Sunday, June 23, 2013

News and info for June 25th, 2013

Info from "Rush Ranch hosts astronomic event" by "Vallejo Times-Herald" []:
SUISUN CITY -- An event at Rush Ranch will give some answers to those with astronomical questions. The free event will start at 7:30 p.m., July 5, with a short presentation by Jim Jerrell, a local astronomy enthusiast. The presentation will be followed by a telescope viewing at dark, provided by Rush Ranch. Personal scopes and binoculars are welcome, but owners will be responsible for their set up. Attendees also should bring warm clothing and mosquito repellent. Flashlights should be covered with red cellophane, and late comers should dim their headlights. The event is sponsored by the Rush Ranch Educational Council and The Solano Land Trust Rush Ranch is near Suisun City, about 2 1/4 miles south of Highway 12 on Grizzly Isle Road. For more information call [707-689-2639] or visit [].

* Interpretive Hike: Getting the Rush ~ Every 3rd Saturday ~ 9am—11am docent guided hike over easy trails. Discover rare marsh plants, their delicate ecosystems, and see a myriad of avian and other wildlife while learning about local human history. Meet at ranch map on eastern wall of Nature Center.
* Blacksmith demonstration ~ every 3rd Saturday, 10am - 1pm ~ skilled docent, Virgil Sellars, displays traditional blacksmithing skills using authentic tools and equipment in the ranch’s historic blacksmith shop.
* Volunteer Improvement Day ~ every 1st Saturday at 9am ~ join our Land Steward Ken in taking care of seasonal chores and maintenance at the ranch. Bring your gloves and meet Ken in the courtyard.
(Photo by Tom and Steffini Muehleisen)

Info from "State could give $6.3 million to Solano open space projects" by Barry Eberling from "Fairfiled Daily Republic" []: The California State Wildlife Conservation Board will meet in Sacramento to consider state funding for open space and conservation projects, including three in Solano County whose request for funding totals $6.3 million, including a $2.8 million boost to the Solano Land Trust’s drive to buy Rockville Trails Estates. The Land Trust already owns 330 acres of this hilly land near Rockville Hills Park. Now it is trying to raise $13.5 million to buy the remaining 1,170 acres by a July 31 deadline. Another project would help preserve two properties in Suisun Marsh through purchases made through the nonprofit California Waterfowl Association, which involves former, private duck clubs within the 116,000-acre marsh, the largest contiguous estuarine marsh on the West Coast of the United States. “The purpose is to protect waterfowl habitat and wetlands habitat in the marsh and manage it at its highest quality,” said Jake Messerli of the California Waterfowl Association. Migrating waterfowl use the properties. Such rare creatures as the California black rail and salt marsh harvest mouse could live there, according to a state report. The association would offer hunting programs and educational programs.
(photo by John Lord

Info from "Diverse Solano, Napa agencies to seek 'Common Ground'" by Lanz Christian Bañes from "Vallejo Times-Herald" [].
Common Ground brings together about 15 churches and nonprofit institutions that pool resources to whittle away at community problems and is a nonpartisan organization in the pattern of the Industrial Areas Foundation's Sacramento Valley Organizing Community, a larger nonprofit that works to develop local groups like Common Ground. About 1,500 people of various faiths and national communities had signed up for the convention, which was held Sunday, June 23rd, at St. Patrick-St. Vincent High School. For more information, email [], or call [916-494-1603].

Info from "Tribal council added to fair's Cultural Pavilion" by Rich Freedman from "Vallejo Times-Herald" [].
Vallejo Inter-Tribal Council (VITC), already a steward of indigenous culture for nearly a generation, has been accepted into the Cultural Pavilion at the Solano County State Fair, joining the Solano County Black Chamber of Commerce, Solano Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Filipino community members. The Solano County Fair runs July 31-Aug. 4. For more information, visit

Info from "Words alone can't describe Juliano's quest for Vallejo" by Rich Freedman from "Vallejo Times-Herald" [].
Kristy Juliano is inviting Vallejoans to join her in positive meditation behind the Vallejo library on the first Saturday of each month, to promote a 'positive energy' about the city. "There's no leaders, nobody telling anyone what to do", said Juliano, a 59-year-old lifetime Vallejoan. "I'll just be present, in prayer, in meditation, in silence," she said. "Whoever is called to come and be in that moment with me and whoever else shows ... all the more powerful. Some just don't know what they can do or where they can start," said Juliano, saying that yes, she is aware of bad things that happen here. "I acknowledge it, but I don't invest in it," she said. "It doesn't label my experience in Vallejo. Of course, it's sad. Those kinds of negative Advertisement things are happening and that people are on that kind of journey in their lives effects us all. How can it not? But we need to create something that counteracts that."

Info from "Pow-Wow gets OK to move to Solano Community College" by Rich Freedman from "Vallejo Times-Herald" [].
Vallejo Inter-Tribal Council and Solano Community College agreed to hold the event on campus in the summer of 2014. The drumming, the dancing, the beads, the feathers and about 4,000 visitors will migrate north, said council spokeswoman Midge Wagner. Wagner said higher fees and a new pay-to-park lot makes it difficult to keep the event in Vallejo. Meanwhile, she added, Solano Community College has inquired for several years to bring the Pow-Wow to Fairfield. Wherever the Pow-Wow landed, "we wanted to keep it in Solano County. There's no other (Native American) cultural event here," Wagner said. The Pow-Wow, she noted, "helps bring awareness to the Native culture. That's what our goal has been." The Vallejo event, added Wagner, has been "very successful" in offering authentic food, jewelry, song and dance. "It's not commercial as much as other Pow-Wows," Wagner said. The event is especially beneficial for non-natives who possibly stereotype Native Americans, said Wagner. "Maybe they can come to learn and understand that not everyone lives in teepees," she said.

Info from "Public input sought on Solano County budget" by Melissa Murphy from "Vacaville Reporter" [].
Solano Board of Supervisors conducted a public hearing at the County Government Center in Fairfield on Monday, June 24th, which gave Solano residents the option to add their views on the county budget for fiscal year 2013-14, whose recommended budget for next fiscal year is about $852 million, and which is balanced with a combination of money from state and federal revenues, fees for services, transfers from reserves and fund balance carryover from fiscal year 2012-13. The proposed budget contains significant growth in public safety and health and social services, a result of implementing the county's expanded roles in the supervision, prosecution, defense and housing of offenders and the delivery of health-care and social service programs. Additionally, the recommended budget proposes to add 151.3 full-time employees, primarily to address the expanded roles from the 2011 realignment in public safety and behavioral health and carrying out provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare. That would bring the county's total budgeted positions to nearly 2,733. The full recommended budget is available online at [].

Info from "A rescue for Richmond's underwater mortgages?" by Carolyn Said from "San Francisco Chronicle" [].
A radical new program is being proposed as a way to help struggling homeowners that could lead the city to use eminent domain to seize underwater mortgages and restructure them to keep families in their homes.
Beleaguered by the foreclosure crisis, Richmond is on the verge of pioneering the use of eminent domain as a tool to seize and restructure loans on underwater homes, slashing many thousands of dollars off their principal. It's an untested approach fiercely opposed by banks, which say it's an illegal use of power that threatens mortgage lending and property rights. Richmond's City Council voted 6-1 in March to partner with a San Francisco firm, Mortgage Resolution Partners, as an adviser on the plan. MRP would line up investors to lend Richmond the money to acquire the mortgages and then would help refinance them into Federal Housing Administration loans, earning a flat fee of $4,500 per mortgage. Other local governments, including San Bernardino County and the city of Salinas, have considered working with MRP, but backed down under the threat of legal action from banks.

"UNDERGROUND RAILROAD: Making a Break for Freedom During the Era of Mass Incarceration"
Announcing the Newest Release from the "BRINGING DOWN THE NEW JIM CROW" Radio Documentary Series! Michelle Alexander, author of "The New Jim Crow", points to A New Way of Life Re-Entry Program in South Los Angeles as a model for the kind of bold initiative needed to build what she calls a “new underground railroad” — a network of families, faith communities, and organizations dedicated to providing desperately needed support and love to those newly released from prison.
Listen here: [].
This 29-minute radio documentary weaves together the voices of Michelle Alexander, Susan Burton (founder of A New Way of Life), and five residents of this remarkable re-entry program for women, showing the human face of those our society stigmatizes as “criminals” and illustrating the essential role of the emerging “new underground railroad” within the growing movement to dismantle the U.S. system of mass incarceration.
After cycling in and out of the criminal justice system for nearly 15 years, Susan Burton gained freedom and sobriety and founded A New of Life Reentry Project in South Los Angeles. Ms. Burton opened her doors to other women returning home from prisons and jails, offering shelter, safety, leadership, and support to those seeking to rebuild their lives. Her story of perseverance in overcoming overwhelming odds and her dedication to the service of others is an inspiration to women across the United States, particularly formerly incarcerated women and those recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.
Susan Burton and A New Way of Life have caught the attention of Michelle Alexander, acclaimed author The New Jim Crow, the best-selling study of the U.S. system of mass incarceration. Alexander points to Susan Burton's reentry program as a model for the kind of bold initiative needed to build what she calls a "new underground railroad" -- a network of families, faith communities, and organizations dedicated to providing desperately needed support and love to people at risk of incarceration, families with loved ones behind bars, and people returning home from prison.
This radio documentary weaves together the voices of Susan Burton, Michelle Alexander, and five residents of A New Way of Life, seamlessly incorporating plaintive music and insightful narration. The story shows the human face of those our society stigmatizes as "criminals," "felons," and "offenders," and sheds light on the tremendous hurdles they face upon release from prison, including the most basic and fundamental tasks of securing housing, work, and sobriety. The show features interviews and ambient audio recorded on site at A New Way of Life Reentry Project, and ties the emergence of the "new underground railroad" to the overarching movement to end mass incarceration.

Monday, June 10, 2013

News & Info for June 11th, 2013

2013-06-05 "Direct Deposit The Public Banking Institute says there's a way to build a stronger and more resilient local economy" by Leilani Clark from "Northbay Bohemian"

2013 Poverty Summit in Sonoma County

2013-06-08 "Where is everyone at the concerts?" by Barbara Gaea of Vallejo to the editor of the "Vallejo Times-Herald" []: 
%@& is everyone??!" That persistent thought is so overwhelming at the Children's Wonderland FREE summer concerts that it's almost hard to concentrate on the show. There is a palpable sense of embarrassment when I've gone the last few years. The music is fantastic, there's a nice blend of shade & sun; benches and plenty of grass for blankets and picnics! It would be a nice destination after the farmer's market. PLEASE spread the word -- this is a wonderful gift from Vallejo G.V.R.D. that seems to be the best kept secret in town! Second Saturday of each month through summer:
* June 8 (today) - Dalt Williams Quartet
* July 13 - San Francisco Scottish Fiddler's Orchestra
* Aug. 10 - Raymond Victor & band
* Sept. 14 - David Harris & the Voltones
They're at Children's Wonderland Park from 1 to 3 p.m., 360 Glenn Ave. For more info: 648-5317.

Information from 2013-06-08 "Vallejo schools offer free summer meals" by Lanz Christian Bañes from "Vallejo Times-Herald" []:
Vallejo City Unified School District is again bringing back its summer lunch program, which for the last dozen years or so has served tens of thousands of meals during the hot months between terms.
The free meals begin at most of the 20 sites on June 13, immediately after school lets out for the summer. Any child living in Vallejo who is 18 or younger can take part in the program. No identification is necessary.
All 20 sites will serve lunch, four will serve breakfast and one will provide an afternoon snack.
"We extended our breakfast site programs to four sites this year from two last year," Braverman said.
The sites range from Patterson Elementary School in South Vallejo, the Cunningham Pool in the east and the Continentals of Omega Boys and Girls Club in North Vallejo. Last year, the program gave away 48,000 meals. The menu has been modified this year to include new nutritional changes mandated by the federal government. The program is federally funded and was not endangered by the across-the-board "sequester" cuts earlier this year, Braverman said. Braverman underscored the importance of the free summer meals in Vallejo by noting that the rate of district students qualifying for the federal free and reduced lunch program increased to 70 percent this year.
For more information about the Free Summer Meals, call student nutrition at (707) 556-8921 ext. 50010.
All students 18 or younger welcome to eat for free. Unless noted*, services run noon to 1 p.m., Mondays through Fridyas, June 13 to Aug. 16, except for July 4.
* Amador Street Hope Center, 929 Amador St.
* Community Presbyterian Church, 2800 Georgia St.
* Kyle's Temple AME Zion Church, 912 Florida St.
* Marina Vista Apartments, 201 Maine St.
* Mission Terracina, 2700 Tuolumne St; * snack, 3 to 3:30 p.m.
* Continentals of Omega Boysand Girls Club, 1 Positive place; *breakfast served 88 to 8:30 a.m. June 13-Aug. 16
* Patterson Elementary School, 1080 Porter St.
* Sereno Village, 750 Sereno Drive
* St. Mark Community Church, 45 Ninth St.
* St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1300 Tuolumne St.
* Union Baptist Church, 128 Encerti Ave.
* *Antioch Church of God in Christ, 21 Antioch Drive, June 17 to Aug. 2
* *Cunningham Pool, 801 Heartwood Ave., June 17 to Aug. 16
* *Vallejo Community Center, 225 Amador St., June 17 to Aug. 16
* *Vallejo High School Ninth Grade Academy, 1347 Amador St., 11:30 a.m. to noon, Monday through Thursday, June 17 to July 30; breakfast at 8 to 8:30 a.m.
* *Bethel High School, 1800 Ascot Parkway, 11:30 a.m. to noon, Monday through Thursday, June 17 to July 30; breakfast at 8 to 8:30 a.m.
* *Dan Mini Elementary School, 1530 Lorenzo Drive, noon to 12:30 p.m. June 24-25; breakfast at 7:45 to 8:15 a.m.
* *Dan Foley Cultural Center, 100 Setterquist Ave., June 24 to Aug. 16
* *North Vallejo Community Center, 1121 Whitney Ave., June 24 to Aug. 16
* * Vallejo Educatioin Academy, 301 Farragut Ave., noon to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday, July 1 to July 25

Community Calender:

June 15th & 16th
Northern California Pirate Festival 
[] []
Vallejo Waterfront Park
Saturday & Sunday 10am to 6pm
featuring 500 costumed actors, crafters and musicians. Part Mardi Gras, part State Fair, part living history! Ozcat radio will be there with Wendy Wilkinson, giving out 250 copies of her special pirate history book, "Pirates Plunder"!!

Saturday 10:00 AM to no later than 4:00 PM
Warehouse located at  1567 Alvarado Street, San Leandro, CA 94577
near the Oakland airport and across the street from the backside of the San Leandro BART station.
If you are bringing donations to the warehouse that day please deliver before 1 pm. Earlier is better.
Tie, rubber band, or bag shoes together. They lose one another in transit.
The debate over redistribution of wealth has continued since man inhabited the planet. The redistribution of stuff people no longer need appeals to all sides of the debate. Bring your friends, family and surplus, and...
Join us for our next packing party on Saturday, June 8th! Thanks to the generosity of Stop Hunger Now, we have the use of a very user friendly warehouse and over 20,000 packages of rice (120,000 meals) to pack, along with all the clothing, shoes, blankets and stuff donors no longer need.
 Packing will start at 10 am and conclude no later than 4:00 pm. Click here for List of Recommended Items to Donate. We have cultural sensitive monitors at the packing party. So, if in doubt bring it. No more ski boots, however.
 Please let us know if you can join us. Click here to RSVP and let us know how many people you will be bringing: []

Out of Pocket Artistry!!
Opening reception:
SATURDAY June 22, 2013 Time: 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Leadership Vallejo: Out of Pocket Artistry Art Expo
On display: Expression through art by Vallejo's youth
Location: McCree-Goudeau Gallery [930 Marin Street, Vallejo]
Mentored by Goodie Goudeau , Jose Martinez, and OZCATs own Ryan Wilson, Grace Martin, & Parker Martin

25th Annual

Vallejo Juneteenth Celebration
"On Their Shoulders We Stand"
Saturday, 11am to 6pm
Behind JFK Library [505 Santa Clara st.], at Martin Luther King, jr. Park.
Free and Open to the Public!
Info from 2013-06-09 "Juneteenth reaches 25-year milestone" by Rich Freedman from "Vallejo Times Herald" newspaper []:
The program consistently attracts more than 2,000 visitors, said event spokeswoman Angela Jones, “and we expect as much or better attendance this year” because of the silver anniversary.
Juneteenth “is a day of celebration and a day to remember how African Americans suffered, persevered and survived a very brutal and shameful time in our nation's history,” Jones said. “Juneteenth reflects how our ancestors reacted when they received the news of the Emancipation Proclamation.”
Freedom launched the “entrepreneurial spirit,” Jones added, “when slaves who had been carpenters, masons, blacksmiths, seamstresses, cooks, maids and field hands turned their trades into livelihoods.”
Another important message, Jones said, is that access to good health became vital, which is why various health care organizations and resources are at Juneteenth.
“We also want to make sure that education is a component of the celebration because opportunities for quality education are absolutely essential to growing, successful, productive citizens,” Jones said.
Entertainment is a key to the 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. festivities, with appearances by Ozcat's Erika Blue, Darrell Edwards and the Heavy Weather Band, Lovell Crumby, Tracy Cruz, Chondra Renee, The Midnite Band featuring Matt Applin, Trilogy's Soul Line Dancers, Thai Nicole, and Hot Ice featuring Naomi Smith.
Also new this year is the Best of Solano County Baking contest with contestants whipping up their best peach cobbler and pound cake, “traditional desserts in African American culture,”
Jones said.  Though the event is considered “an African American family reunion,” it's also for others to experience, Jones said. “Non-African Americans should attend because it will help them gain a new or better appreciation of our heritage and to realize that while we may look different on the outside and we may enjoy different kinds of food and music, on the inside we're all the same and that's something to celebrate.”

2013-06-27 "Plastic Health Harm: Affects on Your Body and the Global Community"
FREE EVENT! Wheelchair Accessible.
Thursday, 7pm - 9pm  
Ecology Center [] [2530 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702] [] [510-548-2220 x233]
Consumer plastics are ingredients in our daily lives that carry a hidden, global story through their production, use, and disposal. Sorting through the news about health harm, there can be too much information or not enough, leaving it unclear how to respond. How do plastics affect our bodies? How do plastics affect people's health around the planet?
Join us for a special conversation with experts Dr. Marion Guyer and Monica Wilson about common bad actors like phthalates, PVC, BPA, flame retardants, and VOCs and their associated health impacts. How do the many types of plastic that we encounter differ in their toxicity? What factors contribute to disease? How can workers in plants be affected? Monica Wilson, the US and Canada director of Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), will examine the toxicity problems associated with reprocessing plastic waste and the impacts that plastic incineration has on frontline communities around the globe. Hear about organizations and legislative initiatives taking action on the worst chemicals and how measures such as Extended Producer Responsibility can reduce plastic packaging and the sources of harm.
The Ecology Center is a membership organization providing environmental information and direct services to promote sustainable living and a healthy, socially just world. Please support this community resource for the environment by becoming a member or making a donation. Support our work on-line at