20200213 100259

Page 1

How to fall in

also: pilloW talk page 20 Alternative valentine’s guide page 22

page 16

and stay in love by Joey Garcia

Sacramento’S newS & entertainment weekly


Volume 31, iSSue 44


thurSday, february 13, 2020



2   |   SN&R   |   02.13.20


february 13, 2020 | Vol. 31, Issue 44

An alternative guide to Valentine’s Day for those tired of collecting oversized stuffed bears in their attics.

editor’s note letters essay streetalK greenlight 15 minutes news feature arts + Culture stage

04 05 06 07 08 09 10 16 22 28

22 30 34 36 44 50

dish plaCe Calendar Cannabis asK joey

Cover design by maria ratinova

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

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

Our Mission: To publish great newspapers that are successful and enduring. To create a quality work environment that encourages employees to grow professionally while respecting personal welfare. To have a positive impact on our communities and make them better places to live. Editor Foon Rhee News Editor Raheem F. Hosseini Managing Editor Steph Rodriguez Staff Reporter Scott Thomas Anderson Arts Editor Rachel Mayfield 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, 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

Sales & Production Coordinator Laura Anthony Senior Advertising Consultants Rosemarie Messina Advertising Consultants Sam Almaguer, Michael Nero, Vincent Marchese, Amy Yang

Distribution Director Greg Erwin Distribution Assistant Lob Dunnica Distribution Drivers Mansour Aghdam, Rosemarie Beseler, Mike Cleary, Tom Downing, Marty Fetterley, Chris Fong, Ron Forsberg, Michael Jackson, Calvin Maxwell, Greg Meyers, Jeremy Meier, Jenny Plummer, Lloyd Rongley, Lolu Sholotan, Viv Tiqui

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

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

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editor’s note


Kids count, but can adults? Should taxpayers trust Sac City schools with more money?

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region have made similar investments. The measure calls for a citizens oversight committee and annual audits, and the district says no money can be used for administrator salaries or pensions. Still, voters can’t be blamed for being skeptical about giving more tax Kit Carson International Academy money to a district that a received an $8.6 million upgrade from state audit warns hasn’t Sacramento City Unified’s bond issues, adequately dealt with its approved in 2012. The district is asking financial crisis and is near voters for $750 million more on March 3. insolvency. The December audit was officially presented to Children deserve everything they need for a SCUSD trustees on Feb. 6. chance to succeed in school, including wellThe district sent a three-page letter on Jan. 13 to the equipped classrooms, labs and libraries. state auditor updating its progress and plans to send But what if the adults in charge are terrible at a fuller report in mid-March. The letter pointed out math—specifically, balancing the budget? it is still trying to negotiate with the teachers’ union That’s the difficult choice facing voters March for cost savings to avoid a state takeover. 3 on Measure H, Sacramento City Unified School The bond money would be separate from the District’s $750 million bond issue to upgrade general fund, which pays for classroom instruction classrooms, labs, libraries and technology; build and teacher salaries. The district also says that projcareer training centers; and to provide music and ects funded by Measures Q and R—bonds totaling arts facilities. $414 million that were approved in 2012—are on To repay the bonds, the measure would cost schedule, with all but $77 million of those bonds property owners 5 cents per $100 of assessed value, issued. which the district says will amount to $88 more But Measure H may be hurt because it’s on a year for the typical homeowner and raise $35 the same ballot as Proposition 13, a $15 billion million a year. statewide bond issue for K-12 schools, community Measure H requires at least 55% of the vote colleges and public universities, plus Measure to pass. E, a $650 million bond measure for Los Rios The district says there’s a dire need because Community College District, which would extend most of its schools are more than 50 years old, a 2-cent property tax levy. That’s an awful lot don’t meet current safety and instructional of borrowing to build new school and university standards and cost more to operate and maintain. buildings all at once. “The goal of Measure H is to bring older And while new buildings would be great, schools up to the same academic and safety how students are being taught and treated matters standards as newer schools,” says a mailer to more. Sac City Unified has faced recent criticism voters. The upgrades are needed to “support for suspending black students, for not protecting instruction that prepares students for college and bullied children and for failing students with develin-demand careers in fields like health sciences, opmental disabilities. engineering, technology, and skilled trades.” With those problems and with the questions The district also says that approval would about the district’s finances, it’s going to take a qualify it for about $80 million in state matching large leap of faith for voters to let it take on funds, and argues that other school districts in the another $750 million in debt. Ω Photo by Foon Rhee

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My brother, the hero Re: “Killing a peacemaker” by Raheem F. Hosseini (News, Jan. 9): My heart sinks every time I’m reminded of what this man did to my baby brother. He wasn’t homeless; he was just hurt and broken from the past we have been dealt. Yes, he has always been one to stand up for those in need. He died a hero in my eyes, but a big part of me wishes he would have stepped down that night. Thank you for this piece. I know he would have a big smile on his face, like he always had.

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Who to blame

Bad service

Re: “Closing time” by Chris Macias (Feature, Jan. 23): Many of the recent closings are because the owners had a long, successful run and have chosen to retire. The restaurant business is brutally competitive, and whenever a restaurant closes, another one or two open. Overall, Sacramento’s restaurant scene is thriving, but Chamber of Commerce orthodoxy requires blaming Obamacare and the minimum wage for every business that doesn’t last forever. Working people demanding living wages are portrayed as selfish destroyers of economic liberty, but the landlords killing restaurants by doubling the rent on paid-off commercial space are merely neutral players responding to the invisible hand of the free market. If the overall restaurant business was truly dire, landlords would be grateful to have current tenants paying current rents instead of going all out for whatever the market can bear.

Re: “Closing time” by Chris Macias (Feature, Jan. 23): Many local spots cannot get the basics done right. Like lukewarm food served on cold plates equals cold food. Or waiters not knowing anything. Or serving our Sac drinking water unfiltered—yuck. Or closing on Sundays or holidays. It’s not the cost of the food that’s a deterrent, it’s the service.

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Brian lamBert S acr am en t o / v i a F a c e b o o k

A missing candidate Re: “A man apart” by Scott Thomas Anderson (News, Jan. 30): Your article on Sacramento City Council District 2 did a disservice as there are three candidates running. Where was the information on the Sean Loloee campaign? He is the only candidate that showed up to my house asking for a vote. I hope citizens in District 2 make an informed vote.

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Artist? rtist? Are you A locAl

Do you dream of covering the city in artwork? Well, we’ve got a box-shaped canvas you can start with. f you’re a local artist interested in painting one of SN&R’s newspaper racks, reach out to Greg Erwin at GREGE@NEwSREviEw.com.

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Overpriced lunches

A rave review

Re: “Closing time” by Chris Macias (Feature, Jan. 23): The majority of people who work downtown work for the state. The prices for lunch at downtown restaurants are not geared toward the people who work downtown. Sacramento doesn’t have the big rollers like in San Francisco to support foo-foo food.

Re: “American pie” by Jim Carnes (Stage, Jan. 16): It’s nice to see this highly entertaining show get a rave review. These uber-talented musicians bring this show to life and carry us along with them. Go see this one before it’s gone. It’s a rollicking good time!

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Not long ago, a region choked with traffic was uncertain about its future. Many compared it unfavorably with Portland. It was headed down the same road as Los Angeles. Then voters were offered the choice of radically increasing the scope of its bus system. Today, a dense network of buses serve the city, rapid buses serve the suburbs and express buses service the entire region. That city is Seattle. Today, Seattle’s buses carry more people than ever to work, school, shops and restaurants. The same ballot measure that funded more and better bus service, also funded safe access for pedestrians and bicyclists. It helped to calm runaway traffic. Proof that better bus service helps everyone to achieve their dreams comes from Seattle, where 90% of bus riders have a car available. A transit rider can save $150,000 in a decade. By choosing how we get around, we are also choosing when to save and when to spend. Taking the bus to work means we get to keep more of what we earn. And we can reduce our environmental impact. If given the choice, many Sacramentans would make the same choice. I would. That’s why I started asking why so few people in Sacramento have this choice. The answer won’t surprise anyone who has seen Sacramento change. Bus service was cut by 25% during the Great Recession, even as ridership was increasing. Even a decade later, that level of service has not been restored. The Sacramento Transportation Authority board—16 elected officials from across the region—is debating a sales tax increase for the November ballot and a spending plan to go with it. It meets Thursday, Feb. 13. A half-cent increase could raise more than $8 billion over 40 years for roads and transit, including buses. If you are reading this during the commute, there are 155 buses on the road in the Sacramento region. There are 561 buses on the road in Portland, 387 in San Antonio, 418 in Salt Lake City and 550 buses in southern San Diego. Honolulu has about half as many people as Sacramento, but has 455 buses. Starting with

Benjamin Etgen is a Sacramento native and math professor who has ridden buses since he was a child.

far less bus service than many regions, we now have much less. Like me, you may even remember when Sacramento had a bus network similar to what Seattle has today. Express buses ran downtown from the suburbs, including Whitney Avenue, Marconi Avenue, and El Camino. Local buses served hubs at malls and colleges with connections to regional buses. For example, American River College was served by 11 local bus routes that fanned out across Carmichael, Fair Oaks and Citrus Heights then connected with an express bus to downtown. We need regionwide access as quick, economic and effective as Seattle. Portland has 16 bus routes that run every 15 minutes or better most of the day, every day. Sacramento has only two such routes. As our region grows, more buses would allow us to accommodate new development. The key is more buses. Because malls, hospitals, colleges, business parks and universities are not on light rail lines, Sacramento relies on buses more than other regions. Buses have always been an essential part of our transit network. As bus service has been cut, we have also seen a reduction in ridership on light rail. Today, our region is choked with traffic and uncertain about its future. Many compare it unfavorably with other regions. Where do we go now? Ω

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He took me to this kind of fancy nightclub called Elan, which also turned out to be his name. … I think what made it bad was that my dress that I wore … ripped, and I’d borrowed that dress.

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It was a Tinder date. It was a first date. She was just a boring, horrible person who was really mean to the waitress. So I excused myself to the bathroom and the waitress let me out the back door.

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I went to play pool with me and my friend, and the guy who I was going on a date with met us and he was just super awkward … Me and my friend “went to the bathroom” … and we just left.

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Me and my brother, we went on a double date, went to the movies, and the girls, they said, “We’ll be right back.” And they left and never came back … We weren’t entertaining them enough, I guess.

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It would be in high school. I was going on my first date … While I was at dinner, I started feeling really sick. … I literally ended up throwing up on the table, in his soup and everything.


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Manufactured homes could help fix our housing woes by Jeff vonKaenel

We need 2.5 million more homes in California. Gov. Gavin Newsom is calling for increasing the number of dwelling units built each year in California from the current 110,000 to 500,000. How can we do that? Manufactured homes, which have dramatically increased in quality over the years, can be produced at a significantly lower cost than on-site construction, typically about 20% to 30% less. For many people, this could be the difference between an affordable home and one that is not. After touring some manufactured home lots and being impressed with the quality of the housing, I wondered how many manufactured homes were being built each year. And could we use them to help solve California’s housing problems? As it turns out, Sacramento City Councilman Eric Guerra’s day job is working in the Legislature and one of his tasks is working on manufactured home legislation. He connected me up with Jess Maxcy, who is the longtime president and CEO of the California Manufactured Housing Institute. I spent a couple of hours with Maxcy in his Riverside office, absorbing as much information as I could about the manufactured home industry. Maxcy explained that about 15 years ago, California home manufacturers were producing about 10,000 units per year. Then the 2008 recession wiped them out. Production dropped to about 1,400 and many California manufactured home companies closed their factories. But sales in California have picked up again, and the industry is currently producing just less than 4,000 homes a year. It is not economically feasible to produce manufactured homes in China or North Carolina for the California market because of the high cost of shipping. So we need California factories. Maxcy told me that the current capacity for California manufacturers 8





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

was around 6,000 a year. I asked him if they could expand capacity. He told me that regulations and California’s high costs would prevent a new factory from opening in the Golden State. We need to change this. If we are going to increase the number of dwelling units built each year by 400,000, we need to dramatically increase the number of manufactured homes. Building 50,000 homes each year in California is within the realm of possibility. If we could save $30,000 per housing unit—a conservative estimate—50,000 houses would represent $1.5 billion a year in savings, or $30 billion over 20 years. California is currently pouring billions of dollars into support for low-income housing, as we should. I do not know what amount of money it would take to jump start manufactured home factories in California. But I know it would be less than $30 billion. Would it be wise to spend some of that money to support building manufactured home factories in California? Could we remove some of the barriers to building manufacturing plants in California? Obviously the Central Valley has both the land and the need for economic development. In addition to low-income housing, manufactured homes could also be used as affordable “mother-in-law units,” increasing urban density and decreasing sprawl. Any increase in housing supply would help reduce the cost of housing. There is a housing crisis. We need to respond. Let’s use our California innovation for something bigger than a microchip. Affordable housing should be more than just a pipe dream. Ω

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

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Miss Suzette Veneti’s advice on starting out: “Just figure it out and do it.” PHOTO COURTESY OF SUZETTE VENETI

Pushing boundaries Local drag performer Miss Suzette Veneti didn’t wait for a stage to come to her. Instead, she decided to create one herself. A performer of three years, Veneti produces drag shows all around Sacramento, including “Queens and Comedy” and “Fierce Fresh and Fabulous,” a drag show that highlights performers under 21, held at STAB! Comedy Theater. Veneti says she identifies with being a “comedy queen,” but she also wants to be seen as a well-rounded performer. She can regularly be seen pushing boundaries with her jokes, dancing in heels, lip-syncing and sipping a cosmo. On Feb. 16, you can catch her at Punch Line Sacramento’s all-ages drag brunch, “Makeup & Mimosas.” SN&R chatted with Veneti to learn more about how to get into drag, what it takes to produce a drag show and more.

Why did you choose to produce a show that included younger queens? I knew there was an under 21 scene, and like, where do you perform if you’re under 21, like how do you perform? There was a show called “Drag Star” that was for under 21 performers, but it’s very important to state that we didn’t start our show because those other ones existed to compete, but more to just add. Why not have more shows where under 21 people can perform?

Do you have any advice for people who want to try drag? Just do it. I mean if you’re interested in it, just try it. I think that’s something that I can speak on about Suzette. You don’t have to be a certain type of person to do drag. You can be a woman and you can be a drag king. You can be a man or a woman and you can be a drag queen. You

can be a man and be straight or gay. You can be under 18. You can be over 21. Just figure it out and do it. Some people just do it on Instagram. People get on [RuPaul’s] Drag Race just from being on Instagram. A lot of the queens at “Fierce Fresh and Fabulous” have only done drag in their bedroom before, but they’ve done it. They’ll walk the dog in drag and it’s like, if you don’t like it you can stop, it’s not going to brand you for life if you just try it.

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What does it take to produce a drag show? I have a friend who’s just a producer and we laugh because people think we make thousands every show. It’s like, no, especially if you’re paying people. If your payroll is $800, you have to make $900 just to get $100. I think producing is the best way to make sure you can perform. If you produce, you can book yourself, but that also comes with the downside of the dangers of producing a failure. I’ve had shows get canceled and I’ve had shows that don’t exist anymore. I used to have a show at Capitol Garage and [now] I don’t have it. I used to do shows at Luna’s and now I don’t, and those failures hurt but they’re good. It’s good to fail because then you’re scared.

What’s next for Suzette? I am finally starting to take “Queens and Comedy” outside of Sacramento, but I will never stop doing it in Sacramento because I love both the local drag community and the local comedy community. I love bringing in these comics that people might not get to see otherwise. I’m still looking for space and time to do my other shows that are even weirder ideas, and show how good drag and comedy are, and how hard it is to be good at them. I want to just keep doing stuff, and I want to keep pushing the boundaries and the norm. Ω

Sip some mimosas with Suzette Veneti at Punch Line Sacramento, 2100 Arden Way, Feb. 16, 11 a.m. Tickets are $16.

For a complete listing of job opportunities, go to:

governmentjobs.com/careers/sacrt SacRT Human Resources Department 2810 O Street Sacramento, CA 95816 Phone: 916.556.0298 www.sacrt.com/careers 02.13.20





Grant Union High School is in the Twin Rivers Unified School District. A state political watchdog recently fined Twin Rivers trustee Linda Fowler, right, and Sacramento County school board member Harold Fong. Photo courtesy of @twinriversusD

Fined before reelection Two school board incumbents were hit with big fines last year for violating California campaign laws—and it won’t matter by Raheem F. hosseini

Two of the heftiest fines issued last year by the California Fair Political Practices Commission went against two Sacramento area school board members who are favored to win reelection next month. But the timing of the fines, doled out years after the violations occurred, raises fairness questions both for the candidates who must now defend themselves against past misdeeds and for voters who could have used this knowledge earlier. In July, the FPPC fined Twin Rivers Unified School District trustee Linda Fowler $3,500 for violating the Political Reform Act’s conflict of interest laws in 2014. A month earlier, the commission doled out a $2,000 fine to Sacramento 10





County Board of Education trustee Harold Fong, who failed to file timely campaign statements twice in 2018. Fowler and Fong are both on the March 3 ballot to represent their respective Area 7 constituencies—in Fong’s case, without competition. That’s not so for Fowler, who has represented the north Sacramento area on one school board or another since 1971. She faces challenges from two candidates who say she’s out of touch and disengaged from her constituents. Meanwhile, the FPPC fines shed light on investigations into political wrongdoing in Sacramento County—and how long they can take to conclude.

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Complaints and referrals to the FPPC’s Enforcement Division dropped from 2,881 in 2018 to 2,243 in 2019. But there are still only so many cases that investigators can complete in 12 months. The FPPC successfully prosecuted 240 cases across California last year. Twenty-two of those—or 9%—happened in Sacramento County, making it the fifth most politically corrupt county in California by that metric, behind only Los Angeles (66 prosecutions), San Diego (29), Orange (27) and Santa Clara (23). The FPPC issued a total of $37,970 in fines to Sacramento politicians, political candidates, lobbyists and consultants,

Photos courtesy of scoe anD trusD

amounting to less than 5% of the $797,384 in fines around the state, all of which goes into the general fund. Among those accruing small fines for not filing necessary campaign documents were a Sacramento Metro Fire board director, a Folsom arts commissioner, a Galt school board member, Twin Rivers school board trustee Michelle Rivas and Citrus Heights City Councilman Bret Daniels—the only person dinged twice last year, once in his current position and once as a candidate for sheriff in 2018. The third and fourth biggest fines in Sacramento County went to Fowler and Fong, who expressed contrition and says he’s gotten better at navigating the state’s electronic filing system. “I do my own reports,” he said. “I’m just really sorry that there was a lapse. ... I have no one to blame.” While Fong has filed numerous financial disclosures since, Fowler hasn’t reported receiving any campaign donations since Jan. 31, 2018. Fowler, who didn’t respond to a request for comment, has been called to the mat before. In 2016, the Sacramento County grand jury, following reports by The Sacramento Bee, concluded that Fowler used her position to steer a $390,000

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charter school consulting contract to her firm, one that guaranteed payment regardless of whether she did any consulting or not. It took the FPPC four years to complete its investigation determining that this was true. In a statement, FPPC spokesman Jay Wierenga said the division “does its utmost to take care of all cases in both a timely and a thorough manner. One can’t cut corners simply to abide by a time frame, but we are also very cognizant of the need for timeliness, especially around elections. The public and those involved deserve to have things done in a timely manner, but also deserve to have investigations be thorough and comprehensive.” According to the FPPC’s order issued over the summer, the Twin Rivers Unified School District board of trustees—on which Fowler served—approved Highlands Community Charter and Technical Schools’ petition to create a subsidiary school in 2014 to help students obtain their GEDs. Fowler was appointed to be the Twin Rivers representative on the Highlands board of trustees. Later that same year, she founded a consulting firm, which then applied for a five-year contract from the new charter school. According to the FPPC, meeting minutes show another Highlands trustee, Jacob Walker, raised concerns about that being construed as “a gift of public funds” and called attention to a contract stipulation that required Fowler’s company to be paid $6,500 a month no matter how many consulting hours it actually provided. The FPPC says Fowler defended the contract but didn’t vote on it, which the FPPC labeled “a mistaken belief that there could be no conflict of interest if she abstained from voting.” After the Highlands board approved the contract, Fowler submitted two $6,500 invoices in which she requested payment “ASAP.” Highlands canceled the contract after making those two payments. The FPPC began its investigation in 2015, and took four years to conclude that Fowler violated conflict of interest laws by using her public office to secure the lucrative contract for her personal business. It also states that Fowler claimed she didn’t keep any of the $13,000 in invoiced funds that went directly to her. According to the FPPC, Fowler says that after cashing the checks, she gave the money to her business partner Angelica Tellechea. But there are no documents to support this version of events, the FPPC noted.

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The FPPC called Fowler “a sophisticated party … “who should have known about the potential for a conflict of interest.” Fowler holds a law degree and worked as a financial auditor for both the Franchise Tax Board and California Attorney General’s Office, the FPPC noted. She has also been a school board official since 1971, well before Twin Rivers Unified formed in 2008 out of the remains of four school districts. Fong says that only happened after the state rejected a different consolidation plan championed by Fowler—one that would have created two districts separated by Interstate 80, segregating the haves from the have-nots. “Linda, she really needs to be off that board, but the voters reelect her no matter what she does,” Fong said. Two challengers hope to change that: property manager Daniel Savala and Head Start teacher Sascha Vogt. Both have children attending schools in the district and both say they’d be more responsive than the decade-plus incumbent they’re trying to unseat.

Will you Be our valentine? See Cover

that the district’s own data shows that enrollment declines will start to reverse in a couple of years and that closing schools would be a “life-altering change for a shortterm problem.” Savala says he wants to take a hard look at why the district is continuing to fund its own police force and hold onto vacant buildings. “First and foremost, I don’t think any school district should fund a police department. Period. And we’re the only school district doing this,” Savala said. “I’m not saying we don’t need a security presence. … But is this the best way to spend our dollars?” Vogt doesn’t think the FPPC fine will matter much this election. She describes herself as a parent first with children who have attended district schools since 1995, including two who have graduated from Grant Union High School. “I have a vested interest and some skin in the game,” she said. “It is my children’s future at stake.” Vogt has been active during that time, helping call attention to broken heating and air conditioning units at Grant in 2014 and pushing for tuberculosis testing at the high school that same year. “The district has this history of not taking the community [pulse] on anything,” Vogt said. “You have some archaic wisdom with some archaic board members. They really seem to be governing rather than representing.” Savala also challenged Fowler in June 2016, when the district first shifted from at-large to district elections, but came in a close third. Savala says the 1,560 votes he and Francisco Garcia split that year proved there was more support for someone other than Fowler, who won with just shy of 1,200 votes. He expected to face Fowler head-tohead on March 3, but then Vogt filed to run. “Here we go—two weeks to go, 21 days to go—and we’ll see if we split the vote,” Savala said Monday. Vogt isn’t worried about that prospect. “I’ll be in the board room either way,” the educator and activist said. “I’m not going anywhere.” Ω

The timing of the fines raises fairness questions both for the candidates and for voters.

Savala said the fPPC fine is “fair game” for criticism, but that he’s focusing on other ways to draw a distinction with Fowler. “Linda Fowler has been absent at every single moment when we were trying to pull this community together,” Savala told SN&R. Vogt says the school district and its superintendent have avoided taking action regarding Fowler’s double-dipping by citing the ongoing FPPC investigation. “Well, it’s been resolved for quite a few months now,” Vogt said. Many challenges await whoever wins the seat. The Twin Rivers school board narrowly backed off from a staff recommendation to close nine schools as a way to trim a nearly $4 million deficit last month, but that issue may not be going away soon, especially if Proposition 13, a $15 billion statewide school bond, fails to pass next month. The bond offers $9 billion for preschool and K-12 schools, especially those impacted by overcrowding. Vogt said she believes the school district was trying to close schools to worsen overcrowding and better position itself for some of the bond money. She also argues



one tunnel, Same diStruSt State water officials offered an early look at the downsized California Waterfix project earlier this month, and conservationists and far-traveling indigenous tribes say they still believe it has the potential to permanently alter life in and around the Delta. The old version of California WaterFix, better known as the “twin tunnels,” was opposed by virtually every major environmental organization in the state, as well as fishing alliances, Delta businesses and groups concerned with the cultural and historic resources from Freeport to Walnut Grove. In addition to fears that the project would threaten the survival of the Chinook salmon and smelt, the previous environmental impact report laid the groundwork for eminent domain and construction impacts that could turn the Delta’s rural environment into an industrial zone. In response to Gov Gavin Newsom’s executive order last April to limit the project to one tunnel, the California Department of Water Resources held one of its first public “scoping meetings” Feb. 3 to start a new environmental review process. But the scope of what DWR’s engineers have in mind still includes two steel and concrete intakes along the Sacramento river between Hood and Courtland, as well as two large forebays and various pumping plants. The project also involves digging a roughly 40-to-50 mile-long tunnel through prime Delta farming land, to be set between 150 to190 feet underground. DWR is still considering two different routes for that tunnel. “We don’t currently have a preference between the two of them,” DWR program manager Carrie Buckman told the downtown Sacramento crowd. “We’re getting feedback. … This is a starting point, not a decision document.” But Molly Colton, conservation organizer for Sierra Club California, argued that the concept was flawed for an obvious reason. “We strongly suggest DWR assess a no-tunnel project,” Colton told state officials. “Diversions from an already fragile ecosystem will increase, and this tunnel will facilitate those diversions.” Sacramento-area resident Susan Wallace also wanted DWR to stop thinking of the Delta as a conveyance system. “The emphasis seems to be more about moving water than taking care of the whole state,” Wallace said. “I’m hoping as you start looking into this, you’ll start encouraging more benign ways to do agriculture in the south without ruining the ecosystem of the Delta.” A number of those attending the meeting were members of different indigenous tribes that live along the trinity and Klamath rivers. The health of those rivers is directly tied to the Delta. Tribal members had to drive more than five hours to make their voices heard because DWR didn’t schedule any public meetings north of Sacramento. Chief Caleen Sisk, head of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, told officials she was worried about the new concept. “How are you going to do this without harming the Delta and its levees?” Sisk asked. “I would like to see the framework of your science that you’re going to use to dig that far down.” The chief added, “My people have never benefited from this state’s empire building.” (Scott Thomas Anderson)

02.13.20    |   sN&R   |   11

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. Photo courtesy of the candidate

The mayor’s money Darrell Steinberg has no serious election  competition and plenty of campaign  cash—but not everyone is comfortable  with the source of his funds by Scott thomaS anderSon

With Mayor Darrell Steinberg on course for an easy reelection on March 3, his formidable campaign war chest has scarcely been tapped in the years since he ascended to Sacramento’s highest office. Now, political observers are watching to see if Steinberg will be spending cash on the initiatives he’s championing, while his critics are crying foul over some of the players shoveling dollars into his coffers. As of his latest filings, Steinberg had more than $161,000 in campaign funds at the ready. He raised roughly $101,050 of it since becoming mayor in 2016. An SN&R review of city records found that among 12   |   SN&R   |   02.13.20

s c o t t a @ne w s re v i e w . c o m

Steinberg’s largest donors from 2017 to present were building trade unions, who contributed $28,150; commercial developers and construction companies, who put in $21,550; and corporate landlords, real estate firms and property management groups, who shelled out $9,550. While those lobbying forces frequently contribute to a variety of candidates, many housing advocates in Sacramento don’t approve of the mayor accepting their money because of his role last year in brokering a deal over tenant protections and rent control. Steinberg was pivotal in the passage of the Tenant Protection and Relief Act, which was opposed by at least

one of his major contributors, the California Apartment Association. That organization’s political action committee has given the mayor $4,050 since 2017. The compromise Steinberg reached with some tenant advocates was palatable enough for another significant donor, the North State Building Industry Association, to stay neutral on the measure. That organization’s PAC has given Steinberg $3,500 in the last three years. But Steinberg has since refused to allow a vote on much stronger rent controls and tenant protections contained in the proposed Sacramento Community Stabilization and Fair Rent Charter Amendment, despite some 47,000 city residents signing petitions to get it onto a 2020 ballot. For Jonah Paul, who quit the Housing4Sacramento coalition after other members compromised with the mayor, Steinberg’s position is undemocratic. Paul believes the only explanation is the influence of special interest groups who are hostile to rent control, which account for well over half of Steinberg’s campaign contributions since taking office. “It’s pretty simple: The biggest determinant factor in an official’s policy is who gave money to their campaign,” Paul said. “The mayor has received copious funds from the real estate and landlord lobbies. Meanwhile renters, tenants and working people don’t have that kind of influence. All they have is their vote. … When you have a situation like that, it’s going to lead to anti-renter policies. People want to make it about nuance and how policy is complicated—it’s not.” But housing advocates aren’t the only ones who might take issue with Steinberg’s funding sources. During a council meeting last June, a long line of residents blasted the mayor for his dealings with Verizon Wireless. Steinberg has given the telecommunications giant access to Sacramento’s infrastructure to make the city a leader in 5G networking, despite concerns over public health. Recently, 180 scientists and doctors from around the world signed a letter asking for a moratorium on the tower technology, citing concerns over how the radiation output affects human brains, fertility and cancer rates. A number of the Sacramentans expressing fears over 5G decried Verizon’s financial influence on the Federal Communications Commission,

but Steinberg himself has accepted $3,500 in donations from Verizon since the city struck its deal. The mayor’s office did not respond to requests for comment. Sacramento City Hall may be allowing campaign money to play a bigger role than other California cities. According to a 2016 analysis by California Common Cause, Sacramento has among the highest individual campaign contribution limits in the state. Of the 109 cities with contribution limits, only Anaheim, Escondido, Fresno and Richmond had higher thresholds. The city’s current limit per primary or general election for a council candidate is $1,750. By contrast, the limit for a council candidate in Roseville is $500, while Folsom is $150 and Davis is $100. But Sacramento is off-kilter when compared to California’s larger cities, too. The limit for council contributions in Los Angeles is $800; San Francisco, San Fernando and Berkeley have lower limits as well. Sacramento’s limits for mayoral candidates are even higher, maxing out at $3,500. The individual donation limit for the mayor of Los Angeles, by comparison, is $1,500. For large political committees, the contribution limits are $11,650 to candidates for mayor and $5,850 for council candidates per election period. Residents may want to ask themselves if they’re comfortable with special interests being able to spend more in Sacramento, says California Common Cause executive director Kathay Feng. “Setting lower contribution limits may increase incentives for candidate campaigns to spend more time talking to constituents and less time chasing deep-pocketed special interests,” Feng told SN&R via email. The city code requires a biennial review of Sacramento’s contribution limits. According to a Feb. 12, 2019 staff report, city manager Howard Chan authorized bypassing a review and recommended increasing limits to the City Council. Council members then raised their own contribution limits from $1,650 to $1,750, and the mayor’s from $3.350 to $3.500 on a consent agenda vote. There was no a public hearing or debate. Ω

Celebrating hard-earned

Voter suppression


THEn Louisiana Black voters before and after efforts to suppress registration 130,000

Still fighting for the right to vote

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


ur voting rights did not come easy. I’m reminded of that often during Black History Month and this centennial celebration of the 19th Amendment that enabled American women to vote in 1920. Originally, only property-owning white men could vote. No one else was granted full citizenship or allowed to participate. Frederick Douglass, one of our nation’s leading abolitionists, risked his own freedom as a gifted journalist, orator and writer. And he was an ardent advocate for women’s rights. As the only African American man at the Women’s Rights Convention at Seneca Falls in 1848, he spoke in support of women’s rights, and for women to speak for themselves. “I believe no man, however gifted with thought and speech, can voice the wrongs and present the demands of women with the skill and effect, with the power and authority of woman herself,” Douglass said. Three years after the Civil War ended, the 14th Amendment formally granted African Americans citizenship in 1868. But it took the 15th Amendment in 1870 (after continued pressure on Congress) to overtly grant voting rights to African American men. That amendment enabled African American men to vote — and even to run for office — at least for a time. During the 1880s, about 2,000 African American men were elected to public office. However, by the 1890s, several states had enacted poll taxes, literacy tests and used violent intimidation to disenfranchise Black voters. Meanwhile, Black women were still battling for their voting rights. Abolitionist, feminist and ardent anti-segregationist Mary Ann Shadd Cary became the first African-American woman newspaper publisher and editor. Responding to Douglass’ call in 1848 for suggestions to improve the lives of Black people, she wrote, “We should do more and talk less,” in a letter that helped galvanize the male-dominated, anti-slavery establishment into taking more action. She openly defied the Fugitive Slave Act passed in 1850 and encouraged former slaves to flee to Canada. A former slave, Ida B. Wells — a gifted journalist and fervent abolitionist — reached fame for documenting lynchings, fighting for the right to vote and advocating for Black women’s

1,342 Abolitionist Frederick Douglass

equality in the late 1800s. She famously refused to be relegated to the back of the march for suffrage, joining with the delegation of white women from Chicago instead. Once women attained the right to vote, they significantly helped swing elections in favor of Black men. But it was a constant struggle, fighting decades of violence aimed at suppressing the Black vote. As recently as 1964, only 2% of Selma’s eligible Black residents were registered to vote despite their legal right to do so. One calendar year later — after decades of culmulative risks, lives lost and organizing having gone into the effort — the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed. And the battle continues. In 2013, that act was weakened by the Supreme Court, and states have since passed new laws restricting voting rights disproportionately for people of color. Today, Black leaders are still fighting for people’s rights and making history. In 2018, Joe Neguse became the first African American person elected to Congress from Colorado. He also co-founded New Era Colorado, which registered 150,000 young voters. At SEIU Local 1000, we use our hard-earned voting rights to ensure our elected representatives reflect our priorities, including the right to join a union, ending structural racism, health care for all, and the right for immigrants to live and work free from intimidation and fear. Local 1000 members themselves make this happen by reviewing candidates’ positions, conducting interviews, volunteering for our endorsed candidates to help them get elected, and meeting with them regularly once in office. While much work remains to be done, we will continue to lift up those who suffered and lost to put us in a position to win. yvonne R. Walker President SEiu local 1000

SPONSORED by SERvicE EmPlOyEES iNtERNatiONal uNiON lOcal 1000



nOW States that keep more than 5% of African American citizens from voting





Citizens barred from voting via felony conviction laws 6.1 million

1.17 million



note: More than 7.4% of african american adults are disenfranchised, compared to 1.8% of non-african american adults.

Sources: Sentencing Project, Constitutional Rights Foundation

SEIU LOCAL 1000 1808 14th Street Sacramento, CA 95811 (866) 471-7348

02.13.20    |   SN&R   |   13

in a statement shortly after the bill was voted down by Democratic and Republican lawmakers. So what does that housing production bill actually look like? Here are some options. The governor may not like many of them.

serve as the de facto legislative vehicle for the governor’s ambitions. A UCLA analysis found that cities across California would likely have to dramatically “upzone” —allow much denser development where it is legally prohibited now —for Newsom to come close to 3.5 million new homes. That’s exactly what SB 50 attempted to do. “A housing production agenda without zoning reform is incomplete,” said Sen. Scott Wiener, the San Francisco Democrat who authored the bill. “Restrictive zoning puts a mathematical cap on the new housing you can build.” In order to lift that cap, upzoning may now have to be combined with a sweetener for cities who resent the state encroaching on local control over housing decisions. That sweetener could be redevelopment—a state program that cities used and misused to fund affordable housing before former Gov. Jerry Brown dissolved the program nearly a decade ago. But redevelopment is the kind of sweetener that could nauseate Newsom. The governor vetoed the redevelopment bill last year, and is loathe to commit the state to the billions in ongoing spending it would entail. Wiener also hinted that any production bill would benefit from being included in a broader package of other housing bills —some serving tenant and anti-gentrification groups, others serving cities. Ironically, Newsom’s housing achievements last year may have doomed SB 50 in 2020.

Package zoning changes with redevelopment

Wait for sticks and carrots to kick in

The governor set a campaign goal of 3.5 million new housing units by 2025 to help relieve the state’s crippling affordability crisis. In his first year in office, California was on pace to permit roughly 120,000 units—nowhere near Newsom’s audacious rate or what experts say is needed to offset rising rents and home prices (final numbers for 2019 are expected soon). After intervening to help pass a tenant protection bill last year, Newsom vowed to focus on housing production in 2020 —legislation that would make it easier for developers to create new market-rate and low-income housing. Despite never receiving the governor’s explicit endorsement, backers of the housing-near-transit bill presumed it would

On and off the record, Newsom administration officials asked about their housing plans invariably offer up some version of the following: Just wait until the stuff we’ve already done starts kicking in. They’re referring mostly to administrative efforts —some of which happened under the Jerry Brown administration —to force cities to allow more housing. Newsom’s housing department has tripled the number of units Southern California have to plan for. Huge new housing quotas are on the horizon for the Bay Area. “Since we are already getting much larger numbers, our cities are going to have to contemplate greater density and greater height anyway just to comply with

A BART train runs through a neighborhood of single-family homes in Albany. California lawmakers again rejected a bill that would have led to denser development along public transit routes. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CAlMAtters

What next for Newsom on housing? by Matt Levin

CalMatters is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California policies and politics. An unabridged version is available at calmatters.org.

Developers, landlords, Facebook, construction unions, the state Chamber of Commerce, Realtors, environmental groups and even the AARP wanted to see the bill pass. So did big city mayors including San Francisco’s London Breed and San Jose’s Sam Liccardo. Not to mention Sen. Toni Atkins, Democratic leader of the state Senate, who typically has a pretty big say in which bills make it out of her chamber. Nonetheless Senate Bill 50, a measure that would have forced cities to allow more mid-rise apartment buildings around public transit and next to some single-family homes, failed to get enough votes in the California Legislature to survive in 2020 before time ran out. The question now is how Gov. Gavin Newsom plans to meet one of his signature campaign goals: building millions of new homes. And if cities, anti-gentrification activists and suburban homeowners could stymie the assortment of powerful interests backing that bill, what pro-development policy options are left? “California’s housing affordability crisis demands our state pass a historic housing production bill,” Newsom said

14   |   SN&R   |   02.13.20

C a l M a t t e rs

these laws,” said Jason Rhine, assistant legislative director for the League of Cities, which opposed Wiener’s bill. “A lot of the objectives of SB 50 will be realized just based on existing law.” But there are legitimate questions about whether new state penalties will effectively coerce California cities, which have a long history of flouting state housing law. Newsom’s original proposal to withhold gas tax revenue from cities stubbornly failing to meet their state-imposed housing goals failed to garner much support. A replacement scheme that allows a judge to fine non-compliant cities has yet to be tested.

Reform CEQA Good luck. If Wiener’s bill was comparable to climbing Half Dome, so-called CEQA reform would equate to ascending the Himalayas. His bill was the rare piece of housing legislation that united developers, unionized labor and most environmental groups. Those groups —major sources of campaign donations for Democratic lawmakers would go to war against each other over changing the California Environmental Quality Act. Developers have long contended the act is a burdensome tool that labor and neighborhood groups use to block and delay new developments, adding unnecessary costs to projects. Newsom tried to broker a deal between developers and labor to modify the law last year, to no avail. And reports of ongoing tension between construction workers’ unions and the Newsom administration make the prospects of compromise increasingly remote. The Legislature isn’t yet considering any proposal to seriously alter the act.

Cut impact fees Another cost that developers constantly say inhibits new housing from being built? Fees that local governments impose on new developments for parks, schools and other infrastructure to serve a new development’s residents. Here Newsom may find some wiggle room. Cities could be receptive to lowering how much they’re allowed to charge as long as they get that revenue from another source. There may be a legislative vehicle for Newsom to push here —a bill from Concord Democratic Assemblyman Timothy Grayson to bring more transparency to how much cities charge. Ω

building a



Youth Campaign for More Funding By E d g A r S A n c h E Z


our years ago, Dexter Niskala, then a junior at Luther Burbank High, campaigned for Measure Y, which would have created a new tax to fund children’s programs in Sacramento. “I asked hundreds of voters to support Measure Y,” Niskala recalled recently. In June 2016, the initiative was narrowly defeated, falling about 1% shy of the 66.67% supermajority vote required to win. “Even though we lost,” most voters were pro-youth, said Niskala, now a 21-year-old sophomore at Sacramento State University. Today, Niskala is campaigning for Measure G, which, if approved by voters on March 3, would require the city of Sacramento to allocate 2.5% of its general budget — about $12 million annually — to youth programs run by the city and nonprofits. This would be in addition to the funding that Sacramento currently devotes to youth programs each fiscal year. Because Measure G is not a tax, it needs 50% plus one vote to win. A coalition of 28 organizations — many of them supported by The California Endowment, which has no position on the initiative — has mobilized for Measure G’s passage. They include Sacramento Area Congregations Together and the local chapter of the East Bay Asian Youth Center, for which Niskala works. Measure G proponents collected about 39,000 voter signatures to qualify it for the March primary. The measure would strengthen critical resources that help impoverished children

succeed, said Ana Taukolo, of the Sacramento Youth Alliance, which is part of the Alliance for Education Solutions, a coalition member. “For me, it goes back to the saying, ‘It takes a village to raise a child,’” Taukolo, 23, said, adding that now, it takes a nation to do that. “Our villages, our (poor) communities, are hurting,” she said. “I would like to see more funding for organizations that are on the ground, in the neighborhoods that are hurting the most,” trying to help youth. Measure G would make that possible, she said.

“I would lIkE to SEE MorE FuNdING For orGaNIzatIoNS” trYING to HElP YoutH. Ana Taukolo, age 23

By serving children and youth most impacted by poverty, trauma and violence, the measure would increase graduation rates and keep kids out of the criminal justice system, said Jim Keddy, of Youth Forward, another coalition member. Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg is seeking to place a counter-measure for youth funding on the November ballot. If Measure G passes, it would be superseded by his

Youth programs increase graduation rates and reduce the number of kids who enter prison. Photo by kate Gonzales

proposal, which would generate varying amounts of youth funds annually, depending on the economy. Based on city budget projections over the next four years, the counter-measure could provide between $2.5 million to $3 million to youth-serving programs per year. For more on the mayor’s plan, visit https://engagesac.org/blog-civicengagement/2020/1/29/a-better-way-mayorsteinberg-offers-plan-to-boost-funding-foryouth.

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 details on Measure G, visit SacKidsFirst.org www.SacBHC.org 02.13.20





it’S about

by Joey Garcia a s k j o e y @ne w s re v i e w . c o m

actually Four stories about finding love and learning to love better 16   |   SN&R   |   02.13.20

V development. Stuck between its origins alentine’s Day suffers from arrested

as a fertility fest and its third century reboot as a Catholic holy day, Feb. 14 only knows one way to express itself. That’s unfortunate because there’s so much more to finding love—and staying in love—than romancing your boo with chocolates, flowers and candlelit dinners. As the stories of these four local residents attest, we only learn to love by loving widely, an experience that transforms who we are and what we believe. Whether you have a Valentine, or are content to be your own, consider pushing beyond your own limitations this Feb. 14. Open up and let more love into your life.

Love found, lost and rekindled

Love is her religion

“To love your brother as you love yourself means not just Muslims, but everyone.”

Photo courtesy of maheen ahmed

Photo courtesy of tia Gemmell

Photo by maria ratinova

“People are always looking for perfection and love is not perfect,” notes Marinda Sessoms. “But I was lucky enough to do a full circle back to someone who is perfect for me.” Two years ago, the 39-year-old television producer married her childhood best friend. “I didn’t think you could find the love of your life at 10 years old. But I did,” she says. Her story is one of love found, lost and rekindled after a decades-long separation that included a teenage pregnancy, her first marriage and her new husband’s 18-year incarceration. Sessoms remembers walking home from fifth grade and noticing a boy her age loitering near a corner. Suddenly, he ran at her. She ran away. He did the same thing—for weeks. “I would tighten my backpack, button up my coat and run,” she recalls. Her friends warned the boy he would never catch her. Sessoms says she looked backward once, trying to gauge the distance between her and the boy. “That’s when it hit me. This fat kid is adorable!” She decided to let him catch her. As she slowed down, he grabbed her coat. ‘I’m Tio. Now you’re my best friend,’ she recalls him saying. “I thought: That’s it? That’s what you wanted?” Tio Sessoms began dropping by her bedroom window at night to talk. By the time they were teens, he was shimmying through her window so they could hang out while she did homework. If her mom came to the door, Tio would dive under the bed to hide. A big guy, he didn’t quite fit. Sessoms kept a stack of clean laundry in her room to pile over him. Her mom never caught on. The teens made a promise to each other to be best friends forever. “We said that if we got older and married other people, we would buy homes next door to each other and take down the fence so we could hang out whenever we wanted,” she recalls, laughing. When they told Tio’s mom about their plan, she was horrified. The pair decided that she just didn’t understand. In high school, Sessoms and Tio dated other people, but remained invested in each other’s lives. Then it all fell apart. “I got pregnant at 17 years old. Tio said, ‘You’re a track star. Why would you mess that up?’ He was so disappointed. He saw so much possibility for me. He said: ‘You were the one who was suppose to be something and go somewhere.’” She pauses, choked by emotion. “I was afraid I wasn’t good enough for him. He thought he wasn’t good enough for me.”

The teens drifted apart. Years later, Tio showed up unexpectedly at her sister’s apartment where Sessoms had been staying while separated from her children’s father. “It was like no time had passed. We stayed up all night, talking,” she remembers. “‘Do you want me to stay,’ he asked. I was always trying to make it work with my kid’s dad. I said, ‘no.’ He said he was headed out of state to visit someone, kissed me on the forehead, hugged me. I didn’t know that was the last time I would see him for 12 years.” Soon after, while Sessoms was watching the news, Tio’s photo flashed on screen. He and two other men had been arrested and charged with robbery and murder. “My soul just dropped,” she says. Sessoms’ yelled angrily at the TV: “Why are you associating with people like that? What were you thinking?” She didn’t contact him, though. While in prison, he caught her name on a list of credits at the end of a TV program. He called to congratulate her. “We were our best friend selves again, even “God kept he was on the him locked away though inside,” she said. from me, until He confessed that when placed in solitary I could be my confinement, he would best self.” pretend to be in her Marinda bedroom, hidden in a Semmons pile of laundry. Tio told her he had been unlawfully convicted. She believed him, and began to help with his case. Her marriage ended. Moving out of the friend zone with Tio felt like fate. Yet, everyone cautioned her against spreading the news. “People would be like, ‘I wouldn’t tell anyone that your boyfriend is in prison.’ But it’s not something I could hide because it’s part of our story.’” After Tio’s release from prison in October 2017, Sessoms began to question what made her choose the men she had dated before him. “I see who I am when I’m with him,” she said. “I don’t have that with anyone else. How did I not expect this out of every person before?” As in any committed relationship, there are rough patches. “The difference is that, when he pisses me off, I want to work through it. He’s worth it,” she said. The couple married on the anniversary of Tio’s prison release date, a conscious choice to create a fresh start. Sessoms says that although love is not perfect, the timing of this relationship is ideal. Her heart is open in a way it has never been before. “God kept him locked away from me, until I could be my best self.”

Maheen Ahmed Maheen Ahmed wears hijab, a headscarf meant to signify modesty. It’s a simple expression of her Muslim faith, one that too often provokes an ugly response. “People have assumptions about who I am as a Muslim woman. They don’t ask me things—they impose their assumptions on me,” she says. “Cultural humility is a skill that Muslims tend to have, but in general, in American culture, there is a lack of cultural humility. I will also say there is a lack of education and knowledge people have about Muslims, and a lack of willingness to learn.” Ahmed says she’s been misjudged—and worse—since her teens. Most teachers at her Catholic high school behaved as though they were experts on her faith. “My religion teachers would tell me what my religion teaches and say that it is a religion of injustice and violence,” she recalls. “I was so young and of lower authority. I didn’t feel like I could push back.” Outside of the classroom, she was bullied.

“It’s about Love ...”

continued on page 18

02.13.20    |   SN&R   |   17

“It’s about Love ...” continued from page 17

Any unexpected loss is jarring, but when Katia Kemmler announced the January closure of Katia’s Collections, her East Sacramento boutique, she was unprepared for the push back. “It was raw, shocking,” Kemmler said of the responses that flooded her email inbox. “You can’t do this to me!” one customer wrote. Another lamented: “Your store is where I feel comfortable. Where else can I go?” Over the next week, Kemmler read nearly 400 emails from customers whom she had dressed for galas, career moves, first dates and other special occasions over 20 18   |   SN&R   |   02.13.20

years. “I love you!” dozens of women wrote, “I’ll miss you so much!” Sitting in the closet-sized office at the back of her boutique, Kemmler’s eyes fill with tears. “I had no idea they felt this way. Why didn’t they tell me before?” Raised in Paris, Kemmler has lived in the United States since 1976. She has yet to grow accustomed to one particular American habit. “I’m shocked by the people who say I love you. Is it just a phrase? Do they mean it? Americans don’t open up.” Women did reveal their insecurities to Kemmler. She estimates that nine out of 10 of her customers have been critical of their bodies. “It’s been a constant battle and education to show women their positive qualities instead of negative ones,” she said. “I tried to reinforce the beauty in them, to stop them from looking at a celebrity or magazine, and to look in the mirror instead and see that they are worthy.” As her customers aged, they became more critical of their bodies, especially if they were looking for love, widowed or divorced. Kemmler says she encouraged women to make wise choices. “Buy less,” she advised, “but buy what’s right for you.” Loving her own 74-year-old body comes naturally. “Keep in mind that I was raised in a different culture, where we pay attention to our body, we nurture it, beautify it,” she said. In the end, love motivated her to close the iconic boutique. “I had been thinking about retiring, but couldn’t find the courage until my husband pointed out that I was always too tired to do anything.” She had to admit he was right.

“If I stopped in front of a mirror and saw a wrinkle, I would add a little more concealer. I can face aging. But it was getting more difficult to face the obligations of running a business by myself,” she said. For some, the closure of Katia’s Collections feels like a death, but for Kemmler it’s the start of a new life. She plans to cherish her body by sleeping in and enjoying more outings with her husband.

Photo by Joey Garcia

Sometimes love means letting go

Katia Kemmler

Photo by Joey Garcia

“In high school and college, students yelled at me about my headscarf, called me a terrorist, told me to go back to my country. I was born in Los Angeles. This is my country,” she says. To find the strength to meet hate with love, she turned to the Quran, the Muslim holy book. “To be a true Muslim and attain love of God, which is what I am seeking in my life, then I must serve all of creation and love all of my community,” she says. “To love your brother as you love yourself means not just Muslims, but everyone.” While working at the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Ahmed found a way to serve. CAIR organizes “Muslim Day at the Capitol,” an annual legislative and lobbying event. While volunteering as a teen, Ahmed was struck by a realization: One day of lobbying and meeting legislators was not enough. Muslims need to be in positions where they can consistently influence legislation and policy. Justice and equality can only prevail, she reasoned, when Muslim concerns and contributions are taken into account, alongside those of other citizens, refugees and immigrants. So Ahmed applied for a job in a legislator’s office, and was hired. She worked her way up and is now legislative director for the California State Assembly. She is the first Muslim to hold that position. It’s an honor, she says, as well as a daily test of love for people who behave as though she doesn’t belong in her job or at the Capitol. “I’m Pakistani so I’m a brown, Muslim woman,” she says. “The Capitol is predominantly white and not used to seeing anyone who wears the headscarf like me. I have no role models I can see myself in.” Ahmed finds sustenance in social justice icons whose values align with hers. “I love Cornel West! His quote, ‘Love is what justice looks like in public,’ encompasses my life mission,” she says. Although West is Christian, Ahmed shares his obedience to the underlying call to love that exists within both of their faith traditions. And, like West, she braids her work and faith together seamlessly. “My way of worship is to be grateful for what I have and to work for justice so those who don’t have means are able to attain them,” Ahmed says. “It’s embedded in Islam: Everything you do in your life should be of worship. Serving as legislative director, spending time with my sisters, all of this is serving God.”

“I had been thinking about retiring, but couldn’t find the courage until my husband pointed out that I was always too tired to do anything.”

A tail of true love

“Love me, love my dog,” isn’t a song on Susan Durst’s playlist, but its message is the soundtrack of her life. Durst, general manager of The Press Club and Barfly, says her Jack Russell terrier, Curly, will always be her first true love. “I’ve spent 16 years with that little guy,” says Durst, 42. “We’ve been through everything. When I went to work at the bar, I took Curly with me every day. When my grandfather was taking his last breaths, Curly was with me. Curly is loyal. He taught me how to love.” Through Curly, Durst met Jean Rabinowitz, a veterinarian and founder of “4 R Friends,” a nonprofit that provides free services for the pets of people who could not otherwise afford veterinary care. Durst initially volunteered to foster dogs. She’s since added outreach coordinator, board member and clinic manager to her duties. Managing 4 R Friends’ spay and neuter clinics requires Durst to pick up dogs from people living in homeless camps and motels, drive the dogs to spay and neuter appointments and deliver the dogs back into the arms of their owners. It’s an honor, she says: “I pick up the thing in the world that protects them, that loves them unconditionally, the one thing that matters most.” How does she manage it? “If you gain the owner’s trust, you gain the dog’s trust. Not lying.” It’s something she knows from personal experience. Curly was a gift from a former girlfriend. When the pair broke up, Curly never left Durst’s side. He helped her heal and find love again, she says. “On my first date with Stormiblu [Homdus], she told me: ‘I’ve always wanted a Jack Russell. It’s my dream dog.’ That’s when I knew we would be together. Curly always brings me the best people.” Now married, the couple shares a tasteful home with a pack of affectionate foster dogs. Durst estimates that she has personally fostered more than 200 dogs. “I feel like I’ve spent my entire “When my life looking for something I’m grandfather passionate was taking his last about. The breaths, Curly was whole dog thing started with me. Curly is and it kinda loyal. He taught me took over my life. I’ve never how to love.” been happier,” Susan Durst she says. Ω

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

My oma

by Raheem F. Hosseini

the serial dater A

s the story goes, I thought my grandmother was a witch the first time I almost met her. It was 1984. My family had come a long way to the West German city where my “Oma” lived. But for whatever reason, she refused to open the door when my mom arrived with her husband and two young sons, neither of whom Ruth (Battesch) Fingerhut had met. And it wasn’t going to happen that night. That’s when 4-year-old me asked if the old woman in the window was a witch. Kids. We think the world is born with us. But it’s so much older and harder than we can fathom. And the rare ones like my grandmother—survivors of a violent, belligerent age—they’re just looking for a safe place to unbury their hearts. My Oma looked in the classifieds.

Affairs to remember

Born 1913 in Strasbourg, Alsace-Lorraine, a territory that shifted back and forth between French and German control, my grandmother grew up speaking French, which feels fitting for the story I’m about to tell. Ruth’s early years were privileged ones. Her grandparents were landowners and her father was an officer for Kaiser Wilhelm II, Germany’s last emperor. My great-grandfather remained loyal to the Kaiser even when the Third Reich rose to power, and was executed for taking part in a botched assassination attempt against Adolf Hitler. Pretty cool, right? Not for Ruth. She had already lost her mother at an early age. Things didn’t exactly improve once my teenage grandmother became an orphan. Her bourgeois Franco-German grandparents were slaughtered by Russian soldiers, then lost their land to postwar reconstruction; her schoolteacher husband was drafted by Hitler’s army and returned broken; and Oma’s instinct for survival, her secret strength and resourcefulness, had conspired to make her a difficult woman to be around for very long. Life can be cruel that way. It shapes you with its hardships and leaves you bent and inadequate for what comes next.

ra h e e mh @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m

Oma remarried once after my grandfather died in 1962, to a former Nazi major so haunted by the atrocities his men committed while stationed on the Russian front that he was prone to drunk, tearful confessions. Their 15-year marriage, until Walter died in 1979, was described to me as a pragmatic union. My aunt Ellen Sutterfield (who everyone in my family calls “Engele,” for “angel”) says Walter had a good job in the chancellor’s office, providing Ruth with the stability she had missed since childhood. After his death, my twice-widowed grandmother became a prolific presence in the personal ads section of the newspaper, which was like the 20th century version of Tinder if Tinder left ink smudges when you swiped. In her 80s, after losing another partner to old age, she swooned over a wealthy man named Fritz, who had his own winery. “She saw all the richness, so she came home and packed up her silver and dishes to show she had something too and just left,” my aunt laughs. Fritz and Ruth remained an item for about four years, until she tired of him. There was another relationship after that, but short-lived. The reason? He had a dog. Sometimes that was all it took. I always liked these stories about my grandmother. The thought of her getting crushes, leaping into relationships and, yes, still getting busy at 80, made her less intimidating. She was just like the rest of us—searching for love, stumbling and trying again. Then Engele has to burst my bubble: 90% of these relationships revolved around financial security, she says. Except, there was that one time long ago. There was this handsome boy from a wealthy family (“of course,” Engele says), when Ruth was around 15. Their brief romance lived in my grandmother’s imagination long after he broke her heart and she fantasized about throwing herself in the lake. “When we were children, she always talked about him,” Engele says. “His name was Hans.” That isn’t to say my grandmother died alone. When she finally passed in 2009, at the improbable age of 96, she went to her final sleep in the arms of my uncle Fritz. There are just some romances that stick. Ω

Web extra: For more on Ruth Fingerhut’s love life, visit sacblog.newsreview. com for an extended version.

02.13.20    |   SN&R   |   19

Pillow talK Three couples share how they navigate work lives and love lives

by Lindsay oxford lindsay o@ ne wsreview.com


rom venting about bad days to attending a partner’s holiday parties, it can be tough to leave work at the front door. No couple is immune to work bleeding into personal time. And for some couples, working side by side is unavoidable. But what kind of pillow talk springs from spreadsheets and memos? Three busy couples share how they make work-life—and love—balance work.

20   |   SN&R   |   02.13.20

“We look forward to working together because it’s almost like our date night away from the kids, even though we’re working.”

Working shoulder to shoulder

Kelly Carrasca

For Pipo and Kelly Carrasca of Hella-Halo, a pop-up food business serving the popular Filipino crushed-ice dessert halo-halo, working shoulder to shoulder each weekend is the name of the game. The Carrascas have been in business for just more than a year, balancing married life, day jobs and three kids on top of their rapidlyexpanding business. Hella-Halo “has always been a plan of mine,” Pipo said. “Being laid off from my construction job further cemented the idea of finally owning my own business and making my own way for my family and I—and to do something that was ours together.” “We are best friends, so we just enjoy doing what we love with the person we love most,” Kelly said. “We look forward to working together because it’s almost like our date night away from the kids, even though we’re working.” “When you’re doing something you love for a living, it doesn’t feel like work,” she said. “Especially when we’re together.”

“We always found a way to keep in touch daily no matter what either of us was doing.”

Agreeing to disagree

For Rachel and Michael Minnick, their careers in early childhood education began early in their 28-year relationship. Today, the Minnicks have a family of their own as they continue their work in education advocacy: Rachel as the Sacramento executive director of Reading Partners, a nonprofit providing tutors in underserved schools, and Michael as a college early childhood education instructor and a trustee of the Sacramento City Unified School District. The couple cite their previous nonprofit ties as a buffer to perceptions of conflicts of interests. “[Because] I teach early childhood education, my teaching, me being on the school board, Rachel’s got Reading Partners, our kids ... it all kind of overlaps,” said Michael. “So there’s always an extra few steps we have to take so this doesn’t feel weird to the outside world.” Even with those extra steps, it’s not a given that the Minnicks will agree. “We share a lot of similar views on a lot of things, but we’re not 100% agreement, ever,” Rachel said. “I think we respect each other. That’s the biggest part. I know where he’s coming from. And there are times where I don’t agree but I understand “We the rationale share a lot ... and I of similar views think viceversa.” on a lot of things,

but we’re not 100% agreement, ever.” Rachel Minnick

Charles Lawlor

Making time to be together

What about couples who don’t have such a smooth professional overlap? Patrick Harbison of Patrick Harbison Public Relations and Charles Lawlor, director of government affairs for the Consulate General of Israel to the Pacific Northwest, are engaged after four years together. “I was smitten from the start,” Harbison says. Between high-pressure jobs and heavy philanthropic involvement for both, making time to be together takes a conscious effort. Lawlor’s work travel adds another wrinkle to communication. “[When] I traveled to China for 20 days, ... for security reasons I had no internet access or phone,” he said. Outside of those rare scenarios, “we always found a way to keep in touch daily no matter what either of us was doing.” Says Harbison: “I often look for opportunities to blend the two. [If] a restaurant client is having an opening event, that’s the perfect opportunity to invite Charlie. ... Outside of that, I think we’ve both learned that it’s okay to say ‘no’ to certain things in an effort to prioritize alone time.” No matter how involved couples are in each others’ professional lives, one thing is clear: communication is key, and prioritizing your partner is a must. And don’t let work get in the way of your pillow talk. Ω

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Love sick on St. Valentine’s A lternAtive pleAsures to celebrAte your sweetheArt


alentine’s Day. An annual holiday bathed in red and pink and studded with gigantic stuffed bears that will eventually end up in the attic. A time when heart-shaped boxes full of chocolates say “I love you” and dinner for two out on the town is a chaotic nightmare. For couples looking to do something a little different to celebrate their love, SN&R created a list of alternative sweetheart activities. Learn how to swing dance to a rockabilly version of Patsy Cline’s “Stupid Cupid,” get hands-on with your sweetie during a culinary class or see a musical starring a murderous barber, because who says Valentine’s Day needs to be all hearts and rainbows? Whether you’re in a longtime committed relationship, or were just struck by Cupid’s arrow, open your heart to these playful ideas that will create lasting memories without the Hallmark card.

Love potion No. 9

For those into smudging, herbal remedies and creating useful products from natural ingredients, tap into your inner healer at Empress Ready (2251 Florin Road, Suite 155). On Friday, Feb. 14, join London Meeks, owner of this holistic healing boutique, for sage love bundle-making, mini love vision boards and an introduction to love manifestation. Small bites and wine will be available to get the creativity flowing, and both couples and singles are encouraged to participate. The class runs from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and is $25 with materials such as sage, roses, lavender and rose quartz crystals all provided. Purchase tickets at v-day-celebration-of-love.eventbrite.com.

The adventurers

by Steph

Rodriguez stephr@newsreview.com

Illustrations by Maria Ratinova

22   |   SN&R   |   02.13.20

Hiking is a free activity that gets the heart pumping while enjoying the natural beauty of the great outdoors. For couples who enjoy being active, or for those who seek to try a new activity at a leisurely pace, the Cosumnes River Preserve (13501 Franklin Blvd.) is a walkable nature trip with plenty of opportunities to spot birds, fish, snakes and marsh-like creatures. Twenty miles south of Sacramento, it spans 46,000 acres. Plus, it’s fairly flat so it’s also ideal for kids if you want to include the whole family. If a day trip sounds like the perfect romantic outing, drive up to Auburn’s Lake Clementine for a picturesque mountainous hike with slight inclines. Enjoy the tall trees, fresh air and snap a selfie in front of the historic Lake Clementine Dam with views of the Foresthill Bridge. Visit cosumnes.org and parks.ca.gov for park hours.









The hands-on couple sweeney toDD at the tower theatre

Song birds

For music lovers, here are three ways to get to know your partner through song and dance: Valentine’s Day swing Dance Party

Join Dyana and the Cherry Kings and Ruby Cocktails at Old Ironsides (1901 10th St.) and bop to upbeat rockabilly tunes. The show starts at 8 p.m., $10 gets you in and Dyana O’Brien, lead vocalist for the Cherry Kings, says an instructor from Sactown Swings will show the audience three basic steps to get them twirling on the dance floor. “Bring your partner and swing. All you really need to know is three steps, and you can dance to anything as far as this type of music is concerned,” O’Brien says. “It’s a great vibe. It’s a great energy. It’s fun. And we have a lot of sweet Valentine type of songs that we’ve been working on.” One of those songs is the late Pasty Cline’s “Stupid Cupid,” which O’Brien and many relate to being young and in love. “I’ve been that little girl who had a crush on somebody and it was like, ‘Can’t I just get over this?’ And the guys really like it too and it’s a good upbeat song and fun to dance to.”

Christopher Cook, founding artistic director of the Green Valley Theatre Company, promises a high-energy production with beautiful singing voices in an intimate theater setting at the historic Tower Theatre in Roseville (417 Vernon St.). Sweeney Todd is the story set in Victorian-era London of a murderous barber who seeks revenge against those who’ve wronged him. There’s more to the story, of course, but no spoilers here. “We end up very jaded about the sacred holidays where there is this forced sweetness,” Cook says. “I think that people are looking for something like a show such as Sweeney Todd, that at its heart, is about love. It really is, but it’s twisted. It’s about vengeance. It’s tragic—and it’s horrifying—and it’s fun.” Valentine’s Day is its opening night, but there are performances scheduled until the first week of March. Visit greenvalleytheatre company.com for tickets and show times. engagement in the russ room

Not the type of engagement where one hears wedding bells, but the kind of engagement between love and community. On V-Day starting at 10 p.m., listen to the soulful sounds of The Philharmonik and the funky slap-bass lines of La Tour Soul and get groovy with Devon I. Evans, a founding member of reggae pioneers The Wailers. This is a fundraiser organized by Zero Forbidden Goals for the local nonprofit E.N.G.A.G.E Inc., which helps unhoused with survival necessities year-round. It all takes place in the retro-fitted Russ Room located upstairs at Solomon’s Delicatessen (730 K St.).

Cooking for someone you love is the ultimate form of adoration. Cooking together, even better. Here are two chances to get hands-on with your boo this Valentine’s Day and beyond: Paulette Bruce of Good Eats Cooking Classes leads as many as 30 participants inside the East Bay Restaurant Supply commercial kitchen (522 North 12th St.), where couples demonstrate a variety of dishes in teams before enjoying the fruits of their labor. Wine and beer are welcome, but people are also encouraged to keep it classy. Sign up for future date night cooking opportunities by visiting goodeatscookingclasses.com. “It’s always fun to meet new people and it’s nice to have an activity to do together and to really take care of one another in the kitchen—and help each other,” Bruce says of her 30-plus years as a culinary instructor. “It’s so much fun to see people that say, ‘Oh, I’ve never done that. I can’t do that.’ Then, they’re cooking. It’s very rewarding.” If you want a four-course meal in the company of others that you had a hand in creating, visit Napoli Culinary Academy (1401 Fulton Ave., Suite B). Chef Hassi Sadri has taught at this local nonprofit for the past 25 years, giving couples and singles alike confidence in the kitchen. Tickets are $130 per couple (about as much as you’d spend dining out) with an international-inspired menu that includes Italian chicken piccata, French champignon fettuccini alfredo, fresh strawberry flambé with chocolate mocha ice cream and more. “It’s team building in a way. You’re going to meet other couples who are on your team and you become friends,” Sadri says. “It’s better than a boring dinner sitting there looking at each other. At the same time, you roll up your sleeves and you accomplish something together like you do camping or traveling, but you have others with you.”

The lovers

For budding relationships so awestruck in love, or longtime partners ready to say “I do,” the Sacramento County ClerkRecorder’s downtown office (600 8th St.) will stay open until 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 14 for those looking to tie the knot on St. Valentine’s Day. “It’s a day of love and people want to remember the day they got married,” says County Clerk-Recorder Donna Allred. “Valentine’s Day is our busiest day of the year for marriage licenses and ceremonies. We’re almost completely booked and we have about 50 ceremonies coming in that day.” A few tips to know before going to the downtown chapel: Book an appointment either in-person or online at ccr.saccounty. net. The ceremony is $36 and a countyprovided witness is $29 (or bring your own). Be sure to get your marriage license first; public licenses range from $84 to $90 and confidential licenses are $95 to $100. Once your special appointment is booked, Allred says the facility can accommodate as many as 30 people. There’s a cute arch with flowers and a deputy commissioner of civil marriage will perform the ceremony, which occurs every 20 minutes. Ω

02.13.20    |   SN&R   |   23

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A movie about two guys in a pretty serious love-hate relationship, this stars Robert Pattinson, hired to help a grizzled old lighthouse operator who’s coincidentally played by … Willem Dafoe. Like a true master, Dafoe sinks into his role as a retired sea dog who enjoys slapping his younger protege around and teaching him to respect seagulls. Your partner voices frustrations about how the movie was snubbed for “Best Picture.” You nod silently, though you’re not sure why they’re talking about the Oscars when they should be heeding Dafoe’s warning: “Bad luck to kill a seabird!” Bad luck, indeed.

Speed 2: Cruise Control Sandra Bullock has some kind of relationship to Jason Patric in this high-stakes action flick, but it’s not really important. What’s important is Willem Dafoe’s pitch perfect performance as a deranged hacker who hijacks a cruise ship. Halfway through, your partner mumbles something about the original Speed, but you’re so entranced by Dafoe’s scene with a bathtub full of leeches that you don’t really hear them. He’s got a charisma you can’t fake, and if your partner can’t see that, it might be time to end things.

It’s a common dilemma—you’ve been living with this person regularly for about 15 years, but you’re not certain if they’re the right match. Sure, you’ve got two kids, a chinchilla and a down payment on a house, but do you really know each other? Have you ever talked to each other about your values? Some say the best way forward is to engage in open and honest communication. Or, you could watch some movies. It’s simple: If they don’t feel the same way about them as you do, it’s probably time to break things off. Do what’s best for you both—go to a DVD kiosk, grab these five movies and put your relationship to the test.



Spider-Man 2

Some people jokingly label this a “great date movie,” but it’s not a bad idea if you’re serious about putting things to the test. Lars von Trier paints a grim portrait of marriage in this “cabin in the woods” tale riddled with eerie symbolism and gruesome mutilations. But the best thing about this movie? It’s got Willem Dafoe, the greatest actor of our generation, playing a normal guy trying to fix his wife. It’s mandatory for your partner to understand just how good he is in this movie— especially in that scene where he just stands alone in the forest and looks out with his sad, sad eyes.

By now it should be obvious to your partner: They need to either get on board the Willem Dafoe train, or get out. Acting is a craft and when Dafoe does it, it’s truly magical. Case in point: This movie, in which he flies around on a hoverboard, cackling maniacally as he turns his victims into skeletons. It’s the role of a lifetime, and Dafoe gives everything he has to transform into the Green Goblin. You glance nervously at your partner to gauge their expression, only to realize they left the room to tuck the kids into bed. Things are not going well.

You’ve got one last shot to save this relationship, or it’s break-up city. Willem Dafoe is back, playing a dead dad in a mirror that bullies James Franco into killing Spider-Man. “Avenge me!” he screams. You throw the remote at the TV in a fit of rage. It harmlessly bounces off the screen, but you feel lighter somehow, like a weight has lifted off your shoulders. As your partner steps out the door to take the kids to soccer practice, they ask if you could do some laundry. “Sure thing, honey bunch.” You sit back, smiling to yourself. Right now, doing some laundry sounds pretty good. Ω

Photo courtesy of Mindy tucker

2/14 • 10:30 PM Poetic Justice 2/15 • 10:30 PM the Lost Boys 2/18 • 7:30 PM the Warriors 2/26 • 7:30 PM citizen Kane 3/5 • 6:30 PM PinK FlaMingos Comedian Laurie Kilmartin live-tweeted her father’s death as a way to cope.

Her dark materials by Jennah Booth

It’s a common misconception that all people handle grief the same way. Laurie Kilmartin dealt with losing her father to cancer with humor, but in a unique and very public way. She live-tweeted it. “Guys, I’m just trying to grieve in advance, so I can relax and have fun at the funeral,” she tweeted on Feb. 24, 2014. Kilmartin used comedy to process her father’s death; it also served as source material for her video special 45 Jokes About My Dead Dad, and her 2018 book, Dead People Suck: A Guide for Survivors of the Newly Departed. Since then, Kilmartin has moved on to other material, but she’s still bringing her dark humor to Sacramento as she headlines the Punch Line comedy club Feb. 14-16. The show, which will be hosted by Sacramento-based comedian Ray Molina, also features Los Angeles-based comic Tony Camin. Kilmartin, who grew up in the Bay Area, says she has always done comedy. For the last 10 years, she’s worked as a co-writer on Conan, regularly taking a hand in writing Conan’s O’Brien’s nightly monologue. “He’ll give notes like ‘Less impeachment,’” she said. “Or “More impeachment.’” As a stand-up, Kilmartin has performed on Conan, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Comedy Central. In 2010, she was a finalist on Last Comic Standing and in 2011 was nominated for an Emmy for her writing on Conan. Kilmartin co-wrote her first book, Sh*tty Mom: The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us in 2012, with journalist Karen Molin and producers Alicia Ybarbo and Mary Ann Zoellner. In the book, Kilmartin uses

3/10 • 7:30 PM Flight oF the navigator 3/14 • 4 PM & 7:30 PM the Princess Bride

humor and her experience as a single mother to explore and advise on modern parenting. Kilmartin says her comedy style toes the line with jokes that relate to her life as a mother and a woman. “I do dark material about parenting and men and living in this world,” she said. “I tell jokes that get laughs, as opposed to making statements that get attention.” Kilmartin’s comedy took a morbid turn in 2014 when her father, Ronald Francis Kilmartin, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. During this period, Kilmartin essentially live-tweeted her father’s declining health and death. The loss of her father also inspired her 2016 Seeso comedy special 45 Jokes About My Dead Dad, which went down with the streaming service when Seeso shut down in 2017. Kilmartin says she’s been trying to get back her rights to the show ever since. The loss of rights to the special prompted Kilmartin to write her second book Dead People Suck: A Guide for Survivors of the Newly Departed. Published in 2018, the book guides readers through her personal experiences, as well as the trials, emotional turmoil and rationale of those who are losing, or have lost loved ones. “Comedy is tragedy plus x, with x being an amount of time defined by the person experiencing the tragedy. Some people need less time than others,” Kilmartin writes. “I joked about Dad’s death as it was happening.” Since writing it, Kilmartin says she’s moved on to other jokes. She’s also struggled to put together a comedy album, although the comedian says the process has made her restless. She prefers to focus on moving forward. “I would always rather be working on new material,” she said. Ω

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Want to dig deeper? Find extended versions of our stories on our blog. visit our blog at sacblog.newsreview.com

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02.13.20    |   SN&R   |   25

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Sugar Shack Boutique 2425 J St Sacramento, CA 95816

With warm weather on the horizon, Gina Cocks, owner of Sleek Wax Bar in Midtown, is the waxing professional you need to see.

Krazy Mary’s Boutique 3230 Folsom Blvd Sacramento, CA 95816

Follow us at @KrazyMarys_SugarShack

Photo by Melissa Uroff

Wax Off Keep hair at bay for weeks!

by Anne S tokes With spring and summer right around the corner, it’s nearly time to put sweatshirts and heavy jeans into storage and bring shorts, tank tops and dresses back into wardrobe rotation. It also means time to start shaving again … or does it? If the idea of daily shaving — and stubble — sounds rough, now’s the time to try waxing! According to Gina Cocks, owner of Sleek Wax Bar in Midtown, waxing can keep you hair free for up to a month. “We do full-body waxing for both men and women, basically from the face down to the toes,” she said. “Our sleekologists, they’re all licensed estheticians or cosmetologists and they’re all fantastic.” If you’re already a waxing convert, you can save money with a Sleek Wax

Bar membership. For $25 a month, membership entitles you to 50% off all waxing services and doesn’t require any contracts. If you’re more interested in one specific service — say brows for example — Sleek Wax Bar also offers buy-threeget-one-free packages of any waxing services, with no time limit on scheduling appointments. For those who have tried DIY waxing at home with less than favorable results, Cocks said having a professional’s help can make all the difference. “When you go to a professional, it’s more about the quality of service you receive. Anyone can go home and do it themselves, but we make sure we’re giving them the best service possible,” Cocks said. “We’ve heard so many horror stories of people trying it at home … It’s better when someone else does it for you.”

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 26





For more information or to make your appointment, drop by Sleek Wax Bar at 1050 20th St., Ste. 170; visit online at sleekwaxbar.com or call 916-256-2991.



Thursday, Feb. 13

Jewelry rePair

Galentine’s Day Bouquet Workshop

Call the shop for an appointment 916.346.4615

Join Right Side Hand & Propagate Sacramento for a celebration of women and flowers. Learn the basic elements of floral design to construct your own work while also munching on Galentine’s themed wine and sweets! 6 p.m., $85 tickets available on eventbrite.com

little relics 1111 24th St., #103 Sacramento

Propagate 1700 I St., Sacramento

shawn reginald 1729 L St., Sacramento

saTurday, Feb. 15

GluTen Free dininG

Paint Nite: Barn Door Blossoms Engage your inner artist over Valentine’s Day weekend and create two unique coasters or one large trivet! 1 p.m., $35 tickets on yaymaker.com Pizzeria urbano 1050 20th St., Sacramento

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

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

Silent Sundays Dance and sing with residents, local favorites, and rotating special guests during this weekly silent disco event! Participants can choose from three different stations and shout their favorite tunes as loud as their heart desires. 9 p.m., headphone rentals are $5.

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 1729 L Street | Sacramento | 916.400.4060 | www.ShawnreginaLd.com

Cider house 1111 24th St., Sacramento


sunday, Feb. 16

The Flamingo house 2315 K St., Sacramento

shoe shine

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. Paid advertisment






now playing




Maximum throttle by Patti RobeRts

Photo courtesy of B street theatre

When a tough-talking, wise-assing goat bounds onstage at the start of Capital Stage’s Alabaster, it’s a clear sign that a quirky play lies ahead. But the story is also deeply moving and raw, with a four-member cast that slowly reels us into this unexpectedly sensitive and captivating story.

Wed 7pm, Thu 7pm, Fri 8pm, Sat 2pm & 8pm, Sun 2pm; Through 2/23; $27-$44; Capital Stage, 2215 J St.; (916) 995-5464; capstage. org. P.R.


Dorothea Puente Tells All

two aviation legends kick down some aviation doors.

Ride Sally Ride


sat 1pm, sun 1pm & 4pm; through 2/29; $19-$24; B street theatre, 2700 capitol ave., (916) 443-5300, bstreettheatre.org.

B Street Family Series’ newest production celebrates women who literally reached for the stars. Ride Sally Ride, written by local playwrights Tara Sissom and Katerina Pruitt, traces the rocky road and eventual accomplishments of Sally Ride, the first American woman in space. The play spotlights Ride’s struggles to be taken seriously from her young life through her eventual acceptance into NASA astronaut training. With a creative touch, the play imagines Ride (Brittni Barger) gaining a supportive shadow figure in the form of another female aviation legend—Amelia Earhart (Elisabeth Nunziato), who helps Ride along her journey. The production elements are very creative—from Earhart’s three-piece wings-and-nose airplane to the sights and sounds of the space shuttle Challenger launch. Both Barger and Nunziato give engaging portrayals of these heroes of flight. What makes the B Street Family Series so engaging is how the productions usually involve the young audience members—at times speaking directly to them, making asides in their direction and asking them to participate in cheers and sometimes jeers. And Ride Sally Ride is no exception—the young audience cheers when Ride is selected into the NASA astronaut program, they help with the countdown of the space shuttle launch, and particularly gratifying is their instant reactive guffaws and groans when sexist comments are made, such as science is “a man’s field,” girls should only take home economics, or a woman’s ultimate goal is marriage. Amelia and Sally both would be mighty impressed with the young audience’s instinctive recognition of inequality. Ω 28





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. Fri 8pm, Sat 8pm,

4 Almost perfect Playwright John Cariani is very direct with his instructions for actors and directors in his notes for Almost, Maine: “This play is almost bad. It toes the line. Don’t let it be bad. Make it good. Great, even.” Chautauqua Playhouse’s production of the play confidently stays on the “good” side of that line. New romances come to life, old flames die out, an unlikely pair realize their friendship may run deeper than they’re ready for—all of these vignettes unfold in the almost-town of Almost, Maine. The entire cast excels at bringing the diverse group of characters to life, grounding some of the more magical scenes in authentic emotion. One notable moment at the start of Act Two with astronomy nerd Pete (Terry Randolph) happens wordlessly, and yet just the expression on Randolph’s face says volumes. Considering the technical aspects, much is made of the small space available. The set is simple, but there is clear care put into the small details of the house and backdrop of a winter sky. The lighting design is fantastic, painting the “sky” and stage in tones of blue and purple that add to the play’s overall dreaminess. A collection of love stories colored by moments of joy, laughter and devastation, all taking place underneath the shifting hues of the Northern Lights, the play is sweet but not saccharine, cute but not cloying. If you take a trip to see Almost, Maine, you may fall in love, too.

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


Black Point Theatre is off to an intriguing start with its inaugural performance of The Field, by playwright John B. Keane. The flawless performances by this talented cast present a unique, thoughtprovoking story about insiders and outsiders, lawmen and small town living. Thu 8pm, Fri

8pm, Sat 8pm, Sun 2pm; Through 2/16; $15-$20;

California Stage, 2509 R Street; (916) 455-0163; blackpointtheatre.org. TMO


Pump Boys and Dinettes

Director Abbey Campbell guides this outstanding group of actor-singer-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

1 2 3 4 5 fouL



Photo courtesy of harrIs ceNter

—Odin RascO

stage pick almost, Maine: fri 8pm, sat 8pm, sun 2pm; through 3/1; $21-$25; chautauqua Playhouse, 5325 engle rd., carmichael; (916)489-7529; cplayhouse.org.

The Field

these footballers have a long way to go if they’re going to get good at football.


suBLIMe DoN’t MIss

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.


The Revolutionists

You might say that sisters are doing it for themselves in The Revolutionists, now at Big Idea Theatre. Written by a woman (Lauren Gunderson), directed by a woman (Jenny Adler) and starring a quartet of extremely talented women, the play is a brutal—and brutally funny—feminist take on the role of four women during the French Revolution. Thu 8pm, Fri

8pm, Sat 8pm & 11pm;

Through 2/15; $12-$18; Big Idea Theatre, 1616 Del Paso Blvd.; (916) 960-3036; bigideatheatre.org. J.C.

short reviews by Patti roberts, tessa Marguerite outland and Jim carnes.

Remember these titans One day, Miss Nelson went missing, and everything changed. Then, Miss Nelson came back, and that was a wild ride. And can anyone forget when Miss Nelson had a field day and ruled over the school football team with an iron fist? Now, Miss Nelson leaps from book pages to the stage, in Dallas Children’s Theater’s musical adaptation, Miss Nelson Has a Field Day. And though Miss Nelson whips the young athletes into shape while disguised as her evil alter ego, Miss Viola Swamp, is it also possible that by forcing them to reach near-impossible physical standards, she’s inflicting long-lasting psychological damage on these kiddos? Not a good look, Miss Nelson. Sat, 2/15, 1pm; Through 2/15; $15-$25; Harris Center, 10 College Pkwy, Folsom; (916) 608-6888; harriscenter.net.

—Rachel Mayfield

A Toast to the Past Burly Beverages is hand-crafting old-fashioned elixirs to quench the thirst of new generations by Allen Pierleoni


t’s fitting that Gabriel Aiello chose a building from the 1930s as the site for his Burly Beverages, and matched the name to fit the atmosphere. “I like to think of it as a soda speakeasy,” said Aiello, who opened in May 2017. “I chose ‘Burly’ because I wanted a Prohibition-era word that represents big, bold and strong. I tried to keep the vibe here as 1930s as possible, even playing music from the era. It fits with what we’re doing.” What he’s doing is hand-crafting retro vinegar-based syrups in small batches that turn into refreshing elixirs when mixed in ratio with sparkling mineral water or seltzer (avoid additive-filled club soda, he advises). Yes, Aiello makes syrups for sodas (“Our ginger beer is the flagship that started it all”), but more interesting are his historically grounded shrubs, soon-to-return switchels and a new line of cordials. The switchel was popular in colonial times, a mix of vinegar, water, ginger and molasses or honey, consumed in quantity

for hydration and energy by thirsty farmers working in the fields (thus its nickname, “haymaker’s punch”). The shrub originated in 17th century England as a way of preserving seasonal fruit in a vinegar-sugar solution, and migrated to colonial America. In recent years, a more refined version of the syrup has trended across the U.S. as a sweet-acidic mix for cocktails and nonalcoholic drinks. “We make them with whole spices, real herbs and (minimally processed) turbinado sugar. No dyes or chemical preservatives. As much as possible, we source within 50 miles of Sacramento,” said Aiello. Burly is Slow Food-certified, and its shrub is on Slow Food’s Ark of Taste list of endangered heritage products that are being saved from extinction. Depending on the season, Burly has 20 to 35 flavors on-site, including black limebay leaf and blueberry-rosemary. “Anybody can come in and taste any or all of the products, at no charge,” Aiello said.

Burly Beverages owner Gabriel Aiello Photo courtesy of Burly Beverages

Some of the shrub and soda syrup flavors are distributed throughout California, Nevada and Arizona, with Washington coming online. Stores and bars around Sacramento sell and serve them (see the website for a list). This all got started because of Aiello’s futile search for the perfect ginger beer. “But I couldn’t find one with enough ginger and without corn syrup and other additives,” he said. So he set out to make his own. After years of experimentation and a segue to multi-flavored syrups, he opened for business. “This feels amazing, but we have a lot of work left to do,” he said. As for Burly’s location on Del Paso Boulevard, “its current revival has the best

chance of sticking,” he said. “It’s really cool to be part of it.” One last thing: If you and your friends want an introduction to shrubs, you can book a private tasting at Burly via its website. Bring your own bottles.

Special Event Burly’s annual Backyard BBQ will feature six bands, and food and drink for sale; no admission fee. 2 to 8 p.m. March 28 at 2014 Del Paso Blvd. Information: 916-333-3879.

Burly BeverAges 2014 Del Paso Blvd., 916-333-3879, www.burlybeverages.com.

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

uPcoming evenTs FrIDay, FeB. 14

Three of Cups Art Show 6 P.m. | Free Visit the Broad Room for a tarot and science inspired art show, with all work from women artists! Soak in the art, indulge in flavors from Bambi Tacos and sip beer or champagne provided by Urban Roots. Broad Room 1409 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento

FrIDay, FeB. 14

TUeSDay, FeB. 18

Love and Honey at Woodlake Tavern 6 P.m. | Free, wiTh PurchAse oF dinner

After School Meal 4 P.m. | Free

Commit to the love this Valentine’s Day with a romantic three-course meal and sounds from the husband and wife duo of Love and Honey! Woodlake Tavern 1431 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento

Join us at the library for a free after school meal. Open to all youth 18 and under. Meal is served Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. North Sacramento-Hagginwood Library, 2109 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”






Green tea cakes, Chinese-style egg custards and other unique sweets are found at various bakeries located in Little Saigon.

Photo by drew rhodes

Sac’s little concrete bazaar by Olla SwanSOn

There’s nothing like a Little Saigon craving. It’s somehow both specific and abundant, slowly spreading like the aroma of garlic cooking throughout the house: Surprisingly pungent at first, then all encompassing and lingering as it cooks. It starts with fresh spring rolls, then a hankering for a melon smoothie with lychee syrup-filled popping bubbles. Then it’s might as well swing by the bakery for a half dozen pork buns, or perhaps it’s a whole fried fish for dinner. On Stockton Boulevard, roughly between 65th Street and Fruitridge Road, Little Saigon is a concentrated area of businesses predominantly owned and operated by Vietnamese immigrants. Officially established as “Little Saigon” in 2010, it is now a two-mile stretch of authentic Vietnamese cuisine. A well-seasoned Little Saigoner knows where to go for certain dishes, but what about a novice to the area? Little Saigon can be intimidating with the busy traffic, perceived culture shock and seemingly vast possibilities. It’s a wonderfully chaotic smorgasbord of eateries, bakeries and tea shops. So how does one eat through this elephant? One bite at a time. If you’re just dipping your toes, the best starting point is 85 C Bakery (5591 Sky Pkwy, Suite 411), a chain that started in Taiwan. With a corporate, Starbucks feel, 30





you can get classic bites including tiramisu and New York cheesecake, or try a bit of culture with a curry bun or red bean cake. But don’t leave the bakery without a stash of Chinese-style egg custards. Eggier and richer than its western counterpart, only Asian bakeries carry these by the dozens. Any of the bakeries in Little Saigon will have them, but they’re guaranteed fresh and out of the oven at Pegasus Bakery & Cafe (6825 Stockton Blvd., Suite 265). For another treat, stop at one of the dozen or so tea shops for bubble tea—a Taiwanese-based drink containing a cold, milky, slightly floral-tasting tea and toppings such as tapioca balls (bubbles) or jelly. For something more familiar, have the same topping extravaganza in an endless selection of smoothies in flavors including mocha and strawberry. Lollicup (6830 Stockton Blvd., Suite 250) is always a hit for a good tea experience. Sip on a classic black milk tea and munch on a few mini corn dogs. For the adventurous newbie, Cool Tea Bar is the spot for samples and the most adjustable menu; sweetness can be modified to your taste and mix and match toppings and flavors. Little Saigon is especially busy during lunchtime when patrons can get

an authentic and ever-popular Banh Mi sandwich. It’s typically a fusion of Vietnamese fillings (grilled pork, cilantro, carrots, daikon and cucumber) inside a French baguette. They’re everywhere in Little Saigon, but hands down the best spot to get them is Duc Huong (6825 Stockton Blvd., Suite 200). “You can’t find a fresher Banh Mi than here,” says longtime Little Saigon patron Michelle Logsdon. “Duc Huong is a killer bakery … The raisin croissant is my go-to.” Be prepared for a longer wait with a constant line out the door. But with prices starting at $5 for a large, fresh madeto-order sandwich, it’s worth it. While there, pick up a few baked goods and be adventurous by trying new-to-you flavors. For dinner (or the occasional hangover), you can’t beat a classic—Pho. The best thing about Pho is it’s difficult to get wrong. With the smattering of condiments and aromatics such as chili oil, cilantro and Thai basil, Pho becomes whatever the diner wants it to be. There are more than a dozen places in the Little Saigon to get Pho, with most being similar in authenticity and taste. The most notable are Com Tam Dat Thanh (5035 Fruitridge Road) for its ultra-rich broth and Pho Anh Dao (6830 Stockton Blvd.) for an exclusive no-soupfor-you experience: This hole-in-thewall doesn’t have a menu, is cash only, ridiculously crowded and notoriously badly serviced.

After dinner, cleanse the palate with a frozen dessert. Two trends coming out of Asian cuisine are shaved ice and stir-fried ice cream. Little Saigon delivers on both of these delectable and Instagram-worthy creations. Stir-fried ice cream, or rolled ice cream, had a popularity boom a few years back with trending videos online. Ice cream is stirred, smoothed and rolled on a cold plate then served with various toppings. While delicious, most of the fun is the experience of watching your dessert being made. Get rolling at Ice Panda for their frozen delights (try the Thai tea, coconut or classics such as chocolate and vanilla) and unlimited toppings (fresh fruit including mango or strawberries, candy toppings such as M&Ms and gummy bears, or Fruity Pebbles and Cap’n Crunch cereals and more). For another unique dessert, visit Vampire Penguin (6821 Stockton Blvd., Suite 110) for its shaved snow. Frozen cream is shaved to make a snow-like dessert. The result is light, airy and creamy. Feel free to DIY with the selection of toppings, but for a taste of the Philippines, order the halo halo made with taro snow, sweet beans, coconut, condensed milk and flan. “[Little Saigon] was the perfect environment for a new unorthodox business,” says the owner of Vampire Penguin, Paolo Angelo San Luis. San Luis opened his first location in

S.F. Supermarket in South Sacramento is a one-stop shop for authentic ingredients to recreate the tastes of Little Saigon at home. Photo by drew rhodes

If you haven’t yet, it’s perhaps time to graduate to a bowl of Bun Bo Hue, which is similar to Pho but with a spicer broth, served with beef and (here’s the kicker) congealed blood cubes. The cubes have a mild iron taste (like liver) with the texture of soft tofu. For a mild beginner’s version, go to Pho Saigon Restaurant (5304 Stockton Blvd). But, the most flavorful broth comes from Pho King II (6803 Stockton Blvd., Suite 180).

Little Saigon in 2013 and now has 14 locations in the United States. For those a bit apprehensive about a trip to Little Saigon, let that be your guiding light: In our little concrete bazaar, something truly different was born and then the rest of the nation craved it, too. Take it in one bite at a time and you will have your own Little Saigon craving tugging at your belly. Ω

IllustratIon by Mark stIvers

Did someone say

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

BUY 1 GET 1 1/2 OFF Buy any dinner entree at regular price, get the second for HALF OFF! Must present coupon, cannot combine with other discounts. One per table. Valid Mon-Thu only. Expires 02/27/20.

Foods that make you go mmm ... by Steph RodRiguez

Certain foods are meant to be shared, and often they can symbolize love and romance. Giving someone something special to experience with all five senses is also very intimate—a customized box of gourmet chocolates or a fresh basket of fruit paired with a celebratory bottle of bubbly champagne. With these small luxuries in mind, SN&R created a list of indulgent treats to enjoy with your partner, your close friends or the one you’ve admired from afar.

Fruit of the gods There are endless tales and myths behind the intimate qualities of certain fruits. The Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, the inspiration of the word “aphrodisiac,” is credited in Greek mythology for being the first person to plant a pomegranate tree, a known symbol of fertility. So it’s no surprise that nature’s candy such as figs, strawberries and pomegranates are all a part of the historic lore of sexy fruits. Imagine pairing strawberries with chocolate and sharing them with your sweetheart, or drizzling figs in honey for a deliciously seductive dessert.

Champagne As a certified cheese professional and level one sommelier, Sara Arbabian, co-owner of The Rind and La

Crosta Pizza Bar, says her “Brie and Bubbles” event on Sunday, Feb. 16 is all about treating oneself. Led by Arbabian, this guided pairing features five sparkling wines and creamy, brie-styled cheese from around the world. The class will explore how the two vary regionally in taste, texture and, in the case of sparkling wine, by name. “Valentine’s Day is a time when people treat each other through actions of love—and decadent, luxurious foods and beverages are a common theme,” she says. “I think having that luxurious experience in your mouth, with your senses, with your sense of sight and smell and taste and touch—I think it’s beautiful.” La Crosta, 330 3rd St., 1 p.m., tickets are $69. lacrostapizzabar.com.

Casanova’s secret Ever heard of Casanova? Well, in his 18th century heyday, Giacomo Casanova was a fan of the ladies. He was also said to be an alchemist, scam artist and spy. In his autobiography, The Story of My Life, Casanova doesn’t shy from sharing stories of his intimate relationships. He also credited his diet of 50 oysters a day, which he said helped his sexual escapades. Besides the lore behind oysters, they do pack a good source of zinc (known

s t e p h r@ne w s re v i e w . c o m

to help with healthy sperm counts). So next time you order a dozen oysters on the half shell, ponder whether Casanova may have been onto something. Still, the allure of eating oysters is more about the experience sharing these delectable molluscs with freshsqueezed lemon, a splash of chile and fresh herbs.

Happy Hour

Monday–Friday 3–6pm Voted “Best of Sacramento” 3 years in a row!

1315 21st St • Sacramento 916.441.7100

Great Food. Awesome Beer. Cool People.

Discover Hoppy in Old Sac!

Fine-crafted sweets When walking into a specialty chocolate boutique, there’s a distinct feeling of awe and excitement. Chocolate is the simplest way to say “I love you,” not only during this holiday, but for any special occasion. At Andy’s Candy Apothecary, customizable boxes of gourmet chocolates from Northern California’s finest chocolatiers line its glass cases. “They look beautiful, and they’re sort of delicate and the flavors are very unique and interesting,” says owner Andy Paul. “Food is a very sensory thing so giving somebody a very fine piece of chocolate, it’s something you’re going to eat and there’s something very intimate about it.” Paul recommends salted or passion fruit caramel chocolates from Puur Chocolat Sacramento and Michael Mischer Chocolates in Oakland. 1012 9th St. and 500 J St., Suite 160, (916) 905-4115; andyscandystore.com. Ω

Late Night “hoppy hour” 9pm (SuN-Wed) 10pm (thu-Sat)

WeekeNd bruNch 10 am to 3pm bottomLeSS mimoSa & bLoody mary

$5 Parking


WiTh purchaSe oF $10 or More. Valid Mon-Friday only. one per Table.

1022 2nd Street • Sacramento • 916.451.4677 @HoppysRailyard •

Mon -Wed 11aM-12aM • Thu-Fri 11aM -1aM • SaT 10aM -1aM • Sun 10aM -12aM






Beer Is better with music


The Bootleg now oPen @armadillo Music • 6 Beers on tap · $6/pint • vinyl Listening Stations • 1000s of new & used records • Live Music weekly 207 F Street, DaviS • 530.758.8058 • Mon-thu 10aM-9PM • Fri-Sat 10aM-10PM · Sun 11aM-6PM

Pawsitively the Best! Mention this ad for

20% off! ♥ Corn, Soy, & Wheat Free Treats ♥ Small Batch, Made Locally

Paws & the Palette Dog Bakery & Boutique

1014 24th Street ♥ 916.337.3370 ♥ Tue-Sat 11am-5pm ♥ Sun 11am-4pm ♥ Closed Mon

Annette and Ray Ballestero drinking their awardwinning Castillo and La Boheme brews. Photo by Anne StokeS

A Brewing Romance Alaro Craft Brewer y is at heart a

love story. “We adore each other,” said Annette Ballestero, who co-owns Alaro with her husband of 10 years, Ray Ballestero. “You have to to be in business together.” In fact, early in their relationship, the Ballesteros would sit on their back porch, drinking Ray’s delicious home brews, and dream about having their own place. “He was beer, I was food,” she recalled. “And what the heck — it came true!” In a series of fortunate events, the Ballesteros took over the former Rubicon Brewing Company space on Capitol Avenue in 2018. “So many brewers from UC Davis came through here,” Ray said. “The brewing system is also pretty historic — it was designed by Dr. [Michael J.] Lewis at UCD and only two are in existence. It was like having a classic car and restoring it.” The Ballesteros also snagged the former Rubicon brewer, and UC Davis master brewer, Chris Keeton. “And he came to us as ‘a package’ with David Santana, who’d been a chef at Waterboy right next door,” Ray said. “They’d long fantasized about opening something together.” The new team immediately began

producing award-winning craft beers — Ray’s flagship brew, the classic IPA “Castillo,” has won three gold medals — and pairing them with a Spanish-inspired menu. Diners can choose between a variety of tapas, like caramelized Brussels sprouts, braised pork cheeks or — the restaurant’s specialty — olive-oil-poached octopus with potato confit. “With our menu, you can have a vegan, someone gluten-free, a meat-eater, a seafood eater, all at the same table,” Ray said. Alaro’s signature dish, however, is a seafood paella that can be ordered with a flight of four beers. “There are so many components in paella,” Ray said. “And each beer pairs with one of those components.” Alaro also just started Sunday brunch, with mimosas (containing house-made fruit puree) and dishes like Shakshouka (poached eggs in spicy tomatoes and peppers). “It’s the best-kept secret in town — there’s no line yet,” laughed Annette. But Alaro’s biggest draw may be the genuine affection between its owners, staff and customers — which seems to be creating a romantic buzz. “We are popular as a Friday date night spot,” Annette said. “We have regulars who come in every week.” by Thea Marie rood

Alaro will have a special Valentine’s Day menu tomorrow and opens its back patio later this spring. Watch for upcoming paella dinners too. Alaro Craft Brewery, 2004 Capitol Ave., Sacramento, 916-436-7711, alarobrewing.com.

This column is produced by N&R Publications, a division of News & Review separate from SN&R Editorial. For more information, visit www.nrpubs.com





02.06.20 02.13.20







You should be

getting it once a week. Sacramento’S newS and entertainment weekly. on StandS every thurSday.

The San Francisco Flower and Garden Show is moving to Sacramento by Debbie Arrington The renamed San Francisco-Northern California Flower and Garden Show is back at Cal Expo.


What does Sacramento have that the Bay Area doesn’t? The San Francisco Flower and Garden Show. After last year’s emergency move to Cal Expo, the venerable event will return to Sacramento in April with a slightly different name—the San Francisco-Northern California Flower and Garden Show. That title reflects the event’s likely permanent move. On April 2-5, garden displays and vendors will pack four buildings at Cal Expo with a farm-to-vase flower market, spectacular designer landscapes and dozens of hands-on opportunities. One whole building will be devoted to the show’s plant market. It will be much more like the “old” San Francisco show that built its reputation as a must-see attraction for garden clubs and plant lovers, as well as anyone interested in growing things. Started in 1985, the show has an international reputation drawing thousands of garden enthusiasts from throughout the Western states and beyond. But its future appeared in doubt when organizers suddenly had to find a new venue. At almost the last minute, the 2019 show got bumped from its traditional early spring dates at the Cow Palace in Daly City. “Facebook paid [the Cow Palace] $1 million for our dates,” says show owner Sherry Larsen. “It was really brutal. We had only two months to put together [a move]. We were really scrambling.” Thankfully, Cal Expo had dates available, she adds. But not all vendors came east. Using just one 34





building and a fraction of its usual size, the 2019 San Francisco/Sacramento show lost money, “but I kept the show alive,” Larsen said. Some patrons complained that the event didn’t feel or look like the floral spectaculars of years past. But overall, the reaction was very positive, Larsen says. After decades at the Cow Palace, plus a few years at the San Mateo County fairgrounds, the show is now focused on a future in Sacramento, Larsen says. That includes building bonds with local gardening programs and experts. For example, Sacramento’s Yisrael Family Farm is taking part in planning locally sourced cooking demonstrations. The Sacramento Valley Flower Collective will supply blooms for daily workshops. Luther Burbank High School’s urban agriculture program will be among local success stories sharing the show’s spotlight. “Last year, we did what we could do in the short time we had,” Larsen says. “This year, we had a whole year to get ready.” Expect the big designer gardens with theatrical lighting that had been the show’s hallmark to return, Larsen says. Among the featured designers will be Kent Gordon England of Sonoma. Highlighting a full schedule of speakers will be urban farmer Stephen Ritz, founder of the Green Bronx Machine. The New York educator has brought gardening know-how to classrooms and communities nationwide. “Kellogg’s will be sponsoring our garden stage and hosting daily 90-minute garden boot camps where people can get their hands dirty while learning the basics,” Larsen says. “They’ll go home with a box full of plants and everything they need to get their vegetable garden growing.” Other workshops will stress hands-on experience, too. Says Larsen, “You learn quicker when you put your hands on it. “We’re getting a real good line-up of speakers,” she adds. “One more year, our roots will be firmly down.” Ω Photo courtesy of san francisco-northern california flower and Garden show

if you have a buSineSS and would like to carry the paper for free, call GreG at 916.498.1234, ext. 1317 or email GreGe@newSreview.com

Bay area transplant

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






for the week of february 13

by Patrick hyun wilson

POst eVents Online FOR FRee at newsreview.com/sacramento

MUSIC THURSDAY, 2/13 aDRian MaRCel WitH tJ UPsHaW: Platinum selling R&B singer Adrian Marcel performs with TJ Upshaw at Harlow’s. 8pm, $20$55. Harlow’s, 2708 J St.

alasDaiR FRaseR & natalie Haas: Fiddle player Alasdair Fraser & cellist Natalie Haas will play an all-ages duet show. 7pm, $25. B Street Theatre, 2700 Capitol Ave.

eKali: Electronic music artist Ekali comes to

Sacramento for his A World Away Tour. 7pm, $20. Ace of Spades, 1417 R St.

tHe BOnGO FURYs anD sOUR Diesel: Come out for a night with The Bongo Furys playing Frank Zappa and Fusion, along with special guest Sour Diesel. 8pm, $5. Old Ironsides, 1901 10th St.

tHe MUsiC OF RaY CHaRles: Celebrate the

4 1 GH tHROU 15

Get spooked with your sweetheart at Valentine Haunt.

tHe HOnest: The Honest release their latest

i’m detecting rising fear Ultimate terror Scream Park, 7Pm, $22-$42 Some people have said that fear and love are two sides of the same coin—like the fear of realizing that you Valentine’s completely forgot that it was Valentine’s Day and, uh oh, your significant other is expecting some big shindig. If your heart raced as you read that line and realized that you relate a bit too closely, then maybe double down on the fear this Valentine’s Day at Valentine


Apparatus plays its Emergency EP Tour with Eyes Set to Kill, Dead American, The Wildfires Projekt and A Summer Alive. the Boardwalk, 4/2, 7pm $18 on sale now boardwalkrocks. com.


Titanic star will be bringing her voice to Sacramento for her Courage World Tour this spring. Golden 1 Center, 4/7, 7:30pm $121-$281 on sale now. golden1center.com.


tickets to the Golden 1 Center, where




music of Ray Charles with an all star cast of award-winning performers: Take 6, Clint Holmes and saxophonist Kirk Whalum. 7:30pm, $50-$72. Harris Center, 10 College Pkwy, Folsom.



Haunt. Get your hormones pumping, courtesy of the people who bring you Ultimate Terror Scream Park, a haunted house event to scare your sweethearts with giant baby faces, rose eating monsters and plenty of bloody hearts. The spooky fest will be for two days only, so don’t miss your chance to act tough in front of your date. 4909 Auburn Blvd., valentinehauntsacramento.com.

Get your ticket on.

EP with The Seafloor Cinema and Occupy the Trees at an all-ages show in the Starlet Room. 7pm, $10. The Starlet Room, 2708 J St.

JeRROD nieMann: Jerrod Neimann with special guest Bobby Zoppi will perform on his Ghost Riders Tour. 7:30pm, $22. Goldfield Trading Post, 1630 J St.

lYDia lee: Violinist Lydia Lee will be performing works by Bartok, Kablevsky, Mendelssohn and Shostakovich, with Jeremiah Trujillo on piano, Alex Monroe on cello, Alessandra Knitter on piano and Calvin Proctor on violin. 5pm, no cover. UC Davis, 1 Shields Ave., Davis.

QUinn HeDGes: Singer-songwriter Quinn Hedges is coming to Sacramento to perform live blues. 6:30pm, no cover. The Pour Choice, 177 Sacramento St., Auburn.

ROYal tHURsDaYs: Spinning Afrobeats, dancehall, hip-hop/R&B. Enjoy music from different angle of the Afro music genre. 9:30pm, no cover. Chaise Lounge, 1330 H St.

sPite: Spite will perform with Varials, do we go? Well maybe we go to Billie Eilish’s Where Do We Go? World Tour. Golden 1 Center 4/8, 7:30pm $219$295 on sale now. golden1center. com.

ORvILLE PECk Orville Peck comes to

Sacramento this spring on his 2020 Tour. ace of spades, 4/15, 8pm $22.50 on sale now. aceofspadessac.com.

TECH N9NE Rapper Tech N9ne comes to Sacramento with Jelly Roll, King ISO and Maez301. ace of spades, 4/16, 7pm $39.50$45 on sale now aceofspadessac.com.


Hunter brings his no nonsense, rhythm and blues to Sacramento. Harlow’s, 4/19, 7pm $35-$40 on sale now harlows.com.

Orthodox, Unity Tx, Dealer and Saltwound for their The Root of All Evil Tour. 6pm, $14. Holy Diver, 1517 21st St.

FRIDAY, 2/14 aCHilles WHeel & neW MOnsOOn: New Monsoon and Achilles Wheel, California jam scene veterans are teaming up for two nights of shows. 7pm, $18-$22. Odd Fellows Hall, 1226 Lincoln Way, Auburn.

BRUBeRRies anD GHeni: The Bruberries are an acoustic band playing covers, bluegrass and originals to keep the party going. They’ll be playing with three-piece band Gheni. 9pm, $5. Fox & Goose, 1001 R St.

MaRtY O’ReillY & tHe OlD sOUl ORCHestRa: This quartet has been digging at the roots of American music and will be bringing

Where do we go, Billie?

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.

their sound to Sacramento. 7:30pm, $20$22. Goldfield Trading Post, 1630 J St.

MUMBO GUMBO: Mumbo Gumbo is a septet from Sacramento that has been playing together for 30 years. They’ll be celebrating their 30th anniversary party at this show. 7pm, $30. The Sofia, 2700 Capitol Ave.

MYlaR’s HiPPie HOUR FRiDaYs: SAMMIES nominated singer-songwriter, William Mylar has been performing free live music events since 2012. 5:30pm, no cover. Louie’s Cocktail Lounge, 3030 Mather Field Road, Rancho Cordova.

tHe QUiReBOYs: The Quireboys are traveling from the U.K. to play in Sacramento with Charlie Bonnet Band, The Aviators, Cardboard Ringo and The SMF Band. 6:30pm, $20-$25. The Boardwalk, 9426 Greenback Lane, Orangevale.

ROss tHe BOss: Founding member of Manowar, Ross the Boss, will be coming to Sacramento. 7pm, $15. Holy Diver, 1517 21st St.

SATURDAY, 2/15 MiDniGHt tHe sKY KinGs: The Sky Kings is a classic Americana band with a blend of clear vocal harmonies and lush instrumentation. 9pm, $10. Strikes Unlimited, 5681 Lonetree Blvd., Rocklin.

BaCKBaR satURDaYs W/ MiKe DiaMOnD: Backbar Saturdays is every week with DJ Mike Diamond spinning house, bass, rap and Electronica. 10pm, no cover. Golden Bear, 2326 K St.

tHe CRiPPle CReeK BanD: The Cripple Creek Band combines country, American and Southern rock. 7pm, $16-$19. Sutter Creek Theatre, 44 Main St., Sutter Creek.

Dennis JOHnsOn anD tHe MississiPPi RaMBleRs: San Francisco native Dennis Johnson will be performing live roots music in Sacramento. 7pm, $25. The Sofia, 2700 Capitol Ave.

DRaKe PaRtY: A party dedicated to celebrating all things Drake. Featuring Hof, this party is a must see for any Drake fan. 7:30pm, $18. Ace of Spades, 1417 R St.

eleMent BRass BanD: Element Brass Band returns to The Torch Club for a pre-Mardi Gras warm up with a raucous sound 9pm, $10. Torch Club, 904 15th St.

FOlsOM laKe sYMPHOnY WitH JOn naKaMatsU: The Folsom Lake Symphony presents an evening of romantic favorites including Smetana’s The Moldau and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with soloist Jon Nakamatsu. 7:30pm, $20-$59. Harris Center, 10 College Pkwy, Folsom.

GReG lOiaCOnO: Greg Loiacono from the band Mother Hips will be performing in Sacramento. 7:30pm, $15. Goldfield Trading Post, 1630 J St.

We aRe YOUR FRienDs DanCe ClUB: Lipstick! presents the We Are Your Friends Dance Club. 9pm, $5. Old Ironsides, 1901 10th St.

O’MUlliGans, JeRK!, tHe enlOWs anD aDDaleMOn: SAMMIES nominated Addalemon performs with O’Mulligans, Jerk! and The Enlows. 8pm, call for cover. Cafe Colonial, 3520 Stockton Blvd.

SUNDAY, 2/16

Head bang in hooded robes cafe colonial, 8pm, call for cover

Alchemical Metal band and 2020 Metal SAMMIES nominee Astral Cult is playing at Cafe Colonial. Donned in SAMMIES hooded black robes, and rocking out to the heaviest sounds you can get out of a guitar, bass and drums, the Folsom band will be rocking the roof off of place with Killer Couture and headliner Problem with Dragons. Hold off on that haircut because you’re going to want to head-bang along with the metal band that doesn’t hold back its Sabbath-influenced sound. 3520 Stockton Blvd., facebook.com/ cafecolonial916.


STAB! COMEDY THEATER: Imaginary People. Long Form Improv at STAB! Comedy Theater with Christiana Dominguez, Court Hamsem, Jesse Jones, Jessica Deprez, Kevin Scott Brown and Nick Magavern. 9pm. Saturday 2/15. $6. Must Love Digimon. Join hosts Cameron Betts, Emma Haney and Cory Barringer as they watch the cult anime classic Digimon Adventure and discuss each episode before a live audience. 8pm. Through 2/15. $7. Late Week Leftovers Open Mic. Late Week Leftovers wraps up your weekend nice and tidy with an open mic bow. 8pm. Through 12/27. $5. 1710 Broadway.

THE WARRIORS (1979): Charismatic leader summons the street gangs of New York in a bid to take it over. When he is killed, the Warriors are falsely blamed. Cyrus, the leader of the most powerful gang in New York City, the Gramercy Riffs, calls a midnight summit for all the area gangs, with all asked to send nine unarmed representatives for the conclave. 7:30pm, $10-$22. Crest Theatre, 1013 K St. PHOTO COURTESY OF ASTRAL CULT



2020 SACRAMENTO JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL: Four THE SOCK MONKEY: Party band The Sock Monkey will play tunes to keep you dancing all night long. 9:30pm, $5-$30. Corner Pocket Sports Bar, 7777 Sunrise Blvd., Suite 1400, Citrus Heights.

TOAD MORTONS AND BAD BARNACLES: Sacramento’s Bad Barnacles play swampy garage surf live along with Americana band Toad Mortons. 9pm, $5. Fox & Goose, 1001 R St.

Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, reviving and revitalizing the genre of comedy Western music. 8pm, $50-$60. Sutter Creek Theatre, 44 Main St., Sutter Creek.

THE ATELIERS: The Ateliers end their two-day West coast run in Sacramento. Enjoy a cup of coffee while listening to original songs featuring acoustic guitar, ukulele bass, cajón and clarinet. 6:30pm, no cover. The Pour Choice, 177 Sacramento St., Auburn.

SUNDAY, 2/16



DELE OG “THE ROOTS”: Dele OG will be

Guccihighwaters will perform live in Sacramento with Guardin. 6pm, $16$20. Harlow’s, 2708 J St.

THE MOVEMENT: The Movement perform with Josh Heinrichs for their Ways of The World Tour Phase 4. 7pm, $20-$68. Holy Diver, 1517 21st St.

PART TIME AND GARY WILSON: Part Time and Gary Wilson perform lo-fi grooves with Bryson Cone in Sacramento. 7pm, $13$15. The Starlet Room, 2708 J St.

PROBLEM WITH DRAGONS, KILLER COUTURE AND ASTRAL CULT: SAMMIES nominated metal band Astral Cult will perform live with Problem With Dragons and Killer Couture. 8pm, call for cover. Cafe Colonial, 3520 Stockton Blvd.

SACRAMENTO AUDIO WAFFLE #63: It’s February, love is in the air and waffles are on the iron. Endometrium C--tplow, 80KV, Sharkiface, Protfrustration, Fletcher Pratt and Crank Static will be performing live at the long-running series Audio Waffle. Noon, $8$10. The Red Museum, 212 15th St.

WAIPUNA: Waipuna’s sound combines the traditional teachings of their mentors and expands the boundaries and expectations of Hawaiian music. 7pm, $30. B Street Theatre,

2700 Capitol Ave.

MONDAY, 2/17 HEATH WILLIAMSON & FRIENDS: Sacramento’s Heath Williamson will be performing live every week. 5:30pm, no cover. Old Ironsides, 1901 10th St.

RIVERS & ROBOTS: U.K. artist Rivers & Robots stop by Sacramento on their biggest tour to date to celebrate their latest album, Discovery. 7pm, $12. Bridgeway Christian Church, 8150 Industrial Ave., Roseville.

performing as part of UNIQUE Programs’ Wednesday “Nooner” series. Noon, no cover. The University Union, 6000 J St.

LES CHANTEUSES: Les Chanteuses with Carolyne Swayze, Beth Duncan and Shelley Burns, featuring Joe Gilman on piano, Ruth Davies on bass, Akira Tana on drums and Mike McMullen on sax and flute. 7pm, $30. Dante Club, 2330 Fair Oaks Blvd.


City Hippies perform with The Palms in Sacramento. 7pm, $15-$20. Harlow’s, 2708 J St.

OPENING CEREMONY GREEN TARA MANDALA: The Placerville Friends of Tibet will be performing a cleansing and blessing ceremony in preparation for the daily work on the sand mandala. Noon, no cover. Placerville Friends of Tibet, 7533 Green Valley Road, Placerville.

An adaptation of the first of J.K. Rowling’s popular novels, following Harry Potter, a boy who learns on his eleventh birthday that he is the orphaned son of two powerful wizards and possesses unique magical powers of his own. Relive the first movie that launched an epic journey through Hogwarts and the world of magic. (PG) 10am, $7. The Tower Theatre, 2508 Land Park Drive.

THE LOST BOYS (1987): After moving to a new town, two brothers discover that the area is a haven for vampires. This horror film was directed by Joel Schumacher. 10:30pm, $10. Crest Theatre, 1013 K St.

MONDAY, 2/17 directors are going head to head in the Director’s Cup. Follow Tower Theatre on social media to vote on who will move forward throughout the series. This Coen Brothers cult classic follows the Dude, an unemployed slacker with a penchant for bowling. 7:30pm, $11.50. The Tower Theatre, 2508 Land Park Drive.

Sacramento Autorama will show more than 500 vehicles for three full days. Various times, $0-$20. Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd.

FOOD & DRINK THURSDAY, 2/13 BEER & CUPCAKE PAIRING WITH FREEPORT BAKERY: Enjoy four mini cupcakes and four ales to pair with them. This year Jackrabbit Brewing even used beer in the frosting. 3pm, $24. Jackrabbit Brewing Co., 1323 Terminal St., West Sacramento.

FILM FRIDAY, 2/14 POETIC JUSTICE (1993): The film is seen through the eyes of main character Justice, a young


Neil Hamburger returns to the Comedy Spot for one night only. Don’t miss the chance to see this headlining comedian in an intimate setting. Mike the Entertainer is opening. 9pm. Friday 2/14. $20. 1050 20th St., Suite 130.

RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK: Featuring bravura set pieces, sly humor and white–knuckle action, Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of the most entertaining adventure pictures of all time. 7:30pm, $11.50. The Tower Theatre, 2508 Land Park Drive.



RIDERS IN THE SKY: For more than 30 years, Riders In The Sky have been carrying the legacy of the Sons of the Pioneers,


THE BIG LEBOWSKI: Eight of your favorite

FRIDAY, 2/14

TUESDAY, 2/18 MAGIC CITY HIPPIES: Latin pop musicians Magic

African-American poet. Join the cast on a long overnight delivery run. The romantic drama was written and directed by John Singleton and stars Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur with Regina King and Joe Torry. 10:30pm, $10. Crest Theatre, 1013 K St.

days and nights filled with some of today’s best Jewish cinema. 3pm, $27-$150. Crest Theatre, 1013 K St.


COMEDY ACE OF SPADES: And That’s Why We Drink, Here For The Boos Tour!. And That’s Why We Drink is a 2019 Webby award-winning, comedic true crime and paranormal focused podcast hosted by Em Schulz and Christine Schiefer. 8pm. Friday 2/14. $32. 1417 R St.

LAUGHS UNLIMITED COMEDY CLUB: Tony Baker featuring Keenan Baker. Tony is the winner of the 37th SF International Comedy Competition and the Uncle Clyde’s Comedy Competition at the Ice House. He is featured on the second season of Comedy Central’s Gabriel Iglesias Presents Stand-Up Revolution and Last Comic Standing on NBC. He’ll be in Sacramento for three days of comedy. Various times. 2/14-2/16. 1207 Front St.

PUNCH LINE: Laurie Kilmartin. Emmynominated comedian Laurie Kilmartin will be in Sacramento for four days of live standup. Various times. 2/13-2/16. Tinkle Time A Comedy Extravaganza. Comedian Kris Tinkle is a regular on New York City stages since his beginnings as a San Francisco standup. 8pm. Wednesday 2/19. $18.50. 2100 Arden Way, Suite 225.

Magician. Mario “the Maker Magician” is a New York-based, touring family performer known for his DIY robotic creations, upcycled props and new school slapstick character. It’s magic through the lens of the Maker Movement. 2pm. Sunday 2/16. $9-$20. 985 Lincoln Way, Auburn.

BIG IDEA THEATRE: The Revolutionists. Four women lose their heads in this irreverent, girl-powered comedy set during the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror. Playwright Olympe de Gouges, assassin Charlotte Corday, former queen Marie Antoinette and Haitian rebel Marianne Angelle hang out, murder Marat and try to beat back the extremist insanity in 1793 Paris. 8pm. Final show 2/15. 1616 Del Paso Blvd.

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. 8pm-2pm. Through 2/16. $15. 2509 R St.


FRIDAY, 2/15

Vibe out with SAMMIES nominee Basi Vibe HigHwater, 7pm, no cover

Vibe for your lives with 2020 SAMMIES nominee Basi Vibe. He’s returning to Highwater for his monthly SAMMIES Vibe W/ sessions this February. He’ll be playing smooth soul and R&B, and the session will be open to other Sacramento musicians who want to jam. If you’ve never grooved to Basi’s smooth beats, head on down to Highwater and see what life is like on the chill side of town. 1910 Q St., highwatersacramento.com. PHOTO COURTESY OF ASHLEY HAYES-STONE







FRIDAY, 2/14

BROAD ROOM: “Three of Cups” Art Exhibit. Broad Room presents “Three of Cups,” a group show featuring local artists Maggie Fitzgerald, Uma Tufekcic, Lauren Alvarez, and Kelsey Kowalski. DJ Lady Grey will be spinning, Bambi Tacos will be selling food and Urban Roots has donated beer and champagne. 6pm. Friday 2/14. No cover. 1409 Del Paso Blvd.

Swing along with the Harley White Jr. Orchestra Spotlight Ballroom, 9pm, $12

CROCKER ART MUSEUM: Black History Month

Swing your sweetheart to the sultry smooth jazz of Harley White VALENTINE’S Jr. and his Orchestra. Friday nights, you can find yourself swing dancing at the Spotlight PHOTO COURTESY OF PATRICK HYUN WILSON Ballroom with the live Sacramento jazz big band playing Basie hits and Ellington grooves. White has been integral to the Sacramento jazz scene for more than a decade and he’s not slowing down. If you still haven’t heard him live, what have you been doing? 2534 Industrial Blvd., West Sacramento, midtownstomp.com.

Family Festival. Crocker is celebrating Black History Month with a free family festival, a day of music, food, education and cultural connection. Nourish your spirit with soul-stirring talks, a crowd-sourced drum circle and art demonstrations by local artist and former Black Panther Akinsanya Kambon. Noon. Sunday 2/16. 216 O St.

JAYJAY GALLERY: Critical Matters 2.0, New work by Robin Hill. Robin Hill’s work focuses on the intersection between drawing, photography and sculpture. Her underlying conceptual thread is her interest in collection, extraction and representation and in transforming seemingly inconsequential matter into meaningful statements, which ultimately become a mediation on time. Various times. 2/14-3/28. No cover. 5524 B Elvas Ave.

KENNEDY GALLERY: Surrealism, featuring into shape. Based on the popular book, Miss Nelson Has A Field Day is presented by the prestigious Dallas Children’s Theater. 1pm. Through 2/15. Defending The Caveman. Could comedy give couples therapy a run for its money? Rob Becker’s Defending the Caveman holds the record as the longest running solo play in Broadway history, mining the common themes in relationships and finding laughs at all the ways men and woman fight, laugh and love. Various times. 2/13-2/16. 10 College Pkwy, Folsom.


CAPITAL STAGE: Alabaster. An all-female darkly comic Southern drama about women on the verge, art and the power of human connection. After a tornado barrels through a North Alabama town leaving nothing but death and destruction, only June and her wisecracking pet goat Weezy live to tell the tale. Various times. Through 2/23. $25$49. 2215 J St.


SACRAMENTO BALLET: Beer and Ballet Sacramento Ballet’s Choreographic Workshop. Watch dancers unleash their creativity through their own works. Master choreographer Val Caniparoli and Artistic Director Amy Seiwert serve as mentors, curating the evening and supporting our dancer-choreographers in process. Q&A follows each performance. 7:30pm-7:30pm. 1/31-2/16. $60. 2420 N St. Suite 100.

Company presents their 17th annual mainstage dance concert Friday and Saturday. It features 39 company dancers and includes various music selections and choreographic dance styles. 7pm-9pm. Through 2/15. 8350 Lotz Pkwy, Elk Grove.

GOLDEN 1 CENTER: Disney On Ice presents Mickey’s Search Party. Join Mickey Mouse and his friends in a brand-new adventure filled with world-class skating, high-flying acrobatics and unexpected stunts. Help them follow Captain Hooks treasure map and look for clues in the search for Tinker Bell in immersive, fantastic worlds. Explore the colorful spirit realm of Coco in Miguel’s Disney On Ice debut, sail away with Moana as she bravely saves her island, see Belle in the sky above you as the enchanted chandelier comes to life and sing along with Elsa in the icy world of Frozen. Various times. 2/132/17. $20. 500 David J. Stern Walk.

THE BENVENUTI PERFORMING ARTS CENTER: THE EVE OF JACKIE. Images Theatre Company presents Broadway veteran and awardwinning actor-singer Chester Gregory in an exciting tribute musical about the life of the 1950s legend Jackie Wilson, the two-time Grammy winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee who inspired such greats as Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson. Various

times. Saturday and Sunday, 2/15-2/16. $45$75. 4600 Blackrock Drive.

THEATER ONE: Confirmation. A couple plus friends arrive at a church to get married but there is no minister or staff available. Discussion leads to quarrel, which leads the couple to wonder if they really know each other. Various times. 2/7-2/23. $10. 2526 Sierra Blvd.

GREEN VALLEY THEATRE COMPANY: Sweeney Todd. Sweeney Todd, whose real name is Benjamin Barker, uses his new alias to resume work in his barber shop above Mrs. Lovett’s struggling pie shop after being wrongfully sentenced to life imprisonment by the corrupt Judge Turpin. Sweeney swears vengeance on the entire human race, murdering as many people as he can, inspiring the integration of a new ingredient into Mrs. Lovett’s meat pies. Various times. 2/14-3/7. 3823 V St.

ART AMEN ART GALLERY: 365 Project A Study

HARRIS CENTER: Miss Nelson Has A Field Day. The Smedley Tornadoes have never won a football game or even scored a single point! Kind-hearted teacher Miss Nelson comes to the rescue when her alter-ego, Coach Swamp, steps in to whip the team






in iPhoneography. John Liddicoat, an accomplished Sacramento-based DSLR photographer, explores the limitations and the surprisingly freeing capabilities of his aging iPhone 6 in a project that spanned each day of 2019. Various times. Through 2/28. No cover. 3257 Folsom Blvd.

Tomte, Hill & Tiesler. Surrealist works from more than 20 artists are on display. Various

times. 2/8-3/1. No cover. 1931 L St.

MACC: 1968 A Folsom Redemption. In 1968, Johnny Cash performed two concerts at the Folsom State Prison that rekindled his failing career. More than 30 photographs of that time with Cash and his family and other county music legends. Various times. 2/5-2/22. No cover. 10191 Mills Station Road, Rancho Cordova.

PENCE GALLERY: The Printed Realm. In this group exhibit, various local and regional printmakers create an imaginative world built on bold textures, rich surfaces and colorful abstraction. Various times. 2/4-2/23. No cover. Water + Color National Juried Exhibit. Come see Pence Gallery’s watercolor show that exhibits artwork by more than 30 artists, juried by Sandy Delehanty. This show includes a variety of styles, subjects, colors and compositions. Cash prizes will be awarded to selected artists during the reception on Feb. 14. Various times. 2/143/31. No cover. 212 D St., Davis.

THE ARTERY: North Coast Visions A Photographer and A Painter. The Artery presents “North Coast Visions A Photographer and A Painter.” Jock Hamilton and Adele Shaw take one dramatic aspect of California, the North Coast, and illustrate how two different artistic mediums capture the energy and spirit of the land. Various times. 1/30-2/24. No cover. 207 G St., Davis.

TIM COLLOM GALLERY: Whitney Lofrano “What Goes Around.” Whitney Lofrano returns to the Tim Collom Gallery with “What Goes Around,” 45 powerful new works in oil and watercolor. Lofrano has been painting since childhood, but her work really took off four years ago with her first solo show at TCG. Her new body of work is inspired by adventures both external and internal. 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 that have inspired contemporary design works by UC Davis students that are also showcased, highlighting the continuing relevance of traditional cultures. Various times. Through 4/18. No cover. Feathered Relations Works

by Marwin Begaye Solo exhibition by the Diné artist includes prints, wood blocks and multimedia works in a conceptual homage to birds. Various times. 2/18-6/19. 1 Shields Ave, Davis.

ARTSPACE1616: Robin Hill -There’s only one sky. There’s only one sky is a site-specific project, which continues Robin Hill’s investigation of materials and situations that resonate as self-made art works. She has extracted 416 phrases from the New York Times over the course of the past three years. Various times. 2/8-2/29. No cover. 1616 Del Paso Blvd.

MUSEUMS CALIFORNIA MUSEUM: Small as a Giant. A photography exhibit tells both the individual and societal stories of teens sentenced to life in prison. The artist has spent the last two years visiting inmates in prison and formerly incarcerated people on location throughout the state. Various times. Through 3/15. $0-$9. Toyo Miyatake Behind the Glass Eye. This temporary exhibition chronicles the life and work of Los Angeles-based photographer Toyo Miyatake. Miyatake was incarcerated at Manzanar, where he documented iconic images of life for Japanese Americans during World War II behind barbed wire. Various times. Through 4/19. $0-$9. 1020 O St.

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


WEDNESDAY, 2/19 SAC ACTIVIST SCHOOL SUBSERVIENCE BOOK TOUR: Sac Activist School Subservience Book Tour. Join us to learn about how theory and activism go hand in hand. Khalil Ferguson, a local activist, will tell us the story behind his activism while also teaching about PanAfrican revolutionary and the theory of decolonization. This book highlights political and economic mechanisms that have hindered global black political and economic progression. 6pm, no cover. Sol Collective, 2574 21st St.

SPORTS & OUTDOORS SATURDAY, 2/15 FOURMIDABLE 50K: Participate in a challenging 50K in the Auburn/Cool area. This event has a total climb of more than 6,000 feet. 7am, $35-$65. FOURmidable 50K, 298 Pacific Ave., Auburn.

TAKE ACTION THURSDAY, 2/13 LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS FORUM: LWV of Sacramento County hosts a forum on Measure G, with Jim Keddy and Leesai Yang of Sacramento Kids First speaking in favor and former Mayor Heather Fargo and Sacramento Public Library Director Rivkah Sass speaking against. 6:30pm, no cover Eskaton Monroe Lodge, 3325 Freeport Blvd.

SATURDAY, 2/15 GET HEALTHY SACRAMENTO SPEAKER SERIES 2020: Cardiologist Columbus Batiste, Michael Greger, Chef AJ, Antonio Soler, Hope Bohanec and a summary by Linda Middlesworth. 11am, $69.99. Mack Powell Event Center, 2003 Howe Ave.

BOOK RELEASE A SKETCH POETRY COLLECTION: A Sketch A Poetry Collection. Michael Marion Jr. will release his book A Sketch A Poetry Collection. 2pm, no cover. Underground Books, 2814 35th St.

READ TO A DOG: Read aloud to a friendly therapy dog. Bring a book from home or borrow one of ours. For kids 6 to 12. 2pm, no cover. Sacramento Public Library-North Sacramento-Hagginwood Library, 2109 Del Paso Blvd.

SUNDAY, 2/16 A MAN OF THE THEATER SURVIVAL AS AN ARTIST IN IRAN: “I am an artist! A man of the theater!”. This is what Nasser Rahmaninejad wrote under torture after he was arrested during the White Revolution in 1960s Iran. His new memoir, A Man of the Theater, describes his struggle as an artist caught between two great upheavals in Iran’s 20th century. 5:30pm, no cover. Carmichael Library, 5605 Marconi Ave., Carmichael.

TO SERVE THE PEOPLE MY LIFE ORGANIZING WITH CESAR CHAVEZ AND THE POOR: The long pilgrimage of LeRoy Chatfield weaves its way through multiple collective projects designed to better the condition of the marginalized and forgotten. Chatfield’s story reveals a fierce commitment to those who were denied the promises of the American dream. 1pm, no cover. Sacramento Public Library, 828 I St.

VALENTINE’S DAY THURSDAY, 2/13 DIY VALENTINE STRING ART CLASS: It’s time for a Valentine-themed string art class. You will be guided through the entire process and provided all materials, and you’ll leave with a beautiful sign to display or gift to someone special. 6pm, $40. Out of Bounds Brewing Co., 4480 Yankee Hill Road Suite 100, Rocklin.

PRE VALENTINE’S DAY COMEDY SHOW: Laugh with your sweetheart with Drew Shafer, Aurora Singh, Ruby Setnik, Mark Snipes, Aja Mae, Robert Omata and Wendy Lewis. 8pm, $25. Laughs Unlimited, 1207 Front St.

FRIDAY, 2/14 ANTI-VALENTINE’S PARTY: Colonial Heights Library’s Teen Advisory Board hosts an evening of music, dancing, games and food. 6pm, no cover. Colonial Heights Library, 4799 Stockton Blvd.

2ND FRIDAY ARTABOUT: Spend your Valentine’s night with exhibitions at the Pence Gallery to celebrate your love with art, wine and live music by Xylocopa. 6pm, no cover. Pence Gallery, 212 D St., Davis.







See moRe eventS anD SubmIt youR own at newSreview.com/Sacramento/calendar

CaLenDaR LIStInGS ContInueD FRom PaGe 38

vaLentIne Haunt SaCRamento: Ultimate Terror Scream Park unleashes two Valentine Haunted Houses to get spooked with your sweetheart. 7pm, $22-$32. Ultimate Terror Scream Park, 4909 Auburn Blvd.

Lovetown II: Candy Gang presents a Valentine’s showcase with Harris Rudman, Nate Curry, Camilla Covington and IGWE AKA. 7:30pm, $15-$18. Harlow’s, 2708 J St.

vaLentIne’S Day SwInG DanCe PaRty: Cocktails and swing dance music with Dyana & the Cherry Kings and Ruby Cocktails. 8pm, $10. Old Ironsides, 1901 10th St.

vaLentIne’S Day wItH tHe HaRLey wHIte JR. oRCHeStRa: Midtown Stomp welcomes the Harley White Jr. Orchestra to the stage for a night of live music and swing dancing. 8pm, $10. Spotlight Ballroom, 2534 Industrial Blvd. Suite 150, West Sacramento.

vaLentIneS Day ComeDy wItH tony baKeR: If you’re in need of some laughs, here’s a comedy show featuring Tony Baker with Keenan Baker and Ian Levy. The show includes sweet treats and champagne toast. 8pm & 10pm, $25 Laughs Unlimited, 1207 Front St.

vaLentIne’S Day ComeDy, maGIC anD muSIC: A comedy, magic and music variety show like nothing you’ve seen before. 8pm, $20$30. Blacktop Comedy, 3101 Sunset Blvd., Suite 6A, Rocklin.

my bLooDy vaLentIne, a vaLentIne’S Day CabaRet: The Scream Queens present a variety show extravaganza featuring performances by Ms. Tique, Lady Grimm, Mr. Sriracha and much more. 9pm, $30$45. Colonial Theatre, 3522 Stockton Blvd.

won’t you be PeteR Petty’S vaLentIne: The Torch Club is for lovers; SAMMIES nominated Peter Petty is for haters. Bring someone you love for an evening of swinging mayhem. 9pm, $10. Torch Club, 904 15th St.

maya vaLentIneS DanCe: Maya Latin Old School Band will be playing live Latin music for you to dance with your sweetheart. 9pm,

no cover. Pins N Strikes, 4334 Laguna Blvd., Elk Grove.

oPeRa HouSe SaLoon vaLentIne’S Day DanCe: Robby James is back at the Opera House for a special dance. Grab your dance partner and join the party. 9:30pm, $7-$12. Opera House Saloon Roseville, 411 Lincoln St., Roseville.

baSI vIbe: Join Basi Vibe & Friends for their smooth soul and cold funk and feel the love of the vibe. 10pm, $5. Highwater, 1910 Q St.

Saturday, 2/15 vaLentIne’S Day Date PaRty: Enjoy food, $1 beer and, of course, motorcycles. Proceeds from the beer garden will benefit the Vietnam Veterans of America, Sacramento Valley Chapter 500. 11am, no cover. HarleyDavidson of Sacramento, 1000 Arden Way.

vaLentIne’S Day at RevoLutIon: Skip the basic clichés and dine with Revolution, offering an exclusive prix-fixe menu with both vegan and non vegan options. 5pm, $49.50$55. Revolution Wines, 2831 S St.

vamPIRe vaLentIne’S baLLRoom PaRty: Do you love to dance and also dress in all black? Celebrate the day of love with a vampirethemed dance party. 7:15pm, $10. Spotlight Ballroom, 2534 Industrial Blvd. Suite 150, West Sacramento.

vaLentIne’S DeSSeRt ConCeRt: Freefall Stage hosts a two-night concert paired with sweet treats and sparkling cider for two. 8pm, $22. Epic Bible College, 4330 Auburn Blvd.

tHe SounD oF motown vaLentIne SHow: A Motown show and party, featuring Sacramento vocalists Will Witlock, Brandi Jauregui, Jimi Morris and more. 9pm, $25. Sky Room At The Country Club Event Center Sacramento, 2600 Watt Ave.

RoCKy HoRRoR vaLentIne’S PICtuRe SHow: Spend Valentine’s with Brad, Janet, Rocky, Frank N Furter, Dr. Scott and more as Amber’s Sweets Shadowtroupe present the long-running theatrical cult cinema gem. 10pm, $20. Colonial Theatre, 3522 Stockton Blvd.

Saturday, 2/15

Damn it, Janet, I want to see Rocky Horror Picture Show live Colonial TheaTre, 10pm, $20-$75

It’s just a jump to the left, and then a step to the Colonial Theatre this Valentine’s Day weekend for a live performance of vaLentIne’S PHoto courteSy oF Sac Horror Film FeStival Rocky Horror Picture Show. Everyone knows that this cult movie is the template for a healthy, functioning relationship so bring your significant other to shiver with anticipation at a live showing with Amber’s Sweets playing the shadow cast. The Sacramento Horror Film Festival will be hosting the event the day after The Scream Queens Valentine’s Day Cabaret. 3522 Stockton Blvd., sachorrorfilmfest.com.






for the best music-makers


in sacramento

sammies.com voting ends

Eazy Dub SAMMIES 2020 Nominee Reggae







THURSDAY 2/13 ArmAdillo music

Karma Loading, 7pm, no cover


PopRockz 90s Night, 10pm, no cover

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

BAr 101

Seth Prinz, 9:30pm, call for cover

The O’Mally Sisters, 9pm, call for cover

The BoArdwAlk

The Quireboys, 7pm, $20

Dead In Spain, Beautiful Blood, 8:30pm, $10

cresT TheATre

Poetic Justice (1993), 10:30pm, $10

The Lost Boys (1987), 10:30pm, $10

9426 GREENbAck lANE, ORANGEvAlE, (916) 358-9116

1013 k ST., (916) 476-3356

Karaoke Night, 9pm, call for cover

Absolut Fridays, 3pm, $6

Sequin Saturday, 9:30pm, call for cover Pool Party, no cover

Every Damn Monday, M, no cover; Noche Latina, 10pm, T, no cover

Bruberries & Gheni, 9pm, $5

Toad Mortons & Bad Barnacles, 9pm, $5

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

Disney on Ice Mickey’s Search Party, 7pm, $10-$85

Disney on Ice Mickey’s Search Party, 7pm, $20-$110

Disney on Ice Mickey’s Search Party, 11am, 3pm, 7pm, $15-$120

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

Jerrod Niemann, Bobby Zoppi, 7:30pm, $22

Marty O’Reilly & The Old Soul Orchestra, 7:30pm, $20-$22

Greg Loiacono, 7:30pm, $15

hAlFTime BAr & Grill

College Night, 10pm, call for cover


2708 J ST., (916) 441-4693

Adrian Marcel, TJ Upshaw, De Apollo & Nick LaVelle, 9pm, $20-$55


holY diVer

Tacocat, 9pm, $15-$17

Lund & Guccihighwater, 6:30pm, $16-$20

Magic City Hippies, The Palms, T, 8pm, $15-$20

Spite, Varials, Orthodox, Unity TX, Dealer, Saltwound, 6pm, sold out

Ross the Boss, Blood Oath Ritual, 7pm, $15

Emo Night Sacramento, 8pm, $15

The Movement, Josh Heinrichs, 7pm, sold out

iann dior, T, 7pm, sold out

JAckrABBiT BrewinG co.

Beer & Cupcake Pairing, 3pm, $24

Beer & Cupcake Pairing, 3pm, $24

Beer & Cupcake Pairing, 3pm, $24

Beer & Cupcake Pairing, 3pm, $24

Beer & Cupcake Pairing, M, 3pm, $24


Singer-songwriter Live, 7pm, call for cover

Ross Hammond, 5pm, call for cover

Trivia, 7:30pm, call for cover

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

old ironsides

The Bongo Furys, Sour Diesel, 7:30pm, $5

Valentine’s Day w/ Ruby Cocktails, Dynna and The Cherry Kings, 8pm, $10

on The Y

Open-mic, comedy and Karaoke, 8pm, no cover

Anhedonia, Server All & Perception, 8pm, $10

1323 TERMINAl ST., WEST SAc, (916) 873-8659 1217 21ST ST., (916) 440-0401 1901 10TH ST., (916) 443-9751

Sacramento’S #1 UndergroUnd metal VenUe

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

Delta Mystics, 9pm, $7

Karaoke with Jimbo, T, 9pm, no cover

Voted sacramento’s

best dance club 2017/2018

upComing sHows

Amazing Food and Specials Nightly Karaoke up Front WedNeSdAy-SAturdAy Country dancing in Back Wed, Fri, SAt Salsa/West Coast Swing thurSdAyS

$10 coVer | doorS at 7Pm | 21+

february 14th anhedonia SeVer all | PercePtion february 21st doriS ForniS | mechanizm february 22th droP dead comedy Show ozzy mcnazz | marS johnSon dylan Stradder | dj gingamatt

GranD remoDel cominG soon! Stagecoach ticket giveaways Fri 2/21 & SAt 2/29 Stagecoach’s dance Competition - SAt 3/7

Kevin’s annual birthday bash - sat 2/15

HappY Hour 12Pm - 7Pm karaoke tue 9Pm - 2am, thu 10Pm - 2am ComedY open miC thu 8Pm - 10Pm Visit for eVent updates & booking information

Eat. Drink. Be Merry. Repeat.

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

1217 21st St • 916.440.0401 www.KuprosCrafthouse.com


Cornhole, W, 6pm, $10

The Sky Kings, 9pm, $10 Lovetown II feat. Harris Rudman & Nate Curry, 7:30pm, $15-$18

Disney on Ice Mickey’s Search Party, M, 12pm, 4pm, $15-$120

1517 21ST ST.

670 FUlTON AvE., (916) 487-3731


Disney on Ice Mickey’s Search Party, 11am, 3pm, 7pm, $15-$120

Vibe w/ (open session), 10pm, $0-$5

1910 Q ST., (916) 706-2465


S’Mores & Stouts, 3pm, call for cover

Golden 1 cenTer

5681 lONETREE blvD., ROcklIN, (916) 626-6366


The Warriors (1979), T, 7:30pm, $10-$22


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

with Bobby Zoppi 7:30pm Thursday, $22 Goldfield Trading Post Country

After Hours with Apple, 9pm, M, no cover; Trapicana, 11pm, W, no cover

Brewer vs. Vintner, 5:30pm, sold out

1001 R ST., (916) 443-8825

Jerrod Niemann

Industry Sunday’s, 9pm, call for cover

S’Mores & Stouts, 5pm, call for cover

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

Fox & Goose



drAke’s: The BArn 2000 k ST., (916) 448-7798

with Cardboard Ringo 7pm Friday, $20 The Boardwalk Rock


Opineismyname, 8pm, no cover Spectacular Saturdays, 6pm, call for cover

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

The Quireboys


Fierce Friday’s, 7pm, call for cover

2003 k ST., (916) 448-8790




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

1320 Del paso blvD in olD north sac

2 steps from downtown | 916.402.2407 stoneyinn.com for more info & calendar

live MuSic 2/15 the o’mally sisters 2/22 neon moon 2/28 todd morgan 2/29 banjo bones 3/6 3/7 3/13 3/14 3/20 3/21 3/27 3/28

Zach waters duo folk & funk spare parts watermelon & whirl band Zach waters duo part robot todd morgan banjo bones

101 Main Street, roSeville 916-774-0505 · lunch/dinner 7 days a week fri & sat 9:30pm - close 21+


suBmiT youR calendaR lisTings foR fRee aT newsReview.com/sacRamenTo/calendaR FriDAy 2/14

sAturDAy 2/15

Opera HOuse salOOn

thursDAy 2/13

Robby James and the Streets of Bakersfield, 9:30pm, $7-$12

Unauthorized Rolling Stones, 9:30pm, $10-$15

palms playHOuse

13 mAin st., Winters, (530) 795-1825

Valentine’s Day with Dirty Cello, 8pm, $20-$24

Tempest, 8pm, $22-$26

placerville public HOuse

Tepic Club of Cool, 8pm, call for cover

L Dawg, 8pm, call for cover

411 LincoLn st., roseViLLe, (916) 970-9777

414 mAin st., PLAcerViLLe, (530) 303-3792

THe pOur cHOice

Quinn Hedges, 6:30pm, call for cover

Valentine’s Day W/ Hayez, 6:30pm, no cover

Virgo Gabrielle, 6:30pm, call for cover

pOwerHOuse pub

Megan Smith, 10pm, call for cover

Thunder Cover, 10pm, call for cover

Arden Park Roots, 10pm, call for cover

177 sAcrAmento st., Auburn, (530) 820-3451 614 sutter st., FoLsom, (916) 355-8586

THe press club

2030 P st., (916) 444-7914

The Drowns, Mob Rule, Black Crosses, 8pm, call for cover

sHady lady salOOn

Big Sticky Mess, 9pm, call for cover

1409 r st., (916) 231-9121

sOcial niGHTclub

1000 k st., (916) 947-0434

THe sOfia

sunDAy 2/16

monDAy-WeDnesDAy 2/17-2/19

The Ateliers, T, 6:30pm, call for cover Laurie Morvan, 3pm, call for cover; blues Karaoke, T, 8:30pm, call for cover; jam, 6pm, call for cover Local Licks, W, 9pm, call for cover DJ Larry’s Dance Party, 9pm, no cover

Karaoke, M, 8pm, no cover; Night School, T, 9pm, no cover Photo courtesy oF Wikicommons

Tone Mosaic, 9pm, call for cover

S.T.R.Q., 9pm, call for cover


Gnarly Marsh, DJ Roshelle, 10pm, $0-$5

Jayy, 10pm, $0-$5

with Special Guests 9pm Saturday, $15-$17 Harlow’s Indie

2700 cAPitoL AVe., (916) 443-5300

Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas, 7pm, $25

Mumbo Gumbo 30th anniversary party, 7pm, $30

Dennis Johnson and the Mississippi Ramblers, 7pm, $25

Waipuna, 8pm, $30

THe sTarleT rOOm

The Honest EP release party, 8pm, $10

Fleetwood Mac vs. ABBA, 9pm, $8-$10

It’s Not a Showcase, 7pm, $15

Part Time & Gary Wilson, 8pm, $13-$15

sTOney’s rOckin rOdeO

Salsa Night, 8pm, no cover

Anti-Valentine’s Traffic Light Party, 7pm, $5

Kevin’s BDay Bash, 6pm, $5

President’s Day Party, 9pm, $0-$10

Country DJ Dancing, W, 9pm, $0-$5

Farrow and The Peach Leaves, 9pm, $6

Peter Petty & His Double P Revue, 9pm, $10

You front the band, 8pm, no cover

Sour Diesel jazz jam, T, 8:30pm, call for cover; David Rosales, W, 8:30pm, $6

2708 J st., (916) 441-4693 1320 DeL PAso bLVD., (916) 927-6023

THe TOrcH club

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

Element Brass Band, 9pm, $10

Blues & Bourbon: Mark Hummel’s Deep Basement Shakers, W, 6:30pm, $12

all ages, all the time ace Of spades

1417 r st., (916) 930-0220

cafe cOlOnial

Ekali, 8pm, $20-$65

And That’s Why We Drink, 9pm, sold out

Drake Party, 7:30pm, $18

Led Zepplin 2 plays III, 8pm, $16 Problem with Dragons, Killer Couture, Astral Cult, 8pm, call for cover

3520 stockton bLVD., (916) 475-1600

Rebel Music with Devon I. Evans, 8pm, $10

O’Mulligans, Jerk!, The Enlows, Addalemon, 8pm, call for cover

Harris cenTer

Georgia On My Mind, 7:30pm, $50-$72

Swept Away, 7:30pm, sold out

10 coLLege PkWy, FoLsom, (916) 608-6888

mOndavi cenTer

523 mrAk hALL DriVe, DAVis, (530) 754-2787

sHine cafe

1400 e st., (916) 551-1400

Shine jazz jam, 8pm, no cover

Zofomoma, 7pm, $12-$24

Ladysmith Black Mambazo, 2pm, $12.50-$65

Valentine’s Funk Love Party w/ Bro Brocean, 8pm, $8

The Desmond Barrett Experience, 8pm, $8

Photo courtesy oF gryWnn

Ross the Boss

Shine open-mic, W, 8pm, no cover

with Blood Oath Ritual 7pm Friday, $15 Holy Diver Metal

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

happy hour Everyday 4-6pm Late Night DiNiNg Tues-Thurs & Sun until 12am | Fri & Sat until 1am 2115 J Street, Saramento | 916.442.4388 @Kasbah916 kasbahlounge.com |






C A N N A b i S

Photo courtesy of istock

Let’s talk about sex —and cannabis SN&R’s writer asks cannabis sex educator, Ashley Manta, how couples can spice things up in the boudoir using a little THC by Jackie Bryant

Sex is a fraught topic. Most like it. Some even say they need it. But because of the ups and downs that come with being a human in the world, having good, consistent sex is elusive for many. There is good news, though: Cannabis can help, a lot. To convey why cannabis and sex make perfect bedfellows, Ashley Manta, known as The CannaSexual, is an award-winning sex educator who knows best. “Cannabis can help address the things that get in the way of pleasure, connection, intimacy, common things,” Manta told SN&R. 44





She speaks from personal experience, as someone who regularly uses a suite of cannabis products to enhance her personal experiences, and she also takes notes from her clients. She said that pain, for example, is one of many common factors that get in the way of having good sex. It’s tough to get into a pleasure mindset when pain occurs. “Stress is another one. It’s a massive arousal and desire killer for most. Another is feeling disconnected from your body for whatever reason, whether it’s from past trauma or you’re just someone who’s very cerebral

and have moved through the world kind of in your own head,” she said. “It’s a struggle to slow down and actually kind of be present in your own skin. And yet another reason is habituation—when things just get kind of stale in a relationship. Cannabis can help with all of this.” I can personally attest that this is true. After emerging from a sexless marriage a couple of years ago, I used my newly-found singledom to get my sexuality back on track, but was understandably terrified to get back in the game. I found that using

cannabis (even just smoking it) helped to quiet both my mind and my body and allowed me to be in the moment. It also enhanced my arousal and sensation. Suddenly, sex was not only happening for me again—it was fun, too. Apart from anecdotal evidence, there is science behind the assertion that cannabis is ideal for use during sex. THC is a vasodilator, which widen blood vessels, allowing for greater blood flow and thus sensation. It’s also the reason people get red eyes when smoking weed. For those looking to incorporate cannabis into their sex life, smoking flower is an easy and great way to start. I used to recommend indicaheavy strains, owing to purportedly stronger body highs, but when I mentioned this to Manta, she balked. “I make it a point to not recommend a specific strain perfects because it’s completely subjective. I mean, it’s really good for me. It might be absolutely abysmal for you based on body chemistry, tolerance and the cannabinoid and terpenes profile of the strain that you happen to pick,” she explained.

Velvet Swing’s Cannabis Enhanced Sensual Lubricant is recommended by local budtenders at Kolas dispensary.

photo courtesy of velvet swing

She encourages people to experiment with different brand of hers (and mine)—as strains in small doses and well as suppositories (she suggests masturbating first uses Foria’s). Suppositories to gauge the mind and body are particularly good for response. Because cannabis people with any kind of pain, impacts short-term memory, including menstrual. she said it’s a good idea to Several Sacramento write it down. budtenders at local Besides flower, Manta dispensaries commented that recommends Foria’s THC and their customers keep asking CBD oil “lubes” for those for cannabis sex products, who are curious. The term is a but that they haven’t gotten bit of a misnomer because it’s around to carrying them yet. more a sensation-enhancing At Kolas, however, oil than an actual lubricant. customers looking to I enjoy a THC-loaded oil incorporate cannabis in called Night Moves from the the boudoir will strike San Francisco-based brand gold. Over the phone, its Quim. Made with MCT oil, budtender squealed, “Yes! cannabis oil, tea tree oil and We sure do carry them. I use damiana, it takes at least 30 one that is amazing,” she minutes to kick in and cannot said, asking not to be named. be used with latex condoms, “I use Velvet Swing’s but it sure packs a vaginal Cannabis Sensual Lubricant. punch. The whole bottle is 50 I dabbled in it myself so I could be able milliliters and contains a total of 350 to recommend it to customers or not,” she milligrams THC, but eight to 10 pumps should be enough for one romp in the hay. said. She added that, like many cannabis I also like to mix concentrates and sex oils, Velvet Swing’s has sex, though admittedly, it isn’t for 100mg THC, 33mg CBD cannabis newbies. The Puffco and is water-based. Peak, which is essentially It’s also geared a futuristic dab rig that toward women self-heats and doesn’t “It’s a struggle since vaginas require a blowtorch to slow down and have mucous (it is also highly membranes portable) is, hands actually kind of be and penises down, the best dab present in your own skin. do not. But tool on the market she also right now. The … Cannabis can help with noted that extreme head rush all of this.” she believes it and body sensation does make men one gets from Ashley Manta last longer. dabbing kicks sex up cannabis sex educator “I use a few to an unimaginable level. pumps and wait for Sensations are felt stronger, it to kick in, about 20 inhibitions are lowered and, for or so minutes. Then it starts me, deeper connection is achieved. Sometimes, my partner and I use it during feeling tingly down there,” she said, giggling. sex for a mid-sesh punch up. I felt the same way when I used Edibles are another obvious choice. cannabis “lubes” and mixed cannabis Like with anything else cannabisand sex for the first time. With a little related, users should know how their education (and a few experiments in the bodies react to edibles before mixing bedroom) I’m hoping others can have anything as emotionally and physically the same revelation, too. Ω engaging as sex into the equation. But because edibles produce phenomenal body highs, it follows that they can enhance feeling during sex, too. Manta also notes that she enjoys bath bombs—Kush Queen is a favorite

02.13.20    |   SN&R   |   45

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’19 46   |   SN&R   |   02.13.20


c a n n a b is

Will Legislature restrict vaping? by ElizabEth aguilEra

Milk and waters in kids’ meals. Smaller “Big Gulps.” No teens on tanning beds. California officials pride themselves as national leaders in protecting the health of Californians—so much so that conservatives deride it as the “nanny-state.” And that’s particularly true when it comes to its youth. Yet California is behind some other states and the Trump administration when it comes to cracking down on flavored tobacco and e-cigarette use—nor has it moved to block the sale of flavored vape products containing cannabis. San Francisco-based Juul Labs Inc., maker of vape pens and nicotine pods, poured hundreds of thousands into lobbying and political campaigns, and until now successfully quashed bills to ban flavored tobacco in California. This year could change that. The skyrocketing use of flavored vape products among kids, a rash of vape-related hospitalizations and deaths, and the governor’s public support for a ban on flavors could turn the tide. So could a market shift at Juul, which amid evidence that flavors entice teen users, has stopped U.S. sales of flavored pods including mango and mint. Last year eight other states, temporarily at least, banned flavored e-cigarettes, prompting legal challenges. Several states similarly prohibited the sale of flavored cannabis products. At least 60 California cities and counties, including Sacramento, have taken matters into their own hands by banning flavors or restricting the sale of e-cigarettes. In San Francisco, the first e-cigarette sales ban in the nation went into effect in January. “Politics gets down to money,” said Jim Knox, director of government relations for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. “The tobacco industry has been for decades, and remains, a very substantial power at the state Capitol.” Last year in the Assembly, a bill to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products was killed without even a hearing in the Assembly’s Government Organization Committee, chaired by Merced Democrat Adam Gray. The committee is “the main vise the legislative leadership has used to deliver for big tobacco,” said Stan Glantz, UC San Francisco professor of medicine and director

Ca lMa tte r s

of its Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education. A similar 2019 flavor ban proposal in the Senate grew so weakened by amendments that its author abandoned the bill. Then reports of vaping tragedies nationwide began mounting. As of early February, vaping had caused 2,600 hospitalizations and 60 deaths nationwide. President Donald Trump initially called in September for a ban on all flavored e-cigarette products, but then backpedaled. Instead, in January his administration issued a more limited mandate that manufacturers stop selling certain products, such as pre-filled flavor pods. Exempted are menthol cartridges and also tank-based systems that allow users to refill vape pens with their choice of flavored liquid. A few days after Trump’s September announcement, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order directing various California agencies to crack down on the vaping black market, research new ways to tax vape products and develop a $20 million awareness campaign about the risks of vaping. The governor also has said he supports a new flavor-ban bill sponsored by the same senator whose bill was stymied last year. Like last year’s, the new state bill would bar more types of flavored products than the Trump administration has restricted. San Mateo Democratic Sen. Jerry Hill’s pending Senate Bill 793 would prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products—not just pods for vape pens in flavors such as mint, fruit, cotton candy, but also tank-based systems, menthol cigarettes, chewing tobacco, cigars and hookah tobacco. “This is affecting our youth,” Hill said. “The gateway is the flavored product, and we can’t leave it to the industry to police themselves, because they failed to do that.” Hill’s bill faces opposition from some quarters of the tobacco and vaping industries, and millions of smokers or vapers who oppose any restrictions. Ω CalMatters is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California policies and politics. An unabridged version of this story is available at CalMatters.org.


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Free will astrology

ask joey

For the week oF February 13, 2020

hot and cold

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Now that she’s in her


the last guy I dated just stopped talking to me. I didn’t even know what to do. I planned to go on a dating detox but then a random guy started commenting on my Instagram and sending me DMs. he’s not my usual type but he was so complimentary and so nice. he asked me out and we met up. he was so into me! It felt really good. we’ve been dating for a while now and I like him. he says he is in love with me. he’s already talking about moving in together! I don’t want to hurt his feelings but I’m not sure how I feel about him. he’s just not the kind of person I see myself with long term. Should I tell him? Not yet—the first conversation I recommend having is with your ego. It has a specific idea about the type of person who is best for you, but it might actually be wrong. When we spoke by phone, you said that the man who ghosted you was your type. Maybe it’s time to reset your picker. Escort your ego from the driver’s seat and invite your soul to take the wheel. That way, you can select a partner based on the qualities that matter most, like communication, trust, shared values and a satisfying sexual connection. The other issue that struck me during our phone conversation is that you have dated a lot but have never been in a longterm relationship. That means you have experienced quite a few endings. Every breakup is like a little death and leaves a mark on our hearts. How have you dealt with these fallouts? Most people fixate on their emotions around a breakup, but don’t investigate their thoughts or actions. Are you ready to get to know yourself that intimately? A full-on dating detox isn’t necessary. You don’t have to avoid potential dates, either. But you definitely have some housecleaning ahead. Start here: sift through your previous dating experiences. Think about what you disliked about


the time spent with each of your dates. Consider the emotions that arose within you when things didn’t proceed as you might have hoped. Then take responsibility for your part in those challenges. It might feel distasteful or cumbersome, but it’s actually transformational. Complaining about your date is easy. Blaming your date is easier. But seeing how you contributed to, or even caused, a disagreement is a sign of spiritual maturity. It’s so much easier to find love, sustain love and learn from love when you’re navigating relationships like a woman who is confident and free. If you like the man you have been dating but feel like he’s moving too fast, tell him. He might not realize how his enthusiasm is landing. Of course, there’s a stickier challenge to address: You might not be into the man who is into you precisely because he cares for you. If he were less interested and less available, it’s possible that you would feel a spark. Examining the end of previous relationships will guide you to make wise choices about love in the future, including when to trust whether it’s real. Ω

Every breakup is like a little death and leaves a mark on our hearts.






by ROb bRezsny

MeDItatIon oF the week “I believe in God, only I spell it Nature,” said architect Frank Lloyd Wright. What have you done today to reduce your carbon emissions?

Write, email or leave a message for Joey at the News & Review. Give your name, telephone number (for verification purposes only) and question—all correspondence will be kept strictly confidential. Write Joey, 1124 Del Paso Boulevard, Sacramento, CA 95815; call (916) 498-1234, ext. 1360; or email askjoey@newsreview.com.

late 40s, Aries comedian and actress Tig Notaro is wiser about love. Her increased capacity for romantic happiness has developed in part because she’s been willing to change her attitudes. She says, “Instead of being someone who expects people to have all the strengths I think I need them to have, I resolved to try to become someone who focuses on the strengths they do have.” In accordance with this Valentine’s season’s astrological omens, I invite you to meditate on how you might cultivate more of that aptitude yourself. TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Taurus artist Joan Miró loved to daub colored paint on canvases. He said he approached his work in the same way he made love—“a total embrace, without caution, prudence thrown to the winds, nothing held back.” In accordance with astrological omens, I invite you to invoke a similar attitude with all the important things you do in the coming weeks. Summon the ardor and artistry of a creative lover for all-purpose use. GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In 1910, Gemini businessman Irving Seery was 20 years old. One evening he traveled to the Metropolitan Opera in New York City to see an opera starring the gorgeous and electrifying soprano Maria Jeritza. He fell in love instantly. For the next 38 years, he remained a bachelor as he nursed his desire to marry her. His devotion finally paid off. Jeritza married Seery in 1948. In 2020, I think you will be capable of a heroic feat of love that resembles Seery’s. Which of your yearnings might evoke such intensely passionate dedication? CANCER (June 21-July 22): I’ve been married twice, both times to the same woman. Our first time around, we were less than perfectly wise in the arts of relationship. After our divorce and during the few years we weren’t together, we each ripened into more graceful versions of ourselves and we developed greater intimacy skills. Our second marriage has been far more successful. Is there a comparable possibility in your life? A chance to enhance your ability to build satisfying togetherness? An opening to learn practical lessons from past romantic mistakes? Now is a favorable time to capitalize. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): In 1911, the famous Russian poet Anna Akhmatova and the famous Italian painter Amedeo Modigliani were in love with each other. Both were quite poor, though. They didn’t have much to spend on luxuries. In her memoir, Akhmatova recalled the time they went on a date in the rain at the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris. Barely protected under a rickety umbrella, they amused each other by reciting the verse of Paul Verlaine, a poet they both loved. Isn’t that romantic? In the coming weeks, I recommend you experiment with comparable approaches to cultivating love. Get back to raw basics. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): I hope there’s someone in your life to whom you can give a note like the one I’ll offer at the end of this oracle. If there’s not, I trust you will locate that person in the next six months. Feel free to alter the note as you see fit. Here it is. “When you and I are together, it’s as if we have been reborn into luckier lives; as if we can breathe deeper breaths that fill our bodies with richer sunlight; as if we see all of the world’s beauty that alone we were blind to; as if the secrets of our souls’ codes are no longer secret.” LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In the course of your life, how many people and animals have truly loved you? Three? Seven? More? I invite you

to try this Valentine experiment: Write down their names on a piece of paper. Spend a few minutes visualizing the specific qualities in you that they cherished, how they expressed their love and how you felt as you received their caring attention. Then send out a beam of gratitude to each of them. Honor them with sublime appreciation for having treasured your unique beauty. Amazingly enough, doing this exercise will magnetize you to further outpourings of love in the coming weeks. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I invite you to copy the following passage and offer it to a person who is receptive to deepening their connection with you. “Your healing eyes bless the winter jasmine flowers that the breeze blew into the misty creek. Your welcoming prayers celebrate the rhythmic light of the mud-loving cypress trees. Your fresh dreams replenish the eternal salt that nourishes our beloved song of songs. With your melodic breath, you pour all these not-yetremembered joys into my body.” (This lyrical message is a blend of my words with those of Scorpio poet Odysseus Elytis.) SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): The poet Virgil, a renowned author in ancient Rome, wrote three epic poems that are still in print today. His second was a masterpiece called the Georgics. It took him seven years to write, even though it was only 2,740 lines long. So on average he wrote a little over one line per day. I hope you’ll use him as inspiration as you toil over your own labors of love in the coming weeks and months. There’ll be no need to rush. In fact, the final outcomes will be better if you do them slowly. Be especially diligent and deliberate in all matters involving intimacy and collaboration and togetherness. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): I invite you to copy the following passage and offer it to a person who is ready to explore a more deeply lyrical connection with you. “I yearn to earn the right to your whispered laugh, your confident caress, your inscrutable dance. Amused and curious, I wander where moon meets dawn, inhaling the sweet mist in quest of your questions. I study the joy that my imagination of you has awakened. All the maps are useless, and I like them that way. I’m guided by my nervous excitement to know you deeper. Onward toward the ever-fresh truth of your mysterious rhythms!” AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Aquarian author Derek Walcott had a perspective on love that I suspect might come in handy for you during this Valentine season. “Break a vase,” he wrote, “and the love that reassembles the fragments is stronger than that love which took its symmetry for granted when it was whole.” I urge you to meditate on how you could apply his counsel to your own love story. How might you remake your closest alliances into even better and brighter versions of themselves? PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Piscean poet Saul Williams wrote a meditation I hope you’ll consider experimenting with this Valentine season. It involves transforming mere kisses into sublime kisses. If you choose to be inspired by his thoughts, you’ll explore new sensations and meanings available through the act of joining your mouth to another’s. Ready? “Have you ever lost yourself in a kiss? I mean pure psychedelic inebriation. Not just lustful petting, but transcendental metamorphosis, when you became aware that the greatness of this other being is breathing into you. Licking your mouth, like sealing a thousand fleshy envelopes filled with the essence of your passionate being, and then opened by the same mouth and delivered back to you, over and over again—the first kiss of the rest of your life.”






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