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A nevAdA veterAn hAs A new book see arts&culture, page 14


A local doctor says his alternative cancer treatments are being ignored


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issuE 43





170344 11/17

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EMail lEttErs to rENolEttErs@NEwsrEviEw.CoM.

Welcome back


Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review. I want to start this week by sending congratulations from all of us here in the office to our editor, Brad Bynum, and his fiancée, Margot Choltco, who have finally had their baby. Have a great holiday season, guys! For the next several weeks, the rest of the RN&R team and I will be holding down the fort—keeping you all informed and entertained as we make our way through the holidays. Things to be on the lookout for include our annual Winter Guide on Dec. 14 and the official start of our 95-word fiction contest on Dec. 14. We’ll have more details on that next week. This week, we’re all very glad to have Dennis Myers, our news editor, back in the office with us. Interestingly, we received a press release about Dennis recently. It was from the Human Services Network—a coalition of human service providers from Truckee Meadows and surrounding rural areas. They’re preparing for the 29th annual Human Services Awards. According to the press release, the event “shines a light on important work that takes place within the many human services organizations in our community, often times with little recognition.” This year, Human Services Network chose Dennis as the “Media Representative of the Year,” an award that recognizes his more than four decades as a journalist and the work he’s done covering human services issues. I don’t normally quote press releases verbatim, but I was impressed that this one said— because of his work—he’d been called by some, “the ‘conscience’ of Nevada’s journalism community.” Certainly in this newsroom, we’re grateful for him.

Re “Give thanks for capitalism” (Let Freedom Ring, Nov. 23): Aww, damn, Brendan. So close and yet so far away. It really looked like you were gonna score on giving us the scoop and what it was on the Pilgrim’s progress. First and goal from the ONE-FOOT-IN-THEMOUTH line—and you stuffed yourself. Well, let’s see how you could have possibly gotten this one wrong? OK, COMMon, COMMUNal, COMMUNally, COMMUNIty, COMMo’n, babe, take that big leap over the tackle (and the answer don’t start with an S, Breit-boy) Yeah, yeah, you got this one—yeah!! Communism!! So, answer us this: How in the hell did you boot that pooch? Was it ignorance, or stupidity? Arrogance? Nahhh. Or, did you just get stuck in the muck of your usual right-wing/libertarian/free-market nonsense? Or, were you going with the GOP/trumpesian method of dealing with the truth, just flat-ass lie? Or, when the truth doesn’t get near your ideas, bend it till it does? Or, shatter it and rearrange the pieces till it works the way you want it to? Or, just make up some BS outta whole cloth and use it to cover up and smother the truth? Name ur poison, Suckrates. Kinda thought you might enjoy a multiple-choice question, ’cause I definitely didn’t want to leave you alone with true or false. Now, could you please do us a favor and take a year or two off to formulate your answer. We don’t mind waiting. Democratically speaking. Marc Hogue Washoe Valley

—Jeri Chadwell je ric @ ne wsrev i ew . com

Yerington blowback Re “Racism runs rampant” (Left Foot Forward, Nov. 30): I grew up in Yerington and attended school there, graduating YHS in 1965. Below is a Letter to the Editor of the MVN.

Our Mission: To publish great newspapers that are successful and enduring. To create a quality work environment that encourages employees to grow professionally while respecting personal welfare. To have a positive impact on our communities and make them better places to live. Editor Brad Bynum News Editor Dennis Myers Special Projects Editor Jeri Chadwell Arts Editor Kris Vagner Calendar Editor Kelley Lang Contributors Amy Alkon, Matt Bieker, Kelsey Fitzgerald, Bob Grimm, Holly Hutchings, Kent Irwin,

Shelia Leslie, Josie Glassberg, Eric Marks, Jessica Santina, Todd South, Marc Tiar, Brendan Trainor, Bruce Van Dyke, Ashley Warren, Allison Young Design Manager Christopher Terrazas Creative Director Serene Lusano Art Director Margaret Larkin Marketing/Publications Designer Sarah Hansel Designers Kyle Shine, Maria Ratinova Web Design & Strategy Intern Elisabeth Bayard Arthur Sales Manager Emily Litt Office Manager Lisa Ryan RN&R Rainmaker Gina Odegard

decemBeR 07, 2017 | VOl. 23, Issue 43

The front page of the Nov. 22 MVN was a sad commentary on a town I grew up in and have loved to this day. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that racist bullying is part of Yerington’s fabric, as it’s an ugly scab in cities and towns throughout the country. Several things did surprise me, however. The Sparks Tribune reported initial events in detail on Oct 20. The MVN didn’t pick up the story until Nov 22. The home town paper buried this story for a month. Why? Police chief Darren Wagner refused to investigate citing “first amendment rights.” A newly hired police officer is scapegoated for shredding documents related to the case and the department acknowledges that it was against the law to do such. No repercussions. Why? On Oct. 8, the son of a sheriff’s department officer posted an ugly, racist, threatening and intimidating entry on social media. No repercussions allegedly because of, again, first amendment rights. It is true that the first amendment does grant bad people the right to say bad things that are often meant to incite pain, fear, and violence but it does not grant that it must go unchallenged. Jeffrey Dion with the National Center of Victims of Crime stated, “Threats cause harm regardless of whether the intention to carry out the threat is real or not. Victims are deprived of freedom, and their lives are disrupted when they feel can’t go to a grocery store, they can’t drive their regular route to work, or they can’t let their kids walk to school or the halls of the school or feel safe in the classroom because of the fear of the stated or posted threat.” Any law enforcement officer, any school administrator, any teacher, any politician or office holder should understand this. If they don’t, they’re not worthy of the position. This event is in newspapers in Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas and beyond, and Yerington is not viewed favorably. Kind of ironic coming from newspapers in parts of the country noted for extreme racism. I have great empathy for this unfortunate famil,y and I hope there are people in Yerington

Advertising Consultants Myranda Keeley, Kambrya Blake Distribution Director Greg Erwin Distribution Manager Bob Christensen Distribution Drivers Alex Barskyy, Brittany Alas, Corey Sigafoos, Gary White, Lucas Proctor, Marty Troye, Patrick L’Angelle, Timothy Fisher, Tracy Breeden, Vicki Jewell, Brandi Palmer, Olga Barska, Rosie Martinez President/CEO Jeff VonKaenel Director of Nuts & Bolts Deborah Redmond Executive Coordinator Carlyn Asuncion Project Coordinator Natasha VonKaenel Director of People & Culture David Stogner Nuts & Bolts Ninja: Leslie Giovanini

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who understand the trauma inflicted. I hope there are students and teachers and coaches that encourage, befriend and protect these girls from the seedier and uglier underbelly promoting such hatred and indifference. Brad Nelson Beaverton, Ore.

The plight of the rich Regarding the GOP tax bill—go to your windows and shout to the streets, “I’m mad at Heller, and I’m not going to take this anymore.” Craig Bergland Reno


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Thoughts on alternative medicine? aSKeD at tHe Joe crowley StuDent union, 1664 n. virGinia St. Kevin Spencer Electrical engineering student

With traditional medicine, there’s just too many side effects that are negatively affecting people’s bodies. The benefits they do pose, if any, aren’t worth the side effects. They’re always going to have to take another form of traditional medicine to combat potential side effects, which is a vicious cycle. Baile y BaStien Kinesiology/sports medicine student

I definitely see the benefits of both. And I do like alternative medicines for aches and pains. But for me personally, I’m more of a fan of conventional medicine, just because I’m type 1 diabetic, so using an alternative form won’t be beneficial to me. He atHer K aminSK y Project coordinator


Leave no small business behind After months of anticipation, the Senate is finally and suburban areas alike. That’s as true in the Sun Belt as prepared to vote on its plan to address our outmoded and it is in the Rust Belt. burdensome tax code. For Nevadans, an important part And right now, small businesses are getting anxious. of the proposed legislation is the substantial small busiIn its new mid-year report, the National Small Business ness tax cut. Association says expansion and planned expansion have Most small businesses are socked with individual rates both dropped, while four in five small business respondents that can reach as high as 40 percent. Add in state and counted reduced rates among their very top priorities local levies, and they can be looking at almost on taxes this year. half their revenues going to D.C. instead of That’s sobering news for Nevadans and contributing to new investment. Americans nationwide, who realize we’ll The All small businesses want to grow. And struggle to succeed if small businesses aren’t most, polling shows, are ready and willing to making gains. Majorities say individual rates recovery was put tax savings into bigger paychecks, larger are too high and small businesses are getting uneven. payrolls and expanded facilities. But the ripped off. Fully 80 percent want a federal structure of the current tax code takes so much tax bill this year that grows and sustains income that small businesses are dissuaded from American jobs. reinvesting in their local communities. Any reduction in the tax burden on small busiNevada’s own recent history tells the tale. Despite ness helps meet those goals. But all small businesses hit unique features of our economy, when it comes to small with unfair individual rates should be given the same relief. business, we’re typical of states across the country. Small After all, they’re in the same boat—and their benefits to firms make up over 40 percent of private-sector employMain Street work the same way from Reno to Rochester. ment, and over 99 percent of all businesses in-state. Earlier this year, President Trump led Congress But also like many states, our economic outlook is to target small businesses for an across-the-board cut mixed. Last year, economic growth exceeded the national from almost 40 percent tax to 25 percent. Americans rate, but so did unemployment. Coming back from the are counting on their representatives to honor that 2008 crisis took time. And as millions of Americans know, objective—and the small firms we all rely on to keep the recovery was unevenly spread. America humming. Ω As the owner of Junk King, I have dedicated my life to servicing my community. I’ve seen how small business underpins economic stability and growth in urban, rural Brian Cassidy is the founder and CEO of Junk King in Reno Nevada.

I don’t have much experience. I’ve always gone your average route. I know some people who have done at least, like, acupuncture, and they seem to really enjoy it. I know somebody who would get really bad headaches, and she went for acupuncture, and it seemed to help her a lot. Daniel FreD Professor

I think if we focused more on alternative medicine, we wouldn’t have a 9/11 every three weeks from the opioid epidemic. I think our dependence on drugs has led us to a lot of negative consequences. Meditation, mindfulness, chiropractic care—all of that stuff could be just as beneficial as opioids.

GeorGe mcKinl ay University faculty

Do you know what they call alternative medicine that’s been proved to work? Medicine.

12.07.17    |   RN&R   |   5


Subsidy for rich OK’d in dead of night They’re counting on our stupidity and our apathy. That’s the only explanation for the temerity of Republican senators in passing a $1.4 trillion tax bill in the middle of the night with no public hearings and no time for senators to even read the 479-page bill, much less understand its policy implications. Subscribing to the theory that if you say it out loud, it must be true, Nevada’s Sen. Dean Heller continues to insist the legislation isn’t what it is—a massive giveaway to the already wealthy and a stunning blow to everyone else. Heller is proud of his actions, telling a Las Vegas group on Dec. 1, not only did he vote for the bill, he helped to write it. The truth is the reverse-Robin Hood tax bill is a disaster for everyone but the richest Americans. The only thing more disgusting than the bill itself is the mendaciousness of Republican senators in describing it as a middle-class tax cut. The process by which the bill was developed was profoundly disturbing. Right up until the 2 a.m vote on Saturday morning,

6   |   RN&R   |   12.07.17

major adjustments were being made with the purpose of buying off rogue senators who were essentially blackmailing their colleagues with special requests in return for their votes. The overwhelming negative reaction to the legislation was well documented, with some calling it the most regressive in our nation’s history in its zeal to take from the working classes to reward the rich. Several Republicans were brutally honest about their motivation. Rep. Chris Collins told reporters, “My donors are basically saying, ‘Get it done or don’t ever call me again.’” Republicans didn’t seem to care that the bill was tremendously unpopular with voters, economists and governors like Nevada’s Brian Sandoval who had major concerns about cuts to affordable housing and the elimination of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. The deficit hawks who have attacked Democrats for decades as liberal tax-andspenders running up debt for future generations shrugged when the Congressional

Budget Office reported the bill would add more than $1 trillion to the deficit. Only one Republican Senator, Bob Corker, voted against it for this reason. Instead, the Republicans abandoned every pretense of representing their constituents, choosing instead to support their wealthy donors and an increasingly deranged President whose family stands to gain over $1 billion from their actions. And, yes, Trump brazenly lied about that too. The Senate bill must be reconciled with the House bill now, but it’s a foregone conclusion that Trump will sign the final version. The legislation may well get worse if the conference committee decides to keep the worst provisions from each bill, such as the repeal of the individual mandate to purchase health insurance, an action that will result in 10 to 15 percent increases in health premiums while destabilizing the market and separating millions of Americans from their health care. When middle-class families realize what the wealthy have gained at their

expense, there’s going to be hell to pay. The temporary meager tax cuts for the middle class will evaporate quickly and many lower-income Americans will be paying more in taxes. And don’t be surprised if your employer refuses to give you a raise next year when health care premiums spike due to the Obamacare repeal. But you’ll know who to thank for that. The anger of senior citizens will boil over when they realize the result of the Republicans’ “take from the poor and give to the rich” strategy is drastic cuts in Medicare under the guise of deficit reduction. The only effective remedy to this debacle is to show them we’re neither stupid nor apathetic and replace every last Republican on the 2018 ballot. Are you in? Ω

A comic “news” report on the GOP tax bill:

by Brendan Trainor

Avoiding an accidental nuclear war While Russia! Russia! Russia!, sexual harassment allegations and major tax legislation are sucking the air out of the news, the U.S. is upgrading its nuclear weapons at a cost expected to top a trillion dollars. President Trump is enthusiastic about the nuclear weapons upgrade, which was begun by President Obama. President Eisenhower made nuclear weapons the backbone of U.S. defense strategy. He correctly saw the threat of a nuclear exchange would mean fewer conventional wars. It is inconceivable that major nuclear armed nations would attack each other conventionally because they know their adversaries could launch a desperate nuclear strike. World War II was probably history’s last large-scale, conventional war. Nuclear weapons have made large conventional wars too risky, but they have presented a new and deadlier risk—an accidental first strike. Congress is holding hearings because some

congressmembers worry the president could start a nuclear war over a tweet. The nuclear triad consists first of the land based Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) in hardened silos in the Northern Plains states (NPS) of Wyoming, Montana and the Dakotas. Next comes the nuclear submarine fleet, and finally the long range bomber fleet. The hair trigger for accidental nuclear war lies with the aptly named Minuteman ICBMs. They can launch in five minutes and reach their targets in Russia and China in 30 minutes. Fortunately for humanity, both the U.S. and Russia have avoided ordering a retaliatory strike when glitches caused computer screens to light up with a false attack. Who knows if later humans involved in another false alarm will display the same coolness under pressure and delay a catastrophic retaliatory launch. The people of the Northern Plains States are unwitting pawns in a new “flypaper” nuclear defense. The Iraq War

flypaper strategy held that our occupying troops presented a target of opportunity (a flypaper) for jihadis the world over to come to Iraq like flies. In theory, we could kill them easily, and they would be too busy fighting the U.S. over there to attack the homeland. History shows that it didn’t quite work out that way, but government is notorious for recycling bad ideas hoping they will have better results next time. The people of the Northern Plains States are the flypaper—or rather, the ICBM silos built among them are. Because ICBMs have such quick launch and delivery times, a real first strike would be primarily targeted at the lightly populated Northern Plains States to knock out our second-strike ICBM launch. The much more heavily populated East and West coasts would be less targeted. The elites will have more time to get to their underground bunkers. Instead of upgrading our nuclear triad, we should be converting to a DYAD.

Eliminate the ICBMs, don’t upgrade them. We should urge other nations to follow our example. The nuclear submarine threat is daunting enough and does not carry the same first-strike hair trigger. Submarines are not detectable; they can be very close to a target and carry devastating destructive power. Defense Secretary General James Mattis has told Congress it should consider scrapping the ICBMs. Former Defense Secretaries William Perry and Leon Panetta have also questioned the need for the Minuteman ICBMs. America and Russia have enough nuclear armaments to end life on Earth. Numerous international polls show the world considers America the greatest threat to peace. A very good first step to change that perception would be to declare an elimination of our Minuteman ICBMs. They are not needed for defense and are the most likely nuclear delivery system to cause an accidental nuclear exchange. Ω

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This publication was supported by the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health through Grant Number 6NU62PS003654-05-06 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health nor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

12.07.17    |   RN&R   |   7

by Dennis Myers

Joseph Crowley 1933-2017 Joseph Crowley’s first decade at the University of  Nevada, Reno was spent as a student and political scientist. After 12 years on campus, he became president. There was some surprise at Crowley’s 1978 appointment as president. A political scientist noted for  writing about race and an ally of student radicals,  Crowley’s best book, Democrats, Delegates, and Politics in Nevada, was a witty account of his experience  as a McGovernite in 1972. None of these were designed  to endear him to the state’s establishment, but he  survived and thrived, becoming the campus’s longest  serving president—and the only one to his time who  left office without being fired, forced out, or otherwise  departing under a cloud. Crowley served during a particularly challenging  period. The Reno campus grew, which it could not avoid  doing in the late 20th century, but it was a growth that  paled by comparison with the University of Nevada,  Las Vegas, which often leaped ahead in double-digit  percentages while UNR stayed in single digits. Crowley  had to compete with his southern counterparts, such  as Robert Maxson, and did not always prevail. The  liberal president allied with legislative conservatives to  protect the Reno campus.  Among expansions during Crowley’s tenure were  the creation of a College of Human and Community  Sciences and a School of Journalism, though he found  it awkward explaining the naming of the journalism  school for newspaper and broadcasting executive  Don Reynolds, who had been stripped of his Las Vegas  broadcasting license for double billing. Crowley did a  two-year turn heading the National Collegiate Athletic  Association and later wrote a history of the NCAA. Crowley’s lengthy tenure was a source of debate.  By the late 1980s, even some of his own supporters  believed his administration was becoming tired, but he  showed no sign of stepping down. He stayed in office  until 2001 and returned to serve as interim president  in 2005-06. He even did a turn as interim president at  San Jose State in 2003-04. After stepping down at UNR,  he lobbied at the Nevada Legislature and remained a  presence on campus, as both instructor and student. In one piquant gesture in retirement, he let his name  be used in an application for a marijuana dispensary.

where Credit is due Those distressed by a Nov. 17 Reno Gazette-Journal  report of the youth racial climate in Yerington could  have read of the problem earlier in the Sparks Tribune. In three columns on Oct. 20 (“You’ve Got to be  Taught to Learn to Hate”), Oct. 28 (“Mississippi West  Don’t Need No Education”), and Nov. 8 (“The Poisoning  of Old Pizen Switch Proliferates”), columnist Andrew  Barbano reported on a Yerington online posting that  carried the caption, “The redneck god of all gods we  bout to go nigger huntin.” We referenced that disclosure in our Nov. 9 editorial. Barbano also reported on  officials playing fast and loose with Lyon County public  records and an FBI contact with NAACP officials. On Nov. 1, Barbano noted that other media “are now  working the story. I’ll upload all the viral photos with  the expanded online edition of this column at Barbwire,” making the job easier for other journalists. The RGJ article expanded on the story but made no  mention of Barbano’s early reports.

—Dennis Myers

8   |   RN&R   |   12.07.17

Washoe School Superintendent Traci Davis responds to questions during a meeting at Hug High School. PHOTO/DENNIS MYERS

The new 2,500-student school is intended to replace Hug High School, which serves about 1,450 students and was constructed in the late 1960s. Hug would not be demolished. It would be converted to use as a career/tech “academy.” Hug’s students, augmented by students from three other high school districts, would then go to the new school. As it did during the election campaign for a sales tax hike for school construction, the District is brandishing double sessions as a warning against delays: “This school needs to open in time for the 2021-2022 school year in order to avoid possible double sessions, where the District would essentially operate two high schools out of the same building,” read a handout at a public meeting held last week at Hug.

School district learns

While golfers have carried the ball on opposing the Wildcreek site up to now, residents at the Hug meeting did not raise golfer concerns so much as other, quality-of-life issues, and they did not always get answers. In fact, the impression was strong that the school district scheduled the Nov. 30 meeting to combat the impacts of the golfers’ attacks and that officials were not really ready to answer some of the questions raised. One student asked if the new high school would be a Title I school, meaning a school that qualifies for financial WCSD meeting of the capital funding assistance under Title I of the Elementary protection committee, the WCSD and Secondary Education Act as a confirmed no studies have been done at result of high numbers of students any of the other sites.” On Nov. 20. the from low-income families. The school district released a report representing district knows where the students for due diligence on other sites as well as the proposed Wildcreek school would Wildcreek. be coming from, so it could probably The golfers also complained estimate how many low income about Washoe now having students will attend, but the “one of the highest [sales] numbers had not been run tax rates in the nation,” The School yet, and an answer could but the golfing communot be given to the student. District has nity took no part last A resident who had year in the opposition headed off concerns concerns about traffic to WC-1, the ballot as they have been patterns and flow encounmeasure that imposed tered the same problem. raised. the sixth Washoe sales Nevertheless, district tax hike for schools in chief operating officer Pete the county, so their concern Etchart and superintendent Traci is pretty tardy. The Wildcreek Davis fielded many questions carehigh school, if it is built on the schedule fully, both in the meeting portion and the District is seeking, would be the first in informal chats before and after the school funded by WC-1 revenue.

Public concern shapes site process An aggressive drive against the proposed high school on the site of part of Wildcreek Golf Course has slowed but not halted the steady forward progress of the project. Golfers and some residents near Wildcreek felt all along that the Washoe County School District was trying to slide the site past all players without adequate scrutiny. The District slowed its pace and met various criticisms as they were floated. Golfers held an Oct. 25 community meeting at the Elks Lodge to drum up opposition to the Wildcreek site during which they argued that the school district had failed to do “due diligence” on other sites besides Wildcreek. “The WCSD would like you to believe that [Wildcreek] is the best and economical site for this project,” read a poster urging attendance at the anti-Wildcreek meeting. “This is not true. At a recent

unAnswered questions

In a laundromat, a poster urged residents to attend an anti-Wildcreek meeting. PHOTO/DENNIS MYERS

meeting, with the result that many residents came away fairly satisfied. “I was a lot more concerned before tonight,” one parent said. But others dug in their heels. “We’ve got a lawyer,” said a resident of the Wildcreek neighborhood. “We’ll slow this thing down.” The District has also been proceeding on other tracks to line its ducks up in a row. The school district formed a seven-person panel experienced in building and planning to assess two sites near Truckee Meadows College, one near Sun Valley, and Wildcreek. The panel agreed that Wildcreek was the best site. An engineering firm hired by the district to make another assessment came down the same way.

Along the way, a plan to transfer the land by August fell by the wayside, stymied by resident questions and community concern. Wildcreek is owned by Washoe County, and the Reno Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority runs it. The RSCVA sees the golf course as a money-losing burden, so it is likely to go along with the School District’s plans. Indeed, there has been smooth cooperation among the three governmental entities for months. That’s less true in the city councils, where Reno’s Paul McKenzie and Sparks’s Ed Lawson have been critics. But the councils have limited ability to affect the outcome of the site process. The way the District has headed off concerns before they became major problems has kept the Wildcreek project moving forward. There is an array of issues die-hard opponents could bring to the fore to try to slow the project, such as flight paths and drainage, but if the District continues to address them as they have so far, the project may be hard to stop. At the Hug meeting, Etchart said the District may make an offer for the property at a joint meeting of the Washoe County Commission and RSCVA on Dec. 12. Ω

darryl Feemster 1962-2017

Live entertainment tax of 9

not included in ticket price.

About a thousand people turned out at a memorial at Sparks Christian Fellowship for former Reno city councilmember Darryl Feemster Sr. Feemster, manager of youth and senior services for the city, was closely identified with the Sutro/ Oddie areas where he spent his life, serving as chair of the Northeast Neighborhood Council and program director of Glenn Duncan Elementary School’s Family Focus Center. He was a leading force in the creation of the Duncan/Traner branch of the Washoe County Library and there is now an effort underway to name the branch for him. The esteem in which Feemster and his family were held was seen in an incident a quarter-century ago. Feemster’s 7-year-old son was the victim of a hit and run driver. A neighbor chased the driver until he was apprehended. When Feemster and his wife returned home from the hospital, they found a meal waiting for them, prepared by neighbors whose children saw the accident and told their parents. PHOTO/jeri cHadwell

12.07.17    |   RN&R   |   9

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what the doctor

by Jeri CHaDwell jer ic @n ew s r ev iew . c o m


Homeopathic Medicine the same year. Since then, he’s been practicJames Forsythe has been practicing medicine for more than half ing what’s known as integrative oncology—a mix of conventional a century. medicine and homeopathy. Forsythe says he’s using this blend to He received his medical degree from the University of California, successfully treat cancer. However, his approach is condemned by San Francisco in 1964. After a residency in pathology at Tripler many in scientific and medical communities. Army Hospital in Honolulu and a tour in Vietnam, he returned to San Steven Novella—a clinical neurologist at the Yale Francisco for an internal medicine residency and an oncolUniversity School of Medicine and executive editor ogy fellowship. of the blog Science-Based Medicine—wrote in Forsythe started practicing oncology in Reno 2015 that alternative medicine practitioners are in 1974. Thereafter, his names appears often in “actively trying to weaken and muddy the local newspaper archives—for board appointscientific and academic standards of medicine ments to the Washoe County arm of the and the regulations that maintain them.” American Cancer Society in the 1970s, for In September, when it was announced a local AIDS hotline he started in 1985, as that the University of California, Irvine had an occasional contributor of letters to the accepted the largest gift in its history—$200 editor, and as an expert voice on healthmillion from Susan and Henry Samueli for related stories. the establishment of an integrative health Today, though, Forsythe claims he’s program—Novella wrote: unable to even gain an audience with the “When confronted with claims of staff of the Renown Institute for Cancer to integrative medicine, you have to always ask present the results of a seven-year study he’s yourself, what exactly are they integrating? If been conducting with stage IV cancer patients. mainstream medicine, by its own standards, uses Why would a hospital ignore requests from a interventions which have been shown to be safe longtime local doctor to present his data to its team? and effective, the only things left to integrate are According to Forsythe, it’s at least partially related Dr. James Forsythe is an oncologist treatments that have not been shown to be safe to the type of medicine in which he specializes. and homeopathic doctor who has been practicing medicine for more and effective. Some of these unproven treatments Forsythe isn’t just certified in internal medicine than 50 years. He claims integrative are also highly implausible, sometimes to the and oncology. In 1995, he earned a homeopathic oncology is more effective than conpoint that they are essentially magic potions and certificate from the British Institute of Homeopathy ventional medicine. witchcraft.” and was certified by the Nevada State Board of

A local doctor  says his  alternative  cancer  treatments are  being ignored

“what the doctor ordered?” continued on page 12

12.07.17    |   RN&R   |   11

“what the doctor ordered?” continued from page 11 PHOTO/JERI CHADWELL

to the letter In a May 10 letter to Dr. Steven Althoff, chief of staff at Renown, Forsythe wrote, “I am requesting from you an opportunity to present my report and data to Renown’s Cancer Staff or even the General Medical Staff. I have tried numerous times with the Cancer Center but have always been met with rejection and stonewalling.” Forsythe said he also made several calls to Althoff but received no response. He said he was eventually able to schedule a meeting with two high level administrators at the hospital but claims that—after speaking with them about his study—he was told the cancer center is the “economic engine that drives the hospital,” and there would be no incentive to change its operations. Renown declined to acknowledge Forsythe’s accusation or, indeed, whether or not it has any record of such a meeting having taken place. The hospital also declined requests for interviews with its doctors. It did, however, issue a statement concerning its procedures for the identification of new treatment protocols and noting that the hospital “has no involvement in independent investigations or drug trials conducted outside the oversight of Renown Research Office. Community physicians conducting clinical trials can share promising results with fellow physicians for peer review or submit those results for publication by medical journals to advance the field.” In his letter to Althoff, Forsythe noted that he’d reported the results of his study at the International Organization of Integrative Cancer Physicians in San Diego on April 29. “I had an audience of over 500 doctors and cancer patients present and reported on 1,000 patients accrued since [June 2010] now nearly seven years into a prospective study achieving a 64 percent survival rate,” he wrote. “My competition for this study was reported in the Clinical Journal of Oncology 2004 in which 5 years of survival on Stage IV disease was a dismal 2.1 percent.” The “competition” to which Forsythe refers is traditional chemotherapy. And according to him, the widely discredited study he cites showed only a 2.1 percent survival rate for chemotherapy recipients. (The study is discussed in greater detail later in this story.) Forsythe may not have found an audience for his study results at Renown, but his integrative treatment practices certainly aren’t a secret. He’s the author of numerous books on the topic, including The Forsythe Anti-Cancer Diet and The Human Genome Playbook for Disrupting Cancer—both selfpublished through Century Wellness Publishing. (Until recently, the doctor’s clinic was also called Century Wellness. It’s now the Forsythe Cancer Care Center.) He’s also been featured in two books by celebrity-turned-author and cancer survivor Suzanne Somers—Breakthrough: Eight Steps to Wellness and Knockout: Interviews with Doctors who are Curing Cancer and how to Prevent Getting it in the First Place. Somers’ books on health issues often generate headlines like “Breaking: health author Suzanne Somers mostly wrong about science, medicine,” and “Suzanne Somers Reveals That Science Is Hard, Even With A Thighmaster’s Degree.” Furthermore, several aspects of Forsythe’s integrative oncology approach mirror those of other doctors in the field, as do some of his talking points when addressing conventional cancer treatments; many adherents of integrative oncology have made variations on the claim of 2.1 percent survival among chemotherapy recipients. 12   |   RN&R   |   12.07.17

Dr. Forsythe is the author of numerous books on integrative oncology, including many self-published titles.

Renown declined to answer questions regarding the numbers cited or treatments employed by Forsythe and others in his field. However, many practitioners of conventional medicine are familiar with both the treatments and the statistics; in fact, some have taken to the internet in recent years specifically to rebuke them—often beginning with the 2.1 percent claim.

dead wrong David Gorski is the managing editor of Science-Based Medicine. He’s a surgical oncologist at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, where he specializes in breast cancer surgery and serves as the medical director of the Alexander J. Walt Comprehensive Breast Center. He’s also a professor of surgery and oncology at the Wayne State University School of Medicine. Gorski refers to the 2.1 percent survival claim as the “2 percent gambit.” In 2013, he wrote that it “is based on a fallacious cherry picking of data and confusing” the different types of chemotherapy—primary, meaning it’s used as the main treatment for the cancer; and adjuvant, which means it’s used in addition to a treatment like surgery. In a 2011 blog post, Gorski took aim at the study from which variations of the 2.1 percent claim arise. It’s titled “The contribution of cytotoxic chemotherapy to 5-year survival in adult malignancies” and was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in 2004. Of it, Gorski wrote: “It turns out that this is not such an impressive study.” The research methods are described in its abstract as “a literature search for randomised clinical trials reporting a 5-year survival benefit attributable solely to cytotoxic chemotherapy in adult malignancies.” So, basically, the researchers were looking to see to what extent chemotherapy contributes to five-year survival rates in adult cancer patients. To that aim, their review included more than 150,000 cases of cancer in the U.S. and another nearly 73,000 in Australia. These were all in adults who were diagnosed in 1998 with one of 22 types of malignancies. For each type of cancer, they determined the number of cases in which chemotherapy was attributed with survival and divided it by the total number of cases to arrive at a “percentage of 5-year survivors due to chemotherapy.” Then, the researchers extrapolated the outcomes to all cancers. In their review of U.S. cases, they determined “the absolute number of 5-year survivors due to chemotherapy” was 3,313. Dividing this by a total of 154,971 cases, they arrived at 2.1 percent as chemotherapy’s overall contribution to survival.

However, when considered independently, the survival rates attributed to chemo were much higher for certain types of cancer included in the study—37.7 percent for testicular cancer and 40.3 percent for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, for example. And according to Gorski, the study “appears almost intentionally designed to have left out the very types of cancers for which chemotherapy provides the most benefit.” He pointed to the fact that leukemia cases were not included, even though it “is one type of cancer against which chemotherapy is most efficacious.” A letter to the editor attributed to four Australian doctors was published in the journal a year after the study and noted other problems, including that the researchers did not address the benefits of chemotherapy in treating advanced cancer. “Many patients with cancers such as lung and colon present or relapse with advanced incurable disease,” the doctors wrote. “For these conditions, chemotherapy significantly improves median survival rates, and may also improve quality of life by reducing symptoms and complications of cancer.”

“When confronted with claims of  integrative medicine, you have  to always ask yourself, what  exactly are they integrating?” – Dr. Steven Novella Of course—all potential issues concerning scientific rigor aside—there’s an arguably larger problem with study, and that’s the way it is misrepresented by alternative medicine adherents. Nowhere in the study does it suggest that only 3,313—or 2.1 percent—of the U.S. cancer patients surveyed survived. Yet, somehow that is the claim that most often arises.

By the numBers The National Cancer Institute (NCI) runs the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program, from which the Australian researchers drew their U.S. data. It’s a resource for information on the incidence and survival rates of cancer in the United States—which vary by type and stage. Information from the SEER program for people diagnosed with breast cancer between 2007 and 2013 reveals a five-year relative survival rate by stage. For people with stage 0 and stage I cancer, the survival rate is nearly 100 percent. For those with stage II cancer, it drops to about 93 percent. For stage III, it’s 72 percent. In cancers that have metastasized— spread to other parts of the body—the five-year relative survival rate is much lower, around 22 percent. According to the nonprofit, chemotherapy is frequently employed to “treat all stages of breast cancer, including cancer that has come back in the breast area and breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.”

With such high survival rates, it is clear breast cancer patients are not being killed by chemotherapy. Yet some women refuse it anyway. In a November 2017 blog post on Science-Based Medicine, Gorski explained that in the case of breast cancer (among some other types) “surgery is the primary treatment and can be curative by itself.” What chemotherapy and other adjuvant treatments like radiation therapy or hormonal therapy do is decrease the chance of cancer recurring after surgery. According to Gorski, “All a woman does by refusing recommended chemotherapy after surgery is to refuse a relative decrease in their risk of dying of a recurrence of breast cancer.” That relative reduction is between 25 and 30 percent—a benefit, which Gorksi said, “is, in absolute terms, much greater for more advanced but still curable breast cancers.” He has also written often about the number of women who turn down chemotherapy—or other adjuvant treatments—in favor of alternative therapies, which he alternately refers to as “woo” and “quackery.” Over the years, Gorski has taken particular aim at Suzanne Somers—calling her a “celebrity know-nothing” and her book Knockout “dangerous misinformation about cancer.” A week after it was published, he wrote in a blog post, “Let’s get one thing straight here. It is most definitely not, as implied by various articles about Somers, in any way amazing that Somers is still alive after having ‘rejected chemotherapy.’” In the post, Gorski explained that Somers had stage I breast cancer and underwent surgery followed by radiation. With those two treatments, he estimated she “had an 88.6% chance of living 10 years without any chemotherapy” or hormonal therapy. Somers has several times credited her survival to the refusal of chemo and hormonal therapy. Like other alternative medicine adherents, she uses the terms, “cut, burn and poison” in place of “surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.” In truth, though, many of the alternative treatments Somers has endorsed—including some

of Forsythe’s—have come under heavy fire from the scientific community.

Breaking with protocol Forsythe calls his cancer treatment blending conventional and alternative medicine the Forsythe Immune Protocol. A part of the protocol is the use of low-dose, insulin-potentiated chemotherapy—which Forsythe said is 10 percent of a normal dose. This type of chemo is often called insulin potentiated therapy. According to a page on the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center website, it involves, “administering insulin at the same time as chemotherapy drugs, with the idea that lower chemotherapy doses are then needed because insulin lets more of the drug enter cells. However, this has never been proven experimentally.” The page warns that, in general, insulin shouldn’t be taken by people who are not diabetic as “it can decrease blood sugar to dangerously low levels, causing symptoms such as headache and delirium.” Forsythe also utilizes a product called Poly-MVA (sometimes called Polydox), which he says contains lipoic acid, palladium, minerals, vitamins and amino acids. According to Forsythe, “By using the palladium and lipoic acid complex, it forces the cancer cell into an apoptosis cycle—cell death.” But according to the Sloan Kettering website, “Polydox (Poly-MVA) has not been shown to treat or prevent cancer, lupus, asthma, HIV, or any other medical condition,” and its inventors and promotors make many claims about it “that are not supported by any scientific evidence.” In 2012, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning letter to Poly-MVA’s creator, AMARC Enterprises, Inc., concerning its marketing of the product as a treatment for cancer. The letter noted that Poly-MVA is “not generally recognized as safe and effective” in treating the condition for which it was advertised,

meaning that it would be classified as a new drug and would need to undergo FDA approval before being legally market in the U.S. Poly-MVA is still not an FDA approved drug but is available, including online, as a supplement. Other therapies Forsythe endorses—like alkalization therapy, detoxification and the use of essential oils in treating cancer—have also been widely criticized. But Forsythe maintains that the treatments are effective and that criticisms of them by conventional doctors and the scientific community are often related to influence from the pharmaceutical industry. “I think it is very important that your readers know that they should look for options,” Forsythe said. “They shouldn’t just rush in and start chemo or get under the knife the next day without thinking about it, or just go under the radiation beam. With the internet now, they can find out so much information.” Of course, he’s right about the amount of information that can be found online regarding cancer treatments. Take, for example, laetrile. Also known as amygdalin, it’s a naturally occurring chemical compound found in plants like apricots—famous for being promoted as a cancer cure. Forsythe said it’s an example of an effective treatment that’s been shelved by big pharma. Laetrile hasn’t received a lot of mention since a 1980 National Cancer Institute study documented its inefficacy—and the drug was being condemned by medical professionals for years prior to that. In fact, Forsythe was among the doctors to decry its use. In a November 1979 letter to the editor published in the Reno Evening Gazette, he criticized the parents of a boy who had died after receiving a mix of laetrile and chemotherapy in Mexico, writing, “The sad fact is that as parents, we can certainly understand the desire to protect a child against some of the distressing toxicities of chemotherapy, i.e. hair loss, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, etc.; however, when the end result is cure over certain death, then it is mandatory that there be laws to protect the child from the ignorance of his parents.” Ω

give gifts 12.07.17    |   RN&R   |   13

photo/Kris VAGNEr

by kriS vAgner

soldier’s stories A SpArkS nAtive hAS A new book of StorieS About everydAy life in A modern wAr


raq veteran Caleb Cage wrote a book of short stories, Desert Mementos, published this year. With the war as a backdrop, Cage delves into the inner workings of the people it affects as they go about their jobs. Most of the stories take place in Iraq, though Cage’s characters carry their Nevadan memories and sensibilities with them. In “Operation Battle Mountain,” for example, as a soldier checks to make sure the Humvees are supplied and prepares for a night mission, part of his attention is on his job, part of it on the safety of an Iraqi translator he’s befriended, and another part of it on his wife, who’s nearing the end of a difficult pregnancy back home. In “This Is Not Burning Man,” soldiers on duty watch Burning Man coverage on Fox, phone-prank a colleague, and contend with annoying office minutiae such as a memo dictating font size. Cage talked to the RN&R about the process of conceiving and writing these stories. You get into pretty precise detail about soldiers’ internal workings—things like missing family members and intrapersonal conflicts between people when they’re on watch duty. Did you aim to address people like me, who know nothing about military life, or were you writing for an audience of your peers?

14   |   RN&R   |   12.07.17

Caleb Cage is the author of Desert Mementos, a book of short stories about everyday life on active duty.

I didn’t really presume to have an audience or a goal in mind. I wanted to write the stories that I wanted to write. People have asked me, “So, were you trying to make me feel this certain way with this story?” … Honestly, as I was writing these, I was trying to say something that I thought was meaningful about the war, or Nevada, or Iraq. … I am very much interested in the idea of using literature to bridge the gap between people who have maybe experienced these things, and people who have not. And there are going to be people who disagree with my take on the wartime experience as well. To be able to have these conversations is, in my opinion, the ultimate goal of the humanities in general, particularly fiction writing, in this case. That’s how it reads, not like you were trying to speak for anyone else—or be comprehensive. It bugs me when other people speak for me, so I want to be careful about speaking for others.

To what extent are your narrators really you? There’s one story in there, the Burning Man story. I served in the Joint Operations Center in Iraq in 2006, and got the observation, so the place is there. I think I actually read Brian Doherty’s book [This Is Burning Man] while I was there—those sorts of things. All of it is influenced by my own experiences. Let me give you a better example. In “Operation Battle Mountain”—my wife is from Battle Mountain—she was pregnant with our first child when I wrote that. It focuses a lot on the themes of what fatherhood is, what a father’s role is in the family, especially while he’s away, and how he commits between his career and all that stuff. Pretty clearly I was wrestling with those things as I wrote that. The other thing I’d say about the stories in general is—with the exception of the Burning Man story, they’re all kind of dark. They’re fairly dark stories. I think that’s a reflection of how I was processing my wartime stories as well.

Yeah, they’re dark in the way you’d expect them to be with a war going on—and they’re also dark in a dark office comedy kind of way. That’s a good observation. The war is going on, but humans are still involved in that war. So, it’s all-consuming when it’s intense, at its most intense, but I found, while I was there, there was an awful lot of time that was boring. Now, you’re never completely bored, because you never have control over when things are going to go south or go negative. But I tried to convey that. The first story [“Tonopah Low”] is obviously a stand-alone story, and in the eight stories that follow, I intend to sort of explain that first story in some respects. Why is this person making these bad decisions? And so the eight stories that follow are laid out over the course of a one-year deployment, and I think what I felt while I was there, was this idea that you get desensitized to the extremity of war over time. You can become a little more callous. You can become a little more focused on survival and things like that. … But, it wasn’t combat every day. There was the threat, or the fear, of combat every day, but over time you would desensitize to that as well. I was trying to capture the big pictures, the high points, thinking about the people, the emotions involved, the stress, but also the lack of control, the lack of ability to control the stressors.

I talk about what connects the people of Nevada and Iraq in these stories. … People will ask, “What’s the same about Northern Iraq and Reno?” It’s really about the people, and it’s about humanity. … I like to point out that the very last words of the last story are, basically, “We’re going to be OK.” And, usually by the time I do that, people will ask me if this was an exercise in catharsis of some sort for me. Was it? Yeah, I think so. The book is dedicated to my wife, Brooke. It says something to the effect of, “For Brooke: you are the happy story you couldn’t find in these pages.” And the story behind that is—my wife is absolutely the sweetest, kindest, most supportive person, and she would read these stories, and they were sad, and she would finish a story like “Operation Battle Mountain,” and she would say, “Can’t you just write a happy ending for one of these stories?” And I really couldn’t. … I wouldn’t have known it at the time, but these things really reflect the emotions I was going through at the time, and the emotions I needed to access, and maybe the emotions that I hadn’t dealt with in my very dry and straightforward non-fiction.

To be able to have these conversations is, in my opinion, the ultimate goal of the humanities in general, particularly fiction writing.

Were you writing while you were still in Iraq? My first book was a memoir, The Gods Of Diyala. I was writing for that one when I was there. I kept a diary and things like that. When you talk about the book at readings, what are the first things you bring up?

Were your peers from the war writing fiction, too?

It’s pretty common. We’ve done some veterans writing workshops, and I’ve gotten to know this small community of Iraq and Afghanistan writers, so you get to know the kind of top-end—Phil Klay, who won the National Book Award, or Matt Gallagher, who’s from Reno, you know, some of these folks—but I think there’s a strong desire for people to want to tell their stories. Ω

12.07.17    |   RN&R   |   15


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Alex (Robert Ives) and Georgie (Debra Lynn Hull) go on a dinner date. It’s not clear where it’ll lead.

Uncertainly An American woman named Georgie walks by the Irish-born Alex in a train station in London, where they both live. She kisses him on the neck, in what seems like an embarrassing but believable case of mistaken identity—at first, anyway. They fumble through a conversation. Alex—polite and impermeable, but maybe a little bit intrigued—keeps trying to put his ear buds back in. Georgie overshares at a mile a minute. It soon becomes clear that her stories don't add up. On another day, Georgie, who is 42, Google-stalks Alex, who is 75, and shows up at the butcher shop he owns. Soon, they become fixtures in each other’s lives. Thus begins Heisenberg, a play by Simon Stephens that opened Off-Broadway in 2015, moved to Broadway, and has been widely staged in the U.S., Canada and London. This month, it’s at Restless Artists Theatre, a black-box theater in downtown Sparks that’s been staging challenging, quirky dramas since it opened in 2016. This stage, with it chalkboard backdrop, is decorated so minimally that it asks audiences to engage in a fairly advanced degree of suspended disbelief. The London skyline is comprised of a small, white outline drawing. Alex has to pantomime cleaning the cases in his shop, and theatergoers need to pretend that there’s wine in the empty stem glasses. Within a few scenes, though, it becomes clear that the omitted sets and props do not amount to cut corners, but to the fact that a performance of Heisenberg is intended to rely almost entirely on the dialog and the actors. An introductory note in the script dictates, “The stage should be as bare as possible. The walls of the theatre should be exposed.” Those omitted props and sets become easier to do without as the characters carry on their strange, new relationship. As their 18   |   RN&R   |   12.07.17


chemistry ebbs and flows, each actor gets a chance to demonstrate quite a range. Bob Ives plays Alex with a charming, realistic brogue, conveying both a stoic façade and the deep cracks beneath it with aplomb. Debra Lynn Hull achieves the sustained awkwardness that it takes to play the frenzied, deliberately hard-to-buy Georgie, and at the moments where her character slips into vulnerability—and what might even be honesty—she is positively magnetic. And, while this is definitely not a comedy, both actors deliver a slow but steady stream of laughs of many varieties, including extra-dry, straight-up farcical, and foot-in-mouth. Step by step, the story reveals that both have lost someone they love, and each one carries the burden of loss as if it’s a different shape, a different weight—a different animal altogether. The story becomes, to a large degree, a meditation on the things that people want, need and expect from each other—sex, companionship, validation, a helping of the other’s emotional or material resources— and how those things can come in various and surprising combinations. And this play asserts that closeness can come in unexpected forms. Alex says, in the second act, “We hold very different perspectives on experiences we imagine we’re sharing, don’t we?” In typical Alex fashion, he delivers this gem without an ounce of fanfare. His gesture, tone and blocking don’t let on in the least that he’s summing up another of the play’s main points. Ω


12345 Heisenberg is onstage Dec. 7-10 and 14-17 at Restless Artists Theatre, 295 20th Street, Sparks. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. For details, visit

by BoB Grimm

b rg i m m @ne w s re v i e w . c o m



“Do you want your oscar now, or should we wait until march?”

Signs of greatness Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri marks three films—and three masterpieces—for writerdirector Martin McDonagh. It also marks another astonishing film achievement for Frances McDormand, who will bore into your chest cavity and do all kinds of crazy shit to your heart as Mildred, a justifiably pissed off mother who has a few issues with the cops in her town. It’s been five years since Mildred’s young daughter was raped and killed by unknown murderers, who finished their awful deed by burning her body. Mildred, who isn’t even close to getting over the tragedy, spies some old, dilapidated billboards on the way home and gets an idea. One meeting with a sloppy advertising agent (Caleb Landry Jones) later, and some guys are commissioned to put some alarmingly provocative signs up on those billboards. Those signs call out Chief Willoughby (Woody Harrelson), a well-meaning but emotional man who, for various reasons, is not on his best game at the moment. He challenges Mildred, claiming the billboards aren’t fair. Her retort: In the time you took to come down here and piss and moan about these billboards, another girl could’ve been butchered. Mildred isn’t very sympathetic these days, and there’s no better actress to portray her steadfast, emotionally raw determination than McDormand. Over two decades ago, McDormand took home the Oscar for playing Marge Gunderson in Fargo, probably one of the nicest law enforcement individuals the movies have ever seen. Mildred is the opposite of Marge; kindness and hugs and Arby’s aren’t big on her mind. She wants her daughter’s killers brought to justice, and she’ll burn buildings down with people inside them to get the investigation going. Yet, somehow, Mildred is just as likeable and worth rooting for as Marge. That’s because McDormand is a fearless master, and a shoo-in for another Oscar nomination at the least. Mildred says

and does things in this movie that will leave your jaw hanging open, and McDormand makes all of these extremes believable. There’s so much happening behind her piercing eyes. It’s the kind of performance that only comes around once a decade. What takes this film to masterpiece levels, besides the technical brilliance that McDonagh always delivers, is that McDormand is joined by a cast that hits every note. Harrelson caps a great year as the lawman who might be nicer than you think. John Hawkes is memorably nasty as Mildred’s abusive ex-husband, while Jones manages many surprises as the billboard man, and Peter Dinklage makes the most of a few scenes as a town local with eyes for Mildred. Oh, and there’s the matter of yet another Oscarcaliber performance from Sam Rockwell—who starred in Seven Psychopaths—as racist, momma’s boy deputy Dixon. There aren’t too many character actors alive who could make Dixon frightening, sympathetic, funny, disgusting and, somehow, hopeful and worthy of redemption all at once. Rockwell’s Dixon, the town drunk and racist homophobe who has a thing for throwing people out of windows, undergoes a transformation that is a kind of movie miracle. Rockwell, like McDormand, is one of the best. That’s also because McDonagh knows how to write a script that keeps you in it for every line. While the film is somewhat a murder mystery, the solving of the crime takes a back seat to watching these folks play off each other. There are scenes in this movie that will knock you on the floor. There’s one particular moment that is so heartbreaking, so shocking, it’s a wonder anybody managed to get it on screen. The year isn’t over yet, but it’s a fair bet to say this one is going to be topping a lot of lists. As for McDonagh, not many directors have come out of the gate with three masterpieces in a row. He’s in an elite class of filmmakers, and he’s just getting started. Ω

Three Billboards outside Ebbing, missouri


Justice League

is a mostly somber affair with a devastating finish. Mitchell continues to emerge as one of his generation’s best actors, while Hedlund does perhaps his best work to date. Both actors put full body and soul into their roles and create characters that definitely leave a mark. The always reliable Mulligan is great as the wife forced to live out her life on a muddy, flooded farm in order to appease her dopey husband. Clarke paints Henry as a man of few commitments and quiet reserve, the kind of guy you can’t depend upon in a fight. (Streaming on Netflix during a limited theatrical run.)

Justice League is a full-blown, expensive mess where our favorite superheroes battle an apocalyptic force while two seriously different directors, Zack Snyder and Joss Weldon, battle with their filmmaking styles. It’s no big secret that Zack Snyder (who created two execrable duds with Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) had to leave late in production. Joss Whedon (The Avengers) stepped in for post-production and major reshoots. The result is a catastrophe. The action picks up after the death of Superman (Henry Cavill), with Batman (Ben Affleck) still brooding while observing Gotham being invaded by bug-like alien creatures. It turns out they’re the envoys of Steppenwolf, the worst special effects/CGI bad guy you will see ever in a blockbuster. To do battle with the otherworldly forces, Batman calls upon the likes of Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), The Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and a resurrected Superman. Gadot still rocks as Wonder Woman in her every moment on screen, and Miller makes for a fun Flash. Affleck seems a bit tired of the Batman role. Momoa is just a wisecracker Aquaman, and Fisher is dreary as Cyborg. Cavill’s Superman is marred by some bad digital work involving the removal of a mustache he had during filming. His face is all messed up. It’s time to scrap everything but Gadot and Miller, and start the whole thing over.


Lady Bird

Greta Gerwig makes her solo directorial debut with a semi-autobiographical look at her life growing up in Sacramento, California and she immediately establishes herself as a directing force to be reckoned with. Saoirise Ronan, who should’ve won an Oscar for Brooklyn, will likely get another chance for her turn as Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson, a Sacramento youth with an artistic yearning for the East Coast and some distance between her and her domineering mom (Laurie Metcalf). This is a coming-of-age story like no other thanks to the insightful writing and brisk directorial style of Gerwig, who makes Lady Bird’s story a consistently surprising one. Ronan’s Lady Bird is a rebel with a good heart, a theater geek who stinks at math, and an emotional rollercoaster. She also gets a lot of laughs, especially in her showdowns with Metcalf, who has never been better. Lucas Hedges, on a roll after Manchester By the Sea and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, is funny and sad as one of Lady Bird’s young love interests, while Odeya Rush is golden as Lady Bird’s best friend, Jenna. Tracy Letts is perfect as the nice dad dealing with warring factions in the household, while Timothy Chalamet (currently racking up awards for Call Me By Your Name) gets perhaps the biggest laughs as aloof other love interest, Kyle. This one is a triumph for Ronan and Gerwig, and, while it would never happen, I’d love to see a sequel about Lady Bird’s college years.



Director and co-screenwriter Dee Rees paints a bleak picture of postWorld War II Mississippi in this performance powerhouse that showcases the talents of Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Clarke and, most notably, Jason Mitchell (Straight Outta Compton). After the war, a traumatized Jamie McAllan (Hedlund) returns home to stay on a farm with his brother Henry (Clarke) and wife Laura (Mulligan). Ronsel Jackson (Mitchell) also returns to the farm but, while both men were regarded as heroes overseas, their return is fraught with alcohol abuse for Jamie and rampant racism from town folks toward African American Ronsel. Henry and Laura have problems of their own dealing with the troubled Jamie and Henry’s hateful father, Pappy (a sinister Jonathan Banks). This is one of those movies that you know won’t end well, and while Rees allows for occasional moments of relief, it


The Man Who Invented Christmas


Thor: Ragnarok

In 1843, when Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol, folks were just getting into that thing we call the holidays, with stuff like Christmas trees and gift giving. Dickens’s novel about a miserable miser named Ebenezer Scrooge, who transforms from an evil, greedy monster to a kind philanthropist throughout its five chapters, helped take the celebration of Christmas to a new level of tradition. The boldly titled The Man Who Invented Christmas spins an entertaining and clever take on how and why Dickens got the idea for the story that would change the world. Coming off a couple of flops after the success of his Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens (Dan Stevens) is doing clumsy book tours to pay the bills. Desperate for a “hit,” he gets an idea for a Christmas book, one in which a greedy man is haunted by ghosts of the past, present and future. The story is meant to be a cautionary yarn about the evils of selfishness, and perhaps less about the joys of Christmas and redemption. As Dickens gets further into his book—and his own psyche—the theme changes to one of hope, and his classic is born. Director Bharat Nalluri, working from a screenplay by Susan Coyne, based on the book by Les Standiford, gets the unique opportunity to tell the making of A Christmas Carol while, in some ways, making yet another version of the famed story itself. The film features Dickens conferring with the fictional characters in his story as he creates them, so we get an Ebenezer Scrooge, this time played by the great Christopher Plummer. Of course, he winds up being perfect for the role.

Somebody was smoking some laced wild shit and licking frogs when they put together Thor: Ragnarok, a film so nutty it easily surpasses the Guardians of the Galaxy films as the screwiest offering in the Marvel universe. When you hand the keys to the Thor franchise over to a director like Taika Waititi, you know you are going to get something bizarre. Waititi is the New Zealand comic actor/director responsible for the hilarious vampire faux documentary What We Do in the Shadows and the funny family drama Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Borrowing from a host of Marvel comics, including the famed “Planet Hulk” storyline, the hallucinogenic plot drops Thor (Chris Hemsworth) on a crazy garbage planet bent on roundthe-clock, violent entertainment and led by Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum, finally getting a high-profile role worthy of him outside of a Wes Anderson film). The Grandmaster cuts Thor’s hair, dresses him in gladiator gear, and throws him into the ring for a weaponized bout with his prized competitor. That prized competitor is the Hulk, held captive on the planet for the past couple of years. He’s been nothing but the Hulk the whole time, with Dr. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) trapped inside him. Thor and Hulk have a battle royale for the ages, followed by some great scenes where the Hulk actually speaks. There’s a whole other apocalyptic subplot going on, where Thor’s long-lost sister Hela (a striking and devilish Cate Blanchett decked out in black) is causing major havoc on his home planet of Asgard. Blanchett immediately sets herself high in the ranking of Marvel movie villains. She’s played a baddie before, but never this entertainingly.






by Holly HutcHings

Margy Ford has been a singer for a long time, and now she’s a frontwoman.

Birds of a feather Roxxy Collie Margy Ford has been singing since she was a teenager. Years ago, a musician she respected pulled her aside at a show and asked her why she wasn’t singing lead. She was shocked and flattered. Although people had told her she could be a frontwoman, she was insecure and reluctant. She found it easy to hide in the background and let other personalities and voices shine. That comment stuck with her for years. In 2015, she and a collaborator—keyboard player Jon Cornell— decided to take the leap and start a band that Ford would front. She was nervous. “I was kind of more like the sidekick one, so for me it was really scary to do this,” Ford said. “But I felt like I had to or I’d regret it forever.” Cornell and Ford brought on Veronica Klinger, a bass player they respected from her time in the band Octarine. Cornell wanted guitarist Steve Barron after seeing him play with the band Wheatstone Bridge. Drummer Nick Ramirez was a natural fit, as he had once joined forces with Cornell and Ford in the band Candyshoppe. The band’s name pays tribute to forensic ornithologist—or bird scientist— Roxie Collie Laybourne. Ford admired Laybourne, as she used to want to become an ornithologist herself. The band’s bird skeleton logo, the long-nosed masks its members wear and even a feather pouf Ford dons in her hair all honor their namesake. At a recent practice, band members adjusted microphones, plugged in a bunch of cords and pedals, and started with a song called “Hard to Port.” It begins off 20   |   RN&R   |   12.07.17


like the background of a video game. The guitars kick in, followed by Ford’s rich voice. With each downbeat of the catchy tune—including the very catchy phrase “confidence, confidence”—the band members swayed intently as they felt the music. Ford belted out the final note of each verse. Roxxy Collie is fine-tuning pieces for an upcoming album, titled Altricial, another reference to the bird world, meaning born helpless and naked, as baby birds are. “It’s our first album, and we’re still developing and growing,” Ford said. The band’s sound is hard to describe, and, when pinned down, its members can’t call it a specific genre. They’ve described themselves as a mix of R.E.M., Annie Lennox, They Might Be Giants, Sex Pistols and Bach. The bandmates calls their sound a juxtaposition of creepy and cute, and there’s a dose of darkness in their lyrics. “I think people just see the bird masks, and they hear the lighthearted sound, and they think we’re just dramatic and a little theatrical,” Ford said. “I don’t think they realize how dark it is.” The songs are written by Cornell. Roxxy Collie gives him the chance to really flex as a songwriter. “I’ve been in a number of bands before and only ever recorded one of my songs before this band,” Cornell said. “This is kind of a big deal for me.” It’s big for the others, too. Klinger credits the band with a lot. “When I’m having a bad day and I don’t want to do anything, I come to band practice and I want to live again,” she said. And Barron and Ramirez feel this band is their religion. Ramirez said, “The band is church. I love the band. I believe in the band. The band is love.” Ω

Roxxy Collie plays at the Marianarchy benefit show on Dec. 8 at Jub Jub’s Thirst Parlor, 715 S. Wells Ave.

This is one of our favorite annual contests here at the RN&R. Write a miniature short story that’s exactly 95 words long. WORD FICTION contest

We want 95 words, as counted by LibreOffice, Google Docs or Microsoft Word. Please email submissions to and include the subject line “Fiction 2017.” Put each story in the body of an email because we won’t open strange attachments. We require the author’s name, email address and phone number listed above each story. (That stuff won’t count toward your word count, and will be removed before judging.) Titles are acceptable, without affecting word count, but not required.

Stories must be received before 9:01 a.m. on January 11. Contest opens December 14, 2017 and we’ll publish the best stories on January 25, 2017 and award prizes to the very best. (The prizes might just be bragging rights and your photo and bio published in the paper. Maybe.)

12.07.17    |   RN&R   |   21


by Todd SouTH




mexican food

2144 greenbrae dr • 775-870-1177

DUI? Call today to defend your rights 775-432-1581 Stover


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Law Offices of Troy Jordan LTD |

A bone-in pork chop with whiskey apple caramel sauce was a show stealer.

Hard stuff give






SAVE 10%

775.499.5855 | 7689 S. VIRGINIA ST

Reno - 11am-8pm Mon-Sat - 11am-9pm Fri - closed Sunday 22   |   RN&R   |   12.07.17

Hard Water House is a cigar and whiskey bar with an upscale lunch and dinner menu. If you sit on the lounge side, you’ll definitely need to be OK with smoking. I recommend starting with a whiskey tasting flight, and, of course, light ’em if you’ve got ’em. Despite the lounge smoke, I didn’t really notice the tobacco aromas during our meal. Having enjoyed the occasional stogie, I may be less sensitive—but even my non-smoking companions seemed perfectly comfortable as we dug into appetizers. We began with plates of large green, red and black Italian olives sprinkled with a bit of parmesan and rosemary ($5.95), and crottin de chevre—pistachio crusted goat cheese cakes ($12.95) drizzled with balsamic fig sauce, served with sliced Fuji apples and pine nuts. The contrast between the two made for a pleasant start. Next, we had two lobster dishes. Maine lobster “escargot style” ($16.95) featured small bites broiled in cognac and lemon herb butter, topped with a bit of puff pastry. The other dish featured chunks of battered tail meat ($22.95) served with brown butter, grilled Meyer lemon aioli and organic micro greens. The flavor and texture on the broiled bites was quite good. The fried pieces were a bit chewy, though they had decent flavor. We added a couple of orders of tacos ($10.95)—housemade corn tortillas stuffed with cabernet-braised short rib of beef, crema, cilantro and queso fresco, with house salsa on the side. The salsa was decent, and there was nice smoke on the meat, but it was a bit lacking in seasoning. The last appetizer we ordered was cast iron crab cakes ($13.95) with hand picked crab, charred organic corn, chipotle aioli and fresh coriander. The dish tasted great, but the bitty bites could have been a bit bigger.


Entrees were served with salads of romaine, spring mix, cucumber, grape tomato, apple and blueberries. A nicely seared salmon filet ($25.95) was laid upon a bed of roasted marble potatoes, sea fennel, ciabatta croutons and asparagus, with a schmear of tomato bisque. This dish was excellent. A similar plate of veggies supported a 13-ounce New York strip steak ($24.95) with pan peppercorn sauce. The meat was cooked so perfectly medium rare, I’m betting it was done sous vide— vacuum-sealed and cooked in a water bath. Heading back to the surf, we tried seared sea scallops ($28.95) set atop crispy risotto cakes, finished with vanilla saffron butter sauce and a side of veggies. The scallop and risotto combination was good, though the sauce didn’t quite fit with the other flavors. A pan roast of shrimp, bay scallop and crab meat ($24.95) was flavorful, served with a hunk of that tasty herb bread. A big hunk of the same short rib ($27.95) used in the tacos was served with garlic mashed potato and veggies. Where the meat was a bit lacking in seasoning, a terrific cabernet sauce and excellent mash pulled it together. This dish was bested only by a Frenched, bone-in pork chop ($23.95) that was doused in whiskey-apple-caramel sauce and served with mashed potatoes, asparagus and apples. So help me, despite my lack of a sweet tooth, that sauce worked—and, combined with the spuds and apples, it was one elevated chop. We couldn’t resist a taste of whiskey ice cream ($6.95, double serving), with apple caramel sauce, blueberries and thin slices of apple. Its delicate balance of flavors made a perfect cap to our evening. Ω

Hard Water House 7689 S. Virginia St., 800-1737

Hard Water House is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Learn more at

by Marc Tiar

Bartender Brittani Nelson pours a pint of Ko¨lsch. PHOTO/MARC TIAR

Half time I thought a small storm might ruin my chance to stop by FiftyFifty Brewing Company in Truckee. My wife and I were high-tailing it home, trying to stay ahead of the weather. We’d just wrapped up our long holiday weekend by shuttling her aunt home to Vacaville and making a stop in Davis—frolicking in the quaint downtown for the night to celebrate our anniversary. Rain came and went as we drove home, but fortunately snow held off, so a lunchtime stop for beer and a bite to eat was in order. It’s not like I haven’t been there before—in the world of beer geeks, FiftyFifty is kind of a disproportionately big deal for one specific reason: Eclipse. It’s a barrel-aged imperial stout, around 11 percent alcohol. It’s released annually. Many barrel-aged imperial stouts are available, but Eclipse stands out, as the brewery makes about a dozen different varieties of it. different varieties. Some are aged in particular whiskey, rye or cognac barrels. Others are flavored with with, for example, vanilla or coffee. Each variety gets a different colored wax dip to identify it. Eclipse was once a coveted specialty. You had to pre-purchase “futures” to secure the most desirable varieties, and the December release party attracted elite beer connoisseurs from far and wide. But as craft beer exploded and comparable beers—many at a more approachable price than the challenging $25-$30 for Eclipse—became available, the cachet of Eclipse waned and now bottles languish on shelves, often well into the following year when the next vintage arrives. This year’s release party on Dec. 7 still sold out, of course, as everyone still loves a high-end beer bacchanal. Ironically, more beers are now catching up to Eclipse’s once-extreme price tier, but apparently the Eclipse thrill is gone for many beer shoppers.

One beer does not define a brewery, though. FiftyFifty is so named because it’s half brewery, half restaurant. The atmosphere somehow feels simultaneously modern and rustic, low lighting giving it a cozy, apres-ski feeling even in the middle of the day with no snow. A good crowd, young and old, locals and visitors alike, enjoyed meals and drinks during our visit. We were greeted and seated promptly. To get a good sample I ordered a flight— five tasters for $11. I really admired the breadth of choices—16 taps, all house beers, from pilsner to 2016 Woodford Reserve Eclipse, and lots of variety in between. I really enjoyed a prickly pear saison and coffee oatmeal stout, though neither the IPA nor Belgian style beer stood out. Although the menu covers a wide range of brewpub fare, the BBQ chicken pizza really hit the spot for us. The restaurant shares space with the smaller, original brewery, but FiftyFifty has increased capacity in recent years, adding a second facility for brewing, barrel aging, and canning. Cans launched just recently with four-packs of CAPA pale ale and Session 267 IPA, both available at Reno area retailers. An imperial red IPA with proceeds benefitting the Truckee Trails Foundation is also sold in cans at the brewery, as well as recent Eclipse and barleywine bottles. For those so inclined, a full bar and impressive wine list are also available. Both satiated, we packed our leftover pizza, shuffled out into the drizzle, and hit the road home. When it comes to imperial stout—or lunch—FiftyFifty Brewing isn’t cheap, but it sure is good. Ω

Guitar Plaza | 9PM | Free Enjoy live music by DJ Rizzo.

Alpine Union Patio | 9PM | $59 Includes VIP access to Alpine Union Patio next to the firepits & an LED bracelet that syncs with the music on Guitar Plaza.

80s Dance Party Featuring Glam Cobra Vinyl | 10PM | $89 Includes an LED bracelet that syncs to the show & champagne toast.

Revolution Ballroom | 9PM | $189 presale, $249 Indulge in a gourmet buffet & open champagne bar while enjoying the variety act show featuring our Electrify burlesque girls.


FiftyFifty Brewing co. 11197 brockway Road, Truckee, California (530) 587-2337 Learn more at

12.07.17    |   RN&R   |   23

THURSDAY 12/7 3rd Street Bar

Frank Perry Jazz Combo, 8pm, no cover

5 Star Saloon

Karaoke, 9pm, No cover

125 W. Third St., (775) 323-5005 132 West St., (775) 329-2878

Bar of america

10042 Donner Pass Rd., Truckee, (530) 587-2626

Polyrhythmics Dec. 8, 10 p.m.  Crystal Bay Casino  14 Highway 28  Crystal Bay  833-6333

the BlueBird nightcluB 255 N. Virginia St., (775) 398-5400

Dance party, 10pm, $5

Dance party, 10pm, $5

Blues Monsters, 9:30pm, no cover

Coburn Station, 9:30pm, no cover

Louis the Child, Louis Futon, Ashe, 8pm, $20-$25

Ann Marie Sheridan, 7pm, no cover

daVidSonS diStillerY

9belowZero, 9:30pm, no cover

10142 Rue Hilltop Rd., Truckee, (530) 587-5711

3rd Street Bar, 125 W. Third St. (775) 323-5005: Open Mic Comedy Competition with host Pat Shillito, W, 9pm, no cover The Improv at Harveys Lake Tahoe, 15 Highway 50, Stateline, (775) 5886611: Liza Treygor, Fri, 9pm, $25; Sat, 9pm, $30; Bob Zany, Larry “Bubbles” Brown, W, 9pm, $25 Laugh Factory, Silver Legacy Resort Casino, 407 N. Virginia St., (775) 3257401: John Wesley Austin, 7:30pm, $21.95; Fri-Sat, 7:30pm, 9:30pm, $27.45; Louis Ramey, Tu-W, 7:30pm, $21.95 Pioneer Underground, 100 S. Virginia St., (775) 322-5233: Justin Rivera, Th, 8pm, $10-$15; Fri, 9pm, 6:30pm, 9:30pm; $13$19; Justin Rivera: Holiday Magic & Comedy Matinee (all ages), 3pm, $12-$15

fine VineS

599 N. Lake Blvd., Tahoe City, (530) 583-3355

Sunday Takeover, 8pm, no cover

Kelly Ann Miller, 9pm, no cover

cottonWood reStaurant

fat cat Bar & grill

Determined, 7pm, no cover

Karaoke Night, 9pm, no cover Release the Greken, 7pm, no cover

6300 Mae Anne Ave., Ste. 3, (775) 787-6300

Post shows online by registerin g at www.newsrev o. Deadline is th e Friday before public ation.

Karaoke with DJ Toni Tunez, 8pm, Tu, no cover Open Mic Night, 9pm, Tu, no cover

DJ Yacub, 9pm, W, no cover

219 W. Second St., (775) 800-1020 3372 S. McCarran Blvd., (775) 825-1988

Line Dancing with Ms. Judy and DJ Trey Valentine, 6:30pm, no cover

the holland Project

AMPS Release Party, 6pm, no cover

140 Vesta St., (775) 742-1858

Traditional Irish Session, 7pm, Tu, no cover

Open Mic, 7pm, Tu, no cover Karaoke Night, 7pm, W, No cover

Twisted Routes, 7pm, no cover

headQuarterS Bar hellfire Saloon

MON-WED 12/11-12/13

The Grouch, Del the Funky Homosapien, DJ Fresh, DJ Abilities, 9pm, $20-$50

538 S. Virginia St., (775) 329-5558


SUNDAY 12/10

DG Kicks Big Band Jazz Orchestra, 8pm, Tu, no cover

ceol iriSh PuB

275 E. Fourth St., (775) 324-1917


Subculture: Zoe Terry, Les Lee, Orlando, 10pm, No cover

555 E. Fourth St., (775) 499-5549

cargo concert hall


juB juB’S thirSt Parlor

Gruve Nation, 9pm, no cover Artemisia Chamber Ensemble, 7pm, $5 Marianarchy Winterball Day 1, 5pm, donations requested

71 S. Wells Ave., (775) 384-1652

Marianarchy Winterball Day 2, 2pm, donations requested

Terror, Fall Silent, Regulate, Berthold City, Momentum, 6:30pm, M, $12-$15 Karaoke Contest, 9pm, W, no cover

the jungle

Outspoken Monday Open Mic, 7pm, M, no cover

liVing the good life

Canyon White, 6:30pm, Tu, no cover Jazz Jam, 7pm, W, no cover

246 W. First St., (775) 329-4844 1480 N. Carson St., Carson City, (775) 841-4663

the loft

1001 Heavenly Village Way, S. L. Tahoe, (530) 523-8024

24   |   RN&R   |   12.07.17

Magic Fusion, 7pm, $20-$45

Magic Fusion, 7pm, 9pm, $20-$45

Magic Fusion, 7pm, 9pm, $20-$45

Magic Fusion, 4:30pm, 7pm, $15-$45

Magic Fusion, 7pm, M, Tu, W, $20-$45

THURSDAY 12/7 The Loving Cup

Jazz Night, 8:30pm, no cover

MidTown wine Bar

DJ Trivia, 6:30pm, no cover

188 California Ave., (775) 322-2480 1527 S. Virginia St., (775) 800-1960



Arizona Jones, 8pm, no cover

Clemón Charles, 8:30pm, no cover

MiLLenniuM nighTCLuB

10007 Bridge St., Truckee, (530) 587-8688

Verbal Kint, 8pm, no cover


906 Victorian Ave., Sparks, (775) 359-1594

pigniC puB & paTio 235 Flint St., (775) 376-1948

T-N-Keys, 4:30pm, Tu, no cover Chris Costa, 7:30pm, W, no cover

Lumbercat, 8:30pm, no cover

Truckee High School Jazz Band, 6:30pm, W, no cover

Lumbercat, 8:30pm, no cover

Acoustic Wonderland, 8pm, no cover

Karaoke, 10pm, no cover

You Play Wednesdays, 8pm, W, no cover

Gina Rose, Johnny Harpo, Olaf Vali Duna, Bazooka Zac DJ Set, 10pm, no cover Josiah Knight, 8pm, no cover

The poLo Lounge

Ladies Night with DJ Bobby G, 9pm, no cover

1559 S. Virginia St., (775) 322-8864

Open mic, 7pm, W, no cover

76 N. C St., Virginia City, (775) 847-7474

shea’s Tavern

KrashKarma, Murderock, Uncle Angry, American Slacker Society, 8pm, $5-$6

sparks Lounge

1237 Baring Blvd., Sparks, (775) 409-3340

Blues Etc. Jam with Tony G & Friends, 8pm, no cover

sT. JaMes infirMary

College Night Disco, 9pm, no cover

sTudio on 4Th

Amoramora, 9pm, $5

445 California Ave., (775) 657-8484 432 E. Fourth St., (775) 737-9776

Dec. 8, 9 p.m.  Cargo Concert Hall  255 N. Virginia St.  398-5400

Sessions, 8pm, M, no cover Corkie Bennett, 7pm, W, no cover

red dog saLoon

715 S. Virginia St., (775) 786-4774

The Grouch

Spur Crazy, 9pm, no cover

906 Victorian Ave., Sparks, (775) 409-3754

paddy & irene’s irish puB

MON-WED 12/11-12/13

Pancho Barraza, Perdidos De Sinaloa, DJ M Gigz, 10pm, $TBA

2100 Victorian Ave., Sparks, (775) 772-6637

Moody’s BisTro, Bar & BeaTs

SUNDAY 12/10

The sainT

761 S. Virginia St., (775) 221-7451

Toys for Tots benefit with Nevermute, Cyanate, Vie, Murder Dream, 9pm, $5

Saturday Dance Party, 9pm, no cover

The Sad Toms Album Release Show with Mourning Eyes and U&I, 8pm, $5

Vibe Friday: Rekoh Suave & DZ Beatz, 9pm, free for women before midnight

Samantha Fe preSentS

Live Events

Friday & Saturday night

Dec. 11, 6:30 p.m.  The Holland Project  140 Vesta St.  742-1858

Live blues, 8pm, W, no cover Local Anthology, 9pm, no cover

2660 Lake Tahoe Blvd., S.L. Tahoe, (530) 544-3425 27 Highway 50, Stateline, (775) 580-7221


Apothic, Matt Bushman, 9pm, $5

whiskey diCk’s saLoon XhaLe Bar & Lounge

Trivia Night, 8pm, no cover


the event

CAll tO bOOK yOuR Ry COmPlimENtA y! DA tO O m DE

Are you reAdy to surrender & commit to the pAth of your divine purpose?

If you have been feeling more sensitive to energy and are searching for clarity & understanding, psychic medium Samantha Fe can help you see yourself & your path more clearly

mEntion this ad & your 2nd drink is on us! Follow us on No matter your level of fitness, there’s a Pilates class for you. Our dynamic class sessions are available at a variety of levels and at convenient class times. Pilates is for everybody who wants to do life.

775.409.3340 1237 Baring Blvd. Sparks, NV

NW RENO (new location) 775-525-0549 1620 Robb Dr Ste C1 RENO 775-298-1678 6815 Sierra Center Pkwy #500 SPARKS (new location) 775-453-4389 2453 Wingfield Hills Rd Ste 110

January 12-14 | atlantis casino resort & spa early bird discount | save $200 by purchasing tickets before dec. 22 | tickets available at

12.07.17    |   RN&R   |   25

3800 S. Virginia St., (775) 825-4700 1) Grand Ballroom 2) Cabaret

Boomtown CAsino

2100 Garson Road, Verdi, (775) 345-6000 1) Events Center 2) Guitar Bar

CARson VAlley inn

Pink Martini

1627 Hwy. 395, Minden, (775) 782-9711 1) Valley Ballroom 2) Cabaret

Dec. 10, 7 p.m.  Grand Sierra Resort  2500 E. Second St.  789-2000



SUNDAY 12/10

MON-WED 12/11-12/13

2) Swinging Chads, 8pm, no cover

2) Swinging Chads, 8pm, no cover Just Us, 10pm, no cover

2) Swinging Chads, 8pm, no cover Just Us, 10pm, no cover

2) Just Us, 8pm, no cover

2) Kick, 8pm, M, no cover

2) Mark Miller, 6pm, no cover

2) Paul Covarelli, 5pm, no cover Rebekah Chase, 9pm, no cover

2) Paul Covarelli, 5pm, no cover Rebekah Chase, 9pm, no cover

2) Stephen Lord, 6pm, no cover

2) Tandymonium, 6pm, M, no cover Chichuachua Desert, 6pm, Tu, W, no cover

2) Terra Bella, 7pm, no cover

2) Terra Bella, 8pm, no cover

2) Terra Bella, 8pm, no cover

2) Polyrhythmics, 10pm, no cover

2) Sam Ravenna, Drop Theory, 10pm, no cover

1) The Unbelievables Christmas Extravaganza, 8pm, $29.95-$49.95 2) The Hellenbecks, 9pm, no cover

1) The Unbelievables Christmas Extravaganza, 3pm, 7pm, $29.95-$49.95 2) The Hellenbecks, 9pm, no cover

CRystAl BAy CAsino

14 Highway 28, Crystal Bay, (775) 833-6333 1) Crown Room 2) Red Room

eldoRAdo ResoRt CAsino

1) The Unbelievables Christmas Extravaganza, 5:30pm, 8pm, $29.95-$49.95


GRAnd sieRRA ResoRt

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Elbow Room Bar, 2002 Victorian Ave., Sparks, (775) 358-6700: Karaoke with DJ Toni Tunez, Tu, 8pm, no cover Jimmy B’s Bar & Grill, 180 W. Peckham Lane, Ste 1070, (775) 686-6737: Karaoke, 9:30pm, no cover The Point, 1601 S. Virginia St., (775) 3223001: Karaoke-Sat, 7pm, no cover Spiro’s Sports Bar & Grille, 1475 E. Prater Way, Ste.103, Sparks, (775) 356-6000: Karaoke-Sat, 9pm, no cover West 2nd Street Bar, 118 W. Second St., (775) 348-7976: Karaoke, M-Sun, 9pm, no cover

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26   |   RN&R   |   12.07.17

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FOR THE WEEK OF dEcEmbER 07, 2017 For a complete listing of this week’s events or to post events to our online calendar, visit RENO SANTA PUB CRAWL: More than 15,000  holiday-clad revelers are expected  to gather in downtown Reno for the  17th annual pub crawl. Dress up in  your favorite Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus,  elf or other holiday-themed costume  and purchase a cup for free access  to participating venues offering drink  specials and other perks. There will be  pre-Santa Crawl activities on Friday  night and Santa skiing on Saturday at  Mt. Rose Ski Resort. The event gives  all proceeds to local schools.  Sat, 12/9, 7:30pm. $5.50. Downtown Reno along  Virginia Street and nearby locations,

ROUGE ART + CRAFT FAIR: The annual holiday  market features handcrafted goods,  local art, a plant bar, coffee by Magpie  Coffee Roasters, sweet treats by Bibo  Freddo and food from Nom Eats.  Sat, 12/9, 10am-4pm. Free. The Holland  Project, 140 Vesta St., (775) 742-1858,




 A.V.A. Ballet Theatre presents its annual  production of the classic ballet and holiday  favorite. Choreographed by Artistic Director Alexander Van Alstyne, the  show will feature principal dancers who have performed with professional  ballet companies such as Ballet West, Houston Ballet and Diablo Ballet in  the leading roles alongside a cast of local talent. The Reno Philharmonic  Orchestra, led by conductor Laura Jackson, will perform Tchaikovsky’s  stirring score. A Sugar Plum Party will be held after the Saturday and  Sunday afternoon performances where children can meet The Nutcracker  characters. Performances are at 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 8, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.  on Saturday, Dec. 9, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 10, at the Pioneer Center for  the Performing Arts, 100 S. Virginia St. Tickets are $27-$65 with discounts for  seniors and children. Call 762-5165 or visit

EVENTS 11TH ANNUAL WILDERNESS WINGDING: Friends  of Nevada Wilderness honors the work of  its volunteers, partners and supporters  with its annual party featuring a light  dinner and refreshments, live music,  raffle prizes, a silent auction and an  awards ceremony.  Fri, 12/8, 5:30pm. Free.  California Building, Idlewild Park, 75  Cowan Drive,

15TH ANNUAL TAHOE ADVENTURE FILM FESTIVAL: The festival highlights the  best adventure sports films of the  year and showcases the action sports  world’s best talent. The night includes  special guest speakers, action photo  displays, breakdancers, DJs and a few  surprises.  Sat, 12/9, 7:30pm. $22-$32.  MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa, 55  Highway 50, Stateline, (775) 588-3515,

39 NORTH POLE VILLAGE: Stroll through  the holiday lights and enjoy free rides  on Engine 39, photos with Santa Claus,  kids’ activities, live entertainment  and decorating contests.  Thu, 12/7-Fri, 12/8, 4-9pm, Sat, 12/9, noon-9pm. Free.  Victorian Square, 801 Victorian Ave.,  Sparks,

CHRISTMAS ART SALE & BOOKSIGNING: The  event features hand-painted neckwear,  Nevada Christmas ornaments, pine  needle baskets, miniature paintings  jewelry and more for sale. Mary Lee  Fulkerson will sign her new book Women  Artists of the Great Basin. The sale  benefits the Nevada Women’s History  Project.  Sat, 12/9, 11:30am. Free. Reno  Buddhist Center, 820 Plumas St., (775)  786-2335,

CONTRA DANCE: Come at 7:15pm for a  beginners’ walk-through. No partner  necessary.  Sat 12/9, 7:30pm. $10.  Southside Cultural Center, 190 E. Liberty  St.,

POLAR EXPRESS TRAIN: The themed train  ride brings the holiday story to life. The  2017 season concludes on Dec. 30. Rides  depart from Carson City Eastgate Depot  at 5pm, 6:30pm and 8pm, ThursdaySunday.  Thu, 12/7-Sun, 12/10. $36-$82.  4650 Eastgate Siding Road, Carson City,  (775) 291-0208,

Truckee Railroad annual holiday train  ride travels for 50 minutes over the V&T  railroad route. Sip hot cocoa or cider  and enjoy cookies and candy canes  while singing carols and listening to the  1832 classic “T’was the Night Before  Christmas.”  Sat, 12/9-Sun, 12/10, noon & 2pm. $9-$19. F Street 1870 V&T Depot, 166  F St., Virginia City, (775) 847-0380.

WINTERFEST: The holiday event returns with  the Holiday Express Train, a custom,  narrated journey around the inside of  the stadium taking riders on a trip from  Reno to the North Pole to deliver Santa’s  Naughty and Nice List. Other highlights  include pictures with Jolly Old St. Nick  in Santa’s Village and ice skating at the  outdoor ice rink. Hours are 5-9pm on  Friday-Saturday and 4-7pm on Sunday,  through Dec. 31.  Fri, 12/8-Sun, 12/10. $6$15. Greater Nevada Field, 250 Evans  Ave., (775) 334-7000.



Reflexions. See new work by University  of Nevada, Reno alumna Joan  Arrizabalaga and treasures from  Sheppard Contemporary & University  Galleries’ permanent collection. The  show runs through Feb. 23. Gallery hours  are noon-4pm, Tuesday-Wednesday;  noon-8pm Thursday-Friday; and 10am8pm Saturday.  Thu, 12/7-Sat, 12/9, Tue, 12/12-Wed, 12/13. Free. Sheppard  Contemporary, University of Nevada,  Reno, 1664 N. Virginia St., (775) 784-6658,

STREMMEL GALLERY: John Salminen—City  Life. This art exhibition by the awardwinning painter is on display through Dec.  16. The gallery is open Monday-Friday,  9am-5pm, and Saturday, 10am-3pm.  Thu, 12/7-Sat, 12/9, Mon, 12/11-Wed, 12/13. Free.  Stremmel Gallery, 1400 S. Virginia St.,  (775) 786-0558,

WEST ST. MARKET: Art Walk Reno. The  evening will highlight public art, murals  and stop at several of the galleries and  alternative venues along the way, including Sierra Arts Gallery, Art Indeed Gallery  and La Terre Verte. Tickets are available  at the door. Proceeds from the evening  will benefit a local nonprofit.  Thu, 12/7, 6pm. $10. West St. Market, 148 West St.,

WILBUR D. MAY MUSEUM: Freedom of  Expression Art Exhibition. Sierra  Watercolor Society returns with an  exhibition of new watercolor paintings.  Artists were invited to explore the theme  of “Freedom of Expression” in landscapes, portraits, abstract and other  styles. Free admission.  Thu, 12/7-Sat, 12/9, 10am. Free. Wilbur D. May Museum,  1595 N. Sierra St., (775) 785-5961.

mUSIc CELEBRATE: Sierra Music Society’s P’Opera! 

ART ARTISTS CO-OP GALLERY RENO: Holiday  Treasures. Artists Co-op Gallery Reno  holds its holiday show offering one-of-akind gift and decorating items, including  paintings, drawings, photography, miniatures, handmade ornaments, jewelry,  pottery, gourds, scarves and holiday  cards. The show runs through Dec.  28.  Thu, 12/7-Wed, 12/13, 11am-4pm. Free.  Artists Co-op Gallery Reno, 627 Mill St.,

BLUE WHALE COFFEE COMPANY: Midtown  Mural Tour. A docent-led tour of more  than 40 of the 70 murals in Reno’s  Midtown District. Local, national and  international artists are represented.  Tickets are available at the door.  Sat, 12/9, 11am. $10. Blue Whale Coffee  Company, 32 Cheney St., (415) 596-4987,

THE HOLLAND PROJECT MICRO GALLERY:  Succulence. The art exhibition features  work by local mixed media artist Katera  Neil.  Thu, 12/7-Wed, 12/13. Free. The  Holland Project Micro Gallery, 945 Record  St., (775) 742-1858,

presents an evening of holiday music.  Reservations required.  Sun, 12/10, 7:30pm. $30. Napa-Sonoma South, 7671 S.  Virginia St., (775) 233-5105,

PINK MARTINI HOLIDAY SHOW WITH CHINA FORBES: The “little orchestra” from  Portland, Oregon, crosses the genres of  classical music, classic pop, Latin music  and jazz.  Sun, 12/10, 7pm. $20-$55. Grand  Sierra Resort, 2500 E. Second St., (775)  789-2000,

SUNDAY JAZZ AT RLT: The Christmas Jazz  show features Susan Mazer, Dallas  Smith and Eric Middleton, who be joined  by Scot Marshall, Graham Marshall  and Ron Savage. They will perform  jazzy arrangements of well-known  Christmas songs, as well as stories  narrated by Scot Marshall. Pay what  you can admission. Proceeds benefit  Reno LIttle Theater and For the Love  of Jazz.  Sun, 12/10, 7pm. Reno Little  Theater, 147 E. Pueblo St., (775) 813-8900,

Tahoe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus  performs selections from Handel’s  Messiah and other holiday carol  favorites.  Sun, 12/10, 3pm. $5-$40.  St. Rose of Lima Church, 100 Bishop  Manogue Drive,

WINTER SONG: Bella Voce Women’s Ensemble  performs its holiday concert.  Sat, 12/9, 7:30pm. Free. St. John’s Presbyterian  Church, 1070 Plumb Lane, (775) 359-1533,

WINTER SONG: Bella Voce Women’s Ensemble  performs its holiday concert.  Sat, 12/10, 4pm. Free. Trinity Episcopal Church, 200  Island Ave.,

WINTER WANDERINGS: Tintabulations  Handbell Ensemble presents its  holiday concert.  Sat, 12/9, 2pm. Free.  Carson Community Center, 850 E.  Williams St., Carson City, (775) 750-8119,

ONSTAGE BUTTCRACKER 8—THE BIGGEST LITTLE BUTTCRACKER IN THE WORLD: Brüka  Theatre presents its parody based on  the holiday favorite The Nutcracker.  This new adventure has Clara and the  gang time traveling into a bizarre bend  on the history of Reno. Performances  are Wednesday-Sunday, Dec. 7-9, 13-16,  20-23.  Thu, 12/7-Sat, 12/9, 8pm; Sun, 12/10, 2pm; Wed, 12/13, 8pm. $22-$30. Brüka  Theatre, 99 N. Virginia St., (775) 323-3221.

EGG NOGGED!: Laughing Owl Productions  presents this original play written by  Adam Whitney. Join Nogg—a shy, clumsy  and unpopular elf on her daring and  magical quest to save Christmas.  Sat, 12/9, 4pm. Free. Victorian Square Plaza,  801 Victorian Ave., Sparks, (775) 737-8942,

THE EIGHT REINDEER MONOLOGUES: Good  Luck Macbeth Theatre Company  presents its holiday production about  eight reindeer dishing the dirt on the  real Santa. Performances are on Dec.  8-10, 14-16, 22-23.  Fri, 12/8-Sat, 12/9, 7:30pm; Sun, 12/10, 2pm. $15. Good Luck  Macbeth, 713 S. Virginia St., (775) 3223716,

JACOB MARLEY’S CHRISTMAS CAROL: Reno  Little Theater presents its holiday  production based on the classic Charles  Dickens tale. Performances are at  7:30pm on Thursday-Saturday through  Dec. 16, and 2pm on Sunday, Dec. 10 &  17.  Thu, 12/7-Sat, 12/9, 7:30pm; Sun, 12/10, 2pm. $12-$25. Reno Little Theater, 147 E.  Pueblo St., (775) 813-8900.

SIAMSA—A CELTIC CHRISTMAS: Reno Irish  Dance Company presents its holiday  production about two sisters searching  for the true meaning of Christmas. The  show features performances by Irish  dance champions Rory Patrick and  Laura Shannon Cass and a cast of Irish  dancers, singers, actors and Celtic  musicians.  Thu, 12/7, 8pm. $25-$55.  Grand Sierra Resort, 2500 E. Second St.,  (775) 745-0820 or (775) 789-2000.

12.07.17    |   RN&R   |   27



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Destiny’s problem child I saw this gorgeous girl at the coffeehouse at the mall two months ago. It was totally love at first sight. I keep hanging out there hoping to see her again. Am I nuts, or does love at first sight really exist? There are those couples who claim they had it—causing mass nausea at dinner parties when they look into each other’s eyes and announce, “From the moment we saw each other, we just KNEW.” Uh, or did they? A Swiss psychology grad student, Florian Zsok, ran some experiments to see what love at first sight is actually made of. Zsok and his colleagues were looking for the three elements that psychologist Robert Sternberg theorizes interact to produce love: intimacy, commitment and passion (made up of physical arousal, desire, excitement and longing). They surveyed participants online and in a lab setting—asking them how they felt about people in photographs— and in three dating events, getting their reactions to people they’d just met. Of the 396 participants, love at first sight “was indicated 49 times by 32 different individuals.” (That rare and wonderful lightning struck twice or maybe three times for some.) And here’s a shocker: “None of the instances of (love at first sight) was reciprocal.” Not surprisingly, none of the participants who said they’d felt love at first sight had the elements of intimacy or commitment as part of their experience. The one element they did have? Passion—in the form of “physical attraction.” As for couples who insist they had love at first sight, the researchers believe they could be retrospectively repainting their first meeting to make their relationship feel more special. The reality: “We just knew” is “we just got lucky.” Reminding yourself that you just have the plain old hots for this girl is probably the best way for you to do what needs to be done—shift to some other activity when the impulse strikes to stake out Coffeeland. Getting stuck on a total stranger this way probably makes it impossible to behave normally in their presence—or want to look closely enough to see

who they really are. As alluring a concept as love at first sight is, in practice it tends to work out best with inanimate objects—a painting or an antique chair (something that doesn’t make big, wet smacking sounds when it chews or take so long to text you back that you buy it a burial plot).

Charles (Darwin) in charge My family enjoys your weekly column, but we’re wondering why you can’t give advice without launching into evolutionary explanations. We aren’t always instinct-driven animals like migrating salmon. It isn’t so bad being a salmon. Salmon just wake up one day and swim like mad upstream. There’s no existential fretting, “What does it all mean?” Meanwhile, back in humanland, research in cognitive neuroscience and in social science finds that we humans aren’t the highly rational, independent thinkers we like to believe we are. In fact, as evolutionary psychologists Leda Cosmides and John Tooby put it, “our modern skulls house a stone age mind”—adapted to solve hunter-gatherer mating and survival problems. This 10-millionyear-old psychology, still driving us today, is often a mismatch with our modern environment. Take our sugar lust, for example. This made sense in an ancestral environment, where eating a couple of berries might have helped prevent malnutrition. Today, however, we can drive to Costco and have some guy load a pallet of doughnuts into our SUV while we burn .0003 of a calorie watching him. Understanding the origins of our motivation is not “evolutionary overkill” but our best shot for possibly controlling our behavior—or at least forgiving ourselves when we fail miserably. Ω


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quicker in 2018, Aries—especially if you refuse to sell out. You may accumulate more clout—especially if you treat everyone as your equal and always wield your power responsibly. I bet you will also experience deeper, richer emotions—especially if you avoid people who have low levels of emotional intelligence. Finally, I predict you will get the best sex of your life in the next 12 months—especially if you cultivate the kind of peace of mind in which you’ll feel fine about yourself if you don’t get any sex at all. P.S.: You’d be wise to start working on these projects immediately.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The members of the

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fungus family, like mushrooms and molds, lack chlorophyll, so they can’t make food from sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide. To get the energy they need, they “eat” plants. That’s lucky for us. The fungi keep the earth fresh. Without them to decompose fallen leaves, piles of compost would continue to accumulate forever. Some forests would be so choked with dead matter that they couldn’t thrive. I invite you to take your inspiration from the heroic fungi, Taurus. Expedite the decay and dissolution of the worn-out and obsolete parts of your life.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I’m guessing you have

been hungrier than usual. At times you may have felt voracious, even insatiable. What’s going on? I don’t think this intense yearning is simply about food, although it’s possible your body is trying to compensate for a nutritional deficiency. At the very least, you’re also experiencing a heightened desire to be understood and appreciated. You may be aching for a particular quality of love that you haven’t been able to give or get. Here’s my theory: Your soul is famished for experiences that your ego doesn’t sufficiently value or seek out. If I’m correct, you should meditate on what your soul craves but isn’t getting enough of.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): The brightly colored

birds known as bee-eaters are especially fond of eating bees and wasps. How do they avoid getting stung? They snatch their prey in mid-air and then knock them repeatedly against a tree branch until the stinger falls off and the venom is flushed out. In the coming weeks, Cancerian, you could perhaps draw inspiration from the bee-eaters’ determination to get what they want. How might you be able to draw nourishment from sources that aren’t entirely benign? How could you extract value from influences that you have be careful with?

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): The coming months will be


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FRee will astRology

a ripe time to revise and rework your past—to reconfigure the consequences that emerged from what happened once upon a time. I’ll trust you to make the ultimate decisions about the best ways to do that, but here are some suggestions. 1. Revisit a memory that has haunted you, and do a ritual that resolves it and brings you peace. 2. Go back and finally do a crucial duty you left unfinished. 3. Return to a dream you wandered away from prematurely, and either re-commit yourself to it, or else put it to rest for good.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The astrological

omens suggest that now is a favorable time to deepen your roots and bolster your foundations and revitalize traditions that have nourished you. Oddly enough, the current planetary rhythms are also conducive to you and your family and friends playing soccer in the living room with a ball made from rolledup socks, pretending to be fortune-telling psychics and giving each other past-life readings, and gathering around the kitchen table to formulate a conspiracy to achieve world domination. And no, the two sets of advice I just gave you are not contradictory.

of my actions, whether they’re good, bad, or misunderstood.” 4. “As I walk out of a room where there are many people who know me, I won’t worry about what anyone will say about me.” 5. “I will only pray for the things I’m willing to be the answer to.”

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): To discuss a

problem is not the same as doing something practical to correct it. Many people don’t seem to realize this. They devote a great deal of energy to describing and analyzing their difficulties, and may even imagine possible solutions, but then neglect to follow through. And so nothing changes. The sad or bad situation persists. Of all the signs in the zodiac, you Scorpios are among the least prone to this disability. You specialize in taking action to fulfill your proposed fixes. Just this once, however, I urge you to engage in more inquiry and conversation than usual. Just talking about the problem could cure it.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): As far back as

ancient Egypt, Rome, and Greece, people staged ceremonies to mark the embarkation of a new ship. The intention was to bestow a blessing for the maiden voyage and ever thereafter. Good luck! Safe travels! Beginning in 18th-century Britain and America, such rituals often featured the smashing of a wine bottle on the ship’s bow. Later, a glass container of champagne became standard. In accordance with the current astrological indicators, I suggest that you come up with your own version of this celebratory gesture. It will soon be time for your launch.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): You may feel quite

sure that you’ve gotten as tall as you’re ever going to be. But that may not be true. If you were ever going to add another half-inch or more to your height, the near future would be the time for it. You are in the midst of what we in the consciousness industry call a “growth spurt.” The blooming and ripening could occur in other ways, as well. Your hair and fingernails may become longer faster than usual, and even your breasts or penis might undergo spontaneous augmentation. There’s no doubt that new brain cells will propagate at a higher rate, and so will the white blood cells that guard your physical health. Four weeks from now, I bet you’ll be noticeably smarter, wiser, and more robust.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): You come into a deli-

catessen where you have to take a numbered ticket in order to get waited on. Oops. You draw 37 and the counter clerk has just called out number 17. That means 20 more people will have their turns before you. Damn! You settle in for a tedious vigil, putting down your bag and crossing your arms across your chest. But then what’s this? Two minutes later, the clerk calls out 37. That’s you! You go up to the counter and hand in your number, and amazingly enough, the clerk writes down your order. A few minutes later, you’ve got your food. Maybe it was a mistake, but who cares? All that matters is that your opportunity came earlier than you thought it would. Now apply this vignette as a metaphor for your life in the coming days.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): It’s one of those

bizarre times when what feels really good is in close alignment with what’s really good for you, and when taking the course of action that benefits you personally is probably what’s best for everyone else, too. I realize the onslaught of this strange grace may be difficult to believe. But it’s real and true, so don’t waste time questioning it. Relish and indulge in the freedom it offers you. Use it to shush the meddling voice in your head that informs you about what you supposedly should be doing instead of what you’re actually doing.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In accordance with

the long-term astrological omens, I invite you to make five long-term promises to yourself. They were formulated by the teacher Shannen Davis. Say them aloud a few times to get a feel for them. 1. “I will make myself eminently teachable through the cultivation of openness and humility.” 2. “I won’t wait around hoping that people will give me what I can give myself.” 3. “I’ll be a good sport about the consequences

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


Moving forward

helping a woman succeed in a job or get a high school equivalency education, and mostly know that she is a capable, smart woman who can move forward. And that’s the biggest story, to see the growth in the belief in when the women start believing, I can do this.

For five years, Pam Russell has  headed the Women and Children’s  Center of the Sierra, which helps  young women who got off track  in high school to get high school  equivalencies and jobs and get  off public assistance and become  independent. Those needing training  or wishing to contribute can get  information from 3905 Neil Road,  Suite 2, 825-7395.

We have a wonderful group of other organizations that we work with— Kiwanis, Reno Initiative for Shelter and Equality. We work closely with Northern Nevada HOPES clinic to sign up people for Medicaid. Washoe County 4-H is providing camps for our kids. I really should have my list out, because there are a lot of places that do work with us. For example, this holiday, just looking at the people that are helping us do our adopt-a-family program, we’ve got the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and the records keeping office at Truckee Meadows Community College. There’s a foundation called the Fairy Godmother Foundation that’s collecting toys. The


As the Center has become more visible, have other entities been helpful to you?

Do they stop by?

mom of a woman using our services is collecting toys. And so, as we continue to do the work that we do and reach out as best we can. Yes, we are seeing more groups that know about us.

I would think this is fairly satisfying work, in that when you are successful, you see those successes happen right away. This is an absolute dream, working here. Some women are flying through. Other women are coming incrementally. Other women come for a while and then we don’t see them, and then they come back and [complete]. Getting service to women could be everything from giving them resources for where to get food, which is going to help their families, to

Just in the last few months, three women that were very successful coming through dropped by. They all have jobs that they like that have allowed them to either completely break free from safety net programs or move away from safety net programs. That is really a huge goal, as well as moving forward.

What are your staffing levels? About the same as when I started here. We have the equivalent of three full-time staff … and with that we serve 350 women and children each month. We are growing in ways that we can afford—for example, relying on the school district to send us someone to do the “Mommy and Me” classes. We have someone coming to do Zumba classes, which is a big hit. The food bank sends someone to sign up for food stamps, and then we have HOPES coming up a couple of times a month to sign up women for Medicaid. So we’re bringing in additional services that are taxing the staff, but we haven’t really added staff. Ω


Governing by stealth Apologies to Irving Berlin (and how  many of you are saying Who?), but  I want to begin this week by getting  appropriately seasonal and singing,  “I’m dreaming of Indict Christmas/ Hope it’s the last one I will  knowwwwwww.” Merry Indictmas,  everybody!  Which brings up a question.  What do you think the chances  are that Dum Dum is president  for more than one Christmas? The  way things are going, do you really  think he’s gonna be anywhere near  D.C. in a year? If it was legal to bet  on political props in Vegas sports  books (and it’s not), I wonder what  the line would be? You remember all that nice  stuff I said about Senators McCain, Murkowski, and Collins a few  months ago after the vote on the  repeal of the ACA? Yeah, well, I take  it all back. Fuck ’em. They all sold  out big time to Mitch and Trump  on this POS tax bill. All of McCain’s 

claptrap about how it’s so frigging important to “respect doing  business in the Senate the proper  way” turned out to absolute, stone  cold, unadulterated balderdash  (which is how stuffy old British dudes used to say bullshit!).  What are we supposed to think  of a gigantic piece of legislation  that was completely marred and  made ridiculous with last minute  changes scribbled illegibly in the  page margins? The goddamn  thing looked like the first draft  of a freshman term paper! What  are we supposed to make of this  handwritten mess of lobbyists’  favors then being voted on almost  instantly, without a reasonable  and proper and professional  rewrite, because these villainous  Retardlican jerkoffs wouldn’t dare  allow anybody, even on a weekend,  to actually read this steaming  shitloaf? And it’s also fair to ask— how many out and out mistakes 

are now included in this mess and  on the verge of becoming law? It’s  utterly embarrassing and a very  sad day for the United Snakes of  America. This is the kind of two-bit  horseshit they pull off in pseudodemocracies like Kazakhstan or  Slobbovia. And we just did it here.  Open, brazen legislative fellatio of  the plutocracy. Yum, yum, yum. And when you get confused and  overwhelmed about the Russia  investigation and your head begins  to throb, just remember this—the  simple truth that’s at the heart  of the whole story. Trump and his  henchmen have been remarkably  consistent about one thing—they  lie about everything. Everything.  Why? This ain’t brain surgery, folks!  Above all, protect the conspiracy.  Above all, protect the conspiracy.  Above all, protect the conspiracy.  Above all, protect the conspiracy.  Above all.  Ω

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