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SACRAMENTOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S NEWS & ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY | VOLUME 32, ISSUE 4 | ThURSDAY, OCTObER 8, 2020 | SACRAMENTO.NEWSREVIEW.COM | @SACNEWSREVIEW
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2020 ELECTION COVERAGE
Lining up on local measures Most groups are on same side on strong mayor and rent control, but Sacramento voters who split their ballot may decide outcome by Foon Rhee
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poStelectioN iSSue In our post-election issue, look for analysis of local results and more. aD reservatIon DeaDlIne: october 23 Joe Chiodo, Publisher 916-224-5677
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strong mayor, which he calls an ill-timed power grab, and opposing the rent control measure, which he says will scare off affordable housing developers. On the other side, Les Simmons, who is in the runoff for the District 8 council seat, supports strong mayor, partly due to the racial equity provision and the $40 million set aside for inclusive economic development. He also backs the rent control measure, saying he often get calls from tenants who can’t afford their rent or have a problem landlord. Sean Loloee, who is challenging Warren in District 2, also supports strong mayor and rent control. There are also some intriguing differences within the same movement. SEIU Local 1021— which represents 54,000 local government, nonprofit and health care employees in Northern California—is a headliner against strong mayor. The Sacramento firefighters union is opposing Measure A for “strong mayor.”
Photo by Foon Rhee
Issue Date: november 12
Policy-wise, they are two separate issues about Sacramento’s future—one on how much power the mayor should have and the other on how much protection renters need. But politically, it makes sense that many interest groups have lined up on the same sides for and against Measure A (strong mayor) and Measure C (rent control) on the Nov. 3 ballot. Most neighborhood groups, activist organizations and the Democratic Party of Sacramento County are against the Sacramento Mayoral Accountability and Community Equity Act but for the Sacramento Community Stabilization and Fair Rent Charter Amendment. Some groups have banded together as the Sacramento People’s Campaign, using the hashtag #PeoplePower on social media, and have created the Sacramento Voter Project, a joint campaign fundraising committee. On the other side, many business groups, some civic and labor leaders and most City Council members are for the strong mayor measure but against stricter rent control. For instance, the California Association of Realtors has donated $67,500 so far to the anti-rent control campaign and has also given $25,000 to the pro-strong mayor effort. Many voters will likely cast their ballots the same way, especially those who favor rent control and oppose strong mayor. But if the results are close, the outcome could be decided by how many voters support both strong mayor and rent control, or vote against both measures. I know of at least a couple of voters in that latter category. City Councilman Allen Warren, who is in a Nov. 3 runoff for his District 2 seat, signed official ballot arguments against rent control and against strong mayor. He says it’s not mostly because both measures would take away some power from the council. Rather, Warren argues that Measure A was rushed on to the ballot and there can’t be a full campaign during the pandemic and that the social equity provisions are being used as leverage. And he says that Measure C would put Sacramento at a disadvantage in attracting private money to build more affordable housing. Fellow Councilman Jeff Harris has similar reasons for signing the ballot argument against
fo o nr @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m
But the president of SEIU Local 1000, which represents 96,000 state workers, signed a ballot argument for strong mayor. Ten days after Mayor Darrell Steinberg persuaded the council to put his strong mayor plan before voters, the rent control measure got on the Nov. 3 ballot at the last minute and under court order. That complicates matters for the mayor, with rent control likely bringing out more voters who will also oppose strong mayor. Steinberg says while it may appear that way, he doesn’t believe that will happen once the campaign educates voters that strong mayor is a pro-equity measure. For the measure to pass, he needs to be right about that. Ω
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By Stacy croSS
Asked on @sAcnewsreview instAgrAm
What will you be for Halloween? Bird mArie
Protect RBG’s legacy, protect our health At Planned Parenthood, we are grieving the loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the lioness of the U.S. Supreme Court, and not just because of what she accomplished to advance the rights, health and independence of women. You have only to glance at her record of trailblazing court opinions, including her dissents, to know that she was more than a feminist. She was a humanist. She was committed to justice for all people who have been discriminated against or neglected and forgotten. The vacancy she leaves on the highest court means many of those people are now in jeopardy—people like the patients we see every day at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte. The sweeping achievements of health care reform, including coverage for pre-existing conditions and birth control, are in grave danger of being wiped away if the Supreme Court decides to invalidate the Affordable Care Act in a case the justices will hear in November. That decision would be a huge blow to the more than 20,000 patients we see annually in Sacramento alone—more than 85% of whom live barely above the federal poverty line. Such a decision would be especially devastating to communities of color that have historically had less access to health care. Think of it: Millions of people nationwide losing health care in the middle of a pandemic when many are also suddenly unemployed. They are people like the man who, after losing his job and insurance, called one of our Sacramento health centers for medication that he could not otherwise afford to treat a common infection. Or like the woman who came to the health center for a gynecological checkup but also had a broken wrist and hadn’t received treatment because she had lost her job and was afraid she couldn’t afford care. Or like the young 6
elisA Br Avo olmo School social worker, @eschy80
Handmaid. Gotta start dressing the part in case Trump wins. I chose this costume because Trump just nominated a woman to the Supreme Court who will try to overturn Roe vs. Wade. Stacy Cross is president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, the nation’s largest affiliate, which covers the Sacramento area.
woman who was recently treated for chlamydia and had a hard time just getting to our downtown Sacramento health center because she could barely afford transportation. In fact, difficulties with transportation are a frequent burden for our patients, especially those who must travel a long way from another state that has little or no access to the care they need. Recently, a trans patient had a tele-health appointment with one of our Sacramento health centers, from hundreds of miles away, since there was no hormone therapy available where they lived. Because the trans community is often discriminated against, lack of services is common for patients who need gender affirming care—and that’s before a possible 6-3 extreme conservative majority on the Supreme Court could render decisions that create further obstacles. There is also the increasing number of abortion patients who come to our California health centers from other states, where legal restrictions have already created “abortion-access deserts.” We commonly see abortion patients driving or flying to California, who are experiencing domestic violence, had no access to effective long-term contraception or had severely troubled pregnancies they were unable to end in states where they live. Now, there is an even greater risk that the Supreme Court could gut Roe v. Wade or overturn the landmark 1973 ruling. An extreme shift in the court will likely have a profound impact on the health of Americans— especially those, like our patients, who are among the most vulnerable. There is one thing we can do right now to safeguard Justice Ginsburg’s magnificent legacy: Vote on or before Nov. 3 to protect justice and freedom for all of those she fought for. Millions are depending on it. Ω
kristen Bieker Online shopper, @eazylivin92
Vincent Vega [from] “Pulp Fiction.” My wife is gonna be Mia Wallace! It’s one of our favorite classic movies and we wanted to go for an iconic theme, where people would just know who we were characterizing. The meaning behind it is finding meaning in a meaningless world, 2020 being so empty and catastrophic.
ernesto “nAmik” Fuentes-BArrientos Musician, @fountains_band
The coronavirus virus. [Because] it seemed pretty scary, considering the circumstances.
mAt t kr Amer Technical writer, @heressomestuffifound
A stay-at-home plague doctor, bird mask and all. The plague doctor outfit seems appropriate with both COVID-19 and the smoky hell world we live in. I’ve worn my plague beak mask to the grocery store a few times, and it’ll only be a slight upgrade to add a black robe and hat to the mix. shirlee PhAn State analyst, @sharileexo phOTOS cOuRTeSy
An extreme conservative majority on the Supreme Court threatens access to services, including abortion
Restaurant server, @birdlesque
Lilo from Lilo & Stitch. It’s a simple costume from a very popular movie. I always hand-make my own costumes so I wanted something easier to put together since I can’t rummage as much as I normally would through multiple thrift stores.
Mama unicorn to match my daughter (baby unicorn). I [want] something fun and to match with my daughter.
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2020 ELECTION COVERAGE
Vote, as if your life depends on it
by Jeff vonKaenel
Please vote, as if your world, your family’s world and your great grandchildren’s world depends upon it. While every election is important, 2020—like 1776, 1860, 1932 and 1968—is a year when we are not just voting for candidates, but choosing between two very different paths for America. While SN&R’s editorial staff makes decisions about endorsements, I want to use my column to also weigh in with a few endorsements that I believe are of particular importance. Vote yes on Proposition 25, the referendum on replacing cash bail with risk assessments. In 2018, the Legislature passed Assembly Bill 10, making California the first state to end cash bail for detained suspects. But the bail companies ponied up the money to try to overturn the law with this proposition. This concept of using risk assessments instead of cash bail has been used successfully in Santa Clara County for years. Even if you do not care about the injustice of keeping someone in jail for a crime they have yet to be convicted of, simply because they can’t afford bail, consider the tens of millions of dollars that Sacramento County will save by not keeping nonviolent offenders in jail awaiting trial.
fair share of property taxes because of Proposition 13, passed in 1978. Unlike other states that have a rational property tax system, where the bill is based on a percentage of the property’s market value, Prop. 13 established a bizarre system in which new property owners pay an initial 1% of assessed value and that rate can only increase by 2% a year, or at the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. So most years, property owners get a tax break and the government has less money to spend on services. What’s more, since California property values have gone up significantly since 1978, new property owners have a much higher initial assessment. And since commercial properties do not turn over as frequently as residential properties, they end up paying a much lower percentage of total taxes. Prop. 15 would establish a “split roll” in which commercial property taxes would be based on current assessed value. This would go a long way to correct the imbalance, and will bring in an additional $8 to 12 billion a year of much-needed revenue for schools and local governments.
Vote yes on Prop. 15, the tax on commercial and industrial properties for education and local government funding. While all of California’s largest corporate and commercial operations use government services such as police, transportation and education, many are not paying their
Vote no on Prop. 22, the initiative on app-based drivers as contractors. Earlier this year, when many Uber and Lyft drivers lost their income because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they received state and federal unemployment insurance benefits, even though the companies had not paid into the unemployment insurance fund. Pretending that app-based drivers are self-employed may be good for Uber and Lyft, who avoid paying employee benefits,
je ffv @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m
but it did not work out so well for the taxpayers who picked up the tab. Elect Gregg Fishman for Sacramento County supervisor. Of all the local races, this one will have the most impact. Issues facing the county—including dealing with COVID-19, the recession, homelessness and an out-ofcontrol sheriff—require a focused Board of Supervisors. The current board of two conservatives, two progressives, and one middle-of-the-road member is a recipe for gridlock. I believe having Fishman join progressive supervisors Phil Serna and Patrick Kennedy will produce much better decision-making. Elect Brynne Kennedy for Congress. Republican Tom McClintock of California’s Fourth Congressional District has been assumed by many to be a shoo-in. However, according to the highly respected Cook Political Report, there is some hope for Democrat Brynne Kennedy, whose election would improve Congress while also improving the Republican Party by removing McClintock. He is that bad. Re-elect Rob Kerth for SMUD board. His understanding of energy policy has been a tremendous asset to the SMUD board, and this expertise will be very necessary in the coming years due to the complexity of issues as climate change becomes a greater challenge for this region. Please vote. Ω
Jeff vonKaenel is the president, CEO and majority owner of the News & Review newspapers in Sacramento, Chico and Reno.
by Lindsay OxfOrd
lind sa y o @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m
Sarah Varanini, Sacramento SPCA’s social media specialist, poses with Madmartigan “Marty,” who has just entered his “terrible teens.”
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Sarah Varanini, Sacramento SPCA There’s a persistent rumor that circulates each Halloween that animal shelters refuse to adopt black cats near the end of October. It’s about as real as the “satanic panic” of the 1980s, when hand-wringing mothers fretted over the potential hidden messages in their children’s heavy metal LPs. Sarah Varanini of the Sacramento SPCA debunks the myth and explains the benefits of adopting an older feline and how a cat ends up being named “Count Chocula.”
Is it urban legend that shelters won’t adopt black cats around Halloween? Each shelter is different…[that’s] been passed around for years and years and years, but it’s been debunked by the ASPCA…But it’s something you definitely see start being spread around on social media every year. But we do not have any sort of ban on adopting black cats around Halloween. We are so happy and thrilled that so many people right now want to adopt…and it’s a wonderful time. A lot of us are home…much more often, which allows you to bond with that pet even faster… [It’s] been wonderful for us to find homes for animals that in pre-COVID times would have taken much, much longer.
Is there time of year where you have more animals in the shelter than you would at another time of year? There is a season called kitten season, which is basically whenever it’s warm outside…That’s
when stray cats are out mating and having litters. So [by] September, October…the kitten population skyrockets. Adopters…come in droves to adopt all the kittens once they’re big enough. [But] that season also tends to result in a lot of adult cats hanging out in the shelter. People come in and they want the cute, tiny kitten versus the seven-year-old adult cat. But this year, you know, we haven’t really seen that because people are just clamoring for a companion and they are more open to taking an adult cat than maybe they would have in previous years.
What would you want to tell someone who might be reticent about adopting an adult or even a senior cat? Well, the great thing about adult cats is that you know what you’re going to get…And for a lot of these adult cats, we do have an owner history, so we can tell you that if you’re looking for a lap cat, we can tell you that this cat loves sleeping on laps and slept on its owners bed every night…versus a kitten [who can be] wild and crazy for a period of time where they go through the terrible teen stage and you don’t know what you’re going to get as they grow up.
When you approach Halloween, do you tend to give those animals cuter, spookier names? In the next month or two, you’ll, you’ll probably see a lot of Pumpkin Spice or Chai Latte. We try and stay away from [Halloween-style names]. We’re not going to name a cat Vampire or something like that. But I’ve seen a Count Chocula before, that’s very cute. We’ll see, like, Spooky, or a lot of pumpkin names, and even pirate names come up around this time of year. I would say food- and fall-themed, usually more than specifically Halloween names.
Sacramento SPCA starts adoptions online as a coronavirus precaution. Find adoptable animals at sspca.org/adopt
Return of the survivor Mario Garcia brutalized women for years, but his murder conviction for Christie Wilson’s murder was assisted by the one woman he didn’t break by Scott thomaS anderSon sc o tta @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m
On a January night in 1979, a battered Wendy Ward sat on the edge of a bed watching the man who’d just kidnapped her for the second time in two months calmly walk to a cabinet. She saw him pull out a pistol and snap in a magazine. Ward waited as her former boyfriend, Mario Garcia—the man who’d beaten and raped her on multiple occasions—began to approach with the gun. Garcia leveled it directly at her head. Ward heard a voice from inside her say, “Just get it over with.” Garcia pulled the trigger. The click of the hammer striking the firing pin sounded through the room. Garcia drew closer to force the barrel into her mouth. Through the steel pressing on her lips, she felt his finger
squeeze the trigger again. Another echo in an empty chamber. “Have you ever considered suicide?” her tormentor asked. “It wasn’t loaded this time, but I can come and get you any time.” After months of being stalked, Ward knew that she might die no matter what. Later that night as she lay in a hospital bed, Ward agreed to speak to a Fremont police detective called by the doctors. Law enforcement had already failed to protect Ward once from Garcia. This time the police would do better, though the legal system would fail her. Yet Ward’s decision that night to risk everything finally put her out of Garcia’s reach. It also left a faint trail within the file drawers and emerging databases of California Department of Justice. A quarter of a century later, those bread crumbs brought a young homicide investigator to Ward’s doorstep. He wanted to solve a perplexing story—a mystery that only saw its final chapter end this August with the discovery of Christie Wilson’s remains in Placer County some 15 years after she’d gone missing from Thunder Valley Casino and 41 years after Ward had escaped Garcia. On that afternoon in 2005 when a new detective approached her, Ward started a journey into the most hellish moments of her past, but one that helped authorities unlock the riddle of who Garcia really was—and send him to prison for life.
Garcia quickly swept in under the guise of a caring friend. Ward eventually started dating him. That’s when Garcia started pressuring to move in with her. “He suddenly became a different person,” Ward recalled. “It was a Jekyll and Hyde situation.” Soon, Ward avoided going to work so colleagues didn’t see her black eyes. Garcia’s violence took on shades of depravity. He brutally forced himself on her and promised to kill her if she left him. He followed her around Fremont after she moved into a secret apartment. In December 1978, Garcia convinced Ward that he’d leave her alone if she went out to dinner to talk about “closure.” Ward noticed his new black, windowless van. She started screaming when she realized that Garcia was actually driving into the remote Santa Cruz mountains.
Hours later, Ward appeared at the Fremont Police Department to report being kidnapped and raped. When she started to explain that she laid perfectly still in the back of the van because that had made Garcia hurt her less, the officer suddenly stopped scribbling the report. “Wait, did you fight?” he asked. Ward again said she’d learned to play possum as a survival strategy. The officer tore the report in half and threw it in the garbage. “Next time, fight,” he said. Weeks later, as nurses hovered over Ward’s hospital bed after her second abduction, a different Fremont police officer arrived. Ward told Detective R.C. Pile about how Garcia had hidden by her mailbox and how calm he had been as he slowly choked the life out of her. The detective looked at the bruises on Ward’s neck and a cut at the base of her collarbone. Pile began investigating that night, quickly finding enough evidence in Garcia’s van and apartment to arrest him for kidnapping, rape and assault with a deadly weapon.
the fiRst twO deAths In mid-1979, while Garcia was awaiting trial, he began dating a legal secretary working on his defense team. Lynette Smith was a vivacious and athletic 33-year-old known for her dancing ability. Garcia managed to convince Smith that Ward was an unstable woman who
AbductiOns And suRvivAl
Wendy Ward walking through Fremont in the late 1970s with mario Garcia’s sister.
Ward was a newlywed when she moved from Ohio to California in 1976. As she and her husband adjusted to life in the Bay area city of Fremont, they got to know someone who seemed like the perfect neighbor. It was Garcia. When Ward and her husband separated the following year,
mario Garcia at the time began his violent kidnapping spree in the Bay area.
photo via findChristiewilson.Com
fabricated the case against him. But soon after the two moved in together, Garcia was physically abusing Smith. “One time he put her in the hospital,” recalled Tom Davis, Smith’s older brother. “On another occasion he’d climbed up a tree outside her apartment to get to her … Lynette found out that Wendy was telling the truth.” By the end of the year, Smith reached her own breaking point. She called her mother, Violet Davis, in Ohio and asked her to fly out for moral support as she broke up with Garcia. By Christmas Day 1979, Smith had made it clear she was leaving. Garcia asked if he could first take her and Davis out for a holiday dinner in San Francisco. The trio left Hayward in Smith’s beige four-door sedan. Around 8:50 p.m., motorists on Doolittle Road near Oakland International Airport saw that same vehicle suddenly accelerate to 90 mph, tearing across two lanes and then plunging into the deep waters of the estuary. The witnesses watched Garcia emerge from the roof of the sinking car. He was alone and said nothing to the people calling out to him. Garcia waited until the car disappeared before swimming to the shore. An arriving Oakland police officer began asking questions, but he wouldn’t answer. A sergeant described what happened next in his report. “After coaxing and questioning subject Garcia, the responding officer finally learned from him that there were other people in the vehicle,” he wrote. “The responding officer observed a white object floating in the water where Garcia had swam from.” The white object was Davis’ body. Rescue workers found no trace of Smith. It took 21 days to recover her from the estuary. Garcia claimed it was Smith who was driving that night. Garcia also told police that his girlfriend had been struggling near him in the water, but that he became exhausted trying to help and “dropped her.” This story made no sense to Smith’s family. “Lynette was an excellent swimmer,” her brother said. “Mario eventually gave
conflicting stories to us about where he was in the car.” Oakland police agreed that something was very wrong. To this day, the department’s reports classify the deaths as “an open, unsolved crime.” The media never linked the deaths to Garcia’s kidnapping trial. Ward only found out through a bizarre coincidence: Smith was the little sister of one of her friends from Ohio, Tom Davis. As the trial approached, she caught up with Davis and only then realized they had something terrible in common—Mario Garcia. “I was shocked,” Ward recalled. “I had no doubt Mario was the driver.”
NAME: CHRISTIE WILSON AGE: entire entire entire story. When it was over, 28
obviously carrying around to remember
DESCRIPTION: 5’4”, 140 LBS BROWN HAIR BROWN EYES
Christie was last seen on videotape at 1:15AM on Oct. 5, 2005. She was seen walking into the parking lot after exiting the front doors of the Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln, CA.
The Telling Timepiece
Today Wendy Ward is a successful artist in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
In 1981, a prosecutor from the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office met with Ward to tell her that the courts were clogged, that it was her word against Garcia’s and that he needed to cut a deal. In exchange for Garcia pleading guilty to assault with a deadly weapon, the DA’s office would drop the rape and kidnapping charges and allow Garcia to get probation rather than jail time. Two-and-half decades later and 150 miles away, Placer County Sheriff’s detective Don Murchison was investigating the disappearance of Christie Wilson, a 27-year-old who had vanished without a trace after a night of gambling in Lincoln. The casino’s security cameras showed a much older man hanging around Wilson at a blackjack table before following her out to the parking lot. It was Garcia. At first, he seemed an unlikely suspect. Married with kids, Garcia was a well-known soccer coach in Auburn who worked at Sutter Health Foundation. Murchison began searching his name in a state Department of Justice database and noticed a long-ago arrest. The investigator couldn’t see any details, only the name of the victim. Ward was living in Santa Rosa when Murchison contacted her. She was stunned to know a detective was so intent on speaking to her about Garcia that he’d make the 50-minute drive to her house. Murchison listened carefully to Ward’s
entire story. When it was over, Murchison knew the girl who vanished from the casino parking lot had been walking next to a man who’d twice before kidnapped and raped a woman using a vehicle. He also learned for the first time about the Oakland deaths Garcia was implicated in, and later discovered Garcia’s first wife had fled the country in 1982 to escape him. Before Murchison left Ward’s home, she mentioned that Garcia had burglarized her home and took some keepsakes. That got the detective’s attention. During the investigation, his team arrested Garcia for being a felon in possession of a firearm. The deputies cuffing him noticed he kept trying to pass an old timepiece in his pocket to his wife. Later, at the jail, Garcia tried to hide the same gold watch in his sock. The deputies took it into evidence. Murchison showed a photo to Ward. “The picture basically stopped in her tracks,” Murchison remembered. “The color completely flushed out of her face.” Ward couldn’t be absolutely sure it was the watch her grandmother had given her, so Murchison began mapping out the entire history of the timepiece, using horologists and genealogical records to prove that it had been an engagement gift to Ward’s great-great grandmother in 1897. The detective also learned that Garcia had the watch repaired on five separate occasions. “It was a memento, something he was obviously carrying around to remember
Wendy,” Murchison explained. “I think it allowed Mario to relive the crime, and that he felt it was a symbol of his power—a way of telling himself, ‘I got away with it.’” But he wouldn’t get away with killing Wilson. Hair and blood spots with her DNA were found in Garcia’s car. Murchison also proved that Garcia’s face and chest were covered with scratch marks the morning after Wilson vanished. When the case went to trial in 2006, the prosecutor informed Garcia’s defense team and the judge that there was no point in calling character witnesses to portray the defendant as a pillar of the community because the DA’s office had its own character witness to shatter that illusion. If called, one of the first questions to Ward would be about the watch. In January 2007, when Garcia was sentenced to 58 years to life, one of the people sitting in the courtroom near Wilson’s family was Ward, the woman he could never terrorize into submission. Ward became friends with Wilson’s mother, Debbie Boyd, and was one of the first people to get the call when Wilson remains were finally located Aug. 20 on property that Garcia had owned in Auburn. “He needed to be put away,” Ward said. “It was to save other women. That’s where I came from when all of this happened.” Ω
Death Behind Bars Source: California Department of Justice 10
Jail deaths under Sacramento Sheriff Scott Jones
the dungeon master Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones put a stop to independent oversight. Then deaths at his jails soared. by Raheem F. hosseini
A version of this story appeared earlier on sacramento. newsreview.com
Sacramento’s jail system is supposed to be a way station for accused criminals navigating the court process or those serving local sentences of no more than a few years. For Christopher Stewart, it probably felt like a dungeon. Stewart entered the jail on a warrant for driving under the influence in February 2018. According to a civil rights complaint filed in federal court, Stewart seriously injured himself in back-to-back motorcycle accidents in November 2017 and was using private insurance to treat multiple broken bones in his arms and legs when prosecutors had him booked into the main jail facility less than four months later. Sacramento attorney Matthew Becker said the drab, mid-rise lockup located downtown didn’t provide his client with treatment or fresh bandages and refused to transport Stewart to scheduled
medical appointments. He also alleged that Stewart was forced to sleep on an uncovered floor in the medical wing with an open knee wound and, when the time came to go to court, had his steel-plated wrist handcuffed to a wheelchair, causing the screws to loosen and bulge under his skin. Becker said the jail’s “utterly horrific medical care” left his client “now basically permanently crippled” as a result. “That is willful deliberate indifference to serious medical needs and a major problem,” Becker told SN&R. Stewart survived his experience in the jail. Many others haven’t. Jail deaths climbed to their highest number last year under Sheriff Scott Jones—a fact the three-term lawman largely withheld from the media. Nine people died in Jones’ jails last year, California Department of Justice
rah e e mh @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m
records show. That’s as many as the previous three years combined and the most under Jones’ watch since he took office in December 2010. It’s also the largest body count behind bars since 2005, when 10 jail occupants died under the charge of then-Sheriff Lou Blanas. The 2019 spike in jail deaths happened the same year that Jones’ administration stopped informing the media about them, raising fears that the sheriff may be hiding more tragedies amid the pandemic. Unlike other California sheriffs, Jones refuses to provide data to the state about the number of COVID-19 infections and deaths in his jails. “Transparency about these things is important,” said Aaron J. Fischer, an attorney for Disability Rights California. In 2018, Disability Rights and the
Prison Law Office successfully filed a class-action lawsuit that requires the sheriff’s office to drastically improve health-care conditions in its two jails. But, if anything, the downtown main jail and the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center in Elk Grove have only grown more dangerous since a binding consent decree was brokered.
A hidden toll All totaled, the 53-year-old Jones has lost more than 40 people in his jails over the past decade, according to state justice data and news accounts. This includes the Aug. 4 death of Travis Welde, which the sheriff’s office acknowledged only after being contacted by a Sacramento Bee reporter, as well as an unknown number of people who suffered critical injuries inside the jail but died outside of it, which the sheriff isn’t always required to report to the state. SN&R uncovered at least two such cases since June 2017, when inmate Clifton Harris, a 61-year-old cancer patient, was savagely beaten by a cellmate he’d previously warned jail officials about. Harris died when his
“the dungeon mASter” continued on pAge 17
Q A &
oee L o L n a e S with
Meet the District 2 City Council candidate: a local businessman who is rooted in North Sacramento What’s your plan to heal the damage done to our small business community due to the pandemic?
my stores, I have hired local youth and work hard to give them opportunities, but sadly I see more businesses leaving. We must work to encourage businesses to come and hire directly within the community.
One of my priorities is to create a small business task force to start the needed discussion of how to restore jobs and our local economy. The federal money we have will run out and then we will be forced to look at budget cuts. I want to do everything in my power to prevent devastating budget cuts that harm our community.
Housing costs continue to rise. What can we do about this?
“as a councilmember, i will ensure the City has a plan to address the needs of communities of color, specifically within district 2, that includes robust job and business ownership opportunities.” Sean Loloee City Council Candidate, district 2
How will you combat racial inequality?
Candidate Sean Loloee
PHoto courtesy of sea N loloee
As a councilmember, I will ensure the City has a plan to address the needs of communities of color, specifically within District 2, that includes robust job and business ownership opportunities. To help bridge this gap, my plan is to invest in learning centers to help close the digital divide. At
We need more affordable housing in our district. Too often, the focus is on areas near Land Park or Natomas and Del Paso Heights continues to be left behind. We have seen development in the south part of our city. I propose an additional task force that works to incentivize developers to build here and also work to cut regulations for small businesses to invest in our area.
The homelessness crisis remains a real issue for District 2. What will you do? Tackling homelessness is the No. 1 issue when I talk to voters. I do not think the current plans address the reality of the street, especially when it comes to those who struggle with mental illness and addiction. The City is spending $70 million to refurbish a downtown hotel to serve 130 people. That is a massive waste. I see other cities – like Modesto – redoing hotels for $10 million and moving families off the streets. It is time for new ideas to these old problems – like more social workers to help our law enforcement on the front line and to finally reduce regulations that make homebuilding more expensive.
Why should people support your campaign? After eight years many folks are tired. They’re tired of the lack of progress; tired of the increased crime and homelessness. I worked hard to open two local supermarkets and I know what it takes to work through bureaucracy and regulations. I have hired hundreds of local residents over the years, many of whom have gone on to bigger and better things. I would bring a new energy and new ideas to the Council.
Paid for by Sean LoLoee for City of SaCramento City CounCiL 16
of releases isn’t in keeping with the department’s past practices. “It would be [a] normal course of action to release family removed him from life support information on inmate deaths,” she told eight months later. The sheriff’s office SN&R in an email. didn’t report Harris’ death to the state Welde’s death isn’t the only critical because it filed court paperwork releasincident this year that didn’t result in a ing him from its custody. timely press release from the sheriff’s Nor did the department report the office. The department waited 13 days to September 2018 death of 66-year-old Irma provide its account of a Sept. 5 incident McLaughlin, injured in an alleged fall in which four deputies shot and injured from her jail bunk and who also died in a a 22-year-old Latino man suspected of hospital bed after her legal released from vandalizing a fence and stealing a water custody. hose from a Rancho Cordova apartment Earlier this year, the Bee reported on complex. the death of Antonio Lamar Davis, the On Sept. 18, the department released a victim of a jailhouse assault in December. video summary that intercuts footage from It’s unclear whether the sheriff’s office two businesses and two patrol vehicles. will provide that information to state It shows deputies pursuing the man, later justice officials, as Davis died in a hospital identified as Miguel Hernandez, as he 42 days after his attack. casually walks into a shopping center with Sheriff’s spokeswoman Sgt. Tess an object in his hand that a caller identified Deterding declined to say whether the as a fake gun. The department department has reported all says its deputies fired at and inmate deaths this year, but missed Hernandez when said in an email that he pointed the object basic information Jail deaths at them, but that about in-custody can’t be verified deaths would climbed to their from the footage. be provided in highest number last Deputies response to opened fire a public records year under Sheriff Scott second time requests. and struck Jones—a fact the threeThe Hernandez sheriff’s office, term lawman largely when they say however, denied he pointed the SN&R’s public withheld from the object again. The records request media. department later for information determined the object about what happened was an ignition-timing to Welde, a 31-year-old device, which they claim was Loomis man. Deterding later modified to resemble a gun. said correctional staff deemed Welde’s The practice of shunning oversight death a medical one. isn’t unique to Sacramento’s sheriff, said Sacramento County had the third most state Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, a jail deaths in the state last year, behind Los Sacramento Democrat. Angeles County with 86 jail deaths and “A classic Exhibit A is the Los under Sheriff Alex Villanueva and San Angeles sheriff,” McCarty said, referring Diego County, where 35 jail occupants to Villanueva’s frequent battles with that died under Sheriff Bill Gore. county’s Civilian Oversight Commission Riverside and Santa Clara counties over the release of information both reported seven jail deaths to the concerning deputy shootings. state, while Alameda, Orange and San Some California sheriffs, McCarty Bernardino counties reported six apiece. said, “essentially stick up the middle Sacramento County has a smaller population than all seven of those counties. finger” when asked to provide information to the public. Sacramento’s political leadership has A chAnge in prActice largely indulged the sheriff’s tight grip It’s unclear when the sheriff’s office on the narrative. ceased its practice of issuing media The Sacramento County Board of releases whenever someone dies or is Supervisors didn’t fight Jones when critically injured in its custody, but an he unilaterally ousted an inspector SN&R review of archived press releases general who took issue with a deadly indicates most of last year’s jail deaths 2017 shooting and recently came under weren’t voluntarily divulged. fire for allowing most of its federal Deterding said there’s been no policy pandemic aid to be spent on sheriff’s change, but acknowledged that the lack “the dungeon mAster” continued from pAge 15
Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones
office salaries, rather than public health or economic development. Supervisor Patrick Kennedy last month suggested redirecting $1.5 million from the sheriff’s budget to create a non-law enforcement response to mental health emergencies, but drew a mixed reception from his four colleagues.
presumed innocent but booked to die An exception to the sheriff’s information blackout on jail deaths came in January, when his department issued a release about an inmate homicide that occurred on Dec. 31 at Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center in Elk Grove. Inmate Nikolas Kallergis was charged with beating a 62-year-old inmate to death in a shower area. Coroner records identified the victim as Richard Martin of Sacramento. Martin was serving a sentence at the custodial facility, but 22 of the 30 people who died behind bars since 2014 weren’t convicted of the crimes for which they stood accused. Last year, five of the nine jail deaths occurred to people who were still under a legal presumption of innocence. Some of the individuals who died were serving short sentences for minor crimes. Last August, Brian Debbs died from injuries the 33-year-old received during a July 8, 2019 fight with inmate Christian David Ento, the Bee reported. Debbs was more than a third of the way through a 120-day sentence for misdemeanor public intoxication and resisting arrest. In June, Debbs’ family filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the county and its sheriff’s department. The sheriff’s office has been a defendant or respondent in 399 federal lawsuits, an SN&R review of federal court filings shows. The causes of jail deaths varied last year. According to state justice records, a 25-year-old white man awaiting trial
committed suicide, three people in the jail were beaten or strangled to death by other inmates, including a 61-year-old white man who hadn’t yet been booked, two deaths were deemed to be of natural causes and three were still under investigation, including that of a 63-yearold Hispanic woman awaiting trial. The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, which determines if crimes were committed, and the county Office of Inspector General, which considers whether policies were violated, have issued no opinions on last year’s jail deaths. You might think the sheriff would be required to inform top county officials that he broke his own record for losing lives in his jails, which previously peaked at seven deaths in 2015, but not so. Jones’ department is only mandated to notify county Correctional Health Services and the coroner, a county spokesperson said. That means elected supervisors, their chief executive and legal counsel can be kept in the dark about an issue that has cost Sacramento taxpayers tens of millions of dollars in courtroom settlements over the years. “It’s just a reminder that the consent decree that was reached was a piece of paper that still needs to be implemented,” Fischer said. “The consent decree wasn’t the end. It was the beginning.” Becker, who also works as a criminal defense attorney, said a recent client was ordered to a 28-day quarantine in solitary confinement for coming into the jail with an autoimmune deficiency. Becker said his client spent a week in solitary until a judge ordered his release. “You have a pre-existing medical condition, they’re gonna lock you up for 28 days and not even let you make a court date?” Becker said. “Let me get the Constitution and see if I can find you a line that doesn’t violate.” Ω
Be Counted BY EDgAR SANchEZ
Abelardo “Abe” Ruiz believes in the power of the census.
by the county and the Sacramento Region Community Foundation.
The proud Sacramentan has participated in every decennial population count since 1980, when he was a new immigrant from Mexico. This year the naturalized U.S. citizen completed and mailed his family’s 2020 Census form six months before the recently extended Oct. 31 deadline.
Reflecting the county’s diversity, the members include government partners such as employees from the cities and counties, plus more than 30 community organizations, some of them supported by The California Endowment.
“It’s important that all Sacramentans be counted in the census, so our communities won’t lose federal funds for new highways, schools and parks,” Ruiz, chef/owner of Anthony’s Italian Cuisine Restaurant in South Natomas, said recently. “Filling out the census form is easy.”
“It’S ImPortaNt tHat all SaCramENtaNS BE CouNtEd IN tHE CENSuS.”
But, he added, time is running out. Unfortunately, some Sacramentans are difficult to count. By conservative estimate, Sacramento County and its cities lost at least $140 million in federal funds over the past decade because the 2010 Census missed thousands of local residents. Getting a full count in 2020 is a priority. The census determines where billions of dollars in federal monies go to help build new hospitals, bridges and other infrastructure. It also shapes the federal budget for programs such as Head Start and Meals on Wheels. Lastly, among other things, the census establishes the number of congressional seats for each state. To increase census awareness, the county created Sacramento’s Complete Count Committee in 2018, with members selected
Abelardo “Abe” Ruiz, civic-minded restaurant owner in South Natomas
“We’ve been meeting for over a year” to develop integrated outreach strategies for the 2020 Census, said Gabby Trejo, the committee’s co-chair and director of Sacramento Area Congregations Together. “What’s at stake is bringing the resources ... for people to live in our community.” One new tactic: Every Sunday, the faithful attending virtual services at Sac ACT parishes are reminded by pastors to “do” the census. Besides the SCCC, the county formed 16 subcommittees, each of which has reached out to a specific hard-to-count group, ranging from refugees to the homeless.
“Participating in the census is part of being a good citizen,” said abelardo “abe” ruiz, owner of anthony’s Italian Cuisine. His wife Patricia and their children work at the 15-year-old restaurant, now focused on take-out and delivery amid CoVId-19. Photo by Edgar Sanchez
The community-government partnership appears to be succeeding. Despite COVID-19, which halted one-on-one gathering of census data for months, responses in local hard-to-count communities have risen dramatically, pointing to a successful census, said Judy Robinson, Sacramento County’s 2020 Census manager. The census is confidential. Residents who haven’t responded to census surveys are being visited by census takers.The forms can also be filled out by telephone, with assistance in 14 languages, at 1-844-3302020, or online at my2020census.gov.
Your ZIP code shouldn’t predict how long you’ll live – but it does. Staying healthy requires much more than doctors and diets. Every day, our surroundings and activities affect how long – and how well – we’ll live. Health Happens in Neighborhoods. Health Happens in Schools. Health Happens with Prevention.
paid with a grant from the california endowment 18
BuIldINg HEaltHY CommuNItIES In 2010, the California Endowment launched a 10-year, $1 billion plan to improve the health of 14 challenged communities across the state. over the 10 years, residents, communitybased organizations and public institutions will work together to address the socioeconomic and environmental challenges contributing to the poor health of their communities.
PLEASE RESPOND BY/BEFORE OctOBER 31 www.SacBHC.org
Get Out the Vote by EdgAR SAnCHEZ
he long, hot summer of 2020 was unlike any Josh Harris had ever experienced. Once it began, he repeatedly took to the streets to demand that police treat Black people like him as human beings – not as targets for bullets and hatred. Chanting “No justice, no peace, no racist police!” the 23-year-old American River College sophomore participated in about 12 Sacramento marches organized by Black Lives Matter, starting in late May. The dayafter-day rallies for racial justice unfolded across America and the world, ultimately involving millions of people. Now that the protests have slowed, even as African Americans continue to be shot by police across the nation, Harris has a new cause: urging people to vote on Nov. 3. While marching for progress is good, another step must be taken – into the voting booth, Harris believes. He’s urging his family, friends and other people of conscience to help elect candidates who will enact sweeping reforms at all levels of government for a more equitable society. First and foremost, as he told this column in June, Harris wants police held accountable for murdering unarmed Black people like Stephon Clark in Sacramento, George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville. Needed changes can begin with the defeat of President Donald Trump on Nov. 3, Harris suggested.
Harris first voted in the November 2016 presidential election, using an old-school ballot and pen at a local precinct. He still has his “I Voted” sticker. “Even as a 19-yearold, you could just tell Trump didn’t have the best interests of anyone who looked like me,” Harris said recently. “So I voted for Hillary Clinton, although she wasn’t a perfect candidate either.” Walking out of the precinct, Harris remembers “feeling responsible, like I had done something adult.”
“(AS A BlACk mAN), I FEEl AN oBlIgAtIoN to votE.”
Josh Harris proudly participated in about a dozen Black lives matter marches in Sacramento this summer. on Nov. 3, he will proudly vote in his second presidential election. Harris is on a personal get-out-the-vote campaign. Photo by Edgar Sanchez
Josh Harris, age 23 Sophomore, American River College
Harris, who this time is supporting the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris Democratic presidential ticket, has little sympathy for non-voters. That includes the Sacramentoborn Midtown barber who tells customers he’s never voted. And it includes the Vietnam vet who abstains from voting because, he says, voting could expose him to jury duty, something he dreads. “Not voting leads to situations where people like Trump can be elected president,” said Harris, who is not
related to Kamala Harris. “But I feel an obligation to vote, because my ancestors ... didn’t have that right. “I’m telling the people around me how important this election is,” he added. “I’m telling them to make informed decisions about how they’ll vote.” Harris is a protégé of Ryan McClinton, a community organizer for Sacramento Area Congregations Together, a group supported by The California Endowment.
Your ZIP code shouldn’t predict how long you’ll live – but it does. Staying healthy requires much more than doctors and diets. Every day, our surroundings and activities affect how long – and how well – we’ll live. Health Happens in Neighborhoods. Health Happens in Schools. Health Happens with Prevention.
paid with a grant from the california endowment
BuIldINg HEAltHY CommuNItIES In 2010, the California Endowment launched a 10-year, $1 billion plan to improve the health of 14 challenged communities across the state. over the 10 years, residents, communitybased organizations and public institutions will work together to address the socioeconomic and environmental challenges contributing to the poor health of their communities.
For more info, follow @blackjustice sacramento on Instagram www.SacBHC.org 10.08.20
Time to vote
2020 ELECTION GUIDE ★
a new voice for North Sacramento? Sacramento City Council District 2 runoff pits incumbent Allen Warren against grocer Sean Loloee by Graham Womack gr aham w @ n ew s r ev i ew . com
At this point, Allen Warren is no stranger to voters—or to controversy. Since being elected in 2012 to serve District 2 on the Sacramento City Council, the one-time New York Yankees minor leaguer and, in more recent years, head of New Faze Development has built a base of enthusiastic supporters in North Sacramento, but also been chased by one scandal after another. Warren’s issues while on council have included tax debts throughout the area and a $2.5 million lawsuit by Wells Fargo. The question for voters is whether Warren’s opponent in the Nov. 3 runoff, first-time political candidate Sean Loloee would be better. While the two easily prevailed in the March primary, with Warren drawing 3,210 votes and Loloee 2,191, questions surfaced around each man’s candidacy.
The future of Sacramento and America is on the ballot
f you’re a registered voter in California, you will receive a ballot in the mail in the next few days, if you haven’t already. You can vote anytime through Nov. 3, either by putting your ballot in the mail, taking it to a drop-off site or gong to a voting center. And if you haven’t registered yet, you have until Oct. 19.
In 2020, it’s not an exaggeration to say America’s future is on the ballot because of the most consequential presidential election in our lifetimes—with the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy and President Trump’s attacks on democracy, including his refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power.
Warren faced questions whether he lived in his district rather than a Carmichael address connected to him in Sacramento County Assessor records. Loloee, who owns two Viva Supermarkets in Sacramento, was facing a complaint from two former employees. Maria Grijalva, a labor organizer and past political candidate, told SN&R she’d spoken with the plaintiffs as well as five employees who claimed they had been worked beyond exhaustion and to the point of injury under deportation threats. Loloee announced he would sue Grijalva for defamation. As of Sept. 29, the case is still pending in Sacramento County Superior Court, with hearings scheduled for Oct. 21 and Dec. 9. The questions around Loloee and Warren take focus away from a historic, but economically-depressed part of Sacramento that could use more investment, with great public transit access but many vacant storefronts. While Warren didn’t respond to multiple interview requests, he has spoken to SN&R before about helping more homeless people and bringing more jobs and housing to the district. In his official candidate statement filed with the City Clerk’s office, Warren says he has increased job opportunities and brought public and private investment. “We have much more to do. New services will improve traffic safety and reduce congestion. I am proposing a homelessness plan called ‘Renewal Village’ to provide innovative solutions for 700 people,” he writes. Warren has also floated hopes of running for mayor in 2024 and maintained key relationships, his website showing a range of endorsements including from the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce. As for Loloee, he said the district has gone backwards over the past eight years on Warren’s watch. He decried the number of cannabis businesses that have come to North Sacramento and said he was motivated to run after community members told him to step up rather than complain. “The only reason I’m running is to represent the district,” Loloee said. “I’m not running for the title. I’m not running for financial aspects of it, because I don’t need neither one of those two. I’m running because I’m very passionate about this community. I’m running because I think this community is a gem. It’s a goldmine. It’s a phenomenal area.” Ω
Closer to home, there are also a dozen statewide ballot measures on civil rights, criminal justice, taxes and more. And there are crucial local races and issues that will determine Sacramento’s direction for years to come. To help you decide your vote, we have previews of key elections, as well as our recommendations.
How to vote Get reGistered To vote in the Nov. 3 election, you have to be registered by Oct. 19. After the deadline, you can still register and vote the same day, but only at county elections offices and polling sites. VoterStatuS.SoS.ca.goV
simmons, Vang prepare to settle hard-fought campaign Both candidates agree South Sacramento continues to be ignored by City Hall by Scott thoMaS anderSon s c o t t a @ne w s re v i e w . c o m
campaigning for one of the most hotly contested local races came to a standstill in April due to COVID-19, with both Pastor Les Simmons and Sacramento City school board trustee Mai Vang pivoting their attention to community support. Now, each is making a final argument for why they should be the next City Council member for District 8. As senior pastor of South Sacramento Christian Center, Simmons knew that he’d have to take the lead assisting thousands of people who were suddenly hurled into unemployment. Working with long-established community partners, Simmons and his church leadership team began feeding roughly 1,000 people a week through curb-side pickup and food deliveries. Thanks to help from the Sacramento Kings and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, the church was able to distribute some 45,000 masks. Simmons also used his church to host the only free COVID testing site in the district early on in the pandemic. All of this, Simmons says, has only made him more prepared to take the helm at City Hall. “I don’t need to put 25 surveys together to know what the needs are,” he said. “I know what they are because I’m living them.” For her part, Vang spent the onset of the pandemic working with school district staff to address the unfolding education emergency. That included providing Wi-Fi connections in underserved neighborhoods for distance learning, was well as donating more than 28,000 laptop computers to students. Additionally, SCUSD campuses served some 3 million meals to kids. “The most important thing was making sure the students’ safety needs were met,” Vang said. “Many times, our school sites are a student’s only safe haven.” Vang also re-directed the efforts of her campaign team to doing wellness checks on residents they’d met while canvassing
District 8 before the March 3 primary, when she nearly won the seat outright, finishing 1,400 votes ahead of Simmons. With the continuing pandemic, “we’re not canvassing at all, but we are phone-banking,” she said. “We’re just going to have to be innovative.” Both Simmons and Vang agree that helping South Sacramento’s economy recover from the lockdowns should be the council’s top priority in 2021. So far, Simmons is not reassured by what he seen from City Hall. He points out that in the first round of emergency business loans from the City, only two were granted to businesses in District 8. “What we were told by the city is, ‘Oh, we missed the boat on that,’” Simmons recalled. “There wasn’t a lack of businesses, there was a lack of outreach. There has to be cultural brokers and real community mechanisms to on-ramp businesses to get that kind of support. We can’t afford for anyone to miss the boat in my district.” Vang also recognizes how economically hard-hit neighborhoods in South Sacramento are now at a breaking point because of the pandemic. “COVID doesn’t discriminate, but the system does,” she said. “This virus really makes you think about the basic necessities communities need to survive.” Simmons and Vang are also both campaigning on how to recalibrate policing in Sacramento. Simmons, who’s worked on police reform issues for years, says the timing feels right for a new path with the ongoing protests. “I think we’re in a moment we’ve never seen before,” he said. “The momentum for re-imagining things is really high. At the same time, the racial divide, nationally, is really high, too. The path forward will require the ability to bring people together.” Ω
Candidates have websites and social media accounts. The city of Sacramento compiles campaign statements and information and arguments on ballot measures. Nonpartisan groups such as the League of Women Voters also offer information. cityofSacramento.org/clerk/ electionS/2-candidate-information
cityofSacramento.org/clerk/ electionS/3-meaSure-information VoterSedge.org/ca
Get ballot counted All registered voters in California will receive a ballot in the mail. You can return it by mail or drop it off at voting sites, then track it. Or you can bring your ballot and vote in person through Nov. 3. WhereSmyBallot.SoS.ca.goV electionS.Saccounty.net/VotecenterS/ PageS/Vote-center.aSPx
For more coVeraGe
For more coverage leading up to the Nov. 3 election, go to sacramento.newsreview.com/category/2020-election/
A prolonged political street fight goes to the ballot
Mayor Darrell Steinberg says this will be his last term, whether voters give him “strong mayor” powers or not.
Photo from city of SacramEnto
How should Sacramento be governed?
Embattled rent control initiative pits tenants and working families against Sacramento’s mayor and business elite
“Strong mayor” is back before voters and the stakes are high
by Scott thoMAS AnDeRSon
by Foon Rhee
sc o tta @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m
foonr@ n ew s r ev i ew . com
Both sides on the “strong mayor” measure say the future of Sacramento is at stake. Mayor Darrell Steinberg and the coalition of business and labor groups behind him say Measure A will transform the city for the better by giving its only citywide elected leader the tools needed to keep campaign promises, quickly respond to constituents and push ahead on priorities such as improving disadvantaged neighborhoods and decreasing homelessness.
“Sacramento needs an accountable leader.” Ballot argument for Measure A “Sacramento needs an accountable leader who is empowered to act in times of emergency, who has the ability to implement reforms when change is needed and who can fight for budget priorities that advance equity and economic progress,” says their official ballot argument. But the opponents—led by community activists and neighborhood leaders, and also including the city firefighters union and three City Council members—say Measure A will change Sacramento for the worse by taking influence away from neighborhoods and giving more to developers, unions and big-money special interests. “It is a power grab, plain and simple,” says their official ballot argument. “More power will not make the Mayor more
effective in solving city problems. More leadership and collaboration with the City Council will.” Steinberg, who won a second term in March, added a two-term limit for the mayor to the measure. So if it passes, he would have the additional power for only four years. But he says this will be his last term whether Measure A passes or not. Under the proposed charter change, the mayor would propose a budget and could veto line items in the budget, as well as ordinances passed by the council, subject to an override by a two-thirds vote of the council. A ninth council seat would be added in the 2022 election after the drawing of new districts based on the 2020 Census. Also under Measure A, the mayor would appoint the city manager, with confirmation by the council, and could also remove the manager. If the manager is not removed for cause, the council could block the dismissal on a two-thirds vote. The proposed measure would also require the city to evaluate the impact of budget decisions and ordinances on promoting racial, ethnic, gender and LGBTQ equity and on helping small businesses. While supporters say it’s a big deal to have the equity provisions written into the city charter, opponents say they are vague and were included only to attract votes. And Measure A would require that the city invest at least $40 million a year in “inclusive economic development,” with at least 25% going to youth services, with a priority on those impacted by poverty and violence. The firefighters warn that the budget carve-out will put fire and emergency medical response at risk of “dangerous reductions” for
“unclear priorities and unproven ideas.” Steinberg says while he usually doesn’t like “ballot-box budgeting,” this is an exception to keep his promise for inclusive economic development. The two sides also disagree on the measure’s timing. “Strong mayor” supporters say it’s clear that the mayor needs more authority after the police reform protests and the COVID-19 economic crisis further exposed inequities in Sacramento—and a governance structure unable to fully meet those challenges. But opponents say it makes no sense to rush such a fundamental change—the plan was first made public July 23 and put on the ballot Aug. 4—during a deadly public health crisis.
“It is a power grab, plain and simple.” Ballot argument against Measure A In campaign finance reports as of Sept. 19, opposition groups were perhaps surprisingly outspending supporters by about $250,000 to $177,000—most through a committee sponsored by the firefighters—though several major contributions came in after Sept. 19 for the pro-Measure A campaign. In 2014, 56% of Sacramento voters rejected the “strong mayor” measure put forward by then-Mayor Kevin Johnson. And even if Measure A passes, voters will face the issue again, in 2030 at the latest. Ω
During a town hall meeting that City Councilman Steve Hansen hosted on Sacramento’s affordable housing crisis at the start of 2017, Jonah Paul stepped up to a microphone and posed a question that was on the minds of his friends and neighbors: “Why can we have rent control in the city?” “That would be really popular in the central city,” Hansen admitted from the stage. “But it might cause a lot of important building and economic activity to just move to other parts of the city where developers didn’t have to deal with it.” Three years later, Hansen is a lame duck, defeated in the March primary by a candidate who made his opposition to rent control the focus of her campaign; grassroots coalitions supporting rent caps have been formed, broken apart and reformed; and city officials have been in and out of court trying to silence the voices of 44,000 Sacramentans who signed a petition to prevent rents from skyrocketing any higher. Paul was volunteer organizer who had a front row seat for all of it. He is now tirelessly phone banking around an unexpected crescendo to the story: Thanks to a judge’s last-minute ruling, the ballot initiative to bring strong rent control to Sacramento—the measure that elected officials and wealthy special interest groups fought so hard to block from a public vote—is on the Nov. 3 ballot. It’s called Measure C and corporate landlords and real estate groups are spending big to try to kill it. Meanwhile, proponents are pointing to data they say refutes the main argument against rent control—that it will reduce investment in new local housing. Mailers against Measure C have been flooding neighborhoods for weeks, some of which stress that Mayor Darrell Steinberg and the entire City Council oppose the amendment to Sacramento’s charter. Measure C would permanently cap annual rent increases directly at the consumer price index, between 2% and 5%. It would also ban no-cause evictions for all renters and establish an elected rental control board. Steinberg and council members Jay Schenirer, Rick Jennings, Eric Guerra and Allen Warren have put their names behind the official argument against it. They claim the measure undermines a lesser, temporary rent cap that
”Rent contRoL” continued on page 25
Te a m w o r k Elect
Garrett Brewer San Juan Unified School Board
”RENT CONTROL” continued from page 23
Steinberg and Hansen negotiated in 2019, the Tenant Protection and Relief Act; that its elected rent board adds another layer of “bureaucracy” to city government; and that it will disincentive new, badly needed housing development. An SN&R analysis of campaign finance disclosures shows Steinberg, Schenirer and Jennings have each accepted tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from developers and real estate companies that openly oppose rent control. Warren, who’s mainly self-funded, is himself a housing developer. City filings show the Measure C opposition had raked in nearly $617,000 in cash and in-kind contributions by Sept. 19. On Sept. 23, the National Association of Realtors, based in Chicago, dumped another $250,000 into the effort to stop Measure C. On Oct. 1, the California Association of Realtors PAC gave $100,000. But Paul and other proponents believe they have a powerful weapon of their own—the reality of the COVID19 pandemic and economic collapse, which has now left thousands unable to pay rent. They also have at least one study to refute what they view as the most toxic talking point about the measure. In 2018, the Bay Area nonprofit Urban Habitat studied several data points, including figures from the National Apartment Association, and found that the cities of Berkeley and Santa Monica, which have had strong rent control for 30 years, did not suffer a lack of new housing development. For Paul, it’s all about one final, volunteer push against big money. “It’s swimming upstream when you’re in the rapids,” he said of the funding disadvantage. “Some of us have been working so hard that it feels like our lives are over, but a lot of peoples’ lives are over if we don’t pass this thing.” Ω
Supporters of rent control rally at City Hall to demand that a measure be put on the ballot.
Photo CoURtESY oF YES oN MEASURE C CAMPAIGN
Banking on Gregg Fishman Large donations from independent group continue for candidate, who could shift power on the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors by GRaham WOmaCk g r a h a mw@ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m
April Verrett knew the stakes when her group sent a $150,000 donation on Sept. 18 to a group independently raising money on behalf of Gregg Fishman, who is in a Nov. 3 runoff for the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors District 3 seat. In her time as president of the Los Angeles-based Service Employees International Union Local 2015, which represents approximately 25,000 home care workers in Sacramento County, Verrett said she has been able to consistently count on support from supervisors Phil Serna and Patrick Kennedy. Don Nottoli has been a swing vote. Sue Frost and retiring District 3 representative Susan Peters have often voted against labor interests. “I do believe that we think if we help Gregg Fishman be elected, you can safely say there are three left-leaning individuals who would be on the Board of Supervisors,” Verrett said. She’s not the only one who thinks this; local leaders including Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg have also given money to Fishman’s campaign, likely for a simple reason: On a board with only five members for more than 1.5 million county residents, a Fishman victory over former California Highway Patrol commander Rich Desmond could represent a marked shift. It might help steer the county to more progressive actions on issues such as no-fault evictions and independent oversight of law enforcement. But Fishman, a member of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District board, is running from behind. In the March primary, Desmond finished 12,629 votes ahead of Fishman (43% to 26%) in a five-candidate field. Fishman is also struggling to keep up in campaign money so far. SEIU Local 2015’s donation went to a group called Sacramento County Residents for Jobs Supporting Gregg Fishman for Supervisor 2020, Sponsored by Sacramento
Central Labor Council, which has raised $351,000 since the beginning of 2019 through Sept. 24 for Fishman, including an additional $75,000 from Verrett’s group in January. While that’s a sizable amount for a local race, the amount the Central Labor Council has raised independently of Fishman and spent on his behalf (including $6,600 on SN&R ads in January and February) has barely been enough to offset a significant gap in donations between Fishman and Desmond. County records show that Fishman raised $226,496 since 2019 through Sept. 19. Desmond raised $569,797 in the same period. The Sacramento Metro Chamber PAC funded $86,000 worth of mailers. Financial supporters of Desmond, who has been endorsed by Peters, include developers Angelo Tsakopoulos and Paul Petrovich and Roger Niello, a business leader and former state Assembly member. Desmond also expressed pride in receiving more than 1,000 individual contributions. Desmond described himself as a centrist who has been registered independent since 2004, though he been both a Democrat and Republican in the past. “Honestly, if I win this election, labor does not have anything to fear from me,” Desmond said. “I’m someone who’s a straight shooter and an honest broker.” Fishman, meanwhile, expressed guarded optimism for his chances, saying it was difficult to know how the presidential race would affect down ballot contests like his. But he sees other factors helping him. “I think the biggest thing is that the demographics of the district have definitely changed over time,” Fishman said. “There’s now a strong Democratic majority. There’s a significant decline to state or no party preference vote, and we definitely have to do some strong outreach among those voters. But this district is really turning over.” Ω
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Elk Grove mayor’s race features high drama and pandemic realities
by SCott thoMaS andErSon s c o t t a @ne w s re v i e w . c o m
As Steve Ly tries to win a third term, he’s stressing his ability to get things as he faces a storm of controversies Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly is battling through his toughest political season yet, trailed by accusations he was involved in bullying and intimidation and a veiled disinformation campaign online. One of his accusers, Elk Grove Unified School District trustee Bobbie Singh-Allen, is running against him. Her campaign is partly a referendum on Ly’s two terms as mayor. Ly denies being personally involved in the strange episodes that have been reported and says Elk Grove residents are far more concerned about how their city will survive the economic devastation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. He is campaigning on a five-point recovery plan for local businesses while continuing to shepherd his controversial hospital project to completion on the west end of the city. Ly said the public health challenges around COVID-19 are a major wake-up call for the importance of his hospital. Ly’s last election skirmish in 2018 was against Elk Grove Vice Mayor Darren Suen. This time he faces Singh-Allen, an 8-year veteran of the school board who’s also served on the board of directors for the city’s food bank. Like Ly, Singh-Allen immigrated to California as a child. She’s running on a platform of bringing greater transparency and public confidence to the mayorship. And she has the endorsements of four City Council members, who also supported Suen. “The community is rallying together today to say enough is enough to Steve Ly and his failed leadership,” she wrote in a statement when announcing her candidacy. “It’s time to reclaim City Hall and restore good governance, humility, and respect to public service … My campaign will focus on uniting Elk Grove. It will focus on being honest and on reflecting the values of all those from different parts of our community.” She could not be reached for further comment. Both Ly and Singh-Allen have sparked outrage with comments they’ve made this year. In Ly’s case, it was prematurely assuming Black Lives Matters protestors had burned an immigrant-owned business in Elk Grove. For Singh-Allen, it was her description of the Hmong clan system, which many deemed uninformed and racist. Ly told SN&R he’s trying to cut through the political noise and assure Elk Grove voters he has a plan to hold the community together through COVID-19. In the early stages of the pandemic, Ly was the only member of the council who supported a local eviction moratorium. When Ly encouraged tenants to make their voice heard, the ensuing backlash against the council forced a special meeting in which the moratorium was finally enacted. Ly says he’s trying to bring similar leadership to channeling support and resources to hard-hit businesses and families. “Parents are overwhelmed,” Ly said. “Some have lost their jobs. Some are having to work from home while their kids having to be students at home. The burdens on families right now are so consuming.” He added, “We get such a large amount of tax revenue from restaurants, and this pandemic is hurting those businesses, their employees and the city itself.” Ly recently worked with city staff and his fellow council members to pass a budget that adapted to the estimated $7 million in lost revenues from the lockdown, one that avoided layoffs and a reduction of core services. The proposed California Northstate University teaching hospital that Ly has worked to bring to Elk Grove is now having its environmental impact report reviewed. While some residents of the nearby Stonelake neighborhood are pushing back against the project, the 2020 reality of Gov. Gavin Newsom counting available hospital beds and ICU beds across the state on a daily basis, regarding whether communities can even function, is being viewed by some as a vindication of Ly’s project. “It’s very clear that it’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it,” Ly said. “My father died in Elk Grove of a heart attack and the paramedics weren’t able to get him to a hospital fast enough. To me, it’s a really personal fight to try to bring health care here.” Ω
A new mayor for West Sac? Labor backs challenger Martha Guerrero, while longtime Mayor Christopher Cabaldon levels accusations of homophobia by GrahaM WoMaCk gr a h a mw@ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m
As in every election since 2004, West Sacramento voters will see Christopher Cabaldon’s name on ballots for the Nov. 3 general election. First elected to the City Council in 1994, first appointed mayor in 1998 and the winner of every mayoral contest since the city switched to direct election in 2004, Cabaldon is a political institution in West Sacramento. Cabaldon has presided over the city long enough to see it transform from a rundown offshoot of Sacramento to a collection of new residential development near Sutter Health Park, revitalized riverfront area in the Washington District and other amenities such as IKEA. He’s also gained national recognition as just the fourth openly gay U.S. mayor when he was elected in 2006, according to Governing magazine, as chairman of the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ jobs, education and workforce committee and as a visible campaign surrogate for Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg. That doesn’t mean everyone’s on-board with rubber-stamping a ninth elected term for the 54-year-old Cabaldon. Labor groups, including the Central Labor Council, are endorsing his challenger, West Sacramento Councilwoman Martha Guerrero. “We’ve known Martha for some time, and she’s been very supportive of labor on her time on the council,” said Central Labor Council executive director Fabrizio Sasso. Guerrero, a lobbyist by day at the state Capitol for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, was first elected to the council in 2018. “I offer a broader perspective on providing support for the community as a whole,” Guerrero said. Cabaldon told SN&R that a fight over the placement of a possible casino on the eventual IKEA site in 2004 and 2005 frayed relations with labor, as did his public disclosure
of his sexual orientation. “In the spring of 2006, I came out of the closet,” Cabaldon said. “Prior to that year, in 2004, 2002, 1998, 1996 and 1994, every single election before that, the police and fire unions and the labor council and the building trades, they were all strong backers of my election and then my reelection. And then in 2006, that all changed.” The city of West Sacramento has agreements with four unions. Roberto Padilla, a spokesman for Sacramento Area Fire Fighters Local 522, said he had no comment on Cabaldon’s allegation, but said his group had endorsed Guerrero “based on the fact that she has a proven record of working with us and our relationship with her has been ongoing.” The Police Managers’ Association and the Police Officers’ Association aren’t making endorsements this election. In 2018, the unions supported Cabaldon’s opponent and also backed Guerrero for council. A representative for Stationary Engineers Local 39—wasn’t available for comment. Sasso strongly disputed Cabaldon’s accusation, saying he had “absolutely not” witnessed any homophobia from his group or any unions he works with. Sasso pointed out his council’s support for several LGBTQ candidates, including Sacramento City Councilman Steve Hansen, Roseville City Council candidate Neil Pople, state Assembly District 6 candidate Jackie Smith and Grass Valley Councilwoman Hilary Hodge. But Sasso said he’s been unable to forge a working relationship with Cabaldon. “In my time at the labor council, he’s not once accepted to meet with us or come in to an endorsement interview,” said Sasso, who joined the labor council in 2015. “So that just tells me he has no regard for working-class folks.” Ω
Help decide sacramento’s H future
SN&R’s recommendations in key contests on Nov. 3 ballot
by Foon Rhee fo o nr @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m
ere are the endorsements from SN&R’s editorial staff, focusing on the most important local contests where our readers can have the biggest impact. Besides studying written statements and arguments, we talked to both sides on the ballot measures and both candidates in the City Council races—remotely, of course. We’re not telling you how to vote; we’re giving you our guidance.
Measure a: No “Strong mayor” was wrong for Sacramento when Kevin Johnson championed it and voters said “no” in 2014. It’s still a bad idea with Darrell Steinberg pushing for it and dressed up with racial and social equity. Actually, the timing is worse. This is a moment when we should be letting more diverse voices be heard in making decisions and becoming more democratic, not further centralizing power in one person and possibly increasing the influence of special interests. Yes, the City Hall bureaucracy can be frustratingly slow. And Steinberg justifiably complains that the City Council is sometimes like having nine CEOs going in different directions. But if a mayor can’t get the support of four council members on a big proposal, maybe it isn’t such a great idea after all. And the measure’s supporters still have difficulty making the case on what isn’t getting done without strong mayor, or pointing to clear successes in California’s five “strong mayor” cities: Fresno, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego and San Francisco. Steinberg wants the increased powers in what would be his final four years as mayor. While he isn’t likely to abuse them, who’s to say what future mayors might do? The measure has two other major flaws. It sets aside at least $40 million a year for disadvantaged neighborhoods, including 25% for children. This is dangerous ballot-box budgeting. In a recession—like the one now, caused by COVID-19—it ties council members’ hands if they have to cut the budget. Another big problem: Measure A does not create the ninth council district until the 2022 election. That means for the first two years, it would take six of eight council votes to override the mayor’s vetoes—a very high bar. The measure has worthy, if rather vague, provisions requiring the city to evaluate the impact of its spending and policy decisions on promoting racial, gender and LGBTQ equity. Voters should take note, however, that Measure A is opposed by the two council members who represent the most disadvantaged neighborhoods, as well as many groups in those communities. Besides, those equity pledges can be passed directly by the council. Indeed, that’s what happened with the ethics and transparency provisions in the 2014 strong mayor measure after it failed. The same should occur this time.
Measure C: Yes Keeping Sacramento affordable is crucial to a fair and inclusive future. Once the COVID-19 crisis passes, we need to make sure that workers from all walks of life aren’t priced out of a growing city. If Measure C passes, annual rent increases would be limited to the inflation rate, with a minimum of 2% and a maximum of 28
5%. That’s stricter than an ordinance passed by the City Council last year (which ends in 2024) and a statewide law (which ends in 2030) that both cap increases at 5% plus inflation, with a maximum of 10%. Is your pay increasing by 10% a year? While the cap is now set at 6% in Sacramento because of minimal cost-of-living increases, there’s no guarantee it will stay that low in the years ahead. Measure C also bans evictions except for just cause, such as failure to pay rent, violations of the rental agreement or nuisance or illegal use. In some cases, the landlord would be required to pay at least $5,500 to $7,000 in relocation assistance, depending on the unit’s size. The pandemic makes passing this measure even more urgent. While there are local and statewide moratoriums on evictions through the end of January, tenants will still have to pay back rent. If there are unreasonable rent hikes as well, many tenants won’t make it. Even before COVID-19, 44,000 voters signed petitions to get a strict rent control measure on the ballot. On the other side of that grassroots effort, there’s a disturbing avalanche of special interest money flowing into the No on C campaign. On Sept. 23, the National Association of Realtors dumped $250,000. That’s on top of nearly $425,000 in cash, plus $191,750 worth of polling from the campaign committee opposing Proposition 21 on the statewide ballot, which would allow cities to extend rent limits to many single-family homes, as long as they are at least 15 years old. The California Association of Realtors has given $167,500, the California Apartment Association has put in $80,000 and various corporate landlords have donated tens of thousands more. On the other side, SEIU Local 1021—which represents 54,000 local government, nonprofit and health care employees in Northern California—has given $145,000 to the pro-rent control campaign and the Democratic Party of Sacramento County has donated $20,000. Still, there are two arguments against the measure worth considering. One is that it doesn’t actually lead to new affordable housing. But the solution isn’t to defeat Measure C. It’s to act. That means finding permanent funding sources, which includes getting a $100 million affordable housing trust fund back on track. It would be financed by borrowing against Measure U sales taxes, state grants and private money, but was put on hold as tax revenues plunged during the pandemic. Also, the city needs to restore the inclusionary housing ordinance, which until the council gutted it in 2015, required developers to include 15% affordable units in any residential project. But until construction gets going, stronger protections for
renters are needed right now to keep them in existing housing. The other significant criticism is that a new rental housing board will be too powerful and expensive. The nine-member board—eight elected from council districts and the ninth appointed by the mayor—would set rent increases, conduct investigations, decide penalties for violations and can charge landlords a fee and demand city funding for all “reasonable and necessary expenses” of staff and operations. While there’s reason for concern about the board, it’s not a disqualifying problem. If Measure C passes, committed, reasonable people need to run for the board and it’s up to voters to choose them. The city fought tooth and nail to keep the measure off the ballot and will be in court trying to get it thrown out if it passes. What it should focus on instead is building more affordable housing.
CitY CouNCil, DistriCt 2: alleN WarreN Incumbent Allen Warren has his issues. Still, he’s learned during his nearly eight years on the council, has shown an independent streak and stepped up during the pandemic to help his district. And he’s a safer choice than Sean Loloee, a political newcomer who bested Ramona Landeros, a Twin Rivers Unified schools trustee, in the March 3 primary to make the Nov. 3 runoff. Loloee, who moved from Oakland in 2000 and owns Viva Supermarket, has an appealing immigrant story and an attractive platform to help family-owned businesses, deal with homelessness and improve libraries and parks. But especially during the twin crises—the COVID-19 pandemic and police violence—this district desperately needs effective leadership, and it’s always a risk to elect someone without much civic involvement. Loloee, who recently joined the board of River City Food Bank, can continue building his track record and preparing himself to run again in four years, when the seat could very well be open. Warren is thinking about running for mayor in 2024, but this contest should be a wake-up call to pick up the pace on his priorities of jobs and housing—and to listen to neighborhood leaders who feel ignored. Some of them are backing Loloee, who also has endorsements from the city police union and former district Councilwoman Sandy Sheedy. One other point that must be made: It’s disconcerting how much of their own money both candidates are spending to get elected. Loloee has put $50,000 into the fall campaign so far, on top of $60,000 he loaned himself for the primary. Warren, who has a history of self-financing, has loaned himself $130,000 this year for his 2020 campaign, though he’s repaid himself $59,000 so far.
Those are eye-popping amounts for a district council race. While it may not be buying a seat, it’s not grassroots support, either.
City CounCil, DistriCt 8: les simmons We couldn’t pick between Les Simmons and Mai Vang before the March primary so endorsed them both for the November runoff. The decision isn’t much easier now. They are both accomplished community leaders, and either will be a strong addition to the council come December. But by the narrowest of margins, we believe that Simmons is the better choice at this moment in Sacramento’s history. He has a stronger track record in the community and a deeper experience of advocacy, so will bring both substance and passion to political power. During the pandemic, Simmons, senior pastor at South Sacramento Christian Center, has been on the front lines of getting food and masks to residents in need. At at time of racial reckoning, especially with anti-police violence protests, Simmons has been engaged on the issue well before George Floyd. He was the first chairman of the city’s community police review commission, was arrested during a Stephon Clark march and has already been working inside City Hall on police reform. Vang may have raised more campaign money, collected more endorsements (including outgoing Councilman Larry Carr)—and a 1,400-vote lead over Simmons in the fivecandidate primary. But he has a head start in actually doing the job of council member. Still, we see the arguments for Vang, whose term as Sacramento City Unified school trustee ends in November. She has a master’s degree in public health to help steer the city through the COVID-19 pandemic and has the community organizing experience to push the council to do better on racial injustice. It’s also significant that Vang is allied with Katie Valenzuela, the councilwoman-elect in District 4 who could use a partner to move the council in a progressive direction. And it’s noteworthy that Vang, 35, would join Valenzuela, 34, in representing a younger generation on the council. But Simmons is only 42, himself. Like we said, it’s not an easy choice.
other reCommenDations: President: Joe Biden U.S. Congress, District 4: Brynne Kennedy U.S. Congress, District 6: Doris Matsui U.S. Congress, District 7: Ami Bera Sacramento Measure B: Yes Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, District 3: Gregg Fishman
Proposition 15: Yes Proposition 16: Yes Proposition 17: Yes Proposition 18: Yes Proposition 20: No Proposition 22: No Proposition 25: Yes
props to you, Californians A dozen statewide measures on the Nov. 3 ballot raCe anD Civil rights
Prop. 19: Expand property tax breaks
Prop. 16: End ban on racial preferences
Who put it there: The Legislature, in a bill sponsored by the California Association of Realtors.
Who put it there: The Legislature, in a bill by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber of San Diego.
Type: Constitutional amendment
Type: Constitutional amendment What it would do: Allow schools and public agencies to take race into account when making admission, hiring or contracting decisions. It would overturn Proposition 209, approved by voters in 1996 to ban affirmative action at state institutions and that immediately reduced Black and Latino enrollment at the state’s elite public universities.
Prop. 17: Restore voting rights for parolees
What it would do: Allow homeowners older than 55, disabled or victims of natural disasters to take a portion of their property tax break with them when they sell their home and buy a new one.
Prop. 21: Expand rent control Who put it on the ballot: Voters, in an effort mostly funded by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Type: Initiative statute
Who put it there: The Legislature, in a bill by Assemblyman Kevin McCarty of Sacramento.
What it would do: Allow cities to impose rent control on homes that are at least 15 years old. It exempts single-family homes owned by landlords with no more than two properties.
Type: Constitutional amendment
how tough on Crime?
What it would do: Allow Californians who are currently on parole to vote and to run for elective office if not convicted of perjury or bribery.
Prop. 25: Ditch cash bail, or keep it
Prop. 18: Lower voting age to 17
Who put it there: Voters, in a campaign largely funded by the bail bond industry.
Who put it there: The Legislature, in a bill by Assemblyman Kevin Mullin of San Mateo. Type: Constitutional amendment What it would do: Allow 17-year-old U.S. citizens to vote in a primary and special election as long as they turn 18 by the next general election.
housing anD property taxes Prop. 15: Create ‘split roll’ Who put it there: Voters, in a campaign largely funded by the California Teachers Association and SEIU California. Type: Constitutional amendment What it would do: Partly repeal Prop. 13 by taxing some commercial property based on market value, rather than the purchase price, and increasing taxes on those worth more than $3 million. It would raise $6.5 billion to $11.5 billion a year for public schools, community colleges and local governments.
By Ben Christopher Ca lMa tte r s
labor vs. management Prop. 22: Exempt Lyft, Uber from independent contractor law Who put it there: Voters, in a campaign mostly funded by Lyft, Uber and Doordash Type: Initiative statute What it would do: Exempt Lyft, Uber and other companies from Assembly Bill 5, which turned “app-based” drivers into independent contractors. Instead, drivers would get minimum earnings, a health insurance stipend and other benefits.
Prop. 23: Regulate dialysis clinics Who put it there: Voters, via an effort funded by Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West Type: Initiative statute What it would do: Require dialysis clinics to have at least one physician on site and to report patient infection data to California health officials.
Coming baCk for more
What it would do: Either confirm or strike down a 2018 state law that ended money bail and allowed judges to determine whether to keep someone behind bars based on risk. A “yes” vote keeps the state law; a “no” vote keeps the current bail system.
Prop. 24: Strengthen consumer privacy laws
Prop. 20: Roll back Gov. Brown reforms
Type: Initiative statute
Who put it there: Voters, in a campaign largely funded by law enforcement agencies. Type: Initiative statute What it would do: Allow prosecutors to charge some thefts, including repeat shoplifting, as a felony, require probation officers to seek tougher penalties for those who violate parole three times and exclude those who have been convicted of domestic violence and certain nonviolent crimes from early parole. Approval would partly undo Props. 47 and 57 backed by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Who put it there: Voters, in a campaign funded by Alastair and Celine Mactaggart. What it would do: Strengthen California’s already strongest-in-the-nation consumer privacy law and establish a California Privacy Protection Agency.
Prop. 14: Borrow for stem cell research Who put it there: Voters, in an effort mostly funded by Robert Klein, JDRF International and Open Philanthropy Type: Bond What it would do: Authorize $5.5 billion in borrowing to fund stem cell research, on top of the $3 billion allowed by Prop. 71 in 2004.
CalMatters is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California policies and politics. An unabridged version is available at calmatters.org.
Kids Ride FRee by Allen Pierleoni Sacramento Regional Transit District light rail and bus service makes it easy to get downtown. Photo courtesy of sAcrt
ere’s a perk students can use: Something for nothing. Specifically, students and youth in need of transportation have a fare-free ride at their fingertips via Sacramento Regional Transit District’s RydeFreeRT program, extended through Sept. 30, 2021. RydeFreeRT invites students and youth in transitional kindergarten through 12th grade to enjoy free passage aboard all of SacRT’s transit web of light rail trains, buses and SmaRT Ride microtransit service, affecting 220,000 young people. RydeFreeRT is valid during the days and hours of SacRT’s regular service schedule. “Fare-free transit removes a financial barrier for young people, particularly those who have historically been underserved,” says Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “By making our kids mobile, we are opening doors to their futures.”
“Transit is readily accessible to me when I don’t have any money on me or if I don’t have a ride,” says the high school senior. “I know that RydeFreeRT has helped youth in the past year and will continue to do so going “RydeFreeRT was such a forward.” College freshbig help during my busiest man Amar Sabi year of high school...It gave also has plugged me peace of mind, knowing into the system. “RydeFreeRT I could always get where I was such a big help during my needed to go.” busiest year of Amar Sabi, College freshman high school,” he says. “I was able to get to school, my job, theater rehearsals tion,” says SacRT Board Chair and club activities, and see and City Councilmember Steve my friends more often. It gave Hansen. me peace of mind, knowing RydeFreeRT youth advocate I could always get where I Shanthoshi Thamilseran knows needed to go.” about that knows about the Because of limited distribunewfound convenience offered tion of RydeFreeRT stickers due by RydeFreeRT.
“RydeFreeRT is critical to reducing residential isolation, especially in disadvantaged neighborhoods, and continues to help reduce barriers to reliable and accessible transporta-
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to Covid-19, SacRT has made things convenient. Now all a student needs to ride for free is a student ID card (even if it’s expired) or a RydeFreeRT card. For students without a student ID or a RydeFreeRT card, the best bet is to get a pass at SacRT’s Customer Service Center, 1225 R St., adjacent to the 13th Street Station. SacRT continues to work to enlist the assistance of Sacramento County library branches that have curbside service, and schools transitioning back to in-person learning, with the goal of having passes available at those sites. Youth who are experiencing homelessness or are in foster programs are also invited to ride for free, regardless of current residence or school address.
For more information: RydeFreeRT.com.
Burly Beverages and ShelterFest founder Gabriel Aiello (top right) will be playing the festival with his band, Drop Dead Red.
Taking the BBQ online
by Lindsay OxfOrd
lin d s a y o @ n e w s re v ie w. c o m
Popular Burly Backyard event expands to raise money for Sac music venues
Photo coURtESY oF DRoP DEAD RED
think that shelter in place is super important, so it kind of then became a mission to encourage that behavior and mentality while bringing people the things that they’re missing the most right now,” says Gabriel Aiello, owner of Sacramento-based Burly Beverages, a line of craft cocktail and soda mixers. He as already looking for a way to bring his mini music festivals known as the Burly Backyard BBQs online when he heard about yet another pandemic casualty for Sacramento music: Shine Café. “Shine [was] kind of a special venue for the scene because it was a small, comfortable neighborhood stage where people could try out new material, or less experienced bands play for their friends and neighbors for the first time,” Aiello says. “And [that’s the] moment I got just really scared…It’s great, like, let’s have this backyard barbecue go online, but what’s gonna happen when this is all over, and every venue that we had to play is gone?” And so the concept of “Burly BBQs, but online,” became ShelterFest, a six-hour online festival of music, poetry and comedy on Saturday, Oct. 10 to benefit Sacramento’s struggling independent music venues, unable to do business until the county’s coronavirus numbers drop even further. ShelterFest will include bands from past Burly Backyard BBQs—Aiello’s own Drop Dead Red, as well as seven others. The festival will expand the entertainment to include poets, stand-up comedians and Djs—all filmed at five independent venues. Aiello credits Artists of Sacramento and its co-founder Laura Anthony for incorporating other art forms into ShelterFest. All the entertainment was pre-recorded, not just to avoid technical glitches, but to ensure safe social distancing. That, and because all the venues benefiting from ShelterFest are shuttered: Café Colonial, Luna’s Café, Old Ironsides, Press Club and Torch Club. But the online performances are only part of the story. At ShelterFest2020.com, early birds could order food to enjoy during the entertainment. With the assistance of Trophy Club, bartenders at each benefiting venue will offer signature “mocktails,” complete with tips on how to turn those drinks into “adult” beverages in videos in between performances. Both food and drink have delivery and pick-up options. A regular Burly Backyard costs $5 to $7 per show—for the hardcore kids in the back, think of it as the Fugazi of barbecues. ShelterFest is $25 per ticket; Aiello’s goal is to raise $5,000 per venue, in addition to paying all bands, performers and food delivery drivers. It’s an ambitious goal, but many performers have already waived their fees, and Burly and Artists of Sacramento have lined up a number of sponsors. One of those performers who’s waived his fee is Ngaio Bealum, comedian and SNR’s cannabis columnist. “I’m a comedian. So it’s like me and a microphone,” he said. “But the venues, you know, it’s the bartenders, the waitstaff, the security guards, it’s the promoters, the marketing people. There’s so many people, such an infrastructure, and it’s a drag, that everyone’s careers and livelihoods are in jeopardy from this.” “Any little thing I can do to help, especially if I’m just showing up
and telling jokes, which is all I like to do anyway,” Bealum added. In many cases, the clubs where performers recorded their sets are near and dear to them. Anyone who has been to Church—aka the Press Club’s Sunday night dance party—has a story about it. DJ Larry Rodriguez—aka Flower Vato, the night’s DJ for more than 14 years—has many. “A lot of people grew up there. A lot of people met there, and met their love [there],” he says.
Press Club pays it forward
The Press C0lub’s situation is unique within the framework of ShelterFest: The club’s building was sold in January. While bars and nightclubs wait for state and county approval to reopen, the Press Club owners are moving to their new location (previously Midtown Barfly). Rodriguez’s ShelterFest set was his last at the Press Club’s current location. “I put the tapestries up that I always put up Sunday night. And just because it’s part of the special, it was the...day-glo mandalas,” he said. “I think it distinguished my night from other nights and it’s made it special as far as the spirits that everybody felt there. And so I thought it was important when ShelterFest wanted to do the set
“Let’s have this backyard barbecue go online, but what’s gonna happen when this is all over, and every venue that we had to play is gone?” Gabriel Aiello, owner of Burly Beverages and founder of ShelterFest
inside of the club.” With the Press Club moving, the owners have asked that their share of donations go to Luna’s Café, the longtime juice bar that doubled as a home for performers of all stripes in the evenings. It’s a gesture that captures the spirit of the event: the creative community taking care of its own. And there’s yet another layer to ShelterFest: Aiello has pledged to give 10% of event proceeds to Sac Safe Space for Unhomed Youth, offering shelter to more of the Sacramento community. The ShelterFest site includes a page for those who’d like to donate directly, with options to provide socks, sleeping bags and tents—especially needed items as Sacramento’s cold and wet winter approaches. A six-hour online festival is admittedly quite a lot for a single viewing. Aiello is still working on the logistics of offering the stream after Saturday, while making sure artists and Sac Safe Space are compensated fairly. Still, at $25 for six hours of entertainment and a charitable donation, it’s a not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Ω
Buy tickets for ShelterFest at shelterfest2020.com 10.08.20
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by Patrick Hyun Wilson
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Dancing to destigmatize A new series by Sac Ballet’s former artistic director explores mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic
a scene from crack the Dark, the first in a series of four films of ballets on mental health during the pandemic. Photo courtesy of Kristine samuelson and John haPtas
Amy Seiwert began the Sketch dance series with her ballet company Imagery in the summer of 2011 in San Francisco, premiering ballets by four different choreographers to foster innovation in contemporary ballet, Now, on the tenth anniversary of the series, that innovation is pushed even further. “When it became apparent that business as usual was not an option, we started thinking of how to keep the spirit and the intention behind Sketch going,” said Seiwert, who left as artistic director at Sacramento Ballet after the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to cancel its 2020-21 season. Seiwert’s answer to the pandemic is Sketch Films: Red Thread, featuring four ballets choreographed by Seiwert, Jennifer Archibald, Stephanie Martinez and Ben Needham-Wood. All four films are connected by the common theme of mental health during the pandemic. Seiwert’s Crack the Dark is available for viewing on her website asimagery.org, followed by Archibald’s film on Oct. 16, Martinez’s film Nov. 5 and Needham-Wood’s on Nov. 20. Crack the Dark was choreographed by Seiwert, produced in collaboration with Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmakers, Kristine Samuelson and John Haptas and inspired by Sacramento chef and restauranteur Patrick Mulvaney. “Each film is inspired by an interview with someone whose story we’re hoping to tell. So for me, that was working with Patrick Mulvaney,” Seiwert said. “He’s been a pioneer in terms of mental health advocacy for the hospitality field,” Mulvaney began to advocate for mental health awareness after four people in Sacramento’s restaurant industry committed suicide in the first three months of 2018. After learning about those deaths and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain’s suicide the same year, Mulvaney formed the “I Got Your Back Project,” designed to break down the stigma of talking about mental health. “Instead of ‘How are you?’ it becomes, ‘How are you, really?’ And it really changed the culture of the restaurant industry,” Mulvaney said. “That December, unfortunately we finished the year with four suicides in four weeks. Christmas is brutal already and the
restaurant just makes it worse. Four funerals in two weeks is just too much.” In 2019, the health care community recognized Mulvaney’s efforts and invested $300,000 to create a pilot program in 12 Sacramento restaurants. Trained staff— marked with a purple hand—provide mental health support to anyone who needs it. That December, Mulvaney saw his efforts pay off. “The dishwasher didn’t come in, so I was washing dishes. The guy comes in, ‘Hey, I can’t work tonight,’” Mulvaney said. “Yana, who was the purple hand that day, reached out and said, ‘Hey, how you doing?’ Guy said, ‘Yeah, I’m fine.’ She said, ‘No, you don’t look fine.’” The man was considering suicide. The staff jumped into action, calling resources and providing him support. He left that day to check in to a mental health facility for 72 hours and eventually returned to work. “After he left, I got out of the dish pit and went into the back and started crying,” Mulvaney said. “Yana came up and hugged me and said, ‘Hey chef, he was brave enough to ask for help. And he trusted us to ask us for help and we knew what to do. And last year, four people didn’t have that option.’” Mulvaney says that after seeing Crack the Dark he felt humbled that people were taking mental health in the hospitality industry seriously. “I’m a crier, so yeah, I cried. I cried for the emotion that the dance evokes and then also really out of gratitude for the fact that people take what I see as serious issue, they see it as serious, too, and then use their talents and training in order to help spread the message,” he said. Dance might be the best way to spread the message, Mulvaney said. “We know that dance is a nonverbal communication, and it’s very hard to put mental health issues into words. But the dance evokes the same feelings so it helps people get to understanding, clarity, and then hopefully it’ll improve our health.” Ω
by Lindsay OxFOrd
l i nd s a y o @ne w s re v i e w . c o m
Experience the premier destination for clothing-optional fun and relaxation in Northern California. Spread out and enjoy spacious facilities in 200+ acres of unspoiled nature Photo courtesy of Justin farren
Justin Farren stands in front of the Oak Park home he and his wife built.
Justin Farren’s Pretty Free gets pretty DIY Everything about musician Justin Farren has the Do-It-Yourself ethic baked in. The backyard of the Oak Park home he and his wife built from the ground up in 2007 doubled as a recording studio for his fourth album, Pretty Free. That album was a handmade affair, including an additional disc of Pretty Free played fully acoustically, a T-shirt and handmade booklet. At $100 a pop, it sold out in twelve hours. Now, with production costs recouped, he’s decided to donate a portion of profits from the Oct. 8 re-release to the most DIY of charities: Habitat for Humanity. “Honestly, I didn’t think that we would sell the first 100,” Farren says. “I thought $100 is way too much to ask of a single person, especially right now.” But with the first run selling nearly immediately, Farren has hopes that Pretty Free’s second pressing can provide Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento—and also the American Red Cross, which is assisting with wildfire relief—with significant donations. If the next pressing of 100 sells out at its original $100 price, he hopes to donate roughly $7,000 total. Habitat for Humanity provides a chance at homeownership to families who may not have a shot at affordable housing otherwise. The homes are built with prospective homeowner and volunteers working side-by-side. It’s not so different than Farren’s motivation for building his own home, with the DIY seed planted during the early 2000s, when he and his then-girlfriend spent six months in Alaska. “[Alaskans have a] different
set of ideas about what it is to be more selfsufficient, more community oriented,” Farren says, “because things need to get done in a timely way, before winter comes in order for everyone to have a safe and healthy winter.” The DIY ethic is rarely a lone endeavor, even during a pandemic. It’s one that has extended to Farren’s recording process and has allowed him to stretch both his creative and collaborative muscle. “Brian Chris Rogers and I were able to do drums and, and rough guitar and vocal takes… last December [and] doing overdubs and stuff like that when the pandemic really set in,” Farren says. “And then we started just working remotely.” That approach allowed Farren to work with friends in other states including Oregon and Texas as songs were reworked and evolved. “A handful of songs were sent off to different musicians,” he says. “They were just files that we traded on Google Drive. And then they would send me files back. So people recorded them in their own home studios and sent them back.” And so Pretty Free was not just born but built, and its charitable DIY intention as well. “Right out the gate, we had good luck, I think that we’ll be able to do it again,” Farren says. “I feel like especially right now in the world, if there’s anything I can do that’s like unquestionably positive, just being helpful, I want to do it.” Ω
Pretty free is available for preorder at justinfarren.com
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Concentrating most of the power of a municipality in a single person who can’t be fired is a loss of accountability, invites cronyism and big money investment in a mayoral campaign.
Strong Mayor Charter Change?
Councilmember Jeff Harris and Councilmember-elect Katie Valenzuela weigh in Measure A seeks to change our City Charter to give the mayor more power over our budget, ordinances and policies, while diminishing the role of councilmembers in shaping our future as a city. It’s a bad idea that will reduce the influence of the people on the City of Sacramento. The proponents of the measure say the city manager is appointed, not elected, which is true, and therefore not accountable to the people, which is untrue. Our city manager works for the City Council and the council can remove the manager at any time for non-performance of our directives. That’s accountability! A strong mayor? If you don’t like the decisions of a strong mayor, you are stuck with them until the next election. Concentrating most of the power of a municipality in a single person who can’t be fired is a loss of accountability, invites cronyism and big money investment in a mayoral campaign. You can see it already as the more wealthy and influential individuals in Sacramento line up to support Measure A, while the neighborhood organizations and constituents have formed a grassroots campaign to stop the power grab.
Due to Covid-19 the federal government disbursed $89 million dollars in aid to Sacramento. The City Council immediately took action and used the funds to support small business, bolster food banks, give mortgage relief, support arts and hospitality institutions, provide workforce training and address homelessness. None of this would have been more successful or more quickly implemented with a strong mayor. It was the work of our excellent city staff under the direction of the city manager that made it happen. Of 482 cities in California, only five have adopted a strong mayor measure. Why? Because citizens want a say in their government. Our Council will soon have two new progressive members and will be more diverse than ever. Is this the time to take power away from the councilmembers? Since the great recession we have made great strides in Sacramento. There is much work yet to do, but changing our governance structure in a pandemic is a fool’s errand.
Vote no on Measure
Paid for by Neighborhoods agaiNst stroNg Mayor fPPC id#1430444
Chad Novick and Elizabeth Gibb are opening a neighborhood diner in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo courtesy of easy Diner
Opening Easy Diner in uneasy times by Patrick Hyun Wilson
Dozens of chairs and cardboard boxes full of kitchen equipment are scattered throughout the dining room. It isn’t much to look at now, but Elizabeth Gibb and Chad Novick plan to turn Easy on I bar and grill into a neighborhood diner for all. Gibb and Novick aren’t new to the restaurant world. They have operated their food truck, Bambi Vegan Tacos, since 2018. “Originally we were looking for a spot to land Bambi,” Novick said. “We wanted it to be Midtown/downtown, and then we came upon this spot and we fell in love with it.” According to Gibb, there were limitations in running a food truck that could be solved with a bigger location. “We don’t use any Impossible meat or Impossible burgers, and we do create everything. The filling in our cremini beef that we put inside the Bambi tacos started with big, huge crates of mushrooms,” she said. “With that tiny space and that tiny refrigerator space it was hard to create the food that we wanted.” Though their initial plan was to open a new Bambi location, Novick says that amid the coronavirus pandemic, he wanted to create a familiar place. “People in the neighborhood, you know, expect a neighborhood diner. So we just wanted to provide that comfort,” Novick said. The pair isn’t planning to overhaul Easy on I completely; they’re even keeping most of the name as they reopen as Easy Diner in a couple of months. They plan to serve American diner foods with a Santa Fe influence, a vegan menu and a rotating cast of tacos. And they’re
bringing all of the lessons they learned from running Bambi. “The very first event we did I was driving down the freeway and I hear these like ‘pop, pop, pop’ in the back….” Novick remembers. “The water tank had ruptured. There’s water everywhere, and I’m driving on the freeway trying not to crash. But that’s kind of what a food truck teaches you. It’s just, you gotta adapt.” Bambi hasn’t been out on the street since March when the pandemic started. It took a personal turn for Gibb. “My mom got sick right when COVID hit,” she said. “She got cancer and went through chemo. She was [immunocompromised] so I was really careful as far as we can’t run this food truck.” Gibb says that she and Novick have been able to take time to get everything in order for Easy Diner’s opening day. “We could really manage and figure out exactly what we need and exactly how many employees, keep our costs at what we can make with just some tables outside and to-go service,” Gibb said. Despite the difficulty in operating a restaurant during the pandemic, Gibb and Novick are optimistic about Easy Diner. “A lot of good restaurants are going down and that’s super sad. That sucks for the culture of Sacramento,” Novick said. “Restaurants have evolved. I think delivery is just going to be a bigger part of restaurants going forward. So starting a restaurant fresh, you know, we can look at that with a fresh lens. We can plan.” Ω
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All in the family Green Acres is growing with a new nursery in Citrus Heights and acquiring Eisley Nursery in Auburn
south coco’s insacramento accEptED
call to book: 916.995.9202 (do not text)
by Debbie Arrington
Photo courtesy of eisley Nursery
Eisley Nursery and Green Acres already have a close relationship. As part of its greenhouse operation, Eisley produces thousands of vegetable plants and annuals that are sold at Green Acres’ nurseries. Eisley also is a major poinsettia producer, growing these colorful holiday plants for outlets throughout the Sacramento area. “We’ve been in partnership this whole time anyway,” Earlene Eisley-Freeman said. “They’re the right fit to keep us a working nursery.” The whole deal came together is just 45 days, Travis Gill said, in part because the Eisley Nursery, a destination two families had a lot in common. nursery in Auburn for three generations, will soon join “From the family aspect, their dynamic the Green Acres family. is exactly like ours—I’m just 30 years younger,” he said. “They work with each other every day, same as my family.” The Eisley family is retaining the propGardening is a booming business—again—as more erty; several family members live on its 14.7 acres. people discovered the joys of growing food and Green Acres will lease the nursery’s facilities. No flowers during the pandemic. financial details were disclosed. “We’ve seen 30 million new gardeners in Green Acres will focus on Eisley’s vegetable America this year,” said Travis Gill, co-owner production, Travis Gill said. “It all starts with the of Green Acres Nursery & Supply. “Ten percent plant, and the quality of the product,” he said. of America put a plant in the ground for the first time ever; that’s pretty cool! It’s what this industry “Vegetables will be part of our focus right out of the gate. needs.” “There’s an insatiable appetite for vegetables A major beneficiary of this renewed interest right now,” he added. “There’s continued interest is Green Acres, a local family-owned chain that’s in all things edible.” had its own growth spurt. In recent weeks, Green While finalizing its deal with the Eisleys, the Acres announced the acquisition of Eisley Nursery Gills also moved forward with plans to create a in Auburn and plans to build a new nursery in nursery on San Juan Avenue at Greenback Lane in Citrus Heights. Citrus Heights. Renovation has already begun on a Mark Gill and his children, Travis Gill and former antique mall. Ashley Rossi, own and operate Green Acres, which The new 75,000-square-foot retail space will has become the major retail nursery business in the include 24,000 square feet of indoor space for greater Sacramento area. Founded in Roseville in gardening supplies, tools and an Outdoor Living 2003, Green Acres already has five retail locations department featuring patio furniture, grills and plus Matsuda’s, its growing operation. accessories. An acre surrounding the building With the purchase of Eisley Nursery, Green Acres gets another successful nursery and growing will include a 13,000-square-foot greenhouse for perennials and annuals, a 16,000-square-foot lath operation, plus a big chunk of history. Founded in house for shade plants and a 2,600-square-foot 1932, Eisley Nursery has been family-run in the greenhouse for houseplants. same location for three generations. Green Acres expects to have the new store open “It’s an institution, a piece of the community,” in spring 2021—just in time to plant tomatoes. Travis Gill said in a phone interview. Operating at its same Nevada Street location in Auburn since its beginning, Eisley Nursery started as a roadside attraction, selling pansies to passersby.
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Debbie Arrington, an award-winning garden writer and lifelong gardener, is co-creator of the sacramento Digs Gardening blog and website.
foR the moNth of octobeR
by Patrick hyun wilson
snr c a le nd a r @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m
COVID-FRIENDLY EVENTs CALENDAR While some venues are holding live events, remember to follow public health guidelines. Many events are still virtual due to COVID-19. Keep up to date and list events at sacramento.newsreview.com/
FOOD & DRINK FRIDAY, 10/9 DUNLOE BREWING CURBsIDE BEER sALEs & FOOD TRUCKs: Dunloe Brewing will sell beer every
2RO9 GH TH U 31 Think you’ve got what
Blast away some zombies during the Heartstoppers Redemption
it takes to survive the zombie apocalypse? 2300 Mine Shaft Lane, variouS tiMeS, $20-$60
You may have seen haunted houses before, but what about a haunted drive? For three nights only, the FEsTIVALs owners and operators of the Heartstoppers Haunted House have transformed a section of road into the streets of Deadlands. Zombies will attack and you’ll have to blast your way through using either one or two laser blasters. Think you have what it takes to survive the zombie apocalypse? This event will surely test your skills to see if you’d survive a
Tuesday and Friday afternoon, featuring a rotating list of beers, IPAs, lagers and lots of sours, along with food trucks including tacos by Street Cravings. 4pm, no cover. Dunloe Brewing, 1606 Olive Drive, Davis.
TUESDAY, 10/13 produce at Sierra Harvest’s Food Love Farm on Tuesday afternoons. Veggies, fruits and flowers are available. 4:30pm, no cover. Food Love Farm, 16200 Lake Vera Purdon Road, Nevada City.
COMEDY EsTHER’s PARK: October Comedy Fest Night at Esther’s Park is a 21-plus event hosted by comedian Dru Burks. 7pm, 10/10, $15. 3408 3rd Ave.
Laughs (Silent Comedy). Inside Jokes Outside Laughs is an outdoor comedy experience with a twist. You’ll be listening to the entire show through headphones, reminiscent of a silent disco. 8:30pm, Thursdays and saturdays, 10/8-10/31, $20. 1207 Front St.
sTAB! COMEDY THEATER: The STAB! show. Three comedians have a day to write their responses to five prompts and present them for the first time to the world. Jesse Jones brings together the funniest writers he can find and lets them loose. 8pm Thursdays, no cover. twitch.tv/stabcomedy.
ON STAGE B sTREET THEATRE: Six Feet Apart Christina
SATURDAY, 10/17 sINIsTER CYBER CON: Sinister Cyber Con is coming to the digital waves for the second time with guests including Miko Hughes from Pet Sematary and New Nightmare, a Monster Squad reunion and a live performance by Lindsay Schoolcraft. Get your spooks in at this virtual festival. 5pm, no cover. sinistercreaturecon.com
FRIDAY, 10/9 TRUCK MANIA: Gas, diesel, 4-wheel drive, SUVs, Jeeps, El Caminos: If you like trucks, Truck Mania is for you. Social distancing and masks required. 5pm, $25-$400. Sacramento Raceway Park, 5305 Excelsior Road.
SATURDAY, 10/24 TRUNK-OR-TREAT AT THE MOOsE: Trick-ortreating may be out of the question, but The Moose in Roseville is giving kids the experience in a safe way. 11am, no cover. Loyal Order of Moose, 506 Lincoln St., Roseville.
DAD’s NOsTALGIC CAR sHOW & MUsIC FEsTIVAL 2020: Maybe you don’t just like trucks. Maybe you like cars from before 1972. Well, the fellas organizing Dad’s Nostalgic Car Show and Music Festival are just like you. 5pm, $15-$100. The Wrangler Bar, 8945 Grant Line Road, Elk Grove.
sELF DEsIGNs ART GALLERY COURTYARD CONCERT: Self Designs Art Gallery presents
THURSDAY, 10/29 11TH ANNUAL EL PANTEÓN DE sACRAMENTO / DÍA DE LOs MUERTOs 2020: The 11th annual
an outdoor Courtyard Concert featuring local artwork, poetry and live classical music. 4pm, $20. 1801 L St.
El Panteon de Sacramento will continue this year, reimagined as A Moonlit Slow Drive-Through Remembrance held at The Latino Center of Art and Culture. Thursday
through Sunday, experience this year’s centerpiece, a Mexican graveyard. 5pm, no cover. Latino Center of Art and Culture, 2700 Front St.
HEARTsTOPPERs REDEMPTION: Drive your way through the streets of Deadlands as you blast your way through the hordes of zombies. Trick-or-treating is available for kids as well. 7pm, $40. The Mine Shaft, 2300 Mine Shaft Lane, Rancho Cordova.
SUNDAY, 11/1 VINTAGE, VINYL, AND HANDMADE: Every first Sunday of the month, local vintage clothing and accessory vendors, along with local makers from River City Marketplace, will be selling one-of-a-kind handmade things. 11am, no cover. Solomon’s Delicatessen, 730 K St.
UC DAVIs: This Is How It Happened. A rippedfrom-the-headlines one-act play about race, police and friendship examines the search for truth after a white police officer kills a black man. “This Is How It Happened,” by Sacramento native Anthony D’Juan, is being presented by Catalyst A Theatre Think Tank through the UC Davis Department of Theatre and Dance. 5pm, 10/15-16, no cover. 1 Shields Ave., Davis.
FOOD LOVE FARM sTAND: Shop for organic
LAUGHs UNLIMITED: Inside Jokes Outside
wasteland infested by ravenous zombies. Don’t worry about the real pandemic sweeping the nation; social distancing will apply and you’ll be safe inside your vehicle. This will be a family event; if you’re kids aren’t ready to take on hordes of undead, there will be trick-or-treat, scarecrow building and pumpkin carving contests. Make your way to the streets of Deadlands and experience a haunted street. 2300 Mine Shaft Lane, heartstoppershaunt.com.
idealistic man who cannot bring himself to believe that the same element that shrinks tumors could have anything to do with what is afflicting the Radium Girls. Various times, 10/23-24. 1419 H St.
Martin. The Six Feet Apart series by B Street Theatre. Tune in Fridays this month to see the line-up: Ariadne Greif, Christina Martin and Alexander Boldachev. They’ll be bringing their unique style of music to your home. 7pm, Fridays through 10/23, no cover. 2700 Capitol Ave..
OOLEY THEATRE: ACTUALLY by anna ziegler. Amber and Tom meet within the first month of their freshman year at Princeton and have a night together that alters the course of their lives. They agree on the drinking and the attraction, but was there actual consent? The audience becomes the focal point as they share their sides of the story. Various times, 10/1-17, $10-$40. 2007 28th St.
sACRAMENTO THEATRE: Radium Girls. In 1926, radium was a miracle cure, Madame Curie an international celebrity and luminous watches the latest rage—until the girls who painted them began to fall ill with a mysterious disease. Inspired by a true story, Radium Girls traces the efforts of Grace Fryer, a dial painter, as she fights for her day in court. Her chief adversary is her former employer, Arthur Roeder, an
ART ELK GROVE FINE ARTs CENTER: 9th Annual Art Tour. The Art Tour, hosted by Elk Grove Fine Arts Center, features three sites with 15 participating artists showing a variety of media. Now in its ninth year, the show will feature artists including Linda Nunes, Raquel Lushenko and David Peterson. 10am-4pm, 10/10. 9080 Elk Grove Blvd., Elk Grove.
JOHN NATsOULAs GALLERY: Yoshio Taylor New Work, 100 Years of Wayne Thiebaud, and Pat Mahony. John Natsoulas Gallery will be hosting an exhibition featuring work from Yoshio Taylor, Pat Mahoney and Wayne Theibaud. The exhibition will also celebrate Thiebaud’s 100th birthday and feature pieces by the famous artist. Various times, 10/21-11/28. 521 1st St., Davis. KENNEDY GALLERY: The Twentieth “20Twenty” Exhibit. “20-Twenty” Exhibit runs through October, featuring works from more than 20 resident artists on three floors of open studios in the heart of Midtown. Various times, through 10/31, no cover. 1931 L St.
PENCE GALLERY: Chris Daubert Firewood. Chris Daubert’s installation Firewood creates an environment to observe multiple hand carved, wooden sculptures of solitary objects, each created out of a single piece of firewood. Each object is illuminated from within, and then partially obscured with layers of hanging semi-transparent fabric. Various times, through 11/29, no cover. If They Came to Life Work by Caitlin McCarthy & Charlene Reinhart. Uniting her interests in magic and art, Caitlin McCarthy’s drawings feature mystical women within otherworldly atmospheres. Various times, through 10/25, no cover. Sara Post This Is Not A Dream. This Is Not A Dream is abstract painter Sara Post’s meditation on the confinement caused by the pandemic. Various times, through 11/1, no cover. 212 D St., Davis.
THE GARAGE ON THE GROVE: Vincent Pacheco Smile Now, Cry Later. Artist Vincent Pacheco opens Smile Now, Cry Later, an immersive installation of sound, color and, most importantly, piñatas. The piñatas include a nostalgic VHS tape of some favorite movies from his Chicano upbringing in San Francisco and an oversized syringe— and artifact of family members who were active in the Mexican Mafia and the drug trade. 7pm. 10/10. No cover. 2287 Grove Ave.
Saturday & Sunday, 10/17-18
The internet just got a little more sinister Facebook.com/sinistercreaturecon, 12pm-6pm, no cover
Just because conventions have moved online doesn’t mean the Sinister Creature Con will be any less sinister. This FesTivals year, the Sinister Cyber Con will stream live on the Sinister Creature Con Facebook page. The free event will go on for two full days and feature the most PHOtO COurtESy OF rOdrIX ParEdES wicked guests around. They include Miko Hughes, an actor from Pet Sematary and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare; CJ Graham, the actor who portrayed Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th Part VI; and a Monster Squad reunion with Ryan Lambert and Andre Gower. Head online and experience the spooks with Sinister Cyber Con. facebook.com/sinistercreaturecon.
SPOrtS & OutdOOrS FrIday, 10/9 CHeCKPOiNT CHalleNGes DisCOveRY PaRK: Checkpoint Challenges is a physical and mental outdoor sport that can be enjoyed by active people of all skill and fitness levels. 9am, $5. Discovery Park, 1000 Garden Hwy.
TaNGO Class WiTH MiGUel MaiN ROOM: Learn the Tango with Miguel, a longtime teacher and practitioner of Argentine tango. 7pm, $10. The Firehouse 5, 2014 9th St.
Saturday, 10/10 PUMPKiN PaTCH eXPRess aT RiveR FOX TRaiN: Celebrate fall harvest on a train ride along the pumpkin patch and experience trickor-treating. Attendance is limited. There will be a private park with more trick-ortreating, gem mining, photo opportunities, pumpkin picking and a costume contest. The train ride will take place on our sanitary open-air cars with trick-or-treating one way only. Outside activities are spread out to maintain social distancing. This event recurs every Saturday and Sunday. various times, $10-$49. River Fox Train, 18095 County Road 117, West Sacramento.
MOnday, 10/12 MOUNTaiN BiKe MONDaYs: Self-guided trails are open exclusively to riders every afternoon. It is limited to 50 people and only to individuals who comply with safety guidelines. 4pm, $10. Deer Creek Hills Preserve.
Saturday, 10/24 CaliFORNia GOlD RUsH RUN: This event is run entirely inside the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, set in the foothills of Coloma along the south fork of the American River. This is the site where gold was discovered in 1848, igniting the Gold Rush and leading to California’s quick rise to statehood. 8:30am, $45-$60. California Gold
Rush Run, 310 Back st., Coloma.
CLaSSES Saturday, 10/10 ClaY laB saTURDaY: Clay Labs are open to the public every Saturday morning. All ages and skills are welcome, but kids younger than 14 must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Verge will be conducting the class
entirely outside to comply with COVID-19 safety precautions. 10am, $15-$25. Verge Center for the Arts, 625 S St.
seCReTs OF aNCieNT aRT: Participants will learn that before the end of last Ice Age our ancestors were creating amazing works of art using only materials they gathered from the natural world. Class participants using only natural materials and with tools they make themselves will create an array of art objects that span our human past. 11am, $120-$140. Blue Line Arts, 405 Vernon St. Ste. 100 in Roseville.
WEdnESday, 10/14 WRiTiNG as HealiNG: A twice monthly writing group for anyone dealing with issues of illness, disability or recovery. Open to patients, caregivers, staff, community members and health-care providers. The intention of the workshop is to create a sense of freedom and excitement about writing as a tool for self-expression 6:30pm, no cover. UC Davis, 1 Shields Ave.
Saturday, 10/17 Q-PROM DiY MasK MaKiNG: Masks are becoming a part of our daily lives, so why not make a fun and spooky one? During this DIY Mask Making you’ll decorate your own face mask. There’ll be a showcase at the main event so make sure your mask is ready for the judges. 6pm, no cover. Sacramento LGBT Community Center, 1927 L St.
tuESday, 10/20 sPOOKY laNe: Drink and paint at this event and create your own spooky decorations for Halloween. 5pm, $30. River City Brewing Company, 6241 Fair Oaks Blvd..
tHurSday, 10/22 RiveRs laB laNDsCaPes THaT WORK FOR BiODiveRsiTY aND PeOPle: Rivers Lab is a report reading and discussion group to break down the prestigious walls of academic papers to learn more about river systems and ask questions, discuss and enjoy each other’s company. Noon, no cover. South Yuba River Citizens League, 313 Railroad Ave.
Saturday, 10/24 HallOWeeN CHalK BaNNeR CRaFT: With Halloween just around the corner, learn to make an adorable banner to add to your door or mantle for some pumpkin
CaleNDaR lisTiNGs CONTiNUeD ON PaGe 40
SEE morE EvEnTS and SubmiT your own aT newsreview.com/sacramenTo/calendar diverse collection of romance novels on the second Saturday of the month. The October selection is “Strange Love” by Ann Aguirre. 1pm, no cover. Sacramento Library, saclibrary.org.
comEdy SPoT miXTaPE: Comedy Spot
The best seat in the house is outside aLi Youssefi square, 7pm, $20-$40
Mixtape is an exclusive live-stream event featuring comedians and special guests doing stand-up, improv, sketch, videos, music, characters, games and more. Help keep the Comedy Spot open by buying a ticket. 8pm, $10 Sacramento Comedy Spot, saccomedyspot.com/mixtape.
library aF booK club: Join us on the second
Ask any drive-in theater aficionado: Watching movies outside is better Film than watching them inside. Whether it’s in a park, from your car or at tables inside Ali Youssefi PhoTo courTesy oF Tony shePPard Square, watching your favorite flick in the nighttime air enhances any movie-going experience. Crest Sacramento is hosting Movies Under the Stars every Thursday in October. Films including Scooby Doo, Ghostbusters, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Hocus Pocus will keep spooky times flowing this Halloween season. Bring your favorite people to socially distance with a movie under the stars. 705 K St., crestsacramento.com. calEndar liSTingS conTinuEd From PagE 39
Comedy Spot asks several viewers to participate each week and they always love your feedback and comments. 6pm, no cover. Sacramento comedy Spot,
vibes. 11:30am, $25. Broad Room Creative Collective, 1409 Del Paso Blvd.
virTual SacTown urban daSH: The Active
20-30 Club of Greater Sacramento #1032 will be hosting its 4th annual Sactown Urban Dash virtually this year. The virtual run will be 10.32 miles, and you have the entire month to complete it. This event benefits Single Mom Strong, Escape Velocity Resources Foundation and the Active 20-30 Club #1032 Scholarship Program. 10am, $35$100. Sacramento, runsignup.com/Race/ CA/Sacramento/SactownUrbanDash5K
STill liFE drawing (br): Practice your drawing skills and techniques. All ages and skill sets welcome. Still life display will be set up, and all materials will be provided. 4:15pm, no cover. Bear River Library, 11130 Magnolia Road in Grass Valley.
acTually by anna ZiEglEr: Amber and Tom meet within the first month of their freshman year at Princeton, and have a night together that alters the course of their lives. They agree on the drinking and the attraction, but did they each consent? 7:30pm, $10-$40. ooley Theatre, 2007 28th St.
Thursday, 10/8 6 o’clocK dad rocK-STrEaming livE: Court and Cory talk about the music that some love and others cringe at every Thursday. 6pm, no cover. STAB! Comedy Theater, twitch.tv/stabcomedy.
PiFF THE magic dragon livE From laS vEgaS: A hilarious, interactive magic show to entertain the entire family through Zoom. Hot off his Vegas residency, Piff presents a completely new show created for online viewing. 7pm, $35.75. piffthemagicdragon. com.
laToya ruby FraZiEr in convErSaTion wiTH SamPada aranKE: Acclaimed photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier, whose work features often unheard voices and perspectives, will talk to Manetti Shrem Museum scholar-in-residence Sampada Aranke. Co-sponsored by the Department of Art and Art History’s Art Studio Visiting Artist Lecture Series. 4:30pm, no cover. UC Davis, ucdavis.edu.
PoP SurrEaliSm PainTing: Guest instructor Yoli Manzo will teach about the work of Todd Schorr, a self-described cartoon realist. Afterward, examine works from other pop surrealists and lowbrow artists before creating a painting inspired by the best, worst and weirdest parts of pop culture. Enrollment closes at 10 a.m., Oct. 6. 1pm, $95. Crocker Art Museum, crockerart.org.
oFFicE HourS-STrEaming livE: Got a mountain of creative projects you want to do? Got a little difficulty with structure and accountability? So did STAB! Comedy Theater owner Jesse Jones, which is why he started STAB!s Office Hours! for himself and fellow creatives to knock out our work. 9:30am, no cover. twitch.tv/ stabcomedy.
TwEEn comic booK club: Join librarians Lindsey, Caitlin and Nate live for a Tween Comic Book Club. They’ll talk about Ronin Island, host a short trivia game, answer your questions and host an art activity inspired by the comic book. 4pm, no cover. Sacramento Library, facebook.com/ saclibrary.
PodcaSTing 101 onlinE worKSHoP: Podcasting 101 is a workshop that focuses on how to create and produce a podcast, make it compelling and do it again. 6pm, $75. Darling New Media, darlingnewmedia.com.
ToP 10 liST: Each episode of the Top 10 List
saTurday, 10/10 bETwEEn THE covErS “STrangE lovE:”
podcast features two guests competing to assemble a top 10 list on a new subject. You can watch live on Facebook. Sac
Between the Covers, a new Sacramento Public Library book group, invites romance readers to discuss a delightfully
Saturday of the month for the Library AF Book Club hosted by Katie on Zoom. This month’s title is “This Is How You Lose Her” by Junot Diaz, as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. 11am, no cover. Sacramento Library, saclibrary.org.
SHElTErFEST: ShelterFest is an online, streaming music festival, designed and intended to encourage staying safe at home while raising money for local music venues. More in the story on page 32. 5pm, $20. Torch club, shelterfest2020.com.
virTual arT rX: Each month, people living with chronic pain, their family, friends, and caregivers are invited to explore the wonders of art and the creative mind. Via Zoom, enjoy the simple pleasure of viewing art together, as a trained docent facilitates group conversations about select works. No prior art knowledge is necessary. Art Rx is presented in collaboration with the Center for Pain Medicine’s Integrative Pain Management Program, part of the UC Davis Health System. 11am, no cover. Crocker Art Museum, crockerart.org.
sunday, 10/11 Polo For cHangE virTual EvEnT: Polo for Change, the festive, polo-themed hour hosted by ABC10 news anchor Keristen Holmes, will be filled with entertainment courtesy of Sacramento Contemporary Dance Theater, inspirational stories, messages of support and opportunities to help formerly homeless women and children served at Saint John’s. 2pm, no cover. Sacramento Convention Center Complex, saintjohnsprogram.org/events.
waynE THiEbaud 100: To celebrate the 100th birthday of Sacramento’s most renowned artist, the Crocker Art Museum presents Wayne Thiebaud 100: Paintings, Prints and Drawings. Best known for his paintings of cakes and pies, Thiebaud has long been affiliated with pop art. This exhibition represents his achievements in
all media, with pieces from the Crocker’s
holdings and the Thiebaud family. 10am, no cover. Crocker Art Museum, crockerart.org.
Tuesday, 10/13 PionEEring womEn in rocK n roll!: In this 10week class, Verge will focus on pioneering women in rock’n’roll. Each class focuses on one artist and learning a selection from the artist’s catalog. In addition, each student will pick one artist to write a blog post about. 5pm, $285-$325. Verge Center for the Arts, vergeart.com.
random acTS oF SciEncE: Join Amy each week as she demonstrates a science experiment on Facebook Live. Then stop by the Grass Valley Library to pick up a kit to do the experiment. For ages 4-12. 4pm, no cover. Bear River Library, facebook.com/ nevadacountylibrary.
STand-uP 101 wriTing baSicS-onlinE claSS: Stand-Up 101 class will give you the skills, practice, feedback and motivation to perform a five-minute comedy set. This class provides constructive feedback, sharing time-tested lessons and tips. You will learn how to continue performing at the Comedy Spot and other venues. 6:30pm, $150. Sacramento Comedy Spot, 1050 20th St., saccomedyspot.com/online.
Tai cHi For bEginnErS: A four-week series ends Oct. 13. Tai chi is a meditative martial art that originated in China. You’ll learn warm-up exercises that include gentle stretching and movements that you can adapt to your level of mobility. No special equipment or clothing is needed. 12:10pm, no cover. UC Davis, ucdavisfoa.zoom.us/ webinar.
amiraH SacKETT and mr mic: Amirah Sackett is an internationally recognized hip-hop dancer, choreographer and teacher. She is widely known for her choreography and performance ensemble creation, “We’re Muslim, Don’t Panic,” featured on POPSUGAR Celebrity, The Huffington Post, AJ+ and Upworthy. 5:30pm, $60. Mondavi Arts Center, mondaviarts.org.
THE bad FlicK SHow: Host Alex Shewmaker finds the worst clips from the worst movies and shares them with comedians. Past guests have included Greg Proops, professional wrestler Colt Cabana and musician Tony Thaxton. 6pm, no cover. Sacramento Comedy Spot, saccomedyspot.com/live.
imProv gamES: In this four-week online class, students will learn and play a variety of short-form improv games. This class is designed for the beginner, and no previous
improv experience is necessary. 7pm, $75. Sacramento Comedy Spot, saccomedyspot.com/online.
virTual oPEn mic nigHT: Enjoy a night of music, poetry, dance, spoken word, comedy and storytelling, hosted by MC Denisha “Coco” Bland. Interested in performing? Mondavi Center is collecting pre-recorded videos to show. 7:30pm, $60. Sacramento
convention center complex, mondaviarts.org.
comEdic SToryTElling 101-onlinE claSS: This four-week class trains you in the art of comedic storytelling. Participants learn the basics for good story structure, then learn how to incorporate comedic strategies into their own personal narratives. 6pm, $99. Sacramento Comedy Spot, saccomedyspot.com/online.
THiS iS How iT HaPPEnEd: A ripped-from-theheadlines one-act play about race, police and friendship examines the search for truth after a white police officer kills a black man. By Sacramento native Anthony D’Juan, the play is being presented by Catalyst: A Theatre Think Tank through the UC Davis Department of Theatre and Dance. Performances will be live-streamed free on Oct. 15 and 16. 5pm, no cover. UC Davis, arts. ucdavis.edu/event/how-it-happened.
Friday, 10/16 rEgular EXcluSivE blEnd: Andy Sarouhan, Ford Lawson, Jesse Jones and Jessica Deprez are going to improv together from their homes over Zoom, with a special guest 7pm, no cover. STAB! Comedy Theater, twitch.tv/stabcomedy.
saTurday, 10/17 curaSol PrESEnTS mindFul rESiliEncE wiTH SwaTHy: In this slow-paced yoga class, Sol Collective will explore ways to connect mind, body and heart through gentle movement, mindfulness techniques, breathing exercises and guided meditations. No prior yoga practice is necessary. 11:30am, $5-$20. Sol collective, solcollective.
SiniSTEr cybEr con: Join Sinister Creator Con for its second edition of the Sinister Cyber Con, hosted by The Horrific Network and sponsored by Vertical Talent Agency. Guests include Felissa Rose, Miko Hughes and CJ Graham. 5pm, no cover. Sacramento Convention Center Complex, sinistercreaturecon.com.
virTual villagE FEaST: Every year The Davis Village Feast celebrates the Sacramento
calEndar liSTingS conTinuEd on PagE 41
Take a moonlit slow drive at this years El Panteon de Sacramento Latino Center of art and CuLture, various times, no Cover
COVID-19 won’t stop the 11th annual El Panteon de Sacramento Dia de los Muertos, hosted by the Latino Center of Art and Culture. This year’s festival has been adapted to be “A Moonlit Slow DriveThrough Remembrance” and will feature as its centerpiece an urban recreation of a candlelit Mexican graveyard, complete with an adjoining church. Twenty traditional altars FESTivalS created by family and communities of friends will celebrate and honor the lives of those who have passed, and Vidal Beltran will provide traditional artistic programming as well. Celebrate the Dia de los Muertos the right way—and the coronavirus safe way—at the Latino Center of Art and Culture. 2700 Front St., thelatinocenter.com.
PhoTo courTesy oF ashley hayes-sTone
Saturday and Sunday, 10/24-25
The Rise of Plutocracy
Sacramento Theatre Company presents Radium Girls Sacramento theatre company, VariouS timeS, $10
How the Right Got Power and How the Left Can Take it Back by Robert Speer email@example.com
PHOtO FrOM WIKI COMMOnS The story of the Radium Girls is a tragic part of American history. In the early 1920s, women in three factories owned On STaGe by the U.S. Radium Corporation in New Jersey, Illinois and Connecticut painted watch dials with radium so they would glow green. Part of the painting process involved “pointing” the tip of the brush, which caused workers to ingest trace amounts of radium. The radioactive substance caused severe illness, but it took 10 years to hold the company accountable. In the meantime, several women died from radiation sickness. Sacramento Theatre Company, Young Professional Conservatory students will be performing the story of one of these women, Grace Fryer, as she fights for her day in court. sactheatre.org.
CaLenDaR LISTInGS COnTInUeD FROM PaGe 40 region’s farm-to-fork season to enjoy and honor the bounty of the region’s local farmers. 1pm, no cover. davisfarmtoschool.
Sunday, 10/18 aLeXanDeR STRInG QUaRTeT: Celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday with the Alexander String Quartet performing String Quartet No. 1 in F major, Op. 18, No. 1 and String Quartet No. 9 in C major, Op. 59, No. 3. This year the quartet introduces a new member, violist David Samuel, joining cellist Sandy Wilson and violinists Fred Lifsitz and Zakarias Grafilo. 2pm, $60. Mondavi Center, mondaviarts.org.
FrIday, 10/23 SIX FeeT aPaRT aLeXanDeR BOLDaCHeV: Alexander Boldachev, guest artist of Bolshoi Theater and founder of the Harp Festival Zurich, has been breaking the mold with virtuosity on both the concert pedal harp and the Salvi Delta electric harp. 7pm, no cover. B Street Theatre, bstreettheatre.org.
Saturday, 10/24 RaDIUM GIRLS: In 1926, radium was a miracle cure, Madame Curie an international celebrity and luminous watches the latest rage—until the workers who painted them became ill with a mysterious disease. Inspired by a true story, Radium Girls traces the efforts of Grace Fryer, a dial painter, as she fights for her day in court. 2pm, $10. Sacramento Theatre, sactheatre.
VIRTUaL aRTFUL MeDITaTIOn: Calm your mind and experience art in new ways with longtime meditation practitioners and instructors Matthew Roselli and Teresa Sedano. 11am, no cover. Crocker art Museum,
tHurSday, 10/29 CanDY CORn enGIneeRInG WITH GIRL SCOUTS: Test your engineering skills using candy. Join Girl Scouts and Extreme STEAM Science Kids in this family event as they dive into the design process and complete
a fun challenge. In this Halloween-themed activity, girls and their siblings will be able to build with their hands while working towards meeting an objective. 5pm, no cover. Girl Scouts Heart of Central California
FrIday, 11/6 THe COMeDY OF eRRORS: The Falcon’s Eye Theatre at Folsom Lake College presents William Shakespeare’s hysterical farce about two sets of identical twins lost at sea. A wacky, pop art-inspired landscape is collaged together rather than being your average Zoom square. 7:30pm, $5. Zoom
Saturday, 11/7 BOLD anD VIBRanT LanDSCaPeS WITH JOe a. OaKeS: During the 90-minute demonstration, Joe A. Oakes will create a bold and vibrant landscape using acrylics. He will answer any questions about his process. 10am, $35. Sacramento Convention Center Complex, sacfinearts. org.
LOCaL aUTHOR SHOWCaSe WeBInaR KeYnOTe aDDReSS: Join Bear River Library for its third annual Local Author Showcase, featuring authors from all over Nevada County and partnering with local bookstores. noon, no cover. Bear River Library, facebook.com/ nevadacountylibrary.
SURFaCe HISTORY LaYeReD MIXeD MeDIa PaInTInGS WORKSHOP WITH SaRa POST: Using mostly materials you have on hand, learn a variety of techniques for creating abstract, layered paintings through this Zoom workshop with artist Sara Post. Artists will work on mixed media or oil paper, adding and subtracting a creative mix of collage, drawing and painting. 9:30am, $225$250 Pence Gallery, pencegallery.org.
THeaTRe LOVeRS CLUB: Theatre lovers of Nevada County, join Bear River Library in this watch party to check out the latest releases from many different theaters. 2pm, Bear River Library, facebook.com/nevadacountylibrary.
There’s an old saying among Democratic politicians: If you want to live like a Republican, vote Democratic.
Why, then, do so many working- and middleclass Americans vote Republican? After all, it’s been clear for at least 40 years that the GOP doesn’t have their interests at heart, but rather is doing the bidding of corporate and financial interests and the superrich. Two recent scholarly books by well-regarded political scientists—Let Them Eat Tweets: How the Right Rules in an Age of Extreme Inequality, by Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson, and Merge Left: Fusing Race and Class, Winning Elections and Saving America, by Ian Haney López—attempt to answer that question. They also offer a way to upend the toxic relationship between working-class voters and the superrich. Incidentally, they provide a welcome respite from the flood of tell-all books about Trump. As much as the president has dominated the news during his tumultuous tenure, these writers “consider the tweeter in chief more consequence than cause.” Hacker and Pierson say their book is “about an immense shift that preceded Trump’s rise, has profoundly shaped his political party and its priorities, and poses a threat to our democracy that is certain to outlast his presidency.” That shift, they say, is “the rise of plutocracy— government of, by, and for the rich.” As they remind us, “The richest 0.1 percent of Americans now have roughly as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent combined.” This wealth gives them the financial power to control the political process, but it’s not infallible. Ordinary Americans may not have vast amounts of money, but they do have democracy on their side, and for that reason are sometimes able to foil the superrich’s shakedowns. For four decades or more, the superrich and their allies in the Republican Party have sought to find ways to overcome this vulnerability. For them, the key resides in the cohort of voters who occupy “the great middle” composed of independent working-class white voters. Deploying “dog whistles”—covert appeals to implicit racism—they instill fear and resentment in these voters and make
them forget about the issues that really matter in their lives (education, health care, jobs) and turn for protection to the “law-and-order” party. Early on that party turned to populist entities adept at ginning up racial outrage among its target audience—groups such as the National Rifle Association and the Moral Majority and conservative media provocateurs such as Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. But as the GOP became increasingly dependent on these “outrage groups,” Hacker and Pierson write, it “increasingly lost the capacity to shape its own agenda and fight elections on its own terms.” It also set itself up for takeover by Trump, “a true master of outrage.” Let Them Eat Tweets is a highly readable political history of the past four decades. It does a superb job of showing how the Republican Party has sacrificed its moral authority in favor of a cynical power grab that puts plutocracy before people. So where to from here? What can the progressive Left do to counter the plutocracy’s immense power? That’s the question Ian Haney López, who teaches at UC Berkeley and is the author of Dog Whistle Politics, sought to answer when he launched the Race-Class Narrative Project. For two years, a diverse group of activists traveled the country, interviewing and surveying thousands of voters in search of a way forward. At the forefront of their research was the issue of how best to approach electoral politics. What left-wing appeal works best at attracting voters? They posited three possibles: 1. An appeal that is colorblind and speaks only to economic issues such as poverty so as not to alienate white voters. 2. A “race-forward” stance that emphasizes racial justice. 3. A cross-racial approach that speaks to progressive whites as well as people of color. Call it the solidarity option. What Haney López and team learned surprised them: The groups surveyed strongly favored the solidarity option. They wanted to work together—white, black and brown—unconcerned about class and racial differences. “For democracies under demagogic assault,” Haney López concludes, “the most effective defense is to vigorously promote social solidarity.” Merge Left is an invaluable guidebook to creating that solidarity.
This is a sponsored book review. While the donor selected the books, the News & Review Publication team chose the reviewer, who had total freedom in writing the review. The donor did not see the review before publication. If you are interested in sponsoring book reviews, please contact N&R Publications. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
C A n n A b i s
Legalizing cannabis After 50 years, Congress gets serious about changing the law, but won’t vote before the election by Ken Magri
A historic vote in the U.S. House on the The MORE Act also includes several federal legalization of cannabis has been criminal justice reforms: making it easier delayed until after the Nov. 3 election. to expunge federal cannabis convictions, House Resolution 3884, also allowing a review of federal prison known as the Marijuana Opportunity, sentences involving cannabis, mandating Reinvestment and Expungement that juvenile convictions be sealed and (MORE) Act, had been scheduled for a barring the use of cannabis convictions floor vote in late September. Introduced to discriminate in job hiring or immigrain 2019 by Rep. Jerry Nadler of New tion matters. York, the MORE Act removes cannabis “The MORE Act is a huge step in from a federal list of illegal the right direction and has the drugs, creates a potential to help right mechanism for many wrongs that expunging past have occurred over “The MORE Act cannabis the last several convictions decades in the is a huge step in the and offers war on drugs,” right direction, and has assistance to said Manndie traditionally Tingler, the potential to help right shut-out co-owner of many wrongs that have entrepreneurs Sacramento’s seeking to Khemia occurred over the last enter the Manufacturing industry. and a board several decades in the While the member of the war on drugs.” bill has bipartisan National Cannabis support and was Industry Association. expected to pass, By imposing a Majority Leader Steny federal cannabis tax of 5%, Hoyer told reporters that with so the MORE Act would also create little time left in the legislative session, an “opportunity trust fund” to support other issues were more important. those who have been hurt by the “war on A recent survey conducted by the drugs” with grants for job training, reenJustice Collaborative Institute found that try services, legal aid, literacy programs, 59% of Americans support the MORE substance abuse treatment, health educaAct, whereas only 20% oppose the bill. tion and youth mentoring. When President Nixon signed the Another important provision of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, MORE Act is to give legal cannabis cannabis was put on the list of Schedule businesses access to banking services and 1 drugs, those with no accepted medical Small Business Administration loans and uses, but a high potential for abuse. By also allow businesses to deduct normal removing cannabis from the same operating expenses from their taxes. classification as LSD and heroin, the While cannabis banking is technically MORE Act allows state and local legal now, the Department of Justice governments to establish their own holds banks criminally responsible for cannabis policies in a manner similar to any violations by their cannabis business alcohol regulation. clients. “Most [small-sized] cannabis 42
Manndie Tingler, co-owner of Sacramento’s Khemia Manufacturing Photo courtesy of khemia manufacturing
businesses lose several bank accounts a year,” said George Mull, a Sacramento attorney and executive director of the California Cannabis Association. The MORE Act will treat cannabis more like other businesses. “Not only will it encourage financial institutions to move in that direction, it will also take care of other issues, such as not having access to major credit cards,” said Sundie Seefried, CEO of Safe Harbor Banking, a subsidiary of Partner Credit Union in Denver. Seefried manages more than 500 cannabis business accounts worth more than $3 billion, including several multistate operators. “California is a great market,” she said. While most House Democrats support the MORE Act, including all Sacramento-area representatives, the floor vote was likely delayed until after the election to take pressure off moderate Democrats from more conservative districts whose constituents may not favor cannabis legalization. House support is being called “bipartisan” because of backing from three Republicans, including Tom McClintock, whose district includes El Dorado, Placer and other foothill counties. In early September, McClintock told Politico,
“With respect to timing, I do find it ironic that the only small businesses the Democrats seem to be worried about is cannabis shops, but I would support this bill whenever it is brought to a vote.” But if it passes the House, the bill has no chance of even coming up for a vote in the Senate under the current Republican leadership. If Democrats win a Senate majority in November, however, that dynamic immediately changes in the next Congress. Sen. Kamala Harris of California, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, has already introduced the Senate version, which has seven co-sponsors. Could cannabis be legalized on the federal level in 2021? “I don’t have a great deal of confidence,” said Seefried. “But six years ago they were laughing us out of the room, didn’t want to talk about legislation. Now, they’re voting on federal legality.” “I see it as a social justice issue and I am hopeful the Senate will, too, especially given the current climate in our country around social justice movements,” said Tingler. “It would show good faith on the part of the Senate toward righting generational wrongs.” Ω
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Wildfire ash, mold and oversupply—what’s a cannabis grower to do?
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By Ngaio Bealum
Hey, so I’m just about to harvest my little backyard grow. The thing is, there’s some ash on my plants from all the wildfires. What should I do? Climate change sucks, and not in a good way. I am sending good energy to all of the people who have lost their homes, wineries and cannabis farms. We have got to find a way to keep this from happening every year. As to the ash on your plants, my farmer homies recommend using a leaf blower to get rid of the ash, or a makeup brush if you don’t have that many plants to deal with. Some folks say you can rinse them with fresh water (THC does not dissolve in water), but too much moisture can lead to mold problems if you aren’t careful. Good luck, and let me know if you need any help trimming and taste-testing.
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Humidity is also an issue. Allow too much moisture in your jar and you end up with mold. Too little, and your cannabis gets all dry and terrible tasting. Keeping the humidity at the right level used to be a bigger challenge, but companies including Boveda (formerly Humidipak) make great little packets that you can put in your storage jars, and these packs will keep your medicine at an optimal level. Find a nice cool clean dark space for your cannabis to rest peacefully before you call it into service. Keep your buds well, and your buds will keep you well.
Don’t smoke mold. Ever. Mold and fungus are no bueno.
I seriously grew a lot of weed this year. How do I store it?
Avoiding heat and light are the two biggest things. Keep your meds in an airtight container. Some people like Tupperware, and there are many companies such as 420science.com that make really nice glass jars just for storing cannabis. If you have a cooler area of your house (like a wine cellar), store your buds there. You can also keep them in the fridge. Hell, it won’t be long until someone invents a portable “weed cellar,” you know like a wine cellar but for weed. Anyway, properly stored cannabis will last for months, maybe even a year or so.
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My homie has a nice outdoor grow, but I have noticed some mold on his plants. If his cannabis is moldy, can we still smoke it?
Don’t smoke mold. Ever. Mold and fungus are no bueno. You are just asking for a nasty lung infection by smoking moldy weed. Molds and fungi love warm, moist, dark spaces. Guess where you have a warm, moist space? I am talking about your lungs. Throw that weed out and try again next year. Ω
Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at email@example.com.
ask joey ★
We might lose the election (This is why) COVERAGE ★
by JOEY GARCIA
Sorry to be the bearer of common sense, but if we “just vote” we may lose our democracy. The “Just Vote” campaign doesn’t acknowledge the real work that must happen alongside voting—such as learning to have civil conversations with people whose views oppose ours. Here’s what must happen before Nov. 3: Revive civil dialogue: Reach out to 10 friends in swing states and have a conversation about politics. Be civil or, better yet, be vulnerable. As author Brenda Salter McNeil (Becoming Brave: Finding the Courage to Pursue Racial Justice Now), notes: “Partisanship is about what party you choose. Politics is about the policy that impacts people’s lives and we should all be talking about that.” Honest conversation can heal our divided country—and convert conservatives. In 2016, when a friend announced his support for Donald Trump, I nearly ended our friendship. Instead, after Trump boasted he could grab women “by the pussy,” I called my friend to say: “I’ve been sexually harassed, and it feels like being punched in the face on the job. It’s painful to hear Trump behaving as though women are property.” When Trump slammed immigrants, I called again: “I’m a person of color and an immigrant. Trump supports the Klu Klux Klan. That’s disturbing. I don’t see you aligning with white supremacists.” I kept a heart-centered dialogue going with him and with other Trump-supporting acquaintances because studies show people vote based on feelings, not rational thought. On election day, my friend called: “I was in the voting booth and heard your voice in my head. I voted for Hillary.” Days later, several Republican acquaintances told me the same thing. Imagine that action sweeping the country. School yourself on tech: Social media is a behavior modification system. Its algorithms increase engagement by
stoking negativity toward views that oppose our own. As digital philosopher and author Jaron Lanier said recently in GQ magazine: “In exchange for likes and retweets and public photos of your kids, you are basically signing up to be a data serf for companies that can make money only by addicting and then manipulating you.” Voter, heal thyself! Slash your screen time. Practice compassion and curiosity while listening to others in real life. Free yourself from serfdom by protecting your brain’s neural network. Secure your digital footprint: Hackers have interfered in previous U.S. elections; don’t help them. Set your online privacy settings to limit data collection and sharing. Delete unused email addresses. Type your name into social media platforms to see whether your account is spoofed. If so, report it. Stop forwarding viral videos in apps such as Messenger. Most have AI embedded and are collecting data. Stop using social accounts to sign into other sites. Get a subscription to Wired magazine, too. “The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all,” said President John F. Kennedy in 1963. It’s still true. Election night may trump Halloween as the scariest night of the year—unless Democrats start talking to Republicans and undecided voters. Evidence doesn’t matter. Positive emotions do. So, speak up. Tell memorable, valuesbased personal stories that illustrate the danger of another four years with President Trump. Ω
Honest conversation can heal our divided country—and convert conservatives.
Email Joey at askjoey@newsreview. com. Give your name, telephone number (for verification purposes only) and question—all correspondence will be kept strictly confidential
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ally is someone who takes care of herself,” says actress Susan Clark. I heartily agree. The people with whom you can cultivate the most resilient bonds and most interesting synergy are those who have a high degree of self-sufficiency—those who take rigorous responsibility for themselves and treat themselves with tender compassion. In the coming weeks, I think it’s especially important for you to emphasize relationships with allies who fit that description. Bonus! Their exemplary selfcare will influence you to vigorously attend to your own self-care. TAURUS (April 20-May 20): According to my reading of the astrological potentials, the coming weeks will be an excellent time for you to take a vacation in reverse. What’s that? It’s when you devote yourself to renewing and reinvigorating your relationship with the work you love. You intensify your excitement for the vocation or job or long-term quest that teaches you important life lessons. You apply yourself with sublime enthusiasm to honing the discipline you need to fulfill the assignments you came to earth to accomplish. GEMINI (May 21-June 20): “If you are not having fun you are doing something wrong,” said comedian Groucho Marx. He was exaggerating so as to drive home his humorous point, but his idea contains some truth—and will be especially applicable to you in the immediate future. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, you have a temporary exemption from feeling frantically dour and unpleasantly dutiful. As crazy as the world is right now, you have a cosmic mandate to enjoy more playtime and amusement than usual. The rest of us are depending on you to provide us with doses of casual cheer. CANCER (June 21-July 22): “Leave the door open for the unknown, the door into the dark,” writes Cancerian author Rebecca Solnit, adding, “That’s where the most important things come from.” I think this is good advice for you in the coming weeks. What exactly does it mean? How and why should you do what she advises? My first suggestion is to reframe your conception of the unknown and the dark. Imagine them as the source of everything new, as the place from which the future comes, as the origin of creative changes. Then instruct your imagination to be adventurous as it explores brewing possibilities in the dark and the unknown. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): “If something comes to life in others because of you, then you have made an approach to immortality,” wrote author Norman Cousins. Whether or not you believe the immortality part of his formulation, I’m sure you understand how fabulous it is when you help activate beauty and vitality in someone. You may even feel that inspiring people to unleash their dormant potential is one of the most noble pleasures possible. I bring these thoughts to your attention because I suspect that you now have exceptional power to perform services like these for your allies, friends and loved ones. I dare you to make it one of your top priorities. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): “The messiah will come when we don’t need him any more,” said author Franz Kafka. In that spirit, and in alignment with current astrological omens, I will tell you that the precise help you wish you could attract into your life will show up as soon as you make initial efforts to provide that help to yourself. Here are some additional nuances: The gift or blessing you think you need most will be offered to you by fate once you begin giving that gift or blessing to yourself. A rescuer will arrive not too long after you take steps to rescue yourself. You’ll finally figure out how to make practical use of a key lesson as you’re teaching that lesson to someone you care for. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Libran author Ursula K. Le Guin said that we don’t just naturally know how to create our destinies. It takes research
and hard work. “All of us have to learn how to invent our lives, make them up, imagine them,” she wrote. “We need to be taught these skills; we need guides to show us how. If we don’t, our lives get made up for us by other people.” I bring this to your attention because the coming weeks will be an excellent time to upgrade and refine your mastery of these essential powers. What can you do to enhance your capacity to invent your life? Which teachers and information sources might be helpful? SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In 1984, hip hop group Run-DMC was the first to achieve a gold record in their genre, meaning they sold more than 500,000 albums. Their next album sold more than a million. They were pioneers. In 1986, legendary producer Rick Rubin encouraged them to do a remake of “Walk This Way,” a song by the rock band Aerosomith. The members of Run-DMC didn’t want to do it; they thought the tune was in a genre too unlike their own. But Rubin eventually convinced them, and the cross-pollination was phenomenally successful. The Run-DMCmeets-Aerosmith collaboration launched a new genre that sold very well. The song was later voted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. In this spirit, and in accordance with current cosmic rhythms, I urge you to try a bold hybrid or two yourself: blends of elements or influences that may seem a bit improbable. They could ultimately yield big dividends. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): You periodically go through phases when you specialize in stirring up fresh intuitions. I mean, you’re always one of the zodiac’s Intuition Champions, but during these special times, your flow becomes an overflow. You have a knack for seeking and finding visions of the interesting future; you get excited by possibilities that are on the frontiers of your confidence. From what I can tell, your life in recent weeks has been bringing you these delights—and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Take maximum advantage. Aggressively gather in the gifts being offered by your inner teacher. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Calling on my expert knowledge of healing language and imaginative psychology, I have formulated a mantra for you to use in the next six weeks. I suggest you say it five times after you wake up, and again at mid-day, and before dinner and before sleep. It should help keep you intimately aligned with the dynamic groove that the cosmos will be conspiring to provide for you. For best results, picture yourself as glowing inside with the qualities named in the mantra. Here it is: StrongBrightFree ClearBoldBrisk DeepNimbleKind AdroitSteadyWarm. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles features displays that extol the musicians who’ve won Grammy Awards over the years. A few years ago, a distinctly unfamous musician named Paz Dylan made professional-looking fake posters touting his own magnificent accomplishments, and managed to sneakily hang them on the museum walls. They remained there for a month before anyone noticed. I’m going to encourage you to engage in similar gamesmanship in the coming weeks. It’ll be a favorable time to use ingenuity and unconventional approaches to boost your confidence and enhance your reputation. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): “Relationships never stop being a work in progress,” writes author Nora Roberts. That’s bad news and good news. It’s bad news because even for the most loving bond, you must tirelessly persist in the challenging task of reinventing the ways the two of you fit together. It’s good news because few activities can make you more emotionally intelligent and soulfully wise than continually reinventing the ways the two of you fit together. I bring these thoughts to your attention because the coming weeks will be a fertile time for such daunting and rewarding work.