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Local Roundup

VACAVILLE DOWNTOWN LOOKS TOWARD THE FUTURE

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Vacaville, CA- Planning the next vision for Vacaville Downtown, city officials have released a public draft of its Downtown Specific Plan. Designed as an outline for the city to achieve the community’s goals while reflecting the values of residents and stakeholders.

Vacaville’s Downtown Specific Plan seeks to boost retail, office, and residential, supported by enhanced recreation, art, and mobility options. The comprehensive plan aims to create a safer, cleaner and pedestrian friendly hub for Vacaville’s robust future.

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Gold Mine June 2021: My Friend’s House helps homeless youth reconnect

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VACAVILLE — My Friend’s House is here to meet the immediate needs of local homeless and at-risk youth before they become victims of drugs, street gangs, sex trafficking or jail.

The organization does this by helping youth connect to trusted adult mentors and by providing safe, fun, issue-specific support groups and giving youth access to essential goods and services.

The program provides Solano County youth between the ages of 12 and 24 with comprehensive case management, said program manager Jennifer Artz.

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Vacaville’s outdoor activities help Solano County city weather pandemic

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Soul Food Farm's on-site farmstand. (courtesy of Alexis Koefoed)

You might think of Vacaville as a shopping mecca anchored by the historic Nut Tree, which opened in 1921 as a roadside stop. Today, Nut Tree Plaza houses 50 retail stores, an array of eating establishments, and a railroad and carousel that serves as a family shopping excursion.

But beyond that, and that Vacaville offers more affordable overnight stays than its Wine Country neighbors, the area has another ace in its hand: one that’s helped weather the pandemic and begin to recover from the storm that settled over the hospitality industry more than a year ago.

Known as agriventure or agritourism, Visit Vacaville highlights its farm experiences and recreational activities such as biking, hiking and climbing boulders.

Continue Reading on The North Bay Business Journal

The Week Ahead: Hazardous Agriculture Materials training on Solano calendar

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VACAVILLE — Training classes for anyone operating a Class C vehicle and carrying hazardous ag materials are available in English and Spanish.

Training is required within 90 days of hire and is renewed every three years. Upon completion of the class, attendees will need to submit their own application with a certificate of training to the California Highway Patrol, which will then issue the Hazardous Agriculture Materials certificate.

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Now Reopened Indoors, Railroad Museum Offers Memorable Experiences & Exhibits

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After being closed for nearly a year, the California State Railroad Museum recently reopened for indoor visitation at 25 percent capacity (or a maximum of 125 visitors at a time) and with safety measures and protocols in place. While some of the exhibits remain temporarily closed – including the walkthrough train cars and hands-on children’s area – the world-class museum offers an amazing variety of exhibits and activations in addition to an awe-inspiring collection of large scale locomotives and historic rail equipment on display. And, just steps away from the museum, the California State Railroad Museum Foundation continues to offer popular weekend excursion train rides on the Sacramento Southern Railroad that are perfect for families and individuals interested in enjoying a memorable and nostalgic outdoor experience aboard a historic locomotive. For those interested in visiting the historic district and Old Sacramento Waterfront, outlined below are a few must-see and must-do exhibits and activations offered by the California State Railroad Museum & Foundation.

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Beloved Vacaville custodian keeps elementary school COVID safe | NorCal Strong

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VACAVILLE, Calif. — The people who make Northern California Strong are those who inspire us and make our communities a great place to live. ABC10 wants to highlight their strength by recognizing what they do. This week we want to introduce you to Mick Simpson, a custodian at Alamo Elementary in Vacaville.

He’s a man of many faces and the star of Alamo Elementary School’s morning video announcements. When he’s not playing “Captain Underpants” or the “Crazy Cat Lady”, Mick Simpson is the Vacaville Unified School District’s self-proclaimed COVID Buster.

Every day he used a backpack sprayer full of disinfectant to clean students’ classrooms all the while humming the Ghostbusters song.

Personality and theatrics aren’t part of the custodial staff job description, but for the past four years, Simpson has been cleaning the school with one thing in mind:

“Being a positive role model helps these kids,” Simpson said.

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Amazon’s ‘Day 1’ Issues are Coming to the Forefront

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Day 1 is Amazon lingo for “staying hungry, making bold decisions and never forgetting about the customer,” and this mentality has been good for business, Amazon’s shoppers and shareholders.  However, employees are less than thrilled, and many of the company’s warehouse workers are voicing concerns that their employer is pushing them past their limits in the midst of a global pandemic.

In order to successfully maintain Day 1, Amazon has to lower labor costs and increase productivity, which means that it closes watches every minute that each employee is on the clock.  Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder, wrote in a 2016 shareholder letter, “Day 2 is stasis.  Followed by irrelevance.  Followed by excruciating, painful decline.  Followed by death.  And that is why it is always Day 1.”

After years of maintaining a policy of out-of-sight, out-of-mind, Amazon’s employment issues related to Day 1 are now becoming more visible.  In Bessemer, Alabama, workers have voted on whether to form a union, and if this idea gains traction, it will be the first union in Amazon’s history.  Due to the increased need for home deliveries during COVID-19, the company is now the second-largest private employer in the U.S., and in Bessemer, many of the pro-union workers are Black, which makes it a civil rights issue as well.

Continue Reading on Legal Reader

The complete guide to raising backyard chickens

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The last ten years have seen a massive boom in backyard chicken-keeping, which has only been accelerated by the recent lockdowns, and the trend shows no signs of slowing in the years to come. More and more people are turning to backyard coops as their window into a healthier, locally sourced food supply, as well as the joys of chicken-keeping and animal companionship. However, keeping chickens is a complicated (and expensive) endeavor, that raises questions from what kind of breeds to get (and where) to how to make sure your new egg supply is safe to consume. We’ve answered these questions below, specifically for aspiring chicken keepers in the region of Buckley, Washington.

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Amazon’s Clashes With Labor: Days of Conflict and Control

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It has been Day 1 at Amazon ever since the company began more than a quarter-century ago. Day 1 is Amazon shorthand for staying hungry, making bold decisions and never forgetting about the customer. This start-up mentality — underdogs against the world — has been extremely good for Amazon’s shoppers and shareholders.

Day 1 holds less appeal for some of Amazon’s employees, especially those doing the physical work in the warehouses. A growing number feel the company is pushing them past their limits and risking their health. They would like Amazon to usher in a more benign Day 2.

The clash between the desire for Day 1 and Day 2 has been unfolding in Alabama, where Amazon warehouse workers in the community of Bessemer have voted on whether to form a union. Government labor regulators are getting ready to sort through the votes in the closely watched election. A result may come as soon as this week. If the union gains a foothold, it will be the first in the company’s history.

Attention has been focused on Bessemer, but the struggle between Day 1 and Day 2 is increasingly playing out everywhere in Amazon’s world. At its heart, the conflict is about control. To maintain Day 1, the company needs to lower labor costs and increase productivity, which requires measuring and tweaking every moment of a worker’s existence.

Continue Reading on New York Times

Solano experiences ‘significant’ drop in Covid case numbers

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FAIRFIELD — Solano County reported a noteworthy decrease Wednesday in coronavirus case numbers after two weeks of an upward trend.

The Public Health Division reported only 24 new cases, all of which were recorded in either Vallejo, Fairfield or Vacaville.

“For the day, the news is very good,” Dr. Bela Matyas, the county public health officer, said in a phone interview, “but I want to see it’s a trend.”

Matyas said he has no explanation for why the numbers climbed over the past two weeks, but said the cause of the transmission remained the same – social gatherings among younger residents.

Continue Reading on Daily Republic

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