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JANUARY 30, 2020 | VOL. 31, ISSUE 42

Ben Cooper is Radical Face. He’s been making music for more than 20 years and is coming to Harlow’s on Feb. 2.


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N&R Publications Editor Debbie Arrington Associate Publications Editors Derek McDow, Thea Rood

N&R Publications Staff Writers/Photographers

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 Arts Writer Lindsay Oxford 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, 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

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Anne Stokes, Allen Pierleoni

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Director Cindy Nichol, who started in October 2018, told the county Board of Supervisors last February. Harvest Law Group of Sacramento is trying to More passengers are flying through help Oppenheimer with its Sacramento International Airport, making it pitch, but isn’t commenting more attractive to private companies. further. In the 22-page proposal—marked “strictly private and confidential” It’s kind of like a cold call from a money and dated Oct. 24, 2018—Oppenheimer says it can manager promising a lucrative deal. evaluate, structure and execute a public-private Oppenheimer, a major investment bank, partnership to unlock “significant trapped capital.” pitched a plan in late 2018 to lease Sacramento It says that “investors are clamoring for U.S. airport International Airport to a private operator. It assets” and that SMF is attractive because of its dangled tens of millions of dollars upfront and in annual payments that Sacramento County could use recent passenger growth and its strong parking and other non-airline revenues. for roads, water systems and other infrastructure, or A private operator could increase revenues for paying down its pension debt. even more, and would bring “best-in-class design, Like most unsolicited offers, this one went operations, retail and customer service practices.” nowhere. The Sacramento County Department of The presentation also says the airport’s operating Airports says that the proposal was never presented and maintenance costs are above average, so a to department leaders. But it would have been understandable if county private operator could cut expenses by $15 million a year, “not necessarily” all from personnel costs. officials had at least listened. Sacramento County would still own the airport and At the end of 2019, the county still owed $851 would have some oversight over daily operations. million on $1.2 billion it borrowed between 2008 As the middleman, Oppenheimer would make and 2010 to build the spacious new Terminal B, a nice fee whether the arrangement is a success or which opened in 2011. The timing was bad. Air a disaster. It is pushing airport privatization around travel declined coming out of the Great Recession, the country, but hasn’t found many takers, even and airport revenues are repaying the bonds. though the Federal Aviation Administration has Now, however, SMF’s fortunes are taking off. allowed more airports to privatize since starting a Last year, passenger traffic set a record, increasing pilot program in 1996. by 10.4% from 2018, nearly double the growth A 2014 federal audit blamed a variety of reasons rate of recent years. SMF is adding flights, with for the lack of interest, including higher financ175 daily nonstops to 45 destinations. And in a ing costs and the absence of local property tax 2019 Wall Street Journal ranking of 20 mid-size exemptions. U.S. airports, Sacramento ranked fifth best—ahead Only San Juan International has completely of San Diego, Oakland and San Jose—based on followed through, with a $2.6 billion, 40-year on-time arrivals, security wait times, average domestic fares, parking costs and other measures of agreement in 2013 that the Puerto Rico airport authority used to pay pensions. St. Louis Lambert reliability, value and convenience. International applied in 2017, but the mayor To keep up with growth, Sacramento airport grounded the deal in December after criticism from officials say they need to add terminal gates and business leaders and elected officials. build more parking and a new rental car center. In Sacramento County, the idea didn’t even “The challenge is that we’re going to need to take make it off the runway. Ω on additional debt to cover new projects,” Airport PHOTO FROM WIKI COMMONS

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Disturbingly ironic “Clap back” by Kate Gonzales (Feature, Jan. 16): I can’t help but laugh after reading about the importance of women’s rights, how evil and sexist President Trump is and the significance of the #MeToo movement in your article, only to then find numerous ads for strip clubs, massage parlors and other “services” displaying seductive and objectifying photos of women in the very same issue. Just what message is SN&R trying to convey? Does anyone else find this disturbingly ironic? Next time you choose to publish a “Women’s Issue,” you may want to scrub the back pages of such advertisements.

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Parental guidance Re “Raising boys in #MeToo era” by Sumiti Mehta (Essay, Jan. 16): This should be read by all parents. It is well said and important. The #MeToo movement is not just for women and girls. It takes both genders to learn to respect their parents, siblings, families, teachers and everyone. So spread the word to your friends to read this article. We would have a much better world.

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The truth about SMUD Re: “A powerful agenda” by Rob Kerth (Essay, Jan. 16): Rob Kerth’s opinion piece touting SMUD’s so-called environmental leadership omitted four important facts. SMUD is not ahead of schedule to reduce its global warming pollution to zero by 2045. SMUD plans to keep its five fossil fuel power plants operating well beyond 2045. SMUD is actively lobbying state officials to keep solar and battery storage off newly built homes in the Sacramento area. SMUD tried to tax rooftop solar users with a punishing monthly fee that would discourage most people from choosing solar going forward. Kerth erroneously refers to its rooftop solar program as a “subsidy” rather than telling the truth—that rooftop solar is actually saving the community money by reducing the need to expensive transmission lines and giant renewable energy farms. SMUD also refuses to let renters

easily benefit from solar energy created by solar panels on the rooftops of apartment buildings, something even PG&E allows.

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The truth about solar Re: “A powerful agenda” by Rob Kerth (Essay, Jan. 16): As a SMUD customer, I am disappointed and perplexed about Rob Kerth’s article. This article does not tell the whole story and even twists the truth. SMUD is ahead of the “reduce global warming schedule”--really? It still burns fossil fuels and plans to keep plants open beyond 2045. SMUD is lobbying to stop installation of solar and battery storage in new homes. Kerth claims solar is plentiful, but only 20% of homeowners in the Sacramento area have solar. The attempt by SMUD to tax solar owners was ridiculous and was defeated. Global warming has reached an alarming level. Solar owners are conscientious citizens who care about the environment and are willing to do their part to reduce global warming. Of course they appreciate the savings that come with solar. California is blessed with lots of sun, sun that is free energy. Why not capitalize on this?

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please follow these guidelines for consideration: 1- letters should respond to sn&r stories or local issues. 2- letters can be a maximum of 150 words. 3- essays should focus on local issues. 4-essays can be 550-600 words and must not be previously published. 5- email your letters and essays to foonr@newsreview.com

read more letters online at newsreview.com/sacramento.











Favorite comic?


Cannabis, crime and corruption


There used to be one out of England called [Get] the Freebies. Jamie Hewlett did the artwork for it … It’s just really irreverent comedy, a little raunchy and a little sacrilegious.

Retail bans and license limits are bad for marijuana legalization Recently, Sacramento’s cannabis market was embroiled in an international scheme involving Andrey Kukushkin, who owns a significant share of the city’s retail permits. Though it’s easy to focus on corruption and scandal, it’s even more critical that we scrutinize the cannabis licensing system and the role of local elected officials in turning permits into a commodity. When Californians overwhelmingly voted to legalize adult-use cannabis in 2016, they also unintentionally instituted a dual licensing system for cannabis retail. Legal cannabis businesses must first obtain a permit from the city where they operate before the state will issue a license. This set-up, hailed as “local control,” empowers county supervisors and city council members throughout the state to decide if (or how many) cannabis retailers can operate within their jurisdiction. But rather than embrace the intent of Proposition 64 and match the level of voter support with the appropriate number of cannabis dispensaries and delivery services, local officials doing the opposite. Nearly 80% of cities and counties have banned cannabis retailers, and many others have set arbitrary limits on the number of licenses. As a result, legal cannabis—whether it is medical or recreational—has failed, and will continue to fail, to integrate into California’s legitimate economy. Currently, Sacramento, a city of 500,000 people, only allows 30 cannabis retail licenses, despite more than 54% of the city’s voters supporting Prop. 64. While the city plans to award as many as 10 more licenses to social equity applicants, that still leaves Sacramento with only 1 license for every 12,500 people. Where did this license cap come from, and what’s the rationale behind it? This number is not based on real demand. As a result of the city’s decision to restrict licenses to so few, they have become tremendously valuable commodities, essentially creating a legal license cartel. Only the most wealthy and well-connected business owners are able to obtain permits, whether by playing within the rules or by backroom deals. 6





K ATIE NELSON trust and estates attorney

[Zits.] Because I have a 13-yearold son, so we both find it funny.

Diane Goldstein, a former Redondo Beach police lieutenant, is a marijuana legalization advocate and chairperson of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership.

Small businesses have run California’s cannabis economy for decades. Shutting them out now is a slap in the face. Imagine if there were similar caps on the number of pharmacies. This process inherently breeds corruption. It is not the role of local government to create choke points in burgeoning industries, but rather to create sensible regulations that protect public health and safety. Arbitrary caps on cannabis business licenses inherently breed corruption and increased crime. When businesses are forced to break the law, some may be more willing to sell unregulated products, or to sell to minors. It’s estimated that three-fourths of California’s retail cannabis market is unlicensed. This not only deprives California of budgeted tax revenue, but it neglects the intent of Prop. 64 to not only decriminalize the industry but also provide a space in the market for communities of color that have been disproportionately and negatively impacted by the failed war on drugs. While Sacramento has a social equity program, the fact that only five licenses were made available shows that it is an afterthought. When applicants complete the training program, there are no licenses left for them. It has been three years since California voters passed Prop. 64, yet still the vast majority of cities and counties ban retail sales of cannabis. Until the number of permits adequately match local demand and repair the damage of marijuana prohibition, we will continue to see corruption and crime in the headlines. Ω

BRIT TANY PEERY psychotherapist

Far Side. I like the absurdity of it and the way they set up the premise and close it really quickly. There’s so many iconic ones, too.

CATHY DE LORIMIER illustration student

I’d say Peanuts, because that’s what I grew up with … I did a whole report on him in seventh grade, Charles Schulz, and I drew all the characters.

LYNN ROSE charter school teacher

Far Side is really funny. It’s just creative. I like that.

KRISTIE SILVA yoga teacher

I have a few. I really enjoy Bizarro. I just like [cartoonist Dan Piraro’s] creativity. He throws a lot of puns in there, which I like.

Poverty in Sacramento

Photo coURtESY of SEIU

Where is Sacramento

in fight against poverty? Many neighborhoods are getting worse, not better By yvOnnE R. WALkER P r e s i d e n t, s e i U L o c a L 1 0 0 0


hat are you doing to lift children out of poverty in Sacramento? That’s a question we should be asking anyone running for office. During this election year, politicians talk about lots of causes, from climate change to taxation. For some reason, it is harder for them to identify ending poverty as a goal. Many politicians don’t want to run on this issue, even though it’s a topic that literally hits home for millions of people. On paper, the national economy is growing, but in reality, extreme poverty is escalating too. In fact, 217,138 Sacramento County residents last year lived in poverty. According to a new study by the Pew Charitable Trusts, the poverty rate – the percentage of households that make less than $25,750 for a family of four – grew in one third of all counties nationwide. Some neighborhoods were hit harder than others. Sacramento went from six neighborhoods to 18 considered “poor,” the second highest growth in the country. Within these “poor” neighborhoods, 40% of families with two or more children earned less than $25,000. Another counterintuitive twist in these statistics: White and Asian families in Sacramento are more likely than the national average to be poor. For Black and Latinx families, it’s about the same as the national average. What’s particularly disturbing about our local picture is that one out of five children in Sacramento lives in poverty. Think about that for a second. In California, we know that high housing costs and lack of full-time well-paid jobs contributes to poverty. Wages are a big factor, too. Most Californians in poverty work, but one in three California workers is employed in a low-wage job. Some politicians are making a difference. State Sen. Holly Mitchell, a Los Angeles Democrat, finally got her CalWORKS bill passed. Recent state budgets included increases to CalWORKS grants to end deep poverty for families who receive those benefits, extension of the state Earned Income Tax Credit,

investments in affordable housing, and expanded access to earlychildhood education. This was something Sen. Mitchell talked to us about last year – she fought for years to eliminate the maximum family grant for CalWORKS, insure steady child care, and help lift families out of poverty. As a union, we fight against poverty every day. High-wage jobs — good union jobs — are crucial to avoid poverty. Unions don’t just help with wages and access to benefits, they also help with job quality. Unions help people get paid for being on-call, or having control of their schedules, or not having to work mandatory overtime — all things vitally important to help keep kids from living in poverty. Our union continues to push for more affordable housing in our growth strategies. We push for more affordable child care for working parents. We push for fairer tax systems, so corporations don’t pay low wages and have their workers’ costs of living subsidized by middle-class families. So we have made strides, and we will make more. We will continue our work in the Sacramento area, partnering with local leaders and allies to eliminate poverty. Redistributing wealth with support from good union jobs is absolutely essential to achieve our goal. That includes both good public sector jobs as well as union jobs in fast-growing industries such as the service sector, restaurants and entertainment businesses, in addition to maintaining prevailing wages in the building industries. We won’t end poverty in California today or the day after, but when we put our minds to something and join together, we can make the seemingly impossible possible. It’s not only important to do this for workers; it’s important for the future of the country. Yvonne R. Walker President SEiu local 1000

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Dr. Drew and Mayor Steinberg provide leadership on homelessness by Jeff vonKaenel

I have lived in Sacramento for 31 years. And over the last three decades, I have attended almost every annual State of Downtown breakfast, like the one held Jan. 21. But this one was special. Usually, these events consist of presentations about how well the community is doing—new buildings rising, new businesses coming in, videos with snazzy soundtracks of happy energetic people enjoying many wonderful features of the city. It is often a bit much. People pat themselves on the back so hard that I worry about dislocated shoulders. At this year’s event, with 1,000 community leaders attending, there was much to celebrate, including the planned new soccer stadium, the railyard expansion, billions of dollars in investments and all the new construction downtown. But this year’s event had something more. The Downtown Sacramento Partnership, under the leadership of Michael Ault, took the opportunity to bring attention to our homelessness problem. The keynote speaker was radio personality Dr. Drew, also known as physician Drew Pinsky, who has worked in psychiatric hospitals more than 30 years. He is on a mission to address the carnage on the streets, where thousands are dying because of a lack of treatment and housing. It was a remarkable presentation, one hard to describe. Pinsky was part Old Testament prophet with the power of commitment and the force of righteousness, and part medical doctor with a deep understanding of the problems of addiction and the public health concerns of having so many homeless on our streets. Dr. Drew asked what body count was necessary before we address the problem. He described the academic history of mental health over the last 50 years. And

je ffv @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m

then he talked about a future that includes typhoid, tuberculosis and the possibility of bubonic plague. This possibility could become reality, particularly in Los Angeles County, which has 60,000 people without toilet facilities and an increasing rat population. Dr. Drew supports legislation that changes the definition of “gravely disabled,” giving law enforcement and others more power to get people into treatment. He was like a John the Baptist who had attended medical school. Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg spoke about his efforts as mayor and as head of the California Commission on Homelessness and Supportive Housing. In Sacramento, Steinberg has a threepronged approach to the homelessness issue: First, lower the cost of new housing with innovations including manufactured housing; second, create a 100-bed center that focuses on meth treatment; and third, develop a large Sacramento facility similar to the 23-acre Haven for Hope in San Antonio that serves nearly 1,000 people each night and has helped to reduce San Antonio’s downtown homeless count by 80% since it opened in 2010. For California, Steinberg is proposing that the Legislature draft a constitutional amendment to create a legally enforceable mandate to reduce the number of homeless. The mandate, which would need to be approved by voters on the 2020 November ballot, would allow the state to sue cities, counties and the state itself, if the number of people living in encampment is not declining. I am proud that our city is making a commitment to help those in need of our help. Dr. Drew and Mayor Steinberg provided a road map for us. Now it is time to take action. Ω Jeff vonKaenel is the president, CEO and majority owner of the News & Review.



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

Steven M. Johnson illustrates inventive predictions of the future.

Brave new world Glasses that function as computer screens, clothing that’s sold pre-torn—if you were alive before the 21st century, you might have scoffed at the notion that the future would look like this. Well, who’s scoffing now? Not Steven M. Johnson, the Carmichael cartoonist who predicted and illustrated these ideas long before they appeared on the market. The author of 10 books and counting, including Patent Depending: A Collection, and Public Therapy Buses, Johnson finds joy in the act of creation, even if the end result doesn’t have much practical use. For more than 50 years, he’s drawn everything from furniture that people can hide in, to a toilet that also functions as an exercise bicycle. His knack for imaginative inventing all started with an assignment he was given at Sierra Magazine. What was the assignment? SN&R sat down with Johnson to find out …

What was the assignment? I was doing cartoons for Sierra Magazine. I was their monthly cartoonist, and they said, “OK, next issue, we’d like you to do 16 future, imagined, ridiculous recreation vehicles.” So I did 16, and about 90 more. I just started going, and I kind of found that I liked mixing and matching, and imagining how things could be different.

How does “lateral thinking” relate to your creative process? The term was invented by Edward de Bono … It means that you sort of put the brakes on between one thinking mode, and go to another one. And you sort of attack things from different angles. … I challenge myself to [draw] five objects and just keep changing them … And I do this as fast as I can draw. I don’t do any free thinking, free sketching, anything. The thinking method is kind of like a washer, dryer machine in my head, meaning I’m tossing things together—socks, bra, trousers—and they sort of get mixed up PHOTO COURTESY MARY VOGT differently. In my mind

I’m combining things, churning, trying to think fast, faster than my normal type of thinking.

Who are some of your artistic inspirations? I’ve tended to admire certain particular ones. Albrecht Dürer, from 16th century Germany—I mean, artists tend to keep up with art—so, Far Side, [B.] Kliban is an artist. He died. [Robert] Crumb is still alive—I met him and his wife three times … [Boris Artzybasheff] tended to draw inventions that he would imagine. He had beautiful line style, he was good at shading. I’ve been too lazy to master shading.

What are your thoughts on the future? My son Alex is 53. He says I’m not really interested in products or cartooning or inventing, but I’m interested in social commentary. So he might be partly true. [Cartooning is] a medium I’ve found where I can call attention to myself a little bit, and have fun and just imagine stuff. … So in terms of now, I tend to think like converging trend lines, and I think about this little girl, environmentalist girl Greta [Thunberg]? OK, she says we have eight years to clean up the global tendency to pollute, or it’s too late. I’ve been thinking that way for years … The time increment is getting shorter and shorter between inventions, the speed of inventions, the speed of technology, the danger of weapons, the rise of climate change—they’re all—it’s happening simultaneously. So, I like to worry. It’s fun.

What advice would you give to budding young artists and creators? The most impressive tool that I use and can share is this lateral thinking. The importance of trying a variety of ideas, letting your mind wander. You know, schools teach us to not have our mind wander, but there’s some advantage to it. Ω

Check out Steven M. Johnson’s work at patentdepending.com.






District 2 Councilman Allen Warren / Twin Rivers Unified School District trustee Ramona Landeros. PHOTOS BY MARIA RATINOVA

A man apart As Councilman Allen Warren makes his bid for a third term, he opens up about behind-the-scenes struggles at City Hall BY SCOTT THOMAS ANDERSON

Sitting near a wall of windows that looked out onto his district, City Councilman Allen Warren considered his relationship with Mayor Darrell Steinberg. With a shrug, a grin and almost a wink, he half-whispered, “We smile at each other.” The last time the enigmatic Warren was up for reelection, he was fending off accusations that he’d blurred the lines between his office and his north Sacramento development empire. But that was before a number of unhoused people died in startlingly public ways in the winter of 2016-17—and Warren suddenly became 10





the council’s most vocal advocate for those living on the streets. While the newly elected mayor spoke of bold initiatives to combat homelessness, Warren challenged fellow council members to take more immediate action—and make harder political decisions—before more tragedy arrived. Warren and his staff unveiled plans for an elaborate “safe ground” in District 2 to provide protection, sanitation and better outreach strategies than the city previously deployed. Steinberg balked at what some called Warren’s “tent city” and it stalled.

sc o tta @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m

But that hasn’t stopped Warren from challenging the mayor on some of his biggest plans, including the city’s overall homeless strategy, the Measure U tax increase and putting a rent control and tenant protection measure to a public vote. Now, as Twin Rivers Unified School District trustee Ramona Landeros looks to unseat Warren, the New Faze Development founder is turning 2016’s political narrative on its head. Warren insists his business entanglements across Del Paso Heights aren’t a liability but a strength, because they’ve given him the financial

wherewithal to ignore the special interest groups trying to exert influence on the council. He says those lobbying forces can give money to him if they want, but they’ll never match the cash flow from the main special interest funding him—himself. “I’m always my own biggest contributor,” he pointed out. In a recent interview, Warren spoke about the standoffs in City Hall spurred by his independent streak. He also revealed that, if reelected, he’ll consider a mayoral run in 2024—or sooner if Steinberg steps aside. For Warren, the confidence comes from a sense that eight years have taught him how to navigate and survive Sacramento’s political scene. “What I’ve learned,” he said, leaning forward, “is that it’s a nasty, nasty, nasty world—if you live in it.” Warren wasn’t about to let conversation die the way the people had. It was July 2017. A trio of homeless deaths during the winter—two on City Hall’s property—was now months behind the council. Warren brought up another one: A janitor at Grant High School died while sleeping in his car.






BMX’ED Warren used it as another opportunity to question his fellow leaders’ sense of urgency, the third time in so many months he issued the challenge. In January, Warren asked the city manager to explore lifting the ban on urban camping. Steinberg called that “a very provocative idea” and didn’t support it. The effort went nowhere. Then in March, Warren and his staff unveiled a detailed proposal for what they called “the outdoor solution.” The plan involved a temporary safe ground for 200 homeless people, with bathrooms, showers, a triage center and a way for people to hold onto their pets. Driven by a public-private partnership, it would require minimal tax dollars. But that plan ground to a halt, too. “Angelique Ashby supported it, and Larry Car would support it, but where the fourth and fifth vote would come from, I wasn’t sure,” Warren recalled. “The mayor said, ‘I don’t want to do it. I don’t want people outside.’ I said, ‘People are outside now, the only difference is they’re laying all over our streets and at City Hall, and we don’t have a way to effectively use our resources to deal with it.’” Warren is contemplating a similar approach for his district, though his challenger told SN&R that she is more of the mayor’s mind. “I find it very insulting that we would propose tents for our community,” said Landeros, who’s about to finish her first term on the Twin Rivers Unified school board. “I think there’s already enough people in tents.” Landeros favors “a tiny houses” strategy for District 2. She was also skeptical of the temporary winter shelter that Warren and Steinberg jointly supported on Railroad Avenue in the winter of 2018 because it wasn’t a permanent solution. For his part, Warren says he also supports permanent solutions, though he argues that temporary shelters are critical during extreme weather. He claims the city’s recent temporary shelters strategy is one he suggested when Steinberg first came into office. “People were dying and I was at my wit’s end,” Warren said. “Probably a week into [Steinberg’s] tenure, I said, ‘You need to ask each council member to identify 200 units for homeless people in their district right now.’ Here we are, three years later, and he’s done it.” Warren added, “What I’ve learned is that the issue, sometimes, is not as

important as the messenger—because the messenger in this case was me. If it had been the mayor at that time, I think we would have gotten a lot more traction. And I think it was some politics, and some ego, and I think that took priority over the real issue that people were losing their lives. I mean, what other rationale is there for us not doing what we need to do back then?”

Landeros told SN&R she doesn’t favor closing schools. Warren also accused Landeros of spreading rumors he wasn’t running for another term. “That’s the kind of bullshit I frankly don’t think is responsible,” Warren said. “I don’t think that’s the kind of person we would have [be] in a very important seat, at a very important time.” Without directly addressing Warren’s accusation, Landeros said that Warren Landeros has been living in north sent her mixed signals on whether he was Sacramento since 1979. running again during conversations She says she was involved in 2018. with the United Farm Warren says the most “I’m Workers from an early important quality for always my age, is the co-founder District 2’s representative of Sacramento is independence. The own biggest State University’s two-term politician contributor.” Multicultural Center and foresees more critical is now working with the battles ahead, as well as Allen Warren Sacramento Metropolitan some public disappointDistrict 2 representative, Air Quality Management ment over how Measure Sacramento City District on asthma issues, U dollars are ultimately Council in addition to her school board spent. Warren didn’t support duties. Measure U, which was vigorLanderos says she’s running because ously championed by the mayor, because District 2 is a food desert with too many its funds weren’t earmarked for specific cannabis dispensaries, liquor stores and programs. massage parlors. She wants to lead the “I knew that the fight was going to charge in developing more walkable, be with special interest groups for the livable neighborhoods with cleaner parks money, and they’re used to winning when and waterways. there’s money to get,” Warren observed. “I would like for the community to “It’s in the general fund, it’s going to be see north Sacramento as, ‘Wow, I want the will of the council. If the people who to live there,’ as opposed to, ‘Stay away helped get them elected are the people from there,’” Landeros said. “We’re tired who want the money, that’s where it’s of being seen as that place with all the going to go.” dispensaries and homeless issues.” Warren says that’s why he’s mainly Those levels of disinvestment have self-funded. Records show he loaned his been a concern for many in District 2. So campaign some $64,200 in 2016 and then has Warren’s complicated back story. donated $118,000 to it last year. No single Once seen as a top-tier developer, contributor for Warren came close to that. the financial collapse brought a raft of The next largest contributions came lawsuits and bankruptcy challenges down from development and construction on his business. A 2016 investigation by interests, which pitched in $9,200 through SN&R found that, at that time, Warren this month. and his companies owed nearly $500,000 Looking ahead, Warren doesn’t in overdue property taxes, unpaid state believe Steinberg will run for an business fees and delinquent code unprecedented third term. He’s not enforcement fines. He’s since been trailed convinced the mayor will even stick by critics worried he’s more focused around until 2024. Warren said if voters on rebuilding his wealth than fixing his give him another term in District 2, he’ll hometown neighborhood. likely run for mayor. But Warren says Landeros doesn’t “It would only be to hit these issues on have what it takes to do a better job. He the head the way I see it,” Warren said. points out that the Twin Rivers Unified “If I was really chasing the political thing, School District currently face a $3.8 I would be standing on a soapbox, beating million budget deficit as the board of my chest, because that’s the right issue.” trustees prepares to vote on potential Tapping his fingers hard on the table, school closures. his voice picked up. “This homeless issue “I haven’t seen the leadership from her,” is the right issue.” Ω Warren said. “She’s basically silent.”

Thieves broke into the car of local BMX competitor Lizzy Bowers and made off with three of her racing bikes. Now, the

UC Davis freshman may miss a key race next month. The 19-year-old athlete walked out of Lizzy Bowers competes in yellow. her campus apartment Jan. 19 to find her car windows smashed in, doors open and bikes stolen just weeks before one of the biggest races of the year. As the fifth-ranked rider in her age group nationwide, Bowers was poised to take part in a world championship qualifier in Phoenix during Valentine’s Day weekend. Without her tailor-made bikes, she might not compete at all, thus missing the chance to qualify for the world BMX championship. A GoFundMe page set up by a friend in her home state of Washington set a $6,000 goal to cover costs of the snatched twowheelers, but any donations will likely be too late to salvage this year’s BMX season. “It’s kind of like if your race car or special baseball glove got stolen,” Bowers explained. “It took years to build up my bikes. … I can’t just get another one into racing shape overnight.” While some campus apartment complexes allow students to store their bicycles in their rooms, Bowers said her resident assistant told her she couldn’t keep them inside. The theft comes just months after UC Davis’ police chief was pressed to address a series of campus burglaries and armed robberies. UC Davis spokesman Andy Fell said that while bike thefts are common on the cycling-friendly campus, the greater Davis area remains relatively safe. Fell added that the university offers rental bike lockers for students looking to ensure their vehicle’s safety. (Dylan Svoboda)

HOW SLOW DOES ICE MELT? More than three weeks have passed since the Department of Homeland Security received a court-mandated deadline to return a gay asylum-seeker to California, one whom was illegally deported to the African nation of Chad on Dec. 2. Abderaman Oumar Yaide had been living and working for a decade in the Bay Area, where he never had run-ins with the law. Yaide’s asylum claim is based on the fact that Chad criminalized homosexuality in 2017. On Dec. 8, federal Judge Charles R. Breyer ordered U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to return Yaide to the United States within two weeks, so his case could be properly heard. Attorneys for ICE later argued there were logistical challenges with that. Breyer extended the deadline to Jan. 8. Then, for Yaide’s attorneys and friends, Jan. 9 arrived with continued radio silence. On Jan. 20, a coalition of nonprofit groups delivered a petition with more than 30,000 signatures to U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s San Francisco Office. The petition demanded ICE comply with the judicial order to return Yaide because his “life is in danger every single day he is in Chad.” Among the groups delivering the message were the African Advocacy Network, the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, the Black LGBTQ Migrant Project and Community United Against Violence. (Scott Thomas Anderson)






Greater Grace Worship Center stood behind a locked security fence on Jan. 27. PHOTO BY RAHEEM F. HOSSEINI

Returning to the fold—for answers Lawsuit alleges abuse cover-up at South Sac Pentecostal church BY RAHEEM F. HOSSEINI

For more on Greater Grace Worship Center’s other endeavors and the impacts of AB 218, visit sacblog.news review.com for an extended version.




After Pierre Chambers found the words to say what his youth pastor was doing to him, his parents did the only thing that made sense to them: They alerted the police and got far away from their church and Sacramento. Two decades later, Chambers is still looking for answers. A new California law may help provide them. “I have a lot of questions,” said Chambers, now 36, who moved to Los Angeles County with his family in 1999. “Thanks to Gov. Newsom, we’ll be able to do it.” Chambers is referring to Assembly Bill 218, which Gov. Gavin Newsom signed in October and which became law on Jan. 1. Also known as the California Child Victims Act, AB 218 opens a three-year window in civil court for |


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

sexual assault survivors to sue their abusers and the institutions that may have covered up the crimes. Chambers filed his claim in December. It names Lemuel Collins and the ex-youth pastor’s former employer, Greater Grace Worship Center, a large Pentecostal church in South Sacramento. According to the law firm of Joseph C. George, which represents Chambers, the claim is one of the first childhood sexual abuse lawsuits aimed at a non-Catholic church under the new state law. For Chambers, that means learning what his former church knew about the youth pastor who molested him—and whether there are more like him. “It’s not just the Catholic Church,” he told SN&R. “It’s also happening in the black Pentecostal church—and we don’t talk about it.”

Greater Grace’s leadership didn’t respond to emails seeking comment. But some facts are not in dispute. Collins pleaded guilty to seven felony counts of committing lewd acts against a child in 1999, and was sentenced to six years in state prison, according to online Sacramento Superior Court records. Now 46, Collins is a registered sex offender living in Elk Grove. Chambers was just 12 when he first met Collins in 1995, when Collins was in his early 20s. Chambers says he and his parents were devout regulars at Greater Grace, with his dad serving as a deacon and his mom running Sunday School. That “Sunday to Sunday” commitment meant Chambers was frequently left to roam a place his parents thought was safe. According to the civil claim, Chambers attended Sunday services, youth activities and retreats. That put him in frequent contact with Collins, who “began grooming” Chambers with friendship, gifts and by teaching him to drive, the complaint alleges. Chambers recalls Collins turning his apartment into a hangout for church youth. He says that on one occasion he and several other boys were rough-housing when Collins joined in and started groping them. Chambers says the boys told Collins to knock it off. “And from then it was only me,” Chambers said. He doesn’t know if Collins sexually assaulted anyone else. Collins has no other criminal charges in Sacramento County. But Chambers hopes his lawsuit answers that question with certainty. It’s one nagging mystery that Chambers says Greater Grace’s founding family never seemed all that interested in unraveling. “We never received an apology. For anything,” Chambers said. “They’ve been real silent.” After his parents went to the police, the family moved back to Los Angeles, where Chambers started his sophomore year in high school. His parents returned for the criminal trial, but he was spared the additional burden of facing his abuser and testifying before a jury. “We just vanished,” he said. Chambers says his parents couldn’t get their phone calls returned by their former bosses, Bishop David C. Foster Sr. and wife Ethel Foster, the church’s first lady, both 74. Chambers says the few times he returned to the South Sac flock for funeral services, Bishop Foster made a show of promising to get in touch, but never delivered.

“You know, it’s kind of awkward,” he said. “You don’t know what’s wrong, but you know something’s wrong.” Maricar A. Pascual, an attorney representing the family, says her firm has reason to believe that Greater Grace failed to protect children from someone it knew or had reason to know was a risk for committing child sexual abuse. In an email, Pascual added, “this is something that we will learn more about via the civil discovery process.” A case management conference is scheduled for June, online court records show. Meanwhile, the broad, gray building that houses Greater Grace was walled off by a steel security fence on Monday morning. First opened inside a portion of a tin warehouse in north Sacramento in 1981, the Norwood Apostolic Community Church, as it was called then, rechristened itself three years later when it relocated to Del Paso Boulevard. Greater Grace moved three more times to its current location, an old multiplex movie theater on Sky Parkway. Corporate business filings with the California Secretary of State’s Office confirm the Pentecostal operation is a family affair, with Bishop Foster as CEO, wife Ethel listed as secretary and their son Michael Anthony Foster, the current youth pastor, named as chief financial officer. While more than 20 years have passed between the discovery of the abuse and the filing of a civil claim, time has not moved on for Chambers or his parents, who still suffer enormous guilt, their son says. “I’ve been living with it all my life,” he said. Following a stint in the military, Chambers says he went into the security field and once worked for the Kardashian family. He also kept his faith, just not at the church of his childhood. Chambers says he’s now a bishop in a more progressive congregation. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that Chambers now spends his days protecting people and spreading God’s word. He spent years writing and rewriting his story in the hopes of giving voice to others like him. He finally found a version he liked, and released a self-published memoir in December titled I Trusted You. “I said the names. I named the church,” Chambers said. California law says the church now has to find an answer. Ω

building a



Keeping People Out of Jail by E D g a r S a n C H E Z


n activist group that stopped an $89 million expansion of Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center in Elk Grove says its fight for criminal justice reform is not over. Construction bids for the RCCC project had already been requested in mid-July when members of Decarcerate Sacramento asked the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors to halt it. The grassroots group kept up the pressure until Nov. 5, when the board abandoned the project. At the time, DS was 5 months old — but it had gained support from private citizens and nonprofits. “We received congratulatory messages from all over,” Courtney Hanson, a DS organizer, said recently. For 2020, the group’s priorities include working with county leaders to significantly reduce the county’s jail population, currently believed to number about 3,700, most of whom await trial. In mid-January, the Sacramento Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild — a champion of human rights — honored DS with a social justice award for its “tireless advocacy of jailhouse conditions, fighting mass incarceration (and) inhumane treatment of the incarcerated.” The award was accepted by seven DS members, among them civil rights attorney Tifanei Ressl-Moyer. “There’s no way we would have stopped a jail expansion unless we had a broad and diverse coalition,” Ressl-Moyer told the Guild.

The coalition brought the expansion plan to the public’s attention after the Supervisors had already voted to start accepting bids on April 23. Decarcerate Sacramento, organizing their first action in July, told Supervisors that the plan orchestrated by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department made no sense.

“WE rECEIvEd CoNgratulatorY mESSagES From all ovEr.” Courtney Hanson Organizer, Decarcerate Sacramento

At a time when other cities had moved away from new jail construction and in-custody mental health services, the project would have added new buildings next to RCCC to, among other things, support medical/mental health programs. Ultimately, three of the five supervisors withdrew their support for the plan, killing it. For those who want to get involved, DS will host a General Meeting on January 30th, with details on their Facebook page. One DS coalition member, the Anti Police-Terror Project, recently activated a three-person critical intervention team called Mental Health First that responds to Sacramento disturbances involving people with mental health issues.

Building strong communities, not jails, is a key goal of decarcerate Sacramento’s Courtney Hanson and adam Wills of the anti Police-terror Project. Photo by Edgar Sanchez

The volunteer responders, including a crisis counselor, are trained to de-escalate crises to keep people out of jail. The team works Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., APTP member Adam Wills said. Its hotline/textline is 916-670-4062.

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

paid with a grant from the california endowment

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

For more info, visit Decarcerate Sacramento on Facebook or Instagram www.SacBHC.org 01.30.20












nyone who’s seen a prehistoric cave drawing already knows that cartoons are exponentially older than the written word, yet they don’t always get the respect that should come with advanced age. Maybe blame us mono-talented writers. We only have one way of telling a story and have somehow convinced you that two dimensions are better than three. But the truth is that serious journalist types owe a huge debt to the professional doodlers who send up or enthusiastically ignore whatever’s happening in our world. Ever since Richard Felton Outcault’s The Yellow Kid became the first comic strip to appear in an American newspaper 124 years ago, the funnies and the news have gone together like cream and coffee. That relationship is arguably more symbiotic within alternative weeklies, which embrace the absurdities of political and cultural life that establishment media typically ignore. That’s not to say we’ve always preserved a space for comics. The rapid decline in traditional advertising revenue has just made it tough. According to our online archives, it’s been more than eight years since SN&R published an editorial cartoon (a John Kloss illustration from the height of the Occupy Sacramento



SN&R’s very first cartoon from 1989 was by John Kloss and took on contamination fears at a former nuclear testing site. movement, titled “Treedom of Speech”). Since then, we’ve flirted with the funnies, most recently with the Serene Lusano-created, Devon Mc Mindes-drawn GoatKidd strip in our Cannabis section. But I, for one, miss having a frontof-book comic setting a big, bizarre tone for the content inside. Comics are the ultimate gateway to media literacy. This issue is an attempt to reboot that tradition. We received nearly 50 submissions from artists ranging in age from 7 to 81—many of them just before the Jan. 16 deadline; of course you cartoonists are procrastinators. Designer Sarah Hansel corralled a judging panel that somehow argued its way down to a top 12. Our staffers and contributors got in on the action, too. Together, we’re presenting a collage of what life in and around Sacramento looks like inside our heads. It’s by turns funny, freaky and fearless. Comics have come a long way since an artsy cave dweller scrawled a skinny bovine creature (who bears a not-insignificant resemblance to Marmaduke) on an Indonesian wall more than 40,000 years ago. I, for one, can’t see where they go next. Stay weird, Sacramento.




Ben Schwartz, 44, of Sacramento is Jen Monson is a 44-yearthe owner of Empire’s Comics Vault old artist, wife and mother and publisher of Continuum Press. residing in Sacramento. : empirecomics.com : @jenuoneart

Dan Melzer, 48, of Sacramento teaches writing at UC Davis. This is his first comic since college.

Harry Greer is a 28-year-old artist and musician from Davis. : @Harry.Clarke.Greer

Elizabeth Williams Bushey is a freelance writer-illustrator. : @inklesstales : elizabethbushey.com. Brenda Massey is a 21-year-old art student and aspiring illustrator from Sacramento.

Her daughter Anne Bushey, 20, is a student, colorist and frequent collaborator who doesn’t do social media. Both reside in Citrus Heights.


: @brennamassey



Aaron Belman is a 21-year-old student at Sacramento State University.

: @aaronbelman_art

Reece Metzger has lived in Sacramento for almost 30 of his 72 years. : reecedmetzger.wixsite.com/artist








Bernard Klevens, 81, is a semi-retired architect residing in Carmichael. He credits his sanity to a lack of social media.

Eva Gomez, 7, attends the second grade at David Lubin Elementary School. She hopes to be an artist when she grows up.

Mark Stivers is a frequent SN&R contributor and creator of Saturday Cartoons. : @mstivers

Ted Flores and Lai Vi are both 40-year-old civil servants residing in Sacramento.

Philip Deniz K. is a 33-year-old artist from Woodland. 16





: @comfortcreature

: @tedyuri916

Jefferson Miller has illustrated an SN&R cover and is the co-creator of the Dear Toadington webcomic. : @artofjefferson

Serene Lusano is SN&R’s art of information director and a Bay Area transplant from before it was a thing. : @serenelusano

Katelynn Mitrano is SN&R’s publications designer and a liker of morbid things (and plants!). : @katewinnnnn

Maxfield Morris is SN&R’s former co-arts editor and a part-time YouTube personality.

Raheem Hosseini is SN&R’s news editor. He insisted we include him. Devon Mc Mindes is the writer/artist of Goatkidd. To reach him, spin around three times and whisper your name into the eastern wind.


: @humansofjustme

: @raheemfh







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Rachel Mayfield is SN&R’s arts editor and one of four editorial staffers with prescription lenses. : @bayhembayfield

find more reader comics at our blog ! sacblog.newsreview.com

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Stephen Kaltenbach’s “Portrait of My Father” was inspired by a profound vision that inspired him to ditch his worldly possessions. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MANETTI SHREM MUSEUM OF ART








he last time Stephen Kaltenbach heard his father’s voice was the night after he died. It came to him in a vision. “Too much,” his father’s voice said, accompanied with a clear image of a pile of treasure. The moment inspired the son to rid himself of possessions and spend much of the 1970s in a barn, painting a portrait of Wayne Franklin Kaltenbach. He started the painting before his father died, but that morning, Kaltenbach said he clearly saw the portrait in his mind. He struggled with it several years, but eventually finished a piece that mirrored what he envisioned. Kaltenbach’s “Portrait of My Father,” which usually is on display at Crocker Art Museum, is now at the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at UC Davis

as part of a new exhibit, Stephen Kaltenbach: The Beginning and The End, that chronicles an eclectic career that includes ceramics, paintings and sculptures. In the massive acrylic-on-canvas painting of his father, Kaltenbach captures a moment of mystery and great impact. His father, who had Alzheimer’s disease and also suffered a stroke, couldn’t speak for nearly a year before his death. Kaltenbach recalled the last words he said to him before passing: “One day—it may have been the day I was photographing him for the portrait— [my father] says, ‘I have to get up and go to work. And then he says, ‘When I get there, I’ll contact you. I’ll be able to get in touch with you because the boss will let me. The boss was a great guy. Don’t ever work for anybody else.’”

The meaning might not have been crystal clear, but it had a profound effect on the son nonetheless. The painting is rendered in muted, multicolored textures. Patterns intertwine with every wrinkle and whisker of the dying man’s face, filling the space with a glowing, electric otherworldliness. Kaltenbach’s father gazes off canvas, his mouth open and his gaze pulled up. Death and mystery—as well as playful themes of concealment and anonymity—have followed Kaltenbach’s art throughout his career as a UCD graduate, a Conceptual art pioneer in 1960s New York City and his current work as a regional artist. Rachel Teagle, Manetti Shrem Museum’s founding director, said the exhibit serves as a celebration of the accomplished, yet overlooked artist.



Check out Stephen Kaltenbach: The Beginning and The End, noon-6 p.m., Thursday and Sunday; 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; noon-9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Through May 10. Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, 254 Old Davis Road, Davis. Admission is free; manettishremmuseum. ucdavis.edu.

“We are particularly proud when we have the opportunity to showcase overlooked stories or offer a new perspective on artists we know well,” Teagle said in an email to SN&R. “Our Kaltenbach exhibition does a bit of both. Not nearly enough people know of Stephen’s pioneering work and, at the same time, the art world does not appreciate California’s important role in the development of conceptual art.” Constance Lewallen, the exhibit’s co-curator with Ted Mann, says it highlights a range of pieces. “We decided to focus the show on his earlier work and his later work, but at the same time, emphasizing that there is sort of a through line to it all,” she said. The show also features small ceramic objects Kaltenbach created while still a student at UC Davis. He eventually moved away from sculpture into more conceptual mediums.

Just as his career was rising, Kaltenbach left New York, seemingly abandoning his Conceptual art, to return to California’s Central Valley.



In 1967, shortly after receiving his Master of Arts degree from UCD, Kaltenbach moved to New York. He taught at the School of Visual Arts and throughout the ’60s gained a promising reputation during a pivotal time in modern art, focusing mainly on conceptual work, which values the concept behind the work, instead of traditional forms and materials. “I was looking to make art that brought into play certain other things besides something to look at,” Kaltenbach said. His efforts proved effective as he dove into unexpected mediums and concepts, and was featured in art shows in the U.S. and abroad. Kaltenbach’s reputation also gained traction from the anonymous ads he placed in Artforum magazine. The ads featured phrases like “Perpetrate a hoax,” “Build a reputation,” “Become a legend” and “Teach Art.”



“I was creating micro-manifestos … and it was an announcement of something that I was thinking about and doing,” Kaltenbach said. “It was also a suggestion that people could look into if they wanted to.” The ads carry one of the major themes of Kaltenbach’s overall work, according to Lewallen. “He was among the first artists to use that format for his own art anonymously,” she said. “Anonymity was another one of his major themes. It was just another form of hiding.” Many of his “micro-manifestos” also found themselves as bronze plaques installed in public places, which imitated municipal signs. Lewallen says that some of Kaltenbach’s bronze signs have been installed permanently on the UC Davis campus, though keeping with anonymity theme, there’s nothing to indicate their locations.



Just as his career was rising, Kaltenbach left New York in 1970, seemingly abandoning his conceptual art, and returned to the Central Valley, according to Lewallen. While she says there’s a possible number of reasons why Kaltenbach was drawn back to the Sacramento region, the truth remains a mystery. “He, himself, says that he felt like he was getting too much exposure and he really wasn’t ready for it,” Lewallen said. “He said that he always intended to re-emerge, but he probably didn’t think it would take 40 years.” Kaltenbach taught at Sacramento State University between 1970 and 2005; there he returned to his roots in sculpture, commissioning large public art pieces. Sacramento residents might recognize the intertwining body parts of his sculpture “Time to Cast Away Stones” outside the Sacramento Convention Center, or the clasping hands of his “Peace” sculpture on Capitol Mall, or the bodiless, bronze legs of his “Ozymandias” on the Sac State campus. One art form Kaltenbach has continued to explore is the construction of time capsules, each inscribed with its respective due date. The capsules come with instructions: “Open after my death,” “Bury with the artist” and “Nothing of great value.” Each carries themes of concealment and death. “I want to conceptually bring you to the last moment you have to do things with your body on the earth,” Kaltenbach said. “I think it’s a little bit difficult for some people but healthy.” While some capsules have reached their due date, Lewallen said their mysteries remain sealed. “We don’t really even know if there’s anything in them,” she said. “They could be empty. To open them is to destroy them physically because they’re welded, and no one’s ever done that.” Kaltenbach said he never expected museums to open his work and that part of the concept was the conflict it created for galleries and collectors. It’s a philosophy that underscores his legacy, past and present. “I don’t know how I would feel [if one of the capsules were opened],” he said. “I tend to like to let happen, what happens. I think I’m having too much fun with my art now.” Ω Kaltenbach’s time capsule “Open After My Death” is one of many such pieces that the artist says he never intended to actually have opened. Stephen Kaltenbach’s “Personal Appearance Manipulation” is a photo-collage the artist created in 1970. PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE MANETTI SHREM MUSEUM OF ART








That left about 10 or 11 episodes to choose from—most nights, episodes from a show that Ferris had never seen before. “I was kinda sheltered as a child, and wasn’t really allowed to watch TV or anything, so I’d never even seen a full episode of it, probably before I started doing this,” Ferris said. “I knew who he was and everything, I just, y’know, had never watched it.” Well, Johnny Carson was the king of latenight television. Even today, he’s esteemed and ubiquitous with the genre. But it’s still strange that he would have a revival in the Sacramento The real Johnny Carson was at STAB! comedy scene, and that there would even be a Comedy Theatre all along. space for an act like that anywhere. But that question wasn’t on the mind of Court Hansen, a local comedian who played Mark Hamill in the November show. “When I first heard about the show, I was like, ‘That makes sense. That’s a show,’” Hansen said. “It was like it already existed.” But it didn’t. It had to be envisioned and brought into reality—and that took a vision. Johnny Carson lives again “My original idea for doing it involved having someone who was completely unlike Johnny Carson, and miscasting the whole It was a cold November night, in a room where thing,” Ferris said. “So I actually got Ruby fragrant oil marinated the bones of a hardwood Setnik, who’s a local stand-up comic, to floor. A group of seven people united to practice play Johnny Carson, and it was pretty wild.” a truly bizarre ritual, one that at that moment That vision shifted slightly. Dylan Fox was certainly the only one of its kind on Earth. plays Carson these days. His takes on Carson’s They were re-enacting, in its entirety, a 1977 monologues are pure comedy, and do a great episode of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny job at playing up what are essentially Carson, preparing to perform before a live defunct jokes from decades ago. audience a few days later at STAB! “The ones that just don’t Comedy Theater. land whatsoever, I take a The once-every-two-months “When I first lot of joy in that,” Fox show comes from the mind said. “The hard part is heard about the of Stephen Ferris—and the having that confidence combination of outdated show, I was like, ‘That in the delivery. Because jokes with the odd smattering makes sense. That’s a [Carson] knows he’s of celebrities and regular going to kill.” show.’” people can be hilarious. The jokes can Somehow Ferris got Court Hansen still kill, but often for the idea to start faithfully comedian different reasons than recreating episodes of the show. originally intended. And “It just popped into my head,” in the 90-minute episodes Ferris said in his living room, with (complete with the vintage the cast of the November show. commercials that initially ran), there’s Ferris reached out to the folks who run the some delightfully weird comedy, and an Johnny Carson archives with the idea. They experience you can’t get anywhere else. were fine with it, so the show had permission to “I think it’s more hardcore to do the use transcripts of The Tonight Show. Next, Ferris whole thing. And it’s kinda anti-giving the had to choose from about 20 years of episodes; people what the want,” Ferris said. “People the database didn’t have very many episodes idolize Johnny Carson so much. I wanted from before 1972. to pick those episodes to show that it’s just “I made a rule. I knew people were going to kind of a regular show, and it got weird be saying, ‘You’ve gotta do this episode, gotta sometimes.” Ω do that episode that has Robin Williams,’ or some other well-known guest,” Ferris said, “but I wanted to just do random ones, or off nights. … So I made a rule that every episode we do has Catch “The Tonight Play,” 9 p.m., Friday, Jan. 31, at STAB! Comedy Theater, 1710 Broadway. Tickets are $7. For more to be from the same date as the performance.” info, visit stabcomedytheater.com.

Desk job

2 /2 oscar shorts 2020

3:00 pm animated 5:30 pm Live action | 8:00 pm documentary

2 /3 oscar shorts 2020

2:00 pm documentary 6:00 pm animated | 8:30 pm Live action

2 /4 oscar shorts 2020

2:00 pm documentary 6:00 pm Live action | 9:00 pm animated

2 /7 • 7:30 PM aLien 2 /14 • 10:30 PM poetic Justice 2 /15 • 10:30 PM the Lost Boys 1013 K street downtown sacramento • (916) 476-3356 • crestsacramento.com






Facing forward Ben Cooper of Radical Face goes west

by Maxfield Morris

Ben Cooper has been talking to strangers more often. It’s a new experience for the artist, who for the past 20 years has been making music under the name Radical Face and who’s playing at Harlow’s on Feb. 2. The stranger-chatting coincided with a change in scenery. About a year ago, Cooper moved to Los Angeles County, where it’s smoggy and gross sometimes, but that happens. “Well like, if you’re in a shit situation, you just jump,” Cooper said. “I mean, that’s kinda how I ended up in California. Because I grew up in Florida and had a lot of just bad years back to back, and it was time to go.” So he left, not with a huge plan or anything laid out in front of him, but he wasn’t particularly worried about the seat-ofpants flying. “Honestly, I’ve spent so much of my life winging it that I’ve done more winging it than not, so it is now my normal,” Cooper said. “It takes away a sense of even having any real expectations. It’s pretty much just following curiosity, and if you’re enthusiastic about it, some shit shakes out—but it’s not a good plan. I understand how most people would not want to live that way.” Coming to the West Coast was, among other things, an opportunity to get out of a court case against his family and an environment that kept him alert while with his boyfriend in public. Leaving the house always meant putting on a different face. “Kind of a horror show for years, and yeah, growing up in the South as a gay dude, I don’t have a lot of affection for it,” Cooper said. “So when I left and came out here, probably the most notable thing is just

Photo courtesy of radical face

radical face is working on some seriously rad tunes.

a weight off my shoulders. Like no one cares here. The things that made me a total weirdo where I’m from aren’t even noteworthy now that I’ve moved.” He could introduce himself as a musician and not get a response of “What’s your real job?” He could stop being a “freak,” and that’s been freeing brain space to focus on creative ideas—like the newest album for Radical Face, which is still in the works. This tour, Cooper says, was initially planned to coincide with the new album, but he just hasn’t finished it. So it’s just a tour, and the audiences get to decide the set list at each show. There’s a recent re-release from Radical Face, finished last fall after Cooper got the rights back to his 2007 eventual-breakout album Ghost. He took the opportunity to remaster the songs and record some new versions of the songs, including an orchestral version of “Welcome Home” and some live versions of other tracks that showcase the progression of the album over time. He’s also got a new single, “Reveries,” that just released last week. Between the music writing, the television work and every other project, Cooper says 95% of his work is done without the promise of a paycheck. It’s always a gamble, and sometimes it shakes out really well. But plenty of times, nothing comes of it. “I’ve found some comfort in realizing everyone is just as blind,” Cooper said. “Like, no one really knows what’ll work or what’s going on. So I’m kinda fine with that.” As for now, Cooper is in a new town, talking to more strangers, on the hunt for stories and new creative endeavors. Sometimes you just have to do what you’ve been telling yourself you need to do, just to see what happens. “I started learning that the fantasy and reality never match, so you just have to try it sometimes,” Cooper said, “and if you get there and it sucks, you can leave.” Ω

see radical face 7 p.m., sunday, feb. 2, at harlow’s, 2708 J st. tickets are $25-$28; radicalface.com.






Debbie Chang, left, and Tanya Azar, who have gone from serving and bartending at Kasbah to co-owners, have made an effort to focus on classic Middle Eastern dishes and wines since taking over in 2016.

Photo by Anne StokeS

The Shawn Reginald Men’s Boutique is now open in Midtown Sacramento, featuring business-casual clothing, and haberdashery items.

Mention this ad for 10% off 1 729 L St re e t | Sacr a me n to | 9 16 .400.406 0 | www.S hawnr eg i na Ld.c o m

Exotic evening on J Street Kasbah delivers Middle Eastern fine dining and romantic ambiance

by Anne S tokes

Own a business IN

You could get featured in our shop local Midtown section Contact us for more details at



ith its arches and columns, cushioned banquette seats and warm copper tabletops lit by candlelight, Kasbah offers an evening that’s like a romantic vacation right on J Street. “We’ve had a lot of first dates here and some of them have gone on to get married and come back for their anniversaries,” says co-owner Debbie Chang, who took over the restaurant with Tanya Azar in 2016. “We love that people consider us a destination, not only as a neighborhood restaurant … but also to celebrate.” Both Chang and Azar have worked at Kasbah for more than a decade — first as servers and bartenders, then managers and now as owners. Originally known as a late-night hookah lounge and tea room, Kasbah has evolved into a fine-dining restaurant. Chang and Azar have focused more attention on Kasbah’s dining and drink menus: Classic Middle Eastern fare

inspired by Azar’s family recipes paired with Chang’s creative house cocktails that change with the seasons. Also featured are international spirits and wines from Lebanon, Armenia, Turkey, Morocco and Palestine. “My mom used to make shushbarak, kefta kabob, soups — she was really big into soups … small type of salads, olives, pickles, the mezzas,” says Azar. “That was always on our table for lunch and dinner, even breakfast.” While Kasbah’s menu features plenty of delectable chicken, beef and lamb, there are ample savory and sweet vegetarian and vegan options. “Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food naturally lends itself toward veganism,” Chang says. “One of our most popular items is our vegan seitan gyro; we make the seitan in house … it’s really something you can sink your teeth into and it’s super satisfying. None of our vegan menu is an afterthought.”

Visit Kasbah for lunch or dinner, Tuesday through Sunday at 2115 J St., Sacramento. Check out their menu at www. kasbahlounge.com or call 916-442-4388 for hours or reservations. 24





Kasbah Now opeN for LuNch! Tues-Fri 11:30-2:30pm | $15 Three-Course Lunch



Thursday, Jan. 30

JeWeLry repair

Wealth and Wellness

Call the shop for an appointment 916.346.4615

Get your finances and fitness off to the right start this year! Receive tips on financial planning before segueing to a yoga session with Rose Zahnn of Healthy Habits Studio. Then, end the evening indulging at the build-your-own acai bar! Register for free at eventbrite.com. 5 p.m.

Little relics 1111 24th St., #103 Sacramento

shoe shine For more information, go online at www.shawnreginald.com or call 916-400-4060.

neyborly @ Midtown 817 16th St., Sacramento

shawn reginald 1729 L St., Sacramento

Thursday, Jan. 30

GLuTen Free dininG

Live Music at Kasbah Join Kasbah Lounge every Thursday for live music. Diners can nibble on Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, relax on the heated patio and enjoy the live tunes. Kasbah Lounge 2115 J St., Sacramento

Visit Sacramento’s first gluten-free cider taphouse. The establishment features a completely gluten-free kitchen, so everyone can sip and nibble in peace.

Trivia Night at Cider House Let your arsenal of random facts shine at Cider House’s Trivia Night! Sip a smooth cider and compete with your friends during this weekly event. 7:30 p.m. Cider house 1111 24th St., Sacramento

Want your event in Midtown to be featured here? submit it to our online calendar! 1) Visit: https://www.newsreview. com/sacramento/calendar#!/ 2) Click “add event” 3) add a tag called “Midtown”

Late Night DiNiNg Tues-Thurs & Sun until 12am | Fri & Sat until 1am 2115 J Street, Saramento | 916.442.4388 @Kasbah916 kasbahlounge.com |

Cider house 1111 24th St., Sacramento


Tuesday, Feb. 4

happy hour Everyday 4-6pm

Tips & tricks

MonThLy Moped subsCripTion Conscious commuting Zip around town in an easy to use moped. The fully electric vehicle is available through a monthly subscription of $99 a month and comes to your home fully assembled. Easy parking, reduced congestion and no carbon emissions! Order yours at zebranow.com.

parKinG app

No Coins Necessary! The City of Sacramento has teamed with Parkmobile to provide more options to pay for parking at select locations using a mobile app! You can set up a free account by calling 916-722-7275 or visiting Parkmobile.com.

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Midtown owned & operated House Made Jewelry, Repairs & Local Artisan Gifts 1111 24th Street (Corner K & 24th) • Open Daily Mon-Fri 11-6 • Sat & Sun by Appointment • 916.346.4615 01.30.20








Pump Boys and Dinettes

Confessions of a killer BY PATTI ROBERTS


In the end, Dorothea Puente Tells All manages to peel back a bit of Puente’s facade, but her lack of compassion, humanity and repentance still remains an enigma. It’s quite telling how so many Sacramentans feel a connection to the Puente story—this debut production by California Stage is already completely sold out for its five-week run. And when she is brought up in conversations, it seems everyone has a Puente story—an uncle who drank with her at a local bar, a connection to one of the deceased, the horror of watching the horrible details unfold on local media and now as a Sacramento story onstage. Ω

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; Through 2/16; $25-$40; Sacramento

Theatre Company, 1419 H St.; (916) 443-6722; sactheatre. org. J.C.


Sister Act

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

Short reviews by Jim Carnes and Bev Sykes.

7:30pm, Sun 2pm; Through 2/2; $7-$25; Woodland

Opera House, 340 2nd St., Woodland; (530) 666-9617; woodlandoperahouse. org. B.S.

1 2 3 4 5 FOUL






5 Staying grounded Dorothea Puente is not who you think she is.

Dorothea Puente Tells All


Fri 8pm, Sat 8pm, Sun 2pm; Through 2/23; Tickets are sold out; The Wilkerson Theatre, 1725 25th St., (916) 451-5822, calstage.org.

As you enter The Wilkerson Theatre for Dorothea Puente Tells All, you notice a small, white-haired lady coyly mingling with guests in the lobby, projecting sly, unnerving smiles and eyes that are forever checking everyone out. When the play starts, here comes the same red-coated woman onstage, who introduces herself to the audience as the misunderstood Dorothea Puente, Sacramento’s most notorious serial murderer. From the very start, actress Janis Stevens totally and convincingly transforms herself into Puente, always juggling an unassuming, manipulative manner that veiled a damaged, evil spirit. She’s aided by a carefully orchestrated script by playwright Mark Loewenstern, who skillfully tap dances through the many conflicting layers of Puente. Puente is joined onstage by a lineup of characters whose lives she intersected with, as well as those whose lives she callously took in the early 1980s. We meet the people in the Hispanic community she socialized with, the vulnerable people she eventually killed and the social worker who eventually uncovered Puente’s horrendous deeds. 26





Black Point Theatre is off to an intriguing start with its inaugural performance of The Field, by playwright John B. Keane. This compelling drama takes place in a small, Irish village in 1965. When the owner of a small plot of land decides to sell, Bull McCabe (Tom Rhatigan) steps in to claim it. The strong-spirited farmer has spent many years cultivating the field and feels a sense of ownership. When the property goes to auction, McCabe and his son, Tadhg (Thomas Dean) begin coercing the townspeople to conspire with them. But when out-of-towner William Dee (Zane Boyer) shows up to make a bid, the McCabes are faced with an unavoidable problem. Jouni Kirjola (Bird O’Donnell) plays a mischievous town drunk with a simmering energy and enthusiasm. And Rhatigan’s portrayal of a multi-faceted anti-hero is executed with resolve and strength. His transitions from flattery to outrage are intentionally jarring and captivating. The younger actors—Phelan Breton, Diego Breton, Lilian Stribling and Olivia Stribling (Leamy, Conor, Aoife and Ollie Flanagan)—do an excellent job of adding a light-heartedness to the story. The impressive set, stage direction, soft lighting and Irish accents contribute to the overall excellence of the play. The flawless performances by this talented cast present a unique, thought-provoking story about insiders and outsiders, lawmen and small-town living. Just how much is one field worth and how far would you go to maintain balance, hide the truth and stay out of danger? —TESSA MARGUERITE OUTLAND

The Field : Thu 8pm, Fri 8pm, Sat 8pm, Sun 2pm; Through 2/16; $15$20; California Stage, 2509 R Street; (916) 455-0163; blackpointtheatre.org.

STAGE PICK There’s a mystery in the forest, just waiting to be solved.

Going green In its sophomore effort, Sunny Side Theatre Co. brings to the stage Anything Green: A Fantastical Murder Mystery. Deep in the woods, a dinner party is organized to bring everyone in the forest community together. However, things take a turn when the host is—you guessed it—murdered. Who would commit such a terrible crime? Can the murderer be caught before everyone is picked off? What kinds of dishes do magical woodland folk enjoy? Puddings? Pasties? Bangers and mash? For one night only, watch the mystery unfold. Fri, 1/24, 6pm; Through 2/1; $10; William J. Geery Theater, 2130 L St.; (916) 426-8515; facebook. com/sunnysidetheatre.









Behold! Fried gizzards are one of Mo’ Betta Finger Foods’ specialties. Be sure to call ahead for these chewy morsels of rich, dark meat.

Sac’s Southern soul Mo’ Betta Finger Foods 3751 Stockton Blvd.; (916) 307-9511 Good for: Southern-fried specialties Notable dishes: Seafood Mac & Cheese, Hennessey Wings,

Fried Catfish, Fried Gizzards


Southern, South Sacramento

Coming home to the aroma of frying gizzards on the stove when I was a child meant my mother was in a good mood. Often served with an extra helping of mac ’n’ cheese, gizzards were a cheap and tasty way for my mom to bring our family together. So when I heard Mo’ Betta Finger Foods served Fried Gizzards ($10.50, call ahead), I was excited to go have a taste. Boiled overnight and coated with well-seasoned batter, the chewy morsels of rich dark meat did not disappoint. When it comes to home-style, Southern-fried specialties, Mo’ Betta Finger Foods doesn’t stop at gizzards. There are many other Southern soul favorites on the menu—some I was unfamiliar with—including Alligator Nuggets (basket $18.50), fried and rubbery, but not unpleasant, with a mild chicken flavor. More bone than bite, the delicate meat on the Frog Leg (a la carte $3.75) had a slightly sour, swampy taste underneath its heavily seasoned encasing. Although I was slow to warm up to the frog and alligator, my companion gulped them up and washed them down with handfuls of cornmeal encrusted Fried Okra ($5), as addictive as corn nuts, but tastier. The “Seasoned Just Right” Basa ($15.50) was just that, generously portioned and fried light and flaky, without being too fishy. Mo’ Betta also has some 28 | SN&R | 01.30.20


I had my absolute favorite dish when I was a teenager at this little short-order teriyaki joint in the middle of a Citrus Heights strip mall. I would eventually eat noodles all over the world and compare Teriyaki To Go’s perfect noodles to others that are limp in comparison. The Chicken Noodle Bowl ($8.95) is a huge serving of thick, chewy, doughy noodles and generous morsels of tender chicken with a comforting, sweet umami teriyaki spice that’s unlike any other. Pro tip: ask for spicy without vegetables and add three scoops of the housemade, secret recipe teriyaki sauce and get lost in a sea of slurpable, heartwarming goodness. 5439 Sunrise Blvd., Citrus Heights.


Calm in a cup ROSE TEA LATTE, STATION 38


of the juiciest, plumpest fried wings out there. The Hennessy Wings ($7.75) delighted with a thick, sweet glaze, and the Wing Dings ($6) were as good and crispy as any plate of fried chicken, especially dipped in some hot sauce. The Salt and Pepper Wings ($7.75) were fried naked and had an enjoyably spicy heat. At Mo’ Betta, most everything is cooked to order, and nothing says home-style more than their sides. There’s the regular Mac & Cheese ($3), creamy, with a dash of Old Bay; or a local favorite, the Seafood Mac & Cheese ($4), stuffed with real shrimp and crawfish. The Red Beans and Rice ($3) had a vibrant and meaty bean stew flavor and the Yams ($3) were so sweet and tender like they’d been marinating in butter and brown sugar forever. Desserts are just as down-home and real as the rest of the menu at $5 a piece. ’Nilla Wafers in their Bread Pudding, anyone? Peach Cobbler made with fruit cocktail and cinnamon, and maybe a sprinkle of brown sugar. Don’t forget Sweet Potato Pie and the oldie but goodie Sock-it-to-me Cake (butter cake with crumbly streusel). Pretty much anything on the menu can be ordered a la carte, or as basket meals, so there’s lots of room (and items) to try everything. A lot of places claim to be home-style but aim to “elevate” their cuisine into something more fancy or presentable to the restaurant industry. Mo’ Betta reminds me of my mother’s home-cooked dinners, right down to the unabashed use of salt and pepper. There’s no pretense—just good food to be eaten and enjoyed. Ω

Station 38 Coffee in East Sac has a lusciously sweet and flowery Rose Tea Latte ($4.75). The calming creation is made with organic Earl Grey tea steeped in a bed of creamy steamed milk and topped with rose powder and actual tiny dried rose hips. Drinking from this floral teacup is like being enveloped by soft, pink fragrant flowers. If you’ve ever wondered what bees feel like when buzzing about a rose garden pollinating flowers, take one sip of this Rose Tea Latte and wonder no more. 3711A J St., station38coffee.com.



Vegan-friendly Vietnamese flavors Saigon Alley Kitchen & Bar is now open in the Handle District downtown. Its menu offers traditional Vietnamese flavors with an American twist and has a dedicated vegan section. Restaurant owner Mym Nguyen told SN&R that it was important to include vegan options on the menu because “culturally, vegan has been an important part of our diet for as long as I can remember. It’s not a new dietary phenomenon, it’s just something that has gone unnoticed for a long time. So we wanted to give those with few options more options.” When asked what the most popular dish was, Nguyen said, “I would have to say everything! From the Beyond Pho to Leaf Luc Lac and of course the Beyond Bánh Mì Burger.” The menu offers fun surprises including a side of fresh made taro fries served with the Bánh Mì Burger. 1801 L St., Suite 70, saigonalley.com.



Did someone say

fried chicken? (and bahn mi, and ramen) 4801 Folsom Blvd | Sacramento | 916.400.3075 | origamiasiangrill.com

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Grab a slice at 1425 14th St. Suite C, visit pizzasupremebeing.com for more info or call (916) 917-5559.

power bowl has wholesome oatmeal to power you through the day!


and locally grown organic tomatoes. The dual-temperature oven creates a crisp crust with a toasty exterior and fluffy interior. The pizza’s silky layers of cheese are made with hand-pulled mozzarella; vegan options include a house-made creamy vegan ricotta. Each quarter-sized pepperoni cup is sliced in-house, resulting in a flavorful crunch and curl. Slices are large and floppy and the squares are thick but not dense. Local ingredients include flour from Nevada City to feed the sourdough starter and cheese from Cypress Grove. Pizza Supreme Being may draw out a nostalgic childhood memory of a picture-perfect New York-style pizzeria or a new favorite hole in the wall. “We’re a simple slice shop with delicious slices,” Roberts said. Whatever the takeaway, pizza will always be hot, fresh and just around the corner. Ω


O streets and opened Pizza Supreme Being Slices and Squares. Roberts created the play-on-words idea for the restaurant’s name while searching for an available social media handle. He said he wanted it to be something more than another “Ben’s Pizza.” So when “Pizza Good” and Pizza God” were both taken, he readily landed on Pizza Supreme Being. With a name like that, some mouths may already be watering for an epic combination of spicy peanut butter and garlic pizza with roasted raspberry sauce and 15 layers of bubbling Swiss cheese, but this is not that kind of pizza joint. In a “back to basics” trend, Supreme Being is a no-nonsense, New York-style pizzeria. “I think simplicity is what makes spaces consistent,” Roberts said. “We don’t have a combo or loaded up option.” Supreme Being offers whole, 20-inch pies, large slices and squares with cheese, pepperoni or Hawaiian toppings. Every pizza is baked in an Italian-made Cuppone deck oven with naturally leavened sourdough, a custom cheese blend


A floppy slice of cheesy pie with mounds of thick pepperoni curls is draped over a paper plate just steps away from the state Capitol. Behind the counter of this New York-style pizzeria, a tall man in a crisp, white apron welcomes each customer with a smile, like he’s greeting an old friend who just got back into town. Pizza Supreme Being has been open less than a year and already feels like the nightly neighborhood meeting place. Ben Roberts found his scene in the pizza business not because of a lifelong dream or even a passion for pie. It was more of a right place, right time situation followed by generous portions of determination—and tomato sauce. As a former cook for the Shady Lady Group and Selland’s Family Restaurants, Roberts started his own pizza pop-up/catering company in 2015. He spent most of his Saturday evenings outside Bottle and Barlow serving sizzling slices until there were none left to sell. In April 2019, he found a cozy space on 14th Street between N and

start your morning off right.




Not all pizzas are created equal


916.594.7689 • 980 9th Street • Sacramento, CA 95814 find us on sweetdeals! follow us @eatpowerbowl






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Friends in charge East Sac nonprofit poised to run city’s Shepard Garden and Arts Center by Debbie Arrington Shepard Garden and Arts Center in East Sacramento is a popular clubhouse for clubs and receptions.

Photo courtesy of city of sacramento

to advertise, call us at 916.498.1234






Center regularly hosts about 30 clubs, who hold flower shows, workshops, plant sales and other events, as well as monthly meetings. A popular venue for family reunions and receptions, the facility is also available for rent by the public. With so much use, maintenance and staffing issues have been problematic. “The board has received complaints from clubs including: Monitors not available to open facility as scheduled; room set-up not completed as specified by the club; lack of communication, emails and phone calls unanswered; billing and overtime charge errors; and many calendar scheduling mistakes,” according to the notice distributed by the Shepard Center leaders. “The board explored many options to solve these problems,” the notice continued. “We have determined that the best solution is to change management of the SGAC.” The board started discussions with the Friends of East Sacramento about taking over the management of the Shepard Center, too. At 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 3, Lisa Schmidt of Friends of East Sacramento will answer questions about the potential change at the board’s regular meeting at the Shepard Center (3330 McKinley Blvd.) The advantages come in central management for McKinley Park’s major venues. Said the center’s board, “There will be centralized scheduling and billing; direct management of staff including a facility manager, monitors and maintenance crew; the building will be fully operational and clean; there will be timely communications via email, text [and] phone and a weekly calendar of events emailed. … There is also an opportunity for increased outside rentals.” If approved, the changeover would become fully effective July 1. But it’s expected that the Friends of East Sacramento will start handling event scheduling as soon as March 1. Ω

Sacramento’s official clubhouse may be getting a change of management. The city-owned Shepard Garden and Arts Center may soon join the Clunie Community Center and the McKinley Park Memorial Rose Garden under the umbrella of Friends of East Sacramento. Like the rose garden, the Shepard and Clunie centers are located in McKinley Park at H Street and Alhambra Boulevard. For several years, Friends of East Sacramento has leased the Clunie Center from the city. In turn, the nonprofit has been in charge of upkeep and scheduling events at the popular venue. “The organization strives to preserve historic facilities in East Sacramento and protect community assets such as the Community Center, McKinley Rose Garden and Clunie Library,” according to the city. In recent years, the nonprofit Shepard Center board—made up of representatives from the many clubs that use the facility—has overseen the distinctive 2,000-square-foot mid-century Modern building. But the task has been difficult for the volunteer organization, the Friends of the Shepard Garden and Arts Center. “This board took over management of the facility four years ago from the City of Sacramento,” the Shepard Center committee explained in a notice to the clubs that use the facility. “It is responsible for all the day-to-day activities, scheduling, hiring employees, billing, renting the facility to outside users, interior contents and structures, as well as the Japanese garden area and the perimeter gardens.” Built specifically as a meeting space for local garden clubs and other organizations, the Shepard

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

‘A lot of love’ in every sandwich Shift Coffee House honored for ‘Best Grilled Cheese’ in California by Allen pierleoni


hift Coffee House co-owner Carol Mundy sat at a table in her restaurant, near the Grilled Cheese Bar, and recalled how the recent avalanche started. “A couple of our regulars came in and said, ‘Congratulations!’” she said. “I asked, ‘For what?’ Then they told me and I couldn’t even wrap my head around it.” The game-changing news was that Shift’s grilled cheese sandwiches had been named the best in California by the food-centric online site Eat This, Not That. As the editors explained, “We worked with Yelp data to determine the best grilled cheese in every state.” They cited Shift’s creative ingredients as a main reason, “like tender brisket, carnitas, creamy avocado, crisp apple slices, and mango-habanero hot sauce.” Then, a Fox40 crew showed up and aired a segment. “That’s when the floodgates broke open,” Mundy said. “The Saturday after (the broadcast) we did four

days’ worth of business in one day and ran out of product. We had to close the next day to resupply and regroup.” Where might this lead? “We need a bigger boat,” Mundy said. “I want to stay here, but we’ll have to do some remodeling and figure out a few things.” Even before the sudden fame, “several people approached me, wanting to invest and open a second and a third Shift,” she said “I think that can happen.” Shift has been a destination on Del Paso Boulevard since Mundy and her husband, Mike Hollis, bought it from a previous owner and opened about 16 months ago. The race car-themed decor is linked to Hollis’ business, MPH Classics – he restores and customizes classic autos. Though Mundy sums up her prior restaurant experience in one word — “None” — she said, “I didn’t know what I was doing, but I knew grilled cheese was something I could get creative with. My

Shift Coffee House co-owner Carol Mundy has seen demand for her grilled cheese sandwiches explode. Photo by Anne StokeS

daughter and I started creating coffee drinks and sandwiches.” They expanded the menu to 23 versions of the grilled cheese, 26 coffee drinks, and nine tea and lemonade drinks. For the record, the coffee beans are from Moschetti Artisan Coffee Roaster of Vallejo. “Our goal was to create an atmosphere that was inclusive of the North Sacramento community and make it a place where everybody feels welcome and comfortable,” she said. “Now, the police and firefighters are regulars, along

with community groups, families and couples from all over Sacramento, and the residents of (neighboring) Woodlake, where we live.” So, what makes Shift’s grilled cheese the best in California? “I think it’s our high-end ingredients,” said Mundy, adding, “Also, there’s a lot of love that goes into every sandwich.”

Shift Coffee houSe 1616 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento 916-999-0601

Come discover the Boulevard or visit us online at delpasoboulevard.com

upComing eventS SaturDay, FeB. 1

SaturDay, FeB. 1

tueSDay, FeB. 4

Book Club 12 p.m.| free

Family Storytime 1 p.m.| free

Open Mic Night 7 p.m. | free

Discuss your latest reads with other adults the 1st Saturday of every month at the North Sacramento-Hagginwood Library.

Join the Sacramento Public Library for Family Storytime! The whole family is invited to partake in songs, rhymes, stories and fingerplay activities to build early literacy skills. Activities focus on ages 0-5.

Grab a brew, sink your teeth into a warm slice of pizza or a crisp salad then take the stage at this weekly Open Mic Night. Encourage friends or share material of your own!

North SacramentoHagginwood Library 2109 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento

North SacramentoHagginwood Library 2109 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento

King Cong Brewing Co 1709 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento

Want your event on Del Paso Blvd to be featured here? Submit it to our online calendar at https://www.newsreview. com/sacramento/calendar#!/ and click “Add Event”








POST EVENTS ONLINE FOR FREE AT newsreview.com/sacramento

MUSIC THURSDAY, 1/30 COTBB AND LANTZ LAZWELL: City of Trees Brass Band and Lantz Lazwell will be playing a night of jazz and funk at the Torch Club. 9pm, $7. Torch Club, 904 15th St.

THE FRED EAGLESMITH SHOW: Country singer/ songwriter Fred Eaglesmith will come to Sacramento with singer Tif Ginn. 7pm, $20. Harlow’s, 2708 J St.

QUINCE ENSEMBLE: Part of the “Taproot New Music Festival,” the Quince Ensemble will perform three new pieces written by Eren Gümrükçüoglu, Maija Hynninen and Aida Shirazi along with a series of older tunes. 7pm, $12-$24 UC Davis, 1 Shields Ave., Davis.

ROYAL THURSDAYS: Spinning Afrobeats,



See work from four generations of dogloving artists at Bark!


Bark!, Dog Group Show returns.


canine comrades. The pups are depicted in a variety of mediums, including glass, clay, wood, ceramics, oil paint, assemblage, wax, metal and bronze. From Chihuahuas to retrievers, in this art show you can see dogs of all shapes and sizes, but you might want to leave “Spot” at home for the Friday reception featuring four generations of artists coming together over their shared appreciation of dogs. 521 1st St., Davis, natsoulas.com/

Upcoming shows, February through March.

SKILLET Skillet, From Ashes to New and

Ledger will rocket the night away at Ace of Spades Ace of Spades 2/20, 7pm $58-$110 On sale now aceofspadessac.com.

Why We Drink podcast comes to Sacramento for the Here For The Boos Tour 2020

ERIC GALES Praised as a child prodigy,

blues-rock guitarist Eric Gales has had a successful career, recording nearly 20 studio albums and now will be bringing his talents to Sacramento. Harlow’s 3/1, 7pm $25 On sale now harlows.com.

Ace of Spades 2/14 9pm $52 On sale now



may know him as the creator of Nerdist or just being a generally funny nerd. Chris Hardwick will be performing live stand-up in Sacramento

Punch Line Sac 3/5-3/7, Various times $30-$40 On sale now

Tell us a joke, Chris. |





Weekend returns on Thursday night, with DJ Luckey at Old Ironsides. 9pm, no cover. Old Ironsides, 1901 10th St.

XAVIER OMAR: R&B musician Xavier Omar stops by Sacramento on his tour of the United States and Canada. 7pm, $20. Ace of Spades, 1417 R St.

NATSOULAS GALLERY, 7PM, NO COVER Dogs. They fetch, sit, roll over, play dead and love us unconditionally. Those memeworthy, loyal companions and humankind’s best friends—sorry cat lovers—are getting their due. The Natsoulas ART Gallery has hosted an annual dog-based art exhibition for five years and this year it’s bringing together works from more than 40 artists including Roy De Forest, Esther Shimazu and Robert Hammerling to celebrate humanities


Dancehall and hip-hop/R&B. Enjoy music from different angles of the Afro music genre. 9:30pm, no cover. Chaise Lounge, 1330 H St.

YEAR OF THE TURN UP: Purple Reign Entertainment and Burgundy Suite present “Year Of The Turn Up!” Celebrate the Chinese New Year with Heartbreaka, YT, Vonnie, Yungn True, Aaron Le and more. 7pm, $25-$50. Neyborly, 817 16th St.

FRIDAY, 1/31 BACK BURNERS: Back Burners bring jazz to the

Shady Lady. 9pm, call for cover. Shady Lady, 1409 R St.

CHILL: Chill formed in the summer of 2007, combining members of Fuse and Zeke’s Wheel to create a laid back, no worries band, just having fun playing music. 9:30pm, $7-$12. Opera House Saloon, 108 Main St., Roseville.

DIVE BAR BOMBERS: Dive Bar Bombers and


Three legendary blues musicians all under the same roof doing what they’ve done for decades, laying down some electric blues. Mondavi Center 3/4, 7pm $27.50-$125 On sale now mondaviarts.org.


50 years after Cream’s landmark album, Disraeli Gears, Kofi Baker, Will Johns, Sean McNabb and Chris Shutters are coming to perform the album, plus more hits by the band and others. Harris Center 3/10 7:30pm $19-$68 On sale now harriscenter.net.

Higher Mansions play at Old Ironsides. 9pm, $7. Old Ironsides, 1901 10th St.

DOGLEG & GLASS BEACH: Dogleg will be playing with Glass Beach at an all-ages show in The Starlet Room. 6pm, $12. The Starlet Room, 2708 J St.

DRAKE BELL AT HARLOW’S: Former Nickelodeon star and current Latin musician Drake Bell is performing with SAMMIES Singer/ Songwriter nominee Zachary Van Dyck. 6pm, $15-$100. Harlow’s, 2708 J St.

THE GREEN: O’ahu band The Green come to Lincoln and perform with Ka’ikena Scanlan. 7:30pm, $34.95. Thunder Valley Casino, 1200 Athens Ave., Lincoln.

GRUNGE BIG 4: A tribute to Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam, the Grunge Big 4 is coming to Sacramento. 8pm, $16. Ace of Spades, 1417 R St.

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

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

JASMINE BAILEY: Vocalist-lyricist Jasmine Bailey, SAMMIE nominee for Singer/Songwriter will be performing a new set of original music in Sacramento. 6:30pm, no cover. The Pour Choice, 177 Sacramento St., Auburn.

JOEY ALEXANDER TRIO: Jazz child prodigy Joey Alexander will be coming back to Sacramento. 8pm, $25. Mondavi CenterJackson Hall, Davis.

JOY & MADNESS: SAMMIES Funk nominee Joy & Madness returns to The Torch Club after a long hiatus from the venue. 9:30pm, call for cover. Torch Club, 904 15th St.

MYLAR’S HIPPIE HOUR FRIDAYS: Exclusive to the Sacramento area, SAMMIES nominee William Mylar’s Hippie Hour Fridays have been ongoing since 2012. 5:30pm, no cover. Louie’s Cocktail Lounge, 3030 Mather Field Road, Rancho Cordova.

THE NELL AND JIM BAND: The Nell and Jim Band bring together genre-busting artists and music infused with folk, bluegrass, Americana, roots, swing, jazz and blues. Featuring Nell Robinson on flute and vocals, Jim Nunally on guitar and vocals, Jim Kerwin on bass fiddle, Alex Aspinall on percussion and Rob Reich on accordion and keyboards. 8pm, $27. Harris Center, 10 College Pkwy, Folsom.

SCOTTY MCCONAHA AND JEREME GREENE: Scott plays whimsical and melodic pop tunes. Garage and glam rock ’n’ roll singer-songwriter Jereme Greene is the frontman for Mondo Deco, a SAMMIES nominee for Release of the Year. 9pm, $5 Fox & Goose, 1001 R St.

SOUNDTRACK: Paying tribute to all your favorite movie songs, it’s the debut of Soundtrack at The Trocadero. 6pm, no cover. The Trocadero, 119 Church St., Roseville.

SPEKTRAL QUARTET: Two new string quartets, a new quartet by a UC Davis Graduate Student, as well as quartets by Tanya Tagaq and LJ White. 8pm, $10-$40. UC Davis, 1 Shields Ave., Davis.

SATURDAY, 2/1 1812 OVERTURE: Memorial Auditorium will resound with Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, plus Copland, Gershwin and a special piece commemorating the 150th anniversary of the transcontinental railroad. 8pm, $15$42 Memorial Auditorium, 1515 J St.

BILL CHAMPLIN AND TAMARA CHAMPLIN: Twotime Grammy Award-winner Bill Champlin is known the as the singer keyboardist of the jazz pop band Chicago. He will be performing his own work with Tamara Champlin in Sutter Creek. 7pm, $28-$33 Sutter Creek Theatre, 44 Main St., Sutter Creek.

KEITH GREENINGER, DAYAN KAI, & BAND: Auburn State Theatre hosts an evening with Keith Greeninger and Dayan Kai with a full band highlighting music from the upcoming new release Human Citizen. 7:30pm, $29$32. Auburn State Theatre, 985 Lincoln Way, Auburn.

ANGEL FROM MONTGOMERY: Bring your dancing shoes to the Roseville Opera House for a special dance concert with Angel From Montgomery. 8pm, $10. Roseville Opera House, 411 Lincoln St., Roseville.


SAMMIES nominee Flip the Switch plays Holy Diver holy DiVer, 6:30pm, $15

2020 SAMMIES Revival Band nominee Flip the Switch has been bringing a high energy third-wave ska experience to Sacramento stages since SAMMIES 2002. Now they’re bringing that ska-punk style back. The eightPHOTO COURTESY OF FLIP THE SWITCH piece band will be playing at Holy Diver alongside fellow third-wave ska bands: Mustard Plug, The Toasters and Ants In My Eyes Johnson. Flip The Switch will also be joined by their mascot Good Luck Duck, a light-up goose—yes it is a goose that they call a duck—that has been on stage with the band since their first live show. You’d have to be a real quack to miss this show. 1517 21st St., holydiversac.com.


SUNDAY, 2/2 CHINESE NEW YEAR’S DAY CELEBRATION: Chinese New Year is the most important holiday in China. 2020 is the year of the rat, the first in the 12-year cycle of Chinese zodiac signs. 3pm, call for cover. UC Davis, 1 Shields Ave., Davis.


CSZ SACRAMENTO: ComedySportz Improv Comedy. Hilarious, spontaneous, interactive improv comedy for all ages. Not comedy about sports, comedy played as a sport. Two teams compete for your laughs and points. 8pm, Every Friday and Saturday. $10$14. 2230 Arden Way, Suite B.

CREST THEATRE: Smosh Try Not To Laugh Live.

Sacramento, Folsom and Roseville Pagaent will be held at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites. 2PM, $10. Holiday Inn Express & Suites, 4360 Town Center Blvd., El Dorado Hills.

YouTube comedy channel Smosh got its start in Sacramento and now the people behind it are returning to Crest Theatre to perform live comedy. 8pm, 2/5. 1013 K St.

LAUGHS UNLIMITED COMEDY CLUB: There Goes BACKBAR SATURDAY’S W/ MIKE DIAMOND: Backbar Saturday’s is every week in the backbar of Golden Bear with DJ Mike Diamond. 10pm, no cover. Golden Bear, 2326 K St.

COME ON GET HAPPY (HOUR): Dey Trippers are back with a variety of tunes with Tony Dey, Steve Randall, Gerry Pineda and Bob Mariano. 5:30pm, no cover. Torch Club, 904 15th St.

ERIC ANDERSEN & SCARLET RIVERA: A West Coast appearance of NYC folk icon Eric Andersen. He is joined by violinist Scarlet Rivera and percussionist Jogoda. 7pm, $25. The Side Door, 2900 Franklin Blvd.

FOREVERLAND: A tribute to the music of pop

icon Michael Jackson. 7:30pm, $29.50. Crest Theatre, 1013 K St.

HUNNY: Newberry Park rock band Hunny comes to Sacramento for their Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Tour. 7pm, $15. Holy Diver, 1517 21st St.

X CONS: Live music for all ages, every

weekend at Laughs Unlimited. 3:30pm, no cover. Laughs Unlimited Comedy Club, 1207 Front St.

MOONSHINE CRAZY: SAMMIES Cover Band nominee Moonshine Crazy covers country tracks at Strikes Unlimited. 9pm, $10. Strikes Unlimited, 5681 Lonetree Blvd., Rocklin.

THE PURPLE ONES: The Purple Ones tribute to pop musician Prince will play in Sacramento. 9pm, $17-$20 Harlow’s, 2708 J St.

QUEENSRYCHE: Queensryche, John 5, Eve to Adam and Trigger Effect will play Ace of Spades in Sacramento. 6pm, $33.50. Ace of Spades, 1417 R St.

SKID ROSES: The band Skid Roses returns to

the Corner Pocket in Citrus Heights. 12am, $8-$60. Corner Pocket Sports Bar, 7777 Sunrise Blvd., Suite 1400, Citrus Heights.

SPEKTRAL QUARTET: Two new string quartets, a new quartet by a UC Davis Graduate Student, as well as quartets by Tanya Tagaq and LJ White. 9:30pm, $10-$40. UC Davis, 1 Shields Ave., Davis.

UC DAVIS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: Korean Virtuosity, Immortal Dances by the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Christian Baldini, music director and UC Davis music professor. 7pm, $12-$24. UC Davis, 1 Shields Ave., Davis.

SUNDAY, 2/2 KIRTAN LIVE MUSIC AND SINGING: Weekly musical gatherings with spiritual singing and dancing followed by a vegetarian meal. 5:30pm, no cover San Juan Lodge, 5944 San Juan Ave., Citrus Heights.

RADICAL FACE: Florida musician Radical Face comes to Sacramento for an all-ages show. 6pm, $25-$28. Harlow’s, 2708 J St.

REICH: Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians with members of the Empyrean Ensemble Hrabba Atladottir, violin Michael Seth Orland, cello voices of the Quince Ensemble and more. Noon, no cover. UC Davis, 1 Shields Ave., Davis.

MONDAY, 2/3 A CAPPELLA LIVE!: Featuring Committed, The Filharmonic, Blake Lewis & Women of the World Built on the classic Motown review tour model, A Cappella Live! is bringing four a cappella acts to the Harris Center’s Stage 2 City Studio Theater. 7:30pm, $19$48. Harris Center, 10 College Pkwy, Folsom.

TUESDAY, 2/4 A CAPPELLA LIVE!: Featuring Committed, The Filharmonic, Blake Lewis & Women of the World Built on the classic Motown review tour model, A Cappella Live! is bringing four a cappella acts to the Harris Center’s Stage 2 City Studio Theater. 7:30pm, $19$48. Harris Center, 10 College Pkwy, Folsom.

HOMEBOY SANDMAN: Homeboy Sandman and Quelle Chris will perform live at The Starlet Room in Sacramento. 7pm, $15. The Starlet Room, 2708 J St.

JAUZ: Jauz will bring their Dangerous Waters Tour to Sacramento for an 18-plus show. 7pm, $27. Ace of Spades, 1417 R St.

JOE LEV AND FRIENDS: Blues/zydeco/bluegrass/ R&B/roots with Joe Lev, Dave Segal, David Croall, Gary Bennett, Matt Coleman, Rita Harrington and TJ Lev. 8:30pm, call for cover. Torch Club, 904 15th St.

WEDNESDAY, 2/5 BLUES & BOURBON ALBERT CASTIGLIA: Blues & Bourbon returns with Albert Castiglia at The Starlet Room. 5:30pm, $15. The Starlet Room, 2708 J St.

HUMBLE WOLF: SAMMIES Rock nominee Humble Wolf will be performing as part of UNIQUE Programs’ Wednesday “Nooner” series. Noon, no cover. The University Union, 6000 J St.

MUSTARD PLUG: Mustard Plug, The Toasters, Ants In My Eyes Johnson and SAMMIES nominee Flip The Switch will be playing third-wave ska in Sacramento. 6:30pm, $15. Holy Diver, 1517 21st St.

ACOUSTIC OPEN-MIC NIGHT: Madrid Music hosts an open-mic night dedicated to original music. Come to play or come to listen. 6:30pm, no cover. Love at First Bite Café, 7405 Winding Way, Fair Oaks.

THE O’MALLY SISTERS: The O’Mally Sisters will be doing their thing again at the Torch Club.

Experience the O’Mally Happy Hour. 5:30pm, no cover. Torch Club, 904 15th St.

WAYNE BARKER: Wayne Barker, the Tony Award-nominated composer of Peter and the Starcatcher, will discuss his career and perform his songs at UC Davis. 6pm, no cover. Arena Theatre, Wright Hall, UC Davis, Hutchinson Road, Davis.

FESTIVALS THURSDAY, 1/30 SILENT DISCO: Featuring DJ Hopkins.fun, DJ Mos Jef and DJ Kak, this silent disco at Sac State will have radio games, arts and crafts, mocktails and more. 7:30pm, no cover. The University Union at Sac State, 6000 J St.

FRIDAY, 1/31 FATHER DAUGHTER DANCE: Join the Fair Oaks Recreation and Park District for a Masquerade Ball put on by the Fair Oaks Youth Advisory Board. Dessert Bar, music provided by DJ B Carrion. 6:30pm, $30. Fair Oaks Community Clubhouse, 7997 California Ave., Fair Oaks.

SATURDAY, 2/1 IDGC GLASS SHOW: The International Depression Glass Club will host a festival and sale of vintage glass, china and pottery, featuring collectible glass, china, pottery, linens, jewelry and sterling silver. 10am, $6. Scottish Rite Temple, 6151 H St.

FILM SATURDAY, 2/1 THE WONDERLAND: The Wonderland, from award-winning director Keiichi Hara based on a story by beloved children’s author Sachiko Kashiwaba, tells the fantastical story of a young girl who meets a mysterious alchemist on a mission to save the world. (Rated PG) 11am, $15. The Tower Theatre, 2508 Land Park Drive.


PUNCH LINE: Jordan Carlos. Stand-up

OSCARS SHORTS 2020: The Academy of Motion

comedian Jordan Carlos has appeared on The Colbert Report, Nickelodeon’s Me TV, and The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. He will be performing live in Sacramento for three days. Various times. 1/30-2/1. $24.50. 2100 Arden Way, Suite 225.

Picture Arts and Sciences has announced finalists for the 92nd Academy Awards. Crest Theatre, over the course of three days from Sunday to Tuesday, will screen those nominated in the categories for, documentary short, live action short and animated short. Various times, $10 Crest Theatre, 1013 K St.

STAB! COMEDY THEATER: The Tonight Play. A full

TUESDAY, 2/4 IN SEARCH OF MOZART: Produced in association with the world’s leading orchestras, opera houses and musicians and told through a 25,000-mile journey along every route Mozart followed, In Search of Mozart is a detective story that travels to the heart of old Europe. 7pm, $18. The Tower Theatre, 2508 Land Park Drive.

The Neighborhood Comedy Tour. Jimmy Earll is an up-and-coming comedian born in Canada. He headlines the There Goes The Neighborhood Comedy Tour along with Evan Montelongo, Jason Cheny, Diego Curiel & Bob Fernandez. 8pm. Thursday 1/30. Sean Larkins featuring Jason Cheny. Sean is a founding member of the BlackTop Improv Troupe, the nation’s first and only all-black improv troupe. He’ll be headlining along with Jason Cheny and Chris Smith for two days in Sacramento. Various times. 1/31-2/1. $20. Pro Am Showcase. New comics and seasoned pros share the stage at Laughs Unlimited to bring you the funny. 8pm. Tuesday 2/4. $5. 1207 Front St.

re-enactment of an episode of The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson presented by Stephen Ferris. 9pm. Friday 1/31. $7. 1710 Broadway.

SACRAMENTO COMEDY SPOT: Trash Movie Improv. Trash Movie Improv is a show in which a clip from a bad movie is played. After a few minutes, the clip is stopped and a team of improvisers must continue that scene and create a new scene on the spot. 8pm. Thursday 1/30. $6. The Art



Nominees for the 2020 Oscar Shorts screen at Crest Theatre Crest theatre, Various times, $10

Oscar nomination season is over, so now it’s time to watch the movies that a few select individuals— from within the film industry—have decided deserve an award. Whether or not the movies FILM were nominated based on their own artistic merit, or whether the Academy Awards are a self-promotional exercise to generate more revenue, there are some pretty good flicks to watch. Crest Theatre will be hosting the Oscar Shorts 2020, the films that are nominated for the “Animated Short,” “Live Action Short” and “Documentary Short” categories will be shown over three days. 1013 K St., crestsacramento.com








FRIDAY, 1/31

MIDTOWN BARFLY: The Moxie Cabaret Roaring 20s. It’s the 1920s again, an era of opulent prosperity, game-changing trends and some of the most profound moments of American history. Now imagine it interpreted by Sacramento’s very own Midtown Moxies. 8pm. Saturday 2/1. $15-$25. 1119 21st St.

SAMMIES Funk nominee Joy & Madness at The Torch Club THE TORCH CLUB, 9:30PM, $12

Dance Company Presents Woven. The Blackrock Dance Company will take you on a journey through time and imagination in its production of Woven. Various times. 1/31-2/1. $10-$12. 4600 Blackrock Drive.


wisecracking pet goat Weezy live to tell the tale. Various times. 1/22-2/23. $25-$49. 2215 J St.

CALENDAR LISTINGS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 33 Critique Comedy Show. After a long absence from the Comedy Spot, The Art Critique Comedy Show returns with a load of secondhand disaster works over ripened for a roasting. 9pm. Friday 1/31. $15-$30. POC Improv Space. People of Color Improv Space offers a unique opportunity for students who identify as POC to explore the comedic arts in a safe and nurturing environment. 5pm. Sunday 2/2. No cover. 1050 20th St., Suite 130.

COSUMNES OAKS HIGH SCHOOL PERFORMING ARTS CENTER: Nhan Ho Project’s Images of Dance 2020. Nhan Ho Projects Images of Dance 2020 will showcase both youth and adult dance companies for a day of performances to highlight the innovative variety of dance flourishing in the Sacramento region. 7pm. Saturday 2/1. $15-$18. 8350 Lotz Pkwy,

Elk Grove.

DDSO PARKWAY THEATER: The Trail to Oregon!. The Fourth Wall Theatre Company Presents The Trail to Oregon! Originally produced by StarKid; book by Jeff Blim, Nick Lang, Matt Lang and Brian Holden; music and lyrics by Jeff Blim. Various times. 1/31-2/9. $15. 5051 47th Ave.

THE GUILD THEATER: Watch Jazzy at The Guild Theater. Instagram star Watch Jazzy is coming to Sacramento, performing live, one night only, at The Guild Theater. 7pm. Saturday 2/1. $25-$40. 2828 35th St.

YOLO BREWING COMPANY: The Brewery Comedy Tour returns to YOLO. Laughs are on tap for this nationwide tour that’s already hit 900 breweries across the U.S. More than a dozen New York and L.A. stand-up comedians are currently on the road, sampling the local fare, local brews and providing comedy entertainment. 7pm. Wednesday 2/5. $14. 1520 Terminal St., West Sacramento.


DAVIS VETERANS MEMORIAL CENTER THEATRE: Don Saylor’s Soups On for Acme Theatre Company. Yolo County Supervisor Don Saylor’s Soups On for Acme Theatre Company will feature live music from local duo Misner and Smith, delicious soups from local restaurants, a kids activities room and a special recognition of Acme founder Dave Burmester. 6pm. Thursday 1/30. $0-$30. 203 East 14 St., Davis.

EL CAMINO FUNDAMENTAL HIGH SCHOOL CENTER FOR THE ARTS: CRUSH. El Camino Advanced Drama presents Stephen Gregg’s CRUSH. Find out who your secret admirer is in this comedic romp through the galaxies. Various times. 1/30-2/1. $5-$8. 4300 El Camino Ave.

SUTTER HEALTH PARK: Cirque du Soleil in Sacramento-AMALUNA. Cirque du Soleil AMALUNA comes to Sacramento for the month of February. Various times. 1/22-2/23. $50.75-$322.50. 400 Ballpark Drive.

HARRIS CENTER: An American In Paris. Winner

CALIFORNIA STAGE: The Field. Black Point Theatre presents The Field, by John B. Keane and 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. 2509 R 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




Art Matters. Gallery 1075 welcomes its second Our Art Matters exhibition as an extension of Black History Month. View the African-American experience through the eyes of local visual artists. Various times. 2/5-2/29. No cover. 1075 West Capitol Ave., West Sacramento.


2020 SAMMIES PHOTO COURTESY OF JOY & MADNESS Funk nominee, Joy & Madness returns to The Torch Club to get down and funky with Sacramento. The eight-piece band released their 2015 EP, SAMMIES Little Bright World, and have since grown a following as well as added more members to the mix. The band has been funking up stages across California but haven’t played at The Torch Club since July 2018. Now they’re back and ready to perform on a stage in a city they know well. If you head over to the Torch Club on Friday, be sure to hop into your funkiest shoes. 904 15th St., torchclub.net.




of four Tony Awards, this loving tribute to the Oscar-winning film finds an American soldier and a mysterious French woman in Paris, looking to begin again after World War II. Various times. 1/30-2/1. $43.20-$88. Ballet Folclórico Nacional de México de Silvia Lozano. Designated an ambassador of Mexican culture — and with residencies in Mexico City and Cancun — Ballet Folclórico Nacional de México de Silvia Lozano has toured 40 countries over five continents, performing for kings, princesses, presidents and prime ministers. Various times. 2/32/4. 10 College Pkwy, Folsom.

Sacramento Ballet’s Choreographic Workshop. Watch our dancers unleash their creativity through their own works. Choreographer Val Caniparoli and Artistic Director Amy Seiwert serve as mentors, curating the evening and supporting our dancer-choreographers. Various times. 1/312/16. $60. 2420 N St., Suite 100.

WILLIAM J. GEERY THEATER: Anything Green. Sunny Side Theatre Co.’s sophomore production brings the post-holiday whimsy to their uniquely staged reading of an original play, Anything Green. 7pm. Saturday 2/1. $12. 2130 L St.

ART JOHN NATSOULAS GALLERY: Bark! Group Exhibition and Reception. The John Natsoulas Center of the Arts hosts the return of the show celebrating man’s best friend. More than 30 international artists will be contributing to this one-of-a-kind group show, with works in paint and sculpture included in this tribute to man’s canine preoccupation. The opening reception will be Jan. 31 at 7pm. 7pm. 1/31-2/29. No cover. 521 1st St., Davis.

MILLS STATION ARTS AND CULTURE CENTER: 1968 A Folsom Redemption. In 1968, Johnny Cash performed two concerts at the Folsom State Prison and those concerts were the catalyst that rekindled his career. More than 30 photographs show Cash and his family and other county music legends. Learn how art is helping inmates and making a difference. Various times. 2/5-2/22. No cover. 10191 Mills Station Road, Rancho Cordova.

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. Ise Lyfe spent the last two years visiting inmates in prison and formerly incarcerated people throughout the state, photographing them and collecting audiovisual recordings that tell their stories. Various times. 1/203/15. $0-$9. 1020 O St.

CALIFORNIA STATE RAILROAD MUSEUM: “White Out!” Exhibit at Railroad Museum. For a limited time, visitors to the California State Railroad Museum have a special opportunity to see a 251,000-pound rotary snowplow from the museum’s collection along with a compelling new exhibit titled White Out! A Collision Course with Nature. Various times. 12/13-4/1. $6-$12. 111 I St.

CROCKER ART MUSEUM: American Expressions/ African Roots Akinsanya Kambon’s Ceramic Sculpture. Born as Mark Teemer in Sacramento, Akinsanya Kambon is a former Marine, Black Panther and art professor. Stricken with polio as a child, he turned to drawing for comfort and therapy. He recalls in his adolescence frequent visits to the Crocker Art Museum, which fascinated him and showed him the human potential in creating art. Various times. 2/2-7/5. $0-$12. 216 O St.

DOWNTOWN: Museum Day 2020. Coordinated by Sacramento Area Museums, 25-plus museums are participating in Museum Day by offering complimentary admission. The popular day is also the kick-off to Sacramento Museum Week, filled with special events, activities and activations at various museums. Various times. Saturday 2/1. No cover. 980 9th St.


PENCE GALLERY: Sculpture by Lynn Dau Objects Speaking Volumes. Lynn Dau is a San Josebased sculptor whose work investigates themes related to personal identity, gender roles, labor, parenting and consumerism. This exhibition features re-purposed domestic objects, both humorous and deeply provocative. Various times. 1/7-2/2. No cover. 212 D St., Davis.

TIM COLLOM GALLERY: Whitney Lofrano What Goes Around. After her second solo exhibition at Tim Collom Gallery in 2018, Whitney Lofrano returns with What Goes Around, 45 new works in oil and watercolor. Various times. 2/4-2/29. No cover. 915 20th St.

UC DAVIS: Appreciation and Adaptation Homage to Global Textiles. The exhibition features traditional textiles from Africa, Asia and South America, collected by Paul J. Smith, these items have inspired contemporary design works by UC Davis students. Various times. 1/23-4/18. No cover. Kriss Ravetto-Biagioli Digital Uncanny. Digital Uncanny examines the relation of surveillance to anonymity and facial recognition in interactive media. Author Kriss Ravetto-Biagioli lectures on the book at UC Davis. 4:30pm. Wednesday 2/5. 1 Shields Ave., Davis.

THURSDAY, 1/30 BOOK PROJECT “MAKING STRIDES IN GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION THROUGH ADVOCACY AND LEGISLATION:” Taking Action, Not Sides Making Strides in Gun Violence Prevention Through Advocacy and Legislation. A roundtable with Amanda Wilcox, chairwoman of California legislation and policy, Brady United Against Gun Violence; Rebecca Gonzales, co-chair, Sacramento chapter, Brady United; and Austin Michael, member of Team Enough and Sacramento State undergraduate. 5pm, no cover. UC Davis, 1 Shields Ave., Davis.

KIDS BOOK CLUB: Mighty Jack. Join us as we discuss Mighty Jack by Ben Hatke. Pick up your copy this month at the front desk. 5pm, no cover. Colonial Heights Library, 4799 Stockton Blvd.

FRIDAY, 1/31 5TH ANNUAL SIERRA WRITER’S CONFERENCE: Writer’s Conference. Meet and ask questions of successful writers and entrepreneurs who will share their secrets about

writing, publishing and marketing their work. Join this special two-day event of learning, sharing, growing and being inspired to renew or begin your writing journey. 9:15am, $30-$85 Sierra College, 5100 Sierra College Blvd., Rocklin.

EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES BY CHARLES HALSTED: Extenuating Circumstances. The Avid Reader will be welcoming author Charles Halsted and his second poetry book, Extenuating Circumstances. It shares Halsted’s life, including recollections of “bombs in the night” during World War II, becoming a doctor, surviving “underground demons” in an earthquake, landing a steelhead trout at dawn adjusting to aging, and more. 7:30pm, $18.99. Avid Reader, 617 2nd St., Davis.

SATURDAY, 2/1 URBAN BOOK CLUB: Urban Book Club. Book club at the North Sacramento Hagginwood

Library every first Saturday. Noon, no cover. North Sacramento-Hagginwood Library, 2109 Del Paso Blvd.

SPORTS & OUTDOORS SATURDAY, 2/1 EASTERN WASHINGTON VS. SACRAMENTO STATE: Men’s basketball, Eastern Washington vs. Sacramento State. 7:05pm, $5$15 Sacramento State, 6000 J St.

UC DAVIS VS. CAL POLY: Men’s basketball, UC

Davis vs Cal Poly. 5pm, $10-$25. UC Davis, 1 Shields Ave., Davis.

SACRAMENTO KINGS VS. LOS ANGELES LAKERS: NBA. Sacramento Kings vs Los Angeles Lakers. 7pm, $80-$528. Golden 1 Center, 500 David J. Stern Walk.

MONDAY, 2/3 IDAHO VS. SACRAMENTO STATE: Men’s basketball, Idaho vs. Sacramento State 7:05pm, $5-$15. Sacramento State, 6000 J St.


vs Minnesota Timberwolves. 7pm, $11$95. Golden 1 Center, 500 David J. Stern Walk.

CLASSES THURSDAY, 1/30 25 MILLION STITCHES SEWING CIRCLE: Join a sewing circle to learn basic embroidery techniques and make a panel to be included in the Verge Art exhibition of 25 Million Stitches this spring. Created by Verge resident artist Jennifer Kim Sohn, 25 Million Stitches aims to amass that many stitches to visually represent the number of refugees in the world today. 5:30pm, no cover. Verge Center for the Arts, 625 S St.

RIVERS LAB LANDSCAPES THAT WORK FOR BIODIVERSITY AND PEOPLE: Rivers Lab is a paper report reading and discussion group to learn more about the systems we care for and have a chance to ask questions, discuss and enjoy each other’s company. Noon, no cover. South Yuba River Citizens League, 313 Railroad Ave., Prairie City.







207 F ST., DAVIS, (530) 758-8058


Trivia at Ease, 7pm, call for cover


PopRockz 90s Night, 10pm, no cover

1825 I ST., (916) 431-7940

2003 K ST., (916) 448-8790



Moonshine Crazy

Sensei Joshu & 2K, 8pm, no cover

The Vinyl Apocalypse, 2pm, no cover

Fierce Friday’s, 7pm, call for cover

Sequin Saturday, 9:30pm, call for cover Sunday Funday, 4pm, call for cover

Karaoke Night, 9pm, M call for cover; Noche Latina, 4pm, T, no cover


Steve McLane, 8pm, no cover

Scotty McConaha and Jereme Greene, 9pm, $5

Empty Wagon and Lovelorn, 9pm, $5

Open-Mic, 7:30pm, M, no cover


Lakers vs Kings, 7pm, $80-$528

Timberwolves vs Kings, 7pm, W, $11-$95


Watch Jazzy, 7pm, call for cover


Moonshine Crazy, 9pm, $10

Sunday Football, 3:30pm, call for cover

Drake Bell, Zach Van Dyck, 7pm, $15-$100

The Purple Ones, 10pm, $17-$20

Radical Face, 7pm, $25-$28

Boulevard, 6:30pm, $10

Hunny, Verno 7pm, sold out Beermosas and Yoga, 11am, $10-$25

2708 J ST., (916) 441-4693

Fred Eaglesmith Show, 8pm, $20



Jurassic Park Movie Night, 7pm, no cover


Live music, 7pm, call for cover

Ross Hammond, 5pm, call for cover; DJ Shaun Slaughter, 9pm, call for cover


There Goes the Neighborhood, 8pm, $10

Sean Larkins, 8pm, 10:30pm, $20

X Cons, 3:30pm, no cover; Sean Larkins, 8pm, 10:30pm, $20

Pro Am Showcase, 8pm, T, $7; Clean Stand Up, 8pm, W, $10

The Weekend w/ DJ Luckey, 9pm, no cover

Dive Bar Bombers, Higher Mansions, 9pm, $7

Lipstick, 9pm, $5

Heath Williamson, 5:30pm, M, no cover; Open Mic, 7:45pm, W, no cover

1207 FRONT ST., (916) 446-8128


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Yoga and Trivia, W, 3pm, $5-$10

Kupros Quiz, 7:30pm, call for cover

Open-Mic, 5pm, T, call for cover

best dance club 2017/2018 Karaoke up Front Wednesday-sunday amazing Food and specials nightly Country dancing in Back Wed, Fri, sat & sun salsa/West Coast swing thursdays

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Mustard Plug, The Toasters, Flip The Switch, 6:30pm, W, $15

Cornhole Tournament, 6pm, call for cover

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fri & sat 9:30pm - close 21+

Cornhole, 6pm, W, $10

1323 TERMINAL ST., WEST SAC, (916) 873-8659 1217 21ST ST., (916) 440-0401

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Oscar Shorts 2020, various times, M & T, $10; Smosh, 8pm, W, $37-$157

Absolut Fridays, 3pm, $6



Oscar Shorts 2020, various times, $10

Karaoke Night, 9pm, call for cover

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Zach waters duo

Foreverland, 7:30pm, $29.50


2828 35TH ST., (916) 905-7024


The Classic Crime, 7pm, $18

S’mores & Stouts, 5pm, call for cover

500 DAVID J STERN WALK, (888) 915-4647

with Zach Van Dyck 7pm Friday, $15-$100 Harlow’s Pop

B.P.M. & Sunday Funday Remixed, 4pm, After Hours w/ Apple, 9pm, M, no call for cover cover; Trapicana, 11pm, W, no cover

S’mores & Stouts, 5pm, call for cover

1001 R ST., (916) 443-8825

Drake Bell

Spectacular Saturdays, 6pm, call for cover

DRAKE’S: THE BARN 2000 K ST., (916) 448-7798



Time2Tabletop, 2pm, no cover

Howard Jones Acoustic Trio, 7:30pm, $35-$55

1013 K ST., (916) 476-3356 985 RIVERFRONT ST., WEST SAC, (510) 423-0971

9pm Saturday, $10 Halftime Bar & Grill Country


Karaoke at Cap, 9pm, no cover

1500 K ST., (916) 444-3633



It’s Not a Phase: Emo, Pop Punk & Post Harcore Party, 7:30pm, $5

9426 GREENBACK LANE, ORANGEVALE, (916) 358-9116



GranD remoDel cominG soon! stagecoach ticket giveaways sat 2/8, Fri 2/21, sat 2/29 stagecoach’s dance Competition - sat 3/7

Kevin’s annual birthday bash - sat 2/15

karaoke tue 9Pm - 2am, thu 10Pm - 2am Visit for eVent updates & booking information

Eat. Drink. Be Merry. Repeat.

$5 Prime rib dinner $3 Jack n Cokes 7-9 the Band Oh! - Front Bar Country dancing in Back

670 Fulton avenue, Sacramento, ca open daily 12Pm – 2am | (916) 487-3731

1217 21st St • 916.440.0401 www.KuprosCrafthouse.com

2 steps from downtown | 916.402.2407

ComedY open miC thu 8Pm - 10Pm

1320 Del paso blvD in olD north sac stoneyinn.com for more info & calendar

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Open-Mic, 8pm, call for cover

Embryonic Devourment, Cursed, Server All, Short Fuse, 8pm, $10

Hellway Patrol , Banger, Sky Pig, 8pm, $10

Opera hOuse salOOn

Chill, 9:30pm, $7-$12

Angel From Montgomery, 9:30pm, $10-$15

placerville public hOuse

Patrick Walsh, 8pm, call for cover

Joe Lev & Friends, 8pm, call for cover

Grooveline, 10pm, call for cover

Spazmatics, 10:15pm, call for cover

On the y

670 Fulton Ave., (916) 487-3731 411 lIncoln st., rosevIlle, (916) 970-9777 414 MAIn st., PlAcervIlle, (530) 303-3792

pOwerhOuse pub

614 sutter st., FolsoM, (916) 355-8586

Cliff Huey & 27 Outlaws, 9:30pm, call for cover

the press club

2030 P st., (916) 444-7914

sunDAy 2/2

Karaoke w/ Jimbo, 9pm, T, no cover

Zach Waters, 3pm, call for cover; Blues Jam, 6pm, call for cover

Live Karaoke, 8:30pm, T, call for cover; Local Licks, 9pm, W, call for cover

DJ Larry’s Dance Party, 9pm, no cover

Karaoke, 8pm, M, no cover; Night School, 9pm, T, no cover

rOOt Of happiness

DJ Night, 7pm, T, call for cover

211 F st., DAvIs, (530) 212-8039

shady lady salOOn

Back Burners, 9pm, call for cover

sOcial niGhtclub

DJ Elements, 10pm, $0-$5

the starlet rOOm

Dogleg, Glass Beach, 7pm, $12-$15

1409 r st., (916) 231-9121

1000 K st., (916) 947-0434 2708 J st., (916) 441-4693

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Photo courtesy oF hunny

Hunny DJ Stylo, 10pm, $0-$5 Homeboy Sandman, Quelle Chris, 8pm, T, $15; Albert Castiglia, 6:30pm, W, $15

Salsa Night, 8pm, $7

Hot Country Fridays, 8pm, $5-$10

Hot Country DJ Dancing, 9pm, $5

Big Game Party, 1pm, no cover

Karaoke, 9pm, W, $5-$10

904 15th st., (916) 443-2797

City of Trees Brass Band, Lantz Lazwell, The Vibe Tribe, 9pm, $8

Joy & Madness, 9pm, $12

John Clifton Blues Band, 9pm, $8

You Front the Band, 8pm, call for cover

Joe Lev & Friends, 8:30pm, T, call for cover; Wild Wild Wets, 8:30pm, W, $8

yOlO brewinG cO.

Thirsty Thursday, 3pm, call for cover

Paint Nite, 2pm, call for cover

Football, 3pm, M, call for cover; Trivia, 7pm, T, call for cover

1320 Del PAso BlvD., (916) 927-6023

the tOrch club

1520 terMInAl st., West sAc, (916) 379-7585

with Verno 7pm Saturday, sold out Holy Diver Rock

all ages, all the time ace Of spades

Grunge Big 4, 7:30pm, $16

Queensryche, 7pm, $33.50

Wastewalker “LOWBORN” Fundraiser, 6:30pm, $12

Spark8 Showcase, 7pm, call for cover

10 college PKWy, FolsoM, (916) 608-6888

An American In Paris, 7:30pm, $43.20$88

An American In Paris, 2:30pm, 7:30pm, $43.20-$88

An American In Paris, 2:30pm, 7:30pm, $43.20-$88

mOndavi center

Quince, 7pm, $12-$24

Joey Alexander Trio, 8pm, $12.50-$65; Spektral Quartet, 8pm, $10-$40

Spektral Quartet, 9:30pm, $10-$40

shine cafe

Shine Jazz Jam, 8pm, no cover

1417 r st., (916) 930-0220

Xavier Omar, 8pm, $20-$30

cafe cOlOnial

3520 stocKton BlvD., (916) 475-1600

harris center

523 MrAK hAll DrIve, DAvIs, (530) 754-2787 1400 e st., (916) 551-1400

Grex, Nam The Giver, 8pm, $8

Jauz, 8pm, T, $27; Lil Tjay, 8pm, W, $27.50-$125 Super Bowl Party w/ Kill the Precedent, 2:30pm, no cover

Photo courtesy oF Ashley hAyes stone

A Cappella Live!, 7:30pm, M & T, $19-$48

City of Trees

Open Mic, 7:30pm W, no cover

with Lantz Lazwell 9pm Thursday, $8 The Torch Club Jazz


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NUG Sacramento’s dispensary opened in April 2019 on 16th Street with additional businesses located in Oakland and San Leandro. PHOTO BY KEN MAGRI

Legal cannabis on the skids

The “Track-and-Trace” System

Compliant businesses are getting skewed—one by one BY KEN MAGRI

California’s legal cannabis industry hopes 2020 will turn out better than last year. Compliant businesses are financially hurting from a vape cartridge scare, excessive regulations and high taxes. Their plight is compounded by a struggle to compete against a dominant unregulated market, where prices are significantly lower and availability is widespread. Flow Kana, a major Mendocino cannabis company, laid off 20% of its workforce last November, while Sonoma County’s Canna Craft followed with a 16% layoff. Eaze, a major Northern California delivery company, fired its CEO and laid off 30 workers last fall. Medmen, a California chain of dispensaries, has not been paying its suppliers, and may enter into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to Grizzle.com. A share of Medmen stock, which reached $6.49 in October 2018, traded as low as 40 cents in late January.

Last March, Sacramento consultant Jacqueline McGowan raised concerns and warned SN&R of several “extinction events” that she said would make 2019 a volatile year for the industry (Read “Cannabis, interrupted,” March 21, 2019.) An extinction event is any law, regulation or enforcement action that could financially harm or destroy thriving cannabis businesses. As a local cannabis consultant for five years, McGowan combines 18 years of experience as a Wall Street stock broker with an obsessive approach toward research. McGowan was right on several predictions such as the effects of California’s Phase 3 testing and its impacts on manufacturers, an increase in taxes on cannabis and the difficulties of navigating the Track-and-Trace System. So, SN&R asked her to reflect on 2019 and explain what might be coming for 2020.

According to McGowan, the cannabis industry will be on the defensive, fighting off different types of bans. “It’s a reality that we could see an entire vaping ban in the state, and that would wipe out a good amount of manufacturers,” she said. Under such a ban, Sterling Harlan, founder and co-owner of Silverstreak Solutions, estimated that his Sacramento delivery service would lose 10% of its sales. “The vaping market would shift to the black market, only making the situation more dangerous,” Harlan said. McGowan is still concerned about lead leeching out of cheap vape cartridges. “It has not been seriously studied,” she said. “We are testing oil for what’s going into the cartridge, but not for what’s coming out of the cartridge.” Advocating for a test that the United Kingdom mandates for e-cigarettes, McGowan said that testing “vapor emissions,” instead of contents, would give a more accurate result. If any leeching were to occur, an emissions test would reveal that.

Vape cartridge scare McGowan correctly predicted there would be a health concern caused by vape cartridges. But her specific concern was over lead contamination and its long-term health problems, rather than counterfeit products that made users quickly sick. “I don’t think anyone could have predicted that people would start dying from vaping,” McGowan said. As deaths mounted across the country without a solution, public reaction evolved from a general concern into what McGowan described as “hysteria at the local level.” Contra Costa County, for example, banned all THC and nicotine vaping products. McGowan said there will be new legislation at the state level as well. “We will see no less than 12 antivaping bills at the Capitol this year,” she said. “It needs to be addressed, but through regulations, not from banning.”

All legal cannabis sales in California are monitored through computer software that tracks and traces the life of a product to its final sale. In 2019, California began to phase in METRC, a complicated tracking program using radio identification tags. Dispensary workers needed a special designation as “account managers” before being trained to use the software. Last year McGowan correctly predicted that the statewide scale-up of METRC would cause problems, due to its input-intensive requirements. By last November, 407 cannabis businesses had not even signed up for training, and the state temporarily suspended their licenses. No sales or transfers of cannabis products were allowed until they came back into compliance. More METRC compliance deadlines are approaching in 2020, and a new round of suspensions could happen. “The people who started last fall are doing fine,” McGowan said. “The people just starting now are not.” “LEGAL CANNABIS ON THE SKIDS” CONTINUED ON PAGE 41











Cannabis consultant Jacqueline McGowan was right on several predictions that would impact the industry in 2019. What’s next for 2020? PHOTO BY NICOLE FOWLER


Proposed tax changes in 2020 Meanwhile, California’s unregulated market, the largest cannabis market in the world, had a stellar year. With no taxes to charge, small overheads and lax law enforcement, unregulated vendors cashed in on hidden “sesh” markets throughout the state. “Everything’s going good right now, so I’d rather you didn’t write about us,” said a local vendor who also asked to remain anonymous. “Under the current tax climate, legal businesses are barely turning a profit, and most are operating at a loss,” Harlan said. “Simplifying the tax structure should be combined with lowering and eliminating some taxes.” Harlan suggested eliminating the tax on cultivation is a good place to start. McGowan also believes tax relief is the most effective way to help legal businesses. “The regulated market cannot compete with the illicit market on price point,” she said. “If it cannot compete with a market that is three times its size, the only thing that would work is an elimination of taxes.” In some California cities, the total tax on legal cannabis products can be as high as 40%. McGowan wants a one-year holiday on all taxes, so that the legal market can strengthen itself. “Most important of all is tax reduction,” said John Oram, CEO and founder of NUG brand cannabis products. “We are getting that [from proposed legislation], but what we are actually getting is a shift of the excise tax from the wholesale transaction to the final sale to the consumer.”

Oram went on to explain that, under the proposed changes, consumers would see the tax broken out as a line item in their receipt. “This will allow the consumers to better understand just how outrageously high the tax is,” Oram said. “Ultimately, I believe it will create the political will to fix the tax issues.” McGowan said that’s possible, but it’s more likely that California legislators will shift to a “potency tax.” While nobody knows exactly how a potency tax would be implemented from one cannabis product to another, McGowan said that because tax rates would be calculated by the milligram, legislators might allow higher potency edibles to be sold.

Surviving the future According to McGowan, vertical integration (owning the product from inception to final sale) makes businesses more likely to succeed. But she cautions that some cannabis businesses will still fail because there are too many of them. “We don’t need one distributor, one manufacturer and two cultivators for every one retailer in the state,” she said. “That’s not sustainable, so those numbers are going to dwindle.” In addition to tax relief, Oram said that “streamlining the permit process, limiting local control and enforcement of the illicit market are the most important changes required to keep the industry viable.” McGowan summed up the legal market like this: “It’s a game of musical chairs, but instead of chairs, there are bags of money, and every time the music stops, an operator is no longer in the licensed market.” Ω







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Grass roots By Ngaio Bealum

Seriously. These taxes at the club are wrecking my weed budget. I want to support the legal industry, but I am not made of money. What can I do?

I’m glad you asked. Get on the phone (or email) and talk to your state legislators about Assembly Bill 1948, which would lower the excise tax and eliminate the cultivation tax. It failed last year, but the bill’s co-author Rob Bonta, an Oakland Democrat, reintroduced it this session. This time though, he seems to have garnered more support. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s release about the new budget included this tidbit: “The Administration, in consultation with the industry and stakeholders, will consider other changes to the existing cannabis tax structure, including the number of taxes and tax rates to simplify the system and to support a stronger, safer legal cannabis market.” It’s about time. Thank you, Assemblyman Bonta, Gov. Newsom and State Treasurer Fiona Ma for supporting this common-sense legislation. So, seriously. Call your representatives RIGHT NOW and tell them to pass AB 1948. Listen: Cannabis is a golden goose. Weed will always make money. More than $3 billion worth of cannabis and cannabis accessories were sold in California last year. Too bad 75% of that money went to the black, er, traditional market. How can the state make more money and stop unregulated businesses from eating all the cookies? Easy: 1. Increase access. Fresno has finally decided to allow cannabis dispensaries. This is a good first step. There

a s k 4 2 0 @ne w s re v i e w . c o m

should be at least as many dispensaries in any given town as there are liquor stores. You heard me. Cannabis dispensaries provide jobs and improve neighborhoods. 2. Lower licensing fees. It shouldn’t cost $1 million to open a weed store. If you want regular people and not shady people with ties to Ukrainian money laundering schemes (looking at you, Sacramento) to open clubs, you have to make it easier and less expensive for them to get involved. 3. Ban the bans. One of the coolest things about Oklahoma’s medical cannabis ordinance is that cities and counties can’t block it. They have to allow cannabis businesses. We need that in California. If I can’t go to a weed store while I’m stuck in Clovis, you bet your sweet bippy I will find someone in the traditional market to sell me an eighth. The state should pass a law stating that all the towns and cities that voted in favor of Proposition 64 have to allow cannabis businesses. Allowing legislators to keep bans in place even after their constituents have voted in favor of the law subverts the will of the people. 4. Stop trying to create gigantic farms. Cannabis has been decentralized since forever. Giving precedence to giant companies with money but no concept of the cannabis culture helps no one. We see by the recent closures and bankruptcies of some pretty big businesses that smaller, local companies do better than giant ones. Treat weed stores like microbreweries and you will be better off in the long run. Ω

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


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ARIES (March 21-April 19): My favorite ancient


My daughter is in an emotionally and husband is being less critical, say this: “I verbally abusive marriage. She knows wouldn’t stay with someone who put me it upsets me to hear about their down. When you decide to leave him, you relationship, so she tells me she’s happy can live with me for three months until about his less abusive actions. I tell her you get on your feet.” that less abusive actions are still abuse. Do you see? Your job is to stay out of She knows I am here for her, especially her life and be fully in yours. Don’t tell if she files for divorce. But am I enabling her what to do or how to do it. Remind her by listening? her that she can exit her marriage and that Only if you ignore unacceptable behavior. you will be waiting when she makes her Enabling would mean you are protecting move. Take care not to confuse empathy your daughter from the full consequences with drama. It’s unhealthy to listen to a of her choice to remain with someone heartbreaking story about emotional abuse who abuses her. Let me add that I’ve and respond by allowing your energy to heard the term enabling most often plummet or your face to contort in discussions about addiction. into a mask of co-suffering. An enabler does things Don’t be fooled—that that make it easier for isn’t empathy. It’s Don’t tell her an addict to continue you attaching to her self-destructive what to do or how to wounded state. behaviors. Although If both of you do it. Remind her that an enabler believes are suffering, who she can exit her marriage they’re helping the is holding space addict, they are and that you will be for her to heal? actually supporting Significant energy is waiting when she the addiction. needed to create the makes her move. Addicts and interior transformation enablers both struggle that must happen if she is with obsessive patterns of to leave her husband. Take thinking. In a valiant attempt care not to distract that process to free themselves from the prison of by participating in a pity party. Let your their thoughts, they engage in compulsive body language show that you trust her behaviors. For an enabler, the compulto change. Believe in her until she can sion shows up as a habit of taking more believe in herself. Ω responsibility for the addict than the addict does for themselves. Most enablers secretly feel unable to control their own life and so they fixate on controlling someone else’s. MEDITATION OF THE WEEK Your daughter tells you that her husband is less abusive because she “I attribute my success to imagines it is proof that she’s right about this: I never gave or took him, and you’re wrong. She believed he an excuse,” said Florence would become a better man and thinks Nightingale. Do you believe it’s happening. It means she is special and your own excuses? has saved him. When he returns to his old patterns of abuse, she may blame herself. She might scour recent events, obsessively trying to determine what she did Write, email or leave a message for or did not do that caused him to slip back Joey at the News & Review. Give into his cruel ways. She may become your name, telephone number fixated on trying to help him change. (for verification purposes only) and question—all When your daughter tells you stories correspondence will be kept strictly confidential. about her abusive husband, stay present to Write Joey, 1124 Del Paso Boulevard, Sacramento, CA who you are and what you are about. The 95815; call (916) 498-1234, ext. 1360; or email askjoey@newsreview.com. next time she expresses happiness that her 46






Greek philosopher was the rascal Diogenes. As a joke, he carried around a lantern during the daytime, proclaiming, “I am just looking for an honest man.” When Alexander the Great, the most powerful man in the world, came to meet Diogenes while he was relaxing outside and asked him if he needed any favors done, he replied, “Yeah, stop blocking my sunlight.” As for Plato, Diogenes complained that the famous philosopher talked too damn much and misinterpreted the teachings of Socrates. I encourage you to borrow some of Diogenes’ attitude in the coming weeks. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, it’ll be healing for you to experiment with being brassy, saucy and sassy. Emphasize what makes you most unique, independent and self-expressive. TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Taurus author Anthony Trollope (1815–1882) published his first novel at age 30. During the next 37 years, he completed 48 additional novels and 18 works of nonfiction. Critics liked his work well enough, but were suspicious of his prodigious productivity. When they discovered that one of Trollope’s motivations for writing was to make money, they disapproved. Then they found out that Trollope kept a watch nearby as he worked, determined to generate 250 words every 15 minutes. The critics hated that even worse. Creative artists are supposed to court inspiration, not adhere to a schedule—at least according to the critics. But I approve of and recommend Trollope-like behavior for you in the coming weeks. Cosmic forces will be on your side if you do. GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In accordance with the astrological indicators, I invite you to rise and soar and glide during the coming weeks. I encourage you to expand and enlarge and amplify. Don’t wait around hoping to be asked to explore and experiment and improvise—just do those things. It’s high time for you to enjoy stirring quests and research projects and missions dedicated to discovery. Be a fun-loving pioneer. Sample the joys of being a maverick and outlier. CANCER (June 21-July 22): I love living in the material world. Its crazy-making demands and exhilarating rewards are endlessly entertaining. Despite having been born as a fantasy-prone, overly sensitive Cancerian, I’ve become fairly earthy and well-grounded. I have a good job, a nice house, a smart wife and an interesting daughter. On the other hand, I also love living in the soul’s realm. I have remembered and recorded an average of three dreams per night for many years. Although I don’t take drugs, I cultivate alternate states of consciousness through meditation, prayer and ritual. I’ve long been a student of depth psychology, which has trained me to be as focused on my soul as my ego. In accordance with current astrological omens, I urge you to hang out more than usual in the soul’s realm during the coming weeks. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Can I talk you into being more tender and open-hearted toward the people who care for you? I don’t mean to imply that you are currently too hard and closed. But all of us can benefit from enhancing our receptivity, and the coming weeks will be prime time for you to do just that. I think you’ll find it easier than usual to deepen your listening skills and intensify your sensitivity. You’ll have an acute intuitive grasp of the fact that you can earn yourself huge blessings by expressing love and compassion in very practical ways. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): All of us are in service to someone or something—to certain people or ideas or situations. We provide them with help or energy or mirroring or love. We are dutiful in attending to their needs and wants. For some of us, our service feels like a burden. It’s grating or humbling or inconvenient, or all of the above. For others of us, being of service is fulfilling, even joyful. We find a rich sense of purpose in our devotion to a higher cause or deeper calling beyond our selfish concerns. Among the 12 signs of the zodiac, you are more likely than most to

carry out the latter kind of service. I bring these thoughts to your attention because the coming weeks will be an excellent time to re-evaluate, reconfigure and reinvigorate your own service. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Author David Markson imagined what it would be like to write a novel that lacked conflicts or confrontations—in other words, a novel unlike any ever created. Libran author Ursula Le Guin also fantasized about stories with plots that weren’t driven by strife and struggle. Since many of us are addicted to entertainment that depends on discord to be interesting, we might find it hard to believe Markson’s and Le Guin’s dream would ever happen. But I’m pleased to inform you that your life in the coming weeks may be exactly like that: a fascinating adventure with few hassles and wrangles. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): According to Scorpio painter Georgia O’Keeffe, success is irrelevant. The most crucial life-long effort that anyone can be devoted to is “making your unknown known.” Did she mean making your unknown known to yourself? Or making your unknown known to other people? Or both? According to my analysis of the astrological omens, the coming weeks will be a favorable time for you to do both. So I hope you will tease out your best and biggest mysteries from their hiding places. Give them expression. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): You have a talent for burning bridges that really do need to be burned. Your intuition often guides you to assess when the time is ripe to withdraw from connections that no longer benefit you. On the other hand, you sometimes burn bridges prematurely. You decide that they are in such disrepair that they’re of no use to you, even though it might serve your ultimate interests to fix them. I offer these thoughts as a preface for my advice: 1. Refurbish rather than burn a certain bridge you’re a bit disenchanted with. 2. Build at least one new bridge that will be valuable in the future. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): The shape of the planets’ orbits around the sun is elliptical, not circular. Capricorn astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571–1630) was the first person to figure this out. He didn’t like it. He really wanted the orbits to be circular. That would have been more satisfying to his aesthetic and spiritual sensibilities. Explaining the arduous labor he did to arrive at his conclusion, he wrote, “Take pity on me, for I have repeated these calculations 70 times.” In the big picture of our understanding of the universe, of course, his discovery was felicitous. It’s not a problem that the orbits are elliptical, merely the truth. In the coming weeks, I foresee you engaging in a process that’s metaphorically comparable to Kepler’s. Hard work will yield useful, if unexpected results. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Please don’t imitate or repeat yourself in the coming weeks. Refrain from relying on formulas that have worked for you before. Resolve to either ignore or rebel against your past as you dream up fresh gambits and adventures. Treat your whole life like an improvisatory game that has just one purpose: to attract and stir up useful novelty. If you do these things, I can practically guarantee that you will win the game. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Poet Robert Bly believes that each of us has a special genius, and the key to understanding and fully activating that genius is in our core wound. In other words, the part of us that got hurt the worst is potentially the generative source of the best gifts we have to give. Do you know where that is in yourself: the wound that could be the source of your blessing? Now is a great time to investigate this tantalizing mystery.






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