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The 2020 election revealed just how broken we are. Will we reassemble the pieces? By Raheem F. hosseini pg. 16

The Trump stain pg. 17

no on strong mayor pg. 18

Rent control fails pg. 19







november 12, 2020 | vol. 32, Issue 5

Allyson Seconds reintroduces her debut album Bag of Kittens.

editor’s note essay greenlight 15 Minutes news feature arts + Culture

04 06 08 09 10 16 24

dish MusiC plaCe Calendar CannaBis ask joey

24 27 28 29 30 34 36

Cover design By serene lusano

Our Mission: To publish great newspapers that are successful and enduring. To create a quality work environment that encourages employees to grow professionally while respecting personal welfare. To have a positive impact on our communities and make them better places to live. Editor Foon Rhee News Editor Raheem F. Hosseini Staff Reporter Scott Thomas Anderson Arts Editor Lindsay Oxford Staff Writer Graham Womack Arts Writer/Calendar Editor Patrick Hyun Wilson Contributors Ngaio Bealum, Debbie Arrington, Rob Brezsny, Aaron Carnes, Jim Carnes, Joey Garcia, Kate Gonzales, Howard Hardee, Ashley Hayes-Stone, Jim Lane, Chris Macias, Ken Magri, Tessa Marguerite Outland, James Raia, Patti Roberts, Dylan Svoboda, Bev Sykes, Jeremy Winslow

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Biden’s big challenge The president-elect faces very difficult work to fix the mess Trump is leaving behind by Foon Rhee

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small businesses alive. There’s no excuse now for Trump and Congress not to pass a big relief package during the lame duck session. But if they don’t, that should be at the top of Biden’s to-do list after his inauguration on Jan. 20. Once the immediate needs are met, Biden must keep his campaign promise to build back better—with higher pay for workers and a smaller gap between rich and poor. Fortunately, there’s a golden opportunity in front of us: Dealing seriously with the existential crisis of climate change will create tens of thousands of high-paying clean energy jobs. Reckoning: To truly move on from the Trump years, Republican collaborators in Congress and others who aided, abetted and enabled Trump’s many atrocities must be held responsible.

Joe Biden campaign in Iowa early in the presidential campaign.

Most knew exactly the devil’s bargain they were making to get what they wanted—whether cutting taxes for the wealthy, stacking the federal courts with conservative judges, wiping out environmental protections or increasing the power of corporations. They can’t now claim ignorance of the damage they were allowing Trump to get away with—and how long it would take to undo. This is especially true for those who carried out inhumane policies, including the caging of children at the border and separation from their parents. Even now, Trump sycophants are echoing his lies about voting fraud and the election being stolen. It’s not about revenge; it’s about accountability. Ω

Photo by GaGe Skidmore for Wiki CommonS

with tenant-landlord and fair housing issues

Our long national nightmare looks like it’s nearly over. However narrowly—and unless recounts, the courts or even state legislatures overturn the people’s will—Americans have rejected four more years of President Donald Trump. While Joe Biden was declared the winner on Saturday, and there’s much to celebrate, it may not be entirely over, at least if Trump and his minions succeed. He is falsely claiming he won “by a lot,” alleging without evidence that Democrats are stealing the election and threatening legal action all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, as he did in a truly disgraceful and dangerous attack on democracy at the White House on Nov. 5. And when he departs the White House, he left a huge pile of work to do. It will not be easy. Call it the post-Trump version of the three R’s. Repair: The most important task for Presidentelect Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and their team is to follow through on uniting our nation, healing divisions in our society and restoring trust in the presidency, however difficult that will be. “To make progress, we have to stop treating our opponents as our enemies,” Biden said in his victory speech Saturday night, more in hope than certainty, after an election that demonstrated again how deeply divided our nation is—and that did not completely repudiate Trump. Repair also means finally getting COVID-19 under control, reducing the numbers of deaths and new cases until a safe vaccine is available to protect us and help bring some normalcy back to our lives. It also includes addressing police violence and racial justice. Restoring America’s soul, as Biden said his campaign was fundamentally about, is up to all of us. Somehow, we have to move past this contentious election and work toward bringing the country together. In such a diverse nation, there will always be deep disagreements. Still, we must try to find common ground—and Biden must do all he can to help. Rebuild: The economy is wrecked because of Trump’s failure on the pandemic. The slow recovery has not come close to adding back the 22 million jobs lost when everything shut down. First things first: Keep people in their homes, keep families from going hungry and keep

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By DeAngelo MAck AnD D’Angelo SMAlley

Which election result are you most happy/angry about?

It’s time to redefine public safety Youth and violence prevention must be central to any public safety plan

Asked on @sAcnewsreview instAgrAm

DeAngelo Mack is director of state policy with Public Health Advocates and healthy development strategy lead for My Brother’s Keeper Sacramento.

The COVID-19 pandemic, plus the racial justice protests over the past several months as a response to violent policing in communities, has laid bare the systems that harm Black, Latino and Native American people in particular. It goes beyond policing, to the justice system, employment, housing, health care, education and much more. Although demonstrations have slowed, the movement and long-term commitment to racial equity and justice remains. That includes a resolution the City Council approved on Oct. 27 to redefine public safety by incorporating public health and young people’s voices and addressing the root causes of trauma while creating a pathway for healing. What lies beneath the surface for Black men like us is that we struggle to survive each day because of the untold impact that these systems have on our mental, emotional and physical well-being. D’Angelo Smalley is a graduate of MBk Sacramento’s youth fellowship program This unseen struggle has been amplified by the and is now a peer mentor. isolation of social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic—or for some of us the fear of simply being outdoors due to the color of our skin. the lead of those most impacted by these issues Systemic racism leads to chronic stress that is and call on others to do the same. It’s inspiring literally killing us, albeit too slowly to catch on to see young Sacramento youth who grew out video. of MBK Sacramento coming together As young Black men, we have with the Sac Kids First Coalition fought hard to address deep-rooted to promote the public safety inequities and fought hard for resolution. These young justice. We stand here today, leaders have spent As young Black excited to serve as mentors considerable time men, we have from My Brother’s Keeper working on what a safe Sacramento and to support community looks like, fought hard to address a growing number of youth what they need to achieve community leaders who are that vision and what deep-rooted inequities paving the way and justice and equity means. identifying solutions to and fought hard for In the past few years, these critical issues. MBK we’ve seen other youths justice. Sacramento, administered put their values, determinaby The Center at Sierra Health tion and organizing skills to Foundation, was formed from work, leading global movements President Obama’s initiative to address that have mobilized millions. Young persistent opportunity gaps for boys and people are proving every day that we’re young men of color through mentoring and leaders and we’re ready. We need more youth leadership programs. voices and youth organizations to help build a To help bridge these gaps, we must follow healthier, safer and strong community. Ω 6






So disappointed in Prop 22 passing. I guess Big Tech amd propaganda write our laws now. I wonder how “YES” voters will feel when their bosses decide they are gig workers, too... @rayven.gm

I am so happy that Prop 20 did not pass with a 62% vote against it. We need prison reform now! Go California @ericamichelleotero

Definitely 22 passing, their relentless ad campaign drove bananas all october and if more people had examined it even a little closer they might have recognized it for then Trojan horse it is. A crushing blow to labor movements in the state @clave4e







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Big challenges for Sacramento County by Jeff vonKaenel

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

As I write this column on Nov. 6, I do not know low-income housing, supportive housing and who will be replacing Susan Peters as the new homeless shelters. The county staff should be Sacramento County supervisor in District 3. She congratulated and recognized for the ongoing has been one of the five county supervisors for important difference that they are making. But they 16 years. Gregg Fishman is currently leading need significantly more resources to effectively in the race over the more conservative Rich deal with the ever-increasing problems of lack of Desmond, endorsed by Peters. affordable housing and supportive services. What we do know is that Sacramento County Red tape is not a building material. And even is facing major issues in the coming year, and if we could cut through the red tape and find whoever is elected will have an opportunity to resources to build supportive housing, there often end the current political gridlock among the has not been the political will to overcome supervisors and make a real difference neighborhood opposition. We need to for the 1.5 million people living in support our supervisors when they our county. make unpopular zoning decisions At a time While the mayor of in their districts for the greater when there is Sacramento has our region’s good of our entire community. much concern about most powerful bully pulpit, And finally, the county Sacramento County has the needs to build trust with police misconduct much larger budget. The the public by increasing and racial profiling, it county’s annual budget is transparency and access is imperative that we about $6.4 billion compared to the experts on staff, have confidence in the to the city’s $1.3 billion. It moving away from a habit is the county that runs the of communicating via dense fairness of local law health and human services bureaucratic reports. There’s a enforcement. programs, as well as providing great team of talented, municipal services for 564,000 knowledgeable county department residents in the unincorporated area. heads and technical experts. Do The city serves only 508,000 residents. supervisors hear from them directly and regularly, The new county Board of Supervisors will face or does their expertise get filtered out? many critical issues. When we can’t hear the experts directly First of all, there’s Sacramento County Sheriff explain complex issues, it appears that important Scott Jones. At a time when there is much concern information is being kept from us. Just as Anthony about police misconduct and racial profiling, it is Fauci’s straight talk has helped Americans imperative that we have confidence in the fairness navigate through the pandemic, let’s have straight of local law enforcement. Unfortunately, Jones talk from our own local experts about child abuse, has not earned that trust. mental health, environmental safety, roads, buildSacramento County keeps writing checks, ing safety, etc. now totaling more than $20 million for claims With more candor and more backbone, of excessive force and sexual harassment in the county officials can increase trust and produce Sheriff’s Office. When Jones denied the inspector real results. And it can start with the new general access to his department’s records and supervisor. Ω staff in 2018, it demonstrated how afraid the sheriff was of independent oversight. But supervisors Phil Serna and Patrick Kennedy could not get a third vote on the board to stand up to Jones. Hopefully either Fishman or Jeff vonKaenel is the president, CEO and majority owner of Desmond will come through. the News & Review. Secondly we need more housing, especially

15 minutes

by Lindsay OxfOrd

l i nd s a y o @ne w s re v i e w . c o m

Johanna Bulaong, second from right, is one of the founders of a new group reducing hunger. PHOTO COURTESY OF SACRAMENTO COMMUNITY FRIDGES

Johanna Bulaong, Sacramento Community Fridges This summer, when Johanna Bulaong and Maggie St. Vincent decided to reduce food instability in Sacramento, they failed to find businesses willing to partner with their new organization, Sacramento Community Fridges. But the pair spread the word, and homeowners stepped up. Sacramento now hosts three fridges on private property: 1617 25th St., 1322 F St. and 481 Arden Way. [The landlord and city have asked that the one on 25th be removed, at least temporarily.] The group is now 70 members strong, and looking for more fridge locations. Bulaong answered our questions about the program.

How did you come up with the idea for a community fridge? Did it relate directly to increase in job loss and homelessness due to the pandemic? It’s been inspired by [Instagram account] @iohnyc where there’s a huge New York network of community fridges, but also by our neighboring Oakland, S.F., L.A., Berkeley, Marin and Modesto community fridges. I think the idea of a community fridge has definitely been out of necessity in response to job loss and homelessness due to the pandemic. I think it’s also related to the injustices everyone is experiencing right now, which makes us feel politically hopeless. Instead, focusing on taking action and affecting things in our own city through mutual aid networks and community fridges is a way for us to regain our power.

How did you choose fridge locations? We originally visited businesses and restaurants in Oak Park, but didn’t have any success with finding a host. No one agreed to take a chance and be the first host until we were more active on [Instagram]

and gaining more followers. We’ve found all of our host fridge locations through Instagram and people messaging us that they’re interested in being a host. We then have someone visit the location and see if it has good foot traffic and access to electricity, which are our two requirements for a fridge location. All of our host locations are residential homes, but we would love to have local Sacramento businesses host as well.

What kinds of items go into the fridge, and how are they sourced? We accept produce, fruit, pantry goods, freezer items, eggs, milk and any other food items that need to be refrigerated. The only items we don’t accept is raw meat...We are looking into partnerships with farmers and grocery stores in order to collect extra produce/goods. Food waste is [another problem] we’re trying to tackle...so the fridges are a way to distribute food that would have ended up thrown away.

What’s your goal for the fridge program? Our goal for the fridge program is to get as many fridges up as we can...Our fridges serve not only to feed our unhoused neighbors, but are also for anyone facing job unemployment, or struggling under the pandemic and capitalism. We’d like to make mutual aid and collective care networks a regular thing. One of our main goals is to cultivate trust within our community, especially during these times that want to keep us more divided than ever.

Anything else you’d like to share/contact for those who’d like to be involved? We’re in great need for more builders to add to our construction team. All of our fridges get a shelter constructed around it, and we’d love to be in touch with anyone who could offer some skills/knowledge. We’d also love to be in touch with anyone thinking they’d make a great host. None of this would be possible without our amazing volunteers who keep everything running smoothly, or our lovely hosts who believe in our dreams of collective care. It especially wouldn’t be possible without everyone in the Sacramento community who have inspired us to take action.

Contact Sacramento Community Fridge at instagram.com/ sacfridge4all/ or by emailing sacfridgeforall@gmail.com

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Only about 8% of managers at Sacramento City Hall are Black. File photo

Checking out City continues to lose Black managers despite diversity efforts

by Graham Womack

For more local news coverage, go to sacramento. newsreview.com/ category/news




On paper at least, this city of Sacramento employee seems to have a great job. A manager and person of color, the employee makes more than six figures annually, doing work that can make a difference both within City Hall and in the community. But they’re only the latest Black management-level staffer to be looking for other employment. “I’ve become so desensitized,” said the manager, who spoke to SN&R only if they weren’t named. “I almost feel like a robot right now.” Since the beginning of 2019, at |


least six Black managers have retired or resigned, further depleting the city’s already meager ranks. While Black people comprise around 13% of Sacramento’s population, they made up about 11% of the city’s 4,903 employees in 2019 and just 8% of its managers, according to the city auditor. Those numbers are worse than in July 2016, when Blacks comprised 11% of city employees and 10% of management. “There are managers that just retired because they had enough,” said Ron Potter, a board member for the city’s African American Employee Leadership Council and a former assistant fire chief

g ra h a mw@ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m

for the city who retired in 2019. “Even if they would have stayed a few more years, it’s like, ‘I can’t take this any more, I have my years in, I’m done.’” And in a year that featured protests following the May 25 killing by Minneapolis police of George Floyd and a broader debate about racial justice, it’s only gotten tougher for Black city employees. The city is currently in the midst of different race-related efforts, including the latest annual diversity report due to a City Council committee in December. City staff will also be implementing a four to five-year workforce gender and

equity plan in coming months. There’s some question, though, if the efforts can help stop the steady stream of Black managers departing the city. “We’ve known for awhile that we aren’t doing as good of a job in promoting and hiring Black employees or employees of color or protected-class employees in general,” Sacramento City Council member-elect Katie Valenzuela said. Black management-level staff who’ve left since the beginning of 2019 include: Khaalid Muttaqi, who headed the Office of Violence Prevention; Carl Simpson, chief code enforcement officer; Veronica Smith, director of the SEED Corporation and a senior development project manager; Francine Tournour, director of the Office of Public Safety and Accountability; and Louis Stewart, chief innovation officer. Potter and Tournour retired. Simpson took a position with the city of Dallas. Muttaqi, Smith and Stewart left to work outside of government. COntinued On page 12

SN&R Staff Remembrances Sarah Elizabeth Williams Hansel


but Sarah made it happen. She got us the green light, created a submissions campaign, corralled all the entries, assembled a judging panel and designed an irreverent and affectionate spread. I always looked forward to pitching her story ideas because it meant watching her dream. She had these big blue eyes that gave away her intelligence, her wit, her compassion for the misfits and marginalized subjects at the center of our stories. Sarah never forgot that these were real human beings or that they were deserving of our awe and interest. Her soul made her an artist. It made the rest of us damn lucky to know her.

October 13, 1989 October 16, 2020 Sarah passed away at the age of 31 on October 16, 2020, surrounded by the comfort and love of her husband, sister, and parents. She loved art, nature, literature, animals, and all of her many friends and family members who had the opportunity to share their lives with her. Sarah was born and raised in Sacramento and attended C.K. McClatchy High School, where she grew close with many of her dearest lifelong friends. She later graduated from UC Davis with a bachelor’s degree in English and Women’s Studies. She went on to work as a graphic designer & art director at the Sacramento News & Review, and spent her free time gardening, illustrating, and volunteering with the Sacramento SPCA. Sarah is survived by her husband and partner of 10 years, John Blake, her twin sister, Kristin Hansel, her parents, Kate Williams & Peter Hansel, her step-parents, Tom Gohring & Debbie Vorous, her step-siblings, Tristan Gohring, Ashley Gohring, Caroline Gohring, Alanna Vourous, & Jeanette Vorous, her two beloved dogs, Vontae & Jenny, as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. Sarah will forever be remembered for her loving, gentle, and compassionate spirit, and the warmth she shared with everyone she encountered. A celebration of Sarah’s life will be held at a private ceremony in early November. To help honor Sarah’s memory, please consider making a donation to the Sacramento SPCA or Effie Yeaw Nature Center. Sarah Hansel was an award-winning designer and art director at Sacramento and Reno News & Review for five years.

- Raheem Hosseini Sarah’s exceedingly creative talents were a joy to behold. I was amazed at her ability to take our left-field ideas and turn them into beautifully designed pages that not only made sense but could draw you in and give you a better understanding of the timely topics at hand. Whether it was immigration rights, the environment, music or education, her ability to translate abstract concepts into thoughtful art helped us all understand the important things going on in our communities and in doing so helped make our corner of the world a better place.














FREE page 17

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2018 primary: a beautiful mess patton oswalt on the golden state killer

sac leads in legal grows

is sacramento

failing its black students?

study reveals that local schools have the most racially imbalanced suspension rates in california By Kris HooKs

Sacramento’S newS & entertainment weekly


Volume 30, iSSue 09


thurSday, june 14, 2018



- Anne Stokes

Sarah’s sense of humor, creativity and loving personality will live on in our memories. She will be greatly missed. - Jeff vonKaenel & Deborah Redmond Sarah, we will remember your beautiful smile and shining spirit always, RIP sweet girl. - Rosemarie Messina Big talent sometimes comes in unexpected packages. Sarah was quiet, but her designs were bold. She made ideas come to life—whether it was turning a politician into a certain wooden boy liar or creating a comic book to explain the rights of undocumented residents. Sarah was an amazing creative collaborator and problem solver. She would always at least try my crazy ideas—which led to the creation of Movie Star Horse. Sarah also did my beautiful 5-year SN&R plaque—a gift I will cherish forever. I was so proud of her for graduating from the Pubs department to doing SN&R covers, which is where she belonged. She left us all too soon, but she left us with memorable art and an even more memorable personality, one that was

funny, thoughtful and deep. I’ll always remember her smile and her cool blue eyes. Also the time she mumbled her way through a live band karaoke version of “California Love” during an SN&R holiday party—I don’t think she really wanted to be up there, but she did it, with a smile. - Michelle Carl Sarah was kind, funny and genuine. She had a gentle presence and met others’ stress with calm reassurance. Sarah was shy on the surface, but regularly showed her empathy and her wit. Her warmth made her easy to open up to. And I still laugh thinking about the time she joined her husband John and I onstage to sing “California Love” at a company holiday party. Sarah was a joy to work with and to know. She is treasured.

A warm smile A gentle laugh A welcoming nod



That’s how you would greet me everyday walking into work. And that is how I will always remember you.

Forced testimony against abuser


The Bay chef who invented Sac’s dream

Sacramento’S newS & entertainment weekly



Volume 29, iSSue 52


Stay Play

Esteemed almonds

A tourism guide for locals

thurSday, april

12, 2018




24-30, 2019

The Bends

Yoga for beginners See Arts&Culture, page 14

Gentle, empathetic, smart, witty, you will forever be an inspiration to me. You taught me to enjoy all the little things in life, the simple pleasures, and for that I will always be thankful. You fought so bravely and always remained positive. Let us remember you this way and inspire us in our own journeys.

Check out the winners of our annual

95-word fiction contest serving northern nevada, tahoe and truckee

Sarah, may you be in peace, surrounded by your husband, your family, your friends and your dogs, in your resting place. You will always have a special place in my heart.

- Kate Gonzales

- Elisabeth Bayard-Arthur

Sarah was our unassuming rock star. Cool under pressure and effortlessly versatile, she made hard work look like magic and magic look easy. The last time I got to work with her was in January on The Comics Issue. I had the idea,

Sarah, I miss you. Wherever you are, thank you. Your beauty, kindness, concern, talent, and care was felt every day. A fighter, a badass, an artist. Goodbye for now my friend. - Serene Lusano

Sacramento’S newS & entertainment weekly




Volume 30, iSSue 24


thurSday, September 27, 2018






continueD from page 10

balance, said the manager who’s thinking about leaving. “You can help each other, absolutely, but you have to be careful of how and when you share those details, to whom you share those details,” the manager said. “The city of Sacramento doesn’t foster this culture of inclusivity or equitability by [any] means.”

Muttaqi, who told SN&R that he was let go from the city after funding priorities shifted, said governments, not just limited to Sacramento, offer good talking points with minimal follow-through. “I think partly why folks do leave is the environment has become kind of toxic in that way,” said Muttaqi, who now Diversity anD inclusion works for a nonprofit. “There’s often not a champion to talk about stuff like racism The city has been some making efforts or racial reconciliation or racial injustice. around diversity, equity, and inclusion It’s still really a bad word in many in recent years. government spaces to bring up racism.” “They are taking steps,” said The declining numbers of Black Kenneth Fleming, president emeritus managers have also been on the radar of the AAELC. “I think it remains to of AAELC, which formed while Kevin be seen if those steps are going to be Johnson was mayor to provide support adequate to address the problem.” and training for Black employees. A few months after the March 2018 “We watch it and we can tell you killing by Sacramento police of Stephon now, it got worse, it didn’t get better,” Clark, the city hired Aimee Barnes as AAELC vice president Wendell Brown its diversity and equity manager, worksaid. “The most we can do is point it out ing out of the city manager’s office. and ask what steps are being taken.” “I feel very supported, and it’s a A manager who left recently described great position to affect change,” said receiving no support when they joined the Barnes, who had been director of the city, or mentorship or encouragement for office of diversity and student equity educational advancement, and facing at San Francisco State University. resistance from co-workers. “There’s no road map. So “I never imagined it’s build the ship as having to fight my own you sail. That can be team so hard to try to daunting for some, advance good things but...you have a lot in the community,” of room to explore “We gotta do better. said the manager, and experiment We absolutely have to do who spoke to without it being SN&R on condition better across the board.” prescribed.” of anonymity. City Manager Howard Chan Others quesFlojaune Cofer, tioned the support chairperson of the and power Barnes Measure U Community is receiving from the Advisory Committee, city, including whether said Black employees she has enough staff. “That often don’t get the resources or doesn’t suggest you’re taking institutional support they need. her position seriously if you’re throw“Without speaking about anyone’s ing her out there and overwhelming her individual experiences, I think a lot of with the amount of work that she has to those managers probably felt tokenized do,” Brown said. and felt like they were being used as City Manager Howard Chan and a Black face to represent the city,” Mayor Darrell Steinberg both acknowlCofer said. “But their talents were not edged that the trend with Black managadequately tapped into and utilized, and ers leaving wasn’t acceptable. they weren’t given the freedom and “I think we need to take it all serileeway to be able to really lean on issues ously,” Steinberg said. “Every bit of in the way that they should have.” information leads to a conclusion that Some such as Stewart felt more as a city, we have the right intentions. I comfortable to do work related to racial think we’ve now laid the right foundajustice elsewhere. He left in September to tion with the hiring of Aimee Barnes take a role building a Black and Brown and her mission, which is becoming the developer pipeline at NVidia. city’s mission. But... our work is far Those who remain face a delicate from complete.” 12 | SN&R | 11.12.20

City Manager Howard Chan

Chan agreed, but said that Black employee representation wasn’t the only troubling figure. “We gotta do better,” Chan said. “We absolutely have to do better across the board. This is an identical conversation that I’ve had with AAELC. While I appreciate that we need to have better representation of African Americans in leadership roles, I think that holds true for all of our other ethnicities.” Last year, 379 of the city’s 663 managers were white last year, with just 53 Black, 76 Hispanic and 96 Asian managers. Still, it’s Black employees and managers who can be under unique pressure, especially in the current political and social climate. And to some extent, the city has made allowances. Following Floyd’s death, the AAELC and the city manager’s office worked together to provide a number of “safe space” Zoom calls over the summer for Black employees. “A lot of employees were traumatized when they saw the National Guard with guns and riot gear,” Potter said. Even as protests have died down since June, stress has remained for Black city employees. The manager who’s thinking about leaving described experiencing insomnia and lacking a solid life-work balance. The employee said they’d like to see the city to do more to develop and promote talent internally. “I see Sacramento’s potential, very much so, in terms of having better race relations,” the manager said. But the issue goes beyond how

Black employees are treated. Two years ago, voters approved the Measure U sales tax increase, after Steinberg promised that the money would go toward creating jobs in left-behind communities of color. In campaigning this year for “strong mayor,” Steinberg tied equity to his argument once more. “Having policies and saying the right things is a start, but if it isn’t coupled with the resources to be able to actually help improve the lives of people in communities that have long been disadvantaged, it is much less impactful,” Steinberg said. Steinberg noted that Measure A set aside for $40 million for inclusive economic development and added a requirement for a racial, gender, and LGBTQ analysis for every major decision. But Cofer said that in the first year of Measure U, only $6 million was spent on inclusive economic development, with only $4 million in the budget for the second year. “If you’re a Black employee working for the city and you are part of the face of what the city does, it’d be really discouraging to feel like you’re being used to point to to say, look at all of our diversity and commitment to communities,” Cofer said. “But you know behind closed doors that that commitment’s not happening.” Ω

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By Aug. 31, suicide attempts at the downtown jail had risen to their highest level in 12 years. llustration by serene lusano
















*Partial data, through Aug. 31.

More people tried killing themselves in Sacramento jail this year Already stark conditions have worsened under COVID-19 by Raheem F. hosseini

a version of this story originally appeared at sacramento.newsreview.com




At least 18 people tried to kill themselves in the downtown Sacramento jail this year—breaking last year’s record and underscoring concerns that sheriff’s officials are relying heavily on solitary confinement to avoid a coronavirus outbreak behind bars. The number of suicide attempts puts the jail system on pace to exceed previous records even as the jail population has declined more than 30% during the pandemic. The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office recorded 18 suicide attempts this year through Aug. 31 at the main jail downtown. The sheriff’s office also runs the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center on the outskirts of Elk Grove. Dating back to 2008, the previous high was 19 attempted suicides in 2013, |


though three of those occurred at Rio Cosumnes. According to 12 years’ worth of data that SN&R obtained through public records requests, the jails logged 18 attempted suicides last year and six in 2018. All but one occurred at the main jail. A sheriff’s spokesman says the numbers reflect a sharp increase in inmates with psychiatric needs, while local inmate advocates and defense attorneys say the coronavirus has only worsened conditions inside Sacramento’s central lockup and further exposed the folly of confining the sick. “You can’t adequately provide mental health care inside a cell,” said Tifanei Ressl-Moyer, an attorney with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and a founding member of Decarcerate

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

Sacramento, a coalition that wants to reduce the jail population and redirect funding from the sheriff’s office. Yet treating mental illness behind bars is exactly what the county committed to last year, after settling a federal class-action lawsuit that alleged inhumane conditions in the jails. The county estimates $100 million in construction costs to add a psychiatric wing to the main jail and an additional $50 million annually to pay for staffing and services. But advocates for the incarcerated worry that the sheriff’s office is turning its failure to protect those in its care into a profitable opportunity. “We keep hearing from the county about their commitment about caring for people who are inside the jail,”

Ressl-Moyer said. “But what we hear from people inside the jail is that they’re not being cared for. “To see the numbers reflecting that is really hard to stomach.” While the majority of suicide attempts inside the jail are unsuccessful, the rising numbers over the past two years signal a crisis of desperation for those serving local sentences or awaiting trial. Pamela Emanuel has witnessed some of the stories behind the statistics.

‘We MeAn nothing to theSe people’ Emanuel spent 37 months in Sacramento jail, including the period during which COVID-19 emerged as a health threat. On Aug. 30, she told participants in a Decarcerate Sacramento online forum that guards treated her and her fellow inmates as subhuman, serving them spoiled food, laughing at those with mental illnesses and ignoring urgent medical requests, sometimes with fatal consequences. “I watched two people die when I was there,” Emanuel said. “It makes no sense for inmates to be treated like we’re animals. Like literally, we mean nothing to these people.”

This is not a new complaint. Years before the pandemic, prisoner rights’ advocates, attorneys and private consultants warned the county that the local jail system was driving toward catastrophe because of an over-reliance on solitary confinement, chronic understaffing, inmate neglect and an ailing population. While county and sheriff’s officials acknowledged some of the problems, they deemed the solutions too expensive, leading to a 2018 class-action lawsuit that settled last year with a binding consent decree. The decree requires the jail system to overhaul its delivery of medical and psychiatric care, as well as address concerns over excessive solitary confinement for inmates with special needs. But COVID-19 has turned the legal process upside down and complicated the time line for certain benchmarks to be met. “With few exceptions, we’re still at the starting line of implementation,” acknowledged Aaron Fischer, an attorney with Disability Rights California, one of the groups behind the class action. In court appearances and interviews since March, defense attorneys described how their clients were ordered to spend weeks quarantining in segregated cells upon being booked into jail. Inmates placed on administrative segregation or in “total separation,” which is how the sheriff’s office characterizes solitary confinement, spend nearly 24 hours a day in their cells. A defense attorney who handles mostly serious misdemeanors and lowlevel felonies said one client was initially ordered to spend 28 days in isolation because he came into the jail with an autoimmune order. “He was basically locked up in isolation for having a medical condition,” said Matthew Becker, the man’s attorney. “This is during [the] COVID era.” A judge released Becker’s client after he spent seven days in solitary, the lawyer said. “The judges are being fairly reasonable during the coronavirus era,” Becker told SN&R. “The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department is not.” Meanwhile, the county recently saw the departure of the jail’s medical director, after disclosing in a July progress report to the federal court overseeing the consent decree that it was experiencing “a significant workforce shortage” among correctional nurses and health-care providers. If anything, the brink has crept closer. And the only people left to ensure the

jail doesn’t topple over it are a group of guards who, in Emanuel’s estimation, enjoy when inmates suffer.

Haunted by Her memories In her August video appearance, Emanuel didn’t say when she was admitted to the jail, but remembered a female inmate dying of a drug overdose soon after. She also recalled a female inmate “with the mind of a child,” crying for her mother while locked in administrative segregation for five days. Another woman spent six months in administrative segregation, a form of solitary confinement that’s typically used for disciplinary reasons, waiting for a bed to open up at Napa State Hospital. Emanuel said a woman she befriended in the jail died when her repeated complaints of worsening chest pains went ignored. The former inmate broke down remembering the woman’s limp feet dragging against the floor as her jailers pulled her in a shoddy wheelchair. It was the last time Emanuel saw her friend. “She cried for help. She did everything that they told her to do. To the letter. And these people did not care,” Emanuel said as her daughter stroked her back. One of Emanuel’s most disturbing accounts concerned another inmate, someone she described as a fun-loving mother, who quickly deteriorated under a severe mental illness. Emanuel said the woman appeared to develop multiple personalities and began smearing feces on herself and eating it instead of her food. Emanuel said the guards laughed at the inmates’ pleas to help her. “It wasn’t funny to any of us,” she said. After three days of allowing the behavior, Emanuel said, two guards pretzeled the soiled woman’s arms behind her and walked her upstairs to a cell, where she continued deteriorating until a concerned female officer learned of the situation and intervened. According to a January survey, a quarter of the jail population has serious mental illnesses. “The reality was that these people were not OK,” Emanuel said.

approacHing a dangerous record In total, at least 87 jail occupants have tried killing themselves under Sheriff Scott Jones, who took office in December

2010. More than 40% of those attempts occurred over the past 20 months. “Those numbers aren’t surprising,” Decarcerate’s Ressl-Moyer said. “Those numbers reflect that people are deteriorating.” In an emailed statement, sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Rod Grassman said the number of inmates who were either referred for or received intensive outpatient psychiatric services rose from approximately 128 in 2013 to almost 400 today. In that context, he said, the number of suicide attempts through August actually represents a “reduction.” Grassman also said the sheriff’s office has added psychiatric personnel in the main jail and trained correctional staff to identify those at risk of suicide. He added that correctional deputies check singleoccupant cells every 30 minutes and cells occupied by suicidal inmates every 15 minutes. “People with mental health issues are particularly vulnerable to suicide and/or attempts,” he wrote. Jails and prisons can be the worst place to address these issues, says a mental health expert. “When you have someone with severe mental illness, they are not always able to comply in the ways that those institutions demand,” said Christine Montross, an associate professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University and author of Waiting for an Echo: The Madness of American Incarceration. “And if you don’t follow orders in jails and prisons, you incur greater punishment, so there’s a fundamental misalignment between these systems of control and security and these people who really need therapeutic environments rather than punitive ones.” Between 2014 and 2019, at least eight people killed themselves in Sacramento’s jails, California Department of Justice records show. The sheriff stopped informing the public about most jail deaths last year, when they reached a 14-year high. At least one person died behind bars this year, though it’s unclear how. A sheriff’s spokesperson would only say that the Aug. 4 death of Travis Mitchell Welde, a 31-year-old Loomis man, was due to medical reasons and that the coroner was reviewing the circumstances. The sheriff’s office denied SN&R’s public records request for additional information. As of Sept. 30, the county has confirmed 101 COVID-19 cases among the incarcerated population, a 68% increase in two months. Three cases were

considered active. The county identified 847 people in the jails at high risk of becoming severely ill or dying if they were to contract the virus, according to court documents obtained by SN&R. Emanuel, who was granted an early release due to being in the high-risk category, said that while those in the jail’s general population were tested for COVID-19, psychiatric patients held in solitary were not.

politicians mostly silent Rather than interrogate the loss of life behind bars, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors rewarded Jones with a $12.3 million increase to his budget, most of which is intended to hire more jail guards. Supervisors Phil Serna, Susan Peters and Don Nottoli declined or ignored SN&R’s requests to discuss jail conditions or the sheriff’s office. Supervisor Sue Frost expressed support for the sheriff, while Supervisor Patrick Kennedy said he will propose the creation of a community review commission to work with the county Office of Inspector General and improve transparency within the sheriff’s office. Fischer, the Disability Rights litigator who challenged the treatment of psychologically and physically vulnerable inmates, urged the county to step in rather than step back. “This is an extraordinarily dangerous time for people incarcerated at the jail,” Fischer wrote in a statement. “They face enormous risks to their physical and their psychological well-being. This is a moment where the County must take deliberate steps to protect people at risk, and it is absolutely a moment to ask again, why are so many people, particularly people with mental health needs, being incarcerated?” Emanuel, who turns 60 this year, pleaded for basic dignity. “I don’t know what to say, but I do wish Sheriff Jones would change,” she told those watching. “I wish that they would treat these people with respect. I wish that somebody would look at this, because it is a problem. Funding Sacramento jail is not the answer.” Ω








by RAhEEm F. hOSSEInI raheemh@newsreview.com

If you’re reading this, America somehow survived its president’s coup attempts. Congratulations! Now what? If you even want there to be a United States of America 20 years from now, well, Plan A would be to build a time machine and deliver pamphlets about the dangers of toxic masculinity throughout the space time continuum. Barring that, here are some other ideas.

5 ways to save America from America was so much fracking talk during the debates and so little about the issues affecting you? The Electoral College is why.

Created by rich white guys in wigs who wanted to appease slave owners and thought the common citizenry too dumb to elect a president, the Electoral College doesn’t exactly have a cool origin story. While it’s been a problem since inception because it can dilute or even dismiss the will of the people, we keep tinkering with it like a busted lawnmower instead of doing what we should: Sell it on eBay to Iran. Only once did we come close to scrapping the archaic and byzantine process in which we divvy electoral votes based on the number of congressional members each state has and then award those votes winner-take-all fashion—except for two states and except for if Congress just decides it doesn’t want to and oh God what if there’s a tie?! A bipartisan effort to replace the Electoral College with unfiltered democracy narrowly failed in 1970 because of a few segregationist senators who liked the fact that racist third party candidate George Wallace nearly upended the ’68 election. Congress hasn’t suggested letting Americans decide presidential races since. Because Republicans won the last two times the Electoral College overruled the popular vote, the odds that it will anytime soon are as thin as Mitch McConnell’s lips. In absence of federal leadership to dissolve the Electoral College, a growing coalition of states and the District of Columbia is working to render it completely irrelevant. This shouldn’t be a partisan issue; the Electoral College offends every political persuasion. Consider that Joe Biden won 65% of the vote in California, yet received 100% of the state’s 55 electoral votes. That discounts about 4.2 million people who voted for someone else. The Electoral College is also why presidential candidates are forced to kowtow to certain battleground states rather than speak to the entire nation. Did you wonder why there

2) Simplify voting.





illusTraTion by serene lusano

The 2020 election revealed just how broken we are. Will we reassemble the pieces?

1) Abolish the Electoral College already!


Our contingency plan cover if Trump won.

Not every state has a Stacey Abrams, the visionary voting rights defender who responded to the disenfranchisement of 53,000 Georgia voters in her 2018 gubernatorial race by signing up 800,000 new voters in time to potentially put the Peach State in Biden’s hands. And despite what a smattering of authoritarian bootlickers are shouting outside of election centers, voting is a privilege afforded to every eligible American. So let’s make it uniformly accessible and fair, and make damn sure that it counts. The federal government should restore the intent of the Voting Rights Act of 1964, automatically register every eligible voter, restore eligibility to anyone who has completed a prison term, allow 17-year-olds who will turn 18 before a general election to vote in primaries, permit same-day registration and implement a national drop-off and mail-in voting policy that California and other states used to boost turnout to the highest levels on record. Additionally, allowing states to count absentee and mail-in ballots before Election Day will make it harder—although not impossible—for screwball incumbents and their frothing goons to try to delegitimize the legal election process.

3) Outlaw gerrymandering. Despite no evidence of widespread voter fraud, governors and legislatures in mostly (but not all) Republican states have made it harder for people to vote. Why? Because the simple fact is, at least right now, there are more Democratic voters than there Republican ones. Instead of trying to win over these voters with policies, an unpopular majority launches wars on math and fairness.

This is why whether you’re eligible to vote, how many hoops you have to jump through to cast that vote, what your ballot looks like, how many races you get to decide, when and if your ballot will be processed and what weight your individual vote will carry depends on where you live. It’s also why Barack Obama launched All On The Line after leaving office. The national campaign is a response to legislative gerrymandering efforts to suppress or magnify particular voting blocs. And it’s seen minor success in making a case for equitable maps in Colorado, Ohio and Wisconsin—where Republicans claimed 64% of legislative seats in 2018 despite winning only 46% of the popular vote—while courts have tossed out heavily gerrymandered maps in Pennsylvania and Florida. But with Trump sabotaging the 2020 census and stacking the federal courts—and with Democrats losing some state legislative seats this election—the fight for fair districts will likely get harder.

4) Invest in our critical thinking infrastructure. Blame YouTube algorithms, online echo chambers, foreign election interference or the singularity, but we the people need to vastly improve our ability to detect bullshit in an age of it. Our inability to do so—to ask basic questions, vet sources, interrogate our own assumptions or dismiss even outright conspiracies—is killing us. Literally. We have 4.25% of the world’s population but 19% of the world’s coronavirus deaths. That isn’t bad luck. That’s colossal incompetence brought on by a terminal unwillingness to face inconvenient facts. Too many of us are guilty of starting with the things we prefer to be true and fumbling backward through thickets of strawman arguments and “whataboutist” tangents to justify them. Maybe it’s time for something akin to a Common Sense Corps, made up of

patient, non-judgmental, nonpartisan, media literate volunteers who can deploy to any community and instruct us how to navigate a world drowning in spurious content. Either that or a magnetic pulse needs to kill the internet until we learn how to use it properly. Because we ain’t doing that now. Perhaps more than any item on this list, our ability to think critically through whatever comes next will determine whether our republic continues to stand—and whether it even deserves to.

5) Keep making babies. The United States is poised to lose its white majority by the year 2050. This tipping point can’t come soon enough. But until it does, our inability to confront and debunk the anxieties and myths of white Americans will continue tormenting us. Eddie S. Glaude Jr., chairperson of Princeton University’s Department of African American studies, distilled the real-world consequences of our national dilemma in a stirring appearance on MSNBC last August. Recalling how pundits explained away the Tea Party as an outgrowth of frustrated fiscal conservatism rather than a warning sign of simmering hostility, Glaude said it was unfair to blame the racial violence that happened in Charlottesville, Pittsburgh, El Paso and other cities on the president alone. “This. Is. Us,” Glaude thundered. “And if we’re going to get past this, we can’t blame it on him. He’s a manifestation of the ugliness that’s in us.” Trump exploited our racial animus. He didn’t originate it. And when he eventually slithers away, he won’t take our ugliness with him. For all his cruel lies and reckless falsehoods, this unconscionable man did one honest thing. He showed us who we are. Consider it an unfit president’s final gift to an un-great nation. Ω

For more election coverage, go to sacramento.newsreview.com/ category/2020-election/

The Trump stain

The damage done to America by Donald Trump will take decades to repair by SaSha abramSky

Four years ago, in those horrific days surrounding Donald Trump’s inauguration, I wrote a piece for SN&R urging California to use its political clout to resist Trump’s policies and agenda, and imploring Californians to become the moral beacons of an anti-Trump resistance. It has been a long four years. And even assuming his presidency is now in its final, rancid days with Joe Biden’s victory, the damage from these years is so immense, so metastasized that it will take decades to repair. Every so often, in the period following Trump’s chilling “American Carnage” inauguration speech, a commentator or analyst would write something such as, “I thought it would be bad, but this is so much worse than I dreamed possible.” Alas, I was never under any illusions as to what Trump represented. I am not exactly sure why, but from the time he launched his presidential campaign in mid-2015, I was absolutely certain, in the marrow of my bones, that he represented an existential threat to the political system and the democratic culture of this country. He wasn’t just a buffoon; he was a skilled demagogue. He wasn’t just a loudmouth; he knew how to channel rage, how to coax it out of audiences, how to gin up chaos and sow division to solidify his power and his ambitions. This was something new in American political leadership, a man capable—and desirous of—unleashing the most irrational, cultist and despotic elements onto the national stage. In February 2016, as Trump was beginning his assault on politics-as-normal during the first months of the primary season, I drove to Sparks, Nevada, to interview Trump supporters for the Nation magazine. It was weeks after Trump had aired ads calling for a total ban on Muslims entering the United States, and he was touring the country to rile up his rally crowds with ever-more bilious racial and religious bigotries, and using his Twitter account to ever-more pernicious effect. At that caucus, I asked his supporters their views on Muslims. One after another, they told me that Muslims should be deported and that Islam should be prohibited. Several told me in no uncertain terms that Muslims deserved to be executed. I left that caucus convinced that, if Trump were to win the GOP’s presidential nomination and were, somehow, to thread the needle and win election, he would take a wrecking ball not just to notions of good governance but to basic

ideas of humanity, decency, the rule of law, the idea of looking out for one’s neighbors and the understanding of a common good. Nothing in the last four years has changed my opinion. Trump’s policies and practices on immigration, the environment, workers’ rights, racial and gender and sexual equality, on access to health care, on providing assistance to the poor and on a myriad of other issues has been simply one long litany of malignancy. He has normalized corruption and cruelty in governance, and has wielded a chain saw against understandings of truth versus falsehood, waging war against climate science, holding an accurate census and the basic notion of counting every vote in an election.

The CaliFornia resisTanCe Which brings me back to California. This state, for various reasons, never fell for Trump’s BS. In 2016, only 31% of Californians voted for him; in 2020, with votes still being counted, only 33% are supporting him. In the intervening four years, this multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, culturally diverse state did, indeed, become something of an epicenter of resistance. We marched—in annual women’s marches, Earth Day marches, marches against the barbaric child separation policy, marches for gay rights, marches for racial justice, marches for criminal justice reform and so on. Our political leadership stood firm against Trump’s demagogic attacks on “Dreamers,” on refugees, asylum seekers and all the other wonderful parts of California’s diverse 40 million people. Leaders of agencies such as the California Air Resources Board refused to bend to Trump’s pressure to curb the ambitions of their clean energy and fuel efficiency regulations. Attorney General Xavier Becerra spearheaded one lawsuit after another after another against the Trump administration to create multi-state coalitions to protect basic rights and longstanding policy goals in the face of a relentless campaign to undermine them. Not surprisingly, Trump has spent the last four years taking every opportunity to bash California. He flew out to slam the state’s response to homelessness, but his criticism was less about policy and more about the visual stain that visible homeless populations represented in tony neighborhoods. He repeatedly lied about climate change as, year in, year out, California’s wildfire season grew more dangerous—and then he compounded

the damage by repeatedly threatening to deny federal funds to respond to these disasters. He attempted to withdraw federal dollars from “sanctuary cities” to get California to force law enforcement agencies to cooperate with his increasingly ruthless anti-immigrant sweeps. He attacked California politicians, such as Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, by name. He used California as a foil to whip up anti-immigrant, anti-poor, anti-liberal, antienvironmental fervor amongst his base. He minimized COVID-19 deaths and at one point made the simply outrageous comment that if only you didn’t count California and other “blue states,” America’s death rate from the disease would plummet. (Of course, now that the epicenter of America’s epidemic is in “red” states, he has stopped pedaling this particular line of nonsense). There was nothing accidental in any of this. It didn’t matter to Trump how much harm he was doing to the country’s social fabric by pitting one region against another, one group of people against another. Demagogues have, after all, never been worried about the collateral damage that their rhetoric causes. So long as it serves their particular purposes, so long as it furthers their individual ambitions, so long as it gratifies their outsized egos, they will view that damage as being entirely worthwhile. Trump, who is not just a demagogue but also a world-beating narcissist, is, in this regard, particularly virulent. And so for four years, California, and Californians have been at the wrong end of this morally calcified man’s petulant and thuggish personality. We have watched in horror as he has debased America’s culture and diminished America’s standing in the world. We have shuddered at the cruelties he has unleashed in the name of us, The People. And we have understood the importance of acting as a repository, during these dark years, for America’s moral values. We are not, by any stretch of the imagination, a perfect state. Yet, for all our flaws, California has become in these years, something of a haven for what America can be in its best incarnation. There is a famous stanza, oft-quoted since 2016, in Langston Hughes’ poem Let America Be America Again: Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed/ Let it be that strong land of love/ Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme/ That any man be crushed by one above.

a wannabe TyranT From the get-go, Trump has governed not as the leader of a democracy, but as a wannabeking or a tyrant. He has, quite literally, gotten his attorneys to argue that, by virtue of his position, he is above, and outside of, the law. He was impeached for trying to strong-arm a foreign government to provide dirt on Biden. He has curried favor with despots and demeaned democratically elected prime ministers, presidents and chancellors. He has used his office for personal enrichment, and he has used his vast platform to attack not just political opponents but private citizens. Trump’s assault on democracy has accelerated in recent months. I could write a list pages long of his acts of malfeasance this election season. A few highlights: He attempted to defund the U.S. Postal Service specifically to derail mail-in voting; he has repeatedly and baselessly cried “fraud;” he floated the idea of canceling the election; he urged his supporters to vote twice; he flirted with para-militarism by telling the fascist Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.” Now, in these strange post-election days, he has tried to seize the narrative by claiming victory in the middle of vote counts; has demanded those counts be stopped; has launched numerous lawsuits; and has repeatedly told his supporters, many of them armed, that their votes are being stolen by some nefarious cabal of interstate operatives going from Michigan to Wisconsin to Arizona to Georgia to Pennsylvania to Nevada to god knows where else on a mission to sabotage Donald J. Trump. None of this is remotely funny. The world’s most powerful man is currently performing the world’s most inelegant, and potentially dangerous, Last Hurrah. None of his actions, none of his rhetoric, are aimed at calming an overheated political moment, or defusing a dangerous political situation. Instead, it is all about chaos, about fear, about fury and rage. It is now, as it always has been for him, all about Donald Trump. Ω

Sasha Abramsky, a SN&R contributor who teaches at UC Davis, writes a subscription-based column at theabramaskyreport. com and is the author most recently of Little Wonder: The Fabulous Story of Lottie Dod, the World’s First Female Sports Superstar.








Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg staked his political capital on the “strong mayor” measure.


Steinberg’s big gamble Analysis: The mayor wanted more power, but his resounding defeat at the polls will weaken him by Foon Rhee fo o nr @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m

PhoTo by ScoTT ThomAS AnderSon

Mayor Darrell Steinberg easily won re-election in March, and won high marks for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Then, he took a high-stakes risk to seek “strong mayor” powers in his final four years in office. It appears to have backfired. In returns as of Nov. 6, Measure A— the Sacramento Mayoral Accountability and Community Equity Act of 2020—was going down to defeat, 57% to 42%. If that margin holds, it would be similar to then-Mayor Kevin Johnson’s strong mayor measure in 2014, which lost 56% to 44%. “I am disappointed but have the greatest respect for the voters of Sacramento,” Steinberg said in a statement. “I am ready to launch a second term under this system and fight for the same causes and people that motivated me to serve as our City’s mayor. I’m looking forward to working with my new and returning colleagues on the major issues facing our city, including furthering economic and racial equity, addressing homelessness and the lack of affordable housing, and combating climate change.” While the mayor is trying to put the best face on the result, it’s a defeat that will weaken Steinberg over the next four years.






For one thing, holdover City lost by an even bigger margin—61% to Councilman Jeff Harris voted against 38%, as of Wednesday morning. putting strong mayor before voters, and But in drafting the “strong mayor” incoming Councilwoman Katie Valenzuela measure, Steinberg also made some calculed the campaign against it. So he has lations that hurt his cause. some fence-mending to do. There was the late confusion and For another thing, Steinberg put controversy over the term limit section himself on the opposite side from past that Steinberg added to get enough council and potential allies among neighborhood support to get Measure A on the ballot. and labor leaders—and the powerful While his team says he intended for firefighters union. If, as seems the two-term limit to apply likely, the city faces a to him—and while the painful budget crunch campaign suggested it Politics next year, the mayor would—an Oct. 21 opinis often will have less goodwill ion from the city attorto use. ney’s office declared about timing. And Steinberg didn’t that it didn’t cover Steinberg is now know that 10 days him. That would have acknowledging that it after the council put meant that he could “strong mayor” on run again in 2024 after might have been the the ballot, a judge serving two terms, wrong time. would order the city though he insists he to put Measure C—the won’t. Still, the opposition rent control measure that campaign accused him of Steinberg and the rest of the City misleading voters. Council opposed—on the ballot as well. The mayor also made “equity” a That changed the political calculus because big selling point by including a section it may have brought out voters who requiring the city to evaluate spending and supported stronger rent control and who policy decisions on how they promoted were more likely to oppose strong mayor, racial and gender fairness. But by refusing even though the measure appears to have to put the equity piece into a separate

measure, he opened himself up to criticism that he was holding it hostage for more power. He also didn’t follow through on a pledge to take action on equity before Election Day. While a council committee started debating equity in September, its proposal isn’t scheduled to get to the full council until Dec. 8. Steinberg also included a requirement that the city invest at least $40 million a year in “inclusive economic development.” But that prompted the city firefighters union, with all its fund-raising might and volunteer manpower, to help lead the opposition to “strong mayor.” And it may have only reminded voters that he didn’t keep a similar campaign pledge on the Measure U sales tax increase approved in November 2018. Instead, much of the revenue was used to shore up the police and fire department budgets. Politics is often about timing. And Steinberg is now acknowledging that it might have been the wrong time. He also polled on strong mayor last year and decided not to move forward. He determined that the time was right this year, despite the deadliest public health crisis in a century. He bet wrong. Now, he has to live with the consequences. Ω

For housing and tenant advocates, election night was a bitter pill.

Sacramento rent control collides with green wall of cash SCOtt thOmaS anderSOn sc o tta @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m

Bob Magnuson, a spokesman for the ballot, said that landlord groups will have campaign, stuck to those arguments after to keep reaching deep into their pockets if the election results. they want to stop tenants from stabilizing “The coalition worked rents in Sacramento. She and very hard to talk with other supporters argue Sacramento voters that the rent control about how this ordinance passed by “Renters are measure would the City Council not create any last year isn’t probably not going new housing enough. to win this round, but at and would cost “We wanted least the real estate lobby— Sacramento people to have millions to the chance to people who don’t even live in establish a vote and they Sacramento—will have a million new bureaudid,” Pariset dollars less to spend against us cracy,” he said said. “Renters in a statement. are probably in our next fight.” “We are gratinot going to Michelle Pariset, fied that voters win this round, housing advocate saw these flaws in but at least the real Measure C and have estate lobby—people decisively rejected it. The who don’t even live in coalition looks forward to Sacramento—will have a working with the mayor, city council, million dollars less to spend against us and the entire community to build in our next fight.” more affordable housing for working One organization that helped advance and middle-class families, seniors, and the fight for Measure C was SEIU Local veterans.” 1021, which represents 54,000 local Michelle Pariset, a housing advocate government, nonprofit and health care who played a vital role in defeating City employees in Northern California. John Hall’s attempts to keep Measure C off the Shaban, a member of the labor group,


A three-year effort to bring strong rent control to the city of Sacramento failed on election night after local and national landlord groups spent at least $1.2 million to stop it. This decisive loss for housing advocates was coupled with an equally clear rejection of a statewide initiative, Proposition 21, which would have given local governments more authority to enact rent control. Landlord groups spent $100 million to kill that measure. As of Nov. 6, Measure C was trailing badly, with 62% of Sacramento voters saying “no” and only 37% “yes,” while California voters were defeating Prop. 21 by a 60% to 40% margin. These results came just a few days after Bloomberg’s CityLab identified Sacramento as one of the top six cities in the nation for rising rents in 2020. The funding advantage for the No on Measure C campaign allowed it to flood mailboxes across the city with its talking points, particularly the claim that rent control would kill investment in new housing in Sacramento during the most dire housing crisis in recent memory. The “no” campaign also criticized the measure’s proposed new elected rent board as a costly new bureaucracy.

said that the possibility of two or three new City Council members, plus the failure of the “strong mayor” measure, means the dynamics of Sacramento’s leadership could drastically change, especially after the 2022 election. “I think ‘strong mayor’ losing just opens up another path for the council to potentially help renters,” Shaban said. “These things don’t happen in one shot. Sacramento has a majority of renters as its general population—52% of its residents—so I suspect we’re not done.” In the meantime, housing advocacy groups will look to strengthen relationships and mutual support as eviction protections passed during the COVID-19 pandemic expire at the beginning of March. “We’re receiving distress calls daily from community members, many of whom have already lost their homes,” said Delphine Brody, who campaigned hard for Prop. 21 on behalf of the Trans and Nonbinary Housing Collective. “I think being there for each other right now is the most important thing we can do. And we need to hold our policy-makers’ feet to the fire. No more making Sacramento into a playground for the rich.” Ω








Sean Loloee

Newcomers headed to Sacramento council

Rocky year in Elk Grove leads the rise of a new mayor

by Graham Womack gr aham w @ n ew s r ev i e w . c o m

by Scott thomaS anderSon sc o tta @ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m

Loloee holds big lead in District 2, while Vang and Simmons are neck and neck in District 8

Once viewed as a trailblazer, Steve Ly’s political fortunes turned in 2020

When Sistah Pat Roundtreerivers, co-pastor of For His Glory Church in Del Paso Heights, opted to endorse Sean Loloee in Sacramento City Council District 2, she received a concerned voicemail from two-term incumbent Allen Warren. Roundtreerivers didn’t bother to call back Warren, whom she supported in 2012 and 2016. She was already sold on Loloee, a grocery store owner, father of two and political newcomer, who met with her and her husband at their church. “He spoke my kind of words,” Roundtreerivers said. “And he’s actually been walking it. It’s not like he just talked it.” As of Nov. 6, it appeared that enough voters agreed with her to make Loloee the next councilman in District 2. He had a substantial lead with 5,848 votes, or 55%, compared to Warren’s 4,692 votes, or 44%. Loloee hasn’t declared victory, but he told SN&R: “Internally, we feel like we won the race.” Warren hasn’t conceded, but Loloee said he had been receiving congratulatory calls from top Warren supporters. The councilman didn’t respond to requests for comment. If the results don’t flip dramatically as the remaining ballots are counted, it would mark a quiet end to the council career of Warren, a former low-level minor league baseball player turned real estate developer who recently floated mayoral aspirations. But his political standing has eroded with one controversy after another, mostly over his business dealings. The business 20

Bobbie Singh-allen





license for Warren’s New Faze Development is suspended, according to the California Secretary of State’s website. “I think it was very obvious that people wanted change,” Loloee said. “They were somewhat tired of the last eight years of the same thing happening.” For Roundtreerivers, it’s about helping Del Paso Heights, where her parents were some of the first property owners. It’s a part of Sacramento still sorely in need of investment and a champion who can deliver on campaign promises, she said. “It used to be really, really something,” Roundtreerivers said. “I’m just hoping and praying that we can bring it back to at least close to what it used to be like.” Meanwhile in the District 8 runoff, Sacramento City Unified Schools trustee Mai Vang is holding a small lead over Pastor Les Simmons. As of Nov. 6, she had 5,612 votes, or 51%, and Simmons had 5,363, or 48%. If the margin holds as remaining ballots are counted, Vang would become the first Asian-American woman elected to the council. “Our campaign represents the diversity of District 8 and the resilience of working families throughout Sacramento,” she told supporters Tuesday night. “Our coalition came together to say with a unified voice that South Sacramento will not be ignored. I can’t wait to get started and provide the bold, courageous leadership that our city deserves.” Ω

Steve Ly made national headlines in 2016 by becoming the first Hmong-American mayor in the country’s history, using his hardscrabble back story to highlight the way so many refugee dreamers become threads deeply embedded in their community’s fabric. But Ly’s tenuous relationship with Elk Grove City Council members brought acrimony to his 2018 re-election bid—and now in 2020 his run as mayor has been decisively ended. Monday, Ly conceded the race to Elk Grove Unified Schools trustee Bobbie Singh-Allen. Ly spent the last year trailed by accusations that associates of his engaged in bullying, harassment and making threats on social media. Ly vehemently denies any involvement in the ugliness, but the barrage of negative news stories—and the Sacramento County Grand Jury investigation that followed—clearly took a toll on election night. When the first returns came in, SinghAllen had a commanding lead of 46% of votes cast to Ly’s 35%, while another challenger, Brian Pastor, further split the electorate with 17%. Singh-Allen’s lead only grew in the coming days. Ly’s former rival for mayor, Councilman Darren Suen, easily won re-election against opponent Ali Moua. Suen’s attempt to unseat Ly in 2018 garnered support from the rest of the City Council, along with the school board president, a planning commissioner, the chamber of commerce and the police and firefighters’ unions.

This time around, Singh-Allen rallied even bigger names to her cause, including Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, State Controller Betty Yee, State Treasurer Fiona Ma, Congressman Ami Bera, state Sen. Richard Pan and Assemblyman Jim Cooper. Ly has long been thought of as a mayor on an island. As the controversy around him grew, that island got markedly smaller. “This win is not about me, it is about the well being of Elk Grove,” said Singh-Allen, the first Sikh woman elected to the city’s governing board. “I look forward to being a champion for our city and bringing our community together. Whether you supported me or not, I invite you to work with me to move our city forward. From now on, everyone has a seat at the table. Elk Grove’s best days are ahead.” Singh-Allen added that her first 100 days in office will be focused on the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, good governance and traffic and transportation planning. Ly told SN&R he’s looking forward to spending more time with his family and continuing his work as a youth counselor in Elk Grove. He also said he expects to be personally vindicated by the results of the grand jury investigation. “The election was highjacked by the accusations, and we live in a society where I think it’s important that people are treated with the benefit of the doubt,” Ly said. “I felt like in this election I wasn’t afforded that at all.” Ω






Election results Sacramento Measure A (“strong mayor�)

Yes: 42% No: 57% Sacramento Measure B (redistricting commission time line)

Yes: 67% No: 32% Sacramento Measure C (rent control)

Yes: 37% No: 62%

West Sacramento mayor

Christopher Cabaldon: 50.5% Martha Guerrero: 49.5% Proposition 14 (Borrow for stem cell research)

Yes: 51%

Proposition 15 (Increase commercial property tax)

Yes: 48%

Yes: 44% No: 56%

Sean Loloee: 55% Allen Warren: 44%

Proposition 17 (Restore voting rights for parolees)

Les Simmons: 48% Mai Vang: 51% Sacramento County supervisor, District 3

Yes: 59% No: 41% Proposition 18 (Lower voting age to 17)

Rich Desmond: 49% Gregg Fishman: 50% Elk Grove mayor

Steve Ly: 34% Brian Pastor: 18% Bobbie Singh-Allen: 46%






No: 52%

Proposition 16 (End ban on racial preferences)

Sacramento City Council, District 2

Sacramento City Council, District 8

No: 49%

Yes: 45% No: 55% Proposition 19 (Expand property tax breaks)

Yes: 51%

Proposition 20 (Roll back criminal justice reforms)

Yes: 38% No: 62% Proposition 21 (Expand local rent control)

Yes: 40% No: 60% Proposition 22 (Exempt Uber, Lyft from independent contractor law)

Yes: 58% No: 42% Proposition 23 (Regulate dialysis clinics)

Yes: 36% No: 64% Proposition 24 (Strengthen consumer privacy law)

Yes: 56% No: 44% Proposition 25 (End cash bail)

Yes: 44% No: 56%

No: 49% For more coverage of election results, go to sacramento.newsreview.com/ category/2020-election/






IllustratIons and layout by MarIa ratInova

by li



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Flexing musical muscle A decade after its quiet release, Allyson Seconds reintroduces Bag of Kittens







wo things to know about Allyson Seconds: She’s a woman who continually challenges herself, and she’s not particularly concerned how you perceive her. “Somebody was like, ‘Don’t you think it’s weird that people are going to know you as a weightlifter and not a musician?’ Actually, I’m neither of those things. I’m a person who does those things,” says the Sacramento singer-songwriter. And while neither of those things define her, the pandemic-related slowdown of one of her endeavors—the gym she owns, North D Fitness Collective—has resulted in more time with her music, including the re-release of her first album, 2009’s Bag of Kittens. Its original release was quiet. “Totally fun project, no plans,” she says. “Just me wanting

to grow, wanting to hear what I sound like.” Seconds has been a singer since the start, but as a young child and into early adulthood, “it was always the harmony line. Always.” That’s not a negative. She harmonized with friends including Kepi Ghoulie and with her husband Kevin, in addition to musicians as varied as the band Andrew Jackson Jihad and Sal Valentino of The Beau Brummels. But before Bag of Kittens, her sole turn as frontwoman was with New States, a shortlived band circa 1996 with James Williams and Nic Offer of the Yah Mos (Offer, later of !!!) and Tom Mackerness of Pope Smashers. Seconds categorizes their sound as “bossa nova garage,” lasting long enough for a Pacific Northwest tour, but not much longer. While Seconds never stopped playing music, as the millennium hit, she expanded her

list of projects to open True Love Coffee House with her husband. Though True love only lasted a few years, it was and is venerated as a welcoming venue for Sacramento musicians of all stripes, “slinging coffee” during the day to pay the bills. In 2003, while Seconds was still co-running the coffee house, she began strength training, a love that would lead her not just to a new hobby but to a radical shift in her outlook. “I realized I was kind of falling apart,” she remembers. “[True Love] was my first business, I didn’t know how to delegate, I was stressed out.” She talked to True Love customer and Body Tribe gym founder Chip Conrad, who encouraged her to train with him. “I like learning things and I just said, ‘Yes, I’d like to do that.’” Still, her shift to fitness was a surprise. “It was very organic, but I didn’t see it coming at all—100% nobody could have told me I’d be doing this for a living five years prior. I was like, ‘I don’t work out. I’m an artist and a musician. We don’t do that.’” There is, of course, nothing contradictory about being a healthy musician, but feel free to insert your own Keith Richards joke here. Five months of apprenticeship clarified Seconds’ commitment to health. “By then I was realizing, I need health, and strength, and I need to get back to myself.” She stayed on, and 17 years later, she’s still running what’s now called the North D Fitness Collective. She describes it not as a gym but as a “movement sanctuary.” North D isn’t genderexclusive, but Seconds is committed to providing a positive space for all its clients. “Gym rooms have been dude territory, and I want [others] to feel like this [gym] is theirs.” Like every business owner, Seconds has weathered pandemic closures as best she can. “What has the pandemic not done?” Seconds says, laughing. “It virtually shut us down for a while. We tried to move everything outside as soon as that was okay, just like restaurants, but then the wildfires hit and air quality sucked. So it’s just been a year of testing your tenacity and creativity, and I’m up for that challenge.”

Sacramento singer-songwriter Allyson Seconds revisits her debut album.

Up for any challenge “There is a theme in my life that is challenge,” Seconds says. As she challenged herself with weights in the early 2000s, she chose to challenge herself again in 2009, stepping back up front with her first solo album, Bag of Kittens. “I got the idea in my head again,” she says. “I want to look back when I’m 80 years old and know I tried that…I wasn’t trying to become a known singer. I was literally trying to flex a muscle.” “I’m not a songwriter, and I used to not be okay with that, because I was surrounded by songwriters,” she says. “And I was reminded by myself and by others who care about me and love my voice that you don’t have to be a songwriter... So I just created my own route.” Her path was a collaborative one: “I thought, okay, I’ll reach out to a lot of these songwriters and ask them to write a song for me.” While the initial plan was to gather songs from a wide circle of friends, the first song to come her way, “I Used to Say Your Name,” by Anton Barbeau, felt like she’d written it herself. “It had what I could call my vibe, I was just floored by it,” Seconds recalls. What resulted was a solo album with songs penned completely by Barbeau, his instinct for her style the result of several decades of friendship.

“I wasn’t trying to become a known singer. I was literally trying to flex a muscle.” Allyson Seconds

Bag of Kittens came out quietly. The songs are indeed lovely. Seconds’ voice is reminiscent of Susanna Hoffs, best known for her time in The Bangles but who also made some beautiful solo albums. Seconds is at the fore, but also provided her own harmonies and those of collaborator Barbeau. Still, an album without promotion has a limited audience, and there was no tour to help spread the word. Her second solo album, 2016’s Little World, had what Bag of Kittens didn’t—a promotional budget. Little World caught the attention of reviewer Ken Tucker, leading to a positive review on National Public Radio’s Fresh Air. While Seconds didn’t tour with Little World, either, the NPR bump definitely helped exposure. More than a decade later, Seconds aims to reintroduce Bag of Kittens to the world. The re-release, available Nov. 17 on Big Stir Records, is not for financial reasons. “Musician” is not a lucrative career, let alone in a pandemic. “It was a meaningful time in my life to hear my voice,” she says. “It wasn’t like delving into my own ego. It was standing on my own.” Ω

Bag of Kittens is available from Big Stir Records at bigstirrecords.com/allyson-seconds






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by Patrick Hyun Wilson

p a tr ic k w@ ne wsr e v ie w.c o m owners austin McManus and Mel Eligon pose at Public land, a store and gallery in curtis Park.

Indoor landscapes Public Land sells plants and homemade products, but also exhibits art

Photo by Patrick hyun Wilson

We stood in the back room of Public Land store Joshua Tree and the Gila monster appear, but holding a Calathea roseopicta. “That one likes Gordon also employs the quietly disruptive quality mist,” said store co-owner Austin McManus of the surreal. pointing to the squat purple leaves. One of Gordon’s most successful works in the The plant is one of hundreds in the cozy rustic exhibit depicts a New Mexico landscape, bisected boutique on 21st Street in Curtis Park. Wide twice by bands of inkless paper. A cracked bowl, windows let in copious golden light, raw wooden two stack of rocks and a solitary section of fence shelves hold bottlecap sculptures and artisan hand sit in the middle of a brutally rocky desert terrain soaps and beyond the unassuming doorway at the and a thick unnatural half circle of black ink that back of the store hangs an exhibition by Oakland seems to disappear behind the distant mountains. artist Grady Gordon. Some of the work is not as subtly hallucinoAlong with Mel Eligon, McManus opened genic. One wall holds several images depicting Public Land in 2018 to sell a wide range of unique Peyote and San Pedro cacti, which could prompt plants and handmade products that come from the the viewer to think about the psychedelic and earth, filling a need they saw in Sacramento surreal. These drawings are more decorative for high quality, not “future trash.” than the landscape work, more closely The pair opened the boutique resembling studies of plant life. after long careers in the art “The environment and art “The world. McManus spent seven for us kind of go in hand,” gallery is superyears as the Eligon said. “We wanted to photography director at show art that was inspired important to us. I Juxtapoz Magazine. Eligon by, informed by, using media worked in art so long used her experience as a from, the natural world set designer in the fashion to kind of perpetuate its that it is like the fuel industry to design Public existence.” for everything.” Lands’ storefront. While some exhibitions “In terms of like the way won’t address the environment Austin McManus, co-owner our store looks, I think that is as directly as Gordon’s work, of Public Land informed by my past,” Eligon said. Eligon and McManus say that But the pair always knew that conservation is a primary consideration the succulents, cacti and handmade for their gallery. soaps wouldn’t be there without the gallery “We didn’t want it to just be pretty picture of space in the back. cactus and flora and fauna,” McManus said. “We wouldn’t be doing this without a gallery,” “But we like those, too,” Eligon adds. McManus said. “The gallery is super-important to “We just want to get people inspired by it. us. I worked in art so long that it is like the fuel for We’re not claiming we’re like some big massive everything.” conservationists or anything,” McManus finished. Until Dec. 27, the gallery is home to more than McManus and Eligon had to cancel three of 20 black-and-white Monotype ink prints made their shows due to the COVID-19 shutdown, but by Gordon. His process is to apply ink to a glass the pair are hopeful that their authenticity will be surface, remove ink from the glass to “draw” the enough to get them through. image and then finally transfer the image onto “We believe in the environmental future and we paper, resulting in one-of-a-kind prints. believe in the future of art,” Eligon said. “Especially Titled Don’t Walk Around Here Barefoot, the amongst all of what’s happening right now in exhibition of frameless ink drawings chronicles our social and political climate— it’s now superthe artist’s own experiences growing up in New imperative that people continue to talk and make it a Mexico. Familiar desert imagery like that of the regular part of their everyday conversations.” Ω

by Scott thomaS anderSon

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means a lot of small business owners are scrambling to find ways to keep their outdoor patios going once the winter chill and rain arrive. But it’s not as simple as just moving heating devices near tents and canopies: The last thing owners or city officials want is sudden fire. So City Hall is currently working with restaurateurs to devise new guidelines to safely bring heat outdoors. For some owners, the plans could make the difference of whether their restaurant will stay open.

home,” said Emilie Cameron, public affairs and communications director for the partnership. “Many of the businesses we’ve talked to are seeing revenues of 10%, or at best, 25%, of what they were doing at this time last year. There are some exceptions—a business that’s doing really well, or a business where it’s costing money keep the doors open—but overall, there’s no denying that in the last six months the impacts have been significant.” The city announced its Farm to Fork Al Fresco program in late May, allowing many restaurants to expand outdoor Customers dine outdining into sidewalks, on-street doors on an October evening parking spaces, parts of streets and on R Street in Sacramento. How many nearby parking lots. As part of the program, the city gave grants of as much restaurants will Photos by Kami hoverson as $3,000 to restaurants to help pay for survive? barricades, lighting and furnishings. Even with the help, the cost to set up In late July, Yelp released a report outdoor dining is high, depending on using data and announcements from what kind of barriers they need to rent. its massive review site to document Restaurants along busier streets require the lockdown’s impacts on various crash cushion barriers, which run several cities. That report found that within the thousand dollars to rent for a couple of Sacramento-Roseville-Arden Arcade months. metro area, at least 131 restaurants had Now the restaurants are having to closed for good between March 1 and factor in the overhead of outdoor heatJuly 10. More concrete numbers for the ers. More importantly, they’re having to city of Sacramento have been hard to plan for safety. come by; City Hall won’t begin to have “Propane heaters and liquid petroa clear picture of the toll until it leum gas heaters are not meant knows how many restaurants for being used indoors, did not renew their annual inside tents,” said Jason business operating Restaurants Lee, the Sacramento tax certificate. That on R Street have Fire Department’s process could go fire marshal. “We’d well into 2021. been taking advantage want those types Officials with of the city’s Farm to heaters located City says heating outdoor tables safely is the key the Sacramento more on the Fork Al Fresco program, Downtown periphery of the Partnership, which though that will become On Sacramento’s R Street, warm many dining houses clinging to hope that tents rather than represents busiOctober evenings have been filled with they’ll survive the pandemic. challenging in the actually in them.” nesses in a 66-block people meeting face-to-face again, Yet there is an inescapable reality Lee added that radius from the Old winter months. gathering just outside popular restaurants setting in for local restaurateurs, as the fire department Sacramento waterfront in a garden-like atmosphere of fairy well as the diners who want to support has a team that includes to 16th Street, have been lights and white picket fences. them—the unusually warm fall is sure the city’s building and code regularly surveying members, City Hall’s decision to close off to end before a coronavirus vaccine is enforcement departments actively workventuring out on inspection walks and part of the lively Midtown avenue to widely available. ing with the restaurants on guidelines constantly scanning social media sties vehicles allowed dining hubs the space While there is a possibility that to keep the Al Fresco program going to try to get a handle on the long-term they needed to keep customers safer Sacramento County will hit the state’s through November, December and damage. The partnership’s best estimate from coronavirus in the fresh, open air. public health metrics that allow for more January. is that roughly three-quarters of the Numerous restaurants all over the city indoor dining by early November, there’s “A lot of what we’re looking at is the businesses within its restaurant-heavy are coming up with similar makeshift also a chance that a virus surge could tents and canopies and making sure they’re district are still open in some capacity, parklets as part of the city’s Farm to keep the county’s restaurants at 25% flame-treated per state requirements,” including take-out and curbside pickup Fork Al Fresco program, which has indoor capacity or stop dine-in service Lee said. “We also need to make sure and those using the Al Fresco program. awarded grants to about 300. And again entirely, depending on the severity firefighters have the ability to access those “It’s difficult in downtown because scenes like this may help bring a sense of the spike. dining areas, and that there’s access to fire the customer-base has really been driven of normalcy back to Sacramento, but Additionally, many patrons simply hydrants near them.” Ω by the office market, and a significant they are also the lifeline that’s keeping don’t feel safe eating indoors. That number of offices continue to work from

Sacramento’s restaurants look for ways to keep outdoor dining going through the winter






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for civilians and GIs on the front lines. “You wouldn’t think of a band being right up on the front line, but in the Pacific, the front line was just about everywhere,” he said. “They’re hanging spotlights on blown-out palm trees and things like that, and they start the show with this USO group and on the other side of this ravine, just behind them, there’s action going on.” After the band recorded the performance, Richard Burt was given permission to bring the records home. He then spent the next decades at Julliard, Drake University and with several bands including The Des Moines Symphony in Iowa and taught music in West Sacramento. Private richard Burt with his band mates in the He kept the records safe for 75 years and Philippines during World War ii. recorded narration of his personal history— 28 minutes of which are included on the album. First, you hear the sound of a needle roughly But in the 1980s, the records were lost, and Burt dragging against vinyl. Then, a voice cuts through never saw the project through to completion before the grainy noise: “Let’s begin, with these special he died in 2016. recordings, on wire, that were done on the Jason Burt rediscovered the records in the attic Philippine islands in 1946.” after his grandmother passed. “It was October of The late trumpeter Richard Burt then introduces 2019 and we were going through the house,” Burt the first track of the album, “Moonlight in Vermont.” said. “We knew about them, but we hadn’t seen the Although his cover of the 1944 Margaret actual records in a long time.” Whiting jazz standard is heavily obscured Burt made it his mission to remaster and by scratches on the record, Richard digitize the recordings, finally Burt pierces through with his cementing his grandfather’s musical “You wouldn’t trumpet, playing a game of call legacy. But a project like this and response with his big band. was way out of Burt’s usual think of a band “He loved playing with wheelhouse, so he sought help being right up on his band,” said Jason Burt, a from four-time Grammy awardthe front line, but in Sacramento history teacher winning sound engineer Gavin and grandson of Richard Burt, Lurssen of Burbank. the Pacific, the front a longtime resident of West Burt hopes the album will line was just about Sacramento. bring deserved attention to everywhere.” Jason Burt released musicians on the front lines of Jason Burt Sentimental Journey on WWII and says he plans to donate a Wednesday, Nov. 11 to coincide portion of the proceeds from the album with Veterans Day and the 75th to the World War II Foundation and USO. anniversary of the end of World War II. He “It’s just amazing to think about, that those has lofty goals for the album: To get his guys would do their job and be in the middle of grandfather a platinum record. a war zone, with their weapon being a musical He also believes that the record will be instrument,” he said. important for the jazz community, as it could be However, the strongest motivation for Burt was one of the only recordings of an amateur front-line sentimental: To pay tribute to his grandfather and band ever made during the war. share his long-lost record. “Based on my research and what others have “Their goal was to play music and help those told me, nothing like this exists,” Burt said. “Jazz guys feel a little closer to home,” Burt said. lovers will love it, too, because no one appreciates “There’s fewer and fewer of them that are going to the history of their music more than people in the be around, so to have this thing right now—while jazz genre.” they’re still around— is really important to me.” Ω When WWII broke out, Burt’s then 19-year-old grandfather enlisted in the 746th Far East Air Force Band and was stationed in the Philippines, sentimental Journey is available on cD Baby, itunes or amazon Music. for more music coverage, go to sacramento.newsreview.com/category/music/ where he and his bandmates recorded the 10 tracks on Sentimental Journey, during a live performance Photo courtesy of Jason Burt

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Steady as a Valley oak

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Ray Tretheway retires after 30 years as executive director of the Sacramento Tree Foundation by Debbie Arrington

Photo courtesy of sacramento tree foundation

via Facebook, a ribbon-cutting ceremony and dedication will be held at 11 a.m. Nov. 19 at the Ray and Judy Tretheway Oak Preserve, formerly the Natomas Oaks Park. For COVID-19 safety, it won’t be a public event, but will be livestreamed on Facebook, said SacTree spokesperson Stephanie Robinson. Nearly 13 acres of oaks on River Plaza Drive near Garden Highway will be a living tribute to Tretheway’s lifetime of service. Besides leading the foundation, he also served as a Sacramento city councilman for 10 years. The foundation is also launching a fundraising campaign to honor Tretheway, “and Ray Tretheway poses with one of gifts will go toward two initiatives very his favorite trees, the Valley oak. close to his heart,” Robinson said. The first $50,000 will go to preserve the native oaks and flora of the preserve and to For nearly four decades, Ray Tretheway has been add amenities to support outdoor education. All as strong and steady as a Valley oak. In the City other contributions will go toward the Evergreen of Trees, he has been Sacramento’s outspoken and Fund, which provides trees throughout the region. buoyant advocate for our urban forest. Now, it’s his turn to enjoy a break in the shade. (Find out more at sactree.givingfuel.com/ray) A Sacramento native, Tretheway grew up This month, Tretheway is retiring as with an admiration for nature. After executive director of the Sacramento working in Washington, D.C., as an Tree Foundation. He’s led SacTree environmental researcher and at since it sprouted on California the Smithsonian Institution, he “Our urban Arbor Day in 1982. When returned to his hometown to he was officially named forest is living, advocate for the environment. executive director in 1990, he natural and affects “For years, ‘urban forest’ became the foundation’s first was an oxymoron,” he said. every person’s life.” full-time employee. “Now, we understand that “When we started, our Ray Tretheway, retiring executive 85, 90% of our urban forest is goal was to plant a tree a director of the Sacramento owned and controlled by home day,” recalled the 73-year-old Tree Foundation and property owners where they Tretheway. “We planted 400 our live. Our urban forest is living, first year.” natural and affects every person’s life. Now, SacTree’s total is It’s linked to our quality of life and health.” somewhere more than a million. Every Tretheway will continue to work with trees year, the foundation helps plant many thousands, and people. His focus recently has been planting mostly through its shade program partnership with trees in historically impoverished (and treeless) SMUD, which accounts for more than 600,000 neighborhoods. trees and counting. “It’s been a dynamic career; not a job, but a “It’s been magical,” Tretheway said. “We built pleasure,” he said. “How else do you get to live a great platform, a springboard to the future that’s a vision?” Ω very strong. I worked a lot of long hours, not selling a product across the counter but selling a vision. It’s now time to enjoy the world.” debbie arrington, an award-winning garden writer and lifelong SacTree is celebrating Tretheway’s legacy the gardener, is co-creator of the sacramento digs Gardening blog best way it could—naming an oak-filled park in and website. honor of Ray and his wife, Judy. To be shared

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foR the moNth of NovembeR

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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



POP-UP sERIEs At DOCO: River City Marketplace is popping up at DOCO. Shop from local creative vendors, listen to live music, watch street performances and enjoy all that DOCO has to offer at this family-friendly event. 11am, no cover. DOCO Sacramento, 405 K St.

FRIDAY, 12/4

128 ARtIsAN MARKEt: Berryessa Brewing Co. is a 20-barrel craft brewery just outside Winters. The tap room is a relaxed, familyfriendly atmosphere in a country setting. Drink great beer, hang out with friends and shop from a selection of local vendors. 5pm, no cover. Berryessa Brewing Co., 27260 California 128, Winters.

11/5H G tHROU 0 5/3

See 100 years of woman’s suffrage in one place.

100 years of fighting for your rights at the California Museum California MuseuM, Various tiMes, $0-$10 On Aug. 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment was ratified, giving women the right to vote after the decades-long battle MUsEUM fought by women such as Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton for equal political power. It seems like the fight for political equality is ongoing. Following the tumultuous and— to be frank—cray cray presidential election, why don’t you take a trip down to the California Museum to remember how far

the nation has come in its fight for equality. The ongoing fight for women’s equality has strong parallels with the suffrage movement. The exhibition is available online alongside a video tour, taking you through the exhibit and explaining the significant features of the show. If you want to see the exhibition in person, the California Museum is open to the public at 25% capacity and under social distancing guidelines. 1020 O St., californiamuseum.org.

tHE FREsH INsPIRAtION sHOW tOUR GALAsACRAMENtO, CA: The Fresh Inspiration Show tour is coming back to Marin. Learn business strategies at this one-day festival. 5:45pm, $25-$60. McConnell Estates Winery, 10686 West Stockton Blvd., Elk Grove.

SUNDAY, 12/6

VINtAGE, VINYL, AND HANDMADE: Every first Sunday of the month from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., local vintage clothing and accessory vendors, along with more than 15 local makers from River City Marketplace and Funky Soul Stop Live, will be selling unique, rare and one-of-a-kind items. 11am, no cover Solomon’s Delicatessen, 730 K St.


sOIL BORN FARMs ONLINE MARKEtPLACE & DRIVE-tHRU FARMstAND PICKUP: Soil Born Farm’s weekly online marketplace features organic produce, prepared foods, herbs, baked goods, pantry items, gifts, flowers, books, soil, compost, seedlings, fruit trees and seeds. It’s an easy way to buy local goods all in one place. 12am, no cover. Soil Born Farms, 2140 Chase Dr., Rancho Cordova.



those donating $25 or more to the annual fund. Sacphilopera.org.

CHRIs CAIN BAND: Chris Cain was raised on

FRIDAY, 11/13

stories of his father’s upbringing on Historic Beale Street in Memphis and attended his first B.B King concert at the tender age of three. Blues music played continuously on the home stereo, and family outings were often trips to concerts. He’ll be bringing his style of blues to Sutter Creek Theatre. 7pm, Sutter Creek Theatre, 44 Main St, Sutter Creek.

BRAD HOsHAW (AMERICANA/FOLK): Brad Hoshaw, an award-winning singersongwriter who lives in Northern California, will be coming to the Pour Choice. 6pm, The Pour Choice, 177 Sacramento St., Auburn.


sACRAMENtO PHILHARMONIC & OPERA: Fall digital chamber music series, recital by concertmaster Dan Flanagan. Available free of charge to subscribers and current ticket holders and provided as a “thank you” to








digital chamber music series, recital by Dan Flanagan and Dagenais Smiley, violin; Jacob Joseph, viola; and Robin Bonnell, cello.

Available free of charge to subscribers and current ticket holders and provided as a “thank you” to those donating $25 or more to the annual fund. Sacphilopera.org.


LEONID & FRIENDs: In three years, Moscowbased Leonid and Friends have captured the spirit, musicality and fire of American supergroup Chicago. Their first video went viral, but they really gained traction when Chicago itself put the video on its official website. This 11-piece tribute band will be coming to the Crest Theatre. 7:30pm, $38$58. Crest Theatre, 1013 K St.

GRAss VALLEY FARMERs’ MARKEt: The Grass Valley Farmers’ Market is now open. After many years at the North Star House, you can now find the Saturday morning market in the McKnight Crossing shopping center parking lot. 8am, no cover. McKnight Crossing Shopping Center, 111 W. McKnight Way, Grass Valley.

COMEDY CREst tHEAtRE: Henry Cho’s TV credits include appearances on NBC’s “The Tonight Show,” CBS’s “The Late, Late, Show” and NBC’s “Young Comedians Special.” He served two years as host of NBC’s “Friday Night Videos” and had many guest roles on various

network sitcoms. 7:30pm, through 11/13,

$35-45. 1013 K st.

ON STAGE BRICKYARD COUNtER & BAR: Live music by the Mitch Franco Duo, Amador Suns and more every Thursday through Saturday this November. The performance will be held outdoors on the patio. Contact venue for seating arrangements. 6pm, through

November, no cover. 4364 town Center Boulevard, El Dorado Hills.

tHE UNCHURCH: No Exit is a 1944 existentialist French play by Jean-Paul Sartre. The original title is the French equivalent of the legal term “in camera,” referring to a private discussion behind closed doors. The play was first performed at the Théâtre du VieuxColombier in May 1944. 7pm 11/12-28, $15. 220

Bresee Place, Grass Valley.

ART ACCEssIBILItY INFORMAtION: Gary Wagner Iceland Forces of Nature is a black-andwhite photography exhibit detailing the features of this remote country, including waterfalls, melting glaciers and hostile barren landscapes. He works exclusively in black and white as this medium best relates the shapes, lines, and tones of landscapes. Various times 11/12-12/5, no cover. 2015 J St. Ste. 101.

DAVIs CENtRAL PARK: Davis Vintage and Craft’s Fair. Listen to live music and get your bag of handmade arts and crafts. 11am sundays, no

cover. 405 C St., Davis.

JOHN NAtsOULAs GALLERY: Art Objects Palette to Palate. Many artists have a diverse palette to their glazes and highlight a range of visual dioramas through ceramics. This exhibit aims to celebrate this through the form of functional tabletop ceramics. The gallery will provide several culinary experiences using works from the exhibition. Various times, 12/2-1/24. 521 1st St, Davis.

PENCE GALLERY: Chris Daubert Firewood. Daubert’s installation creates an environment where visitors can 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. 10/5-11/29. No cover. Pence Gallery Holiday Market. Enjoy shopping for affordable, one-of-a-kind art, crafts, textiles, soaps, jewelry, and honey, featuring the work of more than 50 local and regional artists. Various times. 11/6-12/24. No cover. Sylvia Schaefer Feast of Florals. The holiday season brings a new exhibit, Feast of Florals, with artwork by Sylvia Schaefer. Her oil paintings feature florals and bonsai trees, executed in a bold brush style and vibrant colors. Various times, 11/6-29, no cover. 212 D St., Davis.

UC DAVIs: Winter Exhibition Preview Wayne Thiebaud Influencer A New Generation. Opening Jan. 31, this exhibit features works by contemporary artists who have been inspired by Thiebaud, as well as former

FRIDAY, 11/5

Virtually live storytelling by Capital Storytelling capitalstOrytelling.cOm, 7pm, DOnate

Adults need to be read stories, too. In this time of uncertainty, fear, stress and unprecedented things happening every day, a nice VIRTUAL relaxing evening of being told a story is just what you need. Be reminded of a simpler time by the five storytellers who will each be telling 5-minute to 15-minute stories at this virtual event. Listen to their voices and think of when you were a wee babe, swaddled in love and comfort, drifting off to the soothing sound of catharsis. The theme this time around is “Lost in Translation.” capitalstorytelling.com.

students who learned directly from the master teacher. Join founding director Rachel Teagle and associate curator Susie Kantor for an inside look at this upcoming exhibition. 4:30pm. 11/19, no cover. 1 Shields Ave., Davis.

MUSEUMS CALIFORNIA MUSEUM: Fight for the Right 100 Years of Women Voting. Featuring artifacts, historic photographs and interactive activities, this all-new temporary exhibit chronicles women’s struggle for the right to the vote from the mid-19th century to the ratification of the 19th Amendment on Aug. 26, 1920, drawing parallels to the ongoing fight for women’s equality. Various times, through 5/30, $7-$10. Yosemite People. This exhibit explores the people who live, work and visit Yosemite National Park in recognition of the historic site’s 130th anniversary. Developed by Exhibit Envoy and photographer Jonas Kulikauskas, the traveling photography exhibit offers visitors a unique look at the complex and contradictory relationships between the park’s natural wonders and its inhabitants. Various times, through 1/17, $7-$10. 1020 O St.


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 Highway.

FRIDAY, 11/13

TANGO CLASS WITH MIGUEL: Enjoy the art of Tango with Miguel, a longtime teacher and practitioner of Argentine tango. 7pm, $10. The Firehouse 5, 2014 9th St.

SUNDAY, 11/29

21ST ANNUAL CORDOVA COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING: Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night. The annual lighting of the Cordova Community Christmas Tree is a public event inspiring unity, showcasing Rancho Cordova community life and promoting local businesses. 4pm, no cover. Village Green Park, 3141 Bridgeway Drive, Rancho Cordova.

TOP 10 LIST PODCAST-LIVE STREAM: Each episode features two guests competing to assemble a top 10 list on a new subject. We ask several viewers to participate each week, and we always love your feedback and comments. 6pm, no cover. Sacramento

Comedy Spot, saccomedyspot.com/live.

FRIDAY, 11/13

THE COMEDY OF ERRORS: This fall The Falcon’s



BETTY JEAN AND WAYNE THIEBAUD ENDOWED LECTURE: Njideka Akunyili Crosby, a 2017 MacArthur genius fellow whose art negotiates the cultural terrain between her adopted home in America and her native Nigeria in collage and photo transfer-based paintings, will give the seventh annual Betty Jean and Wayne Thiebaud Endowed Lecture online. 4:30pm, no cover. UC Davis, 1 Shields Ave., Davis.


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., Davis.


RIVERS LAB LANDSCAPES THAT WORK FOR BIODIVERSITY AND PEOPLE: Rivers Lab is a report reading and discussion group assembled so that you can, as a community of river lovers, break down the walls of academic papers to learn more about the systems we care for and have a chance to ask questions, discuss and enjoy each other’s company. Noon, no cover. South Yuba River Citizens League, 313 Railroad Ave., Prairie City.


ART STUDIO VISITING ARTIST LECTURE KYLE DUNN: Kyle Dunn combines sculpture and painting traditions, including bas-relief and trompe l’oeil, to express the vibrancy of the masculine emotional landscape not often represented in popular visual culture. 4:30pm, no cover. UC Davis, 1 Shields Ave., Davis.


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., Davis.


CARTOONING WITH GIRL SCOUTS & DRAGONFLY ART FOR LIFE STUDIO!: Girls have the courage, confidence and character to make the world a better place, and Girl Scouts helps girls do just that while having fun. Grab your pencils and paper, and get ready to learn from a Disney-trained animator how to draw yourself as a cartoon. 5pm, no cover. Girl Scouts Heart of Central California webinar, girlscoutshcc.org.

EXPRESSIVE PORTRAIT PAINTING IN WATERCOLOR WITH MISUK GOLTZ: There is no right recipe to paint portraits. Artist Misuk Goltz will teach you to tackle portrait painting and capture the essence of the subject in watercolor. In this two-day online workshop, you will learn how to prepare reference materials and sketches, mix colors for skin tone and create an interesting background to produce a complete portrait. 9:30am, no cover. Pence Gallery, pencegallery.org.

OFFICE HOURS-STREAMING LIVE: Got a mountain of creative projects you want to get to? 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 everyone else who could benefit from a little bit of structure. 9:30am, no cover. STAB! Comedy Theater, stabcomedytheater.com.

Eye Theatre at Folsom Lake College presents William Shakespeare’s hysterical farce about two sets of identical twins lost at sea. Join us for this live, virtual performance where we take you on a fastpaced comic journey outside the typical Zoom box. 7:30pm, $5. Falcon’s Eye Theatre, falconseyetheatre.com.

HIP HOP STORYTIME: The Cypher Hip Hop Workshops presents “What Is Hip Hop?” Join for a 30-minute interactive session that includes storytime, rapping/ call and response and hip-hop dance/ movement. This fun and engaging session is targeted to youth ages 3 to 5 years old, but the entire family is encouraged to participate. 10:30am, no cover. Sacramento Public Library, facebook.com/saclibrary.

RANKINATOR-STREAMING LIVE: Toaster Strudel vs Loafers. Glass vs. Fresh Air. Who would win? Who will come on top? Get in and buckle up for Rankinator. Kevin Scott Brown hosts the ultimate list show. Three comedians have to take 20 random things and put them in order from worst to best. 7pm, no cover. STAB! Comedy Theater, stabcomedytheater.com.

TWEEN COMIC BOOK CLUB: Join librarians Lindsey, Caitlin and Nate live for a Tween Comic Book Club. They’ll talk about Hotel Dare, discuss what they think is rad about this book, host a short trivia game and ask you for your questions, before an art activity inspired by the comic book. 4pm, no cover. Sacramento Public Library, facebook. com/saclibrary.

VIRTUAL EVENT CAPITAL STORYTELLING LIVE: Five storytellers will take the virtual stage to share a true personal story in 5 to 15 minutes. Real-time captioning is provided. This event is sponsored by CapRadio. 7pm,

no cover. Capital Storytelling, capitalstorytelling.com.


BETWEEN THE COVERS “YOU HAD ME AT HOLA:” Between the Covers, a new Sacramento Public Library book group, invites romance readers to discuss a delightfully diverse collection of novels on the second Saturday of the month. For November, we are reading “You Had Me at Hola” by Alexis Daria. 1pm, no cover. Sacramento Public Library, facebook.com/saclibrary.

COMEDY SPOT MIXTAPE-EXCLUSIVE ONLINE SHOW: Comedy Spot 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 for this show. 8pm, $0-$10. Sacramento Comedy Spot, saccomedyspot.com/mixtape.

SATURDAY FAMILY CRAFTS: Brittany will demonstrate how to create a Saturday Family Craft that can be used to decorate your home. This is a self-guided activity that lets families create together. Watch the tutorial video each week on the library’s Facebook page. 7am, no cover. Bear River Library, facebook.com/ nevadacountylibrary.

SOFA SOIRÉE: B Street Theatre is taking its annual gala to the sofa. Join from the comfort of your own home and be entertained while supporting B Street Theatre’s outreach and educational programs. $250 includes dDinner delivered to your home, a bottle of wine and an exclusive introduction. 6:30pm, B Street Theatre, bstreettheatre.org.

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. Enjoy the simple pleasure of viewing art together, as a trained docent facilitates conversations about select works. 11am, no cover. Crocker Art Museum, crockerart.org.



Break out your fancy couch for Sofa Soiree Online, 6pm, $0-$250

Every year, The Sofia hosts a gala event, but this year things are a bit different. Instead of heading out in your finest duds, VIRTUAL plop yourself down on the couch (still wearing your finest duds) and tune in to the Sofa Soiree. If you’re feeling extra fancy, you can spring for the $250 VIP package which includes a Magpie dinner for two delivered to your home, along with a bottle of Revolution wine and an exclusive introduction by Grammy winner Lisa Loeb. If you don’t want to spend that much for a night in, you can still join an interactive show by B Street Theatre’s Acting Company. bstreettheatre.org/sofia-soiree/.







calenDar eVenTS SaniTizeD for your proTecTion. See more anD SuBmiT your own aT sacramento.newsreview.com

wednesday, 11/25

by Buddy. 8pm, no cover. STAB! Comedy Theater, stabcomedytheater.com.

SnaKe TanK: In Snake Tank, three snake oil salespeople pitch their randomly assigned products to sharks Brian Crall and Sarah Kullbom in this fun game full of characters, a little fibbing and a lot of ridiculousness. You can watch on the Sacramento Comedy Spot website and on Facebook, YouTube and Twitch. 6pm, no cover. Sacramento comedy

forget blue spruce, this year’s christmas tree is virtual old Sacramento Waterfront, 6pm, no cover.

Spot, saccomedyspot.com.

SporTSBall w/ Drew aBSHer: Sports—almost

Wait, why is this in the November issue? It’s that time of year again, when Halloween has VirTual long past and everyone forgets about Thanksgiving and moves straight on to Christmas. It’s a holly jolly time again, and that includes the yearly tradition of standing around in the cold waiting for someone to plug in a few light bulbs by the river. This year, however, you may actually be able to enjoy the tradition PHoto coUrtesy oF PiXaBay without layering up and using copious tissue. Old Sacramento’s yearly tree lighting is going virtual so you can curl up on your bed and watch as we beckon in another winter solstice. Old Sacramento, oldsacramento.com.

all of them require balls, but some don’t and that’s weird, but we put up with them anyway. Drew Absher knows sports, and Sportsball tests the knowledge and opinions of some of Sacramento’s funniest. 6pm, no cover. STAB! Comedy Theater, stabcomedytheater.com.

wednesday, 11/18

arT aTTacK VirTual arT cluB for TweenS & TeenS: This Zoom event is especially for teen and tween artists. In a weekly art club, there will be an activity demonstrated, such as drawing, painting, collage. It’s also a time for you to show off your work to the others in the group. 4pm, no cover. Bear river

library, facebook.com/bearriverlibrary.

THe BaD flicK SHow: Host Alex Shewmaker finds the worst clips from the worst movies and shares them with comedians, who are blown away by just how bad these movies really are. Past guests have included Greg Proops of “Whose Line is it Anyway,” professional wrestler Colt Cabana and musician Tony Thaxton. 6pm, no cover. Sacramento Comedy Spot, saccomedyspot.com/live.

Teen BooK cluB: Partnering with our local high schools, this book club is all about teens. Each week, we’ll chat about story structure, plot and character development, and also take some time to decompress. Please register and a Zoom link will be sent to you via email. 2pm, Bear river library,


a bridge across issues that divide and separate us. They provide an easy structure for engaging in friendly, yet meaningful, conversation with those with whom we may not agree. These conversations increase understanding, reveal common ground and sometimes even allow us to discuss possible solutions. 5:30pm, no cover. Bear River Library, facebook.com/bearriverlibrary.

calenDar liSTinGS conTinueD from paGe 31

sUnday, 11/15

a VirTual celeBraTion of wayne THieBauD: Celebrate Sacramento’s own Wayne Theibaud. 4pm, no cover. Crocker Art Museum, crockerart.org.

THe SuzeTTe VeneTi SHow: LoLGBT+ Presents The Suzette Veneti Show. It’s chat, it’s variety, it’s Suzette’s own weekly livestreaming show on STAB! TV! As always, Clifton Ellison, Mean Dave, Chelsea Bearce and David Shapiro will stop by. 5pm, no cover. STAB! Comedy Theater, stabcomedytheater.com.

BioSTaTiSTicS VirTual office HourS: Researchers often have questions about statistics in designing a study or analyzing data. Some statistical questions can be easily answered in a short conversation with a knowledgeable statistician. To efficiently and effectively meet the needs of clinical investigators at UC Davis, the CTSC in collaboration with the UC Davis Cancer Center maintains weekly office hours. noon, no cover. UC Davis, ucdavis.edu.

common BeeS in GarDenS: Good yield from

muSic appreciaTion for TeenS: Hang out with librarian Melissa each week on Discord while we discuss rhythm, melody, harmony, form and era. From classical to rock ’n’ roll, we’ll listen to it all. Please register or email and information will be sent to you. Make sure to include your Discord Tag in the notes. This is a teen-only program. 2pm, Bear River Library, facebook.com/bearriverlibrary.

JuST my Type nano!: A casual writing group this month celebrates NaNoWriMo while you work together on your own novels. This week”s prompt is: What is the worst thing that could happen to your character? Write a scene in which they become aware of that terrible truth. 4pm, no cover. Bear River Library, facebook.com/bearriverlibrary.

THe oBScure moVie TriVia SHow-STreaminG liVe: Self-proclaimed movie nerds and funny

liVinG room conVerSaTion-race & eTHniciTy wrap up: Living Room Conversations are





fooD BaSicS ViDeo SerieS: Each month, we will help you master the mysteries of cooking and eating healthy food on a budget. Topics include reading food labels, planning budget meals, how to refresh

Vail comeDy SHow: Vail Comedy Show every third Thursday with nationally touring comedians streamed into your living room. Hosted by Mark Masters. 5:30pm, no cover. Vail, vailcomedyshow.com.

satUrday, 11/21

roaST of Harry poTTer 2: Front Row Film Roast will be roasting Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and you are invited. The roast will be aired over a Vimeo stream. Play drinking games online with Polyjuice-drinking comedians as they make jokes over the movie inspired by the book written by J.K. Rowling. Add your own jokes in the live chat for the entire audience to see. 7pm, no cover. front row film roast,


paJama SToryTime: Relax after a long day with this evening Storytime. Bring your stuffed animals and come in your pajamas to this Facebook program. Read books and sing songs that will help the kiddos get ready for sleepy time. 7pm, no cover. Bear River Library, facebook.com/ nevadacountylibrary.

wednesday, 11/25

VirTual Tree liGHTinG: One, two, TREE! The holidays might look different this year, but yule still love what we have in store for you. This year, experience the Thanksgivingeve tradition of lighting the holiday tree at the Old Sacramento Waterfront in your fuzzy socks and matching pajamas with the comforts of hot cocoa and home. 6pm, no cover. Old Sacramento Waterfront, oldsacramento.com/event/virtual-treelighting.

tHUrsday, 11/26

JoSH GroBan THe VirTual concerT SerieS:

satUrday, 11/28

VirTual arTful meDiTaTion: Artful Meditation continues online the fourth Saturday of each month. Calm your mind and experience art in new ways with longtime meditation practitioners and instructors Matthew Roselli and Teresa Sedano. Artful Meditation 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.

Friday, 12/4

firST friDayS are wHere iT HappenS wiTH Girl ScouTS: Are you looking for a place to connect and chill with your friends or fellow Girl Scouts? Come join the Girl Scouts of America for First Friday—the Zoom Where it Happens, where they’ll have an hour together to wind down from the week and relax playing trivia games, talking about your days, cooking and more. 6pm, no cover. Girl Scouts Heart of Central California, girlscoutshcc.org.

SeaSon of SuSpence fall funDraiSer my JeKyll anD HyDe: Award-winning EMH Productions launches its newest company, The Artist’s Collective, in partnership with Placer Repertory Theater to bring you a special two-night event. It will include brief presentations and a free preview performance of the new work, “My Jekyll & Hyde” by T. S. Forsyth and Ryan Gerberding that will premiere in 2021. 5pm, $20. Sacramento Convention Center Complex, placerrep.org.

SiX feeT aparT Spencer Day: Spencer Day, the number one Billboard charting pop/ jazz singer and songwriter, has headlined venues from Birdland and Lincoln Center to the Hollywood Bowl and London’s West End. Known for his unique sense of humor and distinctive original songs, his upcoming project “Broadway by Day” celebrates the unlikely friendship between jazz and musical theatre. 7pm, no cover. B Street Theatre, bstreettheatre.org.

Unprecedented times like these call for moments that raise us up so Josh Groban is going to give it a shot. Join him as he continues to share his music with this series of livestream concerts. 1pm, $25$65. joshgroban.com.

tUesday, 11/17

monday, 11/16

your home food garden starts with successful pollination. Learn about the common bees that pollinate food crops and how you can support them in your garden. 6pm, no cover. UC Davis, beegarden. ucdavis.edu.

tHUrsday, 11/19

leftovers and more. Grab bags are available at the Grass Valley Library the week before the program with cooking goodies to help you on your journey. 3:30pm, no cover. Bear River Library, facebook.com/ nevadacountylibrary.


people come together to answer obscure movie trivia questions. Not every movie will be obscure, but the trivia will be. Hosted

Friday, 12/4

Spend a Spencer Day with B Street Theatre B Street theatre, 7pm, no cover

B Street Theatre is still going with its Six Feet Apart music series. Every Friday, tune in to see talented artists from around the world VirTual perform through B Street Theatre’s digital stage. All month long, catch shows including violinist Kelly Hall Tompkins and Oakland singer Kofy Brown. For the first December show, see jazz singer-songwriter Spencer Day perform live. He has headlined at London’s West End, the historic Birdland and Lincoln Center. This performance will be from his upcoming project “Broadway by day,” which is a humorous blend of jazz, comedy and musical theater. bstreettheatre.org/music.

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Melina Brown (left), Maisha Bahati (center) and Bryan Brown of Crystal Nugs.

C a n n a b i S

A landmark for cannabis equity Sacramento City Council approves 10 new dispensaries for minority owners by Ken Magri

In a landmark decision, the Sacramento City Council unanimously voted to add 10 new storefront cannabis dispensaries over the next two years and award the new licenses to applicants who participated in the city’s social equity program. Allowing five storefront dispensaries in 2020 and another five in 2021 represents a one-third increase, bringing the total number of Sacramento dispensaries to 40. The current cap of 30 limited opportunities for those who went through the city’s Cannabis Opportunity, Reinvestment and Equity program. “The work is never done, certainly not done to address equity, but this is a significant advance,” Mayor Darrell Steinberg said after the Oct. 13 vote. “There were some who said it should only be two or three [dispensaries],” he said. The council’s action capped a three-year effort to expand the number of dispensaries, while making progress toward its goal that at least 51% of ownership comes from CORE participants. Such social equity programs fulfill one of the promises of Proposition 64, the 2016 statewide ballot measure that legalized marijuana for adult as of Jan. 1, 2018—to correct injustices from the war on drugs and “reduce barriers to entry into the legal, regulated market.” Sacramento’s CORE program started in 2018 to help participants who have previous cannabis convictions and come from neighborhoods affected by the war on drugs. It is administered by the Greater Sacramento Urban League and the Sacramento Asian-Pacific Chamber of Commerce. Participants in the program receive technical assistance when trying to start a cannabis business. License fees and some overhead costs are temporarily waived, giving the new business time to establish a foothold in the industry. Under the new ordinance, 25% of all 34





Sacramento dispensaries will be minority participants, who are waiting for us owned. The permits will require at least to release this process, for them to be 51% ownership and profit sharing by involved, because what happened before CORE participants for at least 10 years. them isn’t correct,” she said. Malaki Seku-Amen, CEO of the Ashby was referring to the problem California Urban Partnership, reminded with dispensary ownership transfers that the council that it had gone only halfway allowed the monopolization of several towards its goal for 50% minority businesses, which violates an ownership ownership of all Sacramento dispensarule set out by the city. It was discovered ries. Del Paso Heights was set aside last year that two individuals granted as a special planning district dispensary licenses in 2011 allowing dispensaries later broke the rule by to be located within acquiring seven more shopping centers dispensaries with “It’s a huge and along the new business opportunity for those Arden Way partners, and corridor. renaming them who have been most Other public under the affected by the war on drugs, comments Kolas brand. during the Oct. In and definitely a step in the 13 council response, right direction for social meeting were in October concerns that 2019, the equity here in Sacramento.” veterans were City Council Maisha Bahati, co-owner, being left out of placed a 120-day Crystal Nugs the process, that a moratorium on lottery system would any new ownership be the fairest way to transfers, but nothing award licenses and that 10 else was done to correct the dispensaries at once were too many. rule violation. “We are not enforcing But council members Rick Jennings, it, and we need to figure out a way to do Steve Hansen and Larry Carr, who that,” said Ashby. pressed for 10 dispensaries, were particuShe would have preferred to weed out larly excited to approve the expansion. current owners who broke the rule and “I don’t want to live in a city where I reissue those freed-up licenses to CORE can’t say we have one African-American participants. Ashby said she fears that by dispensary in my city,” said Jennings, simply adding more storefronts, the local emphasizing his “150% yes” vote. “I am cannabis market could soon become happy that 10 permits will be issued at oversaturated. the same time.” Who will get new licenses? “I am excited that there is a unanimous vote for the first time ever on a The process of awarding the 10 cannabis item,” Hansen added. new licenses will be conducted by Mayor Pro Tem Angelique Ashby Sacramento’s Office of Cannabis made the vote unanimous, despite having Management. Director Davina Smith told reservations about more dispensaries. council members that an RFQ (request “It’s time to stop punishing the CORE for quotation) process will be conducted,

Photo by Chris Loftin

rather than using a lottery system. “The submittals will be evaluated by neutral, unbiased individuals who have relevant knowledge and expertise, and are not involved with the cannabis industry in Sacramento, and are not employed by the city,” said Smith. CORE participants were given a chance to prioritize the evaluation criteria through a survey they completed afterwards. Smith reported to council members that the 81 respondents put extra importance on CORE participation, business skills and demographic background, and the least importance on letters of recommendation or memberships in industry organizations. “It’s been a long time coming,” said Maisha Bahati, owner of Crystal Nugs cannabis delivery and a CORE participant. “It is a huge opportunity for those who have been most affected by the war on drugs, and definitely a step in the right direction for social equity here in Sacramento.” Bahati, who was accepted into CORE in 2019, and her partner Melina Brown opened Crystal Nugs as a delivery service. “The program has presented Crystal Nugs with a multitude of opportunities, and has definitely contributed to our sustainability and growth,” Bahati said. CORE waived a $9,700 annual business operating permit for the first two years, and granted $25,000, which Crystal Nugs used to buy three delivery vehicles. Like many delivery companies, they have done well during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, they hope to transform their business into Sacramento’s first Black-owned storefront dispensary. “Though there are many ways to participate in the local cannabis industry—including cultivation, manufacturing, testing and delivery—the storefront dispensary is the most sought-after business model,” said the city’s Smith. Ω


ask 420

c an n a b i s

Cannabis basics By Ngaio Bealum

This may seem kind of random and simple, but here is my question: What is the best way to smoke pot? This is a great question. Stoners have argued and debated about the best way to smoke weed for decades. Each method has its pros and cons. Bongs are great for big giant lung-busting hits, although contrary to popular myth, the water doesn’t really filter out many toxins. Bongs can also be messy (freshly spilled bong water is the worst) and a pain in the keester to keep clean. Joints (my personal favorite) are a tad wasteful, although they are easy to use (and easy to eat if you are in a place where marijuana is still illegal) and they taste great! Some folks complain about the taste of the paper, but there are plenty of upscale rolling paper brands that burn clean and are virtually ash-free. Also, if you drop a joint on the sidewalk, it probably won’t shatter into a million pieces. Pipes are probably the most convenient way to smoke cannabis, and they are my preferred method for fancy-pants weed tasting. My friend Michael Backes, author of Cannabis Pharmacy: The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana, recommends a good hit from a clean glass pipe as the most efficient and cleanest way to smoke cannabis. He also says that you don’t have to hold your breath. One good inhale and exhale should give you exactly what you need. So now you know. But really there is no wrong way to smoke cannabis. It’s all good.

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

probably discuss this with your health care professional. I know weed can have a stigma: Kaiser Permanente won’t let you apply for certain mental health programs if you test positive for weed, but most doctors (at least on the West coast) have had to learn to be a little more understanding about cannabis use. That acceptance brings new questions and concerns. For instance, a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology claims that cannabis can increase increase the effects of certain blood thinners like warfarin and can also increase the effects of drugs used to control blood pressure. What happens is the liver uses the same enzymes to process the statins that it does to process THC, thereby increasing the strength of the statins and blood thinners. Now, this is a small study and more research is needed, but if you are on blood pressure medication, you should definitely talk to your doctor about your cannabis use. It’s the same with CBD. According to Aaron Cadena from CBDorigin.com, THC and CBD should be treated like grapefruit juice when it comes to checking for interactions and contraindications. Hope that helps. Have a good one. Ω

Stoners have argued and debated about the best way to smoke weed for decades. Each method has its pros and cons.

Hey do you know if THC or CBD will interact with any of the other medications I am using?

Good question. Let us begin with the usual disclaimer: I am not a doctor. You should

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Prepare yourself for grief. Tidal waves of visualization—nourishes self-awareness. despair are headed our way no matter Over time, we develop the ability to who wins the 2020 presidential election. notice when anger sparks and can calm The pandemic has already triggered ourselves before acting out. A meditation a sense of powerlessness, fear, anger practice can also inspire us to walk away and aggression. The election results will when we begin to express our anger and further ignite emotional pain because each to use anger skillfully when a bully taunts vote either supports the continued abuse us. In the latter situation, a meditation of power, or advances a system in which practice prepares us to speak strongly, power is harnessed to benefit inclusivity, without cursing or threat, to remind that diversity and equality. We need tools to individual she has crossed a boundary notice, process and express pain in a and must stop. Post-election, verbal selfhealthy manner. The followdefense is key. ing can help. Protect your self-worth: Soothe post-elecThe outcome of the election tion emotional pain: is not a personal rejection The outcome Motion transforms of the values you of the election is not emotions. Stop cherish. It’s a the downward recognition that a personal rejection of spiral of sadness other values have the values you cherish. and anger by taken root. Keep your It’s a recognition that moving your self-worth strong body. Pop on a set by cleaving to your other values have of headphones and humane beliefs. taken root. dance in your living Remember to whom room. Go for a walk, you belong: Political a bike ride or scrub your tribalism driven by an floors. Distract yourself us-against-them mentality has from taking a downward spiral by harmed us all. A more courageous truth channeling excess energy through your is that we all belong to the earth and to body in a way that does not harm others. each other. Some of us believe we also Give what you’ve got: You may need belong to God. It’s a spiritual undertaking to withdraw briefly to tend to despair, but to respect the personhood of someone please, set a timer on it. Give yourself who does not offer the same to us. And four hours or a day. Then get on with the yet, that grace may be what saves us. business of creating joy. At the No matter presidential election’s beginning of the pandemic, I sent outcome, we each possess personal handwritten greeting cards to businesses power to soothe emotional pain, reduce and medical professionals just for the aggression and protect our self-worth. sheer pleasure of it. I cleared closets to We, the people, are the leaders we’ve find goodies to give away and contributed been waiting for. The creation of an to an international nonprofit. We must all empowered and enlightened country is be, or become, good global citizens still within our reach. Ω working toward a future that benefits everyone. Reduce anger and aggression: Anger tells us we’ve suppressed our personal power and need to practice better selfcare. It also boosts our risk of stroke, Email Joey at askjoey@newsreview. weakens immune systems, increases risk com. Give your name, telephone number (for verification purposes of heart disease and worsens depression only) and question—all correspondence will be kept and anxiety. Traditional meditation—the strictly confidential type free of apps, music or guided






Free will astrology

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For the week oF Nov. 12, 2020 ARIES (March 21-April 19): “Love can’t always do


eNd of yeaR iSSue Let’s wrap up 2020.

Issue Date: December 10 aD reservatIon DeaDlIne: December 2 If you would like to be part of this issue, please call us today. Joe Chiodo, Publisher 916-224-5677


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by ROb bRezsny

work,” wrote novelist Iris Murdoch. “Sometimes it just has to look into the darkness.” From what I can tell, you’ve been doing that recently: looking into the darkness for love’s sake. That’s a good thing! You have been the beneficiary of the blessings that come through the contemplation of mysteries and enigmas. You’ve been recalibrating your capacity to feel love and tenderness in the midst of uncertainty. I suspect that it will soon be time to shift course, however. You’re almost ready to engage in the intimate work that has been made possible by your time looking into the darkness. TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Author Barbara Kingsolver says, “Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say.” That’s always valuable advice, but it’ll be especially useful to keep in mind during the coming weeks. You’re probably going to feel more pressure than usual to tell others what they wish you would tell them; you may experience some guilt or worry about being different from their expectations of you. Here’s the good news: I’m pretty certain you can be true to yourself without seeming like a jerk to anyone or damaging your long-term interests. So you might as well say and do exactly what’s real and genuine. GEMINI (May 21-June 20): “The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks,” wrote playwright Tennessee Williams. I think that’s a poetic but accurate description of the feat you’ve been working on lately. You’re gently smashing through stony obstructions. You’ve been calling on your irrepressible will to enjoy life as you have outsmarted the rugged, jagged difficulties. You’re relying on beauty and love to power your efforts to escape a seemingly no-win situation. Congratulations! Keep up the good work! CANCER (June 21-July 22): Cancerian rapper Vince Staples says, “I feel like it’s impossible to be completely yourself.” Why? Because ideally we’re always outgrowing who we have become; we’re moving beyond the successes we have already achieved. There is no final, whole, ideal “self” to inhabit and express—only more and more of our selfness to create. Staples suggests we’d get bored if we reached a mythical point where we had figured out exactly who we are and embodied it with utter purity. We always have a mandate to transform into a new version of our mystery. Sounds like fun! Everything I just said is an empowering meditation for you right now. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): “I am my own sanctuary and I can be reborn as many times as I choose throughout my life.” Singer-songwriter Lady Gaga said that, and now I offer it to you to use as your motto. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, it’s a fabulous time to be your own sanctuary. I invite you to rebirth yourself at least twice between now and the end of November. What’s the first step you’ll take to get started? VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The National Football League is a giant socialist enterprise. It earns billions of dollars of revenue, and shares it equally with each of its 32 teams. So the team in Green Bay, population 105,000, receives the same payout as the team in Chicago, population 2.7 million. I advocate a comparable approach for you in the coming weeks. Just for now, distribute your blessings and attention and favors as evenly as possible, showing no favoritism toward a particular child or friend or pet or loved one or influence. Be an impartial observer, as well. Try to restrain biases and preferential treatment as you act with evenhanded fair-mindedness. Don’t worry: You can eventually go back to being a subjective partisan if you want. For the foreseeable future, your well-being requires cordial neutrality. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): “Who is to decide between ‘Let it be’ and ‘Force it’?” asked Libran author Katherine Mansfield. I mention this because you’re now hanging out in the limbo

zone between “Let it be” and “Force it.” But very soon—I’m sure you’ll have a clear intuition about when—you’ll figure out how to make a decisive move that synthesizes the two. You will find a way to include elements of both “Let it be” and “Force it.” SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): “I hold a beast, an angel, and a madman in me,” wrote Scorpio poet Dylan Thomas (1914–1953) in a letter to a friend. That sounds like a lot of energy to manage! And he didn’t always do a good job at it—although he did at times tap into his primal wellspring to create some interesting poetry. I’m going to use Thomas’s words in your horoscope, because I think that in the coming weeks you can be a subtle, refined, and mature blend of a beast, angel and madperson. Be your wisest wild self! SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Activist and author Rebecca Solnit writes, “The grounds of my hope have always been that history is wilder than our imagination of it and that the unexpected shows up far more regularly than we ever dream.” In my astrological estimation, her grounds for hope should also be yours in the coming weeks. The future is more wide open than you might think. The apparent limitations of the past are at least temporarily suspended and irrelevant. Your fate is purged of some of your old conditioning and the inertia of tradition. I encourage you to make a break for freedom. Head in the direction of the Beautiful Unknown. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): The famous Leaning Tower of Pisa doesn’t stand straight, but tilts at an angle. Why? The soil it was built on is soft on one side. So the marble-and-limestone structure began to tip even before it was finished. That’s the weird news. The good news is that the tower has remained standing for more than eight centuries—and has stayed intact even though four major earthquakes have rolled through the area. Why? A research team of engineers determined it’s because of the soft foundation soil, which prevents the tower from resonating violently with the temblors. So the very factor that makes it odd is what keeps it strong. Is there a comparable phenomenon in your life? I believe there is. Now is a good time to acknowledge this blessing—and enhance your use of it. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Even if you tend to pay more attention to what’s going wrong than what’s going right, I ask you to change your attitude for the next three weeks. Even if you believe that cynicism is an intelligent perspective and a positive attitude is a wasteful indulgence, I encourage you to suspend those beliefs. As an experiment—and in accordance with astrological potentials—I invite you to adopt the words of activist Helen Keller as your keynote: “Every optimist moves along with progress and hastens it, while every pessimist would keep the world at a standstill. The consequence of pessimism in the life of a nation is the same as in the life of the individual. Pessimism kills the instinct that urges people to struggle against poverty, ignorance and crime, and dries up all the fountains of joy in the world.” PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Researchers in the U.K. found that 62% of the adult population brags that they’ve read classic books that they have not in fact read. Why? Mostly to impress others. George Orwell’s 1984 is the top-rated book for fake claims, followed by Tolstoy’s War and Peace, James Joyce’s Ulysses and the Bible. I hope you won’t engage in anything like that type of behavior during the weeks ahead. In my opinion, it’s even more crucial than usual for you to be honest and authentic about who you are and what you do. Lying about it might seem to be to your advantage in the short run, but I guarantee it won’t be.






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