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 www.janeswalk.net – 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 sacoldcity@gmail.com or visit http://www.sacoldcity.org for more information.

Blank City Sacramento

The Warhol Economy, Blank City, and a flyer

Blank City Sacramento

On July 15, I attended two very similar events that showcased the underground New York arts scene of the late 1970s and early 1980s: Midtown Business Association’s annual gala at Harlow’s, and Verge Gallery’s premiere of “Blank City” at the Crest Theatre. Both spurred discussion about the factors behind the creative environment that emerged from a dangerous, decaying neighborhood during the nadir of New York’s greater economy, and what that might mean for arts scenes in cities like Sacramento.

Read more »


UPDATE!!!!! AS OF 1:30PM via Liv Moe



Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or, possibly, in Natomas) you know that Bows & Arrows vintage is moving. They’re mid-way through the build out of their new space on 19th, but tey’ve got to get out of their L Street store… and stuff’s gotta GO. Hence today’s EVERYTHING ONE BUCK sale- Every piece of clothing is just $1 today!

Art Picks, December 2010

Different Parts of Remembering
Robert Ortbal
Through December 23

Sac State sculpture professor Robert Ortbal is based in Emeryville, so I’m not sure if the ‘sense of place’ referenced in the statement for the show is a Bay Area sense or a Sacto sense, but whatever Read more »

Art Picks, November 2010

Read more »

Midtown Fire! Tesla’s Recording Space Burns

Fom the Sac Fire Department: Sacramento- This morning at 01:46 AM Sacramento firefighters responded to reports of an apartment fire located at 1012 27th Street between J and K Streets, in midtown Sacramento. Initial fire crews arrived under five minutes and encountered, heavy fire and smoke from the rear of downstairs and upstairs apartments..

Fllames from the roof of the two story Victorian apartment complex ignited a second building directly behind the complex. Firefighters had a difficult time accessing the attic of the second building due to its thick walls and ceiling. This resulted in the fire quickly spreading throughout the attic of the second building. The building was later determined to be a recording studio used by the rock group TESLA. It took three alarms which totaled more than eighty six firefighters, over one hour to gain control and extinguish the two fires.

There were no firefighter or civilian injuries; however two cats died and five residents were displaced as a result of the fire. The displaced residents are being accommodated by Red Cross. The cause of this fire is currently under investigation.

Governing Midtown

By William Burg photos by Scott Duncan

When compared to the ongoing downtown crisis on K Street, Midtown Sacramento is a success story. But does Midtown owe its success to a lack of attention from government, as some assume, or has the city responded to Midtown’s needs in more effective ways? Read more »

The Maydestone

By William Burg  Photos by Scott Duncan  B&W photo-Author’s collection.

The Maydestone Apartments building on 15th Street provides views in all directions, with the skyscrapers of Downtown to the west and the rooftops of Midtown to the east. Built in 1912, the 32 unit Mission Revival building was closed after a mysterious fire on Halloween 2003. After seven years, the building is about to come back to life. Read more »

Thoughts on Second Saturday

Like most people who frequent Second Saturday, I was stunned by news of the violence that erupted at the event last month.

Victor Hugo Perez Zavala, a 24 year old City College student was killed, and three others were wounded when an altercation escalated into gunfire. Zavala was not involved in the dispute; he, like two of the other victims, was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s sad that Second Saturday has become that place.

The shooting will likely mark a turning point for Second Saturday. There have been calls to drastically curtail the event, calls to move it to daylight hours, and calls to shut it down altogether. On the other side there are those who do not want an isolated incident to destroy what is an undeniably vibrant community event.

City officials and the Midtown business community have expressed their commitment to continuing Second Saturday. Memories of the sad end of K Street’s Thursday Night Market loom high and there appears to be a widespread determination not to repeat the failure of leadership that allowed that once-flourishing event to be shut down instead of addressing its problems.


It’s hard to find anything positive in something like last month’s shooting, but if the City and the Midtown community can come together to start to solve the problems that have come to plague Second Saturday, then at least some good will have come from this.

We asked for ideas and suggestions on our MidMo blog, and the community dialogue that followed was both constructive and informative. There were many interesting contributions, but perhaps the simplest – and best – idea came (as it so often does) from historian, neighborhood activist and frequent MM contributor Bill Burg. Rather than trying to shut down Second Saturday, his suggestion is to open it up:

“It’s time to bring elements of Second Saturday to every Saturday. Street busking, food carts, and vendors need to be an everyday part of central city life, not just once a month at a pre-selected date. It should be regulated and properly managed, but the process should be simple and straightforward. You shouldn’t have to check your calendar to know something interesting is happening downtown.

“A higher overall level of weekend activity, say 3000-5000 extra people 8-10 days a month (every weekend day, plus the occasional “school night”), means a greater total economic impact than 15-20,000 extra people once a month. But because they aren’t all there at the same time, traffic is less, parking impact is reduced, and pedestrian levels are less likely to reach the point where a crowd starts acting like a mob.

“If Second Saturday is getting too big for its britches, perhaps the answer is bigger britches.”

Bill’s comment about Second Saturday outgrowing its britches touches on an issue that is a sore subject for many – that Second Saturday has almost nothing to do with art any more. The truth is that it hasn’t for a long time. Over two years ago we ran a cover story asking “Where’s the Art in Second Saturday?” – art was largely peripheral even then.

The more important question is: does that matter? Second Saturday started as an event for the art community but has grown into an event for the community at large. That event has been wildly successful for Midtown – and for Sacramento – and, until last month, had an incredible track record.

Though the shooting was surely unrelated to the Art Walk, it was probably related to Second Saturday, the event, Councilman Cohn’s protestations to the contrary notwithstanding. Since we don’t know exactly what brought the shooter to the corner of 18th and J that night, it’s hard to say for certain. But, odds are that he came for the same reasons most people come to Second Saturday – to mingle, to cruise, to people watch, to meet friends, to hear music, to flirt, to be part of the crowd, to party. Unfortunately, bad people like many of the same things that good people do.

The answer then, is complicated – there is no one quick fix like banning DJs from the street corners or getting rid of the jewelry and knick-knack vendors. The person who shot Victor Zavala didn’t come to Midtown for those things any more than he came for the art galleries.

Is there an answer?

Not a simple one. What Bill suggests makes a lot of sense, and there are other good suggestions being made every day. The MBA is inaugurating new safety procedures that will begin this month and Police Captain Dana Matthes is working on plans for better policing. Things are happening. Good – they needed to happen. Second Saturday needs to be a better, safer space for everyone. We owe it to Victor Zavala

An Open Discussion: Second Saturday Shooting

We’re still reeling from this weekend’s shooting at Second Saturday.  Although the eruption of violence did not come as a complete surprise given the size of the crowds, none of us here predicted anything like this. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families and we hope that this tragedy will inspire actions that will make Second Saturday safer for all.

What is the answer? How do we make Second Saturday safe and fun for all?

Like most Midtowners, we’ve been both excited and concerned by the explosive growth of this event. Seeing the neighborhood full of people has been a joy, even if the crowd’s sometimes surly behavior has not. As Second Saturday has shifted from its initial focus as an art event to more of ‘block party,’ many Midtown residents have voiced their displeasure. Our own Bill Burg has often been on the frontlines of these discussions- relating his own experiences with drunks in his yard at 4AM, cleaning up their trash and even washing their piss off his porch. Ironically, the homeless population that is so often the subject of public scorn has caused Burg far less trouble than the drunken suburbanites who come to Midtown for the party.

Yesterday, MBA head Rob Kerth, Midtown Neighborhood Association’s Matt Piner, and Sac PD captain Dana Matthes were guests on KXJZ’s INSIGHT program, hosted by Jeffrey Callison.  The good news is that no one at the city, from the Mayor on down, is suggesting the same drastic reaction that killed K Street’s Thursday Night Market.   How they will handle the event from here on out is still an open question.

So, we offer an open forum here: What do YOU suggest?  What do you like, or not like, about Second Saturday?  What will make it better?