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Local Music Spotlight: Kepi Ghoulie - Winning Combination

Teachers Strikes Enters Second Weekend

The strike among union members of the Sacramento City Teachers Association (SCTA) who work for the Sacramento Unified School District (SCUSD) remained in effect Friday, 04/01/22, concluding week 2 of the walkout. Teachers particularly want higher pay and better health benefits. Negotiations are going on between SCUSD and two unions: SCTA and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021, which represents maintenance and other classified workers. Meanwhile, the Sacramento's County Superintendent is calling for the strike to end, as reported by KCRA News. Starting pay for SCUSD teachers is just under $50,000, which is lower than starting teacher pay in Stockton or Modesto.

Tribute to Joyce Raley Teel

Joyce Raley Teel was one of the family leaders of the regional supermarket chain Raley's until retiring a few years ago. She had been the company's owner and co-chair for 24 years. Teel died of natural causes at the age of 91 on 02/25/22. This video is a tribute to her from friends to show appreciation for her efforts to help end hunger with Raley's Food for Families program. Teel helped create the non-profit organization.

Mayor Steinberg Reacts to Teachers Strike

Mayor Darrell Steinberg: "I represent the entire city and of course I support teachers. That's why I came out to say hello to the individual teachers. In terms of the dispute itself, both sides need to get to the table and they need to compromise. I know enough of this history to know that this has gotten very personal and where relationships are seemingly irretrievably broken, you can't really get to the substance." Steinberg says he wants the strike to end for the teachers, parents and mostly for the kids.

New Police Chief Lester Announces Initiative for Department Diversity

Newly sworn in Sacramento Police Chief Kathy Lester gave her first sit down interview to ABC10's Chris Thomas the past week. She announced a "30 by 30 initiative" to make the police department at least 30 percent women by 2030. Lester, the first woman police chief in Sacramento history, says it's part of a plan to increase diversity in the department. She said currently women make up 17 percent of the department. Her transition into the new position has been smooth, she says, due to being second in command for awhile.

Kings Say Farewell to Old Arco Arena

The Sacramento Kings held a special event at the old Arco Arena on 03/19/22 to reflect on the 28 seasons the team played there. The names of the arena changed over the years to Sleep Train Arena and Power Balance Pavilion. The Kings made 9 NBA playoff appearances during the time they played there. The 17,000-seat facility is set for demolition in the next 6 months, as reported by KCRA News. It will be replaced by a medical school and teaching hospital.

State Mask Mandate Ends

KRCA News reports how the mask mandate has been lifted in California on 02/15/22, as vaccinated residents are no longer required to wear masks indoors. The statewide mandate had been reinstated last December as the omicron variant began to spike. At Golden 1 Center Disney on Ice performs for the first weekend the mandate has been lifted starting Friday, 02/18/22.

Rethinking Sacramento Founder John Sutter

Here's a documentary from the Center for Sacramento History that attempts to set the record straight on Sacramento founder John Sutter. What's obscured in typical discussions and writing about him is how he was a colonizer who attacked indigenous people. He had a charter from Mexico to clear the land and build a settlement. In the process he used natives for labor and attacked those who didn't cooperate.

Historic landmark Sutter's Fort, which was the initial nucleus of Sacramento, has traditionally ignored this history and painted a rosey picture of the city's beginnings. Recently the California State Indian Museum next door removed the statue of Sutter.

City Tour By Bicycle

Here's a video published by Gravel Cyclist on YouTube of a Sacramento city tour by bicycle. The video was recorded on 9/17/21 and posted on YouTube 2/25/22. Hosted by JOM, the tour starts off Downtown on the Capitol Mall, as the video offers plenty of Downtown scenery. He crosses the Sacramento River via the Tower Bridge into West Sacramento. He visits baseball field Sutter Health Park then returns over the bridge to visit Old Sac. He then visits Capitol Park followed by the Governor's Mansion. The video also includes residential scenes of Midtown.

State Mask Mandate Ends

KRCA News reports how the mask mandate has been lifted in California on 02/15/22, as vaccinated residents are no longer required to wear masks indoors. The statewide mandate had been reinstated last December as the omicron variant began to spike. At Golden 1 Center Disney on Ice performs for the first weekend the mandate has been lifted starting Friday, 02/18/22.

City Considers Plan to Pay Local Artists

The Sacramento City Council is considering a grant to give regular monthly payments to local artists for two years, as reported by KCRA News. The city has received $10 million from the federal government's rescue plan that it has set aside for the creative economy and tourism recovery. If the plan is approved, 200 artists including musicians will receive a paycheck of $450 each month to help fund community projects. Other artists that could benefit include dancers, actors and painters.

SMUD's Museum of Science and Curiosity

PBS KVIE's Rob on the Road TV show hosted by Rob Stewart (7:30pm Mondays, Channel 6) recently visited SMUD's Museum of Science and Curiosity. The museum provides a wealth of knowledge about nature such as wildlife. One of the most compelling features is the UC Davis Multiverse Theater, which is a room with a ceiling display of outer space. It's a tranquilizing view dominated by stars. The museum, which is located at 400 Jibboom Street in Sacramento, has hundreds of exhibits.

Sac State Reopens Feb. 7

Sacramento State University is welcoming students back to the campus beginning Monday, February 7, 2022 to kick off the spring semester, as reported by ABC10. A month ago the campus announced students would be returning to virtual classes. According to this report, 96 percent of students, faculty and staff have been vaccinated while an indoor mask mandate will be in effect. Several students were interviewed in this video clip sounding happy to return to in-person classes.

State Awards West Sacramento with $22 Million for Affordable Housing

The State of California has awarded the City of West Sacramento with $22 million to develop affordable housing projects from Governor Newsom's "Housing Accelerator" Program. This program has set aside $923 million to fund similar affordable housing projects across the state. KCRA News reports plans are already set for various projects that were waiting for funding. These projects are designed to help address the issue of homelessness and await approval by the City of West Sacramento in March or April.

Sacramento-born Attorney Avenatti Convicted of Stealing from Stormy Daniels

The former attorney for adult film actress Stormy Daniels has been convicted of swindling $300,000 from the porn star. Michael Avenatti gained national attention representing Daniels, whom he made the deal with to write a tell-all book about her sexual encounters with ex-president Trump while he was married. The jury found he took $300,000 from a $800,000 client fund for Daniels to write the book.

Avenatti was born in Sacramento but grew up in Colorado and Utah. He graduated from the prestigious University of Pennsylvania and became a music industry attorney for Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Christina Aguilera. Avenatti teased on ABC-TV's The View he considered running for president in 2020. Instead he was convicted in 2020 on separate federal counts of tax evasion, extortion, fraud and embezzlement. The following year he was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

History of Sacramento Movie Theaters

Here's a video from Center for Sacramento History on local movie and drive-in theaters from 1949 through 1981. It includes old scenes of people standing in line at places such as Tower Theatre, The Alhambra, Sacramento 6 Drive-In, Starlight Drive-In, Capitol Theater and The Fox Senator. Clips come from both KCRA-TV and KOVR-TV collections. This compilation includes a 1949 scene with Governor Earl Warren attending opening night at The Crest.

Natomas Unified School District to Buy Land from Kings

The Natomas Unified School District voted on 01/19/22 to purchase 12 acres of land for $6 million owned by the Sacramento Kings where the old Sleep Train Arena (originally Arco) was built. The district plans to use the land to open a new school, as reported by KCRA in this newscast. The school is getting the land at a discount of its appraisal value, which saved the district $1 million. In June 2021 the Kings announced part of the site would become a new teaching hospital and medical school.

Sacramento's Last Drive-in Closes Due to Fire

West Wind Sacramento 6 Drive-in, a local historic landmark, has closed until further notice due to a fire through the main building. The fire occurred Sunday (01/23/22) morning. Sacramento Metro firefighters were able to save the second floor, but the first floor was badly damaged.

This structure, located at 9616 Oates Road near Highway 50 and Bradshaw, was popular for many Sacramentans over several decades. It housed video games, concessions and film projectors. Each projector was worth $150,000 and all 6 were saved by firefighters. The cause of the fire is under investigation, according to ABC10.

The theater originally opened June 28, 1973 as Sacramento 6 Drive-In under the ownership of Syufy Enterprises (former owner of Century Theatres) with 5 screens. In 1976 a sixth screen opened. Its last competitor at Sunrise Blvd shut down in the early 2000s, making it the Sacramento area's last remaining drive-in, which has a capacity for 1500 vehicles. Since 2006 the drive-in has operated under the brand name West Wind, which Syufy Enterprises has owned since 1952.

The drive-in movie theater experience began in New Jersey in 1933. On its website West Wind claims to be the largest drive-in theater chain in the world with California locations beyond Sacramento in San Jose, Concord and Santa Barbara. The firm also owns Nevada drive-in theaters in Las Vegas and Reno and an Arizona location in Glendale.

City of Sacramento Buys Land for Homeless

ABC10 reported a few comments from the community January 24 on this video about how the City of Sacramento purchased 102 acres of land in South Sacramento last week as a solution to address the area's homeless crisis. This clip includes comments from City Councilmember Mai Vang (District 8/South Sac), who helped get the plan approved.

"Right now it's a blank canvas," she says, "but I want to make sure the community has an opportunity to chime in." She says she's planning a series of listening sessions to get community feedback. On January 21 KCRA reported the city is paying $12.3 million to the U.S. Department of Labor and that a quarter of the land will be used for affordable housing.

Shaq Sells Stake in Kings

Basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal is divesting his ownership share of the Sacramento Kings NBA team, as reported by KCRA. O'Neal purchased a stake in the organization in 2013. He posted on one of his social media accounts on January 12 that due to NBA rules, he was required to sell his stock in the team after investing in a new sports-betting business endeavor.

Shaq's post stated, "I liked being an owner of such a forward-thinking organization and I hope to come back someday." O'Neal will appear in WinBit advertising campaigns to promote the new sports-betting firm.

Developers Plan for Ice Blocks Corner Downtown to Include Shops and Apartments

KCRA reports that all three spaces for a Downtown development called Ice Blocks at 17th & R Street have been leased by businesses. The new development will include clothing and home good store Anthropology and Salt & Straw Ice Cream.

Leasing Director Deron Benvenuti expects Ice Blocks to be open to the public by summer 2022. The development comprises 100,000 square feet of office space, 55,000 square feet of retail space and 142 apartment units. Developers are planning on adding a new section for retail and 65 more apartments.

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