This Week: City Council considers cab standards

On Tuesday, the Sacramento City Council will consider new standards for downtown’s taxi fleet. Yellow cab and other large cab companies generally support the proposal, but it has drawn protests from independent cab drivers who say it could force them out of business.

The proposed ordinance includes a test for Sacramento taxi drivers that covers basic English skills, knowledge of local geography, taxi laws and rudimentary math. Cabs would have to be retired after eight years, though there could be an exception for vintage vehicles. Drivers would need to maintain standards of personal hygiene and wear collared shirts, dress slacks or shorts and closed-toed shoes.

In addition to the English test, independent cabbies have expressed concern over proposed requirements that they accept credit cards and have dispatch service. The city responded by making some changes in the proposed ordinance. Cab drivers could use smartphone apps to take credit cards so they wouldn’t have to buy expensive credit card machines. And dispatch services would be required only during the hours cabs actually operate, rather than 24 hours a day.

– Mary Lynne Vellinga

In the News

Panel examines police surveillance methods

The Center for Investigative Reporting and the Sacramento Press Club are hosting a panel discussion Tuesday titled “The State of Surveillance,” which will explore the tools law enforcement uses – from automated license-plate readers to facial recognition programs – to collect data on the public. Police agencies say the tools help solve or even prevent crime, while privacy advocates say the systems unnecessarily intrude on law-abiding citizens. The program, which runs from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Beatnik Studios, 723 St. in Sacramento, is $15 for Press Club members, $20 for nonmembers and $5 for students.

Info: http:// cironline.org/events/state-surveillance

SacTweetup comes to soccer team headquarters

Organizers of the “social media mixer” known as the SacTweetup are holding their next gathering from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the headquarters of Sacramento’s new professional soccer team, Sacramento Republic FC. The Sacatomatoes food truck and midtown microbrewery New Helvetia will be on hand. The Sacramento Republic FC’s offices are at 2421 17th St.

Info: www.facebook.com/sactweetup

Class shows you how to sweeten desserts without sugar

The Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op is offering a class on how to sweeten desserts using sugar substitutes that do not dramatically alter blood-sugar levels. Instructor Marga den Hoed will demostrate a vegan menu that includes cheesecake and seasonal fruit muffins. The 6:30 p.m. class Tuesday at 1900 Alhambra Blvd. is $45; $35 for co-op owners.

Info: www.sacfoodcoop.com or call (916) 868-6399

Capella Antiqua performs concert at cathedral

The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament’s artists-in-residence, Capella Antiqua, are performing a concert Friday of choral works by German composer Johannes Brahms, featuring the Liebeslieder Waltzes and other favorites. A pre-concert lecture take place at 6:45 p.m. at the cathedral, 1017 11th St., followed by the concert at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for general admission; $10 for seniors and students.

Info: http:// capella-antiqua.org/performances.html

Symphonic music will fill the air at Carmichael Park

The Sacramento Valley Symphonic Band Association presents two days of performances this weekend at the annual Carmichael Park Community Band Festival, one of the largest community band festivals in California for more than 20 years. The free event at 5750 Grant Ave. in Carmichael takes place from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Families are invited to bring picnics and lawn chairs to the event.

Info: www.svsba.net or (916) 489-2576

Central Library hosts Scholastic Book Fair

The Sacramento Public Library is partnering with Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, to host a Scholastic Book Fair at the Central Library, 828 I St. in Sacramento, from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Book sale proceeds will be used to provide prize books to participants in the library’s Paws to Read summer reading program for kids.

Info: (916) 264-2770