‘Blue Star Museums’ Free to Military Personnel and Families

By Traci Rockefeller Cusack, T-Rock Communications  |  2019-06-13

A U.S. Air Force F-4 McDonnell Douglas Phantom II at the Aerospace Museum of California. Photo courtesy of the Aerospace Museum of California.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Seven Sacramento area museums are participating in Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and more than 2,000 museums across America by offering free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families now through Labor Day (September 2), 2019.

The seven local museums participating in Blue Star Museums include the following: Aerospace Museum of California, California Automobile Museum, California Museum, Crocker Art Museum, Fairytale Town, Powerhouse Science Center and the Sacramento History Museum.

First Lady of the United States Melania Trump and Second Lady of the United States Karen Pence are honorary co-chairs of Blue Star Museums 2019. This year’s participating organizations include fine art, science, history, and children’s museums, as well as zoos, aquariums, gardens, and more.

The free admission program is available for those currently serving in the United States Military –

Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard as well as members of the Reserves, National Guard, U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps, and up to five family members.

Qualified members must show a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card for entrance into a participating Blue Star Museum.

Before planning a visit, guests are encouraged to contact the individual museums for hours of operation and note some are normally closed on Mondays and in observance of holidays such as Memorial Day and Labor Day.

For more information or a complete list of participating Blue Star museums, please visit https://www.arts.gov/national/blue-star-museums. For more information about upcoming activities offered by Sacramento area museums, “like” them on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SacMuseums, follow them on Instagram and Twitter @SacMuseums or visit the user-friendly website at www.SacMuseums.org.

About Blue Star Families
Blue Star Families builds communities that support military families by connecting research and data to programs and solutions, including career development tools, local community events for families, and caregiver support. Since its inception in 2009, Blue Star Families has engaged tens of thousands of volunteers and serves more than 1.5 million military family members. With Blue Star Families, military families can find answers to their challenges anywhere they are. For more information, visit bluestarfam.org. Follow Blue Star Museums on Twitter @NEAarts and @BlueStarFamily, #bluestarmuseums.

About the Sacramento Area Museums (SAM)
Comprised of 30 greater Sacramento area museums working in partnership with Visit Sacramento, SAM’s mission is to raise awareness of local museums by giving the community the opportunity to discover California’s fine art, history, science and wildlife treasures. SAM achieves its mission through implementing cooperative promotions and developing strategic marketing alliances, by encouraging sharing of knowledge and resources among its partner institutions. For more information, visit
www.SacMuseums.org.

*Some museums closed on Memorial Day (Mon., May 27, 2019) and Labor Day (Mon., Sept. 2, 2019); please check participating venues for holidays and hours.

Donate Three, Non-Perishable Food Items and Get in for Free

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - As part of its ongoing community giving efforts, SMUD is sponsoring Giving Mondays at the Fair, an effort to collect needed items for the Elk Grove Food Bank. SMUD Giving Mondays at the Fair will accept three non-perishable, non-expired items per person in exchange for a free ticket into the California State Fair before 3 p.m. The first 5,000 people in the gates will also receive a free drawstring backpack.

“This partnership is a great way to give back to those in our community who need it most,” said Rhonda Staley-Brooks, SMUD’s community development manager. “Last year, this effort collected 28,000 pounds of food, and this year we hope to surpass that. It’s these types of community efforts that help lift up our entire community and we’re glad to be a part of it.”

SMUD Giving Mondays at the Fair will be on Monday, July 15th and Monday, July 22nd. Visit the booth by the Blue Gate to drop off your food items and receive a free ticket to the Fair.

The Elk Grove Food Bank is in need of the following items: Canned Meat (Chicken or Tuna), Peanut Butter, Disposable Adult Briefs, Ensure, Baby Diapers, Socks – All Sizes, Canned Fruit, Canned Veggies, Soup, Beans, Mac and Cheese, Pasta, Boxed Mashed Potatoes, Packaged Rice, Top Ramen and Cereal.

For more information about SMUD Giving Mondays at the Fair, visitcastatefair.org/smudgivingmonday, and to learn more about SMUD’s community giving, visit smud.org/en/in-our-community.

As the nation’s sixth-largest community-owned, not-for-profit, electric service provider, SMUD has been providing low-cost, reliable electricity for more than 70 years to Sacramento County and small adjoining portions of Placer and Yolo Counties. SMUD is a recognized industry leader and award winner for its innovative energy efficiency programs, renewable power technologies, and for its sustainable solutions for a healthier environment. SMUD’s power mix is about 50 percent non-carbon emitting. For more information, visit SMUD.org.

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Food Festival Passes on High Demand, More on Order

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - California State fairgoers appear to be hungry for more excitement, as this year’s brand new Fair Food Festival Pass sold so fast, that more were ordered even before the Fair opened its gates. The California State Fair & Food Festival officially opened this morning at 10 a.m. with big crowds, eagerly awaiting to get in.

“We’re so thrilled Opening Day was such a great success; it’s fun seeing so many people and families out having a good time, and of course, eating at our 100 food booths.” said Rick Pickering, Cal Expo General Manager and CEO. “We’ve worked hard to make this year’s State Fair the best yet – a fair for all Californians up and down the state. The food festival and the new Food Festival Pass are just part of what we have in store for the next two and a half weeks.”

The Food Festival Passes have been so popular that more have already been ordered for visitors to the fair in the weeks to come. People who purchase the Food Festival Pass can select four items from more than 30 different food vendors – including appetizers, entrees desserts, and more – all for only $28, (a $40 value). Nearly 30 food vendors created new food items for this year’s State Fair. A list of what you can get can be found here.

The Food Festival Pass can be purchased at the State Fair Box Office, Guest Services or at select State Fair Souvenir Shops. Food Festival Passes purchased online are picked up at the State Fair Box Office, prior to entering the Fair. It can be used by anyone, any day of the State Fair. The California State Fair & Food Festival runs through July  28th at Cal Expo.

Fairgoers are also encouraged to visit the website at CaStateFair.org or download the CA State Fair app where they can map out all of their eating adventures. 

The California State Fair is an international award-winning fair, receiving top honors at the International Association of Fairs and Expositions out of more than 1,100 fairs world-wide. The California State Fair is dedicated as a place to celebrate the best the state has to offer in agriculture, technology and the diversity of its people, traditions and trends that shape the Golden State's future. We invite you to join us for the 166th California State Fair, July 12-28, 2019. 

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First Annual Capital Creative Showcase

By Nathan Allshouse, Sacramento Developer Collective  |  2019-07-15

Showcasing Video Games and Art from the Capital Region

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Sacramento Developer Collective is proud to announce the first annual Capital Creative Showcase event, featuring ‘women in games’ coming to the West Sacramento Community Center on Saturday, September 7th, 2019.

The theme for our inaugural event is “Women in Games” and will include speeches and panels featuring Michelle Hill from 2K Games and Coraly Rosario from Scopely. There will also be panels on women in esports and the business of game development, featuring Aryn Rozell from NRG SF Shock and Donna Walters and Carrissa Darby from Sacramento State’s Stingers esports club, as well as Kelsey Coffman from Bay Area Women in Games, Ashley Silva-Howe from EA Capital Games, and Kara Greenfield from Midnite Lunch Studios. The keynote speech will be delivered by Laura Good, co-founder of Startup Sac.

The event will spotlight the 2019 cohort for our premiere Progressive Game Jam program including the games Evocus: The Summoner’s GameBike Route: SacramentoThe Lonely ZombieSpace Uber, Zexa Xeza Warrior Princess of the Cosmos, and Luminous Flux. Meet the teams behind these games and get an exclusive chance to play them before they release.

Our showcase will also feature the capital region’s indie video game developers, artists, and creative talents including Lucre Games, Tronix Productions, Just Ice Cold, Byte Me Games, Double Dog Games, Agilapathy, Midnite Lunch Studios, Andrew Davis Digital, Dawn Pedersen, Zach Winn, Olsisax Art, and many more.

General admission is $15 online, $20 at the door on the day of the event. Kids 12 and under are free. To purchase tickets, and for a complete and updated list of participants in this year’s event, check the event website at www.capitalcreativeshowcase.com.

Sacramento Developer Collective is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation formed in 2018, and was founded in 2007 as a Meetup.com group for Sacramento video game developers. Our mission is to grow the video game developer industry in greater Sacramento, and to support the overall creative economy. We host many events including educational workshops, the Sacramento Global Game Jam, the Progressive Game Jam, and community gatherings. Our website is www.sacdevcollective.org. Follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagramMeetup.com, or LinkedIn.

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California State Fair Announces Food Festival Competition Winners

By Sabrina Washington, Cal Expo  |  2019-07-15

Best of Show: Bacon Pecan Cinnamon Roll - Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls. Photo Courtesy of CA State Fair

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) – The California State Fair held its inaugural Food Festival Competition on Saturday, July 13. With 30 food vendors participating in the competition, judges tasted more than 30 items and gave out awards in five categories: Side, Dessert, Fruity, Fried, and Entrée. There were two Best of Division winners, and one ultimate Best of Show winner.

The top prize went to Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls for their Bacon Pecan Cinnamon Roll.

Any of these food items can be purchased with the Food Festival Pass. For only $28, the buyer receives four tickets which can be turned in to any participating Food Festival stand for the Food Festival item.

For its first year, the Food Festival has been a success. The Food Festival Pass sold so well that it had to be reordered before the 2019 CA State Fair opened. Click here to purchase a Food Festival Pass. Below is the full list of winners.

Best of Show
Bacon Pecan Cinnamon Roll - Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls

Best of Division - SAVORY
Elote Fries - Sharky’s

Best of Division - DESSERT
Bacon Pecan Cinnamon Roll - Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls

SIDE
Gold:
Roasted Chicken Taquitos - Pepe's Pollo Vaquero
Elote Fries - Sharky’s

Silver:
Italian “Alps” Nachos - Pignotti’s Gourmet Snacks
Loaded Tator Tots - Golden Bear Grill

Bronze:
Frik’n Vegan Nachos - Frik’n Vegan
Orange Chicken Fries - Pon's Chinese Food

DESSERT
Gold:
Cookie Dough Sundae - Pizza
Bacon Pecan Cinnamon Roll - Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls

Silver:
Chimney Cake Cone - Chimney Cake Cones
Cotton Candy Bunny - Sweet Art Cotton Candy
Oreo Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwich - Monster Cookies

Bronze:
Oreo Sundae - Suck It Up
Spicy Chocolate Covered Bacon - The Bacon Habit
Unicorn Kettle Corn - German Kettle Popcorn

FRUITY
Gold:
Mangonada Shaved Ice - Shaved Ice

Silver:
Strawberry Pineapple Shortcake Sundae - California Ice Cream Company
Ice Cream in a Pineapple - Ice Cream in a Fruit

Bronze:
Green Monster Smoothie - Country Fair Cinnamon Roll
Passionate Pineapple Smoothie - Ice Cream in a Fruit
Pina Colada Smoothie - Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls

FRIED
Gold:
Deep Fried Caramel Apple Pie - J & L Sweeties

Silver:
Deep Fried Chicken Skins - Eat at Joe’s
Milo’s Monster Corndog - Milo’s 

Bronze:
Deep Fried Banana Hot Dog - Hot Doggin'
Deep Fried Fanta - Sweet Cheeks Fried Treats
Pizza Funnel Cake - Pennsylvania Dutch Funnel Cakes
Jalapeno Corndog - Rainbow’s End/Candytown
 

ENTREE
Gold:
Burnt Tri Tip Ends Sandwich - Eat at Joe’s

Silver:
Beef Taco Salad - The Original State Fair Soft Taco
Chicken or Carne Asada Taco Plate - Fiesta’s Mexican

Bronze:
Vegan Philly Cheesesteak - Frik’n Vegan
Grizzly Mac Attack Mac & Cheese - Montana Q BBQ
Hot Cheeto Chicken Burrito - Chili Peppers
Cap’n Crunch Chicken Sliders - Boss Burger

The California State Fair is an international award-winning fair, receiving top honors at the International Association of Fairs and Expositions out of more than 1,100 fairs world-wide. The California State Fair is dedicated as a place to celebrate the best the state has to offer in agriculture, technology and the diversity of its people, traditions and trends that shape the Golden State's future. We invite you to join us for the 166th California State Fair, July 12 - 28, 2019.

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Eppie’s Race is Back On

Story and photo by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2019-07-11

Great American Triathlon organizers are business partners Ken McGuire (left) and Dan Niccum.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Businessman Ken McGuire last year feared was the end of an era when the “final” Eppie’s Great race was announced.

Co-founder of Innovations Health Systems – a network of heath-centered services and facilities in the Bay Area – McGuire (52) never actually competed in the annual event.

“I felt it was too great a tradition to let die,” he explains. “People came here from all over the USA to compete. Eppie’s was a boost for our national profile. We Sacramentans talked about the great race in the same conversation as Kings Basketball games and the California International Marathon. It helped charities. For all sorts of good reasons, keeping Eppie’s alive seemed critical.”

Now, thanks to McGuire, the world’s oldest triathlon has not quite ended, after all. Steered by the Sacramento businessman, the contest that the late Eppie Johnston began in 1974 has new branding. From the starting gun July 20, and for future summers, it will be run as The Great American Triathlon. The endurance epic will again follow the American River Parkway in foot, bicycle and kayak stages. While benefitting charities, it will endure as one of our area’s great summer events.

Via many meetings and phone calls, McGuire persuaded major Eppie’s supporters to keep paddling. In January, Sacramento County gave approval for the new parkway event.

Capital City Road Management will continue to manage the race. Former volunteers have rallied, and more than 20 companies have agreed to co-sponsor. McGuire’s business partner, Carmichael resident Dan Niccum, is onboard for brand development.

The new race will continue restauranteur Eppie Johnston’s philanthropic drive that raised more than a million dollars for non-profits over 48 years. “Our fundraising for the American River Parkway Foundation and children’s health charities is important,” confirms McGuire. “We hope to write big checks for good causes. But above all, we want to maintain a community event that defines summer in Sacramento.”

The world’s oldest triathlon will set a cracking pace through the accustomed river stretches of Arcade, Carmichael, Fair Oaks and Rancho Cordova. Starting line is at William Pond Park. Athletes will follow a six-mile route to the Guy West Bridge near CSUS, and then grab bikes to pedal 12 miles to the beach below Sunrise Boulevard (Fair Oaks). There is no swimming stage; contestants will board kayaks, brave the San Juan Rapids and follow the river downstream to Rancho Cordova. Thousands of supporters, onlookers and volunteers traditionally cheer athletes through all stages. Après-race celebrations will include live music, food trucks and a beer garden beside the River Bend Park finish line.

Entry in the Great American Triathlon costs $40 for athletes 18 and under; $150 for adult competitors; junior relay is $110; adult relay is $225. Tandem water craft admission is $300. Contestants may use rented kayaks. For information, go to www.greatamericantriathlon.com

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Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain Prepares for Fall Opening

Story by Shaunna Boyd  |  2019-07-11

A rendering of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain. Image provided by Zimmerman Agency

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Opening this fall as Hard Rock’s first Vegas-style casino in California, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain recently announced its top-tier executives. “I’m very impressed with the caliber of experience of our executive team. They have over 200 years of combined gaming experience,” said Mark Birtha, president of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain. “We attracted very capable individuals from around the country.”

“This is the best team I’ve ever been a part of in my entire career. They are all experts in their fields,” said Birtha. “We’re a beacon for the area. Wheatland might not have been on their radar, but now they are excited to build long-term interaction with the community.” The executives will all be relocating to the Greater Sacramento Region and will be working on site in Wheatland every day.

Christopher Balaban, vice president of finance, has an MBA and over 20 years of gaming experience in Las Vegas, Florida, and the Bahamas. In addition to prior VP of finance roles, he led hotel and food and beverage operations, giving him a diverse operational background.

Ryan Flieger, vice president of human resources, has worked with Hard Rock since 2012. He held leadership roles at hotels in San Diego and Las Vegas, and he worked on several Hard Rock expansions. Flieger has experience in talent acquisition and retention, training, and culture setting.

Anika Gaskins, vice president of marketing, has an MBA and was recently the VP of national marketing for MGM Resorts as they opened a new $1 billion casino property. Gaskins has worked in various marketing roles in casinos from Canada to Las Vegas, developing marketing initiatives and increasing revenue.

Paul Mollo, vice president of table games, has almost 40 years of gaming experience and has been working with Hard Rock for more than a decade. Mollo used his expertise to help HBO Productions create authentic scenes of casino gaming on “The Sopranos”.

Matthew Morgan, vice president of information technology, has more than 20 years of experience in gaming technology. He has an MBA, and he has worked in Las Vegas and in local casinos Red Hawk and Thunder Valley. Morgan focuses on bringing mobile products to the casino market.

Will Provance, vice president of slot operations, has more than 20 years of leadership experience in restaurants, entertainment, hotel operations, and casino gaming. He has an executive certificate in customer-driven marketing, an MBA in international hotel and tourism management, and a Master of Science in hotel administration with a concentration on gaming.

Kaywan Samadani, vice president of hospitality, has worked at casinos in Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, Missouri, and Ohio. Samadani has extensive restaurant and casino hospitality experience — working as a chef, director of food and beverages, director of hospitality, and VP of casino services.

Birtha said they will be taking occupancy of the administrative offices, kitchens, security offices, and surveillance and storage areas in early July. Then they’ll start moving in the furniture, equipment, and gaming tables. “Everything is on schedule and on budget,” said Birtha. “Our company has had that vision to stay focused.”

Hard Rock also just launched a social gaming app: Hard Rock Social Casino. “It’s a way to engage loyal Hard Rock followers and allow them to interface with the casino before it opens,” said Birtha. The free “social casino” will give people a taste of the gaming experience on their smart phones, tablets, or computers. Payment is not required to play, and winners earn virtual credits. Players can select Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain as their casino for the chance to win real-world prizes and promotions to use when the casino opens this fall.

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain advertising campaign is also launching soon, with large outdoor billboards, social and digital marketing, and TV and radio ads. Birtha said, “This will be our formal introduction to the region, from Tahoe to San Francisco.” Birtha was also proud to announce some of Hard Rock’s local partners: Toyota Amphitheatre, Sacramento River Cats, Sac Republic FC, and Golden 1 Center.

Birtha said that Hard Rock has a “philanthropy of social engagement” and is committed to hiring local people and building partnerships with local vendors to bring in produce, wine, and art. For information about upcoming hiring and vendor fairs, visit www.hardrockhotelsacramento.com.

 

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SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - The County Board of Supervisors will provide $1 million through the 2019 TOT Grant Program to support nonprofit organizations located in Sacramento County that carry out community-based programs and/or services in the areas of economic and workforce development, arts and culture, community development, or health and human services. The County began setting aside funding for this purpose in 2017.

Grants will be allocated through a competitive process and applicants must meet eligibility and funding requirements. Applications will be accepted online beginning July 26 through the County’s Office of Economic Development with a deadline of August 26, 2019.

Funding for the TOT Grant Program will come from County Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) revenues. Transient Occupancy Taxes are levied on guests who occupy rooms in hotels, motels and other temporary lodging accommodations in the unincorporated area of the County.

2019 TOT Grant Program Application Dates & Details

Grant DEADLINE: August 26, 2019, 5 p.m.

Grant Application Period

July 26 – August 26, 2019

All applications and documentation requested in announcement must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on August 26, 2019; Online Applications Only: all applications are only accepted electronically: Apply online beginning July 26; Duplicate and incomplete applications will be disqualified; Applicants will receive electronic receipt notification upon submission.

Grant Program and Application Workshops – 827 7th Street, Community Room

July 24, 2019 at 5:30 – 7 pm

July 26, 2019 at 11:30 am – 1 pm

General Overview of the Grant Program and Process; Application Writing - What the Evaluation Panel Looks For; Review of Timeline and Submission Information; Frequently Asked Questions.

Grant Application Review Period

August 27 – September 3, 2019      

Budget & Debt Management staff will review applications for completeness and compliance with minimum eligibility requirements. Applicants will be notified electronically if proposals meet the minimum qualifications and moved to the evaluation process. Qualifying organizations will receive the Board of Supervisors Hearing schedule where final recommendations and approval will be made in October 2019.

September/October 2019

Subject Area Expert Panel Application Review: Subject area experts will review, evaluate, and rank qualifying applications and may contact organizations with follow-up questions.

Grant Program Hearing Notification: Applicants will receive a second electronic notification of schedule for the Board of Supervisors Hearing where recommended award selections will be made.

Grantee Award Approval

November 2019

The Board of Supervisors will make the final determination and approval for all TOT Grant Program recipients.

Budget & Debt Management will notify applicants of funding selections within five business days of Board Hearing approval. All notifications will be made electronically.

Budget & Debt Management will draft and administer agreements between the County and grantees.

For more information about the grant program, visit the TOT Grant Program website.

 

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SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - This press release is a summary of the facts known at this time, as this incident is actively being investigated. The information contained in the press release is subject to change. Additional details will be released as they become available.

On Friday, June 28, 2019, agents from the FBI Office in Atlanta, Georgia and detectives from the Sacramento Police Department arrested 59-year-old Mark Manteuffel on multiple charges related to three separate incidents that occurred between 1992 and 1994 in the City of Davis, the County of Sacramento and the City of Sacramento.

The arrest came after a collaborative and extensive investigation with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, the Davis Police Department, the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, Yolo County District Attorney’s Office, FBI – Sacramento Field Office, and the Sacramento Police Department.

The Sacramento Police Department encourages any witnesses with information regarding this investigation to contact the Sacramento Police Investigations unit at (916) 808-0650 or Sacramento Valley Crime Stoppers at (916) 443-HELP (4357) or submit an anonymous tip using the free “P3 Tips” smartphone app. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward up to $1,000.

The Mission of the Sacramento Police Department is to work in partnership with the Community to protect life and property, solve neighborhood problems, and enhance the quality of life in our City.

 

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