Page 1


M e u n n t o s

to monsters

By Maxfield Morris


Why are we still honoring these people?


09 Confederate flag in Wilton 18 The SAMMIES nominees 24 Music to listen to in 2019 Sacramento’S newS & entertainment weekly


Volume 30, iSSue 39


thurSday, january 10, 2019








Editor’s notE

january 10, 2019 | Vol. 30, issuE 39

24 06

23 Dylan Svoboda, Bev Sykes, Graham Womack

Our Mission: To publish great newspapers that are successful and enduring. To create a quality work environment that encourages employees to grow professionally while respecting personal welfare. To have a positive impact on our communities and make them better places to live. Editor Foon Rhee News Editor Raheem F. Hosseini Managing Editor Mozes Zarate Staff Reporter Scott Thomas Anderson Copy Editor Steph Rodriguez Calendar Editor Maxfield Morris Contributing Editor Rachel Leibrock Editorial Assistant Rachel Mayfield Contributors Daniel Barnes, Ngaio Bealum, Amy Bee, Rob Brezsny, Aaron Carnes, Jim Carnes, Joey Garcia, Kate Gonzales, Becky Grunewald, Howard Hardee, Ashley Hayes-Stone, Jim Lane, Ken Magri, James Raia, Patti Roberts, Shoka, Stephanie Stiavetti,

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39 Greg Meyers, John Parks, Lloyd Rongley, Lolu Sholotan, Carlton Singleton, Viv Tiqui N&R Publications Editor Michelle Carl N&R Publications Associate Editor Laura Hillen

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04 STREETALK 05 LETTERS 06 nEwS 13 gREEnLighT 14 fEATuRE 18 ARTS + CuLTuRE 20 diSh 22 STAgE 23 fiLm 24 muSiC 25 CALEndAR 31 CApiTAL CAnnAbiS guidE 36 ASK joEy 39 15 minuTES CovER dESign by mARiA RATinovA CovER phoTo by mATT fRASER

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Fixing history I was a history major in college, focusing on the 1960s civil rights movement, so this week’s cover story on controversial monuments piqued my interest. Who we honor from our past shapes how we understand our nation today. And those choices can change over time. Living in North Carolina, I was always uncomfortable around all the memorials to Confederate generals. As far as I could tell, racism was alive and well, since I was still covering KKK marches and cross-burnings well into the 1980s. When I moved to Boston, I felt much better about the many statues of American Revolution patriots. I particularly liked the memorial to the 54th Massachusetts, the first all-black regiment to fight for the Union during the Civil War, a story brilliantly told in the movie Glory. Now that I’m rooted in Sacramento, it’s fascinating that the capital of proudly progressive California seems behind the times in coming to terms with monuments to flawed figures, even as more than 100 Confederate memorials and symbols have been removed across the nation since 2015. Taking down these shrines is not so much rewriting history—or being politically correct—as making it more accurate and socially conscious. By honoring those who don’t deserve it, we dishonor those who do.

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Respect your elders Re: “A Confederacy of Grinches,” (News, December 20): Perhaps you need to rethink your Grinch designation of “the old guard.” Apparently, you believe that old women, or perhaps old people (though you noted no men) cannot energize younger voters. Age-ism doesn’t sit well with me, and I wonder how this article would read if you issuE 12.20.18 / a confEdEracy of GrinchEs replaced the adjective “old” with, say, “Jew” or “black” or “disabled” or “pregnant.” I wonder if you’d even think to write this about Bernie Sanders. Maybe you could write a piece on why old age is such as acceptable criticism, especially one of women.

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Pelosi, Feinstein doing work Re: “A Confederacy of Grinches,” (News, December 20): SN&R’s call for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein to make way for younger leaders reflects the kind of commonplace—and shameful—discrimination that older Americans face every day. It shouldn’t matter what the year is on someone’s birth certificate to judge their capability nor their effectiveness, just like it should not matter what color someone’s skin is, where they were born or what their sex is. Pelosi is a powerhouse who just managed a historic Democratic takeover of the House. Feinstein continues to outshine colleagues half

read more letters online at newsreview .com/sacramento.

her age in fighting for our state’s interests. Both drubbed their younger opponents in November’s election. And the logic that the Democratic Party needs to nominate youngsters to bring out the youth vote also has no foundation in fact. The darling of 2016 Democratic primaries that attracted the energy and excitement of young voters was Bernie Sanders. He’s 77. Steve Maviglio Sa c r a me nto v ia e ma il

My favorite flicks Re: “SN&R’s best and worst films of 2018,” (Arts & Culture, December 27): I rather liked Venom. Not a great movie. But thought it was a good with great moments … I think my fav


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Grace Trujillo, Angel Garcia and Angie Sutherland resigned from SCUSD’s committee for special education and formed a new coalition. Photo by scott thomas anderson

The audit exodus Special education committee resigns over Sacramento school district’s handling of probe on disabled students by Scott thomaS anderSon sc o tta @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m

In a year that saw the Sacramento City Unified School District descend into a budgetary nightmare, a quieter crisis unfolded behind the scenes: All 11 members of the district’s Community Advisory Committee for Special Education resigned in protest after a damning report suggested the administration was failing students with disabilities at every level. That independent audit, performed by Council of the Great City Schools, revealed that disabled students at Sacramento City Unified suffered 6





unusually poor graduation rates, lacked proper access to mental health services and were suspended at disproportionally high levels. The findings were released in 2017. After 12 months of what it perceived as inaction from the district, the committee charged with speaking up for disabled youth made its voice heard through a mass exodus. Now, as school administrators prepare for a financially uncertain 2019, the ex-committee members are continuing to press for reform.

SIgnS of Trouble Angel Garcia joined the advisory committee for special education after the district went eight years without telling her it existed. Though her son is diagnosed with autism, she said the district didn’t follow its own policy to let her know about the committee during various independent education plan meetings. The district is required to have and support the committee by the California Education Code. Looking back, Garcia said she believes

the lack of communication was a weather vane for bigger problems affecting the district’s 6,000 students with disabilities. “They really disconnect families from support,” Garcia said. “The history of the district working with parents is one that involves them withholding information, and then deflecting and denying services.” Sacramento City Unified chief communications officer Alex Barrios painted a different picture this week, saying his agency “remains committed to addressing the systemic issues” with its special education program. Garcia got actively involved in the advisory committee in 2013. She began working alongside parents including Angie Sutherland, who had already served on it for several years. Sutherland’s daughter is also diagnosed with autism. “I was feeling really isolated and alone and didn’t know what to do,” Sutherland remembered about her path to the committee. “There’s nothing out there that’s one resource that says, ‘You start here, and then go there.’” Sutherland was trying to help other parents avoid that same disorientation.

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Justice for azalya That included parents of children with physical disabilities, intellectual disabilities, language impairment and emotional disturbance. In 2014, the advisory committee discovered Sacramento City Unified had a policy allowing teachers to choose whether or not disabled students were placed in their classrooms. The advisory committee was sure that was illegal under a landmark California Supreme Court ruling that was, ironically, spurred by policies at Sacramento City Unified. In 1992, the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund sued the district on behalf of Rachel H., a kindergartener with an intellectual disability who school officials wouldn’t allow to attend a general education class. A federal judge ruled that Rachel had a right to be educated alongside her non-disabled peers. The ruling was upheld by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals; the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition from the school district, leaving the ruling in place. Garcia and Sutherland say that it took three years of constant pressure to get Sacramento City Unified to follow state law on placements. At one point, Garcia’s son testified in front of the district school board about the message it sent. “My son asked them, would it be wrong if a teacher said, ‘I don’t want a student in my class because they’re poor?’” Garcia recalled. “He said, ‘Now just change the words out.’” The district finally adjusted the policy in 2017, but for Sutherland the years of allowing disabled students to be easily separated from mainstream classes had a ripple effect on the district’s culture. “Finding out about that policy was really like a puzzle piece that came together for us,” she recalled. “This was why the district was not inclusive to our kids.”

audit shock The audit on the district’s special education program landed in May 2017. It painted a bleak picture for most disabled students. The audit especially questioned the handling of young African-American students, many of whom were assessed as experiencing emotional disturbance, and had nearly double the suspension rate as non-disabled students. Those findings were mirrored by a recent study from San Diego State University, which indicated Sacramento City Unified had the most “egregious”

overall suspension rate for black students “That process was developed and has in the entire state. That study found that been utilized throughout the entire year by black male students with disabilities our staff,” Bryant told the board. comprised one of the highest subgroups Taylor emphasized several datasuffering abnormal suspension rates. collecting initiatives that were underway Similar to the San Diego State study, that she said would lead to better services Council of the Great City Schools made a and outcomes for the students. host of recommendations to the district and “It’s using our data as a means of identified 10 major areas of reform. continuous improvement and accountabilThe advisory committee suggested ity,” Taylor said. “Using it as a framework the district hire an independent expert to and, more importantly, that as we’re lookexamine the shortcomings across all its ing at data, we recognize that behind every departments. number is a child.” “Some of these issues But board president Jessie have been problems for a Ryan told district officials long time,” Sutherland “The history their presentation was said. “I don’t feel full of jargon, overly of the district their staff have technical and not working with parents the capacity to likely to assure achieve a new is one that involves them parents that rapid direction.” change was withholding information, and Additionally, coming. then deflecting and denying the advisers Garcia agrees, wanted the services.” especially about school board to the constant highAngel Garcia form a special lighting of data former member, SCUSD Community committee to accumulation. Advisory Committee for Special implement the “The internal Education audit’s recommendapeople have had a long tions. They also wanted time to put their heads board members to get in-depth together, and what’s happening training about serving students with now is they’re gathering more data; disabilities and the related laws. but they’ve gathered so much data, and A year later, in April 2018, the advisory they’ve had so many task forces and initiacommittee decided none of its recommentives to gather data,” she said. “How much dations had been meaningfully adopted. data do you need to take action?” More confounding to its members, the Taylor and Bryant could not be district had only shared plans to address reached for further comment, but Barrios three of the audit’s 10 big recommendasaid the district had made more progress tions. That’s when the entire committee implementing the recommendations since resigned in protest. its spring presentation. Joseph Barry, a disabilities advocate The treatment of special education who’s getting his degree in education students took on more urgency following policy, has closely followed the district’s the recent death of Max Benson, a 13-yearprogress on the audit separate from the old with autism who became unresponsive now-imploded committee. while being held in a face-down position “Their frustration is warranted, obviat the private Guiding Hands School ously,” Barry said. “When you have a in El Dorado Hills. According to The child with a disability, these problems Sacramento Bee, Sacramento City Unified really affect your family. But I also has contracted with Guiding Hands in the understand the district’s side, because it’s a past. lot of stuff to take care of and I think they Most of the committee members who want to do it the right way.” resigned have joined a new group called That latter point was something the the Coalition for Students with Disabilities. district’s chief education officer, Irish Freed from the confines of a governmentTaylor, and director of special education, sanctioned body, they’re now advocating Becky Bryant, tried to emphasize when for their kids more fiercely than ever. updating the school board on the audit “I plan on going to all the meetings,” weeks after the committee resigned. Sutherland said. “Because I’m not going Bryant said that, based on its findings, her away.” Ω team had already realigned its assessment practices for identifying students with autism and emotional disturbance.

Three men have been arraigned in the september shooting that sent bullets tearing through a south Sacramento County home and into a little girl. Three-year-old Azalya Anderson succumbed to her injuries four days after gunfire struck a house on the 7400 block of Della Circle on the night of September 11. A three-month investigation by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department broke open just last month, when officers arrested Christopher Ritchey-Bibbs, 25, and Reginald Nash, 18, for the shooting, and Marquess Wilson, 24, for being an accessory after the fact. Authorities have portrayed the shooting as a gang-related attack on someone believed to be inside the home. According to online court records, Ritchey-Bibbs and Wilson have the street aliases “Shotta” and “Whiteboy-Roach,” respectively. The defendants are scheduled for a settlement conference later this month. (Raheem F. Hosseini)

free aNd fair parkiNg Lower fares, more security, cleaner stations—and now free

parking. In its latest bid to lure more riders and win public support, Sacramento Regional Transit is doing away with fees at parkand-ride lots. As of January 1, commuters no longer had to pay $1 a day or $20 a month to park at the Watt/I-80, Watt/I-80 west and Roseville Road light-rail stations. Effective March 1, parking will also be free at the lots on Franklin Boulevard and Florin, Meadowview and Power Inn roads, if the RT board signs off as expected on January 14. While RT will be giving up about $208,000 a year in parking fees, it estimates that loss will be mostly offset by $77,000 in lower expenses and $95,000 in projected revenue from additional riders. Also, RT says it’s a matter of fairness, since fees were only being charged at eight of 24 light-rail stations with parking. While the eight lots have more than 4,300 spaces, only about 1,000 cars park daily. This move follows the first fare cuts in rt’s 50-year history, which took effect October 1 and reduced the base fare from $2.75 per ride to $2.50 and the monthly pass from $110 to $100. Earlier in 2018, RT lowered the price of student passes from $55 a month to $20. RT is on a long road back after slashing service and raising fares to among the nation’s highest during the 2008-09 recession. Ridership peaked in 2009 at 35 million (though about 900,000 were non-paying fare evaders) and dropped in 2017-18 to 20.8 million and another 4.8 percent last year through October. To boost ridership, RT increased light-rail service on weekends starting January 6 and is looking at overhauling bus routes, which haven’t been significantly changed for three decades even as new retail and job centers have developed in the region. The proposal calls for ending some routes as well as extending and improving others. The RT board is to vote in February, with implementation in June. All these changes, however, don’t lessen RT’s financial challenges. Sacramento County voters narrowly rejected a half-cent sales tax hike in November 2016 that would have given the agency more than $1 billion over 30 years to expand service and buy new equipment. (Foon Rhee)

01.10.19    |   sN&R   |   7

Elijah Johnson in pictures: From left, Johnson with his biological mother before she left; as a teenager; and as a cause for Jamilia Land and her daughter, who took him in. Photos courtesy oF Jamilia land

Lost Elijah He overcame a terrible childhood to find a loving family. Now he’s going to prison for helping destroy one. by Raheem F. hosseini

Jamilia Land met her son about seven years ago outside a Walmart in Natomas. Elijah Johnson and another youth were asking strangers for their cellphones to call home and having little luck. Land gave the two a lift. On the way, she heard her passengers blithely discuss their accommodations—a doghouse where their new foster dad had banished them. Land took Johnson and two other foster youths into her home. Johnson stuck, becoming a homebody who enjoyed baking cookies with Land’s daughters. “All he wanted to do was be at home because all he had been was on the streets,” Land remembered. Johnson, now 24, can never go back to that place again. On January 4, he and another wayward young man were sentenced to multiple lifetimes in prison for their involvement in a haunting trio of murders that stole a father, two sons and doomed a south county Vietnamese family to the impossible task of enduring. Johnson didn’t commit any of the murders, but wasn’t spared their blame. That’s just one controversial footnote to a

For more statements from the judge and victims’ family members, visit newsreview. com/sacramento






case that inflicted nightmares on the jury, tilted on a new state law and left the judge struggling to square the scales of justice for the victims’ family and the two lost boys accused of obliterating it. “There are a lot of murder cases in Sacramento County. There are very few triple homicides,” Sacramento Superior Court Judge Maryanne G. Gilliard reflected from the bench. “This case unveiled a part of our community many of us are blissfully unaware exists … people that live what can almost be described as a feral existence, without any boundaries or thought.” In the judge’s mind, David Thuan Nguyen led one of these feral existences. The 27-year-old had a “horrible upbringing” that merited significant counseling, Gilliard noted at the sentencing hearing. Instead, Nguyen dealt marijuana and Xanax bars and earned multiple robbery convictions by the time he could legally drink. In April 2016, he plotted another heist. The plan was to rob the home of a purported drug associate, whom Nguyen believed was sitting on $30,000 in cash.

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Nguyen enlisted his girlfriend Amanda Tucker, then 18, a 17-year-old girl and Johnson, then 21. According to the judge, the crew spent long minutes in the garage of a hardworking immigrant family, searching for a stash that didn’t exist. The defendants had multiple opportunities to turn back, Gilliard said. Instead, Nguyen led Johnson inside. Tien Le had gone to bed with his girlfriend on the phone, a nightly ritual for the couple of three years. Somewhere in his slumber, he turned 21. Nguyen stood over the college senior with the goofy charisma, steadied the handgun and made sure Tien grew no older. Nguyen’s gun jammed following that first execution, so he took the one he had given Johnson and killed Dong Le, 32, in his bed, according to prosecutors. Nguyen then chased the men’s father outside, shooting 56-year-old Thanh Le in the head three times as his wife hid behind a car and watched her husband die. According to Gilliard, Nguyen and one of the young women later laughed and talked in a motel room in view of the murder weapons and modest loot that

included a Gucci wallet and necklace, “apparently very proud of what they had just done.” The prosecution divided and conquered the defendants. In exchange for becoming cooperating witnesses, Tucker and the other woman received what Gilliard called “a sweet deal by the district attorney’s office.” While prosecutors portrayed Nguyen as the mastermind and lone shooter, they contended that Johnson was just as culpable for the grisly deaths. In October, a jury agreed. Johnson’s murder convictions came before a new state law went into effect on January 1 that changes the felony-murder rule. It limits murder convictions to those who actually commit the killings and major participants. Johnson’s attorney Olaf Hedberg told the court he would file the paperwork to appeal the conviction. Senate Bill 1437 allows those convicted as accomplices to seek shorter sentences or new trials. “My client never pulled the trigger, not once,” Hedberg said before sentencing. “His crime was participating in a home invasion robbery where a codefendant shot three people. His only crime, so to speak, was the robbery.” Land wept as Deputy District Attorney Jeff Hightower read victim statements from a daughter, a girlfriend and a friend. Vivian Leung, the girlfriend of Tien Le, described awaking to nightmare sounds from her phone: his mother’s cries for help as someone performed CPR on him. Leung hung up in disbelief that the man she expected to spend her life with was gone. In her statement, Thanh Le said she lost a father and two brothers, and was now watching her mother ebb. “For my Mother, her world has collapsed,” she wrote. “Who will she confide in? Who will be her Guiding Light? As for me, I take on a new role as, the One to speak out for the Family.” In that role, Thanh wrote that the family didn’t want revenge. It simply wanted to make sure the men who stole everything would never have the chance to take even more. Johnson and Nguyen fixed solemn gazes on inanimate objects as the statements were read in the courtroom. As Johnson rose to meet that new reality, Land staggered to her feet and called to her son in a sob-wracked voice. “I love you Elijah, and I’m not going to stop until I bring you home,” she said. “Do you hear me? I love you.” Johnson didn’t turn back. It was much too late for that now. Ω

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no affiliation with CROW, and that the response Numerous political organizations are denouncing was lacking. a Republican club’s decision to display the “There have been many instances when the Confederate flag at a Wilton holiday event, saying Republican Party has taken legal action to protect the move celebrated a legacy of racial enslavement, its image and brand,” Shergill said. “It seems to lynching and oppression. me like they could be doing a lot more, and I think The controversy was sparked December 8 all of our region’s prominent Republican officials at the Wilton Winter Festival, which typically should be asked, quite simply, do you support the features children riding horses and leading 4-H Confederate flag?” animals in a parade that ends at C.W. Dillard Mahan confirmed in an email to SN&R that Elementary School. The popular hometown the county Republican Party had no statement gathering also features floats, which is where the on CROW’s use of the Confederate flag, though trouble began. she added that her organization has never used or A group known as Conservative Republicans condoned it. of Wilton, or CROW, piloted a float down the “The state Democratic Party is trying to make thoroughfare with a large Confederate flag hanging this much more than it was,” Mahan wrote. “It off the back. A cellphone video was soon shared on is hardly a movement and bringing attensocial media, which drew condemnation from tion to [CROW’s] five-minute ride the California Democratic Party, the down Dillard Road only serves League of United Latin American “You can the Democratic Party as they Citizens, the Council on continue to work toward American-Islamic Relations, have Southern the annihilation of the the Elk Grove South County pride, but you don’t Republican Party.” Democratic Club, Elk Grove have to have pride in a Sonia Lewis, founder of Indivisible and Elk Grove Elk Grove Unified School Unified School District’s system that enslaved an District’s Untold Stories Untold Stories of Racism. entire people.” of Racism and Bigotry, an The groups released online forum for combating a joint statement in Sonia Lewis racism, said concerns about mid-December saying the founder, Elk Grove Unified School the Confederate flag have to only reason to brandish the District’s Untold Stories of be viewed through the prism Confederate symbol is “to claim Racism and Bigotry of local hate crimes, including the pride in the abhorrent history targeting of a black-owned salon in behind the flag.” 2017 and numerous incidents of harassment SN&R wanted to ask CROW about and intimidation aimed at black students in the Elk displaying the symbol in a state that helped defeat Grove area. The crime at the salon included a note the Confederacy during the Civil War, but the that Elk Grove officials said was signed by the Ku group has no publicly listed contact information. It Klux Klan, partly founded by Confederate General does have a closed Facebook page with the descripNathan Bedford Forrest. tion, “This group is based on Conservative point of “The Confederate flag was a symbol of the views. Piss off with your Liberalism.” Southern states coming together to say they wanted Amar Shergill, an executive board member of slavery to be an economic system for the entire the state Democratic Party who lives in Elk Grove, country, so what it tells a person of color is, you said that what happened in Wilton shouldn’t be preferred for me to be a slave,” Lewis explained. taken lightly. “That’s the root of what people don’t always think “When we hear that someone is going to bring about—or want to think about.” that flag to an elementary school where little kids Lewis, a former teacher with a degree in history, are celebrating the holidays, we’re not going to stay thinks it’s a misnomer to couch Confederate flagquiet about,” Shergill said. bearing as historical nostalgia. Shergill asked the Sacramento County “You can have Southern pride,” Lewis said, Republican Party to disavow CROW’s use of the “but you don’t have to have pride in a system that Confederate flag. Shergill said that Chairwoman enslaved an entire people.” Ω Betsy Mahan responded that the county GOP has

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ICE targets brothers First they arrested Yovanny Ontiveros inside a Sacramento courtroom. Then immigration agents took his brother. by Raheem F. hosseini

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

his ex-wife. According to Ontiveros’ Four months after their controversial sister, the ex followed him home and arrest of an undocumented immigrant reported his address to ICE. Booking inside a Sacramento County courtrecords and satellite imagery show house, unrepentant federal immigration Ontiveros living at a one-story clapauthorities took the older brother, too. board home buffeted by pine groves in On December 14, U.S. Immigration Meadowview. and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, “Apparently she still carried a torch arrested Jorge Ontiveros, 41, of for him,” Pacheco said. Sacramento for being in the country Like his younger brother, Ontiveros illegally. The ICE agents were working was booked into jail under the last out of the same Capitol Mall field name “Ontiveros-Cebreros” for being office that came under statewide in the country illegally following a scrutiny over the summer, when previous deportation. He has been in Ontiveros’ younger brother Yovanny custody on a no-bail federal hold ever was apprehended inside Sacramento since. Superior Court. While Ontiveros’ criminal record California Chief Justice Tani G. isn’t spotless, he already Cantil-Sakauye, who recently paid his debt to society. told CALmatters that she Aside According to online left the Republican court records, Party over its from Yovanny, Ontiveros pleaded direction, last year Jorge Ontiveros is the no contest in condemned the only other person local July 2007 to one practice of ICE felony count agents entering ICE agents have booked of possession courthouses as into Sacramento jail for of a controlled “stalking.” deportation in at least six substance for Yovanny’s sale and received attorney Charles months, an SN&R review a four-year prison Anthony Pacheco of booking logs sentence. A felony said in a previfound. count of transporting ous interview that a controlled substance two plainclothes ICE was dismissed. Ontiveros has agents “dressed like bums” no other charges or convictions in approached the bar following his Sacramento County, and he wasn’t on client’s August 22 arraignment and parole or probation when ICE arrested announced they had a warrant to arrest him. him for illegally reentering the United According to the Transactional States. Pacheco said the younger Records Access Clearinghouse at Ontiveros is no longer in ICE custody Syracuse University, 58 percent of the and the criminal charge he was facing 44,435 individuals in ICE custody as of was dismissed in November, online June 30, 2018, had no criminal record. court records show. TRAC also found that an even larger Aside from Yovanny, Jorge proportion—four out of five—either Ontiveros is the only other person had no record, or had only commitlocal ICE agents have booked into ted a minor offense such as a traffic Sacramento jail for deportation in at violation. least six months, an SN&R review of Pacheco said he didn’t know if booking logs found. his client’s brother had retained legal Pacheco said Ontiveros was counsel. Ω Christmas shopping when he ran into






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My favorite books of 2018 by jeff vonkaenel

I love books. I spend a crazy amount of time reading books and listening to audiobooks. It is how I escape the problems of everyday life, and enter a genius-filled world. When I read Theodore White’s The Making of the President 1960 in the fifth grade, it opened my eyes to politics and history in a way that stayed with me for the next six decades. Every year, certain books leave their mark on me. Here are my favorite books of 2018: The book that had the most impact on me this year was Elisabeth Rosenthal’s American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take it Back. A doctor and former New York Times reporter, Rosenthal shows how the economics of doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies manipulate patients into unnecessary expensive procedures. She then provides resources for dealing with the unhealthy health care system. In 2018, I spent more time than I would have liked thinking about President Donald Trump. Fear: Trump in the White House, by Bob Woodward, and Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, by Michael Wolff, both illustrated how crazy things are in Trump’s White House. We should be afraid, very afraid. Another book about politics was recommended to me by a reader last year. It was the 1959 novel, Advise and Consent, by Allen Drury, which tells a fictionalized story about a controversial nominee for Secretary of State and the political machinations that ensued. The audiobook was a wondrous time warp to a time when Washington politics was so different. I read a lot about climate change, but my favorite science books were on genetics. The Evolution of Beauty, by Richard Prum, and She Has Her Mother’s Laugh, by Carl Zimmer, both brought to life the complexities of

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

evolution and told the stories of those who are figuring this stuff out. As the Jerry Brown era comes to a close, it is a great time to read Miriam Pawel’s The Browns of California: The Family Dynasty that Transformed a State and Shaped a Nation. What a tale. The compare and contrast of Edmund “Pat” Brown’s administration, his son Jerry Brown’s first governorship and then Brown’s final governorship is fascinating. For those of you who live in Sacramento, I recommend former Bee reporter and my friend Andy Furillo’s novel The First Year. It is a story of reporting, the Russian mob, Trump and forest fires. It is a sort of love story, and most delightfully, there is a Sacramento business or landmark on nearly every page. I certainly enjoyed it. Other books I liked a lot include Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America, by Richard White, which is a great companion piece to our California State Railroad Museum. Also, the novel 4 3 2 1, by Paul Auster, which tells four different versions of the same life, and Seymour Hersh’s memoir Reporter, which tells the stories behind some of the best journalism of the last 50 years. And finally the book I read before traveling to New York with the Sacramento Metro Chamber study mission, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith. I owe a special thank you to all of the wonderful people at the Sacramento Public Library, particularly the Central Branch, who made my reading this year possible. They provide so much for so many, every day. I am making my 2019 reading list now. Please send me your suggestions. Ω

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

01.10.19    |   SN&R   |   13

M By



M e u n n t o s M

eld i f x a






to Monsters

Why are we still honoring these people? Photos by Matt Fraser


The statue of John A. Sutter came to Sacramento in 1987, a gift from the people of Switzerland.

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September 2018, Phaedra Jones of Stockton was driving through Folsom, saw a sign for Negro Bar Recreation Area and took to the internet in outrage and disgust. After doing a deep dive on the history of the park, Jones learned about the riverside gold-mining operation run by African-Americans during the mid-1800s Gold Rush. While it’s an empowering story for some (read “This black gold ain’t Texas tea,” A&C, June 13, 2002), she launched a campaign to rename the park with a 21st century alternative. It’s a fair concern, considering the implication of designating a location for one ethnic group and this country’s inescapable history of segregation. As of January 7, her online petition had 33,516 signatures from people supporting a new name, potentially one honoring a specific miner. But their push is opposed by those who consider Negro Bar historically accurate. After the violent march in August 2017 by white supremacists protesting the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, monuments to the Confederacy came tumbling down all across the South. California mostly kept its distance from that movement; it’s more of an “over there” problem that we can tsk-tsk about. But the Golden State has its own skeletons in the historical closet, many of them honored with street names and statues. So we turn our gaze to some problematic tributes in the Sacramento region. If you put something up on a pedestal (sometimes literally), you don’t necessarily see the historical context. And it’s usually easier to leave it on that pedestal, despite criticism and demands for removal. These are monuments to people who helped make Sacramento and California into what they are today, but who had deeply troubling, even deadly, interactions with Native American tribes across the state. It’s past time to ask ourselves: Why are these monuments still here? What does it take for one to fall out of favor with the capital city?

HIdeous HoMetown Hero Let’s start with a previous honoree who was actually erased from signs across Sacramento. Meet lifelong Sacramento resident Charles Matthias Goethe (1875-1966), a millionaire philanthropist, conservationist and one of the founding fathers of Sacramento State. He won accolades and commendations from Gov. Pat Brown, received an honorary law degree from the University of Pacific, had parks and schools named after him and even had a celebratory day named in his honor (March 31) by Mayor James B. McKinney. Goethe received more honors than most Sacramentans ever will. He was also an impassioned eugenicist. Eugenics—the pseudoscience of crafting an ideal human race through selective breeding, a staple of the Nazi Holocaust—lost its legitimacy in the United States. But not that long ago. California had a forced sterilization program that operated from 1909 into the 1960s. All told, 20,000 individuals deemed unfit for the gene pool were sterilized by the state. Concerned primarily with preserving white, Nordic genes, Goethe was a member of the Human Betterment Foundation and founded both the Eugenics Society of Northern California and the Immigration Study Commission, the latter used to measure the impacts that Mexican immigrants were having on the average intelligence of U.S. citizens. He spoke in support of Nazi Germany’s programs of sterilization, traveling there and witnessing what he described as an “applied science,” a marvel in action. He shared eugenics pamphlets with the public and supported eugenics movements financially. His reputation for philanthropy is more than a little ironic, given the word’s etymology (kindliness, humanity, benevolence). But rich people who give away lots of money often get things named after them. Until fairly recently, Goethe’s name was plastered all over Sacramento. Charles M. Goethe Middle School

wasn’t renamed for civil rights icon Rosa Parks until 2007. And Goethe Park wasn’t changed to River Bend Park until 2008. Sacramento State’s signs honoring its longtime benefactor (he left hundreds of thousands of dollars and his mansion in his will) have also disappeared over the years. It was 2005 when the university’s Charles M. Goethe Arboretum became the University Arboretum. Goethe’s fall from ill-gotten grace does show that as historical perspectives shift from twisted ideologies and with enough activism, officials are willing to rebrand. Sacramento drew a line in the sand by no longer honoring Goethe—who supported Nazis, tirelessly and shamelessly argued for maintaining the purity of the white race and contributed to the racist narrative that immigrants were making the United States a worse place because of their inferior genes. That’s the baseline. Who else is bad enough to be removed?

Mission: iMperial For decades, California students went through a rite of passage in the fourth grade: recreating the colonization of the state by crafting miniature dioramas of the Spanish missions. It’s a tradition that the state’s educational standards are shifting away from. In 2016, the curriculum framework for fourth graders suggested that teachers avoid the typical mission project, specifically calling out the “sugar cubes” and “popsicle sticks” used by students to make models of what are now viewed by many historians as Franciscan labor farms and heritage erasers. As the curriculum notes, such an activity “does not help students understand the period and is offensive to many.” Junipero Serra, a Franciscan priest known as the father of the Spanish missions in California, is enshrined in a bronze monument in Capitol Park. He looms over a cut-out version of the state, holding a cross and looking penitent and stern. A nearby plaque gives tribute to Serra, claiming “he brought civilization to our land and in deed and character he deserves a formost place in the history of our state.” That’s not the extent of his honors, though. Pope Francis canonized Serra in 2015, and a statue of the 18th-century prosthelytizer fills one of California’s two spots in the National Statuary Hall Collection in the U.S. Capitol, along with President Ronald Reagan. Each state’s statues honor individuals who have had an impact on their history, and Serra certainly fits the bill. Serra, born in 1713 in Spain, made it a personal crusade to convert as many nonChristians as possible to the Catholic church. He came to North America in 1750, and it wasn’t until 1769, when he was 55, that he established Mission San Diego de Alcalá. He then founded a string of eight other missions along the California coast.

This mission system repressed indigenous cultures, replacing long-established traditions, languages and spirituality with European culture. It forced Native Americans to perform manual labor, and when they attempted to return to their tribes, soldiers forced them back. Defenders of the mission system call it the first real civilization in California, even though it led to the steep decline of the Native American population due to the introduction of diseases and conflicts with European settlers. While it’s undeniable that the state’s history was shaped by the missions, and that present-day California exists due to the spread of European culture, that’s not something everyone celebrates. In 2015, state Senator Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, introduced a proposal to replace the U.S. Capitol statue of Serra with one of Sally Ride, the first American woman in space.

Junipero Serra looms over the state of California. He helped found the Spanish mission system in California, which converted Native Americans to Catholicism.

California has its own skeletons in the historical closet. The Senate passed the resolution, but Gov. Jerry Brown opposed it. And so, the Serra statue perseveres.

rediscovering aMerica As long as we’re speaking about people famous for creating the new world at the expense of Native Americans, we ought to talk about Christopher Columbus. The Italian mariner is one of the most controversial figures in history. His name is on cities and countries across the Americas, all because he ushered in the era of European colonization. In recent years, public perception of Columbus has changed, as historians have focused on the atrocities committed by the explorer and his crew. He’s also a marble emissary at the center of the state Capitol rotunda. Columbus kneels in a perpetual state of requesting ships from Queen Isabella. The trio of statues by Larkin Goldsmith Mead, given to the state by Darius Ogden Mills in 1883, is named “Columbus’ Last Appeal to Queen Isabella.” The Capitol Museum’s description mentions some outcry around the time the Capitol was undergoing restoration in the 1970s, namely from the Native Sons of the Golden West, who suggested a Californian be honored instead of Columbus. That didn’t pan out. In 2016, the California Poor People’s Campaign demanded removal of the statues,

“MonuMents to Monsters” continued on page 16 01.10.19    |   SN&R   |   15

“monumenTS To monSTerS” continued from page 15

essentially saying that Columbus was synonymous with genocide of indigenous Americans. That didn’t work, either. Perhaps the celebrated tradition of legislators and lobbyists tossing pennies from the second floor of the rotunda into Queen Isabella’s crown is what’s keeping the statue in place. The work of art is in a prominent, public place, so whether it’s intended to be a statement or not, it is—and not a particularly welcoming one. Is it time to put the statue in a museum somewhere?

The realiTy of John SuTTer

nd by a s e th in e n li a w e r d Sacramento g Charles Matthias no longer honorin ned eugenicist. Goethe—an impassio At the heart of our state Capitol, Christopher Columbus kicks off the colonization of the Americas.

16   |   SN&R   |   01.10.19

Sacramento is a town steeped in myth. It was born during the Gold Rush pioneering days, so its history is often heavily romanticized. The city as it stands today was built on the backs of many people that don’t have fancy development districts named after them. Take a stroll through the Sutter District. The height of fame in Sacramento is having a section of the city rebranded with your moniker—and “General” John Augustus Sutter’s got more than that. He has a fort in the heart of Midtown. He has a health care system named after him. Add to the list a middle school, a street, a creek, a mountain range—and even the late first dog of California, Sutter Brown. The commonly told history of Sacramento in respect to Sutter is a very American tale. Sutter left his home in Switzerland with nothing but the ghosts of his past, including the family and debts he walked out on, in search of a brighter future in the New World. Joined by 10 native Hawaiian workers after he stopped in Honolulu, he arrived in California in 1839. With some land grants from the Mexican governor, he found himself in a place he dubbed New Helvetia. With the help of Native American laborers, Sutter built a fort and started a settlement near the Sacramento River. He was doing alright for himself. Then, by his own account, the discovery of gold at his mill in Coloma ruined him. His workers ran off to pursue their fortunes, his mill was sacked, he had debts to pay and things weren’t looking good.

Well, according to his account in Hutchings’ California Magazine, he took the considered advice of everyone else in the West, outfitted a gold expedition with “one hundred Indians, and about fifty Sandwich Islanders (Kanakas) which had joined those which I brought with me from the Islands.” After moving camp several times and coming up empty, the Kanakas became more indebted to Sutter as they spent wages on “grog-shops,” and he decided the endeavor was no longer worth pursuing. The illustrious wealth he was after never materialized, and he decided to return to Hock Farm, his farming settlement in what’s now Yuba City, with “all my Indians, and who had been with me from the time they were children.” Eventually, Sutter lost his money and died in poverty in 1880. In addition to his own accounts of his interactions with Native Americans, which are more than enough to raise eyebrows, other accounts are even more troubling. James Clyman, a frontiersman, wrote in his diary in 1845 about an experience with Sutter (complete with spelling errors): “Capt keeps 600 or 800 Indians in a complete state of Slavery and as I had the mortification of seeing them dine I may give a short discription 10 or 15 Troughs 3 or 4 feet long ware brought out of the cookroom and seated in the Broiling sun all the Lobourers grate and small ran to the troughs like somany pigs and feed thenselves with their hands as long as the troughs contain even a moisture.” There’s more evidence to suggest that Sutter sold Native Americans into slavery, and potentially worse. In 2016, a Native American musical called “Something Inside is Broken,” written by members of local tribes and depicting Sutter as a man responsible for countless deaths, traumas and more, debuted at Sierra College. The movement to accurately depict Sutter and his interactions with local Maidu tribes is ongoing, but it doesn’t appear his honors will be taken away anytime soon. Sacramento and California shouldn’t rewrite history, but should be aware of historical context. There are a surprising number of tributes to problematic historical figures, particularly those hostile to the indigenous people of the state. This isn’t a squeaky clean refuge of political correctness, but a place still coming to terms with its own history. Ω

My lesson in California history by Maxfield Morris

The real history of Spanish missions is not child’s play


s a product of California public schools who created a model of a Spanish mission in fourth grade, I can testify to the very limited merit of the assignment, though I used Lego bricks instead of sugar cubes. What stuck with me from the project was a sense that the missions were exciting places. It was like a miniature society where people played their parts to make each aspect in life run smoothly. The most conflicted I felt throughout the whole process was when I got jealous of friends that were doing reports on missions with more interesting architecture, or that had more exciting names than mine did. Researching the era again gave me an entirely different perspective. Times were different when Junipero Serra, the father of Spanish mission in California, was evangelizing. European settlers and indigenous Californians understandably had violent differences—but viewed by today’s standards, the legacy of Serra is genocidal. If a modern person led a campaign to stifle thousands of years of native culture, forced indentured servitude and set the stage for policies of repression and assimilation, they certainly wouldn’t be honored. For me, Serra is on the list of folks California should keep in the history books and push off pedestals. Sutter’s Fort in Sacramento exists in that same, oddly sterile world of

scholastic positivity. I never went on the ubiquitous pioneer field trip to the fort, though I briefly tagged along when my older brother did. My memories of it are largely positive: getting to see my sibling dress in a silly outfit, pretending electricity and zippers didn’t exist and eating some apple pie and cornbread. I find myself looking back and wondering if I just didn’t pick up on the terrible details, or if they were simply glossed over. Maybe it’s too difficult to accurately convey atrocities to kids, or too controversial. It’s shocking to see dubious historical figures still propped up in public places, bathed in neutral or positive lights and justified by arguments that times were different back then, or that compared to many other pioneers, John Sutter was a fairly decent guy. And besides, he’s deeply entwined in the history of Sacramento and California. Leaving up equivocal tributes to monsters is effectively the same as rewriting history. A romanticized sculpture of Christopher Columbus, no matter if it’s a work of art, doesn’t belong at the center of our state Capitol. And Sutter, who would be considered morally bankrupt by today’s standards, can’t be handled with kid-gloves. If these figures are going keep their monuments, they should be presented as they lived—exploiting native Californians. Ω

01.10.19    |   SN&R   |   17

Artist of the YeAr


2019  SAMMIES noMInEES Come liSteN to gReat loCal muSiC,

thEn  cASt  your  votE.

sN&r’s sacramento Area Music Awards are back this year with more than 250 artists across 28 categories on the ballot. That’s a lot of music, and it’s testament to the artistic renaissance going on in this region. In 2019, we’re including audio as part of the online voting, so you’ll be able to discover what Sacramento really sounds like. Nominees were selected through a combination of recommendations by promoters, venue owners and experts in the music community; popular vote among readers; and from our editorial staff. Some artists released new music, others performed regularly, and others are longtime favorites. Next week, we’ll announce inductees into the SAMMIES Hall of Fame, for artists who have won three or more times over the years. On January 10, voting for the SAMMIES will begin, continuing until March 12. You can vote at sammies.com. The awards will culminate in our Music issue, publishing March 28, when we’ll announce the winners, but also bring attention to the people who make up the music scene. The SAMMIES are in their 27th year, and the SN&R is proud to spotlight Sacramento music. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to email mozesz@newsreview.com or rachell@ newsreview.com. Thanks for reading. Have fun listening to all the artists. And start voting. —Mozes zarate & rachel leibrock

18   |   SN&R   |   01.10.19

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coVer BANd/triBute folk/BluegrAss BANd According to Bazooka Apple Z Blackout Betty cold Shot cover Me Badd Just Like heaven MoonShine crazy rEMIX Shane Q thunder cover total recall Whoville

deejAY czechmate DJ Eddie Z DJ Elements DJ Epik DJ Essence DJ Lady char DJ Lady Grey DJ Larry rodriguez  DJ nocturnal DJ oasis DJ Zay Zephyr

cloud hats Inland Jessica Malone Manzanita Marty cohen and the  Sidekicks me&you Pine Street ramblers Poor Man’s Whiskey red Dirt ruckus Sea of Bees the herald tre Burt two on tuesday

fuNk Big Sticky Mess George napp Ideateam Joy and Madness the Gold Souls

hArd rock Among the First california riot Act

comforting diner See diSH



weird produce See off menu

Captain Cutiepie  Charles Albright Clevers Creux Lies Destroy Boys Dog Party Life in 24 Frames Free Candy! Madi Sipes and the Painted  HOODS Blue Knockout Melissa Schiller & the Baker  ¡Las Pulgas! Miller Pinks Life of the Afterparty Soft Science MASTOIDS. Sun Valley Gun Club Paper Airplanes Sunmonks Sad Girlz Club The Fontaine Classic Screature The Plastic Shoelaces Sick Burn Trophii Th’Losin Streaks Vasas The Croissants Vinnie Guidera & The Dead  The MOANS Birds The O’Mulligans


VOTING  ENDS MARCH 12. Failure by Proxy Pecker Some Fear None

progreSSive rock/ poSt-Hardcore Dance Gavin Dance Enso Anima Plots Roman Pilot Royal Coda Subtlety Wolf & Bear Zeroclient

Hip-Hop/rap Aye Tee Aziz Williams Jr. BoNey-JaY BrvndonP Bueno Chuuwee Consci8us DLRN Dre-T Hobo Johnson & The  LoveMakers KARE Collective Kassette Kennedy Wrose Lil Darrion Lil Marvaless Lusaid Mi$tuh G Mission Mr. Hooper Nate Curry Poor Majesty Rudy Kalma Saevon That Kid Raja The Gatlin The Philharmonik

indie Animals in the Attic Boy Romeo Eugene Ugly Evil Seagull Fate Under Fire Flight Mongoose Flourish House of Mary


Alex Jenkins (Alex Jenkins  Quartet) Bap Notes City of Trees Brass Band Earles of Newtown Element Brass Band Jack Chandler’s Ice Age  Jazztet Mino Yanci Peter Petty (And His Titans  of Terpsichore!) Shawn Thwaites Rebel  Quartet

metal A Waking Memory Battle Hag CHRCH Chrome Ghost Crimson Eye Endless Yawn Exiled from Grace Graveshadow Horseneck Jack Ketch Kill The Precedent Lunar Modern Man Peace Killers Solanum The Odious Construct Tyrannocannon Wastewalker With Wolves (waning)

r&b/Soul Basi Vibe Jmsey La Tour Leigh Vaughnn Marcel Smith Ode to Saturday The Band Hayez Tropicali Flames

reggae/Jam Arden Park Roots Eazy Dub Empress Niko & The Lion’s  Paw

rock Band of Coyotes Burning Landscapes Cemetery Sun Cities You Wish You Were  From Drug Apts Fallout Kings Honyock Humble Wolf Island of Black and White Mondo Deco

new albumS in 2019 See muSic

Shotgun Sawyer Something Heartfelt The Decibels The Ghost Town Rebellion The Mindful The Roa Brothers Band Todd Morgan Trinidad Silva

rockabilly Dyana and the Cherry Kings Frankie and the Defenders Hypnotic IV The Infamous Swanks Twilight Drifters

Singer-Songwriter Alex Walker Amber DeLaRosa Brandy Robinson Chelsea Hughes Chris Washington Christopher Fairman Erica Ambrin Frank Joseph G. Heather Evans Jenn Rogar Jessica Malone Proxy Moon Richard Urbino

teen Free Candy! Paper Airplanes The Zach Waters Band

world muSic Achilles Wheel Casey Lipka Dinorah & Crosswinds DonGato Latin Band  La Noche Oskura One Eyed Reilly Piper’s Folly Yolo Mambo

See 15 min.


From the ashes nate Smith and Skip culton survived the camp fire but lost their homes. On Sunday, before a Golden 1 Center crowd of  3,000 people, they sung about Paradise, the Butte County  town that was destroyed in the worst wildfire in California history. They bantered between songs, clearly ecstatic  to play the downtown arena for a good cause.  The chart-topping acoustic duo Coldweather Sons  opened california rising, a benefit concert to raise money for victims of the november fires in advance of Gov. Gavin  Newsom’s inauguration. Aside from the philanthropic  theme, the night featured several takes on what a benefit  show in the wake of a tragedy could be, with hopeful notes

and awkward moments. Next up were public officials: state Sen. Jim Nielsen,  R-Gerber, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea and Paradise  Mayor Jody Jones. Nielsen commended the state for  the outpouring of support, and Honea praised the work  of first responders. Jones reminded the audience that

paradise isn’t gone. “As the saying goes around town, we’re just going  through a remodel,” Jones told the audience. “Starbucks is set to open on tuesday.” Soon after, State Senator Mike  McGuire, D-Healdsburg, addressed the crowd on climate  change.  Then the tone shifted. After a dance-y performance  by Australian singer-songwriter Betty Who, Newsom and  his wife Jennifer Siebel Newsom came on stage. newsom

announced that close to $5 million was raised for the california fire foundation. He teased to the next performer, the rap  star Common. “I know you’re like, ‘where’s common?’” Newsom said.  “But first, Jen and I have a song we want to sing.” He was joking. It was funny. He wasn’t done though— singing the praises of Common for his work in social  justice and his artistic successes (“He won a damn  Oscar!”). Gavin concluded, “He’s almost like the Jerry brown

of hip-hop.” Common entered with the song “Glory,” and the audience dug it. He’s good at what he does, and it was just as  physical a performance as any other that night.  Eventually, common shifted the conversation to women. He  performed “The Day Women Took Over” and showed off  his “Believe Women” T-shirt. It was a powerful message,  though some of the lyrics seemed very trivial, and the issues mentioned weren’t explored, just name-dropped. Then there was a bizarre scene in which, Common  explained, he would show the crowd how to approach  a woman like a gentleman. He invited a woman from the

crowd—a single woman, he specified—to join him on stage. What followed was a semi-freestyle performance in  which Common and Tracy got close. He asked Tracy what  she was drinking that night, called her sexy in verse  and suggested they could make another tiger woods. There  was some OK rhyming, but following up his message of  women’s empowerment by making advances to a random  woman seemed hugely tone-deaf. X ambassadors and pitbull also performed. It was a good  night overall, and the novelty of having a governor introduce a musical act is unbeatable. Since he’ll be in town,

punk/poSt-punk Bastards of Young


Sacramento’S relic room


newsom should consider making the role at g1c a recurring one. —Maxfield Morris ma x fie ld m@ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m

01.10.19    |   SN&R   |   19


Deceptively decadent braised beef burGundy melT, mendocino farms

Chile Verde is a popular morning special with flaky pork shoulder, rice and pinto beans. Order it with eggs of your choice and enjoy with warm tortillas.

Cozy little diner The Pitts Stop Restaurant 6610 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard; (916) 391-1559 Good for: Homey diner fare where everybody knows your name Notable dishes: Biscuits and smoky pork gravy, fluffy omelets


Sacramento has its fair share of quirky, old-school breakfast spots that should be treasured, lest they go the way of the lost, lamented Market Club. There’s June’s Café, home of the Wienie Royal scramble; Aviator’s, where one can watch a Cessna aircraft land while eating a standard two-egg meal; Stagecoach Restaurant, where you can dig the Western décor and also dig into West Coast soul food; and the most kitschy (and perhaps least tasty) of all, clown-crammed Pancake Circus. To this delightful list add The Pitts Stop, in business since 1979. A dual cowboy-hatted married couple bellied up to the ’70s, brown-tiled counter and debated whether they’ve been eating at Pitts Stop for 37 or 38 of its 39 years. The wall of photos of regulars also testifies to the loyalty of its clientele and also to the food that owner/cook Denise Shelton serves. Shelton seems to wo-man just about every station, although said regulars sometimes wander behind the counter to refill their own coffee, or in a pinch, offer refills to adjacent tables. One such pinch occurred on my first Saturday visit, when she and the small staff seemed overwhelmed. Almost an hour ticked by between ordering and service. As the apologetic server offered free beverages, the undercooked home fries were an edible indication of the kitchen’s stress. On subsequent visits, the staff was relaxed and the food came out as quickly as scratch-cooked food ever does. 20 | SN&R | 01.10.19


Nothing is as emblematic of comforting leftovers (comparable to Thanksgiving) as Mendocino Farms’ Braised Beef Burgundy Melt ($12.25). This warm sando takes some traditional Thanksgiving flavors and applies them to non-traditional ingredients. The result is a deceptively decadent sandwich of winebraised beef, havarti cheese, pickled red onions, peppery arugula from Scarborough Farms and a spicy dijon aioli between two toasted pieces of rustic white bread. Swap the white for a toasted ciabatta for something a little closer to a fluffy biscuit. Either way, you’ll get the itis, which is the best part of the indulgence ritual anyway. 1610 R Street, Suite 125, mendocinofarms.com. —Jeremy WinsloW

Bourbon and bacon Tusk cockTail, The GranGe

by Becky GRunewald

The smoky cream gravy and caramelized exterior on the pork sausage patty in the Country Benedict ($8.50) erase the memory of the underdone home fries, as do hard-crisped hash browns that accompany an airy Pitts Stop omelet ($8.75). This vegetarian omelet is not the least bit waterlogged despite the presence of juicy veggies such as tomato, spinach and mushroom. Pitts also offers waffles, French toast and pancakes under the charming menu heading “Syrup Delights.” The pancakes likely come from a mix, but a short stack ($5.25) sports requisite lacy edges and fluffy interior. Breakfast and lunch are both served all day, and Shelton will slightly incredulously grill you a cheeseburger at 6:30 a.m., although she might arrive to open the place right around then, rather than the 6 a.m. listed as the opening time online—early birds beware. Said cheeseburger ($7.25) is medium-sized, thin-pattied and well salted, topped with American cheese and mayo, on a grilled Wonder-style sesame seed bun. It comes with crunchy, crinkle-cut fries, as does the Pitts Stop Bird ($8.25), and all the other sandwiches. This grilled turkey sandwich on sourdough has seemingly hand-carved slices of bird, thin and crispy bacon and “Swiss” that is actually white processed cheese that adds a gooey, melty blanket. The Chile Verde special ($9.25) can be seen on at least half the tables on weekends, with good reason; the flaky pork shoulder stew is served with a pile of grilled tortillas and topped with eggs of your choice. It’s hard to be anonymous at Pitts, and you’ll inevitably find yourself in conversation with a customer at an adjacent table, or introduced to Shelton on your first visit as a “new victim.” Visit soon, and make a new acquaintance, with a side of gravy. Ω

“Customers won’t let us take it off the menu,” a bartender at The Grange said when I ordered the Tusk ($14). Made with Buffalo Trace bourbon whiskey, maple-bacon vermouth and a slab of candy-coated bacon reminiscent of a tusk, the lore is that a local mixologist crafted the recipe while on a boar hunt. “Pig drink!” she declared, setting the concoction before me. “Manly!” I agreed. The first sip: pure bourbon. I could barely taste any trace of maple. Slowly ... slowly the maple bacon dissolves, sweetening the brawny edges of alcohol into a truly candied cocktail. I sip until all that’s left is the trophy, which I eat with a salty, satisfying crunch. 926 J Street, grangerestaurantandbar.com. —amy bee

The V WOrD

Goulash orkestar The heat is off the attendees of Sacramento Vegetarian Society’s monthly vegan potluck to perform in the kitchen this month. Instead, The Touring Vegan Chef Joshua Ploeg will do all the cooking. Ploeg, formerly based in Sacramento, is also a cookbook author and punk-rock noise maker. He’s making a buffet-style brunch Sunday, January 13 at the Southside Park Cohousing courtyard (434 T Street) at 11 a.m. For $15 a head, fill a plate (or bowl) with Dutch pea soup, white bean goulash, demi baguette, jackfruit tacos with homemade corn tortillas, ratatouille, salad and fruit crumble, all “vegan, oil-free, gluten-free, soy-free,” according to SVS. Get more details at facebook.com/ SacVegSociety. But if you can’t get goulash brunch on Sunday, January 14 is Meatless Monday at Old Ironsides (1901 10th Street), 6 p.m.-9 p.m., and meatless meals are only five bucks. Not sure if vegan goulash will be there too, but there definitely will be music. —shoka

Photo courtesy of ImPerfect Produce

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“I believe the biggest injustice in our food system Too big. Too small. Too curvy. A little scarred. These is we have 40 percent of our food being wasted are some of the reasons 20 billion pounds of perfectly while we have 40 million Americans struggling with good fruits and vegetables are wasted before they hunger,” Simon said. even hit grocery stores, according to a report by He added that it’s not only important to reduce ReFED, a nonprofit seeking to reduce food waste in food waste, but to also help all people gain access the United States. to fresh produce. Imperfect has already Enter Imperfect Produce, a San donated 6,000 pounds of fruits and Francisco-based company that figured veggies to the Sacramento Food Bank out that there is indeed a market for “Anything & Family Services. wonky-looking fruits and veggies can disqualify Also, anyone who qualifies for delivered to people’s homes. a fruit or vegetable food benefits—through CalFresh “At this point, anything can in California—receives a discount disqualify a fruit or vegetable from going to the on their produce box. Simon said from going to the grocery store. If grocery store.” that more than 8,500 families a clementine is 2 millimeters too across the country who use small, it’s not going to end up in that Ben Simon Imperfect get the discount. bag of Halos or Cuties,” Ben Simon, CEO, co-founder “There’s been a lot of talk about CEO and co-founder told SN&R. “It’s Imperfect Produce food deserts as a growing issue in a lot not going to make it over to Raley’s. It’s of cities in America,” he said. “To be able going to, in many cases, get rejected and go to to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables animal feed or to other destinations.” that anyone in that city with internet access and an Imperfect Produce launched in 2015 and now address can access for half of what it costs in the operates in 12 cities, including four in California. In grocery store, and have that delivered to their house, December, Imperfect started deliveries of custom it makes a humongous difference.” Ω boxes of funky produce in the Farm-to-Fork capital. Depending on the size of the box, prices range from Visit imperfectproduce.com to get your very $11 to $27 and $15 to $43 for organic, plus a $4.99 own box of quirky fruits and veggies. delivery charge.


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01.10.19    |   SN&R   |   21

Reviews PHoTo CourTeSy oF HArriS CeNTer

Who ‘dun dun dun!’ it? By Patti RobeRts

PHoTo CourTeSy oF CHArr CrAil PHoTogrAPHy

Math is seldom the subject of performance—but that’s about to change.

Mug while you can, David taylor Gomes—until one of the dozen characters you portray gets caught! by Paul Helm’s character.

Murder for Two



Thu 7pm, Fri 8pm, Sat 8pm & 2pm, Sun 2pm & 7pm, Wed 7pm. Through 2/10; $20-$38; Sacramento Theatre Company, Pollock Stage, 1419 H Street; (916) 443-6722; sactheatre.org.

Murder for Two, now playing at Sacramento Theatre Company, is a whodunit where, frankly, you don’t really care who did it or who it was done to. That’s because the real spotlight in this madcap musical mystery is on the two high-energy leads who portray more than a dozen characters while also singing, dancing and playing the piano. For STC, this two-man show is handled with aplomb by the talented team of Paul Helm as policeofficer/wannabe-detective Marcus Moscowicz and David Taylor Gomes as a dozen suspects and household guests. The play’s pace is nonstop, the energy level is overthe-top, and the comic mugging is endless—eclipsing the plot line altogether—which is simply a murder at a birthday party where everyone has a motive. With their comedic pacing, synchronized prancing and playful ivory-tickling, the Helm-Gomes duo is the epitome of a vaudeville comedy team inside a film noir setting. Murder for Two was created by the musical duo of Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair during the height of the Great Recession, when money was tight for both theaters and theatergoers, so the duo opted for the cast of two, with minimal story lines, sets and costumes. And it works once you accept the fact that the show is campy, the story quirky, the musical numbers corny and that the ending arrives before the whole thing becomes tiresome. Who did the dastardly deed to whom? In the end, it doesn’t matter a whit. Ω 22





4 Heartbreaking hunchback

The Davis Musical Theatre Company has pulled out all the stops for its magnificent production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Director Steve Isaacson has assembled some of the best talent that has graced the DMTC stage recently. Gannon Styles plays Quasimodo, the misshapen hunchback, who has lived his entire life in the bell tower of Notre Dame Cathedral and who wants, one day, to be part of the outside world. Styles will be remembered for his strong performance as Daddy Warbucks in DMTC’s last production of Annie and is no less memorable in this role. The hearing-challenged Quasimodo has difficulty speaking clearly, but is positively eloquent when communicating with his gargoyle friends. His final scene will tear your heart out. Andy Hyun plays the priest, Claude Frollo, who reluctantly takes in the deformed child of his late brother and raises him in a bell tower, where he can’t be seen by others. Frollo is a grim disciplinarian and moralist who has his own weaknesses, as we discover when he finds himself attracted to the sensuous gypsy Esmeralda. Hyun, who has played a number of good guys over the years, is particularly effective in this bad guy role. Aimee Rose Santone’s Esmeralda has a sharp edge to her, but she displays a tender side both in her love of Captain Phoebus de Martin (Tate Pollock) and her friendship with Quasimodo. There is no happily ever after in this version of the story, but DMTC does an excellent job of telling it. Don’t miss this one. —Bev SykeS The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Fri 8pm, Sat 8pm, Sun 2pm; Through 1/27; $16-$18; Jean Henderson Performing Arts Center, 608 Pena Street in Davis; (530) 756-3682; dmtc.org.

Some people find math incredibly daunting and mysterious. Not me—I was a mathlete for 6 years—but some people find it opaque. Mathematical Mysteries, an act from magician Danny Carmo, expands on that hazy impression by introducing elements of illusion into an engaging act aimed at children. The showman from Northern Ireland mixes the two worlds together and is designed to get hesitant learners interested in math by presenting it in an engaging light. Featuring such famous concepts as probability, fractions and magic squares, this show is a delight and may even tickle some brains. It’s also the show that was the one millionth Harris Center ticket was purchased on. Sun 1/13, 1pm & 3pm. $11.50-$18, Harris Center, 10 College Parkway in Folsom, harriscenter.net.

Shen Yun Participate in 5,000 years of tradition with a performance from Shen Yun, the theatrical dance and music experience brought to New York in 2006. The art form, exclusively performed outside of China, is built on the foundation of traditional Chinese dance. With music that has been blended with different cultures and stories that are as timeless as they are engaging, this show is brilliant and multifaceted. Considering the contemporary historical context of China erasing certain aspects of their culture, these performances are more than just art. They’re political commentary. Thu 2pm, Fri 7:30pm, Sat 2pm & 7:30pm. Through 1/12. $80-$200, Sacramento Community Center Theater, 1301 L Street, shenyun.com.

—Maxfield MorriS

1 2 3 4 5 Foul




SuBliMe DoN’T MiSS

fiLm CLiPS

I’ll be high for Christmas



The prospect of a sixth film in the live-action Transformers franchise seemed unappealing enough without it being fashioned as a sidekick origin story, but Travis Knight’s Bumblebee is by far the best entry to date. To the surprise of no one, the removal of Michael Bay from the creative driver’s seat results in a sharp rise in visual coherence and a sharp dip in toxic masculinity. In his place, Knight—CEO of Laika and director of Kubo and the Two Strings—consciously evokes the wonderstruck, warmhearted, family-oriented fantasy films of the 1980s, most notably E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. Hailee Steinfeld stars as Charlie, a gearhead outcast whose car transforms into the Autobot known as Bumblebee, an alien fugitive hunted by both evil Decepticons and the U.S. military. If anything, the film veers too hard towards sentimentality, but any random five minutes of Bumblebee contains more humanity than the previous five Transformers movies combined. D.B.

1 Ben Is Back Julia Roberts (left) delivers a moving performance as Lucas Hedges’ (right) emotionally devastated mother.


by JIm Lane

dementia-riddled, whose opioid prescription after a skateboard injury got Ben hooked in the first place. While his wife is away, Holly rails at the senile old man—“I hope you die In Ben Is Back Julia Roberts plays Holly Burns, a a horrible death”—frustrated that he’ll forget suburban mother of teenage Ivy (Kathryn Newton) her anger in five minutes while she’ll always and, by her second husband Neal (Courtney B. fester with it. Vance), preteens Lacey (Mia Fowler) and Liam She and Ben encounter the mother of (Jakari Fraser). After picking up the kids from Maggie, Ben’s girlfriend who died of the drugs a Christmas Eve rehearsal at church, she drives he hooked her on. Everywhere they turn, they home to find an unexpected guest: Her oldest see the wreckage that Ben’s using, lying and child, young adult Ben (Lucas Hedges). He relapsing have wrought, while Ben’s has been in a sober-living rehab facility steps are shadowed by his former for the past 77 days, and now he’s drug associates who, we sense, home for Christmas on a 24-hour know him better than his own pass. His sponsor thought it mother does—though maybe Julia Roberts’ would be a good idea, Ben no better than do his sister performance is, promises Holly. and stepfather. Ivy has heard Ben’s promif anything, even Written and directed ises before; her stomach turns at by Peter Hedges (father of braver than Lucas the thought that her holiday has Lucas), Ben Is Back—despite just been ruined. She calls Neal Hedges.’ Lucas’ brave performance, to tell him: Here comes trouble. isn’t Ben’s movie, it’s Meanwhile, Holly does her hasty Holly’s—the portrait of an best to junkie-proof the house, then enabler whose determination not to sternly tells Ben he is not to leave her sight give up on her son threatens to drag the while he’s home—no, not even in the bathroom— rest of the family, even the family dog, down and he’s to go back to the facility promptly the to hell with him. next day. Ben flirts with a don’t-you-trust-me It’s Roberts’ movie, too; her performance pout, but he knows it won’t fly. He has been is, if anything, even braver than Hedges’. trusted too many times. Her Holly caroms between anger, despair, Then, out of Ben’s earshot, Holly snarls in frustration and hope, after all this time still not anger at Ivy and Neal, who can’t bring themselves sure what to do about anything. Ben Is Back to disguise their dread and resignation at what imparts a clear-eyed insight that it’s everyone, they sense is inevitably coming. Is she angry for not just the addict, who has to take things one Ben, because they’re giving up on him, or for day at a time. Ω herself, because they can’t at least pretend to share her denial? Holly’s watchdog duties threaten to overwhelm both her and Ben. Shopping at the mall, she encounters the family doctor, now Poor Fair Good Very excellent

1 2 3 4 5 Good

by DanIeL BaRneS & JIm Lane

Holmes and Watson

Sherlock Holmes (Will Ferrell) and Dr. Watson (John C. Reilly) investigate a series of murders that may be the work of Professor Moriarty (Ralph Fiennes) and seem to be working up to assassinating Queen Victoria (Pam Ferris). Somebody—writer-director Etan Cohen, maybe—got the idea to cast Ferrell and Reilly, and to recruit a decent supporting cast: Fiennes, Rebecca Hall, Steve Coogan, Kelly Macdonald, Lauren Lapkus. Then it all went to hell. Every joke sinks, and every actor is wasted (especially Fiennes). Ferrell and Reilly’s comic rapport, which squeaked them by in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and Step Brothers, abandons them completely, and they seem to know it. The smell of flop-sweat permeates the movie like real sweat in a locker room. It’s too bad to be offensive, too inert to be annoying. J.L.


If Beale Street Could Talk


Mary Poppins Returns

Two years ago, with only a 2008 no-budget feature and a few short films to his credit, writer-director Barry Jenkins shepherded a cast of unknowns, a rookie editor and a cinematographer best known for shooting Kevin Smith movies to Oscar glory with Moonlight. A film that was both grounded and mythic, realistic and dreamlike, Moonlight took generalities about the African-American experience involving identity and injustice and made them deeply personal, cathartic and transcendent. In adapting James Baldwin’s 1974 novel If Beale Street Could Talk, Jenkins pulls the reverse trick, turning the specifics of early 1970s Harlem back into free-floating generalities about the African-American experience. The lyrical tone and aesthetics remain, but you can feel the weight of expectations pushing down on If Beale Street Could Talk. The crushing need for this follow-up to be on that same level of “significance” as its award-winning forebear seems to constantly breathe down the film’s neck. D.B.

The magical nanny (Emily Blunt, superb) returns to 17 Cherry Tree Lane, where Michael Banks (Ben Whishaw), now grown and widowed with kids of his own (Pixie Davis, Nathanael Saleh, Joel Dawson), is about to lose the family home to foreclosure. Directed by Rob Marshall, who co-wrote with David Magee and John DeLuca (inspired by P.L. Travers’ stories), this sequel has been 54 years coming—and it’s worth every day of the wait. Marshall hews close to the original in style and structure, and the charming songs by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman almost match the brilliance of Robert and Richard Sherman’s original score. Emily Mortimer co-stars as sister Jane, with Lin-Manuel Miranda, Julie Walters, Colin Firth, Meryl Streep, Dick Van Dyke and Angela Lansbury in loving support. Sure to charm all but the most churlish cynic, it is, like Mary Poppins herself, practically perfect in every way. J.L.


On the Basis of Sex

Imagine being one of the towering judicial figures of your generation and having two dull, wimpy, blandly respectful, painfully unimaginative films made about you in the same year. Right on the dragging heels of Julie Cohen and Betsy West’s superficial and sycophantic documentary RBG comes On the Basis of Sex, a bleary-eyed book report of a biopic about the early years of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The flavorless, barely tolerable non-drama of On the Basis of Sex was probably intended as good-foryou movie medicine, but if this is the cure, I’ll take my chances with the disease. Granted, any great judge probably lives a generally undramatic life, but that only means that crafting great drama from that life requires filmmaking with the guts and fearlessness of a Ginsburg. Instead, TV veteran Mimi Leder (Pay It Forward) and first-time screenwriter Daniel Stiepleman deliver a pandering, simpering and simplistic treatment. D.B.


Second Act




Welcome to Marwen

A worker at a big box store (Jennifer Lopez), bumping against the glass ceiling, reluctantly goes along when her best friend (Leah Remini) creates a false resume that lands her a corner-office job at a high-end cosmetics company, where the owner (Treat Williams) likes her but his hotshot daughter (Vanessa Hudgens) gets her back up from the start. Rather than freshen its formula, the movie simply switches midstream from one stale formula to another, with a reckless twist in Justin Zackham and Elaine GoldsmithThomas’ script that would leave a less likeable cast high and dry, especially given Peter Segal’s humdrum direction. All three of them are lucky the cast is good enough—if not to pull it off, at least to make it go down painlessly. Charlyne Yi supplies fun as half-phobic, half-kinky office drone. J.L.

Another smugly contemptuous, aesthetically atrocious, vaguely comedic screed from The Big Short writerdirector Adam McKay, this time a tragically overreaching attempt to capture the complexities of snarling Republican supervillain Dick Cheney. The film covers Cheney’s life from his pre-political years as a deadbeat drunk through his 2012 heart transplant, jumping around not just in time but in genres, tones and points of view. McKay wants to demonize and humanize Cheney at the same time, and the effect is like simultaneously watching ten different Dick Cheney biopics, all of them tedious. Abetted by stellar makeup, prosthetics and wig work, Christian Bale does a solid impression of Cheney, and the film gets good supporting work from Amy Adams, Steve Carell and Sam Rockwell, but it mostly feels like a 132-minute sketch. For Cheney-related comedy that more adroitly blends anger, absurdity and intelligence, see almost any random Bush II-era episode of The Daily Show. D.B.

Beaten nearly to death by bar thugs, an artist (Steve Carell) finds therapy in a miniature World War II village he builds in his yard, staging combat fantasies with action-figures, himself as a fly-boy G.I. Joe, his assailants as Nazi soldiers and women in his life as gun-toting Barbie dolls—all of which he carefully photographs. Director Robert Zemeckis (co-writing with Caroline Thompson) turns the true story of Mark Hogancamp (told in the 2010 documentary Marwencol) into a psychodrama caroming from war-movie fantasies where “Cap’n Hogie” exerts cool command, to a cringing reality where Hogancamp struggles to cope. It’s technically brilliant and very well-acted—especially by Leslie Mann as Hogancamp’s new neighbor and latest crush—but it never quite attains the emotional punch it’s aiming for. J.L.






B.I.G. greatest-hits record. Bold talk from a rap legend? 2019 may tell!

hI, MoM Inspired by Green Day, Weezer and Fountains of Wayne, vocalist/guitarist Bailey Zindel says he wrote Songs for Me when he sobered up in 2016. Afterward, the songs seemed to flow naturally. “I write about stuff that’s very personal to me and very specific to my life, but I try to do it with real sincere honesty, which is what I think makes music feel most genuine,” he says. “I just hope … that people can come away with a better understanding of how my struggles have been, and maybe connect that to their own lives.” This fairly new pop-punk band is having its record release show at Holy Diver on January 17. Th’Losin Streaks are out of the garage, into the wild and ready to wreck its upcoming album release party at Harlow’s. Photo courtesy of Liv Moe

Sounds of the new year Upcoming local music we’re stoked about, so far by Steph RodRiguez ste p h r @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m

The GoLD SouLS The Gold Souls were very busy in 2018. The funk-soul five-piece released its first full-length album Good to Feel, toured down the California coast, played countless local shows and released a music video for its song “Silver Tongue.” This year, vocalist Juniper Waller says the band plans to release new singles that will give fans a taste of a second album in the works. The singles will be available online (thegoldsouls.com) on February 12 with a release party planned on Valentine’s Day at the Palms Playhouse in Winters.

MonDo Deco In 2019, Sacramento artists are coming in hot, and that means plenty of new music to tune into. SN&R picked some of the most promising albums and singles to add to your record collection. So get ready to listen in and listen up:

Th’ LoSIn STreakS Tim Foster, Mike Farrell, Stan Tindall and Matt K. Shrugg are linked to some of the most raw and energetic bands in the local music scene since the late ’80s and beyond: The Trouble Makers, GTM, Daisy Spot, Drug Apts. and, of course Th’ Losin Streaks. Formed in 2003, Th’ Losin Streaks were influenced by 1960s garage bands, but were also pretty involved with the local punk scene. “The original ’60s punk stuff that inspired us has an energy that came straight out of Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis. You hear that in the Kinks and the Sonics and the 10,000 garage bands that made their one single and 24





then got drafted so the band broke up,” Foster says. Feel the angst on Th’ Losin Streaks’ new record, This Band Will Self-Destruct in T-Minus (Slovenly Recordings), which revives their original songs. They’re also debuted a music video for the single “Too Late,” directed by Karlos Rene Ayala, which takes you on a Google Street View journey through Sacramento. Catch Th’ Losin Streaks live at its record release party January 11 at Harlow’s, with The Decibels and The Snobs.

The DecIbeLS Speaking of The Decibels, they’re one of Sac’s longest-running power pop bands, and they’re back. Formed in the early ’90s, this four-piece group wears sleek suits and takes listeners back to ’60s rock ’n’ roll stylings, with easy-to-sing-along lyrics. “You add the mod or rock ’n’ roll aesthetic to it, and there is just a certain joy and energy that, when done well, makes

you feel that for at least the two minutes and 50 seconds the song is playing, all is right with the world,” says vocalist/guitarist Dean Seavers. Its most recent album, Scene, Not Herd (Screaming Apple records), was pressed in mid-December in Europe, and the Decibels are sharing a release show with garage punks Th’ Losin Streaks.

hobo JohnSon In 2018, Hobo Johnson’s viral spokenword rap “Peach Scone” propelled him onto outdoor festivals, world tours and a record deal, and The Rise of Hobo Johnson (Warner Bros./Reprise Records) was the indie poet’s first major label re-release. Now, Johnson plans to put out a new full-length some time this year (though no album title or date has been announced). Snoop Dogg recently Instagram-posted a vinyl of The Rise next to his own 1993 debut Doggystyle, a Wu-Tung Clan LP and a Notorious

Following the release of its 2017 album Death Rattle Roll, the glam rock/power pop band is set to release 13 new songs this spring. Although the album title isn’t confirmed, members Jereme Greene and Kolton James Kammerer say the album rings closer to the band’s full-bodied live sound, with lyrical content that explores social and political issues. “We’ve gotten a little more heavy and punchy with our tones, and we’ve allowed for a little more space and psychedelic textures in some of the songs,” Kammerer says.

SaD GIrLz cLub Sad Girlz Club is another awesome, upbeat punk band. Riding the momentum of its debut summer demo Membership Dues, SGC plans to release its full-length record Hard Feelings (Bomb Pop Records) on February 22 with Vinnie Guidera & the Dead Birds, Bastards of Young and City Mouse at a reopened Cafe Colonial on Stockton Boulevard. Ω

for the week of january 10

by maxfield morris

PoST EVEnTS onLinE For FrEE AT newsreview. com/sacramento

Music tHursdaY, 1/10 THE FonTAinE CLASSiC: Sunset Scenarios play with these local musicians that put the “indie” in folk music. 9pm, $10-$12. Momo, 2708 J St.

HEnrY SPiLLEr: All harp, all the time. Join professor of music at UC Davis for some tunes composed by Sophia Dussek, Marcel Tournier and Lou Harrison. 12:05pm, no cover. Ann E. Pitzer Center, Hutchison Drive and Cushing Way in Davis.

oF THiS EArTH: Playing with Stoopkid,

Fixed price fine dining Various locations and times, $35 A wise woman once said, “Food is fun to eat. I wish there was a Dine Downtown Restaurant Week in Sacramento, featuring a set price for threeFood & drink course meals at a number of eateries. I’m talkin’ all the establishments—35 of them, including Empress Tavern, The Melting Pot, Tower Bridge Bistro, Binchoyaki and more. A good

TiCkET WindoW Hannibal buress The very funny

comedian who shares his name with a famous film serial killer will very likely slay. 1/29, 10:30pm, $35, on sale now. Harlow’s, ticketfly. com.

bad suns This rock band burst onto

the scene in 2012 like an exploding celestial body, but they’ve got much broader market appeal than that. . You might know them for “Cardiac Arrest. ” 2/27, 7pm, $20-$23, on sale now. Ace of Spades, eventbrite. com.


At a certain point, I thought Muse was the biggest band in the entire world. Let that past version

price seems like $35 at each location—not including tax and tip, of course. And I wish a dollar from every meal went to social services and food literacy programs. ” In the spirit of this anonymous and not made up person, come try some of the restaurants you’ve passed up in the past. Godowntownsac. com/events/ signature-events/dine-downtown.

FridaY, 1/11 THE EnGLiSH BEAT: Spend some time with the English Beat, with Dave Wakeling and company. They’re on a pretty regular schedule touring through town—you might call it their “beat. ” Get it? 7pm, $20-$25. Ace of Spades, 1417 R St.

Ann LAVin: Another faculty member at UC Davis shares some music, this time it’s on the clarinet though with Ann Lavin. John Cozza takes piano, and they perform “Music on the Orient Express,” a selection of works by composers such as Debussy, Brahms and Hines. 7pm, $12-$24. Ann E. Pitzer Center, Hutchison Drive and Cushing Way in Davis.

THE iron MAidEnS: Don’t miss the female tribute to Iron Maiden—they’re unfathomably popular, with more than 1. 25 million likes on Facebook. SJ Sindicate, from San Jose, also will perform. 7pm, $20$25. Holy Diver, 1517 21st St.

MAdiSon HUdSon: Releasing an EP, the Madison Hudson band will perform new country music, and it’s free. 7pm, no cover. Goldfield Trading Post, 1630 J St.

MMF WinTEr inTErLUdE #1-PoiSE MEETS GrooVE: Watermelon Music hosts this winter

let’s get ticky with it!

of me endorse them for you—because they are pretty darn great. 3/7, 7:30pm, $39. 50-$400, on sale now. Golden 1 Center, ticketmaster. com.

andrew McMaHon in tHe wilderness McMahon’s got some

catchy songs and an interesting voice and was behind Jack’s Mannequin. Catch him with Flor and Grizfolk. 3/19, 6pm, $32-$125, on eventbrite. com. sale now. Ace of Spades, eventbrite

cats Baron Andrew Lloyd

Webber decided not to work with a living lyricist and instead opted to collaborate with the late T. S. Eliot, much to our gain. Don’t miss the Broadway musical on tour.

Say it is so, Rivers.

PHoto courtesY oF tHe MeltinG Pot

1UGH 1 THro 21

Look at the fun you’ll have sharing meals!

information about the band is not immediately accessible online, so if you know what kind of music it is, please tell your fellow Sacramentans. Do my job for me. 7:30pm, $5. Old Ironsides, 1901 10th St.

4/2-4/7, various

times, $26-$95, on sale now. Community Center Theatre, my. broadwaysacramento. com.

weezer Rivers Cuomo and other

members of the alt-rock band that definitely hasn’t peaked yet is playing with Pixies. Get those tickets soon. 4/9, 7pm, $21. 44-$230, on sale now. Golden 1 Center, ticketmaster. com.

P!nk On her Beautiful Trauma tour, the Doylestown, Pa. singer will perform alongside Julia Michaels and KidCutUp.

4/10, 7:30pm, $79. 94-$1000, on sale now. Golden 1 Center, ticketmaster. com.

ariana Grande Name a more

popular artist than Grande—I’ll wait. Van Gogh? That’s not the kind of artist I meant, but way to think outside the box. Don’t miss the pop sensation. 5/3, 7:30pm, $150-$500, on sale now. Golden 1 Center, ticketmaster. com.

concert with jazz and classical ensembles. Meet up for some Mendelssohn, go wild for Schoenfield and be there for Bolling. It’s free for kids and students. 7:30pm, no cover-$15. Watermelon Music, 1970 Lake Blvd. , Suite 1 in Davis.

SQUArE CooLS: Rocking and rolling with guitars and a bass guitar and a drum set, Square Cools shred, wail and more. Divine Blend also performs—and would it kill you, dear reader, to follow their Instagram? 9pm, $7. Old Ironsides, 1901 10th St.

TH’ LoSin STrEAkS: It’s an album release show. It’s Th’ Losin Streaks. It’s garage rock at its finest, plus the Decibels and the Snobs. That’s not a slam on those bands. 9pm, $10$12. Harlow’s, 2708 J St.

ViCTiMS FAMiLY: Hardcore punk band plays with Nasalrod, the Freak Accident and Frack! If you don’t like missing punk shows, this is one punk show you won’t want to miss. Also, our legal team advised me to state that the publishing of this listing does not constitute support of the practice of oil

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 snrcalendar@newsreview.com.

fracking. 8:30pm, $12-$14. Blue Lamp, 1400 Alhambra Blvd.

saturdaY, 1/12 THE FLESH HAMMErS: Usually “flesh hammers” means something else, but tonight it means a new album from the Flesh Hammers named Cinco as well as punk rock music. It also means Ranchero, Super Nintenbros and Bad Patterns are rocking the docket. 8pm, $10. The Blue Lamp, 1400 Alhambra Blvd.

inTrLUdE: The musical meet-up of the evening is between trap music and R&B sounds. See how the two complement and contrast in: Trap vs. RNB. 10pm, no cover in advance-$15. Momo, 2708 J St.

iriSHPALooZA 2019: Ireland is a heck of a long way from here. Harlow’s is a lot closer, so instead of flying or boating across the Atlantic Ocean, come see Irish music from One Eyed Reilly, the Pikeys, Stepping Stone and dancing from the McKeever School of Irish Dance 5:30pm, $15. Harlow’s, 2708 J St.

THE MAGPiE SALUTE: Now this is a show you won’t want to miss. For two whole years, the Salute has been performing its bluesy rock in the wake of the Black Crowes’ disbandment in 2015. 7pm, $30-$50. Harris Center, 10 College Parkway in Folsom.

PAUL WALL: The Houston, Tex. rapper comes to Harlow’s along with Matt Briscoe, C2DaJay, Gutti B and Dot Com. 10pm, $20$25. Harlow’s, 2708 J St.

PAUL WiLLiS ALBUM rELEASE: Paul Willlis, local hip-hop advocate and artist, is releasing a new album. There’s food, there’s drinks, there’s going to be other performers that haven’t been announced as of our press date—come join in the music. 8pm, $5$20. Luna’s Cafe & Juice Bar, 1414 16th St.

ToMorroWS BAd SEEdS: American reggae music is coming to town, and if the band name is any indication, they will raise some trouble in coming days. 7pm, $15. Goldfield Trading Post, 1630 J St.

sundaY, 1/13 BAnAnA SUndAES: Nick Monaco is bringing the music, as are Karizma, Spiro and Chango. There will also be sorbet, other edible treats and some dancing—that is, as long as at least one person starts dancing. It could be you! 3pm, $5. The Flamingo House Social Club, 2315 K St.

nAPPY rooTS: The southern rap quartet got signed and then went independent. Go check ’em out, they make some solid sounds. 7pm, $20-$22. Holy Diver, 1517 21st St.

rEEL BiG FiSH: Never losing relevance, Reel Big Fish are still flopping like fish and going ska-wild. They’re on their The Life Sucks… Let’s Dance! Tour, and the aforementioned disclaimer about dancing applies (see Banana Sundaes, two entries up). 6:30pm, $23-$27. Ace Of Spades, 1417 R St.

THE rETUrn oF CoLoSSUS WEST: Levi Saelua’s big band is returning as part of the Midtown Vanguard series. There’s new music with a cast of performers that will be playing

CALEndAr LiSTinGS ConTinUEd on PAGE 26






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

thurSday, 1/10

dumplings, soup, salad and an opening blessing. If you and your significant other keep arguing who’s cooking dinner on Thursday, stop. Let the monks cook. 7pm, $35. El Dorado Federated Church, 1031 Thompson Way in Placerville.

Creation district Studio opening party Wind Youth ServiCeS Center, 7:30pm, no Cover

Friday, 1/11 out the event highlight on page 25, which features 30 restaurants offering foodie heaven. 5pm, $35. Various locations, Downtown Sacramento.


Calendar liStinGS Continued From paGe 25

wedneSday, 1/16

thurSday, 1/10 Creation diStriCt Studio openinG party: Come check out the new digs of the Creation District. There’s an event highlight on page 26. 7:30pm, no cover. Wind Youth Collaborative, 815 S St.

doG party: The Sacramento slayers, the most metal of light punk rock is performing with a vengeance—and with the Gutter Daises, Honyock and the Me Gustas. What better plans do you have for this Wednesday, doing a jigsaw puzzle with Nana and Peepaw? If you already made plans with them, fine, fulfill your commitments—but if you finish the puzzle early, come check out Dog Party. 8pm, $10. Blue Lamp, 1400 Alhambra Blvd.

portland Cello proJeCt: Most bands are pretty good—but they’re often missing a key element. In nearly every case, they’re missing a cello. This collective may have slightly over-corrected for the problem, featuring just a whole bunch of cellos. No, it’s the right amount. Experience the cello as you never have before. 9pm, $40. B Street Theatre, 2700 Capitol Ave.

involved in tourism in El Dorado County? Well, if you are, and you haven’t already heard about the 2019 Tourism Summit, continue reading: At the summit, you’ll hear from industry leaders, get lessons on attracting tourism, how to “send a clear and powerful message to desirable customers” and more. Includes lunch and beverages. 9am, $30-$40. Holiday Inn Express, 4360 Town Center Blvd. in El Dorado Hills.

Saturday, 1/12 eaSyriderS biKe SHow tour: Come check out this showing of motorcycles, featuring custom hogs from those road warriors, those folks on motorbikes, the two-wheeled traditionalists, the handlebar honchos. Also, it looks like there will be dancers? 10am, $20-$25. Sacramento Convention Center Complex, 1400 J St.

oneSie bar Crawl 2019: Do you own a onesie? Have you been looking for an excuse to wear it into a whole bunch of bars? Well, now you don’t need an excuse. Come out and throw out your New Year’s resolution to put effort into your appearance. There’s a whole bunch of bars, a whole bunch of themes and a bunch of music and foods. 4pm, $25$30. Republic Bar & Grill, 908 15th St.

Divide + Dissolve and Bhutanese guitar from Tashi Dorji. 8pm, $12.50-$15. Harlow’s, 2708 J St.

violent J oF inSane Clown poSSe: You know, Insane Clown Posse has gotten more flak over the years than just about anyone— which is not an easy thing to do. Come celebrate the flak with Violent J, Esham and more. 7pm, $20-$25. Holy Diver, 1517 21st St.

Food & drinK thurSday, 1/10 tibetan beneFit dinner: The Tibetan Monks of Gaden Shartse monastery will be cooking this benefit dinner. There will be momo




veGanuary Celebration: Veganuary is here, and that means it’s time to celebrate veganism. This event features “Dr. Mondo” discussing health benefits of going vegan, Nick’s Kitchen will be sharing Filipino vegan food and Basi Vibe will be performing. 4pm, $25-$55. Pachamama Coffee, 919 20th St.

tueSday, 1/15 2018 Food & Farm SCoreCard releaSe party: The California Food & Farming Network will be releasing their 2018 scorecards. They seek to give a score to state legislators based on how they voted on agricultural legislation. 5:30pm, $20. Mulvaney’s B&L, 1215 19th St.

HealtHy CooKinG on a budGet: Sacramento Activist School brings this food class to the city. Lizzy Ramirez will lead the class, sharing a recipe for Quesadillas de Flor de Jamaica. As always, no one turned away for lack of funds. 6pm, $5-$10. Sol Collective, 2574 21st St.


comedy lauGHS unlimited Comedy Club: Alex Elkin. Yikes, yikes. Yikes. Yikes! Yiiiikes. [TKTKTKT KTKTKTKTKTKTKTK] through 1/13. $10. 1207 Front St.

punCH line: Really Funny Comedians (Who Happen to Be Women). The title says it all. Come laugh at material from some funny comedians. They happen to be women. thursday 1/10, 8pm. $16. Michael Yo. The half Asian, half African-American comic performs and is pretty funny. I only mention the race thing because it comprises a lot of his material. Through 1/12. $23.50. Sactown Comedy Jam. Come out for some unspecified comedy fun. Sunday 1/13, 7pm. $16. 2100 Arden Way, Suite 225.

SaCramento Comedy Spot: The Best Of 2018 Squad Patrol Sketch Comedy Show. Squad Patrol shares their best sketches from the bygone year. 2018 died, but the laughs live on. Friday 1/11, 8pm. $8. The Art Critique Comedy Show. You’ve heard about it from us, you’ve heard your auctioneer friends decry it—now come check out the show that has comedians roast thrift store art and lets the audience buy the art. Saturday 1/12, 7:30pm. $15-$20. 1050 20th St., Suite 130.

tHe FallS event Center: Tobe Hixx. Whenever


2019 touriSm Summit: Are you in some way

SumaC: Post metal from Sumac, doom from


Saturday, 1/12

Friday, 1/11

elton JoHn: Ever heard of the movie The Lion King? Well, get this, mon ami—the guy behind songs from that film is performing in town. It’s incredible. Come catch Sir Elton Hercules John on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, and as they say in that movie, “Hakuna Matata.” 8pm, $43.75$210.42. Golden 1 Center, 500 David J. Stern Walk.

play the most iconic comedic duo since Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush in this classic movie. It’s a funny film about Wayne and Garth’s public access show going pro. Bring a chair. 7pm, no cover. Jackrabbit Brewing Co., 1323 Terminal St. in West Sacramento.

dine downtown reStaurant weeK: Check

Sacramento, you’ve got Photo courteSy oF rach wilde a new space for creativity to grow. The Creation District is a place where young people from all backgrounds can be creative, under the tutelage of local FeStivalS artists. Maybe you saw the fruits of the CD at Harlow’s, where local disadvantaged youth got the opportunity to perform after working with Hobo Johnson and So Much Light. You can come check out the new digs, all 14,000 square feet, and meet some of the workshop leaders, performers and the future of the District. 815 S Street, facebook.com/thecreationdistrict/events.

their hearts out. 6:30pm, $10-$30. CLARA, 2420 N St.

wayne’S world: Mike Myers and Dana Carvey

Friday, 1/11 JuraSSiC parK: Relive the magic of the Spielberg classic, from the Tyrannosaurus Rex chase to the scene where Ian Malcolm is disarmingly handsome and charming. You know the one. 7:30pm, $7.50-$9.50. Crest Theatre, 1013 K St.

Saturday, 1/12 tron (1982): The movie that helped inspire Pixar Animation Studios follows the exploits of computer hackers. And weird, colorful motorcycles. It’s a pretty accurate representation of hacking. 7:30pm, $7.50$9.50. Crest Theatre, 1013 K St.

an event describes someone as “one of America’s funniest comedians,” I instantly watch some of their material hoping they’re terrible—but Hixx is not terrible at all. He’s verifiably funny. wednesday 1/16, 7pm. $15$20. 8280 Elk Grove Blvd. in Elk Grove.

tommy t’S Comedy Club: Sommore. Big on heart and anecdotal joketelling, Sommore has the Oprah Winfrey seal of approval. through 1/13. $35. 12401 Folsom Blvd. in Rancho Cordova.

on StaGe

Price. through 2/17. $20-$47. Seekers of the Strange Episode 8. Based off of the classic model of Dungeons and Dragons, company member John Lamb will bring live role playing to the stage. John and other familiar faces. Sunday 1/13, 6:30pm. $12. 2700 Capitol Ave.

Jean HenderSon perForminG artS: Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Davis Musical Theatre Company brings you the heart- and gut-wrenching story of Quasimodo, Esmerelda and the rest. Come join in the remarkable story with remarkable music from Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz. See our review on page 22. through 1/26. $20. 607 Pena Drive in Davis.

Jill SolberG perForminG artS Center: Embodiment. Dance and choral performers—28 and 42, respectively—make up this evening of dance on stage with music from Sam Schieber and dance moves by Jacob Gutierrez Montoya. Friday 1/11, 7:30pm. $15$20. 1999 Prairie City Road in Folsom.

pamela troKanSKi perForminG artS Center: The Triangle Factory Fire Project. Acme Theatre Company—a youth-run theater nonprofit—brings you this tale of turmoil, death and labor regulations in New York City. Follow the story of the famous tragedy and its echoes across time. through 1/19. $10$13. 2720 Del Rio Place in Davis.

Community Center tHeater: Shen Yun 2019 World Tour. Celebrate the traditional Chinese performance art in this widely acclaimed performance. This is the last week to catch them in town. through 1/12. $80-$200. 1400 J St.

SPortS & outdoorS Friday, 1/11 Harlem GlobetrotterS: See the incredible court antics of the Harlem Globetrotters, featured on page 26. 7pm, $15-$135. Golden 1 Center, 500 David J. Stern Walk.

Saturday, 1/12 idaHo State vS. SaCramento State: Sacramento State’s men’s basketball takes on Idaho State. It’s kid’s night, so come get some posters along with some players’

b Street tHeatre: House on Haunted Hill. B Street brings the hilarious adaptation of the classic 1959 horror film starring Vincent

Calendar liStinGS Continued on paGe 27

Friday, 1/11 and Sunday, 1/13 Harlem Globetrotters Golden 1 Center, 7pm & 2pm, $15-$135

Chucking half-court shots and leaving full-court impressions, the Harlem Globetrotters trot to our neck of the globe. The pageantry of basketball personified, the team of SportS & outdoorS men and women, undeniable hoop gods all, will play their hearts, legs and arms out. There are rookies on the team as well as seasoned veterans, excellent shooters and incredible ball handlers. Without a doubt, this is one night of basketball for the books—the books of having a fun time watching people clown around on some backboards, that is. 500 David J. Stern Walk, golden1center.com. Photo courteSy oF the harlem GloBetrotterS

Saturday, 1/12

Rose Pruning Classes Sacramento HiStoric city cemetery, 9am & 1pm, $10 donation

The world of rose pruning is glamorous, but it isn’t all roses and cupcakes. You want to be the best? You’ve got to train with the best—like Rocky Balboa does. Come participate in one of two real time training Classes montages with Stephen Scanniello, president of the Heritage Rose PHOtO COurtESy OF rICardO rESENdE Foundation. You’ll get the tips and the hands-on experience you need to become a true heavyweight in the rose garden. 1000 Broadway, cemeteryrose.org.

CaleNDaR lIsTINGs CONTINUeD FROM PaGe 26 autographs. 7:05pm, $2-$8. Sacramento State, 6000 J St.

LGBtQ SuNday, 1/13 COFFee, BaGels & QUeeR HealTHCaRe: Grab a cup of joe, have a handful of bagel and learn about your healthcare options from an expert. Noon, no cover. Lavender Library, 1414 21st St.

taKE aCtION Saturday, 1/12 asYlUM NOW! CaRaVaN sOlIDaRITY aCTION: Rally for solidarity with migrants and refugees at the border. It’s an International Day of Action, called by the Migrant and Refugee Solidarity Coalition at the Border. 1pm, no cover. Fruitridge and Franklin.

MeNTal HealTH CONFeReNCe 2019: UC Davis’ third annual Mental Health Conference runs for two days and is positively bursting with information, workshops and more. 8am, no cover. UC Davis Conference Center, 550 Alumni Lane in Davis.

MONday, 1/14 TeeN aCTIVIsM sCReeNPRINTING: Get yourself a unique poster and a new life skill at this event. You’ll learn how to screenprint, and you’ll even be able to make your own design. Don’t let your activism suffer because you aren’t very crafty. There’s another class at the same time Wednesday. 5:30pm, $50$65. Myrtle Press at Verge Center for the Arts, 625 S St.

tuESday, 1/15 HUMaN TRaFFICKING aND THe DRUG CONNeCTION: This conference will discuss the connection between drugs and human trafficking, hosted by My Sister’s House. 9am, $20$45. Sacramento State Union Ballroom, 6000 J St.

WEdNESday, 1/16

to miss this public health challenge. The discussion will revolve around healthy air for everyone. 6:30pm, no cover. The Urban Hive, 1601 Alhambra Boulevard.

CLaSSES tHurSday, 1/10 a lIFeTIMe IN BReWING aND HalF a lIFeTIMe aT UCDaVIs: This Brainfood talk from professor of malting and brewing sciences Charlie Bamforth explores brewing and starts at noon. Networking starts at 11:30 a.m. 11:30am, no cover. UC Davis, 1 Shields Ave. in Davis.

MaP aND COMPass NaVIGaTION BasICs: You’re lost in the woods. All you have in a map and a compass. Think you can find your way to civilization? If you’d like to be able to, come to this class on how to navigate like a neophyte. 6:30pm, $35-$40. Sacramento REI, 1790 Expo Parkway.

Saturday, 1/12 2019 H&l COCKTaIl aCaDeMY: It’s Cocktails 102, and you’ll learn about infusions, seasonal cocktails and batching. 2pm, $65. Hook and Ladder Manufacturing Company, 1630 S St.

ROse PRUNING Classes: Are your rose bushes growing out of control, becoming sentient and taking over your garden? Come learn from Stephen Scanniello, a storied pruner, to learn how to prune like a pro. Maybe call someone else about the sentient roses, though. The event is also highlighted above. 9am & 1pm, $10+ donation. Sacramento Historic City Cemetery, 1000 Broadway.

SuNday, 1/13 THe aRT OF THe NeW Deal: Bruce Marwick gives a lecture on Works Progress Administration projects in the Sacramento Valley. 1pm, no cover. Central Library, 828 I St.

FRUIT TRee PRUNING 101: Got a bunch of fruit trees and don’t know how to maintain them? Come learn about pruning—and not the kind that happens when you take too long of a bath because you had a very stressful day. You’ll learn how, why, when and where to prune to keep your plants fruitful. 11am, $25-$30. The Yisrael Family Urban Farm, 4505 Roosevelt Ave.

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See aSk 420

Medical cannabis patients stock up on products at an Orbit Show in December just before the January 9 repeal, which bans pop-up marketplaces altogether. Photo by Ken Magri

Big ban on the ‘sesh’ scene With California’s Medical Marijuana Program Act now repealed, pop-up cannabis marketplaces, collectives are no more by Ken Magri

“prop. 64 killed medical marijuana!” Jose Lara shouted at a pop-up medical cannabis collective marketplace in December. The sales representative for NorCal Nectar, a cannabis oil extraction company, was lamenting the January 9 repeal of California’s Medical Marijuana Program Act, which now bans medical cannabis collectives from gathering and selling products in a farmers market-like setting. This also means that patients who once joined these collectives to afford their medicine must now buy directly from higher-priced medicinal and recreational dispensaries. Cannabis collectives, also called cooperatives, are private nonprofits

whose member patients and suppliers gather at “sesh” events such as December’s pop-up known as an Orbit Show, where patients speak directly with product representatives and receive significant discounts over dispensary prices. Collectives were conceived as part of Proposition 215 in 1996, and their legal protection was reaffirmed in 2003 with passage of Senate Bill 420. After voters approved Proposition 64 in 2016 to legalize recreational cannabis, state regulators overruled the medical provisions. In January 2018, the deadline was set for collectives to relicense or reduce their size to “caregiver gardens serving no more than five people,”



out with the old See goatkidd

according to the state Bureau of businesses in operation would be able Cannabis Control. to transition into the regulated market,” But because reaching full compliance said Kimberly Cargile, executive would be too costly for such small groups, director of A Therapeutic Alternative in most collectives have disbanded. Midtown. “It is very sad because most The 1130 Club collective averaged of the people stuck in the unregulated more than 700 patients at its last few market are there for the right reasons, Terpy Thursday events, according to they just want to help patients safely operator Will Hennessee. At the December access affordable cannabis.” event, hip-hop music spilled out into the Alex Traverso, communications cold air, while the smell of Philly cheeschief at the state bureau, said it plans to esteaks from a food trailer wafted back work with collective operators to help inside. As patients shopped for cannabis, transition them over to the legal market. some said goodbye to their favorite He also said that the bureau has already vendors and wondered about the future. issued temporary licenses to businesses “It’s been an emotional three days,” operating as collectives. said Karrie Stackpoole, a sales representa“I would love to comply,” said tive for SpOILed Gold Country extracts. Hennessee of the 1130 Club. “But we She said she heard talk of organizing don’t have the money to compete with secret meet-ups, but was apprehensive the big companies.” about the risk. “I don’t want to go underHennessee scheduled a meeting with ground,” she said. member suppliers to consider their future An early indicator of her future was in the new regulated climate. a patch inside a display case reading, “In “I do not know of any collectives that Memory of Prop 215, 1996-2017.” were able to transition without taking “Wasn’t California supposed to on partners that either brought money protect the small growers, and patients like or business experience to the table,” us?” asked Debra Cowen, a massage Cargile said. therapist and medical cannabis Critics argue that on-site patient since 2013. While cannabis consumption at buying vape cartridges for sesh events violates local “Wasn’t her joint pain, Cowen ordinances. Organizers California repeated a common of these pop-up supposed to protect view in the medical marketplaces would cannabis community regularly change the the smaller growers, that “politicians threw event locations to and patients like us?” medical marijuana stay under the radar under the bus for the of local authorities. Debra Cowen taxes.” The state Bureau cannabis collective Some dispensary of Cannabis Control member owners agree. has pledged to increase “As a patient and dispenenforcement in 2019. sary owner I understand what many When asked about the likelihood of these patients feel, and how hard it of local prosecutions, Sacramento Chief was before to afford your medicine,” said Deputy District Attorney Steve Grippi Haley Andrew, owner of Dixon Wellness told SN&R in an email that the office Collective. “Hopefully our regulators are doesn’t offer “charging opinions on understanding why patients are using sesh hypothetical arrest scenarios.” parties … and can help on the regulatory Still, Orbit Show organizer Jose side to lower the taxes on cannabis.” Agacio was philosophical about the The view is also echoed among dispenfuture. sary owners who applied for recreational “It’s been well worth the endeavors business licensing, in addition to operating and obstacles,” he said. “With the as a longtime medicinal haven. community staying strong, the support “When we advocated for state and dedication of every one, we shall see regulations, we expected that all a brighter day.” Ω






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Tea time Hey Uncle Ngaio. I know people say green tea helps to remove THC (like during a tolerance break), but are any specific kinds of green tea or any tea in general that work better than others? Or even certain foods that help with the process? —@beezyonthedrums (via twitter)

Hello, nephew. (I will be 51 next month, so I am learning to embrace my status as an O.G. I’m going to start calling people “nephew” and “young blood” as often as possible.) Your statement is not quite correct. While teas and certain foods can ease the symptoms of a tolerance break, nothing removes THC from your body except time. (Most people don’t have any problems quitting weed cold turkey, but some folks experience loss of appetite, crankiness or even weird dreams when they stop using cannabis.) THC is stored in the fat cells, which is why you can test positive for THC even if you are no longer feeling the effects, or if you haven’t smoked in a week. If you have a drug test coming up, good luck. It takes about a week to test clean if you are a casual user, and a month or more if you are a chronic user. There are over-the-counter products you can order online that claim to be able to mask any THC in a urine test, but many labs have figured it out, and now they test for chemical masking agents as well as THC. And we all know that attempting to cover up a transgression can be worse than transgressing in the first place. Be careful. Oh, and many hippies and herbalists say that vacha, also known as calamus

root, is an excellent tea for dealing with the symptoms associated with a tolerance break. Good luck.

Hey Ngaio. I have a quick question for you, the ganja guru. How often do you take tolerance breaks, and during those breaks do you do anything to clean your system? —@franktamasi (via twitter)

Good question! First: I am not the ganja guru. Ed Rosenthal is The Ganja Guru. I am the Dank Diplomat. From the Dankonia Nation. Someone called me “The Weed Whisperer” the other day, and I kinda liked it. Maybe I will add the new title to my Instagram bio. I usually take about a two-week break right after the Emerald Cup. It’s right after harvest season, and I am usually one of the flower judges for the cup, so by that time, I have been smoking between 15 to 20 different kinds of weed per day for about two weeks, and I am low-key sick of having to smoke weed all day. Tolerance breaks can last anywhere between a week and a month. Just do what’s right for you. I don’t really change any other habits. I just stop smoking weed for a bit. But it’s always a good idea to eat right and exercise, whether you are on a tolerance break or not. Ω illustration by Maria ratinova

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


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My wife has been having episodes where she screams, cries and cannot control herself. Usually it’s because of something I did or did not do or say. I’m looking for insights that will help shorten these episodes and bring her out as quickly as possible. Telling her to stop makes it worse because she cannot. Back in August, she was in a car accident that caused a concussion and whiplash. She is recovering, though there are lingering effects. She has always been a strong person so this is new for her. Advice, please.

difficult emotion, identify what it’s attached to within yourself, challenge the attached belief, allow the experience to pass through and redirect its energy into something positive for yourself or the world. So if a friend canceled plans to hang out, you might feel disappointed. That feeling could be attached to a fear that you’re not a priority in the lives of others. You can confront that belief by choosing to be a priority in your own life. From that perspective, the cancellation is open space for something new, such as tackling a project you’ve procrastinated on, or to take a hike somewhere beautiful. By taking charge of I trust that your wife’s your emotions, you avoid primary care doctor is Maintain an being enslaved by them. fully informed about her It takes commitment, but even keel as your episodes and has ruled you’re worth it and so is friend voices his out serious issues such your wife. as post-traumatic stress fears. Listen and One last thing: disorder, clinical depresPlease don’t try to teach observe. sion or seizures. If her doc your wife to harness her isn’t clued in yet, put this emotions in the way I’ve newspaper down and make the laid out here. That’s your job. call now. Yes, I’ll wait. You must learn to apply this process To gain a wider perspective, let’s to yourself. Your wife may change as airlift this crisis out of marriage and a result of your transformation, or not. drop it into friendship. Imagine walking What matters is your growth. Eventually, with a pal who begins wailing about his you’ll come out of her episodes more crappy life. When that happens, don’t quickly and that’s the secret you’ve been sink into the mud alongside him. He’s seeking that will shorten them. Ω having an emotion, not an emergency. Maintain an even keel as your friend voices his fears. Listen and observe. MedITATIon of The Week Don’t be a sponge. It’s not your job to absorb his drama. Don’t interrupt by handing him a tissue or reaching out for “You can have a fresh start  a hug. Give him room to let everything any moment you choose  out. Otherwise, he may (unconsciously) because this thing that we call  feel the need to repeat the meltdown failure is the not falling down,  to release the pain that didn’t get but the staying down,” said  expressed. During his emotional actress Mary Pickford. Can  you see how successful you’ve  collapse, stay present with your been all along? interior world, the world around you and your friend—that’s compassion. Codependency is losing yourself by sharing in his panic. It quickly becomes addictive, requiring more crises or Write, email or leave a message for increasingly dramatic ones. Joey at the News & Review. Give your name, telephone number Let’s shift to you. Your wife’s struggle (for verification purposes only) and question—all is your invitation to grow. A key benefit correspondence will be kept strictly confidential. of practices including meditation, Hatha yoga and Tai Chi is the ability to weather Write Joey, 1124 Del Paso Boulevard, Sacramento, CA emotional storms with greater ease. Here’s 95815; call (916) 498-1234, ext. 1360; or email the interior view: You acknowledge your askjoey@newsreview.com.

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What vegetable did Columbus not want on his ship? A leek.






Free will astrology

by Steph RodRiguez

by Rob bRezSny

ste p h r @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m

FoR THE WEEk oF JAnuARy 10, 2019 ARIES (March 21-April 19): Computer-generated

special effects used in the 1993 film Jurassic Park may seem modest to us now, but at the time, they were revolutionary. Inspired by the new possibilities revealed, filmmakers including Stanley Kubrick, George Lucas and Peter Jackson launched new projects they had previously thought to be beyond their ability to create. In 2019, I urge you to go in quest of your personal equivalent of Jurassic Park’s pioneering breakthroughs. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, you may be able to find help and resources that enable you to get more serious about seemingly unfeasible or impractical dreams.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I’m a big proponent

of authenticity. I almost always advise you to be yourself with bold candor and unapologetic panache. Speak the truth about your deepest values and clearest perceptions. Be an expert about what really moves you, and devote yourself passionately to your relationships with what really moves you. But there is one exception to this approach. Sometimes it’s wise to employ the “fake it until you make it” strategy: to pretend you are what you want to be with such conviction that you ultimately become what you want to be. I suspect now is one of those times for you.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): The students’ dining

hall at Michigan State University serves gobs of mayonnaise. But in late 2016, a problem arose when 1,250 gallons of the stuff became rancid. Rather than simply throw it away, the school’s sustainability officer came up with a brilliant solution: Load it into a machine called an anaerobic digester, which turns biodegradable waste into energy. Problem solved! The transformed rot provided electricity for parts of the campus. I recommend you regard this story as a metaphor for your own use. Is there anything in your life that has begun to decay or lose its usefulness? If so, can you convert it into a source of power?

CANCER (June 21-July 22): If you grow veg-

etables, fruits and grains on an acre of land, you can feed twelve people. If you use that acre to raise meat-producing animals, you’ll feed at most four people. But to produce the meat, you’ll need at least four times more water and twenty times more electric power than you would if you grew the plants. I offer this as a useful metaphor for you to consider in the coming months. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, you should prioritize efficiency and value. What will provide you with the most bang for your bucks? What’s the wisest use of your resources?

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Modern kids don’t spend

much time playing outside. They have fun in natural environments only half as often as their parents did while growing up. In fact, the average child spends less time in the open air than prison inmates. And today’s unjailed adults get even less exposure to the elements. But I hope you will avoid that fate in 2019. According to my astrological estimates, you need to allocate more than the usual amount of time to feeling the sun and wind and sky. Not just because it’s key to your physical health, but also because many of your best ideas and decisions are likely to emerge while you’re outdoors.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): NASA landed

Opportunity, its robotic explorer, on Mars in January 2004. The craft’s mission, which was supposed to last for 92 days, began by taking photos and collecting soil samples. More than 14 years later, the hardy machine was still in operation, continuing to send data back to Earth. It far outlived its designed lifespan. I foresee you being able to generate a comparable marvel in 2019, Virgo: a stalwart resource or influence or situation that will have more staying power than you could imagine. What could it be?

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In 1557, Welsh

mathematician Robert Recorde invented the equals sign. Historical records don’t tell us when he was born, so we don’t know his astrological sign. But I’m guessing he was a Libra. Is there any tribe more skillful at finding correlations, establishing equivalencies and creating reciprocity? In all the zodiac, who is best at crafting righteous proportions and uniting apparent opposites? Who is the genius

of balance? In the coming months, my friend, I suspect you will be even more adept at these fine arts than you usually are.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): There’s a modest,

one-story office building at 1209 N. Orange St. in Wilmington, Del. More than 285,000 businesses from all over the United States claim it as their address. Why? Because the state of Delaware has advantageous tax laws that enable those businesses to save massive amounts of money. Other buildings in Delaware house thousands of additional corporations. It’s all legal. No one gets in trouble for it. I bring this to your attention in the hope of inspiring you to hunt for comparable situations: ethical loopholes and workarounds that will provide you with extra benefits and advantages.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): People in

the Solomon Islands buy many goods and services with regular currency, but also use other symbols of worth to pay for important cultural events such as staging weddings, settling disputes and expressing apologies. These alternate forms of currency include the teeth of flying foxes, which is the local species of bat. In that spirit, and in accordance with current astrological omens, I’d love to see you expand your sense of what constitutes your wealth. In addition to material possessions and funds in the bank, what else makes you valuable? In what other ways do you measure your potency, your vitality, your merit? It’s a favorable time to take inventory.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): In 1984, singer-

songwriter John Fogerty released a new album with “The Old Man Down the Road” as the lead single. It sold well. But trouble arose soon afterward, when Fogerty’s former record company sued him in court, claiming he stole the idea for “The Old Man Down the Road” from “Run Through the Jungle.” That was a tune Fogerty himself had written and recorded in 1970 while playing with the band Creedence Clearwater Revival. The legal process took a while, but he was ultimately vindicated. No, the courts declared, he didn’t plagiarize himself, even though there were some similarities between the two songs. In this spirit, I authorize you to borrow from a good thing you did in the past as you create a new good thing in the future. There’ll be no hell to pay if you engage in a bit of self-plagiarism.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Rudyard Kipling’s

The Jungle Book is a collection of fables that take place in India. Many movies have been based on it. All of them portray the giant talking snake named Kaa as an adversary to the hero Mowgli. But in Kipling’s original stories, Kaa is a benevolent ally and teacher. I bring this to your attention to provide context for a certain situation in your life. Is there an influence with a metaphorical resemblance to Kaa; misinterpreted by some people, but actually quite supportive and nourishing to you? If so, I suggest you intensify your appreciation for it.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Virginia Woolf

thought that her Piscean lover Vita SackvilleWest was a decent writer, but a bit too fluid and effortless. Self-expression was so natural to Sackville-West that she didn’t work hard enough to hone her craft and discipline her flow. In a letter, Woolf wrote, “I think there are odder, deeper, more angular thoughts in your mind than you have yet let come out.” I invite you to meditate on the possibility that Woolf’s advice might be useful in 2019. Is there anything in your skill set that comes so easily that you haven’t fully ripened it? If so, develop it with more focused intention.

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.

Reference reverence On the second floor of Sacramento Public Library’s downtown branch is a special collection known as the Sacramento Room. Here, curious minds may look at some of the oldest pieces of history in the state, stored safely inside temperaturecontrolled vaults. James Scott has been a reference librarian since 2000, with most of that time dedicated to working in the Sacramento Room. He’s

the keeper of ancient runes and other pieces of literature: city directories, even children’s books. The ticket that was used for the first showing at the Crest Theatre is in one of SPL’s vaults, Scott told SN&R. He and his colleagues in special collections enjoy their work, he says, because it keeps the tapestry of Sacramento alive, whether that’s our cultural heritage from the early days of the Gold Rush or rare books written by eccentric local authors. It’s all in the confines of the Sacramento Room. Scott took SN&R inside one vault to discuss the collection’s role in keeping history intact for future generations.

Tell me about the Sacramento Room. We are in the original building that was constructed in 1918, the Carnegie-funded library that had been the reference room. This is where you would’ve come if you went to Fremont Elementary School and you needed to do your paper on China. … You’d come up to the second floor and there would be a big reference desk here, and it was this way all the way until the late ’80s, and then we built the new wing. In 1995, this room was rehabilitated and turned into a special collections, a place where we have rare, unique, often fragile items ... In this case, it’s history. It’s local history. We also have a California history section. We’ve got a pop-up book collection. A children’s collection. A book arts collection. We’ve got city directories, phone books, periodicals like the News & Review. In fact, we had a guy come in here two weeks ago and he wanted an article out of SN&R from the early ’90s and we’re like, “Sure, gotcha covered.” ... We try to keep that stuff alive because it’s so vital. It’s ephemeral, but that’s the fight we wage, is trying to keep that stuff alive.

What’s the rarest piece in the vault? There are two items that I think have that wow factor, and we love to show them to people. One has nothing to do with Sacramento, but it’s a great way to teach people about the history of the book. I can’t

The Grave of Lost Stories has found a home in the Sacramento Room with James Scott. PHOTO By NICOLE FOwLER

tell you how it was acquired, but it does date back to the early 1400s, and it’s a collection of psalms from the Christian Bible and it’s all handwritten. It’s done in Latin. It predates the printing press, which is mid-15th century. It’d be nice to think it could live forever. But, if you could imagine in the early 1400s, very likely a monk in France under candlelight taking the time to do this. We like to tell folks, because we are a public library, we’re tax-funded; all of this belongs to you. It’s just our job to keep it nice and safe and strike the balance between preservation and access. There is absolutely nothing in the room we can keep anybody from, nor would we want to. It’s our job to keep these things safe, going and accessible for you.

Any Sacramento treasures in there? My favorite, Grave of Lost Stories by William Vollmann, a local author who has his workshop in Alkali Flat. He is a fly-under-the-radar kind of guy. He doesn’t seek the spotlight. He’s won the National Book Award a couple of times. He’s eccentric and he likes to try new things, explore new territory and in this case he wanted to try out book arts. The genre, itself, is this sort of thing that transcends the written word. The book, itself, which is his homage to Edgar Allan Poe, who was an inspiration to him as a writer, is a sarcophagus. He tried to use the most poisonous substances possible to provide the pigment for the cover. Galvanic battery acidic is one, pickled squid is the other. People love this book. They go crazy for it. The story is basically the story of Poe’s demise and eventually he gets swallowed up

by the earth. ... This is the kind of thing that people love. It’s the kind of thing that we will guard for them forever.

Ever investigate something cool just using this room? We had a gentlemen walk into the Sacramento Room all the way from Texas, and he was interested in finding information on a person named D.C. Gray. He said there was some connection to McClellan Air Force Base. … As we went on, he started to open up a little bit and he said he was here on behalf of a fellow who lives in Texas in his 90s who’s an ex-aviator, Lt. Richard Cole. He was part of a raid on Japan in March 1942, just right after Pearl Harbor. His plane was low on fuel after the raid, so he had to parachute from his plane ... While he was wrapping up his parachute, he saw that it read “Packed by D.C. Gray Sacramento Air Depot.” … A running tradition at that time was if you parachuted and you made it, then your parachute was packed well and you owed the packer a box of cigars. ... Lt. Cole mentioned that he’d really like to get that box of cigars to that man. … We looked and looked and we started to get really excited because we eventually found something in the city directory, which led us to a World War II draft registration card that said that this fellow, D.C. Gray, worked at the air depot. … We eventually were able to find surviving family members that said, “Yeah, grandpa packed parachutes at McClellan.” … It’s a capstone to the last surviving member of the Doolittle Raid … Lt. Cole decided to send off that box of cigars to D.C. Gray’s relatives to seal the deal. Ω