Thursday, October 30, 2008

Watch the Kids on Halloween

Suisun City residents are encouraged to show extra caution when driving through City streets on Friday night as our children celebrate Halloween.

Two great ways to celebrate the annual trick-or-treat holiday are
  • The 57th Annual Suisun City Costume Parade and Contest. Sign-up starting at 4 p.m. for the parade and judging at Driftwood and Main Street then enjoy the festive 5 p.m. trip down Main Street to Harbor Plaza for awards and candy. This free family tradition is great for all ages!
  • The Solano College Theatre is putting on "Spooktacular" - a terrific haunted house inside the historic Lawler House at 718 Main Street, between the Harbor Theater and Harbor Square. The haunted house runs 5-6:30 p.m. as a G-rated family event, and 7-10 p.m as PG-13 fun for the thrill-seekers. $5 admission, $2 if you come in costume.
Follow these tips for a safe Halloween:
  • Try to use face-makeup rather than masks to allow for maximum vision
  • Drive more slowly, particularly on residential streets, watching for children running into traffic or acting erractically
  • Provide children who are trick-or-treating with lightweight flashlights to navigate darkened streets
  • Don't use candles in displays of dried season material
  • Avoid long or flowing costumes that could pose a tripping hazard

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hollywood Came to Suisun City on Wednesday

A production company filming a portion of an episode of the ABC reality-based series "Wife Swap" came to Suisun City on Wednesday to shoot with the Suisun City Fire Department.

The crew was in town for several hours before they headed off to other parts of the Bay Area to continue their work.

Now before you start asking all your friends and neighbors if they were involved: None of the principals involved in the episode were from Suisun City.

The crew phoned Fire Chief Mike O'Brien late Tuesday asking if the Fire Department would put one of the show's participants through the paces. With the opportunity to put Suisun City on a nationally televised entertainment show - and the requisite high level conversations - he quickly said, "Yes."

Chief O'Brien, Captain Greg Bounds and Lt. Greg Renucci put them through the paces of putting on 45 lbs. of fire gear at the firehouse before taking them to the Waterfront District to practice handling a live fire hose with 125-pounds of pressurized water pouring from the nozzle. We even paused by the recently painted water tower for general shots of the fire truck rolling by.

We have no idea yet when the episode will air or how much of the Suisun City footage will survive the editing process. We'll be sure to keep you posted when we find out because we're sure everyone is going to want to see this!

But at least for a few hours today, Hollywood was right here in Suisun City and we did our best to make sure we offered a good close-up.

The Daily Republic wrote a story. See it at

Suisun City Marina Dredging Approved

The silt and mud collected in the Suisun City Marina over the past 6 years will be sucked out in a dredging project that is expected to start Nov. 17.

The Suisun City Council unanimously awarded the $1.3 million project to Roy G. Garren Construction of Roseburg, Oregon, the lowest of three bidders who showed interest in the Suisun City job. The bid came in more than $300,000 lower than the engineer's estimate for the work.

The City Council met in a special meeting Tuesday to consider the contract because of the short window set by state and federal environmental regulators as to when dredging in the environmentally sensitive Suisun Slough can be conducted. Regulators limit any dredge work to the fall months to avoid peak spawning seasons for various species that make their home in the Suisun Marsh.

Improving the marina and keeping it suitable for a wide variety of boats is essential to the economic health of the Waterfront District, and the viability of the Solano Yacht Club, which routinely draws fellow boaters from across the Bay Area to Suisun City.

"It is a critcal asset that is more important than ever as we work hard to attract new restaurants and businesses to Harbor Square, solict new ventures to four remaining waterfront sites, and market to visitors to come and stay at our soon-to-be-opened waterfront hotel - all occuring during more than challenging economic times," said Recreation and Community Services Director Mick Jessop.

The dredging project will involve two dredgers working seven days a week for 18 hours each day to move 120,600 cubic yards of siltation from the marina to Pierce Island. The project includes the Marina Village marina area for which homeowners pay an annual assessment.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halloween Fun Goes Large in Suisun City

If you can't find some way to celebrate Halloween in Suisun City this year, you aren't trying very hard. In fact, you would have to work pretty hard to avoid some great new events for this Halloween season!

The new Suisun City Library is celebrating its first Halloween with a night of family fun from 6-8 p.m. Thursday. This children-oriented event will feature a costume parade, stories, crafts, a haunted house and photo booth. A great new community tradition for Suisun City families at your library!

For the first time, Solano College Theatre is presenting "Halloween Spooktacular" at the Lawler House! The Theatre converted the venerable farmhouse into a haunted mansion that will be open for very special - and scary - tours from 5-10 p.m. Thursday & Friday! The tours are G-rated family friendly from 5-6:30 p.m. But after 7 p.m., the scare-factor goes PG-13 and isn't for the faint at heart!

The Halloween Spooktacular is $5 per person, $2 if you wear a costume.

Plan to join the 57th Annual Costume Parade and Contest sponsored by the Suisun City Firefighters Association. This is the grand-daddy of all Suisun City Halloween events with hundreds of costumed children, teens and adults parading down Main Street. Sign-in for judging at Driftwood Drive and Main Street starting at 4 p.m. Friday with the parade starting at 5 p.m.

For more information on all of these events, visit!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Statement regarding Officer Engelberto Rubio, Jr.

February 5, 2009 Update:

In January, a Colusa County jury acquitted Mr. Rubio on all counts.

Source: Colusa County


December 1, 2008 Update:
Officer Rubio resigned his position with the Suisun City Police Department for personal reasons in early November, and is no longer an employee of Suisun City.


On Oct. 16, Suisun City Police Officer Engelberto Rubio Jr. began a 30-day unpaid administrative leave after the Suisun City Police Department learned of impending child abuse charges in Colusa County, his county of residence.

Rubio surrendered to authorities on Oct. 22 in Colusa County on allegations of felony infliction of corporal injury upon a child and misdemeanor child endangerment charges.

"This is a very difficult situation for the Suisun City Police Department, as it is with any employer," said Public Information Officer Scott Corey. "We can't control what happens to our employees during their off-duty hours. Obviously, we expect them to conduct their affairs in a lawful and ethical manner."

Rubio was hired approximately three months ago and was in the midst of an 18-month probationary assignment standard for all newly hired Police Department employees.

When the Colusa County District Attorney's Office contacted the Suisun City Police Department earlier this month to notify officials regarding the allegations, Rubio was removed from street patrols and assigned to administrative duties.

On Oct. 16, the Colusa County District Attorney Office indicated there was sufficient evidence to bring charges. Rubio began an unpaid leave to provide time to resolve the matter.

If the charges are not resolved during his leave, Rubio may either resign or be terminated from his Suisun City employment.

Suisun City Dancer in 'High School Musical 3'

Tiffany Mallari, grew up in Suisun City and got her start as a dancer and performer at Dance Directions - a long-time Waterfront District studio, is starring in Disney's "High School Musical 3."

Here's how Amy Maginnis-Honey started her story on Tiffany in today's Daily Republic:

SUISUN CITY - Look closely at Disney's 'High School Musical 3' on the big screen and you will see two local dancers with featured roles in the film.

Tiffany Mallari, who grew up in Suisun City and now lives in Southern California, and Tyler Welling, an Armijo High School senior, share the silver screen with the movie's main characters.

Mallari credited her 'dance mom,' dance teacher Lisa Clark Schmelling of Dance Direction in Suisun City, for helping her grow as a performer.

'She always looked out for me and was there when I needed advice,' Mallari said. 'She pretty much helped raise me since I was 4.'
For the complete story about Tiffany and Tyler, see

Thursday, October 23, 2008

McCoy Creek Bikeway Now Open

The newest link in Suisun City's expanding recreational trail system was officially opened Thursday in a small Pintail Avenue ceremony.

The $300,000 McCoy Creek Bikeway provides an important new access for residents in the heart of Suisun City's residential area directly to the Sunset Avenue shopping hub. The dedicated bikeway allows children, seniors and families a safer way to use non-polluting alternative transportation options.

The new trail was completely funded through grants:
The McCoy Creek Bikeway runs from Pintail Avenue to the Central County Bikeway, a 2-mile long Class I bike path that runs along the north side of Highway 12 from Walters Road to Marina Boulevard. By connecting to the Central County Bikeway, the 0.6-mile McCoy Creek link allows residents to easily reach
  • Sunset and Heritage Park Shopping Centers
  • Lawler Ranch commercial area
  • Lambrecht Sports Complex
  • Residential neighborhoods
  • Local schools
  • City parks
By the first of the year, pedestrians and bicyclists will be able to access the Waterfront District with its Amtrak Station, Marina, Promenade, dining, shopping, and outdoor activities using a continuous recreational trail that won't require a single crossing of Highway 12. An extension of the Bikeway from Marina to the Waterfront District Amtrak Station is now under construction.

The newly opened trail along the west side of McCoy Creek is the first phase of a trail that will be extended north along the creek to Blossom Road. Plans call for the bikeway to extend all the way to Railroad Avenue. City staff is pursuing grant funding to complete these projects.

Effort to Reopen Former YMCA Facility Moves Forward

Suisun City's efforts to select a new operator for the former YMCA facility on East Wigeon Way at Pintail Drive continues to move forward.

Following City Council direction this week, City staff and the appointed City Council ad hoc committee will begin discussing financial and other deal points terms with the two finalist operators to determine all potential costs and obligations associated with reopening the facility.

Five community members - primarily former members of the North Bay YMCA - are part of the review process and serve on a Citizens’ Advisory Committee (CAC). Those members are John Miller, Robin Underwood, Robert Watts, Ruth Forney and Brad Stanhope.

With input from the CAC, Ad Hoc Committee and City staff, six interests that the City should be looking for in a replacement operator were identified. They are:

  • Commitment to have a safe place for kids when school is closed.
  • Commitment to partner with other community groups for facility usage.
  • Maximize program access to members of the community regardless of their ability to pay.
  • Pool operations.
  • Basketball court usage.
  • Fitness Center – Machines & free weights.

Based on those six interests, the Ad Hoc Committee reviewed the proposals and invited five operators to an interview. Staff and the Ad Hoc Committee conducted the interviews and then pared it down to the top two candidates.

Those two candidates were invited to a second interview where the Ad Hoc Committee and Citizen's Advisory Group conducted a more in-depth discussion/interview.

The Council Ad Hoc Committee then visited each candidate's local facility. These interviews focused on the programs and services that the operators propose to bring to Suisun City.

To date, the focus of the process has been on services, programs and general financial capability. As directed, staff will continue to diligently move forward with the financial discussions with the top candidates.

We appreciate the patience of everyone committed to this process as staff and City Council work through this selection process.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Police Warn Residents of Phone Solicitor Scam


SUISUN CITY — Residents should be alert for a fund-raising scam purporting to be raising money for the “Suisun P.A.L.”

The Suisun City Police Department was contacted on Tuesday, October 21, 2008, in reference to a group of individuals soliciting monetary donations for the Suisun P.A.L. or Police Athletic League.

“The City of Suisun City does not sponsor or participate in a Police Athletic League and has not requested assistance with fund-raising from any organization or group,” said Police Operations Commander Tim Mattos.

The Police Department urges anyone who is contacted with a request to donate money to “Suisun P.A.L” to obtain any contact information from the solicitor, and notify the Suisun City Police Department at (707) 421-7373.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pro race driver Memo Gidley takes on Suisun City 'Widow Maker

So what does a professional race car driver do for fun? Apparently, if you are Memo Gidley, you try your hand at personal watercraft racing at the Suisun City 'Widow Maker.'

The Suisun City Waterfront District hosted the Diablo Jet Ski Action personal watercraft racing series on Saturday. It was the third race of the year in Suisun City.

Describing himself as a self-proclaimed rookie watercraft racer than Jose Guillermo "Memo" Gidley - Indy Car driver, Grand Am racer, Lemans racer, Champ car racer, Formula Racer, and Team Doran-Dallara professional race car driver!

DJSA Grand Pooba Jim Lambert, who didn't recognize this car racing 'rookie,' gave him the full personal watercraft safety rundown, warned him to be careful so he'd make it to work on Monday and made him wear a rookie ribbon to warn the more experienced racers. He even came up with a funny nickname for the rook!

Only after he'd placed 3rd in his division did Gidley give Lambert an autographed photo and thanked him for the great day.

You must check out Jim's hilarious account of the day!

Memo had such fun, he even posted a piece about his Suisun City experience on his website!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Share Your Rockin' Halloween Display

We're looking for the best Halloween displays in Suisun City!

You put a lot of work into your display.  Share the word, and maybe discover other fun displays across town.

E-mail us your info, and we'll keep you in the loop when we add yours and other displays to our map, which should hit the website on Tuesday Oct. 21.  E-mail us at

By the way, we're planning to do the same for Christmas displays after Thanksgiving!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Help the Senior Center Help Our Seniors

The Suisun City Senior Center provides a vital social, care and support system for hundreds of local senior citizens.

The Center keeps older adults plugged into a social network and lifestyle, particularly during the upcoming holiday season, when isolation and loneliness can be particularly acute.

The Center staff and volunteers serve Thanksgiving Day dinner to about 200 people.  About the same number are expected for the Dec. 20 Christmas luncheon.  Center Director Karen Mickens is rallying community support to make these vital community events possible, a task made all the more challenging with recent economic challenges

Here's how to help Karen pull this off:
  • Cash: to purchase food, decorations, door prizes and entertainment.
  • Food Items: turkeys, pumpkin pies, yams, corn, string beans, gravy, ground beef, hot dogs, cakes, cookies and any other holiday treats.
  • Decorations: table settings and d├ęcor, napkins, streamers and holiday gift wrap.
  • Door Prizes: at both events each participant will get a “ticket” for a chance to win a prize.
  • Service: volunteers on Thanksgiving Day to serve food and help with clean up.
If you can help with any of these needs, contact Karen Mickens or Kathleen Shrader at the center at 707-421-7203.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Suisun City Water Tank Tagged ...... sort of

A crew tagged the Suisun-Solano Water Agency water tank on Wednesday with bold blue lettering.

Hired by the Suisun City Historic Waterfront Business Improvement District, the crew from Clear Image Sign Co., located in Suisun City, is installing one of the largest signs to ever grace a major Suisun City entrance.

"This is something our members have been asking us to do for some time now," said Garry Rowe, president of the Suisun City BID. "Waterfront District merchants said they needed more visibility from Highway 12, and this was one way we could start to accomplish that goal."

The sign will be clearly visible to the tens of thousands of daily Highway 12, and should end the age old complaint that people drove clear through Suisun City without realizing they'd even been in the city. The massive paint job should be completed by Friday.

The emblem on the water tank will be that of the Waterfront District, a new identity for the Old Town/Downtown area that the Suisun City BID and the City are working hard to promote as a regional destination for high-quality dining across a number of cuisine choices.

The Waterfront District also is a fantastic place to locate your business, whether you need retail or office space. >>Learn more about the fabulous Harbor Square project>>

>>Learn more about the Suisun City Waterfront District>>

For the record, the paint job was approved by the Suisun-Solano Water Agency board and performed in cooperation with Suisun City and Solano Irrigation District staff.

Suisun City Fire Crew Battling So Cal Marek Fire

A crew of four Suisun City Fire Department volunteers is protecting homes northeast of Burbank as part of the 1,272 firefighters battling the Marek Wildland Fire.

Firefighters Hank Seguin, Greg Renucci & Nick Lott along with Engineer Gary Hall took Engine 247 south as part of a Type 1 strike team from Solano County assigned to structure protection. The crew will be deployed for 10 days, and may be reassigned to another fire burning across the arid hillsides of Southern California as the need arises.

The Suisun City Fire Department also has a 4-person crew standing by to deploy the brush truck with a second strike team, if it is summoned. California Department of Forestry officials are balancing the need to control the blazes in Southern California with the very real risk of wildland fires breaking out in Northern California. >>Click here to link to CDF fire incident info>>

Suisun City is very fortunate to have such dedicated people serving in our Fire Department. Keep them in your hearts and prayers as they complete their dangerous missions.

Jet Ski Races Return to Suisun City

The high-speed marine excitement of Diablo Jet Ski Action returns to the Suisun City Waterfront District this Saturday (Oct. 18) for a full-day of racing.

This is the third set of races DJSA has run in Suisun City this year - a venue that has proven to be a favorite with the racers, complete with creative and colorful nicknames. >>All the race info can be found here.>>

This is a great chance to come discover everything going on in the Waterfront District, including the progress on the Hampton Inn & Suites hotel & Harbor Square - the dining, retail and office anchor at Main & Solano streets.

It's also a great time to check out one of the great Waterfront District restaurants.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

La Cabana reviewed by "Burritowings" blog

La Cabana, a stalwart favorite of the Suisun City Waterfront District dining scene, got a recent mention on the Burritowings blog, which focuses on burrito eateries.

The trio of visitors to our fair City visited La Cabana on their way to Collins Music & Collectibles just down the street.

Word it getting out! Suisun City has perhaps the most diverse dining options in a pedestrian-centered environment in Solano County.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Hiking Rush Ranch

Just southeast of Suisun City is one of the region's real gems: Rush Ranch.

The Ranch is an excellent place to learn and appreciate the history of Solano County, and enjoy the natural wonders that surround us.

The "Hikin' the Bay" blog recently posted pictures and descriptions of the terrific hiking available on the Ranch. (Good news: Our little treasure is becoming a region favorite.)

Offering sweeping vistas of upland hills and the Suisun Marsh, the Ranch's three hiking trails offer varied terrain and degrees of difficulty to suit just about any trekker.

If you've never been to The Ranch, or if it's been a while, you'll want to go on the 3rd Saturday of the month when they have blacksmithing demonstrations and hay-wagon rides from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They also offer a guided nature walk starting at 9 a.m.

Key Link:

Museum Train Ride to Pumpkin Patch

One of the truly terrific local family activities is the annual Pumpkin Patch Festival at the Western Railway Museum on Highway 12 east of Suisun City.

From the museum, you take a ride on an antique electric railway train along an express track 5 miles into the country to pick through hundreds of pumpkins! It's a trip the entire family will love!

The festival runs weekends through Oct. 26, so don't dally. The Hipwaders, a terrific band oriented specifically for kids, and Limber Jim Bartz Band are playing the festival!

I spotted this announcement on the Univision website.

Key links:

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Volunteer Suisun City Battalion Chief Hired to Lead Humboldt Dept.

For nearly 20 years, Ken Woods has volunteered as a firefighter for the Suisun City Fire Department while working his "day job" at the state Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau.

Not only did his volunteer training help him rise to the rank of Battalion Chief in the Suisun City department (which is still a volunteer command post), he was recently hired to be the full-time, paid Fire Chief of the Humboldt #1 Fire Protection District, outside Eureka.

We always say that our volunteers are just as good, if not better, than many paid career firefighters. Ken just proved it by coming in at the top rank!

We're going to miss Ken here in Suisun City, but Humboldt is getting a top-notch professional to lead their fire department! We couldn't be prouder!

Audrey Wong of the Daily Republic has a story posted on the paper's website that starts like this:
SUISUN CITY - Ken Woods loves firefighting so much he worked as a firefighter for nearly 20 years without earning a dime.

All those years have led to Woods, 48, earning the rank of battalion chief, a volunteer position, in the Suisun City Fire Department.

'It's a real sense of helping the community because I live here and care about my neighbors,' Woods said. 'I can directly contribute to their well-being and make a difference in their lives in a situation where they're going through a rough time. I can affect their lives in a positive way.'

Woods will have new neighbors later this month, however. He has accepted the position of chief in the Humboldt Fire Protection District near Eureka and will begin the job Oct. 20.

In addition to leaving the Suisun City department, Woods is retiring after 27 years with the state Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau.
See the full story at

The Daily Republic's Brad Zweerink took the great picture of Ken above.

Visit Suisun Valley for Great Local Getaway

If you haven't visited the Suisun Valley lately, you should - particularly this time of the year with fall coming on, the grape harvest in full swing and the wine tasting rooms open for business.

Our own Suisun Valley is being touted more and more these days as a great "staycation" destination. "California Travel Insider" Barbara Steinberg shared the Valley with her readers in these posts:
After you visit the Valley, bring your family and friends to the Suisun City Waterfront District for an equally rewarding - though very different - dining and outdoor experience!