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Sacramento’S newS & entertainment weekly

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Volume 31, iSSue 32

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contents

noVembeR 21, 2019

Vol. 31, Issue 32

16 e

editor’s note letters essay streetalk 15 minutes news feature arts + Culture musiC stage

04 05 06 07 08 10 16 26 32 34

for th

dish plaCe Calendar Capital Cannabis guide ask joey

38 40 41 47 54

Cover design by maria ratinova

Jeremy Meier, Jenny Plummer, Lloyd Rongley, Lolu Sholotan, Viv Tiqui,

N&R Publications Editor Debbie Arrington Associate Publications Editors Derek McDow, Our Mission: To publish great newspapers that are successful and enduring. To create a quality work environment that encourages employees to grow professionally while respecting personal welfare. To have a positive impact on our communities and make them better places to live. Editor Foon Rhee News Editor Raheem F. Hosseini Managing Editor Mozes Zarate Staff Reporter Scott Thomas Anderson Copy Editor Steph Rodriguez Calendar Editor Maxfield Morris Contributing Editor Rachel Leibrock Editorial Assistant Rachel Mayfield Contributors Ngaio Bealum, Amy Bee, Rob Brezsny, Aaron Carnes, Jim Carnes, Joey Garcia, Kate Gonzales, Howard Hardee, Ashley Hayes-Stone, Jim Lane, Chris Macias, Ken Magri, Illyanna Maisonet, Tessa Marguerite Outland, Lindsay Oxford, James Raia, Patti Roberts, Dylan Svoboda, Bev Sykes, Jeremy Winslow, Graham Womack Creative Services Manager Elisabeth Bayard-Arthur Art Directors Sarah Hansel, Maria Ratinova Art of Information Director Serene Lusano Publications Designer Katelynn Mitrano Publications and Advertising Designer Nikki Exerjian Ad Designers Naisi Thomas, Cathy Arnold

Advertising Manager Michael Gelbman Sales & Production Coordinator Skyler Morris Senior Advertising Consultants Rosemarie Messina, Kelsi White Advertising Consultants Sam Almaguer, Michael Nero, Vincent Marchese, Amy Yang

Director of First Impressions/Sweetdeals Coordinator Laura Anthony

Distribution Director Greg Erwin Distribution Assistant Lob Dunnica Distribution Drivers Mansour Aghdam, Rosemarie Beseler, Kimberly Bordenkircher, Mike Cleary, Tom Downing, Marty Fetterley, Chris Fong, Ron Forsberg, Michael Jackson, Calvin Maxwell, Greg Meyers,

Thea Rood

N&R Publications Staff Writers/Photographers Anne Stokes, Allen Pierleoni

N&R Publications Editorial Coordinator Nisa Smith Marketing & Publications Lead Consultant Elizabeth Morabito

Development Consultant Greta Beekhuis Marketing & Publications Consultants Julia Ballantyne, Chris Cohen, Joseph Engle, Laura Golino, Sherri Heller, Rod Malloy, Celeste Worden,

President/CEO Jeff vonKaenel Director of Nuts & Bolts Deborah Redmond Director of People & Culture David Stogner Nuts & Bolts Ninja Norma Huerta Director of Dollars & Sense Debbie Mantoan Account Jedi Jessica Kislanka Payroll/AP Wizard Miranda Hansen Developer John Bisignano System Support Specialist Kalin Jenkins

1124 Del Paso Boulevard, Sacramento, CA 95815 Phone (916) 498-1234 Fax (916) 498-7910 Website newsreview.com Got a News Tip? sactonewstips@newsreview.com Calendar Events newsreview.com/calendar Want to Advertise? Fax (916) 498-7910 or snradinfo@newsreview.com Classifieds (916) 498-1234, ext. 5 or classifieds@newsreview.com Job Opportunities jobs@newsreview.com Want to Subscribe to SN&R? sactosubs@newsreview.com Editorial Policies: Opinions expressed in SN&R are those of the authors and not of Chico Community Publishing, Inc. Contact the editor for permissions to reprint articles, cartoons or other portions of the paper. SN&R is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or review materials. Email letters to snrletters@newsreview.com. All letters received become the property of the publisher. We reserve the right to print letters in condensed form and to edit them for libel.

Advertising Policies: All advertising is subject to the newspaper’s Standards of Acceptance. The advertiser and not the newspaper assumes the responsibility for the truthful content of their advertising message. SN&R is printed at PressWorks Ink on recycled newsprint. Circulation of SN&R is verified by the Circulation Verification Council. SN&R is a member of Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce, CNPA, AAN and AWN.

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V

editor’s note

voices

Have a green holiday by Foon Rhee

would have required plastic drink bottles to contain at least 50% recycled content by 2030. So advocates are hoping to put a plastics reduction measure on the November 2020 ballot. In artificial trees, the plastic is often fused to the metal frame, which means it can’t be recycled. Those from China often are made A display at a Home Depot from PVC, a type of plastic in Sacramento of artificial Christmas trees. that is not biodegradable and that can release toxins. But the American Christmas Tree When I was growing up, artificial Christmas Association, which trees were all the rage, especially ones painted represents artificial tree companies, stresses with white “snow.” The 1970s could be so tacky potential problems with live trees, including and not so environmentally friendly. pests, water use and fire hazards. It also In today’s climate change era, you might promotes a study that concludes that if an think that live trees are in style and that plastic artificial tree is used for at least five years, it has ones are on the naughty list. a “more favorable environmental impact.” Or maybe not: While annual sales of natural “Unlike living trees, artificial Christmas trees trees have stayed in the 30 million range, fake are an investment,” the association says on its tree sales have more than doubled since 2004 to website. “This means that spending a few extra 21 million. dollars can end up saving you money in the Jeri Seifert, president of the California long run.” Christmas Tree Association, says it takes a lot While live trees cost about $75, depending on of education to convince consumers that a live, the type and where you live, artificial trees cost traditional tree every holiday season can be good a little more than $100, though there are more for the planet. expensive, fancier models. At a Home Depot They wouldn’t be grown otherwise and in the in Sacramento, for instance, a 6 ½-foot tree decade it can take for Douglas firs, blue spruces recently listed at $99, while 7 ½-foot decorated and noble pines grow to sale size on Christmas trees retailed for $199 to $299. tree farms, they’re taking in carbon dioxide With its marketing power, the artificial tree and releasing oxygen. A recent study says even industry is difficult to fight, says Seifert, who more carbon is trapped in the soil surrounding owns Silveyville Farm, a Christmas tree and the trees. It’s even possible to get a tree with pumpkin operation that opened in 1979 in Dixon. roots intact so it can be planted outside after the She grows about 14 acres of pines and cedars and holidays. Worst case, live trees can be recycled also brings in several hundred firs from Oregon, as part of yard waste. and says that she sells out. On the other hand, artificial trees can last The association’s 50 members represent for decades, and plastics are among the most about 60% of Christmas tree farms in California. troublesome materials to try to recycle. In Seifert says that other “choose-and-cut” farms in response, conservation groups pushed several California are also doing well—at least the ones significant proposals in the Legislature. But the that have managed to stay in business. most sweeping measure—to require businesses “People are going more green,” she said. to reduce or recycle at least 75% of single-use “The industry is coming back. But it’s going to plastic packaging or products by 2030—didn’t be a long haul.” Ω pass. And Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill that Photo by Foon Rhee

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letters

Email to sactolEttErs@nEwsrEviEw.com @SacNewsReview

@SacNewsReview

Democracy is gone Re: “What’s at stake in 2020 election” by Sasha Abramsky (Feature, Nov. 7): Despite his proclaimed expertise, the guy is obviously not up to speed. There is no such thing as “democracy” anywhere in sight in this country.

Josef Mayr Gr as s V al l ey / v i a f a c e b o o k

A smear against Gabbard Re: “A Russian ‘nesting doll?’” by Foon Rhee (Feature, Nov. 7): I am shocked and disgusted at the McCarthyistic, duplicitous smear piece SN&R published against Tulsi Gabbard. If she is “barely a blip in the polls,” why mention her at all? She couldn’t be clearer that she won’t run from a third party or as an independent. If you can’t argue against the message, discredit the messenger. Bucking Hillary Clinton to endorsing Bernie Sanders in 2016 and calling out the DNC for rigging the primaries against him then and against her now, criticizing her own party’s interventionist foreign policy and endless wars (those trillions of dollars could have been spent at home), calling out the media for their reprehensible smears against her and much more, Gabbard has shown the spine, fortitude and integrity the Democratic party has been missing for decades.

Jan BerGeron sac rame n to / v i a em ai l

Key supes race Re: “Why a Sacramento County supervisor election is so important” by Jeff von Kaenel (Greenlight, Oct. 3): This column is right on the mark, and the final paragraph says it all. Not only is Gregg Fishman a solid guy, his positions line up perfectly with the mainstream opinion in Sacramento County supervisor District 3 as Susan Peters has become more and more out of touch. Witness her latest vote to greenlight no-fault evictions prior to 2020. Fishman would never support such a thing. He knows that today’s tenant evicted for no reason other than a landlord’s greed simply adds to tomorrow’s homeless population

Uc a-g college preparatory curriculum

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whom we all then have to help to their foothold on life.

Bill PiePer s acr am en t o / v i a e m a i l

Unintended consequences Re: “The last minute gouge” by Scott Thomas Anderson (News, Nov. 14): It is sad, but state lawmakers had no reason to believe the rent hikes and evictions wouldn’t occur, so they share some of the blame. As we saw with the defeat of the rent control ballot measure (Proposition 10), the very threat of looming rent control spiked rents and forced evictions. History has shown us what happens with other bans (and let’s not mince words, because price fixing is just another iteration of a ban). For firearm limits, there is always a huge spike in purchases. Legislative meddling into the finances or business dealings of the people always creates unintended consequences, and in this instance people have been forced out of their homes.

Matthew Gray s acr am en t o / v i a e m a i l

What would Jesus do? Re: “Tents and tiny houses for the homeless” by Jeff von Kaenel (Greenlight, Nov. 7): Donald Trump caters to patriotic bigots, church bigots and racists. Underneath all of our garbage everyone’s the same. Nobody’s better. When Christ says, “Have ye faith,” he’s saying, “Have we the ability to let go of who we think we are? We can accomplish everything.”

rich DaVis ci t r us hei ght s / v i a e m a i l read more letters online at newsreview.com/sacramento.

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by Sheila Boxley and Michelle callejaS

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We can prevent child abuse Spending money up-front is better for families— and for taxpayers Child abuse costs Sacramento County more than $700 million a year—enough to send 76,000 kids to preschool. This is not a small issue. In Sacramento County in 2018, there were 21,406 child abuse victims reported, one child every 25 minutes. Child abuse is linked to significantly higher risks of poor physical and mental health, suicide, economic hardship, substance abuse and incarceration. Unfortunately, about 95% of the public child welfare money allocated for child abuse can only be used after the child has been physically, emotionally, or sexually abused. Only 5% is available the prevent the harm. That is how our systems are structured and funded. In October 2014, Sacramento County Child Protective Services took advantage of an opportunity to use a federal waiver that would allow funding for prevention services. Child Protective Services allocated $2.5 million to our local Birth & Beyond Family Resource Centers to provide services including home visitation, domestic violence counseling and crisis intervention and evidence-based parenting classes. CPS directed another $400,000 to a community agency that provides substance use treatment and recovery services. CPS also added more social workers to the front end of the system, providing intensive services to strengthen families and keeping children and families together when safe to do so. CPS also added social worker positions to increase the number of foster children that reunite with their parents, get adopted or obtain legal guardianship. Since making these investments, more children have remained safely with their families, with a 30% reduction in monthly entries into CPS, a 31% reduction in the number of children in foster care and an 110% improvement in foster youth achieving legal permanency after being in care for more than two years. This federal waiver was scheduled to end on Sept. 30, which would have eliminated the option of funding prevention services. However, key

Sheila Boxley, left, is president & CEO of the Child Abuse Prevention Center and Michelle Callejas is director of Sacramento County’s child, family and adult services department.

county staff and other counties and states with waivers successfully negotiated a compromise that is now awaiting congressional approval. But with the compromise, the funding has been reduced and will be fully eliminated in September 2021. At the same time, First 5, which funds programs for families with children through 5 years old and is a major funder for Birth & Beyond, is experiencing reductions from its revenue source, a tax on tobacco products. Meanwhile, a team of decision-makers from a variety of public and private organizations have committed to developing a Sacramento County Child Abuse Prevention Plan. The initial plan will be fully vetted in the community among residents and providers and is expected to be released in the spring of 2020. It is a call to action. We know how to prevent child abuse. We have connections to the community through Family Resource Centers, the Black Child Legacy Campaign’s community incubator sites and other service providers. We have the will of the county and nonprofit agencies to come together to plan for prevention. We also have compelling economic information about the cost of child abuse, strong evaluations and a clear need for prevention services that promote child safety and strengthen families. Ω


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essay

by PAtty WAit

When I’m 64 Older adults have much to offer if they’re not stigmatized

accommodates all—children, older adults, people with disabilities. It could also create a path for older adults to continue to contribute. Regular social and civic events for all ages would increase both understanding between generations and make them healthier. Older adults suffer and fail due to isolation, which is more damaging to health than smoking 15 cigarettes a day. We could reduce our health care costs by increasing the opportunities to socialize. These interactions benefit our young as well. Laura Carstensen, a psychology professor and the director of the Stanford Center on Longevity, said, “Contrary to widespread beliefs that older populations consume resources that would otherwise go to youth, there is growing reason to think that older people may be just the resource children need.”

The number of older adults is increasing, and it can be great! Older adults have a wealth of knowledge, skills and experience. Sharing these skills and experiences may improve our community. The need is there, yet the access fails. Success requires that we respect and value both the contribution and the contributor, but providing that respect is challenging. This challenge is described by Jennifer A. Richeson and J. Nicole Shelton in a study for the National Institutes of Health. In “When I’m 64” they report that there is mounting evidence to suggest that older adults are stigmatized in the United States and in most Western societies. Further, they found when older adults are forced to stay in places where they are not stereotype, they lose their freedom to participate fully in society—and society loses potentially unique contributions. Accessing and honoring the skills and abilities of older adults may make living their best life possible. It would also improve the lives of others. Our community would be enriched if we Ageism is the both saw and included most socially our older adults. acceptable prejudice, Margaret Mead, one of Patty Wait is chairperson of the Sacramento County Adult and our foremost cultural but ironically it is a Aging Commission. The views anthropologists, encourprejudice against our are her own. aged this when she said: older selves. “Connections between generations are essential to A synergy exists the mental health and stability between different generations, of the nation.” a connection that has been a To do this, we need to overcome part of the human experience. The our bias. We are afraid to age, and so are bonds and benefits from these relationships prejudiced against aging and people that are hard-wired and improve our lives and are older. Ageism is the most socially communities. Aging is a natural process. acceptable prejudice, but ironically it is a Despite its challenges, aging increases prejudice against our older selves. experience, wisdom, kindness and patience. A course correction could clear the Let’s actively bring older adults view to new possibilities. The Age Friendly back into the fold of society, craft the network may be that course correction. environment to include them and value their The city of Sacramento has enrolled in participation. The results will improve our the network, and Sacramento County is region and our lives. Ω considering it. An Age Friendly community 8

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15 minutes

by Ashley hAyes-stone

Alex Grevious is an 11-year-old podcaster and author sharing stories and lessons with the world. PHOTO BY ASHLEY HAYES-STONE

Alex speaks— and writes Alex Grevious is like plenty of other 11-year-old kids. He indulges in reading superhero comic books and mastering the art of Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but he’s got more tricks up his sleeve. In between video game sessions and novels, Grevious recently published his first book, Ausomely Aaron. He also hosts The Alex Speaks Podcast in which he interviews local community leaders and beyond. Recent guests have included Grevious’ coding teacher, Brannon Harris, and community organizer Ryan McClinton. Grevious was diagnosed with autism at age four and was bullied about his disability. He says that two years ago, he’d had enough and decided to write a book about autism. “I want the book to inspire people and educate them about autism,” Grevious says. The young entrepreneur took time out of his busy schedule to chat with SN&R about his must-reads, actor Tom Holland and his approach to just being yourself.

What is your book about? It’s about a kid with autism who gets bullied for being different. People don’t really understand him, but he realizes his disabilities are like superpowers and his differences are superpowers. He sees the world in a completely different way than most people and learns that being different is perfectly OK.

Is the main character modeled after you? He has a lot of my experiences, like the bullying aspect. I got bullied in the third grade because people didn’t understand me as a person. Another aspect, I see the world differently. Like, I view it as entertaining. So I was like, “Maybe I should just make this book about myself, but not really myself because it’s a different character’s name.”

What was your favorite part about writing your story? My favorite part was that I could put my own story in my own book. I want people to know more about my own experiences with [autism] and so I implemented those elements into my book except with entirely different characters.

Top three favorite authors or books? Right now, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, because it’s just a really fun series to read. I really liked the books even though each book gets longer, way longer. I like one of the Star Wars books called Star Wars: Smuggler’s Run, and The Lorax.

Advice for anyone who has been bullied because they were different? If my dad was here, he’d say, “Just write a book about it,” but I don’t think a lot of people want to go through that whole process. My advice is to just be yourself, ignore them and tell your parents or teacher. If you have a disability, you should try to educate the people who are bullying you about it.

What is your podcast about? My podcast is called The Alex Speaks Podcast where I interview community leaders and we tell jokes. I really want to interview Tom Holland, but in Sacramento I want to interview Dr. [William] Lee, the publisher of the Sacramento Observer, and Mayor Darrell Steinberg. But definitely Tom Holland, because he’s really cool.

What’s next for you? I want to make a chapter book series that basically expands on Ausomely Aaron and him getting older and understanding the world more differently. My next picture book is going to be about anxiety. I’m also going to be working on a comic book series with my uncle. Ω

Get a copy of the Grievous’s book at alexgrevious.com, listen to The Alex Speaks Podcast on Apple Podcast and Google Play and check out his Instagram, @alexgspeaks.


Nurturing new leaders

can bring change How one Fresno worker helped his community for the better By yvONNE R. WALkER P r e s i d e n t, s e i U L o c a L 1 0 0 0

W

here will we find tomorrow’s leaders? Look around; you may already know a leader in the making. Leadership is a skill that takes support and nurturing. Just like an apprentice, leaders benefit by learning while they work. As a union, we regularly support our members and help them develop their leadership skills. Such help is intentional; it gives these new leaders the power to bring change to their communities and to people’s lives. Let me tell you about Leroy, a SEIU Local 1000 member. His example shows what can be accomplished when we help someone lead. Leroy grew up in Fresno, which suffers from terrible air quality. One in six children in the San Joaquin Valley develop asthma. Residents in the poorer Southwest Fresno neighborhoods have a life expectancy of 20 fewer years than people who live in Fresno’s wealthier and whiter neighborhoods. In addition, a lot of people are out of work; unemployment in Fresno County is among the worst in the state. Public transportation is a problem, too. Leroy became inspired during a leadership development event to work locally to improve his community. The vehicle to bring much needed change? High speed rail. Leroy saw investment in high speed rail as an opportunity to bring good-paying construction jobs to the Fresno residents who needed it most. Not only would the rail line provide transportation, but it could improve air quality in the poorest parts of Fresno, run-down neighborhoods polluted by highways and dirty industries. He saw how high speed rail had the potential to change a lot of lives for the better. But how do you make that happen? The Labor Council had received funding for neighborhood outreach, but had not had success attracting people from West Fresno to apply for jobs. They were using this to justify the need to recruit people from outside of Fresno. With support from myself and our leadership team, Leroy contacted churches and non-profits across his community, identifying partners who shared our vision and inviting them to a kickoff event. About 175 local people showed up, confirming that Leroy had a great idea. Representatives of the building trades who attended the meeting told attendees about the job opportunities that were available – good jobs with good retirement. So many people tried to sign up, it crashed the website.

Leroy Candler of SEIU Local 1000 saw a need and worked for change, with his union’s support.

But the process to get one of those jobs wasn’t easy. The first step was to take a difficult test just to become eligible. If accepted in the pre-apprenticeship program, workers were expected to quit their current jobs. They would not be paid for training and there was no guarantee of a new job. We ended up creating our own non-profit coalition to help workers develop their skills, pass required tests, get training and find new higher-paying jobs while receiving support and mentoring needed to succeed. We are now in the process of getting more funding for our own training programs. Eventually, local trade unions reached out and asked Leroy to supply workers. He identified candidates, then continued to support them as they launched new careers. Initially, they experienced racial tension at worksites. However, with involvement from the supervisor, we succeeded in changing the culture on the job. Racism also is a common symptom of apprenticeships, which historically reflect the ebb and flow of different cultures coming into changing industries. But because of leaders like Leroy, the door had been opened for these workers. Leroy walked through it with them, changing their lives for the better. That’s what leadership looks like. Yvonne R. Walker President, SEIU Local 1000

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San Francisco

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San Diego

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Santa Barbara

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Sacramento

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Two pedestrians cross North 16th Street near where George Kouklis was killed by a hit-and-run driver. Photo by Graham Womack

Pedestrians in peril New hit-and-run data shows that walking in Sacramento can be deadly, especially for disadvantaged residents by Graham Womack this story was supported by a grant from the Independent Journalism Fund. to support more stories like this, donate at journalismfund.org.

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Before his life unraveled again and before his senseless death, George Kouklis achieved some measure of serenity. He built up 16 years of sobriety, worked as a truck driver in Long Beach for the Salvation Army and helped others undertake the strict recovery program that helped him overcome years of substance abuse and mental health problems. But old demons had flared up by Aug. 24, when, according to the Sacramento Police Department, the 60-year-old homeless man and |

11.21.19

Sacramento native got into an afternoon argument near North 16th Street and McCormack Avenue with 26-year-old Deante Whitaker. “There was an altercation,” said Kouklis’ sister Mia Kouklis, as she sat on the porch of her McKinley Park home on a recent afternoon. “I had heard my brother had a hammer. But the person had a car.” Whitaker allegedly ran down Kouklis with his black Dodge Charger, critically wounding Kouklis and fleeing the scene. Kouklis died the following day,

with surveillance footage and witness accounts leading detectives to arrest Whitaker on Sept. 11. Whitaker was arraigned on a felony murder charge two days later, according to the Sacramento Superior Court website. Aside from the particularly brutal and deliberate manner in which it occurred, though, it’s not that unusual a story in Sacramento. Both the city and county rank among the most unsafe places in California for hit-and-run crashes—and local leaders are grappling with what to do.

The numbers don’t lie: Sacramento can be an unsafe place to walk, with the drivers to blame often skirting responsibility. According to statistics provided by the Sacramento Police Department through a SN&R public records request, the city had 927 hit-and-run collisions in the 12 months from Oct. 1, 2018 to Sept. 30, with 370 injuries and at least five deaths. The numbers get worse in outside the city limits. According to the California Highway Patrol, there were 3,835 hit-and-run crashes in unincorporated Sacramento County during the same 12-month period—an average of more than 10 of hit-and-runs a day—with 1,293 people injured and 13 deaths. Both Sacramento PD and CHP representatives said in response to the public records requests that they did not know how many of these incidents resulted in arrests and that they could not offer demographic information for the victims and perpetrators. Kirin Kumar, executive director of Walk Sacramento, said his group has


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been able to glean some findings from its own research. “We also know that the folks who are getting hit and killed in the county are likely either in disadvantaged communities or are transit-dependent,” Kumar said. Again and again in a 645-page report that the CHP provided, detailing every hit-and-run crash for those 12 months, the primary factors of unsafe speed and alcohol use are cited for the hit-and-runs. This mirrors 2016 findings from the California Office of Traffic Safety—the most recent statistics available—citing Sacramento as the most likely of the state’s 15 largest cities to have alcoholrelated or speed-related collisions resulting in injury or death. “Speed is one of the most significant issues that we have in the city and is a challenge for us,” said Jennifer Donlon Wyant, the city’s active transportation specialist. The study also ranked Sacramento third most likely for hit-and-run crashes. The city noted in a 2018 report that, while only 13% of all trips in Sacramento were made on foot, 40% of all fatal crashes in the city involved pedestrians. The same report noted that from 2009 to 2015, 151 people died on city streets, with roughly half killed while biking or walking. In response, the city started a study of five of its most dangerous corridors: Marysville Boulevard; El Camino Avenue; Broadway at Stockton Boulevard; Stockton Boulevard and Patterson Way; and Florin Road. While the streets are in different parts of the city, each generally runs through an older, poorer and less white area. City leaders also launched a local version of Vision Zero, an ambitious program that originated in Sweden and that posits that all traffic incidents are predictable and therefore preventable. The city adopted a formal Vision Zero Action Plan in August 2018 and has set a goal of eliminating all traffic deaths by 2027. “I’m optimistic,” said Councilman Eric Guerra, whose district includes Stockton Boulevard. “If you don’t set an aggressive goal, you’re never going to move the needle.” Still, for a number of reasons, this goal might be difficult to reach locally, particularly when it comes to eliminating hit-and-run crashes in Sacramento. Justin Risley, who serves as chief of security operations and police services for

Sacramento Regional Transit, noted that the causes of pedestrian fatalities can be difficult to pinpoint. “They’re really tough because there was no specific causal factor,” Risley said. “Many occasions, people just were not being entirely aware of their situation and then really kind of putting themselves unfortunately in these really difficult circumstances where a person would meet a car and the outcomes were not good.”

fund staff time and a local match to qualify for grants. “I like to say that we rub two nickels together to make a dollar,” Donlon Wyant said. This results in a lack of traffic signals at some busy intersections and even the removal of some crosswalks, Kumar said. One of these removals, he noted, was followed by the death of a woman who was attempting to cross Freeport Boulevard south of Raley’s. one problem is reaching In response, Donlon “The the potential victims. Wyant said the city must Risley, who is follow published safety folks who are contracted to RT standards and can’t getting hit and killed through the police just add a crosswalk in the county are likely department, said on a busy street. public education Crosswalks on either in disadvantaged through websites busier streets need communities or are like NextDoor can controls to let drivtransit-dependent.” help. ers know they need “Unfortunately, to yield to pedestriKirin Kumar the person, the ans. This costs from executive director, Walk people that we’re $400,000 to $600,000 Sacramento trying to reach in many per crossing. of these cases are a difficult “I can definitely say the group to get to,” Risley said. city of Sacramento does not have “They don’t always have social media. enough funding for the transportation They’re not paying attention to these needs that we have,” Donlon Wyant types of things.” said. “We have to have the local dollars It’s people like Kouklis, who invested in roadway safety if we’re going bounced between Loaves & Fishes, his to make any sort of progress toward sister’s backyard and other spots in the achieving Vision Zero—rapidly, too.” final years of his life, finding temporary In 2016, the Sacramento shelter in a variety of precarious places, Transportation Authority attempted to including near freeways. Lots of people address shortfalls with Measure B, a sales injured in hit-and-run crashes are home- tax initiative that would have provided less or from disadvantaged communities $3.6 billion over 30 years for roadway or are non-English speakers, Kumar and transportation improvements. noted. Opponents successfully thwarted this Enforcement has also been lax due to measure, with a radio ad in the days staffing shortages, with Guerra noting that before suggesting that local politicians after the Great Recession, Sac PD’s traffic had plenty of funding through the existing division shrunk to four officers for the Measure A. entire city. “If you look at the budgets and if “When you don’t have enforcement, you look at our goals and you look at you create an environment that allows the needs around the investment in the bad drivers to continue their bad habits,” Sacramento region, that’s just patently Guerra said. “Only until recently have we false,” Kumar said. “We just don’t have been able to increase the number of traffic the transportation dollars we need to … officers because of commitments from the achieve our transit riderships, to grow a City Council and Measure U,” a half-cent system that actually gets folks out of their sales tax increase that passed in 2012 and cars, and invests in roadway safety.” restored budget cuts from the recession. The transportation authority is crafting a potential new Measure B for the The biggest challenge, though, might still November 2020 ballot. be funding. Donlon Wyant said transporAsked if an additional sales tax could tation projects aren’t budgeted through saves lives, Kumar said, “Absolutely.” Ω the city’s general fund. Instead, the city uses gas tax and Measure A dollars to

Sacramento County prosecutors have quietly backed down from two of their more scrutinized civil disobedience cases in recent years—against three anti-nazi agitators swept up in a 2016 brawl outside the state Capitol and a transgender activist who protested Stephon Clark’s death outside the District Attorney’s Office last year. The separate concessions came as looming criminal trials would have forced the DA’s office to show all its cards. That was an especially risky prospect on the July 2016 melee between white supremacists and anti-fascists outside the state Capitol. The notorious event left 10 injured and predated the deadly unite the right rally in Charlottesville, Va., the following summer. After a yearlong investigation by the California Highway Patrol recommended the arrests of 105 people—including 100 anti-Nazi protesters—the DA’s office charged three anti-fascists and one white nationalist with felony assault and rioting. On Nov. 14, “the antifa three” of Yvonne “Yvette” Felarca, Porfirio Paz and Michael A. Williams pleaded no contest to single misdemeanor counts of unlawful assembly in exchange for agreeing to stay away from the Capitol and performing 90 hours of community service, which they’ll have to complete before participating in any more protests. No one has been charged with the stabbings. Regarding the separate case, Ebony Ava Harper said she learned around Halloween that she would no longer face misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest and unlawful assembly. The 40-year-old trans rights activist joined a stephon clark rally outside the da’s office in April 2018. Reached via social media, Harper, who left the California Endowment this year to launch the National Alliance for Trans Liberation and Advancement, wrote that she felt “relieved for the moment.” (Raheem F. Hosseini)

sleep Train on sleep mode A move to earmark hotel taxes generated in Natomas to revive the former sleep Train arena was put on an indefinite hold this month, after City Councilman Jeff Harris challenged the proposal as a form of “ballot box budgeting.” The matter likely won’t be revisited until next year, marking a setback for the grassroots movement to build a state-of-the-art zoo on the site. The proposal to use transient occupancy tax revenues from hotels in District 1 as a funding strategy for a new zoo or other project was an attempt by the city manager’s office to rectify a broken promise from the recent past. City leaders and the Sacramento Kings had told Natomas residents in 2013 that their lost sports arena would be replaced by a major “shovel ready” amenity before Golden 1 Center opened its doors. Frustration over that neglected assurance has lately fueled a “we want a Zoo” campaign in Natomas. But hotel tax funds have historically been used for citywide projects or by council vote. When the Natomas proposal came up on the council’s Nov. 5 consent agenda, Harris insisted it be pulled. “I have hotels being built in District 3 and, if this passes, it might incite me to say, ‘Well, maybe I should sequester the money that’s gathered from TOT in District 3 for District 3 projects,’” Harris argued. “I don’t think that’s the proper use of that money.” Councilman Jay Schenirer seconded Harris’ motion to pull the item. (Scott Thomas Anderson)

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Community members gather at Rio Linda High School to share concerns about potential school closures. Photo courtesy of stacey Bastian

Rebelling against closures Teachers, advisory group push back against Twin Rivers Unified’s school closures claims by Scott thomaS anderSon sc o tta @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m

raheem f. hosseini contributed to this report.

Some of Sacramento County’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods are bracing for multiple school closures at the same time that their district, Twin Rivers Unified, considers building new campuses in more affluent Natomas. Meanwhile, the group that Twin Rivers Unified School District created to help it trim an almost $4 million deficit is siding against the closures. Twin Rivers Unified formed its Student Housing Committee earlier this year to advise the board of trustees on the closures matter. Stacey Bastian, a member of several community groups in Rio Linda, served as vice chairperson of the committee. Bastian says the name that the district chose for this working group was anything but straightforward. “In reality, it should have been called the school consolidation committee or school closure committee,” Bastian told SN&R. Committee members spent eight months meeting with district officials and

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consultants about declining enrollment. The district has lost a reported 800 students in the last two years, contributing to an overall $3.8 million budget deficit. It recently announced that—despite $16.9 million in cuts during the same period— it’s now facing the possibility of closing six to 10 schools. But the teachers’ union, Twin Rivers United Educators, or TRUE, says that the district is cherry-picking numbers to make its case. By TRUE’s calculations, the $3.8 million shortfall represents only 1% of the district’s $350 million annual budget. “We feel like this is a gross overreaction to a 1% deficit,” said union president Rebecca LaDoux. The union isn’t alone in that assessment. After spending the better part of the year reviewing the district’s data, the Student Housing Committee recommended closing no schools. (It was presented with seven different scenarios involving closures. It voted 7-2 against four of them, 5-4 on two of them and 6-3 on the remaining one.)

Since then, the district has moved forward, and is considering the elimination of multiple campuses in Del Paso Heights, Foothill Farms, North Highlands and Rio Linda. Bastian says the people of Rio Linda already know from experience the toll that takes: Some years back, the district shuttered Rio Linda Elementary School. “We lost a lot of kids when that happened,” Bastian recalled. “People still talk about it to this day—and how different the community is since that closure.” Among the reports that Bastian and other committee members reviewed were numerous closure scenarios provided by the consultant group Decision Insight. Public documents reveal that those scenarios included building new schools— in some cases, K-6 schools—near the Greenbriar and Grand Park developments in Natomas. In September, the district also reviewed an updated feasibility study for building new schools in Natomas. The district has long looked to the neighborhood as a place to stop the enrollment losses, just not with much success. It currently owns a half-finished campus in

East Natomas that was supposed to be completed through a 2006 bond. According to state education data, enrollment has actually been creeping up over the past four years, though average daily attendance—what the district gets state funding for—has edged slightly down. The district currently includes 46 schools and eight charter schools, which enrolled 32,538 during the 2017-18 school year, 5% more than when the district first formed from the ashes of four other districts in 2008. Twin Rivers Unified remains one of the region’s most disadvantaged and diverse districts, with 85% of students qualified for free or reduced-price lunches and 28% learning English, including many Spanish- and Russian-speakers. LaDoux says she and fellow teachers believe strongly that before the district opens any new campuses, it should prioritize keeping its current students from being bussed out of their own neighborhoods. “It’s not in their best interest,” LaDoux stressed. “It’s a trauma for our students. We know that smaller schools are better for them, and we know that students who are at higher risk can fall through the cracks if they’re made to go to a mega-school.” TRUSD deputy superintendent Bill McGuire said this week no final decision has been made on closures. “We’ve tried to do community outreach, get input and flesh out ideas,” McGuire noted. “This is a big deal and we take it seriously.” The district has two final public meetings scheduled for Dec. 3 at Rio Tierra Junior High Gymnasium and Dec. 4 at Martin Luther King Jr. Technology Academy Gymnasium. McGuire also said any claims the closures are happening due to 1% of the district’s budget are oversimplifying since $150 million of its annual budget are restricted funds. He added that the reason the district is exploring new schools in Natomas is because it knows there will be a need there. “Our district covers 85 miles,” McGuire said. “When the district is declining in one area, it may be gaining in another.” But after months of working with the district on the issue, Bastian still disagrees that observation justifies closures. “I saw evidence, in what was presented to us, that these closures need to happen,” she said. “They keep saying this is necessary because they have less students, but I think they should be focused on learning why students are leaving Twin Rivers in the first place. ” Ω


Decarcerate Sacramento Celebrates Victory Over Stalled Prison Expansion By E D g A R S A n c h E Z

C

riminal justice reform activists won a huge victory this month, when Sacramento County Supervisors walked away from an $89 million plan to expand Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center (RCCC) in Elk Grove. Opposition to the plan was led by Decarcerate Sacramento (DS), a grassroots group born in early July as a response to the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors’ April 23 decision to start accepting construction bids for the project. Moving quickly, DS members first appeared before the board on July 16, with a warning: Expanding RCCC would aggravate the county’s addiction to incarceration, particularly of the poor and minorities. Just as quickly, DS evolved into a coalition of private citizens and nonprofits, including Sacramento Area Congregations Together, which is supported by The California Endowment. DS made two more presentations to the board — most recently on November 5, when the RCCC project was abandoned. “I’m no longer willing to support this project in any form,” not even in a scaled-down version that county staff recommended at the last minute, Supervisor Don Nottoli said, thanking the DS speakers for their “compelling testimony.” “We won because we walked in armed with information, education and data — the numbers that gave power to the

conversation,” an elated Mackenzie Wilson, a DS community organizer, said afterwards. She was referring to several carceral studies that DS cited to help prove that the expansion plan was ill-conceived and too costly. Eventually, DS hopes to begin talks with the county on how to upgrade the aging RCCC, and how to reduce the inmate population.

“WE NEEd to dEvEloP a PlaN to SIgNIFICaNtlY rEduCE our jaIl PoPulatIoN.” Robyn Ayres Social Worker, Decarcerate Sacramento

RCCC, built in the 1960s and run by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, is the main custody facility for county inmates. It houses about 1,750 men and women, many of whom await trail. The $89 million plan was developed by the Sheriff’s Department without community input. The plan called for several new buildings next to RCCC that, among other things, would support medical/mental health programs that jailers said would improve inmate services.

“People cannot get well in a cell,” social worker Robyn Ayres told Sacramento County Supervisors. She was the first of more than 40 speakers who urged cancellation of a plan to expand Elk grove Correctional Center. Photo by Edgar Sanchez

DS maintained that jails are the wrong settings for mental health programs. Forty two expansion opponents addressed the board on November 5, starting with Robyn Ayres, a social worker from Citrus Heights. Rather than expand RCCC, “We need to develop a plan to significantly reduce our jail population,” Ayres, a DS member, told the board. “The plan should include community mental health... and a plan that keeps people in their home, keeping jobs and housing and families together.”

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

paid with a grant from the california endowment

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

For more info, visit Decarcerate Sacramento on Facebook or Instagram www.SacBHC.org 11.21.19

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Passengers board the shuttle in front of the Mondavi Center at UC Davis before heading to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento.

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Transit agencies are using VW settlement money to replace UC Davis’ popular shuttles and some riders are not happy

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will be able to accommodate new riders on top of Sacramento Regional Transit and the Yolo County current ones. Transportation District are preparing to launch While university officials assume most riders electric bus service between UC Davis and will switch over to the new system, Jason Moore, Sacramento, but changes brought by the move have a UC Davis professor who uses the shuttle as his some students and employees upset. primary transportation between his Sacramento In partnership with RT and YoloBus, UC home and the university, says many folks won’t. Davis is replacing its private, nonstop inter-campus “It’s a bearable ride when you’re able to work or shuttles with 12 publicly-run electric buses thanks to take a nap,” Moore said. “Take those options away a grant from Electrify America, an initiative funded and the ride becomes much less attractive.” by Volkswagen’s 2016 diesel emissions settlement. University officials said shuttle ridership has Officials are still hashing out the final details fallen from 150,000 to 90,000 per year over the last before the new service is scheduled to start in April. half decade. The RT board had been scheduled to approve the Some supporters of the current shuttle service plan Monday night, but instead decided to take a question using Electrify America funds to add one closer look at schedules and stops, and told staff form of transit while taking away another one. to meet with current riders before the board meets Moore says the new system may lead him and other again on Dec. 9. Already, in response to rider riders to ditch mass transit altogether, potentially concerns, planners say there will be three buses an putting more cars on the road. hour during peak commute times, including some “A lot of shuttle riders will just choose not to nonstops. take the public buses and drive to work instead,” But some riders are still worried. Moore predicted. “Some of us have centered our Derek Young says his commute could entire lives around the shuttle by going double some days as his trip goes car-free or moving near stops. Now from no stops to four. “Traffic “A all that’s changing in the blink of across the causeway is already lot of shuttle an eye.” brutal,” Young said. “Add in While some current shuttle a couple stops in Sacramento riders will just choose riders deride the changes as and possibly through West not to take the public potentially backward, the Sacramento—we could be buses and drive to work university heralds its new talking about over an hour “Causeway Connection” as between the med center and instead.” an effort to make the trip main campus.” Jason Moore between the two cities more Matt Dulcich, UCD’s mechanical and aerospace affordable. director of environmental engineering professor, “For a few years, UC planning, said the university is UC Davis Davis has been looking for ways working with the other agencies to expand the Davis-Sacramento to develop an express, nonstop route transportation service for its existing riders during peak hours to reduce commute while also giving a greater number of people in times. Sacramento and Davis communities affordable But smaller buses have Young worried there transportation options between the two cities,” won’t be enough room for all passengers waiting UC Davis spokeswoman Melissa Lutz Blouin to board. The electric buses will have 33 seats wrote in an email. “We believe that the Causeway compared to 56 in the current shuttles. Dulcich Connection partnership will do just that.” Ω said he hopes that more trips by the electric bus


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’Tis the season to restore relationships and observe traditions

With so much strife and hate in our nation, who can blame those seeking to make the holiday season a safe space? So the theme for our annual Holiday Guide is “Home for the Holidays.” It means more time with family and friends, so we explore how difficult it can be for singles and the recently divorced and what going home is like for LGBQT people. It means observing traditions closer to home, so we offer some best bets for places to go and things to do in and around Sacramento. And it means helping those less fortunate in our own communities, so we highlight ways to volunteer our time and nonprofits that need our money. In all these ways, celebrating the holidays can be as homey as a favorite sweater. Ω

Solo for the season For singles and the recently divorced, the holidays can be heartbreaking

I

t’s the holidays, a time for good cheer, festive gatherings and family pressure to propose to your significant other or to hurry and get boo’d up. The winter holiday trifecta starts with Thanksgiving and continues with your choice of religious celebration (Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa, among others) before closing with the expectation of a midnight kiss with someone special on New Year’s Eve. For many people in committed relationships, the end of the year is for BRDs (big relationship decisions). December is the biggest month for engagement ring sales. “In the last 20 years, there has been a migration of sorts to the holidays to announce engagements,” says Ted Grebitus of Grebitus and Sons Jewelers. “When I was growing up, spring engagements were common. Men and women are career-oriented today. They’re not getting married as young so they need to find time separate from work to announce their engagement. The multi-generational get-togethers that take

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place over the holidays are an opportunity to announce great news.” Grebitus says he believes the holidays really are the most wonderful time of the year. “We get the fun of having a grandson and grandmother coming in to the store with the grandmother’s ring. Maybe we sold it to the family originally and now we’re restoring that heirloom for the next generation. It’s an honor.” But for singles, negotiating the season’s events can be difficult. The upside of the holidays is that everyone you love is gathered in one place. The downside is that everyone you love is in one place and up in your romantic business. “Every social gathering is very couple-y. It’s stressful. There are too many expectations,” says Mohamed Umbashi, a 28-yearold Sacramento resident. Recent scientific research states that singles are healthier than married people. Singles tend to sleep better, be more fit, have stronger social networks and have deeper insight into themselves. Nonetheless, those who consciously choose to live solo, and those who find themselves single during the holidays, face intense inquiries from relatives and friends that too often morph into interrogations: “When are you getting married?” “Your biological clock is ticking! You’d better settle down and have kids soon.”

Or the cruelest: “Why are you still single?”

Single shaming Arletta Attaway, 30, found an effective, if extreme, way to avoid nosy inquiries from relatives about her romantic life. The Sacramento realtor stopped celebrating holidays—all of them. “It’s fine with me, not so much for my daughter,” she said. “So there’s a slight challenge because she doesn’t quite understand. But it’s worth it to avoid the stress.” For unattached adults such as Umbashi who yearn for a significant other, the holiday season offers endless reminders of their solo status. “At Thanksgiving, I’m looking around the table going husband-wife, husband-wife, husband-wife, husbandwife, me. I’m just like, yeah.” Born in the U.S., Umbashi was raised with the values and traditions of his family’s Arab-Islamic culture. He says that being the “child of two worlds” has enriched his life while also requiring him to continually “weave through cultural minefields.” When it comes to dating and marriage, he feels doubly

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pressured. American culture prioritizes couples. In Middle Eastern culture, he’s seen as already having missed major milestones. “Being Muslim, there are even higher expectations to not be single. Culturally, we’re expected to be married with a house and kids by age 30.” Work isn’t a refuge from the pressure of coupledom, either, says Umbashi, a field representative for the state Legislature. At least, not during the holidays. “My office has an annual Christmas breakfast,” he said. “Everyone brings their significant other and I’m there by myself.” One of Umbashi’s closest friends married not long ago. “He’s three years younger and is always asking when I’m going to get married.”

“Every social gathering is very couple-y. It’s stressful. There are too many expectations,” says Mohamed Umbashi, a 28-year-old Sacramento single.


Divorced for the holidays

Joey Garcia writes the “Ask Joey” column for SN&R. She’s also a certified life coach and award-winning author of When Your Heart Breaks, It’s Opening to Love.

When your family Rach Mayfi el eld doesn’t accept you

youths who are rejected by their families are more likely to have higher levels of depression than those who are accepted. It doesn’t seem far-fetched to by suggest that these experiences can extend to adults with unaccepting families, or that depression, anxiety r a c h e lm and suicidal thoughts can intensify @news r e v ie w .c during the holidays. om Many LGBTQ people deal with unique stress during the holidays. Some are gearing up to come out to family, introduce a new partner or announce that they’re transitioning. Some go back in the closet and temporarily erase who they are. Some may not even have a family to go home to. For me, growing up queer in a largely conservaFor LGBTQ people, the tive, Christian family had an isolating effect that holidays can be kept me from coming out as gay and non-binary for a long time. And while my gender-nonconforming very stressful appearance clued people in, visits with extended family always took on an unspoken “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule. My uncle’s bathroom story and the ensuing table talk wasn’t just a disappointing revelation; it also t was a typical L.A. Christmas—quiet, served as an unpleasant reminder of all the times uneventful and a little too warm for sweaters. My extended family had crowded into the dining room for a traditional holiday feast, one of the rare occasions we could all gather together to share a meal and catch up on life. Light conversation and idle gossip flitted around the table. Toward the end of dinner, everyone’s attention shifted to my uncle as he began to tell a story. My uncle has always been a great storyteller. He loves to regale audiences with fantastical tales of his adventures climbing the Himalayas, or stumbling across a grotesquely large snake. This time, the story was about a bathroom at the airport, and it went a little something like this: My uncle was in a bathroom at the airport. Volunteers serve a Suddenly, a woman walked in. My uncle said, I’ve been on the opposite Friendsgiving meal at the accusingly, “You are in the wrong bathroom!” side of those public bathroom Sacramento LGBT Center, a welcoming place for the It wasn’t until he got closer that he realized mishaps and the associated holidays. the person was, in his words, a man dressed in anxiety. women’s clothes. A classic twist! But I didn’t bring that up The dinner table reverberated with murmurs at dinner. I didn’t want to kill the holiday cheer. of shock and disapproval. An ill-informed This season, if you know someone who’s dreaddebate over the political correctness of the ing the holidays and family reunions, let them know term “transvestite” occupied a small corner. that they aren’t alone. Having supportive friends and Uninspired jokes made the rounds. All in all, accepting family members may seem small, but it my uncle’s story was a hit. can make a huge difference. It’s a moment I’ll always remember because If you feel isolated, don't be afraid to reach out. I learned what my family really thought of This Thanksgiving, the Sacramento LGBT Center is queer people—and what they really thought of organizing a meal for anyone seeking good food and me. good company. For some LGBTQ people, coming home for And if you absolutely have to tell a story, tell the holidays and visiting family isn’t always a the one about the grotesquely large snake. That’s a joyous occasion. Sometimes, the holidays bring classic. Ω more anxiety than good cheer. It can happen at any moment—a lazy comment or a hostile confrontation. You never know when a family member is going to remind you that you’re different, or unwelcome. “Home for the holidays” continued on page 18 According to a 2016 study published by the Pediatric Clinics of North America, LGBT

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PHOtO cOuRteSY Of SAcRAmeNtO LGBt ceNteR

For those who are recently divorced, the holidays can be six weeks of suffering. The first Thanksgiving after Laura Lourim’s 24-year marriage ended, the Elk Grove resident says she begged her boss to move her to the night shift. Lourim couldn’t handle seeing happily married couples strolling through the foyer of the community where she worked. “I literally was sick and crying all the time,” she said. “My divorce was just like a death. I would sit in my car and cry. I cried all over Elk Grove.” “I cried every time Her formerly favorite holiday routines turned I put an ornament on the tree. When into painful chores. Accustomed to joyfully it was time to take decorating her home for Christmas alongside her the tree down, spouse, the 59-year-old couldn’t put up a tree or I just wanted to decorate. It was too depressing. throw up,” says “I cried every time I put an ornament on the Laura Lourim, a 58-year-old Elk tree. When it was time to take the tree down, I just Grove divorcee. wanted to throw up.” Lourim says her healing process included journaling, eating well, spending time with positive friends, exercising and seeing a therapist. She did make an effort to attend holiday gatherings, but couldn’t abide the pressure to be part of a couple. When her yoga studio had a Christmas party, Lourim didn’t feel comfortable participating solo. She brought her adult daughter as her date. But her three grown children had their own plans for the final holiday of the year. “New Year’s Eve was hard,” she said. “I didn’t like being alone.” Friends urged her to try dating again. She tried Match, Zoosk, Tinder, Bumble The upside of the and being set up on blind dates by friends. It was a grind. holidays is that “If I liked a guy, he didn’t like me,” she says. “Or he liked me, I didn’t everyone you like him. If it was mutual, sometimes love is gathered I missed the red flags because I didn’t want to be alone.” in one place. The She healed, though, and learned to downside is that say “no” to men who weren’t ready for a relationship, but who thought they were. everyone you “I’d meet men who would say love is in one about their last relationship: ‘I’m over it.’ Then, minutes later, they would place and up in say ‘That bitch! She took me for everything.’” your romantic She gestures as though she’s business. sweeping those memories into the past. “Thank you! Next!” So this year, when gathering with family or friends over the holidays, think twice before asking when they plan to get engaged or whether they’re still single. Bite your tongue before belittling someone you love for not being boo’d up. Don’t mention ticking biological clocks. Instead, be grateful for that person’s presence in your life. There’s no better holiday gift than being surrounded by the ones you love and letting that be enough. Ω

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Holiday

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Photo courtesy of Downtown sacramento PartnershiP

Sacramento events make the season special Macy's Theatre of Lights captures the magic of the holiday season in Old Sacramento.

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ertain clues hint toward the holiday season in Sacramento. The state Christmas Tree stands tall on the Capitol lawn waiting to be decorated. The Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink opens as little kids sturdy their ice legs. But most of all, the city is filled with many traditions that make this time of year something special: artisan markets selling unique gift ideas, the annual Santa Parade floats roll through the streets and even Bill Farmer, the Emmy-nominated voice of Disney’s Goofy, stops by to star in “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” in Old Sacramento. While home for the holidays, consider some of these events to ring in the spirit of the season.

For the culture An artisan market that brings together culture, music, food and one-of-a-kind vendors is Sol Collective’s Global Local Mercado: Holiday Edition. Local makers sell body and health products, handmade jewelry and headwraps from Mexico and Ghana, silk-screen clothing and artwork, toys and more. 18

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“Because it is so diverse, there is something here for everybody. The energy, the vibe is very family friendly and fun,” said programs director Dea Montelongo. “It brings together people from all different backgrounds. I like to see the community support each other, especially in a time that can be a little intense.” Every hour, new DJs will spin a mix of world music and everything from tamales, lumpia, Mediterranean and soul food have been served during past markets. Saturday, Dec. 21, 10 am-5 pm; 2574 21st St., solcollective.org.

First dates and family fun on ice Grab a cup of piping hot chocolate and watch little ones wrapped in multiple layers of warm clothing glide across the Downtown Ice Rink. Or, better yet, get out there and skate with the best of them. From now until Jan. 20, take the family (or a first date) to enjoy some ice time with special events scheduled throughout the season such as Rock with Santa on Dec. 4 or free skate Grinch Day on Dec. 14. Admission is $6-$15, not including

skate and scooter rentals. Various dates and times, 2701 K St; godowntownsac.com/ events/signature-events/ice-rink.

Lights, camera, Goofy What began a decade ago has turned into a true holiday tradition in Old Sacramento. Macy’s Theatre of Lights presents the classic poem known more commonly as “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” with a live, 20-minute theater-style performance on the balconies above K Street, with a special appearance by Jack Frost. There’s also a performance scheduled right after this year’s Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony on Thanksgiving Eve at 6 p.m. Various dates and times, 1002 2nd St. and 106 K St.; oldsacramento.com.

Little Bavaria Sacramento’s Turn Verein, a historic German club, opens its hall to the public a few times a year. One of those is for its Christkindlmarkt, modeled after the Christmas markets found in town squares throughout Germany and Austria. “We have attendees that come from hours away

to attend,” said director Emily Vie. “This event is the beginning of the Christmas season for me, and I think it is for others as well. The music, foods and smells create an atmosphere that is nostalgic and festive.” Twenty-eight vendor booths will sell goods such as glazed German sweets and candied, toasted almonds and spiced Glühwein (mulled wine). And there are daily appearances by Santa Claus and the German Christkind. Saturday, Dec. 7-Sunday, Dec. 8; 3349 J St.; sacramentoturnverein.com.

Soul Santa Founded in 1983, the Santa Parade is a hometown tradition expected to draw an estimated 20,000 people to catch a glimpse of Old St. Nick. The fun starts on 14th and N streets alongside Capitol Park and travels west to N Street toward 9th and beyond. See homemade floats followed by music from local marching bands while antique vehicles, horses and clowns highlight the moving festivities. This family-friendly event is free to the public. Saturday, Dec. 14, 10 am-12 pm; sacsantaparade.com. Ω


Celebrations in nearby cities create holiday cheer

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taying home for the holidays is all well and good. But getting out of town—but not too far—and experiencing celebrations in other communities can start some new and unexpected traditions. SN&R offers this guide of places within a three-hour drive that go all-out with cheerful festivals, live music and scenic views.

Ye old Christmas Historic Nevada City is a picturesque, little town that’s about an hour away, and each year it transforms into a Victorian-era village on Sundays and Wednesdays throughout December. On Broad Street downtown, vendors sell unique crafts and goods, children’s choirs and bands perform and almost everyone dresses the part. Vendors operate by battery-operated candlelight, Santa Claus sits inside City Hall waiting for kids to recite their Christmas lists, a walking holiday tree roams the streets and the sounds of bagpipes fill the night sky. Various dates and times; 317 Broad  St., Nevada City; nevadacitychamber.com.

Illuminating Mendocino

Various dates, doors open  at 5 pm; $10 for adults,  children 16 and under are  free. 18220 Hwy 1, Fort  Bragg; gardenbythesea.org.

Holidays on horseback On Dec. 8, drive back in time and visit old town Columbia, just under a two-hour drive and a welcome change of scenery for the holidays. Each year, the Backcountry Horsemen of California organize their Christmas Equestrian Parade. Bring the family to see horses, donkeys, ponies, mules and draft horses as they all strut down Main Street with their riders. This Gold Rush-era community will also host Santa and Mrs. Claus for photo opps with the kids during this non-motorized affair. 11am-2pm, free  admission; 11255 Jackson St., Columbia;  visitcolumbiacalifornia.com/events/ christmas-equestrian-parade.

Gone country During Thanksgiving weekend, pack up the car and head out to Grass Valley for its Country Christmas Faire. This event boasts four large exhibit buildings filled with thousands of gift ideas, an ornament

Photo courtesy of Nevada city chamber

Each winter, the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens bathes its lush backdrop in bright lights and holiday décor from Nov. 29 through Dec. 22 for its Festival of Lights. Choirs from local high schools—as well as bands covering genres such as American roots, folk and electronic music—keep evenings festive. On select nights, enjoy local wine and craft beer pours, face painting for the kids, holiday karaoke and a free photo booth.

out for the occasion. Various dates and  times; #1 Old Fishermans Wharf, Monterey;  montereywharf.com/events.html.

Ocean views and hot cocoa Take a trip to scenic Monterey and revel in a variety of events throughout December. On Dec. 6, the fourth annual Christmas on the Wharf begins with a Santa meet-and-greet, the crowning of the holiday princess and free cookies, cocoa, coffee and cider at the Wharf Tent to warm up attendees. A Lighted Boat Parade on Dec. 8 is another celebration to see with a showcase of Monterey Yacht Club’s most festive vessels all decked

Dress the part

and gingerbread house during Nevada City's competition, a community Victorian Christmas. bonfire, live music and all the delicious fried fair foods to top off that turkey dinner. The Fairgrounds Foundation will also serve up holidaythemed cocktails for those 21 and over. Cheers! Various dates and times; 11228  McCourtney Road, Grass Valley. $5 for  adults, children 12 and under are free;  nevadacountyfair.com/  country-christmas-faire. 

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Hitting hometown haunts

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parades and long-forgotten firefighting crews still adorn its dark wooden booths. In short, it’s the same Sam's Hof Brau it’s always been. On any given day, it’s not uncommon to hear someone at the bar bragging about having been a regular for 48 years. Another reason Sam's Hof Brau is a holiday tradition is that the food is still as comforting as logs crackling in a fireplace. It’s always been known for nicely flavored sausages and the tender, slightly salty perfection of its pastrami. Better yet, all the meats its white-jacketed cooks carve up can be paired with an awesomely authentic creamy horseradish that opens the skull up in all the best ways. Families with Prussian or Eastern European roots also appreciate traditional staples such as potato pancakes. One person planning to come back for a holiday lunch at Sam's Hof Brau is Kathy Fellure, who grew

After 60 years in Sacramento, Sam's Hof Brau is a go-to spot for those returning home for the holidays

or some who grew up in Sacramento, those weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are the best time to return to the place that raised them. And for the prodigal sons and daughters making a quick stop, it’s not always about gathering around decorated trees and festive tables; it can also be a chance to revisit places connected to glowing memories. This is especially true of a handful of bars and restaurants that have somehow escaped “progress.” One such place is Sam’s Hof Brau on Watt Avenue, which has been part of Sacramento’s fabric for six decades. As with all holiday seasons, the old stalwart is about to see a lot of faces from the past dropping in to relive the past. Sam’s Hof Brau was founded in 1959 by Sam Gordon, who determined to combine old European food traditions with a relaxed California atmosphere. The place was a big hit. The number of birthdays, anniversaries and family reunions celebrated between its walls is literally countless. For several years, Sam's Hof Brau was owned outside the Gordon family. Yet when the landmark eatery ran into financial trouble in 2017, Sam’s grandson and great-grandson reclaimed ownership. That came as a relief to prideful Sacramantans—and guaranteed Sam’s would remain a gathering spot for holiday nostalgia-seekers. Why do those trekking back feel so strongly about having a bite at Sam's Hof Brau? It’s partly because all the upgrades and renovations over the years have not changed its unmistakable ambiance. Diners are still greeted by the large Bavarian oak shields hanging on faded brick walls. They can still see massive murals of Western saloons and railroad scenes hanging above the Austrian accents of its crimson wallpaper. Antique photographs of Sacramento

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The holiday melting pot Celebrate the season with other cultures

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n Japan, Kentucky Fried Chicken is a popular Christmas dish. In the Czech Republic, it’s the devil who gifts naughty kids a lump of coal. In Haiti, children fill their shoes with straw, praying that Tonton Nwèl (Haitain for “Santa Claus”) will drop off presents. While some holiday traditions from around the world remain the same—the church masses, decorated trees and carols—every culture has its own twist. If you’re looking to experience some of them, here are a few in Sacramento:

Go to church: Simbáng Gabi

up in Fair Oaks but now lives an hour away in Ione. She’s planning to meet her sister, Shawne Boyd, at an annual Christmas craft fair in the neighborhood and then go to the restaurant together for some reminiscing. “My favorite memory is of our large family going there together, because it was always very family friendly,” Boyd recalled. When she was a teenager, she’d shop next door at Tower Records before going in for a bowl of Sam’s signature pickles. Fellure’s main memory of the place is slightly different. “I would go there and have dinner alone with my dad after we’d both get off work on the weekends,” Fellure said. “Later, when my husband was in the Air Force and we were stationed in England for three years, it was the first place I went to eat at when we got back to Sacramento. So knowing I’ll be going there again with my sister, I’m really excited.” Ω

Midnight masses are common in Catholic churches. In the Filipino tradition, “Simbáng Gabi” is a nine-day version. The rituals include singing the “Gloria,” a hymn retelling the birth of Christ. Back at home, elders give money to family or community members as a blessing, and houses are adorned with star-shaped lanterns. Dec. 16-24; Saint Maria Goretti Catholic Church, 8700 Bradshaw Road, Elk Grove; smgcc.net.

Run for cover: Serbian Christmas

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is a merger between Serbia and the Old West: In Yugoslavia, a shot into the sky on midnight of Christmas Eve signals the birth of Christ. Like other Orthodox Christians, Serbians follow the Julian calendar, so Christmas falls in January.Tuesday, Jan. 7; Saint Sava Jackson, 724 Main St.; saintsavajackson.org.

Support artists: Native American arts and crafts The Sacramento region is host to dozens of tribal communities, including the Jackson Rancheria Miwuk and Wilton Rancheria Miwok. A decades-long tradition hosted by the California State Indian Museum is its Native Arts and Crafts Holiday Fair that offers authentic artwork, soapstones, flutes, ornaments, books and more.Friday, Nov. 29; 10am-4:30pm; $3-$10 admission; California State Indian Museum; 2618 K St.

See a show: An Irish Christmas The annual concert returns to the Harris Center in Folsom with step-dancing, Celtic songs— complete with fiddles, bagpipes and bodhran—and Christmas carols from the Kerry Traditional Orchestra. It’s a journey all the way to Ireland, but close to home. 2pm,

The neighbors—and even local 7pm Saturday Nov. 30; 2pm Sunday, police—get a kick out of how Dec. 1; $25-$55 admission; Harris visitors react. In the middle of Center for the Arts, 10 College the day, a dozen trucks and SUVs Pkwy, Folsom; harriscenter.net. Ω will parade down Main Street in Jackson, its passengers firing their guns at the sky. Some newcomers actually hide “Home for the holidays” inside stores. The tradition continued on page 22


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A time for giving

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Some Sacramento-area charities and nonprofits in need

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he Sacramento region has a well-deserved reputation for grassroots generosity. The annual Big Day of Giving hit another record in May— nearly $8.4 million for 600 nonprofits from more than 23,000 donors. The holidays are a season for giving. So with a helping hand from the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, which runs Big Day of Giving, here are some lesser-known, but high-impact, charities and nonprofits that could use your help: Center for Land-Based Learning: Educates and cultivates future generations of farmers, agricultural leaders and natural resource stewards. Community Against Sexual Harm: Assists women who have been commercially sexually exploited with survivorled peer support.

Society For The Blind: Empowers individuals with low vision or blindness to develop their full potential. Stanford Youth Solutions: Promotes change for young people and their families by empowering them to solve serious challenges together.

Girls on the Run of Greater Sacramento: Inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a curriculum that integrates running.

Women’s Empowerment: Educates and empowers homeless women to get a job, create a healthy lifestyle and regain a home.

Performing Animal Welfare Society: Protects performing animals; provides sanctuary to abused, abandoned and retired animals; and enforces standards of care.

Where to help Some places that can benefit from extra hands and holiday cheer

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ant to lend a helping hand to those in need, but not sure where to start? There are plenty of opportunities to give back to the community this holiday season. Here are just a few places that can benefit from some extra help and holiday cheer. Loaves and Fishes: The long-established resource center for homeless folks faces plenty of challenges as the holidays approach and cold weather returns. You can sign up to help serve food for their big Thanksgiving meal on the Nov. 26, or donate items listed on their website. 1352 North C St., (916) 446-0874, 

sacloaves.org.

River City Food Bank: For more than 50 years, River City Food Bank has provided

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River City Food Bank: Provides healthy emergency food and other assistance as Sacramento’s oldest food bank.

Yisrael Family Farm: Uses urban agriculture to empower, engage and employ neighborhoods. Ω

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emergency food and other services to struggling families and individuals. As a volunteer, you can assist with food distribution, community education and other tasks needed to keep the bank up and running. 1800 28th St., (916) 446-2627,  rivercityfoodbank.org.

Sacramento LGBT Center: If your Thanksgiving Day is open, you can cook a dish to share at the LGBT Center’s annual Friendsgiving celebration. The holidays aren’t always easy, but Friendsgiving is a great chance for LGBTQ folks and allies to come together to celebrate community and found family. 2012 K St., (916) 442-0185, saccenter.org. WEAVE, Inc.: The nonprofit dedicated to helping survivors of sexual assault, sex trafficking and intimate partner violence is always looking for help from the community. Its Holiday Shop opens Dec. 2, so take a look at the wish list and consider donating new, unwrapped gifts for kids, teens and adults in need. 1900 K St.,   (916) 448-2321, weaveinc.org. Ω


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Terrie Kerth keeps her family’s Iceland tradition alive on Del Paso Boulevard. Anne StokeS

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Beloved skating rink rebounds from arson fire By Allen Pierleoni

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errie Kerth walked a visitor out the back door of Iceland Ice Skating Rink and pointed to a white, two-story wood house. It was built by her father and grandfather.

“That’s where we lived when we were kids,” she said, “but my three brothers and two sisters and I grew up at Iceland.” Terrie Kerth is the granddaughter of engineer-inventor William Kerth, Sr., who conceived the ice skating rink, consulted with noted Sacramento architect Charles Dean (who also designed the Sacramento War Memorial Auditorium) to build the rink and opened it in 1940. Terri Kerth is now its executive director.

Come discover the Del Paso Boulevard


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b o u l e va r d When it opened, Iceland was an immediate success, regularly filled with hundreds of skaters. It hosted ice skating clubs, hockey teams, birthday parties, weddings and hundreds of ice shows, which became its lifeblood. Hundreds of couples met there and later married, including Terrie Kerth’s parents. Iceland was once the heart of Del Paso Boulevard. Though thousands of skaters called Iceland their second home, North Sacramento went through a decline beginning in the 1960s. Businesses closed as the crime rate rose, and Iceland suffered. The rink held its last ice show in 1975, and was sold in 1977. Four years later, the buyer – discouraged by the lack of business – returned the rink to the Kerth family. Soon after, longtime Iceland skater Chris Lord arranged to become manager of the rink. But it was veteran ice show skater John Johnson’s “Magic To Do” spectacular – the first show in six years – that helped spark the rink’s revival. Conjoined to that was the retail renaissance beginning along Del Paso Boulevard. Then, tragedy. On March 28, 2010, a five-alarm arson fire destroyed the 70-year-old wood building, which was not insured against fire loss. In the end, there wasn’t much left but generations of memories – which proved enough to raise a version of Iceland literally from the ashes. “The fire blew off the new roof and everything burned,” Kerth recalled. “The only things left were the marquee out front and the metal pipes under the ice. The equipment used to freeze the ice was protected inside the American Ice Company next door. So we had the ability to make the ice; we just didn’t have an ice rink anymore.” Because the official post-fire cleanup bid was $27,000, the Kerths went to the media, asking for volunteers. She hoped maybe 50 people might show up on that rainy weekend. Instead, 253 arrived, ready to work. “The family said, ‘With this much support, we ought to be able to do this,’”

she noted. Still, the obstacle was huge. “My brother Rob and I kept saying to one another, ‘What would Dad have wanted us to do?’ And we decided he would have wanted us to at least get it open again,” Kerth said. For the next 10 months, “hundreds of people showed up every weekend and most weeknights. Finally, we were ready to open as an open-air rink.” That patched-together facility was much more rudimentary than it is today. “Every year, we’ve added improvements,” Kerth said. “It took a lot of hard work and donations to get it up and running.” Iceland drew 20,000 skaters during its 2018 season (Oct 31-Feb. 17). “It would have been more, but we get rained out and winded out,” Kerth said. “All the worst things about an ice rink live right here, yet still the people come.” Happily, an Iceland renaissance is coming, thanks to $1.3 million in funding from the City of Sacramento to restore the property – including replacing the roof, which will return it to year-round indoor status. An additional $300,000 will be needed to finish the venture, expected to come from a fundraising campaign. Groundbreaking is scheduled for March 2020, with completion by November – just in time for the rink’s 80th anniversary. “We know how to run a first-class ice rink, which is what we’ll have when we’re done,” Kerth said. “It will be much easier than running this one.”

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Iceland SkatIng RInk 1430 Del Paso Blvd.; 916-925-3121. The rink is open through Feb. 17. Information: www.skatesacramento.com. Take 30 minutes to watch the award-winning 2011 KVIE Iceland documentary, “Frozen In Time.” Iceland Ice Skating Rink will host its Annual Holiday Show three times this season, starting at 7 p.m. The dates are Dec. 21, Dec. 28 and Jan. 4. Purchase tickets at 916925-3121 or at the door.

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hen you get a piece of tool steel spinning at 250 mph, it can do some serious damage. When you attach that metal to a remote-controlled robot, that’s danger on wheels. And if you put that robot in a sealed ring and pit it against other combat robots, that’s pure entertainment. Last weekend, Sacramento State University’s Competitive Robotics Club held its fall Hornet Robot Combat Tourney— where 1-pound robots fought to the bitter end. The club has been around since 2002, when robot-fighter Graham Ryland came to Susan Holl, a professor of mechanical engineering at Sac State. “He was just super motivated,” Holl said. “He just said, ‘We’ve got to have a robot club.’” So in 2002, they founded a robot club amid the sport’s biggest craze—and they weren’t the only ones in the market. Two years later, in San Mateo, the largest event in competitive robotics took shape: RoboGames, initially known as the ROBOlympics. For 15 years, RoboGames was the one-stop competition for all things robotic. The contest attracted enthusiasts the world over, and was one of the few places that 250-pound robots could fight. But that all changed this year. The organizers announced that the games were canceled and the world of competitive robotics was thrown into uncertainty. “RoboGames was like the Olympics,” said Tony Osladil, adviser for the Sierra College Robotics Club. “What would baseball do if the World Series went away?” That’s the question: Without RoboGames, who will keep the fight alive?

Julien Mott, 13, of Burlingame, Calif., prepares his robot, fiber Blade v2, for combat on saturday Nov. 16 at sac state.

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Photo by Nicole Fowler

A Sacramento tradition Robot fights took off in popularity in the 2000s, thanks primarily to the TV shows Robot Wars and BattleBots. Robots fight to the dramatic death, trading blows with saws, flamethrowers and those spinning metal bars—called drum spinners—but it’s not only about weapons. “The television show is just the hook to get kids into math, science and technology,” said BattleBots co-founder Ed Roski. “For better or for worse, it’s interesting.” Sacramento sent its share of competitors to the shows, including a quarter-ton, bowling-themed robot called Kingpin, crafted by Sacramento resident Kevin Hjelden in the BattleBots’ 2019 season. “The 250-pound robots you see on TV are big,” Hjelden explained. “When they hit each other, you can’t imagine the amount of force involved in that.” Hjelden remembers seeing BattleBots after South Park on Comedy Central, and was really starting to get into it when the show was canceled in 2002. But Hjelden’s passion for robotics had just begun. He bought a robot kit and put it together. He went to his first robot combat tournament that year—held at Sacramento State, which he was attending at the time. The contest was a mixed bag for him. “I did awful,” Hjelden recalled. “I lost every fight.” But that didn’t discourage him. He went on to compete in BattleBots, and he also attended nearly every year of RoboGames. There wasn’t enough going on locally, though. “There wasn’t really anywhere to fight,” Hjelden said. “So we built an arena.” That arena opened at Rocklin’s annual Mini Maker Faire, held in October at Sierra College. It has welcomed competitors for the last four years—and it’s just one example of the combat robotics community trying to regroup from the loss of RoboGames.


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Tiny robots duke it out

“RoboGames was like

the Olympics. What would baseball do if the World Series went away?” Tony osladil Sierra College Robotics Club adviser

From no-bot to pro-bot

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advise Sierra College’s Competitive Robotics Club. He was trying to get the club off the ground and grappling with how to build robots when a surprising resource dropped into his lap. “I had a student in one of my classes who had some experience with that,” Osladil said. “Ray Billings.” If you follow BattleBots, your jaw just dropped. Sac State freshman “I needed to learn how to really be competitive, Ikaika Griffith makes final touches to and one of the best robot combat builders in the his robot before world showed up in my classroom,” Osladil said. competing in the Robot Billings is the creator of Tombstone, the Rumble match on Nov. tombstone-shaped robot that’s consistently seeded 16 at Sac State. No. 1 in competitions and has dominated the show in recent years. He’s often portrayed as the show’s antagonist. “They think they need to have someone as the bad guy,” Billings said. “My robot and my team fall into that category: We’re clearly the most destructive robot there.” This “bad guy” has not-so-evil plans: To bring a competition featuring larger robots to the area. “Bigger than anything else in the area … 30 pounds, ideally,” Billings said. “A 30-pound combat robot, that can be serious.” It’s called Throwdown Robotics, and it’s in the works. The domain name has been purchased, the nonprofit has been organized—the gladiators are coming.

Leaving from his home in Livermore on Saturday morning, David Rush was on his way to Sacramento State, packing just one robot—weighing in at less than 1 pound for its weight class. The robot’s name: Meanie Mouse. The chassis depicts a frowning rodent, á la Disney, but with angry eyebrows and blood spatter. Rush, 30, has been a robot fight combatant since 2015, fighting solo as Team Widows Peak. “My first robot was from a kit, ready-to-use,” Rush recalled. “I’m one of those guys who’s got the bug for combat robotics.” Nowadays, he travels all over the state and the country—about 10 times a year—in search of contests to test his remote controlled bots. Always interested to see the newest tactics from other fighters, Rush found intrigue in fellow Bay Area competitor Brandon Kittredge, who also registered for the Sacramento tournament. “I have a slight rivalry with Brandon,” Rush said “Especially at Sac State, because the last time I fought him there, he beat me with ease. I underestimated him.” Meanie Mouse blew through the first round, taking out the Killer Rabbit, flipping it upside down and surgically dismantling one of the bunny’s dual saws. In the second round, the rodent kept up its mean streak and qualified for the grand finals—facing the robot Lobotomy, controlled by none other than Kittredge.

One incarnation of Meanie Mouse, David Rush’s antweight robot gladiator.

PhoTo CouRTeSy of DaviD RuSh

Over its 15-year run, RoboGames built a framework for collaboration between builders and engineers from all over the world. “A lot of the combat builders knew each other from RoboGames,” Osladil said. “And one of them called me for BattleBots.” He was recruited for Matt Maxham’s team, famous among BattleBots fans as the creator of robot Stinger: The Killer Bee. The bot was light for its weight class, so the team had about 9 pounds to spare. “They said, ‘Can you build me a small rotating flamethrower, 9 pounds or less?’” Osladil recalls. “I said, “Yes, I can do that.’” He and former student Jeff Gomez built an 8-pound, flame-throwing robot to tag-team with The Killer Bee. In a 2016 exhibition fight, the much larger Killer Bee zoomed around the BattleBots stadium, engaging opponents directly with its cowcatcher ramp while Osladil’s diminutive red flame-thrower bot stayed out of the fray and shot flames at giants. Osladil, an electrical engineer by training, only got into robotics after he volunteered to

PhoTo CouRTeSy of Daniel longmiRe, CoPyRighT 2019 BaTTleBoTS inC. all RighTS ReSeRveD

Rick Russ, left, and Ray Billings kneel before Tombstone, their destructive BattleBot.

The battle lasted almost two minutes, but in the end, one bot was tossed skyward in a final KO. Rush’s Meanie Mouse was the victor—his best fight of the day, Rush said. The future of combat robotics on the West Coast is unclear. While lots of folks are stepping up to host competitions, without RoboGames there’s not a space for heavyweight robots to go head-to-head. If someone wants to fill the void, it’ll take some serious work. “I think someone just needs to want to do it,” Hjelden said. “And someone who is willing to lose some money—someone who is passionate about robots.” Ω

To learn more about Sac State’s Competitive Robotics, go to athena.ecs.csus. edu/~comprobo. To see a global calendar of robo fights, visit robotcombatevents.com.

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by Rachel Mayfield

11/21 • 7:30 PM Monty Python and the holy grail 11/25 • 6:30 PM the little MerMaid 11/26 • 7:30 PM the fifth eleMent 11/27 • 7:00 PM the last Waltz 1013 K street downtown sacramento • (916) 476-3356 • crestsacramento.com

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Jen Kober has spoken: Samoas are the best Girl Scout cookie of all time.

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The way the cookie crumbles L.A.-based entertainer Jen Kober talks acting, stand-up and the power of Girl Scout cookies

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Jen Kober is flying high right now. Whether she’s acting for television or doing the trapeze in Cancún, the Louisiana-raised comedian is throwing herself into the ring whenever she gets the chance. Lately, that means auditioning and landing roles in shows such as Dead to Me and The Purge. “I like being a character actor,” she says. “I’m on six different TV shows right now, and all these parts are completely different. So it’s really fun to stretch myself like that.” Kober studied acting in college, and while there was always pressure to take the craft seriously, she also felt an urge to do stand-up comedy. “I was doing it on the side—like as a secret— because I had all these funny things to say,” she explains. “I was like, literally sneaking out of the dorm to get on the ‘L’ to go to the Funny

r a c h e lm@ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m

Farm—which is not even there anymore—in Chicago, to sign up for open-mics and, you know, tell jokes.” Kober first started doing stand-up at age 16. “I would lie about my age at bars in New Orleans,” she says. “I was 16 but I looked like I was 25. Nobody questioned it. I was talking like I was an adult.” On stage, Kober captures audiences with tall tales from her own life. One of her more legendary stories details an intense childhood experience with several boxes of Girl Scout cookies. The way she tells it, you’re instantly transported back to a time when Tagalongs, Lorna Doones, Thin Mints and Samoas reigned supreme. All four types were delicious. And all four types were systematically decimated by 10-year-old Kober. Since then, Girl Scout cookies have changed a lot. Names have been altered, packaging has been redesigned and new flavors have emerged. But have any of the newer cookies surpassed the Big Four in terms of deliciousness? “No. Samoas are still the best,” Kober says, resolutely. “There was one that was gluten-free, and I was like, ‘Wow.’” Kober was not impressed. “Whatever gluten does, it gives flavor to cookies. That was the most awful cookie I think I’ve ever had,” she says, laughing. “I’ve tried the other ones, and none of them stand up to the original four. None of them. Not even close.” Kober went on to make a passionate case for Samoas and their close competitor, Thin Mints. “No one can make a Samoa. No one’s at home making Samoa’s. Nobody’s at home making Thin Mints. You can’t do it! You can make a shortbread, you can make a peanut butter cookie—you’re not making a Samoa or a Thin Mint, it’s not happening. Those are such quintessential flavors of childhood for me, really. I don’t think anything could ever really top it.” Looking to the future, Kober is excited. She has roles in a couple upcoming shows, including RuPaul’s new sitcom, AJ and the Queen. On the whole, she has big dreams for her career. “I would like to have my own sitcom from a character that I create, and you know have it run for 10 years, that would be a lovely thing. Or you know, a nice major screenplay where some big, beautiful butch girl is the lead. I would love that.” Ω

see Jen Kober 7pm, saturday, nov. 23 at sofia tsakopoulos center for the arts. tickets are $30. 2700 capitol ave.; (916) 443-5300; bstreettheatre.org.


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Truly Authentic Thai – The Freshest

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with $40 Purchase Expires 12/31/19

& Finest Ingredients

Back in the U.S.A. After three years away, Maná returns with a new tour and music

Follow us @thaiatsac

by Norma Huerta

4701 H ST. EAST SAC | THAIATSAC.COM | 916-942-9008 Sun-THu: 11AM-9.30PM | FrI-SAT: 11AM-11PM

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was awarded the “Person of the Year” award at the 2018 Latin Grammy awards. “Different colleagues, musicians and singers came out on stage and did different versions of Maná songs and we really liked this idea,” González said. Instead of just copying the arrangements those artists performed on stage, the band decided to record the songs their own way, but with the input of the featured musicians. This might as well jump: maná finally returns to the u.S. stage. spring, they released a new version of “Rayando el Sol” with Spanish singer Pablo Alborán. This month, a new version of their 1995 hit, “No Ha Parado The screaming of the crowd and the adrenaline de Llover,” was released with Colombian singer that kicks in as they’re ready to walk on stage— Sebastián Yatra. these are just a few things that keep the members Maná hasn’t had a new album since 2015’s of Maná excited about playing live. Cama Incendiada and the band is eager to get back On Nov. 27, Maná, one of the most influential in the studio, with hopes for a 2021 release. Spanish rock bands, will take the stage at the “I know a lot of fans are anxious to know if Golden 1 Center. The Rayando El Sol Tour, which we’re going to get into the studio and do a new takes its name from the band’s 1989 breakout hit album,” González said. song of the same name, is its first American tour in Fans remain the band’s main priority three years. and it puts a lot of thought into Formed in the late 1980s in making sure each performance is Guadalajara, Mexico, the band a great experience. Two ways consists of lead singer Fher If it hadn’t they’ve done that, González Olvera, drummer Alex said, is by trying to keep González, guitarist Sergio been for the ticket prices affordable and Vallín and bassist Juan by designing a show that success of “Rayando Calleros. Over the years, lets fans get closer to the they’ve become one of el Sol,” the members action with three stages. the highest-grossing Latin “Anywhere you sit in of Maná would have acts in the world, but if it the arena, you can see, or hadn’t been for the success walked away from you can hear perfectly,” of “Rayando el Sol,” the González said. music. members of the group would Despite its 30-plus years have walked away from music in the spotlight, González says altogether. the band remains humbled by their “We were on the verge of breaking success and growing popularity. up, and that song, … basically saved our career,” “It’s incredible when you see the different ages, González told SN&R. “We started getting more ethnic groups and races,” González says. “There’s job offers and playing a lot more, it just took on a people that are going to that concert for the first life of its own.” time, so it’s pretty mind-blowing for us.” Ω This tour marks the first time the band has Photo courtesy of Maná

Full Service Cleanup & removal of the following: • Crime Scenes • Unattended Deaths • Hypodermic Needles • Hoarders • …& More

toured without a new album. Instead, they’re playing in support of a special collaboration in which the group is revisiting some of its biggest hits with different artists and releasing them as singles. González says the idea came after the band 32

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normah@newsreview.com

catch Maná at the Golden 1 center, 500 David J. stern Walk, 8 p.m. nov. 27, $35-$250. for more information: golden1center.com.


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now playing

Reviews

Photo courtesy of stePhanie sierra

Beggars can be choosers by Bev SykeS

Photo courtesy of Justin han

crimes. Fortunately for MacHeath, his best friend is Tiger Brown, the police chief of London. The three acts follow the hunt for MacHeath, his capture, escapes and recapture. Threepenny asks, “How does our society treat people not on our social level? Do we have empathy for beggars, whores and prostitutes?” Though nearly 100 years old, the questions are still appropriate today. Ω

3 Night at the opera

Ropes and cages are no match for London’s most notorious criminal.

The Threepenny Opera

4

thu 7pm, fri 7pm, sat 2pm & 7pm; through 11/23; $12-$18.50; Wright hall at uc Davis, 1 shields ave., Davis, (530) 752-2471, arts.ucdavis.edu/ theatre-and-dance.

The Threepenny Opera was written in 1923 by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, and was based on John Gay’s Beggar’s Opera (1728). Now it’s being produced on the main stage at UC Davis, directed by Peter Lichtenfels and Regina Maria Gutierrez Bermudez. Even though “opera” is in the title, there is a debate about whether the show is opera or musical theater. Mostly it’s musical theater, with bits of opera. While most musical numbers are unknown, the song “Mack the Knife” became a popular standard and a number one hit for Bobby Darin. The directors and scenic designer Ian Wallace have chosen to present this on a full stage, where the actual play unfolds in the middle and the two sides of the stage show off set pieces, costumes and actors relaxing as they wait to go on—all visible to the audience. “We are interested in looking at how the actors don’t enter the stage as characters, but transform on-stage into characters,” Lichtenfels explains. MacHeath, London’s most notorious criminal, marries Polly Peachum against the wishes of her father, controller of all beggars in London. Peachum’s father vows to hunt MacHeath down, have him arrested and then executed for his many 34

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A Comedy of Tenors, Sutter Street Theatre’s latest entry in its Off-Broadway series, transplants audiences directly into the French opera scene of the 1930s. Following the events of playwright Ken Ludwig’s Lend Me a Tenor, this self-contained sequel follows in the comedic footsteps of its predecessor, centering around the kooky capers of famous Italian tenor Tito Merelli and a cast of regulars. Much of the dramatic tension surrounds producer Henry Saunders (Rich Kirlin), whose desperate attempts to produce an opera in Paris are constantly thwarted by miscommunication and misunderstandings. Tito (Mike Jimena), who becomes embroiled in a hot pot of family drama, quits at the most inopportune moment, leaving Saunders high and dry. Miraculously, Saunders discovers a hotel bellhop with the same likeness and voice as Tito (also played by Jimena). Out of desperation, Saunders goads the Tito look-alike into performing as the Italian superstar. Naturally, plenty of confusion ensues between Tito’s family and the bellhop doppelganger. While the cast has fun with Ludwig’s script, some attempts at accents fall short, causing stilted delivery that weighs down what should feel like a fast and snappy screwball comedy. Additionally, Tenors suffers from lackluster writing. We’re never given a very good reason for why the bellhop goes along with Saunder’s plot and lies to Tito’s family about his identity. As a result, the comedic premise falls short, relying too much on audiences to suspend their disbelief. —Rachel Mayfield a comedy of tenors: fri 8pm, sat 8pm, sun 4pm; through 12/1; $15$24; sutter street theatre, 717 sutter st., folsom.; (916) 353-1001; sutterstreettheatre.com.

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fair

GooD

WeLL-Done

suBLiMe Don’t Miss

stage pick Imagine if Picasso and einstein talked to each other, while drinking.

La vie en lapin You might never have imagined Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein hanging out in a bar together, but Steve Martin definitely did. American River College is putting on a production of the comedian’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile, a play that imagines a fictional meeting between two of the 20th century’s biggest influencers in one of France’s most famous cabarets. As expected, the two set out to debate the merits of genius and talent. How does it turn out? Sources say there’s lots of talking, lots of drinking and plenty of Martin-esque antics. Fri, 11/22, 8pm; Sat, 11/23, 8pm; Sun, 11/24, 2pm; Through 12/8; $12-$15; American River College, 4700 College Oak Dr.; (916) 484-8234; arctheatre.org

—Rachel Mayfield

scReen pick This is real history, nothing funny about that.

The sword in the scone Learn the very real and true story of King Arthur in the beloved film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It’s common knowledge that King Arthur not only went on a divine quest to retrieve a shiny cup, but he also debated Frenchmen on the amount of weight swallows could carry. History will always remember him as a hero and a legend, and if you think this movie is actually a comedy, you’re dead wrong. Now’s your chance to see this incredible documentary on the big screen. Thu, 11/21, 7:30pm; Through 11/21; $10; The Crest Theatre, 1013 K St.; (916) 476-3356; crestsacramento.com.

—Rachel Mayfield


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gift

guide

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13385 folsom Blvd. ste. 400, folsom | 916-294-0048 www.supcaliforNia.com for the traveler, adventurer or outdoor enthusiast, an inflatable stand up paddle (sup) board will bring joy all year round. the Fanatic Premium Touring Board (pictured here) ($999) and Diamond Touring ($799) roll up to the size of a duffle bag and weigh as little as 18 pounds. other sup packages start at $599. No room under the tree? we will store your gift til you’re ready!


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than an independent business, but the free Wi-Fi and the cashless option (the machines accept credit and debit cards) make it a convenient spot for people with no life/work balance. Kidding. If you want to eat, the ever-delicious Tres Hermanas is right across the street, the underrated Golden Bear is up the street a little and Midtown’s Cantina Alley is right around the corner. 2431 K St.; lovelaundry.com.

It’s a wash

illustration by sarah hansel

Lunch and laundry

“FREE DRYING!” That’s what the sign says outside Sudz Yer Dudz. The washing machines are a little pricey, but the dryers are free. So … it’s a wash. Both The 33rd Street Bistro (always a good choice) and Cafe Capricho, the Mexican spot with the Italian-sounding name, are right across the street. Coffee Works is next door, and if you’re feeling salty, there’s a KFC at Folsom and Alhambra boulevards. Besides, walking to the KFC and back will make you feel better about eating that entire three-piece combo. 3424 Folsom Blvd.

Find a lost sock

Launderland is a great space. Not just because they have a collection of lost socks, not even because they have an Imagine the weekly chore as more of a food adventure excellent micro library in the “need a book take a book, have a book, leave by Ngaio Bealum a sk 420@ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m a book” style. Not because they run a program to help the unhoused wash their clothes, and not because their attendants are hella friendly. The space is great because right next door is and waffles. There’s also a Hawaiian stolen, but it does happen. However, if Laundry day. People hate it. But why? Sampino’s, which makes the best roast barbecue spot, a new Brazilian place someone is willing to steal your sopping Laundry should be fun! beef sandwich in Sacramento. Argue and El Bramido is right across the wet unmentionables, they probably need Don’t look at it as a chore, look at it with your laundry date about it. street if you want a really good them more than you do. Without further as an excuse to live it up a little. Why sit Also: Taqueria Jalisco, a burrito or an excellent ado, here are some recommendations for at home all day doing one load at a time? walk-up Mexican eatery, Michelada and some an excellent lunch and laundry adventure. Haul your filthy garments down to the is a few blocks away, nachos. There’s even a local laundromat and bang it all out in like There are along with what may Baskin-Robbins. What two hours. Explore new neighborhoods, be the last H. Salt plenty of reliable Neighborhood noshes more could you ask make new friends and clean your attitude Fish & Chips in the for? Want to wander as well as your clothes. laundromats that Lola’s Laundry on Northgate Boulevard state. Its tartar sauce around? Check out It’s also an excuse to grab a good meal. is one of my favorite spots. It has giant are next to solid comes right out of the Shan Market (Indian Heck, you could even ask someone out on washing machines and incredibly effipacket, but the fish is lunch spots. food and halal meats). a laundry date. Like they say: You don’t cient dryers, but the real reason to visit expertly fried and the 2369 Northgate Blvd.; truly know anyone until you’ve seen their is that Lola’s is smack dab in the middle prices are great. But the lolaslaundromat.com. dirty clothes. OK, they don’t really say that of one of the coolest shopping centers micro library and trying to but maybe they should. There are plenty in Sacramento. Throw your clothes in find that lost sock should give of reliable laundromats that are next to the washing machine and now you have you something to do while you wait for K Street suds solid lunch spots. Quick tip: It’s generally about an hour. Hungry? your clothes to dry. 1603 F St. Ω best to wander off while your clothes are La Flor De Michoacan makes the best Part of the Love Laundry chain empire, washing and to linger around when they this location right in the heart of pupusas in town. Kiki’s Chicken Place are drying. I have never had my clothes Midtown may be a little more expensive is right next door if you like chicken 38

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IllustratIon by Mark stIvers

Did someone say

fried chicken?(and bahn mi, and ramen)

Join us everyday for our multi-Asian inspired menu, and reserve for our Chef’s Counter and Kaiseki dining experiences.

Sugar, spice and everything fall

4801 Folsom Blvd | Sacramento | 916.400.3075 | origamiasiangrill.com

by Destinee Lang

Cinnamon and nutmeg are classic ingredients in some of the best fall desserts. As the weather changes, so do our taste buds. We begin to crave all of those delicious seasonal treats such as pumpkin, walnut, apple and even candy corn. If you’re ready to welcome fall desserts, here are four local places that will be sure to keep your fall sweet tooth satisfied. First is a small shop located inside a 76 gas station in Land Park: Spinners Cinnamon Rolls. It offers warm and freshly baked goodies that are made daily starting at 3 a.m., according to owner Larry Taing. One tasty pastry on its menu is the Walnut Cinnamon Roll ($3.65). The crunchy texture of walnuts perfectly complements the warm cream cheese glaze drizzled on top of this fluffy roll. Frequent customer Sam Kuykendall says Spinners has the best cinnamon rolls in Sacramento. “I used to come here five days a week because that’s how good they are,” Kuykendall says. Ever had a frozen candy corn

cheesecake sandwich before? No? Well, consider this your lucky day. Located in Midtown is a small pop-up stand: Creamy’s by Cayla Jordan. It serves up delicacies such as caramel pecan cheesecake bites and a flavor of the month, which during November happens to be apple. Its candy corn cheesecake sandwich simply melts in your mouth ($5). Frozen cream cheese with two sweet candy corn vanilla cookies to complete this delicious dessert. Although it’s November, some days it’s still warm. So how about a pumpkin pie milkshake to help beat the heat? At the Real Pie Company on 24th Street, employees let customers select a slice of pie and three scoops of their favorite ice cream for the ultimate treat ($9.24). The thickness of the milkshake feels as though you’re eating the slice of pie, but the ice cream perfectly balances out this concoction so you don’t feel overpowered by pumpkin. Although the price is a little steep, the taste is well worth it.

Fall desserts can sometimes be difficult to enjoy if you have dietary restrictions such as gluten allergies. That’s why Pushkin’s Bakery is the helpful alternative since it offers gluten- and dairy-free items. Owner Olga Turner says she understands how much of a hassle it can be when you want something sweet, but also have dietary concerns. “I would try to find gluten-free recipes online, but they were all really bad,” Turner says. “So I finally pieced together my own recipe and with the help of my husband opened a bakery.” For fall, Pushkin’s features a variety of pumpkin desserts such as gluten-free pumpkin cupcakes ($3.79). This delicate cupcake was paired with lightweight frosting that had a smooth butter-like finish. Autumn only comes around once a year, so enjoy the fall leaves and don’t forget to try all of the comforting flavors displayed in cases in some of your favorite sweet shops. Ω

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All decked out Sacred Heart Holiday Home Tour shows off decorators by Debbie Arrington

Photo courtesy of sacred heart holiday home tour

“[The tour] gets everybody excited for the holidays,” said Reid, whose daughter Scarlett is a Sacred Heart fourth grader. “It gets you into the Christmas spirit, something to look forward to.” It’s also family tradition. Griff Reid, Christy’s husband, grew up in the Fabulous Forties. Although this is the first time their house is featured, the tour seems to always have been part of their holiday celebrations. Organizers keep adding more to the popular event. For the second year, a Griff and Christy Reid’s home will be among the Champagne and Bubbles bar will offer featured stops on the 2019 tour, which commemorates fizzy refreshments in the late afternoon at each house with a watercolor portrait. the school, which also hosts a boutique and vendors offering Sacramento-made products and treats. The boutique and bubbles bar are open free to the public. Turkey Day may be a week away, but it’s already Among Sacramento’s most picturesque looking a lot like Christmas in East Sacramento. neighborhoods, the Fabulous Forties is the biggest Volunteers are busily preparing for one of attraction on this tour. The big blue house featured in Sacramento’s biggest and most beloved holiday the hit movie Lady Bird was a previous tour stop. events—the Sacred Heart Holiday Home Tour. But a street doesn’t need a star turn to feel special “East Sacramento comes together and you have this feeling of community,” said Christy Reid, whose during this event. Each block has its own magical moments. home will be featured this year. “It’s why I love “Every year during the tour, it’s sort of like a living here, that feeling of community.” movie in our neighborhood,” Reid said. “Everybody Now in its 46th year, this three-day tour attracts is going from house to house. Everybody is happy, more than 5,000 patrons, who stroll through the looking at all the decorations. And it’s good for the Fabulous Forties to see houses decked out in their school, too.” Ω Christmas best. From Dec. 6 through 8, five distinctive homes will be showcased, each with an individual theme ranging from “Coastal Christmas” to “More the Merrier.” Reid’s house definitely will be in the “more” category. “I usually go all out at Christmas with three trees; we’ll use a lot of my decorations,” said Reid. “For the tour, decorators are coming in. I can’t wait to see what they come up with.” Located on 44th Street, her home will be professionally decorated by Aimee Hernandez. Other designers this year include Lori Brazier, Don Sherwood, Ricki Stevens and Rebecca Ward. Not that it’s easy being a tour stop host. “A lot of people won’t do it because it is a lot of work,” Reid said. “But it’s worth it.” Tickets ($30) are now available online and through some East Sacramento businesses. Proceeds go toward scholarships for students to attend Sacred Heart Parish School, as well as school programs. 40

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evenT DeTAils 46th annual sacred Heart Holiday Home Tour Noon-8 p.m. Dec. 6, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Dec. 7 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 8. Tickets: $30, available in advance at sacredhearthometour.com. On tour days, tickets will be available at Sacred Heart parish School and the first home on the tour, 1370 46th St. Boutique, vendors and refreshments available during tour hours at Sacred Heart parish School, 856 39th St.

debbie arrington, an award-winning garden writer and lifelong gardener, is co-creator of the sacramento digs Gardening blog and website.


for the week of november 21

by maxfield morris

POST EVENTS ONLINE FOR FREE AT newsreview.com/sacramento

MUSIC THURSDAY, 11/21 EDDIE SPAGHETTI & JD PINKUS: Supersuckers’ Eddie Spaghetti and Butthole Surfers’ JD Pinkus combine to form an evening of music. 7:30pm, $15. Goldfield Trading Post, 1630 J St.

JIGO: Rich Driver’s jazzy group will perform under the ever-present mantra, “jazz influenced, groove oriented.” 8pm, no cover. Fox & Goose, 1001 R St.

SHARRY MANN: The Indian playback singer

Mountain Mandarin Festival Gold Country FairGrounds, 11am, $5-$18 If you’ve got a need for mandarin oranges that puts the typical consumer to shame, your presence is requested FESTIVALS at the Mountain Mandarin Festival. There, the area’s citrus varietal will be lauded and consumed with abandon in a number of activities and contests. You can submit a dish featuring mandarin oranges, meet the newly crowned best mandarin

TICKET WINDOW TOO SHORT The classic rapper from Los Angeles will be performing with Webster the Kat and Mahtie Bush. 12/28, 8pm, $29.50-$35, on sale now. Ace of Spades, concerts.livenation.com.

BLACKALICIOUS The hip-hop duo is

celebrating the 20th anniversary of the release of their album Nia. Catch their performance as well as performances from special guests. 1/4, 10pm, $25-$30, on sale now. Harlows, showclix.com.

PHORA The Anaheim rapper started his

own label in 2011—he’s 25 now and out for performances with Warner Bros. Record label. 2/9, 8pm, $30, on sale now. Ace of Spades, concerts.livenation.com.

grower in the county and consume food that features the tangy-sweet citrus—including a wood-fired mandarin pizza, mandaringlazed kettle corn and mandarin funnel cakes. There are plenty of samples, plus 5K and 10K fun runs on Sunday and way more mandarin-themed fun at this one-of-a-kind mandarin enthusiast gathering. 209 Fairgate Road, Auburn, mandarinfestival.com.

You want ‘em? You buy ‘em.

PHOTO COURTESY OF KURT BERTILSON

2GH 2 THROU 24

The easy-to-peel oranges have been growing on Placer County trees for months—their time has come.

will be in town—which means he sings songs that movie actors pretend to sing on screen. 7pm, $30. Ace of Spades, 1417 R St.

FRIDAY, 11/22 BAND OF COYOTES: Catch the ’Yotes with other performances from Brotherly Mud and Sam Chase. 8:30pm, $10. Old Ironsides, 1901 10th St.

ERIC CHURCH: Eric Church is giving a show in our city. The country star is touring across North America this year in support of his newest studio album, Desperate Man, which was released in October 2018. 8pm, $15$998. Golden 1 Center, 547 L St.

THE FOUR ITALIAN TENORS: This salute to four great Italian tenors includes tributes to Enrico Caruso, Mario Lanza, Luciano Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli, with tenors performing the greatest tenor arias and songs of all time. 7:30pm, $19-$68. Harris Center, 10 College Pkwy, Folsom.

FORTUNATE YOUTH: The American Reggae Band is touring through town on their latest music and their best performances. 3:30pm, $20. Ace of Spades, 1417 R St.

HANS & THE HOT MESS: Hans Eberbach is a spectacular singer-songwriter with a punk heart and a soul voice. And he’s performing soon. 9pm, $5. Fox & Goose, 1001 R St.

LEAVING AUSTIN: Leaving Austin hails from Visalia and performs country music all their own. The name is taken from Austin Machado, band member. 7:30pm, $10. Goldfield Trading Post, 1630 J St.

Online listings will be considered for print. Print listings are edited for space and accuracy. Deadline for print listings is 5 p.m. Wednesday. Deadline for NightLife listings is midnight Sunday. Send photos and reference materials to Calendar editor Maxfield Morris at snrcalendar@newsreview.com.

NILE: The death metal band from Greenville, S.C., is Egyptian-inspired and will be loud. 7pm, $25. Holy Diver, 1517 21st St.

SLAUGHTER: The rock band named after guitarist Mark Slaughter and sharing its name with animal killing will be performing. 6:30pm, $27. Ace of Spades, 1417 R St.

WILLIE JONES: Keegan Alan joins Jones for some country fun at Goldfield. 7:30pm, $10. Goldfield Trading Post, 1630 J St.

SUNDAY, 11/24 BRUCE ROBISON: Kelly Willis is touring with Bruce Robison, Austin-based singersongwriter of the country variety. 7:30pm, $20. Goldfield Trading Post, 1630 J St.

JACOB SWEDLOW GROUP: Jacob Swedlow presents original and cutting-edge compositions and arrangements with the finest musicians from Sacramento and the Bay Area. 6:30pm, $15-$25. Midtown Vanguard Jazz Series at The Auditorium, 1425 24th St.

ORGŌNE: After two and a half years on the road, Orgone needed a break. They went to Joshua Tree to record their most recent album, shared with you here. 7pm, $15. Harlow’s, 2708 J St.

TUESDAY, 11/26 KATASTRO: The alternative rock band formed in Arizona is touring and one of their stops is Sacramento. 7pm, $13. Holy Diver, 1517 21st St.

WEDNESDAY, 11/27 BAD KARAOKE AT TWO RIVERS CIDER: The best karaoke performances come from the heart, are fueled by cider and heckled by friends—much like this one. 7pm, no cover. Two Rivers Cider, 4311 Attawa Ave.

MANÁ: The Mexican rock band is on its Rayando el Sol tour and need your assistance listening to their music with a careful ear in beautiful downtown Sacramento. 8pm, $35-$375. Golden 1 Center, 500 David J Stern Walk.

FESTIVALS

PRÓXIMA PARADA: The band from San Luis

CHER

Whether you know Cher from her earlier days or you’re obsessed with Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, it’s time to catch the legend on the Here We Go Again tour. 5/6, 7:30pm, $55.95-$350, on sale now. Golden 1 Center, ticketmaster.com.

HARRY STYLES The One Direction

member from the United Kingdom is coming to Sacramento next summer. Catch him then, and also on your DVR from last weekend’s Saturday Night Live.

Obispo brings a new album to your doorstep. Next stop, Sacramento! 7:30pm, $12. The Starlet Room, 2708 J St.

THANK YOU SCIENTIST: Progressive rock from Thank You Scientists along with art rock from Bent Knee and independent rock from Tea Club combine for modified rock. 7pm, $20. Holy Diver, 1517 21st St.

VIOLIN STUDIO RECITAL: Sac State’s violin majors present a recital of various classical music, with John Cozza on piano. 4pm, no cover. Sacramento State, 6000 J St.

8/27, 8pm, $35-$156, on sale 11/22 at 10am.

SATURDAY, 11/23

Golden 1 Center, ticketmaster.com.

THE ORIGINAL STORMCASTERS: They’re also known as the Stormcasters, and they used to be called the OGS. Now they’re playing Strikes Unlimited. 7pm, no cover. Strikes Unlimited, 5681 Lonetree Blvd., Rocklin.

Smolder, Harry. Smolder.

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

FRIDAY, 11/22 LEO’S HOLIDAY MARKET: Celebrate the holiday season while shopping for handmade gifts from local vendors, artists and crafters. 6pm, no cover with the donation of a children’s book. Sacramento Children’s Museum, 2701 Prospect Park Drive, Suite 120, Rancho Cordova.

MOUNTAIN MANDARIN FESTIVAL: Celebrate the mandarin orange season in Placer County with this festival, featured above. 11am, $5-$18. Gold Country Fairgrounds, 1273 High St., Auburn.

SACRAMENTO HARVEST FESTIVAL: The West coast’s largest indoor arts and crafts show

CALENDAR LISTINGS CONTINUED ON PAGE 42

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SEE MORE EVENTS AND SUBMIT YOUR OWN AT NEWSREvIEW.COM/SACRAMENTO/CALENDAR

FRIDAY, 11/22

Arthur comes to the Crest to live again, briefly. 7:30pm, $10. Crest Theatre, 1013 K St.

Rhett & Link memOrial auditOrium, 8pm, $30-$55

MONDAY, 11/25

CALENDAR LISTINGS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 41

tree at Front and K Streets followed by the first performance of the Macy’s Theatre of Lights. 5pm, no cover. Old Sacramento Waterfront, 1002 Front St.

FOOD & DRINK SATURDAY, 11/23 CROOKED LANE TOUR AND TASTING: This event supports Queen of Beer, Crooked Lane’s competition of beer, and offers beer tasting. 11am, $18. Crooked Lane, 536 Grass Valley Highway, Auburn.

SATURDAY, 11/23 2ND ANNUAL SACRAMENTO BLACK COLLEGE EXPO: Join Sacramento State for its 2nd Annual Sacramento Black College Expo. With top HBCUs and a variety of other colleges and universities in attendance, including Cal States, UCs and community colleges, there are plenty of answers and lots of opportunities. 9pm, no cover. California State University, 6000 J St.

BEIGNETS AND PO-BOY SANDWICHES FESTIVAL 2019: Get some authentic New Orleans foods, plus a mini parade/second line, live entertainment, family oriented activities, jump houses, vendors, exotic drinks and more. 10am, $5-$45. @the Grounds, 800 All America City Blvd., Roseville.

SOIL BORN FARMS AMERICAN RIVER RANCH FARMSTAND: Catch a Saturday at Soil Born Farms and taste and purchase fresh-fromthe-field produce, delicious baked goods and organic coffee. 8am, no cover. Soil Born Farms American River Ranch, 2140 Chase Drive, Rancho Cordova.

SUNDAY, 11/24 SACTOWN VEGAN THANKSGIVING BUFFET: Join Tower Brewery for a vegan buffet, with fried turky, fried chickun, beans, garlic mashed potatoes, squash and much more. 1:30pm, $26-$39. Tower Brewery, 1210 66th St., Suite B.

HOLIDAY SALE AT EFFIE YEAW NATURE CENTER: Join Effie Yeaw for a festive shopping experience where you’ll find unique gifts and enjoy some holiday cheer. They triple their normal inventory and invite local artisans for this annual event so that you can browse a variety of books, kids toys and science kits, winter apparel, ceramics, garden art and more—plus, there’s complimentary treats and beverages. 9pm, no cover. Effie Yeaw Nature Center, 2850 San Lorenzo Way, Carmichael.

TUESDAY, 11/26 RECORDS + VIDEO TRIVIA: Think you know music, movies, and TV? Prove it at Solomon’s trivia nights with quiz questions created by former Sac Bee critics. There are guest hosts and cool prizes. 7pm, no cover. Solomon’s Delicatessen, 730 K St.

FILM

RIVER CITY MARKETPLACE NIGHT MARKET: Night market is back just in time for holiday shopping. Attend to shop from incredible local makers and creatives while enjoying food, drinks, fun and more. 5pm, no cover. The Urban Hive, 1601 Alhambra Blvd., Suite 100.

THURSDAY, 11/21 DEPECHE MODE SPIRITS IN THE FOREST: Across 2017 and 2018, Depeche Mode embarked on their Global Spirit Tour, in which they performed to more than 3 million fans at 115 shows. This film captures the energy and spectacle of the band’s performance from the tour. 7pm, $10.50. The Tower Theatre, 2508 Land Park Drive.

WEDNESDAY, 11/27 TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY: If it’s holiday memories you’re after, come find them at the Old Sacramento Waterfront. Kick off the holiday season with a free, fun and festive lighting ceremony for the holiday

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SACRAMENTO MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM: Rhett & Link Live in Concert. Get your earholes ready for a mythical evening of songification with your favorite lifelong best friends. Join Rhett & Link as they take you on a musical adventure from past to present and beyond. 8pm Friday, 11/22. $30$230. 1515 J St.

THE LITTLE MERMAID: The Disney classic about

Are you a fan of the YouTube superstar channel Rhett & Link? You COMEDY probably already have tickets. Comprised of Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal, the channel is very popular and PHOTO BY THE KING OF MARS, CC BY-SA 4.0 features the real-life best friends doing things best friends do. Catch them singing songs of humorous, internet inclination at this stop on their tour—and try to impress them with our city’s famous good manners. 1515 J St., mythical.com.

is headed to Cal Expo this weekend, bringing with it thousands of unique gifts, delicious food and continuous live entertainment. Attendees can browse an expansive selection of handmade and embellished items, including original art, jewelry, photography, pottery, clothing, specialty foods, décor and more. 10am, $4-$9. Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd.

and Nick Michelsen—are coming to STAB! to share themselves with you. 9pm Friday, 11/22. $8. 1710 Broadway.

MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL: The

11.21.19

classic Monty Python movie about King

an ingenue who gives up her artistic and literal voice to impress a man returns to the Crest, and its meta-commentary on the banality of human connection still rings strong. 6:30pm, $10. Crest Theatre, 1013 K St.

THE SOFIA: Erica Rhodes. Erica Rhodes has appeared on ABC’s Modern Family, HBO’s Veep, Fox’s New Girl, IFC’s Comedy Bang Bang, and is performing at the Sofia. 7pm Friday, 11/22. $30. 2700 Capitol Ave.

COMEDY BLACKTOP COMEDY: Roast Battle Insult Invitational. It’s time for the Roast Battle, bringing you the most competitive lineup ever. With 12 of Northern California’s best comedians insulting and Josh Means and Al Shuman hosting, you’ll get a kick out of this roast fest. 8pm Friday, 11/22. $12. Open Mic at Blacktop. Grab a drink and catch Blacktop Comedy’s open-mic. 8pm Wednesday, 11/27. $5. 3101 Sunset Blvd., Suite 6A, Rocklin.

TOMMY T’S COMEDY CLUB: Sinbad. Ranked by Comedy Central as one of the top 100 standup comedians of all time, Sinbad has built a loyal following by talking about everyone’s painful trials or embarrassing tribulations of day-to-day life. 7:30pm Thursday, 11/21. $25. 12401 Folsom Blvd., Rancho Cordova.

ON STAGE

CELEBRATION ARTS: Oh You Funny. With comedians and audience prizes, this night of humor features Ricco da Great, Shaundon da One, Elisia Gonzales and more. 8pm Saturday, 11/23. $10. 2727 B St.

AMERICAN RIVER COLLEGE THEATRE: Picasso at the Lapine Agile. This long-running OffBroadway absurdist comedy places Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso in a Parisian cafe in 1904, just before the renowned scientist transformed physics with his theory of relativity and the celebrated painter set the art world afire with cubism. Through 12/8. $12-$15. 4700 College Oak Drive.

CREST THEATRE: Preacher Lawson. Best known from this past season of NBC’s America’s Got Talent, Preacher Lawson was a top 5 finalist in the show’s highestrated season. 7:30pm Saturday, 11/23. $35. 1013 K St.

B STREET THEATRE: On An Open Fire. It’s a B Street tradition making its debut at The Sofia—the Buck Busfield penned holiday play. Through 12/29. $20-$47. New Play Brunch. Join B Street for brunch, drinks and a play reading. Complementary food will be provided, and the play is Tender Age by George Brant, concerning a man who is charged with supervising supervising child refugees. 10:30am Sunday, 11/24. $15. 2700 Capitol Ave.

FLAMINGO HOUSE SOCIAL CLUB: Bobby’s World Comedy Showcase. Come out and enjoy some of the best rising comedians in the country for a night of comedy with Robert Omoto. There’s also Nick Larson, Rhoda Ramone and Lance Woods. 7pm Thursday, 11/21. $10-$20. 2315 K St.

PUNCH LINE: Michael Rapaport. Michael Rapaport is an American actor and comedian. He has appeared in more than 60 films since the early 1990s, and starred on the sitcom The War at Home. He also will be performing comedy at the Punch Line. Through 11/23. $25. 2100 Arden Way, Suite 225.

DEL ORO PERFORMING ARTS CENTER: Vintage

STAB! COMEDY THEATER: Broken Comics Family Special. The Broken Comics Comedy boys— Terry TC Morgan, Jordan Quattlebaum

Hitchcock, A Live Radio Show. Spies, murder, love and other trademarks of Alfred Hitchcock come to life in the style of a 1940s radio broadcast of Hitchcock’s films. Through 11/24. $10. 3301 Taylor Road, Loomis.

HARRIS CENTER: Hot L Baltimore. This melancholic tale of unsung, dispossessed American souls is a poignant, powerful call to America to restore itself. The Falcon’s Eye Theatre presents Lanford Wilson’s melancholic tragi-comedy of the unsung and the unwanted. Through 11/24. $12$20. Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company. With a rich 56-year history, the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company is committed to producing compelling work that challenges audiences’ perceptions. Catch them live. 7:30pm Thursday 11/21. $18-$52. STOMP. The eightmember troupe returns to the Harris Center, using everything but conventional percussion instruments—matchboxes, wooden poles, brooms, garbage cans, Zippo lighters, hubcaps—to fill the stage with magnificent rhythms. Through 11/29. $43.20$82. 10 College Pkwy, Folsom.

LITTLE THEATRE-SACRAMENTO CITY COLLEGE: Simply Cinderella. Overworked and underappreciated Cinderella swings her broom at the Fairy Godmother, thinking she’s a giant moth. Through 11/24. $5. 3835 Freeport Blvd.

WM. GEERY THEATER: The Quest Continues. The Quest is an epic ongoing journey. The where is always here, the when is always now. Each episode of The Quest reconnects with three travelers; The Wanderer, The Mystic and Emeroc the musician. 7pm Saturday, 11/23. $12. 2130 L St.

ART FE GALLERY: Angles and Eaves. This exhibit features artists Karen Anable-Nichols, Susan Ballenger, Carolyn Lord and Jim Marxen. 9pm, no cover. Fe Gallery, 1100 65th St.

JAYJAY: Natural History. This new exhibit shares work from Anne Gregory, Traces, as well as new work from Penny Olson. Through 12/21. No cover. 5524 Elvas Ave., Suite B.

KENNEDY GALLERY: Autumn Leaves Exhibit. Experience the vibrant palette of the changing seasons at Kennedy Gallery as local artists play tribute to autumn and the magic it brings. Through 12/8. No cover. 1931 L St.

SACRAMENTO STATE: Static Motion. Static Motion features work by Nicholas Hernandez, an evolution of textural experimentation that encourages engagement

WEDNESDAY, 11/27

Tree Lighting Ceremony Old SacramentO WaterfrOnt, 5pm, nO cOver

Grab a spot on the wood planks or the cobbled stones and watch in amazement and horror as the holiday FESTIVALS tree’s lights are illuminated. It signifies that the season of holidays has begun, and will be preceded by family activities and entertainment. After the tree turns into a holiday totem, as well as a beacon for lost hang gliders, there will be a live performance of the Theatre of Lights. Front and K Streets, oldsacramento.com/ events.

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE OLD SACRAMENTO WATERFRONT


Thursday, 11/21saTurday 11/24

Michael Rapaport Punch Line comedy cLub, various times, $25

Arguably one of the funniest Rapaports in the world (excluding diamond industry leader Martin Rapaport, who seems like a fairly funny if diamond-focused fellow), Michael CoMedy Rapaport is going to be performing in Sacramento. The Atypical star and sports aficionado has a no-holds-barred approach to existing in the world, and you can catch his comedic chops for five shows in three nights. 2100 Arden Way, Suite 225, punchlinesac.com.

CALeNdAR LISTINGS CoNTINUed FRoM PAGe 42 through layers of dimension and color. 6pm. Through 12/12. No cover. 6000 J St.

TIM CoLLoM GALLeRy: Aloft. Catch painter Margarita Chaplinska’s solo exhibition featuring aerial views of landscapes as well as figures in motion. Through 12/5. No cover. 915 20th St.

MusEuMs CALIFoRNIA AUToMoBILe MUSeUM: Autism Fashion Show and Silent Auction Fundraiser. Join Cal Auto for a fashion show and a variety of silent auction items just in time for the holidays. 5pm Saturday, 11/23. $20. 2200 Front St.

CALIFoRNIA STATe ARCHIVeS: November Behind-the-Scenes Tour. Take a behind-thescenes tour of the California State Archives with archives staff. 10am Thursday, 11/21. No cover. 1020 O St., 4th Floor.

CALIFoRNIA STATe CAPIToL: Governors’ Day Living History Event. The free interpretive event will present a glimpse into the lives and political decisions made by several California governors who occupied the office during times of great change in the early 20th century. 10:30am Saturday, 11/23. No cover. 1315 10th St.

CRoCKeR ART MUSeUM: U-Nite. The Crocker’s teaming up with Sacramento State’s Department of Arts and Letters for this celebration of all things art. Catch lots of engaging performances, talks, film screenings and art of all shapes and sizes. 5pm

Thursday, 11/21. No cover for Sac State Students, $5-$12. 216 O St.

BOOKs Thursday, 11/21 BooK CLUB oN THe Go: On the Go is a walking book club. Each month, they discuss their book club selection while exploring Downtown Sacramento and getting steps in. They meet at the Cesar Chavez Park fountain and end at the Central Library. Noon, no cover. Central Library, 828 I St.

saTurday, 11/23 SoUTH SACRAMeNTo NANoWRIMo WRITe-IN: Come write with the National Novel Writing Month crew at the Valley Hi-Laguna North

PhOTO By rOMaIN NOVarINa, CC By-sa 2.0

Library. 2pm, no cover. Valley Hi-Laguna North Library, 7400 Imagination Pkwy.

sPOrTs & OuTdOOrs Thursday, 11/21 doWNToWN ICe RINK: Sharpen your skates and get ready to perfect your triple axel! The 28th season of the Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink is bigger and better than ever. 10am, $6-$15. Ali Youssefi Square, 701 K St.

suNday, 11/24 FALL BIRd WALK AT KNICKeRBoCKeR CReeK: Tim and Angela Jackson lead a bird walk to see what songbirds, raptors and water birds are there now. 7:30am, $10-$15. American River Conservancy, 348 State Highway 49, Coloma.

TaKE aCTION FrIday, 11/22 HUMMINGBIRd ReCePTIoN FALL 2019: The Dreamer Resource Center invites you to its second Hummingbird reception to recognize the many individuals that make the dream of a college degree a reality for undocumented students and students with mixed-status families at Sacramento State. 3pm, no cover. Redwood Room, University Union.

RSVP BeNeFIT CoNCeRT: RSVP vocal ensemble presents a concert series of sacred, gospel, jazz and art music to benefit Wellspring Women’s Center, a nonprofit in Oak Park serving more than 200 women and children each weekday. 7:30pm, no cover. Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1300 N St.

saTurday, 11/23 CAPIToL IMPeACHMeNT RALLy: Stand up against the president’s numerous abuses of power, obstructions of justice and corrupt dealings at this rally. 11pm, no cover. California State Capitol, 1315 10th St.

LISTeN To HeRSToRy: This observance with musicians and speakers including Theresa Bear Fox, Shelly Covert, Linda Michelle Hardy, Donna Falonna Delgadillo, Melissa Violet Leal and more producing music for justice. 7pm, no cover. Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1300 N St.

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THURSDAY 11/21

FRIDAY 11/22

SATURDAY 11/23

SUNDAY 11/24

ArmAdillo music

Dustin Morris, 7pm, no cover

Zacrii, 8:30pm, no cover

Vino, 8pm, no cover

Mike Tuck Trio, 2pm, no cover

BAdlAnds

Poprockz 90s Night, 10pm, no cover

Fierce Fridays, 7pm, call for cover

Spectacular Saturdays, 6pm, call for cover

Industry Sundays, 9pm, no cover

207 F ST., DAvIS, (530) 758-8058 2003 k ST., (916) 448-8790

MONDAY-WEDNESDAY 11/25-27

BAr 101

Open-Mic Night, 7:30pm, W, call for cover

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

Blue lAmp

Ataris, Vinnie Guidera & the Dead Birds and Ghost Mesa, 7pm, call for cover

The Capsouls and The Scratch Outs, 8pm, call for cover

Atomic Ape, Gentleman Surger and Times of Desperation, 8pm, call for cover

The BoArdwAlk

I Set My Friends on Fire, The Zibs, The Last Titan and more, 7pm, $15

Invincible, Arminius, Two Worlds and more, 8:30pm, $10-$12

cApiTol GArAGe

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

Dinner and a Drag Show, 7:30pm, $5$25; Karaoke, 9:30pm, call for cover

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

Preacher Lawson, 7:30pm, $35

The Little Mermaid, 6:30pm, M, $10; The Fifth Element, 7:30pm, W, $10

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

PHOTO cOURTESY OF EPITAPH REcORDS

I Set My Friends on Fire with The Zibs 7pm Friday, $15 The Boardwalk Experimental rock

1500 k ST., (916) 444-3633

cresT TheATre

1013 k ST., (916) 476-3356

Monty Python and the Holy Grail, 7:30pm, $10

drAke’s: The BArn

The Mindful, 6pm, no cover

Red’s Blues, 6pm, no cover

Absolut Fridays, 9pm, call for cover

Sequin Saturdays, 9:30pm, call for cover

Sunday Funday, 3pm, no cover

Hans & the Hot Mess, 9pm, $5

Missing Pigeons, Velvetwavez and LJ Johnson, 9pm, $5

Open-Mic Night, 7:30pm, M, no cover; Pub Quiz, 7pm, T, no cover

Eric Church, 8pm, $22-$129

Eric Church, 8pm, $38-$145

Maná, 8pm, W, $35-$250

985 RIvERFRONT ST., WEST SAc, (510) 423-0971

FAces

2000 k ST., (916) 448-7798

Fox & Goose

1001 R ST., (916) 443-8825

JIGO, 8pm, no cover

Golden 1 cenTer

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

GoldField TrAdinG posT 1630 J ST., (916) 476-5076

Eddie Spaghetti, JD Pinkus, Shu Lace and Willie Jones and Keegan Alan, 7:30pm, Leaving Austin and Zack Lee, 7:30pm, $10 more, 7:30pm, $15-$17 $10

hAlFTime BAr & Grill

Paint Nite, 6:30pm, call for cover

Acoustic Electric Duo, 6pm, call for cover

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

parents even cared that we were getting high between courses. Hawaiian food sure is good when you’re stoned.

The 1980s

IllustratIon by MarIa ratInova

Holiday high-jinks

Celebrating the holidays with family, friends and cannabis throughout the decades by Ken Magri

As autumn leaves turn yellow and Central Valley mornings usher in winter cold, holidays in Sacramento bring back memories for me of family, festivities and, yes, cannabis. In one way or another, marijuana has worked its way into 50 years worth of my holiday celebrations, and sometimes I didn’t even know it.

The 1960s When I was in eighth grade ceramics class, a friend named Gary said he was making a “hookah” water pipe as a Christmas gift for his dad. “What a great idea,” I thought. My dad occasionally smoked pipes, so I made a hookah too. It had to be the ugliest thing I ever gave my pop, and it barely worked. But he used it a few times, just to show that he appreciated the handcrafted gesture. After that Christmas, the hookah sat in a cupboard for 25 years. But Gary didn’t make a hookah pipe for his dad. He made one for himself. At

the time, I didn’t know that Gary was one of a handful of kids at our middle school in the late 1960s who smoked cannabis. The art teacher never figured it out, and in my naïveté, I didn’t either. It took two more years to realize I had actually made a bong for my father.

The 1970s In high school, I started smoking pot and got booted out of the house one Thanksgiving for refusing to cut my hair, a big issue back then. A friend named John invited me to his house. “My mom says that pupus will be served at 2 p.m.,” he said. “What?” I asked. John’s family was from Hawaii, and pupus are seafood appetizers. The whole Thanksgiving dinner was mostly Hawaiian cuisine. Even better, John and I could sneak out to his backyard and smoke joints. Thinking back, I’m not sure whether his

I found myself alone one Thanksgiving, when everyone else went out of town. Instead of going along, I stayed home and cooked a complete Thanksgiving dinner for one. It wound up making enough for six, so the leftovers were awesome. All day long, I smoked pot in the kitchen, in the living room, the bathroom, whenever I wanted. Every time I lit up, the cat would sit and stare at me from eight feet away. Was Spot after my secondhand smoke? I have seen cats run at the first smell of smoke, but Spot seemed to like it. I could see her little nostrils working overtime whenever smoke drifted her direction. After several seconds she would walk off and fall asleep. Later that evening, the Dallas Cowboys were getting crushed by the Philadelphia Eagles on television. But Spot and I slept through most of it on the couch. What a great Thanksgiving that was!

The 1990s Three times in the ’90s, I went to Mexico the day after Christmas. Rather than visit tourist towns, my friend Pete and I crossed the border at San Luis and headed east. We were going camping at Pinacate Peaks, a cluster of volcanic craters in the lush Sonoran Desert. Right after we pulled into the entrance, Pete stopped his truck and said, “Wait here for a moment.” He walked over to a group of rocks and pulled out a small bag. Back in the truck, he handed it to me. “I stashed my pot here last time, so now we’ll have something to smoke,” he said. “You mean to tell me that you smuggled pot into Mexico?!” I asked. “Yeah, they don’t check you when you’re coming in,” he answered. Remember, this was the ’90s.

The 2000s My wife and son are vegetarians, so I bought an electric roaster to cook the Thanksgiving turkey in the garage. This way, meat aroma wouldn’t be wafting through the house, and I had a reason to watch football in the garage all morning. Electric roasters are brain-dead simple, so there isn’t much to do. Each time I lifted

the lid, that wonderful turkey scent floated across the garage blending in with the smell of cannabis. There were two places at my house, out by the garbage can and inside the garage, where I started hiding small pipes pre-filled with bud ready to light. Once the holiday guests arrived and things got busy, all I needed was an excuse to run outside to take a quick hit. Sometimes I could hear my neighbor on the other side of the fence, smoking a cigar and talking to his dog.

The 2010s Over the decades, the number of relatives who smoke cannabis has surpassed the number of elders who don’t approve. But out of courtesy, we still take our smoking outside, which means I have to preposition more pipes in more locations. There is a good place by the driveway along the side of the house. To get a quick toke, someone only needs to say, “I left something out in the car.” For those of us who smoked most of our cannabis during the decades when it was illegal, there is a certain thrill that comes from sneaking around and taking clandestine hits. But everyone can’t go outside at once. Suddenly, three people are sharing a joint out by the garbage can. For the last few years my friend Dan has invited me over for Hanukkah, on any night it lines up with a Kings game. Alternating between dab hits and tequila shots, we’ll stare at the candles during halftime. One year, Dan explained how the Festival of Lights compares with other Jewish holidays. “Hanukkah is not one of our bigger holidays, you know,” Dan said. “It’s just got more important because it happens around Christmas. So, thanks to Christmas our Hanukkah presents have gotten better, at least on the last night, getting that bicycle you wanted instead of socks.” But no holiday memory beats that of being high in the workshop, especially late at night listening to music and wrapping presents with taped-together magazine pages after the Christmas paper ran out. Sometimes I give homegrown cannabis as a gift, but it’s hidden inside another gift to be more discreet. Another few ribbon twists, some tape and my gifts are ready to go under the tree. Now, remember to put the pot pipe away and get the stockings filled before falling asleep. Ω

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By Ngaio Bealum

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

GettinG reacquainted with cannabis?

Slang words and synonyms I have been a budtender for 10 years, and I’m still baffled why we in the culture still refer to medical marijuana as “pot,” “weed,” “grass,” etc. It seems to me that we, as patients, will never get the same treatment or respect as a patient taking pharmaceuticals simply because it’s been downgraded and laughed at for so long. You kinda have a point, but I am not sure I agree with you. What do you suggest we do? Already, people say things like “medicating” instead of “getting high.” It’s not a “pot shop” or even a “cannabis club,” it’s a “medical marijuana dispensary.” It’s not a “joint,” it’s a “prerolled cannabis cigarette.” I mean, you refer to yourself as a “budtender” and not a “medical cannabis-dispensing professional.” And what’s wrong with a little slang? If I used the word “cannabis” every time I mentioned cannabis, this column would get hella repetitive. I know it sounds weird when a strain has a horrible name, but ultimately, I don’t think it matters much. Use the words you like, and listen to what people mean and not just what words they use, and we will all get along fine.

I would like a job in the cannabis industry. Any tips? Good luck. The cannabis industry seems to be having a few issues, at least in California. The vape cartridge crisis and slow sales have caused a

Like more money with your weed? See online-only discounts at: capitalcannabisguide.com.

recent spate of layoffs at more than a few larger companies. Flow Kana, Eaze, Jetty extracts and a few others have fired a bunch of folks because cannabis isn’t flying off the shelves. Why? Well, there are a few issues. The biggest one is most likely the fact that while cannabis is supposed to be legal all over California, only 20% of cities and counties even allow for cannabis businesses. Another factor is that high taxes make it difficult for cannabis dispensaries to compete with the traditional illegal market. Michael Steinmetz, founder and CEO of Flow Kana, had this to say recently in The Sacramento Bee: “We ask elected officials to ease the heavy state tax burden which makes licensed retailers non-competitive with the illicit market. As a model, we ask the state to look to the craft beer industry and help us create a tax structure based on measured output and production so that smaller businesses labor under a lower rate.” He also goes on to ask the state to find better ways to help illicit vendors move into the legal and licensed marketplace. He is right. California regulators are doing their best, I suppose, but the regulatory scheme has had problems from the start. It’s not just the taxes. The cost to open a club is sky-high. Not to mention all of the shenanigans and behind-the-scenes chicanery that have allowed shortsighted, big money operators to push smaller operators out of the game. The whole thing is a mess, and I hope the state can get it together enough so that we can have a thriving, profitable and well-regulated industry in 2020. Ω

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

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Free will astrology

ask joey

For the week oF November 21, 2019

Cold shoulder

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “Beware of what

by JOey GARCIA

@AskJoeyGarcia

receives a promotion or a fab assignment. A guy I work with invited me out for drinks. we made out. the next day, he Given the history with your colleague, invited me to his friend’s birthday party. are you a solid addition to his team? It’s I didn’t know anyone. I was nervous so I a gamble. The two of you will likely be drank a lot and must have blacked out. I second-guessing each other and that’s a woke up in his bed and it was obvious we distraction that can threaten the project’s had sex. I’m not complaining; I wanted to success. I think you have to let this one have sex with him. but he didn’t really go. But look around at other workplace talk to me after that. he kept saying he projects. Find—or make—another was really busy. A girl I work with told me opportunity to shine. he has a girlfriend. my friends and I found her on Instagram. She goes to college in my girlfriend goes mIA for days and then another city and clearly didn’t know he when she finally calls, I always hear was a cheater. we messaged her and told some dude in the background. She keeps her what happened. the next day, telling me it’s the tv, but I know she posted about breaking up the difference. my heart is with him. he didn’t come smashed up. I gave her to work that day. then everything and thought our boss put him in The more she loved me. charge of a team that my skill set is She failed at loving honest you are perfect for, but he you, but you can make when talking to didn’t pick me and it up to yourself. Love won’t talk to me yourself enough to stop yourself, the stronger about it. Is there chasing a woman who anything I can do? you’ll grow in selfdoesn’t have the sense There’s so much to appreciate you. Will trust. you can do to avoid you do that? My book, being your own worst When Your Heart Breaks, enemy. You can promise It’s Opening to Love: Healing not to soothe your nerves and finding love after an affair, with alcohol or drugs. Befriend your heartbreak or divorce, might also help. Ω feelings. Being nervous when meeting new people is normal. Once you accept this, it’s easier to lean into uncomfortable feelings and invite them to pass medItAtIoN oF the through you. You can also stop lying to yourself. week You knew at least two people at the birthday party: yourself and the guy “Caring for myself is not who invited you. The more honest self-indulgence, it is selfyou are when talking to yourself, the preservation, and that is an stronger you’ll grow in self-trust. When act of political warfare,” said you trust yourself, you make decisions writer and activist Audre that are in your best interest. This might Lorde. Do you understand the include maintaining boundaries with difference between selfishness colleagues until you get to know them and self-care? well enough to decide whether they fit in your inner circle. It’s a lesson that most of us learn (and relearn) after Write, email or leave a message for painful mistakes. So don’t criticize Joey at the News & Review. Give yourself. Choose self-awareness. your name, telephone number Do you belong on the new project (for verification purposes only) and question—all team? In workplaces, having the right correspondence will be kept strictly confidential. Write Joey, 1124 Del Paso Boulevard, Sacramento, CA skills is only part of the equation. 95815; call (916) 498-1234, ext. 1360; or email Personality plays a huge role in who askjoey@newsreview.com.

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by ROb bRezsny

disturbs the heart,” said Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, a companion of the Prophet Muhammad. “If something unsettles your heart, then abandon it.” My wise Aries friend Artemisia has a different perspective. She advises, “Pay close attention to what disturbs the heart. Whatever has the power to unsettle your heart will show you a key lesson you must learn, a crucial task you’d be smart to undertake.” Here’s my synthesis of Ibn Mas’ud and Artemisia: Do your very best to fix the problem revealed by your unsettled heart. Learn all you can in the process. Then, even if the fix isn’t totally perfect, move on. Graduate from the problem for good. TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Taurus social critic Bertrand Russell won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1950. He’s regarded as the founder of analytic philosophy and one of the 20th century’s premier intellectuals. But he went through a rough patch in 1940. He was judged “morally unfit” to accept his appointment as a professor at the City College of New York. The lawsuit that banned him from the job described him as being “libidinous,” “lustful,” “aphrodisiac” and “irreverent.” Why? Simply because of his liberated opinions about sexuality, which he had conscientiously articulated in his book Marriage and Morals. In our modern era, we’re more likely to welcome libidinous, lustful, aphrodisiac and irreverent ideas if they’re expressed respectfully, as Russell did. With that as a subtext, I invite you to update and deepen your relationship with your own sexuality in the coming weeks. GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In her poem “What the Light Teaches,” Anne Michaels describes herself arriving at a lover’s house soaked with rain, “dripping with new memory.” She’s ready for “one past to grow out of another.” In other words, she’s eager to leave behind the story that she and her lover have lived together up until now—and begin a new story. A similar blessing will be available for you in the coming weeks: a chance for you and an intimate partner or close ally to launch a new chapter of your history together. CANCER (June 21-July 22): Some scientists deride astrology despite being ignorant about it. For example, they complain, “The miniscule gravitational forces beaming from the planets can’t possibly have any effect on our personal lives.” But the truth is that most astrologers don’t believe the planets exert influence on us with gravity or any other invisible force. Instead, we analyze planetary movements as evidence of a hidden order in the universe. It’s comparable to the way weather forecasters use a barometer to read atmospheric pressure but know that barometers don’t cause changes in atmospheric pressure. I hope this inspires you as you develop constructive critiques of situations in your own sphere. Don’t rely on naive assumption and unwarranted biases. Make sure you have the correct facts before you proceed. If you do, you could generate remarkable transformations in the coming weeks. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): As you glide into the Season of Love, I’d love you to soak up wise counsel from the author bell hooks. (She doesn’t capitalize her name.) “Many people want love to function like a drug, giving them an immediate and sustained high,” she cautions. “They want to do nothing, just passively receive the good feeling.” I trust you won’t do that. Here’s more from hooks: “Dreaming that love will save us, solve all our problems or provide a steady state of bliss or security only keeps us stuck in wishful fantasy, undermining the real power of the love—which is to transform us.” Are you ready to be transformed by love? VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Burrow down as deep as you dare. Give yourself pep talks as you descend toward the gritty core of every matter. Feel your way into the underground, where the roots meet the foundations. It’s time for you to explore the mysteries that are usually beneath

your conscious awareness. You have a mandate to reacquaint yourself with where you came from and how you got to where you are now. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): It’s natural and healthy to feel both the longing to connect and the longing to be independent. Each of those urges deserves an honored place in your heart. But you may sometimes experience them as being contradictory; their opposing pulls may rouse tension. I bring this to your attention because I suspect that the coming weeks will be a test of your ability to not just abide in this tension, but to learn from and thrive on it. For inspiration, read these words by Jeanette Winterson: “What should I do about the wild heart that wants to be free and the tame heart that wants to come home? I want to be held. I don’t want you to come too close. I want you to scoop me up and bring me home at night. I don’t want to tell you where I am. I want to be with you.” SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): The Louvre Museum in Paris displays 38,000 objects throughout its 18 acres of floor space. Among its most treasured 13th century artworks is “The Madonna and Child in Majesty Surrounded by Angels,” a huge painting by Italian painter Cimabue. When a museum representative first acquired it in the 19th century, its price was five francs, or less than a dollar. I urge you to be on the lookout for bargains like that in the coming weeks. Something that could be valuable in the future may be undervalued now. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Sagittarian performance artist Marina Abramovi observes that the Prophet Muhammad, Buddha, Jesus and Moses “all went to the desert as nobodies and came back as somebodies.” She herself spent a year in Australia’s Great Sandy Desert near Lake Disappointment, leading her to exclaim that the desert is “the most incredible place, because there is nothing there except yourself, and yourself is a big deal.” From what I can tell, Sagittarius, you’re just returning from your own metaphorical version of the desert, which is very good news. Welcome back! I can’t wait to see what marvels you spawn. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Upcoming events may bedevil your mind. They may mess with your certainties and agitate your selfdoubts. But if you want my view about those possibilities, they’re cause for celebration. According to my analysis of the astrological indicators, you will benefit from having your mind bedeviled and your certainties messed with and your self-doubts agitated. You may ultimately even thrive and exult and glow like a miniature sun. Why? Because you need life to gently but firmly kick your ass in just the right way so you’ll become alert to opportunities you have been ignoring or blind to. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Every writer I’ve ever known says that a key practice to becoming a good writer is to read a lot of books. So what are we to make of the fact that one of the 20th century’s most celebrated novelists didn’t hew to that principle? In 1936, three years before the publication of his last book, Aquarian-born James Joyce confessed that he had “not read a novel in any language for many years.” Here’s my take on the subject: More than any other sign of the zodiac, you have the potential to succeed despite not playing by conventional rules. And I suspect your power to do that is even greater than usual these days. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): “If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it,” wrote Piscean novelist John Irving. In the coming weeks, you will have the power to get clearer than ever before about knowing the way of life you love. As a bonus, I predict you will also have an expanded access to the courage necessary to actually live that way of life. Take full advantage!


It turns out scones are inherently better than baked beans.

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