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By Scott thomAS AnderSon

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After the WAr

Sacramento’S newS & entertainment weekly


Volume 30, iSSue 25


They foughT alongside u.s. forces in VieTnam. generaTions laTer, Trauma sTill haunTs sacramenTo’s hmong communiTy thurSday, october 4, 2018








EditoR’S NotE

octobER 4, 2018 | Vol. 30, iSSuE 25

04 05 06 12 13 18 20 24 25 27 33


33 18

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Last week, Christine Blasey Ford testified  before the Senate Judiciary Committee,  recounting her high school experiences with  Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.  Ford appeared confident and composed,  and yet I felt physically ill and emotionally  exhausted listening to her speak. Angry, too. It’s been a year since sexual assault  allegations drove Harvey Weinstein out of  Hollywood and ushered in a wave of similar  accusations. Countless have stepped  forth to share similar accounts. And yet  here we are again:  #MeToo, #TimesUp,  #WhyIDidn’tReport. We shouldn’t have  to repeatedly trot out our traumas to  educate society. But we do. We tell you of the  assaults, harassments and misconduct, the  domestic violence and the mental abuses. Last week’s hearing, however, made it  clear that some in power— the Lindsey  Grahams, Chuck Grassleys and Donald  Trumps of the world—refuse to listen.  Certainly, if they wanted true due  process they would have called for an FBI  investigation before Ford testified—not  after.  To get at the root of why some feel entitled  to sexually assault or harass women, we must  get at the root of how some men treat women  every day—at home, in the workplace, in social  situations, etc. The problem isn’t rooted in sex,  of course, it’s rooted in the kind of power that  promotes and elevates the Brett Kavanaughs  of the world. Every woman, including myself,  could write a book on experiences with this— the harassment and assaults, but also the  times we were talked over, talked down to,  ignored, laughed at, huffed at, finger-wagged  at and raged at. Believe women. Believe us. I believe Christine Blasey Ford. Whatever  the outcome, one thing’s certain: We’re angry  and we’re taking action. We’re speaking up and  confronting you in elevators. We’re running for  office and running campaigns. We’re mad as  hell and we’re voting. November is almost here.  Change is coming.




Anger and change

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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“I love fall weather, but It’s sweater weather for me year-round.”

Asked on tHe old sACrAmento wAterfront:

what are you looking forward to in oct.?

Adeline PiPer

k Arle y Cr Awford


medical office service clerk

I just want the cooler weather and no more fires. I also love Halloween, and I am looking forward to parties, and I can’t wait to decorate because I do my house every year. I think the theme this year is Dr. Who … so I am going to wear my trench coat and hat since the new doctor is a female.

I am looking forward to Halloween because it’s spooky. I enjoy the haunted houses and candles. I really like the feeling you get in October, because I love the weather where you can bundle up and wear jeans and sweatshirts.

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Jimmie Cl Aybrook

natural resource specialist


I am looking forward to all the Oktoberfests because I am a beer connoisseur, and the fall foliage.

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I want to get my gigs done that I have lined up for my agency and have some quality time with my son. Halloween is coming up, so I am going to take him trickor-treating and have fun.

I really like Halloween, because at work we get to wear costumes. I think it’s really cool because I get to work at a candy store and wear a costume. Halloween also reminds me of my childhood, where I had nothing but good memories. I love fall weather, but it’s sweater weather for me year-round.

Halloween, but I don’t know what my plans are yet. I am probably going to hang out with my friends and we are going to figure it out from there. I’m actually here on holiday, and it’s going to be my first Halloween in the States.

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Dangerously honest Re: “The most dangerous man in the Delta” by Scott Thomas Anderson (News, September 20): I believe it should have been titled “The most honest man in the Delta … speaking truth to power.” It was an excellent article highlighting much of what Dan [Bacher] has talked and written about for years and what he has fought for and against for far longer: fraud, corruption, collusion, racketeering. Geez, it sounds like I’m talking about the family court—CPS, etc. It’s all institutionalized fraud, corruption and racketeering. Just in the old days, they just found their government puppets to do their bidding (the puppet masters gazillionaire string pullers). Now, they like them a bit more hypocritical, using people who pretend to be all out for protecting the environment, while simultaneously increasing oil leasing, fracking and water guzzling without permits. I guess these days, you can be a half-assed environmentalist, or a selective one, and get away with it, a la Jerry Brown. Pretty sad!

BoB SaunderS Sa c ra m e nt o v i a s act ol et t er s @ ne w s re v i e w . c o m

Good guys vs. bad guys Re: “Sheriffs, not kings,” by Jeff vonKaenel (Greenlight, September 20):

We the voters elected the sheriff after the police inaction during the Antifa and BAMN [By Any Means Necessary] attacks on legal demonstrators. You remember, when the local media “couldn’t tell the good guys from the bad guys,” despite some folks carrying clubs and some folks had blood running down their faces. So, if the sheriff does not want somebody else looking over his deputies’ shoulders, or rummaging through the files, that is just the way it should be. He is the sheriff, we elected him. Let him do his job. BoBBy Ingram S a c ra m e nt o v i a s a c t o l e t t e rs @ne w s re v i e w . c o m

Do your duty


Re: “Special delivery turns into larceny opportunity,” by Dylan Svoboda (News, September 20):

The September 27 article, “Best nursery with a purpose,” incorrectly attributed photography credit to the writer. The photos were taken by and belong to Paige Brittany Photography and Erica Cervantez. SN&R regrets the error.

When [mail theft] happens to you, please file a report online with the police department. You may think it doesn’t matter, but it helps with establishing that petty crime like this is actually on the rise! Jerry FaSzer S a c r a me nto via @sactoletters@newsreview.com

Super shady Re: “Putting down the watchdog,” by Raheem F. Hosseini (News, September 20):

The September 27 article, “Slow and low,” incorrectly stated that Auntie Dolores went out of business as a result of new marijuana regulations. The company did not close. They did change their product lines to not include edibles. SN&R regrets the error.

read more letters online at newsreview .com/sacramento.


Facebook.com/ SacNewsReview


[Sheriff] Scott Jones is shady A.F.! Can’t believe he’s still in charge. SIerra HouSton S a c r a me nto v ia Fa c e b o o k






Members of the Sacramento Lady Salamanders include, from left, Shauntel Payton, Jen Schapira, Lisa Wrightsman, Tatiana Payton, Bianca Payton and Tiffany Fraser. Photo by Kris hooKs

Playing through pain On the eve of Street Soccer national cup’s arrival in Sacramento, the Lady Salamanders remember one of their own by Kate Gonzales

Lisa Wrightsman was about to sit down to a formal dinner in Clarksburg when a text message reminded her what her players are up against. Wrightsman is the founder and a head coach of the Sacramento Lady Salamanders, a street soccer team made up of women living on the margins of society due to experiences with homelessness and addiction. Those experiences can pinwheel into any number of destabilizing, even devastating, directions, as she was about to re-learn. But

the 2018 ssUsA National Cup will be held october 5-7 at old sacramento state historic Park, 1014 second street. Fans can attend the event for free and learn more at streetsoccerusa.org.






before her phone went off, Wrightsman was in the mood to celebrate. After nearly a decade as a source of female bonding and support, the Salamanders were getting their due. In August, Street Soccer USA, the nonprofit league to which the Salamanders belong, announced it would hold its national tournament this fall in Old Sacramento. The three-day cup brings hundreds of players from across the country to compete on street soccer’s largest national stage. Some will even

be selected to play in next month’s Homeless World Cup in Mexico City. The announcement was a coup for city leaders and a coming-out party for Street Soccer USA’s Sacramento branch. The local program would serve as host for a social enterprise that leverages private donations to fund youth and adult soccer programs for those who can’t afford the pay-to-play leagues. This includes children living below the poverty line, homeless families and people in recovery. The

idea behind Street Soccer USA is that by bringing the beautiful game directly to the streets or into transitional housing, players who may be struggling will build important skills to thrive off the field. Wrightsman is the program manager for the Salamanders, the Mohawks men’s team and youth teams. Days after she joined colleagues, Mayor Darrell Steinberg and others in Old Sacramento for the biggest news in team history, her cellphone buzzed with the worst news a coach can get. It was a text message. It said that Kimberly Joiner, the Salamanders’ former goalie, was lying in a hospital bed possibly without brain activity. She would soon be dead of an apparent suicide. Steve Mullen is the one who found Joiner’s body. The two met in transitional housing in 2012 and embarked on an on-again, off-again relationship. After their final breakup in 2016, they stayed close, texting and talking

Suicide attemptS behind barS See neWS


court: Let homeLeSS SLeep See neWS


diScriminatory SuSpenSionS See neWS



unbreakabLe frequently. So when more than a day went by with no word from Joiner, Mullen grew worried and went to her Rancho Cordova apartment. He found Joiner on the bed, cold and unresponsive. She had overdosed on prescription medication and nine fentanyl patches in an apparent suicide attempt. Fentanyl is a high-powered synthetic opioid prescribed to people in extreme pain, and has been blamed for a sharp rise in overdoses around the country. Within a week of Mullen’s discovery, Joiner would be dead. “Over the years, I worried about this a few times,” he said. “She had physical pain, but I think it was more the emotional and mental scarring that finally did it to her.” Joiner had struggled for years with chronic pain, ever since being in a car accident in her teens. A few years ago, Mullen said, Joiner had her leg amputated and replaced with a prosthetic in search of relief. She was able to play soccer, but Joiner still hurt—physically and emotionally. “She was really trying hard to make life less painful,” Wrightsman added. Players had committed suicide on other Street Soccer teams, Wrightsman said, but this was a first in Sacramento. According to the Sacramento Regional Coalition to End Homelessness, 6 percent of the 124 homeless people who died in the county last year committed suicide, while 36 percent died from alcohol or drug abuse. Those rates are much higher than for Sacramento’s general population. Joiner’s death opened up a conversation about suicide, as Wrightsman made calls to past and current Salamanders who she thought would be most impacted. She didn’t realize how prevalent suicidal thoughts and attempts were in her circle. “There was one [woman], she said she tried nine times,” Wrightsman said. That woman was Michelle Santos. Santos grew up in Oak Park and began using meth in her late 20s. Over a decade of substance abuse, she lost her career as a phlebotomist, her three children were split up and she became homeless. In the two years leading up to her decision to go to rehab, she started using intravenous drugs and worked as prostitute on Stockton Boulevard. In May 2011, she went to rehab and got into Women’s Empowerment, a nine-week program to help women

enter or re-enter the workforce. Santos America Mather Community Campus said that program, along with the Lady when she was recruited to play at the Salamanders, showed her how to bond Street Soccer USA National Cup with with other women and be part of a team. the men’s team. She’d struggled with “[I] didn’t know how to build good addiction and alcoholism, and became relationships with other women until I homeless after getting a DUI. But that went there,” she said. tournament was a turning point. Today, she’s a mental health advo“That was my first experience being cate for Sister Nora’s Place, the branch sober and having so much fun and really of Loaves & Fishes that provides longconnecting with other people,” she says. term shelter to homeless women and She wanted to bring that energy to children. This year is her third season women in Sacramento, so she recruited with Lady Salamanders, an expeplayers, coordinated practices rience that has forced her to and organized trips to the be brave on the soccer Homeless World Cup in field and in the air— countries like Chile when the team flew and Norway, as well to Philadelphia. as the Street Soccer “I thought the national cups. plane was coming This was largely apart, I was a volunteer effort freaking out,” she alongside Tiffany said, laughing. Fraser, who Now she’s a coaches, plays and little disappointed manages fundraisLisa Wrightsman she won’t be ing. Since becoming founder, Sacramento Lady required to travel to an official Street Salamanders the national cup this Soccer USA chapter year—it’s just down the three years ago, they’re road from her house. now both employees and are able to pay a few additional coaches. on a monday night in September, a Wrightsman hopes the national small group of mostly women sit in a cup will draw attention to the positive circle on the gymnasium floor at the impact street soccer and other opportuOak Park Community Center. They kick nities have in the lives of those who are off practice with a check-in to share struggling. how they’re feeling and what they’re “I want Sacramento to experience excited about this week. One woman is this because I think that maybe it can buying a friend’s car, another has a job change some of the conversations and interview. how we deal with people who are in After some gentle teasing and crisis,” she says. earnest follow-ups, the women break Back in the Oak Park gym, Shauntel into teams of four. Half the players Payton sends the ball flying across the throw on red jerseys and a game of gym with a powerful kick. She started indoor soccer starts. playing soccer at age 11, when she, her This group is a sampling of the 40 mother and siblings were in transitional or so women who have played with the housing. Back then, she was a selfSalamanders over its eight-year run. Each described girly-girl with no interest in year, the team is made up of women who sports. Then she met Wrightsman. are experiencing homelessness or once Now 19 and a freshman at Folsom did. Many cope with addiction and mental Lake College, Payton’s a really good illness, and they’ll tell you it can be a lot soccer player. She also recognizes of drama for one team. the stabilizing force street soccer had “It’s a little bit like A League of during her adolescence. During last Their Own meets Orange is the New year’s trip to Philadelphia for the Black,” Wrightsman says with a laugh. National Cup, Payton said it was Joiner “There’s so much dysfunction, but who reminded her they were playing for there’s so much respect that it works.” something more than W’s. Wrightsman understands the impact “Kimberly definitely looked out of street soccer. She’d had profesfor me,” she says. “[She’d] remind me sional aspirations while playing for it’s not about winning, it’s about the Sacramento State, and was living in relationships.” Ω transitional housing at Volunteers of

“She was really trying hard to make life less painful.”

Carlos Rueda says he’s many things—a father of three, a blue-collar roofer and a Sacramento resident who left Mexico years ago after his political volunteerism became compromised by death threats. But one thing he is not, he says, is an informant for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency that has ratcheted up its apprehension of suspected undocumented immigrants in the communities where they live since Donald Trump came to office. Rueda’s story of refusing to cooperate with ICE after its agents threatened him with deportation last year first came to light in the intercept, an online investigative news outlet. According to an ICE summary of the arrest, obtained by Rueda’s attorney and provided to The Intercept, ICE outlined that its Sacramento Fugitive Operations Team encountered Rueda, identified only as the “SUBJECT,” on March 3 of last year. The summary goes on to say that Rueda was released on a deferred deportation status called “OSUP,” for “Order of Supervision,” meaning Rueda was required to check in on a monthly basis. The summary makes clear the point of these checkins, stating the “SUBJECT would report monthly and provide leads on criminal aliens.” Rueda says he never agreed to that arrangement, and was beaten when he refused to inform on other undocumented immigrants. Whatever happened inside the interrogation room, by late September of last year ICE realized it wasn’t breaking Rueda. “Due to SUBJECT’s inability to provide any assistance to ICE the decision was made that SUBJECT would be taken into custody on his next reporting date of 09/26/17,” the summary states. Rueda, now 28, was one of more than 2,100 people that ice arrested in Sacramento county between October 2014 and October 2017, according to new data from TRAC Immigration, a nonpartisan research arm of Syracuse University. Rueda and his attorney Luis Angel Reyes Savalza want to know how many of those 2,100 were bullied into becoming informants, like they say ICE tried to do with Rueda. Last week, Rueda and Savalza announced they would be filing a federal complaint seeking $750,000 in damages from the agency. (Raheem F. Hosseini)

the Verizon horizon Verizon’s publicists were hard at work this week spreading news that the world’s first commercial 5G network had just gone live in Sacramento. At the same moment, Gov. Jerry Brown’s office was fielding calls from reporters about the Trump-appointed chair of the Federal Communications Commission suing california for its new law protecting net neutrality—something Verizon has spent millions trying to kill. Verizon’s press release touting Sacramento’s new 5G network was issued October 1. In it, Verizon said the network allowed homes and businesses to install the next generation of “super-fast wifi,” which can play a role in drawing new companies and investment to the area. But conservationists, consumer advocates and privacy watchdogs haven’t been so enamored with the city’s decision to give Verizon unfettered access to its telecommunication infrastructure. Complaints against the company range from dropping coverage in rural counties and planting cell towers in yosemite national park, to selling customers’ online search data without consent and allowing massive breaches of users’ personal information. Just as Verizon was pushing its 5G narrative in Sacramento, the Jeff Sessions Justice Department announced it was suing the state at the behest of Ajit Pai, the Trump-appointed FCC chair. Pai is a former Verizon attorney and Trump’s key player in rolling back federal net neutrality protections in 2017. (Scott Thomas Anderson)

10.04.18    |   SN&R   |   7


increase in inmate complaints since 2010


turned the main jail into a dungeon of psychological torment. That’s the central message of a class action lawsuit leveled against the county in July. It’s also the theme that emerges from a decade’s worth of complaints by inmates, an overview of which was obtained by SN&R.

drop in corrected complaints since 2010

As inmate complaints have risen at the main jail, fewer of them are being corrected. IllustratIon by marIa ratInova

Suicide cells Thousands of inmates inside Sacramento County’s main jail decry conditions; dozens attempt to take their own lives by Raheem F. hosseini

Earlier this year, authorities arrested Defei Chen on suspicion of running a small-time marijuana grow inside of a weathered one-story home in the Avondale neighborhood of South Sacramento. The 57-year-old man was booked into the main jail just shy of noon on March 21, jail logs show. Two weeks later, he was dead of an apparent asphyxiation. According to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, which operates the downtown jail on I Street, a custodial deputy conducting a routine check in the predawn hours of April 4 found Chen leaning against the door of the cell he shared with another inmate. When the deputy opened the door, Chen fell to the floor with a ligature around his neck. 8





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

In a release to the media, the Sheriff’s Department stated it had no reason to suspect foul play. He was just another suicide inside the county jail. According to data obtained by SN&R, more than 80 inmates have attempted to kill themselves inside either the main jail or Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center in Elk Grove over the past decade. Most of the attempts have occurred inside the main jail, including nine last year and two through February of this year. The attempts are symptomatic of a teetering system, say prisoner advocates and experts on mass incarceration. Their thesis is simple: A sicker inmate population, chronic understaffing and an overreliance on solitary confinement have

Built three decades ago for individuals awaiting trial, the main jail also came to be a place for inmates with special mental health needs. As a result, suicides are a perennial concern, though a county grand jury found in 2002 that the jail’s suicide rate was slightly below the state average. But that’s about the time that suicides started to go up. Since 2002, at least 27 people have taken their lives inside the main jail, according to a review of annual reports from the inspector general. (The figure is likely higher as the county left its inspector general’s office vacant from 2013 through 2015, meaning there were no reports for those years.) Jail officials have sought to make the main jail safer, replacing easily tearible bedsheets with thick blankets and fencing off upper tiers to prevent jumpers. But attempts are still common, despite a sliding jail population. Downtown’s high-rise lockup is also a black box when it comes to other information. In a September 5 letter responding to SN&R’s public records request, the Sheriff’s Department acknowledged that it doesn’t track assaults on inmates, jail rapes or its use of disciplinary housing. Rick Braziel, whom Sheriff Scott Jones recently forced out as inspector general, said the reason the department couldn’t provide these figures is because the main jail still logs most of these incidents on paper, not digitally. Without hard data about inmate safety, what’s left to sift through are the complaints. According to an overview provided by the Sheriff’s Department, inmates complained 16,880 times about their treatment over a period of 10 years and four months spanning January 1, 2008, and May 15 of this year. The department used to take those complaints seriously. Then two things happened: California “realigned” nonviolent prisoners of the state into local custody, and Sheriff Scott Jones came to power. Between the time Jones took office in 2010 and 2015, the most recent year for which his department provided a complete breakdown, formal grievances at the main jail rose nearly 72 percent.

Over the same period, however, corrective action plummeted. In 2009, the year before Jones took office, 47 percent of inmate grievances were substantiated in some way and prompted action. In 2015, less than 1 percent of complaints were corrected. Instead of correcting problems, the Sheriff’s Department began resolving them, records show. By 2015, the department claimed 91 percent of inmates’ complaints had been resolved, though it’s unclear how. A sheriff’s spokesman didn’t respond to SN&R’s inquiry. Speaking on background, a sheriff’s official said that prison realignment beginning in fall 2011 changed the complexion of local jails. Once occupied by suspects awaiting trial or offenders whiling away short sentences, the influx of state prisoners brought in a more sophisticated population that knew how to game the system and manipulate new inmates, the official said. Behind the scenes, prisoner advocates and private consultants spent years urging county officials to reform their jails. “When we have a system where we detain and incarcerate people, we have to make sure we’re treating them humanely, no matter who they are, what they did or what they are alleged to have done,” said Aaron J. Fischer, a litigation counsel at Disability Rights California. Settlement talks broke down this summer, after the county deemed the groups’ proposals to fix its jail system too costly. The Sheriff’s Department and Correctional Health Services estimated they would need to add 195 new positions. According to the county’s chief fiscal officer, Britt Ferguson, that would mean an extra $55 million coming out of the general fund each year—and that’s if the county could bond out some of the $160 million in estimated capital expenditures. At an August 7 Board of Supervisors meeting, Ferguson cautioned that these figures were only estimates. Supervisors expressed no appetite to entertain them. Fischer, whose group is behind the class action, stressed that the dollar figure is the county’s, not plaintiffs’. Fischer said he expected the county to formally respond to the lawsuit this week. “What we want is the problem to be solved,” he told SN&R. “If we’re able to reach a settlement, that’s great. But we’re not going to be waiting—and we’re going to be prosecuting the case as expeditiously as we can to get relief for our clients.” Ω


Right to rest holdout Weeks after a federal panel strikes down anti-homeless  law, Sacramento keeps faith in its right to arrest

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The city of Sacramento seems intent on going That stance isn’t unusual for a city that has down with the ship when it comes to its anti-campfought vigorously to defend its ability to ticket ing ordinance—and it could create an environment homeless people who congregate outside. Following where getting a ticket for sleeping outside comes an eight-year legal journey, a Sacramento County down to a homeless person’s luck that day. jury last year upheld the city’s anti-camping On September 4, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court ordinance over a civil challenge arguing that it of Appeals ruled that an anti-camping ordinance in was only enforced against homeless people. Mark the city of Boise is unconstitutional to enforce when Merin, a local civil rights attorney who was behind no other adequate sleeping options, such as shelter that challenge, said the city’s refusal to let go of its beds, are available. The three-judge panel’s decision ordinance was characteristic. in Robert Martin v. The City of Boise immediately “The city has been playing a ridiculous game for forced local governments across the court’s years,” he contended. northwest region to reassess the laws they created to Merin added that keeping the ordinance push homelessness out of public view. amounted to little more than a posture, since he The city of Stockton quickly ceased enforcdoubted any judge would hear an unlawful camping ing its homeless anti-camping ordinance, while case now that the Ninth Circuit has weighed in. Sacramento County officials ordered their park “What they’re doing is saying they still want to rangers to stop citing homeless campers along the intimidate homeless people by handing them a citaAmerican River Parkway, which came as an tion,” Merin said of the city. “It’s a continuation unpleasant surprise to county supervisors. of this campaign to drive homeless people “As soon as I found out about the underground. It’s inhumane.” ruling, I suggested our board meet to According to booking logs, city discuss its implications, especially police made one camping arrest “This is the one for my constituents who rightfully in the past week. On September with teeth.” demand a clean and safe Parkway,” 21, police cited and released Supervisor Phil Serna, whose 42-year-old Steven Francis Shaw Mark Merin district includes the parkway, said on charges of unlawful camping civil rights attorney in a statement. “I have many quesand storing his belongings on private tions, including why County Counsel property without the owner’s consent. advised that park rangers not enforce the He was arrested at 2040 Railroad Drive, illegal camping ordinance without notifying which is the street address for the city’s or coordinating with board members.” homeless triage shelter. In her own statement, Susan Peters, chair of The Ninth Circuit’s ruling follows nonbinding the Board of Supervisors, called the Ninth Circuit opinions by the federal departments of Justice and ruling “devastating news.” Housing and Urban Development that enforcing From January through August, park rangers anti-camping laws when there isn’t adequate shelter issued 1,834 citations for unlawful camping under is cruel and unusual. the county ordinance, and 224 citations under the “This is the one with teeth,” Merin said of the city’s. While park rangers aren’t, for the moment, Ninth Circuit decision. ticketing homeless campers, some of their law During a September 18 press conference in enforcement counterparts will continue to do so. front of City Hall to discuss the findings of a UC The city of Boise appealed last month’s ruling Berkeley Law School review of property business to have it reheard before the entire Ninth Circuit. improvement districts, attorney Cathleen Williams, Sacramento City Attorney Susana Alcala Wood Merin’s wife, agreed. said her office has decided against rescinding “This is a new day, a new year,” Williams enforcement of its anti-camping ordinance until the said at the press conference. “This Boise case is outcome of that appeal is known. a powerful weapon that we should drive home to “The City of Sacramento’s unlawful-camping City Council. This is their second unconstitutional ordinance remains legally valid and in effect and ordinance that is designed to protect particularly any enforcement activity will continue to be in this rapidly developing downtown with its luxury compliance with federal, state and local law,” apartments.” Ω Alcala Wood wrote in an email to SN&R.

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CAMuseum_DiadeLosMuertos_SNR_3-5V_Oct4.pdf 1 9/19/2018 5:51:21 PM

‘Crisis’ of conscience

Día de Los Muertos

Racially biased suspensions subject of town hall by Kris HooKs




Fri., Oct. 12, 2018 6:00 - 10:00 pm






• Grand opening of new exhibit “Celebració “Celebración de Almas,” featuring art by Francisco Franco, John S. Huerta & I Love Sugar Skulls’ Rob-O • Performance by Maquilli Tonatiuh Aztec Dancers


Nearly 100 people, mostly parents of black students and community organizers, filed into a C.K. McClatchy High School auditorium last month to see how Sacramento City Unified School District would respond to disparities in suspension rates for black youth. The September 12 town hall was one of the district’s attempts at addressing the discriminatory patterns first reported by this newspaper in June in conjunction with the release of “The Capitol of Suspensions: Examining the Racial Exclusion of Black Males in Sacramento County,” a joint research brief from San Diego State University and UCLA. The researchers’ numbers showed that black boys in SCUSD were suspended more than in any other district in the state—including Los Angeles, the second largest district in the country. Superintendent Jorge Aguilar said the numbers were disappointing, but hopes it leads to change. “I’m convinced that if we can take our system and disrupt it in a way that we’re very clear in what the community and boardroom want translates into the classroom, then we will see success,” Aguilar said toward the end of the event. The Black boys in SCUSD were researchers’ suspended 1,859 times in 2016, numbers showed which is the most recent school year data available. That’s a 20.7 percent that black boys in suspension rate. In comparison, the SCUSD were suspended suspension rates for white, Latino more than in any and Asian boys were 5.4 percent, 7.6 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively. other district. In August, the school board assembled an African American Achievement Initiative task force to help address issues affecting black students. At least one person in the auditorium took issue with the district’s approach, asking why the district thinks a task force would solve the issues rather than direct action. School board president Jessie Ryan said it’s intended to be the start of the solution to what she called a “crisis,” not the end of one. Ryan added that the district needs to act with urgency and not wait for Gov. Jerry Brown to sign legislation regarding discriminatory policies like willful defiance. Willful defiance is an ambiguous policy that acts as a catch-all justification for suspending students. According to Department of Education data, black children accounted for 32 percent of all willful defiance suspensions in the county in 2016. “You have heard me call for an end to our willful defiance policy,” Ryan said. “And yet, there’s a feeling that we can’t move, right? Because it’s too difficult to undertake something so audacious without a mandate. Well, the community is the mandate.” Ω

• Entrées Entr es & custom cocktails for sale by Mayahuel • Workshops led by I Love Sugar Skulls ($15 fee) • Mercado de los Muertos featuring unique, handmade & one-of-a-kind items by local vendors • Costume contest with prizes • Free face painting & kids’ activities • More fun for all ages

Advance tickets on sale at: CaliforniaMuseum.org/Fiesta-2018






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million California households in need of The California housing market low-income housing, and California only resembles a horrible game of musical has 664,000 affordable rental homes. chairs. The music stops at the end of We need 1.6 million more. Obviously, each month, rents and mortgages go up, propositions 1 and 2 will not come close more people come into the state than we to solving our housing problems, but build housing for, and more people end they will help. up without a place to live. And those Based upon Sacramento’s percentwho do have housing are paying more age of the state’s population, we could for it. receive approximately $350 million if But in a few weeks, when balloting these propositions pass. But, that money starts for the November election, we will enable much more than $350 million can provide a partial fix for our housing in housing to be built. When a developer problems by voting for California propoplans a project, he or she projects out sitions 1 and 2. the total cost of building, the expected Proposition 1, the Housing Programs selling price or rents on the property and Veterans’ Loans Bond, and the expected profit. The authorizes $4 billion in bonds developer then throws all for veterans’ housing, of that into a spreadsheet, low-income housing, Propositions and then he or she farmworker housing, 1 and 2 will not decides if the project transit-oriented housing come close to solving will pencil out. and other much needed Often, these housing. our housing problems, low-income housing Proposition 2, the but they will projects have a shortUse Millionaire’s Tax help. age, where the expected Revenue for Homeless revenues from the project Prevention Housing Bonds are less than the expected Measure, allows the state to expense. For example, a $40 million use revenues from Proposition 63 (a project could come up $8 million short. 1 percent income tax on personal income This housing bond revenue can be used above $1 million) for up to $2 billion to make up that difference, enabling the in revenue bonds for homelessness entire housing project to move forward. prevention housing for persons in need There are other steps that can help of mental health services. increase the amount of housing that can Prop. 63, the Mental Health Services be built. If we can streamline the permitAct, was the brainchild of Sacramento ting process or reduce fees, more projects Mayor Darrell Steinberg when he was can be built. If we can help reduce in the California State Assembly. Since the number of “not in my backyard” it was enacted in 2005, it has generated NIMBY challenges, more low-income approximately $15 billion for badly housing projects could be built. If we needed mental health services. Knowing could raise more local money to support that lack of housing often makes mental low-income housing, more projects could health problems worse, Steinberg be built. proposed taking a small percentage of But propositions 1 and 2 are very this money and using it for supportive important first steps. Please vote for them housing. This is a brilliant idea that has this November. Too many Californians received much support. Prop. 2 will do not have a place to live. Ω enable it to happen. If we pass both propositions in November, we will have up to $6 billion in housing bonds to help alleviJeff vonKaenel is the president, CEO and majority ate California’s severe housing and owner of the News & Review. homelessness problem. There are 2.2

they fought alongside U.S. forces in Vietnam. Generations later, trauma still haunts Sacramento’s hmong community.

Robert By Khang was the first Hmong refugee to move to Sacramento after the Vietnam War.


n 1976, Robert By Khang was lost in a city where no one spoke Hmong, where no one could tell him that he’d gotten on the wrong bus or how he could get home to his wife and baby. That city was Sacramento. The Hmong community agrees that By Khang was the first of its ranks to ever move to the capital city. That’s partly because of the fighting he survived during the Vietnam War. By Khang was among the 30,000 Hmong recruited by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency to battle North Vietnamese soldiers and Lao Communist insurgents on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. They would come to be remembered as “the Secret Army.” When the United States ended its war effort in 1975, By Khang joined a mass exodus of Hmong forced out of Laos by Communist soldiers seeking revenge. It was a vicious, running purge that claimed thousands of his peoples’ lives. By Khang decided his best bet to make it to the U.S. was by carrying his army battalion identification. If caught with it, he’d be executed. The gambit paid off when his family got to Thailand: By Khang’s veteran status led to him being in the first group of Hmong interviewed for possible immigration. But rather than being sent to Hawaii, where his brother planned to sponsor him, a paperwork mix-up got him assigned to a Vietnamese sponsor in Sacramento. By Khang remembers stepping off a plane at night and, in a blink, finding himself in a motel room on Stockton Boulevard.

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After the war by Scott thomaS anderSon

s c o t t a@ n e w s r e v i e w . c om

photoS by karloS rene ayala

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Robert By Khang tends to his garden in South Sacramento.

“after the war” continued from page 13

The following months were dizzying. He felt cut off and alone. Later, when a local refugee assistance center hired him as Sacramento’s first Hmong resettlement specialist in 1982, he’d be tasked with helping other refugees rebuild their lives. The work left him a key witness to the fact that, when war-scarred Hmong arrived, there were no government agencies or nonprofits trying to help them get counseling, or even explain the possibility of therapy for what they’d been through. It’s a story that second and thirdgeneration Hmong Americans know well, a public health legacy many of them—along with a number of medical experts—believe puts their elder community at a heightened risk for depression, isolation, paranoia, gambling addiction, domestic strife and suicide. Dr. Carolee Tran, a psychologist who specializes in treating refugees from the Vietnam War, says there’s a serious issue with undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder among elders who escaped that violence. Other clinicians in the area also agree. At a community forum in May, Norbee Xiong, a Hmong American mental health counselor in Sacramento, said 90 percent of his patients are Hmong, and the most common diagnoses among the elders are PTSD and major depression. At the same event, Dr. Pachida Lo, a

14   |   SN&R   |   10.04.18

psychiatrist who treats Hmong clients for Kaiser in South Sacramento, said stigma in the community around seeking mental health services prevents many from reaching out until they’re on the verge of taking their lives. Now, as California’s resettlement agencies try to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past with a new wave of refugees coming from Syria, a number of young Hmong Americans in Sacramento are reaching across the generational divide to try get their elders the help they never received. But is it too late?

ImprInt of nIghtmares For Chao Xiong, the story’s always connected to a voice calling through the signal current of a lost cassette tape. She was 16 in 1977, trudging through the jungles of Laos with the shellshocked remnants of her village. The war had ended, and the Hmong faced indiscriminate killings at the hands of the North Vietnamese or reprogramming camps at the hands of the Lao Communist militants. Chao Xiong’s group was on a trail bound for Thailand when communist soldiers suddenly emerged from the trees, rounding them up at gunpoint. But Chao Xiong’s boyfriend didn’t surrender. He dashed through the woods and managed to escape. Months later, a fellow refugee handed Chao Xiong a cassette recorded by her boyfriend. She could hear his eager voice telling her he’d made it to Thailand

and promising he’d come back to take her away from the carnage. Young hearts fill with hope easily, but in a matter of weeks, Chao Xiong received news he’d been shot to death. Now, sitting in her living room in Rancho Cordova, she sighs and lowers her eyes thinking about it. At a glance, few would guess at the memories Chao Xiong carries. She’s an independent Hmong woman recently retired from owning several restaurants in Citrus Heights and North Highlands. But Chao Xiong says she never forgot what happened during the war, a story emblematic of the reality that it wasn’t just Hmong soldiers exposed to trauma 40 years ago, but nearly the entire generation of survivors who now make up the elder community. Chao Xiong had known fear and pain long before her boyfriend’s death. Bombs had fallen near her village since she was 7 years old. Its people were soon confronted by Communist raiding parties attempting to kill off any fit, healthy recruits for the Americans. “You didn’t know when they were coming,” Chao Xiong remembered. Chao Xiong’s father dug a bomb shelter into the side of a mountain trying to protect his children. Her mom hid supplies of rice around the forest, in case soldiers blocked them from getting home. Still, despite her parents’ best efforts, tragedy was coming. The battles and bombings were causing starvation. Chao Xiong’s mother fell ill because she was

giving every scrap of food she had to her baby. She died when Chao Xiong was only 10. Her father got sick and died three years later. As Chao Xiong and her siblings made their way south with other escapees, they heard stories of Hmong men in the jungle losing their minds from hunger. Reports went around of babies dying in their mothers’ arms. When they arrived at a refugee camp in Thailand, they discovered there was hardly any food. Chao Xiong and her sister were forced to work on embroidery all day long to earn enough money for a tiny amount of extra rice. Those days are seared into Chao Xiong’s brain. “It’s a sad story,” she recalled. “We didn’t have parents, we didn’t have money. We suffered very badly.” For Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly, the first Hmong-American mayor in the United States, the effects that suffering had on the community’s elders has taken a long time to recognize. Even though Ly works as a youth counselor, he says it was years before he finally understood his parents had PTSD. During the war Ly’s father, the late Capt. Youachao Ly, worked as a CIA operative for the U.S. Air Force Command. Youachao’s job included calling in enemy positions for air strikes and helping rescue downed American pilots in the hills of Laos. Ly now believes that Youachao constantly replayed those life and death missions in the jungle. “For the entire time he lived in the United States, my dad was always in the military mindset,” Ly explained. “Everywhere that we went, he was always cautious. It almost seemed like he was paranoid—overly paranoid.Every time he heard or read about a crime that happened in our community, he would refer to that as the NVA [North Vietnamese Army]. It didn’t make sense at the time.” The war’s mark on Youachao crystalized even more for his son when they’d go on hunting trips in the woods. Ly recalls seeing a transformation come over his father. “Suddenly he’d be an entirely different person,” Ly said. “I understand it now, being in social work. He clearly was suffering from PTSD.” And Youachao wasn’t the only one suffering. When the war ended, Ly’s mother, Tu Ly, was forced into Thailand’s Ban Vinai Refugee Camp, a place described by survivors as a cramped, filthy atmosphere filled with hungry bellies and people screaming from their nightmares. Steve Ly was born there and arrived in the United States when he was 4. For all his life, Ly noticed his mother’s odd habit of keeping all her clothes in suitcases. She had closets and dressers in

the house they stayed in in California, but she never—never—used them. Ly says he didn’t pick up on “the clues” around this pattern until his mother learned about the Iraq War. “She said to me, ‘There’s a war going on, we have to prepare to move,’” Ly remembered. “It was another aha moment for me. I thought, ‘Oh my gosh,’ that’s why everything she has is in a suitcase. She’s been preparing for this her whole life.”

Coping alone Every morning Mo Chao Yang steps into a hidden garden and wonders why she never got the chance to be educated—to learn to read and write. The spry 72-year-old with contemplative eyes may not be literate, but for decades she’s taught herself to master seeds, soils and sunlight and the ability to make anything grow. It’s a journey that’s led Mo Chao Yang to transform her North Sacramento yard into a colorful maze of blossoming life. Wandering into the oasis, neighborhood car stereos and buzzing swamp coolers start to fade. It’s a scene that harkens to the Lao jungles Mo Chao Yang ran through as a girl. While she never realized her dream of schooling, her hard-learned instinct for survival is partly what cultivates this sanctuary. The garden helps keep her bad memories away. And those memories run deep. In 1961, Mo Chao Yang’s husband Boua Vang decided to fight alongside the Americans. Mo Chao Yang was left by herself with two toddlers in a war zone, her days spent chopping wood, growing food and foraging in the jungle for provisions. Then Communist soldiers started

coming down from the mountains to terrorize her village. Mo Chao Yang remembers grabbing her children, rushing them into the forest. Before the war ended, Boua returned home crippled from a landmine blowing off his foot. It was up to the young mother to manage her family through a desperate flight as Communist troops began their killing spree along the Mekong River. Mo Chao Yang still remembers the constant threat, the feeling of being hunted down. Decades later, she combats those thoughts with the energy of her garden. It’s the main way of coping Mo Chao Yang’s had all these years. When she arrived in the United States in 1980, she says that there was no outreach or education about the health risks associated with trauma. Her fellow Sacramentan, By Khang, is in the best position to understand why the outreach didn’t happened locally; though looking back, it’s hard for him to piece together, too. By Khang had overcome his initial disorientation around the capital by 1977 and used his ability to speak some Lao to get a job washing dishes. He put all his extra time into learning English. He was eventually fluent enough that the Indo-Chinese Assistance Center hired him as a resettlement worker to help Hmong refugees arriving in Sacramento. After a year, the Lao Family Center in Santa Ana opened a Sacramento branch. The organization made By Khang its new director. He oversaw a team of

“after the war” continued on page 16

Mo Chao Yang was left alone in a war zone with her toddlers.

10.04.18    |   SN&R   |   15

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resettlement workers for 15 years there before taking a job with Sacramento’s branch of the International Rescue Committee, or IRC. By Khang says one of his toughest jobs for all that time was trying to keep Hmong refugees from being further traumatized by resettlement. He remembers the stress of not knowing how to purchase food he could cook. He recalls the week his baby came down with pneumonia and he didn’t know how get to a doctor. And of course, By Khang’s quick to recount getting lost on the bus and having no way to ask for directions. That happened to him twice. “I was very, very homesick,” he said. “During that time, I cried about three times a day. … When you’re a refugee arriving in a new place, you don’t know anything.” By Khang steered others through that confusion by getting them acclimated to the city, signing them up for Medi-Cal and making sure they could access basic medical services. As a resettlement worker, By Khang says no one advised him on trauma care. Though the mental health field had been studying the effects of war trauma since the early 1950s—with PTSD becoming an official diagnosis in 1980—By Khang doesn’t recall that knowledge getting impressed on resettlement professionals of the era. “The Hmong didn’t seek that type of support because they didn’t know about it, or know to look for it,” he explained. Similarly, long before Dr. Carolee Tran was an expert at counseling Southeast Asian refugees, she was aware of that history of non-treatment. That’s because Tran is a refugee herself, evacuated as a little girl from the fall of Saigon. Tran’s father, a commander in the South Vietnamese army, saw brutal fighting during the

war. Her mother was forced on a heart-stopping flight from the Vietcong with her children. Yet when Tran’s parents arrived in the Bay Area, there was no effort to see if they needed help. “There was nothing of the sort,” Tran said of mental health outreach. “There was not even [English as a Second Language]. Counseling was just the furthest thing on anybody’s mind. ... There wasn’t even a symptom checklist.” Tran stresses this legacy had consequences. In the 1990s, she and her husband, Hinton Ladson, M.D., conducted a study for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that compared PTSD rates in the general population to those in the Vietnamese refugee community. They determined that the rate of people suffering from PTSD in the general population was 3.5 percent, while the rate for their refugee subjects was more than double, at 7.5 percent. Though the research focused on the Vietnamese, Tran says her work with the Hmong, as well as Cambodian refugees who escaped the Khmer Rouge, reveals common trends around trauma. All of these groups witnessed extreme violence or experienced a trauma from flight. Later, many, in raising children in the United States, dealt with disturbed family dynamics and abrupt intergenerational shifts in culture. Being targeted for racism, facing downward mobility and struggling to provide for families often caused low selfesteem, especially with men, which Tran has found can retrigger memories of the war. “All of these issues [younger Hmong and Vietnamese bring up about elders], the depression, the anxiety, the domestic violence, the gambling addiction, they’re all valid concerns when it comes to trauma in refugees,” Tran said.

New geNeratioN, New reach The sun faded over South Sacramento as Mee Yang carefully made her way onto the stage of

a former church. She paused to glance at more than 90 of her fellow Hmong looking up at her. Mee Yang is an elder with a tiny frame but big personality. She’d been asked by the nonprofit Hmong Youth and Parents United to broach a dicey subject that night. She didn’t let them down. Mee Yang’s diminutive voice sounded through a PA system. “I had feelings of craziness,” Mee Yang shared in Hmong; or at least, that’s how SN&R’s experienced translator phrased her words, the interpreter adding that the “craziness” term in Hmong has similar connotations as it does in English. But if Mee Yang employed a frankness that was a little surprising to younger people in the room, her intention was not to stigmatize. Anything but: Mee Yang was sharing her story of how she’d overcome the considerable fear she’d felt about seeing a psychiatrist. She told the crowd she’d finally mustered the courage to visit the doctor, who then convinced her to try medication. In doing so, Mee Yang said, he’d made her feel much better. Mee Yang added that she’d now been taking medications for nine years. She also shared that she’d convinced her reluctant husband to see a doctor. Mee Yang explained that both of them felt better and had rediscovered happiness and their love for each other. Mee Yang ended her story by assuring the audience they didn’t need to be afraid to visit a counselor or psychiatrist. “There’s so many of us who have these issues,” she stressed. Mee Yang was a key speaker at the Hmong Mental Health Forum in May. That’s what the gathering was called in English. The event had a different title in Hmong, which translated to “Finding Happiness Across Generations.” Its duel fliers highlight the simple fact that there’s no words in the Hmong language for “mental health services,” just as there are no words for “stigma,” “trigger warning” or “post-traumatic stress disorder.” As the event got off the ground, two HYPU members laced those words in English through a presentation that was otherwise entirely in Hmong. After the women finished explaining a number of mental health topics, especially trauma, a panel discussion ensued that included a counselor, a psychiatrist, a forensic clinician and a family nurse practitioner, all of whom spoke to the audience in Hmong. Pachia Lucy Vang, a Hmong American ethnographer, is a board member of HYPU. She was one of the volunteers who helped organize the gathering. Pachia said it’s the first event of its kind HYPU has hosted. She added that one of the challenges younger Hmong face when trying to discuss trauma-related illness with the elders involves a cultural expectation that it’s not the place of children to be advising parents and grandparents. “The elders don’t always want to listen,” Pachia observed. “We have a lot of communications issues in general because the elders come from a completely different life experience.”

That said, Pachia and the HYPU board members were encouraged by the large, multigenerational turnout for their forum. It’s a beginning. Pachia knows this grassroots effort to help the elders with their trauma coincides with a commitment from the region’s resettlement workers to not let another generation of traumatized refugees go undiagnosed. That’s because, until recently, Pachia worked for the local branch of IRC, one of the main groups on the front lines of helping families escaping the bloodshed in Syria. Amy Watson, health manager for IRC in Sacramento, said her agency is now using a specific health screener when it interviews new arrivals, one that attempts to gauge emotional stress and PTSD. Watson added that the screener isn’t a requirement for IRC’s federal funding, but her team has chosen to use it because of how jarring and widespread the violence is in Syria. “Oftentimes we have a Western idea of how these concepts play out, but they can be more complex,” Watson said of discussing trauma with the new refugees. “We sit down and talk with them about their experience.” IRC is also hosting group discussions for refugees to describe American mental health concepts. If the arrivals decide they want counseling, they can access services through the county’s behavioral health department or

through private therapists and clinicians accepting Medicaid. Watson noted that the Sacramento area is lucky to have a number of nonprofit groups donating funds for refugee counseling services. Sysvanh Kabeo, chief of California’s Refugee Programs Bureau, said it’s critical for local resettlement workers to have a trauma plan because Sacramento County was the top refugee destination in California last year and is on track to hold that distinction again in 2018. While IRC’s trauma outreach may rely heavily on Medicaid and impacted county services, it amounts to far more support than the Hmong elders had in the 1970s and early 1980s. For the younger Hmong in Sacramento, that’s a history that can’t be erased, but it can be confronted. Mayong Vangthor is a Sacramento teacher running the Hmong Dual Linguistic Emergence Program at Susan B. Anthony Elementary School. The first of its kind on the West Coast, it ranges from kindergarten to sixth grade with the aim at making Hmong American kids bilingual and bi-cultural. Mayong thinks support for the program is tied to a recent cultural renaissance in the Hmong community, a groundswell of enthusiasm in younger people to embrace their heritage rather than abandon it. She also believes, over time, the program will help the newest generation better relate to, and support, their elders.

“For one, they’ll be able to communicate with them,” Mayong pointed out. “It will help kids form real bonds with their grandparents, which makes the elders feel better and is really important to them. It’s going to build a bridge.” And so, the program hinges on the power of education, a power that Mayong has heard about her whole life. Mayong’s mother is Mo Chao Yang, north Sacramento’s alchemist home gardener who survived the village raids, the rushing with her babies through the jungle, the hunger of the camps and the bewilderment of being a single-provider in a strange new land. Mo Chao Yang always dreamed of being educated, but her life was spent working as a housekeeper to support her children and disabled husband. She was determined her kids would have a different future. For Mo Chao Yang, community empowerment through education is still the Hmong’s best avenue for overcoming everything they went through, and everything they face. “It’s important for us to help ourselves,” Mo Chao Yang said as she sat in the shade of her opulent garden. “Because as much as people help us, we have to help ourselves even more.” Ω Scott Thomas Anderson wrote this story while participating in the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism 2018 California Fellowship.

Mo Chao Yang walks through her immense garden in North Sacramento.

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Photos courtesy of GeorGe ontiveros/Bloc star entertainment comPany

A by Howard Hardee

The penitent rapper Murder put X-Raided in prison. Abandoning the life of a hardened street criminal was his ticket out.






nerae Brown had a reputation to live up to when he was transferred from Sacramento County Jail to a maximum security prison at 22 years old. Before his 1994 murder trial and the corresponding media firestorm, he was famous for his horrifyingly violent lyrics as the rapper X-Raided; afterward, he had become nothing short of middleclass America’s worst nightmare, the caricature of gangsta rap brought to life. And he felt obligated to play the part. “It was a constant performance of wearing that mask and living up to the expectation, the mythological force behind that character,” he told SN&R. “I had to be the meanest and baddest. It was like programming a soldier to go to war; I call them robo-gangsters. Either you don’t care about anything, or you’re weak and vulnerable for having a human soul. … My crime, what happened with Mrs. Harris, was heavy enough. But I had to carry that weight and pretend like I was indifferent to it, because I don’t want to anger my peers by expressing remorse or regret.” Eventually, it became too exhausting to keep up the act. At 28 years old—11 years removed from his crime—Brown decided to change his life. “I had done everything you could do as a gang member, done everything you could do as a criminal,” he said. “There was nowhere else to go with that, except to die. To live, I would have to educate and elevate, and that’s what I decided to do.” Brown recently was released on parole after serving more than a quarter of a century in state prison for his involvement in a gang-related murder. As a member of Sacramento’s 24th Street Garden Block Crips, Brown was one of four gang members who raided the home of Patricia Harris in March 1992. At the time of Harris’ murder, Brown was a 17-year-old



“If I had attempted to live up to the legend and myth of X-Raided, I never would have gotten out of prison.”


rapper signed to Sacramento’s Black Market Records. That year, he released Psycho Active, often cited as one of hip-hop’s seminal horrorcore records. With such song titles as “Bitch Killa,” “Every Anerae Brown Single Bitch,” and X-Raided, gangsta rapper “Shoot Cha In A Minute,” it’s a relentlessly violent album that offers a view into his mind at the time. It also didn’t help his legal case. Following a lengthy trial during which the judge allowed prosecutors to play his music in court, Brown was charged with first-degree murder and sentenced to serve 31 years to life. He qualified as a youth offender under California Penal Code Section 3051 and was released from the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego on September 14, having served 26 years in prison. In a September 23 Facebook post, Brown expressed remorse for his role in the murder and referred to Harris as a “pillar of the community.” “The greatest shame I feel is for the senseless death of Mrs. Harris and the knowledge that I am overwhelmingly responsible for her death,” he wrote. “It was my fault and I accept the reality that I owe a debt for her death.” So much has changed about hip-hop and broader American culture since Brown was 17, it’s almost like he’s been in a time capsule. For example, back in 1992, Snoop Doggy Dogg made one of the most notorious debuts in the history of rap when he was featured on “Deep Cover,” Dr. Dre’s classic joint about an undercover cop who gets sucked into the underworld. Now, Brown observed, Snoop is far from a gangster; he’s more like “the Willie Nelson of rap.” Another shock: Brown didn’t understand the extent to which smartphones had altered social interactions until he saw it for himself. “One of the first things I noticed is how connected and simultaneously disconnected everyone seems to be,” he said. “I’ll be in a room where everybody is talking, but nobody is talking to each other. It’s strange. I remember there was a lot more eye contact and a lot more




presence in terms of humans being present with humans.” Brown himself lacked basic social skills, such as making eye contact and smiling upon an introduction, until he entered rehabilitative programming in 2003. He studied psychology to understand the behavioral problems that had plagued his youth—namely, antisocial personality and oppositional defiant disorders. “I’m talking about a real lack of understanding of boundaries and the social contract,” he said. Prison afforded Brown a lot of time to work on himself as well as music. He released some 20 albums by recording verses over the phone à la the late, great Mac Dre. And as he became more educated, his music displayed increasing social awareness, shifting from narratives about gang-banging and cold-blooded killing to lyrical exposés on the prison-industrial complex and other systemic injustices. Now that he’s a free man—or at least a man on parole—Brown believes killing X-Raided is the only way forward as an artist. His forthcoming multipart concept album, The Execution of X-Raided, will follow the character from his troubled youth to his life of crime and ultimately to his execution by lethal injection. It’s first single, “California Dreamin’”, harkens back to ’90s West Coast rap. “I’m out on bail, fresh out of jail, California dreamin’ / Soon as I step on the scene, I’m hearin’ hoochies screamin’,” Brown rhymes, borrowing a line from his late contemporary Tupac Shakur. That image of a hardened street criminal used to overlap with his true self, but not anymore. The stories split years ago. Now he’s just Anerae Brown. “If I had attempted to live up to the legend and myth of X-Raided,” he said, “I never would have gotten out of prison.” Ω

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It’s been settled: Sacramento is the Farm-to-Fork Capital—of the universe. At least, that’s what the branding-powers-that-be would have us believe. It’s true that our taste buds are spoiled rotten with the region’s fresh bounty. It’s enjoyed in the form of melons and berries sold alongside the valley’s highways; or in a simple and delicious date jam offered at the farmers market each Sunday morning; and now it’s experienced at new homegrown food celebrations like last month’s Farm-to-Fork Festival on Capitol Mall. But even before Sacramento slapped “Welcome to America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital” up on the old water tower a few years back, the region has been rich with food festivals that introduce eaters to diverse cuisines. With that in mind, here’s a sampling of the finest food fests and competitions to get your October grub on.

Filipino Fork / October 4 The Philippine National Day Association hosts this celebration of Filipino cuisine with tickets ranging from $75-$100. This food event will feature 12 tasting stations each with a different chef presenting a Filipino-inspired dish. Attendees will get unlimited tastings

of well-known bites like lumpia as well as lesser-known treats like ube-filled (purple yam) desserts. Megan Sapigao, chairperson for Filipino Fork and board member with PNDA, said proceeds will go to the nonprofit’s Outstanding Filipino Youth Awards Scholarship, an award she received while attending college. But the focus of the evening is on the chefs. Last year’s Filipino Fork was a sit-down event, but Sapigao hopes the new chef-station format will encourage attendees to mingle. “There’s so much to be told about Filipinos in the valley, and there’s no better way to tell it than through our food,” Sapigao said. California Automobile Museum, 2200 Front Street, pnda-sac.org.

Sacramento Turn Verein Oktoberfest / October 12-13 What makes an Oktoberfest truly authentic? “The beer, I suppose,” said Emily Via, vice president of the Sacramento Turn Verein. For five decades, the German heritage cultural center has hosted this weekend of beers, brats and authentic

You Me We They, Stay Thai Food

Q: WHAT IS ? German food, along with plenty of entertainment and music. With $5-$40 ticket prices, this Oktoberfest party acts as a fundraiser to keep the center’s historic J Street building maintained. Not only is this a chance to get to know the center, but attendees will also get to try less commonly known dishes, like leberkäse, which Via describes as a “bologna-ish, meatloaf-ish meat … poured in a loaf pan and baked.” Not that Via would disparage a brat, but she admits you can get those anywhere. Leberkäse is a dish that may not cross your path too often, so she suggests trying it. And what’s the best drink to pair with it? Same answer as above: “Oh boy, well, beer.” Sacramento Turn Verein, 3349 J Street, sacramentoturnverein.com.

Gumbo & Jambalaya Music Festival / October 14 Marvel White, the organizer behind this inaugural event, is bringing the spirit of Louisiana to Sacramento. When her family relocated from Baton Rouge, they brought Creole-inspired flavors along with them. Now, she’s invited chefs to break out their best gumbo and jambalaya recipes for the masses—with tickets just $5. “Everybody has their own little twist,” White said. The secret to outstanding gumbo? “Juanita would say it’s all in the roux,” White said with a laugh. Juanita is her mother, who makes a pot of seafood gumbo each Christmas Eve for her family. Attendees will vote for their favorite gumbo and jambalaya, and so will local judges, including Juanita. This day would be missing the Southern spirit without music. In addition to gumbo and jambalaya tastings, musicians like West Bound Groove, Da’Jet, Levi Mozes and Queen Hollywood will perform. And what may be the most adorably named pageant, Little Miss Beignet, will be crowned on stage during the event. Contestants must enter before the event—and no—grown women are not invited to enter (much to this aspiring Beignet’s dismay). Miller Regional Park, 2701 Marina View Drive.

Fifth Alarm Chili Cook Off / October 20 Is it even fall if you haven’t had a bowl of homemade chili? Check that dish off your seasonal list as you enjoy your first, second and third bowl of chili during this chili cook-off. For the cost of one ticket ($15-$30), chili-lovers will get unlimited tastes of 12 types of chili made from scratch by participating teams. There will also be beer and wine, nonalcoholic drinks and an ice cream parlor. Proceeds will benefit the Firefighters Burn Institute, which offers a range of free programs for burn victims of all ages. Attendees will get to vote for their favorite chili, so bring an appetite and discerning taste buds. California Automobile Museum, 2200 Front Street, ffburn.org.


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Festivals not to miss • Greek Festival, October 5-7: Holy baklava, Batman! This popular event is stacked with tasty pastries, lamb pops, gyros and larger dinner specials. It’s great for those who already love Greek food or for those who want to sample the cuisine for the first time. 616 Alhambra Boulevard, sacramentogreekfestival.com. • Loomis Eggplant Festival, October 6: Finally, a wholesome reason to use that eggplant emoji. Invite your bestie up to Placer County for a day of eats and art all dedicated to the oblong veggie. 5775 Horsehoe Bar Road in Loomis, loomischamber.com/ eggplant-festival. • Russian Festival, October 14: Traditional cuisine including Russian barbecue, pastries, soup and award-winning wine is a highlight of this festival. Along with a full belly, you can also leave with Russian trinkets or literature. Holy Ascension Church, 714 13th Street. • Machado Orchards Apple Festival, October 20: Enjoy food sampling, music, catch landscape artists recreating orchard scenes and take home apples straight from the source. 100 Apple Lane in Auburn, placergrown.org/ Ω machado-orchards.

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Paint the town merlot An upcoming paint-and-sip studio pairs upscale décor with  humble artistic beginnings by James Raia

In the niche world of paint-and-sip studios, where franchises are now commonplace, Jacqueline Johnson wants something different for her new business. She hopes Hue Paint & Sip Studio in East Sacramento will offer patrons an upscale place to paint, socialize and dine—even if it’s on take-in fast food. “It’s going to be part of my personality,” Johnson says. “Our paint studio is going to be upscale, kind of chic [and] pretty, but you can still go in and paint. It’s like having a nice house. ... Although we won’t care too much if there’s paint on the floor.” Johnson is scheduled to open Hue Paint & Sip Studio in November. The still-in-progress décor will include a sparkling chandelier and plenty of mirrors that will add brightness and depth to the space. Hue Paint & Sip inhabits the former Hot City Pizza location, oddly the antithesis of upscale compared to Johnson’s vision for her creative space. It’s positioned just behind the Rocket Joe coffee kiosk and next to the Greek restaurant, Opa-Opa, on the corner of 57th and J streets. Artists of all calibers are welcome to participate in the studio’s upcoming two-hour evening classes led by five rotating regional artists, or to stop by open-studio hours that will be scheduled several days a week. All supplies from brushes and canvases to acrylic paints will also be provided to participants. Behind the wine bar, glasses of reds and whites will assist with the

creative process, but beer and nonalcoholic beverages will also be available at this 21-and-older studio. The Sacramento region has more than a dozen independent and franchised businesses where wine consumption and artistic expression provide meetup options, while about 200 Painting with a Twist franchises are located across 28 states. Cleverly titled businesses like Pinot’s Palette, Wine & Design, Paint Nite and plenty of others that continue to spread across the nationwide canvas. Johnson, 50, retired in March from UC Davis where she worked in administration and finance. Three years before she retired, she began asking herself what was next on the horizon. The answer was art. “I took a couple of painting and art classes and I kind of liked it,” Johnson recalls. “Art is something in my heart. It puts me in this mindfulness space.” With six months of renovations behind her, Johnson looks to open this November and envisions an environment where artists and visitors will, naturally, imbibe in the studio’s slogan: “Relax, Paint, Socialize & Have Fun.” “I am a good artist, but I am not the artist,” Johnson says. “I paint, but I am looking forward to learning. ... The artists can tell people who say, ‘I can’t do that,’ that they can.” Ω





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10.04.18    |   SN&R   |   23

Now playiNg



King Lear

Circus vibes by Rachel Mayfield

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

This modestly  mounted, “strippeddown” production by the  Actor’s Theatre is true to  the spirit of Shakespeare’s  tragic script, and features  several good performances.  The cast ranges from  experienced veterans  to newbies, so the show  has some uneven aspects  as well. Fri 8pm, Sat 8pm,

Sun 2pm. Through 10/7; $20; Actor’s Theatre at

1 fouL

California Stage, 2509 R St.,  by the light rail tracks, (916)  501-6104; actinsac.com. J.H.


To Kill a Mockingbird

though the outcome is  obvious from the beginning.   Strong performances by  everyone.  Fri 7:30pm, Sat

7:30pm, Sun 2pm. Through 10/7; $17-$25; Woodland

Set in 1935, Harper  Lee’s iconic play tells the  story of a young AfricanAmerican, falsely accused  of raping a white woman.    One of literature’s towering  symbols of  integrity and  righteousness, attorney  Atticus Finch, defends him,

Opera House, 340 Second St.  in Woodland, (530) 666-9617;  woodlandoperahouse.org.  B.S.

short reviews by Jeff hudson and Bev sykes.







5 suBLiMe– DoN’t Miss

Photo courtesy of yarceNia garcia

The circus meets pirates in an attempt to really, truly entertain the audience.

Dreaming of Pirates


thu 7pm, fri 4:30pm & 7:30pm, sat 11:30am, 4pm & 7:30pm, sun noon, 3pm & 6:30pm. through 10/14; $15-$57, circus Vargas at Westfield galleria in roseville, 1151 galleria Boulevard, and folsom Lakeside church in folsom, 745 oak ave Parkway; (877) 468-3861, circusvargas.com.

With the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus folding up its tent for good last year, Circus Vargas is now one of the largest remaining big top circuses touring the States. This year’s show, Dreaming of Pirates, boasts a dazzling array of elaborate stunts, choreography and—my favorite— sparkly costumes, all designed to entice a public that increasingly opts for the accessibility of screen-based entertainment. (This is not a condemnation. If I had my way, I would stay home and watch Big Little Lies and drink boxed rosé every night.) Circus Vargas seems to recognize this declining interest in live entertainment and responds with a show meant to connect with audiences of all ages. The tone is set within the first minute, when a clown dressed in a blindingly white, bedazzled suit enters the ring playing a soulful rendition of “Over the Rainbow” on alto sax. From there, we loosely follow the story of a much younger clown who, dissatisfied with his current occupation, dreams of becoming— well, a pirate. Relatable. Lasting nearly two hours and 30 minutes, Dreaming of Pirates has its slower points, but the more slapstick portions are spread throughout the show strategically enough that we don’t dwell on them. Memorable acts include a transfixing, trampoline-based sword duel, the flying trapeze and a big finale, which has nothing to do with pirates but does involve motorcycles. It makes no sense, but it doesn’t matter; because motorcycles. While the story meanders, let’s be honest: The main draw is the stunts and sparkly costumes. The performers do an excellent job of playing with 24   |   SN&R   |   10.04.18

Photo courtesy of circus Vargas

audience expectations and upping the ante with each new awe-inducing act, enough to keep most folks enraptured by the glitz and glamour that is the circus. Ω

4 Yeah, we like it. Davis Shakespeare’s As You Like It is basically a romantic romp in the forest involving four pairs of young lovers, with lots of live music, as these likable couples figure out their relationships in a pastoral setting (ostensibly the Forest of Arden, though one character wears a T-shirt promoting Muir Woods National Monument). There is plenty of humor, much of it involving the enterprising Rosalind (Andrea J. Love, seen in shows at Davis Shakes and Capital Stage). Rosalind decides to disguise herself as a smooth-faced young man (Ganymede)—in this production she becomes an androgynous keyboard player whose look suggests David Bowie (if you remember the ’70s) or Ruby Rose (if you’re a millennial). Soon she (as Ganymede) is tutoring her dream date Orlando (nicely played by Bay Area actor Steven Ho) in the ways of wooing. Director Rob Salas has fun staging these lighthearted antics, but Salas is also interested in the young lovers’ personal growth as they transition from giddy infatuation into a deeper, lasting relationship. The show benefits greatly from abundant live music in a folky vein by singer/guitarist/composer Timothy Nutter. His contributions sustain the mood and frame the production beautifully. —Jeff Hudson as you Like it: thu 8pm, fri 8pm, sat 8pm, sun 2pm. through 10/14; $15-$30; Veterans Memorial theatre, 203 e. 14th st. in Davis; (530) 802-0998; shakespearedavis.org.

Jesse Janzen, left, is the iago to Tory Scroggins’ Othello.

Shakespeare: still relevant! Big Idea Theatre’s staging of Shakespeare’s Othello  comes at a fascinating time in our own country’s  history. There are two main characters in Shakespeare’s  Othello—Othello is a powerful, insecure, aging military  general and his wingman is Iago—an iconic badass  bastard. As current politics clearly shows, mutual  devotion can soon be clouded by jealousy, betrayal,  unfaithfulness and revenge. Tory Scroggins is Othello,  Jesse Janzen is Iago and Rachel Foster is Desdemona.  Thu 8pm, Fri 8pm, Sat 8pm, Wed 10/21, 2pm. Through  10/27; $8-$22; Big Idea Theatre, 1616 Del Paso Boulevard;  (916) 960-3036; bigideatheatre.org.

—Patti RobeRts

fiLm CLiPS

Western union

The Sisters Brothers Joaquin Phoenix (left) and John C. Riley (right) consult a very important piece of paper.

The Bookshop




The House with a Clock in its Walls


Life Itself

In 1959, a young widow (Emily  Mortimer) sinks her life savings into a  bookshop in a seaside English town, only to  meet with the passive-aggressive opposition  of a social dragon (Patricia Clarkson) who  has her own plans for the building and sets  about turning the provincial townspeople  against her. Writer-director Isabel Coixet,  adapting Penelope Fitzgerald’s novel, paces  her tale with subdued dignity that borders  at times on a dogged plod, but which makes it  all the more effective in those rare moments  when somebody finds it necessary to raise  their voice. The atmosphere of genteel  melancholy becomes oppressive at times— but that’s probably the point. Mortimer gets  able support from Bill Nighy as her only real  friend in town, and from Honor Kneafsey  as a local girl who she hires on as her shop  assistant. J.L.


As blockbuster cinema continues to abandon any type of film that isn’t tied to a lucrative intellectual property, it has increasingly been left to the independents to pick up the genre movie slack. If you want to watch superheroes fighting emojis, Hollywood has you covered on over 4,000 screens nationwide, but if you’re looking for prison films, romantic comedies and westerns, you usually need to search through the videoon-demand and art house margins. Left almost entirely to anti-establishment veterans and aspiring auteurs, the western genre has particularly enjoyed a revisionist revival of late. Films as diverse as Kelly Reichardt’s naturalistic Meek’s Cutoff, Tommy Lee Jones’ bleak The Homesman, John Maclean’s slightly absurdist Slow West, Kristian Levring’s reverent The Salvation and Quentin Tarantino’s comic book-style Django Unchained have brought new energy and urgency to a horseshoed genre that once seemed destined for the glue factory. Jacques Audiard’s ramshackle western The Sisters Brothers rides in the same revisionist posse as the films mentioned above, and although it doesn’t offer much that is new or unique, it still makes for thoughtful and moving adult entertainment. It is not uncommon for an established foreign director to struggle with inserting their voice and style into their English-language debut, but French filmmaker Jacques Audiard (The Beat That My Heart Skipped; A Prophet; Dheepan) makes a seamless transition. Audiard specializes in visceral yet intimate genre pieces, and his films have always been more about mood, character and emotional intensity than cleverness or subtlety, so the language barrier was probably a


by Daniel BaRneS

non-issue. Certainly, the script by Audiard and his frequent collaborator Thomas Bidegain features the sort of restless narrative, deliberately constructed character dynamics and tonal mood swings that we have come to expect from his films. A dream team of Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly stars as Charlie and Eli Sisters, bickering brothers and bounty hunters practicing their deadly trade in the Oregon Territory of the early 1850s. The employees of a crime lord called The Commodore, Charlie and Eli are assigned to abduct and torture Hermann Warm (Riz Ahmed), a chemist working on a gold divining process. An overeducated detective named John Morris (Jake Gyllenhaal) has already been dispatched to find and deliver Warm, but the two men form a friendship and slip away together, while the Sisters brothers make a corpse-strewn pursuit. Both inheritors of their dead father’s violent nature, the Sisters brothers are good at what they do, but their partnership is starting to disintegrate. Charlie has become a violent and slovenly drunk, falling off his horse after an all-nighter in a saloon, and yet he can’t envision a life beyond killing. Meanwhile, Eli has grown tired of the work, dreaming of the domestic comforts offered in an increasingly civilized west, but he still feels an obligation to protect his out-of-control brother. Phoenix is very good as the hot-tempered Charlie, but Reilly steals the show as the comparatively gentle Eli, providing this rough-edged film with a soulful center. Ω

1 2 3 4 5 Poor



Very Good

Director Wash Westmoreland, with a  script co-written with Richard Glatzer  and Rebecca Lenkiewicz, traces the early  career of the French writer Colette (Keira  Knightley) from 1893 to 1910, when she was  married to—and ghost-wrote for—the  literary celebrity Henry Gauthier-Villars,  aka “Willy” (Dominic West). The movie traces  the process of Colette’s struggling out from  under Villars’ paternalistic wing, in a relationship that progresses (or degenerates)  from mentor/student to exploiter/exploited;  in the background is the ever-present irony  that today Villars is utterly forgotten while  Colette is renowned the world over. Knightley  and West head a pitch-perfect cast, and  Westmoreland (aided by cinematographer  Giles Nuttgens and designer Michael Carlin)  flawlessly recreates Belle Époque France. J.L.

In a colorful 1950s Michigan, a young  orphan (Owen Vaccaro) goes to live  with his uncle (Jack Black); before long it  becomes clear that the uncle and his next  door neighbor (Cate Blanchett) are some  sort of wizard/witch combination, and they  are searching for something that seems to  be hidden in the uncle’s vast, weird house.  Written by Eric Kripke (from John Bellairs’  YA novel) and directed by Eli Roth on kidfriendly good behavior, this unabashed Harry  Potter clone is enjoyable enough, thanks to  Black’s campy theatricality and Blanchett’s  sly minimalism. The elaborate story is serviceable without being compelling—something about Black’s supposedly deceased  stage-magician partner (Kyle MacLachlan).  It’s diverting but derivative, clearly intended  to launch a franchise—which may or may  not materialize. J.L.

Writer-director Dan Fogelman traces  a parade of family tragedies through  generations, beginning with a young couple  (Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde) and the end  of their marriage, then hopping over to  Spain for a seemingly unrelated story with  Antonio Banderas, Sergio Peres-Mencheta  and Lorenza Izzo. Mandy Patinkin, Annette  Bening and Olivia Cooke also drop by to do  their earnest best. Fogelman pretends to  offer the random kaleidoscope of real life,  but his movie is riddled with the rankest  Dickensian contrivances—without Dickens’  flair for vivid characters. Everybody yaps  away in artsy-fartsy dialogue redolent of a  bad Off-Off-Broadway play, with Fogelman  shamelessly pushing every button he can  find. This is the kind of movie that inspires  almost religious devotion, but it’s weepy,  manipulative claptrap. J.L.

by Daniel BaRneS & JiM lane




Night School


A Simple Favor



The 19th-century ax murder of Andrew  and Abby Borden at their home in Fall  River, Massachusetts, remains one of the  great American unsolved mysteries. Andrew’s  daughter Lizzie (Chloë Sevigny) was the only  person tried in the murder of her father and  stepmother, but she was quickly acquitted  of the crimes. We will likely never know for  certain what went down that day in 1892, but  that hasn’t stopped true-crime obsessives  from trying to piece together the details  of the grisly double murder into a plausible  narrative. As directed by Craig William Macneill (The Boy) and scripted by Bryce Kass,  Lizzie serves as an If I Did It for the 1892  ax killings, threading various Lizzie Borden  theories into a single story and injecting it  with contemporary politics. Yet despite all  the lurid details and topical relevance, Lizzie  is so chilly and inert that it belongs in a  whacks museum. D.B.

Seventeen years after dropping out  of high school, a “sales associate” in a  dead-end job (Kevin Hart) decides to go back  to night school to earn his GED. His class is  a mixed bag: a frustrated housewife (Mary  Lynn Rajskub), a wacked-out conspiracy  theorist (Romany Malco), a gung-ho dork  (Rob Riggle), etc., all presided over by a  super-sassy teacher (Tiffany Haddish),  with the school principal being Hart’s old  high school nemesis (Taran Killam). With six  writers (including Hart) and Malcolm D. Lee’s  call-action-and-step-next-door-for-coffee  direction, the movie can hardly help being  what it is: a half-baked, disconnected parade  of gags and undeveloped episode ideas. That  said, the gags are funny often enough to  get by. Rajskub steals the show as a harried  mom insisting on how “blessed” she is. J.L.

A chipper young mommy blogger  (Anna Kendrick) strikes up an unlikely  friendship with a cynical neighbor (Blake  Lively); when her new friend mysteriously  disappears, our heroine throws herself into  the search. Director Paul Feig’s movie (written by Jessica Sharzer from Darcey Bell’s  novel) is an impish throwback to the stylish  glam-thrillers of the early 1960s (Charade,  Mirage, Arabesque) with a 21st century sass  to go with all the twists and turns of the plot.  Kendrick and Lively make a piquant yin/yang  team, each sexy in her own way, with Henry  Golding (as Lively’s husband) adding wrinkles  to the character dynamics. The plot threatens to get convoluted in the last act, but Feig  keeps it all light-fingered, focused, and gratifying. Linda Cardellini and Jean Smart add  spice as figures from Lively’s past. J.L.

High in the Himalayas, a young yeti  (voiced by Channing Tatum) claims to  have seen a Smallfoot (read “human being”);  this gets him banished from his village because everybody knows Smallfoots are only  a myth. With the clandestine help of some  Smallfoot-believing friends (Zendaya, LeBron  James, Gina Rodriguez), he sets out to venture down “below the clouds” and prove that  what he saw is no myth. For a movie with 13  producers, seven writers, and two directors (Karey Kirkpatrick, Jason Reisig), this  animated time-killer is better than it has any  right to be—but it’s just barely good. The  story is reasonably engaging, the animation  colorfully hyperactive, and there are several  bubblegum pop songs—which, like the movie  itself, are blandly enjoyable, and just as  blandly forgettable once they’re over. J.L.


10.04.18    |   SN&R   |   25




26   |   SN&R   |   10.04.18

for the week of october 4

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

presence. 7pm, $22-$25. Ace Of Spades, 1417 R St.


tHe Natalie CORteZ BaND: Natalie Cortez

THURSDaY, 10/4 DRY BRaNCH FiRe sQUaD: Bluegrass meets humorous interludes in this four-piece country band. Rollicking good times included in ticket price, as is a performance by MerryGold. 8pm, $15. Harlow’s, 2708 J St.

late DeBUssY DUets: Like your Debussy duets

loomis eggplant Festival Downtown Loomis, 10am, no cover While other countries (China and India especially) outpace ours in the production and consumption of Festivals eggplants, there’s one thing they conspicuously lack: the Loomis Eggplant Festival. Other festivals may boast produce trendier with the youths, but there’s a charm to the nightshade fruit. The fest’s eggplant cooking contest celebrates innovations in dishes, and

tiCKet WiNDOW JiMMY O. YaNG You might know him

from Silicon Valley, Crazy Rich Asians, or you might not know him at all. Either way, watch him do funny stand-up comedy.

10/19, 7:30pm, $34.95-$44.95, on sale now.

Thunder Valley Casino, ticketmaster.com.


wildest brands in the music industry is coming to Sacramento. Uncork the Faygo, if that’s your deal. 10/22, 7pm, $25-$30, on sale now. Ace of Spades, eventbrite.com.

PHiL COLLiNS Collins is on a comeback, playing hits from his solo and Genesis days on his Not Dead Yet tour. 10/25, 8pm, $50-$275, on sale now. Oracle Arena in Oakland, livenation.com.

OiNGO BOiNGO DaNCE PaRTY Some members of Oingo Boingo are performing some of the classic hits,

you’d be hard-pressed to ignore the day’s offerings of music (The Buckoffs, Amanda Gray), animals (goats, chickens) and performances (hula, dance demos). As if you need more encouragement to attend, the entire event kicks off with an eggplant kazoo parade—no better Saturday morning exists. 5775 Horseshoe Bar Road, loomischamber.com/eggplant-festival.

KEViN HaRT The comedian who has

Young and Midland, Rhett is coming to the DOCO to get loco, or at least to play some pop country tunes. 10/27, 7:30pm, $64.75-$300, on sale now. Golden 1 Center, ticketmaster.com.


THOMaS RHETT Along with Brett

$27.50-$200, on sale now. Ace of Spades, eventbrite.com.

Amuse us, Kevin.

their name stolen by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign brings their folk to the folks in Davis. 7pm, $12.50-$85. UC Davis, 1 Shields Ave. in Davis.

teRRY BOZZiO: Bozzio, the drummer who’s sponsored by Sabian, is well-known for his enormous drum kits. Pretty neat. 7pm, $25$30. Harlow’s, 2708 J St.

JOURNeY aND DeF lePPaRD: The prior four words say it all, as the two bands synonymous with big hair join forces for an unstoppable evening of music from the 1980s. 7pm, $45.94-$175.94. Golden 1 Center, 500 David J. Stern Walk.

MONDaY, 10/8 tHe FRONt BOttOMs: Part of the Fueled By

MaCHiNe HeaD: Oakland heavy metal band

Ramen label lineup, The Front Bottoms are playing with Great Grandpa. 7pm, $27. Ace Of Spades, 1417 R St.

and pioneers of being angry on stage in the 1990s bring their unpatentable style to the stage. 7pm, $27. Ace Of Spades, 1417 R St.

TUESDaY, 10/9

FRiDaY, 10/5

sOWetO GOsPel CHOiR: The South African choir with five Grammy Awards will sing in honor of the 100th year of Nelson Mandela’s birth. 7:30pm, $28-$52. Harris Center, 10 College Parkway in Folsom.

together 50 years after the CCR debut album to celebrate with their takes on the band’s best. 9pm, $5. Old Ironsides, 1901 10th St.

BOOt JUiCe: Mixing genres that share


geographic land names—river rock, mountain blues, swamp jazz—this band has a sound and a half. 8pm, no cover. Bar 101, 101 Main St. in Roseville.

THURSDaY, 10/4 GROUND & FielD tHeatRe Festival 2018:

eN vOGUe: The vocal group best known for

This festival introduces new stage works Daisy Violet the Bitch Beast King and Summertime. 7pm, no cover. Wyatt Pavilion Theatre and The Della Davidson Performance Studio, UC Davis, Old Davis Road in Davis.

their 1990 chart-topping hit “Hold On” will perform their R&B music. 7pm, $40$55. Jackson Rancheria, 12222 New York Ranch Road in Jackson.

GRaHaM NasH: The Nash of Crosby, Stills and

though some of the members have been replaced—no Danny Elfman in sight. 10/26, 9pm, $59.95, on sale now. Thunder Valley Casino, ticketmaster.com.

he hasn’t had a charttopping hit in a few years, Grammer has had some, and he’s got a voice. 11/5, 7pm,

i’M WitH HeR: The harmonizing trio that had

how you like your Claude Debussy—late? Listen as Hrabba Atladottir takes violin, Leighton Fong handles cello, Karen Rosenak plays piano as does Michael Seth Orland, performing works from the 1910s. 12:05pm, no cover. UC Davis, 1 Shields Ave. in Davis.

50 YeaRs OF CReeDeNCe: Six bands come

Grab a ticket and wait a number of weeks.




been known to sell out football stadiums drops by for a night of laughmaking. 11/16, 7pm, $38.56-$153.56, on sale now. Golden 1 Center, ticketmaster.com. superstar/human raised in the public spotlight/megatalent Justin Timberlake stops by on his The Man of the Woods tour. 11/18, 8pm, $49.50-$250, on sale now. Golden 1 Center, ticketmaster.com.


Though the band ditched Lindsey Buckingham and replaced him with Neil Finn and Mike Campbell, the iconic art rock band will still pack a wallop.

11/23, 8pm, $69.50-$149.50, on sale now. Golden 1 Center, ticketmaster.com.

SUNDaY, 10/7 American music has won both a Latin Grammy and a Grammy, a feat shared by Shakira, Juanes and others. 7pm, $28$58. Harris Center, 10 College Parkway in Folsom.

concert for the Sacramento Valley Conservancy, the Garage Openers will set the tone with covers of rock songs. 6pm, no cover. Camp Pollock, 1501 Northgate Blvd.


and According to Bazooka play some original songs with acoustic sounds. 8pm, $15. Watermelon Music, 1970 Lake Blvd., Suite 1 in Davis.

aiDa CUevas: The star of Mexican and Latin

GaRaGe OPeNeRs: Playing a free benefit

Consumption is the greatest form of flattery—so eat some eggplants.

Nash fame comes to Sacramento. The show will feature some of the musician’s songs as well as some of his stories. 7:30pm, $46$395. Crest Theatre, 1013 K St.

FRiDaY, 10/5 GeM FaiRe: If you didn’t get enough gems

MUstaCHe HaRBOR: Folks with mustaches dress like they’re on a boat and play soft rock covers. 10pm, $15-$18. Harlow’s, 2708 J St.

SaTURDaY, 10/6 ClassiC alBUMs live leD ZePPeliN ii: It’s an experience like you’ve never experienced before! Well, unless you’ve listened to Led Zeppelin II, that is. The goal: recreate that entire album as faithfully as possible, devoid of any cheesy band member impersonations. It’s music just like you remember it from the album, if everything goes according to plan. 8pm, $25-$45. Harris Center, 10 College Parkway in Folsom.

eDeN: On a world tour of the album Vertigo, Eden (Irish multi-instrumentalist Jonathon Ng’s stage name) will share an evening of meditative indie jams with a powerful vocal

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

less than two months ago at the August edition of the Gem Faire, get ready for even more gem fare at the gem faire! See the crystals, gems and jewelry proffered for your coffer. Noon, $7. Scottish Rite Masonic Center, 6151 H St.

NORCal NOiseFest 22: All tickets to Noisefest include earplugs. With artists Crank Sturgeon, Big City Orchestra, Uberkunst and dozens more from all manner of places making all kinds of noise, it’s three days of unique and likely bizarre sounds. 7pm, $15$50. Luna’s Cafe, 1414 16th St.

saCRaMeNtO GReeK Festival: Celebrate 50 years of celebrating a culture overflowing with traditions and food. The three-day

CaleNDaR listiNGs CONtiNUeD ON PaGe 28






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The Miller Firm LLC T R I A L

see More events and subMit your own at newSreview.com/Sacramento/calendar

CaLendar ListinGs Continued FroM PaGe 27

event will keep the food and drink flowing, as well as dancing, music and an all around neat time. 11am, $5. Anunciation Orthodox, 616 Alhambra Blvd.

Saturday, 10/6 2nd annuaL Gibson ranCH PuMPKin FestivaL: There’s over 2,000 pumpkins on the vine, there’s a corn pit for kids to wallow in, all manner of other attractions, including a straw maze, hay wagon, a kiddie train— suffice to say, this is one of the high society events of the season. No formal dress code, though. 11am, $5-$15. Gibson Ranch Park, 8556 Gibson Ranch Park Road.

aLoHa FestivaL: Celebrate and learn about all things Polynesian. It’s a free festival for the many cultures that come from the Pacific Islands, with food vendors, educational exhibits, speakers, workshops and more. 9am, no cover. Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd.

LooMis eGGPLant street Faire & FestivaL:


www.MillerFirmLLC.com 108 Railroad Ave. ; Orange, VA 22960


It’s family fun with eggplants—see the event highlight on page 27. 10am, no cover. Downtown Loomis, 5775 Horseshoe Bar Road in Loomis.

norCaL noiseFest 22: Day two of Noisefest shifts venues, but the noise continues, See event highlight above. 2pm, $15-$50. Cafe Colonial and the Colony, 3520 Stockton Blvd.

Sunday, 10/7

An Oasis in the Heart of Downtown

aLMa west FestivaL: What do Karol G, Frankie J and Chris Jeday have in common? They’ll all be at this festival, as will many others, performing music. If you need more than just music to keep living, don’t sweat— there’s food from Mayahuel, Mesa Mercado and La Cosecha. noon, $39-$150. Gibson Ranch County Park, 8556 Gibson Ranch Park Road.

internationaL FestivaL davis 2018: If you’re in the mood for a cultural festival, but can’t decide on just one, come to this event. With Ballet Folklorico, Japanese taiko drumming, Brazilian capoeira and Indian classical dance, as well as educational resources, plenty of food and activities for the kids, this is one event guaranteed to broaden your horizons. noon, no cover. Central Park, 401 C St. in Davis.

Food & drinK tHurSday, 10/4 FiLiPino ForK 2018: Honor the culture that comes from the Philippines in the best possible way—by eating it and learning about it. This event raises funds for Philippine National Day Association to run programs for youth. 6pm, $75. California Automobile Museum, 2200 Front St.

Friday, 10/5 First Fridays PoP uP beer Garden: Auto body shops aren’t just for fixing your Volkwagens and Audis anymore—now they’re for beer gardens. And for fixing your cars, too. Come by for drinks by Beers in Sac and food at Kombi Haus, in a pop-up event. 5pm, no cover. Kombi Haus, 2635 34th St.

Saturday, 10/6 9tH annuaL treK For terisa Pub CrawL: Crawl for a cause: One Less Worry, an organization that raises money for individuals undergoing cancer treatment who need support. With multiple stops and a barbecue dinner at the end, it’s a good way to support a great cause. 1pm, $35-$40. Club 2Me, 4738 J St.

battLe oF tHe bands & bbQs: Music and food come together in a way they often seem to—at an event. Said event features bands and barbecue duking it out while attendees vote on their preferences. 11am, $20. Historic Rusch Home and Gardens, 7301 Antelope Road in Citrus Heights.

wHisKers & wine 2018: This event benefits the Bradshaw Animal Shelter, and it’s a howling good time. You’ll be at the shelter, talk to some animals and have the food and drinks you require, all for a cause. 5:30pm, $75$100. Sacramento County Bradshaw Animal Shelter, 3839 Bradshaw Road.

Film tHurSday, 10/4 wendy and LuCy: The Crocker takes on another slice of America with the story of Wendy and Lucy, a dog and the woman who owns the dog, traveling to Alaska and

Torta Delgado

Saturday 10/6

Meowga! Yoga Seed ColleCtive, 2:30pm, $45

Showcasing the style of Sacramento and the spirit of Mexico

917 9th Street Sacramento, CA 95814 (916) 970-5354 lacosechasacramento.com 28





A cat’s tail brushes up against your recently stretched-out calf, purring affectionately. Another rolls over at your feet, eager to cuddle. This doesn’t have to be just a narrative contrivance—it could be your life, if you attend PHoto courteSy oF yoga Seed collective this fundraiser for Yoga Seed and Happy Tails. Partake in an hour of beginner vinyasa yoga, then spend an hour mingling amongst adoptable sPorts & outdoors felines from Happy Tails. No better Saturday morning exists. 1400 E Street, Suite B, theyogaseed.org.

Saturday 10/6


A Place Called Sacramento Crest theatre, 7pm, $12


Access Sacramento’s 19th year of producing short films within the Sacramento filmmaking community brings another selection of homegrown talent. Ten Film works in total will be screened, selected from submissions of scripts. The scripts were transformed into reality on the screen, with content ranging anywhere from Nathan Reedy’s Swipe Right, about finding romance in a modern world, to Danya Barrows’ Tono Sommeso, about a blind sommelier with big problems. See what Sacramentans put up on the screen—if you want to see what previous years have had in store, check out old winners on YouTube. 1013 K Street, crestsacramento.com.


PHOtO by tOny SHePard, CC by Sa 3.0

going through some tribulations along the way just trying to make it. 6:30pm, $8$24. Crocker Art Museum, 216 O St.

FrIday, 10/5 ANTHROPOlOGY OF DíA DE lOS mUERTOS: Watch a screening of Hecho en México, a documentary on Mexico’s artists and the many identities of a diverse culture. AnnMarie Beasley Cisneros will lead a lecture about the history of Día de los Muertos and its influences. Advance registration required. 7pm, no cover. The Guild Theater, 2828 35th St.

THE SACRAmENTO OUTDOOR Film FESTiVAl: See Boyz n the Hood on Friday and Lady Bird on Saturday, in Fremont Park. The theme of the festival is “Coming of Age,” and only people of age (21 and up) can come to the festival. There’ll be libations for sale. 5pm, no cover. Fremont Park, 1515 Q St.

Saturday, 10/6 A PlACE CAllED SACRAmENTO: Sacramentans make films and screen them here. Check out the event highlight above. 7pm, $12. Crest Theatre, 1013 K St.

Sunday, 10/7 HOCUS POCUS: The 1990s Salem Halloween flick has heavy hitters Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy as witches. It’s a cult classic, so if you’re part of that cult or you feel like joining one, you won’t want to miss it. 7pm, $8-$10. Crest Theatre, 1013 K St.

On StaGe ART COURT THEATRE: A Murder is Announced. The Agatha Christie story prefaced on a newspaper notice of an announced murder at a specified time and date comes to Sacramento City College’s theater at a specified time and date. Through 10/21. $18. 3835 Freeport Blvd.

BiG iDEA THEATRE: Othello. The Shakespeare tragedy that deals in jealousy and revenge doesn’t really end well for anyone, and hopefully it will make your life seem more fun by comparison. Through 10/27. $12-$22. 1616 Del Paso Blvd.

WESTFiElD GAllERiA: Circus Vargas: Dreaming of Pirates. See a circus performance under a big top, and as if a circus isn’t enough of a draw, there’s a pirate theme, too. Read a review on page 23. Through 10/7. $25$57. 1151 Galleria Blvd. in Roseville.

HARRiS CENTER: Childsplay: Tomás and the Library Lady. This musical based on the story of the first minority chancellor in the UC system, Tomás Rivera, shares the tale of a boy and a librarian who share a love of stories and learning. Saturday 10/6, 1pm. $11.50-$18. 10 College Parkway in Folsom.

SACRAmENTO THEATRE: The Crucible. Ever since Ted Cruz’s unforgettable performance as Reverend Parris, it’s hard for actors to live up to his standard in Arthur Miller’s classic allegorical work ostensibly about the Salem witch trials. Through 10/21. $30-$40. 1419 H St.

THE miNE SHAFT: Heartstoppers Haunted

COMedy COmEDY SPOT TRAiNiNG CENTER: POC Improv Space. It’s a free improv workshop for people of color, led by instructors Justine Lopez and Betsaida LeBron. Sunday 10/7, 5pm. No cover. 915 T St.

lAUGHS UNlimiTED COmEDY ClUB: Yoshi & Friends! Somewhat mononymous and unrestricted comedian Yoshi comes to town with other folks, comedians all. 8pm. Wednesday 10/10, 8pm. $15. 1207 Front St.

House. With haunting set design, actors who jump out and shock you, this is an immersive experience that’s preferable to any other audience interaction stage play. With multiple indoor and outdoor haunts, this is one haunted house you won’t want to miss. Through 10/31. $25-$80. 2300 Mine Shaft Lane in Rancho Cordova.

WilliAm J. GEERY THEATER: The Breast Monologues. This work written, directed and produced by breast cancer survivor Tia Lyn Elliott delves into the world of the disease and the effects it has on lives. Saturday 10/6, 6pm. $10. 2130 L St.

PUNCH liNE: Josh Blue. Blue won $10,000 for his comedy at the Royal Flush Comedy Competition, which is more more than most people win for their comedy, so check him out. Through 10/6. $25. 2100 Arden Way, Suite 225.

SACRAmENTO COmmUNiTY THEATRE: Tom Segura. The Ohioan comedian who stays pretty reserved while telling stories loosely based on his life and observations that make the audience laugh. Saturday 10/6, 8pm & 10:30pm. $28-$68. 130 L St.

art mANETTi SHREm mUSEUm OF ART: Romance and Disaster, A Retrospective. Putting more than four decades of paintings and art on paper by Irving Marcus, this exhibit celebrates the often impressionistic, pasteltoned work of the late artist. Through 12/30. No cover. 254 Old Davis Road in Davis.

PENCE GAllERY: Jeff Carter: Encounters Up Close and Personal. With colorful portraiture and visible brush strokes, Carter’s paintings are warm and very personal. Through 11/2. No cover. 212 D St. in Davis.

SHEPARD GARDEN & ARTS CENTER: Shepard Garden & Arts Center Fall Sale. See local arts, crafts, books and plants, and buy some of each, or just some of one. Through 10/7. No cover. 3330 McKinley Blvd.

Tim COllOm GAllERY: Miles Hermann. Hermann’s oil works paint a portrait of California as well as of Sacramento in this colorful, personal exhibit. Through 10/10. No cover. 915 20th St.

4200 Melisa Ct Carmichael, CA 95608 Phone: 916-675-1062 License # 900045




CAliFORNiA STATE RAilROAD mUSEUm: Delightful Not Frightful “Spookomotive” Train Rides. Celebrate the spookiest season since summer: fall. Go on a themed train ride paired with a tasty food morsel, running every weekend in October. This weekend, the theme is “Superheroes & Villains,” so feel free to dress to the theme. Saturday & Sunday, 11am. Through 10/28. $8-$15. 111 I St.

Class begins Class begins October October 16, 201816, 2018

CROCKER ART mUSEUm: Duane Michals In

Conversation. Hear the photographer talk about his unique work photographing celebrities and more in black and white. This talk coincidentally coincides with his exhibit at the Crocker. They might have planned that, actually. Sunday 10/7, 2pm. $25-$40. 216 O St.

POWERHOUSE SCiENCE CENTER: Nor Cal Bats at Powerhouse. Learn what kind of bats the region has going for it, featuring live bats! Through 10/6. $7-$8. 3615 Auburn Blvd.

Dental Assistant

SOl COllECTiVE: Día de Los Muertos. Xico

Gonzalez leads a paper mâché workshop, teaching folks to make paper flowers with vases. Bring an empty glass soda bottle, if possible. Saturday 10/6, 11am. No cover. 2574 21st St.

CENTRAl liBRARY: Genealogy-Opening

Dental Assistant Find Out More - Call Today!

Pandora’s Box. Genealogist Dr. James Baker leads this lecture on DNA tests and the sometimes unexpected results they can provide. Sunday 10/7, 1pm. No cover. 828 I St.

650-550-7890Find or Out rcarne@juhsd.net More - Call Today! 650.550.7890 or rcarne@juhsd.net www.jeffersonadulted.net

bOOKS tHurSday, 10/4

A DREAm CAllED HOmE: Reyna Grande shares her memoir, detailing her experiences

www.jeffersonadulted.net CAlENDAR liSTiNGS CONTiNUED ON PAGE 30






See more eventS and Submit your own at newSreview.com/Sacramento/calendar


CaLendar LiStinGS Continued From PaGe 29

walking across the border of the United States and Mexico and into a world full of roadblocks and injustices, becoming the first in her family to attend university and pursue dreams of writing, which, spoiler alert, panned out. 7:30pm, $26. Avid Reader, 617 Second St. in Davis.

SPortS & outdoorS tHurSday, 10/4 SaCramento internationaL HorSe SHow: Spend some time around horses in “Northern California’s premier equestrian event.” There will be horse jumping, Olympic medalists vying for titles, high-profile equestrians like Jennifer Gates and Karl Cook and more, running through Sunday. If you only go to one international horse show this week, make it this one. 5:30pm, no cover-$30. Murieta Equestrian Center, 7200 Lone Pine Drive in Rancho Murieta.

Saturday, 10/6 CouraGeouS Heart run: This 5K fun run supports children who have been adversely affected by Congenital Heart Disease with “bravery bags” that go to children in local hospitals undergoing open heart surgeries. 8:30am, $30. Johnson-Springview Park, 5480 5th St. in Rocklin.

mandaride CyCLinG event: Cycle for the arts in Loomis elementary schools. With various distances for whatever kind of cyclist you may be, this is a scenic event for a good cause. 7am, $15-$80. Loomis Grammar Elementary School, 3505 Taylor Road in Loomis.

meowGa! a CatS and yoGa event: Cats and


GREEK festival

yoga, yep. See the event highlight on page 28. 2:30pm, $45. Yoga Seed Collective, 1400 E St., Suite B.

Sunday, 10/7 Fan FeSt: Time for another year of the Sacramento Kings’ Fan Fest. Learn more on page 30, this page. 1pm, no cover. Golden 1 Center, 500 David J. Stern Walk.

Sunday yoGa: Get some yoga in your morning—at a brewery! It’s an hour of all-levels yoga, and it’s free. 10:30am, no cover. Sactown Union Brewery, 1210 66th St.

More seating! Faster service! New layout! October 5-7, 2018

Greek Orthodox Church, 616 Alhambra Blvd.

SacramentoGreekFestival.com 30





monday, 10/8 ambi diSCuSSion/SuPPort GrouP: Join a social community built around the bisexual community in Sacramento, for bisexuals, partners and allies. 7:30pm, no cover. Lavender Library, 1414 21st St.

wedneSday, 10/10 tHe otHer miC: Take to the microphone at an event made for folks that might not have all the same opportunities to share their stories. Priority sign-ups go to queer & trans folks, women and people of color. 7pm, no cover. Lavender Library, 1414 21st St.

taKe action Saturday, 10/6 Carver tree PLantinG: Plant some trees for schools and the people that attend them, at three different schools in the Rancho Cordova area. There’s a pancake breakfast beforehand. 7:30am, no cover. George Washington Carver High School, 10101 Systems Parkway in Rancho Cordova.

wedneSday, 10/10 SaC aCtiviSt SCHooL: Sustaining All Life and United to End Racism come to Sol Collective to share their missions of ending climate change by ending divisions between people, and to end racism in the world. 6:30pm, no cover. Sol Collective, 2574 21st St.

claSSeS Sunday, 10/7 CarvinG an HeirLoom Santa CLauS: Carve an heirloom Santa Claus that will stay with you forever. You’ll learn all there is to know about carving the Christmas icon. 9:30am, $130. Woodcraft Sacramento, 9523 Folsom Blvd.

wedneSday, 10/10 Career Fair: Get a job, they tell you. Be a star. Well, here’s a first step: a job fair, with employers from “industry leading companies” looking for employees in sales, retail and management. 9am, no cover. Holiday Inn, 300 J St.

Sunday 10/7

Sacramento Kings Fan Fest Golden 1 Center, 1pm, no Cover

Another season with the Kings is about to kick off, and hopefully, it’ll be a doozy. You’re all invited SPortS & outdoorS to watch the team strut their stuff in an open practice. Competitions will occur involving fans on the court, food will be made available at discounted rates of cost, giveaways will be given away to lucky winners. Get hyped for the season, for both the highs and lows. We can make it to the playoffs. 500 David J. Stern Walk, nba.com/kings/fanfest.

PHoto courteSy of cHriS allen






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

Boot Juice, 9:30pm, no cover

Dylan Crawford, 9:30pm, no cover

Blue lamp

Gentleman Surfer, Pregnant and Meet Cute, 8pm, $10

The Blade Ball, 8:30pm, $7-$10

The BoaRdwalk

Fonty, Eyes Like Lanterns and Howl Atom, 8pm, $8

Kottonmouth Kings, 7pm, $25

CapiTol GaRaGe

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


Poprockz 90s Night, 7pm, call for cover

2003 k ST., (916) 448-8790

BaR 101

101 MAIN ST., ROSEvIllE, (916) 774-0505 1400 AlHAMbRA blvD., (916) 455-3400 9426 GREENbAck lN., ORANGEvAlE, (916) 358-9116

1500 k ST., (916) 444-3633

CResT TheaTRe PHOTO bY EvA RINAlDI, cc bY SA 2.0

Graham Nash 7:30pm Friday, $46-$395 Crest Theatre Classic rock

1013 k ST., (916) 476-3356


Faces Karaoke, 9pm, call for cover

2000 k ST., (916) 448-7798

FaTheR paddY’s iRish puBliC house 435 MAIN ST., WOODlAND, (530) 668-1044

Fox & Goose

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

Golden 1 CenTeR

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

Journey and Def Leppard, 7pm, $45.94$175.94

GoldField TRadinG posT

For Peace Band, 7:30pm, $10-$12

1001 R ST., (916) 443-8825

1630 J ST., (916) 476-5076

halFTime BaR & GRill

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


Dry Branch Fire Squad and MerryGold, 8pm, $15

2708 J ST., (916) 441-4693

Pint Night and Trivia, 6:30pm, M, no cover; Open-Mic, 7:30pm, W, no cover Vitamin X, Slow Code, Sick Burn and Years of Aggression, 8pm, $12-$15

Decrepit Birth, the Odious Construct, Symbolik and more, 8pm, W, $12-$14

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

Capitol Cabaret, 7pm, $5-$25

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

Graham Nash, 7:30pm, $46-$395

A Place Called Sacramento 2018, 7pm, $12

Hocus Pocus, 7pm, $7.50-$9.50

Get the Led Out, 7:30pm, T, $37-$57

Absolut Fridays, 9pm, call for cover

Sequin Saturday, 9:30pm, call for cover

Pool Party, 9pm, no cover

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

Cuttin’ the Cord, 7pm, call for cover

Kent & Cavileer with Loose Gravel, 7pm, call for cover

Michael Ware’s Birthday Bash with the Working Man’s Blues Band, 9pm, $5

Spacewalker and CTRL Z, 9pm, $5

Open-Mic Night, 7:30pm, M, no cover

Dylan Schneider, Jay Allen and Dire Lane, 7:30pm, W, $10-$12

Arden Park Roots, 7:30pm, $10-$12 Adam Aldama & Brett Sackett Acoustic Trio, 9pm, call for cover

Take Out, 9pm, $7

Ana Popovic, 7pm, $20; Mustache Harbor, 10pm, $15-$18

Dazz Band, 7pm & 10pm, $35-$50

Let’s Get Quizzical, 7pm, T, no cover Dale Watson & Wayne “The Train” Hancock, 7pm, M, $25-$40

Terry Bozzio, 7pm, $25-$30

hideawaY BaR & GRill

Shitshow Karaoke, 8pm, M, no cover; Record Roundup, 8pm, T, call for cover

2565 FRANklIN blvD., (916) 455-1331

hiGhwaTeR PHOTO bY TRAvIS SHINN, cc bY SA 3.0

Journey with Def Leppard 7pm Thursday, $45.94-$175.94 Golden 1 Center Rock

1910 Q ST., (916) 706-2465

holY diVeR

Dying Fetus, Incantation, Gatecreeper and more, 6:30pm, $20-$25


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

Live Music with Dylan Crawford, 8pm, no cover

luna’s CaFe & JuiCe BaR

Poetry Unplugged, 8pm, $2

1517 21ST ST.

1414 16TH ST., (916) 737-5770

Highwater Friday Nights with Joseph One, 10pm, $5

HOF Saturdays, 9pm, $5

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

Vicious Rumors, Cloven Hoof, Niviane, Banger and more, 7pm, $15-$17

E.N. Young, Rudemon, Empress Niko and Lions Paw and more, 7pm, $13-$15

MAX, Nina Nesbitt and IshDARR, 6:30pm, T, $17-$20 Live Music with Michael Ray, 5pm, T, no cover

Kupros Quiz, 7:30pm, no cover

Music and Jazz, 7:30pm, M, $10; OpenMic Comedy, 8pm, T, no cover

Norcal Noisefest, 7pm, $15-$50



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SuBmiT your cAlenDAr liSTingS For Free AT newSreview.com/SAcrAmenTo/cAlenDAr THursday 10/4 momo sacramento 2708 J sT., (916) 441-4693

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Brotherly Mud and Jason Achilles, 7:30pm, $7

on tHe Y

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

1901 10TH sT., (916) 442-3504 670 fulTOn ave., (916) 487-3731

Palms PlaYHouse

13 main sT., WinTers, (530) 795-1825

The Front Bottoms with Great Grandpa 7pm Monday, $27 Ace of Spades Indie rock

saTurday 10/6

sunday 10/7

Diego’s Umbrella, 7pm, $15

Arin Ray, 7pm, $13-$15

Bourbon & Blues, 6:30pm, W, $12-$15

50 Years Of CCR Tribute, 9pm, $5

Lipstick, 9pm, $5

Live Music With Heath Williamson, 5:30pm, M, no cover

Gary Nicholson & the Whitey Johnson Band, 8pm, $22

Dennis Johnson & the Mississippi Ramblers, 8pm, $20

Sacramento Country Dance Society Contra Dance, 1:30pm, $8-$12

Thinkin’ and Drinkin’, 6pm, no cover

Chili & the Beans, 8pm, call for cover

The Steven Graves Band, 8pm, call for cover

Out of the Blue, 1pm, call for cover

PowerHouse Pub

Jason Thurston, 9:30pm, call for cover

Pop Rocks, 10pm, call for cover

Skid Roses, 10pm, call for cover

Industry Night, 6pm, call for cover

Pop 40 Dance with DJ Larry, 9pm, $5

Sunday Night Dance Party, 9pm, no cover Alex Jenkins, 9pm, no cover

614 suTTer sT., fOlsOm, (916) 355-8586

tHe Press club

2030 P sT., (916) 444-7914

PETS, the Heartlights and Monster Treasure, 8pm, call for cover

sHadY ladY

Dbaba, 9pm, no cover

1409 r sT., (916) 231-9121

socIal nIgHtclub

1000 K sT., (916) 947-0434

stoneY’s rockIn rodeo

1320 del PasO Blvd., (916) 927-6023

Stoney’s Thursdays, 9pm, no cover

swabbIes on tHe rIver

5871 Garden HiGHWay, (916) 920-8088

tHe torcH club

904 15TH sT., (916) 443-2797

Matt Rainey and the Dippin Sauce, 9pm, $6

mOnday-Wednesday 10/8-10/10

Tuesday Night Karaoke, 9pm, T, no cover

PlacervIlle PublIc House

414 main sT., Placerville, (530) 303-3792

PHOTO cOurTesy Of Jimmy fOnTaine

friday 10/5

Live Band Karaoke, 8:30pm, T, call for cover; 98 Rock, 9pm, W, call for cover

Crescent Katz, 9pm, no cover

Big Sticky Mess, 9pm, no cover

DJ Ishh, 10pm, no cover before 10pm-$5 list

Pete Alexander, 10pm, no cover before 10:30pm-$5 list

Hot Country Fridays, 7pm, $5-$10

Blues, Brews & BBQ with the Zach Waters band, 8pm, no cover

Sunday Funday, 8pm, no cover

Live Music at FirePit Stage, 5:30pm, no cover

Mick Martin’s 9th Annual Blues Fest, 3pm, call for cover

Thunder Cover, 2pm, call for cover

Dana Moret & Mr. December and Badd Self, 9pm, $10

Gino Matteo & Jade Bennett, 9pm, $10

You Front the Band, 8pm, no cover

Sicky Betts, 8pm, T, call for cover; Austin Lucas, Chad Price and more, 9pm, W, $8

Yoga at Yolo, 11am, no cover

Trivia with Geeks Who Drink, 6pm, T, no cover

Yolo brewIng co.

1520 Terminal sT., (916) 379-7585

West Coast Swing, 7:45pm, T, $5; College Wednesdays, 9pm, W, $5-$10

All ages, all the time ace of sPades PHOTO cOurTesy Of Jennifer Haddix

Dry Branch Fire Squad with MerryGold 8pm Thursday, $15 Harlow’s Bluegrass

1417 r sT., (916) 930-0220

cafe colonIal

3520 sTOcKTOn Blvd., (916) 718-7055



Seven Lions, 8pm, $35-$40

Noble Bones, Lightweight, Defender Grade and more, 8pm, call for cover

tHe colonY

3512 sTOcKTOn Blvd., (916) 718-7055


1400 e sT., (916) 551-1400


Machine Head, 7pm, $27



The Shine Jazz Jam, 8pm, no cover

Pink Frank, Country Club and Anxious Admirals, 8pm, $7

The Front Bottoms and Great Grandpa, 7pm, M, $27

EDEN and Kacy Hill, 7pm, $22-$25 Norcal Noisefest, 2pm, $15-$50

Norcal Noisefest, 3pm, $15-$50

Norcal Noisefest, 2pm, $15-$50

Norcal Noisefest, 3pm, $15-$50

Skyline, Landline and Warren Bishop, 8pm, $8

Questionable Trivia, 8pm, T, no cover

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

Focus your chill see goatkidd


worldwide legalization see ask420


industry representatives acknowledge some risk in the activity, in part because federal banking restrictions have forced the industry to be largely cash-based, making them a potential robbery target. At the same time, cannabis delivery cars are not marked, making them more difficult for robbers to spot. another action in recent weeks saw the Law and Legislation Committee pull a permit request High Times Magazine needed for its planned Cannabis Cup at Cal Expo later this month, raising questions about whether it will be held. Councilman Jay Schenirer, who chaired the meeting, said the proposal wasn’t ready. This might be why: High Times apparently has not fulfilled its obligations to the city following the Cannabis Cup held at illustration by Maria ratinova Cal Expo in May. High Times faced some opposition on the council when it sought approval for the event just days before it was scheduled to start, and not long after a city council in Southern California had rejected cannabis consumption at another As City Council moves to crackdown on deliveries, cultivation and Cannabis Cup. the High Times Cannabis Cup, is Sacramento as cannabis-friendly So High Times promised a windfall of as we thought? tax revenue—more than $200,000—for the city of Sacramento. The event generated $60,000 in local tax revenue and by Brad Branan High Times still hasn’t paid it to the city, according to Joe Devlin, the city’s Chief of Cannabis Policy and Enforcement. High Times also promised to pay On Tuesday, September 18, the The Power Inn Alliance has also in a state where a majority of cities $140,000 to Build. Black., an advocouncil’s Law and Legislation Committee expressed safety concerns about continue to ban commercial cannabis busicacy group created after the voted 3-0 to recommend the approval of cannabis delivery because of nesses, Sacramento has earned a reputation Sacramento police shooting of a one-year moratorium on more cannabis the amount of cash and for opening its doors to an industry created “Let’s Stephon Clark, an unarmed delivery companies in the southeast products carried by with the legalization of weed about two put it this black man. Devlin said Sacramento area. The proposal would drivers. years ago. he has been told that the cap delivery services to 46, the same Statewide, police But the image is being tested by recent way: If they don’t money has not been number of permit applications it received and municipal leadCity Council decisions. Both votes involve pay the $140,000, paid. Representatives from businesses in the area. The full City ers have put forth a limits on cannabis businesses in southeast they’re not coming back for Build. Black. and Council was scheduled to vote on the similar argument, as Sacramento, where the city has its highHigh Times did not proposed moratorium October 2, which they seek to block a est concentration of industrial property. a second time.” return calls seeking a occurred after print deadline. proposed regulation Certain cannabis businesses can only Darrell Steinberg response. The delivery moratorium is backed by the state Bureau operate in industrial areas. Sacramento city mayor If the payments aren’t by the Power Inn Alliance, a business of Cannabis Control The City Council voted in May to limit made soon, the City Council group representing the area. The alliance that would allow delivery cultivation in the southeast industrial area may not approve the Cannabis also pushed the cap on cultivation busianywhere in the state, even and plans to consider restrictions in other Cup set for October 27-28. Mayor nesses. Tracey Schaal, executive director if a city has a ban on commercial parts of town. The city put a cap on cultiDarrell Steinberg made his position clear of the alliance, told the committee last cannabis activity. vation in the southeast area at 2.5 million when he told High Times that it must make week that the group wanted to “spread But in Sacramento and across the square feet when it already had received the payment to Build. Black.: “Let’s put it the love,” meaning that cannabis busistate, delivery opponents have not applications for 2.8 million. Therefore, this way: If they don’t pay the $140,000, nesses need to relocate to other parts of presented any statistics showing increases some applicants who’ve applied for a they’re not coming back a second time.” Ω the city. in crime from the activity. Cannabis cultivation permit could be denied. 10.04.18 | SN&R | 33

highs and lows

Do you wash your bong more than your dishes?

34   |   SN&R   |    10.04.18

A cop asked me, “How hi are you?” I replied, “Hi, how are you?”

10.04.18    |   SN&R   |   35

Did you hear about that guy that overdosed on weed? No. So has nobody else.

36   |   SN&R   |    10.04.18

A potato that smokes weed is a baked potato.



















24TH ST.









10.04.18    |   SN&R   |   37

You know you are a stoner when it takes you a week to study for a urine test.

38   |   SN&R   |    10.04.18

by Ngaio Bealum

as k 4 2 0 @n e w s r e v i e w .c o m

Wait...did you hear that? Don’t turn around.

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Satisfaction Guarantee! Hey. I know that High. What’s with these 1 HR Delivery Guarantee! weed is winning in the huge corporations USA, but how about No Deliverygetting Fee! into the weed internationally? game? Can we stop We pay—Glob taxes 1st Purchase! TroTTer them? No taxes for Seniors & Veterans —Anne r. Kosin-D’CAlisT I’m glad you asked. The short answer: Weed is winning worldwide! Just last week, a court in South Africa Listen: Capitalism’s gonna capitalize. Yeah it sucks. I am assuming you are ruled that possession of up to 115 talking about Coca-Cola getting into grams of cannabis for personal use the CBD soft drink market. is no longer a crime. Also, Considering that Coke are now allowed to Snapchatfolks OrganicCareSac Twitter OrganicCareSac used to be infused grow a few plants. This with cocaine, I would great news. Not FB Organic Care of California Sacramento InstagramisOrganicCareofCaliforniaSac consider this a move only because South in the right direction. Africa is home to MON–FRI 10AM–10PM•SAT–SUN NOON–10PM C9-18-0000007-TEMP Lagunitas (owned by some of the great Heineken, last time landrace strains like I checked) already Durban Poison, but Full Menu and Order Online at www.OrganicCareofCalifornia.com makes a THC-infused because no one should sparkling water. (It’s ever go to jail for using really good, by the way.) or possessing cannabis. These things are to be But don’t start planning your expected. Of course Coca-Cola African jaycation just yet. Until the and Heineken were nowhere to be new rules are worked out, the cops found when people were staging have been given wide discretion as to protests and smokeouts and going to who gets arrested and who goes free. jail to legalize cannabis, but now they You can draw your own conclusions. want to get into the game because Closer to home, Canada is prepthey see billions of multinational ping for full legalization October dollars on the horizon. Sigh. This is 17. The entire country is in a frenzy how the world works, unfortunately. as lawmakers look to (over)regulate Half of me hopes that some of these an already existing industry. But I companies will get it together and am confident that they will at least work to end the federal prohibition get close to a workable model. The of weed. That would be nice, but I problem will be when ganjaprenuers am not holding my breath. I don’t from Canada want to visit the USA. mind corporations getting involved, I US Customs has already said that just wish that these corporations had international tourists that admit to better ethics and values. Like, where using weed or being in the cannabis is Ben and Jerry’s when you need industry will not be allowed to visit them? Hopefully we can ward off the states. This is a bad decision. All Big Soda and Big Beer by supporting that is gonna happen is people will smaller, more local, craft cannabislie about the reasons for their visit. infused beverage-makers. Ω Oh well. Other than that, you could plan a great international jaycation and hit all sorts of countries that Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento have decriminalized or even legalcomedian, activist and marijuana ized cannabis, from Amsterdam to expert. Email him questions at Uruguay. Aw yeah. ask420@newsreview.com.




8112 Alpine Ave, Sacramento • 916-739-6337 • Open Mon - Sun: 10am-8pm • Lic. A10-17-0000079-TEMP 10.04.18        SN&R      41 |


10.04.18    |   SN&R   |   39


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by Ngaio Bealum

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

GettinG reaquainted with cannabis?

Jaycation Hey. I know that weed is winning in the USA, but how about internationally? —Glob TroTTer

I’m glad you asked. The short answer: Weed is winning worldwide! Just last week, a court in South Africa ruled that possession of up to 115 grams of cannabis for personal use is no longer a crime. Also, folks are now allowed to grow a few plants. This is great news. Not only because South Africa is home to some of the great landrace strains like Durban Poison, but because no one should ever go to jail for using or possessing cannabis. But don’t start planning your African jaycation just yet. Until the new rules are worked out, the cops have been given wide discretion as to who gets arrested and who goes free. You can draw your own conclusions. Closer to home, Canada is prepping for full legalization October 17. The entire country is in a frenzy as lawmakers look to (over)regulate an already existing industry. But I am confident that they will at least get close to a workable model. The problem will be when ganjaprenuers from Canada want to visit the USA. US Customs has already said that international tourists that admit to using weed or being in the cannabis industry will not be allowed to visit the states. This is a bad decision. All that is gonna happen is people will lie about the reasons for their visit. Oh well. Other than that, you could plan a great international jaycation and hit all sorts of countries that have decriminalized or even legalized cannabis, from Amsterdam to Uruguay. Aw yeah.

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High. What’s with these huge corporations getting into the weed game? Can we stop them?

r e c r e at i o n a

i d l a c i d l & me


—Anne r. Kosin-D’CAlisT

Listen: Capitalism’s gonna capitalize. Yeah it sucks. I am assuming you are talking about Coca-Cola getting into the CBD soft drink market. Considering that Coke used to be infused with cocaine, I would consider this a move in the right direction. Lagunitas (owned by Heineken, last time I checked) already makes a THC-infused sparkling water. (It’s really good, by the way.) These things are to be expected. Of course Coca-Cola and Heineken were nowhere to be found when people were staging protests and smokeouts and going to jail to legalize cannabis, but now they want to get into the game because they see billions of multinational dollars on the horizon. Sigh. This is how the world works, unfortunately. Half of me hopes that some of these companies will get it together and work to end the federal prohibition of weed. That would be nice, but I am not holding my breath. I don’t mind corporations getting involved, I just wish that these corporations had better ethics and values. Like, where is Ben and Jerry’s when you need them? Hopefully we can ward off Big Soda and Big Beer by supporting smaller, more local, craft cannabisinfused beverage-makers. Ω

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


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What lives beneath I use depression as an excuse to bow out of life. After five years of my promises to improve, my wife left. I admit to wanting people to see I’m not worth loving. Years of therapy did not help me recover from childhood abuse. But I’m working on getting out of my head and becoming a Big Brother, learning krav maga self-defense, and making friends. My wife agreed to a couple’s therapy session yesterday, but won’t commit to returning. She says people manipulate truth to fit how they want therapy to go. She is dating, which broke my heart. I’m working on me so that I can be better for us, but she’s out getting attention she didn’t get from me. How can I show her that not giving up on me will give me the chance I need? The power to transform your life is not reliant on the people in your life. By requiring your wife to behave according to your script, you’re setting her up for blame if you do not change as expected. It’s unkind. Change happens when an individual commits to shedding the past and evolving into a more authentic self. It’s an internal choice, one that requires reaffirming regularly so change takes root. You have likely conditioned yourself to change only when a crisis looms. That’s why it was easy to dismiss five years of your wife’s pleading, and why, now that she’s left, you’re filling your days with self-defense classes, new friends and mentoring. But a busy schedule is only a distraction from the needed healing. Exercise is essential, yes, but take care not to place new friends or a child you’re mentoring in the position of being responsible for, “not giving up on you,” as you have done with your wife. It’s your life’s work not to give up on you. Yes, yours. Let’s have an honest conversation about depression. It’s normal to grieve if you have given up on yourself. Any adolescent habit of nurturing sadness rather than acknowledging, investigating and releasing it, can morph into episodic depression in adulthood. A child who has been abused may become an adult

who struggles with depression, unless a significant investment has been made during adulthood of seeking and committing to healing. These scenarios are not the same as someone who struggles with clinical depression and requires medication, although some people on depression medication do not have clinical depression. In other words, it’s complicated. Depression, like the word “love,” is used casually to describe emotional states that have nothing to do with it. There is also a movement to call depression a gift. While there is value in all emotional states, clinging to the idea that depression is a gift usually results in depression arising more often. This leads some depressed individuals to feel entitled to special treatment from family and friends, and to flip into anger when it isn’t delivered. So what lives beneath your depression? Try therapy again to find out. You may have worked with the wrong therapist previously. Or you were not ready to grow. Give yourself another chance. Ω

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46   |   SN&R   |    10.04.18

FRee will aStRology

by Steph RodRiguez

by Rob bRezSny

For tHe WeeK oF oCtoBer 4, 2018 ARIES (March 21-April 19): Electra is an

action-packed story written by ancient Greek playwright Sophocles. It features epic characters taking drastic action in response to extreme events. In contrast to that text is Marcel Proust’s novel In Search of Lost Time, which draws from the sensitive author’s experiences growing up, coming of age and falling in love, all the while in quest for meaning and beauty. Author Virginia Woolf compared the two works, writing, “In six pages of Proust we can find more complicated and varied emotions than in the whole of the Electra.” In accordance with astrological omens, I recommend that you specialize in the Proustian mode rather than the Sophoclean. Your feelings in the next five weeks could be as rich and interesting and educational as they have been in a long time. Honor them!

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Researchers in

Maryland have created a new building material with a strength-to-weight ratio that’s eight times better than steel. It’s an effective insulator, and in some forms can be bent and folded. Best of all, it’s biodegradable and cost-effective. The stuff is called nanowood, and is derived from lightweight, fast-growing trees like balsa. I propose that we make it your main metaphor for the foreseeable future. Why? Because I think you’re primed to locate or create your own version of a flexible, durable, robust building block.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): The U.S. secretary of

defense paid an official visit to Indonesia early this year. The government arranged for him to observe soldiers as they demonstrated how tough and well-trained they were. Some of the troops shimmied through broken glass, demolished bricks with their heads, walked through fire and bit heads off snakes. I hope you won’t try stunts like that in the coming weeks, Gemini. It will be a favorable time for you show off your skills and make strong impressions. You’ll be wise to impress important people with how creative and resourceful you are. But there’s no need to try too hard or resort to exaggeration.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): i confess that i have

a fuzzy self-image. With odd regularity, i don’t seem to know exactly what or who i am. For example, i sometimes think i’m so nice and polite that i need to toughen up. But on other occasions, i feel my views are so outrageous and controversial that i should tone myself down. Which is true? Often, i even neglect to capitalize the word “i.” You have probably experienced some of this fuzziness, my fellow Cancerian. But you’re now in a favorable phase to cultivate a more definitive self-image. Here’s a helpful tip: We Cancerians have a natural talent for inspiring people to love us. This ability will come in especially handy as we work on making an enduring upgrade from i to I. Our allies’ support and feedback will fuel our inner efforts to clarify our identity.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): “I am a little afraid of love,

it makes me rather stupid.” So said author Simone de Beauvoir in a letter she wrote to her lover, Nelson Algren. I’m happy to let you know, Leo, that during the next 12 months, love is likely to have the opposite effect on you. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, it will tend to make you smarter and more perceptive. To the degree that you expand your capacity for love, you will become more resilient and a better decision-maker. As you get the chance to express love with utmost skill and artistry, you will awaken dormant potentials and boost your personal power.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Your theme in the

coming weeks is the art of attending to details. But wait! I said “the art.” That means attending to details with panache, not with overly meticulous fussing. For inspiration, meditate on St. Francis Xavier’s advice, “Be great in little things.” And let’s take his thought a step further with a quote from author Richard Shivers: “Be great in little things, and you will be given opportunity to do big things.” Novelist Tom Robbins provides us with one more nuance: “When we accept small wonders, we qualify ourselves to imagine great wonders.”

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Libran astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson offers this observation: “When you look for things in life like love,

meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. [But] the most successful people in life recognize that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation.” I think Tyson’s simple wisdom is exactly what you need to hear right now, Libra. You’re primed for a breakthrough in your ability to create your own fate.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Japanese entrepre-

neur Hiroki Terai has created a business that offers crying therapy. His clients watch short videos specially formulated to make them weep. A professional helper is on hand to gently wipe their tears away and provide comforting words. “Tears have relaxing and healing effects,” says an Okinawan musician who works as one of the helpers. Hiroki Terai adds, “It has been said that one drop of tear has the effect of relieving stress for a week.” I wish there were a service like this near where you live, Scorpio. The next two weeks will be a perfect time to relieve pent-up worry and sadness and anxiety through cathartic rituals like crying. What other strategies might work for you?

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Fling out friendly

feelers! Sling out interesting invitations! Figure out how to get noticed for all the right reasons! Make yourself so interesting that no one can resist your proposals! Use your spunky riddle-solving powers to help ease your tribe’s anxieties. Risk looking odd if that will make you smarter! Plunk yourself down in pivotal places where vitality is welling up! Send out telepathic beams that say, “I’m ready for sweet adventure. I’m ready for invigorating transformation!”

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): “Someone spoke

to me last night, told me the truth,” writes poet Dorianne Laux. “I knew I should make myself get up, write it down, but it was late, and I was exhausted from working. Now I remember only the flavor.” I offer these thoughts, Capricorn, in the hope that they’ll help you avoid Laux’s mistake. I’m quite sure that crucial insights and revelations will be coming your way, and I want you to do whatever’s necessary to completely capture them so you can study and meditate on them at length.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): As a young man,

Aquarian poet Louis Dudek struck up a correspondence with renowned poet Ezra Pound, who was 32 years older. Dudek “admired him immensely,” and “loved him for the joy and the luminosity” of his poetry, but also resented him “for being so magnificent.” With a mix of mischief and adulation, Dudek wrote a poem to his hero. It included these lines: “For Christ’s sake, you didn’t invent sunlight. There was sun dazzle before you. But you talk as if you made light or discovered it.” I hope his frisky tone might inspire you to try something similar with your own idols. It would be healthy to be more playful and lighthearted about anything or anyone you take too seriously or give enormous power to.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): In his book Till We

Have Faces, C. S. Lewis writes, “Holy places

are dark places. It is life and strength, not knowledge and words, that we get in them. Holy wisdom is not clear and thin like water, but thick and dark like blood.” In that spirit, and in accordance with astrological omens, I suggest you seek out dark holy places that evoke wonder and reverence, even awe. Hopefully, you will be inspired thereby to bring new beauty into your life. You’ll be purged of trivial concerns and become receptive to a fresh promise from your future life.

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.

Letting them eat cake For many kids, birthdays are one  day out of the year to feel special.  Unfortunately, that’s not the reality  for all. Today, 58 percent of the  nation’s unsheltered homeless  youth reside right here in the Golden  State, according to a 2017 study  by the Department of Housing and  Urban Development. But there’s one  program that aims to make birthdays  memorable for everyone: Cake4Kids.  This nonprofit currently operates  in 10 California cities, working with  140 different agencies that service  foster youth, immigrants, refugees  and victims of sex-trafficking with  one goal: gifting kids cakes on their  birthdays. Sacramento ambassador,  Mary Barnes, helped bring Cake4Kids  to the area in July and delivered its  first cake to a child in August. With  32-and-counting volunteer bakers,   the program has delivered nearly  two dozen cakes so far. Barnes  says a simple cake is just one way to  ensure a child’s birthday isn’t just  another ordinary day, but one to  always remember. SN&R spoke with  Barnes about the memories Cake4Kids  creates for children, and she even  shares some nifty decorating tips for  interested volunteers.

How were birthdays growing up for you?


Where does the baking take place? The volunteer bakers bake from home and use their supplies, and they deliver the cake within a two-hour window to the [partnering] agency. So you bake from home on your own schedule and pick the deliveries that work for you. The agencies we work with will send happy birthday cake requests to Cake4Kids online, and then our bakers sign up. We do expect some level of being able to decorate a cake. But volunteers volunteer their time, their supplies and skills, all from home.

I’m one of seven children, and we lived in North Sac. My mom still lives there, and like any working-class family, things were tight; especially with so many mouths to feed and so many birthdays. Our birthday was really the one day that we got to ourselves, where we didn’t have to do any chores, and we got to pick what we had for dinner. … It was one day out of the year that was just for us, where we got the attention from our family, and it was really special.

They vary because [of] the children we make them for: all types of boys, girls and all kinds of ages. We actually bake cakes for up to a 20-year-old because you can be in the foster system that long. The most popular theme this past year was superheroes, which beat out Frozen, our most popular theme for the past three years.

How has Cake4Kids made an impact on children’s lives here?

Do you have any nifty cake decorating tips?

The children that we service come from very difficult backgrounds. When they tackle so much adversity, and they’ve had to go through so much … at least we’re providing a happy moment for them. Personally, it’s important to help those children feel important and included, and baking birthday cakes is the way we do that. We’ve had thank-yous, and stories received from guardians and parents of these children, and how not every year they get a birthday cake.

What’s the most popular cake flavor or theme?

Every Tuesday, I post a tip for our bakers [on our Facebook page]. Right now, all of our cakes have actually been vegan—all of them requested. So that’s been a challenge right from the beginning for our bakers. I recently posted a tip on how to use flax as a substitute for egg. Another helpful tip for the Sacramento heat: You can substitute butter (up to a half) with shortening to try and keep the buttercream from melting in the summer.

What’s the most amazing cake you’ve seen baked for a child so far? Oh my gosh, some of them are just outstanding! Fabulous. I mean, you could purchase them. But all skill levels are welcome. Some of them are just amazing. One I just saw recently, the baker had an M&M’s bag floating in the air with M&M’s trailing down onto the cake. Amazing. Our bakers here in Sacramento are doing a fabulous job baking cakes.

What’s one memorable experience you’ve had with Cake4Kids so far? Yesterday, I met with one of our partnering agencies, Opening Doors. They service immigrants, refugees and victims of human-trafficking. Unfortunately, because of the child’s privacy, we do not deliver to the child. We only deliver to the agency. So I don’t get to see the smiles on the children’s faces. … But I met with two case workers, and they deliver the cakes, and they just expressed over and over again how happy the children are to receive their happy birthday cake and just how special it is. … It’s why we’re doing this. Even though we don’t see the child’s smiles, they do. We give knowing that it will be appreciated. We don’t necessarily need the thanks or the smiles. We know at least we’re doing something to help that child feel special and loved. Ω

Learn more about Cake4Kids at cake4kids.org.

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