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Era ends for Davis— the city and the mayor NEWS, 08 Sacramento’S newS & entertainment weekly

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July

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STREETALK LETTERS NEwS GREENLiGhT FEATuRE SToRy ARTS & CuLTuRE DiSh STAGE MuSiC FiLM CALENDAR CApiTAL CANNAbiS GuiDE 45 ASK joEy 47 15 MiNuTES

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At first I thought it might be the news that was making me feel sick. The radio alarm was set to NPR’s Morning Edition, which as usual spewed stories of the worsening darkness. This morning, it did not feel good. It felt bad to be reminded that for the rest of my life, the Supreme Court will be dominated by conservative ideologues whose strict interpretation of the Constitution somehow always serves corporate interests. Facing the repercussions, I felt queasy. The most important social gains of my lifetime—women’s rights, voting rights for minorities, gay rights, health-care reform, environmental regulation—are threatened by lawsuits coast to coast, and now face a bleak future. Groan. I dragged myself out of bed to pick up the New York Times. There, the news was even worse. Pres. Trump is headed to the NATO summit to meet with U.S. allies whom he has relentlessly ridiculed, and then to meet with the dictator he openly admires. Blecch. His other pal, Kim Jong Un, has snubbed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and, despite the June summit between North Korea’s dangerous leader and ours, that nation’s nuclear weapons program continues unabated. Russian poison gas kills again in Great Britain, which teeters, facing Brexit. Trump administration opposes breastfeeding. Ugh. I realized—I am literally getting sick. Turns out it was food poisoning. There was a violent episode. Feeling much better now, thanks. I had to lie down for a while, so I turned on the radio to hear Democratic eminence Leon Panetta voice hope that the republic will survive, as long as Democrats realize that “they can’t afford to fight Republican extremism with Democratic extremism.” Yep—and that is getting harder to sell. Feeling a little better, I switched to Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, which always cheers me up. Maron was talking to Boots Riley, the revolutionary hip-hop artist and director of the science fiction political comedy Sorry to Bother You. Riley talked about how he avoids work that gets bogged down in depression and anger. “It’s because I have an optimism that’s related to having an analysis of how things could change. Not saying we’re in a position to do that—but I can see a path.” Damn, Boots. Thanks. Time to get to work.

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“There are way Too many brewerIeS here ...”

asked at Golden road BrewinG in Midtown:

Is Sacramento’s brewery scene getting too big?

Mat t Cervantes

alejandr a Martine z

health foundation worker

I think I just read an article that there were 61 craft breweries, locally, here: I think [in] Yolo County, Placer County and Sacramento … No complaints. For somebody who enjoys trying new brews, it’s kind of a fun attribute of the region.

ruphia luz

college student

I think it’s the right size, just people coming together—a place to hang out with your friends and your family.

receptionist

There are way too many breweries here, but seriously, we can’t have enough beer, you know what I mean? So, it’s a good thing and yet it is a bad thing.

daniel Miller computer engineer

(My friend and I) both moved here in the last year from Cincinnati. The brewery scene there is also kind of on the up in the same way … Out here, there’s a lot of like micro-breweries coming up, which is kind of cool because you can try out a lot of different things.

eden sales

ale x reiter

barista

college student

I don’t think necessarily that a brewery scene can be too big. Because—other than the fact that you get to try anyone’s interpretation of a beer, their experiments with it—the brewery scene is becoming more than just some place to get beer. It’s like an activity to do.

No, I mean it’s nice … It’s really nice to have more places to hang out. Like this place particularly, it’s not a crowded bar, it’s more just relaxed.

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Trail doesn’t add up

Steinberg’s sweethearts? Re “The soft drink industry wins the first round” by Jeff vonKaenel  (Greenlight, July 5): Sacramento Mayor Darrell “The Fixer” Steinberg bragged on  TV about his role in passing the state ban on local soda taxes and  of his ability to make backroom deals with special interests. The  state ban was in exchange for the Business Roundtable’s dropping  an initiative to require a two-thirds vote to pass tax increases.  In a June 28 AP story, Steinberg said if the initiative had made the  November ballot, “it could have blown a $50 million hole in our  budget around police, fire and parks.” Is he saying that without new  taxes the city will have a $50 million budget hole? Someone should  ask him to explain this.  Steinberg is planning an initiative to make the temporary  Measure U sales tax permanent and to double it. Do we need this  tax increase? Does it need to be permanent? What have they spent  measure U money on? One item was a 17 percent pay raise for all  city cops who have been with the department for over four years.  That is more than just a pay raise, it’s a payoff. For what, we don’t  know—yet. 

Jan BeRgeRon S a c ra m e nt o v i a n ew s r e v i e w . c o m

Re “The $10 million trail” by Eric Johnson (News, July 5): “The $10 million trail” varies from the $15 million that has been the stated total at neighborhood meetings on the matter over the past several years. Last year it was stated that over $2 million in planning had already been expended. This project seems to be an effort to spend as much as possible to accomplish as little as possible. It is only a couple of miles long and has no drinking fountains or restrooms, yet costs over $3 million per mile! The existing rail bridge over the freeway is a double track bridge design with only a single track in place allowing plenty of room for bike lanes yet this project proposes to blow a huge amount of money to add and “outrigger” to the bridge for bikes. That is the best illustration of government waste one can imagine. Walked a couple of miles of the trail with one that had planned

parks in Virginia and Texas and he wondered how they could even spend $2 million on the project. People already walk dogs and ride bikes along the paths, but the extremely wide proposed pavement will negatively impact wildlife that exists well into the Land Park area, wiping out the greater part of it. People normally try to preserve that factor in an urban area. This project needs examination with a far more critical eye. Rick StevenSon S a c r a me nto v ia e ma il

Death: Get over it Re “Hold the phone” by Ngaio Bealum (Ask 420, July 5): Tamir Rice was banishing (sic) what looked like a gun to passersby and pointing it at them. Somebody called the cops and said a man in the park had a gun and was pointing it at people. That is all the cops had. They pulled up on a call about a man with a

gun which turned out to be Rice with a toy gun which had the red band removed from the barrel to make it look real. The cops had an instant to make a decision which could have meant they were lying dead in the morgue. You can argue till the sun goes dead about what should be done, however, no cop has the duty to die. Nevermind this was one of the most crime-ridden areas of the city with a high crime rate. As to the rest of this piece, some people are nasty, some are polite and some just go around looking to make trouble. That is life, get over it. Michael Fellion

read more letters online at newsreview .com/sacramento.

@SacNewsReview

Facebook.com/ SacNewsReview

@SacNewsReview

carmichael via newsreview.com

Correction Last week’s news article “The $10 million trail” misidentified Chris Hughes, the volunteer spearheading the Del Rio Trail project for the South Land Park Neighborhood Association. We regret the error.

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Robb Davis stands in front of Davis City Hall during one of his final days as mayor.

Davis’ last days As he leaves office, mayor who bears his city’s name says ‘privilege’ is changing town’s progressive identity by Dylan SvoboDa

In late April, Robb Davis looked at a crowd of more than 60 college students struggling to get by in the city that shares his name. The occasion was a town hall to address the ongoing housing crisis in the city of Davis—one that pushes longtime residents to the streets and forces students and workers to drive their carbon-emitting vehicles through a city that claims to be one of the most environmentally friendly locales in America. But the Davis that people know from its University of California campus, rich agrarian history and leftleaning reputation is not the city that Robb Davis presided over as mayor these past two years. The college town has been struggling to accommodate residents while making room for newcomers admitted by the university or displaced by Bay Area housing prices. Robb Davis was elected to the Davis City Council in 2014 on a platform of increasing social services for the less fortunate and boosting the city’s tepid housing stock. Four years later, he felt like he had little to show for it. He didn’t have answers but he had a message. “We need to decide what we want to be as a city,” he told the young faces in the audience. “I want a city that’s welcoming to students. I want a city with dense high-rise housing close to where people work and go to school. I haven’t been able to achieve that. I’m challenging the next council to figure out a way to get there.” That was just over two months ago. Time has not softened Davis’ outlook. On a recent June morning, he sat on the patio of Mishka’s Cafe, tucked into a quaint stretch of Second 8

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Street, and reflected on four years of frustration and an unrealized agenda. He saddled the blame on an attitude he says is becoming all too common in places divided into haves and have-nots—privilege. “What we’re experiencing when we get push back on homelessness or more housing is privilege,” Davis told SN&R. “Privilege is being able to say ‘I don’t have to deal with that. I want something a certain way, and that’s the way it’s going to be.’” As first a councilman and then a figurehead mayor, Davis says he tried to challenge that narrative—to little avail. Having officially left office on July 9, Davis—both the man and the city—have to decide what they’re going to be next.

New chAlleNges, olD vAlues As city leaders set out to confront troubling housing and homelessness trends in recent years, the liberal haven has struggled to maintain its political values while answering its new challenges. Robb Davis thought he was the person for that job. Before he was a politician, Davis spent more than 25 years combating HIV/AIDS and malaria as a child health specialist for NGOs in Afghanistan and Africa, among other public health hotspots. An international student adviser at UC Davis, he sought to bring homelessness to the forefront of the small town’s political consciousness after he was elected by a wide margin in 2014. According to the Yolo County Homeless and Poverty Action Coalition, the homeless population increased by 28 percent in the city from 2009 to 2017.

Photo by Dylan SvoboDa

Robb Davis got his turn to be mayor in 2016. The two-year appointment rotates based on seniority and votes, and bestows no special powers. Davis was still just one of five votes on the council, but tried to use his symbolic mantle in a proactive way. Voters weren’t as receptive to his agenda as he hoped. And Davis soon learned that while he shared his city’s name, he did not share its changing identity. Late last year, Mayor Davis advocated for a ballot measure that would’ve established a $50 annual tax on homeowners and generated an estimated $1.4 million annually to pay for social services and affordable housing to address homelessness. The council decided against placing the measure on the June ballot due to a lack of public support. In March, Davis was the only dissenting voice on a 4-1 council decision to adopt an aggressive panhandling ordinance, which the mayor described as an attempt to disparage the homeless. (A federal judge last week issued a temporary injunction

against a similar ordinance in the city of Sacramento, citing free-speech concerns.) Rising rents and a dearth of housing options have exacerbated these situations. Average rent for a bedroom in the city surged by over 28 percent during Robb Davis’ term while the city’s vacancy rate hovered around 0.4 percent. Davis took office under the impression that dense, multifamily, transit-oriented housing would be a hit among the city’s housing-crunched citizenry. Getting such projects approved, he learned, proved difficult. The Nishi Gateway project, which would’ve housed more than 1,500 people, was narrowly voted down by Davis residents in 2016. The council recently approved the Trackside Center infill project and got voter approval for Nishi 2.0, which is set to house over 2,200 students, but both face environmental impact lawsuits. Neil Ruud, a local political consultant, surmises that an aging and politically stagnant population has


Homeless court odyssey see NeWs

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library loses music see NeWs

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K.J. v sN&r— still see GreeNliGHt

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beats

PaNHaNdle aWay something to do with the city’s role as the political body’s hesitation. progressive voice. Like him, “I think a lot of the longtime though, she still represents just residents here who were once one vote. progressive didn’t keep moving “It’s going to be rough forward,” Ruud said. “While without Robb’s voice on the they still wear that title as a dais,” said Sean Raycraft, a badge of who they are, they’ve Davis resident and community kind of fallen behind the times. activist. “Gloria, in a lot of … We pay a lot of lip service ways, will be that voice. I’m to inclusivity in this town but optimistic for her.” our policy doesn’t match it. Davis expressed faith in his Robb encountered that paradox successor and the next council. in this town.” “The incoming mayor is Davis’ political someone who underadversaries counter stands intuitively that he simply how to advance needed to things,” Davis “We need to propose better said of Lee. solutions. “He’ll get a decide what we Alan Pryor, lot of stuff want to be as a city.” who opposed done. … Robb Davis both the Housing former mayor, city of Davis Nishi Gateway is going to project and the continue being social services an issue, homehomeowners tax, lessness is going to says residents have high continue being an issue, standards when it comes to but I feel pretty confident public policy. that the group that’s coming “The residents here are together understands and cares highly educated, politically about those issues.” savvy, and they plan on being In spite of Davis’ political around for a long time,” Pryor frustrations, some say he’s said. “They want to see smart had a successful run. He growth and policy. We want played a key role in securing things done on the citizen’s a $233,000 grant from Sutter terms. I think that’s why we Health to fund supportive get the perception that we’re housing for the homeless and a hard town to deal with. In hired the city’s first homeless many respects it’s true, we’re outreach coordinator. very demanding. … We have Pryor noted that although high expectations.” YIMBY advocates may not be satisfied, the city has seen NeW era beGiNs the approval of more housing units than in decades, most The Davis City Council started notably The Cannery, Nishi a new era on Monday. Robb 2.0, Trackside Center and the Davis handed the mayoral reins Lincoln 40 apartments. to Brett Lee, a process improveWhile Robb Davis may not ment engineer for Farm Fresh To You, while the council added have accomplished everything he wanted, it was the trying two new members. They are that counted, said David LGBTQ activist Gloria Partida Greenwald, founder of The and Dan Carson, who chaired People’s Vanguard of Davis, the city’s finance and budget an online news nonprofit commission. covering the city since 2006. Some community members “He cared about everysee Partida, the only woman thing,” Greenwald said. “He and person of color on the wanted to make Davis the best council, as taking Robb Davis’

place he could, and he wore it on his sleeve. He meant the things he was saying. They were heartfelt. He agonized over them. He questioned himself over whether or not he did the right thing. He did it in a very humble and genuine way. This guy is not a politician. He was able to transcend being a politician and still be an effective leader.” That ability to toe the line between administrator and crusader will be Robb Davis’ true legacy, says Raycraft, a local union shop steward and California Assembly District 4 delegate. “To some extent, I think, he’s going to think he’s a failure because he didn’t get quite as many of the things done as he wanted,” Raycraft observed. “But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t made a positive impact on the community. There are a lot of people that look up to him, particularly in the younger generation. He’s stood up for those who don’t normally have a voice.” Post-public life, Robb Davis says, he will continue working at UC Davis and is actively seeking community service opportunities. With no shortage of intellectual expertise to draw from, he suggests that the city’s potential is only limited by its capacity for compassion. “It’s the gifts of the people in this town that have made it such a great place to live,” Davis said. “It’s privilege that’s kept others from benefiting from it. “We’ve got people with really amazing experiences and deep knowledge of virtually any issue that comes up,” he continued. “They volunteer their time to help us deal with those issues. We have amazingly gifted people. A lot of cities don’t have that. So I’m optimistic we’ll face the challenges.” Ω

Dealing a severe blow to the city of Sacramento’s efforts to make homelessness less visible around the downtown core, a federal judge this month froze strict panhandling restrictions adopted last year, writing that his preliminary injunction “prevents the enforcement of an unconstitutional law.” In ordering city officials to immediately stop enforcing a policy against asking for donations in many parts of Sacramento, U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. determined the city was likely to lose the case on free speech grounds and that it had “less restrictive means” to protect its interests. The Sacramento City Council approved its so-called aggressive panhandling ordinance in November 2017, after downtown business interests complained about confronting more begging outside their storefronts. But panhandling complaints actually dropped by almost 30 percent when Mayor Darrell Steinberg was defending the need for stricter enforcement, according to records obtained by SN&R. Through January 1-November 6 of last year, the Sacramento Police Department was contacted 666 times about panhandlers. During that same period in 2016, officers fielded 914 such disturbance calls. Under the ordinance council members

adopted, simply “approaching” a pedestrian can be interpreted as aggressive or intrusive solicitation. James Lee “Faygo” Clark, a homeless activist and frequent council critic, joined the Sacramento Regional Coalition to End Homelessness and Sacramento Homeless Organizing Committee, or SHOC, in challenging the local panhandling law on constitutional grounds this past April. Clark regularly panhandles—or “spangs”— outside of the Natural Foods co-op on R and 28th streets, the plaintiffs’ federal complaint states, “because it is difficult to obtain healthy food while being homeless and he obtains nutritious food and other donations from the store’s patrons.” But because the Co-op has three driveways, is on a thoroughfare and is within 30 feet of a Sacramento Regional Transit bus stop,

standing on the sidewalk holding paper signs requesting donations, as Clark does, is considered illegal under the city’s law. Sean Richmond, a senior deputy city attorney, confirmed the judge’s order enjoined the entire ordinance and said the city would not appeal the ruling. But, in an email, he indicated that city officials would return to the drawing board, “to determine if it can be amended such that it does pass analysis by the court.” (Raheem F. Hosseini)

old yolo Two often-overlooked sectors of yolo county government are in dire need of technological upgrades, according to a new grand jury report. The grand jury concluded that Yolo County’s Child, Youth and Family Branch is hindered by an outdated data entry system. It also found the county’s archives are stored in an inadequately temperaturecontrolled building, causing old newspapers and county documents to fall apart. The report called upon the Yolo County Board of Supervisors to accelerate funding for, and mend, each issue. Due to a database that’s more than 20 years old, Child, Youth and Family Branch social workers spend about five hours per case—nearly half of their time—entering data, the report found. Grand jury foreperson Pro Tem Lynn DeLapp noted the county’s child welfare department’s strong output of late, despite being thwarted by the lack of analytics, staff and technological resources. The report comes on the heels of several highly publicized child deaths

related to extreme child abuse in Yolo County. On New Year’s Eve 2017, two young girls were killed by their father in a murdersuicide, and in September 2017, three young children were strangled to death by their father. Both incidents occurred in West Sacramento. The county’s archive collection also needs modernization. The report called on Yolo County’s archives coordinator and the Board of Supervisors to provide funding for a scanner and a digital asset management system by October this year. It also found a need for the county to build a new library entirely by 2035. Archives and records coordinator Heather Lanctot thinks the county’s unique history should give officials reason to meet those deadlines. “[The county is] one of the original 27 counties in the state,” Lanctot said. “Our records are fairly complete. You can get a continuous history of the county. We have the Board of Supervisors minutes all the way back to 1849—pre-statehood.” (Dylan Svoboda)

07.12.18    |   sN&R   |   9


Vikki Emrick, a homeless breast cancer survivor, struggles to get from North Auburn to court in Roseville. Photo by Graham Womack

Tough road North Auburn’s homeless population struggles getting to court in Roseville, risking fines and jail time by Graham Womack

an extended version of this story is available at newsreview.com/ sacramento.

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When Deneane Williams was resolving an old DUI last year, she took no chances getting to court. Staying at the Right Hand Auburn homeless shelter, Williams had to contend with a 90-minute public transit trip, requiring two transfers, to reach the Santucci Justice Center in Roseville. Making her 8:30 a.m. appearance meant catching a bus in North Auburn before 7 a.m. “I’m a worry person so I didn’t want to mess up at all,” Williams said. In North Auburn, it’s easy to find homeless people with similar stories. Any transient person there with a legal issue beyond what the local homeless court can handle faces one of the most brutal public transit trips in the Sacramento region. First, per Google Maps, they must grab a Placer County Transit bus near the DeWitt Center at 6:35 a.m. for a 13-minute trip downtown. After a 12-minute wait to transfer, they then take a 30-minute light-rail train to Galleria Mall in Roseville. After |

07.12.18

a narrow five-minute transfer window, they board a 20-minute ride via Roseville Transit to Santucci. Should they fail to appear in court, they face the possibility of racking up additional charges. “It’s a regular thing,” said Kaleb Mulford, as he stood in front of a popular homeless gathering spot across from Right Hand Auburn. “It’s too true of a thing that goes on in our community.” South Placer attorney Samuel Berns said the county once had local municipal courts in places such as North Auburn, Loomis and Colfax. But in recent decades, California counties have shuttered these courts and referred matters to destination-style superior courts. Berns said that while this trend’s benefited county budgets, it “has really, really hurt that effort to get people to court for minor misdemeanor stuff.” The county’s attempted to address this somewhat in the past few years by adding

a local homeless court in North Auburn that can address minor infractions, such as illegal camping. Even so, on the Placer Superior Court appointment list, Berns regularly represents people like Robert Borden, who’s had several misdemeanor citations over the past year for public intoxication or trespassing. Getting to court in Roseville is hard enough for an able-bodied homeless person. Borden, 68, battles various health issues and is wheelchair-bound. As a result, he missed court enough times that a judge finally jailed him before releasing him on probation. Berns said he’s had a half-dozen homeless clients in North Auburn in the past year, many of whom wound up with a similar deal. Putting someone like Borden in jail and on probation, Berns said, “instead of getting him preemptive services is really sort of a microcosm of … the problems with the approach that Auburn is trying to take with their homeless problem.”

In conservative Placer County and particularly in Auburn, homelessness has been a lightning-rod issue. Amid public complaints about the North Auburn shelter existing, the county has struggled to keep it under a consistent operator, with The Gathering Inn taking over July 1 after roughly a year of operations by Volunteers of America. At times, the polarized political climate has seemingly spurred harsh treatment of vulnerable people. Vikki Emrick, a homeless breast cancer survivor, racked up five citations for illegal camping in less than a month last fall. Emrick also had to make the trip to Roseville, which isn’t that much easier for her than it is for Borden. Emrick said free bus tickets through the county are limited. Otherwise, the ride to Santucci and back costs approximately $6. “It’s a long way down there and then it’s a long way back,” Emrick said. It’s also tough getting back to the shelter from court if it lets out between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., when there are no buses from Santucci. “It’s like buses don’t go there,” said John Kidd, homeless for about a year in Placer County. “You gotta wait all day to get out of there.” Placer County Assistant Chief Probation Officer David McManus defended his department’s work around homelessness, saying people can access a variety of programs and that “the county has come together to really try to do something effective with this population.” McManus also downplayed concerns about North Auburn homeless residents being able to get to court in Roseville. “I’m not saying it’s easy,” McManus said. “I understand some of the challenges of public transportation. It could be hours of travel time. But they can get there if they want to.” Getting to court as a homeless person isn’t much easier in Sacramento County, where many legal issues must be heard out of Carol Miller Justice Center near Power Inn Road and Folsom Boulevard. Some homeless can’t afford the fares for the approximate 7-mile transit ride to the court from the downtown core, said Ronald Blubaugh, a pro bono attorney for the Tommy Clinkenbeard Legal Clinic at Loaves & Fishes. As a result, homeless people who want to show up for their court appointments risk being cited for fare evasion, a vicious cycle that perpetuates the circumstances of their poverty. “Riding out there to take care of their ticket, they get another ticket,” Blubaugh said. Ω


Photo by Scott thomaS anderSon

Closing the book Debate over canceled  music program  highlights impact of  library funding cuts The Colonial Heights Library has to make tough choices on its programs.

by Scott thomaS anderSon

s cot t a@ n ew s r ev i ew . com

Just blocks from the Colonial Heights Library are some of South Sacramento’s most challenged neighborhoods—high-fenced avenues where endemic poverty and startling health outcomes have left a cloud over part of the city’s future. Yet area families say the art deco confines of Stockton Boulevard’s library was a gathering spot that felt hopeful. It was a place that helped toddlers wake up to the spell of music while their parents learned to lean on each other. That support network was recently disrupted when library officials canceled the program, choosing to replace it with a different set of offerings. Supporters of the program argue it was a community-building asset that was free and within walking distance for those on the surrounding street. Library officials counter they’re still having to make tough budget decisions seven years after their funding plummeted by nearly $3 million. The canceled program was run by Ken Cooper, better known to local families as Mr. Cooper. The weekly class Cooper ran in the library’s community room involved parents gathering in a circle around two large rugs, holding their toddlers on their laps, while Cooper would sing songs and encourage the little ones to clap. Singalongs and freeze dancing were also part of the hour. For Rachel Gregg, who took her son to the program for over a year, it provided a strong parental support network. Gregg says roughly 30 to 40 families attended each class. “I remember thinking, ‘These are my people now,’” Gregg recalled. “It was just an incredible sense of belonging, especially being around other parents who know what you’re going through.” Losing the class had an impact on Gregg’s son, too. “He has a verbal delay,” Gregg said. “I think it really helped his confidence. When the class was canceled, he was just getting brave enough to get off my lap and dance with the other kids.” Aubra Fletcher is another parent upset about the program getting axed. Fletcher, a single mother, had brought her son to Cooper’s class since fall 2016. “I was really saddened by the loss of it. I couldn’t understand why,” Fletcher said. “It was

really good exposure to music for my son. … Many of the songs were educational. The messages were important. It’s all those little building blocks that are great for kids.” The Colonial Heights Library is at the intersection of Stockton Boulevard and 21st Street, bordering a jurisdictional anomaly often called the “Fruitridge finger.” The infamous finger is a contorted peninsula of unincorporated county land that juts into the city’s official boundaries. The area has some of the region’s worst poverty rates and health statistics. Some 22 nonprofit groups, along with coalitions like the Black Child Legacy Campaign, are working inside the Fruitridge finger to help restitch its social fabric. Gregg and Fletcher say that residents from both sides of Stockton Boulevard enjoyed Cooper’s program, with Tahoe Park families and south city families coming together there. Single parents, same-sex parents and parents of all income levels would offer each other encouragement. “It wasn’t patronizing, everyone felt welcome,” Fletcher said. Sacramento Public Library CEO Rivkah Sass said Cooper’s program is still being funded at the Belle Cooledge Library in Land Park and the Robbie Waters Library in the Pocket-Greenhaven area. Sass said it was axed from the Colonial Heights lineup because her team felt other initiatives would be more useful there. While Cooper’s music class is gone, the library is offering bilingual, hip-hop and gardening story times, the latter which incorporates food literacy. “We want to make sure we’re offering programs that meet the needs of the community,” Sass said, adding that Sacramento’s library system has never recovered from the blood-letting it suffered during the financial meltdown. “We’ve found a way to fund 12 libraries with the budget for 10. … We have to make choices every day.” Ω

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Adult-use: six Months lAter A mixed report on the state of legal cannabis in California after six months into California’s legalization of retail cannabis, the results are mixed. While new testing and packaging mandates make cannabis safer than ever, dispensaries and businesses across the state remain frustrated by local governments, slow licensing and lackluster sales. “The market is inundated with a general sense of malaise,” said Hezekiah Allen, Executive director of the Cannabis Growers association. “What was once a dynamic and diverse marketplace is now stagnant, with significant barriers disrupting commerce and communities.” allen put much of the blame on local governments that won’t allow cannabis manufacturing or dispensaries. in addition, state license fees ranging from $4,000 to $120,000, make it difficult for smaller outfits, like medical marijuana businesses, to stay in compliance. While some businesses slowly work their way through the application process, others have already jumped to the illegal black market.

“i think ultimately the average consumer will be the winner here.”

Fashion-forward enthusiasts celebrate the adult-use era at a recent cannabis event.

forrest heise, green solutions dispensary

The good news is that retail cannabis will now be tested for pesticides, fungicides, potency and terpene content. a rush to liquidate all untested products ended in June, depleting dispensary inventories. “prices are increasing again due to the stricter testing and packaging standards,” said Forrest Heise at Green Solutions dispensary, “but eventually they will fall back down.” With only 19 test labs in California, the supply is expected to be bottle-necked for another month. Kimberly Cargile at A Therapeutic Alternative sees the new testing mandate as an incredible achievement. “Consumers can now walk into any licensed dispensary in the entire state of California and know that all the products on the shelves are lab tested and free of contamination from molds, mildews, pesticides and solvents.” Cargile advocated at the Capitol for statewide regulations for over a decade.

Look for adult graphics and opaque packaging with test data. “The labeling on the product allows for full transparency to the consumer about what they are purchasing,” said Haley Andrew of Dixon Wellness Collective. “It helps us build a great relationship with our consumers.” regulators have planned meetings across the state in the upcoming months, seeking input from the public before turning the emergency regulations into law this January. As for the mid-year corrections, Heise was optimistic. “I think ultimately the average consumer will be the winner here,” he said.

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Where’s the

we have been lucky, in general, to avoid Next Tuesday, July 17, is a big day for the them. But I thought the mayor’s argument Sacramento News & Review and for the future was absurd. Public information requests are of investigative reporting in California. That is important tools for getting the information the day the California Third Appellate District we need to do our job. It’s often the only Court of Appeal will hear arguments in the way to educate the public about what our lawsuit filed against the News & Review by public officials are doing. Our reporter former Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson. Cosmo Garvin and then-editor Nick Miller The News & Review is asking the court to and others spent hours and hours working to reverse a lower court ruling that the newspaper uncover this story. is not entitled to attorney’s fees for the cost of At issue was the public’s right to know responding to the mayor’s lawsuit against the about emails sent by employees of the city newspaper when we pursued a public informaof Sacramento. As the court later ruled, only tion request. a few emails were protected by attorneyIn 2015, the News & Review and The Sacramento Bee both filed routine public infor- client privilege. And once the majority of the requested emails were released, the mation requests asking the mayor to disclose emails revealed that members of Mayor emails regarding city staff’s involvement with Johnson’s staff were using significant Johnson’s personal work with the National public resources to work on the mayor’s pet Conference of Black Mayors. We suspected, projects. and the released emails revealed, that city staff Even though the cost of this lawsuit was were spending a considerable amount of time a considerable financial hardship for our working on the mayor’s project to take control newspaper, I believe that backing away from a of the organization. legitimate public information request because Instead of just providing the requested of the threat of a lawsuit would encourage emails, Johnson sued the newspapers and the public officials like Mayor Johnson to squash city of Sacramento, saying the public informapublic information requests. It’s a little like tion request could violate his attorney-client turning over your lunch money to a bully. privilege. Threatened with a lawsuit, The Bee Once you start, it’s hard to go back. backed out, leaving the News & Review Typically, if the media files a alone to defend this public records public information request, request in court. and the government agency As it turned out, a mayor fails to fulfill their legal suing a newspaper over a obligation, then the media public information request Instead of just files a lawsuit to compel received much national providing the requested the agency to comply. If publicity. Partly as a the court rules in favor result of that national emails, Mayor Johnson sued of the media, then the coverage, Deadspin government agency has the newspapers and the connected with Mandi to cough up the attorKoba and reported that city of Sacramento. ney’s fees. she allegedly received But for reasons that $230,000 in hush money make more sense in Alice to prevent her from talking in Wonderland than California about her relationship, when she judicial code, if the agency sues the was 15 years old in Phoenix, with media, for whatever reason, it can be much then-NBA star Kevin Johnson. This actually more difficult for the prevailing party to get became a bigger story than our discovery of legal fees. the city staff’s emails and our lawsuit. This was bad news for us. Frankly, this I do not like lawsuits. And in over 40 case cost more money than we could afford. years of publishing alternative newspapers,

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

We are so appreciative of the many people and organizations that contributed to our legal defense fund. Without their help, I do not know where we would be. And we are so grateful to our attorneys, who, recognizing the national importance of this case, have offered to do this final appeal at no cost to us. This case is critical for journalism. If the lower court ruling holds, then any politician with considerable resources faced with a public information request could just play a game of legal-fees chicken. If the media or a concerned citizen was unable to pay the legal fees necessary to pursue the case, they would have to give up. That is why a brief has been filed in support of our case by the following organizations: The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press American Society of News Editors The Associated Press Associated Press Media Editors Association of Alternative Newsmedia California Newspaper Publishers Association Californians Aware The Center for Investigative Reporting First Amendment Coalition Gannett Co., Inc. Los Angeles Times Communications, LLC National Press Photographers Association The San Diego Union-Tribune LLC Society of Professional Journalists, and TEGNA Inc. / KXTV-TV

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by jeff vonkaenel

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The public’s right to know

Similar to the Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United case, which, by removing political donation restrictions, tilted our electoral process to favor the rich, the lower court’s ruling in our case effectively enables the politically powerful to avoid providing “public information” to the public. The Appeal Court can and should reverse it. July 17 is a big day. Ω

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

07.12.18    |   SN&R   |   13


escape

What began as an online puzzle-solving game has morphed into a real-life global bonanza

by AAron CArnes

ROOM BOOM

My wife amy and I drive home after our first-ever escape-room experience—and debate. Who made the Object drop? I know “Object” isn’t very specific. I’m being purposely vague here because, should you do this escape room—and you should— I’d hate to spoil anything for you. But it’s a funny story, and I think it’ll explain in part what’s great about escape rooms. We are a group of four: Amy, myself, my longtime friend (and Gnarboots bandmate) Adam Davis, and fellow SN&R writer and pal Steph Rodriguez. We meet up at Exit Strategy Games in Elk Grove on June 16. This is the first escape-room experience for each of us. Though it’s unspoken, we are all uncertain of what to expect, and secretly nervous that we will be the weakest link in the group. We wait around in the lobby while our jovial game master, Mikey Acord, chats our ears off about all things escape rooms. His job is to watch us from here in the lobby via surveillance cameras and give us hints if we get stuck and request some help. But first, he sits us down and shows a homemade video of a crazed man who explains the back story for the game we are about to play: Conspiracy Theory.

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thE BREAkOut Bunch

name: Blake Morse, shortcut extraordinaire SkillS: Séance warlock

REAlly cREEPy Our escapade continues the following Saturday, where we tackle three separate rooms with barely a break for tacos. We start with Quandary in Roseville, followed by NorCal Escape Company, located in a warehouse space on the outskirts of Yuba City, and close with Escape Sacramento, in Midtown in an old chiropractic office. It’s got a large key painted on its front door in an otherwise unassuming building. Our team is Adam, Amy, myself and Oakland friend (and also fellow Gnarboots member) Blake Morse. Steph Rodriguez will join us at NorCal Escape Co. She’s bringing along Stephanie Espinosa, guitarist/vocalist for local indie rock band Garble. Quandary is tucked away in a historic building in old downtown Roseville. We climb a flight of stairs and enter what appears to be a film-noir detective’s office. The shades are drawn; it’s dimly lit. Our guards go up right away. Escape Room Tip No. 1: Think on your feet.

name: Amy Bee, the friendly advisor SkillS: Telekinetic capabilities

name: Aaron Carnes, team captain SkillS: Code-cracker. Level: Nancy Drew

MEAtSPAcE AvAtARS I’m not ashamed to brag—we win with less than a minute left on the clock. The four of us make a good team. We communicate well, though sometimes Adam gets a little out of control and stressed out. We exit the room feeling like kings. Here we are, four grown adults, solving puzzles together for a full phone-free hour (devices aren’t permitted inside). It’s quite the

high. I can’t remember the last time I’ve gotten together with a group of friends to play a game. Mikey, sensing our elation, offers to let us play Exit Strategy’s second room, The Torture Chamber, which is a serial-killer scenario. We immediately say yes, ready for more action. This apparently is a common escape-room premise, as owner Janelle Woodbury tells me. Apparently it’s a low-investment room to set up, as Home Depot offers most of your serial-killerroom needs at a reasonable price. Janelle is a hardcore fan, having done 152 unique escape rooms. She dumps all that enthusiasm into her own venture. She’s opening a few new rooms at Exit Strategy later in the year in the hope that she’ll take her business to the next level. Exit Strategy was one of the early rooms in the area. She opened her doors in March 2016. Now there are more than 20 escape rooms in the greater Sacramento region—it’s a boom. Roughly half of those have popped up in the last year.

PhoTo By LuCAS fiTzgerALD

It’s the 1970s. We are CIA agents. We must investigate his apartment to find clues. Also, some of us might be Soviet spies. We have to find out who. Oh, and we have 60 minutes to escape or the apartment blows up. We are only metaphorically locked in the room, as I’m sure it would violate some law to actually trap people and force them to figure out how to escape. As complicated as it might sound, the game play is pretty straightforward. The objective is to solve puzzles that advance the story and trigger more puzzles. The 60-minute deadline is standard operating procedure for escape-room game play, and it keeps the tensions high. No dillydallying around. You either beat the clock or you lose. It’s kind of like the adrenaline rush of finishing a term paper the night before it’s due. We fumble at first until we realize that a lot of puzzles are hidden within the Objects. You have to inspect everything, look for hidden codes and patterns, and make connections between Objects in the room. Amy was staring at one particularly captivating Object, while the rest of us were experimenting with some … let’s call them “buttons.” (Sorry, I have to be vague!) Amy was in a meditative state, certain that this Object held the key to triggering the next chapter of our game. At the same time, the rest of us found a code somewhere else in the room that told us which “buttons” to “push” and in what order; we did so, frantically. That’s when, to all of our shock, the Object Amy is staring at falls, making a large clanking noise. Amy screams, as though a guy in a ghost suit jumped out of the wall and shook her by the shoulders. We are all shaken and confused, but see what is behind the Object: A new puzzle. “Amazing,” Adam mutters, and like that our game continues. Amy, for the duration of the day, continues to believe that she triggered the fallen Object by staring at it just the right way and for just the right number of seconds. And maybe she did. We’ll come to find out that anything is possible in an escape room, where misdirection is common, secret doors appear out of nowhere, and puzzles are baked into nearly every Object. It’s like playing a video game in real life, but rather than near-real graphics designed by a computer nerd who’s never left his apartment, these Objects are literally Objects: They’re actually real—hyper real. We are the main characters in this video game, and we move the story along with our own hands. (Or eyes?)

name: Adam Davis, the engine SkillS: Puzzle master, savvy in tight spaces

Local escape-room fanatic Matt Sanchez sat down with me to give me the scoop on the local scene. He’s done nearly every room in town. (Each facility has between two and five separate game rooms.) He started the Facebook group Sacramento Escape Room Enthusiasts. If the job of “escape room evangelist” has materialized, he’s one of the first. “I’ve been a paranormal investigator and I’ve seen a ghost in front of me in a way that I never thought I would actually be able to see a ghost. I have seen chains on doors and people literally fly off. I’ve been a professor locked into a lab that’s being descended upon by zombies,” Sanchez tells me with barely contained enthusiasm. “It’s not just interacting with a joystick and a button. I’ve placed Objects against a wall that hit a sensor that caused the door to almost literally explode in front of me. You don’t get that kind of feedback with video games.”

“We wanted it to feel just a little off, says the co-owner, Ryan, who mysteriously declines to share his last name. “It’s important that the tone is set the moment you walk in.” Every escape room has its own vibe, and it’s usually weird, which helps to immerse the player in the otherworldly experience. Walking into the NorCal Escape lobby felt like entering a Westworld docking station. Enchambered— we’ll play there the following Thursday—feels like a haunted Victorian mansion, with candles dimly sparkling in long, creepy hallways. At Quandary, we play a game called “The Dynaline Incident,” which is set inside an eerie doctor’s office. Once we’re “locked” inside,

“EScAPE ROOM BOOM” continued on page 16

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quite figure out the puzzle you’re stuck on. It’s a lot of stress. In those final few minutes, Adam is running around in full out-of-control mode.

“EScAPE ROOM BOOM” continued from page 15

AdOBE FlASh MOB

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name: steph rodriguez, the stubborn problem solver SkillS: plays well with others

name: aspyn oakes, the collaborator SkillS: Communicator, scream queen

Our next stop, NorCal Escape Co., the very first escape room in the area, originally opened in Marysville in August 2015, and reopened at its current location in Yuba City a year later. It was launched by two brothers, Jamie and Kody McCarty, who got their starts building crazy scenes in their houses for Halloween. Jamie had been working at a local casino doing graphic design before opening NorCal, while Kody was down in LA doing film and TV production work. We play their serial-killer game, Condemned 2. It’s creepily realistic. It feels like we are inside the killer’s lair. Jamie tells me that they used roughly 250 gallons of sheet-rock mud on the walls to make the room look like a concrete basement. “90 percent of the fun is building the room,” Jamie says. “I love the frustration of having a good idea, but not knowing how we’re going to get from A to B.” This is the hardest game we played, and our first defeat, which is surprisingly crushing. It’s amazing how invested you feel when you see the clock count down to 0:00 and you can’t Escape Room Tip No. 2: Stay calm.

name: Keith lowell Jensen, the distractor SkillS: does best when balled up in a corner

name: david adams, the thinker SkillS: Creepy piano composer

tOP EScAPE ROOMS

phoTo by luCas fiTzgerald

a video pops on a screen and explains that we are trapped in the room with a malfunctioning gas dispenser that we need to contain in 60 minutes or we “die.” The set design is simple, with neutral doctor’s-officey colors, and the story flows in a well-paced sequence. All of the normal Objects of this office space are incorporated into the game play in a well-thought-out manner. Partway through the game, we trigger a secret door that shocks all of us. (No spoilers from me!) After the game, Ryan asks us gleefully if we predicted that secret door. We hadn’t. That’s what he wanted to hear. So far only one team saw it coming, he boasts. The intricate storyline, we come to find out, runs across all of the rooms at Quandary. I don’t follow it all completely, but I determine that Ryan and his wife (and Quandary co-owner) Christine care so passionately that these details check out with Trekkie-like precision. This gives the rooms a logic that is extremely intuitive. “We were like: This isn’t about one room. We’re building the Quandary universe. We’re building a whole intricate story,” Ryan says. “We’re trying to cater to the hardcore gamers that are really going to appreciate the deep story lines, and we’re also trying to cater to people that are coming for the very first time.” Escape rooms are proving to have a broad appeal. It may seem like a niche business model that would only entice nerds, but casual players actually make up a majority of the business, and hardcore gamers a much smaller slice of the market. Because most rooms can’t be replayed (once you’ve solved it, you’ve solved it), escape rooms aren’t competing with one another in a traditional sense. It takes months to build out a new game room. So, if I enjoy a room at Quandary, they will happily refer me to another place. It’s helpful that new escape rooms are opening every month. One considerable part of the market is employee team-building, which seems weird to me—back when I worked a normal job, I can’t imagine wanting to do something as intimate as an escape room with all those people I was actively trying to hide my personal life from. Yet it’s a major part of the income stream for escape room owners, and companies seem to really like it. Kevin Peters, who manages interns for Hewlett Packard’s Roseville office, explains why he takes interns to Quandary. “There’s a lot of teamwork-communication—trying to solve problems that they’re faced with,” Peters says. It kind of relates to work experience for us because we’re trying to get interns to work together. You’re forced into situations you’re not used to and it makes you think and communicate in different ways, and more clearly.”

Escape rooms were born online, as point-andclick adventure games built on the Adobe Flash video platform, which could be found all over the web in the early-to-mid 2000s. Takao Kato created the first real-life escape room, modeled after these video games, in Japan in 2007. The puzzles were mostly paper games (crossword puzzles, Sudoku, etc.). Soon, real-life escape rooms popped up all over Asia and Europe. The first one in the U.S. opened in 2012 in San Francisco. As they developed, they became more immersive and theme-driven with fewer paper puzzles and more Objects. They’ve grown exponentially in the U.S. over the past couple of years. In 2014, there were only 22 escape rooms in the country. By mid-2017, there were well over 1,800. Sacramento didn’t get one until October 2015. It was Escape Sacramento, opened by Ethan Rodriguez, who was living in Connecticut at the time. He’d already opened two escape rooms; he chose Sacramento as his third because it was the largest city in the country that didn’t yet have one. Back then, regular people with very little capital were able to quit their jobs and become their own bosses with something

The Whispering halls

Condemned 2

The dynaline inCidenT

Enchambered 2230 Arden Way, Suite C Sacramento, CA 95825

NorCal Escape Co. 3076 Colusa Hwy B Yuba City, CA 95993

Quandary Escape Rooms 106 Church St., Suite 8 Roseville, CA 95661

What’s cool: In short, everything! Incredible storytelling and truly amazing set design combined with integrated, seamless technology make players feel as if they are a part of a Hollywood movie!

What’s cool: A tried and true suspense narrative meets top notch set design. Add in their mix of physical, mechanical, and technological puzzles and this room packs more than one “Wow” moment!

What’s cool: A unique story, driven by in-world puzzles, that creates a true sense of immersion. Wellbuilt sets deliver multiple surprises, keeping players on their toes for what to do next!


they designed and built themselves. As the phenomenon has gotten more popular, bigger companies with deeper pockets have entered the market. Red Door Escape Rooms, which started in Dallas, opened their third location here in Rancho Cordova this past February. They had five rooms ready to play (by far the most in town) within the first few weeks of opening. They are positioning themselves as a “high-end” escape room business. They even recently increased their rates. Red Door is actually relatively small compared to some escape room companies. Key Quest, for instance, has more than 50 locations in the U.S. There’s definitely concern among the smaller owners that as the industry grows, bigger companies will push them out. Of course, being innovative is key, and that’s not always something that money can buy. You can feel the passion of these small business owners, as they spend hours upon hours coming up with the perfect puzzles for their rooms, and put their own unique personalities into everything they create.

“People don’t want to be passive observers anymore, they want to be a part of it.”

Haunted Hallways With four escape rooms under our belts, we conclude with Enchambered the following Thursday. It’s the most elaborate in the area, with set design that is mind-blowingly fantastical. They’ve consistently scored high on reader-poll lists across the country. In 2017,

Escape Room Tip No. 3: This isn’t a game.

Photo by lucas fitzgerald

consPiracy theory

escaPe the Prison

tresPassed

Exit Strategy Games 9833 Kent St. Elk Grove, CA 95624

Escape Folsom 727 Traders Lane Folsom, CA 95630

California State Escape 5400 Power Inn Road,  Suite B Sacramento, CA 95820

What’s cool: A one-of-a-kind game within a game that pits players as both allies and rivals as they piece together their true identities and motives. Personalization of each game creates a nice “Wow!” moment as you press to figure out who you are and complete your mission!

What’s cool: This prison break pays homage to the famous prison of local legend and delivers a realistic feeling of immersion with gorgeous set design and true-to-life puzzles. The custom-built, unique props give a truly “shocking” moment not normally seen in escape rooms!

What’s cool: With an incredibly realistic set design players are immersed into what looks and feels like an actual home while trying to find a way to escape!

Enchambered was voted the number-two escape room in the country by USA Today. I was excited to be doing just the one escape room. The previous Saturday, when we did three, my brain became a pile of mush. By the time we did Séance (a witch-themed room) at Escape Sacramento, I could barely think. And I had stress dreams all night, flashing back to the one room we lost. It was like my waiter nightmares years ago, where I’d keep getting more customers and more dishes to serve and more backed up by the minute; in this case, it was unsolvable puzzles and a giant looming clock pressing closer to the end of a game that never comes. Even awake, I started seeing escape rooms everywhere I go. A scene in a movie where the characters are trying to crack a code reminds me of something I had to do in one of the rooms. Locks on gates, noticed while walking the dog, just look like puzzles waiting to be solved. You wonder what will be triggered when you find its code. Our team has grown to eight, with Dave Adams (Steph Rodriguez’ companion, and bassist for Garble), San Francisco friend Aspyn Oakes, and local comedian Keith Lowell Jensen. Everyone I’ve brought thus far has been excited to do an escape room. Not Keith. All he sees in an escape room is stress. “I lose my keys, and my shoes, and forget the alarm code, and then have to go back for my hat—I’m ADHD … I do an escape room just trying to leave my house each morning,” he reports. We play the ghost-themed room, “The Whispering Halls.” Entering the first space—a library/study—it feels a little like entering Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion. We run around the library inspecting every Object. I’m no expert of the Victorian era, but there’s an authenticity to the details of the set that gives the impression that months of painstaking research went into every nuance. When we start, it seems like it will be scarier than it ends up being (kind of like Disneyland) but really, it’s just a fun, spooky game. (To contradict myself, I am legitimately frightened at one point when, inspecting a puzzle all alone, I hear what sounds like a possessed little girl growling on the other side of a wall.) The owners, Joe and Coleen Messteri, and Neil and Theresa Morrison, say they would have opened the first escape room in Sacramento, but they spent so long working on “The Whispering Halls” that others beat them to it. In fact, it was taking so long to get all the details just right that they had to set it aside and build a mad-scientistthemed room, “Containment Breach.” “I’m a huge dark ride fan,” Joe says. “I love when you’re in a boat and you’re going through a dark ride and they’re giving you story. The one thing that dark rides really lack is the interactive element. And that’s what escape

rooms provide, like Pirates of the Caribbean, but you’re causing the things to happen. People don’t want to be passive observers anymore. They want to be part of it.” We lose this game literally moments from solving it, which is slightly less crushing, though still heartbreaking. I don’t quite understand why winning becomes so important, but it is. Our final score for our entire escape room tournament is four wins and two losses, which feels like two losses too many. Since we figured out the final puzzle but lacked the time to enter it (still a loss), the game master is nice enough to let us physically solve it and see what amazing event it triggers. It’s spectacular. You should really check it out. Afterward, Joe gives us a tour of the other games at Enchambered, which are all amazing. Adam is going bananas, almost begging Joe to let us play more games, but it’s late and I can tell Joe wants to go home. But Joe does tell us about his ideas for the future. Some are completely new takes on the escape room format—one has you and your team strapped in chairs the entire game. Another is essentially a zombie game that’s not even an escape room. In the couple of years that escape rooms have boomed in the United States, it’s evolved really fast. Rooms that some of these early DIY, shoe-string budget, start-up businesses opened with would no longer meet players’ expectations. Everybody has to operate at a much higher level now. It isn’t even a money thing either. It’s about how creative you are with your games. “There’s things out there that are going to be much more different. That’s what we would like to do. We’d like to actually branch out into other things, things that aren’t just escape rooms. We want to come up with new things that no one else has ever seen before,” Joe says. His ideas all impress me, so did Woodbury’s game within a game scenario in “Conspiracy Theory,” and Quandary’s elaborate storylines. Over at NorCarl, Jamie shows me a mini, 15-minute escape room he built in his van. You’re a prisoner being transported, and you’re trying to make your escape. The game can be played anywhere the van is parked. If these business owners keep it up, the games they’ll be designing in two years should be totally different and have concepts people haven’t even imagined yet. The public’s thirst to break out of the virtual world and actually interact with real people and real Objects will only fuel this movement into something much more than an escape room trend. We’re only just beginning to see its creative possibilities. And even Keith admits that even though escape rooms aren’t his cup of tea, it’s much better than he imagined, and it wasn’t torture after all. That night he says: “That was fun, now let’s never do that again.” Ω 07.12.18    |   SN&R   |   17


A sTeAkHouse for vegAns? see DIsH

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newsworTHy MusICAl see sTAge

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TrIpleTs’ reunIon see fIlM

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From teen-pop to arena rock I love boy band breakups. To me, they always represent the beginning of a new era: one of broadened horizons and endless possibilities. So when the temporary dissolution of one Direction was announced in 2015, you can imagine my excitement. For superfans around the world, however, this was not exactly a shared sentiment. Initially promised to be an 18-month hiatus, it now appears

we may never again see five young boys laughing, dancing or camping in music videos together. Despite this tragedy, the breakup has given each member the opportunity to develop their own sound separate from the group. For Harry Styles, this meant releasing a self-titled debut album that Can art help mitigate physical pain? A free Crocker program aims to find out.

Photo by Kate Gonzales

Healing gallery by KAte GonzAles

It’s Talia’s first time at the Crocker Art Museum, and she seems unaware that it’s considered impolite to sniff a security guard’s shoes. But nobody seems to mind. In fact, the people riding the large elevator to the second story are intrigued by the husky-German shepherd mix, the newest addition to their group. “I feel very lucky to have her in my life,” Kimberly Smith tells them. Nine guests, a couple of docents and the service dog make up this late May session of Art Rx, a bimonthly program that invites people experiencing chronic pain on a group tour. Guests make stops at three or so pieces, spending time with each one as the docent facilitates conversation. It’s open to friends and family of people with chronic pain, as well as end-of-life caregivers, for free. “It’s all designed around making it comfortable, welcoming, easy and fun,” said Erin Dorn, adult education and art access coordinator at the Crocker. In fall 2014, she teamed up with Ian Koebner, a clinical instructor who has helped develop the integrative pain management program at UC Davis, which explores non-pharmaceutical, evidence-based approaches to managing chronic pain. Art Rx began as a study within that program to assess whether an art museum visit can help mitigate pain. It falls under the Crocker’s Access Art program, which includes an Artful Meditation class that is held in alternating months with Art Rx. “This program is one kind of innovative expression of a new approach to pain management,” Koebner said. He led a mixed-methods study that included interviews with health-care professionals, museum docents and staff and those with chronic pain. Participants were surveyed about their levels of pain before and after the tour. “I’m certainly not suggesting that going to a museum is going to make everybody’s pain go away,” Koebner said. “We’re exploring if it can reduce the burden in significant ways.” 18

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For Smith, Art Rx made it physically possible for her to visit the Crocker after a hiatus. “I had not been coming to the museum for a while because I have vertigo and I just can’t really manage to be here with people moving around me,” Smith said. “But sitting, that changes the scenario.” Chairs are always set out in front of the individual works they’ll examine. This tour featured a temporary exhibit of works by Faith Ringgold, an African-American multimedia artist known for creating quilts that tell a story, as well as her feminist and anti-racist worldview. The group spends about 20 minutes at two mock-ups for the quilt “We Came to America,” which depicts dozens of African-Americans swimming toward the Statue of Liberty from a ship burning in the ocean. Folks disagree over whether this particular image shows any sign of hope. Tour guide Nancy Hampton repeats each point so everyone in the group can hear it, reflect and have the chance to respond. “All you have to do is say what you observed and that’s treated every bit as valid as an in-depth understanding of technique,” Smith said. “The docents manage to maintain that feeling in the group and I think that’s really important.” “Every time we do this there is somebody who knows something really pertinent to what we’re looking at,” said Sue Hobbs, who attends most sessions with her husband. “Everybody has different views and it’s very enriching.” The social component is vital to the study, as well as the patients. This study asks, “if you help people have an easier time socially engaging, will that actually be analgesic? Will that actually decrease [the] pain?” Koebner said. The results of the study won’t be published until late summer or early fall, but anecdotally, those who have joined the tour have experienced some relief. “It’s wonderful to come here for an hour and just get outside of your body and enjoy art,” Hobbs said. “It isn’t about the pain. The pain is what brings us here … but we’re here to enjoy the art.” Ω

the next art Rx tour is scheduled for 11 a.m. saturday, July 14. Contact erin Dorn at education@crockerart.org to RsVP or register online at crockerart.org.

tricked Baby Boomers into thinking they were listening to the Beatles, Elton John or literally any rock band from the 1970s, only to discover that their daughter’s One Direction fandom had simply morphed into something much more powerful. And since his time away from One Direction, Harry styles

Dressed in a one-piece tailored suit, Styles explained to the crowd that his outfit prevented him from moving his arms above his head.

has morphed into something much more powerful as well. Evidenced by his show Monday night at the golden 1 Center, he’s become a seasoned solo performer and a master at crowd work. Kicking it off with “Only Angel,” Styles

invoked the spirits of rock ’n’ roll legends that came before him, combining vocals reminiscent of Steven Tyler with a dynamic set of dance moves that can’t not be compared to the likes of Mick Jagger or freddie Mercury. He’s got the charisma and humor of a great performer, too. Dressed in a one-piece tailored suit, Styles explained to the crowd that his outfit prevented him from moving his arms above his head, “so forgive me if I seem a little restricted,” he laughed. The wardrobe situation seemed to lend more to slower acoustic numbers like “Two Ghosts” or “Sweet Creature,” but it certainly didn’t stop him from tearing up the stage during the high-energy

hard rock anthem, “Medicine.” While Harry Styles was undoubtedly the star of the show, there’s something to be said about those in attendance that night as well. Among all the handmade signs boldly declaring romantic love for styles, there were just as many signs boldly declaring that “Black lives Matter.” Other fans draped lgBT pride flags over section barriers and erupted into cheers when Styles pulled out his own flags and waved them around during the popular One Direction hit “What Makes You Beautiful.” As the night’s opening act, kacey Musgraves, stated, “There is room for every kind of person here tonight,” an attitude proudly represented both onstage and in the crowd. Styles’ performance was as much an homage to the past as it was a celebration of the future and the socially conscious youth who will take us there. As he closed out the concert, dousing fans in bottled water and wailing along to the unbelievably juicy bop that is “Kiwi,” I couldn’t help but feel like I’d been spiritually restored by the fountain of youth, imbued with a fresh outlook on life and an eagerness to take on the unknown. There is so much to enjoy about Styles, and it’s worth it to attend his concerts if for no other reason than to witness a bunch of teens stomping their boots and chanting the lyrics to Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain.” It’s a truly beautiful sight to behold.


illuStrationS by maria ratinova

Morning-maker smoKed salmon sando, old soul at the WeatheRstone Breakfast sandwiches are a practicality for some, an obsession for others. Those of us obsessed with a.m. sammies know exactly what ratio of egg to cheese we like, how we prefer our eggs cooked and which bread makes for the best experience. Here’s a contender: Old Soul’s Smoked Salmon Sando is the ultimate breakfast sandwich, piled high with scrambled egg, thin-sliced red onion, dill cream cheese and a generous helping of house-smoked salmon. This peak breakfast celebration is elevated higher by a freshly baked English muffin from Old Soul’s in-house bakers. It’s messy, so grab a handful of napkins lest you end up covered in the best thing you’ll eat all day. 812 21st Street, oldsoulco.com.

—stephanie stiavetti

The jumbo tiger prawns at Echo & Rig are every inch of seafood perfection.

A mixed grill Echo & Rig 500 J Street; (916) 619-8939 Good for: a drink before a game, with a great appetizer Notable dishes: bone marrow carne asada, portobello fries

$$$

Steakhouse, downtown

Just steps from Golden 1 Arena, on the ground floor of DOCO’s Sawyer Hotel, the famous Las Vegas steakhouse Echo & Rig recently opened its newest location. Showgoers and Kings’ fans can’t beat the location; the bar opens right onto the quad, perfect for a quick drink before a game or concert. The bar selection is solid, while the food menu is expansive almost to the point of overwhelming. Diners’ eyes might dart here and there, trying to figure out why there are three separate meat sections and two separate seafood sections. Vegetarians and pescatarians are well cared for, with satisfying options that diverge gracefully from the kitchen’s obvious carnivorous priorities. On one visit, I ordered the bavette steak ($28), a sirloin-flap cut popular in France. The steak was perfectly cooked, but the sauce, a lemon chimichurri, fell flat. We had expected a bright green Argentinian sauce made of fresh herbs, but what arrived looked like a thin vinaigrette with a few green bits floating in it. We then asked for the “red wine demi” sauce, which tasted of neither red wine nor demi-glace, but more like canned minestrone soup. Our appetizers, however, were lovely. The Brussels sprouts ($9) were bright and fresh, while the portobello fries ($11) were rich, satisfying and the talk of the table. On another visit we were seated quickly for our 5:30 p.m. reservation, but our server was nowhere in sight. He eventually meandered up to the table looking quite …

photo by Stephanie Stiavetti

Bottomless delight Kombucha mimosa, oaKhaus

by StEphaniE StiavEtti

stoned. His spacey responses initially gave us a giggle, but he left us playing that game we all know and hate—server charades, where you’re forced to gesticulate at passing staff whenever you need something. At one point we looked around and there were zero waitstaff on the floor. A bartender explained that everyone was in the nightly kitchen meeting. At 6 p.m., in the middle of dinner service? Really? Our apps arrived, and we were smitten with the bone marrow carne asada ($11), which made me want to lick the drippings off the plate. The spicy cauliflower with chili arbol was also a winner, and we marveled over how perfectly browned the cauliflower was, even deep into its nooks and crannies. When our server finally reappeared, in slow motion, I asked if I could order the grits with my Spencer steak ($31) instead of the potato chips it comes with. Our server balked, saying, “the chips will give you the best dining experience and the chef won’t like that.” He relented after a bit of sideeye. What arrived shortly after was the most oddly plated steak dish I’ve ever gotten, with everything plopped flatly on the plate. The grits were incredible—rich, creamy and cheesy—but my medium-rare steak was overcooked on the surface and still raw in the middle. (Like, slap a Band-Aid on it and send it back out to pasture.) My dining companion had ordered the jumbo tiger prawns ($27), which were every inch of seafood perfection, but her plate only came with one-and-a-half prawns. That’s $18 per prawn. My final thoughts on Echo & Rig: It’s a fun, stylish place to eat, but the quality of the meat dishes is strained, considering the price point. Ironically, the best things on the menu are the seafood and vegetarian options. So vegetarians, welcome to your new favorite steakhouse. Ω

Bottomless brunch mimosas are pretty standard at this point—cliché, actually. If you find that your tastebuds are a bit, well, bored, then head over to Oakhaus. The Oak Park joint recently started serving up a tasty brunch every Saturday and Sunday. The menu is small but includes a $10 bottomless kombucha mimosa. The kombucha flavors vary from weekend to weekend, but the overall taste vibe remains consistent: crisp, bubbly champagne paired with tart, acidic kombucha for a treat that’s effervescent and delightfully tangy. Did we mention they’re bottomless? 3413 Broadway, oakhaussac.com.

—Rachel leibRocK

The V Word

Vegan meals on wheels The Vegan Van isn’t really a van, “Not yet,” Ian Carty said, but that’s the goal. The self-taught chef started his catering service, aka Vegan Van 916, in January. The 34-year-old Sacramentan cooks and delivers veganized comfort foods such as lasagna, sweet potato pie and Buddha bowls— although he said his most popular dish is the Yease Feast: “Vegan stir-fry in peanutbutter sauce served over rice.” Carty said he went vegan in May 2017 after his wife, then pregnant with twins, had a major health event. “Actually, she died,” he said, but was revived; she and the babies are well now. Carty said his vegetarian parents tried to raise him meatless, but he rebelled. These days, he rebels against eating meat. He recently participated in the Great Sacramento Vegan Burger Battle, selling 75 burgers, and next, he’ll be at The Yisrael Family Farm on July 29, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. for a couples brunch event, where diners harvest ingredients on-site for Carty to cook.

—shoKa

07.12.18

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BUY 1 GET 1 1/2 OFF

Photo by bruce Aldrich

Buy any dinner entree at regular price, get the second for HALF OFF! Must present coupon, cannot combine with other discounts. One per table. Valid Mon-Thu only. Expires 07/25/18.

Happy Hour

Monday–Friday 3–6pm Voted “Best of Sacramento” 3 years in a row!

1315 21st St • Sacramento 916.441.7100

Can Roulette Rotating cRaft beeR cans foR $4 each

Join us on our 2nd floor patio

1217 21st St • 916.440.0401 | www.KuprosCrafthouse.com

Dunloe Brewing operates out of an old Pacific Bell station on Olive Drive in Davis.

drink

Just plain good by James Raia

$2 O F F

BRING THIS AD FOR DISCOUNT

BREAKFAST, LUNCH & DINNER 8 0 0 0 A U B U RN B LVD | C ITRUS HEIGHTS , CA | WWW.CREPES AN DB U R GE R S.CO M

20   |   Sn&r   |   07.12.18

The Olive Drive frontage road in Davis is easy to miss but rewarding to use. Tree-lined, quiet and industrial, the route parallels the freeway. It’s a direct passage to three replenishment icons—In-N-Out Burger, Redrum Burger and Dutch Bros. Coffee. Dunloe Brewing, which celebrates its one-year anniversary this month, doesn’t yet qualify for icon status, but its Olive Drive location does, and the microbrewery’s beer may someday. The sturdy, brick building was built for Pacific Bell in 1945. It was home for about 20 years to Ganesh Works, an electrical fix-it company relocated to Woodland several years ago. Minimalism now reigns. Dunloe serves only beer, the creations of Brennan Fleming. He’s approaching a decade in the business, with a career launched at the iconic Sudwerk, Davis’ original microbrewery. Fleming worked on the bottling line and spent his share of time cleaning kegs before becoming a pub owner and brewer. Fleming completed the Masters Brewing Program at UC Davis in 2012. Two years later, he received his bachelor’s degree from UCD in food science. Is there a better follow-up to these achievements than making beer? Like most college cities, Davis has about as many places to drink beer as it has classrooms. Dunloe opened as the third of the city’s four microbreweries in 2017. “We’ve stayed pretty consistent,” says Fleming, who not only crafts the beer, but built much of the brewery’s interior. “Not that much has changed during the year. We kind of went into it with one idea and we’ve stuck with it.”

The four craft breweries all have unique personalities and niches. Dunloe’s most visibly unique attributes are Fleming’s dogs, Tyne and Arrow—the official greeters and sentinels. They rule the tasting room, friends to all. Named after the Gap of Dunloe, a narrow mountain pass in Ireland represented on the brewery’s logo, it’s translation is “gap of the common-land,” and is ideal for the community-style tasting room. The wooden communal tables are complemented by signature brewery decor—wood, metal, brick and barrels. A chalkboard next to the bar lists the often-rotating selections, all cleverly named. The choices on a recent visit included: California Hello (Berliner Weisse), Family Farm (Saison), Sunshine Highway (IPA), Dude and the Hippy (Double IPA), Copilot (Pale Ale), Black Velvet Band (Oatmeal Stout), Fresh Funk (Golden Sour) and Rocket Surgery (Helles Lager). The lager was perfectly light and refreshing. A halfpint wasn’t sufficient, but it was an ideal sampler for the return drive to Sacramento. Dunloe’s simplicity is also reflected in a minimalistic approach to snacks—mainstream crackers from a box on the counter. A food truck often (but not always) arrives on Thursday nights. Dunloe also accepts outside food, perhaps a choice inspired by the previously mentioned burger joints about a mile down the frontage road. Ω dunloe brewing is located at 1606 olive drive in davis. open thursdaySaturday, 4-8 p.m.; Sunday 4-8 p.m.; (530-231-3502); dunloebrewing.com.


ReviewS

Now playiNg

4

1776

Whizbang by BEv SykES

Presenting an   all-female version of  the musical 1776 is more than  just a gimmick. It humanizes  those who have been idolized  as the creators of America  by bringing a different light  to some of the quirks and  peccadilloes of the founders.  The names are the same; the  events are the same. Only  the sex has been changed.  Rodger Hoopman and  Warren Harrison direct a  large (18 women strong) cast  of actor/singers. Fri 8pm,

Sat 8pm, Sun 2pm. Through 7/22. $21-$23; Chautauqua 

Playhouse in the La Sierra  Community Center, 5325  Engle Road in Carmichael;  (916) 489-7529; cplayhouse. org. J.C.

5

Blue Door; Black Pearl Sings!

PHOTO COURTESy OF DAvIS SHAkESPEARE FESTIvAL

“Quit biting my sunglasses.”

On the 20th Century 

5

Show alternates with Mary Stuart. Thu, Fri, Sat, Tues, Wed, 8pm; Sun 2pm; Through 8/5; $30; veterans Memorial Theater, 203 E 14th Street in Davis; (530) 802-0998; shakespearedavis.org.

On the 20th Century is a frothy musical classic by Cy Coleman, now being given a faithful recreation by the Davis Shakespeare Festival under the direction of Gia Battista. Start with a beautiful train set designed by Liz Hadden-McGuire, with rotating cars to show the interior rooms. Add a talented cast featuring Sharon Rietkerk as Lily Garland, the former accompanist named Mildred Plotak, who was plucked from obscurity by theater empresario Oscar Jaffee (Christopher Ryan) and made a star. Oscar has just experienced his fourth flop and is heavily in debt. He knows if he can get Lily back, he’ll have another hit and be back on top. Oscar and Lily are backed by a coterie of flunkies and romantic partners. Outstanding among these is Ian Hopps, Lily’s Boy Toy, and Max Jacobs, a rival producer who wants Lily for his own show. Add to the mix the fabulously wealthy, religious eccentric Letitia Primrose (Robin Fisher) who happily promises to underwrite Oscar’s show, and several other passengers on the train who all happen to have “surefire hit” shows for Oscar to produce. The costuming is opulent, and the seven-piece orchestra, partially hidden at the back of the stage, and under the direction of Tom Abruzzo or Kate Janzen (depending on the performance), supplies the operetta-style period music.

4 Open-air vengeance The Count of Monte Cristo is like an addictive soap opera complete with deceit, treachery, secret rivals, lost love, found revenge and a bit of mercy. Author Alexandre Dumas, who also wrote The Three Musketeers, keeps his audience captive with plot twists, cliffhangers, reveals and resolves. Sacramento Shakespeare Festival celebrates its 53rd season with The Count, in rotation with the Bard’s Henry V, and it’s a perfect choice for this outdoor theater. Using an adaptation by Christopher Walsh, the production stays true to Dumas’ suspenseful story with, a talented cast, imaginative staging, swashbuckling sword fights, streamlined sets and beige- and red-accented period costumes, all under the stars and squawking ducks at the William A. Carroll Amphitheatre in William Land Park. The production starts off a little tentative, but builds up energy and rhythm as the story of wrongful imprisonment and orchestrated revenge gradually emerges. The cast purposely gives exaggerated performances, though some more than others. Pete Eden is a somewhat cautious though charming Count, carefully drawing us into his world, and is backed up with engaging performances by Alex Quinonez (Albert), Kathleen Poe (Mercedes), Liam Worrell-Olson (Benedetto), Dagney Hollman (Haydee) , Mike Poe (Villeforte,) Richard Batres (Fernand), Sarah Palermo (Hermine), Jonathon Plon as Danglars, and Katherine Bahena-Benitez (Eugenie). —Patti RobeRts The Count of Monte Cristo; 7:30 p.m. July 8, 13, 15, 21, 26 and 28; Henry v; 7:30 p.m. July 12, 14, 20, 22, 27 and 29; $16-$20; Ovation Stage, William A. Carroll Amphitheatre in William Land Park; sacramentoshakespeare.net.

Two stories of  the African-American  experience play in repertory  at Celebration Arts. Both  boast outstanding twoperson casts: Tory Scroggins  and Tarig Elsidding in Blue  Door and Carla Fleming  and Lynn Baker in Black  Pearl Sings! In Blue Door, a  successful African-American  mathematician (Scroggins) 

1

facing an identity crisis  confronts history in visions  of generations of his  ancestors (all portrayed  by Elsiddig). In Black Pearl  Sings!, a musicologist (Baker)  discovers a potential ticket  to success in a black Texas  convict (Fleming) with a  treasury of old plantation  songs. Blue Door: 8pm Thu-Fri

and 7/14, 7/21, 7/26 and 7/27; 2pm 7/15, 7/22, 7/28; Through 7/29; $15-$20; Black Pearl  Sings!: 8pm Sat, and 7/12, 7/13, 7/19, 7/20 and 7/28; 2pm 7/21 and 7/29. Through 7/29; $15-$20;  Celebration Arts, 

2727 B Street; (916) 455-2787;  celebrationarts.net. J.C.

5

Boy

It’s nature vs.  nurture in this tale  of sexual identity and living  truthfully in one’s body.  The drama by Anna Ziegler  is based on a true story  and fits perfectly within  the confines of Big Idea  Theatre’s 11th season theme:  “identity crisis.” Naveen  Bhat stars and Karen  Bombardier directs. Thu-Sat 8pm. Through 7/14; $16-$22, $12 on Thu; Big Idea Theatre,  1616 Del Paso Blvd.;   (916) 960-3036;   bigideatheatre.org. J.C. 

5

Mary Stuart

This taut historical  drama (by F. Schiller,  not the Bard) depicts two  queens contending for the  crown in Shakespeare’s  time … and Elizabeth I and  Mary, Queen of Scots both  know only one can survive.  Excellent performances  by professionals Sharon  Rietkerk and Jamie Jones  make this show worth the  drive to see. Thu, Fri, Sat,

Sun, performance times vary; Through 8/4; $30-$15;

Davis Shakespeare Festival  at Veterans Memorial  Theatre, 203 E. 14th Street  in Davis; (530) 802-0998;  shakespearedavis.org. J.H.

Short reviews by Jim Carnes, Jeff Hudson and Bev Sykes.

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FAIR

GOOD

WELL-DONE

FOUL

5 SUBLIME– DON’T MISS

PHOTO COURTESy OF CHARR CRAIL

This play is ... Extra! Extra!

Ragtime Newsies is at the Wells Fargo Pavilion through Sunday, a  musical with peppy dance numbers involving news boys  energetically hawking papers on the streets of New York;  they boldly go on strike seeking for better pay. This is the  first production by Broadway at Music Circus. Thu 7/12  2pm & 7:30pm, Fri 7/13 7:30pm, Sat 7/14 @ 7:30pm, and Sun  7/15 3pm (final performance); $92-$65 ($40 kids); Wells  Fargo Pavilion, 1419 H Street, Sacramento; (916) 557-1999;   broadwaysacramento.com.

—Jeff Hudson

07.12.18    |   SN&R   |   21


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22   |   SN&R   |   07.12.18


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The song is an amalgam of each bassist’s attributes. It opens with this slow-crawling bass line that gives off a heavy, ominous vibe and keeps a steady pulse on the low-end. That’s Pinkus—while McDonald’s more melodic bass grooves take on the higher octaves of the duel with flashes of erratic effects. It’s a treat for fans of both professionals who bring completely different bass-styles and influences to the album. The Melvins are known for mixing the lineup on dozens of albums. A long See the Melvins’ dueling bassists at holy diver on tuesday, list of well-known musicians July 17. doors open at 7 p.m. tickets are $22-$25. Visit holydiversac.com. are credited on either vocals, drums, bass or guitar, everyone from Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys) to Kurt Cobain and even Gene Simmons, who joined the Melvins onstage for their There’s still no band on Earth quite like the cover of KISS’ “Going Blind” while they toured Melvins. Closing in on 40 years, this iconic with Primus. So, who’s next? three-piece from Montesano, Wash. drew influ“Judy Garland and Jimi Hendrix are my two ences from sludge metal, loud-and-fast punk and big favorites. But that’d be a hard one to pull off,” even some heavy experimental grime, heard on Osborne says. Garland died in 1969, and Hendrix their live album Colossus of Destiny, with its a year later. “They were both freaks that worked near hour-long use of synthesizer and spacey outside the box. Jimi Hendrix did nothing effects-pedals. that a guitar teacher would ever teach Staying prolific as ever, the you when it came to how to play Melvins recently released two new guitar, but he was the best. albums, 2018’s Pinkus Abortion So, figure that one out. Judy “We can’t play too Technician and A Walk With Garland was a weird singer Love & Death last year. The much off any one who was a strange personalformer is why they’re on a ity and had an ungodly, album because we have nationwide tour with two bass weird voice … Both of players: longtimer Steven too many albums.” those two I think are wildly McDonald, and now Jeff talented.” Pinkus, known for his work in Buzz Osborne Perhaps a séance is in the experimental rock band the lead vocalist/guitarist, Melvins Osborne’s future—for musical Butthole Surfers. purposes. With 27 full-length “They’re both incredibly great albums, Osborne admits that it’s players; that makes it fun,” says Buzz not always easy deciding on a setlist, Osborne, a.k.a King Buzzo, Melvins’ lead but the formula they use is to incorporate vocalist and guitarist. “There’s not a lot of what two-thirds songs from the last 15 years (Pigs of the you would teach in how they’re doing it, whether Roman Empire, Nude with Boots) and one-third older it’s with the bass amps, their effects or their material (Houdini, Stoner Witch, Ozma). Simple technique. They both play very different from each enough, right? other, which is an attribute, and they complement “We can’t play too much off any one album each other in ways that are not common, which I because we have too many albums,” Osborne says. think is kinda cool.” “We can’t lose focus on what we did, and we can’t Pinkus not only brings fresh sludge to the lose focus on what we’re doing. That’s how we put Melvins’ latest material; he’s also credited with the setlist together. We have a lot to pick from, so writing four of the album’s originals, including we’re fortunate in that.” Ω its single, “Don’t Forget to Breathe.”

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feverish work of pulp fiction, but you ain’t heard nothing yet. It turns out some of the coincidences surrounding the separated triplets weren’t so coincidental, Not every successful documentary needs to be a and that there were more sinister forces at play, The Act of Killing-style reinvention of the genre. including a powerful charity organization with Sometimes a fascinating story well told is enough to a strong motive to cover up the truth. Much like captivate the viewer, as in the case of Tim Wardle’s David Farrier and Dylan Reeve’s underrated 2016 gripping Three Identical Strangers. Wardle builds his documentary Tickled, what starts out as viral medianarrative from the standard documentary kit of recycled ready fluff eventually transforms into a story about news clips, overly composed talking heads and fuzzy powerful people exploiting the powerless without reenactments, but the unbelievable true-life tale that any fear of consequence. he tells is insane, disturbing and irresistible enough to Beyond the medical ethics aspect, though, the overwhelm any formal banality. real thematic thrust of Three Identical In 1980, teenager Robert Shafran arrived Strangers lies in the time-dishonored for his first day at a small community debate about the role of nature It turns college in upstate New York, where versus nurture in the field of out some of people he had never met warmly human development. The greeted him as “Eddy.” It turned the coincidences media seized on the many out that Eddy Galland was a superficial similarities of surrounding the former student at the school, the separated triplets, like separated triplets weren’t and that the similarities between shared cigarette brands and Robert and Eddy went deeper than so coincidental, and a mutual background in their identical faces, voices and wrestling, but stark differthat there were more builds—they were twin brothers ences between the brothers sinister forces at separated at birth and adopted out of emerged the more time they play ... the Louise Wise Agency by different spent together. Jewish families. Three Identical Strangers is far When New York resident David Kellman from perfect—the interviews with the read that already astonishing story in the pages of surviving players feel a little too perfect, almost Newsday, it grew even more astonishing. Kellman saw scripted, and Wardle does a weak job of developing two doppelgangers who shared his birthday and adopthe triplets as individual characters. Without that tion agency and realized that he was the third sibling, differentiation, the moment when Three Identical and the separated twins became separated triplets. All Strangers finally arrives at its closing argument in three estranged brothers were ecstatically reunited, with the nature vs. nurture debate becomes emotionally everyone marveling at their shared mannerisms and muted and somewhat glib. However, those minor bizarre similarities. defects are not enough to counteract the potency of The triplets’ tale turned them into tabloid talk show this thoroughly entertaining film. Ω sensations and flash-in-the-pan celebs. They shared a bachelor pad in New York City, opened a tourist trap restaurant called Triplets and made cameo appearances opposite Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan. Their Poor Fair Good Very excellent Good story may seem completely bonkers, almost like a

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24   |   SN&R   |   07.12.18


fiLm CLiPS

BY DANIEL BARNES & JIM LANE

California Stage / Theater Creations Presents: A Weekend of Calmusic at Calstage!

3

1945

Join Us for Two Great July Musical Events!

Hungarian director Ferenc Török  has been making short films,  documentaries, TV movies and features since  1999, but the sepia-toned 1945 is his first film  to ever sniff a stateside release. The movie  opens on the morning of August 12, 1945, as  news reports of the Nagasaki bombing arrive  over the radio in a small Hungarian village.  Despite the lingering presence of Russian  soldiers, an impending wedding seems to  signify a return to homogenized “normalcy,”  but the arrival of two unknown Jewish men  dressed in black threatens to expose the  town’s legacy of collaboration and theft.   As the men in black slowly approach, the  corrupt town clerk scurries to cover his  crimes, while the townspeople begin to fall  into a debilitating spiral of shame and guilt.   Simultaneously dreamy and sobering, 1945  is an impeccably acted examination of the  moral fester of the Holocaust, although the  conclusion lacks the necessary impact. D.B. 

3

Ant-Man and the Wasp

The once and future Ant-Man (Paul  Rudd) breaks house arrest to join  the father/daughter team (Michael Douglas,  Evangeline Lilly) who first shrank him to  micro-superhero size. Now she’s a superhero  too (the Wasp, of course), and she and Dad  think, with the Ant’s help, they may be able  to rescue her mother (Michelle Pfeiffer), who  has languished 30 years in the subatomic  Quantum Zone. Yeah, it makes about that  much sense. But what the hell, it’s enjoyable  enough, even for those who would rather  eat broken glass than sit through another  elephantine CGI-fest from the damned  Marvel Comics Universe. Director Peyton  Reed maintains tongue in cheek, and Rudd  (who co-wrote as well as starring) makes a  fitting hero; his bemused diffidence suggests  he knows how silly it all is, and we can  identify with that. J.L. 

2

Boundaries

Just when you start to feel like a churl  for condemning every touchy-feely indie  dramedy as a creatively bankrupt, Sundancesloppy ode to mopey narcissism, here comes  this dysfunction junction from writer-director  Shana Feste (Endless Love). Vera Farmiga  stars as Laura Jaconi, a single mother with the  standard-issue misfit son (Lewis MacDougall as  Henry), weird job (she’s the put-upon personal  assistant of an old friend) and quirky character  defect (her apartment houses a veritable zoo of  strays). The easily manipulated Laura also tries  to set boundaries with her naughty-boy drug  dealer father Jack (Christopher Plummer), but  soon enough she is driving Jack and Henry on the  prerequisite road trip towards a prefabricated  emotional breakthrough. Whatever the film’s  admirable ambitions in terms of examining  dysfunctional family dynamics and celebrating  lives lived outside the norm, Boundaries is  almost uniformly lowbrow, with a weak script  that severely tests the likeability of Farmiga and  Plummer. D.B.

1

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation

Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler), his  daughter (Selena Gomez), son-in-law (Andy  Samberg) and their monster pals take a  vacation cruise—never suspecting that the  ship’s captain (Kathryn Hahn) is a Van Helsing  plotting to wipe them all out. This franchise,  a perfect example of the Walking Undead,  started out in 2012 as a third-rate excuse  for an animated feature, and each sequel has  been worse than what went before, with the  same nonstory, the same flop-sweat-stained  torrent of lame gags, the same slumming  star voices (Steve Buscemi, Kevin James,  David Spade, Fran Drescher, Mel Brooks,  Molly Shannon, Jim Gaffigan, etc.) who failed  to make the first two movies worth watching.  There’s nothing to do but endure it, pray for  release, and cherish the respite until Hotel  Transylvania 4 comes along in 2021. J.L.

DARDEN: On tour “For LOVE & HARMONY” You won’t want to miss this unique performance by Darden, a dynamic four-piece ensemble of sisters. They bring an “Alternative Americana” sound to the stage. ONE PERFORMANCE ONLY JULY 15 at 2PM! Darden More info at www.calstage.org

CHRIS WILLIAMS: “Torched: Songs That Ruined Our Lives” JULY 13,14 at 8PM, and JULY 15 at 6PM!

California Stage in the R25 Arts Complex 25th & R St, Midtown • Easy free parking available • 916-451-5822

$15 Students, Seniors $20 General Admission

Actors Tessa Thompson and Lakeith Stanfield.

4

Sorry to Bother You

A rookie telemarketer in an alternate-reality Oakland (Lakeith  Stanfield) finds success by employing his “white voice” (supplied  by David Cross)—which admits him to the upper reaches of his sweatshop  company, where he sinks over his head in the sinister plans of a mad-genius  corporate billionaire (Armie Hammer). Rapper Boots Riley, making his feature  writing/directing debut, pulls out all the stops in a pro-union, anti-corporate  gonzo fantasmagoria that becomes wilder by the minute. It’s a crazy ride, and  not every joke scores a mordant bullseye. But Riley is an original voice, and not  as undisciplined as he seems; his movie begins in gritty, flippant realism, then  pulls us along step-by-step until it becomes a paranoid fantasy so feverish  that it plays almost as a parody of paranoid fantasies. J.L.

3

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

My bar for all things dinosaur-related,  including the Jurassic Park film  franchise, has always been notoriously low.  The first Jurassic Park movie is generally  beloved and iconic, but I also ravenously  consumed the sequels, sticking with the  franchise through every indefensible decision  like a tortured sports fan. Dr. Ian Malcolm’s  adopted daughter doing gymnastics to  escape the velociraptors in The Lost World?  I’m fine with it. A typically moist-eyed Téa  Leoni rescuing her parasailing son from  dinosaur island in Jurassic Park III? Sure,  why not. Jimmy Fallon as Jimmy Fallon  in Jurassic World? Yes. But even by my  admittedly basement-level standards, J.A.  Bayona’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom  still feels like a giant glob of triceratops spit  lobbed right in the audience’s face. The first  Jurassic World was incredibly retrograde  and dumb, but it was also driven by an  irresistible premise, while this dutiful followup just feels numb and exhausted. D.B.

2

Sicario: Day of the Soldado

The drug war from 2015’s Sicario  continues, only the stakes are  raised now: the Mexican drug cartels are  smuggling terrorists over the border as  well as drugs, bringing black-ops specialist  Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) and maverick  operative Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) again  into play. Writer Taylor Sheridan is back, but  the director this time is Stefano Sollima (in  for Denis Villeneuve); the result is viciously  efficient and relentlessly unpleasant.  Characters are all varying shades of  unsavory; even a 12-year-old kidnap victim  is set up first as a nasty little brat. The first  movie had Emily Blunt’s idealistic FBI agent  for us to identify with; she’s gone now, and  there’s no one to replace her. The movie’s  view of Mexico as a hell-hole of cartel  assassins and corrupt cops adds to the  overall ugliness. J.L.

2

Uncle Drew

A street-basketball manager (Lil Rel  Howery) loses his team to a hated rival  (Nick Kroll), so in desperation he turns to  legendary old-timer Uncle Drew (Kyrie Irving)  and his long-ago teammates (Shaquille  O’Neal, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller, Nate  Robinson), who show that there’s life (and  game) in the old boys yet. The message is  undercut by the fact that they’re all decades  younger than the movie says they are, and  under the amateurish old-age makeup, they  aren’t actors enough to make it work. Still,  on the court they’re a lot of fun in a Harlem  Globetrotters kind of way, and the ending  of course is never in doubt. Written by Jay  Longino and directed by Charles Stone  III, the movie is shambling and awkward  between games, but everybody’s likeable and  ingratiating if you in the mood for that sort  of thing. J.L.

3

Whitney

Director Kevin Macdonald’s  documentary traces the life and  career of Whitney Houston, a sad arc that  could wring tears from a bronze statue.  Macdonald’s film is likely to do the same,  mixing archival footage and talking-head  interviews with Houston’s family and  associates. Houston’s music gets rather  short shrift; Macdonald confines that  amazing voice (besides her singing the  National Anthem at the 1991 Super Bowl) to  a flurry of fleeting, almost passing excerpts,  preferring to focus on the forces (especially  her mother Cissy) that shaped her early  development while sowing the seeds of  insecurity that led to her tragic decline and  death. Revelations of childhood abuse and  adult confusion about her sexuality avoid  tabloid sensationalism; instead, Macdonald  traces her fall with sensitivity and  compassion. J.L.

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for the week of July 12

by Maxfield Morris

PoSt eventS online For Free at newsreview.com/sacramento

MusiC THursDay, 7/12 aaron taYlor: With Landline. 7pm, no cover-$3. Momo Lounge, 2708 J St.

loS treS De WinterS: Los Tres de Winters are

Silence! at the disco Cal Expo, various timEs, inCludEd with fair admission

PHOTO COurTesy Of THe sTaTe fair

3 1 GH tHroU 29

Spend a few minutes at the State Fair in the privacy of headphones.

three Winters musicians, performing with an accordion, a five-string guitar and a bass outside at a gazebo. 7pm, no cover. Rotary Park Gazebo, 201 East Main St. in Winters.

MiCHael B. JUStiS: With Kathy Barwick. 8pm, no cover. Fox & Goose, 1001 R St.

SUMMer on tHe Green: With Jessica Malone and her full band. They’ll be filling out the Davis Commons alongside food vendors and fun times. 6pm, no cover. Davis Commons Shopping Center, 500 1st St. in Davis.

tHe WeiGHt BanD: Featuring members of The Band, Levon Helm Band and Rick Danko Group. 7pm, $40. Sofia Tsakopoulos Center for the Arts, 2700 Capitol Ave.

friDay, 7/13 anarBor: With Silent Rival and the

State Fair patrons can feel alone in a crowded room in one more sense this year: at the Silent State Fair Disco. Each day at this fair exhibition, visitors receive wireless headphones that broadcast music, making for a hundred private concerts and one communal, crowd-sourced social experiment. Before 5 p.m., the music is kid-friendly—in the evening, anything

tiCKet WinDoW iMagiNe DragONs Playing with

Grace VanderWaal, the fun-loving band is touring their newest album, Evolve. 7/24, 6pm, $160-$600, on sale now. Concord Pavilion in Concord, ticketmaster.com.

LiL uzi VerT, g-eazy, P-LO, Ty DOLLa $igN aND yBN NaHMir It’s a hip-hop dream as

G-Eazy and Lil Uzi headline the Endless

goes, lyrically. Other fair highlights include a pie-eating contest on July 17, the Best of California Brewfest on July 21, a youth mariachi competition on July 22 and wiener dog races on July 28. Look for discountedentry Mondays when you donate three nonperishable food items, and StateFair-food tasting days Wednesdays and Thursdays with $2 samples of grub. 1600 Exposition Boulevard, castatefair.org.

get tickets in advance, you bonehead. Summer Tour. 7/28, 6:30pm, $30-$300, on sale now. Toyota Amphitheatre in Wheatland, concerts1.livenation.com.

BraD PaisLey If you live and breathe Paisley, this concert is a can’t miss.

8/3, 7pm, $64.95-$124.95, on sale now.

Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln, ticketmaster.com.

rakiM The rapper took a decade-long

hiatus before hopping back into the scene.

8/4, 8pm, $27.50, on sale now. Harlow’s, ticketfly.com.

Make our dreams come true, Daryl and John.

DaryL HaLL aND JOHN OaTes

The iconic ’80s duo is playing with their full names on the marquee, along with the band Train. 8/7, 7pm, $45-$200, on sale now. Oracle Arena in Oakland, ticketmaster. com.

rONNie sPeCTOr Spector has a

powerful history in American rock ’n’ roll, and she’s playing it all with the Ronettes. 8/11, 8pm, $37-$85, on sale now. Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Grass Valley, thecenterforthearts.org.

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PaNiC! aT THe DisCO Kids and

adults alike should get excited, because Brendan Urie’s in a resurgence, and he’s got some well-laid vocal pipes. Hayley Kiyoko is along for the ride. 8/14, 7pm, $66.75-$300, on sale now. SAP Center in San Jose, ticketmaster.com.

Jerry seiNfeLD He’s a comedy icon and he’s coming to your town. 8/24, 7pm, $50-$165, on sale now. Community Center Theatre, tickets.com.

saM sMiTH The Oscar-winning UK

artist comes to town to perform his second studio album, The Thrill of it All. 8/24, 7pm, $45-$70, on sale now. Golden 1 Center, ticketmaster.com.

sLayer In case you missed their Papa

Murphy’s Park show in May: Metalheads, rejoice. Slayer is playing with Lamb of God, Anthrax, Testament and Napalm Death on its farewell tour. Bring your eardrums, because you’re gonna need them. 8/26, 5pm, $55.50-$330, on sale now. SAP Center in San Jose, ticketmaster.com.

Catching. 7:30pm, $12. Goldfield Trading Post, 1630 J St.

ConCertS in tHe ParK: Rituals of Mine. 5pm, no cover. Cesar Chavez Plaza, 9th and J Streets, 910 I St.

Peter Cetera: With Richard Marx. 7pm, $39.95$159.95. Thunder Valley Casino, 1200 Athens Ave. in Lincoln.

WaKer: With Madi Sipes and the Painted

Blue. 7pm, $10-$12. Momo Sacramento, 2708 J St.

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 Maxfield Morris at snrcalendar@newsreview.com.

saTurDay, 7/14 tHe BananaS: With the Four Eyes

and the Plastic Shoelaces. 6pm, no cover. Sacramento Bicycle Kitchen, 1915 I St.

Fire, SMoKe & leGenD: An inaugural event with music and Mexican street food. 1pm, $45-

$55. La Cosecha, 917 9th St.

GroUnDWave: Classic and contemporary

rock ’n’ roll. 9pm, no cover. The Blarney Stone Irish Pub, 8906 Greenback Lane in Orangevale.

leGaDo 7: With Roberto Tapia, Los Alegres Del Barranco, Arsenal Efectivo, El De La Guitarra, Fuerza Regida and Los Hijos De Garcia. 4pm, $63. Papa Murphy’s Park, 1600 Exposition Blvd.

one niGHt oF SKa: With Flip the Switch, Sacto Storytellers, the Holophonics and Dirty Reggae Punx. 8pm, $7-$10. The Colony, 3512 Stockton Blvd.

PaUl roDriGUeZ anD latin leGenDS: With

El Chicano, Malo and more. 6:30pm, $25. Thunder Valley Casino, 1200 Athens Ave. in Lincoln.

SaveD BY tHe 90’S: Playing hits from the

’90s with some semi-serious verve. 7pm, $20. Ace Of Spades, 1417 R St.

taraval: With Miagma and Alex Trujillo, playing as part of the Technosaic series. 9pm, $7-

$10. Midtown Barfly, 1119 21st St.

suNDay, 7/15 MiKe FarriS & tHe FortUnate FeW: With the Richard March Duo. 5:30pm, $25$30. Harlow’s, 2708 J St.

saTurDay, 7/14

100 Under $100 Benefit Show for raiCeS outlEt Coworking, 7pm, no CovEr

If you love art and want to help one of the most vulnerable groups in this country, art show up to this benefit show. More than 40 Sacramento artists have donated 100 works of art, and all of the proceeds benefit the Refugee and Immigrants Center for Education and Legal Services, a Texas-based charity dedicated to serving refugees. Each piece costs less than $100, so come out to support a great cause. 2110 K Street, facebook.com/menageriesacramento.

PHOTO COurTesy Of LiNDsay sWeariNgeN


Saturday, 7/14

Love Horror Short Film Fest Colonial TheaTre, 8pm, $20-$50

Feral horses are no longer the only thing to fear in Sacramento— the Love Horror Short FiLm Film Fest is upping the terror ante. With over 16 short films about everything from a border-wall battle with a robotic Trump in M.A.M.O.N. to a horror musical summer camp in Crystal Lake Memories, this festival highlights the diversity of the genre. The films will be punctuated by live performances with aerial artists, contortionists, comedians and more. 3522 Stockton Boulevard, sachorrorfilmfest.com.

Monday, 7/16

Saturday, 7/14

SHELLEY BURNS QUiNTET: Playing

Cannabis Job Fair: See event highlight

the music of Cole Porter. 7pm, $25. Sacramento Masonic Temple, 1123 J St.

tueSday, 7/17 mELViNS: With Modpods. 7pm, $22$25. Holy Diver, 1517 21st St.

WedneSday, 7/18 DAViS FARmER’S mARKET PiCNiC iN THE PARK: With Lincoln Highway

Band. 4:30pm, no cover. Central Park, 301 C St. in Davis.

NEGATiVE APPROACH: With Outside Looking In, Sissyfit and Sick Burn. 8pm, $12-$15. Blue Lamp, 1400 Alhambra Blvd.

SUmmER CONCERT SERiES: The SP&O’s Brass Quintet will make Fairytale Town just a little more magical. 7pm, $10-$15. Fairytale Town, 3901 Land Park Drive.

feStiValS thurSday, 7/12 CALiFORNiA WORLDFEST: See event

highlight on page 29. 10am. $25$190. Nevada County Fairgrounds, 11228 McCourtney Road in Grass Valley.

GATHER OAK PARK: Get out and be in the city with the people of Sacramento, with lots of food options and live music. 5pm, no cover. Broadway Corridor, 3433 Broadway.

friday, 7/13 CALiFORNiA WORLDFEST: See event

highlight on page 29. 10am. $25$190. Nevada County Fairgrounds, 11228 McCourtney Road in Grass Valley.

on page 29. 11am. No cover. Scottish Rite Masonic Center, 6151 H St.

THE miDTOWN BiZARRE mAKER POP UP SHOP: Local Artists and Makers in bloom at the Midtown Bizarre July 14. 10am, no cover. Identity Coffees, 1430 28th St.

WALK THE BOULEVARD LiVE: Take to the streets in North Sacramento, with live musicians and fine art. 3pm. $10-$20. Old North Sacramento, Del Paso Boulevard between W. El Camino Avenue and Arden Way.

Sunday, 7/15 CALiFORNiA WORLDFEST: See event

highlight on page 29. 10am. $25$190. Nevada County Fairgrounds, 11228 McCourtney Road in Grass Valley.

SUmmER CONCERT AND CARNiVAL: Get a plate of barbecue, pet some animals and play cow pie bingo, whatever that is. Noon, $20-$25. Leone Equestrians, 6213 Excelsior Road.

State fair Monday, 7/16 GiViNG mONDAY AT THE FAiR: Bring three nonperishable food items and receive free admission to the fair. 11am, no cover. Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd.

KiDZ BOP LiVE: With the KIDZ BOP

Kids. 6:30pm, $35-$55. Papa Murphy’s Park, 1600 Exposition Blvd.

KOOL & THE GANG: Check out this hot new sound kids from the 1960s are going gaga for. 8pm, no cover with fair admission-$25. Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd.

Photo courteSy of ted WilSon

it instead. Gasp as regular folks vie for glory and rosette ribbons by scarfing down pies. 2pm, no cover with fair admission. Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd.

WedneSday, 7/18 $2 TASTE OF THE FAiR: There’s a lot of novelty eats at the State Fair, but it can be hard to taste the whole field. All food vendors at the fair this year will be offering $2 deals on food on Wednesdays and Thursdays. 11am, no cover. Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd.

food & drinK thurSday, 7/12 LET THEm EAT CAKE: Eat cake for a cause. This event benefits Sacramento Self-Help Housing, an organization that strives to eliminate homelessness in the region. 5:30pm, $40-$75. Beatnik Studios, 723 S St.

SWiRL & SLiCE FOOD & WiNE WALK: Strap on your sandals, have a glass of vino and walk around downtown Woodland. 6pm, $25-$30. Heritage Plaza, 701 Main St. in Woodland.

friday, 7/13 FARmER’S mARKET DiNNER: Enjoy the market in exquisite foodie luxury, with a five-course meal designed by Israel Bejar, Il Fornaio executive chef. 6:30pm, $99-$150. Westfield Galleria at Roseville, 1151 Galleria Blvd. in Roseville.

miKUNi SCOOP SCOOT: Join the migration from William Land Park to Vic’s Ice Cream in this event benefitting Front Street Animal Shelter, Saint John’s Program for Real Change, Sutter Children’s Center and UC Davis Children’s Hospital. 6:30pm, $5. William Land Park, East Park Road.

Banking on what matters.® (800) SEE-SAFE safecu.org

tueSday, 7/17 PiE EATiNG CONTEST: What’s more fun than eating a whole pie as fast as you can? Watching someone else do

CALENDAR LiSTiNGS CONTiNUED ON PAGE 29

07.12.18

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MORE ENTERTAINMENT

You should be

getting it once a week.

TOMMY LEE & DJ AERO

MELISSA ETHERIDGE

July 14, 2018

July 20, 2018

THE DECEMBERISTS FEATURING: WHITNEY

THE TEMPTATIONS

July 28, 2018

August 3, 2018

MATISYAHU

BB KING’S BLUES BAND FEATURING TITO JACKSON

August 4, 2018

August 18, 2018

Sacramento’S newS and entertainment weekly. on StandS every thurSday. if you have a buSineSS and would like to carry the paper for free, call GreG at 916.498.1234, ext. 1317 or email GreGe@newSreview.com

n e w S r e v i e w.c o m

VOTED TAHOE’S BEST PLACE TO STAY

MORE FUN. MORE VALUE. MORE VARIETY. 1-800-BE-LUCKY | MONTBLEURESORT.COM 55 HIGHWAY 50, STATELINE, NV 89449

Tickets may be purchased at Montbleu Box Office, at all Ticketmaster outlets, or by calling Ticketmaster at 800.745.3000. Must be 21 or older to gamble. MontBleu reserves all rights.

28   |   SN&R   |   07.12.18

27172 MBR E1 RN & R - 6.25 AD 4.9x10.5 V2 FINAL.indd 1

6/22/18 9:38 AM


see more events and submit your own at newSreview.com/Sacramento/calendar

Calendar listinGs Continued From PaGe 27

Saturday, 7/14 taste oF east saCramento: Featuring  lots of vendors of food and drinks  in a rootin’-tootin’ good time.  6pm, $60. Annunciation Greek Orthodox  Church, 600 Alhambra Blvd.

tHird annual western bbQ: If it’s  been a while since your last  barbecue, please stop complaining  to your friends and neighbors.  Instead, just go to this event with  a buffet table of good eats, a dance  floor that’s made for getting down  and a karaoke session that’s  perfect for embarrassing your  family.  6pm, $14-$26. Casa Garden,  2760 Sutterville Road.

screening on the west side of the  park.  8pm, no cover. Sutter’s Fort  State Historic Park, 2701 L St.

tHe love Horror sHort Film Festival: See event highlight on page 27.  8pm, $20-$50. Colonial Theatre, 3522 Stockton Blvd.

saturday niGHt Fever: In case you  missed it the first time around,  check out the disco-flick with music  by the Bee Gees.  7:30pm, $7.50$9.50. Crest Theatre, 1013 K St.

comedy blaCKtoP Comedy: Comedy is a Drag!  Strap in for one night of drag 

humor.  saturday 7/14, 8pm. $15$20. 3101 Sunset Blvd., Suite 6A in  Rocklin.

Comedy sPot: Comedy Exchange. It’s 

film thurSday, 7/12 most liKely to suCCeed: Examine  why conventional education is  failing in this event thrown by the  Committee on Architecture for  Education and the Association For  Learning Environments.  5:30pm, no cover. AIA Central Valley Gallery,  1400 S St., Suite 100.

friday, 7/13 tHe addams Family: Get to know the 

Addams Family again.  7:30pm, $7.50$9.50. Crest Theatre, 1013 K St.

blaCK PantHer: Relive the incredible  cultural touchstone that rocked  America a few months ago.  8pm, no cover. Jackrabbit Brewing Co., 1323  Terminal St. in West Sacramento.

Saturday, 7/14 la la land: If anachronistic uses of  the walls of Sutter’s Fort tickle  your fancy, come check out the 

a blend of stand-up and improv  comedy inspired by the stand-up  set.  8pm. through 1/11. $8.50. 1050  20th St., Suite 130. 

lauGHs unlimited Comedy Club:  Edwin San Juan. Featuring Jimmy  Earl.  through 7/15. $20.  The  Underpaid Hilariously Funny  Tour. Generally speaking, it’s not  a great sign when your comedy  show feels the need to tell you it’s  “hilarious” or “funny,” but who  knows.  Through 7/18. $10.  1207  Front St.

PunCH line: Amanda Seales. Seales  pulls no punches, approaching tough issues head on.  through 7/14. $25. 2100 Arden Way, Suite 225.

saCramento Comedy sPot: High  Anxiety Variety Show. You’ll hear  and react to comedy and experience the music of Bryce Mondul  from Worthy Goat.  8pm Friday, 7/13. $8. 1050 20th St., Suite 130.

$10-$30. 12401 Folsom Blvd. in  Rancho Cordova. 

on StaGe lauGHs unlimited Comedy Club:  Summer Heat. Spoken-word poets  take the stage.  8:30pm thursday, 7/12. $10-$15. 1207 Front St.

nevada tHeatre: James and the  Giant Peach. The musical with  songs by Benji Pasek and Justin  Paul—today’s creative dream  team—brings the magic of Roald  Dahl’s fruit-centric story to the  stage.  through 8/4. $15-$35. 401  Broad St. in Nevada City.

tHe benvenuti PerForminG arts Center: Bye Bye Birdie. See what’s  new in this production of the 1960  musical classic with music by  Charles Strouse and lyrics by Lee  Adams.  through 7/14. $8-$12. 4600  Blackrock Drive.

william a. Carroll amPHitHeatre:  Henry V. The Shakespeare festival  is underway, telling the story of  King Henry V, who had bigger problems than I do. Personally, I might  not have declared war on France,  but that’s just me.  through 7/29. $20. 3901 Land Park Drive. 

william J. Geery tHeater:  Parameters: A One Act Festival  With a Twist! Instead of just muttering to yourself about how you’d  have done things differently, you  get to change things up. After  watching the play, the audience  gets to set parameters the for a  second performance.  through 7/15. $16-$20. 2130 L St.

SATURDAY, JULY 14 7PM $79 | General Admission

$179 | VIP Ticket Includes Limited Edition Autographed Bottle of Wine & Meet and Greet Session After the Main Event Enjoy an evening of wine tasting, light hor d’oeuvres and personal interactions with the football legend Charles Woodson.

FEATURING LIVE PERFORMANCES BY

DAVID GARIBALDI

tommy t’s Comedy Club: Willie  Barcena. Barcena has been doing  stand-up for a long time, and has  been making people laugh for a  similarly long time.  through 7/15.

Charles Woodson WINE TASTING EVENT

Calendar listinGs Continued on PaGe 30

FINALIST ON AMERICA’S GOT TALENT™ FOLLOWED BY AN AUCTION OF HIS ARTWORK TO BENEFIT CHARITY

RESERVE YOUR TICKET TODAY

Saturday, 7/14

HARDROCKCASINOLAKETAHOE.COM

Cannabis Job Fair ScottiSh Rite MaSonic centeR, 11aM, no coveR

Must Be 21+. Does Not Include Live Entertainment Tax.

So, you want to work in the cannabis  industry but you don’t know  where to start?  Festivals The Sacramento  Cannabis Job Fair can help. Bring  your resume and wear your job  interview clothes, because the weed  industry needs workers. And not  Photo courteSy of the infuSion factory just budtenders, but marketers,  growers, techies, salespeople, drivers, warehouse staff, graphic designers,  accountants and more. Preregister for the event, show up sober (no cannabis  consumption is allowed on the premises), bring your A-game, and you just might go  home with a new job. 6151 H Street.

844.588.ROCK 50 HIGHWAY 50 STATELINE, NV 89449

@HRHCLAKETAHOE #MADEFORMUSIC

HardRockCasinoLakeTahoe.com

—ngaio BealuM

07.12.18    |   SN&R   |   29


see more events and submit your oWn at newsreview.com/sacramenTo/calendar

14th annual Sacramento

jaPaneSe FIlm FeStIval mumon: the lanD oF Stealth Friday, July 20, 2018, 7:30pm. SISterS of the GIon Saturday, July 21, 2018, 11:30 AM.

arT

In thIS corner oF the WorlD Saturday, July 21, 2:00pm. oh! lucY SATURDAY, July 21, 4:30pm. aFter the Storm SATURDAY, July 21, 7:45pm. toKYo FamIlY Sunday, July 22, 2:00pm. the Ito SISterS Sunday, July 22, 5:00pm.

sPorTs & ouTdoors

Calendar listinGs Continued From PaGe 29

davis arts Center: Ergomodern and

Buy tick ets:

Single tic all Festiv kets, $10 al Pass, $40 creSt theatr e Box o FFIce, 11:30Pm - 1:30Pm mon. - F , rI, 1013 K Stree Sacram t, ento, c a 95814 . 916 - 47 6 - 3356

event ParKInG: capitol Garage, 10th & l Streets, city hall Garage, 10th & I Streets WWW.creStSacramento.com WWW.SacjaPaneSeFIlmFeStIval.net

Unveiled Visions. Experience art in the form of furniture, crafted by the late Dr. Julian G. Schiller, a Davis chiropractor. He created artwork using only hand tools and a drill press in his garage, making for a hyper local and incredibly relatable art form. through 7/28. no cover. 1919 F St. in Davis.

Gallery 1855: Travel Photography of Ian Nelson. View the world through the eyes of nature photographer Ian Nelson and his exquisite underwater shots. through 7/31. no cover. 820 Pole Line Road in Davis.

GroundsWell: Jeremiah Kille. The Santa Cruz native is a talented painter with a penchant for making boards of the surf and skate variety. through 8/4. no cover. 2508 J St.

JayJay: Master Class: New Talent from Northern California & Nevada. Eight new area artists show off their recent work. through 8/11. no cover. 5524 B Elvas Ave.

Thursday, 7/12

friday, 7/13

sPlasHy Hour: Take your dog

aQuaria meet & Greet: Meet (and

swimming in a pool with up to 75 dogs. Owners, while not allowed to swim, may partake in some adult beverages for sale. A percentage of the proceeds will go toward the Sacramento SPCA. 7pm, $15. Animal Den, 4060 Power Inn Road.

friday, 7/13 burners, biKes and breW: Bring your lit-up Burning Man bicycle for an hour-long ride over Sacramento, ending up right where you started for some traditional Burning Man activities. 8pm, no cover. SacYard Community Taphouse, 1725 33rd St.

saTurday, 7/14 2018 saCramento bastille day Waiters’ raCe: Watch local waiters race in a footrace with a twist: They’re all carrying glasses of water, and to spill any would be folly. See which restaurant has the best wait staff in this slightly improbable test of skill. 4pm, no cover. The Handle District, 1801 L St.

Community day: Let loose and play

museums Camellia CoFFee roasters: Alt Library Book Club. Talk about Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo with the Alt-Library Book Club. 6:30pm saturday, 7/14. no cover. 1104 R St.

CroCKer art museum: ARTMIX | ¡VIVA! Would you like some salsa with your art? Dance and browse at the Crocker with an exhibition of Eduardo Carrillo’s paintings. 6pm thursday, 7/12. $10. 216 O St.

lGBTQ

at the Sacramento Adventure Playground. All ages are welcome at this event that lets you create with cardboard. 11am, no cover. Sacramento Adventure Playground, 3301 37th Ave.

seCond saturday ride: Davis just got named one of the most bike-friendly cities in the nation. Hopefully that doesn’t discourage you from joining these bikers on their romp around Second Saturday. 5pm, no cover. Suzie Burger, 2820 P St.

greet) the winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 10, Aquaria, fresh off her victory. 8pm, $15$25. Badlands, 2003 K St.

wednesday, 7/18 lGbt sQuare danCe oPen House: Come and get square dancing. This free community event is open to everyone. 6:30pm, no cover. Fruitridge Community Center, 4000 Fruitridge Road.

Take acTion saTurday, 7/14 100 under $100 beneFit sHoW For raiCes: See event highlight on page

26. 7pm, no cover. Outlet Coworking, 2110 K St.

classes friday, 7/13 miXed media CollaGe WitH Found obJeCts: This six-hour class will walk your through making art with an assortment of items rescued from the ignominy of being discarded. 10am, $95. University Art, 2610 J St.

sWiG and diG Floral WorKsHoP: Learn the pavé style of floral arrangement which features cleancut mounds of flowers. Your ticket price includes all the tools, flowers and refreshments you’ll need to be successful. 6pm, $45. Exotic Plants, 1833 Howe Ave.

Thursday, 7/12-sunday, 7/15

California WorldFest Nevada CouNty FairgrouNds, various times, $20-$190

This festival is a four-day, camping compatible event with more than 40 acts playing a Festivals collection of soulful, mellow music. You’ll hear Dustin Thomas, Anoushka Shankar, Joe Craven and the Sometimers and Galactic, with buskers filling in any gaps. Visit the Global Indigenous Peoples’ Village and attend workshops focused on the things that connect us as humans—this festival aims to change your life. 11228 McCourtney Road in Grass Valley, worldfest.net.

30

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07.12.18

PhoTo courTesy of alan sheckTer


submit your calendar listings for free at newsreview.com/sacramento/calendar Badlands

2003 k ST., (916) 448-8790

THURSDAY 7/12

FRIDAY 7/13

SATURDAY 7/14

SUNDAY 7/15

MONDAY-WEDNESDAY 7/16-7/18

Pop Rockz, 9pm, call for cover

RuPaul’s Season X Invasion Tour with Aquaria, 9pm, $10-$35

Spectacular Saturdays, 7pm, call for cover

Sunday Showcase, 8:30pm, no cover

Karaoke Night, 9pm, T, call for cover

Toast & Jam, 9:30pm, no cover

Western Spies and the Kosmonaut, 9pm, no cover

World Cup Final, 8am, no cover

Dixon's Birthday Show, 8pm, call for cover

Dolores 5000, Sky Pig and more, 2pm, $10; #RocDaMic, 9pm, $15-$20

The Weirdos, 8pm, $15-$17

BaR 101

101 MAIN ST., ROSEvIllE, (916) 774-0505

Blue lamp

1400 AlHAMbRA blvD., (916) 455-3400

Drunk Poetry with Andru Defeye and SpaceWalker, 8pm, call for cover

Negative Approach, Sick Burn, Sissyfit and more, 8pm, W, call for cover

The BoaRdwalk

Landon Tewers, Hotel Books, Nosedive, Enso Anima and more, 7pm, T, $10

9426 GREENbAck lN., ORANGEvAlE, (916) 358-9116

CapiTol GaRaGe

1500 k ST., (916) 444-3633

CResT TheaTRe PHOTO cOURTESY OF vERDANcE vISUAlS

Jessica malone 6pm Thursday, no cover. Davis Commons Folk

1013 k ST., (916) 476-3356

Capitol Fridays, 10pm, no cover before 10:30pm

Dinner and a Drag Show, 7:30pm, $5-$25

Capitol Cabaret, 7pm, call for cover

The Addams Family, 7:30pm, $7.50-$9.50

Saturday Night Fever, 7:30pm, $7.50$9.50

The 'Burbs, 7pm, $7.50-$9.50

FaCes

Faces Karaoke, 9pm, call for cover

Absolut Fridays, 9pm, call for cover

FaTheR paddY’s iRish puBliC house

Andrew Little, 6pm, call for cover

The Nickel Slots, 7pm, call for cover

According to Bazooka, 7pm, call for cover

Fox & Goose

Michael B. Justis, 8pm, no cover

Alyssa Mattson and Steven Denmark, 9pm, $5

The Big Poppies and Empress Niko & the Lions Paw, 9pm, $5

2000 k ST., (916) 448-7798 435 MAIN ST., WOODlAND, (530) 668-1044 1001 R ST., (916) 443-8825

Every Damn Monday, 8pm, M, no cover; Noche Latina, 9pm, T, no cover

Open Mic Night, 7:30pm, M, no cover; All Vinyl Wednesdays, 8pm, W, no cover

halFTime BaR & GRill

Let's Get Quizzical, 7pm, T, no cover; Paint Nite, 6:30pm, W, call for cover

5681 lONETREE blvD., ROcklIN, (916) 626-3600

haRlow’s

Drop Dead Red, Trophii and SpaceWalker, 10pm, $8-$10

hideawaY BaR & GRill

2565 FRANklIN blvD., (916) 455-1331

Ground Chuck Benefit with Storytellers, Frack and more, 8pm, call for cover

hiGhwaTeR

Total Recall, 8:30pm, $5

2708 J ST., (916) 441-4693

1910 Q ST., (916) 706-2465

holY diVeR

Ideateam and Dirty Revival, 8pm, $12-$14

The Trivia Factory, 7pm, M, no cover; Geeks Who Drink, 6pm, T, no cover

HOF Saturdays, 9pm, $5

The Melvins and Modpods, 7pm, T, call for cover

kupRos PHOTO cOURTESY OF IRENE YOUNG

Mike Farris and the Fortunate Few, 5:30pm, $25-$30

Surf Curse, Lunchlady and Munechild, 7pm, $12-$15

1517 21ST ST.

Geeks Who Drink, 8:30pm, W, no cover

Kupros Quiz, 7:30pm, no cover

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

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

laurie lewis

luna’s CaFe & JuiCe BaR

with the Right Hands 8pm Friday, $18-$22. Palms Playhouse Bluegrass

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

Melancholy Dream Suite, Sam Peter & the Village and David Rubi, 8pm, $6

Creative Music and Jazz, 7:30pm, M, $10; Open-Mic Comedy, 7:30pm, T, no cover

momo saCRamenTo 2708 J ST., (916) 441-4693

Discover Thursday: Aaron Taylor and Landline, 7pm, no cover-$3

Waker, Madi Sipes and the Painted Blue, 6pm, $10-$12

Justin Long's 21st Birthday, 7pm, T, call for cover

old iRonsides

SheRox and more, 7:30pm, $5

The Mindful and What Rough Beast, 8:30pm, $10

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Heath Williamson, 5:30pm, M, no cover; Best of Mic Night, 8pm, W, no cover

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07.12.18    |   SN&R   |   31


submit your calendar listings for free at newsreview.com/sacramento/calendar THURSDAY 7/12

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Open-Mic Comedy/Karaoke, 8pm, no cover

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Definitely, for a time I’d [think], “Stop giving weed a bad name ... stop playing into stereotypes.” But as I get older and think about things, and am involved in activism, I realize that the people who hate weed are going to hate weed no matter what. You can dress it up, but you’re not going to change their mind.

Ngaio Bealum and rapper Mod Sun in the first episode of Cooking on High.

The dank diplomat

PHOTO COURTESY OF NETFLIX

SN&R columnist Ngaio Bealum’s new Netflix show has him Cooking on High

Anything about making the show surprise you? I was super pleasantly surprised at the caliber of all of the chefs on the show. Brandon [Coates] can cook his ass off; Andrea [Drummer] is a savage beast. There was also a true variety of meals presented—from French toast to French onion soup or quinoa. some of the judges commented they liked the way a dish tasted when they couldn’t taste the weed, while others said the weed taste is what they liked. Where do you fall on the taste spectrum? I’m a proponent of being able to taste a little weed because I want a reminder that I’m eating weed. I know that it can have a cumulative effect and then all of a sudden I’m high as a kite. It’s the same reason I prefer hard alcohol to those sweet and fruity drinks.

on the show, the chefs generally use cannabis butter or oil in their dishes— are there are other ways to cook with weed? There are other ways to cook with no big deal—it’s like booze or cannabis: you can sprinkle aspirin. We haven’t gotten some hash on a dish, like a lot of pushback on an herb, or pour hash the show … although “I have oil into the batter. I have received a managed to But, generally few notes about speaking, cannabis how we’re carve out a career, oils and butters are glorifying the but it’s taken a while the most assured more playful to become the dank way of getting a aspects of weed good high. Back and I’m like, diplomat.” in the day, you’d “What? You Ngaio Bealum just pour a bunch of don’t hear anyone marijuana expert marijuana into your criticizing Drunk brownie batter and your History for that same brownies would taste like thing.” hay. We’re more refined now. is that something you’ve ever worried about—playing up the so-called “playful” aspects of stoner culture? by Rachel leibRock

When Ngaio bealum got the call to serve as the resident expert for Netflix’s new weed cooking show, the answer was obvious. With more than 30 years of cannabis know-how to his name, the stand-up comic, activist and columnist (for SN&R’s weekly Ask 420 column, of course), just might be the best thing about Cooking on High. The 12-episode reality competition show is hosted by YouTube celebrity Josh Leyva, and each 15-minute episode features celebrity judges and two chefs blazing up the stove with cannabis-infused dishes. Top Chef, it’s not. Bealum took a few minutes from his busy schedule as a weed ambassador to discuss all things cannabis, such as the best ways to light up a dish and why it’s important to remember legalization’s activist roots. 34

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How would you describe your role on the show? To me it’s like you’re the Tim gunn of weed. I’m the Tim Gunn, the Ted Allen, the Alton Brown. I talk about how to cook [with weed], how to decarbonate it; how cannabis is metabolized in the body. The show features a disclaimer stating the cannabis used is only for medicinal purposes—is that because it isn’t legal at the federal level? Because of [the feds] and because this show has international viewers, too. People are also still skittish about using it. Are there still a lot of myths and misconceptions about weed? We’re still fighting 70-some years of bad propaganda and racist propaganda [but] people are more open to the idea of it being

“THe DANK DiplomAT” coNTiNueD oN pAge 37


Like more Sign up formoney our newsletter! with your Can’t weed?remember See online-only if you already discounts did?atDo www.capitalcannabisguide.com it again. www.capitalcannabisguide.com or text WEED to 42828

07.12.18    |   SN&R   |   35


Billy Goats urinate on their own heads to smell more attractive to females. Do not try this.

36   |   SN&R   |   07.12.18


Private chef Andrea Drummer takes home the golden pot (no pun intended) during an episode of Cooking on High. pHoto CourteSy of NetfLix

How much food did you actually sample on set? We’d shoot three or four shows a day, so you don’t see me eating a lot. I’d sneak a few bites, but a few of the [judges] were maybe passed out in the green room. We had a couple of couches, so there were naps.

What’s next? I just got back from the International Cannabis Business Conference where I was an emcee. We were also in Berlin and Vancouver and we’re going to be in Barcelona and then Berlin again. The Seattle Hempfest is coming up and then we’ll be doing a “Comedy Burger” show at the MoMo Lounge [upstairs at Harlow’s Restaurant & Nightclub] on July 22. This one’s something dab-a-licious; we’ll talk about weed more often than we usually do.

I’ve found that recommended dosages on edibles can be misleading. It’s like you’re this weed “... Some people are more ambassador, traveling sensitive to it; it we need to the world to educate goes through the others … remember that liver and there are I have managed to cannabis legalization so many different carve out a career, factors in regards to started in the social justice but it’s taken a while absorption: whether to become the dank movement.” you’ve had a lot diplomat. I’ve been Ngaio Bealum of food to eat, or is a standup comic for marijuana expert your liver full of fat? 30 years so [talking It’s so hard to judge about weed] was already what a particular food in my act … Now I’m in will do for you. I recomalt-weeklies and I travel around mend 5-10 milligrams for 100 and talk about weed. I’ve dedicated my pounds of body weight. life to this.

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Each episode is only about 15 minutes long—why is that? We’re stoners; we have a short attention span.

Let’s talk about the activism aspect of this. I think we need to remember that cannabis legalization started in the social justice movement; it was started to keep people out of jail, to keep small growers solvent without fear of jail. We didn’t start legalization so that random people can show up with a million dollars and corner the market. We need to keep social justice in mind and remember to do good. Ω

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Is it possible to overindulge on edibles? I had an existential crisis on a Greyhound bus from eating too much weed! My tip for new cookers and new weed-eaters is to have fun and be yourself. Eat a little bit at first, you can always eat more but you can’t eat less. And have coffee on hand. If you have some high-CBD flowers as well, it counteracts the effects of the THC.

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“tHE dank dIpLomat” contInuEd from pagE 34

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07.12.18    |   SN&R   |   37


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Don’t worry. Be happy.

42   |   SN&R   |   07.12.18


By Ngaio Bealum

as k 4 2 0 @ne w s re v i e w . c o m

Bud bird Are the clubs gonna have any weed this week? I am kinda worried. —Larry Lowstash

I hope you stocked up last week when the clubs were holding giant clearance sales. The new rules went into effect July 1, so clubs had to get rid of all of their untested and unpackaged cannabis. The problem is, there aren’t enough licensed, tested and properly packaged products to go around just yet. The packaging rules are convoluted, hard to find and more than a little ridiculous. In fact, you can’t even find a clear and concise rundown of the regulations anywhere. Producers are having to visit like nine different websites just to get an idea of what the new packaging should look like. And don’t get me started on how much plastic and mylar—one of the most unrecyclable substances on the planet—are needed to comply with the new rules. All of the cannabis has to be tested, in some cases up to three different times. (Don’t ask.) So, of course all of the testing labs are overwhelmed, creating a huge backlog and keeping cannabis off of the shelves. It didn’t have to be this way. The BCC could have extended the deadline for the changeover and given the clubs and testing labs some more time to catch up. I know the BCC is trying their best, but they just can’t seem to get it together. We already had a pretty good system in place before Proposition 64 passed. It should have been fairly simple to create regulations that aren’t byzantine and burdensome. I know it hasn’t even been a year and that things should smooth out, but the BCC has given me no reason to be optimistic. And they wonder why the grey market is thriving while the “legit” cannabis revenue is falling short of expectations.

Hey Ngaio, my fiancé and I just started watching Cooking On High and we both love it! She’s crazy into cooking shows and I smoke daily, so it’s perfect. Random question: If you were to stuff a turkey or chicken with actual buds, would the fats and the oils in the bird bring out the THC and basically make it so you don’t have to use weed oil or butter?

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Great question, and thanks for watching! If you don’t know what show Pat is talking about, you can find it on Netflix. I am the cannabis expert, and the show is all about cooking, cannabis and competition. Please watch. Each episode is like 15 minutes long. This concludes the self promotional section of this column. Back to your question: I think you would still need to butter up the birds. Just stuff a bird full of buds and you end up with chicken marinated weed, not weed marinated chicken. Best bet is to make a weed and herb butter, then slather it all over the chicken (under the skin also) to achieve maximum effect. Thanks! Ω

Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at ask420@newsreview.com.

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Friends in need My best friend of 15 years has started trying to control my other friendships. We have always talked about everything, but when I bring up my feelings about her behavior, she cries so hard it’s impossible to continue our conversation. This has been going on for weeks. I don’t know what to do. I can’t let go of the other people I care about just to make her happy. Can I? You know the answer to that question, right? So let’s examine questions you haven’t asked. Start here: What triggered my best friend? Maybe she feels abandoned, is jealous, or fears losing you because of the intimacy of your other connections. All of those possible reasons are understandable, but there’s a more complicated perspective that fits. People often react emotionally to situations in which they can exercise control, rather than face the deeper issue actually responsible for triggering their suffering. Your friend is struggling with a trauma she has no words for (at least not yet) and it likely has nothing to do with you. Until you know otherwise, be yourself. Don’t play the victim. The other question worth exploring is whether your friendship is nourishing or not. With the exception of this rough patch, are you grateful to have this friend? If not, what would shift you into appreciation? Focus on the good she brings into your life. It will support you until she can open up and talk honestly with you. Is it worth it to wait for that day? Of course! That’s what friends do for one another. In the process, you’ll gain practice in developing patience, a valuable skill we all need to grow in love for ourselves, and others.

I’m not sure that would even help. I’m heartbroken and miss her terribly. I think about her and what I may have done, if anything, to cause this distance. I’ve even had nightmares. Do you have any advice for me? Be kind to yourself. Nightmares and distress are symptoms of grief. The sudden loss of a trusted friend is like an unexpected death. Resisting the change in this friendship only hurts you. Rather than continuing to reach out in hopes of securing closure, let go. She doesn’t have the power to give you closure, unless she has more influence over you than you do. If you want to experience freedom, take charge. When your mind recycles pain and loss, confront it. Remind yourself that you are well, that you don’t know anything about your friend’s situation and it’s none of your business until she confides in you. Mentally send positive vibes to wish her well in all things. Tell yourself something sweet about you and then get on with enjoying yourself. Friends come and go. That’s not good or bad. It’s just true. Ω

If you want to experience freedom, take charge.

I’ve read your columns on ghosting and wonder if you think it applies to friendships. One of my closest friends suddenly, and without explanation, stopped answering my texts, calls and emails. She lives too far away for me to simply show up on her doorstep and demand an answer, although

MeDITaTIOn OF The Week “Patience can’t be acquired overnight. It’s like building up a muscle. Every day you need to work on it,” said Eknath Easwaran. Is the real you worth waiting for?

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 askjoey@newsreview.com.

Want daily insights for a soul-called life? Connect with Joey on Instagram and Twitter @askjoeygarcia.

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Free will astrology

by Michael Mott

by Rob bRezsny

FOR THE WEEk OF JULY 12, 2018 ARIES (March 21-April 19): Your key theme

right now is growth. Let’s dig in and analyze its nuances. 1. Not all growth is good for you. It may stretch you too far too fast—beyond your capacity to integrate and use it. 2. Some growth that is good for you doesn’t feel good to you. It might force you to transcend comforts that are making you stagnant, and that can be painful. 3. Some growth that’s good for you may meet resistance from people close to you; they might prefer you to remain just as you are, and may even experience your growth as a problem. 4. Some growth that isn’t particularly good for you may feel pretty good. For instance, you could enjoy working to improve a capacity or skill that is irrelevant to your long-term goals. 5. Some growth is good for you in some ways, and not so good in other ways. You have to decide if the trade-off is worth it. 6. Some growth is utterly healthy for you, feels pleasurable and inspires other people.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): You can’t sing with

someone else’s mouth, Taurus. You can’t sit down and settle into a commanding new power spot with someone else’s butt. Capiche? I also want to tell you that it’s best if you don’t try to dream with someone else’s heart, nor should you imagine you can fine-tune your relationship with yourself by pushing someone else to change. But here’s an odd fact: You can enhance your possibility for success by harnessing or borrowing or basking in other people’s luck. Especially in the coming weeks.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): You wouldn’t attempt

to cure a case of hiccups by repeatedly smacking your head against a wall, right? You wouldn’t use an anti-tank rocket launcher to eliminate the mosquito buzzing around your room, and you wouldn’t set your friend’s hair on fire as a punishment for arriving late to your rendezvous at the café. So don’t overreact to minor tweaks of fate, my dear Gemini. Don’t overmedicate tiny disturbances. Instead, regard the glitches as learning opportunities. Use them to cultivate more patience, expand your tolerance and strengthen your character.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): I pay tribute to

your dizzying courage, you wise fool. I stage whisper “Congratulations!” as you slip away from your hypnotic routine and wander out to the edge of mysterious joy. With a crazy grin of encouragement and my fist pressed against my chest, I salute your efforts to transcend your past. I praise and exalt you for demonstrating that freedom is never permanent but must be reclaimed and reinvented on a regular basis. I cheer you on as you avoid every temptation to repeat yourself, demean yourself and chain yourself.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I’m feeling a bit helpless as

I watch you messing with that bad but good stuff that is so wrong but right for you. I am rendered equally inert as I observe you playing with the strong but weak stuff that’s interesting but probably irrelevant. I fidget and sigh as I monitor the classy but trashy influence that’s angling for your attention; and the supposedly fast-moving process that’s creeping along so slowly; and the seemingly obvious truth that would offer you a much better lesson if only you would see it for the chewy riddle that it is. What should I do about my predicament? Is there any way I can give you a boost? Maybe the best assistance I can offer is to describe to you what I see.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Psychologist Paul

Ekman has compiled an extensive atlas of how emotions are revealed in our faces. “Smiles are probably the most underrated facial expressions,” he has written, “much more complicated than most people realize. There are dozens of smiles, each differing in appearance and in the message expressed.” I bring this to your attention, Virgo, because your assignment in the coming weeks—should you choose to accept it—is to explore and experiment with your entire repertoire of smiles. I’m confident that life will conspire to help you carry out this task. More than at any time since your birthday in 2015, this is the season for unleashing your smiles.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Lucky vibes are

coalescing in your vicinity. Scouts and recruiters

are hovering. Helpers, fairy godmothers, and future playmates are growing restless waiting for you to ask them for favors. Therefore, I hereby authorize you to be imperious, regal and overflowing with self-respect. I encourage you to seize exactly what you want, not what you’re “supposed” to want. Or else be considerate, appropriate, modest and full of harmonious caution. CUT! CUT! Delete that “be considerate” sentence. The Libra part of me tricked me into saying it. And this is one time when people of the Libra persuasion are allowed to be free from the compulsion to balance and moderate. You have a mandate to be the show, not watch the show.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Emily Dickinson

wrote 1,775 poems—an average of one every week for 34 years. I’d love to see you launch an enduring, deep-rooted project that will require similar amounts of stamina, persistence and dedication. Are you ready to expand your vision of what’s possible for you to accomplish? The current astrological omens suggest that the next two months will be an excellent time to commit yourself to a great work that you will give your best to for the rest of your long life!

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): What’s

the biggest lie in my life? There are several candidates. Here’s one: I pretend I’m nonchalant about one of my greatest failures; I act as if I’m not distressed by the fact that the music I’ve created has never received the listenership it should it have. How about you, Sagittarius? What’s the biggest lie in your life? What’s most false or dishonest or evasive about you? Whatever it is, the immediate future will be a favorable time to transform your relationship with it. You now have extraordinary power to tell yourself liberating truths. Three weeks from now, you could be a more authentic version of yourself than you’ve ever been.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Now and then

you go through phases when you don’t know what you need until you stumble upon it. At times like those, you’re wise not to harbor fixed ideas about what you need or where to hunt for what you need. Metaphorically speaking, a holy grail might show up in a thrift store. An eccentric stranger may provide you with an accidental epiphany at a bus stop or a convenience store. Who knows? A crucial clue may even jump out at you from a spam email or a reality TV show. I suspect that the next two weeks might be one of those odd grace periods for you.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): “Reverse

psychology” is when you convince people to do what you wish they would do by shrewdly suggesting that they do the opposite of what you wish they would do. “Reverse censorship” is when you write or speak the very words or ideas that you have been forbidden to express. “Reverse cynicism” is acting like it’s chic to express glee, positivity, and enthusiasm. “Reverse egotism” is bragging about what you don’t have and can’t do. The coming weeks will be an excellent time to carry out all these reversals, as well as any other constructive or amusing reversals you can dream up.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Poet Emily Dickinson

once revealed to a friend that there was only one Commandment she ever obeyed: “Consider the Lilies.” Japanese novelist Natsume Sōseki told his English-speaking students that the proper Japanese translation for “I love you” is Tsuki ga tottemo aoi naa, which literally means “The moon is so blue tonight.” In accordance with current astrological omens, Pisces, I’m advising you to be inspired by Dickinson and Sōseki. More than any other time in 2018, your duty in the coming weeks is to be lyrical, sensual, aesthetic, imaginative and festively nonliteral.

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 realastrology.com.

Podracer patriot A calm landing-officer’s voice crackles over the radio, guiding the pilot in. No moon means instruments only. “Your whole world is a cockpit and [the carrier] is on the horizon,” Lt. Cameron Thornberry says. But that’s not the scariest part. “It’s when you’re trapped and taxi. They’re—no kidding—putting your wheels inches from the flight deck.” A 2008 Rio Americano grad and Super Hornet pilot in the U.S. Navy, Thornberry called from the Navy’s fighter jet center in Nevada, prepping for his first tour. He can’t talk about politics, he says. Just his country. “My world is my squadron, air wing and strike group—that’s where my immediate sight ends,” the Sac native said. “I always knew I wanted to defend this place.”

So, what are you up to in Nevada? Deployment workups. My squadron and three other fire squadrons, an entire carrier airwing, are going on deployment in October. It’s a yearlong procedure before that, where we train as squads and workup as an airwing. Lots of aircraft in the sky doing one mission. Then we transition to the boat in August.

Did you always want to be a pilot? When I was a young kid, my earliest memories were of aviation—when I was in diapers. My grandfather on my mom’s side was a Navy pilot. My uncle was, too. My other grandfather was in the Army in World War II. Then in middle school, I saw the Blue Angels and decided that’s what I want to do.

Do you still want to fly for the Blue Angels? No, as politely as I can say that … no. They’re great at what they do and are great pilots, but their mission is public relations. I would rather be in the frontline fighter squadron, or serving as a weapons school instructor or a test pilot.

How do you feel piloting millions of dollars worth of equipment? I forget what it is … like $60 million? You lose sight of it day-to-day. I’ve been training to be in the frontline Super Hornet squadron for three years. It’s easy to lose sight of, but still very humbling. And awesome, scorching around the sky. We’ve done workups on the boat for six weeks. During that time, everyone is stuck on the boat and only the pilots can go out and fly around.

PHOTO COURTESY Of THE U.S. NAVY

Favorite part? Definitely flying. That’s what draws everyone in here. Not too far away from that is working with sailors and being part of a larger team. It’s pretty cool when you’re out in the middle of the ocean and you see other cruisers and destroyers. You see how small a cog you are in the entire machine. Working with the sailors who work day-in and day-out, 12-hour days, even on the ship when it’s blistering hot out. It’s eye-watering seeing a jet fully groomed and just ready for you.

How long do fighter pilots stay in the service? What’s training like? We have a minimum contract for all pilots of eight years once you wing. Some get out and some stay in. … Some admirals stay up to 30 years. When you start out, most give you the call sign FNG—Friendly New Guy. You probably can’t put in what else it stands for. Now, I have my own call sign, but I’m still on the bottom rung. You keep starting out as a new guy, from prop planes to jet trainers in Mississippi. It’s a whole new process of learning over again, then you transition to the F-18.

What’s your call sign? Col. DRFM—it won’t mean much to you, but DRFM is a jamming technique, an electronic attack in the sky. Pretty much, I’m a huge nerd. Digital Radio Frequency Memory: Jamming is confusing radar waves. Say I’m an enemy jet and flying against F-18s. I would receive radar energy and my electronic attack computer would spit them back out to spoof the opposing radar. It’s funny sounding. That’s where that came from.

Tell me about one of your best days. Some of the most fun is low-level flying. We’ll fly out from Lemoore, 10-to-15 minute transit to the Sierras. Owens Valley or Saline/Death

Valley area. We’re going around .8 mach up at altitude. It was an introduction to extreme low-level flying. We’re going beneath mountain peaks, 200 feet off the ground, no joke—you’ll cut east and bomb down these huge mountains directly onto Route 395 on the east side of the Sierras. Then, a 10,000foot drop-off to low-level flying until we bomb down into Star Wars Canyon [aka Rainbow Canyon in Death Valley National Park]. There’s usually photographers shooting us 200 feet above, yanking and banking 300 to 400 knots, pulling anywhere from three to seven and a half Gs, wrapping around this canyon. And you get out. That’s 20 seconds of flying.

You went in under one presidential administration. Now you’re in another. Do you think about it? Our whole country is based on the fact that the military is separate from any political power. We are there to execute the legal orders of those above us. We’re public servants—we just do our jobs in a military sense. That is an apolitical job. I know there’s a larger institutional power and decisionmaking that can start at the very top. All of us are pretty confident in the institution of America and the decision-making. People in the military are going to have political leanings one way or the other, but politics aren’t discussed that frequently, since we’re all here for the same mission. We’re here for public service and have a strong desire to serve, to be prepared on the frontlines to defend freedom. As cliché as that sounds, there’s a lot of things people take for granted in this country. People do it in the local and civil sectors. We’re just in arms. There’s a lot of patriots in this job who love the idea of what it is. Ω

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