Just another Refugee from San Francisco

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I saw a familiar head in line at the BelAir Market on West El Camino.  We used to call him Peanut head back in the day.   I hadn’t seen Peanut head in more than ten years.  We lost contact after my family moved to Sacramento in the nineties.   There he was, in living color, in South Natomas.   I like a lot of my friends in the Bay, he gave many excuses why he couldn’t visit Sacramento. The number one excuse, was the heat. The number two was, it wasn’t the city and there wasn’t anything to do here.  I parked my cart and intercepted him before he left the store.

It seems Peanut head moved to Sacramento four years ago.  Family members from Hayward and Fremont soon followed.  His younger brother and his partner will arrive this spring.

Peanut head lost his job nearly 30 years and owned a home in the Haight.  After an extended visit in Sacramento he sold his home and paid cash for a home near his friend (a refugee from Los Angeles) in South Natomas.   Today, he owns several properties in Sacramento and has his sights on Oak Park.   He LOVES Sacramento, for more than a half an hour he talked about how much he loved it here.   We discovered we enjoy the same restaurants in midtown., he his a major soccer fan and often attends sporting events in the area.

In the last few years, nearly a dozen friends had quietly moves to Sacramento.   If your a Millennial its possible to own a home here.  If your a baby boomer with children or grandchildren in the state.  You can sell you home in Los Angeles and San Francisco and with the savings have an easier retirement.

Sometimes its difficult to find someone who was born and raised here to have a good word about their city.  Like the central character in Ladybird, they only dreams to leave the city.

I think the refugees are wining ,as Sacramento is the fastest growing big city in the state. While the local say there isn’t much here, the refugees are amazed by what is here.  The initial attraction here is the lower cost of living.  Sactown cost are  higher than most southern cities. Its much lower than the coastal areas of California and Washington.

Refugees have nothing put praise about the city and they are coming in by the car load.

Wikipedia Says, Sacramento has one of the highest LGBT populations per capita, ranking seventh among major American cities, and third in California behind San Francisco and slightly behind Oakland, with roughly 10% of the city’s total population identifying themselves as gay, lesbian, or bisexual and Sac is as the most “hipster city” in California.

After twenty years in Sactown, I wish it were a bit more urban. A bit more vertical. However what keeps me planted is the diversity, the people. I travel often and one thing I haven’t heard in Sacramento, “people who look like me isn’t welcome in this part of town”.  Something you hear in many cities.. So far, not in Sacramento.

The new refugees don’t share my complaints.  Go to a restaurant along 16th Street in one of the new buildings  or walk along “R”St corridor and you’ll hear (well, with one very vocal exception from Los Angeles who cant wait to leave this pile of …) I like Sac.






2018 Women’s March Sacramento : The Cap is off the bottle and will NOT be replaced

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Signs of the times


January 20, 2017, the nation was stunned.  Donald Trump, a man accused by several women of sexual misconduct was now President of the United States . The signs a year ago was about women’s health, the uncertainty about the ACA, and anger and frustration about the new president.



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In 2018, the theme is Women taking control.  Women empowering other women to run for office.  Voting, registering other women  and making a real difference in this years midterm elections.   If you listened, and read the signs.  There wasn’t an endorsement of a political party.  But the overall message was vote!! There where many men supporting  “MeToo”  movement

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Kings Fans Hated Her


“Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking…”   Leo Tolstoy

In 2008, no one was surprised.  Building a new home for the Sacramento Kings was priority one for new Mayor, Kevin Johnson. The former Phoenix Sun point guard, was not going allow the only professional sports franchise leave town.  Two years earlier, the citizens of Sacramento overwhelmingly rejected funding for a Arena in the Railyards.

The Maloofs unhappy with the city, starting shopping the Kings around.

The location for the new arena was a small parcel the city owned in the undeveloped Railyards.

Many members of the business community, the Maloof family who owned the Sacramento Kings, the National Basketball Association was on board.     Now it was the city’s turn, the team needed a substantial financial commitment from the city, 232 millions dollars toward the construction of the new Arena in a cash strapped city.

Much of the funding would come from parking revenue.  Revenues that was flowing into the General Fund which was in the red.

With the location in the Railyards decided, all the pieces where quickly coming together to prevent the Maloofs from moving the Kings out of Sacramento.   The location in the Railyards was touted as a jump start development in the Railyards .

Sacramento was  cash strapped.   Sacramento fortunes has depended on real state, and Sacramento like most cities in the country Sacramento faced a short fall as real estate sales slowed and  values plummeted.  There were cuts in every city department. Massive layoff’s in the cities Police and Fire departments. Community Centers and area swimming pools were closed during the summer months and despite all this ,the city was willing to risk it all to keep the Kings in Sacramento. And one thing  was thing the city didn’t want, was vote on the Arena.  The National Basketball Association set the clock.  Sacramento  had to have a money plan for the Arena by March 2012

Enter District 2 Councilwoman Sandy Sheedy

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Sandy Sheedy (photo Sacramento Press)

Sandy Sheedy was born and raised 70 miles north of Sacramento in Colusa. Sheedy sat on many influential boards in Sacramento.  Including the Sacramento Planning Commission, Sacramento Sacramento County Civil Service Commission. Elected to the Sacramento City Council representing district 2 in 2000. she fought hard for her district, one of the poorest districts in the area.

As Councilwoman, she served as Chair of the City Council’s Code Enforcement Ad Hoc Committee. During her tenure a fire station was constructed in North Sacramento, she successfully fought for parks, street lighting and repair streets in her district.

October 2011

October 2011: Sheedy conducted arena poll. Sheedy used $8,000 of her own campaign funds to pay for the poll .   Those participating in the poll supported  a public vote for the proposed Arena in the Railyard.

This poll outraged Mayor Johnson, fans and business supporters of the new arena.  This single bold move made Sandy Sheedy  enemy number one!

A Think Big representative immediately called the polls questions misleading. (Sacramento Press)

Think BIG is a regional initiative launched by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson to facilitate construction of a new entertainment and sports complex (“ESC”) that promotes job creation, economic growth, cultural development and civic pride across the greater Sacramento metropolitan area. 

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Obstructionist- Misleading-Wrongdoer-Phony-Anti Arena-Anti Progress

These are just some of the words used by the local media to describe Sandy Sheedy

October 26, 2011 Marcos Breton  Sacramento Bee: Sandy Sheedy not fooling anyone with arena poll   This is the story of a politician touting a phony poll on a controversial topic meant to stir people up for no good reason.  Sacramento City Councilwoman Sandy Sheedy says her poll shows that city residents want an up or down vote on the financing of a new arena in the downtown railyard. In reality, Sheedy’s poll is horse manure disguised as public policy. It’s not about letting the people decide. It’s about trying to undermine the top initiative of Mayor Kevin Johnson because Johnson is undoubtedly running a candidate against Sheedy next year. This is vendetta-driven. Since she helped Johnson get elected in 2008, Sheedy has turned into his chief nemesis. From my vantage point, Sheedy wanted deference from KJ and a seat in his inner circle. But the Lord Mayor don’t play that. 

I’m not even going to get into the leading questions in Sheedy’s poll or that arena supporters have polling numbers that show strong public support for an arena, but Sheedy has been setting a divisive tone lately. In a public meeting this summer, Sheedy and some cronies lambasted private citizens who worked very hard to help the process of redrawing council districts. It was ugly and it’s no wonder that candidates seem to be lining up to run against her.
October 28,2011 Sacramento Kings fan Robert Landon Jr   Filed a complaint with the Fair Political Practices Commission against Councilwoman Sandy Sheedy alleges election law violations stemming from a recent poll authorized through her office.  He believe Sheedy may have  violated sections of the Political Reform act of 1974 . Related to telephone advocacy and misuse of a public figure’s official position.  By paying for a telephonic “push poll” with campaign re-election funds and failing to advise the people called that the poll was paid for by her campaign, Sheedy violated the act.

 Early on Sandy Sheedy, wanted more public input on the Arena plan

Ultimately she wanted a public vote on the Arena.   This angered Johnson ,the group Think big and others King supporters in the area.  It was clear, no one wanted a public vote.

Wall of Intimidation: During the last round or public hearings, the rooms were filled with Sacramento King Supporters, many of whom booed those who did not support the arena.


Not Everyone Hated Sheedy 

October 26, 2011 cool DMZ (sacrag.com) Think Big not thinking about the little people? Not too proud about that headline. Councilwoman Sandy Sheedy’s poll  about the use of City funds to bankroll the new arena showed overwhelming public support for going to the ballot box, the Bee reports today. However, Think Big Sacramento, the Mayor’s initiative aimed at making the arena happen, calls the poll suspicious. Apparently they have their own poll that contradicts Sheedy’s:

Chris Lehane, head of the mayor’s Think Big Sacramento commission, pointed to a poll his group commissioned in August that found majority support for selling some city land, and for leasing city parking garages as part of a potential financing plan.

Supporting putting it to a vote and supporting some of those uses don’t seem to be diametrically opposed, but I’d have to see the questions on both polls. The Bee doesn’t supply those. Johnson political adviser David Townsend went even further in dismissing the poll. “Voters have lost such confidence in government that they think they should vote on anything,” Townsend said.

Yeah, we suck at not letting the government do what it wants. Marcos Breton thinks otherwise. I’ll take his point about the political wranglings. But I don’t think it’s out of the question that after what happened in the past, public support for this is not necessarily as firm as thought by those who drink Think Big’s Kool-Aid.The more the NBA lockout presses on, pushing for Sacramento to “Think Big” about dropping a chunk of change the size of Amare Stoudemire’s ego while dismissing public’s interest in this matter out of hand is not a winning approach.

October 27,2011 Paul Clegg (Game to 100com)  Sheedy respects public on Arena funding Blogger and a former Sacramento Bee editor and writer Wrote: There’s a good reason why thousands of people have gathered to protest in parks from New York to Sacramento: They’re angry at getting excluded from a political process that has stealthily and systematically taken their money and given it to the rich. Part of this wealth transfer has come through the public funding of sports stadiums.  So let us praise Sacramento City Councilwoman Sandy Sheedy, who has had the decency  to ask local voters whether they want a voice in any public funding of an arena. City voters made their view known loud and clear in 2006 when they decisively rejected a sales tax hike to fund a Kings arena.   Seventy-one percent of the respondents to Sheedy’s poll said the council should refer any deal with city financing to them for a final say, the Sacramento Bee reported .

The powerful arena coalition shows remarkable contempt for local residents. Eighty percent of voters rejected public funding for a Kings arena when the economy was booming. It’s gone bust since then. We have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. Foreclosure signs are everywhere. There’s little sign of economic improvement any time soon. They don’t want independent economic analyses, which likely would show the folly of building a downtown arena. They prefer to  criticize Sheedy for getting the public involved in how its money is being spent.
And still, the mayor and his allies race full-speed ahead on an arena project while advancing spurious economic reports touting a gold mine down the road. They don’t want any serious public input  that would bring this misuse of public money to an end.Adding insult to obfuscation, Bee columnist Marcos Breton yesterday chose to do a hit piece on Sheedy and accuse her of political grandstanding while he blithely ignores the contemptuous machinations of the arena crowd. He praises the politicians who have sought ways to grab the public’s money without bothering to ask for public approval.“These are policy questions, land-use questions and finance questions,” Breton says. “They are the calls elected officials are elected to make.”Ah, yes – a $387 million project, before all the cost overruns and unanticipated expenses, is defined as a little land-use and finance question we voters need not worry our heads about. A columnist should know that a  rip-off by any other name remains a rip-off.

November 3,2011 Isaac Gonzalez (ransackedmedia.com) An incomplete timeline of the events surrounding Sandy Sheedy’s arena poll Seedy just found out how touchy people can get around here when you start asking the wrong questions. Good for her. Last week the Sacramento city councilwoman released the results of a poll she commissioned, showing that voters are deeply skeptical about the public financing of a new Kings arena. A majority of the 600 people polled said they are opposed to selling off city property to fund the complex; a much larger portion, 71 percent, said they thought the public should get a vote on any plan for public funding.

The opinion writers at The Sacramento Bee dutifully rushed to the defense of the half-gelled arena proposal, and the man behind the plan, Mayor Kevin Johnson.    Marcos Breton called Sheedy’s poll “horse manure.” The Bee’s editorial page said Sheedy’s suggestion that the public vote is an “unhelpful sideshow.”

The opposite is true. In fact, it is helpful to taxpayers to know that this arena plan is specifically designed to avoid a public vote on the use of public money. The Bee should be helping to highlight that fact, not obscure it. As for all the blowback, Sheedy says, “It sounds to me like somebody’s scared to ask the people what they think.

Certainly the language on some of the questions is a bit stark. For example, survey respondents are told that the city could sell public land to “pay for an arena rather than basic city services.” That’s a false choice. We’re not going to start selling city land to meet payroll. Bites hopes. The mayor’s office also sent out its own critique of the poll, saying the poll is misleading when it refers to a car-rental tax—which got dropped from the plan earlier this fall—or to the “sale” of operations of city parking facilities.  When pressed, Sheedy acknowledged there’s a difference between “selling” parking operations and the long-term leases that are being proposed. Though with a 50-year (or longer) lease, that difference could be quite subtle.

Once upon a time, the mayor thought nothing was more important than the public’s right to vote. That was when Johnson wanted to wage an expensive ballot campaign to pass his strong-mayor initiative. Likewise, political junkies remember that K.J.’s campaign adviser, David Townsend also did some dirty work last year for PG&E, on a ballot measure that would impose strict super majority vote requirements on efforts by public power agencies like SMUD to form or expand. What was that campaign called? Oh yeah, the “Taxpayer Right to Vote Act.”

The mayor’s people point out that there’s a qualitative difference between amending the city’s constitution, and what is essentially a glorified development subsidy.hey’re right, of course. Still, it’s interesting to note when people find it convenient to evoke the rhetoric of a right to vote, and when they don’t.

“It’s interesting for them to say that we don’t ‘need’ a vote. This is the largest amount of money we’ve ever spent on anything. It’s the people’s money,” Sheedy argues.

Conveniently enough, there really isn’t time for a public vote. The next regularly scheduled election is in June, and the deadline for the city to have an arena-financing plan in place is March 1.At least, those are the rules and the timeline that the NBA has given the city. And so far Sacramento has been pretty good about doing what the NBA has told us to do. Why stop now?


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 January 2012 : Sandy Sheedy announced she would not seek a fourth term.

The public attacks on Sandy Sheedy was unlike anything I’ve seen my the twenty plus years following Sacramento politics, many of the attacks were personal.

Sheedy told friends she wanted to spend time with her family.

“Ted and I have given over 30 years of public service and it’s time for us to do this together,” she said, referring to her husband, Ted Sheedy, a former county supervisor. “It’s time get back to my family.” I’m not leaving because there are people running against me,” she said, describing the field of challengers who have lined up against her as “very weak.”

“When a Sheedy goes to run for office, they go to war,” she said.  I have “completed everything I set out to complete” when she first ran. She is particularly proud of the ongoing operation of the Robertson Community Center in Del Paso Heights, specially the center’s teen center, and improvements to Del Paso Boulevard made under her watch.”The district is in good shape,” she said. “They just need to keep it in good shape.”

March 2012

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The Mayor had the votes, seven for and two against. Council Member from District 6 Kevin McCarty, and Sandy Sheedy representing District 2

Before the Vote, Sheedy made one last appeal to her colleagues on the board .

She sent a policy paper titled  Stop! Think Consider? to her fellow council members.

The policy paper starts with a quote from an article in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, “Few fields of empirical economic research offer virtual unanimity of findings. Yet, independent work on the economic impact of stadiums and arenas has uniformly found that there is no significantly positive correlation between sports facility construction and economic development.”

Stockton built a new arena in 2005 but has lost millions on it as it struggles to fill it for events. The city is on the verge of bankruptcy.

Defending his position, Kevin McCarty said: For me, it’s unconscionable to put all new parking monies toward the Arena with so many other pressing City needs. In my Council District 6, all three swimming pools are shut down. My community centers and libraries are open only a few days a week and staffed at skeleton levels.

All youth sports programs were eliminated last year citywide. Park maintenance and code enforcement staffs can’t provide adequate service levels, and more than 200 police and fire fighter jobs have disappeared in recent years.   And in less than 3 months, there will be more layoffs as we make another $25 million in budget cuts.

The plan backfills the City’s General Fund for core city services and magically adds up to $9 million. That dollar amount is not guaranteed and is based on assumptions. For example, I’m concerned about the $4 million annual projected income from ticket surcharges. What happens if we have another lockout or strike, or poor attendance year-after-year due to a badly performing team? Our neighbors in Stockton and Oakland lost big because of overly optimistic income projections for arena and stadium deals. Instead, why not insist that the Kings, AEG or the NBA guarantee the $4 million annual backfill?

I am not an automatic “no vote” on public funding for an arena, but it has to be a better deal for our City and its residents. We deserve a bigger bang for our buck.

The sports blogs and the local media including Sacramento Bee’s Marcus Breton attacked McCarthy calling him  a “Weasel”  Up for re-election McCarthy had a target on his back.   However, the harshest attacks were reserved for Sandy Sheedy.


JUST a formality 


May 2012


-+-Artist Sketches of Planned Arena

Councilmember Steve Cohn tells CBS13 he’s already decided to vote yes on the railyards arena. The measure is expected to pass, but not with full support.

 No one was surprised  by the May 2012 vote, (7-2) in favor of building a new arena.  Major Johnson’s  With the vote the city has  committing 232 million dollars towards a new home for the Sacramento Kings in railcards.

“Long live Sacramento, and long live the Kings!” shouted  Mayor Johnson 

“I want to thank you on behalf of my family and our organization for taking the next step forward,” Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof told the council. “We look forward in working with you throughout this process and we are excited about this. We appreciate your efforts. This is a great day for Sacramento.”

Its a done deal, the city has done it part, the entertainment giant AEG committed nearly sixty million dollars towards and the Sacramento Kings committed 73 million.   There were hugs, and high fives in sports bars all over the city.

Sandy Sheedy told reporters: This city is on the verge of insolvency. As far as I know, we still technically qualify for bankruptcy under federal law,” said Councilwoman Sandy Sheedy, who opposed the plan. She added the project “will scoop up every nickel and dime” left in the city’s budget.


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But there was a problem in North Natomas.  The Maloof family didn’t have 73 million dollars.   This was a closely guarded secret.  The Mayor and the owner hugged in Sleep Train Arena.   What Mayor Johnson and Kings fans didn’t know, the owners were trying to sell the Kings.  Hopefully to an owner who would keep them in Sacramento.

The Railyard Area deal collapsed.  The family mislead Sacramento and the NBA.   Sandy Sheedy ranking fell to number three or four as Kings fan had less than love for anyone named Maloof.


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It takes courage to stand alone.  For some individual’s its easier to go with the tide,sacrificing beliefs and values .  We see examples of this today, on a national level. Politicians choosing careers over country.

Unlike, many of her colleagues of the council Sandy Sheedy fought for all Sacramentians.  For the ninety five percent who will never attend a Sacramento Kings Game and for the other 85% who may never attend an event.  She dared going against the tide and questioned the long term financial impact the Arena would have on a financially strapped city.

She knew her  position would be unpopular with the Mayor and many in the business community.    I don’t think she was prepared for the personal attacks.

The Golden One Center has been opened for a year.  The reviews are excellent.    Like the Arena it replaced, its new and shiny with all the latest technology.  Sacramento’s 2016 economy is much improved, however, the financial for  plan Golden One is much like the plan back in 2012 and like 2012, Sacramento’s has many obligations including a massive pension fund which currently  is unfunded to the tune of over 700 million dollars.

The owners of the Sacramento Kings signed a 35 year lease.  In the new world order, very few NBA organizations own the buildings they play in.   In 2026, Golden One will be ten years old .  The iron clad contract could be challenge for the city as owners of Golden one. Technology is rapidly changing.  Based on the history of other NBA franchisees, The Kings Organization is likely to demand the owner of Golden One (The City of Sacramento) to make these upgrades so the organization can be competitive.     The City’s financial status is unimportant to the needs of the franchise.

Sacramento City Attorneys are no match for the Attorney’s of the National Basketball Association.

As a citizen , I hope the building will benefit the city.

Over time I think history will be kind to Sandy Sheedy, the woman who challenged Sacramento’s Status Quo.

The public and personal price she paid was enormous.  Mr’s Sheedy, fought hard for all Sacramentians  Individuals like her are rare.  Sandy Sheedy Thank you.











Showtime for John Saca

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His family has Sacramento in its DNA.  He went to Sacramento State.  His family’s “Filco” stores has been a part of Sacramento for decades.

He’s ambitious, a formative salesman and for a brief moment, he was the prince of Sacramento.

His project “The Towers on Capitol  Mall with two, fifty three story condominiums would have Image result for Northwest corner of 10th and j sacramento  changed the face of and quite possibly the image of  Sacramento.

 This massive  (500 million dollar) project would have been the most expensive in the city’s history.   In contrast, the Golden 1 Center was less than 600 million.  Before one support piling was shoved into the ground, one tower had completely sold out.    Financing for the project collapsed and CalPers reportedly the giant lot at 3rd and Capitol.

The collapse of the Capitol Tower, may have been a good thing for Saca. As the nations real estate market south, selling out the second tower and the rest of te complex would have been a challenge.   Less ambitious projects in midtown struggled for years.

In 2014, nearly seven years after the Capitol Towers project. John Saca said he would build the another Condominium/Hotel project at 10 the J Streets. “The Metropolitan” like the Capitol Towers project,  would be the largest and tallest building of its kind in the city .

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While this is John Saca’s vision for 10th and J Streets

This is what it looks like today

The block on J Street between 10 and 11 is arguably the worst block in downtown Sacramento.  As both sides of the street is filled with vacant boarded up buildings.

One side of the street is Saca’s property on the other side is the former Copenhagen Furniture Store and several other closed and boarded up stores. Copenhagen closed after a fire in the ninties and relocated across town.

Thirty to forty percent of first time visitors to Sacramento, travel down J street to the Convention Center or the Memorial Auditorium. Visitors staying at the popular Citizen Hotel pass by those empty boarded up buildings on route to the convention center.   Finally, after more the twenty years, the city has said enough to the owners of those properties.

Last week the City told Saca, he had until July to move forward with his project or he risks losing his rights to build on that site.   In other words, he would have to start over and reapply.

There are many of us rooting for John Saca, the local boy with a dream.

A former Sacramentian, now living in San Diego resently said about her home town.

 I think it’s safe to say Sacramento is the single most stagnant city on Earth. If New York City is “The City that Never Sleeps,” Sacramento is “The City that Only Gets Up When it Has To.”

Julianna Ress

The tallest single use condominium in Sacramento is the 14 floor Capitol Towers built in the sixes.    While there are several condo projects  on the drawing boards, none are under construction.  Including a smaller mixed used project on the site of  former Saca project at third and Capital.

The newest project atop the new Sawyer hotel adjacent to the Golden One Center has has sold more than half of the condominiums in less then four months.  The units are range in price from $600,000 to 4.1 million. The first homeowners should move in a few weeks

Other cities similar in size to Sacramento have several projects in the sky.  Our leaders in Sacramento, often get it wrong.   They propose expanding a convention center that has never been profitable.   Many cities planted seeds to get the first large projects off the ground.  They saw the benefits of bringing  empty nesters and the well healed back downtown.  Sacramento’s leadership isn’t quite there..

While is original vision did not come to fruition.   To his credit, Saca convinced quite few hundred people in a city with low aspirations. to share his vision.    That says a lot about his abilities as a salesman.

Despite his best efforts, he fouled out.  Locating a lender willing to take a risk on a large project could be daunting.

I am unashamedly a fan.   There are a quite of few of us ,who wants the local guy to put his signature on Sacramento’s bleak skyline.  To believe in Sacramento and people here.  But, everyone starts from START.  I hope he pushes ego aside and secure financing on a smaller project,say,  20 story condo on that site.

If he is the salesman he was in 2006, he will have his sky shattering building in the sky in few years.    The city will work with him, he still has few fans in high places in the city but they are waning.  The Sac Bee reports, neither he or a representative attended the zoning meeting last week  We are  often judged is by our actions.  Can he bring this project forward or is he man with dreams and renderings?

News At 11


Sacramentians Must Demand Rent Control !

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Building Boom:  Many new apartments on 16th Street Midtown

“Rent Control in Sacramento?”

Every day renters in the State of California are waking up to 30 day notices on their doors or in the mail notifying them of rent increases of 20% to 50%.  Landlords, aren’t making capital improvements to their properties, or facing major tax increases or fees.  Its simply greed. No where in California is rent increasing faster than the Capitol City.  In fact there are only two other cites in the nation where rents are increasing faster than Sacramento, Arlington Texas and Reno Nevada.

There is currently a shortage of housing and construction workers in the state.

Sacramento’s Mayor Darrell Steinberg says he has “significant concerns” about rent control, saying the city should focus more on finding money for affordable housing and giving tenants additional notice when rents increase. Steinberg said he isn’t outright dismissing rent control, but he’s worried about the “unintended consequences” of discouraging developers from building housing.   Steinberg said much of the issue stems from the fact that Sacramento “is not building enough housing.” “We need to change that and be very aggressive about it,” (sacbee)

The reality is,citizens need relief yesterday.   Locating funding for affordable housing could take years or decades.  High rental costs will only increase homelessness in the city effecting the quality of life for all Sacramentians.

Basics in Bold Print

As of July 2017, average rent for an apartment in Sacramento, CA is $1439 which is a 14.18% increase from last year when the average rent was $1235 , and a 0.14% increase from last month when the average rent was $1437. 

One bedroom apartments in Sacramento rent for $1275 a month on average (a 15.45% increase from last year) and two bedroom apartment rents average $1507 (a 13.27% increase from last year). (source Rent Jungle. Com)


Wage Growth in Sacramento  5%

Minimum Wage in Sacramento $10.50

Minimum Monthly Income Required for a one bedroom Apartment in $3094.00 or $19.33 an hour.

Maximum Rent for an individual earning Minimum wage $693

(Source: https://www.zillow.com/rent-affordability-calculator/)


Every night, more than 3,600 people are homeless in Sacramento County, a statistic that’s 30 percent higher than it was in 2015. (SacBee)

Many homeless individuals are employed .According to a 2002 national study by the Urban Institute, about 45 percent of homeless adults had worked in the past 30 days. About 3.5 million people experience some kind of homelessness every year, and about a quarter of them are employed at the time (National Coalition for the Homeless) 


What is Rent Control?

Rent control is a special set of laws that particular cities adopt. It generally includes rent increase limits and eviction restrictions. Some cities’ rent controls require relocation assistance to be paid to tenants under certain circumstances, and interest on security deposits.

These laws do not apply to other cities, nor to every rental unit in the city. One of the most commonly misunderstood ideas by tenants is that they were under rent control, when they weren’t.

 Los Angeles passed rent control in 1978 amid cries from the landlords that rent control would prevent future apartment construction, so Los Angeles exempted any structure built after October, 1978 as a political compromise. Newer structures [built after 1978] in Los Angeles are not under rent control, at all.

Under the “Costa-Hawkins” law, when a tenant voluntarily leaves or is evicted for most reasons [ie, not 30-day notice, nor after change of a term, for that term], the landlord can raise the rent to ANY AMOUNT for the new tenant, whose rents are thereafter locked into the rent control limits [3% or whatever].  Any rental unit built after 2/1/95, as well as houses and condos, are not under rent restrictions.  Even where these rent restrictions do not apply, eviction protections do continue.

Two new additions to LA Rent Control are worth noting. Ordinance 175130 [3/5/03] now prohibits the landlord from changing terms of tenancy [other than legal rent increases and government required terms] without mutual agreement of the tenant. Ordinance 174501 prohibits landlords from raising the tenant’s portion of rent [eg, beyond the legal 3%] after terminating a rental assistance program, like Section 8; the landlord can get out of the program, but gives up all the assistance money if he does.

Another exclusion applies to single family dwellings: a rented house by itself on a lot is not under rent control, but a duplex or “two on a lot” houses would be under rent control [if built before 1979]. There are other exclusions like college dorms, motels, and hospitals.

Cities that have rent control provide call-in numbers where you can find out whether the area you live in has rent control and whether your unit is registered under that rent control.

    Normally, rent can be increased with a 30-day notice.  However, due to the current wave of rent hikes, effective January 1, 2001, newly revised Civil Code Section 827 requires a 60-day notice if the rent increase will make that year’s increases exceed 10%.  The idea is to give tenants the ability to adjust to gouging rent increases, but not to stop them. The calculation is a little weird; it doesn’t have to be a large rent increase at once, but just the total of increases over a year.  This new law will mostly affect the expensive rentals, which also tend to have proportionately much bigger hikes.  Also, it does not affect yearly leases, but only month-to-month [or shorter] tenancies. This law expires automatically in 2006, unless the Legislature extends the time or makes it permanent.

    For example, if last year in January you were paying $500, and the landlord already raised the rent $25 in July, an increase for more than $25 this January would require a 60-day notice, because the total of increases for the year would be more than $50, 10% of $500. If the increase total was 10% or less for the year, all you get is the 30-day notice. If the year’s rent increases already total 10% and the landlord then wants to increase rent by one dollar, it has to be by 60-day notice, to mitigate the impact.

    The new law also adds 5 days for mailed notices of change of terms of tenancy. A mailed 30-day notice is effective 35 days later; a mailed 60-day notice is effective 65 days later.

How Can We Get Rent Control?

   Rent control is really only necessary where the vacancy rate in the area is below about 5%, because at about that point, landlords don’t worry about having a vacancy by raising the rent or neglecting repairs, and you don’t have much of a choice when you look around. Consequently, rent control is a law passed by cities where the housing market is tight and rents are going up just because landlords are in control of a necessity of life that is in short supply.  Rent control is not likely going to be a state law, because the problem is local.

   There are two ways to get rent control. The easiest but weakest is for your City Council to enact it, as Los Angeles did. The hardest but strongest is where tenants organize and put rent control on the ballot by getting petition signatures [and then the voters approve it], like Santa Monica did. Both of these require tenant voting clout, that a large number of tenants are registered to vote, do vote in the local election, and all vote together. If the City Council enacts it, it would be an ordinance [city law], but the voters can make it a Charter Amendment [a city constitutional change, more powerful].

    Your first step would be to go to the City Council meeting, and during the Oral Presentation portion [or whatever public input is called there], you tell them about the problem and ask if they are considering enacting rent control [like Beverly Hills, Palm Springs, San Francisco, Santa Monica, and other high class towns have], or at least Just Cause Eviction, like Glendale [a notoriously conservative town] has. You want to mention these towns in your presentation, since their first knee-jerk reaction is that “rent control destroys cities,” but they can hardly say that about those cities.

    They say whatever publicly, but you then make an appointment with them individually to see where they personally stand and how far they would go. You might find that Just Cause Eviction is not objectionable, and that they might even agree with paying relocation assistance for tenants of buildings being demolished or going through major rehabilitation or termite fumigation. Avoid being confrontational with them. They don’t want to offend the landlord contributors to their campaigns, but may be sympathetic enough to put their political toe into the water. If you get a majority of them to privately approve of something, one of them has to introduce the idea in public discussion.

   If the City Council is going to enact something, they want to be heroes for doing it, even if it’s short of rent control. While they are getting ready to take that step, you’ll want to be in touch with the local newspaper to talk about your plan to organize tenants for better legal protections. Once you’re in the news, other tenants will start to contact you, and you can form a group that can all go the City Council and amplify what you have said. This public clamor then triggers the City Council’s response to take action, and you’re on your way.  The group thanks the City Council for their concern and they get to see the public reaction to that.  If it’s a good reaction, they are encouraged to do more.

   Meanwhile, you do need to find other tenants who are both motivated to do something by their own situation and willing to put in some time to do it. Senior groups, somereligious institutions, teachers, firemen, labor unions, the local Democratic Club or similar liberal group, some liberal organizations, and a lot of local business owners, can help in various ways to get the word out and help you form a political group. There are a lot of talkers, but few doers, so you want to get volunteers into project-based committees, which naturally filter out the talkers. Here’s a helpful explanation for the new people.

   If you have to get rent control by petition, you might as well have the strongest possible law, since the landlords are not going to fight you any less if the law is weak. They fight dirty all the way, and always have. Election fraud is their main tool. Propaganda, false information, and misleading arguments are all you hear from them. They have the money to buy millions in political advertising, while you’ll be lucky to get out one mailer to the voters.  They will have celebrities and public figures telling the public that Rent Control will bring crime to your city, turn it into a slum, drive down their property values, steal from the landlords, prevent the landlords from being able to pay for repairs, run up millions in taxpayer expenses, and force landlords to evict all their tenants. Here’s some common rent control myths. None of these are true, of course, but unquestioning voters will be persuaded.  On your side, you have public controversy, newsworthiness, talk shows, newspaper stories, TV coverage, and pathetic stories about landlord abuses of vulnerable tenants. The political battle is not over the wording of the law, at all, but over emotional and philosophical issues in general.

   The technical wording of the rent control law requires a lawyer to write. It needs to be constitutional, not prevented by State laws, cover all the loopholes, and effectively create the kinds of protection you want. It has to be clear and organized, so that it can be easily followed and doesn’t end up in court for years. When it is circulated for signatures, there are specific laws that must be followed as to procedure, format, timing, and public information, and you should have a lawyer’s help to make sure that those things are done. This website CAN provide some of that assistance, but as a practical matter, local legal advice is necessary. For a start, here is a draft of a rent control law that you might want to circulate by petition in your city. It can be modified to some extent, easily, but major changes would require a re-drafting because so many things are interconnected within it. [Rent Control Draft]

   Tenant voter registration is an important part of this process. Tenants are so used to not having a say, not having their views considered, not having any power to change their lives, that voting seems inconsistent with how they’ve come to view themselves. Only about 5% of tenants actually vote in local elections. Tenants are truly a politically disenfranchised majority. Landlords are only 2% of the population, but seem to run things, because they leverage their money and power. A 10% tenant voter turnout could change the history of politics in your town. Politicians would stop saying they’re against rent control, and start expressing concern for the abused tenants who need their help. It’s a numbers game, to be sure.

   If you are really sincere about wanting to take action, there are groups like ACORN that will help, for a percentage of your donations. There may already be a tenant group formed in your town, which the local reporters or city clerk might know about, and you can join them. You aren’t the only one thinking like this. (source: http://www.caltenantlaw.com/rent-control/)

In San Francisco:Annual Allowable Rent Increase March 1, 2017 – February 28, 2018 = 2.2%  Most tenants are covered by rent control. This means rents can only be raised by certain amounts per year and the tenant can only be evicted for “just causes.” In addition, some rental units have restrictions on how much the landlord can charge the new tenant due to previous evictions. Tenants who do not have rent control can have their rent increased by any amount at any time with a proper written notice.

Rent control is administered by the San Francisco Rent Board. The Rent Board website has extensive information and you can download the San Francisco Rent Ordinance and Rent Board Rules and Regulations or come to our counseling clinic for more information.One of the more unjust parts of rent control is the capital improvement passthrough. Capital improvements are improvements for the building, the landlord’s investment, which tenants mostly pay for through a passthrough. Not only can the landlord get the tenants to pay for increasing the value of his or her investment, the landlord can then write the cost of the improvements off in their taxes. Capital improvements are things like new windows, a new roof, painting of the exterior of the building,  and other similar improvements to the property which add substantially to the life or value of the property as opposed to routine maintenance. Landlords must complete the work, petition the Rent Board and win approval of the rent increase before the cost can be passed on. Tenants can contest the increases at the hearing on certain grounds, like that the work was never done, or was not necessary, or was done to gentrify the building, but it is difficult to stop such a pass through in its entirety. (Source; https://www.sftu.org/rentcontrol/)








Unstable foundation: Union leader says he was fired for starting investigation into Sacramento public housing agency

Jim Landberg, president of Local 146 Sacramento County California Employees SHRA, says the public housing agency fired him from his maintenance position after he started a union investigation into SHRA’s practices. PHOTO BY SCOTT THOMAS ANDERSON

Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency faces new retaliation claims, tenant safety concerns

By Scott Thomas Anderson /Sacramento News and Review 

Weeks after a Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency employee claimed she was terminated for whistleblowing, another longtime agency employee is stepping forward with the same accusation.

In June, Laura Cedidla said that SHRA, which controls all public housing in the city and county, fired her for reporting safety threats to tenants and employees. Cedidla shared her concerns with the Sacramento County grand jury, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration and her union, Local 146 Sacramento County California Employees SHRA.

Now, Jim Landberg, president of Local 146 and a former maintenance specialist for SHRA, says he was fired for launching a union investigation into Cedidla’s claims.

Testimony about conditions at SHRA properties was expected two weeks ago in a civil court case involving Cedidla. Residents at three SHRA complexes told SN&R last month that Cedidla was the most competent and responsive SHRA employee they’d encountered. Nevertheless, after Cedidla began speaking out about problems she perceived with SHRA management—ranging from neglected bedbug infestations to the handling of federal documents—management accused the seven-year employee of behaving threateningly toward other employees. In particular, SHRA interpreted a doodle she made during a staff meeting as a bomb threat. The agency filed a restraining order against Cedidla in March and started a termination process.

For the rest of the story Click the Link Below




Fresh Not Frozen: For Friday May 5th

“Cousin What”

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Katy Perry in a Masion Margiela by John Galliano at Tuesday’s Met Ball the annual fundraising gala for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City.

“Coconut Pie Theater”

After smacking Former Mayor Kevin Johnson with a Safeway Coconut Creme Pie and being smacked down by the mayor.  Pie Activist Sean Thompson is getting his day in court.  His attorney wants a show.  News reports indicate she wants the former Mayor and his wife Michelle Rhee to appear on this open and shut case.   If he hit an old lady with a pie, she’d kick his ass too..     News at eleven.

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How Sweet, Just Before Rating Sweeps

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It’s officially official  MSNBC’s  “Morning Joe” co hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzenzinki are engaged  It’s a mixed marriage she’s a brunette and he’s a Republican.  The location of the marriage will be determined by the spring ratings. It will be extravagant affair or an intimate gathering at the Red Roof Inn.

Na Na Na-Na Na Na-hey hey Good Bye” 

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Sang by the Democrats in the chamber to the Republicans after Obamacare was finally repealed.  It took several months to draft Obamacare, the GOP came up with a plan in 30 minutes in Crayon.  45’s Pepsodent Smile was never so bright.  Paul Ryan not as bright and some of the members facing re-election in 2018 cut up their Macy’s cards.

92 & Flooded

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Ninty + in Sacramento and Discovery Park is still underwater and there is still a lot of snow in the Sierra’s .    Two Words    “Melt Slow”

Your Standing on My Coat

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One More from the Met Ball.  Priyanka Chopra in a Ralph Lauren.   Can you see her on he “Meadowview” Light Rail, telling passengers, “your standing on my coat!”