Issuu on Google+

HOMELESS SPRING CLEANING see Frontlines, page 12

TWO SHEDS FAREWELL see Music, page 42

MIDTOWN, DOWNTOWN CITY-COUNCIL THROWDOWN see Frontlines, page 10

SN&R ENDORSES … see Editorial, page 17

TRIPPY ART see Arts&Culture, page 24

SACRAMENTO’S NEWS & ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

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VOLUME 24, ISSUE 05

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THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2012


Victoria has learned some things in the past 147 years. The art of toasting malts to perfection. Adding just enough hops to be intriguing but never bitter. And mastering the fine balance of rich taste and clean finish in a world-class Vienna-style lager. History awaits you in every pint of Victoria.

2   |   SN&R   |   05.17.12 130051_CVICOR12023_103E.indd 1

4/25/12 5:29 PM


INSIDE 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.

Director of Advertising and Sales Rick Brown Senior Advertising Consultants Rosemarie Messina, Joy Webber Advertising Consultants Rosemary Babich, Josh Burke, Vince Garcia, Dusty Hamilton, April Houser, Cathy Kleckner, Dave Nettles, Kelsi White Senior Inside Sales Consultant Olla Ubay Ad Services Coordinator Melissa Bernard Operations Manager Will Niespodzinski Client Publications Managing Editor Kendall Fields Sales Coordinators Shawn Barnum, Rachel Rosin Director of First Impressions Jeff Chinn Distribution Manager Greg Erwin Distribution Services Assistant Larry Schubert Distribution Drivers Mansour Aghdam, Nicholas Babcock, Walt Best, Daniel Bowen, Nina Castro, Jack Clifford, Robert Cvach, Chris Fong, Ron Forsberg, Ramon Garcia, Wayne Hopkins, Brenda Hundley, Wendell Powell, Warren Robertson, Lloyd Rongley, Duane Secco, Jack Thorne President/CEO Jeff vonKaenel Chief Operations Officer Deborah Redmond Human Resources Manager Tanja Poley Credit and Collections Manager Renee Briscoe Business Shannon McKenna, Zahida Mehirdel Business Intern Carlos Zuluaga Systems Manager Jonathan Schultz Systems Support Specialist Joe Kakacek Web Developer/Support Specialist John Bisignano 1124 Del Paso Boulevard, Sacramento, CA 95815 Phone (916) 498-1234 Sales Fax (916) 498-7910 Editorial Fax (916) 498-7920 Website www.newsreview.com

BEFORE

3

Editorial Policies Opinions expressed in SN&R are those of the authors and not of Chico Community Publishing, Inc. Contact the editor for permission to reprint articles, cartoons or other portions of the paper. SN&R is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts. All letters received become the property of the publisher. We reserve the right to print letters in condensed form and to edit them for libel. Advertising Policies All advertising is subject to the newspaper’s Standards of Acceptance. The advertiser and not the newspaper assumes full responsibility for the truthful content of their advertising message.

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NIGHT&DAY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 Festival frenzy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Events Calendar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Blood diamonds, the sequel. . . . . . . . 16 Editorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 This Modern World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Guest Comment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

CHANGE

FRONTLINES

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24

Popular local drummer Jon Bafus’ shows his other creative side at Electric City, an exhibition of his work open now at Bows & Arrows gallery. Becky Grunewald profiles the artists. Also this week: Jonathan Mendick does the annual spring-summer festival roundup, Greg Lucas hits up Northgate Boulevard for ceviche and Nick Miller says goodbye to popular indie troupe Two Sheds. Popsmart. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Breaking the rules of perspective. . 24 Scene&Heard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

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Greenlight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Home, green home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 An Inconvenient Ruth . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Eco-Hit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Your Downtown Service Shop SMOG CHECK

10

Midtown and downtown are now one—as in united under one city council seat—and Cosmo Garvin has the skinny on the men and women vying to represent the newly formed District 4. Also this week: Nick Miller looks at the riverfront—and homeless—clean-up effort in West Sacramento and SN&R’s endorsements continue with three city council seats. Bites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Fantasic four. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Spring cleaning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

EIGHT GIGS

DISH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31

18

Back when Rachel Leibrock first visited Google as a reporter in 2002, the company had already begun to stand out in a field crowded with clunky search engines. Last month, she returned to the famed Googleplex for a view of the much-expanded campus and to undertake an exploration of how the company, with its “Don’t be evil” motto, has evolved since then.

Streetalk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Letter of the Week . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Letters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Poet’s Corner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

FRONTLINES

CLIPS

FEATURE STORY

GREEN DAYS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14

SN&R is printed by The Paradise Post using recycled newsprint whenever available.

39 44

33 FOOD STUFF

Editor Melinda Welsh Managing Editor Nick Miller Senior Staff Writer Cosmo Garvin Arts & Culture Editor Rachel Leibrock Copy Editor Kyle Buis Associate Copy Editor Shoka Shafiee Calendar Editor Jonathan Mendick Editorial Coordinator Kel Munger Special Sections Editor Becca Costello Editorial Interns Valentín Almanza, Jonathan Nathan, Kate Paloy, Matthew W. Urner, Amy Wong Contributors Sasha Abramsky, Gustavo Arellano, Rob Brezsny, Larry Dalton, Joey Garcia, Jeff Hudson, Eddie Jorgensen, Jonathan Kiefer, Jim Lane, Greg Lucas, Ann Martin Rolke, Garrett McCord, John Phillips, Patti Roberts, Steph Rodriguez, Seth Sandronsky, Amy Yannello Design Manager Kate Murphy Art Director Priscilla Garcia Associate Art Director Hayley Doshay Editorial Designer India Curry Design Melissa Arendt, Brennan Collins, Mary Key, Marianne Mancina, Skyler Smith Art Directors-at-large Don Button, Andrea Diaz-Vaughn

VoÒume 24, Issue 05 | May 17, 2012

Las Islitas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 The V Word . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Dish Listings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Eat It and Reap. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Food Stuff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

COOLHUNTING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 ASK JOEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 STAGE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 Ruined. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Kiss me, Kate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Now Playing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

FILM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 Darling Companion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Clips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

Check out SN&R’s FREE searchable EVENTS calendar online at www.newsreview.com.

MUSIC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 Two Sheds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Sound Advice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Eight Gigs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Nightbeat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

THE 420 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49 Greenest of thumbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

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STREETALK

“A sex tape I didn’t know about.”

Asked at the Capitol building:

Are you worried about online skeletons?

Mickey Martin

Philip S. Georgia

business consultant

No, I’m a pretty free person. I wouldn’t be happy if there were lies or things like that about me. Or if there was a sex tape I didn’t know about!

BEFORE

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FRONTLINES

Corrie Dolman

student

architectural designer

I think that stuff should stay private, what I do online. That’s for me, that’s what I do. I don’t go following people around seeing what they’re doing. … I think they should say upfront whether they’re going to share my information.

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FEATURE

I guess I’m not really afraid of anything that people would find out about me online, because I’m pretty private about the things I put online. It’s more of other people—like on Facebook—that I’m friends with, and they put a lot of personal stuff about themselves, which reflects upon me.

STORY

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urban planner

student

I think that the government and corporations are just infiltrating every aspect of your life through your computer, so it’s very dangerous. I don’t know what to do, because I’m not an expert on those things.

A RT S & C U LT U R E

Kavon Cry

Guadalupe Peña

Jerry Guevara

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student

I would be afraid of my address popping up. Exactly where I live, even the little town in which I live, is pretty small. You’d be easily able to find me, and I know that there are some things that I’ve done that people are not happy about.

AFTER

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I don’t really care what people think of me, so it wouldn’t matter. Everyone has their own opinions, so why care about what they have to say?

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LETTERS

Visit us at www.newsreview.com or email sactoletters @ newsreview.com

Hope for help

FIRST SHOT SN&R reader photo of the week PHOTO BY EBONY ROCHELLE WHITE

Re “Lives to save” by Jeff vonKaenel (SN&R Greenlight, May 10): I love to hear the sound of a mind opening and considering new possibilities where mental health is concerned. I respect you for that and for publicly acknowledging it. We know what happens when we throw money at revitalization of blighted neighborhoods like Oak Park and Del Paso Heights. We know what happens when we spend money to build an arena for sports. All temporary gratificaLETTER OF tion, it seems. It would be terrific to have a sizable amount of THE WEEK money to spend on prevention, education and long-term treatment for mental health, especially if it was administered by people who had been in the trenches and understood how it really needed to be allocated (unlike [Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing]). Bureaucracy has a way of compromising a lot of well-laid plans, at least to some extent, but it would be nice to have a turn. What if it worked? Elaine Johnson Sacramento

Just add butter Re “Ducking the debate” by Nick Miller (SN&R Frontlines, May 10): This feels like the [boycott, divestment and sanctions] teapot tempest at the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op, where both sides diligently exerted themselves to avoid any win-win solution. In this case, I’ve heard that ducks and geese want to gorge themselves at times, as suggested in the article. So why not build them a feeder that would allow them to control the gorging? From my dietary-health perspective, I would want to know more about whether the diet available to fowls was the diet they are evolved to eat. Besides, if it’s gras you want with your foie, you can always just add butter. But as for “F-bomb” [California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton], I don’t understand how he can think that this is the worst or only abuse suffered by domesticated animals, many of whom must be less happy than Elsie the cow. We can’t ask Elsie if she’s happier in one of the Central Valley [concentrated animal-feeding operations] that divert [Interstate 5] drivers from boredom than ducks and geese living in conditions where force-feeding may be the least of their issues. And even though Burton can ask farm workers how happy they are, I haven’t heard that he’s working as hard for them as for the fowls. Muriel Strand Sacramento

What are we smoking? (Part 150) Re “High on Romney” by Nick Miller (SN&R The 420, May 10): You’ve got to be blasted out of your mind—or you got some bad dope—to think Mitt Romney and the “anti-everything” religious forces will be better for your marijuana habit. If Mitt and Team Romney get control of the reins of government, they’ll make Reefer Madness look like a fairy tale. Follow the political process: Remember BEFORE

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FRONTLINES

what happened when millions left the Democrats for Nader in 2000. We got George W. Bush for eight years. The Republicans and the tea party are playing take-no-prisoners politics. Ron Lowe Nevada City

The weather’s great, everyone’s back enjoying the outdoors. So, please, be mindful of headless pedestrians. Thanks.

Done with Dems

Theoretically, in a democracy, a voter should have a choice. However, trying to decide between [Mitt] Romney and Obama is an impossible dilemma. If Obama is elected, there is a very strong possibility that he and his minions will complete what they so successfully started. If the current trend is allowed to go on, the marijuana industry will have to go underground, and the will of the voters has been negated. Unfortunately, as you noted, Romney is not exactly known for his support of this issue and has not shown one iota of moral integrity, either. Currently, weed sympathizers are in a very difficult spot with their hands tied behind their back. I do appreciate that your magazine has not given up the coverage of an issue that matters to many of us. Please continue your good work. Is there any way to quantify the voters’ defection due to this issue? I just hope it would scare some of our dry-hearted politicos into using better judgment.

Re “High on Romney” by Nick Miller (SN&R The 420, May 10): I voted for Democratic politicians for the last 40 years, but I will not cast a vote for the current president or any of the California Democratic incumbents. As you pointed out, [President Barack] Obama has done a 180-degree turnaround on the marijuana issue. He does not deserve another chance. I now question the validity of his judgment for handling of an issue that did not need to be addressed so harshly by the attorney general. Therefore, my faith in politicians has been shattered. I feel betrayed by the very people I voted for. Instead of toadying to an electorate that will not vote for them anyway, they should push for more testing of the weed by the [Food and Drug Administration], so that it can be accurately prescribed by physicians for the various ailments that it helps and for which there are currently no known cures. My only explanation for their indifferent or negative attitude is that they are currently getting suitcases of cash from the pharmaceutical and liquor industries. Their behavior only makes potential voters feel cynical and defeated. Another irony is that Obama, who spent most of his political capital trying to pass universal [health-care] coverage, has so little compassion for medicalcannabis users. The current administration fails to recognize that medical users are not seedbags, but sick people whose diseases are aggravated by the stress caused by the closure or fear of closure of their favorite dispensaries. The local dispensaries that are still open are overcrowded now, and the quality of their offerings has declined, as some of their suppliers have gone out of business.

|

FEATURE

STORY

Carmen Bigard Sacramento

Duh-mocracy Re “Legacy” by Fred Branfman (SN&R Feature, April 26): It’s really a shame the ’70s radicals didn’t get to change the world by selling out to the system. Wow, man, what a bummer! However, you had to betray yourself before you could betray your parents and your children. Democracy is the disease, not the cure. Politics is slavery, not freedom. Activism will not reduce the billions of tons of crud being blown into the atmosphere by the military, which dwarfs industry pollution and totally obscures your “carbon footprint.” |

A RT S & C U LT U R E

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Mob protest is not due process. War is not love. Anyone who agrees with you is not thinking, and will be more confused after reading your dichotomous drivel. Why are you still promoting mob protest as if it’s a good thing—even though you know it doesn’t work; even though you know mob protest is a setup to give the government an excuse to attack the people; even though you know mob protest makes a mockery of rights! War is based on lies, not law. Yet you and your brethren have found a new voice for your conceptually failed idealism and are embarking on a new campaign to mislead generations to come. As long as you fear the truth more than death, your enemy will be your god. Just say no to duh-mocracy.

Have a great photo? Email it to firstshot@ newsreview.com. Please include your full name and phone number. File size must not exceed 10 MB.

Mike Jackson Citrus Heights

POET’S CORNER We Are Not Birds We are not all For we are not birds. When a bird perched on a wall Bordering the sea, With its beak and pink bony knees, Walks and squawks and feeds On the leavings we leave behind, We can see and know that clearly But we cannot fly. When a bird flies, it’s a different thing: From here to there in a second flat, A feathery coat that lasts, and wings Instead of arms. Over the deep green water Birds are gone just like that. —K. A. Kimmel

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#2 – Sacramento News & Review – 5/17/12

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FRONTLINES Let K.J. debate Every election year, political candidates

make the rounds, appearing at forums in River Park, or Hollywood Park or North Laguna Creek neighborhoods, the list goes on and on, to debate their opponents and ask for our votes. Well, most candidates. The North Laguna Creek by COSMO GARVIN folks emailed Bites last week to ask, “Why does the Mayor of Sacramento not attend a communitysponsored mayoral-candidates forum? This would seem twice as important since he has selected a candidate to run for office in the same District 8.” Good question. But don’t feel bad that Kevin Johnson blew you guys off; he’s not doing any debates at all. As for “selecting” Betty Williams to run against his political foe, south Sacramento rep Bonnie Pannell, Bites is sure Williams would disagree. Then again, have you seen her campaign signs? The ones with the big smiling picture of K.J.—and no image at all of the actual candidate—which say “Mayor Kevin Johnson says Betty Williams for city council.” These were paid for by the fanboys over at Better Sacramento—an independent-expenditure committee funded by developers and businessmen who have a big mayor-crush on K.J. Mostly Bites has seen the signs taped up on utility poles in abandoned lots along Meadowview.

The mayor also skipped the regular League of Women Voters candidates forum on Saturday. If you missed it, don’t worry, it’s being rebroadcast on Metro Cable Channel 14, every Sunday morning until the election. Gather the whole family around, and watch as media “experts”—like Bites, The Sacramento Bee’s Pia Lopez and Foon Rhee, the Sacramento Press’ Melissa Corker—try to get the candidates to say something not totally scripted. Actually, Bites managed to “Since there is no get a rise out of would-be mayors Leonard Padilla and viable candidate … it is Jonathan Rewers, by reading our decision not to a statement from the K.J. campaign manager Steve engage in any debates.” Maviglio, explaining why Steven Maviglio hizonner ditched Sacramento’s Mayor Kevin Johnson’s campaign manager only televised mayoral forum: “Since there is no viable candidate who has spent any money or is running a campaign against the mayor, it is our decision not to engage in any debates.” Maviglio added that to appear with “candidates” (his quotes) who’ve put their name on the ballot but aren’t running real campaigns, “seems a bit absurd.” For some reason, both men got a little bitchy about this. Said Padilla, “A warm body with a pulse would be viable in this election. The people in this city are disgusted with Kevin and his cronies.” Rewers bristled, too. “It’s unfortunate that he doesn’t understand what the office of the mayor is. It’s to be a representative of the public. To have a vision that will move the city forward and to make the case to the public. I think he’s failed at that.” Had he appeared at this forum, Johnson would have seen “candidates” a bit less famous than himself, perhaps, not even remotely as well-funded, but probably just as qualified. Frankly, Rewers has simply got the mayor beat on policy, and Padilla’s way past him when it comes to executive swagger.

But seriously. Four years ago, the Mayor of Sacramento, Heather Fargo, appeared at every forum side by side with a whole pack of candidates viable and otherwise. It was probably pretty grueling, you know, because of the multiple sclerosis. She needed help getting around, but she showed up to defend her record in public. Meanwhile, Johnson ran around and called Fargo weak and ineffectual, promising a “city that works for everyone.” Today, Sacramento really doesn’t work for anyone. It’s the city itself that seems exhausted. And the mayor doesn’t show up to debate it.

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W I T H A ST R O N G F I E L D I N D I ST R I C T 4 , T H E WINNER WILL BE A N YO N E ’ S G U E S S . Votes are already coming back in the mail for Sacramento City Council races. In District 4 (covering Land Park, Midtown, downtown and River Oaks), Rob by Cosmo Garvin Fong has decided not to run again, and there’s a crowded field of would-be successors. An archicosmog@ tect, a couple of attorneys and a state Assembly newsreview.com staffer lead the pack. If no candidate wins more than 50 percent in voting on June 5, then the top two vote-getters will go to a runoff election in November. With seven candidates in the running, it’s a good guess there will a runoff. But it’s a lot tougher to guess which two will make the cut.

Getting down with business

Two District 4 candidates who qualified for the ballot, Michael Rehm and David Turturici, were not available for interviews for this story.

Phyllis Newton figures this story will be a hit piece. After all, “I’ve heard it all, that I’m a rightwing Republican. That I was recruited by the mayor to run for council.” Yes, we’ve heard all that, too. And? “Actually, I’ve been a registered Democrat for 38 years.” As for being the mayor’s candidate, Newton says, “It’s a myth.” Newton has made her living as an attorney to architects—at one time that included architect Joe Yee, one of her opponents in the race. She boasts time served on several city advisory boards and commissions, and more recently has joined Miyamoto Global Disaster Relief, traveling to Haiti to rebuild schools destroyed in the devastating earthquakes there. “I think we probably have a very similar vision for the city,” says Newton of Mayor Kevin Johnson. But she says, “I’m a genuine person. I’m not a puppet or a mouthpiece for anyone.” In fact, Newton says she’s had just one meeting with the mayor, “And he didn’t ask me any political questions.” Had he asked, he would have learned that Newton did indeed support putting Johnson’s strong-mayor measure on the ballot—which a majority of the city council rejected earlier this year. She says the council’s refusal to advance one of the mayor’s signature initiatives reflects the “factionalization” in City Hall. This has been a common talking point for all the business-backed candidates for city council this

year (see “North by northeast,” SN&R Feature Story, May 10). Newton’s got the endorsement of The Sacramento Bee, Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce, Region Builders and Sacramento Restaurant Association. She’s got the most money of all the candidates in the race—more than $120,000 raised by the last reporting period in March. A good chunk of that is $50,000 she loaned herself, but it also includes large donations from local developers and real-estate groups. Like many candidates, she says Sacramento has to “grow our way out” of its financial troubles, and says Sacramento needs a “cultural change” to be more business friendly. As for the city’s immediate budget shortfall—$16 million this year—Newton says she thinks there are “still efficiencies to be realized” in some city services, like garbage collection and parking, and in consolidating some services with county government. She also won the support of the Sacrametno Area Firefighters Local 522. When asked if she supports the city manager’s recent proposal to make police and fire pay a much bigger share of their own retirement, she hedged, noting that the firefighters have already made concessions on their retirement.

Democracy and the claw

Terry Schanz is an entirely different political animal from Newton. He’s been endorsed by the Sacramento Central Labor Council, the Sacramento City Teachers Association and several of the city’s Democratic Clubs, including the Sacramento Young Democrats and Women Democrats. The 33-year-old Schanz grew up in District 4, went to C.K. McClatchy High School before heading off to UC San Diego for a political-science degree and post-graduate work in Cape Town, South Africa. Most of his political experience has orbited around the Sacramento state house, rather than City Hall. He worked for Bob Matsui, and


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Blood diamonds, revisited See ESSAY

“Sacramento faces a fiscal crisis, not a governance crisis. Changing the city charter is not going to change the fact that there’s more money going out than there is money coming in.” Terry Schanz Schanz was an early skeptic of the failed arena proposal, saying, “It was just a bad deal.” He suggests greater focus at the Westfield Downtown Plaza, which has become “a shell” in our downtown. “Instead of building two entertainment zones, let’s look at all our options. We’ve torn down and rebuilt Downtown Plaza before. You could really build a great entertainment complex there,” Schanz says. Asked how Sacramento can grow its economy, he notes one of Sacramento’s particular assets: aging baby boomers, retiring from government jobs. BEFORE

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“These are folks who have insurance and need a lot of services. Let’s make Sacramento a regional center for health care.” More than the arena and jobs and politics, Schanz says, “The No. 1 thing voters ask me about is ‘the claw,’” referring to the city’s recent decision to stop allowing residents to pile their yard clippings in the street. “A lot of stuff grows in this city,” and residents worry about having to cram all their yard waste in those green bins. The concerns about the claw, he says, are a “solvable problem,” but go to show, “at the end of the day, city government is about the things you can see when you walk out the door in the morning.”

Back from the drawing board

Architect Joe Yee is laid back and self-effacing. Asked what surprises him most about the running for office, he says, “I’ve been surprised by the volunteers; how much people are willing to do to support the campaign.” He says his biggest worry is “letting people down.” In his professional life, he’s focused on public projects like schools and libraries, and his firm helped with the renovation of the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium. He’s spent 14 years on the city’s planning commission, helping guide the city’s development. And he thinks his experience makes him the best candidate to tackle the issues affecting District 4—whether it’s an arena proposal, or consideration of a new Broadway bridge, or the redevelopment of downtown. “My understanding of the development of Sacramento is important. Understanding how we got here is important,” Yee says. Where Newton has the backing of the business establishment, Joe Yee is the pick of Sacramento’s political establishment. He’s actually hoping to return to the District 4 council seat. He was appointed to the council for several months in 2000, after Mayor Joe Serna died and Jimmy Yee (no relation) was appointed to serve out his term, leaving an empty seat on the council. Yee has the endorsement of the Sacramento County Democratic Party and several local electeds including Sacramento council members Darrell Fong, Kevin McCarty and Sandy Sheedy. Yee also enjoys some heavy labor |

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support, like the Plumbers and Pipefitters, the city employees union Local 39, and the Sacramento Sierra Building and Construction Trades Council. Even when the arena deal was being celebrated in the local press, Yee was skeptical, saying he thought it was unlikely the project could clear its environmental review and other hurdles in time for a 2015 Kings season-opener. Yee supports asking the police and fire unions to pick up a greater share of their pension costs. “It’s not disrespecting public safety. It’s not devaluing them. But it’s got to be a fair and sustainable system.”

Geeking out on government

One of a handful of candidates who have raised no money or built a campaign organization, Neil Davidson says up front that his campaign was a bit “last-minute.” The 35-year-old homeowner and county employee—he’s an information-technology analyst—says he jumped in because he was frustrated with the city’s rate hikes to upgrade its sewer system. “We’ve known about this for a long time, but the city never put any money aside. What I want most out of government is stability,” Davidson told SN&R, explaining that the city needs to do a better job of planning ahead for its infrastructure needs. His experience as a computer programmer and data-phile might help. “I’m not really much of a partisan. I want a council member who is really into it technically,” Davidson says. While boosters of a downtown arena say we’re missing the opportunity to book colossal corporate rock acts, Davidson says the city ought to think smaller. What Sacramento is really missing are good mid-sized venues to attract touring bands and other shows. “Even if I don’t win this, it is something I think we need to do,” he explains.

Representing the grid

If District 4 was on Facebook, Steve Hansen would win going away. He’s got about 10 times as many likes on Facebook as his nearest council competitor.

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Does that translate into votes? Maybe not, but he has raised about $50,000 online, and at the last reporting he’s right behind Newton in campaign money. “My independence comes from the fact that I don’t rely on the old way of doing things,” Hansen told SN&R. Hansen locked up early endorsements from the Sacramento Police Officers Association, and the Stonewall Democratic Club of Sacramento (he’s openly gay, as is Schanz). But the other candidates have divided up the bulk of the usual endorsers. That could be a good thing. “Both of my opponents come from the construction industry,” says Hansen referring to Newton and Yee. “I’m independent of business, I’m independent of the political machine.” But hardly unconnected. Hansen works as a government affairs manager at Genentech— though technically he’s not a registered lobbyist; the lobbyists report to him. If elected, he says he will donate his annual city council salary (just a little more than $60,000) to seed an “innovation fund” to leverage other funds toward worthy initiatives in tech or the arts. He was a lobbyist for Equality California. He’s on the board of the Downtown Sacramento Partnership, and served on the Sacramento Citizens Redistricting Advisory Committee— not without some controversy (see “Sacramento redistricting map scrap,” SN&R Frontlines; August, 4, 2011). Despite winning the cops’ endorsement, Hansen says he doesn’t support Mayor Johnson’s strong-mayor proposal, and makes somewhat supportive noises when it comes to asking public safety to pay more for their retirement. “Everyone should pay their fair share, but the collective-bargaining process is our mechanism for doing it,” he told SN&R. Hansen lives in Alkali Flat, and notes there hasn’t been a candidate from the central city in decades. Neither has there been openly gay council member. It was Hansen that pollsters working for Phyllis Newton were referring to when they asked voters how they felt about a “candidate who is a leader in the gay-rights movement.” Hansen has complained about Newton’s poll, saying the question was stirring up prejudice. Newton says her campaign was just “testing profiles” and that the polls asked about lots of other attributes—such as whether a candidate is a woman, or lives in Midtown, is supported by labor, or is an architect. There’s clearly some animosity between Newton and Hansen, and though they’ve mostly kept a lid on it, it could make for a nasty run-off campaign. Ω

Who will represent District 4 (left to right): Phyllis Newton, Terry Schanz, Joe Yee, Neil Davidson or Steve Hansen?

currently serves as policy director for Assemblyman Isadore Hall (D-Compton). Schanz dismisses all the hand-wringing over recent disagreements on the council. “I reject the idea that because people disagree with somebody’s agenda, then democracy is somehow broken.” Schanz also rejects Mayor Johnson’s bid for greater power, and says he’s against the creation of an elected charter commission to review and possibly recommend government reforms. “I opposed the first, second and third strongmayor proposals. Sacramento faces a fiscal crisis, not a governance crisis. Changing the city charter is not going to change the fact that there’s more money going out than there is money coming in.” Schanz is fourth in the money race, and The Sacramento Bee recently named Yee, Hansen and Newton the “top three” candidates likely to make a runoff. But with his list of endorsements and a lot of hustle, Schanz says “I think I’m as competitive as any candidate out there.”

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Sabine Merrill and her dog, Princess, left their West Sacramento homeless encampment before police cleared out the area on Wednesday, May 9.

“The amount of trash is just unbelievable,” offered West Sacramento Police Sgt. Nathan Steele. “Everything you can imagine, the worst stuff is just the human feces and the urine.” Police say they recently zeroed in on the Broderick Boat Ramp area due to neighborhood complaints about “crime and quality-of-life problems.” Last Tuesday, they hired a contractor to erect a chain-link fence around its facilities, which they say were being used and abused by the campers. Steele noted $50,000 worth of destruction at the park during the past year. “All the electrical was ripped out of the facility. All of the plumbing fixtures and the fish-cleaning station, barbecues destroyed—it’s pretty sad, actually.” Homeless campers, who say they had nothing to do with the vandalism, were also given notice to evacuate the area by last Wednesday morning—or face arrest and the confiscation of belongings. So, on Tuesday evening just before sunset, camper Sabine Merrill told SN&R she wasn’t sticking around. “I’ve always had a job, except the past two years,” she explained. “This is my new neighborhood, but me and [her dog] Princess are moving on.”

But Kruse and his wife of eight years, Sonshyne, plus a dozen or so campers, were resolved to stay overnight. “We’ve lived here problem-free for a year,” he said. “Now, out of nowhere, they say we’re violating a camping code?” Kruse is no stranger to moving. Prior to camping near Broderick, the Vietnam War veteran had lived near the river in Bryte Park after losing his job eight years ago—until West Sac police ejected him from that stretch of the Sacramento River last spring. He and others claim the crackdown is part of a new anti-homeless policy in West Sacramento. “They’re taking our pictures and making a photo book of us,” said Sonshyne, who claims she learned this from a code-enforcement officer. City police say it’s all about keeping the area clean and safe. “These river cleanups and the camp cleanups are things we’ve progressively done” over the years, explained Steele. He also emphasized the unprecedented amount of waste and trash: The city brought in 10 Dumpsters that hold 35 tons of garbage each, and every one was filled during this week’s spring cleaning. The sergeant was amazed. “You know the commercial water trucks … from construction sites?” Steele asked. “There was one of those in six pieces out there.” West Sac police worked with parks and recreation, public works, biologists and even animal control—a security officer was bit by a dog near the boat dock recently—on the cleanup. “[Campers] were given the opportunity to remove their property,” Steele said. “That what was left behind, that is garbage.”

“They ran everybody out of here. And then I had a heart attack this morning.” Steve Kruse homeless veteran, on West Sacramento’s riverfront clearing But campers say they were not given sufficient notice, and that their tents and personal belongings were trashed. “They locked us out around 9 a.m.” on Wednesday, Kruse explained. “They went in with ‘The Claw,’” or the bulldozer used to pick up street-side green waste in the city, “and clawed everybody’s houses out.” It was all too much for Kruse: UC Davis confirmed that he was admitted Wednesday morning to its med center—hooked up to an EKG, doctors said he’d suffered two minor heart attacks. But—shockingly—later that the afternoon, Kruse was back out at the boat docks. “We have friends here. We have a neighborhood here.” Ω


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by JEFF VONKAENEL

Sacramento residents miss out on $215 million

Two-hundred-and-fifteen-million dollars is a lot of money. It’s almost as much as the imagined cost to the taxpayers of building a new downtown arena. It also only ($238 Value) represents how much additional money SacramentoIncludes examination, x-rays & consultation. Coupon valid only through 5.31.12 area residents could be receiving in the CalFresh, or Coupon valid for patients without insurance. food stamps, program. In the five-county region— New patients only. Sacramento, Yolo, El Dorado, Nevada and Placer We love kids! counties—there are roughly 150,000 people who qualMost Insurance Welcome • Caring & Friendly Staff ify for food stamps but are not receiving them. Let me repeat that: We have 150,000 people who qualify for $215 million in federal aid, but they’re just not signed up. A recent study by the California Department of Social Services found that local Eddie M. Alazraki, D.D.S. CalFresh enrollment has grown since 2007. But the UCLA School of Dentistry Graduate, problem of underparticipation remains. over 18 years experience in Cosmetic & General Dentistry Recently, during the Sacramento Metro Chamber Cap-to-Cap trip, 300 Sacramentans went to 3071 Fulton Ave. • Sacramento Washington, D.C., to lobby lawmakers to invest in (Near Town & Country Village) Sacramento. But 15 of us also went to a meeting with the undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Kevin Concannon. In numerous other meetings with elected officials, we were asking the federal government to invest in Sacramento. However, in the hour-and-a-half meeting with Concannon, who oversees the $113 billion Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, he politely explained what we needed to do in order to receive additional federal revenues. As it happens, California’s low food-stamp-program participation is our own fault. Only about half of eligible California residents receive CalFresh benefits, whereas other states, such as Maine, Virginia and Oregon, are in the 90-percent range. Concannon suggested we look at the state of N E W S & R E V I E W B U S I N E S S U S E O N LY Oregon. It has simplified its procedure, making it DESIGNER ISSUE DATE ACCT. EXEC. easier to receive benefits. And it has significantly Want toREM know if you AL 06.18.09 reduced administrative costs, without any increase in are eligible for FILE NAME REV. DATE CalFresh02.19.09 benefits? Visit fraud, according to Concannon. TRINITYCATHEDRAL061809R1 www.calfresh.ca.gov He also recommended we look at how Florida and select USP (BOLD SELECTION) nonprofits, faith groups and food banks have done “Eligibility Tool” PRICE / ATMOSPHERE / EXPERT / UNIQUE great community outreach. Even while having a in the menu. reduction in state employees, Florida was able to sigPLEASE CAREFULLY REVIEW YOUR nificantly increase its food-stamp enrollment with ADVERTISEMENT AND VERIFY THE FOLLOWING: community-outreach programs. AD SIZE (COLUMNS X INCHES) In January, we formed an ad hoc committee made SPELLING up of elected officials, homeless advocates, food-bank NUMBERS & DATES operators, welfare-department employees and the CONTACT INFO (PHONE, ADDRESSES, ETC.) News & Review to work on this problem and to AD APPEARS AS REQUESTED figure out a way for Sacramento residents to receive APPROVED BY: the aid that they are entitled to. And we are figuring it out. By having our five counties work together, having the welfare department Jeff vonKaenel is reform its process and make it less complicated, and the president, CEO and majority owner by having local nonprofits do outreach supported by of the News & Review the business community, we can directly help 150,000 newspapers in residents in our region. That’s our basic plan. Sacramento, Chico Encouraging our neighbors to spend an additional and Reno. n e w s & r e v i e w b u s i n e s s u s e o n ly $215 million in our grocery stores and farmers markets designer MK issUe dATe 05.26.11 ACCT eXeC REM would create an arena of economic benefits. And, in FiLe nAMe DAVIDALLEN052611R1 reV dATe 03.02.06 contrast to the proposed sports arena, the money comes from Washington, D.C., not the local taxpayers. Ω please carefully review your advertisement and verify the following:

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Upgrade your house’s sustainability quotient, room by room I hung out in sunny Tucson, Arizona, during a couple of weeks in April, where temperatures reached upward of by Christine G.K. 105 degrees. This can also happen LaPado in Sacramento, of course. But while here, I’ve found a great naturalfoods store, such as Aqua Vita Natural Food Market, where I picked up a free publication, Natural Awakenings. There are natural foods stores in Sacramento, too, of course, and similar magazines as well. But this one contained an article titled “Green Home Checklist,” by writer Crissy Trask, which offered useful advice on how to green up the kitchen, bedrooms, laundry room and bathroom in one’s home. She describes the kitchen as “a hot-spot for waste.” For instance, did you realize that every year, the average American household discards some 474 pounds of food waste, according to University of Arizona research? The article went on: “Buying more fresh food than we can eat before the expiration date is up and allowing leftovers to expire in the Green Days is on the fridge are culprits.” Solutions? lookout for innovative Make menus, avoid impulse sustainable projects throughout the buying, and composting your food Sacramento region. scraps can help. Turn us on at But there was other kitchen sactonewstips@ advice: Replace disposables such as newsreview.com. paper napkins and plastic wrap with cloth napkins and glass food-storage containers. Get rid of Teflon-coated cookware, which can give off toxins when overheated or damaged, and replace with cast iron (“properly seasoned cast iron is naturally nonstick”). Buy “high-quality reusable [shopping] bags that will give years of use” instead of “flimsy” reusable bags that will “end up as trash within a few months under normal use.” Then, the bedroom. She recommended that you “start with a good foundation.” She noted that box springs are often made of plywood or particleboard, which usually contain formaldehyde, which is BEFORE

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by AUNTIE RUTH

It’s the small things from each room in the house that make a home green.

“classified as a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and a toxic air-contaminant by the state of California.” Trask advises choosing box springs that are “certified as formaldehyde-free or with low emissions.” For instance, “a platform bed made of Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood, sourced from sustainably managed forests, is a healthy alternative.”

Get rid of Teflon-coated cookware, which can give off toxins when overheated or damaged, and replace with cast iron. Mattresses, too, are up for scrutiny. “Mattresses are commonly treated with fire-retardant chemicals to comply with U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission rules,” Trask wrote. “To avoid toxic chemicals like the hydrocarbon toluene, emitted from mattresses stuffed with polyurethane foam, instead look for untreated, wool-covered mattresses (wool is a natural fire retardant) filled with natural latex or containing a spring system wrapped with organic cotton batting.” As for washing bed sheets, avoid fabric softeners as they may contain “highly toxic chemicals that latch onto sheets and can be inhaled or absorbed directly through the skin.” Opt instead for a quarter cup of baking soda, added to the wash cycle to soften sheets and other laundry items.

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And then there’s the bathroom. Trask says that while the bathroom is the tiniest space in the house, it is a “disproportionately large contributor to household environmental impacts.” For instance, the normal American household—which is “non-conservation minded,” she reminds—uses some 38,000 gallons of water annually, which just goes down the drains or flushes down the toilet. Her eco-friendly tips include installing ultra-efficient showerheads that use as little as 1 gallon of water per minute, getting rid of products (such as household cleaners and even toothpaste) containing the antibacterial pesticide triclosan, and replacing toxic polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, shower curtains with organic-hemp versions, “the ecoshower-curtain gold standard.” It’s a bit of work to make the ol’ house green; take it one room at a time. Ω

drink. Real choices at every meal—the tyranny of mother is overthrown once and for all, until Thanksgiving. You can eat as much as you want, or as little as you want, and with a little discretion you can actually throw the food at your roommates. You can insult the food, and no one at your dinner table is insulted. All in all, a reverie that lasts just into winter quarter. Anyway, out at UC Davis, it all seems so quaintly Californian: The 13th annual Farm-to-College event, coming up on May 30, celebrates “community, food and farming” as it relates to dorm food. “Several” aspects of the meal will feature sustainably, locally and humanely produced eats, although Auntie Ruth imagines you can still salt and pepper spray the food for yourself. There will be activities, and featured growers—and you know the routine. This is, after all, California. Of No cereal for course, our dorm food is local and susdinner for you! tainable. If we didn’t invent the farmers market, we like to think we did. And here in Sacramento, we’ve been locavoring so long that vegetables from Capay look to us like leafy greens from Austin appear to folks in Dallas. And why that comparison? Alas, the time has come for California to pay heed. We—evidently—rank 41st on a locavore scale. Really.

The gauge is a survey entitled the “Strolling of the Heifers Locavore Index.” Emanating from Brattleboro, Vermont, it ranks Vermont as the No. 1 state in per capita locavoring. Strut proud, nepotists. While California ranks tops in both farmers markets (729 total) and CSAs (a cooperative agreement between consumers and farmers in which consumers buy shares in a farm and influence its output somewhat), we have so darn many people in the state that we tumble to 41st place, just barely ahead of New York and Texas. It’s not that we don’t do the most, it’s just that we don’t do enough—a thought that makes the lifelong Californian in Auntie Ruth a little glum. Can’t catch a break anymore. Maybe what she needs is a full plate of dorm food: The Farm-to-College event will take place near the Segundo dorms from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Cost to the general public is $14.50. Be sure to get seconds. Ω

(Come friend Aunt Ruth on Facebook and let’s hang out.)

ECO-HIT Sac’s new green coffee co-op

One of the biggest environmental problems facing the coffee industry is the deforestation that occurs to clear room for large-scale coffee plantations. That’s where the Pachamama Coffee Cooperative comes in. As of this month, the global cooperative of 140,000 small-scale and sustainable coffee farmers will headquarter its business in Midtown Sacramento. Its physical location, 919 20th Street, will also serve as a coffee outlet, art gallery, and a place to learn about the company’s many farmers. The company’s three brands of coffee are also sold at the Sacramento and Davis natural food co-ops, and Nugget Markets. Visit Coffee fresh from the tree. www.pacha.coop for more information.

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—Jonathan Mendick |

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ESSAY Blood diamonds, the sequel About that Charles Taylor verdict … Liberia’s former President Charles Taylor’s guilty verdict in The Hague for abetting war crimes in neighboring Sierra Leone will bring a measure of closure for the victims of a decade by Fayia Sellu of madness fueled by blood-diamond dealing. I should know. grew up in Sierra Leone, covered the war there During my visit to Liberia in November of 2001, as part as a journalist, and he of a group of West African youth campaigning for peace, I now hosts Sound sof met Taylor. We arrived at his executive mansion in Africa on KDVS 90.3 FM and studies film at Monrovia and soon had our own taste of the charisma of a smooth-talking guy who has televangelist Pat Robinson UC Davis and the Rev. Jesse Jackson among his pals. The radio and television stations started and ended with broadcasts of his good deeds—doling out wads of cash to his supporters. The diamond mines in my native Sierra Leone were annexed to provide such largess. As I listened to Taylor spew forth rhetoric about the future of the youth of West Africa more than a decade ago, all I could think about were the child soldiers being recruited that day, their innocence and future robbed forever. Taylor kept ostriches as pets— my mind kept roaring with laughter in the irony that he was, matter-of-factly, the ultimate ostrich. News of The Hague verdict was greeted with much relief by amputees—more than 10,000, including children— and victims who still bare indelible scars of war. Millions of lives were uprooted forever, and of some 50,000 perished. In Liberia, the same can’t be said. The man was its president for years. Some of his followers were out on the streets calling for the release of their “Papay” (big man). I don’t blame them. The man ran a country that had sanctions and embargoes from his pocket. Way before the first band of Revolutionary United Front rebels crossed over the border from Liberia into Sierra Leone in March of 1991 to launch what would be a decadelong campaign of senseless brutality, it was clear that Charles Taylor was going to help with “seed” fighters and arms. I distinctly remember the threat he made via BBC’s Focus on Africa, that if Sierra Leone provided a staging base for the West African peacekeeping troops set to intervene and thwart the goal of his rebel group National Patriotic Front of Liberia overrunning the whole country, then he—Taylor—would ensure Sierra Leoneans taste the “bitterness of war.” He bloody well did! Ultimately, Taylor, an operative of the Liberian government, fled his country with state funds and went into exile here in the United States. The circumstances under which Go to www.wikipedia.com for a good look he escaped minimum-security prison in Plymouth, at Charles Taylor’s Massachusetts, still invoke a cloud of mystery and varied checkered biography. explanations. What is not lost on observers is the fact that since the Nuremberg Trials, this is the first head of state to be convicted of war crimes—a strong legal precedent for those in authority. In my brief stint with the United Nations-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone, it was evident that the United States and Britain were picking up the tab for this court. But even as I write, it is not apparent that the International Criminal Court s will deter governments or heads of state from committing war crimes with impunity. Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir and Laurent Gbagbo are next on the “menu.” The million-dollar question is: Will Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, or any big fish from the West, ever get fried as Taylor? Ω


OPINION

EDITORIAL

THIS MODERN WORLD

BY TOM TOMORROW

No party is a real alternative This year, voters can begin voting in California’s first As the no-party-preference congressional top-two open primary. Previously, candidates candidate, I am focused strictly on addressing running for office appeared only on their own our economic recovery and not on fighting politparty’s ballot. Now, under the open-primary law, ical ideology. My goals are to create jobs by all candidates running, regardless of their party landing a company headquarters along the preference, will appear on a single combined Highway 50 and 99 corridors; reduce commutes ballot. For the first time, voters can also select a by building a bridge across the American River no-party-preference candidate in the primary between Watt Avenue and Sunrise Boulevard; election. This change will give voters the option and to interconnect Elk Grove to El Dorado to select a moderate canHills via a byway. didate that balances the To create jobs by As the no-party-preference views of both parties. for our area, I Curt Taras congressional candidate, Once in office, a norecently wrote a candidate for party-preference George Lucas, creCalifornia’s 7th I am focused strictly on candidate holds a powerator of the Star Congressional addressing our economic district, which ful split vote to break Wars movie series, includes some stalemates between the to invite him to recovery and not on Sacramento suburbs parties. This vote can be locate his new fighting political ideology. instrumental in passing Lucas Films digital budgets, approving projarts campus at ects and making decisions. Mather Field or at the recently annexed expanI am the no-party-preference candidate for sion of Folsom. This was in response to an Have a comment? Express your views California’s 7th Congressional district. This new announcement Lucas had made about pulling in 350 words on district represents the Sacramento County subhis operations out of Marin County. a local topic urbs. It’s a more compact district and was As congressman, I will continue to invite of interest. designed by the California Citizens Redistricting employers to locate here, and I will do everySend an e-mail to Commission to eliminate the gerrymandering thing I can to retain the employers we already editorial@ newsreview.com. which snaked the previous district all the way have. This is what Chicago did to encourage to the Nevada border. In my opinion, it’s a Boeing to move its headquarters there from better district for the voter, because it is cenSeattle. This is what I will do if elected your tered in Sacramento County to more effectively congressman. Please consider a no-party-preferrepresent the needs of a growing suburban popence candidate this election, and break the party ulation. stalemate. Ω BEFORE

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Pannell, McCarty Two incumbents on the Sacramento City Council—Bonnie Pannell in District 8 and Kevin McCarty in District 6—have served the city well and deserve another term. Pannell has been a tireless advocate for her south Sacramento district, supporting economic development and neighborhood-revitalization projects galore. Over a 13-year period, she helped eliminate Danger Island at Meadowview, Amherst and Freeport, eliminated Franklin Villa (now called Phoenix Park), built nine new parks (including a dog park), built a sports complex at Luther Burbank High School—the list goes on and on. Pannell’s challenger, former local NAACP president Betty Williams, who has the backing of Mayor Kevin Johnson, is a worthy candidate, but seems a bit too much in the mayor’s pocket. She is well funded, so this race will be close. Pannell, who has shown herself to be independent, is currently involved in multiple development projects that we would like to see her complete. We urge voters to offer her another term. In District 6, McCarty has been a consistent (probably too consistent) voice of opposition to the mayor. Like Pannell, he has an independent voice and opposed the strong-mayor proposal and redistricting. But his “counter” to the mayor in almost all matters has become personal, it seems, and a distraction from solving the serious issues that face Sacramento and the city’s southeast neighborhoods. Regardless, we fully support another term for the hard-working, well-informed McCarty, who has created worthy city programs and authored local legislation—related to air quality and gun violence— that makes a difference. Ω

The voter-registration deadline for the June 5 election is this Monday, May 21. To find registration forms or more information on how to register, visit http://sos.ca.gov.

Sample in District 2 North Sacramento has been asked to settle for less for too long. High crime, a staggering unemployment rate and the highest child-death rate in the city—these are among the challenges a new city council member will face in representing the neglected District 2. Though several worthy candidates are running for this seat, we throw our support to Jason Sample. A pastor, former school-board member and resident of the district since the age of 10, Sample has a heartfelt concern for the poor and working-class citizens of Sacramento’s north side. He’s fought to promote youth programs and keep community centers open. He’s encouraged dropout prevention programs and set up financial and money management for residents in an area that—as he says, has “two banks and 11 check-cashing places.” Sample, who inherited his pastoral post from his father, seems more interested in education and economic development than in preaching about social Look for complete local issues like gay rights. He’s been a straight-talker about endorsements in next week’s SN&R. the arena, believing now is not the time to finance an arena on taxpayer dollars. We are fans of Rob Kerth and fully acknowledge all he’s accomplished over the years for the people of District 2. And we like Kim Mack’s communityorganizer energy and belief in creative solutions to problems. But we feel its time for a new force to emerge as the voice of North Sacramento. Sample is that force. We urge a vote for him. Ω |

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Sacramento native Tara Canobbio worked with Google in Biloxi, Mississippi, after Hurricane Katrina. The experience led to her current role developing educational outreach strategies for the tech company’s Computing and Programming Experience summer camps.

G

oogle is more than just search—it’s a noun, a verb and a way of Internet life. We use it every day, often without thinking. The search box is just there, empty and waiting for our questions, curiosities and concerns. Launched in 1998, Google built its name by providing information, shaping perspectives. The company, founded by Stanford University students Sergey Brin and Larry Page, started as a simple but powerful search-engine company that redefined what it meant to look up information on the Internet.

An SN&R reporter goes searching for answers, 10 years later, at the Googleplex by RACHEL LEIBROCK rachell@newsreview.com

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Back when I first visited Google as a reporter for The Sacramento Bee in 2002, the company was known almost exclusively for its ability to provide answers. Then, in a field crowded with clunky search engines such as Lycos and AltaVista, Google stood out with its lightningfast, intuitive query results. Likewise, the company’s Google’s Mountain View headquarters—a mere two-hour drive from Sacramento—was the kind of place that seemed to epitomize the dot-com age’s fun, pioneering, anti-corporate spirit. The Googleplex of 10 years ago comprised only two modestly sized buildings and a sprawling parking lot that seemed, in fact, bigger than its office space. But a publicist accompanied me on a tour, and our travels revealed a fun, freewheeling vibe: A help-yourself cereal bar tucked in amid the cubicles! Free vegan food in the employee cafe! Bean bags for napping! Lava lamps! Then, too, it was easy to schedule a quick interview with Brin and Page, the two friends who founded the company on the notion that search should be smart and easy, with query results generated via an algorithm method that ranked results by usefulness and popularity— without the influence of ad dollars. The early version of Google, Brin told me then, “was a very primitive search engine … but as more people began to use it, it became increasingly clear that we had (created) a valuable technology.” And although Brin and Page said they were “surprised” by Google’s success, they also got why the search engine had become less of a utilitarian tool and more of a lifestyle application. “[S]earches are important to people,” Brin said. “They search for information on their health, on their careers—for things important to their lives.”


In the years that have followed, the company also armed its users with an arsenal of useful tools such as email, online data storage and productivity software and, with its acquisition of companies such as YouTube, Blogger and Picasa, has built a veritable virtual empire. It’s the most-visited site in the world: According to Google’s own figures, more than 1 billion queries are conducted daily via its search engine. Do the math: That’s 11,574.07 searches every second. Such success, of course, means that Google faces constant scrutiny: How profitable is it? How innovative? And, most importantly, what’s next? Such omnipresence means Google is also one of the most-studied firms of the digital age, questioned and criticized for, among other issues, the way it handles users’ sensitive personal information, for its censorship policies in countries such as China and how much money it spends on lobbying politicians. Last May, Google came under fire following the revelation that the company had collected data by “harvesting” users’ sensitive information through Street View, a Google Maps technology that provides panoramic images of streets around the globe. In April, the FCC ended its investigation, censured Google for noncooperation and fined it $25,000. Google’s official corporate motto is, famously, “Don’t be evil,” but in recent years, industry experts have watched as the company has not only expanded its reach, but also, apparently, redefined the underlying philosophy beneath that maxim. Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt perhaps summed up the company’s ever-evolving corporate values in a recent interview with Wired magazine: “Evil,” Schmidt explained cryptically to a reporter, “is what Sergey says is evil.”

wooded enclaves and over picturesque footbridges. There are hammocks and picnic tables, free umbrellas for rainy days, swimming pools and big-screen TVs. There is, even, a rocket— well, a life-size replica of NASA’s SpaceShipOne, to be exact—that hangs above a staircase, held in place via an intricate system of wires and pulleys. The lava lamps are still there, as is the free food—there are numerous cafes throughout the premises, in fact, with dishes to meet every dietary need and taste: kosher, vegan and glutenfree; sushi, pizza and sandwiches—as well as refrigerated cases stocked with free bottles of vitamin water, sports drinks and bubbly sodas.

Ten years ago, it was easy to schedule a quick interview with Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the two friends who founded Google. These days, a chat with either of them is simply out of the question. These are, inarguably, great employee perks—presumably funded, at least in part, by the profits Google earns via its AdWords program—$28 billion in 2010—which offers merchants pay-per-click, cost-per-thousand and site-targeted advertising. It’s no wonder Fortune Magazine ranked Google the No. 1 place to work in 2012—placing it ahead of such companies as Zappos.com, Whole Foods Market and the Mayo Clinic. But the Willy Wonka vibe belies the company’s notable evolution. Any hopes of snagging even a few minutes with either Brin or Page, a spokeswoman informs me via email, is simply out of the question. There is, too, a notably heightened sense of secrecy, security and other proprietary concerns. All visitors must sign in upon arrival, most are not allowed within eyeball distance of cubicles, a spokesperson is present for all interviews (and some cases, will record the conversation), and photographers cannot, under any circumstances, take pictures of computer screens or employee badges. But such concerns shouldn’t come as much of a surprise: Google’s fortunes may be built on search, but its current mission goes much deeper than typing a question into an empty box.

THE HOUSE THAT SEARCH BUILT A decade had passed since my first visit to the Googleplex, so now seemed a good time to return for a look at how the company has evolved. Indeed, it’s a full-fledged international entity boasting 33,000 employees who work in 70 offices in 40 companies around the globe, from Seattle to Boston and New York, Dublin to Zurich, Dubai to Hong Kong and Seoul to Tokyo. Closer to home, the Mountain View campus employs nearly one-third of its workforce and spreads out over several city blocks that are populated by three-dozen buildings and a notable dearth of parking spaces. Workers bike on brightly colored cruisers or stroll through grassy commons, laptops tucked under arms or into messenger bags with Androids—the Googlepowered smartphones—seemingly glued to fingertips. Dogs trot in and out of buildings, following their human counterparts to meetings and conferences and even trips to the bathrooms that sport, at least in some buildings, heated toilet seats. There are indoor playgrounds—complete with bright plastic slides and jungle gyms—and baskets stocked with Jolly Rancher candies. There are on-site haircuts and oil changes. There are video games and a bowling alley that’s available to be booked by the lane for work meetings; there are volleyball and tennis courts, soccer fields and hiking trails that snake through BEFORE

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American Red Cross and deployed to Biloxi, Mississippi. There, Google employees set up a makeshift camp where they witnessed the storm’s destruction first-hand and tried to help in even the smallest of ways. For Canobbio, that meant putting her contraband laptop—which the Red Cross had specifically requested be kept at home—to good use. “[There] was this war-zone mentality—we were a church, a clinic, a food bank and a shelter,” says Canobbio, a striking tall woman with a shorn head and the tendency to talk at a breathlessly fast clip. They were also a provider of information— Google’s prime currency. For days, Canobbio remembers, she helped hurricane survivors with myriad tasks: Checking email, refilling prescriptions, finding the nearest Walmart—mundane, routine duties that restored a semblance of normality to lives otherwise thrown into chaos. “The ability for people to be able to check their email once or a twice a day [was big],” Canobbio says. Sometimes the tasks took on deeper meaning. There was the man, for example, who needed to replace his eyeglasses. For a few moments he watched as Canobbio tapped information into a search field, trying to figure the closest options. “What’s that?” he asked, nodding at the laptop screen. It was Google Earth, the virtual geographical mapper, newly gone live, she explained. It gave him an idea. “Can you show me my house?” he asked. Canobbio typed in the information and the pair watched as Google Earth’s camera zoomed in on the man’s home, damaged but still standing. With a few clicks and swipes of the mouse, Canobbio showed him the rest of his street, everything the hurricane left behind. “It was such an emotionally charged moment,” Canobbio remembers. “Just a little five-minute interaction that changed his life, and Google was there to help him in a real way, to give him perspective.” Later, as her job evolved, Canobbio says she recognized a way for the company to reach students. So, drawing on her 1 percent pool of time— the fraction of company hours, money and resources that Googlers may officially devote to social issues—Canobbio outlined ideas for an educational camp that would “show students the possibility” of everything Google offered.

She looked at, in particular, her time spent in Biloxi. “I started to dive into the educational system there—how when the schools were rebuilding they were not looking where to go in the future—for opportunities to be successful in the workplace in the 21st century,” she says. The result was CAPE—the Computing and Programming Experience summer camp aimed at exposing “high-achieving, high-potential students” to the ins and outs of computer science. It’s not just about programming, she says, it’s about giving students the technological tools to improve upon and sharpen their existing interests and ambitions. Now in its third year, CAPE camps work with 110 students every summer. These camps, she adds, are “our laboratory, our opportunity to take the best practices that we’ve learned from the tech community.”

EVANGELISTS AND SPACE COMMANDERS For Jaime Casap, “senior education evangelist” at Google, educational outreach isn’t just a way to train the nation’s future doctors, lawyers and engineers. It is, he says, about giving opportunities to all children, regardless of their career aspirations. Such outreach, he adds, is both a professional goal and a personal touchstone of success. “I’m a first-generation American, born and raised in Hell’s Kitchen on welfare. My mother came from Argentina … and English was my second language,” he says. “Education is the silver bullet, education is what can transform a family in just one generation—when I graduated from high school, the job I currently have didn’t exist.” Casap, who joined Google in 2005 as a project manager in the company’s engineering division, eventually reimagined his job and moved into education where he currently trains teachers and other school staff on how to best utilize the Web. Now Google’s strongest tool, he says, is the Chromebook—a small laptop-type Web-enabled device that uses the Google Drive cloud-storage system for creating, sharing and saving documents. Chromebooks, Casap says, are relatively inexpensive, priced at $449 each, and, more importantly, easy to use and customizable for various skill levels and classes. These tools, he says, are crucial when it comes to bridging the “digital divide”—inequalities between individuals, households, businesses Doesn’t every company have a life-size replica of NASA’s SpaceShipOne rocket in its lobby?

WAR ZONES, SILVER BULLETS AND THE DIGITAL DIVIDE For Tara Canobbio, Google’s impact resonated most in a small but significant moment that occurred in 2005 in the weeks after Hurricane Katrina hit the Southern coast of the United States with devastating force. The Sacramento native, then working at Google as part of its employment-and-development team, had assembled a small staff, trained with the |

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“SECRETS OF GOOGLE” continued from page 19

and classrooms as related to levels of access to technological information, resources and devices. With the Chromebook and associated Google support and training, Casap says, “We’ve eliminated the middleman, and in education, that’s huge.” “We’re [trying to get teachers] to think about a paradigm shift—when I was growing up, we had the one library on 10th Avenue and 50th Street, and five schools shared it,” he says. “Now we have the Web, and the Web gives us all that information at our fingertips … and we’re going to need to teach kids how to analyze and process that information.” Increasingly, the ability to evaluate all the information that’s available is going to be crucial. Because with knowledge and critical thinking, comes great things. At least that’s the ethos adopted by Tiffany Montague, Google’s intergalactic federation king almighty and commander of the universe—or intergalactic space commander for short. Yes, that’s her actual job title. Tall and lanky with electric blue streaks running through her jet-black hair, Montague epitomizes Google’s self-governing, quasi-renegade work ethos as she shows visitors one of her favorite spots at the Googleplex: The giant immersive Google Earth booth that gives viewers an awe-inspiring view of space and beyond. Indeed, the former Air Force officer’s job includes spearheading the company’s efforts to put a robot on the moon through the Lunar X Prize, a competition organized by the X Prize Foundation and sponsored by Google. The purpose, Montague says, is for privately funded spaceflight teams to compete to successfully launch, land and maneuver data-collecting robotic devices across the surface of the moon. It’s not just for fun, she says. “This is about feeding new, emerging markets and trying to bring about radical change.” Montague credits the company’s “20 percent time” program, which allows employees to devote a fifth of their workweek to pursue special projects. For Montague, who joined Google in 2005 as a technical program manager, that meant being able to pursue a lifelong love of space and eventually carve out a more specialized job that focused on the company’s collaboration with NASA. And while space exploration might seem light years away from Google’s original goal—powering search—Montague says both endeavors share an underlying philosophy. “It’s not that much of a stretch,” Montague says. “It’s very much in concert with Google’s proven history,” she says. “It’s thinking outside the box.”

Tiffany Montague’s work focuses on the company’s collaboration with NASA. Her official title with the company, not surprisingly, is intergalactic federation king almighty and commander of the universe.

ahead,” Page said in a company press release. “It is a very exciting time to be at Google.” Or, as the company stated in its 2008 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, what “began as technology company … evolved into a software, technology, Internet, advertising and media company all rolled into one.” Recently, however, it seems that trying to be become everything to everyone is not enough. Google’s attempts at creating social-networking platforms to compete with the likes of Facebook and Twitter, in fact, have been notoriously disappointing.

The Googleplex has a Willy Wonka vibe—indoor playgrounds with bright plastic slides and jungle gyms. On-site haircuts and oil changes, lava lamps and free food.

IT’S THE PEOPLE, STUPID

In 2011, for example, the company “retired” its microblogging site Google Buzz and introduced instead Google Plus, a social-networking site equipped with circles, hangouts and sparks designed to promote interaction between users. But although interest in the site started strong—Google Plus boasted 49 million new sign-ups in December alone—it hardly matches its rivals. While the company reported the site had 100 million active users as of February, analysts say such numbers don’t reflect reality. According to market-research firm ComScore, users only average about three

Since its inception, Google’s growth has been nothing short of extraordinary. In April, the company reported its quarterly profits were up 24 percent from the same time period in 2011. The company also announced that its board of directors had unanimously approved a stock dividend proposal that would “preserve” the company’s existing corporate structure. “We are still at the very early stages of what technology can do to improve people’s lives and we have enormous opportunities BEFORE

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minutes each month on Google Plus—just enough time to log on, look around and log off again. Compare that to the 405 minutes users spend on average each month on Facebook and the contrast becomes startlingly clear. “Google Plus may have 100 million users, but they’re not engaged,” says Rick Lavoie, senior vice president for the Washington, D.C.based Levick Strategic Communications. “People don’t return to [Google Plus] like they do to Facebook,” Lavoie says. But the potential for more significant impact is there, he adds. “If Google continues sewing everything together on the Web and getting more sophisticated with the search aspect of its brand, I see the company … becoming more of a threat to Facebook in the next year or so.” But Rob Enderle, senior analyst for the Enderle Group, a San Jose-based technology analyst firm, sees it differently. While Google does machines very well, Enderle says, the company doesn’t really get people. Google, he says, is Web 2.0 company in an increasingly Web 3.0 world. “Web 1.0 was the creation of browsers, Web 2.0 was exploring the Web and making it useful, and Web 3.0 is making it social—and that’s where Google bounced,” Enderle says. “Google is an engineering company—the most engineering-based company I’ve ever seen … and, let’s face it, engineers are not known to be the most social individuals.” The result, he adds, is a company that excels at the nuts and bolts of technology but fails miserably at understanding the people who use it. “They’ve had difficulty wrapping their heads around the social nature of the Web— that’s why Facebook is so powerful, because it was designed to be social from the ground up,” Enderle says. “Google just doesn’t get people very well … that you need to build excitement and create communities.”

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Those poor people skills, he adds, are also evident in the company’s recent public-relations woes. Criticized routinely on matters regarding privacy and censorship, Google routinely takes a brisk “no comment” approach—not a particularly smart tactic, Enderle says. “The public perception of the company is a problem,” Enderle says. “The stories about the company are becoming increasingly negative— they’re increasingly portrayed as a firm that is not operating in the best interest of its customers … and that puts them in the same line of the old Standard Oil or British Petroleum—companies that [alienated] people.” Certainly, Google’s refusal to answer to various complaints, questions and criticisms is mind-boggling from a public-relations standpoint. When I called a Google spokesperson, for example, she refused to discuss recent queries into the company’s so-called illicit “data harvesting.” Perhaps the facts say enough: Between 20072010, Google cameras photographed streets the world over; at the same time, the company’s software collected sensitive information via unencrypted Wi-Fi networks: personal emails, passwords and Web searches of hundreds of millions of users. Google initially claimed such harvesting was unintentional—the work of a “rogue” engineer—but a new report reveals a darker, more complex picture: According to internal documents reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission during a 17-month investigation, not only was the data collection intentional, it was the result of a systematic, company-wide program. “I’m not going to comment on that,” said Google spokeswoman Samantha Smith, cutting me off, mid-question.

“SECRETS OF GOOGLE” continued on page 23

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With its lava lamps and bean bags, free food in the employee cafes and rows of colorful picnic-table umbrellas, the Mountain View-based Googleplex often feels more like a Willy Wonka wonderland than a corporate headquarters.

“SECRETS OF GOOGLE” continued from page 21

At Google, dogs seem as much of the workplace as their human counterparts.

Smith did, address, however, recent reports that Google spent a record $5.03 million lobbying Washington politicians between January and March of this year. It’s money well spent—and crucial for the continued growth of a company of Google’s size, Smith said. “It should be expected that we would want to help people understand our business—the work we do to keep the Internet open, to encourage innovation, and to create economic opportunity,” Smith said in an email. Some of that economic opportunity, however, seems to come at the users’ expense, and complaints about how the company uses—and monetizes—customer data have long plagued the company. While Smith initially agreed to refer such questions to another publicist, my attempts to follow through for answers were met with silence. Frustrating, but Google has continued to push at the legal boundaries of data gathering, factored with the company’s continued lack of transparency, Enderle explains, means two things: increased scrutiny and possible federal intervention coupled with a growing public distrust. And frankly, Enderle says, that’s not just poor management, it’s terrible PR. “Pulling people’s private information off of wireless networks creates a cloud. ... If they better understood people, they could [instead] get the information they need without putting that access at risk,” Enderle says. “But they don’t, because they simply don’t get people.”

“stereotypes + reality” “The Yahoo” Simple enough. Benign, actually. Historically, however, what Google does with that information remains one of the company’s stickiest sticking points. Over the years, the company has been criticized for its privacy policies—specifically how they impact the millions of users who daily use the company’s programs to check their Gmail, watch videos on YouTube or search for directions on Google Maps.

“They’ve had difficulty wrapping their heads around the social nature of the Web. Google just doesn’t get people very well … that you need to build excitement and create communities.” Rob Enderle technology analyst

In March, Google introduced a new policy that consolidates user information across all its services and platforms. In an explanation posted on the company’s blog, Google outlined the changes as such: “If you’re signed in to Google, you expect our products to work really beautifully together. For example, if you’re working on Google Docs and you want to share it with someone on Gmail, you want their email right there ready to use. Our privacy policies have always allowed us to combine information from different products with your account—effectively using your data to provide you with a better service. However, we’ve been restricted in our ability to combine your YouTube and Search histories with other information in your account. Our new Privacy Policy gets rid of those inconsistencies so we can make more of your

SEE NO EVIL, HEAR NO EVIL, SEARCH NO EVIL To the left of a reception desk at one of Google’s many Mountain View offices there’s an LED screen—just past the basket of candy, the lush plants and the cooler of free drinks—that scrolls through a feed of live, real-time searches. The feed is filtered for porn and other questionable topics of course, although a publicist admits, laughing, that “sometimes things slip through.” With or without the risqué content, the screen inarguably reveals the extent to which people worldwide rely upon the tool to find out anything and everything relevant to their lives: “the Meow Mix house” “dog chew toy” BEFORE

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information available to you when using Google.” Privacy experts, however, say the new agreement remains troubling. “Google’s new policy does not improve on past policies—it has fewer privacy protections,” says Rebecca Jeschke, a digital-rights analyst for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “Before, your Google search data didn’t comingle with your YouTube search data, but now, unless you go through a series of steps—steps that are not clearly outlined on the site—then that data gets aggregated together,” she says on the phone from her San Francisco office. “That has a number of privacy implications—the more data you collect on someone, the more complete picture you have of who they are. “I don’t want my Google search history associated with my YouTube account,” she adds. “That kind of creeps me out.” As it should—just think about the queries you type into Google’s iconic box. “It’s important not to discount the intimacy of search data, what terms you decide to search for at various points in the day—they say a lot about you, what your concerns, what your hopes are,” Jeschke says. “Google is collecting that information and monetizing it.” Still, she adds, the company’s policies actually rank very high when compared to other similarly sized companies. In 2011, the EFF launched its “Who Has Your Back?” petition, urging the globe’s largest Internet companies to be more transparent with their privacy policies. As part of the campaign, the EFF created a chart comparing practices among the likes of Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, Apple and Amazon.com. “Google ranked the highest,” Jeschke says. “In many ways the company can be a great advocacy for privacy and for the digital rights of its users online.” Even Google’s policy of censoring material in countries such China—the company routinely blocked or redirected sensitive searches there at the request of the Chinese government until 2010—illustrates the company’s global influence. “We depend on Google for so much,” she says. “Every little decision they make affects us.”

24-HOURS-A-DAY BOX For most of us, however, that influence seems virtually invisible. I know I don’t think about it

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much when I’m typing questions into a box. I just know the box is there, at my service, 24 hours a day. Likewise, most visitors to the Googleplex probably don’t notice the writing on the window in the lobby of one its Mountain View buildings. It’s there, however, carefully scrawled in thick, pink letters at the bottom of a glass pane nearly hidden from view—overshadowed, no doubt, by the nearby espresso bar, a gushing waterfall and rows of cushy, comfy overstuffed chairs and couches. “Hi Google People! Thanks 4 the hard + creative work!” Ultimately, for employees such as Montague, the intergalactic space commander, working at Google is just that: Hard, creative work, the kind that pushes boundaries—to the moon and beyond. And while the Googleplex perks are fun, they reveal something less frivolous: A push to succeed without the conventional restrictions. One of Google’s most crucial features, Montague says, is that its work environment is “flat” rather than hierarchical. “Google believes you should be able to channel good ideas without having to go through 20 layers of management,” she says. “It’s about empowering the employees, empowering good ideas to take hold.” It’s a system, she says, that benefits everyone. “We’re not all scientists,” Montague says. “We’re people with no degrees, people with arthistory degrees—everyone is treated equally, everyone is allowed to have great ideas.” Certainly, as I walk through the campus now—hoping in vain for a Brin or Page sighting—and watch as employees stare intently at laptops while seated at indoor picnic tables or outside on benches near a leafy vegetable and herb garden, it’s hard not to envy both the company’s growth and its commitment to creating the kind of environment that feels more like an amusement park than stuffy corporate drudgery. Although the Google arguably remains a great place to work—a place that fosters real digital growth, change and perspectives—too many troubling questions linger. Questions too complex, puzzling or philosophical to be entered into a simple search-engine box. And so far, Google won’t respond, even though it’s a business theoretically built on the promise of providing answers. Ω

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ARTS&CULTURE POPSMART

Jonathan Bafus’ trippy “stoner” paintings are now on display at Bows & Arrows.

Not too little, not too late Presient Barack Obama declared his support for same-sex marriage in an interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts on May 9, and public reaction, predictably, was a roller coaster between the positive and the negative. While most religious conservatives, not surprisingly, by RACHEL LEIBROCK condemned the president for trying to destroy the “sanctity” of marriage, liberals praised Obama’s stance. Well, some liberals were happy, anyway. Others blasted Obama for support they saw as too little, too late—a calculated ploy for votes and not much else. “It seems fairly clear … that [President Obama’s] announcement amounts to much less than meets the eye. He now believes that gay couples should be able to marry,” one Gawker writer griped. “He doesn’t believe they have a right to do so. This is like saying that black children and white children ought to attend the same schools, but if the people of Alabama reject that notion—what are you gonna do?” Similarly, Rob Tish, a same-sex-marriage advocate and founder of the Waking Up Now blog, said Obama was just as bad as those fighting to “defend” marriage. “Obama supports same-sex marriage, but he sees no Constitutional mandate,” Tish wrote. “When it comes to this groundbreaking case, Barack Obama … is on the side of the National Organization for Marriage.” OK. Sure. Duly noted. On the one hand, such criticisms are valid fair. Yes, it’s taken Obama an excruciatingly Does President and long time, after years of artfully dancing Barack Obama around the subject, to take a defined stance, at speaking. have a stellar leastOnphilosophically the other hand, we’re gearing up for an record when it election season in which Obama will square off against presumable Republican candidate Mitt comes to standing Romney, a staunch religious conservative who up for gay rights? strongly opposes same-sex marriage. anti-gay sentiments, in fact, No. But has he run Romney’s deep: Just last week we learned that in made progress 1965, while Romney was a high-school senior, future presidential candidate reportedly during his time in the pinned down and cut off the hair of a office? Yes. classmate he thought looked gay. Youthful indiscretion? Perhaps. On May 12, however, Romney gave the commencement speech at Virginia’s Liberty University. The college, for those not familiar with it, is a fundamental Christian school founded by Jerry Falwell—the religious leader who once blamed the attacks of 9/11 on, among other sinners and hedonists, gays and lesbians. Kind of sets the tone, don’t you think? Certainly, it highlights the stark contrast between the two candidates. Does Obama have a stellar record when it comes to standing up for gay rights? No. But has he made progress during his time in office? Has he brought about significant change? Has he had an impact? Yes. In 2008, during Obama’s first election campaign, he promised to overturn “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the policy that kept gay and lesbian military personnel backed into the closet for fear of losing of their posts. It took two more years—until the end of 2010, to be exact—for Obama to officially make good on that pledge. But the point is he did, and real change occurred. Obama has yet to make any promises regarding same-sex marriage, so now is the time to stop complaining that his declaration of support is long overdue. Instead, apply pressure and push the president for details, push him into action. Make sure the issue remains front and center during the 2012 election process. Don’t let it drop out of the national conversation. Don’t ever stop demanding that the president recognize that all American citizens deserve equal civil rights. Don’t ever let it go. Ω

IT’S AN EARLY MAY EVENING AT BOWS & ARROWS, AND THE artist crowd seem to outnumber the civilians on this opening night for the gallery’s Electric City exhibition. The show highlights works from Placerville artist Michael Hoffee and Sacramento artist Jon Bafus, but it’s the latter who’s drawn the biggest number of fellow artists to get a better for feel for his work: paintings that depict floating towers and exhibit trippy recurring themes that include disembodied eyes, patterns composed of small, intensely hued squares, and M.C. Escher-ish constructions that could Electric City defy the rules of perspective.

is on display through May 30, at Bows & Arrows, 1815 19th Street, (916) 822-5668, www.bows collective.com.

“THE CARE AND INDIVIDUALIT Y THAT GO INTO [BAFUS’ PAINTINGS] MAKE EACH ONE A VIEWING

PLEASURE, BUT THEIR SMALL

SCALE AND RELIANCE ON REPETITIVE PATTERN MAKE THEM SEEM MORE LIKE

SKETCHBOOK PIECES, BITS

A N D PA R T S WA I T I N G T O B E

PRESENTED AT FULL SIZE.” Smarted by Popsmart? Got something to say? Let Rachel know: popsmart@newsreview.com.

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CHRIS DAUBERT ART PROFESSOR AND ARTIST

It is, as some of the other artists and patrons observe, beers in hand, a bit on the “stoner” side. Bafus doesn’t shrug off the description. “I guess I’m a stony dude. I do like to get pretty psychedelic at times,” he says. The artist, 28 and lean with an affable manner, demurs, however, when asked to go into any more detail. That’s OK; the other artists in attendance are more than willing to share their opinions. Best friends and fellow Verge Center for the Arts artists Gioia Fonda and Ianna Frisby, for example, agree that Bafus’ paintings seem a bit “young.” Still, they’re both intrigued by two works in particular—both painted on plywood and both depicting deconstructed floating towers. “I like the towers,” says Fonda, “I want to see a castle.” Frisby disagrees. “A castle is just a castle; a tower can have many different meanings,” she argues. Bafus’ work, Fonda adds, reminds her of Assume Vivid Astro Focus, an international arts collective known for its colorful, psychedelic installations. For local artist and Sacramento City College art professor Chris Daubert, Bafus’ pieces evoke another area artist, Nathan Cordero, whose work is also mostly painted and carved into plywood.


Oh, festivals See NIGHT&DAY

28

La vida aquatic See DISH

Daubert says Bafus’ work shows “a good amount of creative energy.” “The care and individuality that go into them make each one a viewing pleasure,” he says, “but their small scale and reliance on repetitive pattern make them seem more like sketchbook pieces—bits and parts waiting to be presented at full size.” Bafus denies the influence, although he says he knows Cordero and appreciates his art. Bows co-owner and gallery curator Trisha Rhomberg, who’s dated Bafus for approximately two years, says she recognized something vital in her boyfriend’s sketchbooks but had to urge him to start painting.

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Elmo, cheap burgers See COOLHUNTING

Now, Rhomberg says with a laugh, she has to urge him to stop—he compulsively redoes paintings until he risks overrendering, she says. Her mentoring apparently paid off: Eight of Bafus’ pieces sold on opening night at Bows, a record for the gallery. Eventually, however, Bafus says, he’d like to move his art out of his girlfriend’s apartment to “give it space.”

“ I ’ V E A LWAY S B E E N

R E A L S H Y— DRUMMING’S BEEN A

GREAT OUTLET. I’VE THOUGHT

OF IT AS A BETTER VOICE FOR ME

THAN TALKING.” JON BAFUS ARTIST

Art, music and other wonky stuff—Bafus’ influences and inspirations include M.C. Escher and a high-school drafting class.

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Bad fetishes See ASK JOEY

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“I want to make bigger things; I’ve always been intimidated by the idea of making bigger art,” Bafus says. “[Before], I never understood the importance of an external space to work on stuff … [but now] it makes sense to have a studio where you can be messy.” Bafus’ influences and inspirations include Escher and says his “wonky” pen-and-ink drawings are precisely rendered thanks to a drafting class he took in high school—“one of my favorite classes ever”—in Placerville, where he also played music and skated. Bafus’ mother nurtured his interest in art—her own artistic roots run deep; she once attended art school and now collects pieces, including a painting by conceptual artist Stephen Kaltenbach, best known for his painting “Portrait of My Father,” which currently hangs at the Crocker Art Museum. After high school, Bafus studied music at UC Davis, but right away, he says, he found the experience off-putting. “I met the dean, he had this weird pompous you-wouldn’t-fit-in-here vibe,” Bafus says. “I got soured to it a little bit and decided to try something else.” That something else turned out to be an unorthodox major called technocultural studies, for which Bafus took classes such on topics such as the history of sound in art, the atomic age, movement and design and technology. After graduation, Bafus migrated between Davis and Sacramento, playing in various bands including a seven-year stint in Sholi, More recently, he toured with the band Appetite, and also drums in a three-piece band, Gentlemen Surfer. Music, he says, is crucial in his life. “I’ve always been real shy,” he says. “Drumming’s been a great outlet. I’ve thought of it as a better voice for me than talking.” A few nights after the Bows exhibition opening, Bafus is set to play a set with Gentlemen Surfer at a house show in Davis. The crowd is young and 50 percent bearded; a dog weaves in and out of the audience’s legs. Gentlemen Surfer takes the stage at 11:15 p.m.—at a show was supposed to be over by 10. Bafus politely thanks everyone for staying, puts on a headset mic and stretches like an athlete. As the band launches into its first song, Bafus explodes into a whirlwind of beats, more octopus than man. The proggy, jazzy music lurches from place to place, pulled by Bafus’ syncopated beats. As a guy naps on the couch in the back, and the clock ticks toward midnight, Bafus, dripping with sweat, introduces the band’s next number—and in a sense, gets to the heart of his underlying artistic ethos: “This is our last song,” he says. “It’s called ‘Keep.’ As in, ‘Keep. Doing. Things.’” Ω A RT S & C U LT U R E

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Two Sheds surely better than none See MUSIC

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Hiber(TV)nation During the winter months it’s easy to become something of a hermit. Certainly, chilly winds, bracing rain or cold (for Sacramento) temperatures make it more appealing to forgo venturing out in favor of a night on the couch. And while there are plenty of book-related activities then, it’s also a time for some engaging visual entertainment. But the weeks post-New Year’s Day are notoriously bad for TV, so this year, recovering from an insane December packed with social activities, we spent much of January in what I like to think of as a hibernation, hunkered down in front of the television set and drawing on several months’ worth of emotional and fat reserves by binging on hours and hours and hours of TV. New TVwatching choices have radically changed how we watch the medium. A few years back, it was several seasons of Lost on DVD. Then there was the year of the epic Friday Night Lights marathon. This year, we survived three seasons of Breaking Bad via Netflix streaming. Seriously, do you know how many 45-minute episodes you can burn though in a night? Meth-centered dramas, as it turns out, are very addicting, and, accordingly, it took no time to catch up on the Emmy-award-winning drama. Afterward, however, we felt a bit guilty—anti-social, really. So we dusted off our manners, renewed friendships and subjected our faces once again to the light of day and the glow of moonlight. It’s not that we gave up the blue screen entirely, mind you—life would be far less bearable without The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, Mad Men or Nurse Jackie. Some nights, indeed, all the stimulation I can handle—don’t judge, I’m not proud—is a nightcap and The Voice. At certain points in mental burnout, you see, there’s little more satisfying in life than yelling, boozily, at a high-def version of Christina Aguilera. Mostly though, we tried to socialize, we tried to get out of the house, we tried to return to normalcy, and in the meantime, our DVR, apparently lonely, gorged itself on TV shows. Last week, however, marked the arrival of the first truly hot night of the season—one of those evenings when the famed Delta breeze remains absent, leaving the air unbearably still, moods grouchy and the energy to do something—anything—practically nonexistent. And that’s how we found ourselves, staring at the distressingly long DVR queue, trying to figure out if we’d ever be able to catch up. “How did we get so behind on 30 Rock?” my husband said, shocked as he skimmed through the list. “And how do we have 18 episodes of Community? We should just delete them.” I threw my hand out to stop the remote. “No! We’ll watch them—right after we catch up on Parks and Rec,” I said. (Sorry Community fans, I realize we’re part of the problem.) There are also two seasons’ worth of Downton Abbey, the last few episodes of Project Runway All Stars—don’t tell me who won, OK?—and several Key and Peele installments. We now commence hibernation: the summer months. Social life? Meh. On nights when it’s too hot to do anything but sip on icy drinks and sit, bathing in the light of the TV, soothed by the frigid climes of an air-conditioned room, I’m sure my friends will understand. —Rachel Leibrock

rachell@newsreview.com

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The Center for the Arts presents

COMING TO GRASS VALLEY - GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!

Friday, June 22, 8:00PM

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INDIGO GIRLS WITH FULL BAND

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SHADOWBOXERS OPENING

$35 members, $40 non-member

Saturday, June 23, 8:00PM

NEVADA COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS

Music in the Mountains & The Center for the Arts present

THE MACHINE performs

PINK FLOYD

FEATURING THE MIM FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA & THE INTERSTELLAR LIGHT SHOW

Wednesday, June 27, 8:00PM THE CENTER’S INTIMATE MAIN STAGE THEATER

SQUEEZE

$50 members, $55 non-member

Dance Concert - Limited Theater seating

Tickets from $15 child to $65 adult premium $100 Family Pass – 2 adults, 2 children

BECOME A CENTER MEMBER IN MAY AND SAVE! Friday & Saturday, May 18 & 19, 8:00PM

WOMEN OF ROCK

LORRAINE GERVAIS, KATE HAIGHT & JENN KNAPP $22 members, $25 non-member

Friday, May 25, 8:00PM (((folkYEAH))) and The Center for the Arts present Punch Brothers’

NOAM PIKELNY & FRIENDS $22 general admission

Thursday, May 31, 7:30PM

MAMUSE CD RELEASE

WITH SPECIAL GUESTS THE RAILFLOWERS $15 members, $18 non-member

Wednesday, June 6, 7:30pm

STEVE SMITH

& VITAL INFORMATION $20 members $22 non-member

Thursday, June 7, 7:30PM

LUKAS NELSON

AND PROMISE OF THE REAL $18 members, $20 non-member

Friday, June 15, 5:00 to 9:00PM

VETERANS MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM

MANUP! CHRIS POWELL

WITH TRANSFORMATION SPECIALIST

FREE for men and youth 12 and under; $10 for women

The Center for the Arts Box Office, 314 W. Main Street, Grass Valley - 530-274-8384 Tickets also at BriarPatch Co-op - 530-272-5333

www.thecenterforthearts.org

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NIGHT&DAY T

here’s no doubt about it: Summer puts you in the mood for a festival. And the weather outside is pretty darn summery already. As a result, this weekend is chock-full of festival fun, including a pan-Asian-themed festival and two different celebrations of craft beer. However you’re feeling, there’s an outdoor festival to fit your mood this weekend. Take your pick from the following list:

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

JAPANESE STREET FESTIVAL

A iFEST

RANCHO CORDOV

This Japanese Street Festival celebrates Mikuni Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar’s 25th anniversary. The festival features the Japanese drum troupe Sacramento Taiko Dan, the Sacramento Kendo Club, music, dance performances and children’s activities. Additionally, as part of an ongoing contest, Mikuni will give away a Honda Fit to one of five finalists. The whole event will be catered by the Mikuni Sushi Bus. Thursday, May 17, 5-8 p.m. Free. Fountains at Roseville, Roseville Parkway and Galleria Boulevard in Roseville; www.mikunisushi.com.

nal Festival) st (or Internatio ncho Cordova’s iFegrounds. Attendees can enjoy Ra , ity un mm co nic back dancersity of the m a number of ethan Folklorico performers, a fire-ildren’s Celebrating the div xic ch l performances fro features cultura dance, Middle Eastern dance, Me ottish Highlands. Art, food and een Park, Sc Gr d Filipino music an ditional performances from the , May 19, 5-9 p.m. Free. Village ouncil.org. ac ing troupe and tra d out the celebration. Saturdaya; (916) 273-5704; www.cordov activities roun eway Drive in Rancho Cordov 3141 Bridg

WEST COAST BREW

POW WOW DAYS Orangevale’s Pow Wow days began in the early ’60s as a street parade with a barbecue dinner and a small carnival. Nearly 50 years later, it still features a parade and carnival, but has added live music, vendors, food, drinks and a kids’ fun zone. After 8,000 people showed up last year, this year event organizers expect more than 10,000 to attend over the course of four days. The event benefits 15 community nonprofit organizations. Thursday, May 17, 3-10 p.m.; Friday, May 18, 3-11 p.m.; Saturday, May 19, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday, May 20, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Free admission, $5 for parking. Orangevale Community Park, 7301 Filbert Avenue in Orangevale; (916) 988-0175; www.orangevalepowwowdays.com.

RALEY FIELD BREWFEST Brewers Guild, this event Sponsored by the Northern California ld, with more than 50 outfie Field Raley the in place will take al-admission ticket ($30) beer vendors, music and food. A gener t ($50) will allow you ticke VIP a while gs, tastin 10 you will buy rs gain entry to the 18 tastings. Additionally, VIP ticket holde. Friday, May 18, ssion admi al gener e befor hour event an 400 Ballpark Drive in 7-10 p.m. (6-10 p.m. for VIP). Raley Field,.raleyfield.com. www ; 4676 376(916) o; ment West Sacra

Wait, there’s more! Looking for something to do? Use SN&R’s free calendar to browse hundreds of events online. Art galleries and musems, family events, education classes, film and literary events, church groups, music, sports, volunteer opportunies—all this and more on our free events calendar at www.newsreview.com. Start planning your week!

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FEST

Held annually along the Sacramento River, this brew fest boasts 120 different brews, live music, craft vendors and food. The entire event is a fundraiser for the Make A Difference Project. With a limited amount of tickets (3,000) sold each year, the event quickly sells out, so buy your tickets early. Just one wristband permits you to grab all the beer you can taste. Saturday, May 19, 1-5 p.m. $35-$40 for general admission, $5 for designated drivers. Miller Park, 2790 Marina View Drive; (916) 924-3836; www.matsonian.com/wcbf.

PACIFIC RIM STREET FESTIVAL This, the 20th annual installment of the Rim Street Festival in Old Sacramento, Pacif ic packed with Asian music, dance, food, is again dors and martial arts demonstrations craft ven. The festival was founded in 1993 by community leade restaurateur Frank Fat. This year, the rs and festival expands to the Westfield Downtown Plaza May 20, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Old Sacra . Sunday, Westfield Downtown Plaza, (916) 451-6 mento and 200; www.pacificrimstreetfest.com.

OPERATION: RESTORE MAXIMUM FREEDOM 12 With perhaps the most creative festival name this side of the Missisippi, Operation: Restore Maximum Freedom 12 is KDVS’ self-described “chillest funnest thing of the year.” The music festival features heavyhitting local acts such as Dibiase, World Hood and Raleigh Moncrief. The event is all ages. Saturday, May 19, 1-10 p.m. $10. Plainfield Station, 23944 Country Road 88 in Woodland; (530) 752-4948; www.kdvs.org.


17THURS 19SAT DON’T MISS!

DON’T MISS!

There are about 1,500 species of bees other than the familiar honey bee in California, according to Julie Serences, who will tell about them at this meeting of the Sacramento Audubon Society. A nativebee enthusiast and educator, Serences will show photos of many of the more colorful bees, and tell of their role as pollinators and how to attract them. Th, 5/17, 7pm. Free. Effie Yeaw Nature Center, 2850 San Lorenzo Way in Carmichael; (916) 489-4918; www.effieyeaw.org.

The second annual Sacramento Promenade of Mermaids will be rolling through Old Sac. There will be a longer route this year and Grand Marshal DJ Larry Rodriguez will be choosing a King Neptune and Queen Mermaid from the crowd of promenade participants to help him choose the winners of the costume contest. Prizes will be awarded in both adult and children’s categories. Sa, 5/19, 1pm. Free. Old Sacramento, 1000 Front St.; (916) 442-7644.

LEARN ABOUT OTHER BEES:

Comedy Chicago-style improv right here in Sacramento. Each week features three different show formats including Montage, Mockumentary, Armando, Buddy Cop, SoundTrax, Match Game, Blind Date and more.

Third Th of every month, 8pm through 12/30. $8. ComedySportz Arena, 2230 Arden Way; (916) 243-8541; www.comedysportz sacramento.com.

JOHNNY WINTER: The Miners Foundry presents guitar legend Johnny Winter, who will make his first ever Nevada County appearance before embarking on tours of Japan and Europe. Grease, Grit and Grime opens this dance show. Th, 5/17, 7pm. $30-$40. Miners Foundry Cultural Center, 325 Spring St. in Nevada City; (530) 265-5040; www.minersfoundry.org.

DON’T MISS! CORAZÓN DE MÉXICO: One of

California’s highly regarded Mexican folkdance companies, Compañia Mazatlán Bellas Artes, is bringing a folkloric dance spectacle to Three Stages. It features indigenous and folkloric dance costumes and traditions. Live acoustic musical accompaniment is by José Roberto y Sus Amigos and Vinic-Kay. F, 5/18, 7:30pm. $20-$39. Three Stages at Folsom Lake College, 10 College Pkwy. in Folsom; (916) 608-6888.

Concerts TESLA: Tesla is a multi-platinum selling rock band from Sacramento, known for melodic songs and down-to-earth appeal. Thanks to a die-hard, loyal fan base and its younger generation offspring, the group continues to tour to sold-out crowds around the world. F, 5/18, 8pm. $24-$63. Thunder Valley Casino, 1200 Athens Ave. in Lincoln; (916) 408-7777; www.thundervalleyresort.com.

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Boasting more than 25,000 spectators annually, the 44th Annual Hangtown Motocross Classic is coming to Prairie City State Recreation Park. It’s the oldest and one of the most coveted trophies on the 12-race Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship Series. Sa, 5/19, noon. $20-$40. Prairie City SVRA, 13300 White Rock Rd. in Folsom; (800) 426-4869; www.hangtownmx.com.

learn how John Sutter engaged in a number of business ventures in an effort to achieve financial success. Fort guests will receive replica pages of original Fort ledgers, including the famous John Bidwell ledger that shows what items were for sale and at what price in the early days at Sutter’s Fort. Sa, 5/19, 10am-5pm. $5-$7. Sutter’s Fort, 2701 L St.; (916) 445-4422; www.suttersfort.org.

conference aims to help you recognize your value, manage stress, achieve financial independence, understand the difference between men and women, and get past being hurt. Guest speakers include Theodry Carruth, Sonya Jones, Andre Jordan, Aurellia Anderson and Anita Johnson. Sa, 5/19, 12:30-3pm. $7-$10. Guild Theater, 2828 35th St.; (916) 208-7638; http://iamaqueen. eventbrite.com.

TIMMY BROOKS PRESENTS KNUCKLES & NOISE: This is an amateur boxing night with a guest appearance by comedian Tony Roberts and a performance by San Quinn. Sa, 5/19, 1pm. $15. Mr.Timmy Brooks Presents Knucles & Noise Boxing & Comedy Event, 6422 Fair Oaks Blvd. in Carmichael; (916) 910-5698; www.facebook. com/mrtimmybrooks.

WAKAMATSU COLONY FESTIVAL: Join a celebration to honor an amazing cultural resource in the heart of the foothills: the first Japanese colony in the United States. This culturally rich event will feature live music (koto, flute and Taiko drummers), unique Japanese cultural exhibitions (a Tameshigiri sword demonstration), food from local sushi and sake companies, hay-wagon tours, and a variety of other intriguing exhibitions and displays. Sa, 5/19, 10am-3pm. $7-$20.

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MAGICAL FUN-DUE: See Livemagic.com’s Alexander Slemmer performing sleight-ofhand and close-up magic for diners at the Melting Pot. Su, 5/20, 6-9pm. Free with purchase of dinner. The Melting Pot, 814 15th St.; (916) 443-2347; www.meltingpot.com/ sacramentoca/home.html.

BARBECUE COMPETITION FUNDRAISER: Del Paso Boulevard

REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA: Witness

Special Events

FRONTLINES

BACKYARD ORGANIC GARDENING WORKSHOP: Gardening expert

Film

I AM A QUEEN: A WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT CONFERENCE: This

18FRI

Classes James Bridges will teach how to grow delicious organic vegetables—from planting through harvesting—at a free class. This event is sponsored by the Friends of Arcade Library. Sa, 5/19, 10:30am. Free. Arcade Community Library, 2443 Marconi Ave.; (916) 264-2920; www.saclibrary.org.

HOW DID JOHN SUTTER EXPECT TO MAKE MONEY?: Fort visitors will

Concerts

BEFORE

PROMENADE OF MERMAIDS:

HANGTOWN MOTOCROSS CLASSIC:

MAYHEM! IMPROV COMEDY: See

and learn about the traditional medicinal and sacred uses of California native plants during this interactive walk. Come away inspired to create your own personal healing garden at home. Su, 5/20, 10-11:30am. Free. Old City Cemetery, 1000 Broadway; (916) 374-8116.

Wakamatsu Colony Farm, 941 Cold Springs Rd. in Placerville; (530) 621-1224; www.arconservancy.org.

the cult cinema and theatrical hybrid that blends the Rocky Horror Picture Show with Blade Runner. Blood Spray seating availble for the courageous. Participate in the inaugural “Gentern” costume contest. Costumes encouraged. Parental discretion is advised. Sa, 5/19, 8pm. $15-$25. Colonial Theatre, 3522 Stockton Blvd.; (916) 869-8954; www.sachorrorfilmfest.com.

Partnership hosts “Smoke & Fire,” a family-friendly event where six fire-station teams battle to produce tri-tip and ribs—all to benefit Sacramento City Fire Volunteer Reserves. Su, 5/20, noon-4pm. Free. Cost of food is extra. Acacia Hall, 2354 Forrest St.; (916) 923-6200; www.smokeandfirecookoff.com.

Sports & Recreation

Literary Events

PADDLES AT COSUMNES RIVER PRESERVE: Join a leisurely paddle

MEET AUTHOR CHERYL STAPP: Meet

along the Cosumnes River. The Cosumnes River Preserve’s volunteer naturalists will be awaiting your arrival at the visitor center. Arrive at 8:30 a.m. for a 9 a.m. departure on the water. Su, 5/20, 8:30am-12:30pm. Free. Cosumnes River Preserve Visitor Center, 13501 Franklin Blvd. in Galt; (916) 870-4317; www.cosumnes.org.

Cheryl Stapp, author of Disaster and Triumph: Sacramento Women, Gold Rush through the Civil War. Most histories highlight men’s lives. Disaster & Triumph uncovers the women who helped shape history in today’s California capital. Sa, 5/19, 1pm. Free. California State Military Museum, 1119 Second St.; (916) 854-1904; www.militarymuseum.org.

Concerts

Concerts

BON VOYAGE CONCERT: The Sacramento City College Choral Department performs music prepared for the choir’s May 27 concert at Carnegie Hall. Su, 5/20, 8pm. $5. Lutheran Church of the Master, 1900 Potrero Way; (916) 558-2496.

JEFFREY SIEGEL’S RUSSIAN RAPTURE: Following his wellreceived recital in 2011, Jeffrey Siegel is back with a four-concert series of performances at Three Stages. Mixing virtuosic performance with lively commentary on the great composers, Russian Rapture: Music Of Tchaikovsky And Rachmaninoff features the soaring melodies and dance-like rhythms of two of the world’s most popular composers. Sa, 5/19, 7:30pm. $12-$39. Three Stages at Folsom Lake College, 10 College Pkwy. in Folsom; (916) 608-6888; www.ThreeStages.net.

21MON Meetings & Groups

LINUX USERS GROUP OF DAVIS: The Linux Users’ Group of Davis will host a presentation on Canonical’s Ubuntu 12.04 version of Linux, and its “Unity” graphical desktop environment. Guest speaker Philip Ballew is an Ubuntu member, head of Ubuntu Youth and works heavily in the Ubuntu Power User Community that helps customize Unity. M, 5/21, 7pm. Free. Yolo County Library—Davis Branch, 315 East 14th St. in Davis; (530) 757-5593.

20SUN

DON’T MISS! THE GREENEST BUILDING:

Presented in conjunction with the Sacramento Old City Association, local historian William Burg will also be speaking about local historic districts and Oak Park following a screening the film The Greenest Building. The film provides a compelling argument for conservation, rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of our existing building stock. Su, 5/20, 7:30pm. Free. Guild Theater, 2828 35th St.; (916) 732-4673.

Stage THE CARPETBAG BRIGADE: The Center for the Arts presents a double bill of acrobatic stilt physical theater by American company Carpetbag Brigade and Colombian group Teatro Taller. Mixing poetic poignance with social relevance, this is an event for the whole family to enjoy. M, 5/21, 7:30pm. $10-$18. The Center for the Arts, 314 West Main St. in Grass Valley; (530) 274-8384; www.thecenterforthearts.org.

Special Events ELIXIRS, POTIONS, AND OTHER NOTIONS: Enjoy the late spring

Concerts SPRING CONCERT: The Sacramento Concert Band, under the direction of Grant Parker, presents a concert including works by Frank Ticheli, Charles Ives, Samuel Barber, Sousa and others. M, 5/21, 7:30-9:30pm. Free. Christ Community Church, 5025 Manzanita Ave. in Carmichael; (916) 691-7632.

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DON’T MISS! BEER & BALLET: Enjoy beer,

wine, or soda as you watch edgy new works created by the dancers of the Sacramento Ballet themselves. See the dancers in an up-close-and-personal setting that’s both informal and intimate. F, 5/18, 7pm; Sa, 5/19,

7pm; Th, 5/24, 7pm; F, 5/25, 7pm; Sa, 5/26, 7pm; Su, 5/27, 2pm. $35. The Sacramento

DON’T MISS!

Ballet Studios, 1631 K St.; (916) 552-5800, ext. 101; www.sacballet.org.

NOW, a local grassroots civil rights organization is hosting its third annual Harvey Milk Day Celebration. During a short program, California Sen. Mark Leno, who sponsored the bill that created Harvey Milk Day will receive EAN’s “Spirit of Harvey Milk” award. Five other community members will also receive the award and spoken-word artist Jovi Radtke will perform. Tu, 5/22, 6pm. $25-$30. Mulvaney’s, 1215 19th St.; (916) 441-6022; http://mulvaneysbl.com.

Special Events

HARVEY MILK DAY CELEBRATION: Equality Action

HEALING FESTIVAL AND PSYCHIC FAIR: Have questions about your past, present or future? Interested in knowing more about your relationships, family, career or spirit guides? Get answers, a free aura healing and a variety of mini readings, including palm, tarot and aura readings. Sa, 5/19, 1-6pm; Su, 5/20, 1-6pm. Free. Berkeley Psychic Institute, 2018 19th St. 19th St; (916) 441-7780; www.sacramentobpi.com.

Film MOTION PICTURES: Movie expert Matias Bombal will present clips from 1930s films and discuss the development of the Broadway entertainment district in Sacramento. Tu, 5/22, 6pm. Free. Sacramento Public Library (Central Branch), 828 I St.; (916) 264-2770; www.saclib.org.

Concerts CALIFORNIA FREEDOM TOUR 2012: The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus makes a stop on its California Freedom Tour 2012 with the Sacramento Gay Men’s Chorus as special guests. The concert will benefit the Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center. Tu, 5/22, 8pm. $10-$40. Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 2620 Capitol Ave.; (916) 446-2513; www.trinitycathedral.org.

GIVE ’EM HOPE: In honor of Harvey Milk Day, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus will be on the West Steps of the California State Capitol building, where they will premiere the new Harvey Milk Day Anthem, “Give ’em Hope.” Tu, 5/22, 4pm. Free. California State Capitol Building, 1315 10th St., West Steps; (916) 324-0333.

23WED

Special Events Sanctuary is holding its annual fundraising event, the Capitol Bake Sale. Homemade cookies, brownies, cupcakes, and muffins will be available for a donation to Happy Tails. Baked goods are needed. To donate, contact Happy Tails. All proceeds benefit Happy Tails, a no-kill shelter. W, 5/23, 7:30am-3pm. Free. State Capitol, 11th and L streets; (916) 556-1155; www.happytails.org.

AFTER

Looking for something to do? Use SN&R’s free calendar to browse hundreds of events online. Art galleries and musems, family events, education classes, film and literary events, church groups, music, sports, volunteer opportunies—all this and more on our free events calendar at www.newsreview.com. Start planning your week!

advantage of some of the lowest prices in the market for jewelry, gems, beads, crystals, silver, rocks, minerals, and more. More than 60 exhibitors from all over the world will be on site. Jewelry repair is available while you shop. Displays and demos will be provided by the Sacramento Mineral Society. F, 5/18, 12-6pm; Sa, 5/19, 10am-6pm; Su, 5/20, 10am-5pm. $7 for a weekend pass. Scottish Rite Masonic Center, 6151 H St.; (503) 252-8300; www.gemfaire.com.

WORLD TOUR OF BUDDHA RELICS: A world-wide exhibit of ancient and sacred relics of the Buddha and other great Buddhist masters—exemplifying the values of tolerance, loving-kindness and world peace—will be on display. F, 5/18, 6-8pm; Sa, 5/19,

10am-7pm; Su, 5/20, 10am-5pm. Free. Kim Quang Temple, 3119 Alta Arden Expressway; (916) 481-8781; www.kimquang.org.

Kids’ Stuff PUPPET FESTIVAL: Puppet Art Theater is back for another season filled with music, puppetry and fun. Four original shows will be performed in the Children’s Theater. Puppet Show tickets are $1 for members and $2 for nonmembers. All shows are performed by Puppet Art Theater Company. Th-Su through 6/30. $1-$2 (plus admission fee). Fairytale Town, 3901 Land Park Dr.; (916) 808-7462; www.fairytaletown.org.

Concerts

HAPPY TAILS SUMMER CAPITOL BAKE SALE: Happy Tails Pet

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Wait, there’s more!

SACRAMENTO GEM FAIRE: Take

blooms of the California Native Plant Demonstration Garden,

FEATURE

ONGOING

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SACRAMENTO MASTER SINGERS: Join the Sacramento Master Singers for its final performances of the 2011-12 concert season. This concert, titled “It Takes Two to Tango” celebrates love and passion through choral arrangements of tangos from Argentina, and sultry love poems set to music by international composers. Sa, 5/19, 8pm; Su, 5/20, 3pm. $20.00. First United Methodist Church, 2100 J St.; (916) 788-7464; www.mastersingers.org.

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EL PATRON BAR & GRILL 6001 FOLSOM BLVD (916) 455–8945

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DOG FRIENDLY

✠ Crepes, sweet & savory ✠ Donuts ✠ Coffee & tea ✠ Sandwiches & croissants ✠ Pastries


DISH

Gringo-wiches See FOOD STUFF

La vida aquatic Las Islitas 3618 A Street in North Highlands, (916) 331-4302 by GREG LUCAS

Rating:

★★★★ Dinner for one:

$15 - $25

FLAWED

★★ HAS MOMENTS

★★★ APPEALING

★★★★ AUTHORITATIVE

★★★★★ EPIC

Still hungry?

Search SN&R’s “Dining Directory” to find local restaurants by name or by type of food. Sushi, Mexican, Indian, Italian— discover it all in the “Dining” section at www.newsreview.com.

BEFORE

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Complimentary ceviche. Accompanied by a bowl of lime wedges and at least a halfdozen crispy corn tortillas. Positive opinion formed. Review concluded. Las Islitas in North Highlands is authoritative. There’s also a new location near Florin Road on 24th Street. Only a higher power or random chance draws diners to the A Street Las Islitas. Not seeing it while plodding along Watt Avenue is more likely than glimpsing it tucked behind an Adalberto’s Mexican Food. But there is some kismet here. Some karma at work. Some irresistible compulsion that screams “Check it out!” And upon opening the front door, I’m greeted by Ana, one of the co-owners. It’s over at hello, as the expression goes. Brightly effervescent, Ana asks if spicy is OK. Si como no. In that case, she recommends the shrimp (camarones) a la cora. Only fools question advice from experts. While working to clear the large oval dish of the ceviche—small fish pieces dotted with red onions, green peppers and tomato tarted up with lime—the interior gets a quick perusal. The cutting and sizing of the ceviche pieces seems quite uniform, suggesting it might be purchased rather than made in house. Nonetheless, it’s an attention-getting, palate-pleasing freebie. In keeping with the menu’s principally oceanic offerings, Las Islitas sports a subdued beach motif with a few wall-clinging starfish, some netting and low, barrel-shaped wicker chairs that appear ideal for lounging on a luminous red-tile balcony somewhere south of Puerto Vallarta overlooking the azure Pacific Ocean. Scrawled on the front window below Las Islitas is the phrase “de Nayarit.” Nayarit is a state on the western coast of Mexico, of which Las Islitas is a coastal town that, one must infer from the menu, goes for seafood in a major way. The shrimp a la cora is presumably either a method used by the original inhabitants of Nayarit—the Cora who appeared around 400 A.D.—or a type of chili mentioned in Nayarit cooking. Or both. Likely both, since the menu touts use of the “best spices and hot peppers from the Nayarit Mountains.” Whatever cora is at play, the result is plenty of grilled, red-dusted, exoskeleton-still-attached shrimp sprinkled with chili that set off with tomato and cucumber slices and red onion half-moon slivers. It is everything Ana promised: Spicy, messy and memorable. Shrimp stuffed with cheddar and wrapped in smoky bacon is another Nayarit staple. It’s heavier and less fiery than the cora and comes with celery-flecked rice and prefab ranch dressing on the crisp iceberg salad. FRONTLINES

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FEATURE

For sheer refreshment on a hot day, it’s hard to beat cazuelitas, of which the $14.95 especiale is the most varied with chunks of pulpo (octopus), shrimp, oysters and abalone. It’s listed on the menu with the various tostadas, shrimp among them, of course, but the waitress says cazuelitas is not a tostada. She can’t explain what it is—few patrons here order in English, which is always a good sign.

Las Islitas’ cazuelitas is a cold seafood stew punctuated with tomato, avocado and a lime sauce so intense that bits of tostada are needed to leaven its potentially overpowering impact. She assures that it’s good, however. It is a cold seafood stew punctuated with tomato, cucumber, red onion, avocado slices and a lime sauce so intense that bits of tostada are needed to leaven its potentially overpowering impact. It’s a clean and simple dish defined by the combination of flavors rather than the individual ingredients. It’s a joyful discovery that appears to be complemented, as many of the meals are at other tables, with michelada in foot-tall mugs with chili-peppered rims. The Clamato, beer, lime juice combo seems designed with seafood in mind. Overall, an entrancing introduction to the seafood pleasures of Nayarit. Ω

THE V WORD Foster the vegan people Midtown’s Never Felt Better Vegan Shop (1910 P Street) is all about fostering the vegan community. For example, the shop is hosting a special event on Saturday, May 19, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.: the Bitchin’ Bake Sale. Proceeds will go to animal-advocacy nonprofit Born Free USA. And the shop is setting its sights on becoming a co-op with the goal, according to its website, to “make a cozy, essential, fully stocked grocery area eventually complete with household necessities like TP, household cleansers, vegan razors and condoms.” Yearly membership costs are $50 to $150, and it comes with a discount on purchases. Look into it at http://neverfeltbettervegan.com. —Shoka STORY

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DISH Where to eat? Here are a few recent reviews and regional recommendations, updated regularly. Check out www.newsreview.com for more dining advice.

Midtown

Mati’s There’s a reason “Indian Express” was part of Mati’s previous title. A variety of dishes are offered daily in a buffet, but Mom serves instead of diners slopping stuff onto their own plates. Options are fairly straightforward: A small dish at $6.99 with rice and two items, and a large, which has up to four items, at $8.99. Subtract $1 if going vegetarian. There’s five dishes in the daily veg rotation, most of them vegan. Offerings run the gamut from mild to spicy, although the temperature of spicy is well within tolerance, except for the most heat adverse. This is straightup, nicely prepared Indian food without frills. Mom and daughter make it even more appealing. Indian. 1501 16th St.; (916) 341-0532. Dinner for one: $9-$12. ★★★ The Porch The Porch is light and white with a vibe that suggests the airy sweep of an antebellum Charleston eatery. One can only envy the extensive on-site research conducted by chef Jon Clemens and business partners John Lopez and Jerry Mitchell, creators of Capitol Garage. The most enjoyable menu selections are salads or seafood sandwiches or entrees. Slaw on the barbecue

A number of items from the “Farm to Plate,” “Tasty Snacks” and “Buns” sections of the menu land high in the plus column, however. Any place that offers chimichurri rocks hard. Here it enlivens the Farm Animal Lollipops snack—particularly the lamb—and the mayor-ofMunchkin-City-sized lamb bocadillas. American. 2718 J St., (916) 706-2275. Dinner for one: $20-$40. ★★1⁄2

pork sandwich elevates its status, and its pickled vegetables are sweet and tart, adding an additional dimension. The shrimp and grits dish, while laden with cheddar and gravy, is a synergistic mélange— perhaps The Porch’s trademark dish. Also in the running is the purloo, the low country’s version of jambalaya, with andouille, crunchy crawfish appendages, and the same sautéed bell peppers and onions that also appear in the grits. Southern. 1815 K St., (916) 444-2423. Dinner for one: $20-$30. ★★★

Sampino’s Towne Foods Sampino’s Towne Foods turns out to be a bright jewel in a drab Alkali Flat strip mall of paycheck cashers and laundromat. It’s everything an Italian deli should be and more, right down to the Louie Prima on the box and the timpano in the refrigerated display case. Several lobbyists, who elect to drive the six

The Press Bistro There are flashes of Greece, such as the crisscross rows of bare light bulbs over the front patio. Or the summery small plate of stacked watermelon squares with feta and mint. Even Italian vegetarians get cut into the action with mushroom ravioli and its corn, leek and dill triumvirate. Another special is a colorful small plate of pepperonata—slightly-pickled-in-champagne-vinegar stripes of peppers awash in olive oil. Speaking of olive oil, it’s all that’s needed to accompany the fluffy, light focaccia, whose four rectangles come neatly stacked. Share The Press with someone you love. Mediterranean. 1809 Capitol Ave., (916) 444-2566. Dinner for one: $15-$30. ★★★1⁄2

to seven blocks from their offices near the capitol, to pick up sandwiches or—in one instance—five meatballs, begin spewing superlatives when asked their views on Sampino’s. Italian Deli. 1607 F St., (916) 441-2372. Dinner for one: $7-$15. ★★★★1⁄2

isn’t space to wax poetic about the cordon bleu sandwich, the burger, the designer cocktails or the fizzy water from Wales. See for yourself. Very authoritative. American. 1300 H St., (916) 594-7669. Dinner for one: $12-$20. ★★★★1⁄2

Thir13en From the start—and, lo,

East Sac

these many weeks hence—the situp-take-notice plate remains the pork tonnato sandwich. It’s the Italian peasant spread or sauce made with tonno—tuna—tonnato that empowers this open-face masterwork. Spread on a toasted half baguette, the tonnato is the foundation upon which the pork rests. Above the pork is an awning of mixed greens, with a generous overhang, sprinkled with not enough crispy onions and paperthin slices of pickled fennel. There

EAT IT AND REAP

Formoli’s Bistro Formoli’s is the other half of the restaurant swap on J Street that sent Vanilla Bean Bistro (formerly known as Gonul’s J Street Cafe) to Formoli’s old warren and brought Formoli’s into its current high-ceilinged, spare, dark cranberry space of black tables and chairs just six blocks away. Flavor combinations are a big part of the Formoli playbook, and the blend of the tower’s components is the payoff just as it is in the salad of

Somehow, someway, a friend of mine gave me some apricots, which is odd, because I would say it’s a few months too early. But she insists— insists!—that her tree is festooned with the golden little fruits. Still, who am I not to put a gift apricot in my mouth?

Resistance is futile when it comes to Red Rabbit’s desserts. The berry-infused ice-cream sandwich is bright and refreshing with a chewy shell that dovetails neatly with the smooth fruity interior. But there’s less effusiveness for the entrees. The Bastard Banh Mi doesn’t improve on the original.

by GARRETT MCCORD

They are, however, a bit underripe. Picked a bit too soon it would seem. (It’s hard to know just when to pluck them.) When faced with underripe and crazy-early stone fruit, the easiest way to prepare them is to braise or bake them.

Personally, I’m a fan of the following: Cut the plums, apricots, peaches or what have you in half and discard the pit. Tuck them cut-side down into a wide baking dish. Brew up some of your favorite tea—about 5 cups of it—and brew it extra strong (chamomile or Earl Grey are ideal). Stir in and dissolve 2 tablespoons of sugar and a bit of vanilla extract. Pour it over the fruit and bake for 35 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees. These are lovely on their own or served with a small pour of cream.

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Mamma Susanna’s

Ristorante Italiano There’s something endearing, almost Norman Rockwell-esque about a neighborhood restaurant that is most commonly referred to by its patrons as the neighborhood restaurant. There is no shortage of options on the menu with nearly a dozen or so pastas, even more types of pizzas, a smattering of salads and various entrees, including the piccata chicken or veal dish that Mamma Susanna’s counts as one of her specialties. Of the pastas

Cure for the underripe fruit

The Red Rabbit Kitchen & Bar

GR

beets—wafer-thin enough to be used interchangeably in the carpaccio—with shaved fennel, frisée, a few orange segments and pistachios laced with a stentorian balsamic vinaigrette. Mediterranean. 3839 J St., (916) 448-5699. Dinner for one: $20-$40. ★★★★

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Buy One Entree, get the 2nd FREE* Estelle’s Patisserie is a charming, warmly lit French bakery and espresso bar dedicated to quality and our Sacramento community. Estelle’s uses fresh, local ingredients to make our breakfast and lunch items Croissants, French macarons, tarts, breads, soups, sandwiches, and a full espresso menu. Wholesale orders, catering and delivery are also available. Please call or email for details. 400 Bercut Drive • 916-441-3474 • GrillMastersSteakHouse.com Just off I-5 Exit, exit Richards Blvd, left on Bercut Open Daily 11am-9pm • Sundays 12pm-8:30pm Happy Hours Daily 3pm-6pm • Sundays Happy Hour All Day *Of Equal or Lesser Value. Max Value: Lunch $8 Dinner $12. Must present coupon upon order. Not valid with any other discounts, offers or coupons. One coupon per table. Dine in only. Excludes holidays. Exp 5/31/12.

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Located at the corner of 9th and K in downtown Sacramento *Wi-Fi available Open M–F, 7am–6pm • Now open Saturdays 8am-5pm Contact us at (916) 551–1500 or via email at info@estellespatisserie.com


Ninja Sushi There’s nothing stealthy about Ninja Sushi. But like its namesake, Ninja delivers food with swiftness and skill. Naturally, there are other offerings besides fish bits. There are dozen lunches starting at $6.95 and 17 dinner entrees beginning at $11.95 with chicken, beef, tempura, gyoza, tonkatsu, donburi and curry all part of the mix. But they’re way at the back of the colorful sushi-centric, heavily illustrated menu. There are more than 85 rolls here: Old Auburn, deepfried fake crabmeat with salmon on the outside; Brandi’s Special Roll, with spicy crabmeat, avocado, yellowtail and spicy tuna; and Folsom Blvd., with freshwater eel, avocado and cream cheese are just some notables. Overall, festive and crammed with options. Leave the nunchucks at home, sensei. Sushi. 8937 Folsom Blvd., (916) 369-1935. Dinner for one: $10-$25. ★★★1⁄2

Vanilla Bean Bistro Gonul’s J Street Cafe has moved up the street and evolved into the Vanilla Bean Bistro. Its narrow, lowceilinged coziness is consonant with its understated, whateverthe-impulse-inspires alchemy that owner/chef Gonul Blum, has shown over the past eight years. Blum

hails from Turkey. That country’s culinary tradition provides a sturdy foundation, but for her, it serves more as a launching pad. A recurring feature practiced here is the inclusion of fruit—preserved and fresh—in many dishes. And the tabbouleh delivers a roundhousepunch flavor combination. Turkish. 3260-B J St., (916) 457-1155. Dinner for one: $10-$20. ★★★★1⁄2

The Wienery The Wienery is wondrous, metaphysical, even. This 35year-old East Sacramento landmark sells old-fashioned steamed franks and sausages. The menu warns that the Fiesta Dog— refried beans, onions, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and taco sauce—is “surprisingly good.” Who can quarrel with truth in advertising? Even a simple, straightforward creation such as the Ranch Dog, starring—natch—ranch dressing, can engender a “Whoa, tasty!” The sausages—such as the Polish or Tofurky Kielbasa—are grilled as is the bacon-wrapped dog with its not-easily forgettable jalapeño relish. American. 715 56th St., (916) 455-0497. Dinner for one: $10-$20. ★★★★

Land Park/ Curtis Park

Pangaea Two Brews Cafe Tables, tall and short, are large and communal, fostering that casual camaraderie that should be the goal of any self-respecting brewpub. There’s a fairly extensive menu, including breakfast items. Not to put too fine a point on it: Pangaea’s offerings are not beers that will be found at a Save Mart Supermarket or even Nugget. They

are nuanced. Brewed with artisanship. In some cases, for hundreds of years. There’s the usual panoply of French dip, hot pastrami, Reuben and so on. Among the signature offerings is The Gobbler. Turkey, natch. Cranberry sauce, natch. Then red onion, several roma tomato slices, a thicket of green leaf and pepper jack cheese, all shoehorned into a big baguette. Brewpub. 2743 Franklin Blvd., (916) 454-4942. Dinner for one: $10-$20. ★★★1⁄2

ILLUSTRATION BY MARK STIVERS

and pizzas, the norcina tastes like and looks like an orangey vodka sauce with roasted red-pepper slices and sausage rounds tossed in a bed of penne. While the menu claims spicy, some red chili flakes do the trick. Italian. 5487 Carlson Dr., (916) 452-7465. Dinner for one: $12-$20. ★★★

khalii khapou, listed as “curried crab stew” on the menu, comes from the hometown of the matriarch who is happy to answer questions about the ingredients and volunteers what is apparent after one mouthful: real crab is used. A word about the freebie salad that accompanies each meal: expect mixed greens, a dash of carrot shreds, cucumber chunks, a quarter of a tomato, a spattering of sesame seeds and what taste like fried shallots. All this with a tamarind emboldened dressing. Sabaidee is a quality meal for the price. Thai/Laotian. 8055 Elk GroveFlorin Rd., (916) 681-8286. Dinner for one: $10-$20. ★★★1⁄2

North Sac

Enotria Restaurant and

Wine Bar Enotria is an enophile’s dream. The waiters here speak fluent wine and their knowledge is both capacious and definitive. Enotria promises “Food made for wine made for food,” and it delivers on the pledge. The paella remains Enotria’s signature dish. A recent $32 prix-fixe meal begins with a rectangular plate upon which is served an alternating line of caramelized plantains and campaign-button size pork tenderloins. The accompanying wine is a 2008 white burgundy, Olivier LeFlaive “Les Setilles.” The one-two punch here is, obviously, the food and wine. But the knock-out punch—at least when all cylinders are firing— is the delivery. American. 1431 Del Paso Blvd., (916) 922-6792. Dinner for one: $20-$40. ★★★★1⁄2

Siam Restaurant It could take many months to work through Siam’s lengthy menu. There’s red, green, yellow and panang curry, Pad Thai—of course—drunken noodles and another 14 stir-fry options with tofu, chicken, pork, beef and eggplant. The spicy rice with squid is monstrously portioned, flavored with a steady Thai burn that leaves lips and tongue tingling. The best on Siam’s salad list is the aptly named Yum Seafood. Here, the combination is warm shrimp, calamari and mussels on the half-shell, scattered willy-nilly in a thicket of crisp squares of iceberg and jumbled with lemongrass, dry chilies, cashews, onions, mint and cilantro, with some squirts of lime juice for good measure. There’s probably enough for two, but it’s too good to share. Thai. 5100 Franklin Blvd., (916) 452-8382. Dinner for one: $10-$20. ★★★

South Sac

Sabaidee Thai Grille If the menu is any indication, pumpkin and other squashes play a major role in Laotian cuisine, which, in turn, plays a major role at Sabaidee. The

Deadly zins Located just 40 minutes south of Sacramento, Lodi is a somewhat of a hidden gem for good wine tasting. Less expensive, crowded and touristy than Napa, Lodi boasts more than 80 wineries—many of which are known for producing crisp and sweet zinfandels. This weekend, a number of Lodi wineries celebrate the city’s eighthannual ZinFest Wine Festival, which features wine tours and a special wine-pairing dinner. The weekend-long celebration begins at 6 p.m. on Friday night with a pairing of local cuisine and zinfandel wine for $85. Saturday’s festival activities, happening from noon to 5 p.m. at Lodi Lake Park, will feature 50 wineries pouring 250 different wines, as well as live music and cooking demonstrations (cost: $45-$55; a designated-driver ticket costs $10). Participating wineries will also be open all day Sunday for free cellar tours. Visit www.zinfest.com for more information. —Jonathan Mendick

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COOLHUNTING You can haz cheeseburger Old Tavern Bar & Grill cheeseburgers When there are still a few hours until closing time, I find that I need to put some fat and some protein into my belly. Striding around town consuming tall boys and Jägermeister is not only taxing on the cash clip, it strains the gut as well. Revivification comes in the form of two toasty disks served in a little red oblong basket. At a $1.50 each, soft, warm cheeseburgers can recharge someone without siphoning off the scratch pocketed for pool and suds. Thank God for that. So, FOOD when I feel a primal scream raging from my hollow gastro sack, I head into the kitchen at the Old Tavern Bar & Grill in Midtown. Then I stick around for competitive games of pool, pitchers of beer and weirdish, flirty babes. What more could you ask for on a slow weeknight? 1510 20th Street, (916) 444-5595. —Matthew W. Urner

The man behind the puppet Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey If you have kids, or know someone with kids, you know Elmo; the bright-red puppet who brings joy to children’s lives on Sesame Street. But without puppeteer Kevin Clash, Elmo FILM would have been just another discarded piece of fabric. This documentary explores the roots of Clash and his passion for puppeteering that was born out of his Baltimore childhood. It’s like Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, except with Jim Henson instead of Gene Wilder and years of hard work and sacrifice on public-access TV instead of a golden ticket in a chocolate bar. www.netflix.com. —Kyle Buis

Drink up, sailor The Red Rabbit Kitchen & Bar’s daily punch special Matt Nurge, barman and co-owner of the new Red Rabbit Kitchen & Bar, says that in the two-plus months since Red Rabbit opened, the restaurant’s featured upwards of “60 completely different batches of punch.” In fact, he says, “The possibilities are endless.” Nurge mixes up a mess o’ punch every morning so that when it gets crowded, a patron can get that first, loosening cocktail without waiting 10 (or more) minutes. Good bartenders are always history buffs, and Nurge easily educates patrons on punch’s past as a drink for sailors: “They wanted a drink that quenched their thirst for hearty drink and was DRINK healthy,” he says. “An example [of this] is the inclusion of lime juice to prevent scurvy.” Punch: It’s just what the doctor ordered. 2718 J Street, (916) 706-2275, www.theredrabbit.net. —Becky Grunewald

Twin studies Unterzakhn Leela Corman’s debut graphic novel, Unterzakhn (Schocken Books, $24.95)—Yiddish for “underwear”— tells the story of two sisters in early 20th-century New York. The children of immiGRAPHIC NOVEL grants from the Russian shtetl, twins Esther and Fanya observe their community on the Lower East Side as children, grow into it as young women, and find disparate—if equally subversive—paths as adults. Subtly feminist and thoroughly fascinating, Corman’s story is captured in her detailed black-and-white drawings, revealing the complexity of life among working-class women and the harsh realities of attempting to make it in the “land of opportunity.” —Kel Munger


ASK JOEY Bad fetishes by JOEY GARCIA

Joey

needs a new retainer.

Got a problem?

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

My boyfriend has a thing for blondes. He hasn’t really asked me directly, but I know he wants me to dye my hair. He has also dropped hints about the kind of clothing he prefers me in. I grew up with parents who dictated every part of my life, from what I wore to what I ate, to how long I could be in the bathroom. I am really sensitive to comments about the way I look or live. What do you think? Is he being controlling, or am I just overly sensitive? Could both be true? While I understand that attraction works in mysterious ways, your boyfriend may be overly attached to appearance. If he allows his fetish to interrupt a growing affection for you or his commitment to you, beware. That dye job could evolve into exactly the type of demands you abhor. I suggest that you confront his hints and explain that you are comfortable with how you appear to him and the world. Doing so is a kind way to remind yourself of your worth and beauty. If your boyfriend begins dictating what you should wear or how you should spend your waking hours, leave. Yes, break up even if you think you love him. Ending the relationship will be easier if you accept this: His attempt to control your appearance is evidence of infatuation. Love embraces you as you are. That’s right, he does not truly love you, even if he says he does.

Ending the relationship will be easier if you accept this: His attempt to control your appearance is evidence of infatuation. Let me also caution you to be gentle with yourself. Enduring an emotionally abusive childhood is difficult. Residual sensitivity is normal. Consider it a form of protection against repeating your childhood pattern. How? When sensitive feelings rise in you, it’s a warning that childhood wounds are being triggered. Don’t ride those feelings into drama or

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depression. Take responsibility for self-care. Remind yourself that you are no longer a child and can capably respond to the problem at hand. That said, it’s time to evaluate whether your current relationship is an unconscious effort to heal old wounds. Sometimes, emotional patterns that are unresolved in childhood present themselves for attention in romantic connections. Your situation is an invitation to develop a voice that sets clear boundaries. Be willing to do now what you could not do as a child: Insist on being treated with love and respect. If it doesn’t happen, leave. For two months I have been corresponding by email with a man I met online. We have a lot in common, but he has not asked me out. The other thing is that he emails me from about five completely different email accounts. When I asked about this he said one account was old and he wanted a cooler address. But that explains only two of the five addresses. Does this seem suspicious to you?

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Yes, but so does your hesitancy about trusting your intuition. Why would you start a relationship with a man when the prevailing feeling is suspicion? Trust your inner 0RQGDYL61 5 voice. It is strange that he has not 3DJH9HUWLFDO invited you to chat by phone or to meet face to face. Have you considµZLGHE\µ ered whether email is the highest level of social contact he can man58160$< age? His hoard of active email addresses is odd but could be the product of an unorganized mind. Then again, he might be a cheater. Either way, stop being patient. Invite him to meet for coffee. If he hesitates or cancels, don’t respond to future emails. You may like the attention you feel each time his email arrives, but without meeting, you’ll never know if you are corresponding with an available man. A precocious teenager, bored housewife or married man might be your real correspondent. Find out. Ω

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Meditation of the week: “Eternity is in love with the creations of time,” wrote the poet William Blake. Does your work bring God joy? How do you know?

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STAGE Women, war and the Congo Ruined When dirty miners or sweaty soldiers enter Mama Nadi’s brothel in the remote Congolese jungle, by Mama insists they check their weapons at the Jeff Hudson bar. No shooting, no brawling, no talk about the brutal civil war. That stuff stays outside. Mama Nadi runs a happy place that offers beer (sometimes, it is even chilled, when the generator is working), girls (take your pick) and music. Each of Mama’s girls has a story. Most came from good backgrounds, but were gang-raped by soldiers, and/or mutilated for amusement. Having been thus “ruined” (the title of this 2009 Pultizer Prize-winning play by Lynn Nottage), these women suffered the further humiliation of being cast out by family and neighbors. Mama Nadi’s may be

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Life is uncertain everywhere, but in the Congo—well, you’d better grab every moment you can.

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a whorehouse, but at least there is food, and—arguably—a higher degree of safety than exists in the jungle outside, where rebels and government troops are engaged in an endless bloodletting. Images Theatre Company, which has been staging African-American plays on a wing and a prayer for years, takes on a very ambitious project here: a cast of 18, a professional director (Buddy Butler), five musicians, dancing. And while the play contains a love story (of all things!), much of the subject matter is grim, with a tangible sense of menace (especially when tall, dour, ruthless Commander Osembenga, wellplayed by professional actor Dell Grooms, comes to call). Sacramento’s Lisa Lacy (another pro) is memorable as Mama Nadi, a tough-minded businesswoman, but fair, in her fashion. Ediambolo Lokoto is the pretty but deeply pained Sophie—she’s educated and reads aloud for the working girls, and the scene in which they giggle over a romance novel is marvelous. Needless to say, there are times when the show comes up short—it has a reach that exceeds its grasp, and a few scenes sputtered

during last Sunday’s opening. But while the show has ungainly aspects, this project nonetheless gets airborne and captivates the audience. We’ll award extra points to Images for making a huge effort—and taking some risks—while presenting this recent prizewinner on a local stage. Ω Ruined, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday; $15-$20. Images Theatre Company at the Guild Theater, 2828 35th Street; (916) 428-1441; www.imagestheatre.org. Through June 3.

4

Sharp-tongued woman Kiss Me, Kate

Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew is the inspiration and the target of Kiss Me, Kate, an old favorite in a delightful new production by Runaway Stage. With music and lyrics by Cole Porter and book by Sam and Bella Spewak, the story involves the on- and offstage trials of a theater company’s presentation of Shrew: The Musical. The conflict involves Fred Graham (Tevye Ditter), the show’s director, producer and star, and his leading lady—and ex-wife— Lilli Vanessi (Andrea St. Claire). Their backstage bickering alternates with and mirrors the onstage relationship of Petruchio and Kate in their struggling Shrew. Ditter is one of the finest performers in community theater, and he is commanding here; solid in both his singing and acting. His half of the duet “Wunderbar” is just that. St. Claire reaches her height in the humorous “I Hate Men.” A secondary romance involves ingénue Lois Lane, the actress playing Bianca, and her gambler boyfriend, Bill Calhoun, who plays Lucentio. Lauren Ettensohn and Mark Ettensohn play the pair; and she shines in the delightful “Always True to You in My Fashion.” The show is long—very close to three hours—but director Bob Baxter keeps it moving apace. Lillian Baxter’s costumes add color and context. There was some raggedness in the horns of the Runaway Stage orchestra, but musical director Gary Suits coached smooth work from the string section and percussionist Ken Horton. A curtain as obstinate as Kate herself caused some hitches in opening-weekend performances. —Jim Carnes

Kiss Me, Kate, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday; $12-$22. Runaway Stage Productions at the 24th Street Theatre, 2791 24th Street; (916) 207-1226; www.runawaystage.com. Through June 3.


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This play with songs for younger kids is “loosely based” on the Brothers Grimm, adapted by B Street’s Jerry Montoya and son Malachi (a fifth grader). Rick Kleber and Amy Kelly are a hoot as a witch and a goblin; John Lamb manipulates waist-high puppets; the music by Noah Agruss is a nice touch. Sa, Su 1 & 4pm. Through 6/3. $18-$27. B Street Theatre, 2711 B St.; (916) 443-5300; www.bstreettheatre.org. J.H.

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What happens when an optimistic asshole and a depressive sociopath cross paths? Laughter and disaster, in this smooth-running production directed by Ed Claudio, with Matt Moore as the relentlessly self-promoting Lawrence, and Eason Donner as his misanthropic friend, Holloman. F, Sa 8pm; Su 2pm. Through 6/3. $15-$17. The Actor’s Theatre in the Three Penny Theatre in the California Stage Complex, 25th and R streets; (916) 501-6104. K.M.

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Based on a low-budget sci-fi movie, this musical parody holds up over time, with a meek and mild florist (Andrew J. Perez) making a Faustian bargain with a plant that has a taste for human flesh (operated by Aaron Hitchcock and voiced by Jeffrey Lloyd Heatherly). Directed by Michael Laun, with a smokin’ four-piece band led by Dan Pool. W 6:30pm; Th 12:30 & 6:30 pm; Th, F 8pm; Sa 2 & 8pm; Su 2pm. Through 5/20. $15-$38. The Sacramento Theatre Company, 1419 H St.; (916) 443-6722, www.sactheatre.org. J.C. Local playwright Robert Lautz sets this comedy in Renaissance Pisa, Italy, where the tower leans and everybody wants to get ahead. Alchemist Calvino (Brennan Villados) hints to his future father-in-law that he can turn to lead to gold, which leads the local famiglia to send a button man (Mahlon Greenhalgh) to snoop around. With a love interest (Chelsea Barone) and a freethinking brother (Tony Hutto), this alchemist’s got his house, head and heart filled up. F, Sa 8pm; Su 2pm. Through 5/27. $12-$20. California Stage in the Wilkerson Theatre at the California Stage complex, 25th and R streets; (916) 451-5822; www.calstage.org. K.M.

4

RX

The winning elements of this romantic comedy about a pharmaceutical company’s new drugs to combat workplace depression and heartbreak come from the pleasing variations that director Buck Busfield and his B Street regulars spring. With Stephanie Althoz, Kurt Johnson and Jason Kuykendall. T 6:30pm; W 2 & 6:30pm; Th, F 8pm; Sa 5 & 9pm; Su 2pm. Through 6/10. $23-$35. The B Street Theatre, 2711 B St.; (916) 443-5300; www.bstreettheatre.org. J.H.

5

SMUDGE

Rachel Axler’s tragicomedy about a young couple with a new baby that isn’t quite what they expected gets a fantastic production at KOLT Run Creations with Lisa Thew directing. Kelley Ogden, Barry Hubbard and Eric Baldwin are all outstanding in this disturbing, funny and thought-provoking show. F, Sa 8pm; Su 2pm. Through 5/20. $15-$20. KOLT Run Creations at the Ooley Theatre, 2007 28th St.; (916) 454-1500; www.koltruncreations.com. K.M.

3

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SORROWS AND REJOICINGS

Celebration Arts stages the legendary Athol Fugard’s examination of post-apartheid South Africa, as the recently deceased white liberal Dawid (Jeff Bagley) is remembered by two women: his white wife (Carolyn Gregory) and his black mistress (Alana Mathews). Complicating matters is his angry, illegitimate biracial daughter (La Keisha Star Mondy). Th, F, Sa 8pm; Su 2pm. Through 5/26. $8-$15. Celebration Arts, 4469 D St.; (916) 455-2787; www.facebook.com/ CelebrationArts. M.M.

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Short reviews by Jeff Hudson, Jim Carnes, Maxwell McKee and Kel Munger. Longer reviews of these plays are available online at www.newsreview.com/sacramento/home. BEFORE

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Darling Companion We spend most of director Lawrence Kasdan’s Darling Companion waiting for it to get really good, and it never does. It starts out pretty good and by stays that way for an hour and 42 minutes. The Jim Lane movie meanders along from scene to scene in jiml@ an amiable stroll; the pleasure of the movie’s newsreview.com company is real, even if what we learn about any of Kasdan’s characters is slight. Diane Keaton plays Beth Winter, a Denver matron with an emotional hair-trigger. The thought that her 2-month-old grandson might not remember her next time they meet is enough to send her into uncontrollable sobs. Her husband, Joseph (Kevin Kline), a successful surgeon, is more than a little self-involved. And their daughter Gracie (Elisabeth Moss) says he can be “kind of a prick sometimes.”

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One day, Beth and Gracie find an abandoned dog along Interstate 70. Beth’s cup of compassion runneth over, and they take the dog to Sam (Jay Ali), a handsome vet whose eyes light up at the sight of Gracie. A year later, Gracie and Sam are getting married at Beth and Joseph’s Rocky Mountain summer cabin—and the dog, now named Freeway, is still a member of the family. After seeing the newlyweds off to their honeymoon in Bora Bora, Joseph takes Freeway for a walk in the woods. As usual, his mind is elsewhere—on his cellphone, talking to his office assistant about an upcoming operation—and by the time he notices that Freeway has dashed off in pursuit of a deer, it’s too late to call the dog back. The search for the lost Freeway involves not only Beth and Joseph, but their guests who stayed on after the wedding: Joseph’s sister, Penny (Dianne Wiest); her son, Bryan (Mark Duplass), also a surgeon and Joseph’s partner in practice; and Penny’s boyfriend, Russell (Richard Jenkins), a middlebrow, workingclass schlub whose ambition is to build the first English pub in Omaha (“It’ll be the only place in the Midwest where you can have—are you ready?—warm beer”). Also involved is the cabin’s live-in caretaker, Carmen (Ayelet Zurer), who claims that her Romany heritage has given her a second

sight into the animal world; she says Freeway is out there, alive, and wants to come home. The presence of Keaton and Wiest underscores Darling Companion’s resemblance to a Woody Allen movie. So does the opening white-on-black credit sequence (with the highpedigree cast listed in alphabetical order), and the structure of the script by Kasdan and his wife, Meg, in which something as simple as a lost dog (I almost said “trivial,” but God forbid I should suggest there’s anything trivial about losing your dog) leads to major and possibly life-changing revelations among the characters. Beth’s resentment of Joseph’s patronizing attitude bubbles over, as does Penny’s defensiveness about Russell’s less-than-stellar intellect. Carmen’s second sight tells her that Bryan is secretly happy that his power-executive girlfriend didn’t come along to the wedding, and a hesitant romance sprouts between them. And Bryan begins to suspect that there’s more substance to Russell than meets the eye: On an expedition to see a crazy hermit in the woods, Bryan recoils in panic from a rattlesnake, but Russell stays cool— “He’s leaving. Don’t piss him off. You gotta learn to relax.” The Woody Allen comparison eventually breaks down, because Darling Companion never digs as deeply into these characters as it leads us to believe—but, then again, the magic doesn’t always work for Allen, either.

The Woody Allen comparison eventually breaks down, because Darling Companion never digs as deeply into these characters as it leads us to believe. The movie wanders around almost aimlessly, with Michael McDonough’s camera ogling the beautiful Colorado scenery, and Kasdan’s expert cast making the most of opportunities large and small presented by the script. The movie’s funniest scene is the one least likely to sound like it, as Joseph and Beth, lost in the woods, grapple in rain and darkness while he talks her through the process of resetting his dislocated shoulder. Darling Companion tends to presume on our good nature by promising a bit more than it delivers, and unpredictability is not among its virtues. But predictability can be a virtue, too, especially when the actors are as personable and professional as the ones Lawrence and Meg Kasdan have assembled for us here.Ω


by JONATHAN KIEFER & JIM LANE

5

Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chirs Hemsworth), the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) band together to defend the world from the dreams of conquest of Thor’s rogue brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and a warmongering alien race called the Chitauri; the focus of their conflict is a source of infinite energy called a Tesseract, stolen by Loki, coveted by the Chitauri, and the key to the defense of Earth. Writer-director Joss Whedon (working from Zak Penn’s story and the Marvel Comics characters created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby) is back in top form, and the movie is tremendous fun—lighter and faster than Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies, and feeling an hour shorter. J.L.

2

The Cabin in the Woods

Five 20-something pals take off for a weekend retreat, where they are set on by murdering zombies. Producer Joss Whedon (who co-wrote with director Drew Goddard) has built a career on making silk purses out of sow’s ears, but sometimes a pig’s ear is just a pig’s ear. Here the hog gristle in question is the same dumbass slasher-movie hokum as last year’s Shark Night 3D, with cliché characters walking around marked “Kill me first” and “Kill me next.” Press materials warn reviewers against disclosing the movie’s “secrets,” but anyone with an IQ larger than their shoe size will see it all coming an hour ahead of time. Whedon is on probation now; he’d better be extra-good from here on out. Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Connolly, Richard Jenkins, Sigourney Weaver and others struggle to make this turkey fly. J.L.

3

Damsels in Distress

Dark Shadows

Johnny Depp shines, albeit pallidly, in Tim Burton’s over-the-top take on the late-’60s supernatural soap. Returning in 1972 after two entombed centuries to his coastal Maine homestead—and to an amorous feud with a jealous spurned witch (Eva Green)— Depp’s blue-blooded bloodsucker yearns for his true love (Bella Heathcote), befriends his baffled descendants (Michelle Pfeiffer, Jonny Lee Miller, Chloë Grace Moretz), and piques the interest of their in-house shrink (Helena Bonham Carter). With an exquisite collaboration between cinematographer Bruce Delbonnel and production designer Rick Heinrichs, and an occasionally hilarious but uneven script by literary-mashup maestro Seth Grahame-Smith (see also: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), Burton’s movie sometimes gets away from him, blurring its own otherwise beguiling camp-gothic clarity. Depp’s soulful deadpan is the best thing about it—even when climactic contrivance or giddy overacting doesn’t agree with everyone else in the cast, which also includes Jackie Earle Haley and Alice Cooper as himself. J.K.

4

The Deep Blue Sea

In post-war London, an emotionally volatile young woman (Rachel Weisz) flees her marriage to an aloof magistrate (Simon Russell Beale) for an affair with a differently aloof ex-RAF pilot (Tom Hiddleston). Destruction ensues. As adapted and directed by Terence Davies, Terence Rattigan’s 1952 play transcends merely tasteful period English melodrama; expectedly well-appointed and well-shot, it’s also somehow newly vitalized, a smoldering cauldron of soft lamplight and exquisitely intense feelings. Davies’ directing style is a carefully modulated meditation, and the script eschews sentimentality in favor of abetting elegant performances.

BEFORE

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The Dictator : Cut the shtick, Cohen, you’re no longer funny.

2

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F O R A D V A N C E T I C K E T S C A L L FA N D A N G O @ 1 - 8 0 0 - F A N D A N G O # 2 7 2 1

The Dictator

A North African despot (Sacha Baron Cohen), visiting the United States, is replaced by a lookalike—part of a plot by his uncle (Ben Kingsley) to introduce democracy back home. Wandering the streets unrecognized, he meets and begins to fall for the owner of an organic grocery store (Anna Faris). The script by Cohen, Alec Berg, David Mandel and Jeff Schaffer is a raunchy riff on The Prince and the Pauper with Cohen’s patented offend-everybody brand of tasteless jokes (the movie’s motto might be “Sick semper tyrannis!”). Cohen is a 21st-century Andy Kaufman: He can vanish into his character, but (like Kaufman) without being naturally funny like, say, Robin Williams or Jim Carrey. Between genuine amusement (rare) and squirmy discomfort (frequent), there are enough laughs to satisfy Cohen’s fans—but only them. J.L. What a pleasure, if also a heartbreak, to see how well these three actors respond. For aspiring thespians, or anyone who appreciates great displays of range, a Hiddleston doublefeature of this and The Avengers is recommended. J.K.

3

The Five-Year Engagement

Faced with geographically opposed career opportunities, a newly engaged couple discovers that their life together has gotten in the way of their life together. And with this casually yet not automatically comedic concept, stars Jason Segel and Emily Blunt comport quite well. A Judd Apatow production, it runs purposefully long, loosening the corset of rom-com conventions to accommodate presumed authenticity, even if that includes misfired humor (beyond awkwardly funny, there is something nervier and more poignant: awkwardly not funny). As if in solidarity with all noncommittal young lovers everywhere, director Nicholas Stoller, Segel’s co-writer and fellow Apatow protégé, doesn’t push, instead just letting the movie coast along on baggy charm. A female co-writer might have kept some details in better check, but to complain of this is to seem stubbornly hard-hearted. The amiable supporting cast includes Chris Pratt, Rhys Ifans and Alison Brie. J.K.

1

Girl in Progress

A Seattle teenager (Cierra Ramirez) rebels against her working-class mother (Eva Mendes) in a fumbling, naive effort to grow up too soon. Terrible writing (Hiram Martinez) and slovenly direction (Patricia Riggen) turn what was plainly intended to be a heartwarming coming-of-age dramedy into the irritating tale of two annoying people—an irresponsible mother and her obnoxious daughter. Situations are phony and contrived, with performances as amateurish as a second-rate, high-school drama club. Young Ramirez, in the movie’s largest role, is particularly at sea, but it’s hardly her fault; Meryl Streep herself couldn’t have made it work. Matthew Modine (as Mendes’ married-cad boyfriend) and Patricia Arquette (looking particularly uncomfortable as a sympathetic teacher), recite their lines half-heartedly. J.L.

3

The Pirates! Band of Misfits

The leader of a band of well-meaning but inept buccaneers (voice by Hugh Grant) hopes to win the Pirate of the Year award, and his clumsy efforts lead to an improbable alliance with the young Charles Darwin (David Tennant)—while catching the evil eye of the villainous Queen Victoria (Imelda Staunton). Villainous Queen Victoria? Yep, that’s typical of the wacky turns in Gideon Defoe’s script (based on his novel). The plot of this farce from Britain’s Aardman Animations never quite becomes fully engaging—the participation of Nick Park of Chicken Run and Wallace & Gromit fame is sorely missed—but Defoe and directors Peter Lord and Jeff Newitt pepper the edges of the frame with enough amusing throwaway gags

FRONTLINES

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FEATURE

to keep us entertained. The starry cast helps: Jeremy Piven, Salma Hayek, Anton Yelchin, etc. J.L.

5

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

A British fisheries expert (Ewan McGregor) is approached by a publicrelations consultant (Emily Blunt) to help a Yemeni sheikh (Amr Waked) realize his dream of bringing the sport of fly-fishing to his homeland. Writer Simon Beaufoy and director Lasse Hallström turn Paul Torday’s novel into a thoroughgoing delight. McGregor and Blunt make an engaging team—they’ve always been able to bring out the best in their co-stars, and here they bring out the best in each other. Waked plays the sheikh with just the right blend of exotic dignity and friendly warmth, and Kristin Scott Thomas has wicked fun as the no-nonsense press secretary to the prime minister, giving the movie an edge of political satire that nicely balances the sheikh’s visionary mysticism and the blossoming romance between Blunt and McGregor’s characters. J.L.

3

IT’S NOT BRAGGING

IF IT’S TRUE. AND THE TRUTH IS, THE *CNPA GAVE US A BUNCH OF AWARDS FOR OUR NEWSPAPERY AWESOMENESS IN 2011.

*CALIFORNIA NEWSPAPER PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION

Three coeds at a mid-level Ivy League college (Greta Gerwig, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Carrie MacLemore) spend their days running a suicide prevention center with a program of tap-dance therapy, and their nights dating their “intellectual inferiors” as an act of mercy. Writer-director Whit Stillman takes his time between movies—this is his first in 13 years, and only his fourth overall—but his wry smartypants wit always makes them seem worth the wait. The movie has a paradoxical aura of weighty triviality, and it takes place in a sort of vacuum—no iPhones, computers or Facebook— not unlike the vacuums in the three young ladies’ heads. Gerwig’s straight-faced earnestness is, in its diffident way, hilarious, and Stillman ices this airy pastry with an endearingly awkward musical number to wrap things up. J.L.

3

The Avengers

Think Like a Man

Four couples (Michael Ealy and Taraji P. Henson; Romany Malco and Meagan Good; Jerry Ferrara and Gabriel Union; Terrence J and Regina Hall) travel the rocky road of romance, with the women taking tips from Steve Harvey’s book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. Keith Merryman’s script isn’t an adaptation of Harvey’s book, it’s a commercial for it, and a none-too-subtle one; Harvey makes several guest appearances, of course, and we half-expect him to say, “Operators are standing by.” Director Tim Story huffs and puffs trying to juggle all the stories, and things tend to bog down in the third act. Still, the actors are all extremely appealing (Henson and Union, as usual, particularly shine), and the movie goes down easily enough. Kevin Hart, as a newly divorced pal of the guys, has most of the best lines. J.L.

2

What to Expect When You’re Expecting

Six different couples cope with impending parenthood—five through pregnancy and one by adoption—in different ways. Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel’s self-help bestseller serves as the pretext for an all-star rom-com along the lines of Valentine’s Day or New Year’s Eve. Shauna Cross and Heather Hach’s script is, on balance, a parade of humdrum banalities, with matching direction by Kirk Jones, but there are a handful of good lines scattered here and there (though none come to mind even a few minutes after leaving the theater), and the ensemble cast (Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Anna Kendrick, Chris Rock, Dennis Quaid, etc.) delivers the goods in fits and starts. The washedout cinematography by Xavier Pérez Grobet is another drawback, giving the movie the look of cheap lo-def video. J.L.

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YOU’RE WELCOME, LOYAL READER. LOVE,

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NRFaces1.pdf

Facing Lavender Heights

5:02:16 PM

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Q&A with Terry Sidie

M e m or i a l W e e k e nd Be a c h Pa rt y

What is your history in the Sacramento club scene and in the gay community? I was in the Air Force and I got sent from Hollywood to Sacramento... I bought a bar off of Folsom Boulevard called Bojangles. I stayed for about 10 years and then bought Faces on August 15, 1985. Since then, in 27 years, I have expanded and taken it from 7,000 square feet to 17,000 square feet and added a swimming pool. You know, Faces is probably the largest bar in Northern California. Who are you hoping to reach by sponsoring this page? What message are you trying to get out there? My idea was to do a page and come up with different topics to get people thinking and talking about issues that effect Lavender Heights – gay politics, the gay community. I just want people to honestly think about things. And I just want other people to just see the neighborhood and understand it.

5/14/12

Fri. May 25th

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What impact have you had the greater Sacramento community and in the LGBTQ community? I’m told that I built the gay community. When I got here all of the gay bars were in West Sacramento and they were “toilets”, they were filthy. They didn’t have any windows and they were always painted black. The Hide and Seek was the first one and the Hawaiian Hut was the second one. They used to ask women when they went there for their draft card, something that a woman didn’t have back then, to keep them out. But we made a really nice, destination spot in Sacramento. We have a nice little street right now. Is Faces too “straight”? In all the bars and clubs I go to, all of the people are telling me that straight people are taking over! [Do you see that as a problem?] I don’t see that as a problem, but as the original gay person, I wanted to be accepted by our peers and the straight people too. But then I have the double standard, because I like the idea of the gay bar and going into a bar with all guys. On the other hand, I have always loved the lesbians — I like everybody. I like the straight people. However, it only takes a few of anybody—straight people or otherwise—to make it so that some people are not happy. And the gay people, 40 and up, are not happy that the straight people are there. But, you know, they are the ones who brought them there in the first place! So we want to be accepted but we want to live the double standard of having our own bar... (The gays say) “Can you take your boyfriend to a straight bar and kiss and dance with them without being thrown out?” The answer is probably no, you can’t. The straight people still have their bars and now they are taking over the gay bars and it bothers some people. But it’s a gay bar first, if they don’t play gay, you know, kick them out.

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5:01:36 PM

Summer Pool Party Series Official Kick-Off Party Sun. May 27th

What do you see for the gay community moving forward? I see people coming together. I don’t blame the gay boys for not wanting to mix because sometimes people are just more comfortable with their own. But that’s not the way of the world or of the future. People, especially college kids who are more educated, aren’t going to let that happen. We are all going to come together and we should. How are you and your patrons treated by law enforcement in the area? What issues do you have with them? Within two or three blocks of the gay community, parking tickets go beyond midnight now. How many times are you going back to place where you get a $50 or $60 parking ticket at 9, 10 or 11 pm? They know that’s the busy hour and they are feeding on us. And that’s just another example of the city not really caring about business... But then I have to ask “What has the city given back?” You know, I’ve been successful, and part of that has to be contributed to the city and the fact that Sacramento is wonderful.

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What solutions do you see to address these issues with the city and law enforcement? Where should we start as a community? I’d like to see the city pay more attention to small businesses and work with us to make our community better. I get the feeling that they are just trying to find something wrong with our area. I don’t see why they would want Lavender Heights to go away. We have a clear success story. It’s always “Midtown, Midtown”—no, it’s really, Lavender Heights. I see Steve Hanson as a person who understands Midtown and Lavender Heights and will be a great partner, finally, for Midtown businesses. Steve Cohn, who was an honest council member, told me that our problem in Midtown is businesses don’t vote. Now, maybe with a council member who knows and understands Midtown, we can thrive and finish what I’ve started.

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05.17.12     |   SN&R     |   41


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(TRIBUTE TO RONNIE MONTROSE FEATURING MEMBERS OF MONTROSE)

FREIGHTLINE

THURSDAY 5/31 - SUNDAY 6/3

(TRIBUTE TO GRAND FUNK RAILROAD

LARRY “BUBBLES” BROWN, MYLES WEBBER

ABK (ANYBODY KILLA)

DAT PHAN

THURSDAY, JUNE 14

FROM THE SKEPTIC TANK AND JOE ROGAN EXPERIENCE PODCASTS!

ARI SHAFFIR

Johnny Gutenberger orders a carne asada taco and a chicken enchilada smothered in chile verde. Caitlin Gutenberger gets whole beans and rice. by She says she eats gluten-free, but also concedes Nick Miller to being really into tacos. Ditto her husband, nickam@ Johnny. In fact, you ask them, “So your band newsreview.com Two Sheds has been together since 2003, and now you’re leaving Sacramento for Los Angeles, so what’s the story?” and Caitlin replies: “Well, tacos are involved.” But seriously. “I am serious,” she insists. Indeed, you can’t spell Sacto without tacos.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20

ROCK&ROLL HALL OF FAME NOMINEE

KRIS TINKLE, SEAN KEANE

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THURSDAY, JULY 12

POTLUCK

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Two Sheds, on the move (left to right: Caitlin Gutenberger, Rusty Miller, Chris Larsen, Kris Anaya, Johnny Gutenberger).

WS & REVIEW

NE 67” FEIFER (720) 239-3411

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Jerry Perry presents Two Sheds’ Sacto farewell show with Birds & Batteries and Dana Gumbiner this Saturday, May 19, at Luigi’s Fun Garden, 1050 20th Street; 8 p.m.; $7. CDs and special posters screened by Asbestos Press available for purchase.

05. 17.12

moving to L.A. because we think Sacramento sucks. At all,” insisted Caitlin. Everyone assumed otherwise, however, when a band crosses the Grapevine south. “We’re just trying something different on for size,” she explained. “We’re moving there to be uncomfortable.” Of course, Two Sheds will leave many friends behind. “My favorite Two Sheds moment was when I first heard them at [Old Ironsides],” explained fellow musician and friend Terra Lopez of Sister Crayon. “It must have been at least five years ago. I was absolutely enthralled by Caitlin’s voice and their overall musicianship. They all seemed to be having so much fun together creating this beautiful, emotional music. I’ve been a huge fan ever since and, in a way, I’ve always looked up to Caitlin and her songwriting ability. I remember obsessing over their first record—playing it over and over in my bedroom.” Soon after Caitlin’s surprise Beatles cover-tune moment, she and Johnny played their first gig at Old Ironsides— one of Perry’s “Crooning Couples” Valentine’s Day shows. Later, Strange Ammunition, the band’s 2006 debut, was laid down by Robert “Flossy” Cheek at The Hangar. They also put out an EP in 2008, toured the country, even wowed South by Southwest. Kris Anaya, who’s also done albums with Flossy and will play and sing with Two Sheds at this weekend’s farewell gig, recalled an embarrassing moment that highlights Caitlin and Johnny’s easygoing way: “Two Sheds performed at Old Ironsides many years ago and I was really drunk and decided to run up on stage, smashing all their pedals and twisting all their amp knobs,” Anaya recalled. “I have no idea why. However, Johnny and Caitlin just went with my bipolar emotion and welcomed me with open arms on stage.” PHOTO BY NICHOLAS WRAY

DJ CLAY - DIVIDED ALLEGIANCE SYNDICATE OF SILENCE - KICKUINDATEEF LOWER LEVEL

THURSDAY 6/14 - SUNDAY 6/17

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Much-loved couple play farewell gig this Saturday

FRIDAY, JUNE 1

JOSH GRACIN WITH FRANK HANNON

THURSDAY 5/24

2100 ARDEN WAY • IN THE HOWE ‘BOUT ARDEN SHOPPING CENTE

Two Sheds are better than none

SELF CENTERED - FAIR STRUGGLE COMPANY OF WOLVES THE ANDROMEDA PROJECT

WEDNESDAY 5/23

2 FOR 1 TIX WITH THIS AD!

MUSIC

Two Sheds’ guitarist Chris Larsen and his fiancée Melanie Glover and the couple squeeze into a booth at Tres Hermanas. They’ve got one of the good booths right in the middle of the Midtown hotspot, where the staff never forgets to refill your chips and salsa. Like the restaurant, Two Sheds is a central city music-scene mainstay. The band formed sort of by accident: Caitlin had never played tunes at all until one night, after a couple drinks, when she jumped into the Beatles’ “Blackbird” on guitar. Her father knew how to play, but this revelation took Johnny aback—“You know how to play guitar? Awesome!”—and the couple soon was penning songs and jamming with friend Rusty Miller. The music—deep, chill guitar rock with a down-tempo vibe—featured Caitlin at the forefront on vocals, backed by Johnny and Miller and a rotating cast of five guitarists, two drummers and two female singers over the years. The current incarnation—Larsen, Miller, the couple—will do its last hometown gig for the foreseeable future this Saturday in Midtown. Johnny was reluctant to label the Luigi’s Fun Garden gig a farewell show. “But fuck it; it’s probably going to be our last show in a while. We want our friends to come out,” he said. That’s an invitation. Because, soon after, the couple will be moving off to Los Angeles. “One point I want to make is that we’re not

“One point I want to make is that we’re not moving to L.A. because we think Sacramento sucks. At all.” Caitlin Gutenberger Johnny embraces Two Sheds’ laid-back ethos. He’s been in a lot of bands, including popular ’90s rockers Far, and has seen what he says is a lot of “drama” in the local scene. But Two Sheds is his favorite. He and his wife bonded over Pavement when they first met, and there’s a carefree air to the group’s folkinspired noodling and rich ballads. The band slays with nonchalance. Or, as Johnny puts it, “chill or be chilled.” Now, back to those tacos. Ω


SOUND ADVICE

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Mermania meets mobile beer Think Big wins: If you let them roam free with a beer in hand, they will obviously come. So goes the 2012 Friday Night Concerts in the Park facelift, which is tight. Going East Berlin on the beer-garden walls and allowing concertgoers to amble through the park, suds in hand, has really upped the “good times” quotient. And it’s also better for the bands; there was a strong turnout even for undercard Lite Brite, people nodding and headbanging right in front of the stage with Budweiser in tow. The other changes seem to be working, too. Book the hardest of local rock, give a deejay a home, park food trucks all over Cesar Chavez Plaza on a Friday night— Think Big Sacramento wins. Yes, you can split hairs over whether you’re actually into the type of bands booked at this year’s CITP. But now is not the time for such nitpicking. Now’s the time to eat crow. The Downtown Sacramento Partnership announced attendance of more than 7,000 at this past Friday’s gig with headliner MC Rut. Fans were even moshing as the sun set on downtown. DJ Whores introduced the masses to Death Grips amid his deejay set of funk and

dance and hip-hop. And the mobilefood vendors proved once again that the city should re-evaluate its ordinance’s curfew. See for yourself this Friday, May 18, when the Nickel Slots take the main stage (J and 10th streets, 5 p.m., all ages, no cover). Push it for The Met high school: I vibe with The Met high school’s mission, so this weekend’s Push Music Festival is, of course, a nobrainer: Donate $5, see great local bands, all the cheddar goes toward the school’s soon-to-be-built music and recording studio. Which is vital: Universities and community colleges keep cutting back student access to stuff like rehearsal space and recording arts, so real-world music education is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Make it the future this Saturday, May 19, at Sol Collective (2574 21st Street), which boasts a solid local rock and hip-hop lineup— Sleeprockers, DefEye, Pregnant, Task1ne, Honyock, Jonny James, Universe, the Trees and the Met Band itself. It’s a matinee gig that begins at 2 p.m. and goes until 9 p.m.; bring extra cash for food and drinks.

Phono Select happy hour: Everyone’s favorite neighborhood record shop Phono Select (2312 K Street) will host a listening party for Valtari, the new release from Icelandic troupe Sigur Rós, this Thursday, May 17. For those of you who didn’t grow up in the ’80s and ’90s and regularly attend fetes for new releases (or maybe have never even heard an album all the way through): There are prizes, giveaways, and the album plays at 7 p.m. here in Sacramento and throughout the nation, world, universe. Tune in.

ANY ONE ITEM

EXP 05/30/12

• 1,000’S OF PRODUCTS • FACTORY DIRECT PIPES

4643 Freeport Blvd, Sacramento CA 95822 | 916.456.PIPE (7473) | www.bro-ham.com

Why do musicians love mermaids?: It’s not a music event, but the local music scene will be all wet for mermaids at this Saturday’s second-annual Promenade of the Mermaids. Not sure what the connection is—that crab from the Disney movie? Or just a general penchant for cosplay?—but DJ Larry Rodriguez is the grand marshal and the march begins in Old Sacramento at 1 p.m. on May 19. Find out more at www.sacramentomermaids.com.

FREE

Body Piercing May 22nd - May 25th

Call 447.6824

807 30th St. Sacramento CA 95816

*WWW.EXOTICBODY.COM/FREE.html

—Nick Miller

nickam@newsreview.com

ORANGEVALE’S

EYE-FI Sacramento live-music scene grabs PHOTO BY AMY SCOTT

TATTOO PARLOR

Kirk Janowiak keeps the beat at a recent Generals gig. His bandmate, Matthew Sertich, plays solo at Shine coffeehouse this Saturday, May 19, with Sam Larson, JD RudoMetkin and Cameron Betts (1400 E Street, 8 p.m., $5, all ages).

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9312 GREENBACK LN · ORANGEVALE 95662 916.989.1408 · WWW.SACINK.COM |

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EIGHT GIGS

18FRI

19SAT

19SAT

20SUN

Cyro Baptista

O:RMF 12

Emily Wells

Shalom-Salaam-Peace

Plainfield Station, 1 p.m., $10

Mondavi Center, 8 p.m., $19-$37 Brazilian music has seen a resurgence in the last 10 years. Heritage artists such as Gilberto Gil and Marisa Monte toured the states and did so, of course, with remarkable results: Lesser-known artists such as percussionist extraordinaire, Cyro Baptista, are now also getting a chance to play stateside. From excursions with John Zorn to jamming with Herbie Hancock and Medeski Martin & Wood, there’s virtually no musical direction Baptista can’t immerse WORLD/JAZZ himself into. If you’re looking for the show that everyone will be talking about for years to come, you’ve found it, and then some. Lucky you. 9399 Old Davis Road in the Vanderhoef Studio Theatre in Davis, www.cyrobaptista.com.

—Eddie Jorgensen

It stands for Operation: Restore Maximum Freedom. Or the coolest, most-chill festival you’ll ever attend at a right-wing biker bar in rural Woodland. Going FESTIVAL on nearly a decade, the festival series skews decidedly NorCal this year: four Oakland acts, four from Sacto, and a smattering of Davisites and San Franciscans. Look out for the patchy beats of Dibiase and the crunchy dissonance of punk outfit No Babies (pictured) of Oakland. Presale tickets available at Records on Broadway or Delta of Venus in Davis. Look for bike caravans and free shuttle rides. And me, passed out on the grass. 23944 County Road 98 in Woodland, www.kdvs.org.

—Nick Miller

Sophia’s Thai Kitchen, 9:30 p.m., $7 Emily Wells is an East Coast-based Texasborn singer with the extremely adorable ability to cover Biggie Smalls and make it her soft-spoken folk bitch. Portland Cello Project, a (big surprise!) cello collective from Portland, has, since the mid-’90s, been a staple for amazing performances with rising indie stars. It has released a collaborative album with Thao Nguyen of ALT-FOLK Thao and the Get Down Stay Down; recorded Justin Timberlake, Kanye West and Rihanna tribute albums; and toured with Holcombe Waller, Alexi Murdoch and even Buckethead. Currently signed to Kill Rock Stars, Emily Wells performs with PCP on the Sophia’s patio. I can hardly wait. 129 E Street in Davis, www.emilywellsmusic.com.

Congregation B’nai Israel, 3 and 5 p.m., $10-$20 Amidst tensions between Egypt and Israel, this concert bills itself as “an opportunity to join hands in peace, and to share in the wealth of cultures.” Its full title is ShalomSalaam-Peace: Standing on Common Ground, and the event features CLASSICAL back-to-back performances by the Sacramento Youth Symphony and renowned Egyptian violinist and composer Riad Abdel-Gawad (pictured). They’ll perform works by Leonard Bernstein, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Samuel Ward and Peter Lutkin, as well as an original composition by Abdel-Gawad. Proceeds benefit the congregation’s fund to present other concerts and speakers. 3600 Riverside Boulevard, http://cbi-sys.eventbrite.com.

—John Phillips

—Jonathan Mendick

THREE STAGES AT FOLSOM LAKE COLLEGE PRESENTS

THE CARPETBAG BRIGADE and Teatro Taller de Columbia A delicate overlap of circus, dance and theater

SUNDAY MAY 20, 2pm Art on high: an innovative meeting of physical theater, modern dance, circus, butoh and contact improvisation—performed largely on stilts. Fresh back from the Iberoamericano Festival in South America, San Francisco’s Carpetbag Brigade joins Columbia’s Teatro Taller de Columbia, street performance pioneers for over four decades. In performance, they explore issues of the environment and displacement.

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JUST ADDE D!

TICKETS ON SALE 916-608-6888 ThreeStages.net


21MON 23WED 24THURS 24THURS Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Shadows Fall Shadows Fall vocalist Brian Fair often whips body-length dreadlocks in a windmill motion. Formed in ’95, the group has racked up an impressive musical résumé performing alongside Fear Factory and Cannibal Corpse. In February 2008, Shadows Fall was a Grammy nominee for Best Metal Performance for its song “Redemption.” Fair’s lyrics reference Rastafari METAL culture and are punched up by drummer Jason Bittner’s double-bass pedal footwork. Fire From the Sky, due this month, is produced by Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz, who tracked guitars for “A Song for Chi” by Deftones. How’s that for a Sacramento-themed six degrees of separation? 1417 R Street, www.shadowsfall.com.

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Gardens & Villa’s synth-pop bobs and sways like a moored boat in foggy early morning mist. The Santa Barbara quartet’s music is anchored to stark, steely minimalism whose dark undertow owes a debt to krautrock. Last year’s self-titled debut ALT-POP conjures a variety of colors— from the blushing summery nostalgia of “Thorncastles” to the electro-pop “Orange Blossom,” and the spy movie-rockabilly raveup “Spacetime,” which sounds like Man or Astroman? indulging its inner Bauhaus. Chris Lynch’s wispy, distant vocals suggest the ghost of an emotion contributing to musical tension between straightforward structures and shadowy beauty. 129 E Street in Davis, www.gardensandvilla.com.

Combining gospel and roadhouse rock along with touches of R&B, electric blues, country, soul, and rock ’n’ roll sounds like a musical identity disorder for most bands, but the joyous blend is something the Holmes Brothers perfected over the course of 30plus years performing together. The group’s music feels comfortable, but not too worn. The Brothers’ live shows mix originals and covers with enough familiar tunes reimagined in a unique style. Its amazing harmonies—which mix BLUES/SOUL three distinctly different voices—are the group’s true calling card. The Holmes Brothers’ Sacramento debut is slated for a comfortable Harlow’s setting. 2708 J Street, www.theholmesbrothers.com.

—Aaron Carnes

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Sophia’s Thai Kitchen, 9 p.m., $5

Harlow’s, 7 p.m., $25

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s unlikely rise to stardom holds a certain mythology in indierock circles. With no label, no publicist and no PR efforts, CYHSY’s self-titled self-released album went viral. It received gushROCK ing reviews from countless music blogs, including Pitchfork. This proved that good music finds an audience, record label or not. Well, maybe Clap Your Hands Say Yeah is the exception, but still, it’s a good album. It’s a deliberate nod to every great indie band that came before them, but with its own unique spin—like a less-gut-wrenching Neutral Milk Hotel, a less-pretentious Talking Heads, a more-fun Yo La Tengo or a non-selfdeprecating Modest Mouse. 2708 J Street, www.clapyourhandssayyeah.com.

—Steph Rodriguez

Gardens & Villa

The Holmes Brothers

Harlow’s, 8 p.m., $16

Ace of Spades, 6 p.m., $23

ARTS&CULTURE

—Chris Parker

—Mark Hanzlik

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NIGHTBEAT

THURSDAY 5/17

FRIDAY 5/18

BADLANDS

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

Fabulous and Gay Fridays, 9pm, call for cover

BLUE LAMP

1400 Alhambra, (916) 455-3400

LANTZ LAZWELL, HANS EBERBACH; 8:30pm, $7

NIGHTGOWN, PRAIRIE DOG, STEER THE STARS; 9pm, call for cover

THE BOARDWALK

9426 Greenback Ln., Orangevale; (916) 988-9247 UNWANTED DROIDS, KNOTWOOD; 8pm

STREET URCHINZ, THE SCOWNDROLLS,

THE MOTH ANATOMY, TWO NOOSES, BULLTRUE, CHERNOBOG; 8pm, $10-$12

RED JUMPSUIT APPARATUS, SPARKS THE RESCUE, NAMESAKE; 7:30pm, $15

THE CAVE

MUSIC VIDEO, 8pm-midnight, $5

Breast cancer awareness event w/ photography and music, 11am-4pm, no cover

CENTER FOR THE ARTS

LORRAINE GERVAIS, KATE HAIGHT, JENN KNAPP; 8pm, $22-$25

LORRAINE GERVAIS, KATE HAIGHT, JENN KNAPP; 8pm, $22-$25

2003 K St., (916) 448-8790

List your event!

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

3512 Stockton Blvd., (916) 317-9999 314 W. Main St., Grass Valley; (530) 271-7000 Open-mic, 7:30pm, no cover

DISTRICT 30

DJ Ron Reeser, 9pm, call for cover

DJ Billy Lane, 9pm, call for cover

DJ Danny Mijangos, 9pm, call for cover

FACES

Deejay dancing and karaoke, 9pm, $3

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

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

FOX & GOOSE

THE MIKE JUSTIS BAND, 8-11pm, no cover

THEM SONSABRITCHES, KILL DEVIL; 9pm-midnight, $5

HOT TAR ROOFERS, DELTA CITY RAMBLERS, SEAN FLEMING; 9pm, $5

Dj Smilez, 10pm-1:15am, call for cover

ARDEN PARK ROOTS, 10pm-1:15am, call for cover

594 Main St., Placerville; (530) 642-8481 1016 K St., (916) 737-5770

1001 R St., (916) 443-8825

SUNDAY 5/20

MONDAY-WEDNESDAY 5/21-5/23

Sin Sunday, 8pm, call for cover

Mad Mondays, M; Latin video flair and Wii bowling, 7pm Tu

Wax Appeal: DJ and hip-hop night, 8pm, call for cover

IAME, MAX BUNDLES; 8pm M, $6; DUM DUM GIRLS, YOUNG PRISMS; 8pm W

GARY BUSEY AMBER ALERT, LIFEFORMS, BEFORE YOU FALL; 7:30pm, $10

MODERN DAY ESCAPE, SELF CENTERED, FAIR STRUGGLE; 7:30pm W, $12

THE CARPETBAG BRIGADE; 7:30pm M, $10-$18; Poetry, 7:30pm W, $1-$5

SHADRACK, COMPANIES, CLIP-38, GRAVITY FALLS; 8pm, $8

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

Hey local bands!

Saturday Boom, 9pm, call for cover

THE COZMIC CAFÉ

2000 K St., (916) 448-7798

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

SATURDAY 5/19

Dragalicious, 9pm, $5

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

THE GOLDEN BEAR

DJ Shaun Slaughter, 10pm, call for cover

DJ Crook One, 10pm, call for cover

DJ Whores, 10pm, no cover

HARLOW’S

Sizzlings Sirens present “Comic Strip Tease”, 8pm, $12-$15

CHEESE BALLS, 10pm, $12

STEELIN’ DAN, 7pm, $15-$18; MIDNIGHT PLAYERS, 10pm, call for cover

JAVALOUNGE

LITTLE BOY BLUE, SAMANTHA ARRASMITH, SPANGLER; 8pm, $5

THE CHICK P’S, STEPHEN MARCH; 8pm, $6

THE BLIND SHAKE, 4pm, $5

LUNA’S CAFÉ & JUICE BAR

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

ADRIAN BOURGEOIS, AUTUMN SKY, BRIAN JENNINGS; 9pm, $6

KATHY BARWICK, 9pm, $7

Nebraska Mondays, M; KELLY ROGERS, STACEY RASKIN; Tu; Comedy night, W

MARILYN’S ON K

“Rock On” Live Band Karaoke, 9pm, no cover

JOEL: THE BAND, 9:30pm, $10

23 SHADES, LONELY KINGS, DOCTOR LUNA; 9:30pm, $12

THE FORTUNATE FEW, 5pm Tu; JEREMY KIMMELMAN BAND, 9pm W, $5

NAKED LOUNGE DOWNTOWN

ROB BRUNDAGE, NICK COHEN, RACHEL WAGNER; 8:30pm, $5

TRUTH OF MARS, SANDFORD WRAGG, ESSENCE OF OCTOBER; 8:30pm, $5

GILLIAN UNDERWOOD, GABE NELSON; 8:30pm, $5

OLD IRONSIDES

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

Acoustic bluegrass jam, 7:30pm, no cover

50 WATT HEAVY, BRIGHT FACES, BLOSSOM ROCK; 9pm, $5

FUNK DEFIED, 9pm, $5

ON THE Y

Karaoke, 9pm, no cover

DEFYANT CIRCLE, ESOTERIC, 8pm-midnight, call for cover

Karaoke, 9pm, no cover

THE PALMS PLAYHOUSE

BILL KIRCHEN, 8pm, $22

DIRK HAMILTON, 8:30pm, $20

SHANA MORRISON & CALEDONIA, 8:30pm, $20

2326 K St., (916) 441-2252 2708 J St., (916) 441-4693 2416 16th St., (916) 441-3945 1414 16th St., (916) 441-3931 908 K St., (916) 446-4361 1111 H St., (916) 443-1927

670 Fulton Ave., (916) 487-3731 13 Main St., Winters; (530) 795-1825

ACE OF SPADES SATURDAY, MAY 19 ESCALON - SOME SEEK FORGIVENESS - THE MOTH ANATOMY CITADEL - JOURNAL - THEY CALL IT MERCY

MONDAY, MAY 21

FEAR FACTORY SHADOWS FALL - THE BROWNING THE DEVASTATED - LEGACY OF DISORDER

THURSDAY, MAY 24

THE REAL MC KENZIES CIVIT - WHISKEY & STITCHES BLACKEYED DEMPSEYS

FRIDAY, MAY 25

DESTRUCTION WARBRINGER - VITAL REMAINS PATHOLOGY - SOLANUM

SATURDAY, MAY 26

WINDS OF PLAGUE A HOLY GHOST REVIVAL - ELLIPSIS - SALYTHIA INTERNAL DECAPITATION

Industry Night, 9pm, call for cover CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH, 8pm W, $16 MIKE LAPLANTE, 11am, call for cover

DIRT NAP BAND, THE FAMILY BANDITS, JON Q; 8:30pm, $5

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Jazz session, M; THE ANDROMEDA PROJECT, Tu, $5; EVOLUTIA, THE REPAIR; W STRAPPED FOR CASH, NUANCE; 7:30pm M; Karaoke, 9pm Tu; Open-mic, W

Open-mic comedy, 10pm, no cover

Karaoke, 9pm Tu, no cover; SINCERE, MDV, SCRIPTURE; 8:30 pm W, $5

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

ALL AGES WELCOME!

SUNDAY, MAY 27

MISHKA/ANUHEA MICAH BROWN - MASSIVE DELICIOUS

THURSDAY, MAY 31

(HED) PE & MUSHROOMHEAD AMERICAN HEAD CHARGE - CORVUS TENAFLY VIPER - AMERICAZ MOZT HAUNTED

FRIDAY, JUNE 1

SUICIDAL TENDENCIES STRIFE - STEPCHILD - KILL THE PRECEDENT

SATURDAY, JUNE 2

YO GOTTI GAUDY BOYZ - FR3E BOYS - THE ONFC

SUNDAY, JUNE 3

LEFTOVER CRACK APATHY CYCLE - ANOTHER DAMN DISAPPOINTMENT THE SCOWNDROLLS - THE ABERZOMBIES

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

46

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

COMING

SOON

6/8

Dredg

6/9

Mickey Avalon

6/16

Damage Over Time

6/17

My Darkest Days

6/19

Mayer Hawthorne & The County

6/22 Arden Park Roots 6/23 Pointdexter 6/28 Who’s Bad (Michael Jackson Tribute) 6/29 Jonny Craig 7/5

The Casualties

7/7

Fallrise

7/14

The Jacka

7/17

Reverend Horton Heat

7/21

Moonshine Bandits

7/27

The Demon Hunter

8/17

Great White

8/25 Full Blown Stone 9/4

David Allen Coe

9/5

Powerman 5000

10/11 D.R.I


THURSDAY 5/17 THE PARK ULTRA LOUNGE 1116 15th St., (916) 442-7222

FRIDAY 5/18

SATURDAY 5/19

SUNDAY 5/20

Graduation party deejay dancing, 9pm2am, $15

DJ Politik, 9pm-2am, $15

Asylum Downtown: Gothic, industrial, EBM dancing, 9pm, call for cover

MONDAY-WEDNESDAY 5/21-5/23

PARLARE EURO LOUNGE

Top 40, 9pm, no cover

Top 40, Mashups, 9pm, no cover

DJ Club mixes, 10pm, no cover

Top 40 dance mixes, 9pm W, no cover

PISTOL PETE’S

Karaoke, 9pm, no cover

ARDEN PARK ROOTS, LIVIN’S EASY; 9pm, $5

SLICK RICK & THE DAREDEVILS, 9pm, $5

Karaoke, 9pm W, no cover

PO’ BOYZ BAR & GRILL

Jam with Roharpo, 7pm, no cover

IN A FECT, 9pm, $10

POWERHOUSE PUB

614 Sutter St., Folsom; (916) 355-8586

CHRIS GARDNER, ERIN MCKINNEY; 9:30pm, call for cover

SUPERLICIOUS, 10pm, $10

THE PRESS CLUB

WORK YOUR SOUL, 9pm, no cover

1009 10th St., (916) 448-8960

140 Harrison Ave., Auburn; (530) 885-5093 9580 Oak Avenue Pkwy., Folsom; (916) 987-2886

2030 P St., (916) 444-7914

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

STONEY INN/ROCKIN RODEO 1320 Del Paso Blvd., (916) 927-6023

BUCK FORD, 9pm, $5

SWABBIES

5871 Garden Hwy, (916) 920-8088

Blues Jam, 2pm, no cover

Open-mic comedy, 9pm M; Jam with Dave Channell, 7pm Tu; Trivia, 7pm W

DEPARTMENT OF ROCK, 10pm, $10

ROYAL SOUTHERN BROTHERHOOD, 3pm, $10

DJ Alazzawi, DJ Rigatony, 10pm Tu, $3; WHITE MINORITIES, REVOLVER; 9pm W

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

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

Sunday Night Soul Party, 9pm, $5

THE THREE WAY, HOPELESS JACK; 8:30pm M, $5; MUSICAL CHARIS, W, $5

EXTRA CLASSIC, DIRTY GHOSTS; 9:30pm, $5

EMILY WELLS, THE PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT; 9pm, $7

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

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

Country dance party, 8pm, no cover

URBANFIRE, SISTER CAROL; 6pm, $10

STEEL BREEZE, 4pm, $5

MS LONELY HEARTS, WEST NILE RAMBLERS, DRY COUNTY DRINKERS; noon, $8 Blues jam, 4pm, no cover; GOLDEN CADILLACS, 8pm, $5

TORCH CLUB

X TRIO, 5pm, no cover; FRUITION, 9pm, $5

PARIE WOOD, WALKING SPANISH, 9pm, $7; PAILER & FRATIS, 5:30pm, no cover

JOHNNY KNOX, 5pm, no cover; RON HACKER, 9pm, $7

TOWNHOUSE LOUNGE

Live music and deejay dancing, 9pm, no cover

X-GVNR versus Record Club, 9pm, $5

Pop Freq w/ DJ XGVNR, 9pm, $5

TERRY SHEETS BAND, 9pm, call for cover

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THE WRANGLER

8945 Grant Line Rd., Elk Grove; (916) 714-9911

Comedy open-mic, 8pm M; Barbecue, blues jam, karaoke, Tu, call for cover

Keri Carr Band 9pm Wednesday, $5. Torch Club Americana and Mexican

JAMES HARMAN, 9pm Tu, $6; Open-mic, 5:30pm W; KERI CARR BAND, 9pm W, $5 Open-mic, 9pm M, no cover

All ages, all the time ACE OF SPADES

PRIME D, THE SOMEBODYS, ZEROCLIENT, BALLISTIC BURNOUT; 7pm, $10

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JERICHO COFFEE

ESCALON, SOME SEEK FORGIVENESS, MOTH ANATOMY, CITADEL; 7pm, $10

FEAR FACTORY, SHADOWS FALL, BROWNING, THE DEVASTATED; 6pm M, $22.50

FRANK ALDRICH BAND, 7pm, no cover

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LUIGI’S DAVIS

CROW CANYON, UNDER THE INDECISIVE, SIMPLE CITY; 8:30-11:30pm, $5

LUIGI’S SLICE AND FUN GARDEN

A SINGLE SECOND, BASTARDS OF YOUNG, SHELL CORPORATION; 8pm, $5

TWO SHEDS, DANA GUMBINER, BIRDS & BATTERIES; 8:30pm, $7

VANNA INGET, SNEEZE ATTACK; 8pm W, $5

TERRILL, SLY PARK, DONNER; 8pm, $4

MATHEW SERTICH, SAM LARSON, JD RUDOMETKN, CAMERON BETTS; 8pm

Open jazz jam, 8pm Tu; Poetry With Legs with Primal Urge, 7pm W

LOVES IT, 2pm, no cover

INSOMNIA, SAMANTHA FAYE, BAD CONNECTION, MONKEYS IN SPACE; 1pm

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THE SHINE CAFÉ

Thursday Night Jive: a stand-up comedy night, 8pm, call for cover

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ZUHG LIFE STORE

545 Downtown Plaza, Ste. 2090, (916) 822-5185

LA NOCHE, RICH KRIEGER; 1pm, no cover

Vanna Inget with Sneeze Attack 8pm Wednesday, $5. Luigi’s Fun Garden Punk rock

Open-mic, 6-8pm Tu, no cover

THURSDAYS

K ON LIVE BAND KARAOKE ROC ACOUSTIC ROCK // 9:30PM // NO COVER FRI 5/18

JOEL THE BAND

S IN THE PARK WRISTBAND BILLY JOEL TRIBUTE BAND // 9:30PM // $10 OR $7 WITH CONCERT

SAT 5/19

23 SHADES

tHu May 17 9PM $15

“CoMiC striP tease”

Sean na’auao and Ka nalu

LONELY KINGS

ROCK-N-ROLL // 9PM // $8

TUES 5/22

TYLER MATTHEW SMITH ACOUSTIC OPEN MIC

fri May 18 10PM $12

SINGER-SONGWRITER // 5:30PM // FREE

WED 5/23

$3 TALLBOY PBR

TICKETS NOW ON SALE FOR THESE UPCOMING SHOWS AT WWW.MARILYNSONK.COM

UPCOMING EVENTS:

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BEFORE

sat May 19 7PM $15

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|

FRONTLINES

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BEST

OF

THe HolmeS BroTHerS

June 1 Cash’d Out June 1 Reminisce June 2 Juliana Zachariou June 3 A Silent Film June 4 JD McPherson June 8 Cream of Clapton June 8 tommy Castro & the Painkillers June 14 Darrell Scott June 15 feva in tha funkhouse June 16 the blues broads June 19 Parlotones

sat May 26 7PM $15

JOn MClaugHlin

sat May 26 10PM $12

b-siDe Players

June 20 Joe Craven June 21 Sizzling Sirens June 22 the Hits June 23 Midnight Players June 24 Muriel Anderson June 27 Russian Circles June 29& 30 tainted love July 3 James Hunter July 7 Joel the band July 19 Asleep at the Wheel

tHu May 31 7PM $15

young Dubliners

midnight PlayerS

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Sizzling Siren SirenS Present fri May 18 6:30PM $15

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Dress CoDe enforCeD (Jeans are oK) • Call to reserve Dinner & Club tables

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SACRAMENTO

|

A RT S & C U LT U R E

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AFTER

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05.17.12

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SN&R

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47


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48   |   SN&R   |   05.17.12

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THE 420

Recycle this paper

Greenest of thumbs The days get hotter, the ground grows warmer and millions of cannabis plants are going into the soil across the state right now. The federal crackdown is arguably spurring more by home grows this year, too. And while thumping on mariDavid Downs juana businesses, the Obama administration has tacitly blessed cultivation for personal use, and patients say news of besieged dispensaries has led to them to snatch up spring starter plants of Sour Diesel and OG Kush, just in case the election-timed crackdown lingers. Celebrity grower and author Ed Rosenthal said that “clones are going out as fast and they are coming in” to dispensaries. It makes sense that more people are taking control of their supplies, and Rosenthal has a new book out on May 15, written expressly for this bumper crop of amateur gardeners. It’s called Marijuana Pest and Disease Control, and Rosenthal did the improbable: He penned a book about pests that manages to be interesting to a layperson. He describes how slug penises break off during slimy, hermaphroditic sex; vicious, territorial moles feast on gopher meat; and Donald Rumsfeld is called a “war criminal” in the foreword. “I enjoyed doing this book,” he said in an interview. “Insects are so weird. Nature is so weird. We’re living on the same planet but in different worlds.” Marijuana Pest & Disease Control covers “95 percent” of cannabis growers’ problems, he said. And he offered readers five tips for successful springtime gardening: barriers, biological controls, helpful soil bacteria, all-natural pesticide and over“Insects are so weird. all sanitation. “This time of year caterpilNature is so weird. We’re lars can devastate young living on the same planet plants,” Rosenthal said. White but in different worlds.” moths endemic to North America lay eggs that turn Ed Rosenthal into voracious caterpillars. Rosenthal uses an insect net tented over the tiny plants to let light and air in, but keeps moths, butterflies and caterpillars out. Root and stem rot can kill baby cannabis plants or stunt their growth. Rosenthal recommends the beneficial soil fungus mycorrhiza, which is widely available in a number of brands. He also fogs his greenhouse weekly with a one-quarter dilution of his brand of all-natural pesticide called Zero Tolerance—a mixture of cinnamon, clove, rosemary and thyme. Rosenthal is staunchly against the use of synthetic pesticides at home, in his greenhouse and in his books. Lastly, don’t forget to keep it clean. “We don’t believe in spontaneous generation,” he said. Standing water, for example, breeds algae, fungus and fungus gnats. Wood piles harbor snails, slugs and many other nasties. Also, don’t invite house pets into your pot garden. Marijuana Pest & Disease Control also provides gardeners an insect’s view of the war between man and pest, leaving readers with a newfound respect for the annoyances. “We’ve co-evolved over millions of years. They’re survivors, perfectly adapted for where they are, maybe more adapted than we are,” Rosenthal said. “Chances are, we’re going to go out, but the insects will still be around.” Ω BEFORE

|

FRONTLINES

|

FEATURE

STORY

for use of

MEDICINAL MARIJUANA

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A RT S & C U LT U R E

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AFTER

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05. 17.12

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SN&R

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50   |   SN&R   |   05.17.12


B E F O R E   |   F R O N T L I N E S   |   F E A T U R E S T O R Y   |    A R T S & C U L T U R E     |    A F T E R   |   

05.17.12     |   SN&R     |   51


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52   |   SN&R   |   05.17.12

SN&R is now hiring a Business Manager. You will be responsible for ensuring the accurate and timely operation of all financial functions of the News & Review’s three papers, including general ledger, payroll, accounts payable and receivable, credit and collections, budgets and financial reporting, business filings, and insurance.

this position is responsible for creating ongoing improvements and enhancements to the overall operation and effectiveness of the accounting function. you will interact with the bank, accounting firm, vendors, management team and our awesome staff. requires 2+ years supervision/management experience and Ba/BS degree, preferably in accounting or Business.

To read the full announcement and apply online, go to www.newsreview.com/jobs

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B E F O R E   |   F R O N T L I N E S   |   F E A T U R E S T O R Y   |    A R T S & C U L T U R E     |    A F T E R   |   

OPEN SUND ON AYS 12–5 !

05.17.12     |   SN&R     |   53


Online ads are free. Print ads start at $6/wk. www.newsreview.com or (916) 498-1234 ext. 5 Print ads start at $6/wk. www.newsreview.com or (916) 498-1234 ext. 5 Phone hours: M-F 8am-5pm. All ads post online same day. Deadlines for print: Line ad deadline: Monday 4pm Adult line ad deadline: Monday 4pm Display ad deadline: Friday 2pm

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*Nominal fee for adult entertainment. All advertising is subject to the newspaper’s Standards of Acceptance. Further, the News & Review specifically reserves the right to edit, decline or properly classify any ad. Errors will be rectified by re-publication upon notification. The N&R is not responsible for error after the first publication. The N&R assumes no financial liability for errors or omission of copy. In any event, liability shall not exceed the cost of the space occupied by such an error or omission. The advertiser and not the newspaper assumes full responsibility for the truthful content of their advertising message.

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Pop Songwriter looking for band to play and share songs. 916-220-1678

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more music online

www.newsreview.com

54   |   SN&R   |   05.17.12

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58   |   SN&R   |   05.17.12


by ROB BREZSNY

FOR THE WEEK OF MAY 17, 2012

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Is there a dif-

ference in sound quality between relatively inexpensive modern violins and the multimillion-dollar violins created by master craftsmen in the 1700s? In research done at the Eighth International Violin Competition, most violinists couldn’t tell them apart. (Read more at http://tinyurl.com/violinresearch.) In accordance with the astrological omens, Aries, I urge you to do comparable tests in your own sphere. There’s no need to overpay for anything, either with your money, your emotions, your energy, or your time. Go with what works, not with what costs the most or has highest status.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): If we

thought of your life as a book, the title of the next chapter could very well be “In Quest of the Primal.” I encourage you to meditate on what that means to you, and then act accordingly. Here are a few possibilities: tapping into the mother lode; connecting to the source; communing with the core; returning to beginnings; seeking out the original; being in tune with the pulse of nature. Does any of that sound like fun? According to my reading of the astrological omens, you have a mandate to be as raw as the law allows—to be the smartest animal you can be.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): A Russian

woman named Marija Usova decided to go skydiving even though she was eightmonths pregnant. “I wanted my baby to have the beautiful feeling of flying through the air and free-falling before it was born,” she said. Soon after she jumped out of the plane and opened her parachute, she went into labor. Luckily, her daughter waited until she landed to be born. What does this have to do with you? I don’t recommend you do anything even remotely like what Usova did in the next few weeks. But do be alert for healthier, saner approaches to the basic theme, which is to be adventurous and wild and free as you birth a new possibility.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): You spend

nearly one-third of your life sleeping. For one-fifth of that time, you’re dreaming. So pretty much every night, you watch and respond to as much as 90 minutes worth of movies created by and starring you. Much of this footage is obscure and confusing and not exactly Oscar-worthy, which is one reason you may not recall many of the details when you wake up. But according to my astrological analysis, the immediate future could be different. Your dreams should be full of riveting entertainment that reveals important information about the mysteries of your destiny. Please consider keeping a pen and notebook near your bed, or a small recording device.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): It’s Oxymoron

Season for you. That means you’re likely to encounter more than your usual share of sweet and sour paradoxes. The logic-loving areas of your brain will almost certainly have to seek assistance from your nonrational wisdom. I’ll give you a heads-up on some of the lucid riddles you should be ready to embrace: 1. a humbling triumph; 2. a tender rivalry; 3. a selfish blessing; 4. an opportunity to commune with risky comfort; 5. an invitation to explore a relaxing challenge; 6. a chance to get up-close and personal with a long-distance connection. For best results, Leo, memorize these lines from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass and recite them periodically: “Do I contradict myself? / Very well then I contradict myself. / I am large, I contain multitudes.”

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): There’s at least a 50 percent chance that the coming days will be over-the-top, out-of-the-blue, and off-the-record. I’m half-expecting florid, luscious, and kaleidoscopic events, possibly even rococo, swashbuckling, and splendiferous adventures. Are you ready for all this? Of course not. That’s the point life will be trying to make: nudging you to learn more about the fine art of spontaneity as you improvise your way through unpredictable lessons that will lead you toward the resources you’ll need to succeed.

BEFORE

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LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Obsessions.

Enchantments. Crushes. Manias. Fetishes. Some astrologers think you Libras are mostly immune from these indelicate but sometimes delightful modes of human expression. They seem to believe that you love harmony and balance too much to fall under the spell of a bewitching passion that rivets your focus. I disagree with that view. It may be true that you’re better able than the other signs to be objective about your fixations. But that doesn’t necessarily dilute the intensity you feel when they rise up and captivate your imagination with the force of a thousand love songs. My advice? Have fun and stay amused.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): “The chains

that bind us most closely are the ones we have broken,” said Scorpio poet Antonio Porchia. In other words, the oppression from which we have freed ourselves may continue to influence us long after we’ve escaped. The imprint it left on our sensitive psyches might keep distorting our decisions and twisting our emotions. But I’m here to tell you, Scorpio, that you’re entering a time when you have an enhanced power to dissolve the lingering taint your broken chains still impose. You finally have the resources and wisdom to complete the liberation process.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): In

the coming weeks, you will have an excellent chance to develop more skill in the art of high gossip. High gossip has almost nothing in common with the mindless prattle that erodes reputations and fosters cynicism. It’s not driven by envy, pettiness, or schadenfreude. When you engage in high gossip, you spread uplifting whispers and inspirational hearsay; you speculate about people’s talents and call attention to their successes; you conspire to awaken generosity of spirit and practical idealism. High gossip is a righteous approach to chatting about the human zoo. It might not flow as easily as the cheap and shabby kind—at least at first—but it lasts a whole lot longer and creates connections that help keep your mental hygiene sparkling clean.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19):

Sometimes I have a dream that seems cryptic or meaningless when I first wake up, but a few days later, I realize it was a brilliant insight into what I most needed to transform about my life. If you don’t recall many of your dreams, that might not be a familiar experience for you. But you’ve probably had waking-life experiences with a similar arc. I predict you will be given at least one of those in the coming week. It may confound you while you’re in the midst of it, but will eventually reveal choice clues that have the power to change your life for the better.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): You may

not have heard about the “forbidden colors.” And you certainly haven’t seen them, even though they exist. They’re reddish green and yellowish blue, which the cells of your retina are not built to register. However, scientists have figured out a trick by which these hues can be made visible. A few lucky people have actually caught a glimpse of them. I bring this to your attention, Aquarius, because I suspect you are close to experiencing a metaphorical version of this breakthrough— seeing something that is supposedly impossible to see. (If you’d like to read more about the forbidden colors, visit http://tinyurl.com/forbiddencolors.)

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): “There’s no

such thing as a wrong note,” said jazz pianist Art Tatum. “It all depends on how you resolve it.” Jazz trumpeter Miles Davis had a similar philosophy. “It’s not the note you play that’s the wrong note,” he said. “It’s the note you play afterwards that makes it right or wrong.” I think that’s an excellent understanding for you to keep in mind during the coming weeks, Pisces. Be wary of coming to premature conclusions about alleged mistakes. Wait to hear the entire song and see the bigger picture.

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.

FRONTLINES

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FEATURE

15 MINUTES

by KEL

MUNGER PHOTO BY MIKE IREDALE

FREE WILL ASTROLOGY

Explain the brain What actually happens in our brains when we feel as if we’re “floating” outside our bodies? It’s disengagement in a region of the parietal lobe called the angular gyrus, where awareness of our body’s placement in space is located. That question—and others, including how religious belief evolved and what happens to our brains under stress—are among the topics that Dr. Sarah Strand lectures about, most recently at the SkeptiCal 2012 Conference. Strand is a neuroscientist who divides her time between research work at UC Davis’ California National Primate Research Center and teaching at Sacramento State.

Is much of your research about out-ofbody experiences? None of it! The research portion of my job takes place at UCD. At the primate center, I manage the projects of a neuroscientist at the University of San Diego. He’s the person who gets the grants. He works on translational research—Alzheimer’s disease—and he needs to test out his therapies in a monkey model before translating them to humans. I’m the person that basically runs his project at the primate center. That’s my job. I also teach psychology at Sac State. So my jobs actually don’t have anything to do with OBEs [out-of-body experiences] or the biology of religious experiences. It’s just a really interesting area for me.

How did you start making presentations on OBEs and the neurology of religious experiences? It wasn’t something that I specifically pursued. I’m a member of Sacramento Freethinkers Atheists & Nonbelievers, which is a Meetup Group. On Darwin Day 2009, which was the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birthday, SacFAN wanted some kind of evolution talk that had to do with religion. And they were like, “Hey! Sarah has a Ph.D. in neuroscience, and she works with monkeys, so let’s get her to come and talk.”

Because neuroscience and monkeys must have something to do with Darwin? Exactly! That was essentially what launched it. I had such a great time, because there’s actually quite a lot of information out there—not as much as some areas of scientific study that have been around for hundreds of years—but people are starting to really get interested in this idea of studying religion from a scientific perspective. My talk about evolution was the first one I did. It was “The Evolution of Religion,” which I’ve given a couple of times now. Essentially, I start with how religion even came to exist. It’s a very human phenomenon. I talk about the evolution of religion in that

STORY

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A RT S & C U LT U R E

sense: how it could have helped groups of people to survive in the “caveman days”; how it likely started out as animism, then evolved into the more modern kinds of religions that we have today. Then I move into how our brains have evolved this propensity for religious belief— which I sort of talk about in the neurobiology of OBEs talk, too. There’s research that looks at how children will assign agents at work in nonanimate processes that they see. This was done by early humans as well. If there’s a storm, then something made the storm happen. Then, in discussing how modern religions have evolved over time, the focus is to discuss the people who have sort of an à la carte approach to religion. They pick and choose the things they like from one single religion—and some do it from lots of different kinds of religions. There was a study that was done by the Pew [Forum on Religion & Public Life] which surveyed the flexibility of the beliefs that people hold. They found that beliefs are getting a lot more flexible, except among groups like Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses. But for the most part, people from other religions are a little more flexible about things like how you get to heaven. I could definitely flesh it out more—and would love to! I’m considering at this point writing a book, because there’re so many aspects of all these topics that could use more than an hour of speaking time. |

AFTER

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Do you think scientific research is generally poorly translated for the general public? I do. I think there’s a lot of editorializing that takes place between the actual science publication and the layperson’s publication. Of course, everybody has personal biases, even scientists, but scientists are trained to evaluate their data in a bias-free way as much as possible. What’s really interesting is that this area of public speaking, in which I don’t have any day-to-day experience—I’m not collecting the data myself, I’m just reporting it to the public—has sort of flourished without me really putting a lot of energy into it. People have just been really interested in it. So the question is: How can I make this work, and pursue this professionally? I think people have a real thirst for this kind of information, and it’s not always easy to get to. Doing these presentations is a real way to use my scientific training to evaluate the primary literature and get that information out there, to communicate it in an educational way through these meetings and conferences. It’s a really great outlet for these skills. Ω For more information about the Sacramento Freethinkers Atheists & Nonbelievers, visit www.meetup.com/SacFAN.

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6-12oz btls

Guinness-Extra Stout (6pk-6.99) .............27.96 Michelob-Ultra,Ultra Amber ........ 8.99....17.98 Miller High Life-Reg,Lt ............... 6.99 ....13.98 Miller Lite 18pk...................................... k 10.99 Miller Lite,MGD ......................... 7.99 ....15.98 Newcastle-Brown Ale .............. 10.99 ....21.98 Rolling Rock ............................. 8.99 ....17.98 Sam Adams-Boston Lager ....... 12.99 ....25.98 Shock Top-Belgian White Ale .... 10.99 ....20.99 Sierra Nevada-Pale Ale ............ 12.99 ............. Sierra Nevada-Pale Ale 24pkk ..................21.99 Sierra Nevada-Torpedo Extra IPA .... 11.99 ....23.98 St Pauli Girl-Reg,Dark ................ 9.99 ....19.98 Stella Artois 11.2oz .................. 12.19 ....24.48 Victoria ................................... 11.99 ....23.98 Widmer-Hefeweizen ................ 11.99 ....23.98

Blvd.

ne hit S. W

.

Abita Turbodog

$9.99 AMBER ALES

Over 20 selections

Over 40 selections

Victory Golden Monkey Ale

6-12oz btls

PILSNERS

STOUTS

Over 25 selections

$7.49

$8.49

4-12oz btls

Rd

BROWN ALES

Stone IPA

12-12oz btls

$13.49

6-12oz btls

lor

$9.99

$6.99

6-12oz btls

Ommegang Three Philosophers

yB lvd .

Bass Ale

6-12oz btls

Over 20 selections

Galleria at Roseville

65

Ta y

$6.99

6-12oz btls

BELGIAN-STYLES

Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Lost Coast Great White

Bud Light, Budweiser

Over 50 selections

Over 40 selections

Widmer Hefeweizen

$6.49

INDIA PALE ALES (IPA)

PALE ALES

Over 40 selections

$6.49

17 99

Cannot be combined with any other Total Wine & More BEER Coupon. Coupon valid in Sacramento & Roseville CA only. Not valid on previous purchases. Offer valid thru 6/2/2012. Must present coupon at time of purchase. Valid in store only.

Galleria Blvd.

WHEAT ALES

$6.99

$

BEER

Take $1 off any 4-pk or 6-pk of beer priced $6.99 or higher. (Limit 4 packs)

We Have Over 75 Different Styles

Sam Adams Boston Lager, 6-12oz btls

$

BEER SAVINGS COUPON | Expires 6/2/2012

80

SAC-12-0514LifeStyle-TAB


S-2012-05-17