Things to do in Sacramento and Beyond

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


May 31, 2007
Ooh la la!

TOWER.jpgGot any plans for September? If not, you might want to consider signing up for a shopping excursion to Paris - that would be France, not Texas.

Tassina Placencia, owner of Le Petit Paris, a very Parisian boutique in midtown, is once again arranging to take a group of shoppers to Paris, a city she knows well. She's accepting sign-ups now. And if you've got a friend who wants to go with you and you both sign up by June 15, you'll receive 10 percent off the trip. (Travel partners must register together to receive the discount.)

The cost is $2,295, Tassina says, and limited to 10 people. That way, everyone gets plenty of personal attention from her while shopping at everything from French flea markets to high-end boutiques. And, according to Tassina, the weather in Paris in September is "tres magnifique!"

And most of the tourists have gone home. Whew!

The exact dates for the tour are Sept. 4-10. For more info, check out the store's
Web site (click on "events.") Or stop by the store itself (at 1221 19th St.) or call (916) 446-3639.



May 30, 2007
You came through!

thumb_40427502.jpgThanks, loyal 21Q visitors! I asked for advice and you gave it to me!

Last Wednesday, I had posted a request for ways to remain stylishly dressed while still being able to take long walks during work breaks.

The Bee's new walking program provided incentive for me to get off my backside and pound some pavement, but I couldn't see my athletic shoes worn with a pretty sundress - and socks! I know lots of you work and walk in Sacramento, so I asked how you managed to look fashionable and get your heart racing at the same time.

One reader suggested I bring a small gym bag with shorts and a top to change into, which our TV columnist, Rick Kushman, does on a regular basis. (I've never seen him run in jeans.) I'm thinking, though, that instead of shorts, I might grab one of those skirts with the panty included. Add a simple tee, and I'm good to put one foot in front of the other.

Another suggestion was from a reader who, like me, gets bouts of plantar fasciitis. She found walking in Dansko shoes (shown above) to be a blessing to her dawgs. And hey, great idea. Not only do I already own, like, five pairs, but I forgot how comfortable they are to walk in. Not exactly stiletto styling, but cute anyway. I'm definitely going to try these on super-casual dress days. And have you noticed? More and more folks in the medical field - doctors, nurses, etc. -are wearing Danskos.

I'm sold!


May 29, 2007
Oh the horror!

I'll admit I'm kind of squeamish when it comes to horror films. Unless the effects are really campy and over-the-top (like, I want to have no doubts that that's fake blood squirting out of a totally and obviously fake body part). Otherwise, I'll probably spend the entire film peeking at the screen between my fingers. I'm more of a Hitchock thriller kind of girl, you see.

But you don't care about that - you are totally into horror films, campy or otherwise.

And that's why you aren't going to miss the Sac Horror Film Fest that's happening Thursday (that's June 7) at Willemina's Bar (1023 Front St. in Old Sac).

Hosted by Cinema Insomnia's Mr. Lobo, the fest promises "high weirdness" on 16mm film. Expect lots of B-movie goodness - gore, monsters, cleavage, bad acting.

It' starts at 9 p.m. and will cost you $8 at the door. Visit the SHFF MySpace page for more info.

May 29, 2007
Katie beats Charlie in Sacramento ...

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... But neither Ms. Couric nor Mr. Gibson can beat out Judge Judy (pictured, below), at least when it comes to the local ratings in the 5:30 p.m. time slot.

We are talking, of course, about the May ratings, released last week. We already gave you the local TV news numbers, but it's interesting to chart the progress (or lack thereof) of CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric.

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Couric has bombed nationally in her nine months as Dan Rather's replacement. Indeed, the show's ratings have reached all-time lows and there's talk in the media-industry publication TVWeek that CBS president Sean McManus will face hell from affiliates when he speaks to them this week in Las Vegas.

"They're not going to like being No. 3, but they've been very supportive, with a lot of them going seamless into the `Evening News' and promoting it a lot," McManus demurred in the TVWeek article. "They're not being impatient. I've heard nothing from any affiliate at all about disappointment in the numbers."

But as it turns out, viewers in Sacramento don't hate Katie as much as those in the rest of the country. Of course, they don't love her like they love Brian Williams, whose NBC Nightly News spanked both CBS' Couric and ABC's Gibson (who is No. 1 nationally). The reason for that, we suspect, is that its "lead-in" show, Channel 3's 5 p.m. news, dominates its time slot.

Here are the raw numbers for 5:30 p.m. (Quick refresher: Ratings chart the percentage of all homes with television; shares measure the number of TV sets turned on at a particular time.):

1. NBC Nightly News (Channel 3): 9.5 rating, 19 share.

2. Judge Judy (Channel 31): 3.7, 7

3. CBS Evening News (Channel 13): 2.9, 6

4. ABC World News Tonight (News10): 2.7, 5

5. King of the Hill (Fox40): 2.2, 4

6. Primer Impacto (Channel 19): 1.3, 3

7. That '70s Show (My58TV): 1.1, 2

May 28, 2007
Monday and a magazine

BAZAAR_MAGAZINEJUNE07.jpgOn the last day of a glorious three-day weekend, why not relax with a couple of good reads?

No, no, not George Tenet's hefty tome. I was thinking of more "lightweight" fare. Like fashion and beauty magazines. They go great with a cool beverage of your choice, an inviting chaise lounge or hammock - and your sunscreen, of course.

As May winds down, I'm already perusing the June offerings. Here's what I found:

* Harper's Bazaar: To be honest, I was a little surprised to see Paris Hilton and her former best friend/enemy/acquaintance Nicole Richie on the cover, their pocket pooches in hand. (At least they weren't tripping over them!) Inside, the twosome are showing off some of the fashions we'll see in the season to come. The stories that accompany the photos are titled "Nicole's Rap Sheet" and Paris' Rap Sheet." Now, if only Lindsay Lohan had biffed up her Mercedes months ago, she could have been part of the story. Best bet: The magazine's quick guide to transitioning between fashion seasons - at any age.

* InStyle: Actress Jessica Alba graces the cover with an inside piece showing Jessica in sort of cowgirl attire (cowboy hats, cowboy boots) with horses in the background. By the way, Jessica showed up at Sunday's NASCAR race in Charlotte, N.C., with castmates from her upcoming film, "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer." She got to meet hunky stock-car drivers and promote the movie. Best bet: Easy summer hairstyles - no blow-dryer required.

* Vogue: I almost didn't recognize actress Keira Knightley on the cover, but she's part of a story titled "45 Best Dressed Girls of Summer." The other "girls" include Kate Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sienna Miller and Kirsten Dunst. Best bet: Three packing pros teach a Vogue contributing editor how to travel light.

* Marie Claire: Rebecca Romijn is the cover girl, looking "summery." Now I ask: What says summer more than a tanned blonde wearing the perfect summer dress? Inside, a fashion story on swimwear that has no business getting wet. Best bet: A feature on the hottest new bags and shoes.

* Self: I've sort of been monitoring the story selection in this fittness/beauty magazine for the past couple months and have noticed there is almost always an article on how to get six-pack abs in, oh, about two minutes. The clock is ticking! Best bet: the 2007 Healthy Beauty Awards, as tested and approved by Self readers.

Enjoy the day!

May 25, 2007
KUOP to be part of Capital Public Radio 'family'

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Capital Public Radio's ownership expanded Thursday when the non-commercial station announced an agreement with the University of the Pacific to buy KUOP (91.3 FM) in Stockton.

For six years, CPR has had a licensing deal with KUOP to operate the station - airing news and jazz programming from Sacramento's KXJZ (90.9 FM). But the move, which still must clear Federal Communications Commission hurdles, ensures that the Stockton-Modesto area will retain National Public Radio coverage.

In 2005, UOP had sought buyers for the station - interested parties included CPR, San Francisco's public-radio powerhouse KQED, and several religious broadcasters - but eventually took it off the market because the offers were not to its liking.

"I re-initiated contact with them after I came (to CPR)," says president and general manager Rick Eytcheson (pictured), who assumed the job in December. "This is a great opportunity for us. The signal is really strong, and there's well over a million people in the San Joaquin (County) signal area.

"In most states, that alone would make it a large market. But it's really underserved by electronic media. There are no TV stations in Stockton, although there is print (the Stockton Record)."

As part of the agreement - terms were not disclosed - UOP will provide CPR with an on-campus studio. Eytcheson says no plans are in place to open a Stockton bureau, but that it certainly will be considered.

"We hadn't considered it before because our situation was tenuous (a month-to-month licensing deal with the university)," he says. "But now it makes sense to develop a local presence."

Other stations owned and operated by CPR include the classical stations KXPR in Sacramento (88.9 FM) and KXSR in Groveland (91.7 FM), and news/jazz stations KQNC in Quincy (88.1 FM), KKTO in Tahoe City/Reno (90.5 FM) and KXJS in Sutter (88.7 FM).

May 25, 2007
Nordstrom lands new line

1022_ver_lg.jpgI've got good news, just in time for that Memorial Day weekend trip to the mall!

Nordstrom Arden Fair has launched the Shu Uemura cosmetics line, and you just have to try the eyelash curler (shown left). That's right, the eyelash curler.

Yes, it's $18. But once you try it, especially before applying mascara, you'll be amazed at how long even scrawny lashes can look.

In fact, the latest technology behind the curler is an upgraded silicone pad in a new "mushroom" shape. In other words, it helps you get a better grip on your lashes.

Shu Uemura, the man who created the cosmetics line, was born in 1928 in Japan, he's definitely a pioneer in the beauty world. The Shu Uemura line stretches from Japan to Europe to the United States.

The Shu Uemura counter is located right next to Clinique on the lower level of Nordstrom Arden Fair.

On Saturday, June 9th, Nordstrom will be having its seasonal “Trend Show”. This is an exclusive fashion show style makeup event that showcases all of the latest tips and trends for makeup in the spring and summer seasons.


May 24, 2007
Her fashions were great!

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PRNewsPhoto/Associated Press

While I've been covering "American Idol" for another Bee blog (Idol Chatter), I've also been keeping my fashion eyes on what some of the contestants have been wearing this season.

And, while the Top 6 guys didn't blow me away with their fashion sense (Blake Lewis admits he wears "Grandpa" pants and loves argyle), the Top 6 girls - for the most part - made good purchases with their wardrobe funds.

Of course, Gina Glocksen, the resident rocker girl, stayed true to her funky red highlights, her tongue ring and her mix of leather and, well, leather. Haley Scarnato beat a shorter fashion path, wearing short shorts, short dresses and short skirts, even on Wednesday night's finale.

Melinda Doolittle and Lakisha Jones loosened up and, by the end (they were in the Top 4), were two devinely dressed divas. Stephanie Edwards, at No. 11, dressed a little older than I thought she should for her 19 years.

And, speaking of the finale, winner Jordin Sparks was swathed in full-on red carpet couture at the very end, wearing a flirty black dress for Tuesday's final competition, and there was Wednesday night's golden-girl gown, both "tweaked" specifically for her by the reknown duo of Mark Badgley and James Mischka (sketches above).

ICONIXBRAND_1.jpgJordin got to meet with the two designers (Mark, left, and James) to discuss what she would be wearing for what would be the two biggest nights of her life. Again, I hate to keep bringing up her young age (did I say "17?"), but what a thrill to not only wear the designers' frocks but to also get that personal touch.

And, unlike Season 5's runner-up Katharine McPhee, who had to give back her hair extensions, which Haley wore this season, let's hope Jordin gets to keep her fashions!

May 24, 2007
Drumroll: Sweeps numbers for local TV news ...

dandl

... and Channel 3 (KCRA) continues its dominance, according to Nielsen Media Research figures released to stations Thursday.

That's never more evident than in the early evening news, where Dave Walker and Lois Hart (pictured) continue to rule. At 5 p.m., Channel 3 finished first, with a 10.1 rating - nearly double the combined figures for channels 13 (a 3.1 rating) and 10 (2.2 rating) at that time.

At 6 p.m., Channel 3 dominated again, with an 8.6, while Channel 13 (2.9) and News10 (2.8) trailed.

The late news remains the only really heated competition. Channel 3, once more, finished first at 11 p.m. with a 6.9 rating, edging News10 (6.6). Channel 19, our Spanish-language affiliate, had a 1.5 rating at 11 p.m.

At 10 p.m., Channel 13's 6.8 rating beat Fox40's 5.0 and almost matched Channel 3's rating at 11 p.m.

In the mornings, Channel 3 staved off competition from Channel 31's "Good Day Sacramento," which is gaining viewership but still unable to knock off KCRA. Channel 3 was most dominant in the 6 a.m. hour, posting a 4.8 rating. "Good Day Sacramento" had a solid 3.0 in that time slot, followed by News10 at 2.6, Channel 13 at 1.3 and Fox40 at 0.7.

The only poor numbers for KCRA came from the new 7-9 a.m. morning newscasts on sister station My58TV. Despite having essentially the same newscast, format and talent as Channel 3 earlier in the morning, My58TV garnered only a 0.6 rating.

That's paltry compared to "Good Day Sacramento" - 4.4 in the 7 a.m. hour, 3.4 in the 8 a.m. hour. And it's also the exact same rating that the simulcast of the "Armstrong & Getty" radio show got in the same time slot on My58TV during the February ratings period.

May 24, 2007
From Skipper Stu to Hollywood's Walk of Fame

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Courtesy of KCRA

Many would argue that the most famous Channel 3 (KCRA) alum would have to be David Gregory, the White House correspondent who has taken the place of retired Sam Donaldson as the man most annoying to presidents. (Helen Thomas is, hands down, the most annoying woman to any POTUS. You go, Helen!)

But no, we say Gregory's star power dims compared to that of ex-KCRA sportscaster Stu Nahan (pictured).

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Stu Who?

You've no doubt seen him playing cameos of a sportscaster in nearly every "Rocky" movie. His Hollywood credits also include playing sportscasters in films as varied as "Private Benjamin," "Brian's Song" and the unforgettable "Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island," not to mention guest shots on TV's "Bay Watch," "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" and "21 Jump Street."

Of course, to many of us, the height of Nahan's thespian career was his classic scene with Sean Penn in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." Stu's in the dream sequence with the stoner surfer dude Jeff Spicolli, played by Penn. We highly recommend renting the DVD.

Anyway, the movie and TV gigs were sidelights for Nahan, who for decades was a sportscaster in Los Angeles. And longtime Sacramentans may remember him as "Skipper Stu," the kiddie TV host on Channel 3 back in the 1950s. (See photo of him chatting up kids, above.) After that, he was Sacramento's first sportscaster, anchoring with Stan Atkinson on KCRA's evening news.

Now 80 and recovering from a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma called Burkitt's, Nahan will receive a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame on Friday.

It's a fitting capper to a career that began in our little town. Congrats, Stu.

May 23, 2007
Oops! Please alert the FCC

leighhhhowarddd
QUESTION: WHAT DO THESE TWO MEDIA FIGURES HAVE IN COMMON?

So The Bee's Leigh Grogan (pictured, left), the nation's foremost "American Idol" beat writer, was being interviewed live this afternoon by Kitty O'Neal and Tom Sullivan on KFBK (1530 AM). (Kitty and Tom were broadcasting from L.A., where the "Idol" finals are being held.)

But after about five minutes of giving expert analysis, Grogan suddenly heard nothing but dead air on her end of the phone line. The three-way connection between Tom and Kitty, Leigh and the KFBK studio had been broken - or so Grogan thought.

A few seconds of silence ensued, then Grogan went all Howard Stern (right) on us and muttered, aloud, "Oh, sh**, I lost them!"

Uh, not quite, Leigh. KFBK listeners heard Grogan's profanity loud and clear. Only the connection between Sullivan/O'Neal and the studio had gone dead.

Fearing retribution, either from the Federal Communications Commission or from your very own Media Savvy correspondent, Grogan immediately called (me, not the FCC) to apologize.

"It wasn't intentional," she says.

Having the honor of sharing a cubicle with Leigh, I can honestly attest that she never uses the S-word in the office. No, usually it's much saltier language.

May 23, 2007
Walking fashion woes

Last week, The Bee initiated a "walking program" for all interested employees.

Count me in among the many who were interested because I can't run (bad knees). Plus, I don't like my hair flopping all over the place - and, well, I don't like short shorts.

Anyway, we have routes we can walk near the newspaper office during the day. Add walking at home to that, with each of us supposed to hit 7,500 steps a day.

Well, I can take these steps - and then some!

My question to those of you who walk during work is: How do you wear athletic shoes, even with teeny-tiny socks, and not look, well, stupid if the top half of you is attired in Ann Taylor? And, no, I can't walk a mile in stilettos!

Don't get me wrong. I have no problem sporting cute Lucy or Fleet Feet apparel at work because some of it is certainly appropriate. But not every day.

So, while readers ask me for advice in my column (in The Bee's Scene section), "Shopping for Answers," this time, I'm the one shopping for an answer. Any help would be appreciated, so come through for me. And, whatever your suggestions, keep in mind that I like to wear a baseball cap to keep the sun off my face.

Walk this way with your answers. And count the puns I threw in while you're at it!

May 22, 2007
How NPR fares against the competition

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Today's Media Savvy column on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" - co-host Renee Montagne (pictured) speaks at UC Davis Wednesday night - got us thinking about the extent of the show's popularity in Sacramento.

Sure, a cynic might suggest, only highbrow academic types might listen to NPR news, but not a mass audience, right?

Think again.

Arbitron, the radio ratings service, measures noncommercial stations' listenership, but it doesn't bundle the results with the figures of commercial stations.

However, we got ahold of the "Morning Edition" numbers at KXJZ (90.9 FM), and the show stacks up pretty well.

In the 12-plus overall ratings, "Morning Edition" on KXJZ finished third with a 5.7 rating, behind only the morning news on KFBK (1530 AM) with a 7.9 share and "Armstrong & Getty" of KSTE (650 AM) with a 7.4 share. And, in the advertising-coveted 25-to-54 demographic, "Armstrong & Getty" was first with a 7.9, the "Rob, Arnie & Dawn Show" on 98 Rock (KRXQ, 98.5 FM) with a 6.5 and "Morning Edition" on KXJZ with a 6.4.

Now, if you were to add the "Morning Edition" listeners who tune in on the region's other, rival public radio station KQEI (89.3 FM), "Morning Edition" would rate even higher.


May 22, 2007
Buzz-worthy

A while back, I told you about KWOD 106.5's Summer Buzz show featuring The Bravery, Kaiser Chiefs, Silversun Pickups and Shiny Toy Guns.

As I told you then, in addition to featuring all the headliners, KWOD is also hosting a contest for local bands and asked area artists to submit an entry for consideration.

The entries are now in and here are the 10 bands up for consideration:
UVR, Dead Celebrities, Rise of New Audio, Warp 11, Without Tomorrow, Eightforseaven, An Angle, Brilliant Red Lights, Jackson Road and Crash Avenue.

This is where you come in: Head over to Kwod.net and vote for your favorite. The winning band gets to open the Summer Buzz show.

Oh yeah, the show details: June 10 at the Memorial Auditorium. Tickets are $30 through TicketMaster.com.

May 22, 2007
CNN and Channel 3 join forces on the Web

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So, do you grouse that our local TV newscasts don't cover enough national and international news?

Of course you do. That's one of the top complaints your media correspondent fields from readers.

Well, if you're craving a more international perspective on the news (and, no, not just what people in Darfur think about the plight of Delta and Dawn), Channel 3 (KCRA) has teamed with CNN to provide video coverage of global news on the local Web site.

CNN announced the partnership today. That's what we need in Sacramento - more Christiana Amanpour (pictured).

May 21, 2007
Flipping out

PINK-SLIDE.jpg I totally have been in love with flip flops since I was a kid. My grandmother used to buy them for me (a pair a month, or until the straps broke) when she took me to "town" and Woolworth's.

She was always impatient because I had a tough time picking a color. Back then (a hundred years ago!), flip flops were one style - flat with a white bottom and colored straps. It was a big decision!

I still love them, but a bout last summer with plantar fasciitis made me rethink the style of flip flops that I was wearing. I have high arches, and the flat ones were "foot flops."

Even the American Podiatric Medical Association is toes down on flip flops. But, because they're relatively inexpensive, are nice on a hot day and you can walk through the sprinklers while wearing 'em, I figured there had to be a pair that wouldn't wreck my feet.

I checked out Fleet Feet and Swanberg's on J Street and J.Crew in the Downtown Plaza. Each of these stores had either sporty or fashionable styles with enough arch support for at least a couple of hours.

Another brand that's super comfy - and totally stylish - are the Bonjour Fleurette flip flops, which actually look more like dress shoes than their casual cousins. To order online, or for a list of local retailers, click here.

May 21, 2007
Top Univision producer leaves

Well, there goes another one ...

Not all the newsroom resignations at Channel 19, our local Univision affiliate, are on-camera "talent."

One of the station's top behind-the-scenes producers has announced his departure. Artemio Armenta, who produced the statewide political show "Voz y Voto" and the Channel 19 6 p.m. news, is leaving to become a govermental affairs associate for the Public Policy Institute of California.

Armenta has been with Univision since March of 2002.

May 21, 2007
News10 goes live online

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Since leaving as News10's morning anchor last month, Sharon Ito has kept a low profile, working on what station honchos have called a major online initiative.

Today, Ito has resurfaced as host, moderator and prime mover behind "News10 live_online."

Throughout the day, Ito will be blogging, posting video and moderating a chat forum about news of the day. This morning, between 11 and noon, she will have a live chat.

Part of Ito's mission is to lift the veil off News10's news operation, tell people how decisions are made and give them up-to-the-minute tidbits, such as the current whereabouts of those whales.

May 18, 2007
Miranda July + Sacramento = ?

miranda1.jpgEarlier this week, I got my happy little hands on a copy of Miranda July's new short story collection "No One Belongs Here More Than You" (Scribner, $23, 224 pages). I even put it in my weekly To-Do List.

Thursday, I had an assignment in San Francisco that required a lot of sitting around and waiting so, naturally, I brought my new book along for company.

If you're not familiar with July, she's the writer/director/actress behind 2005's wonderfully strange and sweet indie film "Me and You and Everyone We Know." July also plays music and writes for different publications.

"No One," which features stories previously published by the New Yorker, the Paris Review and Tin House, is her book debut, and the writing here is really fresh, funny and straightforward. And sometimes, just a little bit unsettling.

july_book2.jpgBut that's not the point here. The point is, there I am, sitting in the lobby of the Ritz-Carlton reading "Majesty" - a story about a 46-year-old woman's obsession with Prince William. Yes, that Prince William - and suddenly, mid-passage, the narrator namechecks The Sacramento Bee. Yes, that Sacramento Bee.

This is how it went down:


I got out of bed and, as if I needed more evidence, I opened The Sacramento Bee, and there, in the World News section, was an article about Prince Charles' visit to a housing estate in Glasglow, a trip he he took with his son, Prince William Arthur Philip Louis.

I know - random. And yes, I checked The Bee archives for the story in question and no, I couldn't find it.

So, why then, The Sacramento Bee? Who knows? July spent much of her career in Portland and now lives in L.A. - but she did grow up only a stone's throw away from here, in Berkeley. Anyway, if anyone can more concretely connect the Miranda July/Sacramento degrees of separation, please let me know.

In the meantime, all I can say is this: The reference only fuels the fantasy I have of running into July at, say, the Temple Coffee House, and, of course, immediately becoming BFF.

I also know this: You should really read the book. Don't believe me? Everyone from David Byrne and Dave Eggers to Bust magazine has praised July's literary flair. She's that good. Check her out.

May 18, 2007
New hires at Channel 19

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Hey, the door swings both ways at Channel 19 (KUVS, Univision's Sacramento affiliate). The station has had some high-profile departures in the past year, but spokeswoman Carolina Rojas Gore has announced that three new reporters have been hired.

Pamela Diaz, who formerly was an intern at Telemundo 48 in San Jose, has been hired as a reporter. And Anabel Monge, who has worked for Spanish-language stations in Texas and Fresno, is now the Modesto bureau chief.

The most high-profile hire is Martha Minjarez (pictured), who will start next week in an undefined role. Minjarez has spent eight years at Univision 26 in El Paso, Texas, as a reporter and weekend anchor.

May 17, 2007
Wine, with more wine

Lots going on in the wine scene this weekend. But really, who needed the excuse?

First, 58 Degrees & Holding is celebrating its one-year anniversary by offering 10 percent off wine-shop sales and 15 percent off cases. The deals extend into the bar next door, where they'll be offering specials on wines by the glass all day and complimentary appetizers from 2 to 5 p.m.

Also, the L is offering a couple lovely new ways to enjoy a nice glass. Starting Monday, the new wine lounge will debut "UnScrew," its version of happy hour, with specials on glasses of wine and plates of food from 3 to 6 p.m. And every Tuesday, wine director Jonathan Klonecke (who, by the way, is a certified wine professional, so there) will take customers on a wine flight, which is pretty much as fun as it sounds. Each week, he'll be exploring three reds and three whites of a different region or varietal.

Let's see. More wine + less money = more wine. That's fuzzy math. And the good kind.

May 16, 2007
Prosper mag to sponsor Wi-Fi at airport

An official announcement has yet to be made, but we hear that by the end of this month, passengers waiting for flights at Sacramento Interational Airport will get the Prosper magazine welcome page when they tap into the airport's free Wi-Fi service.

Jeffrey Young, editor in chief of Prosper, let slip today in an interview with yours truly that the magazine has reached a deal with the airport to sponsor the service. A spokeswoman for the airport says Wi-Fi has been in place since last summer.

What does Prosper, the two-year-old business/lifestyle publication, get out of the sponsorship deal?

Exposure. Lots of it.

"There will be a gateway page you’ll go through (when users log on) that hopefully will push more people to our (Prosper) site," Young says. "Then they’ll see more material from us. We’ve done it because you can’t keep yourself in one niche. We're expanding big into the Web."

A redesigned Prosper magazine will be unveiled late next week, with its June issue. Maria Shriver is the cover subject.

Look for more on Prosper's relaunch in an upcoming Media Savvy column in The Bee.

May 16, 2007
Sweater weather

Cashmere.jpg Not! Well, maybe.

Here's what I find amazing after 18 years in Sacramento: The minute a weather forecaster even hints at 90-plus temps, offices (including mine at 21st and Q) put their workers into indoor deep freeze.

Right now, I fear frostbite on my extremities is a real possibility!

Then, just as I began drifting into sleep (one of the first signs of hypothermia), I discovered the ratty black sweater that's been a constant on the back of my chair since, well, 10 years ago. It felt good tucked around my shoulders until I realized I looked like Grandmamma from "The Addams Family." The poor sweater sort of resembled a well-worn bathmat.

So, I'm going to bring in a cute cardigan to get me through the cold office days. If you've been leaving a sweater at work for days/nights when the AC kicks in full blast, check to see if it's in need of replacing.

Believe it or not, cashmere (it doesn't have to cost a bundle) will keep you insulated but not hot, like wool. Or, a cotton button-up version in a neutral tone will work.

Then, take it off when you exit your office in the evening and watch the hair on your arms stand up when you hit the heat!

May 16, 2007
More awards for CB newshounds

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The staff at KBFT, the student-run TV newscast at Christian Brothers High School, can now lay claim to having the top daily-morning prep newscast in the nation.

On Wednesday, KBFT was awarded first place in the 2007 Student Television Awards in the category of Best Weekly or Daily Live Show.

The station also won first place for Live Sporting Event for its coverage of the CB basketball team.

May 15, 2007
Making the 'A-list'

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Madam Butterfly

I just checked out the online-vote results of KCRA's (Channel 3) A-list of some of the best "stuff" in Sacramento, i.e., eateries, arts and entertainment, night life, etc. Of course, I was most interested in the fashion and beauty categories.

And I wasn't totally surprised at what I saw, especially in the fashion areas. For example, Madam Butterfly in Pavilions was voted Best Women's Boutique. (As a special thank-you to voters - and customers - Madam Butterfly e-mailed coupons worth 25 percent off any single item in the boutique through next Monday.)

Other winners? Shoefly, for Best Women's Shoes; Belle Mode Consignment Boutique for Best Vintage and Resale; Kismet Maternity for Best Maternity Apparel; DV8 Boutique for Best Men's Clothing, and Retro Sole for Best Men's Shoes.


May 15, 2007
Breaking news for CB station

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Those intrepid newshounds at KBFT, the news station run by Christian Brothers High School that we profiled in The Bee recently, had some real breaking news to cover on Monday.

It seems there was an arrest of a local woman for suspected auto theft on Monday morning right outside the campus, sending the school into "lockdown" mode. However, a KBFT crew happened to be outside, shooting footage for another story when the incident took place.

According to Brendan Hogan, the faculty advisor, the crew took some quick B-roll shots and then rushed back to the TV studio/classroom.

"I asked them how much they got, and they said about 10 seconds," Hogan says. "So I sent them back out there to get more information before I locked the door for the lockdown."

The crew came back with a full story and they got it on the air that morning.

"It was pretty good," Hogan says. "The arrest happened at 8:15, and my kids got it on the air at 9:35. The principal came on the (school intercom) and announced what happened right before we went on the air. So he scooped us. But that's OK."

Perhaps some CB parents weren't too thrilled that student reporters were out and working during a lockdown, but the journalist in Hogan was impressed.

P.S.: If that scoop was a highlight for KBFT, then the local student video awards (SEVA) held last week was a disappointment. Hogan says students forgot to send in the CD with the station's submissions - doh! So Christian Brothers will just have to be content with its top 5 finish in a national contest (out of 700 entrants).

May 15, 2007
Univision loses another

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Catalina Martinez, who reported on entertainment and weather for Channel 19's morning news show "A Primera Hora," is leaving the Univision-owned station at the end of the month.

Martinez (pictured) confirmed today that she has resigned, but declined to give a reason for her departure. She said she does not have a new job.

She is the fourth on-air person to leave Channel 19 in the past six months, joining Xochitl Arellano, Pablo Espinoza and Tatiana Bedoya.

(Bedoya on Saturday won a Northern California Emmy for her investigative coverage for the station.)

Neither news director Pedro Calderon or marketing director Carolina Rojas-Gore immediately returned calls seeking comment.

May 15, 2007
Ode to The Spag Fac

Some days, a girl gets out of bed, goes about her habitual activities and decides that her life simply won't be complete unless she takes that evening's repast at The Old Spaghetti Factory.

Know what I'm sayin'?

It's a feeling I get, oh, about every couple months or so, and like a house on fire or a super cute skirt, it's not something that can be ignored.

Because I love The Old Spaghetti Factory. A lot. And not in an oh-isn't-it-hilarious-that-I'm-in-love-with-a-restaurant-with-the-word-'factory'-in-it kind of way. No, my love for The Spag Fac does not involve irony. My love for The Spag Fac is pure.

I've been ordering the same thing since I was 8, and come hell, high water or a more refined palette, I will never deviate. I don't even bother to look at the menu anymore. I know where my loyalties lie, and they are with The Manager's Favorite with meat sauce and mizithra cheese, and my creamy pesto salad dressing on the side. And you better believe I'm going with spumoni.

I was getting my fix on Friday night, wishing my usual silent wish that I get seated in the trolley car, when I remembered that I'm not actually 8 and that there is a bar inside that glorious, joy-giving manufacturer of spaghetti. Now huh, I thought to myself. I like bars. I like The Old Spaghetti Factory. Combining the two just seemed to make sense.

So next time I've got a hankering for a heaping plate of nostalgia, I will most definitely start the evening out in the bar. Leah Beneze, a manager at the J Street location, says that they've got a pretty sweet happy hour from 4:30 to 7 p.m. weekdays, when drinks are a dollar off and the bar seats are full of regulars.

But I'm not sure I'll be dropping by without plans for dinner. It's not called The Second Cheapest Glass Of Wine Factory, after all.

May 14, 2007
'Supernatural and Surreal'

Beginning next Monday, the B Street Theatre will present “An Evening of the Supernatural and the Surreal,” a 2006-07 Intern Company showcase. The showcase will feature two one-act plays: John Patrick Shanley’s “Where’s My Money” and Richard Dresser’s “At Home.” Curtain will be at 8 p.m. next Monday (May 21), Sunday, May 27, and Monday, May 28, with artistic associate John Lamb directing the productions.

Nine college graduates, who were recruited from around the country, make up the Intern Company. While in residence in Sacramento, they received professional training through seminars led by B Street Theatre Acting Company member Kurt Johnson. And they performed monologues after each Wednesday night performance.

Interns were also conscripted for numerous duties at the theater, including house management, stage management and facility maintenance.

Interns making their professional debuts this year were Charles Keenan and Lindsay Carter, in the world premiere “Throwing Parties,” and Nicole Disson in “What the Butler Saw.” Laurie Geigel, Vickie Hall, Jennifer Baumgardner, Josiah Correl and Mark Richardson all worked in the B Street Theatre Family Series (formerly Children’s Theatre of California).

This year, B Street also had its first scenic design intern, Toi Whitaker, who designed the sets for “What the Butler Saw,” “The Princess and the Pauper” and the currently running “The Clean House.”

No admission will be charged to the intern showcase, but donations will be accepted, with proceeds benefiting the interns. Reservations are encouraged.

The B Street Theatre is at 2711 B St., behind Stanford Park Baseball Field. For information: (916) 443-5300.

May 14, 2007
And the Emmy goes to ...

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... Channel 13's much-maligned (at least in this space) Kurtis Ming, who took home two awards from Saturday night's 36th annual Northern California Area Emmy Awards.

Ming (pictured, left), known for his "special reports" and heavy use of the first-person singular, won the Investigative Report category for "Medical Mistakes, State Failures." Then, he later won for Feature Report - Light for "Free Land." Ming's editor on both stories was Peter Roney.

(Warning: Shameless plug coming. For more on Ming and the sweeps phenomenon of "special reports," read my Media Savvy column in Tuesday's Bee.)

Sacramento must be an investigative town, because former KUVS reporter Tatiana Bedoya (who had quit the station in a dispute with management), won the Spanish-language Investigative award for "They Stole My Home."
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KUVS had a good night, taking home eight Emmys. Among the other local Univision winners: reporter Santiago Lucero (two awards - he's pictured at right), news director Pedro Calderon and former anchor Pablo Espinoza.

Every local station except for Channel 3 (KCRA) and Fox40 won an Emmy. Channel 13's Diana Penna won a special Emmy for Community Service for the station's annual pet telethon. And News10 sportscaster Ryan Yamamoto was named the top "On-Camera Talent" for sports reporting. Our local PBS affiliate, KVIE, won for Public Affairs Feature for a "California Connected" report on levees.

But when it came to the big awards - Station Excellence, News Excellence and the Best Evening and Daytime Newscasts - Sacramento was shut out by its rivals in the Bay Area.

For a complete list of Emmy winners, click here.

May 11, 2007
Cosmetic crowns

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Olay

The Cosmetic Executive Women recently passed out their 2007 awards for best beauty products of the year: makeup, skin care, hair care, etc.

And, unfortunately, Victoria Principal - and her Reclaim Age Braker Enzyme Mask & Peel - didn't win. (Last month, Victoria told me how happy she was to even be nominated. "What's amazing is that no direct-sales product has ever been nominated, so I'm beside myself with joy," she said, calling from her Malibu office. "A (CEW) is definitely the Oscar of skin care.")

In any case, I've tried the mask/peel, and I know it's a great product.

As are the winners, which include some of the most innovative launches last year.

Just so you know: The industry's highest honor, the CEWs, are selected by those-in-the-know beauty professionals. There were 621 products nominated in 33 categories. The awards were announced in New York at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel.

Victoria was there as well as a ton of other celebs, including former "Sex and the City" star Mario Cantone, who hosted the event. And there was fashion model/businesswoman Ivanka Trump, "Top Chef" host Padma Lakshmi, model Crystal Renn, "Pirates of the Caribbean" actress Naomie Harris and "Shear Genius" judge and celebrity hairstylist Sally Hershberger.

The "Indie Beauty Award," the brightest new start-up in the beauty world, went to skyn ICELAND skin-care line.

Here is a partial list of winners. For a complete list and a link to shopping, go
here.

* Facial skin care: Anti-Aging $30 and over - Patricia Wexler M.D. Dermatology Wexler Intensive Night Reversal & Repair Cream; Anti-Aging Under $30 - Olay Definity Deep Penetrating Foaming Moisturizer. Moisturizer $30 and over - Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Moisturizing Cream; Moisturizer Under $30 - Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream.

* Makeup: Eye Product $15 and over - Chanel Inimitable Mascara; Eye Product Under $15 - Cover Girl LashExact Mascara.

* Bath and body: Scented Bath & Body $15 and over - C.O. Bigelow Lemon Cream Body Wash; Scented Bath & Body Under $15 - Olay Body Wash Plus Ribbons (shown above).

* Sun: Sun Product $15 and over (tie) - Clarins Sun Wrinkle Control Eye Contour Care SPF 30 and La Roche-Posay Anthelios SX; Sun Product Under $15 - Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock SPF 55.

Note to you: Last summer, I touted this Neutrogena sunblock because it can be worn under makeup without that greasy feeling. It's worth a try.

May 10, 2007
Stacks of wax (and CDs)

Attention music fans: Mark your calendars for May 20. That's when KDVS (90.3 FM), the free-form FM station broadcasting from UC Davis will hold its bi-annual "Record Swap."

This is a can't-miss for any music fanatic, what with stacks of used viynl, CDs and cassette tapes available to be scored cheaply. Plus, posters and music memorabilia will be on sale.

It's all for a good cause, too - to fund the independent, non-commercial radio station.

The Swap will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Fools Foundation, 1025 19th St., Suite 0. More info here.

May 10, 2007
A walk in The Park

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Sacramento Bee/Carl Costas
Model Gia Vang gets her hair and makeup done before taking to the runway Wednesday night as part of designer Tomiko Abella's Mikobella Designs fashion collection.

The fashion show titled "A League of Extraordinary Designers" was, no pun intended, fashionably late getting under way Wednesday night at The Park Ultra Lounge.

Then again, it's no small task getting a team of models coifed and made up - and then dressed in amazing clothes.

And besides, it was well worth the wait.

That's because this was one of the most polished, well-put-together local fashion shows I've attended. I predict that the creativity of the six designers - originally from Sacramento but now working all over Northern California - will see them emerging beyond the state. The great thing is that they collaborated on this show, working together to take fashion to a new level.

The designers were Cindy Vo, Steven Willey, Dee Aguilar, Tomiko Abella and Richard Hallmarq. Special guest designer was Amy Hemmens. (Hosts for the show were Maneca Lightner, cover model for Madhouse records, and Guy Farris, co-anchor of News10's "Sacramento & Co.")

Here's a synopsis of each collection. For a backstage and runway version, see Bee photographer Carl Costas' multimedia presentation.

* Cindy Vo: Cindy started Vindyco clothing in 2004. Her style is definitely flirty and fun - and very modern. I like her incredible mix of fabrics and how she accessorizes each outfit.

* Steven Willey: Steven has gained even more confidence as a designer since the last show I saw him in. This particular collection was inspired by brilliantly colored African fabrics, including wax prints and organic cottons.

* Dee Aguilar: Dee launched her Dee Aguilar Designs company in 2004. Sophisticated and elegant, her fashions can take a woman from day to evening with just a few adjustments. And nobody does dresses like Dee.

* Amy Hemmens: This is the first time I've seen Amy's designs. She puts a special emphasis on one-of-a-kind creations, many of them hand-stitched. She even works with secondhand and vintage fabrics.

* Tomiko Abella: Tomiko also has her own company, Mikobella Designs. What you'll find are amazing fashions with a focus on hand-dyed fabrics and incredible bead work. They can be both sexy and classic at the same time.

* Richard Hallmarq: Richard is a familiar face on the Sacramento/San Francisco fashion scene. And, while he loves to push the creative envelope, this collection was certainly one of his most flattering and wearable - no matter your age.

I hope more local boutiques check out some of these talented designers. I'd love to see their work in as many stores as possible.

But let's start the shows earlier. It's hard for me to stay up past 10!


May 9, 2007
The building blocks of fun are free

Second Saturday is coming up fast and I know how you are - already a million possibilities on your calendar. Well, here's one more thing to throw on it.

File this one under: Favorite new-ish (to me, anyway) local band that I've yet to see live.

Davis' Buildings Breeding is playing a Second Saturday show at Cuffs (26th & J streets).

Haven't heard 'em yet? Kind of electronica indie rock/pop. If that description doesn't quite wet your whistle, give the band a listen at their MySpace page.

Oh yeah, and there will also be art by Natasha, wine and snacks.

All that, and again, it's free.

Starts at 7 p.m. See ya there.

May 8, 2007
Not The End for ratings

As if to prove the maxim that there's no such thing as bad publicity, KDND (The End, 107.9 FM) showed improved ratings in the latest Arbitron report, released today.

The End, you may recall, received a slew of negative attention in January after staging an on-air water-drinking contest that resulted in the death of contestant Jennifer Strange. Ten employees, including the "Morning Rave" DJs, were fired in the wake of the stunt. A civil suit is pending against the Entercom-owned station, and the Federal Communications Commission is reviewing the station's license.

Some in the radio industry speculated that The End - consistently a top 12 station in the nation's 27th-largest market - would suffer a ratings dive, too.

But, in fact, the opposite has occurred. In at least the 12-plus age category (the only demographic released to the media by Arbitron), The End finished in eighth place with a 4.0 rating. In the previous ratings period, The End ranked 11th with a 3.5 rating.

Considering that The End improved in that period in which it was without a morning team, the bar doesn't seem set too high for the recently hired new morning crew from Harrisburg, Pa.: "The Wake-Up Call With Jason, Kelly and Gavin."

In other ratings news:

* No surprise here: KFBK (1530 AM) finished first overall with a 7.6 rating. Still, it's down from an 8.0 a year ago.

* There's a battle heating up between Sacramento's two country music stations. KNCI (105.1 FM) finished third overall with a 4.8 rating, although that's down from 6.3 a year ago. Meanwhile, upstart KNTY (The Wolf, 101.9 FM) improved to 2.4 in its first full ratings book since switching to country music from oldies last July.

* In the competition for fans of hip hop, KSFM (102.5 FM) finished sixth at 4.3, compared with a rating of 3.6 for rival KBMB (The Bomb, 103.5 FM).


May 8, 2007
The green monster!

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Associated Press

After Monday night's swanky white-tie affair at the White House, it seems I've heard nothing but how much President Bush would rather wear flannel than formalwear.

Well, now I know why, and I don't blame him.

Without a doubt, there were more fashion "don'ts" showing up to fete Queen Elizabeth II and her hubby, Prince Philip, than there were gold-plated soup spoons.

Yikes! White tie doesn't suit most men of a certain age, with a certain size midsection. Mostly, they look like they're about to explode. With the exception of a couple of tall guys - NBC's David Gregory and NFL quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Tim Hasselbeck - the other gentlemen would have looked better in black tie.

Now for the women....

Where do I start? Are there absolutely no stylists in Washington, D.C.? In this humble fashion writer's opinion, I must say that the most horrifying ensemble had to be the lime-green, oversized winged jacket and dress worn by Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Dick Cheney (shown above with daughter Elizabeth L. Cheney and Philip J. Perry).

Lynne, if you're a Red Sox fan, I'm all for it. But you were wearing Fenway Park, a.k.a., the "Green Monster." And, I was sure she would remove the lethal jacket during the entertainment portion of the evening. But no, there she was, absolutely swathed in it.

First lady Laura Bush, in robin's-egg blue, looked OK. Nothing spectacular. As for many of the others, just because it's white tie doesn't mean the invitation also reads "big hair and giant collars required for the women."

So, did anyone get it right among the ladies? I liked the ensembles of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., "View" co-host Elizabeth Hasselbeck, and the president's niece, Lauren Bush, who showed up with designer Ralph Lauren's son, David, who harrumphed the invite and wore black tie.

So there.

May 8, 2007
Graswich to join KFBK

As if he doesn't already have enough to do, former Bee metro columnist R.E. ("Bob") Graswich next week will become the new co-host of the KFBK (1530 AM) afternoon news with Kitty O'Neal.

Graswich will replace Jay Alan, who is leaving the radio business to be communications director for the California Conservation Corps beginning Monday.

Since leaving The Bee in January, Graswich has been one busy dude. He writes a twice-weekly blog as well as a monthly column for Sacramento magazine, has just started doing daily commentaries for Channel 13, and has started his own media consulting business.

"We're bringing him on at the start on an interim basis, but we definitely think it's going to work out and that he will be a valuable addition for us," says Jeff Holden, general manager of Sacramento's Clear Channel stations, which includes KFBK. "He'll acclimate really well with Kitty. They have a good rapport and they both know Sacramento well."

May 8, 2007
Tempest in a TV teapot

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Yeah, it must be sweeps time ...

How else to explain the dust-up taking place between two media entities desperate for attention? That would be, of course, Channel 13 and syndicated talk-radio bloviator Rush Limbaugh (left).

Here's the deal:

During Monday's Channel 13 morning show, anchor Chris Burrous (and his co-host, his trusty laptop computer) aired snippets of a parody song about Barack Obama that Limbaugh had played on the air almost a week earlier. The song, "Barack the Magic Negro," sung to the tune of "Puff the Magic Dragon," was based on an L.A. Times op-ed piece wondering whether Obama was authentically "black enough."

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Burrous (right) asked in a yes/no Web poll whether the song parody was racist. Limbaugh went ballistic when he heard about it, demanding on the air that Channel 13 apologize. (We pause for a moment for the obligatory Sacramento connection, to wit: Rush got his start here lo these many years ago, blah, blah, blah...).

The "controversy," such as it is, spilled over into today's broadcast and now includes KFBK (1530 AM), the local station that airs Rush's show. KFBK morning talkers Kelly Brothers and Amy Lewis interviewed Limbaugh live this morning, and Burrous and a cameraman from "Good Day Sacramento" were there to try to get a word with the Big Guy.

No such luck, but a testy Burrous got a stand-up out of the debacle. He even pulled a Mike Wallace-like, in-your-face accusatory interview with Jeff Holden, GM of Sacramento's Clear Channel stations. He asked Holden whether KFBK only tells one side of the story. Holden looked either amused or bemused - hard to tell which.

Anyway, everyone wins in this manufactured media circus. Channel 13 gets a little attention, locally and nationally. KFBK probably gets a few more listeners, too. And Rush gets to play the "victim" role he does so well and accuse "the liberals" of "hand-wringing."

The only loser: Me, for spending time watching and writing about this.

May 7, 2007
A thrilling move

I'm thrilled to announce that Cheap Thrills has a new home.

I panicked the other day while driving down 21st street and seeing a "For Lease" sign in front of the store's former two-story digs (between Capitol Avenue and L Street).

I went around the block, came back and parked to check it out. There was a sign that said the funky/fun used clothing store and costume rental haunt had moved, to 1209 21st St.

I just spoke with Mike Farrell of Cheap Thrills, and he told me they had been in the process of moving the last three weeks. "Surpringly, it has worked out well," Mike says. That, after I asked him how in the world the staff got the volume of merchandise from the old location into the new space, which also houses Zoots.

As for what will become of the former digs, there's an application on the window for a license to sell alcoholic beverages. The name of the business is G Street Pub Inc., which also has a location in Davis on, of course, G Street. Guess that'll make it "G" on "21st" in Sactown.

May 7, 2007
Sac Speakers Series lands the Coz

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Here's a riddle to try to wrap your mind around on a Monday morning:

What do comedian Bill Cosby, bioethics expert Paul Root Wolpe, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, actor Richard Dreyfuss and astronaut Sally Ride have in common?

No, it's not a "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" exercise.

These notables are some of the headliners in the 2007-08 Sacramento Speakers Series. Tickets go on sale May 14 (that's next Monday) and it'll cost you betwen $190-$400. For more info, call 1-866-733-2535 or click here.

May 4, 2007
'Daily Show' or local TV news: Part 8

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Nobody emotes on the air like Tony Lopez. The man has just got a certain flair. Even when he's attacking the camera. Our favorite part of this Channel 13 report about a blind man who fended off an attack was not Lopez simulating a fist fight, but when the camera went dark when Tony told us the victim was ... blind!

I smell an Emmy - or something.

Anyway, it was tough to choose between Tony's report and Mike Dello Stritto's hard-hitting story on a "crazy cat lady." Check out both reports here. (The cat lady is on page 1; Lopez's story on page 3.)

May 4, 2007
Weekend shopping plans?

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There are several fashionable happenings around town this weekend, including one that has a distinctly Cinco de Mayo flavor to it:

* Serendipity Boutique, 5362 H St., will be serving up margaritas - and cute clothes (natch) - from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Check out the store's abundant supply of fun dresses and (one of my favorites) their Jake's cotton tees.

* Dara Denim wants to say "Thanks!" to all its loyal midtown customers as well as its new clientele out at the Granite Bay boutique. So on Saturday - at both stores - there will be refreshments and, most importantly, merchandise discounts. Dara Denim recently added three denim lines: William Rast, David Kahn and Union. And, if you stop by the stores, there are discount cards to save on both jeans and spring merchandise. The stores are at 2404 K St. in midtown and (shown above) 5530 Douglas Blvd., Suite 120, in the Quarry Pond shopping center in Granite Bay.

* Jeannie's Jewelry is hosting a fundraiser from 5 to 8 tonight. There will be a jewelry trunk show, plus reps from Trish McEvoy cosmetics, La Mer skin care and the fragrance folks and personal shopper experts from Nordstrom. But what would a trunk show be without a wine tasting while you shop? The good cause is the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Man, Woman and Teen of the Year event, which will receive 10 percent of the proceeds. For more info: (916) 481-4939. Jeannie's Jewelry is at 2600 Fair Oaks Blvd.

May 4, 2007
Access Sac now streaming

We could've begun this posting with a really lame "Wayne's World" reference, but instead, we'll just tell you that our local community-access TV station, Access Sacramento, has started streaming its programming online.

Check out the programming on Channel 17 here. On the site, you can also get the times for some of Channel 17's most popular shows -"Live Wire," "Hometown TV," "High School and College Game of the Week" and, of course, "Media Edge."


May 3, 2007
Wanted: Radio DJs

At a time when locally employed radio DJs are becoming disposable - see our Media Savvy story - one station in Sacramento is going on the air asking for people to apply to become an on-air personality.

It's KXPR (88.9 FM), the Capital Public Radio station devoted to classical music. Announcers on both KXPR and sister station KXJZ have been advertising for the position, telling listeners that if they have a vast knowledge of classical music and can pronounce foreign words correctly, they have a shot at the job.

I guess that eliminates Don Imus.

Anyway, it certainly is unusual that a radio station would put the help-wanted sign out over the airwaves. Usually these things are done off the air. But after classical host Gary Chew retired in January, the CPR folks decided to cast a broad net.

Station honcho Carl Watanabe tells us in an e-mail: "Good classical hosts are very hard to find. It's not easy finding people with a real love and knowledge of the music, foreign language skills, and who are comfortable with broadcast equipment."

There's still time to apply.

May 2, 2007
Dos for Cinco de Mayo

If you don't have any Cinco de Mayo plans yet for the weekend, here are two shows that might add a little spice to your life.

Both are at the Hard Rock Cafe (545 Downtown Plaza), and the first should be a real treat for local, uh, hard rock fans: Tesla's Frank Hannon, Dave Rude and Jeff Wheat on Friday, May 4. They'll each be promoting their own solo work and then, after the show, will stick around to sign guitars for a special benefit auction. The free, all-ages show starts at 9:30 p.m.

Then, on Cinco de Mayo proper (that's er, Saturday, May 5), it's "Mas Tequila" night with Dallas singer-songwriter Manny Trevin, plus plenty of festive cocktails. Proceeds from the night will benefit Fundacion Pies Descalzos, an organization dedicated to building and improving schools in Columbia as well as helping children there who are the victims of violence. The 21-and-over show also starts at 9:30 p.m and costs $6 at the door.

For more info: www.hardrock.com.

May 2, 2007
'Idol' ticket takers

What's the good word? Tickets.

On sale. Soon.

Because even though we don't have a local rep among "American Idol's" Top 10 (Mandisa was our gal last year), their summer tour will indeed be stopping in Sactown on Wednesday, July 25, at Arco Arena.

That means area fans can get up close and personal, well, relatively, with (in no particular order): Chris Sligh, Gina Glocksen, Haley Scarnato, Sanjaya Malakar, Chris Richardson, Lakisha Jones, Phil Stacey, Jordin Sparks, Melinda Doolittle and Blake Lewis.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. May 19; they'll set you back $39.50, $52.50 and $72.50, and be sold at the arena box office and via Ticketmaster. You can also charge by phone at (916) 649-8497.

I attended the sold-out Season 5 event. I got a dorky button, an expensive hot dog and an up-close and personal look at Ace Young. I even had a picture taken with last year's winner, Taylor Hicks.

Priceless.

NOTE TO YOU: For more on "American Idol," check out my other favorite blog, Idol Chatter.

May 2, 2007
Channel 13 tries to get noticed in the a.m.

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Philosophical question: If Channel 13 makes a major overhaul in its morning news show, and nobody is around to watch it, did it really happen?

Answer: Yes.

Late last week, Channel 13 broke up the anchor team of Michele Kane and Lisa Gonzales and replaced them with the team of Chris Burrous (pictured) - and a computer.

Let me explain. Burrous is one of the hosts of sister station Channel 31's "Good Day Sacramento" weekend show, where he has parlayed viewer interactivity via the Web - and maybe even some smoke signals to garner good ratings.

Anyway, now Burrous is clicking like mad on his mouse between 5 and 7 a.m. weekdays on the new morning show - but without the requisite "GDS" goofiness. He has conversations with viewers via broadband, muses about the top stories most downloaded stories of the day - be it the war in Iraq or the crazy video of deer busting through a nursing home. He'll click on Web sites, such as the one that tells you if flights out of Sacramento International Airport are on time.

They've even changed the name of the show. They call it "CBS13.com."

The show's only nod to conformity is that the personable Gonzales is around to do traditional news updates. Oh yeah, and Jeff James does the weather. (Kane, by the way, has moved over to the weekday edition of "GDS.")

Steve Charlier, vice president of news for channels 13 and 31, is so serious about making a ratings dent that he's also transferred Brandon Mercer, the successful executive producer of "GDS's" weekday edition, putting him in charge of "CBS13.com."

"There are five morning shows in the market now," Charlier says, "and what we don't want to do is produce (another) traditional morning show.

"So we decided to focus it on the Web and on business, and try to appeal to morning viewers who are into that. We will have some citizen journalism - people sending in home video. We'll still cover the news, but we'll integrate it with Yahoo and Google (news and searches). Obviously, it's experimental. We'll see how it goes."

Burrous, meanwhile, is still partially hosting "GDS's" weekend show with the curly-maned Taryn Winter Brill. But at the end of May sweeps, he'll be replaced by weatherman-turned-anchor Cody Stark.

May 2, 2007
New boss, talent at The Zone

The Zone (KZZO, 100.5 FM), which has had unspectacular ratings in recent years, has hired a new program director from New York City and shuffled its on-air lineup.

Jeff Zuchowski, formerly the PD at WKTU (featuring "movin'" adult rhythmic music) begins May 15.

Meanwhile, the morning team of Keith & Monica are history. Keith Brooks has been moved to the evening shift, and Monica Lowe is going it alone in the mornings - at least for the time being.

"We just felt the morning show wasn't working," says Steve Cottingim, general manager of Sacramento's CBS Radio group. "It was the chemistry. Both of them are great talents, but it didn't work (together)."

The Zone will not change formats, Cottingim says. ("No way that's happening.") But he says that Zuchowski will continue to evaluate the station's DJs and the morning show in the coming weeks.

May 2, 2007
It's a wrap

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Fox

Juliet Huddy swears she used to never, ever wear dresses. I mean it. Juliet, co-anchor of "The Morning Show With Mike and Juliet" (weekdays at 11 a.m. on Channel 3), used to be such a newshound kind of gal. You know the type. She wore skirts and jackets - that's it.

"The more staid personna," Juliet recalls over the phone while walking in New York. "But then I decided to get funky and cutesy. First it was a Burberry skirt. Then the show's wardrobe woman got me a Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress (shown above), and I loved it!"

(And, this season, dresses are HOT. Check out my story in today's Scene.)

Juliet, whose TV career has taken her from Missouri to California (Ventura) to Florida and now to New York, says, initially, her wardrobe was basically "brown and black."

"With this show (which debuted Jan. 22), America didn't know who I was," she says. "The executives (read: TV powers-that-be) didn't want me coming off as a single girl on the prowl, so it was tough figuring out my style. At home, I'm just a flip-flops and jeans girl."

But, once spring sprung in the Big Apple, Juliet says she started thinking about wearing colors she hadn't worn before. Pink, orange, green.

"Bright colors look great on TV, and I'm actually enjoying it," she says. "Now, wrap dresses are my savior. I get a lot of compliments from the audience, especially with all the patterns and prints.

"I've definitely funked up my wardrobe a little bit."

May 1, 2007
Brauner officially gone from 'Good Day'

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It’s official. The ties have been severed between Doug Brauner and Channel 31’s “Good Day Sacramento,” where Brauner worked as a reporter for nearly 12 years.

Brauner, who also hosted "Good Day's" popular "Car Czar" segment, has been on personal leave since late January, when he was arrested for domestic violence against his former girlfriend. The Sacramento County District Attorney's office declined to prosecute Brauner due to lack of evidence.

In a phone interview today, Brauner says he decided to leave “Good Day” to devote more time to his role as a correspondent for the weekly ESPN program “Autotrader.com’s Drive,” a show about cars. Brauner has appeared on that show for the past four years.

It also will give him a chance to focus on his family - he and his current partner, Ashley, are expecting a child in September - as well as on his core business of operating auto repair shops, he says.

“I’m really excited about this opportunity,” Brauner says. “It’s a less intensive job than ‘Good Day.’ I don’t have to get up at 3 a.m."

On his arrest, Brauner says: “I think the DA and the sheriff did a great job in looking into something that really was nothing.” Now, he adds, he just wants to “put the incident behind” him.

Steve Charlier, vice president for news at channels 13 and 31, characterizes Brauner’s departure as a mutual agreement.

“We’ve met several times since he’s been on leave, and he decided this is the best move for him,” Charlier says. “We still have a good relationship with him. In fact, he’s been in the newsroom several times.”

The fate of Brauner’s weekend “Car Czar” radio show - which has been “on hiatus” since late January - is less clear. Brauner says he is meeting with officials from KHTK (1140 AM) to “relaunch” the show, but no date has been set. Steve Cottingim, general manager of Sacramento’s CBS Radio stations, said there are no plans to bring back the show.

Brauner’s “Car Czar” newspaper column, which had run in The Bee in the Friday “Wheels” section, was discontinued earlier this year.

May 1, 2007
New Fish in the radio tank

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The Mark Standriff era at KKFS (The Fish, 103.9 FM) is officially over. The long-time morning DJ at the Christian music station left the air Friday to become the managing director of the Sacramento Theatre Company.

Max Miller, former program director at the ratings-static The Zone (KZZO 100.5 FM), takes over as program director. The new morning host is Gina Miles (pictured), a veteran DJ and self-described "joyologist."

More on the new regime.

May 1, 2007
Dance! Dance! Revolution!

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Can I just say that, sometimes, a girl just needs to dance?

So thanks to !!! for giving me the perfect reason to shake it. Monday night's homecoming show for the Sacto expats was, once the band finally hit the stage, total funky fresh fun.

(Read my interview with !!! guitarist Mario Andreoni that ran in Sunday's Ticket+.)

Which is not to say that I didn't have my reservations going into the night - mostly because the show was at the Library, a venue not necessarily known for its superior acoustics.

(The club's somewhat grimy atmosphere is fine by me - in fact, I kind of miss the extra layers of dirt and graffiti that used to coat the place in its Cattle Club days. But, then again, clean bathrooms are always a plus. I guess it all balances out in the end.)

Also, there were two opening bands, which is usually fine and all - but seriously, how long did it take the second band to set up? Forever, that's how long, and then it took !!! another forever to set up before its headlining performance.

Those quibbles aside, once !!! started, it was nothing but Dance Party U.S.A.

As the band herked and jerked and sweated its way through songs such as "Pardon My Freedom," "Must Be the Moon" and "Heart of Hearts," much of the crowd danced along. My friends and I danced the entire 45 minute-plus set and I've now decided that my new workout is going to be an hourlong iPod dance-a-thon. I'm working on the playlist now and you can bet your sweet bottom dollar that it's going to be chockfull of !!!

It's good to see people not afraid to move at a rock show - I know I'm too often guilty of the stone-faced, arms-crossed stance and it felt good to shake that off.

Oh, and for the record, the Library's sound? Totally muddy. But !!! managed to break its way through the sonic goo with a healthy, kinetic dose of attitude and spastic energy.

May 1, 2007
TV ratings surprise

In case you haven't noticed, the TV "sweeps" period for May has begun. And our four local TV news stations are ramping up their "special reports" (more on that in a future Media Savvy column).

Anyway, a breaking story is like gold to a TV news operation during sweeps, so it's interesting to chart how things went on Sunday morning when the tanker truck exploded near the Bay Bridge.

Now, anyone familiar with TV news in Sac knows that Channel 3 typically rules all breaking-news stories. In fact, there's an old story that TV reporters around here love to tell: If a plane crashed right next to News10's studio, thousands of Sacramentans would tune into Channel 3 to see what happened.

But, a funny thing happened Sunday: According to the overnight Nielsen ratings, "Good Day Sacramento" beat Channel 3 for three hours (7 to 10 a.m.). Channel 3 had a 2.9 rating during that stretch, while "GDS's" lowest rating was a 3.4 (7 a.m.), and it swelled to a 5.2 at 9 a.m.

"GDS's" weekend crew used its interactivity with viewers to its advantage. It received hundreds of e-mails from viewers concerning alternate routes, sharing viewer "stories," etc. It also did the traditional reporting, sending a live crew to the scene.

Once again, the weekend edition of "GDS" seems more relevant than the unfocused, too-cute weekday edition of the show in which "cutting edge" is having some clownish host dress in a chicken suit.



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