Simon’s Last Call

Simon’s Last Call

Simon’s Bar & Café is not the oldest saloon in Sacramento. It’s not the biggest or most fancy. Simon’s is something else—a place that for the past four decades embodied and embraced Sacramento’s identity as a political town.

Despite efforts to diversify and pretend otherwise, Sacramento lives on politics. Without the legislators, staff, lobbyists and consultants who fill the Capitol and shape the work done there, Sacramento would be something like Fresno. Simon’s would never succeed in Fresno.

Police Reform

Police Reform

Sacramento Police have begun a monumental overhaul in culture, recruitment, training and response to establish the department as a national leader for progressive law enforcement.

From the trust its officers derive among community members to its reaction to gun violence, protest marches, mental health emergencies and homelessness, the police department is using data-driven research and street experience to reshape its practices and reform the way it does business.

River Of Change

River Of Change

The weight of public authority continues to crush a handful of property owners who fought for decades to keep people away from the Sacramento River levee in Pocket, Greenhaven and Little Pocket.

The latest victory for public access comes from the Central Valley Flood Protection Board, the state agency that owns and controls the levees.

In November, the flood board formally canceled its 1996 policy that permitted nine private fences and gates to block the levee. The old policy allowed property owners to seal off public access and create private playgrounds for themselves along the waterfront. The vote to drop the policy was unanimous.

Shut Up And Play?

Shut Up And Play?

For sports fans who pray 2021 is the year athletes shut up, a reality check: It won’t happen. Athletes have always talked, even before anyone cared what they had to say. They aren’t going to stop speaking their minds anytime soon.

Jack Johnson, who in 1908 became the first Black fighter to win the world heavyweight championship, was never at a loss for words. But his most enduring quote from his “Fight of the Century” in Reno against ardent white supremacist and former champ Jim Jeffries was eloquently simple: “May the best man win.” Johnson beat the bigot in 15 rounds.

New Faces

New Faces

In his failed bid to become strong mayor, Darrell Steinberg may have lost his ability to command majority support on the Sacramento City Council.

The council expects three new members to arrive in December. None of the newcomers received support from Steinberg. Two veteran members—Jeff Harris and Angelique Ashby—have histories of opposing the mayor.

He’s Our Best

He’s Our Best

Sometimes I wish Inside Sacramento had an award called “Local Sports Person of the Year.” I know the guy I would nominate for 2020: Dusty Baker. He’s at the top of his game at age 71. And while the year was miserable and Baker did his best work in Houston rather than Sacramento, he will always belong to the city he calls home. He’s a paragon of leadership, integrity, pride, hard work and perseverance. He’s also pretty good at baseball.

As 2020 began, Baker was unemployed in Sacramento, his career finished. It was a bittersweet end. Baker has been involved in professional baseball since 1967, when he was a senior at Del Campo High School and drafted by the Atlanta Braves.