Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Highway 12 Improvements Launched


SUISUN CITY - The stretch of Highway 12 from Suisun City to Rio Vista is going to get a lot safer this spring and summer with major roadway improvements designed.

Caltrans, California Highway Patrol, state legislators and Solano Transportation Authority representatives were among those who gathered at the Western Railway Museum here this week to celebrate the ground breaking for the next wave of highway improvments.

Safety enhancements workers will soon begin to install east of Suisun City include:
  • wider shoulders
  • additional centerline channelizers to help separate conflicting traffic
  • new rumble strips, which alert drivers when they drift out of their lane
  • enhanced pavement and more.
For more information, visit the Highway 12 link at Suisun City's homepage at www.suisun.com or visit Caltrans' project site, including a diagram of the scheduled work.

Media reports:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

New "It's It" Ice Cream Outlet Store Now Open in Suisun City


The Family Cookie Company has opened an outlet store right next to its Suisun City Waterfront District factory to sell a wide variety of 'It's Its' ice cream sandwiches and cookie dough, including some colorful playdough like dough that can be cooked and eaten, according to Jay Shamieh, who helps run the family-owned business along with his siblings.

Since 1977, this Suisun City business has quietly made the cookies for the 'It's It,' which has been a favorite Bay Area ice cream treat since 1928. Family Cookie Company also makes a lot of cookie dough that area non-profit groups sell during fundraisers. >>For more on the Family Cookie Company, read this profile from the Vacaville Reporter>>

The factory and new outlet store are located on Spring Street east of Main Street in the Suisun City Waterfront District. >>Click here for a map>>

The shop is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturdays. [Hours updated 8/31/09]

It's an easy walk from the Suisun City Train Station, and just blocks away from a dozen terrific family-owned restuarants featuring a wide variety of cuisines, from Japanese to Mexican, Greek, California Wine Country, and traditional American fare.

Stop by to say "Hi" to Jay, and try some of our other great businesses while you are in the Suisun City Waterfront District!

>> Here's a link to a video of the entire production on the official It's It website. >>

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Gotta Boat? Want one? Check Out Cal Marine Sports

If you have a boat or ever thought about getting out on the gorgeous local waterways, you've gotta check out California Marine Sports - Solano County's premiere marine retailer and service provider, right here in the Suisun City Waterfront District.

California Marine Sports offers a huge selection of boats plus excellent service.

Generous discounts for military personnel, as well as law enforcement and firefighters!

Located at 1240 Kellogg Street, Suisun City right next to the Boat Launch and the Suisun Wildlife Center.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Great Babs Diner Review

I ran across this review the other day from the 'California Travels' web site, a fun site that explores great unsung places around Northern California.

Here's some of what they said about Babs, located right in Suisun City's Waterfront District:
"If we gave out gold stars Bab’s Delta Diner would get the maximum. It has everything - great surroundings, wonderful serice, fantastic food and it’s not too pricey. Certainly worth going out of your way for to experience it."
Read the rest of the entry here at California Travels.

Profit Mastery for Small Businesses: Creating Value & Building Wealth

Profit Mastery: Creating Value and Building Wealth

On March 31st, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Solano College, Redwood Empire and Napa Valley College Small Business Development Centers are sponsoring "Profit Mastery: Creating Value and Building Wealth," an internationally-acclaimed seminar for small business owners, managers, and advisors. It will be held at Pepperbelly’s Comedy & Variety Theater, 849 Texas St., in Fairfield.

The program is designed to help owners and managers of small business better understand financial management and increase their chances of success in today's difficult economic times.

Statistics show that over half of all businesses that fail each year do so despite reporting profits and record sales. The most successful businesses have found that the key to long-term success revolves around effective financial management.

“I have heard Steve LeFever speak at several of our conferences and I have wanted to bring him to Solano for years. He is one of the best presenters I have heard on the subject of financial management," said Charles Eason, Director of Solano College SBDC.

Sponsored by Citi®, this one-day event includes presentations on financial statement analysis, cash flow planning, planning for growth, cost, volume and pricing issues, and determining the right kind of financing for your business. Participants will practice teaching points by using case studies and discussing real-life examples.

For more information, contact the Solano College SBDC at (707) 864-3382 or visit www.SolanoSBDC.org.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Watch for Workers on Sunset Avenue near Railroad


Workers are installing traffic islands near the Union Pacific Railroad tracks on Sunset Avenue as a significant safety enhancement. Suisun City Public Works expects this work to be completed by early April.

Periodic and unpredictable traffic interruptions may be necessary from time to time to allow the work to be completed in a timely fashion while ensuring public and worker safety. Qualified railroad personnel are on scene to safely manage rail, vehicle, pedestrian and cycling traffic across the intersection.

All motorists are asked to use extra patience while driving in this area while this vital work is completed. Watch for unexpected and temporary changes in lane configurations. Follow the directions of flagmen at the site, and do not drive around safety cones and devices placed along the roadway.

After the traffic islands are in place
  • Union Pacific Railroad crews will install new crossing arms when the parts are delivered, and
  • Ghilotti Construction will interconnect the traffic and train crossing signals.
Your patience during the next several weeks will allow us to provide years of enhanced safety at this key intersection.

>>Click here for an interactive map showing detours>>

We apologize for any inconvenience.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Suisun Valley Review Seeking Fiction Submittals

From the Suisun Valley Review, the literary magazine of Solano College:

Do you want to be published?

Would you get a thrill out of seeing your name and hard work in print?
These days the printed word is more of a novelty than anything, as it's so easy to get anything published online. All you need is the right forum and you've got something the public can see.

Our deadline is close; April 1st!
We'd love to see what you have to say. Short fiction should not exceed 2500 words, Poems should come in packets of 5-7 pieces.

Please submit to:

or if you prefer to submit via standard mail:
The Suisun Valley Review
English Department/Humanities
Solano Community College
4000 Suisun Valley Road
Fairfield, CA 94534-3197

For more information, visit http://myspace.com/suisunvalleyreview

Friday, March 13, 2009

Reviewers Love "Mr. Ripley" at Harbor Theatre

The reviews are in & they love Solano College Theatre's staging of "The Talented Mr. Ripley" at Suisun City's Harbor Theatre.

The Daily Republic's Tony Wade said:
"The actors were absolutely phenomenal.

Jonathon Grout is an amazing talent. As in other roles he's played on local stages, he embodies whomever he is portraying. Grout infused the character of Ripley with a barely-controlled frenzied rage that bubbled underneath the surface and exploded all over it from time to time.

In short, he completely creeped me out, in a good way."
L. Pierce Carson of the Napa Valley Register said:

"With this staging of “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” Solano College Theatre adds to its well-deserved reputation for presenting first-rate theater in the North Bay.

While this psychological drama may not be everyone’s cup of tea, there’s no denying that it’s well acted, superbly directed and been given a first-class staging.

With so little regional theater available in this neck of the woods, it’s comforting to know that audiences can count on SCT for quality productions."
Don't miss this terrific production running at the Harbor Theatre now through March 22.
Performances are at
  • 7:30 p.m. Thursdays
  • 8 p.m. Friday & Saturday
  • 2 p.m. Sundays
For tickets, call 707-864-7100 or go online to www.solanocollegetheatre.org


Eight terrific restaurants in the Suisun City Waterfront District offer dining discounts the night of the show! Just show your play tickets and get a discount at

Thursday, March 12, 2009

We're Now Exit 58B!

It's official! The main Suisun City Waterfront District exit from Highway 12 is now Exit 58B!

Crews from Hudson Excavation installed the first of four new signs along the highway designed to improve the visibility of our historic business district to passing motorists.

Additional signs are scheduled to be installed over the next several days, including another large sign at the Civic Center exit that will read "Suisun City Main Street/Civic Center Blvd." For westbound traffic, we're increasing the size of the current Main Street sign.

Improved Highway 12 signage has been a concern of Waterfront District businesses for quite a while. Here at City Hall we've heard stories of people who wind up in Rio Vista and say they have no idea they drove clear through our entire city. These signs along with the Waterfront District emblem the BID painted on the water tank should fix that!

We're also looking at additional signage to help motorists, visitors and residents realize there is a terrific Waterfront and business community right off Highway 12.

So plan to come visit us in Suisun City. Just take Exit 58B from Highway 12!

Events with a Purpose

The Daily Republic ran a nice article this morning by Staff Writer Ian Thompson on the expanded events calendar being planned for this spring and summer in the Suisun City Waterfront District.

Last week, we published along with our quarterly newsletter Discovery a pull-out calendar listing the more than 40 dates on which we will sponsor a free family-friendly event in the Waterfront District. No wonder Daily Republic readers recently voted the District as a top Solano County 'staycation' destination! >>Click here to see the full schedule.>>

What Ian's article didn't really touch on was why we put so much time and effort into our community events, and why we are really pushing hard to get more businesses and community organizations involved in the events this year.

All of these events are part of our marketing strategy to expose Suisun City residents and those living throughout the region to all the terrific activity going on in the Waterfront District. We want everyone from Napa to Davis and Danville to know about the unique hideaway we have in Suisun City, and the 12 terrific & unique family-owned restaurants in the Waterfront District alone. Our strategy is for visitors to come fall in love with what we have, come back with friends and family, and help us build the foot traffic necessary to make boutiques, shops and galleries successful in the Waterfront District.

Each of you telling people you know about our great City is a key part to the marketing approach. Subscribe to this News blog or become a fan of the City on Facebook to keep in touch with what's happening in town.

And, when you come to the Waterfront for a free concert or outdoor movie, make sure to check out Main Street Bar & Grill, Bellezza Hair Studio or Waterfront Comics.

Here's the first part of Ian's story:
Bigger is better in Suisun
By Ian Thompson | DAILY REPUBLIC | March 11, 2009 23:30

SUISUN CITY - A bigger, family-friendly kite festival, a new June event called Shore Fest and jet ski racing at night are among the expanded events this year on the city's waterfront.

There is even talk of importing sand to an empty lot near the Suisun Marina during the Shore Fest so the city can hold a beach volleyball contest. The synthetic ice rink was a hit last December, so the city is thinking beach volleyball in June could be one as well.

'We are focusing on kids and families to get them out to enjoy our waterfront,' said Mick Jessop, director of the city's Recreation and Community Services Department.

The Friday Nights at the Waterfront, Saturday Nights at the Movies and The Waterfront Jazz Series are coming back and will start in early July.

The Kids & Kites Festival on May 2 is being expanded to offer activities such as slides, rock walls and a trackless train.

'We are making everything center truly around the children,' said Anita Skinner of the city's Redevelopment Agency who organizes the events. 'We are trying to bring in kite clubs for demonstrations of different kinds of kites.'

To see the full article, visit www.dailyrepublic.com

Suisun City: One of America's Top 10 'Enlightened' Suburbs

This yesterday's from the Christian Science Monitor:

Critics of suburbs have called them bland, monocultural, and insular. Though some may fit the "selfish and soulless" stereotype, the Utne Reader, a digest of independent ideas and alternative culture, has identified what it calls "enlightened" suburbs – ones that are rich in "civic spirit and livability."

These communities range from affluent Montgomery County, Md., a leader in antisprawl development, and Shaker Heights, a 1920s garden suburb of Cleveland that has adopted pro-integration policies, to Suisun City, Calif., a once rough-and-tumble San Francisco Bay Area suburb that has transformed its downtown with two new plazas, a town hall, and a revitalized waterfront.

Utne's picks for the 10 most enlightened North American suburbs, with the cities or metropolitan areas they're geographically linked to:

• 1. Montgomery County, Md. (Washington, D.C.)
• 2. Tempe, Ariz. (Phoenix)
• 3. Suisun City, Calif. (San Francisco Bay Area)
• 4. Shaker Heights, Ohio (Cleveland)
• 5. Royal Oak, Mich. (Detroit)
• 6. Hammond/Whiting/Gary, Ind. (Chicago)
• 7. Burlingame/San Mateo, Calif. (Bay Area)
• 8. Delray Beach, Fla. (Palm Beach/West Palm Beach)
• 9. Markham, Ontario (Toronto)
•10. Naperville, Ill. (Chicago)
Etc . | csmonitor.com

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Real Estate Reality Check


Dismal economic news seems to be everywhere these days. But today I discovered a little glimmer of hope for Suisun City: Homes are selling, and our first-time homebuyer's program is very popular!

On March 5, Business Week reported that Fairfield had the nation's highest percentage increase in home sales for the fourth quarter of 2008. The 94533 ZIP code (that's central Fairfield) showed a 226% jump in home sales during October to December 2008.

But wait! Rod Herman over at HomeSection.com noted that Suisun City actually outperformed Fairfield in 2008 compared with home sales in 2007. For the year, Fairfield posted a 219% increase while Suisun City posted a 239% jump.

In January of 2009, Suisun City posted a 371% increase in home sales to Fairfield's 310%, according to HomeSection.com.

Aside from local bragging rights, what these numbers show is that the market is beginning to absorb the glut of foreclosed homes by moving them back into private ownership. Investors and first-time buyers are taking advantage of real estate deals. This is a first step in rebuilding a healthy local real estate market.

Part of that effort is Suisun City's $4.4 million investment in our First-Time Homebuyer/Foreclosure Eradication Program. Our program offers income-qualified buyers up to 25% down-payment assistance in the form of an equity share loan to be repaid upon sale of the property. We've closed six of those deals and have more than a dozen more qualified while we are taking lots of calls everyday about the program.

All of this activity is before Suisun City even receives $950,000 in federal stimulus money designed to address local foreclosures and help first-time home buyers!

So here's the good news: Suisun City is way ahead of the curve helping first-time homebuyers, and our local market is beginning to show signs of positive movement.

Need more good news? Check out this letter from Mayor Pete Sanchez published in the Daily Republic this morning.

While it's not an end of our economic trials, the light at the end of the tunnel looks a lot less like an oncoming train!

Wise Choices Buoy Suisun City

Mayor Pete Sanchez wrote the following Letter to the Editor of the Daily Republic as an update of the City's fiscal situation:
Given the difficult financial environment everyone is facing today, Suisun City is fortunate to be holding its own when it comes to finances.

While the feds are balancing their budget by printing money, while our governor balances the state budget by borrowing on future lottery revenues, Suisun City leaders are balancing the city budget the old fashioned way: first we make an inventory of the small funds we have, then we conservatively estimate the small amounts we might collect, then we simply make wise decisions on where, when and how much to spend, while keeping more than 20 percent of our money in reserves, for expected rainy days.

I'm extremely proud of the tough financial decisions the Suisun City Council made in my 12 years as councilmember and, more so, in my past two years as mayor. Our city manager and management staff have been prudent, contributing to our vision of financial stability. Our employees have been truly patient, sharing in the sacrifices, making do with smaller salaries than their counterparts in nearby cities. Our residents understood there is this need to wait for street improvements and public infrastructures.

Our fire department, made up of only three salaried firefighters and more than 30 volunteers, deserve special mention for more than $1 million of annual savings to the city.

Suisun City's long term plans call for prudent spending and aggressive partnering with businesses who are bullish on Suisun's future. The new hotel opens in September, a new restaurant opens in spring and Walmart is on the pipeline. Those three projects combined will generate 10 percent more revenue to the city.

All of us in the city are mindful of the difficult times ahead. But we are thankful that we are not expecting cuts in public service, we are not laying off employees, and we are still moving ahead with public works projects.

Pete Sanchez

Local Happenings Now on Suisun City News!

We've added a new feature to the Suisun City News blog: Local event announcements!

In the left sidebar, you'll find a box listing upcoming events in the Suisun City community in chronological order. This is the same community listing that is available on the recently remodeled main Suisun City events page.

We are committed to combating this notion that there is nothing to do in Suisun City! In addition to more than 40 free public entertainment dates scheduled by the City, lots of groups are hosting additional activities.

To add your group's public event, set up an announcement at www.zvents.com then ship an e-mail to Marketing Manager Scott Corey at scorey@suisun.com.

We'll link it to Local Happenings, and your event will be searchable from major media outlets such as the Contra Costa Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Sacramento Bee and many more. All for free!

Be sure to let your friends know about the Suisun City News blog, and visit us on Facebook, too!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

2009 Yolo-Solano Mower Exchange

Phone-in Registration begins April 7 at 8:30 a.m.
First-come, first-served with limited supply available.

This is a great opportunity to do something good for the environment and get a great discount in the process.

The Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District (YSAQMD), the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), the County of Solano and PG&E are sponsoring a mower exchange program for residents of Solano and Yolo counties that make it easy and convenient to recycle a polluting, gas-powered mower in exchange for more than $200 off a new, zero-emission, cordless and rechargeable mower. The event begins with phone registration on April 7. There are a limited number of mowers so it is on a first-call, first-served basis.

"Rechargeable mowers produce no on-site emissions, are lighter and quieter and easy to use," according to Mat Ehrhardt, executive director of the YSAQMD. "This year we will offer a choice of mowers. The 14" cut model is $189 and the 19" cut model is $289. Both are a great buy in this economy," added Ehrhardt.

In addition, the cordless and rechargeable mower INCLUDES three discharge options for your grass clippings: use the rear grass bag, the side discharge chute, or install the mulching plug to leave the nutrients on your lawn.

The exchange consists of three steps:
  1. DIAL - On April 7, call the toll free number (800) 465-7894 beginning at 8:30 a.m. to reserve a mower and receive a voucher. (Calls will be taken until sold out or 5:00 p.m., whichever comes first.)
  2. DROP OFF - Qualified residents drop off a gas-powered mower at a participating recycler.
  3. DELIVER - Qualified residents arrange payment with the manufacturer and a new mower is delivered to their home.
Participants do not to have to wait in long lines at a single-day event or travel outside their county to take advantage of this offer. Instead, after residents call-in for a confirmed mower reservation, they are given ample time to drop-off their gas mower at a participating local recycler in either county. Participating drop-off sites for gas-mower recycling are: Allied Waste/Pacific Rim Recycling, Davis Waste Removal, Dixon Sanitary Service, Hay Road Landfill, Potrero Hills Landfill, Vacaville Sanitary Service, Vallejo Garbage Service and Yolo County Central Landfill.

For more details on the mower, visit www.neutonpower.com/ys. For details on the program, contact the YSAQMD at (530) 757-3650 or (800) 287-3650 or visit www.ysaqmd.org.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Suisun City Helps Host College Fair

If you know any high school students planning to enroll in college in the next couple of years, you should try to help them get to the upcoming Countywide College Fair.

The Suisun City Recreation & Community Services Department cooperated with other local cities to plan this free key event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 14 at the Fairfield Community Center, 1000 Kentucky St.

The Countywide College Faire will provide a comprehensive series of workshops for middle school and high school students. Workshops include SAT/ACT Test Prep, Cash for College, How to Write Application Essays, among others. Door prizes and refreshments also will be offered at the event.

College representatives from more than 50 schools will be on hand, too.

For more information, contact Kelly Davis at the Nelson Community Center at 707-421-7200.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Fuel Leak Cleanup in Progress

The Air Force has located and repaired a fuel line leak along Highway 12, and officials expect any residual fuel that escaped to be cleaned up this spring.

Air Force Lt. Col. Wade Lawrence gave the Suisun City Council an update on Tuesday regarding the status of the remediation resulting from the small fuel leak discovered in a Travis Air Force Base pipeline last week.

An AT&T subcontractor detected the odor of jet fuel in an underground utility vault along Highway 12 last week. The Suisun City Fire Department responded to the scene and verified the finding. Firefighters secured the area, and notified various officials, including Travis Air Force Base, Solano County and California Fish and Game.

Air Force personnel arrived on scene quickly and identified a small leak in a valve on a drain pipe attached to the pipeline, which is owned and operated by the Air Force. Travis engineers called a private environmental contractor to the scene to help contain and control seeping fuel. There was no risk to public health or safety, and the fuel did not compromise either the drinking water system or nearby sensitive environmental habitats.

A small amount of fuel was detected in the storm drain system along Lawler Ranch Parkway. Because this storm drain empties directly into the Suisun Marsh, extreme caution was used to control any possible migration of fuel into this sensitive environmental area. Lt. Col. Lawrence noted that no fuel was detected in the Marsh.

Environmental crews remained in the area 24 hours a day to remove all water from the storm drain system to ensure the protection of the Marsh.

A total of 175 gallons of fuel that leaked from the valve was collected and hauled away for disposal. Travis engineers plugged the valve to seal off any further leaks. The pipeline was pressured tested three times last Thursday. No leaks in the system were found. Environmental specialists continue to monitor test holes in the area for signs of fuel migrating through the soil.

Travis Air Force Base officials are working in cooperation with the Solano County Environmental Health Department to remove any fuel remaining in the soil as a result of this leak. Lt. Col. Lawrence expects all work at the site to be completed in May.