Volunteer crews eliminate blight for Earth Day – Times Herald

By Matthew Adkins

Mother Earth sighed with relief Saturday as volunteers donated time picking up trash in Vallejo and surrounding areas.

Local efforts focused primarily at Blue Rock Springs Creek, South Vallejo and nearby state parks.

Hogan Middle School also held a cleanup operation, as did a team of volunteers at the Napa River Bay Trail in American Canyon.

Mayor hopeful Landis Graden was joined with a team of people who took part in the cleanup efforts in the southern part of Vallejo Saturday.

“The cleanup was inspiring,” Graden said. “It was very nice. We had a great turnout of all age groups and races. People from all parts of town came to help. Everyone was very enthusiastic.

Source: Volunteer crews eliminate blight for Earth Day

Bethel High softball’s Alyssa Esparza is Athlete of the Week – Times Herald

By Thomas Gase

On April 12 of this year, Bethel High sophomore Alyssa Esparza turned 16 years old.

Turning 16 can be a big thing for anyone. Some people are often given a big present or even thrown a party. Some, if they are really lucky, get a car since this is the year they will be able to acquire a license.

Esparza wasn’t given the keys to any ignition, but the softball player was given a lot of pitches at the plate that she was able to drive.

The Jaguar went 2-for-4 at the plate that day and hit a home run in a 13-3 home win over Fairfield. As a belated birthday gift, she collected four more hits on Thursday in a crucial extra-inning win at American Canyon. She also pitched and earned the wins in both games in the circle with complete-game victories.

via: Beth High softballs’ Alyssa Esparza is Times-Herald athlete of the week

Exercise exposes Vallejo students to drunk driving dangers – Times Herald

By Matthew Adkins

The silhouette of a helicopter in the sky grew larger as it approaches NorthBay Medical Center Thursday in Fairfield.

As it touched down in the landing zone outside of the emergency room, a team of people moved forward with a gurney ready to receive a patient.

Josh McClendon, 17, a senior at Jesse Bethel High School, was rushed from the helicopter into a staging room where beds and devices had already been prepared. Gruesome gashes sustained only a few minutes earlier during a car crash uncontrollably leaked blood from his forehead and arm.

Source: Exercise exposes Vallejo students to drunk driving dangers

Family night at Vallejo school builds relationships – Times Herald

By Irma Widjojo

It was called “Spring Family Night,” but truly it was a community night at a Vallejo elementary school.

About 100 families of Lincoln Elementary School students spent a couple of hours at the school Tuesday afternoon for some information, resources and entertainment.

“Not a lot of the families, especially in downtown area, are aware of what’s going on in school,” said Angel Banks, the school’s academic support provider. “A lot of the families are just trying to make it, … and they may not be aware of the resources that are available for them.”

The school organizes two family nights each school year — fall and spring — as part of its effort as a full-service community school in Vallejo.

“We want to be able to meet the family’s basic needs, recognizing that meeting those needs directly correlates with the students’ achievement in school,” Banks said.

via: Times Herald

Drumlines, winterguards hold exhibition at Jesse Bethel – Times Herald

By Matthew Adkins

As schools bands around the county wrap up their winter season, students are holding one last performance to showcase their talent.

Jesse Bethel High School played host on Friday to the annual Winter Drumline and Colorguard Exhibition.

The high school’s gymnasium was standing-room only as hundreds of students in full costume put on their winter shows for the crowd.

Eight teams from area high schools took turns playing percussion instruments and performing elaborate choreographed dances with props.

Source: Drumlines, winterguards hold exhibition at Jesse Bethel

Vallejo school board looks to protest water rates – Times Herald

By John Glidden

A proposed water rate increase in Vallejo will likely not receive support from the school district.

Wednesday night the Vallejo school board called for a special Friday meeting so it could officially direct staff to submit 26 protest letters, one for each piece of district property.

If the increase is approved by the Vallejo City Council, the district will be required to pay more than $1.3 million annually for water by 2020, according to a Vallejo City Unified School District staff report. Currently, the district pays over $500,000 annually.

The money would come from the district’s general fund, district staff said.

The harshest critic of the increase has been VCUSD Trustee Burky Worel, who contends the city council “could care less” about the district.

Source: Vallejo school board looks to protest water rates

Vallejo High School – Always Something To Celebrate – Times Herald

Vallejo High School shines: In the midst of all of the negative publicity that Vallejo High School receives on a regular basis, it is sometimes easy to us to forget that the lives and educations of VHS students continue on whether or not we are reporting—and believe me when I say that remarkable things are happening! Back on Jan. 13, Iand a group of 56 of my students, along with English teacher, Matt Boyd; counselor, Rhea Brooks; new administrator, Dr. Angela Walker; and two chaperons bussed down to Bakersfield, CA for the 17th Annual California International Virtual Enterprise Trade Show and 2nd Annual Business & Entrepreneurship Conference.

Source: April 7 Vallejo A&E Source: Always Something To Celebrate

Vallejo school board to get info on water protest – Times Herald

By John Glidden

One of the city’s largest water consumers is poised to protest Vallejo’s proposed water rate increase.

During its meeting Wednesday, the Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education will receive information on submitting letters of protest regarding a proposed water increase, which, if approved by the city council, will require the district to pay $1.2 million annually for water by 2020. Currently, the district pays $493,261 annually for water.

The district has the opportunity to submit a protest letter for each of the 56 properties owned by VCUSD.

The city’s Water Division is seeking $85 million or 80 percent of full funding needed to reduce deferred maintenance to Vallejo’s aging water system over the next 10 years.

Source: Vallejo school board to get info on water protest

Solano Adult Education Consortium meets April 4 – The Reporter

The Solano Adult Education Consortium will hold its monthly meeting from 2 to 5 p.m. April 4 at Solano Community College, 4000 Suisun Valley Road, Bldg. 400, Room 414, in Fairfield.

The agenda for the meeting will include: 1) action item on direct funding 2) diploma program requirements 3) formalize changes to 2015-2016 plan 4) review of recommended changes for 2016-17 plan.

Solano County Adult Education consortium meetings are open to the public and interested community members are invited to attend.

Consortium members are: Fairfield-Suisun Adult School, Vacaville Education Extension Program, Vallejo Regional Career Center, Solano Community College, Benicia Unified School District, and Solano County Office of Education.

Source: Solano Adult Education Consortium meets April 4

Vallejo school board receives info on proposed water increase – Times Herald

By John Glidden

A Vallejo school board trustee believes the city council doesn’t care about the impact a proposed water rate increase will have on the school district.

During the March 14 Vallejo City Unified School District board meeting, trustee Burky Worel made his comments while Martin Querin, the city’s assistant public works director for water, made a presentation.

The school district currently pays $493,261 annually for water. Under the proposed increase, that rate will jump to $1,201,376 annually by 2020.

Worel expressed anger toward the proposed increase.

“The city is trying to take money from the school district,” he explained to Querin. “The city council does not care.”

Source: Vallejo school board receives info on proposed water increase

Vallejo School Board rejects move to eliminate position – Times Herald

By John Glidden

For the second time in 11 months, the Vallejo school board rejected a plan to eliminate a buyer position within the Vallejo City Unified School District.

During a special March 9 meeting, the board decided to retain a second Buyer II position, even though it has been vacant since January.

The position creates purchase orders, schedules vendor shipments and maintains records for the district.

A badly divided board, in a 3-2 vote, rejected a similar request from district staff, last May.

At that time, both Buyer II positions were filled, district staff sought permission to issue a layoff notice to one of the employees.

However, at the end of 2015, one of the incumbents retired, creating a vacancy, which the district has not filled.

Source: Vallejo School Board rejects move to eliminate position

Solano County students immersed in agriculture on Youth Ag Day – Times Herald

By Irma Widjojo

Thousands of third graders descended upon the Solano County Fairgrounds on Tuesday for the 15th annual Youth Ag Day.

The Solano County students had a day filled with hands-on experience with all-things agriculture, including livestock, plants, bugs and even composting and butter churning, among other things.

“Part of our mission is agriculture educations and third grade is a great age group,” fairgrounds General Manager Stephen Pierce said. “They are excited and it’s a good time to plant the seeds in them to explore a career in agriculture if they want to.”

Source: Solano County students immersed in agriculture on Youth Ag Day

Vallejo school board to receive information on polling results – Times Herald

By John Glidden

A nearly three hundred million dollar general bond that would help aging Vallejo school infrastructure would not be supported by the community if such a bond was placed on the November ballot, says a firm which surveyed hundreds of potential Vallejo voters in January.

The Vallejo school board is expected to receive these results during its meeting Wednesday night.

Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates firm (FM3), which conducted the 400 public opinion telephone interviews has concluded that such a single large bond amount of about $285 million “is not viable.”

The board hired FM3 to conduct a similar survey in June 2013 regarding a potential bond measure. About 62 percent surveyed in 2013 said they would support a school bond measure.

Source: Vallejo school board to receive information on polling results

Vallejo sixth-grader grabs second consecutive county spelling championship – Times Herald

By Chris Riley

It was a sweet French wine that helped sixth-grader Gabriella Pasami capture her second consecutive Solano County Spelling Bee Championship on Monday night. No, she wasn’t partaking, but “Sauterne” was the winning word.

It was apparent that the final word gave Gabriella some concern, but as the definition was read, a slight head nod and small grin reassured her familiarity with the vocabulary.

Source: Vallejo sixth-grader grabs second consecutive county spelling championship

Vallejo school board pulls bond issue from agenda – Times Herald

By John Glidden

For a brief time Wednesday night, there was a strong possibility the Vallejo school board would have to end its meeting before any business was even heard.

During the approval of the board agenda phase of the meeting, Vallejo City Unified School District trustee Burky Worel made a motion to pull an information item outlining the results from a recent polling survey of Vallejo residents regarding a school bond this November.

Worel took issue that the actual results and data numbers were given to board members shortly before the start of the meeting, and not when the agenda was released to the public last week.

Vallejo school board to receive polling results – Times Herald

By John Glidden

After spending $60,000 for a survey to ascertain whether the Vallejo community will support a possible bond this November, the Vallejo school board is set to receive the results during its meeting Wednesday night.

Last November, the board approved a contract for $26,500 with Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates firm (FM3) to conduct 400 public opinion interviews regarding a possible bond. The contract also allowed a subcontractor, Lew Edwards Group, to conduct information services in tandem with the bond survey. The subcontractor was paid $32,000 for its work.

The board hired FM3 to conduct a similar survey in June 2013 regarding a potential bond measure. About 62 percent surveyed in 2013 said they would support a school bond measure, according to a presentation given to the board.

Source: Vallejo school board to receive polling results

Charter school in Vallejo seeks better offer – Times Herald

By John Glidden

The debate surrounding the relationship between independent charters and school districts reached the Vallejo school board during its meeting Wednesday night.

Several parents with Caliber School — a new independent charter in the Vallejo City Unified School District — spoke to the board, demanding the district offer a better school site for the upcoming 2016-17 school year.

The district is offering the use of the former Vallejo Middle School site, while Caliber parents and representatives are eying the former Farragut Elementary School site.

via Charter school in Vallejo seeks better offer.

Bethel High grad C.J. Anderson has clinching touchdown in Super Bowl win – Times Herald

By Staff

C.J. Anderson would not be denied.

The same goes for the Denver Broncos.

With 3:13 left in the fourth quarter, Denver needed to get in the end zone to ice the Super Bowl over the Carolina Panthers.

Anderson gave the Broncos just that, as he bullied past tacklers for a two-yard touchdown run that clinched the 24-10 win.

Anderson, the Bethel High graduate and former Times-Herald Male Athlete of the Year, finished with 90 yards on 23 carries in his second Super Bowl in his three seasons in the NFL.

Locally, this game was all about Anderson but nationally was also about the legendary career of Peyton Manning.

via Bethel High grad C.J. Anderson has clinching touchdown in Super Bowl win.

Vallejo school board receives presentation on cement facility – Times Herald

By John Glidden

The debate about a proposed cement facility shifted to the Vallejo school board Wednesday night as trustees gained more information about the project and how it might affect a nearby school.

According to a district staff report, the board asked for information about the proposed facility and what might happen to students who attend Grace Patterson Elementary School, which is located near the site.

City Hall is currently vetting a project, which has yet to come before the Vallejo City Council for consideration.Under the combined project, the Vallejo Marine Terminal (VMT) project would reestablish industrial uses on the site through the removal of a deteriorated timber wharf and construction of a modern deep-water terminal, while the Orcem component involves construction and operation of an industrial facility producing cement.

via Vallejo school board receives presentation on cement facility.

Special Ed students, faculty present hand-made blankets to Vallejo Fire Dept. – Times Herald

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen

Students and faculty members of Vallejo’s Everest Academy learned Wednesday that you don’t need to be wrapped in a blanket to feel warm and cozy — making and giving blankets away can do that for you, too.

The 5-year-old Everest Academy is a Vallejo City Unified School District special education program, whose school site on Corcoran Avenue, is walking distance to Vallejo Fire Department Station 25.

Three of the small class’ five students, along with the teacher, para-educator and principal, walked to the station on Wednesday morning, to present about a half-dozen fleece blankets the students made in their spare time over the last month or so, principal Eileen Abreu said.

via Special Ed students, faculty present hand-made blankets to Vallejo Fire Dept..