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New Kings arena: Regional cooperation may have limits

SACRAMENTO, CA - Mayor Kevin Johnson suggests a regional approach might be the way to finance a new arena for the Kings, but elected officials in neighboring counties worry that's just another way of talking about a tax increase for their constituents.

"I'm totally in favor of regional cooperation," said Yolo County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Rexroad.  "My question is, how is it financed?  I have a strong personal belief that it needs to be funded by the people who use the arena."

Rexroad's opinion was echoed by Sutter County Supervisor Stan Cleveland, who said he had already heard from voters in his district.

"They really do not want any of the taxpayers' funds going toward a new arena in Sacramento," Cleveland said.

Frogs Ready to Leap at the State Capitol

Frogs Ready to Leap at the State Capitol

SACRAMENTO, CA - The jumping frog tradition made famous by Mark Twain in the 1800s lives on at the State Capitol.

The 37th annual Capitol Frog Jumping Contest will take place Wednesday, May 4 on the East Lawn.

Twain penned his short story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," in 1865 about a champion jumper who could catch flies on command.  Here's an excerpt:

"Dan'l Webster was the name of the frog -- and sing out, 'Flies, Dan'l, flies!' and quicker'n you could wink he'd spring straight up and snake a fly off'n the counter there, and flop down on the floor ag'in as solid as a gob of mud, and fall to scratching the side of his head with his hind foot as indifferent as if he hadn't no idea he'd been doin' any more'n any frog might do.

Nation's Largest Affordable Housing and Homelessness Conference Comes to Sacramento

Nation's Largest Affordable Housing and Homelessness Conference Comes to Sacramento

The Housing California “Opening Doors” conference kicks off at the State Capital on Tuesday, April 26. Nearly a thousand housing advocates, law makers and community development and social justice leaders will share valuable knowledge on current trends and legislation relevant to affordable housing and homelessness issues. The conference is a combination of institutes, workshops and plenary sessions directed towards educating and informing participants on topics such as green building; multifamily financing; sustainable homes and communities; homelessness; services and housing for special needs populations; and policy and the law.

WHEN: Tuesday, April 26 from 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
            Wednesday, April 27 from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
            Thursday, April 28 from 9:00 a.m.

Showtime: Sacramento fights for the Kings

SACRAMENTO, CA - Nearly two dozen Sacramento-area business and corporate leaders gathered late Thursday morning to make one of the biggest sales pitches of the year. 

The customer: the NBA. 

The pitch: all the abandoned plans and tepid support are in the past, and now the region's business community is ready to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to keeping the Sacramento Kings in Sacramento. 

The centerpiece of that pitch came from Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, who announced that he has secured $9.2 million in new financial commitments from area companies should the league deny the Kings' owners request to move the team to Anaheim.

"If this team is staying we want to be able to outreach to our community, our ticket holders, that we want them to renew and we want other people to start coming to games," Johnson said.

Governor's dog bridges the budget gap

SACRAMENTO, CA - Gov. Brown's dog, Sutter, has become a celebrity at the State Capitol.

The seven-year-old Pembroke Welsh Corgi is now capitalizing on his popularity by selling his own line of merchandise: t-shirts, tote bags and other goodies emblazoned with his Twitter name: @SutterBrown.

Three dollars of each sale pays down the budget deficit -- the remaining $14 billion deficit.

"I confess, I'm kind of a super fan," said Jennifer Fearing who likes Sutter so much she bought a hoodie and a coffee mug -- the deficit just shrank by $6.

"I genuinely think it's a fun way to chip in to the budget, even though, let's be honest, it's fumes compared to the big hole that we have," Fearing said.

The Brown administration says @SutterBrown accounts are unofficial, but all signs point to someone in the governor's inner circle. The governor himself denies being behind all the musings and marketing.

California Republican Convention - This Weekend in Sacramento

California Republican Convention - This Weekend in Sacramento

The statewide GOP convention is taking place in Sacramento this weekend, with events starting today. The official website has a message from GOP Chairman Ron Nehring:

"This year, the road to the White House begins in California and I would like to introduce you to some of our Republican candidates for President at our upcoming CRP convention in Sacramento."

I'll be writing about some of the events taking place at the convention later this weekend - including potential presidential contenders who show up. With the ongoing budget negotiations as a backdrop, it will be an interesting weekend.

Rep. Doris Matsui, D-CA Joins in on Congressional Twitter Town Hall Today

Rep. Doris Matsui, D-CA Joins in on Congressional Twitter Town Hall Today

Sacramento Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) joined more than 20 other House Democrats in a Twitter Town Hall today hosted by Rep. John Larson (D-CT), chair of the House Democratic Caucus, Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), co-chair of the New Media Working Group, and Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA).

These representatives fielded questions live via Twitter about the budget and the “So Be It” Republican spending bill.  During the hour of the event, #AskDems – the hashtag to follow the Town Hall – was the 3rd most discussed topic nationally (and the 1st was a paid for campaign).

“Members of Congress need to go where We the People are, and that increasingly means social media platforms like Twitter,” said Rep. John Garamendi (CA-10). “The Internet is tearing down the gates that used to divide representatives from the public. Community-wide open conversations are now possible online.