Richard Savalaâ€™s journey in an industry
battling for survival
By Scott thomaS andeRSon page 14 Sacramentoâ€™S newS & entertainment weekly
Volume 31, iSSue 21
thurSday, September 5, 2019
2 | SN&R | 09.05.19
september 5, 2019 | Vol. 31, Issue 21
Get wild at Kennedy Gallery’s new exhibit, which recruits elephants, monkeys and even roaming turtles to try their trunks, paws and claws at painting.
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09.05.19 | sn&r | 3
Blank check Sacramento sheriff’s department racks up legal bills while fighting oversight by Foon Rhee
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department’s number of employees and seven-year history of claims. If supervisors don’t approve that payment, that would force the sheriff to cut programs or staff to make up the difference. And you can be sure that Jones would accuse supervisors of endangering public safety. Supervisor Patrick Kennedy, who has been critical of Jones, says if the board tries to withhold money for legal judgments, there is a “real possibility” that patrols in neighborhoods will be cut back. That’s why, Kennedy says, he supports Sacramento Assemblyman Kevin McCarty’s bill to authorize sheriff oversight boards through action by supervisors or voters. Assembly Bill 1185 passed the Assembly on May 29 and the Senate Public Safety Committee on July 2, with the deadline for a bill to pass this session on Sept. 13. In Sacramento County, Jones won reelection last year and has stared down supervisors over oversight of his department. Jones publicly feuded with Rick Braziel, then the inspector general, after the former Sacramento police chief released a report last year criticizing three sheriff’s deputies who fired 28 shots and killed Mikel McIntyre in 2017. In August 2018, the sheriff locked out Braziel from department facilities. Since Braziel’s contract expired, Jones has been jockeying with supervisors over the authority of the next inspector general. Only one candidate applied; supervisors have hired a headhunter to try to get a replacement on the job this fall. In July, the Sacramento County Grand Jury, a group of citizen-volunteers, declared that Jones didn’t break the law by blocking Braziel. But the grand jury also said that supervisors aren’t doing enough to hold the sheriff accountable. It called for supervisors to create a new oversight commission, similar to the one proposed in McCarty’s bill. All the legal bills are only more evidence of why a closer watch on the sheriff’s department is warranted. Ω Photo by Foon Rhee
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Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones wants to have it both ways: He resists having anyone looking over his shoulder, yet his department is racking up sizable legal bills for alleged misconduct. But it will take a rare act of political courage— and probably a change in state law—for county supervisors to do much of anything about it. From 2014 through mid-August, Sacramento County paid out a total of nearly $26 million in civil judgments or settlements involving allegations against deputies, jailers and other sheriff’s department employees, according to figures I requested from the county. In 2016, a Sacramento County jury found that the department had retaliated against four female jail deputies who complained about discrimination and improper relationships. That one case cost $8.9 million in damages and attorneys’ fees. In a statement to SN&R, sheriff’s Sgt. Tess Deterding pointed out that the total payout over five years is less than 1% of the department’s budget just for one year. She also said that settling a case “doesn’t necessarily reflect misconduct on the part of any personnel,” but are decisions made by the county, sometimes based on the cost savings of avoiding a trial, as well as a potential award. “Jury trials are uncertain, and verdicts have gotten larger in recent years,” the sheriff’s department spokesperson said. Because the sheriff is independently elected, county supervisors have limited power over him. As part of approving each department’s budget, supervisors cover the sheriff’s department payment to the county’s liability insurance fund. Similar to a premium, the payment is based on each
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Don’t need to choose Re: “To impeach or not to impeach” by Foon Rhee (Feature, Aug. 22): Why choose between impeachment or election campaigning? Do both. News of House committees’ findings from impeachment consideration will help strengthen Democrats’ campaigns. Democrats’ campaigns can cite those findings to gain votes against Republicans. Let’s choose a motto to help on both fronts: “We can do better than this” or “Get rid of the crook in the White House.” Readers can likely come up with better ones.
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RT gets less cash Re: “Getting on the bus” by Steve Miller (Essay, Aug. 22): Over the last three years, SacRT has worked tirelessly to transform into a world-class mobility provider, has made historic improvements to reliability and on-time performance and has strengthened our commitment to providing clean, safe and convenient transit for the region. SacRT is launching a completely redesigned bus network on Sept. 8 in line with today’s travel patterns and needs. All bus routes will operate seven days a week, with one exception—a tremendous improvement from the old network. These reliable and consistent bus routes will give our residents a wellconnected transit system. Currently, SacRT receives onesixth of a penny in local funding, which is approximately five times less than peer transit agencies of our size. In comparison, Los Angeles Metro receives 1.5 cents and Portland TriMet receives 75 cents. With additional funding, SacRT could implement more robust transit service, with improved frequency and service.
M. CARMEN ALBA Assistant vice president, Regional Transit / via email
Suburbs need RT, too Re: “Getting on the bus” by Steve Miller (Essay, Aug. 22): Steve Miller doesn’t speak for us Regional Transit bus riders who live and work outside the Midtown-East Sacramento hub and depend on RT to get to and from weekend and nighttime jobs and events. RT is trying to serve everybody. Starting in September, on Sundays I will still have to wait once every hour to ride the 25 bus to Citrus Heights (my neighborhood), but it’s never operated on Sundays
before. And light rail will run every 15 minutes instead of every half hour, so I can connect with the 56 or the 81 on time, and get home before dark. I’m counting the blessings!
GAIL BETTY Carmichael / via email
And other actors? Re: “Holding down the fort” by Bev Sykes (Stage, Aug. 22): Thank you for reviewing this excellent production, but I must say, to make a comment about a “dream cast” and then only address two characters and the actors who portrayed them was very disheartening. Colonel Fairfax and Elsie Maynard are not even primary characters. There were other principal actors who did an amazing job as Phoebe Meryll (Paige Kelly), Wilfred Shadbolt (Eric Piotrowski), the Lieutenant (Tim Power), Jack Point (Charlie Baad) and Sgt. Meryll (Mike Baad).
ARYK RYKER Sacramento / via email
Not about economics Re: “Going nuclear” by Rachel Mayfield (Stage, Aug. 22): The review totally missed the point in this play. This play has nothing to do with current economics as much as it does with growing up and taking responsibility for oneself. The oldest son is a professor at MIT with a perfectly good job, and decides to quit because he is afraid to fail. The second son is kicked out by his wife because of his infidelity, and decides to come home. Again, not about economics.
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By meaGhan DouGlas
By Graham Womack
Asked At the sundAy FArmers’ mArket:
A Bay Area refugee’s plea Sacramento, please don’t become another San Francisco A while ago, while driving on I-80, another driver cut me off. “Must be from the Bay Area,” I muttered, rolling my eyes. I should know: Until six months ago, I, too, was from the San Francisco area. Meaghan Douglas, a freelance writer and packaging sales Born and raised along the Peninsula in a sleepy manager, moved to Sacramento from the San Francisco Bay town called Los Altos, I never imagined living Area in January. anywhere else. I was happy to live where I could find my way by looking at the hills instead of Google Maps or my car’s GPS. But then what had always been expensive—rent, How can I be a productive member of the food, insurance—became impossible overnight. My Sacramento community when my arrival means monthly disposable income crept lower and lower, someone else is feeling pushed out, as I felt pushed despite my fixed expenses going down as well. My out of the Bay Area? parents spent my childhood years saving for my I recently purchased a bookshelf from an East college education, not my college tuition and my Sacramento company that resells damaged first home’s down payment. furniture, and one of the employees During my last and fruitless attempt told me that he was moving out to find an affordable Bay Area of Sacramento. “Rent’s gotten How can I room, a cabal of tech engineers too expensive,” he said. “Too be a productive asked me if I was interested in many people are coming watching a meteor shower at 3 member of the here and driving up the a.m. on a Tuesday. I wanted to price.” Sacramento community say, “I’m a 31-year-old woman Migration, both volunwhen my arrival means with a full-time job. I’m sleep tary and forced, pockmarks ing at 3 a.m. on a Tuesday.” someone else is feeling human history. What we’re But apparently, even my experiencing is nothing pushed out, as I felt polite “no, thank you” was all new, and it will not be the pushed out of the they needed to disqualify me. last time California experiNone of them had been in the Bay Bay Area? ences this type of population Area longer than two years. shuffle. In 2018, U-Haul’s number one truck As I settle into my new home rental destination for one-way trips was the and start learning the lingo (I was not cut Sacramento region, and it’s likely that many of the off on I-80 but Biz 80), I don’t want to change renters were from the Bay Area. As much as I’d Sacramento. I want to be a part of the community like to think of myself as a trendsetter, U-Haul’s the way I’d hoped to be a part of the Bay Area. numbers prove that I’m far from alone in my even I like Sacramento’s friendliness and its general tual decision to move to Sacramento. lack of entitlement or superiority. I like that cars Unpacking my bed sheets and dollar other than Teslas, Mercedes and BMWs populate store dishes in my new Midtown apartment, Sacramento’s roads. Most of all, I love that I wondered who had recently had to leave Sacramento is a more down-to-earth version of what Sacramento due to rising costs. Were they California should be. Each new resident, myself thinking of Sacramento with the same mixture included, should do everything possible to keep of longing and disgust with which I was look Sacramento the way we found it. Ω ing back at the Bay Area? 6 6 | SN&R s N&r | 09.05.19 08.29.19
cArrie mcgregor youth worker
Maybe, I don’t know, [Elizabeth] Warren. Eyes closed, fingers crossed, I don’t know.
Anthony occhiPinti physician
I unfortunately think [President] Trump’s going to win again. Not that I want him to win. I just think people like him too much.
sAge stAnzler street musician
I hope it’s not Donald Trump, but I was so surprised that he’s had so much support … There’s a lot of hate in the air right now and like fear, more than anything.
mArty Bri FmAn retired
Elizabeth Warren. She’s smart, she’s a woman, she’s tough, she’ll make a fool out of Trump—which she already is [doing] anyway.
mAriAnnA sousA multimedia journalist and educator
I don’t know … It is so confusing and so much of a clown circus that I’m more concerned about my local community a little bit more.
PAtrick W Alker barber
Trump’s gonna win, ’cause nobody’s strong enough to beat him … I wish it wasn’t true, but that’s what’s gonna happen.
Economic Justice for California People struggle to make ends meet in one of the richest economies in the world Photo courtesy of seIu LocaL1000
By yvONNE r. WALkEr
hat can you do to end poverty for all? That can be a difficult question to ponder when you may be a paycheck away from poverty yourself. According to the Federal Reserve, one out of eight Americans say they’d be unable to pay for a $400 emergency by any means. California is the fifth largest economy in the world, bigger than most countries. Amid so much wealth and opportunity, you should expect that the work force can do well. In the past, that was true. The backbone of California’s middle class, state workers benefited from fair wages and good benefits. They were able to keep hard times at bay while lifting up all of California. Today, most everybody is struggling. We live farther and farther away from work. People have to make choices. It affects where they live, how they live. And that “emergency expense” may be something as likely as increased health care premiums. When you live in the fifth largest economy in the world, nobody should be reduced to living in poverty. Yet last year, California had the highest poverty rate in the country. Take for example Debra and Kellie, two state workers. “As a single woman in my 60s in a high cost of living area, I am currently working two jobs to make ends meet,” Debra said. “I live in a studio apartment and my rent takes half my take-home pay. Any increased costs to my health care premiums would essentially assure that I not only would barely survive month to month, but may put me out of my apartment and essentially make me homeless.” “Living on the Central Coast of California has kept my family near the brink of financial disaster for years,” said Kellie, who provides her family’s only income. “Living from paycheck to paycheck and praying that nothing breaks that will cost me extra money is incredibly stressful.” It shouldn’t be a decision of shuffling cards with our lives, choosing between health care, clothing, food, air conditioning, heat. That’s a choice we shouldn’t have to make. Because there’s not a wealth problem in California; there’s a distribution problem. By choice — of corporations and politicians — so much of that wealth never trickles down to the people who need it most. Nearly one in five
children in California lack resources to meet their basic needs. Overall, almost four out of every 10 Californians are living beneath or near the poverty line. For the last 60 years, conservative politicians and wealthy corporations have implemented what’s known as the Southern strategy to hold onto their wealth and reduce our political power by pitting poor white, black and brown people against each other. We should be united as allies in a common cause — ending poverty — but Republican politicians keep us at odds and in turn keep us from organizing together and winning elections. Playing off centuries-old racial resentment, it worked 60 years ago and, as we’ve seen, is still working today. Reverend Dr. William Barber of North Carolina is leading a different approach that is challenging this strategy and winning political elections and policy campaigns by bringing people together and strengthening their power. My vision is to end poverty in California. We can make changes to distribute resources differently, like reducing the profits drug companies extract from our economy and lowering health care costs. We can vote to cap rent increases and make housing affordable. We can join together to lower childcare costs and make college more affordable. A key part of this pathway forward is fighting for racial justice and welcoming immigrants, ensuring that we have the political power to make these changes that benefit all of us. California now has another choice. We can set an example for the nation and take up that banner to end poverty. If we succeed, that would truly make our state a California for all.
Yvonne R. Walker president, SEIU Local 1000
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09.05.19 | SN&R | 7
by James Raia
SEIU 1000 brings its message to our readers by Jeff vonKaenel
j e ffv @ne w s re v i e w . c o m
movement—topics mostly ignored by the In this week’s SN&R, you will find the local mainstream media. second installment of a series of pages I loved being a labor reporter. One of sponsored by SEIU Local 1000, featuring my favorite stories involved attending a a column by its president, Yvonne Walker. business workshop on how to prevent union Last week, before Labor Day, she wrote drives and then reporting on their sneaky about the beginning of the labor movement, practices. Another favorite involved helping and this week she writes about economic my colleague George Thurlow go through justice. Walker’s ideas are interesting and Santa Barbara County death certificates to thought-provoking. And unlike columnists compare the percentage of workers at the like me, who are not the head of one of Johns Manville asbestos factory in Lompoc the state’s most powerful unions, Walker’s who died of lung cancer to the general thoughts have more potential to become public. Spoiler alert: It was much higher. public policy. But without revenue, there cannot be This series of sponsored pages reminds newspapers. In 1973, none of the staff were me of the weekly New York Times ad that being paid more than subsistence wages. American Federation of Teachers President So I chose to sell advertising to ensure the Albert Shanker wrote during the 1970s to paper’s survival. And that has been help develop a nationwide dialogue my role here as well—selling on the importance of public advertising that has allowed unions and on the education us to publish tens of system from the teachers’ thousands of stories in perspective. It was a For labor to Sacramento, Chico and brilliant organizing and Reno, telling stories educational tool. accomplish its that need to be told. Over the last five objectives, it needs to In 1973, 27% U.S. years, the California make the case to a workers belonged to Endowment has run a union and the top a similar educational wider audience. 1% received 9% of all advertising campaign income. In 2017, union highlighting the work that membership is just 11% and nonprofits do as part of the the top 1% received 21% of all Endowment’s Building Healthy income. There is a correlation to these Communities project. These stories increased awareness of the work being done figures. In these times, with ever-increasing income inequality, increased poverty and in those communities and attention to those decreased worker protections, labor has nonprofits doing excellent work in South much to say on critical issues. And I believe Sacramento. that for labor to accomplish its objectives, it These pages have made the paper more needs to make the case to a wider audience. interesting, while also providing much In the same way that Albert Shanker’s needed financial support for SN&R’s jourweekly columns in The New York Times nalism, which is greatly appreciated. In 1973, I began my newspaper career as brought his ideas to a larger audience, I look forward to bringing Yvonne Walker’s a labor reporter for a recently formed alterideas to our 300,000 regular readers. □ native newspaper in Santa Barbara. Staffers were political activists who believed it was critically important to cover issues such as the labor movement, the Vietnam War, the Jeff vonKaenel is the president, CEO and majority owner of the News & Review. women’s movement and the civil rights 8
Is it humid, or are those cigar-box ukuleles? Les Tussing poses with some of his creations. PHOTO BY JAMES RAIA
Cigar box rock ’n’ roll Les Tussing has long admired musicians and their ability to make their skills look so easy. Not too long ago, the retired carpenter and craftsman began studying and playing the ukulele. Although he owns traditional, store-bought examples of the instrument, the 71-year-old Folsom resident also creates
his own bespoke ukuleles from old cigar boxes. The entire process takes about four hours, each piece of art constructed from an array of parts Tussing discovered on the internet. Active in community ukulele groups, Tussing has sold his creations to antique dealers, restaurant owners and individuals. Each instrument is unique and sometimes difficult for the artist to relinquish. SN&R chatted with Tussing about his hobby, the creative process and playing the ukulele.
Why did you start making ukuleles? I wanted to learn to play an instrument. When I was a kid my parents made me play the accordion. They watched Lawrence Welk, you know? But I didn’t like the accordion. I heard about a sing-along group in Folsom, a ukulele society. I checked it out and thought, “It’s a four-string instrument; maybe I can learn how to play the ukulele.” I bought one. And then on a trip to Oregon, a gentleman in a street fair had made ukuleles. I picked them and thought: “With my background, I think I can make these.”
What was the process first like? I’ve been in construction most of my life. I have the aptitude that if something’s broken, I can fix it. I did a little research, looking at YouTube videos and a couple of tutorials on guys making them and thought, “I can make that, no problem.” So I started to buy the parts and pieces. You almost
have to get them online because the music stores don’t carry that stuff. I can buy them on eBay; most of it comes from China.
What about the cigar boxes and tea strainers? I went to local cigar stores, but the boxes are all beat up with scratch and nicks. You want something that’s almost pristine. Then I did a little more research and there are measurements, and you have have to get it all into place. You have to fine-tune everything to make it sound right. I want these things to be different, so I came up with the idea of putting antique tea strainers in the sound holes. They can be pricey, but it adds a certain amount of character and age. They are one-of-a-kind. A couple of them have 140-year-old tea strainers. It’s folk art, but it’s also a musical instrument.
How many have you made and what do they cost? I’ve made 27. The most I’ve sold one for—and I really hated to sell it, but I did—was $150. That one had the 140-year-old tea strainer in it. When people look at them, that’s the appeal. It’s just not a box with a hole in it. There’s a piece of history in the box. There are no two alike.
What is the pleasure in making the ukuleles? Did you ever make model airplanes or cars when you were a kid? I’m retired. I like working with my hands. I like fabricating. There’s a certain artistic side to it. You can’t go to the music store and buy one. I guess there’s something about it. If you want to make something decent, you have to be meticulous about it. It’s a matter of pride in the craftsmanship. I guess that’s the pleasure: I am making something with my hands. □
For more information, contact Les Tussing at email@example.com.
09.05.19 | SN&R | 9
Sacramento Charter High School’s class of 2019 graduated 138 students this summer, slightly less than half of the 282 who started freshman year. Photo by Kris hooKs
Success or surrender Do charter schools address the lasting impacts of school segregation or surrender to them? by Kris HooKs
From the rows on the floor to the near-nose bleed seats in the balcony, Memorial Auditorium was packed for Sacramento Charter High School’s 2019 graduation. As with most graduations, the call to hold applause until the end was largely ignored. With my cousin next to be called, I figured self-restraint was unlikely. “Summa cum laude,” a voice said. The man paused to let the screams and whistles simmer before continuing, “Amaya Rose-Hook.” Like her fellow students, she belongs to one of many communities that has suffered 10
from decades of racism, economic disinvestment and political disinterest— and then attended one of America’s charter schools dedicated to closing the education gap. In that respect, Sacramento Charter High School is no different than other charter schools in the country, graduating upwards of 90% of its students and sending at least 85% to college. But the school known to most as “Sac High” is unlike others in Sacramento. Of the 138 students who received their diplomas, none were white.
“One of the things that I could say that Sac High was good for is that I got to be around a whole bunch of black people,” my cousin told me the day before she left for San Diego State University. The idea of a quasi-segregated public school normally sounds alarms at the state level, where lawmakers backed by a powerful teachers union are deciding bills to further regulate charter schools and halt their growth. And even at the national level where a Democratic presidential debate turned into an anecdotal history lesson about school busing and desegregation, the question of whether America has lived
up to the landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling remains bitterly contested. Publicly funded but privately operated charter schools have largely benefited from bipartisan support over the years as an alternative to a traditional school system that has largely failed students from disadvantaged communities. Sac High graduates are 90% black and Latinx, and most from Oak Park, a historically black and brown neighborhood undergoing rapid gentrification. But as the state attempts to crack down on profiteering charter schools and questions linger about their effectiveness, do charters actually provide the best opportunity for underserved students—or just prove that America has surrendered its 65-year effort to provide equal education regardless of race? Charter schools continue to grow at a rapid rate across the country, including in California, where nearly 10% of K-12 students are enrolled in charters. According to financial records filed in July, the powerful California Teachers Association spent more than $4.3 million this year on lobbying efforts, including
Homeless in a Heat wave see news
student ids confront suicide see newse
a different breed of bondsman see cover
divided vote for Assembly Bills 1505 and 1507, which it cosponsored and which would slow the expansion of charter schools. On Aug. 28, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the CTA and California Charter Schools Association had reached an agreement that, if passed by lawmakers and signed by him, would overhaul charter school laws for the first time in decades. The deal would give local school boards more power to reject charter school applications based on financial impact, and require charter schools to hire credentialed teachers for core classes. The deal would also protect existing charters from school districts’ financial considerations when applying for renewals, a big concession for charter advocates who said the original bill would all but create a moratorium. Still, arguments persist over whether charter schools are effective in closing the education gap, especially in Sacramento, where graduation rates for black and Latinx students—72% and 78%, respectively—are lower than their white classmates, 84%. “It’s particularly important for AfricanAmerican families because the district-run schools have so underserved black students,” Fortune Schools CEO Margaret Fortune said during a recent town hall in Oak Park. “And unless you’re a data denier, the data is irrefutable that that’s the case.” With or without charter schools, America’s education system has become more segregated since the landmark Brown v. Board decision in 1964. According to “Brown at 60: Great progress, a long retreat and an uncertain future,” a 2014 study by UCLA’s Civil Rights Project, California was among the top 10 most segregated states in the country for black and Latinx students in 2012. There are 52 charter schools in Sacramento County, most with student populations that either mirror the area’s population or are primarily white. Others, including Fortune Schools and St. Hope Academy (to which Sac High belongs), educate mostly black and brown students in low-income neighborhoods. Charter schools that emphasize closing the achievement gap for black and brown students are graduating those same kids at higher rates than traditional public schools, and their proficiency rates are often higher, too. Fortune, who helped get Sac High chartered in 2003 before starting Fortune Schools, operates one of the most successful charter systems in Sacramento. Data from Fortune’s most recent accountability report show her students outperform the public districts by at least 10 percentage points in both English and math proficiency.
More than 88% of students at Fortune schools are African-American or Latinx. “I am unapologetic in our fight in closing that academic achievement gap, and I welcome anyone to our campus who might disagree,” Fortune said in a phone interview.
college after graduating. That same year, Sacramento County and California’s college-going rates were about 65%. “Is it something that we’re 100% on? No, but we’re constantly striving for it,” said Wehrly, who stepped in as Sac High’s top administrator after the previous one abruptly resigned over St. Hope’s handling the number of sac High’s graduates of a 2018 student walkout. “We’re not going could have been higher. to be done until our graduation rate is 100% The class of 2019 started with 282 and our suspension rate is at zero.” students (only one of whom was white), so But just because the charter sends a there was a 51% decrease in just four school higher percentage to college doesn’t mean years. It’s difficult to determine the that all students believe they are exact cause for the enrollment prepared, according to nearly drop, though the numbers a dozen former and current nearly mirror the area’s Sac High students. “I am demographic shift. As “They kind of unapologetic in more white residents babied us and held our fight in closing that move in, buying our hand throughout homes that have the whole time,” academic achievement been rented out for Rose-Hook said. gap, and I welcome anyone decades by absen“You could pass to our campus who might tee landlords, more a class with just longtime black and turning in your classdisagree.” Latinx residents are work and homework. Margaret Fortune forced to move out. The testing wasn’t that CEO, Fortune Schools But Rose-Hook has hard. Even in AP classes, other theories. “There they kind of babied you.” were a few that dropped “The fact is, they make out, and then personal reasons,” us look good on paper,” added the 18-year-old recalled. “But a lot of the Chianne Carrier, an incoming senior. “The students that left was because they didn’t problem is, what are you really teaching like Sac High.” us that could really stick? For the 95% that The high school is Sacramento’s oldest, do graduate from Sac High and go to a opening in 1856 and settling in Oak Park in four-year university, how many are actually 1924. In 2003, after being threatened with staying?” a state takeover or a permanent shutdown, Rose-Hook and Carrier are talking about the Sacramento City Unified School District retention—the rate at which students stay in decided to issue a charter to future Mayor college after their first year. Nationally, only Kevin Johnson and his St. Hope Corp. 74% of first-year college students in 2017 Despite objections from the community, returned to campus for their second year, the school was failing its students. During according to a study by the National Student a December 2002 meeting, a state official Clearinghouse Research Center. For black said only 25% of Sac High students in 2001 and Latinx students, the numbers are even could read at grade level, and only 41% lower—66% and 70%, respectively. could do math at grade level. Wehrly said St. Hope actively works In 2018, 15 years after it became a to push students to and through college charter, the school still underperforms. Only through its partnership with the national 10.4% of students met or exceeded math nonprofit College Track, which works with proficiency scores, and only about 37% students from underrepresented communiachieved English proficiency, according ties during high school and tracks their to data from the California Department of progress through college. Education. Rose-Hook was a beneficiary of St. Yet the school still outperforms Hope’s College Track partnership, and Sacramento City Unified School District even received a scholarship through the and the state average in getting students organization. to college. In a phone interview with “I stayed on top of my stuff, so they SN&R, St. Hope’s Chief of Schools Kari didn’t really worry about me, but the Wehrly pointed to the school’s graduation support was there and I knew it was there,” and college-going rates as markers of the Rose-Hook said. “It kind of sucks that they school’s many successes. can’t accept all students, because there are a According to state data, in 2018, lot of kids who need the extra help.” Ω 85.1% of Sac High graduates went onto
Tensions between Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and outgoing District 8 City Councilman Larry Carr didn’t ease up Aug. 27, when council members made a split decision to move ahead with new triage shelters in the Oak Park and Meadowview neighborhoods. Carr and Steinberg had been debating each other in the weeks leading up to last week’s vote, specifically about locating one triage shelter on property near the Pannell Meadowview Community Center. A number of Meadowview residents oppose the project, citing a host of concerns. Steinberg said after meeting with stakeholders, he altered the project to serve only women and children and to strictly prohibit nearby camping, “street feeding,” drug sales and drug use. “We don’t have time to wait,” the mayor said before the vote. “Winter will be here very soon.” Carr said that while he briefly considered getting behind the mayor’s amended proposal, feedback from his Meadowview constituents persuaded him not to support it. “It’s my view that low-barrier homeless shelters don’t belong in neighborhoods,” Carr said. The Meadowview shelter passed on a 6-3 vote, with Carr, Angelique Ashby and Allen Warren voting against it. At the same meeting, the council also approved a new triage shelter under the W/X freeway underpass at Alhambra Boulevard on a 7-2 vote. Before the night was over, Councilman Rick Jennings led the charge to explore developing a safe parking program where homeless people could legally sleep in their cars. (Scott Thomas Anderson)
Payout county Sacramento County got hammered last year for $21.9 million in liability payments, and there wasn’t much of a silver lining for elected leaders to hide behind. The county’s contract claims administrator, George Hills Company Inc., delivered the sticker-shock news to the Board of Supervisors on Aug. 20. While $5 million was covered by outside insurance, that still means the county paid nearly $17 million in claim payments, legal fees and administrative costs to make some 663 claims go away last fiscal year, which ended June 30. George Hills president Randy Rendig told supervisors the situation won’t improve next year, either. “2018-19 was a big year in terms of payments,” he said. “Next year it’s going to be up again because of one particular case.” Rendig didn’t identify the case and, as with past George Hills reports, this one didn’t provide details of individual lawsuits that resulted in large settlements by or adverse decisions against the county. The Sacramento County sheriff’s department was once again the object of the highest proportion of lawsuits against the county, with 43% of all accusations against the county targeting the law enforcement agency. “Law enforcement these days, no surprise, they are constantly getting hammered, sometimes rightfully so, sometimes not rightfully so,” Rendig said. The department was also responsible for the single largest payout—a $7 million settlement inked earlier this year with the family of Chad Irwin, who was fatally shot by a deputy outside his Citrus Heights home in 2016. But perhaps the worst highlight came when Supervisor Susan Peters asked how Sacramento County compared to similarly sized jurisdictions. George Hills risk manager Paul Hight presented a 10year graph that showed Sacramento County having a comparativeloss ratio more than three times worse than five other counties and one large city. (Raheem F. Hosseini)
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Some folks catch shade outside Sacramento Central Library just a few minutes before closing time on Aug. 22.
Cooked alive What good are Sacramento’s ‘cooling centers’ if
At about 5:45 p.m. on Aug. 21, Benny Thomas was one of dozens of people packing their belongings and returning books to the shelves as a voice over the intercom warned visitors of the downtown Sacramento Central Library’s 6 p.m. closing time. Thomas, who said he’s lived on the streets of California’s capital city for 12 years, comes to the library four times a week during the scorching summer months. On this day, he was headed back outside to 95 degree heat. “I come in here to kill time and read my Bible,” Thomas said. “It’s hot as hell out there.” If it was a bit hotter, Thomas might have had a cool place nearby to go. Despite difficulties experienced by those like Thomas, the heat hasn’t been intense enough to trigger the opening of Sacramento’s 24-hour cooling centers this summer. City spokesman Tim Swanson said the city follows Sacramento County’s severe weather guidance plan, which 12
recommends cities open cooling centers if the high temperature is forecast to be above 105 degrees and the low above 75 degrees for three consecutive days. Those thresholds are unreasonably high, critics say. Bob Erlenbusch, executive director of the Sacramento Regional Coalition to End Homelessness, called the policy “inhumane” for thousands of Sacramento residents unable to afford housing or air conditioning. His organization last week released its annual report showing a record high of 132 homeless people died in Sacramento County last year. “It’s unconscionable that it takes that extreme of weather, for an extended period, to open these things,” Erlenbusch said. “The irony to me is that these government officials will send out all kinds of warnings on 100 degree weather days for folks to avoid going outdoors. Well, what about the homeless folks?”
And the city and county’s cooling center policies weren’t made in a vacuum. A city blog post said the plan was formulated with other cities, the county, National Weather Service and homeless advocates. “It’s important for folks to realize that these were not just numbers that were randomly chosen,” Daniel Bowers, emergency management director for the city, said in the post. “There was a method that we followed for establishing them.” Swanson said it costs about $1,300 a night in staffing and supplies to open a cooling center inside of a community space for a night. Steve Cantelme, chief of the Sacramento County Office of Emergency Services, said there’s nothing stopping cities from opening cooling centers without meeting the temperature thresholds, but it doesn’t happen often. A blanket of smoke and one of the PHOTO BY DYLAN SVOBODA worst air quality readings in the world wasn’t enough for the city to open a “clean air space” during the Camp Fire last fall. Erlenbusch called on the city and county to consider poor air quality in their cooling center policy. Cantelme noted that while some folks they won’t open? believe the temperature thresholds are too high, the county likes to maintain consistency in its cooling center policies. Several surrounding cities, however, BY DYLAN SVOBODA took their efforts a step further than Sacramento by opening cooling centers when they weren’t required to do so, The city of Sacramento directed those though none operated for 24 hours. looking to escape the heat to head to In Rancho Cordova, City Hall was their nearest “cool-air” space—a library, used as a cooling center Aug. 14-16 from community center or public pool. Rivkah noon to 6 p.m. On the same days, Elk Sass, director of the Sacramento Public Grove opened an additional day-time coolLibrary, encouraged anyone looking to ing center, according to Cosumnes Fire beat the heat to come to the library, but Department Battalion Chief Dan Quiggle. acknowledged that can be a big challenge Local residents should expect more for those who need the spaces the most. extended heat waves due to climate “We’re a seven-day-a-week change. operation, but not all of our According to a recent study locations are open seven from the Union of Concerned days a week,” Sass said. Scientists, Sacramento “It might require a car “It’s hot as hell County will experience to get to the nearest an average of 31 days per out there.” location, in some year with a heat index cases.” Benny Thomas above 100 degrees and 12 Sacramento County homeless resident of days per year above 105 hasn’t experienced Sacramento degrees without further any heat-related deaths action on climate change. since the summer of From 1971 to 2000, 2017, when six people died Sacramento County experienced of heatstroke from June 16 to an average of five days per year with a July 2 when the average high was heat index above 100 degrees and one 96 degrees, according to the county day per year above 105 degrees, the coroner’s office. study said. Ω
New student IDs must include lifeline number BY MARK KREIDLER
New IDs for California students must show the telephone number of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
K ai s er H eal t h New s
The new law also permits school districts to include on IDs both the Crisis Text Line (text HOME to 741741) and contact information for campus police or a local suicide prevention hotline. The law applies to public and private institutions alike. The idea behind the law is to give students a clear understanding that immediate help is readily available. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a network of local crisis centers, provides free and confidential support on a 24/7 basis. “We are definitely taking steps toward being better,” said Noah Bernabe, 16, a junior at Oakmont High School in Roseville. “It makes sense to do this.” Most of the available research, including a comprehensive study from 2014, suggests that talking openly about suicide may reduce the risk of suicidal thoughts. The state’s new student ID law is just one piece of a puzzle, and many schools have added other pieces of their own. In the sprawling Roseville district that Herrmann now leads, each of the eight high school campuses features a wellness center that includes clinical counselors and social workers. “We’ve seen the statistics, and we know that these issues know no boundaries of race, class, ethnicity,” Herrmann said. “These are community concerns—and the schools are often the most outward-facing components of the community.” Ω
This story was produced by Kaiser Health News, which publishes California Healthline, an editorially independent service of the California Health Care Foundation. KHN is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.
issue on stands 09/26
Denise Herrmann was only a few months into her new job as principal of a Palo Alto high school in fall 2014 when a student took his own life. The death of the Gunn High School junior was one of four student suicides in Palo Alto during the 2014-15 school year—the second such suicide cluster in the community’s recent history. By the beginning of the following school year, the Palo Alto Unified School District had implemented a new policy: It put suicide prevention contact information on student IDs. A California law that has greeted students returning to school statewide over the past few weeks bears a striking resemblance to that Palo Alto policy from four years ago. Beginning with the 2019-20 school year, all IDs for California students in grades seven through 12, and in college, must bear the telephone number of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. That number is 800-273-TALK (8255). “I am extremely proud that this strategy has gone statewide,” said Herrmann, who is now superintendent of the Roseville Joint Union High School District. The new student ID law marks a statewide response to what educators, administrators and students themselves know is a growing need. The numbers support that idea—and they are as jarring as they are clarifying. Suicide was the second-leading cause of death in the United States among people ages 10 to 24 in 2017, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The suicide rate among teenagers has risen dramatically over the past two decades, according to the CDC. In a 2017 survey, more than 17% of responding high school students said they had seriously considered suicide, while nearly 14% said they’d made a plan to do it, and more than 7% said they’d actually attempted it.
PHOTO COURTESY OF TURLOCK UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
Stopping teen suicides
richard Savala’s journey in a bail industry battling for survival by Scott thomaS anderSon Scotta@newSreview.com
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ichard “Trino” Savala steers his Chevy Malibu under a fierce winter sun sharpening across the sky. He makes a turn, driving through east Woodland until he comes to a horseshoe of apartments where shirts are dangling from clotheslines and mariachi music is blasting from a halfopened window. Savala steps out of the car. “Eh, mijo!’ he calls. “Come out here!” A 15-year-old kid trots through a screen door, flashing a lazy smile. His name is Isiah and he’s one of the 20-plus teens that Savala does truancy work with at Cesar Chavez Continuation School. Savala knows that Isiah has been restless lately—and getting into fights. They chat about boxing, and Savala asks Isiah if he’s coming back to the gym soon. “Boxing gives them a positive place to focus that energy,” Savala says. “At least right now we only have three kids in juvenile hall, and that means I’m doing my job.” He shakes his head, adding, “A lot of these kids out here grow up with no pops—there’s just no dads in their life. There’s no guidance.” Part of Savala’s story has been written before. It’s the epic of a Broderick Avenue troublemaker who punched his way to becoming California’s featherweight boxing champion, a relentless, 21-0 knockout monster who then blew his shot at a world title in a bizarre, cocaine-fueled match that led to a riot at Sacramento’s Memorial Auditorium. Savala’s fall from the spotlight lead straight to an underground exile where he was selling heroin and robbing drug dealers. That, in turn, got him 18 years in the penitentiary and long stretches of being a soldier for the Northern Structure prison gang. After Savala walked away from those stone walls and steel bars for good, he became a licensed drug counselor
and homeless navigator in Sacramento. He set out to undo the damage he’d done. He wanted to help people rebuild their lives. It’s a tale that has inspired many, one often told in a linear fashion. But there’s nothing straightforward about Savala’s journey of self-understanding, or about the steps that have brought him to this rundown apartment in a neighborhood he calls “the barrio.” Lately he’s found a new calling that’s lead to holding dual jobs as a youth advocate for the Yolo County Office of Education and the gang prevention coordinator for the City of Woodland. It’s the next chapter of his sea change, one that’s also coincided with him moonlighting in California’s controversial bail bonds industry. Critics have accused the lucrative cash bail industry of preying on and profiting from the poor, as well as contributing to an unfair system of pretrial justice. Representatives from the industry counter that they provide an important service by chasing and recapturing low-level absconders whom local enforcement doesn’t have the time or resources to pursue. With violent crime on the rise in most counties since 2017, these bondsmen argue that the last thing most Californians want is to take away police officers’ private industry backup. And they’re betting on that in 2020. After the Legislature and then-Gov. Jerry Brown passed a law in August 2018 to abolish the cash bail system, the bond industry quickly gathered more than 400,000 signatures to qualify a referendum on the November 2020 ballot to overturn the new law. The industry is also working on a second ballot measure that would actually enshrine cash bail into the state’s constitution. Standing in the middle of these arguments is Savala, believed to be one of only
three former felons that the state’s insurance department has ever cleared to work as a bail agent. Occasionally he does the job with a badge and a Taser, but more often his approach is as unorthodox as his back story. Savala has made himself an expert in navigating mental health services, addiction treatment, domestic violence and affordable housing—and made that the main focus of his bail bond business. He says he’s assisted numerous families steer loved ones to the services they desperately need. And while Savala strongly supports keeping California’s cash bail system—it’s been profitable for him, too—he also admits he doesn’t know any other bondsmen who bring his help-centered approach to the business. Do the lessons Savala has learned on his road to hell and back show a different path for the embattled bail industry?
Winter A cold February wind rattles some dry, wild oats teetering along a parking lot at the very edge of Woodland. Savala’s Malibu rolls through it and parks near a stack of faded apartments shadowed by the calm, chilly sunset. He dials one of the teens on his truancy caseload. “Hey, where you at?” he asks. “I’m here, fool!” a young voice replies. Moments later, a 17-year-old named Tony is standing next to Savala. Tony knows all about his mentor’s glory days in the ring. He’s been having Savala train him. “I just love getting in there and throwing punches,” Tony says, “and even taking the hits. If you’re going to get in there and give it, you gotta take it, too.” Tony is planning to join the U.S. Marine Corps after high school. Savala’s helping
him stay focused on classes and also enrolled him in a vocational course for auto body and fender work. After joking about Tony’s sparring prowess, Savala gets back in his car, driving into Woodland’s Donnelly Circle to visit another teen. Savala says this part of town has been a recruitment ground for the Sureno street gang. Teenagers who are Norteno-affiliated never go there. “You try to keep these kids out of gangs, but some of them are going home to a dad who’s a gangbanger,” he says. “You try to keep them off drugs, but some are going home to parents who are both dope fiends. That’s what makes it tough.” Savala wants to keep the teens away from gangs and the drug world because he’s seen first-hand the true, terrible face of violence. He says that mental scar tissue also motivates how he handles his bail bond business. When Savala was 10, two men kicked in his mother’s front door in West Sacramento and put
“I’m always going to have a passion to help addicts, because there was somebody there to help me.” RichaRd Savala
a shotgun to his head. He watched the intruders aim their 12-gauge at his brothers Danny, 7, and Mario, 9, as well. It was a drug robbery targeting their mother’s boyfriend, but the Savala kids were caught in the middle. For the brothers, events leading up to that moment were also disturbing. Their father Trino Savala Sr. had been Sacramento’s most exciting boxer in the early 1960s. Graceful and with Rudolph Valentino good looks, he had an athletic star-power that kept the capital talking.
But in 1965, he suffered a devastating concussion while fighting Ricardo Moreno and his career was cut short. For the next three years, he spent most of his days teaching his little sons how to throw jabs, crosses, hooks and uppercuts. Then, one night in 1968, he was sleeping in Sacramento’s L Street Boxing Arena when faulty electrical wires caused a fire. Emergency responders found Trino Sr. crouched in the gym’s showers with the water running, burns covering his entire body. Savala says that, for the rest of his life, Trino Sr. was “basically a vegetable.” Savala’s mother, Mary, soon received a financial settlement from the blaze. Word got around that she wasn’t just beautiful, but also had money. Savala says that drew the wrong kind of men, especially a new boyfriend who was deep in the drug world. That led to the armed home invasion—and he and his brothers looking straight into the barrel of a shotgun.
Former state boxing champion Richard “Trino” Savala mentors young people at Center Ring Boxing on Franklin Boulevard.
Photo by Karlos rene ayala
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“We were terrified,” Savala recalls. “They had us all rounded up. It’s something I’ve thought about a lot during my life. Violence like that traumatizes kids. One of my brothers is still affected by it.” In 1979, Savala won his first professional fight against Johnny Salcedo, dropping him with a jab and right cross in the third round. But a few days later, his budding career almost ended. He was cruising through William Land Park with his brothers when they got into a melee with a group of young men. A war of words spun into fisticuffs. Savala stepped in, dropping one of the strangers with a surgical boxing combo. He heard someone scream, “Motherf----- that’s my brother!” Then he heard a gunshot. A bullet crashed into Savala’s ribcage, blasting the air out of his lungs. He stumbled out into the street and was suddenly hit by a car. “I flew through the air,” he recalls. “I woke up in a hospital. I was out of boxing for a whole year.” Much later, in the drug world’s culture of hopelessness, he again saw what violence really looked like. He witnessed people ruthlessly beaten over heroin scores, and armed car pursuits between pushers. He watched gang leaders order men on the prison yard to stab their own friends. These days, Savala doesn’t just strive to keep Woodland’s youth away from those dark turns, he works closely with the families who hire him as a bondsman to do the same. Often, that means working on a contract that stipulates he and the family can revoke bail if the defendant is not seeking drug treatment. Savala knows all too well that the drug world brings risks newer addicts can scarcely imagine. “It’s not like I read about it in some book,” he says. “I learned about it the real way.”
Spring A crowd wearing tuxedos and evening gowns moves by the chain-link fence, decorated in red, white and blue, alongside the VFW Hall on Stockton Boulevard. They turn by the artillery cannon on the front lawn as they stroll through the doors. Inside, the Mexican-American Hall of Fame Sports Association is preparing to recognize a different kind of artillery—Savala’s hellacious right cross, and the role it played in Sacramento’s golden era of boxing. Dressed in a black suit and sporting his slim, signature Ray-Bans, Savala shuffles from table to table in the banquet room, shaking hands, telling jokes and introducing his wife, Carmine. His brothers are also there. It’s a special night for the family. Not only is
“We bail people from all walks of life. We work on payment plans with your clients, so it won’t harm them in their everyday living.” RichaRd Savala
Savala being inducted into the hall of fame, but so is his father, posthumously. Eddie Cervantes, president of the MexicanAmerican Hall of Fame Sports Association, remembers his own dad taking him to watch Trino Sr.’s matches in Sacramento. “He was absolutely my favorite,” Cervantes says. “It’s probably because he was this smooth, greatlooking Mexican guy who was so graceful in the ring. As a kid, I looked up to him.” Savala can remember his father’s charisma, though, as he’s gotten older, he’s come to see that it was also a weakness that eventually played an unwitting role in the family’s descent. The reason Trino Sr. was sleeping inside the L Street Arena on the night it caught fire was that he’d been cheating on his wife and she’d thrown him out of the house. Mary couldn’t have known this would lead to Trino Sr. being crippled and disfigured, but Savala says, on some level, she always blamed herself. The image of police officers showing up at the front door, holding Trino’s charred clothes, would continue playing in both mother and son’s minds for years. Savala can still remember Mary crying at night, talking out loud to the husband she remembered rather than the scarred shell of the man who was there. Even when Mary had money, she never once considered putting Trino Sr. in a convalescent home. She took care of him, no matter who she was living with, or who she was dating. But the pain of proximity took a toll. Today, Savala has enough experience as former addict and drug counselor to know that guilt played a role in her self-destruction. “Yeah, mom was medicating herself,” Savala says. “A lot of times when we’re suffering from depression, we find our own medications, so we don’t feel the pain.” Years later, when Savala was on the brink of getting his shot at the world featherweight championship, he started using cocaine, then opioids and then heroin. Savala says it took years before he stopped lying to himself about the reasons. “I used to think I used drugs because I liked the feeling,” he says. “But I used drugs because I had pain. I missed my dad. Growing up without him, I just yearned for my father. I used drugs so I didn’t have to feel that.”
This slow-train realization continues to play a big role in why Savala empathizes with the addicts he’s bailing out. He doesn’t judge them. He can’t. Instead, he focuses on determining what programs match their insurance. If they don’t have insurance, Savala knows how to get them into 30-day treatment through county services followed by a 12-step program. “When you say you’re a drug addict, that’s a nasty word,” Savala says. “Family members will tell me, ‘He’s never going to change. He’s always going to rip me off.’ It’s the most common thing I hear. And I’ll look at them and say, ‘We do change.’ Then I give them the spiel of my life. You know, this is who I used to be.” Savala says part of sobriety is personal responsibility, but few addicts stand a chance unless there is someone who believes in them. In his case, it was parole agent named Barbara Parkins who championed him all through rehab. It was also former Folsom City Attorney Bruce Cline, who was then part of a program called Volunteers In Parole, in which attorneys and judges mentored men coming out of prison. “Bruce Cline showed me how to be a father and how to be a good man,” Savala emphasizes. “And Barbara Parkins saved my life. The rest is history … I’m always going to have a passion to help addicts, because there was somebody there to help me.”
Summer It’s a June broiler and the heat keeps rising inside Center Ring Boxing on Franklin Boulevard. In the far corner, Savala is stepping around three Woodland teenagers he works with—John, Jesus and Emilio—and watching them punch heavy bags. “You’re losing points!” Savala shouts. “Let those hands go!” A few moments later, Savala moves with sparring-like steps and calls out combinations: “One, one, two, three!” Emilio reacts with his fists, and the gym echoes with a trio of crisp snaps and then a loud whip-crack on the goat skin. “You gotta get faster with that right hand!” Savala warns, using one mitt to tap the kid’s ribs with a phantom hook. It’s quick and
effortless—reminiscent of those body blows that Savala used to break opponents. “One, two, three!” Savala barks. “Too slow,” Savala says, shaking his head. Emilio picks up his speed, hitting his mentor’s left mitt with two blistering right crosses. “Oh, that was vicious,” Savala chuckles. “Man, you’re going to knock someone out with that!” When the bell rings, David Owens, the head coach at Center Ring, gets the teenage boys some water. “Why you giving them water?” Savala goads. “No one gave us water when we were kids.” Owens glances over. “That’s because no one liked you.” The two boxers have known each for 18 years. They agree that Emilio is showing promise. It’s no surprise: Emilio’s father, Jesus Vega, was an up-and-coming boxer until a car accident. Three days later, Jesus Vega is sitting inside Savala’s air-conditioned kitchen in Woodland, finishing the paperwork on bond that Savala just posted for him for a DUI arrest. “He always helps, and he works with me,” Vega says. “It’s comfortable. He understands. He’s been there.” Savala takes a photo of Vega’s driver’s license and writes down his Social Security number. He’s covering $4,000 on a $95,000 bond with 17% interest. Vega’s wife co-signed the bond. Savala carefully explains the agreement to Vega, noting what he is liable for and what Vega’s family is liable for. “If you don’t come to court, we can come get you wherever you’re at,” Savala says. “We can come to your place of employment, your house—we would surprise you.” Vega nods, though he plans to settle the DUI. He has a full-time job as an auto body repairman, so he needed Savala to bail him out because he couldn’t risk losing his job by sitting in jail. “What can you afford?” Savala asks. “Right now, we’re at $500 a month.” “Can we leave it at that for a few weeks?” Vega replies. Savala nods. “Sure.”
Fall (oF an induStry?) The state’s bail bond industry is preparing to go to political war against the California Money Bail Reform Act, the new law to make the state the first in the nation to scrap cash bail. It would replace bail with a courtadministered, algorithmic threat matrix that is supposed to decide who can be safely released. Savala says that lawmakers sold this change based on a lie—that only better-off Californians can afford bail. “We bail people from all walks of life,” he says. “We work on payment plans with your clients, so it won’t harm them in their everyday living.” continued on page 18
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Richard “Trino” Savala is a youth advocate at Cesar Chavez Continuation School and the gang prevention coordinator for the city of Woodland. He’s also a bail agent.
Photo by Karlos rene ayala
“We don’t want them to be stressed out. That’s one of the main things that makes people run. If you miss your court date, we can fix it. Everything is fixable if you don’t run.” But criminal justice reform activists see California’s bail industry in a far different light. Brown, during his first stint as governor, called bail an unfair “tax on poor people.” In January 2018, a panel of state appeal court judges ruled elements of California’s bail system were unconstitutional, after a San Francisco man who reportedly stole $5 and a bottle of cologne spent 250 days in jail because his bail was set at $350,000. While part of that story involved the questionable way prosecutors chose to charge that defendant with robbery, reformers nonetheless saw it as proof the bail system blatantly deprives suspects of their rights. As the industry looks toward the future, Sacramento County earlier this month began a program that eliminates bail for low-level defendants. Sacramento’s best-known bondsman, who got Savala into the business, former three-time world boxing champion Tony “the Tiger” Lopez, says Sacramento County officials are asking for crime to go up. “If the cops are chasing someone who’s fled, it’s on the taxpayers’ dime,” Lopez adds. “If we’re chasing them, it’s on our dime. It’s not a matter of being on the cops’ side, it’s a matter of being on the side of common sense.” Lopez acknowledges that seeing the way Savala approaches the bond business has changed the way he operates his own. Lopez says he constantly calls Savala to consult on how to get his own clients drug treatment, counseling and housing. “There’s no one working in bail who knows what Richard knows,” Lopez says. “He’s kept quite a few of his clients from going to prison for the long run.” For Savala, it’s just one more way to use his torturous journey to help others. Just like his work with youths, he’s convinced a certain kind of bail agent can make a difference. “To this day, I still support a lot of my clients I’ve bailed out,” Savala says. “I’m part of their support group … I still have people call me and say, ‘Hey, I’m really struggling.’ And I’ll got meet with them, and we’ll talk it out. We talk it out.” Ω
09.05.19 | SN&R | 19
THE OLD Folsom C RAWL by Mozes zarate moze s z@ n e w s r e v i e w . co m
he 9 p.m. pilgrimage starts at the Sutter Club, a friendly sports dive that sells cigarettes and the night’s first round. We’re not here for the billiards or the jukebox, where Pantera raises hell. Our eyes are dead onto the frontier along Sutter Street. The old-West strip is quieter than usual, the bouncer says, but that’ll change in about 30 minutes. There’s more to the Sacramento region’s nightlife than downtown or Midtown. Toward South Sacramento, shows at the Morgue and Café Colonial keep the all-ages underground alive. In West Sac, Swabbies on the River draws partiers to a mariner’s paradise on the riverfront. In Roseville, the Opera House Saloon’s grand hall draws dance-lovers. On this night, it’s Folsom’s historic district. On the southwest corner, families have a late dinner at the Fat Rabbit Public House and Hop Sing Palace. Down the street, it’s a packed house at the Gaslight Company, where The Vintage Find is hosting its album release show. The five-member Americana band crams into a corner of the narrow bar. For lead singer Chris Matthews, who’s lived in Folsom for years and hits the Gaslight’s Wednesday open-mic with his son Jason, the bar’s a good hangout and a hotspot for new bands. For Jason, it’s an opportunity: The 16-year-old played a few songs during The Vintage Find’s intermission. He’s at the beginning of his journey, playing in bands and busking as a singer-guitarist.
20 | SN&R | 09.05.19
Cover bands, country bars and Missionstyle burritos: Midtown isn’t the region’s only nightlife scene
“I first started playing guitar at 14,” he said. “As I got better and better, this bar encouraged me a lot. … Around here, it seems they like helping people.” The tables on the Gaslight’s outdoor deck overlook the action. The Sutter Street Sock Co. booms with customers, while further down Sutter Street at the Folsom Hotel, the classic rock cover band Playback brings a retro party with hits from Thin Lizzy and Peter Frampton. While the Gaslight features original music, the Folsom Hotel and its neighbor, the Powerhouse Pub, are well-known for hosting cover and tribute bands on Travelling busker WIll Murrill plays his the weekends. While song, “Mitote” to Sutter it’s mostly middleStreet pedestrians. aged drinkers and Photo by Ashley hAyes-stone dancers carving out elbow room during Playback’s set, the crowd is eclectic: a health care worker from Rancho Murieta who prefers an older crowd and a retired programmer from the Bay Area who played in bands and loves live music. “Folsom has got a different vibe,” said Ed Nelson, frontman of Playback, die-hard rock ’n’ rollers who dig a blue-collar crowd. “You
get a lot folks, people in their 40s and 50s, and even in their 60s, who like classic rock. We just have a great time here …I don’t get home ’til 3 a.m., and I can’t talk the next day. But well worth it.” Across the street is the Powerhouse Pub, a multi-room nightclub on sensory overload. Psychedelic, glow-in-the-dark paint splatters complement ukuleles, tiki masks and Hawaii license plates plastered to the walls. On the main stage, it looks like a country bar; in the middle area, it looks like a tropical DJ nightclub with a cigar bar and hookah lounge. And the venue’s last room, Scarlett’s, is a foggy nightclub led by former 103.5 DJ Jason “Sugar Bear” Harris. Owner Naz Nguyen worked at Powerhouse for more than a decade before taking over six years ago. Now, she handles every aspect of the business: the booking, the people, the janitorial work and the weekend rapture. Her children work the front of the house, selling hot dogs and checking IDs. “It’s controlled chaos,” Nguyen said. The night ends as quietly as it started at the Sutter Street Taqueria, one of the only local
restaurants open until 2 a.m. The most popular menu item is the carnitas super burrito with chile verde, which owner Rosario Rodriguez modeled after the burritos in the Mission District in San Francisco, where she grew up. Rodriguez moved to Folsom 12 years ago and opened the taqueria in 2016. “I’m a bonafide workaholic, and I said, ‘I want to work for myself,’” she said. “I’m a foodie at heart. I want to bring a little bit of home to Folsom.” Folsom is changing, said Rodriguez, who plans to run for City Council next year. “I love that it’s a growing little town. I love that there’s so much history,” she said. “And now you have people that are trying to preserve the small town feel. … I think it’ll be an interesting time in the next 20 to 30 years.” Ω
See artS & Culture
doCtor-preSCribed tuneS See muSiC
artiSanal donutS See diSh
theSe vegan burritoS remind her of meat See off menu
Thunder Cover rocks the Saturday night crowd at Powerhouse Pub. Photo by Ashley hAyes-stone
chaos.” Naz Nguyen, owner, Powerhouse Pub
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by Steph RodRiguez
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’90s-era indie bands, including the Rosebuds (a regular at the Cattle Club) and Rocketship (which performed at popfests in San Francisco and New York). Local music on the lineup includes Clevers and Sad Numbers, plus sets from DJ Roger Carpio and Scott Miller. Three San Francisco bands—the Heartlights, Slowness and Starry Eyed Cadet—will join Los Angeles-based Rat Fancy and Idaho’s The Very Most to cast a spell of sugary power pop music. Rob Uytingco, drummer and vocalist for Starry Eyed Cadet, said he’s noticed a new generation of musicians and audiences who appreciate the original aesthetic. ghostplay joins the lineup at Sacramento popfest, which will bathe old ironsides in dreamy soundscapes. “It’s the music that influenced us to start playing music. The first time I saw the band Ride, that made me want to pick up the drumsticks,” he said. “Even though we love other genres of music and are influenced by ’60s, ’80s, new wave or post punk, we always look to that fleet for inspiration.” Throughout his years behind the drum kit, Rivas said he’s met a lot of musicians and forged a lot of connections, all based around indie music and its DIY backbone. He’s an avid live music enthusiast and says The Sacramento Popfest he often checks out new local sounds. That’s amplifies local and regional how he discovered Ghostplay’s hypnotic stage presence in 2014. power pop sounds “They’ve just continued to top themselves every year that they’ve been around, and I think the best is yet to come in future recordings for Gentle strums of guitar looped and reverberated them,” Rivas said. from a small stage inside a Midtown venue, followed For Leticia Hess, the band’s guitarist and by moody synth, a slow and steady drum cadence and vocalist, the small popfest is just another accents of dreamy guitar riffs. Deep melodic vocals opportunity for audiences to enjoy local washed over the cascade of sounds that built music. With venues such as Old and then crested over the audience. I and Blue Lamp up for sale, It was one of Ghostplay’s last these opportunities may soon shows at the now defunct Starlite be more limited. Lounge, but the shoegaze “I was really hungry “We never know how mood will live on when the to promote the city as long our venues are Sacramento band recreates being a hub and one of the going to be here. Jim’s its sonic bliss again as one put on a really great of eight bands at the firstbirthplaces for really great showcase of what kind ever Sacramento Popfest indie pop music.” of music is around and on Friday, Sept. 6 at Old put in a lot of effort to Ironsides. Jim Rivas put these bands together,” Jim Rivas, the festival promoter, Sacramento Popfest she said. “It’s really organizer and a longtime important to get out and Sacramento musician, has built enjoy this kind of entertainment a bill that showcases some of the before it goes away.” Ω best indie pop, shoegaze and psych rock bands from the Bay Area, Los Angeles and Idaho. Despite its far-flung musical visitors, though, Rivas says the show is squarely Sacramento. check out the sac Popfest with Ghostplay, starry eyed cadet “I was really hungry to promote the city as being and more, 5 p.m., friday, sept. 6 at old Ironsides, 1901 10th a hub and one of the birthplaces for really great st. $8. facebook.com/events/2306986172853412. indie pop music,”said Rivas, who has drummed for Photo courtesy of GhostPlay
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“It’s kind of like chocolate and peanut butter,” Silcox said of their partnership. “I know the people who own these nursing homes, and you sing, and we could put something together.” Roach had been struggling to find work as a professional musician post-recession. “I really started to contemplate walking away from music,” she said. “I was so discouraged. I think that’s what prompted me to go into this workshop.” Now, Roach works full-time as a music therapist, curating Ann Roach, TunesWork’s co-founder. personalized playlists, playing guitar and singing at patients’ A particular scene from the documentary Alive bedsides. Inside changed Mike Silcox and Ann Roach. In it, She said she sees the sorts of transformations from 92-year-old Henry Dryer, a nursing home patient who the documentary in her daily work. One patient was suffers from dementia—normally crouched over his completely nonverbal and inattentive until hearing wheelchair and barely responsive—is introduced to “Tuxedo Junction” by Glenn Miller. an iPod. “She looked straight into my eyes and had this A nurse places the headphones over his ears and look on her face, that look of surprise, and she held hits play. Dryer becomes wide-eyed and animated, my gaze the entire song,” Roach said. “Even though muttering lyrics and dancing in his chair. He’s intershe couldn’t communicate verbally, it’s like she viewed afterward about his love for jazz singer Cab was saying, ‘OK, I’m here. I’ve arrived. … I know Calloway and sings “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” exactly what’s going on.’” one of his favorite tunes. In another instance, she said, her friend’s “I probably went through a half-box of father, who suffered from dementia, was Kleenex,” Roach said. able to sustain a 20-minute conversa“You Alive Inside, which won the tion with his daughter after being Audience Award at the 2014 Sundance triggered by his playlist. can’t Film Festival, inspired TunesWork, “I was providing the overdose on a nonprofit that advocates for using soundtrack for them to reconnect,” music.” live and recorded music as a form of she said. medicine. Since its founding in 2016, Ann Roach, The effects of music on the TunesWork has raised more singer, TunesWork brain and body are complex, Roach than $100,00 to get music therapy co-founder said. Between the melody, rhythm and programs into California hospitals, instrumentation, there’s a lot to compute. hospices and memory care facilities. On Researchers have found that the areas of the Saturday, Sept. 7, it will hold the West Coast brain associated with memory and auditory functions Jam, its annual benefit concert. are connected, but not only that. For Roach, it comes back to the first time she saw “Those who suffer from aphasia and can’t Alive Inside. speak can often sing,” Roach said. “The right “I knew from that point on that if I was going to kind of music can release opioids in the brain continue in the music business, that it was going to and [lower] pain and anxiety.” And for those be for healing,” Roach said. “I really felt that if I had who’ve had major surgery, she said, music can been given the gift of song, it could be used to help often stabilize their heart rate at the right tempo. people.” Ω “Plus, you can’t overdose on music,” she added. Check out the West Coast Jam benefit concert hosted by TunesWork at 7:30 Silcox, an insurance broker who specializes p.m., Saturday, Sept. 7 at the McClellan Conference Center in Sacramento. in memory care facilities, and Roach, a freelance Richard Elliot, Peter White and DW3 perform. Tickets are $45-$79. Learn musician who sings in the tribute band Steelin’ more about TunesWork at tuneswork.org. Dan, met at a leadership conference in 2016.
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Fall theater spotlight BY JIM CARNES
PHOTO COURTESY OF CHARR CRAIL
After 40 years of child rearing, Helene and George Butler are ready to finally enjoy the peace and quiet, until their two older sons move back in, unannounced. Like so many ’80s-era sitcoms, Alone Together suffers less from entitled children, and more from a myopic view of how the world actually works. Fri
8pm, Sat 8pm; Through 9/7; $12-$20; Kennedy Mine
Amphitheatre, 1127 N Main St. in Jackson, (209) 2954499; mstw.org. R.M.
network TV series, his relationship with his father (and his own experience as a father), plus the dark days recuperating from a horrendous bicycle accident. In this life installment, his son Declan, who was sometimes reluctant to be a part of Gallagher’s stories, collaborates as Gallagher discusses what lead him to all that other stuff: his career as a stand-up comic. $28-$47. B Street Theatre at the Sofia, 2700 Capitol Ave.; (916) 443-5300; bstreettheatre.org.
Capital Stage’s Between Riverside and Crazy is just one of many shows to catch this Fall.
Labor Day may be the unofficial beginning of fall film and TV season, but theater is a year-round thing in Sacramento. Here are five upcoming plays—both amateur and professional—to look forward to as the summer heat fades. Between Riverside and Crazy (Aug. 30-Sept. 29) The 2015 Pulitzer Prize winner by Stephen Adly Guirgis opened Saturday at Capital Stage. An ex-cop and recent widower (played by James Wheatley) whose newly paroled son Junior arrives at precisely the wrong time is only part of “Pops” Washington’s problems. The landlord wants him out of his rent-stabilized apartment, the liquor store has closed and the church is on him, too. The play kicks off the theater’s 15th anniversary season, titled “Going Home.” $25-$49. Capital Stage, 2215 J St.; (916) 995-5464; capstage.org. A Stand-Up Guy (Sept. 9-Oct. 20) Comedian, actor and playwright Jack Gallagher has shared much of his life through his one-man shows at B Street Theatre: His (bad) experience as star of a 24
Fuddy Meers, by playwright David Lindsay-Abair, is an odd and rather disturbing play that defies any logical description of its plot or characters. It’s funny,
Thinner Than Water
farcical and at times frustrating—but does put the “fun” in family dysfunction. Fri 8pm, Sat
Three half-siblings are forced to figure out their relationships with their dad, with each other and with other characters swirling about in their lives. All in all, it’s an interesting exploration of the bonds of blood, and whether they’re worth keeping if they weigh down like a ton of bricks.
8pm, Sun 2pm; Through 9/8; $16-$18; Thistle Dew
Dessert Theatre, 1901 P St., (916) 443-5099; facebook. com/ErrantPhoenix. P.R.
Can’t get enough of a certain musical about love, family and marriage, set to a certain Swedish pop band’s greatest hits? Fair Oaks Theatre Festival offers its own version under the stars, and it’s a pretty fun island getaway. Fri 8pm, Sat 8pm,
Thu 8pm, Fri 8pm, Sat 8pm, Sun 2pm; Through 9/7; $12$18; Big Idea Theatre, 1616 Del Paso Blvd., (916) 960-3036, bigideatheatre.org. P.R.
Sun 8pm; Through 9/8; $6-$18; Fair Oaks Theatre Festival, 7991 California Ave., (916) 966-3683; fairoakstheatrefestival. com. R.M.
Short reviews by Rachel Mayfield and Patti Roberts.
Skeleton Crew (Sept. 27-Oct. 26) Written by Dominique Morisseau, a 2018 MacArthur “genius award” winner, Skeleton Crew is the concluding chapter in her three-play Detroit Project. Set in the Motor City at one of its last, struggling auto-stamping plants, the play deals with emotional and financial crises as workers face ruin. The play also considers the plight of the plant manager, torn between loyalty to his workers and obligations to plant owners. Big Idea Theatre, 1616 Del Paso Blvd.; (916) 960-3036; bigideatheatre.org. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the NightTime (Oct. 4-Oct. 20) City Theatre’s first production this season is based on the novel by Mark Haddon. Christopher, a 15-year-old who is autistic and a math whiz, is falsely accused of killing a neighbor’s dog. When he turns detective to find the “real killer,” he learns much more than he wants to know about life, love, family and deceit. $10-$18. City Theatre at Sacramento City College Performing Arts Center, 3835 Freeport Boulevard; (916) 558-2228; citytheatre.net. Northanger Abbey (Oct. 2-Oct. 27) In this world premiere adaptation of Jane Austen’s first written (and last published) novel, Austen herself appears as a character. You can expect all the usual girlish infatuation, romance and humor of Austen’s other works, with a whiff of satire. Sacramento actor and playwright Carissa Meagher (you may have seen her in Anna Karenina at Capital Stage or in By the Bog of Cats at Ray Tatar’s California Stage) did the adaptation. Sacramento Theatre Company, 1419 H Street; (916) 443-6722; sactheatre.org. Ω
SCREEN PICK Before she started selling supplements, Kirsten Dunst was the Sarah Rose Princess America Pageant winner.
Pageant material Kirsten Dunst is back on screen, this time as a former pageant queen caught up in a ruthless pyramid scheme in Showtime’s On Becoming a God in Central Florida. As the season rolls out, it also brings to mind that other time Dunst was a pageant winner—in the satirical mockumentary Drop Dead Gorgeous. Dunst plays Amber Atkins, a high schooler from Minnesota who enters the Sarah Rose Princess America Pageant. But as the competition nears and contestants start dropping like flies, it starts to look like the pageant might be rigged. In a performance that was not nominated for an Oscar, Dunst unwittingly avoids falling stage lights and exploding parade floats, all while pulling off a pretty kooky Minnesotan accent.
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Bagel bites bagEl brEakfasT sandwich, shinE
The Andre 3000, a vegan brioche doughnut with caramel glaze, dark chocolate drizzle and crushed peanuts is one dense pastry. But, a Peanut Butter Drumstick waffle cone is delightfully superb.
Treat yourself Milk Money 1715 R St.; (916) 469-2436 Good for: a sweet spot to stop by while walking through midtown Notable dishes: The milk money, Rainbow Sprinkle, Peach Ice Cream
For years, my father worked graveyard shifts at a shingle plant in Shafter, a small town in Kern County. He slept while my brother and I were in school and he worked long hours while we were home. But sometimes, as the sun crept over the horizon, he’d wake us up with, “I bought doughnuts.” We’d spring out of bed and run to the kitchen where a square, pink box held all of our favorites: old-fashioned, maple and chocolate bars, blueberry cake donuts and classic rainbow sprinkles. We’d sit at the table and talk about our days and listen to how his nights had been as we enjoyed the early morning together. I held onto this memory as I stepped into Milk Money, a sweet shop located in Midtown’s Ice Blocks corridor, where small-batch craft doughnuts and ice cream are created by Michelin-star pastry chef Edward Martinez. At Milk Money, the doughnut of the day is posted on Instagram at 6 a.m. and it sells out quick. Its offerings are playfully named such as A Lime Called Quest, Clockwork Orange and other fun variations, including Hello Kitty, Ludacrismis and Figgy Pop ($3.50 each). One evening, my family and I stood in line under the pink neon sign that read “Makin’ dough” and found out that the Andre 3000 (a vegan brioche doughnut with caramel glaze, dark chocolate drizzle and crushed peanuts) was the only doughnut left. As fans of hip-hop duo Outkast, we ordered some, plus doughnut holes ($3) and a waffle cone packed with Peanut
by Steph RodRiguez
PHOTO BY STEPH RODRIGUEZ
A warm and delicious breakfast sandwich from Shine cafe is a great way to kick off the work week. Each order is customizable depending on what Bella Bru bagels are available, plus choice of cheese and protein. The combo I craved was a spinach bagel with soyrizo, eggs and cheddar. The sandwich ($7) is lightly panini-pressed so the bagel comes out soft and chewy, making it the perfect vessel for a generous layer of spicy soyrizo, the fluffiest eggs and plenty of melted cheddar. Bonus: The woman who’s usually behind the food station proportions every component perfectly so that each bite has a little bit of everything. It’s a portable breakfast that will liven up the Monday blues. 1400 E St., shinesacramento.com.
Butter Drumstick ice cream ($4.50). The doughnut was very dense instead of the light and fluffy sweets of my past. Sure, dark chocolate and peanuts are a pair made in confectioner’s heaven, but that’s nothing to write home about. The doughnut holes were also heavy. The ice cream, on the other hand, was superb: creamy, salty and sweet with all the familiar flavors one would expect from the words Peanut Butter Drumstick. On our Sunday morning visit (we weren’t going to miss out on variety this time), we ordered the two options behind the dessert case: The Milk Money and a classic lime-glazed doughnut with rainbow sprinkles. We also snagged a scoop of peach ice cream ($3.50) and an ice cream sandwich ($8). The sandwich is customizable depending on what cookies and ice cream are available. We ordered a peanut butter cookie sandwich with soy vanilla ice cream, which had a chalky flavor that didn’t hold up well when sandwiched between two cookies that tasted as though they’d been left out all night. The standout during this visit was the peach ice cream, which tasted like grandma’s peach cobbler: savory, buttery and packed with bold peach flavor churned into a single scoop. Milk Money’s house pastry is an orange creamsicleglazed brioche doughnut with coriander and brown-sugar streusel. It’s absolutely delicious. Its use of coriander was just enough to give the doughnut a warm, spicy fragrance that plays nice with this sweet treat. The pastry dough was thankfully not as dense as the Andre 3000. Instead, it was sturdy enough to dunk into coffee, but rich and tender like brioche. The lime glaze on the rainbow-sprinkled version was a bright and delightful citrus twist on this old-time favorite that reminded me of Trix cereal. As my son and I shared a rainbow-sprinkled bite, I was reminded of those early mornings waking up to that pink box filled with glazed goodies. Whatever the occasion, Milk Money may be the place to treat your inner sweet tooth. □
Goes down EZ EZ PZ, burgErs and brEw Burgers and Brew on J Street, above Sacrament Brewing, has a fascinating cocktail list with seasonal sips, ciders, beer cocktails and fun fruity drinks. Its craft cocktail called the EZ PZ ($9) is served in a highball glass over ice and goes down very easy, indeed. The refreshing spritzy drink contains Captain Morgan white rum, agave syrup, lime juice, muddled basil and cucumber. It’s sweet and satisfying, especially when enjoyed on the rooftop of the Midtown restaurant. This beverage is perfect for anyone in the mood for something chilled, crisp and smooth. 1616 J St., burgers-and-brew.business.site.
—TEssa MarguEriTE OuTland
Vegan street eats There’s a new Japanese restaurant in town offering a wide variety of vegan options. Aji Dori Restaurant on the corner of 11th and R streets opened its doors in midJune and serves a myriad of modern Japanese eats. The entire left side of the street food section is vegan, or can be made vegan upon request. Some of the shareable items include the flavor-packed mango-glazed eggplant, garlic green beans and vegan gyoza. Aji Dori also offers an array of vegan sushi and ramen. General manager Billy Gougherty invented the Yasai Roll that is filled with vegan spicy “tuna,” tempura shishito peppers, avocado and crispy inari. “It’s important for us as a restaurant to offer vegan/vegetarian options for our diners because of the increasingly awareness of the benefits of eating more plant-based,” Gougherty said. “Long gone are the days of going out and only getting a cucumber avocado roll.” 1100 R St., eatataji.com.
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Breakfast burrito daydreams by Lindsay OxfOrd
I miss breakfast burritos. I do. I’ve spent the majority of my adult life being vegan, but I still daydream about what I consider the king of breakfast burritos, a standard affair elevated by its inclusion of tater tots. Maybe you’re not as excited about tater tots in a breakfast burrito as I am. Perhaps you’ve never had tater tots in a breakfast burrito. Please accept my condolences. Anyway, having a savory, greasy, portable breakfast option is on my short list of vegan regrets. There are a handful of places for a breakfast burrito that’s vegan or customizable, but Sacramento has a few places that go beyond the acceptable-but-rote scrambled tofu, Daiya shreds and pico de gallo trio. There’s a difference between a breakfast burrito and a burrito for breakfast, and I’m not sure which Simpleton’s Vegan Burrito would be. But it’s filled with soyrizo, potatoes and—praise the lord— refried beans! Saving the long, exhausting lard inquisition that
usually goes along with ordering refried beans puts Simpleton in the running for vegan sainthood. It’s hearty and satisfying, but the potatoes are a bit soft, and combined with the beans, I wanted a variation in texture that the soyrizo just wasn’t enough to counter. Still, it’s a filling meal, and it’s available 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., so you’ve got a solid three to four hours to call it breakfast. Capitol Garage has two vegan breakfast burritos: the Verde and the Tofu. The Verde, including spinach and zucchini, seems to veer more into that burrito for breakfast, not breakfast burrito realm, so I prefer the tofu. Though it’s listed as scrambled on the menu, every time I order it, it has been cubes of fried tofu—which is great. A truly excellent breakfast burrito should have a hangover-recovery feel, even if you’re not a drinker. Finding a well-fried potato before 11 a.m. seems to be a challenge in Sacramento, but Capital Garage does it, and the crispness of the
potato in this one shoots it close to the top of my list of breakfast burrito go-tos. Between the fried tofu, potatoes, black beans and guacamole, the mix of textures on the Capital Garage burrito is excellent. El Papagayo in Carmichael doesn’t have a dedicated vegan breakfast menu, but it offers one of the area’s best breakfast burritos. I have a strong aversion to ordering off-menu and give side-eye to those who do, but El Papagayo bends over backwards to accommodate vegans. It has a full vegan dinner menu, and it turns out the staff is happy to veganize most of the breakfast offerings, too. They are accommodating to the point of being cavalier. What they offer is essentially a build-your-own model, and when properly finessed, the result fills my need for a solid, savory mess of a breakfast: fried tofu, potatoes, avocado, pico and vegan cheese, plus salsa. I’d love to see one added permanently to ease my off-menu guilt. Ω
The view at Lewis Grace Winery, outside Placerville.
Photo by Allen Pierleoni
WINEderlust celebrates El Dorado Placerville hosts huge event Sept. 7 “The idea behind WINEderlust is to
celebrate all things El Dorado County. That’s why the theme is ‘El Dorado Rules!’” That’s El Dorado Winery Association director Kara Sather speaking about the next big party coming to downtown Placerville. After two years near Coloma, the wine-artmusic festival has moved to Hangtown, and everybody’s jazzed. “There’s so much excitement and energy already,” Sather said. “People can bring their own lawn chairs and set them up in the street to watch the concerts and dance.” Much of Main Street will be closed Saturday to accommodate 25-plus wineries and six breweries, food trucks, arts-andcrafts vendors and homegrown rockers Island of Black and White, Achilles Wheel and Patrick Walsh. VIP ticket-holders are invited to a preevent party at 1 p.m., and access to private
venues, food-wine pairings and more during the festival. Participating in the fest will be the family-operated Lewis Grace Winery, just outside of town. It may be small (3,000 cases a year), but the diversity is huge, thanks to the foothills’ microclimates. “We produce almost 20 types of wine, just to keep people interested,” said winemaker Tyler Grace. Most of the single-variety grapes are estate-grown, but the winery also sources from other Sierra foothills vineyards. “Our flagship reds are cabernet sauvignon, tempranillo and syrah, but we also make (whites such as) pinot gris, viognier and torrontés,” Grace said. “We just bottled a mourvèdre-grenache-syrah blend.” One indicator is the impressive display of medals and ribbons on view in the comfy tasting room. The winery’s tempranillo won a Golden Bear “best of show” award in the 2015 California State Fair competition, and recently did the same with its Fashionably Late dessert wine. Do sip the remarkable Fashionably Late as part of your six-taste flight ($5). The blend of late-harvest pinot gris and muscat of Alexandria is a steal at $25. The place to be is on the patio overlooking the incredible view.
Come celebrate with us! Taber Ranch Vineyard & Event Center is now taking holiday party reservations! Please contact us for packages and pricing Join us for Live Music on 9/8 and 9/22
Now serving small plates and wood fired pizza.
open friday, SaTurday & Sunday 11am-5pm family & dog friendly! Join our wine club!
Lewis Grace, 2701 Carson Road, Placerville; 530-642-8424, www.gracepatriotwines.com. Hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; closed Tuesdays. BY ALLEN PIERLEONI
WINEdErlusT 4-9:30 p.m. Sept. 7; tickets and details at www.eldoradowines.org. Visit https:// www.facebook.com/eldoradowinecountry
This column is produced by N&R Publications, a division of News & Review separate from SN&R Editorial. For more information, visit www.nrpubs.com
Taber ranch Vineyard & eVenT cenTer • info@Taberranch.com 530.665.3691 • 16628 counTy rd 81 capay, ca 95607 • www.Taberranch.com
SN&R || 28 27 09.05.19 || Sn&R
All about begonias Sacramento hosts national convention for popular plant BY DEBBIE ARRINGTON
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Californians, in particular, are fond of begonias. The state has more chapters of the society than any other. “The reason they’re so popular here is we can grow them outdoors year round. Otherwise, you have to have a greenhouse or grow them indoors,” she said. Corby, a network project analyst in the state’s Department of Technology, has been attracted to begonias since she was a teenager, accompanying her grandmother to society meetings. While many plant enthusiasts gravitate towards flowers, she went for the leaves. Begonias come in a wide “I love the foliage,” she said. “I like range of species such as the big-leaf varieties, particularly the this angel wing variety from angel wings.” Wendy Corby’s collection. Corby even has an angel wing begonia variety named after her: Lady Corby. (Of course, that’s her favorite.) For the first time in 41 years, Sacramento is the To tempt new begonia growers as well Begonia Capital. as add to enthusiasts’ collections, the local chapter Begonia lovers from throughout the country have brought in top-class plants from major nurseries gathered at the Crowne Plaza Hotel to talk plants, and hybridizers for Saturday’s sale. That includes discuss the virtues of tuberous versus rhizomatous 300 plants from Kartuz Greenhouse in Vista and and discover varieties they’ve never seen. 800 from Warren’s Nursery in Los Osos. Dozens Attracting begonia experts from around the of hard-to-find miniature terrarium begonias will globe, Sacramento hosts the American Begonia be available. Local growers also donated hundreds Society’s 2019 national convention, which of their own propagated plants includes a huge judged show as well as an equally In the flower world, begonias are enjoying a impressive plant sale. Both the show and sale are renaissance, Corby said. “They’re coming back open free to the public Saturday, Sept. 7. in popularity. Many people say, ‘My grandIn lieu of its own annual Sacramento show and mother grew that on her porch.’ Now, they want sale (usually held this weekend at the Shepard one, too. And after they get one begonia, they Garden and Arts Center), the society’s Joan want to try more.” Ω Coulat Chapter—along with the San Francisco chapter—host this much bigger national event. The presentations started Monday and continue all EVENT DETAILS week, culminating in Saturday’s public session. “We’ll have speakers from Australia, China, American Begonia Society National Convention Indonesia,” said show chairperson Wendy Corby, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7 a longtime Sacramento begonia grower. “People Crowne Plaza Hotel Sacramento Northeast, will find out what’s going on with begonias 5321 Date Ave. worldwide.” Begonias have fans everywhere because there Free admission to the show and sale. Details: are so many different kinds, Corby said. With begonias.org or Sacramento@begonias.org. more than 1,800 species, it ranks among the largest and most diverse plant families on Earth. Debbie Arrington, an award-winning garden writer and lifelong “People will look at a plant and say, ‘That’s not a gardener, is co-creator of the Sacramento Digs Gardening blog begonia!’” Corby said with a chuckle. “They’re just and website. amazed how many varieties there are.”
Boomers are changing the tone of senior housing.
Expect to see senior housing boom What do seniors want?
That’s a multi-billion dollar quandary for developers who are trying to capture the attention of aging boomers. As they have their whole lives, boomers refuse to think of themselves as “old,” even though their age says otherwise. Occupancy in senior housing hit an eightyear low, despite boomers not getting younger. Real estate trends expert Greg Paquin of The Gregory Group in Folsom sees that attitude reflected in new senior developments. “With the increasing numbers of aging baby boomers, there has been an increase in the desire to live in an age-restricted, active-adult community,” Paquin said. “I do not see this abating anytime soon.” Will Sacramento see a senior building boom? “Absolutely!” Paquin said. “I believe that Sacramento will be a major market for age-restricted, active-adult buyers in the future. Many of these buyers will be
homegrown (from Sacramento), but others will be from the Bay Area as they sell very high-priced real estate and relocate to a more affordable area, where oftentimes their kids have already moved to. “It is expected that in the next 10 years, the age group of 65 years and older (in Sacramento’s six-county region) will increase by 170,106 people or an increase of 41.8% as all the baby-boomers continue to age,” he added. “These are astounding numbers and will manifest themselves in various ways.” Developers have incorporated practical senior-friendly features into new adult communities such as master suites on the main floor, wide doors (to accommodate wheelchairs) and roll-in showers to allow seniors to age in place. Another trend: Seniors are selling their homes and opting to rent upscale apartments loaded with resort-like amenities such as downstairs restaurants, lounges and entertainment centers. “They can rent, don’t pay a mortgage and enjoy an adults-only environment with no kids at the pool,” Paquin said. “This evolving lifestyle is really interesting.” Some new senior communities emphasize fun, such as the Jimmy Buffett-inspired Latitude Margaritaville in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Hilton Head, S.C. Co-creator Eric McBride said, “We wanted to make sure these communities felt like it was your reward for all your hard years of work, not something you’re downsizing into or moving into.” By DeBBie Arrington
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09.05.19 | SN&R | 29
for the week of september 05
By SN&R STAFF
POsT EVENTs ONLiNE fOR fREE AT newsreview.com/sacramento
Music thursDay, 9/5 EARLEs Of NEWTOWN: They’re coming
The starlet Room opening night ABOVE HARLOW’s REsTAURANT & NIGHTCLUB, 8pm, $15 If you’ve been to the Momo Lounge, you’ll remember that it’s the intimate upstairs space next door to Harlow’s Music Restaurant and Nightclub, and a hot-spot for stand-up comedy and newer bands. The venue is being rebranded as The Starlet Room, and its`
first weekend is kicking off eclectically, beginning with a garage rock and punk bill that screams Sacramento. Th’ Losin’ Streaks headline. Opening is the poppunk duo Dog Party. Wait, there’s more: Check out the Music listings for what else is in store this week. 2708 J St.
Photo courtesy of Kristen fava
down from Nevada City, this acclaimed Americana jam band that also fuses Texas and Western swing styles. Get in earlier for happy hour music by Jimmy Pailer (no cover during happy hour). 5:30pm, $10. Torch Club, 904 15th St.
OPEN Mic WiTH MARTY TATERs: Bring your instruments and take your turn on the stage with Marty at the recently reopened all-ages music venue. 8pm, no cover. Cafe Colonial, 3520 Stockton Blvd.
THE sHiNE JAZZ JAM: It’s a night of jazz with Shine’s house band and saxophonist Levi Saelua, and it’s free! You can even join in on the jam, held every Thursday night. 8pm, no cover. Shine, 1400 E St.
friDay, 9/6 BLAcK fLAG: The notorious punk band still rocks, even without Henry Rollins. Damage yourself to their music. 7pm, $25. Ace of Spades, 1417 R St.
AfROGOLD fRiDAYs: A weekly night of Afrobeats, reggaeton, Caribbean, reggae, dance hall and hip-hop music. On that night: DJs Simplicity, Fiji, Souljah and Choppa. 8:30pm, call for cover. Ambiance Lounge, 910 2nd St.
TH’ LOsiN sTREAKs: See event highlight to the
left. 8pm, $15. The Starlet Room, 2708 J St.
THE BEAcH BOYs: Take a break from the
TicKET WiNDOW BLacK fLag Joined by the
Linecutters, the hardcore punk band stops by on their first tour in more than five years. 9/6, 7pm, $25, on sale now. Ace of Spades, concerts1.livenation.com.
MicheLLe Buteau The comedic
actor and co-host of the “Adulting” podcast brings her stand-up set to the stage. 9/19, 8pm, $20-$30, on sale now. Punch Line Sacramento, concerts. livenation.com.
BJ the chicago KiD Following the
recent release of his new album, 1123, the Chicago-based musician will be bringing soulful hip-hop and R&B to Harlow’s. 9/25, 7:30pm, $20-$25, on sale now. Harlow’s Restaurant and Nightclub, showclix.com.
BLue Man grouP Your favorite
color, blue, will be covering the skin of
slots to witness the ’60s surf-rock legends bringing good vibrations. 7:30pm, $39.95. Thunder Valley Casino & Resort, 1200 Athens Ave., Lincoln.
tickets never sleep.
sAc POPfEsT: Eight bands, four DJs. That’s a
three men performing musical theater. Who knows, maybe by the end you’ll be buying your first can of blue paint.
10/8-10/13, various times, $43.20-$92, on sale
now. The Harris Center in Folsom, tickets. harriscenter.net.
as they make their way down the West Coast on their “Sanctuary” tour. 12/4, 7pm, $25-$252, on sale now. Ace of Spades, concerts1.livenation.com.
sacraMento Kings hoMe oPener The boys
in purple will play the Portland Trail Blazers in their first regular season home game of the season. Root for home, or become a Blazers fan, the choice is yours. 10/25, 7pm, $60-$1500, on sale now. Golden 1 Center, ticketmaster.com.
aLy & aJ Go into
the rush with the pop star sister duo,
lot of music for one night. Is it any good? We’re talking about Ghostplay, who play amazingly dreary indie rock. Don’t forget about Clevers, either. Quite a few outof-towners are performing as well: Los Angeles-based Rat Fancy, the Bay Area’s Starry Eyed Cadet, The Heartlights and Slowness. From Idaho: The Very Most. Read Steph Rodriguez’s story on the jam-packed evening on page 22. 6pm, $8. Old Ironsides, 1910 10th St.
WiZ KiDs: These kids play the hits, all of them: Maroon 5, The Black Keys, Bruno Mars, Sublime and Snoop Dogg are only a few of the artists they cover. Have a good time. Take the light rail. 10pm, $12. Powerhouse Pub, 614 Sutter St. in Folsom.
snr c a le nd a r @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m
online listings will be considered for print. Print listings are edited for space and accuracy. Deadline for print listings is 5 p.m. Wednesday. Deadline for nightLife listings is midnight sunday. send photos and reference materials to calendar editor Maxfield Morris at email@example.com.
it, you love hits such as “You & Me” and “Dreamgirl.” 8pm, $43.72-$106.10. Golden 1 Center, 500 David J Stern Walk.
fAsHiONisTA BOYfRiEND: ’80s dance music with starry-eyed modern pop is the name of the game here. The band just released a new LP titled Last Night, worth checking out. The Y Axes also perform. If you haven’t been, Sophia’s porch is perfect for intimate shows. 9:30pm, $5. Sophia’s Thai Kitchen, 129 E St., Davis.
sTEEL PANTHER: If you love glam rock and also realize how ridiculous that era of music was, these guys are a parody band that can primal scream louder than Mötley Crüe. 7pm, $57. Ace of Spades, 1417 R St.
MELViNs: Drown in sludgy, experimental rock by King Buzzo and the gang. REDD KROSS opens. 7pm, $28.50. Holy Diver, 1517 21st St.
PsYcHEDELic PORN cRuMPETs: With a wonderful name like that, what could this band possibly play? Listen to the song “Keen for Kick Ons” and agree with me that the answer is awesome pop rock. Levitation Room and Roland Tonies also perform. 6:30pm, $15-$18. Harlow’s, 2708 J St.
sOuLfuL cOLLEcTiON VOL. 2: The Starlet Room’s weekend debut mixes it up with one of the best recurring nights of soul music in town, Soulful Saturdays. Feauturing Ian J. Knight, Kevin Gray and the Ladies of Blueprynt. 5pm, $25. The Starlet Room, 2708 J St.
PLANNED PARENTHOOD BENEfiT sHOW 2: Catch the sequel to this fest of local musicmakers performing for women’s reproductive rights. This bill is definitely worth the cover charge: Vinnie Guidera & The Dead Birds, Salt Wizard, Maddy Smith and Car Crash Hearts perform. 8pm, $10. Blue Lamp, 1400 Alhambra Blvd.
MAsTOiDs: It’s local indie rock at its finest. Small Axe and Short Trip also perform. Check out Mastoids’ 2018 LP, Emergence Tremens. 9:30pm, $8 and one drink minimum. Shine, 1400 E St.
uNLEAsHED: What’s being unleashed? We’re glad you asked. This time, it’s an Opera House dance party with classic rock cover tunes. 9:30pm, $10-$15. Opera House Saloon, 411 Lincoln St. in Roseville.
sKiD ROsEs: You can see Steel Panther make fun of the ’80s at Ace of Spades, or you can celebrate it with a longtime glamera tribute band. Swabbies usually has live music all day. At 1pm, country band the Outlaw Trail. And around 3, cover tunes by Press Play. 7pm, $9-$11.50 per show. Swabbies on the River, 5871 Garden Highway.
DAVE MATTHEWs BAND: It’s not too late to get
Why so blue, Blue Man Group?
tickets to your favorite Grammy winning, American alternative rock band. Admit
cALENDAR LisTiNGs cONTiNuED ON PAGE 31
La Otra cROcKER ART MUSEUM, 6:30PM, $6-$12
The Crocker is screening a classic from the golden age of Mexican cinema (1933-1964) with FILM actress Dolores del Rio in the lead role. In the 1945 film La Otra, she plays a jealous sister who murders her twin and assumes her identity. It gets weirder when her dead sister’s boyfriend comes into the picture. If you love the idea of twisted, Spanishlanguage film noir, watch this film. 216 O St.
CALENDAR LISTINGS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 30
GUTTER DEMONS: Psychobilly, complete with cigarette-charred guttural vocals, upright bass and stomping riffs. 8pm, $10. Cafe Colonial, 3520 Stockton Blvd.
MONDAY, 9/9 IRON MAIDEN: The New Wave of British Heavy Metal band is on the North American leg of its Legacy of the Beast tour. This means stilted zombies themed after the band’s dozen or so albums. 7:30pm, $45.91$125.91. Golden 1 Center, 500 David J Stern Walk.
HTOSB: Oakland stoner metal meets heavy rock from Portland and Salt Lake City. Holy Grove and D0ne also perform. 7:30pm, $12$15. Blue Lamp, 1400 Alhambra Blvd.
TUESDAY, 9/10 BLUES & BOURBON-HOWELL DEVINE: The weekly music show continues with hill country blues trio Howell Devine. 5:30pm, $10. The Starlet Room, 2708 J St.
SCOTT STAPP: Stapp also sings in Creed! Not Rocky Balboa’s rival, or The Office’s best character, but the Billboard chart-topping rock band. Messer and Sunflower Dead also perform on this evening of alternative rock. 6:30pm, $33-$48. Crest Theatre, 1013 K St.
WEDNESDAY, 9/11 AN EVENING WITH OTTMAR LIEBERT AND LUNA NEGRA: Instrumental Spanish, Mexican and world music converge with sad vibes through Liebert and Negra. 8pm, $35$65. Harris Center, 10 College Parkway, Folsom.
CAKE: The Sacramento alternative rock band comes home. Ben Folds and Tall Heights open. 7pm, $59.50. Golden 1 Center, 500 David J Stern Walk.
FESTIVALS FRIDAY, 9/6 GRAFFITI4GOOD: A music benefit for a global nonprofit featuring Big Sticky Mess, the Jessica Malone Band and The Mindful, with live mural artists and street art print auctions. Have you been to the Rink? It’s a newer venue in Del Paso Heights that’s highlighting a lot of up-and-coming artists. 7pm, $10. The Rink Studios, 1031 Del Paso Blvd.
BIG IDEA THEATRE: Thinner Than Water. Three estranged siblings reunite after their father gets gravely ill in this comedy-drama about struggling to do the right thing. Through 9/7. $12-$18. 1616 Del Paso Blvd.
KENNEDY MINE AMPITHEATRE: Alone Together.
LAUGHS UNLIMITED: Stephen Furey. A Sacramento native now based in Los Angeles, Furey has shared a stage with some of the comedy legends: Robin Williams, Ron White, Natasha Leggero and Pablo Francisco, to name a few. Emma Haney opens. Friday 9/6 through Sunday, 9/8. $10-$20. 1207 Front St.
SATURDAY, 9/7 30TH ANNUAL POLISH FESTIVAL: Learn Polka,
documented New York City in the 1970s and ’80s through street photogrpahy. It first played at the Tribeca Film Festival in April. 7pm, 9pm. $7.50-$9.50. The Guild Theater, 2828 35th St.
eat Pierogi and take a photo with a Polish Princess. Learn about Polish culture through traditional cuisine, crafts and music. Noon, no cover. Polish American Community Hall, 327 Main St. in Roseville.
MID AUTUMN COMMUNITY FESTIVAL: Asian street food, performances and a lantern parade make the eighth version of this neighborhood fest. 5pm, no cover. Riverside United Methodist Church, 803 Vallejo Way.
SATURDAY, 9/7 CRAWFISH & CATFISH FESTIVAL: See event description on page 32.
SUNDAY, 9/8 CRAWFISH & CATFISH FESTIVAL: Day 2 of the festival.
THURSDAY, 9/5 LA OTRA: See event highlight above. 6:30pm, $8-$12, free for members. Crocker Art Museum, 216 O St.
FRIDAY, 9/6 BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA: This cult-classic mash of horror and comedy nearly ruined director John Carpenter’s career. Kurt Russell plays a belligerent, wannabe John Wayne who battles an ancient Chinese ghost emperor to rescue his buddy’s bride and Kim Cattrall. The cultural exchange is a little outdated and problematic, but it’s a fun, hyper-stylized relic of the 1980s. 7:30pm, $7.50-$9.50. Crest Theatre, 1013 K St.
FOOD & DRINK
MARTHA-A PICTURE STORY: The West Coast premiere of a documentary chronicling the life of photographer Martha Cooper, who
PUNCHLINE: Byron Bowers. Bowers has one good resume. He’s toured nationally with Dave Chappelle, Hannibal Buress and The Eric Andre Show. He’s a recurring character on Showtime’s THE CHI. Enjoy his brand of jokes at the Punchline. Thursday, 9/5 through Saturday, 9/7. $20-$31.50. LOLGBT+ Presents: Queens of Comedy. Part drag performance and part comedy show, laugh along with Punkie Johnson, Casey Ley, Regina Givens and Steph Sanders. Yayah, Roselia Valentine and Apple Adams also perform. 7:30pm Sunday, 9/8. $16. 2100 Arden Way, Suite 225.
THE RINK STUDIOS: Elephant on the Block Comedy Series. It’s time for another installment of this comedic series, featuring Jay Rich, Steph Sanders, Daniel Williams, Aja Mae. Saturday 9/7, 8pm. $10. 1031 Del Paso Blvd.
TOMMY T’S COMEDY CLUB: DC Young Fly. A comedian rapper most known for roasting people on Instagram and starring in the improv comedy show Wild ‘N Out, come share a laugh with Fly. Friday, 9/6 through Saturday, 9/7. $25-$35. 12401 Folsom Blvd. in Rancho Cordova.
A comedy that’ll remind you of an ’80s sitcom. A middle-aged rejoices until both of their adult sons move back into the house. Through 9/7. $12-$20. 1127 N Main St., Jackson.
HARRIS CENTER: Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus LIVE! Based on a New York Times-best seller by John Gray that became a hit comedy off-Broadway, the play is a fusion of one-man theater and stand-up. Through 9/6. $38-$62. 10 College Parkway, Folsom.
FAIR OAKS THEATRE FESTIVAL: Mamma Mia! Catch a local performance of the Broadway classic, with the music of ABBA. Through 9/8.
$10-$18. 7991 California Ave.
ART FE GALLERY: Mythic. A pop surrealism art show with subjects portrayed in a realistic and representational style. Through 9/27, 7pm. No cover. 1100 65th St.
JAN SHREM AND MARIA MANETTI SHREM MUSEUM OF ART: Landscapes Without Boundaries. Features post-World War II California landscape paintings by artists such as Wayne Thiebaud, Martin Ramirez,
CALENDAR LISTINGS CONTINUED ON PAGE 32
FRIDAY, 9/6 FOOD TRUCK MANIA: Every first Friday of the month, food trucks gather at the park for your taste-testing pleasure. According to its event description, you can bring your pet, but smoking cigarettes is highly discouraged. 5pm, no cover. Belle Cooledge Park, 5900 South Land Park Dr.
SATURDAY, 9/7 TASTE OF NORTH SACRAMENTO FUNDRAISER: Proceeds benefit the North SacramentoHagginwood Public Library. Food and drinks offered from Shift Coffee House, Burly Beverages, Taqueria La Bamba Bar & Grill, Famous Fatso’s Banana Puddin and a lot more. 5pm, $10-$25. Artisan Building, 1901 Del Paso Blvd.
SUNDAY, 9/8 PANSEXUAL PANCAKE BREAKFAST: The breakfast is held every second Saturday, but you don’t need to be pansexual to have pancakes at this event. Just be openminded. 11am, no cover. The Sacramento LGBT Community Center. 1927 L St.
DECOMPRESSION POTLUCK BRUNCH: Bring a dish to a community meal at the Hacker Lab that’s in part a celebration of Catharsis, an art exhibit with works by survivors of sexual assault. Noon, no cover. Hacker Lab, 2533 R St.
Getting Wild KENNEDY GALLERY, THROUGH 10/6, NO cOvER
In the Kennedy Gallery’s annual exhibit, both its resident ART artists and animals create the art. The annual fall show is focused on wildlife, the twist being that the gallery recruits elephants, monkeys and other creatures from the Sacramento Zoo to try their hand (or trunk) at painting. The opening reception isn’t until Sept. 14, but mark your calendar if this interests you: In the past, live turtles have roamed the gallery freely. 1931 L St.
see More events and subMit your own at NewSreview.com/SAcrAmeNTo/cAleNdAr
CaLendar ListinGs Continued FroM PaGe 31
Gladys Nilsson, Joan Brown and Robert Arneson. through 12/15. no cover. 254 Old Davis Road, Davis.
Kennedy GaLLery: Getting Wild. Both zoo animals and the gallery’s resident artists create paintings centered on wild species. At previous opening receptions, there were live turtles roaming the exhibit. through 10/6. no cover. 1931 L St.
SPorTS & oUTdoorS SATUrdAY, 9/7 saCraMento rePubLiC FC vs. taCoMa deFianCe: Come support the home team as they face off against former Seattle Sounders FC 2. 7:30pm, $14-$158. Papa Murphy’s Park, 1600 Exposition Blvd.
SUNdAY, 9/8 45tH annuaL buFFaLo staMPede: It’s a 4- and
mUSeUmS CaLiFornia MuseuM: ¡Murales Rebeldes!. A photography exhibit that shows the forgotten history and erasure of Los Angeles murals and street art by Chicano artists. Eight Chicano artists are featured. through 12/29, noon. $6.50$9. 1020 O St.
CaLiFornia state raiLroad MuseuM: Photographing the Transcontinental Railroad. A lecture by University of Florida Professor Emeritus Glenn Willumson, who will explain the impact of the railroad on 19th century America. sunday, 9/7, 2pm. $7-$14. 125 I St.
10-mile run/walk that’ll take you through Sacramento’s River Park neighborhood. On the way, you’ll pass the levees along the American River and the Guy West Bridge. 7:30am, no cover. Scottish Rite Temple, 6151 H St.
clASSeS SATUrdAY, 9/9 tHe art and sCienCe oF Hot sauCe: Create your own vegan hot sauce with the help of spice master Dan McGevna. Learn about flavor profiles, heat characteristics and how to select the best fruit. 6pm, $25$49. Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op, 2820 R St.
SAT 9/7, SUN 9/8
Crawfish & Catfish Food & Music Festival YOLO COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS, 11AM, $15
Hot boiled crawfish, catfish, alligator and gumbo are featured in part of this two-day celebration of Louisiana cuisine. The second part: live music. A second line brass band competition pits the City of Trees Brand, FestivaLs Element Brass Band, MJ’s Brass Boppers and Dirty Chops Brass Band against each other. Nearly 20 bands are on the bill, including Souled Out, Motordude Zydeco, Sol Peligro and BeaufunK with Michael Jefferies, formerly of Tower of Power. 1250 Gum Ave. in Woodland.
BOMF, 7pm, M, no cover Spectacular Saturdays, 6pm, call for cover
Live Music, 9:30pm, no cover
Live Music, 9:30pm, no cover
Damage Inc., 3SD, Reverse the Cycle, 7pm, $15-$20
The Dead Rabbits, Note To Self, Amber’s Wake and more, 6pm, $12-$15
Capitol Fridays, 10pm, no cover before 10:30pm
Dinner and a Drag Show, 7:30pm, $5$25; Karaoke, 9:30pm, call for cover
Boot Scootin Sundays, 8pm, $5
Geeks Who Drink, 8:30pm, W, no cover
1013 k ST., (916) 476-3356
Big Trouble in Little China, 7:30pm, $7.50-$9.50
Casablanca, 7:30pm, $7.50-$9.50
Superman (1978), 7pm, $7.50-$9.50
Scott Stapp, Messer, Sunflower Dead, 6:30pm, T, $33-$48
Absolut Fridays, 9pm, call for cover
Sequin Saturday, 9:30pm, call for cover
Pool Party, call for time and cover
Every Damn Monday, 8pm, M, no cover; Noche Latina, 9pm, T, no cover
The O’Mally Sisters, 6pm, call for cover
Cuttin the Cord, 8pm, call for cover
According to Bazooka, 8pm, call for cover
Irish Jam Session with Stepping Stone, 8pm, no cover
Alex Walker, Kentucky Trust Fund, 9pm, $5
KC Shane, Alison Bohannon, James Love and more, 9pm, $5
Open-Mic Night, 7:30pm, M, no cover
Dave Matthews Band, 8pm, $43.72$106.10
Iron Maiden, 7:30, M, $45.91-$125.91 ; Cake, 7pm, W, $59.50-99.50.
Groundwave, 8pm, $7
Let’s Get Quizzical, 7pm, T, no cover; Cornhole, 6pm, W, $10
Poprockz 90s Night, 9pm, no cover
101 MAIN ST., ROSEvIllE, (916) 774-0505 9426 GREENbAck lN., ORANGEvAlE, (916) 358-9116 1500 k ST., (916) 444-3633
2000 k ST., (916) 448-7798
FATher pAddY’s irish puBlic house
with Redd Kross 7pm Saturday, $28.50. Holy Diver Sludge
Fierce Fridays, 7pm, call for cover
2003 k ST., (916) 448-8790
Blunderbusst, 7pm, no cover
207 F ST., DAvIS, (530) 758-8058
435 MAIN ST., WOODlAND, (530) 668-1044
Fox & Goose
1001 R ST., (916) 443-8825
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5681 lONETREE blvD., ROcklIN, (916) 626-3600
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Scoles & Young, 6pm, no cover
5681 lONETREE blvD., ROcklIN, (916) 626-3600
B.P.M. & Sunday Funday Remixed, 4pm, call for cover
Open-Mic, 7:30pm, W, no cover; Trivia, 6:30pm, M, no cover
Anime Aliens, 6pm, T, $10-$12
2708 J ST., (916) 441-4693
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Shitshow Karaoke, 8pm, M, no cover; Record Roundup, 8pm, T, no cover
2565 FRANklIN blvD., (916) 455-1331
1910 Q ST., (916) 706-2465
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According to Bazooka
Live Music with, 7pm, no cover
8pm Saturday, call for cover. Father Paddy’s Americana
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Poetry Unplugged, 8pm, $2
PHOTO bY MARIA RATINOvA
1517 21ST ST.
1217 21ST ST., (916) 440-0401 1414 16TH ST., (916) 441-3931
Total Recall, 9pm, $5
Night Swim with Joseph One, 10pm, call for cover
Tonic Zephyr, The Imported and more, 7pm, $15
Melvins, Redd Kross, Toshi Kasai, 7pm, $28.50
Capital PUNishment, 8pm, $10
1119 21ST ST, (916) 341-0277
Trivia Factory, 7pm, M, call for cover; Geeks Who Drink, 7pm, T, call for cover The Shelters, The Jacks, Roland Tonies, 7pm, $10
Warbringer, Enforcer, Heat of Damage and more, 6;30pm, T, $15-$17
Triviology 101, 7:30pm, no cover
Live Music, 5pm, T, no cover
Sac Kids 1st Volunteer Appreciation Night feat. The Booms, 7pm, no cover
Show Your ID Open-Mic, 8pm, W, no cover
Vampire Ball’s “Ritual” w/ Ashes Fallen— Meet Father Sebastiaan!, 8:30pm, $10
22nd Anniversary Party w/ The Alpha Rhythm Kings, 7pm, T, call for cover
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LIvE BAND before the early SAT and SUN SHOWS
salsa or west coast swing lessons and dance
free country dance lessons at 7pm • $3 Jack 8-9
FRIDAY 8:00PM AND 10:30PM SATURDAY 8:00PM AND 10:30PM SUNDAY 7:00PM
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$20 per person. One show on Sunday 7pm - $10 per person. Promo Code “New Laughs” available for 50% off on September shows 1207 Front St, Old Sacramento
trivia at 7:30, dance lessons at 9 18 & over (prizes)
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Comedy Kick Back, 8pm, $5
Sac Popfest, 6pm, $8
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Full Metal Hippies, Zero Theorem and more, 8pm, $10
The Zach Waters Band, 7:30pm, $12-$18
13 Main ST., WinTErS, (530) 795-1825 Out of the Blue, 8pm, call for cover
O’Connell St. Band, 8pm, call for cover
Wiz Kidz, 10pm, $12
Sock Monkeys, 10pm, 10
Val Starr, 3pm, $10
Pop 40 Dance with DJ Larry, 9pm, $5
DJ Larry’s Sunday Night Dance Party, 9pm, no cover
614 SUTTEr ST., FOlSOM, (916) 355-8586
THe Press club
The Zach Waters Band 7:30pm Saturday, $12-$18 Palms Playhouse Blues/Rock
2030 P ST., (916) 444-7914
NMTA, Ghost Mesa, Howl Atom, 8pm, call for cover
1000 K ST., (916) 947-0434
2700 caPiTOl avE., (916) 443-5300
The Arlyn Anderson Quartet, 7pm, $12
THe sTarleT rOOm 2708 J ST., (916) 441-4693
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Fashion, $5, no cover before 11pm
Gnarly Marsh, $5, no cover before 11pm
Masters of Jazz Violin, 6pm, $25
Majickat, 7pm, $25
Th’ Losin Streaks, Dog Party, DJ Larry, 8pm, $15
Soulful Collection Vol. 2, 5pm, $20-$25
Hot Country Fridays, 7:30pm, $5-$10
Stoney’s Saturdays with Free Line Dance Lessons, 7pm, $5
Sunday Funday, 9pm, no cover 21+
Gwen In Doubt, 6pm, $9-$11.50
Outlaw Trail, Press Play, 1pm, $9-$11.50
Skid Roses, Press Play, 1pm, $9-$11.50; Uptown Funk, noon, $9-$11.50
Seekers of The Strange, 7pm, $12
Husky & The Slow Attack, South San Lucas, 9pm, $7
Earles of Newtown, 9pm, $10
Jeff Crosby & The Refugees, 9pm, $10
Sunday Blues Jam, 4pm, no cover
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Ryan Hernandez, 7pm, call for cover
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Jayson Angove, 7pm, call for cover
Valiere V, 11:30am, call for cover
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Free Yoga at Yolo, 11am, no cover
1520 TErMinal ST., (916) 379-7585
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7pm Wednesday, $59.50-$99.50. Golden 1 Center Alternative Rock
3520 STOcKTOn blvD.
Open-Mic with Marty Taters, 8pm, no cover
Shine Free Jazz Jam, 8pm, no cover
1400 E ST., (916) 551-1400
Kiana Lede, 7pm, $24
Black Flag, 7pm, $25
Steel Panther, 7pm, $57 Phantom Jets, Trinidad Silva, The Me Gustas, 8pm, call for cover
Karaoke, 8:30pm, T, call for cover; 98 Rock Local Licks, 9pm, W, call for cover
HighTime Irish Band w/ McKeever School of Irish Dance, 7pm, T, $25 B&B: Howell Devine, 5:30pm, W, $10
904 15TH ST., (916) 443-2797 904 15TH ST., (916) 922-2858
MOnDay-WEDnESDay 9/9-11 Live Music with Heath Williamson, 5:30pm, M, no cover
PlacervIlle PublIc HOuse
414 Main ST., PlacErvillE, (530) 303-3792
PHOTO by Maria raTinOva
Gutter Demons, 8pm, $10
College Night Wednesdays, 9pm, W, $5-$10
Jordan Young, 8:30pm, T, $6
Ttodd Trivia, 7pm, T, no cover
for more cannabis news, deals & updates, visit capitalcannabisguide.com.
trump’s stance on cannabis see ask 420
history lessons see goatkidd
Photo courtesy of Keef Brands / Photo illustration By serene lusano
with hybrid strains of THC extracts. They hit in the head first. The high is thick and dense like an indica, but not heavy enough to impose a “stuck” feeling. It then travels through the body, massaging and relaxing the muscles while keeping the psychological effects intact. Because of the evenness between its sweetness and the THC, plus the addition of a couple of milligrams of CBD, Keef Cola never feels like “too much,” a fate often associated with unbalanced cannabis drinks. The sodas also include vitamins such as C, B3, B6 and B12. A bit of nutritional value never SN&R’s writer samples a variety of cannabis-infused hurt. The overall result is a refreshing, sodas by Keef Brands. But does the taste match the high? thirst-quenching drink that’s satisfying to the taste while providing an impactful high that’s not overwhelming. by Jeremy WinsloW The amount of THC in each beverage may not sound like much to canna-veterans, but 10 mg may sound cannabis-infused beverages are not Keef Cola manages to live up to And if Kel from the ’90s intimidating to the canna-curious. always the most satisfying way to its hype and grandiosity, delivering Nickelodeon sitcom Keenan & Kel But the THC extracts found in consume the versatile plant. Too often, excellent taste and satisfying effects loves orange soda, he’d also Keef Cola are tasteless weed drinks are pungent in taste and with ease. There are five flavors to love Orange Kush. It’s a and orderless, proving putrid in scent, emitting an off-putting choose from: Blue Razz, Bubba Kush tart, tangy drink with that the company has aroma that only marginally provides an Root Beer, Keef Cola Original, Orange citrus notes that mastered the process impactful high. Kush and Purple Passion. I tasted three mirror Sunkist minus of infusing cannabis If Kel from the ’90s Dubbed “The Original Cannabis of the five: Bubba Kush Root Beer, its overtly sour without the residual Nickelodeon sitcom Soda,” Colorado-based Keef Brands Keef Cola Original and Orange Kush. tendencies. aromatics. Keenan & Kel loves attempts to disprove this dubious Each variety tastes exactly as it sounds. Each is infused Keef Cola reputation with its variety of fizzy sodas, Bubba Kush Root Beer—Keef with 10 milligrams varieties taste like orange soda, he’d also sparkling waters and low-calorie fruity Cola’s award-winning soda—is smooth of THC extracts. a perfect soda. It’s love Orange Kush. mixers. and creamy, with sweet vanilla notes To my delight, there easy to see how For nearly a decade, Keef Brands and decadent molasses notes that make wasn’t a strong weed Bubba Kush Root has created cannabis-infused beverages, it bold and rich, but not overbearing. aroma or overpowering Beer won a High Times edibles, concentrates and more, touting a Keef Cola Original is the OG of punch when each soda hit Cannabis Cup award. Ω 2015 High Times Cannabis Cup award for the group, presenting an in-your-face my palate. Best Edible. Keef Cola’s award-winning cola mouthfeel without the persistent Not only does each pop taste great, portfolio of cannabis-infused sodas have tingling, giving a slightly sweet, subtly its effects are also immediate and allVisit keefbrands.com for more information on its finally made their way to sunny California carbonated experience comparable to encompassing. Though not explicitly cannabis products and where to find them. so, naturally, I had to try them. Pepsi. stated, each Keef Cola flavor is filled 09.05.19 | SN&R | 35
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When the fed comes around What is the federal government’s current position on cannabis?
Who knows? Just last week, President Trump was asked about federal legalization efforts, and this is what he said: “We’re going to see what’s going on. It’s a very big subject, and right now we are allowing states to make that decision.” Meh. This is a non-answer. Of course, states are making the decision to legalize cannabis. Cannabis legalization means jobs and tax revenue and keeping people out of jail. The question is: When are the feds gonna come around? Because at just about the same time Trump was giving his non-answer, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams released an advisory on cannabis use, stating that, “Marijuana’s increasingly widespread availability in multiple and highly potent forms, coupled with a false and dangerous perception of safety among youth, merits a nationwide call to action.” Adams went on to repeat the same old (I’m paraphrasing) “Cannabis is way stronger now than it used to be and potheads all end up addicted to opiates” claptrap that has been around since the 1950s. Listen: There is nothing wrong with strong (high THC) cannabis. Stronger weed just means you smoke less. Less smoke in your lungs is probably better for you. Also, the “weed is a gateway to stronger drugs” theory has been debunked an umpteen number of times. Recent federal studies show that teen cannabis use decreases in states with legal weed. So do opiate overdoses.
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By any objective measure, cannabis prohibition—and the entire “war on drugs”—is a failure. It is way past time for the federal government to get it together and do the right thing. There may be a little bit of good news though: Also last week, the Drug Enforcement Administration announced that it would finally begin to process requests from science labs that would allow them to grow their own cannabis for research purposes. Of course, the DEA isn’t doing this because it believes in objective research. Instead, it has been compelled by a court order to stop messing around with folks’ proposals. We will see how long it takes to process these applications. I am not optimistic. The feds move slowly, especially when they don’t want to do something. It will most likely be at least a year or two before any lab gets any sort of approval. Who knows, the DEA might just process the applications and deny every single one of them. We shall see. So as it stands now, the current administration isn’t doing anything new for cannabis. Surprise. Fortunately, just about every Democrat running for president understands that cannabis legalization needs to happen sooner rather than later. It is not too early to get involved. Vote. □
Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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For the week oF September 5, 2019 ARIES (March 21-April 19): John Muir (1838-1914)
Cut the cord by JOey GARCIA
gifts, skills or talents you possess as a I grew up with a mother who never showed any emotion and never responded result of being your mother’s daughter. to my emotions. I hated how distant she It may be a difficult exercise because was and how she made me feel bad by you have embedded so much of yourself default for expressing feelings. I’m 25 in a story of loss. Here’s a nudge: Did now, and I still don’t feel close to her. your mother’s emotional distance give I’m jealous of friends who are tight with you space to invest more of yourself their moms. I feel like my mother’s lack in other relationships? Perhaps you of emotion has negatively impacted me grew especially close to a sibling, or in my dating relationships, too. I’ve gone developed an intimate relationship with to therapy and it helped a little but I still art, writing or nature. Can you celebrate feel like my mother’s emotionlessness the good things that resulted from not keeps me stuck. moving away from my having the mom you wish for? family hasn’t helped. Do you have any More than anything, your situation is advice? an invitation into emotional adulthood. Cut the umbilical cord. Your mother’s You’re standing at the doorway to emotional distance is paina stage of life where we accept ful now because you are that not everyone is like us preoccupied with it. nor should they be. So even When you were a though emotions rank highly child, her responses Why continue on your personal value were likely confusto relate to your system, you acknowledge ing, frustrating that other people have the mother as if you are and hurtful. You right to design their own suffered because small? hierarchy of values. At that you did not receive point, you will stop wallowing everything you in an unhappy past. You won’t longed for from her. It need your mother as an emotional would have been lovely if twin, either. You’ll be too busy reveling you did. But you are no longer a in the joy of fully-expressed emotions child. Why continue to relate to your to be concerned about what she does or mother as if you are small? doesn’t do. Ω It’s impossible to know for certain whether your life would have been a breeze if your mother had expressed herself as you think best. Have you considered not judging her harshly? Grant yourself the freedom to accept her. She is who she is. You can’t change her. You do have the power to be less wounded in the world. Why not choose that for yourself? Begin by changing the way you label your mother. Embrace other possibilities. Think of her as stoic, able to bear everything that life lobs her way. Or see her as having an even keel. Try labeling her as emotionally neutral rather than emotionless. Visualize accepting her as she is. Embrace yourself as you are. Notice that there is enough room in the world for both of you. By seeing your mother as a whole person, you will see yourself as less limited, too. Here’s another way to open your mind and heart: Name at least three 42
meDItatIon oF the week “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy,” said Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh. Do you smile at strangers?
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was skilled at creating and using machinery. In his 20s, he diligently expressed those aptitudes. But at age 27, while working in a carriage parts factory, he suffered an accident that blinded him. For several months, he lay in bed, hoping to recuperate. During that time, Muir decided that if his sight returned, he would thereafter devote it to exploring the beauty of the natural world. The miracle came to pass, and for the rest of his life he traveled and explored the wilds of North America, becoming an influential naturalist, author and early environmentalist. I’d love to see you respond to one of your smaller setbacks—much less dramatic than Muir’s!—with comparable panache. TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Of all the children on the planet, 3% live in the United States. And yet American children have 40% of the world’s toys. In accordance with astrological omens, I hereby invite you to be like an extravagant American child in the coming weeks. You have cosmic permission to seek maximum fun and treat yourself to zesty entertainment and lose yourself in uninhibited laughter and wow yourself with beguiling games and delightful gizmos. It’s playtime! GEMINI (May 21-June 20): The ama are Japanese women whose job it is to dive to the sea bottom and fetch oysters bearing pearls. The water is usually cold, and the workers use no breathing apparatus, depending instead on specialized techniques to hold their breath. I propose we make them your inspirational role models. The next few weeks will be a favorable time, metaphorically speaking, for you to descend into the depths in quest of valuables and inspirations. CANCER (June 21-July 22): Renowned Cancerian neurologist Oliver Sacks believed that music and gardens could be vital curative agents, as therapeutic as pharmaceuticals. My personal view is that walking in nature can be as medicinal as working and lolling in a garden. As for music, I would extend his prescription to include singing and dancing as well as listening. I’m also surprised that Sacks didn’t give equal recognition to the healing power of touch, which can be wondrously rejuvenating, either in its erotic or non-erotic forms. I bring these thoughts to your attention because I suspect the coming weeks will be a Golden Age of non-pharmaceutical healing for you. I’m not suggesting that you stop taking the drugs you need to stay healthy; I simply mean that music, nature and touch will have an extrasublime impact on your well-being. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): If you visualize what ancient Rome looked like, it’s possible you draw on memories of scenes you’ve seen portrayed in movies. The blockbuster film Gladiator, starring Russell Crowe and directed by Ridley Scott, may be one of those templates. The weird thing is that Gladiator, as well as many other such movies, were inspired by the grandiose paintings of the ancient world done by Dutch artist Lawrence Alma-Tadema (18361912). And in many ways, his depictions were not at all factual. I bring this to your attention in the hope that it will prod you to question the accuracy and authenticity of your mental pictures. The coming weeks will be a favorable time to get fuzzy and incorrect memories into closer alignment with the truth, and to shed any illusions that might be distorting your understanding of reality. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): I don’t know if the coming weeks will be an Anais Nin phase for you. But they could be if you want. It’s up to you whether you’ll dare to be as lyrical, sensual, deep, expressive and emotionally rich as she was. In case you decide that yes you will, here are quotes from Nin that might serve you well. 1. It is easy to love and there are so many ways to do it. 2. My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to find peace with
exactly who and what I am. 3. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go. 4. Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. 5. It was while helping others to be free that I gained my own freedom. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): “When you’re nailing a custard pie to the wall, and it starts to wilt, it doesn’t do any good to hammer in more nails.” So advised novelist Wallace Stegner. I hope I’m delivering his counsel in time to dissuade you from even trying to nail a custard pie to the wall—or an omelet or potato chip or taco, for that matter. What might be a better use of your energy? You could use the nails to build something that will actually be useful to you. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): “I hid my deepest feelings so well I forgot where I placed them,” wrote author Amy Tan. My Scorpio friend Audrey once made a similar confession: “I buried my secrets so completely from the prying curiosity of other people that I lost track of them myself.” If either of those descriptions apply to you, the coming weeks will be an excellent time to secure a remedy. You’ll have extra power and luck if you commune with and celebrate your hidden feelings and buried secrets. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): “No Eden valid without serpent.” Novelist Wallace Stegner wrote that pithy riff. I think it’s a good motto for you to use in the immediate future. How do you interpret it? Here’s what I think. As you nourish your robust vision of paradise on earth, and as you carry out the practical actions that enable you to manifest that vision, it’s wise to have some creative irritant in the midst of it. That bug, that question, that tantalizing mystery is the key to keeping you honest and discerning. It gives credibility and gravitas to your idealistic striving. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): The coco de mer is a palm tree that grows in the Seychelles. Its seed is huge, weighing as much as 40 pounds and having a diameter of 19 inches. The seed takes 7 years to grow into its mature form, then takes an additional 2 years to germinate. Everything I just said about the coco de mer seed reminds me of you. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, you’ve been working on ripening an awesome seed for a long time, and are now in the final phase before it sprouts. The Majestic Budding may not fully kick in until 2020, but I bet you’re already feeling the enjoyable, mysterious pressure. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): If you throw a pool ball or a bronze Buddha statue at a window, the glass will break. In fact, the speed at which it fractures could reach 3,000 miles per hour. Metaphorically speaking, your mental blocks and emotional obstacles are typically not as crackable. You may smack them with your angry probes and bash them with your desperate pleas, yet have little or no effect. But I suspect that in the coming weeks, you’ll have much more power than usual to shatter those vexations. So I hereby invite you to hurl your strongest blasts at your mental blocks and emotional obstacles. Don’t be surprised if they collapse at unexpectedly rapid speeds. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): In the 13th century, the Italian city of Bologna was serious about guarding the integrity of its cuisine. In 1250, the cheese guild issued a decree proclaiming, “If you make fake mortadella … your body will be stretched on the rack three times, you will be fined 200 gold coins and all the food you make will be destroyed.” I appreciate such devotion to purity and authenticity. And I recommend that in the coming weeks, you commit to comparable standards in your own sphere. Don’t let your own offerings be compromised or corrupted. The same with the offerings you receive from other people. Be impeccable.
I’m going to open a restaurant that sells hamburgers—but I’ll put them on buns. It’s genius!
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