Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Management school dean to step down

Management school dean to step down
By Claudia Morain



Biggart

Nicole Woolsey Biggart, dean of the Graduate School of Management and an influential ambassador to the Northern California business community, has announced her intention to leave her administrative post next July.

Biggart, who has served as dean since July 2003, will then complete a yearlong sabbatical before returning to full-time teaching and research.

Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef praised Biggart as "an accomplished academic with an interest in the sociology of business. Nicole is a natural as dean. She's taken the school into a new era, from securing a $10 million gift for a new education building to establishing a campus in the Bay Area and continuing to build the Graduate School of Management's reputation as an innovative, collaborative and excellent business school. And she is a true campus citizen, always looking for opportunities to leverage the strengths of UC Davis in broader service to the region."

A national search for a new dean will begin immediately, with the goal of having Biggart's successor on board for the 2009-10 year.

As dean, Biggart's accomplishments include the launch of an annual survey of California women business leaders, which focused attention on the fact that only one in 10 top corporate executives and directors are women. She also oversaw the start of construction of Maurice J. Gallagher Jr. Hall, a new campus home for the Graduate School of Management.

The new building, on schedule to open its doors in September 2009, will help anchor UC Davis' new gateway entry. Under Biggart, the school also developed a successful San Francisco Working Professional MBA Program, allowing UC Davis' entry into one of the nation's most competitive MBA markets. Next month, the school will officially dedicate a new teaching suite for the program in the Bishop Ranch Business Park in San Ramon. Also, the school launched a technology management minor degree program for science and engineering undergraduates.

The school has continued to earn national and international recognition. The Financial Times ranked the school No. 1 in the world in the field of organizational behavior. Recruiters surveyed by The Wall Street Journal placed the school among the top 30 regional business schools in the country. The Aspen Institute's Beyond Grey Pinstripes survey ranked the UC Davis MBA program among the top 30 worldwide for integrating issues of social and environmental stewardship into curricula and research. And, for the 13th consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranked the Graduate School of Management among the top 50 business schools in the nation.

New horizons for university in '08-'09

New horizons for university in '08-'09
By Shauna Marsh

When UC Davis begins classes on Sept. 25, a whole new chapter opens for faculty, staff and students.

Of course, many new student faces will be seen around campus. About 4,570 new freshmen will move into the residence halls this weekend, and the total enrollment for fall is expected to be 31,160, including undergraduate, graduate and professional students.

On the classroom front, students will be able to enroll in a new major, Middle East/South Asia Studies, that reflects the university's continued ascent as a globally aware institution. Offering 70 courses from anthropology to music, it is one of only a few undergraduate programs across the nation to focus primarily on this region, which includes 44 countries and one-third of the world's population.

At UC Davis, interest in the region and culture has existed for years in the form of student organizations.

UC Davis alumna Sonia Saini said that a big part of her involvement in creating the program at UC Davis was, "to show that there was a growing student interest." She made use of already existing student-run groups on campus such as Students for Justice in Palestine, the Muslim Students Association, the South Asian Student Organization and a student group for classical Indian music. In recent years, hundreds of students signed petitions for classes in Middle Eastern and South Asian languages, indicating support for this type of major. A minor program was established in 2004.

"The students on this campus have been so committed to the development of this program," said program director Suad Joseph, professor of anthropology. The program expects about 50 student majors within five years.

The major draws a diverse group of students, said third-year Shruti Banerjee, who is taking the program. While the Middle East and South Asia have been political hot spots and of economic interest, they have also been known for their art, literature, religion, languages and history, she said.

Numbers
This fall's new students are making history as members of UC Davis' Centennial Class, entering 100 years after the first students came to live on campus for the 1908-09 academic year.

About 5,000 new freshmen are expected to enroll this fall. This is an increase of about 45 students from last fall. The total number of new and returning undergraduates expected for the fall quarter is 24,010, an increase of 511 from last fall. Graduate and professional students are expected to total around 7,150, a decrease of 36 from last year.

Overall, UC Davis expects to have 31,160 students enrolled in the fall 2008 quarter. This total is an increase of 475 students, or 1.5 percent, from last year.

The total number of students is expected to average 29,950 over the three academic quarters. This is an increase of 378 students over the three-quarter average from last year.

About 43 percent of an estimated 1,900 new transfer students have participated in the Transfer Admission Guarantee program. It gives written guarantees of admission to prospective transfer students who fulfill certain conditions.

Enrollment estimates are based on an April 22 projection by the Office of Resource Management and Planning. An official count of enrolled students is made later in the fall.

Financial aid, fees
Undergraduate students who are California residents will pay an estimated $8,639 in fees this school year. Resident academic graduate students will pay a total of $10,618 this year.

The interim director of the Financial Aid Office, Katy Maloney, estimates that about 65 percent of undergraduates will receive some kind of financial aid in the form of scholarships, grants, loans and work-study. She says that more than $325 million in financial aid will be disbursed to UC Davis students this coming year.

Housing
About 4,570 freshmen will move into residence halls Saturday and Sunday. An additional 1,820 students will be living in privately managed housing on campus, such as the Russell Park Apartments for student families.

Special programs and activities
- UC Davis will continue celebrating its centennial with a public Fall Festival from Oct. 10 to 15. The event will include the grand opening of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, Homecoming (the Aggies play Southern Utah), a 5- and 10-kilometer run-walk, a downtown Davis street fair, open lectures with faculty and alumni, and much more.
- Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder's book, Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World, will be the focus of the seventh annual Campus Community Book Project.
- Students at UC Davis will switch this fall to Google Inc.'s Gmail as their campus e-mail service, an e-mail system with vastly expanded data storage space, more features and access to popular communication tools. Implementation begins in early October, and students will continue to use their existing ucdavis.edu e-mail addresses.
- Starting in winter quarter 2009, the College of Biological Sciences will offer a new three-quarter Introduction to Biology course series, emphasizing the fundamental principles of genetics, genomics, evolution and ecology in shaping the "Tree of Life." The new series replaces the current Biological Sciences 1 series.
- The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences will offer new classes in environmental science and management. They include freshman-level courses along with one upper-division course for students to study sustainable agriculture.
- New minors will be available this year in: civil and environmental engineering; evolution, ecology and biodiversity; human physiology; and watershed sciences.

Construction
- This fall marks the completion of the new $74 million Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science. The institute will bring the departments of Viticulture and Enology and of Food Science and Technology together in one building to investigate the future and quality of food.
- Construction began during the summer of 2008 for the $2 million Unitrans bus terminal on Hutchison Drive. Anticipated to be completed mid-fall, this transit plaza will provide: space for eight active in-service buses; space for seven layover buses on standby for peak-hour service; pedestrian walkways and passenger waiting areas; and bicycle parking.
- Construction began this summer for the new Graduate School of Management building, to be named Maurice J. Gallagher Jr. Hall. It is anticipated that construction will be completed by September 2009.
- This summer, King Hall, home of the UC Davis School of Law, began its $22 million renovation and expansion project to provide more academic offices, classrooms and library space.
- The $65 million Earth and Physical Sciences Expansion is due to open in winter quarter 2009. This new building will provide instructional laboratories for the departments of geology, chemistry and physics; and research laboratories, research offices, academic and department administrative offices and support space for the department of geology.
- The new student Health and Wellness Center is under construction this fall. This $50.3 million project will house Student Health Services, and Counseling and Psychological Services. Construction is expected to be complete in winter of 2010.
- Work is to begin in early 2009 to renovate the ASUCD Coffee House in the Memorial Union. This $9.3 million project will create one connected area for dining, upgrade food service and cashier areas, relocate the bakery, and modernize the kitchen.
- New construction for student residence halls in the Tercero area is to begin in the winter of 2009. This $55 million student housing project will provide 600 new on-campus student beds by fall 2010.

More information: Middle East/South Asia major, mesa.ucdavis.edu; UC Davs Centennial, centennial.ucdavis.edu.

Shauna Marsh is a student intern in University Communications.

Schwarzenegger OKs bill helping Vallejo's ferries

Schwarzenegger OKs bill helping Vallejo's ferries
Legislation allows city to negotiate terms of transfer
By JESSICA A. YORK/Times-Herald staff writer
Article Launched: 09/30/2008

A state Senate bill helping to protect Vallejo's ferry system has received the governor's approval, amidst a flurry of action on post-budget legislation.

The measure is a secondary or cleanup bill to last year's legislation pushed by state Sen. Don Perata, D-Oakland, that formed the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority.

Senate Bill 1093 allows existing Bay Area ferry services - namely Vallejo's and Alameda's - to negotiate the terms of their transfers and ultimately reject any takeover offer by the agency.

The nearly 10-month passage of the cleanup legislation, authored by state Sen. Patricia Wiggins, D-Santa Rosa, has not slowed Vallejo transportation officials from moving forward in planning the state's takeover of Vallejo's Baylink Ferry, Public Works Director Gary Leach said Monday.

"We've been moving ahead, assuming it would be signed anyway," Leach said. "It is a relief that it's finally gotten all the way through."

The due date for a plan detailing the potential ferry transfer to state control was extended from January to July 2009.

Vallejo's transportation budget faced a projected budget deficit in the last fiscal year, and again in the coming year, without outside help to combat rising fuel costs.

The Vallejo City Council approved ferry and express bus route fare hikes and periodic fuel surcharges to help the department make it through June. Last week, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission approved $1.9 million in funding assistance, along with $150,000 from the Solano Transportation Authority and another proposed $150,000 from Solano County. The money will allow for a smoother ferry transfer to state control in the wake of plummeting ridership losses in recent months.

Wiggins' aide Sean MacNeil said Vallejo could choose to continue running the ferry and contract its services out to the state agency. He added that with high fuel costs, that option seemed less likely.

Former Vallejo Mayor Tony Intintoli, who serves as WETA board vice chairman, said Monday that the bill's passage was a positive move.

"It's very good news that the governor signed the legislation," Intintoli said. "It does give Vallejo a voice in the transition process and so it's welcome news."

New WETA/Ferry transfer legislation:
• Ferry transition plan due July 1
• Required ferry control transition plan
• Transition plan to align with city development plans
• Public and city input for transfer plan
• Ferry rate changes need public hearing
• WETA must continue ferry for five years

When residential market is hurting, commercial real estate feels pain

When residential market is hurting, commercial real estate feels pain
By Ben Antonius | Daily Republic | September 26, 2008



Brooks Pedder is managing partner at Colliers International in Fairfield. Photo by Brad Zweerink

Brooks Pedder, co-managing partner of Colliers International in Fairfield, answers 10 questions for the Daily Republic.

1. What is your role with Colliers International?

I am the co-managing partner of the Fairfield office. I focus on revenue production and oversee operations.

2. What does Colliers International do?

We are commercial real estate brokers. Our emphasis locally is on the business parks, both industrial and office product. We also have a strong retail and property management team.

3. How would you describe Solano County's current real estate market?

Our office market was hammered by the residential collapse. Outside of medical uses, most local offices have something to do with residential mortgage, residential sales or title. Countywide, office vacancy is about 25 percent. If you look at new offices built in the last 18 months or so, that figure jumps to north of 75 percent. It is the poorest office market I have seen since I started working here in 1985.

4. How has the market changed in the past year?

The big story is our recent inability to recruit out-of-area firms. We had a banner year in 2006 when we brought in about 1.4 million square feet of new industrial users. Last year, our new out-of-area recruits totaled only about 92,000 square feet.

5. How does the commercial real estate market differ from residential real estate?

Much of commercial real estate is dealing with larger corporations, not individuals. The lending parameters have continued to be a barrier to entry for unqualified buyers, and the commercial markets have generally not been overbuilt and overvalued.

6. How does the residential situation affect overall economic development?

On the industrial side, it has had little to no impact. An inability to use institutional funding for larger industrial projects has caused several projects to recently crater. I don't expect existing inventories to see much competition from newer developments until well into 2010.

7. What opportunities does the current market create in Fairfield?

If there is a silver lining for this disaster, our lower housing costs now make us more attractive to industrial and office site selectors because the region's overall cost of living is going down. We might be able to lure some great firms into our county as a result.

8. What problems does it pose for the cities?

A slow commercial market affects revenue. Much of the local business parks are in redevelopment areas. Everything from property taxes, How of sale tax and overall gross multiplier benefits of all employers are eroded when the market is down.

9. What are cities doing to generate real estate interest in these times?

Most cities in the county are doing a good job of marketing their respective opportunities and are working closely with the Solano Economic Development Corporation.

10. Where do you see the market a year from now?

With no new spec projects in the pipeline, I do expect the vacancy problem on the office side to improve and reach a healthy state in 18 to 24 months. The industrial market is still healthy and I see its continued improvement as no new product is scheduled to come on line for at least a year.

BayBio Launches Regional Initiative Promoting Industry in Northern California

BayBio Launches Regional Initiative Promoting Industry in Northern California

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. – BayBio, the life sciences industry group for the San Francisco Bay Area, has teamed up with economic development professionals from the Silicon Valley north to Sacramento to launch a new effort aimed at promoting the region to biotech businesses.

The new BayBio Corridor will provide a “tool kit” of marketing materials intended to promote the counties south and north of San Francisco, BayBio president Matthew Gardner told BioRegion News.

Groups joining the effort include the Sacramento Area Commerce and Trade Organization, which serves Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba counties and 23 cities within them; the Silicon Valley Economic Development Alliance, whose membership include two counties and 23 municipalities; and the East Bay Economic Development Alliance for Business.

“We initially met two years ago to begin discussing how to provide a tool kit for promoting investment in the biotech region here in a new way,” Gardner said in an interview.

He credited Mike Amman, president of the Solano EDC, with working with BayBio on the initiative.

“We started to build a toolkit basically with a satellite flyover of al the biotech in the region. It’s just getting off the ground to build some marketing and collaborative materials,” Gardner added.

He spoke minutes after he announced the corridor effort at BayBio’s annual conference, GeneAcres 15, held Sept. 25 at the South San Francisco Conference Center.

Solano County, Calif., Hires EDC for First Industry Cluster Profiles

Solano County, Calif., Hires EDC for First Industry Cluster Profiles

California’s Solano County has awarded a three-year contract to the Solano Economic Development Corp. to prepare profiles of five key industry clusters — including the life sciences — as well as the first Solano County Index of Economic and Community Progress, according to the Reporter of Vacaville, Calif.

Solano EDC will work with Doug Henton, president and co-founder of Collaborative Economics, whose Index of Silicon Valley is designed to measure the economic strength and health of that region. Henton is also a consultant to the California Economic Strategy Panel, California's state economic strategy process linked to innovation, industry clusters, and regions.

Solano EDC’s three-year $484,500 contract includes:
• An annual index, which will include economic, workforce, housing, education, transportation and related indicators for the county and its seven communities.
• A Land Inventory and Absorption Study intended to identify all undeveloped parcels in the county that are zoned commercial and industrial, as well as each parcel’s ability to be redeveloped.
• Key industry profiles of the life sciences and four other industries, all to be created over the next three years.

Dredging of Mare Island Strait starts today

Dredging of Mare Island Strait starts today
By SARAH ROHRS/Times-Herald staff writer
Article Launched: 09/30/2008

Necessary to keep Vallejo's ferries afloat, the dredging of the Mare Island Strait gets underway today, a city official said.

The city last month awarded a $282,400 construction contract to Salt River Construction Corp. of Tiburon to dredge a portion of the waterway.

City Engineer David Kleinschmidt said crews will excavate about 7,000 cubic yards of sediment, primarily in and around the terminal.

"The last time it was dredged was about five years ago," Kleinschmidt said.

"It probably should have been dredged at the end of three years. We're probably a year late," he said.

The dredging is part of a terminal overhaul that began a few weeks ago when the contractor took the permanent ferry float to Oakland for maintenance and repair work.

A temporary boarding float and gangway were installed just south of the permanent terminal so that riders could get on and off the boats, and ferry operations could continue, Kleinschmidt said.

The dredging should take about eight days, he added.

After the sediment is removed, the permanent ferry float will be brought back from Oakland.

The dredged materials will be taken to the San Pablo Bay to a disposal area approved by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Project costs are covered through a federal capital grant of $800,000.

About $150,000 has already been spent preparing plans and obtaining permits, according to the city.

No money for the work is coming from Vallejo's cash-strapped general fund.

The remainder of the federal grant will help maintain the ferry fleet, Kleinschmidt said.

• E-mail Sarah Rohrs at srohrs@thnewsnet.com or call 553-6832.

New engine helps firefighters rise to challenge in Suisun City

New engine helps firefighters rise to challenge in Suisun City
By Ian Thompson | Daily Republic | September 29, 2008



Suisun City firefighter apprentice Alyssa Dennis climbs down the 100-foot ladder on the department's new fire engine during training Monday morning. Photo by Brad Zweerink

SUISUN CITY - It fits inside the Suisun Fire Station, but it remains to be seen whether the department's new ladder engine can maneuver through the cramped streets of Old Town

'We have a lot of training to do,' Fire Chief Mike O'Brien said Monday.

O'Brien welcomes the challenge posed by the department's latest addition, which arrived Saturday. The 48-foot-long Ferrara engine, which has a 100-foot ladder, is the first vehicle purchased by the department since 1999.

With a four-story business hotel under construction in Suisun City, the ladder engine became a necessity for the department. Firefighters will now be able to reach the top of the hotel and also perform rooftop evacuations at other buildings.

'We can move people quicker and it is much safer for the volunteers,' O'Brien said.

The search for a ladder engine began in November 2007, and the department was determined to acquire one by end of this year in time for the hotel's opening.

That hunt led department officials to Ferrara Fire Apparatus of Holden, La., which promised to build a ladder engine well before the department's deadline, O'Brien said.

Meeting the deadline was not a problem for Ferrara, which had already built the cab, chassis and ladder for a ladder engine by the time Suisun City fire officials came calling.

The construction and outfitting of the engine was completed earlier this month, and then it was driven from Louisiana through Texas, Arizona and New Mexico on the way to its new home.

See the complete story at the Daily Republic online.

Feeding a need

Feeding a need
Local country supply store to host gala grand opening despite sour economy, rising costs
By Richard Bammer
Article Launched: 09/28/2008



Roland Higby (left), Scott Hulbert (center), and Luke Van Laningham of Higby's Country Feed, stand inside the store's large new location on Curry Road. (Rick Roach / The Reporter)

Spirits are beginning to soar at Higby's Country Feed, Inc., which awaits an Oct. 4 grand opening, but the owner tempers his feelings with the gloomy reality show that is the soured U.S. economy, saying 2008 revenues are about the same as last year but sales are down.

"By the same token, we're doing OK," said Roland Higby, who newly expanded his Dixon feed, fencing and clothing store from a relatively small 1,500 square feet to 7,200. The store is a cheerful forest green steel building, with three smaller adjacent hay and feed barns, at 8470 Currey Road."

Tenuous bottom lines plague feed stores up and down California and across the United States, he noted, adding that increased hay and feed prices - which have doubled over the past year - are forcing horse, pig, chicken and pet owners to cut back on their buying and, in some cases, to give up or sell their animals. He acknowledged that some product sales at his store have dropped off.

"I know some (stores) are going to go out of business," said Higby. "You're going to lose some of them and some will survive, hopefully, on the other side and be better for it."

Still, he looks forward to the all-day grand opening event, which includes prize giveaways, kids activities and on-site product experts. And customers are generally excited by his new store's more spacious, well-lighted interior layout - about the size of a small airplane hangar - the new merchandise, and the 20-space parking lot, added Higby, who, with wife Denise, opened the business in April 1984.

"It's very shopper-friendly," he said. "Customers like the whole new layout. It's easy to shop. Our old store was cramped and it was difficult to shop - it was hard to find stuff under other stuff. A lot of stuff in this store was in the other. We just spread it out."

A quick scan of the merchandise, shelved or hung along wide aisles or on the ample walls, reveals virtually every kind of horse product, English and Western tack and some veterinarian supplies; cattle supplies (ear tags, fly repellent, salt blocks, etc.); dog, cat, bird and rabbit food and assorted pet supplies; chicken and goat food; mesh wire and electric fencing, metal fencing stakes and green wooden fence posts; Western clothing, including boots, coats, gloves, shirts and denim jeans for men and women; assorted handmade soaps and other gifts.

The hay barn, just a stone's throw from the entrance, boasts six different kinds of hay, including rye, alfalfa and oats, stacked in bales that reach more than two stories. Among his customers, Higby noted, are the University of California, Davis, Equine Center, the Sacramento Zoo and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo.

"We do lots of deliveries," he said.

Higby, 54, who lives in a one-story ranch house on the 4-acre property, said building the new facility, with its time-consuming county and city permit process and reviews, "was a challenge," a couple of years in the making. He started the actual building in January but kept the old store intact - where the new cement parking lot is today - until Aug. 4.

As his business has expanded, Higby has hired more employees. Today, he employs 17 people, half full time, half part time. He incorporated his business in 2004 and said his biggest concerns, like those of countless small-business owners, are inflation and the costs of health insurance and energy.

Born in Fairfield but raised in Dixon, Higby said longtime customers enjoy the "country feel" the store offers. He called them "good people" and, through the years, has naturally come to call them by their first names.

"You get to know their families," he added, smiling.

But some of the families are cutting back on their feed purchases, or adhering to a fixed budget, a casualty of the poor economy or, in some cases, job loss, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture officials. Recent reports indicate that higher feed prices are the result of higher energy and production costs and tightening supplies.

A market reporter for USDA, Jack Getz said high-quality hay sells for up to $300 a ton, up by about $40 to $60 per ton from last year. He said a lot of corn, which used to be used for feed, has instead been diverted to ethanol production.

Getz noted that in California, the problem is worsened because fewer acres are devoted to hay, which requires lots of costly water. Farmers instead have begun planting more permanent crops such as almonds, pistachios and walnuts.

Additionally, he noted, American feed supplies will likely tighten because of increasing demand for milk from Asian countries, such as China and India.

Higby somewhat lamented the rapidly changing nature of his business, its pressures brought on by the new global economy, but is clearly more focused on the Oct. 4 grand opening, saying he feels "overwhelmed."

"I still have to get ready, we're still wrapping up the construction," he said. "We're cleaning up the edges around the construction. It'll be nice when all this stuff is done."



Higby's Country Feed on Curry Road in Dixon has a new 7,200-square-foot facility offering a wide selection of western dress, ranch supplies, hats and feed. (Rick Roach/The Reporter)

AT A GLANCE
What: Higby's Country Feed, Inc.
Address: 8470 Currey Road, Dixon
Phone: 678-9007
Web site: www.higbyfeed.com
Owner: Roland Higby
Hours: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays; and 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays
Services, products: Supplies and feed for farm and ranch animals and pets, Western and English tack and horse-riding clothing, electric fencing, and gifts
Number of employees: 17
Grand opening: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on Oct. 4

Monday, September 29, 2008

CENTENNIAL WITH 100 PLUS ENDOWED CHAIRS, PROFESSORSHIPS

University of California, Davis
September 29, 2008

UC DAVIS MARKS CENTENNIAL WITH 100 PLUS ENDOWED CHAIRS, PROFESSORSHIPS

[Editor's note: For digital photos related to the two featured chairs, please e-mail jaeasley@ucdavis.edu.]

A wildlife biologist and his students strap on hip waders and walk into the muck of a wetland in California's Central Valley. There, he directs their eyes to the large skies of North America's most important flyway for migrating birds.

A constitutional scholar explains the nation's most important document to aspiring lawyers as well as to legislative committees and staff, church and civic groups, and professional conferences across the country.

As different as these University of California, Davis, professors are, they share a special distinction: They hold prestigious chairs and professorships endowed by donors to provide continuing support for their research, teaching and public service. And as UC Davis celebrates its centennial this year, the university has passed another milestone: it now boasts more than 100 such chairs and professorships -- a testament to its academic stature and its important contributions to society.

"Our friends who endow chairs and professorships make gifts that keep on giving," said UC Davis Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef. "They are advancing knowledge, preparing students to contribute to society, and making a difference in the lives of the people of California and beyond, not just now but forever."

The first 30 years

It was about 30 years ago that the first endowed chair was established at UC Davis. In 1977, the descendants of two California pioneers, Benjamin Porter and William Sesnon, gave the campus a ranch in Nevada that provided the funding for the Sesnon Chair in Animal Science.

Since then, individual donors, businesses, foundations and others have matched their passion and purpose with UC Davis' academic aspirations to establish endowed chairs and professorships in fields ranging from schizophrenia research to technology management and from energy efficiency to orchestral conducting. Interest earned on the investment of the endowed gifts provides an ongoing source of funding for the chair holder's professional activities, including support for research, equipment and specialized materials, student support and academic travel.

Today, newly endowed chairs require a gift of $1 million or more, depending on the unit and purpose of the chair. New professorships require at least $500,000. While there is not a combined figure for all endowed chairs and professorships, their funds are among about $650 million in the UC Davis endowment.

The 'next generation'

Shaun Oldenburger is on the lookout for the health of waterfowl and their habitat in California. A state wildlife biologist, he is one of about 22 UC Davis students who received financial support through the Dennis G. Raveling Endowed Professorship in Waterfowl Biology and are now waterfowl, wetland and wildlife biologists in government agencies, conservation groups and universities across the country.

When internationally recognized waterfowl teacher and researcher Dennis Raveling died in 1991, UC Davis' teaching and leadership in the field could have been threatened.

But Peter Stent, a rancher and avid outdoorsman from Woodside, Calif., and his wife, Nora, provided a key gift that led donations from many other friends of California waterfowl to establish the professorship. Later, the California Department of Fish and Game used receipts from the sale of duck hunting stamps as matching funds for even more donations.

UC Davis hired John Eadie to the professorship in 1995, and he began teaching waterfowl ecology and management in 1996. Stent said endowing a professorship leverages a lot of resources. "You don't just get one professor," he said. "You get all his students who end up going into the field."

Real-world impact

Like other endowed chairs and professorships, the Raveling Chair supports research that contributes to knowledge and addresses real-world problems.

Eadie and his students focus on protecting and improving the wetland and agricultural habitats of the Central Valley that in winter support 3 million to 4 million waterfowl -- the largest single concentration in North America. California has lost more than 90 percent of its wetlands, Eadie said, and what remains continues to be threatened by conversion to agriculture, urban expansion and flood control projects.

He and his students receive grants from government agencies and leading wildlife organizations. Their publications and presentations have a wide reach, and the leadership of the program ranges from advising a community wetland project to hosting the North American Duck Symposium.

"This is a giant step from the pure research to the applied research," Stent said. "That is the mission of the land grant university, is it not?"

Oldenburger, who received about $18,000 through the professorship, graduated in March with a master's degree in avian sciences and now works for the waterfowl program of the California Department of Fish and Game.

"The real product of this isn't just the research," Eadie said. "It's the next generation."

A living legacy

UC Davis alumni Charles and Charlotte Bird of San Diego gave $350,000 to raise the stature of the law school and promote the constitutional values they hold dear. The law firm partner and his wife, Charlotte, a studio artist who graduated from UC Davis in 1969, established the Boochever and Bird Chair for the Study and Teaching of Freedom and Equality.

It honors Charles Bird's late parents and Judge Robert Boochever of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Charles Bird clerked for Boochever when he was a justice of the Alaska Supreme Court.

The Boochever and Bird Chair "feels to both of us very connected to what we think a public university's law school ought to be able to continue to do," said Charles Bird, who earned a bachelor's degree and then graduated from the law school in 1973. "It's about constitutional law and rights of all people without regard to economics. The hope was that it would attract and retain outstanding faculty in that kind of pursuit."

Indeed, the new chair helped bring to the law school Cruz Reynoso, a former associate justice of the California Supreme Court and a leading advocate for civil and human rights. He taught at UC Davis from 2001 until his retirement in 2007. Now holding the chair is Professor Alan Brownstein, a nationally recognized constitutional law scholar who has taught at the law school for 27 years.

"People really want to understand what the First Amendment means and how it applies to the issues they hear about -- a lot of these are hot-button issues," said Brownstein, who specializes in church-state issues and freedom of speech. "So we should go out and talk to people about how the Constitution works and what rights we have."

Brownstein uses the chair funds to support his research and academic speaking engagements and to host guest speakers and workshops at the law school. Earlier this year, he was faculty adviser to a symposium on free speech rights in public schools. And he annually presents a review of the decisions of the U.S Supreme Court to the Sacramento Federal Bar Association.

The professor frequently publishes articles in prestigious law journals, and recently he and a co-author completed a manuscript that will help professors who teach domestic law introduce their students to international human rights law and comparative constitutional law.

Watching their donation give life to important American values and human rights, the Birds said they are pleased. "It's an investment.
It's not an investment that returns money," Charles Bird said. "It's something much more important about projecting values into the future."

"Each gift is an inspirational story," Vanderhoef said. "I wish we could tell each one because, in fact, all of our donors inspire us."

Among other endowed chairs and professorships at UC Davis:

* The Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians of the Capay Valley gave $350,000 to establish the Rumsey Rancheria Endowed Chair in California Indian Studies. Held by linguist and Professor Martha Macri, it supports her efforts to help preserve and revitalize the languages of Native Americans.

"We are grateful to have a neighbor like UC Davis to partner with us on this restoration," Tribal Council Chair Marshall McKay said recently at UC Davis' convocation. "The first university in the nation to have a Department of Native American Studies, UC Davis has a commitment to advancing scholarly knowledge while also attending to the needs of Native communities."

The Rumsey Indian Rancheria's Community Fund gave $1 million for diabetes research and community health outreach. "When the Yocha-De-He Nation funded the Rumsey Endowed Chair in Pediatric Endocrinology at UC Davis," McKay said, "we saw it as an important step toward preventing diabetes in the group who holds our future:
our youth."

* Dolly and David Fiddyment of Roseville gave $1.09 million to establish what is the first endowed chair for the School of Education and one of only a handful of academic chairs nationwide that are focused on teacher education. They wanted to help attract a nationally recognized scholar to lead the teacher education program and provide California with well-prepared teachers.

* The planned gift estate of Stanley and Barbara Fingerut will establish the Stanley Allan Fingerut and Barbara Esquibel Fingerut Endowed Chair in Cancer Research. The chair will provide support for cancer research, including multiple myeloma, which claimed Stanley Fingerut's life in 2001.

"UC Davis provided great medical care," said Barbara Fingerut. "I feel you should always give back to the community that gave to you.
My loyalty belongs to the university."

For a listing of new chairs and professorships, please visit the Web version of this story at .

Media contact(s):
* Julia Ann Easley, UC Davis News Service, (530) 752-8248, jaeasley@ucdavis.edu


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Thursday, September 25, 2008

MTC OKs funds to help keep ferry afloat

MTC OKs funds to help keep ferry afloat
Officials plan to lower prices, expand service
By RACHEL RASKIN-ZRIHEN/Times-Herald staff writer
Article Launched: 09/25/2008



Passengers walk up a ramp to board the Baylink ferry Wednesday. (Chris Riley/Times-Herald)

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission on Wednesday approved the allocation of $1.9 million in toll bridge funds needed to keep the Vallejo ferry afloat.

This paves the way for planned service expansions that will link the region to the rest of the Bay Area with the Vallejo ferry at the center, said city transportation chief Crystal Odem Ford.

"We're very pleased," Odem Ford said. "It will have a positive impact on ridership. The Vallejo ferry terminal is one of the Bay Area's 12 most important transit hubs, according to the MTC."

Ferry ridership became an issue after falling precipitously following a significant rate hike in June.

The money will cover the ferry's operating costs for the rest of the fiscal year, and allow Vallejo to reduce fares to nearly what they were before the increase.

The funds are for one year only and any future funding requests will be subject to the completion of the transfer of Vallejo's Baylink Ferry operations to the recently created Water Emergency Transportation Authority, or WETA, on July 1.

The Solano Transportation Authority approved its $150,000 portion of the funding Sept. 10 and the Solano County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote on its $150,000 contribution Oct. 7, for a total of $2.2 million.

Vallejo's ferry system faced a projected $1.9 million deficit in fiscal year 2008-09 because of rising fuel prices and lost ridership. Vallejo officials say they hope the reduced fares, combined with added service, will help recoup the estimated 10 percent to 15 percent loss in ridership experienced since the June fare increase.

Expanded service will include new bus routes from surrounding cities to Vallejo's Baylink Ferry terminal.

The new SolanoExpress/Baylink Route 78 is set to start Oct. 6. Operated by Vallejo Transit with the Solano Transportation Authority, the service will feature commuter-style buses that will connect to the Vallejo ferry terminal from Vallejo, Benicia, and the Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek BART.

And a new express bus route operated by Napa VINE Transit will connect the Napa Valley to the ferry terminal in early 2009, officials said.

"This will be a limited-stop line, with plush, reclining seats and Wi-Fi, from Calistoga to Vallejo, with one stop in each city along the way," said acting Napa transit program manager Deborah Brunner. "There are a lot of Napans commuting into the Oakland/San Francisco side, and many are driving, catching the bus or the ferry."

In a prepared statement, Vallejo Mayor Osby Davis and former mayor and WETA board member Tony Intintoli both expressed satisfaction with the way things are going leading up to the state takeover of the ferry.

Wing commander takes Travis post

Wing commander takes Travis post
By Reporter Staff
Article Launched: 09/25/2008

Col. John Lipinski assumed command of the 615th Contingency Response Wing on Tuesday.

As commander of the 615th CRW - one of only two such wings in the U.S. Air Force - Colonel Lipinski will lead an assigned military and civilian work force of more than 700 people.

Prior to arriving at Travis AFB, Colonel Lipinski was the commander of the 15th Maintenance Group at Hickam AFB, Hawaii.

In addition to experience at numerous operational and staff assignments throughout his 23-year career, he is a command pilot with more than 3,900 flying hours in multiple aircraft weapon systems and combat time in the C-130E.

The 615th CRW is a tenant unit at Travis AFB, with a mission focused on rapidly establishing air mobility operations in support of contingency efforts and humanitarian operations.

Members of the wing are expertly trained to load and depart to locations worldwide in less than 12 hours after receiving a call to respond.

The wing's most recent humanitarian operations include deploying airmen in support of hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

County's latest solar system is largest

County's latest solar system is largest
By Ian Thompson | Daily Republic | September 24, 2008



In an effort to save on energy costs, new solar panels stretching the length of bus parking lots were installed near the Solano Correctional Facilities in Fairfield. Photo by Mike Greener

FAIRFIELD - Tuesday was a perfect time to dedicate a solar array capable of generating 746,000 watts of electrical power.

'Hopefully, we are making money now,' Solano County Supervisor John Vasquez said in reference to the sunny weather.

County supervisors, Fairfield-Suisun School Board members and representatives of Honeywell Building Solutions and PG&E dedicated the solar array, which will generate nearly 1.2 million kilowatt-hours of energy each year.

The array covers part of the school district's bus yard, providing an additional benefit of shade for the fleet.

The solar panels will provide 60 percent of the electricity needs for the adjacent Claybank Jail, and county officials estimated the array will save more than $1 million in energy costs during the next 20 years.

Those savings could go to county-sponsored crime prevention programs, Supervisor John Silva said.

'It will reduce our dependency on those foreign folks who charge us a lot of money,' Vasquez said.

The county now has three solar arrays, and the latest is the largest. The county also has a 230,000-watt array on the roof of the Health and Social Services building on Beck Avenue and a 120,000-watt array on the County Government Center's parking structure.

See the complete story at the Daily Republic online.

Amendment to Nut Tree is adopted

Amendment to Nut Tree is adopted
By Ryan Chalk
Article Launched: 09/24/2008

Tenants of the Nut Tree Village made sure that the Vacaville City Council understood one thing Tuesday night, and that was a need for more foot traffic.

In what may be described as a bittersweet victory for business owners in the upscale retail center, members of the Council and Redevelopment Agency voted unanimously to adopt a fourth amendment to the Nut Tree development agreement to allow a broader mix of service and office uses at the Nut Tree Village and Freeway Commercial parcels.

Previously, members of the Planning Commission voted 3-2 to deny the amendment on the grounds that the proposed changes would compromise the quality of the Nut Tree development and were not in keeping with the high-quality standards originally proposed by the developer and as required by the city.

But a majority of the tenants who spoke on the issue stated sheer economics in asking for the council's support.

"I had high hopes for a high-end Nut Tree," said Jerry Thornton, who owns Thornton & Sons Jewelers. "But I think we're going to have to do whatever it takes. Let's get this thing moving and let's get it done."

As part of the amendment, developer Nut Tree Associates would like to add, among other businesses, banks and credit unions as an option for tenants at the development as well as health and beauty services.

Children's learning centers, adult secondary educational facilities and medical-office uses also are included in the proposed amendments, as well as an improved tenant-approval process.

Also in favor of the plan was Scott Whidden, representing Fentons Creamery and Restaurant.

Whidden said he came to the Nut Tree because he was sold on its magic and wanted to be a part of the tradition.

"Has the economy affected this project? Absolutely. But whether it's a doctor, ... or a firefighter, foot traffic is foot traffic," Whidden said. "We're hopeful."

Plagued by vacancies in the retail center, tenants have struggled to obtain enough shoppers throughout the week to support the high-end rents they have been paying.

Pamela Randall, who operates youth-oriented clothing store Kool Kids, agreed with allowing in a broader mix of stores but asked that rents be adjusted on the grounds that the high-end retail environment was not being delivered.

Vice Mayor Chuck Dimmick agreed with rent adjustments for tenants, along with a call for enhanced marketing.

But most agree that bringing in an adult-education center such as Western Career College and medical offices, the mid-week and daytime population of shoppers would increase significantly.

"I'm a realist. I support this because we need tax revenue to support things such as police and fire services," Councilwoman Pauline Clancy said. "If we can make just one move to assure our quality of life ... I think we should do it."

Monday, September 22, 2008

New business park welcomes Maaco as first tenant

New business park welcomes Maaco as first tenant
By Ben Antonius | Daily Republic | September 18, 2008



Derek Coombes, left, talks to Karl Dumas, with the City of Fairfield, in the future home of his Maaco Collision Repair & Auto Painting franchise in the newly built Horizon Business Park in Fairfield. The park consists of three buildings and Maaco is the first tenant for the project. Photo by Brad Zweerink

FAIRFIELD - The latest addition to Fairfield's business scene is Maaco Collision Repair & Auto Painting, a national chain that is opening its first location in the city.

The company has signed a lease to occupy four units of the newly built Horizon Business Park off of Air Base Parkway. Owners said it is expected to open in late December or early January.

Maaco is a 'niche auto body repair' business, said franchisee Derek Coombes. He said the company specializes in repainting and minor to moderate body work.

'If there's a wreck on the side of the road that has to be put on a truck, that car wouldn't go to Maaco,' he said.

Because of its niche, Coombes said Maaco offers a faster process and significantly lower prices than traditional auto body shops.

Not dealing with wrecked cars spares the company the need to buy certain types of equipment, reducing overhead, and speeds up the overall process, he said.

'It is run almost like a factory production line,' he said. 'The faster you turn around, the lower your price can be.'

Maaco operates about 475 stores nationwide, company spokesman Bill Silverman wrote in a statement. The Horizon location is Fairfield's first, but the company already operates one location in Vacaville.

See the complete story at the Daily Republic online.

Solar saviors?: Panels would spare about $1 million over time

Solar saviors?: Panels would spare about $1 million over time
By Danny Bernardini
Article Launched: 09/20/2008

Solano County will dedicate a 746-kilowatt solar panel near Claybank Jail in Fairfield on Tuesday, a move that is expected to save around $1 million over the next 20 years.

The Solano County Board of Supervisors and Honeywell will formally dedicate the structure on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. in the bus parking lot near the Claybank Adult Detention Facility at 2470 Claybank Road in Fairfield.

Not only will the solar array generate almost 1.2 million kilowatt-hours of electricity each year - enough to power more than 100 homes - it will provide enough energy to provide nearly 60 percent of the electricity required to power the adjacent Claybank Jail.

It will also serve as a parking structure for the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District buses. Jason Campbell, facilities operation manager, said the district leases the land from the county, so it didn't take much discussion to make the deal happen.

Campbell said the project has only cost the county between $15,000 and $20,000 in contracting costs because of a power purchase agreement with Honeywell.

The company pays for the construction, and in return gets the tax credits and incentives associated with solar projects.

Steve Pierce, public information officer for Solano County, said he believes that the newest solar project will be the largest producer of solar energy in the county.

Collectively, the county's three solar generating facilities produce 1.096 megawatts of electricity, just barely edging out Alza's 1 megawatt solar field.

Ship-related business eyes Mare Island

Ship-related business eyes Mare Island
By Jessica A. York/MediaNews staff
Article Launched: 09/21/2008

In the latest round of renewed interest in Mare Island's dry docks, one as-of-yet-unnamed company may be the first to apply for a city planning permit.

Vallejo planning staff, in conjunction with dock owners Lennar Mare Island, only recently designed a plan detailing site development and business use guidelines for the island's dry docks two, three and four.

Plan development unit plans are required for all Mare Island projects, but this plan goes a step further by looking specifically at ship-related land use in the city, Vallejo Senior Planner Michelle Hightower said recently.

"We were told there were a number of interested parties and because this is something new for the city, we really wanted to take a look at what we would need as a city," Hightower said.

Though Mare Island is a former naval base, the island is not home to any existing ship-related business, Hightower said.

Hightower would not disclose the name of the prospective applicant, only saying the city was hoping to receive the unit plan application in coming weeks.

The applicant is not required to have a current lease with the property owner, but Lennar Mare Island, also the island's master developer, must sign off on the application.

LMI has at least seven entities actively interested in leasing the island's dry docks for a variety of mostly ship-related purposes, said LMI spokesman Jason Keadjian.

Keadjian said that companies have been interested in using the dry docks for years, but only recently has potential funding backing also been available. One such contract comes from the U.S. Maritime Administration, which has approved Petaluma-based Allied Defense Recycling to dismantle four of its decommissioned Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet vessels at Mare Island.

Allied has also received a water discharge permit from the San Francisco Bay Region Regional Water Quality Control Board, valid from Sept. 1 through 2013, allowing a ship building and recycling facility on Mare Island. When last contacted, the company was seeking an Army Corps of Engineers permit to conduct dredging of the silt in the water around the dry dock doors. A representative from Allied could not be reached.

Keadjian acknowledged that one potential tenant "is further down the road than the others" with responding to the city unit plan. He would not elaborate.

"We are very encouraged by the interest that we've received recently ... (especially) because it appears that there are contracts available at this time that would help to finance the substantial projects that would make the dry docks usable."

Keadjian said some needed dry docks maintenance work includes silt dredging near the dry dock doors, which have not been used in nearly a decade, and mechanical and electrical work for the dry dock system.

Setting up camp

Setting up camp
Construction rolls along at new Camping World site
By Reporter Staff
Article Launched: 09/21/2008



Heavy equipment crews work at the construction site of Camping World in Vacaville recently. The new RV and outdoor store will open in January. (Rick Roach/The Reporter)

Construction on a new Camping World location in Vacaville is moving on schedule, say developers. The project was approved by the Vacaville Planning Commission earlier this year and Claudia Ryan-Mosley, representing Camping World developer Oppidan Investment Company, said the store owners are "excited to get up and running."

The new Camping World store will occupy two parcels totaling 8.6 acres. The facility will feature a 2.8-acre RV display area, in addition to a one-story, nearly 36,000-square-foot retail, service and office building. About 85 percent of the location's inventory will be new while 15 percent will be used.

"Camping World sells RVS but also all the camping equipment and accessories to go with it," explained Ryan-Mosley. "They are the largest distributor of such equipment in the country."

The site will offer 134 parking spaces, and access will be from a driveway on Quinn Road.

The developers hope to have the facility open in January.

"We were able to gain some ground on construction because the weather has been cooperative," said Ryan-Mosley, who noted that walls will be going up soon.

She credited that progress to general contractor at the site, Hilbers Construction of Yuba City, as well as to the staff of the city of Vacaville.

"Construction standards are high in California and the city has been very helpful and cooperative," she said.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Copart Adds Fourth Facility in Kentucky

Copart Adds Fourth Facility in Kentucky

FAIRFIELD, Calif., Sept 18, 2008 - Copart, Inc. today announced the opening of a new 10-acre facility in Louisville, Kentucky. This latest addition to Copart’s growing footprint marks the company’s fourth facility in Kentucky, the 132nd facility in North America, and the 144th facility world-wide.

Copart CEO and founder Willis J. Johnson said the site will serve Western Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

“Copart is continually working to be closer to our buyers and our sellers’ vehicles in order to reduce their transportation costs, improve cycle times, and make the remarketing process more efficient,” said Johnson.

Group hoping to bring USS Iowa to M.I. to hold informational open house

Group hoping to bring USS Iowa to M.I. to hold informational open house
Times-Herald staff report
Article Launched: 09/19/2008

An open house to learn more about efforts to bring the USS Iowa to Vallejo will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Mare Island Museum, 8th Street and Railroad Avenue on Mare Island.

"It's a chance for the community to interface with all the people involved with the effort and learn about all that they are doing to make it happen," said Merilyn Wong, president and director of Historic Ships Memorial at Pacific Square, the organization trying to find the battleship a new home.

Exhibits and photos will be available, and a film will be shown about the Iowa and efforts to bring it to Vallejo. The original Iowa whaleboat, used to transport troops on and off the ship, also will be on hand.

The free event will feature food and refreshments for a nominal charge, plus a "ship's store" with souvenirs for sale. All proceeds will go to the project.

If the Iowa comes to Mare Island, it would likely be docked between dry docks Nos. 1 and 2 in Mare Island's historic core.

The foundation needs to raise a minimum of $16.7 million, but is trying for $20 million, Wong said. So far, about $1 million has been raised, she said.

One of the Iowa's legacies is that it transported President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the Tehran Conference peace talks with Joseph Stalin and Winston Churchill during World War II. It also is the only battleship outfitted with a bath tub.

Currently part of the Suisun Bay Mothball Fleet, the Iowa was launched Aug. 27, 1942, and decommissioned in 1990. Mothballed in 2001, the ship is 888 feet (nearly three football fields), and about 108 feet tall.

For more information, visit www.battleshipiowa.org.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Rio Vista to hear options for bridge's future

Rio Vista to hear options for bridge's future
By Barry Eberling | Daily Republic | September 17, 2008



Four options are being considered for the eplacement of the Rio Vista bridge. Photo by Daily Republic File

RIO VISTA - Four options are on the table for a Rio Vista Bridge replacement to one day take Highway 12 traffic over the Sacramento River.

The existing bridge is more than four decades old and has two lanes. It is a drawbridge that must be raised even for sailboats with tall masts, bringing highway traffic to a halt.

Transportation leaders will present the four options to the Rio Vista City Council on Wednesday. The study session will take place at 5:30 p.m. at the council chamber at One Main Street.

'It's the community that would be most affected by any relocation of the bridge,' Solano Transportation Authority Planning Director Janet Adams said.

Simply building a higher bridge, such as the Antioch Bridge, at the same site as the existing bridge would be challenging. Such a bridge needs approaches that rise gradually upward. That approach structure would be in the middle of Rio Vista, soaring above the restaurants, gas stations and stores that line Highway 12.

The STA wants to hear what Rio Vista officials think about the following four options:

- Building a wider drawbridge at the existing site.

- Having Highway 12 cross under the Sacramento River in a tunnel, perhaps in a tube sunk along the bottom.

- Relocating the Sacramento River crossing north of Rio Vista and building a higher bridge.

- Relocating the Sacramento River crossing south of Rio Vista and building a higher bridge.

Adams said there are constraints. Among them are protected Delta zones, the old Army depot to the south of the city that's targeted for redevelopment and soil conditions on the other side of the river, she said.

See the complete story at the Daily Republic online.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cal Maritime doing its part to lure students to college

Cal Maritime doing its part to lure students to college
By TONY BURCHYNS/Times-Herald staff writer
Article Launched: 09/16/2008

California Maritime Academy is reaching out to Vallejo's public schools to encourage more students to go to college.

Developing partnerships include after-school tutoring at the elementary level and college-prep clubs for high schoolers, said Norris Cooper Jr., the director of Cal Maritime's recently established Center for Community Engagement.

Further, Cooper is organizing a conference next month called "Live the Dream" aimed at demystifying the college application process for high school students and their parents. It is scheduled for Oct. 18 at Cal Maritime.

In 2005, Cooper helped create the Black Male Symposium at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, which won an NASPA award.

"The most exciting thing for me is to give these kids an opportunity," Cooper said. "It takes a lot of work to get these things going ... but if we don't do it, nobody's going to do it."

Campuses across the California State University system are striving to boost applications from minority students. In recent years, the state-wide effort has included the annual Super Sunday event, where university presidents, provosts and faculty members speak to congregations of African-American churches.

These efforts helped spawn Cal Maritime's Center for Community Engagement, which started three months ago, Cooper said.

Vallejo City Unified School District Superintendent Mary Bull met with Cooper last week to discuss ways the center can partner with district schools.

"She met with them and was impressed with the work they are doing," district spokesman Jason Hodge said. "At this point they are reaching out to us and we are open to seeing how we can work with them on partnerships that will benefit Vallejo students."

Cooper said plans are unfolding for Cal Maritime students to run computer-based reading and math tutoring programs at Highland and Patterson elementary schools.

Additionally, he wants to launch college-prep clubs at district high schools that would re-quire students to dress professionally one day a week if they are a member.

"My hope would be that their participation and appearance would slowly begin to change other students," Cooper said.

The clubs would also visit college campuses and help plan another student conference next year, Cooper said.

"I have done these for years and have always had great community participation," Cooper said. "I am committed to the task and hope that we can all rally these young people around education."

For more information on Cal Maritime's Center for Community Engagement, call (707) 654-1288 or e-mail ncooper@csum.edu.

• E-mail Tony Burchyns at tburchyns@thnewsnet.com or call 553-6831.

Environmental interns slash firms’ energy use

Environmental interns slash firms’ energy use
San Francisco Business Times - by Lindsay Riddell
Friday, September 12, 2008

A first-ever internship program sponsored by the Environmental Defense Fund is saving some Bay Area corporations big bucks by helping them reduce energy use.

The Climate Corps program matched seven M.B.A. candidates from the Presidio School of Management, University of California, Davis, Stanford University and other schools with seven companies including Salesforce.com, Cisco Systems and Intuit to come up with strategies for energy use.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, commercial buildings make up 16.9 percent of all green house gas emissions from electricity use.

“It’s a huge sector to tackle and also a huge opportunity for companies to save money if they can reduce their energy use,” said Beth Trask, manager of the corporate partnership program for the Environmental Defense Fund in San Francisco.

There are many reasons though, that companies aren’t investing in energy efficiency upgrades including: lack of awareness, lack of time and lease agreements that deter companies from investing in infrastructure, Trask said. So the program’s interns looked at what companies could do.

The results?

Cisco’s new data center program will save the company $24 million over the next five years and pay off its investment in just a year and a half. It will also help the company reduce green house gas emissions by 3 percent, contributing to San Jose-based Cisco’s 25 percent reductions goal.

Santa Clara-based Nvidia expects to save more than $150,000 a year with simple programs like having security guards to turn off lights in unused sections of buildings at night and by requiring the company’s vending machine vendors to install motion sensor controls that limit electricity use during off-peak hours.

The program allowed Nvidia to assess and measure the true cost savings of energy efficiency programs.

“Having those numbers is power to go to your executives,” said Toni Hansen, Nvidia’s social responsibility manager. “If you’re an internal group like ours, you can’t just go around saying: ‘It’s the right thing to do so you need to invest $100,000.’ You need to present it from the business perspective.”

Nvidia’s intern, Marn-Yee Lee, an M.B.A. candidate at the Presidio School of Management, also helped the company measure savings in terms of emissions reductions.

The Presidio School of Management is working with the Environmental Defense Fund now to develop a marketing and strategic plan for the Climate Corps internship program to scale it up in coming years and get more M.B.A. candidates and companies involved.

lriddell@bizjournals.com / (415) 288-4968

Suisun City OKs bike path project

Suisun City OKs bike path project
By Ian Thompson | DAILY REPUBLIC | September 16, 2008

SUISUN CITY - The Suisun City Council approved moving ahead Tuesday night with the project to allow bicyclists an easier way to get downtown from eastern Suisun City.

The council approved giving City Manager Suzanne Bragdon the OK to contract with Lister Construction to build a 10-foot-wide bike-path from Marina Boulevard to the train station.

'This is a much-needed section to allow people to get into Old Town,' said Suisun City Building Official Dave Kasperson.

Councilmembers didn't immediately approve the contract because Lister's bid of $941,881 exceeded the $850,000 the city budgeted to build the path which includes a pedestrian bridge.

Suisun City Hall has redesigned the plans to cut costs by changing the bridge's design, cutting back on sewer work in the project and reducing the associated street work.

Given the cuts, City Hall is still talking to Lister about the reductions.

The council also approved buying a little more than an acre of land just northwest of the Highway 12 off-ramp that is needed to make the bikeway's construction possible.

City Councilman Mike Segala was laudatory of the project saying it will allow residents to get safely from one side of town to the other once it is finished.

See the complete story at the Daily Republic online.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Napa leaders begin exploring response to Dey’s planned exit

Napa leaders begin exploring response to Dey’s planned exit
Monday, September 15, 2008
BY LORALEE STEVENS
STAFF REPORTER

NAPA – Napa business and government leaders are scrambling to respond to the closure within two years or sooner of Dey Laboratories’ 540-employee campus.

Following the layoffs at Queen of the Valley Hospital and the imminent closure of the Napa Mervyn’s, last week’s announcement stunned the business community.

Of huge concern is finding another use for the Dey facility, which was developed for and by Dey and has never been on the commercial market.

“We’re in meetings and discussions,” said Napa City Manager Mike Parness. “We’re putting out feelers and talking with brokers.”

Napa had been intending to sharpen its focus on filling commercial developments downtown. The pressure has now increased considerably.

While Dey generates very little in the way of sales tax, property taxes on the company’s 25-acre holding are significant. With an assessed value of more than $48 million for the land and $42 million in buildings and assets, Dey pays about $1 million a year, making it the city’s largest generator of property tax, according to Napa County Assessor John Tuteur.

“The impact on Napa will be slight if the building is sold to another pharmaceutical or med-tech company. If it becomes vacant for a time and needs to be reconfigured to other uses, the impact could be substantial,” said Mr. Tuteur.

Finding the right tenant is crucial, and although parent company Mylan said it hoped future use would re-employ Dey workers who remain in California, it has no obligation to make that happen.

Up until now, Napa has not offered fiscal incentives for companies to locate within its limits, but, “We’ll sit down and look at all the options,” said Mr. Parness.

According to Mike Moffett, a broker with Coldwell Banker, Dey’s departure strikes a serious blow to work force diversity, something Napa has tried hard to develop.

“Housing and retail in Napa won’t be affected because the greater percentage of Dey workers live out of the county, many in Solano,” he said. “Short-term there may be some easing of traffic coming into the valley, but long-term the loss of well-paying, skilled jobs outside the wine industry will have a negative effect on the longevity of the business community.”

Brian Kelly, president and CEO of Charter Oak Bank in Napa, feels that the long-term stability of Napa is assured.

“The displacement of so many employees will be difficult for the community, and the nonprofit community will be affected, but the region has rallied in the past,” he said, mentioning the closure of Mare Island.

“But I’ve been here for 25 years, and I’m not concerned for the future. Napa consistently has the lowest unemployment of counties in the state.

“Dey’s leaving is a function of the down economy and general business trends, which follows a cycle of growth and retrenchment. The community leadership needs to come together and figure out the best way to handle it,” said Mr. Kelly.

Already turning are the wheels of the Napa Workforce Investment Board, which has put into motion its Rapid Response mechanism.

“We’re setting up a meeting with Dey’s human resources director, who is also a member of our board,” said Executive Director Bruce Wilson.

The Napa WIB is currently in data-gathering mode, he said. Once the number and the timing of the layoffs has been determined, it’ll work with Dey and with individual employees to determine job skills, retraining possibilities and where similar jobs might be found.

“We also bring in representatives from the State Department of Labor and Department of Employment Development. There are lots of people already at work on this,” he said, adding that he’ll apply for a state dislocated worker grant to fund the activities.

In Solano County, the Solano County Economic Development Corp. Director Mike Ammann compared Dey’s closing to the acquisition of Berlex in Richmond by Bayer. Several hundred of its workers lived in Solano.

“Fortunately, our own business community includes a biomed sector and several large manufacturers. Most of the laid-off workers were able to retrain and find good jobs here in Solano,” said Mr. Ammann.

“We’re hopeful that will be the case with Dey employees,” he said.

New center will help visitors explore Delta, advocate says

New center will help visitors explore Delta, advocate says
By Mike Taugher
Contra Costa Times
Article Launched: 09/03/2008



A rendering of the futere Discover the Delta Information Center in Isleton, Calif. on Wednesday, August 27, 2008. The Discover the Delta Foundation plans to build the 8,000 square foot visitor center in Rio Vista to enhance tourism and recreation in the delta. (Discover the Delta Foundation)

For most Californians, the Delta is a place out of sight and out of mind — and hard to navigate even if you know where it is.

Ken Scheidegger is trying to change that.

Three years ago, he started up a plan for a massive visitor center in Rio Vista — a place where commuters, tourists and those just passing through could stop and get some directions, some ideas about where to go and some information about what he calls California's "heartland."

That dream is close to reality, with construction permits nearly in and an aggressive plan to build the 7,728-square foot center in the coming months.

"This is going to take the Delta from being one of the most ignored, hard-to-find places in the world to one of the easiest," said Scheidegger, a former university oceanographer.

Through the nonprofit Discover the Delta Foundation he started, Scheidegger hopes the center becomes a hub for Delta visitors, where they can get information and directions to the historic town of Locke, or on the best bird-viewing locations, or good places to kayak or taste wine.

The parking lot will have plenty of spaces for school buses because organizers are hoping teachers from the Bay Area, Sacramento and other nearby areas bring their classes for educational tours.

The way Scheidegger sees it, the Delta has been fought over and even written off to some extent because of a wave of bad publicity about concerns from mercury in the fish to the ability of Delta levees to hold up in an earthquake.

And because of the importance of the Delta to the state's water supply — two in three Californians get at least some drinking water from the Delta, and San Joaquin Valley agriculture is heavily dependent on it — state water officials are exploring the possibility of building a canal to deliver water around the Delta.

The result is a lot of arguing over the Delta with a relatively small voice coming from the people who actually live there.

For all its well-publicized problems, Scheidegger said, there is also a lot right about the region.

"We're trying to tell the story as only Delta people can tell it," said Scheidegger, whose family first came to the Delta in the 1890s.

"We have plenty of water, yes, but it's more than just the water."

Scheidegger said the threat of earthquakes to Delta levees — one of the main arguments in favor of delivering water through a canal, which would deprive the Delta of fresh water — is exaggerated.

"This boy was standing on that parking lot during Loma Prieta," Scheidegger said, pointing outside his office.

"You could see the water sloshing out in the slough," he added, pointing a channel out his window. "Did the Delta levees fall apart? No."

The information center will be built near the intersection of state highways 12 and 160, the busiest intersection in the Delta.

There will be educational displays on the geography, history and ecosystems of the Delta, a conference room and a place to schedule tours of the region.

The idea, though, is not to keep people in the center, but to help make the Delta more accessible to them by helping people find whatever it is in the region that might interest them.

"I think it's very, very important for people today to find this place that's so close to them," he said.

The plan fits in well with one of the main goals of an independent plan called Delta Vision, which called the Delta, "one of the state's most distinct regions, combining a unique physical geography of islands and river channels with a cultural heritage as enduring as any in California. ... But despite this fact, it is little known or recognized by most Californians, including many of the millions living in the cities just outside the Delta's boundaries."

"It's wholly consistent with what we're talking about — to create a sense of value in the Delta," said Delta Vision executive director John Kirlin. "We've got to do a better job of making it understood and valued."

Scheidegger said he thinks the center could be built by the end of the year, though the nonprofit foundation is still raising funds. It has received grants from Delta counties and is trying to attract members to raise additional money.

For more information, see the Discover the Delta Foundation's Web site at www.discoverthedelta.org.

A Thinking Man’s Wines

A Thinking Man’s Wines
By ERIC ASIMOV
September 10, 2008
FAIRFIELD, Calif.



A PROFESSOR LEARNS Abe Schoener’s unconventional Scholium Project wines have gained cult status.

AS with many small, utilitarian wineries in California, barrels and tanks practically spill out of Tenbrink, home of Scholium Project, here in the Suisun Valley, just east of Napa Valley. Yet to call Scholium Project a winery and its proprietor, Abe Schoener, a winemaker is a little like calling Salvador Dalí a painter. It’s true, but it does not begin to capture his visionary character.

No winery in California is more unconventional, experimental or even radical than Scholium. Half the wines it makes in any given year are exquisite. The other half are shocking and sometimes undrinkable. All of them are fascinating, which is exactly the way Mr. Schoener wants it.

From his intuitive winemaking practices to the obscure names he gives each cuvée to his almost heretical approach to winery hygiene, Mr. Schoener marches to his own muse. In the winery, for example, he insists on using only cold water, no soap, to clean equipment and the plant itself.

“Maintaining a complex microbiology is the best way to make wine,” he says.

He is a fount of such gnomic sayings. Perhaps not surprisingly, Mr. Schoener, 47, was a philosophy professor at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Md., when he caught the winemaking bug. While on sabbatical in 1998 he took an internship at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars and never looked back. By 2000 he was making tiny lots of his own wine, and now, in 2008, Scholium (pronounced SKOH-lee-um) Project is a full-fledged cult wine, although surely the most idiosyncratic cult wine around, with sales driven by curiosity and word of mouth rather than critical approval.

By the dictionary, Scholium, derived from the Greek word scholion for school or scholar, refers to marginal notes or commentaries intended to illustrate a point in the text. On his Web site, Mr. Schoener, whose Ph.D. is in ancient Greek philosophy, describes it as “a modest project, not a pre-eminent one, undertaken for the sake of learning.” In other words, winemaking by discovery.

My first encounter with a Scholium wine was, alas, an undrinkable one. It was a 2006 pinot grigio that went by the name Elsa’s Vineyard School of the Plains, inspired, Mr. Schoener said, by an experience in the Collio, in Friuli-Venezia Giulia in northeastern Italy, one of his favorite wine regions.

This pinot grigio was like none I’d ever had. It was huge: 16.6 percent alcohol. The aromas were piercing, almost painfully so, and while the wine was dry, it was excruciatingly powerful and overwhelming.

I said as much in my blog. The next day I received an e-mail message from Mr. Schoener, with whom I had never spoken.

“I am so sympathetic to your reaction to my wine,” he wrote. “I don’t think that you said anything unfair about it. It is a kind of behemoth.” He suggested that a roast chicken and a minimum of four people would make such a big wine more bearable.

Most winemakers tend to rival politicians in their efforts to stay on message and spin catastrophe into triumph, but Mr. Schoener freely and cheerfully discusses his failures, which made me receptive to his invitation to try some of his other wines. He makes 10 or so different wines each year, and a total of about 1,500 cases.

So, on a trip to Northern California this summer, I spent a day with Mr. Schoener, visiting tiny vineyards in Sonoma and the Suisun Valley, where he buys grapes, and Tenbrink, where today, long after most of the 2007 whites in California are either finishing their aging or are on the market, his 2007 whites are still struggling to complete their fermentation. “I learn by accident, through inattention,” he says.

The wines ranged from massive and far out to almost classically delicate. Another 2006 Collio-inspired pinot grigio, called Rocky Hill Vineyards San Floriano del Collio, was in a style completely different from the first one. It had a lovely cidery color, which came from macerating the wines with their skins, and a captivating tannic texture.

Even more impressive was a 2006 Farina Vineyards the Prince in His Caves, inspired by the eccentric Alberico Boncompagni Ludovisi, prince of Venosa, who made astonishing wines at his Fiorano estate outside of Rome before tearing his vines out in the 1990s. Mr. Schoener’s wine, a sauvignon blanc, is serious, textured and complex, intense but not heavy, and, in contrast to his pinot grigios, only 13.3 percent alcohol.

While Mr. Schoener carries the tools of the modern California wine guy — pruning shears, iPhone and laptop — the resemblance to other winemakers ends there. After his internship at Stag’s Leap, he was hired by John Kongsgaard, a prominent Napa winemaker who was then at Luna Vineyards, to home-school his son. In return, Mr. Kongsgaard taught Mr. Schoener about winemaking and great wines.

In 2002, with Mr. Kongsgaard gone to focus on his own wines, Mr. Schoener took over at Luna. “It was a radical choice — he was a real freshman,” said Mr. Kongsgaard, who has remained Mr. Schoener’s mentor. “But we did it because he’s my favorite of my students, even though he’s not a very respectful or obedient student.”

Many of Mr. Schoener’s techniques may seem eccentric in California. He prefers natural fermentations, using minimal amounts of sulfur dioxide as a preservative, and while most California producers exalt bountiful fruit flavors in their wine, Mr. Schoener does not. In the course of his cellar work, he said, “I do everything to banish fruit flavors.”

Occasionally, his methods don’t succeed, as with his 2005 cabernet from Margit’s Vineyard.

“I blew it,” he says. “I had made cabernet before and done it by the book, and it was very good. So I said, I’m going to make it even better now. But I blew it. In 2006 I got it right, though.”

California is apparently not large enough to contain Mr. Schoener. He has another winemaking product in Maury, in the Roussillon region of France, and an unlikely consultant’s job at a facility that is to make wine in Red Hook, Brooklyn, from New York grapes.

“That is it,” he says. “Nothing in Ohio or Brazil yet.”

Fairfield freeway improvements get under way

Fairfield freeway improvements get under way
East Bay Business Times - by David Goll Staff reporter
September 11, 2008

A symbolic start to construction work that will expand and improve the North Texas Street interchange with Interstate 80 in Fairfield will be held Thursday, with a groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for 3 p.m.

State Assemblywoman Lois Wolk, D-Davis, whose Eighth Assembly District encompasses Solano and Yolo counties, will be keynote speaker at the event, scheduled to be staged at the Paradise Valley Clubhouse in Fairfield. Work on the project being done through the city of Fairfield will get under way in earnest Sept. 22.

The project will include the following components:

• Widening the North Texas Street/I-80 over crossing from two lanes to four lanes with eight-foot shoulders and the addition of a sidewalk on the south side. This will provide access for both pedestrians and cyclists.
• A seismic retrofit of the 40-year-old bridge.
• Relocation of the I-80 easterly on- and off-ramps to a new intersection with traffic signals at Manuel Campos Parkway. This will allow left turns for motorists coming from the Rolling Hills neighborhood from North Texas to eastbound I-80.

Construction is scheduled to be completed summer 2010. During the construction period, city officials have said they will ensure access to affected businesses on North Texas Street, including the Chevron and Arco AM/PM gas stations and the Hillside Terrace shopping area.

City officials have said they will be working with affected business owners to keep them informed during the construction and are staying in touch with the California Department of Transportation to minimize bridge and freeway closures. Residents should expect day and scheduled night work for improvements to the bridge and reduced lanes on North Texas Street, as well as temporary realignments of the street during the construction period.

Vallejo business symposium welcomes Filipino delegation

Vallejo business symposium welcomes Filipino delegation
Article Launched: 09/12/2008
By LANZ CHRISTIAN BAñES/Times-Herald staff writer



Filipino Congressman Mauricio G. Domogan speaks at the first Business and Economic Development Symposium on Thursday at the Farragut Inn. Domogan was part of a group of Filipino delegates from Baguio, Vallejo's sister city, and was previously the mayor of Baguio. (Lanz Christian Bañes/Times-Herald)

Farragut Inn at Touro University became a center of international accord Thursday when a delegation from Vallejo's sister city in the Philippines met with local leaders.

At its first Business and Economic Development Symposium, the Filipino American Chamber of Commerce of Solano County invited local business members to meet with the delegation about stimulating the local economy. The Filipino delegation of local politicians and businessmen - many in traditional and formal barong shirts - was from Baguio.

Vallejo Mayor Osby Davis, a keynote speaker, was pleased at the event's diversity. He noted how Vallejo often seems segregated because some members of various ethnic groups participate only in their own cultural events.

"For those who are not Filipino, thank you for attending this function," Davis said.

The local economy's revitalization would come only after the government assessed consumer and business needs and desires, Davis said.

Several speakers advised individuals and small businesses on how to give life to the local economy in the context of increasing globalization.

"The little things that we do here ... have a global impact," said Jim Mitchell, public relations director at Touro University.

Mitchell cited Sept. 11 as an example that more than just New York City was affected by the attacks, which had global repercussions.

Mitchell discussed the university's expansion on Mare Island's north side. The project will include a state-of-the-art cancer research center, and will generate 4,000 jobs in construction alone, with 6,000 jobs created after the project is completed. In taxes and fees alone, the project will generate $4 million for the city, Mitchell said.

Johnny De La Cruz, president of the Baguio-Benguet Chamber of Commerce, stressed eliminating the bureaucracy that could potentially hold up businesses from their operations, and making government more friendly to business.

"In Baguio, we have a one-stop shop," De La Cruz said, referring to the city's one-day turn around for business registration.

In contrast, Vallejo Councilman Hermie Sunga joked about the difficulties that businesses have in his city.

"We also ... have a one-stop shop here in Vallejo," Sunga said. "Once they hit the first shop, they stop."

Sunga added that Vallejoans aren't too proud to accept help and advice from the Filipino delegation.

De La Cruz touted the Philippines as an ideal country with which to have business relations, citing its location as a gateway to the rest of Asia. He added that U.S. companies see a 30-40 percent reduction in costs from the Philippines' more business-friendly climate.

Davis had a similar message, saying that government and businesses should work together for the benefit of the community.

"I don't think the two should be separated," Davis said.

This includes creating incentives that might be unpopular and could be seen as "selling the house," he said.

This theme of more government involvement was echoed by Michael Ammann's lecture. Ammann, president of the Solano Economic Development Corporation, decried the demise of the California Department of Commerce and the lack of an overarching economic plan for the state.

Vallejo community members and the Baguio delegation were also eager to foster a student exchange program between the two cities. Filipino Congressman Mauricio G. Domogan, former mayor of Baguio, is specifically passionate about training medical students, since he lost his mother at an early age because doctors were unavailable.

• E-mail Lanz Christian Bañes at lbanes@thnewsnet.com or call 553-6833.

• The Filipino American Chamber of Commerce of Solano County presented the symposium, and is a sister chamber of the Baguio-Benguet Chamber of Commerce.
• Baguio and Vallejo have been sister cities since 1993.

• There are 11 Baguio delegation members, and most are being housed by host families in Vallejo and will be here through the weekend.

• For more information, visit www.solanofilmchamber.com.

Benicia delegation to visit sister city for Mexican Independence Day party

Benicia delegation to visit sister city for Mexican Independence Day party
By LANZ CHRISTIAN BAñES/Times-Herald staff writer
Article Launched: 09/16/2008

BENICIA - For nearly 30 years, sister cities Benicia and Tula de Allende, Mexico, have enjoyed a beneficial partnership.

It was because of its Benician friends that Tula received its first garbage truck in 1980, and it is still being used today, said Leann Cawley, president of the Benicia / Tula Sister City Association.

Benicians also gave Tula two fire engines, 400 parking meters and, most recently, a medical van.

Now, the people of Tula will host 14 Benicians from Sept. 11 to Sept. 17.

"The major reason for the trip is to be there to help them celebrate their Independence Day," Cawley said.

Mexico celebrates its independence on Sept. 16.

Benicians visit Tula every other year around this time, while a delegation from Tula visits Benicia in the intervening years to celebrate the United States' Independence Day.

Last year, 21 children, all musicians, came from Tula for the July 4 festivities. The children had won a band competition in Tula, and through fundraising efforts and sponsors, the association was able to bring the children to Benicia.

Elly Harkins was so impressed by the amount of community involvement that she decided to join the association, and will be part of the delegation to Tula.

"It was just a marvelous setup. The children were so happy. All the participants were so happy," Harkins said. "I just thought it was a great cultural event."

Harkins will be just one member of her family going to Mexico this year.

"My children were involved last year. Now my grandson is coming, so three generations are going," Harkins said.

The trip will involve a variety of activities, including marching in the town's Independence Day parade. The group will also make a political side trip to Pachuca, capital of Hidalgo, the state where Tula is located. There, they will meet the governor of Hidalgo as well as members of the state Legislature.

The 14 Benicians traveling to Tula this year are all volunteers and have all paid their own way to Mexico, Cawley said. However, once there, the Benicia / Tula Sister City Association's counterpart in Tula will arrange for the group to stay with various host families who will house and feed the visitors.

"When we go there, they are just welcoming to us," Cawley said. "You've got to be careful with what you say you like because, by the end of the day, you'll own it."

The mayor of Hidalgo will entertain the group its first night there.

Cawley and her husband have been part of the association since 1979, and in 1982, they adopted a baby from Tula.

"We just wanted to be part of a community event," Cawley said. "I never thought that we would be adopting a child."

• E-mail Lanz Christian Bañes at lbanes@thnewsnet.com or call 553-6833.