Archive for March, 2012

“A Night At The Zanzibar” Tuesday March 27

Sacramento County Historical Society’s 2012 awards dinner and fundraiser is themed “A Night at the Zanzibar,” featuring dinner by the Dante Club, a talk by historians Keith Burns and Clarence Caesar about the Zanzibar Club, one of the most legendary of Sacramento’s long-lost West End jazz nightclubs of the 1940s, and a live performance by the Harley White Jr. Orchestra performing big-band jazz from the era of the Zanzibar. SCHS will also present its annual awards for publication, education and historic preservation.

Hear the Harley White Jr. Orchestra here:

Read more about the West End jazz clubs here

Members of Sacramento County Historical Society and event sponsor Sacramento Old City Association may purchase tickets at discounted prices for themselves and their families. Member-priced ticket purchases will be compared against member lists; non-members will be required to pay the balance at the door, or join SCHS.

SCHS Presents: “A Night At The Zanzibar” 2012 Awards Dinner, Tuesday March 27, 6:00 PM

At The Dante Club, 2330 Fair Oaks Boulevard, Sacramento

Order tickets online via before March 20.

Tickets must be purchased in advance.

$40 for SCHS and SOCA members, $50 for non-members.

Menu Selections: Half Roasted Chicken, Dante Club Prime Rib or Vegetable Ravioli
(All dinners include salad, bread, dessert, wine and coffee.)

Dinner starts at 6:30 PM, awards and history presentation at 7:30 PM, music at about 8:30 PM.

Sponsored by Sacramento County Historical Society with the assistance of the Sacramento Old City Association

West End Jazz

By William Burg
Photos courtesy of Keith Burns


In the 1940s, Sacramento’s West End was filled with the sounds of jazz. Based around M Street (renamed Capitol Avenue by 1940), the neighborhood was radically changed by the start of World War II, the forced relocation of Sacramento’s thousands of Japanese Americans to internment camps, and a migration of African Americans to Sacramento. Many of these migrants came from the Southern states for jobs in Sacramento’s railroad shops and canneries, or at nearby airfields and Army bases. Some purchased businesses from the departing Japanese, opening a variety of businesses, but the best known were the jazz clubs. These clubs became so popular they crossed racial barriers and made Sacramento a stop on the touring circuit for the greatest jazz musicians of the 20th century.
Read more »

District 4 Candidates’ Forum Saturday March 10

Photo: Candidates Kai Ellsworth; Steve Hansen; Phyllis Newton; Michael Rehm; Terry Schanz;  Joe Yee

Sacramento Preservation Roundtable – Spring 2012

Date: Saturday, March 10, 2012 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon
Place: The Courtyard Building, 1322 “O” Street near the corner of 14th & O Streets

Continental Breakfast served * $5 requested donation to cover breakfast

The Sacramento Preservation Roundtable is a quarterly gathering of organizations to share information about historic preservation projects and policies, adaptive reuse and green building, heritage tourism and local history, and other topics of interest within the city of Sacramento. The featured agenda item at this Preservation Roundtable is a forum and debate for City Council candidates in District 4, including the central city, Land Park and Willowcreek. Prepared questions will focus on issues related to historic preservation, public transit and land use, but the public will have the opportunity to submit questions, and to meet the candidates one on one after the program.

9:00 Welcome and Introductions

9:10 Updates and announcements

– City of Sacramento Preservation Office updates

9:15– Presentation of development of Lot 9B, 1610 17th Street. Two proposals: Louis Kaufman, Architect & Arcade Homes, Craig Hausman, Architect

10:00 – Break

10:10 – May is Preservation Month Event – Jane’s Walk, a weekend of local walks and bicycle rides combining urban planning, historic preservation, and the ideas of planning guru Jane Jacobs. For more information see – William Burg, SOCA President

10:15 – District 4 Candidates Forum

*Moderators will take written questions to ask the candidates; question cards will be available at the event.

District 4 City Council Candidates: Steve Hansen; Phyllis Newton; Terry Schanz; Michael Rehm; Kai Ellsworth; Joe Yee

11:45 – Questions and answer session with candidates

12:00 – Closing remarks / Announcements

Sponsored by the Sacramento Old City Association

Contact SOCA at or visit for more information.

Five Questions With STEVE HANSEN

Interview conducted by William Burg and Tim Foster Photos by Scott Duncan

Steve Hansen was the first candidate to announce that he was running for retiring City Councilman Rob Fong’s seat for District Four, which includes the central city. Hansen is deeply familiar with the district – he not only lives in Alkali Flat, he also served on the Sacramento Redistricting Citizens Advisory Committee Read more »

The End of the Road

As the March  issue went to press I had to make a very difficult decision: barring some unforeseen development, this will be the final issue of Midtown Monthly.  At the very least it will be the final edition with me at the helm.

Some readers may know that our sister publication, Capitol Weekly, ceased publication of their print edition on January 12. After 23 years, the Weekly now exists as an online-only publication, a reflection of the difficulties of maintaining a print operation in the age of the internet.

While Capitol Weekly and Midtown Monthly are separate publications, they did share infrastructure: ad sales staff, accounting, art direction, printing, even office space.  With the elimination of Capitol Weekly’s print edition came a corresponding reduction in sales staff, an office move, and a significant change in our printing costs.

We’ve spent the past six weeks checking and rechecking numbers, talking with potential investors and exploring options to keep Midtown going.  As we go to print, I don’t believe that any of the options we’ve looked at can make the numbers work.  And after five years of ignoring those numbers, the time has finally come to listen.

I’m sad, but I’m also proud.  I’m proud of the work that our contributors have done.  I’m proud of the contribution that Midtown Monthly has made to the public narrative of Sacramento. I’m proud that we spotlighted a side of Sacramento that is often ignored, or even maligned.  I’m proud that in over five years I’ve never published anything I didn’t stand behind.

It’s been an amazing way to spend five years, and I’m thankful to have had the privilege.

As always – thanks for picking us up.

Tim Foster
Editor, Midtown Monthly


How We Roll

By Tony King Photos by Scott Duncan

“Every Day Is Your Chance To Make This City A Little Better.”

So proclaims a small white sign hanging above the shuttered Sewing Machine Center on J and 10th streets. It’s not clear who exactly hung this sign up, but it’s a sure bet they had someone like Sacramento-area bicycle advocate Rick Houston in mind when they did. Houston, after all, is the man behind Sac’s Tweed Rides, and now he has convinced the owner of the world’s largest handmade bicycle showcase to bring his annual event to Sacramento. Read more »