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The whole nine yards Reno’s sewing makeRspace see arts&Culture, page 18

Making Sparks fly

The rail City has changed so much in recent years that some visitors might not recognize it

s e rv i n g n o rt h e r n n e va d a , ta h o e a n d t r u c k e e







Don’t be a hater Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review. Time for the third and final installment—at least for a while—of a recurring feature in this column: Common Questions About the Best of Northern Nevada Readers’ Poll. This week’s question: “Isn’t it just a popularity contest?” The answer, of course, is yes, it’s just a popularity contest. But what’s wrong with that? Popularity contests are the basis of democracy. Elections are also popularity contests. So, if you don’t like the Best of Northern Nevada contest, or if you don’t take the time to vote, you must hate America. (Quick aside: Huge congrats to the U.S. women’s national soccer team for their win in the 2019 World Cup! If you don’t think this team is awesome—dominant on the field and outspoken in their views—or if you don’t think they deserve to be paid the same as their male colleagues, then you must hate America.) And, here at the RN&R, we support some competitive campaigning. Now, we don’t allow ballotstuffing with hired foreign voters or bots or phony email addresses. But if you or your business—or your friend or a family member’s business—has been nominated, then that’s great news and feel free to start shouting it from the rooftops. Or the modern day equivalent, posting about it on social media. In fact, if you’ve been nominated, please reach out to our office manager, Lisa Ryan, and request a social media graphic to enhance your campaign. She can be reached at 324 4440, ex. 3526, or at lisar@newsreview.com. And hurry! This is the last week. Voting ends on July 18. So, do it now! As much as we like fantasyland suggestions that reluctant rulers—maybe crippled children with mystic, psychedelic visions—might make the best leaders, in the real world, we like to root for those who fight to win. Like the U.S. women’s national soccer team.

—Brad Bynum bradb@ ne ws r ev i ew . com

The debates After watching the two Democratic debates, I see they don’t have much to say on policy, granted they only had minutes each to answer the questions. On violence and gun control, may I suggest the government, either local, state or federal, start a buy back program to give people another choice as to the disposition of the guns they no longer want or have acquired by other means—gifts or inheritance. Right now the only choices the gun owners have is to keep the guns. They could sell it or gift it but the only ones who will want it are other gun users. In those cases, the guns are still in circulation. In any of those cases the owner wants to be rid of the gun. Give them another choice and take them out of the market. This is not a mandatory program. No one is forced to give up a gun. It is the owner’s choice. The owner wants to get rid of it, and this is just another option. Dewey Quong Reno Please fix the existing debate format before we have to endure the next. It is paramount for me that the press play no role in selecting my candidate and what I saw in these first examples is a continuation of the press deciding which candidate deserved the most attention. It is simple, folks—ask a question, let every candidate take a shot at responding with a followup if needed. For this many candidates, allowing one-on-one discussions might make for fun TV, but not for informative debate. Those interactions can be saved for when the playing field is final rounds. This would not only be more fair to the candidates, it would also force moderators to stop wasting time on gotcha questions and questions designed only to initiate or perpetuate personal attacks. We won’t hear all the possible questions that can be asked, but we can get sufficient information to provide a first-round filter. Prioritize questions based on already-known differences on issues of general importance and immediate relevance such as child detention centers, the crisis

Jessica Santina, Todd South, Luka Starmer, Bruce Van Dyke, Ashley Warren, Allison Young 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 Associate Editor Jeri Davis News Editor Dennis Myers Special Projects Editor Matt Bieker Calendar Editor Kelley Lang Contributors Amy Alkon, Kris Vagner, Bob Grimm, Andrea Heerdt, Holly Hutchings, Shelia Leslie, Josie Glassberg, Eric Marks,

Creative Services Manager Elisabeth Bayard Arthur Art Directors Maria Ratinova, Sarah Hansel Publications Designer Katelynn Mitrano Publications & Advertising Designer Nikki Exerjian Ad Designers Naisi Thomas, Cathy Arnold Office Manager Lisa Ryan RN&R Rainmaker Gina Odegard Advertising Consultant Caleb Furlong



in the gulf, general foreign policy (let them make their elevator speech if they want), etc. You can get to the other questions after these highly indicative filtering questions are responded to. At this point, the job of the press is to provide a way for voters to do their own filtering if they haven’t already decided. Putting candidates in the equivalent of a cage match while giving one or more the unfair advantage of unbalanced focus does not promote the discussion or democracy. Michel Rottmann Virginia City Highands

Rents (“Hostage-taking in a hot economy,” Left Foot Forward, July 3): Thank you. From personal experience, many of the apartment owners are crooks, and so many buildings have been paid off for many years. Am typing using free wi-fi living in my car most of the time. Greed has overtaken. Dan Williams Reno

Land withdrawals (“Nevada refuge in spotlight,” news, July 3) Great article. Since there is no actual Secretary of Defense, I guess you could follow up with an interview with the tank driver roaming around Washington D.C. Maybe he knows who is in charge. Matt Dakin West Sacramento

BVD Re “East Walker beauty” (Notes from the Neon Babylon, July 3): Hey, Bruce. What part of “secret ballots” don’t you understand? What this woman hates is men like you thinking you have a right to tell me who I shouldn’t have voted for. For Godsakes, dig yourself, man. Susan L’Angelle Reno

Distribution Director Greg Erwin Distribution Manager Bob Christensen Distribution Drivers Alex Barskyy, Corey Sigafoos, Gary White, Joe Wilson, Marty Troye, Timothy Fisher, Vicki Jewell, Olga Barska, Rosie Martinez, Adam Martinez, Duane Johnson President/CEO Jeff VonKaenel Director of Nuts & Bolts Deborah Redmond Director of People & Culture David Stogner Director of Dollars & Sense Debbie Mantoan Nuts & Bolts Ninja Norma Huerta Payroll/AP Wizard Miranda Hansen Account Jedi Jessica Kislanka Sweetdeals Coordinator Trish Marche Developer John Bisignano

System Support Specialist Kalin Jenkins N&R Publications Editor Debbie Arrington N&R Publications Managing Editor Laura Hillen N&R Publications Associate Editor Derek McDow N&R Publications Editorial Team Anne Stokes, Nisa Smith, Thea Rood Marketing & Publications Lead Consultant Elizabeth Morabito Marketing & Publications Consultants Steve Caruso, Joseph Engle, Sherri Heller, Celeste Worden, Rod Maloy Cover design Maria Ratinova







They First they came for the refugee children, but I wasn’t one. Then they came for the investigative reporters, but there weren’t many real ones left. Then they came for the unions, but they’d been mostly degutted long ago. Then they came for the progressives, not realizing anyone left of center is a progressive. Then they lost, and the world became a good place again. What a nice fairy tale. Craig Bergland Reno


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by matt bieker

Why is Sparks better than Reno? aSkeD aT ScoopeRS, 1356 pRaTeR Way, SpaRkS

Davone RiDDick Sales representative

I just moved out here in May. This is probably, like, my third time in Sparks. I like Sparks better than downtown Reno. There’s just a lot going on in downtown Reno. There’s a lot of people.

TRiniT y HigniTe Student

I feel like the people in Sparks are nicer than Reno, and I feel like the schools in Sparks are better. I feel like I’m safer in Sparks than Reno, and the neighborhoods are more cleaned up and the houses are a little bit nicer than Reno.

T yleR FoRD Dishwasher

Board of bunglers Over the 14 days of the Traci Davis/school board melodrama, the Washoe County School Board failed completely to make a credible case to the public for what it was doing. Instead, this is what the public saw: Davis went on leave, the school board began plotting a coup d’etat, supposed grounds for Davis’s removal were rumored but not proven, and she was fired. It appeared clear that board members treated the notion of open meetings casually since they went into the final meeting confident they had the votes, suggesting there had been consensus-building out of public view. Along the way, the board taught a lesson to the students under its care by lying. Then, too, there was the juvenile stunt of closing down the school district building and hiding out from Davis (although we aren’t sure such a thing shouldn’t be tried at the White House). If the board had documentation of Davis leaking, it would have produced the specific pieces of paper and explained their significance, not left them in a huge bundle for the public to search through. If it had testimony proving the leak, it would have heard from those witnesses at the school board meeting where Davis’s lawyers could have cross examined. Neither happened. The fact that the school board hired PR flacks to sell its case instead of dealing with the public honestly and candidly is evidence of how weak the board’s case was. Since the 1950s, there has been a saying: A public relations problem means there’s a real problem that should not be papered over. School superintendents make enemies, but Traci Davis was not another Pedro Martinez. He invited his fate. She

did not. Martinez, upon being asked to answer questions about his credentials, threw a fit and walked out of the building to announce inaccurately to the world that he had been fired. Davis did not deserve the ambush she got. If the board wanted to replace her, it should have negotiated a settlement of her departure, giving her a dignified way out and keeping the board looking competent. Instead it tried to dirty her up and looked like a board of bunglers. We have two comments on individuals. When Katy Simon Holland was elected to the board we were pleased, figuring she would bring a world of experience and a head full of knowledge. In retrospect, her election was probably a mistake. She had been a public administrator accustomed to operating as an executive, always strategizing and calculating, expecting others to follow her lead, which does not work on a board of equals, and she did not adjust. And if the board needed public relations advice, it had in its existing structure a figure who spent years covering public officials as a reporter, constantly encountering the foibles of officeholders and the pitfalls of communicating with the public. School district public information officer Victoria Campbell could have told the board how to approach this delicate task. But it seems never to have sought her advice. School boards have special problems. Except in the largest cities, they are part-time panels made up of everyday people who give of their time, yet they have frequently been lampooned. The only thing the Washoe County School Board has done is deepen the difficulties boards face. Ω

There’s less tweakers. I was working at a liquor store in downtown Reno, and I’d have to eighty-six people almost every day. You don’t get any sort of bad business like that in Sparks. It’s all families that live here.

STepHen k aR ambiS Student

If you enjoy people, then Reno’s the obvious choice. You can step out your block and see lines of people going one way, lines of people going the other. All of the most popular events are in Reno. In Sparks, all you’ve got is the Nugget. It’s a whole lot less crowded. maT T SpiT TleR Retiree

I’ve lived in both. ... Sparks reminds me a lot more of my hometown. The people are closer—or they were ... 20 years ago. You could walk down the street with no problem at all. We had bars and casinos here, people going in and out. ... It’s very different now … too much construction.

07.11.19    |   RN&R   |   5







No one came off looking good The mid-summer chapter of the Washoe County School District Telenovela concluded last week with the firing of Superintendent Traci Davis. School board members decided the circumstantial evidence surrounding the leaking of confidential information to a former employee was Davis’ responsibility, regardless of whether she did it directly or negligently allowed it to happen. The affair was handled in a shockingly clumsy manner, inspiring a resounding vote of no confidence in the school district’s professional and elected leadership. The week before the final vote to dismiss Davis was full of daily intrigue, with twists and turns no one could see coming. Davis was badly served when she was lured to a meeting under the pretense of a discussion on strategic planning only to be told her “alleged misconduct and character” would be the subject of a special school board meeting. The public, through the media, was misled when the school board president denied any knowledge of the

reasons behind Davis’ sudden request for personal leave, also refusing to discuss the abrupt departure of two high-level administrators who were married, citing confidentiality of personnel decisions. Teachers, staff and students were left in the dark when the acting superintendent abruptly closed down the administration’s offices for two days when Davis threatened to come back to work prior to the Board meeting where she would surely be fired. The Telenovela left so many unanswered questions in its wake. Why was Davis allowed to import so many personal friends from Las Vegas and promote them to highly paid administrative positions for which they seemed to be vastly underqualified? Why did they leak confidential information to a fired employee who was suing the very school district they were leading? Why did Davis absurdly liken her situation to the Central Park Five, saying “I am now the Washoe County School District One”? The lies, both direct and of omission, were not worthy of an institution charged

with educating our future leaders. And while the drama was building within the highest administrative levels of the district, a controversy regarding one top student faded away much too quickly. North Valleys High School Valedictorian Emily Hernandez Medina was not allowed to speak at graduation ceremonies in June when her speech was deemed too negative due to its portrayal of the pain of discrimination as a first-generation Latina American who felt ignored by administrators despite her achievement of a 5.3 grade point average while working a full-time job to help support her immigrant family. Medina was also upset that her Valedictorian portrait at school was replaced with a cartoon caricature, saying administrators didn’t seem to care about the prank. According to an article in the Reno Gazette Journal, Principal Jeana Curtis returned Medina’s speech draft with red circles around areas that needed to be changed to be more positive about her

high school experience. After Medina took to Twitter to complain about the situation, writing “Ms. Curtis hates my speech and guess what? Fuck that bitch” she was told she would not be able to give any version of the speech. Medina removed the tweet and acknowledged that “it was dumb to do it” saying “At the moment, I was indignant and filled with anger,” but she refused to apologize, and her voice was silenced. The school district wouldn’t comment on the matter, saying it would be “unprofessional and unfair” to do so. Surely this situation could have been handled more calmly and thoughtfully, with administrators validating the personal experience of this obviously bright and capable student by taking the time to learn why she felt so alienated from school administration and offering her guidance in using social media more wisely. Maybe they were too mesmerized by the Telenovela over on Ninth Street. Ω

07.11.19    |   RN&R   |   7

by Dennis Myers

QUAKING The July 5 Ridgecrest/China Lake earthquake got a lot of attention for its impact on California, less on Nevada. The 7.1 quake overlapped the Golden and Silver States, which is not surprising because earthquake fault “systems” are shared by the two states. Before Ridgecrest/China Lake, dozens of small earthquakes were recorded in the area of Sun Valley, north of Reno on June 21. That followed a June 6 temblor in Washoe Valley to the south that was recorded at 3.7. After those events, one official— geophysicist Graham Kent at the Nevada Seismological Lab—had suggested to the Associated Press that “we’ve sort of built in a sense of complacency” from having few major quakes in Nevada. When the Ridgecrest quake hit, numerous state and local officials in Nevada gave quotes to newspeople assuring that the state is ready for any major quake. In the era of whites in the Great Basin, there have been at least four earthquakes of 7.1 or higher affecting Nevada, although Las Vegas and Reno were spared most of the effects of all four. On Oct. 2, 1915, a 7.75 earthquake hit Pleasant Valley—not the Pleasant Valley in Washoe County, but a site of the same name east of Lovelock, south of Winnemucca, and west of Battle Mountain. It did some damage in the mining camp of Kennedy and was felt from the coast to Salt Lake City. On Dec. 20, 1932, a 7.1 hit in the Cedar Mountain area, northeast of Mina, east of Luning. The U.S. Geological Survey’s Earthquake History of the United States reads in part, “Since the region was uninhabited except for an occasional miner or sheepherder, little damage occurred.” In fact, damage occurred at Hawthorne, Mina and Luning. On May 18, 1940, a 7.1 earthquake that was centered in California’s Imperial Valley was felt in Arizona, Nevada and Mexico. It affected 60,000 square miles. On Dec. 16, 1954, a 7.1 hit in Nevada’s Dixie Valley east of Fallon. Cracks—now mostly filled in—were left in Dixie Valley. Goods were thrown off grocery shelves in Fallon, and new wells appeared in the region. At Reader Supported News, Harvey Wasserman sketched out a narrative of what might have happened last week at the site of defunct power plants: “Had Friday’s 7.1 earthquake and other ongoing seismic shocks hit less than 200 miles northwest of Ridgecrest/China Lake, 10 million people in Los Angeles would now be under an apocalyptic cloud, their lives and those of the state and nation in radioactive ruin. The likely human death toll would be in the millions. The likely property loss would be in the trillions. The forever damage to our species’ food supply, ecological support systems, and longterm economy would be very far beyond any meaningful calculation. The threat to the ability of the human race to survive on this planet would be extremely significant. The two cracked, embrittled, under-maintained, unregulated, uninsured and un-inspected atomic reactors at Diablo Canyon, near San Luis Obispo, would be a seething radioactive ruin.” And Nevada is downwind of California.

—Dennis Myers






New Interim Superintendent of Schools Kristen McNeill has held the post before. PHOTO/DENNIS MYERS

the district’s administration building. Employees were given two days off with pay because it was rumored that Ms. Davis might (gasp!) show up for work before her dismissal inquisition. God save us from short black ladies.” The reluctance to explain the board’s actions in clear language accompanied by directly applicable documents may have run afoul of state law, which says that everything on which a public body bases its decisions is supposed to be available to the public. Possibly to convey an image of openness and transparency, McNeill has been sitting down for one-on-one interviews with reporters. This also avoids a news conference in which she might be put in a crossfire of questions. “We’ve got three new schools opening up—Sky Ranch, Desert Skies and Nick Poulakidas—and we want to make sure that the rest of our schools are open on time, so the priority is making sure that the wheels are on and that our staff feels supported when the doors are opened,” she said. What are the district’s strengths and weaknesses? “Every day we’ve got counselors that are helping our kids through trauma. We have teachers that are Board acted on. The news site This is working side by side with our students. Reno reported: We have principals that have an “But multiple requests for informaenormous responsibility on their plate. tion to the district went unanswered We’ve got site facility coordinators that last week. Despite a document dump— make our buildings look beautiful. including dozens of text messages by “But we also know that we have two former administrators—of what some areas of improvement and the school district’s attorney every organization needs to called incontrovertible be honest about that, and evidence showing that’s what we’re doing. wrongdoing by Davis, We want to have a public records honesty and integrity order for [school with our district. board president I had a meeting Katy Simon] with our leadership Holland’s emails team last week, and texts was met talked about my Kristen McNeill today with an esticore beliefs, and they Washoe schools mate of $1,500.” respect that. They want superintendent In the Sparks to know, what are the Tribune, columnist expectations of the interim Andrew Barbano wrote, “The superintendent? And I want our district has a large communications leadership team to serve with honesty staff employing about 30 people and and integrity, and then also be present. they are quite capable. So why was When I’m talking with you, I want you a political juice firm hired? I’m still to be present with me.” waiting for the costs of shutting down

Now what?

New schools chief: Get the schools open Early childhood programs, homeless children, suicide prevention and a few other items are among the things that are particularly important to the new interim superintendent of schools in Washoe County. But as close as they are to her heart, she is putting them on the back burner. What comes first? Getting the schools open on time, which is August 12, just 42 days after her appointment. There probably is no good time to suddenly and unexpectedly lose a schools superintendent. But if it has to happen, July is not a bad time. Still, all eyes will be on Interim Superintendent Kristen McNeill. If it goes badly, any possible bid by her for the permanent position will be hurt, and the image of the school board that fired her predecessor will be further injured. The firing of Traci Davis was accompanied by information being closely held, with the result that the public did not really know whatever information the Washoe County School

“I work hard for this district.”

Emotion and stability What were the two weeks of Davis’s leave— which turned out to be her last days with the district—like for McNeill, knowing that she could be the last person standing at the end? She did not give much away, limiting herself to “emotional” as her principal description. “You know, on a personal level, it’s been very emotional,” she said. “You have your ups and your downs. And, you know, you are for all intents and purposes the face of the district as an interim superintendent. And I’m there. I’m a stable voice. I’ve been in this position before as an interim superintendent, and that’s really what I want our community and our employees to understand.” Some of our sources have described McNeill as “meanspirited” and say that morale within the district workforce has already been hurt just by the knowledge that she is in charge. “I think anybody that really, truly knows me and gets to know me, understands that I am about honesty and integrity,” she said. “I am forthright, and so sometimes I think

somebody that may interpret something as far as an expectation—I don’t know if that’s meanspirited, but it’s—I want to tell you what the lines are so that you understand what the lines are. It’s not fair to you if you don’t know what those lines are.” Superintendents traditionally make enemies, and it is the equally traditional role of school boards to face down that kind of opposition to its appointees. The school district has been repeatedly accused of cooking the books on graduation rates, and the school board itself is now noted for cutting an appointee loose just a year after it gave her a raise and a new two-year contract. McNeill will have to deal with the first, but she will have little control over the second if, as interim superintendent, she needs the board’s support in community disputes. McNeill has been a principal at Allen and Moss elementary schools and was deputy superintendent when the school board turned to her after the Davis firing. Ω

Headaches on the hill

Two explosions in a University of Nevada, Reno dorm, Argenta Hall, last week attracted wide news coverage, in part because the number initially suggested a malicious attack. The cause was later announced as equipment problems. Eight people suffered minor injuries. Argenta and adjoining Nye Hall are now being scrutinized to learn if any structural damage was done. Argenta is not expected to function as a dorm during the next semester, and its dining hall served six dorms so officials are casting about for housing and dining solutions. The campus is asking Gov. Steve Sisolak for a declaration of emergency to qualify for federal funding. Classes start Aug. 26. PHOTO/ERIC MARKS

07.11.19    |   RN&R   |   9







by Jeri DAviS

j e ri d @ne w s re v i e w . c o m

A view from the window in the Thunderbird Lodge overlooks Sand Harbor.

Lake legacy Thunderbird Lodge Millionaire George Whittell, Jr., built the Thunderbird Lodge estate on six and a half acres of Lake Tahoe’s east shore between 1936 and 1941. But, at one time, he owned some 40,000 acres—purchased from families that had owned the lakeside sawmills that fed the Comstock silver rush and were eager to liquidate these assets during the Great Depression. Whittell had pulled some $50 million out of the stock market weeks before its crash. Much of his land would later become of the property of the State of Nevada and preserved from development, but visitors can still tour the historical estate. According to the Online Nevada Encyclopedia, “George Whittell died on April 18, 1969 with [his wife] Elia at his side. The multi-millionaire tycoon left a legacy of pristine shoreline along with many colorful stories surrounding his tenure in the Silver State.” The entry makes no mention of how much of that shoreline and surrounding land was acquired by the state through eminent domain over Whittell’s objections. Nor does it mention that in purchasing it, Whittell had jilted a man named Norman Biltz, a land developer in the early 20th century—sometimes called “the Duke of Nevada” in his day. Biltz, who’d been looking to purchase the land with a partner, turned to Whittell for financial backing. “Well, Mr. Whittell taught me a very great lesson,” Biltz said during an interview with the Univeristy of Nevada Reno’s Oral History department. “He said, “Norm, I don’t like partners; I don’t want to get involved.” Biltz had already put down somewhere between $60,000-$70,000. Whittell agreed to loan him that same amount and then allow him to participate at 25 percent of the land sale profits once his investment—plus 3 percent—was returned. Biltz and his partner had 30 days to close on the land deal and so took Whittell’s offer, saying it was “like


a gift from heaven.” But only a few months later, Whittell informed Biltz he would halt all sales of the land, leaving Biltz without the full profits he expected. Thunderbird Lodge Preservation Society docent Scoti Gower has lived in Incline Village for more than four decades. During tours, Gower explains that the estate has changed hands three times since its construction, but the preservation society has been responsible for its $1 million a year upkeep for more than 20 years. The nonprofit raises funds in part by renting out Whittell’s famous mahogany boat, also called the Thunderbird—and tours of the estate, including the 600-foot long rock tunnel that leads to said boat. A retired school teacher, Gower quizzes tour participants on various estate-related factoids during the hour-and-a-half-long tour. And she doesn’t sugarcoat things, noting that Whittell had no children—and that he and his wife had separate lodge bedrooms. She also discusses his near obsessive desire for privacy, the surveillance cameras at the estate’s entrance, a two-way mirror in the lodge, a siren Whittell could use if he felt boats were getting too close to his estate— and, of course, his fearsome pet lion, Bill. In the tunnel, she explains how drunken visitors in Whittell’s day would be tossed into the “dungeon”—a small cell blasted out of the rock—and left to sober up with Bill. They weren’t the only ones. Newspaper sources recount the story of a journalist who was invited to the lodge under the pretense of a party and found herself locked in the cell with Bill until she agreed to recant writings to which Whittell had taken offense. Hearing these kinds of stories—and looking through the bars into the small, cold cell—it’s easy to form a negative opinion of George Whittell. But looking at the east shore of Lake Tahoe, it’s hard not to appreciate the actions he took that kept it Ω undeveloped.

Learn more about the Thunderbird Lodge, 5000 NV-28, Incline Village, by visiting thunderbirdtahoe.org.

07.11.19    |   RN&R   |   11







Sparks fly the rail city has changed so much in recent years that some visitors might not recognize it

by Jessica santina


endi Rawson sets a glass of chilled sauvignon blanc before me. It’s Friday evening, and I’m with friends around a fire table on the patio of Engine 8 Urban Winery in Sparks’ Victorian Square. It’s a quintessentially urban experience. In Sparks. “It’s funny, some people still don’t know the theater is open,” Wendi tells me on another day during our interview. “A lot of people didn’t realize this was all here.” She gestures to the new development surrounding her, from the 14-screen Galaxy Theatre to the apartment buildings; to Golden Rotisserie, the Mexican casual dining restaurant; to Piñon Bottle, the popular bottle shop. And then, of course, there’s Sparks’ first winery, Engine 8, which Wendi and Mike Rawson opened in April. They sell about a dozen varietals, made on the premises. It’s quite a departure from the biker bars and smoke-filled casinos for which this area was known. “People are absolutely flabbergasted when they come down—it’s changed so much they don’t even recognize it,” she said. Indeed, if you’ve only visited Victorian Square for events like the Nugget Rib Cook-off or Hot August Nights, it is virtually unrecognizable. The area can now rightfully be called “downtown Sparks”—a name that, until now, even longtime Sparks residents wouldn’t have confidently assigned it.

Victorian age This roughly six-block area off Victorian Avenue—between Pyramid Highway and 15th Street—has always felt like an area in transition, with more parking lots than planned district. “This downtown area was designated the first redevelopment district in Nevada in the late 1970s,” explained Armando Ornelas, City of Sparks’ assistant community services director. “Per state law, within this designated area, you can actually capture property tax revenues for use in your redevelopment plan.” Since then, the city has fielded numerous plans for Victorian Square, some more viable than others. “Initially, the goal was to make it an entertainment-oriented district, even with things like a Ferris wheel,” Ornelas said. In the early 2000s, the Sparks Redevelopment Agency took a different tack, deciding on a mixed-use district, with a combination of residential properties and walkability to retail, food and drink. Local developer Trammel Crow proposed a condominium project near the Century Theatre, but the recession halted that idea. “About five years ago, I got a call out of the blue from [State Senator] Julia Ratti, who was then a Sparks councilmember, asking if I could meet with her,” said Doug Hunter,

director of operations for Reno-based Silverwing Development. “We met by the fountain—her, then-councilmember [now Mayor] Ron Smith, Silverwing President J. Witt and me. They said, ‘Hey, would you be willing to look at redeveloping downtown Sparks?’ Now here we are, five years later. We’ve developed three completed communities, with two more under construction and four more planned. All told, it’s about 1,500 individual residential units, somewhere around 100,000 square feet of retail space and a $300 million investment.” First came a lengthy site-assembly process in which owners of small, isolated parcels—the city, the Nugget, Silverwing and others—swapped to form contiguous parcels on which to build major projects. The Nugget Casino Resort’s new owner, Marnell Gaming, purchased the former Bourbon Square Casino site, designating it the future home of its new outdoor amphitheater. Witt and Hunter set their sights on multifamily housing, and, in September 2015, Silverwing broke ground on its first project, Fountainhouse Apartments. Phase 1, completed in 2017, includes 220 units; phase 2 is 16 high-end units situated above the commercial spaces in front of the new Galaxy Theatre. The Bridges, a twobuilding residential development connected by a footbridge over C Street, features 194 units above 12,500 square feet of retail space, including Piñon Bottle, which opened in June. Ground has already been broken on two more developments. The public parking garage behind Victorian Avenue’s older retail businesses will become The Deco, a 10-story residential development featuring first-floor public parking, three floors of residential parking and 209 residential units. The Atrium is a six-story, 132-unit residence at Victorian and 15th. Additionally, California-based LandCap Investment Partners converted the old Silver Club Hotel property into Square One, a six-story, 100-unit, multifamily residence. Silverwing’s proposed future developments include two high-rise, mixed-use buildings south of the movie theater plaza, where currently chain-link fences surround surface parking lots. Facing a center plaza, they would feature five to six stories dedicated to retail, residential parking and apartments. Though the roster of commercial residents is still in the making, Hunter said CaiE Dimsum Café will open this summer near Golden Rotisserie. “We’re in negotiations with other restaurants and businesses I can’t talk about,” he said, “but we foresee other establishments, maybe Italian food, maybe sports bars.”

“continued makingonsparks fly” page 14

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“continued makingfrom sparks fly” page 13 Big Business The Nugget Event Center is one of many investments Marnell Gaming has made since purchasing the distressed Nugget property in 2016. In addition to overhauling its rooms, casino, convention center and restaurants, it opened the event center with a bang by hosting country musician Toby Keith to a packed house in June. The 8,500seat amphitheater will host 10 events per year, all to end at 10 p.m. “The event center comes with a rating capacity of 135,000 pounds, which means we can do about any show out there in terms of production, and that amount of seats enables us to go out and get top-name entertainment,” said Mark Sterbens, Nugget general manager and senior vice president. “We’ve enjoyed a great working relationship with the City of Sparks and appreciate their support. I think they thought we were crazy when we wanted to put an amphitheater in the middle of downtown, but they were great to work with, and I Wendi and Mike Rawson opened Engine 8 think it’s going to work Urban Winery in April. out great for the city.” Sterbens said the downtown redevelopment enhances guests’ experiences at the Nugget. Doug Hunter believes it enhances residents’ experience, too. “I went to the concert,” Hunter said. “I came down here early, supported a few of the local businesses, and the event itself was fantastic. The day after the show, people were calling the communities trying to rent properties that had views of the show. It was so fun looking up in the stands, seeing folks up on their patios enjoying the show. I couldn’t have been happier.” The Rawsons are happy, too. The redevelopment plan enabled the couple to open the business they’d dreamed of. “Originally, we were looking to build a wine bar in Sparks, specifically because there were no wine establishments in Sparks,” Wendi said. With their sights set originally on the Galleria, they met resistance from anchor stores in the area about having “a bar” nearby. But Silverwing’s Witt expressed interest immediately, offered the couple the opportunity to go beyond wine bar to an actual winery and unknowingly placed the business in a meaningful spot.

Photo /eriC marks

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“I think people don’t always give Sparks the credit it deserves.” Tom Young, Great Basin Brewing Co.

with nearby businesses to host various events, like an escape room in partnership with Legends’ business Key & Code, and discounts on Wednesday, when the theater runs classic movies. Engine 8’s expansive location means space is available to rent for parties and meetings. “It’s been really nice, getting to know residents,” Wendi said. “We have some regulars. We’re excited about the growth. It’s just going to keep getting bigger. We’re at the beginning stages of this transition, which is cool to see.” Longtime Sparks business Great Basin Brewing Co., on the eastern side of Victorian Square, has watched the redevelopment efforts with interest since first opening in 1993. Brewer Tom Young also owes his business to it. “The legislature had passed a law saying that [a brewery business] had to be located in a redevelopment district,” Young recalled. “At the time, the City of Reno had a redevelopment district, but they didn’t understand the brewery concept and weren’t excited about it. But the Sparks folks at that time were welcoming.” Great Basin also now has two Reno locations in addition to the Sparks flagship, but Young emphasizes that he’s maintained a great relationship with the City of Sparks. “I think people don’t always give Sparks the credit it deserves,” he said. “I don’t think we tell our story well enough.” Great Basin Brewing recently was acquired by Mammoth Brewing Co., but the existing Great Basin locations are not expected to close anytime soon, and Young will remain on as brewmaster. “We’re excited about the development, that it’s going to bring new life to downtown Sparks,” he said.

Great Basin Brewing Co. brewer Tom Young.

parking woes The most common complaints heard by Ornelas, Hunter and Young are about parking. The garage near Great Basin currently being transformed into The Deco closed about a year ago, and the brewery’s own back lot contains just 38 spaces. Projected numbers vary, but when The Deco is completed, the first floor of that garage will reopen to provide about 80 to 100 more spaces. “The garage by the theater has plenty of parking, but that’s about four blocks away,” Young said. “[S]ome people are not excited about walking.” City approval for the Nugget Event Center was contingent on demonstrating sufficient parking. Despite public opinion to the contrary, the Nugget’s garage, expansive surface lots to the west and the newly remodeled, 702-spot garage beside the movie theater were deemed more than sufficient to accommodate both the event center and various events. It’s good for cities to have limited parking in their downtown cores, according to Ornelas and Hunter. It’s an indicator that the area is thriving. Like in any major city, residents should account for parking, and prepare to walk a bit or take public transportation or rideshare. “When the redevelopment agency acquired these properties, they were never intended to be parking lots,” Ornelas said. “There’s a higher and better use, and that certainly wouldn’t be a responsible use of tax revenues.”

Photo/eriC marks

Ideally, it would also include a coffee business situated between Golden Rotisserie and the movie theater. Hunter said that the vision for what he calls “The New Victorian Square” is a livework-play district. He muses about possibly straightening out C Street and reimagines the plaza as a community gathering place the likes of which you find in other major urban areas—perhaps including a new water feature. Ornelas said that the old fountain, which for years drew children to play on hot summer days, became too costly to maintain and impractical in the midst of construction and had to be permanently closed. “To Silverwing’s credit, they get urbanism,” Ornelas said. “J. Witt, the president, also understands the idea that in a redevelopment effort like this, the whole needs to be greater than the sum of its parts. That it needs to ultimately work together and magnify in impact.”

“Our son was born on the Fourth of July, so he turned three the year Star Spangled Sparks was having its secondannual event,” Rawson said. “We made it a tradition. We were always down here on what was that grassy area that was right here in front of the theater, and our kids would play in the fountain. Now our family has a piece of this property.” The Rawsons began bottling their own wines this summer and plan to add pizza to their menu of charcuterie and desserts. Meanwhile, they’ve begun partnering

… You can see sparks Out of the roughly $1 million the City of Sparks budget dedicated to the redevelopment, $150,000 was earmarked for public art in Victorian Square. M. Francine Burge, special events supervisor for the City of Sparks, began working on a plan. “I developed an arts and culture advisory committee, and we put together our own strategic plan for what we’d do with that $150,000,” Burge said. “I think everyone assumed I would just take that money, buy a piece of art, and call it done. But the construction still isn’t done, and it won’t be for a few years. It’s hard to gauge what it will look like, so I wanted to use this time doing research.” Burge reached out to Shoshana Zeldner, who was, at the time, Nevada Arts Council arts development director. (Today, she’s special events program manager for the University of Nevada, Reno’s School of the Arts.) “I want to see more national funding for the arts in Nevada—we don’t have that many projects funded in the state by the National Endowment for the Arts,” Zeldner said. “So I suggested we pursue the NEA Our Town grant, which is intended for creative placemaking.” Creative placemaking, according to the NEA, integrates “arts, culture

and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities by advancing local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes.” They were awarded $50,000, which would fund efforts to gather input from the public and use the input to create a plan for how and where art would be integrated into the redeveloped downtown. Burge’s early research helped her to identify Shelly Willis, a seasoned, innovative public art planning consultant with experience in creative placemaking. Willis was hired to work with the city to gather the input needed to plan public art that would both reflect downtown Sparks’ existing personality and transform it in a positive way. So, if the goal is creative placemaking, why not be creative about gathering that input? Why not use art to help plan the art? The idea became a community engagement campaign, Together We See Sparks, funded by the

NEA grant and in-kind donations. “We wanted to do something fun and get people really engaged with art so that it’s not just a survey,” Burge said. “It’s going to get their hands a little dirty and find out how they really feel about their city.” Burge’s committee put together a call for artists to submit proposals for how they would solicit community input. The two local artists who were selected were Jen Charboneau of Reno and Paul Fenkell of Sparks, each receiving $4,000. Charboneau’s project, “Sparks Seen Zine,” will be a mobile community art bike where people are invited to share their stories and experiences of Sparks while the artist draws gesture portraits of participants. Fenkell’s project, “The Big Easel,” is a shade structure providing a place for people to write and draw their thoughts on living in Sparks and

the Truckee Meadows. The artists’ projects already have begun appearing at downtown events this summer. Additionally, Sparks residents can visit the campaign website, TogetherSparks.com, and share their input through a survey. The campaign continues through October 15, at which point all the input will be analyzed and a public art plan for Victorian Square will be developed. It may result in sculptures, murals, benches, water features, lighting design, bike racks or something else altogether that reflects Sparks’ personality and potential. “Sparks is beloved,” said Willis of the feedback she’s already heard in her time working on the campaign. “Almost everyone across the board says they want to maintain the hometown feeling. They want to grow smartly, efficiently and to keep it family oriented. They don’t want to reject tourism—they realize that’s part of Sparks’ identity. But they want it to be a place for the people who live there. … Sparks was really hit hard by the recession, and this redevelopment represents hope. But everyone wants it done right. They don’t want it to become Anytown, USA. They want to maintain its identity. There’s a real love for that town.” Ω

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w e s d o n Reno has a new sewing makerspace


here’s three types of zen,” said Melissa Gilbert. “This one is called grandmotherly zen.” Gilbert spent most of her 20s in a zen monastery in California, thinking she might become a Buddhist priest—but she ended up taking a different career path. She teaches “home arts,” the skillsets that used to be called “home economics,” at Encompass Academy, a local charter school. And this “grandmotherly zen” she referred to is the simple practice of finding joy and satisfaction in everyday actions. “I have a passion for cooking and gardening and things that, to me, are essential for being human on this Earth,” she said. “Everyday activity—that’s where you find awakening. You don’t find it out in the mountains. You find it in everyday things like doing the dishes.” She presents the concept to her high school students in a few different ways, sometimes through meditation, more often by teaching handson skills. “She taught us how to cook and how to clean and how to sew,” said Alexis Lopez, a 2019 Encompass graduate. “She has a really open vibe. People really like working with her.” Lopez said he appreciated the way that Gilbert and her colleagues at Encompass set the stage for creative exploration. Gilbert negotiated with the neighboring

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Story and photoS by KriS Vagner

Bridge Church to donate a strip of land for students to grow corn, tomatoes and chiles on, and she held an essay competition, in which the prizes were sewing machines for students who were getting serious about sewing. Lopez was one of the essay contest winners. He’s picked up sewing from Gilbert and quickly developed a passion for it. He started out making shorts and shirts, then learned to make backpacks and fanny packs and experimented with making shoes. Now, he plans to take community college classes in art and business, and he’s working with a few peers to start a company called R T Stas. (The name refers to several things. Among them, the pronunciation, “artistas,” is Spanish for “artists,” and when it’s capitalized, it’s RTS TAS, an acronym for “Real Truth Seekers—Take and Serve.”)

Meeting of the minds Gilbert had been thinking for a while about how she might bring sewing education with a “grandmotherly zen” off campus, where the public could access it. Over the last several years, she’s worked with Valley Arts Research Facility, the Generator and the Potentialist Workshop, but she always

dreamed of a space dedicated to sewing in particular. “There are plenty of places in town that teach sewers for $40-60 a class,” she said. “We wanted to provide a lower-income option, and I wanted to provide a space where I could still connect with my high school students after they graduate.” Meanwhile, Bree Kasper was looking for approximately the same thing. She’s a professional seamstress who’s been sewing since the sixth grade. As a teen, she made poodle skirts, culottes and bags. Since then, she’s worked in a few different fashion realms, feeling out each one to determine whether its particular challenges were her cup of tea. First, she tapped into the Burning Man crowd. When clients wanted to dress like, say, a skunk or a butterfly, Kasper made it happen. Next, she designed attire for weddings, where the garments she made required extreme precision. She said she reached her tolerance for “bridezillas” in that industry and switched to making upholstery. That requires strong hands, which was no problem for Kasper. She’s also a harpist, so her fingers are used to intense workouts. She’s done garment repairs for Patagonia and, for the last 10 years, she’s taught sewing classes in her living room, where enrollment grew steadily. But eventually it grew a little too much. “I wanted my apartment back,” she said. One day while she was visiting the Potentialist Workshop, Kasper saw Gilbert’s sewing machine set up in the corner. The two women were already acquaintances, and they got to talking about opening a sewing makerspace. They planned and dreamed for about a year, formed a non-profit and found a Dolls wait to be mended at Sew Together.

Bree Kasper (left) and Melissa Gilbert opened Sew Together in April.

“There’s three types of zen.This one is called grandmotherly zeN.”

small warehouse classes and space in a mostly meetups on Melissa Gilbert, Co-founder of Sew residential neighborthe calendar. Together hood near North Wells In an effort to Avenue. The property owner balance affordability with temporarily waived the rent as the organization financial sustainability, drop-in classes works to establish financial stability. They operate on a donation basis, with a requested opened their new studio, Sew Together, on April donation of $5-20. 1. Kasper is director of operations, and Gilbert is Kasper and Gilbert intend to host workthe co-founder. shops for recent Encompass graduates who On a recent Monday, Kasper and a volunneed a place to keep sewing, and they want teer named Sebastian Elcano were in a small to build partnerships with various community room running yards and yards of heavy gray groups. One friend who works with homeless fabric through sewing machines. They were veterans is coordinating with young sewers to making blackout curtains for the large, sunny make sleeping bags for her clients. windows at Acro Enso, an acro yoga and circus This type of networking is exactly what arts studio on East Fourth Street that opened Kasper and Gilbert were hoping for. In the earlier this year. three months they’ve been in business, they’ve Adjacent rooms have a cutting table, more already seen people inspired by sewing sewing machines, shelves of fabric, a few together, and to them, it’s about more than just stuffed animals waiting to be repaired and creative clothing and quilts. It’s about how displays of Gilbert’s quilted wall-hangings and making things by hand can affect the soul and Kasper’s furry dress-up hats. A storage room is the brain. already starting to pile up with donated fabric— “That inspiration, to me, can get you much of if from Truckee Meadows Community through a lot of hard times and sorrow,” said College’s recently closed theater facility. Kasper. “I think the act of creation—or mendIn the three months the space has been ing—caring for what you have, or creating open, it’s seen a good amount of traffic. something new, it’s what makes being human “Sewers are just coming out of the woodbearable sometimes.” work,” said Gilbert. Posts on social media— “The act of making things—there’s so much especially on Meetup—have led to a lot of new peace that can come from that,” said Gilbert. acquaintances who want to learn to sew, teach “When you create something, you get not just a class or sew in a social environment instead the emotional boost, but you’re learning skills of at home. that can translate into real life, help you commuSo far, Sew Together has been holdnicate, help you moving forward.” Ω ing weekly meetup sessions like Mending Mondays and Fearless Fashion Fridays. Gilbert, Kasper and visiting teachers have taught workshops in skills such as taking measurements and making patchwork quilts. Sew Together is located at 640 Eureka Ave. Upcoming Ali Conway, proprietor of Strange Bikinis, workshops include “DYI Kitty Ear Class” on July 12 and “Sewing 101: Learn the basics” on July 19. To see the taught a workshop on starting your own complete schedule, visit Sew Together’s Facebook page. garment business. The non-profit welcomes donations of sewing machines Sew Together recently began offering and fabric and is eager to hear from sewing experts who monthly memberships and put several more may want to propose a class or workshop.

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One membership. So many options.


Come play with us.

$15 Drop-In Fees for All Classes June, July, August

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Adult & children’s classes offered side by side.

Kate Hamill’s modernized Sense and Sensibility is now playing at Reno Little Theater.

Novel approach Maybe it’s just me, but in the sea of superhero-themed, teenaged-boy-fantasyinducing summer blockbusters, I crave a quiet puddle of civilized, romantic tales for women featuring the drama of realistic relationships and emotions instead of overblown disaster and destruction. Perhaps this is why Jane Austen has such universal and long-lasting appeal. Even 200 years after they were written, her stories of human connection and feeling never feel outdated. The problem, however, is that her language often does. Enter Kate Hamill’s Sense and Sensibility, a modernized, theatrical retelling of Austen’s 1811 novel that captures all the original scandal, gossip, devastation and romantic ecstasy of the original but with modern touches that tighten the language, ramp up the humor and cut to the chase. The result is currently on stage at Reno Little Theater, ready to delight any Austen fan, from fair to fervent. The lights come up on the cast donning Greek-style dramatic masks to represent anonymous townsfolk, doing as they’ve done since ancient times—gossiping. Mr. Henry Dashwood has died, leaving his estate, as was the custom at the time, to his only son John (played by Caulder Temple)—but not before extracting a promise that John take care of his three younger half-sister sisters, Elinor (Tara Rispin), Marianne (Elise Van Dyne) and Margaret (Reese Kväll), who live with their mother, Mrs. Dashwood (Michelle Calhoun). But Fanny (Angie Green), John’s greedy, calculating wife, convinces him that it wouldn’t be fair to deprive their young son of his fortune. In fact, Fanny’s only good attribute is her brother, Edward Ferrars (Jared Lively), a charming, polite, albeit shy young man with whom the serious, sensible Elinor Dashwood instantly forms a connection.


The widow Dashwood and her three daughters are left destitute, forced to vacate their estate, Norland, and move to a small seaside cottage, dashing Elinor’s hopes of seeing Edward again. Fortunately, Mrs. Dashwood’s cousin, Sir John (Bob Ives), along with his wife and her spirited mother, Mrs. Jennings (Jacqueline King), live nearby and insist upon hosting social gatherings for the Dashwoods and their neighbors—including Colonel Brandon (John Proctor), who instantly falls for young Marianne. Sadly for him, impetuous Marianne vastly prefers the roguish Mr. Willoughby (also played by Temple). Elinor follows her head rather than her heart when it comes to Edward, while Marianne is ruled entirely by her heart, leading to despair. The sisters can only find happiness when endeavor to influence and be influenced by each other. I loved every minute of this play, from the impressive acting by Rispin and Van Dyne as Elinor and Marianne to the romantic, toe-curling chemistry between Elinor and Edward, to the rollicking humor of Sir John and Mrs. Jennings. I loved the diverse cast of actors of all ages and experience levels working in true ensemble fashion, adroitly carrying multiple roles. I loved that the material honors Austen’s original work while quickening the pace and injecting humor to reach a new generation of fans. The play benefits from strong direction, engaged and talented actors and whip-smart scripting. Ω

Sense and Sensibility

12345 Sense and Sensibility is being directed by James Mardock at Reno Little Theater, 147 E. Pueblo St. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. until July 27 and at 2 p.m. on July 14, 21 and 28. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors/military, $15 for students $12 for kids 12 and under. For information and to purchase tickets, visit www.renolittletheater.org or call 813-8900.

by BoB Grimm

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



Men In Black: International


Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese

International amounts to a wasted opportunity, an admirable attempt to restart things with a mostly new cast that doesn’t quite hit all its marks. Replacing Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones—along with Josh Brolin as the young Tommy Lee Jones—are Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, as agents H and M. H is the bold, brash, superhot dude of MIB, he and Agent High T (Liam Neeson) saved the world years ago from an evil alien force called the hive. M is the latest recruit, having found MIB’s secret headquarters after years of searching. As a child, M witnessed an alien encounter—and saw her parents getting their minds erased—starting a curiosity fire that doesn’t get put out until Agent O (Emma Thompson) gives her a chance to basically save the world as a probationary agent. Tessa Thompson is great in anything she does, and she is great here. She brings a fun energy to the role, with a slight edge of wiseass. Hemsworth is a performer who seems to like himself a little too much, but still manages to be likeable. The two make for a good pair, as they did in Thor: Ragnarok. While it’s fun to see them standing next to each other again onscreen, it’s a little baffling what the screenplay puts them through.

Endless bummer Two films in, and it’s safe to declare writerdirector Ari Aster a master of horror. His Midsommar, the sophomore effort following his masterpiece Hereditary, is two-and-a-half hours of nerve-fraying terror staged mostly in broad daylight, and it is a thing of demented beauty. Dani (dynamite Florence Pugh) and Christian (excellent Jack Reynor) are having relationship issues. Dani is super dependent on Christian during a major time of need, as her sister is constantly bombarding her with dark mood swing modern correspondence (translation: toxic emails). Christian half-heartedly provides what he tries to pass off as sage advice, but his heart isn’t really in it, and he’s starting to think a breakup might make sense. Then, tragedy strikes Dani’s family, and it’s time for Christian to step up for his part of this committed relationship. His solution? Take Dani along on what was supposed to be a bro trip to Sweden for a traditional family summer festival. He sort of asks her to go, she sort of says yes, and, before you know it, Dani is on a plane to Sweden with Christian and his friends. Christian’s crew consists of Mark (the always good Will Poulter), Josh (William Jackson Harper), and the resident Swede, Pelle (Vilhelm Blomgren), the smiley faced dude who suggested the trip. His family is the core of the festival, and he can’t wait to show his pals their idea of a good time. Shortly after arrival, Dani and friends ingest hallucinogenic mushrooms. The weirdness kicks in immediately, and the movie comes off as a really bad trip. Take note of the many paintings on the walls throughout the film. They provide fun hints of the terrors to come. When two elderly members of the happy tribe show a totally sick commitment to the festival, it’s an act that would make reasonable people flee. Christian and Pelle are doing a thesis for school,

“if you didn’t want to join the cult, there was plenty of time to say so before we left the house.”

so they write off the strange goings on as “tribal” and stick around until the very end. Bad, bad call. That end is a real scorcher, a final testament to lousy significant others. Pugh, so good in this year’s Fighting with My Family, makes a grand statement with this movie. She’s an acting force that puts her in the upper echelon. She throws everything out on the table, and it all pays off in a performance that will surely be one of the year’s most memorable (as was Toni Collette’s in Hereditary). Chris Pratt lookalike Reynor is a well-placed and sound counterpart, but this is the Pugh show. One of the pleasures of Aster’s latest is that it’s obvious where things are going. It’s a mystery that puts a ton of clues right in front of your face in vividly visible fashion as the sun shines brightly. While the movie is a deliberately paced slow burn, it’s nearly two and a half hours pass by pretty quickly. Aster never loses the sense of dread, so while you could call his movie predictable in some ways, it’s not even close to being a letdown. It’s a movie that constantly delivers on the dread it promises in every frame. According to Aster, he was going through his own dark relationship issues when putting this film together. I feel very sorry for whomever was on the other side of that relationship. Aster’s dark soul runs very deep, and he’s a great writer. Some poor soul had their ass handed to them in their final email relationship armageddon exchanges. Midsommar stands as a nice companion piece to Hereditary. I see myself enduring a delightfully miserable double feature in the near future and purposefully bumming myself out, because, you know, that’s why we watch horror films sometimes. Aster has a way of putting a lot of pain up on the screen and somehow making it all very entertaining, as well as being supreme nightmare fuel. As he did last year, he’s made one of the year’s best films. Ω



For my money, Bob Dylan peaked during that strange time during the mid ’70s when he hit the road with a traveling circus of his musical and poetry friends, covered his face with white makeup and delivered some of the rawest, most straightforward rocking performances of his career. Martin Scorsese, for the second time, goes the documentary route with the musical icon, combining archival concert footage and interviews (most notably, a new one with Dylan himself) to tell the story of the most interesting tour of the man’s career. Dylan had just finished touring stadiums with The Band and wanted to play more intimate venues. So he did, and he brought the likes of Joni Mitchell, Allen Ginsburg and Joan Baez along with him. The concert footage shows Dylan in focused, driving and sometime very funny form as he delivers some new music along with his already classic songbook. New songs like “Isis” and “Hurricane” destroy alongside transformed versions of “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “Mr. Tambourine Man.” Watching these concert moments, it’s immediately clear that anybody who was present for the shows was witnessing vital music history. The interviews flesh out the “story” in what amounts to another triumph for Scorsese, who has given himself a nice side gig doing rock documentaries. (Streaming on Netflix.)


Spider-Man: Far from Home

Tom Holland cements his status as bestever Spider-Man with what amounts to the goofiest, but still major fun, Spider-Man movie yet. Jon Watts once again directs as Peter Parker looks to vacation with his friends after the events of Endgame, traveling to Europe and leaving his superhero responsibilities behind. When a strange breed of elemental monsters start striking the planet, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) interrupts Peter’s sojourn and gets him back into the swing of things. Jake Gyllenhaal gets into the shenanigans as Mysterio, a crime fighter from another dimension that slides right into the Tony Stark mentor role. Holland is good fun as Spidey, giving him a nice, youthful effervescence to go with his comic timing. Zendaya rules as MJ, Jon Favreau gets a lot more screen time—it’s a good thing!—as Happy, and the film doesn’t have nearly enough Marisa Tomei. It’s a bit lightheaded at times, but it’s the sort of breezy affair that the Marvel universe needed to get things revved up again. Hopefully, this is just the beginning for Holland and he has a bunch of these in his future, because he’s perfect for the role.


Stranger Things 3

The third season is the best yet for the Duffer Brothers’ ’80s throwback series. Much of the action, including a final showdown with the Mind Flayer monster from the Upside Down, takes place in the Starcourt Mall, a mighty authentic wonder of art direction. (Sam Goody and The Ground Round make notable appearances.) The Russians now play a prominent part as Hopper (David Harbour) tries to protect his adopted daughter, Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), from the Reds, demons and, most notoriously, her new boyfriend, Mike (Finn Wolfhard), who likes to kiss way too much. Steve (Joe Harrington) has his best season yet, working in an ice cream store with new cast member and major standout Maya Hawke (daughter of Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman) as his co-scooper. The special effects this time are top-notch, with nice nods to, once again, John Carpenter, Stephen King and The Blob. Harbour gets a little goofier in this round, and it’s a lot of fun watching his Hopper trying to date Joyce (Winona Ryder). The finale provides some major cliffhangers for the inevitable season four, which could actually wind up in a completely different series. It’s good to see the show make a comeback after a middling season 2; it’s a total blast, and it features a nice ode to The Neverending Story. (Streaming on Netflix.)


Toy Story 4

No one would blame you for thinking Toy Story 3 was a definitive end to the story of Woody the Cowboy (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear the Space Ranger (Tim Allen) and company. That movie was perfect in the way it tied up the story of Andy and his toy companions. I now count myself among those who are fine with one more chapter in the totally satisfying Toy Story 4, a movie I never thought I would see and wasn’t wishing for. Pixar and director Josh Cooley—making his directorial debut with their most precious franchise—have chosen to mess with perfection and extend the story of Woody and friends. The results are less than perfect, but still very worthy of Toy Story lore and a welcomed breath of fresh air in a summer movie season that has been laying a series of big franchise stink bombs (Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Men in Black: International, Dark Phoenix). It’s not surprising that Toy Story 4 is the most visually impressive of the lot. The ending of Toy Story 4 will, once again, have fans and critics alike proclaiming that this must be the end for the franchise. It certainly feels like a closing chapter, but we all said that about the last movie.



Danny Boyle (127 Hours, 28 Days Later) directs the straining saga of Jack Malik (Himesh Patel), a wannabe musician working part-time in a grocery store while also busking on street corners and playing small solo gigs with his trusty guitar. Jack’s burgeoning music career is managed by Ellie (Lily James), who is fostering a decades-old crush on Jack while getting him gigs at closing hotels and side tents at music festivals. Riding his bike home from a gig, the world suffers a solar flare and a worldwide power loss, and Jack gets hit by a bus, knocking out a couple of his teeth and sending him to the hospital. Post-accident, Ellie and some friends give Jack a new guitar and suggest he bust out a song for them. He goes with “Yesterday” by the Beatles, and the group is moved, as if hearing the song for the first time. That’s because they are hearing it for the first time. A quick Google check by Jack confirms the impossible: Somehow, someway, Jack now lives in a parallel world where John, Paul, George and Ringo never came together to make music. So what does Jack do? Why, he plagiarizes the entire Beatles catalog, of course. Rather than exploring the dark side of plagiarism in a comedic way, Boyle’s movie begs you to love Jack—and to sympathize with him while he tries to figure out his romantic interest in Ellie. Rather than crafting a film that seriously addresses a world without the Beatles, the movie becomes scared of itself and becomes nothing but a lame rom-com.






by Todd SouTh

vote # 1 best sandwich for 13 years best of first PLace ‘18

A large mushroom and salami pizza served at Pizza Baron in Sparks.

3650 Lakeside dr. • (775)826.4466 open 5am-9pm • 7 days a week breakfast • Lunch • dinner • Party Platters


District Court of Guam, Territory of Guam, Bankruptcy Division In re: The Archbishop of Agaña, a Corporation Sole (Archbishop of Agaña) Case No. 19-00010 YOU MAY HAVE A SEXUAL ABUSE CLAIM OR GENERAL CLAIM AGAINST THE ARCHBISHOP OF AGAÑA On January 16, 2019, The Archbishop of Agaña (“Debtor”) filed for protection under Chapter 11 of Title 11 of the United States Code. THE LAST DAY TO FILE A SEXUAL ABUSE CLAIM OR GENERAL CLAIM AGAINST THE DEBTOR IS August 15, 2019 AT 5:00 P.M. (prevailing ChST-Chamorro Standard Time). IF YOU WERE SEXUALLY ABUSED BY ANY PERSON CONNECTED WITH THE DEBTOR OR HAVE AN UNSECURED CLAIM AGAINST THE DEBTOR, YOU MUST FILE A CLAIM BY August 15, 2019 AT 5:00 P.M. (PREVAILING ChST-Chamorro Standard TIME). For more information on how to obtain and file a proof of claim for and associated documents please (a) visit the Debtor’s website at https://aganaarch.org https://aganaarch.org (b) call the Debtor’s hotline at 1-800-571-0657 or (c) call the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors appointed in this case at 1-800-484-3513

22   |   RN&R   |   07.11.19

Lord of the fried Pizza Baron on Keystone has been cranking out a nearly unchanged menu for over 45 years. Many a late-night hot wing craving has led me to one of their “special” deals, including a pizza chaser. But this isn’t about that. A more recently opened location is nestled in the gateway to Spanish Springs, and whilst in the neighborhood I thought I’d check it out. The menu is the same, pizza and wings, bar snacks and a couple oddball items. Who orders fish and chips at a pizza joint? Appetizers include deep-fried zucchini sticks, jalapeño poppers, mozzarella sticks, onion rings and mushrooms, or you can get a little of each with the combo platter ($12.95), served with barbecue sauce, marinara and ranch dressing. The zucchini spears were dwarfed by breading, as if to form a bread shell to cover the flavor of squash. The mushrooms were much better—with delicious fungitude ringing through. Onion rings were the real thing, and the poppers were second best of the bunch. The jalapeños tasted fresh and were stuffed with plenty of cream cheese. Cheese sticks were least effective, with breading and uniform shape screaming “born of a box.” A “Sparks Secret Menu” features tacos, burgers, sandwiches, salads and even more appetizers. Intrigued, I ordered corkscrew battered shrimp and breaded avocado wedges ($6.99 each). Each were said to be served with a cup of chipotle mayo, though the wedges actually came with a couple of cups of ranch. The ranch tasted like it was mixed up fresh, and the mildly spicy aioli enhanced anything dipped in it. Corkscrew shrimp are deveined a bit deeper than usual—almost butterflied—which after battering


and frying causes them to curl and twist in a bit of a screwy shape. Prepping these manually would be pretty time-consuming, so I’m betting these came from the box next to the cheese sticks. They weren’t bad, though a little over-cooked. I’ve had a few iterations of deep-fried avocado, but these wedges were a bit of a surprise. The coating included spicy bits of what was probably jalapeño. The flesh tasted ripe, and they had plenty of flavor, sans dip. Avocado doesn’t tolerate freezing well, so I’d say these were made-toorder fresh. A one-pound box of barbecue spare ribs ($9.95) served with fries and garlic bread turned out to be boneless rib tips (with a little bit of cartilage). The meat was tender and had a fair amount of smokiness, though the rub must have contained more than a fair amount of salt. The sauce was kind of bland and sweet, but still read as barbecue. The fries were of the standard fast food variety, crispy and enjoyable. Despite the salt, I’d be tempted to order this again. The Special ($19.95), a large two-topping pizza with a pound of hot wings, fries, garlic bread and ranch dressing is the reason I stopped in, despite ordering a bunch of other stuff. It’s not an awardwinning pie, and the wings aren’t the best in town. Yet, they’re crispy—and not dried out—and the Buffalo sauce is on the money. The semi-thin pizza crust is what I’d call, “best of affordable options.” It’s just crispy-bready-chewy enough to hit the mark, and the sauce has enough flavor to be present. With wings and fries, it’s a pretty decent deal. Ω

Pizza Baron

1380 Disc Drive, Sparks, 359-0703

Pizza Baron is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Learn more at www.pizzabaronreno.com.

by Mark EarnEST


Blunderbusst’s songs are about “sex and death.” They are, from left, Jen Scaffidi, Carson Cessna and Carolyn Gates.

The long term Blunderbusst Rebounding and rebirth in music is essential for bands that have been together for more than a decade. Even though it took miles of rough road to navigate—including a hiatus—Carson City indie rock band Blunderbusst is in its own post-cocoon moment right here and now. “I perceive it like a long-term relationship,” said Blunderbusst drummer Carolyn Gates. “If we have to take two years to get our shit together and handle family business and deal with our breakdowns, that’s fine. Having a hiatus was never a fearful or fraught thing.” “We’ve relearned what we do and how we play, and we’ve gained new skills,” said guitarist Carson Cessna. “I think we’ve really doubled down on what we do and gained a lot of confidence as a unit and individually, and what it means to be Blunderbusst. We have a pretty strong sonic identity, to the point where we can experiment and do any kind of song.” On Aug. 9, Texas indie label Slow Start Records will release Monarch of the Mountain, a six-song EP from Blunderbusst that’s also available as a double 7-inch single at their shows. Monarch, recorded in Reno at Wires and Noise studio, has already received national attention thanks to song premieres on music sites Ghettoblaster and The Big Takeover. It’s been years in the making, but Blunderbusst always takes its time. Formed by guitarist and singer Jen Scaffidi and Gates in 2005, the band played its first show a year later and sporadically released albums and EPs and played shows for the next six years. Cessna joined, first on synth, in 2011, but soon after the band became less


PhoTo/Mark EarnEsT

of a priority. Scaffidi’s mom Bobbi passed away in 2012, and by the time 2014 came around, as Scaffidi puts it, “I wasn’t writing new songs, and it wasn’t really fun.” In 2016, Scaffidi started writing again, and Cessna moved to guitar. Their first years back together were spent figuring out if it was still worth it. “It was kind of a beta test,” Gates said. “Let’s get in a room and see if it’s still fun, or let’s not do it.” During this time, the band also took what Cessna called “extreme sonic austerity measures” and pared their sound in general. It isn’t that far removed from a decade-plus ago, though. The roots are in modern alterna-folk songwriters like Neko Case and Brandi Carlisle, but with tons of classic indie rock accents, from twisting time signatures on almost every song to Cessna’s pivoting from atmospheric melodies to flat-out noise. Scaffidi said that she sees Cessna’s role in the band as “the vibemaster.” For his part, he called himself a support musician in service to Blunderbusst’s songs. “I have the freedom to just get wild and shape sound,” he said. “In a way, I feel like what I’m trying to do is be the sonic equivalent to what Jen is singing about.” Scaffidi’s words—abstract and evocative of emotions without quite pinning them down—cover some remarkable ground. The title track to Monarch deals in part with her father, Sherrie, who came out as transgender in 2015. Other lyrics discuss the grieving process following her mother’s death. Scaffidi said her lyrics are written by “grabbing all the bits and pieces of stuff that I’ve been thinking about over the years. I feel like we only write about death and sex, and sometimes one is a metaphor for the other.” Ω

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Blunderbusst’s EP release party is at 8 p.m. on saturday, July 13, at Foxy olive, 220 Mill st. hear some of the record and learn more about the band at blunderbusst.com.

07.11.19    |   RN&R   |   23

THURSDAY 7/11 1up

214 W. Commercial Row, (775) 813-6689



John Beaver, Durty, 10pm, $5

Guru Reza, DR.Bob, Lil Dum Dum, Crisp Rice, Mistvke, 10pm, $TBA Dance party, 10pm, $5

5 Star Saloon

Karaoke, 9pm, no cover

Dance party, 10pm, $5

alIBI alE WorKS

Boca do Rio, 8:30pm, no cover

TapWater, 9pm, no cover

132 West St., (775) 329-2878 10069 Bridge St., Truckee, (530) 536-5029

Bar oF aMErICa

New Wave Crave, 9pm, no cover

New Wave Crave, 9pm, no cover


BOGL, RYURY, B3ING, 9:30pm, $7

Andy P, Nick Nyquil, Tommy2Tone, DJ B, 10pm, $TBA

10040 Donner Pass Rd., Truckee, (530) 587-2626 555 E. Fourth St., (775) 499-5549

CarGo ConCErt Hall


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

CEol IrISH puB

Carson Comedy Club, Carson City Nugget, 507 N. Carson St., Carson City, (775) 882-1626: Brad Bonar, Fri-Sat, 8pm, $15 Laugh Factory, Silver Legacy Resort Casino, 407 N. Virginia St., (775) 3257401: Manny Maldonado, Thu, Sun, 7:30pm, $21.95; Fri-Sat, 7:30pm, 9:30pm, $27.45; Jackson Perdue, Tue-Wed, 7:30pm, $21.95 LEX at Grand Sierra Resort, 2500 E. Second St., (775) 789-5399: Ron Josol, Fri, 6:30pm, $10 The Library, 134 W. Second St., (775) 6833308: Open Mic Comedy, Wed, 9:30pm, no cover Pioneer Underground, 100 S. Virginia St., (775) 322-5233: Dat Phan, Thu, 7:30pm, $12-$18, Fri, 9pm, $15-$22, Sat, 6:30pm, 9:30pm, $15-$22; Comedy Collective, Fri, 6:30pm, $10-$15

John Garrett Band, 9pm, no cover

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

CottonWooD rEStaurant

10142 Rue Hilltop, Truckee; (530) 587-5711

DaVIDSon’S DIStIllErY 275 E. Fourth St., (775) 324-1917

Karaoke with Nightsong Productions, 8pm, no cover

Whiskey Preachers, 9pm, no cover


Karaoke with Gina G, 9pm, no cover

Fat Cat Bar & GrIll

Karaoke Night, 9pm, no cover

GrEat BaSIn BrEWInG Co.

Outlaw Kindred, 7pm, no cover

846 Victorian Ave., Sparks; (775) 355-7711

tHE HollanD projECt 140 Vesta St., (775) 448-6500

Post shows online by registerin g at www.newsr eview. com/reno. D eadline is the Frida y before public ation.

Meet & Greet with Alex Blesiv, 5pm, W, $18.35-$36.70 Traditional Irish session, 7pm, Tu, Wed. Night Showcase, 7pm, no cover Dan Copeland, 6pm, W, no cover

Live music, 9pm, no cover Scumdance Film Festival, noon, $10

432 E. Fourth St., (775) 409-4431

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

Neil O’Kane, 9pm, no cover

Bias & Dunn, 6pm, no cover

DEaD rInGEr analoG Bar 239 W. Second St., (775) 470-8590

Karaoke, 9pm, W, no cover

Sounds of the City, 5pm, no cover

1044 E. Fourth St., (775) 324-5050

July 11, 7:30 p.m. Pioneer Underground 100 S. Virginia St. 322-5233

MON-WED 7/15-7/17

Bluegrass Open Jam, 6:30pm, M, Swing dance, 7:30pm, Tu, no cover

alturaS Bar

Dat Phan


Sunday Jazz Church with Reno Jazz Syndicate, 1pm, no cover Karaoke, 9pm, Tu, no cover Drag Queen Bingo, 8pm, W, no cover Panda, 8:30pm, no cover

First Take featuring Rick Metz, 7pm, no cover Meth, Mouthbreather, Impurities, nocapitalsnospaces, 7pm, $TBA

Trivia Night, 9pm, Tu, no cover

Dom & Friends, 7pm, no cover Necking, Emma Lee Toyoda, M, 8pm, $5 Horse Jumper of Love, 8pm, Tu, $7

Linda Marie

Massage Therapy By Appointment Only NVMT#6457

Mention this ad & receive 20% off


142 Bell St. Ste. 2D, Reno 24





JUB JUB’S THIRST PARLOR 71 S. Wells Ave., (775) 384-1652 1) Showroom 2) Bar Room




2) Ails, Pressure Drop, The Adventures Of, 8pm, $5

1) X-Raided, 7:30pm, $20

1) Celly Ru, 7:30pm, $20


1021 Heavenly Village Way, S. L. Tahoe, (530) 523-8024

Magic Fusion, 7pm, 9pm, $22-$47

Magic Fusion, 7pm, $22-$47 Magic After Dark, 9pm, $32-$47

Live Jazz Jam Wednesdays, 7:30pm, W, no cover

Magic Fusion, 7pm, 9pm, $22-$47 Magic After Dark, 11pm, $32-$47

Magic Fusion, 4:30pm, 7pm, 9pm, $22-$47


1527 S. Virginia St., (775) 800-1960

DJ Trivia, 7pm, no cover


2100 Victorian Ave., Sparks, (775) 507-1626

PIGNIC PUB & PATIO 235 Flint St., (775) 376-1948

Steve & Reanna, 8pm, no cover

Regulo Caro, Vaqueros Musical, Banda Rafaga, Banda Zeta, 9pm, $45

Ladies Night with Mario B, Miggz, 10pm, no cover for women before 11pm

Bingo w/T-N-Keys, 6:30pm, Tu, no cover Greg Holquist, 6pm, W, no cover

DJ Trivia, 1pm, no cover Glass Tung EP release party, 8pm, $10

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


Corrupted Youth, Class System, 9:30pm, $6-$8

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

VIRGINIA STREET BREwHOUSE 211 N. Virginia St., (775) 433-1090

Shawn James, Levi Connor, Hank Allen, 8pm, $12


Ten Foot Tiger, Taking Root,


Tyler Stafford, 6:30pm, no cover

The Emo Night Tour, 9pm, $7

Horse Jumper of Love

Trivia Night hosted by Aubrey Forston, 8pm, no cover

Lynch Mob, Sacred Moon, Krosphyer, 8pm, $20-$25

Spoon, Starcrawler, 8pm, M, $30

2660 Lake Tahoe Blvd., S.L. Tahoe, (530) 544-3425 9pm, no cover 17 S. Virginia St., (775) 284-7455

July 15, 8 p.m. Virginia Street Brewhouse 211 N. Virginia St. 433-1090

DG Kicks, 8pm, Tu, no cover Sweet & Lethal, 9pm, W, $5

Alias Smith, 8;30pm, no cover

Eric Andersen, 6pm, no cover



DJ Trivia, M, 7:30pm, no cover Tristan Selzler, 6pm, W, no cover, ’70s Night, 9pm, no cover

1559 S. Virginia St., (775) 322-8864 1401 S. Virginia St., (775) 384-6526

The Sun Rays, 8:30pm, no cover

Len Henke, Moonlight Graham, 8pm, no cover


Magic Fusion, 7pm, 9pm, M, Tu, W, $22-$47 Motown on Monday, 9pm, M, no cover

188 California Ave., (775) 322-2480


MON-WED 7/15-7/17 2) Sucka Punch, Be Like Max, The Steadians, 8pm, W, $5

Pawnshop, 9;30pm, no cover

1480 N. Carson St., Carson City, (775) 841-4663



Krystal Paul Duo, 6:30pm, no cover

Colin Ross, 6;30pm, no cover

Frog and Toad, 2pm, no cover Joel Ackerson, 6pm, no cover

July 16, 8 p.m. The Holland Project 140 Vesta St. 448-6500

Moon Gravy, 6pm, M, no cover E. Andersen & K. Cotter, Tu, no cover Tany Jane, W, no cover






BOOMTOWN CASINO HOTeL 2100 garSon rd., Verdi, (775) 345-6000 guitar bar ROSS LEWIS: Thu, 7/11, 6pm, no cover VELVET DUO: Fri, 7/12, Sat, 7/13, 6pm, no cover EBONY NOT QUITE IVORY: Fri, 7/12, Sat, 7/13, 8pm, no cover

STEPHEN LORD: Sun, 7/14, 5pm, no cover TANDYMONIUM: Mon, 7/15, 6pm, no cover GARY DOUGLAS: Tue, 7/16, 6pm, no cover JASON KING: Wed, 7/17, 6pm, no cover

Ruthie Foster July 11, 7:30 p.m. Nugget Events Center 1100 Nugget Ave. Sparks 356-3300

CArSON VALLey INN 1627 Hwy. 395, Minden, (775) 782-9711 Cabaret TRIPPIN’ KING SNAKES: Thu, 7/11, 7pm, Fri, 7/12, Sat, 7/13, 8pm, no cover

HENRY & TERRY: Sun, 7/14, Mon, 7/15, 6pm, no cover


TIMOTHY BROWN: Tue, 7/16, Wed, 7/17, 6pm,

3800 S. Virginia St., (775) 825-4700



500 n. Sierra St., (775) 329-0711

ALL IN: Thu, 7/11, 8pm, Fri, 7/12, Sat, 7/13, 4pm, no cover

ESCALADE: Fri, 7/12, Sat, 7/13, 10pm, Sun, 7/14,

no cover



14 HigHway 28, CryStal bay, (775) 833-6333 Crown rooM JAKE SHIMABUKURO: Fri, 7/12, 8pm, $32-$35

red rooM DANNY STARKS & NESHA: Fri, 7/12, 10pm, no cover

DIRTY REVIVAL: Sat, 7/13, 10pm, no cover

eLDOrADO reSOrT CASINO 345 n. Virginia St., (775) 786-5700 SHowrooM THE ILLUSIONISTS EXPERIENCE: Thu, 7/11, 7pm, Fri, 7/12, 8:30pm, Sat, 7/13, 5pm & 8:30pm, Sun, 7/14, 5pm, Tue, 7/6, Wed, 7/17, 7pm, $39.95-$59.95

GrAND SIerrA reSOrT 2500 e. SeCond St., (775) 789-2000 grand tHeatre


leX nigHtClub

10pm, no cover




RASCAL FLATTS: Sat, 7/13, 8pm, $95-$175

7/17, 8pm, no cover


FASTLANE: Fri, 7/12, Sat, 7/13, 9pm, no cover

el Jefe’S Cantina

8pm, no cover

BRIDGET MARIE BAND: Mon 7/15, Tue, 7/16, Wed,



THROWBACK THURSDAY WITH DJ SWERVE-1: Thu, 7/11, 6pm, no cover

LEX FRIDAYS: Fri, 7/12, 10pm, $20 LEX SATURDAYS: Sat, 7/13, 10pm, $20



The fourth annual festival returns this weekend as part of Artown. Using pavement for canvas, artists will create a variety of chalk art masterpieces. Prizes will be awarded in multiple categories, including firstplace individual, team and student divisions, as well as best use of color (last year’s winner “The Lion King” by Mariah Walker, at right), best use of 3D, people’s choice and best reproduction of a master's work. The three-day event also features food, artisan crafters, beer from Great Basin Brewery and performances by The Novelists, Jeremy Cornwell, David Gerald, Johnny Young Band and Whesli. The festival takes place from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, July 12-13, and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 14, in the west parking lot of the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, 3800 S. Virginia St. Call 825-4700 or visit www.atlantiscasino.com.

CryStal lounge CAROLYN DOLAN: Fri, 7/12, Sat, 7/13, 7pm, no cover

tHe Pool INFINITY SUNDAYS AT THE POOL: Sun, 7/14, 11am, $20, no cover for locals before noon

HArD rOCK LAKe TAHOe 50 HigHway 50, Stateline, (844) 588-7625 Vinyl BATTLE OF THE INK: Joey Hamilton vs. Big Ceeze: Fri, 7/12, 6pm, no cover

COCKTAILS WITH JERRY RICE: Sat, 7/13, 9pm, $45

Post shows online by registering at www.newsreview.com/reno. Deadline is the Friday before publication.




LATIN DANCE SOCIAL WITH BB & KIKI OF SALSA RENO: Fri, 7/12, 7pm, $10-$20, no cover

Fri, 7/12, 9pm, $25, Sat, 7/13, 8:30pm & 10:30pm, $30, Sun, 7/14, 9pm, $25


MONTBLEU RESORT CASINO & SPA 55 HigHway 50, STaTEliNE, (775) 588-3515 CENTER BaR DJ SET: Fri, 7/12, Sat, 7/13, 9pm, no cover

HARRAH’S LAKE TAHOE 15 HigHway 50, STaTEliNE, (800) 427-7247 SOUTH SHORE ROOM MASTERS OF ILLUSION: Thu, 7/11, Fri, 7/12, Sat, 7/13, Sun, 7/14, Mon, 7/15, 8pm, $24-$45


HARRAH’S RENO 219 N. CENTER ST., (775) 786-3232 SaMMy’S SHOwROOM THE GREAT AMERICAN VARIETY SHOW: Thu, 7/11, Fri, 7/12, Sat, 7/13, 7:30pm, $26-$37

Dirty Revival July 13, 10 p.m. Crystal Bay Casino 14 Highway 28 Crystal Bay 833-6333 THE OUTDOOR PlaZa LIVE MUSIC: Sat, 7/13, 8pm, no cover

HARVEYS LAKE TAHOE 18 HigHway 50, STaTEliNE, (775) 588-6611 OUTDOOR aRENa BLAKE SHELTON WITH MARK MACKAY: Fri, 7/12, 8pm, $99.50-$255.50

BlU NigHTClUB BONE THUGS-N-HARMONY: Fri, 7/12, 10pm, $35

NUGGET CASINO RESORT 1100 NUggET aVE., SPaRkS, (775) 356-3300 NUggET EVENT CENTER RUTHIE FOSTER: Thu, 7/11, 7:30pm, no cover

PEPPERMILL RESORT SPA CASINO 2707 S. ViRgiNia ST., (775) 826-2121 TERRaCE lOUNgE THE LIQUE: Thu, 7/11, 7pm, Fri, 7/12, Sat, 7/13, 8pm, no cover

MAX MINARDI: Sun, 7/14, Mon, 7/15, Tue, 7/16,

TAHOE BILTMORE 5 HigHway 28, STaTEliNE, (775) 833-6731

before 8pm

DJ SPRYTE: Sat, 7/13, 10pm, $20



CHRIS COSTA: Fri, 7/12, Sat, 7/13, 8pm, no cover

345 N. aRliNgTON aVE., (775) 348-2200 POOl RENO YOUTH JAZZ ORCHESTRA WITH DOUG COOMLER: Sun, 7/14, 6:30pm, no cover PETE L’ANGELLE WITH THE JOKERS WILD: Wed, 7/17, 6pm, no cover

SILVER LEGACY RESORT CASINO 407 N. ViRgiNia ST., (775) 325-7401

karaoke Fat Cat Bar & Grill (Midtown District), 1401 S. Virginia St., (775) 453-2223: Karaoke with Chapin, Tue, 9pm, no cover

gRaND ExPOSiTiON Hall LYLE LOVETT AND HIS LARGE BAND: Fri, 7/12, 8pm, $45-$65

RUM BUlliONS DJ R3VOLVER: Fri, 7/12, Sat, 7/13, 9pm, no cover AUDIOBOXX: Fri, 7/12, Sat, 7/13, 9pm, no cover

SilVER BaRON lOUNgE DJ MO FUNK: Thu, 7/11, Sun, 7/14, 9pm, no cover PLATINUM: Fri, 7/12, Sat, 7/13, 9pm, no cover

Pizza Baron, 1155 W. Fourth St., Ste. 113, (775) 329-4481: Wacky Wednesday Karaoke with Steve Starr & DJ Hustler, 9pm, no cover The Point, 1601 S. Virginia St., (775) 3223001: Karaoke, Thu-Sat, 8:30pm, no cover Spiro’s Sports Bar & Grille, 1475 E. Prater Way, Ste. 103, Sparks, (775) 356-6000: Karaoke, Fri-Sat, 9pm, no cover West 2nd Street Bar, 118 W. Second St., (775) 348-7976: Karaoke, Mon-Sun, 9pm, no cover

Wed, 7/17, 6pm, no cover






FOR THE WEEK OF july 11, 2019 For a complete listing of this week’s events or to post events to our online calendar, visit www.newsreview.com. REAWAKENING THE GREAT BASIN—A NATIVE AMERICAN ARTS AND CULTURE GATHERING: The Reno-Sparks Indian Colony joins the Nevada Museum of Art at Hands ON! on Second Saturday to celebrate Native American art, culture, community and tradition. Meet several established and emerging Native American visual artists from across the region who will be selling their traditional and contemporary creations and sharing their knowledge. Performing artists will demonstrate a variety of traditional dances. The gathering also features basket weaving, creation of tule duck decoys, hand game demonstrations, hands-on art projects, gallery talks and storytelling. Sat, 7/13, 10am-6pm. Free. Nevada Museum of Art, 160 W. Liberty St., www.nevadaart.org.

WILL ROGER—COMPASS OF THE EPHEMERAL: Nevada artist and Burning Man event co-founder Will Roger comes to Sundance to share his latest book. Roger photographs the ever-changing cityscape and transformation of Black Rock City as it changed throughout the years. Thu, 7/11, 6:30pm. Free. Sundance Books and Music, 121 California Ave., (775) 786-1188.

THE ZERO WASTE LIFESTYLE: Join members of Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful as they talk about trash and how it’s going to take more than just the 3Rs to help reduce our waste and impact on the environment. Sat, 7/13, 2pm. Free. Galena Creek Visitor Center, 18250 Mt. Rose Highway, (775) 849-4948.



This weekend superheroes, villains and sidekicks will convene in the Biggest Little City for the annual bar crawl. Mild-mannered citizens by day will transform into their favorite champions or evil-doers by night—with a $10 crawl cup and map in tow as they receive free admission, drink specials and other perks at more than 15 participating venues in downtown Reno. Cups and maps can be purchased in advance or at the crawl start location on the day of the event. The crawl kicks off at 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 13, at Harrah’s Outdoor Plaza, 219 N. Center St. Visit crawlreno.com.


CARSON CITY GHOST WALK: Hear about lingering spirits of the long ago centuries, paranormal stories and gossip from the past. This is a spirit-led, guided walking tour of the Carson City downtown district’s west side historic homes and businesses. Tours leave rain or shine. Sat, 7/13, 7pm. $15-$20. McFadden Plaza, 310 S. Carson St., Carson City, (775) 348-6279, carsoncityghostwalk.com.

AMERICAN CENTURY CHAMPIONSHIPCELEBRITY GOLF TOURNAMENT: Eighty pro athletes and Hollywood celebrities compete for their share of a $600,000 purse and the coveted American Century Championship Cup. Get up close and personal with the celebrities on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during the Celeb-Ams and practice rounds. Thu, 7/11-Sun, 7/14. $0-$70. Edgewood Tahoe, 180 Lake Parkway, Incline Village, (888) 769-1924, americancenturychampionship.com.

FIRST THURSDAY: Explore the galleries during Nevada Museum of Art’s monthly social event featuring live music by The Sun Rays and specialty refreshment. Thu, 7/11, 5pm. $10, free for NMA members. Nevada Museum of Art, 160 W. Liberty St., (775) 329-3333.

AMERICAN POLITICAL ITEMS COLLECTORS WESTERN REGIONAL SHOW: Find new and vintage political campaign buttons, posters, photos, ribbons, advertising and sports pinbacks, Americana, protest, labor, anti-war, social cause-related and pop culture items at this two-day show and sale. Buy, sell and trade campaign memorabilia and get free appraisals of your collectibles. Fri, 7/12-Sat, 7/13, 10am. $8-$12. Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, Grand Ballroom, 3800 S. Virginia St., (916) 956-2030, www.apic.us.

LAVENDER DAY AT THE ARBORETUM: The May Arboretum Society hosts its fifth annual event featuring lavender plants for sale and master gardeners on hand to provide tips for growing lavender in Northern Nevada. There will also be lavender sachets, wands and wreathes, skin care products, candles and essential oils for sale. Sat, 7/13, 9am. Free. Wilbur D. May Arboretum & Botanical Garden, Rancho San Rafael Regional Park, 1595 N. Sierra St., (775) 785-4153.

ART, WINE & MUSIC FESTIVAL: The two-day event features wine tasting from 2-5pm, performance stages, restaurants, shops and walkways lined with fine art booths and exhibits. All proceeds from the event benefit Achieve Tahoe. Sat, 7/13-Sun, 7/14, 11am-5pm. Free. Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, 1960 Squaw Valley Road, Olympic Valley, squawalpine.com.







series continues with the 1986 film starring Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey and Dennis Hopper. Fri, 7/12, 9pm. Free. Wingfield Park, 2 S. Arlington Ave., (775) 476-2793, artown.org.

RENO ACES: Reno’s minor league baseball

team plays the El Paso Chihuahuas. Mon,

7/15, 7:05pm, Tue, 7/16, 5:30pm & 7:05pm, Wed, 7/17, 7:05pm. $10-$45. Greater

Nevada Field, 250 Evans Ave., (775) 3347000, www.milb.com/reno.

RENO ART FEST: The three-day event kicks off with a street party and opening festivities, as well as Circus Circus’ 24-Hour Mural Marathon, on Friday. The festival continues with a fire show presented by Controlled Burn on Saturday. Fri, 7/12-Sun, 7/14. Free. North Virginia Street between Fourth and Sixth streets, www.renoartfest.org.

THE RENO FASHION SHOW 2019: Northern Nevada’s largest fashion show features men’s and women’s clothing from local and international designers, including special guests from Project Runway. Sat, 7/13, 7pm. $25-$45. Harrah’s Reno, 219 N. Center St., www.renofashionshow.com.

SASSABRATION: The fifth annual event will kick off with a parade at the Brewery Arts Center and will continue at Sassafras Eclectic Food Joint, Carson Hot Springs and Shoe Tree Brewing Co. 2 The festival includes live music, performance artists, food, vendors and free admission to the Carson Hot Springs pool from noon to 8pm. The event raises funds for PFLAG Carson Region, the Ron Wood Family Resource Center and Transgender Allies Group. Sat, 7/13, noon. Brewery Arts Center, 449 W. King St., Sassafras Eclectic Food Joint, 1500 Old Hot Springs Road, Carson City, www.sassabration.com.

SCUMDANCE FILM FESTIVAL: The film festival celebrates the best of underground film with an emphasis on horror, avantgarde, music-based and experimental films. Sat, 7/13, noon. $10. Dead Ringer Analog Bar, 432 E. Fourth St., (775) 7429488, artown.org.

US SENIORS BLOCK ’N’ ROLL PARTY: The event features three bands playing “oldies,” food trucks and tables with information on services for seniors. Sun, 7/14, noon. Free. Teglia’s Paradise Park, 2350 Paradise Drive, (775) 499-5507.

this musical adapted by Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori from Alison Bechdel’s 2006 graphic memoir of the same name. Thu, 7/11-Sat, 7/13, 7:30pm; Sun, 7/14, 2pm; Wed, 7/17, 7:30pm. $18-$20. Good Luck Macbeth Theatre Company, 124 W. Taylor St., (775) 322-3716.

THE LAKE TAHOE SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL: The 47th annual festival includes productions of The Taming of the Shrew and Million Dollar Quartet. The Showcase Series takes place on Monday evenings. Thu, 7/11-Wed, 7/17, 7:30pm. $15-$99. Sand Harbor State Park, 2005 Highway 28, Incline Village, (800) 747-4697, laketahoeshakespeare.com.


RENO 1868 FC: Reno’s professional soccer

team plays the Club América U20s. Fri, 7/12, 7:30pm. $25-$125. Greater Nevada Field, 250 Evans Ave., (775) 334-7000, www.reno1868fc.com.

FUN HOME: Good Luck Macbeth presents

ONSTAGE ALWAYS... PATSY CLINE: Carson Valley Community Theater presents Ted Swindley’s musical play based on the true story of country singer Patsy Cline’s friendship with her fan Louise Seger. Fri, 7/12-Sat, 7/13, 7:30pm; Sun, 7/14, 2pm. $20-$25. CVIC Hall, 1602 Esmeralda Ave., Minden, (775) 843-3493, carsonvalleycommunitytheatre.org.

A NIGHT AT WOODSTOCK: Join the Reno Phil Orchestra and guest vocalists as they celebrate the 50th anniversary of the seminal music festival. Sat, 7/13, 5pm. $20. Wingfield Park, 2 S. Arlington Ave.; Mon, 7/15, 7:30pm. $60-$140. Sand Harbor State Park, 2005 Highway 28, Incline Village, renophil.com.

CARTOON CLASSICS CONCERT: Reno Pops Orchestra presents a program featuring music from popular animated films or shorts. Sat, 7/13, 7:30pm. Free. Robert Z. Hawkins Amphitheater, Bartley Ranch Regional Park, 6000 Bartley Ranch Road, www.renopops.org.

CULTURAL CONNECTIONS: The Artown series continues with the Southern Gothic, alt-country blues of Amythyst Kiah. Wed, 7/17, 7:30pm. Free. Wingfield Park, 2 S. Arlington Ave., (775) 322-1538.


band performs with opening act 10 Dollar Pony. Sat, 7/13, 7pm. Free. Brewery Arts Center, 449 W. King St., Carson City, concerts.levittamp.org/carsoncity.

THE LITTLE MERMAID JR: TheatreWorks of Northern Nevada presents its musical production based on Disney’s animated movie. Fri, 7/12, 7pm; Sat, 7/13, 2pm & 7pm; Sun, 7/14, 3pm. $12-$15. TheatreWorks of Northern Nevada, 315 Spokane St., twnn.org.

NEFARIOUS HORDE: The nine-piece big brass band assimilates the composition and personality of the popular street bands seen all over Europe and South America, as well as the streets of big cities in America. Tue, 7/16, 7pm. Free. First United Methodist Church, 209 W. First St., (775) 322-4564, artown.org.

THE QUEEN OF SOUL—A LOVING TRIBUTE TO ARETHA FRANKLIN: The Reno Jazz Orchestra’s 18-piece big band presents this two-hour show devoted to the music of Aretha Franklin. Mon, 7/15, 7:30pm. Free. Robert Z. Hawkins Amphitheater, 6000 Bartley Ranch Road, (775) 372-6160, renojazzorchestra.org.

ROLLIN’ ON THE RIVER: RN&R’s concert series continues with The Sextones and opening act Jonny Rollin. Fri, 7/12, 5:30pm. Free. Wingfield Park, 2 S. Arlington Ave., (775) 324-4440, renorollingontheriver.com.

The dance show tells stories through movement and music. Performers include teachers and students from Heart & Sole Dance Academy and dancers from Dysrhythmia Contemporary Dance Company. Tue, 7/16, 8pm. Free. Wingfield Park, 2 S. Arlington Ave., artown.org.

SENSE & SENSIBILITY: Reno Little Theater

EXIT, PURSUED BY A BEAR!: Restless Artists


Theater presents Lauren Gunderson’s smart, dark revenge comedy. Thu, 7/11Sat, 7/13, 7:30pm; Sun, 7/14, 2pm. $8-$20. Restless Artists Theatre, 295 20th St., Sparks, (775) 525-3074, rattheatre.org.

FAMILY SERIES—MUSICAL NIGHT AT THE LIBRARY: This one-hour performance gives the audience a glimpse into seven well-loved, classic books by bringing various scenes in each book to life via song, dance and acting. Mon, 7/15, 6pm. Free. Wingfield Park, 2 S. Arlington Ave., (775) 322-1538, artown.org.

presents Kate Hamill’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s beloved novel following the fortunes (and misfortunes) of the Dashwood sisters. Thu, 7/11-Sat, 7/13, 7:30pm; Sun, 7/14, 2pm. $12-$25. Reno Little Theater, 147 E. Pueblo St., (775) 8138900, renolittletheater.org.

Steele, longtime Artown performer, invites three young ragtime pianists— Ramona Baker, Andrew Barrett and John Reed-Torres—to join her in concert. Thu, 7/11, 7pm. Free. First United Methodist Church, 209 W. First St., artown.org.

VICTOR/VICTORIA: Brüka Theatre presents Blake Edward’s musical fable about mistaken identity, sexual role-playing, love, innocence and sight gags. Thu, 7/11-Sat, 7/13, Wed, 7/17, 7:30pm. $24-$30. Brüka Theatre, 99 N. Virginia St., (775) 323-3221, www.bruka.org.


The filet of the land I’m a 36-year-old single man. I see buying a woman dinner as a nice part of courting. Lately, however, women keep pretending to be interested in me only to vanish after I’ve taken them out for an expensive dinner. How can I avoid women who just want to use me as a meal ticket? Welcome to the “foodie call”—a woman dating a man she isn’t attracted to in order to get a free meal. Social psychologist Brian Collisson and his colleagues surveyed heterosexual women to see whether they’d deceived men to get free eats. Though the women “generally” rated foodie calls as unacceptable, about a quarter to a third of the women they polled reported engaging in a foodie call. Collison and his team found that there’s a particular type that tends to milk men out of meals, and it’s women who scored high in the “dark triad.” This is a three-pack of antisocial personality traits: narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism (named for Niccolo Machiavelli, author of The Prince). Machiavellianism involves a tendency to manipulate and deceive others for personal gain. Psychopathy is marked by a lack of empathy and remorse. The researchers note that people who score high in it are unlikely to consider their date’s perspective and “the intense negative emotions” that come from being led on. And, finally, there’s narcissism. Narcissists are selfadoring, self-focused, entitled creeps who tend to be “socially adept.” As for how to filter out the gourmet grifters, I always advise that first dates (and maybe even second dates) should be three things: cheap, short and local. I write in Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck that you should meet for happy hour drinks or coffee for an hour or two—at most. “This helps keep things from going too fast (a big source of misery and resentment).” Additionally, “If a date turns nightmarish, it will at least be a Hobbesian nightmare: “nasty and brutish but also short.” Finally, and more to the point of your question, it’s pretty hard to feel taken for a ride on a coffee date: “Man, did she ever play me for that double decaf latte!”

Truth be trolled I’m on Twitter, and occasionally, I’ll tweet something seemingly innocuous and then have dozens or even hundreds of enraged strangers attack me with ugly tweets. What’s the best response when this happens? It turns out that pile-ons by Twitter mobs are often less about content (differences of opinion) than about coalition-building—though the haters brandishing the virtual flaming pitchforks probably aren’t conscious of this. A growing body of evidence supports evolutionary psychologists John Tooby and Leda Cosmides’ theory that humans have a “coalitional psychology.” They explain that “because everything can be taken from a powerless individual or group,” we seem to have evolved a motivation to band together and work as a unit to “enhance, defend or repair” our group’s status. Basically, it’s in-group versus outgroup, us versus them. Not surprisingly, the commonenemy thing turns out to be big for group bonding (social glue through collective hating). Outrage functions as a “group-mobilizing resource,” notes Tooby, triggering the mob to go off on the poor out-group person who dared express an idea the group is opposed to. Because outrage is emotionallydriven, and because it’s so often coalition-energizing, there’s no reasoning with the members of the mob coming after you: “But … you’re misunderstanding what I meant!” In fact, defending yourself in any way usually fuels the fire. Every tweet you put out there can be turned into something foul and horrible that you supposedly believe. The best approach is to go into your settings and “lock” your Twitter profile for a while so only followers you’ve approved can communicate with you. You can turn off notifications and block everyone who’s awful to you. You can also take a break from Twitter until the mob moves on to their next victim. Ω


Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave., No. 280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or email AdviceAmy@aol.com (www.advicegoddess.com).

07.11.19    |   RN&R   |   29

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Free will astrology

For the week o F July 11, 2019 ARIES (March 21-April 19): You’re in the Land of Green Magic. That’s potentially very good news, but you must also be cautious. Why? Because in the Land of Green Magic, the seeds of extraneous follies and the seeds of important necessities both grow extra fast. Unless you are a careful weeder, useless stuff will spring up and occupy too much space. So be firm in rooting out the blooms that won’t do you any good. Be aggressive in nurturing only the very best and brightest.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Eight years ago, researchers in Kerala, India went to the Padmanabhaswamy Temple and climbed down into centuries-old vaults deep beneath the main floor. They found a disorganized mess of treasure in the form of gold and precious gems. There were hundreds of chairs made from gold, baskets full of gold coins from the ancient Roman Empire and a four-foot-high solid statue of a god, among multitudinous other valuables. I like bringing these images to your attention because I have a theory that if you keep them in your awareness, you’ll be more alert than usual to undiscovered riches in your own life and in your own psyche. I suspect you are closer than ever before to unearthing those riches.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Children need to learn certain aptitudes at certain times. If they don’t, they may not be able to master those aptitudes later in life. For example, if infants don’t get the experience of being protected and cared for by adults, it will be hard for them to develop that capacity as toddlers. This is a good metaphor for a developmental phase that you are going through. In my astrological opinion, 2019 and 2020 are critical years for you to become more skilled at the arts of togetherness and collaboration; to upgrade your abilities so as to get the most out of your intimate relationships. How are you doing with this work so far?

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Vantablack is a material made of carbon nanotubes. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, it is the darkest stuff on the planet. No black is blacker than Vantablack. It reflects a mere 0.036% of the light that shines upon it. Because of its unusual quality, it’s ideal for use in the manufacture of certain sensors, cameras and scientific instruments. Unfortunately, an artist named Anish Kapoor owns exclusive rights to use it in the art world. No other artists are allowed to incorporate Vantablack into their creations. I trust you will not follow Kapoor’s selfish example in the coming weeks. In my astrological opinion, it’s crucial that you share your prime gifts, your special skills and your unique blessings with the whole world. Do not hoard!

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and I confess that I am addicted to breathing air, eating food, drinking water, indulging in sleep and getting high on organic, free-trade, slavery-free dark chocolate. I also confess that I am powerless over these addictions. Now I invite you to be inspired by my silly example and undertake a playful but serious effort to face up to your own fixations. The astrological omens suggest it’s a perfect moment to do so. What are you addicted to? What habits are you entranced by? What conditioned responses are you enslaved to? What traps have you agreed to be snared by? The time is right to identify these compulsions, then make an audacious break for freedom.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): When cherries are nearing the end of their ripening process, they are especially vulnerable. If rain falls on them during those last few weeks, they can rot or split, rendering them unmarketable. So cherry growers hire helicopter pilots to hover over their trees right after it rains, using the downdraft from the blades to dry the valuable little fruits. It may seem like overkill, but it’s the method that works best. I advise you to be on the lookout for similar protective measures during the climactic phase of your personal ripening process. Your motto should be to take care of your valuables by any means necessary.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Please don’t try to relax. Don’t shy away from challenges. Don’t apologize for your holy quest or tone down your ambition

or stop pushing to get better. Not now, anyway. Just the opposite, in fact. I urge you to pump up the volume on your desires. Be even bigger and bolder and braver. Take maximum advantage of the opportunities that are arising, and cash in on the benevolent conspiracies that are swirling in your vicinity. Now is one of those exceptional moments when tough competition is actually healthy for you, when the pressure to outdo your previous efforts can be tonic and inspiring.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I can’t decide whether to compare your imminent future to a platypus, kaleidoscope, patchwork quilt or Swiss Army knife. From what I can tell, your adventures could bring you random jumbles or melodic mélanges—or a blend of both. So I’m expecting provocative teases, pure flukes and multiple options. There’ll be crazy wisdom, alluring messes and unclassifiable opportunities. To ensure that your life is more of an intriguing riddle than a confusing maze, I suggest that you stay closely attuned to what you’re really feeling and thinking, and communicate that information with tactful precision.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Every year, thousands of people all over the world go to hospital emergency rooms seeking relief from kidney stones. Many of the treatments are invasive and painful. But in recent years, a benign alternative has emerged. A peer-reviewed article in a scientific journal presented evidence that many patients spontaneously pass their kidney stones simply by riding on roller coasters. I doubt that you’ll have a literal problem like kidney stones in the coming weeks. But I do suspect that any psychological difficulties you encounter can be solved by embarking on thrilling adventures akin to riding on roller coasters.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): In his book The Histories, ancient Greek historian Herodotus told the story of a six-year war between the armies of the Medes and the Lydians in an area that today corresponds to Turkey. The conflict ended suddenly on a day when a solar eclipse occurred. Everyone on the battlefield got spooked as the light unexpectedly dimmed, and commanders sought an immediate cease to the hostilities. In the spirit of cosmic portents precipitating practical truces, I suggest you respond to the upcoming lunar eclipse on July 16-17 with overtures of peace and healing and amnesty. It’ll be a good time to reach out to any worthwhile person or group from whom you have been alienated.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): My astrological colleague Guru Gwen believes that right now Aquarians should get scolded and penalized unless they agree to add more rigor and discipline to their rhythms. On the other hand, my astrological colleague Maestro Madelyn feels that Aquarians need to have their backs massaged, their hands held and their problems listened to with grace and empathy. I suppose that both Gwen and Madelyn want to accomplish the same thing, which is to get you back on track. But personally, I’m more in favor of Madelyn’s approach than Gwen’s.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): As a self-taught rebel poet with few formal credentials, I may not have much credibility when I urge you to get yourself better licensed and certified and sanctioned. But according to my analysis of the astrological omens, the coming months will be a favorable time for you to make plans to get the education or training you’re lacking; to find out what it would mean to become more professional, and then become more professional; to begin pursuing the credentials that will earn you more power to fulfill your dreams.

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

by JERi DAVis


Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds by Bernard de Fontenelle.

Wait, wait! The chateau has a connection to de Fontenelle?

Reno audiences can see Bay Area screenwriter and journalist Jonathan Kiefer’s new film, Around the Sun, during Reno’s July 25-28 Cordillera International Film Festival. Learn more the festival lineup and location here: www.ciffnv.org.

Nice to talk with you. It’s exciting to talk to the News & Review because, of course, I used to work at the Sacramento paper years ago.

Arts editor, right? Yes, that was from 2005 to 2008, or thereabouts. And I worked with Bob Grimm a little bit.

You’ve written for impressive publications—the New York Times, the Village Voice. Oh, thanks! After SN&R, I moved back to the Bay Area and continued freelancing, which is what I’d been doing before taking the job. I put in a few years doing that. It was a weird time because, of course, the economy went south. It was sort of a scary time to be freelancing, but I did pretty well through the network of alt weekly papers—because I’d been doing film reviews myself … and then eventually sort of thought that I should put my money—or, ideally, I guess, somebody elses’ money, if you’re making a movie— where my mouth is. I have my friend [director] Oliver [Krimpas] … whom I met way back when in the film department

at Boston University. … We had another project that didn’t quite happen. It was kind of too big and too ambitious. But then he told me that he knew somebody who had a chateau in France in which we could shoot for free. … He showed me some pictures of the place. … At that time, we’d tried to make this other movie—and it was so complicated and everything was so expensive. As first time feature makers, it was sort of an uphill battle. I had gotten to this point where I’m like, “Let’s just use what we have and be really, really frugal about everything. It’s like, you have this great location—and let me see if I can make a story out of that. We’ll make something that’s really minimal, just so it’s achievable.” And, so, the whole story kind of spun out of that place. This particular chateau … had an interesting history. It was the site and the setting of one of the first books of popular science,

It was where, in the 17th Century—it was a sort of off-site salon spot for Persian intelligentsia. … And de Fontenelle was a guest of this place, and he was, I think, kind of inspired by the hostess who received him there, among other distinguished literary types and wrote this book—which is basically explaining, popularizing the heliocentric model of the solar system, which at the time was sort of a dangerous idea. … It was something I thought we had to use to make the movie. So, yeah, the story is kind of an adaptation of that—or it’s inspired by that.

Tell me a little about the film. It’s basically a duet. It’s two people. The guy is Gethin Anthony, who was in Game of Thrones. And the woman is Cara Theobold, who was in Downton Abbey. And it’s sort of a series of scenes in which they meet for the first time, and she talks about the heritage of the property. … And it’s under the auspices of him as a film location scout coming to check it out, presumably to see if it’s workable as a location for a movie. … But as the story progresses, there’s a kind of looping narrative where things start to turn out a bit different than that. And you start to question who they are and what their relationship is or if it’s sort of a projection of [de Fontenelle’s] book. Ω


Glorious photography, seamy cases I’ve been catching up lately on episodes of the eternally amazing PBS show Nature, and I just want to take a moment to acknowledge the extraordinary work being done by the fleet of filmmakers that continue to go out into The Sticks of our astounding planet and come back with these riveting images that are both (1) in color and (2) in focus. One recent show was about tiny creatures of various places and how they get by, and there was footage of this technicolored spider the size of a grain of rice doing his mating dance for his mate who will eat him after they do the deed, and I’m sittin’ there saying, “Man, this guy got the shot, and it’s one helluva shot! Bravo, solitude-loving cameraperson with an abundance of patience. Your fantastic skills are not going unnoticed or unappreciated.”

• Speaking of the Jeff ’n’ Don show, this is a swell time to remind ourselves that in 2016, a woman named Katie Johnson filed a lawsuit against Epstein and—looky here!— Trump! I’ll be darned! In her suit, Johnson claims the two defendants “did willfully and with extreme malice violate her civil rights by sexually and physically abusing Plaintiff Johnson by forcing her to engage in various perverted and depraved sex acts by threatening physical harm to Plaintiff Johnson and her family.” The actions described happened in 1994, said Johnson, and the suit was first filed in California in April 2016, but dismissed for technical errors. It was then re-filed in New York in June 2016, but was dropped on November 4, five days before the freaking election, because, Johnson says, “threats to her life kept her away.”

Well, gee. How sordidly interesting. So what do we got? Meritless lawsuit from a crafty, scheming young golddigger? Or a legitimate action taken by one of the many teen girls molested and abused by a wealthy sex maniac and his good buddy who just now happens to be the Pervert Of The United States? Well, considering that (1) Epstein is a major slimebag, (2) he and Trump socialized often in the ’90s and ’00s (yes, Epstein was a member of Mar-aLago), (3) at least 20 women have accused Trump of sexual assault, and (4) Trump has undoubtedly paid women big bucks to STFU, well, then maybe we have to admit here that Katie Johnson’s story, as unsavory and repellent as it is, just might not be all that outlandish and far-fetched. She just might be telling the truth. And isn’t that just super? Ω