SOFIA Pilots Present to Standing Room Only Crowd

Story and photos by Trina L. Drotar  |  2018-10-31

“You can learn if you put in the effort,” said Ruth, adding that NASA is a team.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) – A standing-room only crowd of adults, college students, teens, and children gathered Saturday, September 29, at the Aerospace Museum of California, a Smithsonian affiliate, to hear Liz Ruth and Ace Beall talk about what they say is the coolest job in the air – piloting SOFIA, the largest flying observatory in the world. SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) is a modified Boeing 747SP that once belonged to Pan Am World Airlines, was sold to United Airlines in 1986, then sold to NASA in 1997. The plane is stationed at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale, California, not far from where Ruth grew up.

                She is currently the only female pilot to fly the SOFIA as an active observatory. After a career that included serving in the Air Force piloting the T-38 jet trainer and T-43 flying classroom; as flight officer for United on B737-300, B757, B767, and B777 aircraft; raising a family; and serving as a legislative assistant, she returned to the pilot’s seat in 2016 when she joined NASA. She earned her Master of Aeronautical Science degree from Embrey-Riddle Aeronautical University’s McClellan campus and was stationed at Mather Air Force Base.

                SOFIA flies just over 500 mph with a range of nearly 7500 miles. Flight and mission crews are joined by scientists, observers, or educators. Although up to 30 people can be accommodated, that is rare they said. SOFIA’s lineage dates to 1968 when a Learjet was fit with a one foot diameter telescope, replaced in 1975 by a modified Lockheed C-141A Starlifter with a 2 ½ foot diameter telescope. SOFIA was put into operation in 2010, boasts an 8 ½ foot diameter telescope, and flew its first mission in 2011.

                Beall, who didn’t let a technology glitch that interrupted the slide show keep him from discussing SOFIA’s telescope specifications, flew as a space shuttle carrier pilot during much of his thirty five year NASA career. His first ferry flight was in 1984, and the former Air Force T-38 instructor found himself, through a bit of luck of being in the right place at the time, working for NASA and as a pilot flying the T-38 again. Although he retired from NASA in 2005, he kept flying and flew SOFIA until last year when age restrictions took him out of the pilot’s seat.

                Although Beall never flew with Ruth, they both discussed various missions which change nightly. A typical mission, Ruth said, might take her up to Canada and back, then to Mexico and back, then to the East Coast and back. SOFIA crisscrosses the air for the duration of the ten or so hours that crew and scientists are in the air.

                “The flight patterns drove air traffic controllers crazy,” she said, showing a map of North America with what might have passed for a toddler’s scribbles or a Jackson Pollock painting.

                Missions, which begin at sunset and end before sunrise, are driven by the scientists on board. Two or three scientists with specific and different projects each need to be at specific locations at specific times. It is the pilot’s job to make sure that the flight takes off at exactly the right time and arrives at each location at exactly the right time. That isn’t as easy as it might seem. The 2015 Pluto Occultation was an example, as Beall explained, adding that it was sort of like an eclipse

                “The trick was to be in the right place at the right time,” he said. “SOFIA was the only one to get to the center of the occultation.”

                The plane typically flies above the Earth’s water vapor line because the telescope needs to be in dry conditions and permits scientists to study the hidden aspects of space, to learn about the birth and death of stars, and to figure out how it all works, they said. SOFIA uses over 200,000 gallons of fuel per flight and weighs more than one half ton at takeoff. Ruth and Beall responded to many audience questions who wanted to know how SOFIA could be improved, what the pilots eat during the mission, why they wear those uniforms, whether safety belts were used, and how to get on one of the flights as a teacher. “You have to apply,” Ruth said.

                “You can learn if you put in the effort,” said Ruth, adding that NASA is a team effort with jobs in many fields – accountants, public affairs, photographers, mechanics, and is not just for astronauts or pilots.

                Beall suggested finding something you love to do, do a good job, don’t make enemies, and admit when you’ve messed up.

                The lecture, on the heels of the museum’s first teacher night, is one of eight events at the Aerospace Museum between now and Christmas, said Tom Jones, the museum’s director, which include a three day tribute to veterans, a visit by Mad Science, movies, and its newest exhibit, “Our Solar System: An Interactive Journey Exhibit.”

                For additional information on Aerospace Museum of California, visit: https://aerospaceca.org. For additional information on SOFIA, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/SOFIA/index.html.

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - With the election just weeks away, the Yes on Prop 6 Gas Tax Repeal Campaign has released government documents and records showing numerous examples of “epic levels” of waste, fraud and abuse of gas tax funds and other taxpayer resources at Caltrans and local transportation agencies throughout California.

The records and documents were obtained through the California Public Records Act (CPRA) process and cover only materials received back from the CA Dept. of Transportation (Caltrans), local transportation agencies in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County, the Bay Area, and Sacramento. Other local government agencies also receive and spend gas tax funds - raising the question of how many more examples of waste of gas tax funds exist.

“These examples of outrageous waste of the gas tax and other taxpayer resources provide the best reason to vote YES on Prop 6 the Gas Tax Repeal Initiative,” said Carl DeMaio, chairman of the campaign. “Our existing gas tax funds are being wasted and we demand that these revelations of outrageous expenditures be immediately reformed before we give these people any more of our taxpayer dollars,” noted DeMaio.

“These outrageous examples of waste of our gas tax funds is proof that voters cannot trust California government agencies with even a penny more of their money until efficiency and accountability reforms can clean up these excessive expenditures,” said Carl DeMaio, Chairman of Yes on Prop 6 Gas Tax Repeal Campaign. “Voters can send a strong message by voting YES on Prop 6 to repeal the costly and unfair gas and car tax hikes,” DeMaio concluded.

Facts about this massive hike:

–Voting Yes on Prop 6 will repeal the car and gas tax, and ensures that any future car and gas taxes must be approved by the voters
–On Nov 1, 2017, Californians became subject to an additional tax of 12.5 cents more per gallon (20 cents more for diesel)
–Estimates suggest it will cost an average family of four $779 or more per family, per year
–The tax also hits business owners who rely on transporting goods, raising the cost of everything from apples to bread, and everything in between
–Vehicle license fees (car tax) will increase as much as $175 a year - striking the wallets of hard-working families across the state
–The tax revenue goes into the state’s General Fund, meaning there’s zero guarantee the money will be used to actually fund the transportation “fixes”  they claim will happen
–Nearly 1 million signatures were collected to qualify the measure on the November ballot; just over 550,000 were required

For more information go to GasTaxRepeal.org

 

 

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Job demand and hiring trends for the 4th Quarter

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Sacramento employers have slowed hiring with shortages of skills and applicants. However, they continue to seek expansion of workforces in the final Quarter of 2018. Down from sixty-six percent (66%) hiring in the previous three months, Pacific Staffing discovered in direct contacts with top regional employer’s fifty-seven percent (57%) will hire in October, November and December. Twenty percent (20%) of all companies report a lack of applicants as a major challenge.

While top regional employers, contacted by phone between August 23rd and September 21, will cut overall marketplace demand, those seeking workers are still motivated by expansion or growth needs in the workforce. Forty-one percent (41%) will hire for growth in the next three months with replacements within existing workforces accounting for thirty-two percent (32%) of employer demand in the Quarter ahead. Six percent (6%) of Sacramento companies also report some increased hiring for seasonal needs thru the next three months. Only one company polled reports plans to reduce workers with layoffs in Fourth Quarter (Q4) due to market slowdowns.

Seasonal shopping is going to be a gamble as Sacramento retailers polled were split 50/50 on hiring or not in October, November and December. Twenty percent of employers surveyed say simply finding applicants is a major challenge in meeting demands in the Sacramento market. Retention is another challenge. Signing bonuses and incentives like additional vacation or Flex time are being offered in the efforts to keep current skilled, experienced workers at the job and attract talent from outside the area.

One trend in employment and management appears to have lost some of the luster enjoyed in the past decade. When asked in the current booming economy with shortages of skills and applicants if ‘outsourcing’ work overseas is IN or OUT, fifty-eight percent (58%) of all Sacramento companies reported no interest in using it. While some regional employers have ‘outsourced’ and others have not, some are unable to and some forbidden to, outsourcing issues cited included ‘challenges’ in cost, management and additional paperwork in compliance with government rules.

Twenty-four (24%) of Sacramento companies report finding some specific success in utilizing out of market and international resources for printing, design, office or management functions and customer service needs. Skills in top demand for Q4 include drivers, sales, tech, warehouse, shipping and manufacturing. Employers also cite needs for specialized skills including escrow/mortgage, accounting/finance and construction trade workers.

For more information, employment blogs and market surveys go to www.pacificstaffing.com.

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Sacramento County 9-1-1 Centers representing all law enforcement and fire agencies in the region are excited to announce Text-to-9-1-1 service is available countywide.  This means all 9-1-1 Public Safety Dispatch Centers are now equipped to receive and respond to mobile phone Text-to-9-1-1 messages from our citizens.  

Individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing members of the community, or those in a situation where it is too dangerous to dial 9-1-1, will have another option to call for help in an emergency, Text-to-9-1-1. The benefits to our citizens are significant, especially in cases when the caller cannot communicate verbally.  Examples include not only the hard of hearing, but also when a crime is in progress, the caller is facing domestic abuse, the caller is injured and cannot speak, or other scenarios. 

In anticipation of providing this service, we wanted to share some information with you.

Even where text-to-9-1-1 is available, if you can make a voice call to 9-1-1, please call instead of texting

Here are some guidelines for how to contact 9-1-1.  If you use a wireless phone or other type of mobile device, make sure to do the following in an emergency:

•              If you can, always contact 9-1-1 by making a voice call, “Call if you can – text if you can’t.”

•              If you are deaf and hard of hearing and Text-to- 9-1-1 is not available, use a TTY or telecommunications relay service, if available.

•              If you text 9-1-1 and text is not available at that time or in your area, you will receive a bounce back message advising “text is not available please make a voice call to 9-1-1.”

•              Location accuracy varies by carrier and should not be relied upon. Be prepared to give your location.

•              Text-to-9-1-1 service will not be available if the wireless carrier cannot ascertain a location of the device sending the message.


•              Text-to-9-1-1 is not available if you are roaming.


•              A text or data plan is required to place a text to 9-1-1.

•              Photos and videos cannot be sent to 9-1-1. They cannot be received at

the 9-1-1 center currently. 

•              Text messages should be sent in plain language and not contain

popular abbreviations (SMH, LOL, ICYMI) or emojis, which will not be

recognized.

•              Text-to- 9-1-1 cannot be sent to more than one person.  Do not

send your emergency text to anyone other than 9-1-1.

•              Texts must be in English only.  There currently is no language

interpretation for text available.  This is still in development.

 

This is exciting news for our region and we are looking forward to providing this

service to our community.     

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Signs of a New Season

Words and pictures by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2018-11-02

Carmichael friends Yana Sullivan and Allie Olson got creative with pumpkin painting at the Carmichael Farmers Market.  Jason Rose and Pomeranian/chihuahua Sarah won first prize and many hearts with a panda-pooch ensemble.

Market Marks Autumn with Falling Leaf Fest

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - It’s autumn when leaves fall, pumpkins appear on porches and pooches parade unlikely costumes in Carmichael Park.  The Sunday Farmers Market last weekend spiced up business and staged an annual Falling Leaf Festival.

Frivolous fun included a pumpkin dessert bake-off, fire dancing, pumpkin-painting and the October Doggie Costume parade.  For this much-anticipated event, a dozen or more pooches donned Halloween costumes and strutted in procession around the packed market place. A small dog dressed as a taco led the pageant, followed by a huge German shepherd in Deputy Dawg attire. A Dalmatian rigged out as Carmen Miranda, three French bulldogs in drag and a biker pug brought up the rear. Grand marshal and market founder Marie Hall then called each entrant forward to perform party tricks. These consisted mainly of handshakes and the ability to sit, woof on command and sniff out rewards for doing so.

Two winners were chosen by audience acclaim. Runner-up was a caped labradoodle super-hero. A Pomeranian/chihuahua mix in a panda outfit won riotous applause, wolf whistles and first prize. Owner Jason Rose spent $40 on his four-year-old Sarah’s costume and had a feeling his panda pooch had victory in the bag. “Everywhere I went before the parade, people were taking her picture,” said the Arden Arcade tiler.  “Sarah doesn’t do any tricks . She wins just by being adorable.”

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Californians Who Missed Traditional Deadline another Opportunity to Register to Vote                 

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG)  - There is a new option for Californians who missed the October 22 deadline to register or update their voter registration for the November 6, 2018, General Election. A new option known as conditional voter registration allows eligible citizens to register and vote on the same day, today through Election Day. 

“There is a new opportunity for California citizens who missed the voter registration deadline — conditional voter registration,” Secretary of State Alex Padilla said. “If you missed the regular voter registration deadline you may not be able to vote at your local polling place or by mail, but you still have an opportunity to cast a ballot. Between now and Election Day, you can go to your county election office or a designated satellite location to complete the conditional voter registration process by filing out a voter registration card and a ballot. Once county elections officials complete the regular voter registration verification process, your ballot will be processed and your vote will be counted. This is yet another step we are taking to expand voting rights in California.” 

“If you are unsure of your voter registration status, you can quickly check it at voterstatus.sos.ca.gov,” Padilla added. 

Voters in Madera, Napa, Nevada, Sacramento, and San Mateo counties can access conditional voter registration at any Vote Center in their county. These counties are adopting the Voter’s Choice Act. To learn more about the Voter’s Choice Act, visit: http://voterschoice.sos.ca.gov

Source: California Secretary of State 

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Most do not fully understand the influence of the billionaire class on our elections—many times more than Russia or China put together.  Before voting in the midterms it might be wise to assess what billionaire influences you support.

Liberal news outlets, which are all the major networks except Fox News, and some radio talk shows, want followers to know that the Koch brothers, Charles and David, unduly fund Republican Party candidates and causes on the right side of the political spectrum.  Liberal newspapers include almost all big city newspapers and most major national news magazines.  

Conservative news outlets often fail to mention the Koch brothers and speak only of George Soros as the big funder for most liberal outlets.  Neither mentions the other, leaving the impression that only the other is buying elections.  Candidates cross and crisscross America with alms bowls in hand begging the mega-rich to buy them.

First let us consider George Soros.  His money, exceeding $32 billion, is targeted for influence and political power over this nation and the world—all directed to the far left side of the political spectrum and the globalization (code for world government) of the world.  Prominent among his myriad of well-funded socialist organizations are: ACORN, the Tides Foundation, Sojourners, The Quantum Fund, and Media Matters.  Some of these organizations operate in other countries, as for example, The Open Society Institute (spends 425million a year on socialist causes) and Friends of the Earth, designed to build support for an international network of organizations dedicated to the environment.  The Center for American Progress schedules their “experts” for talk show events even developing talking points for them.  The Apollo Alliance played a major role in the development of the Stimulus Bill in 2010.  The American Constitution Society defends far-left interpretations of the Constitution.  And, MoveOn.org organizes action alerts to followers via the Internet.

No other one person, outside deceased David Rockefeller’s Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Trilateral Commission (organizations remaining the most powerful special interest groups in the U.S.), each also promoting the left and world government, has as many organizations as combat ready and as highly financed, as does George Soros.  He hosted fundraisers for President Obama and made numerous visits to the White House.  There is reason to believe that Soros greatly influenced the Obama presidency on: The Stimulus Bill, Cap and Trade, opposition to the extension of the Bush tax cuts, and banking reform.  

Even now he is believed to be financing the communist/socialist/anarchist Antifa, the hundred or so demonstrations against President Trump the past two years, and the present impeach Trump and Brett Kavanaugh demonstrations.  Most of the “yellers” in the Kavanaugh Supreme Court hearings and those pounding and scratching the doors of the Supreme Court to force unlawful entree, just days ago, are believed to be funded by him.  Still, the left side of the political spectrum fails to see this as threatening and dangerous to our republic.

Now for the Koch brothers, Charles and David, who built Koch Industries making it one of the largest privately held corporation in American.  Their semi-annual summits attract the candidates, who discuss policy, and likeminded donors.  “Freedom Partners is the central hub for the Koch-backed network that includes groups like the activist-recruiting Americans for Prosperity, the millennial-targeting Generation Opportunity and the Hispanic-wooing Libre Initiative. Taken together, the Koch-endorsed groups make up a political machine that raises and spends more money than any other republican outlet.

Democrats accuse Koch-backed groups of airing tens of millions of dollars in negative ads against incumbent Democratic lawmakers in the past and of helping the Republicans win a majority in the Senate.  They also accuse them of funding the Tea Party movement—a charge without foundation.  As far as we can document the Koch brothers have not funded demonstrations, street violence resulting in property damage, or confrontation with police and followers do not wear face coverings to hide their identities, like Antifa.

Obviously funding candidates and founding organizations pushing ideology is the game of some billionaires on both sides.  The candidate with the most money and publicity usually wins and the rich, by their funding, select contenders long before the people vote.  Some may argue, since both sides are doing the same thing that it is, in this respect, fair.  But both parties project the image that only the other party invites billionaire influence.

This columnist, however, is unable to find the right side of the political spectrum, funding a single riot, or “yeller” dragged out of a committee hearing for disruptive behavior, or mob activity in the streets blocking traffic or damaging automobiles, or driving out of restaurants conservatives (even Senator Cruz) dining with their spouses, or cornering senators in elevators threatening them if they do not change their vote , or attempting to force entree into the Supreme Court.  None!!  So although billionaire candidates and organizations dominate both political parties there remains quit a difference.

So the question is, what billionaire buys your vote?  One problem, however, is that since the media personnel haven’t themselves, as a group, voted less than 80% for a Democrat in the White House for the last 50 years, most Americans only hear about the Koch brothers as buying elections.

Dr. Harold Pease is a syndicated columnist and an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He taught history and political science from this perspective for over 30 years at Taft College.  Newspapers have permission to publish this column. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.

 

 

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HOPE Raises Funds for Affordable Counseling

Story and photo by Shaunna Boyd  |  2018-10-31

(L-R) River City Brewing Company owners Steve Cuneo and Beth Biro celebrate at the Hops for HOPE fundraiser with Darlene Davis, executive director of HOPE, and HOPE board members Margaux Helm, Susan Armstrong, Ann Leber, and Shannon Dickson.

HOPE Raises Funds for Affordable Counseling

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - The second annual Hops for HOPE fundraiser was held on October 4 at Carmichael’s Milagro Centre, hosted by River City Brewing Company and HOPE. Community donations help support HOPE’s mission to offer affordable counseling sessions to those in need and allows the organization to train new therapists to serve the community.

The owners of River City Brewing Company, Steve Cuneo and Beth Biro, are happy to support the mission of HOPE. “We’ve known Darlene [Davis, executive director of HOPE,] a long time. We did HOPE’s fundraising event last year, and we’re happy to do it again. The event brings attention to the Milagro Centre and raises money for an important local cause,” said Cuneo.

Davis said that most of the staff members of HOPE weren’t able to attend the event because they were busy in counseling sessions; evenings are prime time because it is more convenient for clients to meet after work. But Davis was happy to see in attendance many prior employees who worked for HOPE during their training and are now licensed therapists in private practice.

Traci Bianchi-Templin, now a licensed marriage and family therapist, described her time working at HOPE, stating, “Darlene was a wonderful supervisor, and it was so rewarding to serve the community, be part of a family, and help train the next generation of therapists. It was a wonderful experience to address the community’s mental health needs while working in such a supportive environment, which is why I still support the organization.”

HOPE board member Shannon Dickson knew Davis from their involvement in the MFT Consortium, which offers stipends to students seeking advanced degrees in mental health higher education. Dickson explained why she was compelled to join the board of HOPE: “As a psychologist, I am interesting in ensuring that mental health services are affordable and accessible, and HOPE does that.”

When Davis asked Margaux Helm to join the board, Helm was already very familiar with the organization and knew that HOPE is an important part of the community because of both the affordable services and the training of future therapists. Helm used to be the director of WEAVE, and “we would need alternate places to refer people, and HOPE offered affordable services.” Helm also taught at California State University Sacramento in the graduate counselor education program and helped coordinate student internships at HOPE.

Helm revealed that Davis was recently awarded the Distinguished Clinical Member Award from the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. “She’s a great therapist, and a great leader, and she won’t brag about it,” said Helm.  

Not all attendees were previously familiar with HOPE’s mission. Carmichael locals Peter and Kitti Ruttan bought tickets at the door on the evening of the event. “We saw it in the paper and thought, ‘Well, we can give to a charity and drink beer,’ so we just decided to do it,” said Peter Ruttan.  

Kitti Ruttan was interested in attending specifically because it was a fundraising event. The Ruttans just recently moved to Carmichael, and Kitti Ruttan said, “After moving to a new community, I think it’s important to get involved and give back to the community.” They are especially cognizant of the necessity for affordable mental health services because both of their children have struggled with mental health issues.  

Davis thanked everyone in attendance for their support, and commended the donors for their generosity. She also had a special message of thanks for the members of the board, who “have helped grow HOPE to what it is today.” Davis hopes to expand the fundraiser next year with a raffle and live musical entertainment to increase turnout.

For more information about HOPE, or to donate directly to the organization, visit their website at www.hope-counselingcenter.org.

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Hawaiian Chieftain Returns to Sacramento

By Zachary Stocks  |  2018-10-31

The historic vessel to offer tours and sails at Old Sacramento, Nov 1 - Nov 24
Hawaiian Chieftain, photo by Rick Horn

The historic vessel to offer tours and sails at Old Sacramento, Nov 1 - Nov 24

Hawaiian Chieftain, photo by Rick Horn

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - History will come alive in Sacramento this October as
the tall ship Hawaiian Chieftain makes her return trip to town. The tall ship, part of the Aberdeen-based nonprofit Grays Harbor Historical Seaport, sails the waters of the Pacific each year along with its companion vessel Lady Washington, offering educational programs, free deck tours, and sailing trips.

From November 1st through the 24th, Hawaiian Chieftain will be docked at Old Sacramento, (1210 Front St.). On weekdays schools can reserve a trip aboard the tall ship for the Historical Seaport's one-of-a-kind maritime heritage field trip Voyage of Explorers. On weekday evenings and weekends the tall ship is open to the general public for stationary dockside Vessel Tours for a $5 suggested donation. Hawaiian Chieftain can also be Chartered for private events including weddings and workplace team builders.

The steel hulled Hawaiian Chieftain was launched in 1988 in Lahaina, Hawaii. Together with Lady Washington, the tall ships are among the most active educational boats in America, visiting approximately 40 ports each year. The tall ships offer a glimpse into our historic past, introducing people of all ages to the sights and sounds of 18th and 19th century maritime life.

Grays Harbor Historical Seaport is an educational non-profit based in Aberdeen, Washington. In addition to school programs and public sailing, the tall ships are also active sail training vessels. Anyone over age 16 is eligible to join the crew through the Two Weeks Before the Mast volunteer sailing program. Those pursuing a career in the commercial maritime industry can also consider enrolling in the Historical Seaport's Sea School Northwest, a job training program to provide knowledge and mentorship for professional maritime fields.
 

If you're ready to run away to sea, or want to know more about the tall ships and their programs, please visit www.historicalseaport.org.

 

Sacramento Schedule: Public Tours (Weekly) Tuesday - Friday, 4:00 - 5:00 ($5 suggested donation) or Saturday, 10:00 - 1:00 ($5 suggested donation) VESSEL TOURS UNAVAILABLE: November 10 (Saturday) and November 17 (Saturday)

The vessel will be docked at Old Sacramento, 1210 Front Street, Sacramento CA 95814. For directions and schedule information, please call (800) 200-5239.

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