Why are so many Sac restaurants shutting down? Sacramentoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S newS & entertainment weekly
Volume 31, iSSue 41
thurSday, january 23, 2020
january 23, 2020 | Vol. 31, Issue 41
Live from a Midtown Victorian apartment, it’s “Living Room Live,” a free monthly comedy night hosted by local comedians Ruby Setnik and Maryam Moosavi.
editor’s note letters essay + streetalK greenlight 15 minutes news feature arts + Culture stage
04 05 06 08 09 10 14 18 22
19 dish plaCe Calendar Capital Cannabis guide asK joey
24 26 28
for the best music-makers in sacramento SN&R
Cover design by maria ratinova
N&R Publications Editor Debbie Arrington Associate Publications Editors Derek McDow, Thea Rood
N&R Publications Staff Writers/Photographers Anne Stokes, Allen Pierleoni
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 Steph Rodriguez Staff Reporter Scott Thomas Anderson Arts Editor Rachel Mayfield Calendar Editor Patrick Hyun Wilson Contributing Editor Rachel Leibrock 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
Sales & Production Coordinator Laura Anthony Senior Advertising Consultants Rosemarie Messina, Kelsi White
Advertising Consultants Sam Almaguer, Michael Nero, Vincent Marchese, Amy Yang Distribution Director Greg Erwin Distribution Assistant Lob Dunnica Distribution Drivers Mansour Aghdam, Rosemarie Beseler, Mike Cleary, Tom Downing, Marty Fetterley, Chris Fong, Ron Forsberg, Michael Jackson, Calvin Maxwell, Greg Meyers, Jeremy Meier, Jenny Plummer, Lloyd Rongley, Lolu Sholotan, Viv Tiqui
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
President/CEO Jeff vonKaenel Publisher Joe Chiodo Director of Nuts & Bolts Deborah Redmond Director of People & Culture David Stogner Director of Dollars & Sense Debbie Mantoan Account Jedi Jessica Kislanka Payroll/AP Wizard Miranda Hansen Developer John Bisignano System Support Specialist Kalin Jenkins
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to a landfill in Nevada, but dumping it closer to home at Sacramento County’s Kiefer Landfill in Sloughhouse. In 2011, BLT sold the Most of the city contract, plus a recycling of Sacramento’s and transfer station, to garbage ends up industry giant Waste in Kiefer Landfill in Sloughhouse. Management. The city gave its consent, though it meant Waste Management would both haul garbage and control the transfer station. Some critics warned that the deal stunk. Eye on Sacramento claimed that BLT Enterprises cashed in after secret negotiations and that Waste Management’s willingness to pay $70 million clearly indicated the tipping fee contract was overpriced. In 2012, the Sacramento County Grand Jury, a citizens oversight group, issued a report questioning the contract. If the city gets out of the deal and lands a lower bid, that could help keep rate hikes for residents in check. So would figuring out how to collect garbage, recyclables and yard waste for less. Mayor Darrell Steinberg is a strong supporter of the new efficiency study, saying that with the trash rate increases, the cost of new employee union contracts and neighborhood investments with the new Measure U sales tax, the city must prove to taxpayers that it is running a lean operation. City Auditor Jorge Oseguera says the study will include 20 options for cost savings or revenue enhancements across city government. “Everything was on the table,” he told me. In scope, it’s similar to the study completed in 2010, just after the recession forced painful budget cuts. The same consultant, Management Partners, recommended 49 proposals, including between $101 million and $154 million a year in cost saving suggestions. Among them: put the city’s solid waste service out to competitive bid (that didn’t happen with the 2010 contract extension) and to phase out “loose collection” of yard waste (in-the-street service was reduced, but the “Claw” returns leaf season). The council is scheduled to receive the study in the first quarter of 2020. That’s just in time for 2020-21 budget decisions, but some of the cost-cutting ideas could be very politically unpopular indeed. Ω Photo by Foon Rhee
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Sacramento City Council members gave residents a break, lopping off the final two years of a garbage rate hike. But those higher bills may still happen, depending on two efforts that are far from slam dunks. One is to get out from what some council members concede is a terrible deal with the city’s garbage hauler. But to end that contract 10 years early in 2022, the city would have to cough up $22.5 million—money the solid waste operation doesn’t have. The second is to save money by making the garbage operation—and the rest of city government—more efficient. But the same consultant did a similar study in 2010, and the city didn’t follow through completely. On Dec. 3, the council voted to raise fees for garbage collection (medium container), recycling, yard waste and street sweeping by $2.74 a month as of Jan. 1 and by another $2.96 on July 1. That amounts to a 15% increase, to a total of $42.59 per month. The council, however, put off the staff recommendation for further hikes of $3.19 a month starting July 1, 2021 and $3.44 on July 1, 2022. That would have meant a total 33% increase—and was too much for council members to stomach. The city’s garbage costs are rising in part because of higher “tipping fees”—how much it must pay to get trash dumped in a landfill. That rate has risen from $60.31 per ton in 2015-16 to $69.01 in 2019-20, according to the city. The cost has jumped from less than $4.7 million in 2014-15 to more than $6.4 million in 2018-19. The tipping fees contract has an ugly history. In 2010, the City Council approved an amended 20-year contract with BLT Enterprises that took full effect in February 2012. At the time, supporters highlighted the environmental benefits of no longer trucking the city’s garbage over the Sierra
fo o nr @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m
Email to sactolEttErs@nEwsrEviEw.com @SacNewsReview
A horrible law I am outraged by AB 5. I worked as [an] independent contractor paralegal. On Dec. 27, my employer received a letter from the state Employment Development Department stating in effect that I couldn’t work as an independent contractor anymore. On Dec. 31, my employment ended. The bill destroyed the contractual relationship. People have the right to freedom to contract, and the states do not have the right to infringe on them. I had a nice job and now I’m unemployed. The California Legislature cannot use jackhammer approaches to problems where a surgeon’s scalpel is needed. The Legislature has a responsibility to fix this horrendous law.
Gonzalo I. VerGara ros ev i l l e / v i a e m a i l
Local lament Re: “Mom’s last meal” by Lindsay Oxford (Dish, Jan. 9): Very sad. I’m told the restaurant business has major turnover, but I hate to see all the local places close lately while a mass of trend-following clones spring up like weeds. A thoughtful perspective from the author about the reasons why this place may have left it’s mark and confronting the complexity of our changing foodscape.
MIke Murray Sac rame n to / via F aceb ook
Sac’s great parks Re: “Sacramento is no Portland” by Jeff Doll (Essay, Nov. 28): I laughed so hard when I read that Reichmuth Park was one of the two great Sacramento parks, leaving off Land Park, Southside Park, Curtis Park, Capitol Park, Sutter Fort, Seymour Park, Pocket Canal Park, Garcia Bend—the list of great parks goes on. His mind is going to be blown when he actually explores Sacramento. His issue with Sacramento’s urban sprawl was mainly him venting frustration with Elk Grove and Rancho Cordova’s city planning policies. He was not an informed contributor, and it’s surprising that rant of misinformation was published in SN&R.
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are getting fleeced by the Trump administration and its Republican enablers. To quote a CNN headline: “The Trump administration’s trade policies and tariffs reduced U.S. income at a rate of $1.4 billion per month by the end of November, according to new research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Princeton and Columbia universities.” Our Dear Leader is levying taxes through his childish trade war. Oh, they call it tariffs, not taxes, and they claim the Chinese are paying, whereas, as this study shows, you are actually paying. Republicans in Congress assume that most Americans will not connect higher prices in the grocery store to Trump’s narcissistic trade war, and they will continue to vote Republican. Democrats are at least honest enough to tell us when they levy new taxes. Perhaps it’s time to vote for the more honest politicians.
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Correction Re: “Culture shock!” by Rachel Mayfield and Maxfield Morris (Arts & Culture, Jan. 2): The time was listed incorrectly for the opening celebration for the Stephen Kaltenbach exhibit at the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art. It is 3-5 p.m. Jan. 26. SN&R regrets the error.
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read more letters online at newsreview.com/sacramento.
by reuven h. Taff
by Graham Womack
Asked in LAnd PArk:
Favorite local restaurant?
A display of hate
MiHwA tHiCk Etsy business proprietor
I don’t go out too much because I have [a family], but the times we do choose to go out, we like Fox & Goose for breakfast, for brunch.
Sacramento rabbi questions a display at the public library I have always been infatuated with libraries. As a young child, growing up in Albany, N.Y., I loved visiting our public library. I have fond memories of sitting on the multicolored alphabet carpet listening to the librarian read classics, which in those days consisted of Harold and the Purple Crayon and Thomas the Tank Engine. Those experiences not only motivated me to read books, but to use, enjoy and appreciate the library’s resources. Sadly, my appreciation for my local library has been diminished because the Arden-Dimick Branch of the Sacramento Public Library has allowed a display that caused pain and anguish for many in the Jewish community. I am referring to a December display sponsored by an organization called “SacramentoBethlehem,” which was granted approval in 2009 by the Sacramento City Council to establish Sacramento as a sister city to the town of Bethlehem, governed by the Palestinian Authority. My issue is not with Sacramento and Bethlehem being sister cities. My concern is that the display, which was taken down in early January, was replete with false statements and propaganda. For example, while the display stated that the sister city relationship “was founded in friendship” with “interest in developing connections and friendships with the people of Bethlehem,” the display also contained several accusatory statements against Israel. It claimed that Bethlehem is “under foreign military occupation” and that “its people are increasingly isolated, suffering land confiscation, obstruction of their economy, and a diminishing future.” It also said, “Trees are planted in areas threatened with land confiscation by the Israeli military occupation and settler violence.” These inflammatory statements are not only misleading, but are absolutely false. The facts are that after the Six-Day War in 1967 until the 1990s, Bethlehem was ruled by Israel through a military administration. That all changed in the mid-1990s, after terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens, when Israel negotiated to give the Palestinians parts of the West Bank and Gaza 6
sHALitA torres caregiver
I like Bernardo’s … I’m a vegetarian and their food is fresh. The food’s really good. Reuven H. Taff has served as rabbi and spiritual leader of Mosaic Law Congregation in Sacramento since 1995.
under the Oslo Accords, resulting in Bethlehem governed solely by the Palestinian Authority. When I brought my concerns about the display to Rivkah Sass, director of the Sacramento Public Library, I was disappointed at her reply. Here is an excerpt of her email response: “Although there may be different viewpoints regarding the nature of displays, we feel that each display employs discourse befitting the role of the library as a ‘public square.’ In fact, there is a notice posted in the window that reads, ‘By providing public access to library facilities, the Sacramento Public Library Authority does not endorse the views of the users.’ I recognize that my response may not ease your concerns, but we do stand by our role as an institution that encourages civic and civil dialogue as protected by the 1st Amendment, even when we personally disagree at times …” It has always been my understanding that discrimination laws in our country also protected Jews from anti-Semitism. And, yes, false statements against Israel do cross the line as anti-Semitism. But it appears, according to Sacramento’s library director, that the First Amendment trumps Jew hatred. With the upsurge of incidents of anti-Semitism in our country, this display feels eerily like those days in Germany when such propaganda pervaded libraries, museums and other public places. As someone whose taxes support public libraries in my community, I have to ask: Will our libraries now permit similar displays to be allowed (but “not endorsed”) if they are sponsored by organizations such as the KKK, neo-Nazis, skinheads, white supremacists and other hate groups? I shudder to hear the answer to my question. Ω
briAn bAin financial adviser
We cook a lot, but probably The Shack … It’s like a beer and burgers and sandwiches [place]. They have a nice outdoor patio. They allow dogs outside.
debbie Hinojoz A retired
My new favorite is South … It’s a neighborhood restaurant, it’s kind of got a quirky vibe and they make their own sausage. Great comfort food.
ron ruff retired neuropsychologist
I just moved here, but my wife’s from here, so we always go to Tower Cafe.
CArLos Mir AndA retired attorney
South. Because they have great biscuits … [and I like] the cornbread. It’s the best. And have it plain.
Why I march with
Rev. Barber Poor People’s Campaign continues King’s legacy
California’s prison population Changes in sentencing laws have led to big decline 173,000 inmates 128,000 inmates
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
his past weekend at a commemoration in Fontana for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I joined another reverend, Dr. William Barber, who continues Dr. King’s legacy as co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign. Dr. King continues to be an inspiration in our lives. He was a forward-thinker who experienced racism first-hand and fought rampant political, racial, and economic inequality so that no one — regardless of race or nationality — should suffer or be treated differently. Yet despite his efforts, inequality in all its forms is as prevalent today as it was more than 50 years ago. And that is why, as Reverend Barber says, we cannot just honor Dr. King one day a year in celebration, but must dedicate ourselves to the everyday fight. When prophets like Dr. King are killed and don’t finish their work, we must reach down, pick up the baton, and carry it forward. Rev. Barber’s Poor People’s Campaign does so by focusing on both poverty and inequality. This headline from January 1, 2020, summarizes the challenge we face: “Wealthiest earn so much they’ve already maxed out their Social Security tax for 2020.” So, before I even woke up and welcomed a new decade, 200 of the wealthiest people in the U.S. had already paid their Social Security taxes for the year. Another 1,000 paid them by Jan. 2, meaning their earnings had topped the cutoff of $137,700 in a day. Think of the difference it would make if the rest of their income was subject to Social Security taxes! In California, a state with the fifth largest economy in the world, 18.5% of our seniors 65 and older, nearly one in five, live in poverty because Social Security is too low or nonexistent. Even worse, we know senior poverty is not equal; when you get paid less in your lifetime, you earn less in retirement. As a result, the average income for senior women and people of color is even lower than that for white men. What do wealthy people do with all that extra cash? A lot of them pay to maintain this inequality. They pay to limit who votes. They pay to control the press and social media to turn us against each other, make us fear each other, divide us with racism, sexism and xenophobia. They also pay for political campaigns. At a time when the average Congressional campaign now costs $10 million, the
Yvonne R. Walker and Rev. Dr. William Barber appeared together at the commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Fontana.
But African Americans are still over-represented behind bars
Photo courtesy of seIu LocaL 1000
Koch brothers — America’s second richest family with nearly $100 billion in wealth — fund conservative media groups and misleading climate change research. Why? Because Koch Industries is one of the biggest polluters in the U.S., and less regulation means more money for them. These billionaire families bankroll right-to-work groups to whittle away at union membership, further exacerbating America’s wealth inequality. By stoking our fears and maintaining the status quo, we stay divided and racism is allowed to thrive. We also see it in our prisons; in California alone, we still spend more than $11 billion annually to lock people up, many for low-level crimes. Wouldn’t that money be better spent ending poverty? That’s why Rev. Barber is leading the march for justice, for voting rights, for ending poverty and redistributing wealth, for ending environmental destruction, and for shrinking our massive military budget. And that’s why we march with him. We invite you to join in. Yvonne R. Walker President SEIU Local 1000
SPONSORED by SERvicE EmPlOyEES iNtERNatiONal uNiON lOcal 1000
state’s male residents who are african american
state’s male prisoners who are african american
And over-stopped: african american drivers are much more likely than white drivers to be stopped by police, but less likely to be found with illegal items. Source: Public Policy Institute and Stanford Open Policing Project
SEIU LOCAL 1000 1808 14th Street Sacramento, CA 95811 (866) 471-7348
Distribution drivers: Employees or independent contractors? by Jeff vonKaenel
c o m ic s issue ’s
wi th comics by local cartoonists 8 | Sn&r | 01.23.20
This column will not make me popular among my fellow newspaper publishers. I believe that adult newspaper delivery carriers should not be classified as independent contractors—and that they never should have been. That is why, unlike many newspapers such as The Sacramento Bee, we classify our drivers as employees. I support much of the underlying philosophy of Assembly Bill 5, the California law that took effect on Jan. 1, that reclassifies many previously independent contractors as employees. While there are some significant problem areas in the new law, AB 5 enacted many much-needed reforms. By classifying people as independent contractors, certain California employers were able to avoid paying minimum wage and overtime and granting benefits including sick leave, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation and health care. That saved these employers an estimated 30% of their total compensation budget. And because of this, the state of California loses an estimated $8 billion in payroll taxes. I’ve always known that the vast majority of newspaper companies were classifying their delivery drivers as independent contractors. McClatchy, the company that owns The Bee, has been in expensive litigation with the state for years regarding their newspaper delivery independent contractors. In fact, I am the only newspaper publisher I know who has always treated distribution drivers as regular employees, even though our drivers only work one or two days each week. Because I categorize these part-time delivery drivers as employees, I have a workforce of 119 instead of 71. For this reason, we do not qualify as a California small business, which makes it harder to get state contracts. No good deed goes unpunished.
je ffv @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m
Every year, a consultant calls me up and says they can help me reduce my delivery cost by 30%. When I ask them how, they tell me they will help me convert the distribution team to independent contractors. I tell the consultants that there is no way my drivers are independent contractors. One of the tests of being an independent contractor is that the person is “free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work.” We tell our drivers when to work, where to go and how many papers to distribute. There is no way that our distribution drivers are free from our control. The second test is that the individual performs “work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business.” Delivering the weekly newspaper is clearly part of our business. So over the years, I’ve continued to tell these consultants “no.” I care about our drivers. I want them to qualify for workers’ compensation and other protections. I resent that I have to compete with other companies who don’t play by the same rules. The newspaper industry put a lot of pressure on the Legislature on AB 5. They editorialized against it. They argued that our industry is in so much financial trouble that classifying our drivers as employees would be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. It is true that the industry is in trouble. But this is just a straw. Facebook is a ton of bricks. Nevertheless, the Legislature gave the newspaper industry an extra year before the provision impacts newspaper carriers. Distribution drivers should be classified as employees. It is the right thing to do. Ω Jeff vonKaenel is the president, CEO and majority owner of the News & Review.
by Rachel Mayfield
ra c h e l m @ne w s re v i e w . c o m
Robert M. Pacholik captures his experience as a U.S. Army reporter in his newest novel. PHOTO COURTESY ROBERT M. PACHOLIK
Snapshots of war While more than 40 years have passed since the war in Vietnam, Carmichael author and veteran Robert M. Pacholik’s time there still feels as relevant as ever. As a reporter and photographer for the U.S. Army, Pacholik attempted to expose the military’s involvement in siphoning off supplies and selling it on the black market. His upcoming book, Saigon Summer: Corruption and Murder During and After the Tet Offensive, 1968, is a fictional narrative that heavily mirrors his experiences and those of four other military journalists he worked with. Pacholik has stated that people will not like his book. Why? SN&R sat down with him to find out.
Why won’t people like this book? Well, it’s a harsh book. ... I landed on the third day of the Tet Offensive, and I was a photographer—still and motion picture. And there was house-to-house fighting for three weeks in the city, and in the process of doing that work, I found that the units that were fighting didn’t have supplies that they were supposed to have. … The story is, the people in this unit who are covering the war find bits and pieces of why things are being stolen and sold on the black market.
What are some of the themes you explore in Saigon Summer? The one item that is the most dominant in the story is that these five guys—all of them independently of each other—they go out and they’re terrified that they are going to be killed instantly. And yet they take photographs, they go to places during the fighting, and they get the pictures and come home. The picture on the front cover, that’s my photograph. That’s of a wounded guy in 9th Infantry, after a firefight where he got hit in his helmet and his helmet shattered, and parts of it, not shattered
but shrapnel hit him and he’s blind. And that’s one of the few pictures that I got out during the time I was there.
What happened to the other pictures? A lot of them were destroyed by the Army. And we fought a battle for two years to get material out about what was happening. And the command we reported to fundamentally didn’t want any of that information getting out … So we were constantly being recycled back through doing KP, being forced to go on guard duty, being confined to quarters, unable to communicate with anybody and threatened with court martials.
Was that disillusioning for you? Oh yeah. Yeah, I was 20 years old, I was as stupid as a post. I was invincible, and I was convinced that I was Robert Capa. And I did things that to this day, are just unbelievably stupid. So, for example, if ... there was fighting in this building, I would sneak around the door and put my head around that corner to get a picture going up there, OK? And people were shooting! And I had a helmet on, but I didn’t have a flak jacket. And the Army, in its infinite wisdom, did not allow us to carry a rifle, because they said “Well you’re a journalist, you sit around and you don’t need a rifle.” Well, if I go out with the troops and they’re fighting, and they have M16s and the Vietnamese have AK-47s, and all I’ve got’s an eight-shot pistol, who in their right mind is gonna do that? So I bought—illegally—a French submachine gun from World War II.
How do you think people will respond to this story? Well, I’m 74 years old. That took place 1968, ’69. I have worked on it and harbored it as a story for almost 40 years. … So, I want the indictment to get out. I want those five men who gave their best dedication to this country to be vindicated as the good people they were. … And I want the actions of [those responsible] to be brought to light. Ω
Grab a signed copy of Saigon Summer at the release party, Feb. 22 at the Rancho Cordova Library, 9845 Folsom Blvd.
There haven’t been any judicial appointments by President Donald Trump yet to the Eastern District Court in Sacramento, though his administration has appointed 10 of the 29 active justices to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Photo by Graham Womac
Trumping the Ninth Rash of judicial appointments pushes historically liberal appeals court to the right by Graham Womack
this story was supported by a grant from the Independent Journalism Fund. to support more stories like this, donate at independentjournalism fund.org.
For the first half hour of a Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hearing in San Francisco on Jan. 9, Judge Daniel Bress sat quietly. To Bress’ right, the other judges on his panel, Marsha Berzon and Chief Judge Sidney Thomas, had many questions for August Flentje, an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice. Flentje’s task: Get the panel to stay a district court’s injunction preventing the Trump administration from requiring immigrants to prove they could purchase health insurance |
before they could be permitted legal entry. Berzon and Thomas each questioned Flentje’s assertion, culled from a presidential proclamation, that immigrants were three times more likely to lack health insurance, with each justice asking Flentje for any evidence in the administrative record for the case. “You submitted nothing. Nothing,” Berzon snapped at Flentje at one point. And then it came time for attorneys representing the other side to speak, and at last, Bress had something to say, with
a line of questions that seemed more rhetorical than inquisitive and supported presidential authority to restrict immigration. It illustrated a pronounced shift over the past few years in one of America’s most famously liberal courts. Historically, the Ninth Circuit, which covers most of the western United States, has been a bulwark against conservative presidential administrations and a rightleaning U.S. Supreme Court. Just in the past 20 years, the court has upheld the rights of homeless people to sleep
outside without prosecution, insisted on the transparency of anti-abortion clinics, stood up against California voters’ 2008 ban on gay marriage and vacated multiple wrongful convictions. But the makeup of the Ninth Circuit has changed dramatically since Donald Trump’s stunning 2016 election, with the president now having appointed 10 of its 29 active judges. While many of Trump’s most onerous executive actions might quickly be undone as soon as he leaves office, the impacts of his judicial appointments, which come with lifetime terms, could be felt for decades to come. It used to be that a judge like Bress never had a chance of joining the Ninth Circuit. For one thing, his July 2019 confirmation vote of 53-45 in the U.S. Senate, with all Republicans voting “yes,” would have fallen short of the 60-vote threshold once needed to clear filibusters and approve judicial appointments. Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, changed the threshold to a simple majority vote for district and circuit court confirmations
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in November 2013. Reid was trying to help President Barack Obama move his judicial appointments through a veritable GOP boycott, but didn’t anticipate what would come next. “The Obama administration got frustrated with the complete logjam on appointments, both to the courts and executive positions,” McGeorge School of Law emeritus professor John Cary Sims told SN&R. “Therefore, the Senate changed the rules.” The move ultimately backfired for Democrats, with judicial appointments grinding to a near halt for Obama after Republicans regained control of Senate in 2014. Appointments have accelerated aggressively since Trump took office, with seven of the 10 judges he’s put on the Ninth Circuit being confirmed with fewer than 60 votes. Bress and other judges have been confirmed without support from either of California’s U.S. senators, Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris. The Brookings Institute notes that senators used to have informal veto power for judicial appointments within their states. But Reid’s successor, Republican Mitch McConnell, who can set the rules for Senate confirmations, and the Trump administration have ignored that past practice. The American Bar Association has rated five of Trump’s picks to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as “well qualified,” with two more picks receiving this rating from a portion of the ABA. Trump has gone forward, though, with some controversial choices, such as Patrick Bumatay, confirmed Dec. 12 on a 53-40 vote. While progressives might have appreciated that Bumatay is openly gay, Feinstein tweeted Oct. 31 that he’d argued just two cases in front of the court he’d be joining. Then there was Lawrence VanDyke, confirmed Jan. 2 on a 51-44 vote and despite a substantial majority of the ABA rating him “not qualified.” The ABA noted in an Oct. 29 letter to Sen. Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, that the judge’s “accomplishments are offset by the assessment of interviewees that Mr. VanDyke is arrogant, lazy, an ideologue, and lacking in knowledge of the day-today practice including procedural rules.” Harris tweeted Dec. 11, in explaining why she’d be voting against VanDyke, that he “once wrote that all gun safety laws are misdirected and even sought the endorsement of the NRA in a 2014 campaign.” The ABA letter also noted that some interviewees had raised concerns about whether VanDyke “would be fair to persons who are gay, lesbian, or otherwise part of the LGBTQ community.”
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VanDyke, for his part, broke down crying over this question while in front of the Judiciary Committee.
ReSTauRanTS RiP See coVeR
Bress also didn’t waste time making his views known on the immigrant health-care case, according to Esther Sung, an attorney for the Los Angeles-based Justice Action Center. While politicized cases are the most likely to “We knew going in that Judge Bress be affected, Sims believes many cases will be wasn’t sympathetic to our arguments because decided the same no matter which judge is on he wrote a dissent setting out his views,” Sung the bench. told SN&R. “They’re just routine cases,” he said. The Trump appointee seemed to align Some of the politicized cases are hearthimself against a vulnerable population, said wrenching, though. Kevin R. Johnson, dean of UC Davis School On Jan. 9, the Ninth District panel heard of Law. from another Justice Department attorney, “I think what you saw yesterday is you Scott Stewart, who asked the judges to set saw two appointees [Berzon and Thomas] aside a district court order preventing the appointed by Democrats who seemed more Trump administration from halting asylum for sympathetic than the Trump appointee, immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. who seemed to side with executive power,” Attorneys for the Southern Poverty Law Johnson told SN&R. “In some areas, the Center argued on behalf of Nora Phillips, political divide is going to be more prominent legal director and co-founder of Al Otro Lado, than other areas.” which has an office in Tijuana and assists The three-judge panel had not ruled by Latin American refugees. press time. It’s not clear whether the Supreme “We never, ever saw anything like this,” Court will take up either case. Phillips told SN&R. “People started being The Supreme Court, which has had a turned away right after Trump conservative majority since the Nixon got elected. And then once administration, hears 50 to 75 cases a he was inaugurated, we year while lower federal courts hear “If started hearing, ‘There’s thousands, Johnson noted. Trump is no more asylum. You The higher court has have to go to the sometimes let potentially reelected, they’ll consulate. You need controversial Ninth Circuit undoubtedly be more to go to a refugee decisions stand, such as a 2018 appointments for him.” camp.’ The closest ruling prohibiting prosecution refugee camp to of homeless people in areas Kevin R. Johnson Tijuana is in Ecuador.” where emergency shelter was dean, UC Davis School Then in July, the unavailable. At other times, of Law Trump administration though, the court has overturned halted all asylum claims at Ninth Circuit rulings, such as when it the southern border, including to allowed the Trump administration’s travel a group of people who were prevented from ban on certain Muslim nations to take affect. applying before the ban went into effect, spurring the lawsuit. a narrow liberal majority still sits on the Since the ban, Phillips said her clients Ninth Circuit. Sixteen of the court’s 29 have faced harsh treatment from cartels, gangs active judges were appointed by Democratic and corrupt law enforcement while waiting presidents. Another 20 judges serve with south of the border. “We had three unaccomsenior status, meaning they can hear most panied minors who were kidnapped out of cases, with nine of the current senior judges the youth shelter, strangled and stabbed—and appointed by Democrats. only one survived,” she said. Needless to say, the stakes are high. Again, though, Bress had no critical ques“If Trump is reelected, they’ll undoubttions for the government and went to work edly be more appointments for him,” on attorneys for Phillips as soon as he got the Johnson said. “I could guess five to 10, chance. Bress disputed a claim by attorney more likely six or seven in the second term Ori Lev of Mayer Brown’s Washington, D.C., of the Trump administration.” office that the plaintiffs were unjustly prohibThere has yet to be a Trump appointited from claiming asylum before the ban and ment to the Eastern District court in then barred thereafter. Sacramento, the local federal court under The judge asserted, a minute into Lev’s the Ninth Circuit which decides numerous arguments, that a district court judge had cases, including mortgage fraud arising already made clear in a ruling on the case from the 2008 financial meltdown and civil that “there’s no dispute that this rule couldn’t rights cases involving law enforcement. apply to these plaintiffs. The only question “I was at the Eastern District conference is if it does apply to them on the face of the and all they’re talking about is how they rule. And it clearly does.” need more judges,” Jacobs said. Ω
ending The PuShcaRT WaR Street vendors in Sacramento are about to have more freedom thanks to a recent state law that compelled the city to change its rules. On Jan. 7, City Council members completely overhauled their regulatory framework for pushcarts and food wagons. Up until this year, Sacramento code limited the operation and permitting of sidewalk vending to food sellers, who could only be stationed on certain corners within the central business district. But with the passage of state Senate Bill 946, those limits were void. “State law dictates a city cannot restrict vending to a limited area, cannot place a limit on the number of vendors allowed, and community hostility and economic competition are not considered valid reasons to regulate,” Tessa St. John of the Sacramento Finance Department explained to council members. But cities still have some leverage to regulate on health and safety, she said. Council members reviewed new proposed codes, which include that a street vendor must be at least 100 feet from another vendor, 600 feet from an entertainment venue between midnight and 2:30 a.m. and 300 feet from a special event or regular outdoor event such as the farmer’s market. Councilman Jeff Harris had concerns on the final point. “Vendors actually give us remuneration to be able to sell at the events, and we use that money to do projects in the community,” he said. “They’re paying to play … How would you measure a 300-foot separation? I don’t want to create an undue or unfair competition situation when people are paying to vend at the events.” St. John replied that code enforcement would have discretion on measuring the distances. Pushcart peddlers also had concerns about the requirement to be at least 600 feet from an entertainment venue in late night and early morning hours, which was enacted to make sure there would be clear, safe exit routes on the sidewalks during emergencies. James Moore, owner of the hot dog cart Big City Bites, asked council members to reconsider. “I understand it’s a big public safety issues,” Moore acknowledged. “But a lot of people are so intoxicated, they actually can’t take Uber home. They’ll take hot dogs from us, waters from us, then they sober up enough.” But Councilman Steve Hansen, whose district includes most of the city’s entertainment venues, wanted to extend the time frame rather than curtail it. Citing a number of shootings that have happened inside clubs, Hansen proposed starting the rule at 10 p.m. instead of midnight. “I’m not trying to be morbid, but we have had some incidents,” Hansen cautioned. The council unanimously passed the new codes, with the stipulation that they would revisit time frames. Johann van Ravenhorst, owner of the popular Dutchman’s Stroopwafles, was generally happy with the result. “I am a rule follower,” van Ravenhorst told the council, “so it would be nice if resources were made available for proper enforcement for a level playing field.” (Scott Thomas Anderson)
District 6 Councilman Eric Guerra.
Challenger Waverly Hampton III.
Photo courtesy of eric Guerra
Photo by Maria ratinova
Voting on a response Homelessness, housing take center stage in District 6 race as young challenger takes on active incumbent by Scott thomaS anderSon
In the Sacramento City Council race in District 6, voters might not be getting verbal sparring between the candidates, but the intensity of the city’s housing and homeless crisis is adding its own drama as incumbent Eric Guerra squares off against newcomer Waverly Hampton III. Hampton, a 24-year-old who currently attends Sacramento State University, grew up in the Inland Empire before moving to the Capital City to pursue a degree in electrical engineering. Hampton says the values of public service and hard work have been drilled into him from an early age, raised by a single mom who served in the U.S. Navy before putting herself through college to join the Army Corps of Engineers. She later married a civil rights attorney and director of the Los Angeles branch of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. “I’ve had some really good examples,” Hampton said. Hampton worked for a time as an EMT in Southern California before attending 12
Marion Military Institute in Alabama and moving to Sacramento last August to attend Sacramento State. He says he plans to make a long-term life for himself in Sacramento. Hampton is focusing his campaign on issues such as his fellow college students’ inability to afford local rents, as well as the sheer scope of the homeless crisis. “I hate to see people suffering,” Hamptons said. “I got this sense, when I was looking around my district, and in my neighborhood, and speaking to people in my generation, that there’s this response [to homelessness] that this is just the way it is.” One of Hampton’s main proposals is a special 1% tax on Sacramento businesses with $1 million or more in annual gross revenues, and designating that money to a community service fund that could only be used to build public housing, repair infrastructure or provide funding for local start-up businesses. He also wants to compel developers to
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build projects with more unit density, while working with nonprofits and using city-owned land for a major ‘tiny houses’ initiative in response to homelessness. Hampton faces an uphill battle, as do two other candidates on the ballot: Eric Frame, who ran for state Senate in 2018 as an independent, and Kevin Rooney, a plumbing contractor. Hampton is not soliciting donations, instead focusing on connecting with voters at community meetings and at their doorsteps. “I tell people I’m not asking for their money, I’m asking for their vote,” he said. But the five-year incumbent Hampton is up against is asking for donations, and doing well with it. Election filings show Guerra has raised more than $59,000. Guerra agrees that homelessness is at a crisis level. The latest point-intime count, released in July, showed the number of people on the streets of Sacramento County rose by 19% over the last two years. The snapshot count found
5,570 unhoused people during a two-day window. Mayor Darrell Steinberg challenged every council member to find a location for a temporary shelter within their district. Guerra told SN&R that challenge has been especially complicated for him. “After we did an audit of our surplus land, we found we don’t have any available public land in District 6,” Guerra said, adding that there are a host of water and sewer issues with creating a shelter in the area’s empty warehouses. “So, for shelters, we’ve got to be creative.” Guerra says been he’s striving for a multi-faceted approach to homelessness. That includes working with state Sen. Richard Pan on drafting Senate Bill 481, which changed state codes in 2018 to allow the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency to convert the blighted, abandoned site of San Juan Motel along Stockton Boulevard into an affordable housing project. Guerra says he’s also been working with Habitat for Humanity on converting former illegal marijuana grow houses in his district into livable homes for low-income earners. Finally, Guerra has steered an additional $500,000 to Saint John’s Program for Real Change and City of Refuge, nonprofits that have existing shelters. He’s now coordinating with the Power Inn Alliance on planning a safe parking lot for families to sleep in within his district. Guerra has been working on other fronts, too. He is chairman of the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, where he’s pushed for more resources to improve public health in South Sacramento. He also serves on the city’s library authority and helped expand hours and a lunch program at the Colonial Heights Library. But Guerra says his proudest accomplishment was leading the charge for the city of Sacramento to stand up to the Trump administration’s deportation policies in 2016, which culminated in the council passing protection policies for local undocumented families in danger of being separated by ICE. “The people who are living in our neighborhoods, going to our schools and working in our businesses, they’re doing the same things every American is doing,” said Guerra, from an immigrant family himself. “When those families started being targeted, suddenly people weren’t showing up to work, and kids weren’t attending school. That was really destructive.” Ω
Food on the table Trump administration wants to cut food stamps, but California goes to court by Jackie Botts
Fourteen states, including California, filed suit Jan. 16 against the Trump administration to block a rule that would eliminate food stamps for an estimated 688,000 Americans. “No one should have to choose between a hot meal and paying their rent,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “Yet again, the Trump Administration has failed to offer any legitimate evidence to justify decisions that have real consequences for the health and well-being of our residents.” The states plus Washington, D.C., and New York City are claiming that the Trump administration failed to follow the steps required to enact such a far-sweeping rule. The new rule, scheduled to go into effect on April 1, requires that adults without children must work at least 20 hours per week to consistently receive food stamps. In California, that will initially affect about 400,000 Californians, or 11% of people currently getting food stamps, according to the state Department of Social Services. For a decade, states and counties have gotten that limit waived by demonstrating that the local labor market made it hard for people to find jobs. All but six California counties—Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, Santa Clara and San Mateo—have waivers. The new federal rule makes that waiver much more elusive in most of the state. A city or county must have an unemployment rate of at least 6% to qualify. California closed 2019 with a statewide unemployment rate of just under 4%. An estimated 40 California counties would be subject to the 20-hour work requirement starting April 1, while 18 central and northern counties would be spared initially due to their higher unemployment rates.
Why did the trump administration do it? When he announced the rule in December, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said it will restore the original intent of food stamps: “self-sufficiency.” But anti-poverty advocates reject the claim that limiting food stamps will encourage people to work more, citing evidence that food stamp work requirements have failed in other places. The initial proposal spurred more than 140,000 public comments, with many calling the policy outdated and cruel.
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In the first year, more than 55,000 Californians are expected to lose the benefit, according to Becerra’s office, which amounts to more than $100 million in lost benefits. The lawsuit claims that women and people of color would be most affected because they face higher barriers to employment. Other groups at risk of losing their food stamps include people experiencing homelessness, veterans, people recently out of jail or prison and former foster youth, according to Jessica Bartholow, a policy advocate at the Western Center on Law and Poverty.
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hoW is the state getting ready? State and county officials are reaching out to all recipients subject to the new requirements, alerting them of the change and getting as many as possible into local employment and training programs. Through those programs, affected adults can keep their CalFresh benefits. Also, state lawmakers and advisers to the governor are exploring ways that the state could provide a Band-aid if the rule survives the courtroom. For the first few months, the state plans to shield people from the new requirements using a backlog of month-long exemptions to the work requirement that the state has been banking. Under the new rule, those exemptions will disappear in the fall. One solution is to use state funds to provide food stamps. That’s the idea behind a bill introduced last year by Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks, a Democrat from Oakland. That could be pricey. The state estimates it could lose as much as $400 million in federal funding for CalFresh if all three of the proposed food stamp rules go into effect. “The state is not in a position to backfill directly the federal contributions by writing a $400 million check,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said last week. But, he added, his administration is looking at ways “to significantly minimize” that cost. He said he had put $20 million for food banks in his proposed budget as a “placeholder.” Ω Jackie Botts is a reporter at CalMatters. This article is part of The California Divide, a collaboration among newsrooms examining income inequity and economic survival in California. The full story is available at CalMatters.org.
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Why are so many Sac restaurants shutting down?
n the surface, the scene looks like an idyllic snapshot of brunch time in downtown Sacramento. It’s a recent Saturday morning at Jim-Denny’s Diner, where servers carry Frisbee-sized pancakes to its sunny and crowded patio. Inside, the 10-seat counter remains packed and chatty while onions and burgers sizzle on a tiny grill. The line snakes out the door and down 12th Street. But it all goes down bittersweet. Jim-Denny’s Diner is in its final days, with plans to close for good on Feb. 2 after 85 years in business. What smarts even more is how much scenes like this are being replicated these days in Sacramento. Danielle McCune, co-owner of Jim-Denny’s, sometimes holds back tears as the restaurant’s final closure inches near. She and her family took over the landmark eatery about a decade ago, the fifth family
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to carry on this iconic Sacramento brand that was founded when Franklin D. Roosevelt was president. “I’m trying not to cry,” McCune said by phone after a recent lunch rush. “All my kids grew up there and I’m trying to tell them what to do now. Our whole life was Jim-Denny’s. We never saw this coming until December.” Starting in the final weeks of 2019, Sacramento has witnessed a dramatic wave of restaurants closing or announcing their impending shutdown. At one point, headlines blared “bloodbath” as the toll hit 10 restaurants in less than two weeks. The list includes such beloved legacy spots such as Jim-Denny’s Diner, Original Perry’s and Café Marika. New-school restaurants weren’t spared either, including Hot Italian, The Press Bistro and Mother, the Michelin-honored vegetarian restaurant.
Local restaurateurs are spooked, wondering if Sacramento’s food bubble has burst. Customers wonder what’s becoming of Sacramento as the industry in “America’s Farm-To-Fork Capital” seems to be going fallow. Or maybe restaurants have been drenched in a perfect storm of business challenges, as costs continue to increase from a higher minimum wage, rent and food—all while trying to survive on razor-thin profit margins. McCune said the property owner was planning to double their rent. The nearby Sacramento Convention Center is closed for renovations until November, which cut the diner’s tourist business. Jim-Denny’s Diner was done. “All I can say is thanks for the love and support, and keeping us there as long as we were,” McCune said.
the bottom line The truth is most restaurants are lucky to make it in the long haul. Restaurants tend to run on the slimmest of profit margins, often between 3% and 5%. So even the slightest of overhead increases can do significant damage to a restaurant’s bottom line. DeVere White says the minimum wage increase to $13 an hour as of Jan. 1 means “thousands of dollars” of increased costs. When wages rise, so do workers’ compensation and payroll taxes. And that’s on top of spiking food costs and rents. “Every year, everything goes up,” DeVere White said. “Whether you own a restaurant or not, you go to the grocery store and realize that carton of milk used to be $2.99 and now it’s $4.99. It’s no different for us.” “A lot of restaurants are trying to do more with less,” he added. “You might not have a hostess or food runner like you used to. Do you just keep one server on the floor? We all know how quickly that can backfire.” Or owners opt to shut down. The uptick in restaurant closures isn’t limited to Sacramento. According to SFGate, which crunched numbers from Yelp and other sources, more than 400 restaurants closed in San Francisco during 2019. Restaurateurs took their complaints to City Hall in September, raising such issues as high rents, labor costs and other factors they said were crippling the local industry. The California Restaurant Association has kept a close watch. Based in downtown Sacramento, just a few blocks from Jim-Denny’s Diner, the association advocates for the state’s nearly $82 billion restaurant industry. “If policymakers don’t find a solution that helps both workers and small businesses thrive, more family-owned restaurants will close and more working people will lose a shot at a first job,” an association spokesperson said in a statement to SN&R. Like San Francisco, the issue of spiking rents remains a key concern for Sacramento restaurants. According to TRI Commercial, a property management company that collects real estate data in Sacramento and other cities, retail leases have in Midtown and downtown more than doubled over the past decade, from $1.39 per square foot in 2009 to $2.26 in 2019. Want to open a restaurant in Downtown Commons or near the Golden 1 Center? Those leases can jump to $3.50 to $4 per square foot.
Photo courtesy of ken magri
Remember a decade ago, when a Golden Age of restaurants and culinary culture emerged across the country? Sacramento was no exception. Local chefs became celebrities, while a rush of new places catered to just about every taste. Whether it was sushi, vegan dishes, high-end tweezer food or a gigantic burger, Sacramento had it covered. Rodney Blackwell remembers those salad days, when food bloggers scurried to the latest openings and new foodie events were born. In 2012, on the heels of his successful “Burger Junkies” blog, Blackwell founded the Sacramento Burger Battle. This all-you-can-grub event for charity now draws upwards of 1,000 people each year. “For me, it was exciting because it was all new to me,” he said about the early 2010s. “I had just discovered an app called Foodspotting. That’s where I found all the restaurants downtown and saw where people were eating. They were different than the usual upscale places. They were diverse and cool and it was fun to see it all grow.” Then, it all seemed to change in the final weeks of the decade. Fat City Bar & Café in Old Sacramento closed in November after 43 years of business. Original Perry’s, the beloved South Sacramento diner, announced its closure in December after a half century, citing slowing business and rising rents. Hot Italian, the Midtown pizza staple, closed on Dec. 29 following ownership disputes. New Year’s Eve was especially grim. As 2020 approached, Mother, Sail Inn Grotto & Bar in West Sacramento and The Press Bistro all served their final customers and prepared to shut down for good. The closures didn’t stop. In January, Café Marika’s owners announced they were retiring after serving Hungarian food for three decades. Jim Denny’s-Diner and Café Rolle, the French sandwich shop in East Sacramento, announced their own closures. By the end of the month, Gogi’s Korean BBQ near the State Capitol was also done. Local restaurant owners such as Simon DeVere White had worried about a downturn like this. Along with his brother, Henry DeVere White, the family oversees De Vere’s Irish Pub locations in downtown Sacramento and Davis, along with The Snug bar at 15th and R streets. They’ve seen the times get tighter all around Sacramento’s restaurant industry, neighborhood diners and white-tablecloth eateries alike. “I think this is the tip of the iceberg,” Simon DeVere White said. “We’re going to see a lot more restaurants close this year. It’s not just one thing. Minimum wage is not the reason restaurants are closing. It’s part of it. But it’s part of a larger issue and problem. It’s really hard right now with the costs of doing business being so high and every year going higher and higher.” But like all industries, there will be good times and big downturns. The Great Recession of 2008 also led to a wave of local restaurant closures.
The opening of the Golden 1 Center in 2016 was supposed to be a boon for downtown restaurants. Several new eateries opened in anticipation. But it’s proven to be an especially tricky area to do business, said Brenda Miller, a TRI Commercial vice president who specializes in leasing restaurant space. The cost of leases, tough competition and light traffic on non-event nights are a triplewhammy for restaurant owners. “There was new development on K Street in front of the entrance that still is not totally complete, and because of cost of construction and the excitement, the rates were very high,” Miller said.
These figures also don’t account for “triple net,” a typical agreement where tenants pay all property expenses—such as maintenance, real estate taxes and building insurance—on top of their leases. And leasing costs almost always go up; the industry standard is 3% each year. A restaurant that in 2010 was paying $10,000 per month in rent is now at a rate closer to $15,000 a month. “For us, the main thing was the rent,” McCune said about her restaurant’s closure. “The property was being sold by the owner and it was going to double the rent we pay. It’s been crazy.”
Jim Van Nort, left, was the original owner of Jim-Denny’s Diner. Here, Van Nort stands in front of his beloved eatery with friend Armando Magri in 1973.
one last bite So is the line back at Jim-Denny’s Diner. Gloria Patton-Ross of Sacramento endures a nearly two-hour wait to receive her burger order. But it’s now or never. She savors the memories, as do so many others in line. They take cell phone pics and ask for mementos. A copy of the menu, a business card, even the smallest of souvenirs will do. “I worked across the street and used to come here all the time, for breakfast and lunch,” said Patton-Ross, with a whisper of defeat in her voice. “This was one of my favorite spots. It’s such a shame, but it is what it is.” The soul of Sacramento can be found in homespun places such as Jim-Denny’s. You can also find it in a plate of goulash from Café
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Photo by foon rhee
Photo by foon rhee
Cafe Rolle, a French cafe in East Sacramento, closed in January after 17 years.
A handmade sign in Midtown urges support for locally owned restaurants instead of national chains.
Photo by stePh roDriguez
A man passing by on K Street stops at Mother to read its farewell letter taped to the front door. The Michelin-honored vegetarian restaurant announced its closure on New Year’s Day.
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Marika, or a hot duck pâté sandwich from Café Rolle, or a dish of steaming loco moco from June’s Café, the Japantown favorite that’s been shuttered since July. When legacy restaurants like these go away, so do slices of Sacramento history. Their dishes speak to the city’s diversity, the character of its neighborhoods and the loyalty of its customers. “The neighborhood joints, you’re not just meeting your neighbors there, you’re getting to know the chefs, the cooks,” said Blackwell, the food blogger. “When you become a regular at
a place like that, people know your name, like a Cheers kind of thing. It sucks to lose places where you have the familiarity, and you can only hope other places will come in to fill those needs.” Ultimately, Sacramento’s restaurant industry may be undergoing its latest changing of the guard, one where the strongest will survive—and thrive—in this age of rising costs. After the Great Recession, other restaurants filled vacated spaces as well. “Things are always going to be evolving,” said Christina Snyder of TRI Commercial. “Even though we’re having this kind of fallout from restaurant tenants, we’re already getting calls from other [restaurant owners] that aren’t even in this market.” So Sacramento restaurant owners press on, through the grim headlines and financial challenges. Some glimmers of good news have emerged during the spate of closures. Though Mother closed its K Street spot, some of its signature dishes can still be found at Empress Tavern. Part of Mother’s founding team is also on the verge of opening Jim’s Good Food, a diner at 16th and O streets. It was also announced this week that Nash & Proper, the popular food truck that peddles Nashville-style hot chicken sandwiches, will open a brick-and-mortar location at the former Mother spot.
“All I can say is thanks for the love and support, and keeping us there as long as we were.” Danielle McCune co-owner of Jim-Denny’s Diner
The long-vacated Saddle Rock space near 18th and L streets recently reopened as Saigon Alley. Opa! Opa! is relocating to Midtown after originally announcing in November that it was shutting down in East Sac. Localis is moving to East Sacramento and turning its 21st and S location into a tapas bar. Even in these turbulent times, the hunger for Sacramento cuisine is still there. “It’s always sad to see a landmark restaurant close,” DeVere White said. “But I’m very optimistic and I’m very passionate about what we do. As the city goes through its growing pains, so do the restaurants.” Ω
Farewell to local favorites SN&R dining writers recall their favorite dishes and memories at shuttered local restaurants Sandra dee’S In 2006, I moved into an apartment in Alkali Flats. I remember the agent would only meet me early in the morning. I realized why after a few days of playing house: After 10 a.m., the whole street would smell like an old fryer. I lived next door to Sandra Dee’s—and it quickly became my go-to spot. It was where girlfriends and I would pregame. The bar was full of dusty bottles, and drinks were expensive and weak. The stools were always crooked, but we liked the lighting in the corner where we could take selfies and loudly gossip without the leering glances of random dudes. It was where I would take first dates. Could this new person take me at my worst stuffing my face with too-greasy fried chicken? Or deserve me at my best sloppily wiping the best barbecue sauce I’ve ever had off my cheeks? I eventually became “vegetarian,” meaning I ate two things at Sandra Dee’s: cereal and the mac and cheese. The macaroni was soft, and it was loaded with salty, creamy, slightly chalky cheese sauce, with a crunchy top that I would save for the very last bite. More than a decade before Wide Open Walls, Sandra Dee’s had an artist paint legendary musicians on its exterior, which served many downtown fashion bloggers well. Somewhere in the internet ether exist dozens of pictures of hipster kids posing in front of the only pre-Instagrammable wall in Sacramento. In the last years of Sandra Dee’s run, it was vogue to criticize it—the bad service, the prices, etc. When celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay and team came to spruce up the joint in the reality show 24 Hours to Hell And Back, there were hopefuls who prayed it would breathe much-needed life into the greasy spoon. The changes stubbornly didn’t stick. I liked it the way it was. — Oll a SwanSOn
Jim-denny’S diner I remember waking up in my downtown apartment craving a hearty breakfast to soak up the drinks from the night before. The fridge was empty, so my partner and I biked down 12th Street to Jim-Denny’s Diner and it just so happened that two seats opened right up at the 10-seat counter. It was (and still is until Feb. 2) a front-row seat to the incredibly fast pace of employees working the line. Because of the diner’s close quarters, customers could hear bacon and sausage links sizzle next to hash browns and be warmed by the steam from the grill. My fresh cup of coffee poured from an old, brown-rimmed coffee pot was served in a decorative Christmas mug that you’d find in Grandma’s cabinets. It was Christmas in July sipping out of that mug. I will also never forget the special seat, right next to the old rotary phone mounted on the far wall. A local historian once told me that it’s custom to answer the phone and maybe take an order or two. That was the type of charm Jim-Denny’s created throughout the years. A few dishes I’ll miss may not be over-the-top special, but simple breakfast comforts enjoyed with friendly chatter have their appeal: The Small Breakfast Combo Plate, with one egg, choice of meat (bacon of course), half order of hash browns and a mini pancake. A side of sourdough toast and a couple splashes of Tabasco, and I was all set that morning years ago. Thank you for the memories JimDenny’s—and for the hot pastrami sandwiches. —Steph RO dRigue z
“Original Perry’s opened in 1968 and looked it until the very end: With the booths and stained glass partitions, it was a diner that hewed closely to its original aesthetic.” Lindsay Oxford
Last weekend, I watched The Shining for the first time at the Crest Theatre. When Shelley Duvall screams in horror as she reads a crudely scrawled “Redrum” in the mirror, my mind immediately went to that cute drive-in shake shop in Davis—Redrum Burger, formerly known as Murder Burger. When I found out it closed in August, I felt a nostalgic sadness at the loss of such an unassuming, old-fashioned diner. My husband and I happened upon it while driving around Davis one late Saturday afternoon. We had a coupon for Dunloe Brewing, but wanted something quick and greasy before guzzling a few free beers. I spotted it and suggested it, kind of as a joke because it looked a little run down and maybe not even open. But he was intrigued by the name and we decided to try it. We both had the same thought: This could either be an amazing, no-messing-around burger joint or a this-just-in-from-the-freezer joint. To the pleasant surprise of our happy bellies, it was the former. The 1950s-style diner featured a massive menu with a million more options for additional toppings, sauces and sides. Whether placing an order at the window or counter inside, a cheerful smile welcomed customers to take their time choosing a burger “so good they’re to die for.” Elk, bison or ostrich burgers, killer hot dogs, deep-fried veggies and, of course, the infamous Aggie Annihilator with two, half-pound patties, bacon and melty cheese. Each burger came wrapped in paper and cushioned between two fluffy sourdough buns. The hot, crispy fries sprinkled with salt and soaked through with grease made my heart hurt, but my taste buds happy. I miss the fries the most, especially dipped in Redrum’s garlic mayonnaise or pesto sauce. Thanks, Redrum Burger, for making so many tummies full with loaded burgers and crunchy fries. —te SS a MaR gueRite Outl and
Original Perry’S As a herbivore, I can’t tell you much about Original Perry’s extensive diner menu, other than that the French fries passed muster. I have a friend who waxes poetic about the Linguica N’ Cheese Burger, and that friend was devastated when I told him that Original Perry’s closed in December after 51 years. What I can tell you about Original Perry’s is that it was open 24 hours, and I’ve spent many late nights there with friends and with coffee, hashing out problems or just catching up. On the rare occasion that I’ve visited in daylight, the place was packed and the staff knew their regulars’ orders by heart. Original Perry’s opened in 1968 and looked it until the very end: With the booths and stained glass partitions, it was a diner that hewed closely to its original aesthetic. So does Mr. Perry’s Coffee Shop about a mile away. With a similar menu and ambiance, it’s the second of three establishments opened by Perry Potiris. Despite the similarities, the two have different owners. Original Perry’s was owned by Paul Fraga, who worked his way up from busboy to manager, then purchased the diner in 2010. Fraga clearly loved Original Perry’s. He blamed the closure on high rent, but also the rising minimum wage. It’s disappointing to hear a restaurant owner grumble about the expense of paying employees the bare minimum, especially when he himself once held those same positions. —lind S ay OxfORd
01.23.20 | SN&R | 17
Local comedians Ruby Setnik (left) and Maryam Moosavi host Living Room Live, a monthly comedy show that’s held in their living room.
by AShLey hAyeS-Stone
How two comedians brought laughter to their living room
t n a r o d o e
D a dream and
18 | SN&R | 01.23.20
Photos by Ashley hAyes-stone
a Midtown, multistory Victorian, a large crowd of locals chat through their Friday night while sipping on craft beer as they sit in rows of mix-and-match furniture. A playlist featuring artists such as Elton John and Mac Miller plays through a house speaker, setting the chill vibe of the night. This scene might seem like a typical house party, but on one side of the room are several house lamps and Christmas lights that illuminate a makeshift stage with a duct-tape microphone stand and wooden stool. Ruby Setnik peeks behind the sheet in the DIY green room, the kitchen. She grasps her microphone and nods to her co-host Maryam Moosavi to turn off the music. The noisy chatter turns into cheers as Setnik introduces herself. “From all the way downstairs, please welcome your host, Ruby Setnik,” Setnik says, making her way to the front of the stage.
Finding a stage That night, local comedians Setnik and Moosavi transformed their living room into the venue for their show “Living Room Live,” a free, monthly comedy night. “Living Room Live feels like our little piece,” Moosavi says. “[It’s] something we can grow and learn
from, and an opportunity for our local comedians, too.” Their show has only been around for three months but has featured Kiry Shabazz, Melissa McGillicuddy and others. And it was all thanks to a business relationship that eventually turned into an accidental friendship. In 2019, the duo met at a Comedy Spot open-mic night. Both had a year of stand-up under their belts, but wanted a comedic companion to confide in and sharpen their jokes with feedback. A few months, the two grew close, and last September, Netsik and Moosavi decided they wanted to take their comedy to the next level. They wanted to host their very own comedy show. “We wanted to pay back the comedians that have booked us so many times, be in control and have more time to test our material,” Moosavi says, “but finding a venue was difficult.” They searched at different places around the Sacramento area and stumbled upon a certain theater they didn’t want to name. They created a plan that involved pretending to be business partners, schmoozing over the venue with “we mean business”-like confidence and putting on deodorant. “We were like, ‘We would like to use your venue to accommodate our show we want to do,’” Setnik says. “They were like ‘Cool, just send us your insurance,’ and we were like, ‘Cool, we will get back to you.’”
SERIAL KILLER MADNESS See ARTS & CULTURE
POPPIES ON THE LOOSE
See ARTS & CULTURE
VEGETABLES RUN WILD See DISH
have a name for their show. They wanted something straightforward, and since it’s in the living room and it’s live comedy, they landed on Living Room Live.
Comedian Alfonso Portela performs his set during Living Room Live, a comedy show put on by local comedians Ruby Setnik and Maryam Moosavi in their living room. .
They did not get back to them. Setnik was inspired by McGillicuddy and Shahera Hyatt’s “Moving Van Show,” a pop-up comedy show that involves a vacant lot, a battery-operated speaker and a microphone. She liked the idea that comedy could happen anywhere. So Setnik and Moosavi decided to put the mic and speaker in their 15-by-30-foot living room in the “Eye Street Co-Op,” a house with 10 bedrooms, including a cottage in the back, where 12 people live together and share the expenses of food and chores.
The two young comedians started promoting their first show in October by creating social media accounts, inviting all their friends and family and posting homemade flyers around the neighborhood. Theirs featured two characters on a couch, illustrated by Setnik, and chirography done by Moosavi that read “Live from our Living Room, it’s Living Room Live.” Booking comedians came easily to Setnik and Moosavi since they already had connections to the comedy scene. They figured they’d book comedians they find funny, who complement each other and who have helped them further their careers. The day of their first show, they prepared the living room, a two-hour process. It came naturally, as they’d picked up a few tricks from comedy shows in local venues. They knew to make the stage the brightest spot in the room, by moving all the lamps to the front. They arranged and tested each seat for comfort and accessibility. Perfect. Then, the two began work on their set lists, which in the comedy world are outlines The co-op focuses of jokes. on community, and Moosavi the house has hosted sticks with the music events for local Ruby Setnik more traditional artists. While this would co-host, Living Room Live approach by writbe its first comedy show, the ing keywords of her housemates were all on board. jokes on a piece of paper, “I personally enjoy being able while Setnik draws a doodle to listen to comedy from my staircase,” that represents a joke. says Lauren Taber, one of the residents. When curtain call was closing in, “I feel that I’m at the center of something the only people who had arrived were that’s about to pop off.” family members. With their landlord’s blessing and “Maryam was worried it would be their housemates’ support, Setnik and like Woodstock,” Setnik said, “and I Moosavi had a location, but didn’t
“Maryam was worried it would be like Woodstock, and I was worried it was just going to be our moms.”
SAMMIES NOMINEES UNLEASH THE NOISE See CALENDAR
was worried it was just going to be our moms.” Eventually, about 40 friends, family and community members filled the room, with a variety of adult beverage choices. It’s a free show, but there’s a tip jar. The money is split between all the comedians and used for better equipment for the show. The action started with the charismatic Setnik warming up the crowd with her unapologetic style of joke telling—comparing her neverhome housemates to failed ghosts. Moosavi followed with her softspoken voice, distracting the audience from her bold punchlines, including how she accidentally sent nudes to her girlfriend’s dad, and now he’s asking for more. The two guest local comedians, McGillicuddy and Benton Harshaw, finished off the show. Since their first show, it has attracted regulars such as Aubrey Zevallos, an avid comedy-goer, who says that it’s different than other venues. “It’s a very intimate, personal setting where you get to have more of a relationship with the comedians than you might with a public venue,” Zevallos says. Unlike venues that have a drink minimum and lack comfy chairs, the living room provides an intimate setting that gives a sense of community. “It’s more cozier and intimate,” McGillicuddy says. “I knew a lot of people in the audience, so it felt like you’re in the living room doing comedy for friends.” There haven’t been any hecklers, but if they do show up, Setnik and Moosavi are more than willing to put on their mom jeans. “If someone heckles us, I will just send them to my room,” Setnik said. The comical pair will continue to host their show every third Friday. For Moosavi, it’s not only about having their own outlet to strengthen their comedy, but having the freedom to do it. “A lot of comedy is waiting around, asking for permission and waiting for approval,” Moosavi said, “but it is ours, and it’s very empowering.” Ω
Catch Living Room Live at 2121 I St. on Jan. 24 and follow them on Instagram @livingroomlivecomedy for upcoming shows.
01.23.20 | SN&R | 19
by Patti RobeRts
music-makers in sacramento SN&R
Janis stevens assumes the role of a famous sacramento serial killer.
Photo courtesy of DaviD Kamminga
for the best Memories of murder Serial killer Dorothea Puente gets the stage treatment
Frankie and the Defenders SAMMIES 2020 Nominee Rockabilly
voting ends 03.11.20
In the early 1980s, the old gray Victorian on the 1400 block of F Street had seen better days. The ramshackle rooming house was sagging and faded, matching the Sacramento neighborhood where many were trying to scratch out a living. The nondescript house provided a roof for poor tenants living on their Social Security payments, with a rather unremarkable woman acting as landlord. Dorothea Puente was a quiet, thin, gray-haired woman offering housing for the down-and-outers, and her unassuming manner let her blend in, while also letting her get away with murder—multiple murders. Sacramento is home to one of the most notorious con artists and serial murderers—the seemingly sweet Puente, who killed her tenants, buried them in her backyard and then continued to cash their Social Security checks. Now, her story is coming to the stage. Ray Tatar, artistic director of California Stage, remembers the shocking days, weeks and months in the early ’80s when the bodies were dug up and the killer was slowly unveiled. “At the time of the murders, I worked at the California Arts Council three blocks away from the boardinghouse on F Street,” Tatar says. “I actually drove by the day the police were digging up the yard. On the following day, when I read about the bodies, I felt the same revulsion most people experienced.”
With so many unanswered questions about the victims, the motive and the mysterious madam of F Street, Tatar slowly realized how compelling the story could be. “As I began to follow the trial in the papers, I began to think that there is a deeper story, one that could make a great play,” Tatar says. “I was convinced that there was also much to learn from the life of this villain.” Fast forward almost 40 years, and Tatar reached out to award-winning East Coast playwright Mark Loewenstern and commissioned him to write that play. The result is the California Stage premiere of Dorothea Puente Tells All! An Evening with the Magnanimous, Distinguished and Noble Lady of Sacramento, starring local awardwinning actress Janis Stevens and opening Jan. 24 for a five-week run. “I’d vaguely heard about the boardinghouse lady who buried bodies in her yard, and my first thought was that I didn’t want to do a play that sensationalized murder,” Loewenstern says. “My initial reaction was that she was an evil genius. With not even a high school education, she spent her life fooling many people whose job it was to see through scammers like her.” Loewenstern learned so much more about the con woman-turned-murderer when he came to Sacramento for some on-the-ground research. “I was able to get interviews with people who were part of this story: a social worker, a detective, a juror on the trial, a lawyer she retained for civil matters,” he says. “I drank and jawed with patrons at places she drank at or worked at: Henry’s Lounge, the Zebra Club, the Round Corner, the bar that’s on the site where Joe’s Corner Tavern used to be. “I certainly felt an obligation to make her more than just a one-dimensional killer who kills,” Loewenstern says. “Her ability to manipulate people and institutions reminded me of an evil genius. I was interested in how she got so many people to love and admire her while she was doing so much damage.” Tatar adds: “Some of the key issues [that] come barreling out of this production include criminal motivation impelled by narcissism, greed, deception and conning. And if I do not say this I would be remiss—the growing devaluation of human life in America.” Ω
catch Dorothea Puente tells all! at the Wilkerson theatre, 1725 25th st. fri, 8pm, sat 8pm and sun 2pm. runs through feb. 23. tickets are $20. for more info, visit calstage.org.
Photo courtesy of the crocker Art MuseuM
1/28 • 7:30 PM the DarK crystal 2 /2 oscar shorts 2020
3:00 PM animateD 5:30 PM Documentary a | 8:00 PM Documentary b
2 /3 oscar shorts 2020
3:30 PM Documentary a 6:00 PM animateD | 8:30 PM live action
2 /4 oscar shorts 2020
3:30 PM Documentary b 6:00 PM live action | 9:00 PM animateD Impressionist painter Granville Redmond captured more than just poppies.
Now open at 9th and J in Downtown Sacramento!
Deliciou SB ! h ow
orFul co F
“‘Alas,’ he writes, ‘people will not buy them. They all seem to want poppies,’” Granville Redmond said to Arthur Miller of the Los Angeles Times in 1931. He may best be remembered for his paintings of the “Golden State” flower, but the California impressionist did much more than paint colorful landscapes laden with orange blossoms. Now, in his first solo exhibition in more than 30 years, The Eloquent Palette will open at the Crocker Art Museum on Jan. 26 and will feature more than 80 works by Redmond, his largest show yet. “He was certainly the best wildflower painter in their natural environments in California,” says Scott Shields, Crocker’s chief curator. Redmond was born in Philadelphia in 1871. By 2 1/2 he lost his hearing to scarlet fever, and at 8 he was enrolled in what was called at the time, the California Institution for the Education of the Deaf, Dumb and Blind in Berkeley, where he began to study art. “He did his talking through his art, he would say,” Shields says. In 1890, Redmond left the Berkeley Institute and enrolled in classes at the California School of Design, and within three years left for Paris. It was there that he painted “Matin d’Hiver,” which depicts a simple barge floating on the Seine on a misty winter morning. The scene is ghostly and sparse, split
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1013 K street downtown sacramento • (916) 476-3356 • crestsacramento.com
uiceS h yumm DJ yS Se m
by PatRIck Hyun WIlson
2 /15 • 10:30 PM the lost boys
Granville Redmond’s landscapes provide a window into California’s forgotten past
2 /14 • 10:30 PM Poetic Justice
nearly in half by the horizon; each brick and ripple and distant purple building are applied with loose broad pigments. Above the horizon, the sky is transformed into a blanket of muted greens and grey. Redmond stayed in Paris for two more years, obsessed with winning a prize at the Paris Salon, but he never did. He returned to California in 1898, destitute and depressed. That same year, he opened his own studio in Los Angeles and began signing his pieces as Granville Redmond, marking a new direction in his life. He painted across California through the early 20th century, beginning the work that he would become most recognized for—the California poppies. His 1911 “Pond with Poppies” shows a small, undulating landscape dotted with a few short trees, some bushes and a blue pond. Though the trees and sky are painted with muted tones, a bright tract of golden yellow and orange wildflowers peeking over a tiny hill makes everything come alive on the canvas. Redmond worked tirelessly painting the landscapes of California. They were not only an important part of the California Impressionist movement, but also testaments to the state’s changes since his time. In a 1920 painting of Catalina Island, heavy strokes of color create a picture of Sugarloaf Rock as a steamer pushes through the water. Like all of Redmond’s work, the scene is sparse and impressionistic; the warm tones of the large land mass are solid and unmovable. You won’t find Sugarloaf Rock in the real world anymore. To make room for a new casino in 1928, gum industrialist William Wrigley had workers haul in dynamite to destroy the natural landmark, as it would have blocked views of the open ocean. “You look at these paintings now, and you think how much has been lost in California,” Shields says. “You look at Menlo Park and all those in San Jose, in Southern California, Los Angeles, and think, ‘What is this landscape now?’ It’s a strip mall probably.” Ω
2 /7 • 7:30 PM alien
916.594.7689 • 980 9th Street • Sacramento, CA 95814 the eloquent Palette runs through May 17. the crocker Art Museum, 216 o st. for more info, visit crockerart.org.
Pump Boys and Dinettes
Digital coming-of-age By PaTTi RobeRTs
Photo courtesy Matthew MurPhy
Sister Act is one joyous musical from start to finish. Deborah Hammond is Deloris Van Cartier, a lounge singer under the thumb of her gangster boyfriend, who hides in a local convent under the name Sister Mary Clarence. Hammond is magnificent with a powerful voice that raises the roof. Each of the 10 numbers in which she is featured are wonderful. Fri 7:30pm, Sat
Director Abbey Campbell guides this outstanding group of actorsinger-musicians with a deft hand and never takes the easy step of mocking the culture. Rather, she gives us an opportunity to experience a genuine taste of a simpler, maybe purer, slice of American life. Wed 7pm, Thu 7pm, Fri
8pm, Sat 2pm & 8pm, Sun 2pm & 7pm; Through 2/16; $25-$40; Sacramento
short reviews by Jim carnes and Bev sykes.
7:30pm, Sun 2pm; Through 2/2; $7-$25; Woodland
Theatre Company, 1419 H St.; (916) 443-6722; sactheatre. org. J.C.
Opera House, 340 2nd St., Woodland; (530) 666-9617; woodlandoperahouse. org. B.S.
1 2 3 4 5 FouL
it’s not easy bringing up teens.
Dear Evan Hansen
wed 8pm, thu 2pm & 8pm, Fri 8pm, sat 2pm & 8pm, sun 2pm; through 1/26; $48-$180; Memorial auditorium, 1515 J st., (916) 5571999, broadwaysacramento.com.
There are so many groundbreaking elements of the Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen that it’s difficult to figure out what to highlight first. This coming-of-age musical tackles subject matters not usually dealt with in a Broadway show: the complex emotional and social struggles of teenagers, the angst of mothers trying to guide and deal with their struggling teens and the impact social media has on youth. The strength is how this production presents contemporary issues realistically, without the usual musical schmaltz or neatly tied-up storylines. And all are supported by a songbook with heart-tugging, dramatic and relatable numbers such as “You Will Be Found,” “For Forever” and “Waving Through a Window,” along with groundbreaking technology that presents social media as an integral and visual component of the show. There’s the main character of Evan Hansen (played by a totally captivating Stephen Christopher Anthony). Evan is an awkward teen with social anxiety who gets pulled into a school tragedy, reluctantly becomes a social media presence and finds himself an unworthy hero who has built lies around himself. Also portrayed are the teens that enter and exit Evan’s world. And then there’s the truthful, messy portrayal of two mothers trying desperately to relate to, and deal with, their growing distant teenagers caught up in worlds they don’t understand. These are brave, universal representations not usually tackled in Broadway musicals, with a particularly heartrending performance by Jessica E. Sherman as Evan’s mother. Ω 22
suBLIMe DoN’t MIss
3 It takes a village A small town in Michigan was playwright James Hindman’s inspiration for Popcorn Falls, the comedy currently at B Street Theater, directed by Lyndsay Burch. The town was on the verge of bankruptcy until a theater opened. A couple years later the town had two theaters, a hotel and a restaurant jammed with people. Popcorn Falls is a fictitious town whose tourist attraction is its namesake falls. When a corrupt politician turns off the falls to turn it into a sewage treatment facility, Mayor Trundle (Greg Alexander) discovers that the town will receive a sizable sum of money if it can put on a play in a week. There’s only one problem—there is no theater, no play and no actors. “No problem,” says Trundle, as he meets other members of the town to get a play produced. Alexander and Dave Pierini, two of B Street’s most popular actors, play more than 20 characters in this very funny comedy, including Joe, a janitor; Becky, a bartender; Ms. Parker, the cat-loving town librarian; Floyd, the one-armed owner of the lumber yard; Mrs. Stepp, the chain-smoking middle school teacher and town vamp; a bored teenager and more. Pierini plays most of the characters, changing headgear, minor costume details, body language and accents in an eye blink, while Alexander is mostly the mayor and one or two other characters. It’s an amazing achievement, particularly for Pierini, and keeps the audience laughing throughout the 90-minute, one-act performance. —Bev SykeS
screen pick The first step in becoming an ace navigator is learning how to boil an egg.
Sink or swim Are you a cinema purist who loves when pictures move, but hates when movie stars talk? You’re in luck: The Fair Oaks Recreation & Park District is putting on a Silent Movie Night for your silent viewing pleasure. The film in question? Buster Keaton’s The Navigator, a classic tale of adventure, romance and a boat excursion gone wrong. Content warning: There will be live organ music, put on by the Sierra chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society. If you’re a music purist who hates when organs play music, proceed with caution. Fri, 1/24, 6pm; Through 1/24; $8-$10; Fair Oaks Community Clubhouse, 7997 California Ave #1, Fair Oaks; (916) 966-1036; forpd.org.
—Rachel Mayfield Popcorn Falls: wed 2pm & 6:30pm, thu 8pm, Fri 8pm, sat 5pm & 9pm, sun 2pm, tue 6:30pm; through 2/23; $25-$37; B street theatre, 2700 capitol ave.; (916) 443-5300; bstreettheatre.org.
Retro chic oasis offers more than room The Greens Hotel makes Del Paso the place to stay by Allen Pierleoni
nless you happen to look up and spot the sign on Del Paso Boulevard that reads “The Greens,” across the street from King Cong Brewing Co., you can drive past this independently owned boutique hotel and not have a clue to what it is. That’s because the oasis is hidden from the world by a rolling gate, and noise-suppressing 9-foot-high hedges and ivy-covered walls. This latest incarnation of The Greens — offering “retro-chic lodging,” as it proclaims — opened two years ago under the ownership of Dhruv Shah and Abhi Shah, not brothers but family members. (A sister Greens is on Stockton Boulevard.) They’ve done a remarkable renovation of the 25-room property. “We’ve brought back what the [North Sacramento] community deserves,” Abhi Shah said.
Guest rooms are finished in sleek simplicity with custom touches and quality bedding, flooring, lighting and art, along with polished stainless-steel Dutch doors. There are no room numbers on those doors; instead guests can’t miss the superlarge “sculptures” of letters in front of the rooms, serving as pieces of outdoor art. The heated pool and garden areas are common grounds for relaxing with a glass of wine. “We capitalize on our personal touch, with a lot of interaction between the staff and guests,” Shah said. “We have music playing during the day, guests sitting in the garden having picnics.” Another draw is the convenience of getting to Midtown Sacramento. The Globe Avenue light-rail station is nearby, there’s easy freeway access and there’s always Uber. “We’re close to downtown, but we don’t have downtown pricing,” Shah said.
The Greens Hotel on Del Paso offers plenty of places to gather in comfort including its lobby. Photo by anne stokes
Plus, he pointed out, “Having a brewery across the street, and Shift Coffee House, Southpaw Sushi and Art Space 1616 art gallery next door, guests are able to stay in one spot and (patronize) businesses they might not see unless they stayed here.” Winter room rates range from $79 to $89, with summer at $119 to $139. “But there are always discounts and seasonal promotions, (such as) buy two nights, get one night free. When one promotion ends, another begins,” he said. As for clientele, “most of our demographic is between 20 and 45
years old, people open to trying different things,” Shah said. “Many of them are here for concerts at the Golden 1 Center or other events, and we’re at full capacity in the summer. People are booking with us for the Capital Beer Fest (March 7) and the Aftershock Festival (Oct. 9-11). Once the Major League Soccer stadium is built...”
The GReens hoTel on Del Paso 1700 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento, www.thegreensdelpaso.com 916-921-1736
Come discover the Boulevard or visit us online at delpasoboulevard.com
UPcominG evenTs FriDay, Jan. 24
SaTurDay, Jan. 25
Ultimate Rodeo After Party with the Michael Beck Band 9 p.m.|$10 for 21+, $15 for 18-20
Adult Painting 11 a.m.| free
Enjoy live music from The Michael Beck Band Friday night! Receive a $5 discount with a PBR ticket stub. Stoney’s Rockin Rodeo 1320 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento
Explore your inner artist! Participants are provided with the paint and canvas, as well as tea and coffee. Adults only. Registration is required. North Sacramento-Hagginwood Library
We’re ringing in the neW Year With 20/20
With the addition of North Sacramento Optometry Our vision for the future is “perfect”!
That Guy Eyewear Look good. See well. Pay wholesale. 2203 Del Paso Blvd • 916.226.0257 • thatguyeyewear.com
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iLLuSTrATiON BY MAriA rATiNOvA
No bib required brisket burger, duke’s plates & pints
The Green Curry at Thai Lao Cuisine is a savory bowl filled with crisp green beans, red bell peppers, eggplant and bamboo shoots, all swimming in a delicious coconut milk base.
A family meal Thai Lao Cuisine
PHOTO BY OLLA SWANSON
by OLLa SwanSOn
Good for: Hearty groups, families with small children Notable dishes: Larb, Lao Sausage Asian, Fair Oaks
With everything set up so easily for us to stay home, why bother going out to eat? Special occasions aside, dinner at the mom-and-pop down the street is no longer a family ritual. One such mom and pop, Thai Lao Cuisine, even sits in a cursed location that has had as many reincarnations as there are Thai restaurants in a five-mile radius. Like all strip mall restaurants, it’s unassuming. The décor is forgettable and there’s no ambiance to mention. But the patrons are familiar and comfortable: A few grimy bikers enjoying their spring rolls in one corner and a gaggle of retired grandmas loudly gossiping over noodles in another. In corner number three, Thai Lao’s grandma babysits a small child, who is clearly the restaurant’s little mascot. After ordering, the boy came by to say hello and since I played toe soccer with him, he came by frequently to play, giving his dad (the owner) something to adorably chase around. Thai Lao serves Thai and Lao cuisines as the name suggests. On the Thai side, everything tasted and looked standard: the Tom Kha soup ($9.95) was perfectly sour and full of veggies, the Green Curry ($9.95) was milky and savory and the Pad Thai ($9.95) hit all the right notes with a sweet tamarind taste. While solid, nothing about the dishes stood out from any other Thai restaurant. 24 | SN&R | 01.23.20
Color-changing cocktails blue butterfly lemondrop, Veg Cafe
5484 Dewey Drive; (916) 844-7775
Armed with a monster appetite, I headed over to Duke’s Plates & Pints in Arden Park to try its Brisket Burger ($15.49). This half-pound brisket patty is cooked to order and topped with Tillamook cheddar, applewoodsmoked bacon, thick-cut onion rings and house barbecue sauce—all stacked in between a buttery ciabatta bun. I appreciated the judicious dollop of sauce, which enhanced both the delicate sweetness of onion and the smoky succulence of crispy bacon without overpowering the tender brisket flavor. It’s a decadent burger, as all barbecue should be, with a perfectly balanced sweet-and-smoky tang. And it won’t stain your shirt when you tear into it. 510 La Sierra Drive, dukesplatesandpints.com.
But Thai Lao does deliver the feared, notorious and oft-times banished Thai hot that thrill-seeking palates crave. A good server can read their customer and offer the right heat suggestion—level 2—and she was right on: just enough to light a small fire on the tongue. The Lao dishes are the more exciting items on the menu. Thai Lao’s Larb (minced meat salad) ($10.95) is close-your-eyes addictive. The bite of tangy lime with a splash of cool mint make a mark that your taste buds crave. I barely looked up as I wolfed down the Larb, even when my new little friend attempted to play “grocery store” with me as his father chased after him with a smile. Thai Lao’s signature dish is the Lao Sausage ($14.95), which is made in-house with herbs grown from the owners’ personal garden. It’s served browned and cut with rice, steamed veggies and a hot dipping sauce. In the first bite you can taste its originality: the tart kaffir lime leaves, calm aromatic lemongrass and a hint of syrupy galangal. Combined with the dipping sauce, steamed vegetables and rice, it makes for a welcome bite. Yet, the sausage alone is slightly tough and dry. But that’s OK because you don’t come here for a showstopping meal. You come here because the little mascot gives you a big grin as a welcome and a pout when you’re leaving. You come because your server knows what kind of spice mood you’re in. You come for a chat about gardening with the owner. In a world where community is being lost to delivery and online orders, places like Thai Lao exist to bring us back together. Ω
Veg Cafe sits above Thai Basil near 25th and J streets and brings worldly flavors and adventurous libations right to the heart of Midtown. Its most popular cocktail, the Blue Butterfly Lemondrop ($10.50), has houseinfused vodka with real blue butterfly tea sourced from Thailand and packs welcome notes of lemongrass, ginger, orange and a bit of floral from chrysanthemum. This beverage is also known to change in color from dark blue to a beautiful lavender hue when citrus is added. It can also be ordered without alcohol, paired with Veg’s refreshing ginger lemonade for a new twist on a classic Arnold Palmer ($5.50). 2431 J St., vegsacramento.com.
SacTown VegFest returns SacTown VegFest, a one-day vegan event hosted by the Sacramento Vegetarian Society, celebrates its fifth year on Feb. 1. The event grows yearly: In 2019, it moved to its current home at McClellan Conference Center after three years at Sacramento High School. It’s a mix of food, vendors, activists and educators, all promoting veganism. Though many vendors are VegFest mainstays, the lineup significantly overlaps the Sacramento Vegan Food Festival held in Cesar Chavez Park last October. It’s expected to happen again, date TBD. But at $5, VegFest is one-third of the cost of its competitor. If you’re only there for the food, both of these events just bring together vendors you could access separately on any given weekend without paying a cover. It would be excellent to see both groups join forces so someone can support the vegan community without duplicating efforts.
IllustratIon by Mark stIvers
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Music is better with beer visit armadillomusic.com for new releases!
The other four-letter word by Natalie MartiNez
While there are many goals to set for the next 12 months, weight loss and health-oriented ones remain at the top of the list. According to the market research tool, Polly, 71% of approximately 275,000 participants surveyed set a weight loss and exercise goal for 2020. “Diet” is considered another four-letter word that causes stress and insecurity. Add in strict restrictions and rules, and it’s no wonder most fail due to lack of enthusiasm. To put it frankly, it’s just not fun. However, the diet industry has once again sparked a trend that brings the appeal of losing weight paired with eating all the fried meats and cheeses one desires. The keto—short for ketogenic—diet was a buzz-worthy sensation of 2019, and it’s not stopping anytime soon. Women’s magazines, internet ads and Instagram hashtags have been inundated with keto recipes and stories of fast weight loss while eating juicy steaks covered in butter, coconut oil-laden coffees, pork rind nachos and all the bacon you could ever desire. What’s not to love?
But there’s good reason not to jump too quickly on the keto bandwagon. Foods commonly eaten on the keto diet include high amounts of protein and saturated fat, including red meat, butter, bacon, fried foods and whole milk dairy products such as cheese and heavy creams. Excess meat and whole milk dairy products often contain high amounts of saturated fat, and there are a plethora of studies showing the correlations between high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease, a leading cause of death for women. On the other hand, foods forbidden on the diet include fiberrich whole grains, sweet potatoes, starchy vegetables and fruit, which often contain antioxidants and are wonderful sources of vitamins and minerals. “The ketogenic diet lacks the nutrition your body needs to function effectively,” said local dietitian Martha Lawder. “While some have found success with the diet and weight loss, I would question the potentially negative
long-term effects it may have on their metabolic function.” Harvard’s School of Public Health has also questioned the long-term effects, because there are not many studies available. Business Insider also named keto as the worst diet of the year based on health risks. “A diet rich in vegetables, fruits and whole grains provides the nutrients that your body needs for healthy metabolic function,” Lawder said. “Without them, it’s like going to the store and forgetting your shopping list. You can sort of do it, but not very well.” As a dietitian, Lawder also emphasizes the importance of fiber for women’s health with 25 grams the minimum daily amount, easily found in grains such as farro, barley and brown rice. “Nutrition isn’t a one size fits all thing, so don’t stress if something works for someone else and doesn’t work for you,” Lawder said. “Think about your long-term health goals, and make a sustainable plan that will get you there in the healthiest way possible.” Ω
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The Big Show Home & Landscape Expo has something for everyone
music-makers in sacramento SN&R
Frankie and the Defenders SAMMIES 2020 Nominee Rockabilly
voting ends 03.11.20
On the plant side, succulents continue to be the big trend. At 3 p.m Sunday, succulents expert Kileen Alvidrez will demonstrate how to plant and grow vertical succulent gardens. It’s one of several featured workshops. (For a full schedule, go to homeandlandscapeexpo.com.) Another trend: Our backyards continue to evolve into living spaces. “The landscape designs are much more about creating environments like your living room,” Norville said. “They’re designed with company in mind, a space to relax and entertain, even in winter. We see that in all the landscape designs.” An annual highlight, the show includes Succulents expert Kileen four designer landscapes, each covering 1,000 Alvidrez shows how to plant a square feet. vertical garden at Cal Expo. That’s not easy in January. “Landscaping is what’s lacking at other [winter] shows. Our show attracts the strongest group of that. We have one whole building that’s only landscape A lot has changed in the quarter century since the and garden, with companies also into garden in other Northern California Home & Landscape Expo buildings and areas, too.” debuted. A winter stalwart at Cal Expo, the threeSpeaking of landscape designers, the show pairs day show is the state’s largest of its kind, annually two of Sacramento’s best known experts: Michael attracting more than 30,000 patrons. Glassman and Roberta Walker. For the first time, “This is our 26th year, I can’t believe it!” said they’ll be paired in special workshops at 2 p.m. show coordinator Stefani Norville. “Think about Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday as well as separate the number of years, the economic changes, the presentations. ups and downs in the housing market. So much has “They’ve launched a new gardening podcast happened. I’m thankful to be where we are.” called ‘Digging Deep,’” Norville said. “Their “The Big Show,” as its aptly nicknamed, runs workshop will be an insiders’ look at over 20 Friday through Sunday, Jan. 24-26. More than 1,000 years in the industry. ... I definitely want to attend vendors will pack Cal Expo, offering the latest one of those.” Ω products and services for home and garden. Some trends are obvious, Norville noted. “We could actually do a [standalone] solar show; there are so many solar vendors,” she evenT deTAilS said. “Everything is going in that [clean energy] direction.” northern California Home & Our living spaces are getting smarter, she added. landscape expo “We have a lot of automation; everything from Noon-6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. garage doors to thermostats to efficient sprinklers Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, cal with weather sensors. More technology is permeating Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd. all areas of our homes and gardens.” admission: $10, children 12 and under There’s also a show within a show: The admitted free; seniors (62 and older), teachers, military, police and fire California Pets Showcase. personnel, half price Friday. “We tried this last year and it was so busy,” Norville said. “It fills a whole building. The vendors offer lots of freebies; I left with so much stuff for my dog. The idea came from our demographics. We found that more than 80% of people who attend debbie arrington, an award-winning garden writer and lifelong gardener, is co-creator of the sacramento digs Gardening blog show have a pet. We feature all small, really local and website. companies.” Photo courtesy of NortherN califorNia home & laNdscaPe exPo
for the best
by Debbie Arrington
Hookah for Two Only $22!
• Over 100 Flavors to Choose From • Live Belly Dancing on Friday and Saturday
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2321 J St, Sacramento • 916-588-4488 • Sun-tHu: 5pm - 12am • Fri & Sat: 5pm - 2am
Little Relic owner and bench jeweler Susan Rabinovitz hand-crafts and repairs jewelry on-site at her Midtown shop.
Photo by Melissa Uroff
Custom Treasures Little Relics offers sustainably-sourced, hand-made wearable art
by Anne S tokes
hen you walk through the door, it’s immediately clear Little Relics isn’t like other big-name jewelry shops: There are no high-pressure salespeople or cases of mass-produced wedding rings. What you will find are contemporary hand-made pieces and a traditionally-trained bench jeweler who can create unique statement pieces or repair just about anything put in front of her, even complicated repairs that other jewelers turn away. “My skill set is pretty wide,” says Susan Rabinovitz, a certified Graduate Jeweler and owner of Little Relics. “We do anything from costume jewelry all the way up to platinum. We are also the only house that has hand-crafted jewelry.” Not only is Little Relics able to do all custom work on site, Rabinovitz is committed to using ethically sourced fair-trade materials, something to consider when looking for perfect wedding bands and anniversary or birthday gifts.
“People can comfortably buy from us and their conscience can be clear,” she says. “If you want something that’s super unique or to have a little personality or a twist to it, I’m definitely someone who can build it.” From dainty stacker rings to precious gemstone statement pieces, Little Relics carries a wide variety of jewelry to choose from, both in price and design. However, Rabinovitz says some of her favorite work is reworking heirloom jewelry into new treasures. “People are pushed to buy new pieces of jewelry instead of refurbishing or repurposing what’s being passed down through families. That’s what I love doing, taking a piece of your family history and refurbishing it or repurposing it and still adding to the future of that piece,” she says. “I get super stoked when people want my craft to be a symbol of their life together. I love that.”
Find unique treasures at Little Relics, located at 1111 24th St. in Sacramento. Visit online at www.littlerelics. com or call 916-346-4615 for more information on custom jewelry design or repair requests.
Midtown owned & operated House Made Jewelry, Repairs & Local Artisan Gifts 1111 24th Street (Corner K & 24th) • 916.346.4615
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for the week of january 23
by Patrick hyun wilson
POST EVENTS ONLINE fOr frEE AT newsreview.com/sacramento
music thursDAy, 1/23 BLEED THE SKY: Bleed The Sky, Skinlab, Arise in Chaos, So This Is Suffering and Cemetery Legacy stop by Sacramento on their Revival Tour. 6:30pm, $13. Holy Diver, 1517 21st St.
GLOBAL rHYTHMS MArTA PErEIrA DA COSTA:
A venue you wish you were at The STarleT room, 9pm, $12 One day you may find yourself asking the age-old question that has crossed the mind of every sonic enthusiast at SAMMIES one time or another. How much noise could two guys—armed with a drum set, guitar and a stack of amps— really make? Well if you’re desperately searching for answers, then you can rest easy, because your answer is right here with 2020 Sacramento Area Music Awards nominee Cities You Wish You Were From.
Eli Jenkins and Tyler Downie are the only members of the genre-bending band, blasting more musical ferocity than you’d ever expect from two people, straddling the line between the crunchy distortion of hard rock and the call-and-response stylings of the blues. They’ll be playing a show along with fellow SAMMIES nominee Jessica Malone, in a venue you’ll wish you were at. 2708 J St., thestarletroom.com.
photo courtesy of cities you wish you were from
Two SAMMIES nominees will be playing in the city they don’t have to wish they were from, because they’re already here.
Marta Pereira Da Costa brings Portugal’s sound to Crocker Art Museum for the return of the concert series, “Global Rythyms.” 6:30pm, $15-$25. Crocker Art Museum, 216 O St.
JIGO: With a blend of jazz, fusion, funk, Latin and rock, the Sacramento-based band plays Fox & Goose. 8pm, no cover. Fox & Goose, 1001 R St.
rASKIN, BrOWN, TArASOV, HOOPES QUArTET: The experimental jazz quartet returns to Gold Lion Arts to perform live improvisational free jazz. 8pm, $5-$20. Gold Lion Arts, 2733 Riverside Blvd.
rEMEDY 7: Seven Sacramento musicians come together to play electric country at Old Ironsides. 6:30pm, $5. Old Ironsides, 1901 10th St.
rOYAL THUrSDAYS: Spinning Afro beats, dance hall, hip-hop/R&B, enjoy music from a different angle of the Afro music genre. 9:30pm, no cover. Chaise Lounge, 1330 H St.
SHAUN MArTIN TrIO: Grammy Award-winning Shaun Martin brings his trio to The Sofia in Sacramento. 7pm, $30. B Street Theatre, 2700 Capitol Ave.
SONS Of APOLLO: Metal group Sons of Apollo come to Sacramento as a part of their 2020 North America tour with Tony Macalpine. 7:30pm, $14.75-$39.50. Crest Theatre, 1013 K St.
TANYA TOMKINS AND ErIC ZIVIAN: Cellist Tanya Tomkins, and pianist Eric Zivian will perform an evening of Chopin, Beethoven and Debussy at a “Shinkoskey Noon Concert.” 12:05pm, no cover. UC Davis, 1 Shields Ave., Davis.
hey don’t wait, get a ticket already.
AArON WATSON: Country music singer Aaron
Watson will perform live in Sacramento. 7pm, $25. Ace of Spades, 1417 R St.
ekALi A worLD AwAy tour
Canadian instrumentalist Ekali is coming to Sacramento as part of his A World Away Tour 2020 Ace of Spades, 2/13, 8pm $20, on sale now aceofspadessac.com.
show Matilda the Musical will be brought to Sacramento. Harris Center, 2/213/1, various times $15-$58, on sale now harriscenter.net.
wycLef JeAN Haitian musician Wyclef Jean comes back to Sacramento to perform on stage with special guests. Harlow’s, 2/21, 11pm $32.50, on sale now harlows.com.
roALD DAhL’s mAtiLDA the musicAL Inspired by Roald Dahl, the Tony Award-winning
Go country strong, Miranda. |
petrichor with Be BeAch fossiLs Brooklyn-based trio Beach Fossils return to Sacramento showcasing its latest album Somersault.
Mondavi Center, 2/22, 6pm on sale 1/28 mondaviarts. org.
B BLAke sheLtoN’s she frieND frieNDs AND heroes Blake Shelton’s
Friends and Heroes 2020
tour comes to Sacramento. Special appearances by The Bellamy Brothers, John Anderson, Trace Adkins and Lauren Alaina Golden 1 Center, 2/22, 7pm $75-$125, on sale now golden1center.com.
mirANDA LAmBert Miranda
Lambert performs with Cody Johnson and LANCO at the Golden 1 Center part of her Wildcard Tour 2020 Golden 1 Center, 2/29, 7pm $20-$96, on sale now golden1center. com.
ByhALiA, mississippi An edgy new comedy from Evan Linder will be hitting the stage at B Street Theatre. B Street Theatre, 3/3, Various times $20-$47, on sale now bstreettheatre.org.
THE AVIATOrS: The Southern California rock ’n’ rollers will be coming to Roseville to rock out. 9:30pm, $10-$15. Opera House Saloon, 108 Main St., Roseville.
CHAD BUSHNELL’S EP rELEASE PArTY: This will be Chad’s first full band show of 2020 and the first release party for his new EP Baby I Love You that released Jan. 20. 7:30pm, no cover. Goldfield Trading Post, 1630 J St.
CITIES YOU WISH YOU WErE frOM: SAMMIES nominees Cities You Wish You Were From and Jessica Malone perform at The Starlet Room. 8pm, $10. The Starlet Room, 2708 J St.
DAVID WILCOX: Folk musician David Patrick Wilcox has been in the music business since the 1980s and 40 years later will perform live in Sutter Creek. 8pm, $25-$29. Sutter Creek Theatre, 44 Main St., Sutter Creek.
snr c a le nd a r @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m
online listings will be considered for print. print listings are edited for space and accuracy. Deadline for print listings is 5 p.m. wednesday. Deadline for NightLife listings is midnight sunday. send photos and reference materials to calendar editor patrick hyun wilson at email@example.com.
GHOST TOWN rEBELLION: Ghost Town Rebellion (SAMMIES nominee in the live performer category), The Bobbleheads and Honey Power will be performing live music at Old Ironsides. 9pm, $7. Old Ironsides, 1901 10th St.
LOS STELLArIANS: Ojai-based funk band Los Stellarians are coming to Sacramento as part of their Demon Tour 2020. 7pm,
$27. Holy Diver, 1517 21st St.
BAT THE GrEATEST HITS Of MEAT LOAf: Meat Loaf’s backing band The Neverland Express and American Idol winner Caleb Johnson come to Sacramento to perform the music of Meat Loaf. 7:30pm, $39.50-$59.50. Crest Theatre, 1013 K St.
MYLAr’S HIPPIE HOUr frIDAYS: Award-winning singer-songwriter William Mylar (SAMMIES nominee in the reggae/jam category) has been performing these Sacramento-exclusive music events since 2012. 5:30pm, no cover. Louie’s Cocktail Lounge, 3030 Mather Field Road, Rancho Cordova.
NICE MONSTEr: Sacramento progressive rock band Nice Monster will perform live at Fox & Goose. 9pm, $10. Fox & Goose, 1001 R St.
SCArfACE: Scarface will perform with a
live band in Sacramento. 8pm, $22.50$28. Harlow’s, 2708 J St.
sAturDAy, 1/25 rED VOODOO: Van Halen tribute band Red Voodoo will perform Van Halen’s music live. Red Voodoo is nominated in the cover/tribute band and live performer categories in this year’s SAMMIES. 9pm, $7. Strikes Unlimited, 5681 Lonetree Blvd., Rocklin.
ALEX JENKINS QUArTET: The Alex Jenkins Quartet will be presenting music from its new album Live at the CLARA. 7pm, $15. Watermelon Music, Davis, 1970 Lake Blvd. Suite 1, Davis.
AMErICAN MILE: Los Angeles rock band American Mile will come to Sacramento for a free concert at Goldfield Trading Post. 7:30pm, no cover. Goldfield Trading Post, 1630 J St.
BACKBAr SATUrDAYS: Backbar Saturdays is every week in the backbar of Golden Bear with DJ Mike Diamond, nominated in the deejay category in this year’s SAMMIES. 10pm, no cover. Golden Bear, 2326 K St.
TICKET TO rIDE: Beatles cover band Ticket to Ride will be playing Beatles classics at Tower Brewing. 6pm, no cover. Tower Brewing, 1210 66th St.
fIELD DAY: Melodic hardcore band Field Day will perform live with special guests, Kevin Seconds, The Knockoffs (SAMMIES nominee for revival band) and Bastards of Young. 8pm, $17. Cafe Colonial, 3520 Stockton Blvd.
GLASS BAT: Sacramento indie band Glass Bat will be performing with Analog Dog and Landline. 8:30pm, $8. Old Ironsides, 1901 10th St.
THE QUEENS Of SOUL JAZZ: Capital City Entertainment Group presents Jazz at 2300 with The Queens of Soul Jazz, Althea Rene and Jeanette Harris, along with special guest BeBe London. 7pm, $40-$520. The Center, 2300 Sierra Blvd.
Titans in Sac Holy Diver, 6:30pm, $10
The Last Titan is a pretty hardcore name: Greek children of primordial deities, preceding even the Olympian gods, well known for their power and overthrowing their tyrannical father SAMMIES Uranus. It’s a killer thing to be a Titan, and fitting that they would play metal music. I can’t promise that the Sacramento metal band are the siblings of Cronus or Phoebe—they’d be getting a bit long in the tooth to be performing— PHOtO cOurteSy Of BrIaNa BONILLa but they are nominated in the 2020 Sacramento Area Music Awards. This Saturday, you can catch the maybe deities at Holy Diver. 1517 21st St., holydiversac.com.
JERRY’S MIDDLE FINGER: Jerry Garcia tribute band Jerry’s Middle Finger will perform rock music live in Auburn. 6:30pm, $15$20. The Auburn Odd Fellows, 1226 Lincoln Ave., Auburn.
THE LAST TITAN: Sacramento metal band and 2020 SAMMIES nominee The Last Titan will perform live in their hometown. 6:30pm, $10. Holy Diver, 1517 21st St.
ORGY: Orgy will perform live with TriggerEffect (SAMMIES nominee in the metal/hard rock category), Lioncourt, Winter Reign, Samora, Anarchy Lace and Dead Girls Corp. 6pm, $20$25. The Boardwalk, 9426 Greenback Lane, Orangevale.
THE PAPERBOYS: Folk rock band The Paperboys will be performing as part of the music series at The Sofia in Sacramento. 7pm, $35. B Street Theatre, 2700 Capitol Ave.
ROB LEINES: Outlaw country rocker Rob Leines will be performing live in Sutter Creek. 6:30pm, $10. Sutter Creek Provisions, 78 Main St., Sutter Creek.
VOICE OF THE CELLO: Sacramento Baroque Soloists cellists perform a selection of Baroque Cello Sonatas, one of three concert sets at Harris Center in their 18th season. 2pm, $20-$32. Harris Center, 10 College Pkwy, Folsom.
UNCHAINED: Bobby Dickson of the Cash Prophets play all-American country and western music as part of Unchained. 9pm, $5. Fox & Goose, 1001 R St.
THE USED: American rock band The Used
stop in Sacramento for its 2020 tour. 7pm,
$37.50. Ace of Spades, 1417 R St.
VLATKOVICH LIEBIG AND POWELL TRIO: Trombonist Michael Vlatkovich, bass guitarist Steuart Liebig and drummerpercussionist Garth Powell will perform live jazz. 8pm, $5-$20. Gold Lion Arts, 2733 Riverside Blvd.
WYCLEF JEAN: Haitian rapper Wyclef Jean comes to perform in Sacramento before leaving for Sweden. 9pm, $32.50. Harlow’s, 2708 J St.
SuNday, 1/26 ASSIA AHHATT: Ukrainian violinist Ahhatt performs modern classics live featuring dancers, singers and more special guests. 7pm, $19.50-$49. Crest Theatre, 1013 K St.
KOO KOO KANGA ROO: Sing along with the Minneapolis dance party band when they visit Sacramento and perform with Kepi Ghoulie. 6pm, $15-$40. Holy Diver, 1517 21st St.
LEE BOB & THE TRUTH: Jazz rhythmic funk band Lee Bob & The Truth perform live jazz in Sacramento. 9pm, call for cover. Shady Lady, 1409 R St.
MADI SIPES & THE PAINTED BLUE: Madi Sipes & The Painted Blue perform at The Starlet Room with talker and Dan Sadin as part of their Neck of the Woods 2020 Tour 6pm, $12 The Starlet Room, 2708 J St.
THE REVEREND HORTON HEAT: Texas-based psycho-billy trio The Reverend Horton Heat will be coming to Sacramento. 6:30pm, $26.50. Harlow’s, 2708 J St.
SUNDAY SESSIONS LIVE: Blue Note Brewing Presents Sunday Sessions Live featuring Bottom Dwellers. 3pm, no cover. Blue Note Brewing, 750 Dead Cat Alley, Woodland.
MONday, 1/27 HOWARD ALDEN QUARTET: The Howard Alden Quartet will perform live with Curt Moore and Peter Barshay in celebration of guitarist Django Reinhardt’s 110th birthday. 7pm, $25 Dante Club, 2330 Fair Oaks Blvd.
JACQUEES: R&B singer and songwriter Rodriquez Jacquees Broadnax comes to Sacramento for his King of R&B Tour. 7pm, $35. Ace of Spades, 1417 R St.
tueSday, 1/28 DUDE YORK: Rock band Dude York performs live in Sacramento. 6pm, $12 The Starlet Room, 2708 J St.
WedNeSday, 1/29 BLUES & BOURBON DANA MORET: The Blues & Bourbon series at the Starlet Room presents Dana Moret. 5:30pm, $12 The Starlet Room, 2708 J St.
THE LIL SMOKIES: The Lil Smokies tour in celebration of the release of their album Tornillo in Sacramento. 7pm, $18 Harlow’s, 2708 J St.
feStIVaLS Saturday, 1/25 GOAT DAY 2020: A day of education and outreach connecting goat owners and producers from throughout the region. 9am, $15 UC Davis, 1 Shields Ave., Davis.
CALENDAR LISTINGS CONTINUED ON PAGE 30
SEE MORE EVENTS AND SUBMIT YOUR OWN AT NEWSREvIEW.COM/SACRAMENTO/CALENDAR
Center performing Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty Waltz 2pm & 7pm. Thursday 1/23. $19-$68. The Play That Goes Wrong. The story goes like this: It’s opening night of The Murder at Haversham Manor, where things are proceeding from bad to disastrous. Various times. 1/28 & 29. 10 College Pkwy, Folsom.
Gold Mountain: Chinese Californian Stories California museum, noon, no CoVer
HOUSE OF OLIVER: Murder at Ollie’s. 6 Players
PHOTO COURTESY OF ARNOLD GENTHE An all-new signature exhibition is coming to the California Museum. Gold Mountain: Chinese Californians Stories tells the story of the contributions that Chinese immigrants to California have made MUSEUM in the 150 years since the Gold Rush. Despite a long history of Orientalist depictions of Chinese immigrants and racial discrimination, Chinese people have contributed greatly to California. Learn more at the California Museum. Opening night will also include a special Lunar New Year celebration. 1020 O St., californiamuseum.org.
CALENDAR LISTINGS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 29
LAUGHS UNLIMITED: Justin Rivera. Justin Rivera is a nationally recognized professional magician and comedian and will be coming to Sacramento. Various times. 1/24-26. $20. 1207 Front St.
FOOD & DRINK
PUNCH LINE: Dan Cummins. Stand-up comic
Dan Cummins brings his Toxic Thoughts Tour to Sacramento. 1/23-25. $25. Robert Berry Live Album Recording! Wendy Lewis and Al Shuman open for Sacramento comedian Robert Berry as he records a live album. 7:30pm. Sunday 1/26. $17. Akaash Singh. Comedian and part of “Brownish Comedy,” Akaash Singh comes to perform live stand up in Sacramento. 8pm. Wednesday 1/29. $20. 2100 Arden Way, Suite 225.
THE GUIDO CUP FINALE SACRAMENTO BACON FEST: A culmination of week-long bacon festivities with an exclusive competition before a panel of judges to take home the prized Bacon Fest trophy. 2pm, $75. Mulvaney’s B&L, 1215 19th St.
WEDNESDAY, 1/29 SAMIN NOSRAT: Listen to a 60-minute moderated conversation between Samin Nosrat and Charlotte Biltekoff, followed by a 30-minute question-and-answer session with the audience. 7pm, $25. Mondavi Center, 523 Mrak Hall Drive, Davis.
STAB! COMEDY THEATER: Warm Takes. Comedians are tasked to perform on random topics on a moments notice. What could go wrong? 9pm. Saturday 1/25. $7. 1710 Broadway.
THISTLE DEW DESSERT THEATRE: Tell Me About It! Presented by Errant Phoenix Productions, Tell Me About It! is performed by Unrehearsed Improvised Comedy, a night of improv comedy in the heart of Midtown. 8pm. Saturday 1/25. $15. 1901 P St.
FILM FRIDAY, 1/24 SILENT MOVIE NIGHT: The Fair Oaks Recreation and Park District and the Sierra Chapter American Theatre Organ Society host a night featuring silent film The Navigator (1924) starring Buster Keaton, along with live organ accompaniment featuring Dave Moreno. 7pm, $8. Fair Oaks Community Clubhouse, 7997 California Ave., Fair Oaks.
ON STAGE SUTTER HEALTH PARK: Cirque du Soleil Amaluna. Cirque du Soleil “AMALUNA” comes
to Sacramento. Various times. 1/22-2/23. $50.75-$322.50. Raley Field-Blue parking lot.
CALIFORNIA STAGE: The Field. Black Point
Theatre presents The Field by John B. Keane, directed by Adrienne Sher. The Field is set in the small country village of Carraigthomond in the southwest of Ireland in 1965. Various times. 1/24-2/16. $15-$20. 2509 R St.
THE DARK CRYSTAL (1982): On a planet in the distant past, a Gelfling embarks on a quest to find the missing shard of a crystal and restore order to his world. 7:30pm, $10. Crest Theatre, 1013 K St.
CAPITAL STAGE: Alabaster. An all-female darkly comic Southern drama about women on the verge, art and the power of human connection. After a tornado barrels through a North Alabama town leaving nothing but death and destruction, only June and her wisecracking pet goat Weezy live to tell the tale. Various times. 1/22-2/23. $25-$49. 2215 J St.
COMEDY CREST THEATRE: Paul Reiser Headlines the Crest Theatre. Comedian, actor, television writer, author and musician Paul Reiser from Netflix’s Stranger Things and The Kominsky Method comes to Sacramento. 7:30pm. Saturday 1/25. $35$55. 1013 K St.
HARRIS CENTER: Russian National Ballet’s
Sleeping Beauty. The Russian National Ballet, directed by Elena Radchenko, returns again to Stage One at the Harris
Underground Theatre Company presents Murder at Ollie’s, directed by Sher Freedman. 6pm. Sunday 1/26. $25. 3992 Douglas Blvd. Suite 140, Roseville.
JEAN HENDERSON PERFORMING ARTS: The Drowsy Chaperone. With the house lights down, a man in a chair appears on stage and puts on his favorite record, the cast recording of a fictitious 1928 musical. The recording comes to life and The Drowsy Chaperone begins as the man in the chair looks on. Various Times. 1/24-26. $20. 607 Pena Drive, Davis.
MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM: Dear Evan Hansen. A letter that was never meant to be seen, a lie that was never meant to be told, a life he never dreamed he could have. Evan Hansen is about to get the one thing he’s always wanted. A chance to finally fit in. Various times. 1/21-26. $48-$98. 1515 J St.
SACRAMENTO THEATRE: I Do Not Know How To Love Him The Andrew Lloyd Phenomenon. In STC’s fourth tribute to Sir Webber, audiences will hear favorite tunes and celebrate the composer of such musicals as Cats and The Phantom of the Opera. Various times. 1/23-26. $25-$35. 1419 H St.
ART JOHN NATSOULAS GALLERY: Bark! Dog Group Show. The John Natsoulas Center of the Arts hosts more than 30 international artists. Every medium will be included in this tribute to man’s canine preoccupation. Various times. 1/29-2/29. Roy De Forest Exhibition. In the ’60s, Roy De Forest joined the University of California, Davis faculty, which included William T. Wiley and Robert Arneson, and with them became a major participant in the funk art movement. Various times. 1/29-2/29. 521 1st St., Davis.
KENNEDY GALLERY: Drink Me exhibit. “Mixing Memories in a Glass” The Drink Me exhibition of paintings is up at Kennedy Gallery. Various times. 1/7-2/4. No cover. 1931 L St.
MANETTI SHREM MUSEUM: Stephen Kaltenbach: The Beginning and The End. Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of his abrupt withdrawal from conceptual artwork, this exhibition considers Kaltenbach’s engagement with time as a principal theme across his remarkably diverse career. Various Times. 1/26-5/10. No cover. Gesture: The Human Figure After Abstraction Gesture. The Human Figure After Abstraction presents the transformational work of the first-generation artists of the UC Davis art department. Various Times. 1/26-Jan. 2021. No cover. 254 Old Davis Road, Davis.
PENCE GALLERY: Sculpture by Lynn Dau Objects Speaking Volumes. Lynn Dau investigates themes related to personal identity, gender roles, labor, parenting and consumerism. Various times. 1/7-2/2. No cover. 212 D St., Davis.
UC DAVIS: Appreciation and Adaptation Homage to Global Textiles. This exhibition features traditional textiles from Africa, Asia and South America, collected by Paul J. Smith, director emeritus of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. Various times. 1/23-4/18. No cover. 1 Shields Ave., Davis.
MUSEUMS CALIFORNIA MUSEUM: Small as a Giant. Small as a Giant is a photography exhibit telling both the individual and societal stories of teens sentenced to life in prison before the age of 18. Artist and activist Ise Lyfe has spent the last two years visiting inmates and formerly incarcerated people on location throughout the state. Various times. 1/20-3/15. $0-$9. Gold Mountain Exhibit Launch & Chinese New Year Celebration. Gold Mountain Chinese Californian Stories exhibit’s opening night is the second day of the Lunar New Year and will feature entertainment and crafts. Noon. Sunday 1/26. 1020 O St.
SPORTS & OUTDOORS THURSDAY, 1/23 PORTLAND STATE VS. SACRAMENTO STATE: Sacramento State men’s basketball team takes on Portland State. 7:05pm, $5$10 Sacramento State, 6000 J St.
FRIDAY, 1/24 PROFESSIONAL BULL RIDERS UNLEASH THE BEAST: The Professional Bull Riders come to the Golden 1 Center for three days. Various times, $15-$200 Golden 1 Center, 500 David J. Stern Walk.
MONDAY, 1/27 NORTHERN ARIZONA VS. SACRAMENTO STATE: Sacramento State’s women’s basketball team takes on Northern Arizona. 7:05pm, $5-$15 Sacramento State, 6000 J St.
WEDNESDAY, 1/29 SACRAMENTO KINGS VS. OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER: The Sacramento Kings play a home game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. 7pm, $11-$113 Golden 1 Center, 500 David J. Stern Walk.
LGBTQ SATURDAY, 1/25 CONCERT BENEFIT FOR TRANS QUEER YOUTH: An evening of music by the Sacramento Women’s Chorus, Gay Men’s Chorus and local singer-songwriters Jean and Jim Strathdee to benefit the Trans Queer Youth Collective. This group provides support to LGBTQ+ teens and pre-teens. 7pm, $15-$20. First United Methodist Church of Sacramento, 2100 J St.
CLASSES THURSDAY, 1/23 INTRO TO RYA RUG WEAVING: This is an introduction workshop for rya rug weaving. This technique can be used to make rugs, tapestries or textured shag fabrics for other projects. 5pm, $75-$100 Verge Center for the Arts, 625 S St.
SKETCH 101: Sketch 101 will teach students the basics of writing sketch comedy scripts and developing characters, as seen in television shows such as SNL, MadTV, and Key and Peele. 7pm, $150. Sacramento Comedy Spot, 1050 20th St., Suite 130.
Unleash the Beast Golden 1 Center, Various times, $15-$300
If there’s one thing I know about being a bull rider, it is that it’s a different thing from being a matador. But two things are constant between the two, the bulls are wild and anyone who’s willing to jump on top of them is even wilder. The Professional Bull Riders are coming to Sacramento, and so are SPORTS & OUTDOORS the bulls. For 30 years the Professional Bull Riders have been hosting events for people to watch hundreds of pounds of muscle try to get pesky human riders off their backs. Come to the Golden 1 Center to watch a tradition kept alive in the modern day. 500 David J Stern Walk, golden1center.com. PHOTO COURTESY OF JEREMY HOWARD
Tyra and Daryl Collins PHOTO By MELISSA UROff
barbecue With soul
A local restaurant’s good cooking supports a good cause by MAtt CrAggs
classes on parenting, financial literacy, nutrition and life skills are D ’s Smokin Pit, in the heart of Del Paso open to all and – Tyra said – touch hundreds of lives a year. Heights, owners Daryl and Tyra Collins Tyra recalled one client, Elizabeth, who came to Voices serve their tangy barbecue with a side of of Inspiration. She had lost custody of her children in the community involvement. ’90s and lived on the streets for 10 years. Daryl learned to cook from his mother and “Life-threatening tragedies had left her permanently grandmother, who owned a Midtown soul food restaurant disabled,” Tyra said. “She came to us one day and said, in the 1940s. At D’s Smokin Pit, Daryl showcases his ‘I’m tired, will you help me?’ And we said, yes, smoked meats with what he calls TexaCali of course we will.” Jerk – a mixture of flavors from Tyra and Voices of Inspiration helped his home states, Texas and California Elizabeth find resources, housing respectively. and her now-grown children. “My wife does all the sides and “As soon as she found she’s just brilliant with them,” them,” Tyra said, “and they saw Daryl said. “Greens with smoked their mom, they immediately turkey, red beans and rice, and forgave her, embraced her gumbo – she’s the sides master and started a journey of family and I’m the pit master.” reunification.” The restaurant, which Though Elizabeth – three offers catering and delivery, years sober – left Sacramento provides local employment Tyra Collins to live with her children and opportunities and helps fund Chaplain, Voices of grandchildren, Tyra still talks with the couple’s nonprofit, Voices of Inspiration her often. Inspiration, which operates out of the “She found her life again,” Tyra said. Collins Resource Center. The organization “She’s just so happy.” seeks to rebuild, revive and renew the people Believing that when people are whole, the community in their community, primarily those challenged by can be whole, Daryl and Tyra stand as proof in the power of homelessness and mental health issues. a helping hand. Or a good meal. Voices of Inspiration’s community events, resources and
“she came to us one day and said, ‘I’m tired, will you help me?’ And we said, yes, of course we will.”
Easy to Help While Voices of Inspiration accepts monetary donations, diners at D’s Smokin Pit naturally support their community every time they enjoy a delicious plate of local barbecue. Look for a celebration in February as D’s Smokin Pit collaborates with neighboring Go To Bed to open six days a week with an expanded menu, featuring tacos and fries loaded with the restaurant’s smoked meats.
D’s Smokin Pit 1800 Del Paso Blvd., Suite 101 Sacramento, CA 95815 (916) 993-9428 Daily, 12–7 p.m.
Collins Resource Center 3427 Rio Linda Blvd. Sacramento, CA 95838 (916) 900-8102 voiresourcecenter.com
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California versus the illicit market The Golden State is the top-selling cannabis state, but high tax rates and limited legal access continue to fuel illegal sales by Joe evans
California is the cannabis king by a wide margin. The top-selling cannabis state generated $3.1 billion in 2019 with a predicted growth to $7.2 billion in 2024. That’s 40% larger than all of Canada and 253% mightier than Colorado. The Golden State’s licensed farms grow as much as 9 million pounds of cannabis per year—a number that looks great on paper for investors and aspiring entrepreneurs, but doesn’t exactly tell the full story. While the legal cannabis market is booming in California, the state has
problems to sort out between the industry and its consumers. Due to a variety of factors, including skyrocketing prices and a lack of dispensaries, California’s legal market can only support between 1.8 to 2.2 million pounds per year, or about 20% of what’s being grown. So what happens with the remaining 80%? Most of that cannabis is still being sold to and used by consumers, just not through state-sanctioned dealers. According to recent reports, illegal sellers in California outnumber legal, regulated businesses by nearly 3 to 1.
The United Cannabis Business Association, a California-based group of legal cannabis businesses, found nearly 3,000 unlicensed, unregulated storefronts and delivery services in operation, vastly outnumbering the 873 legal outlets to purchase cannabis. “We’re the only state to go recreational and see a year-over-year reduction in legal sales,” UCBA president Jerred Kiloh said in a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom and state cannabis czar Nicole Elliott. According to a report from BDS Analytics, the illegal market
in California rakes in as much as $8.7 billion per year, dwarfing the legal market. While there’s clearly no issue with cannabis supply, the proper balance with demand is more challenging. To start, the demand for legal cannabis in California has been suppressed by both state and federal red tape. Many counties and cities refuse to allow recreational cannabis sales. According to Alex Traverso, spokesman for the state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control, fewer than 25% of California’s cities allow legal sales. BDS Analytics found that for every 35,137 Californian adults, there’s only one dispensary where they can legally get recreational cannabis. In Oregon, it’s one for every 5,567 adults, and in Colorado, one for every 4,240 adults. In Sacramento, there are only 30 dispensaries for the roughly 500,000 residents, with 10 more potentially slated to open, including some out of the city’s Cannabis Opportunity Reinvestment and Equity Program.
“California versus the ...” Continued on page 37
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“California versus the ...” Continued from page 35
In Oregon, growers amassed an excess of 2 million pounds of legally So if cannabis users can’t legally buy grown cannabis, far exceeding the from a local dispensary, many go to black in-state demand. With federal law still market sources. preventing interstate cannabis trade and Businesses in those cities and counties growers sitting on massive stashes of that allow recreational sales, however, excess cannabis, they turned to the black must pay local taxes (4% in Sacramento) market. That led to something authorities on top of the 15% state tax, along with the called “diversion,” or the illegal funneling costs of permits for growing, selling and of legally grown Oregon cannabis to operating legally. That’s a burden their surrounding states—and it happened a lot. competitors in the black market can avoid. Between July 2015 and January Paul Clemons, director of 2018, 14,550 pounds of licensing and compliance at Oregon-grown cannabis Florin Wellness Center, was seized on its way to told SN&R that taxes, “Although we do 37 other states, shorting fees and red tape are the state of Oregon have high hopes for driving up the price about $48 million in of legal cannabis. 2020, I still think we’re lost potential profit. “Let’s look very much so fighting these “You’re never at it like gas,” going to eliminate new industry woes.” Clemons said. [the illicit market] “Gas is a pretty Paul Clemons until most of the cheap commodity. director of licensing and compliance, states are legal,” It’s all the taxes Florin Wellness Center Adam Smith of we’re placing on it the Craft Cannabis that makes it expensive, Alliance, a group in Oregon especially here in advocating for small cannabis California.” farmers, told Politico. “As long as Phil Blurton, owner of All About half the country still can’t get it legally, Wellness in Sacramento, told KCRA in there’s a market for it illegally.” November that fees and taxes are “making Despite the seeming doom and gloom the cost of our product so expensive the around the prices, taxes and costs on black market is booming now.” both the consumer and the buyer in the Clemons cited other expenses facing Californian legal cannabis market, it’s not Sacramento cannabis businesses, such as all bad news on the horizon for 2020. HD cameras that record 90 days, required More and more states—including in dispensaries. “People don’t think of the Arizona, New Jersey and Pennsylvania— bandwidth of internet that takes, or the are making the push to legalize costs of storage,” he said. “The amount recreational use in 2020. Recreational of money that takes in general is a lot.” cannabis is supported by an overwhelming “Although we do have high hopes two-thirds of American adults. for 2020, I still think we’re very much Lifting the federal ban on cannabis so fighting these new industry woes,” would allow California’s cannabis Clemons added. industry to grow, and allowing legal So how do you compete with a black interstate cannabis trade would let market product that’s cheaper and easier California legally offload surplus to get? cannabis to Nevada and others states Many suggest handing out more short on supply. Ω licenses, allowing more people to open businesses to sell cannabis—the free market approach. With more retail competition, eventually prices for the legal product would go low enough to kill the black market.
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NOTICE TO CONSUMERS: The Compassionate Use Act of 1996 ensures that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use cannabis for medical purposes where medical use is deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician who has determined that the person’s health would benefit from the use of medical cannabis. Recommendations must come from an attending physician as defined in Section 11362.7 of the Health and Safety Code. Cannabis is a Schedule I drug according to the federal Controlled Substances Act. Activity related to cannabis use is subject to federal prosecution, regardless of the protections provided by state law.
Ew, gross. Clogged cartridges are the worst. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do: You can (if your lungs are powerful) “dry hit” the cartridge (don’t heat it up, just suck on it really hard) to dislodge the clog. Or try using a toothpick to push the goop back into place. I have also heard of people who heat up the cartridge using a hair dryer. The best way to avoid clogs is to store your carts and pens in an upright position. Ω
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Eh. Half of me is like: “Whatever. We don’t have to bring them over to our side, we have already won.” Cannabis has had to overcome nearly
Would you know how to unclog it? Thanks in advance.
What’s the best way to destigmatize weed for your parents? Especially when it just became recreationally legal in their state?
Hey dude! Question for ya. One of my vape pens has a clogged cartridge.
tAx exempt 420 Community
Yes, all of that is important. Especially for old timers, or old first-timers. The late great Timothy Leary was a huge proponent of making sure that the “set and setting” were optimal for a positive drug interaction. So pick a good time of day and make sure your friend is in a good space (mentally and physically) before getting stoned. If your OG newbie homie is comfortable with smoking, I would suggest a joint. Something not too strong, say 12-15% THC. Inhaled flower is the easy way to self-titrate a dosage. Take a hit or two, maybe three and let it marinate for a bit. Music is always great when you are high, and healthy snacks should be on hand. If your friend wants to try an edible, start with like 5-7 milligrams of THC and make sure you have a CBD tincture laying around to help smooth them out if they get uncomfortably high. Done right, a flowery deflowering can be a beautiful experience. Let me know how it goes.
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with you for the first time, what advice do you have? Flower, tincture, joint, bowl, time, place, musical ambiance? What if this person is a senior citizen?
100 years of bad propaganda just to get where we are today and we still have a long way to go. I also understand that you want your folks to feel more comfortable with the idea of legal weed, or at least get them to stop complaining about it. Try this: Kindly inform your parents that, according to most studies, a cannabis dispensary in the neighborhood leads to less crime and lower rates of teenage cannabis use. And who doesn’t want less crime? That’s the whole point, right? To make neighborhoods safer? Not only that, cannabis clubs can actually raise property values. If they can’t get behind safer neighborhoods, fewer kids using drugs and higher property values, there is no help for them. Maybe you can teach them these two phrases: 1. Mind your own business. 2. Live and let live. Good luck.
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Free will astrology
For the week oF January 23, 2020
not quite BFFs
ARIES (March 21-April 19): German writer Johann
by JOey GARCIA
invitations, you can restore balance. Along I don’t make friends easily so I really love on the friends I have. now, I’ve hit a the way, you will become a true friend to wall. I’ve always been the one extending yourself. At that point it’s easier to bring invitations to hang out, the one texting caring people into your life, real friends to see how they’re doing and even paying who will have your best interests at heart. the uber driver when we’re out. Lately, I’ve been going through personal issues. My dates never turn into anything when I reached out to my closest friends, serious and I don’t know why. I read this no one had any time for me. they each thing that said, “you’re the common said sorry, but they were really busy. denominator in every bad relationship I’ve never felt so hurt, alone and you’ve had.” So I keep wondering what depressed. Shouldn’t a friend make I’m doing wrong. what is the biggest time for a friend? reason that people don’t find a lasting Yes, although some friendships are onerelationship? sided. Since you invested tremendous The belief that every romantic effort into staying connected relationship should lead to a to friends, you expected commitment interferes with reciprocity. Yet your inner love. If dating doesn’t Don’t be circle has apparently morph into marriage never given you reason hard on yourself or living together, it to believe there would for reaching out to doesn’t mean you’re a be a return on that failure. The relationship friends or for overinvestment. They are just hit its expiration consistently distant, giving. Just see reality date. If you’re trying self-involved and and choose to too hard to drive a unavailable. Still, you relationship toward a change. sought emotional support particular direction, you from friends who never might come across as too offered it previously. Can you intense, even desperate. see how that might be a big ask? So enjoy the journey, the messy, joyful Don’t be hard on yourself for reaching out privilege of getting to know yourself in the to friends or for over-giving. Just see reality company of another. Don’t cling to oldand choose to change. fashioned ideas about marriage as a better There are different kinds of friendships, lifestyle choice than being single. Have fun. some rooted in emotional intimacy, others Stay open to possibilities while growing in based on shared interests. Your friendships self-awareness and love. Ω fall squarely into the latter category. Now you’re ready for something more nourishing. You want a friendship you can depend on, with someone open, available, caring, honest and trustworthy. Do you believe you deserve to have that in your life? I ask because you have settled for crumbs while consistently over-giving. This might mean that you are also distant and unavailable. Over-giving is a shield that keeps relationships unequal. It hides a deeper need to control people and situations. That’s because this kind of giving is transactional: “I’ll do this for you, if someday, you do the same for me.” Beneath over-giving sits scarcity, insecurity and the fear of not being good enough. Ready to shift out of that pain? Allow yourself to receive. By learning to accept everything from compliments to 42
by ROb bRezsny
MedItatIon oF the week “The longer I live, the more uninformed I feel. Only the young have an explanation for everything,” said author Isabel Allende. Are you comfortable answering a direct question with: “I don’t know?”
Write, email or leave a message for Joey at the News & Review. Give your name, telephone number (for verification purposes only) and question—all correspondence will be kept strictly confidential. Write Joey, 1124 Del Paso Boulevard, Sacramento, CA 95815; call (916) 498-1234, ext. 1360; or email email@example.com.
Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) declared that English writer Lord Byron (1788-1824) was the greatest genius of the 19th century. Here’s an interesting coincidence: Byron regarded Goethe as the greatest genius of the 19th century. I bring this to your attention in the hope that it will inspire you to create a similar dynamic in your own life during the coming months. As much as possible, surround yourself with people whom you think are wonderful and interesting and enlivening—and who think you are wonderful and interesting and enlivening. TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Taurus-born Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was a renowned German composer who lived most of his life in Germany and Austria. He became so famous and wellrespected that England’s Cambridge University offered him an honorary degree if he would visit the campus. But Brahms was too timid to risk crossing the English Channel by boat. (There were no airplanes and Chunnel in those days.) He declined the award. I beg you not to do anything even remotely like that in the coming weeks. Please summon the gumption necessary to claim and gather in all you deserve. GEMINI (May 21-June 20): According to my analysis of the astrological omens, the coming weeks will be one of those rare times when you can safely engage with influences that might normally rattle you. You’ll be protected as you wander into the unknown and explore edgy mysteries. Your intuition will be highly reliable if you make bold attempts to solve dilemmas that have previously confounded and frustrated you. If you’ve been waiting for the perfect moment to get a bit wild and exploratory, this is it. CANCER (June 21-July 22): J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851) is regarded as one of England’s greatest painters. He’s best known for his luminous and imaginative landscapes. His experimental use of light and color influenced the Impressionist painters who came after him. But the weird thing is that after his death, many of his works were lost for decades. In 1939, a famed art historian found more than 100 of them rolled up like tarpaulins in the basement of an art museum. Let’s apply this event as a metaphor for what’s ahead in your life. I suspect that buried or lost elements of your past will soon be rediscovered and restored. I bet it will be fun and illuminating! LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): In my early adult life, I lived below the poverty line for many years. How did that impact me? Here’s one example: I didn’t own a mattress from ages 23 to 39, but rather slept on a two-inch thick foam pad that lay directly on the floor. I’m doing better now, thank you. But my early experiences ensured that I would forever have profound empathy for people who don’t have much money. I hope this will serve as inspiration for you. The next seven weeks will be the Empathy Building Season for you. The cosmos will reward you if you build your ability to appreciate and understand the pains and joys of other humans. Your compassion will be tonic for both your mental and physical health. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Ancient Greek author Theophrastus was a scientist before the concept of “scientist” existed. His writings on botany were influential for hundreds of years after his death. But some of his ideas would be considered unscientific today. For example, he believed that flute music could heal sciatica and epilepsy. No modern research suggests that the charms of the flute can literally cure physical ailments like those. But there is a great deal of evidence that music can help relieve pain, reduce anxiety, reduce the side effects of drugs, assist in physical therapy, and even make you smarter. And my reading of the current astrological omens suggests that the therapeutic effects of music will be especially dramatic for you during the next three weeks. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): “Learning to love is difficult, and we pay dearly for it,” wrote the
serious and somber author Fyodor Dostoevsky. “It takes hard work and a long apprenticeship,” he added. All that’s true, I think. To hone our ability to express tenderness and warmth, even when we’re not at our best, is the most demanding task on Earth. It requires more courage than that of a soldier in the frenzy of battle, as much imagination as a poet and diligence equal to that of an architect supervising the construction of a massive suspension bridge. And yet on the other hand—contrary to what Dostoevsky believed— sometimes love is mostly fun and inspiring and entertaining and educational. I suspect that the coming weeks will be one of those phases for you. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): How well do you nurture yourself? How diligent are you in providing yourself with the sustenance that ensures your body, mind and soul will thrive? Are you imaginative in the ways that you keep yourself excited about life? Do you take strong measures to avoid getting attached to mediocre pleasures, even as you consistently hone your focus on the desires that lead you to joy and deep satisfaction? The coming weeks will be an excellent time for you to meditate on these questions. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Seven books of the Old Testament refer to a magical place called Ophir. It was a source of exotic finery and soulful treasures such as gold, peacocks, jewels, frankincense and precious sandalwood. One problem: No one, not even a biblical scholar, has ever figured out where it was. Zimbabwe? India? Tunisia? Its location is still unknown. I am bringing this to your attention because I suspect that in 2020 there’ll be a good chance you’ll discover and gain access to your own metaphorical Ophir: a fount of interesting, evocative resources. For best results, be primed and eager to offer your own skills and riches in exchange for what this fount can provide to you. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Capricorn filmmaker Steven Soderbergh says it’s crucial for us to have a well-developed story about who we are and what we’re doing with our lives. It’s so important, he believes, that it should be the trigger that flings us out of bed every morning. We’ve got to make our story so vivid and interesting that it continually motivates us in every little thing we do. Soderbergh’s counsel is always good to keep in mind, of course, but it will be even more so for you in the coming months. Why? Because your story will be expanding and deepening, and you’ll need to make the necessary adjustments in how you tell your story to yourself. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I’m a big fan of self-editing. For example, every horoscope I write evolves over the course of at least three drafts. For each book I’ve published, I have written but then thrown away hundreds of pages that I ultimately deemed weren’t good enough to be a part of the finished text. And yet now and then, I have created a poem or song in one rapid swoop. My artistic artifact is exactly right the first time it flows out of me, with no further tinkering needed. I suspect you’re now entering a phase like that. I’m reminded of poet Allen Ginsberg’s operative principle: “first thought, best thought.” PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Who don’t you want to be? Where don’t you want to go? What experiences are not necessary in your drive to become the person you were born to be? I encourage you to ask yourself questions like those in the coming weeks. You’re entering a phase when you can create long-term good fortune for yourself by knowing what you don’t like and don’t need and don’t require. Explore the positive effects of refusal. Wield the power of saying no so as to liberate yourself from all that’s irrelevant, uninteresting, trivial and unhealthy.