Page 1

Free By Steph Rodri guez



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Sacramento’S newS & entertainment weekly



Volume 29, iSSue 43


thurSday, february

8, 2018


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4   |   SN&R   |   02.08.18

“... GroWinG up!�

asked at arden Fair mall:

What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?

Paige Hamidi student

I think the scariest thing I’ve ever done was sneak a guy into a house when my parents were like, next to me in the room. And you know what happened after that.

deja Hemingway server

The scariest thing I’ve ever done was sneak weed on the plane. I can’t tell you my secrets. ‌ It was just an eighth.

erik esPinoza student

Probably, scariest thing that ever happened to me was one time I got jumped. I was just walking on the street and all the sudden these people came around me and jumped me. It was pretty scary. Nobody was around.

edie groesbeck

nicole cowans

Peter artieda



I’ve gone down the American River in a raft, whitewater, and we did the Witches Peak, and that’s where we got into trouble. ‌ We hit the big boulder rock, and the two people in front of me were tossed out and then I came out. So I was floating down that river by myself—that was scary.


I’m not sure if it was scary, because I’m a big adrenaline junkie, but probably skydiving. That was actually in Las Vegas. That and bungee jumping.

The scariest thing I’ve ever done was growing up! It was quite an arduous, long process for me. I was very irresponsible, immature for a long time and when I finally did grow up, it’s tough to look in the mirror and face all the things I did in the past and rectify them.

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building a

HealtHy S a c r a m e n t o

General Plans Will Include Provisions to Promote equity by E d g a r s a n C h E z Every so often, Sacramento city and county amend their respective general plans – the guidelines for future development. This year, both will do so again – but with a new twist. For the first time, the city and county will craft an environmental justice (EJ) component for their general plans in order to comply with Senate Bill 1000, elements of which went into effect on Jan. 1. It requires that every California jurisdiction revising more than two elements of its general plan must: • Identify its disadvantaged communities, which often bear environmental inequities; • Create policies to reduce health risks in those communities, through such steps as improving air quality, and promoting food access, healthier homes, and physical activity, and; • Provide equitable access to all residents during the public decision-making process. This means underserved and marginalized voices will be heard, not ignored, at public hearings. Recognizing EJ’s power, The California Endowment supports increased input by the underprivileged in the updates. It recently hired Jackie Cole, an environmental justice consultant, to educate Sacramentans about SB 1000 so they can pursue EJ for their neighborhoods. Cole is the principal of Valenzuela Garcia Consulting, soon to become Veritable Good Consulting.

“Environmental justice means we have to make sure all community members have a voice that’s strong enough to be heard by decision makers,” Cole said recently. “It’s our turn to shape how our communities are going to change.” Cole and California Environmental Justice Alliance will host the first of 10 public workshops on Feb. 17. Guests will learn SB 1000’s requirements and its opportunities, and be better prepared to speak at the city/county public meetings, if they choose to.

“EnvironmEntal justicE mEans wE havE to makE surE all community mEmbErs havE a voicE that’s strong Enough to bE hEard by dEcision makErs.” Jackie Cole Environmental Justice Consultant

Officials from both jurisdictions have welcomed Cole’s efforts. “We need (the) collaboration and local knowledge of residents in our EJ communities,” said John T. Lundgren, a senior planner in Sacramento County’s Office of Planning and Environmental Review. The county is preparing a new EJ element for inclusion in its general plan, which hasn’t undergone a full update since 2011. Four EJ communities have been identified within the county’s unincorporated area: North Highlands/ Foothill Farms, North Vineyard, South Sacramento, and West Arden-Arcade. The EJ element will be added in two phases and is

Better transportation, housing and food access are top priorities for marginalized local communities, says Jackie Cole, environmental justice consultant. Photo by Edgar Sanchez

expected to be completed next year. The City of Sacramento plans to include EJ as part of its two-year general plan update process, which will begin in mid-2018, said Remi Mendoza, an associate planner with the city’s Community Development Department. The plan hasn’t been updated since 2015.

The first of 10 workshops titled “SB 1000: Planning for Environmental Justice” will be held at 1 p.m. Feb. 17 at Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services, 3333 Third Ave., Sacramento.

your zIP code shouldn’t predict how long you’ll live – but it does. Staying healthy requires much more than doctors and diets. Every day, our surroundings and activities affect how long – and how well – we’ll live. Health Happens in neighborhoods. Health Happens in Schools. Health Happens with Prevention.

paid with a grant from the california endowment 6   |   SN&R   |   02.08.18

BuIldIng HEalTHy COmmunITIES In 2010, The California Endowment launched a 10-year, $1 billion plan to improve the health of 14 challenged communities across the state. Over the 10 years, residents, communitybased organizations and public institutions will work together to address the socioeconomic and environmental challenges contributing to the poor health of their communities.

For updates on sb 1000 workshops, e-mail

Email lEttErs to

Death and compassion Re “A day on the death panel” by Raheem F. Hosseini (News, February 1): Excellent article, very well researched and written. Perhaps more importantly, I can feel the compassion and empathy the author is writing to convey.

lee A. elvgren modesto v i a n ew s r e v i e w . c o m

Give homeless a place to go Re “The tent collectors” by Raheem F. Hosseini (News, January 18): I have worked as a retailer in downtown Sacramento for the past 15 years. Upon reading this article, one quote from Mayor Steinberg struck a chord with

me. When he said, “I don’t think we should hassle homeless people who aren’t bothering anyone, and I don’t believe that we are,” I was confused and offended. The homeless situation is a huge bother to every person in the downtown area. There isn’t a day that goes by when I am not greeted by the stench and sheer disgust of human waste in the alleyway behind our business

as I walk 20 feet from my garage to the back door. Sometimes it makes its way to the front of the store on the sidewalks of J Street. I understand the cause for concern with the lack of restrooms in the downtown area, especially with the recent closing of a public restroom behind the old Café Solei in Cesar Chavez Park. I was recently in Santa Monica and was impressed with the cleanliness of the city in comparison to Sacramento even though they had a visible homeless population. A major difference was the presence of public restrooms on every other block along the popular Palisades Park. Our city is drowning in a sea of trash left from homeless people who have no pride or respect for Sacramento, and Mayor Steinberg has the nerve to say they don’t bother anyone? AdAm AnApolsky s a c ra m e nt o v i a ne w s re v i e w . c o m

Give homeless a place to put trash Re “Shelter ahead?” by Scott Thomas Anderson (News, February 1): My goodness, what this city is up against—can’t even get a few dumpsters together without making excuses! And Steinberg is supposed to be a master politician? kAren solberg s a c r a me nto v i a ne w sr e v ie w.c o m

Lies of a lying liar Charles M. Blow wrote back in September: “Once again, Donald Trump is a liar … Before Trump’s bigotry, race-baiting, misogyny, corruption, bullying and vindictiveness, there is lying.” Anyone who still expects a hidden inner statesman to emerge from the bombastic, crude, talkative Trump is harboring illusions.

“Chaotic, incurious, infantile, grandiose, and obsessed with gaudy real estate, Donald Trump is of a moronic temperament. He has always craved attention. Now the whole world is his audience.” Trump’s digital proclamations come by way of Twitter so that no outside mediation is possible. Can you keep up with, much less respond to, all of this guy’s scandals, bungles, blame-shifting, name-calling and missteps; his sundry acts of mendacity, misanthropy, perversity and idiocy. I guess the Republican base can because they continue to love this work-in-progress who has set new standards of laziness, short workdays, hours of television and endless golf.

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

@SacNewsReview SacNewsReview


ron lowe

ne v a d a City v ia sa c to le tte r wsr e v ie w.c o m






Curtis Pearl waits in the common kitchen of his apartment building, which is still torn apart from construction, on the day of his eviction. Photo by Karlos rene ayala

Land of corporate landlords Wall Street, distant companies get pubic dollars  while dominating Sac’s rental market by Scott thomaS anderSon

Under the brim of a cowboy hat, Curtis Pearl glances down 11th Street from the doorway of the Pensione K Apartments in downtown Sacramento. It’s Monday, February 5: This is the day the former oil rig worker is scheduled to be evicted. Ironically, Pearl has the money to pay his rent. He insists his predicament is one of principle—and geography. Pearl showed SN&R photographs of apparent mold, wall-rot and clusters of cockroaches he says were infesting two units next to his apartment. Other pictures show the building’s common kitchen blocked off by construction debris. He also 8   |   SN&R   |   02.08.18

describes sewage leaking from the ceiling. The issues drew Pearl into a battle of wills with the site’s property manager: Despite a 15 percent rent hike on some tenants in the winter of 2015, Pearl says, the living conditions never improved at the Pensione K. So he withheld his rent until repairs were made, which California tenants are legally entitled to do. The property manager responded with a three-day eviction notice that the Sacramento Superior Court upheld. “They said it was a just-cause eviction,” Pearl says. “Yeah, just ‘cause they wanted to.”

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

Pearl would like to appeal his case to the building’s actual owner, but can’t figure out how. That’s because Pensione K is owned by Barone Galasso & Associates Inc., a real estate development firm based in San Diego. “There’s no way to get above the manager,” Pearl says. “It makes you feel very vulnerable. Powerless. And the communication between the people running this building, and the ownership, whoever they are, is nonexistent.” The manager is Dennis Perez. Pearl is one of thousands of Sacramento-area tenants renting from

an out-of-town corporation—and suffering the consequences. The Southern California entity that owns Pearl’s apartment complex has gotten financial help from public agencies and elected officials in Sacramento. The vast majority of corporate rentals, however, are firmly in the grip of Wall Street. An SN&R analysis of real estate data shows that one private equity firm— Blackstone Group—owns more than 373 different rental properties in Sacramento County, controlling well over 1,225 rental bedrooms and a half-million square feet of rental space. The estimated property value of Blackstone’s local holdings is $107.5 million. But that’s not the whole picture— not even close. Those numbers are limited to properties registered to a string of limited liability corporations, or LLCs, linked directly to the Blackstone name, which may not account for Blackstone subsidiaries. Some real estate experts contend Blackstone’s local holdings are quadruple the figure SN&R uncovered. City planning expert Maya Abood

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More ThAn fiShy recently conducted a study as part of her master’s thesis at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Department of Urban Studies. Abood’s research found that Blackstone is the second largest property owner in all of Sacramento County, behind only the city of Sacramento and ahead of the county itself. “They’re merging for greater market power,” Abood said in a recent conference call with reporters. “They own a disproportionate amount of properties in certain places. … They’ve been investing in primarily African-American neighborhoods, including in California.” Abood stressed that the phenomenon is causing unsustainable rent increases and extreme forms of fee-gouging. Pearl says he set out to fight similar unfair practices. But the 58-year-old has had no luck bringing his side of the story to Barone Galasso & Associates Inc. “The owners are zombies,” Pearl observes. “They just don’t react.” Back on March 21, 2017, officials from the Sacramento Housing & Redevelopment Agency portrayed Barone Galasso & Associates Inc. in a very different light, recommending that the City Council lend the corporation roughly $2 million to renovate the Pensione K. SHRA program manager Susan Veazey told council members the corporation was “an experienced development and management company” that owned affordable housing units. With no discussion at all, the council voted unanimously to lend the $2 million. This week, SHRA Executive Director LaShelle Dozier said her agency hadn’t found any pattern of formal complaints against Barone Galasso & Associates Inc. prior to recommending the loan. “We do vetting of every property management firm we work with, and it’s a pretty thorough investigation to determine if they meet our criteria,” Dozier said. “We monitor them every year, and if issues come for tenants, that monitoring is ongoing.” Barone Galasso & Associates’ director of property management, Leo Hurmiz, denied Pearl was evicted out of retaliation, claiming the issue arose from Pearl not cooperating with construction-related unit switching at the site. He also said all roach, mold and leakage issues Pearl complained about have now been fixed. On Monday, Pearl stood outside the apartment complex preparing to dismantle the special medical bed he sleeps in. He says he’s suffered severe spinal problems since being electrocuted during the cleanup of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. He shakes

his head, the curls of his beard grazing his army-green shirt as he wonders if a sheriff’s deputy will come tonight to change the locks. In any case, he’s planning to sleep in his car. Pearl says he offered to pay his rent in full in a last-ditch attempt to stay in his home, but was declined by the property manager. Apparently, Sacramento’s housing crisis had meant the Pensione K was in huge demand. “He told me to think of this as a learning experience,” Pearl says.

children and husband, a disabled veteran. Castillo says her family lived with a broken stove, leaky pipes, unsafe floors, ventilation issues and rot spreading through their shower. She recalled that it took months, sometimes years, for the problems to get fixed. During that time, the Castillos’ monthly rent was raised from $1,200 a month to $1,600 a month. They finally decided to move out, which Castillo says allowed her to buy her kids clothes again. Real estate records show that corporate-owned properties no one felt the shift as it spread from Galt to Rio was happening. But Linda, with a high “They said it at the height of the concentration in south Great Recession, the Sacramento. The was a just-cause rental landscape majority are owned eviction. was fundamentally by Blackstone subsidchanging for local iary Invitation Homes … Yeah, just ’cause “mom and pop” and registered under they wanted to.” landlords. They an array of LLCs. were about to have Blackstone also owns Curtis Pearl direct competition scores of additional Sacramento tenant from the wolves of Wall properties in neighboring Street, relying on tactics Yolo and Placer counties. similar to those that caused Blackstone’s takeover of the financial meltdown. the Sacramento region was part of This was Abood’s main finding a wider initiative. In November, it merged while conducting her study at MIT. With with Starwood Waypoint, another Wall support from Alliance of California for Street real estate titan, to create a super Community Empowerment, Americans for company that owns more than 82,000 propFinancial Reform and Public Advocates erties in the United States. The corporation Making Rights Real, Abood’s research was continues to make statements to reporters published last month as a report called, defending its approach as a way to “profes“Wall Street landlords turn the American sionalize” the renting experience in “a very Dream into a nightmare.” It documents positive” manner. how, as 9 million families faced foreclosure While advocates from organizations as during the recession, private equity firms diverse as the South Oak Park Community like Blackstone and Colony Capital were Association and Tenants Together have buying tens of thousands of distressed prop- expressed concern about the displacement erties for a song. Abood notes that, starting of renters, Blackstone does have investment in 2013, these companies began bundling ties to one public agency: Records indicate their portfolios together, securitizing them, that the Sacramento County Employees and then presenting them to investors as Retirement System is invested in three “single-family rental bonds.” different divisions of Blackstone. “For these Wall Street speculators, the SCERS CEO Eric Stern, who’s new on recession of 2008 was not economically and the job, said Blackstone and its divisions emotionally devastating,” Abood wrote. “It are so multilayered and global, that he’s still was a market opportunity.” investigating whether his agency’s investAccording to Abood’s study, since Wall ments in it are direct or indirect. Street landlords are under pressure from Tristan Brown, a City Council candidate both shareholders and bond-rating agencies, running in District 7, views Blackstone’s they’re incentivized to “minimize ‘loss’ spread across Sacramento with alarm. through speedy evictions and aggressive fee Unlike the current council, Brown strongly collections.” supports bringing rent control to the city, And to maximize profits through rent and says the inability of renters to reach hikes and deferred maintenance. Wall Street landlords is one of the reasons. One local Blackstone tenant Abood “I don’t see the fight for rent control as interviewed was Maricella Castillo. Castillo really being tenants versus local landlords,” spent three years living in a Starwood Brown said. “I see it as being us versus Waypoint Homes rental with her two small Blackstone.” Ω

The owner of Sushi cafe on Freeport Boulevard recently pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of buying abalone for black market resale. Bryant Lee was slapped with 36 months of probation, a $40,000 fine and a lifetime ban from having a sport or commercial fishing license. The punishment comes as increasing ocean temperatures kill off massive forests of kelp—the primary food source for these endangered sea snails. “So they’re literally starving to death and they’re piling up at the bottom of the ocean in the form of empty shells,” said California Department of Fish and Wildlife warden Patrick Foy. “For the first time ever, abalone season will not be open for 2018.” Although California forbids commercial abalone fishing, licensed fishers were allowed to harvest three abalone, so long as the abalone were tagged and the person didn’t possess more than three at once. In 2016, CDFW wardens found a freezer containing 89 packaged abalone on a property owned by Lee. While Lee wasn’t physically snagging these mollusks himself, he and other restaurant owners supplied the demand for this illicit fishing, Foy said. Lee’s lawyer didn’t return SN&R’s request for comment. Abalone are a rather uncommon offering in Sacramento. They’re mostly desired by believers in the mollusk’s medicinal value, or connoisseurs of legally precarious delicacies like foie gras. But abalone are vulnerable to overfishing because they grow slowly—taking up to 12 years to reach seven inches, then another half decade to reach eight inches. If, for whatever reason, reading this made you hungry for abalone, Foy said he hopes “you have a friend that has some in his freezer because that’s about the only way you’re going to get it now.” (John Flynn) This story was made possible by a grant from Tower Cafe.

MidyeAr MySTery Halfway into the fiscal year, the city of Sacramento’s revenue is trending nearly $6 million higher than expected, though that good news was quickly overshadowed by a stark reality. Barring a sudden windfall from new businesses or legal cannabis, next year’s city budget will face major hurdles if voters don’t reinstate the Measure U sales tax. That was the message the city’s Budget and Audit Committee received last week from budget manager Dawn Holm. Measure U, a half-cent sales tax, was passed by votes in 2012 as a temporary measure to plug the loss of services and city jobs tied to the recession. It has generated tens of millions of additional dollars every year since. But Measure u is set to expire in March 2019, a looming deadline that Councilman Jay Schenirer was more than aware of during Holm’s presentation. “So the bottom line on this is, absent new revenues from a change of Measure U, or cannabis … we have no [new] dollars to spend in the budget we’re beginning to work on?” Schenirer asked. “That is correct,” Holm said. Mayor Darrell Steinberg stressed that greater economic growth could help fill the deficit if Measure U isn’t reinstated. He also made it clear he plans to lobby hard to get the measure back. Steinberg has a series of town hall meetings scheduled in the coming months. After that, he said, he’ll start the campaign to resell Measure U to voters. (Scott Thomas Anderson)

02.08.18    |   SN&R   |   9

The release of public records comes months after nearly 150 women signed a letter in the fall complaining of sexual harassment in California politics. Photo Courtesy of PixABAy

Lawmakers & order California Legislature—at last—releases  some sexual harassment records by LaureL rosenhaLL

Ben Christopher of CALmatters contributed to this report. is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California policies and politics.

Four current lawmakers, two former lawmakers and a dozen legislative employees are named in a trove of records the California Legislature released February 2 showing substantiated cases of sexual harassment over the last decade. The records show that the Capitol’s human resources staff affirmed complaints against state Sens. Bob Hertzberg and Tony Mendoza, both Democrats from the Los Angeles area, as well as Assemblymembers Travis Allen, a Republican from Huntington Beach running for governor, and Autumn Burke, a Democrat from Marina Del Rey. Substantiated complaints against former Sen. Rod Wright and former Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, both L.A. Democrats, were also included in the records. So, too, were settlement payouts that followed sexual harassment allegations against a third former lawmaker, Democratic Assemblyman Steve Fox from Palmdale.

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C A L m a t t e rs

The elected officials engaged in a range of behavior, the documents say, including tight hugs, raunchy office banter and flirtatious text messages that made employees feel uncomfortable. The legislative staff members are described as harassing others by hugging and groping, showing porn on their government computers, talking about sex, calling them vulgar names and, in one case, asking an employee to wear sheer pantyhose. In several cases employees were fired after the complaints were investigated. In other cases they were temporarily suspended from work or issued a warning letter. The discipline of elected lawmakers, however, was different: typically a talking-to by legislative administrators. Victims advocates were quick to point out that the records hardly paint a complete picture of sexual harassment in the state Capitol. Many people may never file an official complaint in the

first place, and the records released were restricted to those concerning elected lawmakers and high-level staff. Complaints against employees who are not supervisors were not included, nor were complaints that were filed but not substantiated. The records do not include cases currently being investigated—six in the Senate and eight in the Assembly. Still, the release of roughly 100 pages of internal records marked a highly unusual break from the Legislature’s long tradition of shielding such information. It came following intense pressure from the press amid a global movement by women who are fed up with sexual harassment and assault. Women leading the charge against sexual harassment in the Capitol had mixed reactions. We Said Enough—a group of lobbyists and political professionals that formed after nearly 150 women signed a letter in the fall complaining of rampant sexual harassment in California politics—said the records release “falls dramatically short of a comprehensive or transparent release of information.” The lawmakers who lead the Legislature’s women’s caucus gave it a warmer reception. “With this information comes the ability to act and uphold the zero tolerance policies of both the Senate and Assembly that have not always been followed,” said the statement from the Democratic caucus leaders, Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia of Bell Gardens and Sen. Connie Leyva of Chino. “More importantly, transparency will foster an environment that enables the culture change we must have in our Capitol community where harassment of any kind is not tolerated or excused for any reason. This release is an important necessary next step so that we can create a workplace and society where everyone is valued and respected equally without fear of abuse or retaliation.” The records show this is about the conduct of elected officials: Mendoza: Although he is now a state senator, the 2010 complaint stems from Mendoza’s time as an assemblyman. The records describe him hugging a subordinate, sending her flirtatious text messages and inviting her out for dinner and drinks. The Assembly administrator at the time told him not to be so cozy with his staff. Mendoza is currently on a leave of absence while the Senate investigates

other harassment accusations against him, including recent allegations that he invited a young staffer to his house late at night. The senator has denied wrongdoing. He released a statement Friday saying the staff member who complained about him when he was an assemblyman “remained on staff without any issues in my Capitol office until the end of my term in 2012. We have remained in touch since and, in fact, I provided her with a letter of recommendation as recently as summer 2017.” Hertzberg: The records say that while discussing paint colors in his office in 2015, Hertzberg pulled an employee close to him and “began to dance and sing a song to her.” Hertzberg—long known as “Hugsberg”—is currently under investigation by the Senate for other instances of unwelcome hugging. In response to the information released Friday, he said it was “a settled matter from several years ago, [involving] a single occurrence with a family member of someone I knew, and I’m sorry to her and anyone else who may have ever felt my hugs unwelcome.” Allen: The records describe three incidents when a female staffer complained about the assemblyman, including for giving her shoulders a squeeze and sliding his foot close to hers under a table. Allen, a Republican candidate for governor, blasted the records release as a “political attack by a Democrat led committee.” “I’m sure I’ve shaken many people’s hands, tapped many people on the shoulder, and have even tapped people’s feet accidentally. But there has never been anything in any of my actions that has been inappropriate, and nor will there ever be,” Allen said in a statement. Burke: The records say the assemblywoman admitted to participating in an inappropriate conversation with a staffer about sex. She responded Friday with a statement saying it was “an after-hours conversation in which my staff member shared a personal story about his experiences as a young gay man with me and a group of co-workers.” She went on to say that the complaint about the conversation came from a “disgruntled former staff member who participated in the conversation” and was angry over being fired. The complaints over two former lawmakers concern incidents that have been reported in the past. Ω

Investigators ignore Nazis In defense motion, anti-fascists blast ‘collusion’ between Sacramento DA, CHP and white nationalists by Raheem F. hosseini

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

to pursue the charges against the Nazis who had Attorneys for three left-wing activists have stabbed them,” the motion states. accused the California Highway Patrol and A police spokesman previously told SN&R that Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office of victims and eyewitnesses declined to speak to invesengaging in a monthslong conspiracy to protect the tigators, which resulted in the department recomwhite nationalists and skinheads who engaged in a mending no charges to the district attorney’s office. bloody riot at the state Capitol in June 2016. The CHP, which was responsible for the bulk of In a 45-page motion filed Monday with the the investigation, forwarded to the DA’s office 101 Sacramento Superior Court, the United for Equality arrest warrants for review, for crimes ranging from & Affirmative Action Legal Defense Fund alleges felony assault to possessing illegal signs. the agencies “colluded with the fascists and Last July, the DA’s office announced it would are carrying out a political witch-hunt against” be prosecuting four individuals for assault and riot defendants Yvonne C. Felarca, Porfirio G. Paz and crimes. Aside from the three leftist defendants, Michael A. Williams, who protested a June 26, William Planer, a onetime Sacramento resident with 2016, rally organized by the Traditionalist Worker white nationalist ties, was also charged. Party, a white nationalist political organization. In a phone interview on Tuesday, defense fund Organizers obtained permission to hold the rally attorney and organizer Ronald Cruz alleged on the western steps of the state Capitol buildthe CHP failed to recommend charges ing from the CHP, which is responsible against violent fascists, despite the for keeping the peace on statehouse cooperation of at least three stabgrounds. The rally, to support the bing victims on the left: Nathan candidacy of Donald Trump, Van Dyke, who identified his was promoted online by attacker; Cedric O’Bannon, Golden State Skinheads, a who turned over cellphone racist group operating in video of his attack, only to Northern California, accordget his phone returned with ing to the Southern Poverty the memory card erased; Law Center. and Vincent White, whose While the CHP is authoRonald Cruz attackers were identified by a rized to withhold or revoke attorney, United for Equality and CHP investigator. permits based on the likelihood Affirmative Action Legal Cruz said it amounted to an of violence, the agency didn’t do Defense Fund “investigation that wasn’t interso in this case. Prior to the rally, a ested in assisting those who identified CHP official told SN&R that the agency the people who stabbed them.” developed an adequate security plan to maintain Instead, Cruz said, CHP investigators steered order with the Sacramento Police Department, bedside interviews in hospitals toward the which has jurisdiction over city property. But offivictims’ political affiliations. “It’s story after cers mostly held back as intense fighting swarmed story of a hostile investigator,” Cruz said. around the Capitol, resulting in at least 10 people In a statement, Chief Deputy District Attorney being injured. Steve Grippi dismissed the allegations. Both the CHP and Police Department have “Virtually every assertion made in the resisted commenting on their response to the violence. The city hasn’t completed a public records defendant’s motion is false,” the statement read. “We intend to prosecute this case in the courtoom request submitted by SN&R in September. rather than in the media.” The motion filed Monday claims that seven The motion, along with 161 pages of exhibits, anti-fascists were hospitalized for stab wounds, that requests the dismissal of all charges facing another suffered a fractured skull and broken arm, Felarca, Paz and Williams. Grippi said his office and that Felarca, a Berkeley middle school teacher would respond in writing on Thursday, February and organizer for By Any Means Necessary, a radi8. A hearing on the motion is scheduled the cal leftist group, “was stabbed and bludgeoned.” following day. “The cover-up began immediately, with police “From our point of view, we think the judge can interrogating and harassing injured countermake this ruling on Friday,” Cruz said. Ω protesters in their hospital beds while doing nothing

“It’s story after story of a hostile investigator.”








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12   |   SN&R   |   02.08.18

It’s election season. The California primary is only four months away. This means hundreds of local candidates are raising money, sending out mailings and hosting events to raise cash for their campaigns. The majority of these candidates in contested elections will lose. Who are the winners? The political consultants, television and radio stations, websites, mailing houses and professional fundraisers who will be paid millions of dollars in Sacramento between now and November 6. I would like to say that newspapers like the News & Review will receive some of these dollars, but we will not. Elections are important. Who wins is important. But does the money raised for ads, mailings and polling have much impact on the outcomes? The answer is “no,” according to a paper by two California political scientists, summarized in a recent issue of The Atlantic. David Broockman, a Stanford University assistant professor, and Joshua Kalla, a doctoral student at UC Berkeley, analyzed data from 49 field experiments—state, local and federal campaigns. According to The Atlantic: “For every flyer stuck in a mailbox, every door knocked by an earnest volunteer, and every candidate message left on an answering machine, there was no measurable change in voting outcomes. Even early outreach efforts … tend to fade from memory by Election Day. Broockman and Kalla also estimated that the effect of television and online ads is zero ...” While political advertising had little or no impact on general elections, where the voters tend to vote along party lines, advertising was slightly more effective in primary elections and initiatives. However, “too much money is being spent in the same ways and on the same people.” Yet political consultants continue to

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

push candidates to raise more money to spend on these apparently useless efforts. Candidates and elected officials are often expected to be on the phone fundraising between 10 and 20 hours a week. Political consultants, who are often paid a percentage of campaign expenditures, have a built-in conflict of interest that can encourage expensive campaigns. As a result, helping voters understand issues, or helping the candidate project a vision for the future are given less priority than fundraising. It is painful to see civic-minded, intelligent, hard working people who sincerely want to make a difference being manipulated by these consultants. Consultants tell the candidate what their positions should be based on expensive polling data, how many hours to spend on the phone dialing for dollars using consultant-provided scripts, and how to talk or not talk to the media. And, if the candidate wins the election, he or she will be told to start fundraising for the next campaign even before the champagne has lost its fizz. This so-called professional approach to campaigning, which includes extensive polling, niche marketing and targeted markets with poll-tested words is not working. The amount of money wasted in campaigns is unbelievable. Jeb Bush’s $162 million campaign that earned him only a tiny percentage of the vote is just one example. Yet there are some elected officials and candidates who spend time focusing on issues and who can project a vision and provide well thought-out answers to voter questions. I hope that this recent study helps encourage more politicians to focus on the issues rather than the fundraising, and on creating genuine connections with the voters rather than scripted ones. Ω Jeff vonKaenel is the president, CEO and majority owner of the News & Review.

illuStration by maria ratinova


’S mento SacraerS and winn S—with loSer ry pointS ra arbit

hn by jo


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For every dollar spent on reproductive health care, we save seven, according to a statement released on January 31 by Power to Decide, the campaign to end unplanned pregnancy. Since the teen birth rate peaked in 1991, it declined 74 percent by 2015, a drop that the organization calculates saved the public sector $596 million just in that one year. They also calculate that if Sacramento County averted its 914 teen births in 2015, we would have saved nearly $6 million. Let’s keep this downward trend going. Life is too hard and expensive for teens to be creating it on accident.

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geTTing away wiTH iT The US Justice Department has completed 55 criminal environmental prosecutions through the first three months of the fiscal year that began last October—significantly fewer than years past. If that pace holds, it’ll be the lowest number of pros-

ecutions since the department started keeping records over two decades ago, according to Syracuse University. Either polluters just decided, out of the blue, to clean up their act, or the federal government changed priorities when climate change deniers took over. The Trump administration has done plenty bad things, but the things they don’t do may cause just as much harm.

-55 down goeS THe goaT With five Super Bowls, three MVPs and loads of comeback victories, Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time. So on Sunday, with just over two minutes left against the underdog Philadelphia Eagles, the maga-hat-owning quarterback seemed primed to lead his New England Patriots on another Super Bowl victory drive—until he was sacked and stripped of the ball. Hopefully, his loss is one of many more to come for those cozy with Trump.


Helping US Help THem Sacramento County announced plans last month to create a Veterans Advisory Commission that will provide insight to the Board of Supervisors on matters pertaining to veterans. There are 87,000 veterans living in the county, who seek services ranging from housing to employment training to behavioral health care. Establishing the commission seems smart. It’s a lot easier to help people when you know what they need.

+87,000 Riding Solo Sacramentans listed traffic congestion as the region’s most serious transportation problem, according to a Valley Vision and Sacramento State study that also (somewhat depressingly) found 69 percent of respondents drive alone most or all of the time. Drivers said they might switch to public transportation if service was quicker and more frequent and if stations were closer to their home and destination. Sacramento Regional Transit is ramshackle, yet expensive. But it’s what we got. So let’s make it worth riding.







Rolling T

he steady rumble of roller skates on a large flat track grows louder from inside a brick-layered warehouse on the outskirts of downtown. On a Tuesday evening in November, women enter the chilly building one by one carrying pairs of weathered skates and chunky duffle bags, plopping their equipment onto an oldfashioned metal bleacher. As soon as skates are laced and helmets are tightened, each person joins the routine, zipping through lap after lap. Off to the side, tattered boxes chock-full of old skates, helmets, knee pads and other odds and ends seem to tell a story. More than 40 women are gathered here to practice for competition in the sport of roller derby—and tonight marks some of the last sessions before everyone goes on a short winter break for the season. This practice also marks one of the first evenings that Sacramento’s top roller derby teams, the Sacred City Derby Girls and the Sac City Rollers, are practicing together since both the players voted to join forces after 12 years of being separate entities. The decision to combine both highlevel teams, once rivals on the track, was announced in October 2017. Now, this badass all-star team of athletes has a roster that’s more than 70 women strong and collectively known as Sacramento Roller Derby, and their new season is just beginning. 14   |   SN&R   |   02.08.18

Sac’s two roller derby teams combine forces to form an all-star league.

Stronger together

“Five minutes, ladies!” a toned, blue-eyed woman calls out from the center of a scuffed track inside an 11,000-square-foot warehouse. Her authoritative manner inspires laggers to quickly lace up their skates and get in a few warmup laps. It’s just before 8 p.m., and some women are skating in pairs, perhaps discussing their long workday, as James Brown’s howls echo off the walls. Others stretch their legs and arms as they cruise around the smooth surface to warm up their muscles. Suddenly, the music stops and everyone gathers in a circle to take turns introducing themselves by the playful derby nicknames each woman has created for herself to expresses her persona and quirky spirit. The women also say what position they enjoy playing—blocker, pivot or jammer—the latter position being the one with the most glory. (See sidebar.) Sacramento Roller Derby is a 100 percent volunteer-run nonprofit, with dedicated skaters taking on multiple roles within the league. Women sit on the board of directors or serve as treasurer, marketing director, donations coordinator, etc. Everything is governed democratically. Annie Reksic, a 10-year veteran skater with Sac City Rollers, says the combined team has been “a long time coming.” “Both leagues started around the same time within the same year, and we’ve always had to share sponsors and a fan base and resources throughout the Sacramento area,” Reksic says. “We both have a lot of the same attributes and goals, and we’ve had these discussions throughout the years about coming together and merging into one megateam.” For skaters like Shock ’N’ Auburn, time

spent as a pivot, blocker and jammer with the Sacred City Derby Girls gave her the experience to help others succeed by training and coaching women of all skill levels. She admits that when she first started, she made close friends with the floor because she didn’t know how to roller-skate whatsoever. “I ran into the wall at tryouts because I didn’t know how to stop,” she recalls. “I fell a lot. But, they said, ‘Well, you have gumption. If you want to come back, we’ll teach you how to skate.’ We practiced three times a week, and the days we didn’t practice, I would work on my stride and work on being comfortable turning around and work on all of the weird, little things that aren’t really the fun part of derby, but the necessary parts of derby.” Ask any woman how she found roller derby, or how derby found her, and each will share a personal story that is as diverse as Sacramento Roller Derby’s roster. For Bobbypin Vixen, a blocker and pivot who drives more than 140 miles from Dayton, Nevada, to practice twice a week, derby is a sport her family does together. “[My son] pushed me to lace up some skates at a time in my life when I needed change,” she says. “It took over a year to convince me to do it. After the first practice, spent mostly sitting on my butt because all I could master was falling, I knew I loved it. I needed it.” Her 14-year-old son, whom she refers to as Peanut Butter Jammer, skates for a junior team in their hometown, and her husband, Jose CanSkateO, is also an official for Sacramento Roller Derby. “Derby pushes me outside of my comfort zone,” she says. “Comfort zones are beautiful, but nothing grows there.”

photo by Letrice FowLer

by Steph rodriguez

“ Rolling

thundeR ” continued on page 16

thunder Join Sacramento Roller Derby for its first double-header of the season on Saturday, February 10 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Rink (2900 Bradshaw Road in Rancho Cordova). General admission starts at $12. Visit for more information.

02.08.18    |   SN&R   |   15

“ rolling

thunder ” continued from page 15

We’re not G.L.o.W.

Roller derby first experienced a wave of popularity in the 1940s, when its raised, banked-track marathons turned the game into a spectator sport in America, at a time when the bikini just started hitting the beaches and Mount Rushmore was finally completed. It was broadcast live on television throughout the country to spur interest, but attendance and ratings started to decline throughout the ’60s and ’70s as attention shifted to a more theatrical version of the sport, where athletes donned flashy garb and adopted dramatic characters as found in men’s and women’s wrestling. Derby even staged matches: Picture the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (G.L.O.W.), with its scripted rivalries and cheesy costumes, on roller skates. It was short-lived. Serious athletes say the biggest misconception about modern roller derby is that the sport consists of women who wear fishnets and booty shorts and purposefully elbow their opponents in the face or send them flying into cement walls. These imaginative assumptions irk athletes like Lolz Lemon, a blocker for SRD who’s on the mend from a broken-leg injury last year. She sternly points out that elbowing is first and foremost illegal, and fishnets are highly impractical during games. “When derby began, there was definitely a niche market that was very G.L.O.W.-like,” she says. “It was just as important to win the after-party as it was the game, like, who can drink the most or party the hardest. But now, this avant-garde sport is one of the only highly competitive women’s sports out there that women can easily join everywhere.” While there is no elbowing allowed, roller derby is a contact sport. Two teams with five players each skate in a pack, counter-clockwise, on a flat track. As the jammer tries to break free and lap the pack, blockers try to make that difficult. There is a lot of hockey-style checking involved. Miley Makes U Cryrus, a 43-year-old blocker for SRD and mother of two boys, says the sport of roller derby helped her get out of the 9-to-5 rut, and that her sense of self was rekindled by skating with her newfound friends on the track. “Derby was something that made me identify as me,” she says. “I’m not just this person who just goes to work. I’m an athlete. It’s identified me as being more than my sons’ mom. This is something I do for me, but it also transitions to my kids because they are also young athletes. I think a lot of my perseverance through derby and through injury is reflecting on them and showing them the positive side to athletics at any capacity.”

The Players et e f sIx nDer thu

“Derby was something that made me identify as me. I’m not just this person that just goes to work. I’m an athlete.”


Ie r


Blocker As a blocker for SRD’s C Team, Six Feet Thunder says she feels a sense of satisfaction when she helps her team’s jammer break through the opposing team’s pack to score points. Her duties as a blocker are both to get her own jammer through the pack and also to block the opposing team’s jammer. Blockers are constantly playing both offense and defense.


A pack is where the most bodies are on the track and each player needs to be within 10 feet of the pack. Blockers bump other players with the legal areas of the body: the arm from the shoulder to the elbow, the torso, the hips and buttocks, and the mid- and upper-thighs. “My body type is more suitable for a blocker,” says Six. “I really like soul-crushing someone when I prevent the jammer from going through. It’s satisfying to see the fatigue on her face.”

sho ’n’ ck aub urn

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mILey makes u cryus

Jammer The star of the game is the jammer, who is identified on the track by the star on her helmet. The jammer scores all the team’s points by lapping the opposing team and gains one point per person she laps after on her second pass. Jams, or plays, can last up to two minutes at a time, and the jammer has the power to call off the play at anytime. She can also pass the star to the pivot if she becomes fatigued or as a strategy during a game.

Pivot Known as the boss of the track, the pivot is identified by the stripe down her helmet. The pivot is also a part of the blocker’s pack and is one of five players on the track during live play. A pivot’s main responsibility is to play offense for her team’s jammer, and she’s also the person who calls the plays and is constantly communicating with the jammer to work out what the next move is, whether it’s hitting or making a hole in the opposing pack. The team looks to the pivot for overall guidance. The woman playing this position can also become the jammer.

Red toR na


photo by letrice Fowler

Fightin’ Family

RolleR Revival

Formed just months apart from each other in 2006, Sac City Rollers and Sacred City Roller Derby Girls both went on to become registered with the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), the sport’s international governing body, which ranks teams on a points system based on the number of sanctioned games played and the amount of difficult teams faced. Sacred City Derby Girls had, in fact, split from Sac City Rollers. The divide led to a decade-long rivalry on the track, but when asked what caused the original rift, many of the most seasoned players say they can’t even recall. “That was a long time ago,” Lolz Lemon says. “There hasn’t been any animosity for quite awhile. We were just two different teams. Roller derby itself is one community that is very close. Though we were on different teams, we might show up to each other’s events, we shared refs. And now we’re working toward the same goal because we’re one group.” This year, WFTDA lists 400 full-member leagues from countries like Argentina, France and New Zealand, with more than 200 registered teams in the U.S. alone. The revival of derby is widely credited to the Texas Rollergirls, a team that formed in the early 2000s in Austin who were the first in the nation to skate on a flat track versus the bank-style track the sport was known for in the past. The resurgence also paved the way for some of the country’s leading teams to form like the Portland, Ore., Rose City Rollers, who are also credited as a founding member of WFTDA.

In January, Sacramento Roller Derby hosted its first tryouts and formed four teams for women 18 years and older. The A Team will travel and compete on a national and international level within WFTDA. Members including Shock and Annie Reksic will travel with their team and represent Sacramento in competitions like The Big O in Eugene, Ore., and they’ll also fly to Houston, Texas, to compete in The Clover Cup in March. These important games will earn SRD points toward its international rank with WFTDA. In June, all competing teams from across the globe will be split up into two divisions and, depending upon rank, will be invited to compete in the season’s playoff tournaments. “When you go to Portland or Seattle, people know who their team is,” Shock says. “They have billboards up. And we have those levels of skilled players here. I’m excited to bring a much larger fan base to Sacramento. Look at the [Sacramento Republic FC]; there’s nothing to say that we can’t have something of that caliber, because these athletes will absolutely excite people who come to see derby whether they loved it forever or they’re brand new to it.” For Red Tornadho, a nine-year veteran originally with Sac City Rollers, finding derby introduced her to a second family that she says she didn’t know she needed—or wanted—but the bond she’s experienced is unlike any other. “I met these people, and they are a part of my life almost daily,” Red says. “I think we’re going to surprise people. The competition just within our own teams is going to drive everyone to become better. And I think we’ll even surprise WFTDA. We’re a team. This isn’t just a fun thing we do. We take it very seriously.” Ω


seren o by

an e lus


02.08.18    |   SN&R   |   17

Joking through the


Comedy Spot alumnuS kiry Shabazz winS an nbC Comedy Competition

“ it looked like an

insane asylum . i was like …

i need to be a part of

whatever the fuck this is.” Kiry Shab azz comediaN

Photo courtesy NBc uNiversal

18   |   SN&R   |   02.08.18


by AAron CArnes

iry Shabazz gets onstage at the Comedy Spot for a nearly packed show on the last Friday of 2017. Brian Crall, the Comedy Spot owner, had given Shabazz an enthusiastic introduction, telling the crowd about his recent win at the StandUp NBC competition. “As in the NBC,” Crall says. Shabazz is a handsome man in his late 20s, tall, friendly, confident and even-tempered in his delivery. “I’m following my dreams,” he tells the crowd, letting the words hang in the air for a moment. “I don’t recommend it.” The joke gets a roar from the crowd, though few—if any—are aware of how serious his state statement actually is. In 2015, Shabazz had quit his job, dropped out of school, sacrificed almost everything to pursue his dream of becoming a comedian. That meant sleeping on couches—just devoting himself 100 percent to comedy. “That was a real-ass sacrifice, it gives you a certain type of hunger,” Shabazz tells me. “It was the most rough time I ever had. It was mindbreaking. There’s no way to explain it. You feel insane.” Eventually, his hard work started producing dividends. In 2016, he won the Sacramento Stand-Up Competition. By 2017, he was getting better-paying gigs and making his way into the college circuit, which can be lucrative for entertain entertainers. But the icing on the cake was the StandUp NBC competition. His win was not only a serious achieve achievement—he competed against roughly 1,250 other comics—but it has launched major careers. Other StandUp NBC alumni include Daily Show correspondent Hasan Minhaj, CNN’s United Shades of America host W. Kamau Bell and Black-ish actor Deon Cole. Sacramento talent has fared well in the 14-year-old competition. Last year’s winner was local JR de Guzman, and even Minhaj is a Sacramentan. Now it’s Shabazz’s turn. “Kiry is the real deal. He crushes it every time he hits the stage,” Crall tells me. “His success is the product of talent and an unrelenting desire to improve. He deserves all of his success and more.” Originally from Cleveland, the comedian started doing improv comedy almost a decade ago in Sacramento at the Comedy Spot, then moved to stand-up on a dare a few years later, which gelled better with his personality. Last April, he relocated to Los Angeles, but he says he sneaks up to Sacramento all the time.






Check out Kiry shabazz at 8 p.m. Friday, March 2, at the Crest theatre, 1013 K street. tickets are $25.

build off of it, rather than springing for easy, low-hanging fruit, a skill that’s apparent in his stand-up today. One critical moment for Shabazz was at an Atlanta comedy competition in 2015. He’d just recently quit work and school, and didn’t have much money to fly across the country, but he went to Atlanta anyway. He lost. This was a real turning point for him. “I think a lot of comedians will go to a competition, and they will lose, and instead of looking inside themselves and seeing what they can improve, they blame it, it was rigged,” Shabazz says. “I did have that day. I said the most evil, hateful things I wanted to say, but I knew I would have to change and improve myself. What can you do differently?” He realized he needed to embrace himself and be honest about his perspective. “What some black comedians do: ‘This was the hood, and this was bad,’” Shabazz says. “I’m not ashamed of where I came from. I’m a mix of this intellectual—my grandparents and my father had me read, I was raised by educators. But also being a kid who grew up in the streets.” Though he’s grown as a comedian, he didn’t expect to win StandUp NBC: Unlike most of the finalists, he didn’t get an industry invite. He was a walk-in. That meant that he had to camp out in front of Cobb’s Comedy Club in San Francisco overnight, get only about 30 minutes of sleep and perform comedy at 8 a.m. the next day just to be eligible to compete with the comedians who got industry invites—and a full night’s sleep. His plan? “I’ll make it to the semifinals this year, and next year I can audition again and make it to the finals,” he says. But he came out on top. As the winner of the 14th annual StandUp NBC competition, he snagged a talent-holding deal with NBCUniversal and an opportunity to perform for talent bookers at the National Association for Campus Activities. NBC is developing his skills with free classes on writing, acting, whatever he needs. He dreams of working behind and in front of the camera. “I have more stability,” he says. His colleagues say they’re certain that Shabazz will achieve incredible success. Local comedian Mike E. Winfield says, “Kiry’s one of those dudes that knows he has the potential for greatness, but would never tell you himself.” I definitely got the sense that Shabazz knows he’s talented, but I wonder if he fully realizes that all of his sacrifices have paid off, and that greatness is just around the corner. Ω



Queens of the stone-cold kick Can shooting a rock band resemble wildlife photography? On January 30, I saw one of my favorite troupes, Queens of the Stone Age, at Memorial Auditorium downtown. It was  also my first time, as a writer, getting press access to  take photos for a national act. The national act got viral buzz in December after its  frontman, Josh Homme, kicked a photographer in the  face during a show in Los Angeles.  He’s since apologized, and I wasn’t worried about being attacked, but  it did make me ponder what  could have provoked him. One  theory was that Homme was  aiming for the camera’s flash.   The Sacramento stop was  part of Queens’ national tour  supporting their seventh album,  Villains, released in October, a record that trades moshable for danceable  in songs like “The Way You Used to Do” and “Feet Don’t Fail  Me,” which they played, along with material out of the old  catalog. In particular, stuff from their best albums: Songs  for the Deaf and Lullabies to Paralyze. But it started with opener Eagles of Death Metal.  Frontman Jesse Hughes entered, donning a thick mustache that itself didn’t give a shit, and before walking into the  spotlight, Hughes took a long look at the crowd and a deep  breath. Like he’d set his suitcase down. This guy, who’s not  from around here, was home, I thought. As the fivesome danced through a set of fun-first rock  ’n’ roll, the performance seemed heroic. This was the same group that survived the bataclan massacre in Paris two years  ago. Hughes repeatedly asked the crowd that night, with the  panache of a WWE wrestler, “Are you having a good time?” Toward the end, Hughes invited his best friend to play  onstage, Homme manning the drums for a 12-minute version  of the song “Speaking in Tongues,” which the two co-wrote. The stage aesthetic for Eagles consisted of a few Trojan  helmets and Richard Simmons’ face plastered to the guitar cabs. The furniture for Queens was less ironic, more  ominous. A dozen staggered, pliable pillars of light emitted  neon blue, red, green, purple. Usually uniform, sometimes  painfully all colors at once. The highlight of Queens was the final encore: “A Song for  the Dead,” a big, dumb, two-note punk riff rapture that  stumbled into blues rock spiteful enough to knock a few light

Photo by Mozes zarate

His set at the Comedy Spot is his first postStandUp NBC gig at the venue. He does a five minute “clean” set—he’s taping it to get better gigs. “You want to show bookers that you can be on TV,” Shabazz explains. His material kills. It’s raw, clever and offbeat. He tells a story about mispronouncing the word “geese” to a stranger at a duck pond, which offends them. He’s treated like he used a racial slur. After recording his five minutes of clean material, he switches gears and says, “Fuck it. This isn’t me.” He pokes fun at the mostly white audience for responding so well to his clean set. He singles out one older white woman and says she probably wants to adopt him—her facial expression said: “What a respectable, young black man.” This rant gets him his biggest laugh of the night, even from the woman he singles out. It’s no wonder he aches for the thrill of the stage. Shabazz developed his comedy voice playing every room in the Sacramento region that would let him in front of a mic. He had the goal of figuring out how to make a crowd laugh: White liberal Midtown crowds at Luna’s Cafe & Juice Bar. Black rooms like A Toucha Class. Conservative crowds in Roseville. Even hip-hop open-mics like The Most Open Mic in the City. “You know the disheveled detective that can’t leave a cold case alone? Like they have to crack it. That’s how I feel about a room,” Shabazz says. “It’s like, ‘I’m going to get you guys to laugh. I’m going to find the common thread between my humor and your humor without compromising myself.’” Early in his career, he fumbled at A Toucha Class, accidentally saying “fuck church” while onstage, which earned boos from the crowd. “Fuck church? That’s something you never say to an all-black room,” Shabazz says. Rather than avoid that space, he went back and faced the disapproving crowd. His stubborn persistence earned sincere laughter from them. They grew to love him. Before he got started in stand-up, Shabazz learned some valuable lessons from improv after he joined the Comedy Spot when he was 17. He’d walk home every day past the Comedy Spot and was intrigued by the warmup exercises. “These are adults doing silly ass—standing up on chairs and doing windmills. It looked like an insane asylum,” Shabazz says. “I was like… I need to be a part of whatever the fuck this is.” He says Crall taught him to develop material and



pillars over. What’s quickly clear in the press pit: It feels invasive being that close. For three songs, you’re standing in the same  space as the security, where crowd surfers get dumped in  and carried off. You’re clicking away like they’re an endangered species, and even without camera flash, you make enough  short eye contact with the band to know that you’re not  invisible to them. Enough to make you say to yourself, “OK,  do your job, but be a human while you’re at it.” Nobody got kicked in the face this time, unless we imagined the band’s set as a big glossy boot. Then the answer  is everybody. All 4,000 or so packing Memorial Auditorium,  then UC Davis Medical Center down the street. Because  the set was like Homme and his bandmates kicking us in the face. In a good way. With heavy music.

—Mozes zarate mo ze sz@ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m

02.08.18    |   SN&R   |   19

Dessert that’s extra Whip, Whips desserts Some days, one dessert won’t cut it. Once you’ve hit this low (or is it a high?), head to the new Whips Desserts in Folsom to cram as much sugar into your bloodstream as possible. There’s only one ice cream option: vanilla. That’s because it gets blended in a KitchenAid with the cake or pie of your choosing to create a Whip (medium, $5.50), a treat with a novel flavor and texture. The red velvet plus ice cream produced a pink, almondlike confection with teensy chunks of cake to break up the creamy smoothness. 711-10 E. Bidwell Street in Folsom; (916) 542-7907.

—rebecca huval When you order chicken makhani, it’s worth the $3 upgrade to get the thali sides.

Palatial buffet by Rebecca Huval

India Palace 8865 Folsom Boulevard Notable dishes: Fish tikka masala, vegetable chau chau Good for: All-you-can-eat lunch buffet Indian, Rosemont $$


Rosemont isn’t what you’d call a food destination, but recently, the neighborhood has added travel-worthy stops: the Texmex joint 19th Hole Cantina and, since November, India Palace. And who doesn’t love a good all-you-can-eat Indian buffet? Certainly Sacramento does. At midday, the cozy Curry Club downtown is often crammed with state workers. But at India Palace, the name describes how you feel inside the restaurant, at least in terms of spaciousness. Even a single diner can have a thronelike, plush booth all to herself during the lunch rush. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the “rush” consists of a dozen parties of office workers taking up only half of the tables. They come for the all-you-can-eat curry, naan, samosas and noodles for $9.95. Possibly the only Indian restaurant in the surrounds, it doesn’t need to be as good as it is. Each entree category on the menu—chicken, lamb, vegetable, tandoori—has as many as 20 options. There are even a few Tibetan influences like chicken momo ($11.95), the bitty steamed dumplings, and vegetable chau chau ($9.95), pan-fried, delightfully sour, buoyant noodles. On the day I visited, the lunch buffet offered many dishes worth sampling: vegetable korma, chicken makhani (a.k.a. butter chicken) and chicken pakora. 20





photo By reBeccA huvAl

Jacked up the kerouac, naked lounGe

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

The latter was akin to popcorn chicken: chunks of fried meat battered with savory chickpea flour and sprinkled with herbs. They had just the right amount of dry crunch on the outside, with steamy chicken on the inside. The curries tended toward creamy rather than spicy. When made-to-order, you get to choose your own spiciness level; I might suggest aiming one step higher than normal. You can opt to have your entree with the thali for an extra $3, and I say go for it. It gets you not just the fun metal cafeteria tray, but also basmati rice, crackly naan, raita (the cooling yogurt-and-cucumber condiment), achar (pickled vegetables like cauliflowers and peas in oil and tangy spices) and the vegetable curry of the day. The only reason to opt out of the thali? The assortment of other naans and breads in adventurous flavor combinations. There’s garlic cilantro naan, chili cheese naan, raisin-and-nut-stuffed naan, goat cheese naan. That last one pairs best with a spicier curry, cooling it down with soft creaminess. Of the curries I tried, the fish tikka masala ($13.95) stood out. Perhaps it’s a predictable choice, but whatever: This curry was red with tomatoes and a chili-pepper burn, sweet with cream and the maplelike herb fenugreek. The salmon inside soaked it up while maintaining its flaky texture. Also worth a try: the rich chicken makhani ($11.95) and the bright yellow, subtle vegetable korma. Less great? The dal makhani ($9.95). Bitter and tasting sharply of spinach, the dish had an overly foamy texture. But still, India Palace is worth your time—especially when you can enjoy a $10 all-you-can-eat lunch buffet in a palatial booth. Ω

Jack Kerouac’s spontaneous, unedited writing is a bit long-winded for my taste. However, I do love the Kerouac drink at the recently remodeled Naked Lounge that still features plenty of nude portraits. Anyway, the Kerouac ($5.50) is four shots of espresso shaken like a cocktail with ice, condensed milk and cream. Poured into a conical tumbler and garnished with a couple coffee beans, the drink features a fizzy top layer and so much caffeine that I can hear the blood running through my veins. 1500 Q Street, (916) 442-0174.

—John Flynn

TropiCali fruit Guavas While they aren’t strictly “local,” as in near Sacramento, guavas do grow in California. They’re a subtropical fruit, which means they can stand a bit of cool weather compared to their tropical cousins. Most of us think “orange” when we think of guavas—especially if we’ve eaten guava paste (great with cheese!). There are more than 100 varieties of guava, though, including a newer White Malaysian variety that has been used for sorbet. The distinctly floral flavor of guavas makes for a taste of summer, even while we Californians shiver through our mild winter.

—ann Martin rolke

IllustratIon by Mark stIvers

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Offseason exhibition: SPLAT, or

the Sacramento Public Latte Art Tournament, won’t start for another month or so, but Temple Coffee Roasters (2827 S Street) will help baristas remain in top pouring shape with its Latte Art Throwdown starting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 13. SPLAT board member and Temple’s Director of Education, Kelly Hill, said these competitions are a point of pride for baristas, while also providing “a way to let off steam” (pun, I hope, intended). During SPLAT, baristas usually have to pour milk hearts, tulips and rosettas into espressos as they work their way through the head-to-head rounds. But feeling a little fatigued of the rules, Hill said that this throwdown will be a free-for-all. Baristas can pour whatever shapes they want. If you think participants get a little raunchy with this liberty, you’d be right. With a $10 buy-in for a 48-spot bracket, Hill said that all proceeds will go to the International Women’s

Coffee Alliance that has 22 chapters around the world and seeks to empower women at all points of the supply chain—from the women who pick the beans to those who brew the coffee to those who own (or aspire to own) their own roastery. Donations by companies such as Baratza will provide a deluxe coffee grinder to the winner. For the viewers, there’ll be pizza, beer and free admission to watch the creation of drinkable art. R Street substitution: Camellia Coffee Roasters will be taking over Metro Kitchen + Drinkery’s spot within the WAL Public Market (1104 R Street). The roasters should have opened their first brick-and-mortar location across the way from Fish Face Poke Bar by February 8, said co-owner Ryan Harden. He and his business partner Robert Watson bring experience from Old Soul Co. and Insight Coffee Roasters, respectively, and their new space will feature

millennial pink, indoor greenery and taps for pouring “good beer,” Harden said, adding that they hope to start roasting at their second location (429 12th Street) in March. Hey there, Delilah: Specializing in

Hawaiian cuisine, Delilah’s Market Cafe by Make Fish has expanded to a second location in the Arden area (1229 Howe Avenue) in addition to its original Delilah’s spot (4400 Freeport Boulevard) and Make Fish Poke & Sushi Burrito in Midtown (1801 L Street). Using high-quality fish soaked in Hawaiian marinades, Delilah’s serves poke in the traditional style: over sushi rice with no other toppings. They also have other island-comfort favorites like Spam Musubi—spam and rice wrapped in seaweed ($2)—and Dole Whip ($5.50), soft serve ice cream mixed with pineapple. Ω


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by James Raia



happy hour 3pm - 6pm everyday open until 2am every night 916.706.2465 ▲ ▲ 22   |   SN&R   |   02.08.18

East Sac’s beer cluster


Hilltop Tavern and OneSpeed Pizza are perched across the street from each other on Folsom Boulevard in East Sacramento. It’s a quick crosswalk trek to transfer from one of Sacramento’s iconic neighborhood bars, well into its old age, to an 8-year-old upstart with a vibrant vibe. The two establishments couldn’t seem more different, but they share similar traits and have a mutually beneficial relationship. Hilltop and OneSpeed both serve craft beers, with rotating options listed on chalkboards. The former doesn’t serve food, the latter does. Patrons from Hilltop can order food from OneSpeed; guests at OneSpeed might choose to dine and then visit the Hilltop for late-night drinking. Much like automobile dealerships located in pods or big box retailers lumped together in malls, restaurants and bars in East Sacramento serving craft beers have embraced the “cluster” business model. It’s strength in numbers for suds. “First and foremost, we’re food-centric, as opposed to a taproom” said Aaron Amaro, the bar manager at OneSpeed. “Beer is their thing. But we make quite a few walks across the street with orders. But it’s all good that people think of us for beer and wine and to try something new.” Traveling east on Folsom from Alhambra Boulevard, nearly a dozen establishments offer craft beers. Cheaters Bar & Grill, 33rd Street Grill, Cafe Capricho and OBO’ are all within a few blocks of each other and all take craft beer seriously.

Farther east on Folsom Boulevard, Socal’s Tavern, The Shack and Hoppy Brewing Company have been mainstays for decades. Track 7 Brewing will soon join the East Sac craft beer brigade, with its first combined restaurant and taproom in the former location of Les Baux Bakery & Cafe. Amaro equates the craft beer business to the coffee shop boom. “Certain coffee and certain places speak to customers,” he said. “It could be the aesthetics of a place, even though there’s another one just down the street. It works because everyone has their niche.” Dan Thebeau is co-owner of SacYard, the brand new taphouse opening on Saturday, February 10. It’s one block from Canon, the new upscale restaurant that also pours craft beers, and a short distance from Kru, the Japanese restaurant that also has a small selection of rotating craft beers. Hawks Public House also features local craft beers. “We’re all very different establishments, but we are also part of the blossoming East Sac community,” said Thebeau. “We knew about the other places and it was a contributing factor to why we are here. Everyone has been supportive.” In addition to West Coast-centric beers, SacYard will serve food-truck fare, and further build on the area’s dining and drinking synergy by offering sandwiches from another East Sac food institution—Corti Brothers. Ω


The Baconaissance During Sacramento Bacon Fest, Revolution Wines (2831 S Street) will grant unlimited access to a host of bacon-centric small plates for $25 on February 9 from 5 to 8 p.m. Among the options: a “French BLT” with apples and brie; a bacon lollipop coated in a maple glaze and sprinkled with toasted mustard seeds; and zeppole, an Italian doughnut filled with chocolate sauce and topped with candied bits of bacon. Owner and Executive Chef Gina Genshlea said she cures her bacon in-house, first covering slabs in “a lot” of salt and spices, then submerging them for two days in a brine and finishing them with a slow-smoking of applewood that’s soaked in white wine. At a cash bar, the winery will also offer samples from their barrels, which ought to pair well with bacon because bacon pairs well with everything. Sacramento Bacon Fest’s Facebook page has the deets on the other events throughout the week.

—John Flynn

by Shoka Whether you are an omnivore or herbivore, ask yourself this: How often do you eat seeds? Seeds, a.k.a. plant embryos, have historically been an important food source for people, since they are nuggets concentrated with nutrition. While chia seeds have become widely available in the past several years, there’s been less attention given to basil seeds. Like chia, basil seeds (from the sweet basil plant) form a gel membrane when wet, but absorb liquid faster than chia. In Ayurveda,

they’re used for anemia, promoting digestion, cooling the body and blood sugar regulation, among other things. In bottled drinks, much like the lava-lamp inspired Orbitz beverage of the 1990s, basil seeds remain suspended in intensely sweet liquid. Find them at Asian food markets (KP International has some at 10971 Olson Drive in Rancho Cordova) or boba tea shops as toppings. Gong Cha (24988 Blue Ravine Road, Suite 108 in Folsom and 1411 West Covell Boulevard, Suite 110 in Davis) has it. Ω

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Ready, set, slapstick!

One Man, Two Guvnors


thu 8pm, Fri 8pm, sat 5pm & 9pm, sun 2pm, tue 6:30pm, Wed 2:30pm & 6:30pm. through 3/4; $27-$46; b street theatre’s Mainstage at sofia tsakopoulos Center for the arts, 2700 Capitol ave; (916) 443-5300;

Last week saw the long-awaited, much-anticipated unveiling of B Street Theatre’s new Midtown multistage theater complex on Capitol Avenue, the Sofia Tsakopoulos Center for the Arts (The Sofia), with the opening of the slapstick farce One Man, Two Guvnors. When B Street Theatre’s Artistic Director Buck Busfield came out to greet the opening weekend audience, he received a warm reception from the loyal theatergoers who had already checked out the new, impressive 250-seat Mainstage Theater, lobby and bathrooms. Many of them have been following the new theater’s conception and progress for years. Facing the audience, Busfield thanked everyone for their support, and then explained why he picked an over-the-top “unapologetic farce” to launch the new theater. “I wanted our first show to be fun, and to show off our new space and all our veteran cast members.” And that’s just what Playwright Richard Bean’s modern-day adaption of The Servant of Two Masters brings to the new theater. The simple, silly plot of One Man, Two Guvnors is that an out-ofwork London skiffle player finds himself working for two men at the same time, but must keep both employers in the dark about each other. Hijinks ensue, complete with pratfalls, slammed doors, dropped pants, police chases, bird poop and hidden identities. The new theater space gives B Street the freedom to expand its sets. And in Two Guvnors, they take full advantage of it—with large street scenes, rolling backdrops, rotating scenery and sliding panels. Two Guvnors is a perfect welcome for B Street’s new home. Ω

Photo by Rudy MeyeRs PhotogRaPhy

5 Sublime dungeon Capital Stage’s The Nether is a provocative, powerful and deeply disturbing play, directed by Kirk Blackinton, which explores the consequences of living out one’s dark, private dreams. It is exquisitely acted, which makes the work wonderful theater despite its dark subject matter. Jennifer Haley’s play is set sometime in the not-too-distant future, where technology has progressed to allow humans to interact with virtual worlds. Sims, an admitted pedophile, has created The Hideaway, a safe haven where people like himself can visit and satisfy their basest desires without danger of harming any real human beings. The Hideaway has become so popular it has caught the attention of the internet police, and a detective has set out to find the location of its server so it can be shut down. Scenes go back and forth between the gray world of real life and the madly colored life of The Hideaway. The Nether is certain to provoke conversations. Is modern technology the answer? Can you excuse criminal activity if no real person is hurt? Are the characters we would find abhorrent in this life sufficiently sympathetic that we can understand their attraction to The Hideaway as a place to indulge without hurting people in the real world? Or does The Hideaway legitimize their urges and make them more likely to feel more comfortable in the real world? —Bev SykeS

the Nether: thu 7pm, Fri 8pm, sat 2pm & 8pm, sun 2pm, Wed 7pm. through 2/25; $17.50-$40; Capital stage, 2215 J street; (916) 9955464;

Becky Shaw

The title character doesn’t even make her appearance until halfway through this dark comedy of family, death, marriage and dating. And when she finally does, she’s not quite the heroic figure who will be diving in to fix things—instead Becky is just one more swimmer in a pool of emotional messes. This is a fascinating, though sometimes frustrating, look into murky human dynamics. Surprising twists are tossed in on a regular basis, with most adding to the ongoing intrigue, though sometimes less would be more. Thu 8pm, Fri 8pm, Sat

8pm, Sun 2pm performance on 2/11. Through 2/17; $12$22; Big Idea Theatre, 1616

1 foul

The Musical of Musicals: The Musical!

The play about a theater company in distress is a loving, sometimes satirical, tribute to great Broadway musical composers. It’s a little snarky with Andrew Lloyd Webber (“I’ve Heard This Song Before”) but whip-smart in its tribute to Stephen Sondheim (“A Little Complex”). A spunky cast of five sings and dances its heart out. Thu 7pm, Fri 8pm,

Sat 2pm & 8pm, Sun 2pm & 7pm, Wed 7pm. Through 2/11; $38; Sacramento Theatre Company, Pollock Stage, 1419 H St.; (916) 443-6722; J.C.


out a picture window at the twin towers of the (new) World Trade Center. Wychoff welcomes Jamal, a small-time hustler who was briefly involved with the Black Panthers, currently peddling marijuana on the street. Broadhurst explores the vast discrepancy in their ages and backgrounds (white rural Kansas to gritty New York City). Janis Stevens directs resourceful veteran Loren Taylor and the much younger Tory Scroggins— their tag-team exchange turns Broadhurst’s witty lines into lively comic banter onstage, without diminishing the script’s dramatic mission. Fri 8pm,

Sat 8pm, Sun 2pm, Through 2/18, $12-$20; California

Winter’s Waltz

Sacramento playwright Richard Broadhurst reportedly kept this play in a drawer for 15 years. The play presents Ingram Wychoff, a one-time literary celebrity living alone in Manhattan, gazing

Stage, 1725 25th St. (the R25 Arts Complex), (916) 451-5822, www.calstage. org. J.H.

short reviews by Patti roberts, Jim carnes and Jeff hudson.







5 suBliMe– DoN’t Miss

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Cowpokes… from Quebec?

—Jeff Hudson

A New Path Awaits. The SOTA studies are evaluating an investigational oral tablet compared to placebo that may help manage your blood glucose levels. Diet, exercise, and education are important in the management of Type 2 Diabetes (T2D), but many people also require drug therapy to manage their illness. This investigational oral tablet, when combined with diet and exercise, may help manage blood glucose levels in people with T2D. Additionally, the knowledge gained from this study may help other people with T2D in the future. You may be eligible to participate in the SOTACKD3 study if you:

» Are diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes » Are 18 years of age or older » Have HbA1c levels between 7-11%

Yes, indeed. Cirque Éloize—the touring theatrical circus troupe from French Canada that has attracted a local following after multiple visits to the Mondavi Center—is back with a show called Saloon, recalling the Old West during the late 1800s, replete with ten gallon hats, rope tricks, agile acrobatics, feats of strength, live folk-slashfiddle music and more. This family-oriented show runs around 85 minutes, and will be staged at the kid-friendly hour of Sunday (2/11) 3 p.m. $25-$45 general, $12.50-$22.50 children. Mondavi Center (UC Davis), 1 Shields Ave. in Davis; (530) 754-2787;


» Have been diagnosed with kidney disease

916-281-2262 | 02.08.18





Shooting blanks

if you like it, help support it Donate to ’s inDepenDent Journalism FunD:

Winchester no way, san Jose.


by Daniel Barnes

deep-in-debt doctor, to visit the house and assess Sarah’s mental state. Sarah lives in the house with her niece (Sarah Snook) and grand-nephew, For whatever reason, 2017 was a strong year for a creepy ginger kid who soaks up demonic movie ghost stories. Most on the nose was David possession like a sponge, and she takes her Lowery’s A Ghost Story, but films as diverse as architectural direction from the undead. Eric is Personal Shopper, Your Name, Get Out and Coco skeptical about Sarah’s claims of communing with also dealt with post-life presences unable to move ghosts, writing off his weird visions as symptoms on. Whether all that supernatural introspection was of drug withdrawal or acute grief, but the evidence inspired by recent sociopolitical events or was simply begins to mount. a quirk of the international exhibition schedule is up Even more galling than the lifeless setup for debate, but the mix of sensitivity and subversion of Winchester is the gutless follow-through. in all those films made it seem like more than a mere After over an hour of staggering in place, the accident. story suddenly grinds into gear for a big If the dispiriting Winchester is any showdown that offers an unnecessary kind of bellwether for 2018, though, amount of credibility to the ghost I it won’t be long before the living of an ex-Confederate mass don’t need envies the dead. All the feel-good murderer, a real chickenshit, phantasmagoria of 2017 turns to a demonic clown teach-the-controversy kind of slime with this deadly dull film move. screaming straight about Sarah Winchester (Helen From the retro title card into the camera for two Mirren), the real-life heiress and to the turn-of-the-century amateur architect who created hours to feel terror, setting, it’s clear that the the strange San Jose structure that Spierig brothers are striving but Winchester is became known as the Winchester for something “old-fashioned,” simply lazy. Mystery House. Most blame goes to which in their callowness they those meddling kids, the writing and interpret as “boring and slow.” Rather directing team of Michael and Peter Spierig than the kinkiness, steel-wire storytelling (Jigsaw), who both spin this tattered yarn with and textural richness of true classic horror films, all the gracelessness of an amusement park owner we get Jason Clarke endlessly stumbling through wearing a cheap monster mask. dark hallways. The utter lack of scares, even Winchester takes place in 1906, on the eve of the cheap scares, is borderline offensive—I don’t San Francisco earthquake, and largely takes place need a demonic clown screaming straight into the in the San Jose mansion that the widowed Sarah camera for two hours to feel terror, but Winchester turned into a nonstop construction site. The film takes is simply lazy. Marlon Wayans has made scarier literally the legend that Sarah designed the unusual haunted house films. Ω home, which features doors opening into walls and stairways that lead to nowhere, to hold spirits killed by the Winchester rifles that created her fortune. As the film opens, representatives from the Winchester Repeating Arms Company recruit Eric Poor Fair Good Very excellent Price (Jason Clarke), a grieving, drug-addicted, Good

1 2 3 4 5

26   |   SN&R   |   02.08.18

fiLm CLiPS



12 Strong

In the days following September 11, 2001, U.S. Army Special Forces under Capt. Mitch Nelson (Chris Hemsworth) deploys to Afghanistan, riding horseback into battle with the Taliban. Doug Stanton’s nonfiction book The Horse Soldiers, adapted by Ted Tally and Peter Craig and directed by Nicolai Fuglsig, makes an enjoyable old-fashioned war movie, spruced up with the kind of graphic combat action that couldn’t be done back in the day. Hemsworth, who grows in stature with every movie, makes a real-life action hero even more stalwart than his comic-book Thor, ably supported by Michael Shannon, Michael Peña and (as their Afghan ally) a scene-stealing Navid Negahban. The movie avoids ruminating on America’s Afghan policy, and ends before things get complicated, making it an upbeat movie about a downbeat war. J.L.


Call Me by Your Name

Director Luca Guadagnino (A Bigger Splash) dials down some of his stylistic excesses for this sun-kissed coming-of-age drama set in the Italian countryside. James Ivory adapted the André Aciman book, and the combination of chilly repression and warming desire in Call Me by Your Name make it feel like an heir to Ivory’s A Room with a View. Timothée Chalamet gives a potentially star-making lead performance as Elio, an intellectually precocious but sexually inexperienced 17-year-old nursing a crush on his father’s new research assistant, an enigmatic hunk in white crew socks and shorts named Oliver (Armie Hammer). While Elio fumbles through an awkward relationship with a female peer, his encounters with Oliver grow increasingly flirtatious, finally becoming sexual as the summer speeds toward an end. Michael Stuhlbarg gives a strong supporting performance as Elio’s compassionate father and Hammer is very well-cast, but Chalamet owns the film with his passionate ambiguity. D.B.


Darkest Hour

Gary Oldman blubbers and bellows from under wads of makeup as Winston Churchill in this lifeless biopic by director Joe Wright (Atonement), portraying the embattled British prime minister during the tumultuous weeks between his 1940 appointment and the rescue mission at Dunkirk. Despite his abrasive nature and alcoholsoaked diet, Churchill was a compromise choice intended to unite Britain’s rival political parties against the Nazi threat, although his saber-rattling rhetoric quickly proved divisive. While Oldman chomps on the scenery in a sweat-stained awards grab, much of the action is filtered through his secretary (Lily James), whom Churchill treats with a borderline Weinstein-ian overfamiliarity (bad year to heroize handsy bosses in bathrobes). After Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk and Their Finest, this is the third 2017 release to touch on the Dunkirk evacuation, although Darkest Hour stops short at Churchill’s “we shall fight on the beaches” speech, as if to underline its own pointlessness. D.B.


Forever My Girl

A popular but unhappy country music superstar (Alex Roe) returns to his small hometown and the girlfriend he abandoned at the altar (Jessica Rothe)—and a daughter he never knew he had (Abby Ryder Fortson). Director Bethany Ashton Wolf’s story (from Heidi McLaughlin’s novel) is lifted (no doubt unintentionally) from the forgotten 1956 classic Come Next Spring, but the movie staggers under its own clumsiness (also unintentional). Roe tries for tortured angst, but his character comes off as an unlikeable lump, while young Fortson is saddled with college-age dialogue and the kind of twee precocity that moviemakers seem to think is so cute. And the music isn’t all that hot either. If you’re in the mood for this kind of love-lost-and-found story, stay home and watch Come Next Spring on Amazon Instant Video. J.L.

Chekhov’s train: there must be an action scene between the cars.


The Commuter

A middle-aged insurance agent (Liam Neeson) is accosted on his train home by a mysterious woman (Vera Farmiga) who coerces him into finding someone on the train, threatening his family if he doesn’t set the stranger up to be murdered. The script by Byron Willinger, Philip de Blasi and Ryan Engle is preposterous, far-fetched and insanely complicated, and it leaps madly over the top in the last act—but what the hell, it’s just suspenseful enough to keep us wondering how it’ll all turn out. Jaume Collet-Serra’s direction is unsubtle but effective, and Neeson (having evidently given up on ever winning an Oscar) provides the conviction the movie needs (and doesn’t deserve). Patrick Wilson as his best friend has a couple of good scenes, while Sam Neill and Elizabeth McGovern are wasted in cameos. J.L.



This gaseous, pompous, clumsily well-intentioned revisionist Western from writer-director Scott Cooper (Black Mass) offers all the hollow ponderousness of The Revenant without any of the technical exuberance. Christian Bale stars as Capt. Joseph J. Blocker, an accomplished Indian killer nearing the end of his service who gets ordered to escort an old foe (Wes Studi) and his family to their homeland. Making their way through the blood-soaked moral wasteland that is Blocker’s legacy, the pair slowly reach an understanding while fighting off violent threats from all sides. Cooper made a decent, low-key debut with the Jeff Bridges vehicle Crazy Heart, but ever since then, he has wallowed in pointless violence and thunderously empty drama, and with Hostiles he has hopefully found his nadir. Bale plays hard-bitten terseness in the hammiest manner possible, but as a deranged survivor who joins the caravan, Rosamund Pike delivers the most embarrassing performance of the year. D.B.


Paddington 2

That marmalade-loving bear from Peru (voiced by Ben Whishaw), happily ensconced in London with the Brown family (dad Hugh Bonneville, mom Sally Hawkins, teenagers Madeleine Harris and Samuel Joslin), is falsely convicted of stealing a rare pop-up book, framed by a has-been actor (Hugh Grant, chewing on his villainy with hilarious relish). Director and co-writer (with Simon Farnaby) Paul King scores again with a sequel every bit as delightful and charming as the 2014 original. King and Farnaby expand the fragile whimsy of Michael Bond’s children’s books to feature length without leaving any awkward or unsightly stretch marks. The result is the kind of irresistible family-friendly fantasy that could wind up giving “sweetness and light” a good name. Brendan Gleeson as a snarling prison cook adds to the fun. J.L.


Phantom Thread


Proud Mary

Fractured masculinity and daddy obsessions have served as thematic pillars of the cinema of Paul Thomas Anderson ever since he debuted with Hard Eight in 1996. But before the formula grew untenable and stale, the control freak Anderson veered off track with his cosmically shaggy detective story Inherent Vice in 2014. Anderson serves as his own director of photography on the impeccably groomed yet quietly unsettling fashion world romance Phantom Thread, and he also created his first true female protagonist (there’s even a mommy obsession in the mix). As the demanding 1950s fashion designer Reynolds Woodcock, the excellent Daniel Day-Lewis may get top billing, but the film belongs to Vicky Krieps as Alma, a beach town waitress who enters Reynolds’ orbit. Phantom Thread often plays like a reverse Taming of the Shrew, with Alma determined to preserve her position in the House of Woodcock by cutting Reynolds down to size. D.B.

An assassin for a Boston crime family (Taraji P. Henson) takes a guilty interest in an adolescent boy (Jahi Di’Allo Winston) orphaned when she killed his bookie father—and her concern leads to an all-out gang war between her boss (Danny Glover) and a rival Russian mobster (Rade Serbedzija). John Stewart Newman, Christian Swegal and Steve Antin’s script is bare-bones predictable and never speaks when shooting will do. What keeps the movie afloat is Henson’s remarkable star power— she has the ability to be tender-hearted and steely-eyed almost in the same breath. Young Winston’s performance is similarly textured, by turns truculent and vulnerable; he may be one to watch. Director Babak Najafi gives a reasonable facsimile of the gritty atmosphere of the so-called “blaxploitation” pictures of the 1970s. J.L.






28   |   SN&R   |   02.08.18

Looper to looper SpaceWalker and Tune-Yards discuss holding  space for social justice and spirituality by April WAlker

photo courtesy of fjludo via flickr

Tune-Yards’ Merrill Garbus has those tambourine giggles.

before we started dating. Nate moved to Oakland to play music with some friends. We started dating, I moved to Oakland, and we fell in love. (She speaks through a smile as I hold back a huge “AWW!”) Do you like living in Oakland?


Who are the best musicians in Sac?

Of the places I’ve lived, Oakland is the most diverse as far as race, language and immigrant communities. I grew up in Connecticut. Most places in New England were vastly white communities that looked like me, but I’ve liked to find myself in places that reflect the world, if that makes sense. I’m also conflicted living there because of white privilege. Oakland gives incredible gifts and ideas with art intersecting with social justice. Infinitely inspiring!

My one-woman-band SpaceWalker is best known for the genre-fluid sounds I generate with my loop pedal, but I started out with just me and my guitar. I had always wanted a loop pedal but was never able In your song “Colonizer,” the vulnerability and selfto fathom how to get the sounds I wanted. The first awareness you display while bringing white privilege to time I thought, “Maybe I can try, after all,” was light is very powerful, thought-provoking and inspiring. Would you say you’ve found a after witnessing Merrill Garbus’ funky, place in activism? divine sound design via her musical I see activism as people putting alter ego, Tune-Yards. The first their bodies on the line. That’s song I ever heard by Tune-Yards activism. I don’t wanna was “Gangsta” from the W h o compare myself to that. I have k i l l album. The way the beat limited energy and put a lot of falls together and hits so hard, I it into my music, but if I can had no trouble believing Garbus feel that this art is worthwhile was from the Bay Area, but I by working toward a good recently learned she is originally vibration for all people and from New England. Connecticut, Merrill Garbus getting people talking, then that to be exact. She has been residing musician, Tune-Yards could perhaps be of use. in Oakland since the early 2000s. I was honored to chat with one of my allHow would you say your spiritual journey is time favorite musicians, looper to looper.

“Music was the only thing keeping me alive.”

connected to your art?

What was your journey like as a solo musician?

That’s so long ago now, 10 years! I was touring on my own in a Chevy. I think I needed to know what I was capable of as a woman. It was really important to know how much sound I could make on my own. What kind of setup did you have at your first gig ever?

I played ukulele first. I was just a chick with a ukulele. Then [I got] a Line 6 and would bang on the ukulele. My style was-slash-is clearly rhythmic.

I was deeply depressed at first, and music was the only thing keeping me alive. It’s a driving force. Made me understand what life is worth, its mystery and its meaning. Music manifests that energy. I definitely agree. Anything to add before your upcoming show?

We’re gonna have so much fun! It’s the very first show of the tour. Sacramento is such an important place in California, and a lot of great things happen there. I’m really excited! This is definitely an appropriate place for our first show. Ω

When did you meet your bassist Nate Brenner?

2006. We were teaching at an arts camp in New Jersey for children. We were friends for four years

check out tune-yards at 7 p.m. thursday, february 15, at ace of spades, 1417 r street. find out more about tune-yards at



B Y 0 3 .1 2 .1 8 02.08.18    |   SN&R   |   29

for the week of february 8


Post events online for free at

toBYMaC hits DeeP tour: With Mandisa, Danny Gokey, Ryan Stevenson, Finding Favour, Aaron Cole. 7pm, $15. Golden 1 Center, 500 David J Stern Walk.

MONDAY, 2/12 elK Grove CoMMunitY ConCert BanD: The




Shepard Fairey x Jim Marshall: Workers’ Rights poster.

lessons through art Stanley MoSk library, 9 aM, no cover

community band performs 100 Years of Leonard Bernstein—When I Fall In Love. 7pm, no cover. Laguna Town Hall, 3020 Renwick Ave. in Elk Grove.

frontier ruCKus: With Cataldo. 7:30pm, $8$10. Goldfield Trading Post, 1630 J St.

J BooG: With the Green, Jesse Royal. 6:30pm, $29.50-$75. Ace Of Spades, 1417 R St.

TUESDAY, 2/13 5th annual MarDi Gras seConD line: Celebrate Fat Tuesday with a traditional second line led by Element Brass Band. Follow the band from Mulvaney’s to Torch Club. Costumes, beads and feathers are encouraged (but wear comfy shoes for the second line). 4:30pm, no cover. Torch Club, 904 15th St.

eleMent Brass BanD: After the Fat Tuesday celebration, EBB celebrates the album, Cali Got a Brass Band. 9pm, no cover. Shady Lady Bar, 1409 R St.

WEDNESDAY, 2/14 Chali 2na: With House of Vibe. 8pm, $15-$20.

You may not have to open up a book for this lesson in American Civics, but you do need to hit up the local art library. This exhibit at the California State Library features works by the late photographer Jim Marshall and contemporary artist Shepard Fairey. Marshall, who died in 2010, chronicled social changes, celebrities and counterculture from the 1950s on, including Johnny Cash’s concerts at Folsom and San Quentin prisons. Fairey, who famously




franKie anD the DefenDers at the love Bash: Four bands and a comedian, including

#KeePMiDtoWnBlue Benefit shoW: With the

2018 SAMMIES nominee Frankie and the Defenders. 8pm, $10-$15. The Boardwalk, 9426 Greenback Lane in Orangevale.

la CastaÑeDa: With Rostros Ocultos. 7pm, $35-$45. Harlow’s, 2708 J St.

MiranDa laMBert: During her Livin’ Like Hippies Tour, Lambert will collect food, treats, supplies and cash donations for local shelters. 7pm, $39.72-59.72. Golden 1 Center, 500 David J Stern Walk.

the Generators: With Roadside Bombs and West Lords. 8pm, $10. Blue Lamp, 1400 Alhambra Blvd.

Kevin BaCon fest: As part of Sacramento’s Bacon Fest week, bands play covers of favorite songs from Kevin Bacon movies and TV shows. With 8:30pm, $10. Torch Club, 904 15th St.

ruBBer traMP: With Danny Morris and the

California Stars. 9pm, $6. Torch Club, 904 15th St.

stravinsKY CoMes to saC state: A faculty recital of Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat (The Soldier’s Tale). The presentation, which includes a narrator, is based on the tale of a soldier who sells his violin to the devil in exchange for riches. 8pm, $5-$10. Sac State Capistrano Hall 151, 6000 J St.





created the 2008 “Hope” poster with an image of President Barack Obama, embraces political messages in his work. In the American Civics exhibit, Fairey recreates original photographs by Marshall, recognizing figures who have been on the front lines of five American issues: gun control, income inequality, mass incarceration, voting rights and workers’ rights. See the combined talent of these two artists on display through July. 914 Capitol Mall,

los anGeles aZules: Colombian cumbia/ disco out of Mexico City. 8pm, $39.5089.50. Sacramento Community Center Theater, 1301 L St.

lP: With Noah Kahan. 7:30pm, $20. Ace Of


Spades, 1417 R St.

O’Mulligans, Banger, Zen Arcadia and more. 8pm, $15 minimum donation. Blue Lamp, 1400 Alhambra Blvd.

toM PettY anD the heartBreaKers triBute shoW: With the Nickel Slots. 8pm, $10. Old Ironsides, 1901 10th St.

PurPle CarPet funDraisinG Gala: A fundraising gala in honor of the late Prince Rogers Nelson. An effort to raise awareness about opioid dependency and the need for rehabilitation facilities. Prince tribute band When Doves Cry and comedian Joe Lopez will perform. 6:30pm, $25-$75. Tsakopoulos Library Galleria, 828 I St.

SUNDAY, 2/11 JeeZY: With Tee Grizzley. 7pm, $32-132. Ace Of Spades, 1417 R St.

Harlow’s, 2708 J St.

JuDah & the lion: With Colony House, Tall

Heights. 7pm, sold out. Ace Of Spades, 1417 R St.

olD DoMinion: The Happy Endings World Tour.

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

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

SATURDAY, 2/10 Carnaval 2018: The feeling of Rio de Janeiro comes to Sacramento wish live music, dance, traditional food, and more. 6pm. no cover. Sacramento Brazilian Center, 2420 N St.

GloBal startuP WeeKenD WoMen: See event

listing on 2/9. 6pm. $29-$99. Capitol Event Center, 1020 11th St.

saCraMento Weavers anD sPinners GuilD oPen house anD sale: Fibers, clothing, tapestries and textiles will be on display, along with educational displays. 10am, no cover. Shepard Garden and Arts Center, 3300 McKinley Blvd.

SUNDAY, 2/11 GloBal startuP WeeKenD WoMen: See event

listing on 2/9. 6pm. $29-$99. Capitol Event Center, 1020 11th St.

saCraMento DarWin DaY: Music, science displays, refreshments and cake to celebrate Charles Darwin’s birthday. Erica Bree Rosenblum, associate professor of Global Change Biology at UC Berkeley, will speak. 2pm. $5-$15. Mission Oaks Community Center, 4701 Gibbons Drive in Carmichael.

saCraMento Weavers anD sPinners GuilD oPen house anD sale: See event listing on

2/10. 10am, no cover. Shepard Garden and Arts Center, 3300 McKinley Blvd.

uPCYClePoP—PlaYful valentine’s MarKet: A pop-up market for creatively upcycled art, furniture, fashion, home design and inventions. noon, no cover. 7300 Folsom Blvd.

7pm, $39.50. Memorial Auditorium, 1515 J St.

valentine’s DanCe—eiGhties niGht saCraMento: Emo Night Sacramento presents the greatest John Hughes-esque prom. 9pm, $5. The Press Club, 2030 P St.

afro CariBBean JaZZ CluB: Afro Cuban and

Latin-inspired music. noon, no cover. The University Union Redwood Room, 6000 J St.

FESTIVALS THURSDAY, 2/8 saCreD arts of tiBet tour: The Tibetan monks of Gaden Shartse Monastery in India will visit the Auburn area through 2/11. They’ll create a sand mandala, offer healing, public talks and hands-on artistic workshops for kids and families. 7pm, no cover. General Gomez Art & Event Center, 808 Lincoln Way in Auburn.

FRIDAY, 2/9 GloBal startuP WeeKenD WoMen: One of hundreds of TechStars Startup Weekend events happening worldwide, this event will help women develop new ideas, network and gain coaching from start-up and tech experts. 6pm. $29-$99. Capitol Event Center, 1020 11th St.

FOOD & DRINK THURSDAY, 2/8 BaCon BooZY MilKshaKes: Celebrate Bacon Week with bacon milkshakes for adults and all ages (or non-drinkers) by Milk Money. 5pm, no cover. LowBrau, 1050 20th St.

saCraMento BaCon fest sKee Ball tournaMent: A skee ball tournament for a chance to win tickets to the sold-out final event of Bacon Fest. 6pm, no cover. Two Rivers Cider, 4311 Attawa Ave.

FRIDAY, 2/9 5th annual PCar CraB feeD: The Placer County Association of Realtors hosts a fundraiser crab feed. 6pm, $45-$500. Placer County Association of REALTORS, 270 Technology Way in Rocklin.

SATURDAY, 2/10 2018 norCal aiDs CYCle MarDi Gras CraB feeD: Enjoy cracked crab, mac and cheese, salad and live and silent auctions, raffles and more. Fundraiser for NorCal AIDS Cycle and its beneficiaries. 5pm, $60-$650. Sacramento Turn Verein, 3349 J St.

a valentine’s MurDer MYsterY Dinner: A dinner fit for Valentine’s Day as a show unfolds in the room. 7pm, $40. Rotary

SUNDAY, 2/11

The People Need to Laugh! Center for the arts (off Center stage), 2 p.M., $20-$22

These days it can be tough to muster a smile, let alone a full-bellied laugh. Luckily, some top comedians will transform a Grass Valley stage into a comedy club for four straight weeks with The People Need to COMEDY Laugh! Sunday shows. The series features finalists and winners of the San Francisco International Comedy Competition, which hosted the likes of Robin Williams, Ellen Degeneres and others before they made it big. The series will kick off with comedians Myles Weber, Shawn Felipe and Clara Bijl, with a different featured comedian every week through 3/4. 314 West Main Street in Grass Valley,

THEATRE IN THE HEIGHTS: A Shot In the Dark. In this three-act comedy set in 1960s Paris, a woman who is accused of murdering her lover gets help from a man who is enchanted with her. Through 2/16. $15. 8215 Auburn Boulevard, Suite G in Citrus Heights.



series of female-driven monologues that contain touching stories accented with hilarious comedic moments. Opening weekend. Through 2/18. $26. 2130 L St.


Debut. A free art exhibit open to new artists who have never shown in a juried exhibition. A reception and awards ceremony will be held at 5:30pm Saturday, 2/10. Through 2/18. No cover. 5330B Gibbons Drive in Carmichael.


ART ARTHOUSE ON R: Gang of 5 in Studio 7 Featuring

Clubhouse of Folsom, 7150 Baldwin Dam Road in Folsom.

DESSERT AUCTION AND CABARET: Davis Musical Theatre Company hosts this annual event that includes a dessert auction and performances of Broadway hits. 6:30pm, no cover. Jean Henderson Performing Arts, 607 Pena Dr., Davis.

MARDI GRAS FESTIVAL CRAWL: Celebrate like you’re on Bourbon Street during the Mardis Gras crawl in Old Sacramento. 8pm, no cover. Old Sacramento, Second and K streets.

TEA APPRECIATION 101—HISTORY, TYPES, AND STEEPING: Join The Novel Tea to learn about the history of tea, the types of tea, and how to steep the perfect cup of tea. This threehour workshop will include a tasting of six types of tea. 2pm, $35. Sierra 2 Center, 2791 24th St.


followed by a Q&A about the popular ’90s show. 9pm Saturday, 2/10. $15. Kevin McDonald Sketch Writing Workshop. The Kids in the Hall comedian shares the secrets of writing comedy sketches, and students will perform and write with his supervision to put on a show for the public that night. 10am Saturday, 2/10. $180. 1050 20th St, Suite 130.

LAUGHS UNLIMITED COMEDY CLUB: Poetic Justice: A rare full show performance by awardwinning poet Terry Moore, who has opened for Raphael Saadiq, Dr. Cornel West and more. 8:30pm Thursday, 2/8. $10-$25. Brett Walkow. With Jason Cheny. Through 2/11. $10$20. 1207 Front St.

PUNCH LINE: Frankie Quinones. Featuring Chris Estrada, hosted by Rudy Ortiz. 9:45pm. Through 2/10. $17.50-$22.50. Aida Rodriguez.

Finalist on NBC’s Last Comic Standing comes to Sac. Through 2/17. $25. 2100 Arden Way, Suite 225.

SACRAMENTO COMMUNITY CENTER THEATER: An Evening with Bill Maher. Comedian, television host and political commentator performs. 8pm Saturday, 2/10. $49.75-$125.75

(sold out). 1301 L St.

2018 OSCAR NOMINATED SHORT FILMS: A screening of animated short films nominated for Oscars. 7:30pm, $14. Crest Theatre, 1013 K St.

THE ROOM BENEFIT SCREENING: A screening of The Room, the film that is the inspiration behind the 2017 movie The Disaster Artist. Audience members encouraged to dress as their favorite character for a costume contest and interact with the film. Fundraiser for the Sierra 2 Center theater. 7pm, $15. Sierra 2 Center, 2791 24th St.

SATURDAY, 2/10 THE AFRICAN AMERICANS MANY RIVERS TO CROSS: Part of a six-hour series by Henry Louis Gates Jr. that covers centuries of African-American history. Includes interviews with people on the front lines of school integration, former Black Panther members and politicians. RSVP required. 5pm, no cover. SF Johnson Foundation, 6720 Fair Oaks Blvd., Suite 103 in Carmichael.

TUESDAY, 2/13 ANIMAL FILM FESTIVAL KICK-OFF: Screening of The End of Meat. 7pm, $10-$15. The Guild Theater, 2828 35th St.

COMEDY COMEDY SPOT: The Gateway Show. Comics tell jokes, get super high, then come back to try and tell more jokes. 9pm Friday, 2/9. $12$15. Kevin McDonald Evening Performance. Kids in the Hall star Kevin McDonald performs with Anti-Cooperation League,

STATE THEATRE: Elayne Boosler. Named one of Rolling Stone’s “50 Best Stand-up Comics of All Time.” 8pm Friday, 2/9. $34-$36. 985 Lincoln Way in Auburn.


to Laugh! See event highlight above. 2pm. Through 3/4. $20-$22. 314 W. Main St. in Grass Valley.

THUNDER VALLEY CASINO: Carlos Mencia. Named one of Rolling Stone’s “50 Best Stand-up Comics of All Time.” 7:30pm Friday, 2/9. $54.95-$42.95. 1200 Athens Ave. in Lincoln.

the father he’s never met. $30. 2828 35th St.

Through 2/25.

HARRIS CENTER: Giselle. The Moscow Festival Ballet performs the popular dramatic ballet. 7:30pm Thursday, 2/8. $38-$68. 10 College Parkway in Folsom.

HOUSE OF OLIVER WINE LOUNGE: Into the Woods. The popular Stephen Sondheim musical reveals the darker side of our favorite childhood fairy tales. Through 3/25. $25$39. 3992 Douglas Boulevard, Suite 140 in Roseville.

MANGO’S SACRAMENTO: One Night Stand. See

event highlight below. 4pm Saturday, 2/10. $20-$25. 1930 20th St.

MONDAVI CENTER: Saloon. Theater and circus collide in this Western-themed show—the newest acrobatic creation from contemporary circus troupe Cirque Éloize. 3pm Sunday, 2/11. $12.50-$45. 1 Shields Ave. in Davis.

NEVADA THEATRE: Marat/Sade. This play within a play set a decade after the French Revolution shows asylum inmates reenacting the assassination of journalist Jean Paul Marat. Through 2/10. $20$35. 401 Broad St. in Nevada City.

SIERRA 2 CENTER: Stories in Dance. A familyfriendly show with belly dancers, Mexican Folklorica dancers and Hinalei Polynesian dancers. Fundraiser for the 24th Street Theatre. 2pm Saturday, 2/10. $10-$15. 2791 24th St.

SUTTER STREET THEATRE: Straight Camp. A high school basketball star is sent to a camp for

sexually confused teens. Through 2/18. $15$23. 717 Sutter St. in Folsom.

Shirley Hazlett. With art by Lucia Rothgeb, Rod Williams, Sue Chapman, and Linda Heath Clark. A reception will be held at 5pm Saturday, 2/10. Through 2/25. No cover. 1021 R St.


Saturday art reception will feature a wineinspired art exhibit, live music, live painting, wine and chocolate pairings and more. 6pm Saturday, 2/10. No cover. 2500 J St.

CROCKER ART MUSEUM: ArtMix | Love Boat. An under-the-sea-themed night with DJ Shaun Slaughter, performances by the Sacramento Mermaids, costumes, a card making workshop and more. 6pm Thursday, 2/8. $10. E. Charlton Fortune: The Colorful Spirit. An exhibition of work by one of California’s most progressive female artists. Through 4/22. $5-$10. 216 O St. light on page 32. 6pm Saturday, 2/10. No cover. 921 11th St., Suite 401.

JOHN NATSOULAS GALLERY: John Toki. Solo exhibit of the Japanese-American ceramic artist who was born and raised in the Bay Area. Opening reception will be held at 7pm Saturday, 2/10. Through 3/3. 521 1st St. in Davis.

PENCE GALLERY: The Consilience of Art and

with Black Salt Collective. A talk with two members of the collective—artists Adee Roberson and Anna Luisa Petrisko. 7pm Thursday, 2/8. Contact for cover. 625 S St.


CK ART: Art, Wine & Chocolate. The Second

ELKS TOWER: Love is a Verb. See event high-

uses acrylic, aluminum, brass, wood and leather to create sculptures and explore collective consciousness, shared idealism, dogma and symbolism. A gallery talk and reception will be held at 4pm Thursday, 2/1. Through 2/9. No cover. 6000 J St.

Smithsonian Exhibition Art of the Airport Tower. Take a photographic journey to airports throughout the United States and beyond through images captured by Smithsonian photographer Carolyn Russo. Through 7/6. $8-$10. 3200 Freedom Park Dr.

CALIFORNIA MUSEUM: And Still We Rise: Race, Culture and Visual Conversations. More than 60 story quilts handcrafted by artists from the Women of Color Quilter’s Network chronicle 400 years of significant events for African-Americans. Through 5/27. $9. Kokoro: The Story of Sacramento’s Lost Japantown. Rare family photos document the one-thriving downtown community devastated first by forced removal during WWII and again by redevelopment in the 1950s. Through 3/11. $9. 1020 O St.

UC DAVIS DESIGN MUSEUM, CRUESS HALL: It’s Bugged: Insects’ Role in Design. An exploration of the creative relationship between people and insects through this vibrant art and design installation. Through 4/20. Free. 1 Shields Ave. in Davis.

Science. A bi-annual juried exhibit that explores the intersection between art and science. Through 3/2. No cover. Corporeal Paintings by Mark Gleason. Works that show a world of dramatic tension by Mark Gleason. Through 2/25. No cover. 212 D St. in Davis.

SAC STATE ELSE GALLERY: All Exaltations: Meditations in Sculpture. Andrew Connelly


TOMMY T’S COMEDY CLUB: Medium Cindy Kaza. A far cry from the wrinkled fortuneteller stereotype. 7:30pm Tuesday, 2/12. $20$30. 12401 Folsom Blvd. in Rancho Cordova.

ON STAGE CAPITAL STAGE: Valentine’s Show. Sacramento composer/producer Graham Sobelman presents his cabaret show—a night of stories and songs, featuring Nancy Zoppi and friends. 7:30pm Sunday, 2/11. $25$30. 2215 J St.

GRANT UNION HIGH THEATER: Legacy 2.0. Images Theatre Company’s historical musical takes audiences on a journey from African kingdoms through the Civil Rights movement to current times. Through 2/25. $15$22. 1400 Grand Ave.

GUILD THEATER: The Absent Father, the Wayward Son. A one-man show about how a teenager copes with discoveries about


One Night Stand Mango’s, 4 p.M., $20-$25

Yes, it’s a one-night stand but no, not the kind you’re thinking. This One Night Stand will feature a variety of local performers—including comedian Drea Meyers and musician Kate Livoni—a silent ON STAGE auction and a special guest from the Oglala Lakota Nation. Hosted by V-Day Sacramento, the nonprofit that brings The Vagina Monologues to Sacramento each year, the show will raise funds for A Community for Peace, Sacramento Justice League and Wellspring Women’s Center. Enjoy a night of entertainment while supporting the women in your community. 1930 K Street, PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRIS BUENO, SACTV






see more eVents and submit your own at

CaLendar ListinGs Continued From PaGe 31

all aGeS Friday, 2/9 drum and danCe For Joy: Celebrate Black  History month with the Fenix Drum and  Dance Company as they tell stories and  teach traditional African dances around  a drum circle.  3:30pm, no cover.  McKinley  Library, 601 Alhambra Blvd.

Saturday, 2/10 Card maKinG For Kids: A drop-in program  where children can make a card for  someone special in their lives.  2pm, no cover.   North Sacramento-Hagginwood Library,  2109 Del Paso Blvd.

materiaL eXPLosion—manGa/anime: For kids  ages 7 to 12 to learn to create a character  as well as a “character sheet” to display  a range of emotions.  10:30am, $15-$20.   Crocker Art Museum, 216 O St.

SPortS & outdoorS tHurSday, 2/8 La mesa rV sHow: Picture yourself hitting  the open road in one of the many RVs on  display.  9am, no cover.  Cal Expo, 1600  Exposition Blvd.

Friday, 2/9 La mesa rV sHow: See event listing on 

2/8.  9am, no cover.  Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition  Blvd.

yoGa and soCiaL JustiCe raCe and etHniCity:  Monthly meetings discussing social justice  as it relates to yoga, mindful living and nonviolence.  6pm, no cover.  The Yoga Seed,  1400 E St.

Saturday, 2/10 15tH annuaL VaLentine run/waLK-raCe For JustiCe: Enjoy either a 1.8-mile untimed 

course or the 4-mile timed course.   6:30am, $16-$40.  Country Club Plaza, 2310 Watt Ave.

ameriCas ruGby CHamPionsHiP: USA v. 

Canada.  3pm, $20-$95.  Cal Expo, 1600  Exposition Blvd.

Galt Fairgrounds, Civic Drive and Chabolla  Ave.

La mesa rV sHow: See event listing on 

2/8.  9am, no cover.  Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition  Blvd.

marGarita madness: A 5K fun run focused  less on speed and more on margaritas and  fun. Cost of run includes admission to the  Margarita Madness After Party.   4pm, $50$70.  Land Park, 3800 Landpark Drive.

saCramento inVitationaL taeKwondo CHamPionsHiPs: Hundreds of competitors  take part in a daylong martial arts  extravaganza.   9am, $15.  American River  College Sports Center Gyms, 4700 College  Oak Drive.

wwe: Men and women toss each other around  in the ring.  7:30pm, $20-$75.  Golden 1  Center, 500 David J Stern Walk.

Sunday, 2/11 La mesa rV sHow: See event listing on  2/8.  9am, no cover.  Cal Expo, 1600  Exposition Blvd.

taKe action tHurSday, 2/8 Protest aGainst oFFsHore driLLinG:  Join the Ocean Protectors Coalition of  Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples in  Sacramento, the ancestral home of the  Nisenan, Maidu and Mi-wuk/Miwok peoples,  to protest offshore drilling.  1:30pm, no cover. California State Capitol North Steps, 1100  L St.

monday, 2/12 deCoLoniZinG Gender: Discuss the zine  “Decolonizing Gender: A Curriculum” by  Malcolm Shanks and khari jackson, and  relearn the expansive understanding of  gender expression.  6pm, no cover.  The  Washington Neighborhood Center, 400 16th  St.

tueSday, 2/13 dsa HeaLtHCare Committee meetinG: Join the  effort to create a cheaper, more efficient  healthcare system statewide and nationally.  5:30pm, no cover.  Old Soul at Weatherstone,  812 21st St.

GaLt’s tiny maratHon: A flat, fast course with 

a 5K, 10K and half-marathon.   8am, $45-$75.  

Saturday, 2/10

Love is a Verb Elks TowEr, 6 P.M., no covEr

Love can take so many forms. During this  swanky Saturday party, 20 artists will display  their work in a celebration of love and  art unity, with drinks, music and dancing.  Grab someone you care for and see the beautiful  penthouse walls of the Elks Tower filled with  works by Sacramento artists Raul Mejia, Alex  Trujillo, Melissa Uroff Millner and others. This  show is one-night only, so show up dressed to  the nines, ready to give and get some love. 921  11th Street, Suite 401.

32   |   SN&R   |   02.08.18

PHoto courteSy oF meliSSa uroFF millner

02.08.18    |   SN&R   |   33






The acousTic den cafe

Songwriters in the Round, 7pm, no cover

Christie Lenée, 7pm, $20

Sourdough Slim & Robert Armstrong, 7pm, $15

The Music of the Eagles, 2pm, no cover

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


PopRockz, 10pm, no cover

Beads, Babes, Boys & Booze Mardi Ball, 10pm, $15-$25

#ManCandy, 10pm, call for cover

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

Trapacana, 10pm, W, no cover

BaR 101

Steve Stizzo Trio, 6:30pm, no cover

The Stoneberries, 9:30pm, no cover

Todd Morgan, 9:30pm, no cover

Blue lamp

The Generators, Roadside Bombs, West Lords, 8pm, $10

#KeepMidtownBlue Benefit with Zen Arcadia and more, 7:30pm, $15 donation

Joseph Kay, 8pm, $12

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2018 Love Bash with Graybar Hotel and more, 8pm, $10-$15

Count it Up with Lil Pete, Frosty Da Snowman, 7pm, $25-$50

Skinlab, Unprovoked and more, 7pm, $15

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Dinner and a Drag Show with Kandy Ho, 7:30pm, $5-$20

10271 FAIRWAY DRIVE, ROSEVIllE, (916) 412-8739 2003 k ST., (916) 448-8790 101 MAIN ST., ROSEVIllE, (916) 774-0505 1400 AlHAMbRA blVD., (916) 455-3400 9426 GREENbAck lN., ORANGEVAlE, (916) 358-9116



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Trivia Night, 6:30pm, M, no cover; OpenMic Night, 7:30pm, W, no cover Voyer, XTomHanx and more, 8pm, T, no cover

Valentine’s Day Dinner, 4pm, W, call for cost The People Need to Laugh! with Myles Weber, 2pm, $20-$22

Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams, 7:30pm, T, $24-$27

Decades, 7pm, call for cover

Every Damn Monday, 9pm, M, no cover; Noche Latina, 9pm, T, no cover

Reds Blues, 7pm, no cover

One Eyed Reilly, 7pm, no cover

Lucy’s Bones, 6pm, W, no cover

Michael B. Justis, 8pm, no cover

Kally O’Mally & the 8-Tracks, Hunter Merritt, 9pm, $5

Working Man Blues, the Cantaliers, 9pm, $5

All Vinyl Wednesdays with DJ AAKnuff, 8pm, W, no cover

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Miranda Lambert, 7pm, $150+

Trail Blazers v. Kings, 7:30pm, $15-$238

WWE Live Road to Wrestlemania, 7:30pm, $35-$115

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College Night, 9pm, no cover

Rhythm City RCA All-Stars, 9pm, $5

Take Out, 9pm, $7

2708 J ST., (916) 441-4693

La Castañeda, Rostros Ocultos, 7pm, $35-$45

Tainted Love (’80s covers), 9pm, $18-$20 Tainted Love (’80s covers), 9pm, $18-$20 GhosteMane, 6:30pm, $20-$25


On the Low, 9pm, no cover

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Ambers Wake, Chaos Mantra, Somni, 6:30pm, $10-$12

XEB, the Cutbacks, Knockout, 7pm, $18-$20

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Lauren Wakefield, 9:30pm, no cover

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Sactown Playboys, 9:30pm, no cover

with the O’Mulligans 7:30pm Saturday, $15 Blue Lamp Rock

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with special guests TBA 7pm Thursday, $30-$35 Holy Diver Rap

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TobyMac, 7pm, $15 Let’s Get Quizzical Trivia Game Show, 7pm, T, no cover Chali 2na, 8pm, W, $15-$20 The Trivia Factory, 7pm, M, no cover; Geeks Who Drink, 7pm, W, no cover The Veer Union, Veio, Xaon and more, 6:30pm, $12

MyChildren My Bride and others, 6:30pm, M, $13-$15 Open-Mic Tuesdays, 7pm, T, no cover Nebraska Mondays, 7:30pm, M, $10; OpenMic Comedy, 7:30pm, T, no cover

Sounds of Blackness (Black History Month Celebration), 6pm, $15-$20

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

Red’s Blues with John Cocuzzi, 5:30pm, W, $8-$30



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Nerd Night, 8pm, $10

Winter Reign, The Igors and more, 8pm, $10

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Tribute Show, 9pm, $10

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Open-Mic Karaoke, 8pm, no cover

Tyrannocannon and more, 9pm, $10

South Lake Brewing Pint Night & Team Trivia, 6pm, no cover

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The Tepid Club of Cool, 5pm, call for cover

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Shotgun Sawyer, Lightning Rules, Gnargoyle, 8pm, call for cover

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Open 8-Ball Tournament, 7:30pm, $5 buy-in

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Rubber Tramp, Danny Morris and the California Stars, 9pm, $6

Guitar Shorty, 3pm, $10

Pardi Gras with Eddie Z, 10pm, no cover before 11pm

Masquerade, 10pm, no cover before 10:30pm, $5 after

Mardi Gras Weekend Party, 7pm, call for cover

Mardi Gras Weekend Party, 7pm, call for cover

Sunday Funday, 9pm, call for cover

Steven Menconi Band, noon, no cover; Heartless (Heart tribute), 2pm, call for cover

Riff Raff Valentines Show, noon, call for cover

Daniel Castro, 9pm, $10

You Front the Band Karaoke, 8pm, no cover

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BaconFest Skee Ball Tournament, 6pm, no cover

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Open 9-Ball Tournament, 6:30pm, M, no cover Anti-Valentine’s Party with OneLeg Chuck, 6pm, W, call for cover

My Lady in Red Pre-Valentine’s Party with Lady Kate, 10pm, call for cover

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Heath Williamson, 5:30pm, M, no cover; Karaoke, 9pm, T, no cover

Groove on Fridays, 9:30pm, call for cover

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Fat Tuesday Celebration, 8pm, T, call for cover; The Bumptet, 9pm, W, $5

Natalie Cortez Band with Sicky Betts 8:30pm Friday, $10 Torch Club Kevin Bacon soundtrack covers

Two Rivers’ Valentine’s Day Cabaret, 7pm, $10

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LP, Noah Kahan, 7:30pm, $20

Elysium Live, 7pm, $10-$45

Black Crosses, Year of the Fist and more, 8pm, $10

Cardboard Houses, Floral Jacket and more, 7pm, $7-$10 The Anima Effect, Shorelines, Gigantes, 8pm, $10

Larisa Bryski & Willy Seltzer, Bri, Jojo Minnick, 8pm, $8

Negative Press Project, the Mechula, 8pm, $10

Fallout Kings, 6pm, $5

Second Saturday Art Show with Zose Art, 2pm, no cover

Jeezy, Tee Grizzley, 7pm, $32-$132

J Boog, The Green, 6:30pm, M, $29.5075; Judah & the Lion, 7pm, W, sold out

Gaffer Project, Dolores 5000, Not, Higuera, 8pm, $5-$10

Spike Polite & Sewage, 8pm, M, $7

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Galentine’s Day? Whatever! I broke up with my boyfriend a few weeks ago. It was the right thing to do because after three years, the relationship wasn’t going anywhere toward marriage, which is what I want. But I’ve been so sad and lonely. Every time something happens, I reach for the phone to call him, and then I realize I can’t. I feel so alone! F---ing Valentine’s Day is coming up, too. I can’t even. What advice do you have for me? Honor the power of choice. You chose to end a relationship that didn’t evolve the way you believed it should. What else could you have done? A lot, actually. You might have changed your expectations to embrace what was good between you and your man without expecting a fairy tale ending. Or you could have nurtured tension and conflict by demanding that your boyfriend change to become the boyfriendto-fiance prototype in your head. Instead, you opted for what you believed was best for you. There is nothing wrong with your choice. It’s just helpful to remember that every choice has consequences, including emotional ones. The grief moving through you is about far more than the end of a relationship. Your grief is connected to the death of the dream you held for the relationship. It’s the pain of realizing that you have been primarily invested in your fantasy of what the future would be, and not as invested in the reality of your relationship. You were stuck in the “love is magic” trope. That is, if you love someone enough, they will want to become whatever you want them to be. Ewww! It doesn’t sound romantic on paper, does it? Maybe that’s because it’s about control, not love. Let’s talk about February 14. Valentine’s Day is our culture’s celebration of love. Marketers have smartly put the emphasis on romantic love because that’s where the money is for them. But you’re not required to follow their lead. Organize your squad for a Galentine’s Day party or scroll through SN&R’s Sweet

Deals until you find something that makes you happy and be your own date. Or volunteer at a local shelter and pour love back into our community. Stop limiting your definition and experience of love. When you do, your grief will fade fast. I’m widowed and have recently started dating online. I have sent 20 to 30 emails to women, but they don’t respond. Am I doing something wrong? In the online dating world, people don’t respond to emails, winks or likes if they’re not interested in pursuing the connection. It’s also possible the person who posted the profile is no longer an active member but didn’t deactivate her or his account. Dating sites allow nonactive profiles in the mix because interest in a nonactive profile might nudge that person to renew a membership. It also helps the site’s algorithms to understand the kind of person you’re interested in and to refine your matches accordingly. So don’t take the lack of response personally. It’s like being in a room of 1,000 people. You might smile at every woman but the one who matters is the one smiling back. Ω

You were stuck in the “love is magic” trope.


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MEDItAtIon oF thE WEEk “Don’t ever think I fell for you, or  fell over you. I didn’t fall in love, I  rose in it,” wrote Toni Morrison  in her novel, Jazz. How can you  expand your definition of who  deserves your love?

Write, email or leave a message for Joey at the News & Review. Give your name, telephone number (for verification purposes only) and question—all correspondence will be kept strictly confidential. Write Joey, 1124 Del Paso Boulevard, Sacramento, CA 95815; call (916) 498-1234, ext. 1360; or email

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What’s inside: The 420 41 Cannabis censorship 43 Capital Cannabis Map 46

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38   |   SN&R   |    02.08.18

02.08.18    |   SN&R   |   39


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Before we get started, I want to mention that we have just lost a great pioneer and activist. Dennis Peron, the “Fairy Godfather” of the medical cannabis movement, passed away last week. He was the impetus behind Prop. 215, and a wonderful, funny and passionate freedom fighter. Rest in peace Dennis. We cannot thank you enough. Hey Ngaio, I read your column in SN&R every week! I was wondering if you knew of any dispensaries in Sacramento that are selling marijuana bouquets for Valentine’s Day? I want to get my husband something different this year.

I called several shops for general info. I learned that these cannabis retailers believe they are required to collect and store each customer’s personal identification. I’m wondering why this is done. I can’t find any wordage in the new law that requires this. It’s not done when you buy cigarettes or beer. Why is it done for weed? All that is required is a valid ID showing proof of legal age. I believe these cannabis detailers are misreading the requirements set forth in the law. Can you please show me where in the law this requirement is spelled out?

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—Winston Smith It’s weird, right? Yeah, clubs are keeping Good luck track of what you buy. It’s because state ordering your law says you can’t possess more than an pot in the new ounce, plus the new laws require clubs to have a “track and trace” system in place to world. make sure that people aren’t taking advantage or diverting weed out of state. It’s kinda dumb, but it is the rule. At a recent stakeholders meeting, Sacramento weed czar Joe Devlin also expressed frustration with the system and said he was open to suggestions on how to comply with the law and respect privacy issues. Maybe one of my readers has a good idea on how to handle this. If you do, please send me an email. I think it’s weird that the state needs to know exactly how much weed I buy (I mean, they don’t track alcohol sales), but I am not worried about it. If the feds tried to arrest everyone in California that bought less than an ounce of pot, the courts would grind to a halt. There is safety in numbers. And privacy has been dead for at least 10 years. Good luck ordering your pot in the new world. You could always go back to your friendly neighborhood pot dealer. Ω

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—Rose E. Saared THAT’S A GREAT IDEA!!! You are a very thoughtful partner. I have seen random bud bouquets at pot parties, but I never thought to try and purchase one for a paramour. Looking on the web, I see that Lowell’s in Los Angeles sells a bud bouquet for like 400 bucks. It contains an ounce of weed and looks spectacular. I don’t know of any clubs in NorCal offering a similar deal, but maybe call around or hit up one of those farmers markets and tell them what you want to do. I am sure someone will help you. Have a great and stony Valentine’s Day.

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• MeNtioN SN&R foR fRee Photo id • Mon-Sat 10aM-6pM, Sun 11aM-5pM • CultivatorS welCoMe NOTICE TO CONSUMERS: The Compassionate Use Act of 1996 ensures that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use cannabis for medical purposes where medical use is deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician who has determined that the person’s health would benefit from the use of medical cannabis. Recommendations must come from an attending physician as defined in Section 11362.7 of the Health and Safety Code. Cannabis is a Schedule I drug according to the federal Controlled Substances Act.Activity related to cannabis use is subject to federal prosecution, regardless of the protections provided by state law.

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Photo by Ken Magri

A screenshot of the author’s cannabis shoe design, rejected without a clear explanation.

My Banned Vans Despite legalization in some states, cannabis images still get censored by Ken Magri


ans has a website that lets customers upload their own images onto shoes. I love this site so much that I’ve designed three pairs, including a pair of loafers with a photo of cannabis leaves on them. But after paying for the custom shoes, Vans canceled my order and returned the money. They didn’t say why. I already used this same photo to print business cards through, and Staples allowed it on a coffee mug. Was it flagged by some anti-cannabis algorithm? I tried getting an answer from two public relations directors at Vans’ parent corporation, VF. I sent a screenshot of the shoe, but neither responded. So, I logged into the official Vans chat-line and defended my cannabis shoe design to their friendly representative, Brandi. “We cannot accept any images that are taken from the internet,” answered Brandi. When I explained the photograph was mine, and not “taken,” she typed, “or advertises any illegal service.” When I countered that it wasn’t advertising, she stopped offering reasons and sent a link to Vans’ official policy. Despite increasing legalization, cannabis images are censored almost arbitrarily. Although there are thousands of cannabis businesses on Facebook, in 2016 it removed the account of Dixie Elixirs, a popular cannabis beverage company. Soon after, Facebook’s subsidiary Instagram removed the accounts of two Canadian cannabis companies.

Many newspapers don’t accept cannabis ads (obviously not this one). Last year a Northern California T-shirt company refused to print a grower’s logo design. The Nevada Bureau of Taxation censored a 2018 charity

After paying for the custom shoes, Vans canceled my order and returned the money. calendar of budtender pin-up girls because one woman held a joint near her mouth, implying “an intent to consume.” Starting this May, the U.S. Postal Service will stop delivering mail with marijuana images on custom-printed stamps. Even the cannabis community is debating about changing inappropriate strain names like Green Crack, Wet Dream, and MILF, which was popularized by the Showtime series “Weeds.” A recent editorial in 420 Magazine suggested Girl Scout Cookie be renamed “Cherry Pie Kush.” Maybe someday Vans will make my censored shoes. But it will take a sea change of public opinion before the stigma surrounding cannabis completely disappears.

Produced by N&R Publications, a division of News & Review.


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FRee will aStRology

by Bansky Gonzalez

by RoB BRezsny

FOR THE WEEk OF FEBRUARy 8, 2018 ARIES (March 21-April 19): British athlete Liam

Collins is an accomplished hurdler. In 2017, he won two medals at the World Masters Athletics Indoor Championships in South Korea. Collins is also a stuntman and street performer who does shows in which he hurdles over barriers made of chainsaws and leaps blindfolded through flaming hoops. For the foreseeable future, you may have a dual capacity with some resemblances to his. You could reach a high point in expressing your skills in your chosen field, and also branch out into extraordinary or flamboyant variations on your specialty.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): When he was 32,

the man who would later be known as Dr. Seuss wrote his first kid’s book, And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. His efforts to find a readership went badly at first. Twenty-seven publishers rejected his manuscript. On the verge of abandoning his quest, he ran into an old college classmate on the street. The friend, who had recently begun working at Vanguard Press, expressed interest in the book. Voila! Mulberry Street got published. Dr. Seuss later said that if, on that lucky day, he had been strolling on the other side of the street, his career as an author of children’s books might never have happened. I’m telling you this tale, Taurus, because I suspect your chances at experiencing a comparable stroke of luck in the coming weeks will be extra high. Be alert!

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): A survey of British

Christians found that most are loyal to just six of the Ten Commandments. While they still think it’s bad to, say, steal and kill and lie, they don’t regard it as a sin to revere idols, work on the Sabbath, worship other gods, or use the Lord’s name in a curse. In accordance with the astrological omens, I encourage you to be inspired by their rebellion. The coming weeks will be a favorable time to re-evaluate your old traditions and belief systems, and then discard anything that no longer suits the new person you’ve become.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): While serving in the

U.S. Navy during World War II, Don Karkos lost the sight in his right eye after being hit by shrapnel. Sixty-four years later, he regained his vision when he got butted in the head by a horse he was grooming. Based on the upcoming astrological omens, I’m wondering if you’ll soon experience a metaphorically comparable restoration. My analysis suggests that you’ll undergo a healing in which something you lost will return or be returned.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): The candy cap mushroom,

whose scientific name is Lactarius rubidus, is a burnt orange color. It’s small to medium-sized and has a convex cap. But there its resemblance to other mushrooms ends. When dried out, it tastes and smells like maple syrup. You can grind it into a powder and use it to sweeten cakes and cookies and custards. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, this unusual member of the fungus family can serve as an apt metaphor for you right now. You, too, have access to a resource or influence that is deceptive, but in a good way: offering a charm and good flavor different from what its outer appearance might indicate.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): A grandfather from

New Jersey decided to check the pockets of an old shirt he didn’t wear very often. There, Jimmie Smith found a lottery ticket he had stashed away months previously. When he realized it had a winning number, he cashed it in for $24.1 million—just two days before it was set to expire. I suspect there may be a comparable development in your near future, although the reward would be more modest. Is there any potential valuable that you have forgotten about or neglected? It’s not too late to claim it.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The U.S. Geological

Survey recently announced that it had come up with improved maps of the planet’s agricultural regions. Better satellite imagery helped, as did more thorough analysis of the imagery. The new data show that the Earth is covered with 618 million more acres of croplands than had previously been thought. That’s 15 percent higher than earlier assessments! In the coming months, Libra, I’m predicting a comparable expansion

in your awareness of how many resources you have available. I bet you will also discover that you’re more fertile than you have imagined.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In 1939, Scorpio

comic book writer Bob Kane co-created the fictional science-fiction superhero Batman. The “Caped Crusader” eventually went on to become an icon, appearing in blockbuster movies as well as TV shows and comic books. Kane said one of his inspirations for Batman was a flying machine envisioned by Leonard da Vinci in the early 16th century. The Italian artist and inventor drew an image of a winged glider that he proposed to build for a human being to wear. I bring this up, Scorpio, because I think you’re in a phase when you, like Kane, can draw inspiration from the past. Go scavenging through history for good ideas!

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I was

watching a four-player poker game on TV. The folksy commentator said that the assortment of cards belonging to the player named Mike was “like Anna Kournikova,” because “it looks great but it never wins.” He was referring to the fact that during her career as a professional tennis player, Anna Kournikova was feted for her physical beauty but never actually won a singles title. This remark happens to be a useful admonishment for you Sagittarians in the coming weeks. You should avoid relying on anything that looks good but never wins. Put your trust in influences that are a bit homely or unassuming but far more apt to contribute to your success.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): A Chinese man

named Wang Kaiyu bought two black-furred puppies from a stranger and took them home to his farm. As the months passed by, Wang noticed that his pets seemed unusually hungry and aggressive. They would sometimes eat his chickens. When they were two years old, he finally figured out that they weren’t dogs, but rather Asian black bears. He turned them over to a local animal rescue center. I bring this to your attention, Capricorn, because I suspect it may have a resemblance to your experience. A case of mistaken identity? A surprise revealed in the course of a ripening process? A misunderstanding about what you’re taking care of? Now is a good time to make adjustments and corrections.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Charles Nelson

Reilly was a famous American actor, director, and drama teacher. He appeared in or directed numerous films, plays and TV shows. But in the 1970s, when he was in his 40s, he also spent quality time impersonating a banana in a series of commercials for Bic Banana Ink Crayons. So apparently, he wasn’t overly attached to his dignity. Pride didn’t interfere with his ability to experiment. In his pursuit of creative expression, he valued the arts of playing and having fun. I encourage you to be inspired by his example during the coming weeks, Aquarius.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): According to

ancient Greek writer Herodotus, Persians didn’t hesitate to deliberate about important matters while drunk. However, they wouldn’t finalize any intoxicated decision until they had a chance to re-evaluate it while sober. The reverse was also true. Choices they made while sober had to be reassessed while they were under the influence of alcohol. I bring this to your attention not because I think you should adhere to similar guidelines in the coming weeks. I would never give you an oracle that required you to be buzzed. But I do think you’ll be wise to consider key decisions from not just a coolly rational mindset, but also from a frisky intuitive perspective. To arrive at a wise verdict, you need both.

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

Baseball crusader Just a week before scheduled  tryouts, the fields at Memorial  Park that the West Sacramento  Little League calls home hardly look  ready for any sort of baseball. The  thick, uncut infield grass would  swallow any ground ball, and the  basepaths are lined with clumps  of dirt and divots that would trip  up even the most attentive base  runner. The poor field conditions are  mostly fixable, and the least of the  worries for West Sac’s only youth  baseball league, because as of now  they have no idea where they’ll be  playing next year. Memorial Park is  set to undergo renovations to make  the park—which lacks sidewalks  and indented curbs—more ADAfriendly, and those renovations  will effectively end the league’s  nearly 70-year-long residency.  West Sacramento native Steven “Iko” Brewer is stepping forward,  looking for help from the city’s most  famous residents to ensure that the  kids will have somewhere to play  next season. Recently, the 25-year-

old aspiring rapper and former West Sac Little League all-star pleaded with the Sacramento River Cats on social media, asking the team to help “keep kids’ dreams alive with a new park.”  Now, after a strong response online,  Brewer is increasing his efforts. 

What was your reaction to the news of the park being shut down? How can you do that to kids? To know that you’re not giving kids that opportunity—youth sports is so important, because who knows where kids could have ended up without it. This kept kids like me focused. All I had to worry about was my next game, my next practice, my next at-bat, my next pitch, my next catch. My buddy Albert [Manriquez] was like, “We can’t allow that.” Just looking at the field, [the city] just clearly don’t care. Baseball season is in a few days, this grass should be ready, it should be all leveled out. But they’ll get a new IKEA. They’ll get a Target, a Walmart. They just got approved for a movie theater. But you won’t do something for the kids?

Tell me about using social media to help the league. Success, to me, is being able to assist with the situations that created me, and this was majorly impactful to my life. Baseball was everything to me. When I saw the news, it just didn’t make sense

PHOTO by liz lOPez

to me. We’ve got plans to get people together and do something to try to raise money to go to City Hall to say, “Hey, this is what we want to do, and this is what we want to bring to you.” Social media can bring attention to anything. I understand the city is more focused on the economy part, but you’re not focusing on the future that’s going to keep the economy going. That’s more important. These kids are going to be what keeps our environment and economy thriving. When you break them down and take things they love away, what do they have to look forward to? So, Albert said, “Let’s reach out to the River Cats; they’re residents.” What better way to give back then get the attention of the people the kids come and support so much? That alone keeps kids’ dreams alive, seeing the River Cats.

Has there been any response from the River Cats? Not yet. But it doesn’t stop there. We’re reaching out to news stations, we’re not having a lot of responses from it but we’ve just got to push. Consistency is major in my opinion, and you just have to show them you’re serious.

Do you have kids or family in the league? I do. I have a cousin who is in the league, and it’s crazy because he played basketball his whole life. Last year, he moved back to Sacramento from Reno

and he told his dad, “I want to play baseball,” and he loves it. He plays on the small field. He’s a year away from this field and it’s like, right before he gets to the big field, that [thing] you wait for, that goes away. I called my cousin the other day and asked, “How does Pop feel about this?” And he’s torn. He loves this.

What’s the next step for you guys? We’re going to work toward a fundraiser and I want to put something together here at the park, locally funded, everybody puts in for it. Maybe a barbeque, because that’s what they do for opening day, and just have people come out. I like to barbeque so I’d be the person on the grill, throwing down, making burgers and hotdogs, the usual ballpark stuff. Just see if we can get as many people in the community together as possible, and honestly, I think it can happen.

What’s your end goal? You can’t just take that outlet away, because now the kids have nothing. I want to come to the point where the city, as a community—and that’s why I want the Giants’ and the River Cats’ help—gets a new park. You can only polish something for so long. After a while, everything has its time. Ω To register your child for the 2018 season, go to Opening day is March 17.

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