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Volume 30, iSSue 26


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2   |   SN&R   |   10.11.18

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When Sheriff Scott Jones appeared before the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors on September 11 to reiterate he was no longer tolerating independent oversight of his agency, it was a rare glimpse at what Jones must be like behind closed doors. Often characterized as a mini-Donald Trump because of his anti-immigrationfocused congressional run in 2016, the sheriff aped some of the president’s rhetorical flourishes in defending his unilateral ouster of Inspector General Rick Braziel, a respected former police chief who dared question the shooting of an unarmed black man who was running away from officers. Jones boasted about the margin of his electoral victory, groused about emails being leaked to the media and claimed sole credit for the creation of the inspector general’s office. “The only reason we have an inspector general is because I wanted an inspector general,” he told supervisors last month. Yeah, um, no. While it’s true Jones had an outsized role in selecting the person tasked with keeping him honest, the county only started looking for an I.G. in 2015, after SN&R revealed that the position had been replaced by a broken tip line—one that disconnected calls before anyone could leave a message. Before our reporting, Jones and the county bragged that the hotline had received zero complaints about his department. After our reporting, they tried hard to spin the narrative. That’s happening now, as supervisors cave to a sheriff and cut loose Braziel, a big believer in gathering and sharing data. Obviously Jones has no interest in such accountability. It’s why Braziel is out of a job. But even when he’s trying to keep the public out, Jones can’t help showing his true colors. After all, there are few things more transparent than the abuse of power.


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10.11.18    |   SN&R   |   5

Dr. Carolee Tran went from being a little girl escaping the fall of Saigon to a psychologist and trauma researcher in Sacramento. Photos courtesy of carolee tran

A healing voice

everything that I have done in my life,” Tran says. “It’s been the driving force.” It’s also the reason Tran refuses to stay silent in the face of surging anti-immigrant and refugee sentiments making an ugly rise in the American consciousness.

Psychologist’s refugee story remains a motivating force behind her trauma work in Sacramento by Scott thomaS anderSon

When Dr. Carolee Tran recalls her last glimpse of Vietnam as a child, the most searing memory involves hundreds of people crying out. “It was just like heavy rain,” she says of the chorus, “but it was the anguish— the anguish of people, and the fear, and the terror.” She was 8 years old when she was hurried onto the last American naval ship waiting off Phu-Quoc Island. North Vietnamese soldiers were breaking down the gates of Saigon. As Tran looked out, she watched a desperate tide of humanity

scott thomas anderson wrote this story while participating in the usc annenberg center for health Journalism 2018 california fellowship.






bank against the ship. The vessel couldn’t take most of the escapees. Tran remembers glancing up at U.S. sailors with tears in their eyes. The chaos had started hours before. The daughter of a South Vietnamese Army officer, Tran had been pulled from her bed in the middle of the night, rushed through a lightless house and dragged into a street filled with people running by. Once her family saw the ship, they began jumping across a line of fishing boats to reach it. Tran saw drowned villagers floating in the water. In the shoulder-to-shoulder

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

rush, it was a total stranger who got Tran aboard the ship. What lay ahead for the little girl was hours of not knowing where her mother and sisters were, weeks of not knowing if her father was alive, and months of not knowing when she’d have a place to call home again. Today, Tran says the panic that engulfed her that day is the reason she became a psychologist who specializes in treating war and refugee trauma in Sacramento. “The experience of escaping, and resettling in the U.S., has colored

Standing on an elementary school stage, Tran and her little sister stood petrified as people hovered above them, vigorously praying in a language neither girl understood. Tran’s family had been sponsored by a Protestant church in the Bay Area, who’d recommended the campus to her parents. Hauled onto the stage, 9-year-old Tran didn’t know what was happening, but she did keep hearing the word “saved” being invoked. The evangelicals then started parading the two small girls out to every classroom at the school, announcing that they’d been saved. “Cultural insensitivity can be very harming to people,” Tran notes. “The lack of respect they had for whatever our faith was—and doing that without our parents’ permission—it all made me go home crying.”

Can Bera Be Beat? See neWS


Courage HouSe, tHe Sequel See neWS


navigating neW gender id laW See eSSaY



reCurring Hate For Tran, that’s just one example from the daily minefield of shocks that refugee children have to navigate when they land in a new country. She says like most young arrivals, she and her siblings eventually began to find their bearings. But the path she watched her parents go down was harder. Tran’s father, Tam Tran, went from being an upper-middle-class army major in Saigon to working as a janitor. At one point, he was making a three-hour, round-trip commute every night to clean a multiplex theater by himself. When Tran would help him on weekends, she’d break down in tears seeing how grueling her dad’s job was. Tran says her father felt strongly he should contribute to the American workforce and not be on public assistance, but she could tell that he was silently internalizing the stress that comes with downward mobility. It’s a phenomenon she’s seen often in her work counseling refugee families. “It can really affect people,” Tran says. “With that whole generation, the thought was that if they could just make it to America, everything would be great. They had no idea how hard it was going to be.” As Tran’s parents juggled multiple jobs, they insisted she not drop out of college to help the family. That paved the way for her to become a Harvardtrained psychologist and assistant clinical professor at UC Davis. In 1997, she authored a major study on domestic violence in the Vietnamese refugee community. She found that the group suffered above-average rates of domestic violence incidents and that the shadow of the war was usually playing a direct role. “It was cases where the perpetrator, usually the man, had gone through his own trauma in the war, and often downward mobility, and was inflicting this on his family,” she says. Tran also co-authored a study in the 1990s with her husband, Hinton Ladson, M.D., that determined rates of post-traumatic stress disorder in the Vietnamese refugee community were more than double the rates of those in the general population. Tran recently told SN&R that this situation was exasperated by a lack of government agencies or nonprofits having mental health services for Vietnamese, Hmong and Cambodian refugees in the 1970s and early ’80s (Read “After the war,”

Feature, October 4, 2018). Tran has some thoughts on why that outreach didn’t happen. “The Vietnamese refugees were unfortunate in the sense it was the first war America really lost,” Tran says. “So, there were a lot of negative feelings, both towards the American vets and the Vietnamese themselves. … I think there was a lot of resistance to having any kind of infrastructure to help them. My feeling is that’s a part of what was going on. As a country, we were dealing with a bitter taste in our mouths.”

concerns when she was a guest speaker at a local premier of Ken Burn’s documentary The Vietnam War. Her words that evening were overtly political at an event where it seemed like veterans and sponsors were trying to be anything but. Tran has no regrets. She’s also been sharing her experiences with students at UC Davis and health professionals at several major conferences. Tran says she wants to be a spokesperson for the many contributions immigrants and refugees bring to the American mosaic. For Tran, a documented rise in hate speech and incidents since Trump’s last week, tran relived her flight from election hit close to home just last Vietnam for students at Sacramento year. She says she was exercising City College. She’d been asked by inside a gym in Davis when a middleprofessor Sheryl Fairchild to speak to aged white man verbally accosted her. the school’s Global Women’s Issues She says it happened without warning. class, which is studying the intensity of The man started badgering her that all the refugee crisis at home and abroad. Asians “should be sent away.” Tran Tran told the students how deeply trau- filed a complaint with the gym and the matizing war and displacement can be, local police department. and that healing is a process “I really felt assaulted by his that can take a lot of words,” she says. “I had work—and time. never experienced The doctor anything like that also shared since I’ve been her concerns here. … That’s about what so President troubling to Donald me about this Trump’s moment, this antiunleashing immigrant of aggression rhetoric, towards as well as people of color the hidden so freely. And Dr. Carolee Tran forces of hate it is our president psychologist, Sacramento it’s been tapping who’s setting the into. tone.” “She has such a As the White House beautiful way of connecting concocts new ways to restrict her story to the current moment and legal immigration, Tran is only more some of the harassment and discriminadetermined to use her story as a way of tion that refugees and immigrants humanizing refugees. She’s currently experience,” Fairchild observes. “We writing a memoir and says she’ll speak have a very diverse group of students to any organization that invites her. and her words touched a lot of them on a On October 16, she’ll speak at personal level.” Sacramento City College’s Cultural She adds, “When someone like Awareness Center in an event that’s Dr. Tran shares their story in person open to the public. While her work as with the students, it has a really direct a clinician remains important, Tran impact—they don’t have any distance stresses there’s another kind of work from it.” that needs to be done. Tran’s been speaking to students “I feel compelled to speak up,” she at the college for two years now and says. “It’s a responsibility, especially hasn’t shied away from raising her now, during these times. … What’s fears around the alt-right’s targeting happening compels me to be there for of immigrants. Tran expressed similar others.” Ω

“The experience of escaping, and resettling in the U.S., has colored everything that I have done in my life.”

Student leaders at Sacramento City College are urging campus police to contact the FBi about recent incidents of hate-filled graffiti. Joshua Robinson, president of the college’s Black Student Union, said that in the wake of skinheads stabbing people on the Capitol lawn two years ago and mass shootings around the nation, there’s no such thing as too much precaution when it comes to encountering the threat, “kill them all.” That disturbing message turned up in the men’s room on campus alongside racial slurs, a “Time 2 Fight Back” declaration, several swastikas and “Maga,” an acronym for the president’s “make America great again” slogan. Robinson said he heard about the incident through word-of-mouth on Monday, October 1. Students have claimed they discovered and reported the hate crime two days prior. It wasn’t until late in the day on October 2 that the administration alerted the student body via email. “There was a situation when there was a tree laying in the road [on campus] and we all got a text message about [it] within an hour,” Robinson recalled. “There was another situation where a guy was masturbating on campus and we got an email right away. We’re looking for that same kind of response when hate comes up.” On October 2, the Black Student Union teamed up with Voice of the Youth and other students for a campus protest about the lack of communication. Robinson said that he thinks the message got through because on Monday, October 8, he and fellow students received an email from the college president warning that Nazi graffiti had been found on the campus. Robinson said he’s encouraged by the fast response from the college on the latest incident, but the message didn’t answer the biggest question on his mind, which the administration still hasn’t answered for the Black Student Union or SN&R. “We still want to know what actions are being taken for prevention,” Robinson said. “And whether campus police are going to file a hate crime report with the FBI.” (Scott Thomas Anderson)

Making voting eaSY When Sacramento became the largest pilot county in the state for the voters Choice act, voter participation in this year’s June primary nearly doubled where it had been four years ago. Now a coalition of local governments and nonprofits is hoping to facilitate another turnout boom on November 2 by spreading the word about the VCA’s little known but vital details. The Coalition is a nonpartisan effort that teams city and county staff with voter-participation advocates like Common Cause and the League of Women Voters and outreach organizations such as Resources for Independent Living and Hmong Innovating Politics. One of the coalition’s primary goals is to make sure people know the VCA allows for same-day voter registration at every voting center. “Of the five counties in the program, Sacramento over-performed when it came to same-day registration in June,” said James Schwab, chief of legislative affairs at the California Secretary of State’s Office. “It’s also the most diverse of the counties trying the VCA. … Sacramento is really leading the way.” Other elements of the VCA include: 29 days before the election, every voter is mailed a ballot. Voters can mail or drop off their ballots at any of the 52 drop-off locations throughout the county; or vote in person at one of 60 voting centers. A map of voting centers and drop-off locations can be viewed at Election results in the June primary did take longer to certify than previous years. Tammie Dramer of Organize Sacramento says that voters themselves can change that. “We’re telling people, if you vote sooner, you’ll get your results sooner,” Dramer said. “And the more people who vote early, the more accurate early vote totals are going to be.” The California Endowment is also participating in the coalition, and contends the VCA provides more accessibility to college students juggling classes and job schedules. (STA)

10.11.18    |   sN&R   |   7

Rep. Ami Bera and Republican challenger Andrew Grant are squaring off in the race to represent the suburban seventh. Photos courtesy of the camPaigns for ami bera and andrew grant

The doctor and the Marine In the race to secure a purple swing district, Ami Bera raises money while GOP challenger Andrew Grant wins endorsements by Dylan SvoboDa

Two years after he eked past Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, Democratic Rep. Ami Bera is hoping to ride a blue wave—and fat fundraising lead—into a fourth term representing the Sacramento suburbs. But the notoriously flip-floppy district is always in play, and Bera’s challenger is a former Marine who has stuck to bread-and-butter conservative issues, and largely sidestepped the divisive politics that got Jones nicknamed mini-Trump. With less than a month to the midterms, Bera and Andrew Grant have only shared a stage once, last month at Sacramento State University. Like other incumbents, Bera snubbed his challenger’s requests for multiple live debates, instead agreeing only to a pre-recorded Q&A with Studio Sacramento on October 18. Grant has sought to highlight the differences between the two men in other ways. The Folsom resident is running on his experience overseas as a former intelligence officer in the Marine Corps and economic acumen as CEO of the Northern California World Trade Center. Grant says one of his top priorities is opposing legislation like California’s gas tax, which he contends burdens the working-class––a group that Grant says makes up most of the largely suburban seventh, which includes Citrus Heights, Rancho Cordova, Elk Grove, Carmichael and Folsom. 8





“Small businesses and low-income individuals in this community are getting killed,” Grant said. “District 7 is not downtown Sacramento. It’s made up of small businesses and regular folks. Those people are being missed in this process. They’re who I plan to represent if I make it into office.” Bera, who’s worked as the chief medical officer for Sacramento County and a professor of medicine at UC Davis, says he’s been a vocal advocate on Capitol Hill for universal health care coverage and a responsive force at home for constituent requests. “Since taking office, we’ve helped over 10,000 constituents in the district and returned over $5.3 million to individuals who had problems with the IRS, the VA, Social Security and Medicare, and much more,” Bera said in a written statement to SN&R. “I’m very proud to have secured millions of dollars of funding for the 7th Congressional District, including upgrades at the Folsom Dam. … We’ve secured more than $4.5 million dollars in upgrades for Mather Airport and helped hire firefighters in Elk Grove with federal funding to improve public safety.” Bera has consistently been rated one of the least productive Democrats when it comes to authoring and passing legislation. The Center for Effective Lawmaking ranked Bera 171st out of 193 Democratic

congressional representatives in the 114th Congress in legislative effectiveness. Although Bera won by less than 10,000 votes in each of the past three elections, some political wonks think he’ll have an easier go this time around thanks to the unpopularity of President Donald Trump. “Bera always finds himself in close races, so he can’t take his race for granted,” said Nathan Gonzales, editor of Inside Elections, in a written statement. “But I don’t expect very many, if any, Democratic incumbents to lose in this political environment with a polarizing Republican in the White House. … If Grant had run last time, when the political environment was different, he might be an incumbent Member of Congress today running for re-election.” Steve Maviglio, a left-leaning political consultant, went as far to predict that this wouldn’t be much of a race at all–– despite believing Grant to be a superior candidate to Bera’s previous opponent, Sheriff Jones. “Compared to the epic battles that have been waged against Ami Bera over the past six years, this one is a cakewalk,” Maviglio said. “It’s the first time he’s had an underfunded, unnoticed opponent. I think, on paper, [Grant’s] a better candidate [than Jones] but he doesn’t have the resources or profile to be competitive.”

Others paint a less rosy picture of the incumbent’s chances. “I think the primaries showed there isn’t going to be a blue wave,” said Tab Berg, a Republican political consultant. “And even if there is, Bera’s standing as a run-of-the-mill Democrat doesn’t garner the energy of the activist, progressive wing of the party that is supposedly fueling this so-called blue wave.” As of June 30, Bera raised over $2.1 million compared to Grant’s $372,000. Nearly 95 percent of Grant’s funding comes from individual contributions, while over 42 percent of Bera’s funding comes from political action committees. Bera’s top two donors, the University of California and Kaiser Permanente, represent the base of his vast financial endowment: the health care industry. Bera’s also received over $200,000 from PACs such as American Medical Associations, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and UnitedHealth Group. Grant’s limited war chest hasn’t stopped him from garnering support. Grant’s received endorsements from the Sacramento Police Officers Association; chambers of commerce from Rancho Cordova, Folsom and Elk Grove; and mayors of Citrus Heights and Folsom, among others. Folsom Councilman Roger Gaylord pointed toward Grant’s visibility in the community, a focus of the candidate’s campaign, as to why he’ll vote for him in November. “There’s so much going on in the world right now,” Gaylord said. “I’m just looking for a representative that’s meeting with folks, engaging with the community, and truly looking to represent this district. … I crossed paths with Ami a few times but never outside of an official event. He’s never been out in the community like Andrew.” Bera supporters, on the other hand, credit his experience and consistent voting record in Washington. Muriel Brounstein, president of Folsom Area Democratic Club, praised Bera’s help in preserving the Affordable Care Act and refusal to bless offshore and public land oil drilling. “He’s one of few doctors in Congress and he really understands health care–– something I think is the main issue in our country,” Brounstein said. “And he understands environmental issues. Look at all these hurricanes, fires and natural disasters. Ami is fighting to protect our environment. That’s what we need in Washington.” Ω

Failing Courage Once influential on the international human trafficking stage, Courage Worldwide is shedding financial support by Raheem F. hosseini

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

pushing its brand of Christianity on the girls in its An evangelical nonprofit largely responsible for care, including one instance where staff anointed identifying Sacramento as a hub for sex a girl’s forehead with oil and prayed over her trafficking is bleeding cash less than two years after regulatory violations forced it to close a safe after concluding her drawings were satanic. The problems culminated in the summer of house for sexually exploited girls. 2016, following Courage’s most lucrative year, According to limited financial disclosures when a staffing shortage forced the group home available on its website, Courage Worldwide Inc. to close and Williamson initially didn’t tell the brought in $242,141 in revenue last year, a stunpublic. After months of asking for donations ning 600 percent drop from 2015, when Courage to reopen, Williamson quietly sold the 50-acre was at the height of its powers and raised more campus last year. She opened than $1.7 million through “Courage House Too” in a small government grants and private rented home last summer. Up to donations. six former clients, now adults, are The precarious financial granted residency and provided situation represents a fall case management. In return, from grace for Courage’s they are required to pay rent and camera-friendly founder, Jenny perform chores. The operation Williamson, who says God functions as an unlicensed room told her to open a Christian and board, but with a religious sanctuary for children sold into component. sexual slavery. “Mama Jenny,” “The program will be the as she likes to be called, same as for minors but without once commanded the trust of state regulations and restrictions,” politicians, law enforcement Courage Worldwide states on its agencies, media outlets and Jenny Williamson in fundraising mode. website. “Because of that, Courage everyday donors moved by her Photo courtesy of courage WorldWide inc. House Too will be entirely sermons of an epidemic hiding privately funded. Residents will in plain sight. pay rent, participate in the family “It feels like my daughters are being raped, responsibilities, and be coached abused, sold and tortured,” she said during a in making healthy choices December 2016 fundraiser at Living Water for independent living.” Church in Elk Grove. “So anything that happens No one answered to me personally doesn’t compare to that. It’s not the phone at Courage even worth talking about actually. That’s why we on Monday and do what we do.” messages to it and To help these children, Williamson said, she Williamson were not opened a six-bed group home on a sprawling returned before print ranch property in the greater Sacramento area. The home was called a Courage House. And soon deadline. Williamson was using it to leverage financial Not everyone is on support to franchise Courage Houses across board with the sequel. California and beyond. That vision never materiWhile Courage is still alized, even as money poured in. listed as a member of the Behind the scenes, state licensing inspectors Sacramento Together Against identified numerous violations. Among them: Human Trafficking coalition, the Staff displaced girls from the home to host county district attorney’s office says that hasn’t prospective donors. Staff confiscated girls’ cellbeen accurate for nearly a year. phones and withheld requested court documents. “We have not been formally told that they Clients had their images used in marketing materials without their permission. Williamson herself have exited the coalition but do not consider them a participating member,” said Assistant was cited for hugging and touching girls without Chief Deputy DA Paul Durenberger in an email. their consent. The group home was cited for

There seems to be some confusion about that. As recently as July 24, the DA’s official Twitter account tweeted at Courage Worldwide and other Sacramento Together members in a video featuring Durenberger discussing the coalition’s work. Courage Worldwide retweeted the video. Courage hasn’t lost all of its law enforcement support. In an August 20 employee newsletter for California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation employees, an article titled “Force for good” promoted an upcoming “Courage Triathlon,” the fifth straight year CDCR staff was asked to participate in the annual fundraiser. The article stated that the triathlon has raised more than $60,000 since its 2013 inception. A CDCR spokeswoman contended that the triathlon and the article about it didn’t constitute official support for Courage, though she acknowledged that the production and dissemination of the article required staff time that was compensated through the state’s general fund. “An employee newsletter article about an off-site and volunteer event does not constitute any type of endorsement,” said CDCR press secretary Vicky Waters in an email. “We are very transparent about what we do. If you take the time to read other articles in the newsletter, you will see that we write about a variety of topics. Also, promoting good citizenship among staff is a legitimate use of taxpayer funds.” Courage can use all the help—official or otherwise—that it can get. Last year’s revenue total is by far the lowest in at least eight years of tax-exempt filings. A fundraising email in July 2017 explained that the nonprofit could no longer afford the mortgage of the ranch property since it was no longer eligible to receive public funding. Last month, Williamson embarked on a campaign to raise $100,000 in 100 days. “We are dependent upon God but funded by individuals who have a heart for the work we do and the population we serve,” Williamson wrote in a message announcing the campaign. “We don’t have any grant or government funding at this time. Therefore, we are asking you to prayerfully consider partnering with us—or continuing to partner with us—to bring more girls home.” Ω

The problems culminated in the summer of 2016, following Courage’s most lucrative year.


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Improvement or exclusion Sacramento business districts may be illegally pushing poor out of downtown, UC Berkeley policy clinic alleges by Dylan SvoboDa

DSP generated 17.5 percent of its assessment Property owners who have banded together to revenue from publicly owned properties. create their own commercial districts in Sacramento Researchers surveyed 189 PBIDs in are engaged in a potentially illegal campaign to California’s 69 largest cities, while administering privatize public spaces and push homeless people in-depth case studies of 11 PBIDs, including two out of downtown, the UC Berkeley School of Law’s Policy Advocacy Clinic contends in a blister- in Sacramento. Interviews with homeless people in Sacramento, Chico and San Francisco rounded ing report. out the research. Titled “Homeless Exclusion Districts: How On September 18, the Sacramento Homeless California Business Improvement Districts Use Organizing Committee held a press conference in Policy Advocacy and Policing Practices to Exclude front of City Hall to discuss the study’s findings Homeless People from Public Space,” the August and the role of PBIDs. 22 report examined the expanding roles of property “They are trying to turn this into a tech city,” and business improvement districts, or PBIDs, in said civil rights attorney Cathleen Williams. the state’s largest cities. PBIDs are when property “They want to dislodge the poor people. They owners form special assessment districts as a want to push them out to other states, other financing mechanism to improve the conditions towns, other areas.” of their commercial districts, the city of Spokespeople for two PBIDs, Sacramento says on its website. Local the DSP and Midtown Business governments collect the property Association, say they’re assessments and then redistribute “They want to committed to helping solve them to the respective PBIDs. Sacramento’s homelessness PBIDs also collect revenue dislodge the poor crisis. through events, grants, donations people.” “The Midtown Association and business license assessments. is at the table and engaged in But some of these PBIDs are Cathleen Williams meetings and discussions taking allegedly misusing their money by civil rights attorney place to address the problem as lobbying state and local politicians we collectively seek to identify to adopt anti-homeless policies, which permanent, long-term solutions to help the UC Berkeley study says may violate those who are facing homelessness in our state law. PBIDs originated in the 1960s to revitalize strug- community,” executive director Emily Baime Michaels wrote in an email to SN&R. gling urban areas, but have multiplied greatly since DSP communications director Emilie 1994, when the state legislature reduced public Cameron said the partnership educates lawmakers oversight of them and expanded their assessment “to ensure that housing is the first priority for our and spending authority, the study says. most vulnerable population.” Last year, all 11 Sacramento PBIDs campaigned Behind the scenes, these organizations lean against Mayor Darrell Steinberg’s proposal to heavily on law enforcement to carry out their change city code and allow churches to serve as interests. Over a 10-month period in 2015, PBID temporary shelters without requiring a conditional executives exchanged almost 2,000 emails with use permit last year. the Sacramento Police Department and city offiThe study also found that, in 2016, the cials regarding homeless people. Citing an email Downtown Sacramento Partnership “urged the city of a DSP executive, the study stated that “the to retain its anti-camping ordinance in the face of Downtown Sacramento Partnership persuaded the repeal efforts by homeless advocates” and “vocally Sacramento Police Department to realign a neighsupported expanding Sacramento’s aggressive antiborhood beat with the [PBID’s] boundaries.” panhandling ordinance.” (Federal court rulings this The findings came as no surprise to Paul year have cast both local laws in doubt.) During the Boden, executive director of the Western 2015-16 legislative session, DSP opposed a series Regional Advocacy Project, which commissioned of homeless decriminalization bills, one of which, the study. Assembly Bill 718, would’ve prohibited local “This is a part of a trend going on across the laws against sleeping or resting in legally parked country,” Boden said. Ω vehicles.

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I support Rosanna Herber for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) board. And I am in good company. All seven current SMUD board members support Herber, as well as Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and others. After longtime SMUD board member Genevieve Shiroma announced she was not running for re-election, board member Nancy Bui-Thompson recruited Herber to run for Ward 4, which includes Curtis Park, Land Park, Greenhaven, Pocket, Walnut Grove and part of Elk Grove. At a recent Herber fundraiser, Bui-Thompson cited Herber’s 20 years at SMUD. “At SMUD, Rosanna dedicated her career to building business and community partnerships. No one else has done so much to grow our community,” Thompson said. Herber has the experience that will make her an excellent SMUD board member. After working as director of public affairs for the city of Fort Wayne, Indiana, she moved to Sacramento where she was chief of staff to former Sacramento city councilmember Kim Mueller. She helped set up the Trees for Tomorrow campaign, which organized civic groups, businesses and neighborhoods to plant 1 million trees and was modeled after a similar program in Fort Wayne. This campaign laid the groundwork for our nationally recognized Sacramento Tree Foundation. And then in 1992, Herber became SMUD’s government affairs representative. This was a heady time for SMUD, which had recently shut down its ill-conceived, expensive nuclear power plants. The SMUD board had decided to take the public utility in a radically different direction, hiring the visionary general manager David Freeman. Freeman put a much greater emphasis on energy conservation than on energy creation. It was a sea-change at SMUD, creating waves within the organization.

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

After California deregulated energy, Herber became SMUD’s key account manager in 1997. This job was critical at this time because other energy providers such as Enron were trying poach SMUD’s large accounts. Losing these accounts would be a disaster for SMUD, which needed accounts like the County of Sacramento to support its infrastructure. Herber played a key role in keeping these large accounts. In 2004, she became SMUD’s community relations project manager, working on SMUD’s annexation project. The goal was to have the cities of Davis, West Sacramento, Woodland and Yolo County dump PG&E and become part of SMUD. These cities asked SMUD to serve them, but the ballot measure failed after PG&E poured massive amounts of money into the campaign. SMUD, as a public entity, could not campaign. In 2007, Herber created a new position at SMUD, community engagement supervisor, where she established and enhanced SMUD’s partnerships with numerous community nonprofits and government entities. In all, she has 20 years of experience working in various capacities at SMUD. You can see why the entire SMUD board is looking forward to adding Herber to the board. SMUD is one of the best utility companies in the country, with a national reputation for low rates and innovative environmental policies. Over the next several years, SMUD will face numerous challenges, such as new greenhouse gases reduction regulations, a focus on electric cars, changes in solar technology and more. We need someone with Herber’s experience on the board as they navigate these challenges. Electing Herber to the SMUD board is similar to the NBA national champions Golden State Warriors adding all-star Kevin Durant to its roster. It’s a smart move. Ω

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

Agency over ID New California law allowing for nonbinary identity signals a shift in our cultural understanding of gender by Sawyer Kemp

attesting under penalty of perjury that the request I read Senate Bill 179 on nonbinary identity so reflects their true gender identity. Sacramento’s you don’t have to—but it’s kind of a banger and Gender Health Center—a nonprofit resource center you might want to give it a look. The “Gender that provides legal, medical and social services for Recognition Act,” which went into effect trans people in the Central Valley region—said it September 1, has some powerful language that redefines the state’s conception of gender, explic- will soon be hosting name change clinics in partnership with UC Davis law students to help applicants itly stating, “The binary designations of female and male fail to adequately represent the diversity understand the new process. According to the center’s advocacy program of human experience.” manager (who asked not to be identified by The bill is designed to streamline processes name), this is “an extremely for trans, intersex and genderimportant piece of legislanonconforming Californians tion, in part because it takes to have their legal documents physicians out of the process, (such as birth certificates and allowing people to self-identify driver’s licenses) reflect their who they are” without medical identities. For the first time, gatekeeping. this will include people who In case this was sounding identify as nonbinary. too easy, there are some growAccording to the 2015 ing pains. The federal governTrans Survey by the National ment changed the passport Center for Transgender information page on “Gender Equality, over one-third of the Designation Change” to read survey’s nearly 28,000 respon“Change of Sex Marker” on dents identified as nonbinary, September 13, ostensibly in suggesting “the need for Sawyer Kemp is a PhD candidate studying response to California’s new advocacy that is inclusive of queer theory at UC Davis. They are law. A physician’s approval is all identities in the transgender also a co-founder of Skip Theory, a necessary for changes to passcommunity.” With this new theatre company for trans and gendernonconforming performers. ports, and some federal institulegislation, California joins tions may not accept nonbinary Oregon, Washington state and IDs as legal identification. the District of Columbia as Overall, the state law is a groundbreakearly adopters of nonbinary recognition. ing development for trans and nonbinary As someone who identifies as nonbinary, but Californians. Even as I feel validated by the went through the legal name and gender change institutional recognition, it’s a little hard to process once already to get my driver’s license wrap your brain around declaring your gender changed from “F” to “M,” I felt both excited under perjury of law. I’m looking at the form, and anxious about the new law. When I filed my and in good faith reckoning with the fact that documents two years ago, it seemed to me an it is a federal crime to get this wrong. And unending chain of cover letters, doctors’ notes I think, not for the first time, that cis people and confusing legal forms. Although the state don’t have to do any of this. dropped the requirement to publish your gender Cis people didn’t need a doctor to sign off change in the newspaper in 2015, until this month on their “demeanor” before September 1, and you needed to have a psychiatrist write a letter to they won’t need to defend their gender under your doctor, a doctor write a letter to the court, perjury of law now. Ultimately, I’m checking the court’s ruling and a second form for your this box for “nonbinary” because we all fail doctor to sign for the DMV that—no joke—asks them to testify that your “demeanor” is satisfacto- the gender binary in some way—or rather, the gender binary fails us. This bill signals a shift rily male or female. in our cultural understanding of gender, but I In addition to allowing applicants to select “Male,” “Female” or “Nonbinary,” SB 179 removes hope it is also the beginning of a conversation about whether gender is a meaningful way of the need for physician approval for legal gender categorizing people at all. Ω change. Instead, applicants must sign an affidavit






building a

HealtHy S a c r a m e n t o

Community Creates a Safe Place to Heal after Clark Shooting by Edgar SanchEz Maybe it was a coincidence, a numerical happenstance. But 20 days after police fired 20 shots at Stephon Clark in his grandmother’s backyard in Meadowview, special healing circles began in Sacramento. The therapeutic gatherings — also called Safe Black Space- Community Healing Circles — are taking place to help African Americans overcome the lingering shock of another unarmed black man killed by law enforcement. The Clark tragedy began with a call that a fencehopping man was smashing car windows the night of March 18. Two responding Sacramento police officers confronted Clark, 22. Believing he aimed a gun at them, police fired at him, striking him at least seven times. Only an iPhone was found on his slain body. The incident devastated local African Americans. They needed anguish relief. “People were in pain and trauma, and we had nothing to address that as a community,” said Ryan McClinton, a community organizer for Sacramento Area Congregations Together (Sacramento ACT). Then, something good happened. Dr. Kristee Haggins, a Sacramento-based member of the Association of Black Psychologists, invited other community leaders to help black people heal. That led to creation of a local Safe Black Space, where people of African ancestry can discuss their traumas at the free community healing circles, which are held monthly with The California Endowment’s support. Besides the doctor, the space creators included Pastor

Joy Johnson, president of the multi-faith SAC ACT; the Reverend Kevin Ross of Unity of Sacramento, a non-denominational ministry, and medical professionals and other volunteers. Some circle facilitators received training in African-centered healing strategies. Others already had that expertise. The first circle, on April 7, drew 60 people. Since then, attendees have displayed myriad emotions at the sessions, according to Teah Hairston, a co-facilitator. Some cry, mourning Clark’s death. Some express anger at police. Still others exhibit joy, because they are still alive; they say they haven’t been shot by police.

“A common theme is thAt BlAck people Are tired. We’re Broken. We’re WeAry, hurt And scAred of police.” Teah hairston co-facilitator, Emotional Emancipation circles

“Everything happens” at the circles, said Hairston, who is pursuing a doctoral degree in sociology from the University of Missouri.

African Americans traumatized by the fatal shooting of Stephon Clark by Sacramento police display myriad emotions at healing circles, said Teah Hairston, a circle co-facilitator. Photo by Edgar Sanchez

“My mission is to get people to talk. A common theme is that Black people are tired. We’re broken. We’re weary, hurt and scared of police.” Mental health experts are always at the circles. The Sacramento Police Department “recognizes the impact that the March 18 officer-involved shooting has had on our community,” department spokesman Sgt. Eddie Macaulay said. “The department continues with our commitment to continually build trust as we move forward to heal as a community.” To make reservations for the next circle, on Oct. 13, visit Eventbrite.

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

paid with a grant from the california endowment 14   |   SN&R   |   10.11.18

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

For more info about Emotional Emancipation Circles, visit:

Fight to win by AAron CArnes

Photos courtesy of danny reynoso

Punk rock, tattoos and brain tumors: local musician Danny Reynoso’s battle of a lifetime


anny Reynoso cringes as tattoo artist Jesse Mitchell slowly carves a large image of a bright, glowing brain in the musician’s upper left arm. Mitchell’s been at it for an hour now, and the needle jabbing at Reynoso’s skin hurts something bad. Reynoso, 48, seems to manage the pain easily, though: cracking jokes about the unrelenting agony and making small talk about one of his favorite bands, the Ramones. Over the course of several hours, the tattoo continues to take form. Within its outline, a small heart sits in the center, and squiggly sun rays surround the whole thing. When Mitchell eventually finishes, the heart will be solid red and the rays, a rainbow assortment of green, yellow, red and orange. In the meantime, though, it’s a quiet, low-key Tuesday afternoon at Royal Peacock Tattoo, located in Midtown. Mitchell continues to work slowly, focused, barely speaking above a mumble.

Danny reynoso’s latest tattoo represents the musician/school teacher’s fighting spirit. In 2017, he was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor.

This isn’t his first tattoo, but the ritual never gets easier, nor less painful. So far, Reynoso—a longtime musician, wrestler, school teacher and TV host—has picked his most significant life moments to commemorate with body ink. The first—“Reynoso” sprawled across his back in old English lettering with the bold red, white, and green Mexican flag colors—symbolizes coming to terms with his parents’ health and mortality. In 2002, his mom was dealing with health issues that perplexed doctors. It scared everyone in the family.


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Reynoso rocking out with the MOANS, one of his many bands.

The second represents a happier time: Reynoso’s 2010 engagement to his wife Erin Reynoso. It’s a wedding crest depicting a red bicycle rolling down the road, dragging aluminum cans behind it, a symbol to remember how he and Erin used to ride bikes all over Midtown when they first started dating. The third tattoo, this latest, feels different than the rest. This one represents Reynoso’s fight for his life. In early 2017, doctors diagnosed Reynoso with acoustic neuroma, a benign brain tumor. “Benign” means noncancerous, but that hardly promises an easy road to recovery. A year and a half later, in fact, Reynoso still suffers from hearing loss, daily headaches and dizziness. He’s undergone radiation treatment but it’s unclear if it’ll stick. The symptoms could worsen. The tumor could, eventually, be fatal. Reynoso’s facing the uncertainty with a fighting spirit. In the last year he’s raised money for tumor research—something he’s done for cancer research for years, actually—and this October 13 he’ll take part in the National Brain Tumor Society’s second annual Brain Freeze benefit, an event for which teams jump into Lake Natoma on a chilly Saturday morning. On the surface, Reynoso may appear composed—fearless even—but if he’s being honest, he’s terrified of this tumor inside his head. Still, the fear kicks him into overdrive and makes him want to fight back. Hence the big, bold words surrounding the tattoo-brain: Brain Tumor Fighter. “It makes me feel better to be a fighter and not a victim,” Reynoso says.

“I was destined to have this”

In 2016, life was good. Reynoso kept busy with the abundance of activities that made up his life. He taught elementary school kids—each day showing up in a bowtie and suspenders. His nights and weekends were filled with frequent gigs at various Sacramento dive bars, gigging with his handful of high-energy sweaty punk bands, the Moans, the Knockoffs and Captain 9’s & the Knickerbocker Trio. He also hosted the science and nerd culture-themed PBS show Beyond Geek, and spent time with Erin and friends in their Hollywood Park home. He devoted a lot of time taking care of his cat and many adopted dogs. Around that time, though, Reynoso noticed he’d lost some hearing in his right ear. Mostly, he shrugged it off. 16   |   SN&R   |  10.11.18

All those nights in dingy bars, blasting punk— well, it just seemed like the price of admission to his rock ’n’ roll lifestyle. Then, it got worse. Increasingly, Reynoso caught himself pretending to hear what friends were saying, nodding along as if he heard everything. When he and Erin went out to dinner with friends, they’d strategically choose a spot at the table where he could best hear the conversation. It started to drive Erin crazy. Finally, in early 2017, she insisted he see a doctor. Reynoso wasn’t thrilled with her mandate, but assumed that the doctor would tell him he had a damaged eardrum, or that it was time to start wearing a hearing aid. Instead, his tests revealed no significant difference between the two ears. The doctor suggested he get an MRI. The procedure finally revealed the real culprit. The brain tumor diagnosis took Reynoso by surprise. As he drove home, he felt a huge weight pressing against his chest. He wouldn’t be dealing with this alone—Erin would have to go through it, too. “I felt guilty that I did this to her,” Reynoso says. “That was a really hard feeling, to tell my wife that this is what you have to deal with now for the rest of our lives.” Not surprisingly, perhaps, Erin was more concerned with his health and recovery—eager to support him in every way. “I think one of the first things I told him is that he is OK. And that everything will be OK,” Erin says. “Relationships are full of ups and downs, good and bad. And chances are we will have other, potentially more difficult, things we will have to go through together. I see it as part of my role in this relationship to be there for him.” In the days and weeks that followed, Reynoso experienced a whirlwind of emotions. He found himself looking toward the future. If he was going to survive then he needed to be proactive about his health. He had to face it head on. “It’s really easy to sit at home and go, ‘Why is this happening to me? What did I do to deserve this?’” Reynoso says. “[Or] you can try to appreciate all the things like the fact that you have scientists who are constantly trying to develop better ways to take care of stuff like this. I got to appreciate that. Otherwise, I’ll get depressed and drink whiskey all day. I’d rather drink whiskey to celebrate.” So, instead of feeling guilty, Reynoso set about educating himself on acoustic neuroma. Like most people, Reynoso didn’t know much about it before his diagnosis. His father died in 2006 from a cancerous brain tumor. He knew it wasn’t that. So, then what was it exactly? According to the National Brain Tumor Society, an estimated 700,000 people in the U.S currently live with a brain tumor. Eighty percent of brain tumors are non-cancerous,

Surgery is the go-to treatment for most brain tumors. Problem is, most tumors lodge deeply in the brain surgery meant he’d likely have part of his brain also removed.

Despite the constant doctors appointments and treatments, Reynoso’s maintained a sense of humor.

and how they impact a person depends on the speed of growth and location. Benign brain tumors also have a large genetic component. “I was destined to have this,” Reynoso says. Whatever the cause, he must now deal with the effects. It’s Reynoso’s hearing that’s taken the biggest hit, primarily in his right ear. And the more the tumor grows, the bigger chance there is it will impact other functions of his brain. The thought scares him, but he knew he wasn’t going it alone; along with his family and friends, the local music scene mainstay has many supportive friends. One, in particular, fought her own battle. His friend Liz Salmi, who’d played in the local punk band Luckie Strike in the ’90s and early 2000s. In 2008, doctors diagnosed her with a malignant brain tumor. After surgery and chemotherapy, her symptoms eventually stabilized. Now, she gets monthly scans and lives with the knowledge that it could worsen or turn fatal. Salmi was eager to help Reynoso. After all, he’d thrown a benefit show to help her pay medical costs way back when. It was time to pay him back. And, so, it was Salmi who helped Reynoso with some of his overwhelming feelings. She shared her experiences and brought him to brain tumor support groups. At one support group, Reynoso realized he was the only one there with a non-cancerous tumor. This experience brought on many conflicted feelings. He was terrified for his life, but also guilty that others had it worse than him. Salmi and the others assured him that he too deserved support. “There’s no such thing as a good brain tumor, at all. Whatever fear, anxiety, suffering, pain, the side effects, it’s a shared experience, whether it’s malignant or not,” Salmi says. “I needed to make it clear to him as someone who’s been through it that he might be feeling that way, and I want him to know that it’s OK to feel like this is fucked up, but not compare himself to others.”

Plan of attack

Reynoso underwent his first MRI in early 2017, and then another six months later. Based off these tests, the doctors determined the tumor was growing and he should take action. Surgery is the go-to treatment for most brain tumors. Problem is, most tumors lodge deeply in the brain—surgery meant he’d likely have part of his brain also removed as part of the procedure. His hearing in his right ear would also likely get worse, and he could potentially lose function on the right side of his face. With therapy, he might remedy that—but nothing was guaranteed.

Another option was a form of radiation known as Gamma Knife. With this treatment, rather than remove the tumor, doctors would attempt to starve it of blood flow and prevent it from growing any further. Best case scenario, he’d live with the hearing loss, headaches and dizziness he currently manages, but it wouldn’t get worse. The procedure itself is also scary. Patients wear a mask around the head that’s held in place by way of drills in the skull before doctors administer radiation for an hour. Reynoso wasn’t thrilled with the idea. Then, after his second MRI, his radiation oncologist suggested Cyberknife, a new non-invasive, cutting-edge radiation treatment pioneered by a doctor at Stanford. During this treatment, patients wear a special mask made specifically from a mold of their face. The patient lays face down while wearing it. No bolts enter the skull. “It’s similar to a hockey mask,” Reynoso says of this less creepy mask. On a more serious note, he says he’s grateful for recent medical advancements. “I’m throwing my life into science,” he says. “Thankfully there’s some scientists at Stanford who came up with this method to help people with my condition in the least invasive way. I wondered if I was going to feel a burn or sting. It didn’t feel like that at all.” Treatment started in May: Five 15-minute sessions over consecutive days. In November, he’ll see if it worked—if the radiation halted the tumor’s growth. Until then it’s a long wait. This time, though, the wait may be more bearable. Before he started treatment, Reynoso mostly dealt with his diagnosis privately, telling only close friends and family. Finally, in November, he came out publicly, with a blog post detailing his journey. In it, he talked about his fears, discussed his treatment options and invited others to ask him questions. In his first video blog post, he appears depressed, holding back tears. “I was numb when I heard the news,” he says in that video. “I didn’t know how to react. It’s kind of a tough time for me right now because when you’re going online and you’re reading about these sorts of things, you hear the worst possible scenarios.” The musician now says he’s glad he channeled his energy into this blog, even documenting some of his darker moments.

“I’m going to turn it into a positive. I hope to help out or even educate somebody to say, ‘OK, well I’ll go check,’” he says. “It’s helping me deal with it. In the long run, if it helps someone else, even better. I’m essentially doing all this to make myself feel better.” Over time, his close friends and family have watched him go through some of his darkest, most vulnerable moments with grace, humor and poise. “He’s not had many feel-sorry-for-myself moments,” Bobby Jordan, a close friend and bandmate in the Knockoffs. “There’s been a determination to beat the tumor, to document his journey, and to build a community of other fighters and survivors, and to bring awareness to everything.”

Back in the ring

On August 4, living with a benign brain tumor, and no knowledge of whether the treatment had worked, Reynoso joined a horde of local and regional wrestlers to honor recently deceased wrestler Virgil Flynn III, a fixture in the scene who died in July at the age of 33 following complications from a seizure. The event, which took place at the Colonial Theatre, was also a fundraiser for Flynn’s family. For Reynoso, a semi-retired local indie wrestler who performs under the name El Flaco Loco, it feels good to lend his talents for a good cause.

For Reynoso, returning to the ring as El Flaco Loco also meant not giving up on the things he loves.


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10.11.18    |   SN&R   |   17

It’S AlmoSt tImE to VotE DID you rECEIVE your bAllot In thE mAIl? hErE ArE thE wAyS to VotE In SACrAmEnto County thIS fAll:

mAIl It

Drop It off

VotE In pErSon

Put your voted ballot in the pink return envelope

Place your voted ballot in its signed return envelope and drop it in one of the 53 Ballot Drop Boxes throughout the County

Visit a Vote Center to vote in person — some locations open starting October 27

Drop Boxes are open starting October 9 through Election Day

Get a replacement ballot

Sign your envelope! Affix two First Class Mail stamps to the envelope Mail your return envelope — postmarked on or before Election Day

fInD thIS InformAtIon In your VotEr pACkEt:

The Elections Office has a 24-hour Drop Box You can drop off your ballot at any Vote Center

VotEr pACkEt


Register to vote Receive language assistance or vote using an accessible ballot marking device Find locations using the SacVote app or online at

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That’s not all! Learn more about how voting has changed in Sacramento County in the next installments of this four-part series. Stay tuned... Visit, Download the SacVote App or Call Toll Free (800) 762-8019

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“f ight win ”

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continued from page 18


Reynoso worries about burdening his wife Erin with his health problems, but she’s eager to be there for him through the ups and downs.

“I get a lot of intrinsic rewards playing music or wrestling for a cause,” Reynoso says. “My wrestling family means the world to me. Virgil wasn’t just someone I got to train and wrestle with, he was a friend and literally a blood brother of mine. Doing that for his beautiful family was very rewarding for me.” Reynoso started wrestling in 1999, only eight years after he started playing music. For a while, he did both at the same time, a lot. He got to see the world. He toured the country multiple times, including Europe twice with his bands. For some, getting in the ring while suffering from a potentially fatal tumor might seem odd—frightening, even. Although Reynoso worried about his hearing and dizziness, he also knew that fighting this tumor meant not giving up on the things he loves. “I’m able to remind this tumor who’s in charge of this life,” he says. The Flynn fundraiser wasn’t his first benefit. Over the years, Reynoso has been quick to help others. In 2003, he hosted a show to help a local musician diagnosed with cancer. That show evolved into his annual Fuck Cancer series, which he says has raised more than $22,000 for the American Cancer Society. “The cancer benefits are my way of fighting back and giving the finger to something that hurt my friends and took too many family members of mine away from me before I was ready to say goodbye,” Reynoso says. “I’m trying to make my little nook of the world a little better.” It’s a way of coping, really. A way to spin something positive from something awful. A way to turn something terrifying into a battle to fight. And battles can be kind of fun, can’t they? Even if some of his worst fears are realized, there’s always an upside. If his tumor grows big enough to require brain surgery, for example, it just means he can get another tattoo—this

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“I’m able to remind this tumor who’s in charge of this life.”

on t

Thank you for VoTing uS

Danny Reynoso time a Frankenstein scar to permanently mark where the doctors sliced him open with a knife. “I will always shave my head,” he says and laughs. Jokes aside, he’s dealing with everything one day at a time. Right now that means finishing this tattoo. Mitchell puts the finishing marks on Reynoso’s art and then steps back to show Reynoso the final image. Reynoso is thrilled with it. Mitchell then surprises Reynoso with a gift: The tattoo is free—it would have cost hundreds of dollars, normally. Reynoso insists on paying, but the tattoo artist won’t take his money. This unexpected act of kindness prompts Reynoso to burst into tears of joy. “He does so much shit for everybody,” Mitchell says. “He deserves it.” It’s a beautiful moment, but it doesn’t take away from the reality of the situation. This is a lifeline journey. “Who knows what I’m going to find out in November? If I get the worst news possible, which is the radiation didn’t work, OK, where do I go to from there?” he wonders. “Be depressed about it and move on.” Good or bad, moving on means fighting. “That’s the only way you’re going to get through shit,” Reynoso says.”I kept telling myself it’s just a fight. You’re going to kick its ass.” Ω

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a r s e y o b b a c e k h T in Town

Center-stage: vocalist Chino Moreno. all photos were taken at Deftones’ 2015 aftershock performance.

by Chris

chida scott u y of

tes ph



r cou

20   |   SN&R   |  10.11.18


erupted in a South Sacramento garage just about 30 years ago to the day. The scruffy young musicians didn’t really know what the hell they were doing. The guitarist chunked away on Anthrax-style, thrash metal riffs. The singer hadn’t really sung into a microphone before, and his tastes leaned toward synth-pop bands like Depeche Mode, anyway. But, the seedling of a sound was born. Over the next three decades, Deftones developed into one of Sacramento’s greatest success stories. They’ve sold more than 10 million albums worldwide, won a Grammy and fueled mosh pits around the globe. Deftones is set for one of its biggest hometown shows as the band headlines Aftershock on October 13 at Discovery Park. This two-day metal and hard rock fest is expected to draw gigantic clouds of vape smoke and a combined crowd of 50,000 for a bill that includes System of a Down, Alice in Chains, Godsmack and more than 30 other bands. With Deftones celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, let’s take a ride in the wayback machine with Abe Cunningham. We’re going to flashback on some of Deftones’ signature live moments in Sacramento over the past decades, with reflections from Deftones’ longtime drummer. Brave the mosh pit, and let’s see how their career ascended.

Cattle Club, 1994


but it’s like, ‘Hey, look at what we’re doing!’  This just kind of came out of nowhere. It  was unexpected without any hoopla or any  fabrication. It just kind of popped up and  that was kind of magical.”

Deftones were young bucks looking for a  record deal in 1994. By then, the band had  branched out beyond the Sacramento  club scene to play Southern California on  weekends away from their boring-ass  day jobs. They soon became bros with  Deftones quickly became world travelers  Bakersfield’s future nu-metal superstars,  following Adrenaline. But they took it back to  Korn, who offered Deftones opening slots  their Sacto club roots about a month after  at shows. Deftones returned the favor by  Around the Fur, their sophomore  adding Korn to a show at  album for Maverick, was released.  Sacramento’s infamous,  The show had extra sentimental  now-shuttered Cattle Club.  value for vocalist Chino Moreno,  In a twist of ’90s Sacto  who’d previously lived next door  quirkiness, Cake was also on  and across the street from Press  the bill and picked Tin Men to  Club. open the show. This “secret” show at Press  The result was a night of  Club in 1997 still goes down as one  indie- and hard rock histriof the band’s craziest local sets.  onics that marked a critical  Moreno performed part of the  moment in Deftones’ career.  show with blood streaming down  Guy Oseary of the major label  his face after getting knocked in  Maverick Records was flown  the nose during a wayward stage  out to see Deftones rock  dive. The crowd thrashed hard for  their home turf. Dave Park,  these homeboys done good, nearly  Deftones’ former manager,  moshing their way out to 21st  remembers the look of fear  Abe Cunningham Street. (Check YouTube for a few  on Oseary’s face as the  drummer, deftones choice moments from this rager  crowd surged forward durof a show). ing Deftones’ set. The band’s  Says Cunningham: “We’d played The Press  Maverick Records debut, Adrenaline, was  a couple times prior, and we’d always play  released about a year later. under the name ‘Green Card.’ It was our  Says Cunningham: “What a wild bill. What  secret hometown Sacto thing … That night  a rad bill. [Mixed bills] like that are done now 

Press Club, 1997

“We got the key to the city, and I’m still trying to figure out what it unlocks.”

photo courtesy of stephanie cabral

co-headlining aftershock this year, deftones remembers its wildest hometown gigs and mosh pits


Urban roots = Max chill see Dish


SacramenTo memorial auDiTorium, 2000

Photo courtesy of s te





Deftones were treated like conquering heroes once they hit home after the success of 2000s White Pony. It debuted at No. 3 on Billboard’s album charts and launched the band’s biggest radio single to date, “Change (In the House of Flies).” Appearances on Late Night With David Letterman and MTV’s Total Request Live sweetened the ride. al br Even Sacramento City Hall had to take note. During its White Pony tour show at the Memorial Auditorium, the band was presented a key to the city by Gina Montoya, the chief-of-staff of Mayor Jimmie Yee, as a gift from “the city that loves them most.” Says Cunningham: “We were feeling on top of the world. It’s a step up in the production and the size of the venues we’re playing. For us, playing the Memorial was huge. It was one thing to play the Cattle Club and sell it out, but this was the benchmark and it was special. We got the key to the city, and I’m still trying to figure out what it unlocks. Still, to this day, [the Memorial Auditorium] is a special spot, right in the heart of town.”

ceSar chavez Plaza, 2006 This show ranks as one of those gigs in Cesar Chavez Plaza where more people paid attention to the band than the beer garden. Throughout the park, and even from the tops of nearby parking garages and office buildings, people jockeyed for their best view of Deftones playing a free show for hometown fans. The band roared through its signature tunes and even played it a little loose, with bits of “Ms. New Booty” by Bubba Sparxxx added to Deftones’ “Engine #9.”

see oFF MenU

Says Cunningham: “We started getting around the world, and we started getting some tongue-andcheek heat from the locals in Sac: ‘When are you guys going to come back and play your hometown?’ You can’t always be where you want to be when the machine’s grinding along, so that was something we felt was long overdue. We’re still Sacto boys, and we’re sorry we’ve been away for so long. It was hot as hell. It was a rager.”

afTerShock, 2015 Deftones hit the stage for its second Aftershock appearance as bona fide veterans. They’d been in the game for nearly 30 years and cherry picked songs that stretched from Adrenaline to 2012’s No Koi Yokan for its set. With about 25,000 headbangers on the grounds of Gibson Ranch, the festival’s former location, the show marked Deftones’ biggest hometown crowd to date. Even after all those years, and some of the band members’ kids jokingly referring to the group as “Dad-tones,” the band still ripped it. Says Cunningham: “We’d played the first Aftershock (in 2012), and it was great to watch that grow. The sister show was Epicenter, and that was down in L.A., but that no longer exists. Yet, the tiny Sacto version of it does and it’s raging … I remember it was hot and dusty, but we were feeling that love. Once again, being back, it felt like we’d grown up a bit, but we’re still silly kids. A homecoming is what it’s all about, and we’re still able to do this after 30 years. We’re still kicking. It’s always great to come back home.” Ω


Dance Gavin Dance: also back! see MUsic

“This is going to make me hate men more than I already do.” My friend has a bleak outlook on our Friday night plans. And I get it. We know by now that brett kavanaugh will be confirmed to the supreme court, despite his petulant display in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee in September. She’s sick of seeing conservative bullies with warped views of women win. She doesn’t want to watch dudes drool over women, but I’m optimistic as we head to the strip club anyway. We arrive at Gold Club Centerfolds 15 minutes before the show starts. The chairs facing the main stage are filled, and if there’s a red MaGa hat in the house, I don’t see it. The crowd is sprinkled with gorgeous women in tiny tops, fishnets and heels. The low lighting in this Rancho Cordova club begs for a cocktail, but a root beer will have to suffice. In California, you get bare vulvas or booze—not both. It’s my first time at a strip club—a rite of passage I imagine most Americans pushing 30 have already experienced. But my late start comes at the right moment. Tonight’s show stars stormy Daniels, and she’s bringing thunder and lightning. That’s what she calls her boobs. She introduces them in her memoir, Full Disclosure, released last week. For some, the porn star/director became a sexy symbol of a Donald trump takedown after claiming she’d been intimidated and paid hush money in 2016 for an affair she had with the then-candidate a decade earlier. Daniels recently gave $130,000 back to Trump’s lawyer to agree that their nondisclosure agreement was void. Daniels followed the book’s October 2 release with appearances on late-night variety shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live!, where America watched her select one from a grove

the stubby, head-heavy mushroom character from Super Mario Bros.). She later apologized for body shaming. Last weekend, Daniels headlined four Friday and Saturday night shows at Centerfolds with the promise of “Making america horny again,” as it was advertised.

Stormy Daniels’ new memoir shares intimate deets about a past fling with Trump.

stormy takes the stage to the familiar guitar intro of “American Woman,” and quickly relieves herself of a white, starry cape and the bra underneath. She then offers rounds of motorboats. A grateful gray-haired dude gets one, his buddy gets one. After two songs, we spot a couple open seats. I ask a man who clearly doesn’t want to be bothered if someone’s sitting there. He grumbles and gestures to the chair. I get comfortable, and I see that Stormy has flung off what’s left of her blue strip-away panties. The crowd hollers as she gets down on her knees, squirts a white liquid all over t & l and bounces around. This makes the money fly. There are no impressive pole stunts or groundbreaking moves in her act, but people are laserfocused and throwing cash her way despite it. It’s a scene I would have looked down on in my early 20s, when i

claimed feminism but didn’t support sex work. I


see 15 MinUtes

Weathering the storm

of small orange mushrooms that most resembled trump’s dick (In the book, she compares Trump’s penis to toad,

check out Deftones saturday, october 13 at aftershock, the weekend hard rock/heavy metal festival held at Discovery Park. system of a Down, alice in chains and incubus will also perform. tickets are $99.50 to $120. 1600 Garden highway. for show info, visit


the art oF scarinG people

Photo courtesy of st. martin’s Press

was insane. It was back before they remodeled Press Club to what it is now. It was way smaller, and the stage was right as you walked in. It was super tiny. But the love was there. The boys were back in town and it was just a crazy, really exciting, crushing evening.”

cook cheap, healthy Meals

to $40 cover. She leaves the stage as folks form a long line for $20 photo ops, a young man sweeping up a stage full of ones in her wake. We watch the women who work there day-to-day on the main stage. Local sex worker advocate Dennessa Atiles didn’t meet Stormy either. Instead, she discussed work conditions with the club’s regular dancers. They talked about health insurance and the fact that they

don’t make a basic wage. “Dancing in those heels, they should get an award for that,” Atiles said. Atiles organized a group to go to the show in support of sex work. She’s involved with the resistancesacramento/elk Grove, a branch of the anti-Trump campaign Indivisible. She came out not necessarily as a fan of Daniels, but a supporter of women’s issues. “I already know that our politics don’t align in any way whatsoever. So

i don’t necessarily see her as cool or a feminist icon at all,” Atiles said. Daniels

has identified as both Republican and Democrat in the past, and had a brief run for Senate as a Republican. Atiles said no matter Daniels’ politics, it takes courage to speak truth to men in power. “I do think that it’s brave to speak out for any woman, and especially to somebody with that much power. … For whatever reason she did it, it is Based on in fact brave.” I track down her book, we the gray-haired can say Stormy’s man who got the motorboat of his performance was life at the end of much longer than the night. He won’t Trump’s. say his name, but

hated my experience with the “male gaze” and tended to blame strippers and porn stars for men’s tendency to sexualize all women’s bodies. Strange men on the street have asked me, “Where’s your boyfriend?” “Are you a virgin?” and (my personal favorite) “Will you sit on my face?” Now, I recognize that i

can only hold those men responsible for their actions, not women like the one performing. Based on her book, we can say Stormy’s performance was much longer than Trump’s. But the four-song show was shorter than expected for the hype and the $30

he’s 72 and says it’s also his first time at a strip club. I ask why, after all these years, Stormy is the one who brought him out. “i’m a liberal democrat,” he says. “It’s a spoof on political involvement.” The anonymous liberal man has words of wisdom before I leave: “you should go topless, too.” In 99 percent of circumstances, I would have responded with justified anger at this old man’s suggestion. But as the Democrat runs off to hug a topless woman for $1, I just laugh at him for feeding into my friend’s point.

—Kate Gonzales






IlluStrAtIoN by mArIA rAtINoVA

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Urban Roots Brewing & Smokehouse, located at V and 14th streets, opened to much fanfare this May for its barbecue, beer, sweet outdoor patio and murals by local artists Lily Therens and Maren Conrad. It makes sense that the food and beer menus would be epic; Urban Roots is a collaboration between Peter Hoey, formerly the brewmaster at Sacramento Brewing Company, and Rob Archie, the owner of Pangaea Bier Café (whose cheeseburger also swept the Sac Burger Battle by winning both the judges’ and people’s choice awards). They brought Pangaea chefs Brett Stockdale and Greg Desmangles into the mix, and the result is sweet, smoky magic. You can’t go wrong at Urban Roots. Almost everything on the menu is worthwhile. The meat options are all winners: the pork shoulder is perfectly succulent, the Angus brisket is flavorful and tender, the smoked turkey is moist and well-smoked without being overly so. You can order any combination of meat in multiple weights, resulting in a huge pile of barbecue on your tray—a glorious sight to behold. If you’re not into face-planting into a mountain of meat, consider their sandwich menu, which boasts a towering Pulled Pork Sandwich ($14) or Chopped Brisket Sandwich ($16). Both are generously portioned and soul-satisfying. 22 | SN&R | 10.11.18

photo by StEphANIE StIAVEttI

by Stephanie Stiavetti

Pretty much everything on the meat menu is made better by the addition of the Pickle Plate ($6), a tray packed with all sorts of pickled vegetables to cut through all the fatty, meaty intensity. You’ll get a seasonal array of veggies with a lovely vinegary bite, such as green beans, cauliflower, cucumbers, carrots, jalapeños, onions and green tomatoes. When it comes to sides, there are lots of creative options to choose from, many of which are vegetarian. The Mac & Cheese ($5) is cheesy and creamy, the Baked Beans ($5) spicy and aromatic, the Poblano Cheese Grits ($5) had a near-perfect texture and the Pureed Yams ($4) taste like a more savory version of pumpkin pie. Hungry snackers should try the “Dirty Mac with Pork” ($12), a big bowl of macaroni and cheese mixed with shredded pork. It’s a game-changer and heart-stopper all at once. The beers at Urban Roots are equally solid, with an incredibly diverse selection of house-crafted varieties on tap. Whatever your preference, you’ll find something to love. Check out the Lune de Miel, a malty Mexican-style lager with hints of caramel, and the What’s New, a tropical unfiltered pale ale with a citrus smile. The only truly negative thing I can say about Urban Roots is that the food order and pickup situation is confusing. Both lines crisscross somewhere around the cash registers, leaving pickup customers intertwining awkwardly amidst queued folks who are facedown with their noses in the menu, still waiting to order. The human obstacle course is worth it, though. Just keep your eyes on the prize. What’s the final word? Urban Roots’ is the place to be for a maximal outdoor chill session. It’s probably going to be your new favorite place for barbecue and beer, so don’t bother fighting the urge. Just go. Right now. Seriously, put the paper down and walk out the door. Ω

I discovered Poku Wings ($6.95, for five pieces) at Umai Hot Dogs while on a ketogenic diet searching for nocarb, high-fat snack options. I ordered the succulentbraised pork riblets and declined the specialty sauces. Even unadorned, the bite-sized morsels packed a savory punch due to a layer of buttery, tongue-popping fat so delicious I renamed them “pork bombs.” Later, keto-free, I went back to try the sauces. The Soy Glaze and Hoison BBQ played it safe with sweet and tangy. The Raving Korean got rowdy with chili pastes and Sriracha. But my favorite, the Kyoto Buffalo—pungent, spicy, delightfully vinegary—which made those fatty pork bombs go nuclear. 1310 Howe Avenue Suite D, —aMy bee

Sobriety test Sundays La Mega, Las IsLItas At the intersection of “hangover brunch” and “post-church brunch,” you will find a Sunday crowd at Las Islitas, and the beverage that will bring together both saints and sinners is the Mega Michelada, or “La Mega.” Most occupied tables contain at least one of these over-the-top beverages, composed of a 32-ounce glass bottle of Corona upended into a large shrimp cocktail glass filled with salty Michelada mix. Shrimp and cucumber slices are arranged around the rim, contributing further to the visual wow factor. This drink comes with its own sobriety test: You have to finesse the upside-down bottle to get the beer out without overflowing the glass. If you fail, your friends get to take away your keys. 7240 24th Street. —becky grunewaLd

The V WoRd

Vegan by law It’s been a plant-based whirlwind recently. If you blinked, here’s what you missed: Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1138 into law, which requires institutions—like hospitals and prisons—to offer plant-based meals. And then the governor was like, my pen’s warmed up, lemme approve Senate Bill 1249, which prohibits the sale of any cosmetic product that was (or contains components) tested on animals. Baller move, Brown. This is progress for health, inclusivity, common sense and kindness. Plus, this great news comes to us during Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge month. So pick one (or more) of the 30-plus participating eateries at and celebrate. Raise a glass of the Verde Sweet México cocktail at Tequila Museo Mayahuel, or a fork full of vegan mac ’n’ cheese from Sexy Panda Food Truck or a vanilla sorbet dessert sandwich at Broderick. There’s a lot more for vegans to eat these days. —sHoka

Photo by StePh RodRiguez, illuStRation by MaRk StiveRS


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Sol food Sacramento Activist School nourishes community one plant-based meal at a time by Steph RodRiguez

On a warm Wednesday evening in September that marked some of the last days of summer, the Sacramento Activist School hosted its monthly Healthy Cooking on a Budget class at its headquarters inside Sol Collective, an arts, culture and music venue. The cooking demos, which focus on easy, healthy and affordable meals that are oftentimes plant-based, were incorporated into the program last summer as a direct way to address food desert and insecurity issues in the community. The Sac Activist School not only aims to educate communities of color on political issues that directly affect them, but it also shows residents how to become locally involved in order to affect change. “When you come to a place like this and you see people that are a part of your neighborhood, that you know, or that look like you or your family, and they’re telling you, ‘This is what

I learned and this is what I have for you,’ then it’s an each one, teach one situation and it’s been beautiful,” said Jasmin Aleman, a longtime board member of Sac Activist School and Sol Collective. “[We] set out to serve underrepresented and marginalized peoples that don’t have the same resources as everybody else.” Rick Gloria, another dedicated board member, led the evening’s class that featured his original recipes for vegan ceviche and jamaica (hibiscus flower) agua frescas. Agua frescas are refreshing beverages traditionally made by steeping flowers or fruit in hot water before the drink is sweetened with sugar and served either hot or iced. Ceviche, is made with shrimp or white fish that’s soaked in lime juice, which essentially cooks the seafood over time. It’s then tossed with diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro and some sort of heat component like chopped

s t e p h r@ne w s re v i e w . c o m

jalapeños or serranos and served with chips or on top of a crispy tostada— how Gloria plated his dish. Gloria’s recipe substitutes one head of cauliflower in place of seafood, and the result was a tangy and spicy flavor bomb that tinged the lips—in a good way—with the herbaceous aroma of freshly chopped cilantro (back off cilantro-haters) complimenting each crunchy bite. “Veganism is making food from food. I really have fun with this,” Gloria said, who admits he’s not strictly vegan, but enjoys cooking plant-based meals most days of the week. “I just love to cook. ... I feel like cooking is art.” Ω the Sacramento activist School’s next Cooking on a budget class is Wednesday, november 21, and tamales are on the menu. 6 p.m.; $5 donation, an extended version of this story is available at

Eat. Drink. Be Merry. Repeat.

Thank you for voting Kupros! ’18

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






now playing



As You Like It

The allegory that won’t die by Patti RobeRts

Photo courtesy of charr crail

keeping it tight and streamlined. This works overall, though at times it feels a little stilted and over-stylized, with performances varying from subtle to dramatic. The cast does bring forth some strong performances. An admirable nod to Scott Coopwood, who had to step into the role of Deputy Governor Danforth just days before opening night. Other notable performances include James Louis Wagner as John Proctor; Shannon Mahoney as Elizabeth Proctor; Michael Jenkinson as Reverend John Hale; Eric Wheeler as Reverend Parris; and Abbey Campbell as Abigail. The production elements are appropriately simple—plain costumes depicting the puritanical community, a minimalistic set of wooden platforms, tables and benches, birch trees lining the stage and a syncopated soundtrack which feeds the growing tension of the story. Ω so many heretics, so little time.

The Crucible


thu 7pm, fri 8pm, sat 2pm & 8pm, sun 2pm, Wed 7pm. through 10/21; $15-$38, sacramento theatre company Main stage, 1419 h street; (916) 443-6722;

In the 1950s, playwright Arthur Miller penned The Crucible as an allegory for the wave of McCarthyism that was hitting the country—the U.S. government was accusing and trying Americans who supported Communism. Set in 1692, The Crucible centers around the Salem witch trials, in which women were accused of being possessed by the devil. Sacramento Theatre Company is staging The Crucible at another interesting time in our country’s history, which director Natasha Hause acknowledges, stating, “This may be the most timely and timeless play to direct during our current political climate.” Little did Hause know that the opening STC weekend would happen days after the Kavanaugh Supreme Court hearings, adding yet another modern-day parallel to the centuries-old storyline of accusers and the accused. The Crucible follows the story of societal suspicions and suppression when a group of teens—caught flirting with pagan rites—start finger-pointing with dire consequences. STC does not veer from the original script or production, 24





This is the final weekend to catch Davis Shakespeare’s production of this pastoral comedy by Shakespeare, featuring four pairs of dizzy young lovers, with abundant music throughout in a British folk rock vein.

1 foul

Thu 8pm, Fri 8pm, Sat 8pm, Sun 2pm. Through 10/14; $15-$30; Veterans Memo-

short review by Jeff hudson.

rial Theatre, 203 E. 14th St. in Davis; (530) 802-0998; J.H.

check out the “on stage” section of the events calendar on page 30 for more upcoming live performances.







5 suBliMe– DoN’t Miss

Photo courtesy of the harris ceNter

5 Coming to America The American Dream and the American experience don’t always jibe. Take the case of Darja, the Polish immigrant at the heart of Martyna Majok’s prize-winning play Ironbound, now at B Street Theatre. Darja (played by Dana Brooke) comes to America in search of its promised freedom and the pursuit of happiness. Instead, she finds herself in a run-down New Jersey town where, over the course of 20 years there, factories close, neighborhoods die and men disappoint. Having gradually given up on finding love, she searches in vain for a semblance of financial security. She cleans the houses of people whose lives she covets. Ironbound is a darkly funny character study of a fighter, a woman who, through three relationships, continues to hope for a partner who can give her both love and money. Brooke delivers a tour de force performance as Darja, perfect in her Polish-accented delivery. The men in her life are portrayed by Arusi Santi (as Maks, her first love), Peter Story (as Tommy, the current, unfaithful beau) and Sam Kebede (as Vic who offers an unexpected kindness). Each is excellent. Lyndsay Burch directs. —Jim Carnes

ironbound: tue 6:30pm, Wed 2pm & 6pm, thu 8pm, fri 8pm, sat 5pm & 9pm, sun 2pm. through 10/28; $33-$47; B street theatre, 2700 capital avenue; (916) 443-5300;

Janis Joplin’s star shone briefly yet brightly—revisit the singer’s career in this moving tribute.

Joplin makes a comeback Biographical jukebox musicals built around the songbook of a pop star from the 1960s are all the rage nowadays, and this weekend, it’s Janis Joplin’s turn. A Night With Janis Joplin is a touring show that includes songs from Joplin’s alltoo-brief, meteoric career, as well as interludes with her hobnobbing with other stars of that era (Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, Etta James). Fri 7:30pm, Sat 2pm & 7:30pm, Sun 2pm & 7pm. Through 10/14; $48-$78; Harris Center of the Performing Arts, 10 College Parkway in Folsom; (916) 608-6888;

—Jeff Hudson

fiLm CLiPS

Doom service

Bad Times at the El Royale “Objectify me!” A drenched Chris Hemsworth seems to scream.

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween


The Hate U Give

As in the original 2015 movie inspired by the books of R.L. Stine, three adolescents—a sister (Madison Iseman), brother (Jeremy Ray Taylor) and their pal (Caleel Harris)—accidentally release the author’s demonic ventriloquist dummy Slappy from the book where he’s imprisoned, and Slappy turns Halloween into an onslaught of real spooks and monsters. Sequels don’t come much lazier than this. Darren Lemke’s original story is recycled by him and Rob Lieber with new faces, a new setting and nothing else. Ari Sandel’s direction, like the script, is cursory. The novelty has worn off, and Lieber and Sandel offer nothing to replace it. It’s stupefyingly humdrum, with none of the first movie’s scares, laughs or charm. Jack Black returns as author Stine, but his role amounts to little more than a cameo. J.L.


Writer-director Drew Goddard’s Bad Times at the El Royale stalks across the screen much like his previous movie, the overrated The Cabin in the Woods, boldly deploying clichés while pretending to deconstruct them. It starts out with a burst of Tarantino-esque narrative energy and a retro-’60s look that suggests an Edward Hopper painting in blazing neon, simultaneously garish and beautiful thanks to production designer Martin Whist and cinematographer Seaums McGarvey. For the first 25 minutes, we think we’re in for something breathlessly exciting. But by the time Goddard gets to the last 25 minutes—after an hour-and-ahalf in between—we just want him to wrap things up and let us go home. Goddard opens with a prologue circa 1961: an unnamed character played by Nick Offerman checks into the El Royale, a trendy motel straddling the California-Nevada state line. He shifts the furniture, rolls back the carpet and stashes a satchel under the floorboards. No sooner does he get the room back in order than the door bursts open and he’s blown to bits by a shotgun. It’s the first of many murders that Goddard has in store, and the only one I can mention without spilling any beans. Ten years later, the El Royale is no longer a busy place. One night a motley assortment of guests arrive, overwhelming the desk clerk Miles (Lewis Pullman), a closet junkie unaccustomed to more than one guest at a time. The newcomers are Father Daniel Flynn (Jeff Bridges), who looks like a grizzled frontier preacher in an


by Jim LAnE

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

old western movie; Darlene Sweet (Cynthia Erivo), a backup singer en route to Reno and a solo career; Laramie Seymour Sullivan (Jon Hamm), a vacuum cleaner salesman with a Colonel Sanders accent; and Emily Summerspring (Dakota Johnson), a sullen hippie who signs the El Royale’s register with “Fuck You” where it asks for her name. None of them, it turns out, are quite who they appear to be. One is an FBI agent, one a kidnapper, one a relative of the Offerman character in search of the money in that satchel and two are on the run from a Charles Manson-type psycho played by Chris Hemsworth, a villain added late to the mix. Even the motel itself is not what it seems, as the FBI agent learns by discovering the secret hallway where guests can be photographed through the two-way mirrors in the rooms. Goddard throws plot twists at us with merry abandon, time-hopping to show scenes over and over from different perspectives. But the time-hopping is redundant and distends the running time, and the twists play less as logical developments than simply changing the subject. Goddard keeps us guessing for a while, but he relies on our patience; after the umpteenth reversal we just throw up our hands and lose interest, victims of Goddard’s impulsive narrative whiplash. Besides, we’re still trying to figure out who shot Offerman. Ω

1 2 3 4 5 Poor



Very Good

An African-American teen (Amandla Stenberg) leads a double life, being one person in her gritty neighborhood and another at the upscale, white prep school she attends. When her best friend, unarmed, is shot and killed by a white cop, it forces her to rethink her priorities. Based on the novel by Angie Thomas, Audrey Wells’ screenplay strikes a perfect balance between comingof-age story and social-justice-warrior manifesto, never resorting to slogans, clichés or cardboard characters. Director George Tillman Jr. draws full-dimensional performances from Russell Hornsby and Regina Hall as Stenberg’s parents, Common as her policeman uncle, K.J. Apa as her white boyfriend, Anthony Mackie as the neighborhood drug lord—and most of all, a commanding, star-making performance from Stenberg herself. J.L.


Night School


The Old Man & the Gun

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.

Writer-director David Lowery, adapting the New Yorker article by David Grann, tells the true story of Forrest Tucker, the career criminal who spent half his life in prison and the other half escaping and robbing banks with courtly panache. Casting Robert Redford as Tucker carries unavoidable echoes of his Sundance Kid, and Redford embraces those echoes with understated enthusiasm. The whole movie has a looselimbed, shambling, unpretentious charm, not unlike the matter-of-fact bemusement of Grann’s original New Yorker piece. Adding professional heft to the supporting cast are Sissy Spacek as his unsuspecting sweetheart (a fictional compilation of various women), Casey Affleck as pursuing detective John Hunt (real name and all) and Danny Glover and Tom Waits as members of Tucker’s “Over-the-Hill Gang.” J.L.

by DAniEL BARnES & Jim LAnE


The Sisters Brothers




A Star is Born

As blockbuster cinema continues to abandon any film not tied to a lucrative intellectual property, it has increasingly been left to independent cinema to pick up the genre movie slack. 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 and John Maclean’s slightly absurdist Slow West 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, and although it doesn’t offer much to the genre that is new or unique, it still makes for thoughtful and moving adult entertainment. Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly star as the titular siblings, bickering brothers and bounty hunters practicing their deadly trade across the Oregon Territory. D.B.

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.

This creaky, lumbering, rock ’n’ roll romance is the third official remake of William Wellman’s 1937 showbiz melodrama A Star is Born, itself an unofficial remake of George Cukor’s 1932 film What Price Hollywood? The greatest version of A Star is Born was also made by Cukor, this time in 1954, but like the 1976 remake with Kris Kristofferson and Barbra Streisand, this newest version concerns musicians instead of actors. Bradley Cooper makes his directorial debut and stars as Jackson Maine, a shambling country-rock god drowning in booze and pills, at least until a golden-voiced unknown named Ally (Lady Gaga) offers a lifeline. However, while Ally’s career begins to take off, Jackson’s career trends in the opposite direction, and he seeks further refuge in self-destruction. Both leads are fine, albeit one-note, and cinematographer Matthew Libatique supplies some sharp images, but the movie is pervasively musty and false, with some brutally bad songs to boot. D.B.



A crusading reporter (Tom Hardy, acting moronic), through his own troublemaking stupidity, loses his job, his girlfriend (Michelle Williams) and his apartment, which makes him ripe for a takeover by a slimy alien “symbiote” imported from space by a sinister tycoon (Riz Ahmed) as part of his research into curing cancer. I swear I am not making this up. It’s writers Jeff Pinkner, Scott Rosenberg and Kelly Marcel “reimagining” the archvillain from SpiderMan as a sort of antihero along the lines of Deadpool. It’s a measure of the power of Marvel Comics when they think they can get away with an out-and-out stinker like this, but they’ve gone too far this time. The writing is terrible, the acting is worse (only Williams survives with any dignity) and the direction by Ruben Fleischer virtually nonexistent. J.L.







Cannabis sales ReCoveRing afteR July 1st Regulations impaCt inventoRy F

or California’s cannabis businesses, staying in compliance with rapidly changing regulations is like riding a roller coaster. This time last year, manufacturers and retail dispensaries were preparing for the new rules surrounding adult sales. The emergency regulations were issued so late that “the transition was a bit rough,” said sheila Bach of Heavenly sweet in sacramento. While creating a new menu of low-dose edibles for the new restrictions, Bach and her staff hustled to fulfill the pre-existing orders for high-dose products. More requirements for testing (also called “sampling”) arrived in July. California’s test labs were overwhelmed with last-minute samples, and the bottleneck caused statewide shortages for several weeks. But now inventories are back up, and the products are cleaner than ever. With a third testing phase only months away, business owners have learned how to roll with the punches. “The cost of sampling is astronomical,” said Bach. Since July 1 she has spent more than $45,000 to test products. Because of redundancies in the process, Heavenly Sweet had to reduce its variety of products, from 110 to 30, to afford the testing. “The ridiculous thing is that we already buy tested, certified distillate to infuse into our canna-butter,” said Bach. “That batch is going to make 30 different products, but I have to test all 30.” She sees it as the industry’s biggest challenge.

“the impact of government regulations will never compromise our commitment to providing the best services to our community.” matthew Z’Berg, Director of Public affairs, mgW holdings

Sheila Bach of Heavenly Sweet said redundant testing is driving up her costs.

will make California cannabis the world’s cleanest. sC Labs, which does the testing for Heavenly Sweet, was among the first to receive ISO-17025 accreditation, an international measuring standard required for the coming changes. But as that new layer of regulation arrives, Bach says higher prices are inevitable. The challenge for both manufacturers and dispensaries is to absorb added expenses as much as possible, until overall cannabis prices come down. “The impact of government regulations will never compromise our commitment to providing the best services to our community,” said Z’Berg.

“The change in regulations is not something that should impact services to our customers,” said matthew Z’Berg from mWG Holdings, which manages metro Cannabis dispensary. In smoothing out the customer’s experience, he said dispensaries must internalize more of the changes. “We have seen a real uptake in sales only because our retail staff is super highly trained at listening to patrons,” said Z’Berg.

ColleCtives Caring for the Community. for more info:

“I’m really hoping they delay phase 3 testing,” said Bach. This final test for terpenes, heavy metals, mycotoxins and water activity (microbial growth potential)

Sponsored by:

pa i d a dv e rt i se m e n t



26   |   SN&R   |   10.11.18


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Dance Gavin Dance go beyond   post-hardcore with latest album Happy Hour

by Janelle Bitker

Photo courtesy of lindsey byrnes

Mess (unclean vocals), Tim Feerick (bass) and Andrew Michael Wells (rhythm guitar)— listen to such a wide range of musical styles that it only makes sense for some of those decidedly not-post-hardcore influences to seep their way into Dance Gavin Dance’s sound. “It’s really neat to be able to try a lot of different things another genre might have inspired us to try,” Mingus says. On intricate prog rocker Dance Gavin Dance, from left to right: Jon Mess, tilian Pearson, Matt Mingus, tim Feerick and Will Swan. “Gospel Burnot,” Swan plays synth instead of guitar—a first for the band. Elsewhere on the album are poppunk songs like “Story of My Bros” that feel like For their eighth record, the members of local throwbacks to the 1990s. (In this case, with Mess post-hardcore band Dance Gavin Dance did things screaming, “I’m smoking weed out of a pussy a little differently. Since they worked with three filled with money.”) For the first time, the band different producers instead of the usual one, foundrecorded a song without Swan (“Bloodsucker”). ing member and lead songwriter Will Swan flew And in an interesting move, the final epic of a back and forth from Sacramento to Portland and track, “Evaporate,” features reprises from several Los Angeles for every Artificial Selection recording past Dance Gavin Dance songs. session. If there’s anything Dance Gavin Dance is “Poor Will,” says fellow founding member Matt more famous for than experimenting, it’s frequent Mingus. “It’s so tough, there are so many people out lineup changes. The group has churned through there we want to work with and want to try working bass players, rhythm guitarists and with, so we tried putting them all together singers—founding vocalist Jonny as a collaboration of producers. To be Craig made headlines for his “We honest, I doubt we’ll ever do that drug use and scams. But that’s again. It was just a little hectic.” like to push changed in recent years—the After packing Cesar Chavez the limit and try lineup has been totally stable Plaza for Concerts in the Park for its past three records and new things and keep it earlier this year, Dance Gavin Mingus says that’s been a Dance is ready to play another fresh.” boost for the songwriting hometown show on a decidedly Matt Mingus process. They even brought bigger stage: Monster Energy’s drummer, Dance Gavin back a former vocalist for Aftershock Festival on Sunday, Dance Artificial Selection—Kurt Travis October 14, the same weekend (Royal Coda, A Lot Like Birds) is as fellow Sacto band and headliner featured on “Shelf Life.” Other special Deftones. guests include guitarist Martin Bianchini of The group is still touring in support of Artificial Sacramento’s Secret Band, a Swan-Mingus-Mess Selection, which released in June. It’s the 13-yearside project, and guitarist Zachary Garren of old band’s most sonically diverse record yet—an Strawberry Girls. explosion of soaring emo verses; ferocious, guttural “I think we all try to challenge ourselves in a outrage; and bongo drums and effects pedals that way—that’s how you become a better musician,” move even further beyond its usual infusion of metal, Mingus says. “You write a part you’re not very good jazz, math rock and funk elements. at but you’re going to play it live so you have no According to Mingus, the mix of sounds happened both intentionally and naturally. “We like to push the limit and try new things and check out dance Gavin dance at Aftershock, which takes place october 13-14 keep it fresh,” he says. at discovery Park sunday. Weekend passes are sold out. for show info, visit The band’s members—Mingus (drums), Swan (lead guitar), Tilian Pearson (clean vocals), Jon

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for the week of october 11

by maxfield morris

PoST eVenTS onLine FoR FRee aT

musiC ThuRsday, 10/11 2018 FaR-WeST conFeRence: The westernmost of the folk alliance regions comes together for four days of learning, celebrating and performing folk music. Any good music genre can be improved through networking. 7pm, $10-$20. Warner Center Marriott, 21850 Oxnard St. in Woodland.

keYBoaRD conVeRSaTionS WiTH JeFFReY SieGeL:


Take Back the night & SWoP Ball Native americaN HealtH ceNter, 5:30pm, No cover; tHe pagoda buildiNg, 8pm, $69-$100 the Night at the Native American Health Center with resources, survivor speakers, music and march through Midtown in protest. After, you can attend the Sex Worker Outreach Project’s The Ball, a party with music, dancing, MariahLynn and more that benefits the organization’s outreach programs. 2020 J Street & 429 J Street, &

American hero Christine Blasey Ford brought the harsh reality of violence against women into the probing, public spotlight. Now, more Take acTion than ever, when a man credibly accused of sexual assault is also the newest member of the Supreme Court, it’s a good time to come together to locally combat the toxic bullshit women face. Rally with Sacramento Take Back

TickeT WinDoW

Tickets are a window to another dimension—a beautiful world.

PhoTo CouRTesy of leon dash


This Saturday, (and for the rest of your life) take a stand against violence.

Siegel gets behind the wheel of a large piano and immediately turns the ignition, starting it in second gear with an informative and engaging discussion and performance of Chopin’s Parisian pursuits. 7:30pm, $13$38. Harris Center, 10 College Parkway in Folsom.

MaRQUiS HiLL BLackTeT: Jazz trumpet sensation, Thelonious Monk Competition winner and meteoric riser Marquis Hill will play through Saturday with his quintet, the Blacktet. 8pm, $23.50-$47. Vanderhoef Studio Theatre, 400 Mrak Hall Drive in Davis.

THe Von TRaMPS: The Minneapolis-based punk band with more women than your average punk band are playing with Space Monkey Mafia and Violet Island. 7pm, call for cover. Blue Lamp, 1400 Alhambra Blvd.

fRiday, 10/12 DiGaBLe PLaneTS: Grammy-Award winners and jazz-inspired hip-hop group Digital Planets will be ‘Cool Like Dat’ with Bru Lei. 7pm, $34.50-$36.50. Ace Of Spades, 1417 R St.

a niGHT WiTH JaniS JoPLin: Musicians and singers take the stage to perform Joplin’s music á la Joplin. 7:30pm, $48-$78. Harris Center, 10 College Parkway in Folsom.

THe STone FoXeS: The bluesy rock ’n’ roll band with a project dedicated to ending homelessness (The Goodnight Moon Project). 8pm, $12-$15. Harlow’s, 2708 J St.

ULRika SPacek: Mint Field join the English indie band Ulrika Spacek for a show that should be simultaneously breathy, ethereal and mellow. 9pm, $10-$12. Blue Lamp, 1400 Alhambra Blvd.

saTuRday, 10/13 HaRMonica SLaPDoWn: No explanation more

Phil Collins Collins, who is not yet

dead, is on his Not Dead Yet tour. 10/25, 8pm, $50-$275, on sale now. Oracle Arena in Oakland,

Thomas RheTT Brett Young and

Midland are Rhett’s openers for his new album tour, Life Changes. 10/27, 7:30pm, $64.75-$300, on sale now. Golden 1 Center,

3oh!3 Emo Nite and lil aaron round

out the very emotional evening. 11/7, 8pm, $25, on sale now. Ace of Spades,

GhosT These Swedish rockers are

no ABBA—they’re on A Pale Tour Named Death. 11/15, 8pm, $45, on sale now. City National Civic in San Jose,


Kevin haRT The shortest, funniest comedian basketball player in the world, right now. 11/16, 7pm, $38.56$153.56, on sale now. Golden 1 Center,

RiveR CiTy Chili CooK off

If you can’t see Kevin Hart, have some chili instead. You don’t need great seats to enjoy chili. 11/16, 7:30pm, $35-$55, on sale now. Ace of Spades,

JusTin TimbeRlaKe Timberlake

is touring on his Man of the Woods tour.

11/18, 8pm, $49.50-$250, 50-$250, on sale now.

Golden 1 Center, com.

fleeTwood maC All the Fleetwood with none of the Buckingham.

11/23, 8pm, $69.50-

Satisfy us, chili. |




$149.50, on sale now. Golden 1 Center,

lindsey sTiRlinG Probably the

most well-known violinist in the world will take a bow. 11/24, 8pm, $34.50-$129, on sale now. Golden 1 Center,

Childish Gambino Gambino’s

final tour had a setback when he injured his foot—but you can’t stop Donald Glover. 12/11, 7:30pm, $49.50-$129.50, on sale now. Oracle Arena in Oakland, ticketmaster

than the event’s title is really necessary, but if you’re dying to know more: Four of the best harmonicists in the country (Mitch Kashmar, Aki Kumar, Gary Smith and Andy Santana) come together to show off what they can do with the free reed wind instruments. 6pm, $35-$40. Harris Center, 10 College Parkway in Folsom.

sunday, 10/14 FeRRon: The Canadian singer and songwriter brings a wealth of talent in lyricism and music to the stage, as well as “special guests.” 8pm, $30. Harlow’s, 2708 J St.

LiFe, LoVe anD LeGenD: Rio Americano High School has a new performing arts center, and The Sacramento Symphonic Winds 60-piece adult orchestra is helping christen it. Bring a bottle of champagne to break on the walls of the center as it goes on its

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

online listings will be considered for print. Print listings are edited for space and accuracy. deadline for print listings is 5 p.m. wednesday. deadline for nightlife listings is midnight sunday. send photos and reference materials to calendar editor maxfield morris at

maiden voyage. Please don’t actually do that. 2:30pm, $10-$15. Rio Americano High School Center for the Arts, 4540 American River Drive.

monday, 10/15 cHoiR BoY: From hometown Salt Lake City to the Great Barrier Reef, Choir Boy’s music still sounds lo-fi and indie as hell. 8pm, $10. Momo Sacramento, 2708 J St.

JaY Rock: Rapper Jay Rock will be joined by

Reason and Trouble. 9pm, $20-$85. Harlow’s, 2708 J St.

Tuesday, 10/16 cURRen$Y: Getting in on the ground floor of Lil Wayne’s label, Curren$y rap$ and i$ downright authentic. 9pm, $25.50$30. Harlow’s, 2708 J St.

wednesday, 10/17 BeaTLeS VS. SToneS: This show pits two tribute bands up against each other in a steel cage deathmatch the likes of which the Crest has never seen! Wait—I’ve just been informed that’s not the case, the two tribute bands will just be performing hits from the Beatles and the Stones for the audience to rate. No deathmatch. No steel cage. 7pm, $26$55. Crest Theatre, 1013 K St.

fesTivals fRiday, 10/12 JaZZ & BeaT FeSTiVaL: Jazz, poetry and painting go together like thumbtacks, pushpins and corkboards. This unique festival is not only free, but it is freeflowing, with poems and improvised paintings set to live jazz music. 7pm, no cover. John Natsoulas Gallery, 521 1st St. in Davis.

okToBeRFeST: Celebrate the event based on the event of the same name held in Munich annually. Themes of the event include: Germany, beer from Munich, specialty food and festivities. Spend some time and calories at this two-day event. 6pm, $5$40. Turn Verein, 3349 J St.

SacRaMenTo HoMe anD GaRDen SHoW: See what’s new in the wide, wide world of homes and gardens. With more decks than you can shake a stick at and more HVAC information than you’ll care to know, this doubles as a great idea for a first date. noon, no cover-$7. Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd.

SacRaMenTo WiTcHeS’ BaLL: This event for ages 18 and up celebrates with wholesome activities, like live music, costume contests, an Absinthe bar and burlesque shows. It’s also a benefit for Sacramento Area Wildlife Rescues. 7pm, $25. VFW Fair Oaks, 8990 Kruitoff Way in Fair Oaks.

saTuRday, 10/13 10TH annUaL anTeLoPe cRoSSinG SPookTacULaR: What makes something truly spooktacular? Is it the facepaint? The costume contest? The carnival games? Or is there something deeper, a “je ne sais quoi” that evokes a primal response in

Thursday 10/11

ArtMix: Zombie CroCker Art MuseuM, 6pM, $10-$20

Zombies lumber around, moan and have an uncontrollable urge to eat human brains—sounds MuseuMs like me before I’ve had my coffee! Just kidding around, PhOTO COurTEsy OF ThE saCraMENTO ZOMBIE WaLK folks. Celebrate the horror movie monster hotshots that are the undead at this ArtMix event, featuring short films, zombie performances, zombie carnival games, zombie makeup artists, zombie dances; Sacramento Zombie Walk joins the Crocker to help create the evening. Sounds like a fun night—for bonus points, peruse exhibits as a zombie art critic. 1216 O Street,

the most hardened of hearts? Probably it’s the facepaint. Come for the familyfriendly, free Halloween fun, folks. 11am, no cover. Summerhills Plaza, 7825 Lichen Drive. in Citrus Heights.

5TH ANNuAL RussIAN FesTIVAL: It’s the fifth year celebrating the traditions, food and culture of the largest country on earth. 11am, $3-$5. Holy Ascension Russian Orthodox Church, 714 13th St.

AMeRICAN LeBANese AND MIDDLe eAsTeRN FesTIVAL: Lebanese and Middle Eastern cultures are on the pedestal this week as well; the seventh installment of this festival of food and culture features a raffle the grand prize of which is Invisalign braces, for your teeth—a $6,000 value. 11am, no cover. 6811 Fair Oaks Blvd. in Carmichael.

HOuse OF sWOP PReseNTs THe BALL: The Sex Workers Outreach Project brings you five hours of entertainment. See highlight on page 28. 8pm, $69-$100. The Pagoda Building, 429 J St.

OKTOBeRFesT: Turn Verein continues the festivities. See event entry for 10/12 for details. 3pm, $5-$40. Turn Verein, 3349 J St.

THe sINIsTeR CReATuRe CON: If you love going fishing, go to a fishing convention, for Pete’s sake. If you like the genres of horror and suspense, go to this event, with creators of eerie shows and movies, including Twin Peaks, Robocop and Dawn of the Dead. 12pm, $30. Scottish Rite Masonic Center, 6151 H St.

suNday, 10/14 CALIFORNIA FReeTHOuGHT DAY: Take a walk on the rational side, eschewing all irrational things in favor of reason. There are speakers, booths, food, a family fun zone and more. 11am, no cover. State Capitol North Steps, L & 11th Streets.

GuMBO & JAMBALAYA MusIC FesTIVAL: Not many food-based festivals have pageants. This one, aside from offering gumbo and jambalaya and music, is host to the Little Miss Beignet Pageant. (Beignets are a New Orleans pastry tradition.) 11am, $5. Miller Regional Park, 2701 Marina View Drive.

sACRAMeNTO FReNCH FILM FesTIVAL MINIFesT: Live like a French person might live, by attending one or many showings of recently released French films—films like Return of the Hero, C’est La Vie! and Black Tide. 11:30am, $8-$45. Esquire IMAX Theatre, 1211 K St.

FOOd & drINK FrIday, 10/12 2018 FAIR OAKs uNCORKeD: This food and wine event held by the Rotary Club of Fair Oaks benefits Childhood Literacy Projects. 6:30pm, $45. St. Mel’s Parish Hall in Fair Oaks.

HIGH WesT BACON & WHIsKeY NIGHT: Housecured pork bellies meet High West whiskeys, and the four unique pairings are destined to be alcoholic and tasty—with distinct notes of swine. 6:30pm, $35. Brickyard Kitchen and Bar, 1474 Eureka Road, Suite 120 in Roseville.

saTurday, 10/13 AuBuRN WINe, ALe AND FOOD FesTIVAL 2018: Drop by Auburn for food, beer and wine. As you walk through 20 local shops, tasting 20 local quaffs, nibbling 20 different food samples from restaurants, you might have 20 very fun interactions with people. 11:30am, $45-$85. Downtown and Old Town Auburn.

BReW sTReeT: It’s time to make up for all those times you drink a beer and it doesn’t help fund after-school youth fitness programs. Every beer you buy at this event sends some money toward Runnin’ for Rhett, which is just such a youth program. 21st Amendment, Drake’s, Heretic and Saint Archer are the featured breweries. 2pm, no cover. The Handle District, 1800 Capitol Ave.

FesTIVAL OF FLAVORs: This event is a fundraiser for Opening Doors, a nonprofit empowering local underserved and abused residents. Expect international foods, local drinks and music. 6pm, $45-$60. Sierra 2 Center, 2791 24th St.

TAsTe 2018: Makers of edible and drinkable things share those things. Cap the night with music by Julie Fowlis. 4pm, $25$35. Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, UC Davis, 392 Old Davis Road in Davis.

FILM Thursday, 10/11 AN AMeRICAN WeReWOLF IN LONDON: Neat makeup make this work of horror-comedy a visual feast. Some have qualms with the story—you be the judge. 7pm, $8-$10. Crest Theatre, 1013 K St.







sEE morE EvENTs aNd suBmiT your owN aT

CaLENdar LisTiNGs CoNTiNuEd From PaGE 29

Friday, 10/12 BENT saCramENTo: The LGTBQ Film Festival comes back with a new name but the same themes. See an event highlight below. 5:30pm, $10-$70. Crest Theatre, 1013 K St.

Saturday, 10/13 sTaGE NiNE ENTErTaiNmENT CELEBraTioN: See Mickey Mouse in person—the voice artist, that is. Along with more voice artists and Disney fine artists, this celebration of the Stage Nine gift shop mini empire in Old Sacramento is free. 10am, no cover. Stage Nine Entertainment, 102 K St.

comedy BLaCKToP ComEdy: Erik Escobar and Dremagix. Escobar is just your standard comedian/professional wrestler living in LA. Dremagix is your standard comedian/magician. wednesday 10/17, 8pm. $10. 3101 Sunset Blvd., Suite 6A in Rocklin.

PuNCH LiNE: Carly Aquilino. Carly from MTV’s Girl Code, Carly from MTV’s Girl Code Live and stand-up comic Carly Aquilino plays things pretty straight on stage. Through 10/13. $17.50. 2100 Arden Way, Suite 225.

saCramENTo ComEdy sPoT: Sacramento Comedy Festival. A whole festival for comedy? You bet. There will be improv groups, stand-up comedians and sketch comedy. It’s comedy meets comedy networking—because networking is important in every field. Through 10/14. $15-$45. 1050 20th St., Suite 130.

vETEraNs oF ForEiGN wars PosT 8762: VFW Comedy Night. Krista Fatka, who won the Sacramento Comedy Competition in 2017, is performing with TaVi and Ian Levy, and it’s all hosted by Becky Lynn. Friday 10/12, 7:30pm. $10-$12. 905 Drever St. in West Sacramento.

on StaGe avid rEadEr: Stories on Stage. Authors Michael David Lukas and Valeria Fioravanti share their stories on stage. Lukas offers The Last Watchmen of Old Cairo, a novel

about a trip to Cairo to unearth family secrets, and Fioravanti submits Garbage Night at the Opera, a collection of stories tied to an Italian-American family’s Brooklyn apartment and the test of time. saturday 10/13, 7pm. No cover, donations accepted. 617 Second St. in Davis.

amEriCaN rivEr CoLLEGE THEaTrE: West Side Story. Sure, you’ve taken the Buzzfeed quiz to determine if you’re a Jet or a Shark (I’m a total Shark, but my friends think I’m a Jet—as if!) but have you seen a college production of it recently? Come on down for the Bernstein musical gem. Through 10/28. $10-$18. 4700 College Oak Drive.

BLaCKToP ComEdy: Tragedy On The Transcontinental. The Roseville Historical Society shares this murder mystery event— set 150 years ago, in Roseville. 6pm. Through 10/13. $75. 3101 Sunset Blvd., Suite 6A in Rocklin.

CaPiTaL sTaGE: Sweat. Upgrading from a 2017 Pulitzer Prize finalist (Sarah DeLappe’s The Wolves) to a 2017 Pulitzer Prize winner, Cap Stage puts on Lynn Nottage’s story of friendships fostered working in a factory and the layoffs that follow. 7pm. Through 11/18. $22-$47. 2215 J St.

CELEBraTioN arTs: Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. August Wilson’s work set in the 1910s is part of his 10-part, award-winning series on the African-American experience in each of the decades. Through 11/10. $13-$20. 2727 B St.

saCramENTo CommuNiTy CENTEr THEaTEr: Carol Burnett. Burnett goes on stage, and you can ask whatever question you want—she’ll answer it. She’ll also show video clips from her eponymous television show. Tuesday 10/16, 7:30pm. $69-$179. 1301 L St.

saCramENTo sTaTE: Mad Chad Taylor, Chainsaw Juggler. Chainsaws are dangerous if you don’t know how to use them. Come see the world record holder for chainsaw juggling, one of the many impressive things you can do with chainsaws. Thursday 10/11, 7:30pm. No cover. 6000 J St.

THE miNE sHaFT: Heartstoppers Haunted House. Get scared in a genuine haunted house, and get to know the producer on page 47. Through 10/31. $25-$80. 2300 Mine Shaft Lane in Rancho Cordova.

wiLLiam J. GEEry THEaTEr: Constellations. Nick Payne’s esoteric multiverse exploration about romance and missed opportunities. Through 10/21. $18. 2130 L St.

Friday, 10/12-Sunday, 10/14 BENT LGBTQ Film Festival Crest theatre, various times, $10-$70

The BENT festival, formerly the Sacramento International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, highlights some of the best LGBTQ films from 2018. From the documentary FiLm Life in the Doghouse, detailing the story of a couple who use their own home PHoto courteSy oF tHe Bent Film FeStival as a rescue shelter for dogs, to Dykes, Camera, Action, a look into the history of women influencing queer cinema, as well a number of short films and other works, this festival aims to share diverse stories from the community. 1013 K Street,







Saturday 10/13


2018 Shred Event Golden 1 Credit Union HeadqUarters, 9am, no Cover

How many sensitive documents do you have? If your answer is more than 10 documents, it might be time to downsize. Bring up to PHOtO COurtESy OF JOnatHan LigHt five boxes of documents, and Golden 1 will shred them, free of charge. Old financial documents? Shred ‘em! Files with personal information? Shred ‘em! Old family photos, priceless bearer bonds and your SportS & outdoorS child’s earliest works of art? Shred ‘em! Wait! No! Can you unshred those, please? 8945 Cal Center Drive,

art dAVIS ArtS CENtEr: Davis Art Studio Tour. Nineteen different artists open their studios for your prying eyes. Stop by and peer into these artists’ most personal sanctums, you depraved maniacs! It’s a family friendly tour. Saturday 10/13 and Sunday 10/14, 10am. $10. 1919 F St. in Davis.

GALLErY 625: Art Farm Exhibition. Eighty-eight artists come together to show their farmrelated artwork. through 12/4. No cover. 625 Court St. in Woodland.

KENNEdY GALLErY: Monsters and Mayhem. Halloween-themed art comes to the gallery. through 11/3. No cover. 1931 L St.

pENCE GALLErY: All Things Wicked. More spooky artwork, this time inspired by Tim Burton’s works. Artists Maria Winkler, Chuck Grieb and more contribute. through 10/28. No cover. 212 D St. in Davis.

SACrAMENto FINE ArtS CENtEr: Bold Expressions. Some non-spooky artwork, this juried exhibition shows the best artwork that artists submitted. through 10/28. No cover. 5330 Gibbons Drive, Suite B.

SoL CoLLECtIVE: Reception for Cantos del Pueblo exhibit. Artwork commemorating Raza music, its singers, composers and more, showing the special place the musical form has in Mexican culture. Saturday 10/13, 5pm. No cover. 2574 21st St.

MuSEuMS CALIForNIA MuSEuM: Día de Los Muertos Fiesta. Have a Día de Los Muertos experience with artists, a brand new exhibit, dancers, food and drinks, a sugar skull workshop and more. There’s always more! Friday 10/12, 6pm. $10-$20. 1020 O St.

CroCKEr Art MuSEuM: ArtMix Zombie. Check out the undead event description on page 27. thursday 10/11, 6pm. $10-$20. 216 O St.

MArSHALL GoLd dISCoVErY StAtE HIStorIC pArK: Coloma Gold Rush Live. See what it was like during the Gold Rush at this recreation of a tent town. There will be live music, panning for gold, interactive exhibits, food. Sunday 10/14, 10am. No cover. 321 Back St. in Coloma.

SACrAMENto HIStorY MuSEuM: Ghost Tours. The museum is overrun with ghosts, and instead of closing it like you’d expect, the ghosts are giving tours to guests! Incredibly

enough, the ghosts from the 19th century are very educational. through 10/27. $15. 101 I St.

SACrAMENto Zoo: CELEBRATE! Lemur Day. Lemurs take the cake as the most identifiable Madagascar residents, easily beating out the many varieties of chameleons that live there. Celebrate the endangered lemurs at the zoo, with crafts and such. Saturday 10/13, 9am. $9.95-$14.95. 3930 W. Land Park Drive.




offers gift certificates and tickets to the best businesses, restaurants, theaters and venues in town up to 75% OFF!

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



SPOrtS & OutdOOrS Friday, 10/12 2018 SWING CALIForNIA & tHE CALIForNIA SWING dANCE CHAMpIoNSHIpS: See or participate in swing dancing. There are competitions, workshops—all things swing. 6pm, $99$169. Marriott Rancho Cordova, 11211 Point East Drive in Rancho Cordova.

Saturday, 10/13 2018 SHrEd EVENt: See the event highlight

on page 31. 9am, no cover. Golden 1 Credit Union Headquarters, 8945 Cal Center Drive.

Sunday, 10/14 put Your BESt pAW ForWArd: This 5K walk benefits feral cats in the Sacramento area through neutering programs. 10am, $35. California Automobile Museum, 2200 Front St.


taKE aCtiOn tHurSday, 10/11 CrC uNdoCurESourCE FAIr: Come get resources for undocumented folks at this event designed to support the entire area community. 4pm, no cover. Cosumnes River College, 8401 Center Parkway.

*ask for details

Regular Menu Available Dine-In, Carryout

Saturday, 10/13 HouSE oF SWop prESENtS tHE BALL: Take in five hours of entertainment, and get more deets on page 28. 8pm, $69-$100. The Pagoda Building, 429 J St.

SACrAMENto tAKE BACK tHE NIGHt: March and rally against violence. See highlight on page 28. 5:30pm, no cover. Sacramento Native American Health Center, 2020 J St.

$13.50 LUNCH $24.50 DINNER

*Saturday & Sunday all day dinner price


Mon-Thurs. 11am10pm

Friday 11am10:30pm

Saturday 11:30am10:30pm

Sunday 11:30am9:30pm

916.971.0728 • 2580 Alta Arden Expressway Sacramento, CA 10.11.18





THURSDAY 10/11 Badlands

2003 k ST., (916) 448-8790

Poprockz 90s Night, 7pm, call for cover

BaR 101

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

Blue lamp

The Von Tramps, Space Monkey Mafia and Violet Island, 8pm, call for cover

The BoaRdwalk

Sworn In, Noble, Desolist, Sleep/Speak and Smack’d Up, 8pm, $12-$15

1400 AlHAMbRA blvD., (916) 455-3400 9426 GREENbAck lN., ORANGEvAlE, (916) 358-9116

CapiTol GaRaGe


Fierce Fridays, 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

Blame the Bishop, 9:30pm, no cover

Jacob, 9:30pm, no cover

Pint Night and Trivia, 6:30pm, M, no cover; Open-Mic, 7:30pm, W, no cover

Ulrika Spacek and Mint Field, 9pm, call for cover

The Lion’s Daughter and Peasant Hands, 8pm, $10

Aceyalone, Poor Majesty, Destructo Bunny and La Tour, 10pm, T, $10

The Zach Waters Band, the Imported and Flight Mongoose, 7:30pm, $10

Capture and Earth Groans, 8pm, M, $12

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

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

1013 k ST., (916) 476-3356

Freelancers Anonymous, 7pm, $15; 1985, 9:15pm, $15

Dykes, Camera, Action! and A Great Ride, 7pm, $15

Sunday Night Shorts Program, 6:30pm, $15

Basia, 7:30pm, M, $35-$55; Beatles vs. Stones, 7:30pm, W, $26-$55


Faces Karaoke, 9pm, call for cover

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

RetroSpecs, 7pm, call for cover

Mark and Steve, 7pm, call for cover

2000 k ST., (916) 448-7798

FaTheR paddY’s iRish puBliC house

with Bru Lei 7pm Friday, $34.50-$36.50 Ace of Spades Hip-hop

SUNDAY 10/14

Spectacular Saturdays, 7pm, call for cover

An American Werewolf in London, 7pm, $7.50-$9.50

CResT TheaTRe

Digable Planets


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

1500 k ST., (916) 444-3633


FRIDAY 10/12

435 MAIN ST., WOODlAND, (530) 668-1044

Fox & Goose

Michael B. Justis, 8pm, no cover

GoldField TRadinG posT

Taylor Phillips, 7:30pm, no cover

1001 R ST., (916) 443-8825

1630 J ST., (916) 476-5076

halFTime BaR & GRill

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


2708 J ST., (916) 441-4693

Kevin & Allyson Seconds, Natalie Cortez and Matt Woodcheke, 9pm, $5

Open-Mic Night, 7:30pm, M, no cover Aftershock Post-Mortem Party with Amigo the Devil, 9:30pm, $10

Vagabond Brothers, 9pm, call for cover

Rogue, 9pm, $7

The Stone Foxes and Tango Alpha Tango, 8pm, $12-$15

Petty Theft, 9pm, $15-$18

hideawaY BaR & GRill

2565 FRANklIN blvD., (916) 455-1331


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

1910 Q ST., (916) 706-2465

holY diVeR 1517 21ST ST.

Noirre and the Usual Haunts, 7pm, $13-$15



Jenn Rogar, 8pm, no cover

8pm Sunday, $30 Harlow’s Folk

luna’s CaFe & JuiCe BaR


1217 21ST ST., (916) 440-0401 1414 16TH ST., (916) 737-5770

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






Brothers Gow and Sea Legs, 9pm, $8-$10

Let’s Get Quizzical, 7pm, T, no cover Ferron, 8pm, $30

Jay Rock, Reason and Trouble, 7pm, M, $20-$25

Hippie Hour Jam, 5pm, no cover

Shitshow Karaoke, 8pm, M, no cover; Record Roundup, 8pm, T, call for cover The Trivia Factory, 7pm, M, no cover; Geeks Who Drink, 6pm, T, no cover

HOF Saturdays, 9pm, $5 Polyphia, Hail the Sun and Covet, 7pm, $18-$21

Kupros Quiz, 7:30pm, no cover The Return of Capital Punishment, 8pm, $10

FemDotCom, 8pm, $5

That Kid Raja & Charm the Riot, Skyler’s Pool and more, 7pm, $10-$12

Old School Hip-Hop and R&B, 10pm, no cover in advance-$10

Leo Bootes, 5pm, T, no cover; Ross Hammond, 7:30 pm, W, no cover Jazz Artistry and Jazz-ination, 7:30pm, M, $10

Choir Boy, Creux Lies and Fearing, 8pm, $10

The Gary Mendoza Band, 6:30pm, W, $8

submit your calendar listings for free at THURSDAY 10/11

FRIDAY 10/12


Old IrOnsIdes

Henry’s Magic Family Band and Three Day Runner, 7:30pm, $5

Failure By Proxy, Soulwood and the Dark Whatever, 9pm, $7

Guero, Dylan Crawford and Andre Fyling, 9pm, $7

On THe Y

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

Support Da Underground, 9pm, call for cover

1901 10TH ST., (916) 442-3504 670 FUlTON AvE., (916) 487-3731

Palms PlaYHOuse

SUNDAY 10/14

MONDAY-WEDNESDAY 10/15-17 Live Music With Heath Williamson, 5:30pm, M, no cover Tuesday Night Karaoke, 9pm, T, no cover

13 MAIN ST., WINTERS, (530) 795-1825

Fran Guidry and Led Kaapana & Mike Kaawa, 7pm, $22

The Deer, 8pm, $18

PlacervIlle PublIc HOuse

Jessica Malone, 9pm, call for cover

Brotherly Mud, 8pm, $5

Just Bill Live, 1pm, call for cover

Take Out, 10pm, call for cover

RCA, Mere Mortals and Momma T, 2pm, call for cover

Kyle Rowland, 3:30pm, call for cover

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

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

Sunday Night Dance Party, 9pm, no cover

Plots, the Most, Anime Aliens and Spiller, 8pm, M, call for cover

414 MAIN ST., PlAcERvIllE, (530) 303-3792

POwerHOuse Pub

614 SUTTER ST., FOlSOM, (916) 355-8586

THe Press club

2030 P ST., (916) 444-7914

Ariel Jean, 9:30pm, call for cover Mos Generator, Lord Ellis and more, 8pm, $12

red museum

Venetian Veil’s live soundtrack to Nosferatu, 8pm, $5

sacramenTO bIcYcle KITcHen

Flip the Switch, Electric Baby Jesus and the Surrounded, 7pm, no cover

212 15TH ST., (916) 750-4733 1915 I ST., (916) 538-6697

sacTOwn unIOn brewerY

1210 66TH ST., SUITE B, (916) 272-4472

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

Indian Goat, 9pm, $7


Polyphia with Hail the Sun and Covet 7pm Saturday, $18-$21 Holy Diver Rock

Sunday Morning Yoga, 10:30am, no cover; Comedy Showcase, 7pm, no cover

Open-Mic, 7pm, M, no cover; Empire Vault Game Night, 6pm, T, no cover

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

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

Blues, Brews & BBQ on the Boulevard, 8pm, $5

Sunday Funday, 8pm, no cover

Amanda Gray, 5:30pm, no cover

The Fryed Brothers, 2pm, $10

Caravanserai, 2pm, call for cover,

Alex Nelson Band & the Highway Poets, 9pm, $10

The Lique & Element Brass Band, 9pm, $10

You Front The Band, 8pm, no cover

The Big Poppies, 8pm, T, call for cover

Yoga at Yolo, 11am, no cover

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

YOlO brewInG cO.

1520 TERMINAl ST., (916) 379-7585

all ages, all the time ace Of sPades

Digable Planets and Bru Lei, 7pm, $34.50-$36.50

1417 R ST., (916) 930-0220

cafe cOlOnIal

3520 STOckTON BlvD., (916) 718-7055

Clown Sounds, Vacation, Treasure Fleet and Globs, 8pm, call for cover

THe cOlOnY

1400 E ST., (916) 551-1400

Coyote Bred, Walking Dead and Sitting And Waiting, 8pm, $8-$10

Tom Misch, Rob Araujo, 7pm, T, $30-$35 Destripados, 8pm, call for cover

Decades In, Taking Fox Hollow, Ambers Wake and more, 7pm, $10

He Who Cannot Be Named, Moans, O’Mulligans and Knockout, 8pm, $10

3512 STOckTON BlvD., (916) 718-7055


St. Lucia and the Night Game, 7pm, $29.50-$90.74

Cowboys & Frenchmen and Triism, 8pm, $5

Katie Knipp Band, the Freebadge Serenaders and more, 8pm, $8

Anton Barbeau and Allyson Seconds, 8pm, $8

Questionable Trivia, 8pm, W, no cover


the von tramps with Space Monkey Mafia 8pm Thursday, call for cover Blue Lamp Punk rock

The hideaway

Bar & Grill

Weekly events:

Monday shitshow kaRaoke 8pm, FRee

live MuSic october 12 blame the bishop

tuesday cactus pete’s 78 RpM RecoRd Roundup 8pm, FRee

Jacob nolen


october 19

Nightly. Karaoke up front, Country DJ in back

october 13

seth kaminsky & the herald

wednesday twisted tRivia

Voted best dance club in Sacramento by KCRA A LIST 2016-17-18

LIVE MUSIC live music Friday & Saturday nights 7:30-10pm

october 20 Guero


october 26

BRING THIS AD IN. 21 years and over. Expires 10.25.18

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october 27


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2nd & 4th sundays hippie houR


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fri & sat 9:30pm - close 21+


THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALLL 2 for 1 drafts. $0.50 Wings. $1 Chile Dog. No cover charge







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Shh ... these wizardly looking staffs by Strain Canes are taking a contemplative moment. pHoto couRteSy oF JeFF HayeS

the staff of Jah Homegrown woodworking business turns cannabis stalks into canes made from strains by Daniel Barnes

many people have credited cannabis with aiding in their recovery from a serious illness, but no one ever meant it in quite the same way as Scott Rainey. That’s because it wasn’t the flowers of the cannabis branch that boosted Rainey’s recovery from Stage 3 bladder cancer, but rather the stalks and branches, the parts of the plant that most people throw away. Along with his wife Heidi Rainey, Scott owns and operates Strain Canes, a homegrown woodworking business that turns discarded cannabis stalks into “functional works of art” like canes, staffs and lamps. “I’m currently in remission for the last six months, and my wife believes that part of my healing process has been the ability for me to work with [Strain Canes] after some of my treatments,” Scott says. “It was a twofold healing process—I healed my body and I healed my soul.” As Grass Valley residents, Scott and Heidi got the idea for Strain Canes when they saw cannabis farmer friends burning the deflowered stalks or feeding them to the pigs during harvest time.

“Everybody’s in a mad rush to get the stalks out of the ground and do whatever they could to get rid of them,” Heidi says. “Why throw something away when you can make something out of it?” A former tattoo shop owner who was forced to abandon his trade after damage to his ulnar nerve severely reduced the dexterity in his needle hand, Scott found his artistic fire rekindled by the concept of cannabis woodworking. “One of the first things that we came up with was a walking staff, and possibly a cane,” he says. “We started messing around with that idea, and the wood was really unique to work with, and we found a process that accented it nice, and it was received well by a lot of people.” Each Strain Canes piece takes threeto-six months to complete, with most of that time devoted to drying out the green wood. A solar kiln allows Scott to control the drying process and minimize defects, although some stalks are simply hung indoors until the wood becomes

workable. After the stalks are dried, sanded and steamed, Scott applies dyes, coats and finishes, including a metal handle and a label showing the strain and the farm it came from. Heidi applies accents like gems and beads. The sturdy but surprisingly light final product looks like the walking stick of a wizard, and potential customers at the outdoor festivals where Scott and Heidi do most of their business, are often shocked to realize that they’re holding a marijuana plant. “You can see it in their face when they get it,” Heidi says. “All of a sudden, it clicks.” Part of that surprise stems from the fact that nobody else seems to be doing anything like Strain Canes, something that Scott and Heidi discovered when they first tried to find more information on cannabis stalks. “We’re going through this blind. We have no reference. We have no one to talk to about it,” Scott says. “With all the stuff that’s going on about cannabis, we were pretty amazed.”

Come on, gov. Brown! see ask 420


Every Strain Canes piece is strain-specific, and usually gets colored to match the strain, with Blackberry OG pieces dyed a dark cherry color and White Widow pieces given a stone-washed effect. It started as a novelty, but Scott’s experience working with various strains of cannabis stalks has taught him to spot the subtle differences. “I’ve trained my eye to where I can spot a Sour Diesel, and I don’t think these people who have been growing for 25 years would be able to look at their stalks and see that,” he says. After initially sourcing their stalks from friends and family, an ever-expanding clientele led Scott and Heidi to branch out and connect with veteran cannabis farmers. The staffs are the most popular item offered by Strain Canes, and yet finding stalks large enough (the standard length is 57 inches, although they do custom sizing) has been their greatest challenge. “Not too many farmers grow the size of plants that it takes to make the staffs,” Scott says. Strain Canes launched a website on April 20. They sell a few items on Etsy, but most of their sales occur at festivals. The product line has evolved to include lower-cost “healing wands” crafted from cannabis branches, as well as jewelry and wall art. “A lot of people said they wanted the staff, but not to walk with it, just to hang it on the wall,” Heidi says. “That’s where we got the idea for the wall art.” As for the future of Strain Canes, Scott and Heidi plan to continue selling their wares at outdoor festivals like Kushstock, which takes place October 20 in Adelanto. They would love to turn this passion project into a full-time job, but they are also happy being the pioneers of a new art form, and they look forward to other artists evolving the medium. “We would love to see other people start doing this, coming up with different ideas,” Scott says. “I don’t have a major woodworking background, but there are people out there that do, and it would be interesting to see what they come up with.” Ω See Scott and Heidi Rainey’s inventory of handmade staffs, canes and lamps at






Do you think some of the no votes from the Senate actually meant yes to Kavanaugh?

36   |   SN&R   |    10.11.18

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10.11.18    |   SN&R   |   37

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Thanks, Jerry I heard that Governor Brown has a bunch of cannabis bills on his desk. Any movement? —Mod L. Citizen

First, the bad news: Gov. Brown has vetoed Senate Bill 829, which would have allowed cannabis dispensaries to provide low-to no-cost cannabis to indigent and poverty-stricken medical cannabis patients. This is not cool at all. Regular insurance programs rarely cover medical cannabis, so denying free or low-cost medicine to qualified patients is a dick move. Like for real. The cannabis movement was founded by activists and social justice warriors. To deny clubs the opportunity to continue their traditional roles so the state can reap a very small amount of tax revenue

(no taxes on free weed) is a damn shame. The governor ought to be ashamed of himself. Gov. Brown also vetoed a bill that would allow for safe injection sites, so at least he’s consistent in not helping people with serious issues. Now, the good news: Gov. Brown did manage to approve a few cool things. He signed Assembly Bill 2020, which allows for cannabis events to be held just about anywhere, as long as the event promoters get approval from the city or county where the event will be held. This is great because county fairgrounds are hella expensive to rent, and not every event producer

wants to throw a giant event. Some folks want to throw small dinner parties or farmers market-type things. The city of Oakland wants to add “weed gardens” to some of their city sponsored events. Hell yeah. This bill will make it easier for smaller event producers to get their cannabis-infused groove on. However, many folks are still gonna have a hard time getting their events off the ground because many city councils (at least the councils that aren’t Oakland) can be hard-nosed when it comes to allowing any sort of cannabisrelated anything. But Brew Bikes are cool, I guess. The governor also passed SB 1294. Known as “The California Cannabis Equity Act,” this bill gives the people most affected by the war on drugs a little bit of help if they want to start a new (legal this time) cannabis business. Well done. The cannabis industry is overrun with white dudes with money and no real understanding of cannabis culture trying to corner all the markets. Its time to level the playing field. I’m still mad about SB 829, but this is a good step in the right direction. Then we come to AB 2215. This bill allows veterinarians to discuss cannabis use with pet-owners. That’s cool, I guess. I mean, it’s great that people can talk to their vet about weed for dogs, but I’m still hella upset that poor people can’t get free weed. Where are our priorities? Can we start a group called “People For The Ethical Treatment Of Other People”? How about we take care of people first, then we worry about their pets? Ω

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Free will astrology

by Maxfield Morris

by rob brezsny

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For tHe Week oF octoBer 11, 2018 ARIES (March 21-April 19): In his book The Snow

Leopard, Peter Matthiessen describes his quest to glimpse the elusive and rarely seen creature in the Himalayas. “Its uncompromising yellow eyes, wired into the depths of its unfathomable spirit,” he writes, give it a “terrible beauty” that is “the very stuff of human longing.” He loves the snow leopard so much, he says, that it is the animal he “would most like to be eaten by.” I bring this up, Aries, because now would be a good time, astrologically speaking, for you to identify what animal you would most like to be eaten by. In other words, what creature would you most like to learn from and be inspired by? What beautiful beast has the most to give you?

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Richard Nelson is an

anthropologist who has lived for years with the indigenous Koyukon people of Alaska. He lauds their “careful watching of the same events in the same place” over long periods of time, noting how this enables them to cultivate a rich relationship with their surroundings that is incomprehensible to us civilized Westerners. He concludes, “There may be more to learn by climbing the same mountain a hundred times than by climbing a hundred different mountains.” I think that’s excellent counsel for you to employ in the coming weeks.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): “It is sad that unless

you are born a god, your life, from its very beginning, is a mystery to you,” writes Gemini author Jamaica Kincaid. I disagree with her because she implies that if you’re human, your life is a complete and utter mystery; whereas my observation has been that for most of us, our lives are no more than 80 percent mystery. Some lucky ones have even deciphered as much as 65 percent, leaving only 35 percent mystery. What’s your percentage? I expect that between now and November 1, you can increase your understanding by at least 10 percent.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): You Cancerians may

not possess the mental dexterity of Virgos or the acute cleverness of Geminis, but you have the most soulful intelligence in the zodiac. Your empathetic intuition is among your greatest treasures. Your capacity to feel deeply gives you the ability to intensely understand the inner workings of life. Sometimes you take this subtle acumen for granted. It may be hard for you to believe that others are stuck at a high-school level of emotional skill when you have the equivalent of a PhD. Everything I just said is a prelude to my advice. In the coming weeks, I doubt you can solve your big riddle through rational analysis. Your best strategy is to deeply experience all the interesting feelings that are rising up in you.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Do you ever experience

stress from having to be so interesting and attractive all the time? It may on occasion feel like an onerous responsibility to be the only artful egomaniac amidst swarms of amateur egomaniacs. I have a suggestion that might help. Twice a year, celebrate a holiday I call Dare to Be Boring Week. During these periods of release and relief, you won’t live up to people’s expectations that you keep them amused and excited. You’ll be free to be solely focused on amusing and exciting yourself, even if that means they’ll think you’re dull. Now is an excellent time to observe Dare to Be Boring Week.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): A Chinese proverb

says, “Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” I’m happy to let you know that you are currently more receptive to this truth than maybe you have ever been. Furthermore, you have more power than usual to change your life in ways that incorporate this truth. To get started, meditate on the hypothesis that you can get more good work done if you’re calm and composed than if you’re agitated and trying too hard.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): My astrological analysis suggests that life is conspiring to render you extra excited and unusually animated and highly motivated. I bet that if you cooperate with the natural rhythms, you will feel stirred, playful and delighted. So how can you best use this gift? How might you take maximum advantage of the lucky breaks and bursts of grace that will be arriving? Here’s my opinion:

Be more focused on discovering possibilities than making final decisions. Feed your sense of wonder and awe rather than your drive to figure everything out. Give more power to what you can imagine than to what you already know. Being practical is fine as long as you’re idealistically practical.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): How far is it from the

Land of the Lost to the Land of the Lost and Found? What’s the best route to take? Who and what are likely to provide the best help? If you approach those questions with a crisply optimistic attitude, you can gather a wealth of useful information in a relatively short time. The more research you do about the journey, the faster it will go and the more painless it will be. Here’s another fertile question to meditate on: Is there a smart and kind way to give up your attachment to a supposedly important thing that is actually quite burdensome?

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): In her only

novel, Save Me the Waltz, Zelda Fitzgerald described her main character like this: “She quietly expected great things to happen to her, and no doubt that’s one of the reasons why they did.” That’s a bit too much like fairy-tale wisdom for me to endorse it unconditionally. But I do believe it may sometimes be a valid hypothesis—especially for you Sagittarians in the coming months. Your faith in yourself and your desire to have interesting fun will be even more important than usual in determining what adventures you will have. I suggest you start now to lay the groundwork for this exhilarating challenge.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Armenian

philosopher George Gurdjieff taught that most people are virtually sleepwalking even during the day. He said we’re permanently stuck on automatic pilot, prone to reacting in mechanical ways to every event that comes our way. Psychology pioneer Sigmund Freud had an equally dim view of us humans. He believed that it’s our normal state to be neurotic; that most of us are chronically out of sync with our surroundings. Now here’s the good news, Capricorn. You’re at least temporarily in a favorable position to refute both men’s theories. In fact, I’ll boldly predict that in the next three weeks you’ll be as authentic and awake and at peace as you’ve been in years.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): In the late 19th

century, American botanist George Washington Carver began to champion the nutritional value of peanuts. His influence led to the plant being grown and used more extensively. Although he accomplished many other innovations, including techniques for enhancing depleted soils, he became famous as the Peanut Man. Later in life, he told the story that while young he had prayed to God to show him the mystery of the universe, but God turned him down, saying, “That’s for me alone.” So George asked God to show him the mystery of the peanut, and God agreed, saying, “That’s more nearly your size.” The coming weeks will be a great time for you to seek a comparable revelation, Aquarius.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Every year, people

discard 3.3 million pounds of chewing gum on the streets of Amsterdam. A company named Gumdrop has begun to harvest that waste and use it to make soles for its new brand of sneakers, Gumshoe. A spokesperson said the intention was to “create a product people actually want from something no one cares about.” I’d love it if you were inspired by this visionary act of recycling, Pisces. According to my reading of the cosmic omens, you now have exceptional powers to transform something you don’t want into something you do want.

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

Behind the horror Along an eerie stretch of Folsom Boulevard, somewhere between Buffalo Creek and Beck’s Furniture (infamously haunted with recliners and sofas), there lies a former amusement park known as the Mine Shaft. Years ago, it was filled with the shrieks of children playing arcade games and mini golf outside. Now, it’s still filled with the shrieks of people, echoing through two underground concrete tunnels that connect the facility to the former golf course—but those screams have almost nothing to do with miniature golfing. Come Halloween season, the Heartstoppers Haunted House takes over the entire building and its grounds, making it the home of four unique but interwoven haunts. Joel Watson is the producer of Heartstoppers, and this marks his 11th year professionally scaring folks. Three months ago, Watson and his team began work on the haunted house, often after working their nine-to-fives, and it’s now open for business. SN&R chatted with Watson, one of the minds behind the haunted house that makes about 40 people urinate each year—yes, they keep track.


What kind of things do scare you?

Is there a kind of power thing involved when you’re scaring people?

Well, there’s a few things … I guess there’s a lot of things that scare me, in real life. I really despise those what I call “hobo clowns.” You know, those clowns that kind of ride box cars back in the Depression era with the stubble and the little, nasty cigarette. Those things creep me out. Those guys, they do bad things in box cars that I don’t want to know about. … We do some stuff here that I just kind of avoid.

A little bit, yeah. We have a lot of female actresses, and a couple of them have told me over the years they’ve really enjoyed that feeling of power over some big, grown men that come through. For that split second, they get to make people fall and crawl away. Definitely, it’s addictive to scare people, once you get into it and get good at it, you don’t want to stop, it’s fun.

What’s your relationship with fear?

Do you notice shifts in what scares people?

It’s a type of excitement. Y’know, it’s like riding a rollercoaster or watching a scary movie, you get to have the fear but know it’s in a safe environment, sort of. That’s kind of where combining these things come together. It’s a fun emotion, if it’s done safely.

Yeah. Crowds are pretty sophisticated, honestly. They see some pretty amazing stuff at theme parks, Disney and movies— it’s harder to scare them than it was 10 years ago. … Now we have to keep up with all those multimillion dollar corporations with our own kind of homebrew version.

Do you scare easily?

What are some of your scare influences?

No, not anymore. I can go through some of the biggest haunted houses in the country, and I’m just more looking at all the detail and stuff. Yeah, it’s been a while since I was scared in a haunted house or a movie or anything.

How’d you get into this? I got the bug going to Knott’s Scary Farm every year and wanted to do something like that for the trick-or-treaters. I started decorating in high school, decorating my parents’ frontyard for the trick-or-treaters, and then eventually got my own place up here and started doing the same thing ... it got to the point where it sort of took over the neighborhood. Or at least the street we were on. … We just kinda came to a point where we had to stop or do something different with it.

Everything. I grab from all sorts of things, from movies, to real life, to comic books. … I try to use a lot of suspense. Hitchcock is a big fan of mine, so suspense is kinda fun. As you’re walking through, there might be sections where not a lot is happening, but it builds suspense, and then something kinda fun happens.

Do you notice patterns of what kind of people run haunted houses? It tends to be overweight white dudes. When you go to the conventions, that’s what it is, man … There’s not a lot of women in the industry. There’s a few, and they’re kind of famous just because they’re kind of in it. And generally, haunted houses are much more popular in the Midwest and on the East Coast.

How much thought goes into these haunts? A lot, honestly. Probably most of our customers don’t really realize it. Which is fine, but maybe 15 percent of them get the storylines we’re doing. Everything is set in a particular time period, and all four attractions are attached to each other, storyline wise. Haunted houses always bug me where there’s zero theming. You’ll go from one room, a clown room to an alien room to a pharaoh room to a dinosaur room. It just doesn’t make any sense to me.

Have you had a more interesting job than this one? No. Regular jobs are boring, they just keep me entertained until I get to come play out here. Ω

Heartstoppers Haunted House is located at 2300 Mine Shaft Lane in Rancho Cordova, and online at Tickets run $25-$80, and they’re open 7:30pm Friday-Sunday as well as October 30 and 31.