May the 4th Be With You

By Traci Rockefeller Cusack, T-Rock Communications  |  2019-04-26

Stage Nine Cosplayers starring a series of imperial troopers led by Darth Vader, alien creatures from the planet Tatooine and a few rebel Jedi with Chewbacca. Photo courtesy T-Rock Communications

Star Wars-Themed Scavenger Hunt

OLD SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Located along the historic waterfront in the heart of Old Sacramento, Stage Nine Entertainment and Evangeline’s costume mansion invite the community to experience a special “May the 4th Be With You Star Wars Day” scavenger hunt on Saturday, May 4, 2019.


With fun and FREE activities available from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., each location will have clues at four stations that lead participants to the next. The first part of the family-friendly scavenger hunt will start at Evangeline’s (113 K Street) which will lead guests to Stage Nine Entertainment (102 K Street).
Along the way, the experience will be complete with blue milk tasting (the galaxy’s most famous beverage), Wookie Cookie sampling, and an interactive Star Wars video game. Those who stay on target and finish – after solving all the clues – will be treated to a special password to gain them access to a Secret Rebel Base 9 room filled with Star Wars memorabilia, fan-made art, and more.
In addition to the Star Wars-themed scavenger hunt, entertaining cosplayers in Star Wars apparel will be roaming about plus an 8’ tall Star Wars TIE fighter ship will tower over K Street on the balcony above the Stage 9 Entertainment store.


All fun, FREE and appropriate for all ages, more information about the “May the 4th Be With You Star Wars Day” scavenger hunt in Old Sacramento is available at www.facebook.com/events/2658454517538765/. For more information about Stage Nine Entertainment, please call 916-447-3623 or visit www.stagenine.com; and for more information about Evangeline’s, please call 916-443-2181 or visit www.evangelines.com.

About Stage Nine Entertainment, Inc.
Focused on the world of fun, creativity, and entertainment, Stage Nine Entertainment, Inc. consists of a collection of stores and business entities based in Old Sacramento, California. The retail stores, Stage Nine Entertainment Store, G! Willikers Toy Emporium, The Vault, The Old Fashioned Candy and Confectionery Store, and California Clothiers offer the ultimate destinations for items related to pop culture, movies, television, nostalgia, animation and clothing along with thousands of other unique memorabilia items. Collectively, the retail stores carry more than 30,000 unique and nostalgic collectibles and gift items. For more information about Stage Nine Entertainment, Inc. or Stage Nine Family of Specialty Retail Stores, please call 916-447-3623 or visit www.stagenine.com.
Evangeline’s 4,800-square foot costume mansion is housed in the upper floors of two historic buildings in Old Sacramento’s historic district: The Lady Adams Building and The Howard House. Shoppers can explore and browse through various rooms filled with thousands of costumes and accessories, including the Gothic Chamber, Lab, Jungle, Saloon, Renaissance Room, Storybook Land, Disco and Circus. For more, please call 916-443-2181 or visit www.evangelines.com.

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SacRT General Manager Awarded for Defending Taxpayer Funds

By Jessica Gonzalez, Sacramento Regional Transit District  |  2019-04-23

General Manager/CEO Henry Li receives the Good Governance Award from the Sacramento Taxpapers Association. Image of the Good Governance Award for 2019. Photo provided by SacRT

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) recently  announced that General Manager/CEO Henry Li received the first annual Good Governance Award from the Sacramento Taxpayers Association for Outstanding Leadership in Defending Taxpayer Funds.


“Since I began with SacRT three years ago, I have pushed to get the district back on track financially and provide a cleaner and safer environment for our riders,” said GM/CEO Henry Li. “Being recognized with this coveted award is reflective of our efforts to cut our debt and provide the community with better public transit choices.”


SacRT Cost Cutting Initiatives Implemented under Henry Li include: Reducing fare evasion from over 15% three years ago to below 4% today; Lowering fares for the first time in the agency's 47-year history; Implementing business process optimization policies that led to more than $6.5 million annually in cost reductions through debt restructuring and renegotiating vendor contracts; Cutting debt by $45 million and cost avoidance of $75 million in five years; Building up reserves to nearly $20 million; Reformed retirement benefits program and reduced 20% retirement costs by converting a defined benefit plan to a contribution plan for hires dedicated to new services.


SacRT is currently seeking public comment in the Fiscal Year 2020 Operating and Capital Budget. The SacRT Board of Directors is expected to adopt the budget on June 10.


The Good Governance Award was presented during the Sacramento Taxpayers Association annual member meeting on April 15.

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California’s Rich Pioneer History Will Be Celebrated May 4 in Coloma

By Gary Zavoral  |  2019-04-23

Free wagon rides will be offered in Coloma during the Pioneer History Day May 4. Photos provided by PHD

Family Activities, Stage Shows and Historical Reenactments Highlight Third California Pioneer History Day

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Before the famed California Gold Rush brought tens of thousands of gold seekers and others to Northern California, there were hundreds of pioneers who paved the way for them to arrive, already having constructed homes and businesses, started farms and even began building cities.
On Saturday, May 4, area residents can learn more about how they lived and their accomplishments during the California Pioneer History Day at Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park in Coloma.
This free family event features historic reenactments and displays, a parade with descendants of early California pioneers, stage shows and musical entertainment, and many activities for families and children, including a cannon that shoots candy, free wagon rides, pioneer games and children’s crafts.
“Few Californians know about the rich early history of our state,” said Michelle Jones of Placerville, who is heading the effort along with Robert and Peni Frew from Auburn. “The California Pioneer History Day will give them the opportunity to discover this inspiring heritage in a fun and interactive way.”
The event will be held from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., with the parade at 10 a.m. and an opening ceremony following. This is the third California Pioneer History Day, which is sponsored by the California Pioneer Heritage Foundation and organized by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Sacramento Valley and Sierra foothills. While the event is free, the state parking fee is $8. Food concessions will be available, or attendees can bring their own lunch.
During the Pioneer History Day, three-dozen interactive exhibits and activities organized into two “tent towns” will straddle Highway 49, the main thoroughfare into Coloma. Among the many historical exhibits are:
· The Buffalo Soldiers, an African American Army infantry unit that served in the West.
· The Pony Express, whose Western hub was Sacramento.
· Gold Rush Jewish Communities, highlighting the accomplishments of this minority group during the Gold Rush.
· Demonstrations with a sacred Indian grinding rock.
· Pioneer United Methodist Church, which had its start in Auburn in 1851.
· Chinese Cultural Club, exhibiting the culture and achievements of the many Asian men and women who traveled to the gold fields.
· The Ship Brooklyn exhibit, which recreates the cramped quarters of the Latter-day Saints who sailed in 1846 around Cape Horn to Northern California to escape religious persecution.
· Bear Flag Revolt, celebrating a small group of American settlers who, in 1846, rebelled against the Mexican government and proclaimed California an independent republic.
Tents will also feature many family-friendly activities that will give attendees a taste of pioneer life. These include:
· Brick, rope and candle making.
· Making and playing with pioneer toys.
· Pioneer doll making.
· Biscuit baking.
· Dutch oven cooking.
Among the reenactments will be cannon and musket firing, giving a detailed demonstration of how they were loaded and the safety precautions taken before firing. These will be held at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30.p.m. The Pony Express will also recreate a mail hand-off during those same times, and free wagon rides will be available from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. In addition, there will be historical demonstrations on pioneer medicine, frontier justice, blacksmithing, wood carving, and free old-time photos with pioneer garb will be available.
On the main stage will be crowd-pleasing musical acts as well as old-time stage musical shows.
The Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park in Coloma features a museum and visitors center, a replica of John Sutter’s sawmill where gold was discovered in 1848, and many other buildings that recreate the town of Coloma during the Gold Rush.
It is located off Highway 49 between Auburn and Placerville; the museum address is 310 Back St., Coloma. For more information, go to www.californiapioneer.com/cphd/ or call the Gold Discovery park museum at (530) 622-3470.

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Doggy ‘Dashing’ at William Land Park

By Dawn Foster, Sacramento SPCA  |  2019-04-23

The Doggy Dash has grown to include more than 5,000 attendees and is Northern California’s largest 2K/5K dog walk and pet festival, with a goal to raise $180,000. Photos provided by SSPCA

Northern California's Largest 2k/5k Dog Walk & Pet Festival

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento SPCA will host the 26th Anniversary Doggy Dash at William Land Park on Saturday, April 27th from 8:30 am - 2:00 pm.


An estimated 5,000 animal lovers are expected to gather on April 27th at William Land Park both with and without their canine companions to raise funds for animals at the Sacramento SPCA. Participants will enjoy the 2K or 5K walk and are invited to stay for the Bark at the Park Festival, where they can enter their canine pal in the pup show or agility and ice cream eating contest!


In addition, participants can watch canine demonstrations, visit with more than 100 pet-friendly businesses, enjoy the "Watering Bowl" Yappy Hour Beer Garden and some great food from Sacramento's most popular food trucks. And new to this year's event is the Kids Zone, where kids of all ages are invited to enjoy face painting, coloring, bowling and other fun activities.


"The Doggy Dash offers our community the opportunity to have fun with their dog and connects people and animals with rescue groups, pet-friendly businesses and other pet lovers in the area," said Sarah Varanini, Sa PR & Social Media Specialist. "Having a great day outside with your pup while also helping homeless pets is a win-win!"


Now celebrating its 26th anniversary, the Doggy Dash has grown to include more than 5,000 attendees and is Northern California’s largest 2K/5K dog walk and pet festival, with a goal to raise $180,000 in registrations and donations this year to support lifesaving programs and directly help animals in the Sacramento SPCA’s care. Last year alone, donations from the Doggy Dash helped provide low-cost spay and neuter surgeries to more than 18,300 of our community’s animals, vaccinate 16,200 companions and find homes for more than 3,600 pets.


The 26th Annual Doggy Dash will take place at William Land Park, 3800 Land Park Drive, Sacramento, CA 95822 on April 27th. Event day registration starts at 8:30AM, the 2K/5K walk at 10:00AM and the Bark at the Park Festival immediately following the walk. To register for the 2K/5K dog walk prior to event day, visit www.sspca.org/dash.

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It's at All About Equine’s 10th Anniversary Celebration

RANCHO MURIETA, CA (MPG) - All About Equine Animal Rescue, Inc. (AAE) is holding its sixth annual Boots and Bling fundraising event on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 3:00 pm. The public is invited to participate in event festivities, which include BBQ dinner catered by Blackjack Grill, live and silent auctions, DJ entertainment, and dancing. This year's Boots and Bling event celebrates AAE’s 10th anniversary of horse rescue, while raising funds to support AAE's horses and equine-based programs.


AAE is a volunteer-based, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has rescued and rehabilitated over 265 horses since 2009; more than 195 horses have been adopted into forever loving homes. AAE has hosted equine-based programs for youth and adults. AAE is honored to be a Platinum level GuideStar nonprofit, and AAE is was awarded Top-Rated Nonprofit in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 by GreatNonprofits.org.


AAE is grateful for the many sponsors that support this important fundraising evening including Horse Expo, JP Equipment Rental, Lees’ Feed & Western Store Shingle Springs, AIG, Camblin Steel Service, A&J Drywall, Faith Episcopal Church, West Coast Equine Foundation, El Dorado Community Foundation, Tailored Tree, InAlliance, and the Fulton Family, the Fawkes Family, the Benoit Family, and the Rothenberg family. Wendy Digiorno, Founder and Executive Director offers, “The fact that industry leaders continue to support this event confirms AAE’s mission and validates the hard work and dedication of our volunteers”.


General admission is $45; and event sponsorships, including tables, are still available. This is a fun and exciting event you do not want to miss. Purchase tickets early; this event sold out in 2016, 2017, and 2018.


The event will be held at Western States Horse Expo at the Murieta Equestrian Center. The address is 7200 Lone Pine Drive, Rancho Murieta, CA.


For more information or to purchase tickets please visit www.allaboutequine.org/events All About Equine Animal Rescue, Inc. (AAE) is located in El Dorado Hills, California. AAE’s mission is to rescue and rehabilitate horses and other animals, restore them to good health, and find each one a forever home.


Contact: Wendy Digiorno, (916) 520-4223, wendy@allaboutequine.org

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Rotary Funds Trainings to Prevent Human Trafficking

Story and photo by Shaunna Boyd  |  2019-04-23

Students surveyed after the trainings say that they can define human trafficking, they understand how traffickers recruit victims, they know how to contact the human trafficking hotline, and they know how to protect themselves and others from trafficking. Stock image purchased.

Works Towards Protecting Children through Education


SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Human trafficking is a $150 billion industry and is the fast-growing criminal activity in the world. California has the highest volume of sex trafficking, and the Sacramento region is a hotbed for trafficking in the United States.
The local Rotary District 5180 has undertaken a large-scale campaign to combat the issue of human trafficking in the Sacramento Region.
Rotary members Brian Gladden and Bob Deering (former District Governor) initiated the project more than three years ago. Through their research, they discovered that education is the key to preventing human trafficking. District 5180 raised more than $383,000 in grant funding to educate youth and the general public about the risks of human trafficking.
District 5180 partnered with local non-profit 3Strands Global in a public awareness campaign that reached approximately 78 million people.
Deering spoke at a recent Fair Oaks Rotary meeting to explain just how insidious trafficking is in our area and to update local Rotary members about the project’s progress.
Deering said that traffickers initially contact most victims online and that approximately 65% of the victims come from broken homes. When a stranger online begins showing them love and attention, the children are extremely vulnerable to becoming a trafficking victim.
Deering explained that one of the reasons Sacramento has such high trafficking rates is due to the prevalence of gang activity. He said that trafficking is “quickly becoming the number one revenue producer for gangs.”
While drugs can only be sold once and there are numerous risks in obtaining more to sell, the traffickers view young people as merchandise that can be sold repeatedly.
Because Interstate 5 and Highway 80 both run right through the Sacramento region, traffickers can easily transport victims throughout the state. Deering said that the practice of frequently moving the victims to new locations leaves them in a constant state of confusion because they don’t know where they are or how to find help.
Deering said that the project’s most important component was getting the 3Strands Global educational trainings into local schools. Deering described AB 1227, the Human Trafficking Prevention Education and Training Act, which was sponsored by 3Strands Global Foundation and signed into law in 2017.
The law requires California public schools to train county leadership, administrators, and educators in how to identify children who have been, or who are at risk of being, exploited — as well as how to proceed when potential victims are identified. The schools must also provide human trafficking prevention education at least once in middle school and once in high school as part of sexual health education.
Due to the passage of AB 1227, Deering thought it would be easy to get the 3Strands curriculum into local schools, especially since District 5180 would be paying for it with grant funds. But Deering soon found that navigating the politics of the local school boards was no easy feat.
At many of the schools, Deering said it took months for the local curriculum committees to review and approve the 3Strands training curriculum. He explained that some individuals at the schools didn’t appreciate outsiders coming in and suggesting curriculum improvements and that those individuals believed the schools already knew how to handle the problem.
Deering said they also dealt with one angry parent who mistakenly got the impression that the training targeted students of color. Her frequent complaints that the training was racist made that particular school board initially hesitant to accept the trainings.
But Deering knew just how crucial it was to bring these trainings to the students, especially because the average age of trafficking victims is 12 – 14 years old. So they kept pushing, and now they have educated over 25,000 students and more than 650 teachers.
The trainings are already having a significant impact. Deering said that at each training, at least a few students approach the trainers afterward to say they now recognize they were being groomed for trafficking — or that they are already being trafficked and want help getting out.
Students surveyed after the trainings say that they can define human trafficking, they understand how traffickers recruit victims, they know how to contact the human trafficking hotline, and they know how to protect themselves and others from trafficking.
Deering expressed his thanks to all the clubs in the District for supporting this project. He estimates that the remaining grant money will be spent by the end of the year, so he asked that local clubs consider using some of their funds to sponsor trainings in their neighborhood schools.
“We want to find ways to keep this going even after the initial funding runs out.”

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Sutter’s Fort to Present Maker’s Mart-Style

By Traci Rockefeller Cusack  |  2019-04-23

A vendor at Sutter’s Fort displaying an array of produce. Photo attached is courtesy of Sutter

Ready, Set, Shop Traders’ Faire! Event April 26-28
 

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - To the delight of shoppers and local artisans near and far, California State Parks, Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park (SHP) and Friends of Sutter’s Fort are proud to present a vibrant, high-energy and fun three-day event – Shop Traders’ Faire! – on Friday, April 26 through Sunday, April 28, 2019.
Designed as a maker’s mart and offered just once a year, this lively event takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each of the three days and offers a unique shopping bazaar where visitors can purchase a wide variety of locally crafted goods. Visitors to Sutter’s Fort can expect to browse and shop hand-crafted goods from many of the talented local artisans, a sampling of which includes the following:
Basket Tree – jewelry crafted from traditional materials from the Pit River Tribe and more
Beaded Hats by Leanne Snow Bear – traditional Native American beadwork
Bigelow Leathers – handmade leather journals
Biscuits the Blacksmith – hand-forged metal goods
Bubbling Goat Soaps – soaps and lotions
Bull Hat Company – palm leaf hats shaped on-site
Crooked Creek Trader – leather bags, wooden canteen, knifes and more
Debbie’s Novelties – supplies, soap stone, dolls, beadwork, dream catchers, sun catchers, ornaments, abalone work and more
E & D Beads – trade beads, old tools, pottery and beadwork
Hippocampus Forge – metal goods
Indigenous American Art – airbrushed Native American Art prints, Southern Plain style Jewelry and apparel
Native Three Feathers – handmade dolls, necklaces and earrings
Needlin’ Women – fabric, patterns and artwork
Phoenix Obsidian Designs – flint knapped items, stone tools, furs, leather and more
Roquero Gems & Medicine Bags – gems, medicine bags and more
Stone Rose Designs – handcrafted jewelry
Talbott & Co. Heritage Goods – clothing, hats, toiletries and accessories
As background, Sutter’s Fort once served as a thriving commercial center in the early days of the Gold Rush. In fact, it was the only trading center on the way to the gold fields and literally thousands of gold miners passed through the Fort to purchase needed supplies from vendors hawking a variety of goods. Admission to this special Shop Traders’ Faire! event at Sutter’s Fort SHP is $7 per adult (18 and older), $5 per youth (ages 6 to 17) and is free for children 5 and under (regular admission pricing is $5 per adult, $3 for youth). For more information, call 916-445-4422 or visit www.suttersfort.org.

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