Bells toll at Vallejo homeless memorial
By Jessica A. York/Times-Herald staff writer
Original post: 12/19/2013 12:59:22 AM PST
A homeless memorial ceremony in Vallejo Wednesday drew 60 people and the tolling of nine bells at First Baptist Church.
Standing beneath the basement’s colorful tinsel-festooned ceiling, one man, Deshawn Alexander, said his father had died, homeless, in February. Now Alexander, too, is homeless, he said.
“I think about my daddy every day,” Alexander said, wiping away tears. “Another one gone. Everybody got to go, everybody got to die.”
In plotting out the best way to raise money for sick kids, Lydia Morgan had several ideas.
Ultimately, she co-opted the family’s planned garage sale as a fundraiser, waylaying plans to use the cash to pay for a vacation, and “Lydia’s Garage Sale,” set for Saturday morning, was born.
Lydia, 10, of Vallejo said she was perfectly happy to wait on a getaway if it meant raising money for the Children’s Hospital and Research Center Oakland. The garage sale, Lydia’s first fundraiser, is set to start at about 8 a.m.
“I knew we were going on a vacation, but I thought it would be better to give money to the Oakland children’s hospital,” said the sixth-grader, who attends private school in Napa.Read the full post »
Just after noon Wednesday, a 20-foot-long silver- and rust-colored torpedo launched up and out of its 45-year home, a fish out of water in a grassy Vallejo war memorial park.
For this flight, however, the Mark 14 replica missile was not self-propelled, but rather securely swinging from a Vallejo Public Works crane as the estimated 3,000-pound World War II memorial was moved onto a flatbed truck.
Katherine Becvar and Samuel Cognilio kiss before stepping into the Marriage Machine during their wedding at Obtainium Works in downtown Vallejo. (Chris Riley/Times Herald)
It is difficult to have a discussion about steampunk without first spending a solid amount of time attempting to explain the concept.
Part literature sub-genre, part fashion trend, part social movement, steampunk has been developing for decades and was coined in the late 1980s to describe recent literature. In recent years, steampunk has even begun poking its head up in Vallejo.
Vallejo firefighters watch for warning signs of marijuana grows that pose new dangers for them and surrounding neighbors. (Chris Riley/Times-Herald photo illustration)
Firefighters rush to the scene, observe blacked-out windows and smoke pouring from the chimney. Inside, utter darkness, perhaps a bag of fertilizer by the door.
Two recent residential fires that turned out to be rented homes converted into marijuana-growing facilities have prompted the Vallejo Fire Department to assess what could be a new threat for firefighters and the city, department Battalion Chief Dave Urrutia said.
Published By Times Herald Jessica A. York
Times-Herald staff writer
A late-night visit from a chicken-costumed man prompted a Benicia woman to call police Sunday.
The caller, a Larkin Street resident, reported that someone wearing a chicken suit was on her front porch, wanting to come in, and “was yelling he had shoes to sell” just before 10:30 p.m., police said.
The suspect in a chicken costume was gone by the time police arrived and could not be located, according to reports.
Bobby Driscoll, right, leads Tara and 2-year-old Tiara Quinones on "Poncho" Tuesday at therapeutic horse riding program Alotta HorsePlay along Jameson Canyon Road in unincorporated Solano County. Program founder Charlotte Dougherty, center, has designed the program for Vallejo children with special needs and considered "at risk." (Jessica A. York/Times-Herald)
When it comes to realizing her dream of helping children such as 2-year-old Tiara Quinones, native Vallejoan Charlotte Dougherty is looking to her horses to hurdle any barrier.
Dougherty has more than four decades’ experience riding horses, and has spent the last year building a small horse therapeutic riding program called Alotta HorsePlay. She’s aiming to keep its lesson costs at a minimum — even inviting bartering at times.
To help Vallejo kids like Tiara, Dougherty will soon launch a partner program, SpiritHorse Therapeutic Riding Center of the San Francisco Bay Area. It is one of some 65 affiliates of the original Texas-based SpiritHorse program. The affiliation will allow Dougherty to more easily apply for outside grant funding, and could help her reach her goal of teaching 100 “at-risk” and disabled students a week, for no cost, by 2013. Already benefiting from Dougherty’s efforts is Tiara, who is happy just learning to balance on “Poncho’s” back while gripping the fingers of nearby loving hands.
Con Funk Shun band members are ready to let their skeletons out of the closet for a national audience.
Karl Fuller, left, and Michael Cooper, of Con Funk Shun, a 70s R&B band with Vallejo roots, tape an interview on Sonoma Boulevard Monday for cable music documentary "Unsung." A passerby looks on with interest. (Jessica A. York/Times-Herald)
And they’re not even worried. Well, not that worried.
The funk and R&B band that originated with several Vallejo High School teenagers and their friends will be the focus of an upcoming episode of the cable station TV One’s “Unsung” music documentary show.
I've been a newspaper reporter on both sides of the country, and have worked for the Times-Herald in Vallejo, Calif. for the last several years. Much of my reporting of late has revolved around decoding what a municipal bankruptcy filing has meant to the city of Vallejo. That, and the daily ins and outs of city hall. But I'm at my best when I have the opportunity to retell the every day stories of the people (and sometimes pets) who live and work in southern Solano County.