The Grinch who stole Christmas & Can Something Good Come from Something Bad?

Again this Christmas Past, as happens every year, Loaves & Fishes’ Libby Fernandez sought donations of $5 McDonald’s gift cards as stocking stuffers for homeless Christmas noontime dinner guests in the homeless-services charity’s chow hall. The stockings typically get stuffed with scarves and gloves and treats and are given to the homeless as they leave the diningroom. See request for McDonald’s cards: First bulleted item. Click picture to enlarge. Per always, the $5 cards didn’t make it into the stockings, though in her plea for donations their use as gifts for homeless people to be placed in stockings was specifically stated. [I've written about this in years past in my blog, btw.] Instead, per always, Fernandez diverts them to the warehouse for use as small payments to be made to homeless people who are recruited on the fly to help offload large trucks that come to the warehouse (or who provide quickly needed muscle for other warehouse tasks). This year, however, a benevolent and just God intervened, and the cards are going to homeless people as result of an act of theft (that counteracts an act of theft). Homeless people have been able to buy the donated cards on the street at the price of two for five dollars, meaning the thief (a Loaves & Fishes employee?), or his accomplice, makes five smackers while the […]

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Crocker Sound of Music Sing along [Photos and Video]

On December 26, 2013, the Crocker Museum hosted a sing along to the Roger’s and Hammerstein film the Sound of Music. I attended the  2 PM showing and shot a few photos (while the lights permitted) and then two videos of the sing along. Take a look at how the sing along went.   Three audience members agreed to participate in the yodeling contest.           As subtitles ran across the screen, the audience sang to each of the songs in the movie. Here is a short video featuring a portion of ”I am sixteen going on seventeen” during the singalong. Extensive use of the paddles with images was made during the singing of “Do-Re-Me”. As each of do, re, me, fa, so, la ,te, and do were sung the paddle with the corresponding image was raised. For instance, the paddle for Do had an drawing of a deer on it, re (pronounced, ray) had a sun, and me a mirror and so on. The tempo started out slowly and it was easy to raise the paddles in unison. However as the tempo increased, mayhem ensued with people rapidly raising their hands faster and faster. Watch this short video to see how it went! It was a fun afternoon for all who attended. Due to high demand a second showing was done at 6 PM the same […]

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Placerville homeowner’s Christmas display has an unexpected effect on him

Ron Walters’ goal was to have the most unusual and unique Christmas display; but in the past couple of years he’s been impacted in a way he hadn’t expected. “It’s a very strange endeavor for me because it was always for me just because I liked the fact that I had something that other people weren’t dealing with, but in the last couple of years it’s shifted to community,” Ron said. Listen in on my talk with Ron in his driveway Christmas Eve night. Hear Ron’s story…  

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It’s Christmas Time in the [Old] City

Christmas lights and decorations line the streets and brighten the windows of businesses all over town. Whether you’re enjoying the festive displays down Capitol Ave., admiring the lavishly decorated homes of the Fab Forties, watching It’s a Wonderful Life on the big screen at the Crest Theater, or taking pictures of oversized ornaments on the Christmas tree at the Capitol, it’s clear that it’s Christmas time in the city. But nowhere does the song “Silver Bells” come more to mind than in Old Sacramento. Garlands, lights, and storefront Christmas trees dress the boarded walkways of Old Sac in holiday style as shoppers linger before rushing home with their treasures. Stores on Front and K St. are particularly decked out to set the stage for the annual Theater of Lights production, where crowds gather to help Santa keep the spirit of Christmas alive. Little ones dressed in pajamas can also be seen boarding the Polar Express for a train ride to the North Pole. Enjoy sipping a warm latte while walking along the river and you’ll see that the winter sky puts on a show of its own as the sun sets over the river’s still waters. There’s something about the air in Old Sacramento this time of year. Maybe it’s a feeling of Christmas. Photos © 2013 Bethany Harris

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[UPDATED GALLERY] Fabulous 40s residents continue the tradition

If you have never made it over to the Fabulous-40′s during the Christmas season, you’re missing a real treat. Some of the neighbors may have been taking tips from “Tim-the-tool-man-Taylor” it would seem this year; one resident even has an actual fire engine on the front lawn as part of their creative Christmas display. The neighborhood area known as the “Fab-40′s” is located between Folsom Blvd. and J Street and 40th Street and streets east of that. Of course it’s contagious so you can wander other surrounding streets and find some great displays as well. We’ll continue to add photos to this gallery up till Christmas, so be sure to come back and check for more.

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Sacramento’s Annual Free Sing-Along Messiah Set for December 8

  Sacramento’s 5th annual free Christmas “Sing-Along Messiah” concert is happening Sunday, December 8, starting 4 p.m. at Bethany Presbyterian Church, 5625-24th Street (off Fruitridge Road between I-5 and Highway 99, just 10 minutes south of midtown Sacramento). Free parking is available. Donations of canned or packaged goods for the local food closet will be accepted at the door. To download a flyer or map: www.bethpres.com. There is no charge to participate as a singer or audience member, and free refreshments will be served following the concert. A goodwill offering will be taken midway through the concert. Chief beneficiary of the offering is the South Sacramento Interfaith Partnership Food Closet, which is struggling to provide emergency supplies of groceries to thousands of in-need area residents this holiday season. In the month of October 2013 alone, food was provided to more than 8,000 individuals. Everyone is invited to join in the volunteer choir, which will be led by choral conductors from area colleges and churches. Last year’s combined choir and audience totaled more than 200 people. Participants are encouraged to bring their own musical scores; a limited quantity of Messiah scores will be available for purchase (just $10) at the door. A special feature sets this event apart from other Messiah Sing events: everyone gets to sing the solos. “We are continuing our practice of not […]

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Bikers and pedestrians beware

There are a lot of distracted, intoxicated and inpatient people on the roads. Black Friday is just 2 weeks away and the Christmas crunch is set to start even earlier this year. Pedestrians and bicyclists are being picked off in small groups and singly. Tuesday night, November 19th, a Sac High student was struck by a vehicle at the intersection of Broadway and 4th Ave. in front of United Methodist church. This is that moment that every parent hopes never comes… that moment you see your child (no matter how minor the injuries may be) lying in the middle of the street, police and fire lights flashing all around and your daughter surrounded by firefighters and paramedics. [PSN PublicSafetyNews] CBS13 Reported November 19: Pedestrians hit by car outside Sleep Train Arena after Sacramento Kings Game SacBee Reported November 10- Second passenger dies after Sacramento hit-and-run crash The inattentive or distracted driver is becoming the leading problem behind the wheel today. There are three forms of distraction behind the wheel, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. There is the visual form, being inattentive while the driver may be changing a song on the radio, taking their eyes off the road. There is the cognitive, the drivers out there with something else on their minds, not paying attention. Then there is the manual forum, where […]

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Christmas crafts, art, music and grand openings

The last Second Saturday Art Walk of 2012 contained an assortment of events not only in Midtown and downtown but also in Granite Bay and Folsom. Folsom hosted its 45th Annual Arts and Crafts Fair. Nearly 200 vendors, live entertainment and fun for the entire family was part of the event rescheduled from the week before because of weather. Christmas craft vendors lined the middle of Folsom’s Historic Sutter Street to sell goods suited for children, adults, pets and Christmas gift giving. Businesses were open along Sutter Street as well and visitors were able to enjoy the pubs, restaurants and shopping areas in Historic Folsom. The Folsom Historic District  Ice Rink which had been closed because of the weather was re-opened for guests to enjoy. The rink will be open until Jan. 21 and is open seven days a week. One of my favorite places for art, jewelry, and local crafts is Spanglish Arte. Their new location at 2512 J Street has more than double the space than their last site. The store also has a back patio that was available to house several art stations during Second Saturday. Spanglish hosted a Holiday Bazaar that included holiday food such as pozole, hot chocolate, pan dulce and other items that went well in helping support local artists and vendors. Artist John Huerta brought recently completed paintings […]

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Final Santa’s workshop this Saturday

Skip the crowded malls and bring your wish lists and cameras down to the MARRS Building to visit Santa’s Workshop in Midtown, Sacramento. This Saturday, Santa’s elves will be welcoming the whole family down to capture their holiday portraits with Santa during his final day in Midtown. Attending the workshop is FREE and open to the public. Families will have the opportunity to take their own photos or they can purchase instant photos from the on-site photographer. Children are also encouraged to bring their letters to Santa and place them in Santa’s Mailbox for express journey to the North Pole. This Saturday we will also be having FREE Milk & Cookies available for all the kiddos to enjoy with Santa! Special Thanks to the elves at Mr. Pickles Midtown. Parking will also be FREE during all hours of Santa’s Workshop thanks to the City of Sacramento, who is providing Midtown with FREE Street metered parking on the weekends. (Posted time limits on meters still apply) Santa’s Workshop Days & Hours December 1st – 11am-4pm (12 Days of Midtown Kick Off) December 8th – 11am-4pm (Holiday Toy Drive for WEAVE) December 15th – 11am-4pm (Grateful Dog Daycare’s Pet Day) December 22nd – 11am-4pm (Mr. Pickles Milk & Cookies) Santa’s Workshop Location The MARRS Building – 1050 20th Street, Suite 100 Visit www.exploremidtown.org for more information.    […]

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A visit to Candy Cane Lane

Last night after a party, myself and two friends went on a moonchase. As we left the party, this is what we saw: So we tried to find other vantage points to no avail. The moon was in sinking mode. Luckily we stumbled upon Candy Cane Lane or our spirits would’ve be sunk. During non-Christmas time the streets are really called Mineral Springs Drive and Striker Court, just off Baseline Rd.in the Roseville area: This is in a cul-de-sac with music playing. We were able to play it on the radio prompted by a sign that said to tune into that station!

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