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November 2009
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January 2010

Redding eagles have returned

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Oh, my goodness! They are back! Patriot and Liberty! Everyone's favorite bald eagles have returned to their mega eagle condo overlooking Highway 44. Last year they birthed & raised three young eaglets. The miraculous triplets fledged after the Eagle Cam went dark. We all fell in love with Freedom, Hope & Spirit and unfortunately we just missed seeing them take flight. Let's hope for a repeat in the months ahead. And thank our lucky stars that the New Year is already bringing us such good luck!  The Eagle Cam is brought to us by those great folks in Redding, California at Caltrans and Turtle Bay Exploration Park.

Stay tuned. Check back and check in...often. The show has just begun. 

Post holiday celebrations in Fairfield's Suisun Valley


Keep the Holiday Spirits Alive...Literally! by Barbara L. Steinberg

So, it's the 26th of December -- are you feeling those day-after holiday blues? All that pretty wrapping paper is now just so much trash. Maybe you're not part of the post-holiday sales crowd frenzy...enough retail already! But you've got family in town (or not) and you're just looking for that something special to maintain the seasonal glow. Well, that "something" is about 50 miles away in Fairfield's Suisun Valley.

December 26 - 27, 2009 celebrate the 3rd annual Suisun Valley Anniversary Weekend. This wine tasting adventure honors Suisun Valley's 27 years as an official AVA (American Viticultural Area). One of California's lesser-known wine regions, Suisun Valley is small but offers amazing opportunities to enjoy great wines and beautiful scenery...and it's just so close, convenient, and uncrowded. What a fantastic after-the-fact gift to yourself and that special someone (or someones) in your life.

December 26th & 27th
12 pm – 5 pm
$5.00 fee includes Anniversary Weekend Logo Glass, Special Tastings & Small Bites
Purchase tickets at participating Suisun Valley Tasting Rooms during event hours or in advance

Winemakers Dinner

Visit with the Winemakers and taste their Suisun Valley wines
Tuesday, December 29th
Clubhouse at Rancho Solano
Reception 6 pm – 7:30 pm
Dinner 7: 30 pm – 9 pm
$75.00 Advanced Sales Only

Particiating Wineries
Ledgewood Creek Winery
Tenbrink Vineyards
Winterhawk Winery
Wooden Valley Winery
Suisun Valley Wine Cooperative
  Blacksmith Cellars
  King Andrews Vineyards
  Mangels Vineyards
  Sunset Cellars


OWAC Logo BATW CA Watchable

Free Christmas concert at Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve

Mare Island

TRADITIONAL CAROLS PLAYED IN AN UNTRADITIONAL LOCATION flutes of fancy violin and recorder duo play a FREE Christmas concert in a former munitions magazine

December 12, 2009, 9am to 5pm is Second Saturday Access Day at the Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve hosted by Mare Island Heritage Trust. A morning hike to the Historic Southshore led by Sierra Club hike leader Kenn Browne starts from the Visitors Center at 9:30am. Beginning at 2pm in the Visitors Center, flutes of fancy, a violin and recorder duo will perform a concert of traditional Christmas carols. A classically trained duo based in Vallejo, Dorothy and Bertram Barth provide music throughout northern California for traditional weddings, theme weddings, and other special events. According to Preserve volunteer manager and Second Saturday Access Day co-host, Myrna Hayes, “Visitors to our free concert can expect to hear traditional music played in a most untraditional place...a historic bomb storage magazine. Listeners will be rewarded by a rich acoustical sound much like that of music played in wine caves.”

New ImageBert and Dorothy Barth have played as a duo since 1996, performing first in San Diego and later in Central California. In April 2003 they relocated to northern California and now perform in Solano, Napa, Sonoma, and Marin counties as well as the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento areas. Dorothy began playing violin during childhood. She discovered early music after graduating from Stanford University with a degree in music. Bert comes to early music with a background in modern woodwinds and concert management for station WBUR FM in Boston.

Preserve volunteers will serve complementary refreshments including hot drinks following the concert in the Visitors Center which will be decorated for the holidays. Mare Island themed gift items will be available for sale to benefit the programs of the Mare Island Heritage Trust. The event is free. However, donations help to keep the Preserve open regularly on the Second Saturday of each month, the only day that the Preserve is currently open except for special events. Donations will also make possible the Preserve volunteer’s ability to increase the number of open days in the future. During the Access Day the public can walk or ride bicycles on a self-guided trail with 14 interpretive stops along the 2-mile round-trip route to the top of the hill and beyond. The hike to the Historic Southshore is scheduled from 9:30am to 11:30am. Snacks and drinks will be available for sale. The Preserve is open rain or shine. Dress in layers. A picnic area is available next to the historic Naval Cemetery. Dogs are allowed on leash.

Key features of the Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve are spectacular scenic vistas encompassing seven Bay Area counties, Mt. Diablo, Mt. Tamalpais and Mt. St. Helena, the Carquinez Strait and Sonoma and Napa valleys and the U.S. Navy’s first cemetery in the Pacific, founded 151 years ago. Visitors may also view interpretive displays and an art show by members of the Benicia Plein Air Group portraying the Preserve at the Visitors Center in a former munitions storage magazine, Building A-167. Visit for directions to the Preserve.

The first parcels of the property in which the Access Day takes place, were transferred to the City of Vallejo in a grant from the legislature through the California State Lands Commission in 2002 for public trust uses such as a park, for all Californians. The remainder of the 215-acre site is still undergoing environmental clean-up by the U.S. Navy. Both areas are not normally open to the public. Arc Ecology, NAVALMareEarlyYearsLoadingPierCivilWarCannonballs the fiscal sponsor of the Heritage Trust has hosted free public access on the second Saturday of each month for the past 22 months through a use agreement with the City of Vallejo.

January 9, 2010 is the next Second Saturday Access Day. Winter hours are 9am-5pm.
For more information, call 707-649-9464 or 707-557-9816.


The California Travel Insider drives Subaru

Sacramento River Train hosts annual Christmas Train

A local tradition continues when the annual Sacramento River Train Christmas Train returns November 27th - Decemeber 23rd. Highlights include a visit by Santa Claus, a special gift for every child, elves playing with the children, strolling musicians, storytellers, hot chocolate and cookies. Children and adults are even invited to wear their pajamas!  A variety of entertainment, new passenger coaches, treats and gifts for the passengers are included.  This is truly a magical trip,  Fares for this yuletide favorite are $29 for adults and $23 for children (ages 3 to 11).  Tickets are available through the Sacramento River Train website. This event is usually a sell-out so plan ahead.

They also have the New Year's Eve Express celebration which includes dinner, dancing, champagne and lots of extras. Tickets are available online.

Trips board at 341 Industrial Way in Woodland. For more information and reservations, please call 1-800-866-1690 from 8am-5pm or Gift Certificates for the Christmas Train are available, as well as for any other trips offered by the Sacramento River Train.

All-l-l-l-l-l aboard!!!!

Sacramento Sutter's Fort State Historic Park Christmas celebration

A Simple Emigrant Christmas

December 12, 2009
10am - 5pm

Living history Christmas event.  Costumed docents interpret and demonstrate the many different Christmas traditions celebrated by the early immigrants at Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park. Learn about the tradition of the Christmas tree and help decorate the Sutter's Fort Christmas tree. There will be old-fashioned popcorn and cranberry stringing, and making paper cut-out ornaments

Sutter's Fort State Historic Park
2701 L St.
Sacramento, CA 95816
(916) 445-4422 
Price:   Adults $4 (18 years and older)
Youth $2 (ages 6 to 17)
Children Free (5 and under)

Support California State Parks and the California State Parks Foundation.

California Welcome Center Opening in Tulare County!

Great news from the Sequoia Valley Visitors Council & Tulare County EDC!

CWC Email
Save the Date!
Please mark your calendars and plan to attend the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting for the newest California Welcome Center - Thursday, December 10th at 4pm!
We invite you, our friends and colleagues, to join us and celebrate as we open our doors and welcome visitors to Tulare County.   
We look forward to seeing you and if you have any questions please contact Susan Mendonca at the EDC. 
Paul Saldana
Economic Development Corporation
Grand Opening:

Thursday, December 10th 4:00-7:00pm

Location:   4500 South Laspina, Tulare, CA  93274