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Volume 30, iSSue 19

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thurSday, auguSt 23, 2018

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EditoR’S NotE

auguSt 23, 2018 | Vol. 30, iSSuE 19

20 24

27 Stiavetti, Dylan Svoboda, Bev Sykes, Graham Womack

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. Interim Editor Rachel Leibrock 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, Brad Branan, Rob Brezsny, Skye Cabrera, Aaron Carnes, Jim Carnes, Maia Paras Evrigenis, Joey Garcia, Kate Gonzales, Becky Grunewald, Howard Hardee, Ashley Hayes-Stone, Jeff Hudson, Rebecca Huval, Jim Lane, Ken Magri, Rachel Mayfield, Michael Mott, James Raia, Patti Roberts, Steph Rodriguez, Shoka, Stephanie

Eat. Drink. Be Merry. Repeat.

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 Duncan Rawlinson, Lucas Fitzgerald, Kate Gonzales

35 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 Publications Associate Editor Laura Hillen N&R Publications Writers Anne Stokes, Rodney Orosco

Advertising Manager Michael Gelbman Sales & Production Coordinator Victoria Smedley Senior Advertising Consultants Rosemarie Messina,

Marketing & Publications Consultants Steve

Kelsi White

President/CEO Jeff vonKaenel Director of Nuts & Bolts Deborah Redmond Director of People & Culture David Stogner Nuts & Bolts Ninja Norma Huerta Project Coordinator Natasha vonKaenel Director of Dollars & Sense Debbie Mantoan Payroll/AP Wizard Miranda Hansen Accounts Receivable Specialist Analie Foland Developer John Bisignano System Support Specialist Kalin Jenkins

Advertising Consultants Taleish Daniels, Mark Kates, Michael Nero

Director of First Impressions/Sweetdeals Coordinator Skyler Morris Distribution Director Greg Erwin Distribution Assistant Lob Dunnica Distribution Drivers Mansour Aghdam, Beatriz Aguirre, Rosemarie Beseler, Kimberly Bordenkircher, Daniel Bowen, Heather Brinkley, Kathleen Caesar, Mike Cleary, Tom Downing,

Caruso, Joseph Engle, Elizabeth Morabito, Traci Hukill, Celeste Worden

05 07 08 13 20 22 24 25 26 27 35

STREETALK LETTERS NEwS FEATuRE SToRy ARTS & CuLTuRE DiSh STAgE FiLM MuSiC CALENDAR CApiTAL CANNAbiS guiDE 44 ASK joEy 47 15 MiNuTES CovER DESigN by SARAh hANSEL CovER phoTo by DuNCAN RAwLiNSoN

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Editorial Policies: Opinions expressed in SN&R are those of the authors and not of Chico Community Publishing, Inc. Contact the editor for permissions to reprint articles, cartoons or other portions of the paper. SN&R is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or review materials. Email letters to 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.

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Last week, we lost two longtime  Sacramento creators, mixedmedia artist Nathan Cordero to  complications following a seizure, and  Steve Mitchell, a veteran drummer,  after a long bout with a brain tumor.  And last month, it felt like we  almost lost Jerry Perry, the beloved  show booker/organizer who survived  a stroke and is in recovery.    Cordero was a regional favorite in  high art spaces, having participated in  a charity exhibition at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco,  enrolled into the competitive Djerassi  Resident Artists Program in Santa  Cruz, and become one of the first  residents at Verge Center for the Arts  when it moved locations downtown  eight years ago. But after talking with Liv Moe,  Cordero’s friend and Verge’s founding  director, it became clear that just as  important as how the man put forgotten materials to use—paint chips,  arrowheads and cigarette butts, for  example—was how he made folks  around him feel. “One of the things that was really  striking to me was just how many  people’s lives Nate touched,” Moe  said, “how many people are   distraught for losing him.” The same could be said for those  mourning Mitchell. On social   media, Mitchell is inseparable from his  drumset and smiling company. In the  late ’70s, he played in a popular Dallas  clubbing band called Uncle Rainbow,  and when he moved to Sac, gigged  regularly. Aside from being a sweet  guy, he “never missed beat,” wrote  former bandmate Adrian Bourgeois. The legacies of these three far   extend the work they’ve accomplished. Artists impact more than  a city’s aesthetic, and sometimes  tragedy provides the evidence.

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

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“Social depreSSion—people tend to act Stronger than they are.”

Asked At Mckinley PArk:

What stories are local media missing?

Alfred VAughn mechanic

A lot of personal family get-togethers, like families uniting. These days, with the internet, we’re not as close as we should be.

Jonelle MA x well

MAnolo MedinA construction worker

writer

To be honest with you, social depression—people tend to act stronger than they are.

The mental illness is really a big thing here. I’m from the East Coast, and there’s certain things that aren’t covered … The homeless in the area, some of them go into restaurants to take food and not pay … Certain restaurants are losing money.

dAVe ne Alon

MichAel wAkeford-eVAns

MArio MArtin

financial adviser

cannabis business owner

I would love to see some stories about some youth that have gone on to do things like Greta Gerwig—who’ve gone on to do exceptional things … to kind of give older people like me hope, and to give youth something to aspire to.

student

Maybe more on how local businesses feel about local government … In the community, there’s a lot of people who want to know more about the building going on downtown.

Stories that are happening locally and less coverage of things happening nationally.

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Superheated debate Re: “Welcome to California” by Alastair Bland (Feature, August 16): Contrary to the suggestion by professor Richard Grotjahn, superheated days in Sacramento and the Valley are nothing new.  My first experience with Sacramento summer heat began in June and July 1985, when  the heat routinely exceeded 100 every day for almost the entire period, or,  as Grotjahn said, “days and days and days and days.”  I agree that human  activity can and likely has caused climate change; I disagree with the  sensational statements by those cited as authorities in your article.

terence KilpatricK sacr a m e nt o v i a s act ol et t er s @ n ew s r ev i e w . c o m

Sound the climate change alarm Re: “Welcome to California” by Alastair Bland (Feature, August 16): I seem to recall that, some 15 years ago, scientists and

politicians would “caution” over being alarmist over climate change (this was, of course, in the early days when public awareness was growing). They wanted to offer up hope that these problems are not insurmountable and can be overcome, but that being alarmist, people would say, “If it’s hopeless,

RODRIGO Y GABRIELA Saturday, September 22

why do anything at all?!” I used to buy into that line of thinking. Today, as I watch the world melt and burn, and as I raise two young kids, I realize that how we respond to such doom and gloom is much like how my kids respond to that same doom and gloom. It is something along the lines of, “Oh yeah! I’ll show you!” Maybe, as we see the worst scenarios of scientific predictions play out decades sooner than anticipated, we should have been more alarmist and the world could have responded with, “Oh yeah, we’ll show you!” On the other hand humanity has actually been trying to jump out of that pot of boiling water for decades but the captains of capitalism have been slamming the lid down on us every time. So maybe, in the end, it would have been pointless anyway since we never really seemed interested in removing the purveyor’s of the status quo from power. Jeff Doll elk Grove via newsreview.com

SKID ROW

WITH WARRANT

Saturday, September 29

Good walls Re: “Wide Open Walls Returns” by Steph Rodriguez (News, August 16): All of the art is spectacular and having it all over the city is truly a blessing. Whether you’re walking, biking or driving you’ll be able to see and enjoy many pieces. I think it’s great that Sacramento has embraced this project year after year! Best way to see most of the downtown works is by bicycle. GreG Harwell elk Gr o v e v i a ne w s r e v ie w.c o m

Bad balls Re: “Bad medicine ball” by Maxfield Morris (Off Menu, August 16): I still don’t understand why using another wall is not feasible. Imagine, would you want to dine in a room where someone is pounding a sledgehammer against the other side of the wall? That’s the sound of the medicine

balls. I offered [the gym] $50 towards the expense of moving equipment. How much would it cost? Wouldn’t outside walls be stronger than inside walls?

read more letters online at newsreview .com/sacramento.

James mcritcHie elk Gr o v e v ia ne wsr e v ie w.c o m @SacNewsReview

Correction In the August 16, 2018, feature story “Welcome to California,” Rep. Steve Scalise is misidentified as being from Los Angeles. He is from Louisiana. A math error in the same story said the Earth could become 8.6 degrees Fahrenheit warmer by 2100 under worst case climate change projections. It would actually be 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit. SN&R regrets the errors.

Facebook.com/ SacNewsReview

@SacNewsReview

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Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee (left) discusses the Affordable Care Act with SN&R publisher and CEO Jeff vonKaenel (right). Also pictured—Amy Palmer, director of communications and public relations for Covered California. Photo by lucas fitzgerald

Health care’s state of emergency Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee explains  why the Affordable Care Act must survive by Jeff vonKaenel learn more about covered california at coveredca.com.

As program director of the National AIDS Network in the 1980s, Peter Lee helped organize protests outside the While House, as then-President Ronald Reagan refused to confront the epidemic. Lee’s main focus at the time was getting access to health care for the hundreds of thousands of Americans affected by the epidemic. Three decades later, Lee found himself visiting the White House again, while working for President Barack Obama as the deputy director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. Now, five years into his tenure as Covered California’s executive director, Lee remains committed to the cause of health-care access. And his main adversary is again the man in the White House. SN&R publisher and CEO Jeff vonKaenel visited Lee in his Sacramento office last

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month to discuss the Affordable Care Act, skyrocketing costs and California’s role in the future of health care. Since Donald Trump took office, it seems like every day there’s a new issue, a new conflict in relation to Covered California and the Affordable Care Act. I can’t keep track of them all. What is keeping you up at night about these issues? Well, the thing I’d start with is the reminder of where we are not. President Trump ran on a platform that included “repeal-and-replace” the Affordable Care Act. And it’s so important that we are light-years away from that. And I think there’s been a referendum in Washington, but it said we are not repealing the Affordable Care Act. I think the fundamental thing to recognize, which is very good news, is

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

that the Affordable Care Act, one of the most politicized pieces of legislation ever, withstood attempts to repeal it. Because it makes sense across the political spectrum. You had Republican governors saying, “Wait a second, we expanded Medicaid. This program makes sense.” You had Republican members of Congress saying, “Boy, we’re never going back to the day when we will deny coverage to a woman with breast cancer.” That is a fundamental change in America. But I will talk about what I call “the nipping at the heels.” One fundamental element of ACA relates to the restructuring of the insurance system—risk adjustment—which has now been repealed as part of the [federal] tax act of last year, which also did away with the ACA’s mandate.

That will mean two things: that there will be hundreds of thousands of Californians that are uninsured because they think it’s smarter to roll the dice on not having coverage, and that premiums will go up for everyone else. So that, in essence, all Californians, including those with employer-based coverage, are gonna pay more. Is there a California solution? Absolutely. Four states have state-based penalties, and Massachusetts had one before the Affordable Care Act. Since this action, Maryland, New Jersey and Vermont have all put in place state-based penalties. Is it being considered here in California? It’s absolutely being talked about, but it’s one of these political issues where no legislator wants to say, “I passed the eatyour-spinach legislation.” It’s tough. Even if it makes a world of sense, and even if it is the case that a penalty, to my mind, is like a seat-belt law. If you don’t wear your seat belt, you could say, “I wanted to take a risk. I don’t want to wear a seat belt. Screw you.” But that means sometimes you’re going through a windshield and we’re all gonna pay the bill. We spend $100 million on marketing and outreach every year, and we keep doing it year after year because people turn over. One of the things that I give thanks for, and one of the reasons I sleep well, is because eight years ago, Gov. [Arnold] Schwarzenegger and a Democratic legislature set up a state-based marketplace.


Origins Of crime guns see neWs

11

DefenDing the gas tax see neWs

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beats

mOving numbers We just heard yesterday, the feds, which already cut their marketing spending from $100 million to $10 million, are cutting their navigator spending from $60 million to $10 million. If California hadn’t made the decision to run its own marketplace, we would be impacted by that. And so who’s going to be paying the costs? I mean, the thing that’s such a travesty, such an irony, is that the decision to not spend money on marketing will lead to higher premiums. And it’s not going to hit people that get subsidies. Subsidies will increase to offset increased premiums. Who’s it going to hit? It’s going to hit the unsubsidized middle class. Lets go over the challenges. You mentioned removing the penalty. there has been some discussion on pre-existing conditions. are there other things? The expansion of limited-benefit plans [such as] short-term duration plans or association plans. None of them have standard benefits, meaning they have exclusions for certain conditions. They might exclude mental health coverage. They might exclude maternity [leave]. You think you’re getting a good deal because the premium’s lower, but it’s because you may be buying something much worse. if you want to use it, then you’re in trouble. so let’s go back to the state solutions. We talked about the penalty: There’s clear running room for a state to establish a penalty. There’s also running room for the state to establish other mechanisms to get people into insurance. We’re looking at automatic enrollment. So when someone leaves employer-based coverage, they automatically get signed up. And these limited-benefit plans: States can outlaw them. There’s a piece of legislation under consideration right now that would basically outlaw [private], short-term plans. Covered California is a short-term plan—people come in and out all the time. Every year, 40 percent of our people leave. And for good reasons, not because they don’t like us; they leave because they get a job and employer-based coverage. They leave because they turn 65. So you could actually, as a state, outlaw those [private] products or regulate them stringently. California has a very positive history of strong consumer protections in the healthcare arena. So the Department of Managed Health Care thinks actively about the scope of benefits. This is part of the culture of California—to make sure consumers have someone who has their back.

there’s been discussion about restructuring California wanted a range of choices. In health-care insurance, either with singleNorthern California, in the very beginning payer or a public option. What are your days, we approached CenCal [Health], thoughts on those? which is a Medi-Cal plan, a public plan. And I’m very much a focused-on-the-herethey said: “Excuse me, we’re about to grow and-now kind of guy. We have with the our Medi-Cal enrollment by threefold, and Affordable Care Act, the tools, if we keep you want us to be distracted by this? Give making it work, to be very, very close to me a break.” And so it wasn’t from lack of universal coverage. To my mind, what we mission alignment, it’s bandwidth. So the should be trying to do is get everybody issue of a public option, I’m really not sure coverage, spend less money on administrawhat it means or how you structure it. tive waste and spend more money One of the things the effectively on people getting Affordable Care Act did, the right care at the right which isn’t talked about “While we time. And whether you much, is provide new spend double have a single-payer foundational support system or a very for community what the rest of the diverse system health centers in developed world spends on doesn’t say you California, which health care, we spend half necessarily get are some of the there. best delivery what the rest of the world The other systems in the spends on social policies that thing to rememworld. But there lead to better health.” ber is that about were two elements 70 percent of that I think were Peter Lee health-care dollars probably really executive director, Covered are public dollars flawed and this comes California today. When you add back to the public option. up Medicare spending, One was the idea that Medi-Cal spending—one-third we should set up a new publicly of Californians under 65 now has Mediaccountable plan to compete with the other Cal—and the employer tax benefit; it’s a plans. We called them co-ops. Most all of lot. So public funding is the vast majority of them failed and they lost a lot of money. health-care spending today. They didn’t do a good job because health The thing that we do spend [more on] insurance is complicated. And so the idea of, compared to other nations is administra“let’s set up new things”—it’s really hard tion; it’s about 8 percent of our spending, to do. compared to 3 percent. That’s a lot, but that The other failed program was the “risk difference between 3 and 8 percent doesn’t corridor” program, which said, if you as a account for our health-care costs being health plan lose a lot of money, don’t worry, double. So let’s be really clear that a singlethe federal government will have your back. payer solution, if it’s trying to focus only That ended up meaning health plans could on administration, doesn’t get us anywhere take big risks. And they lost a boatload of close to why we spend a lot more money money. And then congress changed the than most of the world. policy and said, “We ain’t funding it.” The bigger issue is we pay more for In California, we didn’t have plans using everything. And this isn’t at the insurancethat program, because they made money. company level. It’s because we pay doctors Partly because we at Covered California more; we pay hospitals more; we pay more actively negotiate with every health plan for drugs. And so the challenge we have is and help them set their rates. And when I we need to, number one, make sure people say help them—we don’t want plans to lose aren’t getting unnecessary care. money; if they lose money, they’re going to make it up next year. But we also don’t want What do you think of the public option to make too much money. expansion and single payer? In the rest of the nation, there wasn’t In Covered California we have 11 health anyone doing that. And that led to a lot of plans that compete for enrollment. One of instability in 2015 and ’16. Not in California, them is LA Care. LA Care is the largest but in the rest of the nation. Medicaid plan in the nation. It is a public option. It’s a publicly responsible entity. Our second largest plan in California is Blue Shield of California, which is a nonprofit. So … what do we mean by a public “heaLth care’s state Of emergencY” option? From day one, we at Covered cOntinueD On page 10

A California Public Records Act request filed by SN&R and other news agencies has revealed that the cost for Gov. Jerry Brown’s embattled Delta tunnels project jumped more than $2 billion in the last two months. Nevertheless, one of the directors for the agency that was recently formed to plug its multibillion-dollar funding gap called that revelation “false news” during a public meeting Aug. 16. That director recanted his statement, after the cameras were off, when SN&R showed him official documents from his own agency proving the new $19.9 billion estimate was real. Gary Kremen, a board member of the Delta Conveyance Finance Authority, casts his media aspersions during his organization’s last meeting at the Sacramento Public Library. The DCFA was formed in July to search for a way pay for the California WaterFix, better known as the twin tunnels, after Westland Water District voted not to support it, leaving a $3 billion funding deficit. Despite the fact that many of Cal WaterFix’s permits have not yet been issued and there are scores of pending lawsuits against it due to fears it will collapse the Delta’s ecosystem and shutter some of its towns, Brown formed the DCFA to keep his legacy project moving ahead. The DCFA plans to make up the funding gap through strategic investments and debt obligations. All five of its members, including Kremen, are on boards or management of water districts that will get more flow from the Delta if the tunnels are built. In mid-August, SN&R obtained an official letter from the DCFA’s executive director, Brian Thomas, to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which states the organization is seeking a $1.6 billion loan from the federal government. In the letter, Thomas puts the project’s latest price tag at $19.9 billion, rather than the $16.3 billion state officials were using just months ago when the boards for various water agencies voted to support it. On the morning of the DCFA’s last meeting, The Brentwood News broke the story about the tunnels’ new price tag, quickly followed by The Sacramento Bee. Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director for Restore the Delta, blasted the DCFA’s board during public comment for not posting Thomas’s letter on its website. “You’re a public agency and that material should have been made public,” Barrigan-Parrilla said. “That letter also states that no federal money has been used on the project’s planning process, however, a state auditor’s report found that $84 million of federal money had been used. So, are you going to pay that money back, or are you going to correct and re-submit your letter?” The DCFA’s board and staff did not respond to her, though Kremen, speaking into his microphone, called The Bee and Brentwood News reports “false news.” After the meeting, SN&R showed Kremen the letter from organization’s executive director that clearly prices the tunnels at $19.9 billion. Kremen, who had just voted on the DCFA’s operating budget and debt management policy, told SN&R he had never seen that figure before. He reluctantly acknowledged the figure was authentic. Sacramento District 5 Supervisor Don Nottoli, a vocal opponent of Cal WaterFix, said Californians are fooling themselves if they think the tunnels’ price tag will stop at $20 billion. “I’m not surprised about these new estimates,” Notoli told SN&R. “It’s a mega-project that has so many unknowns. When it comes to something of this scale, we knew that the old number of $17 billion was just a down payment.” (Scott Thomas Anderson)

08.23.18 08.23.18   |  |  sN&R  SN&R  | |  09  9


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ain’t going to cut 3 percent out of the GDP. Rather, I’d say, “Sorry, if you want a czar that can do that. That’s a czar that’s living in la-la land.” What would I do to reduce cost growth? One, we should be looking at having caps on what some providers charge. What we’re paying is too much. Second, we do spend far too much on administration and having things like patient-centered benefits, not just in Covered California, but with large employers. So, I would look at administrative simplification.

Let’s talk about affordability. You mentioned we’re paying twice the GDP for our health care, without any significant health improvements. So … it’s called the Affordable Care Act ... One of the really healthy things that has come up in the last five years, and I’ve actually seen some of your reporting on this, is a recognition that health isn’t just about the health-care system. It’s about communities, about social determinants What about health-care providers like and those factors have a lot more in the Sutter not sharing their prices? Let’s long run to do about health and healthtake something like a colonoscopy. If I want to know the cost, how do I find it? care costs than, “Can you do a good You would call [your insurer’s] customer surgery?” service line. While we spend double what the rest of the developed world spends on health You’re the first person that’s ever said care, we spend half what the rest of the this information is out there. world spends on social policies that lead It’s absolutely out there. But it’s not used. to better health. And this might be a Our plans are required not only to make homelessness program; this might it available, but to tell us usage be programs for women after rates. And the usage rates giving birth to a baby, are really small. “This is part being able to stay out And the other of work for longer. of the culture of piece: One of the These might be elements there California—to make food programs. We is what’s called sure consumers have spend half, and we “shared decisionneed to build in a someone who has their making.” Because balancing of the I care about price, back.” two. and I care more And the Peter Lee about our consumers Affordable Care executive director, Covered being given tools for Act actually started California understanding: Should down that path by having they get the procedure in major funding for community the first place? So, before you preventive health. Those programs get a prostatectomy, have you considhave been gutted. ered what the other treatment options are, and do you understand what those So, originally the major goals were, let’s issues are? And there’s a science of shared get us down to 6 percent or 3 percent uninsured, and that was a major decision-making, and that isn’t happening accomplishment. But now we have to enough and it should be happening more. move into this next phase. One of my favorite stories on this is Absolutely. We are looking at what has one of my former partners, a family doc. been part of our DNA from the beginHe lives in the Bay Area and his doctor ning. We’ve always had the vision that said, “You need an MRI; go to the local we need to be looking at affordability, hospital.” He knew the local hospital but we’re turning to that with a lot more charged up the wazoo, right? He called rigor now. But we’re sort of living with them and said, “I wonder how much it’s a bit of a schizophrenia because we are gonna cost.” He was responsible in a coinalso having to play defense relative to the surance basis for 30 percent. He shopped federal policies. around and instead of it costing him We’re having to look two directions $1,000 at 30 percent of a $3,000 MRI, he down the road, but also looking for what found an MRI that he knew was as good might be coming out of left field. for $800 total cost. It cost him 250 bucks. And that’s it. That was him making phone If I made you our health-care czar and calls around. said, “OK, let’s improve health care but let’s cut out 3 percent of the GDP that Thanks for what you’re doing. I mean, we’re spending on it,” what would you do? really, I’m so proud. And I’m excited about I would start by saying this czar wouldn’t us figuring out a response to Trump. have unrealistic ambitions. Which is, we We’re proud too. And we shall persist. Ω


According to a recent report from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Sacramento had the second highest number of gun trace investigations for any city last year. IllustratIon by MarIa ratInova

Gunning for the source A California bill could help ATF trace guns through the underground economy by Scott thomaS anderSon

A Roseville police officer shot in the face by a .45-caliber Glock in October 2013; a 13-year-old gunned down on the streets of Stockton with a .40-caliber Beretta in February 2015; a young woman killed on San Francisco’s Fishermen’s Wharf by a .40-caliber Sig Sauer in the summer of 2015; a 23-year-old executed by a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson on a Bay Area street in August 2017. These crimes had a common denominator: They were committed with stolen firearms—weapons that later had to be traced. With 1,273 gun murders happening in California last year, detectives continue to rely on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms’ advanced tracing center, both for solving cases and finding patterns that reveal corrupt gun dealers and shadowy traffickers. But the ATF’s ability to trace crime guns is only as effective as the volume of data its technicians have

access to. Now, a Hayward lawmaker is determined to give them more tools for tracing guns on the streets. The California State Senate will soon vote on whether to support him in that mission. A recent case in Los Angeles County illustrates how the ATF’s National Tracing Center helps investigators intervene in gang warfare and underground gun sales. On November 5, 2016, prosecutors say a group of gang members shot up the parking lot of a Pasadena restaurant following a high school football game, wounding an innocent bystander. Pasadena police identified four suspects and discovered they were already on the ATF’s radar. Its agents had recently purchased rifles from them in an undercover operation in San Bernardino. Two weeks later, San Bernardino police spotted one of the suspects in a car and engaged in a high-speed pursuit, during which the

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suspect and his passenger reportedly threw two 9mm pistols from their windows. The ATF’s gun-tracing center was able to determine the rifles earlier sold to its agents, and the pistols hastily tossed from the sedan, had all been stolen during home burglaries in the weeks leading up to the violence. Ultimately, five alleged gang members pleaded guilty to various gun charges. “What tracing does is show relationships,” said Graham Barlowe, the resident agent in charge of Sacramento’s ATF office. “We’ve broken up a number of gun-trafficking rings in Oakland, and tracing was sort of the linchpin of those investigations.” In an era of algorithms and A.I., guntracing is a surprisingly human endeavor: Whenever detectives recover guns that might have been used in a crime, they have the option of attempting to track their history through the ATF. Technicians

working at the National Tracing Center will first use the gun’s make, model and serial number to determine where it rolled off the factory floor. Contacting the manufacturer, a technician will then follow the gun to whichever wholesaler had it first. Using the wholesaler’s records, they’ll next contact the retailer who ordered it. That’s how the first member of the public to buy the firearm comes to light. At that point, technicians work with ATF field agents to start knocking doors, following the gun’s chain of custody. “There have been times when we’ve been able to trace three or four transactions after the initial point of sale,” Barlowe said, “and actually put that gun at a crime scene.” According to a recent ATF report, technicians initiated 41,527 gun-tracing investigations in California last year, with Sacramento having the second highest number of traces for any city—2,010—coming in only behind Los Angeles. But gun control reformers argue that the ATF could assist in solving more crimes if its database had more records from the Golden State. Under current California law, only police and sheriffs’ departments are required to gather information from lost, stolen and crime-associated gun reports that they take and then enter into state-federal data systems, said Assemblyman John Quirk. The California Highway Patrol, along with parole agents, probation agents and wildlife wardens, are not. Neither are college or university police departments. Quirk recently introduced Assembly Bill 2222, which would require all California peace officers to log that information into the appropriate systems within seven days. The bill, which is sponsored by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, sailed through both the state assembly and senate public safety committees and then landed a 78-0 “yes” vote on the Assembly floor. Now that it’s cleared its last committee, senators will soon hold a floor vote on whether to send it to the governor’s desk. “The governor’s always a wild card,” said Amanda Wilcox, president of the California chapter of the Brady Campaign. “But this is important to us. Pushing for more gun-tracing is one of Brady’s key programs—it’s our ‘bad apple dealer’ campaign—and we’re pushing it because we really care about disrupting the flow of illegal guns that are flooding our urban streets and causing so much harm. We need to know where those guns are coming from.” Ω

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Pumped for battle Why are local politicians trying to save California’s controversial gas tax? by Graham Womack

tax opponents that California already had ample As city governments marshal their opposition to transportation funds. a Republican-led repeal effort of California’s “I think that voters are seeing more and more new gas tax, the fate of the 12 cent-per-gallon surcharge could have broader implications for the that the Democrat leadership in the legislature, it has an insatiable appetite for tax dollars,” said Democratic Party. Sacramento County Republican Party chair Betsy Opponents of Senate Bill 1, buoyed by contribuMahan. “We think they need to learn to live within tions from big-name conservatives like House their means and we don’t think that we have an Speaker Paul Ryan, succeeded earlier this year in obligation to enable their spending habits.” placing a referendum on the tax, Proposition 6, Roseville’s staff report noted that Prop. 69, on the November ballot. Around the Sacramento passed resoundingly by California voters in June, region, local leaders are now having to scramble to requires “that certain revenues generated by the defend the law. 2017 transportation funding law be used only for A spokeswoman for Sacramento Mayor Darrell transportation purposes and generally prohibits Steinberg confirmed his opposition to Prop. 6. The the [legislature] from diverting funds to other city’s director of governmental affairs, Consuelo purposes.” Hernandez, said that while the City Council has Skepticism remains, though, with Mahan saying yet to take a formal position, which could come in Prop. 6 supporters were preparing a 2020 September, Sacramento would lose money if ballot measure to dedicate original gas Prop. 6 passes and repeals the gas tax. tax revenues to road maintenance and “It’s very difficult to fund “We’ve improvements, and to divert the car transportation projects so all been able to get sales tax to state transportation funding sources are pretty valurather than the general fund. able,” Hernandez said. projects done that we Prop. 6 could also be a call Local leaders were wouldn’t have been able to arms in a critical midterm reminded of this when to otherwise.” election that might determine Measure B, a Sacramento future Supreme Court confirmaCounty transportation initiaScott Alvord tions or even impeachment of tive, fell short of a supermajormember, Roseville President Donald Trump. Last ity in November 2016, erasing City Council month, New York Magazine wrote an estimated $3.6 billion in fundof Prop. 6 as “the not-so-secret weapon ing over the next 30 years. of California Republicans for boosting Other cities in the region are also conservative turnout and saving vulnerable U.S. worried about the Republican gas tax attack. The House members.” In May, the Los Angeles Times August 15 agenda for Roseville City Council noted financial support for the proposition from included a resolution to formalize opposition to Ryan and fellow House leaders Steve Scalise Prop. 6, with a staff report noting that SB 1 is (R.-La.) and Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield.) expected to generate $30 million over the next Coleman said labor and public safety groups decade for city projects. oppose Prop. 6. (Sacramento Central Labor Council “This gas tax has been a real help to the city of executive director Fabrizio Sasso said via email Roseville,” said Councilman Scott Alvord. “We’ve that his group will follow the lead of the California been able to get projects done that we wouldn’t Labor Federation and fight the repeal effort.) have been able to otherwise.” “We are going to continue to be in every corner Statewide, as much $5 billion annually for of the state, building the coalition and getting the roads, bridge and traffic congestion work could word out about why people should vote no on Prop. be threatened if Prop. 6 passes, said Carolyn 6 and why it’s really just an attack on our road Coleman, executive director for the League of safety and bridges that our residents use each and California Cities. every day,” Coleman said. Ω “It’s that intersection, it’s that exit ramp, it’s that bridge that you drive on each and every day,” Coleman said. Web extra: An extended version of this story is available at There’s a question if more voters in November will believe this or insistence from gas newsreview.com/sacramento


photo by duncan rawlinson

by Kate Gonzales

back to

three local Playa enthusiasts on why they return to black Rock Desert year after year

W

ha t wou l d Burni ng Man b e if not f or those w ho ga ther a t the Play a?

The artists who create largescale works made more lasti ng through Instagram shares, and those who craft and distribute ti ny tri nkets to exchange on the journey. The DJs providi ng party sounds i n large music tents and those serenadi ng their camp through a scorchi ng afternoon on an acoustic gui tar. In 1986, the first man burned beside the Pacific Ocean i n San Francisco. There, Burni ng Man founders Jerry James and the late Larry Harvey bui lt a human effigy, which they took to Baker Beach to set ablaze. Si nce then, i t has grown from a couple dozen spectators to an eight-day spectacle that draws about 70,000 people to the Black Rock Desert, about 100 mi les outside of Reno. This year i t takes place

Sunday, August 26 through Monday, September 3. Based around the 10 Pri nciples, which i nclude “radical self-reliance,” “communal effort” and “radical self-expression” the event forces participants, known as Burners, to leave consumerism i n the dust. Organizers and volunteers bui ld a temporary ci ty, Black Rock Ci ty, i n the middle of the desert. Instead of exchangi ng money for an i tem or experience, a Burner may offer another i tem i n exchange—art, toi let paper, wa ter or a poem. Many people go as part of a camp, a team of people who pool suppli es and work together to survive the desert’s harsh environment. Of those tens of thousands who bri ng their own i ndividual magic to Black Rock Ci ty, pi eces of tha t mosaic of personali ty, talent and raw emotion come from Sacramento. Followi ng are just a few of their stories.

the volunteeR Maybe it’s the climate. Or the drugs. A lack of food or water, or a boundary crossed in an already strained relationship. Perhaps it’s some unpleasant combination of these triggers. Whatever the reason, if you’re in crisis mode at Burning Man, you better hope to stumble upon Deborah Coughlin. “People are basically confronted with all kinds of out-of-comfort-zone situations,” Coughlin says. “You may not know how you’re going to react.” As a volunteer Black Rock Ranger, Coughlin is skilled in maintaining basic safety and conflict management. With a background in psychology and a career with a nonprofit that serves the housing needs of

people with mental illness, her professional skills serve her on the Playa. “My work in mental health has helped with being at Burning Man and helping others adjust to this real almost out-of-body kind of experience,” she says. Since Coughlin traveled from Chicago for her first Burn with her husband in 1998, plenty has changed. There were a fraction of the visitors back then, and it was only an extended weekend before it became the current week-plus affair. It was the Wild West days of Burning Man, with fewer regulations that Coughlin acknowledges were eventually needed to ensure safety at the growing festival.

“bacK to buRninG man” continued on page 14

08.23.18    |   SN&R   |   13


Deborah Coughlin holds a trinket from Burning Man 2014.

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“back To burning man” continued from page 13

“Anything went,” she says. “In those early days, the imagination went wild with some of the stuff they were able to do.” As she sits at a coffee shop just blocks from her East Sacramento home, Coughlin recalls one vivid memory: a makeshift totem outside of a BDSM-themed camp. “They had a real-life pig head that they had on this stake, and throughout the whole three days it was just rotting there,” Coughlin says, laughing. “Not exactly my thing, but OK.” Burning Man has always been an adult playground, where people could strip away societal norms in favor of connecting with their inner-child, or their inner-weirdo. “Being able to have that healthy release I think is really important for peoples’ well-being,” she says. Coughlin has attended Burning Man eight of the last 20 years. While living in Chicago, she volunteered with local Burner groups even in the years she didn’t make the trek because she and her husband were raising kids. They returned after their youngest graduated high school in 2009, when, like many in the Burning Man community, they began to volunteer at the Playa. “It’s a culture that promotes volunteerism and giving back,” Coughlin says, adding that one of the event’s 10 principles is civic responsibility. In 2015, Coughlin took a hiatus after she was diagnosed with cancer. She returned in 2017. Holding a lock of hair she cut to prepare for treatment, the bracelets she wore in the hospital and her last pack of smokes, she went to the Temple to let it all go. “People put their heart and soul and sorrows into the Temple for release,” Coughlin says. “My intention was that I was going to release all the crap from the cancer and the baggage into the Temple.” It was crowded the day she visited, but she found a private space next to a young man. They acknowledged one another’s struggling without any explanation. “We hugged each other,” she remembers. “Never exchanged names. We sat with each other

in absolute silence for about half an hour, just holding space with each other.” “It’s those kinds of transient connections that are the most profound for me at Burning Man. I’ve engaged in really deep convos with people who I would never normally have met,” she says, “and oftentimes, will never meet again.”

The Tinkerer In 2015, Ukrainian sculptor Alexander Milov brought “Love” to the Playa. The large sculpture showed two children standing, facing one another with hands outreached. They are housed within two transparent adults, clearly pained as they sit back-toback with lowered heads. It’s a memorable image, even for non-Burners; the kind of awe-inspiring art the Playa is famous for. But in the Burner community, creative expression comes in countless forms and is cherished even when it doesn’t make for a picture-perfect social media post. Ingenuity is required to coordinate and build a camp, survive in the desert and contribute to the community at Black Rock City. Sometimes, that ingenuity comes in the form of trash art. “There’s art everywhere—the decorations at the camps, in your bike, in your clothing,” says Ed Fletcher, a long-time Burner. Initially, he wasn’t sure if the desert event was for him, but after some online research he reluctantly joined a group of Burners a decade ago with his friend Angela Gentry. Now, he’s embraced experimentation, collaboration and design. “I immediately felt compelled to come back and do it right and do it better,” he says of that first adventure, and he’s been immersed in the culture since. He was recently elected president of Sacramento Valley Spark, a local art-advocating Burner group, and has a hand in several regional groups and meet-ups dedicated to Burning Man. “I didn’t start off thinking I would be one of those people,” he says, but it has been the experience of a lifetime. “I have more fun at Burning Man than I have anywhere else.” The bones of past Burning Man projects can be found in Fletcher’s backyard. A jumbled lamp of CDs and old aluminum strips of a Coors can that


Burning Man has always been an adult playground, where people could strip away societal norms in favor of connecting with their inner-child, or their inner-weirdo.

once served as the north star to wayward camp members is prominently displayed on the fence of his Colonial Heights home. Two orange buckets with the makings of a swamp cooler sit on the dry grass near a stereo he once built. “Burning Man should be as much about trash art as it is about fine art,” Fletcher said in a recent Facebook video, where he showed off his attempt to convert an old mountain bike to an e-bike. Using an e-bike conversion kit, he tried to transform the mountain bike using a motorized tire on the front of the bike, a power control box, heavy battery and throttle. It didn’t quite work. Tires fell off and the battery was too heavy and inconvenient to have on the bike. His dad was an engineer, and while Fletcher says he didn’t inherit that gene, he does enjoy experimenting to make his camp, GYST (Get Your Shit Together), function stronger. “Burning Man over the years inspired me to try different projects,” he explained in the video. “This is sort of the evolution of it.” Fletcher says he’s not disappointed that the pink, furry mountain bike was weighed down by the e-bike tire. Instead, he’s going to try the conversion on a tricycle before he heads to Black Rock City. That’s part of the beauty of Burning Man— to adapt and persist in the face of a challenge. “Keep trying, keep doing new things and keep re-inventing yourself,” he says.

The sToryTellers It may be a slight exaggeration to say that Burning Man saved Noah Wilkinson’s life, but it’s one he would make. He was 21, depressed over the state of the world as he became more aware of politics. Then he lucked into a ticket to a festival he knew nothing about. “In my early 20s, I could not see a good path for myself in the world,” he says. “Burning Man sort of pulled me out of a pretty deep despair and alienation.” Today, he co-hosts the podcast Accuracy Third, which shares lived Playa experiences and lessons from Burners themselves. He was inspired by the collaboration and joy of the Burners he met. The weather in 1999 was extreme. Hot days and cold nights were the backdrop for Wilkinson’s new found hope in humanity. “I got to see people frolic through a challenge,” he remembers. “Burning Man really showed me that even within the rotting corpse of late-stage capitalism, people can … do just wonderful things for each other, for no other reason than the delight of doing for others.” He’s gone back to Black Rock City every year since, and says the atmosphere has made him want to be a better person.

“I’m so moved by the artistic side that I felt a little ashamed I couldn’t contribute in that sense,” he says. He picked up volunteer duties, like coming early to set up the city and serving as a Black Rock Ranger. In May 2013, Wilkinson was inspired by Kevin Smith, writer and the silent half of the Jay & Silent Bob duo. Smith had a tour stop in Portland, where Wilkinson lived at the time, and gave the audience an assignment. “He instructed all of us to go home and sometime in the next year record a podcast,” Wilkinson says. “I knew instantly what I wanted to do.” The idea for Accuracy Third, an oral history of Burning Man, was born. Wilkinson (who goes by Rex on the podcast), along with co-hosts Beth Hersh and Damien Chacona, aka “D-Day,” launched the podcast in April 2016. Now, regular episodes feature Burner interviews from January to September. The most recent episode discussed consent, a topic Hersh says she’s passionate about. “The kind of consent stuff that comes up at Burning Man can be very specific to Burning Man,” she says. Like the story of a man who agreed to be shocked with a Taser in exchange for bacon.

“Back To Burning Man” continued on page 16

Ed Fletcher stands next to his camp’s logo, GYST (Get Your Shit Together).

Photo by kate gonzales

08.23.18    |   SN&R   |   15


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Discussions around consent have been commonplace for Hersh, who patronized a BDSM club as a young adult. The podcast episode includes portions of consent talks Hersh has given at Burning Man volunteer trainings, as well as past podcast guests discussing good and bad examples of consent situations. Creating a culture of consent on and off the Playa is difficult, she says. “Even those of us who really don’t want to trample on each others’ consent don’t have a good model,” Hersh says. “Mostly I’m asking people to step up and try to pay attention to themselves. It sounds simple but it’s a really big ask.” After the Burn, Accuracy Third will post a recap episode before breaking for the season, but not

before throwing themselves a curve ball. This year, the team has based some of its Burning Man schedule around listener suggestions. They’re all taking a tribal screaming class. Hersh is running a naked mile. In his 20th year at Burning Man, Wilkinson says he’s still finding new sources of light in the experience. “A large part of the reason we make this podcast is because it is so challenging to paint for somebody a picture of what Burning Man is and why it’s beautiful and magical and exquisite,” he says. “The only way we could think to really do this effectively is by painting it with as many brushes as we can.” Ω

For more information on Burning Man and a schedule of events, visit burningman.org.


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n Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series, Galaxia is the future state of all living organisms, a utopian super-organism in which all are connected as one. Considering the concept’s many parallels to Burning Man’s Black Rock City, it’s a wonder that it took until now for Asimov to play a prominent role in Burning Man. This year’s theme, “I, Robot,” finally connects the two. The London-based French architect Arthur Mamou-Mani seized this chance to submit a design for this year’s Burning Man temple that would draw upon this idea. It was this design, Galaxia, that founder Larry Harvey chose before he died this past spring. Mamou-Mani, who has attended Burning Man for years with a contingent of architecture students from London’s University of Westminster, says he saw the theme as an opportunity to connect his students’ classroom learning with hands-on, challenging, meaningful work intended for a gallery like no other on earth. “The theme … was very relevant to the projects we do in general,” says MamouMani, the 35-year-old whose firm, MamouMani, Ltd., is noted for its use of digital fabrication through 3D printing. “I thought, that’s beautiful, because it’s not just about the technology but it’s also the temple, which is a very human thing,” he says. The design, as described in the Burning Man Journal, “celebrates hope in the unknown, stars, planets, black holes, the movement uniting us in swirling galaxies of dreams.” It employs 20

Galaxia will serve as this year’s Temple at Burning Man before it’s ultimately burned once the nine-day event concludes. Photo courtesy of burning man

Inexpensive alternative to high legal fees! twisting timber trusses that meet at a central point aimed toward the sky, like a swirling galaxy. The Temple, a component of the festival every year since 2000, has traditionally been a sacred place in which visitors can grieve for and remember the loved ones they’ve lost. For all that Burning Man and the Temple represent to attendees, Galaxia’s design is not only about the people of the world coming together, but also about the convergence of man and technology, the physical and spiritual, the past and future, the living and the dead, and the heavenly and earthly realms. “The idea is to use a universal symbol, the galaxy, to bring people together,” MamouMani explains. “There is no right direction; you can come from anywhere you want, and that reflects everyone’s differences and the act of coming together in a central space, which I think is the most beautiful aspect of the Burning Man temple, the way it connects everyone together.” The logistics of building the structure, which will only exist for about nine days, are mind-boggling. Hundreds of people on two build sites, in Reno and San Francisco, prefabricated the structure’s components. For ease of transport, the lighter, top half, called “the crown,” was assembled in San Francisco, while a team of more than 125 volunteers—some local artists, some with carpentry or engineering skills and some simply Burning Man enthusiasts—created “the skirt,” or wide bottom half, at The Generator, a community art space in Sparks, Nevada.

“hope in the unknown” continued on page 19

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Transporting large sections of the structure to the Black Rock Desert isn’t feasible, so the team crafted small, uniform triangles that, when laid flat in the proper sequence, can be “folded” up to create a three-dimensional sort of origami. Those triangles are joined together with metal joints, then fitted in a repeatable, volunteer-friendly sequence to create the 20 long, swirling arms, or “petals” making up Galaxia. Beneath its “roof” there’s a central altar where visitors can place offerings and memorials, illuminated by the LED lights emanating from 30 chandelier-like teardrops composed of polylactic acid—a bioplastic comprised of vinegar, corn starch and glycerin—that were produced by a 3D printer and will hang from the central eye of the temple. A hub-and-spoke wheel design that utilizes the tension of cables leading into a central plate serves as a foundation. Mamou-Mani likes the connection to a bicycle wheel, an image mimicked outside the temple in the benches that will double as bike racks. Once the structure is erected, Galaxia officially becomes a gift to the people of Black Rock City. When the event concludes, the crew will burn it. To create the structure, Mamou-Mani received a $100,000 Burning Man Temple Honorarium grant, almost all of which went into materials, transportation, rental equipment and tools and still didn’t cover the costs. Fundraisers in London and San Francisco helped cover other expenses, including travel expenses. “No one gets paid,” Mamou-Mani says. “I think money is a strange topic on this project because it’s so beyond that. … It’s an invaluable project. For me, I’ve never worked that hard, ever. I can’t even quantify that, and I don’t want to, because I never saw it as something that was to be commodified or something that would have an actual value assigned to it.” The architect understandably feels a significant weight on his shoulders, designing the first temple to come to Burning Man since the recent death of Larry Harvey. He says he’s fortunate to have had input from Jerry James, an old friend of Harvey’s who’s credited as the co-founder of Burning Man. James, who’d been estranged from Harvey for a number of years, had found himself re-engaging with the event and reconnecting to Harvey. While perusing the Burning Man website in January, he came across the news that Mamou-Mani’s concept had been chosen and says he felt a pull to help out. He emailed the architect to offer his services but didn’t get a reply. “I thought, ‘I’ll try one more time before I give up on this,’” James says. “I guess he saw that next email—I think the first one got lost—and I guess he was pretty excited to have me, given my background.” James says Mamou-Mani’s concept is a wonderful fit for this year’s event. “I think it’s pretty profound, and of course for a temple where we celebrate and memorialize people we lost, thoughts about the galaxy for that kind of memorial go well together,” he says. For his part, Mamou-Mani says he appreciates this rare opportunity to play such a hands-on role. “There wouldn’t be another project in which the architect, the carpenters, the engineers, the scaffolders, the metalworkers, all these different people come together on one thing and discuss everything together,” Mamou-Mani says. That collaboration is key, he says. “It’s not something where the architect has the vision and everyone else executes it... It’s actually the opposite. It’s like, ‘What do you guys think of this issue? This is a drawing, but obviously you know more about metal than me, so what do you suggest?’’, he explains. “There’s a really beautiful, empirical loop. I wish all projects were like this because it really becomes something collective—and informed by logic and brains and humans.” Kind of like I, Robot. Ω

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Fleeting

by Maia Paras EvrigEnis

love in the city A

group of high school kids are crammed in a red booth at Rick’s Dessert Diner, their old-school Vans matching the black and white checkered floors. They devour one banana split with six spoons, the boys teasing and the girls shoving them on their shoulders, flirting. One girl stands, her spoon in one hand, iPhone in the other. She holds it up to show her table the message. Suddenly, everyone else is up, too—pausing for the girls to adjust their short jean shorts—and then they’re gone. From my booth across the restaurant, I see them running down J Street to, I assume, the next best thing. Two take it slower, walking behind. After an uncertain pause, one reaches for the other’s hand. And then there’s another hand, this time on my shoulder. It’s my own summer fling, smiling at me, sitting down. We split a slice of cherry pie that’s unworthy of Rick’s four-and-a-half star Google reputation, but neither of us care about food. Mostly, we just want to hang out together, like all the other infatuated flingers in this city tonight. Walking back to our cars, the evening breeze surrounds us like a blanket—a reward for the 99-degree day we endured earlier. Leading him back home on I-80, I celebrate it by shamelessly listening to New Country 105.1 with the windows down.

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Spicy capitol See DiSH

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QUEEr anD black in aMErica See StaGE

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can’t trUMp tHE EnGliSH bEat See MUSic

Want to see a new Sacramento? Try an old summer fling. Summer flings are intense and obsessive, and yet somehow more casual than other relationships, because there’s no real clarity required. It’s just understood: You’re needed by the other, desperately, for the next few months. Most likely, you’ve become bored with life, in whatever city you’re in, but you’re not leaving anytime soon. You know summer is best spent with somebody else, someone who might make a place you’ve lived in your whole life feel like somewhere exciting, and completely new. “The summer I spent in love in Sacramento came to define the city for me,” wrote Sarah, a high school friend, over email. “We adventured to the State Fair, where as a child, I focused on the cotton candy and the rides. He pulled me along to the art galleries and the livestock exhibits, which I had never given thought before. We would float down the American River on a hot day, and park his pickup at the drive-in movie theatre.” The fair, the river, the driveins—these are just a few places summer-lovers go. People are making out at “Heaven,” a romantic spot to park under the stars looking over the lights of El Dorado Hills, Folsom and downtown Sacramento. They’re holding hands walking along the I-Street bridge, and going to the lush green bluffs in Fair Oaks for hikes and bike riding. They’re meeting at Café Dantorels for a Sunday brunch of pancakes, crepes and conversation. They’re going to the Crocker Art Museum’s outdoor screen-projected movie nights or seeing jazz jams at Shine. They’re eyeing each other at Pops in the Park, dancing to Ideateam.

They’re seeing Sacramento like never before— through another’s eyes. And that’s what’s most compelling about summer love in this place. One person, one love, can redefine the entire city, and for the late high-schoolers, make it somewhere they might not be so eager to escape anymore. “Sacramento became my hometown, not because it is the place I am from, but because I had finally made my own memories in it,” Sarah said. “Before that summer, I had always looked for a reason to leave, but now I find myself searching for ways to come back.” But summer flings aren’t something new since Sacramento’s finally gotten cool. Young couples I meet at bars proudly tell me they’ve just moved to Midtown. The sexy breeze has been blowing since the city was mostly farmland. Summer love is everywhere, and always has been. “On our first date, I picked him up in my 1955 Ford,” Lela, 70, told me over coffee. “It just fit better on old roads, and I liked sightseeing. I discovered all these little towns on the Delta, that always kind of pulled me. It became a perfect tour for us.” Lela took her guy through her New Orleans-feel tour of Locke, Isleton, Walnut Grove and Rio Vista, pre-planned with multiple stops. They’d look at and walk over the interesting river bridges, shaped like massive grasshopper

The sexy breeze has been blowing since the city was mostly farmland.

heads. At the Del Rio hotel bar, they laughed over a parrot named Gilligan who would repeat the order of a woman in her exact voice, trying to confuse the bartenders. Another stop was at the old Grand Island Mansion, surrounded by cypress trees and giant columns, like somewhere out of the deep South, or the Mediterranean. Sometimes sight-seeing had its challenges. But that didn’t stop these lovers. “There was a ferry boat driver who wouldn’t work on the weekends … unless you brought him a pint of vodka!” she said. While that summer romance turned into something much longer lasting (this couple is still married today), this is not always the case— or the point. It’s why we call them flings, of course. But stories like this have always stirred a feeling of hope in me. And maybe that’s where the real romance of a summer fling lives—in that secret, corny hope that it doesn’t necessarily have to end.

They’re holding hands walking along the I-Street bridge, and going to the lush green bluffs in Fair Oaks for hikes and bike riding.

Back at the house, my fling and I walk through the gate to the pool. I lower myself in from the edge and go under, the water like a cool sheet. I touch the bottom with my toes and press up for air. I get on his shoulders. I fall back in. Outside in the driveway, I stand wrapped in a towel next to his car before he heads back to Davis, the outdoor cat weaving through my feet as we say goodnight. He says we’ll get Temple coffee tomorrow, and maybe see a show Friday. He’ll see who’s coming to the Punch Line. I watch the garage door slowly meet the ground, declaring the end of another night—one less day of summer. Now it’s almost September, and the feelings of people everywhere are changing, leaving many sad, confused and lost—though if it was truly summer love, can there be any regrets? With the understanding that the fling stands for something much greater than you and this person, there won’t be. Because maybe it’s not so much about this fling, but the city the two of you have immersed yourself in, made memories in and felt a part of. You can live in summer for the rest of your life, with or without them, in a new Sacramento—a city through another’s eyes. Ω

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iLLUSTRATiOn BY mARiA RATinOVA

Swine and dine Sweet piG, Hop GardenS taprooM Sacramento’s newest addition to the craft beer scene, Hop Gardens Taproom, is nestled inside the former Coffee Garden building. Besides its 20-plus varieties of IPAs, stouts and lagers sourced from top-notch breweries from California to Oregon, customers also stay for the food. In particular, the wood-fired pizzas like the Sweet Pig ($15). Bubbly mozzarella cheese is topped with button pepperonis, real bacon bits and finished with a chili-infused honey. Its sweet, salty and savory components are kissed by a light char straight from oven. A pint and a slice is best enjoyed on the spacious and shaded back patio. 2904 Franklin Boulevard, facebook.com/hopgardenscurtispark. The Custom Naan Pizza is served with melted mozzarella, a variety of veggies and choice of tofu, pepperoni, chicken or sausage.

Naan the wiser Lit Delhi 1129 11th Street; (916) 400-0684 Good for: Filling, grab-and-go meal with greasy good flavor Notable dishes: Custom naan Pizza, Punjabi Burrito

$$$

Indian, downtown

“McCarthy, where’s your heart? McCarthy, where’s your heart?” Protestors chanted on their march toward the Capitol, a response to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s alignment with the White House’s immigration agenda. In the background of one of the activists’ videos, you might find me scarfing down a Punjabi Burrito like a snake swallowing an ostrich egg. The newly opened Lit Delhi provides a front-row seat to the comings and goings at the Capitol. This might occasionally result in soul-searching questions like, “Why, instead of participating in meaningful political discourse, am I eating a fusion burrito the size of an infant?” This spring, the restaurant reopened under new management in the spot that had formerly been Namaste Deli. The location has been a deli since the ’80s, when it was Tootsies. Now, the family owned business concentrates on Indian offerings. The menu, available from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., is much smaller than before with only four entrees and frozen yogurt. The deli looks very much like a deli, with the majority of the shotgun storefront taken up by refrigerators of graband-go beverages and shelves of chips. For lunch or dinner, the Punjabi Burrito ($9.99) is given a starring role on the menu, with your choice of naan, rice or chaat (in this case, potato and chickpeas), and protein (tofu, 22 | SN&R | 08.23.18

PHOTO BY REBECCA HUVAL

by Rebecca HuvaL

beef kabob or butter chicken). I got mine with garlic naan, basmati rice and butter chicken. Then, the cashier asked, “Sweet & Tangy Chutney, Spicy Lit Chutney or Stupid Lit Chutney?” “Yes,” I said. This was not the wisest choice. The naan—charred and suffused with garlic—came folded over the slippery, saucy ingredients more like a taco. However, it still had the impressive heft of a burrito. This was an architectural misstep. Burritos encase their bulging insides for a reason. The ingredients came spilling out of the open taco bottom without my noticing it, until there was a pile of rice, chicken, cucumber and tomato on my submarine sandwich wrapper. At least the ingredients were tasty; the butter chicken was sweet and infused with curry. But think twice before ordering all the sauces. The Custom Naan Pizza ($7.99) was more structurally successful, and delicious. The crispy naan crust underneath melted mozzarella was a welcome departure from the usual floppy pizza dough, and the vegan pesto tasted of chutney. Mushrooms, olives, red onions, bell peppers, baby tomatoes and green beans made it seem wholesome despite the greasiness. I had mine with tofu, but you can also try pepperoni, chicken or sausage. The Samosa Chaat ($5.99) also had a down-home greasiness—fried, crisp dough surrounded potato pillows without many other ingredients. A tad bland, yes, but the sweet-and-tangy chutney was a fun complement. The accompanying chickpeas, on the other hand, were bursting with seasoning. I’m not sure I would call Lit Dehli “lit.” It’s a reliable, affordable bodega with a flavorful kick. Just be careful eating that taco-burrito creation on the doorstep of Sacramento’s biggest stage. Ω

—StepH rodriGuez

Silky satisfaction Midtown blue, Sun & Soil Juice coMpany It’s Monday. I’m busy. Emails are sent and meetings are scheduled, but it’s noon and I’ve yet to eat. Stepping into Sun & Soil Juice Company is a nice reprieve from the summer heat with a plant collection that freshens the air. Hunger meter: code red, so I order the Midtown Blue, one of eight fancy smoothies ($10). The darkpurple blend of coconut and cashew milk, kale, blueberries, dates, chia seeds, lemon and vanilla produces deliciously subdued flavors, but not fruit-forward or too sugary. As I finish the thick, silky smoothie I’m satisfied with this healthy start to the week. 1912 P Street, sunandsoiljuice.com.

—Kate GonzaleS

ThE V WoRD

Winner, winner, Asian burger dinner Is it surprising that a Vietnamese food restaurant won a region-wide battle for best vegan burger? Nah. After all, Dennis Rodman is basically a diplomat to North Korea now, so anything is possible. In July, Pho Fresh received the first place overall award for its Big Eastern burger—a panko-fried portobello sandwich with fried bean sprouts and a gingery sauce on a garlic-toasted bun—by the Great Sacramento Vegan Burger Battle. Diners voted for winners in multiple categories out of 36 eateries, and Pho Fresh came out on top—even though it didn’t have a burger on its omnivore or two-page vegan menu previously. Between the award and customer requests to continue serving the burger, the restaurant posted on Facebook that it will oblige, but only during the first week of every month: “We wish we could offer more days but having an Asian Kitchen and making burgers is a challenge.” Taste the winner at 10673 Coloma Road.

—SHoKa


IllustratIon by Mark stIvers

LAST CHANCE TO VOTE! BEST MEDITERRANEAN / MIDDLE EASTERN EATS

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Because You Have Taste

Authentic Italian family recipes made with fresh ingredients Over 70 wines available by the glass

Localis’ high-brow spotlight by Stephanie Stiavetti

Locals know that Sacramento is a rapidly expanding supernova of culinary talent, but the rest of the state—let alone the rest of the country—has yet to grasp the caliber of the capital’s regional dining culture. Overshadowed by food meccas like San Francisco and Los Angeles, Sacramento has long struggled with its cow town reputation when compared to its cosmopolitan siblings. Still, the tide is turning. In July, chef-owner Chris Barnum-Dann received a call that Localis was chosen as one of Eater.com’s “38 Essential Restaurants of California.” When the guide went live on July 11, Barnun-Dann says he was floored to see that Localis was listed alongside Michelin-star restaurants like Manresa (Los Gatos) and award-winning chefs like Alice Waters at The Café at Chez Panisse (Berkeley). But more importantly, Localis was also the only Sacramento restaurant to make the cut. “We got the call the day before and I was excited, but I didn’t know what it was going to be,” says Barnum-Dann. “When it came out, I was scrolling through the list and the

first thing that popped up was Atelier Crenn (SF), and then it was Benu (SF), then it was Meadowood (Napa Valley), and I was shocked because I realized that we were on a list with all these people I have such respect for.” What is it about Localis that put it on the map with California’s top fine-dining restaurants? Many would argue it’s Barnum-Dann’s infectious passion, coupled with his creativity and willingness to play in the kitchen. In a region where the Farm-to-Fork movement is quickly becoming cliché, the team at Localis is pushing beyond the standard ethos of seasonal, locally sourced ingredients and looking for inspiration in new techniques and flavor combinations. “My process is a lot like a small child,” he says. “It’s exciting anytime I get a new ingredient, something I haven’t worked with before. Then I’m tinkering, tasting it, picking it apart, thinking about how I can use that product in different ways. How do we make this thing sing on the plate?” Since the listing appeared, Barnum-Dann says he has noticed an increase in reservations; a drive past

the restaurant on a random Thursday night revealed a busy waiting area full of diners waiting for a seat. Social media also lit up, with an endless number of Localis fans sharing their support for the restaurant’s achievements over the last three years. As intimate as the Sacramento fine-dining community is, local chefs are also voicing their support for Localis. Billy Ngo, chef-owner of East Sac’s beloved sushi restaurant Kru, believes the recognition is well-deserved. “He’s making a great contribution with his philosophy,” Ngo says. “He’s using locally sourced ingredients, but with a different approach from everybody else. He’s got fresh ideas and style.” Barnum-Dann also shared that the recognition is not his alone. “We had a staff party for our anniversary and for being on the list. My wife and I wanted to celebrate everyone who’s been working so hard to make it happen every night,” he says. “We toasted everyone else because it’s not about us. I really appreciate being part of this team.” Ω

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Now playiNg

ReviewS

3

Beehive

This play is not sugar-coated Bootycandy

By Jim Carnes

This jukebox musical  at the Lake Tahoe  Shakespeare Festival is  a tribute to songs made  famous by girl groups in  the early 1960s. It’s sweet  and sunny, and the frothy  music is enjoyable. But  it doesn’t have a plot, or  characters, so it’s closer  to a lounge act than a play,  which will disappoint some  (though not all) theatergoers. Beehive alternates  with Macbeth. Thu, Fri, Sat,

Sun, 7:30pm. Through 8/26. $30-$99. Sand Harbor in

Lake Tahoe Nevada State  Park; 1-800-74-SHOWS;  laketahoeshakespeare. com.  J.H.

5

Macbeth

a clueless facilitator, left, leads a writing conference.

Bootycandy

5

thu 8pm, fri 8pm, sat 8pm, sun 9/2 2pm. through 9/8; $18-$22; $12 thu; Big idea theatre, 1616 Del Paso Boulevard; (916) 960-3036; bigideatheatre.org.

“Bootycandy” is a grandmother’s euphemism for a penis. Really, everything that transpires in Bootycandy, now at Big Idea Theatre, stems from that—the penis. Playwright Robert O’Hara creates a surrogate, Sutter, and sets him on a journey fraught with fear, loathing, anger and violence as he grows up gay and black in contemporary America. Anthony D’Juan directs an exceedingly talented cast—Vernon Lewis, Urias Davis, Cole Winslow, BJ Nash and Brooklyn Solomon—in this warped odyssey. Lewis plays Sutter, O’Hara’s stand-in. Through a series of vignettes, many of which put the “absurd” in Theater of the Absurd, O’Hara takes many easy shots at black culture, from hypocrisy in the church to a propensity for choosing unusual names. As he admonishes his audience against trading in rumors of “sexual perversion” among the church choir, an evangelical minister rips off his clerical robe mid-sermon to reveal a short, shimmery dress and high heels. A lesbian couple (one named Genitalia, the other Intifada) participates in a “non-commitment” ceremony revoking their union. The central event of Bootycandy is an act of sexual violence borne of Sutter’s conflicted identity and his inability to reconcile who he is with who he must be to survive. The visceral portrayal here, which includes a bit of male nudity, is the most difficult to process, for the viewer and, apparently, for the playwright as well. Ω

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Photo courtesy of yarcenia Garcia

4 Gondolier gaga The first ingredient a good Gilbert & Sullivan production needs is a strong chorus. The chorus of the Light Opera Theatre of Sacramento production of The Gondoliers is excellent, with strong voices and precision at all times. This production is under the direction of Robert Vann (who also plays the drummer, Luiz) with music director Anne-Marie Endres conducting a first-rate, 19-piece orchestra. The performers are all clad in modern dress (perhaps circa 1950s, given the crinoline skirts), showing that G&S does not need to be restricted to any particular time period. Most of the costumes on stage work well (but please lose Gianetta’s hat!) LOTS co-founder Mike Baad heads up the cast as the Duke of Plaza Toro, arriving in Venice to introduce his daughter Casilda (Tiffany Patterson) to the prince to whom she was betrothed in infancy. In true topsy-turvy fashion, there is a problem, in that nobody knows exactly which of the two gondoliers is actually the real prince. Is it Marco (the charismatic Anthony Tavianini) or Giuseppe (Charlie Baad), both of whom have just had marriages of their own. The men are sent off to the island of Baritaria by the Grand Inquisitor (Tim Power) until the real prince can be identified by his foster mother. This show fulfills all the requisites for a successful G&S story, with romance, mixed identities, a couple of crusty old men, a haughty dowager and a lot of lively dancing (especially the Cachucha). It is certain to leave the audience with “feelings of pleasure.” —Bev SykeS

the Gondoliers: thu 1:30pm, fri 7:30pm, sat 2pm & 7:30pm, sun 2pm. through 8/26; $15-$20; 24th street theatre at sierra 2 center, 2791 24th street; (530) 400-1858; lightoperasacramento.com.

Lake Tahoe  Shakespeare’s  handsome production of  this bloody Shakespeare  tragedy, staged outdoors  at night with a large  professional cast, is the  leanest, meanest and most  traditional interpretation  we’ve seen in years.

1 fouL

Excellent performances  by Lynn Robert Berg in the  title role and Erin Partin  as Lady Macbeth. Macbeth  alternates with Beehive. Thu,

Fri, Sat, Sun, 7:30pm. Through 8/26. $30-$99. Sand Harbor

in Lake Tahoe Nevada State  Park; 1-800-74-SHOWS;  laketahoeshakespeare. com. J.H.

5

The Black Rider

Beat poet William S.  Burroughs, eccentric  singer/songwriter Tom  Waits and creative theater  director Robert Wilson  walk into a bar (or writer’s  room) … and emerge with  a most creative, peculiar,  morose and wickedly  bizarre avant-garde  musical. Fri 8pm, Sat 8pm, Sun 7pm. Through 8/25; $18;  Westminster Presbyterian  Church Hall, 1300 N St.;  greenvalleytheatre.com. P.R.

5

Shrek

Ogre kidnaps  princess, on  command of prince,  unusual things happen  on the trip back. This is a

delightful salute to every  fairy tale you’ve ever seen,  with a fantastic cast,  great choreography and  wonderful special effects.  Fun for the whole family.

Fri 7:30pm, Sat 7:30pm, Sun 2pm. Through 8/26; $12-$25;

Woodland Opera House,  340 2nd St. in Woodland;  woodlandoperahouse. org. B.S.

5

We’re Gonna Be Okay

A clever, compelling  and often amusing  production set in 1962  during the daunting days  of the Cuban Missile Crisis  that provides an intriguing  look at a moment in history  that eerily parallels present  day. Thu 8pm, Fri 8pm, Sat

5pm & 9pm, Sun 2pm, Tue 6:30pm, Wed 2pm & 6:30pm. Through 9/9; $28-$47; Sofia

Tsakopoulos Center for  the Arts, 2700 Capitol Ave.;  bstreettheatre.org. P.R.

short reviews by Jeff hudson, Patti roberts and Bev sykes.

2

3

4

fair

GooD

WeLL-Done

5 suBLiMe– Don’t Miss

Photo courtesy of BroaDWay sacraMento

meet audrey2. she’s pleased to eat you.

Eat-your-heart-out puppet In the campy, cult classic musical Little Shop of Horrors, sweet  flower-seller Seymour nurtures a small, Venus flytrap-type  plant in his flower shop from a mere bud into a fully-blossomed  plant—one he’s named Audrey2. Audrey2 quickly emerges as  a menacing, man-eating monster that demands constant attention and food. Though Little Shop’s storyline includes Seymour  pining for his co-worker Audrey and dealing with a diabolical  dentist, the show’s true diva is the ever-growing Audrey2. To  capture her three stages, Broadway At Music Circus turned to  world-renowned puppeteer and former CSUS theater professor Richard Bay. He built the first two versions of Audrey2 in his  studio but had to complete the final stage in the Music Circus  warehouse. After making a forest of foliage for the production,  Bay is done with fabric leaves. Thu 2pm & 7:30pm, Fri 7:30pm, Sat  2pm & 7:30pm, Sun 3pm; through 8/26; $45-$96; Wells Fargo Pavilion, 1419 H Street; (916) 557-1999; broadwaysacramento.org.

—Patti RoBeRtS


fiLm CLiPS

Falling to pieces

Puzzle Deep in focus, Kelly Macdonald is intent on discovering the bigger picture.

2

by Daniel Barnes

reality of being rich and sheltered. It’s one thing for the suburban Catholic housewife to not know how to use the internet or to express her ignorance about the Buddhist faith of her son’s girlfriend, but Agnes is so sheltered that she’s never heard of stores. How did Agnes feed a family of four without shopping even once in her life? The most repressed and religious people in the world know that Walmart exists. At any rate, a trip to Walmart wouldn’t set a star-crossed love story in motion, so Agnes takes the subway into New York City to visit the puzzle store where the present was purchased (again, this is a grown woman’s concept of buying a puzzle). A flyer advertising a professional puzzle competitor desperately looking for a partner catches her eye, and she reaches out of her shell using her newfangled smartphone. The man behind the flyer is Roy (Irrfan Khan, matching and complementing Macdonald’s charm), a lonely divorcee and puzzle fanatic who sees something special in Agnes, and they begin a secret partnership that blossoms into love. This story bears numerous resemblances to Ritesh Batra’s The Lunchbox, which co-starred Irrfan Khan as a lonely widower and food fanatic who sees something special in a repressed housewife with a clueless husband and a gift for cooking. Like Puzzle, it was a drippy and formulaic film barely salvaged by likable actors. Ω

1 2 3 4 5 Poor

Alpha

Twenty thousand years ago, a teenage  member of a hunter-gatherer tribe  (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is grievously injured and  left for dead. He not only survives but forms an  uneasy alliance with a wolf (also wounded); in  time, human and canine bond in the archetypal  boy-and-his-dog story. Give director Albert  Hughes (who co-wrote with Daniele Sebastian  Wiedenhaupt) an A for ambition, but a C for  cornball achievement. As a piece of prehistory,  the movie is maybe a cut above One Million  Years B.C., but with cheesier visual effects.  Smit-McPhee and his co-star get upstaged  by the Canadian and Icelandic scenery. The  superfluous Native American dialogue comes  with equally superfluous English subtitles—but  at least the subtitles may keep the smart  alecks in the audience from supplying their own  sarcastic translations. J.L.

3

As a producer, Marc Turtletaub has been cranking out two or three drippy and formulaic indie films a year since 2004, but the thematically jumbled Puzzle is only his second stint in the director’s chair. Like so many drippy and formulaic indie films before it, Puzzle centers on a repressed and depressed person and their quirky obsession, and most of the movie’s pieces feel like they were borrowed from other boxes. Only a couple of likable actors keep the film from completely falling apart. Kelly Macdonald stars as the repressed and depressed Agnes, a sheltered Catholic housewife in upstate New York with a clueless husband (David Denman, typecast after playing Roy on The Office) and two growing sons ready to leave the nest. Ever since her debut role in Trainspotting, Macdonald has always been a welcome onscreen presence, and Puzzle offers the actress maybe her meatiest movie role yet. She finds the honesty amongst the inauthenticity of the script, even when her Scottish accent peeks out. After planning and cleaning up after her own birthday party, Agnes opens Chekhov’s birthday gifts: a smartphone, which she initially regards like an alien intruder, and a 500-piece puzzle that sparks her supposedly dormant intellect. The 40-something Agnes has no interest at all in the iPhone, but alone at home, she assembles the puzzle with a speed and efficiency that seems to awaken something inside. Agnes calls the family member who gifted the puzzle and asks where more boxes can be purchased. This is where the film’s concept of being poor and sheltered starts to reflect the filmmakers’ own

by Daniel Barnes & JiM lane

Fair

Good

Very Good

excellent

3

BlacKkKlansman

3

Crazy Rich Asians

2

Christopher Robin

In the late 1970s, the first AfricanAmerican police detective in Colorado  Springs, Colo. (John David Washington) goes  undercover to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan, with  a white colleague (Adam Driver) stepping in  for face-to-face meetings. Detective Ron  Stallworth’s memoir is adapted by Charlie  Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott  and director Spike Lee into an alternately  harrowing and hilarious melodrama that often  cleverly mimics the style of “blaxploitation”  movies from the era when it takes place. It’s  entertaining and angrily thought-provoking,  with Lee at the top of his game—even if he  can’t stay off the soapbox and piles on too  many endings. The closing scenes, tying the  resurgent Klan to the Charlottesville riots and  Donald Trump, may be what helped win the  picture the Grand Prix at Cannes. J.L.

A Chinese American college professor  (Constance Wu) flies to Singapore with  her boyfriend (Henry Golding) to meet his family, little suspecting how wealthy he is—or what  a severe examination she’s in for at the hands  of his “crazy rich” relatives. Director Jon M.  Chu and writers Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim  adapt Kevin Kwan’s bestselling novel into an  engaging, eye-filling tour of Singapore’s upper  crust. Chu’s career has been a tad uneven in  the past, but he shows a sure hand here, drawing fine performance from a large ensemble— especially Wu, Golding, Awkwafina (as Wu’s college chum) and Michelle Yeoh (Oscar-worthy as  Golding’s imperious mother). The movie falters  with a trite, groan-inducing ending that would  sink most movies, but a reservoir of goodwill  gets us over that late bump in the road. J.L.

After a farewell tea with his pals  Winnie-the-Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet  et al., young Christopher Robin (Orton  O’Brien) grows up to be a dull workaholic  schlub (Ewan McGregor) who neglects his  family (wife Hayley Atwell, daughter Bronte  Carmichael); it takes a visit from Pooh and  the gang to set him straight. Earnest acting,  brilliant CGI and a few good lines (from Brad  Garrett as the voice of Eeyore) can’t conceal  that the script (by Alex Ross Perry, Tom  McCarthy, Allison Schroeder, Greg Brooker  and Mark Steven Johnson, all working  separately) is a half-hour’s worth of stale  whimsy dragged out to 104 minutes, directed  at a plod by Marc Forster and murkily  photographed by Matthias Koenigswieser.  The result is, essentially, Mary Poppins  without Walt Disney, Julie Andrews, Dick Van  Dyke, songs or charm. J.L.

3

straightforward approach in documenting  McQueen’s short life (he was only 40 years  old when he died), using archival footage and  recruiting his former friends and collaborators  to paint a mostly spotless portrait of an  extremely complex person. Born in London as  Lee Alexander McQueen, he quickly ascended  to the top of the fashion world, starting his  own label in his early twenties, taking over  Givenchy and gaining notoriety for his singular  designs and shock-heavy theatricality.  Bonhôte structures the film around a handful  of keystone runway shows, including the  infamous “Highland Rape” collection, while  also waving away any criticism of McQueen.  While entertaining enough, McQueen feels more  like an attempt to protect the estate than to  understand the man. D.B.

2

The Meg

2

Mile 22

Jon Turteltaub wrote and directed his  first feature film in 1989 at the age of 25.  The movie was called Think Big, and it starred  musclebound twins David and Peter Paul (aka  the Barbarian Brothers) as toxic waste-toting  truck drivers sheltering a runaway teenage  genius. Turteltaub followed it a few years later  with 3 Ninjas, a family oriented film about  three white kids who are Japanese ninjas, and  over the next quarter century, he produced a  steady output of exactly that kind of lowbrow,  brain cell-killing crud. Three Nicolas Cage  collaborations later, we get Turteltaub’s latest  forgettable trifle: The Meg, a Crackle-worthy  monster shark movie starring the always  monotone Jason Statham. Essentially a PG-13  version of Alexandre Aja’s Piranha 3D with  fewer jokes and even less of a point, The Meg is  a faceless, lifeless, workmanlike, unimaginative,  lowest common denominator-courting, movielike substance. In other words, it’s infused with  that Turteltaub magic. D.B.

The leader of an elite strike team  (Mark Wahlberg) is assigned to get an  “asset”—a police officer with sensitive information (Iko Uwais)—out of an unnamed Asian  country. Written by Lea Carpenter and Graham  Roland and directed by Peter Berg with his  usual loutish flailing, the movie consists of  scenes of indigestible exposition inserted at  intervals into a numbing series of high-bodycount shootouts covering several square miles  of urban territory and room-wrecking battles  of martial arts (the laconic Uwais is dizzyingly  good at the latter). The result is a low-class  Mission: Impossible wannabe, brutally effective  in its way (with “brutal” being the operative  word), and culminating—spoiler alert!—in a  complete bummer of an ending, with the good  guys completely fooled and the bad guys triumphant. J.L.

1

Slender Man

Four teenage pals (Joey King, Julia  Goldani Telles, Jaz Sinclair, Annalise  Basso, all hoping to be the next Jamie Lee  Curtis) start fooling around with the internet  meme of the Slender Man, a supernatural  entity who supposedly stalks and abducts  children—and sure enough, one by one, the  girls start vanishing or going crazy. This  tawdry, shoddy stinker is a movie of rare and  total incompetence, literally unwatchable  thanks to some of the worst cinematography  in film history—out of focus, murky even in  broad daylight, the work of one Luca Del Puppo.  Not that there’s anything worth seeing; David  Birke’s nonsensical script seems to have been  put through a shredder and pasted together  at random, and Sylvain White’s direction is as  botched as Del Puppo’s camerawork. There’s  better film on a pan of cocoa. J.L.

McQueen

Ian Bonhôte directs this serviceable  documentary about British fashion  designer Alexander McQueen, a boundarypushing artist and provocateur who  committed suicide in 2010, one day before his  mother’s funeral. McQueen mostly takes a

08.23.18    |   SN&R   |   25


Making the beat great again As The English Beat return for a new album, is the U.S. political climate kind of like 1980s Britain? by Howard Hardee

As a self-taught musician, Dave Wakeling has always struggled to make his live performances sound effortless. But he has a hell of an ear in the studio: If the percussion track is off by a millisecond, he’s the first to notice. “It’s like a stone on a railway line,” he said. “The train’s running all smooth, and then I’ll go, ‘What was that?’ It’s more like a feeling. The song is being orchestrated by the emotion in the vocal, and everything else has to follow along. When it doesn’t, it sounds wrong to me.” Wakeling is a founding member of The English Beat—known simply as The Beat in Britain—a seminal band in the ska and reggae-rock genres best known for the hits “Mirror in the Bathroom” and “Save it For Later.” After recording three albums and touring with the likes of David Bowie, Talking Heads and The Pretenders, the band broke up in 1983, and Wakeling and fellow vocalist Ranking Roger moved on to form the group General Public (famously penning the 1994 hit “I’ll Take You There”), while other members formed Fine Young Cannibals (“She Drives Me Crazy”). Wakeling regularly performs with his Los Angeles-based version of The English Beat. The band recently dropped its first album in 35 years, Here We Go Love, delivering the rocksteady beats and breezy melodies fans have come to expect. Indeed, the new songs fit right in with the classics. “There seems to be almost universal warm feelings about the album,” he said. 26

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SN&R

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08.23.18

Photo courtesy of Jay Gilbert

Is frontman dave wakeling smiling at you, or himself? does it matter?

“Everybody says it came out great and it’s everything they hoped it would be, especially since they had to wait around for us.” The English Beat’s tour includes a show at Ace of Spades on Friday, August 24. Speaking from his home in Los Angeles, Wakeling said there’s just one thing bothering him on this tour—overpowering bass. “They have those big subwoofer speakers under the stage,” he said, “and a lot of club PA people love to turn them up as full as they’ll go. The only trouble is that it makes the whole stage resonate with bass and you can’t hear what you’re singing. You can hear the bass drum and nothing else. It feels like depth charges going off underneath you. We’ve had a few problems with that.” Concert technology has changed since the 1980s, but much of what Wakeling sings about has not. The English Beat formed amid the social upheaval and turmoil of 1978 Britain, and Wakeling sees parallels to the political climate in the U.S. today. “I think that’s the reason this record came out, because it’s a bit of a bookend,” he said of Here We Go Love. “The vast majority of the situations we seem to be struggling with the worst were indeed being discussed and argued strongly in the late ’70s and early ’80s.” He’s frustrated by the idealistic stagnation of Western society and how it keeps returning to concepts such as trickle down economics and isolationism, and how surrounding conversations often fail to account for personal blind spots. “I’m living in a fucking fairy tale / It seems I’m not the only one,” he sings on the album’s title track. Wakeling, for one, is ready to move forward. “America has always been great in my mind, and it can continue being great in a different way,” he said. “We just can’t have the 20th century back. It’s gone.” Ω

catch the english beat at 7 p.m. on friday, august 24 at ace of spades, 1417 r street. tickets are $22. learn more at aceofspadessac.com.


foR the week of auguSt 23

by maxfield morris

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.

POst events Online FOR FRee at newsreview.com/sacramento

MUSIC

slOPPY seCOnDs: With the Moans and The

Barfly Effect.  8pm, $15-$20. Blue Lamp, 1400  Alhambra Blvd.

THURSDAY, 8/23

tYROne Wells: Wells wrote a really neat bio

Beats antiQue: With Balkan Bump.  7pm, $25. Ace Of Spades, 1417 R St.

Daniel CHaMPaGne: Come get a drink of Daniel  Champagne, the Australian guitar maestro  with the beverage name.  8pm, $12. Blue  Lamp, 1400 Alhambra Blvd.

sun

One day of leash and pooches Johnson-springview park, 8am, no cover There are no dogs alive who were there for  the original Woodstock music festival. Good  thing there’s Woofstock. Dogs  Festivals and their humans are invited  to share in the fun—and there’s so much  more to it than just a parodic name. There  are events Woodstock never dreamed of  having, like a timed 5K run/walk. There  are dog races, a costume parade, a

tiCKet WinDOW J. COLE With Young Thug, Jaden Smith

and more, this is definitely a concert to  fill your Snapchat story with. 9/4, 7:30pm, $64.95-$309, on sale now. Golden 1 Center,  ticketmaster.com.

BILL BURR With a comedic range

that goes often challenges the bubbles  audiences audiences live in, Burr puts on a great  live in, Burr puts on a great

Challenge us, Bill.

do you remember when their tour bus  dumped human waste onto a boat full  of tourists? I recently learned they also  make music. 9/8, 8pm, $49.50-$115, on sale make now. Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain  View, concerts1.livenation.com. View,

THE EAgLES The Eagles have probably  stayed stayed in countless Californian hotels,  but but hopefully they’ll write a song  about about Sacramento hotels. 9/18, 8pm, $95-$225, on sale now now. Golden 1 Center,  ticketmaster.com.

CITY OF TREES 2018 ODEZSA,

Bastille, Bastille, CHVRCHES, Dirty Heads and the  rest are all coming to the farm-to-fork  rest capital.  capital 9/22, 3pm, $42.50, on sale now. Papa  Murphy’s Park, ticketmaster.com Murphy’s .

sHOWstOPPeRs seniOR CHOiR: This senior choir  is unstoppable, unflappable and undeniable.  With more than 40 singers performing under  the motto, “We Aspire to Inspire Before  We Expire,” it’s a show that shouldn’t  be missed.  6:30pm, no cover. ACC Senior  Services, 7334 Park City Drive.

FRIDAY, 8/24 tHe enGlisH Beat: With Squarefield

ROMEO SANTOS Santos has sold out a

lot of venues. Will he sell out this one? Help  shape history by either buying a ticket  or not. 9/23, 8pm, $46-$126, on sale now. Golden 1 Center, ticketmaster.com

CHILDISH gAMBINO Really hope

Gambino comes to Sacramento sometime  soon. Until then, to Oakland! 9/27, 7:30pm, $110-$240, on sale now. Oracle Arena in  Oakland, ticketmaster.com.

JOURNEY Def Leppard joins Journey

for a night guaranteed to not make you  stop believing. (Not an official guarantee.)   10/4, 7pm, $113-$200, on sale now. Golden 1  Center, ticketmaster.com.

Gilbert for the event called—I kid  you not—the “Red Blooded RocknRoll  Redneck Extravaganza.”  6:30pm, $29.50$129.50. Toyota Amphitheatre, 2677 Forty  Mile Road in Wheatland.

bluesy, Americana country band doesn’t  draw you, maybe the free popcorn  will.  noon, no cover. Sacramento State, 6000  J St.

MaRCY PlaYGROunD: With Blue Oaks and North

Sacramento stop on Smith’s The Thrill of  it All tour. We probably should have been  first, but we’ll settle for 49th.  8pm, $45$125. Golden 1 Center, 500 David J Stern  Walk.

Shore  7pm, $20. Holy Diver, 1517 21st St.

FESTIVALS

THE FRONT BOTTOMS The acquired  taste of a band is playing with Great  Grandpa. They’re good, though, I swear.  10/8, 7pm, $27, on sale now. Ace of Spades,  eventbrite.com.

THURSDAY, 8/23

COMMeMORatinG RaCHManinOFF anD DeBussY: Jeffrey Siegel takes the audience

tRi COuntY JOB FaiR: Want a job, but don’t

on a stirring piano remembrance of the two  composers’ work, 75 and 100 years after their  deaths.  7:30pm, $13-$38. Harris Center, 10  College Parkway in Folsom.

appearances, 25 film appearances and 38  music albums, it’s incredible Fernandez  has time for this show!  7:30pm, $44.95$159.95. Thunder Valley Casino, 1200 Athens  Ave. in Lincoln.

sKi MasK tHe sluMP GOD: With Bandhunta Izzy,  Danny Towers and DJ Scheme.  7pm, $29.50$129.50. Ace Of Spades, 1417 R St.

superstar kind of night with Metric and  the Sm’Pumps at the Golden 1.  7pm, $29$125. Golden 1 Center, 500 David J Stern  Walk.

tHe GHOst tOWn ReBelliOn: If the gritty,

saM sMitH: It’s finally time for the

PeDRO FeRnanDeZ: With seven soap opera

$12. Harlow’s, 2708 J St.

tHe sMasHinG PuMPKins: It’s an alt-rock

pop band after deaths struck his family.  That’s a more compelling band-formation  story than most.  8pm, $15-$18. Harlow’s,  2708 J St.

KiD ROCK: Performing with Brantley

1970s is back with a vengeance—and a taste  for brass.  7:30pm, $30-$55. Crest Theatre,  1013 K St.

BaD BaD Hats: With Cumulus.  7pm, $10-

GeOGRaPHeR: Michael Deni founded this indie-

a big-band boogie.  7:30pm, $18-$43. Harris  Center, 10 College Parkway in Folsom.

MalO: The Latin-influenced rock band from the

TUESDAY, 8/28

Guitar Mac & His Blues Express will be  serenading the park and all the birds and  humans in it.  4:30pm, no cover. Central Park,  301 C St. in Davis.

bands put their spins on Devo classics in a  benefit for the Sacramento Preparatory  Music Academy.  9pm, $5. Fox & Goose, 1001  R St.

band with a guitar, a bass and drums plays  music.  7pm, $12. Holy Diver, 1517 21st St.

$22. Harlow’s, 2708 J St.

Davis FaRMeR’s MaRKet PiCniC in tHe PaRK:

FORtY YeaRs OF DevO a tRiBute sHOW: Seven

KinG BuFFalO: The psychedelic New York

anDeRsOn east: With Los Colognes.  7pm, $20-

WEDNESDAY, 8/29

Massive.  7pm, $22. Ace Of Spades, 1417 R St.

SATURDAY, 8/25

There are still tickets available—for now.

DAVE MATTHEWS BAND Seriously,

Bru Lei and T.P.R.  9pm, $22.50-$28. Harlow’s,  2708 J St.

KaHulanui: The Hawaiian kings of swing bring

pancake breakfast and lots of activities.  Sure, there’s no Hendrix, Creedence or  Joplin, but there may be Huskies, Collies  and Jindos. If you’re at all like Diane Lane  portraying Sarah Nolan in the film Must  Love Dogs, you will not want to miss this  genuine dog-a-palooza. 5480 5th Street in  Rocklin, rocklin.ca.us/Woofstock2018.

comedy show. 9/7, 8pm, $42.95-$77.95, on sale now. Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln,  ticketmaster.com.

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CITY OF ROCKLIN

26

about himself, touching on getting comfortable  with music as a job, working at TJ Maxx in  Spokane and his wonderful family life. He didn’t  mention his music—which is folky.  7:30pm, $25. The Sofia, 2700 Capitol Ave.

SUNDAY, 8/26

sCaRFaCe: With Kidd Doxx, WurdPlay Official,

Does your dog have its license?

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

know where to find a large congregation of  employers? You’re in luck. There are about  40 government and private employers at  this event—bring about 40 resumes and  apply for a job at each.  9am, no cover. 2729  Prospect Park Drive in Rancho Cordova.

SATURDAY, 8/25 CuRBY’s Waste-a-PalOOZa: See the well-

written event highlight on page 31.  10am, no cover. Roseville Utility Exploration Center,  1501 Pleasant Grove Blvd. in Roseville.

OuR stReet niGHt MaRKet: The night is a span  of time that markets seldom frequent.  It’s time for a change. This “night market”  brings street food and music into the wee  hours of the morning, lasting until an hour  past midnight. Leave sleep to the bees,  come out and market it up.  7pm, no cover. R  Street, between 11th & 13th Streets.

CalenDaR listinGs COntinueD On PaGe 28

08.23.18    |   SN&R   |   27


See more eventS and Submit your own at newsreview.com/sacramenTo/calendar

Tuesday, 8/28

wednesday, 8/29 PintS & PlanS eState PlanninG worKSHoP: No

Smashing Pumpkins GoldEn 1 CEnTEr, 7pm, $29-$125

one likes to think about beer—it’s so morbid to consider. Make drinking a pint a little easier by pairing it with a free discussion about your financial plans after you die. 6:30pm, no cover. Yolo Brewing Co., 1520 Terminal St. in West Sacramento.

Instead of consulting music critics, let’s get a celebrity’s take on the muSiC band. Comedian PHoTo courTesy oF olivia Bee John Mulaney posted about his August 1 trip to see the Sm’Pumps in New York. He had a really, really good time. If you take Mulaney’s word for it, go check out the angsty, Billy Corgan-fronted band. To boot, Metric is playing. I don’t have a celebrity endorsement lined up, but I’ve enjoyed Metric, so you probably might, too. Golden 1 Center, 500 David J Stern Walk.

Film THursday, 8/23 festival focuses on environmental issues affecting the planet. They haven’t magically gone away yet, so keep going to this film festival to learn about what’s going on in the world. 8:30pm, $18 North Columbia Schoolhouse, 17894 Tyler Foote Road in Nevada City.

roCKy Horror PiCture SHow: Guess it’s that structures at this fundraiser for the park. Live music and not-live food also fill out this event—fit for the whole family. 5pm, $6$40. Fairytale Town, 3901 Land Park Drive.

SaCtown naCHoS FeSt: See event highlight

on page 29. 4pm, $10. Cesar Chavez Plaza, 910 I St.

taSte oF Soul SaCramento: Celebrate soul—both the music and the food—at this two-day event with live music, live vendors and more booths than you’ll know what to do with. Lyfe Jennings, Temptations Review and more will be playing, so come feed your soul. noon, $25-$75. Southside Park, 2115 6th St.

time travelerS baZaar: For the discerning customer who’s so over 21st-century merchandise, this is your event. Step into a dimension where time is uncertain, where fiction and reality co-mingle, but where vendor booths and panel discussions are still a thing. 10am, $10. Scottish Rite Masonic Center, 6151 H St.

sunday, 8/26 SaCramento JewiSH Food Faire: Masticate

sunday, 8/26

some matzo balls, consume some kugel, feast on some falafel, bolt down some blintzes, lick some lox, have some hummus, lay waste to some latkes! Celebrate Jewish cuisine and everything in between at this food fair with an ‘e.’ 9am, no cover. Congregation Beth Shalom, 4746 El Camino Ave.

CurtiS FeSt artiSan Fair: The Calendar Editor’s Dictionary defines a fair as “any event with a petting zoo.” This event qualifies under that definition, and exceeds it, offering an incredible selection of crafted artwork, along with an exquisite palate of foods and treats. Come out to this calendar-approved fair! 10am, no cover. Curtis Park, 3349 West Curtis Drive.

Sunday brewer’S SuPPer: Sit down for supper with the folks at Crooked Lane Brewing. It’s a real tight-knit dinner with specially selected suds for your perusal, pouring and partaking. 5pm, $85. The Hamilton Room, 2009 N St.

Food & drinK

taSte oF Soul SaCramento: See the event

Friday, 8/24

description above for 8/25. noon, $25$75. Southside Park, 2115 6th St.

inauGural dinner witH a Farmer: Instead of eating dinner and just imagining the farmer who grew the produce, go face-to-fork in front of that farmer. Tim Mueller of Riverdog Farm will be present at this delectable sixcourse meal made from food he grew. 6pm, $80-$100. Savory Café, 722 Main St., Suite A in Woodland.

monday, 8/27 emPire Summer SinGalonG SerieS: Dear Evan Hansen is the name of the singalong, and your enthusiasm for the musical is what you should bring along. Should you choose to attend, you might choose to have some pizza and drinks. You might also sing along to the hit show. 5:30pm, $12-$15. The Federalist, 2009 Matsui Alley.

CaSH Flow: Have a beer and play Cash Flow, an economics lesson disguised as a board game. Learn about accounting, financing, investing—children and adults will all discover a thing or two as the play this “board game.” It’s edu-tainment! 6:30pm, no cover. Sactown Union Brewery, 1210 66th St., Unit B.

Tuesday, 8/28 dininG blind: This benefit for “vision services”

saTurday, 8/25 taleS & aleS FundraiSer: Do you get a kick out of doing adult things in places typically reserved for children? If that’s the case, get down to Fairytale Town and taste unlimited local craft beers amongst child-sized play

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deprives you of your eyesight during a meal to help you understand how the blind experience food. Does it take real peoples’ experiences and turn them into a novelty? That’s up to you. 8pm, $30. Taste of Tuscany, 7753 Roseville Road, Suite A.

ences like you wouldn’t believe, including growing up in a family with 12 other siblings, Johnson has a neat take on things—and stuff, too. through 8/25. $17.50-$22.50. JB Smoove. As a comedian, actor and person with a cool name, Smoove has a history of making people laugh, both out loud and to themselves. through 8/25. $25-$35. 2100 Arden Way, Suite 225.

tommy t’S Comedy Club: Earthquake. The comedian with a disastrous name and a free-flowing style is coming to stage. through 8/25. $25-$35. 12401 Folsom Blvd. in Rancho Cordova.

wild and SCeniC on tour: This short film

saTurday, 8/25 Calendar liStinGS Continued From PaGe 27

PunCH line: Zainab Johnson. With life experi-

time of year where we do the Time Warp. Again. Relive the magic, the weirdness, the spookily catchy musical numbers—come in costume and compete in the contest for costumes. It’s one of those rare times when cult followings are good. 10pm, $20$30. Colonial Theatre, 3522 Stockton Blvd.

comedy blaCKtoP Comedy: Larry Wilson: Magician and Comedian. Magic meets comedy. They should do a comedy show where plumbing meets comedy—that I would go see. To be fair, Wilson is purportedly very funny. Saturday 8/25, 8pm. $15. 3101 Sunset Blvd., Suite 6A in Rocklin.

lauGHS unlimited Comedy Club: Smile Out Loud. Jason Cheny headlines, and Jimmy Earll and Rhoda Ramone will also give cheerful performances. thursday 8/23, 8pm. $15-$20. Cheryl Anderson. The comedian who has moonlighted as a soccer mom shares her sense of humor, which is not a typical sense. through 8/27. $10. 1207 Front St.

on sTaGe b Street tHeatre: Boozy New Play Brunch. Have you been meaning to go to a play reading, but there hasn’t been one with brunch food? Or have you been meaning to go to a brunch, but there hasn’t been one paired with a play reading? The wait is over. Come see In Between the Hours and get a complimentary meal. Sunday, 8/26, noon. $12. 2700 Capitol Ave.

biG idea tHeatre: Bootycandy. This powerful, absurd, visceral play follows a gay black man throughout his life. Check out our critic’s review on page 24. through 9/8. $18. 1616 Del Paso Blvd.

Hot italian: StartupSac Happy Hour. Come armed with your most insightful questions to this Q&A/free pizza session with Kristopher Francisco, the CEO and founder of Evolute. He’s done a lot of cloud computing tech stuff, big data and more, so come pick his brain. tuesday 8/28, 5:30pm. no cover. 1627 16th St.

luna’S CaFe & JuiCe bar: Folk and Poetry Night for Homeless Women and Children. The name of the event is pretty self-explanatory. Support the Godmothers, an organization that supports homeless women and children. Friday 8/24, 8pm. $7-$8. 1414 16th St.

muSiC CirCuS at tHe wellS FarGo Pavilion: Little Shop of Horrors. If you’ve got an unquenchable thirst for musical theater, this campy show is sure to satisfy, with music by Alan Menken. Get more in-depth info on page 24. through 8/26. $45-$99. 1419 H St.

Tuesday, 8/28

Speed Friending Elk GrovE TEEn CEnTEr, 6pm, $5

Hey, kids! Do you wish making friends was fast-paced, high-stakes and gamified? Well, this friend-making event ClaSSeS is for you. You’ll break into pairs and have a short amount of time to befriend each person! Come prepared to share your favorite food and movie, your name and one more interesting fact about you. If you run out of things to talk about, mention that you learned about the event from the calendar editor at SN&R! 8978 Elk Grove Blvd in Elk Grove, face2faceyouthgroup.com.

PunCH line: Maurice Benard. It’s been 25 years since Benard joined the cast of the soap opera General Hospital. Hard to believe. Hear his stories and ask him questions, and remember: Life is short, but soap operas never die. Satuday 8/25, 2pm. $49.50. 2100 Arden Way, Suite 225.

Sierra 2 Center: The Gondoliers. Gilbert and Sullivan made this musical that makes fun of the monarchy and glorifies gondolas—rightfully so. through 8/26. $15-$20. 2791 24th St.

tHe auditorium at Clara: Stories on Stage Sacramento. Tommy Orange and Vanessa Hua share their writings. Orange’s work, There There, is a New York Times Best Seller that follows 12 different Native American narrators over the course of one day. Hua’s work, A River of Stars, is the story of a pregnant Chinese woman headed to California. Friday 8/24, 7:30pm. no cover. 1425 24th St.

tHe SoFia: Habits of Incredibly Happy People. Sure, you’re pretty happy. You’ve got a dog, you hang out with friends—but aren’t you constantly jealous of the people who are incredibly happy? Gen Kelsang Rigpa, American Buddhist monk, guides you through how you can become one of those select few incredibly happy folks. Sunday 8/26, 10am. $20$25. 2700 Capitol Ave.

w.J. Geery tHeatre: Beyond Therapy. This show is based around characters that are so desperate to find companions that they deserve to be in a play. through 8/26. $15. 2130 L St.

arT e Street Gallery: InnerSOUL. Do you like your art like you like your shoe documentaries— about and featuring shoes? If so, check out this foot-covering show that benefits hospice for terminally ill homeless. through 8/25. no cover. 1115 E St.

Golden 1 Center: Sacramento Kings Wine & Paint Night. Go hard in the paint at this wine and art night. You’ll be a guest in the Golden 1 Center, slapping brush to canvas and sipping on some Bogle. 5:30pm. through 8/23. $50. 500 David J Stern Walk.

Kennedy Gallery: Oceans Alive. Take to the waves without having to drive for a couple of hours by attending this art exhibit. through 9/8. no cover. 1931 L St., Sacramento.


Saturday, 8/25

Sactown Nachos Festival Cesar Chavez Plaza, 4Pm, $10

What nacho festival would be complete  without a performance by Baby Bash?  Not this one. Scoot on down and  scoop on up some festivities, with $4  nacho specials from 20  Food different vendors, semi-pro  wrestlers—and plenty more non-nachorelated activities, in case you care about  things other than liquefied cheese on  PHOtO COurtESy OF nataSHa bHOgal tortilla chips. Come with a nacho-sized  appetite for giving, because the event also benefits Project Optimism,  a community-building nonprofit. 910 I Street, sactownnachos.com.

CALENdAR LISTINGS CoNTINUEd FRoM PAGE 28

Saturday, 8/25 FISHING IN THE CITY: Learn to fish at Florin

SACRAMENTo STATE: Spring Delusions.  Local artist Zahra Ammar’s exhibit is  inspired by T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland, and  it will be shown in the University Union  Gallery.  Through 9/20. No cover. 6000 J St.

MuSEuMS BELLE CooLEdGE LIBRARY: California Poetry  Research Guide and Workshop. Come learn  about poetry and the practice of researching it, led by reference librarian Elena  Smith.  Saturday 8/25, 6pm. No cover. 5600  South Land Park Drive.

CALIFoRNIA AUToMoBILE MUSEUM: Pints for  Patriots. Taste some local beers to benefit  veteran assistance programs.  Saturday 8/25, 4pm. $35-$45. Talking Shop with John  D’Agostino. Custom and hot-rod cars are  works of love and commitment. Come talk to  one of the artisans who has taken up the task  of making custom cars, John D’Agostino.  6pm. Through 8/28. $12.  2200 Front St.

CALIFoRNIA STATE RAILRoAd MUSEUM: Toy  Train Month. While the mass-transit appeal  of trains disappears when you turn them  into toys, it’s still neat to look at them.  Check out the special exhibit of German toy  trains.  Through 9/2. $6-$12. 111 I St.

FIRE STATIoN 13: Fire Station Open Houses.  You’re invited to tour local fire stations.  Check out a different one each week, and  compliment the firefighters on their tasteful station décor.  Saturday 8/25, 2pm. No cover. 1100 43rd Ave.

SUTTER’S FoRT STATE HISToRIC PARK: Be a Park  Champion. It’s time to give back to Sutter’s  Fort by volunteering—just make sure you  wear 1800s period-accurate clothing, or you’ll  be turned away at the door. Not really, that  was a joke. Come as you are to help maintain  a city treasure, register in advance.  Sunday 8/26, 10am. No cover. 2701 L St.

SPOrtS & OutdOOrS

Creek Park! Kids are invited to come catch  some of the slippery swimmers at this  event that illustrates to city folk that  the food we eat used to be alive.  8am, no cover. Florin Creek Recreation Center, 7460  Persimmon Ave.

GUIdEd PHoToGRAPHY WALK: Sometimes we all  need a little push to do photography. Bring  a camera and your creative eye to this  walk in nature, and you might get a truly  beautiful photo. You also might not, and  that’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up.  8am, no cover. Cosumnes River Preserve, 13501  Franklin Boulevard in Galt.

SINGLE MoM STRoNG LASER TAG: Single moms  and kids are invited to come revel in some  laser tag.  11:30am, $8. Xtreme Craze, 6694  Lonetree Blvd. in Rocklin.

WIZARdS ASSEMBLE PUB CRAWL: Wouldn’t  wizards fly between pubs, rather than  walking? Suspend your disbelief, because  this event lets you hit the town dressed  to the gills as a magic person. Win the  costume contest, prove your wizardly trivia  knowledge and let loose in a crowd of likedressed people.  4pm, $20-$30. Republic Bar  & Grill, 908 15th St.

Sunday, 8/26 BEAT THE HEAT ZUMBATHoN 2018: Dance around  for a morning of Zumba that benefits the  Firefighters Burn Institute.  10am, $25$45. Orangevale Community Center, 6826  Hazel Ave. in Orangevale.

WooFSToCK: See the adorable event highlight  on page 27.  8am, no cover. JohnsonSpringview Park, 5460 5th St. in Rocklin.

WEdnESday, 8/29 oLd SACRAMENTo WATERFRoNT YoGA:  Emulate Marlon Brando and do yoga on  the waterfront. Historians disagree on  whether the actor did yoga, but they agree  that he did do a lot of things.  6:30am, no cover. Waterfront Embarcadero, 1000  Front St.

lgbtQ

FrIday, 8/24 LIVESAFE CLINIC: Danger is everywhere. There  were nine shark attacks on the West Coast  in 2017. While this clinic doesn’t prepare you  to fight off a shark, it does get into how to  stun a human attacker and escape.  7pm, $30. Kovar’s Satori Academy, 7520 Fair Oaks  Blvd. in Carmichael.

FrIday, 8/24 MILK & CooKIES QUEER AUTHoR REAdING:  This series of readings held by the Queer  Sacramento Authors Collective features

CALENdAR LISTINGS CoNTINUEd oN PAGE 31

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30   |   SN&R   |   08.23.18


see MORe eveNts aND sUBMit YOUR OWN at NEWSrEVIEW.COM/SaCraMENtO/CaLENdar

Stay & Play at the historical icon of the North Shore

The Tahoe BilTmore

Saturday, 8/25

Curby’s Waste-a-Palooza Roseville Utility exploRation CenteR, 10am, no CoveR

Contrary to how the name sounds,  this event doesn’t encourage waste!  Instead, it educates on  Festivals how not to waste. You’ll  meet Curby, the anthropomorphized  recycling can robot! You’ll get to compete  in a trivia game! You’ll stare deep into  Curby’s soulless, grapefruit-sized eyes  and learn how to be more eco-friendly!  There are prizes, all kinds of educational  PHOtO COurtESy OF rOSEVILLE utILIty EXPLOratION CENtEr events and you’ll walk away feeling much  more knowledgeable about a city utility system. 1501 Pleasant Grove  Boulevard in Roseville, roseville.ca.us.

CaleNDaR listiNGs CONtiNUeD FROM PaGe 29 local authors as well as cookies.   7pm, no cover. Lavender Library, 1414 21st St.

Saturday, 8/25 MiDtOWN QUeeR ClOtHiNG sWaP: Bring the  freshest clothes you’re ready to part with  and participate in a clothing swap with  the Sacramento community. It’s a great  way to interact with people, update your  wardrobe and sip on some cold coffee.  2pm, no cover. Lavender Library, 1414 21st St.

taKE aCtION Saturday, 8/25 let tHe RiveR RUN CleaN: The American River  is a wonderful resource, often full of water.  Unfortunately, that water often contains  things that aren’t water—things like trash.  Gosh, trash is just the worst. If you feel the  duty to be a river custodian, bring a pair of  gloves and collect some trash.  10:30am, no cover. Effie Yeaw Nature Center, 2850 San  Lorenzo Way in Carmichael.

ReGiONal leaDeRsHiP CONFeReNCe saCRaMeNtO:  Are you itching to get involved in the Parent  Teacher Association? Of course you are,  especially if you’ve got children in school. This  conference lets you choose your own PTA  adventure, with workshops for every rung  of the PTA. There’s even lunch included.  8am, $25. Serna Center, 5735 47th Ave.

WEdNESday, 8/29 MiGRa OBseRveR tRaiNiNG: Help support a  community under attack. This training gives  you the skills you to be a Migra Observer,  someone who takes part in a network that  shares alerts about ICE raids and more.  6pm, no cover. Sol Collective, 2574 21st St.

CLaSSES tHurSday, 8/23 leaD MiNDFUllY: Do you want to lead people?  Do you want to do it mindfully? Do you have

$350 on hand? Come spend half a day and  $350 learning about buzzwords, including  innovation, authenticity, self-awareness  and more!  5:30pm, $350. Training Facility,  2355 Gold Meadow Way in Gold River.

Saturday, 8/25

Stay in our vintage style rooms and leave with memories full of fun Enjoy cutting edge gaming with over 200 slots for your enjoyment Share intimate dining experiences at Bilty’s or fill up on all you can eat Sunday brunch at Cafe Biltmore

Your VaCation awaitS! 5 nV-28 Crystal Bay, nV 89402

800-245-8667

www.tahoebiltmore.com l webhost@tahoebiltmore.com

MaCeBell seMiNaR: Learn how to exercise with  a macebell, which is like a metal baseball  bat with a round weight on the end of it. It  looks super metal.  Noon, $100. Regency Park  Baseball Fields, 5500 Honor Parkway.

MYRtle PRess OPeN PRiNtMaKiNG stUDiO: Do you  have an incredible idea for a print, but you  don’t have a studio to realize it in? Well, quit  your complaining and start your printmaking  at this open studio with instruction if you  need it.  10am, $10. Verge Center for the Arts,  625 S St.

sOUND BatH: Take two baths in one day, the  second one being a sound bath. I’m not going  to tout any dubious “healing properties,”  instead I’ll say that this might be a neat way  to spend 45 minutes.  7pm, $20. Solfire Yoga,  2613 J St.

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 Gibbons Drive Suite B in  Carmichael.

MONday, 8/27 aUDitiON teCHNiQUe: All the world’s a stage,  so get better at auditioning. This class  walks you or your barber who dreams of  being in the movies through the process  of auditioning, and how to do it well.  6pm, $230. CLARA, 2420 N St.

tuESday, 8/28 sPeeD FRieNDiNG: Check out the niche event  highlight on page 28.  6pm, $5. Elk Grove  Teen Center, 8978 Elk Grove Blvd. in Elk  Grove.

We are a small college and career themed high school preparing students for life! Students will graduate ready for a four year college and an entry level career in the health field.

Uc a-g college preparatory curriculum

Safe and caring environment

Internships for 11th and 12th grade

State of the art hospital simulation lab

87% 97% graduation college rate 2018

acceptance rate 2018

College classes on campUS

8

Educators of the Year on staff

Marla Clayton Johnson | Principal | marla-johnson@scusd.edu Arthur A Benjamin Health Professions High School (HPHS) (916) 395-5010 ext 501011 | hphsjaguars.com College, Career, Civic and Life Ready Students 08.23.18    |   SN&R   |   31


THURSDAY 8/23

FRIDAY 8/24

SATURDAY 8/25

SUNDAY 8/26

MONDAY-WEDNESDAY 8/27-8/29

Poprockz 90s Night, 7pm, call for cover

Fierce Fridays, 7pm, call for cover

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, no cover

Emily McVicker, 9:30pm, no cover

Ken Koenig, 9:30pm, no cover

Blue lamp

Daniel Champagne, 8pm, $12

Soulful 3, 8pm, call for cover

Sloppy Seconds, the Moans, the Bar Fly Effect and Lightweight, 8pm, $15

Boots on the Boardwalk, 8pm, $10

Winter Reign, Esther Black, Dawn of Morgana and Stormfall, 8:30pm, $10

CapiTol GaRaGe

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

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

CResT TheaTRe

Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 7:30pm, $7.50$9.50

Malo and It’s a Beautiful Day, 6:30pm, $30-$55

Badlands

2003 k ST., (916) 448-8790 101 MAIN ST., ROSEvIllE, (916) 774-0505 1400 AlHAMbRA blvD., (916) 455-3400

The BoaRdwalk

9426 GREENbAck lN., ORANGEvAlE, (916) 358-9116 1500 k ST., (916) 444-3633

PHOTO bY PITPONY PHOTOGRAPHY

Sam Smith

1013 k ST., (916) 476-3356

FaCes

Faces Karaoke, 9pm, call for cover

Absolut Fridays, 9pm, call for cover

Sequin Saturday, 9:30pm, call for cover

FaTheR paddY’s iRish puBliC house

Andrew Little, 6pm, call for cover

Mark Wellendorf and Steve Wall, 7pm, call for cover

High Card Drifters, 7pm, call for cover

Fox & Goose

James Parr, 8pm, no cover

Forty Years of DEVO, 9pm, $5

R Street Night Market with DJ AA, 9pm, no cover

2000 k ST., (916) 448-7798

with Beth Ditto 8pm Friday, $45-$125 Golden 1 Center Soul-pop

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

Golden 1 CenTeR

500 DAvID J STERN WAlk, (888) 915-4647

Sam Smith and Beth Ditto, 8pm, $45-$125

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32   |   SN&R   |   08.23.18

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Sign up for our newsletter! Go to www.capitalcannabisguide.com or text WEED to 42828

34   |   SN&R   |    08.23.18


For more cannabis news, deals & updates visit capitalcannabisguide.com

hitch biking

See goatkidd

illustration by sarah hansel

righting the cannabis balance City Council approves new equity program for minority-owned businesses—but is it enough? by Brad Branan

Sacramento minority leaders, including the head of the local NAACP chapter, praised the Sacramento City Council for recently approving a social equity program designed to help disadvantaged communities succeed in the commercial cannabis market. On August 8, the City Council unanimously voted to approve the Cannabis Opportunity Reinvestment and Equity program, but as it stands, the program falls short of Councilman Jay Schenirer’s hope of “becoming a state and national model.” As cannabis is legalized across the country, state and local governments are starting or considering social equity programs to make up for a

disparity in enforcement that occurred when it was illegal. Even though whites consume cannabis at rates at least as high as minorities, according to law enforcement data, the latter were subject to arrests at rates far higher than whites. A Sacramento Police Department report earlier this year found that African-Americans made up fully one-half of all cannabis-related arrests from 2004 to 2016, when they only accounted for 14 percent of the population. In response, the city’s social equity program intends to help people with past convictions and residents of communities with a disproportionate

37

percentage of arrests get a leg up in the city’s commercial cannabis market. The program will waive permit fees for minority-run cannabis businesses and give “priority processing” for development plans needing city approval. It will also create a program to provide education, technical assistance and other help for minorities trying to make it in the field. Social equity programs in Oakland and Los Angeles, just to name a couple, offer those benefits and more. In Oakland, for instance, the city has made the program part of the overall commercial cannabis permitting process, and requires that half of all licenses go to equity applicants. Malaki Seku-Amen, president and chief executive officer of the California Urban Project, an economic development organization, spearheaded the drive for social equity in Sacramento, but did not comment on the disparities in these programs when he addressed the Sacramento City Council before its August 7 approval of the program. He also declined to answer SN&R’s questions about those disparities. Seku-Amen has lobbied city officials to approve such a program for nearly a year. Last year, he organized a summit to discuss social equity. Before voting with the rest of the council in approval of a program this year, Mayor Darrell Steinberg praised Seku-Amen for his tough but realistic negotiations. Steinberg added that the city lacked funding to help with economic development programs such as social equity. The city has set a goal of having social equity participants controlling 50 percent of the city’s

iS weed Lube bad for you? See aSk 420

39

cannabis businesses, compared to Oakland where that is a requirement. Sacramento’s goal will be tough to reach for a number of reasons, all of them tied to money. As Steinberg alluded to, the Sacramento program offers no direct financial support, other than fee waivers. In Los Angeles, the social equity program brings in private investors to fund start-up costs for equity participants. Investors have an incentive to back the participants because of the built-in advantages they receive over other cannabis businesses. Similarly, Oakland’s social equity program includes a provision for “incubators”—any cannabis business can get preferential treatment in licensing by providing three years of free rent to an equity participant. Such incentives could help minorities break into an already wellestablished Sacramento cannabis market. Take dispensaries. The city has set a cap of 30 for dispensaries and it was reached with existing companies that were operating previously under medical marijuana laws. While the City Council expects to revisit the cap, it’s questionable how many more dispensaries the market can bear, given current sales. Then there is cannabis manufacturing—the companies that grow marijuana or take parts of the plant and turn into products that can be eaten or otherwise consumed. More than 100 such companies have received formal or tentative city approval, and the city has approved a cap on such businesses in southeast Sacramento and expects to consider another limit in North Sacramento. Ω

The Sacramento social equity program offers no direct financial support, other than fee waivers.

08.23.18

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Scratch this and it will smell like weed.

36   |   SN&R   |    08.23.18


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38   |   SN&R   |    08.23.18

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By Ngaio Bealum

as k 420 @ne w s re v i e w . c o m

Protecting your lady bits Hey, you keep mentioning these cannabis-infused sex lubes and they sound like fun, but are they safe? I mean, can cannabis hurt the coochie? And how much is too much? Will it get me stoned? —GeorGia o’Kief

These are the deep, penetrating questions. Time to call in the professionals. Dr. Jen Gunter is an OB-GYN, and she writes books and stuff. In fact, she’s working on a new book about lady bits as we speak, and her blog is fantastic. I asked her via Twitter (@ DrJenGunter) about the risks of cannabis lubes, and she told me that while she isn’t a cannabis expert (still a doctor though), “People must be careful dosing-wise if they don’t want to get high. Start at the very lower end and gauge response.” Since most cannabis lubes are low dose—three pumps of velvet swing contains about 5 milligrams of THC—I, as a cannabis expert, will tell you that the odds of getting more than a tingling sensation in your nether parts is low. She also told me that she wasn’t aware of any data about whether or not the vagina has cannabinoid receptors, and so she couldn’t say anything about the science of how cannabis lubes make things just a little better. She also cautioned that cannabis use (just smoking, not rubbing on the lady bits) is associated with a 20 percent increase in yeast infections, although correlation is not causation. It’s probably not the weed, but that

stoners like to mix sex-time and snack-time together, if you know what I mean. So perhaps it’s best not to use a cannabis lube every day, especially if one is prone to yeast infections. Also: most lubes these days are water-based, but there are a few oil-based, canna-lubes out there. (Hippies love coconut oil almost as much as they love tantric sex.) Be careful with those. Oil-based lubes and condoms do not get along at all.

I hate to throw away all the plastic waste from vape pens, can you recommend any refillable options? —Petra “Kim” iKal

You know, it’s kinda funny how the cannabis industry, which used to be filled with hippies and environmentalists, has embraced plastic disposable pens and cartridges with a quickness. I get that pens are convenient and very discreet, but does anyone care about leaving a small environmental footprint anymore? As to your question: Pax, Prohibited and a few other companies sell vaporizers that can be used for waxes and oils. They are fairly easy to use, and once you get the hang of it, you can load up a fat dab hit with minimal muss and fuss. Also, many dispensaries in California have cartridge recycling programs, so you can drop your empties in the box. Ω illustration by maria ratinova

ngaio bealum is a sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at ask420@newsreview.com.

@ngaio420

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At a family party, my husband and I announced that we’re pregnant with our third child. My two older brothers and their spouses said nothing. Both couples had trouble conceiving but one is currently pregnant and the other has nine-month-old twins through in vitro fertilization. I feel guilty for getting pregnant easily but my husband and I want a big family. We are not doing this to spite anyone. After my announcement, one relative pulled me aside, cried, and said she was jealous. But she generally acts like she doesn’t like kids, including her own—and she has a doctorate in child development. Help, please!

difficult for her to admit that she doesn’t know much about children. She might even like studies about kids more than she likes kids. If that explains the emotional gap between her and her children it might take years for her to face the truth. I work for my father. My brothers love to say how jealous they are, even though my father treats me more like a friend than like a son. I work hard on our relationship because I feel a cold wall between me and my father—actually me and my entire family. There’s a family vacation coming up. Last year, I worried so much about it I made myself sick.

Let me celebrate you: Be grateful that your father Congratulations on your treats you like an adult. pregnancy! Breathe in Are you willing to be those words until his equal? Be an adult bliss sings in every Healing is more with your brothers, cell of your body. difficult if you hold too. When they Congratulate comment or joke, yourself daily. the opinions of family smile because Each time anyone members higher than they are revealing greets your good how old they are. news with joy, soak those of happy friends Excuse yourself it in. If you do this or strangers. and go do something well, your heart will fun. If your brothers be full. So if someone, are bullies, speak up for even a family member, yourself. Let them know responds unkindly, it won’t you won’t tolerate abuse. The matter much. You don’t need their more you embody your adult self, the faster approval or recognition—your heart that cold wall will tumble down (because is full. If a family member responds it’s inside you). Ω joyfully to your pregnancy announcement, your full heart will overflow. Healing is more difficult if you hold the opinions of family members higher than those of happy friends or strangers. So why cling to a hierarchy when you MedITATIon oF THe Week know it causes you pain? Inspire your freedom with a mental shift away from “All blood does is make you the idea that the family you grew up related. But loyalty? It’s loyalty with is more precious than the larger that makes you family,” said human family. When you expand your baseball player Chris Diaz. Are concept of family, your experience of you loyal to the human race? family expands, and your heart grows. Isn’t that beautiful? One last thing, can we discuss your sister-in-law’s doctorate in child development? I’m a fan of university education, Write, email or leave a message for but it’s helpful to note that many colleges Joey at the News & Review. Give offer curricula heavy on theories. Your your name, telephone number sister-in-law may have discovered that the (for verification purposes only) and question—all correspondence will be kept strictly confidential. theories she learned don’t work well for her. She may not know how to deal with Write Joey, 1124 Del Paso Boulevard, Sacramento, CA the fallout of her expectations. It might be 95815; call (916) 498-1234, ext. 1360; or email askjoey@newsreview.com.


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Free will astrology

by Ashley hAyes-stone

by Rob bRezsny From left to right clockwise: Denisha Bland, Danielle Scales, Keishay Swygert, Nmachi Som-Anya and Jacquez Cosby of the Sacramento Area Youth Speaks’ poetry slam team.

For THe Week oF AuguST 23, 2018 ARIES (March 21-April 19): The two pieces

of advice I have for you may initially seem contradictory, but they are in fact complementary. Together they’ll help guide you through the next three weeks. The first comes from herbalist and wise woman Susun Weed. She suggests that when you face a dilemma, you should ask yourself how you can make it your ally and how you can learn the lesson it has for you. Your second burst of wisdom is from writer Yasmin Mogahed: “Study the hurtful patterns of your life. Then don’t repeat them.”

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Speak the following

declaration aloud and see how it feels: “I want strong soft kisses and tender unruly kisses and secret truth kisses and surprise elixir kisses. I deserve them, too.” If that puts you in a brave mood, Taurus, add a further affirmation: “I want ingenious affectionate amazements and deep dark appreciation and brisk mirthful lessons and crazy sweet cuddle wrestles. I deserve them, too.” What do you think? Do these formulas work for you? Do they put you in the proper frame of mind to co-create transformative intimacy? I hope so. You’re entering a phase when you have maximum power to enchant and to be enchanted.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): As you map out your

master plan for the next 14 months, I invite you to include the following considerations: an intention to purge pretend feelings and artificial motivations; a promise to change your relationship with old secrets so that they no longer impinge on your room to maneuver; a pledge to explore evocative mysteries that will enhance your courage; a vow to be kinder toward aspects of yourself that you haven’t loved well enough; and a search for an additional source of stability that will inspire you to seek more freedom.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): If you have been

communing with my horoscopes for a while, you’ve gotten a decent education—for free! Nonetheless, you shouldn’t depend on me for all of your learning needs. Due to my tendency to emphasize the best in you and focus on healing your wounds, I may neglect some aspects of your training. With that as caveat, I’ll offer a few meditations about future possibilities. 1. What new subjects or skills do you want to master in the next three years? 2. What’s the single most important thing you can do to augment your intelligence? 3. Are there dogmas you believe in so fixedly and rely on so heavily that they obstruct the arrival of fresh ideas? If so, are you willing to at least temporarily set them aside?

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): “All the world’s a stage,”

wrote Shakespeare, “And all the men and women merely players.” In other words, we’re all performers. Whenever we emerge from solitude and encounter other people, we choose to express certain aspects of our inner experience even as we hide others. Our personalities are facades that display a colorful mix of authenticity and fantasy. Many wise people over the centuries have deprecated this central aspect of human behavior as superficial and dishonest. But author Neil Gaiman thinks otherwise: “We are all wearing masks,” he says. “That is what makes us interesting.” Invoking his view—and in accordance with current astrological omens—I urge you to celebrate your masks and disguises in the coming weeks. Enjoy the show you present. Dare to entertain your audiences.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): I think you’ve done

enough rehearsals. At this point, the apparent quest for a little extra readiness is beginning to lapse into procrastination. So I’ll suggest that you set a date for opening night. I’ll nudge you to have a cordial talk with yourself about the value of emphasizing soulfulness over perfectionism. What? You say you’re waiting until your heart stops fluttering and your bones stop chattering? I’ve got good news: The greater your stage fright, the more moving your performance will be.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In all the time we’ve

worked on diminishing your suffering, we may have not focused enough on the fine art of resolving unfinished business. So let’s do that now, just in time for the arrival of your Season

of Completion. Are you ready to start drawing the old cycle to a close so you’ll be fresh when the new cycle begins? Are you in the mood to conclude this chapter of your life story and earn the relaxing hiatus you will need before launching the next chapter? Even if you don’t feel ready, even if you’re not in the mood, I suggest you do the work anyway. Any business you leave unfinished now will only return to haunt you later. So don’t leave any business unfinished!

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Are you ready to

mix more business with pleasure and more pleasure with business than you have ever mixed? I predict that in the coming weeks, your social opportunities will serve your professional ambitions and your professional ambitions will serve your social opportunities. You will have more than your usual amount of power to forge new alliances and expand your web of connections. Here’s my advice: Be extra charming, but not grossly opportunistic. Sell yourself, but with grace and integrity, not with obsequiousness. Express yourself like a gorgeous force of nature, and encourage others to express themselves like gorgeous forces of nature.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): “When I picture a

perfect reader,” wrote philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, “I picture a monster of courage and curiosity, also something supple, cunning, cautious, a born adventurer and discoverer.” I suspect he was using the term “monster” with a roguish affection. I am certainly doing that as I direct these same words toward you, dear Sagittarian reader. Of course, I am always appreciative of your courage, curiosity, cunning, suppleness, and adventurousness. But I’m especially excited about those qualities now, because the coming weeks will be a time when they will be both most necessary and most available to you.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): You do not yet

have access to maps of the places where you need to go next. That fact may tempt you to turn around and head back to familiar territory. But I hope you’ll press forward even without the maps. Out there in the frontier, adventures await you that will prepare you well for the rest of your long life. And being without maps, at least in the early going, may actually enhance your learning opportunities. Here’s another thing you should know: your intuitive navigational sense will keep improving the farther you get from recognizable landmarks.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Healing isn’t

impossible. You may not be stuck with your pain forever. The crookedness in your soul and the twist in your heart may not always define who you are. There may come a time when you’ll no longer be plagued by obsessive thoughts that keep returning you to the tormenting memories. But if you hope to find the kind of liberation I’m describing here, I advise you to start with these two guidelines: 1. The healing may not happen the way you think it should or imagine it will. 2. The best way to sprout the seeds that will ultimately bloom with the cures is to tell the complete truth.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Nineteenth-century

British painter J. M. W. Turner was one of the greats. Renowned for his luminous landscapes, he specialized in depicting the power of nature and the atmospheric drama of light and color. Modern poet Mary Ruefle tells us that although he “painted his own sea monsters,” he engaged assistants “to do small animals.” She writes that “he could do a great sky, but not rabbits.” I’m hoping that unlike Turner, you Piscean folks will go both ways in the coming weeks. Give as much of your creative potency and loving intelligence to the modest details as to the sweeping vistas.

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.

Poetry as family

The room filled with silence as the Sacramento Area Youth Speaks’ poetry slam team finished its piece “S.A.C,” a poem about Stephon Clark, the young African-American man killed by Sacramento police earlier this year. Students from various Sacramento-area high schools

gathered in July to attend the 2018 Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival in Houston, Texas. There, phrases such as, “They turned Sacramento’s slogan into Farm-toFork Capital / their intention was always to eat us alive,” struck the audience like emotional bullets. “They put their whole heart, soul and body in that piece and they left that room literally in tears,” explained coach Denisha Bland. Bland and her band of young spoken word artists, Jacquez Cosby, Nmachi Som-Anya, Keishay Swygert, Danielle Scales and Simone Hall, reached first place in the semifinals and ranked third in the world. Bland, and several members of the group, briefly set their poetry books aside to chat with SN&R about the team, learning experiences and how they became family.

What made you want to start the slam team? Denisha Bland: I actually didn’t start the slam team. It was started by Sacramento Area Youth Speaks, which is the organization that I work for. We been running a youth poetry slam team for about 10 years now. It started in Grant High School with five youth, and then we partnered up with our sister organization, Youth Speaks, and started going to the international poetry slam, which is Brave New Voices. This is my first year actually coaching. We created this amazing slam team that I give all the credit to the youth.

What type of subjects do you cover? Nmachi Som-Anya: We talk about things from racism to injustice in schools to the academic achievement gap to rape and a lot of personal and introspective things. Bland: It’s just issues that they are facing today as teenagers in the Sacramento area. They all come from different areas of Sacramento and they have put their voices together to speak them. The issues I noticed in their poems were police brutality, racism, women’s rights and gender identity.

What’s your role as their mentor? Bland: I am the lead poet educator for SAYS ... I help them with their own lives

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE SACRAMENTO AREA YOUTH SPEAKS’ POETRY SLAM TEAM

through hip-hop and spoken word. I am from South Sacramento, and I used poetry as an outlet to get where I am. So, I am going back into my community to help the kids who are into poetry and art and to help them use it as an outlet. I want to be that bridge to help them to get wherever they want to be.

What was it like competing at Brave New Voices? Bland: It was amazing because I watched from the sidelines [as] many teams and coaches before me [get] to Brave New Voices and [not win], so to finally be the coach [with] that breakthrough was an amazing feeling. I was very excited for the youth and the organization. It’s an honor to say that I’m their coach. Jacquez Cosby: It felt crazy to compete … I never seen an organization like it, and when everyone got together, we weren’t just people in a place. We were more like family. We care for each other and we know each other’s struggles.

How did the audience react to the Stephon Clark poem? Keishay Swygert: They felt us. I feel like we put it on for the whole city and for Zoe [Stephon Clark]. … They felt our pain as a city and as a team and what we were going through. We let them know that it wasn’t a slam piece, it was a Sacramento testament. Bland: That’s one of the lines in the poem, “This isn’t a slam piece, it’s a Sacramento testament.” I think they left that there on that stage, and the people really were able to feel the pain and passion that the city was going through. Everybody could watch [the Stephon

Clark story on] the news, but to hear it from the youth, it left the room in tears. It was the last piece we did before we won the semi-finals.

Biggest take away from BNV? Bland: I don’t think I got the biggest take away yet because I am still going through the festival every day in my head. The biggest thing that I learned though was how to depend on and listen to the youth. The whole experience taught me that to have faith in them because they got it all they just need a little bit of guidance. Danielle Scales: The biggest take away for me was being able to find community within your art and realizing that a lot of the time as artists, we use our craft to heal ourselves but [also] how much of it can help heal other people. What we write down on this paper is not just what we go through, but what people go through all over the world, and being able to connect based on that.

Advice for young poets? Bland: I think young poets should know that everybody is born a poet. Poetry is inside of you and you just got to be able to let it out. Once you let it out, tap into your artistry, be hungry for it and find an outlet to get your voice out. Poetry is art. Poetry is soul. Poetry is freedom. It can take you anywhere you want to go, but you have to believe in your own artistry before anybody else believes in you. Ω

Learn more about the Sacramento Area Youth Speaks’ team at says.ucdavis.edu.

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