Things to do in Sacramento and Beyond

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

July 31, 2009
England kicks major $$ to its opera companies


Executive directors at opera companies in the U.S. can only salivate at what's going on in England.

That's because England has made a big funding display in support of its opera companies through it Arts Council England's Sustain fund. That fund has committed £40m to help out arts organizations hit by the recession.

So far, opera is the art form that is the biggest winner of that revenue stream.

Yesterday, Britain's Guardian newspaper announced that £2.4m has gone to the Royal Opera House, Welsh National Opera, English National Opera and British Youth Opera.

Of those the largest recipient was the Welsh National Opera. It received a grant of £900,000, or approx $1,5 million, from the ACE fund - a staggering figure by U.S. government arts funding standards.

This all leads to the question of whether the U.S. will follow suit in upcoming budgets in making substantial increases to funding the arts, and opera companies in particular.

True, the funding and subsidy structure for funding arts organizations is different in England than it is here.

But, given the times, it's really the thought that counts.

July 31, 2009
Kitchen makes exit as leader of American Conservatory Theater

The American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco announced today that Heather M. Kitchen, now in her 14th season as executive director, will step down from her position at the end of August 2009.
"With A.C.T. in strong financial and artistic shape and readying itself for the next round of strategic planning, now is the time to look toward the next professional chapter in my life," said Kitchen, in a news release. "I thrive on the challenging issues that face the arts world, and I look forward to another big opportunity to serve. Change brings about new energy and renewal, which will be wonderful and reinvigorating for both A.C.T. and for me."
Kitchen will be a consultant and adviser to the company until the end of this year during a transition process. The ACT board of trustees is launching a search for her successor.
During Kitchen's tenure, ACT's budget grew to $19.5 million from $11 million and annual fundraising tripled.
ACT is in the midst of completing a $30 million endowment campaign. The San Francisco Business Times named Kitchen as one of the most influential women in business in the Bay Area for the past six years.
Kitchen joined the company the same year that renovations to the historic American Conservatory Theater were complete; her work to retire the company's deficit and debt from those years remains among her most significant professional accomplishments.
"I am profoundly grateful for Heather's inspired leadership and devotion to A.C.T.'s staff, artists, audience, and trustees," said ACT artistic director Carey Perloff. "She has been my collaborator in running this organization since 1996, and we have achieved a great deal together. I wish her the best for the future, and I know we will all miss her energy, enthusiasm, and sense of humor."

July 30, 2009
San Francisco museum to get two major impressionist shows in 2010

San Francisco's de Young will be the only museum in the world to host two important impressionist exhibitions, museum officials announced Thursday.

"Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay" opens May 22, 2010, and will continue through Sept. 6, 2010. It includes nearly 100 works by masters who lived in France during the mid-19th century and who influenced the impressionist style.

In this exhibit will be paintings by such notable artists as Monet, Renoir, Monet, Degas and American expatriate James McNeil Whistler, whose "Arrangement in Gray and Black" is better known as "Whistler's Mother."

The second exhibition, which opens Sept. 25, 2010, and runs through Jan. 18, 2011, is "Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Beyond: Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay." In it will be 120 of the Musée d'Orsay's late-impressionist paintings, including the works of Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, Gauguin, Lautrec and Van Gogh.

"These two exhibitions present a rare and unique opportunity for Americans to see the evolution and incubation of the impressionist style from the collection of the most important repository of French 19th and early 20th century art -- the Musée d'Orsay," said John E. Buchanan, director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, which includes the de Young.

"These exhibitions give us the opportunity to share with visitors some of the most seminal works of impressionist and post-impressionist art that they would only be able to see in Paris or in an art history book as the likelihood of them traveling en masse again is slim."

Musée d'Orsay in Paris is loaning out its artwork while it undergoes refurbishing and reinstallations, prior to its 25th anniversary in 2011.

Timed and dated tickets to the de Young exhibitions go on sale March 15, 2010.

The de Young Museum is at 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr., in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.

For more info: (415) 750-3600,

- Dixie Reid
July 30, 2009
KCRA tops local TV news ratings. Again.

How big your pie looks depends on how big a plate you're using.

When Nielsen sliced up ratings for local television news for this month (ending July 29) the station that usually winds up on top - KCRA 3 - looked best by some basic measures, though there were other stations and other ways to claim honors.

Nielsen measurements of total households watching morning, evening and late newscasts all put KCRA 3 on top. It should be noted, however, that local news ratings - just like newspaper circulations - have generally declined in recent years.

The most households - 88,422 - watched the station's 5 p.m. show, KCRA 3 Reports, followed by the 6 p.m. show, with 77,075. CBS 13 News at 5 p.m. was next in the evening slot, with 46,310 households.

KXTV 10's 6 p.m. show was next.

KCRA's 11 p.m. newscast also topped the late news shows, with 70,393 households, followed by KOVR 13's 10 p.m. show, Fox 40's 10 p.m. show and KXTV 10's 11 p.m. show.

KQCA 58 - the sister show that broadcasts KCRA news at 10 p.m. - brought up the rear among late shows. KCRA, however, noted that it was the fastest-growing show while many others, including KCRA's 11 p.m. show, had lost viewers. That's where choosing your pie plate comes in.

KUVS 19, Univision's Spanish-language news at 6 p.m., said it matched KCRA at 6 p.m. among adults 18-49.

That however, is just a partial demographic and didn't represent a comparison with KCRA's most popular broadcast. Another case of putting the pie on a smaller plate.

It also represents a comparison between two groups that may not overlap much: households watching news broadcast in Spanish and households watching news in English.

July 30, 2009
The Kindle vs. the Used Bookstore

It's the first volley in the growing battle between digital bookselling and analog bricks-and-mortar bookselling.

That best describes the smack down that San Francisco bookseller Green Apple Books sent towards Amazon's Kindle via YouTube video.

In the amatuerish video Green Apple plays out the notion that you can trade a used book for cash, but with an e-book the trade in value is kaput.

In the video, a young woman brings in a box full of books for trade and is given $80 for them (although it would be a rare event for anyone to get $80 for the small stack of books bought in the video).

When a second seller comes in, all he has to sell are the e-books loaded onto his Kindle. He gets nothing.

Although this is an honest attempt at making the argument for the benefits of physical books and brick and mortar bookstores, it fails to grasp the real opportunity that the digital world, and the Kindle, offers a bookstore like Green Apple.

That's because the value with the Kindle is not the e-book, it's in what was downloaded to the Kindle, when, and by whom.

Can you imagine how thrilling it would be to buy the Kindle that belonged to Neil Gaiman, Anne Lamott or Steve Jobs? The intimacy of the reading list would be fetching.

Green Apple could stock Kindle's much like they do their rare edition physical books - behind the counter, as a rare item. Wouldn't such Kindles fetch $80 easy?

July 30, 2009
SF Symphony completes Mahler recording project


These days, the San Francisco Symphony's reputation as one of the more astute interpreters of Mahler's symphonies is a given.

And that distinction will be further solidified when it releases its final Mahler symphony recording as part of the ambitious Grammy-winning Mahler recording project that it began in 2001.

The latest recording is of Mahler's Symphony No. 8, and includes the Adagio from Mahler's unfinished Symphony No. 10. The CD will be released on Aug. 25 and is to be issued on hybrid SACD.

Mahler's Symphony No. 8, "Symphony of a Thousand", was recorded live in Davies Symphony Hall on Nov. 19, 21, 22 and 23, of last year.

The recording features sopranos Erin Wall, Elza van den Heever, and Laura Claycomb; as well as mezzo-soprano Katarina Karnéus, tenor Anthony Dean Griffey and bass-baritone James Morris. Michael Tilson Thomas conducts.

And for those that cannot get enough of Mahler and the SFS, the orchestra will release a last Mahler's CD that plumbs Mahler's works for voice and orchestra. That recording will be the last complete Mahler recording and is due out in 2010.

Like the orchestra's other Mahler recordings this one will be released on the orchestras in house SFS Media label. And beginning on Aug. 11 Mahler's Symphony No. 8 and Adagio from Symphony No. 10 will be available as an exclusive pre-release download from the Apple iTunes Music Store.

Purchases of the album in North America will include the bonus video, "A Universe of Sound: Recording Mahler's Symphony No. 8," a behind the scenes look at the recording of Mahler's epic symphony.

The CD release is meant to coincide with the San Francisco Symphony's three-week Mahler Festival at Davies Symphony Hall that runs from Sept. 16-Oct. 3.

July 30, 2009
Hair Wars 2009: The competition starts tonight

Last year's Hair Wars competition at the Park Ultra Lounge (15th and L streets) was hair-raising to say the least. The local salons that participated brought it: There were snakes, a princess, a vixon, vamps and, yes, plenty of hair - both real and fake.

The 2009 version kicks off tonight as models strut their coifs. The featured salon is Taki, with a special opening-night appearance by Salon 701.

I was one of the judges last year and am happy to say I'll be judging again this year. The competition will last six weeks (every Thursday through Sept. 3), with 12 salons participating. In addition to Taki, they include: Allure, Bia Salon, Luxe Salon & Spa, Magic Salon, Willo Salon & Spa, Deeda Salon, Hoss Lee Academy, Magic Salon, Joseph Anthony and the California and Paul Mitchell academies.

Last year's winner, Rowena & Takashi in El Dorado Hills, will make a special appearance on Aug. 27.

Doors open at 9 p.m., and the runway show starts at 10. Cover charge is $10. No blow dryers allowed!

July 30, 2009
Your Chance to Shred

The Gatorade Free Flow Tour comes to Rocklin this weekend. (No, smarty pants, it has nothing to do with the prostate.)
Rather, it's an extreme sports competition for youth skateboarders and BMX riders. The competition is open to all skaters 18 and under and all BMX riders 21 and younger. The winners will qualify for the Gatorade Free Flow Tour Finals, Sept. 17-20 in Salt Lake City, for a chance to earn a spot in the Dew Tour's PlayStation Pro.
Actions gets underway at 1 p.m. at Epic Skatepark at 1104 Tinker Road, Rocklin.
For more info, go to

July 29, 2009
Time for star-studded shopping on QVC


As anyone at my home can tell you, I'm a closet QVC watcher/shopper. Sometimes I just enjoy what's being paraded - from crab puffs at Christmas to pots and pans anytime.

But this Saturday, the shopping network (Channel 9 on Comcast) will be broadcasting live from the oh-so-elegant Hamptons from 11 a.m .to 1 p.m. PDT so fashionistas can shop like the celebrities. The event is called "Super Saturday Live," and it's actually a charitable designer sale.

That's because all the net proceeds from the sale of beautiful stuff - clothing, jewelry, accessories, beauty products, etc. - will benefit the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. This is special for me because one of my favorite fashion icons of all time - Harper's Bazaar editor in chief Liz Tilberis - passed away 10 years ago from the disease at age 51.

Her death was a major loss for fashion journalism, and that's why so many are uniting to raise awareness about this deadly form of cancer.

All the items offered during the two-hour show will be available at half the manufacturer's suggested retail price.

What can shoppers expect to see?

I got a sneak peek. And I love the Philosophy Pink Lemonade trio ($26.50), the Kathy Van Zeeland metallic ultra-suede belted shopper bag ($44.50) and definitely the Carmen Marc Valvo silk scarf ($110). It's pictured above with Kenneth Jay Lane's five-strand pearl necklace ($90),

So grab a coffee or iced tea and shop in the comfort of your barcalounger. It's for a good cause.

July 28, 2009
News 10 anchor Jennifer Smith reassigned

Jennifer Smith, who has worked for KXTV News 10 nearly 30 years, has been reassigned from her position as anchor to a position as "multimedia journalist."

Smith, who joined the station in 1980, had been the anchor for midday broadcasts as well as for the Sunday 11 p.m. news. Her reporting assignments at News 10 have included stints in Europe, Africa and Asia. Domestically, she has covered inaugurations, conventions and visits to California by dignitaries including Pope John Paul II and Queen Elizabeth.

Smith's last day as regular anchor was Sunday, but she may fill-in as part of her new position, said Russ Postell, station president and general manager.

Multimedia journalist is what people would normally call a reporter, but encompasses broader duties, including Web production.

In addition, the station reported reductions in production personnel in July due to new technology to automate control operations.

Furloughs were instituted earlier this year and no additional furloughs are expected during the second half of 2009, Postell said.

July 28, 2009
Nominate a hero to ride free at September aeronautics show

The California Capital Airshow wants the public to nominate hometown heroes to ride one of the thrilling planes at the show Sept. 12-13.

As many as 20 heroes may choose between a high-speed jet, a helicopter, a classic warbird, a seaplane or one of the other featured aircraft, said Darcy Brewer, executive director for the show.

Heroes can be lifesavers, teachers, local humanitarians, public safety workers, coaches or anyone you think is worthy of the nomination. However, to qualify for the rides, the nominees must be in good physical condition, weigh between 103 and 245 pounds, have a maximum height of 6'5" and be between 18 and 55 years old.

Nomination deadline is Aug. 26. Forms and information about the upcoming show are availabe at

July 28, 2009
Raiders invite you to travel friendly this fall


Are you ready for some football!

This season, the Oakland Raiders are offering a deal that should make the trek down to the Coliseum a lot easier - and more fun.

The team has partnered with two Bay Area transportation services that will provide economically and environmentally friendly trips, according to a team press release.

The Capital Corridor train is offering fans a 25 percent discount on rides to the stadium during all day home games as well as the Raider Nation Celebration on Aug. 8.

Got kids? If they're 15 and under and there are two of them, they ride for half the price of an adult fare - as long as they're with an adult. And, the train schedule is so flexibile, there's a time to travel that will get you there early enough to hang out or right before kickoff.

And since this is the 50th season of Raiders football, the team has designated the Denver Broncos contest on Sept. 27 as an incentive package. The ACE Train 50 bundle includes one game ticket, one round-trip ticket on ACE (the Altamont Commuter Express that runs between Stockton and San Jose) and a meal deal. The price? $50.

The second package includes all of the above as well as a tailgate party at the Stockton ACE station. Now the party alone is probably worth the fare.

If you're interested, log on to and enter code H811 to get the 25 percent discount offer. Beginning today (at 10 a.m.) both ACE train packages can be purchased online at and

July 27, 2009
Teen's work to appear in national student literary magazine

"Failed Thesis," a poem by Davis teen Clara Fannjiang will appear in the 2009 edition of The Apprentice Writer, a literary magazine out of Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania.

"She loves writing poems," said her father, Albert Fannjiang. His daughter recently finished Holmes Junior High in Davis and will attend Davis High School as a 10th grader.

The magazine features poems and artwork by students from 16 states. About 70 works were selected from 5,000 submissions in a process overseen by writing professor Gary Fincke, who directs the university's Writers' Institute.

The magazine's 11,000 copies are distributed to secondary schools.

July 27, 2009
Grass Valley teen makes cook-off finals

Natalie Benthin of Grass Valley will compete in the teen category of the finals of the National Beef Cook-Off Sept. 23 in Sonoma. Three other teens will vie with her for cooking honors.

Benthin is 16 and created a recipe that "knocked the socks off the beef folks," according to a release from the contest promoters. The teen's recipe was for Sicilian Beef Short Ribs.

The $70,000 cook-off is said to be the second biggest national cooking contest after the Pillsbury Bake-Off.

July 27, 2009
Pre-eminent classical music critic dies

Michael Steinberg photo by Terrence McCarthy.jpg

In the world of classical music there were few figures quite like Michael Steinberg.

Simply put, he was the gold standard when it came to the writing of program notes and as an advisor to orchestras, including the San Francisco Symphony.

Steinberg, who died Sunday at the age of 80, was among the pre-eminent music critics of the 20th century. To the world, and especially Northern California audiences Steinberg was a top-flight writer of program notes, record liner notes, as well as an astute giver of pre-concert talks.

He was also an incisive author. His book "The Concerto" is considered one of the best on the concerto repertoire.

Born on October 4, 1928 in Breslau, Germany, Steinberg's first staff position at a major orchestra was as Director of Publications for the Boston Symphony, a position he held from 1976-79. In 1979 he joined the San Francisco Symphony as its Publications Director and Artistic Adviser, a post he would hold for a decade.

Steinberg became program annotator to the New York Philharmonic in 1995, while continuing to serve as pre-concert lecturer in San Francisco, Minneapolis, Boston, Los Angeles, and New York.

Concerts to celebrate Michael Steinberg's life will be presented in San Francisco. Times have yet to be announced.

July 27, 2009
Rides from Neverland Ranch at State Fair

Those attending this year's California State Fair will get a chance to ride amusement rides once owned by the late Michael Jackson.

Butler Amusements, the new carnival operator for the state fair, owns three rides from Neverland Ranch, the Santa Barbara County estate that was Jackson's longtime residence. (Butler bought the rides before Jackson's death in June).

The rides are the Balloon Samba, a family ride that simulates the hot-air balloon experience; the Jeep Ride, an umbrella ride that gives riders the feel of traveling in
4 x 4 vehicles, and the Wave Swinger, a swing ride the lifts riders 40 feet in the air.

The state fair runs Aug. 21-Sept. 7 at Cal Expo in Sacramento. For information on the fair, click here.

July 27, 2009
Fun Monday night at Sac Film & Music festival

Organizers of the Sacramento Film and Music Festival are committed, in equal measure, to film, music and making weeknight programming for the 10-day festival as compelling as the weekend programming.

This evening's lineup at the Crest Theatre (1013 K St., Sacramento), for instance, has to be the hottest ticket in town on a Monday night.

The program starts at 5 p.m. with free food from Rubio's, and moves on to "In-Laws and Outlaws," a documentary in which gay and straight couples discuss their relationships.

But the kicker (hoofer?) is the stage show following "In-Laws." Presented by the festival and New Helvetia Theatre, "The World Is Comin' to a Start: Songs from Stage and Screen" will feature local synth-rock darlings The New Humans, New Helvetia artistic director Connor Mickiewicz, piano man Graham Sobelman and his Graham Sobelman Trioand Nanci Zoppi, who played the surly -- and male -- guitarist Yitzhak in New Helvetia's production of "Hedwig."

Admission is $10 for the movie and $15 for the stage show, which starts at 8:30. Information: (916) 442-7378 or the festival's site.

July 24, 2009
Teichert gift buys kiln, art supplies for Esparto school

An art program at Esparto Elementary School received $5,200 to buy a kiln and art supplies.
The money came from the Yolo County Arts Council, which received a donation from the Teichert Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Sacramento-based Teichert Construction and Teichert Materials.
As part of the YoloArts Artists in Schools program, sculptor Mark Abildgaard has been teaching ceramics at Esparto Elementary for the last 16 years, taking the projects home to his studio in Woodland to fire them.
The program has been supporting Esparto's ceramics program for nine years and funds three separate ceramics programs at two rural and one inner-city public school in Yolo County, executive director Danielle Thomas said. The activities are also funded in part by the California Arts Council.
Abildgaard is able to provide students at Esparto Elementary only one class per grade per year. Students always ask what they should expect to make the next year.
"I always say this year will be my last year, and then I come back again because there's really nobody else," Abildgaard said.
--Sarah Frier

July 23, 2009
Star Wars Concert coming to Sacramento

Star Wars Concert[1].jpg

If your musical appetite has been yearning for the music of "Star Wars" then you need not only wait until this fall to be sated.

That's because composer John Williams' music from six "Star Wars" films will be touring the U.S., including a stop at Sacramento's Arco Arena on Oct. 9 and 10.

Dubbed "Star Wars in Concert" the concert will feature a symphony orchestra and choir performing Williams' music.

The performance will be narrated by C-3P0 actor Anthony Daniels (pictured, right), with Daniels accompanied by a three-story-tall high-definition screen displaying movie footage synched to the live music.

The event will also offer exhibits with costumes, props and other memorabilia from the uber-successful Star Wars series.

The "Star Wars in Concert" tickets go on sale Aug. 1. Ticket prices have yet to be announced.

July 22, 2009
The Shady Lady will be Sizzling on Sunday

If you haven't checked out the Shady Lady Saloon in the burgeoning R Street Corridor of eateries and other fun haunts, Sunday would be a perfect opportunity to experience this "speakeasy"-esque/jazzy treasure.

That's because the local Sizzling Sirens Burlesque Experience will perform a one-year anniversary show that night at the saloon. The ladies' slogan? "Reimagining Sacramento's alternative arts and culture landscape" Hey, it's tasteful debauchery. No nudity!

The event is from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., and tickets are $20 with VIP seating available with a reservation. Pre-sale tickets are available at the Shady Lady (R and 14th streets) and online at The cabaret show will start at 10 p.m.

Guest emcees for the event are the Free Badge Serenaders, with live music from the Harley White Jr. Orchestra. And in case you want to dress the part, Isabella Corsetry will be at the show. (And she makes them for men, too!)

Shady Lady will offer up drink specials (you have to try their version of a Champagne Cocktail) and food (they've got fried green tomatoes!). And there will be a special anniversary raffle package.

So break out your flappers and fedoras for a fun night out.

July 21, 2009
Dalkey, Bailey to be honored as artists of year at State Fair

Sacramento artist Fred Dalkey and Port Costa sculptor Clayton Bailey will be honored as California Artists of the Year during Arts Day at this year's California State Fair.

Both will receive Golden Bear awards on Aug. 29.

Arts Day also will feature music, entertainment and the works of California authors and visual artists.

The State Fair opens Aug. 21 and runs every day through Labor Day at Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento.

For information: (916) 263-FAIR (263-3247),

- Dixie Reid
July 21, 2009
Can't close the books on libraries

It isn't easy to put together a comprehensive list of libraries. As a result, our Monday story and list of the small, specialized libraries in the Sacramento area overlooked two. (At least two. If you know of others, let us know.)

The two missing spots are the California Military Museum and the Root Cellar, the library of the Sacramento Genealogical Society.

The California Military Museum Library is at 1119 Second Street in Old Sacramento. The library has more than 18,000 books and 20,000 photographs. It specializes in California military history, of course, but also covers general military history, said Dan Sebby, the museum's director and curator.

The library may grow significantly if discussions are fruitful to incorporate materials from the Aerospace Museum at McClellan Park. The aerospace library has been stored in boxes since the museum's move two years ago.

While the museum charges for admission, use of the library is free to the public, Sebby said. The museum library is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

The Root Cellar is on the 4th floor of the State Archives building at 1020 O Street in Sacramento. It has thousands of volumes for genealogical research in California and beyond, with volunteers to provide assistance. Library hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m Monday-Friday and the first Saturday of each month from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

For more information on these and other libraries, check out the Bee story here

July 21, 2009
Natsoulas wins top award in State Fair's fine art competition

Tony Natsoulas' ceramic "Lee Counts His Snails Under the Bodhi Tree" was named best of show at the California State Fair's California Fine Art competition.

The Sacramento artist's work was selected for the top honor from the prestigious Jurors Award winners. In addition to Natsoulas, the other artists are:

Nichole Bremer of Roseville, for "Into Sara's Eyes," a black-and-white digital print.

Roy Holmberg of Santa Cruz, for "Hardly A Davidson," made from vacuum cleaner parts, with wood, steel, found objects and neon lighting

Kyle Larson of Sacramento, for "Around," acrylic on wood panel

Judy Maynard of Cambria, for "Peacock Duo," stained glass with mixed media

Andie Thrams of Coloma, for "In Forests, Volume XVII," which is described as "a unique artist's book, a case-bound accordion book of seven folios."

An awards ceremony is set for Aug. 20.

All of the California Fine Art winners will have their work on display in Expo Center, Building 7, during the run of the California State Fair.

The fair opens Aug. 21 and continues daily through Labor Day at Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento.

For info: (916) 263-FAIR (263-3247),

- Dixie Reid
July 21, 2009
Strike a (Potter) pose for free Esquire Imax tickets

Dig out those Gryffindor scarves and wizardly wands - they may just help you win a pack of tickets to see "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" at Esquire Imax Theatre.

The theatre is holding a photo contest for the best Harry Potter costumed pose at the Esquire Imax on K Street in downtown Sacramento.

Entries, which should be posted with the tag "HPEsquireIMAX," are being accepted through Flickr until 11:59 p.m. Aug. 10.

Judges are looking for the most creative and entertaining Harry Potter character costume, but the photo must be taken at the theatre.

The winner will get 10 tickets to see the film at the Esquire Imax on Aug. 11.

The latest of the Harry Potter films opens at Imax on July 29.

For more details, go to this You Tube posting.

July 20, 2009
Amy Antonelli is reaching for the stars

Photo/Dr. Scott McGavin
From left, Becky Douglas, David Archuleta and Amy Antonelli

Amy Antonelli is executive director of Rising Star Outreach, a Palo Alto-based organization that has been hands-on - literally - in an effort to raise awareness and, more importantly, funds to help those affected by leprosy in Southern India.

That's right - leprosy.

"It sounds biblical, doesn't it?" she says over the phone. "There's such a stigma attached to leprosy, and those impacted by it include parents and children who find themselves begging on the streets."

Antonelli lived in India for almost five years, joining forces with humanitarian Becky Douglas of Atlanta. The two women met in India after the devastating tsunami in December 2004.

Their efforts to help the leprosy patients didn't go unnoticed. Dr. Scott McGavin, a Salt Lake City, Utah, dentist heard about Rising Star Outreach. And guess whose teeth he cares for? Season 7 "American Idol" runner-up David Archuleta!

McGavin wanted to help, so he contacted Antonelli about assisting the leprosy patients with dental needs. He eventually took supplies and equipment to India.

"Scott talked to David about the outreach program and he wanted to help, too," Antonelli says. "He really got excited about it, even blogging on his Web site and encouraging his fans to help.

"Through his efforts we got $20,000 to help with the dental equipment. Then, he did another pitch to help raise money for a children's school. We've already received $5,000 that will go toward school supplies such as desks and books."

Archuleta was in Sacramento last Thursday and Antonelli drove from Palo Alto to meet with the teen singer before his show at Arco Arena. (He opened for Demi Lovato.)

"He's someone who is naturally kind and genuinely interested in helping people," Antonelli says after spending time with Archuleta.

Rising Star Outreach is currently raising funds through the sale of bricks for a pathway and bench in India. Archuleta signed two bricks that will be sold on the organization's Web site.

"I even encouraged David to go over there (India) because it's a life-changing experience," Antonelli says. "You're actually down in the dirt, helping patients bandage their wounds. It's a huge perspective adjuster."

For more information about Rising Star Outreach, click here.

July 18, 2009
Today: Design Downtown

Beginning, well, today, Third Saturday is declaring itself as the new Second Saturday. If you're not yet in the know about the event that's destined to electrify the downtown district's creative current, check out Design Downtown today from 3 p.m.-9 p.m..

Over 40 local arts, crafts and fashion vendors will be showcasing their wares on the corner of 10th and K streets, but wait--it's a block party, too. There will be live music, art, food and a beer garden. Best of all, admission is free.

Hear music by Music Charis, ZuhG and Kinetics, and peep these vendors, too:

A Touch of Color Inc.
Archradish Apparel
Arts and Business Council
BAM Designs
BKD Signature
Bliss Jewelry
Candy Glass
CC Star
Chris Simmons
Devalyn Marshall
Deranged Designs
Essensual Jewelry
Fancy Foury Paws
Geddes Studio
J n J Design
Juli's Jewels
Just Beecauze
Kenna Foster
Kewish Designs
Magic Salon
Marianne DeMartini
Marty May Press and Stitchery
Meshugga Chic Vintage
Never Felt Better by Jen
Pack Rat Crafts/ From the Heart Designs
Paul Imagine
Penny's Lane Polymer Clay
Project Transaction
Rag and Paper Designs by Gloria Grandy
Robin's Nest Clothing
Sacto Jewelry
Screen Masters
Transient Treasures
Wandering Mind Designs
Wee Sew Cute

July 17, 2009
TV star to talk about her experience with depression July 28

If you're a fan of ABC's Emmy-winning "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," then you're familiar with the bubbly and upbeat Paige Hemmis.
You probably also know that Hemmis, a carpenter and designer on the program, has struggled with depression. What you may not know is that Hemmis is coming to Sacramento July 28 on a mission to inspire others to talk with their health-care professional if they feel they have depression symptoms.
She's stopping here as part of the Blueprint for Hope tour, a campaign that will show how important it is to build a plan for managing depression.
Listen to Hemmis and get help at a free event at 7:30 p.m. on July 28 at the Radisson Hotel in Sacramento. Refreshments will be served.

July 17, 2009
Metallica to play Marin in September

The Marin History Museum has just announced a concert featuring Metallica.

The heavy metal band with Bay Area roots will headline a benefit for the museum's Marin Rocks exhibition on Sept. 11 at Veterans Memorial Auditorium, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael.

Moon Alice will open.

Tickets start at $100 and go on sale Aug. 1. Get them at or by calling (415) 499-6800.

"There are no words that can really express our gratitude to Metallica for giving us this opportunity," museum executive director Merry Alberigi said in a news release. "Their support of the Marin Rocks exhibition has been phenomenal since the beginning."

The Marin Rocks exhibition celebrates the area's music roots and current music scene.

- Dixie Reid
July 17, 2009
Can you guess regional mascots? Play The Bee's game

Regional mascots are lining up on Sunday to wish a happy 10th birthday to Dinger, the Sacramento River Cats' mascot.
Click here to test your knowledge of area mascots with The Bee's timed game.
The Sacramento River Cats are throwing a birthday party for Dinger at Sunday's game as part of a season-long celebration of the club's 10th anniversary in the region.
The fun actually starts before the game at noon when company and team mascots play a kickball game with Dinger at Raley Field in West Sacramento.
Sunday's game starts at 1:05 p.m., and the birthday party officially starts at 1:15 p.m. in the Coca-Cola Kids Corner. Balloon artists and face painters will be on hand, and the mascots will conduct a seventh-inning autograph session.
Is your child a member of Dingers' Kids Klub? If so, they will get a goody bag and cupcake. If not, they can join.
Click here to see the mascot lineup for Sunday's game.

July 16, 2009
Young filmmakers sought

The Tower of Youth film program doesn't discriminate in terms of style: it seeks computer-animated, live-action and even Claymation entries (three to 40 minutes) from the U.S. and Canada for its North American All Youth Film & Education Day Oct. 2 at the Crest.

The age range for young filmmakers is far more limited, however: only filmmakers ages 13-20 need apply. So if you or someone you know is a wunderkind, the deadline for entries is July 24.

Cost is $20 and entries are available at the Tower of Youth site.

July 16, 2009
Run for fun, and charity, at a local cemetery

It's a fun run like no other.

The second annual Memorial 5K Run/Walk, a benefit for Alzheimer's Aid Society of Northern California, starts and ends in a cemetery.

From East Lawn Memorial Park, the race route winds through the city's Fab 40s neighborhood, and then back to the "city of the dead."

Racetime is 8 a.m. July 25 at East Lawn, 4300 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento.

Fees are $30 for adults on race day (less for early registration) and $16 for the children's event.

For more info: (916) 492-8966,

- Dixie Reid
July 16, 2009
California Lectures brings literary luminaries to Sacramento

John Irving, Ruth Reichl and Abraham Verghese are among the notable authors who'll appear during the just-announced seventh season of California Lectures.

All events take place at 7:30 p.m. at the Crest Theatre, 1013 K St.

The 2009-10 season begins Oct. 22 with a talk by A.S. Byatt, author of the award-winning "Still Life" and "Possession: A Romance." Her latest tome, "The Children's Book," is due out in October. Byatt was appointed a Dame of the British Empire a decade ago and, in 2002, received the Shakespeare Prize from the Alfred Toepfer Foundation.

Irving, who won the National Book Award for "The World According to Garp," makes an appearance on Nov. 5. "Garp," along with "The Hotel New Hampshire" and "The Cider House Rules," were made into movies. Irving is a member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts & Letters.

Verghese, a physician whose nonfiction book "My Own Country" was based on his experiences treating HIV patients, will speak on Feb. 11, 2010. Mira Nair directed the movie adaptation of the book. Verghese is a professor at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Next up is Reichl, on March 26, 2010. She's editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine and author of such memoirs as "Tender at the Bone," "Garlic and Sapphires" and "Not Becoming My Mother." She's received the James Beard Award and is the former New York Times restaurant critic.

The last speaker, on April 26, 2010, is Scott Simon, host of National Public Radio's "Weekend Edition Saturday." His show has an estimated audience of more than 4 million. Among Simon's writings is "Windy City" and "Jackie Robinson and the Integration of Baseball."

Each author is available for a question-and-answer session with the audience and book-signing.

And, prior to each California Lectures presentation, a professor from California State University, Sacramento, will present a biographical overview of the night's special guest. Those "Lecture Previews," free to ticket-holders, begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Crest Theatre.

"California Lectures features authors yearly who tour on a very limited basis," says Suzette Riddle, founder and president of California Lectures. "This season, we're pleased to continue presenting the literary greats, the NPR favorites and the internationally loved voices of our culture.
"During the season so many of our patrons discover a new favorite author whose work they enjoy delving into."

The five-author season subscription is $155 and is on sale now. To purchase a subscription or get more information: (916) 737-1300,

Single-event tickets go on sale Sept. 28 and are priced at $30 for all speakers but Irving, who is $35. Buy those tickets at the Crest Theatre box office, through
or by calling (800) 225-2277.

- Dixie Reid
July 16, 2009
Go to Subway, ride the Tilt-a-Whirl

The California State Fair will cooperate with Subway restaurants in a new promotional deal for free State Fair admission -- if you buy an unlimited ride wristband.

The deal works like this:
-- Patrons must go to Subway between now and August 19 to pick up a promotional coupon.
-- Coupons must be redeemed within the same time period, which is before the Aug. 21 opening of the State Fair.
-- Coupons can be redeemed by going to and entering the promotional code on the coupon, or by taking the coupon to the Cal Expo Box Office during regular box office hours.
-- In both cases, you must purchase the wristband, $28 until Aug. 19, which is good for all rides until 11 p.m.

Other discount fair packages are available, including family deals, season admission, and fair general admission for adults, seniors and children.

For more information, see the Web site, or call (916) 263-3247.

July 16, 2009
River Cats: Four really good reasons to be at Raley Field

As if spending time in minor league baseball's best ballpark and watching the Sacramento River Cats work their magic isn't enough, the team is upping the fun for its four-game stand against the Reno Aces at Raley Field.
Here's what they have in store:

'80s Night - Today
(Gates open at 6 p.m. Game time is 7:05 p.m.)
Music from the era played throughout the game, with '80s in-game entertainment and costume contest (extra points if you wear hypercolor shirts and pegged jeans.) Miller Lite 'Que & Brew offers $2 Miller Lites and barbecue specials.

Snow Day at Raley Field - 5-8 p.m. Friday
A parking lot will be made into a snow park, thanks to Interstate Batteries, with a sled run and a kids' area, where they can throw snowballs and build snowmen.
For more info:
It's also Family Fun Friday, with $1 hot dogs and $1 ice creams throughout the game.
(Gates open at 6 p.m. Game time is 7:05 p.m.)

6th annual 'Swing for the Cure' - Saturday
(Gates open at 6 p.m. Game time is 7:05 p.m.)
River Cats players will wear special pink jerseys, which will be auctioned off, with proceeds going to Komen for the Cure for breast cancer awareness and research.
At the On Deck Shop, all pink merchandise is 20 percent off. Fans are encouraged to wear pink, so if you don't have something, stop in the shop before the game.
"Swing for the Cure" has raised $82,000 in its first five years.
And, there will be fireworks after the game, a Saturday night tradition.

Dinger's 10th birthday bash - Sunday
12:10-12:30 p.m., the Cats' mascot and 30 of his mascot pals will join in a little pre-game kickball, presented by Jelly Belly
For more info:
(Gates open at noon. Game time is 1:05 p.m.)

Ticket Hotline is (916) 371-HITS (371-4487). General info:

The River Cats' home field is at 400 Ballpark Drive, West Sacramento.

- Dixie Reid
July 15, 2009
FOX to air moonwalk anniversary special with Buzz Aldrin

The FOX News Channel will replace Friday's "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren" with a special program on the lunar anniversary, also hosted by Van Susteren. The 40th anniversary of the first moonwalk is July 20.

"Apollo 11: One Small Step to Our Future" will feature interviews with several Apollo astronauts, focusing on Col. Buzz Aldrin of Apollo 11, who will discuss the future of space exploration with Van Susteren.

Other Apollo veterans on the program will include Jim Lovell, Rusty Schweickart, Gene Cernan, Alan Bean and Jack Schmitt, FOX announced.

The program will air at 7 p.m. Friday on the West Coast.

July 15, 2009
"Lion King" was a mane (main) attraction in Sacramento

The folks at Broadway Sacramento, who hosted "Disney's 'The Lion King' " for a five-week engagement ending June 28, just announced that it set a box-office record at the Community Center Theater.

More than 88,000 people, many of whom traveled more than 100 miles, saw the show there.

"With total box office sales amounting to just under $6 million, this engagement of 'The Lion King' is the highest-grossing theatical return in Sacramento's history," says Richard Lewis, executive producer of Sacramento Musical Theatre, of which Broadway Sacramento is a part.

The production that was in Sacramento has moved on to Edmonton, Alberta, and will travel to Calgary, Anchorage, San Diego, Spokane and San Antonio.

A new production opened in May at Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas.

"The Lion King" was the winner of six Tony Awards, including best musical.

- Dixie Reid

July 15, 2009
KFC offers up 'Chari-T's' and a local guy is in the running

The summer season is definitely sizzling at Kentucky Fried Chicken. But how are fashion and a drumstick zipped together? By design, of course.

The fast-food chain is sponsoring a philanthropic first: A design contest open to everyone from fashion designers to college students. The goal is to design a T-shirt to benefit KFC Colonel's Scholars, a charitable program that provides college scholarships to students in need.

And here's the local peg: Louis Solorio of Sacramento beat out hundreds of other tee entries to become one of the 12 semi-finalists in the contest. (See his entry above.)

Solorio, 34, says he's been telling all his friends and family to vote. He says his design is unique because he "painted" it using a program on his computer.
"It's more of a jersey-type tee, soccer style," he says. "Of course, it features the KFC logo."

Now we've got to get out the local vote because America's votes will help determine the top three designs, which will be sold at and in the winning designers' hometowns. The three will be eating large as well, with a year's worth of KFC grilled chicken via gift checks. The designer with the most votes gets a weeklong trip to New York next February (hopefully during New York Fashion Week) and $1,000 to pursue a design career.

Sales of the three T-shirts will go toward the KFC scholarship program.

How to vote? Just click here. Voting ends July 26, and the top three will be announced Aug. 3, so cross your chickin-lickin' fingers for Louis! The winning shirts will be available for purchase through Sept. 14.

July 15, 2009
KVIE recruits volunteers to take pledges in fundraising drive

Want a career in television?
Would you settle for volunteer work and a chance to appear live on television?
KVIE, the local public broadcasting station, is seeking volunteers from to answer phones and take member pledges during on-air fundraising drives.
They typically work with teams of volunteers from local companies, nonprofits, civic or social organizations.
Volunteer coordinator Noelle Champagne will take your calls to sign up for a shift at (916) 641-3593. Volunteers must be trained in time to man phone banks from July 30 through Aug. 11, and Aug. 15-16.
Your shift will last around four hours.

July 15, 2009
Check it out: Third Thursday Art Walk is tomorrow in South Sac

Sacramento definitely is a city on the move, arts-wise.

Joining the ever-popular Second Saturday gallery strolls is tomorrow's Third Thursday Art Walk - highlighting the artwork of South Sacramento youth. There also will be live music and hands-on art workshops.

It's 4-7 p.m. Thursday at Colonial Heights Library, 4799 Stockton Blvd., Sacramento (between 14th Avenue and Fruitridge Road.)

According to a news release, "The kids in South Sac are trying to bring meaning and joy to their often-challenging lives." When surveyed three years ago, they said they wanted more art, music and dance in their lives.

Third Thursday Art Walk is funded in part by a Sierra Health Foundation REACH grant and the Stockton Boulevard Partnership, along with help from Sacramento Mutual Housing Association.

For more information on Third Thursday Art Walk, call Emily Bender: (916) 384-8287.

- Dixie Reid
July 15, 2009
River Cats conjure snow in July for Friday's game

Ah, Raley Field in the summer - baseball, hot dogs and hold up ... snow?
Enjoy it for one night only.
From 5-8 p.m. before Friday's River Cats game, Interstate Batteries is sponsoring the transformation of field parking lots into a snow park, with a sled run and a snowball play area, using snow machines.
It's something Interstate Batteries has been doing at other minor league baseball fields, Raley Field spokesman Nick Lozito said. Company officials hope to convey the message that it's just as important to check your car battery in the summer. They're harmed 33 percent faster in summer heat than they are in winter cold, according to a news release.
The offer took Raley Field officials a little bit by surprise. They received it just a couple weeks ago.
"We're doing our best to get the word out with such late notice," Lozito said.
Snow night will fall on Family Fun Friday, when $1 hot dogs and $1 ice cream is served during the game.
Snow comes as a complete surprise even in winter in Sacramento, but amid summer's triple-digit temperatures, the idea is just silly enough to bring a smile to kids of all ages.
"Especially in July in Sacramento, it'll be a fun event," Lozito said.
--Sarah Frier

July 14, 2009
Witches disapparating at cinemas across Northern California

By 10 p.m. Tuesday, hundreds of young witches had descended upon the Regal Natomas Stadium 16, awaiting their chance to be sorted into one of 10 theaters showing "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."
Theater managers said they had opened the 10th theater Monday but had sold out of tickets quickly. That amounted to 1,600 seats at this cinema complex alone.
Inside the door of the movie complex, Sacramento dad Jeremy Scoville had donned the guise of Rubeus Hagrid for one special night with his three sons. One of the boys, 14-year-old Jimmy, had the courage to play the role of Draco Malfoy, Harry's antagonist.
Why did the family venture out tonight of all nights?
"Every year, it's like a family tradition," said "Draco." Added "Hagrid:" "Fantasy and fun, that's what this night is all about."
Sacramento-area residents started lining up at theaters Tuesday morning to get the best seats.
Julianne Jones discovered the Harry Potter books by British author J.K. Rowling when she was 15 or 16. On Tuesday night, the 23-year-old was standing outside the theater with friends Josh and Natalie Caldwell. They arrived two hours before the movie was to start at 12:01 a.m. Why?
"To get a good seat."

July 14, 2009
'Potter' fans reach frenzy well ahead of witching hour

About 50 Harry Potter fans, some dressed in wizard garb, already are waiting in line at the Regal Davis Holiday 6 theater for a 12:01 a.m. showing of the sixth movie, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."
The line started Tuesday morning.
Although many fans have already purchased their tickets, they're waiting to get their pick of seats.
With all the Harry Potter books written, fans still have the movies to anticipate. Many local theaters have sold out of tickets, yet the phones ring incessantly.
At the Regal Natomas Stadium 16, all 11 screens showing the movie are sold out. One is privately reserved for the nearly 90-member Harry Potter Wizard Crew, which dresses up and organizes activities for kids, manager Katie Epstein said.
The United Artists Arden Fair 6 theater just started a line for their midnight showing. Floor staffer Julienna SanNicholas looks forward to the hubbub.
"There's supposed to be a lot of people coming, it's crazy," she said.
--Sarah Frier

July 14, 2009
'Potter' fans reach frenzy well ahead of witching hour

About 50 Harry Potter fans, some dressed in wizard garb, already are waiting in line at the Regal Davis Holiday 6 theater for a 12:01 a.m. showing of the sixth movie.
The line started Tuesday morning.
Although many fans have already purchased their tickets, they're waiting to get their pick of seats.
With all the Harry Potter books written, fans still have the movies to anticipate. Many local theaters have sold out of tickets, yet the phones ring incessantly.
At the Regal Natomas Stadium 16, all 11 screens showing the movie are sold out. One is privately reserved for the nearly 90-member Harry Potter Wizard Crew, which dresses up and organizes activities for kids, manager Katie Epstein said.
The United Artists Arden Fair 6 theater just started a line for their midnight showing. Floor staffer Julienna SanNicholas looks forward to the hubbub.
"There's supposed to be a lot of people coming, it's crazy," she said.
--Sarah Frier

July 14, 2009
Hair - Long As I Can Grow It

This Thursday night at 7 p.m. America's tribal rock musical "Hair" returns in concert at Harlow's. Artistic Differences theater company who had a hit with their full production from two summers ago are bringing a slightly different version of the tuneful 60's celebration to the midtown night club.

Though every one from the original cast was invited back for this show leads Christian St. Croix and Jerry Lee were not available. Even so this concert version of the musical has been designed to focus more on the community story taking place and less on the particular individuals.

The cast includes Lindsay Grimes, Kevin Caravalho, Netty Carey, Tygar-Lynn Hicks, Inertia DeWitt, Nic Candito, Rashad Strother, Troy Thomas, and Maggie Hollinbeck. Hollinbeck also plays keyboards and serves as musical director for the band which includes a horn section along with Elaine Lord on drums and Ben Wormeli on guitar.

"Hair" in concert happens this Thursday, July 16 at 7 p.m. at Harlow's Restaurant, 2708 J Street. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. For information call(916) 441-4693 go to or

July 13, 2009
Copyright for Artists - an overview

In an age where it seems as though everything is online for free, what happens to copyright for artists?

California Lawyers for the Arts and attorney Grace Bergen are presenting an overview on copyright law July 28 at Time Tested Books. Bergen is former general counsel for Tower Records and an attorney with Greenberg Traurig LLP.

Bergen will start with the basics of what is copyright, and address international copyright, how to copyright works, and how copyright applies to sound, sculptural, pictorial and graphic works. A question-and-answer session will follow.

The program is $20 for the general public, $10 for members of California Lawyers for the Arts and $5 for students and seniors.

The event is 7-8:30 p.m. at 1114-21st St., Sacramento. To register, call (916) 442-6210 ext. 102 or email

July 13, 2009
It will be a smash as Smashbox comes to Total Beauty Experience

Debbie McCain, co-owner of Total Beauty Experience with husband John, says she's trying to host as many events at the all-purpose store as possible between now and August. That's because she's hitting the road next month in search of fabulous treasures for this fall heading into holiday.

After all, Christmas is in five months and counting!

The next event is Thursday and will feature Smashbox Cosmetics. This is a teaching opportunity where attendees get an hour in which they get a step-by-step overview on how to properly apply their makeup. And the Smashbox experts are trained by some of the best in the business. (The company was founded by Davis and Dean Factor, great-grandsons of Hollywood cosmetics giant Max Factor.)

There also will be tips on how to streamline your daily makeup routine. This is good info, especially if you're lightening up on your products but want to have a look that can shift from day to night.

Total Beauty will have gifts with purchase and plenty of refreshments. Appointments are available from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. There is a $25 non-refundable reservation fee that will be redeemable in Smashbox products the day of the event. To book an appointment: (916) 481-7994 or stop by the store, 2929 Arden Way.

July 10, 2009
"Young Mr. Lincoln" at California Museum on Saturday

Abe Lincoln was in Sacramento?

Well, no, but "Young Mr. Lincoln," the 1939 movie directed by John Ford and starring Henry Fonda as Lincoln (Fonda reportedly wore shoe lifts to appear taller) was filmed in Sacramento.

You can see this classic "homemade" movie Saturday under the stars in the California Museum's Constitution Courtyard. It's part of Movie Night at the Museum summer series and the Second Saturday Art Walk.

As an added treat, PG&E will provide solar power to "energize" the 70-year-old "Young Mr. Lincoln."

"Moviegoers will see firsthand how the sun's rays can bring this nighttime event to life at the Sustainable Waves truck parked outside the museum," according to a press release.

The movie ties in nicely with the magnificent "With Malice Toward None: The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition," which is at the California Museum until Aug. 22.

(The museum itself won't be open tomorrow night, so you'll have to see the Library of Congress' traveling show another time.)

Bring your own camp chairs or blankets for the movie. Refreshments will be available for sale.

"Young Mr. Lincoln" starts at 8:30 p.m. and runs 100 minutes.

Admission is a $1 donation per person.

The California Museum for History, Women & the Arts is at 1020 O St., Sacramento. Free, lighted parking available nearby.

For more info: (916) 653-7524,

- Dixie Reid
July 10, 2009
Tomorrow: Second Saturday...Arden style

Midtown is no longer the exclusive "home" of the Second Saturday Art Walk. The event has quickly proliferated throughout Sacramento, bringing galleries, special events and new creative talent to areas like Oak Park, Del Paso Boulevard and West Sacramento.

Tomorrow, the Arden area will join the ranks of Sacramento's artsiest neighborhoods.

From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., residents of Arden, Carmichael and surrounding areas (including midtowners who don't want to deal with the hustle and bustle of art on the grid) will attend Arden's first Second Saturday Art Walk, to be located at University Village (Howe Ave. & Fair Oaks Blvd.)

Look forward to entertainment, refreshments, and interaction with some of the area's wonderful local businesses, from bookstores to restaurants to art galleries. You can also view work in a variety of mediums by these (and other) area artists: Lakan Ilaw, Allie Bergman, Ed Boylan, Lisa Kreuziger, Joan Marie, Irene Rodigo and Bob Tonjes.

For more information, visit

July 9, 2009
When having a bad dog is good

Bark Busters is looking for a few bad dogs.

The dog-training service is sponsoring a National Naughty Dog Contest, asking pet-owners to submit photos, videos and stories showing canine naughtiness. The winner will get free training to turn the dog from bad to bowwow-wonderful.

Bark Busters' animal behaviorists say there's a lot people can do besides yelling "No! Bad dog!" They aim to share the techniques that result in a two-legged master of the house, not a four-legged boss.

To read contest rules, get information on Bark Busters services or discover tips on dog training, see

July 8, 2009
Napa Valley Writers' Conference to Feature Inauguration Poet

Elizabeth Alexander, who read a poem for President Barack Obama's Inauguration, will be among the featured writers at the Napa Valley Writers' Conference July 26-31.

Jane HIrshfield, Carl Dennis and David St. John are other writers participating in the 29th edition of the writers' workshop and conference.

The public is invited to readings and lectures by writers.

For a complete schedule and information on tickets, call 707 967-2900, ext. 1611 or see

July 8, 2009
'Swing for the Cure' at Raley Field

There's always good reason to get in the pink - especially if it includes a baseball game.

Next Saturday night (that's July 18), the Sacramento Valley affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation will partner with our own River Cats for an event called "Swing for the Cure."

That night's game - at 7:05 p.m. at Raley Field - will offer premium tickets at reduced rates to benefit breast cancer research. The seat options are: $19 for Senate Box Seats; $17 for Gold Rush Seats, and $13 for Delta Box Seats.

Some of the other promotions include a 10th season fan giveaway for the first 3,000 to enter the ballpark. There will be fireworks at the conclusion of the game courtesy of Sutter Health. And fans get a chance to bid on a pink game jersey at the silent auction.

For more information: Melanie Levy at (916) 376-4975 or

July 8, 2009
Cats get cathodes -- Donors provide TVs for shelter

Cats at the Animal Rescue League's Galt facility now have a television in every room, thanks to donors who read last week's story in The Bee, in which the League sought donations. There's also a new TV for the cat room in the Elk Grove Petco.

Cats at the Galt house were known to watch television, including "Desperate Housewives," according to volunteers, but existing TVs were wearing out.

"The public's response to your article was amazing," said RJ Verni, the League's president. "We received numerous email and phone calls from animal lovers wanting to donate their old cable-ready TV and then some."

The "and then some," included a donor who will work with the League on a program for kids practicing reading with dogs and new people involved in the League's cause of saving animals who have been abandoned.

It also led to a TV segment on KOVR Channel 13 Tuesday, Verni said.

We hope the cats were tuned in.

For more information on the Animal Rescue League, call (916) 714-2894.

July 6, 2009
Four Placer County students reap $28,000 in scholarships

The Placer Community Foundation has awarded four scholarships to students at Del Oro and Placer High Schools under the John G. and Lillian M. Walsh Family Scholarship program.

Two, four-year renewable scholarships of $3,000 per year went to Sydney Leftridge of Placer High School and Anna Titkaia of Del Oro High School. Titkaia plans to attend UC Santa Cruz while Leftridge will attend the University of Portland.

Sierra College-bound students Alexander Greening of Placer High and Rosa Olivas of Del Oro were named for two-year grants of $1,000 per year.

The scholarships were awarded under an endowment in memory of John Walsh, a former Auburn mayor and his wife Lillian, who was also active in the community. Their daughter established the endowment as a bequest.

For more information on establishing a charitable legacy through the Placer Community Foundation visit or call (530) 885-4920.

July 6, 2009
Poetry for Change (In Africa)

Roseville student Megan Mateo - headed for UC Davis in fall - is soliciting poems to support efforts in Africa to battle poverty, violence and AIDS.

Mateo started Poetry for Change (In Africa) to try to raise money for the charity Africa Aid.

More than 100 poems have been received from around the world, Mateo said in an email response to questions. Selected poems will be published in a print-on-demand edition that will be sold to benefit the charity, she said.

Deadline for submitting poems is July 30.

For more information, see

July 6, 2009
On air for an early morning tribute to Michael Jackson

MARY ALTAFFER/Associated Press

Lee Perkins - one half of the dynamic duo that is "The Lee and Andrea Morning Show" on V101.1 "The R&B and Old School Station" - called this morning to invite me to be on the radio tomorrow morning for a tribute to Michael Jackson before the singer's memorial at the Staples Center in L.A.

Andrea is on vacation. And because I'm only nine months older than Michael, Lee thought having another "Leigh" who grew up listening to the King of Pop might be fun. And yes, I've got stories to share. But the bigger goal is to hear from listeners about their thoughts on Michael before the memorial.

Across the nation, folks continued to pay monumental tribute. On Monday, fans signed a memorial mural for Michael outside the Apollo Theater in New York (pictured).

I'm really looking forward to spending time with Lee (I'm a big fan!) and hearing from other listeners about their favorite memories, their favorite songs, etc. And, of course, what's on their iPods!!!

So, grab a cup of coffee and tune in around 7 a.m.

July 3, 2009
July concerts to suit most tastes

By far the hottest concert month of 2009, July brings such big-ticket acts as Beyonce (July 9, Arco Arena), Coldplay and No Doubt (July 14 and July 24, respectively, Sleep Train Amphitheatre in Wheatland) to the Sacramento area.

In terms of pure variety, however, one day in July stands out: On July 10, the squeaky-clean American Idols will play Arco as the darker-tinged Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Tour, headlined by Marilyn Manson and Slayer, happens 40 miles away in Wheatland.

Too bad Adam Lambert will be too busy with his own show to hang with Manson. Because Manson could teach the "Idol" runner-up a thing or two about Goth androgyny and Lambert could instruct Manson on the joys of smiling on stage and non-monotone singing.

For tickets to these July shows, go to the the Ticketmaster site.

July 2, 2009
So who's up for disco lessons - and music at the Fountains?

The Saturday night concert series at the Fountains at Roseville was soooo successful last year that it's back - with two additional nights of free entertainment.

And that includes disco lessons this Friday!

According to folks at the Fountains, almost 2,000 people attended the first week of events last month, so they're adding events for July. Here's the schedule - and let me know if you need to find some polyester!

* Friday entertainment: The first Friday of each month (that would be tomorrow) will see the main street closed to only pedestrian traffic. There will be a farmers market, performers, a sidewalk sale and a car show from 6 to 9 p.m. On stage, the All Star DJ Group will host a dance exhibition, karaoke and the aforementioned disco dancing. For the rest of the Fridays in July, here's the lineup.

July 10: Rising Star Karaoke contest
July 17: DJ/Motown Madness (soul/R&B)
July 24: DJ/World Dance (all nationalities)

* Saturday entertainment: All concerts are set for the main stage and begin at 7 p.m. Here's the lineup.

July 4: Black Tuesday Jazz Band (Dixie/New Orleans style). Note time change: 5 to 7 p.m.
July 11: Code Blue (rock/R&B)
July 18: Loose Change (rocking blues)
July 25: Groove Thang ('70s and '80s/disco)

* Wednesday entertainment: These concerts will feature a mix of bands, trios and duets on stage from 7 to 9 p.m. Here's the lineup.

July 8: The Hucklebucks (light rock)
July 15: Jerry Martini Trio (jazz/R&B)
July 22: Bobby D & the Blues Org (blues/rock)
July 29: Vibrocounts (surf/R&R)

Also, every second Saturday of the month, the Fountains will host Kids Club , featuring entertainment, crafts and activities for the younger crowd. The next event is at 10 a.m. July 11 and will highlight Michael Bayard's exhibition of percussion instruments from Africa, Mexico, South America, Asia, Europe and right here at home.

For more info. click here.

July 2, 2009
Sacramento's public libraries to be open more, less

Starting next Monday, seven Sacramento Public Library branches will be open just 36 hours a week, thanks to city budget reductions.

Not to worry: You'll find an open library somewhere in the system every day of the week - and three libraries will have longer hours.

Here's the schedule for the 10 affected branches:

Colonial Heights, 4799 Stockton Blvd.
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday; noon-8 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, and 1-5 p.m. Friday. Closed Saturday-Sunday.

Belle Cooledge Library, 5600 S. Land Park Drive
Noon-8 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday, 1-5 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday-Monday.

Del Paso Heights Library, 920 Grand Avenue
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and 1-5 p.m. Friday. Closed Saturday-Sunday.

Martin Luther King Jr. Library, 7340 24th Street Bypass
Noon-8 p.m. Monday and Thursday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, and 1-5 p.m. Friday. Closed Saturday-Sunday.

Ella K. McClatchy Library, 2112 22nd St.
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, noon-8 p.m. Wednesday, 1-5 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday-Monday.

McKinley Library, 601 Alhambra Blvd.
Noon-8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday, 1-5 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday-Monday.

North Natomas Library, 2500 New Market Drive
11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Tuesday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; and 1-5 p.m. Friday. Closed Saturday-Sunday.

North Sacramento-Hagginwood Library, 2109 Del Paso Blvd.
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, noon-8 p.m. Wednesday, 1-5 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday-Monday.

South Natomas Library, 2901 Truxel Road
Noon-8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday, 1-5 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday-Monday.

"Sacramento Public Library card holders can also continue to access our free, online services any time of day from any computer with Internet access," said spokeswoman Alison B. Landers.

Go to to research databases, download books, music and videos and language courses, and find homework help for grades 3-12.

For more info on our public libraries: (916) 264-2920

- Dixie Reid

July 1, 2009
Van Cliburn finalist to perform in Modesto


When the famed Van Cliburn International Piano competition is over is when some intense touring begins for its finalists.

After all, one of the perks of placing at the festival is the extensive booking network the Van Cliburn offers.

So it is no surprise that it didn't take long for Di Wu, one of the finalists of the 13th Van Cliburn competition, to make a local concert appearance.

That concert will take place at the Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto on Aug. 3 at 7 p.m., and is presented jointly with the Bear Valley Music Festival.

The 24 year-old Wu will play Clara Schumann's Mazurka from "Soirées Musicales", Op. 6, Richard Schumann's "Davidsbündlertänze", Op. 6, and Joseph-Maurice Ravel's "Miroirs," and Gounod-Liszt's Concert Waltz from "Faust".

Like the three medal winners at the competition, Wu originally hails from the Far East. She was born in China and made her professional debut at age 14 with the Beijing Philharmonic. Since then, she has performed with several U.S. orchestras, including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center.

Wu moved to the United States in 1999 to study at the Manhattan School of Music and later relocated to Philadelphia to study with noted piano teacher Gary Graffman at the Curtis Institute of Music.

Upon completing her undergraduate education at Curtis, Wu returned to New York City where she is currently in the masters program at The Juilliard School of Music.

When: 7 p.m., Aug. 3
Where: Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St., Modesto
Cost: $20-$30
Information: (877) 488-3380 or

July 1, 2009
Coffee worshippers have a new Temple in midtown

I have fantastic news for those midtown coffee elitists who routinely schlep it all the way to 10th street for what many consider to be the best cup in Sacramento.

On Monday, Temple Fine Coffee & Tea opened a new shop, located at 2829 S St.. The shop is open daily from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. through August, and, beginning Sept. 1, hours will be extended to 11 p.m.

The menu includes the same delicious coffees, teas and baked goods found at the original location, and the new space is larger and lighter, with a gorgeous wooden coffee bar any barista would covet.

The interior of the shop is, in my opinion, a freelance writer's dream. In front, there's a large grid of small tables, and they've all got access to electrical outlets (no more table stalking!). The WiFi is up and working beautifully, and the bike racks are already situated outside (many kudos for being ahead of the game).

Bravo to ample seating (including shaded patio seating), a gorgeous wood-inspired interior and, perhaps most important, excellent air conditioning. Looks like I've found a new workspace.

Temple Fine Coffee & Tea
2829 S Street, Sacramento
(916) 454-1272

July 1, 2009
Multicultural culture: Roseville invites kids to submit art

Roseville's annual children's art show will have the theme "Colors of Culture" this year to celebrate the diversity of cultures in local communities.

Kids 5 to 13 can submit works on the theme for a show at the Blue Line Gallery that will run from mid-August to November.

Works accompanied by a $5 entry fee will be accepted from 1-5 p.m. Aug. 7-8 at the gallery, 405 Vernon St., Suite 100, in Roseville.

For more precise information on entry requirements, drop by the gallery, or check online at

July 1, 2009
What is a 'green' book club?

Rosevlle's libraries and utilities are getting together to sponsor a new "green" book club for readers interested in environmental issues.

The club is holding its first meeting at 5 p.m. July 10 in the Maidu Branch, and will meet on the second Friday of the month after that.

Participants are invited to share their favorite books or films that deal with water conservation, recycling or climate change. No starting suggestions are offered, so the group's topics and its formats are open to whatever participants want.

For more information, call the library at (916) 774-5221.

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