. "She was doing a great job on weekends. Her (ratings) numbers were strong."

So, why bolt?

"She told us it was for personal reasons," Charlier says, declining to elaborate. (We have so far been unable to reach Lee for comment).

Oh, and here's another change at Channel 13: Reporter Jason Howe has been fired. He has been replaced by general assignment reporter Mike Dello Stritto, who has worked at KTNV in Las Vegas the past few years.

-- Sam McManis

July 6, 2006

If you don't already have plans for Second Saturday - or just want to add more to your itinerary - then here's a show you might want to consider: The folks over at Body Fitness gallery (the gym/art gallery at 920 21st St.) are hosting an exhibit called "Fauna: A Celebration of Animals in Art."

The multi-artist show is a benefit for the Animal Protection Institute and will feature work from 20 local artists as well as a vegan food spread and live music from the Terrible Secret, Julie Meyers, Montana and Mister Vague. The free event runs from 6 to 10 p.m.

You know you love animals. Even you non-vegetarians can't resist a cute, big-eyed deer, cuddly kitten or lovable puppy, right? Right.

July 5, 2006
Going to the chapel

OK, we're through June, but wedding season is definitely not limited to any one time of year. So alterations expert Justina Bonnafon, who owns Alterations by Patina in Rancho Cordova, is pretty much hemming and steaming year-round.
She specializes in altering bridal gowns (plus outfits for the bridesmaids) and formal wear. She offers these tips for brides-to-be, especially if there's a weight-loss plan in the works:

Call at least three months before the big day. "That way, I won't start the alterations right away," Bonnafon says. "We'll meet, see what needs to be done and then reconnect about a month before the wedding."

Most alterations take place at the hemline. And if it's a designer gown, it's likely a more technical process.

Be prepared for varying costs, depending on how much hand-sewing must be done.

And finally, deep breaths help a lot.

-- Leigh Grogan

July 5, 2006

You may recall that we at 21Q had thrown down the blogging gauntlet, pointing out that the good folks at channels 13 and 31 contributed postings to their combined blog, oh, about once a month.

Well, they've responded to our challenge. "Good Day Sacramento" anchor Marianne McClary even credited 21Q for shaming her into updating her blog at

As for the combined blog, you'll never know what you'll find ( A couple of days ago, we clicked on a posting by weekend anchor Patti Lee, only to find that she is leaving the station. Yes, more revolving doors for anchors at 13. Anyway, Patti's stream-of-consciousness good-bye is interesting to read, even if it doesn't provide much information on why she's leaving the station after three years.

-- Sam McManis

July 5, 2006
Kiss and tell

Sacto blogger Keith Lowell Jensen has added another URL to his Internet oeuvre. Much in the way that Jensen's All My Jobs blog details the comedian/writer/blogger's explorations into gainful employment, All My Kisses journeys into the realm of love and infatuation.

The entries - written in (mostly) work-safe prose - are funny, engaging and more than a little bittersweet. And, who knows, they may sound familiar.

"Look closely, you may be in one of the stories," Jensen wrote in a recent e-mail. "Remember that time you got drunk and kissed the coat-check boy? (I) worked as a coat-check boy!"

For the record, I never kissed a coat-check boy...or if I did, I wouldn't tell...Jensen, however, is thankfully not so discreet.

July 4, 2006
Go Fourth

Between the fireworks, the flags and the apple pie, there's plenty to keep us occupied on the Fourth of July. Before firing up the grill, there's our particular favorite - shopping and the holiday sales, which are abundant.

But, if you plan to stay home and just vege out, why not brush up your "Project Runway" knowledge? Holidays are notorious for TV marathons, and Bravo (Comcast channel 68) is reliving the hemming and hawing of the first two seasons of the hit show. Until 9 tonight, it's nonstop fashion.

Then, stay with us for a Season 3 preview next week in Scene. A special summer edition of "Project Runway" debuts July 12, and we'll keep you updated throughout with our thoughts on whose designs will sweep the fashion world. Let's just say we'll all be on pins and needles until then.

-- Leigh Grogan

July 3, 2006
And what about Donna?

Donna_Summer.jpg The Diva of Disco, Donna Summer, was in rare form - and fashion - Friday night at a packed Cache Creek Casino. Her concert, which opened with an orchestra and her on a platform in a smoky haze, was a treat for those of us who stayed fit singing and dancing to her tunes in the 1970s.

Dressed in a fabulous, gold-sequined gown, Summer was every bit in command of the show. And "MacArthur Park" and "On the Radio" had the audience on its feet -"all the sweet green icing flowing down."

Since we were eagerly anticipating a change in costume, as well as more songs, it was tough when the public-address announcer came on to say that Summer would not be able to perform the second act. As it turns out, she became ill during the last segment of her set, and according to Cache Creek, she was advised not to return to the stage after consulting with paramedics.

And then, there's this letter from Summer herself, posted at

"To my friends and fans at (the) Cache Creek Casino show, thank you for your concern and support. During the opening of the show, I accidentally inhaled a large amount of theatrical smoke used for special effects on stage, which caused an allergic reaction constricting my lungs. I attempted to sing on but could not get enough oxygen. I managed to sing through a majority of the set, at which time I went off stage and was administered immediate medical attention. By the grace of God, we hope to see you in the future. Thanks again for your concern. Love, Donna."

Concert ticket-holders are advised that they can receive a complimentary meal at the Harvest Buffet on their next visit to Cache Creek; you just have to present your ticket stub at guest services.

That's nice and all, but no "Last Dance" still leaves us longing.

-- Leigh Grogan

July 3, 2006
Hey, Whatever Happened to ...

Marcy Valenzuela with her new husband, Tony Toste.

As your devoted Media Savvy and 21Q correspondent, who is always here to serve, I can't tell you how many times I've received e-mails and phone calls asking the same question: Whatever happened to Paul, Jen and Marcy?

That would be, of course, deposed Channel 13 anchors Paul Joncich, Jennifer Whitney and Marcy Valenzuela.

It's been six months since the big change was made at KOVR and, because of overwhelming popular demand, Tuesday's Scene section of The Bee will feature a big spread about the anchors-in-exile.

Short answer: All three are doing well. Paul and Marcy miss being on the air. Jen says she doesn't miss it at all.

And here's a tease to Tuesday's story - a photo of Valenzuela and new hubby Tony Toste, who were married in June.

-- Sam McManis

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