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The snake wrangler see Arts&Culture, page 24

WhAt’s A pArklet? see News, page 9

as foodie culture revitalizes south Sacramento, some joke that you still need to wear a bulletproof vest to eat there

why smoking poT aT college is sTill illegal

by Jonathan mendick

see News, page 11

Sacramento’S newS & entertainment weekly

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Volume 25, iSSue 25

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thurSday, october 3, 2013

Copyyright Cop Copy i ht © UC Rege ege e ents, ts, Davviis cam campus, mp s, 2013 mpus 13. 3. Alll Rig 3 Righ Ri ghts ts Re esser eser erved. ved

<RXUFKRLFHIRUZRUOGFODVVFDUH UC Davis is the one place that brings together the best minds in medicine and the expertise of an entire university to improve health for all – here at home and around the world. Our primary care teams have unparalleled access to the latest research, advanced technologies and breakthrough treatments to help you make the health-care decisions that are right for you and your family. When it comes to your primary care, the one you choose, the one you trust and the one you see makes all the difference. There’s only one UC Davis. Find your team at medicalcenter.ucdavis.edu

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SN&R   |  10.03.13

October 3, 2013 | vol. 25, issue 25

GOP attacks poor (again) The Republicans’ ongoing civil war—a feud between uber-wealthy good-ol’ boys (repped by John Boehner) and stubborn, draconian blowhards (the Ted Cruz camp)— unfortunately has bled all over the rest of the country. And now, sadly, millions of low-income Americans are getting screwed. So, let’s take a moment and look at how this past spring’s “sequestration” (Beltway speak for “crappy budget cuts”) and Monday evening’s “shutdown” are making life hellish for millions of Americans. This week, new applicants to Medicaid and Medicare, basically the elderly and the working poor, will have to go without health care. Applications for citizenship and visas also stop. As does WIC, the Women, Infants and Children program that feeds nearly 10 million poor children and their mothers. The processing of new studentloan applications freezes as well. Funds for Head Start, which provides kids education, nutrition and health services, expire—and an estimated 70,000 were already kicked out of Head Start this past March because of the sequestration. Also, earlier this year, most housing agencies ended Section 8 vouchers, costing low-income residents millions in rental assistance. Funding to help unemployed seniors pay for meals lost $51 million. The Violence Against Women Act lost $26 million, which means less for local agencies to prosecute domestic-violence crimes. At universities, the Federal Work-Study Program that gives poor students jobs to pay tuition took a big cut. And on and on. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones is up more than 1,000 points since March’s sequestration and is holding on steady since Monday’s shutdown. Now, explain how the GOP’s “plan” isn’t just an all-out assault on the most vulnerable Americans.

11 36

55 Creative Director Priscilla Garcia Art Director Hayley Doshay Junior Art Director Brian Breneman Designers Vivian Liu, Serene Lusano, Marianne Mancina, Skyler Smith Contributing Photographers Lisa Baetz, Steven Chea, Wes Davis, Ryan Donahue, Taras Garcia, William Leung, Kayleigh McCollum, Shoka, Justin Short, Anne Stokes

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“[Florida] somehow has a lock on all of the strange and bizarre happenings.”

Asked on Front Street in Old Sacramento:

What is the worst state?

Amber Morgan

software developer

Arizona. I hated it. I was on my way to Norfolk, Virginia, and it was one of my stops. I literally got off the plane, went through the airport and was excited to go outside, and [then] the doors opened. The heat just slapped me in the face, and I walked right back. I walked back in because I am not used to that.

BEFORE

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  NEWS

Marielle Reataza

Alan Fineberg

property manager

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medical student

Florida. All sorts of wacky and bizarre and strange news [comes] out of Florida. It somehow has a lock on all of the strange and bizarre happenings, and it is unclear why. Wasn’t that where the bath-salts incident happened not too long ago? That is a good example.

  F E AT U R E

STORY

New Jersey. The airport is miserable. We got lost in it. The directions are really convoluted. I have been through the state, and there really is nothing to do. I don’t want to live in a state where you have people like [the cast of] The Jersey Shore. I would like to avoid those kinds of people.

Christian Goodwin

Karen Buhr

accountant

California. It is inefficient. We have the largest revenue, but we still have the biggest expenses. They’re in a state of emergency, there would be lawsuits. There is no way to change it.

  |    A R T S & C U L T U R E    

Robert Estes

executive director

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The winters in Minnesota are brutal. I lived there for a long time, and it got down to negative 80 degrees with wind chill. There are not enough clothes in the world to stay warm. You stay inside and you huddle underneath blankets and you cry.

  AFTER

  |    10.03.13    

ironworker

Texas. Everybody from Texas is just off. I wish they would go back there—and it is like it is its own country. If they think it’s so great, go back there. I just wish everybody I met from Texas was back in Texas.

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SN&R   |  10.03.13

Email your letters to sactoletters@newsreview.com.

Bravo, Farmto-Fork (now get to work) Re “Rich dinner, poor dinner” by Alastair Bland (SN&R Feature Story, September 19): I want to applaud the efforts of David Shabazian at the Sacramento Area Council of Governments, Supervisor Don Saylor in Yolo County, Tom letter of Tomich at UC Davis, the week and all of the chefs of our community who are working hard to bridge the gap between Sacramento’s production and consumption of food. As Alastair Bland’s article makes clear, there are many intertwined aspects of our local food system that provide both challenges and opportunities to addressing hunger, increasing economic opportunity and raising our region’s profile as a food “destination.” Mayor Kevin Johnson’s proclamation that Sacramento is America’s “Farm-toFork Capital” has spurred a lot of conversation among food-justice advocates about the steps we can take to make sure that our embrace of local food is equitable as well as economically successful. I believe this effort is incomplete without official efforts to

address community food insecurity, but that is not to say it’s a failure. Failure would be the continued marginalization of food insecurity and hunger in favor of tourism promotion and branding efforts that engage only the most fortunate among us. ... When the Tower Bridge dinner is packed away and the prix fixe specials expire, let’s start planning for next year. Food-justice advocates, foodies and local leaders need to take the lead to make sure that ... everyone has a place at the table. Matt Read

Sa c ra m e nt o

Health-care reform reveals GOP lies Re “What the health?!?” by Daniel Weintraub (SN&R Feature Story, September 26): All the Republican and tea-party lies and misinformation the American public has heard for the past three years about the Affordable Care Act are about to be found out starting October 1, when the ACA goes into effect. Tea-party and Republican politicians must be shaking in their wing tips (shoes) as the true value of the ACA becomes apparent. You do have to feel sorry for the people residing in states under the

yoke of Republican governors and legislatures. ... But, hey, nobody twisted their arm to vote for these Republican ideologues. We are already seeing significant savings in California and New York and other states who have embraced and implemented America’s new health-care law. Ron Lowe Nevada City

Tired of Wal-Mart, low-wage jobs Re “SN&R overlooks Walmart’s good deeds” by Rachel Wall (SN&R Letters, September 5): The next time you find yourself contemplating shopping at Wal-Mart, consider spending your money at Costco instead. Costco pays its workers almost $7 more per hour than Wal-Mart employees receive. Costco also offers a pension plan and affordable health care to its employees. ... Taxpayers will pay between $900,000 and $1.75 million in Medicaid and other government subsidies per year for Wal-Mart employees if Wal-Mart goes into the Delta Shores project. The Delta Shores project is an appealing location for Wal-Mart and other big-box stores,

because of the freeway interchange being built that will cost taxpayers approximately $50 million. It seems the city of Sacramento bends over backward to bring poverty-level jobs to Sacramento. Currently, Sacramento residents make $10,851 less than the average city in California. We also have 18.6 percent of our population living below the poverty level. The average for California is only 14.4 percent. The city of Sacramento and our city council need to focus on bringing good jobs, like those offered by Costco, to Sacramento, instead of the poverty-level jobs Wal-Mart will bring to our community. As a taxpayer, I’m tired of subsidizing one of the largest companies in the world, Wal-Mart. Michael Murphy Sacramento

Correction On SN&R’s Page Burner blog it was incorrectly reported that construction on the downtown Sacramento Kings arena might begin before the environmentalimpact report is completed. A corrected version of the story can be read at www.newsreview.com/pageburner.

@SacNewsReview

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Allow weed on college campuses? See NEWS

See BITES

13

Guns, guns, guns See OPINION

15

Street patios

PHOTO BY WES DAVIS

11

Ed-reform swindle

Sacramento prepares  to launch a parklets  pilot program Sidewalks are for people. Streets are for cars. But this traditional interpretation of by urban mechanics is getting kicked to the Alastair Bland curb as Sacramento and other cities across the continent introduce a new type of public space called the parklet. This is essentially an extension of the sidewalk that provides public seating for pedestrians in what was previously space reserved for vehicles. San Francisco innovated the concept several years ago and now has almost 40 parklets, where people gather as they might at a sidewalk cafe. New York City, Philadelphia, Montreal, Vancouver and other cities have followed suit with similar programs. Davis, too, has a parklet on E Street. Now, it’s Sacramento’s turn. City officials are talking about giving parklets a test run sometime this fall as pedestrian and cycling advocacy groups, as well as downtown businesses, beat drums of support. Rob Archie, the owner of Pangaea Two Brews Cafe in Curtis Park, is a parklet advocate and believes such open-air-seating sites will have a net benefit on the environment and economy by motivating people to leave their cars. “[Parklets] are an awesome, creative way to use space and encourage people to walk and ride bikes,” said Archie. A few people have raised concerns that parklets will needlessly steal parking places from drivers and would-be shoppers—but Archie feels that simple math squashes such naysayer arguments. “If you can satisfy 20 people and give them a place to sit and hang out in a space that fits one parked car, it’s just common sense,” he said. In other cities, parklet programs are working well through a system that has private businesses pay for the parklet while allowing the space to be used by anyone— whether or not they patronize the adjacent business. This has had dramatic effects on streetscapes in some cases, creating thriving gathering spots in locations that were previously relatively dead. At least one parklet in San Francisco was paid for by a homeowner, who now uses the furnished space as his not-soprivate front yard, sharing with neighbors and passersby what was once a precious parking spot. Another parklet at Union Square was paid for by an Audi dealership, cost $890,000, is two blocks long, and offers free public Wi-Fi. Long Beach in Southern California is generally named among the cities installing parklets—except that there, parklets are the private property of the supporting business, for the sole use of restaurant patrons. B E F O R E   |   N E W S   |   F E AT U R E

Small patios called parklets overtook regular car-parking spots on 20th Street near the MARRS building on September 20. Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates and the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District partnered for the event.

While Sacramento’s stance on parklets are talking about offering small grants to In Sacramento, Brown believes city does not seem, at first glance, to be a support the projects. Parklets will create planners will increasingly heed the voices cycling-related issue, Jim Brown says it destination points in locations that people of nondrivers. He says Americans are still most certainly is. currently may walk, pedal or drive right by. emerging from an era “where we were “By turning a parking space into a They will also serve as a traffic-calming obsessed with cars and the efficiency of public space, you’re reinforcing the point measure, Winkler said. moving things around in cars.” that the street is not only for cars,” said Ali Youssefi, the vice president of CFY Parklets could mark a significant Brown, the executive director of the Development Inc., is among those ready turning point in city management and Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates. “This and willing to install a parklet outside a design. Surveys and studies have shown is a very important philosophical concept business—in this case, in front of a 116-unit that American adults age 30 and younger that can increase the safety of cyclists, apartment complex on R Street between increasingly wish to live in bicycle-friendly reminding people that the road isn’t only 11th and 12th streets, that Youssefi expects cities, and there is evidence that people for single-occupant vehicles.” to be opened late next year. He notes that navigating an urban area on bikes or on On October 15, the Sacramento City anti-parklet campaigns should not, in foot spend more money at neighborhood Council will officially take up the matter, theory, be a problem. businesses. according to Councilman Steve Hansen, What’s more, Americans are spending who hopes to see parklets become a part of less time at the wheel—a downward trend “By turning a parking the Sacramento streetscape. that started about five years ago, accordHe says the first step will be to launch ing to data from the U.S. Department of space into a public a pilot program, which would allow six to Transportation. space, you’re eight businesses to temporarily cordon off “Parklets are going to accelerate this a small space of pavement in front of their change,” Brown said. reinforcing the point properties and fit it with seats and tables for WalkSacramento is also in favor of that the street is not public use. If the concept proves beneficial a future with parklets. Teri Duarte, the to the environment, economy and commupedestrian-advocacy group’s executive only for cars.” nity, the council would consider granting director, says parklets will bring life and Jim Brown long-term—though revocable—permits to vitality to streets, create destinations for executive director allow the parklets to remain in place. visitors, promote commerce and cash flow Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates Whether the drinking of alcohol will and help to reclaim the streets as public be permitted in the parklets is yet to be space. She says that allowing individual discussed, Hansen said. San Francisco, for “Parklets are community driven, businesses to fund, create and manage one, does not allow drinking in its parklets. supported by residents, local business each parklet will ensure that the spaces are Matt Winkler, with the city’s parking owners and property managers, so it’s hard creative and colorful. division, is helping lead the parklet push. to have any opposition,” he said. At Pangaea, Archie said he’s ready to He says that parklets will need to meet But San Francisco has encountered a make parklets a reality. several criteria, including not significantly few parklet problems. Officials revoked the “If it was just a money issue, I’d pay for impacting an area’s parking capacity and permit entirely of a parklet on Haight Street [a parklet] myself right now,” he said. “This also not discouraging people from visiting after the space fell into disarray, tarnished doesn’t need to be overthought. I’ve seen an area. Winkler expects benefits to far by vagrants, trash and overall neighborhood the city overthink too many good things outweigh costs. dissent. In other areas of San Francisco, based on what they’re afraid of happening Business owners, he points out, will parking-starved drivers have cried out rather than what they want to happen. This pay for the venues, though city planners against parklets. is a simple idea. Let’s do it.” Ω S T O R Y   |    A R T S & C U L T U R E     |    A F T E R   |    10.03.13     |   SN&R     |   9

Encounter God & Come Alive Spiritually SATURDAY SERVICE: 5:10pm Casual Yet Sacred SUNDAY SERVICES: 7:30am Classical Language 9:00am Contemporary Organ & Piano 11:15am Classical Music

by SN&R staff

SCORE KEEPER Sacramento’s winners and losers—with arbitrary points

TRINITY EPISCOPAL CATHEDRAL

2620 Capitol Ave. tvrbaker@trinitycathedral.org trinitycathedral.org

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RECYCLE

THIS PAPER.

Shutdown, shut up

Farmer party

Google “federal shutdown,” and you  get options for the current year as  well as 1995, 2011 and 2014. So, no, it’s  not just you that’s feeling a sense of  déjà vu. We’d complain about sharply  divided representatives, political  brinksmanship, Republican hostage-taking and partisan bickering, but you’ve  heard all that before, too. So why don’t  we just all expel a collective groan? Feel  better? Neither do we.

Big green thumbs-up to the  powers that be in charge  of Saturday’s Farm-to-Fork Festival on Capitol Mall. It’s  not easy to innovate, execute,  produce and knock out a  brand-new event—but last  weekend’s party was pretty  darn cool. Pro tip: Next year,  more food!

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Dog-day afternoon

The time-honored tradition of a boy playing  NEWS & REVIEW BUSINES with his dog took an unexpectedly dark  DESIGNER ISSUE DATE turn in the north Sacramento neighborhood  AL 06.18.09 of Westlake on Sunday afternoon. That’s  FILE NAME where a witness reportedly saw a male  TRINITYCATHEDRAL061809R1 juvenile stab his dog in the head with a knife. A  USP (BOLD SELECTI Sacramento Police Department log says the  PRICE / ATMOSPHERE / EXPER dog was transported to a local veterinary  clinic for treatment. There was no word  PLEASE CAREFULLY REVI on how serious the injury was. Officers  ADVERTISEMENT AND VERIFY T arrested the minor on charges of animal  AD SIZE (COLUMNS X INCHES) cruelty and took him to juvenile hall. SPELLING

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Bye-bye, Blackbird First, chef Kevin O’Conner flew the coop, leaving popular new restaurant  Blackbird Kitchen & Bar on Ninth Street. And, now, according to its general  manager, the spot “has decided to close.” Owner Carina Lampkin was a big part  of bringing new energy to downtown and K Street. (And no more $5 happy-hour  tacos, either.)

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Should adult students be allowed to use   medical marijuana at colleges and in dorms? When Jason Miller gets ready for his political-science classes at Sacramento City College, he skips Starbucks and by opts for a marijuana vaporizer. Cody Drabble “Some people get coffee before school to calm their nerves and get ready for class,” Miller said, “but I smoke a little bit before I go to school. Then I’m in the right state of mind.” Miller, like many college students in California, has a Proposition 215 card to legally purchase medical cannabis from one of several dispensaries around Sacramento. A doctor

Kimberly Cargile, a cannabispatient advocate in Sacramento, said she advises patients “to only use at their own homes or a private residence; not to use it at school or in public areas, because it’s safer.” According to SCC publicinformation officer Amanda Davis, the Los Rios District Police Department cannot give students with a legally valid medical-cannabis card a break. “Our campus is a public space, so our police would handle it the same way any other police would,” Davis said. PHOTO BY WES DAVIS

gave him a medical-cannabis recommendation to manage his anxiety condition. However, because public institutions like SCC and Sacramento State University receive money from the federal government, the schools must enforce the federal prohibition on cannabis, regardless of its legal status under California law. Americans for Safe Access spokesman Kris Hermes says it’s “outrageous” for campus police to take a hard line against students who use cannabis, because that “makes it difficult for [studentpatients] to use the medicine that works for them and is legal under California law.” Miller knows better than to bring his medical cannabis onto the City College campus. “I avoid [it], because it garners unwanted attention,” he said. Other students are not so cautious: Miller says he sees a lot of other students smoking in the parking garage.

Even though local colleges could lose federal funding by allowing medicalcannabis users like Jason Miller to carry marijuana on campus, it’s never happened, according to a spokesman with the Marijuana Policy Project.

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At Sacramento State, Police Chief Mark Iwasa explained that when it comes to students who run into trouble with the criminal-justice system, “marijuana is the thing we run across the most.” There have been a few instances of illegal substances other than cannabis coming onto the Sac State campus—a student was busted last year for possessing a salable quantity of Ecstasy—but most other trendy drugs in the news don’t pop up often. Bath salts? Nope. Molly? Nada. Smoking alcohol? Nix. “We’re not saying that it’s not occurring, we just haven’t caught up to it yet,” Iwasa said. Ardith Tregenza, the director of the Sacramento State Office of Student Conduct, deals with disciplinary matters for students caught smoking weed in the dorms and on campus. She said that if someone sells drugs in the dorms, “they’re going to be looking at suspension.” Otherwise, punishment for possesion varies

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from probation to suspension to drug counseling. Iwasa noted that for students busted for dealing to other students, “the sale thing has less to do with money than some kind of prestige.” College kids who sell are “almost never motivated by finance, in my observation,” he said. “It’s just an odd little phenomenon.” Colleges that receive federal financial aid have to dislose criminal activity, according to the Clery Act. Colleges in the Sacramento area all saw a spike in drug-related arrests during 2009-2010, at the height of weed-dispensary proliferation. Then, once the Obama administration started cracking down, the number of drug arrests fell. (It’s worth noting that Clery Act reports do not distinguish between arrests of students and nonstudents, but a Los Rios District Police officer at one campus estimated, anecdotally, that more than half of the arrests are students.) Medical-cannabis activists are hoping that the murky state of the law will clear up in the near future. ASA’s Hermes pointed out that in 2012, more Coloradans voted to pass Amendment 64 to legalize cannabis (1,383,140 votes) than voted to re-elect President Barack Obama (1,323,102 votes). “Congress is way behind the American people on this issue,” he said. Morgan Fox, communications manager for the Marijuana Policy Project, mentioned in an email that some schools have accommodated students by waiving requirements to live on campus and permitting them to carry their medical cannabis, so long as they don’t smoke on school grounds. “There has yet to be a case where a school lost any federal funding simply for following state law when it comes to marijuana,” Fox said. Americans for Safe Access is pursuing a number of federal solutions, including lobbying for bills to defund U.S. Department of Justice enforcement in medical-cannabis jurisdictions. Hermes acknowledged that remains “an uphill battle at this point.” Iwasa explained that the campus police have to play it safe and enforce the ban on cannabis, because the “medical marijuana issue is still evolving.” Ω

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Elected officials last week sipped a new brew of liquor-license regulations before putting the concoction down to sit for a month. A proposal to tighten oversight of booze-slinging businesses got a partial go-ahead from Sacramento County supervisors, who were inundated with complaints that the new process would grease the wheels for restaurants while gumming them up for convenience markets. “If you’re a restaurant, here’s the red-carpet treatment. If you’re a liquor store, wait in that door, and we’ll come get you when we want to get you,” described Mark Arabo, president and CEO of the San Diego-based Neighborhood Market Association, which represents roughly 220 small-business owners in Sacramento County. “It’s pretty egregious how disproportionate it is.” More so, according to Arabo, because the local liquorstore market is dominated by Sikh business owners, many of whom spoke at the three-hour hearing on September 24. Supervisors have long complained of a state licensing process that gives them little control over alcohol-selling establishments in their unincorporated boundaries. Right now, the county can object if a liquor license is headed for an area high in crime or that is overrun with boozy businesses. But even then, supervisors can only recommend denial of the application to the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, which has final say. Planning director Leighann Moffitt described the county’s ability to apply operational or security conditions as “very limited.” A long-in-the-works proposal considered last Tuesday would subject smaller businesses—bars, convenience marts and small grocers, among them—to a county-run review process that unfolds concurrently with the state’s where applicable. But the version presented last week carved out an abbreviated, cheaper process for new restaurants, while liquor stores and convenience marts faced a longer, pricier road. The new conditional-use permit runs between $13,500 and $17,300. A deputy county counsel said the money was to recover costs associated with the permitting process. Even so, supervisors moved forward the restaurant portion of the proposal, deciding to return on October 22 to weigh the balance of the drafted zoning codes. Despite Arabo’s critiques, he said the sides were close to a resolution. “There’s a lot of quick fixes. We’re 98 percent there,” he said. (Raheem F. Hosseini)

Sign of the time Did you know that those folding A-frame-style signs in front of businesses are illegal? You know, the ones cafes use, upon which chefs scribble the specials of the day or whatever. Yep—city code has prohibited them for decades. Yet you see those signs everywhere, all the time. And, apparently, local businesses were fed up with the city’s inconsistent enforcement of whether they were allowed to display those signs or not. So, that’s why Sacramento will begin revising its sign ordinances and regulations, some of which date back to 1971, this week. On Tuesday, the Sacramento City Council was poised to liberate A-frame signs. City staff will then, over the coming months, work to update its sign rules, according to a spokesperson. Meanwhile, in other sign news: SN&R wonders if the “L” sign above Capital Dime on L Street (formerly L Wine Lounge and Urban Kitchen) will ever be taken down. (Nick Miller)

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According to the author Analyses of some major bills often contain  anything-but-objective descriptions Information is power. Possessing the necessary amount yields sound and strategic decisions. Faulty or incomplete understanding creates the opposite result. Back in the early 1960s, legendary Assembly Speaker Jesse M. Unruh said one of the principal benefits of a full-time Legislature would be independent analysis. No longer would legislators be trapped in a Hobson’s choice of warring claims by CAS by GREG LU special-interest chiselers. Instead, armed with a comprehensive caplowdown@newsreview.com and balanced appraisal of every issue, they could render Solomon-like judgment. The Legislature produces plenty of analyses. For every bill considered, each policy committee prepares a document that says what the proposed change in law does, who supports it, who doesn’t and why. A separate analysis is also generated when a measure reaches either the Senate or the Assembly floor. Scads of information is contained in these write-ups. Except a lot of it isn’t independent and can often be both inaccurate and out-of-date.

Who better to provide an assessment of a bill’s merits than the individual who wants it to become law?

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Greg Lucas’ state-politics column Capitol Lowdown will appear every-other week in SN&R. He also blogs at www.californias capitol.com.

One bill passed in 2012 had been kicking around for so long that the language recycled from previous analyses referred to a “recent” study that was actually more than six years old. Anyone check if newer research might contradict the somewhat cobwebbed results used in support of the bill? Not likely. Pick an analysis for any piece of legislation. There’ll be a section called “Comments” or “Background.” The first words in that section almost always are: “According to the author.” Golly, who better to provide an unflinchingly honest assessment of a bill’s merits and demerits than the individual who wants it to become law so desperately that they’re willing to put their name across the top and shepherd it through the Legislature? Perhaps that’s why no analysis has ever quoted a legislative author saying: “Given the complexities and scope of California’s many vexing problems, this bill is less significant than a

speck of fly poop and should be quickly

killed in committee.” Or: “The purpose of this greasy piece of moldy cheese is to curry favor with slick operators who routinely replenish the campaign kitty and stand to obscenely profit—at taxpayer expense—should this abomination be signed by the governor.” Often, information provided by the author isn’t attributed, making it appear to be part of the independent analysis when it’s anything but. While the analyses of “major” bills do include sections summarizing the opposing and supporting arguments, often the only “information” available in judging the impact of “noncontroversial” legislation is the author’s anything-but-objective description. In many cases, that description is written for the legislator by the outside entity or interest group behind the bill. This year, a real-estate investment firm needed an exemption from state law to keep two pieces of property upon which gambling either does or will occur. One is a card club in Southern California. The other a Nevada casino and hotel being built at the former site of the Sahara Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The principal clients of the investment firm owning the properties are state public employee pensions, including California’s. Preceded by “information provided by the author’s office,” all 12 of the analyses of the exemption bill say this: “the Hollywood Park Racetrack and card club is owned by a group of public pension plan investors.” What a nutty coincidence. That’s also the first sentence of the handout lobbyists backing the bill used to describe what it does. The next three paragraphs of the lobbyist document are also identical to the Senate-floor analysis of the bill as well as several earlier committee analyses. The actual bill the analyses summarize says the exemption only applies to limited partnerships in which “at least 80 percent” are institutional investors like public pension funds. Maybe the limited partnership that owns the card club and the Sahara properties is 99.9 percent publicpension money. Then again, maybe only 80 percent is. Either way, at best, the pensions are majority owners. Who else is benefitting from this exemption? According to the author. Ω

The great educationreform swindle Considering Divorce?

This country’s schools aren’t failing. In fact, students are performing better than ever. Public-school advocate Diane Ravitch came to the Memorial Auditorium last Friday, supporting her new book, Reign of Error. The local press decided this wasn’t newsworthy. Sure, Ravitch is a major figure in education policy right now, and, sure, Reign debuted at No. 10 on The New York Times Best Sellers list. And, sure, there’s a strong local connecaRviN G tion. The book includes a whole chapter O SM CO by on Sacramento’s own self-styled “radical” cos mog@ n ewsrev iew.c om reformer Michelle Rhee. Mayor Kevin Johnson appears in the book as well, when Ravitch explains how he pushed charter schools at the U.S. Conference of Mayors. The Sacramento Bee had more important things to cover last week, however. For example, Bites counted at least five Bee bylines all over Shaquille O’Neal’s visit to the Capitol. Rather than covering Ravitch, the Bee instead gave a chunk of opinion-page space to the CEOs of two charter-school advocacy groups, so they could pan the book and tell readers how great charter schools are. Not surprising then, that Ravitch finds the media are mostly terrible at reporting on education issues. By her lights, they are actively perpetuating the hoax that “our schools are failing” and must therefore be turned around, shut down, privatized, charterized and otherwise given over to the politicians, consultants and businessmen to do with what they will. In fact, our schools are not failing, as Ravitch shows over several chapters. On national assessments, reading and math scores have never been higher than they are now. High-school graduation rates have never been higher. On international assessments, U.S. students have historically lagged behind high achievers like Finland, Canada, Japan and Australia. But those countries have child-poverty rates that are a fraction of those in the United States. And when you look at scores in low-poverty schools in this country, they are similar to those in the low-poverty, highperforming nations. The achievement gap in the United States between white students and students of color is similarly misinterpreted or distorted by the ed reformers. In California and elsewhere, reading and math scores for African-American and Latino students have been climbing steadily. But scores for white students have been climbing almost as fast. The academic literature is clear: Race, family income and family education level are still strongly correlated with test scores. The achievement gap persists, but not because public schools are failing to educate kids. It’s because poverty and inequality persist. But it’s hard for charter-school operators and education consultants to drum up business if school’s aren’t failing. And nothing has ginned up the perception of failure like the No Child BEFORE

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Left Behind Act and the Race to the Top Fund, both of which Ravitch condemns. NCLB “was a hoax from day one.” Closing schools for bad test scores, she says, “is like saying you can cure someone with a toothache by shooting them.” Evaluating teachers based on test scores is “junk science.” Ravitch explores the reform movement’s ties to corporate America, including the Walton Family and Broad foundations, which also figure into Sacramento’s schools and politics. The Waltons of Wal-Mart are big donors to Rhee and Johnson’s political and ed-reform efforts. The ideologically similar Broad Foundation is also a big donor, and runs the Broad Superintendents Academy, of which Sacramento City Unified School District’s chief Jonathan Raymond is a product.

It’s hard for charterschool operators and education consultants to drum up business if school’s aren’t failing.

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Ravitch spends the last third of her book outlining a set of reforms that are very different than the ones being pushed by Rhee and Johnson and Wal-Mart and Broad. It includes smaller class sizes, and a full curriculum with arts and daily P.E. She stresses the need for good prenatal and medical care, school psychiatrists, counselors and librarians. She calls for better teacher training, principals who are master teachers and superintendents who are experienced educators as well. “We are in the midst of a tsunami of bad ideas, like making people superintendents because they were good at business,” Ravitch said on Friday. If it wasn’t a shot at Raymond, the teachers in the audience seemed to appreciate it as such. Ravitch was joined onstage by other education-policy notables, including Linda DarlingHammond, once on the short list to be President Barack Obama’s Secretary of Education (what if?), along with State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. Earlier in the evening, teacher and blogger Anthony Cody remarked, “Sacramento is ground zero for corporate-education reform.” The themes of Reign, the battles over testing and school closures and charter schools are playing out in big cities like Chicago, New York City and Los Angeles, but also in our own backyard. Ravitch is no Shaq, but her visit seemed worth a few column inches of newsprint. If you want to understand the forces at work in Sacramento schools, the book is worth your time as well. Ω

STORY

4-Hour Workshop

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Enjoy the magic Sacramento Ballet opens up  rehearsals on Second Saturdays

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No costumes. No lights. Just a sound system. Everything was simple. But it was magical. Last Second Saturday, I had the chance to watch a few members of the Sacramento Ballet rehearsing for their upcoming Cinderella show, with guidance from Sacramento Ballet artistic directors Ron Cunningham and Carinne Binda. Funded by a grant from Sacramento City Councilman Steve Hansen, the Sacramento Ballet opens up its practice facility at 17th and K streets for an hour on Second Saturday. The audience sits in chairs around the l by JEff VoNKaENE edges of the studio, watching the dancers practice j e ffv @ne wsr e v ie w.c o m their routines. It was very cool. The afternoon that I was there, two male dancers were practicing their roles as Cinderella’s wicked stepsisters. The stepsisters were working on a difficult scene, doing slapstick comedy ballet. They were required to be both graceful and clumsy. Be both funny and artistic. And to fight with brooms without drawing blood. But what was magical for me was hearing the artistic directors suggest small changes to the routines. After one wicked stepsister dropped the broom, Cunningham suggested that the other sister should hike up his skirt and look between his legs at his sister. The move was both artistic and clownish. It also set up the next move, where somehow one sister ends up sitting on the shoulders of the other. And through it all, they were still fighting The afternoon that over the oranges. You need to see it to believe it. I was there, two Through several practices of this scene, the artistic male dancers were directors made small changes. practicing their Even I could see the routines improving. And seeing these roles as Cinderella’s tweaks made the ballet come wicked stepsisters. alive. I instantly developed a greater appreciation for the process. For more I had a similar reaction when I took an amateur acting information about class at B Street Theatre. After seeing the incredible open rehearsals number of choices that were made by the directors and at the Sacramento Ballet, go to by the actors, I developed a much greater appreciation http://tinyurl.com/ for plays. I must say that I did not then and do not now, SacBalletSat. have any intention of dancing ballet or becoming an actor. But it is so cool to see the creation, to take a look behind the scenes. This experience reminded me of the first time I saw Jeff vonKaenel is the president, my dad check the oil in his car. He opened up the hood, CEO and and there was a big, dirty engine in there. I never thought majority owner of of cars in the same way after that. the News & Review The Sacramento Ballet’s free open rehearsals, newspapers in called Saturday at the Ballet, will take place on Second Sacramento, Chico and Reno. Saturdays during October, January, February, March and April at 1631 K Street. There will be a rehearsal at 4 and another at 4:30 p.m. It is a perfect warm-up for the monthly art walk. See the show, go have dinner and then go to Second Saturday. Enjoy the magic. Ω

This Modern World

by tom tomorrow

Guns, sadly, again On the day of the Washington Navy Yard shootings, the online magazine Slate had confirmed that 8,722 Americans had died as a result of gun violence since the Newtown, Conn., shootings in December 2012. That number went up on September 16, not by just the 13 who died at the Navy Yard, but by 30. That’s right, 30 people died on September 16 because of guns. But that number’s incorrect. As Slate notes, its tally only includes those gun deaths reported in the media—and that means it misses many suicides, which account for about 60 percent of all gun deaths and are rarely reported in the media. Readers may be tired of seeing us opine on gun violence. We understand. We get tired of writing about it. Yet our mutual fatigue with gun violence doesn’t seem to be slowing it down any, and it’s only mass killings that attract long-term attention. For example, the shooting in the Jackson, Tenn., Karma Lounge nightclub in February 2012 wasn’t classified by the FBI as a mass shooting because—even though 18 people were shot—only one died. So, if you add the number of people shot to the number killed, then add in the number Readers may who commited suicide using a be tired of seeing firearm—well, the total of those killed, injured and traumatized us opine on by gun violence is going to be a whole lot higher. The repercusgun violence. sions resonate throughout our We understand. entire culture. It’s apparent that gun violence We get tired of in the United States is a compliwriting about it. cated issue. Our nation’s love affair with guns and violence is not simply about the firearms. It also involves our inability to diagnose and treat mental illness without stigma and with compassion. It’s about a violent mythology—the musket-armed patriot, the rifle-toting frontiersman, the six-shooting Western cowboy—that has become part of a shoot-’em-up entertainment complex. It’s about valuing our right to own and carry dangerous weapons over the right of others to be safe in public spaces. It’s about our acceptance of poverty and social inequality on a scale that breeds despair, gangs and violence. So, this time, after yet another act of violence with a gun, we once again call for a universal background check on all gun purchases. It’s a place to start. But we also call for coupling this immediate start with evidence-based action. The June report from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, “Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence,” offers some ideas. For example, handguns—even though they are not typically used in mass shootings—are the source of the majority of homicides. And suicides—which are often an aspect of mass shootings, as at Columbine, Colo., and Newtown—is the biggest source of gun deaths. If we start with universal background checks, suicide prevention and access to mental-health treatment, we might make a dent in those numbers. Gun violence needs to be treated as a public-health issue, and we need to press our representatives to take it as seriously as any other threat to national safety and our well-being. Ω

City’s gun laws effective strategy Enduring modest protest, the Sacramento City Council DeLuz did what lobbyists are supposed to recently adopted new requirements for do—fabricate conflict to drive up membership. by firearms dealers wanting to operate in the city. It’s an effective strategy that gums this debate Raheem Prospective gun and ammo sellers now have in stasis. F. Hosseini to navigate the same hoops as liquor stores, But Sacramento, with its nine firearm medical-cannabis dispensaries, massage parlors establishments and evolving rule book, illusand other “sensitive use” businesses. trates that extremists don’t have to monopolize It was a vote for regulatory consistency that the dialogue. The truth is in the middle, and got tangled up in the politics of tragedy. it’s actually pretty boring. Council members delivered a 5-1 vote sandThe use permit now allows planning wiched between mass commissioners to impose shootings perpetrated certain conditions governing Nursing homes by troubled men with location, hours of operation currently undergo legally procured guns. In and security measures favored the back of their minds by the police department. It more scrutiny. was the December 14, also gives the public a chance 2012, horror in Newtown, to weigh in when a gun store Conn. No one had yet anticipated Aaron Alexis, wants to open nearby. Nursing homes currently 34, an honorably discharged Navy reservist who undergo more scrutiny. killed a dozen men and women with a shotgun at And who knows? Maybe, as police Chief the Washington Navy Yard on September 16. Sam Somers Jr. hypothesized, there could yet Sacramento’s new firearm regulations won’t be some benefit to public safety. He pointed to A longer version do much to prevent such violence, but the notion an ammo-related ordinance that had the surprise of this essay effect of taking guns away from “people who appeared online at that they were ever intended to is a straw-man www.newsreview.com/ argument opponents constructed just so they shouldn’t have them.” pageburner. could tear it down. Other approaches—like the mayor’s literacy “If this is not in fact going to reduce gun program and a proposed psychiatric facility in north Sacramento—can only bolster those odds. email this essay’s violence, then why are we doing it?” challenged author at raheemh@ Craig DeLuz of the California Association of “We don’t know what we’re going to prevent newsreview.com. Federal Firearms Licensees. “And the point is to down the road,” Somers added. say, as a city, ‘We don’t like guns, and we don’t Or what we may have already prevented. Ω like those who do.’” BEFORE

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THINK FREE.

iOS Phones

Mai Nguyen has helped revitalize Little Saigon—both as a community advocate and restaurant owner.

As foodie culture revitalizes south Sacramento’s Little Saigon, some joke that you still need to wear a bulletproof vest to eat there by Jonathan Mendick | photos by Taras Garcia

B

odhi Bowl’s vegetarian “shrimp” arrives on a plate, crescent-shaped and fried to a golden crisp, its seaweedlike aroma and flavor conjuring the sea. Mai Nguyen spent only weeks planning the vegetarian Vietnamese restaurant, which she opened near Stockton Boulevard in January. Now, her artfully plated vegetarian dishes encompass a wide range of the country’s food and attract a “diverse mix” of diners from outside of the neighborhood, she says. Already, the restaurant boasts a four-and-a-half star rating on Yelp, but it’s hardly a neighborhood anomaly: Across the parking lot there’s Cafe Monaco, where elderly Vietnamese men socialize over ice coffee late into the night. Elsewhere, teens and young adults frequent popular karaoke spots, dessert cafes and bustling shopping plazas. Those outside the neighborhood have also noticed. In recent years, as Little Saigon’s undergone a seemingly unlikely renovation, it’s turned into a must-visit destination for adventurous eaters. Still, when Nguyen told people where her business was located, some asked, “Do I have to wear a bulletproof vest to go down there?” Funny? Sure, but wry comments aside, these dozens of bright new restaurants like Bodhi Bowl along Stockton Boulevard signal a huge turnaround for Little Saigon, Sacramento’s only officially recognized ethnic neighborhood.

“little saigon” continued on page 18

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“little sAigon” continued from page 17

Now the area’s decades-old reputation as a dirty, crime-ridden, forgotten-about suburb is fading as foodies flock to the district in search of new, hip eateries, especially Vietnamese ones. For Elaine Corn, a local writer and food reporter for Capital Public Radio, it’s no surprise Little Saigon has evolved into a foodie destination. “People who enjoy food will go anywhere to get good food and explore,” she says.

A downwArd slide And then, A turning point Terre Johnson sits at a small table inside Bodhi Bowl where a complex aroma, with hints of wet herbs, frying oil and peanut sauce, fills the air. A waitress brings fried faux shrimp and chicken, vegetarian spring rolls and egg rolls, each with its own tiny bowl of dipping sauce. With napkins, extra silverware, hot chili sauce, jalapeños, hoisin and Sriracha sauces—Little Saigon’s ubiquitous condiment selection—already spread in one corner, this table seems to hold a feast rather than a meal. Johnson’s served as executive director of the Stockton Boulevard Partnership since 2008. It’s part of his job to help maintain the image of this organization’s Property and Business Improvement District, keep it safe from crime and make sure it thrives economically. Over the years, he’s seen the neighborhood’s ups and downs and says he enjoys taking advantage of the district’s culinary variety. His favorites include a pizza place with Russian-speaking owners near his office and a restaurant serving traditional Mexican menudo, which he often visits with his Latino relatives. Both are located on the 2-mile stretch of Stockton Boulevard between Fruitridge and Florin roads, Little Saigon’s official boundaries. Back when Johnson first came to Sacramento from Monterey in 1972, however, he found a different place altogether. Then, the Florin Road area housed a vibrant, growing community. City dwellers flocked into the region’s new suburbs and the Florin Mall and Southgate Plaza boomed with development, he says. The area also housed several now-defunct department stores, including Weinstock’s and Rhodes—where Johnson worked at the time. However, throughout the ’80s and ’90s, as employers such as Procter & Gamble Co. and the Sacramento Army Depot closed, people followed the jobs out of the area. This created a vacuum, says Johnson. And that vacuum attracted trouble.

“When shifts in populations adjacent to commercial corridors go through that kind of transition, it can’t help but have an impact,” he says. “Stockton Boulevard had an area of blight that was considered a magnet for a lot of miscreant behavior.” Redevelopment funds started to kick in during the ’80s, Johnson says, but the area was still stifled by crime and neglect. The neighborhood also became a new home for a large immigrant population that sought new life in low-income housing. Ethnic grocery stores and restaurants started popping up. Among the first were Viet Ha Vietnamese & Chinese Cuisine and Vinh Phat Market, both of which opened in the early ’90s. But Little Saigon still hadn’t hit the bottom. ••• April 4, 1991, still stands as one of the most infamous days in the region’s history. That’s when four Asian-American youths held 41 people hostage inside a Good Guys electronics store on Stockton Boulevard, ultimately killing three. Before three out of the four young men were shot and killed by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, they requested weapons, body armor and passage to Southeast Asia to help fight the spread of communism. Saigon, after all, was renamed Ho Chi Minh City after it was captured by communist forces in 1976. The hostage incident made headlines worldwide. “There were a lot of turning points in the community, [and] that was a sad part of our history,” says Tido Hoang, owner of Tido Financial Inc., near the corner of Stockton Boulevard and 65th Street. For some, the shooting represented the struggles of many in south Sacramento’s diverse immigrant community: struggles brought on by relocation from one country and its culture to another. “Our history has always been [full of] war,” says Hoang. “Now [we’re] here, and you mean to tell me that everything is all clear and clean, and [we] can just focus on a new life and future? We are trying to make sense of being at peace in a foreign land.” Still, Johnson says that he, as well as many others, has moved on. “There are hundreds of positive things happening in the community today,” he says. Many of those changes were born out of efforts to respond to immigrant struggles with nonprofit mental-health groups such as Asian Resources Inc., Southeast Asian Assistance Center and Asian Pacific Community

Drive down the streets of Little Saigon after dark and find late-night karaoke, pho restaurants that serve the post-midnight clubbing crowd, and cafes offering coffee and desserts into the early morning hours. There’s even a 24-hour casino raking in gamblers’ cash. 18   |   SN&R   |   10.03.13

Terre Johnson (above), executive director of the Stockton Boulevard Partnership, stops by Huong Lan Sandwiches on the corner of Stockton Boulevard and 65th Street, one of Sacramento’s oldest banh mi shops, which also sells grab-and-go food items.

Counseling providing assistance and counseling to local residents. Some of the most significant changes, however, sprung from sheer entrepreneurial will. When Nguyen of Bodhi Bowl moved to the area in 2006, for example, she says the region was already home to a growing Vietnamese food scene. At the time, she had no restaurant experience—but she had fresh ideas. Nguyen wanted to open a healthy place that was “calm and peaceful,” to reflect the feeling that a vegetarian diet had brought into her own life. Now, she says, new restaurants such as Bodhi Bowl don’t just fill a neighborhood niche, they represent a welcoming gateway to other communities. “[Little Saigon] had so much to offer in terms of food,” she says. “[But] we have something that I know not many people have, and that’s why I did this. And I get customers from Folsom, from Elk Grove, from Roseville. That is really our goal—to have them come in and say, ‘Oh, this is nice. I didn’t expect that.’”

Fixing the broken windows Hoang wraps a spring roll with rice paper at Quan Nem Ninh Hoa and asks for extra fish sauce. Now in his late 30s, Hoang grew up in the Kennedy Estates Apartments, a fenceenclosed low-income housing project that’s located just down the street from this restaurant, near the corner of Stockton Boulevard and Elder Creek Road. When he settled in Sacramento more than 20 years ago, the area didn’t have as many eateries and shopping plazas as it does now, he explains, moments before finishing the spring roll and digging into a bowl of hu tieu—clear soup broth with shredded chicken, skinny rice noodles, bean sprouts and herbs. “I remember biking on 47th Street with my dad when I first arrived in America,

“little sAigon” continued on page 21

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carrying what felt like 50 pounds of Three Ladies brand long grain rice sacks,” writes Hoang on www.saclittlesaigon.com, a website he created for the district. “I rode that same bike to My Tho Restaurant, where I would buy one order of hu tieu and ask for extra broth so I could share the portions with my siblings.” With an uncle who already lived in the area to help his family settle into life in Sacramento, Hoang succeeded where some others didn’t. Eventually, like many in the Sacramento Vietnamese community, he went into business for himself. After earning a dual degree in psychology and economics from UC Santa Cruz, he opened Tido Financial in 2007 and eventually expanded with an Elk Grove location. He says he always felt compelled to give something back to the community—this led to teaming with Nguyen to help boost the business climate. “[When] I came in 2006, I knew that Stockton Boulevard was a hidden treasure,” says Nguyen. “People that I spoke with said this ... was really an area that was pretty much abandoned, not noticed by the city and county.” Actually, the city as well as the Stockton Boulevard Partnership had taken notice, uniting as part of a long-term collaborative effort with public and private groups, as well as ordinary citizens.

“Food is the lure [in Little Saigon], then the shopping.” elaine Corn Sacramento food writer First, in the early 2000s, both the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency and the Stockton Boulevard Partnership started promoting the district as an “international marketplace” with a logo on street banners to promote the area’s large influx of international businesses, says Johnson. Even simple decorative touches, Johnson said, can prove crucial to change. “We like [to follow] the broken-windows theory,” says Johnson. “If there’s a broken window, it could mean a lot of different things, [but one should] fix it immediately, so you don’t allow the next person to think, ‘Oh, they don’t care about this. Let’s break the rest of them.’” Rebranding efforts further increased when Nguyen, Hoang and other Vietnamese business owners formed the Little Saigon Committee in 2009. The group wanted to create a new identity for the region, one that would recognize the Vietnamese community, BEFORE

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which owns approximately half of the 400 or so businesses in the area, according to Hoang. The committee moved quickly, and within a year, aided by Sacramento City Councilman Kevin McCarty and Sacramento County District Supervisor Jimmie Yee, the 2-mile stretch of Stockton Boulevard was officially named Little Saigon by February 2010—the first neighborhood in the Sacramento area to receive such distinction. Nguyen—now the president of the Greater Sacramento Vietnamese American Chamber of Commerce, formed in 2011—continues to help Vietnamese-owned businesses work together to help bolster the area’s economic climate. And there are many others like Nguyen, Hoang and Johnson who are committing time and energy to improving the community. Tim Do, an entrepreneur and founder of the Vietnamese American Community of Sacramento group, started organizing annual Vietnamese New Year festivals, or Tet, in 2004. These festivals bring parades and traditional Vietnamese cultural entertainment to the district. Do also opened up the new Vietnamese Community Center of Sacramento in July. The $2 million project is still in development but already features classrooms, a recreation room and a library. In conjunction with the plethora of new shopping centers with Asian supermarket chains, community resources and myriad small businesses, the Stockton Boulevard Partnership and Florin Road Partnership brought in Paladin Private Security, a private security company, to patrol the street in the mid-2000s. Even though Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department statistics show that dozens of crimes were reported in the area in the past month, local efforts have also helped stabilize its safety: Property crime and violent crime lowered by 26 and 33 incidents, respectively, from August 2011 to August 2012, according to statistics provided by Paladin. There’s a direct correlation between such reports and business growth. “Any time you can increase the population of [visitors], it’s naturally going to enhance the safety of the area,” says Matt Carroll, vice president of Paladin. “If you can get good people involved, it’s naturally uncomfortable for the bad guys.” Certainly, there’s much good going on: Drive down the streets of Little Saigon after dark and find late-night karaoke, pho restaurants that serve the post-midnight clubbing crowd, and cafes offering coffee and desserts into the early morning hours. There’s even a 24-hour casino raking in gamblers’ cash. All this stands in stark contrast with Oakland’s and San Francisco’s Chinatown neighborhoods. There, most stores and restaurants close in the early evening, and tourists clear out because of the regions’ reputations as urban crime havens. Meanwhile in Sacramento, more changes are on the horizon with new restaurants and shopping plazas currently in development.

“little saigon” continued on page 23

  F E AT U R E

STORY

Bodhi Bowl’s food, cooked by chef Helena Nguyen (above), attracts a diverse mix of diners from all over the greater Sacramento area.

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“little saigoN” continued from page 21

Still, despite the growth and influx of visitors, the region “still hasn’t reached its full potential,” says Nguyen. “Our goal is to make this the designated attraction to come to in Sacramento,” she says. “With all the groups working together, collaborating with each other, we can bring a vibrant economic growth and vitality to this area.”

Noodle heaveN

Elaine Corn orders the No. 1 from the menu at TK Noodle. Soon, a salty bowl of hu tieu arrives at the table. It’s filled with beef balls, pork slices, shrimp, vegetables and wide, hand-cut rice noodles. She grabs a dipping plate, pours hoisin sauce into it and adds a few sliced jalapeños into her bowl of soup. Corn, petite and dressed in a Hawaiian shirt, explains that she likes to “mess it up” with a bunch of condiments. “[Dining] is the best way to travel, [because] you learn about people [through food],” says Corn, a James Beard Award-winning cookbook author and chef who’s been exploring area restaurants for 20 years. “They want us to have a nice meal. That is one thing you can learn about culture through food.”

number of great Vietnamese restaurants make for a welcoming environment. “The degree of artistry that goes into a cuisine like this gives you an example of how the culture feels about you as a customer eating their food,” says Corn. “They don’t give you stuff that embarrasses them; they want you to come back.” After the meal, walking around the plaza that houses TK Noodle, Corn visits an orchid store whose owner she knows by name. Lastly, she wanders over to Shun Fat Supermarket, the shopping center’s anchor tenant, to peruse the produce. “Food is the lure, then the shopping,” she says. Instead of buying produce, she ends up spending most of her time in the kitchengoods aisle. Here, she buys a rice-paper dipping bowl used to make spring rolls. Corn often makes her own rolls at home using leftovers from her fridge, bean sprouts and homegrown cilantro. But is the neighborhood truly dangerous? What about those bulletproof vests that Nguyen heard jokes about? There are safety issues in any area, Corn says. Besides, people will always seek out new restaurants, new adventures.

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The Good Guys shooting represented the struggles of many in south Sacramento’s diverse immigrant community: struggles brought on by relocation from one country and its culture to another. It’s true. Little Saigon is all about the food, but the food world here is miles away—literally and figuratively—from restaurants in downtown Sacramento: You generally don’t know who the chefs are because they’re “hiding in the back,” says Corn. Sometimes you barely see the waiters. But the trade-off is a quick, cheap and tasty meal with a condiment selection on every table for diners to adjust the dish to their individual liking. But with such a vast selection, some are left with the question of how to find good restaurants. “If you see a line, then go,” says Corn. “A nice, busy pho restaurant is a great welcome. If you have to wait a minute, wait. Something’s going on there that’s good.” She says that nowadays, there’s such a large number of restaurants in the area, the quality is good across the board. Accordingly, Corn’s comfortable picking a pho restaurant at random and eating there because “something just tells me to trust [them] all.” “If there’s bad pho, it’s going to be very obvious.” Corn says she’s also noticed that improvements in traffic flow and landscaping have created an overall feeling that Little Saigon is now a cohesive district. That, plus the sheer

“K Street is dangerous and [has been] for a long time. Downtown can be dangerous. You’ve had people killed in front of the Crest Theatre. So [what]? Nothing’s going to happen here.” Nguyen describes the crime in Little Saigon a bit more pragmatically. “Reality still kicks in, and in the evening times—especially in the fall and winter times when it gets dark faster—I still see [prostitutes] walking by, I see drugs coming in [to the area],” she says. “That’s why the Stockton Boulevard Partnership, the Florin Road Partnership and the Greater Sacramento Vietnamese American Chamber of Commerce—these are all important organizations.” Indeed, under the watchful eye of these community-minded groups—not to mention the restaurants, customers and residents—Little Saigon stands a solid chance of shedding its legacy of crime and blight. “We came from pretty humble beginnings,” says Hoang. “But I’m optimistic that my generation is going to help build [a Little Saigon] not just for Vietnamese Americans, but all Americans.” Ω

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California is the rattlesnakes’ state, we’re just living in it.

SNAKING BAD Sacramento’s ‘snake guy’ Len Ramirez wrangles some of the region’s creepiest, crawliest creatures story and photo by Cody Drabble

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During rattlesnake season, Leonard “Len” Ramirez’s phone rings off the hook seven days a week, day and night. His business, Ramirez Rattlesnake Removal, works from March to November, removing at least 1,200 rattlesnakes most years, sometimes more. The current season has proved to be one of his busiest yet, but Ramirez says he won’t have time to calculate a precise tally until after the reptiles retreat into winter hibernation. People recognize Ramirez’s trademark cowboy hat and Edenapple-red pickup truck wherever he goes. Certainly, after numerous appearances in local newspapers, TV news broadcasts and on reality shows, such as National Geographic’s The Animal Extractors and United Snakes of America, Ramirez has earned a reputation as “the snake guy.” Indeed, this is the guy homeowners and county animal-control officials call when a dangerous snake shows up in someone’s backyard, slithers across the putting green of a golf course or bites a house pet—something that’s happening with increased frequency, thanks to urban sprawl. And while it’s difficult to estimate whether the population has grown or shrunk in the last decade because the reptiles spend so much time underground, business is booming, Ramirez says. “There doesn’t seem to be any shortage of rattlesnakes, that’s for sure,” he says. Ramirez regularly fields requests for emergency safety inspections and maintenance contracts from all over California and the United States. A self-taught snake expert, he also answers calls for wildlife-management advice from all over the world. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has also granted Ramirez special provisions to humanely capture and release snakes into remote areas of the state’s wilderness every few days. (He keeps the precise locations secret to prevent poaching and limit liability.) Ramirez freely admits that he’s into snake wrangling for the rush. “To me, it’s an extreme sport,” Ramirez says. “Adrenaline is my drug

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Vegan chefs, challenged! See THE V WORD

of choice. It’s my lifestyle. It’s a risk. It keeps me hopping. It keeps my spirit alive.” Still, Ramirez shrugs off wideeyed questions about daily danger. “[The] fire department doesn’t go underneath these houses [with rattlesnakes],” he says. “Nope, nobody does. Call Ramirez.”

Ramirez answers his phone (“Rattlesnake removal!”) with a warm, customer-friendly tone, and then settles in with the calm, clinical precision of a 911 dispatcher. He nods, scribbles on a legal pad and takes notes on the snake’s description: slender with a thin, pencil-point tail. A nonvenomous California kingsnake. “It’s a harmless snake,” Ramirez tells the caller. “Let’s keep that snake on your property. They regulate the rodent population behind the scenes.” Ramirez ends the call in less than a minute. He could have made a field trip, earned a quick $200 for a safety inspection, but he knows his time is too valuable to catch the harmless varieties when rattlesnakes threaten people and pets all over California. Ramirez’s livelihood thrives on the inevitable consequences of modern suburban sprawl. As people build more houses across snake habitats in the rural outskirts, the number of human-rattlesnake encounters increases. As Ramirez puts it, “They were here first.” Business has grown steadily over the last five years as more people build up to the American River levees, he adds. Those homeowners become repeat customers for Ramirez because “they will probably always have snakes.” Despite his current wildlifecentric occupation, Ramirez did not grow up like Mowgli from The Jungle Book. He grew up in Los Gatos, the son of a clinical psychologist. Ramirez remembers falling in love with wildlife as a

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See COOLHUNTING

boy, exploring creeks and ravines by day and watching Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom on NBC by night. He learned composure and focus on the tennis courts of De Anza College in Cupertino, and in his previous career as a tennis-club pro, Ramirez says he developed the mindset that shaped his wildlifemanagement philosophy. “When you spend this amount of time by yourself, you actually learn a lot about serenity,” Ramirez says. “Calculating risks. Your surroundings. How wildlife responds.” In 1985, he incorporated under the name Crotalus Viridis Inc., to honor the species that eventually paid for his house and swimming pool. His part-time business took off that year when a fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains displaced wildlife, diverting it onto local residents’ properties. Then, in 1995, Ramirez gave up pro tennis to focus on rattlesnake removal full time. Now, he says, he sees it as more than a business—it’s a community service and an opportunity to educate the public about snake safety. “I love what I do for a living,” Ramirez says. “I get to help people: It’s a service job.” Today, visitors to Ramirez’s house will find, in addition to five pairs of snakeskin boots and Laurence Monroe Klauber’s authoritative two-volume herpetology text Rattlesnakes, a small stack

SnakeS on The plain

BEFORE

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Beer meets art

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Battle the boring See ASK JOEY

of books that includes The Spirit of Tao, Zen Flesh Zen Bones and The Art of Worldly Wisdom. These books provide insight and wisdom to a man whose job involves crawling under houses, snatching deadly reptiles, and dealing with irate and terrified clients. “I should read [them] a lot more,” Ramirez says. “I try to remember it’s not about me. I remove Len Ramirez from the

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Len Ramirez Ramirez Rattlesnake Removal

equation. I’m just an entity providing a service for somebody else. By doing this, it gives me probably more courage.” He needs the courage. On a job in Texas nine years ago, Ramirez removed 362 rattlesnakes from under a house, his personal record. “That was a process, it took a few days,” he says.

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See THE 420

Who ya gonna call? Ramirez’s phone rings again. His latest clients, a couple named John and Jennifer, just purchased 10 acres in Lake of the Pines, a foothills community in Auburn. Their 18-month-old Belgian Malinois puppy just suffered a rattlesnake bite, which the veterinarians at Animal Medical Center are now treating with antivenin. Ramirez quotes his price for an inspection and sets out for a visit. On the way over, behind the wheel of his red pickup, Ramirez breaks down some essential information: Rattlesnakes produce, depending on the subspecies and individual snake, a deadly mix of neurotoxin and hemotoxin. Neurotoxins paralyze the central nervous system; hemotoxins induce necrosis and severe tissue damage. In late summer, baby and juvenile snakes are surprisingly deadly because their hypodermic-needlelike fangs produce more venom the first time they clear their ducts. In contrast, older snakes occasionally “dry bite” prey without venom. Western diamondbacks in Southern California can grow up to 6-feet long and produce mostly neurotoxic venom with a dash of hemotoxin. Northern Pacific rattlesnakes in Northern California average 4- to 5-feet long and produce hemotoxic venom with traces of neurotoxin. So, what happens to envenomated prey? “Oh, it’s beautiful. It goes through a necrotic state, eats the flesh, digests it,” Ramirez says. “It’s really gross.”

“The best snakebite kit that anybody could have ... is a cellphone.”

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Don’t pump and dump

Ramirez guardedly admits he’s suffered a few snakebites in his three-decade long career. He doesn’t like to talk about it: “I don’t want to hex myself,” he says. “The consequences are very unforgiving, should one be bitten by a rattlesnake.” Last year, Ramirez responded to so many calls like this one that he personally “saw 38 dogs killed, two horses, four ponies and a llama.” He shakes his head, adding, “I didn’t keep track of cats.” Later, at the client’s property, Jennifer, a petite mother of two with auburn hair, guides Ramirez around her property. He kneels down, balancing against a claw grabber, while dispensing snake wisdom to educate his client. “The best snakebite kit that anybody could have ... is a cellphone,” he advises. Ramirez’s search strategy revolves around the “never-ending thermal balancing act” that snakes undertake in the summer. When it’s more than 100 degrees, snakes seek shade and shelter under houses, wood piles and boulders. He bounces the noon sunlight off a hand mirror into the holes between boulders, squinting his eyes. Jennifer’s 10-acre property has myriad culverts, ravines and other ideal hiding spots for the snake that bit her dog. After 45 fruitless minutes, however, Ramirez declares, “We’re going to call this one on account of heat—not that we’re done.” He won’t charge her for this visit, but he arranges a follow-up appointment for the next morning, when he knows the nocturnal rattlesnakes will still be hunting mice and rats. Ramirez will eventually return to the Lake of the Pines property, on the rattlesnake’s timetable, ready to snatch it, seal it in a bucket and release it deep into the wilderness, as far away from people and their pets as he can go. Until the people build houses there, too. Ω

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For the week of October 3 PHOTO BY JONATHAN MENDICK

DIVERSE S U O I C I L E D a n∂

It’s 

been more than a decade since Time  magazine called Sacramento “America’s  Most Diverse City” after studying Harvard  University research data. But that doesn’t mean  the moniker doesn’t ring true still. Just take a look  at this weekend’s two-day Sacramento World Music  and Dance Festival (also called SacWorldFest) in Old  Sacramento, for example. It begins on Saturday, October 5, at 6 p.m. with  Native American dance, music and storytelling. Then  it continues Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a  full day of music, dance and food. Musical highlights  include the Grant Union High School Drumline,  California band Los Cenzontles and Youssoupha  Sidibe, a Senegalese kora (African harp) player.  Performances will happen on multiple stages  throughout the historic district and will feature a  variety of acts, such as an Albanian juggler and a  hip-hop dance battle.  Then there’s the Global Village, which features  art, educational and cooking demonstrations. Local  groups, such as the Brazilian Center for Cultural  Exchange of Sacramento, the Crocker Art Museum,  and Sinag-tala Filipino Theater and Performing Arts  Association will help you feel like a world traveler  just by strolling through Old Sacramento. The best  part? SacWorldFest is free to attend—and, of  course, there will be a diverse selection of international food (which costs extra). For more information, visit http://sacworldfest.org. 

—Jonathan Mendick

WEEkLY PIckS

Sacramento Aloha Festival

Sacramento Archives Crawl

Saturday, OctOber 5

Saturday, OctOber 5

If you’re looking to get lei’d one last  time before the cool weather sets  in, check out the Sacramento Aloha  Festival, taking place Saturday at  Cal Expo. This family-friendly event  is ticketed as the  FESTIVAL full Pacific experience, with a Hawaiian cultural  village, art, educational exhibits  and live music throughout the day.  Free, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Cal Expo,  1600 Exposition Boulevard;   www.sacalohafest.org.

The digital revolution is happening faster than you can say  “Johannes Gutenberg is turning in  his grave.” Accordingly, keeping  up with the task  HISTORY of preservation  seems ever important. For the  Sacramento Archives Crawl, participants visit four host archives  for access to rare, historical artifacts and receive tips for the preservation of their own collections.  Free, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., starting at  the California State Archives,   1020 O Street; www.sacarchives  crawl.blogspot.com.

—Dave Kempa

—Deena Drewis

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Big Crush Harvest Festival Saturday, OctOber 5, thrOugh Sunday, OctOber 6 Book a hotel room now, because  you probably won’t want to drive  home after Amador County’s Big  Crush Harvest Festival, showcasing the 38 member wineries of the  Amador Vintners Association. Party  like Bacchus with food, music and  general merriment as local wineries  begin harvesting this year’s crops.  Bonus for designated  WINE drivers: $10 will get  you in for just the food and music.  $10-$40, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in various  locations in Amador County, (209)  245-6992; www.amadorwine.com.

—Dave Kempa

Oktoberfest in Tahoe Saturday, OctOber 5, thrOugh Sunday, OctOber 6 Just about everything is better  at Lake Tahoe: the water, the air,  the opportunities to  BEER make bad financial  decisions. This holds true for  beer festivals, too, naturally.  Oktoberfest at the historic Camp  Richardson property just west  of the main stretch of hotels and  casinos promises beer and wine,  music from the Gruber Family  Band, and activities for the kiddos.  $19-$44, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at   1900 Jameson Beach Road in  South Lake Tahoe, (530) 541-1801;  www.camprichardson.com.

—Deena Drewis

A Place Called Sacramento Sunday, OctOber 6 Do you love Sacramento? Is  the city your muse? If yes, join  Quentin Sacramento—an anthropomorphic fish who directs films  and is A Place Called Sacramento’s  mascot—for a film festival featuring 10-minute short films about  the city. The event offers an outlet  for screenwriters and producers  to have their works  FILM about the capital city  shown on a big screen and on  the community-access television  channel, Access Sacramento.   $10; 1 p.m. at the Crest Theatre,  1013 K Street; (916) 456-8600;  www.accesssacramento.org.

—Jonathan Mendick

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BEFORE

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ARTS&CULTURE 

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sunday specials

F E E L ING C HIL E ?

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Authentic Mexican Cuisine & Tequilla bar Since 1983 1100 O ST • Sacramento • (916) 498–1744

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2110 L Street | Sacramento, CA | 916.441.4151 | skyboxgrillsac.com

bEsT HAPPy HOur plus

Scratching the tasty surface

great food

JaPaNeSe KoreaN Seafood terIYaKI

A&A Tasty Restaurant and Bar 6601 Florin Road, (916) 379-0309, www.aatastyrestaurant.com

50%OFF

SUSHI roLLS

LUNCH SPECIALS

There’s an astronomical number of restaurants in Sacramento’s Little Saigon neighborhood. by Many stand out by specializing in one type of Jonathan Mendick traditional dish. Others are known for breaking the rules of tradition. A&A Tasty Restaurant j o n athanm@ newsre view.c om and Bar, a large eatery located on the south end of Little Saigon, has such an extensive menu of Chinese and Vietnamese dishes that it’s hard to pinpoint its crown jewel. One can only speculate. But first off, it’s worth noting that logistically, it’s only possible to review a tiny Rating: percentage of the overall menu. There are literHHH 1/2 ally hundreds of regular menu options, lunch dinner for one: specials, daily chef specials, banquet menus $10 - $20 and seasonal seafood dishes, and there’s even a full bar. It could take a hundred visits to try everything on the menu at A&A. For one meal, I bring a pair of dining partners in an attempt to sample a greater number of dishes. We share a salty fish and chicken-fried rice entree, stir-fried vegetables, and a rice plate featuring a grilled pork chop, shrimp skewers, pickled vegetables and a pork eggroll. The fried rice offers copious pieces of diced, salty fish, which appealed to our adventurous H taste buds. While it may seem a bit weird to Flawed the uninitiated, this smelly cured meat found HH in numerous Chinese dishes is safe to eat has moments in moderation without the risk of too much HHH unintended harmful bacteria, and the reward is a appealing unique, jolting pungent flavor that spruces up an HHHH otherwise boring chicken-fried rice. The grilledauthoRitative veggie plate, on the other hand—while offering HHHHH a variety of vegetables, including mushrooms, epic onions and water chestnuts—lacks flavor. The Vietnamese pork-chop rice plate, served with a small bowl of fish sauce, surprisingly stacks up to similar dishes from other strictly Vietnamese restaurants in the area. The pork is thinly sliced and tender, easily cut with a simple butter knife. The pork egg rolls that accompany this dish have a nice, albeit bland crunchiness that seems to come from either chopped taro or the chestnuts. Still hungry? search sn&R’s On another visit, I order Chinese lo mein “dining directory” (a stir-fried noodle dish), and my dining partner to find local orders a dish that combines huáng máo jī restaurants by name (Mandarin for “yellow-hair chicken,” which is or by type of food. sushi, mexican, indian, less fattening and more yellow than a “normal” italian—discover it chicken) and hủ tiếu (a Vietnamese noodle all in the “dining” soup like pho, but with a stronger resemblance section at to Cambodian ka tieu). The huáng máo jī is www.news review.com. accompanied by jiāng rōng (ginger and scallion sauce), the dish’s traditional condiment. My dining partner (a regular here) notes that the chicken is unfortunately boneless, as well as not as good as it “used to be.” I find it to be both tasty and convenient, however—and I’m the one with a Chinese mother and grandmother who grew up eating the dish. BEFORE

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EXP 10/ 22/ 13 Midtown location only

HAPPY HOUR ALL DAY, SUN – TUE*

The mash-up of hủ tiếu and huáng máo jī is one I’ve never tried, but I find it to be my favorite dish at the restaurant. I’ve eaten huáng máo jī so many times that the dish alone is simply boring now, yet in this context, it comes to life again and shines when set atop a steaming bowl of noodle soup. Lastly, there’s the satisfying and heartwarming house special lo mein, which I sometimes view as the Chinese version of spaghetti: cheap and quick comfort food. Still, even with its salty, starchy and stomach-filling blend of noodles, chicken, beef and shrimp, it requires Sriracha sauce and pickled jalapeños to add depth and extra flavor.

FULL BAR* $3 COCKTAILS $3 BEERS $4 WINE {select brands} LATE NIGHT DINING THU, FRI, SAT TIL 2AM!* 10% OFF STUDENT & GOV'T EMPLOYEES WITH ID INDUSTRY APPRECIATION CARDS DISCOUNT SENIOR CITIZEN DISCOUNT MONDAYS Gift cards not valid during happy hour {*Midtown location only}

The huáng máo jı shines when set atop a steaming bowl of noodle soup.

Gift Certificates & Catering

[PHONE] 916.706.1286 [FAX] 916.706.2359 [TO GO] 916.706.1331 1 4 2 0 6 5 T H S T R E E T # 1 0 0 , S AC 916.400.4829

In the end, there’s an inkling that I may have uncovered the hidden gem on the menu. But with only so much time, I can’t order the same dish again to confirm my hunch or explore the menu for clues about other possible standouts. Instead, I’m left pondering the dilemma of ordering something new, or reordering the yellow-hair chicken noodle soup. There are worse problems to have. Ω

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JuSt Stew’in

waiting for you! So maNy hoT, dEliciouS iTEmS To Warm you uP!

A little competition On your mark, get set, go to a restaurant participating in the third annual Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge, because it’s only happening from Friday, October 4, through Sunday, October 20. That means there are only three weeks to dine at the event’s 14 eateries (as of this writing), including previous challenge standout, 58 Degrees & Holding Co., and brand-new joints to the foodie scene, such as Cielito Lindo Mexican Gastronomy, The Coconut Midtown and Capital Dime. While this competition—diners vote for the best dishes in several categories; find them at http://sacveganchallenge.com—is a fun way to promote veganism to the public, it’s also raising Sacramento’s food industry’s awareness that there’s a significant interest in plant-based-only food that’s creative and well-executed.

STORY

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any o re* $20 or mo

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5644 J Street

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0 Phone’1orders welcome!: 916. 451.4000

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Sun-Wed 10:30am - 9:30pm Thurs - Sat 10:30am -10:00pm *Tax not included. Please present coupon. Not valid with any other offers. Not valid with variety platter. Exp. 10/10/13.

www.EatatOpa.cOm

—Shoka

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Downtown Estelle’s Patisserie With its marble 

Where to eat?

tables and light wooden chairs,  there’s an airy atmosphere,  casual and cozy. Estelle’s offers  an espresso bar and a wide  assortment of teas and muffins and rolls for the breakfast  crowd as well as sweets,  including DayGlo macarons. For  the lunch-inclined, there are  soups, salads, sandwiches and  meat or meatless quiche. One  of the authentic touches is the  spare use of condiments. The  smoked salmon is enlivened by  dill and the flavor of its croissant. Its tomato bisque is thick  and richly flavored, and, in a  nice touch, a puff pastry floats  in the tureen as accompaniment. There’s a lot to like about  Estelle’s—except dinner. Doors  close at 6pm. French. 901 K St.,  (916) 551-1500. Meal for one:  $5-$10. HHH1⁄2 G.L.

Here are a few recent reviews and regional recommendations by Becky Grunewald, Ann Martin Rolke, Garrett McCord and Jonathan Mendick, updated regularly. Grange Restaurant & Bar You  won’t find any “challenging”  Check out dishes on this menu—just  www.newsreview.com delicious local and seasonal  for more dining advice. food such as the Green Curry 

& Pumpkin Soup, which has a  Southeast Asian flair. A spinach  salad features ingredients that  could be considered boring  elsewhere: blue-cheese dressing, bacon, onion. But here,  the sharply cheesy buttermilk  dressing and the woodsy pine  nuts make it a salad to remember. Grange’s brunch puts  other local offerings to shame.  The home fries are like marvelously crispy Spanish patatas  bravas. A grilled-ham-andGruyere sandwich is just buttery enough, and an egg-white 

frittata is more than a bone  thrown to the cholesterolchallenged; it’s a worthy dish   in its own right. American.   926 J St., (916) 492-4450. Dinner  for one: $40-$60. HHHH B.G.

Zia’s Delicatessen Zia’s  Delicatessen isn’t really about  trying every sandwich: It’s  about finding  your sandwich.  In addition to a large selection of salumi, there’s the  worthy eponymous offering,  served with a wedge of zucchini frittata, a slice of provolone, romaine lettuce, grainy  tomato, and a simple dash of  vinegar and oil that adds tang.  Order it hot, so that the provolone melts into the bread.  Also tasty: the hot meatball  sub with small-grained,  tender meatballs bathed  in a thin, oregano-flecked  tomato sauce that soaks into  the bread. A tuna sandwich  is sturdy, if not exciting. It  is just mayonnaisey enough,  with tiny, diced bits of celery.  A rosemary panino cotto with  mozzarella could benefit from  a more flavorful cheese. For a  meatier option, try the Milano:  mortadella, salami, Muenster;  all three flavors in balance.  The turkey Viareggio has a  thin spread of pesto mayo,  and the smoked mozzarella  accents rather than overpowers.  American. 1401 O St.,   Ste. A; (916) 441-3354. Meal   for one: $5-$10. HHHH B.G.

Midtown 24K Chocolat Cafe This cafe serves  a solid, if very limited, brunch 

SNEAK PEEK 10/12/13 10AM-8:30PM

and lunch menu. One offering is  a firm wedge of frittata with a  strong tang of sharp cheddar  that almost but doesn’t quite  jibe with the slightly spicy mole  sauce on the plate.The spinach  curry, made creamy by coconut  milk rather than dairy, comes  topped with cubes of tofu and  tiny diced scallion and red bell  pepper and rests atop a smooth  potato cake. A side of garbanzobean salad is well-flavored with  the surprising combination of  mint and apricot. The place,  located inside Ancient Future,  has “chocolat” in the name,  and chocolate is in many of the  menu offerings, including a tiny  cup of hot Mexican drinking  chocolate, and chocolatecherry scones served crisp and  hot, studded with big chunks of  bittersweet chocolate and tart  dried cherries. American.   2331 K St., (916) 476-3754. Meal  for one: $10-$15. HHH B.G.

Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Co. The restaurant, by the same  owners as Midtown’s The Golden  Bear, sports a firefighting  theme (a ladder on the ceiling  duct work, shiny silver wallpaper with a rat-and-hydrant  motif, et al) and a bar setup  that encourages patrons to talk  to each other. An interesting  wine list includes entries from  Spain and Israel; there are also  draft cocktails and numerous  beers on tap. The brunch menu  is heavy on the eggs, prepared  in lots of ways. One option is the  Croque Madame, a ham-andGruyere sandwich usually battered with egg. This one had a  fried egg and béchamel, with  a generous smear of mustard 

inside. The mountain of potato  hash alongside tasted flavorful and not too greasy. The  menu also features pizzas  and house-made pastas, but  one of its highlights includes  an excellent smoked-eggplant  baba ganoush, which is smoky  and garlicky and served with  warm flatbread wedges and  oil-cured olives. The bananas  foster bread pudding is equally  transcendent, accompanied  by very salty caramel gelato,  pecans and slivers of brûléed  bananas. American. 1630 S St.,  (916) 442-4885. Dinner for one:  $20-$40. HHH1/2 A.M.R. 

LowBrau This place specializes in  beer and bratwursts. Both are  done smashingly. The sausage  is wrapped in a tight, snappy  skin like a gimp suit, which gets  nicely charred by the chefs.  Within it lies a beguilingly spicy  and juicy piece of meat. Get it  with a pretzel roll for a truly  exciting experience. There are  vegan options, too: The Italian,  an eggplant-based brat, has  a surprisingly sausagelike  texture that no self-respecting  carnivore will turn it down for  lack of flavor. Toppings include  sauerkraut, a “Bier Cheese”  sauce and caramelized onions.  The idea behind Duck Fat Fries  is a glorious one, yet somehow  still falls short. You just expect  something more when you see  the words “duck fat.” The beer  selection is epic. If you’re lost  and confused, the staff will help  guide you to the right brew via  questionings and encouraged  tastings. German. 1050 20th St.,  (916) 706-2636. Dinner for one:  $10-$15. HHHH G.M.

East Sac

add-ons—various organ meats,  entrails, et al—to three versions of the dish: beef with tripe,  chicken with gizzards, or pork  with pork skin. The beef salad  offers a gentle respite from  aggressive flavors, consisting  of medium-thick chewy slices of  eye of round with red bell pepper, chopped iceberg and hot  raw jalapeño. The single best  dish here is the nam kao tod, a  crispy entree with ground pork  that’s baked on the bottom of  the pan with rice, then stirred  and fried up fresh the next day  with dried Thai chilies and scallions. Thai and Lao. 2827 Norwood  Ave., (916) 641-5890. Dinner for  one: $10-$15. HHHH B.G.

Istanbul Bistro Turkish chef Murat  Bozkurt and brother Ekrem  co-own this paean to their  homeland, with Ekrem usually at  the front of the house, infusing  the space with cheer. Turkish  cuisine features aspects of  Greek, Moroccan and Middle  Eastern flavors. The appetizer  combo plate offers an impressive sampling. Acili ezme is a  chopped, slightly spicy mixture  of tomatoes, cucumber and  walnuts that’s delicious paired  with accompanying flatbread  wedges. For entrees, try the  borani, a lamb stew with garbanzos, carrots, potatoes and  currants. The meat is very tender, while the veggies arrived  nicely al dente. Also good is the  chicken shish plate (souvlaki),  which features two skewers of  marinated grilled chicken that’s  moist and succulent. There are  also quite a few choices for  vegetarians, including flatbread  topped like pizza, with spinach  and feta or mozzarella and   egg. Turkish. 3260-B J St.,   (916) 449-8810. Dinner for   one: $15-$20. HHH1/2 A.M.R.

South Sac Blue Moon Cafe and Karaoke In  Sac, most people equate Hong  Kong-style cuisine with dim  sum, but this restaurant,  which also features private  karaoke rooms, serves up  tasty, familiar food by way of  rice plates, sandwiches, noodle  bowls, soups and stir-fries. A  few random Japanese (ramen,  fried udon), French (sweet  or savory crepes), Russian  (borscht), Korean (beef and  kimchi hot pot) and Italian  (various pastas) foods add to  the feeling that whatever your  cultural background, you’ll   find a comfort dish from your  childhood to wrap its arms  around you and give you a hug.  Cultural diversity aside, one   of Blue Moon’s best dishes is   the braised pig ear with soy  sauce and peanuts. Asian.   5000 Freeport Blvd., Ste. A; 

North Sac Asian Café Asian Café serves both  Thai and Lao food, but go for  the Lao specialties, which rely  on flavoring staples such as fish  sauce, lime juice, galangal and  lemongrass, lots of herbs, and  chilies. One of the most common  dishes in Lao cuisine is larb,  a dish of chopped meat laced  with herbs, chilies and lime. At  Asian Café, it adds optional offal 

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THAI ONE ON IN MIDTOWN

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Monday – Friday 3–6pm

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1315 21st Street, Sacramento 916.441.7100

1830 J ST SACRAMENTO 916.329.8678 www.sawasdeesac.com

The Only Place in Town -

The Spicy Thai Burger! All popular Thai dishes served

HAPPY HOUR MON, TUE, WED 4-6PM $3 Appetizers, $4 Beer on tap $2 Budweiser & Angry Orchard $4 Wine/glass

2502 J Street Sacramento, CA • 916.447.1855 www.Coconutmidtown.com • The Coconut Midtown

Arden/ Carmichael El Pollo Feliz For a restaurant dubbed “the happy chicken,” El Pollo Feliz sure smokes a lot of birds. These chickens get one heck of an afterlife: Their parts are rubbed with earthy Mexican spices and then slow-cooked in a smoker for hours. The restaurant’s signature dish is barbecue chicken, and customers can purchase wings, breasts, drumsticks and thighs in a variety of amounts. You can also order it covered in a chocolatey and peppery mole-poblano sauce; shredded and scattered atop a plate of nachos; on top of a salad; inside a torta-style sandwich; or stuffed into a burrito. There’s a friendly neighborhood vibe here, and much of the cooking happens in the parking lot directly in front of the mom-and-pop joint. Mexican. 4717 Whitney Ave. in Carmichael; (916) 485-4446. Dinner for one: $5-$15. HHHH J.M.

Skip’s Kitchen You know you’re at an American restaurant when a cheeseburger is one of the healthiest items on the menu. Sure enough, Skip’s Kitchen features a lot of calorie-rich items, such as fried macaroniand-cheese balls, ravioli, chicken strips, chicken wings and shrimp, plus creamy Oreo milkshakes. There are salads, too, but the best dish on the menu is the burger. All five styles (original, mushroom

and Swiss, bacon and cheddar, three-cheese, and Western) are served on a brioche bun and cooked “medium,” unless otherwise specified. The kitchen offers a house-made veggie burger as well. If there’s such a thing as a “gourmet” burger that can rightfully sell for $10, this is probably it. American. 4717 El Camino Ave. in Carmichael, (916) 514-0830. Dinner for one: $10-$20. HHH1/2 J.M.

Customers can choose from two types of pies: breakfast or lunch. Breakfast pizzas consist of standard pizza dough, on top of which rests a thin layer of egg, cheese and toppings (read: no sauce). One pepperoni-andjalapeños morning pie starts off well, but then the dough disappoints. It doesn’t quite fit in either the “thick” or “thin” category; it’s not yeasty enough and too chewy and firm. A mushroom-and-spinach pie offers better texture. Lunch pizzas here are less unique, but still hit a nice mark via a few standout ingredients. The garlic pizza reaches a nice balance of sweet and salty with a creamy white sauce, mushrooms, onions, pepperoni and sausage. Buffalo also offers Gunther’s Ice Cream, side salads, fried chicken and canned sodas, but here, it’s breakfast pizza for the win. American. 2600 21st St., (916) 451-6555. Meal for one: $10-$20. HHH1/2 J.M.

Taqueria Garibaldi One of this restaurant’s biggest pulls is its choice of meats. The chorizo is red, crispy and greasy in all the best ways. The lengua (tongue) is soft and dreamily reminiscent of only the most ethereal bits of beef. The fish is fine and flaky and the cabeza and pork are herculean in flavor options worthy of note, too. Tacos are small and served on two tiny tortillas (flour or corn, your call) with a bit of house salsa that has all the kick of a pissed off Girl Scout who’s just tall enough to nail you right under the kneecap. Or, feel free to customize, too, courtesy of the fully loaded salsa bar. Be sure to pick up a glass of the homemade horchata, which is sweet and milky with seductive whispers of cinnamon. You will want seconds. Mexican. 1841 Howe Ave., (916) 924-0108. Dinner for one: $8-$10. HHH G.M.

The Hideaway Bar & Grill This bar

Land Park/ Curtis Park Buffalo Pizza & Ice Cream Co. The eatery, which offers take-out only, keeps the menu simple.

fills a niche Sacramento might not have known it lacked with its vague rockabilly vibe, lots of greased hair on the men, brightly dyed hair in retro styles and cat-eye glasses on the ladies, and an abundance of black clothes and tattoo sleeves for all. The liquor selection is basic (no craft cocktails here). The menu’s heavy on fried appetizers, salads, sandwiches and burgers, the latter of which are architectural, towering assemblages. Happily, the fluffy charred buns are sturdy enough to hold up when the tower is squeezed to a more realistic height. A meaty veggie burger

IllustratIon by Mark stIvers

(916) 706-2995. Dinner for one: $10-$20. HHH J.M.

(one of three veggie sandwich options) gets crunch from fried pickles and sweet heat from barbecue sauce. Overall, the Hideaway offers cheap beer, adequate bar food and a comfortable place to hang with out friends. American. 2565 Franklin Blvd., (916) 455-1331. Dinner for one: $10-$15. HHH1/2 B.G.

Davis Davis Noodle City What sets this place apart from other joints is the fact that most of its food is not Chinese-American, but true Chinese cuisine. Fried tofu arrives looking like deep-fried marshmallows. Beneath the crispy coating is a sweet, custardy center that billows with steam. The scallion pancakes are bits of naanlike dough packed with slivered scallions. A popular street food in China and Korea, it takes skill to prepare these in a way so they’re light, crispy and not at all greasy. DNC nails it. The Sichuan eggplant is also a delight: The eggplant is velvety and soft, with a sauce that tastes sweet and enticingly sour. Unlike the traditional way of using a fistful of chilies to prepare the dish, this one is intended for an American audience, and as such, is a caged lion, but DNC will take the lock off if you ask. The noodle dishes are gargantuan enough to feed a marathon runner adequately. Chinese. 129 E St., #1D in Davis; (530) 757-2618. Dinner for one: $8-$12. HHH G.M.

Fro-yo on fire I was attending college at UC Irvine when the first Yogurtland opened up there in 2006. I became a regular at various Yogurtland locations in Orange County for two years. Then, after I moved back to Sacramento, I was pretty excited to find out that one opened here in January (see “Yippee for Yogurtland,” SN&R Food Stuff, March 28). My favorite frozen-yogurt place recently expanded, and its latest location in Fair Oaks (5335 Sunrise Boulevard) is closer to my house than the first Sacramento location (2381 Fair Oaks Boulevard). There’s also one in Roseville (3988 Douglas Boulevard) and in Davis (1411 W. Covell Boulevard). Here’s what I like: Even though it’s an Irvine-based company, it holds its own against Sacramento’s numerous quality fro-yo places by offering dozens of seasonal flavors and fresh fruit in its topping bar. And there may be more soon, as Sacramento franchise owner Michael I. Burstein recently told me that Midtown and Elk Grove may be next to get a Yogurtland. —Jonathan Mendick

SACRAMENTO AREA MUSIC AWARDS 2 0 1 3

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– ROGER HICKEY,

From Robert Reich, former US Secretary of Labor, comes a humorous and enlightening exposé on America’s widening income gap.

He’s taking this fight to the street.

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Think of it as drinkable art. Artists Jared Tharp and Jose Di Gregorio teamed up for Night, a joint exhibit at Bows & Arrows. There’s an opening reception on Friday, October 4, and, as part of the event, Bows is also hosting a “prerelease” of a new brew colBEER laboration with Ruhstaller. The beverage, called The Di Gregorio, is a California-grown English-style barley wine, and Bows co-owner Trisha Rhomberg chose an artist to design its bottle label. The result, a piece by Di Gregorio, highlights the artist’s clean, graphic lines and is definitely not the kind of thing you want to distractedly pick at during some deep and drunk conversation. 6 p.m., 1815 19th Street, www.bowscollective.com. —Rachel Leibrock

Directors’ cuts all Youth Film and education daY Now in its 17th year, Tower of Youth’s North American All Youth Film and Education Day highlights a fresh crop of young filmmakers—both regionally and internationally. This year, the event, which takes place on Friday, October 4, at the Crest Theatre, will showcase dozens of short films by high-school students near FILM (Auburn, Sacramento) and far (Boston; San Antonio, Texas; Ontario, Canada). There’ll also be guest speakers and educational workshops. Wes Anderson, watch your back. $10-$15, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Crest Theatre, 1013 K Street; www.towerofyouth.org. —Rachel Leibrock

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Carbs worth the drive Wild Flour Bread How far would you travel for some of the best bread on Earth? If the answer is about two hours, then plan a jaunt to Wild Flour Bread, located in the teeny town of Freestone in Sonoma County. The bakery uses woodDAY TRIP fired ovens and also sells a selection of craggy, buttery scones every day. A recent visit scored one with an unusual yet marvelous combination of cranberry, blue cheese and walnut. Bread choices include olive and za’atar spice, traditional rye and goat cheese—all excellent. 140 Bohemian Highway in Freestone, (707) 874-2938, www.wildflourbread.com. —Becky Grunewald

It often seems like there’s some sort of strange, less-hispterthan-thou FESTIVAL (and therefore hipper-than-thou), death-to-thetech-startup-yuppies, anti-San Francisco vibe going around. But certainly, here’s something we can all agree on when it comes to the City by the Bay: The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival is a big, shiny gift to the public at which you’d be foolish to thumb your nose. The free annual concert, which started as a single-day event in 2001 with a small lineup, has expanded its roster far beyond what one might typically think of as bluegrass. This year’s event, scheduled to take place over three days, features acts as sundry as Billy Bragg (pictured), Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers, Calexico, Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, Chris Isaak, Steve Martin and Steep Canyon Rangers featuring Edie Brickell, Bonnie Raitt, and Boz Scaggs. Oh, and MC Hammer, too. No, really. Beyond the killer lineup and swell founding ideals, this concert continues to make its case for being the best festival ever by allowing attendees to bring in coolers and booze. Coolers of booze, even (because there will be no booze for sale). And get this: Not only will recycling be encouraged, but so will composting. Bottom line is, there’s no good reason not to go, no matter how annoyed you are by the glasseswith-no-prescription-lenses kids in the Lower Haight. No cover, Friday, October 4, from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, October 5 and 6, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Golden Gate Park, 501 Stanyan Street in San Francisco; www.hardlystrictly bluegrass.com. —Deena Drewis

CIGARETTES © SFNTC 4 2013

Take this job and love it I recently quit a job I hated. I am determined not to let doubt and fear be factors in choosing my future career. I have said that money was not important and that I am willing to have way less comfort if it leads to my personal growth. I can string together a bunch of part-time jobs, but I don’t want to struggle. I want to thrive. What is the secret to how creative people do this? How do people with no degrees by Joey ga become successful? rcia Let’s ask them. Compile a questionnaire and interview a s kj oe y @ ne wsreview.c om creative people and people who have achieved success without a degree. Or read biograJoey phies and magazine articles. You wants to talk to you might discover that some people about My Name Is who appear to earn their income Asher Lev at the from a creative enterprise also rely B Street Theatre. on an inheritance, a disability or unemployment check, alimony or

There are plenty of people who live close to the bone but don’t mind, because they are passionate about serving the muse. child support, a partner or spouse, or another similar source of supplemental income. Other people are making minimum payments on their credit cards and sinking deeper into debt to keep their creative lifestyles afloat. And there are plenty of people who live close to the bone but don’t mind, because they are passionate about serving the muse. In many cases, creative people live by a wing and a prayer, because they feel they have no other choice. They are on fire to write, paint, sing, act, launch entrepreneurial businesses or serve a spiritual call. They do battle daily with the internal resistance and external obstacles that attempt to interfere. Distractions include beliefs like: “I want to be famous and rich,” or “If I do this, I will finally have my (parents’, friends’, etc.) love and approval.” Other interlopers are thoughts about putting creative projects off for “someday” when there is more money or support. This is the idea that there is a perfect time, and that’s funny, right? Perfection is, in itself, an irrational concept.

Got a problem?

Write, email or leave a message for Joey at the News & Review. Give your name, telephone number (for verification purposes only) and question—all correspondence will be kept strictly confidential. Write Joey, 1124 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95815; call (916) 498-1234, ext. 3206; or email askjoey@ newsreview.com.

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So, if there is no secret, and the way others achieve their lifestyles cannot be applied to your journey, what can you do? Be creative. Surrender to your vocation knowing that your life may have room for little else. Follow your singular vision until you have shared your genius with the world. The world may not celebrate you, but you will have achieved the work you were born to do. And that, of course, is real success. I recently got out of a five-year relationship that was a cycle of breaking up and getting back together. One day, I said out loud what I wanted in a person, and then, when I had practically given up, I met someone with my criteria. This is the third time this has happened to me. Is it necessary to give up to get what you ask for from God or from the universe? I could say yes, and I could say no, and both would be true because reality exists in the gray area between those perspectives. In life, it helps to hold black-and-white thinking lightly. There is no rule book, no method to ensure that an expectation, once released, will be answered. But, yes, in general it is useful to not be too attached to whatever our mind insists it needs. So continue to be deeply grateful for the three times your requests were granted. Give up trying to formulate a foolproof process to turn God into a genie responsible for providing what you think you need. After all, what we believe we need is not always what is best for us or our spiritual growth. Living in the present moment is healing. Try that, instead. Doing so allows the clarity needed to avoid unhealthy patterns like breaking up, making up and breaking up again. You deserve better! Ω

For more information on our organic growing programs, visit www.sfntc.com

Meditation of the Week “I’m saying, ‘Y’know, life doesn’t  happen in black and white.’ The  gray area is where you become an  adult … the place between black and  white. That’s the place life happens,”  said Justin Timberlake in a recent  interview. What rules do you use to  resist your freedom?

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You call this democracy? Lonesome Hollow The problem with Lonesome Hollow, playwright Lee Blessing’s speculative fiction, is that it isn’t fiction at all. It’s true. And becoming more so by Jim Carnes with every election, it seems. What began as a cautionary tale has turned into too-true reality. Blessing, the Pulitzer Prize finalist and Tony Award-nominated author of A Walk in the Woods, sets his new drama in the near future, where sex offenders are quarantined in isolated penal colonies run by private companies. Lonesome Hollow is one such town, walled off and populated with sex offenders whose jail terms have expired but are deemed unsafe for release into “society.” Blessing

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us face questions of our own humanity. When we consider art or porn, artist or offender, and punishment or persecution, why do we always choose the latter? Ω

2River City Anthology

PHOTO By BenjAmIn T. ISmAIL

“It’s like I’m stuck in a labyrinth of despair.”

Lonesome Hollow, 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday; $10-$16. Big Idea Theatre, 1616 Del Paso Boulevard; (916) 960-3036; www.bigidea theatre.com. Through October 26.

was inspired by existing state laws that allow continued post-sentence incarceration of sex offenders. In current society, predators, pedophiles and child-porn collectors, among others, are deemed unsalvageable. Even after serving their prison sentence, they are “freed” only under continued supervised release. In Blessing’s vision of the future, sex offenders are completely nonredeemable and thus, permanently unsafe. Lonesome Hollow centers on two sex offenders: Tuck (Eason Donner in a finely nuanced performance), a photographer of artistic nudes, who, as laws keep changing, is now labeled a pornographer and his books banned; and Nye (Justin D. Muñoz, bravely finding humanity inside a vile character), a child molester drawn to little boys. With the help of a sympathetic guard (Devon Roe), Tuck works toward redemption, while Nye, so consumed with his obsession that when denied photos of naked boys, draws his own. Jamie Kale, as Tuck’s sister, and Jouni Kirjola, as a therapist and prison company man, complete the excellent cast. Director Gina Williams paces this no-intermission show smartly, building outrage and despair to a crescendo. She makes

—Patti Roberts

River City Anthology, 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday; $12-$17. Actor’s Workshop of Sacramento at the Wilkerson Theatre, 1723 25th Street; (916) 583-4880; www.actinsac.com. Through October 20.

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After Juliet

City Theatre puts an authentic steampunk look on this epilogue to William Shakespeare’s tragedy of young love, as Romeo and Juliet’s cousins, Benvolio (Anthony M. Person) and Rosaline (Julianna Camille Hess) struggle with their own star-crossed love and lingering urges to vengeance. Directed by Lori Ann DeLappe Grondin. F, Sa 8pm; Su 2pm; Sa, 10/12, 2pm. Through 10/13. $10-$15. City Theatre in the Art Court Theatre at Sacramento City College, 3835 Freeport Blvd.; (916) 558-2228; www.citytheatre.net. K.M.

5

Clybourne Park

Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer Prize and Tony Awardwinning satire on racism, real estate, fear, loss and words gets a brave and intelligent production by Capital Stage. Michael Stevenson directs an outstanding ensemble cast (each actor plays two or three roles) in a provocative play with its two acts set 50 years apart. You’ll never laugh more at something that makes you question your own feelings and motivations.

W 7pm; Th, F, Sa 8pm; Su 2pm. Through 10/6. $26-$36. Capital

Stage, 2215 J St.; (916) 995-5464; www.capstage.org. J.C.

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The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?

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Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? is a postmodern takedown of the classical Greek tragedy, where deep, dark drama lies beneath seemingly everyday dynamics. Martin (Jes Gonzales) and Stevie (Lee Marie Kelly) are a long-married, seemingly content couple, playfully sparring with familiar banter. Until Stevie learns that Martin’s been having an affair with a goat. The reveal begins a theater of the absurd that keeps us amused in the first half. The humor is a bit sardonic, and through both the dialogue and the remarkable performances and chemistry, Resurrection Theatre makes the improbable plausible. F, Sa 8pm. Through 10/5. $15-$20. Resurrection Theatre at California Stage, 1725 25th St.; (916) 223-9568; www.resurrectiontheatre.com. P.R.

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My Name Is Asher Lev

Playwright Aaron Posner’s adaptation of Chaim Potok’s book, which became an off-Broadway hit last year, takes the same premise of misunderstood artistic boy aching to break out of his social and religious confinements. For the most part, it’s a compelling universal look at an artist’s struggle to have a unique voice, but it falls short in sharing the complexity of the situations, making the main character unsympathetic at times. Tu, W, Th, F, Sa 8pm. Through 10/19. $23-$35. B3 Stage at the B Street Theatre, 2711 B St.; (916) 443-5300; www.bstreettheatre.org. P.R.

WeLL-DOne

5 SUBLIme–DOn’T mISS

Short reviews by jim Carnes, Kel munger and Patti Roberts.

PHOTO COURTeSy OF HARRIS CenTeR FOR THe ARTS

Sigh. Sometimes it seriously sucks to have to rate a theater production. Especially if it’s a well-intentioned partnership that matches local acting students with local poets, as is the case with River City Anthology, an inspired collaboration between Actor’s Workshop of Sacramento and the Sacramento Poetry Center. Over five weekends, a rotating cast of 42 acting students from Ed Claudio’s Actor’s Workshop presents more than 30 poems from the Poetry Center’s poets. Each show has a different lineup of actors and poems, averaging 25 actors per performance. The idea is a worthy one, allowing both developing actors and poets a chance to display their talents and get a response from an audience. However, there is such a wide range of acting skills—from emerging talents to those still learning the art of memorization and eye contact—that this should be presented as a free workshop rather than a $17-a-ticket production. Perhaps the Actor’s Workshop and the Poetry Center could collaborate to offer free performances, thus allowing both actors and poets to hone their skills, practice their craft and gain valuable experience in front of a supportive audience. A request for donations at the door would help cover costs and greatly increase the number of audience members (the second weekend’s audience was little more than a half-dozen people). It would be a winwin way to nurture enthusiastic artists and the arts—both written and performed.

Now Playing

“Hey, lil’ mama. Thank you. Thank you very much.”

The King lives The fourth annual Elvis Lives national tour kicks off in Folsom with three shows done with true Elvis glitz. Experience the hip-swiveling younger Elvis with moves that can still excite an audience. Then there’s the movie-era Elvis, who sang and danced alongside Ann-Margret in the 1964 film Viva Las Vegas—also recognizable in a Hawaiian shirt or singing “Jailhouse Rock.” The comeback Elvis is clad in leather, and fans will recall the bell-bottomed, studded, white jumpsuit, red scarf and cape of the Las Vegas-concert Elvis. He had the voice, looks, moves and the costumes. In this multimedia production—which includes four Elvis tribute artists (Bill Cherry, Leo Days, Ben Klein, Kevin Mills), who were winners or finalists in the annual, worldwide Elvis Presley Enterprises’ Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest; one Ann-Margret tribute artist (Lori Russo); film clips; dancers and backup singers—the King lives. Monday, October 7, at 7 p.m.; Tuesday, October 8, at 2 and 7 p.m.; $39-$69. Harris Center for the Arts, 10 College Parkway in Folsom; (916) 608-6888; www.harriscenter.net. —Trina L. Drotar

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Out of this world Gravity In Gravity, Sandra Bullock and George Clooney have the worst day ever in space. It’s hard enough for astronauts to contend with Newton’s laws; by Jim Lane these two have to grapple with Murphy’s. Everything that can go wrong does. Their mission, and the movie, begins routinely enough—if the sight of Earth from orbit (for us, in 3-D) can be called routine. Veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski (Clooney) tootles around the space shuttle as it hangs secured to the Hubble Space Telescope, playing with his jet pack, while specialist Ryan Stone (Bullock) bends earnestly over one of Hubble’s circuit modules, doing whatever it is she came up there for.

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Does this count as a “meet cute”?

Fall Special Through Nov 1st

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Kowalski continues to orbit the orbiting shuttle, listening to country music over his communication lines (until Stone politely asks him to shut it off so she can concentrate) and regaling the shuttle crew and Houston with stories they’ve all heard a hundred times. (The voice of Mission Control is Ed Harris, reprising his similar role in Apollo 13—an impish touch by director Alfonso Cuarón, given that Kowalski and Stone are about to face a crisis that will make Apollo 13’s ordeal look like child’s play.) Oh, by the way, Houston tells Kowalski there’s some space debris flying off from a missile strike by the Russians shooting down one of their own spy satellites—but nothing to worry about, it’s in a lower orbit. Suddenly, the worry meter flies off the high end. That debris has hit other satellites, then others, causing a chain reaction that sends an avalanche of jagged fragments right their way. Houston orders an immediate abort and return to the shuttle, but the rookie Stone delays just long enough that the debris storm hits them before they can return to the shuttle. Her dallying probably saves her and Kowalski from instant death, as the debris all but demolishes the shuttle and kills every other member of the crew.

When the wreckage passes, Stone and Kowalski are alive and safe, but only for the moment. They’re alone in space, with nobody to talk to: The chain reaction has wiped out the communication satellites linking them to Houston. That orbiting debris will come back around in about 90 minutes, so their only hope is to make their way to the International Space Station—hoping it survived the storm that just hit them—and use one if its emergency pods to return to Earth. But the station is a hundred miles away—and their oxygen and the fuel in Kowalski’s jet pack are both running low. All this is in the first 10 minutes. What happens next, and for the rest of the picture, is something no decent reviewer should dare to spoil. Not to mince words, Gravity is one of the great white-knuckle thrillers of all time. This is the kind of film that pushes suspense to the breaking point and beyond. Alfonso and Jonás Cuarón, father and son, have constructed a script as airtight as the pressure suits their astronauts wear, without a wasted syllable and just enough featherlight touches to keep the tension from becoming entirely unbearable—as when the grisly interior of the wrecked shuttle is leavened, ever so slightly, by the sight of a Marvin the Martian bobblehead floating past our eyes. The story is so engrossing that director Alfonso’s virtuosic touches go almost unnoticed, so organic are they to the picture as a whole: the stunning visual effects, the long takes and brilliant camera work (in one amazing shot, the camera glides from space through the faceplate of Stone’s helmet into the suit with her—we hear Sandra Bullock’s natural voice in our ears—then back out into space again).

Not to mince words, Gravity is one of the great white-knuckle thrillers of all time. Bullock’s performance as Stone is Gravity’s centerpiece, and it makes the picture a virtual one-woman show. Like the movie itself, Bullock is brilliant, taking us inch by inch through Stone’s alternating panic, despair, hope and hopelessness in the chaotic struggle to survive. I’m betting that at least one of this season’s Oscar nominations is firmly spoken for. And maybe others. Will there be a better movie this year? Perhaps. But like what happens to Kowalski and Stone, that’s hard to imagine. Ω

by daniel barnes & JiM lane

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Austenland

2 5 0 8 L A N D PA R K D R I V E L A N D PA R K & B R O A D WAY F R E E PA R K I N G A D J A C E N T T O T H E AT R E

Austenland is the movie equivalent of a beach read, a digestible distraction that demands little effort and puts forth even less. It’s a film that should only be watched while engaging in a secondary activity, like folding laundry or untangling Christmas lights. An undeniably adorable Keri Russell stars as Jane, a movie-messy bachelorette obsessed with all things Jane Austen, especially the aloof and sensitive Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. After getting dumped by the latest in a series of disinterested boyfriends, Jane cashes in her life savings for a vacation to Austenland, an all-inclusive resort where guests and staff roleplay as Austen-esque characters in full costume. The adult theme-park conceit of Austenland is a lot like that of Westworld, except with corsets instead of cowboy boots, human actors instead of robots, and only brain cells getting brutally murdered. D.B.

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“IMPASSIONED.”

STARTS FRI., 10/4

“ASTONISHING.”

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Blue Jasmine

ENDS THU., 10/3 ENDS WED., 10/2 WED: 3:45, 5:40PM WED: 7:50, 9:55PM THUR: 3:45PM MARIINSKY BALLET: SWAN LAKE 10/3 @ 7PM • TEATRO ANTICO RIGOLETTO 10/6 @2PM & 10/8 @ 7PM F O R A D V A N C E T I C K E T S C A L L FA N D A N G O @ 1 - 8 0 0 - F A N D A N G O # 2 7 2 1

Wadjda

In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, a young girl enters her school’s Koran recitation contest so she can use the prize money to buy a bicycle—even though riding a bike in public is hardly an appropriate activity for a devout Muslim girl. Writer-director Haifaa Al-Mansour’s first feature sneaks up on you: It begins in a leisurely, diffident manner, almost drably understated in its slice-of-Saudi-life way, as it matter of factly lays out the challenges of growing up female in that part of the world. But Al-Mansour builds her story carefully, mainly through the subtly luminous performances of young Waad Mohammed in the title role and Reem Abdullah as her mother. The movie ends on a highly emotional note that might easily have tipped over into bathos. But Al-Mansour knows her stuff—she earns her emotion honestly. J.L.

4

Don Jon

In an effort to prove that he can do literally anything better than you, Joseph Gordon-Levitt writes, directs and stars in the nimble anti-romantic comedy Don Jon. His sex-obsessed Don is both a Long Island party hound and a strict Catholic devotee, and he brings a ritualistic asceticism to every aspect of his life, from his home-cleaning habits to his many meaningless carnal encounters. Even after Don finds a dream girlfriend (Scarlett Johansson), his most satisfying relationship is with his pornography folder. Don’s lifestyle of self-obsession is fetishized in a manner almost worthy of American Gigolo, but a broader and less engaging tone is employed in the scenes with his sitcomlike family. Still, it’s hard to believe that a film about the toxicity of sexual dehumanization could be this sweet, and that makes Don Jon more than a mere résumé stuffer. D.B.

Bloodline

4

Enough Said

2

Prisoners

It has become second nature for a struggling film actor to reinvigorate his or her career on television, but it is much less rare for the star of a long-running TV show to find new life on the big screen. Against all odds, Nicole Holofcener’s witty and observant Enough Said successfully reinvents a couple of TV stars who never quite connected as film actors. Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini play Eva and Albert, divorced empty nesters who begin a tentative courtship. Of course, it is bittersweet watching Gandolfini on screen again, especially when he’s so good in a role that is the polar opposite of Tony Soprano. Louis-Dreyfus and Gandolfini have genuine chemistry, and their self-effacing flirtation grounds the film. D.B.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

There is a very serious moral question posed by Prisoners—can movie audiences abide the studio-sponsored torture of Hugh Jackman doing a decaffeinated riff on Sean Penn’s yowling-at-the-heavens bit from Mystic River for 153 minutes? Jackman plays Keller Dover (seriously!), a handyman and closet survivalist whose daughter is kidnapped along with his neighbors’ girl. The manhunt immediately leads to Alex Jones (Paul Dano), a mentally handicapped man who is exonerated for lack of evidence. Keller still suspects that Alex was involved in the abduction, so he takes the interrogation into his own hands, resorting to beautifully shot torture in order to recover his daughter. Director Denis Villeneuve made the Foreign Language Film Oscar nominee Incendies, but his American debut Prisoners just reheats the heavy-handed, high-gloss revenge porn of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and the aforementioned Mystic River. D.B.

The improvement of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 over its 2009 animated antecedent is easy to explain—the concept of food-as-animals presents more potential for visual imagination than the concept of foodas-weather. It doesn’t even matter that it’s no longer technically cloudy, and that the chance of meatballs is next to none. As the film opens, aspiring scientist Flint Lockwood has stopped the food storm that threatened his island town of Swallow Falls. Soon enough, his rogue invention starts transforming the leftovers into a cradle of life, creating new species of “food-imals” like snarling taco-diles and screeching shrimpanzees (the invisible hand of natural selection apparently has a thing for puns). Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 doesn’t stray too far from the mold, but the screen practically spills over with visual marvels, and there’s a kid-friendly self-awareness to the humor. D.B.

NEWS

ENDS THU., 10/3 WED/THUR: 10:45AM, 1:10PM

Wadjda brings new meaning to the phrase “two wheels good.”

Battle of the Year

|

WED/THUR: 11:00AM, 1:05, WED-TUES: 11:05AM, 1:15, 3:15, 5:25, 7:35, 9:45PM 3:25, 5:35, 7:45, 10:00PM FRI-TUES: 10:50AM, 12:55, NO SUN 1:15, 3:25, 5:35PM NO TUES 5:35, 7:45, 10:00PM 3:05, 5:15, 7:30, 9:30, 10:15PM “AN EXCEPTIONAL FILM.” WOODY ALLEN’S

SALINGER SHORT TERM 12

Baggage Claim

BEFORE

- Todd McCarthy, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

- Peter Travers, ROLLING STONE

- Tina Jordan, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

If nothing else, Bloodline is almost certainly the first-ever horror film whose opening location title sets the action in “North America 1797.” To be more geographically specific, Bloodline was shot in and around the Sacramento area—especially utilizing the Eldorado National Forest—by Roseville native Matt Thompson. He also wrote the film and stars as Brett Ethos, who mourns the many unexplained deaths in his family by immersing himself in “the church,” while his hard-partying friends struggle to bring him out of his shell. It becomes increasingly apparent that Brett’s family tree is being systematically slain by an ancient evil presence directly linked to a mysterious cabin in the woods … did someone say “road trip”? Thompson solemnly parades out the horror clichés, but they don’t add up to many scares, an issue exacerbated by the grating omnipresence of ham-fisted “comedy relief.” D.B.

4

- David Edelstein, NEW YORK MAGAZINE

FRI-TUES: 11:10AM, 1:20, 3:30, 5:40, 8:00PM

A hip-hop tycoon (Laz Alonzo), determined to field an American crew to win the annual break-dancing championship in Montpellier, France, hires an old friend as coach (Josh Holloway)—despite the man’s drinking problem and haunted past. Director Benson Lee used his 2007 documentary Planet B-Boy as inspiration for this mash-up of dance movie and sports flick, with middling results. Brin Hill and Chris Parker’s script is an achievement of sorts: Every single line is a cliché. Holloway glowers like the third runnerup in the Matthew McConaughey Look-alike Contest. Meanwhile, Josh Peck plays his simpering assistant, and Caity Lotz, as the crew’s choreographer, has little to do, to little effect. The dancing, by real B-boys Chris Brown, Ivan “Flipz” Velez, Jon “Do Knock” Cruz and others, livens things up, but it’s too little too late. J.L.

2

“A WINNING COMIC ROMANCE.”

INEQUALITY FOR ALL DON JON Enough Said

A flight attendant (Paula Patton), pushing 30 and growing desperate, is determined to find a date for her younger sister’s wedding, so she flies around the country looking up all her exes—only to remember why it didn’t work out with them in the first place. This laughless rom-com opens lamely and gets worse as it goes along. Nothing about it rings true—not the contrived premise (has writer-director David E. Talbert even been in an airport in the last 12 years?), nor the string of false endings, nor (least of all) the overdone head-wag-fingerpoint acting by everybody, as if they’re playing to a whooping sitcom studio audience. J.L.

2

“WICKED-SMART.”

- Sheri Linden, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

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FEATURE

STORY

3

Riddick

3

Rush

3

Thanks for Sharing

Vin Diesel is back as the formidable interplanetary fugitive first seen in Pitch Black (2000) and The Chronicles of Riddick (2004). This time, he’s been left for dead on a sun-blazed world inhabited by predatory monsters; he finds his way to a deserted outpost and broadcasts his presence into space, planning to steal a ship and escape when bounty hunters show up to capture him. Writer-director David Twohy plops us down in the middle of his story and leaves us hanging at the end, waiting for Episode 4. In between, the movie is a harsh, gritty pleasure, straightforward and tautly suspenseful, and showcasing Twohy’s knack for portraying truly alien worlds. Jordi Mollà, Matt Nable and Katee Sackhoff play three of the bounty hunters, and there’s a cameo by Karl Urban as Riddick’s nemesis from Chronicles. J.L.

Writer Peter Morgan and director Ron Howard recount the 1970s rivalry in Formula One auto racing between Britain’s James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Austrian Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl), including Lauda’s horrific near-fatal crash at the 1976 German Grand Prix and his return to the circuit only six weeks later. Morgan’s talent for dramatizing recent history (The Queen, Frost/Nixon) remains unimpaired, the race scenes are harrowingly exciting, and Howard gets fine performances from all, especially Brühl in a showcase breakout role. Threatening to undo all these virtues is a soundtrack (including Hans Zimmer’s bombastic music) that’s about 6 trillion decibels too loud: The movie is wonderful to look at but actually physically painful to listen to. Memo to Howard: Volume is not the same thing as intensity. J.L.

A recovering sex addict (Mark Ruffalo) re-enters the dating scene, unsure when to tell his new girlfriend (Gwyneth Paltrow) about his past; his Narcotics Anonymous sponsor (Tim Robbins) confronts his own wayward son (Patrick Fugit), who may still be a junkie; and finally, a sex-addicted doctor (Josh Gad) tries to BS his way through recovery. Writer-director Stuart Blumberg casts his nets a little too wide, and can’t quite finesse all the shifts in tone from drama to comedy and back again. Still, there’s much good stuff here, even if the picture leaves us with the feeling that it should be a lot more satisfying than it is. Performances are strong, although the storyline involving Gad and Alecia “Pink” Moore (as yet another sex addict) is more interesting than the other two and maybe should have played the center ring. J.L.

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A RT S & C U LT U R E

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AFTER

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Need Assistance with Applying for or Appealing Veterans Disability Benefits & Compensation?

Cult of personality Check that musical snobbery at the   door—Eli and the Sound Cult’s music is   unapologetically, refreshingly pop

Contact: (916) 480-9200 Law Office of Steven H. Berniker, APC Veteran Advisor – Sgt Major (Ret) Daniel J. Morales Location: 2424 Arden Way, Suite 360 Sacramento, CA 95825

Veterans Assistance is our #1 Priority

“On the batterfield, the military pledges to leave no soldier behind. As a Nation, let it be our pledge that when they return home, we leave no Veteran behind.” – Dan Lipinski

Whether it’s Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, or David Bowie, the king of goblins, the pop genre encompasses a variety of sounds. by Steph Rodriguez The term holds different meanings for different people: Indeed, it often sends shivers down the spines of some underground-music snobs, even as it serves as a beckoning call for danceclub patrons.

PHOTO BY LOVELLE HARRIS

“We want it to be a good experience. There’s no reason that you can’t have the same visual and sound quality that you would get at a major festival or concert from a local show.” The two musicians say they’re both night owls and, accordingly, spent evenings recording tracks in Jenkins’ basement studio. The songs reflect myriad inspirations. On “Worst Thing,” for example, the music radiates with an upbeat, distorted guitar sound comparable to the Strokes, with vocals that are reminiscent of Interpol or She Wants Revenge. Skip to the album’s last track, “On the Run,” and the Sound Cult completely changes directions, morphing from a pop-based garage-rock feel, to sexy, Prince-inspired slow jams, replete with blues and gospelesque vocals. Or take “Prelude,” a slower, electronic beat-driven track on which Jenkins sings in a melancholy Morrissey-worthy croon. In short, each song on the album possesses a distinct identity. Each also serves an introduction of sorts to the band’s onstage performances, Jenkins adds. “The album is really just a doorway to the live show, which is more of a theatrical art piece,” he says. The pair often hosts intimate shows at Sacramento Space, a venue that also doubles as Bove’s art studio. Here, the band’s live setup includes a 3-D video installation featuring random imagery and multiple flashing lights.

WEST SACRAMENTO RIVER WALK PARK

Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013 X 11am-6pm

Bump City A Tribute to Tower of Power 11:30am - 3pm

Elijah Jenkins (left) and Jason Bove of Eli and the Sound Cult aim to indoctrinate music lovers into the world of pop.

Departure A Tribute to Journey 3:30pm - 6pm

Emergency Preparedness Fair and Family Fun Zone!

SPECIALTY POTATO FOOD TRUCK RECIPE SHOWDOWN #TastefulSelectMVP

For more Info:

WESTSACFUN.ORG & SACTOMOFO.COM 38   |   SN&R   |   10.03.13

Eli and the Sound Cult play a record-release show on Friday, October 18, at 8 p.m. at Sacramento Space, 1011 10th Street. A $5 donation is suggested; see www.eliandthe soundcult.com for more information.

For Eli and the Sound Cult, the genre’s not a bad thing. The duo, which describes its sound as “unapologetically pop,” crafts music that draws influence from the likes of Prince, Bowie and even Morrissey. Elijah Jenkins says his band’s debut album Best of Pop was fueled by a longtime desire to make an entire record consisting of hook-laden pop singles. But to achieve that goal, Jenkins, who sings, plays guitar and produces beats with music software and an old Casiotone keyboard, knew he needed to find just the right partner. Bandmate Jason Bove, who plays bass, says his laid-back demeanor meshed perfectly with Jenkins’ thorough approach. “I’m hands-off. Once he goes into that mode, I just let him do his thing. I feel as if I’m the quiet influence—Elijah is the up-front guy and very in tune with what he wants out of the performance,” says Bove, who is also a visual artist. So in tune, in fact, that both Jenkins and Bove take it upon themselves to oversee every live show with meticulous care, calling venues ahead of time to check on electronic specifications, such as how many outlets a club has—and where they’re located. The two-piece even trucks in its own sound system and lights during its travels. Think of it as planned chaos, Jenkins says. “I want it to be spontaneously perfect. Control everything that’s controllable,” he says.

“Iwantittobe spontaneouslyperfect. Controleverything that’scontrollable.” Elijah Jenkins Eli and the Sound Cult This mix of art and sound is no accident. Whether it’s an elaborately planned show or a thoughtfully crafted record, Jenkins credits his father’s theater background as a major influence. “My dad took me to my first show. He said, ‘You can be an artist, but when you’re on stage, you’re an entertainer,’” Jenkins remembers. “And that’s all there is to it. It does not matter what else is going on. The moment you’re on stage, you’re an entertainer, and if you don’t think that’s true, then you shouldn’t be on a stage.” Ω

Have you been denied

Medical Coverage

Release the Juggalos No joke: Let’s get this out of the way: Yes, Juggalos like Tech N9ne. And yes, there were Juggalos in attendance at the rapper’s show at Ace of Spades on September 25, snaking down the block in line outside for a full four hours before the show—very few in full clown-face. No Juggalo jokes here, though. I have a fondness for the Insane Clown Posse and its fans (even though I don’t count myself among the latter), and besides, a lot of the jokes about Juggalos smack of classism. Tech N9ne’s ICP connection does not mean he doesn’t have rap cred, though. He’s been at the rap game for 20-plus years, after all. Tech N9ne, whose music is an unusual mix of emo, rage-rock choruses and lightning-fast spitting, is also within kissing distance of 2 million albums sold, and his recent release, Something Else, debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart to general critical acclaim. At Ace of Spades, Tech took the stage with his rotund, Cee Lo Greenlookin’ collaborator Krizz Kaliko, both wearing white scrubs that gave them the (obviously intentional) look of mental patients. The two performed for more than 90 minutes, with highlights that included “B.I.T.C.H.” and—hilariously—a song called “Areola,” during which he encouraged ladies to flash him. A few complied, and when he pulled a woman from the crowd onto the stage, the big smile on her face and the bear hug he gave her in return made it seem more cute than seedy. Tech N9ne is a seasoned road warrior with a strong fan base in Sacramento. The rapper also performed here in April, and will probably be back again soon, so, if any of this sounds intriguing, you’ll likely get a chance to check him out. Just don’t laugh at the Juggalos.

NEWS

THINK FREE.

—Julianna Boggs

It’s easy to apply: online at MyBenefitsCalwin.org or call the Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance: 916.874.3100 or 209.744.0499

Save Over

90% OFF

nth only! o m is th t n e m Enroll 10/31/13

Everything new is new again: Things at K Street’s newest music venue, Assembly, just got … newer. Bookers at Ace of Spades are set to take over shows at the Randy Paragary- and Bob Simpson-owned nightspot at 1000 K Street. “Very stoked on this,” Ace co-owner Eric Rushing told SN&R via email. “[We’ve been] actively seeking a smaller room to complement Ace since the first year [we] opened ... but nothing made sense until now.” The new Assembly will follow the same format as the original Ace of Spades (1417 R Street). Expect harder rock, metal and hardcore, plus hip-hop and beats—“as well as comedy or any other type of event that may present itself.”

Musical mind workout: Being an adult is awesome because you can eat whatever you want for breakfast: cake, Rice Krispies, beer—no one is stopping you. Of course, there are consequences. After a time of indulging, maybe your untended-to tooth cavities feel like nerve hornets, or maybe you wake up in the morning and find you don’t have the will to face another day, or another piece of cake. What you need is some meat. I’m speaking musically, of course. Too much pop music has this effect on the listener in that it’s sweet and easy on the ears, but eventually, the sound starts to lose its luster. Staying engaged with art and music means hitting the metaphorical |

You may now qualify under the new Affordable Care Act.

gym by seeking out performances that challenge both the listener and performer. Whether these sounds evoke dislike, anger, elation or confusion, it’s wise to embrace them, because we’re all starting to look a little loose in the midsection. This past Saturday, the Fusion International Arts Center featured a homecoming set of sorts by the nearly operatic-in-scope performance artist Poppet, back in town after a stint in Olympia, Wash. The ebullient performer held her audience captive as she incorporated costume and movement with a dynamic vocal range and a style to rival Bjork. Poppet recently finished a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund her first official release The Blue Sky Is Always Blue, featuring tracks culled from several years of home recordings. With any luck, a release show is in store, and when it comes, you’ll be ready. Speaking of mind muscle workouts, this weekend check NorCal NoiseFest XVII. The multicity, multivenue, multiday crusade against the musically mundane features myriad performers exploring the outer limits of those spatial pressure oscillations called sound. The festival kicks off on Thursday, October 3, in Sacramento at the Naked Lounge Downtown (1111 H Street) and wraps up on Sunday, October 4, at Bows & Arrows (1815 19th Street). To try and describe the scheduled artists won’t do anyone any good: Just know it’ll be loud, confusing and sonically confrontational. Think of it as pop-music detox (www.norcal noisefest.com).

—Becky Grunewald

BEFORE

in the past?

exp.

916.442.3927

—Nick Miller

n i ck am @ne w s re v i e w . c o m

I www.capitalac.com

Conveniently located at the corner of 8th & P |

FEATURE

STORY

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ARTS&CULTURE

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AFTER

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04FRI

04FRI

04FRI

05SAT

Blues by the River

Davis Jazz and Beat Festival

Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers

The Lost Cherries

Swabbies Restaurant & Bar, 6 p.m., $5 Opening the fourth annual Blues by the  River two-day festival on Friday night is  Pinkie Rideau & Blind Resistance (pictured).  This 2011 winner of the Modesto Area Music  Award for Jazz and Blues will rock the  river in one of the band’s last area gigs.  BLUES The festival wouldn’t be complete without local favorite,  three-time Sammies winner and hall-offamer Mick Martin and the Blues Rockers.  Original co-founder of the Sacramento  Blues Society, Martin was also inducted  into its hall of fame in 2010. Harmonica whiz  Kyle Rowland performs with his eponymous  blues band on Saturday. Rounding out the  show is bluesman Marshal Wilkerson.   5871 Garden Highway, www.facebook.com/ pinkieandblindresistance.

John Natsoulas Gallery, 7 p.m., no cover

Harlow’s Restaurant & Nightclub, 9 p.m., $16-$18

The seventh annual Jazz and Beat Festival  in Davis is a celebration of the spirit of 1960s  counterculture. It’ll feature two days of experimental music, poetry, dance and art, kicking  off Friday night at the John Natsoulas Gallery  with the Linda Bair Dance Company, poets   D.R. Wagner and Phil Weidman, and winners of  the Jack Kerouac Poetry Contest accompanied  by the Tony Passarell Trio (pictured). A full day  of music, art and poetry happens Saturday  at Armadillo Music (205 F Street in Davis)  from noon  JAZZ/MULTIMEDIA to 6 p.m.,  and the event returns to the John Natsoulas  Gallery at 7 p.m. for the festival’s conclusion,  plus an after party on the rooftop. 521 First  Street in Davis, www.natsoulas.com/schedule.

Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers has endeared  itself to fans through a combination of  relentless cross-country touring, catchy  ROCK videos—their cover of Daryl  Hall & John Oates’ “I Can’t Go  for That (No Can Do)” while driving in their  tour van rates as one of the coolest videos  ever—and solid songs. Bluhm channels  a bit of Stevie Nicks on the eerie rocker  “Ravenous,” and the Gramblers provide  Southern rock ’n’ roll on numbers like “Little  Too Late.” And in case you’re wondering if  the group can make epic rock music, one  listen to the second half of “Jetplane” will  answer that question. The group is touring  in support of its self-titled debut album.  2708 J Street, www.nickibluhm.com.

—Jonathan Mendick

Bows & Arrows, 8 p.m., $5 The Lost Cherries are a new local band, but its  individual members have been around awhile.  Some have been part of the local punk scene  since the mid-1980s. The group comes into  the modern punk scene strong, with elements  of metal, hardcore, jagged non-funk and no  wave—basically sounding like a vibrant, innovative post-punk band from 30  PUNK years ago. It sounds particularly fresh because newer, younger bands  have been mining this musical era for the past  decade, but the Lost Cherries were actually a  part of it. Lead singer Dark Moon Doll, despite  her friendly demeanor, almost morphs into  Lydia Lunch when the music starts. Plus,   she plays a mean triangle. 1815 19th Street,  www.facebook.com/thelostcherries.

—Brian Palmer

—Aaron Carnes

—Trina L. Drotar

I t ’ s

t I m e

t o

monday

trivia @ 6:30pm tuesday

taco tues $1 tacos, $2 coronas, 2–8pm wednesday

Friday, 10/4 - 6pm

20 years of fabulous food & some of the BEST beers around! On Oct. 12, 2013 frOm 1pm tO 5pm we will be celebrating with a mini-Brewfest to raise funds for the sacramento Kings Foundation for education. tickets are $25 and include beer, appetizers, live music and the chance to win Kings tickets, gift certificates & other great prizes!

545 Downtown plaza, #1115 | Sacramento, cA 916.447.2739 | rivercitybrewing.net 40   |   SN&R   |   10.03.13

MICK MARTIN & THE BLUES ROCKERS MARSHAL WILKERSON THE BIG LITTLE ROWLAND BAND Saturday, 10/5 - 4pm

CONTRABAND Sunday, 10/6 - 3pm

thursday

KaraoKe @ 7:30pm happy hour mon-fri 3pm-7pm

open for lunch & dinner 7 days a weeK doors open at 11:30

upcoming shows oct 05 Rock 2000 oct 12 Block PaRty oct 18 one ShaRP Mind oct 19 tijuana Weekend oct 25 old ScReen dooR oct 26 doWn the hatch facebook.com/bar101roseville 101 main street, roseville • 916-774-0505

SAMMIES.COM

PINKIE RIDEAU & THE BLIND RESISTANCE

sign-ups at 7:30pm

V O T E N O W AT

BLUES BY THE RIVER

4th ANNUAL

open mic

05SAT

07MON

09WED

10THURS

Spirits of the Red City

The Babies

Red Fang

Michael Franti & Spearhead

Sophia’s Thai Kitchen, 9:30 p.m., $5

Cafe Colonial, 8 p.m., $5

At the risk of sounding like a total square, I’m  a little relieved Spirits of the Red City wasn’t  around when I was 16, because if they had  been, I’d have surely tried to pick up a tambourine and petitioned to join the rambling music  collective in pushing its voluminous, orchestral  folk songs. The substantive, whimsical-yettense folk tunes still appeal strongly to an  ever-present hankering for a freewheelin’,  bohemian lifestyle, but unless you share the  band’s self-proclaimed interest in vans, it’s  ORCHESTRAL FOLK probably  best to  remain a spectator. Anchored by singer Will  Garrison, the collective is touring in support of  its second release, Jula. 129 E Street, Suite E in  Davis; www.spiritsoftheredcity.com.

Harlow’s Restaurant & Nightclub, 8 p.m., $15

Brooklyn indie music. Depending on one’s  leanings, those words can mean either hipster heaven or, conversely, something of a  nightmare. Luckily, the Babies, feaPOP turing members of Vivian Girls and  Woods, exudes not a single whiff of irony nor  pretentiousness. No songs about Oxford commas here, y’all. Rather, the sound is pure pop  genius, replete with catchy riffs and melodies,  and angsty girl-boy vocals. Check out the  band’s 2012 album Our House on the Hill for an  energy boost via songs such as “Slow Walkin”  and “Chase it to the Grave.” Live, the fourpiece cranks it to 11. Locals Sneeze Attack and  Dog Party are also on the bill. 3520 Stockton  Boulevard, http://thebabiesband.tumblr.com.

—Rachel Leibrock

—Deena Drewis

Sacramento State University, 7 p.m., $12-$22.50

Heavy metal, stoner metal, however you  prefer to label it, Red Fang—to put it simply—shreds. The Portland, Oregon-based  four-piece is set to release a new album,  Whales and Leeches, on October 15, featuring the already released single, “Blood Like  Cream.” The squeals of guitars throughout  the song pierce through a dark cloud of  beastly vocals, followed by  METAL shifty time signatures and  hard-hitting percussion. Since 2005, the  guys logged miles from here to Ukraine and  even spent the first part of summer alongside Iron Maiden in Spain. Read the blog on  the band’s website for plenty of humorous tour accounts that include anecdotes  about eating Slayer’s pizza. 2708 J Street,  www.redfang.net. 

Recently, a friend texted to���ask if we were  going to “dance our asses off” at the upcoming Michael Franti & Spearhead show.  Absolutely! His latest album, All People,  focuses mainly on human relationships and  REGGAE/ROCK is the group’s  most accessible  material to date. Franti’s political lyrics have  simmered down over the last few years: What  was formerly overt is now more subtle. Yet  the integrity of Franti’s longtime concern for  humanity is still there. While it’s important to  remember that 2006’s Yell Fire! was one of the  great protest albums of our time, the whistle-, clap- and dance-along “I’m Alive” from  the new album is where this party is headed.  Sacramento State University Union Ballroom,  6000 J Street; www.michaelfranti.com.

—Steph Rodriguez

Ace of SpAdeS thursday, october 3

twiztid

madchild - blaze ya dead homie aqualeo - brutha smith

1417 R Street, Sacramento, 95814 www.aceofspadessac.com

All Ages Welcome!

tHe USed

SOON

william control

10/22

Streetlight Manifesto

10/25

Parmalee

10/26

Jonny Craig

10/31

Stick Figure

11/01

Nike’s Never Not & TW’s Nation

11/05

AB-Soul & Joey Badass

11/06

Soulfly

11/11

Clutch

11/12

Mayday Parade

saturday, october 19

11/14

Misfits

GwAR

11/16

E-40

11/17

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

11/23

Mellowhigh

sunday, october 20

12/07

Frank Hannon & John Corabi

AttilA

12/08

Talib Kweli

12/11

Blood on the Dance Floor

12/13

Great White

StoRY of tHe YeAR liKe moths to flames - hawthorne heights

SenSeS fAil for the fallen dreams - expire being as an ocean

capture the crown - set it off - i am King

friday, october 18

saturday, october 5

JoSHUA RAdin plus special guests

RoAcH GiGz & HUSAlAH playa K - lil bit - marK snipes

friday, october 11

AndRe nicKAtinA & KRAzY Bone (of bonethugs-n-harmony)

whitechapel - iron reagan - a band of orcs

babnit - charlie muscle - K-hawK

saturday, october 12

ARden pARK RootS one drop - street urchinz - Kayasun riotmaKer (feat. Jeffry of shaKedown)

COMING

Wednesday, october 16

thursday, october 17

friday, october 4

—Paul Piazza

upon a burning body – iwrestledabearonce the plot in you - fit for a King - merchants

Tickets available at all Dimple Records Locations, The Beat Records, and Armadillo Records, or purchase by phone @ 916.443.9202

BEFORE

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  F E AT U R E

STORY

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NIGHTBEAT

THURSDAY 10/3

ASSEMBLY

1000 K St., (916) 832-4751

List your event!

Post your free online listing (up to 15 months early), and our editors will consider your submission for the printed calendar as well. Print listings are also free, but subject to space limitations. Online, you can include a full description of your event, a photo, and a link to your website. Go to www.newsreview.com/calendar and start posting events. Deadline for print listings is 10 days prior to the issue in which you wish the listing to appear.

BADLANDS

2003 K St., (916) 448-8790

Tipsy Thursdays, Top 40 deejay dancing, 9pm, call for cover

BAR 101

Karaoke, 7:30pm, no cover

101 Main St., Roseville; (916) 774-0505

BISLA’S SPORTS BAR BLUE LAMP

The Session, 9pm, call for cover

1400 Alhambra, (916) 455-3400

THE BOARDWALK

JOJO, LEAH LABELLE, 7pm, $15; WHITE MINORITIES, CHASE MOORE; 9pm, $20

Fabulous and Gay Fridays, 9pm, call for cover

Red Dress Party w/ DJ Lee Decker, 8pm-2am, $45-$85

THE COZMIC CAFÉ

Open-mic, 7:30pm, no cover

FACES

2000 K St., (916) 448-7798

FOX & GOOSE

MAKENZIE MIZZEL, JAY SHANER; 8pm, no cover

1001 R St., (916) 443-8825

HALFTIME BAR & GRILL

5681 Lonetree Blvd., Rocklin; (916) 626-6366

INSTAGON, NUX VOMICA, CRANK ENSEMBLE, JEFF BOYTON; noon, $10

Creative Confluence open-mic, 8pm Tu; CLAUDIA QUINTET, 8pm W, $10 Community jam, 6:30pm M; CHEYENNE MIZE, AARON ROSS; 8pm W, $10-$12

ELEANOR MURRAY, BRIANNA LEA PRUETT, DARK RIVER; 8pm, $5

Hip-hop and Top 40 Deejay dancing, 9pm, $5-$10

Hip-hop and Top 40 Deejay dancing, 9pm, $5-$10

INFINITE VASTNESS, HART BOTHWELL, GÜERO; 8pm, $5

BIG IRON, DESERT RAT, CROSSING THE RIVER; 9pm, $5

Queer Idol, 9pm M, no cover; Latin night, 9pm Tu, $5; DJ Alazzawi, 9pm W, $3

Dragalicious, 9pm, $5

Open-mic, 7:30pm M; Pub Quiz, 7pm Tu; Northern Soul, 8pm W, no cover

LOST IN SUBURBIA, 9pm-midnight, no cover

THE TONE MONKEYS, 9pm-midnight, no cover

Trivia night, 7:30-9pm Tu, no cover

NICKI BLUHM AND THE GRAMBLERS, EASY LEAVES; 8pm, $16-$18

LEE DEWYZE, 7pm, $15-$18

EXILE PARADE, M; THE WINERY DOGS, Tu, $25-$30; RED FANG, 8pm W, $15

JEFF ALKIRE QUINTET, 8pm, $8

Nebraska Mondays, 7:30pm M, $5-$20; Comedy night, 8pm W, $6

HARLOW’S

ICONOCLAST ROBOT, BLAQUELISTED, BIG STICKY MESS; 9pm, $7

LUNA’S CAFÉ & JUICE BAR

Joe Montoya’s Poetry Unplugged, 8pm, $2

MARILYN’S ON K

BRODI NICHOLAS, IRIE FUSE, LUMANATION, THIS HIATUS; 7:30pm, $8-$10

JUKEBOX JOHNNY, 9pm, $5

WHO-DUNNIT, 9pm, $7

Karaoke, 8pm M, no cover

NAKED LOUNGE DOWNTOWN 1111 H St., (916) 443-1927

CHOPSTICK, FAULTS, BEAST NEST, BLOOD INTO WATER; 8:30pm, $10

THIS HIATUS, PAT HULL, DIAL ON DRE; 8:30pm, $5

AJ JOHNSON, ISAAC HOWL; 8:30pm, $5

Jazz session, 8pm M; PLOTS, STAND OUT STATE, TAYLOR FINE; 8:30pm W, $5

OLD IRONSIDES

JENN ROGAR, 5pm, no cover

DECIPHER, UNDENIED, MALCOM BLISS, SOUR DIESEL; 8pm, $10-$12

WHOOPIE QAT, 8pm, $6

Karaoke w/ Sac City Entertainment, 9pm Tu, no cover; Open-mic, 9pm W, no cover

1901 10th St., (916) 442-3504

2708 J Street Sacramento, CA 916.441.4693 www.harlows.com - October 3 -

- October 7 -

iconoclast exile robot Parade (uk) blaquelisted, big sticky mess $7 • 8pm

- October 4 -

nicki bluhm

NOT Made in USA Tour feat.

The Novocaines (Australia), and The Copper Gamins (Mexico) $10 • 7pm

- October 8 -

the Winery dogs

and the gramblers

The Easy Leaves $16ADV • 8pm

The SixxiS $25ADV • 7pm

- October 5 -

lee deWyze $15ADV • 5:30pm

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College Night deejay dancing, 9:30pm Tu; Country Night deejay dancing, 9:30pm W

ELEMENT BRASS BAND, 9pm, no cover

908 K St., (916) 446-4361

SN&R

THE DICK GAIL QUINTET, 8:30pm, $5-$10

LIFEFORMS, AWAITING THE APOCALYPSE; 6:30pm, $10-$12

JONNY MOJO, 8pm, $8

228 G St., Davis; (530) 756-9227

1414 16th St., (916) 441-3931

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Mad Mondays, 9pm M; Latin video flair, Wii bowling, 7pm Tu; Trapacana, 10pm W

LEFTOVER CUTIES, 8pm, $12-$15

G STREET WUNDERBAR

2708 J St., (916) 441-4693

42

Sin Sunday, 8pm, call for cover

Trivia, 6:30pm M, no cover; Open-mic, 7:30pm W, no cover

THE LOST CHERRIES, DANCING AND CRYING; 8pm, call for cover

1815 19 St., (916) 822-5668 KELLEY STOLTZ, GOLDEN SHOULDERS, MAKEMAKE; 8pm, $10-$12

MONDAY-WEDNESDAY 10/7-10/9

IN THE SILENCE, APE MACHINE, SECRETS Radio Radio: ‘80s Dance Club with OF THE SKY, MURDERLICIOUS; 9pm Roger Carpio and Brian Hawk, 9pm

BOWS & ARROWS

314 W. Main St., Grass Valley; (530) 274-8384

SUNDAY 10/6

ROCK 2000, 9:30pm, no cover

DENNIS JONES BAND, 8pm, call for cover

9426 Greenback Ln., Orangevale; (916) 988-9247

594 Main St., Placerville; (530) 642-8481

Hey local bands!

SATURDAY 10/5

Fringe: a nonstop night of comedy and sideshow, 9:30pm, $15-$25

Friday Night Hype w/ DJs Evolve and My Cousin Vinny, and MC Skurge, 10pm

7042 Folsom Blvd., (916) 383-0133

CENTER FOR THE ARTS

Want to be a hot show? Mail photos to Calendar Editor, SN&R, 1124 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95815 or email it to sactocalendar@ newsreview.com. Be sure to include date, time, location and cost of upcoming shows.

FRIDAY 10/4

10.03.13

- October 9 -

red Fang

Helms Alee, Dog Shredder $15ADV • 7pm

Coming Soon Oct 11

Wonderbread 5

Oct 12

Steelin’ Dan

Oct 13

Nicholas David

Oct 14

Joe Pug

Oct 15

Modern English

Oct 16

Kylesa

Oct 17

Wrings (EP Release)

Oct 18

Earthless / Joy

Oct 19

Down North

Oct 20

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe Zach Deputy

Oct 23

Polecat

Oct 25

Rusted Root

Oct 26

Ras Shiloh

Oct 27

Cat Stevens Tribute

Oct 29

Lake Street Dive

Nov 01

Mazzy Star

follow us haRLOWSNiTECLUb haRLOWSNighTCLUb haRLOWSNighTCLUb

RESTAURANT ss BAR BAR CLUB ss RESTAURANT COMEDY COMEDY CLUB

VOTED BEST COMEDY CLUB BY THE SACRAMENTO NEWS & REVIEW!

THURSDAY 10/3 - SUNDAY 10/6 ORIGINAL WINNER OF LAST COMIC STANDING!

DAT PHAN

WALTER HONG, JIMMY EARLL THURSDAY 10/10

SAM BAM’S COMEDY JAM FRIDAY 10/11 - SUNDAY 10/13 FROM COMEDY CENTRAL’S INSOMNIAC!

DAVE ATTELL MATT DAVIS, JOHNNY TAYLOR

get lei’d

with brodi nicholas irie fuse, lumanation this hiatus reggage // funk // 7:30PM // $10 fri 10/04

jukebox johnny all request cover 9pm // $5 sat 10/05

who dunnit

THURSDAY 10/17 - SATURDAY 10/19 AS SEEN ON CONAN!

who tribute

ROB DELANEY

9pm // $7

CAITLIN GILL

THURSDAY 10/24 - SUNDAY 10/27 FROM E!’S CHELSEA LATELY AND AUTHOR OF KASHER IN THE RYE!

MOSHE KASHER ALEX KOLL, KEVIN O’SHEA

FRIDAY 11/1 - SUNDAY 11/3 FROM CHELSEA LATELY AND ARE YOU THERE, CHELSEA?

sun 10/06

oPen Mic talent showcase 7pm // free mon 10/07

karaoke 8pm // free tue 10/08

gset

ALI WONG DC ERVIN

thurs 10/03

classic rock & blues review // 8pm // free

THURSDAY 11/7 - SATURDAY 11/9 FROM MADTV AND THE JOE ROGAN EXPERIENCE!

BRYAN CALLEN SAL CALANNI

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER! ;>0;;,9*647<5*/305,:(*‹-(*,)662*6473:(*

WWW.PUNCHLINESAC.COM

CALL CLUB FOR SHOWTIMES: (916) 925-5500 2100 ARDEN WAY sIN THE HOWE ‘BOUT ARDEN SHOPPING CENTER

2 DRINK MINIMUM. 18 & OVER. I.D. REQUIRED.

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT THE CLUB BOX OFFICE WITH NO SERVICE CHARGE.

wed 10/09

whomp whomp wednesday 9pm // $5

UPcOMING sHOWs: 10/10 red union, midnight transport katie knipp

908 K Street • sac 916.446.4361 wwwMarilynsOnK.com

ON THE Y

670 Fulton Ave., (916) 487-3731

THURSDAY 10/3

FRIDAY 10/4

Karaoke, 9pm, no cover

KILLGASM, CHRONAEXUS, GRAVEHILL, GORESHACK; 9pm, $7

THE PALMS PLAYHOUSE

SATURDAY 10/5 Karaoke, 9pm, no cover

SUNDAY 10/6

MONDAY-WEDNESDAY 10/7-10/9

Open-mic comedy, 9pm, no cover

Karaoke, 9pm Tu, no cover; HEMLOCK, 9pm W, $8

MARK HUMMEL & THE BLUES SURVIVTOM RIGNEY & FLAMBEAU, 8:30pm, $20 ORS, LITTLE CHARLIE BATY; 8:30pm, $20

13 Main St., Winters; (530) 795-1825

PINE COVE TAVERN

Karaoke, 9pm-1:30am, no cover

Karaoke, 9pm-1:30am, no cover

Karaoke, 9pm-1:30am, no cover

PJ’S ROADHOUSE

DJ Michael Johnson, 9pm, no cover

FELIX AND THE BAD CATS, 9pm, $5

SUBLIMEDLIVE, CORN DOGGY DOG; 9pm, $10

POWERHOUSE PUB

2 STEPS DOWN, 10pm, call for cover

502 29th St., (916) 446-3624 5461 Mother Lode, Placerville; (530) 626-0336 614 Sutter St., Folsom; (916) 355-8586

THE PRESS CLUB

Open-mic, 10pm-1am Tu, no cover ; Trivia, 9-10pm W, no cover

GUITAR SHORTY, 3pm, call for cover

Country Karaoke, 9pm M, call for cover; DJ Alazzawi, DJ Rigatony, 10pm Tu, $3 Work Your Soul, 9pm M, no cover; REVOLVER, PLUSH, 8pm W, $5

2030 P St., (916) 444-7914

No Diggity: ‘90s Night w/ DJ Meek Da Kat, 9pm, no cover

Top 40 w/ DJ Rue, 9pm, $5

Top 40 Night w/ DJ Larry Rodriguez, 9pm, $5

Sunday Night Soul Party, 9pm, $5

SAMMY’S ROCKIN’ ISLAND

BRODIE STEWART BAND, 8pm, $5

AQUANETT, 10pm, $5

FLEETWOOD MASK, 10pm-12:30am, $5

DEREK THOMAS BAND, TJ MCNULTY; 6pm, no cover

Comedy Night and DJ Selekta Lou, 9pm, $5

Dubstep, glitch and trap music w/ DJ Big Joe Daddy, Funk Advisor, 9pm, $5-$10

238 Vernon St., Roseville; (916) 773-7625

SHENANIGANS

705 J St., (916) 442-1268

SOL COLLECTIVE

MICHAEL AMASON, MONGREL GODS, EUROSTACHE; 3pm, $10

2574 21st St., (916) 832-0916

SOPHIA’S THAI KITCHEN 129 E St., Davis; (530) 758-4333

STONEY INN/ROCKIN’ RODEO

ALI DEE, THE CHAD BUSHNELL BAND; 9pm, $5

1320 Del Paso Blvd., (916) 927-6023

SWABBIES

5871 Garden Hwy, (916) 920-8088

TORCH CLUB

X TRIO, 5pm, no cover; JESSE DEE, 9pm, $5

904 15th St., (916) 443-2797

Cheyenne Mize with Aaron Ross and Adam Acuraga 8pm Wednesay, $10-$12. Center for the Arts Pop rock

Microphone Mondays, 6pm M, $1-$2

MISS LONELY HEARTS, 9:30pm, $5

SPIRITS OF THE RED CITY, ROBIN BACIOR; 9:30pm, $5

Country dancing, 7:30pm, no cover; $5 after 8pm

VINTAGE VANDALS, 8pm, $5

Country dance party, 8pm, no cover

PINKIE RIDEAU & BLIND RESISTANCE, 6-10pm, $5

MICK MARTIN & THE BLUES ROCKERS, MARSHAL WILKERSON; 2-9pm, $10

CONTRABAND, 3-7pm, $3

PAILER AND FRATIS, 5:30-7:30pm, no cover; MAXX CABELLO, 9pm, $8

HARLIS SWEETWATER, TESSIE MARIE, DENNIS JONES BAND; 4pm, $25

KYLE ROWLAND, DIPPIN’ SAUCE, KERI CARR, MIND X, MAXX CABELLO; 2-8pm

Comedy open-mic, 8pm M; Bluebird Lounge open-mic, 5pm Tu, no cover

WILLIAM MYLAR, 5:30pm Tu; DELTA CITY RAMBLERS, 9pm W, $5

All ages, all the time ACE OF SPADES

TWIZTID, MADCHILD, BLAZE YA DEAD HOMIE, AQUALEO; 6pm, $22

1417 R St., (916) 448-3300

Element Brass Band 9pm Saturday, no cover. G Street WunderBar Jazz and soul

SENSES FAIL, FOR THE FALLEN DREAMS, JOSHUA RADIN, 7pm, $20 EXPIRE, BEING AS AN OCEAN; 6:30pm, $15

LUIGI’S SLICE AND FUN GARDEN

GOLDEN SHOULDERS, DOG PARTY; 8pm, call for cover

1050 20th St., (916) 552-0317

SHINE

CLARK REESE, ERIK SPENCER, JOE KAPLOW; 8pm, $5

1400 E St., (916) 551-1400

SNAKEBOY SHINER, 8pm, $5

Open jazz jam, 8pm Tu, no cover; poetry, 7pm W

sbl en t er ta inmen t p r e sen t s

leon russell

s u nday, oc tober 20th assembly

monday, november 4th

The Mavericks

crest theatre

s u nday, o c t o b e r 2 7 t h crest theatre

nicholas david

anna nalick

oct 13 · harlows

nov 20 · harlows

rusted root

ed kowalczyk of live

WITH MASSIVE dELICIOuS oct 25 · harlows

dec 7 · assembly

aaron carter

chef robert irvine

nov 12 · assembly

jan 14 · crest theatre

tuesday january 21st • crest theatre pre-sale TICKeTs Code: guitar publIC on sale: 10/05/13 SBLENtErtaiNMENt.COM

FOR ALL TICKETS VISIT SBLENTERTAINMENT.COM BEFORE

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NEWS

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FEATURE STORY

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A RT S & C U LT U R E

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AFTER

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10.03.13

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SN&R

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43

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SN&R   |  10.03.13

3600 Power inn rd suite 1a sacramento, Ca 95826 916.455.1931

Bring in any competitor’s coupon and we’ll beat it by $5

Weed and Wall Street

Must present competitor’s ad. Some restrictions apply.

VOTED 3RD BEST ’13 420 PHYSICIAN IN SAC!

I keep seeing ads for medical-marijuana stocks. Do you think these are a good investment? —Uncle Pennybags What’s the old riddle? How do you make a small fortune in the stock market? Start with a large fortune. These stocks are bad news. They call it the “pump and dump.” It’s not a booty-call technique: It’s a scam. BEALUM This is what happens: Some fly-by-nighter by NGAIO ’13 will start a stock on the micro-cap or penny stock market. The stock is cheap, but it doesn’t back a real company. It then sends out a bunch of press a sk420 @ ne wsreview.c om releases and Internet ads touting this “incredible opportunity” (the pump). The suckers, er clients, then line up to buy these stocks. The price of the stock goes up, and the person behind the stock then sells of their shares (the It’s not a booty-call all dump), leaving investors technique: It’s a scam. with worthless paper. One would think that stoners would be smart enough to recognize the scam, but it seems that everyone wants to be in on the “green rush.” I have a homey that does investments and such for banks, and he warned me about this. I’m sure you will be able to find another way to make money from weed. Use your imagination. I read a story about a 15-year-old in Minnesota that beat a drug-paraphernalia charge by claiming his pipe was part of his religion (Rastafarianism). Do you think I could use this defense in court as well? —Ras Trevor Um, yeah, good luck with that. Religious-defense arguments are tricky. While the kid did get away with it, I wouldn’t recommend everyone start claiming they’re Rastafarian when they get busted. The young man brought in a slew of experts, and he was only charged with carrying drug paraphernalia, not possession. This sounds more like a sort of Sikh thing. The religion of Sikhism requires members to carry a kirpan, a ceremonial dagger, at all times. The courts have upheld this right. Followers can carry the knife, but they can’t use it. Same with the pipe. Eddy Lepp, a Rastafarian minister and cannabis activist, tried to use a religious exception in his federal trial. He is still in prison, serving a 10-year sentence. The Rev. Roger Christie has been in a federal detention center for three years (at a cost to the taxpayers of $116 per day) on charges of possessing and selling cannabis. Christie is also claiming a religious right to use cannabis, but the feds aren’t buying it so far. By the way: The feds are holding Christie without bail, claiming he’s a “danger,” because they think he will go back to selling weed if he is released. Did I mention he lives in Hawaii? Who in Hawaii doesn’t smoke weed? Hawaii is also the state that tried to crack down on all the weed growing and smoking and ended up with a methamphetamine epidemic. Anyone remember ice, the smokeable form of meth? You can thank the Hawaiian officials for that. Ω

Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at ask420@ newsreview.com.

BEFORE

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  NEWS

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  F E AT U R E

STORY

’13

’13

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’13

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Sacramento

420 Doc MEDICAL MARIJUANA EVALUATIONS

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916.480.9000 2 CONVENIENT LOCATIONS TO SERVE YOU

2100 Watt Ave, Unit 190 | Sacramento, CA 95825 | Mon–Sat 11am–7pm 2633 Telegraph Ave. 109 | Oakland, CA 94612 | 510-832-5000 | Mon–Sat 10am–5pm RECOMMENDATIONS ARE VALID FOR 1 YEAR FOR QUALIFYING PATIENTS WALK-INS WELCOME ALL DAY EVERYDAY

YOUR INFORMATION IS 100% PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL VISIT OUR WEBSITE TO BOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT ONLINE 24/7 AT

www.Sac420Doc.com   |    A R T S & C U L T U R E    

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  |    10.03.13    

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  SN&R    

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  45

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by Jessica Rine

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Are you good

at haggling? Do you maybe even enjoy the challenge of negotiating for a better price, of angling for a fairer deal? The coming week will be a favorable time to make extensive use of this skill. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, you will thrive on having friendly arguments with just about everyone, including your buddies, your significant other, your mommy and even God herself. Everywhere you go, I encourage you to engage in lively discussions as you hammer out compromises that will serve you well. Be cheerful and adaptable and forceful.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): In David

Markson’s experimental novel Wittgenstein’s Mistress, the protagonist fantasizes about the winter she lived at the Louvre Museum in Paris. She says that to keep warm, she made big fires and burned some of the museum’s precious artifacts. I’m hoping you won’t do anything remotely resembling that mythic event in the coming week, Taurus. I understand that you may be going through a cold spell—a time when you’re longing for more heat and light. But I beg you not to sacrifice enduring beauty in order to ameliorate your temporary discomfort. This, too, shall pass.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): “Don’t say

you want love,” writes San Francisco author Stephen Sparks. “Say you want the morning light through a paint-flecked window; say you want a gust of wind scraping leaves along the pavement and hills rolling toward the sea; say you want to notice, in a tree you walk past every day, the ruins of a nest exposed as the leaves fall away; a slow afternoon of conversation in a shadowy bar; the smell of bread baking.” That’s exactly the oracle I want to give you, Gemini. In my opinion, you can’t afford to be generic or blank in your requests for love. You must be highly specific. You’ve got to ask for the exact feelings and experiences that will boost the intensity of your lust for life. (Here’s Sparks’ Tumblr page: http://invisiblestories.tumblr.com.)

CANCER (June 21-July 22): “The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are stronger in the broken places,” wrote Cancerian writer Ernest Hemingway. By my estimation, my fellow crabs, we are now entering a phase of our astrological cycle when we can make dramatic progress in healing the broken places in ourselves. But even better than that: As we deal dynamically with the touchy issues that caused our wounds, we will become stronger than we were before we got broken.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Let’s hope you

have given deep thought to understanding who you are at this moment of your life. Let’s also hope that you have developed a clear vision of the person you would like to become in, say, three years. How do you feel about the gap between the current you and the future you? Does it oppress you? Does it motivate you? Maybe a little of both? I’ll offer you the perspective of actress Tracee Ellis Ross. “I am learning every day,” she told Uptown Magazine, “to allow the space between where I am and where I want to be to inspire me and not terrify me.”

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Do the words

“purity” and “purify” have any useful purpose? Or have they been so twisted by religious fundamentalists and mocked by decadent cynics that they’re mostly just farcical? I propose that you take them seriously in the coming week. Give them your own spin. For instance, you could decide to purify yourself of petty attitudes and trivial desires that aren’t in alignment with your highest values. You might purify yourself of self-deceptions that have gotten you into trouble and purify yourself of resentments that have blocked your creative energy. At the very least, Virgo, cleanse your body with extra-healthy food, good sleep, massage, exercise and sacred sex.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I periodically

hike alone into the serene hills north of San Francisco and perform a set of my songs for the birds, insects, squirrels and trees. Recently, I discovered that British comedian Milton Jones tried a similar experiment. He did his stand-up act for a

by ROb

bRezsny

herd of cows on a farm in Hertfordshire. I can’t speak for Jones’ motivations, but one of the reasons I do my nature shows is because they bring out my wild, innocent, generous spirit. Now is a good time for you to do something similar for yourself, Libra. What adventures can you undertake that will fully activate your wild, innocent, generous spirit?

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Are you

anxious and agitated, afraid that you’re careening out of control? Is there a flustered voice in your head moaning, “Stop the insanity!”? Well, relax, dear Scorpio. I promise you that you no longer have to worry about going cray-cray. Why? Because you have already gone cray-cray, my friend. That is correct. You slipped over the threshold a few days ago, and have been living in Bonkersville ever since. And since you are obviously still alive and functioning, I think it’s obvious that the danger has passed. Here’s the new truth: If you surrender to the uproar, if you let it teach you all it has to teach you, you will find a lively and intriguing kind of peace.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

To give you the oracle that best matches your current astrological omens, I’ve borrowed from “Sweetness,” a poem by Stephen Dunn. I urge you to memorize it or write it on a piece of paper that you will carry around with you everywhere you go. Say Dunn’s words as if they were your own: “often a sweetness comes / as if on loan, stays just long enough // to make sense of what it means to be alive, / then returns to its dark / source. As for me, I don’t care // where it’s been, or what bitter road / it’s traveled / to come so far, to taste so good.”

A fruitful endeavor Kindness is rare these days, but Ana Manzano is building her small, creative business to promote that quality to others and to the environment. Manzano sources eco-friendly materials to handcraft sweet duds for adults, children and babies for her Ana Apple clothing line. Think cotton T-shirts with spunky, felt turntables; little onesies with pockets and ties cut from vintage curtains and bibs sporting the recycle symbol and phrases such as “nom nom.” Manzano was also recently accepted into Sacramento’s Flywheel Incubator, a program of the Arts & Business Council of Sacramento designed to take artists to the next level in their business endeavors. Manzano sat down with SN&R to talk about making environmentally friendly art, cultivating a smart business and just how her grandma influenced her vision.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): In

How did Ana Apple come about?

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The

I got a sewing machine for Christmas [in] 2007, enrolled in a sewing class in January 2008, and by the end of that month, I was like, “OK, so I’m thinking that I really want to do this.” I wish I could have some grandiose, touching moment, but I was like, “Baby clothes are really cute. Let’s play with that.” So my main goal is creating something that you can’t find at Babies“R”Us or Target. You might find something similar, but with this stuff, we touch each piece by hand, and with the kind of materials we use and the amount of care that we put in. [I like that] no two pieces are going to look exactly the same.

her book Teaching a Stone to Talk, Annie Dillard apologizes to God and Santa Claus and a nice but eccentric older woman named Miss White, whom she knew as a child. “I am sorry I ran from you,” she writes to them. “I am still running, running from that knowledge, that eye, that love from which there is no refuge. For you meant only love, and love, and I felt only fear, and pain.” Judging from your current astrological omens, Capricorn, I’d say that now would be a good time for you to do something similar: Take an inventory of the beauty and love and power you have sought to escape and may still be trying to avoid. You’re finally ready to stop running and embrace at least some of that good stuff.

Dragon Lives Again is a 1977 film that tells the story of martial-arts legend Bruce Lee fighting bad guys in the underworld. Among the villains he defeats are Dracula, James Bond, the Godfather, Clint Eastwood and the Exorcist. I urge you to use this as inspiration, Aquarius. Create an imaginary movie in your mind’s eye. You’re the hero, of course. Give yourself a few superpowers, and assemble a cast of scoundrels from your past—anyone who has done you wrong. Then watch the epic tale unfold as you do with them what Bruce Lee did to Dracula and company. Yes, it’s only pretend. But you may be surprised at how much this helps you put your past behind you. Think of it as a purgative meditation that will free you to move in the direction of the best possible future.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): After

studying the myths and stories of many cultures throughout history, Joseph Campbell arrived at a few conclusions about the nature of the human quest. Here’s one that’s apropos for you right now: “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” He came up with several variations on this idea, including this one: “The very cave you are afraid to enter turns out to be the source of what you are looking for.” I urge you to consider making this your operative hypothesis for the coming weeks, Pisces.

You can call Rob Brezsny for your Expanded Weekly Horoscope: (900) 950-7700. $1.99 per minute. Must be 18+. Touchtone phone required. Customer service (612) 373-9785. And don’t forget to check out Rob’s website at www.realastrology.com.

B EFO E   |   N WS   |   FEATURE 54 | RSN&R | E 10.03.13

PHOTO BY LISA BAETZ

For the week of October 3, 2013

STORY

And you use recycled materials? [The felt] is made from recycled plastic bottles. We source it from a company in, I think it’s North Carolina. They wash, clean, dry the bottles; chop them up into flakes [that] are melted down; and then it’s woven into fiber. The fiber is then spun into big sheets, and those are dyed with eco-friendly dye, and then we [buy] the sheets of it. It’s easy to work with, there are so many colors and [it’s] soft for babies’ skin. We source [the onesies and shirts] from American Apparel in [Los Angeles]. I try to keep stuff as close to California as possible, or, like with the felt, at least within the U.S.

What got you into the environmental-awareness part of Ana Apple? Honestly, that is all my grandma. In life, and especially with my business, she has been one of my greatest influences. She has always taught me, whatever you do, don’t always think about yourself. She has just used her life to help others in every way that she can, and that is something I have been raised around, and it just comes very naturally to me. And so, I just thought about what’s very important to me.

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What is one of the best reactions you have had to your clothes? I was at a holiday show in San Francisco, and this … woman—big pregnant belly—she came over and picked up [a turntable onesie] and was like, “People keep buying us onesies and clothing and blankets, but this is the one article of clothing I am purchasing for our boy, and he is going to come home from the hospital in this.” I literally started tearing up. That’s the kind of stuff that really keeps me going.

Why did you want to do the Flywheel program? This is its sophomore year, and I have networked and gotten to know people that were in the first-year program. A few of them encouraged me to apply, they were like, “I think this program would be really good for you,” based on what kind of issues I’m facing with my business. And it’s all growing pains, but they are issues that need to be ironed out. I’m in the creative side of it every single day, and I think this goes for a lot of creative business owners [who say,] “I just want to paint or make clothes or make music,” but you kind of push the business side of it to the back burner, and it’s so important to not only support yourself, but that is how you’re going to reach more people exponentially, you know, by figuring out your marketing plan and making sure your [accounting] books line up.

What do you hope to get out of the program?

process here, whether it’s operational or production, saying this is taking five steps, this is how we can knock it down to two or three.

Where do you see this in five years? I really see myself working with kids long term, and [Ana Apple] is a really good first step. This establishes us as a brand, and from there we can branch off. I would like to be teaching workshops or mentoring kids, getting creative people together to work with kids. Kind of like a creative version of Big Brothers Big Sisters is my big vision, whether it is under the Ana Apple umbrella or a whole other entity, I would like to be making great strides toward making that happen, and just using this as a facility or a platform to build the, what my old coach used to say, was the “know, like and trust factor.” Using this as like, “She’s all about working with kids; she’s all about community,” and this is just the natural progression of it.

What do you like the most about being a part of Sacramento’s creative community? We are still kind of defining ourselves as a city. I think because we are so much smaller than obviously L.A. and San Francisco, and we are still developing our identity, I think it’s a really exciting time to be an artist or designer in this area, because we get to be a part of helping it thrive and helping it bloom. Ω

It’s really just resources to help me look at my business critically and figure out like, this | 

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