Things to do in Sacramento and Beyond

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

June 29, 2007
'Love' is alive

Sacramento Bee file, 2005/Owen Brewer

Locally based playwright and composer Gregg Coffin reports that his musical comedy “Five Course Love” is alive and doing quite well - this time in Long Beach, with very strong reviews from the show’s opening last week.

The show was a hit here for the Sacramento Theatre Company in May of 2005.

“FCL” has now had nine productions, including stops in Rochester and Albany, N.Y.; Coral Gables and Key West, Fla.; Houston, Texas, and off-Broadway at the Minetta Lane Theatre. Coffin says there will soon be a cast album, as well.

Coffin also wrote “Convenience,” which played at STC in 2004 and has had four other regional productions, including one he directed last year at the New Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco.

Though Gregg travels constantly, he says he’s happy at home here in Sacramento, working on his newest project, which he says centers around an Army wife and her husband, currently on tour in Iraq.

It’s called “rightnexttome” and workshops will take place in Kansas City, Mo., and Rochester, N.Y., in mid-September and mid-October leading up to a first production in Kansas City in late November.

Of that show, Gregg e-mails: “It’s usual m.o. Two actors, playing six characters. All about disconnection and crisis of one kind or another. Love and loss and the ghosts of things gone by, about what we will believe without any proof, and the longevity of some things and the brevity of others....”

June 29, 2007
He's dancing home!

06-sandoval.jpgDominic Sandoval is dancing up a storm on Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance," where he's made it to the Top 14.

Now, guess what? He gets a break from break dancing and, surprise...!

Our Roseville hoofer is headed home this weekend.

I spoke with Lucy McLemore who, with her husband, Doug, owns Dance Gallery 2, where Dominic, 21, has honed his skills the past four years.
She and "Dom," as she calls him, have been e-mailing since he's been in L.A. for the show, and he told her he would be flying back north today to "surprise" his fellow students, who are rehearsing like crazy for the school's big dance program tonight and Saturday at Mesa Verde High School.

"He asked me, 'Can I be in the show?' Of course, he's already (part of) the program because he's one of our teachers and choreographers," Lucy says.

"We've been rehearsing and preparing for the shows so much that we've had to TiVo Dom, but we're so proud of him. (His success) doesn't surprise me."

The Dance Gallery shows are at 5:30 and 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday at the Mesa Verde Performing Arts Center, 7501 Carriage Drive in Citrus Heights. Tickets are $13, with proceeds to benefit the Sutter Memorial Hospital Child Life Program.

If you go, prepare to be treated to great dancing, but also a special-effects extravaganza. The show has music, robotic lighting and 720 costumes from New York.

And it will have Dom.

"We're so excited to have him come home," Lucy says. "Our dance studio has such a community-unity feeling to it, and that's why Dom fits with us so well."

If you can make it, let me know what you thought of the show by e-mailing me. Or, maybe I'll see you there!

June 29, 2007
'Ask a Muslim' comes to KSAC


That irrepressible leftie radio host Christine Craft (right) on KSAC (1240 AM) has introduced a new weekly feature that, at first blush, sounds racist but actually is meant to foster ethnic and religious understanding.

It's called "Ask a Muslim," and it features Craft and Basim Elkarra (left), the executive director of CAIR's (Council on American-Islamic Relations) Sacramento office, who will field listener questions during the 5 o'clock hour of Craft's show each Wednesday.

"Basim is articulate and very funny, and that's one of the reasons he's so effective a communicator," Craft says. "He's well versed on the intricacies of Islam but can make it come across clearly and with humor."

Craft says she is not ripping off the idea from the OC Weekly's Gustavo Arellano, whose snarky Q-and-A, "Ask a Mexican," has become so popular he's recently published a book of the same name. (Aside to Matt Coker, new editor of the Sac News & Review and Arellano's former editor at OC Weekly: When are we going to get "Ask a Mexican" syndicated here? It'd be hugely popular.)

"I used to have someone come on the air who was Iranian to answer questions, but it wasn't anything formal," Craft says. "I've talked to Basim before on issues and just thought he'd be perfect for something like this."

* In other KSAC news, the station has recently brought
Randi Rhodes'
Air America show back. It airs from noon-3 p.m. weekdays.

June 29, 2007
Alert: Stolen band gear

OK, so I imagine this is not what we Sacramentans want to be remembered for. But on June 21, Oklahoma band Aranda played Old Ironsides to a small crowd, made $50 and, happy with even that amount, called it a night.

Then, the next morning, they realized all their gear had been stolen - a discovery that quickly put an end to their tour.

Among the missing items: a Yamaha p150 keyboard, various drums, including a Jeff Ocheltree Phantom Snare (14', black), and several Sennheiser microphones.

The complete list is too extensive to list here, but if you have any inkling of what may have happened or have further questions, contact the band, which is back home in Oklahoma City, via its MySpace page.

June 28, 2007
A fashionable Fourth


Did you know that almost 87 million Americans own a least one piece of patriotic apparel, be it a hat or a T-shirt? If you're not one of them, I found a great Web site. It's CafePress - click here to check it out. You can pick your design and your shirt (i.e., a white T-shirt, golf shirt, baseball jersey). Most completed shirts are in the $16 range.

One of my favorites? The tee with a black Lab and flag (pictured).

Other ways to enjoy a fashionable Fourth?

While shading your face (because we know the sun will be out in full force), tie a red-white-and-blue bandana around your favorite cowboy or wide-brimmed hat.

You can even whip something up at home. Grab a couple of plain white T-shirts and get craftsy with markers, sequins - whatever brings out your inner patriotic artist.

Because, really, there's no excuse not to be a dapper Yankee Doodle Dandy!

June 28, 2007
Serenading Sactown

Well, it only took several years for me to discover this clip - but then again, in my defense, I'm not much of a fan of wrestlers-turned-action heroes. Anyway, Sacto blogger Code Monkey just posted this clip of The Rock singing a song about Sacramento during a 2003 stop at Arco Arena.

Take a gander and, what the heck?, laugh along as he disses (in slightly blue language) the Sacramento Kings and just about everything else River City-related. Because if you can't take a joke ....

June 28, 2007
Our pageant poll


OK, you don't want to be the only one who didn't have a say in our pageant contestant's gown, right?

Close to 300 votes have already been cast online for the four gowns Sacramento's Tracie Stafford (the reigning Mrs. California, pictured) is considering for the all-important evening gown portion of the upcoming Mrs. United States pageant. She heads to Las Vegas on July 8.

Tracie herself has been receiving e-mails with your thoughts, so I know she's taking this "special election" very seriously!

"I love that so many readers are eager to help me with this important decision," she says.

Next Wednesday, on Page 3 of Scene, I'll deliver the results of the poll. The gown with the most votes will be pictured.

That said, there's still time to vote by clicking here.

June 28, 2007
New Spanish-language TV in town


Local viewers of Spanish-language television will soon have another choice.

Media mogul Amador Bustos (pictured), whose 35-station radio empire includes four stations in his hometown of Sacramento, will be launching a new Spanish-language television channel in Sacramento on Sunday.

The channel, an affiliate of the Azteca America network in Mexico, will be called KSTV and will air on Channel 32 (for analog TV viewers) and on Channels 196 and 620 for Comcast digital cable viewers.

(SureWest cable subscribers will not receive the channel, but an Azteca America spokesman says the network is negotiating with “several cable operators.”)

At the start, most of the programming on the new channel will be from Azteca America, including soccer games, telenovelas and prime-time entertainment, such as comedies and dramas. There is also a national evening news show from Los Angeles.

Bustos says, however, that KSTV's goal – “hopefully within 12 months” – is to create a stable of local programming, including newscasts specifically designed for Sacramento and Central Valley viewers.


Currently, the only Spanish-language news is provided by KUVS (Channel 19), a Univision affiliate.

“Univision has done an outstanding job, trailblazing in this (Sacramento) market,” Bustos says. “Sacramento is a mature TV market and I think it can support another station.

"We’ll be very competitive with them, just like Azteca America is competitive with (Univision) in Mexico. We have many resources that can help us.”

Certainly, Sacramento has proven to be a hungry market for local TV news. Channel 19’s 6 p.m. weekday newscasts have finished first in the market (English- and Spanish-speaking) for the 18-to-34-year-old demographic for eight consecutive ratings periods, according to Nielsen Media Research. In May, the latest ratings period, Channel 19 finished second behind only Channel 3 (KCRA) in the 25-to-54 demographic.

Bustos says that, starting next month, KSTV will share studio space with his Sacramento radio stations - in the former headquarters of Channel 31, which last year moved to sister station Channel 13’s West Sacramento facilities.

“We’ll also share (programming) between radio and TV,” Bustos says. “We’ll have recording artists coming in to talk to our radio (hosts) and, while they’re there, we’ll tape them to TV, too.

“That is relatively inexpensive, and we’ll do public affairs programs, too. Doing local (TV) news is much more complicated and more of a capital outlay. We need to generate revenue in the first 12 months to support starting local news.”

KSTV is the third television station that Bustos Media has acquired in the past year and a half. The company also owns TV stations in Salt Lake City and Milwaukee. The Milwaukee station, WBWT, is an Azteca America affiliate.

Azteca America has broadcast rights to Mexican Soccer League games. In late May, the MSL championship game on Azteca America boasted higher ratings than the NBA conference finals, the Indy 500 and a NASCAR race.

June 27, 2007
Angora fire: ratings boost for KCRA

Local TV news saw a significant bump in viewership Monday during coverage of the Angora fire in South Lake Tahoe. But, as almost always in breaking-news situations, Channel 3 (KCRA) dominated.

According to numbers compiled by Nielsen Media Research, KCRA was especially strong at 6 p.m., when its share (see below) nearly tripled that of the next-highest station, Channel 13 (KOVR).

Note: Ratings chart the percentage of all homes with TVs; shares measure the number of TV sets turned on at a particular time.

6 a.m.

Channel 3 5.1 rating/25 share
News10 1.4/6.8
Channel 31 1.3/6.3
Channel 13 1.1/5.3
Channel 19 0.9

5 p.m.

Channel 3 12.2 rating/24.7 share
Channel 13 3.3/6.6
News10 2.6/5.3

6 p.m.

Channel 3 9.5 rating/19.5 share
Channel 13 3.4/6.9
News10 3.0/6.1
Channel 19 1.7

June 27, 2007
Inspiring new e-magazine


Feeling uninspired? Kinda blah? C'mon. Admit it. You're kind of bummed. We can see it in your slouch.

Well, a Gold River entrepreneur is here to help.

Dana Hall (pictured) launched a new e-magazine, Passionate for Life, last week that is chock-full o' advice and, well, inspiration from a gaggle of life coaches.

One contributor is author Lisa Steadman, who recently appeared on NBC's "Today" show to plug her new self-help book, "It’s a Breakup, Not a Breakdown."

The site is divided into categories: career, spirit, single life, marriage, family, travel, health, women’s interest, helping others, and baby boomers.

June 27, 2007
Ultimate fusion: Larry Carlton and Robben Ford

ford.jpg Here's a show that managed to slip past this week's deadline for "Coming Distractions":
Larry Carlton and Robben Ford Aug. 2 at the Crest Theatre (1013 K St.).

Carlton is a jazz-blues-fusion guitarist - he's played guitar with everyone from Joni Mitchell to Quincy Jones and Dolly Parton - who's made a name for himself with his eclectic solo work.

Ford is a renowned jazz-blues-fusion guitarist (catch the theme here?) who's played with the likes of George Harrison, Jimmy Witherspoon and Joni Mitchell. Oh, and yeah, he's also made quite the mark with his work.

To catch them together, make sure you're up by 10 a.m. Friday - that's when tickets ($39.50 and $69.50) go on sale through the Crest box office. Get them by calling (916) 442-7378, or checking out the Crest's Web site or

June 27, 2007
Remembering Liz Claiborne

Associated Press file

Sad news hit the fashion world today with the announcement that legendary fashion designer Liz Claiborne died Tuesday at age 78. According to the Associated Press, she passed away at New York Presbyterian Hospital after suffering from cancer for a number of years.

She launched her company in 1976 - the same year I graduated from high school and, even though her looks weren't necessary for my days as a journalism major at the University of South Carolina, I appreciated her sense of color and style.

It was when I got my first job that I discovered her label had quickly become a staple for women entering the workplace, which is where she had the greatest influence. Her clothing made it easy for women of all ages to head out the door every morning. She had them wearing not only skirts and dresses, but pants, as well.

The Claiborne label appeared on all sizes, from petites to plus sizes, and she had the good business sense to add a casual collection - including golf attire - to women's wardrobes. She dressed men and children, too. And she completed outfits with accessories, including jewelry, shoes, handbags, even fragrance.

Her collections continue to be a fashion cornerstone in national department stores and online.

According to the AP, Claiborne retired from her day-to-day responsibilities in 1989. Earlier this year, the company was lucky enough to snag Tim Gunn, then a chair at Parsons The New School for Design in New York (and mentor on the hit show "Project Runway"), to become the chief creative officer at Liz Claiborne Inc.

Back in April, I spoke with Gunn about this, and he told me he was delighted to join the Claiborne company, where he's overseeing more than 46 brands, including Ellen Tracy, Dana Buchman and Juicy Couture. "It's absolutely thrilling to be working with such incredible designers," he said.

I caught up with local designer Richard Hallmarq today, who was saddened by Claiborne's death. Although Hallmarq's own designs are more couture than career, he said Claiborne's legacy is impressive.

"It's always sad to hear when someone who was such a big influence and a starter in the fashion business dies," he said. "Hers wasn't a couture thing like Gianni Versace, but there's probably not a businesswoman, a mother, a teacher or an aunt who didn't have something of hers in their closet, whether it was a pair of sunglasses or a dress. She was a pioneer of ready to wear."

Long before she founded her own company, Claiborne was totally immersed in the fashion world, as evidenced by the picture above. It was taken in August 1949, as Claiborne, who hailed from Covington, La., arrived all smiles at Penn Station in New York. At the time, she was headed to Paris for a 10-day trip after winning a Harper's Bazaar design contest.

Little did she know what an impact she would have on what women would be wearing more than 50 years later.

June 26, 2007
Checking out the TV competition


Your humble servants here at 21Q blog every day - multiple times, even. We see it as a good habit, like brushing our teeth.

It's just something we must do. Our editor says so.

Other local media bloggers, alas, aren’t so profilic. (If this is considered throwing down the blogging gauntlet, then so be it.) But, those bloggers do weigh in every few days or weeks, imparting their deepest thoughts to their fans.

What say we give you a rundown of what they’ve been posting?

Over at News10, news director Stacy Owen tries to placate irked McClatchy High School students, who think their school is being unfairly targeted by the media when outlets reported on a student bringing a gun to school recently.

Meanwhile, reporter Dan Adams laments the decline of newspapers. Hey, reports of our demise are greatly exaggerated, pal.

And sports reporter Ryan Yamamoto tells us what he’s had to eat at the end of every blog posting. (Dude, mix in a salad occasionally.)

At Channel 13, anchor Pallus Hupe opines on the starving and abused special-needs children discovered in Iraq. But, to lighten the mood, in an earlier blog posting, she gives readers her polysyllabic "Word of the Week” – vernacular.

Stefanie Cruz of Channel 31's “Good Day Sacramento” tells us about a run-in she had with a rude woman at the Railroad Museum.

And then, there's this from My58TV’s “hosts” Travis and Kelly:

Travis provides an insightful review of that cinematic treasure, “Knocked Up”: “Most of the humor is from the characters bagging on each other, which I think is pretty funny.”

And Kelly writes about the unbearable cuteness of her niece, McKenna.

Now, a question: What’s up with Channel 3? No blogs whatsoever. KCRA purports to be so hot on the Web, posting videos and online polls on its site and throwing stuff on a YouTube subscriber page. Well, why not blog?

Really, we can’t live without finding out what Dave and Lois think of Paris Hilton, how news director Anzio Williams justifies story placement, or whether Del Rodgers eats at Del Taco.

June 26, 2007
Put me on your Sacramento calendar

Think you have an eye for the ultimate pin-up shot? No, we're not talking cheesecake, but lovely postcard-worthy images of your favorite city, Sacramento.

The Downtown Sacramento Partnership has just announced an open call to photographers for the 2008 Downtown Sacramento Calendar.

What you need to know:

* All entries are due by Sept. 7, 2007.

* All photos must be submitted via e-mail in digital format.

* Snail mail entries will NOT be accepted.

For more info, call (916) 442-8575 or e-mail Or check out the Web site.

June 26, 2007
Mark Williams: nose for news, er, controversy


Former KFBK conservative talk show gabber Mark Williams, now doing fill-in hosting on San Francisco's KSFO (560 AM), staged an on-air "Support Our Troops" rally in Santa Rosa on Sunday.

And, in typical combative Williams fashion, he got into a heated exchange with an anti-war protester, going nose-to-nose at one point. Williams (at right, in sunglgasses) and the protester jawed for a couple of minutes, then a little shoving ensued.

The brouhaha all began when Williams asked the unnamed man why there were only seven anti-war protesters at the event. The man called Williams a "Nazi" - not the first time he's heard that, by the way. And just as the two looked as if they were going to come to blows, Williams says he deftly extricated himself by "by planting a big kiss on the guy's cheek and walking away."

Listen to the heated exchange here.

(Williams is about to launch a subscription-based podcast of his commentaries. Details here.)

June 26, 2007
In memorium: Thom Bach

The highly regarded, longtime area actor and director Thom Bach passed away from cancer last Thursday, June 21. A celebration of his Life will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, July 9, at the Art Court Theatre at Sacramento City College.

Bach worked at most of the theaters in the area, including the Geary, Woodland Opera House, Chautauqua Playhouse and Lambda Players.

The 43-year-old started working in Sacramento community theater just out of high school. One of his first productions was “Juno and Paycock” at City College in 1983. There he met and developed a lifelong friendship with Kim McCann. McCann said Bach had made peace with his illness: “He really faced it with grace and humor.”

She said Bach expressed only one disappointment.

“He said, ‘I’m really only mad about I’m not going to know how “Harry Potter” turns out.’ ”

Bach scripted the celebration of life, considering it his last production.

June 25, 2007
Slate mag launches video site

Slate, the online magazine, has ventured into the video world.

And one of the quirky stories it's posted has a (tenuous) Sacramento connection. It's about the assassination attempts on former President Gerald Ford, giving a shout out to Sacramento and, er, "Squeaky" Fromme before focusing on the poor guy who took a bullet for the former president in San Francisco.

View the video here.

June 25, 2007
On your feet!

Sacramento Bee/Florence Low

Well, what do you think of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's choice of shoes during a recent appearance (pictured above) to discuss his views on health care?

Of course, he's wearing his guv-gray suit, dress shirt, pink tie and multiple rings.

But, I don't know about those shoes. They look to be a cross between oxfords and a pair of Doc Martens. Now, if the governor is willing to put his feet, uh, shoes, on the line publicly, I think I have the responsibility to comment on them. And my opinion is...I don't like them with this suit!

They're not quite dressy enough, especially the light-colored shoelaces and the odd soles.

OK, so maybe I have no soul. Anyway, my Capitol Bureau colleague, Kevin Yamamura, hangs out with Arnold all the time and is hip to the governor's sense of style. And Kevin tells me that the governor's press secretary, who keeps tabs on his shoes and suits, says Arnold has been wearing this style of shoe for a long time (and that he wears dress shoes, rather than boots, more than half the time he's in the office.)

OK. I'll take my mule out of my mouth and say the governor of the great state of California can wear flip flops in the hallowed halls of the Capitol if he so chooses.

Let's just hope he doesn't.

June 25, 2007
Capital Public Radio takes a stand

When listeners click on the “listen live” Web links for Capital Public Radio stations Tuesday, hoping to hear classical music on KXPR (88.9 FM) or news and jazz on KXJZ (90.9 FM), what they will hear instead is a recording that explains how online broadcasting is being threatened.

It's part of a nationwide effort in which many radio stations that stream music will observe a “Day of Silence” to protest stiff increases in music royalties - established by the Copyright Royalty Board in March and scheduled to go into effect on July 15.

Congress is currently debating the Internet Radio Equality Act, which would overturn the royalty board’s ruling.

We first reported on the ruling in April in the Media Savvy column and posted a report about the protest last week.

It is spearheaded by such Web radio heavy hitters as Live365 and Los Angeles public-radio giant KCRW, but it also includes many smaller streaming audio sites.

“If this goes into effect, it’s going to seriously affect our music programming because the royalty rate will be 250 percent what it is now,” says Carl Watanabe, station manager at KXJZ and KXPR.

Roseville's Jeff Scammon, founder of Wild West Radio, also will go silent on Tuesday. Scammon had previously said he would continue broadcasting.

And KVMR (89.5 FM), a Nevada City public radio station, is joining the effort. Sacramento's KQEI (89.3 FM) will keep streaming but will post an on-screen message to users about the royalty debate.

Meanwhile, nearly all local commercial stations plan to keep streaming.

“We don't see the wisdom in penalizing our listeners,” says John Geary, general manager of Sacramento’s Entercom stations, which include 98 Rock (KRXQ, 98.5 FM) and KWOD (106.5 FM).

June 22, 2007
Lean to the right in talk radio


This won't come as a news flash to anyone who's ever turned a radio to the AM band and heard the likes of Rush Limbaugh (pictured), but a new study has the hard numbers confirming that talk radio is dominated by conservative talking heads.

The report from the "progressive think tank" Center for American Progress, released this week, details that 91 percent of the weekday talk-radio programming is devoted to conservative hosts. In the top 10 media markets, it's slighty more balanced - 76 percent conservative.

Here in Sacramento? It's 68 percent conservative.

Just thought you'd want to know.

June 22, 2007
Get made, mafia style ...

... Craft mafia, that is. Or, more specifically, Sacramento Craft Mafia.

Don't worry, no one's gonna get whacked - except maybe a bolt of fabric.

The Sacramento Craft Mafia is a local collective of DIY crafters, artisans and all-around makers-of-cool-things. And, this Sunday, you'll get a chance to benefit from their crafty mischief.

Head on over to Willemina's Restaurant & Bar (1023 Front St., Old Sacramento) from 2-10 p.m. and check out "Get Made" - a "showdown" of hand-crafted goodness featuring jewelry, housewares, clothes and more from Sac's finest indie designers.

There'll be music, too, via the Tip Top Trio.

Bring cash, y'all. Credit cards are the epitome of corporate uncool.

June 22, 2007
Where's Taryn?


Several e-mailers (curiously, all men) have written to ask where Taryn Winter Brill has been the past couple of months.

Brill, a co-host of Channel 31 "Good Day Sacramento's" popular weekend show, has been off the air since May. Well, guys, here's your answer, courtesy of channels 13 and 31 honcho Steve Charlier: "She’s is on medical leave. I hope to have her back by the end of this month."

When Brill returns, she will find that her co-host has changed. Chris Burrous has moved to the "big time" - weekday mornings on Channel 13 - and Cody Stark has taken over weekends. It'll be interesting to see how Brill and Stark mesh.

June 22, 2007
Roof Man vs. Branding Man

Roof Man, of course, is that dude who scales great heights to retrieve foul balls during River Cats games at Raley Field.

Branding Man - sans cape - is KCRA/My58TV morning anchor Chris Riva, who shows in this video that he isn't shy about making shameless plugs for his station.

We love this meeting between the super heroes. Roof Man stays in character nicely, as does Branding Man.

June 22, 2007
A gift for the Fourth

ESTEE_GIFT.jpgCosmetic companies are just about as patriotic as the rest of us. That's why it's not unusual to see Fourth of July promotions as a kick-off to summer.

Estee Lauder's offering is called "America, It's Your Choice." The gift with purchase, which started Wednesday, runs while supplies last at Macy's. Spend $29.50 and here's what you get: Your choice of lipstick shade from four colors, Bronze Goddess soft matte bronzer, a More Than Mascara and eye pencil, DayWear Plus multi-protection cream and a blush brush. Everything comes tucked inside a cute red, white and blue striped tote with a matching red cosmetic bag.

The tote alone is worth a trip to the counter.

Now, the trick is in finding $29.50 worth of fun stuff you can pair with what's in the gift. Actually, I have a couple of recommendations. Since you're getting a good mix of makeup in the gift, why not opt for a great sunscreen and self-tanner or something from Lauder's wonderful Azurée Soleil collection, which was created by designer Tom Ford? The body tint is wonderful and smells heavenly. It's a dollar short of the required amount ($28.50), but you could throw in a lip liner or the Clear Difference Advanced Oil-Control Hydrator if you're someone whose skin tends to get oiler in the summer.

June 21, 2007
The day the music


On Tuesday, many Internet radio stations will observe a "Day of Silence" to protest an increase in music royalties - established by the Copyright Royalty Board in March and scheduled to go into effect on July 15.

The protest is spearheaded by such Web radio heavy hitters as Pandora, Live365 and KCRW, but it also includes many of the "little" streaming audio sites.

One Internet broadcaster who will not be going silent on Tuesday is Wild West Radio. (That's the station's cowboy mascot at right). Founder Jeff Scammon of Roseville says he is going to keep broadcasting, even though he supports the effort.

Scammon says he's holding out hope that the Internet Radio Equality Act making its way through the House and Senate will overturn the royalty board's decision, which would be too costly for small operators like him to stay in business.

"I'm not sure if this stunt (on Tuesday) would really serve any viable purpose," Scammon says.

"I've voluntarily paid my monthly royalties because I felt it was the right thing to do. I can guarantee that I will not pay any retroactive fees, regardless if some entity wants me to or not."

June 21, 2007
Fashion at the car wash

Sacramento Bee/Florence Low

Looking back on how local fashion has evolved from my 21Q point of view (which is a great vantage point!), I'm amazed at the number of shows that have been held this year in various venues, featuring an array of talented - and mostly area - designers.

And, we have great places to shop, especially the ever-expanding local retail scene.

I don't see fashion and beauty letting up as we head into the second half of 2007. In fact, a big fashion show is in the works for August featuring four local designers, including one of my favorites, Casey Sue Douglass (pictured). She's already hard at work lining up sponsors for the event, which will benefit a worthy local cause, WEAVE.

I met with Casey Sue and her show coordinator, Regina Karsh, the other day at Tower Cafe. Everything is running smoothly, they report, but they really want to raise the fashion bar with this show, titled "Mantra: What Do You Live For?". So, the two women, along with the other designers and their models, will be toting buckets of sudsy water and hoses at multiple car washes to raise funds.

"We thought this would be a good way to get the word out early about the show, and to have some fun and raise money at the same time," Casey Sue says.

Here's the car wash schedule, and remember, it's for a good cause. Besides, who better to wash your Toyota than a model?

* Times/days: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Sunday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. next Friday (June 29).

* Place: the Union 76 station at 2200 Fair Oaks Blvd. (at Fair Oaks and Howe Avenue).

Check back here and in The Bee for more information soon about the upcoming fashion show.

June 20, 2007
So he thinks he can dance

06-sandoval.jpgWell, obviously he can because local hoofer Dominic Sandoval (pictured) of the Roseville/Sacramento area is still in the running, er, dancing on Fox's reality competition "So You Think You Can Dance."

Last week, Dominic, 21, survived elimination to make it to the Top 18. He'll take to the dance floor at 8 tonight (Channel 40) for the competition round; Thursday's elimination show (where two more contestants pack it up) is at 9 p.m.

On Fox's Web site, Dominic's bio offers the following tidbits for those of you locals who know him, and those of you who just found out he's on the show:

* His nickname is D-Trix.

* He started b-boying - that's break dancing to you and me - eight years ago, but he plans to hip hop forever.

* His hobbies include bowling, golf, baseball, shooting pool, playing poker and checking MySpace.

* His favorite professional dancer is B-boy Ivan.

* He's performed at both Kings and Monarchs games.

So, if you think you can add one more reality show to your TV mix, check out Dominic's moves tonight!

June 19, 2007
Space aliens in Davis!!!


There's a new children's DVD scheduled for release later this month. It's set in an alien universe. Naturally, it was produced in Davis.

The DVD, "Blitz from Blop," focuses on education but with an entertaining outer-space theme. Its target audience is those ages 3 to 9, but we suspect some parents might enjoy its "Mork and Mindy" homage, as well.

The brainchild behind the venture is Cheri Gyuro Benson, a former Fox40 reporter, who serves as executive producer. Most of the characters and production staff hail from Davis and Sacramento.

On Saturday, June 30, at 4 p.m., Benson will unveil the DVD at an event open to the public. It'll be at the Davis Art Center (1919 F St., Davis.)

If you can't make it there, you can order the DVD by calling (831) 917-1180 or sending an e-mail to

June 19, 2007
Citizen journalism, radio style


Our local public radio station, KXJZ (90.9 FM), received raves last year for its special report, "Dina's Diary," in which it gave a cancer patient a microphone and let her report on her treatment and recovery.

Now, the station is going the citizen journalism route again. It gave Sacramento Ballet dancer Ilana Goldman a mike and recorder to document the troupe's recent trip to China.

Paul Conley, KXJZ's senior producer, winnowed the audio to a nine-minute report that will air Wednesday at 6:40 a.m. and again at 8:40 a.m.

Nine minutes on a single subject? As KXJZ news director Joe Barr put it, "it's another only-on-public-radio stories we love to do."

You also can hear the report on KXJZ's Web site. Goldman and Ballet director Ron Cunningham will discuss the trip Wednesday on "Insight" at 2 p.m.

(By the way, retired Bee photographer Jay Mather, you may recall, produced a photo blog titled China en Pointe for our humble publication last month. That's Jay's shot of Ilana interviewing kids, above. Want to relive Jay's experiences? Go here.)

June 19, 2007
Adrian Tomine hits a national nerve

tomine_newyorker.jpgIn case you've missed seeing the June 11 & 18 New Yorker (its summer fiction double issue) on newsstands, Sacramento expat Adrian Tomine did its charming, slightly melancholy cover (at right).

Tomine, a Rio Americano High School graduate, now lives in Berkeley and has made quite the name for himself via his "Optic Nerve" graphic novel series. This is the 32-year-old's third New Yorker cover.

True confession: When I was in my early 20s, I stumbled across an issue of "Optic Nerve" (I didn't even know Tomine was a Sacramento native at the time) and was so struck by just how darn cute the girl in the cover illustration was - thrift-store dress, cardigan, Mary Janes - that she immediately became something of a style icon for me.

Yes, I took my style cues from a comic book girl - what of it?

Anyway, I had the chance to interview Tomine a few years back for The Bee and found him to be quiet and shy but nonetheless friendly, funny and sweet. Just as I imagined the man behind such drawings would be.

I still love Tomine's work - both the illustrations and the stories. If you haven't read the poignant "Summer Blonde" (Drawn & Quarterly, $16.95, 132 pages), this collection of stories originally published as "Optic Nerve" issues 5-8 is a lovely peek into Tomine's Raymond Chandler-esque literary style.

A new book, "Shortcomings," is due this fall.

June 19, 2007
Ultimate chic

KEMPNER.jpgNan Kempner(pictured), the famous New York socialite and former correspondent for French Vogue, was, in the words of Vanity Fair magazine, "the world's most famous clotheshorse."

Next month will mark the two-year anniversary of her death, at age 74 from emphysema.

As far back as I can remember, Nan consistently graced the pages of fashion magazines, either in feature stories or stories about the fabulous parties she threw or attended. She was front and center at all the couture fashion shows and she was, as columnist Liz Smith wrote, "just a lot of fun."

Like any respectable fashion fiend who admires incredible clothes, I would have given my Guccis to take a gander at her closet(s).

Well, now that's possible - sort of. The de Young Museum in San Francisco is hosting a showcase that includes almost 75 pieces previously owned - and worn - by Nan during her heyday as a Manhattan fashion icon.

What will you see? Valentino gowns, Yves Saint Laurent pantsuits. And couture the likes of which a newspaper person could never, ever afford.

The exhibit runs through Nov. 11, so you've got time. But don't put it off; the S.F. stop is the only one in this country. Afterward, the show heads abroad.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for seniors 65 and over, $6 for youths ages 13-17 and college students with ID, and children 12 and under are free. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, and Fridays until 8:45 p.m.

The de Young is in Golden Gate Park, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive. Check out the Web site for more details, or call (415) 863-3330.

June 18, 2007
Ashland: Change is good

Ashland, Ore. - The traditional Oregon Shakespeare Festival Sunday-morning press conference with the directors was a little giddy. There’s no doubt the transition from outgoing artistic director Libby Appel to the incoming Bill Rauch has put an edge on things. But the overwhelming feelings are renewal and creative rebirth.

Appel’s last day will be Aug. 1, while Rauch is already working full-time at the festival, having recently announced his 2008 season.

Appel and Rauch both had productions open in the Elizabethan Theatre this past weekend. Appel directed an earnest “The Tempest,” while Rauch staged a wild, unpredictable “Romeo and Juliet.” (Full reviews of both plays will run in The Bee on June 25.)

Large organizations so rarely positively and proactively reinvent themselves, so seeing one in the midst of such a conscious change creates a real charge. At one point during the press conference, Appel said, “I believe when the book is written on how to change leadership in a major arts organization, this episode will be a central chapter.”

Appel also told the story of calling Rauch to offer him the job of directing “Romeo and Juliet,” which opened Sunday night, and of his initial hesitation.

Rauch was in the process of applying for Appel’s job and told her he thought he might feel awkward about working there if he didn’t get the artistic director’s position. Appel told him she wasn’t worrying about that - she was asking him to be a part of her final season. Rauch said her response convinced him immediately to accept the “Romeo and Juliet” assignment. Then a couple of months later, he was offered the artistic director position.

June 18, 2007
Want publicity? Here's your guide

Say you're a budding local writer - hey, and who isn't these days? - and you want to get in print. Or, you're an inventor wanting to get the word out on your revolutionary gizmo. Or you're in a rock band seeking pub.

How do you find the right person at the correct media outlet to make your pitch?

One way is to purchase the hot-off-the-presses "2007 Gorman's Northern California Edition Publicity Guide." The subtitle is way too long to note here, but suffice it to say, it's an exceedingly thorough survey of editors and publishers of publications in areas as diverse as Ecology (the Eel River Reporter) to Family (Hum Mums) to General Media (the Dixon Tribune).

OK, so at $59.95, it's a tad pricey. But your humble media correspondent finds the guide indispensible. I mean, where else can you find info on Moonshine Ink from Truckee just four pages away from the New Yorker?

June 18, 2007
Will Sac 'pig' out next?


Well, we can only hope.

We're talking, of course, about adding the KPIG radio format to the airwaves here.

On Monday, Chico radio station KZAP (96.7 FM) changed from its "club" music format to the Americana music favored by KPIG, which started as a quirky Santa Cruz station and has migrated to an online streaming site and a syndicated service.

Sacramento is without an Americana radio station. Also called alt-country, this is the genre that features artists too edgy and folkish for mainstream country stations KNCI (105.1 FM) and The Wolf (KNTY, 101.9 FM).

KPIG has been nominated three times as a "Triple A Station of the Year" by industry publication Radio & Records and was named among the top five "Old School" radio stations in the United States by Entertainment Weekly.

June 17, 2007
Ashland: OSF and August Wilson

Ashland, Ore. - Oregon Shakespeare Festival artistic associate Tim Bond did some of his growing up in Sacramento. Bond’s father, James, was president of CSUS in the '70s, though the former university president now lives in Ashland near his son.

Bond’s production of August Wilson’s “Gem of the Ocean” is a highlight of the current season, and Wilson’s plays have become a Bond speciality.
Bond says he has had many opportunities to speak with the playwright about his work.

“I had the good fortune of having August tell me the story of three or four of his plays while he was writing them. I’d see him and he’d say, ‘Hey Tim, have you got a minute?’

"No matter how busy I was, I’d say 'of course.’ We’d just go sit somewhere and he’d just tell me the story of the play. He was a storyteller, a real griot. The monologues and conversations would just flow out of him, and 45 minutes later, he would have told me the story of the play he was writing or thinking about.

"I’m proud of the productions we did here at the festival because I felt like August was our modern-day Bard and it was appropriate to put him next to Shakepeare.”

However, Bond (and his father) will be relocating soon, as Tim, who has been with OSF for the last 12 seasons, will be moving to a new position, likely on the East Coast; his father will come with him and his family.

Tim Bond’s leaving is part of the administrative changes by incoming artistic director Bill Rauch that has eliminated some positions. Bond now hopes to lead his own mid- to- large-size theater company and hopes to have something definite by the end of the summer.

June 16, 2007
Ashland: Opening weekend

Ashland, Ore. - The Oregon Shakespeare Festival was established in 1935, so a fair amount of history and tradition exist here. The full-scale Elizabethan theater where the outdoor season opens this weekend is the oldest of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.

When the trumpets (recorded) sound, signaling the raising (live) of the flag, it's a nod to the Elizabethan tradition letting the public know a play will be performed. Friday night was the opening of "The Tempest," Shakespeare's last full-length play. (Look for my full reviews of the outdoor season in The Bee's Scene section on Monday, June 25.)

The production is artistic director Libby Appel's last in her tenure leading the festival. Appel steps down after this season, with young Bill Rauch taking over, though she'll be back directing Arthur Miller's "A View From the Bridge" next year.

Like any outdoor arts festival, the first determiner of the overall experience is the weather. Leaving this week's first blasts of 100-degree Sacramento summer for the mid-80s of Ashland was certainly a pleasing development that bodes well for the weekend's two other outdoor shows - "The Taming of the Shrew" Saturday and "Romeo and Juliet" Sunday night.

June 15, 2007
Blush makes the move

blush.bmpHas it been two years since Blush Boutique opened?

The answer is yes! And after two years at 28th and N streets, owner Valerie Werder has moved her store, to 2317 J St. in midtown (where Riki’s clothing store was previously and where Fleet Feet Outdoor for Women is currently).

Valerie's passion for fashion certainly hasn't disappeared with her relocation. Blush has, since its doors opened, carried some of the most influential designers in the business, including Nanette Lepore, Tory Burch and Anna Sui, along with more hard-to-find lines.

“We are excited to be on J Street," Valerie says in an e-mail. "It’s a great location, right in the heart of the midtown excitement. The new location offers easy access to our customers, and it’s a great showplace for the unique designers we carry.”

I couldn't agree more. Let's be honest, with the parking lot construction going on at N and 28th, it's darn near impossible to get around unless you're on foot!

Meanwhile, Valerie was kind enough to offer her own tips for freshening up your wardrobe. They include:

* Add color because­ it will spice up your wardrobe immediately. If you’re not comfortable wearing color, incorporate a vibrant accessory, such as a belt, purse or even shoes.

* Wear a dress anytime ­because it’s versatile and perfect for any occasion, including work, play, a barbeque, picnic or an evening out.

* Everyone should own a tunic (a comfortable, but fitted top) ­because it’s great for all body shapes and sizes.

* Don't be afraid to wear all white.

* Don't shy away from clothing with texture; crocheted and embroidered details, for instance, are very stylish and feminine.

* Don't be wary of geometric patterns, florals or blooms; they can be fashion helpers.

Hours for Blush Boutique are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. For more info: (916) 457-7139.

June 14, 2007
More than a pretty face

OCONNOR_MORE.jpgBefore they're gone, be sure and grab a copy of the June issue of More magazine. That's because it features the publication's seventh annual model search. That would be for accomplished and beautiful women - all over 40!

After receiving more than 16,000 entries, More picked 10 finalists - with some welcome input from Wilhelmina Models.

I've always loved this issue because it really shows how women over a certain age can look totally gorgeous. Of course, great lighting, a great makeup artist, great clothes and great hair all help. But, they also have great life stories to tell.

Interestingly, the issue features full-page spreads of the top three, who were feted earlier this year in New York. The winner is Patricia Neville, 50, a former sales director from Miami. Second runner-up is Steffi Jo Chapin, 42, an optometrist from Terra Ceia, Fla.

And, get this: The first runner-up is Paula O'Connor (pictured), who lives in San Francisco! Paula, 41, is an oncologist who also is a cancer survivor. Her cancer was a rare uterine tumor discoverd in January 2006. She had several surgeries and procedures and was eventually given the good news that the tumor was benign.

"I have a new birthday of sorts," Paula told More. "There are so many things I haven't done because it wasn't the right time. But now, I'm focusing on being the woman I would like to be: fearless and vulnerable!"

Paula is even considering adoption because she's really into the idea of the 6 o'clock family dinner.

Just so you don't miss the issue, look for actress Ellen Barkin on the cover.

And congrats to our fabulous and over-40 model from the Bay Area!

June 14, 2007
Deftones it on up

That Stockton Deftones show I told you about in Tuesday's Coming Distractions column now has a new date.

Scratch that "Deftones! Awesome!" notation off the July 3 space on the calendar and pencil it in on July 1 instead.

All the other info remains the same. Dir En Grey opens the show, which takes place at the Stockton Civic Auditorium. Tickets are $27.50 and available in Sac at Dimple Records and The Beat, and in Stockton at the Music Box and Replay Records. Or, get 'em online through

June 14, 2007
Kelly Clarkson does a 'Walk Away'

Seems like "American Idol" champ Kelly Clarkson's been everywhere lately, talking about everything to anyone who'll listen about that alleged clash with her record label boss Clive Davis (everything's fine, she says, thank you very much), her new record "My December" (Clarkson wrote much of it herself) and her love life (apparently non-existent).

There's one place you won't see or hear Clarkson, however: the concert stage.

Following on the heels of a report that Clarkson has just fired her manager comes the news that the pop queen has shelved her summer concert tour, which included a stop in Sacramento. So, don't go looking for her on July 15 at Arco Arena.

Reason? It's plain and simple, according to the concert's promoter. Ticket sales were flatter than Sanjaya Malakar's voice.

"(T)icket sales have not been what we anticipated and we came to the realization that we had bit off more than we could chew," says LiveNation CEO Michael Rapino in a prepared statement. "In the end, we are in the Kelly Clarkson business and for that reason, we believe that this decision will only benefit her and her fans in the long run.”

Clarkson explains it this way on her Web site:

"I can't tell you how much I've been looking forward to getting out there to perform for y'all. In the craziness of the music business, performing is what I look forward to doing the most, so it really is disappointing for me to have to tell you that I won't be coming out to tour this summer. The fact is that touring is just too much too soon. But I promise you that we're going to get back out there as soon as is humanly possible to give you a show that will be even better. Thanks for all of your love and continued support."

So there you are. Refunds are available at point of purchase.

June 13, 2007
Old/new media disconnect

So Channel 3 (KCRA) should be commended for signing that deal with YouTube to put content on the video-sharing Web site.

But before you think that KCRA has gone all "new media" on us, take a look at the videos they post. Notice that KCRA has decided to "disable" the comment capability.

No, no, no.

KCRA just doesn't get it. YouTube is all about commenting, giving every single viewer the opportunity to weigh in on the news report just seen. Repeat after me, KCRA: "Interactivity."

At least KCRA does allow users to comment on its home page. And this comment, posted by user "Downstryke," says it all: "Your videos would be much more useful and interesting, and encourage community participation and solutions, if you would enable commenting on individual videos. For example, in your feature about abandoned houseboats, community members have numerous ideas how pollution should be prevented and abandoned housing should be reclaimed."

If KCRA doesn't want to have to deal with overtly snarky - or outright profane - comments, too bad. That's part of the "new media" deal, guys. You gotta police the "comments" section.

Meanwhile, we're a little discouraged that more YouTubers aren't flocking to KCRA's content. Its top-viewed video in the past week was "Author Shares BBQ Cookout Recipes," with a piddling 2,301 views. In a YouTube universe, that's almost nil.

June 13, 2007
'Good' news

Update on the Justin Timberlake front: The "SexyBack" singer is making an interesting departure on his latest tour, which arrives at Arco Arena on Sept. 10. Instead of going for the more obvious R&B or dance-pop opening act (i.e. Pink), Timberlake's tapped pop-punkers Good Charlotte to open his shows. (Super-producer Timbaland is also on the bill.)

Then again, maybe it's not that odd of a choice. Good Charlotte's got its own tween-pop fan base - singer Joel Madden used to date the squeaky clean teen pop singer Hilary Duff before moving on to his current squeeze Nicole Richie.

Anyway, mindless celebrity gossip aside, tickets are $56-$152.75 via Ticketmaster.

June 13, 2007
Wearing of the green

GREEN-DAY-T-SHIRT.jpgThe band Green Day appeared in the recently wrapped Season 6 of "American Idol," performing its version of John Lennon's "Working Class Hero."
Now, they've partnered with the Hard Rock Cafe to launch another of the chain's popular International Signature Series T-shirts.

The design of the shirt (pictured) was created by the members of Green Day and features an oversized graphic of rocker Billie Joe Armstrong, lead vocalist and guitarist. The back of the shirt features signatures of each of the band members with the words "Working Class Hero."

Cool, huh?

So, if you're hungry - it's about that time - swing by and eat, and pick up a T-shirt and the charity CD, "Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign To Save Darfur," starting, well, today! The shirts sell for $24 at the restaurants and here; the CD is $21.98.

By the way, Green Day is the 24th group/performer to become part of the Hard Rock's Signature Series program. Other notables include Elton John, Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen and Ozzy Osbourne.

* In other Hard Rock news: Check out the chain's expanded menu of four new "Legendary Burgers." Plus, they've added Maryland Style Crab Cakes and items to its Smokehouse section.

And, this just in: As part of the chain's Founders' Day celebration, which kicks off Thursday, there will be a "Burger Badge Bash," in which community servants (that would be police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians) are invited to the Hard Rock Cafe at the Downtown Plaza to enjoy a Legendary Burger of their choice for just 71 cents.

Why 71 cents? For those of us old enough to remember, the first Hard Rock opened in London on June 14, 1971.

June 13, 2007
Arts HQ

Studios.jpg Dreyfuss & Blackford

Up until now, you may not have heard of the E. Claire Raley Studios for the Performing Arts, but you'll be hearing more about it from this point on.

It’s the building going up at 14th and H streets, which will house the Sacramento Ballet, the Sacramento Opera, California Musical Theatre (Music Circus and Broadway Sacramento), and the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra.

The name and designs by architectural firm Dreyfuss & Blackford were unveiled this morning after Joyce Raley Teel gave a $5 million donation to the project in honor of her late mother E. Clare Raley.

The four organizations will each have their administrative offices in the four-story, 47,000-square-foot structure, along with much-needed rehearsal space, classrooms, and the ballet’s Center for Dance Education.

The project has a budget of $25 million, and the complex is expected to be ready for occupancy in the fall of 2009.

Today's announcement comes on the heels of one earlier this month that the Joyce and Jim Teel Family Foundation would give an additional $5 million, on top of an earlier pledge of $8 million, to help fund a major expansion of the Crocker Art Museum. Local art benefactors Mort and Marcy Friedman also announced at that time that they would donate $5 million to the Crocker, bringing their total contribution to $10 million.

June 12, 2007
Arnold as cover boy, more or less


The new edition of Muscle & Fitness magazine - which always gets a place of honor on our coffee table - has hit newsstands with Arnold Schwarzenegger as the cover boy in celebration of The Guv's 60th birthday.

Actually, it's two Arnolds - young and, well, not-so-young. See, The Guv poses with a cardboard cutout of his earlier, more ripped and toned self.

The mag devotes 28 pages to Arnold, with a "movie narrative" written by senior editor Joe Wuebben. And there are five versions of the cover, with a couple of them featuring more humorous poses - hey, kids, collect them all!

We've taken a close look at all five, and we have got to wonder: Could there have been some Photoshopping going on? To slim down The Guv, just a little? Just askin'.

If not - you go, Guv!

June 12, 2007
Do you still miss Paul and Jen?


There are Channel 13 news viewers out there who have never really accepted Sam and Pallas and still long for the days of Paul and Jen. (We know this because we're still getting e-mails from those viewers, but we're too nice to tell then to move on with their lives.)

Anyway, you can catch a glimpse of deposed anchors Paul Joncich and Jennifer Whitney in a resume tape for weather guy Dave Bender (pictured), posted on the station's Web site.

Channel 13 posted years-old "video resumes" from "talent" ranging from Chris Burrous (so skinny in his younger days), Lisa Gonzales, Courtney Dempsey, Marianne McClary (doesn't even look like the same person in her "Good Morning Las Vegas" tape), Jeff James and Michele Kane.

June 11, 2007
Early bird beauty

FASHION.jpgI wouldn't have thought the women - and a smattering of men - who showed up at 8 a.m. Saturday for Nordstrom Arden Fair's Summer Cosmetics Trend Show would have both eyes open, but everyone was bright-eyed, eager - and hopped up on hot coffee. Good thing, too, because there were hot tips for everything from hair care and makeup to bronzers and self-tanners.

The popular event, which sells out every time it comes to the store, is a beauty bonanza. Hosted by Nordstrom beauty director Joelle Russo, the show mixed both video and live presentations, with plenty of well-turned-out models in bikinis, cute summer dresses - and really great shoes!

Nordstrom also was able to lure some of the country's most prestigious beauty and fragrance experts to appear, including Martin Montoya (pictured left with model Bianca), who presented designer Tom Ford's Black Orchid fragrance.

Other notables? Becky Watkins from Christian Dior with a new waterproof cream blush; Allison Moss with samples of the Narciso Rodriguez fragrance, For Her; Rita Brown, Shu Uemura's featured makeup artist, who introduced the audience to several products from the line (also new to the store), including a cleansing oil, and John Fussell, Chanel's national makeup artist, who whipped the crowd into a frenzy with lip gloss and a new Sublimage eye cream.

Tons of products were raffled off, including Philosophy skin-care kits and makeup artist Bobbi Brown's new book, "Living Beauty."

While the show itself was as energetic and entertaining as they come, the frenzy to get downstairs to the cosmetics department afterward was a study in how many people can crowd an escalator.

Every counter from M.A.C to Estee Lauder was then swamped with customers shopping for the trendy items they just saw in the show, while others waited for one-on-one beauty appointments.

I managed to escape with some of the Narciso fragrance, which is perfect for summer, and one of Smashbox cosmetics' Glam Boxes, a Nordstrom exclusive.

By 10:30 a.m., I was back home and ready for a nap!

June 8, 2007
Access Sac stays solvent

Here's some good news for fans of community-access TV: Access Sacramento has retained its funding.

As we reported here a few days ago, the Sacramento Metropolitan Cable Commission was threatening to take away grants for two popular local features, "Hometown TV" and "Game of the Week."

But the commission on Thursday not only voted unanimously to retain the funds, but even kicked in money to get two new vehicles for the crews.

Ron Cooper, Access Sac's executive director, today wrote in an e-mail to supporters: "...We thank the members and staff of the Cable Commission for
their continued support and recognition of community-produced television and radio."

June 8, 2007
Shop, shop and shop!

Clinique.jpgYou know those gifts with purchase at the cosmetics counters that everyone loves to get? Well, starting Sunday and running through June 23, Clinique is partnering with Elle magazine for not only the goodies, but a subscription, too.

Here's how it works: Elle beauty editors selected seven "summer essential" Clinique products for a GWP (a cosmetics bag, plus a mini take-along bag, mascara, lip gloss, powder blush, sunblock for the face and a liquid face soap, shown left), free with any purchase of $25 or more at Nordstrom.

An added bonus? Tucked inside is an Elle subscription card. Fill it out, send it in and you get a year's worth of the magazine for only $6.

The partnership between magazines and cosmetics companies started a few months ago, and it seems to be a hit. And a good deal for fashionistas who like freebies and a good read. Heck, one issue of Elle off the rack is $4.50.

And, might I suggest a purchase? I like Clinique's new Continuous Rescue Antioxidant Moisturizer. It comes in three formulations (depending on your skin type) and costs $39.50. And anything from the Repairwear line is good.

June 7, 2007
Now hear this

If you are fan of progressive music, smart new music, genre-defying improvisatory music, or just plain good music, listen up. There’s a show - well, it’s more like a program, really, Friday night at Capistrano Hall on the CSUS campus of CSUS that you shouldn’t miss.

A cello player named Dana Leong will perform with a keyboardist named Jason Lindner and percussionist Scott Amendola. This is the kind of group you would get at the Knitting Factory in New York.

Lindner and Amendola both play a lot of jazz; Lindner has made a name for himself with his progressive big band and he’ll follow up Friday night’s show here by playing with funky bassist Meshell Ndegeocello at the Independent in San Francisco. Amendola plays in so many different bands that I’ve lost count, but let’s just say he’s a musician’s musician.

Leong, whose gig it is, also plays trombone (in Lindner’s big band). Leong’s Web site says, “Dana's sound is a fusion of computerized electronic hip-hop funk rhythms and rock propulsions. While playing the cello or trombone, Dana also uses his laptop onstage to integrate electronic soundscapes.”

The CSUS concert, part of the New Directions Cello Festival, starts at 7:30 p.m., with the Dana Leong group scheduled for 8:30 p.m. Tickets - available at the door only - are $20 general, $12 students and seniors, $6 for those under 12.

June 7, 2007
Greatest hits

It's time once again to start with those Second Saturday plans - and there are plenty of promising options out there this month.

Some possibilities I'm mulling include the Vox Cafe's shindig (at 19th and X streets) featuring art by the likes of James C. Collins and Charlotte Prince, plus music by Toronto Blessing. That starts at 6 p.m.

fisheyeview2.jpgAnd, of course, there's Sellout/Buyout at the Fools Foundation (in the basement at 19th & K streets) - this is the quarterly extravaganza where you show up with a fistful of cash and browse art, clothes, jewelry and crafts from a ton of local artisans.

Speaking of Sellout/Buyout - its host Olivia Coelho also owns the Olipom clothing store at 1115 21st St. Stop by there between 6-9 p.m on Saturday to check out Jyoti Alexander's "B Sides & Rarities" photography exhibit.

The 28-year-old Sacramento artist is heading off to art school shortly, but in the meantime you can peruse her slightly surreal portraits and still lifes - such as the slightly mind-bending "Fish Eye View," pictured at right. The show runs through July 12. You also can check out her MySpace page for another peek at her work.

June 7, 2007
Fox40 hires new morning anchor


Fox40's "Morning News," lagging behind all but My58TV's a.m. broadcast, has hired a new anchor in the hopes of drawing in more viewers.

Evan Michael, who has spent five years as morning and noon news anchor at KOAA in Colorado Springs, Colo., will join Natalie Bomke on Fox40's 6-8 a.m. news, starting Tuesday.

Tom Burke, Fox40's news director, says Michael "shows great passion for news and a familiarity of Northern California."

Before working in Colorado Springs, Michael was a reporter and anchor at a station in Chico.

Nina Mehlhaf, who has co-hosted with Bomke after the departure of Jennifer Parker, will return to reporter.

June 7, 2007
Derek is 'Driven'

Associated Press

They say real men do use skin-care products.

And - with the utmost in apologies to Boston Red Sox fans everywhere - I guess Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is about as "manly" as they get. On the heels of launching his own fragrance for Avon, Jeter (pictured above) has now teamed with the company to create Derek Jeter Driven Skin Care, a line of products that surely will be a hit (no pun intended) with dudes who want great face time without a lot of effort.

As Derek says in his pitch: "With all the time I spend on the road, my skin-care routine has to be simple and effective." Don't want the rest of the Yankees poking fun at a guy who exfoliates all the time!

The Driven line includes a choice of cleansers (one for oily skin, one for prepping skin for shaving), a shave gel and a moisturizer with SPF 15. Prices range from $6 to $15. The line is available through an Avon rep or click here to order online.

And, even though you might not be able to see Derek's face up and close and personal, he'll be swinging his bat and fielding balls June 22-24 when the Yankees visit the San Francisco Giants for the weekend.

June 6, 2007
The Dead Celebrities are alive and well

As you may recall, I recently told you about KWOD 106.5's local band contest. You know, the one where 10 bands vied online for the chance to open the Summer Buzz show featuring the Bravery and the Kaiser Chiefs at the Memorial Auditorium?

dedc4.jpgWell, in case you missed the update in this week's Coming Distractions, we have a winner.

(Drumroll please.)

With more than 17,000 votes tallied, the alt.rock kids the Dead Celebrities snagged the biggest piece of the pie, which in turn earned them a 20-minute spot on the Memorial stage.

The show, which also will feature the Silversun Pickups and Shiny Toy Guns, starts at 5 p.m Sunday and costs $30. Get your tix by calling (916) 264-5181 or by heading over to

June 6, 2007
Access Sac funding in jeopardy

In the past two years, Access Sacramento - the county's community-run cable access TV service - has aired more than 80 locally produced events as part of its "Hometown TV" and "Game of the Week" programs.

Want to catch the Festival de la Familia or the prep basketball playoff from Arco Arena? Access Sac provided the coverage, largely thanks to a grant from the Sacramento Metropolitan Cable Television Commission.

But the future of "Hometown TV" and "Game of the Week" is in jeopardy, according to Access Sacramento executive director Ron Cooper. When the cable commission meets at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Board of Supervisor's chambers to approve Access Sacramento's budget for the next fiscal year, both grants are on the proposed chopping block.

"This would mean a 20 percent reduction in our annual budget and the loss of many fine community and sports television productions from throughout the county," Cooper wrote in an e-mail.

Cooper is asking for strong public support to help sway the commission to renew the funding.

June 6, 2007
Where's Scooter on local TV?

CIA Leak Trial.jpgcialib.jpg
AP Photos/Charles Dharapak

I rant, therefore I am...

We realize it's called local TV news. The emphasis for our four stations, naturally, is on what's going on in our area.

But - and this has long been our pet peeve - there are many times when our newscasts simply ignore major national and international stories. Perhaps they assume that everyone watches the early-evening network news for that, but recent ratings show that's not true. When we do get national coverage, too often it's simply because it is accompanied by cool video.

The glaring lack happened again Tuesday night. We were watching Channel 3 (KCRA) - your humble media correspondent rotates which stations to frequent, by the way; tonight, it'll be Fox40 - and not a single second was devoted to the surprising 30-month jail term given to ex-Cheney aide Lewis (Scooter) Libby.

Granted, it was a strong news night locally, what with the cop shootings in Shingle Springs, a couple of eye-pleasing wildfires, and a Channel 3 update on its real-estate scam investigation.

But couldn't they find a quick 10 seconds for Libby's sentencing? I mean, c'mon, take away one highlight clip from sports guy Del Rodgers or lose that funny show-ender on the drunken golf-cart driver.

Local news honchos shouldn't assume that viewers have caught news of Libby on the noon, 5 or 6 p.m. reports. Hey, some of us work all day.

Fox40 provided a 1 min 30 second report, complete with tape. News10 gave the Libby story 30 seconds during the first 15 minutes of its late newscast. Channel 13 waited until 40 minutes into its hour-long late news show to give 10 seconds to Libby's sentencing. (This morning, The Bee ran a front-page headline with a "teaser" to a story inside on Libby - and that might be considered by some as under-playing the story.)

I've pretty much given up on local TV news to give me stories from Iraq. But to ignore a Bush administration official going to jail? Bad call.

You can be darned sure that every station in the market covered the Paris Hilton going-to-jail saga.

Where's the love for Scooter?

June 6, 2007
Fun - and funds - for feet

Pink_Patch.jpgI'm an espadrille gal from waaay back, i.e., college days, when I sported pink and green ones, stripes and plaids. Uber-preppy, if you please.

However, it's hard to find those same shoes decades later. If you've been looking for a pair in the traditional sense - that is, flat, slip-ons minus the wedge - a Santa Monica company called Tom's Shoes offers a version modeled after the Argentinian "alpargatas," an espadrille with a lightweight canvas top and soft sole.

Madam Butterfly in Pavilions called to say they just got an order in. Owner Denise Masunaga says "they're cute and comfortable in solid white canvas, nautical navy canvas and a plaid picnic print."

They come in full and half sizes and retail at Madam Butterfly for $45.

I checked the line's Web site and learned that Tom's Shoes is also on a mission.

Here's the story: L.A. designer Blake Mycoskie spent three weeks in South America, in particular Argentina. While there, he noticed all the folks wearing a version of the rope-soled soles. At the time, he was about to launch a shoe company. Then, a sort of epiphany hit him.

Why not create shoes that people want and need, but can't afford? So Mycoskie called his shoes "Toms," or "shoes for tomorrow."

Denise adds that Toms Shoes will donate a pair of shoes to a child for every pair sold. And the first drop of free shoes will be to Argentina.

I tried on a pair and loved them! They're really comfortable, cute and actually more substantial than my original espadrilles. On the bottom of the shoe is a label that says "Your purchase today guarantees a child shoes for Tomorrow."

Mission accomplished.

June 5, 2007
Stone cold Daughtry

The good people over at the California State Fair have just announced a few more concert acts, including KC & the Sunshine Band, Amy Hanaiali’i Gilliom and what has to be the biggest boldface name in the entire series -"American Idol" reject turned mega-star Daughtry.

The bald rocker takes the stage Aug. 22, and although the concert is free with admission ($10 general, $8 seniors, $6 kids under 12, free for kids ages four and under), we know you are the ultimate Daughtry fan and want to catch the show from the "Golden Circle." In fact, you are so hard-core, you don't even blink at the idea of paying $59 to get within spitting distance of some stone cold Daughtry action.

(We're not judging - merely observing).

So here's the info you need, oh dear Daughtry addict. If you point your browser over to the State Fair site, you can sign up for their e-letter. Do this by Thursday, and they'll e-mail you a special access code that allows you to get in on some Saturday pre-sale action.

Otherwise, you're gonna have to mingle with the rest of us common folk and buy the tickets on Monday via

June 4, 2007
Must-see Sac sites?


So a new book has landed on our desks, "1,000 Places to See in the U.S.A. and Canada Before You Die," by Patricia Schultz.

But of the 60 or so entries devoted to California, the author mentions just two places you must see in Sacramento - the Railroad Museum and the Delta King.

We've seen both places.

Does that mean we can die now?

Certainly we can think of a few other noteworthy Sacramento destinations that are can't-miss spots for tourists. Feel free to post your comments below. Here's our list:

1. That big, shiny thing downtown. Think it's called the state Capitol.

2. Sutter's Fort - or at least the Una Mas takeout place across the street.

3. The American River Parkway, the prettiest stretch of asphalt bikeways in the region.

4. The thrill ride called "The Screamer," on which, of course, you are forbidden by law from screaming.

5. The Virgin Sturgeon restaurant-bar-barge that once sank but was resurrected, proving you can reclaim your virginity.

June 4, 2007
Block party!

Ever wanted to sit down with your neighbor and chat about that weird old lady down the street who has 60 cats and a volume-control problem? Or share tuna noodle casserole recipes with your cul-de-sac buddy while lounging side by side on a Pottery Barn porch swing?

Well, knock yourself out with that. But if you want to throw back a few while taking in art and music with your fellow midtown dwellers, a very different kind of block party is coming your way.

This Saturday starting at 6 p.m., the entire 2700 block of J Street is throwing the 6/9 Block Party, with local bands, DJs, art, music and food mingled together in concert with Second Saturday.

It all goes down at these locations: Momo's, Harlow's, GV Hurley's, Gianni's, Grind on J, Centro and Blue Cue.

All you need is a spare cup of sugar.

June 4, 2007
Tangles is tops

Photo/Lyra Halprin

Congrats to Tangles Salon Spa in Davis. Why? Because the California Aggie newspaper, which covers all things UC Davis and, well, Davis, named Tangles the Best Salon of Davis for 2007.

And the paper made no bones about why: The salon only uses Aveda environmentally friendly products, and the staff (shown above) works hard!

I've visited Tangles a couple of times, and you can't get enough of that great Aveda smell. All the products have a unique scent. And owner/stylist John Hausler has been coifing coifs in Davis for more than 20 years. (He's owned Tangles for almost seven years.) And, get this: John lives in Grass Valley. He makes the trip down the hill several times a week and sleeps over in Davis two nights a week. And he commutes on a Harley-Davidson, no less.

John told the Aggie, "It's nice to feel the hard work pay off. We do added-value services and use Aveda products. For us, it's not just about beauty and making people look good; it's about using sustainable products."

Tangles is in the heart of Davis, at 630 Second St.

June 4, 2007
KCRA and YouTube

Hearst-Argyle, the parent company of Channel 3 (KCRA), announced today that it has reached an agreement with YouTube to post content on the popular video file-sharing site.

KCRA is one of five Hearst-Argyle stations that will have specific "channels" on YouTube. (The other stations are in Boston, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Manchester, N.H.) You can see KCRA's YouTube content here.

In a prepared statement, Hearst executive vice president Terry Mackin said, "We have invested significant resources in our growing digital media efforts. With Google (YouTube's owner) and YouTube, we can now better engage users and advertisers ...."

Hearst stations also plan to ramp up its high school sports coverage, using consumer-generated content to augment its staff coverage. Much of that content will appear on YouTube.

Of course, those who waste their work days watching YouTube videos already know that KCRA has a big presence on the channel via unauthorized postings from viewers. Our favorite is this four-second news "tease," posted below.

June 1, 2007
Air America* back in Sac


We use the asterisk (*) because it's not the entire Air America lineup that has returned to Sacramento after KCTC (1320 AM) dumped the format to become an ESPN affiliate.

Rather, it's just the syndicated Air America show"Ring of Fire," featuring Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (pictured) and, uh, two other leftie talking heads.

KSAC (1240 AM), the lone remaining "progressive" station in town, has picked up the program and is airing it from noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

For those who have dogged your humble media correspondent with e-mails, saying that they've heard there would be more - no, there are no plans for that.
Paula Nelson, KSAC's owner, confirmed that she's quite pleased with her current weekday lineup and has no plans to replace existing shows with any additional Air America content.

June 1, 2007
Need a job? Contact My58TV

Today, My58TV begins its second annual Host Hunt, in which regular people like you (!) compete for a one-year contract to host events and tape promos for KCRA's sister station.

Last year's winners, voted on by visitors to the My58TV Web site, were the personable Kelly and Travis. Registration for a shot to do it this year runs through June 15.

The actual auditions start in late June, and 12 finalists will be chosen by July 20. Then the online voting will commence.

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