Old Sacramento Living History Presents Spirited “Ghost Tours”

By Traci Rockefeller Cusack, T-Rock Communications  |  2019-10-03

Sepia image is courtesy of the Sacramento History Museum.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) – The Sacramento History Museum & Alliance are proud to present an all-new season of Old Sacramento Living History’s annual “Ghost Tours” on Friday and Saturday evenings, October 11 through October 26, 2019. For those who dare, the engaging tours depart from the Sacramento History Museum (101 I Street) every half-hour from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on the evenings the tours are available. Tickets for the new 2019 season of “Ghost Tours” are limited, so get yours now.

With a theme of “Murders, Mayhem and Tragedies” this year, the eerie and ever-popular one-hour “Ghost Tours” provide Old Sacramento guests with the opportunity to relive 19th century lore as guides (and ghosts) relate tantalizing narratives about the deaths of colorful citizens from Sacramento’s history. This year, the tours will take place at the riverfront, inside and relatively close to the Sacramento History Museum as daring and inquisitive guests revisit stories of pestilence, mayhem, quacks and fraud through the darker side of Sacramento’s fascinating history. Along the way, tour guests may encounter wayward miners, murder victims and other Gold Rush characters while listening to tantalizing tales of Sacramento’s colorful and lively past.

Advance reservations are recommended as tickets for the Old Sacramento Living History’s “Ghost Tours” are expected to sell out quickly. Tickets cost $18 per person and are not recommended for children ages 8 and under. For advance tickets or more information, call 916-808-7059 or visit www.sachistorymuseum.org. Proceeds from the Ghost Tours benefit the Sacramento History Alliance programs and the Sacramento History Museum.

The Sacramento History Alliance is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that manages the Sacramento History Museum, Sacramento Visitors Center, Old Sacramento Underground Tours, Gold Fever! Games, Anytime Tours, and Living History Programs, and works collaboratively with the City of Sacramento to support the Center for Sacramento History.


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SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Groundbreaking legislation that would require all on-campus student health centers at public universities in California to offer medication abortion services passed in the California Assembly with an initial vote of 44 to 15. Now, Senate Bill 24, also known as the College Student Right to Access Act, goes back to the Senate for concurrence before it heads to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk.  

"By ensuring that abortion care is available on campus, college students will not have to choose between delaying important medical care or having to travel long distances or miss classes or work.  I thank the Governor for inviting women from conservative states seeking abortions to come to California to access their right to abortion care,” said Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino).  “I also appreciate Governor Newsom’s public declaration of support last year for SB 320—the previous version of SB 24—and am hopeful that he will continue to prioritize the rights of all Californians seeking abortion care, including those attending California’s public university campuses.”  

Medication abortion is a safe and effective way to end a pregnancy up to 10 weeks. Currently no student health centers at public universities in California provide abortion services, despite offering other reproductive health services like birth control and STI testing.  Almost half of the public university campuses in California are located five miles or more from an abortion provider, and some students must travel upwards of four hours to get care. A consortium of private funders has stepped forward to cover the costs to bring medication abortion to public university student health centers.

Polling shows that the bill has widespread support among Californians, and the state’s two university student associations—the UC Student Association and Cal State Student Association—representing nearly 700,000 students, also endorsed the bill this year.

University of California (UC) President Janet Napolitano also released a letter last month directing all UC campuses to begin providing medication abortion on campus.

“Once a student has decided to end a pregnancy, they shouldn’t be forced to go off campus to see a provider they don’t know,” said Ruth Shaber M.D., founder and president of Tara Health Foundation.  “That is why funders have come together to cover all implementation costs of Senate Bill 24. California is showing the country that providing abortion care on campus is not only the principled thing to do, it’s also popular and possible.

“As a college student seeking abortion care, I didn’t have the resources to get the care I needed off campus, such as money or a car,” said Jessy Rosales, a UC Riverside graduate and campus coordinator with the justCARE campaign.  “Today’s passage means we are one step closer to California college students being able to get the care they need right on campus without unnecessary barriers or delays.”

justCARE: Campus Action for Reproductive Equity mobilizes students and allies across California to make the abortion pill on campus a reality. We envision a future where reproductive health services are available to all students who need them, wherever we live or go to school

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SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - Pet owners whose animals venture outdoors can be keenly aware of the possible dangers to their animals, such as rabies and other illnesses as well as pets becoming lost. However, indoor animals may occasionally get out and face the same risks. The Sacramento County Bradshaw Animal Shelter offers low-cost vaccination and microchip clinics every third Thursday of the month, 5 - 7 p.m.

Pets with up-to-date vaccinations and preventive care are protected from illnesses including heartworm, kennel cough, Bordetella, parvo and Lyme disease. If unvaccinated animals contract illnesses, an owner may face costly treatments and surgeries for these preventable diseases. And when pets receive rabies vaccinations, it not only helps to prevent them from contracting the disease from bats, skunks, and raccoons, it also protects residents from contracting the virus if bitten by an infected animal.  

“Rabies is still a concern for Sacramento and the bats, skunks and raccoons in the area can all potentially carry the disease,” said Dave Dickinson, Director of the Bradshaw Animal Shelter. “It’s important that owners be responsible and vaccinate, even if they believe their pet will never contract it; indoor pets can be susceptible if they escape.” 

Pet owners can take advantage of the clinic’s affordable microchipping services on the third Thursday of every month. For only $19, pet owners can buy the extra security that has proven to reunite many owners and their pets. Though visible tags are the first line of identification for animals, they may wear off, fall off or get lost. Unlike traditional ID tags, permanent microchips can contain owner contact information, pet information and Bradshaw Animal Shelter’s contact information, and most vets and shelters can easily scan.  

Licensing can be done at the same time as vaccinations and microchips for as little as $15. Owners may also conveniently purchase a license online. This inexpensive service proves a pet’s ownership and home address, and animals found by County animal officers can be returned immediately to the home, saving the stress of a shelter stay for the animal and the owners. 

Vaccinations, microchipping and licensing cost a small fee that proves priceless when owners have safe, healthy pets at home where they belong.

Don’t have a pet? The Bradshaw Animal Shelter has many available pets for adoption looking for loving homes. Adoptions include spay/neuter surgery, vaccines and microchipping. Visit the Bradshaw Animal Shelter’s website to view a list of adoptable pets.


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California Automobile Museum is on Track for 2019 CruiseFest

By Steve LaRosa, Steve LaRosa Productions  |  2019-10-03

A yellow ’32 Ford coupe and a ’55 Chevy will be a Team Tribute for American Graffiti cars. Courtesy of Steve LaRosa Productions

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - On Saturday, October 5, 2019 from 3pm to 7:30pm, the 9th Annual CruiseFest on Fulton Avenue, benefitting Sacramento’s California Automobile Museum, Northern California’s premier car cruise and show returns to Fulton Avenue for what promises to be the most spectacular in its history. With entries outpacing last year at this time, we anticipate a substantial increase in participating cruisers.

The latest addition to this year’s CruiseFest are three cars from the collection of Wild Bill Hill of Wild Bill’s Tattoos: His 1902 Panoz Roadster, his unusual Chupacabra (a 1959 Onan Cycle-Car), and his 2005 Panoz Esperante.

At this popular, FREE family-friendly event, we expect (give or take) 400 custom, classic and novelty vehicles and well over 5,000 attendees.

As far as the Fest portion of things, this year we’re featuring 3 live bands, 9 food trucks, numerous vendors and we’ll be pouring beer from local breweries.

Though it’s still early, we already have commitments from these novelty vehicles:

The popular Tribute Team American Graffiti cars, comprised of clones of vehicles used in the George Lucas movie, posing the question, “Where were you in ’62?”

They are: A yellow ’32 Ford coupe driven by the character John Milner; A black ’55 Chevy driven by Harrison Ford’s character; A White ‘58 Impala driven by Ron Howard’s character; And the character Toad’s white Vespa scooter with a dented trash can like the one he crashed into outside of Mel’s Drive-In.

Save Mart’s 12-foot tall mega-motorized shopping cart–Powered by a 454 Chevy engine, it can accommodate a handful of passengers and a few bags of groceries.

The Tahoe Photo Bus–A unique & funky photo booth in a mid-60’s era VW Bus printing top quality photos for attendees

The Tombstone Hearse–A 21st-century motorcycle version of a 19th-century horse-drawn hearse, actually used in funerals.

Back again this year- The Kids Zone–Various fun activities for the kids 

Car Club Members: This year we’re featuring “The Car Club Corral,” where pre-registered car clubs and their pre-registered members will have designated parking at Tognotti’s. The Corral will have its own live music, food and beer vendors. The club that brings out the most cars will win a free year Car Club Membership at the Museum.

To register, log on to calautomuseum.org or call the Museum at (916) 442-6802. $25 for Museum members/$30 for non-members.

To access the CruiseFest page directly: calautomuseum.org/CruiseFest

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Longhorns Reunite

Story and photos by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2019-09-27

Organizers and supporters of La Sierra High School’s 60th alumni reunion included Janice Baker Richardson, Brenda Beers Mock, Dennis Duffy, Rick Brown, Tony Asaro, Ernie Ryder, Charleen Svec Tyson, Cecil Wetsel, Rhonda Clothier Jewell and Dusty Doyle.

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Almost lost forever, relics from Carmichael’s only high school were center of attention at the recent foundation alumni reunion. Yearbooks, trophies and pennants were among treasures salvaged when La Sierra High closed in 1983.

For 30 years, its Longhorn traditions had been part of Carmichael life. By the 1980s, declining student numbers obliged San Juan School District to relocate teenagers to Fair Oaks and Arcade schools. The grieving Longhorn herd scattered as demolition began but, thanks to one alumnus’ foresight, many memories were saved. School historian Tony Asaro was an administrative staffer during the school’s final years. “One day in 1983, a staff secretary called and told me that school treasures were being purged,” he recalls. “I drove my truck to the dumpsters and filled it up.”

Among relics were hundreds of “Longhorn Round-up” yearbooks still in Asaro’s keeping. “You don’t want to see my garage,” he confesses. “Over the years I’ve given many away to former students.”  He also rescued the fabled fiberglass mascot named Sir Loin – so enormous it bestrode its own trailer – that students paraded at games and rallies. “Sir Loin lived in my side yard for ten years,” he says. “My neighbors got used to a giant blue and white longhorn looking over their fence. But eventually he had to go. I found the art teacher who’d helped make him. I understand Sir Loin is buried somewhere in the foothills.”

Pre-closure, teachers donated many school trophies to former star athletes. A plaque commemorating 17 graduates who died in the Vietnam War was removed to the home of a La Sierra PE teacher. It is displayed annually as part of Veterans Day ceremonies that unite the community in a nature reserve adjacent to the school.

Now administered by Carmichael Park District, the school campus is a community hub. The cafetorium serves as a town hall; re-purposed facilities house sport, education and arts centers. “We went to a great school,” observes Asaro. “La Sierra was our Camelot – the center of our lives. We’re glad it’s still a jewel for the community.”

More than 200 foundation alumni last month filled the cafetorium for their 60-year “Longhorn Social” reunion. Mascot Sir Loin glared from tee shirts and banners as alumni pored through Asaro’s year books.  Though the salvager was a later graduate, attendees welcomed the 70-year-old like a homecoming hero.

“La Sierra students are sentimental,” explained reunion co-organizer Brenda Beers Mock.  “We foundation students wrote the fight song; we chose the mascot and colors. Because our school’s not there anymore, we’re even more sentimental. Tony Asaro’s younger than us but we’re grateful he has the same feelings for our school. What he saved is almost all we have left.” Learn about La Sierra alumni activities on Facebook.

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Floor Coverings International at Your Door

By Rhonda Sanderson, Sanderson & Associates  |  2019-09-27

Jose and Jennifer Elias will visit customers’ homes with their Floor Coverings International of Carmichael Mobile Flooring Showroom stocked with thousands of flooring samples. Photo courtesy of Rhonda Sanderson

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Jose and Jennifer Elias recently opened Floor Coverings International of Carmichael and now happily visit customers’ homes in a Mobile Flooring Showroom stocked with thousands of flooring samples from top manufacturers. The couple serves customers throughout Sacramento and the surrounding areas including East Sacramento, Carmichael, Rancho Cordova, Folsom, Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Fair Oaks, Sierra Oaks, Arden Arcade and Rancho Murrieta.

Jose and Jennifer met when they were working at Campbell Soup Company, after both earned bachelor’s degrees in Food Science; Jen from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and Jose from Rutgers University in New Jersey, where his family moved after arriving from Ecuador when he was eight years old. When the couple decided to have children (Hudson, born in 2016, and Madeline, in 2018), Jennifer set aside her corporate career – where she gained a diverse array of experience from product development to operations - to be a stay-at-home mom. “My experience, both personally and professionally, has provided me a great foundation to really build this company,” she said.

“The relationship with Floor Coverings International grew naturally and it ended up being the perfect fit for us,” said Jose, who along with Jennifer, learned of the franchisor through a recruiter. “Running a small business as a husband and wife team has been fun. We absolutely love it so far.” That’s a far cry from where Jose found himself midway through 2018, six months after he thought all his hard work had paid off when he earned a “huge promotion” to lead and manage a food manufacturing facility with 500 employees and $5.2 million in monthly sales. “I had a realization. Working 15 hours a day, weekends included, and missing dinner with my wife and kids wasn’t worth it. It really wasn’t worth any amount of money” Jose said. “I realized I was sick of working that hard for someone else and just wanted out of the corporate world. Jen and I sat down and decided it was time we do something for ourselves and for our kids. We are both hard-working, smart individuals and decided to take the leap.”

In Floor Coverings International, the couple found a company that has tripled in size since 2005 by putting a laser focus on consumer buying habits and expressed desires, its impressive operating model, growth ability, marketing, advertising and merchandising. Floor Coverings International further separates itself from the competition through its customer experience, made up of several simple and integrated steps that exceed customers’ expectations.

“Floor Coverings International is not just a flooring company,” Jose said. “What drew us in most was how much they focus on the customer experience. Selling beautiful produce was important to us, but really providing amazing customer service that is truly unmatched in the home improvement industry is what sealed the deal for us.”

For more information visit https://carmichael.floorcoveringsinternational.com or call 916-905-5557.


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Centenarian Celebrates Another Year in Carmichael

Story by Shaunna Boyd  |  2019-09-27

Carl Holland, a resident of Aegis of Carmichael Assisted Living, will celebrate his 102nd birthday on October 9. Photo by Shaunna Boyd

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Carl Holland, a resident of Aegis of Carmichael Assisted Living, will celebrate his 102nd birthday on October 9.

During his lifetime, Holland said the world has “completely changed.” When he was born, there were no televisions, “automobiles were just beginning to take their place… there were no airports, no passenger airplanes,” and electricity was only available in downtown areas. “There’s an awful lot of changes,” said Holland, “102 years is a long time.”

Holland was born on October 9, 1917, in a little community called Preston Bend in Red River Valley, Texas. He said the town itself is “no longer there, because they covered that with about 40 feet of water when they put the Denison Dam there across the Red River” between Texas and Oklahoma.

Holland recalled his earliest memory of Preston Bend: “I can remember when I was a year old — and I remember the church, and the hay and feed store.”

His family moved from Preston Bend to Denison, Texas, and then moved to Ada, Oklahoma in 1927 when he was 10 years old. The Great Depression hit in 1929; “Nobody had any money. Everybody had problems,” said Holland.

Then his father, a sharecropper and carpenter, abandoned the family. “He left my mother and me and my two brothers — completely left us. And she had no education… so you can see the situation was pretty bad. … I never did have a father really.”

“I didn’t have a father to turn to,” said Holland. “I decided a long time ago that I wasn’t going to allow my children to be in the same situation that me and my two brothers were in when my father left us.”

His mother eventually became a nurse, working 20-hour shifts and leaving the boys on their own. Holland had to learn independence and responsibility at a young age: “I was the oldest of the three boys. I kind of had to look after my two brothers.”

After high school, Holland worked as a carpenter. He married his wife Elwood on January 1, 1938 and started a family. “My proudest moment was probably when Beverly was born. I remember she was born December the 8th, [1938], and Christmas was the 25th. I got a little Christmas tree… and I set it on the table near where Beverly was, course she didn’t know it at the time. That was my proudest moment, giving my own daughter a Christmas tree.”

Beverly, now 80 years old, fondly remembers him singing her to sleep at night when she was a little girl. “He’s an amazing father.”

In 1939, Holland began his career with Proctor & Gamble in Dallas, Texas. World War II had just started, and Holland’s service was deferred because of the nature of his work: “We were producing glycerin that’s used in dynamite. … So, Proctor & Gamble was controlled, really, by the federal government because they needed the glycerin.”

In 1952, Proctor & Gamble transferred Holland as one of the first employees of a new Sacramento location. The family — which now included two sons, Phillip (born in 1940) and Jim (born in 1948) — relocated to the Sacramento region, and then they put down roots in Carmichael two years later.

Throughout his 35-year career at Proctor & Gamble, Holland was a valued employee and held many roles in the company: “It was easy for me to learn things, and Proctor & Gamble knew that. … I’d go to one department that wasn’t making too much profit, they’d put me in there, and I’d work there until I got it back up to where it was supposed to be. And then they’d transfer me to another department.” Holland was working as the company’s employment manager when he retired in 1975.

Holland’s wife passed away in 2000, but he sees all three of his children frequently. Beverly said, “He came from such a poor beginning, and he worked his way up and he was very self-motivated.” Holland expertly managed his finances throughout his life to ensure that he could live comfortably and that his children would never be responsible for taking care of him: “I think that’s something to be admired. I’m very proud of him,” said Beverly.

“There is no secret to longevity. There just isn’t,” said Holland. But he described the “three phases of life” — the first is being born, and the second is the environment where you’re raised. Holland explained that no one has any control over the first two phases. But as an adult, you enter the third phase, and Holland said “that’s the one that’s important, because then you have control over what happens… and you have to be able to assume responsibility for your own actions. If you can do that, then you’ll have it made.”


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