Sylvan Oaks Library Gets A Refreshing New Look

Story and photos by Shaunna Boyd  |  2019-08-07

Sylvan Oaks Library supervisor Crystal Miles and Sacramento Public Library director Rivkah Sass cut the ribbon, officially re-opening Sylvan Oaks Library after its refresh.

CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - After a six-month closure to undergo a “refresh” for various upgrades and improvements, Sylvan Oaks Library (6700 Auburn Blvd.) hosted its re-opening celebration on Saturday, August 3. The library now has new paint, flooring, carpets, and efficient LED lighting. Other modernizations include an enhanced children’s area, an updated teen space, a homework help area, new computers, quiet study rooms with white-board walls, and new service desks. Large windows enhance the bright interior and showcase the beautiful scenery outside.

The celebration featured family-friendly games and activities, free shaved ice, face painting, balloon twisting, and Henna art. Many attendees expressed how much they missed the library while it was closed for the refresh. Citrus Heights City Councilmember Bret Daniels lives across the street with his family and said that his two-year-old daughter was overjoyed when the fence came down. “It’s so nice to see all the families coming out and having a really good time at their community library,” said Councilmember Daniels.

Sacramento-area teacher Jennifer Peart said, “It’s so exciting to see families here to show support for their local library. … It means so much to see people supporting lifelong reading.”

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Sacramento Public Library director Rivkah Sass said, “This is now the best-looking library in Sacramento County.” She thanked everyone in attendance for “validating what we do by showing up and showing your support.”

Sacramento County District 4 Supervisor Sue Frost described the library as “a place where you can see the world.” She said that the experiences and services offered at the library are “a testament to why libraries have never gone away,” because they can “be everything they need to be for the community.”

Congressman Ami Bera expressed his love for libraries and the way they bring the community together. He described Sylvan Oaks’ selection of books offered in multiple languages as “a reflection of the diversity of our community.” He recognized Citrus Heights for its commitment to education by investing in the public library.

The new Sylvan Oaks Library supervisor, Crystal Miles, said, “It’s an honor to work in this community, to serve Citrus Heights, and to be part of the Sacramento Public Library.”

“The building is now bright, fresh, and accessible,” said Miles. “We have an incredibly enhanced collection, and books are just the tip of the iceberg.” In addition to more than 12,000 new titles, the library offers help with technology, laptops available for checkout, and lounge furniture with power outlets to charge electronic devices. The children’s room has STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) materials and an early learning area, and the library will offer tutoring during the school year.

“The library is much more than somewhere you go to get a book,” said Miles. “It’s a community meeting place, and we want to make sure we’re meeting the community’s needs.”

 

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - An accident involving the collision of two Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) light rail trains occurred on Thursday, August 22. At around 9:38 p.m., a passenger light rail train rear-ended a stopped light rail train undergoing maintenance testing. The incident occurred on the Blue Line in between the Roseville Road and Marconi/Arcade light rail stations. It is a standard safety practice for maintenance personnel to test trains that have been repaired on the main line with revenue service trains. This is required by the Federal Transit Administration to ensure mechanical issues have been repaired correctly prior to the train being placed back in revenue service.

There were a total of 27 people onboard, 24 on the passenger train and three on the train conducting routine maintenance testing. A total of 13 people were sent to area hospitals, 12 with minor injuries and one person with moderate injuries. Everyone else was released at the scene. SacRT is saddened for all that were impacted by the accident, but grateful that there were no serious injuries. The cause of the incident is still under investigation at this time. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the California Public Utilities Commission and SacRT are conducting independent investigations to make a final determination. The City of Sacramento Police are on scene to help keep the area secure during the investigation.

A bus bridge was immediately put in place and is expected to continue for the remainder of Friday, August 23, between the Roseville Road Station and the Marconi/Arcade Station to transport light rail riders to and from stations. Although a small section of light rail is impacted, SacRT staff is on site to provide assistance and guide riders to the special service buses. SacRT personnel are doing everything they can to minimize the impact to our customers.

Safety and security remains a top priority for SacRT. This is only the second time within a 32-year period that this type of accident has occurred. Our safety and security record remains one of the top in the transportation industry.

SacRT is the 2019 national TSA Gold Standard Security Award recipient for the highest standard of excellence. We operate approximately 70 bus routes (fixed-route, dial-a-ride and microtransit), 43 miles of light rail and 52 stations, and ADA paratransit services all within a 400-square mile service area throughout Sacramento County, which includes service in the cities of Citrus Heights, Folsom, Rancho Cordova and Elk Grove.

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - A celebration 90 years in the making has been underway at the California Highway Patrol (CHP). Through legislation, on August 14, 1929, California witnessed the evolution of traffic enforcement with the creation of a statewide law enforcement agency known today as the CHP. The purpose of creating the CHP was to provide uniform traffic law enforcement throughout the state. To this day, assuring the safe and efficient transportation of people and goods on our highway system remains our primary purpose.

“The history of the CHP is storied tapestry,” said CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley. “We, as an organization, celebrate 90 years of serving the people of this great state, which is possible because of the dedicated women and men who make up the CHP and the support of the public and our traffic safety partners.”

As California continues to grow and change, so does the span of enforcement responsibility of the CHP. When the organization began in 1929 with its 285 personnel, California had a population of roughly 5.6 million people and 2.1 million registered vehicles. Today, the CHP is comprised of nearly 11,000 dedicated professionals, uniformed and non-uniformed; California’s population has dramatically increased to nearly 40 million people, with more than 35 million registered vehicles.

The size and responsibilities of the patrol have not been the only changes through the decades. Women joined the ranks for the first time in 1974, and various types of patrol vehicles have been implemented – including aircraft, horses, and bicycles. Tragically, in the CHP’s 90 years, 231 officers have laid down their lives in service to the public. For more on the history of the Department, take a virtual tour of the CHP Museum located at http://chpmuseum.org/.

“While the CHP continues to evolve as a law enforcement agency, the priority of the Department and its personnel remains constant - fulfilling our mission while maintaining public trust,” added Commissioner Stanley.

The mission of the CHP is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security.

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Honoring Grandparents With Butterfly Release

Story by Shaunna Boyd  |  2019-08-15

Participants will release Monarch and Swallowtail butterflies in honor of Grandparents

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Sunday, September 8 is national Grandparents Day, and two local non-profits are observing the day with a Grandparents Day Butterfly Release. Sacramento Children’s Museum (SCM) and Snowline Hospice are hosting the Butterfly Release ceremony at 11:30 am at the museum, which is located at 2701 Prospect Park in Rancho Cordova.

 SCM’s mission is to inspire a love of life-long learning by providing a space for children to play, create, and explore. Snowline’s mission is to help patients through end-of-life care and support their families through the grieving process. The Grandparents Day Butterfly Release is a way to support two great causes at the same time while also recognizing the vital role grandparents play in children’s lives.

SCM’s director of museum advancement Meghan Toland said, “We chose Grandparents Day because grandparents are so important to us at the museum — we see them bringing kids in every day. … Celebrating grandparents is a great way to bring awareness to Snowline and the Sacramento Children’s Museum.”

Participants can dedicate a butterfly in name of a beloved grandparent. “You can reserve as many butterflies as you want,” said Toland. The event will include Monarch and Swallowtail butterflies — both beautiful options to honor grandparents’ significant impact on our lives.

The butterflies are locally and sustainably sourced, and they will be transported to the museum on ice — putting them into a temporary hibernation until they are woken up at the event. Participants will wake the butterflies by warming them in their hands during the dedication, and then the butterflies will be ready for release after the ceremony.

Grandparents are an important part of all our lives, so Toland explained that the event is not just for children — all ages are encouraged to attend. She also emphasized that the dedications do not have to be in remembrance: “It’s to remember those we don’t have any more and also to celebrate those still in our lives every day.”

Toland said they expect to release 400 butterflies, so they are anticipating a large turnout at the event. After the Butterfly Release, a celebration will feature games, activities, face painting, and food vendors.

Proceeds from the event will benefit SCM’s educational programs and Snowline’s Healing All Together (HAT) grief group, which helps children and their families deal with grief after losing a loved one. Because it can be difficult for kids to verbalize their emotions, HAT helps kids express their grief through art, motion, music, and play. SCM works in partnership with Snowline, which hosts the HAT program at the museum twice a month.

Butterflies for the event must be reserved in advance on the website, and people are already signing up. The deadline to reserve a butterfly is Friday, September 6 and the cost is $10 per butterfly, or $15 for a butterfly and admission to the museum. To reserve a butterfly — or to sign up as a vendor or sponsor — visit www.sackids.org.

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SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The annual Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights Hearing will be held by the California State Board of Equalization (BOE) on August 27, 2019. The hearing provides taxpayers, assessors, and other local agencies the opportunity to provide comment on any items discussed in the State Board of Equalization’s 2017-18 Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate’s Annual Report for the purposes of correcting any problems described in the report. Taxpayers may also comment on BOE-administered programs or local property tax issues.

Individuals may also present their concerns regarding agency services or other issues related to the administration of its tax programs, including state and county property taxes, alcoholic beverage tax, and tax on insurers. With respect to the alcoholic beverage tax, individuals may present their ideas and recommendations regarding legislation which may further improve voluntary compliance and the relationship between taxpayers and government.

The Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights Hearing is held in accordance with The Morgan Property Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights and California Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights provisions. The BOE has a Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate to ensure taxpayers’ rights are protected and to facilitate resolution of property tax problems. More information on the BOE’s Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate Office (TRA Office) and the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights Hearing is available at http://www.boe.ca.gov/tra/

Taxpayers are invited to share their experiences with problems encountered to bring it to the attention of the BOE and TRA Office for assistance with resolution.

The Board of Equalization is the only elected tax board in the country. Its five members include four equalization district members, and the State Controller. Under its constitutional mandate, the BOE oversees the assessment practices of the state’s 58 county assessors, who are charged with establishing values for approximately 12.8 million assessments each year. In addition, the BOE assesses the property of regulated railroads and specific public utilities and assesses and collects the private railroad car tax. The BOE's monthly meetings offer taxpayers and other interested parties opportunities to participate in the formulation of rules and regulations adopted by the Board. For more information on the BOE, visit www.boe.ca.gov.

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CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - Citrus Heights Police Department will be conducting a DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoint on Friday, August 16, 2019, at an undisclosed location within the city limits between the hours of 8:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.

DUI Checkpoints like this one are placed in locations based on collision statistics and frequency of DUI arrests. Officers will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment, with officers checking drivers for proper licensing.

The Citrus Heights Police Department reminds drivers that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.” If you take prescription drugs, particularly those with a driving or operating machinery warning on the label, you might be impaired enough to get a DUI. Marijuana can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI.

In 2017, 1, 120 people were killed in alcohol-involved crashes on California roads. This year to date, the Citrus Heights Police Department investigated over 44 DUI collisions and have made 184 DUI related arrests. 

The Citrus Heights Police Department offers these reminders to ensure you have a safe night of fun that doesn’t involve a DUI:

Always use a designated sober driver – a friend who is not drinking, ride-share, cab or public transportation – to get home;

See someone who is clearly impaired try and drive? Take the keys and help them make other arrangements to find a sober way home;

Report drunk drivers – Call 911;

Hosting a party? Offer nonalcoholic drinks. Monitor who are drinking and how they are getting home

Getting home safely is cheap, but getting a DUI is not! Drivers caught driving impaired and charged with DUI can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to be upwards of $13, 500. This includes fines, fees, DUI classes, license suspension and other expenses not to mention possible jail time.

Funding for this checkpoint is provided to the Citrus Heights Police Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert is alerting the community of a Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) that may be placed in Sacramento’s Del Paso Heights neighborhood. A hearing is scheduled for public comment on the release of SVP, Dariel Morrise Shazier. A Santa Clara judge will consider placing Shazier at an address in Del Paso Heights even though Shazier has no ties to Sacramento.

Notice of hearing: August 26, 2019, starting at 9:00 a.m. Santa Clara Superior Court, Hall of Justice – Department 32, 191 N. First Street, San Jose, CA 95113.

Shazier was convicted in Santa Clara County in 1989 and 1994 in multiple cases of: Sodomy of a Person Under 14 by Force; Annoy/Molest a Child; Sexual Battery; Sodomy of a Drugged Victim (Under 18); Oral Copulation of a Drugged Victim (Under 18).

After serving his 17-year sentence, a jury determined Shazier to be a Sexually Violent Predator under the Welfare and Institutions Code §6604. If approved, Shazier will live in Del Paso Heights and only be monitored for one year. He would then be eligible for full release from supervision to live unmonitored in the community.

How the community can voice their opposition: If community members want to voice their opposition, notify the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office to: Be heard in person at the hearing being held at the Santa Clara County Hall of Justice; Be heard by teleconference call at the Greater Sacramento Urban League (3725 Marysville Blvd., Sacramento CA 95838); Submit a letter or message by email to: SVPShazier@sacda.org; Or, mail a letter to: District Attorney’s Office, ATTN: SVP Shazier, 901 G Street, Sacramento, CA 95814.

Shazier is the first of three out-of-county Sexually Violent Predators the Department of State Hospitals has notified us about that they intend to place in Sacramento County. For more information, visit: www.sacda.org/SVP

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SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - “The Source,” is a new, free, 24/7 support service for foster youth and resource families living in Sacramento County. The service, implemented by Department of Health Services and the Sacramento Children’s Home, connects foster youth, and former foster youth, up to age 21 and resource families to licensed professionals who immediately provide guidance, support, and connection to critical resources.

The 24/7 hotline is staffed with operators trained to de-escalate situations and help callers work through conflicts and tension to support foster placements. The hotline will prioritize crises and when needed dispatch mobile response teams to provide additional support. The mobile response teams are made up of social workers, behavioral health specialists, as well as peer partners, which could be former foster youth or caregivers to provide assistance in supporting placement stability.

“The Source is designed to provide foster youth and foster families with high levels of support and stability when challenging situations arise,” said Michelle Callejas, Director of Sacramento County Department of Child, Family and Adult Services. “This is the only foster youth/family support line of its kind in Sacramento and we are grateful to the Sacramento Children’s Home for their service and partnership.”

Foster youth and their resource families can access The Source’s crisis hotline by calling or texting 916-SUPPORT or by using the online chat option on their website. The Source team can also provide in-person support at homes, schools, and community locations.

Available Services:

Support for Youth – Support when youth need help handling life’s changes. Help to solve problems and create a plan for the future; Support for Caregivers – Assistance to aid overcoming conflicts and challenging situations in the family. Intense, short-term support is available, as well as resources to create a plan for the future; Referrals – Get connected to other supports and programs in the community; Activities – Have fun attending activities with other youth in the community; Advocacy – Support from staff who have similar experiences to youth and caregivers.

“These types of programs are an example of how County departments are listening to the community and partnering with organizations to work to improve the health and wellness of Sacramento County families by providing a culturally competent and responsive crisis continuum,” said Ryan Quist, Sacramento County Behavioral Health Director.

In recent years, California has been implementing a set of changes to the foster care system intended to help foster youth find a family and reach permanency called the Continuum of Care Reform. However, one of the major challenges is to recruit new foster families and retain existing ones. This kind of 24/7, on-demand support will help stabilize placements for foster youth and provide additional support to their caregivers.

For more information about The Source, visit their website or call 916-SUPPORT.

This program is funded by the Sacramento County Division of Behavioral Health Services through the voter-approved Proposition 63, Mental Health Services Act (MHSA).

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Railroad Museum Celebrates Toy Train Month

By Traci Rockefeller Cusack, T-Rock Communications  |  2019-08-07

Railroad Museum will debut a very special Lionel Observation Car (No. 416) from 1929 with a very personal connection to Thomas W. Sefton. Courtesy T-Rock Communications

Museum is Showcasing Prized Lionel Observation Car

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) – California State Parks and the California State Railroad Museum & Foundation are proud to recognize August 2019 as Toy Train Month, an annual celebration that spotlights the ever-popular Thomas W. Sefton Gallery and “Small Wonders: The Magic of Toy Trains” exhibit.

The Railroad Museum will debut a very special Lionel Observation Car (No. 416) from 1929. On public display for the first time, the prized artifact is part of the Museum’s extensive and internationally recognized toy train collection donated to the Museum by the Sefton family in 2002. The vintage toy train is especially unique due to its personal connection to Thomas W. Sefton. In fact, it was once on display in a glass showcase in Sefton's office at San Diego Trust & Savings Bank and was used as a conversation starter for those who visited his office. Observant guests to the Museum will even be able to view a small photo of the Sefton family inside the toy train.

The pre-war green State observation car (Type 1, standard gauge which is part of a State Set) will be on display for the month of August 2019 in a special case at the entrance to the Thomas W. Sefton Gallery on the Museum’s third floor. Accumulated over four decades by the late Mr. Thomas W. Sefton, the crowd-favorite collection includes 20th century toy trains, Buddy "L" riding toys, and railroad-related artifacts, featuring approximately 7,000 toy trains and a variety of accessories, such as locomotives and railroad cars from companies including Buddy “L,” Ives, American Flyer, Marklin, Marx, and Lionel.

The “Small Wonders” exhibit showcases approximately 1,000 vintage toy trains, six interactive displays, and a magnificent operating toy train layout with special pieces that are rotated regularly and decorated for the holidays and changing seasons.

In addition to the prized toy train on temporary display inside the Museum, the Museum Store will offer a special $5 price (normally $9.99) on the 30-page full-color guidebook that highlights the Thomas W. Sefton train collection during the month of August.

Railroad Museum admission is $12 for adults, $6 for youths (ages 6-17), and children ages five and under are free. More information about the California State Railroad Museum is available at 916-323-9280 or www.californiarailroad.museum.

 

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SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The California State Fair ended its 2019 season with strong food, beverage and, amusement ride sales which is thanks in-part to an all-new food Festival Pass. The pass allowed Fair attendees to pick four items from over 30 different offerings ranging from mouth-watering appetizers, one-of-a-kind entrees, and to-die-for desserts from 30 food vendors at a low price of $28. Food sales from the Food Festival Pass generated roughly $380,000 in revenue alone.

“The Food Festival pass was popular every single day of the Fair,” says Wille Madaus, owner of Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls, whose Bacon & Pecan Cinnamon Roll won Best of Show in the Food Festival Competition. “We had our highest grossing Saturday ever and are up more than 20% this year.”

Barbecue sales, always a Fairgoer favorite, hit an all-time high with $1.3 million in gross sales while new, fresh food options such as the Fair’s first vegan stand, Frik’n Vegan, had a very successful debut. The food vendor has already confirmed plans to return to the fairgrounds next year. Non-profit organization Friends of the California State Fair program sold over 7,585 pounds of fruit during the California State Fair Farm.

“Food has a powerful way of bringing people together” said General Manager and CEO of Cal Expo & State Fair Rick Pickering. “We are grateful for the opportunity to provide a common place for Fairgoers of all backgrounds to come together and celebrate our state’s rich history, diverse cultures and some long-standing and new traditions that make California great.”

Overall, the total for food and beverage sales was $8.5 million this year, bringing local sales tax revenue to the city, county, and state over just 17 days of the Fair.

Butler Amusements, the CA State Fair vendor responsible for the amusement rides, also reported its highest weekend in history with sales of over $500,000 on Saturday, July 20 and more than $400,000 in sales for rides on Sunday, July 21, making it a $1,000,000 ride weekend. More than 100,000 people rode the monorail and Skyride, taking in views of the entire fairgrounds and the surrounding areas from high above.

The California State Fair closed out its 2019 season — where innovation was a major theme — with an exciting Drone Light Show presented by DISH. Other novel ideas were created at the Fairgrounds, including Esports gaming tournaments every day of the Fair, the unique Bank of America sponsored Selfie Experience, and other new and exciting exhibits.

“This year’s fair brought together the beauty and innovation that demonstrates the very best of California,” said Pickering.

The state-wide Youth Mariachi Competition returned for a second year as part of a celebration of Mexican culture's influence of the Golden State. The competition, held at the illustrious Golden 1 Stage, showcased talented youth mariachi ensembles from throughout the state. The competition gave participants an opportunity to win up to $5,000 in grants for their respective academy or school mariachi program.

The new Esports Gaming tournament sold out all of its tournament slots and first-ever California State Fair Bear Cup champions were crowned. The Esports Gaming tournament garnered more than 700,000 viewers around the country on the California State Fair’s very own Twitch channel; hosted on Twitch's front page. Esports is a new and booming video game competition and having this event showcases California’s robust tech industry.

An innovative Drone Light Show produced by The Great Lakes Drone Company, was followed by a traditional fireworks show that wrapped up the CA State Fair's events. The combination of the old, beloved fireworks and the new drone light show symbolizes the innovation and nostalgic activities the Fair provides.

The CA State Fair provided opportunities for community engagement by providing free entrance to 10,000 military, veterans and first responders. Attendees on Mondays who provided three non-perishable food items received free admission during SMUD Giving Monday. Attendees donated a total of 31,000 pounds of food; all of which went to the Elk Grove Food Bank. Fair guests also had multiple opportunities to adopt an animal from Front Street and SPCA animal shelters.

“We look forward to continuing this strong tradition of showcasing innovation and have already begun plans to ensure the 2020 California State Fair can achieve newer and greater entertainment heights,” added Pickering.

Despite an extremely hot final weekend, Californians from all regions of the state were welcomed and enjoyed the Fair, and all its activities, for 17 days! Total attendance at the California State Fair increased from the prior year, up more than 5%, for a total of 601,761 happy Fairgoers.

To stay up to date with all things California State Fair, please visit www.castatefair.org

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