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California’s recycling sham >> 08 Sacramento’S newS & entertainment weekly

Ringing in the Hmong New Year >>18 |

Volume 29, iSSue 34


OG ceramicist >> 21 thurSday, december




2   |   SN&R   |   12.07.17

EditoR’S NotE

dEcEMBER 07, 2017 | Vol. 29, iSSuE 34

28 23 Our Mission: To publish great newspapers that are successful and enduring. To create a quality work environment that encourages employees to grow professionally while respecting personal welfare. To have a positive impact on our communities and make them better places to live. Editor Eric Johnson News Editor Raheem F. Hosseini Arts & Culture Editor Rebecca Huval Associate Editor Mozes Zarate Staff Reporter Scott Thomas Anderson Calendar Editor Kate Gonzales Contributors Daniel Barnes, Ngaio Bealum, Alastair Bland, Rob Brezsny, Aaron Carnes, Jim Carnes, Willie Clark, John Flynn, Joey Garcia, Lovelle Harris, Jeff Hudson, Dave Kempa, Matt Kramer, Jim Lane, Michael Mott, Luis Gael Jimenez, Rachel Leibrock, Kate Paloy, Patti Roberts, Steph Rodriguez, Ann Martin Rolke, Shoka, Bev Sykes



Design Manager Christopher Terrazas Creative Director Serene Lusano Art Director Margaret Larkin Designers Kyle Shine, Maria Ratinova Marketing/Publications Designer Sarah Hansel Web Design & Strategy Intern Elisabeth Bayard Arthur Contributing Photographers Lisa Baetz, Scott Duncan, Evan Duran, Adam Emelio, Lucas Fitzgerald, Jon Hermison, Kris Hooks, Jasmine Lazo, Gavin McIntyre, Michael Mott, Shoka, Lauran Fayne Thompson, Kimani Okearah

Daniel Bowen, Gypsy Andrews, Heather Brinkley, Kelly Hopkins, Mike Cleary, Lydia Comer, Tom Downing, Rob Dunnica, Chris Fong, Ron Forsberg, Joanna Gonzalez-Brown, Julian Lang, Greg Meyers, Lloyd Rongley, Lolu Sholotan, Eric Umeda, Zang Yang

Advertising Manager Michael Gelbman Sales Coordinator Victoria Smedley Senior Advertising Consultants Rosemarie Messina, Kelsi White Advertising Consultants Mayra Diaz, Mark Kates , Matt Kjar, Alyssa Morrisey, Michael Nero, Allen Youn Sweetdeals Coordinator Hannah Williams Facilities Coordinator/Sales Assistant David Lindsay Director of First Impressions Skyler Morris

President/CEO Jeff vonKaenel Director of Nuts & Bolts Deborah Redmond Nuts & Bolts Ninja Leslie Giovanini Executive Coordinator/Publications Media Planner Carlyn Asuncion Director of People & Culture David Stogner Project Coordinator Natasha vonKaenel Director of Dollars & Sense Nicole Jackson Payroll/AP Wizard Miranda Hansen Accounts Receivable Specialist Analie Foland Developer John Bisignano, Jonathan Schultz System Support Specialist Kalin Jenkins

Distribution Director Greg Erwin Distribution Drivers Mansour Aghdam, Beatriz Aguirre, Rosemarie Beseler, Kimberly Bordenkircher,

N&R Publications Editor Michelle Carl N&R Associate Editor Laura Hillen N&R Publications Writer Anne Stokes Marketing & Publications Consultants Steve Caruso, Joseph Engle, Ken Cross, Elizabeth Morabito, Traci Hukill

05 07 08 12 13 14 18 22 24 26 28 29 36 41 51


covER DESigN by SERENE LuSANo covER phoTo by ScoTT DuNcAN 1124 Del Paso Boulevard, Sacramento, CA 95815 Phone (916) 498-1234 Fax (916) 498-7910 Website Got a News Tip? Calendar Events Want to Advertise? Fax (916) 498-7910 or Classifieds (916) 498-1234, ext. 5 or Job Opportunities Want to Subscribe to SN&R? Editorial Policies: opinions expressed in sn&r are those of the authors and not of chico community Publishing, inc. contact the editor for permissions to reprint articles, cartoons or other portions of the paper. sn&r is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or review materials. Email letters to 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 the responsibility for the truthful content of their advertising message. sn&r is printed at Bay Area news Group on recycled newsprint. circulation of sn&r is verified by the circulation Verification council. sn&r is a member of sacramento Metro chamber of commerce, cnPA, AAn and AWn.

Republicans attack California The “tax bill” being crafted in D.C. is  much more than that. It’s a political  weapon carefully aimed at liberal  values and blue states.  Peter Goodman of the New York  Times reports that the bill has “a lot  of elements that have very little, or  even nothing, to do with taxation.”  “This is a piece of legislation that ...  could re-engineer significant swaths  of American life,” Goodman writes. The most obvious non-tax item is  the repeal of the individual mandate  in the Affordable Care Act, which will  result in the nation’s poorest and  sickest people losing their health  insurance. Another measure buried in  the bill: It opens the Arctic Refuge in  Alaska to oil drilling, a harsh blow to  environmentalists who’ve been fighting to protect the place for decades. The winners and losers have been  politically determined. While the legislation delivers $1.5 trillion in tax relief  to the wealthiest Americans, not all  wealthy Americans are beneficiaries.  By reducing or eliminating the federal  tax deduction for state and local tax  payments, the bill will actually hurt  high-earners in high-tax states like  California and New York—“not coincidentally, states that tend to vote  Democratic,” Goodman writes. In California, that could do serious  damage, according to UCLA economist  Gonzalo Freixes. “It could have spiraling consequences,” he says. “The  economy, the real estate market, revenues to local governments—it goes  further and further into things where  it could have a negative impact.”  Here in Sacramento, “the capital  of the resistance,” and the rest of  California, it is still possible to feel  somewhat protected from the worst  damage of the Trumpian takeover.  That might change.

—Eric Johnson e r ic j@ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m

12.07.17    |   SN&R   |  3


Happy Hour

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r o f s u Join HOUR HAPPY Monday-Friday 3-6pm



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Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner • 7 Days a week serving international beer & wine, cocktails & dessert 4   |   SN&R   |   12.07.17

“I thInk It should pretty much stay the same.”

aSked aRound the State Capitol:

What should change about the holidays?

SuSan Re yeS legislative aide

The holidays should be more about spending time with people, your loved ones, [rather] than the materialistic stuff. … The most important thing you can give someone is your time.

miCke y Je an GReSham medium

A lot of it is about, oh, presents this, presents that. But when you look at the outside world, and you look at how many people are suffering, does it matter how many presents you get under the tree? … It takes a village to be a village.

Jim kuRkoSke investigator

It should be more about love and caring for one another and watching out for our fellow people. … You walk along the river, and you see all these people that are forgotten, basically, and it’s kind of sad.

GabRiel Smith installation technician

For me personally, I guess the glamorization of the holidays would have to change. I think it should be more about bringing people together rather than going out and buying stuff, spending money.

ale x ninh

SuSan buddinG



It’s all so good, I guess. Nothing much, it’s all so good. I love the holidays. Who doesn’t? Family, friends, food. So I think it should pretty much stay the same.

The idea of Christmas is like the Whos in Whoville at the very end, when the Grinch stole all their presents and they were still happy and enjoying each others’ company and celebrating. … For it to have become so soulless and all about the cold hard cash is kind of disturbing.

12.07.17    |   SN&R   |   5

6   |   SN&R   |   12.07.17

Email lEttErs to

Accountability begins at home

High in the sky Re “Weed smugglers fly United” by Raheem F. Hosseini  (News, November 30): I have flown out of Sacramento International Airport  many times with both flower and, more recently, my  vaporizer. Because I’m traveling for only a few days at a time, I carry  the appropriate amount and don’t overdo it, along with carrying my  recommendation original copy. This has never been an issue for me with  the TSA. But, then again, as much of a fan of “In Your Face” as I am, that  is not one of those situations in which it can do you anything but harm.  Recognizing that, I don’t make a show of carrying my medicine any more  than my cologne or toothbrush. Poking Big Brother in the eyeball by one  [person] kind of sets everybody back a couple of steps.

MarK williaMs s a c ra m e nt o v i a n ew s r e v i e w . c o m

Absolutely, positively overnight Re “Weed smugglers fly United” by Raheem F. Hosseini (News, November 30): Use FedEx. No problem. But let’s differentiate carrying personal

amounts on a trip with trying to pack 20 pounds into your luggage. I don’t know anybody who ever got popped for personal amounts. TSA will steal iPods and iPads out of your checked luggage, though, so look out.

Re “Will arrest for food” by Raheem F. Hosseini (Beats, November 30): While we are on the subject of Mayor Steinberg in conjunction with the present wealth of sexual harassment stories, isn’t it high time to revisit the one involving Allen Warren? Didn’t our mayor and the entire City Council vote to hide the results of a $50,000 inquiry into allegations of sexual impropriety against him? Didn’t Steinberg preside over the state Senate when numerous complaints of sexual harassment were lodged? Where is the outrage? Never too late to correct a wrong, and we know the Bee, as Steinberg’s apologist, will never launch such an inquiry. It becomes the duty of the News & Review. Karen sOlBerg

Brad Oates

via Facebook

s a c ra m e nt o v i a ne w s re v i e w . c o m

Is suicide escape? Re “Missed warnings” by Scott Thomas Anderson (News, November 30): “… escaped justice?” What a convoluted thought process. Their suicide prevented the endless process of trial and incarceration which would further plague the victim’s family. With the exception that some would rather die than spend life in prison, how exactly did the killer escape justice? dOrOthy eller

politicians have now repealed this excellent program on the 60th or 70th try; all to please the extremists, Obama-haters and racists in the Republican Party base. Donald Trump continues his biggest lie of all, that he would be “president for all Americans.” How long are Americans going to continue to put up with Republican lies masquerading as truth? The Republican Party and its politicians have become a cancer in society. rOn lOwe ne v a d a City v ia sa c to le tte r s@ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m

v ia Fa c e b o o k

Republicans to poor Americans: Die Merry Christmas to the millions of Americans who have come to depend on the Affordable Care Act and who have had health care coverage for the last few years. All for naught as President Trump, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan and a few hundred Republican

read more letters online at www.newsreview .com/sacramento.

@SacNewsReview SacNewsReview


Yep: Sam’s Hoffbrau Re “Stay classy, meat men” by Becky Grunewald (Dining, November 30): John CrookOne Molina: Take me here for lunch already. MiChelle wright v ia Fa c e b o o k

All Ages Welcome!

1417 R Street, Sacramento, 95811 • Friday, december 8

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Wednesday, december 20

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SAved By the 90’S saturday, december 30

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sunday, december 31


BucketheAd saturday, January 6

long BeAch duB AllStArS Friday, Janaury 12

Arnie StAteS saturday, January 13

the engliSh BeAt saturday, January 20 sunday, January 21


12/11 Jhene Aiko SOLD OUT! 12/15 Dance Gavin Dance SOLD OUT! 01/23 August Burns Red 01/25 The King and AVATAR 01/27 Chris Robinson Brotherhood 01/30 Silverstein & Tonight Alive 02/03 Alex Aiono 02/09 LP 02/10 Elysium Live 02/12 J Boog 02/14 Judah & the Lion 02/15 Tune-Yards 02/16 Mo & Chshmere Cat 02/18 Ron Pope 02/21 Black Label Society 02/28 Pop Evil 03/03 NOTHING MORE 03/05 BROCKHAMPTION SOLD OUT! 03/06 ZZ Ward 03/07 Iced Earth 03/10 NF 2nd SHOW ADDED 03/11 NF SOLD OUT! 03/23 Puddle of Mudd 03/24 Quinn XCII 03/25 Lane 8 04/07 Whiskey Myers 05/11 Pink Floyd laser Spectacular 05/21 Peter Hook & The Light

TickeTs available aT all Dimple RecoRDs locaTions anD

12.07.17    |   SN&R   |   7

A tower of recycling looms over David Kuhnen, general manager of Sacramento County’s Recycling Industries. Photo by Michael Mott

Recycling in the dumps As the state’s landmark program struggles,  CalRecycle might be missing out on millions by Michael Mott this story was made possible by a grant from tower cafe.

Every day, Californians pay an extra nickel for their favorite canned or bottled drinks, with the money earmarked to support the state’s landmark recycling program. If they return the bottle or can, they get five cents back. But what if the nickel never went to recycling? California’s recycling program could be losing out on $200 million in California Refund Value (CRV) fees from beverage distributors who are undercounting the number of drinks they

8   |   SN&R   |   12.07.17

sell, according to a Los Angeles-based nonprofit. Meanwhile, recycling rates have fallen from 84.7 percent in 2012-13 to 80 percent this fiscal year. For many, going to recycling centers is a forgotten memory: Since 2012, more than 950 centers have vanished, a third of the total infrastructure. The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, or CalRecycle, reports that in Sacramento County, 355 have closed shop, leaving

55 for the 1.5 million people paying their five cents. There’s little disagreement: California’s recycling system is in crisis. A storm of factors have caused the failure, from plummeting commodity markets to California’s stiff recycling legislation, which some say hasn’t kept up with market changes. “The program has done amazing things to increase container recycling over the past 30 years,” says Heidi Sanborn, executive director of the

California Product Stewardship Council. “But we need permanent solutions to fix permanent problems.” Susan Collins, president of the Los Angeles-based nonprofit Container Recycling Institute, or CRI, discovered an audit this September that showed Walmart underpaid millions of dollars to the state because it underreported the sale of 129.9 million containers from 2011 to 2014. The retail giant “incorrectly coded” 15 percent of the drinks it sold, pocketing $14.5 million instead of sending it to the state. Collins thinks there is more. “Consumers are being hit hard twice—thinking they are paying nickels into a recycling program that don’t seem to be getting there, and being unable to redeem containers since so many centers have closed,” she says. Meanwhile, SN&R found that one of Sacramento County’s main recyclers has been unable to sell the stuff it collects, landing it in $350,000 debt to the county. Overall, Sacramento’s recycling program is in trouble.

Doctor-shopping with cancer see news


outing abortion Deniers see essaY


sac’s buD empire

see scoreKeeper



no neutral future “We’re going from a $1.2 milliona-year revenue to a $1.2 million-a-year cost,” says Waste Program Manager Doug Kobold. “Until this resolves, we’re stuck with that cost. And our $70 million in reserves is going, quickly.”

missing millions Collins is a former recycling consultant. As CRI’s president, she works on improving recycling nationally. But in California, a worldwide leader in recycling, she often checks CalRecycle’s fact sheets detailing the agency’s fiscal health. This fall, she compared the most recent report with the one prior and found a surprise: $18 million in revenue labeled with a short description: “audit findings.” She started asking questions. CalRecycle revealed that of 66 recycling companies, 50 owed $18 million to the state. The vast majority of that money—$14.5 million—was owed by Walmart, which later paid the state the missing amount with interest, without penalty. Collins is calling for more audits on beverage distributors. CalRecycle spokesperson Mark Oldfield says Walmart was an outlier. Yet when reviewing reports from 2014 to 2015, Collins found a 3.6 billion container gap between what distributors self-report they sold in California and what CalRecycle found in an on-theground study of landfills and recycling. At 5.55 cents per container on average, that’s more than $200 million the state’s program could be missing out on. Oldfield says CalRecycle believes other issues were at play: Contamination of moisture and gunk led to more waste in the 2014 study, and fraudulent material from out-of-state sources was included as part of the state’s recycling numbers, he says. But the discrepancy was also found when CRI compared private, industryused data with CalRecycle’s reports, Collins says. She hopes for more audits since, she says, audits generate $3 in revenue for every $1 spent. Oldfield says CalRecycle does plan to audit the major distributors next year, as well as a “significant subset” of smaller ones to learn if there is broad underreporting. “Even if there is, it will pale in scale,” Oldfield says. “We know there are a handful of small distributors that haven’t been paying, and we are

through five pilot programs to take working on developing collection bottles in unique ways. measures. The big players pay the vast SB 102 failed to come for a vote. majority.” Mark Murray of Californians Against If there are significant revenues that Waste, lead advocate of the bill, says he aren’t being collected, “we have yet to be provided any substantive documenta- hopes it comes back in January. Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 458 in October. tion or evidence,” he says. One of SB 458’s pilot programs is Collins responds: “CalReycle is the in San Francisco. The city saw Safeway authority to audit these companies. I’ve and other grocery stores close the shown them how we calculated our recycling centers in their parking lots— numbers.” opting instead to pay the state a fine. Meanwhile, the recycling system Currently, stores with $2 struggles. million in sales of canned and Heidi Sanborn’s Product bottled beverages trigger Stewardship Council a “convenience zone” works in carpet clause, requiring that recycling, so she “Consumers are they provide for rarely deals with paying nickels into a recycling unless can-and-bottle recycling program that they are located recycling. While within a mile of a she concedes don’t seem to be getting recycling center. that she’s not an there.” Failing that, they expert, she says must pay $100 a day. the audit program Susan Collins CalRecycle says should be strong. Container Recycling Institute most retailers have “It’s always promised to take in-store ‘follow the money,’” recycling. The agency she says. “If people have confronts retailers only when it a financial incentive to benefit receives a consumer complaint—fewer from underreporting, that should be than 100 people complained last year. examined more closely.”

recYcling in crisis

bringing it home

In three Northern California counties, there are no recycling centers. Del Norte County reached a breaking point in late September, when the rural Northern California county of just 30,000 people lost Julindra, its only recycler. “The reality is, the scrap market value has plummeted, and CalRecycle’s subsidy program hasn’t kept them open,” says Tedd Ward, director of the Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority, which held a contract with Julindra. “If you can’t get your nickel back without traveling 70 miles, you’re being charged for a service that’s functionally not available.” Ward indicated several factors: State-subsidized recycling businesses not keeping up with market changes; thinner plastic, meaning bottles weigh less (with less CRV value); and China implementing harsher restrictions on the recycled products it buys. Two recycling bills were introduced this year: Senate Bill 102, which would give a temporary reprieve to recycling businesses by resetting the subsidy rates; and Senate Bill 458, which would provide relief in redemption centers

An 11-ton bulldozer piles recycling into a two-story hill, contaminates co-mingling with recyclables. Forklifts zoom across the 155,000-square foot warehouse. Recycling Industries handles much of the curbside recycling in Sacramento County. Public records show the longest-operating recycler in the region has accrued $346,000 in debt after being unable to sell some of its recycled products to China. According to reports, China stopped purchasing many U.S. recyclables in February. That hurt Recycling Industries, whose freight forwarding company hasn’t been able to sell much of what it once did. USA Waste Services of Sacramento saw the market trend. Before China’s decision, it decided to buy out of its contract with the county for $250,000. Recycling Industries, a smaller company, didn’t. The company and county may see a new agreement addressing repayment this month, which will go before the Board of Supervisors. For now, the recycling sits, waiting, on the Oakland docks. Ω

Just as outrage reached a fevered pitch against Verizon Communications for its role in the possible end of net neutrality, the telecommunications giant was again touting its partnership with the city of Sacramento. News that the state capital would soon be one of the first u.s. cities with 5g broadband didn’t sit well with Verizon critics, who worry about the untested nature of 5G and foresee the monopolization of a once-free internet. The deal local leaders struck gives 101 small cell towers to Verizon in exchange for a $100 million investment in the city’s technological infrastructure. In late November, the Federal Communications Commission revealed a plan to roll back legislation that enshrines net neutrality as law—a development Verizon has pushed for since 2008. Beyond serving as a bulwark against online censorship, net neutrality keeps small businesses and big corporations on the same footing in the internet’s open marketplace. Experts say ending it would hurt the ability of a small business to compete, and possibly price some right off the net. New FFC chairman Ajit Pai is a trumpappointee and former attorney for Verizon. Local leaders such as Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Congresswoman Doris Matsui and Barry Broome, CEO of the Greater Economic Council of Sacramento, have all applauded the city’s new public-private partnership with Verizon, while staying mum on the company’s controversial moves. In September, more than 180 scientists and doctors from 35 nations and several universities called for a temporary moratorium on 5G telecommunication due to concerns over potential impacts on human health and the environment. (Scott Thomas Anderson)

levee leveraging As climate change intensifies, a movement is underway to keep sacramento’s river District above water—literally. That part of the city could see millions of dollars in investment from the state’s new Transformative Climate Communities Program, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by funding smart growth in traditionally low-income neighborhoods. Some quarters of the district fall into that category, and also lie along the very levees that will be affected by climate change. Last week, the City Council approved a proposal led by the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency to apply for $35 million in cap-and-trade funds that would come through the TCCP to boost infrastructure in those areas. If the funding is approved, Sacramento leaders plan on giving the River District more affordable and market-rate housing, a lightrail station, and a host of job and health programs. “This is about transforming the urban environment,” said Tyrone Roderick Williams, SHRA director of development. Roderick added that the plan would bring the city’s first large-scale, mixed-income housing development to one of Sacramento’s poorest neighborhoods—an urbanscape generally known for Loaves & Fishes and the railyards. City officials said the state’s decision on the TCCP grant is down to a contest between sacramento and ontario. Councilman Jeff Harris, who represents the River District, believes the funding would finally move the neighborhoods in the direction of having more integrative housing. “When you segregate incomes, the outcomes aren’t that great,” Harris said. “The Twin Rivers we have today is a low-income, isolated project in the middle of commercial and industrial areas with no transit. It’s an island.” (Michael Mott) This story was made possible by a grant from Tower Cafe.

12.07.17    |   SN&R   |   9

Deborah Zambo stands in front of Sacramento Community Clinic on Assembly Court in the south end of the city. Photo by Scott thomaS anderSon

Fighting cancer on her own Local patient in limbo after Sutter Medical Group drops Medi-Cal by Scott thomaS anderSon

Deborah Zambo is fighting one of the deadliest forms of cancers. Thanks to a recent insurance shakeup, she feels like she’s fighting it alone. Zambo is one of 10,000 Sutter Medical Group patients who recently learned her doctors will no longer take their insurance, Medi-Cal Anthem Blue Cross. For Zambo, that meant suddenly switching her primary care physician, her surgeon and her radiologist in the middle of her battle with colorectal cancer. When Sutter’s medical director announced the change in August, he did it with a patina of optimism, saying the patients getting turned away might actually receive better care at community health clinics scattered across Sacramento and Placer counties. Now, after spending hours on the phone to get prescriptions, waiting weeks to schedule basic appointments 10   |   SN&R   |   12.07.17

and having no way to follow up on her radiological work, Zambo says she thinks Sutter Medical Group’s prediction was anything but accurate. “Ever since this happened, I feel like I’ve just been falling through the cracks,” Zambo said. Sutter Medical Group maintains that transferring its Medi-Cal patients with Anthem Blue Cross to community health clinics was the right move, due to special funding those clinics have, including from the Affordable Care Act. Prior to October, Zambo was a Medi-Cal patient generally happy with her care. She says the team at Sutter’s Elk Grove Primary Care helped catch her cancer early, and that her surgeon likely saved her life by removing a large tumor. Zambo also has nothing but praise for the Sutter radiologist who guided her

sc o tta @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m

through chemotherapy, and she believes her oncologist is “the very best at what she does.” But the level of confidence Zambo had in her doctors just made the news from Sutter Medical Group more jarring. In an August interview with the Sacramento Bee, Sutter’s director of primary care, Dr. Ken Ashley, said that the Medi-Cal patients who were being dropped would get better services for optometry, dental work and behavioral medicine at the region’s community clinics. “I’m OK with our partners helping take care of these patients,” Ashley was quoted as saying. For Zambo, the confirmation that she was among those being pushed to Sutter’s “partners” came weeks later, when she received a notice from Anthem. Zambo then started getting phone calls from various doctors’ offices telling her they could no longer treat her.

Technically, Sutter Medical Group offers a “continuum of care” option that Anthem’s Medi-Cal patients can apply for to try to keep their doctors. Zambo says she’s mainly gotten nowhere with that process—or at least what she understands of the process. She’s now lost access to all of her physicians except her oncologist, who she’s fighting to keep under Sutter’s continuum of care option. “It’s so confusing,” Zambo said. Like thousands of others with Medi-Cal Anthem Blue Cross, Zambo was referred to a community health clinic for all of her other needs. She started seeking treatment at Health and Life Organization Inc.’s Sacramento Community Clinics. According to Zambo, patient congestion at the clinic meant it took three weeks to get an appointment; the staff didn’t return phone calls in a timely manner; the lab referral process was perplexing; and she’s even had problems getting prescriptions filled. “Life was simple with Sutter,” she reminisced. “No more.” Sacramento Community Healh Clinic did not respond to a phone call or email for comment. Zambo has filed complaints about her situation with both Anthem Blue Cross and Sutter Health. This week, Ashley told SN&R that Sutter still believes it made the right move. “It takes some time to get a new patient established with a completely new health system, and it can be frustrating,” Ashley acknowledged. “Overall, I feel like this was the best thing for this community of patients.” Anthem Blue Cross did not provide a comment for this story by press time. Zambo says she wasn’t necessarily expecting Sutter or Anthem to take responsibility for the way her health care eroded. But Medi-Cal—the state program tasked with helping California’s low-income residents, senior citizens and people with disabilities—is a different story. Zambo says she’s been able to find no clear avenue for even bringing her situation to the attention of state officials at Medi-Cal. And that makes her wonder how many other local patients with serious conditions are in the same boat. “You just can’t get through to MediCal, and that’s my biggest frustration,” Zambo said. “My cancer is something I have to stay on top of, and some days I have a lot of residual pain from the surgery. I certainly didn’t need this added stress—it’s been hell on earth.” Ω

Thai Food & gluten free options



Their crisis is honesty

on T

So-called crisis pregnancy centers lure vulnerable  pregnant women into a false choice


by Emily loEn

Ever been to Adalberto’s? If you’re in Folsom, maybe you’ve been to Adamberto’s. Businesses choose names that sound alike to capitalize on name recognition. It’s just close enough so that, even if you’re from out of town, you know where to go for rolled tacos slathered with guacamole. Now, imagine someone gives you a flier for a new joint called Albierto’s. It looks legit, so you head there for a three-piece of rolled tacos. But instead of handing over a weighty paper bag of greasy goodness, the cashier gives you a lecture about the dangers of guacamole. As you walk out with a fistful of anti-guac pamphlets, you read that this experience was brought to you by the USA Hummus Association. Um, WTF just happened? This is the playbook of a crisis pregnancy center. You’ve seen the ads: “Scared? Pregnant? We can Emily loen help.” Designed to look medical, crisis pregnancy centers, or CPCs, advertise to pregnant people looking for an abortion provider. Some CPCs are medically licensed, but many are not. Once inside, clients are given a home pregnancy test and told abortion leads to breast cancer. (Totally not true, says the American Cancer Society.) CPCs also claim that Plan B is the same as an abortion (not true), and that your boyfriend is just using you for sex (gee, thanks). Why the lies? Because CPCs were created to prevent abortion, promote heteronormativity and spread the Pence lifestyle. Anti-abortion advocates began opening CPCs en masse in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s when violent clinic protests stopped working. CPCs outnumber all-option clinics by 5 to 1. California is the first state to regulate CPCs. We passed the Reproductive FACT Act in 2015, requiring reproductive care centers to state whether or not they are medically licensed. They must also post a notice listing the free services the state provides, including birth control, prenatal care and abortion services. Representatives for CPCs sued the state, claiming their free speech was imposed upon. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the law. Still, most CPCs are not

in compliance. Next spring, the case goes to the Supreme Court. So here’s my question: Can you make up shit about guacamole to get people to eat hummus while keeping your professional hummus association secretive? To the public, local CPCs pretend to be secular. Sacramento Valley Pregnancy Clinic states it is unaffiliated with any religious organization. Yet all Sacramento crisis pregnancy centers, including SVPC, are members of CareNet, a Christian industry association that “envisions a culture where women and men faced with pregnancy decisions are transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ and empowered to choose life for their unborn children and abundant life for their families.” Religious protesters do the work of direct advertising for CPCs. Each spring and fall, Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church launches 40 Days for Life. That’s six weeks of demonstrators on clinic sidewalks, holding signs that say “Abortion Hurts Women” or “Choose Life” with the SVCP’s phone number on them. The Catholic family behind Leatherby Family Creamery took to Facebook to offer free sodas to anyone with a protest sign. Why does the business reward protesters? Because Marie Leatherby directs the Sacramento Valley Pregnancy Clinic. As courts determine how best to regulate CPCs, how does a pregnant person navigate this murky landscape? We suggest crowdsourcing the truth. With Lady Parts Justice League, the Abortion Access Hackathon created ExposeFakeClinics. com. We ask people to call a CPC, ask for information and write an honest review. Think that a company trying to upsell you motherhood isn’t Yelp-worthy? It is. Your real review helps people make informed decisions. No matter what divine dip we choose, we deserve to decide without sneaky coercion. Can I get an amen? Ω Emily Loen is the co-founder of Abortion Access Hackathon, which coordinates three-day events across the country to provide probono tech support to under-resourced abortion providers and develop creative solutions to overcome barriers to safe access.


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Six books that changed me by jeff vonkaenel

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12   |   SN&R   |   12.07.17

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I love to read books. While I find newspapers and the internet excellent for gathering information, books help me gain understanding and perspective. What’s more, books propel me into another world which I find both relaxing and stimulating. Audiobooks, in particular, have changed my life. I drive while listening to audiobooks. I lift weights while a marvelous professional reader tells me an engaging story. I even look forward to doing the dishes. I spend an insane amount of time listening to and reading books. And a fair amount of time figuring out what books to spend time with. I study the notable books lists, I review the national book awards and, of course, I get recommendations from friends. The following six nonfiction books are the ones that most impacted me this year. They were fun to read and changed my thinking. 1. Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. Harvard sociologist Matthew Desmond researched this book by living for more than a year in rundown Milwaukee housing. He told not only stories of the tenants but also of the landlords. In the midst of these heart-wrenching stories is data on evictions and housing costs, which makes the poverty ecosystem understandable. 2. I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life. This book illuminated the bacteria friends and foes inside me. British science writer Ed Yong entertainingly explains how scientists have gained a better understanding of our small companions as well as what these little ones do. We cannot live without them. 3. The Last Love Song: A Biography of Joan Didion. Along with a summer binge of Didion books, this one changed my perspective of Sacramento, American foreign policy and the Democratic Party. Reading her bio, as well as her books The White

je ffv @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m

Album, Miami and Democracy, let me occupy one of the most insightful and bravest minds of our time. 4. Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon explores how the Bobby of the 1950s and the Bobby of the 1960s were different, and yet the same. Listening to Larry Tye’s well-researched book, I yearned for a political leader with this substance, who could reach both minority and white blue-collar workers. And, I wondered where America would be today if he had not been killed before his 43rd birthday. 5. Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History. Before I read this book, I had an enthusiastic but superficial perspective on breasts. Florence Williams’ book changed that. While it includes tons of interesting facts, what I found most fascinating were the mechanics of breasts. She wrote about how the structure of the breast changes in preparation for nursing, how the chemistry of breast milk changes as the baby develops and more complexities of nursing. 6. Eyes on the Street: The Life of Jane Jacobs. Reading this book, as well as Jane Jacobs’ books The Death and Life of Great American Cities and The Economy of Cities, changed my perspective of urban Sacramento. Her previous roles as a journalist and urban activist give her a unique perspective that focuses on how people shop, move around and interact with the urban environment. And then Robert Kanigel tells Jacobs’ own remarkable story. I read many wonderful books this year. This would not have been possible without the Sacramento Public Library. I would love to hear your suggestions for what I should read in 2018. Please email me. Ω

Jeff vonKaenel is the president, CEO and majority owner of the News & Review.

illuStration by Serene luSano

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The Sacramento City Council unanimously passed its first regulations for adult use of marijuana on  November 28, achieving the milestone before  Oakland, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Also  unanimously passed: an equity program that  aims to incubate businesses and mentor employees from neighborhoods disproportionately  affected by the war on drugs. Growing pains will  be inevitable, but the city has handled legalization practically and humanely. Although a recent  city audit slammed dispensaries for failing to  abide by medicinal marijuana regulations, the  rule-followers should be able to open their doors  to the adult public on January 1.

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+420 Citrus Heights attorney Joseph Marman got  disbarred for tax fraud, street racing, fighting in public and driving under the influence on  multiple occasions, according to the State Bar  of California. During the stop for his most recent  DUI, he denied being intoxicated, yet refused any  field sobriety tests. At one point, he said to the  officer: “What i’m telling you is i’m a lawyer and i work with lawyers.” As of November 30, neither of  those things are true. 


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SilverStein & tonight alive Flynn’S Flip Regarding potentially treasonous government officials who share my last name: As  you no doubt know, Michael Flynn pleaded  guilty to lying to the FBI on December 1 and  agreed to cooperate with the inquiry into 

the trump administration’s game of footsy with russia. And, shortly afterwards, President 

The non-profit Next Move Sacramento received  $25,000 on November 30 from Safelite Autoglass  to bring a closed shelter up to city code standards. the renovation will allow next Move to shelter eight families on the cusp of homelessness per  year, and help them move towards self-reliance.  A little goes a long way. And the companies benefitting from Gov. Jerry Brown’s program should  take notice. 

Trump tweeted that he knew Flynn was  guilty around the time former FBI Director  James Comey accused Trump of pressuring  him to drop the investigation into Flynn. Will  President Trump be charged with obstruction of justice? Or will he wriggle free again?  Tune in next week to see what happens  to the least likable people ever to get this  much time on television. 



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Read now

by Jason smith


limbing the wooden steps of a rundown triplex somewhere on the outskirts of the Sacramento grid, I wiped the sweat from my eyes with a sticky T-shirt that felt pasted to my chest. July was bleeding into August and it was hot. The flesh around my eyes sagged and my corneas felt like they were sprinkled with sawdust, strained by a staring contest my ceiling and I had been having since the night my AC went out. I was really in no condition to be doing any work that day, but I was flat broke, behind on rent and out of cigarettes. So there I was, chasing a ghost.

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The door opened before I was halfway up the steps. Drug dealers in my experience have always demonstrated exceptional environmental awareness, so I wasn’t shocked that he knew I was there. I was shocked, however, at his appearance. He looked like a kid, the type who could be seen on any high school campus. What he didn’t look like was what he was—a drugsmuggling cocaine dealer on the run. His name was Jim, which is to say his name probably wasn’t Jim. I don’t know his real name. Jim made his living in a corner of the World Wide Web called the “dark web,” something that came along after I retired from that life in 2012, meaning I was unfamiliar with it. (“Jim” is a play off his dark web ID.) Using easy-to-get encryption software, he orders his illicit product from nearly untraceable webpages, then has it shipped through the U.S.

Postal Service, which screens only a fraction of its packages. “This is the next generation of drug dealer, these dark web guys,” said William Ruzzamenti, director of the Central Valley High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, which is a division of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. “Thanks to them, the United States Postal Service is now the largest drug courier on the planet.” Shaking my hand, Jim welcomed me inside his hideout, where I sat down on a black futon covered with a gray comforter that looked like it had been used recently. “I know,” he said as he carried a laptop over to where I was sitting, placing it in front of me on the coffee table then sitting to my left. “I look young.” That’s when he said he was 19 years old.

Secret corner of the World Wide Web offerS a virtual bazaar Where anything goes

AnAtomy of An online drug trAfficker Also known as the “darknet,” the dark web is an expanding virtual space where anything goes. Think of it like eBay designed by Caligula, where digital currency can purchase any vice or horror man has dreamed up—drugs, stolen IDs, assassins, even webcam access to child dungeons. And all of it virtually untraceable. Both Ruzzamenti, who works alongside state and federal agencies as part of a narcotics task force out of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, and DEA

Special Agent Casey Rettig suspect the dark web played a role in the mysterious fentanyl overdoses that scourged 14 lives in the Sacramento region last year. Only one person has been tangentially connected to the conspiracy. Authorities still can’t say why counterfeit Norco tablets containing the much stronger synthetic opioid fentanyl were made and distributed, or who was behind it. It sounded like science fiction to me. I knew the old-school drug game. Late-night drives to Richmond with two hands on the wheel, praying the tail lights were functioning. I was used to sundown hand-to-hands in Oak Park. Jim was used to coffee roasters and street fairs in Oak Park.

Before his current troubles, Jim spent his days soaking up the south Florida sunshine buying uncut cocaine with Bitcoin from a seller off the dark web. Jim would spend his nights flipping the product at retail prices to college kids, spring breakers, professional athletes, businessmen and tourists, who he claimed spent “stupid money” on the drug. “Everybody wants to get high when they vacation down there, including people who’d never sniff coke back home,” he said. Less than a month before, Jim says, the feds kicked in the unlocked doors of his home just before sun-up. Drugs were seized, the occupants’ hands were zip-tied and the apprehended were counted:

Writer Jason Smith viewing a listing for MdMa crystals for sale on the dark web. Photo by kArlos rene AyAlA

buy now

“into the dArk web”

continued on page 16

12.07.17    |   SN&R   |   15

“into tHe dark web”

continued from page 15

think of it like ebay designed by Caligula, where digital currency can purchase any vice or horror man has dreamed up— drugs, stolen ids, assassins, even webcam access to child dungeons. okay

The suspects were all there except for one. Two days before the raid, a neighbor told Jim he’d seen some guys that looked like cops trying hard not to look like cops going through his trash. He had a feeling something was about to go down. He broke the neighbor off a gram to say “thank you,” then caught the first flight to Sacramento, where he had a friend in a shabby triplex with rickety steps. I tracked down Jim through a matrix of online message boards where people discuss the type of things people discuss when they think nobody’s looking: sex, drugs, money laundering, credit card fraud, financial scams. Needless to say, popping in with, “Hey, I’m a writer doing a story on the dark web, would you be willing to talk?” wasn’t received with warmth. There were a lot of swings, a lot of misses and more than one, “Fuck you narc, leave us alone.” Jim was understandably hesitant at first, but eventually warmed to the idea of talking after skimming a few pieces I’d written. He told me there was humanity in my writing. I told him I didn’t know what that meant. He said, “Exactly.” Jim says he never ventured into the darker side of the dark web because it scared him, but he has plenty of acquaintances who did. He claims it changed them. He couldn’t say how, exactly, but it just did. “So the first thing you wanna do,” Jim began, immediately absorbed by his computer, “is get a VPN. It’s a ‘virtual private network.’ It’s like a condom for your phone or computer. Everyone needs to use one of these, even if you’re just using the surface web.”

How tHe darknet works The “surface web” Jim was referring to is the internet that most of us utilize day-to-day. The terms “deep” and “surface” were cemented in a 2001 white paper written by Michael K. Bergman for the Journal of Electronic Publishing, which explained that the surface web is the portion of the internet that can be found by search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo. Any link that pops up in a search is considered part of the surface web. According to Bergman’s white paper, the vast majority of the World Wide Web resides below the surface, where pages and URLs are not found by search engines. These sites are part of the “deep web.” For example, your bank’s homepage is on the surface web. However, the intranet used by bank employees to communicate with each other is the deep web. There’s no way

16   |   SN&R   |   12.07.17

for someone to find those pages using a search engine. These are the internet’s two neighborhoods—surface and deep. The surface is accessible to anyone, the deep is more exclusive. But that exclusive neighborhood— the deep web—has a red light district. A dirty, shady, libertarian utopia where the black market adheres strictly to free market principles, absent of any government regulation. This is the dark web. Media outlets often conflate the two terms, colloquially using “deep web” and “dark web” synonymously. They are not, however, the same. To gain entry to the dark web, Jim explained, you need to download Tor, which is tech shorthand for “the onion router.” According to the book, WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy, Tor was originally developed in the mid ’90s by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory with the goal of facilitating communication between members of the U.S. intelligence community. The Naval Research Laboratory released the open-source code for Tor to the public in 2004, and it’s been maintained by the nonprofit The Tor Project since 2006. “Tor is a mask that hides your identity,” Jim explained. “You have to be wearing the mask to get to the good shit. No mask, no entry. You can take your ass on to Kohls.” With Tor and a VPN masking your IP address, you can then access what’s called the onion network. Here, instead of a site’s URL ending in “.com” or “.gov” or “.edu”, it ends in “.onion”. According to Sarah Jamie Lewis, an independent privacy and anonymity researcher and dark web expert, data coming across the onion network is encapsulated by multiple layers of encryption, similar to layers of an onion. When using the surface web without Tor, she explains, a computer requests data from a server directly from its IP, or “internet protocol,” which refers to a set of networking guidelines that allow two or more computers to communicate. This IP leaves a trace, meaning anything that’s sent or received leaves behind a device’s fingerprint, which can be traced back to the person. Tor makes tracing someone’s movements on the dark web almost impossible, Lewis said in an email. Tor renders the user anonymous as it routes encrypted data requests through three different servers, positioned anywhere on the globe where internet access is available. “The Tor [makes] three hops, [or in] the case of a hidden service connection, six stops—three from the user making the request, and three from the service responding to the request,” she wrote. “Each hop introduces a new layer of encryption.”

Not even the servers know what the requests passing through them are. They’re simply conduits of encrypted data. Were law enforcement able to somehow intercept the transfer of data between servers, they would still need to decode the encryption. Even then, there’d be no way of determining who made the request, since the Tor masks one’s identity and location. In her email, Lewis called it a “robust” scheme. Jim put it more succinctly. “It’s total privacy, total anonymity,” he said.

Preying on Human error Authorities have claimed a couple of big darknet victories, but they’re the exceptions that prove the rule. In July of this year, one month before I found Jim, Attorney General Jeff Sessions took a victory lap for shutting down a group of dark web marketplaces, the biggest of which was a site called AlphaBay. These sites sold drugs, guns, child pornography and offered services ranging from hacking someone’s Facebook to ordering a hitman. The investigation involved the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Dutch National Police and Europol. Sessions praised law enforcement for what he called good, old-fashioned police work. But according to Phil Muncaster, an information technology journalist for the MIT Technology Review, traditional police work is only a factor once human error has occurred. “Law enforcement has been able to capitalize on basic mistakes made by some of the perps,” Muncaster wrote in an email. “[I]f they all used Tor and anonymizing services correctly, police would stand no chance.” The first and most (in)famous dark web marketplace was Silk Road, launched in 2011. Wired magazine called it the “Amazon of contraband,” but investigators were only able to track down the site’s founder after the real IP address, unmasked without Tor, was accidentally broadcast. Investigators were tipped off by a Reddit thread attempting to alert users of the breach. AlphaBay founder Alexandre Cazes was discovered after password resets for the site were sent directly from his hotmail account, “pimp_alex_91@” That email was connected to his LinkedIn account for a computer repair service in Canada, leading investigators to his real identity and, eventually, his residence in Bangkok, Thailand. Cazes was found last July hanging in his jail cell, dead from an apparent suicide. “We should remember that it still takes some skill to turn those rookie

mistakes … into a concrete convic“The dark web anonymity can be tion,” Muncaster said. used for things other than bad things,” Law enforcement has reacted he said in an interview in his Sac State by getting creative, which both the office. “It is also used for protecting American Civil Liberties Union and the rights and speaking out against governElectronic Frontier Foundation claim ments in places where such things are raises constitutional concerns. not permitted.” In February 2015, a dark website Cindy Cohn, executive director of that hosted child pornography called the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told Playpen inadvertently revealed its IP The Guardian in August, “We see Tor address, giving the FBI the physical use go up whenever a dictatorship takes location of its server. According to the over or a coup occurs. Tibetans, United FBI’s website, the agency said it used Arab Emirates, Tunisia, Egypt. The list “court-approved investigative techgoes on and on.” niques” for a joint investigation named The journal Survival: Global Politics “Operation Pacifier.” and Strategy published a study last year But some government watchdogs that found 40 percent of the dark web was believe the feds may have gone too far. used for illicit purposes. Cohn points out Court records show that the FBI that, therefore, 60 percent is not. hijacked the Playpen server and ran Many newspapers, including USA the site for two weeks, distributing Today, the New York Times and the child pornography but using a custom Guardian, have launched their own malware that exploited a hole in the secure drop servers for whistleblowFirefox browser, allowing the FBI to ers to upload documents using Tor infect the computers and identify those and the dark web. The Panama who were downloading their illegal bait. Papers and recent FIFA scandals U.S. Judge Robert Bryan, a federal both came to magistrate in Tacoma, Wash., light thanks to ruled that Jay whistleblowMichaud, ers utilizing one of these tools to the defenprotect their dants identities. caught SecureDrop in the is an openOperation source Pacifier submission sting, had a system right to see used by enti the malware media ruzzam h-intensity m a li il W ey hig ll code that outlets to a V l a g area r, centr infected his gather directo rug traffickin d computer as informapart of the tion case’s discovfrom ery. Federal sources whose identiprosecutors in ties cannot be revealed, protecting Seattle chose instead to both the source and the journalist. drop the charges and protect the code’s Jim doesn’t concern himself much secrecy. with political activism, but he does Annette Hayes, a federal prosecutor think the dark web has its public for the Western District of Washington, safety benefits. wrote in a motion following the judge’s Retrieving a package from the decision that, “Disclosure is not closet with markings indicating it was currently an option.” shipped via the U.S. Postal Service to a P.O. box, he sits down and peels it open. Inside the cardboard envelope is a paper envelope, and inside that paper Light amid the envelope are two vacuum-sealed packages: one containing white powder, the dark? other containing a dozen pink pills. “These were freebies,” he said, Despite being a professor of pointing to the pills. “My coke guy computer science at Sacramento State hooks me up. Once you make reliable University, June Dai said the dark web connects on here, they start giving you is a place he chooses not to visit. better deals and sending you free shit. Dai, also the director for the Center It’s like Yelp. They need a good rating of Information Assurance and Security, to survive.” did point out, however, that the dark He pulled up the site where he web is also used by political dissidents placed the order for the cocaine. to organize in countries with strict Vendors indicate everything from censorship, and where real-world politipurity of the drug to the methods they cal activism risks a prison sentence.

em, the h t o t s k “Than Postal s e t a t S United e largest h t w o n s ” Service i r on the planet. rie drug cou

use for shipping. Most state they’re willing to walk first-time buyers through the process to mitigate the risks of shipping. When a vendor says their cocaine is uncut, previous buyers leave reviews either confirming or disputing the claim of purity. It’s easy to see from the outset which vendors deliver on the product they promise, and which do not. The DEA’s Rettig strongly disagrees with Jim’s assessment that these rating systems reduce harm for addicts or for the community. “You cannot apply a rating system that works in the regular world, and apply it to an illicit substance,” she told SN&R. “A person ordering on the dark web still has no idea what they’re getting,” she added. “I don’t think reviews by a bunch of drug addicts are going to make it safer.” Jim seemed to disagree. “The people I order from, I know them and they know I test what they send me,” he said. “This is 10 times safer than buying something that was cut with God knows what.” In the meantime, there may be no stopping the dark web. When AlphaBay was shut down, it had 10 times the number of users that Silk Road had. More than 400,000 users shopped the 369,000 listings spending $800,000 per day, according to Deep Dot Web, which monitors dark web frequency. Every expert interviewed for this story agreed that shutting down the dark web is not realistic. Like it or not, they all agree, the dark web is here to stay. “It’s not a civilized world, this underground market,” Professor Dai said. “There’s no way to shut it down or regulate it.” Asked if this was the future of the internet, he paused. “I don’t know,” he said, still considering the question. “Nobody can answer this. Maybe. Maybe not.”

ghost of a chance Jim had disappeared. He stopped responding to emails and I couldn’t find his username on any message boards. I remember him saying he’d lived in eight different states since 2012. That restless trait hadn’t diminished, it seemed. Ghosts. They never say goodbye when they go. Summer begrudgingly yielded to fall, with winter looming on the other side of Thanksgiving. Inside a squat building in Oak Park, a woman took down Halloween decorations as a mother, with her child tucked in a car seat, spoke with a case manager.

Here at Harm Reduction Services, they treat Jim’s former customers. As its name suggests, the clinic meets drug users where they are in their addiction—providing resources to those who want to get clean, and overdose prevention training, clean syringes and other harm-reducing tools to those who are not yet ready. But the clinic’s biggest export, it seems, is a little bit of human kindness. For instance, when a homeless woman walks in, crying hysterically because all of her belongings have been stolen, three different staff members give her hugs, rub her back and tell her it’s going to be OK. The place is an island in America’s rekindled drug war, which is expanding to new frontiers thanks to both Sessions and criminal innovation. In Sacramento, however, that war is still being waged the old-fashioned way. On November 3, sheriff’s deputies searched a 52-year-old man sitting on a park bench after discovering he was on probation. Deputies booked the man into jail after finding around eight grams of methamphetamine in two plastic baggies and a lock-picking kit. Earlier that same day, deputies contacted a 44-year-old man because he was walking through a residential neighborhood at night. He was allegedly found to be holding an unspecified amount of the crystal narcotic and a glass pipe. He was also wanted on an outstanding felony warrant, according to an incident summary. And on November 2, a vehicle stop led to the seizure of 113 grams of methamphetamine and 26 bucks. The 37-year-old male suspect was taken to jail and his vehicle towed. Meanwhile, guys like Jim proceed to order Schedule I narcotics online the same way the rest of us will order Christmas gifts for our families. There’s a tragic disconnect here that no one seems to be acknowledging. On the morning of November 9, sheriff’s deputies rolled up on a car stuffed with personal possessions, parked in a lot belonging to an unidentified business. There they found a 25-year-old woman named Jade, barefoot, scabs on her face and “not properly clothed for the weather,” an incident summary states. Jade was holding her 1-year-old child when she admitted to being on probation out of Placer County. That led to a search of her vehicle, which led to the discovery of less than a gram of heroin, a hypodermic needle and smoking pipe inside of her makeup bags. Jade was taken to jail and her baby was taken somewhere else. Two more ghosts who left without warning. ⁄ ⁄

12.07.17    |   SN&R   |   17


A New Year festival helps the local Hmong community remember and redefine its traditions

the new year

by Mozes zarate | m o z e s z @ne w s re v i e w . c o m


was afternoon on the final day of the Miss Hmong California pageant, and contestant No. 4 got a tough question during the Q&A round. “A big issue in our community is that Hmong men are divorcing their wives to marry younger women in Laos or Thailand,” the host read from a card. “What can we do to prevent this problem from happening in the future?” Cha Vang, who was sitting in the audience waiting to hear the answer, knew the issue by another name: abusive international marriages, a kind of domestic violence that affects families locally and abroad. The men go into poor villages to find young and often underage girls who live in poverty. The contestant answered: “We need to educate and tell our women and our girls to not engage Hmong married men,” said Maiv Neeb Xyooj, in translation. “Because we only have one life, we should only engage with a single man so that you are worthy of who you are as a Hmong woman.” Her answer was controversial. Though she did receive cheers and applause, Vang wasn’t satisfied, nor the judges. The theme of this year’s pageant was “Hmong Women Empowerment,” after all, and the judges generated many questions that challenged the contestants to think of solutions to improve gender equality. The correct answer is important: For a year, Miss Hmong California is seen as a role model for young girls. But she’s also an upholder of tradition, part of a larger mission of Sacramento’s Hmong community in hosting this event. The pageant was billed as the main attraction at the 13th Hmong New Year festival, a four-day celebration that brought thousands of people inside and outside of Sacramento County’s Hmong community to Cal Expo beginning on Thanksgiving. For me, an outsider, Hmong New Year meant getting lost in another culture’s stimuli: Hmong food, fashion, film and lots of Idol-style stage competitions. For the Hmong crowd, it’s much deeper. The older generation preserves a heritage 18   |   SN&R   |   12.07.17

that fled from persecution and genocide immediately following the Vietnam War to places like Sacramento, which is second to Fresno in holding the largest Hmong population in California. For some in the younger generation, like Vang, it’s about expanding what it means to be both Hmong and American at the same time.

Getting lost in Hmong New Year The festival started with an entourage gathered for the New Year’s ribbon cutting. Parallel lines of men and women in traditional clothes formed a catwalk for community leaders including Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly and State Assemblyman Kevin McCarty. My guide to the ceremony was Vang, the executive director and co-founder of grassroots poli-org Hmong Innovating Politics, or HIP. She pointed out the traditional attire: vests twinkling with the percussion of hanging silver coins. Crowns ornamented with multicolored foam puffs and metal embroidery. Dresses stitched with zigzags, stripes and unpredictable shapes. “The younger folks, they don’t like the heaviness of it,” Vang said of the outfits and their accessories. “Your body does ache at the end of the day. [But] the older generations want you to wear it because it’s really hard to put it away.” It’s not all fashion. In fact, these garments tell something more crucial: Where your family is from and what Hmong dialect you speak. There are three dialects. The most common in the U.S. are Hmong Daw (color-coded white) and Hmong Njua (blue or green), which originate from Laos, Vietnam and Thailand. The final dialect is the native Chinese Hmong, called Danashan. These groups use different words, pronunciations and even interpretations of the traditions. Vang said that while families often intermingle, parents prefer their kids to marry within the same dialect for convenience. Many of the younger folks had come to

the festival to find a significant other. And as the VIP filed through the catwalk for opening remarks holding boiled “blessing” eggs for luck in the new year, their clearing revealed an old game among the crowd. In similarly parallel lines, Hmong young and old engaged in a courtship sport: pov pob. It involves tossing a tennis ball to the one you fancy, and if there’s a spark, it turns into a game of catch. Parents chaperoned close by their daughters as the gentle ball frenzy ensued to what sounded like 1950s rockabilly sung in Hmong on an outdoor stage. The game has changed since it started overseas. Originally, players would take turns singing to each other. “[About how] if you get together, how you would treat the other person,” Vang said. “You have to listen to each other and answer back in song.”

“It really symbolizes our people remembering back to the old country.” John Thao Miss Hmong California coordinator

As it’s been modernized to accept talking, what hasn’t changed is that people judge. “Hardcore judging,” Vang said. “Not just the girls, but her parents and everybody else around you.” Past the pov pob was a bazaar of booths. Billowing smoke and barbecue scents invited me into the dining space for Hmong sausage with purple sticky rice, papaya salad and other Hmong and Southeast Asian dishes. Rows of tents displayed skincare products, indie R&B records, foreign language films about vampires and village

life, bamboo funeral flutes, jewelry and dresses (lots of dresses). Lawyers, veterans and other professions and organizations also posted up, including HIP. “In the 40 years we’ve been here … the vendors definitely give you an idea of the different professions that have come out of our community, having the freedom to pursue different opportunities,” Vang said.

The purpose of the pageant Rows of hundreds of chairs looked onto a high stage with a glass chandelier, a throne and a giant backdrop that read “Miss Hmong California 2018.” In the corner: a brand new Nissan for the winner. There were ten contestants this year competing in six rounds, including a platform round where they outline a community service effort they’ll make as the winner, dance competition, talent show, “sexy” catwalk round and the final Q&A. And for the first time, they were not required to speak Hmong perfectly, said John Thao, a pageant coordinator. Training started in September. The women were taught how to walk, act, dress and dance based on a mesh of Hmong and Hmong-American standards. The judges looked for several winning factors: “Beauty, talent, correctly answering the questions,” Thao said. “And also the clothes, the fashion. Let’s say if they wear an evening gown, who looks the most sexy wearing the gown?” The competition began in Laos in the mid-70s before traveling overseas, Thao said, and honoring their heritage is what draws the audience most to the pageant. “Every year that [we hold] Miss Hmong pageant competition, it really symbolizes our people remembering back to the old country,” Thao said. That’s not to say conformity is the way to score big. Thao recalled one contestant who played an original tune on a qeej, a bamboo flute intended for funerals. Until recently, men were the only ones allowed to play it. The contestant doubled her points by including dance with her routine.



The final round drew the most attendees to the auditorium. Questions were generated by the panel of judges, many of them doctors, lawyers and educated professionals. These were more challenging, and more progressive, questions than the years prior, when the judges were less qualified and more male, Thao said. This year they asked: How do we change the fact that all the Hmong clan leaders are men? What should we do about domestic abuse silenced by divorce stigma in families? The answers were sometimes disappointing, Vang said, including the question about international marriages. But Thao said he was satisfied with the winner, Cindy Cha. “I think she did good from the beginning to the end,” Thao said. “I think she had the look, she had her body figure, her personality. Everything added up.” In the hourlong ceremony leading up to the announcement, last year’s Miss Hmong California, Mai Yang Thor, advised her pageant sisters to press on with their community platform regardless of whether they win, gifting them each with a copy of her fundraising letter, which she used to reach out to donors. Thor is not the only one who uses the festival to raise awareness. When she helped found HIP, Vang said she wanted to push the community to leverage themselves in politics. She feels the festival needs more engagement with issues facing the Hmong population and other communities of color. “[The festival is] an opportunity for us to celebrate our identity and embrace our beautiful culture,” Vang said. “But for HIP, it’s also about connecting the cultural identity to what’s happening in our country as Hmong Americans.” The festival has gotten more politically focused with the election of Mayor Ly and public officials like Mai Vang, a Sacramento Unified School District board member who also co-founded HIP. Large cultural events like these still have a ways to go, Cha Vang said, including allowing more of the younger generation to be participate in the programming so that their values are represented. But she’s hopeful. “My hope is that these festivals allow our communities to celebrate our culture, but also provide education so that our community understands the issues that impact them.” Ω







New tech tucked into traditional Hmong garb at the New Year festival.

photo by letrice fowler

12.07.17    |   SN&R   |   19

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Ruth Rippon (center) teaching majolica techniques to students at Sacramento State, circa 1960.

PhoTo CouRTEsy oF CRoCkER aRT musEum

The wonders of Ruth Rippon Sacramento ceramicist helped elevate clay into the fine-art world by Kate Gonzales

It would be impossible to exaggerate the impact Ruth Rippon has had on the art world in her 90 years. As a longtime ceramicist, her body of work is enormous. Sacramentans would be most familiar with Rippon’s towering sculptures of happy old ladies at UC Davis Medical Center and the Pavilions Shopping Center, which she lovingly calls Lollies. As a professor at Sacramento State, she built the ceramics department from the ground up, fighting to create an institutional space for a medium hardly considered art at the time. She mentored generations of students who launched their own careers. Rippon’s low-key status as a Sacramento-raised artistic treasure is currently being celebrated at two art venues: Robert Else Gallery at Sac State and the Crocker Art Museum. At the Crocker, Exuberant Earth: Ceramics by Ruth Rippon showcases 90 pieces to mark Rippon’s 90th birthday this year. The exhibit is organized chronologically, so viewers follow the path of her life, entering a new era of work every few steps. “There could be 10 art exhibits represented in this show,” says curator

Kristina Gilmore. “She was always inspired by things in the outside world but brought in her own voice.” Her early works Europa the Bull, The Judgment of Paris and If the Clouds Be Full of Rain reflect mythological and Biblical influences. They’re also a demonstration of her application of the innovative sgraffito technique, in which she scrapes away the outer layer of clay to reveal a contrasting color underneath. Early on, this was one of her strengths: pushing past the idea that clay was primarily functional by playing with her pieces. “It was important for her to explore what the medium could do,” says Susan Willoughby, a close friend and colleague of Rippon’s. “She didn’t see why you couldn’t use [a] vessel as a canvas.” Rippon had started out as a painter, which inspired that artistic lens when she entered the world of ceramics. “She felt drawn to ceramics most completely,” Willoughby says, adding that it was by a fluke that she discovered clay. Her parents agreed to fund her arts degree if she enrolled in more general courses like metal and clay work—a demand that led to a lifelong love affair with ceramics.

k a te g@ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m

Rippon began teaching at Sac State in 1956 and successfully tackled the challenges of being the only woman in the arts department while competing for studio space. “It was tough—it was a male world at that time,” Willoughby says. “She had to be really strong, and she had to push back, because in art department faculties, everybody’s fighting for space.” Around the same time, Rippon, Willoughby and eight other women artists founded the Creative Arts League of Sacramento. They wanted to provide more spaces for artists to show their work and to promote craft as fine art. Still active today, the group raised the money to organize the Crocker show and fund a companion book that illustrates Rippon’s life and artistic evolution. “This one became important to the organization—to pull together Ruth’s life,” says Willoughby, who organized the photo shoots and other aspects for the book. “If you don’t do it now, when she’s 90, it’s going to be really hard to pull it all together later.”

The Sac State show, The Legacy of Ruth Rippon, will exhibit works by her former students, including Cosumnes River College professor Yoshio Taylor. Like Rippon, Taylor also began as a painter, but became captivated by ceramics in college. “As soon as I saw people throwing pots on the wheel, I was pretty taken by it,” he remembers, and was drawn to Rippon’s rigorous classes. “[She] had a reputation for being very strict and very hard,” but his Japanese education prepared him for demanding classes. “So, I signed up … and slowly devoted myself to clay work.” Teaching at a time when conceptual and minimalist art was popular, Rippon took a page from her parents’ playbook: She demanded her students learn the technical skills. Before they could meander into the artistic styles that valued the idea behind a work over aesthetics or function, they had to learn to throw a pot. Yoshio worked under Rippon as a teacher’s aide and absorbed her work ethic and teaching styles as a result. “I’ve been teaching 37 years, and I realized that my style and philosophy of teaching is pretty much the same way she was back then,” he says. “I have high expectations for all my students, and she was the same way.” It was Rippon who encouraged him to take up teaching. “She encouraged me and convinced me that I have the know-how and the passion to do it,” he says. Rippon retired from art in the early 2000s, just as she took her artwork to a larger scale with figurtive pieces like the Lollies and Mermaids. Taylor and Rippon still keep in touch; it would be hard not to. “She lives across the street from me,” he says with a laugh. During a recent visit, Taylor mentioned that he had restored three of her pieces for Exuberant Earth. “She said, ‘Yes, I saw them and they were wonderfully done,’” he says. “I jokingly asked her, ‘So Ruth, I passed?’” She smiled, approving, and gave him a big hug. Ω

The Robert Else Gallery will host an opening reception for The Legacy of Ruth Rippon at 5 p.m. Thursday, December 7. The show will be up through December 15. Exuberant Earth will be up at the Crocker through February 4.

12.07.17    |   SN&R   |   21

illuSTraTionS By maria raTinova

It’s Bonne, La Bonne french onion souP; duck confit sAndwich, lA bonne souPe cAfe Around this time each year, my feet get permanently  cold and my stomach craves sustenance from warm,  nutrient-rich liquids. To alleviate both problems, I  ordered a cup of the classic french onion soup ($4) at  La Bonne Soupe Cafe (920 8th Street). Topped with a  slice of french bread and a gooey grating of Swiss and  provolone, the soup paired perfectly with a sandwich  ($8) filled with mixed greens, melting brie and duck  confit (think duck carnitas). Arriving at around 11:30  a.m. on a Tuesday, I beat the usual line for a lunch  that provided as much comfort as a second pair of  socks.  920 8th Street.

—John flynn

Thai Farm House’s kao soi and spicy chicken wings. phoTo By ScoTT duncan

Farmers market Thai Thai Farm House BBQ & Bistro

by ReBecca Huval

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

1049 Broadway, Suite 40; (916) 382-9448 Good for: vegetarian and produce-forward Thai food


Spicy chicken wings, avocado curry, Kao Soi

Sacramento has so many worthy Thai restaurants that it’s hard to get excited about a new one. Except when it’s sourced with produce from the freeway farmers market, filled with most thinkable entrees—noodles, soups, BBQ, curries, salads, stir-fries—in forms both tried-and-true and innovative, and cute as a carrot. Opened in August, Thai Farm House BBQ & Bistro is a slice of coziness on the verge of Land Park and the grid. During November, it was decked out with hay bales and seasonal gourds. It softly glowed with strung lights, and a bitty succulent sprouted from each table. Owner Ice Promeska brings 15 years of restaurant experience from Thailand and the states. Her menu showcases this breadth of learning with lesser known or fusion dishes like Pad Preaw Whan (pineapples, onions, carrots and cucumber with sweet-and-sour sauce) and Thai cobb salad. Setting itself apart from other Thai restaurants, the menu helpfully notes gluten-free and vegetarian options. Not every dish is a hit, but many are. The spicy chicken wings ($6.95) are elevated stoner grub: dank in a primal way, with a truly crispy outside shellacked in housemade sweet-and-sour sauce that’s not too sweet or too thick. Its subtlety allows for the chili spice and basil flavors to permeate the meat. 22   |   SN&R   |   12.07.17

Also a success? The avocado curry ($10.95). If soft were a flavor, it would taste like this: liquid avocado mixed with warm, creamy, sweet coconut milk. Chunks of avocado heightened the flavor, and the bell peppers and carrots added notes of crispness and acid. The Kao Soi ($8.95-$11.95) was a welcome study in contrasts, with fine egg noodles squiggling through a curry that’s fatty, sour, sweet and spicy. Fermented vegetables punched up that sour profile in surprising bursts. On top, fried noodles echoed with a crispy crunch. I was let down, though, by the Ba Mee Keaw ($8.95). The broth was simply too bland, missing some oomph in the form of salt or personality. The ingredients floating in the soup redeemed it slightly: The wontons contained a hearty melding of chicken and shrimp encased in an egg noodle—three different forms of umami in one bite. The bok choi tasted fresh and delightfully bitter. The BBQ pork seemed honeyed with sweetness. Worth noting: The restaurant has a caddy of chili sauce and other add-ons, so the boring broth is easily remedied. The Grapow Moogrob ($9.95), though, was also lacking. I was excited to try the pork belly specialty, imagining soft cuts of meat rimmed with crispy skin. But the meat wasn’t that soft or deliciously fatty. In fact, it was a bit gamey. Hard to fix that with sauce. Still, in a city overflowing with destination-worthy Thai restaurants, the Farm House is deserving of a visit, especially for vegetarians or gluten-conscious eaters. When you hit on the right dish, you might find yourself sticking to what’s safe and coming back again and again. Ω

Winter warmer seeing red, AMAro bistro & bAr Even the most winter-loving among us sometimes need  a healthy dose of sunshine to ward off seasonal doldrums. Amaro Bistro & Bar’s Seeing  Red ($10) is a bright mix of gin,  spiced blood orange, lemon,  sugar and red sparkling  wine. Served on the rocks  in a Collins glass with  a giant orange wheel  garnish, it’s fizzy but not  fussy, polished but playful.  It looks and tastes like what  Willy Wonka would have served  the parents to keep them  happy, and if that doesn’t make you smile, then just  order another. 1100 R Street,

—rAchel leibrock

Jammed on a gift idea? Produce for Presents In California, we’re lucky to have year-round growing, but the winter produce is less abundant. Instead,  stock up on prepared foods from your  favorite growers. Look for  jams and jellies, like those  from Good Humus in Yolo  County, and honeys from  Henry’s Bullfrog Bees.  Sample flavored almonds  and green pistachio butter, and look for beautiful  handmade pasta by Dave  Brochier, a.k.a. “Pasta Dave.”  Local cheeses make perfect host  presents: You can find goat, cow and sheep’s milk products to pair with dried fruit and nuts.

—Ann MArtin rolke

illustration by mark stivers

Snail-paced potluck Founded in 1989 as a cheeky up-yours to fast food, the Slow Food movement aims to deliver “good, clean, fair food for all,” said Kelsey Maher, spokesperson for the Sacramento chapter of the international organization that far predates Farm-to-Fork. Seeking to educate about food traditions and sources, Slow Food locally supports a school garden program, a local chef’s alliance headed by Magpie Cafe’s Ed Roehr, a monthly book club and Slow Food University, which offers lessons on cooking and food-growing. If that sounds cool, you ought to check out the free Terra Madre Potluck on December 10 at 6 p.m. at the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op (2820 R Street). Attendees can can meet the board of directors, hear from experts on a variety of food-related topics and sample the potluck that should include a bevy of vegetarian options. Guests should RSVP online, then (ideally) bring a dish and dining ware. Maher recommends keeping it simple with a bowl and spoon.

—John Flynn

Food for empowerment by John Flynn

Web of life: Brenda Ruiz, president of

Pizza for herbivores by Shoka VegNews reported last week that Pizza Hut permanently added vegan cheese to its menu in 262 United Kingdom locations. While we wait for vegan-cheese stuffed pizza crust stateside, newer chains Pieology, PizzaRev, Mod Pizza and Zpizza have Daiya vegan cheese to build custom pies with, and locally owned OneSpeed (4818 Folsom Boulevard) has a vegan pie on its regular menu—roasted broccoli, caramelized onion, capers, garlic-cauliflower puree, arugula—as does Hot Italian (1627 16th Street; 500

First Street in Davis), with seasonal vegetables, tomato sauce, arugula, optional Daiya. Most of those eateries don’t deliver, but California Gourmet Pizza at 1900 Fulton Avenue does— even to Roseville, they said—and the menu includes the “Cheese-less” vegan. Perhaps the quotation marks are to indicate the pie doesn’t have faux cheese, like Daiya. It’s an unfussy pie with artichoke, tomato, spinach, onion, zucchini and an excellent tomato-basil sauce, which ought to hit the spot for herbivores.

the Sacramento Food Policy Council, first started thinking about the interconnectivity of food systems as a chef, and later as the parent of a child who qualified for free school lunches. In the mind of a parent, she noted, lunch is linked to after-school programs, school gardens and community centers. But there wasn’t a unifying organization to speak to lawmakers on behalf of communities regarding their food. “Food justice is about autonomy and teaching the man to fish instead of just giving him the fish,” Ruiz says. “And not just teaching them, but letting them fish the way they want, to access resources that are available to others.” Currently, the SFPC is mediating between city government and residents of North Sacramento’s River Garden Estates neighborhood, who

for nearly three decades have been farming on an unsanctioned, nearly two-acre-sized plot of land named the International Garden of Many Colors. Ruiz said the SFPC hopes to convince the city not to enact its plan to close the garden by the end of the year. They also have three longer-term projects. They’re working to integrate food policy into the city and county’s general plans, establish a central kitchen so local schools can make fresher, healthier meals for students, and boost outreach to CalFresh recipients about using their credits at a farmers market—a feature of the program that less than a third of the population knows about, said SFPC Vice President Beth Storelli-Smoker. Beyond this, they educate the public on a variety of food topics. Starting at 5:30 p.m. on December 7, they’ll host a free event on the importance of healthy soil at Hot

Italian (1627 16th Street) with Andrea Lepore, the restaurant’s co-founder; David Baker, co-founder of Sac’s Green Restaurants Alliance; and Timonthy Chapman of West Sacramento’s IRC Refugee Farm. The three will talk about the life cycle of food, from soil and back to compost. Dumpling delight: Right across the street from C.K. McClatchy High School, the recently opened Dumpling & Tea House (3000 Freeport Boulevard) offers some damn good deals on dumplings (12 for $7.35) with flavors that include kimchi pork and chicken and corn. It also serves BBQ pork baos (3 for $4.00), a Thai chili chicken bowl ($6.50) and teas ($3.50) that can be customized with boba, red bean and “grass jelly” (50 cents each). Ω






We’ve Got Holiday spirits


An original classic

ee frsom l u m to choos

by Jeff Hudson


7pM M-7pM 3pM3p Happy Hour Mon-Fri 3pM bruncH FroM 9aM-2pM

2901 W Capitol Ave, West Sacramento

cHeck eck us out on yelp!

(6284) for instant time-travel, simply add the mutton chops.

A Christmas Carol Celebrating

21 years!


Wed 7pm, thu 7pm, fri 8pm, sat 2pm & 8pm, sun 2pm. through 12/24. $40-$20. sacramento theatre company, 1419 h street, sacramento. (916) 443-6722.

Photo courtesy of charr crail PhotograPhy

as relevant here and now as it was when Dickens penned this morality tale in Victorian London back in 1843. Ω

The unstoppable Nutcracker This is the 30th anniversary revival of the Sacramento Theatre Company’s adaptation of the Dickens classic, with a script by Richard Hellesen (still teaching at American River College) and music by David de Berry (who came from Redding, studied theatre at UC Davis, and became STC’s resident composer; he died in 1995). Co-directors Michael Laun and Michael Jenkinson deftly deploy their large cast (including a platoon of youthful performers—and the brighteyed kids bring freshness to the proceedings). Jenkinson—who recently became an associate artist with STC—also plays the long-suffering Bob Crachit, opposite crafty old veteran Matt K. Miller, who finds clever, understated ways to interpret the mean-spirited, parsimonious Scrooge at a time when actors in the role are being upstaged daily by a grumpy billionaire in the White House. This production is also a family affair: Miller’s son Max plays Tiny Tim, alternating with cute fourth grader Miller Traum, whose relative Tylar Traum is also in the cast. Many of the 20-something guys in the cast have grown real sideburns, a nice touch. I saw the show at a Sunday matinee that drew a full house, including grinning grannies, giggling Girl Scouts and wide-eyed 5-year-olds (spooked by the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, who resembles the Grim Reaper). The play ends with the reformed Scrooge shyly putting coins in a cup held by a scruffy girl on the streets, whom Scrooge had struck the day before. And as you leave the theater, you may run into a real homeless person on the sidewalk—a reminder that Charles Dickens’ message of conscientious charity is 24   |   SN&R   |   12.07.17

For many Sacramentans, it wouldn’t be Christmas without Ron Cunningham’s The Nutcracker. Choreographed to Tchaikovsky’s music, The Nutcracker tells the story of young Clara and her magical journey to exciting lands, led by a living doll—a nutcracker gift that comes to life. She sees sprites and cherubs, prancing reindeer in the Snowflake Forest and the wonderful Sugar Plum Fairy in the Land of Sweets. This year’s production, which begins Saturday and continues through December 23, is the 30th installment of the holiday tradition. With the replacement at the end of the current season of co-artistic director Cunningham and his co-artistic partner Carinne Binda Cunningham, it was speculated that this could be the last run of the Cunninghams’ creation. Not to worry. “I don’t think it’s going to be the end of my Nutcracker,” Cunningham said in a recent interview. “The board (Sacramento Ballet Board of Directors) and Amy (Seiwert, the artistic directorin-waiting) want to (continue to) do it.” There is a “loose agreement” with the company to license his ballet and an agreement that could run for 10 years, he said, giving the ballet company “the last call on details of who will stage it and how it is being staged.” Jim Carnes

sacramento Ballet’s the Nutcracker; various days and times beginning saturday, December 23; $30-$89 (shows with live orchestra), $25-$74 (shows with recorded music). community center theater, 1301 l street. (916) 552-5810,


A Moving Day

Dave Pierini and  Buck Busfield’s  original holiday play is a  fitting finale for the original  B Street Theatre. It looks  back fondly and looks  forward with hope. Greg Alexander, Stephanie Altholz,  Kurt Johnson, Jamie Jones  and Tim Liu star. Thu 8pm,

Fri 8pm, Sat 5pm & 9pm, Sun 2pm, Tue 6:30pm, Wed 2pm & 6:30pm; through 12/24; $27$39; B Street Theatre, 2711  B St.; (916) 443-5300, www. J.C.


It’s a Wonderful Life


Sat 7:30pm, Sun 2pm. Through 12/17; $12-$25;  Woodland 

Opera House, 340 2nd St. in  Woodland; (530) 666-9617; B.S.


Kings of America

Shortly after the  election of Barack  Obama, a troubled young  history nerd is plagued by  dreams of past presidents.   Through conversations with  them, he is able to work  through his current emotional problems. Excellent  acting by the four-person  cast makes this a riveting  production. Thu 7pm, Fri

8pm, Sat 8pm & 2pm, Sun 2pm, Wed 7pm; through 12/10; $20-$38; Sacramento 

Theatre Company, Pollock 

Stage, 1419 H St.; (916) 4436722; www.sac B.S.


Silent Sky

Big Idea Theatre  shines a bright light  on astronomer Henrietta  Swan Leavitt, who reached  for the sky in the early  1900s at a time when women  were not recognized in  academia. This production  skillfully brings out powerful, joyful and humorous  performances by the cast,  all within a lovely backdrop  of twinkling constellations. 

Thu 8pm, Fri 8pm, Sat 8pm; through 12/16; $22 general, $16 students/seniors, $12 on Thursdays; Big Idea Theatre,  1616 Del Paso Blvd.; (916)  960-3036; www.big P.R.

Short reviews by Jim Carnes, Bev Sykes and Patti Roberts.









British-island girl The holiday season seems to bring on an appetite for plays set in  England during the 1800s (replete with mutton chop sideburns for  the men, and dazzling dresses for the ladies). Capital Stage is surfing that wave with the local premiere of Miss Bennet: Christmas at  Pemberly, a comic theatrical sequel to the ever-popular Jane Austen  novel Pride and Prejudice. Tue 2pm & 7pm, Wed 7pm, Thu 7 pm, Fri  8pm, Sat 2pm & 8pm, Sun 2pm. Through December 30; Capital Stage,  2215 J Street, (916) 995-5464;


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This is a musical version of the Dickens classic  with an outstanding cast  and great special effects.   It’s worth seeing if only  for the magnificent performance of Eric Catalan 

as George Bailey. This is a  wonderful show for everyone in the family. Fri 7:30pm,


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

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

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

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


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The Disaster artist never trust a man in a bucket hat.


by Daniel Barnes

pathos in the character. Unfortunately, the rest of In his 1994 masterpiece Ed Wood, director Tim Burton the cast is a real mixed bag, especially Dave Franco in the pivotal role of Greg, as Franco’s jittery and pulled off an amazing balancing act. His biopic about insistent acting style clashes with the dead-eyed the legendarily bad director of low-budget, mid-century mannequin who appeared in The Room. schlock managed to make high art out of low art, simulScreenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. taneously celebrating Wood’s tenacity and craft without Weber adapted a book by Sestero, and the privilege overlooking his lack of talent and resources. of that point-of-view weighs on the film. The film was barbed but loving, sour You get the sense that they want yet affectionate, somehow laughing James to credit Greg for helping create around Wood and his ensemble of Franco is the this unexpectedly lucrative cult oddballs without laughing at them. phenomenon while also keeping best thing about The James Franco’s The Disaster him slightly above it all. Artist, a behind-the-scenes Disaster Artist, perfectly The Disaster Artist clearly look at the making of Tommy mimicking Wisseau’s voice holds a weird level of affection Wisseau’s 2003 disaster turned for The Room, a film famed and mannerisms while still cultural phenomenon The for its inexplicably discarded Room, tries and occasionally locating some honesty subplots, discomforting sex executes the same trick as Ed and pathos in the scenes and kamikaze use of greenWood. It follows the evolving screen, as well as writer/director/ character. friendship between the mysteriously financer/star Wisseau’s bizarre wealthy pseudo-vampire Tommy personality and inscrutable accent. But Wisseau (James Franco) and struggling stacking the cast with a This Is the End-style actor Greg Sestero (Dave Franco), tracking comedy ensemble, only to have them sit around them from their first improv class encounter through commenting on Wisseau’s follies like they were the process of shooting and screening their infamous guests on a podcast, exposes the superior smugness magnum opus. at the movie’s core. Mainstream cinephiles might not know about The Ultimately, I’m not even sure what we’re Pineapple Express star’s extensive work as a director, supposed to be celebrating here. The Room seems but The Disaster Artist is the 13th feature that Franco almost depressingly normal. Or haven’t we learned has helmed since 2011 and his third film this year to get by now that wealthy white assholes who use their illa theatrical release (that doesn’t even include short films gotten fortunes to buy artistic influence and exploit and TV stuff … the man likes to work!). The Disaster Artist is a huge step up from the few dreary Franco films women are the rules rather than the exceptions in the film industry? Ω I have seen. Whipping his long black hair around like a samurai sword, James Franco is the best thing about The Disaster Artist, perfectly mimicking Wisseau’s voice and mannerisms while still locating some honesty and

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fiLm CLiPS


Justice League

Batman (Ben Affleck), Wonder Woman  (Gal Gadot), Superman (Henry Cavill),  the Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman (Jason  Momoa) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) do superhero  stuff against a supervillain named Steppenwolf (heavily computer generated, though the  credits allege that Ciarán Hinds is in there  somewhere). The movie is marginally less  atrocious than director Zack Snyder’s last  two superhero atrocities—but that’s mighty  faint praise, considering how difficult it would  be to make a worse movie that Man of Steel or  Batman vs. Superman. Rumor tells of extensive  re-shoots directed by Joss Whedon (who gets  co-writer credit with Snyder and Chris Terrio),  expanding Gal Gadot’s part (wisely) and adding  comic relief for Ezra Miller (less wisely). The  result is frankly a mess, although the fans  probably won’t care. J.L.


The Man Who Invented Christmas

The story of how Charles Dickens (Dan  Stevens) came to write A Christmas  Carol in 1843 gets a terrible mangling at the  hands of writer Susan Coyne and director  Bharat Narulli. Dickens’ tale did indeed play a  major role in shaping how the English-speaking  world celebrates the holiday, and Dickens often  spoke of his characters crowding him in his  study, badgering him to tell their stories (hence  the presence here of Christopher Plummer as  Ebenezer Scrooge himself). But Coyne and Narulli strike a false note virtually every minute,  beginning with a ridiculous portrayal of the author’s 1842 American tour and running through  the climactic Christmas tree in his parlor. The  impression, despite Paki Smith’s sumptuous  Victorian production design, is one of constant,  cheesy falsehood and wasted opportunity. J.L.


Opening Night Fri. 12/8 | 8pm sat. 12/9 | 6 & 8pm sun. 12/10 | noon & 2pm tickets available @ West Sacramento Community Center • Black Box Theatre • 1075 West Capitol Avenue • West Sacramento

Day of the deaf ?



A young Mexican boy (voiced by Anthony Gonzalez) longs to be a musician, even though his music-hating family wants him to be a shoemaker. When a bizarre event transports him to the Land of the Dead, he goes in  search of a deceased singer (Benjamin Bratt) who he’s sure is his own long-lost  ancestor. The usual Pixar polish makes the movie vividly colorful, exquisitely  textured and gorgeous to behold, but it keeps being dragged down by its   shortcomings: an uninvolving story (by Jason Katz, Matthew Aldrich and directors Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina) and characters who are dull, uninteresting  and bordering on ethnic caricatures. Also, for a movie supposedly about music,  the songs (by Kristen Anderson-Lopez) are too bubble-gum bland to stay with  you; they’re practically unnoticeable even as you listen. J.L.

Last Flag Flying

In 2003, three former Vietnam War  buddies (Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston,  Laurence Fishburne) reunite after 30 years  to escort the remains of Carell’s son, killed in  Iraq, to his resting place in New Hampshire.   Directed by Richard Linklater and co-written  by Linklater and Darryl Ponicsan (from   Ponicsan’s novel) as a semi-sequel to   Ponicsan’s novel The Last Detail and the 1973  movie made from it, this one has the turbulent  mix of incisive drama and sardonic comedy  that characterizes both the earlier movie and  some of Linklater’s best pictures. The movie  mulls over issues of friendship, patriotism,  grief, family, guilt and memory; Linklater  juggles the movie’s shifting moods expertly and  draws moving, finely textured performances  from his stars—especially Cranston and, in a  touching cameo, Cicely Tyson. J.L.


Watch as a precision dance company in the style oF the rocKettes and With a musical theater slant dazzle.

Lady Bird

A high school senior at a Sacramento  Catholic girls’ school (Saoirse Ronan)  bridles at what she sees as the limitations of  her hometown and the clueless smothering  of her harried, take-charge mother (Laurie  Metcalf). Written and directed by Sacramento  native Greta Gerwig, and at least semi-autobiographical, this episodic coming-of-age movie  seems ever on the verge of sliding into sketch  comedy, but Gerwig’s emotional generosity  toward all her characters keeps pulling it back;  she salts her script with funny lines that sound  more like people living funny lives than actors  saying funny things. Ronan, well on her way to  being one of the greatest film actresses of the  21st century, is the movie’s second-biggest  asset after Gerwig herself, followed closely by  Metcalf in perhaps the role of her career. J.L.


Holiday Spectacular Featuring K!cKline!


Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House

Another drab and lumpy fact-based  drama from writer-director Peter Landesman  (Concussion), this time about the veteran FBI  agent who leaked Watergate information to  the press, famously becoming known as Deep  Throat. Liam Neeson sleepwalks through his  starring role as Felt, a loyal and by-the-book  agent passed over for the top job when   J. Edgar Hoover dies. That puts him at odds 

with his new boss, a puppet for the Nixon White  House, and Felt gets driven to leaking when the  executive branch starts taking control of the  Watergate investigation. Meanwhile, Felt deals  with multiple crises at home, including a   depressed wife (Diane Lane, utterly wasted)  and a missing daughter he fears might be  involved with the Weather Underground.  Aside from the obvious hot-button historical  parallels of a tyrant president compromising  national security to hide his election crimes,  this film has nothing to offer. D.B.


Murder on the Orient Express

Hercule Poirot (director Kenneth  Branagh) investigates a murder on the  snowbound train. Branagh and writer Michael  Green (adapting Agatha Christie’s novel) offer a  passable remake of Sidney Lumet’s 1974 classic,  suffering only by comparison to the original.  It’s the difference between stylish (1974) and  mannered (2017), elegant (1974) and ostentatious  (2017). The original’s all-star cast (Albert Finney,  Lauren Bacall, Martin Balsam, Ingrid Bergman,  Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Anthony Perkins,  Vanessa Redgrave, etc.) is replaced by one of  slightly lower wattage (Penélope Cruz, Judi  Dench, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Michelle Pfeiffer,  Daisy Ridley, etc.). Branagh lards Haris Zambarloukos’ cinematography with gratuitous CGI until  it looks like Murder on the Polar Express. J.L.


The Star

The story of the Nativity, as seen  through the eyes of the animals  involved—the donkey Mary rode to Bethlehem  (voiced by Steven Yuen), the camels carrying  the Magi (Tyler Perry, Tracy Morgan, Oprah  Winfrey), the sheep being watched by night,  etc. It sounds like a clever idea, and director  Timothy Reckart and writers Carlos Kotkin and  Simon Moore get credit for good intentions.  Their execution, alas, leaves something to  be desired. The story is padded out with the  kind of aimless animated slapstick that made  the Madagascar and Nut Job franchises such  tough sledding, and it mixes uneasily with the  Sunday School pieties about Mary and Joseph  and the melodramatic menace of a pursu-

ing assassin sent by King Herod (Christopher  Plummer). It’s harmless enough, but nowhere  near as inspiring as it aims to be. J.L.


Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

New rule: anyone who stumps for this  Midwestern black comedy from writer-director Martin McDonagh is forbidden from complaining about the Coen brothers’ supposed  lack of empathy ever again.  McDonagh previously gave us two smart and self-aware genre  films with In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths,  but this feels more like the work of someone  who spent his entire life locked in a dark room,  only learning about human nature through the  movies.  Frances McDormand leads the cast as  Mildred Hayes, a grieving mother still burning  mad about her daughter’s unsolved murder.   Mildred directs her righteous rage at the  bumbling and racist police force led by cancerstricken Chief Willoughby (Woody Harrelson),  purchasing three confrontational billboards  along the same lonely stretch of road where  her daughter was raped and killed.  From the  lowest-common-denominator, hate-speech  shock value of the dialogue to the third-act insertion of a rapist ex machina, Three Billboards  … is genuinely loathsome. D.B.



A boy with a congenital facial deformity  and many plastic-surgery scars (Jacob  Tremblay) enters public school for the first  time at the age of 10, where he is met with a  mixture of pity, confusion, fear and hostility.  Adapted by Steven Conrad, Jack Thorne and  director Stephen Chbosky from R.J. Palacio’s  novel, the movie’s pro-tolerance, anti-bullying  message is more than a little ham-handed, but  it’s redeemed by Chbosky’s delicate direction  and the honest performances he draws from  everybody: Tremblay, certainly, but also Julia  Roberts and Owen Wilson as his parents (and  never better), Izbela Vidovic as his sister,  Noah Jupe as his first friend at school, Mandy  Patinkin as his principal. Jupe especially stands  out in the movie’s best moment, when he  remembers his own callous insensitivity. J.L.

Up to


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12.07.17    |   SN&R   |  27

bluMOON books & vinyl BOOK DEAL!

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Church of rock

by AAron CArnes

916.993.9843 “It’s all about the sound that would be produced,” Hale says. “I probably would scream in a way that I couldn’t do if I was trying to. That’s part of creating a moment. It’s my David Blaine moment.” The offbeat ideas and experimentation

28   |   SN&R   |   12.07.17

It had been a year and a half since local experimental-pop quartet Separate Spines played a gig. On their return, they came armed with a new album, Cut Up The Rainbow, their second release. When fans last saw them—at the Red Museum last July 17—the band had six members. Now there were five, and some had traded instruments. The audience didn’t know what to expect at the November 18 record release show. The venue, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on J Street, was confusing. “People were tripped out by it,” says Buddy Hale, who plays drums and electronics and sings. “A lot of people were like, are we going to have to pray? Is it going to be religious in any way?” It was a standard show—the band played Cut Up The Rainbow from start to finish. The venue seemed to shock people out of their comfort zone. Synth player Rachel Freund says the church might have opened people’s ears a bit: “I think in some way, being at the church made people a little uncomfortable ... And therefore they were more receptive.” The band members noticed that some of the people who expressed an unsettled feeling later told them that they’d always wanted to go inside it, since it is such a majestic building. “We like to create moments for people,” Hale says. “I really want to do things musically that people will remember, that people will be moved by.” At previous shows, these moments have ranged from improvisation sessions to “accidentally” spraying the club with baking powder, to destroying a Japanese lamp like a cat pouncing on a ball of yarn. The group has a lot of “dumb ideas” they spitball to help create these moments, some of which have yet to make the stage. One that Hale is excited about—the rest of the band less so—is to get tazed in the throat while singing on stage.

PhoTo by Jasmine Lazo

Battle of the hoodies.

comes across in the music. The group stretches the outer limits of indie rock, avant-garde art-rock and catchy pop. Thematically, many of the songs are about “The disconnection between reality and yourself,” says keyboardist/vocalist Zach Hake. Aside from live drums, the synth-based rock, with its dissonant effects and trippy looping, sounds like it could be the emotive record robots will one day make when they achieve consciousness. It’s a more dynamic and accessible record than their previous release, and it took a long time to make. After that Red Museum show, the band had big plans for making the best album of all time and got stuck in “demo-itis,” as Hale calls it. He recorded demo after demo, revising versions and writing new songs. Everyone in the band liked these songs—they still do—but for some reason, none were good enough for this “perfect” album the group envisioned. “There were too many songs to choose from,” says lead vocalist & FX generator Sydney Jones. Finally, they scrapped everything and started over. The material that became Cut Up The Rainbow came out fast. “It was fresh and exciting. It was way more collaborative,” Hale says. “It was a dark period for a year. Then boom, it just all happened. We recorded really fast. We set up our CD release show really quick.” They are really happy with the album and how it was received by the folks at the church. But they say what they care most about was the experience. After they finished their set, people didn’t want to leave the space, the same building that some were reluctant to enter. “People were just hanging out for a pretty long time, soaking in the environment,” Hale says. “It was a huge, gorgeous building that was turned into something completely different.” Ω

Check out the band’s new album, Cut Up The Rainbow, at

foR the week of DeCeMBeR 7, 2017

By kate gonzales

Online listings will be considered for print. Print listings are edited for space and accuracy. Deadline for print listings is 5 p.m. Wednesday. Deadline for NightLife listings is midnight Sunday. Send photos and reference materials to Calendar Editor Kate Gonzales at

PosT eVenTs onLine FoR FRee aT

and Captain Cutiepie.  6:30pm, $12-$15.  Holy  Diver, 1517 21st St.

neW YoRk Voices Joins JaZZ FesT: The 



Power of the Pen


There is no shortage of folks who need the  global community’s support in standing up  for human rights. There’s  Take acTion a man whose Facebook  post may get him a life sentence; a woman  holding police accountable for the death of  her brother; and an indigenous Honduran  group risking their lives for their land.  Write for Rights allows you to help with  your words and just a little bit of your time. 

MUSIC THURSDAY, 12/7 a ceLTic cHRisTMas: An experiential concert 

of Celtic music and dance.  7pm, $5-$20.   Pioneer Methodist Church, 1338 Lincoln Way  in Auburn.

BaTTLe oF THe caPiToL BanDs: Capitol staffers  and lobbyists rock out and compete to  raise money for UndocuFund, a nonprofit  that provides direct assistance to  undocumented residents impacted by  Northern California fires. Bands include  Remedy Seven, AKA Live, Special Interest,  Overdraft and Sideshow!  6pm, $20-$250.   Old Ironsides, 1901 10th St.

THe LuMineeRs: With Portugal. The Man and  Walk the Man at the Electric Christmas 2017  show.   7pm, $29.50.  Golden 1 Center, 500  David J Stern Walk.

Harlow’s, 2708 J St.

Tank: With Leela James.   8pm, $30-$55.  Crest  Theatre, 1013 K St.

FRIDAY, 12/8 MaRiacHi soL De MeXico HoLiDaY sHoW:  Experience the humor and spirit of mariachi  with Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jóse  Hernàndez, who have played worldwide,  including for U.S. presidents.  7:30pm, $25$55.  Crest Sacramento, 1013 K St.

THe ouTcoMe: Band releases its first EP with  support from Cover Me Badd.  9:30pm, $10.  Harlow’s Restaurant and Nightclub,  2708 J St.

in HeaRTs Wake: With Fit For A King, Like Moths  to Flames, Phinehas, Shorelines.  6pm, $16-

$18.  Holy Diver, 1517 21st St.

WHen DoVes cRY—THe PRince TRiBuTe: The  seven-piece band performs the hits that 

event highlight on page 31.  7:30pm, $5-$15.   Guild Theater, 2828 35th St.

MacY’s THeaTRe oF LiGHTs: A bright, family-

VicTiMs FaMiLY: With Joy Subtraction, 

friendly holiday tradition with performances  by jugglers, choirs and musicians and dance  teams nightly in Old Sacramento.  4:30pm, no cover.  Delta King, 1000 Front St.

Frack.  8pm, $10-$12.  Blue Lamp, 1400  Alhambra Blvd.

SUNDAY, 12/10

FRIDAY, 12/8

a JoYFuL noise: Enjoy a performance by the 

5TH annuaL PasToReLa De sacRaMenTo: See 

60-piece symphonic band, with the second  half made up completely of holiday music.  2:30pm, $10-$15.  Crowne Plaza Northeast,  5321 Date Ave.

event highlight on page 31.  7:30pm, $5-$15.   Guild Theater, 2828 35th St.

DRiVe-THRu LiVe naTiViTY: Experience nine 

aJJ: The band formerly known as Andrew  Jackson Jihad performs with Kitty Kat Fan  Club and Sneeze Attack.  7pm, $15 (sold out).   Harlow’s, 2708 J St. Harris Center, 10 College Parkway in Folsom.

His Royal Badness left behind.  9:30pm, $17.   Opera House Saloon Roseville, 411 Lincoln St.  in Roseville.

SATURDAY, 12/9 aniMe aLiens: With Bahama Investigation 

Team, Paige Felkins, Ellen Dodge.  7pm, $5.   Silver Orange, 922 57th St.

Ben soLLee: With Kentucky Native.  7:30pm, $15.   City of Davis Veterans Memorial Theatre,  203 E. 14th St. in Davis.

Die GeisTeR BescHWoRen: A live exploration of  field recordings and folk instrumentation  collected from around the globe.  7pm, no cover.  Two Rivers Cider Co., 4311 Attawa Ave.

FiRsT FesTiVaL LauncH PaRTY MicRo FesTiVaL:  See event highlight on page 30.  2pm, $10.   Knockdown Studios: Downtown, 1814 D St.

MicHaLe GRaVes: Former Misfits singer is  joined by The Moans, Nothing But Losers 

GLoBaL WinTeR WonDeRLanD: The multicultural  rides, food and photos with Santa.  5pm. $16-$18.  Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd.

Worthy Goat, Caliscope, Low Glance, Flight  Mongoose. Benefit show for the Silver  Orange venue.  noon, no cover.  Two Rivers  Cider Co., 4311 Attawa Ave.

MacY’s THeaTRe oF LiGHTs: A bright, family-

sean JoHnson & THe WiLD LoTus BanD: Songs  that merge New Orleans roots, rock, gospel  and world grooves.  6pm, $20.  E. Claire  Raley Studios for the Performing Arts  (CLARA), 2420 N St.

friendly holiday tradition with performances  by jugglers, choirs and musicians and dance  teams nightly in Old Sacramento.  4:30pm, no cover.  Delta King, 1000 Front St.

SATURDAY, 12/9 5TH annuaL PasToReLa De sacRaMenTo: See 

MONDAY, 12/11

event highlight on page 31.  7:30pm, $5-$15.   Guild Theater, 2828 35th St.

a WHiMsicaL WinTeR conceRT anD HoLiDaY sinG-aLonG: The Sacramento Women’s 

DRiVe-THRu LiVe naTiViTY: See event listing for 

Chorus perform their annual holiday  concert, with guests encouraged to sing  along to favorite holiday tunes. The chorus  will be collecting donations of small personal  hygiene items for women, infants and  kids.  7pm, $5.  St. Mark’s United Methodist  Church, 2391 St. Mark’s Way.

JHene aiko: With Kodie Shane, Kitty Cash,  Willow Smith.  8pm, $30-$125.  Ace Of  Spades, 1417 R St.

12/8.  7pm, no cover.  Capitol City Seventhday Adventist Church, 6701 Lemon Hill Ave.

HanDs on HisToRY a siMPLe eMiGRanT cHRisTMas: Create holiday candles and  ornaments like snowflakes and bird nests  in addition to the popular demonstrations  of black powder weaponry at Sutter’s  Fort.  10am, $5-$7.  Sutter’s Fort State  Historic Park, 2701 L St.

HoLiDaY sHoPPe aT DoWnToWn sacRaMenTo ice Rink: Cross everyone off your list with items 

TUESDAY, 12/12

from local artisans, crafters and makers.  Ice rink pricing applies.  noon, no cover.   Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink, 701 K St.

BiG HeaD ToDD & THe MonsTeRs: With Simo. 

7:30pm, $29-$49.  Crest Theatre, 1013 K St.

THe MiDToWn BiZaRRe MakeR PoP uP sHoP: 

cHRis RoBinson BRoTHeRHooD: Psychedelic/

folk band.  7pm, $26.50.  Ace Of Spades, 1417  R St.

PeacH PiT: With Write or Die, Animals in the  Attic.  6pm, $10-$15.  Sol Collective, 2574  21st St.

Pick up items from Best Supply Co., Burly  Beverages, Gold Feather, It’s Knot Love and  more local makers.  10am, no cover.  Identity  Coffees, 1430 28th St.

nuBian cRaFTeRs HoLiDaY eXPo: Shop for 

sanTa RHuMBa eXTRaVaGanZa: DJ Harley White  Jr., Rhythm Kings, Preoccupied Pipers  and more perform. Fundraiser for the  Front Street Animal Shelter.  5pm, $12-$15.   Harlow’s, 2708 J St.

scenes of the birth of Christ from the  comfort of your car, with hot chocolate or  spiced apple cider.  7pm, no cover.  Capitol  City Seventh-day Adventist Church, 6701  Lemon Hill Ave. holiday festival, with ice skating, carnival 

cRiMinaL Rock: With Cardboard Houses, 

In honor of Human Rights Day (December  10), Amnesty International encourages  people each year to write letters to help  free these “prisoners of conscience.”  Amnesty International Sacramento is hosting two local writing sessions, the second  from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, December 13 at the McClatchy branch of the  Sacramento Library. 1414 16th Street, www.

FLoBoTs: With Bang data.  8pm, $18-$20.  

5TH annuaL PasToReLa De sacRaMenTo: See 

Martini, featuring China Forbes.  8pm, $32-$87.  The Center for the Arts, Veterans  Memorial Auditorium, 255 S. Auburn Street  in in Grass Valley.

anDY Mckee: Guitarist.  7:30pm, $42-$62.  

Luna’s Cafe & JuiCe Bar, 2 p.m., no Cover

anuHea: With Paula Fuga, Mahi  9pm, $35-$40.  


Pink MaRTini: A holiday show with Pink 


WEDNESDAY, 12/13 Harlow’s, 2708 J St.

critically acclaimed vocal group performs  as part of Sac State’s Winter Jazz Festival,  a day-long festival in Capistrano Hall that  features local school and college groups.  8am, $10-$15.  Sac State Capistrano Hall,  6000 J St.

Stand up for human rights with Amnesty International.

snr c a le nd a r @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m

unique African-American Christmas and  Kwanzaa gifts, greeting cards, ornaments, 

caLenDaR LisTinGs conTinueD on PaGe 30

12.07.17    |   SN&R   |   29

See mOre eveNTS aNd SubmiT yOur OwN aT nEwSrEviEw.COm/SaCramEntO/CaLEndar

Saturday, 12/9


first festival launch party KnoCKdown StudioS, 2 p.m., $10

tHurSday, 12/7 fOreigN fall film SerieS: A screening of Persona, considered to be Swedish director Ingmar Bergman’s greatest work. 6:30pm, $6-$12. Crocker Art Museum, 216 O St.

Sacramento’s First Festival has become the little music festival that could. Gearing up for the fourth annual installment of First Fest scheduled muSic for May 2018, this weekend’s “micro festival” is the kickoff event, with talent PHOtO COurtESy OF iSabELLa agnEw like Eugene Ugly, Worthy Goat, Sparks Across Darkness and the Philharmonik. The family-friendly event will feature a giant coloring book wall, cornhole and the announcement of the 2018 First Festival headliner. 1814 D Street, firstfestsac.

Friday, 12/8 Old mOvie NigHT: Watch On the Waterfront, with complimentary popcorn and grilled cheese and coffee bar items for sale. 7pm, no cover. Shift Coffee, 1616 Del Paso Blvd.

Saturday, 12/9 THey call uS mONSTerS: A film that follows three juvenile inmates serving out life sentences in a Los Angeles prison and illustrates the power of art to transform lives. Donation-based event with money going to the Trauma Informed Jail Yoga Program. 4:30pm, donations accepted. The Yoga Seed Collective, 1400 E St., Suite B.

calendars and more. 10am, no cover. The Brick House Gallery, 2837 37th St.

tuESday, 12/12 aNNual TOrcH club cHriSTmaS parTy & beNefiT fOr lOaveS & fiSHeS: Music by singer/songwriter/guitarist William Mylar, and a drive for warm clothing like coats, jackets, gloves, scarves and socks for Loaves & Fishes. Food and drink specials will be available. 5pm, no cover. Torch Club, 904 15th St.

SacrameNTO premier HOliday eXpO: Purchase gifts and enjoy a live DJ, free food tastings, a fashion show and multicultural entertainment. 11am. $9-$13. Scottish Rite Masonic Center, 6151 H St.

SacrameNTO ZOO HOliday magic: Watch the animals receive special treats as staff share facts and answer questions. Meet the snow leopard, red panda and river otter, and shop at the Zoofari Market. Donate items like combs and brushes, new gloves or socks and toiletries for the zoo’s holiday drive for Loaves & Fishes to receive $1 off admission. 10am, $22-$26. Sacramento Zoo, 3930 W Land Park Dr.

FOOd & drinK tHurSday, 12/7 SlOppy mOOSe year eNd parTy: Mark the end of the 2017 Sloppy Moose Running Club season with an optional run, a raffle and a food and clothing drive to benefit the Sacramento Food Bank. 6:30pm, no cover. New Helvetia Brewing Co., 1730 Broadway.

TraSH film Orgy HO HO a gO gO 2: The sexy, trashy party for everyone sick of awkward holiday parties. Trash elves make pornaments, King Kogar DJs and photos with Big, Gay Santa and his sexy elves will be available. 9pm. $5. The Hideaway Bar & Grill, 2565 Franklin Blvd.

wiNTer wONderlaNd: A family event with holiday-themed hands-on activities, strolling Victorian carolers, photos with Santa and a flurry of “snow” falling each night at 7pm. 1pm, $7. Fairytale Town, 3901 Land Park Dr.

Sunday, 12/10 5TH aNNual paSTOrela de SacrameNTO: See

event highlight on page 31. 1:30pm, $5-$15. Guild Theater, 2828 35th St.

wiNe & paiNT NigHT: A paint night with materials provided and a glass of wine included with ticket. 7pm, $40. Shift Coffee, 1616 Del Paso Blvd.

Saturday, 12/9 diNNer aNd a drag SHOw: A cabaret-style performance from the Sacramento Drag Queens, with a special dinner menu. Tickets to the show only are available, and the regular menu items are also served. 8pm, $5-$20. Capitol Garage, 1500 K St.

Sunday, 12/10 JaNe auSTeN birTHday Tea: Celebrate the English writer’s birthday with tea, music, dancing, a guest speaker and more. 1:30pm, $40. Tsakopoulos Library Galleria, 828 I St.

cHaNuKaH wONderlaNd: Enjoy games for all ages, music, delicious hot latkes, authentic Israeli food court and a Chanukah gift shop. Unlimited game and craft passes are available for $15. 2pm, no cover. Folsom Community Center, 52 Natoma St.

tuESday, 12/12 TaSTe Of HiSTOry-THe SacrameNTO meXicaN barriO: A lesson in the history of Mexican

wiNTer wONderlaNd: See event listing for 12/9. 1pm, $7. Fairytale Town, 3901 Land Park Dr.






food in Sacramento, along with dinner served by five-star Cielito Lindo. 6pm, $25$40. Sacramento Medical Society Building, 5380 Elvas Ave.

luNa’S cafe & Juice bar: Occupational Hazards. Sacramento comedians discuss the hilarious aspects of their day jobs as a teacher, a mortician, a hair dresser and a sales rep. 7pm wednesday, 12/13. No cover. 1414 16th St.

mOmO lOuNge: Comedy Burger. Ngaio Bealum’s monthly comedy show, with sharpwitted observational humor and weed comedy. 7pm. Sunday, 12/10. $25. 2708 J St.

puNcH liNe: Joey Diaz. Through 12/9. $25. 2100 Arden Way, Suite 225.

SacrameNTO cOmedy SpOT: Anti-Cooperation League 10 Year Anniversary Show. See event highlight on page 31. 9pm Saturday, 12/9. $12. 1050 20th Street Suite 130.

TOmmy T’S cOmedy club: Comedian Darren Carter. Stand-up comedian keen on impersonations, including a take on Snoop Dogg so popular, he’s performed it at the rapper’s family reunion. Through 12/9. $20$30. 12401 Folsom Blvd. in Rancho Cordova.

COmEdy b STreeT THeaTre: You Better Bet You Bet. A

caleNdar liSTiNgS cONTiNued frOm page 29

women and motherhood. 8pm Thursday, 12/7. $10. 1207 Front St.

new game show hosted by Quizmaster Jack Gallagher, where every audience member could be a contestant. Through 12/10. $10. 2711 B St.

cOmedy SpOT: Comedy Exchange. A blend of stand-up and improv, with standup comedians performing 5-minute sets, followed by a cast of improvisers performing scenes based on the comedian’s stories. 8pm. Through 1/11. $8.50. 1050 20th St., Suite 130.

creST THeaTre: Christopher Titus. California comedian known for his television show Titus comes to Sac. 8pm Saturday, 12/9. $25-$45. 1013 K St.

laugHS uNlimiTed cOmedy club: Sac Girls Rock 2017. Music, poetry, motivational speakers and clean comedy in celebration of

On StagE

musical shows the rise and fall and rise again of a duo of murderous women. Through 12/9. $5-$15. 8401 Center Parkway.

SacrameNTO cOmmuNiTy ceNTer THeaTer: The Nutcracker. See event highlight below. Through 12/23. $25-$89. 1301 L Street.

SacrameNTO THeaTre cOmpaNy: A Christmas Carol. Returning after a five-year hiatus, this adaptation of the classic Dickens novel shows Scrooge’s greed-filled past, his void of forgiveness and his fate if he doesn’t change his ways. Through 12/24. $20$40. 1419 H St.

SuTTer STreeT THeaTre: Holiday in the Hills. The 12th year of the popular holiday musical will be filled with skits, music and dance, in a unique story that takes place in Folsom during the 19th century. Through 12/23. $15$23. Madeline’s Christmas. The Madeline book series comes alive in this musical set in the Paris girls’ school. Through 12/30. $13-$17. 717 Sutter St. in Folsom.

wOOdlaNd Opera HOuSe: It’s a Wonderful Life. The quintessential Christmas tale follows the saga of George Bailey, who finds himself in serious trouble on Christmas Eve. Through 12/17. $7-$25. 560 Main St. in Woodland.

big idea THeaTre: Silent Sky. A show celebrating women, their impact on history and the power of friendship. Through 12/16. $12-$22. 1616 Del Paso Blvd.

capiTal STage: Miss Bennet Christmas at Pemberley. A sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice shows Mary Bennet growing tired of her role as a dutiful middle sister in the face of her siblings’ romantic escapades. Through 12/30. $33-$42. 2215 J St.

cHauTauQua playHOuSe: Christmas with Little Women. A show adapted from the novel by Louisa May Alcott, with Jo, Meg, Beth, Amy and the other characters readers love. Through 12/16. $8. 5325 Engle Road in Carmichael.

cOSumNeS river cOllege’S THeaTre deparTmeNT: Chicago. The hit Broadway

art arTHOuSe ON r: Big Show of Small Treasures. The main gallery is filled with small works, with visiting galleries including Sparrow Gallery, E Street and DaDas Art Gallery. Opening reception at 6pm Saturday, 12/9. Through 1/8. No cover. 1021 R St.

auTONOmOuS lOve: Blotter Art Show and Psychedelia. New releases by Portland artist Gary Houston and 2017 releases by other artists. Live Music by Bay Area based band the Rebobs. 6pm Saturday, 12/9. 2419 J St.

c.N. gOrmaN muSeum aT uc daviS: Recent Acquisitions from the Northwest Coast. An exhibition of recently acquired and promised works from the Pacific Northwest Coast,

Saturday, 12/9

The Nutcracker Community Center theatre, 2 p.m., 7 p.m., $25-$89

Let Sacramento Ballet whisk you away into the world of The Nutcracker, the ballet that follows Clara on her Christmas Eve adventure. In Ron Cunningham’s production, colorful characters like the Mouse King and ON STage Sugar Plum Fairy light up the stage, filling audiences of all ages with delight. Performances will be held weekends through December 23, with the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera playing live orchestra music during select performances. Bring your whole family out to enjoy this Sacramento holiday tradition. 1301 L Street, www.


THURSDAY, 12/7 La Pastorela de Sacramento Guild theater, 7:30 p.m., $5-$15

It’s a new take on an old Christmas tradition: the Mexican custom of pastorelas, or plays that tell the Biblical story of the four shepherds’ jourHOLIDAYS ney to Bethlehem. This modern retelling is set in modern-day Sacramento, where the shepherds become a developer in Oak Park, a veteran, a homeless student and a former actress who all try to help a homeless family find shelter. The bilingual musical covers themes reflecting the challenging realities of today. Shows will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, 12/7 through Saturday, 12/9, and at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, 12/10. 2828 35th Street,

BADLANDS CUSTOMER APPRECIATION DAY HOLIDAY PARTY: Enjoy complimentary drinks and snacks, take photos with sexy Santa and his elves and enjoy Outword Magazine’s Liquid Happy Hour. Bring a toy to donate to Outword Magazine’s Toy Drive. 6pm, no cover. Badlands, 2003 K St.




Sacramento LGBT Community Center for a holiday dinner that is welcome to all LGBTQ youth ages 13-23. Youth are welcome to invite their friends, family and supporters or come alone. RSVP online for food prep. 5pm, no cover. The Sacramento LGBT Community Center, 1927 L St.

event highlight on page 29. 5pm, no cover. McClatchy Branch of Sacramento Public Library, 2112 22nd St.


SUNDAY, 12/10

FRIDAY, 12/8

PANSEXUAL PANCAKE BREAKFAST: Are you curated from several private collections. Artworks are in a wide range of media representing 24 artists. Through 12/8. No cover. 1316 Hart Hall, 1 Shields Ave. in Davis.

CALIFORNIA MUSEUM: Beauty and the Beast: California Wildflowers and Climate Change. Photographers Rob Badger and Nita Winter show the effects of changing weather patterns on a universal symbol of beauty: the wildflower. Through 1/28. $9. 1020 O St.

CROCKER ART MUSEUM: Exuberant Earth: Ceramics by Ruth Rippon. Works from the career of Ruth Rippon, a longtime ceramicist and professor at Sac State. Read about her life and art in a story on page 21. Through 2/4. 2419 J St.

MAIDU MUSEUM & HISTORIC SITE: Voice Exhibit. An exhibit highlighting the work of indigenous women artists. Through 12/23. $2-$5. 216 O St.

MILLS STATION ARTS AND CULTURE CENTER (MACC): Holiday Pop-up Art Gallery. Seventeen artists showing and selling their art, with daily art demos, refreshments and live music. Through 12/10. No cover. 0191 Mills Station Road at Mather Field Light Rail Station in Rancho Cordova.

PENCE GALLERY: Kurt Fishback: Portraits of Women Artists. Photographs of 71 emerging, mid-career and established artists in their California studios. Opening reception at 6pm Friday, 12/8. An artist panel on women and art will be held at 2pm Sunday, 12/10. Through 1/14. No cover. 212 D St. in Davis.

ROBERT ELSE GALLERY—SACRAMENTO STATE: The Legacy of Ruth Rippon. Works by ceramicist and former professor Ruth Rippon’s students, including Terry Accamando, Eric Dahlin, Tony Natsoulas and Yoshio Taylor. Opening reception at 5pm Thursday, 12/7. Through 12/15. No cover. Kadema Hall, 6000 J St.

SACRAMENTO POETRY CENTER: Gone Wild. A wildlife-themed art show that will benefit the Wildlife Care Association (WCA) and Education Center. Opening reception Saturday, 12/9. 5:00pm. Through 1/2. 1719 25th St.

SIERRA 2 CENTER, CURTIS HALL: ArtFest 2017. Shop from paintings, sculptures, ceramic art and more from Sacramento-area artists, all for sale for $100 or less. Explore art workshops and enjoy champagne and cake pops. Benefit for Soroptimist International of Metropolitan Sacramento. 7pm Friday, 12/8. $10. 2791 24th St.

ALL AGES BLACKTOP COMEDY: Squeaky Clean Family Friendly Comedy. An improv show with humor appropriate for all ages. 4pm Sunday, 12/10. $5. 3101 Sunset Blvd., Suitte 6A in Rocklin.

CAL EXPO: Dinosaur Time Trek Shark Edition. Have close-up encounters with life-like dinosaur skeletons, test your knowledge in a live-action family game show and jump into the world of dinos. Through 12/10. $16$36. 1600 Exposition Blvd.

LITM DANCE CENTER: Kid’s Hip Hop Class. A dance class for kids ages 4 to 9 that is modified for any level. Parents welcome. 10am Saturday, 12/9. Call for cover. 2929 West Capitol Ave. in West Sacramento.

MCKINLEY LIBRARY: Holiday Party with Mike Della Penna’s Winter Magic Show. A holiday celebration with cookies and drinks, followed by a funny, interactive magic show. Show ends with a visit with Santa. 10:30am Saturday, 12/9. No cover. 601 Alhambra Blvd.

SATURDAY, 12/9 HABITAT RESTORATION WORKDAY AT THE COSUMNES RIVER PRESERVE: Help restore the wild, beautiful spaces that serve as a significant habitat. Gloves, personal safety equipment and water in jugs will be provided. 9am, no cover. Cosumnes River Preserve Barn, 6500 Desmond Road in Galt.

TUESDAY, 12/12 RUN CREW: Meet up for a 3- to 4-mile run from the store to the Capitol. All ages and levels welcome. 6pm, no cover. Fleet Feet, 2311 J St.

LGBTQ FRIDAY, 12/8 MILK & COOKIES QUEER AUTHOR READING: Local queer authors sharing holiday readings and more over milk and cookies. 7pm, no cover. Lavender Library, 1414 21st St.

SACRAMENTO FINE ARTS CENTER: Art for Families. A budget- and family-friendly art class. Materials provided. 1pm, $5 donation accepted. Through 12/10. 5330b Gibbons Drive in Carmichael.

SOL COLLECTIVE: Kids Day. Hands-on and healthy activities like nature labs, healthy snack assembly stations, yoga for kids and slime-making. Special guest appearances from magicians. Kids day also host a gently used toy/clothing exchange each month. 2pm. Admission by donation. Sunday, 12/10. 2574 21st St.

SPORTS & OUTDOORS THURSDAY, 12/7 PRO WRESTLING TRIVIA NIGHT: Only the cream will rise to the top during this trivia night dedicated to pro wrestling. 8pm, no cover. Press Club, 2030 P St.

pansexual? Do you love pancakes? This event, every second Saturday, is for you. 11am, $5 donation. The Sacramento LGBT Community Center, 1927 L St.

TANGO CLASS: Weekly traditional tango class taught by Argentine native Michael Taillant. 7:30pm, $12-$70. The Firehouse 5, 2014 9th St.

MONDAY, 12/11


QUEER LEATHER ASSOCIATION—KINK CLASS: A monthly, second Monday kink class that covers various topics. 7pm, $5-$20 donation. Public House Theater, 5440 14th Ave.

HAPPY HOUR WINE & CHEESE: Combine sparkling wine and cheeses to inspire holiday gatherings. 4pm, $20. Community Learning Center & Cooking School, 2820 R St.

INTRO TO WOODSHOP: A safety and tool use

TAKE ACTION SATURDAY, 12/9 HOUSING 4 SACRAMENTO COMMUNITY MEETING: Join a neighborhood discussion about solutions to the high cost of rent. Workshops and trainings include housing education, accessibility, tenants rights and voting. 9:30am, no cover. Fruit Ridge Community Collaborative, 4625 44th St.

SUNDAY, 12/10

class designed to get you up to speed quickly. Learn to make accurate cuts using the table saw and miter saw, how to use the drill press and the safest methods for making cuts. 2pm, $40. Hacker Lab, 1715 I St.

WEDNESDAY, 12/13 TASTE TEST—DROP-IN IMPROV CLASS: Laugh, have fun and meet people while learning beginning-level improv skills through basic improv games. 7pm, $6. Comedy Spot Training Center, 915 T St.

WRITE FOR RIGHTS ON HUMAN RIGHTS DAY: See event highlight on page 29. 2pm, Free. Luna’s Cafe & Juice Bar, 1414 16th St.

PERFORMING ARTS CENTER AUDITORIUM AT SACRAMENTO CITY COLLEGE: Robin Hood in the Forest of Frogwarts A British Panto. Join Dame Ingrid, Robin’s colorful cook and her dog as they reveal Robin’s latest battles against the rotten sheriff. Through 12/10. $18. 3835 Freeport Blvd.

SACTENANTS BIMONTHLY MEETING: A meeting for people interested in organizing around housing as a human right, homelessness, rent control and gentrification. 6pm, no cover. Organize Sacramento, 1714 Broadway.



MONDAY, 12/11


Anti-Cooperation League—10th anniversary show Sacramento comedy Spot, 9 p.m., $12

You know you’ve made it when Sacramento Comedy Spot wants to make a joke out of your life. It’s COMEDY been a decade since the comedy club first dragged a local celeb on stage PHOTO COURTESY OF SACRAMENTO COMEDY SPOT for an interview. Since then, local journalists, podcasters, artists and others have had their lives picked apart by an improv team that crafts hilarious, on-the-fly skits inspired by the guests’ stories each week. Rebecca Habegger of ABC10 will be the guest for the anniversary show. 1020 20th Street,






thUrsday 12/7

Friday 12/8

satUrday 12/9

sUnday 12/10

Monday-wEdnEsday 12/11-13

The acousTic den cafe

Of the Heart, 6:30pm, no cover

Winter Student Showcase, 6:30pm, no cover

KTalon Band, 7pm, $5 (no cover for the first 10 people)

Hannah Jane Kile Student Recital, 2pm, no cover

Open-Mic Wednesday, 6:30pm, W, no cover


PopRockz ’90s Night, 8pm, no cover

Customer Appreciation Holiday Party and Toy Drive, 5pm, call for cover

Spectacular Saturdays, 6pm, call for cover

Sunday Tea Dance & Beer Bust, 4pm, no cover

Trapicana Wednesdays, 10pm, W, no cover; $2 Tuesdays, 9pm, T, no cover

A New Past, 9:30pm, no cover

Todd Morgan, 9:30pm, no cover

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

Hold the VIBES Reggae Night, 9pm, $5

Weltesser, 8pm, M, $10; The World Over, 8pm, T, call for cover

10271 Fairway driVE, rosEVillE, (916) 412-8739 2003 k st., (916) 448-8790

BaR 101

101 Main st., rosEVillE, (916) 774-0505

Blue lamp

Pressure Point, Tried & True and more, 8pm, $10

Victims Family, Joy Subtraction, Frack!, 8pm, $10-$12

The BoaRdwalk

An Acoustic Christmas Toy Drive, 8pm, $10 ($5 with toy donation)

Pat Travers, Arminius and more, 8:30pm, $20-$40

1400 alhaMbra blVd., (916) 455-3400 9426 GrEEnback ln., oranGEValE, (916) 358-9116

Photo coUrtEsy oF scarlEt PaGE

The Lumineers

The cenTeR foR The aRTs

Polyrhythmics, 8pm, $20-$23

counTRy cluB saloon

Ryan & Beighly, 8pm, no cover

White Christmas Party w/Cliff Huey & 27 Outlaws, 9pm, call for cover


Dragon Featuring Vickie Vo, 10pm, $10

Absolut Fridays, 9pm, call for cover

Decades, 7pm, call for cover

faTheR paddy’s iRish puBlic house

Watkins-Adams Trio, 6pm, no cover

The Beer Dawgs, 7pm, no cover

Mike Blanchard and the Californios, 7pm, no cover

fox & Goose

Irish Jam Session with Stepping Stone, 8pm, no cover

Hip Hop Helps Toy Drive Concert, 9pm, $10 or toy donation

Jenn Rogar, James Israel, Gillian Underwood, 9pm, $5

Golden 1 cenTeR

The Lumineers, Portugal. The Man and more, 7pm, $29.50

314 w. Main st., Grass VallEy, (530) 274-8384 4007 taylor road, looMis, (916) 652-4007

with Portugal. The Man 7pm Thursday, $29.50 Golden 1 Center Folk rock

2000 k st., (916) 448-7798 435 Main st., woodland, (530) 668-1044 1001 r st., (916) 443-8825 500 daVid J stErn walk, (888) 915-4647

Pink Martini, 8pm, $32-$87 (Veterans Memorial Auditorium location)

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Ja Rule and more, 7:30pm, $48.50-$75

Every Damnn Monday, 7pm, M, no cover; Purgatory, 9pm, W, no cover

All Vinyl Wednesdays with DJ AAKnuff, 8pm, W, no cover Raptors v. Kings, 12:30pm, $18-$200+

Suns v. Kings (Star Wars Game), 7pm, T, $12-$150+

halfTime BaR & GRill

Mullet Machine, 9pm, $5

The Mock Ups, 9pm, $5

The Outcome, Cover Me Badd, 9:30pm, $10

Heartless (Heart Tribute), 5:30pm, $12-$15

AJJ, Sneeze Attack, 6pm, $15-$17 (sold out)

Santa Rhumba Extravaganza, 5pm, T, $12-$15; Anuhea, 8pm, W, $35-$40

Trash Film Orgy Ho Ho A Go Go 2, 8pm, $5

Paint Party, 1pm, $45

Karaoke, 8pm, M, no cover; Cactus Pete, 8pm, T, no cover; 8pm, W, no cover

Flobots, Bang Data, 8pm, $18-$20

2708 J st., (916) 441-4693

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featuring China Forbes 8pm Saturday, $32-$87 The Center for the Arts Pop

1910 Q st., (916) 706-2465

On the Low with DJ Mez and Nina, 9pm, no cover

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Lil Yase, 7pm, $15-$30


Dylan Crawford, 9:30pm, no cover

1517 21st st.

1217 21st st., (916) 440-0401

Trivia Factory, 7pm, M, no cover; Tussle Dance Night 10pm, T, no cover

In Hearts Wake, Fit For a King and more, 6pm, $16-$18

Michale Graves (of Misfits), The Moans and more, 6:30pm, $12-$15

Adelitas Way, Joyous Wolf, Of Limbo, Knockout, 6:30pm, W, $13-$15

The Stummies, 9:30pm, no cover

Sactown Playboys, 9:30pm, no cover

COMING SOON 12/9 9:30PM $10ADV

12/7 8PM $18ADV



12/8 5:30PM $15ADV

12/10 6PM





12/8 9:30PM $10

12/12 5PM $12ADV


12/9 5:30PM $12ADV

12/13 8PM $35ADV





Let’s Get Quizzical Trivia Game Show, 7pm, T, no cover

Midtown Catalina Wine Mixer, 10pm, call for cover

2708 J Street Sacramento, CA 916.441.4693


Sunday Funday, 3pm, call for cover

Madison Hudson, 7:30pm, $5



Craft ’n’ Sip Class, 6pm, W, $35

Branded, 7pm, $5

5681 lonEtrEE blVd., rocklin, (916) 626-3600


Prime Movers: Dances of Source and Center, 2pm, $15-$18


1630 J st., (916) 476-5076


Slug Christ, Kill Gang and more, 8pm, T, $15

12/14 Jim “kimo” West and Ken Emerson 12/15 Voiice 12/17 Rat Pack Tribute 12/19 Shane Mauss 12/22 Lucid 12/22 Night Moves (Bob Seger Tribute) 12/27 Con Brio 12/28 ZuhG 12/29-30 The Mother Hips 12/31 Mustache Harbor 1/05 Joy & Madness 1/13 Irishpalooza 1/13 Suzanne Santo 1/14 Mod Sun 1/20 Flesheaters 1/23 Mild High Club 1/26 W. Kamau Bell 1/30 Howard Jones (sold Out) 2/03 New Kingston 2/9-10 Tainted Love 2/15 The Main Squeeze 2/20 The Blaster

Kupros Quiz, 7:30pm, no cover

2708 J Street

12/10 6:30PM $10







For booking inquiries, email

Open-Mic Night, 8pm, T, no cover; Ross Hammond, 7:30pm, W, no cover

SuBMiT your calendar liSTingS for free aT newSreview.coM/SacraMenTo/calendar Luna’s Cafe & JuiCe Bar 1414 16TH ST., (916) 737-5770




SUNDAY 12/10


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

Cloud Hats, Martin Purtill, Jason Weeks, 7pm, $5

Sac City Groove, 8pm, $7

Write for Rights, 2pm, no cover

Ross Hammond, 7:30pm, M, $10; OpenMic Comedy, 7:30pm, T, no cover

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Comedy Burger with Ngaio Bealum, 6:30pm, $10-$25

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Battle of the Capitol Bands Benefit Show, 6pm, $20

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Open-Mic Comedy, 8pm, no cover

Nova Sutro, Diversity of One, Ivywood, 9pm, call for cover

Death Valley Gypsies, the Eyesores, Dying Breed, 8pm, $10

PaLms PLaYHouse

Jim Hurst Trio, 8pm, $16-$20

Golden Bough, 8pm, $16-$20

Wayne “The Train” Hancock, 8pm, $16-$20

Fleetwood Mask, 10pm, $10

Bad Santa Bash with Take Out, 10pm, $10

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Pro Wrestling Trivia Night, 8pm, call for cover

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Country Thunder Thursdays, 9pm, no cover-$5

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Johnny Mojo Trio, 9pm, $6

YoLo Brewing Co.

1520 TERMINAL ST., (916) 379-7585

Heath Williamson and Friends, 5:30pm, M, no cover; Open-Mic, 8pm, W, no cover Open 8-Ball Pool Tournament, 7:30pm, $5 buy-in

Tuesday Night Karaoke, 9pm, T, no cover; Movie Night, 6pm, W, no cover


Reggae Night with DJ Tweet, 9pm, T, no cover Golden Cadillacs, 9pm, no cover

Zo Relli, 9pm, no cover

DJ Mez, 10pm, no cover before 11pm

Myty Myke, 10pm, no cover before 10:30pm, $5 after

Free Bull Rides, 9pm, call for cover

Free Bull Rides, 9pm, call for cover

Sunday Funday, 8pm, no cover before 10pm, $2-$10 after

Amador Sons, 6pm, no cover

Live Music, 5pm, no cover

Amador Sons, 1pm, no cover

Mike Eldred Trio, 9pm, $8

Dennis Jones, 9pm, $10

You Front the Band Karaoke, 8pm, no cover

Julie and the Jukes, 6pm, no cover

According to Bazooka & Holiday Vendor Event, 1pm, no cover

Working Man Blues, 2pm, no cover

Ben Sollee with Kentucky Native 7:30pm Saturday, $15 City of Davis Veterans Memorial Theatre Folk/soul

Ross Hammond, 9pm, no cover

College Wednesdays, 9pm, W, call for cover

Bill Mylar, 5:30pm, T, call for cover; Paintbox, 9pm, W, $5

all ages, all the time aCe of sPades

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Intocable, 7pm, $49.50

Louis the Child, 7pm, $29.95 (sold out)

Cafe CoLoniaL

sauCed BBQ & sPirits 1028 7TH ST., (916) 400-4341 1400 E ST., (916) 551-1400

Live Jazz, 8pm, no cover

Juliet Company and more, 8pm, $8


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Decent Criminal, Self Care and more, 8pm, call for cover

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Jhene Aiko, Kodie Shane and more, 7pm, M, sold out

RJ, 7pm, $22-$25

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Beer, Bourbon, Bingo Wednesdays, 6:30pm, W, no cover

Dirty Cello, Proxy Moon, 8pm, call for cover

Questionable Trivia, 8pm, T, no cover

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SN&R’s Sacramento Area Music Awards Show (SAMMIES) celebrates the best in local music by recognizing emerging and popular Sacramento bands and solo performers that illuminate the region’s vibrant music and art scene. The SAMMIES has helped launch and develop national break-out artists such as Tesla, Cake, Deftones, Oleander and Autumn Sky. Sponsorship opportunities are available now so that you, too, can be part of the celebration happening on March 15, 2018 at Ace of Spades in Sacramento.

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Can I trust him? My boyfriend is super friendly and loves to talk to people. He also has female friends and enjoys going out for coffee or lunch with them. He insists this is all completely innocent but I feel threatened and that his behavior is flirtatious on some level. I can’t shake the fear that he will cheat on me. I know it comes from my father, who cheated on my mother with other women and even had an alternative secret sex life with men. My boyfriend’s personality is like my dad’s, although the variable is the intention. My boyfriend says he has good intentions when he engages with women. My father didn’t. Is it better to stay in the relationship with my boyfriend and keep putting my negative energy and accusations out into the world? Or is it better to end the relationship and work on myself?

reenact childhood pain. You’re hoping for a different outcome. A happier ending is only possible when you change. But stress results when you try to control your boyfriend’s gregarious personality. Let yourself fully embody the beauty of being an adult in the present time. Doing so will put your negative energy to rest for good. Your father’s outgoing personality may have meant he needed to be the center of attention in his life. This is your life. Center stage is available to you, whenever you are ready to step into the light. Choosing to stand in your adulthood will also give you the power to maturely determine what concerns about your man are legit versus residue from your mother’s relationship with your father, and his relationship with you. So don’t ditch your You’re haunted boyfriend to work on It would be best to by the trauma you yourself. Be grateful stop living in the endured as a witness that you are in a relapast. You’re haunted tionship that permits by the trauma you to the disintegration you space to heal old endured as a witness of your parent’s wounds, to see that you to the disintegration of marriage. are no longer a child, your parent’s marriage. and to transmute negative Growing up, you learned energy of the past into a to protect your heart by golden peace for now. Ω sleuthing out evidence. You became skilled at finding proof of moments where healthy boundaries could blur into infidelity. Like an overused MedItatIOn Of tHe Week muscle, this hypervigilance has weakened your overall spiritual health because “Blocked creatives are the  you’ve stopped trusting yourself. Cinderellas of the world.  Did you believe the primary issue Focused on others at the  was that you didn’t trust others? That’s a expense of ourselves, we may  common relationship fear, but it’s supereven be threatened by the idea  ficial. Dig deeper and another answer of spoiling ourselves for once,”  appears, the one we hide from ourselves. writes Julia Cameron in The  We only trust others when we trust Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path  ourselves. Self-trust fails when we’ve to Higher Creativity. Are you  developed a habit of lying to ourselves. ready to have a ball? Radical honesty heals. Start here: Your boyfriend and your father are not the same person. Say this out loud to yourself Write, email or leave a message for every time your mind argues otherwise. Joey at the News & Review. Give Yes, both men are outgoing and that your name, telephone number (for verification purposes only) and question—all appears to be a quality you admire and correspondence will be kept strictly confidential. want to develop. Yet, in the face of your man’s social confidence, you shrink. Stop Write Joey, 1124 Del Paso Boulevard, Sacramento, CA making yourself small. You’re shrinking 95815; call (916) 498-1234, ext. 1360; or email back into the shell of your history to

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High! I am planning on attending the Emerald Cup this year. Any tips?

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

text weed to 42828

—Dorothy N. Toto This year’s Emerald Cup is gonna be a blast! Besides the great music (the music venue is kinda small, so be sure you are in the right spot to catch your fave bands) and good grub (food truck heaven!), there will be more than 500 different vendors, from growers to glassblowers. Not to mention all the I don’t think speakers (see a list at https://the the feds are and general merrireally worried about ment. Everyone should go at least once, and I am not just saying that because you giving your I have been a judge for the past three homies some candy years and the emcee for the past five or bars. six. Here is my advice: Wear comfortable shoes. Bring your rec! If you do not have your rec, you will not be able to enter the medical vendors pavilion. They are very strict about this. They have a doctor doing on-site recs, but the line for that is longer and moves slower than all seven seasons of Game of Thrones. Stay hydrated. Be careful with the edibles and the edible samples. Those little 5 miligram chocolates, mints and hard candies will sneak up on you after you have had seven or eight, or twelve. Wear layers. It is almost always cold outside, but the music hall gets pretty warm. Bring money. You are gonna want to buy a gram of this, an eighth of that, maybe a packet of seeds, and “ooh look, this necklace is hella cool!” The Emerald Cup is a great place to do the holiday shopping. Treat everyone with respect and patience, and have fun. Ω

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—Figg E. Pudding According to Proposition 64, any adult (meaning over the age of 21) is allowed to give any other adult up to an ounce of marijuana, so my answer is: Of course you can! I mean: IANAL (that’s internet shorthand for “I am not a lawyer”), so I called my lawyer. Omar Figueroa. He’s fantastic. He agreed that if you legally purchased some goodies and gave them away, you aren’t breaking California law. You are breaking a federal law, but I don’t think the feds are really worried about you giving your homies some candy bars. However, don’t tell the dispensary that you plan to share your goodies with folks that aren’t cannabis patients; “diversion” of medical cannabis to non-patients is illegal, so the dispensary doesn’t need to know about you taking advantage of this loophole. Weed is gonna be legal in like a month, and anyone over the age of 21 will be able to walk into a shop and buy some edibles, so just be cool about your outlaw lifestyle until then, okay? Enjoy your holidaze!

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Sunday | 916.292.8120 @ Zen_Garden916 follow us open 10am-9pm 7 days a week 12.07.17    |   SN&R   |   41









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Photo by anne stokes

Four County Farms Sherbet flower



The Scoop on SherbeT



Four County Farms Sherbet


n one of the myriad ways that I was a strange kid, my ice cream preferences always ran toward sherbets and sorbets rather than the oppressive vanilla-chocolate oligarchy. The most desirable treat imaginable was a giant scoop of rainbow sherbet, because it combined many sherbets into one all-powerful sherbet, much like the Transformers and Gobots that I could have cared less about (like I said, strange kid). Meanwhile, the Sherbet strain of cannabis combines the Pink Panties and Girl Scout Cookies strains into one delicious indica-dominant hybrid. A sister of the Sunset Sherbet strain, Sherbet is known for its creamy and cookie-like flavors, as well as the ability to provide pain numbing, stress relieving and mood uplifting effects with lower risks of adverse reaction. The Sherbet strain grown in California by Four County Farms and distributed

through Sacramento-area delivery service Herbish comes colored light green with light brown pistils, with a sweet smell of fruits and cream. Each hit offers a flavor excursion, starting creamy and sweet, growing piney and nutty on the tongue, and morphing into dank candy on the exhale, with a slightly grassy aftertaste.




It’s like a smoke-able version of that giant scoop of rainbow sherbet, delicious and comforting. It’s like a smoke-able version of that giant scoop of rainbow sherbet, delicious and comforting and comprised of the best of the best, but the effects of the Four County Farms Sherbet strain are as compelling as the smell and taste. In classic fashion, their Sherbet offers tensionmelting relief with low doses of anxiety and sedation. Just make sure you stock up on ice cream first.

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FRee will aStRology

by Joey Garcia

by rob brezsny

FOR THE WEEk OF DECEMBER 7, 2017 ARIES (March 21-April 19): You may get richer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On-air charm Charmaine Bassett is the Sacramento-based radio personality best known as “Lady Charmaine.” She hosts  her own internet radio show and  “Lady Charmaine Live” on KDEE 97.5  FM, a station owned and operated  by the California Black Chamber of  Commerce. Bassett is featured on  other KDEE shows including “Hot  Topics with Lady Charmaine,” a fun  mix of celebrity interviews, Hollywood gossip and personal opinion.  On occasion, “Hot Topics” rolls into  Laughs Unlimited in Old Sacramento  and the Double Nickel in Elk Grove.  Lady Charmaine is married with  three children ages 18, 15 and 3.  She got the radio bug at her college  radio station. She didn’t graduate,  but has paid her dues, often working  unpaid over the years to polish her  on-air skills. Now as Lady Charmaine, she enjoys a robust following  in the greater Sacramento area and  beyond.

Your husband joked on one of your shows that when he met you, you were Charmaine from Richmond, Calif. How did you become Lady Charmaine? I used to always say that “Every girl can be a woman, but not every woman can be a lady.” So that’s where the name Lady Charmaine comes from. I took on that name when I was 20 years old. I started a little company called “Lady Charmaine Cosmetics.” When I met my husband [at church] I used to wear long, A-line dresses, hats and carry a little parasol. My husband tells people that when he first saw me at work he said to himself, “Wow! That’s a lady.” [She glances down at her sparkling T-shirt and nice jeans and laughs.] But after kids, you know, things change.

What denomination? Nondenominational Christian. Denominations separate and divide the church the same way as if someone said are you black or are you white or are you Mexican. I’m a human being! We’re all children of God. We’re all in the same family.

What inspired you to start an internet radio station in 2011? I was leaving work, walking to my car and heard a voice say, “Start your own internet radio station.” I went online to find out how to start and what equipment to buy. There wasn’t much information available. There is now, but there wasn’t then. I spent many days and nights trying to figure it out.

PHOTO by leTrice fOwler

You’re known for reporting celebrity gossip—on “Hot Topics”—but your show covers a lot of other ground. We talk about relationships a lot—femalefemale friendships, marriage, in-law and outlaw relationships (because some in-laws are difficult, so they’re outlaws). We just did a show on, “How do you tell somebody you don’t like their food?” Some people make a “what is it?” dish. You know, you look at it and you don’t know what it is. You taste it and you’re like, “no.”

Any shows you’re especially proud of? We did a show talking about domestic violence. A woman called and said, “You don’t know what you’re doing.” I felt so bad. I started to cry because I do radio to help people. Then she said, “You don’t know what you’re doing. You’re changing people’s lives.” She told us that her friend was in an abusive relationship and had been listening to the show. Her friend turned to her boyfriend and said, “I can’t do this anymore.” She called the moving van and left the same day. The friend called to tell us the story because the boyfriend took the girl’s phone. So she listened to my show on Monday and by Saturday she was living in Texas with her Dad.

That’s amazing. How did you feel? I had been planning to shut down my radio show. I was going to give it up. I was crying so much, wondering, “Is this show helping anyone?” It’s hard work to put a show together. I needed a sign from God that I was doing what I should be doing. That phone call was an arrow letting me know I was going in the right direction.

You’ve also been on the Tyra Banks Show? Yes! I wanted to take my mom to a TV show taping so I took her to the Tyra Banks Show.

My mom and I were waiting in the audience holding area and I was just being me, talking to the people around me. I saw these two people a few feet away staring at me. They asked to talk to me and said, “We’ve been watching you. We’ve noticed that when you talk people gravitate toward you. Would you like to be on the show?”

So you were an audience member, and then plucked from the crowd to appear on the show? Yes. The same thing happened on Steve Harvey. I went to watch his first show and was picked by the producers to be a contestant for a game on his show. I was also on The Talk.

The Talk on CBS? Were you a guest? I was on the show twice as a social-media [expert]. The producers found me on Facebook and I was on Skype with The Talk to talk about celebrities in the news.

You have a knack for being in the right place at the right time. I also auditioned to replace Kathie Lee. I was in the Top 10 out of 10,000 people.

What’s next for you? I want to be a private investigator. I love that stuff. When I’m watching a show with my husband, I always figure out who did it before anyone else does. I’ll tell him and he’ll say, “Don’t ruin it for me!” I got a good gut. I’ll be trying to find evidence so I can say, “I know you did it!” It’ll be my side hustle. Lady Charmaine, P.I. Ω

lady charmaine drops a new internet show on wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. “lady charmaine live” and “Hot Topics” air on KDee 97.5 fM.

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