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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Over 16,000 Diapers Donated To Sacramento Life Center Through Leatherby’s

By Kristin Thébaud, Kristin Thébaud Communications  |  2019-08-07

Volunteers at Sacramento Life Center organize diapers donated through Daddy Dave’s Diaper Drive. Photo courtesy Kristin Thébaud Communications

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Local residents who brought an unopened pack of diapers to any Leatherby’s Family Creamery location on July 20 received a $5 gift card to Leatherby’s, resulting in donations of more than 16,000 diapers for the Sacramento Life Center. Daddy Dave’s Diaper Drive, which took place during National Ice Cream Month, provided diapers for low-income moms in the Sacramento area and honored the life of the ice cream shop’s founder Dave Leatherby Sr. who passed away earlier this year and supported the Sacramento Life Center for decades.

“It was heartwarming to see the Sacramento community come together to support local moms and babies in need, as well as to honor my dad who believed so much in this cause,” said Marie Leatherby, executive director, Sacramento Life Center. “Thank to you everyone who brought diapers or donated online – these diapers mean the world to families in our community.”

The Sacramento Life Center accepts diaper donations all year at its primary clinic at 2316 Bell Executive Lane in Sacramento. Families in need of diapers can call the clinic at (916) 451-4357 to learn if they qualify to receive free diapers.

The Sacramento Life Center’s mission is to offer compassion, support, resources and free medical care to women and couples facing an unplanned or unsupported pregnancy. The Sacramento Life Center’s licensed Sac Valley Pregnancy Clinic includes a primary clinic and mobile clinic that provide all services for free, including pregnancy tests, STD tests, ultrasounds, peer counseling for men and women, education and resource referrals. In 2018, the Sacramento Life Center achieved accreditation by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, which ensures the group has met nationally recognized standards for the provision of high-quality health care. The nonprofit also offers a school-based teen education program, 24-hour hotline and program for women who have experienced reproductive grief.

For more information about the Sacramento Life Center’s Sac Valley Pregnancy Clinic, visit www.svpclinic.com. For more information about the Sacramento Life Center or to make a donation, visit www.saclife.org.

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SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Members of the media and public are invited to attend Inner SOUL, a silent art auction to benefit Joshua’s House, Sacramento’s first hospice house for the terminally ill homeless on August 10, at 5-8pm.

The Second Saturday art reception will feature a silent auction of over 90 pieces of art based on SHELTERS. All proceeds from the sale of donated artwork will go to completing the building of Joshua’s House, which has received strong support from community leaders such as Congresswoman Doris Matsui, City of Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and City Council Member Jeff Harris along with the entire City Council.

Area artists, along with Tony Natsoulas and Julia Didion, are invited to participate in this first of its kind art show here in Sacramento. Using the SHELTER as a symbol, we invite them to sculpt, paint, stitch and embellish. The results are a remarkable and beautiful art show.

Please join us for a special tribute art show to help bring awareness and raise funds for a critical new project here in Sacramento. The donated art will help open the doors to the new hospice house dedicated for the terminally ill homeless. This art show will be hosted at E Street Gallery, 1115 E Street, Sacramento. The art will be on display August 8-26 with a special reception on August 10th 5-9 pm where all artwork will be part of a silent auction

For more information about Joshua’s House, please email Dr. Marlene von Friederichs-Fitzwater at fitzm@hcri.com

If you’re interested in making a donation to Joshua’s House, search @JoshuasHouseSacramento on Facebook or visit www.thehcri.org.

For more information about the art show “inner SOUL” please call Helen Plenert at 916-599-2608 or email Helen@hplenert.com

 

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A Personal Blast Off!

By Sal Arrigo, Jr.  |  2019-08-07

Image of a Saturn V rocket similar to the one that carried the Apollo 11 space capsule to the Moon. Photo by Sal Arrigo, Jr.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - It all started in northern New Jersey at Kittle Field, a part of the Stokes State Forest Service. I was 10 years old and my Dad and I were about to blast off my first Estes model rocket. I was hooked after that experience. Fast forward to July 16, 2019, and I was at the U.S. Space Center in Huntsville, Alabama, ready to witness the world record attempt of the launching of 5,000 model rockets simultaneously in honor of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and the Apollo 11 astronauts.

To achieve the record, the Rocket Center said the launch must meet the following criteria: Use commercially available rockets and build them following basic manufacturer guidelines; Pass 30 meters (or about 100 feet) in altitude; Have an independent specialist verify the counting method. An independent specialist is anyone who can claim a general level of experience or knowledge in the specific field of our record attempt (someone who has experience with model rocketry or aerospace engineering.)

Part of the verification process is determining that a record number of rockets exceeded the 100-feet threshold. The launch at the US Space Center successfully launched 4,923 model rockets. Although confident that the 100-foot mark was achieved, (the previous world record was 4,231 model rockets successfully launched), the Space Center said it may take up to 16 weeks to receive confirmation from the Guinness World Records officials.

What fascinates us with the moon and the stars and the planets? The Apollo 11 astronauts represented all those people like us who thirst for adventure, and we are fascinated when someone actually lives our dream for us. I met a volunteer named Eli, who works as a Planetarium Specialist at the US Space Center. He told me he has a love of rockets and enjoys “educating people about his work.” We discussed how many people, approximately 3,000, came to witness the model rocket launch.

One aspect of the launch was the number of children who witnessed the event, and it makes sense since children from all over can enjoy Space Camp at the US Space Center. It is one of the most popular programs, and according to the US Space Center it is “designed to inspire and motivate youth to push the boundaries of human exploration just as generations before them did. Space Camp is internationally popular, with visitors from all 50 states and more than 60 foreign countries.”

As you start to grasp the history that surrounds you at the US Space Center, one does not need to go any farther than to stand face to face with two of the most iconic symbols that represent our space program – the Saturn V rocket and the Space Shuttle. I have to admit I am still in awe of seeing these two monuments, and part of the generation that welcomed them to our side. What was it like to be in these vehicles for our space explorers? Fortunately, we had a president that also wanted to know the answer.

In September 1962, President John F. Kennedy gave a speech that focused the United States on landing men on the moon. The President said, “… the vows of this Nation can only be fulfilled if we in this Nation are first, and, therefore, we intend to be first. In short, our leadership in science and in industry, our hopes for peace and security, our obligations to ourselves as well as others, all require us to make this effort, to solve these mysteries, to solve them for the good of all men, and to become the world's leading spacefaring nation.”

It wasn’t long after that we became “trekkies” and became obsessed with the science fiction television show called “Star Trek” that debuted in 1966 and ended in 1969, just one month before we landed men on the moon. Whether a television show or a real life space drama, we were imagining being on the moon, or being one of the characters on “Star Trek.” I take note when we can see an eclipse, or to see the planets align, or witness shooting stars. What exactly is out there in space? 

Now nearly fifty-seven years since President’s Kennedy speech, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has announced the creation of the Artemis program. Artemis was the twin sister of Apollo and goddess of the Moon in Greek mythology. The goal of the program is to return astronauts, including the first woman and the next man, to the lunar surface by 2024. American astronauts will also step foot where no human has ever been before - the Moon’s South Pole. When Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, it is estimated that 600 million people watched, and I ask you, will you and your family be watching in 2024?

For more information on the US Space Center and the City of Huntsville (the Chamber of Commerce is especially helpful), please visit these helpful websites:

https://www.rocketcenter.com/

https://www.rocketcenter.com/INTUITIVEPlanetarium/daily#page-title

https://www.rocketcenter.com/featuredexhibitions

https://www.huntsville.org/

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SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - On August 1, 2019 at approximately 0937 hours, The California Highway Patrol (CHP) received a call of a solo vehicle traffic collision on the transition road from I-5 northbound to I-80 eastbound. CHP Officers and Sacramento Metro Fire Department personnel arrived on scene and discovered a red Ford Mustang had collided with a tree. The driver and solo occupant of the vehicle, a 19-year old man from Vallejo, was pronounced deceased on scene.

The motorist was driving his Mustang on the transition road at what a witness reported was a high rate of speed when, for unknown reasons, he veered to the right, left the roadway, and collided with a tree. The cause of this collision is under investigation.

Any persons who may have witnessed this collision or who can provide any additional information regarding this collision should call Officer Mike Zerfas at the North Sacramento Area CHP office at (916) 348-2300 or cell phone at (916) 798-0975. Follow us on Twitter @chpnsac or like us on Facebook.com/chpnorthsac

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SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The California State Auditor reported an uptick in applications by eligible individuals interested in serving on the next 14-member Citizens Redistricting Commission. To date, more than 13,735 applications have been submitted. The Commission is tasked with redrawing Congressional, State Senate, State Assembly, and State Board of Equalization districts.

“We’ve been closely monitoring applications since the initial application period opened on June 10th, and we have seen a steady stream of applications submitted,” said Elaine M. Howle, California State Auditor. “But over the last several days we received an uptick in applications, including a one-day period in which we received more than 1,000 applications. This leads me to believe many more Californians who are learning more about redistricting and are developing an interest in the opportunity may now want to take advantage of the chance to draw California’s Congressional and State Legislative district lines. That is why I am extending the application period which will now close on Monday, August 19th at 5:00 p.m.”

Applicants must submit an application online at shapecaliforniasfuture.auditor.ca.gov. The application takes just minutes to complete.

“My office has been analyzing the number and flow of applications since we began accepting applications. It is clear to me that for the last week, we have seen a significant increase and with every passing day, we are getting a broader application pool that is more and more representative of California’s diversity. I’m thrilled that so many civically-involved Californians are interested in being part of shaping California’s future and want to keep the process open until August 19th at 5:00 p.m. to make sure that everyone who is interested has the opportunity to apply,” said Howle.

For more information about application data, eligibility requirements, or to apply to be a member of the 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission, please visit shapecaliforniasfuture.auditor.ca.gov or call (833) 421-7550. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter at @ShapeCAFuture.

Every ten years, after the federal government publishes updated census information, California must redraw the boundaries of its Congressional, State Senate, State Assembly, and State Board of Equalization districts. In 2008, California voters passed the Voters FIRST Act authorizing the creation of an independent Commission comprised of 14 members. The 2020 Commission will include five Democrats, five Republicans, and four who are either registered without, or “independent” of, any political party (decline-to-state or no party preference) or with another party. The Commission is responsible for drawing the lines of each district. The initial application period for new Commission members began on June 10, 2019, and will now run through August 19, 2019 at 5:00 p.m.

For more information on the 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission application and selection process, please visit ShapeCaliforniasFuture.auditor.ca.gov.

The California State Auditor is a state entity that is independent of the executive branch and legislative control. The purpose of the California State Auditor is to improve California government by assuring the performance, accountability, and transparency that its citizens deserve. For more information on the California State Auditor, please visit www.auditor.ca.gov.

 

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