Bee in the Community

Follow Pam as she blogs on community events.

July 26, 2012
Romance is in the air at Bee Book Club

New York Times bestselling romance novelist Susan Elizabeth Phillips is in town for tonight's Bee Book Club presentation at the Library Galleria. Her latest, "The Great Escape," has more twists and turns than Lombard Street!

Get there early for a good seat because Phillips promises to entertain the audience with the story of Lucy Jorik, the panic-stricken, runaway bride and the adventures she encounters along the way.

As usual, the 6 p.m. event is free and parking is discounted at the parking garage next to the Library, 828 I St., downtown. There will also be a book raffle and a few other surprises. See you there!

May 31, 2012
Meet Bee people at Grape Escape

On Saturday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The Bee will be holding court at Raley's Grape Escape. Located at Table 7 near the 10th and I Street entrance, reporter Chris Macias will be joined by various bloggers and editors who will gladly answer questions. Macias also is one of the  Chef's Challenge judges and he knows a thing or two about wine.

We will have some stuff to hand out and everyone who stops by can fill out a form to enter to win a $100 gift card. We know the event is all about food and wine but no one covers those subjects better than The Bee. See you Saturday at Cesar Chavez Park.

April 16, 2012
Rex Babin tribute section available at The Bee

More than 500 people shared in the life, wit and wisdom of Rex Babin on a glorious Sunday afternoon in the Constitutional Wall Courtyard between the Secretary of State's office and the California Museum.They were treated to a creative and poignant multimedia presentation hosted by The Bee's Editorial Page Editor Stuart Leavenworth.On hand to celebrate the life of their friend and colleague were fellow cartoonists Joel Pett of the Lexington Herald-Leader and Jack Ohman of the Portland Oregonian.

Proceeds from the gathering - which included a silent auction, a special 48-page tribute section of Babin's best-known cartoons and a commemorative bookmark - will go directly to the "Sebastian Babin Education Fund." The fund was set up for Rex and Kathleen Babin's 10-year-old son after the death of his father on March 30.

If you were unable to attend Sunday's gathering but would like a special section or a bookmark, they are now available at The Bee's front counter, 2100 Q St., during regular business hours - 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Suggested donation for each item is $5. If you have any questions, call 321-1024 or email

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April 12, 2012
Join us in "Remembering Rex"

Fans and friends are invited to a special Sunday event, "Remembering Rex" - a celebration of the life, wit and wisdom of The Bee's editorial cartoonist Rex Babin who passed away on March 30.

Bee staff has been working tirelessly to put together a fitting public tribute to Rex, whose cartoons graced the editorial pages of The Bee for 13 years. Sunday's event will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Constitutional Wall Courtyard - between the Secretary of State's office and the California Museum - at 10th and O streets.

Admission is free and will feature a multimedia presentation in the museum's auditorium. On hand will be friends and fellow cartoonists Joel Pett of the Lexington Herald-Leader and Jack Ohman of the Oregonian in Portland. They will be joined by Editorial Page Editor Stuart Leavenworth.

More than 25 cartoons will be on display as well as a "Silent Auction" where you can bid on some of Babin's best work. The staff also created a commemorative section that will be available along with a bookmark.

All proceeds will benefit the "Sebastian Babin Education Fund."

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March 7, 2012
...and the winning word is "toadyism"

The 29th annual California Central Valley Spelling Bee got underway bright and early this morning with 57 antsy students gathering at the Scottish Rite Center. With family, friends and classmates watching, Andrew Eugenio - a 6th grader from Phoenix School - was the first student at the microphone at 9:30 a.m.

When competition concluded nearly 4 hours later, Jack Maglalang was the last student standing as he spelled the winning word "toadyism." Today's victory was Jack's 2nd in a row as he also was the winner in 2011. As the champion, Jack will travel to Washington, D.C., in May to represent The Sacramento Bee in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

As things got started, the words were relatively easy. Everything from "mulligan" to "padre" with a "typewriter" and "halitosis" thrown in. After lunch, however the words got more difficult. At noon, 30 spellers remained out of the original 57 and Andrew was up first with "limburger" - the first word, not what was served for lunch. The competition quickly thinned until there were just 10 spellers left.

Things got a little more tense and the judge's bell started ringing more frequently. In the end it was down to Jack and Savitri Asokan - an 8th grader from Olympus School. Savitri stumbled on "olid" and Jack spelled that and "toadyism" correctly to claim victory. And although only one student took home to winner's trophy, all of the young people were winners for being able to spell words some of the adults in the audience had not even heard before.

For the record, the pronouncer was Bob Nathan, a former Sacramento radio personality. Judges were Cheryl Dell, president and publisher of The Bee; and Margaret Bryan, chief administrator at Shriners Children's Hospital of Northern California. Molly Evangelisti is the Spelling Bee director and Ron Brand, the educational services manager at The Bee, helps to organize the event.

Here's a list of the Top 10 finishers.

Top 10
1. Jack Maglalang, a 6th Grader from Pershing School
2. Savitri Asokan, an 8th grader from Olympus School
3. Catherine Cortez, an 8th grader from St. Basil's
4. Aditya Mishra, (brother of 2010 winner Anvita Mishra) a 5th grader from Excelsior School.
5. Snehaa Ganesh Kumar, a 4th grader from Folsom Hills School
6. Alex Llamado, an 8th grader from Edward Harris School
7. Christina Bussone, an 8th grader from Bridgeway Island School in Yolo County
8. Steven Abramowitz, a 7th grader from Granite Oaks school in Rocklin
9. John Gulden, a 6th grader from Elitha Donner School
10. Alicia Gutierrez an 8th grader from St. Joseph School in Placer County.


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March 1, 2012
Bee invites you to the Spelling Bee

 Politics, high gas prices, the arena. Tired of the same old, same old? Then join parents, teachers and friends on Wednesday, March 7, as 57 of the area's top spellers compete in the 29th annual California Central Valley Spelling Bee.

Hosted by The Sacramento Bee with help from Shriners Hospital for Children and Sierra Health Foundation, the winner of the local event will go on to represent the area in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., from May 27-June 1.

Returning to defend his 2011 title will be Jack Maglalang, a 6th grader from Pershing Elementary. Jack will be facing some tough competition this year as Kajal Maran, who finished 2nd in 2010 (the year the spellers we so good officials had to get additional words) and Aditya Mishra, the brother of the 2010 winner Anvita Mishra of Roseville.

The event begins at 9:30 sharp at the Scottish Rite Center at 6151 H St. in Sacramento. Pronouncer Bob Nathan will be joined by judges Cheryl Dell, president and publisher of The Bee, and Margaret Bryan, chief administrator at Shriners.

The public is invited to join the families and friends who will be there to cheer on their favorite speller and to see who will take home the trophy for 2012. 

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February 8, 2012
Come to The Bee's health fair

On Thursday, Feb. 16, members of the Sacramento medical community, Fleet Feet, Taylor's Market, the Natural Foods Co-Op, the Heart Association and the Cancer Society will be at The Bee to help everyone get "heart healthy."

February is "American Heart Month" and a good time to start thinking about wellness. The free community event is sponsored by The Bee and will feature Dr. Inder Singh, a cardiologist from the Mercy Medial Group and one of his patients. In addition to the medical advice, participants will get information on easy exercise - like walking - nutritional alternatives to fast food and lots of heart-healthy stuff.

You must register to attend this event. It will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at 21st and Q streets in Midtown Sacramento. Free parking is available on 21st. To register, call 916-321-1664 or go to and click on the ad the the "Healthy Heart" event.

November 30, 2011
Concert will put you in the holiday spirit

Wednesday night's free concert at the Community Center Theatre promises to put the audience in the holiday spirit. Sponsored by The Bee and featuring the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West, tonight's performance is sold out BUT any seats not claimed by 6:45 will be available to the public.

So if you're the gamblin' type and are willing to bet the wind might keep some folks home, come on downtown to the theater and take your chances. If you get a seat, you will be treated to Captain Haley Armstrong - conductor of the band - and The Honeybee (no relation) Trio.

The program includes such holiday favorites as "Ave Maria," "Jingle Bells," "White Christmas" and "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy."

See you there!

November 4, 2011
Author wows SRO crowd at Library Galleria

More than 425 of his biggest fans gathered Thursday evening to hear author Erik Larson at the final gathering of The Bee Book Club for 2011. The Library Galleria was set up for 300 people, but readers just kept arriving - even after the 6 p.m. start time.

Larson, who flew in from Seattle earlier in the day, garnered one of the largest crowds in Book Club history. He was witty, provacative and stayed until every last copy of "In The Garden of Beasts," was autographed.

Representatives from Barnes and Noble sold out off books and reports from the stores in the area told the same story. Stay tunned for the 2012 list of Book Club authors.


November 1, 2011
Meet author Erik Larson on Thursday

The Bee Book Club is hosting is final author of 2011 Thursday evening at the Downtown Library Galleria. Erik Larson, who specializes in nonfiction, will speak at 6 p.m.

His book, "In the Garden of Beasts," tells the story of 1933 Berlin during Hitler's first year as German chancellor. The story is told through the eyes of William Dodd, the first U.S. ambassador to Nazi Germany, and his daughter, Martha.

Larson will give a presentation, answer questions and autograph "Beasts."

The event is free. For more information, please call 321-1024.

July 11, 2011
Mark your calendars for authors, Scoopy and Pearls

Hope you already have marked your calendar for the July Bee Book Club this Thursday at 6 p.m. at Borders on Fair Oaks Boulevard. Dorthea Benton Frank is bringing her South Carolina charm to Sacramento for a combination reading, talk and book signing. Benton's book is "Folly Beach" and it's definitely a great summer read.

Also in July, The Bee will be in full force at the State Fair, which opens Thursday and runs through July 31. Come stop by The Bee booth and meet the people who bring you the paper, including our mascot "Scoopy."

And lastly, we scored a major personality for our September Book Club. He's not so much an author as he is a cartoonist and he is Stephan Pastis, the creator of "Pearls Before Swine." Come see Stephan Pastis on Thursday, Sept. 15, at 6 p.m. at Borders Books. Watch The Bee for more info.

June 8, 2011
Bee Book Club hosts author Jeff Shaara

Looking for an event that will definitely be worth the price of admission ? Then come join us Thursday night at The Bee Book Club. We will be taking over the downtown Library Galleria at 6 p.m. to host bestselling author Jeff Shaara. Shaara's book, "The Final Storm," is his last in a series on World War II. The event is free and open to the public.

This final chapter of Shaara's war stories takes readers to the Pacific as "the Americans mount a furious assault on the last great steppingstone to Japan itself - the heavily fortified island of Okinawa."

At Thursday's gathering, Shaara will read from his novel, answer questions and autograph copies of his book, which - thanks to Borders - will be on sale for 30% off.

The Bee Book Club event begins at 6 p.m. in the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria, 828 I St. If you have any questions, send an email to


April 21, 2011
Join us tonight at The Bee Book Club

Looking for a free, fun event tonight? Join us at The Bee Book Club and hear our featured author Hallie Ephron talk about her latest novel, "Come and Find Me." She is speaking at 6 p.m. at Borders Books on Fair Oaks Boulevard. If you want to get a preview of her talk, check out her interview this morning on Capital Public Radio's Insight program where Ephron was interviewed by Jeffrey Callison.

Tonight's performance will feature an introduction by senior writer Allen Pierleoni, a book give-away and a Q&A session with Ephron. Afterward she will sign copies of her book.

If you want more details, give Al a call at 321-1128. Otherwise, we'll see you tonight.

April 15, 2011
Bee's "Scoopy" wins Teams of Clay competition

Thumbnail image for 5812BeeMediaWinner.jpg

April 1, 2011
California Museum opens exhibit on California Indians

The California Museum has opened a new 3,000 square-foot exhibit highlighting California Indians. From artifacts, photographs, documents, art and multimedia presentations, this unique display tells the stories of California's Native Peoples.

The exhibit, "California Indians: Making a Difference," includes mroe than 400 artifacts and represents more than 150 tribes from across the state. Upon entering the exhibit, visitors will be met by women weaving baskets, a full-size canoe and artifacts from the earliest days of California. Other highlights include the fur cape and arrowhead made by Ishi, who is said to be Califoarnia's best-known Indian, and "The Chipped Stone Bear," California's official prehistoric artifact.

It's definitely a must see for parents and fourth-graders who are studying California history. On opening night, even Gov. Jerry Brown got a lesson in basket-weaving.

For more information, go to

The museum is open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. It is located at 1020 O St. and easily accessible on Light Rail.

February 9, 2011
2nd Opinions tackles prescription drugs

Cialis, Lipitor, Plavix - all odd names of drugs that have become part of the American lexicon. Even if you don't take them, you've heard about them on TV or radio or read about them in the newspaper.

What we don't know about these drugs - and hundreds of others like them - is why do they cost so much; who determines their safety; and what about that endless advertising? In the next 2nd Opinions Community Health Forum, Capital Public Radio and The Sacramento Bee hope to shed some light on those issues and to take some of the mystery out of prescription drugs.

The public is invited to join the discussion: "Popping Pills: What you need to know about prescription drugs" at Capital Public Radio at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 24. The forum will be moderated by "Insight" host Jeffrey Callison and recorded live with a studio audience.

During the forum you will hear from pharmaceutical and health care experts, doctors and even a patient. We will attempt to analyze the commercials and provide useful information so that you can make more informed decisions.

To reserve a spot in the audience or submit questions, visit


January 20, 2011
Join us tonight at The Bee Book Club

Tonight we welcome best-selling thriller novelist Steve Berry to the first gathering of The Bee Book Club of 2011. Berry is stopping in Sacramento on the last leg of his 17-city book tour. He will be speaking at 6 p.m. at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria, 828 I St. in downtown Sacramento.

Berry's novel, "The Emperor's Tomb,"  is his ninth and the sixth in a series featuring Cotton Malone. At tonight's gathering, Berry will give a presentation, answer questions and sign copies of his book. Guests also get the chance to win a free copy of the book.

If you can't make tonight's gathering of The Bee Book Club, we have others on the schedule for the first half of the year, including Kim Harrison who will speak on March 10 at Borders Books on Fair Oaks Boulevard, next to Pavilions.

In April, we have Hallie Ephron, sister of Nora, Delia and Amy. Hallie Ephron will also speak at Borders on April 21. In June at the Library Galleria, we will be presenting WWII novelist Jeff Saara and his book, "The Final Storm," about the Pacific Theater.

On July 14 at Borders Books we will present Dorothea Benton Frank and "Folly Beach." Frank is the author of family-oriented books set in the Carolina Low Country.

November 19, 2010
Armistead Maupin shares his "Tales"

San Francisco novelist Armistead Maupin had his Sacramento audience by the tale last night during a gathering of The Bee Book Club. Maupin entertained the more than 200 readers with tales of The City, life on the road and the upcoming musical version of his hugely popular "Tales of The City."

Maupin and his novel "Mary Ann in Autumn" concludedThe Bee's 2010 Book Club series and he certainly closed the year with an entertaining and laugh-out-loud presentation. He described how "Tales" got started - as a series of articles in "The Pacific Sun" - a small newspaper in Marin County. How the San Francisco Chronicle picked up the serial and turned a weekly story into one that ran daily. And how his editors at the Chronilce kept track of his straight and gay characters.

He also shared stories about his celebrity friends. Laura Linney - the current star of The Big C on Showtime and a character in the "Tales" miniseries - read a poem at his wedding and he did the same at hers.

Maupin took questions from the enthusiastic audience then stayed on for 90 minutes to sign books. After the signing, Maupin got in his car and made the trek back to The City.


Coming off an extremely successful year, where more than 1,000 readers were treated to authors like Walter Moseley, Abraham Verghese, Lisa Garner, Cindy Pawlcyn and Dave Eggers, The Bee is planning another fab lineup for 2011.

Here's a sneak peek at the comming attractions: Steve Berry on Jan. 20, 2011, for "The Emperor's Tomb"; Kim Harrison on March 10 for "Pale Demon."; Dorthea Benton Frank on July 14 for "Folly Beach"; and Jamie Ford on Sept. 15 for "Untitled."

Bee Book Club events are held at either the Downtown Library Galleria on Borders Books on Fair Oaks Boulevard.

October 22, 2010
Dave Eggers shares his story with the community

The Sacramento community came out Wednesday night to hear Bay Area author Dave Eggers talk about his book "Zeitoun," and they weren't disappointed. Eggers spoke before a crowd of at least 500 people at The Crest Theater the highlightt of the Sacramento Public Library's "One Book Sacramento."

Sponsored by the library, The Bee's Book Club and California Lectures, this year's One Book was a great community event. Readers lined up three hours before the free event began and many stayed long after it was over to get a signed copy of Eggers' book.

Eggers' - the award-winning author who has launched non-profit writing workshops in San Francisco for underserved youth - was intereviewed by Sac State Professor Joseph Palermo. Palermo, who is also an accomplished author, directed the conversation with Eggers allowing him to tell the story of how "Zeitoun" evolved from a family's account of Hurrican Katrina to a best-selling book.

Although the highlight of "One Book" 2010 was Eggers' appearance at The Crest, there are still other events connected to the book. For more information, go to

and click on "One Book."

 The Bee Book Club will hold one more event this year. On Nov. 18, noted San Francisco author Armistead Maupin - best know for "Tales of The City" - will be at the Sacramento Library Galleria to discuss his book "Maryanne in Autumn." 

October 7, 2010
A family in need

On Tuesday we received a call from Nikko Thomas asking for help locating a group or fund-raiser that might assist her family. Here' is their story:

Ashley Thomas, 4, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at age 2. Since that time it has been an ongoing struggle for the  family. They received a $500 donation and emotional support from the Keaton Raphael Memorial Foundation in 2009. They also received a donation of $150 from the Leukemia Society, which has helped.

But the family's struggle continues. Ashley can't attend day care or pre-school because her immune system is very low, her mom says. Ashley's mom, Nikko, was working 30 hours a week but that was cut to 16 hours. The family has lost their home and are in danger of losing their rental as well. They hold yard sales to make ends meet but obviously that's not enough.

If you know of any organization that can help Ashley and her family, please contact Nikko Thomas at 916-505-4211. Her email address is


July 26, 2010
Young heart patients mingle with the pros

We had an amazing day on Saturday participating in the "When I Grow Up" event at UC Davis Children's Hospital. Sponsored by "Angels for Hearts," and the Children's Miracle Network at UC Davis, "When I Grow Up," gives children with pediatric heart issues the chance to mingle with professionals like, firefighters, police officers, dentists, teachers, soldiers, chefs and even journalists and community affairs directors.

The idea for "Angels for Hearts" came from Kimberly Kaufman, who is the heart (along with her family) and soul of the organization. She founded the group because in 2004 Kimberly - then 32-years-old - was diagnosed with a cronic - and life threatening - heart condition. She spent a lot of time at Stanford hospital and got to see first-had what life is like for young heart patients. Despite her condition, she wanted to give something to the kids.

"Angels for Hearts" organizes gift-giving for the young heart patients at the holidays and in the Summer, holds the "When I Grow Up" event.

On Saturday, the happy and healthy-looking children got High 5's from Dinger, the River Cats mascot, red fire hats from the UC Davis fire department, lunch from Panda Express and even learned a little about writing for a newspaper. They also received their own Junior Reporter Notebooks.

Ice cream from Burr's Fountain was served along with a lot of love from the grown-ups.

To learn more about Angels for Hearts, go to


July 23, 2010
Lisa Gardner wows Bee Book Club

Is New York Times best-selling author Lisa Gardner as funny as she is thrilling? Just ask the more than 200 fans who attended the SRO gathering at Borders Books Thursday evening. The author, who spoke without notes, entertained the Sacramento Bee Book Club audience with stories about how she got into the book biz - writing a novel one summer when she was 17; how she moved from romance to suspense and her passion for helping special needs children.

Gardner was really funny - the kind of person you'd want for a best friend. She counts among her BFFs, fellow authors and Bee Book Club alums Harlan Coben, Tess Gerritsen and Lee Child. She also had great things to say about The Bee's next Book Club author - Barry Eisler. (Aug. 26 at 6 p.m. at Quarry Ponds in Granite Bay). Don't want to miss that one, she told the largely female crowd.

If you missed the event, but still want signed copies of "Live to Tell," check out Borders Books on Fair Oaks Boulevard. If you would like to hear an interview Lisa gave to Jeffrey Callison, host of Capital Public Radio's "Insight," go to and click on "Insight." The interview is listed under Recent Shows/July 21. Want to find out more about Lisa Gardner, go to her website,

And by all means, take her advice and come to the Aug. 26 Bee Book Club event featuring Barry Eisler at Quarry Ponds. See you there!


July 16, 2010
Students spend "Career Day" at The Bee

On Friday, we held a "Career Day" for nine students and three teachers from "Breakthrough Sacramento," a year-long program that provides college prep for motivated students from under-resourced schools in the Sacramento region.

It was a great day, beginning with an introduction to the newspaper then an hour-long tour conducted by Dave Wesley. The students were able to see everything from the newsroom to the pressroom. They learned about the history of The Bee and its founders.

After the tour, the students were treated to a talk by political cartoonist Rex Babin. He shared his passion for drawing and news with the 7th and 8th graders. He also gave them a peek at his cartoon for Sunday's paper.

Next stop, was Media in Education ( director Ron Brand. Ron went over the website with the students and showed them where to find practice SAT questions. He also showed them how to access all the great information on the M.I.E. site, including a place where students can explore life at colleges throughout the nation. They ended by creating a silly story and promising to get a library card.

Bee Columnist Marcos Breton talked about growing up in San Jose and how he came to be a journalist. He spoke about some of his favorite stories and how readers react to controversy.

Just before lunch, Ed de la Fuente, an online editor at The Bee, gave the students a view into the digital world and where the newspaper fits in the future of online media.

After numerous questions, a great lunch and lots of takeaways, the students headed back to campus. It was great to share our story with such bright, promising students.

 Breakthrough Sacramento is a member of the Breakthrough Collaborative, a group of 34 educational programs in the U.S. and Hong Kong. To learn more about the program, contact Adolfo R. Mercado or Marianne Ceballos. The summer program is sponsored by and held at Sacramento Country Day School. Contact number is 916-481-8811, extension 316.


July 14, 2010
Budget was talk of the town

More than 75 Sacramentans gathered last night in eight coffeehouses around town to discuss the budget woes facing our region. From Old Soul in Oak Park to It's a Grind in Del Paso, neighbors gathered to share their stories and try to come to terms with what to do about a reduction in services. The event was "Community Conversations" and it is sponsored by The Bee, Capital Public Radio and the Sacramento Region Community Foundation.

Tuesday evening's gathering was the second installment in the "Conversation" series. The first was held in May and the talk centered on the region's economic recovery. The budget topic had people talking about everything from the state prison system, to education and the upcoming ballot initiative on legalizing marijuana.

At Old Soul in Oak Park, the discussion was facilitated by Charles Mason, president and CEO of Ubuntu Green. The corner of Broadway and 34th Avenue was a great setting for the discussion, which was lively and diverse. At the other venues around town the experience was similar. To read about the discussions around town, go to

If you missed Tuesday night's gathering, mark your calendar for Sept. 14, the next date for our "Conversations." The topic is yet to be decided.

July 13, 2010
Join the 'Conversation' tonight

The Bee, Capital Public Radio and the Sacramento Region Community Foundation are teaming up tonight to present eight "Community Conversations." The topic of tonight's talk: Budget Cuts: What are we willing to do without? and What are we willing to do about the rest?

Join your friends and neighbors at 7 p.m. at 8 locations around the city. The conversations are designed to give Sacramentans a chance to listen to eachother and share ideas. The 8 locations are spread throughout the city from "It's a Grind" in Natomas to Old Soul in Oak Park.

The conversations will be facilitated by volunteers who will set the ground rules and keep the discussion lively. Plus, there's free coffee.

For more information and a list of locations, go to