This Week: SOCA Home Tour highlights midtown

Over the years, the venerable Sacramento Old City Association Home Tour has spotlighted some of the capital city’s more noteworthy homes – the family residence of author Joan Didion in 2012, the Governor’s Mansion in 2013 and even, in that same year, the notorious F Street boarding house where Dorothea Puente drugged and murdered her tenants for their Social Security checks.

The focus this year is on a whole neighborhood – midtown to be exact – where “the homes themselves are works of art,” said SOCA president William Burg, the local historian who recently published the book “Midtown Sacramento: Creative Soul of the City.”

The group’s 39th annual tour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday closes in on the northern end of midtown, the area between J and N streets and 20th and 28th streets, that’s home to an array of architectural styles and numerous art galleries, shops, restaurants and bars.

Aside from the six homes on the tour, including two that are now art galleries, visitors can gain access to the basement of Sutter’s Fort, the oldest building in the city, which hasn’t been open to the public for decades, said Burg.

The tour costs $30 on the day of the event or $25 if tickets are bought in advance. It starts at the Midtown Farmers Market on J Street between 20th and 21st streets, where ticket booth volunteers will issue brochures and wristbands that are required for entry into buildings on the tour.

Advance tickets may be bought online at socahometour2014.brownpapertickets.com or at the Avid Reader, 1600 Broadway; Mixed Bag, 2405 K St.; Midtown Business Association, 919 20th St.; Time Tested Books,1114 21st St.; and 57th Street Antique Mall, 875 57th St.

– Ken Chavez

Nimbus Hatchery panel examines salmon fishing

A panel discussion Tuesday on salmon fishing on the American River concludes the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s speaker series at the Nimbus Hatchery in Rancho Cordova.

Justin Cisneros, a scientific aide for the agency and an avid angler, will share tips for successful salmon fishing, including locations, gear and methods. He will be joined by Fish and Wildlife environmental scientists Rob Titus and Mike Healey, who will discuss the state of the salmon run on the American River and the department’s management approach. Wildlife Officer Alan Weingarten will be on hand to clarify salmon fishing regulations, and all speakers will take questions from the audience.

The discussion starts at 7 p.m. at the Nimbus Hatchery, 2001 Nimbus Road in Rancho Cordova. Preregistration is not required.

Info: Call (916) 358-2884 or visit www.facebook.com/NimbusHatchery.

Seminar focuses on small business tax laws

The state Board of Equalization is offering a free tax seminar Tuesday in Stockton to individuals, entrepreneurs and business owners who want to learn more about complying with California’s tax laws.

“Small businesses are critical to the economic health of our state,” said BOE member George Runner. “Our goal is to help business owners be successful by ensuring they understand California’s complicated tax laws.”

The seminar takes place from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Robert J. Cabral Agricultural Center, 2101 E. Earhart Ave., Suite 100, in Stockton. Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. To register, call (888) 847-9652.

Topics include avoiding sales and use tax problems, forms of ownership, loan programs and services and marketing your business. Presenters include representatives of the BOE, the Franchise Tax Board, the Small Business Administration and the Internal Revenue Service.

Ceremony marks rehab of historic Isleton building

A celebration marking completion of the first phase of rehabilitation work on Isleton’s historic Bing Kong Tong building at 29 Main St. is set for 11 a.m. Tuesday.

The open-to-public festivities, including a flag-raising ceremony, will be attended by officials of Sacramento County, the city of Isleton and Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency. A $600,000 project commenced in February to stabilize the building, which was rebuilt after a 1926 fire and was once the focal point for a thriving Chinese community in Isleton.

Info: www.shra.org

Clerk offers civics lesson in El Dorado County

If, as a kid, you loved the Schoolhouse Rock video “I’m Just a Bill,” which explained how a bill becomes a law, you just might like El Dorado County Clerk of the Board Jim Mitrisin’s presentation Thursday on “The Life Cycle of an Agenda Item.”

“Some might consider this ‘inside’ information, but the public has shown an increased interest in the process and policies of their local government,” said Mitrisin. “I believe this program will be beneficial in helping the public understand exactly how Board of Supervisors meeting agendas are created.”

The presentation starts at 6 p.m. at the El Dorado County Government Center, 330 Fair Lane in Placerville.

Topics include Brown Act requirements, agenda development inception to conclusion, and public comment procedures. The presentation is expected to last as long as two hours, including time for questions and answers.

For info and reservations: Call (530) 621-5592 or e-mail at jim.mitrisin@edcgov.us.

You can talk like a pirate Friday at Fairytale Town

Fairytale Town in Sacramento’s Land Park has special activities in place for international Talk Like A Pirate Day on Friday.

Youngsters can learn pirate vocabulary, songs of the seas and listen to stories of high-sea adventures at “Pirate Skool,” presented by Pirates of Sacramento. Pirate-themed crafts and games also will be available.

Guests who wear pirate clothing, including eye patches, bandanas and pirate hats, will receive one free child admission with each paid adult admission.

Weekday admission to Fairytale Town, 3901 Land Park Drive, is $4.50 for adults and children ages 2 and older. Children under 2 are free. Activities take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Info: www.fairytaletown.org or call (916) 808-7462

Class teaches you how to preserve apples

With apple season underway, the Sacramento Master Food Preservers are offering a two-hour class Wednesday on how to preserve apples.

Presenters will share recipes, methods of preservation, and food safety information at 6:30 p.m at the Sacramento Branch Center, 4145 Branch Center Road in Sacramento. Admission is $5 payable at the door.

The Sacramento Master Food Preservers are UC Extension volunteers who conduct monthly workshops demonstrating methods for preserving food safely at home to prevent food-borne illness.

Info: Call (916) 875-6913