Tuesday, May 31, 2011

3 million grant to help preserve Rockville Trails between Vallejo and Fairfield

Group approves $3 million grant to help preserve Rockville Trails between Vallejo and Fairfield

By Tony Burchyns / Times-Herald

Posted: 05/25/2011 07:06:38 AM PDT

A major Bay Area Ridge Trail supporter has approved a $3 million grant toward the purchase of rural Solano County land for a future park, open space advocates said Tuesday.

The California Coastal Conservancy funds are part of the Solano Land Trust's effort to raise $13.5 million to buy the Rockville Trails Estates property.

Once targeted for a subdivision, the land nestled between Vallejo and Fairfield is being eyed as a potential regional park and trail system.

"In approving the grant at this early stage, the Coastal Conservancy has shown its leadership, guidance and support of the project," said Solano Land Trust Executive Director Nicole Byrd.

"Their willingness to step forward before other funding sources are lined up demonstrates their belief in the importance of this open space, as well as their trust that we can be successful in meeting the challenge of raising the entire acquisition price," Byrd added.

Coastal Conservancy executive officer Sam Schuchat said "Rockville Trails is a spectacularly beautiful property that will be a valuable addition to the Bay Area's protected natural lands."

Schuchat added "Its purchase will enable construction of a portion of the Bay Area Ridge Trail, ensuring that the public will get to enjoy this area for generations to come."

The land trust announced in March that it was seeking funds from public and private foundations, as well as individuals, the buy the land.

The property is between Green Valley Road and Suisun Valley Road, on the edge of the 800,000-acre Blue Ridge-Berryessa Natural Area.

The property was designated as "highly suitable" in the Upland Habitat Goals Project of the Bay Area Open Space Council, a project that identifies land with high bio-diversity in need of conservation.

The conservancy has worked for many years with the land trust and has provided considerable funding for natural lands in Solano County, conservancy spokesman Dick Wayman said.

This month, the land trust expects to buy the first 330 acres with money from local assessment districts in Solano County and the city of Fairfield, associate director Deanna Mott said. The organization plans to purchase the remaining 1,170 acres by year's end.

Contact staff writer Tony Burchyns at tburchyns@timesherald online.com or
(707) 553-6831.

Solano County crops value rises slightly to top $259 million

May 24, 2011 | Posted by Barry Eberling

Solano County crops value rises slightly to top $259 million

tomato-copy/> Description: Crews harvest tomatoes outside of Dixon in 2007.
Tomatoes are the county's number one crop for the second year in a row.
(Daily Republic file 2007)

Crews harvest tomatoes outside of Dixon in 2007. Tomatoes are the county's number one crop for the second year in a row. (Daily Republic file 2007)

FAIRFIELD - Solano County reported Tuesday that crops in 2010 had a value of
$259.4 million, a 3 percent rise from the previous year.

"Just as a diverse portfolio can buffer financial investment during tumultuous times, a diverse agriculture can sustain its value and importance to the community," Agricultural Commissioner Jim Allan wrote in the annual Solano County Crop and Livestock report.

Even though specific crops saw changes in value, the overall value of more than 80 crops remains constant, he wrote.

Tomatoes continued to be the local king of agriculture, holding the position of the county's No. 1 crop for the second consecutive year. Tomatoes were worth $36.9 million. Even so, that is down from $39.4 million in 2009. The county attributed the drop to lower tonnage after a relatively cool summer.

Walnuts ranked second after having a good year that the county attributed to strong export markets and demand for nuts as a healthy food. The crop had a value of $31.1 million, compared to $21 million in 2009.

The No. 3-ranked nursery category continued experiencing problems in light of the homebuilding slowdown and the corresponding reduced demand for ornamental plants. It had a value of $23.3 million, a drop from the 2009 total of $33.4 million. Nursery products in 2007 ranked number one among county crops, with a value of $56.6 million.

Rounding out the top 10 were cattle at $22.6 million, alfalfa at $19.7 million, milk at $13.3 million, corn at $9.9 million, grapes at $9.2 million, almonds at $8.4 million and sheep and lambs at $6.3 million.

That $259.4 million total for county crops was below the all-time high of
$292.7 million reported in 2008, but is the third-highest total over the past 10 years. The lowest total during that period was the $185.6 million reported in 2001.

Please go to  http://www.solanocounty.com/ag to see the county crop report.

Reach Barry Eberling at 425-4646, ext. 232, or beberling@dailyrepublic.net.

County selects manager for Nut Tree Airport

County selects manager for Nut Tree Airport
05/25/2011 11:53 AM PDT
The new manager selected to run Solano County’s Nut Tree Airport has two other Northern California airport management positions under his wings. County officials announced today the selection of Dave Daly as the new manager for the Nut Tree Airport.  Daly assumes the post on June 14. Daly has 11 years of managing small airports. He has been the airport manager for the Lincoln Regional Airport in the City of Lincoln since 2005.  He managed the Yolo County Airport from 2000 to 2005.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Head of Solano Economic Development Corp. taking job in Stockton

By Richard Bammer / The Reporter
Posted: 05/27/2011 05:09:31 AM PDT

Mike Ammann, longtime president of the Solano Economic Development Corp., has accepted the top job at San Joaquin Partnership, a Stockton-based organization similar to EDC, and will leave his $100,000-a-year post in Fairfield on June 14.

EDC Vice President Sandy Person has been named interim president at the nonprofit business that promotes the county's economic interests, Ammann confirmed Thursday afternoon after a morning announcement to the board of directors gathered at their Campus Lane offices.

Ammann, 64, called the change "a good professional move for me," adding that his new job, which begins June 15, pays "substantially more," though he declined to be specific. He will supervise a slightly larger staff and oversee an annual budget of $1 million, he noted. In his new position, as he did at the EDC, Ammann will be responsible for attracting, growing and retaining business in San Joaquin County.

"Overall, it's a larger marketing opportunity for me," he said, adding he was familiar with some staff members at the Stockton office. "I've competed against them before -- they're a good crew."

San Joaquin County, added Ammann, "has a lot of the same characteristics as Solano," but the biggest difference is its geographic size and population (600,000 people) and, like Solano, has seven major cities.

Saying "I'm still going to be part of Solano County," Ammann said the two counties share common problems. They include the improvement of marketing to attract business, enhancing safety along Highway 12 -- a major commerce corridor for Solano, San Joaquin and Napa counties -- and tackling a host of issues surrounding the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, a major source of fresh water for California, widely perceived to be in crisis and hemmed in by a fragile levee system.

"We'll be working in those areas, I'm sure," he said. "Even though I'm leaving, I'm still going to be part of Solano County. You'll see me around from time to time."

Ammann, who served eight years at the helm of EDC, praised his Fairfield colleagues, saying, "They've all done a really good job. Eight years ago, there was a question whether or not the Solano EDC was going to be around. That's why they hired me, to bring back the marketing focus, to put together a team and bring that back. I think we've done that."

A Jackson, Mich., native, Ammann graduated from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Mich. He is the father of one. A resident of Rancho Solano in Fairfield, he and his wife plan to relocate to the Stockton area by the end of the year.

Person could not be reached for comment at press time Thursday.

Marshalls of California LLC has chosen their flagship waterfront building, One Harbor Center, in which to re-locate their Solano county administrative office

 May 23, 2011

Contact:          Patti Magee, Executive Assistant

The Wiseman Company is pleased to announce that Marshalls of California LLC has chosen their flagship waterfront building, One Harbor Center, in which to re-locate their Solano county administrative offices. Matt Bracco of Cushman & Wakefield represented the Lessor and Kirk Hull of The Wiseman Company represented the Lessee in the transaction.

Marshalls of California LLC is a division of The TJX Companies, Inc., which is the leading off-price retailer of apparel and home fashions in the U.S. and worldwide. The Company operates 945 T.J. Maxx, 858 Marshalls, and 337 HomeGoods stores in the United States, 213 Winners, 82 HomeSense, 3 Marshalls, and 3 STYLESENSE stores in Canada, and 312 T.K. Maxx and 24 HomeSense stores in Europe. Their off-price mission is to deliver a rapidly changing assortment of quality, brand name merchandise at prices that are 20-60% less than department and specialty store regular prices, every day.

The Wiseman Company is a full-service, commercial real estate firm offering brokerage, development, investment and management services to Solano, Napa and Yolo counties. For more information about One Harbor Center or any of our other Class A properties, contact Kirk Hull at 707.427.1212 or by email at khull@WisemanCo.com.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Travis Air Force Base generates $1.5 billion each year for Solano County

By Melissa Murphy/ MMurphy@TheReporter.com

Air Force personnel walk from the airfield management operations area at Travis Air Force Base on March 23. The base has been called the "crown jewel" of the county. (File Photo: Rick Roach / The Reporter)
Solano County's largest employer, Travis Air Force Base, brings with it a $1.5 billion annual impact to the local economy.
That number, according to Col. James Vechery, is the reason why Solano County can share in the success of the air base.

"It truly is a partnership," he said to those gathered at Thursday's Solano Economic Development Corporation (EDC) breakfast. "We have a legacy of excellence."

Of the $1.5 billion, $737 million is payroll for all employees, including civilians, $514 million is spent on operating costs and $249 million is the value of jobs generated in the local community. Travis also has $13.5 billion in assets and expenditures.

As the largest air mobility base, Travis continues to be the "crown jewel" of Solano County, not only for being an economic powerhouse in the county, but mostly for the men and women who serve at Travis, "they are the best of the best," said Scott Reynolds, EDC board chairman.

There are 10,168 active duty and reservists under the guidance of the base, and 774 airmen are deployed as of May 16.

Col. John Lipinski explained that Travis continues to be the gateway to the Pacific and plays a major role in national security.

He was in Japan during operation Tomodachi, which first sent relief to the country hit by an massive earthquake and the subsequent tsunami and followed with more than 2,600 dependents of military personnel leaving Japan and coming to the United States through Travis.

"End to end, it was magnificent," he said.

Vechery said as good as Travis is today, it isn't good enough for tomorrow.

"We have to look at what we're doing and figure out how to do it better," he said. "We have a tradition of getting the job done."

He also shared some major construction projects planned to be completed by 2013.

"We might have to change that plan to 2050 given the resources," he joked. "But we have a plan."

The base is in the process of an $8 million renovation project for seven out of the 16 dorms. With a cost of $22 million, a new 144-bedroom apartment-style dorm also will be built.

In February, The Zone opened, a new community center in the old officer's club.

Other projects include:

* A revamp of the south gate to cost nearly $6 million, which will better accommodate commercial vehicles coming in and out of the base;

* A new fire station will improve response times, according to Vechery. The $11.9 million station will have 12 truck bays and 18 bunk rooms; and
* A new cargo-loading training facility is already under way and is expected to cost $5.4 million as part of a training project for loading KC-10 jets with cargo.

Additional projects include a full replacement of one of the two runways, $49.8 million; replacement of aging fuel distribution system and fill stand, $13.4 million; and a new bypass road that eliminates commercial traffic crossing an active taxiway, $6 million.

"The discussion of the future was interesting to hear," said Mike Ammann, EDC president. "We usually don't hear much of the ongoing upgrading of facilities. It's great to hear about the continued investment in facilities and its people.

"We've all worked together to make some of those projects happen. It's great to have a good relationship, but it's better to have results."

He explained that Solano EDC, Solano Transportation Authority, Travis Regional Armed Forces Committee and the Travis Community Consortium have worked together on various projects, including gate access.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

UC Davis West Village

UC Davis West Village: "West Village is the largest Zero Net Energy community in the U. S."

UC Davis West Village

West Village is the largest Zero Net Energy community in the U. S. Employing revolutionary energy efficiency measures and meeting the community’s energy demands through on-site solar power generation, West Village introduces a new model for environmentally responsible living. Located on the campus of the University of California, Davis, West Village is an innovative public-private partnership that optimizes public and private resources to deliver a new paradigm of sustainable living.

Guiding principles of this collaborative project include housing affordability, environmental responsiveness and quality of place. West Village will provide housing, recreation and neighborhood-serving retail for students, faculty and staff, enabling its residents to live near core campus and participated fully in campus life. Leading the Way in Environmentally-Conscious Living West Village integrates sustainable design allowing residents to reduce their reliance on automobiles, limit energy consumption and enjoy the benefits of the local climate in a healthy environment.

For more information, download the project information pdf at right, and stay tuned for the launch of our full website shortly.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Agricultural industry brings $2.5B to Solano, Yolo counties each year - ContraCostaTimes.com

Agricultural industry brings $2.5B to Solano, Yolo counties each year - ContraCostaTimes.com

Agricultural industry brings $2.5B to Solano, Yolo counties each year

Updated: 05/13/2011 08:27:44 AM PDT

The agricultural industry in Solano County knows no bounds, a fact borne out in a new report released Thursday that found the natural market for agriculture in Solano County crosses county lines and mixes with Yolo County.

A key finding of "The Food Chain Cluster: Integrating the Food Chain in Solano and Yolo Counties to Create Economic Opportunity and Jobs" is how intertwined the counties have become. Solano and Yolo counties, the report notes, contribute approximately 10 percent, or $2.5 billion, of the annual economic value to the regions' food chain.

"Agriculture is well established here and continues to grow," said Supervisor Mike Reagan. "We want to look at the opportunities out there to help it thrive."

The report, part of a continuing series of studies by the Solano Economic Development Corporation, examines the full spectrum of activity that fertile agriculture brings to the economy of the two counties and provides insight into opportunities to expand the job-creation potential in the local economy.

"Farmers are growing stuff, but they're sending their goods out of the county for processing," Reagan said. "We need to figure out a way to show that we welcome that type of industry to meet the needs of the community."

Reagan noted that some processing facilities already exist in Solano County, such as the Dixon Canning Corporation -- the tomato-processing arm of Campbell Soup Company -- and Superior Farms, also in Dixon, known for its lamb meat

products. In Vacaville, there is the Mariani Packing Company, which packages nuts.

"There is a need for more," Reagan said, adding that county officials will sit down with local farmers and discuss what they need.

Joe Martinez, president of the Solano County Farm Bureau, said processing companies are exactly what the county needs.

"It's been an issue we've been dealing with for years and years," Martinez said. "It's good to see that they're trying to address it in the report. No one seems to know how to come up with a strategy to attract those types of businesses here."

He added that it could be difficult in the current economy to attract that particular type of business and then get it through the permit process.

Yolo County leaders are pleased with the results in the report.

"I am delighted that Yolo and Solano counties are working together to explore ways in which to increase the development of our agricultural economy," said Yolo County Supervisor Don Saylor.

Yolo County Economic Development Manager Wes Ervin agreed.

"Over the last few years, our two counties have been working together on parallel tracks to update our general plans and sustainable agriculture efforts. This report gives us the key facts to move forward together," Ervin said in a press release.

This is the third industry cluster report prepared by the Solano Economic Development Corporation as part of Solano County's efforts to provide data to assist the private sector to make informed decisions that will enhance and expand the local economy.

"This report spells out for industry executives all of the tremendous assets we have as a region so they can make informed decisions about how to expand or locate in the region. Growing the entire cluster will ensure agriculture remains viable as well as create a diverse array of good jobs for the region," said Mike Ammann, president of the Solano Economic Development Corporation, in a press release.

Location and natural amenities were pointed out in the report as key assets for the region, including:

* Sharing some of the most productive agriculture lands in the country;

* Being ideally situated on key transportation arteries (highways, airports, rail and ports) that can get raw products from the field to market, either directly to consumers or to value-added processing facilities for consumer products;

* Access to an abundant water supply and excess sewage treatment capacity;

* Proximity to the research in biotechnology at University of California, Davis, and other innovation research in the region;

* A concentration of seven of the top 10 seed manufacturers in the world in the region.

"This food chain cluster study represents the beginning of what we hope will be many shared endeavors by our counties," the Food Chain report said. "In the coming year, we will conduct a joint economic summit to define the strategies available to exploit the opportunities and overcome the challenges identified in this report. In order for these efforts to be successful, we must enlist the partnership of many different segments of our communities -- farmers, manufacturers, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists in the private sector and the public sector's elected officials and staffs of the cities, counties, and regional boards."

Earlier studies were on the energy industry and the life science industry. The studies, along with the annual Index of Economic and Community Progress, are available at www.solanocounty.com/economicindex .

Monday, May 2, 2011

Copart Launches iPhone App for Selling Vehicles

Wireless Developer Network

Copart Launches iPhone App for Selling Vehicles

Copart, Inc. (NASDAQ: CPRT), a leading online vehicle auction company, has launched a new iPhone app, Copart Sell My Car, in support of the company's CopartDirect model, which allows on-the-go users to sell their car and receive payment in as little as one business day.

CopartDirect is a division of Copart dedicated to offering a faster and easier way to sell vehicles. CopartDirect provides consumers with an offer to purchase their vehicle when they enter their information into the iPhone app. For the first time, consumers can take this exciting technology and exceptional service with them anywhere.

The Copart Sell My Car app allows consumers to sell their vehicle using three simple steps:

  1. Using an iPhone or other compatible device, users submit contact and vehicle information and can also upload vehicle photos.
  2. The Copart team will respond with any follow up questions, or an immediate offer to purchase the vehicle.
  3. Users can simply drop off their vehicle at any one of Copart's 137 locations nationwide, or have Copart pick up the vehicle, typically within one business day, and receive payment on the spot.

"Our customers have told us they want a simple, hassle-free way to sell their cars," said Copart, Inc. CEO Jay Adair. "The Copart Sell My Car app enhances the customer experience by allowing them to request a quick and fair offer for their vehicle at any time and any place."

Consumers can also choose to sell their vehicle using Copart's auction model, where Copart's registered buyers from around the world are ready to bid on the consumers' vehicle.

The Copart Sell My Car app is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Download the free Copart Sell My Car app today for immediate service wherever you are!

For more information about CopartDirect, please visit our website or contact us at (707) 639-5019.

About Copart

Copart, founded in 1982, provides vehicle sellers with a full range of remarketing services to process and sell salvage and clean title vehicles to dealers, dismantlers, rebuilders, exporters and, in some states, to end users. Copart remarkets the vehicles through Internet sales utilizing its patented VB2 technology. Copart sells vehicles on behalf of insurance companies, banks, finance companies, fleet operators, dealers, car dealerships, the general public and others. The Company currently operates 152 facilities in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Salvage vehicles are either damaged vehicles deemed a total loss for insurance or business purposes or are recovered stolen vehicles for which an insurance settlement with the vehicle owner has already been made. For more information, or to become a member, visit www.copart.com.

Solano County - News Details

Solano County - News Details: "Huston appointed Assistant County Administrator

May 2, 2011

The County Administrator is pleased to announce the appointment of Nancy Huston as Assistant County Administrator.

'Nancy possesses the kind of leadership, management skills and familiarity with local issues that Solano County needs. Her city perspective will enhance our ability to collaborate with our city partners,' County Administrator Birgitta Corsello said.

Huston is the current city manager for the City of Dixon. She assumes her new role in July 2011.

“I am looking forward to taking on this new opportunity with Solano County,” Huston said.

Huston began her public service career as a management analyst in the City of Fairfield Finance Department in 1989. She became the city's administrative services officer in 1992. She was appointed the interim assistant city manager in 1996, and later appointed as the assistant city manager in 1997. She became the city manager in Dixon in June 2008."

New building to bring UCD vet med researchers together | Davis Enterprise

New building to bring UCD vet med researchers together | Davis Enterprise


New building to bring UCD vet med researchers together

An artist's rendering depicts the new $58.5 million UC Davis veterinary medicine building, dubbed Research Facility 3B. Courtesy sketch
An artist's rendering depicts the new $58.5 million UC Davis veterinary medicine building, dubbed Research Facility 3B. Courtesy sketch

With help from a gust of wind, a duck-tolling retriever named Kefi tugged the cloth from a sign marking a new UC Davis veterinary medicine building on Friday.

When finished in December 2012, the $58.5 million building, dubbed Research Facility 3B, will stand four stories high and measure 76,000 square feet.

It “will provide modern, innovative research facilities and a platform for the School of Veterinary Medicine to continue rising to even greater heights,” Chancellor Linda Katehi told about 100 people at a ceremonial groundbreaking.

Inside the new building, about 50 faculty members, some 40 faculty-student research teams and support staff will further delve into, among other areas, pet and human nutrition; neural diseases, like autism; and the link between human and animal disease.

It also will house extension specialists, biosecurity programs and food-safety monitoring and diagnostic systems.

“(There’s) excitement about the opportunities,” said Dean Bennie Osburn of the school, which ranked behind only Cornell University in the most recent U.S. News and World Report rankings. “Our faculty are well-poised and in many respects are on the leading edge in these different areas.

“We will be able to conduct research that is state-of-the art. We have aging facilities that make it impossible to conduct the type of research that we’re capable of doing and need to be doing.”

Vet Med 3B, northeast of Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, will cap a $354 million effort to build eight new buildings for the school. Since 2000, six new vet-med buildings have been completed on campus, as well as a teaching and research center in Tulare.

UCD launched the building program after the American Veterinary Medical Association put the school on limited accreditation in 1998, because it found the facilities inadequate for the number of students UCD had enrolled. Full accreditation was restored in 2004.

Vet Med 3B, designed to meet the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold standards, is being paid for with state funds raised from the sale of revenue bonds sold in April 2010, campus money and $12 million in private donations.

The new building will bring together in one corner of campus vet med researchers, clinical faculty and students who for 40 years have been scattered across a handful of sites on campus.

John Pascoe, executive associate dean, said that will encourage greater collaboration, as will the building itself. Rather than wall off a given researcher’s lab and office space from others, Biosafety level 2 and 3 labs will be clustered more closely together.

Pascoe, who oversees the school’s long-range building plan, compared that design and common areas to escaping jail cells for a playground. They’re mirrored in some of the school’s other new buildings. They’ve already yielded new partnerships.

“We’re seeing people come together, saying, ‘I didn’t realize you were working on that,’ or ‘I didn’t really understand that; you and I can do this together,’ ” he said.

The building’s more flexible design also will better allow for programs to grow and shrink, based on budget and need, he said, and incorporate changes in technology over time.

Many faculty members will be moving from Haring Hall. Discussions are ongoing about what to do with the space they leave behind. Among the options will be providing a home for vet-med programs still stuck in aging temporary buildings, like the Center for Wildlife Health.

Next on the school’s to-do list: a major renovation and expansion of the vet-med teaching hospital at a cost of $50 million to $100 million.

When it opened in 1970, the teaching hospital was the country’s first and served as a model for most of the 28 others nationwide.

Since then, however, about one-third of those campuses have built still newer facilities, Pascoe said. UCD’s hospital has had two major additions, the most recent in 2004.

The school has about 300 faculty members working with more than 700 students, more than 500 of whom are pursuing doctor of veterinary medicine degrees. It provides advanced training for 100 veterinary residents in 25 specialties.

Pascoe said that while new facilities boost faculty, they have been shown to be most important to students.

“We went through a period prior to that accreditation decision, and even after that, where students said, ‘I really want to be there, but it’s so old and crappy (that) I’m going to go someplace else.’ I think now we’re way beyond that,” he said.

“From a faculty recruitment point of view: While facilities are important, it’s really about who you can rub shoulders with. Even when we haven’t had the most contemporary facilities, we’ve had extraordinary people.”

Online: http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu

The Daily Californian

The Daily Californian

The Daily Californian Online

Lawrence Hall of Science to open new satellite center in Vallejo

Daily Cal Staff Writer
Thursday, April 28, 2011

UC Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science plans to open a new satellite center May 5 in Vallejo in an effort to provide more science education directly to communities in Solano County.

The center - located at the Norman C. King South Vallejo Community Center in Vallejo - will open the "Inventor's Lab" to the public next Thursday and will provide youth with different types of gears and tools to meet certain challenges, such as using solar energy to make appliances called kinetic sculptures. On June 25, the lab will extend its hours and include workshops for groups that wish to participate in them.

According to Janet Noe, director of marketing and communications for the Lawrence Hall of Science, research conducted a few years ago demonstrated that both Solano and Sonoma counties "were not particularly well served in terms of having a lot of available science and math programs outside of school."

Though plans on how to outreach to Sonoma County have yet to be finalized, the center in Vallejo was selected to not only build community, but also to make science topics more accessible in Solano County, according to Noe.

"We don't have a tech museum and a planetarium," said Chairman of the Vallejo Youth Commission Ruscal Cayangyang.

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has stated it will be funding the program for the next two years, but the hope is that the program will be self-sustainable after funding runs out. Noe said fundraising efforts to try to make the program self-sustainable by that time will begin as soon as the center is opened.

According to Director of Community and Visitor Programs at the Lawrence Hall of Science Gretchen Walker, the foundation approached the Lawrence Hall of Science to offer to fund the program. Walker and her team then developed the program to be implemented in Vallejo starting in January, when grant money was received.

"What we're hoping is that it will serve as an inspiration to young people and help them see themselves as someone who can do science," she said.

According to Noe, the center will simulate the Ingenuity Lab currently featured at the Lawrence Hall of Science, in which children can design and test their own creations.

"One of the things we know is that kids learn science best by actually doing activities," Noe said.

Beginning June 25, the center will be open Monday through Friday to the public. In addition to drop-ins, community groups will be able to register for workshops at the site.

In September, the center will begin offering field trips and professional development workshops to school-aged groups and teachers respectively. Program coordinators will use the workshops in hopes that they will allow teachers and other educators to borrow materials for use outside the center.

Vallejo's Assistant City Manager Craig Whittom said the development of the satellite center is consistent with the city's expansion of educational facilities and opportunities.

In the past five to 10 years, the city has tried to expand educational opportunities to its community members he said.

"Vallejo has a diverse community, we have a growing education tradition, and I think that this kind of adds to this emphasis on education that our city council and community leaders are focused on," he said.

Tags: Lawrence Hall of Science, Norman C. King South Vallejo Community Center, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, vallejo

Article Link: http://www.dailycal.org/article/112991