20200319 101000

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Confronting coronavirus Sacramento’s News & Entertainment Weekly


Volume 31, issue 49


Thursday, march 19, 2020



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We are not corporate media. We are 100% independent and need your help to continue reporting local stories and publishing your voices.

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march 19, 2020 | Vol. 31, Issue 49

At this point, we’re all just trying to survive spring. Sacramento’s arts community weighs in on this month’s exhibition closures and the impact the coronavirus will have on the city’s cultural landscape.

20 04 05 06 greenlight + 15 Minutes 08 10 news 14 feature 20 arts + Culture 26 dish editor’s note letters essay + streetalK

plaCe Calendar Cannabis asK joey

28 30 32 36 Cover design by Maria ratinova

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

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

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

Director of First Impressions Madison McPhaill 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, Jenny Plummer, Lloyd Rongley, Lolu Sholotan, Viv Tiqui

Marketing & Publications Lead Consultant Elizabeth Morabito

Project Manager & Development Consultant Greta Beekhuis

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

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A consultant just handed Sacramento City Hall a list of 26 ways to cut costs or increase revenues—a potential boost of $69 million to $79 million a year, plus $20 million to $23 million in one-time money. But whether this latest “innovation and efficiency” study goes anywhere—or mostly gathers dust—is up in the air, especially those recommendations affecting politically powerful employee unions. After the City Council was presented the report on March 10, Mayor Darrell Steinberg said he wants to come up with $10 million to $20 million a year out of the study, and $30 million would not be “unreasonable.” But there is already some push back from City Manager Howard Chan and department heads. While they support some revenue increases and broader recommendations, they oppose some specific ones that directly impact existing employees. They dispute how much savings can be found by eliminating vacant positions. And city officials don’t seem all that enthusiastic about the idea of managed competition— allowing private companies to compete with city employees to provide some services—even though it has worked in some other cities. In a memo to the city auditor, who hired Management Partners to do the study, Chan says he supports further review of whether it’s a “viable strategy,” but warns it will “require discussion with labor unions.” For instance, the study calls for using managed competition as part of restructuring garbage collection, which also includes contracting out residential pickup (as it already does for commercial) and giving workers a share of cost savings they suggest. The city could save between $1.9 million and $3.2 million a year, the study says. That savings is essential to avoiding further garbage rate increases. In December, council members voted to raise fees by 15% this year, but it held off on two more years of rate hikes. The city could also reap about $20 million from selling garbage trucks and other equipment and negotiating a contract with a private company, the study says. But Fabrizio Sasso, executive director of the Sacramento Central Labor Council, told the council

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that managed competition is “a fancy word for outsourcing and privatization.” Steinberg says he doesn’t support any city workers losing their jobs or pay, but there are still plenty of savings in other ideas. Management Partners is again urging another very controversial idea: Replacing a firefighter with a (cheaper) civilian paramedic in city ambulances. The consultants say this change would save $500,000 a year, but it has been strenuously and consistently opposed by the firefighters union. It is one of six recommendations repeated from previous studies done by Management Partners—a citywide efficiency study in 2010, plus one that focused on the Fire Department in 2012. The new 176-page report also suggests increasing the business operations tax, raising the fees on utilities when they cut into street pavements, reducing overtime and take-home vehicles for employees and charging at parking meters on Sundays. The consultants note that while some of the recommendations depend on negotiations with employee unions, other require voter approval. And they told the council that the easy cost-saving ideas have already been done and there will be objections to all the new ones. But the city may be forced to follow through on some ideas, especially if the economy tanks during the coronavirus crisis. Management Partners says the city’s finances are “tenuous” despite voter approval in 2018 of the Measure U half-cent sales tax increase, which is generating another $50 million a year. As of Jan. 1, the city had a $33.5 million surplus in its operating budget, plus $55 million in its rainy day fund. But city projections show a $21 million budget deficit by next year, mostly due to the cost of new labor contracts and rising pension costs. The consultants predict annual shortfalls averaging $13 million in the next 10 years—which would empty the rainy day fund by 2024-25—and say the city “will have no choice but to raise revenue, employ fewer public employees or deliver service differently.” How much longer can the city put off those tough decisions? Ω


Email to sactolEttErs@nEwsrEviEw.com @SacNewsReview



Homelessness causes mental illness Re: “Newsom’s to-do list on mental health” (Feature, March 5): We have it exactly backwards regarding mental health issues and homelessness. For most, the mental health problems come after the homelessness. Just try it yourself and see. Sleep on the streets without a phone, without much money, without a car and see what happens to your mental status. Good sleep is nearly impossible, as police come to wake you up, forcing you to move to another spot in the middle of the night. Women worry about rape, which does happen, since tents don’t lock. Nutrition is abominable; that and chronic dehydration have significant mental health effects. Worry about finding a spot to be each day and night takes a huge mental toll. So does having your things stolen when you go to work (many homeless people do work), to the library computer or to an interview. Severe stress causes normal people to become mentally ill.

Robin Weld S acr am e nt o / v i a e m a i l

Decriminalize being homeless Re: “Newsom’s to-do list on mental health” (Feature, March 5): I truly hope Gov. Gavin Newsom follows through on what appears to be a commitment to improve the mental health and homeless crises. They are intrinsically linked to one another. HUD was the primary agency to assist the homeless during the Reagan administration, but HUD’s homeless funding was slashed by 60% and our government has never restored this budgetary priority. Of course, we are fully aware of Reagan’s criminal abdication of his responsibility to the mentally ill by eliminating their safety nets, by closing their treatment facilities and by defunding the programs which worked to mainstream them. He found it better to stigmatize them instead of treating them with the dignity and compassion they deserve. I’m grateful to see Newsom not resort to that political expediency. But the urgent priority and the first thing that Newsom could do, if he’s really serious, is to stop law enforcement’s criminalization of the homeless.

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Re: “Clean up plastic pollution” by Jeff vonKaenel (Greenlight, Feb. 27): I’m reminded of something FDR is supposed to have said to an activist: “You have to go out and [create the political pressure to] make me do it.” If we want anything other than business as usual from multinational corporations or from chambers of commerce, we will have to make them do it.

MuRiel StRand S acr am en t o / v i a e m a i l

Time to be unsettled Re: “Snapshots of war” by Rachel Mayfield (15 Minutes, Jan. 23): Glad to know your book is released now. I am looking forward to reading it. You said it will be unsettling. I am sure it will be, but the kind of unsettling we need to experience. Time to snap out of it and have another picture of war and what it kills.

Peggy Covalt R ock l i n / v i a e m a i l


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By Lee miLLer


By Graham Womack

Asked At sundAy FArmers mArket At 8th And X streets:

Prep for coronavirus?

The right solar power SMUD is on the wrong track on clean energy I am surprised at the misinformation SMUD pumped out about its SolarShares program before state regulators voted last month to allow developers of new housing to use its offsite solar farms rather than rooftop solar panels starting next Jan. 1. Here are some of the top things I heard, and the facts. SMUD’s claim: SolarShares homeowners Lee Miller lives in South Sacramento and is a SMUD customer may add solar. with rooftop solar. Fact: SMUD’s terms and conditions make it near impossible for most SolarShares homeowners to add solar. That’s because homeowners money because the utility doesn’t have to spend won’t receive “net metering” if they install their as many ratepayer dollars on expensive infraown solar. That’s the credit solar users receive structure—which makes it all the more ludicrous for the extra solar energy they send back to the to discourage rooftop solar. power grid. It’s how solar pencils out for most On the other hand, Kerth’s response reveals a solar users. small-ness in SMUD’s approach. With electricWithout net metering, most people would not ity use rising at the same time we also need to choose solar. As a pro-solar state lawmaker rapidly transition away from fossil fuels, told the California Energy Commission we need orders of magnitude more on Feb. 20: Solar without net clean energy, both large-scale and metering is effectively a prohibiWe need rooftop. There should be almost tion on solar. orders of zero competition between SMUD’s claim: It’s more the two. But when pressed, efficient to deliver clean magnitude more clean SMUD’s leader indicated energy through large-scale energy, both largethat it actually sees this as solar farms than rooftop scale and rooftop. There a zero-sum game, and also solar. clear which type of energy Fact: It’s easy to slap should be almost zero they favor. down hundreds of panels in competition between At some point, SMUD an open field, but ratepayers the two. and other utilities will have have to foot the entire bill, plus to answer for the fact that it’s expensive to buy the land and California is planning to get 100% ship the energy over long-distance of its electricity from clean sources by transmission lines. It’s actually cheaper to 2045. That means the amount of clean energy transmit energy that is made locally, on rooftops will have to increase many times over what we that are already built, and paid for by private have now. California can’t meet its clean energy individuals rather than ratepayers. In reality, goals simply from large-scale sources. There we need both, and SMUD should stop trashing isn’t enough open space, and the cost and risk rooftop solar. of doubling down on long-distance transmission At the Sacramento Municipal Utility District lines is too great. board meeting on Feb. 20, one clever speaker got The bottom line is that the state needs its local board President Rob Kerth to admit in front of governments and residents to choose solar and everyone that when people choose rooftop solar, battery storage. That’s good because people want it means SMUD will build fewer solar farms. solar, whether because of the energy savings or On the one hand, Kerth’s response is good because they want to do their part to reduce their because it highlights that when people choose burden on society. Ω rooftop solar, it saves the overall electrical grid 6





AmAndA Wong service worker

We’re just stocking up at the farmers market, getting some fresh veggies and supporting local farmers.

mArvin Jones customer service

Working on my immune system … You can’t really worry about everybody else. They gonna be coughing and sneezing. You gotta take care of yourself.

Amy FoX real estate

Staying inside more often for sure. ... And then, as much as we can, supporting local businesses, so they’re still alive and well once this is over.

Ben Allen state senator

We’ve just been buying stuff for our house and just getting ready, both logistically and psychologically, for holing up for a little while.

Allie mArcel musician

I made my own hand sanitizers, cleaned up my house, make my friends wash their hands and being careful. I think if everybody’d be careful, that’s about the best we can do.

mike mAkoFsk y stay-at-home dad and carpenter

[My partner’s] working from home and I’ve got my kid out of school, so we’re planning on not having plans. Planning on hunkering down and buying some good food, trying to stay healthy at home.






Let your circle be unbroken Women become stronger by helping each other 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


arch is International Women’s History Month, a time when we share stories of the women who have influenced us and made our world stronger through their work and their legacy. My mother, Linnette, helped make me the woman I am now. A native of Jamaica, she became a nurse in England, then immigrated to San Diego. She married my father and started raising three kids. And she taught each of her children that while we are all extraordinary, it takes a circle to bring out the extraordinary within us. Now as the leader of Local 1000, I have a big circle, which I achieved by following my mother’s example. To support her in her new country, she built her circle through a network of women. My first grade teacher became an aunt. And as my circle widened, many more wonderful women were welcomed into our family. In a circle, you’re never alone. Moms help each other out, watching each other’s children, lending a hand and taking care of each other in good times and bad. When I was in the Marines during Desert Shield, my husband got called to duty. I had just had a baby when flu season hit. My newborn got bronchitis and we landed in the hospital; I was scared and feeling alone. Tonja had just transferred in to where I was stationed, but we hadn’t met since I had been on maternity leave. Tonja showed up to the hospital with a peek-a boo Elmo doll and changed my world. Turns out she was a mom in a new town and wanted a circle, too. We create circles to draw power, to lend support

and to empower other women as well as ourselves. It’s not a transactional relationship; we are sharing our strength so we all become stronger. One of our union leaders, Shrhonda Ward, shared her story about her mother’s impact on her leadership and the circles she develops that empower here at Local 1000. Shrhonda’s mom was vice president for a health care union. Growing up, she remembers the phone ringing off the hook, people reaching out to her mother to help build their strength. While working as an employee at DMV, Shrhonda found herself in a difficult situation. While sick with two small children at home, her husband was called

While we are all extraordinary, it takes a circle to bring out the extraordinary within us. to military duty right after 9/11. Maria, a steward with our union, helped Shrhonda keep her job by accompanying Shrhonda as she fought — and won — to get her job probation extended and the training she needed. With that support, Shrhonda passed with flying colors. Maria suggested that Shrhonda become a steward, too. Shrhonda talked to her mom and reflected on all those phone calls, the responsibility of union leadership and whether she could provide that kind of support. By seeing women like herself in leadership roles, she was able to envision herself as a leader being supported by other women in the union. As a result, Shrhonda became a steward in 2002.

SPONSORED by SERvicE EmPlOyEES iNtERNatiONal uNiON lOcal 1000

Shrhonda Ward learned firsthand the importance of a circle of support. Photo courtesy of seIu LocaL 100

Over the years, she built on her circles, supporting other state workers and widening her network. In 2009, she became a chapter president. “Yvonne sees something in me that I don’t always see in myself, and there have been so many other wonderful women there to help support me in my leadership,” Shrhonda says. “They saw these roles as a good fit for me, and they did what they could to help me be successful.” “Being a leader isn’t easy,” she adds. “You have to be dedicated and ready for the fight, and do whatever it takes to win. Now, I help strengthen the circle that is our union.” We all need a circle; help yours stay strong. Yvonne R. Walker President SEIU Local 1000

SEIU LOCAL 1000 1808 14th Street Sacramento, CA 95811 (866) 471-7348 03.19.20








lind sa y o @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m

It could be the end BY JEFF VONKAENEL

Over the last 30 years, we have financed SN&R with advertising, mainly from local businesses promoting social gatherings at concerts, theaters, galleries and in bars and restaurants. The coronavirus-related shutdowns, postponements and cancellations are having a huge impact on these advertisers and our local economy. Many of these businesses have been forced to cut their advertising back to the point that starting next week, we will have to suspend publishing and lay off nearly all of our amazing and talented staff, we hope only temporarily. Over the years, we have experienced numerous crises. We were able to use our financial reserves to pull us through those times when advertising revenues were less than expenses. We were able to keep the paper going and to continue to provide local coverage. But over the last 10 years, as more and more businesses have moved their advertising dollars to Facebook and Google, the foundation of the media business model has crumbled. These large internet companies collected revenues without having to generate expensive local coverage. This has caused a crisis for most media companies, including the News & Review. Information and good journalism is needed now more than ever. This week, our editor Foon Rhee and his staff rewrote much of the paper with stories on the local impact of the coronavirus pandemic. This type of vetted information is desperately needed right now. And our dedicated team is experienced at sorting through and presenting complex information and then getting that vital information out to the community. Each month, more than 400,000 people read SN&R, according to the independent Media Audit. But without advertising revenue, we can’t meet our payroll. It costs us roughly $45,000 a week to produce 8





j e ffv @ne w s re v i e w . c o m

SN&R; that’s a little more than 10 cents for each of our 433,000 readers. The bulk of that cost is labor. This week we have less than $20,000 in expected revenue to cover $45,000 of expenses. That is our problem. The community cost of not having good information during a crisis is staggering. People need to know what their local governments and public health organizations are doing. They need to know what is happening with schools and daycare. They need to know how local businesses are adapting services, such as restaurants that are pivoting to take-out and delivery. And they need help dealing with the emotional side of such a crisis. We know other local journalists—at The Sacramento Bee, Capital Public Radio and elsewhere—will step up. But our community needs all hands on deck. And we want to help. While we will suspend publication of our print newspaper, we will continue to provide news and arts coverage online on our blog: sacblog.newsreview.com. At our sister paper in Chico, we produced more than 300 stories after the 2018 Camp Fire devastated Paradise. Our award-winning journalism helped the community cope with the aftermath. The impact of this coronavirus crisis will also be long-lasting. There is a misperception that content somehow just exists on the internet. That content needs to be created first. And that is our business. We are appealing to anyone who wants to help keep our journalism alive. To donate, go to newsreview.com/sacramento/donate. Over the last 30 years we have worked to make Sacramento a better place. We would like to continue to do this work. If you can help, please email me. Ω

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

Michelle Kuret is co-facilitator of the Sacramento chapter of the International Association of Near-Death Studies. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR NEAR-DEATH STUDIES, SACRAMENTO CHAPTER

A glimpse into the afterlife Michelle Kuret’s spiritual curiosity came early in life. As she sought to learn about the diversity of spiritual experience, she found that nearly every religion shared a common thread: near-death experiences. Now co-founder of the Sacramento chapter of the

International Association for Near-Death Studies, Inc. (IANDS), her meetings offer a monthly space for speakers and group members to share experiences of returning to the terrestrial world after being declared dead.

Tell me about Sacramento IANDS. We are associated with the International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS), and that is an organization that is internationally known, and has been around since the mid-’70s. The organization was founded by physicians and doctors who were interested in learning more and conducting studies into near-death consciousness states, including the near-death state, transformative experiences, out of body experiences. So they’ve been putting out probably the most research than anybody else in the last few decades. I’ve been itching to share near-death experience stories that have moved me and given me the hope I needed to stick around and stick through some of life’s struggles, essentially.

Why did you want to get involved? I don’t believe I’m a near-death experiencer myself … As a very young child I started questioning the beliefs of my parents … that kind of sparked—at that young age—sparked me getting out and going to the churches that I had access to … As I grew up, I just continued to explore faith-based ideas and questioned it, and saw myself as a seeker of truth. And I kept coming across these near-death experience stories through this journey of mine.

And when I got old enough to learn about Eastern philosophies, study Buddhism, and Taoism, it just seemed to fit what I had previously learned about near-death experiences.

Reports say people have a very positive, loving experience, but there are a few cases of those who don’t. Do you have speakers who have had that negative experience? Yes, we do hear more of the positive, but that may be so uncomfortable to share that [people] went to someplace that felt like hell, that was scary to them … Maybe they felt that they would be judged. So those stories don’t get shared as frequently … One of the stories that I heard was that he said it was terrible, but that it was one of the best things to ever happen to him, because when he came back to this reality—back to life— he knew that he had an opportunity to change his ways, to be a better, more loving person. And he was so thankful for the experience in that regard. People also have life reviews … [You] might see your life played back, but you may also perhaps see what you did to other people and actually live in their shoes as they experienced it, so you may feel the way you may have harmed somebody … If we all are connected … it’s a no-brainer that you would be able to step into that person’s experience … One gentleman—in the battlements of war he killed a general and he had to experience what it was like for the general’s wife and children to lose him, and so on. And so he came back and was like, “Oh my gosh, it transformed me from being a major jerk to being more thoughtful, conscientious and compassionate person.” Ω

IANDS Sacramento meets every second Monday, 7 p.m., at Sierra 2 Center, 2791 24th St. Find more information at sacramentonde.com.






One of the Fortune schools in Sacramento.


What’s best for black students? Public schools are failing them, but does that mean school choice is the answer? BY KRIS HOOKS

Black kids deserve great schools, too. The statement was written on the shirts of hundreds of mostly black charter school students standing in front of the state Capitol during a Feb. 5 rally in which education leaders and state lawmakers unveiled the results of a statewide study of majority-black schools’ efforts to close the education gap. But the study—funded and created by the charter school lobby and presenting charter schools as the solution to the black achievement gap—deserves more scrutiny than it ended up getting, cautioned a Sacramento State University education professor who reviewed the report for SN&R. 10





“While the problem is real, the logic, methods, and proposed solutions are problematic,” Frank Adamson, an assistant professor at Sac State’s College of Education, explained in an email. Fortune Schools CEO Margaret Fortune and the National Action Network coauthored the study, which shows that one in three black students in California are proficient in English and only one in five are proficient in math— lower than all other subgroups. The report also acts as an unsubtle advertisement for charter schools that serve mostly black and Latino students, including Fortune’s. “When one group of students like African-American students are the

lowest performing subgroup in the state—other than students with special needs—we should all be upset about it,” Fortune said at the rally. “We all should be outraged.” The question is what to do about it?

A SMALL SAMPLE SIZE There aren’t many majority-black enrolled schools in California, which makes sense in a state where AfricanAmerican students comprise only 5.4% of enrollment. According to the report, about 70% of California’s 86 majority black schools perform in the bottom 25% of student achievement. But the report also found that 16 majority black schools—13 of which are

charters—have performance rates that are sometimes double the state average. Four of Fortune’s nine charter schools are on the list of 16 over-performing schools, including three in Sacramento. “By taking a look at the highperforming majority African American schools, we can learn how these schools are achieving results at scale with African American students—a challenge for the typical California public school,” the report stated. Not so fast, says Adamson, who warns that accurately diagnosing the problem isn’t the same as accurately presenting a solution. While the study addresses a critical issue, Adamson wrote, “the conflicts of interest render the report’s findings of charter school success and recommendations of incentivizing charter schools as unsubstantiated.” The fact that Fortune coauthored the study amounts to research bias, and the report doesn’t account for the variables between public and charter school admissions, Adamson noted. “The article subtly conflates charter school success with two issues: student selection and ethnicity,” he wrote. According to state education data, 66% of students meet English and math proficiency at Fortune’s eponymous school in Sacramento. Two other Fortune schools in Sacramento—William Lee College Prep and Hazel Mahone College Prep—also made the list with more than 40% of students meeting proficiency levels. Still, despite the higher success rates, people remain cautious over whether charter schools are effective. And for good reason.

LOTS OF PUBLIC MONEY, LOTS OF CLOSURES A 2019 report from the Network for Public Education, titled “Asleep at the wheel,” showed that charter schools across the country have received nearly $1 billion in federal grants through the 25-year-old Charter School Program, despite nearly 25% of those schools closing or never opening their doors. In California, where nearly 10% of K-12 students are enrolled in charters, the failure rate is nearly 40%, the NPE report stated. Last year, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill overhauling the state’s charter school laws for the first time in decades. The bill allows local school boards the








SAFETY FROM SHUTOFFS power to reject charter school applications based on financial impact. But the law also protects existing charters from school districts’ financial considerations when applying for renewals. The bill passed after months of debate between charter advocates and the state teachers union. Charter advocates insisted the original bill’s moratorium on new charter schools would all but end school choice efforts in the state. The compromise allows for charter growth, but with limits dependent on local districts.

‘DEATH’ IN THE CLASSROOM Meanwhile, California is threatening black youth with “a bleak future” because of the state’s failure to provide them with a quality education, Assemblywoman Shirley Weber said at the rally. In January, Weber introduced Assembly Bills 1834 and 1835, which would require the California Department of Education to audit whether schools are investing as much they should be in disenfranchised students. The bills were introduced after the state auditor found that districts were letting hundreds of millions of designated dollars go unused to let it roll into their general funds. The money was often intended to help English learners, low-income students, and foster and homeless youth, the auditor said. The bills haven’t moved much in committee, and it’s unclear if charter advocates will back them as they would force the publicly funded, but privately operated schools to be more transparent. But Weber, who authored the bill that restricted police use of deadly force, said she feels it’s a matter of life and death. “I know that if you are not prepared, the world will crush you, and we have had too many of our children crushed,” the San Diego Democrat said at the rally. “And while I’m trying to save lives and keep police officers from shooting us, we also have to make sure that we don’t kill our children in the classrooms. Death is death—whether it’s physical or psychological. We have to be prepared.” Ω

Where will hungry students eat? BY RAHEEM F. HOSSEINI

It feels almost silly to mention now that we’re living in a contagious hellscape, but there was an election on March 3 and at some point that’s going to matter again—even for all of the schools that shut down this week. For the time being, the elected representatives who are in place now are the ones determining their response to a new coronavirus that has sickened hundreds of thousands worldwide and is prompting escalating panic on the homefront. On March 6, Elk Grove Unified— the fifth largest school district in the state—was notified that one of its elementary school students tested positive for the respiratory illness and was quarantined in a home with at least one other infected person, as well as three siblings who also attended Elk Grove schools but had not yet contracted the virus. It took 10 days for local schools to hit pause in a significant way. The Sacramento County Office of Education announced March 13 that all 13 school districts in the county would close for three weeks starting Monday. On Sunday, Gateway Community Charters Deputy Superintendent Jason Sample announced in an email that nine of his organization’s private schools, crossing six districts and two counties, would also suspend activities through April 13. As California Gov. Gavin Newsom noted in a March 15 press conference, more than half of the state’s public school districts, affecting more than 80% of students, have voluntarily closed to stem the tide of airborne infection. Newsom also acknowledged that 60% of students rely on free or reducedcost breakfasts and lunches from their schools, and said the state was working on a plan to make sure kids don’t go hungry during this uncertain period. In Sacramento County, local school districts are turning some of their campuses into afternoon drive-thrus.

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Sacramento City Unified will dispense lunches and breakfasts to any child under 18 at 13 of its elementary school sites. The district had almost 33,300 students who qualified for free or reduced-price meals in the 2018-19 school year, 71% of those enrolled. Twin Rivers Unified, which has an even higher concentration of disadvantaged students, began a meal pick-up program at 10 of its shuttered campuses. Tuesdays through Fridays, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., nutrition services representatives will hand out one lunch and one breakfast per child to families driving through the parking lot or bus lanes of participating schools in Sacramento, North Highlands and Rio Linda. The number of meals provided will depend on the number of children in each car and students will have to be present to receive the meals, the district said in a release. More than 26,000 Twin Rivers students, or nearly 83% of those enrolled, qualified for free or reducedprice meals in the 2018-19 school year, according to state education data. Voters in Twin Rivers recently returned two incumbents to their school board—Area 5 trustee Basim Elkarra and Area 7 trustee Linda Fowler. As of Friday’s election update, Fowler was squeaking to victory with 40% of the vote, enough to fend off two challengers who split the majority opposition. The California Fair Political Practices Commission issued Fowler one if its largest fines last year for using her political office to secure a $390,000 charter school contract for her new consulting firm in 2014. Fowler was first elected to Twin Rivers’ school board in 2008, after the district formed from the pieces of other districts. At some point, it may matter again that a fined trustee will again represent school kids in Arden Fair, Woodlake and Old North Sacramento— but right now there’s a crisis to manage. Ω

Some utility providers are making sure that the economic hardship caused by the spreading novel coronavirus doesn’t make it even harder for them to hunker down in their homes. Last week, Pacific Gas & Electric Company was the first major utility to announce it would temporarily halt disconnecting power to customers unable to pay their bills during the COVID-19 outbreak. The move aims to ease financial concerns about complying with social distancing directives as the state of California tries to flatten the infection curve. PG&E added that this policy applies to both residential and commercial customers and is in effect until further notice. “Our most important responsibility is the health and safety of our customers and employees,”PG&E senior vice president Laurie Giammona said in a release. On March 13, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District followed suit, granting nonpayment amnesty to its customers through March 31. SMUD CEO and general manager Arlen Orchard said his company was trying to do its part to help the region get through an increasingly unstable time. That same day, the Sacramento City Council approved a number of emergency measures to respond to the coronavirus. Though city staff had not contemplated it, District 4 Councilman Steve Hansen requested protection from power shutoffs for city residents. Mayor Darrell Steinberg and City Manager Howard Chan agreed that they could make that happen without adding it to the provisional ordinance the council was passing at that moment. Neither specified how long that policy will be in effect. (Scott Thomas Anderson)

FOLSOM CITY MISCUES What if Folsom announced an emergency City Council meeting one hour before it started, chose not to livestream it despite having the capability to do so and then issued recommendations to practice “appropriate” social distancing? This happened Monday—and it shows how some local governments are stumbling through a global health pandemic for which they have no comparison. In contrast, the Sacramento City Council convened a similar meeting three days earlier—and livestreamed it in lieu of allowing members of the public to attend. But the slow-paced suburb to the east is no streetwise metropolis. Its part-time council is made up of a health insurance agent, the head of an athletic association, a security rep, an engineering consultant and an architect. At least one member is over the age of 65, a subgroup California Gov. Gavin Newsom pleaded with just a day earlier to remain at home to cut down on the risk of infection. That five-person body proclaimed a local state of emergency at the March 16 meeting, freeing the upper-class city of 76,000 to secure additional resources and mutual aid assistance from other jurisdictions. The city also announced the closure of its public library, zoo, aquatic center and five other community facilities starting Tuesday. “The proclamation should not be considered a reason for increased concern, rather an important step in our city’s mission to reduce the risk of exposure,” Folsom Mayor Sarah Aquino said in a statement following the meeting. The council still planned to meet regularly until further notice— although while adhering to social distancing guidelines—but Folsom suspended committee and commission meetings through April. “City Council meetings are live-streamed on the city’s website,” a release stated. Well, not all of them. (Raheem F. Hosseini)







Assisted living—or sitting ducks? Elk Grove care home where elderly woman with coronavirus died has a checkered health and safety record BY RAHEEM F. HOSSEINI

News that the first coronavirus-related death in Sacramento County occurred in an Elk Grove home for the elderly raised the specter that the disease, which killed more than 30 residents across nearly a dozen senior living facilities in the Seattle area, could just be getting started. California Gov. Gavin Newsom underscored that fear on Sunday, when he made an unprecedented appeal to the state’s 5.3 million seniors to stay home during the pandemic, and called upon assisted living facilities to limit visitors only for residents who are about to die. But whether local officials can prevent a deadly outbreak from replicating here will largely depend on the competence of the people running these care homes—and the aggressiveness of those overseeing them. 12





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No quarantine was ordered at Carlton Plaza of Elk Grove after a female resident in her 90s died of complications from COVID19 on March 10. As for the company that runs the home and six others for the elderly in Northern California, Carlton Senior Living LLC has amassed 72 health and safety violations from the state, including 43 for serious violations. The three Carlton homes in Sacramento County have had a clean record since 2017, when a female resident left outside for approximately three hours in 90-degree heat suffered a stroke that May. An investigation by the California Department of Social Services Community Care Licensing concluded that a lack of staff supervision was to blame. The state licensing evaluator also found that Carlton provided outdated records to the hospital

where the woman was taken, indicating that she wanted to be resuscitated. The resident had updated her medical wishes with a “do not resuscitate” order in 2016. It wasn’t clear from the report whether the woman survived. Carlton ended up firing three employees and the state issued two citations, one for a serious “Type A” violation. The state also required a biannual audit of resident charts and emergency binders to make sure they stayed up to date. More recently, in 2018, the state issued a $10,000 civil penalty against Carlton for what happened at its Fulton Avenue home some two years earlier. According to a facility evaluation report, Carlton Crown Plaza admitted a mobility-challenged male resident with Parkinson’s that it knew was a risk for falls. Yet the man fell approximately 24 times over a period of 10 months, resulting in multiple head injuries and contributing to his death at a skilled nursing facility in October 2016. The state found that Carlton Crown Plaza didn’t do an adequate job of protecting the resident. All totaled, Carlton’s three Sacramento facilities have been cited 41 times for violating state health and safety regulations, including 23 times for serious violations. More than half of the violations (21) were found at the Elk Grove home, where a state licensing evaluator last paid an unannounced visit in November 2019 to make sure that it had cut ties with three employees who were no longer cleared by fingerprints. At the time, the evaluator’s census noted that 147 residents were staying at the facility, which has the capacity for 180. Jessica Arnold, vice president of resident relations for Carlton Senior Living, didn’t return a voicemail asking about the company’s mitigation measures since the elderly woman’s death. Prior to Newsom’s March 15 press conference, these facilities were being told to follow the recommendations of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at a time that the Trump administration was being criticized for downplaying the seriousness of the pandemic to better ensure the president’s reelection chances. On March 3, the California Assisted Living Association, which represents the state’s residential care facilities for the elderly, hosted a coronavirus webinar for its members. Josh Allen, a registered nurse who works with Allen Flores Consulting Group, told those watching

that the key was to prevent the disease from entering their facilities in the first place, and containing it if it did. “Our residents are a frail population. They’re susceptible to a variety of illnesses, including this one,” Allen said. But Allen also suggested that seasonal influenza preparation has been good practice for what senior homes must do during this outbreak, which illustrates just how quickly understanding of the respiratory illness has advanced in the weeks that it’s taken to cripple nations and overwhelm their health care systems. “We know how to manage that,” Allen said of the flu two weeks ago. “And fortunately, a lot of the interventions we’re going to talk about to manage the risks of the coronavirus— they’re the same interventions you put in place every year for seasonal influenza. So you’re going to have some muscle memory.” That is no longer the accepted wisdom. Current modeling suggests as many as 100 million Americans could be infected by a ravaging respiratory illness for which they have no immunity and for which a vaccine is months away. There are more than 250 assisted living facilities in Sacramento County, many just licensed for six beds. Of the roughly 1.5 million residents in Sacramento County, 14% are 65 or older, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The novel coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, is particularly dangerous to older people and those with preexisting health conditions. Known COVID-19 cases in California shot up 29% in just two days by Monday, with 160 of the 472 confirmed infections being in residents 65 or older. Sacramento County saw infections more than double to 40, an exponential spike that health experts are warning could accelerate without an aggressive disruption to daily life. With California standing at the precipice of what could be an unstoppable pandemic, Newsom tried to project calm while also issuing a plea for every person 65 or older to remain at home for now. “We are calling for the home isolation of all seniors in California,” he said on March 15. “We are doing so with our eyes wide open.” Ω

Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis gives a fist bump to Lenny Mendonca, the governor’s chief economic adviser, before a March 9 meeting on California’s trade efforts in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. PHOTO BY JUDY LIN FOR CALMATTERS

Will coronavirus take down California’s economy? The impact could be widespread, especially in tourism and trade BY JUDY LIN

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

As the stock market tumbled and oil prices collapsed on March 9, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s top economic officials sought to project calm from the world’s fifth-largest economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and a Russia-Saudi Arabia oil price war. Lenny Mendonca, the governor’s chief economic and business advisor, said that California is assessing the growing economic impact of the virus, which has shut down schools, suspended in-person classes at UC Berkeley and Stanford, canceled major tech conventions such as Google I/O and sidelined dockworkers at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. Mendonca sought to strike a balance between reassurance and prudence. “I want to emphasize that there will always be

economic ups and downs, but people will continue to visit our state as they always have,” he told a meeting of state agency heads gathered at the Capitol for an update on international trade efforts. “Our arms will be wide open when our friends from China and around the world are ready to travel again.” Agency officials all sounded the alarm on how the coronavirus outbreak might affect demand for California products from almonds to computer chips. On the same day the Grand Princess cruise ship docked in Oakland, the state’s tourism bureau reported a significant hit from people taking precautions against further spreading the virus. Business travel has dropped and cities are hemorrhaging convention business,

Ca lMa tte r s

said Visit California president and CEO Caroline Beteta, adding that the sector is unlikely to recover this year. California’s overall tourism economy is $145 billion, but the state has been disproportionately impacted by the quarantines of millions of people in China. In 2019, California welcomed about 1.8 million Chinese visitors who spent $4 billion in the state. Instead of a projected 3% growth in Chinese tourism, Beteta said the state now is projecting a 28% drop for the year. “It’s high, high impact from that market alone,” Beteta said. In response, the state’s tourism arm has targeted Chinese tourists with a marketing campaign. Up and down the coast, California’s ports are experiencing a negative impact on trade and goods shipments. Last week,

Gene Seroka, the executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, said 25% of the port’s traffic has vanished. Max Oltersdorf of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, or Go-Biz, said that as of March 9, there have been at least 60 vessel cancellations at the ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles and Oakland. Port officials in Long Beach and Los Angeles report some dock workers are being paid to stay home because there’s not enough work. The ripple effects will be felt by truck drivers, farmers and many other workers. Economic forecasters say California may be better off enduring the short-term economic pain of shutting down public spaces such amusement parks and public gatherings such as conventions in order to limit virus transmission and improve the chances of a quick recovery. “You want people to overreact right now to nip this thing in the bud,” said Chris Thornberg, founding partner of Beacon Economics, an independent economic research and consulting firm. “If this thing does get out of control and starts to affect the third quarter, then we have deep, deep trouble.” Newsom’s advisers note that California’s state budget does have some built-in resilience. The governor has proposed a$222 billion budget, which includes $21 billion in reserves from several sources. “We’ve never been in a better position to weather a recession,” Newsom said March 15. Workers have a safety net, too. In addition to activating an array of public health initiatives, the governor is reminding workers that state support is available to workers impacted by the virus. Employees who have or have been exposed to the coronavirus can file for disability insurance. Employees who have hours reduced or are laid off due to coronavirus can file for unemployment. And employees who are caring for a sick or quarantined family member with coronavirus can file for paid family leave. Those benefits, however, are often unavailable to gig workers and other freelancers, leaving them choose between staying home and giving up pay or increasing their chances of exposure. “It’s so early, so fluid. It’s hard to see the arch of where things are going,” said Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, who is overseeing trade efforts for the state. Ω






by ElizabEth aGuilEra and Judy lin Ca l M a t t e rs

California families scramble as coronavirus changes daily life 14






the first case of community spread in Southern California. Or Jeannee Wainscott, a physician assistant in Sacramento who has lined up a mom swap with two other families. Or Linda Le Park, late to her job and scrambling to drop her third-grader with ADHD off at her mother-in-law’s house because classes have been canceled at his school in Elk Grove. “Oh my God,” Park said. “I usually take him to school at 8 a.m. and go to work, so now, here I am, it’s like almost 10 a.m., and I just got to work.” California authorities have rushed to respond as the threat from the coronavirus has exploded into a worldwide public health crisis. With the nation’s largest and most diverse population, biggest economy and longest coastline, the state has

Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CAlMAtters

Maria Castellanos, 75, cares for her grandson Valentino, 5, amid coronavirus-related school closures in Elk Grove.

ocial distancing.” In this time of coronavirus, it sounds straightforward: Avoid crowds. Don’t shake hands. If you’re 65 or older, isolate yourself at home. If possible, go home and hunker down. In the complex real lives of California families, however, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s policy advice looked more like Michelle Cescatti in Los Angeles saying no to all comers—canceling her 9-year-old daughter’s homeschool field trips, a Knott’s Berry Farm outing, a bevy of play dates, plans for her father-in-law’s 82nd birthday this weekend. Or like Meryl Opsal in Pasadena, left without childcare options after her parents—a medical researcher and a physician who had been regularly babysitting for her—self-isolated with

Stuart Levin watches his daughter Arabella, 6, swing from the monkey bars at Kloss Park in Elk Grove, which closed all district schools until March 13 after a student tested positive for COVID-19.

Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CAlMAtterS

“We don’t know how long it’s going to be for. It’s better to be proactive and not reactive.” Jeannee Wainscott, a Sacramento physician assistant been on the pandemic’s front lines. As of March 16, eight California lives had officially been claimed by COVID19, the potentially lethal respiratory infection caused by the virus, and tests— which have badly lagged its spread—had diagnosed at least 392 coronavirus cases. College campuses from Sacramento State to the University of California to USC and Stanford had shifted from in-person classes to online instruction, and K-12 schools throughout the state announced closures. Google sent most of its workforce home with instructions to work remotely. The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments were canceled. The NBA suspended its season after a player tested positive. In the strictest measure of its kind yet, San Francisco and six nearby counties issued “shelter in place” orders—directing 6.7 million people to stay in their homes and away from others as much as possible--starting Tuesday and until at least April 7. State public health officials recommended that communities cancel gatherings with more than 250 people through the end of the month, that smaller events should proceed only if there’s social distancing of 6 feet per person and that gatherings of individuals at higher risk should be limited to no more than 10 people.

DIsruptIons to DaIly lIfe In California’s 14 million households, however, the crisis has translated into billions of contingency plans and choices, superimposed overnight on the already complex calculus of work and family. What happens when social distancing

means you don’t have child care? What if your germ-carrying preschoolers suddenly pose a lethal threat to their elderly grandparents? What happens to your teenagers’ future if their education is seriously disrupted? How protected are we if schools cancel class but kids then disperse to malls and movie theaters and bounce houses? At the micro level, far from the press conferences and epidemiological statistics, the long-term implications are setting in. For Park, a 40-year-old marketing manager, getting her 9-year-old son Brysen to his grandma’s house has become a two-hour chore, daily. She worries her 12-year-old daughter, Cheilin, who is in 7th grade, is missing crucial instruction. The district, she says, didn’t send schoolwork home to parents because the cancellation was treated as an early spring break. Junior prom, she said, has been canceled, crushing her friends’ teenagers. But her family has had to improvise, she said, ever since a student tested positive for the virus at the Elk Grove Unified School District, Northern California’s largest. “I guess I feel like the district is overreacting,” Park said. “I think they should just close down the school that was affected—have a cleaning crew go through and disinfect everything. I understand it’s new and it’s kinda scary but they handled it very poorly. The communication was poor.” Other Californians viewed the virus with far more caution. “I don’t even want to risk it,” said Lewis, as the L.A. mother of two packed her children off with her mom to the far reaches of Northern California. Her youngest daughter, she said, had spent 10 days in

the hospital for respiratory issues when she was younger. Her mother, a retired public health nurse, can’t risk getting sick because she is allergic to antibiotics. “My husband is out of the country and I’m working full-time,” said Lewis, who works in the television industry. “I feel like we want to be ahead of the curve and not behind it.” On social media and in chat rooms, parents debated how best to respond to the virus. Some who are moving to isolate or take kids out of school asked not to be named in this story, fearing they’d be accused of being “alarmist.” Others called for pragmatism or community planning. “We don’t know how long it’s going to be for,” said Wainscott. “It’s better to be proactive and not reactive.” For some families, forgoing grandparent interaction isn’t an option because they share the same roof. Joy Hepp’s Pasadena area home, for instance, includes herself, her partner, her 3-yearold-preschooler and her mother-in-law, who is on dialysis. Lately, she said, she holds her breath every time her toddler kisses grandma good night. “I’m just sitting here trying to wrap my mind around if she gets a cold, where do we go and what should I do?” In Elk Grove, where school had been

canceled, grandparents at Kloss Park seconded that emotion. “I love him and there’s no sacrifice,” 75-year-old Maria Castellanos said, watching her youngest grandchild, 5-year-old Valentino Lopez. In this time of coronavirus, the best bet is precaution, she said, pulling a blue lanyard keychain out of her pocket and dangling it. “I wash it every time we get home.” Ω

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






Bracing for financial impact City leaders race to respond as coronavirus measures threaten small businesses and employees by Scott thomaS anderSon

s cot t a@ n ew s r ev i ew . com

Steinberg said as the meeting started. “We want to prepare to meet this crisis with the urgency it demands.” First, council members passed a local measure conforming to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s directive urging the cancellation of all public gatherings of more than 250 people in the next 30 days. Up to that moment, the city had some 20 pending permit applications that fell into that category, though more than half had already canceled. The city will be refunding all permit and facility fees.

a small group of reporters had to keep their distance in Sacramento’s city council chambers as council members weighed their response to the coronavirus.

Photo by Scott thoMaS anderSon


n March 13, the coronavirus response came to City Hall with the City Council holding an emergency meeting in an empty 300-seat chamber, save for a scattering of 25 journalists wondering just how close they should be to each other. City officials then wasted no time enacting a number of emergency measures aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 and stopping its shadow from bringing working people to their financial knees. “We’re dealing with unique and extraordinary circumstances,” Mayor Darrell






Next, knowing great numbers of people will be staying at home as much as possible, the city established a $1 million economic relief package for small businesses. It will include a program to issue zero-interest loans for as much as $25,000 for those who have suffered financial harm due to the coronavirus. Steinberg noted the fund will be particularly focused on restaurants, retail stores and daycare providers, which are expected to bear the brunt of a public

stay-home movement.

“Nobody at all has any illusions about the real economic harm for our businesses and for our workers. But our sacrifices will also keep people alive.”

moratorium on evictions for people who were Darrell Steinberg, Councilman behind on Sacramento Mayor Steve Hansen, rent due to who represents employment issues downtown and caused by coronavirusMidtown, stressed the related disruptions. Other program might need to be California cities are now scrambling expanded if the situation gets out of to do the same. Separately, Assemblyman control. David Chiu of San Francisco has called “During the last recession this is for a statewide moratorium on evictions, something that we looked at, so I’m foreclosures and utility shutoffs related to very happy to see us doing this to the coronavirus. get ahead of the curve to help these However, the Sacramento city businesses,” Hansen said. “I want to attorney’s office informed Steinberg at be really clear that I think one of the the meeting that it needed more time to reasons this is helpful is to not only complete its legal research. District 3 to protect small businesses that are Councilman Jeff Harris mentioned he’d fragile, but particularly workers that are received a letter outlining concerns from impacted by this sudden emergency that the Sacramento Association of Realtors we find ourselves in. … One million about banning evictions. Without elaboratdollars sounds like a lot, but it’s not ing, Harris asked city attorneys to read it going to go as far as we’re going to while they were finishing their research. need. … We may need to revisit this in “I think some of them have merit,” a few weeks to see whether sufficient Harris said of the realtors’ objections. resources are available.” Steinberg appeared to brush that off, It may need to be sooner than that. insisting the council meet again as soon Two days later, Newsom called as possible to finalize the moratorium on for bars, pubs, breweries and winerunfair evictions. ies to temporarily close. Steinberg On Monday, Newsom issued an followed suit, and also strongly urged executive order authorizing local restaurants to move to only curbside governments to halt evictions through at pickup and delivery. While the moves least May 31. are voluntary, Steinberg said stricter Throughout a portion of the meeting, enforcement could happen if businesses council members were somewhat don’t comply. distracted by an advocate with the Poor “Nobody at all has any illusions People’s Campaign screaming at them about the real economic harm for our through the chamber windows. Unhappy businesses and for our workers,” the that only reporters were allowed inside, mayor said. “But our sacrifices will also Kevin Carter shouted: “Everybody keep people alive.” matters! Free speech! Free speech!” City leaders also agreed to coordiAfter the meeting, Carter told SN&R nate with the Sacramento Central Labor that he was deeply troubled that the Council on assisting workers who are various nonprofits working directly impacted by financial earthquakes to with unhoused and at-risk Sacramentans come. The labor council will be helping weren’t in the room and part of the employees navigate issues such as conversation. tapping unemployment insurance, paid “The most vulnerable among us have sick leave and family leave, and workers to be the first at the table and on the compensation. agenda,” Carter said. “This is taking away After allocating $250,000 for buying the public’s voice. … If you can have 25 sanitation supplies and hand-washing [reporters] in there, how come you c an’t stations for homeless encampments, the have 25 regular people in there, too? council turned to the issue of passing We’re not at the table. So all the time emergency tenant protections. On March we’re not at the table, that means we’re 10, the city of San Jose passed a 30-day on the menu.” Ω

This story was supported by a grant from the Independent Journalism Fund. To support more stories like this, donate at independentjournalismfund.org.

Raheem F. Hosseini contributed to this report.

sacramento leaders ignored calls to provide basic sanitation to homeless residents. now the worst-case scenario is here. by GraHaM WOMaCK


ohn Kraintz has struggled to get basic sanitation to Sacramento’s homeless residents before. Kraintz, who serves as board president of the Sacramento Homeless Organizing Committee, said he worked with a group of women who unsuccessfully tried to install sanitation tanks and portable restrooms in areas with known concentrations of unsheltered people. “The city has been making them pull out,” Kraintz said of the group. “For years, we’ve been down at City Hall trying to get them to open up bathrooms that have been locked up and sealed.” Now, a decade after the Great Recession signaled a seemingly-permanent end to public restrooms in much of Sacramento, the novel coronavirus pandemic might be acutely felt among the city’s homeless residents. And if disease strikes that population, it could spread with devastating speed. “With this coronavirus here, we can no longer afford to entertain this lack of hygiene,” said Kraintz, who secured housing a decade ago following eight years of homelessness. “We’re asking to start a pandemic here.”

City responds, but is it enough? At a special meeting March 13, the City Council declared a state of emergency in response to coronavirus and took several actions, including authorizing City Manager Howard Chan to spend as much as $250,000 to distribute sanitation and cleaning supplies to homeless residents. Responding to a question from SN&R at a press conference the day before, Mayor Darrell Steinberg said the money could go toward hand-washing stations. He reiterated that, even before the outbreak, the city’s drive was “to

bring the homeless population indoors” and that it would have 700 new beds by summer. An overnight survey last year estimated that 5,570 people in Sacramento County experience homelessness, most of them in the city. “But in the meantime, what do we do?” Steinberg continued. “We try to minimize the spread of infection among that very vulnerable population.” A day earlier, though, Loaves & Fishes executive director Noel Kammermann told SN&R that he hadn’t gotten satisfactory answers from local leaders regarding plans to address the homeless population’s potential vulnerability. “I’m still deeply concerned at the fact that we’ve been asking for restrooms and wash stations for years,” Kammermann said after a local continuum of care advisory board meeting. On Tuesday, Sacramento Homeless Union, Perfect Union and Councilwoman Angelique Ashby announced that hand-washing stations would be delivered to six of the largest homeBob Erlenbusch, executive director of the less encampments. Sacramento Regional Coalition to End It matters, because health experts say Homelessness, emailed board chairperson the coronavirus disease is deadliest among Sarah Bontrager asking that an item be placed older adults and those with chronic diseases. on the group’s April agenda to urge local According to last year’s homelessness governments to allocate $1 million “for a survey, nearly a third of individuals sleeping mobile shower and bathroom program along outdoors are 50 or older, and “are more likely with hand-washing stations.” to report various health conditions and other Erlenbusch added that a representative challenges.” from Goodwill had been at the meeting and While homeless people may be less likely to could get the project, which would consist of come into contact with international travelers, two mobile showers and bathrooms they are more likely to be in contact monitored by six homeless with older, sicker adults and lack people, up and running now. access to the preventative measures that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control County and Prevention has recomhomeless Czar mended. Homeless people can’t easily wash their quiet John Kraintz hands with soap; they can’t The city’s actions board president, Sacramento stay “home” when they came after a flurry of Homeless organizing get sick; and they can’t activity, which included committee practice “social distancing” the state releasing guidelines in camps or shelters. March 11 for homeless service Kammermann said his providers. They include setting up nonprofit, which serves roughly 1,000 ongoing communication with public health people daily, hadn’t had any staff or clients departments, identifying clients at high-risk showing symptoms of coronavirus. “It’s proband “urging providers to equip themselves ably a matter of time before it hits a little bit with prevention supplies, such as alcoholcloser to home,” he said. “And we’re going to based hand sanitizers, tissues, trash baskets, need to take some precautions.” disposable face masks … and mobile handOn March 16, Loves & Fishes asked washing stations.” volunteers and staff age 65 and up to stay On March 15, Gov. Gavin Newsom said home and reduced operating hours for most the state wants to move homeless people out of its campus services. of encampments so it is finding motels and Others have also called for more money.

“We’re asking to start a pandemic here.”

Sacramento Homeless Organizing Committee board president John Kraintz sits after a March 11 continuum of care meeting. PHoTo by GRaHam Womack

hotels and plans to put another 450 trailers across the state. Another stakeholder in the crisis is Sacramento County, whose director of homeless initiatives, Cindy Cavanaugh, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. At press time, the county had announced no specific measures to address the risk of coronavirus in the homeless population. With the Trump administration unable to provide enough tests to even gauge the disease’s spread, many have found the government’s trickle-down response slowfooted and inept. In Sacramento, that translated into a GoFundMe campaign to raise $5,000 for hand-washing stations in homeless camps. Organizer Caity Maple said she decided she couldn’t wait after getting no answer from local political or public health leaders about what they planned to do. Asked by SN&R at Thursday’s press conference if the city has enough money to ensure all of the different groups impacted by coronavirus could receive assistance, Steinberg said Measure U had given Sacramento ample resources. “We’ve got lots of ways we can partner with the state government, the federal government, the private sector to try to help as many people as possible,” Steinberg said. “And that’s exactly what we’re going to do.” Ω






by ANA B. IBArrA Ca lMa tte r s

As coronavirus toll rises, so does health care workers’ alarm


s California’s coronavirus strategy has moved from containment to mitigation, the health care workers on the first line of response to the epidemic are also finding themselves on the front line of potential infection. From internal conversations to calls for action from their unions, nurses, first responders and hospital staffers have sounded the alarm, raising questions about the safety protocols and spotlighting flaws and lags in response, in this state and nationally. “Nurses are eager to take care of patients and make sure that our communities are safe, but we need the right staffing, equipment, supplies, communication and training to do this safely,” Deborah Burger, president of National Nurses United, which represents about 150,000 nurses around the country, said during a public health roundtable earlier this week. “Put simply, if we are not protected, our patients are at risk,” Burger said. 18





The union has asked the state to notify nurses when patients sickened by the virus are sent to their health care facilities. They are also petitioning the state to release a full account of the protective gear in stock statewide, including respirators and information about where these respirators are stored, citing concerns over a shortage of respirators and other personal protective equipment. The nurses union, which staged a day of protest throughout California on March 11, says that some of the workplace safety guidelines for states recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are not rigorous enough to sufficiently protect health care workers and their patients. Earlier this month, the union released a nationwide survey of 6,500 nurses in which only 29% said their hospitals had a plan in place to isolate potential coronavirus patients, and only 44% said they had gotten information from their employers about how to recognize and handle the virus. As sick people turn up in emergency rooms, community clinics and school nurses’ offices, the workers who initially treat them run a high risk of infection. After a Vacaville hospital reported the first U.S. instance of community transmission and the patient was transferred to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, for example, health-care workers’ unions reported 124 workers were placed under quarantine. (UC Davis Medical Center later said that number was inaccurate but did not provide an estimate.) Concerns have also been raised about health care workers inadvertently spreading

the virus. Sonia Angell, director of the in five to 10 workers being sent home, how California Department of Public Health, many times can that happen before you said her agency is collaborating with all have a staffing crisis?” Wherley said. groups involved in response and checking The California Hospital Association regularly with hospitals and said healthcare staffing health care facilities to learn hasn’t become an issue where their needs are. at this point, “but it is Gov. Gavin certainly something Newsom said March everybody has to be 10 that the collaboracognizant of,” said tion has extended to spokeswoman Jan health care workers’ Emerson-Shea. unions. Newsom’s SEIU-United emergency declaraHealthcare Workers tion earlier this West, which month on coronaviDeborah Burger represents nearly rus allows health care president, National 150,000 workers across workers to come from Nurses united California, is also asking out of state to fill any the state to help increase access gaps should California expeto coronavirus testing for both workrience a crisis in staffing. Still, state ers and the general public. Spokesman Sean lawmakers—the majority of whom, like Wherley said the union also wants hospitals Newsom, were elected with the support to make it easier to track workers sent home of organized labor—have been sensitive for possible exposure to the virus, and to to health care workplace concerns. provide clearer follow-up. “Making sure we protect health care “They were sent home as a precaution, workers is extremely critical because but not all of them were tested before they we depend on these very same health were sent home, so what about the risk care workers to take care of the patients posed to their families?” Wherley asked. who may end up in the hospital,” In California and nationally, testing has said Sen. Richard Pan of Sacramento, been an ongoing issue. Though thousands chairman of the Senate Health of Californians are self-monitoring and Committee. Ω self-quarantining, only 1,075 people have been tested in the state, with a backlog of about 200 tests, Newsom said March 10. Commercial labs are supposed to help relieve some of that load. calMatters is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture Workforce shortage is also a explaining california policies and politics. an unabridged concern. “If each positive patient results version is available at calmatters.org.

“Put simply, if we are not protected, our patients are at risk.”

Photo courtesy of NatioNal Nurses uNited

Members of National Nurses United protested across California on March 11, including this event in Oakland.

em ic is Th e co ro na vi ru s pa nd es . di sr up ti ng al l ou r liv pu bl ic he al th of fic ia ls , Fo llo wi ng th e gu id an ce of in g ca nc el ed . As be e ar l al sm d an e rg la ev en ts ve rt is er s an d sp on so rs a re su lt, m an y of ou r ad su pp or t, to o. ar e pu llin g ba ck on th ei r t th e co ro na vi ru s ou ab ed rm fo in u yo ep To ke th e ot he r im po rt an t ou tb re ak , as we ll as al l . Pl ea se do na te at lp he ur yo ed ne we , ws lo ca l ne ra m en to /d on at e. ac /s om .c w ie ev sr w ne

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g n i g v i n i v r R p u S S

Where to go when everything’s canceled

by Lindsay OxfOrd lind sa y o @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m






the hottest soup ever! see Arts & culture


restAurAnts AdApt to coronAvirus see dish


Get your instA coffee fix see off menu



e are living in unnerving times. More and more cases of COVID-19, otherwise known as coronavirus, are appearing nationwide, and as of March 17, Sacramento County had 40 confirmed cases. On March 12, Mayor Darrell Steinberg announced mitigation plans that hewed closely to those laid out by Gov. Gavin Newsom. While all the measures are made with the best intentions, the prevailing “wait until April and reassess” plan could be devastating to Sacramento’s arts community. Verge Center for the Arts has canceled events and labs and closed their offices through the remainder of March. Additionally, their much-anticipated March cover-band event, the “Halloween Show,” has been moved to April. “As all of us look to reschedule programming and special events, the impact of the virus is going to have a devastating affect on Sacramento’s cultural landscape. Now more than ever is a great time to support whatever regional institutions you love,” said Verge’s executive director Liv Moe. “Become a member, make a donation if you can, or don’t ask for a refund on your tickets if your play’s been canceled or you class has been canceled or postponed.” Larger arts venues are also taking caution in March. Both the Mondavi Center at UC Davis and the Harris Center for the Arts in Folsom canceled all events through March 31. The Crocker Art Museum is now closed to the public until April 30. This includes all programs, classes and tours. Meanwhile, Live Nation, one of the country’s largest concert promoters, has canceled its arena shows through the end of the month. That includes those at Golden 1 Center, which has also postponed several shows that had been scheduled in April. Live Nation also books acts at many of the mid-sized venues in town, including Ace of Spades, so if you’ve purchased tickets for a March show, you may want to confirm it’s still scheduled. If the coronavirus infection curve flattens by the end of March and you’re itching for human contact, you can still, hopefully, enjoy these spring arts events still on the calendar.


live streAm locAl lAuGhs see cAlendAr

Beginning April 3, Axis Gallery plans to host two of landscape photographer Doug Dertinger’s exhibits: Traveler and My America. In his artist’s statement, Dertinger says he considers his role of photographer as that of “attendant, [a] gardener.” Both exhibits run through April 26, with a Second Saturday reception on April 11.

surviving on screen

Tower Theater’s monthly Cult Classic movie showings have their own survival thread: Survive the plague with Monty Python and the Holy Grail on April 13, and watch Rocky survive in the ring May 11. The Beatles survive hoards of adoring fans in A Hard Day’s Night on June 8, with off-screen screaming possible as well. Tickets are $10.50 each and available in advance at readingcinemasus.com/tower.

Thriving on sTage Elements of nature are represented in Flowers from fire: Ceramics and the International Art Nouveau at the Crocker Art Museum, June 7 to September 20. Photo Courtesy of CroCker art museum

Thriving ouTdoors In May, Preservation Sacramento and its partners plan to offer six walking tours of notable Sacramento architecture features in the annual “Jane Jacobs Walk” series celebrating urban architecture. Each of the six tours are unique, with themes like “Ghost signs and neon preservation” (May 9) and “Solarpunk,” (May 17) a tour of 1960s-’80s eco-conscious design. All six tours are free and open to the public; details are available at preservationsacramento. org/jane-jacobs.

Additionally, the UC Davis campus has been home to the Whole Earth Festival for more than 40 years. This free, family-friendly event is scheduled for May 10-12 and features environmentally-conscious vendors, artists, musicians and dancers.

spring landscapes Once the Crocker Art Museum reopens, if you need respite from Sacramento’s Attack of the Killer Pollen, its exhibit Flowers from Fire: Ceramics and the International Art Nouveau offers flora-inspired art without the sneezing. The exhibit opens June 7 and runs through Sept. 20. Entry to the Crocker is free for members and $12 for adults. Find out more at crockerart.org.

On April 7, Harris Center for the Arts plans to present “Bollywood Boulevard: A Live Multi-Media Concert Journey Through Hindi Cinema.” Video, live music and dance will guide the audience through the enduring legacy of one of India’s most prolific art forms. Tickets range from $16 for students to $58 for general admission premium seating. Purchase at harriscenter.net.

Taiko drumming troupe Yamato takes the stage on April 5 at the Mondavi Center for a lively afternoon performance. Tickets for this family-friendly event start at $12.50 for students to $85. Find out more at tickets.mondaviarts.org/ events.

reviving Through music Spring also starts heavy band-touring season, and if you’re on a nostalgia kick and seeking the soundtrack to your childhood, Sacramento has you covered: Looking for a folk-rock vibe? The Crest has you covered. David Crosby—formerly of the Byrds and Crosby, Stills and Nash and current prolific Twitterer of weed-based content—appears with his Skytrails Band on May 19. Single ticket prices begin at $50, and VIP packages range from $231 to $581. More at crestsacramento.com.

Nineties indie vibes hit Harlow’s when Built to Spill comes to town on June 14. No set-list information has been released, but with a Daniel Johnston tribute record coming out in May, it’s likely you’ll hear some good covers, as well. Tickets are $32.50 in advance, $35 at the show. Find out more at harlows.com/event/ built-to-spill.


Continue to check each venue in advance as events may be subject to cancellation.






Restoring the Past For the Present Art conservator Karen Alkons rescues art and history from oblivion By Allen Pierleoni


aren Alkons is in the rarefied business of professional patience, but that’s just part of it. Her acute eye for color and unwavering attention to detail allow her to do what very few others can. Simply put, she and her husband, James Alkons, owners of Northern California Art Conservators, clean and restore oil paintings and art on paper, among other specialized services. What they really do is preserve pieces of the world’s cultural heritage, and rescue from oblivion the tangible results of creativity and genius. “Having the talent and the ability to do it is where you start, then you need the training,” said Karen Alkons, who apprenticed and trained at several hallowed grounds of art conservatism, including the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco. “Patience is a big, big part of it,” she said. “You can’t get impatient and say, ‘This color isn’t going right, I’ll just make a new cloud here.’ You have to adhere to the standards of the field.” Alkons is a member of the American Institute for Art Conservation and holds a degree in studio art from UC-Davis. “Most art coming in from





Sacramento is 75 to 100 years old, and typically has accidental damage or surface grime,” she said. Clients include “people who have Grandma’s art and need it fixed, and private clients and institutions (including) the Crocker Art Museum and the Haggin Museum in Stockton.” Alkons has handled many projects that have been special to her, including the cleaning and varnishing of a massive 19th century Thomas Hall painting of Yosemite Valley. It hangs with other Hall paintings in the Crocker’s Gold Rush Gallery. One of her jobs for the Haggin was restoring 20 prints for an early-1800s first edition of James Audubon’s “Birds of America.” A current project is the restoration of a 4-1/2-foot-by-51/2-foot oil painting likely from the early 1700s. The artist, origin and title are unknown. “We have no frame of reference, so we’re still in the discovery phase,” Alkons said. “The most difficult object to work on is a painting that’s losing its paint,” she said, indicating


Karen Alkons shares her passion for art and the value of restoring old works. Photo by anne StokeS

the painting, so splotchy and dirty that the image was mostly indiscernible. “When it came in, we couldn’t tell what it was. All you could see were a woman’s two feet. It may look fragmented now, but I’m quite happy with the work we’ve done so far.” Total investment by the time Alkons is finished will be nine months, she estimates. One thing that irks Alkons is when “people put up a barrier between themselves and the fine arts. They say, ‘I don’t understand it.’ Until they go into an art museum like the Crocker, they’re not really going to know that,” she said. “Our brains are hardwired to see imagery, so go and just enjoy what’s there. You may find you connect emotionally after all.”

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iN the Spotlight

Spring into staying home A guide to having fun without other people Everything fun is canceled now. Concerts, sports, going out. It’s all

Temporary resident Ais Wyatt enjoyed conversation and complimentary soup during Queer Soup Night on March 1. The Brooklyn-born community has a chapter in Wyatt’s native Canada as well.

Soup’s on Queer Soup Night launches in Sacramento by NANCy ChAN

Queer Soup Night’s first Sacramento chapter launched March 1 at Solomon’s Delicatessen, where around 60 attendees were served their choice of complimentary matzo ball or mushroom barley soup. “This is a good turnout, especially for an inaugural trial,” local Queer Soup Night co-coordinator Erin Mahoney said. “It’s hard to predict how things will turn out, but it’s one of those things that’ll grow through word of mouth.” Chef Liz Alpern originally founded Queer Soup Night in Brooklyn as a response to the 2016 presidential election. It has since expanded into 18 chapters across North America as both a community and fundraiser for queer organizations. “It’s important to have spaces like this, where people can be with themselves and come to terms with being non-heteronormative,” co-coordinator Valerie Craan said. “Having spaces where there’s representation and others who can empathize is important. Queer Soup Night helps people feel safe and valued in their community.” To start the Sacramento chapter, Craan reached out to Alpern on social media and worked with Mahoney. Together, they managed the marketing and collected proceeds for the Sacramento LGBT Community Center. “Liz already connected with Andrea [Lepore], who is the co-owner of Solomon’s, and they met up about dates,” Craan said. “A lot of it was already set up. It was more about getting people to the event.” Mahoney decided against requiring formal signups or RSVPs to keep things “homier” and avoid newcomers fearing they’d get “spammed by emails.” “There were a lot of people connecting, and that’s the whole point, sharing a meal with someone and benefiting local nonprofits,” Mahoney said. “Liz 24 | SN&R | 03.19.20

arranged it to be for the LGBT Center. They provide a ton of resources to queer, questioning and trans folk.” Ais Wyatt, a temporary resident from Canada who found out about the event through Facebook, appreciated the opportunity to be represented as someone whose personal pronouns are “they” and “them.” “If you feel there’s a pronoun that encapsulates who you are, you should use it,” Wyatt said. “Ottawa’s Queer Soup Night has been going on for a while, but I’ve never been able to go since I usually had something going on.” After eating two bowls of the matzo ball soup with rye bread, Wyatt was tempted to make some of their own. Ashley Thomas, a queer parent who attended with their gender-neutral child Orion, likewise discovered Queer Soup Night through Facebook. “The soup is really good. It was a nice excuse for us to go out,” Thomas said, who had matzo ball soup with an order of Solomon’s pastrami knish. “When I go to new spaces, it can be exhausting. It’s nice to be in a queer space because there isn’t that onus to explain yourself constantly.” Thomas said they believed Queer Soup Night was “a nice event to let your guard down.” They do their best to stay informed about Sacramento’s queer community and keep Orion’s palate diverse. “I’m pretty big on soup. I think a lot of people consider it as a side dish, but in my house it’s very important,” Thomas said. “I keep chicken feet and carcasses in my freezer and make my own stock. This week, I made minestrone with spinach and squash grown from borrowed backyards.” For artist Moose Stephenson, the warmth provided from soup and like-minded individuals was just what the doctor ordered. “I have this awful day job and realize there’s better stuff going on, like the queer community. Weekends are the only time I can experience gayness again,” Stephenson said. “There’s a warm electric feeling when I’m around queer-identifying people, and it feels right to me.” Ω

Stay tuned for updates on Sacramento’s next Queer Soup Night at queersoupnight.com.

for the best—social distancing is necessary to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. To cope during this period of isolation and uncertainty, consider passing the time by streaming some of these things on your screens.

Friendship is br0ken! We get it—you were seriously looking forward to that dinner party at your best friend’s uncle’s house. But in the interest of personal and public health, you probably shouldn’t go. To convince yourself to avoid food-centric gatherings, watch The Invitation, a movie all about a dinner party that goes horribly, horribly wrong. When emotionally distant protagonist Will shows up to his ex’s house for dinner, things seem a little off—even a tad cult-ish. Director Karyn Kusama does a phenomenal job of building tension and also causing you to never want to meet up with friends ever again. Watch The Invitation on multiple streaming platforms.

Catfish season Is there a show more relevant than Netflix’s original reality TV series The Circle? Probably. This one’s still pretty fun to watch though. The goal is simple: In a social media competition, contestants rank each other to become the number one influencer. The catch? No one knows who anyone is, they’re each isolated in separate apartments and they can only communicate via profiles and instant messaging on an app called The Circle. Part-game, part-social experiment, the show is full of strategy, chat room drama and catfishing. Aside from that, it’s nice to see how other people cope with isolation. Mostly they just talk out loud to themselves—a lot. Stream The Circle on Netflix.

Seventh inning stretch Things are a little disappointing if you’re a sports nut right now. Let’s look at our options: March Madness? Canceled. NBA? Postponed. MLB? Let’s just … not talk about it. If you’re desperate, you could try teaching your aquarium full of fish how to play baseball—just give them little hats and bats, then coach them on how to follow through on their swing or throw bean balls at the Houston Astros. For those who don’t have fish, Ken Burns’ ninepart documentary series Baseball is now streaming for free on the PBS website. It takes you through the whole history of the sport, from pre-Civil War to the 1990s, and there’s very little risk of a spit-covered sunflower seed hitting you in the eyeball. Go team! Stream Baseball at pbs.org.

Escape to nowhere If cabin fever is getting to you and all hope seems lost, tune in to RailWay on YouTube. A channel dedicated to 24/7 live streams of trains chugging along like nothing’s wrong, this is about as good as it gets. Lounge in your chair and watch as Norwegian landscapes blanketed in snow speed by, and shout with excitement when a tunnel appears. You have no idea where you’re going, and that’s OK. Allow your worries to wash away, and let the train tracks take over. They know where they’re going. Trust the train tracks. Watch RailWay’s videos at youtube.com/channel/UCP8wWzfU cral_E6iNMdIdKg/featured.

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rom winter squash to summer berries, California’s bountiful year-round harvests are envied around the world. Here in Sacramento, we enjoy some of the world’s best food right in our backyard. And the best place to find the freshest fruits, vegetables and more is at Midtown’s weekly farmers’ market. “We have so much available to us and when you buy at the farmers’ market — especially the certified organic farmers that are out at our market — you know those funds are staying local and going back into those small businesses,” said Emily Baime Michaels, executive director of the

Midtown Association. “You know that it’s fresh and in season and meant to be eaten right then. It hasn’t been picked when it’s underripe and shipped across the country.” Every Saturday, you can find between 80 and 100 vendors lined up on 20th Street offering fresh produce, meats, flowers, specialty foods and artisan items created by local Sacramento makers. Every week is a family-friendly event where children, including dogs, are welcome to hang out, peruse vendor booths, grab a bite to eat (yes, they do have donuts at the farmers’ market) and enjoy the afternoon. Starting in May, free bicycle valet services will be available for those who want to keep their weekend commute green.

Head to the Midtown Farmers Market on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on 20th Street between J and L streets. These hours may be impacted by COVID 19. For more information, visit www.exploremidtown.org.

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not going to be ordering linen. This has the potential to affect a lot of people in a very short period of time.” With its front door propped open, Hook & Ladder executive chef Anthony Scuderi said it’s one less door handle for customers to worry about. Besides that small consideration, the restaurant also removed half of its dining room tables and continues to use delivery services such as DoorDash, and offers phone orders with curbside pickup. “You’ll be able to call us, we’ll place your order and we’ll take your credit card over the phone. That way once you get there, all we have to do is meet you outside, give you your credit card slip that you will sign and you don’t have to worry IllustratIon by MarIa ratInova about coming into the restaurant at all,” Scuderi said. Scuderi added that Hook & Ladder’s building owner reached out to the restaurant and offered to defer April’s rent and plans to work with them through May Sacramento restaurants adapt to the coronavirus and June. “The restaurant pays its rent on the crisis by offering curbside pickup and delivery customers that come in here, and when we’re dealing with a crisis like this it’s a by Steph RodRiguez ste p h r @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m little bit out of our hands,” Scuderi said. “[Our building owner]’s going to give us a lot of leeway and make it possible for the restaurant to still be around.” The Sacramento City Council has half capacity per Newsom’s guidelines. As President Donald Trump sent us into that. And we would reopen,” Williams approved $1 million in city aid to help Restaurants are adapting in these the weekend under national emergency said. “If you want all of these restaurants retail businesses and restaurants. It may uncertain times, with that reality due to the spread of coronavirus, some to be here when it’s over—support them. also offer zero-interest loans of as much as changing day by day. Sacramento restaurants and breweries I fear the tip of the iceberg. I think $25,000 to businesses suffering financial “We’re playing this minute by continued to host live music and even baby the next couple of weeks are going to loss due to the coronavirus. minute because things are changing,” showers. be even harder and we just all have to Elliott is hoping the government will said Deneb Williams, CEO and chef at But by Sunday afternoon, Gov. Gavin prepare for that.” extend more assistance to mom-and-pop WM Restaurants, which owns Woodlake Newsom directed all bars, nightclubs, Last Friday in Midtown, longtime establishments that create the unique wineries and breweries to close voluntarily. Tavern, a gastropub that sells comfort music venue Harlow’s Restaurant & cultures not just in Sacramento but also food, and Allora, a fine-dining restaurant. And on Monday night, he told restaurants Nightclub hosted British R&B throughout the country. Williams told SN&R that he and staff to close their doors for dine-in customers group Loose Ends. Harlow’s, “All small business—not removed half of the tables from both and operate only take-out. Mayor Darrell which has 55 employees, just the hospitality restaurants on Sunday. As for the overall Steinberg urged restaurants to move has since turned off industry—all small “At this time, it’s vibe with customers last weekend, he entirely to curbside pickup. the stage lights and businesses are essena little frightening, said staff and guests were upbeat. But the What followed was a series of closed its kitchen. tially a backbone but we also have high impact this virus will have on the industry Sacramento restaurants closing to the Its entire entertaincomponent of here and nationwide is undeniable. public, including Jim’s Good Food, which ment calendar is economy,” he said. hopes that we’ll get Danny Meyer, one of the country’s started an employee relief fund through canceled for the “At this time, it’s through this.” most successful and famous restaurateurs, GoFundMe. Randall Selland, executive rest of March. a little frightening, closed all 19 of his restaurants, including chef and owner of Selland’s Family “One of our but we also have Rod Elliott Blue Smoke and Gramercy Tavern in Restaurants, announced on Twitter that his biggest concerns is high hopes that we’ll owner, Harlow’s Restaurant & New York City. In Seattle, James Beard family was devastated that they had to lay our staff, our workget through this. Our Nightclub award-winning chef Tom Douglas closed off two-thirds of its staff. He said that Obo force, but it goes further downtown, Midtown 12 of 13 of his establishments and let go and Selland’s restaurants will continue to than that,” said owner Rod and surrounding areas are 800 employees. offer walk-in and curbside pickups. Elliot. “Every business relies going to bounce back and be “I don’t know what is going to happen. Before Newsom’s directive, popular on parts of the web of the social and as strong as ever when this blows I know that my company is prepared. Sacramento spots such as Allora, service industry to operate. For example, through and everybody gets healthy and We’re in a pretty good spot even if we had Woodlake Tavern and Hook & Ladder we’re not going to be ordering spirits, everything gets right again.” Ω to close down for two months, we can do Manufacturing Co. served customers at we’re not going to be ordering food, we’re

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Yousif Saba is the guy behind the coffee-obsessed Instagram account @saccoffeescene.

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Beside a tall window in Milka Coffee Roasters’ cozy Victorian turned cafe, Yousif Sabah contemplates his next @saccoffeescene Instagram post. Sabah, 27, migrated to the United States from Iraq with his parents and three siblings in 2006. He was in the middle of eighth grade and in addition to starting high school, he was arriving in a foreign country where he didn’t speak the language. English is Sabah’s third spoken language after Arabic and Aramaic. At 13 years old, Sabah said it was at first a shock starting a new life, but Sacramento’s quirks grew on him over the years and into adulthood. “I started exploring the town and I started falling for it,” Sabah said. “I’ve established myself here.” Outside his job as an IT consultant, Sabah developed a creative eye for photography and an unquenchable fascination for coffee. One of the things that changed his view of Sacramento was working at Origin Coffee and Tea, a humanitarian-focused cafe in Rocklin that recently closed. “Being on the other side of the coffee bar really opened my eyes,”

Sabah recalled. “That sparked the coffee love for me.” Sabah began learning about espresso, various brewing methods and just how much detail it requires to make a good cup of coffee. In September 2018, Sabah created the @saccoffeescene Insta account with a post of a cappuccino from Fourscore Coffee House in Roseville. The goal was simple: support local coffee shops, build relationships with local cafe owners and roasters and continue stirring up his love of cof fee. Now, Sabah has more than 2,500 followers and counting. A typical post on @ saccoffeescene is an overhead shot of a coffee beverage, usually a cappuccino with latte art or seasonal drink on the corner of a table. The caption is a quip about coffee or more extensive details about a new cafe. But Sabah has something else brewing. While talking with his friend and co-worker, Will Adams, the two came up with the idea to start a podcast. Adams had the equipment and audio recording experience, and

Sabah had the connections to the local coffee industry. The blend was perfect. “We are two guys who can’t be without coffee,” Adams said. Dirty Spoons Podcast will feature upcoming interviews with cafe owners, discuss the atmosphere of different shops and provide recommendations for listeners. The first episode, released Feb. 13, was on a new Vietnamese-inspired coffee shop in the Arden area called 18 Grams. As Sabah and Adams converse easily together, the vibe is relaxed with indie music in the background. Ideally, the podcast will one day be mobile so they can record with all the live spoonclinking, steam wand-hissing and customer-welcoming sounds. “Sacramento is a really good example of showcasing that no matter where you come from and what your background story is, you can fit into the community and have your own impact on the city,” Sabah said. Ω

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

Follow yousif sabah for the latest trends in sacramento coffee on instagram, @saccoffeescene.






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Coronavirus cancellation Big spring Flower and Garden Show put off by pandemic worries by Debbie Arrington

how coronavirus might affect attendance; event volunteers also were worried. “We got calls from gardening groups,” Larsen said. “Many members wouldn’t volunteer; they were afraid to be with the public. It’s true concern. Who knows what will happen?” Instead of requesting refunds, most participants are choosing to Known for its lavish display gardens, the San roll over their reservations until Francisco-Northern California Flower and Garden Show was canceled due to coronavirus concerns. next year, Larsen said. “Right now, we’re getting a real good response. Everybody says, ‘We’re there next year!’” It’s not only vacation travel, sporting events As the head of Cal State Shows, Larsen and music festivals that have felt the impact also produces other major home and of the coronavirus outbreak. Coronavirus garden shows. That includes the upcoming concerns have put a damper on spring Fine Living Expo set for Roseville’s new gardening, too. Placer Valley Events Center on the Placer Less than a month before its scheduled County Fairgrounds. The expo is planned Cal Expo return, the 36th annual San for Aug. 14-16 at the $34 million facility. Francisco-Northern California Flower & Larsen expects some of the vendors and Garden Show will not go on, said producer exhibitors scheduled to appear at the Sherry Larsen. spring San Fran-NorCal show to shift to “Look at our demographics. Many of our patrons are in the vulnerable group,” she said. the late summer expo. “Exhibitors rely on events for their “Exhibitors are traveling from as far away income,” she said. “This other event may not as Maine. We’ve got three weeks to go. We have the same level of attendance, but it will don’t know where we’ll be at that time. We be a good event. Under the circumstances, had to look at the potential impact.” this Plan B will work for most of our Larsen officially made the call March attendees.” 10, informing her vendors and exhibitors In addition to home and garden, the Fine of their options. One of Northern Living Expo will feature travel, wineries, California’s largest events of its kind, fashion and lifestyle exhibitors. Like the show expected to fill four buildings many in her industry, Larsen is hopeful at Cal Expo and was set for April 2-5 as that coronavirus will not be a concern for a major kickoff to spring gardening. It Sacramento area patrons in late summer. would have been only the second time In the meantime, she’s already working the San Francisco Flower Show was held on the 2021 flower show. in Sacramento. “Everything will be OK,” Larsen said. After nearly a year of planning for the “I’m excited. I’ve got another year to April show, the cancellation happened promote.” Ω rather quickly. (For more information on tickets, go to norcalgardenshow.com.) Larsen said one major group pulled out, taking its 30-by-100-foot demonstration garden and an afterDebbie arrington, an award-winning garden writer and lifelong gardener, is co-creator of the sacramento hours event with it. It wasn’t just the Digs Gardening blog and website. big companies that were worried about Photo courtesy of cal state shows

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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.

POST EVENTS ONLINE FOR FREE AT newsreview.com/sacramento


the architectural spaces inhabited by participants in the Bay Area punk scene, as documented by photographer Murray Bowles. Friday-Sunday 12pm-5pm. Through 3/29. No cover. 625 S St., Sacramento CA.

FRIDAY, 3/20 DEMONSMOKE: Demonsmoke, Yarrow, Anthracnose and Endless Yawn will perform at this all-ages show. 8pm, $10. Cafe Colonial, 3520 Stockton Blvd.

GHENI: Gheni comes to Armadillo music to

perform live. 8pm, no cover. Armadillo Music, 207 F St., Davis.


ELK GROVE FINE ARTS CENTER: 8th Annual Open Fine Arts Competition. Five categories including oil/acrylics, water media/mixed media, drawing/pastels, photography and three-dimensional art. Awards to first and second place in each category, Best of Show and People’s Choice. Wednesday-Saturday 11am-4pm. Through 3/27. 9080 Elk Grove Blvd., Elk Grove.

JAYJAY: Critical Matters 2.0, New work by

JOHN THOMPSON: John Thompson comes from

Robin Hill. Robin Hill’s work focuses on the intersection between drawing, photography and sculpture. Her underlying conceptual thread that moves throughout her work is her interest in collection, extraction and representation and in transforming seemingly inconsequential matter into meaningful statements, which ultimately become a mediation on time. 11am-4pm. Through 3/28. No cover. 5524 B Elvas Ave.

the Bay Area to play his singer-songwriter tunes. 8pm, no cover. Armadillo Music, 207 F St., Davis.

SUNDAY, 3/22 TWISTED PINES: Twisted Pines plays what they call American funk and they’ll be playing it in Sacramento. 2pm, no cover. Armadillo Music, 207 F St., Davis.

KENNEDY GALLERY: Modern Abstracts Exhibit.

SPAWNBREEZIE: Spawnbreezie will perform at

Goldfield Trading Post. 7:30pm, $15. Goldfield Trading Post, 1630 J St.


Kennedy Gallery celebrates the best and brightest in Modern Abstracts with works from more than 20 resident artists inside three floors of open studios in the heart of Midtown’s entertainment district. 12pm6pm. Through 4/5. No cover. 1931 L St.

PENCE GALLERY: Laurelin Gilmore & Liz Webb

We’re in a coronavirus pandemic. That means you should mostly avoid going out so as not to be exposed to COVID-19 or to spread the virus while not showing symptoms. So listen to state and local public health officials: Wash your hands often and thoroughly. Follow other good hygiene practices. Keep a social distance of at least six feet from other people. And if you’re in a high-risk group— older or with a chronic medical condition including heart disease, diabetes and lung

disease—stay at home. More information is available at cdph.ca.gov/covid19. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Mayor Darrell Steinberg have called on bars, brewpubs and wineries to close. Many other venues and community groups are cutting back on live events. Some cancellations are happening at the last minute. So before heading out, check with the venue for the most up-to-date information.

The Stories We Tell Ourselves. The Stories We Tell Ourselves includes narrative work by figurative artists Liz Webb and Laurelin Gilmore. Tuesday-Sunday 11:30am-5pm. Through 3/29. 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. Tuesday-

SATURDAY, 3/21 HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS: The follow-up to Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone finds young wizard Harry Potter and his friends, Ron and Hermione, facing new challenges during their second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as they try to discover a dark force that is terrorizing the school. (PG) 10am, $11.50. The Tower Theatre, 2508 Land Park Drive.

Sunday 11:30am-5pm. Through 3/31. No cover. 212 D St., Davis.

SECOND BITE: Second Bite Techno Feminist Art


TICKET WINDOW PVRIS Is it pronounced Pv-ris or

Puh-ris? Either way, Massachusetts rock band Pvris are scheduled to come to Sacramento with Eliza & The Delusionals for this show. 5/5, 8pm, $29, on sale now. Ace of Spades, aceofspadessac.com.


Sacramento, come on down! To the Memorial Auditorium, for The Price is Right Live, the interactive game show where you’ll have a chance to play in the showcase showdown yourself. 5/14, 7:30pm, $38-$58, on sale now. Memorial Auditorium, safecreditunionconventioncenter.com.

THE AIRBORNE TOXIC EVENT This bands name is a little more frightening right now. The Airborne Toxic Event won’t be coming around until this summer to

May as well get some tickets.

perform in Sacramento.

6/30, 8pm, $29.50, on sale now. Ace of Spades, aceofspadessac.com.


you didn’t think that cutting up a slab of beef could be a competitive event, huh? I definitely didn’t. Sixteen teams of six butchers will have three Tell me about it, Iliza. hours and

15 minutes to break down a side of beef, a side of pork, a whole lamb and five chickens in what’s described as the “Olympics of meat.” 9/5, 10am, $15, on sale now. Golden 1 Center, golden1center.com.


Shlesinger Sketch Show will be premiering on Netflix this year, as if you didn’t already know that. Shlesinger’s latest Netflix special UnVeiled had the comedian recounting her married life and late next year she will be bringing her live act to Sacramento.

10/23, 7pm,$39.50$79.50, on sale now.

Memorial Auditorium, safecreditunion conventioncenter.com.

will remain open with limited capacity and will offer the option of live-streaming their shows on their website. Willie Listen. A blend of comedy, nostalgia, and music, where we hope you leave with that earwig you never knew you wanted. 8pm. Friday 3/20. $5. 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. Saturday 3/21. $7. The Social Distancing Stand-Up Show. Stand-up comedy during a pandemic is hard. The guys at Stab! are taking a stab at it though. Check out the Social Distancing Stand-Up Show to see comedians sort of live and not quite on stage. 8pm. Sunday 12/27. $5. 1710 Broadway.


Installation. This thought-provoking exhibit uses dozens of Apple computers combined with powerful imagery and mesmerizing music to create an immersive space. As a unifying theme, the installation is a clear celebration of women, with representations from various cultures and throughout all stages of life from infancy to old age. 7pm. Through 4/30. No cover. 1930 5th St., Behind Suite C, Davis.

MUSEUMS CALIFORNIA MUSEUM: California Museum is closed until at least March 20; check the website for updated information. Toyo Miyatake Behind the Glass Eye. This temporary exhibition chronicles the life and work of Los Angeles-based photographer Toyo Miyatake, who 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.

AXIS GALLERY: Axis Gallery has canceled its Second Saturday reception, but will remain open during regular business hours. Murray Bowles 16 Frames. This exhibition of 16 photo-text artworks examines









SHINE CAFE: All events for the month of March have been canceled.

See the latest blockbuster from the safety of your own personal mobile isolation pod WEST WIND 6, MOVIES START 7:45PM, $0-$8.25

HARD ROCK CASINO AND RESORT: All events for March are canceled.

SACRAMENTO COMEDY SPOT: All events for March have been canceled.

LAUGH’S UNLIMITED: All events for the month of March have been canceled.

PUNCH LINE SACRAMENTO: All events for March have been canceled.

BLACKTOP COMEDY CLUB: All events for March have been canceled. PHOTO COURTESY OF ALI AZIMI

You never know what you had until it’s gone—a common sentiment in this particular moment. Luckily, there are still ways to hold on to some sense of normalcy while also being responsible and safe. Like going to see a movie premiere. The West Wind Sacramento Drive Ins are open for the time being FILM and available for patrons to attend the latest screenings of blockbuster hits such as Sonic The Hedgehog, Bad Boys For Life or The Invisible Man. The beauty of the drive-in is that you never have to leave your car to watch movies on a big screen. It’s like a mobile isolation chamber. You should probably avoid concessions though. 6916 Oates Drive, westwinddi.com.

CAPITAL STAGE: All performances for March have been canceled.

AUBURN STATE THEATRE: Wild & Scenic Film Festival postponed to 10/10. Showings of The Drowsy Chaperone have been postponed to 9/12-27. Fantastic Fungi is postponed.

SACRAMENTO THEATRE COMPANY: All remaining Hamlet shows have been canceled.

SCHOOL OF SACRAMENTO BALLET: All classes at the School of Sacramento Ballet including student and adult classes are canceled through March 29.

CROCKER ART MUSEUM: The museum announced on Monday that it will officially close to the public.

BLUE LINE ARTS: 12th Annual Lottery For The prom. Put in a song request, play games, win raffle prizes and buy your date an under the sea corsage for a Great White night. 7pm, $10-$20. Foothill Skate Inn, 4700 Auburn Blvd.





THE PARTY CALLED FEVERS: A celebration of music, diversity, inter-species communication and sonic imagination. A chance to explore new sounds, dance, converse and enjoy life. A crossover of genres a fusion of cultures. Join Brickhouse for an experience of non-stop music, dancing and good vibes. 10pm, $10-$80. The Brickhouse Gallery & Art Complex, 2837 37th St.

Poetry Slam is every third Friday at Luna’s. The show is unpredictable; neither the special guests or judges are known until the event starts. See poetry done out loud, hosted by Joe Montoya. 7:30pm, Call for cover. Luna’s Cafe & Juice Bar, 1414 16th St.



THURSDAY, 3/19 RESIN POUR WITH AWKWOOD THINGS: Learn how to mix and pour resin art and create different effects. You will make a trinket dish and a small wall art piece. Have you seen resin pour videos and wanted to try it? Here’s your chance. 6pm, $60$63. Arthouse, 1021 R St.

5 SIMPLE STEPS TO ENDING THE FEELINGS OF ANXIETY, STRESS, SADNESS & FEAR THAT LEADS TO DEPRESSION: This is a free online event. You will receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite with the link so you can access the webinar immediately. 7pm, no cover. eventbrite.com/e/5-simple-steps -to-ending-the-feelings-of-anxiety-stress -sadness-fear-that-leads-to-depression -tickets-90889913177.


MONDAVI CENTER: All events for March have been canceled.

MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM: All events are canceled through May 13.

HARRIS CENTER: All events for March are canceled.

THE SOFIA: All events at The Sofia including the events at B Street Theatre have been canceled through March 29.

STARLET ROOM: All events for March are

in the water, and they’re hosting a roller-


GOLDEN 1 CENTER: All events for March have

HARLOWS: All events for March are canceled.



postponed until Oct. 1-3. Sac Comic Con postponed to June 7.

3/21 Jade Novah show is postponed.

THURSDAY, 3/19 |

been postponed.

GOS ART GALLERY STUDIO: Brooches and Bowties exhibition postponed.

ART RISE @H16: Canceled for foreseeable future.

YOLO COUNTY LIBRARY FOUNDATION: In Conversation with Sharon Washington has been postponed.

EDGE OF SPRING: The Edge of Spring Fantasy Fair has been postponed.

SACRAMENTO ROLLER DERBY: Double Header Kodiaks & O.A.F. event is canceled.

SACRAMENTO REPUBLIC FC: All matches are canceled until at least April 8.

YOUTH, PARKS & COMMUNITY ENRICHMENT CENTERS: All events at all Youth, Parks & Community Enrichment centers are canceled, facilities remain open.

ROCKLIN PARKS & RECREATION: All programs are canceled through March 31 including group classes for seniors, youth sports programs and community activity courses.

CALIFORNIA RAILROAD MUSEUM: The museum will be closed for the foreseeable future.

SACRAMENTO CHILDREN’S MUSEUM: The museum remains open, but all events for March are canceled.

SACRAMENTO HISTORY MUSEUM: The museum is closed through at least March 31, and all events are canceled through at least April 15.

SACRAMENTO ZOO: The zoo is closed through at least March 31.

CLAIMSTAKE BREWING CO.: Kith & Kin Music Festival has been canceled.

TOWER CAFE: Tower Cafe will be closed for dining until further notice.

JIM’S GOOD FOOD: Jim’s Good Food will be

PENCE GALLERY: Closed until at least 3/22. CREST THEATRE: All events postponed through March 31.

REGAL CINEMAS: All Regal cinemas will be closed including, Regal Natomas Marketplace, Regal Delta Shores and Regal UA Laguna Village.

TOWER THEATRE: International Fly Fishing Film Festival has been postponed.

closed for dining until further notice.

RED RABBIT KITCHEN & BAR: Red Rabbit Kitchen & Bar will be offer delivery and takeout options from 4pm-8pm.

MULVANEY’S B&L: Mulvaney’s B&L will be closed for dining until March 23.

THE WATERBOY: Closed for dining until further notice.

ALLORA: Closed for dining and delivery and takeout are availble until further notice.

WOODLAKE TAVERN: Closed for dining and delivery and takeout will be available.

KASBAH LOUNGE: Closed for dining until further notice.

PUNCH BOWL SOCIAL: Closed for dining until further notice.

HOP GARDENS TAPROOM: Closed for dining until further notice.

DEVINE GEALATERIA & CAFE: Closed for dining until April 1.

URBAN ROOTS BREWING & SMOKEHOUSE: Closed for dining, takeout is available.

MIKUNI: All nine locations closed for dining until further notice, takeout is available.

THE KITCHEN: Closed for dining until further notice.

CHANDO’S CANTINA: Closed for dining until further notice.

ONESPEED: Closed until further notice, delivery and takeout are available.

SUTTER STREET STEAKHOUSE: Closed until further notice.

ELLA DINING ROOM & BAR: Closed until further notice.

SELLAND’S MARKET-CAFE: Closed until further notice, delivery and takeout are available.

OBO ITALIAN TABLE & BAR: Closed until further notice, delivery and takeout is available.

OLD SPAGGHETTI FACTORY: Closed for two weeks.

NECTAR CAFE: Closed until further notice. BRASSERIE CAPITALE: Closed until further notice.

CRAWDADS ON THE RIVER: Closed until further notice.

BARWEST: Closed until further notice. THE BURGER SALOON: Closed for at least two weeks, takeout available.

FLAMING GRILL CAFE: Closed until further notice, takeout and delivery options available for each location.

NOPALITOS SOUTHWESTERN CAFE: Closed until further notice.

Sacramento State are canceled until May.

CAL EXPO: Quilt, Craft and Sewing Festival

HOLY DIVER: 3/19 Sleep On It show is canceled.



through March 18. All March events have been canceled.

SACRAMENTO STATE: All events hosted by

been canceled.

SUNDAY, 3/22

Arts has been postponed until September.

SACRAMENTO LIBRARY: Libraries will be closed


ACE OF SPADES: All shows until April 9 have


been postponed.


Cleanse yourself of coronavirus concerns with comedy cast live online STABCOMEDYTHEATER.COM, 8PM, NO COVER

You’ve taken social distancing seriously. You’ve already seen every season of The Office 32 times and at this point it’s just providing background noise. What you really want to do is to see a live comedy show. Well you’re in luck! Jesse Jones and John Morris of Stab! Comedy Theater are bringing you live comedy through the internet. Their entire weekend lineup, including their Thursday and Sunday open-mic—re-dubbed the Social Distancing Open-Mic—and the latest installment of Willie Listen will be live streamed on their website. So before you hit play on your 33rd viewing of The Office, COMEDY check out their weekend lineup and laugh your socially distant woes away. 1710 Broadway, stabcomedytheater.com.


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c a n n a b i s

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign rally on Aug. 22, 2019 at Cesar Chavez Plaza. Photo by ashley hayes-stone

The green debate Whether Democrat or Republican, federal legalization—and who supports it—is a hot topic during the 2020 election by BonniBelle Chukwuneta

The Democratic field for president has drastically narrowed with Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders the remaining contenders for the chance to go against incumbent President Donald Trump. With numerous issues to compare, SN&R focuses on the presidential candidates’ stances on cannabis legalization. Since 1970, cannabis has been classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, next to harmful narcotics such as heroin and methamphetamine, despite widespread acceptance of cannabis, especially medicinally, and its thriving industry and culture. Such a classification defines cannabis, according to federal law, as having no medicinal purpose or benefits and subject to illicit use or abuse. Research and studies have since proven this untrue, yet it remains illegal on the federal level. 32





Politicians have come a long way since “just say no” and are now embracing progressive stances, including full legalization. Here’s where the 2020 presidential candidates stand on cannabis.

Democratic Party Joe Biden

Of the major Democratic candidates still in contention, Biden is the only one who does not have his stance on marijuana nor its possible legalization on his website. His stance has very

much been status quo in the past with his opposition to legalization being well known. Biden was vice president in an Obama administration that chose not to pursue legalization on the federal level. He has reiterated in multiple debates that he has no intention of legalizing marijuana and still argues that it may be a gateway to harder drugs despite research proving the contrary. Biden’s stance is quite unpopular. According to a 2019 Pew Research Center survey, 67% of Americans support marijuana legalization with a whopping 91% supporting its use medicinally—something for Biden to consider should he become the nominee. Tulsi Gabbard

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii is yet to suspend her campaign despite having mustered only two Democratic delegates

thus far. Nonetheless, Gabbard has spent a lot of her time in Congress fighting for cannabis reform. She introduced two bipartisan cannabis bills—the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2019 and Marijuana Data Collection Act of 2019—and co-sponsored numerous others. Gabbard has frequently referred to current marijuana laws as “archaic” and supports efforts to fully decriminalize the plant, allow physicians to prescribe marijuana as a medicine to veterans and more. Although it seems her presidential hopes are over this election season, she has a consistent track record of advocating for cannabis reform.

Bernie Sanders

It’s no secret that Sanders has long been in favor of marijuana legalization

A holistic PAth to heAling with his current vision being more progressive than any candidate in history. Prior to running for president, Sanders was introducing medical marijuana legislation in the U.S. House. In 2015, he filed the first-ever Senate bill to end the federal prohibition on cannabis. A year later, he became the first major presidential candidate to come out in support of marijuana legalization. Now, his stance includes expunging all marijuana-related convictions and ensuring that communities most affected by what he calls “ridiculous” marijuana laws will be the ones to benefit from its legalization. Should he become the Democratic nominee and win the presidency in November, Sanders vows to sign an executive order to legalize marijuana in his first 100 days in the White House.

Republican Party Donald J. Trump

Trump once advocated the legalization of marijuana years before he became president. After nearly four years in office, however, Trump’s stance on marijuana and legalization has been fairly conservative. With a Republican majority in his first two years in office, marijuana remained a Schedule 1 controlled substance. Democrats regained control of the House in 2018 and have passed numerous cannabis reform bills, including a legalization bill that would remove it from Schedule1; all sit untouched in Mitch McConnell’s Republican Senate. Though the Trump administration has mostly maintained that it would let

the states decide the fate of legalization, Trump has since veered in his most recent budget proposal, slashing state medical cannabis protections. This isn’t the first time Trump has tried to remove these protections, however. Congress has been in agreement on its necessity and is likely to reintroduce them for Senate approval again.

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Unbeknownst to many, Trump has a competitor in the Republican primary. Bill Weld, a former two-term governor of Massachusetts, calls himself as a traditional Republican. He served as assistant counsel during Watergate and assistant U.S. Attorney General for the criminal division under President Ronald Reagan. Weld has also been at the forefront of social issues in Massachusetts, including LGBTQ+ rights. He has supported the legalization of medical marijuana since 1992 and aided the effort to legalize recreational cannabis use in Massachusetts in 2016. It states on his campaign site that Weld favors immediate descheduling of cannabis as a Schedule 1 narcotic and cites research in Israel that proves that cannabis can have positive outcomes on diseases including Parkinson’s, cancer and multiple sclerosis. Ω

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mirror and started giggling because I definitely looked like I was high AF. Fortunately, there was coffee and non-infused snacks and good music, Funny you should ask. I just landed so I just chilled and giggled ’til I felt in Barcelona after a six-hour layover sober enough to get a cab. in Amsterdam, and those are the two There was one other time where cities that get me the most stoned, I got hella high—but I don’t like apparently. to talk about it. Let’s just say one Twenty-something years ago, I should be careful with one’s edibles was the emcee at the High Times when taking the red-eye Greyhound cup in Amsterdam. As you might from Sac to Portland. Nothing like imagine, I had a lot of weed left at a small existential crisis whilst the end of the week and I tried to riding a bus through Oregon to help smoke it all before getting on the you put your life in perspective. plane. (I probably had 9 to 10 grams Greyhound bus drivers are cool, but of weed and hash on me and I didn’t they are strict. Weed is definitely want it to go to waste.) I smoked not allowed, and the driver will kick maybe 3 grams in about an hour you off the bus (sometimes on the before throwing in the towel and side of the road) if they know giving the rest of my stash to you are stoned. But that some random tourist. Greyhound ride was a Let me tell you: long time ago, way Being hella stoned before lab tests while trying to and the discovery find the train Let’s just say one should of using CBD that goes to the be careful with one’s as a way to stop airport when you edibles when taking the the effects of don’t read Dutch THC, so you and you are too red-eye Greyhound from don’t become an stoned to ask Sac to Portland. anxious paranoid for directions is stoner mess. quite the challenge. Now, they print the I’m a professional, amount of THC right so I managed to hold on the package, making it together and get to my it way easier to control your flight—but it was close. dosage, and I often carry some sort The other time I got incredibly of CBD product with me to certain high was just last year. I hosted a events, just in case. Ω cannabis-infused edibles competition at Dank Grass Club in Barcelona. One of the contestants had made a lemon-meringue tart. I had a small piece, and it was good, so I had another small piece. Then a little bit of the cake and ice cream from the Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento other competitor. Then another small comedian, activist and marijuana piece of the lemon tart. Woohoo! expert. Email him questions at About 40 minutes later I. Was. Faded. ask420@newsreview.com. A friend who has known me for 20 years told me that she had never seen @Ngaio420 me look high before. I looked in the 34





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Love in the time of coVID-19 by JOey GARCIA


your anxiety so you have more inner “If you are a fearful person, the world space to handle uncertainty. Common has much to offer you right now. If it sense operates more efficiently in the is not your practice to use events in the absence of unnecessary fear. Be cautious world to scare yourself, you might feel and informed, not fearful. alone and misunderstood. Be assured: Back to the cocoon. The instructions You are not alone. Stay rooted in clarity from federal and state public health and common sense.” officials to stay out of large gatherings I wrote those words recently on has resulted in cancellations the Ask Joey Facebook page of many conferences and in response to increasing special events. Have anxiety about the unexpected openings in coronavirus. The Do everything your schedule? Create a pandemic, like any you can to reduce retreat. Use it to grow other situation that accustomed to quiet— your anxiety so you occurs in life, is a no TV, no podcast, mirror that reflects us have more inner no music. Listen to back to ourselves. Or, space to handle your thoughts. Become in the words of a Zen aware of the way your uncertainty. Buddhist koan: “How mind operates. Unpack you do anything is how the stories it tells you. you do everything.” Question the veracity of your Here are a few thoughts beliefs. If you have children, teachabout our relationship to COVID-19: ing them how to respond to a crisis wisely It’s a wake-up call. Many of is a tremendous gift, one they are unlikely us sleepwalk through our day. The to learn elsewhere. coronavirus outbreak demands we pay The voice of one rational person is attention. We’re asked to notice who sometimes enough to change the way and what we touch and to clean up after others see and experience the world. Be ourselves. We’re told to stay home if the awakened change. That way, when we’re sick. In other words, we’re asked you look back at 2020, you will be to return to the basic hygiene practices grateful that you choose to stay aware and taught in elementary school. We’re in the moment, rather than feed fear. Ω also invited to return to the basic tenets of spirituality and religion. Self-love demands that we allow ourselves to rest away from others when we are ill. Love of others demands a belief in equality. MeDItatIon oF the week Not one of us is so important that we can’t take time off to self-quarantine if we “What the mind doesn’t are sick. And, all of us must contribute understand, it worships or to creating communities where those fears,” said author Alice who are ill can afford time off to recover Walker. Have you befriended without suffering a loss of necessary reality? income. an invitation to better self-care. Anyone with a history of trauma or who struggles with anxiety can be more easily triggered by a situation that is out of their control. If this is you, or someone you Write, email or leave a message for love, focus on what you can control— Joey at the News & Review. Give yourself. Meditate more often, spend time your name, telephone number (for verification purposes only) and question—all in nature, practice yoga or Tai Chi. Cut correspondence will be kept strictly confidential. back on caffeinated beverages and sugar. Write Joey, 1124 Del Paso Boulevard, Sacramento, CA Avoid entertainment designed to scare 95815; call (916) 498-1234, ext. 1360; or email you. Do everything you can to reduce askjoey@newsreview.com. 36





We interrupt your regularly scheduled horoscopes to offer insights about the virusdriven turning point that the whole world is now experiencing. And while the coronavirus is the main driving force, it won’t be the only factor. Here’s the astrological lowdown: Throughout 2020, there’s a rare confluence of three planets in Capricorn: Pluto, Saturn and Jupiter. They are synergizing each other’s impacts in ways that confound us and rattle us. In the best-case scenario, they’ll also energize us to initiate brave transformations in our own personal lives as well as in our communities. I encourage you to respond to the convulsion by deepening your understanding of how profoundly interconnected we all are and upgrading the way you take care of yourself, the people you love and our natural world. In the horoscopes below, I suggest personal shifts that will be available to you during this once-in-a-lifetime blend of planetary energies.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Possible crises: 1.

Love may feel confusing or unpredictable. 2. You may come up against a block to your creativity. Potential opportunities: 1. You’ll be energized to generate new understandings about how to ensure that love works well for you. 2. Your frustration with a creative block will motivate you to uncover previously hidden keys to accessing creative inspiration.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Possible crises: 1.

You may experience disturbances in your relationships with home and family. 2. You may falter in your ability to maintain a strong foundation. Potential opportunities: 1. Domestic disorder could inspire you to reinvent your approach to home and family, changing your life for the better. 2. Responding to a downturn in your stability and security, you’ll build a much stronger foundation.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Possible crises:

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Possible crises: 1.

1. There may be carelessness or a lack of skill in the ways you and your associates communicate and cultivate connectivity. 2. You may have problems blending elements that really need to be blended. Potential opportunities: 1. You’ll resolve to communicate and cultivate connectivity with a renewed panache and vigor. 2. You’ll dream up fresh approaches to blending elements that need to be blended.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Possible crises: 1.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Possible crises:

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Possible crises: 1.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Possible predicament: You may have an identity

Your power spot may be challenged or compromised. 2. Your master plan might unravel. 3. There could be disruptions in your ability to wield your influence. Potential opportunities: 1. You’ll be motivated to find an even more suitable power spot. 2. A revised master plan will coalesce. 3. You’ll be resourceful as you discover novel ways to wield your influence. Your vision of the big picture of your life may dissipate. 2. Old reliable approaches to learning crucial lessons and expanding your mind could lose their effectiveness. Potential opportunities: 1. You’ll be inspired to develop an updated vision of the big picture of your life. 2. Creative new strategies for learning and expanding your mind will invigorate your personal growth. There may be breakdowns in communication with people you care about. 2. Contracts and agreements could fray. 3. Sexual challenges might complicate love. Potential opportunities: 1. You’ll be inspired to reinvent the ways you communicate and connect. 2. Your willingness to revise agreements and contracts could make them work better for all concerned. 3. Sexual healing will be available.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Possible crises in the coming months: 1. Friends and associates

could change in ways that are uncomfortable for you. 2. Images and expectations that people have of you may not match your own images and expectations. Potential opportunities: 1. If you’re intelligent and compassionate as you deal with the transformations in your friends and associates, your relationships could be rejuvenated. 2. You might become braver and more forceful in expressing who you are and what you want.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Possible crises: 1. Your

job may not suit you as well as you wish. 2. A health issue could demand more of your attention than you’d like. Potential opportunities: 1. You’ll take innovative action to make your job work better for you. 2. In your efforts to solve a specific health issue, you’ll upgrade your entire approach to staying healthy long-term.

1. Money may be problematic. 2. Your personal integrity might undergo a challenge. 3. You could get lax about translating your noble ideas into practical actions. Potential opportunities: 1. You’ll find inventive solutions for boosting your wealth. 2. You’ll take steps to ensure your ethical code is impeccable. 3. You’ll renew your commitment to translating your noble ideals into practical action.

crisis. Who are you, anyway? What do you really want? What are your true intentions? Potential opportunity: You’ll purge self-doubts and fuzzy self-images. You’ll rise up with a fierce determination to define yourself with clarity and intensity and creativity.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Possible crises: 1.

You’ll be at risk for botched endings. 2. You may be tempted to avoid solving long-term problems whose time is up. Potential opportunities: 1. You’ll make sure all endings are as graceful and complete as possible. 2. You’ll dive in and finally resolve long-term problems whose time is up.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Possible crises: 1.

Due to worries about your self-worth, you may not accept the help and support that are available. 2. Due to worries about your self-worth, you might fail to bravely take advantage of chances to reach a new level of success. Potential opportunities: 1. You’ll take dramatic action to enhance your sense of self-worth, empowering you to welcome the help and support you’re offered and take advantage of chances to reach a new level of success.

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