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Close to home In the last week, major fires have ravaged parts of Southern and Northern California. One in particular has hit close to home, both geographically and emotionally. In a year during which California has already suffered catastrophic damage, the Camp Fire has been deemed one of the state’s worst ever. To date, the fire, which has blazed through swaths of Butte County, has destroyed nearly 7,000 structures—the majority of them homes. It has essentially leveled the town of Paradise, about 30 miles outside of Chico. Worse yet, it’s claimed at least 42 lives at last count, and many more remain missing. It feels as though the Camp Fire has affected nearly everyone I know. We all have friends and family members caught in its path. It’s affected the News & Review family, too. Many staffers at the Chico News & Review, SN&R’s sister paper, were forced to evacuate from their houses and at least three have presumably lost their homes. In this week’s issue, CN&R editor Melissa Daugherty documents the region’s ruin and chaos (see “Apocalypse on the Ridge,” page 8). The article, which gives detailed accounts of several evacuees, leaves one with a sense of hopelessness. So, how to combat that despair? There are myriad ways, but right now money is the most effective ways to help. Numerous people have launched fundraising campaigns, including the News & Review, which has established a GoFundMe for its affected employees (gofundme.com/help-our-newsamp-review-family). The Red Cross also has a dedicated page for California fire-related donations (tinyurl.com/ya2lqbmv). Or, if you prefer, the California Fire Foundation (cafirefoundation.org) and the California Community Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund (calfund.org/wildfire-relief-fund) both directly offer financial assistance. Help, if you can. Even a few dollars may have a lasting impact.
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Make it rain Re: “A California divided,” by Stephen Magagnini (Feature, November 8):
The will of the people Re: “A California divided,” by Stephen Magagnini (Feature, November 8): Three states have been created from existing states. Kentucky from Virginia, Maine from Massachusetts, and, most recently, West Virginia from Virginia. The Constitution provides for such a split. Realistically, a new state could be created from California. I call it East California, partially as a nod to West Virginia. All it would take is a convention of the counties wishing to split, and a refusal to pay taxes to California. It really doesn’t matter if Congress approves or not, or if old California does not desire it. It simply takes the will of the people. Strong enough will, and it will happen. Care must be taken, however, not to simply create yet another leftist tyrannical state. Only conservative counties would be invited.
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Double trouble Re: “A California divided,” by Stephen Magagnini (Feature, November 8):
I always wonder what the rest of the [United States] thinks of
[California] doubling its number in the Senate. I think I know the answer. Kassie Brown s acr a m e nt o v i a F ac e b o o k
Legislative representatives are apportioned by population, not acreage, there’s that. Also, these are anti-gubmint people making a great show of their flinty independence and self-reliance, all of which shows character, but they and their area are already receiving way more state and federal money than they contribute, which is something that greatly infuriates rural white people when it isn’t them doing it. State resources should be allocated in such a way that all Californians receive the same level of state services, representation and respect. Maybe they should just send better representatives to Sacramento and Washington. These insurgent folk seem to believe that carving themselves out of California will be better because they’ll keep whatever funds can be squeezed out of their meager local tax base
and they’d have two senators who could [and] would make it rain federal money. John s. smith sac r a me nto via le tte r s
A small-minded movement Re: “A California divided,” by Stephen Magagnini (Feature, November 8):
This movement is just a cover for racist, small-minded MAGA followers. When I see one of these stickers, I automatically think less of the person. James monte salter sac r a me nto v ia twitte r
Facts, not fake news Re: “Wolves of hate,” by Mozes Zarate (Editor’s Note, November 1):
saying Trump is anti-Semitic, based on what, the fact that he had the stones to move our embassy to Jerusalem over the objections of Palestine and Democrats? The fact that he has been more of an ally to Israel than Obama and Clinton combined? I find it almost funny that liberals keep saying he is a racist and anti-Semite, yet none of you ever give one piece of evidence to back this up. Obama was openly hostile to Israel and you guys said nothing. Louis Farrakhan has openly and out loud as well as Al Sharpton insulted Jews and unapologetically disparaged Jews, and you guys say nothing. The guy that killed those people hated Trump, and that was on all his social media, yet this is Trump’s fault? I wish that just once the current fake news reporters would actually investigate and use facts instead of just repeating platitudes.
read more letters online at newsreview .com/sacramento.
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live in the flood control district portion north of the American River—and tend to benefit those with money or “connections to people in power,” Vander Werf said. Her effort reflects a common cause among progressives to make government more attentive to historically disenfranchised groups. But higher-level threats to protections mean she’s building on uncertain foundations.
Rachelanne “Rae” Vander Werf successfully won a seat on the State Water Resources Control Board at the urging of fellow young progressive Andres Ramos, who fell short in his campaign to join the Elk Grove City Council. Photo by anne stokes
When millennials run Young progressives ran for local offices with mixed results but a unified message: make elections more representative by Tess Townsend
No one from the public attended meetings of the American River Flood Control District Board of Trustees from May to October 2017. The changed in November, when 27-year-old Rachelanne “Rae” Vander Werf started attending. She has been present at all but one meeting since. Vander Werf, who works on drinking water quality issues for the State Water Resources Control Board, campaigned for a board seat and won by default when an incumbent candidate decided not to run for reelection. She will be sworn in this December. 6
The district maintains 40 miles of levees along the American River and area creeks. Trustees manage the general manager in charge of the district’s roughly 10-person staff, and contribute to flood emergency planning. “We don’t generate a lot of interest,” acknowledged board president Brian Holloway. “People care about flood control when they’re at risk.” As far as elected bodies go, even local ones, the board is obscure. What made Vander Werf’s race interesting—aside from heightening flood risk as the
climate changes—was her platform of broader civic reform. She wants the board to change from at-large elections, where all voters vote on any seats in a given election, to a by-district structure, where voters only elect a representative of the portion of the district they live in. The case for by-district voting is one of representation. Candidates spend less money to reach a smaller constituency they’re more likely to resemble both politically and demographically. At-large elections can create vacuums of representation—no trustees
Vander Werf ran for the board at the urging of Andres Ramos, who approached her at a meeting of political club Wellstone Progressive Democrats. He found the flood control district race while compiling a spreadsheet of local elections, as part of a Wellstone effort to create a farm team of political hopefuls. “It was like, well you actually are qualified to be on the flood board because you’re a water scientist,” he said. Ramos, a 27-year-old law school graduate, ran for Elk Grove City Council on a slate of six progressive candidates competing in three races. He and Vander Werf belong to a wave of leftist candidates who campaigned this fall. Their cohort gained media attention for being younger, more racially diverse, more queer and more likely to be women than incumbent politicians. Many ran where young candidates traditionally get their start: locally. Of about 150 candidates under age 40 who ran for office in California with the support of progressive organizations Run for Something, which operates nationally, California-based Generation Change and California Young Democrats, at least 60 won election, according to the three organizations. The overwhelming majority ran at the local level. Groups offered candidates endorsements, and sometimes funding. CYD changed its bylaws this summer to allow canvassing on behalf of local candidates, instead of just those in state and national races, and ramped up canvassing to at least 15 coordinated events—multiple times the frequency in previous elections. “What we’re doing is planting the seeds and building the infrastructure that will empower an entire new generation of leadership,” said Will RodriguezKennedy, 30, president of CYD, which describes itself as the official youth arm of the state Democratic party. Rodriguez-Kennedy also works
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as the state Democratic party’s first organizing manager devoted to millennial constituents. This new generation ran in a variety of races on a range of platforms. Vander Werf’s race was smaller, less competitive and centered on different issues than Ramos’, which he lost. But both made by-district voting part of their platform, and for similar reasons. taking a page from cYd, ramos’ team had its members promote each other’s candidacies when they walked door-todoor. The approach had some success. Four on the slate won. Ramos and council candidate Orlando Fuentes lost to incumbents. By-district voting was part of Ramos’ team’s platform. Slate member Mayor Steve Ly, who won reelection, requested the council discuss by-district voting earlier this year. This was after civil rights lawyer Kevin Shenkman threatened to sue if the city didn’t change. The council rejected his request. Councilman Pat Hume, Ramos’ opponent, told SN&R that if councilmembers only needed votes from their district, they would not be accountable to the whole city. Hume’s campaign site depicted a city in need of protection from the forces of change. “Even though there was one less zero on the population sign when I was growing up here and we have now grown to be the second largest city in the region, I believe at our core Elk Grove still feels like a small town,” it read. “I work to protect these small town values while also focused on growing our local economy.” Elk Grove’s population has more than doubled since 2000, to an estimated 171,800 in 2017, according to census data. The city also grew more diverse, with the proportion of residents who identified as people of color growing from around 35 percent to roughly 55 percent. High-profile incidents of racism have accompanied that change. In 2011, city council appointed a multicultural committee after two elderly Sikh men were shot and killed in a presumed hate crime. This January, the school board listened to hours of testimony about racist incidents in schools, especially toward black students. Ramos, who served on the multicultural committee with Fuentes, found Hume’s messaging Trumpian. “It’s basically a message about keeping Elk Grove the way it’s always been,”
he said. “I mean, it almost reminds me of Trump’s ‘make America great again.’” The younger candidate moved to Elk Grove as part of the population boom to which 46-year-old Hume, who has lived in the city since 1977, seemed to be responding. Ramos’ Puerto Rican single mom was drawn to Elk Grove from Sacramento, where Ramos was born, by the prospect of affordable safe neighborhoods with good schools for her four children.
each seat. That means while there are no geographic representation vacuums, the city can elect someone who loses in their district. Candidates in from-district elections also need to win the most votes in their race to win, whereas in a traditional at-large council elections, multiple open seats means second- and third-highest vote-getters can win. Disagreement locally is not the only challenge to changing structure. A bigger threat may come from higher authority. not many at-large Don Higginson, “What we’re boards in California former mayor of eagerly vote San Diego suburb doing is … building themselves out Poway, another the infrastructure of office, which place Shenkman is what shifting pressured into that will empower an to by-district by-district entire new generation of can amount to. council elections, Office holders is challengleadership.” who win under ing CVRA’s Will Rodriguez-Kennedy an at-large model constitutionality. president, California Young or from-district His lawsuit, which Democrats variation may lose he is appealing after when only their district district court dismissed votes. Most boards change it, claims CVRA defines only in response to lawsuits or minority vote dilution too threats of lawsuits under the California broadly. CVRA differs from the federal Voting Rights Act, or CVRA, said Voting Rights Act in that it does not Caltech history professor Morgan require a plaintiff prove minority voters Kousser, whose work focuses on minor- are geographically compact. ity voting rights. Lawyers who work on voting rights Under CVRA, a court can compel issues in California are split on whether a board to hold by-district elections if Higginson’s case could feasibly underits at-large structure results in “racially mine the CVRA. Some lawyers think polarized voting.” Proving that voting is California is guarded against the kinds racially polarized requires demonstratof challenges federal voting rights have ing that “the majority of the electorate faced. In any case, the tools activists like consistently overrules,” or essentially Vander Werf and Ramos are leveraging to cancels out, “the choice of the minority promote what they believe is fair are not group,” said Mexican American Legal immune to challenge. Efforts to change Defense and Educational Fund staff voting rights laws are reminders of attorney Tanya Pellegrini. MALDEF has greater stakes facing progressives. sued localities for violating CVRA and “The local tools that we’ve got now the federal Voting Rights Act. may possibly go away, and what are the Proponents of by-district elections consequences if they did?” said historian in Elk Grove say certain discrepancies Kousser. reflect racial polarization. The city is The concern weighs on Vander Werf. about 18 percent Latinx and 11 percent “I feel very lucky to live in California, black, but in 18 years has only had one where we have some more protections,” Latinx and one black councilmember. she said. But “the more rights they strip Asian communities are currently repreaway, the harder it is. … I totally am sented on the council, which has Ly, the very worried about that, especially on the first Hmong mayor in the nation, and two federal level.” Asian-American members. Ramos said the changeability of laws The council’s “from-district” structure underscores the power of culture. puts a twist on the traditional at-large “The legal victory won’t last if you model. Each councilmember represents don’t win over hearts and minds,” he a district, but the whole city votes on said. Ω
Private, for-profit universities are losing their stranglehold on vocational training in California, with the lion’s share of those students now turning to the state’s community colleges instead. For-profit universities have been under fire in recent years for over-charging students and vastly over-promising the value of the degrees being issued. This has been particularly true of career education programs, or CEPs, which were once more commonly known as vocational training or career technical programs. A 2016 report from the U.S. Department of Education found that graduates who attended career-training programs at public colleges earned $9,000 a year more on average than those who attended similar programs at for-profit universities. The following year, education officials for the Obama administration determined that students attending for-profit universities defaulted on their loans at twice the rate of students attending two-year programs at public colleges. And while for-profit universities suddenly have a friend in the trump administration, they’re continuing to lose their clout in the Golden state. During an October 23 presentation at the Public Policy Institute of California, senior researcher Shannon McConville said that community colleges are now dominating CEPs in California, adding that the enrollments and credentials conferred by for-profit universities for similar programs have dropped 50 percent in the state over the last seven years. McConville noted that this sea change coincided with the state investing more than $1 billion in CEPs at its community colleges since 2014. (Scott Thomas Anderson)
Bad ink If you ever looked at a face or neck tattoo and thought, “Good luck getting a job there, pal,” know that you’re not alone. It’s crossed Sheriff Scott Jones’ mind, too. The sheriff last week received county approval to bring a tattoo removal company into his Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center next year. The $30,000, one-year contract with Inkdoctors, A Medical Corporation, which does business in Sacramento, Stockton and Berkeley as Inkoff.me, is intended to help well-behaved inmates zap any unfortunate ink that may keep them from gainful employment once they’re released. “It’s a big problem—‘I want to get a job, but I have a face tattoo,’” said Karlee Wootan, Inkoff’s operations manager. Wootan credits the idea with bringing tattoo removal behind bars to Inkoff nurse Christopher Bendinelli. “He’s been trying to do this for a long time and it’s finally happened,” Wootan said. A sheriff’s department staff report states that Inkdoctors will conduct the removal sessions out of a mobile unit. Each site visit will cost between $4,000 and $4,500 and last between four and six hours, during which some 50 inmates can be served. When it comes to the actual process, Wootan said the size of the tattoo matters less than its quality. Professional tattoos can take twice as many sessions to remove than homemade or jailhouse tats, made with improvised “stick-and-pokes” using ballpoint ink or soot, Wootan said. Inkoff recently began conducting laser removal sessions at the women’s facility in folsom state Prison, Wootan said, and also runs free removal clinics for people on parole or probation. In the Folsom women’s prison, the inmates have to be on good behavior to qualify. Wootan said she and Bendinelli fade a lot of gang tattoos, but also treat women who have been “branded” by human traffickers or pimps. “They want to turn their lives around,” she said. “They want to make a change.” (Raheem F. Hosseini)
11.15.18 | sN&R | 7
Anna Dise, 25, and her dogs, Luna (left) and Sirius, spent the first night of the Camp Fire dodging burning embers and the many blazes that enveloped much of Butte Creek Canyon. Her father, Gordon, did not make it out alive. Photo by Ken Smith
Apocalypse on the Ridge Inside the unstoppable wildfire that destroyed Paradise by AshiAh schArAgA and MelissA DAugherty
Anna Dise slammed her hand into her car’s steering wheel, crying out for her father, Gordon, as he ran into their blazing home in Butte Creek Canyon, a rural community below the Paradise foothills. She tried desperately to get the car to start, but it was no use. Worse yet, she was running out of time and her dad wasn’t coming back out. One of the last things Dise saw before grabbing her two dogs and running for her life from the spreading Camp Fire was her childhood home’s kitchen disintegrating. Dise called 911, but emergency personnel couldn’t get to her. To survive, she’d have to find a way to outwit the blaze. She found a ditch and hunkered down, using what little water it held to douse herself and her beloved pets, Luna and Sirius, as embers rained down on them. 8
Hours went by and Dise, terrified the flames would consume her, stayed on alert as she spent the night outside. “I had to stay awake and watch which way the fires were moving, all the hot spots,” she said last Friday at Chico’s Neighborhood Church, one of several locations temporarily housing evacuees and others rescued from the deadly blaze that ignited the previous morning. In the early morning light, under a blanket of smoke, Dise hiked back to her house. There, she found its charred, skeletal remains and the car “all melted down.” There was no sign of her father. “I don’t even think I saw my dad’s bones, but I know he was in there,” she said. Inexplicably, a bag of family photos she’d abandoned was “untouched, no burns or anything.” That, along with her canine companions, provided some comfort.
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“We lost everything except for each other,” she said. Dise’s cellphone battery had died, so she walked to a neighbor’s house and waited for help to arrive. She heard chainsaws in the distance, the sound of Cal Fire personnel working their way through fallen trees on two-lane Honey Run Road, which leads into the secluded canyon, and was rescued around 7 a.m. Dise’s harrowing story would be unfathomable were it not for the fact that so many other Butte County residents can relate to it. Indeed, tens of thousands of residents fled for their lives last Thursday, as the Camp Fire bore down on the Paradise and Magalia ridge communities, as well as several surrounding hamlets, including Concow and Butte Creek Canyon.
The blaze started the morning of November 8 along Camp Creek Road near the Poe Dam on the Feather River in Pulga, east of Paradise in the Plumas National Forest. The cause is still under investigation, but one of the primary questions is whether an issue with a nearby high-voltage power line is related. Already facing billions in lawsuits for allegedly sparking other California wildfires—including the Tubbs Fire in Napa, Sonoma and Lake counties in October of last year— PG&E reported to the California Public Utilities Commission that an outage occurred just before the first calls of the Camp Fire came in to authorities. It spread quickly in the parched foothills, pushed by low humidity and high winds that blew embers for miles, triggering fires throughout the region, including the outskirts of Chico. As of Tuesday morning, the firestorm had destroyed more than 7,000 structures, displacing upward of 52,000 residents, roughly 22 percent of Butte County’s population of 230,000. By then, it had consumed more than 125,000 acres and was 30 percent contained, according to Cal Fire. State officials have already dubbed it the most destructive wildfire in modern California history. It’s also the deadliest. As of press time, the remains of 42 residents had been recovered, mostly from the Ridge communities. At last count, more than 200 people were listed as missing. During several drive-throughs of the scorched foothill communities on Friday and over the weekend, the only signs of life were law enforcement personnel, including several out-of-area coroners’ units, utility and road workers, media folks and firefighters. Among them on Saturday were Stephen Terry and Michelle Monnot, volunteer firefighters with the El Medio Fire Department in Oroville, who drew water into their tanker from the De Sabla Reservoir above Magalia. Functioning, as Terry said, like a “water buffalo,” they spent the day filling up fire trucks, whose crews were mopping up hot spots. In decades of fighting fires, Monnot said, they’d never seen a blaze ravage an entire town the way the Camp Fire did. Elsewhere around the Ridge, evidence of a chaotic evacuation remained. Amid the gray, post-apocalyptic landscape, particularly in the residential portions of Paradise, streets leading to the few main arteries exiting to the valley
Help the victims of the Camp Fire in Pa r a di s e a n d Bu t t e Cou n t y Thousands of acres and thousands of homes have been destroyed by the Camp Fire in Butte County. It is now the most destructive fire in California’s history. Many lives have been lost, and hundreds are still missing. At the News & Review, we have friends, family and co-workers who have lost their homes in this devastating fire. There are many ways you can help. In Paradise (pictured) and Magalia, days after the fire tore through the region, the scene was otherworldly. In some areas, abandoned cars lined residential streets. Photo by MElissa daughErty
below were strewn with vehicles. A stranger driving a pickup truck They’d been abandoned by occupants finally pulled up and all of them, plus who’d been stopped in gridlock traffic their animals, piled into the bed. and had no choice but to get out and “We’re so lucky, we really are,” try to outrun the fast-moving flames. Betts said. “I gave him the biggest Some of the automobiles were hug in the world. I don’t even know so scorched, their make and model his name.” were unrecognizable. Only shells Betts was echoed by fellow remained, and in some cases trails Paradise evacuee Oscar Albretsen, of melted aluminum oozed on the who has epilepsy and was also withasphalt below. Several were crushed out transportation. by collapsed power polls or trees. Still “I honestly thought I was going to others appeared eerily, inexplicably burn to death,” he told the N&R. unscathed. Rescue came in the form of his James Betts witnessed the neighbors, who made room confusion and panic on in their vehicle for the Ridge firsthand. Albretson and his cat, “It Huddled with Nibbler. was like other evacuees at The scene he Neighborhood described on the Armageddon Church, he described downhill ride to outside.” how quickly the fire Chico is surreal—a moved through his wall of fire on James Betts Paradise neighboreither side of the resident of Paradise hood and how fortunate roadway dotted with he was to make it out. charred deer carcasses, He, along with a friend abandoned cars with pets and several family members, inside, and homes burning or including his grandmother and burned to the ground with only their nephew, were alerted to the fire by chimneys intact. loud explosions. Outside they saw Albretson’s last glimpse of the flames down the street and drivers landscape in no way resembled his backed up on the roadway, honking hometown. and yelling. “It’s beautiful, and a town where None in Betts’ group had a car. people are so good to each other,” “I was screaming at people, Albretsen said. “Now it’s starting begging them, ‘Please stop,’” he to dawn on me: Everybody lost said. “It was like Armageddon everything.” Ω outside. It was nuts.”
sending money is always the Best way to helP in a disaster. The following organizations are accepting donations to assist victims of the Camp Fire:
u n ite d way of n orthe rn C a li f o r n i a Visit norcalunitedway.org/camp-fire to donate, or text “BUTTEFIRE” to 91999. The fund will provide emergency cash to victims and also aid the United Way in its response to the fire.
n orth V al l e y C om m u n ity f o u n da t i o n To donate, go to https://bit.ly/2T1cZT1. The donations will help fund services for victims. If you’d like to donate to help schools impacted by the Camp Fire, visit https://bit.ly/2PYnMPb.
s al V ation a rm y Visit gosalarmy.org.
e n l oe hos Pital f ou n d ation Enloe Hospital Foundation will use donations to help patients, families and caregivers who have lost their homes or have been displaced due to the fire: https://app.mobilecause.com/f/23ds/n or text “CampFireRelief” to 91999.
in d iV id u al C row d fu n d in g C a m Pa i g n s You can find individual crowdfunding campaigns here: https://www.gofundme.com/cause/californiafires. Tri Counties Bank also has a fund to benefit victims that is linked on this page.
the re d C ros s The Red Cross is accepting donations to help people affected by all California wildfires: https://www.redcross.org/donate/donation.html.
airB n B If you have a home that you’re willing to list for evacuees free through Airbnb, go to: https://bit.ly/2z0KH2t.
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Photo by Dylan SvoboDa
Standing with the climate kids Rally outside of federal courthouse anticipates legal fight over the planet by Dylan SvoboDa
Chris Brown campaigned for nuclear nonproliferation in the 1980s, a movement characterized by the use of citizen lawsuits against the U.S. government that successfully forced the closure of nuclear plants in Ohio and Colorado. Now, as a member of the Sacramento Climate Coalition, Brown thinks the courts can facilitate a showdown over another global threat: climate change. “The future of our youth is at stake,” Brown told SN&R. “Any time there’s an opportunity to bring these issues before a judge and challenge the system that basically allows people to screw over other people to make a profit is a good thing. The vast majority of us don’t have any authority in these things unless it’s advocacy, voting or lawsuits.” On October 28, Brown and about two dozen others gathered in front of Sacramento’s federal courthouse building in support of what’s being dubbed as the potential trial of the century. The lawsuit, known as Juliana v. US, first filed in Oregon three years ago by 21 Americans ranging in age from 11-22, aims not for financial compensation, but to establish a safe climate as a civil right and force the federal government into action. Despite efforts by the Trump administration to derail the suit, the U.S. Supreme Court has denied multiple requests to dismiss Juliana, most recently on November 2. With the landmark ruling, the lawsuit can move forward in lower courts. Even if the lawsuit ultimately fails, Jennifer Wood, a member of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s Northern California chapter, sees the plaintiffs’ constitutional challenge as a catalyst for other forms of environmental advocacy. “You can toss all the numbers and scientific arguments you want around, but stuff won’t get done until people feel the emotional weight and moral imperative to act for our children’s
350 Sacramento asked participants to dress in their scariest fossil fuel costumes for the October 28 rally outside the federal courthouse.
futures,” Wood said. “Hopefully this case will push the U.S. into action and stir a further conversation about climate change.” Though the lawsuit originally charged the Obama administration with acting too slow against climate change, the plaintiffs now face a president who has worked to demolish his predecessor’s environmental record. Since taking office in 2017, President Donald Trump has moved to increase fossil fuel use and abandon environmental regulations. The Trump administration has pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord and intends to repeal Obama-era fuel efficiency and emissions standards. Trump’s environmental agenda will result in the death of approximately 80,000 U.S. residents per year, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. The case stands in the shadow of an especially dire climate outlook. In October, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a special report outlining catastrophic risks associated with failing to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the target set by the Paris accord. Carbon dioxide emissions must be eliminated completely by 2050 to hit this narrow target. Rising sea levels, food shortages and mass plant and animal extinction, among other disasters, should be expected if global temperatures were to reach 2 degrees Celsius or higher, according to the report. The Sacramento Valley region is particularly susceptible to climate change-related devastation, according to California’s recently released Climate Change Assessment. Paul Ullrich, a co-author and climate change professor at UC Davis, noted that the region should expect an increase in wildfire frequency, crop stress, heat waves, winter precipitation and major flooding incidents. Ω
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As A cAndidAte, Gov.-elect GAvin newsom lAid out A robust vision for cAliforniA’s future. now he must enAct it.
by L au agu reL ro sen iLe ha car ra, ri car LL, eLi t, b z do en c can abeth hri Lev o sto in a , Ju phe nd r, M Lie FeL icia a MeL tt L caL Mat o / ter s IllustratIon by MarIa ratInova
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fter the victory music had quieted, after the introduction by his wife was done, Gavin Newsom took the stage at a Los Angeles nightclub and began to walk the fine line that fornia will likely define his first year as Cali n for visio his out laid he as governor. Even of renewing California, calling it “a land som New ect,” perf plenty but … far from praised the man he will replace. “For literally my entire life, Gov. Jerry Brown has been blazing his trail. He’s we been a role model for me, and tonight ,” tude grati of debt all owe him a profound the from ause appl loud to Newsom said crowd that included many campaign donors, lobbyists and Democratic legislators. It’s been more than 130 years since t a Democrat followed another Democra nd e—a offic ’s rnor gove ia forn Cali the into the of ging chan with this generational is guard, Newsom will replace one who particularly accomplished and popular. r recent That means he’ll face a tension othe path the w follo both to not: have s governor g livin also e whil carved by his predecessor a for rage “cou an, slog n up to his campaig change.” Newsom first ran for governor in 2010, an effort he abandoned and then relaunched in 2015 with the long, long k. campaign that crescendoed last wee n the give have rs vote ia forn Cali Now that sought has he job 51-year-old Democrat the that over disc to t abou is he for eight years, part. easy the was ing winn
The environmenT: Escaping Brown’s shadow
hen it comes to environmental bona fides, Brown casts a long shadow. What might Newsom do to get out from behind it? “He will definitely try to differentiate himself from Brown,” said Mary Creasman, chief executive officer of the California League of Conservation Voters. “But what I don’t think we will see is a departure from the big pieces—cap and trade, a commitment to 100 percent clean energy, those are consensus issues.” It will fall to Newsom to reach the lofty goals Brown and the Legislature set. Nearly everyone agrees that the easy work is done, and what comes next will be painful and require the full attention of the state’s leader. “The next governor has to be in the ‘how’ business,” Newsom told CALmatters, referring to mandates about electric cars, renewable energy and emissions reductions, among others. “The next governor actually has to deliver on all that. … This is very difficult, very challenging. The good news is I love this stuff. This is in my wheelhouse. It’s a point of passion.” But Brown’s decades-long environmental legacy has not been comprehensive, and has been weighted toward pet projects. Chief among them is the state’s cap-and-trade system of setting emissions limits on major industry and auctioning credits for companies that can’t operate under their pollution caps. Newsom favors maintaining the program, calling it “vital.” (Besides, the Legislature already extended the system to 2030.) Nor is he inclined to dump plans for the state’s multi-billion-dollar plumbing project, a proposed system of tunnels to channel water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta south to connect to the thirsty farms in the Central Valley to the browning lawns in Southern California. Newsom has rejected Brown’s long-sought plan for twin tunnels, optimistically named the California Water Fix, telling CALmatters, “I think if we walk down the path of two tunnels, we’re in litigation and no project.” Instead he has signaled
support for narrowing the project to a single tunnel. Environmental advocates are hopeful that Newsom takes a harder line against California’s powerful oil interests, a heavily polluting industry that critics say got a free ride during Brown’s terms. Brown was unapologetic about accepting campaign contributions from oil and gas groups; Newsom pointedly notes he does not. The governor-elect is on the record opposing fracking, a controversial technique that uses high-pressure injections of water, sand and chemicals to open underground fissures to stimulate production from new and already existing wells. Brown consistently rejected calls to ban the practice. Environmental justice issues are likely to be higher on Newsom’s agenda, advocates say. He’s talked about putting people at the center of all environmental policies, a critical consideration for low-income communities that bear the brunt of poor air and water quality. Although many state resource agencies now include advisory groups representing “fence-line communities”—homes and schools sited near oil refineries and industrial plants—critics say they are window-dressing. While polling consistently demonstrates Californians’ keen interest in environmental protection, Newsom could decide the state is on-course— with myriad laws and regulations firmly in place—and direct the “bold” moves he’s promised at housing or health care. Environmental groups warn that competency shouldn’t breed complacency, and say they’ll be closely watching whom Newsom appoints to head key commissions and agencies. And they expect he’ll deliver on his pledge to lead California’s fierce clashes with the Trump administration, and to continue international leadership on climate change. “We are really talking about a true transformation of our economy, our infrastructure, that’s what is lying ahead for California,” Creasman said. “I don’t think we can understate what getting to those required goals is going to take. Having that drive and ambition on climate change is what’s needed now.” (Julie Cart)
“buT can gavin govern?”
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s the incoming Newsom administration prepares to unveil its legislative priorities, the single-payer health care concept he has touted will generate a lot of talk. But Capitol skeptics say that despite his promises to make it happen, action will be much more difficult— especially given the idea’s federal obstacles and huge costs. Newsom may be more likely to initially pursue a less ambitious strategy: getting more of the uninsured covered under current government programs. Except that is not what he promised the California Nurses Association, the powerful union that then endorsed and enthusiastically campaigned for him. The union says it’s not going to take no for an answer, and plans to insist on meetings with the governor-elect about how to move forward as soon as he takes office. “Given the statements that Newsom made at our convention a year ago, we believe he is fundamentally committed to changing the health care system,” said Stephanie Roberson, director of government relations for the union. “He said that in a room full of nurses. His sentiments were very clear.” Extending health care to all Californians has been, hands down, Newsom’s signature health issue. Newsom, the one-time mayor of San Francisco, pledged to create a statewide universal health care program of the sort he backed when he was leading that city. The Healthy San Francisco program, primarily funded from city coffers, provides basic insurance to residents who lack access to health insurance regardless of legal status. Although it is not a single-payer system, the governor-elect has often cited it to illustrate his commitment to coverage. Newsom has not said how he would pay for a statewide single-payer program, which has been estimated to cost up to $400 billion—roughly triple the entire California state budget, although supporters say much of that would be offset by eliminating consumer costs such as for-profit insurance premiums and deductibles. Newsom contends that a government-run, taxpayerfinanced health care program shouldn’t cost that much. Discussions about a single payer plan in California have fallen short in the past, largely because of costs. Those challenges will likely keep Newsom from pushing for single-payer out of the gate, said Gerald Kominski, senior fellow at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. “He understands the barriers are difficult to overcome,” Kominski said. “I suspect he’ll support ways to reduce the remaining uninsured further.”
Even that could be tough given the federal government no longer mandates everyone have insurance or face a tax penalty. As lieutenant governor, Newsom praised a bill that aimed to set up universal health care, but failed. It would have barred private insurers, and set up a state system funded by taxes and required for all residents. It was a tough sell: Gov. Brown all but said he wouldn’t support it, insurers fought it and the cost projections were the kiss of death. Roberson of the nurses union said a new bill in the works will be a fine-tuned version of that bill. “What it’s going to take is political will, to sit in a room and not emerge until we find a way to reach that goal,” she said. (ElizabEth aguilEra)
Housing and Homelessness: millions more uniTs?
ewsom is a self-described fan of “Big Hairy Audacious Goals,” and they don’t come much bigger, more audacious and presumably more hairy than his plan to solve California’s housing crisis. On the campaign trail, he pledged to lead an effort to build 3.5 million units of new housing by 2025, a construction pace Californians haven’t seen since they started keeping track of that type of thing. He says he can reach that goal—which some have criticized as impractically astronomical—by significantly increasing funds for governmentsubsidized housing and rolling back some regulations that impede new development, especially for housing around public transit. “It’s an enormous number and a necessary number,” said Assemblyman David Chiu, Democrat from San Francisco and head of the Assembly’s housing committee. “Just the fact that he has laid out that goal is exciting.” When pushed, affordable housing advocates and others that work on housing issues admit the 3.5 million goal probably isn’t realistic. Still, most welcome Newsom as a refreshing change of pace from the outgoing governor. Despite a much-celebrated package of housing legislation he helped shepherd to passage last year, Brown was criticized for not prioritizing housing in a state where the median price of a single family home rose to over $500,000 on his watch and ever-rising rents are forcing low-income residents to leave the state en masse. “It’s what you focus on as governor, it’s what you meet with your staff about every day, that’s what important for housing,” said Dan Dunmoyer, president of the California Building Industry Association. “That’s what most people don’t realize, how a governor can influence on housing.” Rumors of a major housing package in Newsom’s first year as governor are already circulating around the Capitol, although no one will say so outright. What would that package contain? Bank on increased funding for subsidized units one way or another,
likely via increased tax credits for affordable housing developers and/or a revamped form of “redevelopment,” a controversial and abuse-fraught program Brown eliminated in 2011. But the other policies Newsom referenced either explicitly or obliquely in his campaign are far hairier politically. If Newsom is indeed able to broker a compromise on rent control, or tweak Proposition 13, or limit local control on housing development decisions, he will have accomplished something that has vexed politicians for decades. Beyond the herculean task of making California affordable again, Newsom confronts a humanitarian crisis that has haunted him since his days as mayor of San Francisco: how to help the estimated 130,000 Californians who are homeless. Fixing the state’s homelessness problem is among the many items that Newsom has, at various times, cited as his top priority, and he has pledged to create a first-ever cabinet-level position exclusively dedicated to solving it. But Newsom’s record on combating homelessness while in San Francisco remains deeply divisive among advocates for the unsheltered. Newsom defends his “Care not Cash” program—which redirected direct cash payments for those experiencing homelessness to permanent supportive housing and bus tickets out of San Francisco to rejoin family—as a successful and innovative strategy that made the city’s homelessness crisis far less severe than it would have been otherwise. Critics have called the program unethical. (Matt Levin)
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n recent years, California has shrunk its state prison population in part by reducing some nonviolent felonies to misdemeanors and making it easier for nonviolent offenders to be released on parole. As the pendulum has swung away from reflexive tough-on-crime legislation, voters have legalized marijuana and lawmakers have passed a plan to end cash bail. Newsom steps into office having championed these changes, and bearing expectations that he will see them through amid pressure to roll them back. “The criminal justice reforms that have begun thus far— all of them are still in the process of being implemented. It takes many years to update local … practices to align with changes in state policy,” said Lenore Anderson, executive director of Californians for Safety and Justice, an advocacy group that has pushed for many of the recent changes. For example, the new law banning money bail calls for each county to set up ways to evaluate people who have been charged with crimes to help determine if they should be held in jail while they await trial. That work could start now—even while the bail industry is trying to overturn the law—so supporters of ending bail will be watching to see how much money Newsom proposes to help counties establish pretrial services. If the bail industry qualifies a referendum for the 2020 ballot, Newsom will likely play political defense to try to protect the precedent-setting law signed by Gov. Brown.
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Anderson worked on criminal justice policy for Newsom when he was San Francisco mayor, and said she expects that as governor he will consider efforts to expand crime reduction programs already in place in some California cities. That could mean more programs to divert homeless people who commit low-level crimes away from jails and into housing and drug-treatment programs, or more “restorative justice” practices that bring criminals and crime victims together with a facilitator to come up with ways for offenders to repair the harm they’ve caused. Newsom’s experience as a mayor “means he’s familiar with what kind of new innovations need to be scaled up,” Anderson said. Furor over police shootings may also shape Newsom’s first year, with legislators likely to consider bills meant to reduce the number of civilians killed by police. It’s an emotional issue on all sides, with civil rights advocates calling for a tougher legal standard to justify use-of-force and police arguing they need maximum legal protection to perform a dangerous job. Legislators shelved a bill this year to raise the legal standard for police use of force, but a new version will likely be back next year. Newsom opposes the death penalty and has said he would pursue another ballot measure asking voters to repeal it. (Voters rejected such measures in 2012 and 2016.) Other death penalty opponents will likely push him to do something more directly as governor. “There are four governors across the United States who have put in place a moratorium on executions,” Natasha Minsker, a director with the American Civil Liberties Union said, citing Oregon, Washington, Pennsylvania and Colorado. “That is the kind of leadership a governor can take on the death penalty that we would certainly be advocating for.” Newsom has vowed to end the use of private prisons, a campaign promise that could complicate Brown’s efforts to reduce crowding in the state corrections system. On drug policy, Newsom has already demonstrated his differences from Brown. The governorelect led the campaign to legalize marijuana, which Brown did not get involved in, and said he is “very open” to a bill Brown vetoed allowing San Francisco to establish a legal clinic where addicts could shoot illegal drugs. (LaureL rosenhaLL)
Affording universAl preschool
ewsom will be the first governor in decades to hold office while raising young children. His experience as a father of four kids ages 2 to 8 has made him “more righteous about public education,” he has said. In speeches and campaign ads, that has translated into a focus on universal preschool, guaranteed prenatal care and more quality, affordable childcare. Newsom also has spoken adamantly about public investment in children younger than age 3 as an antidote to closing the chronic gap in achievement between disadvantaged and wealthier students. “People talk and write a lot about people
being left behind. I think people start behind,” Newsom told CALmatters before the election. “I think the biggest mistake we’ve made is that we’re triaging the problem. We’re not addressing the root cause.” Newsom’s emphasis on early childhood reflects the consensus of California education scholars, and echoes a longstanding priority of legislative leaders. The question is: How will he fund his ambitious goals? Universal preschool and childcare in California would alone cost the state up to $8 billion. It’s unclear how a meaningful agenda of that size could be done without a tax increase. That’s what it took when then-Mayor Newsom successfully pushed a much more modest “Preschool for All” initiative in San Francisco. Like Brown, Newsom has the support of the powerful California Teachers Association, the state’s teachers union. Newsom largely did not engage in the charged debate over charter schools during his campaign, although he’s said that he supports public, nonprofit charter schools and greater transparency measures there as well. (ricardo cano)
HigHer education: cAreer’
dvocates hope Newsom will be the higher education hero who rescues the state’s massive, nationally renowned system from the twin challenges of lean budgets and growing demand. But will he deliver? Newsom says he sees higher education as the culmination of a cradle-to-career journey toward economic opportunity, and his calls for the state to increase funding for the University of California and California State University have fueled speculation that he will loosen the purse strings more than has Gov. Brown, who often admonished the universities to live within their means. “There’s no greater return on investment,” Newsom said during the campaign. He has proposed the state offer two years of community college for free and provide college savings accounts for every kindergartner, an idea he implemented as San Francisco mayor amid a recession. As lieutenant governor, he has been a member of the UC and CSU governing boards, repeatedly voting against tuition and fee hikes—drawing praise from students and concern from some administrators. “He was supportive of higher education in general but he certainly didn’t always do things that [UC President Janet Napolitano] thought should be done,” said Henry Brady, dean of UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy. Now he’ll face pressure to address improving but still anemic graduation rates at CSU, campuses that need retrofitting and a rising cost of living for students—a stubborn issue on which Newsom has not made specific commitments. Newsom told CALmatters the state needed to boost spending on Cal Grants to help cover students’ living expenses, though he didn’t say how much. He’s also championed an unusual approach to the student debt crisis: creating a state bank to offer lowinterest loans. Faculty unions who often considered Brown outof-touch have helped fund Newsom’s campaign. Higher ed think tanks also like Newsom’s promises to take action on such unsexy issues as a statewide database that can track individual students’
progress through all stages of their education, and a coordinating council to streamline planning among the UCs, CSUs and community colleges. Better data would give Californians a better sense of how well efforts to improve college completion rates—such as reforming remedial education at community colleges and CSUs—are actually working, said Hans Johnson, director of higher education research at the Public Policy Institute of California. (FeLicia MeLLo)
the downturn is
he problem with starting at the top is that there’s nowhere to go but down. Newsom will be taking the reins of state government at a time of strong (if unevenly distributed) economic growth and flush state coffers. All that cash will come in handy if he hopes to enact even a fraction of his ambitious policy proposals. Even so, it’s impossible to seriously consider ending child poverty or funding universal pre-school, as Newsom plans to do, “without having a revenue conversation,” said Chris Hoene, the executive director of the California Budget & Policy Center. The brewing 2020 ballot battle over whether to strip commercial landowners of Proposition 13 property tax breaks is the most obvious—and potentially lucrative—opportunity. Newsom has not stated clearly whether he supports such a proposal. But the good times won’t last forever. “Economic growth may be in the process of peaking as the impact of tax cuts fade and rising interest rates start to curb spending,” said Lynn Reaser, who chairs the state treasurer’s Council of Economic Advisers. Even if the economy as a whole holds strong, Washington D.C. is its own source of uncertainty. Significant changes to Medicaid spending—which could reduce federal transfers to Sacramento by tens of billions of dollars, for example—“would feel like a large recession hit to the state budget,” Hoene said. Brown has been warning about coming hard times for years now. He’s been preparing too. By the end of next July, the state is projected to have $13 billion socked away for a rainy day. But most analysts say that cushion will only last a year or two in the face of even a moderate recession. A downturn will hit the state budget, and Newsom’s ambitions, particularly hard. That’s because recessions tend to have a disproportionate impact on investment returns and roughly 30 percent of the state’s discretionary spending comes from the top 1 percent of earners—the investor class. Newsom has spoken broadly, if a little vaguely, about the need to rejigger the state’s tax code to flatten things out. Expanding the sales tax to services, an oil severance free and revising the property tax limits of Prop. 13 are all “on the table,” he has said. However the next governor handles the good times, sooner or later, said Mike Genest, finance director to former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, he will have to confront the “slow moving monster:” the growing costs of retirement benefits owed to publicsector workers. “It’s conceivable that [Newsom will] slide through the whole eight years without it getting to that point,” he said. “But if he does, then the next guy Ω or gal is totally hosed.” (Ben christopher)
Photos courtesy of Joey Garcia
As the U.S. shifts its role in world affairs, an SN&R columnist looks back on improving education in her birth country. y GARCiA by Joe y
Joey Garcia writes the Ask Joey column for SN&R. Check it out on page 40.
fter my parents and I became naturalized United States citizens, they saw little reason to return to Belize. My first trip back was at 27 years old. I had just quit my job as a senior corporate executive and moved from New Jersey back to California to figure out who I was. 18 | SN&R | 11.15.18
I climbed down the staircase from the plane and walked on the runway, engulfed by damp, warm air. In the one-room airport, I handed my passport to an officer. “Welcome home!” he said. In Belize, the stereotypes I encountered in the U.S. didn’t apply. No one assumed I was a Latina from my Hispanic surname. No one expected me to be fluent in Spanish, either. English is the official language, a holdover from its history as a British colony. Belize is also far more Caribbean than Latin, as was my upbringing. My family is multiracial, but primarily black. Like me, Belize belongs to Latin America but doesn’t quite fit in. My aunt and cousins gave me tours of Mayan temples, the family land, rural villages and exquisite white-sand islands off the coast. I had no inkling that seven years later, I’d be doing more than swimming
alongside nurse sharks in the Caribbean Sea. In the last 16 years, I’ve organized free summer schools for more than 1,000 Belizean kids, and launched the first writer’s conference and literary fellowship in the country’s history. This year, I was a finalist for a Global Woman Influencer award for my work. My commitment to the country feels especially significant now as the U.S. pulls away from its role as a mentor, enforcer and investor in politically and economically struggling countries. As Americans, we can lament this sea change, or we can each invest in the homelands our government abandons. It’s hard—as someone who requires copious amounts of solitude, I had to learn to push back against exhaustion and anxiety while managing volunteers and projects. Any developing country, even one that is a cultural or spiritual home, brings intractable challenges: unreliable infrastructure, institutional corruption and underappreciated human capital. It was the human capital—the creative, intelligent Belizean spirit—that I wanted to protect, inspire and uplift.
Without the Rise Up Belize! scholarship, Felice Salam would have had to drop out of high school. He hopes to attend medical school one day.
“If there’s ever anything I can do for you, let me know.” It was 2002, and a Catholic bishop in Belize had just signed a document I needed. Thanking him, I thought he might request books or candy in return. I laughed out loud when he asked for a teacher training program instead. He wasn’t joking. In 2002, many of Belize’s primary school teachers only had high school diplomas. Even those with two-year college degrees struggled with classroom management and lesson plans. We hoped new teaching methods would reverse the country’s abysmal education rates. About 50 percent of eligible school-aged children attend primary school in Belize; only 30 percent finish. Of these, about 25 percent attend high school and only 3 percent continue to university. The problem is also financial—50 percent of Belizean children live in poverty. Belizean schools are promoted as tuition free, but they charge “fees” equivalent to what tuition used to cost—about $200 USD a year for primary school and up to $3,000 USD a year for high school—in addition to books and uniforms. In the U.S., elementary school attendance is enforced, so there are no equivalent dropout statistics, but about 25 percent of high school freshman fail to graduate on time in Belize. In 2003, and with the help of friends, I formed Rise Up Belize! Advancement through Education, a nonprofit that began providing free professional development training programs for primary school teachers. The Ministry of Education certified our programs, empowering Belizean teachers to earn continuing education credits through us. A year later, three Belizean moms tracked me down. “The children need things to do in the summer. Not sports,” one said. They were right.
HONG KONG CONFECTIONS See DISH
All I’d seen were fire-and-brimstone Bible camps, soccer clinics and expensive programs meant for the children of expats. With help, I started a leadership program for teen girls in Sacramento that also benefited children in Belize, so that each donated dollar did double duty. After four months training in the skills of a classroom teacher, the teens traveled with chaperones to Belize
NO MORE STRAWS See OFF MENU
private donors and, later, the Soroptimist International of Metropolitan Sacramento, we began providing them. One young man received a four-year high school scholarship and spent one July teaching in one of our summer schools. He is now a police officer in Belize. Every one of our scholarship recipients has continued into successful careers in law enforcement, education,
NEW WAVE DRAG QUEEN See MUSIC
At the 2017 Brooklyn Book Festival, when I wondered aloud where I might find Belizean authors, a man responded, not unkindly: “Belize? Do they write?” So last April, I launched the first writer’s conference ever held in Belize, bringing two New York literary agents in as faculty for the mix of 20 U.S. and Belizean writers who attended. With generous funding from Anya Fernald, CEO of Belcampo Meat Co. in San Francisco, I was also able to establish the first literary fellowship for a Belizean writer in the history of the country. As I plan for the 2019 Belize Writers’ Conference, I’m looking forward to the day when Belizean writers are included in the international literary canon.
A global woman
to teach rigorous academic summer schools offered free to Belizean children. Through the years, over 100 Sacramento-area teens taught more than 1,000 Belizean children. In 2016, exhausted from investing full-time volunteer hours in Rise Up Belize! while also working a full-time job, I retired the program. Our work helped change the Belizean education system’s reliance on rote learning, and encouraged the adoption of meaningful, hands-on instruction. Students who had attended our summer school programs frequently qualified to skip a grade the next school year. Our teen volunteers were surprised to learn that by sophomore year, they had received a better education than high school graduates in Belize. We helped prove that Belizean children benefit most from teachers with at least a two-year degree. The standard has since been changed. We also identified kids in our summer schools who needed scholarships, but as “C” students were unlikely to receive any. With support from
Joey teaching a class of high school freshman at Bishop Martin High School in Orange Walk Town, Belize.
Last summer, I sat in the decked-out ballroom at the Sheraton Times Square, surrounded by women from everywhere: South Africa, Ghana, the Netherlands, France, the U.K., Albania, Peru, Brussels, Belgium, India, Bali. Many of the finalists for the Global Woman Influencer awards were women who had stepped forward with innovative programs to fill gaps created by governments and institutions that had cut or reduced aid to vulnerable populations around the world. What if each person living in an industrialized country gave their personal time, energy, and financial resources every year to the people in countries most at risk? What if we each cared personally and deeply for those outside our borders? We would then become international citizens, and embody the religious, spiritual, and biological concept of one human family. Politics may continue to try to divide us, but valuing one another will always keep us whole. Ω
As Americans, we can lament this sea change, or we can each invest in the homelands our government abandons.
medicine, or banking. More importantly, they have each paid it forward by subsidizing the education of their younger siblings. Our scholarship program continues, although we do occasionally accept students with high GPAs. While supervising our summer schools in Belize, I discovered that Belizean children could not name one homegrown author or poet. They are not alone. Belize is near twin in size to Wales in the U.K. or Massachusetts in the U.S., but while most Americans could name writers from those locales, they would be hard-pressed to identify a Belizean author or poet.
CAMP FIRE BENEFIT SHOW See CALENDAR
Mystery flavors of comedy A steady chatter rumbled inside Strapping, a specialty boutique in Oak Park’s Triangle District that sells everything from office trinkets to home décor. But the
crowd wasn’t there to buy Ruth Bader Ginsburg coffee mugs. (That was me.) Instead, this lively bunch of 50 sat in rows of chairs, cracked open beers and uncorked bottles of red wine, waiting to be entertained by funny people during the pop-up showcase Don’t Tell Comedy. The night was hosted by comedian Caleb Lush, who’s hosted a few of these shows in the Bay Area. Tonight marked its second showcase in his hometown. Here’s how it works: show info is kept secret until you purchase the $20 ticket online. Then, an email unveils the deets. Where to go. Who’s playing. It’s an intriguing take on the typical stand-up comedy show that’s usually hosted at expensive nightclubs with two-drink minimums. Don’t Tell Comedy is held at new and unusual venues each time, and it’s BYOB. Was it worth the surprise? Lush warmed up the crowd between comics with material that touched on weed legalization, blowjobs and his grandfather, who was Holocaust survivor. I suck at retelling jokes, but know it was lighthearted and the room erupted in laughter. The night’s lineup included comedians I’d never seen before. Tony Zavala, out of San Francisco, opened his set with material on the #MeToo movement that playfully called out rappers like Nelly for their overtly sexist lyrics. He also talked about growing up with his mother, who is proudly gay, the Bible’s inconsistencies and Betty White. Next, Shahera Hyatt, who adorned a black and white sweatshirt that said “Weed Mom,” kept the night lively with her topical set that worked in themes of bisexuality,
feminism, a little Trump and bits on how Oak Park is getting “gentrified hard right now.” She also had this MichelleWolfe-esque cadence that I enjoyed. Becky Lynn from Chico had me rollin’. Her bit about sleeping with white men while trying to teach them rhythm in the bedroom—killed—even the visible white men in the room seemed to nod in agreement with her. But headliner Kiry Shabazz stepped to the mic and topped everyone off with the best nightcap: full-bodied laughs. Shabazz is definitely a familiar face. Besides his appearance on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, he also won last year’s StandUp NBC comedy competition. “Following your dreams will leave you homeless at a Greyhound bus station for a long time,” he told the crowd. A Los Angeles transplant, Shabazz asked the audience simple questions that cleverly led into another hilarious story. His jokes about working at Taco Bell, in particular, had the audience belly-up, first on how the fast-food chain’s recipes are forever ingrained in his memory. Then, if he ever had to save the planet in an Armaggedon-type situation, what his ultimate Taco Bell crew would be: “Maria, a lady on her second pregnancy at the register,” followed by, “Philip, he’s 54, white, on meth and is the store manager.” I left happy, buzzed and craving T-Bell. For more info on upcoming comedy shows visit donttellcomedy.com.
Find out more about the 2019 Belize Writers’ Conference at joeygarcia.com/events.
—Steph RodRiguez ste p h r @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m
illuStrationS By analie foland
Burger Queen empreSS burGer, empreSS tavern
Lovely presentations and a variety of textures are on the menu at SweetHoney Dessert. Take a gander at the Mango Pomelo Sago and Grass Jelly in Sweet Soup.
The sweet spot SweetHoney Dessert 6825 Stockton Boulevard, Suite 240 Good for: authentic hong Kong-style desserts Notable dishes: Mango Pancake, Mango Pomelo Sago and Grass
Jelly in Sweet Soup
Hong Kong sweets, South Sacramento
My Australian cousins thought I was crazy when I brought a can of pumpkin with me during a Christmas visit. I wanted a traditional pumpkin pie. This struck them as odd because they only use pumpkin in savory dishes, not sweet. It’s the same perception I tend to have toward Asian desserts with their use of beans in sweets. As Americans, we’re used to tasting beans in savory dishes, while in Asia you find red bean fillings in moon cakes, pastries and mochi. That said, I prefer Asian desserts because they’re less sweet, and I’m thrilled with the influx of Asian dessert spots in Sacramento, mostly found in Little Saigon. The latest addition is SweetHoney Dessert on Stockton Boulevard. With over 600 locations in China, Southeast Asia and Australia, the company opened franchises in the United States starting in 2015. Closer to home, is its South Sac location and another in Davis. The restaurants are small and often found at full capacity on weekends and evenings. Prices are reasonable ($4.50 to $13.95), so don’t be afraid to try a selection of desserts. A favorite on our first visit was the Mango Pancake ($6.45), but don’t think flat and round. What arrived was likened to a cold Twinkie: large chunks of fresh mango that were juicy and at peak ripeness topped with a marshmallow-y vanilla cream and wrapped in a thin pancake. The soup desserts at SweetHoney are served either hot or cold like the Stewed Hashima Jelly Soup with coconut 20 | SN&R | 11.15.18
Photo By Catherine enfield
Burgers may be an American staple, but you know a good burger when you have one. During happy hour at Empress Tavern (Monday through Friday, 3 p.m.-6 p.m.), you can get your hands on the Empress Burger ($6). The chefs say they wanted to elevate the diner-style burger, and they weren’t kidding. Two thin-cut patties made from half beef brisket and half chuck steak, topped with thin-sliced mortadella, sharp cheddar cheese, an onion relish with hints of sweetness, shredded lettuce, and special sauce; a housemade amalgam of mayonnaise, ketchup, diced pickles and liquid smoke. This tasty mouthful is all sandwiched between two fluffy, glazed buns. What’s not to love? 1013 K Street, empresstavern.com. —Jeremy WinSlOW
Spiced so nice Oaxacan Spice HOt cHOcOlate, GinGer elizabetH
by CatHerine enfielD
milk, lotus seeds and snow fungus ($9.95). We enjoyed a warm coconut milk soup filled with ingredients that each had a distinct texture. The lotus seeds provided a nutty crunch that contrasted nicely with the gelatinous hashima and the chewy snow fungus. In Chinese culture, dishes often include ingredients that tout a variety of health benefits. Unclear as to what all the ingredients were, we asked about the snow fungus and learned it was indeed a tree fungus used to treat dry coughs and increase bodily fluids. The Walnut & Sesame Soup ($5.75) presented a new textural experience. Our server described how the nuts and seeds are pulverized, liquified and cooked. The soup arrived attractively plated in a signature square bowl with each soup perfectly poured diagonally. It was memorable not only for the appearance, but also texture. Imagine eating hot, really thinned out peanut butter and you’ll get the idea of this unusual mouthfeel. But it also left an unpleasant coating on our palates. Tamer dishes are still plentiful at SweetHoney. On a second visit, the Snow Frost with mango and grass jellies ($5.95) showcased vanilla-shaved snow that was light and refreshing with an assortment of different toppings like fruit, beans and jellies. We also enjoyed the Mango Pomelo Sago and Green Jelly in Sweet Soup ($6.50), but were disappointed in the ratio of tofu pudding to mango soup. We felt the silky-smooth pudding should’ve been the highlight of the dessert versus the abundance of cold mango soup it floated in. Don’t let the oddity of some of the above mentioned items deter you. A visit to SweetHoney is a simple stop for tame and recognizable desserts or an adventure in strange ingredients and health benefits. Ω
It’s finally jacket weather, so I celebrated the change of season with a rousing chocolate drink from Ginger Elizabeth. Normally, a loyal patron of its delightfully bitter and smooth European sipping chocolate, on a whim I ordered the Oaxacan Spice Hot Chocolate (8 ounces, $4.50) topped with fresh whipped cream. At first sip, the cinnamon and vanilla bean aromatics awakened my senses. Subsequent sips revealed hints of chiles and ginger delicately elevating the 53 percent Valrhona chocolate and organic milk into a refined, worldly flavor both ambrosial and nostalgic. It took a whole cup before I realized what this delicious drink reminded me of: the prized center of a delectable, spice-laden cinnamon roll. 1801 L Street, Suite 60, gingerelizabeth.com. —amy bee
THe V WorD
Fall into vegan ice cream It’s mid-November, but the weather isn’t done being in the 70-degree-Fahrenheit range, which means ice cream season isn’t over yet. And how timely, because Archer Farms, Target’s house brand, recently introduced a nondairy line of almond-milk-based ice cream. There are seven flavors—cashew caramel, mocha almond fudge, peanut butter and chocolate, strawberry and fudge, caramel brownie, vanilla bean, and vanilla cake and cookie dough. While the ingredients are vegan-friendly, the ice cream has a maycontain-milk-and-eggs disclaimer on its label: It’s made on shared equipment that processes those animal products, according to their corporate office. But the certified vegan stamp does exist in the Target frozen-dessert aisle on Ben & Jerry’s almond-milk ice cream (P.B. & Cookies, Chunky Monkey, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, among others) and So Delicious cashew and coconut milk pints and ice cream bars (cookies and cream, mint chip, et al.), so there’s no need to sweat it, in November or whenever. —SHOka
IllustratIon by Mark stIvers
Eat. Drink. Be Merry. Repeat.
Cali goes strawless plastic waste winds up in a landfill, while just 9 percent is actually recycled. “No one is saying that plastic is not useful in our society,” Rusch says. “But we need to think about throwing these things out that will last in our environment for thousands of years.” Many local restaurateurs have already made the switch from plastic to paper. Patrick Mulvaney, owner and chef of Mulvaney’s B&L in Midtown, says they began to change over to paper straws and bamboo toothpicks more than a year ago, and even flirted with the idea of pastastick stirrers. “It’s a challenge,” Mulvaney says. “It’s just a matter of figuring out how to do it.” He adds that some customers have already started bringing in their own reusable straws, but even if someone wanted a plastic straw at Mulvaney’s, it wouldn’t be available—it’s paper or nothing. That’s part of the bigger problem, says Pat McConahay, communications director for Disability Rights
California. The language in the new law says sit-down patrons can ask for a plastic straw, but it doesn’t require restaurants to have a stash available on request. “Blanket laws can sometimes have an unintended negative effect and people might not realize it’s not just a convenience,” McConahay says. “It’s a necessity.” If someone is paraplegic or quadriplegic, and doesn’t have use of their arms, a straw may be the only way to drink. If you have cerebral palsy or suffered a stroke, it may not be an option to simply raise a glass to your lips. So what’s the problem with alternative materials? Paper turns to mush and metal conducts heat. Plastic, McConahay says, is really the only viable option for the greatest number of people. And, she adds, if local restaurants can’t provide access to their services, plastic straws might be more than just a sticking point between the two communities, it could become a civil rights issue under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Ω
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by Robin EplEy
Every day in the United States, people throw away more than 175 million plastic straws. To combat the waste, Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1884 in September, making California the first state to go strawless on January 1. But what seems like a minor change for a majority of people could have lasting implications—not just on California’s environment, but also for the state’s disabled community. The new law “prohibits dine-in restaurants from automatically providing plastic straws.” It doesn’t affect to-go orders at fast food restaurants or take-away drinks at coffee shops, and violations can cost up to $25 per day. Emily Rusch, executive director of the California Public Interest Research Group (CalPIRG) says straws are just one example of single-use plastic waste that can be eliminated. “This is one of many steps that California can take to look at singleuse plastics, and identify where we can eliminate their use,” Rusch says. According to a 2017 report in Science Advances, 79 percent of
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The Elephant Man
What if The King were a Queen? by Jim Carnes
Photo courtesy of B street theatre
With two star leads and a strong supporting cast, this Chautauqua Playhouse production is theatrical perfection. Mark Kirshnir transforms before our very eyes into the horribly disfigured “Elephant Man” and makes us totally believe in his innate goodness despite all his challenges. Fri 8pm, Sat
dating, the dynamics of relationships and the treatment of women as sex objects, among other issues. Maybe he attempts too much. The five-person cast is as earnest as the script, with Nick McCollum most convincing as the sexist Brendan and Brenden Garcia most likable as the socially awkward Adam. Thu 8pm, Fri 8pm,
gather after shifts to drink and trade rumors of picket lines, layoffs and factory closures. A timely, thought-provoking and unsettling peek into lives and communities that seem forever floundering for a future. Completely captivating cast, handsome set and era-set production elements. Wed 7pm, Thu
house, 5325 Engle Road in Carmichael, (916) 489-7529; cplayhouse.org. J.C.
at the Ooley Theatre, 2007 28th St.; (916) 214-6255; emhpros.weebly.com. J.C.
2215 J St., (916) 995-5465; capstage.org. P.R.
8pm, Sun 2pm. Through 11/18; $19-$21; Chautauqua Play-
Aditya Putcha’s first full-length theater piece is an earnest attempt to explore the world of
Sat 8pm. Through 11/17; $17-$20; EMH Productions
This 2017 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama is set in a neighborhood bar where line workers
7pm, Fri 8pm, Sat 2pm & 8pm, Sun 2pm. Through 11/18; $28-$40; Capital Stage,
short reviews by Jim carnes and Patti roberts. see the “on stage” section of the calendar on page 28 for more live performances.
5 suBLIMe– DoN’t MIss
Photo courtesy of the harrIs ceNter
an elvis impersonator goes on to do great things, including becoming a drag queen.
The Legend of Georgia McBride
thu 8pm, fri 8pm, sat 5pm & 9pm, sun 2pm, tue 6:30pm, Wed 2pm & 6:30pm. through 12/9; $28-$47; B street theatre Mainstage, 2700 capitol avenue; (916) 443-5300; bstreettheatre.org.
An Elvis impersonator at a dinky, small-town Florida bar learns he’s been fired when a couple of drag queens show up and start planning to redecorate his dressing room. So much for being The King. Will life as a bartender be enough for a man with performance in his soul? Will he be able to stave off the landlord, keep the utilities turned on and pay for his beloved Domino’s pizza? And now what? On the day he loses his job, he learns his wife is pregnant. Playwright Matthew Lopez has created a sweet and sweetly humorous tale of personal discovery and self-expression. Its moral—don’t let others define you—comes amidst laughter and a lot of music. Many of the laughs are gentle rather than guffaw-ish, but they are abundant despite the sentimental and predictable plot. Jon Kovach is charmingly believable as Casey, the straight country-boy Elvis impersonator who becomes Georgia McBride, and Cameron Folmar makes a strong mother hen presence as Miss Tracy Mills. Frequently stealing the show, even when not in the scene, and despite the stereotypical “falling-down-drunk” persona, is Kevin Kantor as Rexy (full name Anorexia Nervosa). Danielle Mone-Truitt as Casey’s wife Jo and Dave Pierini as club owner Eddie complete the cast. Ω 22
5 Grits and sisterhood Sacramento Theatre Company’s production of Steel Magnolias is like comfort food with topnotch ingredients. This 1980s play by Robert Harling is a sweet, sentimental story of Southern women who gather and gossip in a small-town Louisiana beauty shop. But it’s the talented cast members in this STC show that really elevate this production—a lineup of top-notch local Drama Divas that includes Janis Stevens, Jamie Jones, Janet Motenko, Natasha Hause, Carissa Meagher and Kayla K. Johnston. The cast delivers both impressive individual performances as well as a synchronized sisterhood bond that’s a treat to witness, all choreographed by director Casey McClellan. The characters, defined as “delicate as magnolias but as tough as steel,” include beauty shop owner Truvy, her new apprentice Annelle and a bevy of beauty shop regulars who bring with them their individual and neighborhood dramas, traumas and group support. Each character’s story is slowly leaked out to provide the audience both laughter and tears. The staging is in STC’s smaller venue, Pollock Stage, a wise choice since it’s the same size as small beauty salons and provides an intimacy that’s needed. There’s nothing groundbreaking in Steel Magnolias, rather it’s the simple stories of women who have found friendship and family in each other. —Patti RobeRts
steel Magnolias: thu 7pm, fri 8pm, sat 8pm & 2pm, sun 2pm & 7pm, Wed 7pm. through 12/9; $15-$38; sacramento theatre company, Pollock stage, 1419 h street; (916) 443-6722; sactheatre.org.
it’s like watching the TV movie, but a little uncannier.
From stop-motion to stage Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical is coming to Folsom on a national tour this Monday, and as you can see from the photo (above), it’s visually very true to the classic Christmas TV special. There’s some other differences—it’s a more fleshed-out musical, with added songs, and that pads the runtime from 47 minutes of animation to 100 minutes of fun. If you’re tired of rewatching the holiday staple on your set at home, come get the full effect, complete with a 12-foot-tall Abominable Snow Monster. Mon 7pm, Tues 2pm & 7pm, Wed 2pm & 7pm, Fri 11am, 3pm & 7pm. Through 11/23; $28-$62; Harris Center, 10 College Parkway in Folsom; (916) 608-6888; harriscenter.net.
Widows Viola Davis (center) enlists the help of michelle Rodriguez (left) and elizabeth Debicki (right) to figure out how to get away with money.
The psychologically troubled computer hacker Lisbeth Salander gets renovated into a superhero-cum-female-James-Bond, played by the chameleonic Claire Foy, in a story that has Salander working for an American computer programmer (Stephen Merchant) who wants to steal back a powerful nuclearweapons program he created for America’s National Security Agency. Written by Steven Knight, Jay Basu and director Fede Alvarez, loosely based on David Lagercrantz’s continuation of the late Stieg Larsson’s franchise, the plot is as murky as Pedro Luque’s dim-lit cinematography. It has something to do with a society of super-gangsters led by Salander’s twisted sister (Sylvia Hoeks), but Alvarez doesn’t let us linger to make sense of it all; he keeps the action set-pieces coming, and if we’re never fully engaged, at least we’re never bored. J.L.
Director Steve McQueen’s Widows is like Ocean’s 8 for grownups. It sets us up to expect a standard—albeit stylish—heist melodrama. And it delivers that right enough, along with more than we bargained for. We meet the title characters in the last moments of their marriages, unwitting widows in the making. We see Harry Rawlings (Liam Neeson) and his wife Veronica (Viola Davis) hungrily clasping each other in bed in the morning. Then Harry’s in the shower, getting ready to head out to work. Next are Alice and Florek (Elizabeth Debicki, Jon Bernthal), Linda and Carlos (Michelle Rodriguez, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo). We watch as the men leave their wives—in Alice’s case, with a black eye—to join Harry on the job. “The job” is a robbery, masterminded by Harry. And it goes wrong. After a violent pursuit, they are cornered by the Chicago police. There’s a shootout, an explosion and fire, and all three men are burned beyond recognition, their huge haul of cash reduced to ashes. Veronica is still grieving when she gets a visit from Jamal Manning (Brian Tyree Henry), a rising politician and gang lord who is, as one character will later say, “somebody you don’t wanna fuck with.” Manning is running for city alderman, and Harry stole his campaign treasury. Two million dollars, up in smoke. Now Manning wants his money back. He’ll give Veronica a month. With an ingenuity born of desperation, Veronica turns to the only thing Harry left her—a notebook detailing plans for a robbery he never got around to committing. It should be good for five million, enough to pay off Manning and his psycho brother Jatemme
by Jim Lane
(Daniel Kaluuya, in a blood-curdling performance) with a good sum left over. But she can’t do it alone. That’s why she turns to her fellow widows Alice and Linda, whom she’s never met. Intertwined in this story is Manning’s political campaign, and his opponent Jack Mulligan (Colin Farrell), the incumbent alderman whose seat has been in his family for 60 years, handed down to Jack by his bigoted, foul-mouthed father Tom (Robert Duvall). This is Chicago, after all, and we shouldn’t blink at crime and politics being intertwined. It all comes together in Widows, in a story so quintessentially American that it’s startling to learn that the script was adapted by McQueen and Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) from a 1980s British TV miniseries (McQueen was reportedly a big fan as a teenager in London). Davis’ powerhouse presence is complemented by her partners in crime. Rodriguez adds a layer of wounded vulnerability to the tough-chick persona she brings from the Fast and Furious franchise, and the tall, willowy Debicki offers a starmaking turn as Alice, sliding into an “escort” lifestyle at the urging of her venal, dimwitted mother (Jacki Weaver). Rounding out the partnership is Cynthia Erivo as Belle, the group’s getaway driver. Widows has the stylish fun of a good heist picture, but thickened and enhanced by a real-world desperation with which McQueen and Flynn lend urgency to the women’s plight. They’re not in this for fun like Danny or Debbie Ocean; for them it’s life-and-death, and they really need the money. Ω
1 2 3 4 5 Poor
The Girl in the Spider’s Web
The Happy Prince
You know the story, of course. This time, in the hands of writers Michael LeSieur and Tommy Swerdlow and directors Yarrow Cheney and Scott Mosier, the smoothly animated result isn’t as dreadful as the Jim Carrey live-action version, but it’s almost as wrong-headed. The simple pleasure of Dr. Seuss’ original, stretched to feature length, gets pulled out of shape, digressing from the Grinch (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) stealing Christmas into the playtime adventures of Cindy Lou Who (Cameron Seely) and her pals, elbowing the big green guy into a supporting role. The 1966 TV cartoon remains peerless, and this remake, like the Carrey version, remains superfluous. It doesn’t have director Chuck Jones or narrator Boris Karloff—and truth to tell, it doesn’t have all that much of Dr. Seuss either. J.L.
Writer-director Rupert Everett chronicles the last years of Oscar Wilde, after his prison term for “gross indecency” (i.e., being homosexual) made him a social pariah, living in Parisian squalor a world away from his days as the darling of London’s artsy set. Just to round things out, Everett also plays Wilde himself. The movie is impeccably mounted, and yet it still seems to be missing something. Everett the writer sometimes overplays things, while Everett the director lurches from one martyrdom to the next in a sort of pity-party promenade. But Everett the actor, in a role he was born to play (and has, on stage), never makes a false move. His disgraced and dying Wilde is like a great bear, weakened by dissipation and wounded by cruel abuse, yet somehow summoning a ruined dignity almost to the very end. J.L.
A suburban couple (Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne) volunteer as foster parents, then find themselves in over their heads when they take on a troubled teenager (Isabela Moner) and her younger siblings (Gustavo Quiroz, Julianna Gamiz). Director Sean Anders, who co-wrote with John Morris, reportedly based his script on his own experience, but it’s filtered through the schlocky style of his (and Morris’) past movies, things like Daddy’s Home 2 and That’s My Boy. The movie has amusing moments, but they feel prepackaged with everything but a sitcom laugh track. When Anders isn’t extracting laughs like a dentist pulling teeth, he’s pushing our emotional buttons or congratulating his characters (and presumably himself) for being so heroic. Octavia Spencer and Tig Notaro add some nice moments as foster agency reps. J.L.
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
At a lavish Christmas party, young Clara (Mackenzie Foy) enters a magical land created by her late mother, joining forces with
by DanieL BaRneS & Jim Lane
a human nutcracker (Jayden Fowora-Knight, remarkably dull) to resolve a war among its realms. This gaudy, vulgar kitsch sat on the shelf for a year while Disney tried to salvage first-timer Ashleigh Powell’s incoherent story. Either desperate rewrites by Tom McCarthy (without credit) and reshoots with director Joe Johnston taking over from (and sharing credit with) Lasse Hallström didn’t help—or the movie must have been really awful before. Now it’s a grab bag of remnants from far better books and movies, from The Wizard of Oz to Chronicles of Narnia. Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, Keira Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen and other worthies are trapped in the goo. Impressive visuals, though. J.L.
Julius Avery directs this high-energy, low-imagination genre mashup, a combination of Inglourious Basterds and Planet Terror that is not nearly as fun as that description might imply. On the eve of D-Day, an American plane carrying a platoon of movie soldier stereotypes gets shot down over occupied France, with the few surviving men finding shelter in a nearby, Nazi-controlled village. The soldiers quickly discover that a Nazi scientist is performing disturbing experiments on the French villagers, all to create a soulless army of the undead for Hitler. While Americans Boyce (Jovan Adepo) and Ford (Wyatt Russell) dodge zombies and attempt to carry out their mission, Nazi officer Wafner (Pilou Asbæk) stalks peasant girl Chloe (Mathilde Ollivier) and her little brother. Working from a perfunctory script by Billy Ray and Mark L. Smith, Avery proves adept at crafting loud, high-energy action sequences, but less skilled with nuances like pacing and tone. D.B.
Christopher Caldwell and Zeek Earl wrote and directed this intriguing but emotionally estranged bit of lo-fi sci-fi, an expansion of their 2014 short film of the same name. Sophie Thatcher stars as Cee, a resourceful teenager living outside of civilization with her father Damon (Jay Duplass), an outer space prospector in a hazily defined, largely analog alternate universe. As the first act slowly unfolds, it seems like we might be watching Leave No Trace in space, but everything changes when Cee and Damon discover an enormous deposit of valuable gems on the surface of a toxic planet. Suddenly, Cee is forced to team up with interplanetary bandit Ezra (Pedro Pascal) to avoid a gun-toting team of mercenary miners and get off the planet alive. A high-concept film that doesn’t explain itself to death is refreshing, but the margins of Prospect are far more interesting than the central story and characters. D.B.
It was only when faced with the prospect of an impending remake that I finally worked up the nerve to watch Dario Argento’s 1977 horror classic Suspiria, but I’m happy to report that the film is a complete blast, all over-the-top style, deranged energy and fever dream logic, with gonzo fairytale visuals and a rightfully iconic original score. Unfortunately, watching Argento’s lean and hyper-potent gothic vision in such proximity to Luca Guadagnino’s plodding parade float of a remake does the latter film no favors, as there is not a single way in which the newer film compares favorably to its predecessor. Of course, Guadagnino’s flavorless film is less a straight remake than a dreaded “homage,” with subtext becoming text, the unspoken getting spoken and tantalizing assumptions transforming into leaden story points. It’s like listening to an endless lecture on Suspiria delivered by someone with a tenuous grasp of the subject. D.B.
24 | SN&R | 11.15.18
Midtown Radio is here!
Queen of dreams Yayah blends new wave darkness with drag by Rachel Mayfield
Check us out www.thegridfm.com
Photo courtesy of chris Bogard
my boyfriend, and I found drag and I came out of the closet to my family, and all that self-discovery really is in the album as well.” Yayah recently released two singles: “Cruel World” and “Dancing,” both lyrically introspective synth-wave bops reminiscent of Depeche Mode and New Order. When she first started drag, she harbored doubts about merging it with her music, until she received some sage advice. “I have a friend named Emily This may be her first album as yayah, but it’s not her [Kavanaugh] in a band called first rodeo. Night Club in L.A., and she told me a while ago: Just be stupid. And if they don’t like it … still be stupid. And she told me: Just be fearless and do music in drag or whatever.” Sweat-drenched and spilling out of a tent on Capitol Once she got her bearings as Yayah, she felt ready Mall, the crowd is lulled into submission by moody to introduce her own music. She first performed Americana and a lip-synching drag queen onstage. “Cruel World” at this year’s Rainbow Festival in Sac, Channeling Lana Del Rey’s tune “Ride,” she’s got a and has received overwhelming support from the drag war on her mind, so what does she do? She just rides. community. The beat switches gears. She strips her black “It took a while for Yayah the drag queen and overcoat to reveal a zebra-striped leotard and mouths: Yayah the musician to find each other,” she says, “Let’s ride!”—the first words to Charli XCX’s “but I think it’s there now.” mechanical turbo-pop hit “Vroom Vroom.” Looking ahead, Yayah has more She cranks an invisible steering wheel. ambitious aspirations. Identifying “It The crowd loses it. Suddenly, the music venues and drag venues as mix transitions into vehicle-themed took a while separate worlds, she hopes to Vines. close the gap. for Yayah the drag It’s the true American dream. “I would love for there to queen and Yayah the Pop music, internet culture, cars. be a way where I can tour We Stan a queen who can drive musician to find each music venues in drag,” she home a concept. The queen in says. “And then somehow other, but I think it’s question? Yayah. have other drag artists be a there now.” Drawing upon what she calls part of that. Or queer artists. I a “cesspool” of influences, the think it would be super cool to Yayah Sacramento artist is grunge, camp, do a tour in music venues, with artist avant-garde and mostly plain fun. Drag maybe even a band.” isn’t her only passion; music came first. She’ll continue performing until then. Her new album Dreamland—the first under her Most importantly, she’ll continue dancing, for drag persona—releases Friday, and it’s a little more others and for herself. It’s something she often does intimate than her “ridemix.mp3.” in front of a mirror in the privacy of her own room, to Having pursued music for nine years and drag channel her creativity. for two, Yayah has a pretty good grasp on who she “That’s a really specific theme in the album, lookis as a performer. But the road to Dreamland wasn’t ing at my reflection in the mirror as I’m dancing,” easy. Upon graduating high school and moving to she says. “I say that on ‘Cruel World’ and I talk about San Francisco, she went through a dark, distressing that in ‘Dancing,’ just being in a room by yourself, period. It’s part of a journey that’s mirrored in her and that’s your freedom.” Ω album. “I was really upset and depressed, and San Francisco already has that kind of vibe,” she says. see yahyah perform live 9 p.m. on sunday, November 25 at Mango’s. “A lot of what’s in the album happened when I was admission is 18 and over. call for cover. 1930 K street. there. Then, I came back [to Sacramento], and I met
Always wanted a local radio station to air your band’s music? Need to know what’s happening at your favorite midtown location? Tired of the same old hype? Well now you have “The Grid FM” 87.7 FM and streaming on the web!
for the week of november 15
By maxfield morris
PosT eVenTs onLine FoR FRee aT newsreview.com/sacramento
MusiC THursDay, 11/15 eMiLY kinneY: Do you prefer your music acts to have starred in the hit AMC drama, Breaking Bad? Well, this just isn’t your week, because Kinney starred as Beth Green in the hit AMC drama, The Walking Dead. This music is a pop fondue, and Paul McDonald joins. 7:30pm, $20-$80. Goldfield Trading Post, 1630 J St.
snr c a le nd a r @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m
Online listings will be considered for print. Print listings are edited for space and accuracy. Deadline for print listings is 5 p.m. Wednesday. Deadline for Nightlife listings is midnight sunday. send photos and reference materials to calendar editor Maxfield Morris at email@example.com.
brings a trio of musicians on the road to Harlow’s, a local music venue founded in 1982. 8pm, $25-$30. Harlow’s, 2708 J St.
TuesDay, 11/20 FLoRisT: Brooklyn band that shares their name with the floral profession comes to California capital city; local calendar editor recommends the show and has a Florist song on Spotify. 2pm, $10-$13. Sol Collective, 2574 21st St.
sTeVen LeHninG VioLa Da GaMBa: Lehning
Davis/Yolo Fire Relief Benefit Sudwerk Brewing Company, 1pm, donation of a gift Card The fires that swept through Butte County left a path of otherworldly destruction, leaving countless people Take acTion without homes. Bring a gift card from a Northern California grocery store or retailer for entrance to this benefit show that directly helps those affected by the fires. When terrible things happen to people, it’s important to be
TickeT WinDoW bHaD bHabie Will you cash her
inside Harlow’s? Bhabie, one of the many celebrity icons made famous on Dr. Phil, is ready to rap. 12/2, 7:30pm, $20, on sale now. Harlow’s, ticketfly.com.
sHaWN WayaNs The actor-
comedian is coming through Sacramento for a series of stand-up shows.
12/7-12/8, various times, $25-$40, on sale now. Punch Line Sacramento, concerts1.livenation.com.
THe NuTCraCker It’s nut cracking time. Need I say more?. 12/14-12/23,
various times, $30-$90, on sale now.
Community Center Theatre, sacballet. org/nutcracker.
TraVis sCOTT The Texas rapper
is bringing Trippie Redd, Gunna and Sheck Wes for the Astroworld: Wish You
thankful for your lot in life, but also to help community members get back on their feet. Come out and join Mike Blanchard & The Californios, Mumbo Gumbo and more in extending a caring hand to the people affected by the disaster. A portion of the food and drink sales also benefit victims. 2001 Second Street in Davis, nvcf.org/fund/ camp-fire-evacuation-relief-fund.
bOsTON brass This is the only kind
of ‘metal’ music that I like—the kind that comes from brass instruments! 12/16, 2pm, $12.50-$90, on sale now. now Mondavi Center, tickets.mondaviarts.org.
beNeFiT rOCk sHOW FOr Jerry Perryy
performing with Rappin’ 4-Tay, DJ Eddie Z, 95 Mil, Mike Strange and R3DMUSIC. 12/31, 7pm, $29.50-$100, on sale now. Ace of Spades, eventbrite.com.
THe eNglisH beaT If you
missed them last run through Sac, you get another chance! And another, probably probably. 1/11,
hip-hop artist will be
7pm, $20, on sale 11/16. 11/16
Ace of Spades, eventbrite.com.
kiss Gene Simmons
Kai Kln, Little Guilt Shrine, 99 Tales, Nothing but a Nightmare, The Trouble Makers and many more come together to support the local music promoter. 12/22, 3pm, $25, on sale now. Harlow’s, ticketfly.com.
TOO sHOrT The pioneering
WoMen anD aLLies MUsic niGHT: The Library is open for music business. Women are invited to take part in an evening of music in a space for building up musicians in a supportive space. 7pm, no cover. Library of MusicLandria, 2181 6th Ave.
FriDay, 11/16 Like MoTHs To FLaMes: The very dramatic Ohioan metalcore band Like Moths To Flames plays with Oceans Ate Alaska, Phinehas, Novelists and Desolist. 6pm, $15. The Boardwalk, 9426 Greenback Lane in Orangevale.
saTurDay, 11/17 THe inTeRRUPTeRs: Want a ska band that lets you finish a sente—The Interrupters are coming to Ace of Spades with other acts Bedouin Soundclash and The Bar Stool Preachers. 7pm, $20-$22. Ace Of Spades, 1417 R St.
sacRaMenTo PHiLHaRMonic: Otello, Madame Butterfly, Romeo & Juliet—these operatic classics and more. If you love love duets, this is your jar of peaches! 8pm, $18$42. Community Center Theater, 1301 L St.
suNDay, 11/18 THe HeLio seQUence: Like all true indie rock groups, The Helio Sequence is originally from a coastal state’s sixth-largest city. 7pm, $15-$18. Harlow’s, 2708 J St.
JUsTin TiMBeRLake: Check out the very funny
buy low, sell high—capitalism, i guess.
Were Here tour. 12/15, 7:30pm, $29.95$89.95, on sale now. Golden 1 Center, ticketmaster.com.
PHOTO by Melissa DaugHerTy/MereDiTH COOPer
This weekend, help the people displaced by Butte County fires.
brings the sounds of Marin Marais to the famous leg-held string instrument, and Phebe Craig joins on harpsichord. 12:05pm, no cover. UC Davis, 1 Shields Ave. in Davis.
et al. have been getting into those elaborate get-ups for more than 40 years. See them in concert, live, next year year.
Wipe off the blood, Gene.
2/9, 7:30pm, $29.50-$250, on sale now now. Golden 1 Center, ticketmaster.com.
and informative Timberlake highlight on page 28. 7:30pm, $47-$238. Golden 1 Center, 500 David J. Stern Walk.
LoVe, JaZZ anD saiLoRs: Symphonic music goes all Bernstein and Copland at the Mondavi Center. Christian Baldini directs. I mean conducts. 7pm, $12-$24. UC Davis, 1 Shields Ave. in Davis.
WsTR: Vowels are for people who aren’t in a hurry—gt sm f th pp-pnk y’v lwys wntd frm ths tw bnds, WSTR, th pnk bnd frm th Ntd Kngdm, s wll s PVMNTS, wh r pnk bnd frm Ls Ngls. 7pm, $13-$15. Holy Diver, 1517 21st St.
MONDay, 11/19 cHRcH: Local doom rockers are joined by ILSA and Fister. Fister’s some sludge from St. Louis and ILSA is from Maryland. 7pm, $10$12. Blue Lamp, 1400 Alhambra Blvd.
sTeVen PaGe: Frontman for the noted doomalternative rock band Barenaked Ladies
FesTiVals FriDay, 11/16 FasHion sHoW, DinneR anD Wine eVenT: Many dinners end up paired with wines, but rarely are they paired with fashion shows. This event is an exception to the rule, as it features chef Ana Black along with auctions, a fashion show shopping and food and beverages. 5pm, $25-$100. Brazilian Center For Cultural Exchange Of Sacramento, 2420 N St., Suite 180.
QUiLT sHoW 2018: The River City Quilter’s Guild is at it again with three days of quilted goodness. There’s more than 200 quilts quilted by local quilters for you to peruse, consider and wonder at. There are gifts for sale that could make excellent presents for your nephew. 10am, $10. Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St.
sacRaMenTo HaRVesT FesTiVaL: This harvest festival is an arts and crafts show featuring over 300 people who make such crafts. Stop by for the other bounty the season has to offer—knick knacks, artwork, food, handmade objects and the like. 10am, $4$9. Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd.
saTurDay, 11/17 2018 sacRaMenTo ski & snoWBoaRD FesTiVaL: It hasn’t started to really get going this season, storm-wise. That’s fine, you can still celebrate the snow season in style away from the slopes. Show up for some skis and snowboards on sale, some lift ticket deals, some beer and wine tastings and all the rest of the things you’d expect if you wanted to get into the season. 10am, no cover-$50. Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd.
BesT oF sacRaMenTo PaRTY: Check out one of the many “Best of Sacramento” events from a Sacramento publication. No, not SN&R’s Best of Sacramento edition, a tradition that’s been going on for over 25 years— but this one, hosted at the Convention Center and featuring local restaurants, breweries, etc. Some of the money raised goes toward Make-A-Wish. 6:30pm, $80-$110. Sacramento Convention Center Complex, 1400 J St.
eLYsiUM LiVe: Check out this “premiere event” that is a showcase of local artists, models and musicians rounding out the evening. I couldn’t find the names of anyone performing, but that’s likely a testament to the underground nature of the event. 6:30pm, $15. The Center at 2300, 2300 Sierra Blvd.
RiVeR ciTY MaRkeTPLace HoLiDaY eDiTion: Yes, the RCMP is coming back to Sac for the
The Amazing Scone Baking Race Sierra 2 Center Garden room, 10am, no Cover
On your marks, get set, bake scones! Everything you’ve been training for is finally coming to fruition—this sconebaking challenge Food & dRink pits your skills against those of other local bakers. It’s free to enter, you cede your right to your recipe, you have to use King PHOTO COuRTESy OF PRiSCilla du PREEz Arthur brand flour and you get to attend the Games of Scones reception. It’s the most exciting local development in scone contests in years, so join in. 2791 24th Street, thenovelteashop.com/the-amazing-scone-baking-race.
holidays—and no, that doesn’t stand for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police! It’s a party evening with local makers with bars, art shows, pop-up activities and fun and much more. Get some products in a fun-filled setting. 4pm, no cover. Urban Hive, 1601 Alhambra Blvd., Suite 100.
cover. Sactown Union Brewery, 1210 66th St., Suite B.
Sunday, 11/18 THE AMAZinG SConE-BAkinG RACE: Check out the scone-themed event highlight above. 10am, no cover. Sierra 2 Center, 2791 24th St.
FOOd & dRinK FilM
THuRSday, 11/15 AUTUMn VEGETARiAn dinnER: Like autumn? Like vegetarian food? Well, okay. Come on down to this event that seems an awful lot like a restaurant just operating as usual at The Waterboy! It’s a four-course, prix fixe meal with orzo pasta, butter lettuce salad, savoy cabbage roll and more. 5pm, $66. The Waterboy, 2000 Capitol Ave.
FRiday, 11/16 FERRiS BUELLER’S dAY oFF FREE MoViE niGHT: The John Hughes film, one of only a handful he directed. It is so choice. If you ever have the means, I highly recommend watching it. Wait! If you make it to this night, you can watch it, for free, even. 7pm, no cover. Jackrabbit Brewing Co., 1323 Terminal St. in West Sacramento.
2018 CRAB FEEd And AUCTion: Like crab? Like auctions? Well, okay. This event has those things, a raffle and a wall of wine. All proceeds go to support Folsom High School’s music program. Do you have a child in that music program? The odds are against it, but maybe you just want to support a local music program, or just really like crab feeds. 5:30pm, $55. Folsom Community Center, 52 Natoma St. in Folsom.
CoFFEE WiTH inTELiGEnCA: On any given day, you can show up at a Peet’s Coffee to discuss business, but this day is special, because it’s an organized meetup of business owners and the like. 10am, no cover. Peet’s Coffee, 1198 Roseville Parkway in Roseville.
RiVER CiTY CHiLi Cook oFF: Yee-haw! Chili is coming to the River City, and it is going to be delicious. That said, be sure to bring a level head, as your expertise as a consumer of food will be put to the test as you taste and chew and nibble and ultimately judge restaurants’ chili offerings. The proceeds benefit … Our Lady of Grace School? 5pm, $35. Ace Of Spades, 1417 R St.
SaTuRday, 11/17 HAPPY TAiLS And ALES PARTY: Get yourself some beer that in the long run helps pets— in the short run it may make you inebriated. This evening benefits Happy Tails, the no-kill shelter for local animals, and it has live music and vegan food from Babi Tacos and Conscious Creamery Gelato. Expect also: a pet portrait artist and a raffle. This is one cause that can’t be beat. 5:30pm, no
COMEdy B STREET THEATRE: BS! Burlesque and Stand-Up Comedy. Take to the burlesquier side of the B Street, bringing some games and burlesque and comedy to the space. There’s classic entertainers playing the game Two Truths and a Lie, and you, the audience, get to play it with them. Sound fun? Saturday 11/17, 9:30pm. Through 11/17. $15. 2700 Capitol Ave.
CREST THEATRE: Ryan Hamilton. The Hamilton craze is sweeping the nation, only this one isn’t written by Lin-Manuel Miranda! Instead, it’s by Ryan Hamilton, a sort of neurotic-style comedian who’s pretty funny. Friday 11/16, 8pm. $32. 1013 K St.
GoLdEn 1 CEnTER: Kevin Hart. Hart is finally here in Sacramento. He’s stopped through a few times, at Sleep Train Arena in 2015, at Power Balance Pavilion in 2012. Now he’s coming to the Golden 1 Center in 2018, and you’re probably wishing I’d spend less time detailing the venues he’s been to in town. Well, here he is—the irrepressible Kevin Hart! Friday 11/16, 7pm. $35-$150. 500 David J. Stern Walk.
PUnCH LinE: Jared Freid. The New York-based comedian is coming through town for one
night only of pretty much comedy. Thursday 11/15, 8pm. $17.50. Brendan Schaub. The former UFC fighter became a comedian,
CALEndAR LiSTinGS ConTinUEd on PAGE 28
see More events and subMit your own at newSreview.com/Sacramento/calendar
resurgence. saturday 11/17, 3pm. $5-$7. 2700 Capitol Ave.
Mayors’ Forum on Homelessness and Housing SeCretary of State buildinG, 11:30am, no Cover
tiMe & sPace boutiQue and GatHerinGs: The Fresh Inspiration Show. Get some inspiration from people who have become designated as people to inspire you. thursday 11/15, 5:45pm. $20. 414 Vernon St., Suite 110 in Roseville.
viLLaGe HoMes coMMunity center: Tkish
then fought his way through the comedy ranks to perform on stages. through 11/17. $25. 2100 Arden Way, Suite 225.
stab! coMedy tHeater: Oliver Graves. You might know him from “America’s Got Talent” if you watch that television program! He’s a goth comedian sensation who’s played around the area, and is coming to a small stage near you. Friday 11/16, 9pm. $12. 1710 Broadway.
toMMy t’s coMedy cLub: Luenell. One of the hookers in Borat, Luenell is known for stand-up, and has been named one of the funniest people in Los Angeles. My friend who lives in Los Angeles is also pretty funny, but definitely not top 25. through 11/18. $20$30. 12401 Folsom Blvd. in Rancho Cordova.
on StaGe Murder Mystery. It’s time for some local dinner mystery theatre. Come out and figure out who has done it—the murder that is. You’ll eat food, you’ll gasp and gawk, and if you get the right answer to the murder, you win a prize. Incredible. Great first or fifth date idea. saturday 11/17, 7pm. $59.95. 815 11th St.
caPitaL staGe: CapChat. Get some extra insight to your Capital Stage experience by talking to the staff and artists for the production, this time the performance of Lynn Nottage’s Sweat. thursday 11/15, 9pm. no cover. 2215 J St.
Harris center: Peter Pan. Peter, the flying elf person, bewitches some young folks in the story that might sound familiar to you. It’s been around for a hot minute, and it still makes hearts both young and old soar. Tinkerbell, that dog character and the rest—yes, this production by El Dorado Musical Theatre is sure not to disappoint. through 11/18. $36-$55. Macbeth. Folsom Lake College’s theatre production company comes to the stage with the classic, bloody work by David Shakespeare,
Jean Henderson PerForMinG arts: Annie. Annie is still going, both worldwide and locally—a testament to the character’s indomitable spirit. See the musical the way it’s meant to be seen: on stage. through 11/24. $20. 607 Pena Drive in Davis.
Luna’s caFe: Sac Unified Poetry Slam. Come slam down at Luna’s with 10 different poets. It’s a bit of an audience participation night, but in a more collaborative way than usual. You good be a judge, you could be a poet if you want. See what local poets are up to. Friday 11/16, 8pm. no cover. 1414 16th St.
sacraMento Poetry center: Tellabration!
bLue Prynt restaurant: The Dinner Detective
one of the most popular playwrights of all time. I call him David, anyway. We’re close that way. through 11/18. $12-$20. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer-The Musical. It’s time for the most bizarre story of all to come to Harris Center—the one about a glowing nose. And check out the pick on page 22. through 11/23. $28-$62. 10 College Parkway in Folsom.
2018. Storytelling is the name of the game, and the game is good. Local storytellers share their words with the audience, and there’s even an open-mic session if the creative urge strikes you. 6:30pm. through 11/17. no cover. 1719 25th St.
sacraMento tHeatre: Steel Magnolias. The musical about Louisiana women is tried and tried and true, and it’s coming to STC. Come learn to love the characters again as you probably have before. 7pm. through 12/9. $38. 1419 H St.
sutter street tHeatre: Duck Hunter Shoots Angel. It’s a play about two duck hunters convinced they’ve shot an angel. Need I say more? Okay, I will: There’s more to the claim than meets the eye. through 11/25. $15-$23. Little Women. Poverty strikes the family created by Louisa Alcott, and the titular little women are faced with some realities of life. through 12/2. $13-$18. 717 Sutter St. in Folsom.
tHe soFia tsakoPouLos center For tHe arts: Sacramento Emerging Artist Showcase. Get a taste of some of the city’s artists who are bursting out of their own creative shells and blossoming onto the scene that is the flower of Sacramento’s cultural
e street GaLLery: From the Hills. Artists from Nevada County will bring their work and inspiration from a place with some real topography. through 11/25. no cover. 1115 E St.
Fe GaLLery: Cognitive Dissonance 2018. The name of the game is making you feel uncomfortable. Insects is a theme. Come see art by John Stuart Berger, Robert Bowen, Carrie Cottini and more. through 11/23. no cover. 1100 65th St.
JayJay: Her Way. Four women, Ellen Van Fleet, Katherine Warinner, Jennifer Lugris and Kerry Cottle, share artwork designed to display the contributions women have made to the culture of art in Northern California in a number of different mediums. through 12/22. no cover. 5524 Elvas Ave., Suite B.
Jan sHreM and Maria Manetti sHreM MuseuM oF art: Bruce Nauman Blue and Yellow Corridor. The truly incredible installation art by Nauman is a sight to behold, so come make the most of a corridor. through 12/16. no cover. 254 Old Davis Road in Davis.
kennedy GaLLery: Water Stained Watercolor Masters Exhibition. Watercolors are the medium of the season, so come get your dose of the work promoting and raising awareness about autumn. through 12/1. no cover. 1931 L St.
You can show up dressed for a tea party or dressed as a pirate. Either way, the tea party will happen, so come enjoy it. Friday 11/16, 3:30pm. no cover. 601 Alhambra Blvd.
sacraMento Historic city ceMetery: Fall Color in the Rose Garden. Get the fall experience in the rose garden, taking in the veritable dearth and wealth of roses in the cemetery. saturday 11/17, 10am. no cover. 1000 Broadway.
sHePard Garden and art center: Fine Silks and Tribal Arts. Laos and Vietnam supply this show of incredible textiles in a variety of materials. You can often get a photo
tHurSday, 11/15 cataLyst For cHanGe Fundraiser: Have some food and drinks to raise money for Alchemist CDC’s business incubator, CalFresh services and more revitalization of communities. 5:30pm, $25-$30. Old Soul Co., 1716 L St. (Rear Alley).
environMentaL Justice eLeMent coMMunity worksHoP: Show up to learn about and contribute to the discussion on how to make communities more equitable. 6pm, no cover. North Highlands Recreation Center, 6040 Watt Ave. in North Highlands.
turkey drive: Share a turkey with a needy
Saturday, 11/17 coMMunity book saLe: Here you can purchase books, and the proceeds go to “local library programs.” 1pm, no cover. Arden Dimick Library Community Room, 891 Watt Ave.
Sunday, 11/18 Face in a book a taLk by scott tHoMas anderson: Last week we promoted a talk by SN&R columnist Joey Garcia, and now we’re featuring staff writer Scott Thomas Anderson’s talk on the future of the English language in the face of social media proliferation. 1pm, no cover. Face In A Book, 4359 Town Center Blvd. in El Dorado Hills.
SPortS & outdoorS
Pence GaLLery: Holiday Market. Get some handmade items for whatever purpose you need them. They could be gifts, maybe, for a family member or a casual acquaintance. Or maybe you need a gift. through 12/24. no cover. 212 D St. in Davis.
FaLL bird waLk at knickerbocker creek: Birds are just wandering around, all the time, waiting for us humans to see them. Come on this 2-3 mile walk in the hopes of seeing some truly spectacular birds. 8am, $5-$10. American River Conservancy, 348 State Highway 49 in Coloma.
MckinLey PubLic Library: Pirate Tea Party.
Art Auction. Go bid on some art made in this state. The night features installations by local artists, great food and drinks and more. saturday 11/17, 6pm. $50. 625 S St.
verGe center For tHe arts: The 2018 Verge
Suurfi Mystic Music & Dance. Latif Bolat will share some of the cultural heritage of Turkey with music and dance. sunday 11/18, 7pm. $17-$20. 2661 Portage Bay E. in Davis.
Don’t let the name fool you— you don’t have to be a mayor to attend this forum. Rather, the four PHoto courteSy oF maveric149, cc By-Sa 3.0 take action mayors of the cities of Sacramento, Oakland, Los Angeles and San Diego are coming together to discuss the issues of homelessness and housing. The hour-and-a-half talk hosted by CALmatters will get into the lessons the mayors have learned in their own cities as well as what they want to do moving forward. Register in advance, and see how California’s biggest cities are dealing with one of its biggest crises. 1500 11th Street, facebook. com/calmatters/events.
caLendar ListinGs continued FroM PaGe 27
of the artist that made each wearable or display work. through 11/18. no cover. 3330 McKinley Blvd.
Friday, 11/16 srd announcer worksHoP 2018: Take to the rink for the second round of roller derby discussion. You’ll learn what it takes to be the voice of the derby. 7pm, no cover. Sacramento Roller Derby, 1501 N. C St.
family. 4:30am, no cover. Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, 3333 3rd Ave.
Friday, 11/16 caLiFornia dreaM Mayors’ ForuM on HoMeLessness and HousinG: Mayors come together to talk about the crisis of homelessness and housing in California. See what they’re doing to make things better and what else needs to happen. 11:30am, no cover. Secretary of State Building, 1500 11th St.
Saturday, 11/17 eMPty bowLs suPPer Fundraiser: Raise funds for people with empty bowls at this event with food, handmade bowls and music. It benefits hungry people locally and not locally. 4pm, $15-$50. El Dorado Fairgrounds-Forni Room, 100 Placerville Drive in Camino.
davis/yoLo Fire reLieF beneFit: See the fire relief event highlight on page 26. 1pm, donation of a giftcard. Sudwerk Brewing Copmany in Davis.
Justin who? Golden 1 Center, 7pm, $165-$500
Relatively unknown musician Justin Timberlake is stopping through Sacramento to play a few songs. It’s for a tour he’s calling The Man of the Woods Tour, likely named after his album of the same name. Believe it or not, it’s his fifth studio album, though you might only recall Timberlake as one of the members of NSYNC—I always remembered him as the one who wasn’t JC Chasez or Chris Kirkpatrick. Timberlake Music is really hoping things go well at this show, so show up to support the Sacramento underground music scene. 500 David J. Stern Walk, golden1center.com
PHoto courteSy oF ryan mcGinley
submit your calendar listings for free at newsreview.com/sacramento/calendar THURSDAY 11/15
ArmAdillo music BAdlAnds
Poprockz 90s Night, 7pm, call for cover
2003 k ST., (916) 448-8790
Hi, Mom, Anxious Arms, Dearheart, Fake It and Nosedive, 8pm, $10
1400 AlHAMbRA blvD., (916) 455-3400
Fierce Fridays, 7pm, call for cover
Cro-Mags, EyeHateGod, Hoods and more, 7:30pm, $22
B.P.M. & Sunday Funday Remixed, 4pm, call for cover
Karaoke Night, 9pm, T, call for cover; Trapicana, 10pm, W, call for cover Pint Night and Trivia, 6:30pm, M, no cover; Open-Mic, 7:30pm, W, no cover Chrch, Fister and Ilsa, 8pm, M, $10-$12; Noisem and more, 8pm, T, $10-$12
Dinner and a Drag Show, 7:30pm, $5-$25 Capitol Cabaret, 7pm, $5-$25
Geeks Who Drink, 8:30pm, W, no cover
Absolut Fridays, 9pm, call for cover
Sequin Saturday, 9:30pm, call for cover
Every Damn Monday, 8pm, M, no cover; Noche Latina, 9pm, T, no cover
The Young Dubliners and One Eyed Reilly, 7pm, call for cover
Whiskey and Stitches, 8pm, call for cover
Like Moths to Flames, Oceans Ate Alaska, Phinehas and more, 7pm, $15
1500 k ST., (916) 444-3633
Capitol Fridays, 10pm, no cover before 10:30pm
Ryan Hamilton, 8pm, $32
1013 k ST., (916) 476-3356
Faces Karaoke, 9pm, call for cover
2000 k ST., (916) 448-7798
FATher pAddY’s irish puBlic house 435 MAIN ST., WOODlAND, (530) 668-1044
Fox & Goose
JIGO, 8pm, no cover
1001 R ST., (916) 443-8825
Kevin Hart, 7pm, $44.50-$159.50
500 DAvID J STERN WAlk, (888) 915-4647
GoldField TrAdinG posT
Pool Party, 9pm, no cover
Open-Mic Night, 7:30pm, M, no cover
Güero and Be Brave Bold Robot, 9pm, $5 Sam Eliot and Sean Flemming, 9pm, $5
Golden 1 cenTer
Justin Timberlake, 7pm, $165-$400
1630 J ST., (916) 476-5076
Emily Kinney and Paul McDonald, 7:30pm, Michigan Rattlers, 7:30pm, no cover $20-$80
Christine Rosander and Mick Taras, 7:30pm, $15-$20
Hellbound Glory, 8pm, W, $8-$10
hAlFTime BAr & Grill
College Night, 10pm, call for cover
Brian Lee Bender, 9pm, call for cover
Left of Centre, 9pm, $10
Let’s Get Quizzical, 7pm, T, no cover; Cornhole, 6pm, W, no cover
Mafia Twins: Rob Vicious & Master Kato and more, 7:30pm, $17-$40
Tainted Love, 10pm, $18-$20
Tainted Love, 10pm, $18-$20
5681 lONETREE blvD., ROcklIN, (916) 626-3600
2708 J ST., (916) 441-4693
hideAwAY BAr & Grill PHOTO cOURTESY OF lINDSEY bYRNES
Spectacular Saturdays, 7pm, call for cover
Vinnie Guidera & the Dead Birds, Shotgun Sawyer and more, 8pm, $10
9426 GREENbAck lN., ORANGEvAlE, (916) 358-9116
with Tristan Puig and more 7:30pm Tuesday, $10-$13 Sol Collective Indie pop
Todd Morgan, 9:30pm, no cover
101 MAIN ST., ROSEvIllE, (916) 774-0505
Didar Singh Khalsa, 7pm, no cover
207 F ST., DAvIS, (530) 758-8058
PHOTO cOURTESY OF FlORIST
2565 FRANklIN blvD., (916) 455-1331
with Paul McDonald 7:30pm Thursday, $20-$80 Goldfield Trading Post Pop
The Helio Sequence and Strawberry Mountain, 8pm, $15-$18
Steven Page Trio and Wesley Stace, 8pm, M, $25-$30
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
Cuffin with Good Co., 10pm, $5
1910 Q ST., (916) 706-2465
Korpiklaani, Arkona and Helsott, 7pm, $20-$22
1517 21ST ST.
Kupros Quiz, 7:30pm, no cover
Alyssa Matson, 8pm, no cover
1217 21ST ST., (916) 440-0401
PVMNTS, WSTR, Hold Close and Light the Delta Sleep, Floral, Find Yourself and Way, 6:30pm, $13-$15 more, 6:30pm, M, $12-$15 Robert Kulmann, 5pm, T, no cover; Ross Hammond, 7:30 pm, W, no cover
voted best dance club in sacramento by kcra a list 2016-17-18
Fri nov 16th
michael ray Band
sat nov 17th
saturDay nov 17th stoneys 11 year anniversary bash
MIKE PZ TRIO
MERRY MAC BAND
101 Main Street, roSeville 916-774-0505 · LUNCH/DINNER 7 DAYS A WEEK FRI & SAT 9:30PM - CLOSE 21+
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Free late night biscuits n gravy 1320 Del paso blvD in olD north sac 2 steps from downtown | 916.402.2407 stoneyinn.com for nightly drink specials & events
11.15.18 | SN&R | 29
submit your calendar listings for free at newsreview.com/sacramento/calendar THURSDAY 11/15
More.Rico, JMac, Brandonsohyphy, Luix and more, 7:30pm, $7-$10
Rosemother, Roland Tonies and Tonic Zephyr, 6:30pm, $10
Louie Giovanni, 10pm, $10-$20
Comedy Burger with Ngaio Bealum, 7pm, $10
Bourbon & Blues with the Tropicali Flames, 6:30pm, W, $8-$28
Music Night Open Acoustic Jam, 7pm, no cover
Stars & Garters, the Brangs and Clevers, 8pm, $5
We Are Your Friends Dance Party, 9pm, $5
Live Music With Heath Williamson, 5:30pm, M, no cover
on tHe Y
670 FUlTON AvE., (916) 487-3731
Open-Mic Comedy/Karaoke, 8pm, no cover
Beneath the Fallen, Art & the Resistance and Prey 4 Reign, 7pm, $7
Tuesday Night Karaoke, 9pm, T, no cover
Hollis Peach, 8pm, $18
2708 J ST., (916) 441-4693
1901 10TH ST., (916) 442-3504
13 MAIN ST., WINTERS, (530) 795-1825
PlacervIlle PublIc House
414 MAIN ST., PlAcERvIllE, (530) 303-3792
PowerHouse Pub cOURTESY OF JASON FRANK-ROTHENBERg
Kevin Hart 7pm Friday, $44.50-$159.50 Golden 1 Center Comedy
614 SUTTER ST., FOlSOM, (916) 355-8586
Jessie Leigh, 9:30pm, call for cover
tHe Press club
John Calvin Abney, M Lockwood Porter and more, 8pm, call for cover
Harley White Jr. Orchestra, 9pm, no cover
2030 P ST., (916) 444-7914 1409 R ST., (916) 231-9121
1000 K ST., (916) 947-0434
Sideline, 8pm, $22
New World String Project, 7:30pm, $19-$23
Sactown Playboys, 8pm, call for cover
Achilles Wheel Trio, 8pm, call for cover
Eddie West, 1pm, call for cover
Wiz Kid, 10pm, call for cover
Wonderbread 5, 10pm, call for cover
Blues Jam, 6pm, 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
Everything Crash, 9pm, M, no cover; Reggae Night, 9pm, T, no cover
The Golden Cadillacs, 9pm, no cover
Current Personae, 9pm, no cover
10 Year Anniversary, 10pm, no cover before 11pm
10 Year Anniversary with Ikon, 10pm, no cover before 10:30pm
Emerging Artist Showcase, 7pm, $5-$20
2700 cAPITOl AvE., (916) 443-5300
stoneY’s rockIn rodeo
Pre Thanksgiving, call for time, W, call for cover
1320 DEl PASO BlvD., (916) 927-6023
Country Thunder Thursdays, 9pm, no cover
Hot Country Fridays, 7pm, $5-$10
Hot Country DJ Dancing, 9:30pm, $5
Sunday Funday, 8pm, no cover
West Coast Swing, 7:45pm, T, $5; College Wednesdays, 9pm, W, $5-$10
tHe torcH club
The Tropicali Flames, 9pm, $6
The Sextones & Katie Knipp, 9pm, $10
Daniel Castro, 9pm, $10
You Front The Band, 8pm, no cover
Ghost Town Rebellion & Drop Dead Red, 9pm, W, $5
Lucy’s Bones, 6pm, no cover
Yoga at Yolo, 11am, no cover
Trivia with Geeks Who Drink, 6pm, T, no cover
904 15TH ST., (916) 443-2797
Yolo brewIng co.
1520 TERMINAl ST., (916) 379-7585
all ages, all the time ace of sPades
River City Chili Cook Off, 7:30pm, $25-$55
The Interrupters, Bedouin Soundclash and Bar Stool Preachers, 7pm, $20-$22
the Helio sequence
with Strawberry Mountain 8pm Sunday, $15-$18 Harlow’s Indie rock
Colonial Fest 4 with Like Roses, Adult School and more, 7pm, $10
Colonial Fest 4 with Captain Cutiepie, Aberzombies and more, 2pm, $10
PHOTO cOURTESY OF ANA PUPUlIN
1417 R ST., (916) 930-0220 3520 STOcKTON BlvD., (916) 718-7055
Florist, Tristan Puig and more, 7:30pm, T, $10-$13
2574 21ST ST., (916) 585-3136
1400 E ST., (916) 551-1400
The Shine Jazz Jam, 8pm, no cover
Simon Lunche, Tom Goyen and Knights of the Sound Table, 8pm, no cover
The Speak Low and Small Axe, 8pm, $7
Speak Out Sacramento Open-Mic Night, 8pm, W, no cover
NON-HODGKIN LYMPHOMA SUFFERERS Have you used Roundup® weed killer in the past and developed Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma? You may be entitled to financial compensation. Studies have shown repeated use of Roundup® products can double or triple your risk of developing Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. In the first NHL case against Monsanto®, the jury returned a verdict of $289 million dollars.
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800-881-9011 30 | SN&R | 11.15.18
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cryptic routes to your demise see GoAtKidd
blAzin’ in bAjA? see AsK 420
Why can’t the red, white and blue be more like the Great Green North?
by West Academic. “When you have a significant trading partner that has legal marijuana, it’s hard for the prohibitionists to say that the demon weed is destroying society.” “You get another experiment on the benefits and harms of marijuana,” he says. “It’s the international equivalent to legalization in states like Washington, Colorado, California, Oregon and the like, one more piece of the picture where you can look for data.” IllustratIon by MarIa ratInova The results of that “experiment” might be too lucrative to resist. “It puts more pressure on banks that are going to want to do international transactions, and right now banking law is in total disarray because banks Canada’s move to legalize recreational marijuana could that use the FDIC cannot deal with force the U.S. to follow suit illegal sellers of drugs,” Vitiello says. “Dispensaries are cash-only busiby Daniel Barnes nesses, so you’ll increase the pressure to get some kind of banking solution at the national level. For marijuana producers, it would be ideal if we Missouri and Utah, the United States companies looking to strike it rich in on october 17, canada became the could develop markets elsewhere.” the Great Green North. world’s first first-world nation to legal- currently boasts 10 states (plus the When it comes to financing issues, District of Columbia) that have legalMcGeorge Law School ize the possession, growth and sale of local dispensary owner and ized recreational marijuana use for professor Mike cannabis at the federal level. To paracannabis expert Kimberly Vitiello believes phrase Vincent Vega from Pulp Fiction, adults, as well as 33 states that permit Cargile believes that “When you some form of medical-related use, that Canadian you still can’t walk into a Rush Canadian legalization legalization could concert, roll a joint inside a maple leaf, according to the National Conference have a significant has already affected of State Legislatures. eventually force bum a lighter off a Mountie, pretend the California trading partner that has Yet even though most Americans the American that ham is bacon and start puffin’ cannabis industry. legal marijuana, it’s hard for support the full decriminalization of federal governaway. Edible sales aren’t even legal “One of the cannabis, the drug remains illegal at ment’s hand. there yet, but as far as the Canadian the prohibitionists to say that main hurdles we the federal level, with a hostile admin“I think government is concerned, responsible had in California the demon weed is destroying istration holding firm in favor of prohi- it adds presadult use and properly licensed sales transitioning into society.” bition. That federal prohibition cuts sure to get and growth are no longer considered our regulated off growers, dispensary owners and a national federal crimes. market was Mike Vitiello other cannabis-related business owners solution in the That stands in stark contrast to the obtaining financing, McGeorge Law School from obtaining bank loans and other United States,” United States, Canada’s main trading getting the money Professor forms of credit, even in recreationalsays Vitiello, partner and only border buddy, a counthat’s needed to comply use states like California. However, who co-authored a try with a chaotic patchwork map of the emerging Canadian market has marijuana law casebook contrasting cannabis laws. With recent “o cAnnA-dA” continued on pAGe 33 created new opportunities for American that will be published in February ballot proposal victories in Michigan, 11.15.18 | SN&R | 31
Why did the stoner cross the street? His dealer lived on the other side.
32 | SN&R | 11.15.18
and beverages. The bull market for pot stocks has also begun to turn bearish, especially with reports that Canadian with all the regulations,” says Cargile, who cannabis farmers may not grow enough serves as CEO of A Therapeutic Alternative to fully meet market demand for another in Midtown. 18 months. “What I’ve seen in the last few There are lessons to be learned months is a number of companies from from Canada’s poorly planned federal Canada funding companies here in legalization rollout, but Cargile still California, and so that has actually been anticipates issues when and if the an advantage to certain people in our American government legalizes cannabis. industry here over the last few months.” “There’s going to be lots of pros and Indeed, the financial pages are cons that come with that, just like when littered with news of major mergers and we transitioned to the adult-use market acquisitions in the cannabis sphere, such here in California,” Cargile says. “One as international beverage conglomerof the pros is that we’ll be able to have ate Constellation Brands purchasing banking, we’ll be able to get financing, Canadian cannabis company Canopy, or we’ll be able to get the money that we Molson Coors buying Hydropothecary need to scale up and transition into a Corporation. The Canadian stock larger company.” exchange has become an increasingly However, that access to money might lucrative way for American companies to only accelerate the process of large court investors. corporations taking over the market. Unfortunately, Cargile feels that “The other side of the coin is that the money has not trickled down to larger companies in other industries—like the state’s small growers and business the alcohol industry, the coffee industry, owners. other industries—are currently preparing “It’s mostly benefitted for this legalization also, and we larger companies because anticipate there’s going to they’re looking for be a lot of buyouts, and a large ROI,” she a lot of consolidation “What I’ve seen in says. “It hasn’t and conglomeration really helped the last few months is a of our industry in our small, number of companies from this nation after mom-and-pop it’s legalized Canada funding companies here in industry that federally.” we used to California, and so that has actually According to have here in been an advantage to certain Vitiello, market California.” share is only one people in our industry here over Cargile of many undecided views Canada the last few months.” issues in the cannaas a possible bis “experiment” Kimberly Cargile model for occurring north of the CEO of A Therapeutic Alternative eventual federal border. He also cites a legalization in the potential pushback from United States. Canadian law enforcement “Just as California kind groups, pressure to comply with of looked at Colorado, Washington international treaties, overzealous border and Oregon when we wrote our regulaenforcement and unknown effects on tions, the United States can do that with public health and crime (especially regardCanada,” she says. “As time goes by, ing driving under the influence) as possible we’ll see that a lot of the negative ideas stumbling blocks moving forward, but he of what could happen here in the U.S. believes that it is too early in the process to didn’t really happen.” pass judgment. Unfortunately, there have been myriad “We are in a completely new terriissues in the first month of Canadian tory,” Vitiello says. “We don’t know legalization, with reports of severe shortthese answers, and it’s hard to anticipate ages, shop closures, inconsistent local everything that’s happening.” Ω regulations and a re-energized black market, not to mention a bare-bones legalization bill that didn’t account for alternative products like vapes, edibles “o CANNA-DA” CoNtiNueD from pAge 31
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@sacnewsreview 11.15.18 | SN&R | 33
What do you call a person who remembers what they did at Woodstock ? A Liar.
34 | SN&R | 11.15.18
By Ngaio Bealum
as k 420 @ne w s re v i e w . c o m
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Viva la mota I hear that Mexico has legalized cannabis. Is this true? —Verde Verdad
iLLuStratioN By aNaLiE FoLaNd
Close. The Mexican Supreme Court of Justice didn’t really legalize. They just said that laws against cannabis are unconstitutional. But don’t start blazing blunts in Baja just yet. Until Mexico’s congress gets around to actually changing the laws, you could still get arrested for possessing, smoking or selling weed. The charges would most likely be dropped, but who wants to spend time fighting charges in court? Be patient, and wait for the laws to actually be changed. As it stands now, folks are unsure if congress is gonna legalize completely, or go the “de facto prohibition through overregulation” route. However, we have high hopes (sorry) that Mexico’s lawmakers will do the right thing. What intrigues me the most about Mexico’s Supreme Court ruling is that they declared cannabis prohibition illegal because cannabis prohibition interferes with the clause in the Mexican Constitution that guarantees the “right to the free development of the personality.” As a person that is big on individual freedoms and whatnot, I cannot help but be thrilled. By the way, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights also has a clause about “free development of the personality.” So perhaps international policymakers can use Mexico’s ruling to lobby for an end to cannabis prohibition worldwide. Congrats to Mexico for getting it right. Hopefully, the lawmakers will embrace legalization, and we can all go on a tour to find old-school cannabis strains. Bring back the Acapulco Gold and some of that good Michoacán!
Should you grind bud to stuff a bowl?
GETTING REACQUAINTED WITH CANNABIS?
There are a few factors that go into this decision. If the bowl has a screen or an ash catcher, then yes, grind up the weed. If the bowl doesn’t have a screen, bigger chunks in the bowl will lessen your chances of inhaling a mouthful of hot ash. Grinding the weed is more economical, as it gives you a chance to smoke the entire nug, as opposed to having a few unsmoked chunks of perfectly good weed left in the bowl when you go to tap it out. However, carrying around a grinder and a pipe (and some weed and a lighter) can be a drag, especially if your dress doesn’t have pockets. I suppose you could get a fanny pack for your cannabis gear (a canny-pack?), or you could compromise by breaking the weed up a bit with your fingers before you put it in the pipe. Enjoy yourself.
Are there any strains you recommend to start the work day?
r e c r e at i o n a
i d l a c i d l & me
Your cann a bis Cons ultants sin c e 2009 • All products are lab tested for potency and purity. • Herbs, Topicals, Tinctures, Oils, Edibles, and Concentrates. • Educated, Experienced and Compassionate Staff. Now accepting new “Adult Use” members with valid government issued photo I.D. over the age of 21. Still accepting medical patients with valid CA I.D. over the age of 18 with valid doctor’s recommendation.
I don’t recommend being high at work, unless you are an artist or a writer. Would you show up to work drunk? I get it though. Some people have boring jobs or overbearing coworkers, so the urge to have a cannabis buffer in place is very tempting. However, no one wants to have to tell you the same thing three times because your stoner ass can’t pay attention. Get high at lunch. People will just think you ate too much. Ω
Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Be the boss I’m friends with a guy I really like. We’ve hooked up a few times, but mostly I really like him as a friend. I’ve given him plenty of hints that I’m not really into it anymore, but do want to keep being friends. I’ve even told him about other guys I like and want to be with. He doesn’t get it. Now when we hang out he always seems to think it’s going to end one way, and when it doesn’t he won’t respond to my texts for days. I hate the way this makes me feel so I usually do what he wants. I don’t understand why he doesn’t get it. What should I do? Admit to yourself that your friend can’t take a hint and there’s no reason he should. It’s your job to be the #girlboss of your life. Stop being indirect. Stop hoping he’ll get a clue. You’re not being a good friend to him or to yourself. When you hint, you’re expecting him to be fully accountable for your feelings and boundaries in addition to his own. That’s unkind to both of you. So take charge: Ask for what you want, give yourself what you need, and create more of what you love. It takes courage to establish boundaries and respect them, but it also makes relationships simpler. By giving in and having sex to avoid a potentially awkward conversation, you’re teaching yourself not to trust yourself. Honesty rebuilds trust. Have a direct conversation with your friend and say the hookups are over. Communicating with him is better than making up stories in your head about how badly the conversation might go. Yes, it’s scary to confront someone about an uncomfortable situation, but it’s also an essential act of self-care. Try this: “I love our friendship. You’re important to me. I realize that I’m not into hooking up. Can we move forward as friends?” Keep the conversation clean and short. No justifications. No excuses. You might feel inclined to pressure him for an immediate answer. Don’t do it.
Give him time to think things over. You may lose a friend but by facing what scares you, you gain a powerful connection with your soul. One last thing, let’s unpack your need to be liked. It interferes with your ability to give your friend space after telling him you don’t want to hook up. He might feel angry or rejected. He has a right to his feelings. He even has a right to stew in his feelings. If you’re uncomfortable when he doesn’t jump to reply to your text messages, redirect your thoughts away from his life. When you expect him to respond immediately, you’re inside his mind, trying to pull strings to force him to do what you want. Get back into your own head and do something positive with your energy. Go for a walk. Tidy your living space. Write a thank-you note to a different friend or a colleague and snail mail it. Train your mind to flow out of drama and into actions that encourage you to enjoy happier, more fulfilling relationships. Ω
Have a direct conversation with your friend and say the hookups are over.
MedItatIoN of tHe Week “If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced,” said Vincent Van Gogh. What do you say when you talk to yourself?
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11.15.18 | SN&R | 41
If the whole world smoked a joint at the same time, There would be world peace for at least two hours, followed by a global food shortage.
42 | SN&R | 11.15.18
Free will astrology
by Rachel Mayfield
by ROb bRezsny
r a c h e lm@ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m
FoR the Week oF NoveMbeR 15, 2018 ARIES (March 21-April 19): Interior designer
Dorothy Draper said she wished there were a single word that meant “exciting, frightfully important, irreplaceable, deeply satisfying, basic, and thrilling, all at once.” I wonder if such a word exists in the Chamicuro language spoken by a few Peruvians or the Sarsi tongue spoken by the Tsuu T’ina tribe in Alberta, Canada. In any case, I’m pleased to report that for the next few weeks, many of you Aries people will embody and express that rich blend of qualities. I have coined a new word to capture it: tremblissimo.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): According to my
astrological intuition, you’re entering a phase when you will derive special benefit from these five observations by poet and filmmaker Jean Cocteau: 1. “There are truths that you can only say after having won the right to say them.” 2. “True realism consists in revealing the surprising things that habit keeps covered and prevents us from seeing.” 3. “What the public criticizes in you, cultivate. It is you.” 4. “You should always talk well about yourself! The word spreads around, and in the end, no one remembers where it started.” 5. “We shelter an angel within us. We must be the guardians of that angel.”
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Adolescence used to
be defined as a phase that lasted from ages 13 to 19, but scientists writing in the journal The Lancet say that in modern culture, the current span is from ages 10 to 24. Puberty comes earlier now, in part because of shifts in eating habits and exposure to endocrinedisrupting chemicals. At the same time, people hold onto their youth longer because they wait a while before diving into events associated with the initiation into adulthood, like getting married, finishing education and having children. Even if you’re well past 24, Gemini, I suggest you revisit and reignite your juvenile stage in the coming weeks. You need to reconnect with your wild innocence. You’ll benefit from immersing yourself in memories of coming of age. Be 17 or 18 again, but this time armed with all you have learned since.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Cancerian baseball
pitcher Satchel Paige had a colorful career characterized by creative showmanship. On some occasions, he commanded his infielders to sit down and loll on the grass behind him, whereupon he struck out three batters in a row—ensuring no balls were hit to the spots vacated by his teammates. Paige’s success came in part because of his wide variety of tricky pitches, described by author Buck O’Neil as “the bat-dodger, the two-hump blooper, the four-day creeper, the dipsy-do, the Little Tom, the Long Tom, the bee ball, the wobbly ball, the hurry-up ball and the nothin’ ball.” I bring this to your attention, Cancerian, because now is an excellent time for you to amp up your charisma and use all your tricky pitches.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): “Everyone tells a story
about themselves inside their own head,” writes fantasy author Patrick Rothfuss. “Always. All the time. We build ourselves out of that story.” So what’s your story, Leo? The imminent future will be an excellent time to get clear about the dramatic narrative you weave. Be especially alert for demoralizing elements in your tale that may not in fact be true, and that therefore you should purge. I think you’ll be able to draw on extra willpower and creative flair if you make an effort to reframe the story you tell yourself so that it’s more accurate and uplifting.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): In describing a man she
fell in love with, author Elizabeth Gilbert wrote that he was both “catnip and kryptonite to me.” If you’ve spent time around cats, you understand that catnip can be irresistible to them. As for kryptonite: It’s the one substance that weakens the fictional superhero Superman. Is there anything in your life that resembles Gilbert’s paramour? A place or situation or activity or person that’s both catnip and kryptonite? I suspect you now have more ability than usual to neutralize its obsessive and debilitating effects on you. That could empower you to make a good decision about the relationship you’ll have with it in the future.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): “I had to learn very
early not to limit myself due to others’ limited imaginations,” testifies Libran astronaut Mae Jemison. She adds, “I have learned these days never to limit anyone else due to my own limited imagination.” Are those projects on your radar, Libra? I hope so. You now have extra power to resist being shrunk or hobbled by others’ images of you. You also have extra power to help your friends and loved ones grow and thrive as you expand your images of them.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): The U.S. is the world’s
top exporter of food. In second place is the Netherlands, which has 0.4 percent as much land as the U.S. How do Dutch farmers accomplish this miraculous feat? In part because of their massive greenhouses, which occupy vast areas of non-urbanized space. Another key factor is their unprecedented productivity, which dovetails with a commitment to maximum sustainability. For instance, they produce 20 tons of potatoes per acre, compared with the global average of nine, and they do it using less water and pesticides. In my long-term outlook for you Scorpios, I see you as having a metaphorical similarity to Dutch farmers. During the next 12 months, you have the potential to make huge impacts with your focused and efficient efforts.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): “The world is
like a dropped pie most of the time,” writes author Elizabeth Gilbert. “Don’t kill yourself trying to put it back together. Just grab a fork and eat some of it off the floor. Then carry on.” From what I can tell about the state of your life, Sagittarius, the metaphorical pie has indeed fallen onto the metaphorical floor. But it hasn’t been there so long that it has spoiled. And the floor is fairly clean, so the pie won’t make you sick if you eat it. My advice is to sit down on the floor and eat as much as you want. Then carry on.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Novelist Anita Desai writes, “Isn’t it strange how life won’t flow, like a river, but moves in jumps, as if it were held back by locks that are opened now and then to let it jump forward in a kind of flood?” I bring this to your attention, Capricorn, because I suspect that the locks she refers to will soon open for you. Events may not exactly flow like a flood, but I’m guessing they will at least surge and billow and gush. That could turn out to be nerve-racking and strenuous, or else fun and interesting. Which way it goes will depend on your receptivity to transformation.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): “Miracles come to
those who risk defeat in seeking them,” writes author Mark Helprin. “They come to those who have exhausted themselves completely in a struggle to accomplish the impossible.” Those descriptions could fit you well in the coming weeks, but with one caveat. You’ll have no need to take on the melodramatic, almost desperate mood Helprin seems to imply is essential. Just the opposite, in fact. Yes, risk defeat and be willing to exhaust yourself in the struggle to accomplish the impossible; but do so in a spirit of exuberance, motivated by the urge to play.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): “Never invoke the
gods unless you really want them to appear,” warned author G. K. Chesterton. “It annoys them very much.” My teachers have offered me related advice. Don’t ask the gods to intervene, they say, until you have done all you can through your own efforts. Furthermore, don’t ask the gods for help unless you are prepared to accept their help if it’s different from what you thought it should be. I bring these considerations to your attention, Pisces, because you currently meet all these requirements. So I say go right ahead and seek the gods’ input and assistance.
You can call Rob Brezsny for your Expanded Weekly Horoscope: (900) 950-7700. $1.99 per minute. Must be 18+. Touchtone phone required. Customer service (612) 373-9785. And don’t forget to check out Rob’s website at realastrology.com.
Ministry of glitter If you’ve ever been to an LGBTrelated event in Sacramento, chances are you’ve caught a glimpse of the Capitol City Sisters. Donning religious-inspired garb, heavy white makeup and glamorous glitter beards, they have a tendency to turn heads. More than just draggedup nuns though, the Sisters are a nonprofit organization that seeks to spread love, communicate safe-sex practices and promote queer visibility. They are one of many houses stemming from the San Franciscobased Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the original queer order of nuns founded in 1979. While a couple of attempts were made to form a chapter in Sacramento, it wasn’t until 2013 that a fully professed house took off. Initially founded by five members, it’s gone through some flux, but community interest and membership has started to grow. With the purpose of building up the community around them, the Sisters have raised money for several locally based institutions, including the Lavender Library, Sunburst Projects and the River City Food Bank. SN&R chatted with Abbess Defiance Royale,
The Sisters in full regalia—Defiance Royale is in the center, back row. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CAPITOL CITY SISTERS
you can come out to the pool and you can have a good time.
more about the Sisters and their role in the community.
a leather person. Physically, I’m kind of a bear but I just didn’t want to hang out at the Bolt every night; there’s more to life than that. I’m not a drag queen, I’m never gonna fit in with the [Imperial] Court, but I can as a sister. I can do all of those things as Sister Defiance Royale. It created a venue for me to be able to interact with everybody … At the same time, it gave us as a group the opportunity to reach out to these groups to build a little bit more community and participate in each other’s events.
What is the mission of the Sisters?
What’s the origin of your name?
To promulgate joy and expiate stigmatic guilt. We commit ourselves to public service, loyalty and devotion to our house, our sisters, to the Order as a whole and to the community that we serve. It’s fun to glam up and throw jewels and makeup and crazy costumes on and go out there and have a good time, but that’s not the point. The point is that we are out there to communicate a message: If we can do all this craziness and manifest—when we put on the face and go out into the community, we call that “manifesting”—if we can put all this on and put ourselves out there in the community like that, then you can be whatever you are. You can manifest your real and true self out there in the community without shame, without guilt and without reservation.
I was talking to somebody at work one day, and purple is my favorite color, and we were talking about purple, and she was like, “Yeah, that’s the color of defiance! The color of royalty,” and this and that, naming off different attributes of the color purple and I thought, huh, “Defiance Royale.” That name just sort of came.
one of the founding members and the director of the nonprofit group, to learn
Why did you decide to be a Sister? I was really frustrated by the [LGBT] community in Sacramento because it was very, very segregated … I wanted to do something. I wanted to be involved in the Sacramento community somewhere, but I couldn’t find a place where I fit. I’m not
What’s the religious connection about? The original Sisters took on this persona as a joke to begin with, but they maintained it because of, for lack of a better word, the torture that the Church has promulgated on the LGBT community since forever. Just like a lot of people have reclaimed the word “queer” and made it their own, the Sisters did the same thing with this religious iconography.
What types of events do the Sisters put on? We recently started what we’re calling “Sister Social.” It’s geared toward the working professional. That’s sort of the target audience. People that work at the Capitol, the state workers, the professional crowd. They may not want to go hang out at the bar, but if you put on a cocktail party they’ll come. … It’s a social thing, and it’s also a fundraiser for a designated charity. … Another event that we’ve done every year is a summertime event called “Chunky Dunk.” We rent out one of the city pools for the night and we host our own private party. It’s intended to be a body positive event where, regardless of who you are and what you look like,
What’s most rewarding about being a Sister? I think it’s the same answer as to why I became a nurse—in my real life I’m a registered nurse. I get to see a difference made in not only the community as a whole because of the work that the Sisters do, but all the way down to the individual. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had somebody come up to me while I was in face and just spill their guts. They need someone to hear them. They need someone to not judge them for whatever it is that’s on their heart, and just to listen and offer some comfort. If I can take that burden off of somebody for a few minutes, and they can feel better and laugh and have a good time with the Sisters and forget about all that baggage that has been weighing on them all week long, then you see that burden lift off these people when they interact with us. Ω
For more information about the Capitol City Sisters, their mission and their events, visit capitolcitysisters.org.