This Week: Arena issues will get an official airing

There will be plenty of news this week on Sacramento’s effort to build a $448 million downtown arena for the Kings.

First, the campaign seeking a vote on public contributions for sports facilities expects to hand in the signatures it’s been collecting in support of the ballot measure. The deadline to file those signatures for the proposed June ballot measure is Tuesday.

Also on Tuesday, city officials will provide the City Council with an update on financing of the arena project at its regular meeting. City officials also expect to brief the council on a plan to hire local contractors for the project.

Plans for the arena and the broader redevelopment of the Downtown Plaza will be reviewed by the Planning Commission at City Hall on Thursday night. Those plans, submitted in an entitlement application by the Kings’ owners last month, call for 1.5 million square-feet of development at Downtown Plaza, including office and retail space. The Kings are also proposing a 250-room hotel and 550 housing units.

That same evening, Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork – the group leading the arena ballot measure campaign – is hosting a forum on the arena issue at the North Natomas Library at 4660 Via Ingoglia. The forum will be moderated by former City Councilwoman Lauren Hammond and is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.


Wreaths Across America ceremonies honor vets

Two ceremonies honoring war veterans will be held in the Sacramento region this week as part of the annual “Wreaths Across America” campaign. The public is invited to both events. The first wreath-laying ceremony takes place at noon today on the west steps of the Capitol. Similar ceremonies are conducted at statehouses in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The second event at 9 a.m. Saturday honors what organizers describe as “homegrown heroes” at Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, 5810 Midway Road in Dixon.

Behind the news: The “Wreaths Across America” tradition began over the holidays more than 20 years ago when Worcester Wreath Co. in Harrington, Maine, placed wreaths on the headstones of fallen soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. The goal this year, as it was last year, is to place a wreath from Maine at the grave of every veteran at the Dixon cemetery. The campaign is sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution. Donations to the effort can be made at the website below.

Info: www.svncsc.org/waa

Roseville center gives kids lessons in conservation

Parents in Roseville and surrounding communities are encouraged to bring their preschoolers to the Roseville Utility Exploration Center anytime between 10 a.m. and noon on Tuesday for a free, hands-on learning experience in the world of energy and water conservation. The exploration center is housed within the Martha Riley Library, 1501 Pleasant Grove Blvd. in Roseville. Parents may also sign up in advance for a two-hour curriculum for home-schooled children.

Behind the news: The Exploration Center promotes energy efficiency, renewable technology, water conservation and recycling among residences and businesses in the Roseville area. The Martha Riley Library was the first building in Placer County to be awarded Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) status by the U.S. Green Building Council. Along with hands-on exhibits, the center offers a learning lab for demonstrations, presentations and workshops.

Info: www.roseville.ca.us/explore or call (916)746-1550.

Around Town

Sutter’s Fort offers ‘hands on’ holiday events

Sutter’s Fort is hosting two “Hands on History” events with a holiday theme on Saturday. The first, titled “A Simple Emigrant Christmas,” runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the state historic park at 27th and L streets in midtown Sacramento. Participants can engage in activities such as candle dipping and making cornhusk dolls as they learn about immmigrant holiday traditions of the 1840s. The cost is $7 for adults, $5 for youths 6 to 17, and free for children 5 and younger. You can also get a candlelit tour of the fort from 6:30-9 p.m. on Saturday. Docents will lead small groups into the fort’s more intimate rooms while the visitors learn about families that settled California. Candlelit tours cost $17 per person.

Info: www.suttersfort.org

Free class offered to small businesses

The California Capital Women’s Business Center will host a free class, “Human Resource Management for Small Business,” from 9-11 a.m. Wednesday at 2000 O St., suite 250, Sacramento. Parking available in the lot on 20th Street between O and P streets. HR expert Amelya Stevenson will cover numerous business/management topics.

Info: www.cacapital.org

Mandarins star in co-op cooking class

Joanne Neft and Laura Kenny, who run the Placer County Real Food website, are leading a Sacramento Natural Food Co-op cooking class starring one of the county’s signature food products – mandarins. Items on the menu for “Mandarin Magic” include a roast leg of lamb with mandarin marmalade. The class at 1914 Alhambra Blvd. in Sacramento starts at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. It’s $35 for co-op owners; $45 for nonmembers.

Info: www.sacfoodcoop.com

Santa Parade returns to capital on Saturday

Barring high winds, Sacramento’s annual Santa Parade will take place Saturday at 10 a.m. The parade starts at 13th and N streets and proceeds west on N Street to Ninth Street; north on Ninth Street to L Street, then west on L Street to Fourth Street.

Info: www.sacholidays.com

John Freeman to appear at Time Tested Books

The public is invited to a conversation with John Freeman, an award-winning writer and book critic, who will appear at Time Tested Books, 1114 21st St. (between L and K streets) at 7 p.m. Thursday. Freeman will discuss his new book, “How to Read a Novelist,” a collection of profiles of famous writers, with Kel Munger, a freelance writer and an adjunct professor of journalism at American River College.

Info: timetestedbooks.blogspot.com

Library offers storytime for preschoolers

Parents and caregivers are invited to bring toddlers and preschoolers up to age 5 for a special storytime session at the Franklin Community Library, 10055 Franklin High Road, at 10 a.m. Saturday. The event is comprised of 30 minutes of play with educational toys, followed by stories, songs, flannel boards and crafts.

Info: saclibrary.org/Locations/Franklin

Midtown businesses celebrate Winter Gala

The Midtown Business Association will host its annual Winter Gala from 6-9 p.m. Thursday at Harlow’s Momo Lounge, 2708 J St., Sacramento. The event honors community members who have helped MBA reach its goals throughout the year. Tickets are $30 for members, $35 for MetroEdge members and $40 for general admission.

Info: www.exploremidtown.org