Sacramento News & Review

Could a vacancy tax help housing affordability in Sacramento?

Councilmember Katie Valenzuela has asked city planning staff to look into how this tax could incentivize property managers to reduce rents. Sacramento vacant property taxes might be on the horizon for city residents, according to District 4 City Councilmember Katie Valenzuela. She brought up the idea last August in council meetings on the Housing Element during the city’s 2035 General Plan process, a policy guide for Sacramento’s future.
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The Cold 52

A case that investigators never gave up on becomes the oldest murder ever solved in Sacramento history. Reflecting on the ominous nature of bloodshed, Nic Pizzolatto wrote, “Time is a flat circle.”. Sacramento County Sheriff’s detectives may have had a sense of that last month – some feeling of...

Senator Ben Allen, author of the legislation that drastically cuts plastic pollution in California, discusses how it came together—and what it means

At the end of June, Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 54, known as the plastics bill, which requires all packaging in the state to be recyclable or compostable by 2032. This legislation also leads the nation in terms of holding manufacturers accountable for their waste by shifting the plastic pollution burden from consumers to the plastics industry. In fact, it will raise $5 billion from industry members over 10 years, money that will reduce plastic pollution and help disadvantaged communities, which are impacted most by the damaging effects of plastic waste.

Bidding farewell to a hometown newspaper editor

Restaurant pathfinder Jerry Budrick realized a later life dream becoming a one-of-a-kind journalist in the foothills. Now, that community mourns his passing. What is the value of our region’s surviving small-town papers? For starters, they’re certainly keeping with their commitment to hyper-local coverage. Most take their charge of monitoring backyard government very seriously while writing features through a lens that implies their little slice of America is secretly the real center of the universe. That mix is what this genre of publication is about. As an alternative weekly, SN&R has always occupied an unusual space in terms of media strategy: It’s tackled features and investigations with the scope and ambition of a major metro paper – all while competing with a major metro paper – yet still found plenty of moments to highlight the kind of rare individual stories that a small-town editor would champion. And make no mistake, many writers associated with SN&R came up through the ranks of community newspapers. They include Michael Mott, Sena Christian, Kate Gonzales, Steph Rodriguez, Raheem Hosseini and myself, to name a few. In the case of me and Raheem, one of the small-town editors that we worked with, early on, was Jerry Budrick, who just passed away this week after a long, hard-fought battle with cancer.

Winnemem Wintu Tribe keeps its culture of conservation strong through release of winter Chinook salmon eggs into the McCloud River

Tribe sees the survival of its heritage tied to plight of endangered fish. For eight decades, winter-run Chinook salmon were absent from the Winnemem Waywaket, or McCloud River, since Shasta Dam was completed in the 1940s. The dam inundated the cultural sites of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe and prevented the salmon from reaching their headwaters to spawn as they’ve done since time immemorial.

Kaiser mental health workers signal open-ended strike in Northern California

A union representing 2,000 Kaiser Northern California mental health workers this morning announced plans for an open-ended strike beginning Aug. 15. Among the reasons union representatives outlined: high clinician workloads and patients waiting weeks or even months for mental health care. Even as demand for care has surged, frustrated therapists are abandoning the health giant, said union spokesperson Matt Artz.

Analysis: ‘We Own This City’ is the series that both sides of the police reform debate should be talking about

A real story of deep-rooted corruption, questionable incentives and the work of oversight investigators details how problems grow and are confronted in troubled departments. “I’m not here to talk to you about the fights you have to have, you see, I’m here to talk to you about the ones you want to have – the ones you think you’re entitled to because you’re wearing a badge,” an animated police sergeant tells a gathering of wide-eyed cadets. “That’s the real brutality. The thing is you don’t need that kind of brutality … First off, no one’s gonna talk to you if you’re beaten’ on em. No one’s going to tell you what you need to know; and here’s the thing, if you really want to kick ass out on the streets, it’s information: Find out who’s who; who does what dirt – where do they do it? Who is it that they do that dirt with? Information, that’s what will get you cases.”

Young Gifted and Black exhibition at U.C. Davis reassess narratives around an American experience

Newly opened show will run between now and mid-December as a way of ‘reaching through History’. Passing through the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, there is a seemingly empty moving box sitting on a four-wheeled dolly. Surrounding it are paintings and sculptures placed against broad, white walls. The box is taped open and, inside, awaits a pink sheet taped to its lid that warns teasingly, “caution, art below.”

Sacramento city manager discusses why the city now seeks community input when selecting the police or fire chief, while activists call for more transparency

This story is co-published with The Sacramento Observer, a newspaper with more than 58 years of bringing public service journalism to the Capital City. One of the most critical tasks facing Sacramento and other American cities is how to improve and reform their police departments in the wake of a mounting number of fatal police shootings.

Cornerstone of the future? Sacramento orgs and agencies team up for a new experimental housing model

Nonprofits work with SMUD for large, affordable and sustainable housing project in the south city. In an effort to accommodate 400 local residents in need, a first-of-its-kind affordable housing project broke ground last March in unincorporated South Sacramento. Four agencies are teaming up for the first time to build Cornerstone, a state-of-the-art mixed-housing community for low-income individuals and families.

What does Bill Hall think about his new role at SEIU Local 1000? Quite a bit.

Bill Hall is the new selected leader of the Sacramento local Service Employees International Union. ‘Local 1000’ is the largest public sector union in California and a united front of 96,000 working people employed by the state. Given the fact that the union’s transformation over the last year has been pretty dramatic, Hall discusses his vision, his plan and what might change at SEIU moving forward under his leadership.

A local writer remembers ‘Relumbra Blanco,’ or travels through Baja, Mexico

The year 1974 was a watershed time in my life. I turned 22, graduated from college and broke up with my girlfriend. I also lived the life of a vagabundo in Mexico. Other noteworthy events rose on historical tides. In 1974, Richard Nixon resigned as the President of the United States. An OPEC embargo caused rising gas prices, rationing and long lines at gas stations. The Federal Reserve instituted an austerity program of high interest rates that lead to a major recession. The World Trade Center opened for business. These events mirrored life today.