Archive for January, 2010

“Oh the Shark Has Pearly Teeth, Dear…” — Threepenny Opera Comes to the California Stage

January 30, 2010

Coming up this February, a beloved dark-comedy musical will be coming to a stage right across the light-rail tracks from the Newton Booth Neighborhood.  City Theatre’s production of The Threepenny Opera, by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, will be presented at The California Stage at 1725 25th Street (at 25th and R) from February 5 through the 27th. 

The Threepenny Opera, which was first produced in 1928, tells the story of a ruthless criminal in Victorian England, Macheath (“Mac the Knife”).  It presents a savage and witty commentary and satire on society and morality, with Kurt Weill’s music and songs influenced by jazz, German music halls, and light opera.  This production is directed and designed by Angelina Réaux.

Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., and Sundays at 2:00 p.m.  Regular admission is $20; for students, seniors, and SARTA members, and groups of 6 or more, $15.  For reservations, please call (916) 451-5822.


26th & S Traffic Circle Sculpture to be Installed Feb. 1

January 30, 2010

One of our neighborhood’s rather barren-looking traffic circles will be decorated with new public artwork by a local artist next week.  On Monday, February 1 at 11:00 a.m., a new sculpture will be installed at the traffic circle at the intersection of 26th and S Streets.

The artist, Kristen Hoard, also lives here in the Newton Booth neighborhood.  I don’t think I could give an adequate description of the design (as the blogger has only seen a preliminary design made several months ago); so if you want to know what it looks like, come out to 26th and S on Monday (or anytime afterward) and see it for yourself.  I’m sure it will be a welcome addition to our neighborhood.

“Evening With Visionaries” One of Several Upcoming SNFC Offerings

January 23, 2010

More classes and events are being offered at our neighborhood's own Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op (1900 Alhambra Blvd.)

It’s winter, the weather’s been wet, and the evenings are chilly and dark.  Want to get out of the house, learn something new, and perhaps meet some new people?  I know I’ve said this here before, but the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op, located right here in the Newton Booth/Alhambra Triangle Neighborhood, has a wide variety of classes and events, conveniently scheduled in the evenings and on the weekends.

In addition to cooking classes, there are events like the “Evening With Visionaries” on January 29, and classes on things like herbal remedies and tai chi.  It’s easy to sign up; go to this link for the SNFC Class Schedule, click on the class you want, and pay for it online.  Or, simply call the Co-op at (916) 455-2667; or sign up for the class in person at the Co-op.  All classes are held at the Co-op Learning Center and Cooking School, right around the corner from the Co-op at 1914 Alhambra Blvd.  (They do request that you please not park in the Co-op parking lot if you are there for a class, due to limited parking space.)

Here are some of the events coming up very soon (and as of this writing, all of these events have numerous spaces available):

Winter Family Favorites – Monday, January 25, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.  Learn hearty new recipes for those chilly winter evenings!  You will learn to make: seafood mulligatawny chowder; easy pressure cooker pot roast; corn pie casserole; “seriously sinful” garlic bread; and Jamaican banana bread with chocolate and walnuts for dessert.  (The class is $30 for Co-op owners; $39 for non-owners.)

A Taste of Thailand – Tuesday, January 26, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.  Learn about key Thai ingredients and cooking techniques, to help you create delicious Thai food at home.  Menu includes: steamed fish in yellow curry sauce wrapped in banana leaves; pork satay with pickled cucumber salad; mussamun beef and potato curry; lahp, a “good luck” salad; and clay pot shrimp with bean thread noodles.  (The class is $30 for Co-op owners, and $39 for non-owners.)

Essential Herbs for Your Family’s Health – Wednesday, January 27, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.  Candis Cantin, a lifelong herbalist, will share herbal means to strengthen your family’s immunity, including herbal remedies for colds, congestion, sore throat, and childhood illnesses.  (The class is $10 for Co-op owners, and $15 for non-owners.)

Think Globally, Act Locally: An Evening With Visionaries – Friday, January 29, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.  Local visionary David Shabazian, of the Rural-Urban Connections Strategy Project, will discuss various actions going on locally in regards to alternatives to industrial agriculture.  There will also be a screening of a DVD of food author Michael Pollan’s presentation at the 2009 Bioneers Conference.  Local wines will be available for tasting.  (The event is $10 for both Co-op owners and non-owners.)

Intro to Tai Chi and Chi Kung – Saturday, January 30, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.  Learn about the Chinese practices of tai chi and chi kung, which improve flexibility, coordination, balance and energy while removing stress.  The benefits of tai chi and chi kung can be experienced by anyone, regardless of age or health condition.  (The class is $5 for Co-op owners, and $7 for non-owners.)

Simple and Delicious! Cooking on a Budget – Monday, February 1, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.  Learn to make easy and budget-friendly family meals that are delicious and nutritious.  Menu includes turkey meatloaf; cauliflower soup with smoked turkey and barley; quinoa with winter greens and tofu; and linguine with clams.  (The class is $25 for Co-op owners, and $35 for non-owners.)

29th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. March and Celebration

January 16, 2010

On December 1, 1955, a woman named Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama.  During the year-long Montgomery Bus Boycott that followed, the movement was led in part by a 26-year-old Baptist minister named Martin Luther King, Jr.  The Bus Boycott ended successfully for the African-American citizens of Montgomery, and is considered the beginning of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement of the mid-20th century.

The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., speaking in front of the Lincoln Memorial at the March on Washington in August 1963. (Photo by National Parks Service; public domain.)

Twelve years later, after the efforts to desegregate schools in Little Rock, Arkansas, and the University of Mississippi; after the lunch-counter sit-ins; after the “Freedom Rides” through the South; after the campaign to desegregate Birmingham, Alabama, which was opposed by fire hoses and attack dogs; after the August 1963 March on Washington in which King spoke of his dream of a nation without racism; after the Mississippi “Freedom Summer” and voter registration drives; after the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act; after marchers in Selma, Alabama were beaten by state troopers and police on the Edmund Pettis Bridge; after King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize; and after Watts, Detroit, and the dark days of riots in many U.S. cities–after all the successes and heartbreaks of the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King lost his life to a gunman in Memphis, Tennessee, while leading a sanitation workers’ strike.

I write all this in preface to this announcement about the 29th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. March and Celebration in Sacramento, because I want to remind everyone why this nation–and I mean all of us, of all races–owes Dr. King such an enormous debt of gratitude.  Changing this country and ridding it of the shabby, mean, deplorable and cruel practices of segregation and racism, was (and still is) the work of thousands of brave, dedicated, and determined individuals.  However, the movement would have been vastly poorer without the leadership, powerful oratory, non-violent philosophy, and example of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Truly honoring the legacy of such a man would mean so much more than just taking one day a year as a holiday–it would mean dedicating ourselves all year long, in whatever way we can, to making our community a better one, for people of all races, colors, and creeds.

On Monday, January 18, the 29th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. March and Celebration will take place.  The day’s events begin with two marches:  One, from the south, begins with an opening ceremony at the Oak Park Community Center at 8:00 a.m.; then departs at 8:30, stopping at Sacramento City College at about 9:15; then leaves the College at about 9:30, going down 13th Avenue and north on Land Park Drive and 16th Street to P Street, turning west on P to 10th, up 10th to J Street, and turning right on J to 13th Street before arriving at the Sacramento Convention Center at about 11:30 a.m.  The North Area March begins at 8:30 a.m. at Grant High School, and goes directly downtown to the Convention Center.

Sacramentans march to honor--and celebrate--the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Annual March here in Sacramento in 2008.

For more information about participating in the March, please e-mail Thomas Burruss, March Coordinator, at   I’ve been to the March several times in past years; it’s very lively, and has floats, bands, and a wide variety of groups advocating on a range of social and political issues–so it’s really part march, part parade.  If you do not feel like walking with the March for the entire six miles, consider simply standing by the route, watching, and applauding your favorite bands, floats and groups as they go by.

The Celebration will take place at the Sacramento Convention Center at 13th and K Streets in downtown Sacramento, starting at 11:30 a.m.  A number of “cool and interesting” activities for all ages are planned, including:

A Multi-Cultural Talent Showcase (from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.);

An Education Village: Exhibits, movies, children’s artwork, and hands-on activities for pre-school through high-school-aged children;

Dramatic Arts: Three acts presenting three civil rights era vignettes;

Wisdom Corner/Poetry:  Hear seniors, community leaders, and others reminisce about the Civil Rights Movement; see videos, hear music, and listen to spoken word poetry.

In addition, at the Celebration participants can interact with employers, health professionals, small business vendors, and social advocates.  Participate and enjoy music, drama, and learning what you can do to “be the change you want to see in the world.”

For more information, visit, or call (916) 920-8655.

Midtown Bookstore Begins Sac. Living Library Series Sunday Night

January 16, 2010

On Sunday, January 17 at 7 p.m., Time Tested Books (located at 1114 21st Street in Midtown Sacramento) will host the first in a series of conversations with well-known Sacramentans who have interesting things to say about our city. 

In Sunday night’s installment, Time Tested Books will host Tower Records founder and local music store owner Russ Solomon, who will discuss his long career building Tower Records from its beginnings in his father’s drugstore on Broadway, to its rise as one of the hippest music store chains around (and its unfortunate decline and fall in 2006).  Solomon will also talk about what’s going on at the local music store he founded, R5 Records & Video (located at 16th and Broadway).  Joining Solomon to ask questions will be David Watts Barton, editor-in-chief of the local online newspaper Sacramento Press, and a former music writer at the Sacramento Bee.  The event is free and open to the public.

In future installments, Time Tested Books will host (all scheduled for 7 p.m.):

Ginger Rutland, Sacramento Bee editorial page writer (February 21)

Darrell Corti, local entrepreneur of Corti Brothers (March 21)

David Mogavero, local architect (April 18)

Former Mayors Burnett Miller, Phil Isenberg, Anne Rudin, and Heather Fargo (May 16)

Peter Schrag, author and Sacramento Bee writer (June 20).

For more information, please visit Time Tested Books’ blog, or call them at (916) 447-5696.

Ooley Theatre Brings Dostoevsky to the Neighborhood

January 7, 2010

Fyodor Dostoevsky's classic "Crime and Punishment" comes to the stage at the Ooley Theatre near 28th and T Streets in Sacramento.

A classic tale of murder, moral reckoning, and redemption…what could be a better choice for a stage play?  Newton Booth neighborhood residents are privileged to have a play based on the Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky’s classic, Crime and Punishment, performed at the Ooley Theatre (2007 28th Street) starting January 15.

The production company Kolt Run Creations is presenting its play, “Crime and Punishment,” written by Marilyn Campbell and Curt Columbus and based on Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novel, at the Ooley Theatre from January 15 through February 13.  The play stars Brian Rife, Patrick Murphy and Kelley Ogden, and is directed by Lisa Thew.

Showtimes are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.  Reservations are highly recommended; to get your seats, please call (916) 254-8120, or visit the Kolt Run Creations website at

Improv Comedy Show to Benefit Sac YMCA-Sponsored Youth & Govt. Delegation

January 7, 2010

Looking for some laughter this weekend, when you’re out enjoying Second Saturday?  A benefit improv comedy show is coming to Midtown this Saturday, and it’s to help a worthy youth education program sponsored by our neighborhood’s own Sacramento Central YMCA.

“Close Enough for Youth & Government Work II: The Sequel” will be an evening of improv comedy benefiting the Sacramento Central YMCA’s Delegation to the California Youth & Government’s Model Legislature and Court Program.  The program, open to all interested students in grades 9-12, brings together 2,500 youths from around California to meet, travel, learn about how our state government works, and have a memorable learning experience.

“Close Enough for Youth & Government Work II” will be presented at:

Sacramento Comedy Spot

1050 20th Street, Suite 130 (MARRS Building)

January 9, 7:00 p.m. (doors open at 6:45 p.m.)

Admission for adults is $25; for students with ID, $15.

There’s only a short time left to get tickets.  To purchase them, call Samantha Duffo at the Sac YMCA at (916) 452-9622, x132.  Or e-mail Christina at

Sac Natural Foods Co-op Offers New Classes for 2010

January 3, 2010

Our neighborhood's own Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op, at 1900 Alhambra Blvd.

Happy New Year to everyone in the Newton Booth neighborhood!  I hope this finds you all well and in good spirits to start the new year.

If you’re interested in starting off the year by taking a cooking, nutrition or other class, you’re in luck.  The Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op, right here in our neighborhood at 1900 Alhambra Blvd. (Alhambra & S Streets) is offering a new schedule of classes for January, February and March.  I don’t have time at the moment to describe all of the classes here; so please check them out at this link.  Or call the Co-op at (916) 455-2667 for more information or to sign up.

I’ll have more blog postings soon about upcoming events, so please come back!  Thanks.