Thursday, May 26, 2005

Deaf student from Suisun City 'speaks' at college graduation

From Fairfield Daily Republic May 26, 2005

Angelena Gayle, left, and Annemarie Villar, right, sign the pledge of allegiance during their graduation from SCC. (Photo By Lynn Larsen/Daily Republic)

Audrey Wong
Staff writer,
Fairfield Daily Republic

ROCKVILLE - Silence was never golden for Annemarie Villar.

Born profoundly deaf, Villar, 25, struggled with reading in her Solano Community College classes. English isn't her first language, American Sign Language is.

"When you hear, you can pick things up fast," Villar said in sign language to the SCC graduating class of 2005.

Not having the sense of hearing hindered Villar in some ways. But that didn't stop her from earning her associates degree and certificate in business administration for administrative assistant.

Being deaf didn't hinder Villar from earning a standing ovation either. Villar was the student speaker in Wednesday's commencement ceremony where more than 800 students from Solano County received their diplomas.

Knees shaking, Villar rubbed her hands carefully before launching into her speech. She signed as her teacher Anne Bevilaqua interpreted.

The Suisun City resident told the packed auditorium how scared she was when she first attended SCC because she didn't know anybody. But she met people, made friends and learned new things.

Silence isn't golden, Villar said. She needed an interpreter in her classes to serve as her ears. Her classmates learned some sign language so they could help her.

Instructors helped give her confidence and ambition, Villar said.

"Anne Bevilaqua, I call her my bulldozer," Villar said. "She pushed and shoved me to succeed."
Bevilaqua sobbed in the middle of signing when Villar credited her for helping her finish school.

During her speech, Villar also gave the audience a taste of the deaf world.

"We have our own slang and our own humor," Villar said. "I have lots of fun with my deaf and hearing friends."

She taught the audience how deaf people clap by raising their hands up and waving them. Villar also touched her lips and pointed her hand to the crowd to show them how to say "thank you."
Afterwards, Villar said she plans to attend California State University Sacramento to learn how to be an American Sign Language teacher.

"I want to tell deaf students keep on trying, keep on trying," Villar said. "Study, study."

Reach Audrey Wong at 427-6951 or at

City of Suisun welcomes Wal-Mart

From the American Canyon Eagle, a publication of the Napa Valley Register

Cash-strapped city looking forward to sales tax revenue
Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Eagle News Editor

While a proposed Wal-Mart Superstore in American Canyon grinds through a lengthy political and legal battle, the retail giant is unveiling new proposals in the North Bay.

The city of Suisun last week announced plans for a mixed use project that includes 650,000 square feet of retail space to be anchored by a Wal-Mart Supercenter. The cash-strapped city hopes the tax revenues generated by retailers will provide a big boost to city services.

"Securing this project will result in much needed sales tax revenue for Suisun City to fully fund police and fire services, and to help maintain and upgrade streets, parks and other infrastructure, including our senior center and community facilities," said Mayor Jim Spering.

According to the California Retail Survey, in 2004 Suisun City lost more than 70 percent of potential sales tax revenue to other communities due to the lack of retail options in town. This project is viewed as a remedy to that problem.

The 71-acre retail center will be the first of its kind in Suisun City and will include a mix of tenants. The Gentry Project, named after the property's owner, will also dedicate 17 acres for roughly 359 single-family homes and 70 acres for open space.

The first step in the project is to annex the land, located between Highway 12 and Cordelia Road at Pennsylvania Avenue, which is currently county property.

The Suisun Wal-Mart store is the second Supercenter planned for that portion of Solano County. Last year the city of Fairfield announced plans for a Supercenter on North Texas Street, roughly three miles from the proposed Suisun store.

In December a California appeals court took the city of Bakersfield to task for approving two planne

Monday, May 23, 2005

Royals change residence, have Suisun City neighborhood buzzing

Aleta George
Special to The San Francisco Chronicle
Saturday, May 21, 2005

The bees lived here first. They inhabited a small piece of this old Victorian house in Suisun City when I moved in six years ago, and they were here when my husband bought the house 20 years before that. Who knows, maybe they arrived with the original tenants in 1870 when fruit orchards covered these valleys and hay scows snaked through the Suisun Slough on their way to San Francisco.

I live in harmony with our backyard bees. I weed while they collect nectar from the purple coneflowers six inches from my face. They seem gentle, quiet and hardworking -- the profile of perfect tenants. Until this year, they occupied the wall of the old carriage house in our backyard, a small building converted into apartments years ago, through two half-inch holes. However, this year, the bees decided to increase their real estate holdings and build a new home where a pipe comes out of the wall.

In late February, I watched the bees grow in number until they literally poured out of the wall, covering the perimeter of the hole with thick, throbbing bee fur.

I wasn't home the day they swarmed, but my tenant watched it from her upstairs window and didn't like what she saw. "Thousands of them filled the backyard and they looked scary and mad," she told me the next day.

Her fear rubbed off on me. What if they attacked someone? Were we in danger? What if the walls bulged with honey until they cracked open and spewed liquid amber into the rooms? Bees don't pay rent; tenants do. Maybe it was time to get rid of the bees.

Turning first to the Yellow Pages, I found that the cheapest and easiest way to get rid of bees is to gas them for $300. But I didn't want to do that. I don't even use chemicals in my garden, and I squirm when an earthworm gets chopped in half by my shovel. The next step involved finding a bee remover. I found one who said he'd tear open the wall and remove the hive and queen for $1,000-$2,000, with a discount if I provided my own ladder. Gee.

I learned more by reading two timely articles in The Chronicle. In one (March 19), a Yemen-born beekeeper said that it is a lucky and wealthy person who has a beehive on their property. The second article (March 28) said that vampire mites, Varroa jacobsoni, are killing off the nationwide bee population by 80 percent, and that this is a huge problem for almond growers. I love almonds.

Going to the Web, I learned that bees are ancient creatures, found embedded in 40 million-year-old fossils. Native to Europe, Asia and Africa, honeybees (Apis mellifera) first came to America with colonists in the early 17th century, but, stymied by the Rocky Mountains, they didn't make it to California until the '49ers brought them by sea. My bees are likely Italian honeybees, Apis mellifera ligustica, so they must like the tomatoes and basil I plant each summer.

I learned that a swarm isn't a vindictive gang of bees out to kill, but simply a colony on the move. When too many bees occupy a hive, the queen lays an egg for a new queen. The old queen splits, and her entourage follows her undirected flight. The queen has almost no navigational abilities, so the swarm flits this way and that. Why she can't ask for directions from her more experienced traveler subjects, I really can't say. Eventually the hive finds a new home, sometimes only feet from the old hive.

As luck would have it, I have a friend who's an amateur beekeeper. Susanne lives in the hills where she plucks eggs from chickens, spins wool from spring lambs and gathers honey from hives. However, last year her bees ran off, and now she's interested in mine. She came over for a closer look.

Arriving in her white bee suit, she zipped herself into her mesh bee hat, pulled on her gloves and climbed the ladder. She stoked a wisp of smoke into the hive to calm the bees and listened to the hive through the wall with a stethoscope.

Susanne said that sometimes you could coax the old queen and her followers into a box with a few honeycombs thrown in. We decided to try to force a swarm by sticking duct tape across the two small holes of the original hive. They fussed and worried over the 6--inch-square piece of double-thick duct tape, and within an hour, they removed it and threw it to the ground. Forget that idea.

Frankly, the more I learn about our bees, the less I want to get rid of them. My flowers depend on them, as does the old orange tree next door. Besides, although a few service-providing males live there, a hive is mostly made up of hard-working girlfriends. Why would I want to make life difficult for them?

"They can stay for now," I told my husband.

"Good," he said. "They lived here first."

I'm willing to share, though. Next time they pour out of their hive and start to swarm, Susanne will try to coax the old queen over to her house. It's quiet in the country, and they'll have a nice view of Suisun Valley. After all, shouldn't every queen have a summer home?

E-mail freelance writer Aleta George at

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Car show features classics to cutting edge

By Ian Thompson
Fairfield Daily Republic

SUISUN CITY - Some of the most popular classic cars in automotive history will converge Saturday on the Suisun City waterfront when the Golden Hills Mustang Club hosts its show.

Although dominated by Mustangs, cars built as far back as 1928 will be on display, vying for show awards, according to the organizers.

Participating vehicles in the show will be eligible to get participants' choice awards based on their appearance.

More than 80 cars, running from a 1928 Ford Model A to this year's Mustang models, are registered for the event. Music will be provided by DJ Joe LaTona of Awesome Classic Sounds.

People who want to enter their Ford, Lincoln or Mercury vehicle must be at the show between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. The cost to enter a car is $25. The actual show starts at 10 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m.

A portion of the event's proceeds go to the Child Assault Prevention Project. For more information, call Dennis Vontaine at 452-1422.

The Golden Hills Mustang Club was founded in 1982 to preserve the legacy of the Ford Mustang and has put on their car show for 21 years.

Its 90 members recently adopted the Downtown Suisun City Park 'n' Ride to keep the public facility clean and well maintained. The group has already held one clean-up day, bringing not only brooms and shovels, but their Mustangs as well.

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or at

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Suisun picks developers for Main Street project

By Ian Thompson
Fairfield Daily Republic

SUISUN CITY - Suisun City developer Miller-Sorg and Basin Street Properties of Petaluma will be the team Suisun City leaders will negotiate with to make the master developer for the city's Main Street West project.

"It is a very good partnership for Suisun," Mayor Jim Spering said of the development team which he hopes will restart efforts to economically revive downtown Suisun City.

The joint proposal by Miller-Sorg and Basin Street beat out three other proposals from firms that included The Wiseman Company, San Francisco developer Roger Snell and Signature properties.

If negotiations with Miller-Sorg/Basin Street fall through for some reason, Spering stated a proposal made by residential developer Signature will be the next option.

Suisun City leaders met with the candidates for the last month to see who best fit their vision for redeveloping several large and small parcels on both sides of Main Street.

The city put forward the Main Street project late last year to jump-start economic development efforts that had faltered due to a lack of private business interest.

The details of the Miller-Sorg/Basin Street proposal will be hammered out over the next few months.

The city committee that made the choice was looking for a project that was both fiscally feasible for the Old Town area and that could be economically sustainable. Spering stated the city was impressed by the idea of creating an anchor project that would attract smaller business developments to feed off the anchor project's success.

Basin Street has already collected kudos for a similar project on the south side of Petaluma's downtown that saw $10 million invested to build a theater complex and a host of retail shops and restaurants.

This in turn spurred development of more housing, retail businesses and offices in the blocks around it.

Miller-Sorg chief Mike Rice was particularly lauded by Spering and Councilwoman Jane Day as "a hometown boy" who both understands Suisun City's needs and has contributed a lot to the community.

Rice stated he went after the partnership with Basin Street because of the firm's successful track record with commercial development "that brings in something unique."

In other business, the city council finally agreed to sell its property on Twin Sisters that overlooks Suisun Valley to Jelly Belly owner Herman Rowland for $2,392,000.

Suisun City tried to sell the property for several months since it decided to use proceeds from the sale to help replenish the city's deficit-laden general fund.

Resident George Guynn asked by the amount was so small since the city had initially stated it expected to get about $5 million.

Spering replied that the sales price was very close to the assessed value and that the market was not there to get a higher price for the land.

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or at

Suisun City lauds plans as 'super'

Wal-Mart Supercenter is part of a development project that also includes 359 new homes.

By Barbara Smith
Vacaville Reporter Business Writer

A major housing and retail development anchored by a Wal-Mart Supercenter is proposed for Suisun City - a project city officials are lauding as the beginning of the end of the waterfront town's money troubles.

Described as a "gateway" location with a regional draw, the project would be built on about 170 acres of unincorporated land known as the Gentry property at Highway 12 and Pennsylvania Avenue.

San Mateo-based Highland Development proposes to build roughly 650,000 square feet of retail space. Concord-based Silverwing Development plans a residential community of 359 single-family homes on about 17 acres.

The developers hope to break ground in 2007, but the land must be annexed into the city and the proposals run through the mandated process, including public review.

That lengthy process didn't diminish Suisun City Mayor Jim Spering's celebratory mood Tuesday as he announced the deal.

Spering said the state budget crisis has had an impact on his city. The retail center with Wal-Mart and accessory retailers will provide in coming years the funding the city needs.

"This project has been in our general plan for more than 20 years, and is finally becoming a reality," a beaming Spering said to business and civic leaders in a crowded council chamber.

The retail center is expected to more than double sales tax revenues for city coffers, said Randy Starbuck, the city's economic development director. Suisun City now collects roughly $800,000 a year sales taxes at point of sale, Starbuck said.

The basic statewide sales-and-use tax (7.25 percent) is divided between the state, local transportation fund, and local jurisdictions. According to the state Board of Equalization, Suisun City has the lowest sales tax revenue of any Solano County city, as well as one of the lowest per-capita sales tax revenue rates in the state.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., based in Bentonville, Ark., announced in October 2004 an aggressive expansion plan involving up to 45 of its flagship discount stores and will wind up with 240 to 250 supercenters in the United States by the company's next fiscal year, Feb. 1.

Wal-Mart often is targeted by community groups and smaller businesses opposed to the huge retailer being in their town. One such example is in American Canyon. A controversial supercenter is moving forward
there despite continued opposition including lawsuits.

Meanwhile, the company plans to expand its 100,000-square-foot store in Dixon into a supercenter in early 2006. In Fairfield, a proposal to build a supercenter in the mostly-vacant Mission Village Shopping Center on North Texas Street is undergoing review, as well as opposition from the community.

But in Suisun City, Spering and Police Chief Ron Forsythe consider such a store a veritable windfall.

Budget cuts have eliminated six of 28 positions in the police department, and some officers are working 20 hours a day, said Forsythe.

Also, Suisun City needs a second fire station, he said.

"We've all (been told) to hang in there a little bit longer and wait for the better tomorrow," Forsythe said. "The better tomorrow is finally coming."

Sean Quinn, Fairfield's director of planning and development, said two Wal-Marts in adjoining cities can probably be supported, but there will be impacts.

David Sommer, president and chief executive officer of the Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce, said such a large project will be not just an exciting boost for Suisun City, but for the region.

"This is a great opportunity for our city to get ahead of the game," Sommer said.

Kevin Loscotoff, regional manager of community affairs for Wal-Mart, said the 185,000 square-foot supercenter will create more than 400 jobs. He said the supercenter in Stockton is the first and so far only supercenter operating in Northern California. The store recruited to fill 500 positions, but received about 3,500 applications, Loscotoff said.

"These are valuable jobs that are desired out in the community, and fulfill a real need," he said.

Barbara Smith can be reached at

Suisun City officials give Wal-Mart a warm welcome

By Matthew Bunk
Fairfield Daily Republic

SUISUN CITY - Wal-Mart has targeted the outskirts of Suisun City as a prime place for a supercenter, and city officials say it's about time.

Unlike some other cities fighting to keep out big-box stores such as Wal-Mart, financially strapped Suisun City welcomed the world's largest retailer during a highly orchestrated press conference Tuesday morning at City Hall.

A handful of city officials, citizens and Wal-Mart representatives answered questions about the economic impacts of such a large development in a small town and the financial viability of building a Wal-Mart Supercenter so close to the site of another proposed supercenter on North Texas Street in Fairfield. The two supercenters would be less than 3 miles apart.

"It comes down to customer demand," Wal-Mart spokesman Kevin Loscotoff said. "We feel there's enough demand to support two supercenters in these communities."

A typical Wal-Mart Supercenter has a full grocery department, an expanded gardening department and an automobile service center, as well as dozens of departments of discount items. Most are around 200,000 square feet.

Wal-Mart last year told Fairfield about its plan to open a supercenter at Mission Village shopping center, and a few months later announced the pending closure of its store on Chadbourne Road.

All along, company officials left open the possibility of opening a second supercenter in the area.

Mayor Jim Spering said Suisun City desperately needs the sales tax boost that would come from building a Wal-Mart Supercenter the size of four football fields on windswept grassland between Suisun and Fairfield. "This project will provide the revenue to meet demands without raising taxes," he said.

Wal-Mart's interest in Suisun City is only one part of a larger development project in the works for the past 20 years. City planners anticipate building homes and retail facilities on 172 acres of land northwest of city limits, with Wal-Mart anchoring the commercial portion.

The so-called Gentry Project would devote 650,000 square feet of building space for small shops, large retailers and restaurants, but no other tenants were named Tuesday. The other half of the mixed-use project would be a residential subdivision for 359 homes.

Before breaking ground, however, the city must go through a lengthy approval process that includes annexing land now under Solano County's control. It could take about a year to cut through the red tape and developers probably won't begin construction until 2007, according to city estimates.

Many Suisun residents leave the city to shop, which cuts into sales-tax revenue and limits city funds for police and fire protection and a host of other community services. Just last year the Suisun City police department laid off nearly one-third of its officers and many city streets are in disrepair, officials said.

Wal-Mart could make a big impact in Suisun, where 28,000 people live but most shop in neighboring cities, 25-year-old Suisun resident Bridgette Nelson said.

"We've needed more shopping in Suisun for a very long time," she said. "Now I don't have to leave town to get the goods I need."

Every year, Suisun City loses more than 70 percent of potential sales tax revenue to other communities due to the lack of retail options in town, according to the 2004 California Retail Survey. Spering estimated the city's yearly sales tax intake of roughly $800,000 would double once the Wal-Mart opens for business two or three years from now.

Each Wal-Mart Supercenter has about 400 workers, so Wal-Mart would become the largest non-government employer in Suisun City. Right now grocers Albertsons and Raley's are the city's largest employers, each with about 100 workers.

Wal-Mart's impact on small businesses has become an issue across the country, but Spering said a Wal-Mart on the outskirts of town shouldn't hurt businesses downtown or those along Highway 12 and Sunset Avenue. He drew a comparison to Fairfield's plan to build a Wal-Mart Supercenter in a business district surrounded by small retailers, a Kmart and grocery stores.

"Proximity to other businesses is the real issue. It's not like we're putting this downtown or in a competing business district," he said. "It's on the fringe of the city, so we only expect it to benefit existing businesses."

Reach Matthew Bunk at 425-4646 Ext. 267 or

Project Facts and Figures
-- Highland Development and Silverwing Development are in contract to develop a portion of the Gentry Property between Highway 12 and Cordelia Road at Pennsylvania Avenue and are working with Suisun City officials to annex the site into the City.

-- Approximately 172 acres will be annexed by Suisun City, but the proposed project will only cover about 51 percent of that acreage, with the remainder reserved for open space and wetlands.

-- Approximately 359 housing units are planned to be built on approximately 17 acres by Silverwing Development.

-- Highland Development's 650,000-square-foot retail center is planned on about 71 acres.

-- Suisun City has the lowest sales tax revenue of any Solano County community, as well as one of the lowest per-capita sales tax revenue rates in California.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Suisun to discuss selling property

By Ian Thompson
Fairfield Daily Republic
SUISUN CITY - Another piece of old town blight will become history if the City Council approves a plan to sell its property on Morgan Street tonight.

The council, sitting as the Redevelopment Agency, will vote on a proposal to sell 515 Morgan St.

Aram Chakerian owns the adjacent property at 511 Morgan St., which has its own dilapidated house. He wants to buy 515 Morgan and tear down both structures.

His goal is to build two live-work residences on the property, which Economic Development Director Randy Starbuck said would eliminate blight and provide the city with more redevelopment.

The city's fire department uses the yard and a storage shed at 515 Morgan St. to park a fire engine in the old town area on a part-time basis. Where the engine would be parked in the future is undetermined.

The money brought in by the sale will go to the fire department. There are future plans to build a second fire station in or near the old town area.

One site considered is near the city's old corporation yard next to Old Highway 12 before it curves south to become Main Street.

In other business, the council will again meet in closed session to negotiate with Jelly Belly owner Herman Rowland the sale of city property on Twin Sisters that overlooks Suisun Valley, according to the council's agenda.

Suisun City has been trying to sell the property for several months since it decided proceeds from the sale would help replenish the city's deficit-besieged general fund.

The council meets at 7 p.m. in the council chamber at 701 Civic Center Blvd.

Suisun golfer ties for fourth at qualifier

Suisun's Jeff Wilson took a big step toward his fifth U.S. Open Championship appearance on Monday, tying for fourth place during local qualifying at El Macero Country Club in Davis.

Wilson, who plays out of Green Valley Country Club, fired a 1-under-par round of 71 and won a playoff. He was one of five players from El Macero to move on to Sectional qualifying June 6 at El Caballero Country Club in Tarzana.

"I played good enough, how about that?" Wilson said with a chuckle. "It shouldn't have been as hard as it was, but I didn't cash in on the opportunities that I had. I'll go to work the next couple of weeks and try to eliminate some of those mistakes."

Vacaville High School graduate Alex Hall tied for 24th in the event with a 3-over 75.

Wilson, who was the low amateur in the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, finished in a five-way tie for fifth on Monday. He birdied the third playoff hole and advanced along with Kris Moe of Glen Ellen, who parred the hole.

Scott Gordon of Sacramento, Steven Strong of Santa Rosa and Craig Howard of Redding were alternates, in that order.

Tom Johnson of San Francisco won the event with a 4-under 68. Anthony Battaglia of Davis and James Kurelik tied for second at 70.

Other Northern California Golf Association qualifiers were held Monday at Del Rio Country Club in Modesto, Brookside Country Club in Stockton and Corde Valle in San Martin.

The NCGA sites were four of 107 local qualifying sites across the country as more than 9,000 golfers tried to reach the 2005 U.S. Open, June 16-19 at Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Suisun City woman wins public service award

The Jefferson Award: Lorraine Hargrave, mother to teen moms

By Heather Maddan, San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer
Saturday, May 14, 2005

Bay Area Jefferson Award winner: Lorraine Hargrave, founder of Children in Need of Hugs, a nonprofit organization that provides shelter for homeless pregnant teenagers and young mothers and their children in Suisun City.

How she started: When Hargrave's daughter was in high school, she told Hargrave about the teenage mothers she knew who were struggling with the limited resources available to them in Solano County.

Hargrave understood the obstacles they faced -- she grew up in foster care, became a mother at 16, and found herself homeless at 18, the age foster care ends.

She wanted to offer girls in similar circumstances a home, so she started Children in Need of Hugs. She put together brochures and handed them out at local high schools and social service agencies. In 2002, she rented a house and the first residents moved in.

And now: Today, Children in Need of Hugs provides housing for as many as three young women and six children at a time.

Residents must be drug-free, go to school or pursue employment, cook their own food and abide by curfew.

If the residents cannot afford child care, Hargrave -- who has a child-care license -- watches their children. The women also take parenting classes and learn skills they need to make it on their own. Hargrave works nights as a 911 dispatcher. She pays her residents' expenses out of her own pocket and with private donations. Hargrave has housed 18 girls since starting the program, but she's had 75 referrals in the last three years, and there is always a waiting list.

Her inspiration: Hargrave says she takes pride in watching the girls in her program thrive. Many of them have been physically, mentally and sexually abused. Some have hustled on the streets to get by. At Hargrave's house, they have their own rooms away from the streets, and some of the girls have ended up on the honor roll at school.

In her own words: "We're not here to duplicate any kind of program. We're here to fill the gap of what's lacking in our community -- which is programs for teen moms that are homeless," she said.

What others say about her: "She's a phenomenal woman," said Deborah Cudmore, case manager with the Adolescent Family Life Program at Planned Parenthood in Fairfield. "This is her passion. It's more than a home for the girls -- she's there for them. She throws them baby showers and is there for the births. She's more like a mom than a program director. Other shelters are in no degree providing what she's providing."

Cudmore says she frequently refers clients to Children in Need of Hugs. "We counsel pregnant parenting teens, and unfortunately a lot end up homeless. Housing is a major issue with clients. Lorraine has come through for us on several occasions. She has been a major asset -- we wish she had more homes," said Cudmore.

To find out more: Call (707) 421-9887 or visit

Friday, May 13, 2005

Joint-use library idea gets thumbs up from residents

By Ian Thompson
Daily Republic
SUISUN CITY - The idea of putting a library next to Suisun Elementary School got largely positive reviews from residents at a Tuesday night informational meeting.

The only concern came from a Mosswood Drive resident who said she didn't feel safe walking the proposed site because of crime concerns about the Pintail Drive/Sunset Drive area.

Other residents put forward ideas for what they wanted to see if the library is built that included computers, a conference room and study rooms.

Worries about the safety of school children using a library also open to the public were addressed by library officials who said the school will have access to the library in the mornings before it opens to the public and that security will be prime factor in its design.

The Thursday night meeting is the first of two meetings where Suisun City, Fairfield-Suisun School District and Solano Library officials will talk about the proposed joint-use library and get reactions from residents. >>MORE>>

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Geologists Think Fault in Solano County Capable of Strong Quake

From KXTV News Channel 10

An earthquake early Sunday morning in Napa County has geologists rethinking about the probabilities of a strong temblor along the Green Valley Fault in Solano County.

At 1:44 a.m. Sunday, the strike-slip fault shuddered at a spot 10 miles northwest of Fairfield, in remote section of southern Napa County. It registered a magnitude 4.1 and originated at a depth of six miles below the earth's surface.

Residents in Fairfield and Vacaville said they felt the temblor but there were no reports of damage. >>MORE>>

Suisun outdoor market all about family fun

By Sarah Arnquist

Sunshine poured on to dozens of people strolling through the outdoor market Saturday afternoon along the Suisun City Waterfront.

The market attracted more than two dozen vendors of wares ranging from personalized golf markers to jewelry and flower arrangements. Families came out to shop, sample a funnel cake and enjoy the small-town atmosphere.

"I like being out by the water," said Joyce Hebert, who brought her grandson, Nicholas Jeffcoat, to the market after his soccer game.

Hebert regularly visited last year's markets and plans to frequent this year's market. It's a nice time to socialize and enjoy her hometown, she said. >>MORE>>

Suisun opens new Jepson Parkway bypass

By Mike Adamick
SUISUN CITY - The road begins where soggy marshes solidify into farmlands and cow pastures, a stark contrast to the steely belt of traffic-choked Interstate 80 that has been the main route through Solano County for decades.

The twisting 12-mile bypass known as Jepson Parkway skirts the eastern fringes of Suisun City, Fairfield and Vacaville, coursing through strawberry patches and eucalyptus groves.

But scenery is not the main goal-- it's traffic relief.

There's still years and millions of dollars in work left before the parkway is complete, but transportation officials hailed the grand opening Friday of a wider thoroughfare at Walters Road in Suisun City as a key piece of the three-city puzzle that provides residents with an alternative to the oft-congested freeway.

Regional commuters and Sierra Nevada pleasure seekers could see benefits from the new route, too, because they will no longer have to compete with local residents who have relied on I-80 as the main pathway to nearby cities. >>MORE>>