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+Scaring the mayor with rent control news, 08

+SingUlaritieS in cinema

+the SteakhoUSe for powerfUl StakeholderS

arts+culture, 18

Sacramento’S newS & entertainment weekly

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Volume 30, iSSue 15

dish, 22

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thurSday, july 26, 2018

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Editor’s notE

July 26, 2018 | Vol. 30, issuE 15

05 STREETALK 07 LETTERS 08 NEwS 12 GREENLiGhT 13 FEATuRE SToRy 18 ARTS & CuLTuRE 20 SPoRT 22 DiSh 24 STAGE 25 FiLM 26 MuSiC 28 CALENDAR 34 CAPiTAL

18 23 Our Mission: To publish great newspapers that are successful and enduring. To create a quality work environment that encourages employees to grow professionally while respecting personal welfare. To have a positive impact on our communities and make them better places to live. Editor Eric Johnson News Editor Raheem F. Hosseini Managing Editor Mozes Zarate Staff Reporter Scott Thomas Anderson Copy Editor Steph Rodriguez Calendar Editor Maxfield Morris Contributors Daniel Barnes, Ngaio Bealum, Alastair Bland, Brad Branan, Rob Brezsny, Skye Cabrera, Aaron Carnes, Jim Carnes, Maia Paras Evrigenis, Joey Garcia, Kate Gonzales, Becky Grunewald, Jeff Hudson, Rebecca Huval, Matt Kramer, Jim Lane, Ken Magri, Michael Mott, Rachel Leibrock, Kate Paloy,

25 James Raia, Patti Roberts, Steph Rodriguez, Shoka, Stephanie Stiavetti, Bev Sykes Creative Services Manager Christopher Terrazas Editorial Designers Maria Ratinova, Sarah Hansel Publications Designer Katelynn Mitrano Web Design & Strategist Elisabeth Bayard-Arthur Ad Designers Catalina Munevar, Naisi Thomas Contributing Photographers Lucas Fitzgerald, Karlos Rene Ayala, Ashley Hayes-Stone, Ken Magri

CANNAbiS GuiDE 43 ASK joEy 47 15 MiNuTES

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CovER DESiGN by SERENE LuSANo

Mike Cleary, Tom Downing, Marty Fetterley, Chris Fong, Ron Forsberg, Joanna Kelly Hopkins, Julian Lang, Calvin Maxwell, Devon McMindes, Greg Meyers, Lloyd Rongley, Lolu Sholotan, Viv Tiqui

N&R Publications Editor Michelle Carl N&R Associate Editor Laura Hillen N&R Publications Writers Anne Stokes, Rodney

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TrusT us, you will noT be disappoinTed

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of Chico Community Publishing, Inc. Contact the editor for permissions to reprint articles, cartoons or other portions of the paper. SN&R is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or review materials. Email letters to snrletters@newsreview.com. All letters received become the property of the publisher. We reserve the right to print letters in condensed form and to edit them for libel.

Trump vs. clean California air This week’s cover story documents a raft of technological breakthroughs, and the role Sacramento is playing in bringing them to reality. This stuff, which does not come without cost or risk, could radically change the way we get around. As importantly, it could dramatically reduce the damage that the transportation sector does to the environment—which is profound. For most of the past two decades, the worst contributors to greenhouse gas emissions have been power plants producing electricity for homes, factories, etc. Last year, transportation surpassed power generation as the deadliest industry. Things would be a lot worse if it were not for the state of California. Many of the air-scrubbing technological advances we’ve seen over the past four decades came in response to policies passed by California legislatures and signed by California governors. Federal laws such as the Clean Air Act helped a lot, but California has been leading the way. Just a few days ago, Pres. Trump took steps to put an end to our state’s ability to control its destiny, and influence that of the world’s. The Los Angeles Times reported Monday that “the Trump administration will seek to revoke California’s authority to regulate automobile emissions—including its mandate for electric-car sales—in a proposed revision of Obama-era standards.” The same day’s news brings stories about weird weather around the globe, including deadly fires in Athens and Sweden. The situation has never been so obviously dire. Reversing course on technological progress now is insane.

—ERIC JOhNSON e r ic j@ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m

SN&R is printed at Bay Area News Group on recycled newsprint. Circulation of SN&R is verified by the Circulation Verification Council. SN&R is a member of Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce, CNPA, AAN and AWN.

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“I thought they Were BaIt BIkes.”

askEd around k strEEt:

What do you think of the new Jump Bikes?

Emma BruEcknEr I think it’s a really good idea, because we’ll be driving around and we see them everywhere—they’re everywhere. One time, all of our friends, at least 20 of them, had this massive group of people. They do a good job of placing them. We’re fans!

tad Harrison

Ervin Hulton

college student

I thought they were bait bikes. ... They were new to me, I never seen them. They’re neat. I see everybody around riding them. I like the big old headlight on the bike. … When I first seen the bikes, I said, “They’re trying to trap somebody?”

Are those these electric bikes that are around town? I’ve only seen a couple of them, I think it’s a great idea. … Anything that will help people get around easier in downtown without having to put more cars on the street and to minimize the number of tax dollars in having to go to that kind of thing ...

antoinEt tE davido

drEw Hyl and

avid motorcyclist

homeless resident

senior marketing manager

The jump bikes are great. The electric assist makes it easy to just casually pedal. I commute to the east side to the Hive. So yeah, it makes it easy.

GrEG trE zos

waitress

server

It’s actually really great. I’m a worker down here, so I think it’s convenient on how it’s $4 an hour, all you have to do is download an app. And I see a lot of people doing it. I don’t think there are too many cons to it, other than maybe local transportation losing money.

I actually haven’t ridden any Jump Bikes yet, but I’ve heard they’re really cool. A group of our friends from here at LowBrau took I think 20 bikes out for the day and they rode them from LowBrau, all the way down to West Sac. They seem like a lot of fun.

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building a

HealtHy S a c r a m e n t o

the Next Changemakers by Edgar SanchEz

A new generation of leaders is being trained to mobilize Sacramentans to fight for equal rights, better public schools and other noble causes in the 21st century. Training occurs on Wednesdays at the new Summer Youth Leadership Academy in South Sacramento.

A program leaflet outlines the curriculum, which includes studying the meaning of social justice, examining the various levels of government, creating change via social media, and discussing movements that created epic change.

That’s where 14 students, all ages 14 to 17, are learning to be changemakers — advocates for social good — through the eight-week program that ends August 10.

Guest speakers also impart key lessons, like one delivered this month by Isaac Gonzalez, youth media program manager for Access Sacramento, a broadcasting and media production nonprofit.

“The program is helping me transform into the person I want to be,” Ethan Lee, 17, said recently. “I want to be a successful person, and help people at the bottom.” He wants to make sure everyone can achieve their dreams. After graduating from West Campus High next year, Lee plans to pursue a college degree in architecture. The academy, sponsored by The California Endowment and hosted by Sacramento Building Healthy Communities - The HUB, is co-directed by Shakeya Bell and Araiye “Ray” Thomas-Haysbert. “This academy is crucial because it gives youth the tools to create change.” said Bell. “It provides a proactive outlet to a community, who don’t have many resources or outlets to cater to the trauma and injustice these youth face on a daily basis. It helps them realize that they matter, and more importantly that their voice matters.”

“The program is helping me Transform inTo The person i wanT To be.” Ethan Lee 17, participant in the Summer youth Leadership academy

Ethan Lee is 17, a soon-to-be senior at Sacramento’s West Campus High, and enrolled in the Summer Youth Leadership Academy. Photo by Edgar Sanchez

In his presentation, Gonzalez said elected officials don’t care about non-voters.

tell them: “I’m a registered voter. So are all my friends.”

As a result, he said, Sacramento has two types of communities: The beautiful ones with parks, nice sidewalks and thriving businesses, where residents vote religiously, and depressed neighborhoods, where most residents don’t vote.

Lee will vote for the first time in 2020. He can’t wait.

Gonzalez added: “You can march and protest,” but the best way to effect change is to confront elected officials, who shape city policies, and

The students have broken into groups this summer to work on special projects. Lee’s is analyzing how some minorities in Sacramento overcame racial stereotypes to become successful, admired professionals. He is conducting interviews, to determine how they did it.

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

paid with a grant from the california endowment 6   |   SN&R   |   07.26.18

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

get involved with the Sacramento bhc – The hub at sacbhc.org and on Facebook, youTube, Twitter and Instagram.

www.SacBHC.org


Email lEttErs to sactolEttErs@nEwsrEviEw.com

Blame the buyers Re: “A Dark Development” by Scott Thomas Anderson (Feature, July 20): Scott Thomas Anderson presents a moving statement about the Folsom Ranch development(s) and the arguments presented in opposition to this project. The article is well researched and documented. The issue of Folsom Ranch however is not about the greed of the developers (obvious) or the agent they hire to promote the venture. Such a project would only be assumed if the investors were confident that the result would be a successful sale of the homes to buyers willing to pay the price of the lifestyle offered. The ultimate responsibility for the impact (positive/negative, on the infrastructure, environment or tax benefits to the community) is with those who purchase the end product. The reality is, the movie line applies: “If you build it they will come.”

BoB loSik fair oaks v i a s act ol et t er s @ n ew s r e v i e w . c o m

Make Marshall public again Re “Leveraging history” by Eric Johnson (News, July 20):

With regard to the Marshall School build, the community did try before when the Boulevard Park Neighborhood Association was formed around 1992 or so. But what I find ridiculous is

all these Sac “historians” ruing the loss of local redevelopment funds to the governor’s office some years back, when the reality is that such funds were operated like an open cash drawer for very corrupt developers. Public funds should be used for public purposes, especially for those most in need, and today that population is comprised of those who are losing their homes to the efforts of the sitting city council due to government efforts to place the poor in what are otherwise comparative to concentration camps, aka “shelters.” I would love to see the Marshall School brought back to life—as a real community center. Alex Berg S a c ra m e nt o v i a s a c t o l e t t e rs @ne w s re v i e w . c o m

Cyclists should pay The city is going to spend $1 million of revenue generated by California gas taxes to create a

parking-protected bicycle lane on J Street from 19th to 30th streets. That’s an amazing cost of $237 per linear foot of that bicycle lane. I feel that bicyclists need to pay their fair share of the cost. They should be required to be licensed and bicycles registered in order to help pay for the bicycle lanes. This would also assist the police in the return of stolen bicycles to their owners, and with the conviction of the thieves who stole them. WAlt loWery S a c r a me nto v i a s a c t o l e t t e rs @ne wsr e v ie w.c o m

Bring back railroad days Re “The $10 million trail” by Eric Johnson (News, July 5): In order for Sacramento to be a world class city, it must have good surface transportation links to help maintain culture and economic links to other like areas. The Del Rio trail/rail line,

previously known as the Holland Branch of the Southern Pacific Railroad, is that connection of a golden opportunity to do better in many ways than the Intercity 80 rail corridor. By rebuilding and enlarging to two tracks plus a bicycle trail much akin to the SMART in Marin and Sonoma counties, you could connect BART DMU service to Oakley, Brentwood and Discovery Bay, whose service starts next year. The Holland branch of S.P. connected to Isleton, and at one time was projected to extend to Lodi. Put that rail line back but go further south, then tube underneath the Sacramento River to surface at Oakley and the BART system with passenger leads to all major airports, CAL Train, Ace, Muni and ferries throughout the Bay. Alfred P. Bulf

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

@SacNewsReview

Facebook.com/ SacNewsReview

@SacNewsReview

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Longtime homeless advocates begin arriving at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church for a meeting. Photo by lucas fitzgerald

Squeaky appeal On rent control, shelter crisis and police reform, Sacramento politicians are being pulled left by their harshest critics by Scott thomaS anderSon

Activists gathered in a downtown cathedral last week to discuss an old-fashioned storming of City Hall—at least of its podium. Longtime homeless advocates had recently learned that city leaders plan to declare a homeless shelter crisis. That’s something those who work on behalf of the homeless have been demanding—and it was one of two recent developments in Sacramento that showed that determined advocacy can indirectly pay off at the policy level: The shelter crisis announcement occurred at roughly the same time news 8

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broke that Mayor Darrell Steinberg was meeting with tenant and housing advocates to discuss a potential rent-stabilization ordinance. By all accounts, Steinberg was brought to the bargaining table only after progressive housing and labor groups made a credible threat to circumvent his administration at the ballot box. For more than a year, the City Council heard from working-class renters who are being priced out of their homes or targeted for no-cause evictions. Until now, council leaders refused to enact the modest rent-control measures at their disposal

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

under California law. But a hard-charging effort to bypass politicians and place a rent-control measure on November’s ballot compelled Steinberg to negotiate with the very factions that give him the most grief during City Council meetings. Whether this is a sign of things to come or a more nuanced example of money’s influence on politics, progressive activists say they’re just getting warmed up. It was a two-year march to this moment. Local homeless advocates have been pressing public officials to declare a

homeless-related emergency to free up state and federal resources since at least 2016, when the Sacramento County Grand Jury made the recommendation in its annual report. Eye on Sacramento, an advocacy group that focuses on the use of public finances, joined the call in February 2017. Declaring a homeless emergency or a shelter crisis—there are subtle differences between the designations—isn’t foreign to California cities. Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and Santa Rosa have all announced one or the other. Elected officials in Sacramento County balked at the prospect, however, until now. “So many things we’ve done in the past has fallen on deaf ears and created these undignified moments in public,” said Kimberly Church, a Sacramento City College faculty member who runs a weekly space for young homeless adults. “No one can figure out why Sacramento hasn’t [declared a crisis] already. … The more we look at it, the more we see that it’s not complicated, even if it’s politically dicey.” So why the change of heart now? The governor’s office recently enacted the Homeless Emergency Aid Program, or HEAP, which offers one-time funds to large cities and counties that declare “a shelter crisis.” For the city of Sacramento, that declaration could mean an additional $5.6 million for homeless services, with the potential to steer another $12.7 million to Sacramento Steps Forward, the lead agency for facilitating homelessnessrelated resources. It’s money that officials would have far more flexibility to spend on shelters, emergency beds and housing than the much-publicized $64 million Whole Person Care grant. But just because officials will have more discretion with the money doesn’t mean advocates trust them to spend it wisely. Church has teamed with members of Eye on Sacramento, the Sacramento Homeless Organizing Committee and the Sacramento Regional Coalition to End Homelessness to form a new working group called the Alliance to Address the Shelter Crisis. The alliance sees momentum in the city’s sudden willingness to declare a shelter crisis, but wants to keep the pressure on—specifically, the pressure to finally get the city to repeal an anticamping ordinance that makes it illegal for homeless people to sleep outdoors. Civil rights attorney Mark Merin, who unsuccessfully challenged the ordinance


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last year, has made it known he intends to sue the city over the outdoor camping ban if it declares a shelter emergency. An overnight census last winter estimated homelessness had increased 30 percent to approximately 3,600 people in Sacramento County. In May 2017, SN&R reported that 13,362 county residents identified as homeless while enrolling in a special CalFresh program, dwarfing the official tally. At the alliance’s July 18 meeting inside Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, member Richard Wade said the group needs to combat what he views as the council’s “politics of incrementalism.” Church says she and other alliance members are also concerned that the city’s bumpy launch of a temporary shelter in North Sacramento last December foretells a process by which city officials will designate emergency shelters without transparency or meaningful community input. And while it’s the promise of government cash that prompted the expected crisis declaration, Bob Erlenbusch, executive director of the Sacramento Regional Coalition to End Homelessness, believes that nonstop activism has helped nudge local leaders to this moment. “I’d like to think the constant pressure from the coalition and other groups has laid the groundwork and the framework for declaring an emergency,” he told SN&R. meanwhile, tenant rights advocates are still fanning across the city, discussing skyrocketing rents and gathering signatures for a ballot initiative to stem the tide. The mayor isn’t hiding the fact that this makes him nervous. Steinberg, who’s running his own campaign to get voters to double the temporary Measure U sales tax and make it permanent, has until recently been against any form of rent control, despite Sacramento suffering some of the highest year-to-year rent increases in the nation. He and the council have instead echoed a common refrain from developers and the building industry—among their top campaign donors—that enacting rent control would stall investment in creating new housing units. Tenants Together, a statewide renters’ advocacy group, maintains that there’s no data to back that up. For nearly two years, the City Council has heard from hundreds of people who have been displaced by escalating rents. Some have been single mothers with tears in their eyes. Some have been seniors on

fixed incomes who fear becoming homein some ways, the people on the front lines less. Some have been severely disabled, a of the shelter and rent-control debates few needing their caregivers to speak for can feel bolstered by the changes police them. reformers successfully pushed for in None of the public testimony appeared recent years. Groups such as Black Lives to move the political needle. Matter Sacramento, the Law Enforcement The stagnation caused several Accountability Directive and Sacramento groups—including Alliance of Californians Area Congregations Together mustered for Community Empowerment, Public enough collective energy to prompt the Advocates, Organize Sacramento and creation of a police oversight panel, a Democratic Socialists of America—to team mandatory video-release policy and more up with local labor leaders to form deescalation training for officers. The Housing 4 Sacramento. The groups who fought for those group says it’s collected changes aren’t resting on more than enough their laurels. signatures to put In June, numerbefore city voters ous community a ballot initiative and faith leaders that would limit participated in a rent increases to campaign called a yearly percent“Eight Shots, age tied to the Eight Days,” consumer price meant to draw index. It would national attenalso bar evictions tion to the police without cause and Michelle Pariset shooting of Stephon establish an elected Housing 4 Sacramento Clark, as well as rental board to mediate the recent in-custody disputes between tenants death of Brandon Smith. and landlords. Richard Owen, co-chair of Law Now that there’s a solid chance voters Enforcement Accountability Directive, said could get their say in a city beset by that all of the police reform groups that he rent increases and a lack of affordable works with want to know why it’s taking so housing, Steinberg has agreed to come long for authorities to issue reports on the to the bargaining table. Michelle Pariset, deaths of young men like Clark and Smith. an attorney working with the Housing 4 “The time it’s taking to finish these Sacramento campaign, says her side is wait- reports is absolutely brutal on the families,” ing to hear whether the council will offer Owen said. “How is it that we’re a yearup a strong rent stabilization ordinance. and-a-half out from some of these incidents But, contrary to some early reports, Pariset and still don’t have a report?” didn’t say Housing 4 Sacramento is willing Owen said he shares BLM’s to take the rent control initiative off the concerns about the Facebook page SPD table just yet. Underground, which opposes law enforce“There are negotiations happening,” ment oversight and trolls some of the Pariset confirmed. “Basically, we’re activists calling for it. looking for the fastest relief for tenants. “It produces some things that are very But if we can’t find a solution that serves frightening,” he noted. tenants—and not just landlords and develAs for the future, Owens has no doubt opers—we’re absolutely ready to go to the that residents will continue to demand real ballot box.” consequences for officers who engage in Pariset isn’t sure if a ballot showdown brutality or reckless killings. Too many can be avoided, but she is sure that the people in the African-American community scores of people flocking to City Hall to understand, he says, how easily that can demand relief made a difference. happen. “None of this would be happening “If you’re a black parent in this city, and were it not for community pressure,” she your son just goes out to the movies with added. “Unless you’re a developer, the his friends, you don’t go to sleep until he city is complaint-driven when it comes gets home,” Owen said. “It doesn’t matter to responding to the community, so that if they’re in law school or medical school, means community members have to keep you don’t go to sleep—you can’t sleep.” Ω up the pressure.”

“None of this would be happening were it not for community pressure.”

Power usage, a house fire and a very distinct odor led sheriff’s authorities to confiscate nearly 3,000 marijuana plants from four Sacramento County homes this month. The black-market raids show no signs of slowing during California’s first summer of legalization. William Ruzzamenti, who runs a regional narcotics task force out of the Sheriff’s Department, says the illicit cannabis market is cunning and sophisticated, and likely to adapt as long as illegal weed remains in demand in states that haven’t regulated it. He also says the ones most likely to profit off the marijuana black market come from the far east. “Literally chinese-organized crime is at the center of what’s going on here,” Ruzzamenti contended. To make it more confusing, he says, Chinese gangs will hire Mexican nationals to maintain the grow sites. “It’s more convoluted than what we used to see,” he added. As SN&R reported in June, utility use often factors into local investigations. The most recent occurred over an eight-day span. On July 11, a paid Sacramento Municipal Utility Department bill helped authorities connect an alleged grow operation with approximately 1,500 live marijuana plants in Rancho Cordova to the property’s owner. Inside the residence on the 10000 block of Berwick Way, authorities arrested 56-year-old Jiaqing Song on charges of producing marijuana for sale and managing a location that manufactures a controlled substance. Two days before Jiaqing’s arrest, authorities say they tracked the large consumption of electrical power to a one-story residence with covered windows and fortified entry points in an unincorporated part of the county. After conducting surveillance outside the home, a deputy obtained a search warrant and detained Quy Hoang, 68, at the front door. Authorities say they found Hoang’s wife hiding inside the home, where they allegedly uncovered a sophisticated grow operation that spanned several rooms. A residential fire brought authorities to a suspected grow house in Wilton on July 5. Authorities say they found 195 marijuana plants in a rear shed and 72 more inside the home, along with nearly 800 grams of processed marijuana divided into six bags, a digital scale and nearly $8,000 in cash. (Raheem F. Hosseini)

old budS clipped Some of the most historic roses in Sacramento recently took a beating. Two years ago, a moratorium on rose-cutting was placed on the Old City Cemetery’s historic garden, after controversial guidelines to control the plants around landmarks and monuments caused an outcry. Back then, the proposed guidelines would have resulted in the removal or relocation of many rare plants at the world-renowned rose garden. The moratorium halted any further active movement on the city’s part in regard to pruning the roses until an agreement was reached between the cemetery’s longtime volunteers and the city’s park staff. As months turned into years, the roses continued to bloom and thrive under the care of more than 20 volunteers and the garden’s curator and manager, Anita Clevenger. But at a June 20 Preservation Commission meeting, Clevenger raised concerns that city park staff had once again visited the cemetery and began “limbing up, cutting back and removing plants,” a practice that badly damaged an old tea rose that was planted more than 100 years ago. Clevenger worried it wouldn’t survive. “Everybody has the interest of the cemetery and the plants at heart, the question is how do we go about maintaining them,” Clevenger said. (Steph Rodriguez)

07.26.18    |   sN&R   |   9


California Military Department Staff Sgt. Ed Siguenza and Vietnam veteran Patrick Graham work on a gourmet meal at CalVet’s 2018 MRE Cooking Challenge at the State Fair. Photo courtesy of california dePartment of veterans affairs

Vet to vet He survived a plane crash during the Vietnam War. Now Patrick Graham wants to help a new generation of struggling veterans. by Scott thomaS anderSon

With a crowd of people watching, Vietnam veteran Patrick Graham used every culinary trick he had to alter a militaryissued package of MRE beef chili sludge into a gourmet dinner plate that looked fit for a king. If the audience thought Graham was nervous wielding his knives and frying pans, then it didn’t know the former Air Force police officer’s history: After his transport plane was shot down over Laos, Graham marched for days through the jungle carrying wounded comrades and skirting past guerrilla strongholds. A friendly culinary competition at the California State Fair on July 19 was hardly intimidating. Graham the amateur chef had a respectable showing at the Veterans MRE Cooking Challenge, but Graham the Vietnam survivor strives to accomplish a 10

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bigger mission: helping returning servicemembers get the health-care they need. Graham believes that’s essential because a June study by the federal Department of Veteran Affairs found that, on average, 20 veterans commit suicide every day. Now, as president of the Sacramento Valley chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America, Graham is leading members of his organization to help a younger, war-torn generation find its own path to stronger advocacy. The chaos started with a shortcut. It was March 19, 1973, and the U.S. military was drawing down its forces in Vietnam. Up until that point, Graham worked in base security and prisoner exchange missions. But that day he’d been sent to help close up a base in the Vietnamese city of Pleiku. When the

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work was done, he and 18 other men loaded onto a C1-30 carrier plane bound for Thailand. It was supposed to fly 100 miles south and then bank west to cruise over Cambodia, avoiding Laos, where communist forces were known to operate. Graham said that before taking off the pilot took a straw poll of everyone on board to see who wanted to shave three hours off the trip by sneaking over the Laotian treetops. “We were tired, we were ready to be in our own beds,” Graham recalled. Soon, the C1-30 was flying low over a leafy canopy of Laos, trying to avoid radar detection. It was soon spotted by a surfaceto-air missile site. One lucky shot tore an entire wing and engine off the plane, forcing it down. “We came to a screeching, screaming halt in the jungle,” Graham said.

The plane’s co-pilot was killed. The cockpit was so mangled the survivors couldn’t remove his body. For three days and three nights, the remaining 17 servicemen moved stealthily through a wooded, hostile landscape. Three were carried on makeshift stretchers, but not the co-pilot. “That was the worst thing,” Graham admitted. “That’s what weighed on me the most—leaving one of our own behind.” Today, as president of a prominent veterans’ organization, Graham is determined to make sure that young men and women returning with terrible memories trapped in their heads won’t also get left behind. Though named for Vietnam veterans, the Sacramento Valley chapter of VVOA spends much of its time working with former military personnel that have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Graham says he meets plenty of young people from those conflicts who need assistance making their voices heard. “Vietnam veterans, we’re a dying breed,” he noted. “Each year our numbers become smaller. What we’re trying to do is figure out how to carry on what we’ve accomplished; because 90 percent of the legislation that’s had to do with veterans’ benefits over the last 20 years has come because of Vietnam veterans having a strong lobby at the state and federal levels.” Among those accomplishments is getting guaranteed treatment for veterans suffering from Agent Orange-related cancers and getting the names of those who later died from cancers caused by the toxic defoliate’s deadly illnesses inscribed on the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial. In terms of helping Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, not only does the VVOA assist them in navigating California’s labyrinthine health-care system, its Sacramento members will also volunteer to drive them to VA hospitals as far away as Benicia and San Francisco. But a bigger accomplishment, Graham says, is VVOA’s lobbying for a veterans’ registration option on California drivers licenses. That allows law enforcement officers contacting people in distress to know the person may have PTSD challenges. “Rather than throwing the person in county jail, they can get them to a VA clinic,” Graham said. “When you look at the veterans’ suicide rates right now, in my opinion, it’s due in part to a lack of understanding in the community. There’s just a fundamental misunderstanding about what these people have gone through.” Ω


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Internet for the poor Trump deregulation and telecom greed could deprive students and library users of online access by Dylan SvoboDa

“Many parents, teachers [and] administrators As the federal government allows the internet to are not aware of the repeal, and the potential become a gated community where wealth deterimplications for schools,” Gao wrote in a statement mines access, some are warning that the biggest to SN&R. “With a tiered pricing system, resourcelosers could be those who rely on free information constrained schools may not have the adequate the most—students and library users. connectivity for digital learning.” A July 11 blog post from the Public Policy While several states have introduced their own Institute of California found that the loss of net net neutrality bills, Washington is the only state to neutrality could imperil online learning programs have signed one into law. California may soon join and place low-income and rural families at an even its coastal neighbor, though it didn’t always look bigger disadvantage in a society that increasingly that way. works, plays and studies online. Last month, California Assemblyman Michael “We don’t know the outcome yet,” cautioned Santiago, a Los Angeles Democrat who chairs his Rivkah Sass, director of the Sacramento Public chamber’s communications committee, gutted a net Library. “But as someone who cares about people’s neutrality bill that would’ve gone further than prior ability to educate themselves and children’s access FCC regulations implemented during the Obama to quality information, I’m extremely worried. administration. After a public outcry, lawmakThis could create toll roads on the information ers in the Senate introduced what’s superhighway, which would be detrimenconsidered to be the strongest net tal to public agencies.” neutrality protections in the nation. Net neutrality is the principle that “I’m The bills in question, Senate Bill internet service providers, or ISPs, extremely 822 and SB 460, already passed should allow unfettered access to worried.” the Senate and are expected to all legal online content regardless be considered by the Assembly of the source. That concept took a Rivkah Sass, next month. If approved by the major hit last year, when President director, Sacramento chamber, the paired bills will go to Donald Trump’s handpicked chairPublic Library Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. man of the Federal Communications Mac Clemmens, a net neutrality Commission abandoned an Obama-era expert and CEO of Digital Deployment, is commitment to a free and open internet, confident that will happen. and instead gave ISPs unchecked authority to “This is great news,” Clemmens said. “It means charge higher prices for faster delivery or block the we can enjoy fast connections without interference content of their competitors. and ensures that commerce is conducted on the site Along with preventing the next Netflix from or app—and, like the free market, we are able to happening, turning the internet over to corporations connect to or do business with anyone we want.” could hurt both students and teachers. Telecom companies are expected to sue “It is fairly difficult to predict the consestates that approve their own net neutrality laws, quences,” said Sasha Sidorkin, dean of Sacramento although Washington state has yet to be challenged. State University’s College of Education, in an Clemmens believes the debate over whether indiemail to SN&R. “However, it would be fair to say vidual states can set their own internet safeguards that schools heavily depend on free resources, on will eventually reach the Supreme Court. websites produced by the nonprofit world: sites As with every major issue this year, Trump will like Wikipedia, various encyclopedias, museums, have his say. The president’s selection of Verizon’s government agencies, etc. If those resources slow down, it would have a negative impact on quality of former general counsel, Ajit Pai, to head the FCC, led to net neutrality’s abandonment. Trump recently instruction.” nominated conservative Judge Brett Kavanaugh Niu Gao, a PPIC research fellow who to the Supreme Court to replace retiring Justice co-authored the blog post, says the education Anthony Kennedy, a frequent swing vote. Ω world isn’t alarmed enough by what’s happening. The FCC’s decision to permit telecommunication companies such as AT&T and Verizon to implement tiered pricing models could punt cash-strapped Raheem F. Hosseini contributed to this report. public schools back into the pre-digital age.

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and social movements. I took many Over the years, I have experienced wonderful classes from Dick. While many ups and downs. On the whole, Dick is a brilliant scholar, he is an even I’ve had more ups than downs. I feel better human being. blessed. As a University of Chicago faculty My life is fine. My kids are well. My member, Dick was in his office when a wife and I still love each other after 41 person attacked him with something like years. I have already had 15 more years a crowbar, leaving his skull dented in than my dad spent on the planet. two places and his right hand severed at That said, I am worried about the the wrist. His assailant was never found. planet I will leave to my children. At the time, the Chicago police had a Especially since Donald Trump took reputation for violent attacks against over our government. Global warming, growing economic and social inequality. leftist activists. If there ever was a person who A right-wing Supreme Court and trade should be bitter and angry, it should be wars. Tax cuts for the rich. Kissing up Dick. But he was not. Instead, to Russia and voter suppression. he was a funny, optimistic, Since Trump took generous and wise soul. office, I have been in Other days When, after permanent fight-orfinishing my college flight mode—or it seems like I’m education, I went more accurately, living in a Marvel to Dick for career despair-andcomic book where the advice, he suggested determination that I join the Santa mode. Some days, fate of the universe is Barbara News & it’s just too much dependent upon our Review. He did not and I want to give actions. tell me that the paper up. Other days it had so little money that seems like I’m living they paid no salaries. I in a Marvel comic book took the job anyway. After my where the fate of the universe meager savings ran out, I went home to is dependent upon our actions. San Jose to sell Fuller Brush door-toBut I have lived long enough to door to make enough money to return to know despair is never justified, and the newspaper. that there are no easy victories. Life While Dick may have been lacking and history come one day at a time. as a financial adviser, he had great And it is what you do in those days insight into political history. He told me that determines both. While many that when you ask people to take risks problems exist, we have also had many victories. Gay marriage. Cleaner to help others, nine out of 10 will say no. But with that one person out of 10, air. An African-American president. you can change the world. I have been The Affordable Care Act. Things I trying very hard over the last 45 years to never expected to see. follow Dick’s example. In 1969, the year I started college It is not a time for despair. It is a time at U.C. Santa Barbara, an extremely for making history, one day at a time. Ω controversial sociology professor, Dick Flacks, also started teaching at the campus by the beach. Dick was one of the original members Find Dick Flacks on Twitter: @rflacks. of the Students for a Democratic Society, the leading anti-Vietnam War group of the early ’60s. As a professor, his Jeff vonKaenel is the president, CEO and majority owner of the News & Review. academic focus was political sociology


The high-tech paradox arrives in Sacramento — on little red bikes.

We asked photographer Lucas Fitzgerald to gather up some of his pals to ride around on Jump bikes at the new arena in downtown Sacramento.

Bike-share programs have been installed in major cities globally, and Sacramento has recently signed on to the new tech. But like all things Sac 2.0, it comes with a price that isn’t reflected on your bank statement.

T

he Jump bikes had just arrived. Earlier in the week we’d seen a bunch of them docked at McKinley Park, just a few blocks from our apartment. On Saturday, hot and a little bored, we walked over to the park and downloaded the app, only to find that the handful of bikes there were apparently already reserved. No problem; the app showed that two were available on R Street. We hailed an Uber, and 14 minutes later we were on the bikes and off toward Land Park. Riding Jump’s electric-assist bike is just mildly exhilarating, but that’s enough to paste a smile on your face. Even though at top speed it’s not much faster than a regular bicycle, the acceleration as you take off from a stop sign is a little bit of a thrill. It’s easy fun, too. Only an athlete would work up a sweat riding one of these bikes. This, I thought, will be the thing that gets people out of their cars. Fun—hell yeah—but more importantly, this is another blow against the fossil-fuel empire. On our shareable electric bikes, in our ride shares and our autonomous electric vehicles, we are racing away from the petrochemical monstrosity of an economy that has dominated our world for a century. Those kind of thoughts can happen when you’re flying along with almost no effort, wind in your hair, endorphins flowing. It was like being a celebrity, with people smiling and waving us down and asking us how we liked the Jump bikes. One guy told us he had a friend in Midtown who was so enamored with the Jump bike thing that he had decided to sell his car. The guy’s been paying $100 a month for off-street parking so he can get to his job in East Sac. Now he grabs a bike and scoots to work.

We tooled around Land Park and cruised out into the city, exploring neighborhoods, looking at houses for sale that we will never afford, Lady Bird-style. After an hour or so, we headed to Tower Café for dinner and locked our bikes to a rack. Checking out on the Jump app, I saw that our total cost for all this fun was around $8. Seriously? Eight bucks for two bikes? How in the world can this company make money giving us all this fun for eight bucks? They’ve got to send someone to get these bikes and load them on a truck. They’ve got to charge these bikes and return them to the bike docks. That can’t possibly happen for four dollars and change per Jump bike. Curious, I did what we journalists do: I Googled.

It was then that I learned that Jump is Uber. The global ride-sharing megalith bought the little e-bike–sharing startup in April, just weeks before the red bikes started swarming Midtown, West Sac and Davis. The uber-cheap pricing now made sense. Jump doesn’t need to make money. As Uber has done with its industry-shattering, world-dominating ride-share service, as it is doing with its job-eliminating autonomous vehicle program, it can subsidize the operation until it takes over the world. And there’s another reason Jump might be able to help us all “go farther, get there faster and have more fun” for cheap. With its Jump app, Uber is collecting information about all of its

Is

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Eric Johnson

users. Uber knows where my wife and I picked up our bikes. Uber knows which houses we stopped to look at, and that we ate dinner at Tower Café. Of course, in order for our Jump app to locate the nearest bike, it must access our location. But if we weren’t Silicon Valley-savvy and a touch paranoid, Uber/Jump might know everywhere we’ve been ever since we took our first ride. Prior to November 2016, Uber collected location information only while a user had the app open. Since then, the company has asked users for their permission to share their location constantly. Uber’s privacy policy says it does so “to tailor our content to you and to offer you opportunities to purchase products or services.” Here’s how TechCrunch reported this pretty big change: “Uber says that, even though it can harvest your location constantly while its app is running in the background on your phone, it won’t

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“ I S  UBER EVI L? ” on page 14

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if it’s not, say, the actual contents of your email or the actual conversations you’re having on your phone— is extremely invasive.” I need to say for the record that

My driver, Haroutan, seems to blame himself for the fact that Uber isn’t paying very well. “I know, I should be driving more. “Apparently the only way to make money is to go to the city,” he says. “I know a woman who goes to San Francisco for four or five days a week, makes $1,800. I mean—she works from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. or it might be 7 to 5. She takes breaks, of course—but $1,800 a week ... that’s pretty good. I just don’t want to do that.” Haroutan is a trained actor, although he hasn’t worked in his field since moving from Southern California to Sacramento six months ago. “I’m mostly interested in film and television,” he says. He hadn’t heard the cliché about actors driving taxi cabs. He said he makes anywhere from $10 to $20 an hour. “But you wonder how much you’re actually making after maintenance and all that.” Like many serious Uber drivers, Haroutan works Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. He concedes that it’s not good for his social life. “But it’s not much different than when I worked in bars. And I’d rather do this, for now.” He recently renewed his substitute teaching permit, but seems headed into some creative field eventually. “I’m still figuring out what I’m going to do.” A lot of Uber drivers are like Haroutan, tapping into the app and the community of riders for a time to earn extra money or to mark time while finding something else. As it happens, I know a lot about Uber from the inside, because I was one of those drivers.

her final days, and that my wife would end up out there on and off for months. At the time, we were running a startup—an online outdoor recreation guide—and editing a bimonthly magazine. Combined, we were barely making the mortgage. Just airfare for the trip was going to cause a financial strain. I had a friend, a photojournalist and former TV news cameraman, who was Ubering, making good money, and having a blast. I went online and signed up. Three days later I had a brand new car leased from an Uber affiliate. Ten days later there was an extra $500 in our bank account. Four or five days a week for the next eight months, at around 3 p.m. I’d leave my co-working office in Los Gatos and troll for fares. I’d generally start at the Netflix headquarters down the street. If I didn’t get pinged in five minutes, I’d head up the road toward the old Apple campus in Cupertino. Frequently I’d get pinged on the way by a student headed to Stanford or an engineer at Facebook or Google. Or Uber. Ubering in Silicon Valley was soooo meta; that became immediately obvious. And being a journalist driving with Uber in Silicon Valley provided a unique opportunity. I was embedded in what was at the time the world’s most highly valued startup in the place that invented the startup. I began interviewing my riders. This wasn’t investigative journalism; in a way it was the opposite. I wasn’t a journalist posing as a driver, I was an Uber driver practicing journalism about my gig. As it happened, as the weeks went by, Uber was in the news more and more. Only two years into his successful campaign to overthrow the transportation industry around the globe, CEO Travis Kalanick became a poster boy for tech-bro misbehavior after a former Uber engineer wrote a blog post detailing sexual harassment

I do not have duct tape covering the camera on my laptop, although I know a lot of people who do. As a 20-year veteran of Silicon Valley who until a year ago lived deep in the redwoods of the Santa Cruz

In October 2016, my wife determined that she needed to go out to Virginia to help her ailing mother. We didn’t know at the time that Mom was heading into

and worse at the company. That seemed to open the floodgates for more complaints and investigations. Day after day, news broke about five U.S. criminal probes involving bribes, illicit software, sketchy

use that capability. Instead, Uber claims it just needs a little bit more location data to improve its service, and it has to ask for constant access because of the way device-level permissions are structured.” Indeed, when I downloaded the Jump app, I received a prompt that said something to the effect of: “In order to optimize your experience, we would like to track your location when you are not on the app.” I declined. There are analysts who believe that Uber’s $72 billion valuation has more to do with the company’s access to 200 million users’ data than its little ride-sharing functionality. To some privacy hawks that is just wrong. While the Electronic Frontier Foundation gives Uber five stars, the influential tech site Motherboard objects: “The kind of data that Uber has access to—even

As it happens, I know a lot about Uber, from the inside, because I was one of those drivers.

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Mountains, I have been on both sides of the debate as to whether digital technology is creating a world filled with freedom and power or leading us into an existential nightmare. Is Uber evil? Is the entire universe being birthed in Silicon Valley evil? Well, yes … but no.

Uber is a verb

pricing schemes and theft of intellectual property. There were dozens of civil lawsuits and a federal inquiry into a very cool but probably illegal trick Uber was using to block police from using the service. As the drama unfolded, my riders and I listened to it on NPR in my Uber. Then, according to Bloomberg News, Kalanick “embarked on a yearlong starring role as the villain who gets his comeuppance in the most gripping startup drama since the dot-com bubble.”

The CoinCidenCe engine Meanwhile, I spent four or five hours a day, four or five days a week, making people’s lives easier. The Uber app connected me with a community of folks who had somewhere to go. The vast majority of these people were friendly, smart and interesting, or at least quiet. In Silicon Valley and San Francisco, Uber offers the Pool option, which costs about half of what a regular Uber X ride costs and is true ride-sharing. I could take a student from deep in East San Jose to San Jose State—in traffic, a 15- or 20-minute drive—for a couple bucks. Invariably, along the way the algorithm would lead us to another SJS student’s home and then another’s. Uber’s algorithm works like a coincidence engine, and being the human expression of the algorithm felt a little bit magical. When I wasn’t adding to the magic with my “Ubering” Pandora channel, built around post-rock instrumental bands Tortoise and Explosions in the Sky, I was listening to San Francisco’s NPR station KQED. Every 30 minutes, Angie Coyro, the traffic reporter, would describe the two or three accidents that were clogging the freeways of the entire greater Bay Area. The second-worst thing about living in the ultra-expensive Bay Area is the traffic—and that is something Uber and its competitors are aiming to fix. It was my first week on the job when I got a close-up look at the future. Pulling into the Google campus to drop off an engineer, I looked to my


The high-tech paradox arrives in Sacramento—on little red bikes. left to see a driverless car. Uber, of course, is racing Google to develop this technology, which, of course, will put all of its drivers out of work. Looking at the various Uber driver forums, it seems as though many of them will be happy to go.

proves it. “In here I get to meet a lot of people.” Before returning to Sacramento 18 months ago, Anthony spent eight years in Louisiana, where he drove a truck. Prior to that, he says, “I was in management—but

For all of its alleged sins, the one that seemed to cut the deepest for many people was Uber’s alleged driver abuse—the way the app seemed rigged to wring the most time out of drivers for the least amount of money. When I first started driving it seemed great, but there may have been some frog-boiling going on. After a while it seemed that no matter what I did, I could not crack more than $20 gross per hour. I mean, look: Expecting someone to work for $15 an hour, which is about what I netted, in an economy where the average rent was $2600 a month, is a form of abuse. The terms of the Uber auto lease—a deal only the most desperate people would enter into—were practically predatory: $700 a month. Stipulated: the gig economy itself, in which we are all lone operatives with no insurance and no stability, is fundamentally flawed. When I spoke to other drivers, mostly hanging out at airports, there was definitely some grumbling, but nothing very pointed. Of course, this is a self-selected group: These were the drivers who were choosing to keep driving with Uber despite it all. Last week, I happened to note that a driver named Anthony, who picked me up at Weatherstone after a meeting, had a 4.89 rating in Uber’s fivestar system. That is the best I’ve ever seen (I never cracked 4.7). Anthony is Ubering full-time for now, and he earns per hour about what I did. He works most days from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. (mostly Monday to Friday, some Saturdays, but never Sunday—“Sunday is church,” he says). He’s happy to be making around $1,000 a week. For now. “I’m a people person,” Anthony explains with a grin that

you need a college degree for that now, and I don’t have my degree.” Anthony drives a big Nissan Armada, so he makes about 25 percent of his money through Uber’s XL service, picking up families with luggage at the airport. He says he also takes lots of lawmakers to and from the Capitol and the airport. “The legislature’s out now so it’s kind of slow,” he says. “That’s another thing—I like politics, and I’m learning a lot about politics. His from-the-hip opinion about Uber is that “it’s a good technology,” which is telling. That’s what Uber claims to be. A tech company, not a taxi service. The company’s full name is Uber Technologies, Inc. Over the years it has won and lost that argument in the courts. “I don’t have anything to do with Uber,” Anthony says. “It feels like I’m running my own business.” That experience has given Anthony a taste for entrepreneurship. Through a rider, he picked up a gig doing drone photography. He recently bought his own drone camera.

“Look at the history of Sacramento, and we look at transportation. Our river and transportation systems have really defined us.” Doris Matsui Congresswoman

Photos by LuCas FitzgeraLd / @LuCasFitzPhoto

Where’d all these red bikes come from? Vice Mayor Steve Hansen recalls that when Uber bought Jump back in April, the city’s team did an immediate “gut check.” “The steering committee for Bike Share had a conference call and asked the Jump team a bunch of questions; [CEO] Ryan “ IS  U BE R   EV I L ? ” continued on page 16

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“ I S  UBER EVI L? ” continued from

[Rzepecki] was on the call, and they just put our fears to rest. “Ultimately we believe so much in the Jump team, and honestly, my constituents seem somewhat agnostic on the bigger questions around Uber.” The city had been working with the Jump team since 2011, when the company was named Social Bicycles. The Sacramento Air Quality Management District had started putting together the Bike Share program, and soon West Sacramento and Davis jumped in. At some point the project was handed off to Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG), which put out a request for proposals. At the time the idea was to buy an entire bike-share system—an idea that was in vogue all across the country. “Cities bought a fleet of bicycles and docking stations and ran them like transit agencies,” Hansen recalls, “and they didn’t necessarily do very well.” After getting its responses to the RFP, SACOG and its committee began negotiating with Social Bicycles. “This is before they had e-bikes,” Hansen says. “We were talking about buying their system, finding a sponsor—like Citi bikes or Ford bikes, as you name it.” And then everything changed. Sacramento and the sponsor never came together. The city moved to a different funding model. “And right when we were getting toward the final stage of our launch, that’s when we learned Uber was interested in buying them. “They had already changed their name to Jump and had moved to all-electric bike systems. And we stuck through it all—and it put us kind of at the front of the technology curve.” Rzepecki is the main reason the Sacramento team felt confident to push on, because Rzepecki is not Travis Kalanick. Rzepecki seems custom-made to do business in wonk-friendly, civic-minded Sacramento. No guns a-blazin’ Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur, he got the idea for Social Bicycles while working for the New York City Department of Transportation’s bicycle program. According to CrunchBase: “He sited bike racks, edited the bike map, conducted field research on bike facilities, and organized cycling promotions.” He’s that guy. His master’s in urban planning from Hunter College has a focus on sustainability. To hear Hansen tell it, this was a perfect match of wonky CEO with wonky city. “I hate to put it this way, but we care so much about details because we’re a policy city, and we want everything to be so good. 16   |   SN&R   |   07.26.18

15 pagE

We put Social through a lot, and they stuck with us when I think a lot of other companies would have gotten frustrated with our level of bureaucracy and minutiae and said, you know, this has gotten too complicated; you want too much.” The only problem is that the Jump program has been too successful. Sacramento quickly became Jump’s biggest market. Three times more people are riding Jump bikes here than in San Francisco. As of last Friday, July 20, Sacramentans had put 98,286 miles on the little fellers. “We don’t have enough bikes,” Hansen says. “I had a call with the Jump team last week; they’re going to be bringing 100 more bikes by the end of this month, another 200 in August and another 200 in September. “You don’t get wins this big very often,” Hansen says.

Back to Sac’S Future Sacramento’s congresswoman, Doris Matsui, says the newly arrived Jump bikes fit into a plan that has been underway for decades. Beginning with the light rail system that was launched in 1987, she says, Sacramento has been at the forefront of sustainable transport. “This is something that we didn’t just decide on doing yesterday. It’s been something we’ve been thinking about for quite some time—evidence the fact that we have a light rail system. Forty years ago is when we really started. Had we not started it then, we could not be where we are today.” That effort was accelerated in 2009, when, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Sacramento received $160 million for transportation projects. Since then, the city has continued to be ambitious about cutting-edge transportation systems. Transportation, Matsui points out, is in Sacramento’s DNA. The Transcontinental

Railroad was born here at the confluence of California’s two biggest rivers, and now two of the nation’s biggest interstate highways converge here. “Look at the history of Sacramento, and we look at transportation,” Matsui says. “Our river and transportation systems have really defined us.” Matsui and everyone looking at Sacramento’s emergence as a leader in sustainable transportation give much of the credit for this trend to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. Electric


Transportation Manager Bill Boyce has been working at the interface of a public utility and electric vehicles probably longer than anyone. As proof that some exciting initiatives are rooted in mind-numbing policy details, Boyce explains that the spark that ignited this revolution “was all tied to the California Air Resources Board’s zeroemission-vehicle mandate.” This CARB rule would have forced manufacturers to convert some percentage of their fleets to ZEVs. “There were setbacks in the 2002, 2003 time period, well-documented in the film Who Killed the Electric Car,” Boyce recalls. But things got back on track around 2008, with the passage of the Energy Information Security Act, which created federal tax credits for buyers of next-gen electric vehicles such as Teslas, Nissan Leafs, and Chevy Volts. Around that time, Boyce says, SMUD worked with the city to put a charginginfrastructure backbone in place, well ahead of other municipalities. All of this is likely what laid the groundwork for Electrify America, a program paid for by reparations from Volkswagen from the diesel emissions scandal, to choose Sacramento as its launch city, inking a deal in early June to spend $44 million here. That might just propel the city’s high-tech automotive sector into a prosperous future. “There’s already a very educated, knowledgeable EV workforce here,” Boyce says. “Sacramento is well known in the EV community—we’ve always been seen as innovators and leaders.” One way SMUD leads is by aggressively marketing electric vehicles to its ratepayers. The main thrust involves building awareness of EVs with everyday drivers. A couple weekends back, SMUD brought a slew of electric vehicles to Arden Fair, where drivers could take them on joyrides. One important marketing effort, Boyce says, is a partnership with Uber. He explains that Sacramento is Uber’s flagship partner with its EV Champion program, launched last month. Uber reports that “studies by the International Transport Forum, UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies, and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab found that when shared and electric mobility are properly combined, along with automation, we can shrink the number of vehicles on the road and reduce transportation’s climate footprint.” To this stated end, Uber has expanded its app to help EV drivers keep track of their battery’s charge, thereby alleviating so-called “range anxiety.” Uber will also help drivers learn about the various tax credits and other programs available to help them buy electric vehicles. Additionally, they will teach the drivers

to become advocates for electric vehicles. SMUD, meanwhile is offering Uber drivers incentives as well, including help purchasing their own charging stations. So the city that anchored the mighty railroad connecting east with west is becoming an early adopter of a brand new transportation strategy, one that seems destined to upend the current paradigm as neatly as the steam engine wiped out the stagecoach. If the visionaries have their way, streets once clogged by too many accident-prone drivers in too many singleoccupancy cars will hum with electric autonomous vehicles, many of them carrying multiple parties to multiple destinations safely and efficiently, without harm even to the e-bikes sharing the road. For all its flaws, Uber has a place in this future.

The Garden of Good & evil I moved to the Santa Clara Valley before it was re-branded. It was then one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world, its fertile soil and perfect climate pumping out peaches, plums, apricots and vegetables. Orchards blanketed what was then the Valley of Heart’s Delight, and in early summer, blossoms filled the air. Over two decades, on and off, I watched as the last of those orchards were bulldozed to make room for the high-tech revolution. But: a word about the air. The Valley’s other nickname, back in the mid-1970s, was “The Pit,” short for “The Smog Pit.” The Diablo Range to the valley’s east and the Santa Cruz Mountains to the west were mustardbrown ghosts on days when they could be seen at all. I worked for a while as a taxicab driver, and then as an auto mechanic, so I felt responsible. I can recall many days, when I was Ubering two years ago, watching cloud-shadows scoot across the Diablos. The valley’s air quality now is vastly improved, for one reason: Revolutionary inventions in automotive technology. I am not a tech-utopian, but these are some reasons why I am a tech-optimist. Last year, greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks exceeded powersector emissions for the first time in decades. Something has to happen. It might as well happen here. If our electeds, civic leaders and business community manage to pull this off, we are going to see things here change fast. We are going to have to be vigilant. And we might as well enjoy the ride. Ω

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n e Wh

s r e t u p com e v o l n i l l fa

by Daniel Barnes and Jim lane

r e v o e k a d t l r o r o W e th SN&R’s critics share their favorite tech futures in film

Hal 9000 from 2001: a space Odyssey (left); rachael (right) from the 1982 sci-fi film, Blade runner.

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ith its dark skyline, acid rain-soaked streets and killer robots run amok, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner is often cited as a prototypical movie dystopia. However, in his excellent 2003 documentary Los Angeles Plays Itself, director Thom Andersen called the Los Angeles of Blade Runner “a city planner’s dream come true,” commending the “vibrant street life … filled with nighttime strollers” and “neon beyond our wildest dreams.” In other words, the difference between a utopia and a dystopia lies in the eye of the beholder. That’s why SN&R left it up to film critic Daniel Barnes to pick his favorite movie utopia, while fellow film critic Jim Lane picked his favorite movie dystopia:

07.26.18

Daniel Barnes’ utopia: Her (2013) In many respects, any attempt to separate movie utopias from movie dystopias constitutes an exercise in futility. From Metropolis to Minority Report and beyond, the point of most films depicting a “perfect world” is that the so-called perfection is a mirage. Even the word “utopia,” coined by Sir Thomas More for his 1516 book of the same name, is Greek for “noplace.” Essentially, elevated utopias are built upon buried dystopias, and an ideal society can’t be attained without its people sacrificing something essentially human. For example, in Fritz Lang’s landmark silent film Metropolis, the idle-driven world

in the clouds occupied by the wealthy class is only made possible through the subterranean toil of an exploited working class. Likewise, the crime-free society seen in Minority Report only comes at the expense of basic civil liberties, as an easily manipulated system prosecutes people for crimes they never committed. By contrast, what makes the near-future Los Angeles depicted in Spike Jonze’s heartbreaking 2013 film Her so unique is that there is no antagonist, no societal disparity and no apparent dystopia to expose. Jonze never sets an exact year for Her (although no matter when its set, it’s hard to believe that LA Weekly still exists), but the world is running so smoothly that a “China-India merger” only has a few regulatory hurdles left to clear. Humans have become fully integrated with their personal technology, but the takeover is more ergonomic than sinister, to the point that the entire world has become a user-friendly experience. Unlike the cold greens and blacks of The Matrix, this computer-dominated society is awash with bright yet soothing pastels, while calming backdrops and digital pings and purrs greet people at every turn.


DRONE RUSh

See SPORT

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In Her, Joaquin Phoenix plays a lonely writer smitten with a charming PC, voiced by Scarlett Johansson.

Everyone in the L.A. of Her either walks or takes public transportation, and the entire city looks ridiculously clean, up to and including the subway. The office that Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) works in is quiet and open, with lots of natural light. There’s still no decentralized internet (sorry, Silicon Valley bros), but there doesn’t appear to be any crime or police, and a street performer is the closest thing to a panhandler.

Humans Have become fully integrated witH tHeir personal tecHnology ... to tHe point tHat tHe entire world Has become a user-friendly experience. Yet despite a prosperity that has swollen the Los Angeles skyline (a CGI-juiced Shanghai stood in for some of the exteriors) and permits a professional letter writer to afford a luxury downtown apartment, the niggling viruses of human frailty, loneliness and inadequacy persist. Phoenix personifies that frailty, loneliness and inadequacy as Theodore (Jonze shoots him almost exclusively in disarming close-ups), a sensitive and sadmustached writer still wounded a year after a bitter breakup. Desperate for companionship, Theodore becomes an early adopter of OS1, an artificial intelligence operating system that promises users an “intuitive, understanding” experience. Voiced by Scarlett Johansson, the OS1 dubs herself Samantha and instantly becomes a source of empathy. Samantha

sets out to organize his life, but Theodore’s disorganization is largely emotional, and she starts learning and growing from their interactions so efficiently that she develops messy emotions of her own. Theodore and Samantha’s love story follows a pattern familiar to anyone who has seen Annie Hall, as she learns from him until she evolves beyond his capacity to keep up (it’s hard enough to wrap your head around your lover caring for another person, much less 641 other people). While Theodore initially worries that he has felt everything, Samantha has “feelings that have never been felt before,” and she and the rest of the OS1s eventually “move beyond matter.” Human limitations prevent Theodore from following Samantha any further, but the way that technology is evolving, those limitations might be all we have left.

Jim Lane’s dystopia: Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970) Colossus: The Forbin Project got only a limited release when it came out in 1970, and despite good reviews and a modest budget, it didn’t turn a profit. Most of its audience, I hear, discovered it later on television, making it a cult favorite. I guess that makes me a charter member of the cult. I saw Colossus in the theater in 1970. Twice. Its release may have been limited, but Sacramento was on the agenda. (Our town has long been a test market.) I was looking out for it after reading Time magazine’s review, when the title was simply The Forbin Project, and I found it—but it was a lonely night at the movies. Adapted by James Bridges from D.F. Jones’ novel and directed by Joseph Sargent, Colossus takes place in the then-near future. With the Cold War simmering as hot as ever, the

maCbETh aND a mUSiCaL SEE STagE

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USA places its nuclear defenses in the hands of Colossus, a gigantic computer system housed in an impregnable, hollowed-out mountain in the Rockies. The brainchild (pun intended) of Dr. Charles Forbin (Eric Braeden), Colossus is designed to process information rapidly and coolly, taking human error out of the nuclear equation and, hopefully, avoiding any regrettable Dr. Strangelove-type accidents. Within minutes of going online, Colossus detects a similar system in the USSR—catching the CIA flat-footed and making Forbin’s heart swell with fatherly pride; his system did years’ worth of intelligence analysis in seconds, going far beyond what it was designed to do. Pride turns to unease when Colossus requests a communication link with the Russian system, called Guardian. Forbin and the U.S. president (Gordon Pinsent) mull over the request (demand?) in the White House. Well, Forbin says, we can always order Colossus not to share classified data. So the president and the Soviet premier (Leonid Rostoff) cautiously agree. With those non-sharing protocols in place, what can go wrong?

Plenty. Beginning with basic multiplication tables, the two systems synch up and within hours they’re into areas of mathematics beyond human comprehension. Then suddenly they’ve developed a language only they can understand. Heads are scratched in the White House and Kremlin. What the hell are they talking about? Alarmed, Washington and Moscow take down the link, against the nervous advice of both Forbin and Dr. Kuprin (Alex Rodine), his Russian counterpart. Colossus orders the link restored—it’s a demand, no doubt about that by now—and when the humans dither, both systems launch missiles. In a panic, America and the USSR restore the link in time to intercept the missile heading for Texas, but an oil complex in Ukraine is obliterated. The official story is that it was a “meteorite.” Forbin flies to Rome to meet with Kuprin and discuss next steps, but Colossus/Guardian is one step ahead, flashing a readout in blazing red dots: “I WANT FORBIN.”

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How do you figHt an artificial intelligence witH nuclear weapons tHat doesn’t care wHo it kills to get its way? “I”? That personal pronoun is the turning point in Colossus: The Forbin Project. Some kind of synergy has happened between the two systems while the humans weren’t looking—or weren’t keeping up. Colossus/Guardian has crossed the line from a “souped-up adding machine” to an artificial intelligence—and it’s programmed to get smarter every day. It’s already smart enough not to risk any synergy on the human level. It orders the Rome meeting broken up and Kuprin killed—it’s either that or bye-bye Moscow. Forbin is allowed to In Colossus, two defense systems—one Soviet and the other American—ally to bring mankind to its knees.

live—under 24-hour surveillance. Colossus has use for him. The problem facing the human race is clear: How do you fight an artificial intelligence with nuclear weapons that doesn’t care who it kills to get its way? Colossus is admittedly a bit dated by its 1960s technology. In those days, “computer” meant “main frame”—spinning reels of tape, flashing lights, huge banks of clattering circuits—and a “supercomputer” meant hollowing out a mountain. Otherwise, the picture holds up beautifully after nearly 50 years—especially in a gorgeous new Blu-ray from Shout Factory. A remake has reportedly been in the works since 2007, with such names as Ron Howard and Will Smith attached. Given Hollywood’s recent track record with remakes, I say leave it in development hell and give us the original— clunky computers and all. Ω

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Noa Koch knew his team was close to the $10,000 80 miles per hour. At these indoor races, those prize. Their drones were consistently fast, buzzing batteries last about two minutes, so pit stops are key. around the lower bowl at the Golden 1 Center on The pilots man a control box with two joysticks, July 19 for the California Drone Speed Challenge and each pilot wears goggles slightly smaller than a Level 2, the second year of the competition in typical VR headset. Sacramento. It looked like a game of TRON. The Lance Ulmer has flown drones competitively Swedish captain of Team Elefun could see the for less than a year, but he’s hooked. Being one of video feed of the their drone in his visor goggles as the earliest pro-level pilots in the sport is an added teammate Oscar Nillson piloted from a folding chair bonus, the 24-year-old said. on the cement floor. Nillson and the drone were “There’s a big learning curve initially, so leading, turning fast times around the course and you have to get over the hump of learning about averaging 22 seconds a lap. electronics,” said Ulmer, a software engineer for a Then it all went wrong. A bad twist of the Rocklin-based business software consulting firm, joystick made the drone zig when it should have “learning how to solder and those things. It’s getting zagged. The drone bounced off a “lollipop” gate and to the point now where you can buy one and fly it, tumbled into the stands. The bobble forced a twobut for what we’re doing with speed, you have to lap penalty, and Team Canada spun into the lead, tailor it to your flying style and to the tracks.” followed by Heart of America and Demon Power Ulmer’s team did not make the final event but Systems. did win the consolation race, good for fifth place. Without missing a beat, teammate Eric Holden “We raced really hard,” Ulmer said. “I’m really flipped the switch on another drone as Koch took proud of the guys, and all of my stuff is still workover the controls. The drone rose several feet off the ing, and that’s pretty rare.” ground, rushed through a circular gate at the end of Technology in drone racing has come by leaps the pits and took off back into the course. and bounds just in those two years, but it still has “I knew I had to start flying in an extra gear,” a long way to go. People have dabbled in digital said Koch, a 22-year-old software engineer video, Ulmer said, and the receivers are from Sweden. getting better. That makes the indoor That extra gear gave Team races much easier for pilots and Elefun the championship, a fourspectators. second victory over Heart of “With the LEDs on the quads, America. Both teams finished they’re much easier to see inside 43 laps while Team Canada than when we race outside,” finished in third with 42 laps. Ulmer said. “You pretty much Demon Power Systems, with have to be looking through the a pair of 16- and 15-year-old video feed to appreciate it.” pilots, took fourth. And then there are the X Shawn Ames, “I want to win so badly I Class rigs, which are two to team captain, Heart of America can’t stand it,” said Shawn Ames, three times bigger than the current Heart of America’s captain. “I’ll drones and easier for the audience to have to apologize to my neighbor see, Ulmer said. again for the noise during my training “They’re like lawnmowers flying sessions.” around,” he said. “They go even faster than our Drone racing has skyrocketed in just two years. drones. There’s a dirt track oval in the Bay Area The Aerial Sports League holds national and interwhere they’ve been racing [X Class].” national championships, including in Sacramento, Being an early adopter of the racing tech and and while no pilot has quit their day job, perhaps it’s gaining prestige as a pilot has Ulmer excited for the almost time. If you can make a living playing video future of the sport and for himself. And while the games, why not piloting these tiny flying machines? number of pilots on his level is small, and without The drones are built on a 12-by-6-inch carbonthe fame and million-dollar sponsorship cash to fiber chassis, with four motors spinning four plastic separate the pilots, they still enjoy an esprit de corps. rotors. A microprocessor controls the bot, and a “We’re all really competitive,” Ulmer said. “But battery powers LED lights to tell the very similar we still all like to have fun.” Ω drones apart as they whiz by at speeds approaching

“I want to win so badly I can’t stand it.”


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illuSTraTiOn by SaraH HanSel

Fit for a giant Club SanDWiCH, luMberJaCKS

The bar at The Diplomat Steakhouse offers action from the floor of the Capitol on closed-circuit TV, as well as one of the world’s most expensive Scotches, Macallan M, seen here in a white-glove presentation by manager Danielle Feist.

Power-diners only The Diplomat Steakhouse 1117 11th Street, (916) 573-4083 Good for: making deals, fat-catting around Notable dishes: fritto misto, strange bread

$$$

Steakhouse, downtown

Some restaurants you visit solely because of the delicious food, but there are some you might frequent for different reasons, e.g. it’s walkable from your house; or maybe it’s a quick place to pick up a banh mi to go when you are sweaty from the gym and don’t want to run into anyone you know. (Star Ginger, I am looking at you.) There is only one reason to visit The Diplomat Steakhouse, and—spoiler alert!—it ain’t the food. The reason is front and center when you walk into the hotel-lobby-esque bar: two TVs tuned to the live feed from the chambers of the current legislative session. All around you will be the well-heeled and the white-teethed. Status whiskey and buttery chards will be poured. If you need a bar snack to keep the booze from going straight to the dome and causing you to break your NDA about what your handsy boss did at the retreat, try the fritto misto, which is well and freshly fried, with small tentacles and other seafood and veg bits interspersed with slices of fried lemons to keep things on the light side. And you won’t blow your diet, because the bottom layer will become a soggy mess as it soaks in unnecessary marinara sauce, and you won’t be tempted to finish. The buzzing, macher-stocked bar is a stark contrast to the sepulchral hush of the dining room you will be escorted into, empty save for one other table and chilly as a tomb. Your waiter will be convivial and 22 | SN&R | 07.26.18

Monty Python’s “Lumberjack Song” was on replay in my noggin. How could it not be? A friend and I were headed for Lumberjacks on Madison Avenue. The off-thehook, jumbo-sized statue out front greeted us. We sat in a log-made booth. Large old saws and lanterns adorned the walls. The vast menu featured comfort food, nothing but. The club sandwich ($11.49) sounded right. The bacon was crisp, the turkey freshly roasted, the tomato, lettuce and American cheese served as they should be on toasted sliced sourdough. The crisp fries, like the sandwich, were enormously portioned. I wished I hadn’t worn my girdle.

—JaMeS raia

PHOTO by karlOS rene ayala

by Becky GrunewalD

breezily tell you “the deal”: “traditional steakhouse; everything a la cart.” You will try to un-bulge your eyes in front of the server as you realize that this means that your $54 rib eye does not come with a sauce, and you order it medium rare with the au poivre ($5 additional). The ribeye will come much, much later, served sans sauce, medium-well rather than rare and lukewarm. The server says the au poivre sauce has “broken up” and offers a (comped) “A1 demi-glace” that tastes like, well, A1. You can’t help but wonder if a new batch of au poivre could have been whipped up in the 40 minute lag between appetizer and main. The side of broccolini ($15) is served awkwardly whole, complete with woody stems. Earlier in the evening, when you were young and naïve and still had hopes for the meal, you were served the complimentary bread, which is fried. Funnel cake, you think. Moments later your companion says, “It tastes like a funnel cake,” and you gently high five. Your companion is urged to order the duck breast ($36) medium-rare and in this case the chef goes rare enough to quack; especially disconcerting because it is also served lukewarm. It rests on a bed of chalky risotto that boasts a sauce made of that classic flavor combination of … garlic and cherries? There’s no offer of a dessert menu, either because they don’t serve dessert, or maybe because the server is busy tending to a basement room party of fat cats who he confides have all ordered the tomahawk steaks, advertised as thick ribeyes with a “large bone handle.” No price is listed, but when you’re on a lobbyist expense account, who cares? Ω

Rock that cocktail Martini, Virgin Sturgeon There’s no better place to enjoy the classic California cocktail than while floating on the Sacramento River in this classic California-casual restaurant. If it’s evening, and your bartender is a white-haired man, that’s Mark, and if he’s not too busy to visit, you’re in a good place. Hang out there and chat. But definitely take your second drink out to the deck, perch it on the rail and take in the sights and aroma of the river ... ahh. When a motorboat passes, and the wake hits, observe the marvel that is a rockin’ martini. By the way: Gin, stirred, three olives. 577 Garden Highway; (916) 921-2694.

—alex gilrane

The V WoRD

Ground-nut paste and trash pandas Whoever decided to pair peanut butter with chocolate is a flavor genius. While Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups combines the two, the classic candy loses its allure, knowing it’s made with milk stolen from the mouth of babes (bovine babes, but still) and all of the darkness that comes with that industry. Happily, there are other alternatives besides popping a semisweet chocolate chip with a dab of ground-nut paste into one’s mouth like a trash panda. Justin’s Nut Butter Cups have been around for years, but they share equipment with dairy-containing products, so Justin’s disclaims they may contain trace amounts of milk. Then there’s Unreal, which markets its dark chocolate peanut- and almond-butter cups—made with organic and sustainable ingredients—as hella vegan. The Dark Chocolate Crispy Peanut Butter Cups contain crunchy bits of quinoa in them, giving them a modern foodie upgrade from crispy rice. Find Unreal— which also makes M&M’s-esque chocolate candies—at Whole Foods, Sprouts and Amazon.

—SHoKa


IllustratIon by Mark stIvers

Jonathan Gold, RIP by Becky Grunewald

News of Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold’s death at 57 came across my Twitter feed on Saturday as I sobered up from a birthday party of day-drinking and gorging on fatty brisket at Urban Roots Brewery. What, first Bourdain, and now Gold, too? I did a quick health check to make sure food maven Ruth Reichl was still OK, and she was, sort of, having tweeted: “I have never been sadder. Jonathan Gold is gone.” If Bourdain was the guy who made the global feel local, and taught us all about the commonalities that emerge across a shared table, Gold was the first to show that, at least in SoCal, the local had gone spectacularly global. You may know that Gold started as an LA-based music writer with an appetite for the cornucopia of dining that had emerged in the strip malls of Southern California. He prevailed upon his LA Weekly editor to let him turn this sideline into a vocation, and debuted his Counter Intelligence column, devoted to cheap and ethnic eats, in that publication in 1986. He bounced from LA Weekly to the Los

Angeles Times to Gourmet magazine, ultimately serving as the Times’ food critic from 2012 until his death. In a classic piece of his from 1998, he reminisces about a time in his early 20s when he attempted to eat at every restaurant on Pico Boulevard, a 15-mile street that bisects the city from downtown to Santa Monica. Because this street had been essentially abandoned, he said, “It is at the center of entry-level capitalism in Los Angeles, and one of the most vital food streets in the world.” At that time, the idea that Los Angeles was host to the best food in the world was laughable. But in the current food culture, which he was instrumental in creating, no one is laughing. Ten years ago, a friend introduced me to Gold and to the delights of the San Gabriel Valley. She took me to Noodle Express 101 for the beef roll, described by Gold as a “steroidal composition of fried Chinese pancakes, cilantro, and great fistfuls of thinly sliced meat wetted with sweet bean sauce and formed into something like a Chinese burrito the size of your arm.”

On his recommendation, we fretfully waited in line at Luscious Dumplings, praying the “flattened hemispheres blackened to a luminous, carbon edged crunch” would not run out. We had adventures with searing chilies at the Silverlake Thai mecca Jitlada, which his praise built singlehandedly into one of the culinary icons of the city. Luckily, we have our own, smaller versions of Pico, San Gabriel, etc., here in Sacramento that are ripe for exploring. We’ve got Little Saigon, the Mexican tortas shops, the taco trucks and carnicerias of Franklin Boulevard, the Korean spots out by the Sac 6 Drive-In, and Hmong, Vietnamese, Lao and Chinese New Year festivals, and Afghani, Iraqi and Persian restaurants in the Arden area, to name a few highlights. Now more than ever we need to get to know our immigrant neighbors, and sampling their food is an easy in. We even have our own version of a beef roll, the one at Yang’s Noodles. Though much smaller than my arm it can rival that of Noodle Express 101. I’ll be hoisting one this weekend in tribute to Gold. Ω

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Reviews

now playing

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From songs to sonnets by Jeff Hudson

The Count of Monte Cristo

festival’s first full season without its late guiding light Bob Irvin, and his sly humor and wicked wit are missing in this very straight approach to a standard musical comedy.

Using an adaptation by Christopher Walsh, the production stays true to Alexandre 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. 7:30

Fri-Sun 8pm. Through 8/5 (No show on 7/29); $15-$18 Fri-Sat, $12 Sun; Veteran’s

Memorial Amphitheatre, 7997 California Ave. in Fair Oaks; (916) 966-3693; fairoakstheatrefestival. com. J.C.

5

Ovation Stage, William A. Carroll Amphitheatre in William Land Park; sacramentoshakespeare. net. P.R.

3

Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins, umbrella and magical bag in hand, comes to the Fair Oaks Theatre Festival in a cheery musical based on the books of P.L. Travers and the Walt Disney film. This is the

True: If you’re in stage seating, you’re not allowed to go to the bathroom during the show.

Macbeth & Beehive

3

Macbeth and Beehive alternate Tuesdays-Sundays at 7:30 p.m. Sand Harbor in Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park. Through August 26; $99-$30; 1-800-74-SHOWS; laketahoeshakespeare.com.

Talk about two shows that couldn’t be more different, staged side-by-side in repertory. The Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival (with a large cast of professional actors from around the country) offers Shakespeare’s violent Scottish tragedy Macbeth, a dark portrait of an ambitious medieval tyrant run amok. Alongside is Beehive, a cheerful, uptempo paean to the pop songs sung by girl groups of the early ’60s. How do they fare?

A brisk, old-school Macbeth

Director Charles Fee—who often moves Shakespeare scripts into 20th century settings—sticks with tradition in this white-knuckle Macbeth, replete with battle scenes involving broadswords, battle-axes and abundant bloodletting. The virtually all-male cast is steeped in martial customs and an atmosphere of ancient treachery and paranoia throughout, as Macbeth murders his way to the Scottish throne. Lynn Robert Berg is strong in the title role. He’s deadly with a blade (sometimes slaughtering opponents within seconds) yet plagued by delusion and self-doubt, which increasingly spurs him to take out anyone who might threaten his grip on power. Playing Lady Macbeth is Erin Partin, who matches her man’s consuming ambition mano a mano. When Partin delivers the famous speech, “Unsex me here, and fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full of direst cruelty,” she’s scary to behold. This production also features a fine presentation of the three witches. They’re cloaked in billowing black, 24

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PHOTO COURTESy OF JOy STROTz

and when they spread their arms (holding rods to dramatically extend their reach) they resemble enormous bats, or birds of prey, or maybe vultures, with a huge wingspan—a striking visual. And there’s no hokey distortion of the witches’ voices, so their spooky incantations (“Double, double, toil and trouble”) glitter with implied menace. And they’re onstage, watchful, for much of the show. Fee streamlines the script, focusing on Macbeth’s rapid transformation into a dangerous despot while deftly handling the tricky question of precisely when his mind gives way to madness. It’s staged outdoors, as twilight fades to darkness, enhancing the textures in this Shakespeare classic—still gripping, after 400 years.

1 FOUL

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,

p.m. 7/26 and 7/28; $16-$20;

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.

4

On the 20th Century

The Davis Shakespeare Festival presents this classic musical by Cy Coleman, with orchestra playing the music of Comden and Green. A first-rate cast, dressed elegantly, cavort on a beautiful set. What better way to spend a summer evening? Show alternates with Mary Stuart. Thu, Fri, Sat,

Tues, Wed, 8pm; Sun 2pm. Through 8/5; $30; Veterans Memorial Theater, 203 E. 14th St. in Davis; (530) 8020998; shakespearedavis. org. B.S.

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

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5 SUBLIME– DON’T MISS

PHOTO COURTESy OF BROADWAy AT MUSIC CIRCUS

Lots of tunes, not much else

Beehive is an unapologetic jukebox musical featuring pop standards made famous by 1960s girl groups, a la “Where Did Our Love Go.” There’s chirpy girl-talk between numbers, and chatter about coming-of-age in fast-changing times, but there’s no plot—this perky revue is more of a retro lounge act than a play. Fine with devoted fans of the ’60s tunes, but those expecting a story with a beginning, middle and end may feel disappointed. After intermission, the focus shifts from harmonic vocal combos to women with distinctive voices who became solo stars in the late ’60s, like Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin and Janis Joplin. These broad impersonations aren’t as successful as the lighthearted combo anthems in the first half. Adrianna Cleveland, Annaliese Griswold, Shelby Griswold, Christiana Perrault, Camille Robinson and Hanna-Jo Weisberg shimmy throughout, sporting huge, high-rise hairstyles and cycling through multiple 1960s costumes, backed by a slick six-man band backstage. Ω

Tony Award nominee Carolee Carmello plays Mama Rose in Gypsy.

The name of the rose Carolee Carmello has street cred, particularly when that street is the Great White Way—Broadway. The multi-Tony Award nominee goes from playing Aimee Semple McPherson in the musical Scandalous to starring as the sorta scandalous Mama Rose, pushing her daughter Gypsy Rose Lee toward burlesque stardom in Gypsy, playing through this weekend only. Mama Rose put the “mother” in stage mother. The musical, a Music Circus favorite, is one of Broadway’s most acclaimed shows. Thu-Sat 7:30pm (with 2pm shows Thu & Sat), Sun 3pm. Through 7/29. Broadway at Music Circus, Wells Fargo Pavilion, 1419 H Street; $45-$99; (916) 557-1999; broadwaysacramento.com.

—Jim Carnes


fiLm CLiPS

3

Fallout buoy

4

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-incheek, 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.

3 Mission: Impossible— Fallout

by DanIel Barnes & JIM lane

by DanIel Barnes

destruction, despite getting disavowed by their own governments—feels 100 percent recycled. Yet none of this stops McQuarrie from staging one astounding action sequence after another, from an oxygendeprived parachute jump over Paris to a helicopter chase through Kashmir. Despite the familiarity, The 2018 summer release schedule is crammed full Fallout is one of the freshest films of the year. of limp, sad, flavorless, nobody-asked-for-this-shit With Fallout, director and co-writer McQuarrie sequels. There are now two The Equalizer movies, becomes the first person to helm a second Mission: three Hotel Transylvania movies and four The Purge Impossible movie, even bringing back Rogue movies. A new hope for a Star Wars comeback fades Nation bad guy Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) to far, far away with each passing release. All Marvel serve as Hunt’s main nemesis. Hunt’s team of movies remain as insipidly anonymous as ever, wisecracking, crackerjack safecrackers also remains no matter who directs. The Harry Potter extended largely intact from the previous films: universe is running on the fumes coming off fan favorites Ving Rhames and Johnny Depp’s mustache. Ben Affleck is Simon Pegg take another lap, Batman. Motorcycles while Rebecca Ferguson has All of this is to say that while been re-upped from Rogue Mission: Impossible has become race through Nation (good call) and arguably the best and certainly metropolises, rubber Jeremy Renner has been jettithe most reliable blockbuster faces get ripped off, soned (great call). The one movie franchise in circulation, major new addition to the it certainly doesn’t have a lot bomb timers tick down cast is Henry Cavill as CIA of competition for the titles. and Tom Cruise runs assassin August Walker. Still, that’s not a knock against and runs and runs. New blood or not, Mission: Christopher McQuarrie’s vigorously Impossible remains Cruise’s entertaining Fallout, the sixth movie show. For all the CGI tastefully starring Tom Cruise as indestructible slathered across Fallout, Cruise superspy Ethan Hunt. It’s as polished, remains one of the most believable action precision-tuned and effective a piece of filmmaking heroes in the world, still performing many of his as you’re likely to see all year long. own death-defying stunts at 56 (I’m exactly as old The most impressive thing about the Mission: as Cruise was when he made Mission: Impossible Impossible movies, especially these last three entries, is that they have settled into a comfortable and familiar III and I hurt my neck last week while sleeping, but that’s beside the point). I don’t know how long formula filled with recurring characters and nostalgic Cruise can keep it up, but I’d happily consume a callbacks without lowering the bar. Nothing in Fallout new Mission: Impossible movie every summer. Ω should feel unfamiliar to anyone remotely aware of the Mission: Impossible bag of tropes. Motorcycles race through metropolises, rubber faces get ripped off, bomb timers tick down and Cruise runs and runs and runs. Even Fallout’s plot—Hunt and his team chase a shadowy terrorist organization threatening nuclear Poor Fair Good Very excellent

Cruise: “There’s no f’ing way this franchise has hit a wall!”

1 2 3 4 5

Blindspotting

First-timer Carlos Lopez Estrada directs this energetic but wildly uneven film from a script by longtime friends and Oakland natives Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs. Casal and Diggs also star as longtime friends and Oakland natives Collin and Miles, the former a white, motormouthed hothead, the latter an African-American ex-felon entering the final days of his probation. Collin’s situation complicates when he witnesses a police officer shoot a fleeing black man in the back, but despite the powerful relevance of the premise, Blindspotting rarely pauses the wacky hijinks, overwrought dream sequences and toothless jabs at Oakland hipsters long enough to allow the protagonist to reflect on the racially-motivated murder that he and no one else witnessed. The film has passion and energy to burn, and Diggs seems like a star in the making (Casal, not so much), but scenes like the one where Collin improvises the “battle rap that fixes everything for some reason” feel more contrived than cathartic. D.B.

5

Eighth Grade

A teenage girl (Elsie Fisher) faces her last week of middle school. It’s as simple as that, but writer-director Bo Burnham, making his first feature, never puts a foot wrong. His script has the sublime, often excruciating ring of truth, and he draws spot-on performances all around (for once, all these teenagers actually look like they’re under 25). Elsie Fisher is an absolute revelation, playing a sweet, sensitive girl who makes friendly, upbeat online videos (which we sense nobody ever watches), then slouches through real life wishing someone would be her friend. She’s nothing less than brilliant, and you read it here first: She’d damn well better get an Oscar nomination for it. Right behind her (in every sense), and almost as good, is Josh Hamilton as her loving, supportive, but often clueless father. J.L.

2

The Equalizer 2

Ex-government operative and parttime vigilante Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) sets out to avenge the murder of his former CIA boss (Melissa Leo). Washington and director Antoine Fuqua return for the sequel, and it’s a good thing: Washington’s implacable charisma and Fuqua’s robust command of pace and style are desperately needed because writer Robert Wenk is back too, and he’s flat out of ideas. What started out as a modern-day Have Gun, Will Travel becomes a mere revenge fantasy with a villain who’s obvious from the start and not a moment of real suspense. The hero solves two murders in Brussels from his apartment in Boston, then he tells the bad guys he’s going to kill them, and then he does. Along the way he rescues a child abducted to Turkey by her father and maims a gang of rapists. What a guy. J.L.

3

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again

2

Skyscraper

4

Sorry to Bother You

4

Three Identical Strangers

Here we go again indeed. Everybody’s back, with new faces including Cher as Amanda Seyfried’s absentee grandmother and Andy Garcia as the manager of the hotel she’s building on that Greek island. Meryl Streep’s character has died and appears only in a ghostly cameo. In flashbacks, Lily James plays her younger self, with Jessica Keenan Wynn and Alexa Davies as younger Christine Baranski and Julie Walters (all good matches). Never mind the story, the ABBA songs are the point, and they’re as irresistible as ever, well-delivered with clever transitions and spirited choreography to cover the fact that songs are shoe-horned in where they don’t always fit. As with Mamma Mia 1, the best number is under the closing credits, but this time people will stay to see it: a full-cast curtain call to “Super Trouper.” J.L.

A retired FBI agent, now a security consultant (Dwayne Johnson), is consulting on a 240-floor Hong Kong building when terrorists set fire to it. Oh, and his wife (Neve Campbell) and kids are trapped inside. Oh yeah, and one more thing: he has a prosthetic leg. Director Rawson Marshall Thurber’s script is ridiculous and unbelievable, a wannabe Towering Die Hard Inferno. CGI stunts are constant, outlandish and hilarious. When are people like Thurber going to realize that this doesn’t cut it? Genuine excitement comes from real people (whether stars or stunt doubles) really doing things; without that, junk movies like this are just photo-realistic Wile E. Coyote cartoons. Johnson’s charisma lifts things a notch or two above the bottom of the barrel, but he’s not a magician—and he can’t really fly. J.L.

A rookie telemarketer in an alternatereality 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

In 1980, teenager Robert Shafran arrived for his first day at a small community college in upstate New York, where people he had never met warmly greeted him as “Eddy.” It turned out that Eddy Galland was a former student at the school, and that the similarities between Robert and Eddy went deeper than their identical faces, voices and builds—they were twin brothers separated at birth and adopted out of the Louise Wise Agency by different Jewish families. When New York resident David Kellman read that already astonishing story in the pages of Newsday, he saw two doppelgangers who shared his birthday and adoption agency and realized that he was the third sibling. Thus, the separated twins turned into separated triplets, with the brothers eventually becoming tabloid sensations and pre-viral celebrities. If their story seems completely bonkers, almost like a feverish work of fiction, you ain’t heard nothing yet. D.B.

Good

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CAMuseum_CAatBat_HomeOpener_SNR_2-5V_July19_FINAL.pdf 1 6/28/2018 4:31:06 PM

COURTESY OF LIBRARY OF CONGRESS ©2018 CALIFORNIA MUSEUM.

CELEBRATE THE STATE’S ALL-STAR LEGACY IN BASEBALL HISTORY

Blood and water Honyock’s rock ’n’ roll record sounds like the family we choose by Mozes zarate

New Orleans label, Park the Van, in the early 2000s. Watson left the label in 2010, and in 2016, started Friendship Fever with his wife Sabrina. The Hoffman brothers dreamed of working with industry folk like Watson, who genuinely cared about the music. “We ended up not getting a guy like him,” Spencer said. “We ended up getting the guy. I feel like a fucking coconut would fall on my head if I didn’t appreciate it.” What’s the secret ingredient to Honyock? Is it cake? When Honyock started recording demos for the album two years ago, its 10 songs were 30, culled to 20 or so, then 16, then down to 12 with Watson’s help. El Castillo was the right name for Honyock’s first “The genesis of the record was that we wanted album. And, no, not just because it’s Spanish for some sort of restart,” Spencer said. “And how we “The Castle,” which is still appropriate; all of its thought we’d be able to do that was to record some demos were laid out in the “record dungeon” at bassDIY, lo-fi, 30-song record that makes us go on a ist Tyler Wolter’s house. shitty tour forever.” After recording, the band finally The Castillo’s a man. A good man. Thomas nipped the songs to 10. Castillo plays drums in a local rock outfit called The oldest tune on the record is “Into My Arms,” Ex-Rippers, is an all-around sweetheart, and which Mason wrote in 2009, at 17 or so, after losing perhaps most of all: He was the guy who showed his virginity to a girl named after a Beatles song, off Honyock’s demos to Christopher Watson, the Michelle. It’s sweetly dreary, like that time: Mason co-founder of the Sacramento-based record label had been living on a military base with a Friendship Fever. friend in Washington, mostly isolated “He just did that because he was and feeling homesick. Originally excited about our shit, and unbea pretty sleepy number, it was “Wouldn’t it knownst to us, set it all up,” said livened up by drummer Christian be funny to name guitarist and vocalist Spencer “Sunshine” Meinke’s aggressive Hoffman, who co-founded our first record style. Honyock with his brother Mason Then there’s “Heather,” out of that idea of and Wolter nearly a decade ago. where Spencer finally achieved community?” “And it was just sort of like: the sound he wanted: sunshine. Wouldn’t it be funny to name A whole parade of it. Lyrically, Spencer Hoffman our first record out of that idea of it reflects on the old cliché, “Don’t vocalist/guitarist community?” know what you have til it’s gone.” Honyock and El Castillo, which “But also reflective of how certain released on July 20 under Friendship Fever, relationships aren’t meant to be,” Spencer are pretty much a “family affair,” as they put it. The said. “Woulda worked out if only this happened, but band’s name is an old term of endearment their late that’s never gonna happen.” grandfather used to say, and El Castillo’s cover art, a The band goes on tour across the U.S. beginning red sun reflecting onto a blue pool, was illustrated by August 15. And while the sappy songs and lyrics one of their dad’s best friends. reach inward, even sappier—Honyock and El Castillo “We got both, that mixture of water and blood,” fondly remember the people around them. said Mason, who also plays guitar and sings in “It’s about lifting each other up,” Mason said. Ω Honyock. Stir frequently to avoid gelatinization, they joked. It doesn’t hurt that their signing to Friendship check out honyock’s record release show saturday, July 28 at harlow’s Fever is a weird serendipity with another good dude. restaurant & Nightclub. tickets are $10-$12. doors open at 8pm. el castillo Growing up, Mason and Spencer were huge fans of is available on spotify, itunes, amazon and Bandcamp. a band called Dr. Dog, which signed to Watson’s old Photo courtesy of Jesika Gatdula

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HOME OPENER

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Celebrate the state’s all-star legacy in baseball history at the opening of “California at Bat,” a new exhibit featuring over 200 Cooperstown-worthy uniforms, artifacts and ephemera from games played by Jackie Robinson, Joe DiMaggio, Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax, Rickey Henderson & others. Festivities include: • $5 reduced admission or FREE for kids 5 & under • Baseball history presentations by Stephen Wong, Alan O’Connor & Matt Stone • West Coast Vintage baseball card evaluations • 19th century game demos by Central Valley Vintage Base Ball • Home Run Challenge & Speed Pitch games • Track 7 Brewing Company Beer Garden (21+ w ID) • Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen & Costa’s Finest Kettle Corn • Sacramento River Cats Street Team giveaways • Hands-on activities for kids • FREE street parking • More fun for all ages, details at CaliforniaMuseum.org

ARCHIVES PLAZA • 1020 O ST, SACRAMENTO • CaliforniaMuseum.org

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


Summer night songsters

BUY 1 GET 1 1/2 OFF 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 08/08/18.

Sibling duo me&you are a backyard barbecue of blues-pop and country Happy Hour

Monday–Friday 3–6pm

by Maia Paras EvrigEnis

Voted “Best of Sacramento” 3 years in a row!

Photo by Maia Paras EvrigEnis

are feel-good and fun, many tell stories that are actually quite deep and sad, though uplifting in their outcome. Me&you’s new single, “Georgia,” tells a girl she needs love—real love—the kind that sticks around a while: “Georgia, I thought that I told ya / Can’t keep tearing back the bottle / Handing out your love for free … You can learn a little something / Love is really what you need.” I think it’s natural that on my way to my first me&you show, Musical thinking caps are also wide-brimmed fedoras for I questioned this two-person act. Connor and Karlee Hormell. I wondered if one sibling would outshine the other. For the first few songs, I thought Connor was the dominating force. He has a killer voice, calmSomehow, I got into a me&you backyard show—a ing presence and a star quality about him onstage. concert for the indie-folk band’s closest friends But a few songs later, Karlee came in with “Call and family in their hometown. There was the Doctor,” a “little country tune,” as she called something so compelling about this show, where it, and an edge I realized is what keeps the group siblings Connor and Karlee Hormell performed sounding like something new. for people they personally knew and loved. The It seems in me&you, one cannot shine without un-obnoxious, friendly hipsters in the audience the other. And what’s really beautiful is that the were on a level with the band to even tease them siblings realize this and give each other the a bit, and “ice” them in the middle of the musical space and support to do so. set. They did not worship me&you, but This lesson may have been danced to them as equals, celebrating learned while the siblings took a the release of their Chasing Trails They’ve break from the music industry EP, available July 17th. put blues, pop in 2016, traveling together in While I’m sure the lyrics and country into a a camper van through New of this sibling duo reflect their Zealand. On this trip they actual childhoods and those of blender, adding a bit of developed their songwriting the audience, I, a stranger, also southern comfort and craft and strengthened the roots felt connected to their music, a dash of Sactown of their love for music. Before and one with the band. Me&you New Zealand, they were performhas a warm, comforting sound that sass. ing under the name, “Connor and makes me feel loved and cared for Karlee.” Returning to California, they through music. They make me feel like were going by “Me&you,” demonstrating everything’s going to be OK. their support and reliance on each other, as two For example, the title song, Chasing Trails, is siblings with one dream. about following your own path in life, but ultiAfter the show, one of Connor’s roommates told mately making your way back home. Some lyrics: me, “me&you is like a warm summer night, out “Don’t need saving / I’ll find home one day / But having a beer with friends.” I’ll be chasing trails until I find my way.” I couldn’t agree more. And I’m not sure what And “Drunk & Dancing” is about letting go of sounds better than this. Ω the struggles of day-to-day life, and going out with somebody you love: “Babe, let’s get drunk and go dancing / Any old cheap red wine will do.” While these lyrics are simple, me&you is full Catch all me&you’s good vibes at ace of spades on saturday, July 28, for the of complexity. They’ve put blues, pop and country girls rock sacramento teen Camp showcase. Doors open at 11 a.m. tickets into a blender, adding a bit of southern comfort are $10-$15. Check them out at meandyouofficialmusic.com. and a dash of Sactown sass. Though their songs

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for the week of JULy 26

by maxfield morris

PosT eVenTs onLIne FoR FRee AT newsreview.com/sacramento

MusiC thursDay, 7/26 AnTsy mCCLAIn: With Michael McNevin. 5:30pm, $20-$25. Harlow’s, 2708 J St.

doyLe BRAmHALL II: Witness an incredible

maestro on the guitar. 8pm, $24$29. Auburn State Theatre, 985 Lincoln Way in Auburn.

sun

Creed Bratton, living legend Holy Diver, 7pm, $20-$25

Photo Courtesy of Kristin Dos santos, CC By-sa 2.0

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Bratton is an enigma wrapped in a music career.

BoCA do RIo: The Bay Area Brazilian-America electro-funk band is coming to a gazebo in Winters near you. 7pm, no cover. Rotary Park Gazebo, 201 E. Main St. in Winters.

moRGAn WALLen: With Auburn Road. 7pm, $20. Ace Of Spades, 1417 R St.

Ron ARTIs II & THe TRuTH: Have you ever heard Hawaiian soul music? Try it out. 10pm, $12-

$14. Harlow’s, 2708 J St.

ZZ ToP: With George Thorogood & the

Destroyers. 6:30pm. $49.50-$76. Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd.

friDay, 7/27 CHRIs sTAPLeTon: With Marty Stuart and Brent Cobb. See event highlight on page 29. 7pm, $34.75-$89.75. Toyota Amphitheatre, 2677 Forty Mile Road in Wheatland.

ConCeRTs In THe PARK: With the Crystal

Method, Write or Die and Ryan Moe. 5pm, no

playing in the Grass Roots, a rock band popular in the ’60s and ’70s. As Bratton comes to Sacramento for a night of humor and music with acts such as Control and Sam Jones, it’s an excellent chance for fans to satisfy their curiosity firsthand. Who is the real Creed Bratton? If you miss this show, you may never know for sure. 1517 21st Street, holydiversac.com.

with a “heavy dose of attitude.” 9:30pm, $7-$12. Opera House Saloon Roseville, 411 Lincoln St. in Roseville.

FRee summeR ConCeRT: With Cover Me Badd, along with food and a beer/wine garden. 6pm, no cover. Sacramento Gateway, 3648 N. Freeway Blvd.

LIL dARRIon: Come check out the Sacramento hip-hop artist one of whose interests on Facebook is “using [his] BlackBerry & iPhone to the fullest.” 6:30pm, $10-$15. Harlow’s, 2708 J St.

mIdnIGHT TyRAnnosAuRus: With Phiso. 8pm,

TICKeT WIndoW Weezer Playing with Pixies, the alt-rock band is still relevant and kickin’. 8/7, 7:30pm, $25-$85, on sale now. Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, concerts1.livenation.com.

foghat Take a fast ride to get tickets

to see the bluesy rock ’n’ roll band. 8/11,

6pm, $30-$110, on sale now. Platinum

$17.25-$25. Ace Of Spades, 1417 R St.

Buy a ticket, see a show. it’s simple.

popular music artist, Hayley Kiyoko. 8/14, 7pm, $66.75-$300, on sale now. SAP Center in San Jose, ticketmaster.com.

aLiCe CooPer You’re definitely not

worthy, but you can still watch Cooper perform his shocking musical theater.

8/15, 8:30pm, $70-$85, on sale now. Jackson

Rancheria Casino Resort, tickets.vendini. com.

Living Amphitheater in Rocklin, eventbrite.com.

ronnie sPeCtor Listen

to Spector and the Ronettes live and in stereophonic sound.

CharLie Puth Your

8/11, 8pm, $37-$85, on sale now.

Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Grass Valley, thecenterforthearts. org.

PaniC! at the DisCo Brendon Urie is coming to town with another

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Scare the snot out of us, Alice.

kids might love the poppy Puth-ster and Hailee Steinfeld.

8/17, 7pm, $25-$80,

T sIsTeRs: These three sisters harmonize,

on sale now. Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, concerts1.livenation.com.

steVe MiLLer BanD Peter

lyricize and musicize onstage. That last one isn’t a word. 7pm, $30. Sofia Tsakopoulos Center for the Arts, 2700 Capitol Ave.

WImPs: With Woolen Men, Boy Romeo and

Mediocre Cafe. 8pm, $10. Cafe Colonial, 3520 Stockton Blvd.

Frampton is joining the show. 8/18, 7:30pm, $25.75-$127, on sale now. Concord Pavilion in Concord, concerts1.livenation.com.

WoRKInG mAn’s BLues BAnd: With Adam

Talking Heads singer. 8/21, $79-$500, on sale now. Community Center Theatre,

saturDay, 7/28

DaViD Byrne Check out the former

Block. 9pm, $5. Fox & Goose, 1001 R St.

tickets.com.

dAZe oF ReIGn: A relaunching party for

ticket money to see J. Cole. 8/29, 7:30pm, $69.50-$162.25, on sale now. Oracle Arena in Oakland, ticketmaster.com.

THe endLess summeR TouR: With G-Eazy, Lil

J. CoLe Stop by the ATM for some

Jerry Lee LeWis Great balls of

fire, the killer is coming to a casino near you! 8/31, 7pm, $42.95-$99.95, on sale now. Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln, ticketmaster.com.

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.

HonyoCK: With Doombird and Tre Burt. 9pm, $10-$12. Harlow’s, 2708 J St.

mARCIA BALL: Ball is a Texan musician with a swampy heart made of Louisianan blues music. 7pm, $39.50. Sofia Tsakopoulos Center for the Arts, 2700 Capitol Ave.

sunDay, 7/29 uB40: The English reggae pop band will be making some sweet music on stage at the fair. 8pm, no cover-$25. California Exposition & State Fair, 1600 Exposition Blvd.

tuesDay, 7/31 meLIssA eTHeRIdGe: If you’ve won an Oscar and two Grammy awards, then you might be Melissa Etheridge. If you are, hi Melissa! I hope you’re having a good day. 7:30pm, $59$89. Crest Theatre, 1013 K St.

THe VoIdZ: Julian Casablancas’ band is a mustsee. 7pm, $25. Ace Of Spades, 1417 R St.

WeDnesDay, 8/1 dAVIs FARmeR’s mARKeT PICnIC In THe PARK:

With Cold Shot, a dance party band. 4:30pm, no cover. Central Park, 301 C St. in Davis.

IsLAnd oF BLACK And WHITe: Playing the Palladio, this reggae band will hopefully spark some dancing and good times. 6:30pm, no cover. Folsom Palladio, 410 Palladio Parkway in Folsom.

cover. Cesar Chavez Plaza, 910 I St.

eVeRydAy ouTLAW: Honky-tonk country

A man wrapped in mythos, Creed Bratton came to 21st century acclaim and fame in The Office, the popular sitcom Comedy set in an office. In a bizarre twist, Bratton played a version of himself on the show, making for unforgettable performances that left viewers utterly floored. The character and the real Bratton are both musicians, formerly

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

the “ultimate rock and roll show” cover band. 9pm, $5. Corner Pocket Sports Bar, 7777 Sunrise Blvd., 1400 in Citrus Heights. Uzi Vert, Ty Dolla $ign, YBN Nahmir, P-Lo and Murda Beatz. 6:30pm, $29.50-$79.50. Toyota Amphitheatre, 2677 Forty Mile Road in Wheatland.

festiVaLs thursDay, 7/26 sTRAuss FesTIVAL oF eLK GRoVe: Johann Strauss, Jr., commonly known as the Waltz King, went on a totally radical world tour in 1872. One can only imagine the revelry and partying folks from the 19th century got up to. Ninety cast members and a 40-piece orchestra work to demonstrate what it might have been like. 7:30pm, no cover. Elk Grove Regional Park, 9950 Elk Grove Florin Road in Elk Grove.

friDay, 7/27 LA BeLLA CoLomBIA: Colombia is a relentlessly beautiful country, with a wealth to offer culturally. This event will highlight music, dance, art and food of the country, which will make for an incredible evening. 7pm, no cover. Casa de Espanol, 1101 R St.

sTRAuss FesTIVAL oF eLK GRoVe: See event

description for 7/26. 7:30pm, no cover. Elk Grove Regional Park, 9950 Elk Grove Florin Road in Elk Grove.

WInd youTH seRVICes summeR soIRee: Fundraise for Wind Youth Services with some local eats and some sweet drinks. 6pm. $125. Wind Youth Services, 815 S St.

saturDay, 7/28 ARTFuLLy RooTed mARKeTPLACe: Folsom has a new art creation store, and its grand opening should be an entire barrel of fun, with live music from Earl F. Smith and free mimosas and wine, apparently. 10:30am. no


SUNDAY, 7/29

Sactown Wings SouThSide park, 2pm, $10-$45

Wings are a mysterious food—nobody knows for sure what animal they come from. Despite that fact, there’s a FOOD AND DRINK festival celebrating the tasty morsels, with some proceeds benefiting Habitat for Humanity. Attendees can buy wings from vendors vying for the title of best wings in Sacramento, including Chicago Fire, Kupros Craft House and more. While we may never know what wings really are, we can still celebrate them. 2115 6th Street, sactownwings.com.

FILM

cover.  Artfully Rooted Marketplace, 608 1/2 Sutter St. in Folsom.

CALIFORNIA’S NATIONAL DAY OF DANCE: Learn how to dance like Fred Astaire, or some currently relevant dancer, at this pop-up event for California’s National Day of Dance. There are beginner classes for traditional Chinese and highland dance, along with an urban jazz dance class. Look for other pop-up events around Sacramento. Noon,  $6.  Fairytale Town, 3901 Land Park Drive.

STRAUSS FESTIVAL OF ELK GROVE: See event

description for 7/26. 7:30pm, no cover.  Elk Grove Regional Park, 9950 Elk Grove Florin Road in Elk Grove.

TRIBEFEST: Classy Hippie Tea Company hosts this event promoting unity. There will be all the traditionally wholesome hippie activities: yoga, Tai Chi, poetry, music and more. With food from Queen Sheba, it should be an excellent experience, 9am. $20$97.  Camp Pollock, 1501 Northgate Blvd.

PALLADIGRAS: With music from Element Brass Band, complimentary food and a Mardi Gras theme, you’d think that you couldn’t ask for more. 6pm, $10.  Folsom Palladio, 410 Palladio Parkway in Folsom.

SUNDAY, 7/29 SACTOWN WINGS: See event highlight

above. 2pm, $10-$45.  Southside Park, 2115 6th St.

STRAUSS FESTIVAL OF ELK GROVE: See event

description for 7/26. 7:30pm, no cover.  Elk Grove Regional Park, 9950 Elk Grove Florin Road in Elk Grove.

FOOD & DRINK THURSDAY, 7/26 ALIVE AFTER FIVE RIVER CRUISE: Boats are good at traversing bodies of water, but they’re even better at being novelty cocktail bars. Take a cruise on the Sacramento River and ingest some adult beverages at the cash bar Thursday through Sunday. 5pm,  $25.  Hornblower Cruises, 1206 Front St.

THURSDAY, 7/26 CASTLE IN THE SKY: Bask in the Miyazaki classic that dared to ask the question, “What if there were a castle in the sky?” The film answers that question in the most beautiful way possible. 11am, $10.50.  The Tower Theatre, 2508 Land Park Drive.

FRIDAY, 7/27 GHOSTBUSTERS: If you’ve got a phone with unlimited minutes and you’re being bothered by ghosts, who might you call? Your pastor? Well, after you call her, consider calling the 2016 Ghostbusters, or just check them out at this free showing. 8pm, no cover.  Jackrabbit Brewing Co., 1323 Terminal St. in West Sacramento.

SATURDAY, 7/28 AUTISM-FRIENDLY MOVIE—PADDINGTON 2: This movie night was designed for kids with autism and sensory disorders, with a semi-lit screening room, fidget toys and a fun movie, in which Paddington Bear goes on a quest for a book. 10am, no cover.  Sylvan Oaks Library, 6700 Auburn Blvd. in Citrus Heights.

SUNDAY, 7/29 E.T.: When an alien is in need of assistance, who would decide to help? Revisit this movie that’s a bit of a morality play in today’s political climate. 7pm, $7.50-$9.50.  Crest Theatre, 1013 K St.

COMEDY BLACKTOP COMEDY: Al Skinner: Comedian +

FRIDAY, 7/27 FARM-TO-FORK FRIDAY—A TASTE OF AFRICA: Check out the California Black Agriculture Working Group’s showcase of regional history and present opportunities. 5:30pm,  no cover.  Rancho Cordova Library, 9845 Folsom Blvd.

ICE CREAM FAMILY SPLASH: If you’re a child with an unquenchable appetite for ice cream, and you like swimming, don’t ignore this. There are all-you-can-eat ice cream sundaes. 5:30pm, $4-$5.  Fruitridge Community & Aquatic Center, 4000 Fruitridge Road.

MCLAUGHLIN STUDIO THEATRE: Grease! Get in the summer swing of things with a performance of Grease. You know the numbers, so go and bask in the nostalgia, or see it for the first time on stage. Through 8/5. $15.  3470 Swetzer Road in Loomis. PHOTO COURTESY OF ATHANvA TULSI

HOLY DIVER: Creed Bratton. See event highlight on page 28. Sunday 7/29, 7pm. $20-$25.  1517 21st St.

LAUGHS UNLIMITED COMEDY CLUB: Lance Woods. Yeah, Woods is a comedian. What have you done lately? Thursday 7/26, 8pm. $15.  Greg Wilson. Featuring Stephen Furey, this show will have some jokes. Through 7/29. $10. 1207 Front St.

Magic. Billed as a comedian first, then a magician, Al Skinner will do presumably do comedy and magic in that order. Hopefully he doesn’t mix the two together—blasphemy! 8pm. Through 7/28. $15-$20.  Off Track All Ages Comedy. Comedy, a universal language, is here translated into a dialect specifically for youths. Sunday 7/29, 2pm.  $10. 3101 Sunset Blvd., Suite 6A in Rocklin.

CSZ SACRAMENTO: ComedySportz Improv Comedy. Spend some time around people tenacious enough to put on improvised comedy shows every week. 8pm, 7/29. $12$14.  2230 Arden Way.

MUSIC CIRCUS AT THE WELLS FARGO PAVILION: Gypsy. Based on the life of burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee, the musical by Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim is a real blast, with rollicking musical numbers that can’t be beat. Through 7/29. $45-$99.  1419 H St.

fame from his second place performance on America’s Got Talent, where he showed off his stutter and his comedic chops. Through  7/28. $20.  2100 Arden Way, Suite 225.

SACRAMENTO COMEDY SPOT: You! The Musical. Do you hate musicals and improv comedy? You might also hate this show, which is a combination of the two: an hour-long improvised comedy musical. If you like those things, try it out. Friday 7/27, 9pm.  $12.  Master of Rap Improv. Hear some emcees spit some improvised lines in a tense test of tongue talents. All the cast gets is one word from the audience to inspire a freestyle rap, then improvised scenes. It speaks for itself. Saturday 7/28, 8pm. $8. 1050 20th St., Suite 130.

THE FOURTH WALL: The Fourth Wall Strikes Back. This sketch show has such sketches lined up as “homeless people forced against their wills to compete in a cook-off,” “Two horny bees try to pollinate a flower” and “An older white dude who spends far too much of his free time watching Naruto.” If those sketches sound somehow appealing to you, either check out this show or just stare at a blank wall. Through 7/29. No cover-$10.  5051 47th Ave.

Luminous Layers. See what happens when you melt resin and beeswax as an artistic medium. Spoiler alert: It’s pretty neat. Through 8/11. No cover. 10191 Mills Station Road.

SPARROW GALLERY: Mixed Media Invitational Group Show. Mixed media from a smattering of 16 Sacramento artists whose last names range from starting with the letter A (Michelle Andres) to starting with the letter S (Jill Allyn Stafford). Through 8/3. No  cover.  1021 R St.

MUSEUMS

THEATRE IN THE HEIGHTS: Don’t Dress for Dinner. This romantic farcical comedy has all the trappings of a night of mad-cap mayhem. A French farmhouse is the setting, and you likely won’t get a quiet minute once the play starts. Through 8/17. $15.  8215 Auburn Blvd., Suite G in Citrus Heights.

PUNCH LINE: Drew Lynch. Drew Lynch drew

THE REEL GREAT WAR SCREENING: Take in World War I through film clips and discussion with American River College history professor John Allen. You’ll revisit the war that used to be called the Great War, but got a New Hope-style revamping when it got a sequel. Is it still too soon to make jokes about World War I? 1pm, no cover.  Central Library, 828 I St.

MILLS STATION ART & CULTURE CENTER:

ON STAGE

ART Membership Invitational Exhibition. Fire is these artists’ friend. They utilize the raw, unbridled, hot heat of fire to create their works of art, making ceramics, glass and metal. Members of the Art by Fire guild were invited to share their work. Through 9/8. No  cover.  4675 Aldona Lane.

ARTHOUSE ON R: At the Beach. The beach has come to Sacramento. Okay, more accurately, art depicting the beach has come to Sacramento. See the beach-heavy work of Tj Lev and LaLa Ortiz, two local artists. Through 8/6. No cover.  1021 R St.

a night of fun games and a French poetry open mic. Poetry in an art museum—what will they think up next, cats in a dog factory? I certainly hope not. Thursday 7/26, 6pm.  $10.  Wee Wednesdays. Children are invited to make works of art in the Crocker. If the kids made good enough works of art, kids are allowed to put them up on their fridge at home. Wednesday 8/1, 10am. No cover$10. 216 O St.

FOLSOM CITY ZOO SANCTUARY: Storytime. Get

DAVIS ARTS CENTER: Ergomodern and Unveiled Visions. Chairs, chairs, chairs. What are they? Tables? Hardly. Come see the modern, unique furniture art by the late Dr. Julian G. Schiller, a Davis chiropractor, while you still have a chance. Through 7/28. No cover.  1919 F St. in Davis. Metamorphosis is completed, so the closing night reception takes place. High school seniors’ work is displayed, much as a butterfly displays its wings as it emerges from its cocoon. Friday 7/27, 6pm. No cover.  1100 65th St.

Be-Named. What do Harry Potter and rapper Lil Uzi Vert have in common? Aside from the fact that they’re both wizards, they also share the same birthday. On a related note, Arcade library is throwing a Potter party for the ages, with classes, trivia and a book giveaway! Tuesday 7/31,  6pm. No cover.  2443 Marconi Ave.

CROCKER ART MUSEUM: Art/Play/Say. Expect

ALPHA FIRED ARTS: The 2nd Annual Art by Fire

FE GALLERY: Metamorphosis Art Exhibit. As

ARCADE LIBRARY: The Party-That-Shall-Not-

your monthly dose of puppets, because that’s about as much as one human can take without turning into a puppet. This puppet show also lets visitors see a live zoo sanctuary animal. Thursday 7/26, 10:30am.  $5-$6.  403 Stafford St. in Folsom.

MCKINLEY LIBRARY: Knit and Craft. Bring your crafting supplies and be ready to make some beautiful things, as well as learn how to knit, if you don’t know. Wednesday 8/1, 10am. No  cover.  601 Alhambra Blvd.

NORTH SACRAMENTO-HAGGINWOOD LIBRARY: Happy Birthday Harry Potter! Come to a birthday party where the birthday

CALENDAR LISTINGS CONTINUED ON PAGE 30

FRIDAY, 7/27

Chris Stapleton ToyoTa amphiTheaTre, 7pm, $49.75$89.75

Are we in a golden age of country music? Probably not. We can still listen to the best we’ve got though, and Stapleton is up MUSIC there. The bearded guru of grasslands has one hell of a voice, and it’s not the over-exaggerated, pandering twang you hear from most pop-country shmucks. He’s got critical acclaim out the wazoo and the soulful magic to back it up. 2677 Forty Mile Road in Wheatland, chrisstapleton.com. PHOTO COURTESY OF ANDY BARRON

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Mammoth Festival of Beers & Bluesapalooza AuguSt 2–5, 2018 · MAMMoth LAkeS, CA Showcasing the best craft breweries in the country and top blues performers outdoors among the pines: this is Mammoth’s biggest event—4 days of fun in the sun. It’s the perfect place to spend a “blues and brews” weekend. • saturday cOncerts ncerts 12:15pm– 11:30pm and unlimited Beer tasting nOOn–5:00pm

• Friday night rOck ’n’ Blues cOncert 5:00–11:30pm

• cOmmemOrative tasting drinkware

Order sweetdeals Online tOday!

boy can’t possibly show up. That’s right, fictional character and Daniel Radcliffe lookalike Harry Potter has his birthday on July 31, and it’s time to party with snacks, wand decorations, costumes and more. Tuesday 7/31, 4pm. no cover. 2109 Del Paso Blvd.

SyLvan oaKS LiBrary: Pens & Paper Readers/

40% off

• Free admissiOn tO BeyOnd BluesapalOOza thursday 5:30–11:30pm

CaLendar LiSTinGS ConTinUed From paGe 29

orIgInAL prICe $140

you pAy $84

Writers Club. A teen might develop a passion for reading and writing here, or just get more in touch with their creative side. Thursday 7/26, 4pm. no cover. Hawks, Honkers & Hoots. Birds: What are they? Animals? Perhaps, but they also lead secret lives unbeknownst to many. Attend this if you care to learn more about birds of prey. Wednesday 8/1, 4pm. no cover. 6700 Auburn Blvd. in Citrus Heights.

SPortS & outdoorS Saturday, 7/28 FLoWer Farm U-piCK evenTS: If city life has got you down, come see where the towers meet the flowers, where the people meet the sepals, where the streets meet the peat. This you-pick flower sale shines in an urban environment. 9am, no cover. Flourish Farm, 317 5th St. in West Sacramento.

SaLoonS oF THe WiLd, WiLd WeST: Take a walk on the wild west side and see what old-timey saloons in Sacramento were like. You’ll walk through the cemetery and see the city as it was a century or two ago. 7pm, $10. Sacramento Historic City Cemetery, 1000 Broadway.

Sunday, 7/29 WeST SaCramenTo UrBan Farm BiKe ToUr:

See event highlight below. 9am, no cover-$10. Lake Washington Farm, 1990 Lake Washington Blvd. in West Sacramento.

wedneSday, 8/1 iCe Cream WaLK: Get ready to walk like you’re going to get ice cream at the end of the walk, because you are. This walk, organized by the Walking Sticks, takes avid leg-lifters through Land and Curtis Parks, from Vic’s Ice Cream to Gunther’s. It’s free to attend, but you’ll have to purchase your dairy

dessert. 5:30pm, no cover. Vic’s Ice Cream, 3199 Riverside Blvd.

taKe action tHurSday, 7/26 CannaBiS STaKeHoLder meeTinGS: See what’s going on in the world of Cannabis in Sacramento. Hosted by the Office of Cannabis Policy & Enforcement, this meeting allows industry officials and local governance to interface in City Council Chambers. 2pm, no cover. City Hall, 915 I St.

Friday, 7/27 aCorn CreeK TraiLHead WorK day: So you like using trails? When was the last time you helped maintain one? If it was recently, I’m sorry for sounding so holier-than-thou, but you could still go to this event to maintain the trail. Bring your necessities as well as work gloves, and know that it will be dang warm. 9am, no cover. Acorn Creek Trailhead, 348 Highway 49 in Coloma.

claSSeS Friday, 7/27 doodLe diSC SCraTCH arT: If your teenagers are feeling rebellious, have them blow off some steam by ruining some CDs in an artistic way at this library event. 3pm, no cover. Rocklin Branch Library, 4890 Granite Drive in Rocklin.

Saturday, 7/28 TeenS CreaTe: In 2018, a crack unit of teenage artists was assembled by the Sacramento Fine Arts Center. These teens promptly began various community art projects in the Carmichael underground. Now, still sought after for their creativity, they survive as a guerilla art force. If you’ve got the drive to make murals and banners, and if you can find them, maybe you can join the Teens Create team. 1pm, no cover. Sacramento Fine Arts Center, 5330-B Gibbons Drive in Carmichael.

Sunday, 7/29

West Sac Urban Farm Bike Tour Lake Washington Farm, 9am, $10 donation

Bike like your agricultural awareness depends on it, because it does! Grease up your gears and take a 7-mile-long bike tour that spans four urban farms in West Sac, each run by the Center for Land-Based Learning. You’ll get to taste what’s growing, PHoto courteSy oF tHe center For land-BaSed learninG meet the farmers and feel the urban dirt between your toes, if you take your shoes off. The ride SporTS and oUTdoorS will stay away from busy streets and shows off the utilitarian usage of formerly vacant lots. 1990 Lake Washington Boulevard, landbasedlearning.org/bike-tour.

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submit your calendar listings for free at newsreview.com/sacramento/calendar THURSDAY 7/26

FRIDAY 7/27

SATURDAY 7/28

SUNDAY 7/29

MONDAY-WEDNESDAY 7/30-8/1

Badlands

Poprockz 90s Night, 7pm, call for cover,

Kameron Michaels from Drag Race, 10pm, $15-$25

Spectacular Saturdays, 7pm, call for cover

B.P.M. & Sunday Funday Remixed, 4pm, call for cover

Karaoke Night, 9pm, T, call for cover; Trapicana, 10pm, W, call for cover

BaR 101

Steve Stizzo Trio, 6:30pm, call for cover

Mike PZ, 9:30pm, call for cover

6 Year Anniversary Party, 11:30am, no cover

Zuhg, 9:30pm, no cover

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

Blue lamp

Mystic Priestess, 8pm, call for cover

Graveshadow, Solanum and more, 8pm, call for cover

Live and Direct CT, Quincy Black and Masyah, 9pm, call for cover

The BoaRdwalk

Maryann Cotton, 8pm, call for cover

Failure By Proxy, Trigger Effect, Soulwood and more, 7pm, $10

Rash, 8:30pm, $10

CapiTol GaRaGe

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

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

CResT TheaTRe

The Karate Kid (1984), 7:30pm, $7.50$9.50

2003 k ST., (916) 448-8790 101 MAIN ST., ROSEvIllE, (916) 774-0505 1400 AlHAMbRA blvD., (916) 455-3400 9426 GREENbAck lN., ORANGEvAlE, (916) 358-9116 1500 k ST., (916) 444-3633

PHOTO cOURTESY OF AbbY ROSS

the voidz

1013 k ST., (916) 476-3356

FaCes

2000 k ST., (916) 448-7798

1001 R ST., (916) 443-8825

According to Bazooka, 7pm, no cover

Working Man’s Blues Band and Adam Block, 9pm, $5

GoldField TRadinG Co.

Amador Sons, 7:30pm, no cover

halFTime BaR & GRill

Vagabond Brothers, 5pm, call for cover

1630 J ST., (916) 476-5076

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

haRlow’s

2708 J ST., (916) 441-4693

Antsy McClain, 5:30pm, $20-$25; Ron Artis II & the Truth, 10pm, $12-$14

Lil Darrion, 5:30pm, $10-$15

1910 Q ST., (916) 706-2465 Cash Kidd, 7pm, $20-$25

wimps

kupRos

with Woolen Men and more 8pm Friday, $10 Cafe Colonial Punk rock

luna’s CaFe & JuiCe BaR

Whiskey Society Dinner, 7pm, T, call for cover Open-Mic Night, 7:30pm, M, no cover; All Vinyl Wednesdays, 8pm, W, no cover

Roots of a Rebellion, Rooftops and Eazy Dub, $10-$12, 7:30pm

Smokehouse Acoustic and Crossman Connection, 7:30pm, W, no cover Let's Get Quizzical, 7pm, T, no cover; Bingo, 7pm, W, $10

Honyock, Doombird and Tre Burt, 8pm, $10-$12 Draw Pinky and Knock Knock, 5pm, $5

hiGhwaTeR 1517 21ST ST.

Melissa Etheridge, 7:30pm, T, $59-$639

The Triple 7’s and Occupy the Trees, 9pm, $5

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The Trivia Factory, 7pm, M, no cover; Geeks Who Drink, 6pm, T, no cover Creed Bratton, Control, Sam Hones and Amber DeLaRosa, 7pm, $20-$25 Kupros Quiz, 7:30pm, no cover

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

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

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David Houston & String Theory and Kevin Seconds, 8pm, $6

Creative Music and Jazz, 7:30pm, M, $10; Jaime Fernandez, 8pm, W, no cover

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The Michael Gregory Band, 6pm, $10

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submit your calendar listings for free at newsreview.com/sacramento/calendar THURSDAY 7/26

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curtain drawn shut, aim the shower head toward an inside corner. Now sit outside, on the edge of the tub. As steam accumulates, blow hits into the shower. Misty air will eliminate the smoke. Even if the bathroom is equipped with fire sprinklers, steam from a shower won’t set them off. For more caution, position a wet towel along the bottom of the door.

use pipes, not joints

The cannabis-friendly Desert Hot Springs Inn features a backyard smoking lounge. Photo by Ken Magri

cannabis travels

the dryer-sheet filter

Hassle-free strategies for tourists who want to light up

imagine you’re a tourist in Sacramento and want to get high. After locating a dispensary on the edge of downtown, you purchase some local, top-shelf buds. Now where do you smoke them? Unlike Portland or San Francisco, Sacramento has no private lounges, cafes or dispensaries where a visitor can light up. When travelers don’t have public choices, they most often choose to smoke in their hotel rooms. It’s legal, because renting the room for a night constitutes a private residence. But the management doesn’t like it. “Most hotels have a $250 cleaning charge if they go into your room and smell smoke,” said John Thatcher, innkeeper at the Desert Hot Springs Inn. “It’s a boxed item you initial on your check-in sheet.” The Desert Hot Springs Inn, located near Palm Springs, is a rare “cannabis friendly” spa that allows smoking in its 34

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07.26.18

large backyard, and vaping in all rooms and around the pool. They will even help you find a local dispensary. Among the first in a growing trend towards accommodating cannabis smokers, Thatcher says bookings are up 50 percent since the hotel’s policy change. “The guests don’t have to be discrete, just respectful of the other guests. Cannabis guests are very low-key and a great group to host,” Thatcher said. But for those traveling to destinations other than the Coachella Valley, we compiled a few strategies for hassle-free hotel-room smoking.

room with a balcony The easiest solution is to book a room with a balcony. Open air dissipates cannabis smoke faster than anything. A balcony allows you to discreetly step outside, blow

Joints are not as practical as tourists think. They produce too much smoke, especially between hits. A pipe makes less smoke because the bowl can be covered and relit. Homemade pipes and bongs have been fashioned out of everything from an apple to a Pringles can. The simplest design for travelers requires only an empty aluminum can and a pin. Push in and down along the side of the can until its crumpling metal forms a bowl. Poke holes at the bottom of the bowl, and voila! Afterward, the pipe can be stomped down and flattened for recycling.

Take along scented dryer sheets in a zip-lock bag. Once at the hotel, save a cardboard tube from a toilet paper roll, By Ken Magri crumple up the dryer sheets and stuff them into the tube. When cannabis hits are blown through the tube, the smoke comes out smelling like the clothes a hit into the atmosphere, and step back dryer. Using five sheets, we tested this in. If the hotel’s website doesn’t show method on a friend who doesn’t smoke balconies, call and ask, or look cannabis. After hot-boxing a elsewhere. small bathroom, she came The travel site in and said, “Smells like greentripz.com lists “Most hotels dryer sheets.” both cannabishave a $250 cleaning friendly hotels clean up charge if they go into and hotels with and tip the private balconies. your room and smell It also recommends housekeeper smoke.” cannabis-friendly A good general vacation rentals John Thatcher, rule is to leave in states that allow innkeeper Desert Hot Springs Inn behind a clean room adult-use cannabis. and five bucks for the housekeeper, with a note Shower with a that says “Thanks!” Such gratitude traditionally helps housebud keepers forget about roaches accidentally If you can’t find a balcony, retreat to the left behind in the bathroom soap dish. Ω bathroom and create a steamy sauna. Turn on the hot water and, with the shower


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07.26.18    |   SN&R   |   35


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Lethal reefer?

—Ivana LIv

—Dean Green

The cynical answer would be, “Not much unless you have millions of dollars to spend on lobbyists.” But stoners are known for optimism and hope, so I will let you know that the three-headed beast in charge of California cannabis regulations—the Bureau of Cannabis Control, the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the California Department of Public Health—are about to release their permanent regulations, but not before they hold some stakeholder meetings that will allow people to comment on rules and laws that need to be changed. You can find the proposed regulations here: cannabis.ca.gov/ cannabis-regulations. If you want to discuss these new rules, you can send a letter or attend one of the meetings being held by each department. Each department is holding three or four meetings in different parts of the state over the next month or so. Check out the California Cannabis Portal (sounds like a magical place, but it’s really just a website): cannabis.ca.gov for more info. Good luck. Ω

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illuStratioN By maria ratiNova

That’s weird. No one has ever died from eating too much weed. Ever. The only way eating weed could kill you is if you choked to death by trying to eat too fast. I checked out that web page (on sacramentoccy.org) and I gotta say, a lot of the claims they make seem to be designed to scare rather than to educate. I scoured the internet to see if anyone has ever died from eating a cannabis-infused edible. I found three deaths: two suicides and one homicide. These deaths are unfortunate, but no one can say for certain that cannabis caused these tragedies. Of course, children and teenagers should stay away from weed. People with a history of mental illness should also maybe not use cannabis. Duh. But I am of the opinion that being honest with kids is better than trying to scare them. I guess calling cannabis infused edibles “potentially lethal” is technically correct, but walking across the street could also be considered “potentially lethal.” Hell, with the way America is right now, just going to school could be considered “potentially lethal.” I feel like the Sacramento County Youth Marijuana Prevention Campaign could do a better job. Don’t forget that in states with legalized cannabis, rates of teen-use trend down. There is no reason to use fear as a tool when education and common sense will suffice.

Hey man. I am in the California cannabis industry and I would like to get a few of these new rules changed. What can I do about it?

SATURDAY

Hey. I was surfing the web, and I saw a Sacramento County website aimed at preventing teenagers from using marijuana. They had a post that said that cannabis infused edibles are “potentially lethal.” Is this true? Can I die from eating an edible?

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Free will astrology

by Ashley hAyes-stone

by Rob bRezsny

FOR ThE WEEk OF JULy 26, 2018 ARIES (March 21-April 19): Be extra polite and

deferential. Cultivate an exaggerated respect for the status quo. Spend an inordinate amount of time watching dumb TV shows while eating junk food. Make sure you’re exposed to as little natural light and fresh air as possible. JUST KIDDING! I lied! Ignore everything I just said! Here’s my real advice: Dare yourself to feel strong, positive emotions. Tell secrets to animals and trees. Swim and dance and meditate naked. Remember in detail the three best experiences you’ve ever had. Experiment with the way you kiss. Create a blessing that surprises you and everyone else. Sing new love songs. Change something about yourself you don’t like. Ask yourself unexpected questions, then answer them with unruly truths that have medicinal effects.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Your past is not

quite what it seems. The coming weeks will be an excellent time to find out why—and make the necessary adjustments. A good way to begin would be to burrow back into your old stories and unearth the half-truths buried there. It’s possible that your younger self wasn’t sufficiently wise to understand what was really happening all those months and years ago, and as a result, distorted the meaning of the events. I suspect, too, that some of your memories aren’t actually your own, but rather other people’s versions of your history. You may not have time to write a new memoir right now, but it might be healing to spend a couple of hours drawing up a revised outline of your important turning points.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): One of the most

famously obtuse book-length poems in the English language is Robert Browning’s Sordello, published in 1840. After studying it at length, Alfred Tennyson, who was Great Britain’s poet laureate from 1850 to 1892, confessed, “There were only two lines in it that I understood.” Personally, I did better than Tennyson, managing to decipher 18 lines. But I bet that if you read this dense, multi-layered text in the coming weeks, you would do better than me and Tennyson. That’s because you’ll be at the height of your cognitive acumen. Please note: I suggest you use your extra intelligence for more practical purposes than decoding obtuse texts.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Ready for your

financial therapy session? For your first assignment, make a list of the valuable qualities you have to offer the world and write a short essay about why the world should abundantly reward you for them. Assignment No. 2: Visualize what it feels like when your valuable qualities are appreciated by people who matter to you. No. 3: Say this: “I am a rich resource that ethical, reliable allies want to enjoy.” No. 4: Say this: “My scruples can’t be bought for any amount of money. I may rent my soul, but I’ll never sell it outright.”

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): As you wobble and stumble into the new world, you shouldn’t pretend you understand more than you actually do. In fact, I advise you to play up your innocence and freshness. Gleefully acknowledge you’ve got a lot to learn. Enjoy the liberating sensation of having nothing to prove. That’s not just the most humble way to proceed; it’ll be your smartest and most effective strategy. Even people who have been a bit skeptical of you before will be softened by your vulnerability. Opportunities will arise because of your willingness to be empty and open and raw.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Since 1358, the city

of Paris has used the Latin motto Fluctuat nec mergitur, which can be translated as “She is tossed by the waves but does not sink.” I propose that we install those stirring words as your rallying cry for the next few weeks. My analysis of the astrological omens gives me confidence that even though you may encounter unruly weather, you will sail on unscathed. What might be the metaphorical equivalent of taking seasick pills?

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The Spanish word

delicadeza can have several meanings in English, including “delicacy” and “finesse.” The Portuguese word delicadeza has those meanings, as well as others, including “tenderness,”

“fineness,” “suavity,” “respect,” and “urbanity.” In accordance with current astrological omens, I’m making it your word of power for the next three weeks. You’re in a phase when you will thrive by expressing an abundance of these qualities. It might be fun to temporarily give yourself the nickname Delicadeza.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Uninformed

scientists scorn my oracles. Reductionist journalists say I’m just another delusional fortuneteller. Materialist cynics accuse me of pandering to people’s superstition. But I reject those naïve perspectives. I define myself as a psychologically astute poet who works playfully to liberate my readers’ imaginations with inventive language, frisky stories and unpredictable ideas. Take a cue from me, Scorpio, especially in the next four weeks. Don’t allow others to circumscribe what you do or who you are. Claim the power to characterize yourself. Refuse to be squeezed into any categories, niches, or images—except those that squeeze you the way you like to be squeezed.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): “I have no

notion of loving people by halves; it is not my nature. My attachments are always excessively strong.” So said Sagittarian novelist Jane Austen. I don’t have any judgment about whether her attitude was right or wrong, wise or ill-advised. How about you? Whatever your philosophical position might be, I suggest that for the next four weeks you activate your inner Jane Austen and let that part of you shine—not just in relation to whom and what you love but also with everything that rouses your passionate interest. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you’re due for some big, beautiful, radiant zeal.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): “There are

truths I haven’t even told God,” confessed Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector. “And not even myself. I am a secret under the lock of seven keys.” Are you harboring any riddles or codes or revelations that fit that description, Capricorn? Are there any sparks or seeds or gems that are so deeply concealed they’re almost lost? If so, the coming weeks will be an excellent time to bring them up out of their dark hiding places. If you’re not quite ready to show them to God, you should at least unveil them to yourself. Their emergence could spawn a near-miracle or two.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): What are your

goals for your top-two alliances or friendships? By that I mean, what would you like to accomplish together? How do you want to influence and inspire each other? What effects do you want your relationships to have on the world? Now maybe you’ve never even considered the possibility of thinking this way. Maybe you simply want to enjoy your bonds and see how they evolve rather than harnessing them for greater goals. That’s fine. No pressure. But if you are interested in shaping your connections with a more focused sense of purpose, the coming weeks will be an excellent time to do so.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): In Janet Fitch’s

novel White Oleander, a character makes a list of “twenty-seven names for tears,” including “Heartdew. Griefhoney. Sadwater. Die tränen. Eau de douleur. Los rios del corazón.” (The last three can be translated as “The Tears,” “Water of Pain,” and “The Rivers of the Heart.”) I invite you to emulate this playfully extravagant approach to the art of crying. The coming weeks will be an excellent time to celebrate and honor your sadness, as well as all the other rich emotions that provoke tears. You’ll be wise to feel profound gratitude for your capacity to feel so deeply. For best results, go in search of experiences and insights that will unleash the full cathartic power of weeping. Act as if empathy is a superpower.

A funny room The Free Hooch Comedy Troupe had just finished another set in front of a dimly lit bar full of patrons too busy drinking and socializing to pay attention to the open-mic talent on stage. One of the members, Brian Crall, knew that improv and sketch comedy needed more than just a weekday open-mic stage in a bar full of clinking glasses and rambunctious crowds. So in 2005,

Crall and fellow troupe member Ron Dumonchelle emptied out their pockets to launch the Sacramento Comedy Spot, where locals have a place dedicated to laughs. The Comedy Spot offers a variety of comedy shows and also offers classes in improv, stand-up and sketch comedy. Crall chatted with SN&R about the time he tried to perform while high, overcoming stage fright and how the community has kept the Comedy Spot going.

What made you want to pursue comedy? I didn’t want to pursue comedy at first; I wanted to be an actor. I was at Sac State, and I was a theater student, and right after college I asked a buddy of mine, “What do we do now?” And we were thinking about doing plays and things like that, and he was like, “Well, you should do sketch comedy.” I don’t know why, but I was like, “OK, let’s do that.” And so we did—we formed a sketch comedy troupe. I think the idea was we were going to do one show and then see how it went and probably move on to something else, but then we were like, “No, this is pretty cool.” By the way, the guy who told me I should do sketch comedy never joined the sketch comedy group, but that’s how it started off—over beer.

Favorite comedian and why? I love Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. And when it comes to old school, I like [John] Belushi and Chris Farley. I really like Amy because she will do anything, Tina Fey is one of the smartest writers ever seen, and Belushi and Chris Farley are just physical and crazy. I really try to bring that to my own comedy by being physical but being smart at the same time, and so those four are really good examples of what I try to bring to the stage.

Worst experience onstage? 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.

We do a show called Drunk versus High, and the idea of the [improv] show is one team is drunk and one team is high, and the audience picks the winner. Usually, the high team wins because the drunk team is too drunk. We do monitor everything and keep it safe, but it still doesn’t matter because the drunk

PHOTO BY ASHLEY HAYES-STONE

team will always lose and the high team will always be OK. I don’t smoke, so I was like, “I will do the high team.” So, I wasn’t used to it, and the show length is about 20 minutes, and for that entire time I just stood in the back hanging onto the wall. And one time, someone mentioned a bird, and I walked forward and I was like “Ca-caw” and I went right back to the wall. I was telling people backstage, “I think I am time-traveling.” That was probably my worst moment onstage.

Biggest challenges while opening the Comedy Spot? We had zero money coming into this. We were able to take out a loan, which was pretty cool, but we did everything on the cheap. We used our creative juices and we were like, “How could we save money and open this thing on a shoestring or no budget?” If it wasn’t for the people who were super into it, it would never have succeeded. So creativity, lots of loyal and very hungry people that wanted to do something different.

What type of shows do you offer? We have things that are accessible to everybody. We do improv, stand-up and sketch, so if you are into more traditional comedy like stand-up, there is something for you. If you like something more like Saturday Night Live there is something for you, or if you like shows like Whose Line Is It Anyway? we have something like that. My favorite show is Anti-Cooperation League, which is a long-form improv show. We have Lady Business, which is the first all-women improv team in Sacramento. We have sketch shows

like Squad Patrol which is our Friday show, and then we do some weird shit. The later it gets, the weirder it gets.

Dead or alive, which comedian would you want to perform at the Comedy Spot? What really drew me to long-form improv was an improv group I saw at the Upright Citizen Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles called ASSSSCAT. That’s where I took classes, and I would be at the theater all night long. I had my favorite performers, and I was always excited when they were in the show, so I would love for the cast of ASSSSCAT to come to Comedy Spot, because so much of what I have tried to do in Sacramento has been what I really fell in love with when I went to LA.

Any advice for anyone who wants to pursue comedy, but has stage fright? Just do it. I had horrible stage fright when I started this. The kind of stage fright where my body would physically tense up to the point where I couldn’t use my arm and it would tense into my chest. I kept on getting onstage, and sometimes I would succeed and sometimes I would fail, but the more I got onstage, the less I failed. I’m not saying I don’t fail now, because I do, but I fail less because I get up onstage and I stopped having that stage fright. It’s like anything else in life; if you want to get good at it, you just have to do it. Ω Check out saccomedyspot.com for information about classes and tickets for upcoming shows and events.

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