* Announcing a new calender for community culture: Events and Cultural Resources for the Vallejo Arts and Entertainment District... and Beyond [artvallejo.org]
* Poetry on the Rise, with Peter Bray: "Way Too Busy in April" (a wrap up) [link]
* 16 new books about local economics and community building [link]
* Real Money, Real Power: A Report on Participatory Budgeting from Shareable.net [link]
Announcing the distribution of a new weekly newspaper:
The Vallejo Post, available free of charge at the following locations -
* My Homestyle Cafe, 523 Marin St, Vallejo, (707) 552-9090
* Boss Market, 340 Mini Dr, Vallejo, (707) 554-3277 (courtesy of First Amendment Dist.)
For a small selection of Vallejo Post articles, visit their news blog [PostNewsGroup.com/blog/category/vallejo]
Harvest Happens Every Week @ the Vallejo People's Garden
Do you want to pitch in and help? Visit [VallejoPeoplesGarden.org] to find out how!
The harvesters at the Vallejo People's Garden this month.
Rindler Creek Cleanup
with the Vallejo Watershed Alliance, May 17th -
Students from MIT, under the leadership of Doug Darling and Pooja Maharaj, will clean Rindler Creek. VWA members Jennifer and Doug will bring nets, boots, pickers and other tools, and secure a garbage bin from Recology, and bring table setup, refreshments, bags, and cones for safety.
California: Save the bees!
Click here to add your name to this petition, and then pass it along to your friends.
I'm Peter Stocker of the organization Friends of the Earth, and I started a petition to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, which says:
Honeybees, native bees, and other pollinators are responsible for 1 out of every 3 bites of food we eat. Many fruits and vegetables, including apples, blueberries, strawberries, carrots, and broccoli, as well as almonds and coffee, rely on bees. These beneficial insects are critical in maintaining our diverse food supply.
U.S. beekeepers have been consistently losing 40-100% of their hives. Widespread use of a new class of toxic pesticides, neonicotinoids, is a significant contributing factor. In addition to killing bees outright, research has shown, even low levels of these dangerous pesticides impair bees' ability to learn, to find their way back to the hive, to collect food, to produce new queens, and to mount an effective immune response.
Already, 15 countries have imposed a two-year restriction on the use of several of these chemicals. However, the EPA continues to ignore scientists—even those employed by the EPA—and has delayed action until 2018.
We request an immediate moratorium on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides. Bees can't wait five more years—they are dying now. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has the power and responsibility to protect our pollinators. Our nation's food system depends on it.
Europe has already fought back against powerful chemical companies and took a big step to protect bees by putting into effect a ban of the top bee-killing "neonic" pesticides. Now it's our turn!
Bees are critical in producing the majority of our food crops, and the evidence is mounting that Bayer and Syngenta's pesticides are a key contributor to mass bee die-offs. However, the EPA continues to ignore scientists—even those employed by the EPA—and has delayed action until 2018.
But the bees can't wait—and neither can we!
U.S. beekeepers have been consistently losing 40-100% of their hives, and are likely facing yet another season of historic bee die-offs.
We can't let the EPA wait another five years to address this crisis. Please take action today and tell the EPA to ban bee-killing pesticides.
"Improved Graduation Rates for Vallejo City Unified School District"From Vallejo City Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Ramona Bishop (2014-04-29):
June of 2012, the Vallejo City Unified School District's Superintendent and Governing Board were charged by the community to significantly decrease the dropout rate. Today, the California Department of Education released state, county and city graduation and dropout rate outcomes, and the data shows that Vallejo is doing just that!
The Vallejo City Unified School District's graduation rate improved from 60.8% in 2011-12 to 65.9% in the 2012-13 school year, a 5.1% increase, as compared to the state's improvement of 1.3% (CDE Data Reporting Office April 2014).
Similarly, the dropout rate continues to be on the decline from 35.4% in 2011-12 to 29.7% in 2012-13 a decrease of 5.7%, as compared to the state's decline of 1.5% (CDE Data Reporting Office April 2014).
For the past three years, the school district has been focused on achieving goals in the areas of equity, excellence and educational effectiveness. In the area of equity the district in intentional about focusing on "ALL" students. Living in the most diverse city in this nation, it's important to the Superintendent and the Governing Board that improvement is seen at every level. The graduation rate for Vallejo's significant subgroups also improved (CDE Data Reporting Office April 2014):
Subgroup Graduation Rate 2011-12 Graduation Rate 2012-13 Change
* Hispanic or Latino of any race 55.7% 59.6% +3.9
* African American 51.7% 55.0% +3.3
* Filipino, not Hispanic 81.1% 82.5% +1.4
* White not Hispanic 53.2% 71.2% +18
The contributing factor to the district's success includes becoming a Full Service Community School District. This includes ensuring that all classrooms have a rigorous and relevant curriculum through the High School Wall-to-Wall Academies, STEAM Middle Schools and Themed K-8 schools. At each school, Positive Behavior Intervention Supports and Restorative Justice are the systems being used to create positive school cultures. The district has also focused on supporting high school students through the Credit Recovery Program.
When asked about the improvement of the graduation rate, Dr. Bishop praised the hard work of all the teachers and district staff and stated, "Our work isn't done until we have 100% of our students graduate college and career ready!"
"Juneteenth Extends Deadline for Vendors and Exhibitors"
2014-04-29 by Spencer Whitney from the "Vallejo Post" newspaper [http://postnewsgroup.com/blog/2014/04/29/juneteenth-extends-deadline-vendors-exhibitors/]:
Organizers of Vallejo’s 26th Annual Juneteenth Celebration have extended the deadline for vendors and exhibitors to May 16. Vallejo’s Juneteenth attracts visitors from all over the Bay Area and offers lower vendor fees than any other Bay Area city.
Applications are available at [www.vallejojuneteenth.com] or call (707) 322-5748.
“We realize that many nonprofit organizations and small business owners have challenges with funds for community events and we want to give them every opportunity to participate because without them the Juneteenth event would not be possible,” said Angela Jones, president of the African American Family Reunion Committee.
This year, Juneteenth is sponsored by Greater Vallejo Recreation District in partnership with La Clinica so organizers have themed the event, “Promoting Healthy Families and Neighborhoods.”
“We want to help increase awareness about the importance of a healthy lifestyle which includes access to health providers in our community along with many choices for outdoor recreational activities that are available to families in their own neighborhood,” said Jones.
Juneteenth celebrates African American freedom from slavery in the United States and is commemorated across the nation and in other countries, typically on the third Saturday in June.
This year, Juneteenth will be held on Saturday, June 21 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., at City Park, 425 Alabama Street, which has a play structure for children and plenty of green open space with shade for visitors to enjoy the all day event.
In addition to health information and evaluations for diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, there will be live entertainment hosted by Erika Blue from Ozcat radio 89.5 FM KZCT with a variety of music including gospel, R&B, jazz and blues, plus performances by the top winners of the Theta Pi chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity 2014 Talent Hunt.
Younger children can participate in the Home Depot Kids Workshop to build their own crafts. There will also be an artistic expression competition for children and youth, as well as food and merchandise vendors, and consumer information exhibits.
“An event like this doesn’t happen year after year without sponsors and we’re grateful for their support of community events that empower residents to take care of their health, and to help them make important decisions for themselves and their families,” said Jones.
Organizations and businesses that have pledged support include Kaiser Permanente, City of Vallejo, VALCORE, Comcast, Kappa Beta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, The Links Solano County Chapter, KUIC 95.3 and Gospel 1190.
Explore Rush Ranch on a Guided Walk
Saturday, May 17, 10am-11am
SOLANO COUNTY – Come explore Rush Ranch on a fun and educational guided walk with tidal marsh docent Bill Oliver. As you hike, you'll learn more about this wonderful place we call Rush Ranch, including why it is locally loved and nationally famous. Rush Ranch is located near Suisun City on Suisun Marsh, the largest contiguous brackish water marsh remaining on the west coast of North America, and a critical part of the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary ecosystem.
The hike is free and children aged seven and up are encouraged to attend with their grownups. This hike is rated mild to moderate in difficulty level with only slight elevation changes and some uneven ground. There is no pre-registration required. If the weather is uncertain the day of the tour, call Bill at 707-227-9938 to confirm the hike.
Bring water, snacks, sturdy closed-toe shoes, layered clothing and protection from the elements. Binoculars, cameras, sunscreen and insect repellent are also recommended. Guidebooks about birds, other animals, and plants can enhance your experience.
Meet your guide in the brick courtyard and native plant garden, next to the Nature Center exhibit. Rush Ranch is located at 3521 Grizzly Island Road near Suisun City, about 2 miles south of the Highway 12/Sunset Avenue/Grizzly Island Road intersection.
Rush Ranch is owned and operated by Solano Land Trust, in partnership with the Rush Ranch Educational Council, Access Adventure, and the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Learn more at [www.solanolandtrust.org].
Hot House Blues with Steve Freund
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 7pm-10pm
$7/advance and $10/day of show
At the Empress Theatre, 330 Virginia Street, Vallejo. [707.552.2400] [empresstheatre.org].
Guitarist Steve Freund brings his classic Chicago blues sound to Hot House Blues! Guitarist, producer and bandleader Steve Freund, praised by Rolling Stone for his "masterful, no-nonsense guitar work" relocated to the West Coast following 18 years as one of Chicago's most respected musicians and currently lives in Vallejo.
"Steve Freund shines every time he steps forward, playing with sizzling drive, taste, and real creativity." Peter Welding, Downbeat
The Ivory Club Boys @ Armando's in Martinez
Saturday, May 31, 2014 8pm
Armando’s, 707 Marina Vista, Martinez. [925.228.6985] [armandosmartinez.com]
A tribute to the swinging electric violin of Stuff Smith
* Paul Mehling - guitar
* Isabelle Fontaine - guitar/ vocals
* Sam Rocha - bass
* Evan Price - electric violin
* Marc Caprone - cornet
The Hot Club of San Francisco presents a tribute to Stuff Smith's swinging electric violin with their spin-off group, "The Ivory Club Boys." Shamelessly stealing from Stuff Smith's Onyx Club Boys, the Ivory Club features a swinging rhythm section comprised of members of the Hot Club SF. The Ivory Club Boys are a joyous, freewheeling, romp through some great old tunes like you've never heard them before, guaranteed to lift your spirits and make you wanna grab your partner and dance!
Run Boy Run @ Studio 55 in San Rafael
Saturday, May 31, 2014 8pm
$15/advance and $18/door
Studio 55 Marin, 1455 East Francisco Boulevard, San Rafael. [415.453.3161] [studio55marin.com]
The unique sound of Run Boy Run is rooted in the traditional music of the Appalachian South. In recent years, bands like Nickel Creek, Crooked Still, and others have revived a sense of innovation in traditional American music. Run Boy Run continues this journey into music that is dynamic, orchestral, and overflowing with beauty. Three strong female voices weave a spectacular tapestry of sound. Award-winning fiddle cuts a path for a tightly formed rhythmic front. Every arrangement is - at it's core - beautiful.